Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ten Reasons Why Gay Marriage Will Ruin Society

1. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans ™ always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

I found this list online and couldn’t help but find the hypocrisy both amusing and sad. If anything, this list should help open the eyes of a lot of people. I believe if we are truly going to live in the land of the free, we should allow homosexual couples to marry. If it is an adult, consensual relationship, then who are any of us to dictate or interfere with it? Whether we believe it is sinful or not, it is not our place as Americans to forbid people from entering into such relationships if they should so choose. And as Christians, we cannot impose our beliefs on others.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Simple Things in Life

In the last few months I’ve been searching for a teaching job and giving some serious thought about where I want to live. Because of the poor economy, new teaching jobs have become rare where I currently live. The reality of the situation is that in order to find work I may have to move, and this has caused some concern on my part.

After years of increasing dislike with my surroundings, I would have thought that moving would be a good thing. Now, I’m not so sure. I keep thinking about all the things I actually do enjoy about where I live and what things I’d have to give up in order to move. This is not to suggest that I wouldn’t find things to like about living someplace else, but just that it wouldn’t be the same. As I said a couple of posts back, I’m not very readily accepting of change. Change takes deliberating, adjusting, and coming to grips with whatever has happened or needs to happen. It just usually takes me some time to wrap my finger around such things to a point where I feel comfortable.

I like living close by to family. I like that I live near a lake. I like that I live near a creek and woods. I like that there is something to like about all of the surrounding counties. I like that there is a good track nearby to go walking. I like that most stores and businesses are on one strip. I like the local school system. And I could go on and on, but I’ll finish just by saying that there really are many things I actually do enjoy about where I live. There are numerous things I also do not enjoy about it, but I can’t say that there is nothing I enjoy. And these things I enjoy have become clearer in recent months than they used to be.

With all this in mind I think I can say that I (and perhaps most people) tend to overcomplicate things. I can look at a situation that should be rather straightforward and simple, and next thing I know, it’s all complicated and difficult (if not paralyzing). It honestly doesn’t take much to make me happy. Sometimes I struggle with being happy, but I find that what usually triggers my unhappiness is when I fear, worry, or get too angry about something—all three emotions that should be kept in check at all times. Most things we fear we really have no reason to be afraid of—like the dark. Most things we worry about we wouldn’t have to worry about if we would simply allow God to lead and take care of us. Most things we get angry at we may have just (or even unjust) cause to be angry at, but we should always keep how we express that anger in check and not allow it to consume us or be displayed in negative ways.

I tend to fear, worry, and get angry perhaps a bit too easily at times. I look at the future and I fear and worry that things will not turn out as I would like. And then I can get angry at my circumstances, other people, or even at myself. None of these things are good to do. They usually only cause the complications. But, alas, this is just human nature and we all go through these things from time to time.

But most things really aren’t as complicated as we make them out to be. If we can keep our emotions in check and not get carried away, then our lives can be so much simpler. We don’t have to fear, worry, or get angry. We can just live and let whatever will be, be, and try to always make the most out of whatever our circumstances are. If we trust God to take care of us, all will be good in the end, wherever life takes us. And in all things along the way, we can always draw strength from the one who everlastingly loves us.

With these things in mind, I can look optimistically at my future. I don’t have to worry about not finding a job, or fear the unknowns of a new town to live in, or be angry if there are a few bumps along the way or if things don’t always go exactly as planned. God will take care of me and see me through.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

God Only Knows

I love this song. And for several reasons. First, it reminds me just how much I have needed everyone else in my life. Secondly, it reminds me that "God only knows" how things in my life could have been different and could be different and what the consequences of those differences would have meant or would mean in my life. Thirdly, it reminds me that God really is in control of my life. Fourthly (and I know this is far less important that the other reasons), it reminds me of summer. And fifthly, it's just a darn good song.

Thank God for the Beach Boys. I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Things Change

I’ve never been one to handle life changes very well. Maybe I don’t handle any changes very well. I know things need to change from time to time, and I’m always open to suggestions or ideas from others. If someone comes up to me with a really good idea, I have no problem going with it, even if it means change on my part, because I know good is better, naturally. But when it comes to major life changes, I find them to be extremely difficult to go through.

I miss a lot of people. I’ve never been a social butterfly, if you will. I’ve never been one to get out much, and even if I did, in this neck of the woods there just honestly isn’t that much to do. I mean, literally, it’s a choice between going into the next county all the time (which takes gas money), or sitting in the local Kmart parking lot (boy, ain’t that fun!). And so, I just don’t get out much. What that means is that most friends I’ve made over the years have been people I went to school with, worked with, went to church with, or that I met online. I’m grateful for these friends, but when there’s a change in school, work, church, or online activity, I seem to lose touch with many of them. I miss my friends from high school. I miss all the different friends I made at my former job. I miss the people I used to go to church with. I miss my friends from college. And I miss some of my online friends. When things change, I know I am liable to end up falling out of touch with people and missing them. And so, I’m resistant to change.

I reflect a lot on my life. Certain moments, activities, and events I look back on with great fondness. Those are the good times, and… I miss them. I miss when my dad and I played video games together. I miss those calm, peaceful, nights when I worked at the lake. I miss student teaching. I miss going to Wednesday night prayer meetings. I miss going to college. I miss my old girlfriend. I miss when my nephews were babies.

There’s just so much I miss.

I’m too terribly sentimental about things. I leave a hotel room at the end of a vacation and stop and take a last look around to remember it, because I know once I walk out the door, I’ll probably never again be back in that same room. I understand completely why Lot’s wife probably felt that she had to look back before the destruction of Sodom. And I also understand why God told her not to look back. Sometimes it is best not to look back—especially if what you’re looking back at is on the shady side of things (or just outright sinful). But what if what you’re looking back on are the good times in life? In these cases, I think it’s best to remember them well, to cherish them in the bad times, and to always look to the future to include just as many, if not more, good times than the past.

It worries me when things look to be changing. There’s a great deal of unknowns that go along with that change. Will things be better, worse, the same but just different. You never really know upfront. But what helps me get through those worries, and to not worry as much as I otherwise could, is the fact that I know God is leading me in my life. When I look back, I see all the different ways he has guided me, and I see that He’s never failed me. I trust God that my future will hold great promise. I cling to the promise God makes to each of us in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I believe in this with all of my heart. And so, whenever I begin feeling a bit too sentimental and clingy to the past or present, or worrisome about the future, I just try to remind myself of the promises and faithfulness of the Lord. With that in mind, things can change, and I can know that in the end I’ll be all right, that God will take care of me, and that there’s no reason to worry about whatever may come. God will see me through.