Monthly Archives: August 2017

“I Feel Humbled”

Watching the news about Hurricane Harvey yesterday, I saw a reporter question a woman who had left her home, now flooded. He asked for her reactions to what had happened and what was still happening. She turned her somber face up to him and said with deep emotion, “I feel humbled.” No “why me” or “how will I survive.” Just, “I feel humbled.” And she added, as best as I can remember her words, “Anyone who doesn’t feel humbled . . . there’s something wrong.”

I don’t know that woman’s name, but I want to thank her. She has made me, sitting in my comfortable and dry home, feel humbled. May God continue to bless her.

Texas Hurricane Harvey and Floods

Rescue in Harvey Flood (Photographer unknown)

Anyone living in Texas right now is probably not spending time reading this blog. So this is for the rest of the country who will have questions from their kids. This amount of rain following a hurricane is called “unprecedented,” but is it the result of climate change? Your kids will probably be told in school that this should shut up the “climate change deniers.” Let’s look at it objectively.

Hurricane-turned-tropical-storm Harvey is a major disaster. But there have been many weather-caused disasters before this one. Why is this different? Houston has grown tremendously. It’s now called a “metroplex” rather than just a city. That means what used to be soil, is now streets, roads, parking lots, and buildings both residential and commercial. Much of the soil that previously acted like a sponge, helping to soak up the excess rain, is now impenetrable. And I read that  the water drainage, for some reason, is mostly in the direction of downtown Houston.

But, you still have this “unprecedented” rainfall. Did you know that in December, 1935, Houston’s downtown was flooded, and at Buffalo Bayou in Houston the water level measured 54.4 feet at its peak? Of course, that might have been a bit easier to deal with because you didn’t have a metroplex population of just under seven million. Another way to compare 1935 with 2017 is that the level in the same location is, at least at this time, 38 feet, which is 16 feet less than it reached in 1935. Although the rain doesn’t seem to be over yet, and the level reached this year will undoubtedly rise, give thanks for small favors.

Downtown Houston: Flood of 1935

But there is so much rain this time. Again, “unprecedented.” It must be because of global warming. Maybe not. In 1979 Tropical Storm Claudette  dumped 43” of rain on Houston in only 24 hours. In this case, Harvey has a high pressure area that is keeping it from moving on and weakening. Climate change doesn’t cause a storm to get stuck in place, high pressure above it does.

But this was a hurricane, not a tropical storm! Keep in mind that there have been only four hurricanes hitting the United States that were Category 4 or stronger since 1970,  (47 years) but in the 47 years preceding 1970 there were fourteen of them! Don’t forget that it has been 12 years, a long time—an “unprecedented” long time—without a hurricane that was Category 3 or stronger. Meteorologically speaking, we were probably due for one.

A CNN news anchor asked Bill Read, a former director of the National Hurricane Center, if he thought Harvey was as bad as it is because of global warming. You can read his full answer here, but basically he said, “No.”

Tell your kids about this so if their teachers try to lay the Harvey disaster on climate change, they can say they have some additional information to contribute. But tell them to do that as we read in Colossians 3:12:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Malice Toward None . . . Charity For All

What are we teaching our children? Would that the words of Abraham Lincoln in his 1863 2nd Inaugural Address guide us today:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. Abraham Lincoln, 1863 Inaugural Address.

Transgenderism: Parents, Don’t Be Misled

What will your baby’s birth certificate say?

The topic of transgenderism is rampant. Parents are certainly in a dilemma about what path to choose: Support it and all its ramifications, ignore it as much as possible, or take a stand against it. We’ll look at some information I’ve come across, and hope it will give personal resolve as to the right approach in your family.

I wrote in my “Back-to-School: Getting Ready” post about a Minnesota school district providing sex change treatment for a seventeen-year-old male student without informing the mother.

There is a lawsuit ongoing in Florida about a transgender teen using the name “Drew” who was born female, and transitioned the summer before his freshman year. Drew was going to school as a boy for the first time. It also meant using the boys’ bathroom. But school officials barred him from the boys’ bathroom. Drew, now 16, said he has missed class trekking to the unisex bathrooms.

Has your child expressed the feeling of being a sex different from that to which the physical attributes attest? Or wants to act on those feelings by becoming transgender? We hear about it so often now, we are tempted to take it as something that is “natural.” It isn’t.

