Trans Formed

Today, people are transforming themselves from what they are to what they think they should be. It’s happened all through history, though now, transitioning is more accepted in mainstream societies.

As children, we used to do this through make-believe play. I’ve been a princess, a pirate, a gypsy, and more—with the help of a few costume pieces and lots of imagination.

The transitions happening today aren’t child’s play. They include, but aren’t limited to, gender dysforia. A person thinks he should be in a different body, so the medical community helps him transform his body. They use drugs, surgery, and hair removal to achieve this. It changes the person’s outside, but it will never change his DNA.

It’s a lot like me “being” a pirate when I was a child. I could act the part, look (more or less) like a mini-pirate, but the truth was I was still a small girl dressing up.

Some time ago, I watched a video of a young woman who’s convinced she’s a cat. She talks in purrs, dresses in a costume complete with tail and ears, and she scratches and meows. I’m not sure if she’s seriously delusional or if she has a deep need for attention, but she’s obviously a person in a cat costume, acting out cat behavior. She isn’t and never will be a real cat. She won’t land on her feet if dropped from a high place. Sad, indeed.

Did you know the Bible says that people should be transformed?

  • But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12).
  • But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life (Romans 6:22).
  • And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
  • But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).

There’s a lot of confusion in this world. Did you know that Satan and demons can morph themselves into looking good? And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Leaders can make wrong acts seem right.

This is what God says about them. Read carefully; it’s strong talk about topics that affect us today. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Romans 1:22-32).

Wow! Let’s take this passage apart, so that we’re understanding what God wants us to know.

  • People who say they know it all are actually displaying their foolishness.
  • The people described in this passage represented God as an image that wasn’t God—idolatry.
  • When they worshipped other things, God gave them free reign to exercise their own lusts. These desires include all kinds of deviant sexual activities as well as the list of wicked acts, which includes boasting, disobedience to parents, envy, and breaking promises.
  • The people who sin in these ways, deserve death. (Keep in mind, they have already rejected God.) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).)
  • It’s also a sin for others to derive vicarious pleasure from those who do these things (Hollywood films, TV, reality shows, etc.).

It shouldn’t surprise us that the world is getting worse. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).

Thankfully, there’s hope!

God can transform hearts. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

God can heal hurts, and He forgets our sins. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:7). For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 8:12).

God can give us joy. Jesus said, These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11).

Do you need God to transform your life?

Let the Lord take it and make it beautiful. Go to Him. Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

If you are a born again Christian, do you have sin problems?

God can transform you, too. This verse was written to Christians: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Outrage

As I watched the people in the gallery cheer and clap over Governor Cuomo’s signing of the new abortion bill allowing abortions up until birth, I was overcome.

How could a room full of beautiful women be happy about this?

How could any woman be okay with this?

Why wouldn’t a person hang his head in shame for approving such a thing?

But, I saw a table of people smiling and looking very pleased with themselves for allowing abortion up until the moment of birth.

And then, they lit up the World Trade Center pink—in celebration of abortion!

I cry with the shame of it.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines abortion this way: “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.”

If someone is no longer pregnant, something awful has happened to the baby. Either it happened naturally, as in a miscarriage, or it was induced. In every case, abortion results in “the death of the embryo or fetus.”

Death.

A baby’s death.

It is federal crime in the United States to disturb the nest or egg (unborn bird) of the bald or golden eagle.

There are rules and regulations about mammals, lab animals, and pets, especially dogs and cats. They must be handled mercifully. They must not suffer much pain. They should live in a controlled climate. You can’t starve your pets or mistreat them.

And, that’s good.

One of the things that outrages me about today’s ruling is that abortion has been going on for years already, some as late as birth. Partial-birth abortions are done at the moment of birth, when the head crowns, and a little afterwards. Yet, the progressive state of New York makes killing its little ones a badge of glory.

I am angry.

So is God.

He insisted on judgment for abortion and murder of the mothers. Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border (Amos 1:13).

For accidental death caused by foolish fighting, the Old Testament Law says, If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine (Exodus 21:22).

God is the Giver of life. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).

God is the Designer of the human body. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13-16).

