Monday, March 28, 2016

Religious Liberties or Snobbery?

religious liberties

On March 8, 2016, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board (GBMB) issued a public affairs alert stating "Georgia Religious Liberty is "Being Held in the Balance". There is much controversy surrounding Georgia House Bill 757 addressing this issue. The biggest disagreement seems to be the potential discrimination of the GLBT community by a person's religious beliefs. Should a business owner be allowed, by the State of Georgia, to withhold services to homosexuals based upon their own religious conviction without fear of legal recourse?

"Being different", born with a disability, I understand the feeling of simply desiring to be accepted. My challenge is a mutated DNA problem and so may be some of the GLBT community. The Bible states homosexuality is sin right alongside divorce, fornication, babies out of wedlock, drunkenness, jealousy, stealing, murder, cursing and many of the abominable acts that are rampant in our current culture. I'm glad Jesus overcomes ALL and gives us victorious life over sin!

Can you imagine a society where you have to answer a questionnaire before being served? Have you ever been divorced or committed adultery? Have you ever cheated on a test? Are you illegitimate? What is your sexual preference? If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, according to the laws of the State of Georgia, we choose not to serve you at this establishment. Ridiculous, yes? But, I'm afraid the sexual preference question is included in GA HB757 as reported by the AJC. I wonder how Christian Business Owners intend to make the determination and differentiation? Will it be all GLBT or just same sex couples?

I agree with Governor Deal's comment about his religious faith:

 “What the New Testament teaches us is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered the outcasts, the ones that did not conform to the religious societies’ view of the world. … We do not have a belief, in my way of looking at religion, that says we have to discriminate against anybody,” he said. “If you were to apply those standards to the teaching of Jesus, I don’t think they fit.”

Jesus showed his love, forgiveness and acceptance of humanity by dying on the cross as the only worthy sacrifice for human sin. He also practiced many non-discriminatory acts including taking water from the woman at the well (John 4) and eating dinner with Zacchaeus (Luke 19). Jesus dining at the house of the sinful tax collector got people talking. Luke 19:7 "And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner."

The following phrase from the GBMB alert particularly snagged my attention. The plea to Christians was the next to last sentence on the bulletin:

 Remember: Be respectful and polite when contacting your elected officials.

The request reminded me of the TV show Hill Street Blues. After the police chief gave daily instructions to his unit, he always started their shift with the endearing words "Be careful out there". Having to ask Christians to be polite is akin to God needing to instruct Jesus "Be kind out there."

Update: According to the AJC Governor Deal vetoed HB757 today, Monday, March 28, 2016.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

He Appeared First to Mary

And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  

And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.  And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. Mark 16:2-9

...of whom he had cast seven devils. We may not have seven devils but we certainly have one per each of us....unless....he has appeared to you and you allowed him to cast it out!
He is risen.
Have you met

Joyfully we adore thee,
The Happy Handicap

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Eat More Collard Greens Like This!

If you're trying to find a way to eat more collard greens with something other than pinto beans and cornbread, Eat More Collard Greens Like This!

collard greens and pasta
On a hysterical whim with a blank mind and collard greens I needed to use, I prepared to cook dinner. I googled "recipes that use collard greens". I found a recipe from the Food Network called Spaghetti with Sauteed Collard Greens and Bacon.  You can't go wrong with bacon and pasta, right?

I tried the recipe subbing the spaghetti noodles for some large rigatoni noodles I needed to get out of my cabinet. Can you tell I'm trying to use my groceries on hand before buying more? This recipe is DELIZIOSO! Delicious. Did you know?

The cholesterol-lowering ability of collard greens may be the greatest of all commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. Find out more benefits of collard greens here.

Collard Greens are packed full of vitamins, anti-inflammatory properties and cancer-fighting goodness. You may think you don't like collard greens. Don't write them off until you eat more collard greens like this!

Successful sigh,
The Happy Handicap

Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Nose is Offended

The groundhog didn't see his shadow. Spring is emerging. The grass is green with an unmistakable aroma. The hardwoods are sprouting leaves. The dandelion flowers in the yard are vividly yellow. My soul sings of spring but my nose is offended! I got a terrible sinus infection last week. I still can't breathe well and I lost my voice. 

You'll learn a little more about me after reading this newsletter. My brain makes some strange connections.  You may be wondering how I'm going to connect an allergy with Jesus. The connection is made by awesome God-designed brain synapses. I could star in the movie "Brains Gone Wild!".

Steve and I are at Emory for two appointments today (prayers appreciated). I always talk to the doctor because I don't think Steve can speak as well as me. Seriously, Steve talks but I monitor him almost constantly, remember things he forgets and can tell you more about him than he can himself. I worried I wouldn't regain my voice before his appointment.

A synapse or maybe two connected me not being able to speak for Steve with Jesus. I imagined every human bowed at the feet of God unable to speak, no voice at all. Who will speak for me I wondered? Then, the most beautiful blessing filled by being when I realized this is exactly how it will be when I see God. I won't be doing the talking. Jesus will be speaking for me. His blood speaks for my life. No voice needed. Afterward, we will need voices to praise Christ for eternity! Isaiah 38:18-19 "For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth."

Repeat Isaiah 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. The second thought I pondered after losing my voice is simple. Do I praise him and share the gospel enough that if I were silent, would God miss my praises? Would people miss my spoken faith? Would they notice I had not shared God lately? Would they notice my voice is gone and more specifically my voice for God dried up? We can speak well and still not have a voice for God. It is definitely something to give some consideration. I have.

See, I told you my brain makes some far out connections. I'm just so thankful that much of my ramblings lead back to Jesus, even allergic thoughts. An allergy is an immune response from our body when we become hypersensitive to a substance. I definitely don't want to become allergic to God but I'm sure he enjoys a little bit of "reaction" from us every now and again!

Recovering my voice,
The Happy Handicap