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Evangelist John R. Rice - When God Is Deaf (Pt. 1 of 3) John Richard Rice (December 11, 1895 - December 29, 1980) was a Baptist evangelist and pastor and the founding editor of The Sword of the Lord, an influential fundamentalist newspaper. John R. Rice was born in Cooke County, Texas in 1895, the son of
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L.A. County sheriff's deputy charged with drug trafficking... (First column, 6th story, link) Related stories:Offered Protection of Other Officers to Dealers...
Offered Protection of Other Officers to Dealers... (First column, 7th story, link) Related stories:L.A. County sheriff's deputy charged with drug trafficking...
Dear Friends,Over and over, the New Testament gives us a “simple” commandment: love one another (John 13:34, 15:12, 1 John 3:11, Romans 13:8, Ephesians 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, etc.). It sounds simple, but we all know that putting this commandment into practice is anything but.When we are reminded to love one another, it’s easy to get discouraged by thinking of all the times we have failed to show love to our neighbor. C.S. Lewis provides an insightful way to think about how we can develop a habit of love by using the metaphor of mathematics. When we study math, we don’t begin by trying to understand calculus—we start with basic addition. In the same way, we learn to love by first loving our family—the basic unit of society from which we come from. This plays out in small, everyday acts of love, like forgiving your spouse for leaving the sink piled high with dirty dishes, or forgiving your child for blurting out an insult.Once we gain this habit of love in our families, we can more easily transfer the habit to everyone we meet in our everyday lives. But it is still quite difficult, as we all know, because unloving feelings seem to naturally bubble up within us out of nowhere, and they are often difficult to shake. One example is when we are driving on a highway, and we are abruptly cut off by another driver who changes lanes right in front of us, forcing us to slow down. The immediate reaction is one of resentment, and we are often tempted to react in equal measure, perhaps by speeding up to tailgate them. But this is a failure to love one another. As C.S. Lewis has written, “The feeling of resentment, the desire for payback, must be simply killed. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible.”When we feel the inklings of resentment building up within us, we must stop them before they become worse. Instead of letting your anger rise, take a deep breath and ask Jesus for the grace to forgive the person who has wronged you. Say a prayer for the person, asking the Lord to help them see the truth. When we begin to form this kind of habit of forgiveness and practice it over and over again, it will with time blossom into a way of life. When God sees our attempts at love, however small they may be, He pours His grace into our lives, giving us continued strength to persevere in love.On this Martin Luther King Day, let us be especially mindful of the importance of loving one another in order to bring about increased harmony between those of different ethnicities and cultures.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesVoices From The Grave Cry Out For Justice In Iran – Ken BlackwellEvery Vote Really Does Count – Ken BlackwellWill Republicans Finish The Job for Seniors And Small Businesses? – Ken BlackwellChai Feldblum Should Not Be Reappointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Peter SpringWhat You Can Do to Fight Sex Trafficking – Dan HartOregon State Appeals Court Rules Against Aaron and Melissa Klein – Travis WeberHow the New Tax Bill Helps Families – Andrew GuernseyA Pastor’s Take on the Sex Abuse Scandals of 2017 – Andrew HebertThe Rich History of Christmas Traditions – Dan Hart Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareIs Your Church Prepared to Handle a Challenge to its Religious Liberty? – Erik Stanley, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionWhat the Founders Understood About Religious Freedom That We Must Recover – Michael Berry, The Daily SignalChristian school fights Michigan Township for right to operate out of a church – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionFEMA to Allow Churches to Receive Disaster Relief After Key Policy Change – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostCalif. County Allows Christian Group to Display Nativity Scene on Public Property for Epiphany – Michael Gryboski, The Christian PostTop 5 religious liberty stories of 2017 – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionAtheist Group Forces Louisiana Sheriff's Office to Remove Christian Facebook Posts – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post"Free to Believe"Judge Gives Partial Victory to Fired Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran – Michael Gryboski, The Christian PostChristian Couple Who Lost Bakery After Heavy Fine for Not Making Lesbian Wedding Cake Loses Appeal – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostNJ Gives Christian Teacher 3-Year Suspension After Facebook Post on Homosexuality – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostInternational Religious FreedomItaly Faces ‘Dark Future’ After Passing New End-of-Life Law – Edward Pentin, National Catholic RegisterUnder Justin Trudeau, Canada marches towards totalitarianism – Dorothy Cummings McLean, LifeSiteNewsChristians in Egypt Celebrate Christmas Amid Tight Security – The Christian PostChina church demolition sparks fears of campaign against Christians – Benjamin Haas, The Guardian LifeAbortionThe new pro-life generation – Leigh Jones, WORLDFrom Ireland to Africa: What Happened in the Pro-Life Movement in 2017 – Liberty McArtor, The StreamPlanned Parenthood: We Did 321,384 Abortions; Got $543.7 Million in Tax Dollars – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS NewsPath to pro-life: Overcoming pro-abortion peer pressure with facts – Marvin Olasky, WORLDOhio passes Down syndrome abortion ban – Samantha Gobba, WORLDUnsafe: Ambulance calls to abortion facilities doubled in 2017 – Rebecca Downs, Live ActionCourt strikes down Baltimore law on pregnancy centers – Associated PressWomen Describe Trauma of Abortion in Survey; Nearly 3 in 5 Abortions Done 'To Make Others Happy' – Brandon Showalter, The Christian PostHow Abortion Pills Upend the Politics and Practice of Abortion – Rebecca Oas, C-FamAdoptionMother records heartfelt message for her son before he's placed for adoption – KOATBioethicsSix Things You Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Suicide – Nancy Valko, Public DiscoursePhysicians Cannot Serve Both Death and Life – Gerard T. Mundy, Public DiscourseHealth CareTrump Rule Aims to Extend Health Care Option to 11 Million Uninsured – Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal FamilyEconomics/EducationTaxes and Parental Educational Autonomy – John Grondelski, Ethika Politika4 Of The Biggest Myths About The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act – Justin Haskins, The FederalistA Good Guide: A Winsome Argument for Virtue in Business – John Yoest, The StreamHow Common Core Taught Me Bureaucrats Will Always Win Unless We Slash Big Government – Jenni White, The FederalistCommunicating Key Truths About Marriage and Family in the University Classroom – D. Scott Sibley, Family StudiesMarriageWhat's the Secret to Great Marriage in the New Year? – Erin Smalley, Focus on the FamilyIf Women Want A Family, They Need To Prioritize Marriage Above Their Careers – Suzanne Venker, The Federalist7 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Marriage in 2018 – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesHow to Live Out the Gospel in Your Marriage – Kaitlin Curtice, RelevantFaith/Character/CultureWhy MLK's Vision of Love as a Moral Imperative Still Matters – Joshua F.J. Inwood, Intellectual TakeoutThe Anomaly of Being an Anti-Drifter – Jared Zimmerer, Word On FireCreation waits: Incarnation and resurrection are the pulse of the world – Janie B. Cheaney, WORLDA Modest Suggestion: Perhaps Things Aren’t That Bad – Heather Wilhelm, National ReviewThe Supernatural Foundation of Charity – Gary A. Anderson, PrinciplesThe Fatal Flaw of Going It Alone – RelevantBe True to Yourself – Jon Bloom, Desiring God6 Ways to practice being kinder – Cynthia Dermody, AleteiaModesty and Charity – Anthony Esolen, The Catholic ThingHuman SexualityManhood Is Not Natural – Glenn Stanton, Public DiscourseA great sexual reckoning – Mindy Belz, WORLDIn Defense of Prudery – David Sandifer, TouchstoneMilitary to begin accepting transgender recruits after Trump delays appeal – Julia Manchester, The HillThe Cure for Toxic Masculinity is Real Masculinity – Robin Koerner, The StreamPsychologist Says Teens Need to Stop Asking for Nude Texts – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual ExploitationCDC study shows decline in teen sex during abstinence education period – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNewsHow Their Refusal To Tolerate Dissent Is Creating A Global Backlash Against LGBT People – Stefano Gennarini, The FederalistHuman Trafficking5 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Sex Trafficking In Your Daily Life – Fight the New DrugHow to Participate in National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month 2018 – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual ExploitationHarvey Weinstein Isn't Unusual: Sexual Abuse and Trafficking in the United States – Mary Rose Somarriba, Public DiscourseBill to Aid Victims of Child Pornography Passes Senate Judiciary Committee – National Catholic RegisterPornographyYour Brain on Porn – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation16 Need-To-Know Facts About How Porn Is Impacting Our Society – Fight the New Drug
Temple Baptist Church - 11-26-2017Philippians 1:1-7Introduction: A. Thanksgiving Day is over and gone but we have so many things to be thankful for that is hard to name all of them. The song, “Count Your Blessings,” should be a reminder to us to give God the thanksgiving that is due Him. Even during problems we have much to be thankful for.1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.1. We can thank God for the precious gift of His only begotten Son.2. We can thank God for hearing the gospel and being gloriously saved.3. We can thank God that salvation is eternal and depends upon Him and not us.4. We can thank God that His mercies and grace are far greater than all our sin.5. We can thank God that Heaven is our home and not this world.6. We can thank God that we were born in America and had opportunity to hear and believe.7. We can thank God for all His marvelous provision: food, shelter, conveniences, automobiles, etc.8. We can thank God for our health and strength to be here this morning.9. We can thank God for our families and friends.10. We can thank God for ample opportunity and freedom to serve the Lord.B. We can thank God for so many things, but as a pastor, I am thankful for Temple Baptist Church! 1. The Philippian Church was a special church – Philippians 4:15-19 2. There are a lot of churches, but few special ones! 3. Temple Baptist is one of the special ones!“I THANK MY GOD UPON EVERY REMEMBRANCE OF YOU.”1. I Thank God For a saved congregation. So many churches are full of lost people but I have confidence in your profession of faith. Our pews are filled with sheep who follow and not goats that butt!2. I Thank God for Your Faith In Missions. Our church is missions hearted instead of just missions minded. Missionaries are both welcome and wanted here. They can come and stay with us!3. I Thank God For Your Testimony In The Community. Our church is respected in this county. Many may not agree with us and many are a little scared of us but they know who and what we are.4. I Thank God for Your Friendship With This Pastor . I am a part of you and you are a part of me. We are family; we are friends; we are one.5. I Thank God for Your Following Your Pastor. You do not follow me blindly but you follow me as I follow Christ. Pastoral authority is a biblical gift that the people give to their pastor and you have given it to me. I do not take that lightly.1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord …6. I Thank God For Your Faithfulness To God's House. We have good crowds at all three weekly services. I know that some are hindered by work schedules at times but, as a rule, you are faithful.7. I Thank God For Your Love For the King James Bible. Notice that I never call it a version because, if it is a version, then there are other versions. It is the Bible, God's Holy Word, and this is not debated in this church.8. I Thank God For Your Love One For Another. We do not have a lot of fussing or fighting here. We love, we laugh, we labor as one.Conclusion: I will say again that I have never had a desire to leave this church. Barbara and I plan to spend the rest of our lives here with you. We have so much to be thankful for and you are a major part of our thankfulness.
On November 20, LGBT activists observed this year’s “Transgender Day of Remembrance.”For the most part, they call upon people to remember those who identified as transgender who have been murdered in anti-transgender hate crimes. Such crimes deserve clear condemnation—like that offered in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who declared “the importance of holding individuals accountable when they commit violent acts against transgender individuals.”More numerous than those murdered in hate crimes, however, are those who have identified as transgender but died by their own hand.So on this Day of Remembrance, I was remembering Mike Penner.Mike Penner was a well-respected sportswriter at the Los Angeles Times. On April 26, 2007, Penner became the story instead of the reporter, by announcing to readers in his column that after a vacation, he would return to his work as a woman. He adopted the name Christine Daniels.In some ways, Penner’s “gender transition” went as smoothly as he could possibly have hoped. The Times—both management and his colleagues—were supportive. He was anxious the day his column (headlined “Old Mike, new Christine”) appeared, but his editor had urged him to write it in order to control the release of the news. In advance of the article, Penner’s editor reportedly shared the news individually with 45 other members of the staff, and “not one person expressed discomfort.” According to an account in the Times the next day, “by day’s end, Daniels said she had received only two negative responses out of 538 e-mails.” Nearly a thousand readers commented online, and the responses “were overwhelmingly positive.” Penner/Daniels told a staff writer that “a day I dreaded all my life has ended up being one of the best days I’ve ever had.”It didn’t last. Penner’s last column under the name Christine Daniels was published on April 4, 2008, after which he went on disability leave. When he finally returned to work in October, it was as Mike Penner. Penner wanted every trace of his female alter ego erased from the Times’ website. He was told it couldn’t be done, that it violated their policy on archived material. But eventually, the material disappeared. Christine was gone.A little over a year later, so was Mike. On the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, Mike Penner took his own life.There have been at least three long feature articles on the tragic story of Mike Penner. Christopher Goffard wrote one for the Times, Nancy Hass for GQ, and Steve Friess for LA Weekly. This post is based primarily on information drawn from those three articles.Of course, every person’s story is unique, so there are limits to how much you can generalize about a group of people from what happened to one individual. Nevertheless, Penner’s sad story should serve as a cautionary tale to those—whether transgender or not—who assume that a “gender transition” is automatically the best solution for someone experiencing “gender dysphoria” (an unhappiness with their biological sex at birth).According to the Friess account (told mostly from the perspective of others who identify as transgender who knew Penner as “Christine”), Penner’s feelings of