Despite Reports From Mainstream Media, Being a Conservative Does NOT Mean You’re a Bigot.

Okay, I can’t take it anymore, I am tired of our media implying…no, inferring that if you are a conservative then you must be a racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, misogynistic bigoted human being filled with hate. If you’re a conservative you must be coming from a white privilege, self centered point of view and that you should apologize for what white men did generations ago to people you never met and for what other more powerful white men did to women you never knew.

If you’re a conservative woman you are rejected by feminists who say they’re about the voices of women. Pro life men are told that because they are men they can’t talk about abortion but pro life women are silenced also, why? Because they don’t have the right politics.

Conservative men and women are branded as fascists, accused of trying to shut down free speech by the very people trying to shut us up and keep us from talking and exercising our freedom of religion, which by the way falls into the category of free speech.

Conservative TV show Last Man Standing is shut down because of Tim Allen’s character who happens to be a republican, I don’t care what ABC says, that is why they shut it down. A network that’s in business to make money would never shut down it’s most popular, most lucrative comedy. That’s what it was folks, their number one comedy! ABC shut them down because they care more about politics than the freedom of speech for those with whom they oppose. Last Man Standing was the only show on TV that could’ve been described as conservative, even though most of the characters on the show were overtly liberal.

Then came Roseanne’s comeback. Her premiere broke records when she came out as a Trump supporter. Ratings started to slip when the conservative talk toned down and then ABC said the show would move away from politics but Roseanne tweeted that wasn’t going to happen.

Other shows repeatedly spew liberal rhetoric, Dawson on Chicago Fire said “my body, my choice” when she decided for both her and her husband that she wanted to get pregnant despite doctors recommendations. Apart from Seal Team, Muslims are portrayed as victims rather than the aggressors in shows that deal with terrorism. Dr Manning on Chicago Med (a woman) treats the man who loves her like garbage because in her words she “don’t need no man”. Middle aged white men are over and over again portrayed as idiots, as overweight lazy men who only like to drink beer and ogle women. They’re shown as being dumb and ignorant. People complained about The Simpsons’ Apu because they stereotyped him, no complaints about how they stereotype cops, preachers, Christians, men, women, kids, rich people, literally every single character on the show is a walking stereotype of his or her respective background.

I am a conservative Christian. I, like most conservative Christians are not hateful bigots. We disagree with many of the people who accuse us of those things, we disagree with religions that deny Jesus, we disagree with people who reject Jesus’ teaching, we disagree with the people who disagree with us. Why are we the enemy for disagreeing?

I am concerned about the direction of our civilization, capitalism created this world where we are free to become whomever we choose, free to grow as big as we can dream, free to believe and free to live our lives as we see fit. Our free capitalist society is not the enemy the media and liberal governments make it out to be, it’s the one thing that makes us different from other countries. I mean just take a look at the worlds’ governments and tell me what system they use, I can tell you the unsuccessful ones aren’t capitalist.

There are stereotypes that can be used to describe Christianity, like the way Ned Flanders talks or how we dress up and go to church on Sunday but drink on Saturday night or that some of us send our kids to Christian school and/or homeschool or having babies at home or choosing not vaccinate or refusing to work on Sunday, sometimes we talk too much about when Jesus will come back and what the Bible says about sinners. These stereotypes would not only be fair, but accurate. Today though, the world is trying to change how we are stereotyped, they would rather we be seen as all the things I listed at the start of this blog. They would rather see us as the enemy.

Which shouldn’t surprise us, Jesus told us that we would be seen this way and that we should keep on keepin’ on anyway.

We Christians are a part of this country too! And we don’t love it any less than anyone else. Nobody can deny that we helped make it what it is, both the good parts and the bad. It isn’t perfect, but from our point of view it’s pretty darn good. We aren’t leaving and we aren’t shutting up, about Jesus or our politics. I know, there are some Christians who think we should stay out of the latter and focus on the former and that’s up to them, I don’t respect them any less, but if you’re like me, Jesus as Lord of my life means I have to speak up about politics because a government that grows closer and closer to tyranny stands in the way of my freedom to talk about Jesus. Jesus influences my politics, not the other way around.

Here in Ontario, we are heading into an election next week. We’ve had more than a decade of liberal rule where we’ve gotten so close to socialism it’s scary. The conservatives have been labeled as the enemy, again, and the polls suggest the NDP may form government next week. This cannot happen, if the liberals weren’t far left enough, the NDP will put us into a full on tailspin into socialism that’ll destroy what’s left of Ontario. I am not saying Doug Ford has all the answers or that you should vote for him as the lesser of all the evils, remember here in Ontario you don’t vote for the leader of a party you vote for your local MPP. doing so ensures your voice is heard when legislation is debated.

Please, people, voting conservative doesn’t mean you’re voting for the alt right like the media would have you believe. Our PC party leans farther left that I want them to, and I hesitate to use the cliche that it’s the lesser of all the evils but hey, when the shoe fits. The pendulum needs to swing back the other way, at least a little.

Don’t know what I expected to write when I started typing but this is what came out.

Have a great day friends.

Progressive Faith vs Traditional Teachings: Should We Just Go Back To The Drawing Board?

It’s hard to believe, and heartbreaking that it’s true, that there is still such a thing as racism.

I can’t believe that in 2018 that word is still in our vocabularies, you would think that it would be long gone by now. Especially since we consider ourselves a progressive society and all.

Fact is, hatred still runs rampant through our cities, towns, cultures and our hearts. And it comes from all sides too! I don’t care what the evening news tells you, it isn’t just one group of people perpetuating hate, it’s everyone.

In a world that’s denied God, I get it. Without God, what guides your moral compass? Who do you have to answer to? Without the teachings of Jesus, how can a person know that harbouring all that hatred hurts not just the object of your hate, but the hater himself?

In a world without God, the hatred doesn’t surprise me. The surprising part is that the part of the world that doesn’t reject God also has a hand in hatred.

Some of what the sceptics say about us is true, in some cases we are exclusive. In some cases you will never see anyone but white people in church. The opposite is also true.

Truth is we like our Christianity the way it is, we like to see the same people when we go to church, we like to sing the same songs and sit through comfortable teachings of love and heaven. We use our Christian lingo intentionally excluding those who don’t know what we’re talking about.

Sure, it can be pushed too far in the other direction and before you know it all we care about are earthly matters and soon Jesus isn’t even a part of our faith anymore. But for the most part people don’t like or want there to be any change to Sunday mornings. We tell ourselves that we aren’t racist or bigoted in any way but would happen if something unexpected happened and worship didn’t sound the same, or the message wasn’t all peace and joy, or the congregation looked a little darker than before? We tell ourselves that we’d be okay, but would we?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a conservative Christian through and through. I believe what the Bible says about sin. I believe what it says about marriage. I believe what it says regardless of how unpopular that makes me. I don’t think we should give up our beliefs because the culture threatens us, or because we fear we’ll become irrelevant. But I do think that some of what we believe isn’t biblical, it’s traditional. Some of what we’ve grown accustomed to is comfortable but not necessarily gospel centered. Parts of our daily life are chocked up to living in North America but aren’t actually living out the great commission.

Some want to push the gospel into saying things it never said, others want to hold it back from saying what it did say.

I don’t really know where this came from, I had a thought and it snowballed from there. Just my ramblings of the day I guess.

Let me know what you think.

Are we being way too progressive?

Are we being way too traditional?

If you were in a church completely different from your own, would you still be worshipping the same God?

How 24 Hours can Completely Change Your Perspective. From Sunday School to Children’s Hospital.

I’m humbled today after returning from the children’s hospital, seeing how many innocent aged people suffer from life threatening diseases is heartbreaking to say the least, gut-wrenchingly painful to say a bit more.

It’s hard enough answering the question of why God allows suffering, ask why He allows kids to suffer…well, I don’t know if the best theological seminary students could muddle their way through it, let alone the seasoned and experienced pastors who’ve seen it all.

Still, it’s what goes through my mind as I pass bed after bed surrounded by the worried parents of the children laying in them. Why God, why? Why must a child barely old enough to walk endure the pain as cancer ravages her body? What purpose does it serve a toddler to be forced to go under the knife to fix a heart broken since before birth?

My experience today was quite different from the one I had yesterday morning in church. You see, all I had to do was get through two worship songs and communion and then my boys would be sent off to Sunday school where they would be free to terrorize those wonderfully patient volunteers who give away their peace for mine, bless their hearts. Alas, I couldn’t do it. I should say my boys couldn’t do it. Crawling under and on the pew, playing tug of war with the offering, fighting over a scrap piece of paper that neither wanted but both had to have. During communion and the silent prayer that is supposed to precede it they were actually hitting each other and making such a ruckus that I almost, almost picked them both up and left. Just before that was about to happen the announcement finally came for the kids to be released at which point I was choking back tears and clinging to whatever dignity I had left.