God loves His creation. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Genesis 1:31). For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

One of the Ten Commandments is: Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13). Anyone who does an abortion causes a baby who was alive to die. That is active killing, and God does not approve.

Abortion has been legally allowed in the United States since 1973. Over 60 million babies have been killed since then. (Compare that with the 11 million people who were killed in the Holocaust over a 4-year period.) More than five Holocausts of innocent babies have been murdered—and only in one country!

I sincerely hope that Governor Cuomo and others who were smiling at that table become a catalyst for outrage.

Decent people don’t kill.

Decent people don’t murder babies.

Decent people don’t smile, clap, and cheer about dead children.

God hates killing and is pro-life.

Today, through my tears, I am outraged.

A Phrase for 2019


A lot of my organized friends have already chosen a word or a theme for the new year. The more “with it” friends had chosen theirs before the end of last year. Instead of thinking very deeply in December, I was visiting with my family. So now, home again and jet lagged, I have time to meditate, pray more, and look somewhat sanely at the year ahead.

It’s already full of mountains and valleys. It’s unsure. I find myself wondering, anxious, and questioning.

It’s barely begun.

I’m the kind of person who likes to know what’s going to happen, so I can prepare.

But, who can prepare me for the unknown? Who can lead me through the labyrinth of this year? Who will take me by the hand? And, whom can I trust—completely?

Who’s the best provider? Who will show me the way, if I am only willing to trust?

I’m sure you’ve guessed. The Lord. God.

He has led me all my life. Even before my birth He knew me. He saved me when I was a young lady. He has led me in so many marvelous adventures and carried me through the awful times. He’s the One who knew my limits when I couldn’t take any more. He’s the One who meets me through His Word.

The Lord is amazing. He knows everything—all about 2019. Time doesn’t limit Him. He is everywhere, all the time, preparing my way. He hears my prayers and knows my needs before I even know them myself.

So, I will trust.

Remembering His faithfulness through my fifty-year walk with Jesus, I know by experience that He delights in doing the impossible—in surprising me with His goodness. (Though, why should I be surprised? God is good.)

God loves and cares for me. It never ceases to amaze me that He actually cares for a silly person with an abstract mind. He cares for me personally, and the awesome God who created the universe constantly shows me his love. He loved me so much He gave His lifeblood for me—and is preparing a place for me.

Knowing God’s character, I can trust Him in every detail of 2019.

I told you I can see the bumps and valleys. I have a feeling God sees 2019 as one straight, level line. And my labyrinth? He knows the way. It’s already mapped and memorized.

I need only to hold His hand.

What’s my phrase for 2019?

“trusting God through the labyrinth”

We’ll get through it together—around every twist and turn. And, I promise I’ll tell you all about it as we go!

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man (Psalm 118:8).

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

A Pessimist’s Secret to Joy

You know the people who see the glass half empty instead of half full? Most of my pessimist friends call themselves realists, and perhaps that’s an acurate characterization. Let’s face it; the world’s a mess. Looking around or just turning on the news is enough to bring a tear to any eye. So, how can we have joy in the middle of a world that’s clearly the pits?

It’s an age-old question. When the children of Israel were carried away to Babylon, they asked, How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land? (Psalm 137:4) The Lord’s people have been asking that question ever since. How can a Christian have joy in the middle of sorrow? How can he rejoice always, as commanded in Philippians 4:4? Isn’t that being unrealistic? Even a little bit goofy? Can a person really have deep, abiding joy? I mean, live in joy?

Yes.

Everyone has emotions. And, everyone passes through unspeakable sorrows. No one is immune from extreme situations that crop up all through his life. Since Adam, there have been pains, sicknesses … and weeds in the garden.

So, what about joy? How does a person get it?

Let’s do a short Bible study together, okay? First, we find references to joy. (There are a lot of them!) Then, we’ll group them together by themes. What are the motivations for joy? What’s the Bible saying? How do we get it and what is its source?

