The Open Range of Ash

A Pilgrim’s Progress

Sin is Sin, Including Homosexuality and Lesbianism

In my life, homosexuality and lesbianism seems to be more and more of a regular encounter.  Personally, my uncle lived a homosexual life.  Over the course of my life in recent years I have come across multiple individuals who live in this type of lifestyle.  Many of these individuals are more pleasant to be around than heterosexual friends who struggle with other sinful issues. I love the Ellen Show and she seems to be a wonderful person, so I don’t have homophobia or an angst against humans caught in this sinful web.

Off the bat, I direct you to to read a detailed, enlightening and informational dialogue by John MacArthur using Scripture as support…and to sum it up, sin is sin.

We have all been born with different challenges, different vices that demand our attention.  Some of us struggle with gluttony, some with alcohol, some with an ego the size of Texas, and some of us are drawn to the same sex.  Sin is sin, no matter what you say, the Truth is the Truth.  To say one is born that way is a futile excuse to condone the act.

I have major sympathy for homosexuals based upon my personal experience with my uncle.  He was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person I ever knew but he gave himself over to a temptation that ultimately destroyed him and he is no longer with us.  Consequently, his loving partner stole all is wealth on his death bed from my mother which my uncle had promised her, but don’t get me wrong, the money is not important, the end result of his actions is just further evidence of the baseness of this lifestyle and the self-pleasuring arrogance it harbors.  His partner now prowls around town in a new sports car with the plates “2hot4u”, or something like that, and may God have mercy on his soul.

Our society is slowly being handed over to this as the advocates of it’s legitimacy push for rights as a minority as if they are a race.  Just another thread being unraveled from the moral tapestry our world is based upon.  Just like after the Romans accepted all and any act as okay and eventually was destroyed, our country is on the same path.  Not a surprise, it is all written in the Word and expected, so I sit as a casual observer doing what I can to help those around me and pray they are able to pry the talons of this smothering sin from their lives and find the Truth before God hands them over to their perverse desires.

I find the following an excellent answer to, “What is life all about?”, by Rick Warren.  I may not be on board with everything Mr. Warren has written, but I love this text and to sum it up, this life on Earth is a dress-rehearsal of our real lives, whether in Hell or Heaven.  I totally respect what he has done with the wealth and success God had granted him.  Do you want to know why you are here and want a good example to follow, than read on what Rick has to say:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life?

And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:

If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free..

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.

That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.

Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.

Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD..

Painful moments, TRUST GOD.

Every moment, THANK


August 5, 2009 Posted by | Jesus | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lazy Leaches

For the first time in my life I am faced with collecting unemployment benefits after being laid off.  I am very happy to be collecting the $1,400 or so a month from the State of Missouri.  I have been diligently searching for employment for months, documenting each contact, and without the unemployment income I would be in dire straits.  The unemployment is keeping me afloat and helping me to be able to live and provide something to my children.

Unfortunately through this experience I have learned of other individuals who abuse this lifeline.  One example is an individual who works during the summer but because of the nature of his business is out of work during the winter months.  Instead of finding winter work he sits on his behind collecting unemployment benefits until the next summer.  Another example is a person who has skills as a welder but has been collecting unemployment dollars for almost two years I think.  His benefits expire in September of this year but he has milked the max from the system with no inclination to find work.  The last example is another individual who is in his upper 50s or lower 60s who was laid off and has not actively searched for new employment for months and months now.  Instead, he has taken money from the State coffers for the maximum amount of time allotted and is happy doing nothing and living off the money our tax dollars provide.

I diligently document all the companies I have applied for employment to on a weekly basis.  I go to the unemployment office monthly to check in.  I am following the rules and trying hard to get a new job since being laid off, but it is so discouraging to see these individuals taking advantage of a system put in place for people like me.  Where are the checks and balances to weed out these lazy leaches?  According to the documentation I have read there are apparently random audits against unemployment beneficiaries.  Evidently, that is not enough.

If I know of just three cases of abuse, I can only imagine what is happening with this situation compounded on a national scale.  I have read about prosecutions against individuals committing fraudulent acts against the system by collecting unemployment while actually banking employment checks elsewhere, but what about these slugs who are living off the benefits willingly and doing nothing to find a job?  The Labor Department has only one decent publication addressing this issue and that was published in 1953!  The only check and balance in place today to identify and prosecute these leaches is a random audit that obviously is not random or frequent enough!

Just another example of a government system that is easily abused and the honest man’s  tax dollars are just being handed over to a society of slugs…and the government wants us to trust them to manage a health insurance program.  No thanks.

August 5, 2009 Posted by | unemployment | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment