Sunday, June 28, 2015

To the Christian Who Celebrates Gay Marriage

My heart grieves.

I understand that not everyone will agree with what I have to say.

I pray that the Lord will give me the words to write and that I am speaking from His heart, not mine.

It was my plan to stay silent about the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage, but I have something to say.

I am against gay marriage, but other than speak against it and advise against it, I will take no action to stop gay people from getting married. I feel this way because of the love that Jesus has for people. I feel this way because I know what the Bible teaches.

The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin. I'm not planning on getting into that, so if you don't know, feel free to ask. The Bible also teaches that divorce is a sin. If a gay couple gets married, and then become Christians, they would be in a tough spot. The Holy Spirit would convict them that homosexuality is a sin. They wouldn't want to get divorced, because that is also a sin. They might feel like they are forced to sin. Because of that case, I say it is better to not get married. But this doesn't make my heart grieve.

The Supreme Court of the United States decided that it would re-define marriage for the entire country. I do not believe that is within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. I would have liked to see the Supreme Court reject even considering the proposal since (as far as I can see) this doesn't have anything to do with federal law. The states have been voting for or against it, (California voted it down twice, but some judge overturned that anyway, proving that the people of this state don't really have any power,) and according to the tenth amendment, that is where the power should land. But that doesn't grieve my heart.

What grieves my heart is this: Christians, whom I know and love, are celebrating this decision on social media, saying that freedom and civil rights has won a victory.

When did we care more about what man wants than what God wants? You and I know what the Bible says! We've studied it together and nodded heads and Amen-ed in agreement, but now that popular opinion (mass media) says gay marriage is good, you throw up your hands in celebrating with the crowd. Have you prayed about this? Is this really what God wants you to do?

Now there are many of you, whom I applaud, that separate the sin from the sinner. We love the people God made, but we don't agree with everything they do. We are no better than anyone, as we are all sinners in need of a saving and sanctifying God. Amen to that.

But as I scroll through my Facebook and see the rainbowed faces of friends I know, and I read the hurtful comments on how certain Christians (sometimes coined as religious) are intolerant, I see the stone that we put down in love picked up by our own against us! Don't you see that this is a divisive tactic? It divides those who stand on God's words with those who agree with man. We are to look like the enemy, an incompetent enemy that fights itself. If we do that, Jesus says that we won't be able to stand. (Matthew 12:25)

Please, Christians, don't follow the popular opinion. Follow God's. If no one else is willing to stand with God, be the only one. Many will fall away, but I want to encourage you to pray, put on the armor of God, (Ephesians 6,) and stand.

You know me. You know I don't hate you. You know I am not angry at you and that I still love you. I just believe you're wrong and I want you and I to agree. If you still disagree, please talk to me about it. I understand that we all have different points of view and I would love to hear yours, but I am convinced (through prayer and scripture) that Jesus is leading me on this one. Are you?

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. -Matthew 7:13-14

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. -Joshua 24:15

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ -Matthew 7:21-23

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.-Matthew 10:32-39

If you no longer want to be my facebook friend, I understand.
If you want to call me names and yell at me, I won't do it back to you.
I just felt that I needed to share what God has put on my heart.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

She loves the rain

She lies among the weeds, hidden in the tall grass. The rain starts falling around her the tips of the grass flow back and forth, dancing to the music off the morning shower. She opens her mouth to catch the rain, to taste the rain, to allow the rain to saturate her being. The rain taps on her forehead, it swims down her arms, it wiggles between her toes. She stares up at the falling drops and counts them. The grass is heavy, and slumps down beside her, over her, covers her, as if trying to hide her further. The tip tap of the splashes on the blades of grass dance in her ears. She cannot help but smile. The rain comes harder and she knows that this temporary paradise is coming to and end. Out of the grass is the real world where she is surrounded by problems and not nature. Her covering does not bow to the rain, but costs her daily freedom. She would rather stay with the rain, but responsibility has a firm grasp. Just one moment longer.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Humbled Neck

I had a pinched nerve in my neck for the first time the other day. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary, and my neck just started hurting. I couldn't figure out why. I walked around stiff necked for the rest of the day. I prayed that God would either take it away or teach me something through it. I praised and rejoiced for this trial, even though it was painful.