gender dysphoria began in childhood, when “[h]e would sneak into his mother's closet in their Anaheim home to try on shoes and dabble with her makeup, then scrub it off shamefully before vowing never to do it again.” According to the Hass account, “Christine” told friends about “playing princess dress-up with her male cousins as a child.”However, the transgender community in Los Angeles was unaware of Penner until 2004, when he first showed up at “Countessa’s Closet”—essentially a women’s clothing store that caters to men. In August of 2005 he made his first appearance in a public place as a woman, going out to a restaurant with Susan Horn, another male-to-female transgender friend whom Penner met at Countessa’s.Between that time and Penner’s public “coming out” as transgender in April 2007, he apparently did not reveal his real (male) name to others who identified as transgender. Horn deduced that “Christine” was actually the sportswriter Mike Penner in June of 2006—but when confronted, Penner became frightened and angry.By early 2007, however, it appears that Penner had begun dressing as Christine full-time, and had begun taking female hormones. He had also started attending the Metropolitan Community Church, which is actively affirming of LGBT lifestyles. In February, he spoke to his boss, the sports editor of the Times, Randy Harvey, about transitioning (Penner usually worked from home). It was Harvey—in a recommendation some later questioned—who urged Penner to explain the transition publicly in a column. It was bound to become a subject of comment, and Harvey said, “I think you need to write it. Don’t let anybody else write it first.”After the column appeared, “Christine Daniels” was widely celebrated. While remaining in the sports department, Penner also began a blog for the Times about his transition, titled “A Woman in Progress.” In a June interview with an LGBT website, Penner was asked, “Money can buy hormones and a closet full of fabulous shoes, but does it buy happiness?” He responded, “Hormones + legal name change + setting the stage for a new life = happiness, no doubt about that.”In July, Penner’s friend and noted sportswriter Rick Reilly wrote a supportive piece for Sports Illustrated. That same month, Penner made his own public debut as “Christine” when covering the Los Angeles debut of British soccer star David Beckham, who had been signed to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy. And on July 19, 2007, Penner’s name was legally changed from “Michael Daniel Penner” to “Christine Michelle Daniels.”Christine received many invitations to speak and to attend fundraisers. Perhaps a high point was speaking at the convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in the late summer. In September, Christine met Dr. Marci Bowers, a gender reassignment surgeon who had transitioned from male to female himself, and began making plans to have surgery, which was scheduled for July 2008.Why did things go downhill? One related to something unique to Penner—his relative celebrity. Even before his coming-out column appeared, he told one friend, “I feel as if I am being used as a pawn by the trans community (and maybe the Times as well).” That feeling would increase as the months went on.Two other factors, however, were ones that may often, if not always, be relevant to others who change their public gender identity as well.One was the question of Christine’s appearance. The first to say publicly what many may have thought was Paul Oberjuerge, a writer for the San Bernardino County Sun. After the Beckham press conference, he commented on the paper’s website:She looks like a guy in a dress, pretty much. Except anyone paying any attention isn't going to be fooled — as some people are by veteran transvestites. Maybe this is cruel, but there were women in that room who were born women in body, as well as soul. And the difference between them and Christine was, in my mind, fairly stark. It seemed almost as [if] we’re all going along with someone’s dress-up role-playing.More troubling to Christine was an October 2007 photo shoot for a planned article in Vanity Fair (recall that Olympic star Bruce Jenner first came out as “Caitlyn” in a 2015 cover story for Vanity Fair). According to Friess, “Accounts of what occurred there vary so starkly that they are hard to reconcile.”But the photographer, Robert Maxwell, said later, “I was trying to say all the right things. How do you tell someone who looks like a man, ‘You’re a beautiful woman’? I don’t know.” Goffard’s piece for the Times noted:The profile writer, Evan Wright, said that to write an honest article, he would have to observe that the sportswriter did not pass as a woman. “I thought, ‘Bottom line, she has a fantasy conception. She doesn’t accept who she is.’”In an email to friends, Christine lamented:It was a total debacle, probably the worst experience of my transition. [The] photographer apparently wanted to portray me as a man in a dress, my worst fear, as I expressed numerous times.After Penner abandoned his female persona, but before he committed suicide, writer Steve Friess wrote about the phenomenon of “sex change regret” in an article in USA Today. He quoted Denise Leclair of the International Foundation for Gender Education, who acknowledged, “The average male-to-female transsexual is taller, has bigger hands and feet, has more facial hair than most women. There are a lot of physical attributes