Fast forward 24 hours and all I want to do is shower them in kisses, tell them that I love them. In church, the place where my cup is supposed to be filled, where peace reigns, where all I’m supposed to want to do is praise and worship the God that blessed me with those kids, in church all I could do was regret showing up that day.

Funny how perspectives change. After spending a day amongst sick kids the fact that my boys fight like cats and dogs and yet for some reason still hate the idea of being separated doesn’t bother me so much, I’m sure it will again in a few days but today it’s nothing short of endearing. Seeing how my older son actually looks up to his little brother brings a smile to my face and tears back to my eyes, this time they’re the joy kind.

I’m glad God is a Father that sees the past, present and future all at once. I’m glad He sees me when I’m being disobedient and when I’m being slightly better than disobedient. Our God is bigger than our problems and yet He cares about each and every little issue we deal with, and He cares so much for those kids suffering in the hospital.

I know it seems unfair sometimes, unjust always and yet my head tells my heart that God knows what’s going on and He isn’t unaware and He is still sovereign.

No explanation that I can give for childhood sickness and suffering can even begin to dull the pain endured by the kids or the parents that love them. I don’t know why it happens, I do know that God didn’t want it to happen, it was never His plan to watch any of His kids suffer let alone the most vulnerable and innocent ones. I do know that through that suffering comes some of the most wonderful things, the most amazingly compassionate people, the most generous givers, and some of the deepest connections you can make with another human being. Those things, those good things that happen during the bad things, are from God.

So, when I’m sitting in church feeling sorry for myself and the embarrassment my kids are causing me, God is still doing His thing and I just need to trust Him. He is putting people in my life who’ll notice where my struggles are and pray for me and my family (you know who you are) and I am so thankful for them and cannot imagine being on this journey without them. God has given me a partner to do this parenting thing with that both lifts me up and grounds me at the same time, she is beautiful and strong and smart and determined! God is good! Even when this world and it’s brokenness, is not.

Trust God..or Trust Yourself?

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6

Sometimes it feels like we’re living in ancient Israel and we have no king, everyone does what they think is right.

We’re told today that we must have the virtue of tolerance and not honesty. We must accept everyone the way they say they are and ignore our own desires to live a godly life.

It’s all about peace, love and harmony (like we’re in the sixties again) but have you noticed how all that peace, love and harmony disappears when something happens they don’t like?

I know use highway driving analogies a lot but hey when the shoe fits, it’s like driving down the highway – everyone does what suits them. Outside the car the driver might be a nice guy, inside the car he becomes selfish, he doesn’t care what the speed limit is, he passes everyone and honks at those he can’t. Where are all his virtues now?

Thankfully our God is unchanging. If He said it was wrong to Adam and Eve, it’s still wrong today.

Doing what we think is right is a path to be avoided at all costs. Our way of thinking can be manipulated, we can be persuaded, we are not unchanging. Doing what we think is right leads to modern day Sodom and Gommorah.

I would venture as far as to say that we shouldn’t trust our own intuition without seeking wise counsel from the people in our lives that know us best. They can help discern between your will and God’s. They can speak truth (if you let them) into your life and tell you where you’re wrong. Hopefully you have someone like that, I do, and it’s an amazing thing.

Anyway, I didn’t mean for this to be a rant, just wanted to say that we should ask God before we do things, especially if we aren’t already sure that it’s within His will.

Have a great day and thanks for reading.

Why Joining a Church is More Important Than Ever

All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.
Micah 4:5

Before I belonged to a church I thought that that I didn’t need to, I bought into the idea that organized religion was something people used to control other people. And certainly that is true in some cases, but definitely not all.

Being a Christian isn’t being religious. I know that’s what non believers want to say but Christianity is more..way more about a relationship than it is about doing religious things. Christianity is about what has been done for us, not what we do. It’s about God’s grace for a people that don’t deserve it.

This is why it’s so important to join a church, a Bible teaching, Bible believing, Jesus centered church that doesn’t care about what the world says about it and doesn’t care about doing religious things at the right time and the right place. You’ll know it’s a good church when they won’t shut up about Jesus, the Bible….and they actually have good coffee, and in my church, espresso! Man! That stuff is good!

Sorry, I got off topic there. It’s important to join a church because if you call yourself a Christian and you don’t like the direction our world is heading, you need people in your life who get what you believe and why you believe it. Church is way more than just a building, in fact the Bible calls Jesus’s followers “the church”. Church is not a place you go, it’s a home.

Our world and our culture is becoming more and more hostile towards Christians, yes even in North America. I mean California might just be making a law banning the Bible! In Canada, Justin Trudeau and the liberal party have cut off funding of the summer jobs grant to any organization who doesn’t fully agree with his politics. (Meaning any Bible believing church will not get to hire students for the summer under the program)

Our faith is increasingly under attack. That’s why we need to band together, we need to be on the same page, we need each other.

