You Cannot Converse with Fools

Coming KingAre you all as exhausted as I listening to the fools in the media wax on attempting to explain the collapse of modern civilization?  It is tiresome, frustrating, and humorous.  It is difficult to resist engaging in the discussion for fear of being drawn into the stupidity of the rhetoric.  One cannot converse with fools. “Answer a fool as his folly deserves, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”

Instead, see this for what it is.  When Israel is surrounded on all sides and facing imminent destruction from lifelong enemies and the one nation on the planet with the ability to defend and intercede on their behalf betrays and turns against them.  When the restraints are removed so all the haters and enemies of the world descend on a tiny nation of 5 million people with total destruction the aim, then…the King will return…He promised…

No need to engage with fools speculating that there can be a two state solution.  No need to fear coming doom and destruction.  Instead, look to the heavens.  Listen for the trumpet.  It is not long before every knee will bow and every fool will confess that Jesus is Lord.  It won’t be long now…

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What exactly is a Bi-Sexual Governor?

kate-brown-ap_635x250_1423872776I am confused by the latest headline that Oregon now has the first bi-sexual governor. Is being  Bi-Sexual a specific gender? I understand the historical movement of the last forty years toward classifying a homosexual person as either gay or lesbian. Is bi-sexuality a legitimate member of the camp? (One can add the term transgender as well in that regard.) Does bi-sexuality and transgender match the criteria of gay and lesbian to accurately allow for it to be a part of the group; LGBT classification?

Since the emergence of homosexual behavior into the public arena of discussion, the desire of the community is to de-emphasize the attention given to sexual behavior as the criteria that defines a person. Rather, person hood is determined by  inherent nature not behaviors people engage in. Using this logic it then follows that sexual activity is the natural outpouring of the love a couple naturally feels for one another in any given moment.   This being consistent for all loving couples.

The culture has moved significantly from the history of silence on this issue. Gay and Lesbian are the accepted terms used  in public discourse replacing the terms gender orientation and homosexuality. The debate will continue in the arena of ideas. Is a person  gay or lesbian by heredity and therefore sexual behavior between same-sex couples may be outside their control, or, is it chosen behavior driven by natural passions of nature?

The LG community desires affirmation.  In that desire it has welcomed other groups into the camp. Are the groups consistent with the definition and or expectations of the LG community, or is their inclusion for other motives?  It creates a logical conundrum.

What is bi-sexuality’s place in the discussion?  Is a given person born with the characteristics and tendency toward being a bisexual being? Is it something that through gene distribution, compels a person to be attracted to both sexes?  If true, that position provides consistency to the argument for a collective identity of LGBT persons. However, it also allows for the expansion of the LGBT tent of inclusion.

This is where the discussion gets murky. To remain consistent with the logic, any sexual activity between loving couples is legitimate and deserves inclusion in the tent. A mature male adult has strong feelings and desires for adolescent boys outside his control. Should he receive a legitimate label of MB; a man with strong feelings for an adolescent boy? Or MG, a man with feelings toward an adolescent girl. How about WB; a mature woman emotionally connected by nature to adolescent boys. MLB; a man overwhelmed with feelings he identifies as his true soul for a boy under age 10. Polygamy has had a distinction for millennium and therefore deserves inclusion in the tent. Consistency then argues that the moniker LGBT be expanded. LGBT,MB,MGM,LBM,LGP,POLY, ad-infinitum.

The absurdity of the exercise returns one to the issue of celebrating the bi-sexual governor. Will the culture one day celebrate the first Polygamist governor? Or the first MB governor? Will the LGBT community expand the tent of inclusion to allow for any group that identifies its members as deriving their validity from heredity and or feelings? Will the LGBT community discriminate against groups that wish to be identified and included with them? What will be the LGBT response to outsiders of the community be, that will justify intolerance?

Same sex attraction is real. Polygamy is real. Physical attraction to young boys and girls is real. Desire for group sex is real. The desire for violent sex is real. Married men and women are sexually attracted to other men and or women. People physically desire animals. Fathers and mothers are physically attracted to their children. Governors desire sexual pleasures with both men and women. Which ones owe their heritage to heredity and which ones don’t, and why?

