political · relationships · social issues · Uncategorized

Opinion post: Legalising Same-Sex Marriage in Australia

Haiku for the religiously observant via On the sabbath — poemsinseason

Freed by Jesus’ words,
standing upright, rejoicing;
giving praise to God.

Religious leaders
speak to defend the sabbath
from such outrages.

Six days for working!
The seventh’s not for healing;
come another day!

Get real, says Jesus.
Common sense and compassion
must rule ev’ry day.

Living is empty
if love no longer shapes us;
Embrace its freedom.

 

Is our faith empty if we are not ruled by compassion, by love? Or is our faith empty if we pretend that everything is ok, sin is not really that bad, love (not forgiveness) is all you need?

 

From a Human’s of New York post

“I call them clobber verses. There are six of them. They’re the verses that get used to hammer gay people… I had tried so hard but nothing worked [therapy, straight marriage etc. etc.]. I got so angry with God for not keeping up his end of the bargain. But after some time, I finally realized why he wouldn’t change me. He never felt like he needed to.”

Let me just talk about me for a minute – what I find so difficult to understand is why I should get so blessed to not be plagued with such a sin as same-sex attraction, not having to live with it makes it incredibly easy to get on my high horse and when I read of people such as above who try so hard to fight this sin it seems so unfair. How do I resolve that?

 

From my understanding of the Bible I do believe that homosexuality is a sin, just as when I lie or say or think mean thoughts, it is not the way God intended the world to be. But there is sin in this imperfect world and we need to find a way to live with it. Through resurrection and grace of my saviour Jesus Christ I live with it in constant forgiveness and a promise of eternal life. In gratitude I try my best to lead a ‘good’ life, attempting (and constantly failing but forgiven) to avoid temptation.

I do not believe same-sex marriage should be legalised as to me it promotes temptation. I do not fight same-sex marriage for this reason though. I’ve come to a belief that just because I as a christian hold to certain beliefs does not mean I can force society to live according to those beliefs, I can simply promote them (and also use my political vote to do this).

Now for me it comes down to semantics, which sounds a horrible reason and yet…. Marriage by definition is the union of a man and woman therefore same-sex relationships are different. Many argue that it’s all love and the difference is unimportant (see a previous post I’ve written on love for an opinion on that topic) but I believe if merely from a biological point of view it IS different. Because I believe they are different does not mean I believe one is better than the other.I consider it a issue around equality and equity

Equality doesn't mean Equity

Psalm 98 v9 He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity

(an aside  -read this recently as with above haiku parable it doesn’t quite fit but does show the Bible talking about equity.)

I don’t think society needs to be quite so concerned with equality (at least in this example) as with equity so straight marriage is different from LGBT marriage however we can ensure there is equity between the two.

 

 

(I actually prefer this image from here as it shows not only different heights but different people with different and equally valuable personalities)

 

 

I strongly support civil unions and for same-sex couples to have the same rights as current married couples ( I do not argue on the basis of the needs of children as there is already so much sin and despair in family relationships across Australia I don’t think straight couples can claim any moral high ground in that area – although I do believe children should ideally have a mother and father there are no guarantees in our society such a family unit is any better than any other). I have long meant to look into whether same-sex couples who are recognised in civil unions receive the same rights as married couples in Australia, please inform me if they don’t as I would certainly work to rectify that.

 

Thus ends my first hopefully regular ‘issue’ post, next – netball in small communities.

I imagine they may be many who disagree with me, I hope I have been respectful and would love to hear any responses.

 

 

 

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faith · life · relationships · Uncategorized

Beyond the Best of Times

Of course after my last post things wouldn’t just stay the same. It’s been two weeks of struggle town, although mostly just a few off days with the fear that this could be the beginning of the slide d…

down.

This poem by Moira Neagle a fellow country South Australian really struck me (via Beyond the Best of Times — Moira Neagle’s Word Addiction)

 

There are times

when you are running with hounds

Each day presents its own delights,

the air is warm,

the grass whispers

as you leap frog ahead,

friends bound with you

the sky is deepest blue

 

(My life before the past two weeks!)

