Friday, July 24, 2015

Remembering Katherine Ann

I am filled with mixed emotions today remembering the birth of my eldest darling daughter. She was born one minute after midnight July 24, 1969 and came into this world screaming her little lungs out.

Katherine's birthday has always been one of Joy for me and when we were apart I would call her and sing happy birthday and tell her how much I loved her. This is the first anniversary of her birth that I can not do that. This morning I looked at her picture and said "Happy Birthday my darling Katherine." Sadness at her loss flooded over me.

On the other hand I am so thankful for the almost 46 years of the gift that was her life shared with me and I do celebrate that gift. We shared a special bond that I will cherish always with great love.

Katherine Ann your daddy loves you and always will Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The new Marriage/Wedding laws

Recent Supreme Court rulings have changed the Kentucky one man one woman marriage laws. Several county clerks have refused to issue same sex wedding license sighting their religion. The governor told them to do their job or resign. I am so glad that I am retired.

Religions now have to deal with a same sex couple coming with a legal license and asking to be married. As a pastor I have always had the option to refuse and I have done so in times past. Active religious leaders today still have that option open to them. There are many religions in America and they each have their own traditions concerning the wedding ceremony.

In the civil service a couple needs a license and an authorized person to sign the document. The authorized person only has to verify that the two people before them are the ones on the license and ask them if they want to be married. When they answer in the affirmative the license is signed and they are married. All cut and dry and legal. A Christian Wedding is quite different and in the United States it involves aspects of the civil wedding but also much more. In my state and church a couple come to make vows to each other and God. They come seeking a blessing on their marriage and home. It is the making of vows that makes all the difference.

When a marriage vow is made the man and woman actually make two vows at once. They make vows of commitment and fidelity to one another and they make those same vows to God! It is this act that makes the wedding ceremony sacred. The vows are binding until death do us part. Jesus made only one excuse for divorce and that was adultery.

When a person breaks the marriage vow a double sin is committed. The first sin is against the spouse and the second is against God. I count it a very serious event to make a vow to God. Breaking a vow to God is not something one does lightly and I always stress that to couples about to get married in the church. There is an eternal aspect to a vow made to God and it stays with you that long.

As there are plenty of choices for couples getting married both civil and religious clergy can have the option to conduct the service or not. Government officials who are authorized to officiate a wedding do not have that option as it is part of their job.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Astrology From A Christian Perspective

Last Sunday I overheard two women talking after worship about their horoscope readings for the day. So many church members think that their horoscope is just a fun thing to do on a daily basis. Nothing could be more wrong or more dangerous to a Christian's faith in Christ. It is not a harmless past time or a fun thing to do, it is idol worship putting your faith in something other than God.

From a Christian point of view astrology is an ancient idol worship for when you put your faith in a horoscope reading that is what you are doing. Many modern Christians do not realize that Astrology is an ancient religion based on the signs of the zodiac and to trust in them means your are turning your back on faith in God. Even though astrology has remained popular over the centuries it is not allowed according to the bible.

Every now and then someone will open a conversation with me by asking, “What’s your sign?” and I know what they mean. My answer often confuses them. I say, “My sign is the cross.” I usually get a blank stare and then they say, “No I mean your birth sign.” To which I reply, “I was born again under the sign of the cross and my faith in the future is in Jesus.”

As a pastor I encourage all Christians to keep faith with Jesus and answer, “My sign is the cross!”

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mom's Answer for My Anger

I learned a hard lesson as a young man in Texas. When I get angry enough to be out of control I lash out with abandon and create havoc in the world around me. Sometimes I could not see the other persons point of view because my anger blinded me. This havoc would often come back to haunt me and cause me grief. I decided that my anger needed to be managed.

This was before the days that I knew of “Anger Management Seminars” so I was left to fend for myself in finding a solution to my fits of peak. My best example was my mother who had plenty to be angry about but always seemed calm. I sought her advice and she said to pray about it. Well that was her answer for everything as she is a lady of great faith. At that time prayer did not come easy for me because even though I could say the words I didn’t have a feeling for it and it was just words.

Then I experienced a spiritual awaking and found the power of a daily prayer life. I read in Daniel 6:10 that Daniel prayed three times as day to put himself in the presence of God. When you put yourself in the presence of God you are doing more than just saying words. Now I am having a conversation and it puts my anger at others in perspective. Prayer becomes my source for patience, gentleness, self control, and a sense of power over my emotions.

Now havoc no long rules and I am at peace even during the storms around me caused by other people’s anger. As a result I am often able to reach not only calmness and peace but solutions to issues.