Throughout the Bible, joy is found in:

  • victory over enemies
  • worship
  • the dedication of the Temple
  • offerings, sacrifices, feast days
  • God’s defense, strength, presence, leadership, glory, excellence, might
  • God Himself
  • righteousness, one’s forgiveness, salvation
  • the city of Jerusalem
  • wise discernment
  • parenting a wise child
  • when the magi saw the star of Bethlehem
  • Jesus’ birth and resurrection
  • Jesus’ teaching of the “Kingdom Parables”
  • disciples’ power given them by the Lord
  • Angels have joy over each sinner who repents
  • the Word of God itself
  • serving the Lord
  • prayer
  • faith
  • encouragement from other Christians
  • looking forward to everlasting joy

What’s the source of joy? All through Scripture, it is God Himself. He is the Source. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). When a person is in Christ, he has joy, because he has the Holy Spirit abiding in him. He doesn’t have to manufacture joy. He doesn’t have to make himself walk around with a silly grin on his face, like everything is just wonderful. He doesn’t have to fake it. He already has joy.

Joy begins with trusting Christ in salvation. The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! (Psalm 21:1) Do you know the Lord?

When you trust Christ, the Holy Spirit abides in you and gives you joy. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). Even the angels in heaven rejoice when someone is saved. Jesus said, Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:10).

How does a person get saved? It’s only by placing one’s whole trust in Jesus’ payment for his sins on the cross. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9, 13). Have you called out to Jesus to save you?

You might say, “I’m a Christian and a pessimist. I see the negative side of every situation and every person, too. I’m distrustful of happy people.”

I understand you. And, I fully believe the secret to joy is a matter of focus and trust—in God. In the Scriptures, joy is often accompanied by words like peace and faith and hope and love.

Even when his circumstances are horrible, a Christian can have deep joy. This doesn’t mean he is always laughing ha ha and never feels hurt. It means he knows that the Lord is there with him through the pain. It means he can rely on the biblical fact that God is always good and He cares. It means trust. I love this passage from Habakkuk. Things were going wrong—very wrong—yet the prophet shows his trust and joy in the Lord. Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Another source of joy is the Bible. Jesus said, These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11). His Word, abiding in us, gives total joy. What a concept! Indeed, biblical thinking, as outlined in Philippians 4:8, shows us how to discipline ourselves into a more positive outlook.

Let’s look at a few more verses about joy. Let them speak to your heart.

  • Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).
  • For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
  • Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart (Psalm 32:11).
  • Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit (Psalm 51:12).

And, one more passage. It’s a doxology, a blessing near the end of the Bible:

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling,

and to present you faultless before the presence

of his glory with exceeding joy,

To the only wise God our Saviour,

be glory and majesty, dominion and power,

both now and ever. Amen.

(Jude 1:24-25)

Introducing Walking in the Way

Fresh.

New.

Familiar, too.

That’s Walking in the Way.

We’ll continue to feature book reviews, short Bible studies, and looking at current events and other themes from a biblical perspective. But I also want it to be more accessible to you.

So, we’ve changed our name to Walking in the Way, which is inspired by many Scripture passages. For example:

  • Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee (Psalm 143:8).
  • I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths (Proverbs 4:11).
  • And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left (Isaiah 30:21).
  • And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way (Mark 10:52).

We’ve also changed our location. Make sure you save it, so you can visit us regularly.

Walking in the Way is about two main concepts:

  1. Finding the Way—What does God want? How is He directing? What does the Bible say about this subject?
  2. Walking in the Way—Actually following God’s will. It’s not enough to know in our heads. We need to put feet to pavement and actually walk in His ways.

There are many verses about walking in the way, but I’d like to share several from Psalm 119. The psalmist—we’re not sure if it’s David or not—asks God to teach him so that he can obey.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes…. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments…. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight (Psalm 199:1-8a, 10, 34-35).  Can you sense the psalmist’s heart desire? He wants to know God’s Word so he can do what the Lord wants. Also, he delights in God’s Word. This inspires me!

At the beginning of this year, I’m introducing my new blog, Walking in the Way. I want to share my passion for the Bible with you. More than that, I want to grow with you. I want Walking in the Way to be about mutual spiritual growth. Join me as I learn and share with you.

May the Lord bless you,

Lou Ann

Bible and study tools--and coffee, of course
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