 

Your run is halted

A wall, fence, barrier

stops your energetic flow,

the spring in your step

 

(A bad day and the fear of more to come)

 

Time must be taken

to pause

to trot along the extent

to consider options

to look for the narrowest

of possible openings

 

(I had to try hard to stop the fear, let go of the day that was, forgive it and find the best possible opening for moving on)

 

Beyond is beckoning,

the view enticing,

the opening impossibly constricted

 

(I knew I would jinx myself, in stating my joy sure enough the feeling started to squeeze away)

 

The light,

the breeze

the fragrances

fade

in the face

limitation

 

Limitation struck me this week, I got tired, grumpy and emotional. I was hurt, I was stuck – I gave up some of my pleasures knowing I was close to falling asleep at the wheel. Yesterday I was particularly tearful, angry with my husband. Last night I told him, I explained and he apologised.

This morning my ‘acts of service’ man got up, kept the children away so I could sleep in and even got them dressed. The best of times may be fleeting but God keeps sprinkling amazing moments throughout my days. I pray that He continues to give me the resilience to step back and see them.

 

faith · parenting · Uncategorized

Just another part of farm life

The other morning our son was waking up (in our bed of course!) and his first question of the day was,

‘Harry is a baby?’ – ‘yes Harry is a baby’ – we have good friends with a nearly one year old Harry who C absolutely dotes on but that wasn’t the Harry he was talking about…

‘Harry is dead?’ ahhh ‘yes our Harry is dead.’

‘Roo is dead?’ – ‘yes Roo is dead’ and then he got up to watch cartoons.

These questions just come from nowhere. His big sister had mentioned Harry the other day at our local park where we donated a fundraising brick with all three of their names on it, but other than that we hadn’t been talking about our Harry. And Roo? Well he was an old much-loved farm dog who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Death is everywhere. Just yesterday my father in law had to shoot one of our younger dogs who had yet again been chasing the rams. Three had already been killed this year by the dogs and they are not cheap. My husband explained to me that FIL had chained him up in front of the other dogs and shot him, he was still lying there when he left work for the day. It sounds awful, it IS awful, I feel horrible for my FIL as I know it would not have been a nice job. But the farm is a business, our rams provide our income and the dogs I guess are workers, they need to listen and learn and this dog had continued repeating his mistakes.

My husband last night at tea explained to our daughter that this incident was the worst part of his day. I commented after his brief description to her of what had happened, that we don’t shoot humans.

We also had a pet lamb die recently and C continues to comment regularly ‘Lamby died 😦 ‘

Death tends to be a part of life for farm kids, in addition my children have experienced my grandparents, an aunt and their brothers passing. Fortunately as christians we can also talk to them about the promise of eternal life through Jesus, about heaven. I appreciate that my children are introduced to death early in their lives, that it is not taboo for them. Their comments and questions sure pull at the heart strings though.

 

GJ

 

ps Sorry to the animal lovers, I hope you don’t read into this post cruelty against animals, if you do I don’t think you understand the realitites of farming but I am more than happy to discuss further

pps At 29 death has been following me too closely recently, the anniversary of my friends death through cancer passed recently and I have again lost loved ones this year – is that what happens when we grow up?

pps I have had the time to write this post thanks to hubby driving past on a tractor and picking up C for a ride, both my children and I are so blessed to experience life on a farm

God bless

faith · Uncategorized

My faith dilemna

Read a lovely poem today on Watch this Space by rwoz2. I hope he (she?) doesn’t mind if I quote a section of it here

He sees

Through our disguises
To where we are hiding
He hears
The cry of our hearts
Of our inmost deep sighing
He knows
Through and through
Inside we are dying

He cares, so…He seeks

He seeks
And will not stop
Having counted the cost
He sweeps
High and low
For the coin that was lost
He braves
The dark, tooth and claw
For the sheep tempest-tossed

He cares…”

RWOz2 https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/12320983/posts/985441430

But he doesn’t always succeed – THIS is the idea I am struggling with at the moment. I know God gave us free choice, but I can’t understand if the Holy Spirit is working on a person and God seeks all people and gives His Holy Spirit, then how do people choose to turn away from His grace?

I don’t understand how this can happen when he is all powerful and all merciful?!?

I have received eternal undeserved grace and boundless blessings. I feel compelled to share this but I know majority in today’s society arn’t seeking and certainly don’t like an out spoken evangelist. So I am a quiet christian, praying that people can see God at work in my life.