All of these behaviors exist in this world. Can the culture determine which ones are legitimate and which ones are not? Who is the culture? Who is making the decisions to celebrate the arrival of the first bi-sexual governor? Is or will the LGBT community be inconsistent in their platform? Are those that hold heterosexual views as absolute illegitimate? Who determines the playing field?  These are all valid questions that deserve inclusion in the public discussion. Will the arena allow for such a discussion? Where will the discussion take place?

Presently, confusion reigns. Let’s hope for clarity.

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Kayla Mueller…Kindness, Courage, Hope…Family

crop_KP_89153_620x372By now nearly everyone has heard of the untimely death of Kayla Mueller.  Last Friday the early reports of a woman from Prescott, AZ killed in Syria were unconfirmed and the name was being withheld.  My immediate thought was of my cousin’s daughter.  I knew she was working around the world and the chances high that this may be her.  Just a few hours later, it was confirmed.  Kayla Mueller was indeed the one identified.  Then this, morning, the confirmation that Kayla was home with our Lord.

Dad and mom released a letter Kayla wrote last November to the public.  It is attached below if you haven’t read it.  An innocent, kind, compassionate, grateful woman shared her love.  Love for her family and friends.  Love for her creator.  Love for the people she served.  What a picture for all of us.  We are angry today.  Angry that evil triumphs. Angry that a young life was taken too soon.  Angry at the feeling of helplessness.  In the midst of the sorrow though, Kayla’s words call to us:  “If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in this experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else….+ by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freedom.”

Resting in the assurance that you are loved.  Resting in the hope that your Lord holds you in the palm of His hand takes great trust.  What an inspiration to know that Kayla’ s trust was demonstrated in her gratitude, her kindness and her courage.  Her loss is an admonition to us all to forge on by resting in the truth of our belovedness. Kayla is a champion of faith for us all to emulate.

Personally.  I am sad and proud.  Sad we have lost a young woman and a member of our family.  I am proud to share the same heritage as Kayla that goes back over thirty generations.  Men and women that listened to the call on their lives to follow and serve their creator.  I am proud of my cousin Carl and his wife Marcia for demonstrating to us all the depth of a parent’s love and devotion.  I am humbled by their courage.

We mourn together.  We must be in prayer for the comfort and well being of Carl and Marcia and family. These days will be filled with pain and joy and they will be exhausting.  Greater, we must not forget, as we are wont to do in this present culture.  This pain will remain and two, three, six months from now, Carl and Marcia will need our prayers still.

There is joy in the heavens today.  The Lord has called his beloved home.  We mourn, but we hope.  One day we will all be together.

Carl and Kayla




Kyala’s Letter to Family November 2014

Everyone, If you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released. I have asked them to contact you + send you this letter. It’s hard to know what to say.

Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy(put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness. I wanted to write you all a well thought out letter (but I didn’t know if my cellmates would be leaving in the coming days or the coming months restricting my time but primarily) I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears.

If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else….+ by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freedom.

I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another…

I miss you all as if it has been a decade of forced separation. I have had many a long hour to think, to think of all the things I will do w/ Lex, our first family camping trip, the first meeting @ the airport.I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally @ 25 years old come to realize your place in my life.

The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support. I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time. This should never have become your burden. I have asked these women to support you; please seek their advice. If you have not done so already, [REDACTED] can contact [REDACTED] who may have a certain level of experience with these people.

None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes.

I wrote a song some months ago that says, “The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left…” aka -­ The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength. Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.

All my everything, Kayla

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The Super Bowl of Evil…Sex Trafficking

1417444644 It is estimated that over one million people will be in Phoenix for the Super Bowl. While those estimates will be accurate what will not be is the number of children and adults that will also be in Phoenix in the sex trafficking business. The local authorities have suggested numbers in the thousands but a true number is difficult to measure. Phoenix and the surrounding towns and cities have been working hard the past six months to provide awareness and training to help limit the activity and provide more harsh penalties to offenders arrested.

