Trying My Hand at Birds

I’ve been told this little fellow is a Red Bellied Woodpecker. All I know is he is cute!

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Merry Christmas!

I Am Not Intolerant Just Because I’m A Christian

This whole Phil Robertson controversy has got me a little miffed and baffled.

Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

There is a great debate on Facebook and the internet with two opposing sides: Christians and the rest of the world. And I probably will lose friends over this (and for that I am deeply sorrowful), but I have to stand for what I believe is true. I know most of you won’t read this to the end and that you will not want to read the Bible scriptures, but I implore you to do so. Please hear me out before you label me a racist and a hater of people.

I read the article that quoted the Phil Robertson, although crudely, testifying to what he believes is true. It is his faith and his belief, but because he said it out loud, he is a bad person. I am not a fan of the show, but I do respect the family for showing their faith in a world where being a Christian is so badly portrayed in Hollywood.

The big catch word that is being thrown around is TOLERANCE. Everyone is claiming that Phil Robertson and in fact, all Christians who testify to God’s word, are intolerant.

Tolerance is not practiced equally amongst anyone.

Tolerance is not practiced equally amongst anyone.

I am a Christian. And with that proclamation I testify that I believe in God’s word – the Bible. The Bible is not GREY; it is BLACK AND WHITE. I cannot pick and choose what to believe in it; I have to believe all or none if I adhere to my belief that it is the true spoken WORD OF GOD.

If I claim to be a Christian than I MUST proclaim God's WORD.

If I claim to be a Christian than I MUST proclaim God’s WORD.

I may not always like what it says, especially when it is pointing out one of my many faults, but I have to continue to believe it and proclaim it. Where I get into trouble is not always proclaiming it in His love. And for that I apologize and ask the forgiveness of anyone I’ve hurt. But I will not apologize for God’s word.

GOD IS LOVE. He LOVES all people, but he HATES all sin; no matter what it is. But God is also the God of Judgement, and he will judge all of us – the sinners (which IS all of us) and especially those who stood by and said and did nothing against the sins of this world. It is important to mention that not all people claiming to be Christians do this part right. I have already mentioned that I have failed in this area many time. We are instructed to proclaim His truths in Love, not like people  from cults like Westboro Baptist Church who spout nothing but hate.

NO WHERE IN GOD'S WORD DOES IT TELL US TO BEHAVE THIS WAY! I APOLOGIZE FOR ALL CHRISTIANS WHEN I SEE THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR.

NO WHERE IN GOD’S WORD DOES IT TELL US TO BEHAVE THIS WAY! I APOLOGIZE FOR ALL CHRISTIANS WHEN I SEE THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR.

I think it is interesting that anyone can blast Christian’s beliefs, but if you speak God’s truth, you will be labeled a racist, a hater and a liar. I actually read someone’s post about Phil Robertson that said, “some rich egotistical, bigoted moron who hides behind bible scripture as justification for saying whatever he wants.”

So, let me get this right; if I quote God’s word, I’m a bigot, a hater and a liar? How is this tolerant? How is this fair to labeled me (because I too believe theses scriptures) this way, that person doesn’t even know me?

I can be a Christian as long as I only practice the love part of God’s word and not telling of the truth? When I succumb to that pressure is when you can call me a liar.

God Never leaves us or forsakes us, no matter what we do.

God Never leaves us or forsakes us, no matter what we do.

The world is claiming that those of us who speak the truths out of God’s word are not practicing God’s love because we are intolerant. That is far from true. I know many people who choose a homosexual lifestyle. I in no way accept their choices, but I do not hate them or persecute them for it. Instead I pray for them. Same goes for anyone living an adulterous lifestyle – I do not hate them or shun them. Society says these particular lifestyles are okay, and that everyone has a right to his or her own beliefs.

Everyone except the Christian.

Case in point, I was abused by my own father, and although I HATED what was done to me and I HATED the abuse, I did not hate my father – or even my mother. In fact, I loved them and through God’s help I forgave them and was able to see them ask forgiveness for their sins and become one of His children and will one day be reunited with them in Heaven.

You might say, well this is child abuse and that is wrong. But that is because it is socially unacceptable and it was done to a child. But 20 years ago living a homosexual lifestyle was socially unacceptable and 20 years before that, the act of adultery was socially unacceptable. Who is to say that 20 years from now, sexual acts with children won’t be accepted. Perhaps in that time, people who speak out against that will be called haters and racist.

There are no scriptures that speak directly against child abuse, but we all know in our core that it is wrong. It is wrapped up in the scriptures about adultery and murder, but we know it to mean you should not do it.

Romans 13:8-10 says, “For the commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

The closet scriptures that I found concerning children speak of causing them to sin because of an action (Mark 9:42) and provoking them to the point of discouragement (Colossians 3:21). But there are several that speak directly against other behaviors.

Romans 1:26-28,  says, “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

And in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

This last verse list homosexual behavior with all other sins and it is important to note that GOD HATES SIN, NOT PEPOLE. He hates when we sin, but he does not hate us, and He is always ready to forgive us and gives us a way out, but it requires turning away from that particular sin and living daily by His laws.

In fact, He wanted us to be forgiven so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to come to this Earth, to be persecuted, killed, and sent to Hell all for our sins. The good news is that Jesus overcame our sins and death and rose again so that all of us would have the opportunity to live an eternal life with God! (John 3:16 paraphrased.) The problem is, is that none of us want to think about, let alone be called a sinner. But that is what we ALL are.

Jesus Christ died so I and every other person on Earth could be forgiven for any sin.

Jesus Christ died so I and every other person on Earth could be forgiven for any sin.

Are Christians perfect?

No, but then again, who is?

All I ask is for a bit of that same tolerance that others scream about be applied to my right (and to Phil’s) to speak about my God and His truths.

I know it won’t happen, and I’m okay with that, but don’t expect me to remain quiet.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

In my relatively flat state of Oklahoma, the grandest structure (man-made) is the Devon Towers, which houses 1000’s of employees who work for Devon Energy Company. Couple the immenseness of the structure with the equally immense Christmas Decorations, and it is indeed a Grand sight!

The tallest building in Oklahoma! Devon Tower

The tallest building in Oklahoma! Devon Tower

Looking up through the dome of the rotunda to the tower.

Looking up through the dome of the rotunda to the tower.

I couldn't get enough of this view.

I couldn’t get enough of this view.

Pretty and Grand!

Pretty and Grand!

The rotunda! These pine cones are about 10-12 feet long each.

The rotunda! These pine cones are about 10-12 feet long each.

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A close up of a silver pine cone!

A close up of a silver pine cone!

Out on the lawn looking toward the west at a beautiful sunset.

Out on the lawn looking toward the west at a beautiful sunset.

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The grand sidewalk lit up for Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

Photography, in a word, is painting with light. And what better time of year to capture light!

I love Christmas lights, they make me happy. We have several really superior light shows close to where I live; the images below came from the Yukon Festival of Lights, one of my favorites.

Curtains of lights overlaying a light display reflected in water - that's what I call a trifecta!

Curtains of lights overlaying a light display reflected in water – that’s what I call a trifecta!

Beautiful light reflection!

Beautiful light reflection!

More lights on the water.

More lights on the water.

I'm sensing a theme!

I’m sensing a theme!

The water dragon has always been one of my favorite displays, I think its because of the water!

The water dragon has always been one of my favorite displays, I think its because of the water!

And, who doesn't love penguins?! Especially when they are decorating a tree!

And, who doesn’t love penguins?! Especially when they are decorating a tree!

Merry Christmas my friends!

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