Here is what He taught me. I learned humility. I learned what it is like for lots of people to sympathize with you and try to help, yet just crating more pain by trying. I wonder if God sees us that way when we try to help him in the flesh. I learned to let my wife do things I normally enjoy doing for her: driving, carrying thinks, opening doors, etc. I've learned to ask people to do things for me that I just can't do at the moment. (Grab a fold out table, build a fire.) I've learned to submit to other people who are trying to help. I have to admit that it wasn't my favorite lesson from The Lord. I don't like being helpless. I don't like being served. I rejoiced and praised The Lord because I know He did a good work in me. And now that I learned that lesson, I feel better. I don't want the next trial, but in knowing that it is good, and from The Lord, I'm ready.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Charlie the horse

There once was a horse named Charlie. All his friends laughed at him. They were not very nice. One day Charlie decided that he wasn't going to take it anymore, so he stopped telling funny jokes.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Daily Bible Verses

I was talking to Pastor Quentin. And he had the idea of sending a Bible verse for his daughter and son-in-law every day. He asked if there is an easy way to do it, so I figured I should try it before I figure out a better way. So I'm trying it. I sent out two verses so far, and if you want me to send you a verse then send me your phone number. You can email it to me at me@jonathandow.com

Thank you very much and have a nice day.

Friday, January 11, 2013

That's not my dog!

Once upon a time, there wasn't a dragon. There wasn't a brave knight that went to vanquish a dragon that didn't exist and no maiden princess was locked in a tower by the non existant dragon who somehow learned how to used a key and is a princess kleptomaniac. None of that happened. There was not a valiant steed nor was there a magical sword with a majestic name. Minstrels did not sing of this deed undone. There was none of this.

There was only Ed.

Ed brushed his teeth one at a time. Ed counted the hairs on his head. Ed was a very peculiar man. His fingernails were never filthy. If any dirt clung to him at all, he would emit a high pitch (almost supersonic) whine until he removed it. His mirror at home was marked with a grid so that he could map out portions of his body. He drew footprints on his bathmat so that when he looked in the mirror, he was always the same distance. His face fell in quadrants C-4, C-5, D-4, D-5 and if he stood sideways, and his belly touched G7, he knew he had gained weight.

Ed was happy with the way he was and didn't want to change a thing. But one day, a dog showed up on his doorstep. It had been raining, and the dog was obviously a stray who rolled in the mud before taking refuge in the shelter of Ed's doorway. When Ed opened the door, he nearly stepped on it. His shiney black shoes were four inches from being thrown away. The dog looked up at Ed and wagged its tail. He made no attempt to move. Ed closed the door and waited. Five minutes passed, then ten minutes. He opened the door a crack and peeked out. The dog was still there. He closed it again.

Now that he was ten minutes late, he missed walking past Mr. Gardblox, the florist opening up his shop. He would have sprayed the sidewalk down by now and Ed would have to cross the street to avoid getting his shoes wet. The coffee shop customers would have changed by now. The black man in the suit who always got a mocha would already be on his way out, and the blond with the big teeth would be annoying someone else today with her comments on the weather.

Ed peeked out again. The dog is still there. He walked over to the phone and picked up the receiver. Before he dialed, he realized that he didn't really know how to tell his boss that he would be late because a homeless dirty dog is blocking his door. He put the phone down. His wrinkled forehead began to sweat. Rationality must have left for work without him because he started talking to himself.

"It's just a dog. Just tell it to shoo."

He opened the door a little and whispered the word "shoo." The dog didn't move. He closed it again.

"Think Mr. Brown, think."

He always referred to himself formally. Only his neighbor called him Ed, and he only found out because the mailman misdelivered a bank statement once.

"You are smarter than a dog. How to we get that dog to move?"

His idea came slowly, like the lights turning on in a theater at the closing credits. He would have to sacrifice dinner. He walked over to the fridge and took out a piece of raw red meat. He held it at arms length, and with his other hand, held a bowl under it so it wouldn't drip. His hands being occupied, he had great difficulty with the door but finally opened it enough to hold the meat dripping over the dirty dog. The dog stood up, and with a flick of the wrist, Ed tossed the piece of meet about four feet away. The dog went after it immediately. The smeared mud on the door step made Ed's stomach churn. Ed returned to the kitchen to wash his hands in the custom of surgeons.

Five minutes later, Ed opened the door to leave but the dog was back. Instead of lying in the way, it was sitting instead. His tongue was hanging out and his tail wagging. His brown eyes were eyeing the briefcase that Ed was carrying. Ed froze a second too long and the dog tried to come in the house. Ed shut the door quick, but not before the dog touched Ed's leg.

From Ed's reaction to the mud on his pants, you would have thought he was shot. He screamed and wiggled out of them right there in his living room. A shower was in order.

As the steaming hot water ran rained down on him, Ed scrubbed himself with a brillo pad until his skin turned red. This dog was going to make him lose his job. He redressed in clean clothes and picked up the phone again. This time, he was turning the dog in.

The emergency operator admonished him for using 911 for such a call, but would call animal control anyways.

Ed peeked out from behind his curtains as animal control came and knocked on his door.