Sex trafficking is on the rise all across the country. The last ten years has seen a concerted effort to raise awareness of the issue in the public square. Trafficking is viewed with repulsion and in addition to raising awareness; millions of dollars have been collected to combat the evil. Non-profits like Red Light Rebellion here in Phoenix are popping up all over the country in coordinated efforts to slow down the trade.

Holding onto Hope Ministries has been working for seven years now to shine the light on the darkness of sexual abuse. The first incident of sexual abuse in trafficking damages that boy or girl, woman or man deeply for life. One encounter is all it takes to send them down the road of brokenness. The insidiousness of the industry is that the victims are never only abused one time. Hundreds of willing perpetrators will do damage to just one soul. Multiply that by millions of survivors mostly living in silence and you may get a sense for the magnitude of this plague.

I am encouraged by the level of awareness that trafficking is gaining across the country and around the world. I am equally discouraged, by the lack of resources and interest in what comes after. Slowing down trafficking is the objective and we must continue to sound the alarm and fight. What happens then? Where does the survivor turn? Who is there to begin the long walk with them through the hard task of recovery? Where is the incentive to establish safe environments that will do the really difficult work of healing?

We my friends must become what Andrew Pitts calls the “Mobile Church”. We must each embrace the relentless compassion of our Lord and begin the lifelong task of walking with a survivor. Fellow survivors are the best equipped. As Henri Nouwen so eloquently expresses in The Wounded Healer; “Compassion must become the core, and even the nature, of authority. Christian leaders are people of God only insofar as they are able to make the compassion of God with humanity—which is visible in Jesus Christ—credible in their own world.”

Healing from abuse is a difficult and messy journey. It requires a follower walking with a survivor maybe for life. It will take countless souls to walk with souls. The task is daunting indeed. Our Lord is calling us to just one. Each of us walks with just one. They are all around us. We are them. Healing begins in the arms of the Savior. We…are his arms.

Jesus with Little Girl

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What’s the Future for Christian School Education

Happy New Year! Monday January 5, 2015…Back to School!!!!

As a life-long educator the Christmas Holiday break is a wonderful and often needed break in the school year. The first day back the second semester does not quite carry the same excitement as the beginning of the year, but the break sure helps refocus and provide strength for the second half.

I have been in Christian Education for nearly 40 years. I have watched the movement begin and mature. I met over the holidays with a dear friend that is a pioneer in the Christian Education world and he made a challenging statement to me. He said, “I believe Christian Education is at a critical crossroads moving into the future.” I have pondered what he meant as the new semester approaches.

The Christian Education movement surged in the 1970s as a response to the onslaught by the culture to silence the followers of Jesus. Prayer was removed from schools in the 1960s. The sexual Revolution abandoned values that destroy the family model. Abortion on demand in 1973 now perpetually decreases the sanctity of human life. The answer in the 70s was to move away andnmaintain the core values of morality and truth. The movement surged at an incredible rate for education standards. With the growth came unforeseen challenges.

Church basements, abandoned public schools, and many homes became the facilities for the growing movement. Growth was rapid across the country. With growth came criticism from the establishment. The new movement was seen as second rate. Incapable teachers that couldn’t cut it in the real world moved into third rate facilities with fourth rate programs all in the name of separation. The early pioneers dismissed lesser pay for academic freedom and the movement prospered.

Nearly a half century later, the movement is recognized as a valid, legitimate, and powerful alternative in the culture. The pioneers have a sense of satisfaction and have left a substantial legacy. However, the movement is at a cross roads. As the years have ticked away, there have been unintended consequences. The desire to attain legitimacy in the education world has come with a price. Today you can find hundreds of private schools that began in the 70s that have developed comparable facilities to the public school world. You will find test scores that are over and above public school counterparts. In a word, the Christian School world is legitimate. But, there has also been a sacrifice on balance.

The Christian School world has lost the perception game. It is either forgetting or dismissing the vision of the movement in exchange for acceptance; in short, the hearts of the children. Individually, each successful institution would publically deny the assertion, but the perception exists. “Those Christian Schools aren’t any different than the public schools. They just have the freedom to keep out the unwanted kids.” Facilities, athletic programs, academic prowess were legitimately achieved over the years, while the heart of the movement was diminished and in a twist sent back to the basement.

Three hundred Christian schools closed their doors this year and that number is expected to rise with financial constraints the leading factor. In the same time period cultural deterioration grows at break neck speed and totally dominates the world of secular education. The movement is losing ground quickly. What can be done?

In my humble opinion, the movement must return to a vision for the hearts of children. The reason for Christian Education is to establish and maintain the foundation of the truth that God is the Creator of all life, and Jesus is the pathway to God through his death and resurrection. That truth must never be diminished in lieu of programming to accomplish conformity.

The institution of the church was lukewarm toward the Christian Education movement at the outset. Today that complacency remains unchanged. In 1930 former Baptist minister and signatory of the Humanist Manifesto commented: “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching. “ Charles Francis Potter 1930

Potter was addressing Sunday Schools…in 1930. When the Christian Education movement moved away from the public arena, it was an intentional move away from humanism. The “church” did not embrace it at the time in general and today has refused to embrace it despite the complete breakdown of culture and secular education.

If every church in this country would consider establishing a Christian Education program within their community, we could equip countless hearts for the battle we are losing. You will not reform the public school. I am tired of hearing, “our children are to be salt and light in the public education system”. They are children. They are in a war against adults with years of training and no one is allowed a voice in the system to speak or promote the truth. That is not effective salt and light.

A K-6 program in every church is not cost prohibitive. It utilizes facilities. It establishes community daily. It provides a revenue stream. It prepares the hearts of children in conjunction with families in a safe environment. It allows those children a chance to step into the world with hope and courage. While Junior High, High School and College may be outside the realm of financial possibilities we can do something that will give our children a fighting chance to counter secular education’s five day a week program of humanistic teaching.

The “church” must embrace the responsibility of raising up children in the way they should go…and now. It may already be too late.

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Obama 1

Today begins the fundamental transformation of the country” November 2008

That sentiment was dismissed as just political rhetoric just six years ago when it was proclaimed by President Obama. Today he pardoned Cuba. Two weeks ago he granted amnesty. He ignores the constitution and rules independently. He instituted a program that is destroying the best health care system in the world. He advocates and encourages lawlessness in the streets with his silence. He placates our enemies and abandons our allies. He lies, and lies, and lies with impunity. The chorus is rising, “How does he get away with this?”He is fundamentally weakening the most powerful country in the history of the world. Why? What is the agenda? Where is the resistance? What is the end game?

May I humbly suggest he is a pawn in the global game of chess that is taking place in the spiritual world. The decadence of mankind globally is rapidly approaching the tipping point. This is not going unnoticed in the heavens. Beheading children in Pakistan and the Middle East. Torturing and killing people all over the Muslim world for failing to surrender their beliefs. Famines, pestilences, disease, strife, chaos, uncertainty. The naive claim, “there has always been evil in the world.” Has evil ever been in control of the hearts and minds of all the world leaders? America has stood in the way for centuries. For evil to succeed America’s power must be diminished or eliminated. Is Obama evil? No, he is depraved like every other human being on the planet. He is living out what he has been taught. He is moving the country to irrelevance. Evil?…not really…Naïve?….Not really. Blind? I’d say so. Blind to the truth, blind to the consequences of his ideology and blind to how he is being used. He is a pawn.

The President will move even faster now because there is no resistance. He will be making more radical changes and decisions by the day. The changes will render the country weak and defenseless against outside intervention. Wars, and weapons will be employed without resistance. Millions will die; chaos will reign worldwide as evil orchestrates its one desire…Destroy God once and for all.

These are obviously the sentiments of an alarmist, radical right-wing nut case. I’m not the one that said we need to fundamentally transform this country. Unless the nut cases that still have a sObama Fingeremblance of power in this government step up quickly and resist the power monger we will be transformed. Then it will be too late to return to what we all remember as our home.

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Happy Birthday Shoe Box Baby

88 years ago today was a typical cold wet day in Chicago, Illinois. A young couple was enjoying the day with their one two year old son making preparations for the Holidays and the arrival of their second child just after the New Year. It was a regular 1926 Saturday in the drafty north side three flat. The young couple living on the second floor while two other families lived above and below.