All the nations may walk in the name of their gods…there’s a long list of things that would qualify what their gods are, I could name them but I think if you observe what’s important to the masses, you’ll see for yourself.

But we will walk in the name of the LORD…we, need to do it together. Or else the world will divide us, conquer us and laugh when they’re done. Together though, they don’t stand a chance.

Good Friday is Over. But Resurrection Day Has Not Yet Come.

The day after Good Friday is like the day after the funeral of a loved one, actually it’s exactly like that! Jesus dies, paying for our sins and even though we know He rises again I think we should live in this day for the whole day because doing so allows us to remember what happened on Friday. I think we should refrain from fast forwarding to Sunday even though Sunday feels better, Sunday is victorious, Sunday is happy, Sunday is the day we prefer this time of year. Saturday is the sad day after He dies and before He rises, Saturday is the day where we remember that it was our sin that put Him there, Saturday is the day we reflect on the price He paid, Saturday is the day when the disciples gathered not knowing what to do next.

Sunday will come and we can and should take that day to celebrate, but while we are in Saturday let’s gather and reflect and remember how awful Friday was for Jesus and why we now call it Good Friday.

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The Kid Misunderstood

THE KID MISUNDERSTOOD

**Disclaimer**
This is not written with finger pointing in mind. Nor is it a passive way of blaming those who have fallen short of a standard they didn’t know I had. None of the references to other adults or other children are written as them being bad and my son (the subject of this entry) being good. In no uncertain terms my intention with this entry is not to place blame. Rather, it is to invite you into our world for a short time for the purpose of letting you know what it feels like to be misunderstood. Please hear me when I say that I want you to read this through the eyes of a father with a broken heart for his child.

When I was school age, about 8 or 9, I suffered what is probably the most embarrassing moment of my life thus far. I was in the schoolyard and most of the other kids my age were picking teams to play flag football, I loved flag football! Mostly because I was athletic, I was fast, and I was good at it. I wanted to join in so bad, so I worked my way into the pool of players being chosen by the two captains. As one after another were picked I knew my turn was coming, they would see me and pick me because when we played during gym I had proven myself to be good at it, the anticipation grew as the pool grew smaller, I was going to be picked and I was going to rock at this! But, as the pool shrunk to four, three, then two, then just me, my nightmare became my reality, nobody wanted me on their team. I stood there willing to be the last one picked, even as embarrassing as that is, I would still play. Instead, the teams were even and they left to go play and I was left standing there by myself. Heart broken, embarrassed, I ran off and sobbed in isolation.

Nearly thirty years later that memory still haunts me.

The last few weeks my son Austin, who is seven years old has been having a tough time going to school. He doesn’t want to go, he fights me on this every morning, he cries and tantrums and hits me as I coerce him out the door. I thought he just wanted to stay home and play video games so the consequence I had for him when he fought me was to delete the apps he plays with most. In the back of mind, it didn’t feel right. I had this feeling that there was a reason bigger than boredom, which was his excuse, for him not wanting to go. I asked him in as many different ways as I could think what the real reason was and all I ever got was he hates doing school work, he’s bored at school and so on. Yesterday my wife and I found ourselves at home with Austin by ourselves so we asked him again why he didn’t want to go to school and after many questions and follow up questions we found out that he had experienced a moment very much like the one I experienced at that age. He wanted to play soccer and he did not get chosen to play. my heart literally broke for him.

Austin has always been different. From the day he was born I knew it and I felt it and I knew that one day he would tell me a story that would break me. Austin was behind when it came to sitting on his own, crawling, walking and especially talking. He had an unusual amount of baby drool that lasted way too long, he looked at people and the TV by turning his head in one direction and using just one eye. For the most part it seemed like he couldn’t hear me when I talked to him. So we put him in speech therapy, we had tubes put in his ears and his adnoids scraped back. We spent so much time helping him with his ABC’s and 123’s that we forgot to live our own life. Our focus was on Austin and helping him meet those milestones we were told were so important.
Meanwhile, we would be out with our son and we would see the judgemental glances from strangers when Austin would act out. I have heard with my own ears the things people would say about him being a brat and that I must be a bad parent. All things that I myself have been guilty of before I had a child like Austin. I know now that not every kid is born the same and no matter how much you think you’re gonna be the one parent who follows through on everything you say, you won’t. I know now that every single child brings with them their very own set of traits that make life better and harder at the same time. Austin did that for me, my life is better with him in it, even though it’s also harder.