"You call about a dog?" The name Grant was embroidered into the man's overalls. He was just as shaggy as the dog and almost as muddy. If Ed didn't see the dog there before, he would have thought that Grant left the mud mess on the door step. The dog was gone.

After dismissing animal control, Ed made an amazing leap over the mud spot. Once on the other side, he walked around the house to the hose and, wearing his special hose gloves, he hosed off the front stoop. Reasoning that it would dry by the time he got home, he put the hose away and walked to work, all the while trying to figure out how he was going to explain this to his boss.

At the corner, as was his custom, he looked both ways and over his shoulder to make sure that no cars were coming up behind him to turn right and smash him into smithereens, his eye caught something brown and muddy walking his way. The dog was following him!

He was planning on skipping the coffee, but ducked inside the coffee shop anyway and closed the glass door behind him. The dog just sat outside and stared at him. For some reason, the people walking by seemed to take no notice of the dog and walked right by him. The barrista, Paige, just started making his drink.

"A little late today?" She asked with her usual smile.

"Yes." Ed looked down when he talked. He always looked down when he talked. He couldn't hold his head up and form words at the same time. "All on account of the dog."

"Oh, you have a dog?" Paige smiled, but Ed didn't see it since his head was still down.

"Oh heaven's no. That dog out there." Ed pointed a shaky finger at the door. Paige looked confused.

"What dog?" Ed pointed. The dog smiled. Paige lifted her shoulders.

"I don't see a dog."

Ed's eyes got wide and he looked up at Paige. "You don't?"

"Nope." Paige handed Ed his normal black decaf coffee with three creamers on the side. Ed liked to add it himself because he didn't like the cream that was on the bottom of the little cup. Ed didn't like other people touching anything he was going to consume. The only exception was Paige. Ed never figured out why. "Well," Paige said. "It seems to me like you might be late for work."

"Yes, I am." Ed realized. He wondered if there was a back door. He was frozen in the coffee shop.

Suddenly, the dog got up and walked through the door. All of the people in the coffee shop and on the street stopped where they were and stared at Ed. He hardly noticed. He just started at the dog. The dog sat in front of hin and waited.

"Touch the dog." Paige said from behind the counter.

"I can't" Ed said.

"Touch the dog." She repeated.

Shaking with fear, Ed reached out his hand and inched it slowly towards the dogs head. The hairs on the back of his neck were all standing up. His coffee in his other hand was shaking so much it was spilling on Ed's pants, but he didn't even notice. Sweat dripped off his eyebrows. His teeth chattered. All of his attention was on the hand that was slowly moving towards the dogs head.

The mud and hair felt cold between his fingers, but only for a second. A flash of light burst forth and Ed jumped out of bed. Dirty clothes were strewn all over the floor in an effort to hide the carpet from the musky air. Last night's dinner was sitting out on the bookshelf where he had placed it and cups half full of soda were on every surface.

Ed went to the bathroom and left the door open. He wiped the grease off the mirror and peered at his own bloodshot eyes. He turned the sink on and ran his head under the stream for a few seconds before rummaging through the piles of clothes to find a stained t-shirt and ragged jeans. He smelled the milk before pouring his cereal and scratched himself while yawning. His hair looked as if it were trying to escape from his head, but was anchored on at the root as if chained for a uncommitted crime. The cereal poured out in a fine dust of crumbs. Ed opened the front door to go to the store, but there was a dog in his way. It was lying in the doorstep. Pure white and crystal clean. It had a collar and a tag, and as Ed bent down to pet it and look at the tag, he reeled back. Both his name and phone number were on the tag.

Ed jumped up out of bed. It had all been a dream. He got up, showered, brushed, put on his uniform, and left to go battle the space aliens.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Yes, we have a cat... and she's naughty.

I think my cat gets on my desk and dances when I go to bed. I have no proof, but I don't let her get on when I'm in the room. And when she tries, I say no and she gets off. But she sits and stares at me as if she's thinking, "Oh okay, I won't get on the desk... while you're watching." I imagine she gets on while I'm sleeping and sprawls out over the keyboard, nuzzles my bag of chips, and dances while singing to herself in a meow meow voice, "I'm on your desk and you can't see me."

She gets up on the counters looking for food while Ashley and I eat dinner. Once, her cohort Snaps gave her away. She got up to eat a sausage and knocked one off the counter to keep the dog quiet. But the good dog brought the sausage into the dining room to show me so she kept the sausage, and the cat got put outside. Good dog. Bad cat. Whenever she is on the counter, and she sees me coming, she tries to run away from me. She knows she's doing wrong. I still catch her and douse her head (which I don't think she minds) and toss her outside so we can eat in piece.

Right now, she's curled up on my lap acting all innocent. But little does she know that I'm fantasizing about tossing her into a bucket of water. Two can play this game!