The American Psychiatric Association calls those uncomfortable-in-their-biological-sex feelings “gender dysphoria” and states that gender dysphoria is a mental disorder. This dysfunction was previously known in the psychiatric community as Gender Identity Disorder (GIC). On their website explaining gender dysphoria it says:

While some children express feelings and behaviors relating to gender dysphoria at 4 years old or younger, many may not express feelings and behaviors until puberty or much later. For some children, when they experience puberty, they suddenly find themselves unable to identify with their own body. Some adolescents become unable to shower or wear a bathing suit and/or undertake self-harm behaviors.

And in the Treatment section it says:

A child’s treatment typically involves a multi-disciplinary team of health care professionals . . . Treatment may focus primarily on affirming psychological support, understanding feelings and coping with distress, and giving children a safe space to articulate their feelings. For many children the feelings do not continue into adolescence and adulthood. (Emphasis added.)

Dr. Michelle Cretella, President of The America College of Pediatricians, equates promoting a transgender lifestyle with child abuse. Watch an interview with Tucker Carlson, and read a full article of Dr. Cretella’s as it appeared in The Daily Signal.

Among her statements Dr. Cretella says:

Even the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology admits that prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of pre-pubertal children who were distressed by their biological sex eventually outgrew that distress. The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty. (Emphasis added.)

Dr. Cretella also emphasized that “By 30 years following [sex reassignment] surgery the completed suicide rate was nearly 20 times that of the general population.” (Emphasis added.)

Those are a few of the medical and psychological facts—but what is a Christian to think of it when applying the Word of God? Focus on the Family, in a Position statement, says:

Not only do male and female together reflect the image of God, but their coming together in a marriage relationship to bring forth new life is used in Scripture as the deepest and most intimate analogy of God’s relationship with His people. Throughout both Testaments, God and His people are portrayed as husband and wife or as a groom and bride. The creation account found in Genesis lays out this gender-based, matrimonial picture and sets the stage for the final, eternal union of God and His people — of Christ and His bride — described in the book of Revelation.

Focus on the Family has also prepared a great free resource titled “When Transgender Issues Enter Your World: How Christians can respond with compassion, courage and truth.”

In Deuteronomy 22:5 (NIV) God says: “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” I looked up a number commentaries on this passage, and although there were some differing opinions most agreed with that written by Paul Kretzmann, Ph.D., D.D., in his Popular Commentary of the Bible, Old Testament, Volume 1. He said: “The vessels and clothing referred to include all the special articles of wear and use peculiar to the one or the other sex; for the Lord did not want the children of Israel to ignore the difference of the sexes, as it had been fixed in creation.” Over the years, “The Kretzmann Commentary” has been widely received and praised for its simple, clear explanation of the Bible in language easily understood by lay readers of the Bible.

So there you have medical opinions, psychiatric opinions, and Christian opinions. Now what you believe, how you talk to your kids, how you react in your community is up to you. Pray to the Lord for guidance and strength. Please let me and others know how you will use this information.

“Truth for Youth” Week

Get a free copy of the “Truth for Youth” Bible TODAY!

I’m late letting you know about this—sorry—but I just found out myself. The American Family Association and Revival Fires International are hosting/hosted the National “Truth for Youth” week August 7–11. A “Truth for Youth Bible will be given to all teenagers ages 13-18 who commit to give the Bibles to their unsaved friends in school” says the email I received. This Bible is also available in Spanish.

You can also purchase one of these Bibles for $3.00.

Their message goes on to say:

The TFY consists of the New Testament in the God’s Word translation, along with 100 pages of powerful full color comic stories that are packed with “absolute truth” regarding issues young people are faced with, such as: Sexual Purity, Homosexuality, Abortion, Pornography, Evolution, Drugs, Drunkenness, Peer Pressure, School Violence and Secular Rock Music. We have also included BRAND NEW comic stories dealing with Honor, Suicide, Bullying, Sexting, Cutting, the Supernatural and Pluralism. God’s wonderful plan of salvation is incorporated into each of the stories.

If you are worried about it being legal to give a Bible away at school, the Student’s Legal Rights on Public School Campuses are printed on the back cover of the Bibles. It says you have the right to give Bibles away on campus during non-instructional time.

To get your free Bible you’ll have to hurry as this is the last day. The only suggestion I would have is to not worry whether or not your friend believes in Jesus as Savior; ask if he or she has a Bible. If not, give one and encourage your friend to read and discuss it with you.

I’d like to hear from any of you who have given a Bible to a friend, and what the reaction was.