I don’t remember exactly at what point we said it, but we came to a conclusion that we weren’t going to push him so hard anymore. He was miserable, we were unhappy, and it just felt very wrong. As much as we think we accepted him the day he was born, we truly accepted him the day we said no more. We accepted him for who he was, not for who the world says he has to be.

The world however, didn’t. They didn’t and don’t accept that he is different. Not without the label of autism that is. You see, for a while we thought he was autistic, that’s what the paediatrician said and that’s what the questionnaire suggested. So we followed up with that and almost two years after the word ‘austism’ was uttered in our house we were told by the powers that be that he did not have autism. When he was autistic, his behaviours seemed more acceptable to others. It was almost like now that he was wearing that word people were slightly more okay with him. Then, word went around that he was not autistic and almost instantly the scorn came back. The sideways glances, the whispers, the rumors that came back to us that said we were bad parents, or that we were trying to make excuses for him or that we were trying to label him all came back stronger than ever. Now his behaviour didn’t come with an “excuse” therefore he was just a bad kid. One of the things people will say is that parents today are just trying to label their kids, that instead of confronting bad behaviour we just want to excuse it and label it and then we don’t have to deal with it. They say we shouldn’t label our kids and then they turn around and slap a ‘bad kid’ label on their backs or a ‘bad parent’ label on ours.

I’ve heard it all, I’ve heard that I should just spank him into submission, that he should be stripped of everything he loves until he obeys, that he should get the same thing he does to other kids. I will admit, he does hurtful things to other kids. He hits and fights, he says bad words and calls bad names. On the rare occasion that he has other kids that’ll play with him he excludes those who want to join in. He can be spiteful, and vengeful, and by and large other kids see him as someone they do not want to play with. I can’t blame the other kids, Austin can be very difficult. As hard as it is, I can understand why kids leave him out on the playground, there are times when he is the bully and thanks to schools today and their zero tolerance for bullies the bully ends up getting left out. Again I understand that, but I wish that instead of bullying the bully we could try to find out why the bully acts this way. What I do not understand is why parents and adults alike have no desire to help a kid who is struggling. Instead they do the very thing they say I shouldn’t do, they slap a label on him. I’m not supposed to try to find an explanation for my son’s behaviour and if I do I’m labeling him, but if he misbehaves other adults will label him as the bad kid, or a brat, or a bully, or someone who just needs a spanking. They only allow the labels they like.

Parenting is heartbreaking on a good day. Parenting in a world that’s actually come up with a term like ‘parent shaming’ is unbelievably overwhelming. No matter what you do as the parent of a difficult child you will be judged, shamed and scorned. You will be mocked and bombarded with unsolicited advice that says child abuse is the only answer and that the Bible defends it.

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My child is the hard one. He is difficult. He can be overwhelming. At times I cry my eyes out on the way to work wondering how we will get through and thinking about the pain he must be feeling. I worry that my wife and I will be the only ones to ever truly accept him and that when we are gone, he will be alone. I get angry at the lack of support and that he’s never been invited to a birthday party. I break down when he comes to me crying and trying to explain why he did what he did but nobody wants to hear it. I feel like taking him out of school and homeschooling him, avoiding the places where he causes trouble and just living on our own.

But he is my child! And I will not let the world bully him because they say he’s a bully! I will teach him to love and respect even those who no longer like him. I will take the advice of others when they say I shouldn’t label him and I will refuse to label him ‘bad’ or ‘brat’ or ‘bully’. I will obey what the Bible says about fatherhood but instead of taking a Proverb out of context I will follow the New Testament examples of gentleness and love.

My child is misunderstood. But I understand him. I know what it feels like to be left out and made fun of. I know what it feels like to lack the ability to just go up to someone and ask if they want to be friends. I understand him in a way nobody will ever understand because I am his father and I love him unconditionally. I will not excuse him or label him but I will teach him and defend him. Austin is misunderstood because he doesn’t know how to communicate, the way the doctor explained it to me is that when most people hear a word they can repeat it after hearing it a few times. When kids like Austin hear a word they have to hear many times, see it as it is written and pronunciate their way through it before they can say it. This disconnect between his brain and the muscles in his mouth leads him to feel inadequate and leads him to communicate in a way that others don’t understand, he hits when he’s upset, he cries when he’s sad and he laughs when he’s happy. But words and grammar and punctuation evade him, except on paper.

My child is awesome! He’s misunderstood but totally awesome and for those that get to know him they’ll find just how great he truly is.