Without any warning, and six weeks before her due date, the young mother went into labor. Fear descended over the apartment and her husband sprinted to the doctor’s office in search of assistance. Their first child was born in the apartment without complications almost two years earlier. The house was not an issue. But this; six weeks premature was not good.

The midwife arrived and not long after a doctor arrived to assist in the delivery. The contractions intensified and after just a short time, the baby boy was delivered successfully…six weeks early and less than four pounds. The midwife and nurse took care of the immediate needs of the newborn while the doctor attended the mother.

The issues were clear. A premature baby in a cold one bedroom apartment. The baby’s respiration a critical element in his survival. Keeping the infant warm was first priority. The father came to the kitchen with a shoe box lined with a blanket. The warmest place in the apartment was near the motor on the top of the refrigerator. When the baby was clean and wrapped in new blankets the care givers helped mom attempt to get the new baby to nurse. When the doctor and all involved were satisfied that the situation was stable they encouraged the parents to keep a close eye on the boy throughout the night and to watch for any breathing difficulties. The doctor left instructions on how to be reached and headed home. The midwife wrapped the baby and carefully placed the shoe box near the refrigerator and they prayed the night would go well.

In 1926 there were no new born nurseries; new born intensive care units. No incubators or billirubin lights. No twenty four hour care or intravenous feeding tubes. This night it was a 3 pound baby in a blanket lined shoe box and a mom in the next room ready to nurse if all went well. Making it through the night…well…might need a miracle.

December 14th came and went and the little boy fought for life. Two weeks later he celebrated his first Christmas with mom and dad and older brother. A short time later grew out of the shoe box and into a small bed he shared with his older brother. As spring approached the little shoe box boy was healthy and on track with all the other children his age.

The couple made a move to a larger apartment on Higgins Ave and it would become the home for nine more children over the coming years. The family would later refer to it as the Russian Hotel. The shoe box boy and his older brother were extremely close as the years went by. The father worked long hard hours to care for the brood. Weekends were for sleep. The local bar provided repose from the grind of work and family and as the years passed, the alcohol became a stable to help manage life.

In the neighborhood lived a man with a wooden leg, (not named Smith) who would walk the neighborhood on Sundays and pick up kids and take them to Sunday School at the local church he attended. The Shoe box baby and four of his brothers and sisters attended regularly. The message of Jesus birth at Christmas, and his death Easter became familiar to the children. It became a foundation for the shoe box boy that would carry him throughout his life.

Tragically during the Second World War the older brother was killed in action. Angry and broken, the shoe box boy joined the army just as the war ended and served in Germany as a peace keeper during the restoration.

Upon returning home from the war and without an education he went to work to help care for himself and family. Not long after, he met a young lady at a gathering of the local youth group from the church he attended. That first meeting moved to romance and marriage.     He was determined like many of the families of the 1950s to provide and care for his family better than he had experienced. His work ethic was stellar. He missed only three days of work in 50 years. He purchased his own home and was blessed with two children. He committed to being a part of a local church and along with his children never missed a Sunday service for his whole life. He and his wife modeled the intent and purpose of marriage and family. Nor perfect…committed…and it provided a foundation for his children to do the same for their children and grandchildren.

Life is a journey. Death comes to all. After a courageous battle with cancer death came to the shoe box baby. A near miraculous birth. A difficult childhood. A committed family man. He lived a life of integrity and compassion. He was a life time friend to everyone he met. He filled every room with joy. He left a legacy that will live on in his children and grandchildren. He pointed all to the Savior. His faith was strong and true. He was a man, a husband, a father, a citizen, a champion. And he was my dad.

Dad would be 88 today. Were he here today he would spend some time with you and then tell you “to go straight home”. Just a few minutes with him would never leave you the same.

Happy Birthday Dad. I miss you. I look forward to being with you and smiling again.
Love you…Bill


Dad Billy and JudyDad 29Dad and JuleeDad and JaimeeDad 40Dad and Bill and JillDad Bill Judy

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