that are hard to hide . . .” One friend recalled of “Christine,” “She would say that she had spent forty-five minutes putting on her makeup and still she saw Mike staring back.”The other crucial factor in the “failure” of Penner’s transition was the end of his marriage. When he made the announcement that he was becoming a woman, he had been married for twenty years to a woman who also wrote for the Times (I am choosing not to identify her here, out of respect for her privacy). She has never spoken publicly about Penner—neither after his transition, nor after his death. The published reports are somewhat unclear, but it appears that the two separated at the beginning of 2007, after Penner began hormone treatments and started dressing consistently as a woman. According to Friess, Penner's wife filed for divorce on May 23, 2007—the same day that Penner first appeared in the Times’ offices as a woman.Penner—naively—seemed not to accept that his gender transition would mean the end of his marriage. But his wife reportedly was blunt: “I don't want to be associated with it. I don't ever want to see you that way.”And according to Friess, “Penner repeatedly told friends his return to a male lifestyle was a last-ditch effort to reunite with his wife in some way.” Hass says that after Penner returned to a male identity, his wife “was willing to see him again, to have lunch or a cup of coffee.” But even those contacts became less frequent—“She’s moved on,” he told one friend. “I had the perfect life with [my wife], and I threw it all away,” he lamented.Finally, Penner’s mental health was clearly fragile for most of the last two years of his life. It is clear that after the euphoria of his first six months living openly as a “woman,” Penner’s mental state went downhill, and resuming his male identity did nothing to stabilize it. It appears that stress was manifesting in abdominal distress with no clear organic cause. Goffard reports that when Penner went on disability leave in April 2008, “close friends knew [he] was manic depressive.” Manic depression is an older term for what is now known as “bipolar disorder,” and it is unclear whether Penner was ever treated for that specific condition. Friess reports that in the summer of 2008, Penner “was diagnosed as severely depressed. Doctors prescribed a regimen of powerful psychotropic drugs that included the antipsychotic Zyprexa and the antidepressant Elavil.” He was also hospitalized at least once in 2009 in a psychiatric hospital, and friends reported “wild mood swings and suicidal chatter” well before he finally took his life.Friess reported, “No studies have been conducted to determine whether withdrawal from the hormones can cause depression, but mental-health professionals who work with transgender people say patients who have stopped taking the drugs report feelings of distress.” Friess also reports that Bowers, the transgender surgeon, “believes Penner put one foot in the grave by abandoning the transition.” In a thoroughly self-serving statement, Bowers declared, “If we had done surgery, it probably would have saved her life. Now she died as an unhappy soul who never got a chance to align her body and soul.”The opposite would seem to be the case. As Hass reports, Penner “had been convinced that becoming a woman would solve everything.” Even a transgender-identified friend had tried to warn him “that the act of becoming a woman itself wouldn’t make you happy.” Yet this fiction seems to be at the very heart of the transgender movement and the growing mania for self-defined “gender identity.”I would suggest that the tragic story of Mike Penner holds three key lessons for those struggling with gender dysphoria and considering a “transition” away from identifying with their biological sex at birth:Completely erasing your inborn sex in the eyes of others may not be possible. Clothes, hormones, and even gender reassignment surgery do not make a woman. There are aspects of appearance—size, bone structure, muscle mass, etc.—that simply differ between the sexes and are not amenable to change.You may be forfeiting important relationships in your life. It is naïve to suppose that someone who has always known you as a son or brother will readily define you as a daughter or sister instead. And it is even more naïve to suppose that a beloved spouse who married someone of the opposite sex will suddenly be fine being in a “same-sex” marriage.Finally, mental health problems such as depression or bipolar disorder, which frequently accompany gender dysphoria, need to be treated in their own right before considering a “gender transition.” Even the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), in their “Standards of Care,” warns, “If significant medical or mental concerns are present, they must be reasonably well controlled.”In his “coming out” column in 2007, Mike Penner said the decision followed “hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy.” He had reportedly sought counseling at the Los Angeles Gender Center—yet it is possible that such overtly pro-transgender facilities place greater emphasis on facilitating a client’s desired gender transition than on “controlling” co-existing mental health problems.Anyone who thinks that undergoing a “gender transition” is the only and obvious response to the presence of gender dysphoria should look closely at the tragic story of Mike Penner.
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