 My Friend who passed away last year knew about Jesus but as far as I know had not chosen to follow him.

I studied a few subjects at Australian Lutheran College while I was at university and discovered the concept of universal salvation, I love it but unfortunately Lutherans don’t believe it and while I havn’t got my head around it all, I guess I agree. Still I struggle.

Another blogger (whom unfortunately I’ve forgotten) wrote ‘God chooses us for the same reason he chooses anyone – because of his grace’

‘called,chosen and faithful followers’ Rev 17:4 – but why are we not all called?

 

Does anyone else struggle with this? Has anyone resolved this in their mind – please share!

 

P.s. I missed a week of blogging whilst on holidays – apologies. But in exciting news I did get my 50th follower in that time 🙂

P.P.S Was going to write about my holidays if you’re lucky you might get a taste of it next week, or something completely different, who knows!

 

 

 

faith · Uncategorized

I don’t want to believe in Hell

I’ve found myself feeling very emotionally drained the last few days.

I met up with my lovely widow friend again (previous blog post God at Work). She asked me lots of questions about my life and shared about her husbands funeral and family (he had ELEVEN brothers!!). I had a good eye cleanse.

But I left feeling drained and head-achey. My week started nicely with lots of time set aside to work on an assignment, but then I was left with only two days for work and errands.

I was also sad – this lady and her husband are truly beautiful people but they are not believers (as far as I know). I know far too many beautiful people, caring and generous who according to my christian beliefs are destined for hell. I find this very hard to deal with. I guess it should move me to sharing my faith and I do try to do this, mostly by facebook.

But I’m tired, in fact I don’t even have the energy to finish this post other to say today I need to complete my uni readings and quizzes, pack, clean and go out for lunch with friends. THEN however I will be on holidays!! And I hope I will have time to rest, relax and refresh (blog!)-but with two kids who knows?! (especially with everyone seeming to come down with sniffles…)

 

Blessed Easter to You. I believe this weekend we celebrate the death and resurrection of God the Creator’s Son. Who was sent to earth and died for our sins, so that we may be forgiven and rest assured in the promise of eternal life.

 

 

Uncategorized · work

God at work

I had one of those experiences today when you see God at work in your day to day life.

Noticed in last weeks local paper that one of my clients who was palliative care had passed away. Had a chance between client’s today to call his widow – she sounded better than I expected but had to end the call when overcome with tears. It was her second attempt to say good-bye to me so I guess I wondered if I’d overstepped. I made a note to myself to send a sympathy card.

Finished my last client with plenty of time spare to pick up my daughter from school, was planning to park in the car park there to finish off some notes but as I was getting close to the widow’s road I wondered if I should call in. I decided to pull over on her road to do my notes, to see if my urge was God-driven or maybe self-indulgent, would it be for me (to make sure I hadn’t offended) or for her benefit.

I was a bit slow to listen to God’s answer as I tried catching up on my work – there was both an email and text message relevant to the widow, with 15 minutes left to pick up I rang and asked if I could pop in, ‘that would be lovely’ was the reply.

Next I experienced the best hug of the day. With tears in our eyes she told me about how his pain relief in the last two weeks had not been adequate, her regrets at not being strong enough to stand up for him, her sadness at not being there when he passed away despite having asked to sleep in a spare bed in the room. And then I had to go. She told me I was the first she shared these regrets with – Thank you Lord that I could be there. Sorry Lord I didn’t have more time. I will go back.

I was late to pick up my daughter…..but at the start of the day her teacher had checked if I was available to chat after school, so I knew as I was driving, that I would be expected (she sometimes takes the bus) and that she would be cared for. God had prepared us that morning so I could be there for my client’s wife.

 

*    a few side notes, follow up care is soo important, however in my work we are not paid to follow up with the families of our clients. But who better to support people in their grief than those who knew their loved ones health issues? (actually not saying we are the best to do it, but I think it would be wonderful if we were given the opportunity to find out if we can help)

** Secondly how important is palliative care?? Proper palliative care would have seen my client’s pain needs better attended to and his family better supported, without his daughter having to advocate so strongly on their behalf. Confronting death is hard enough without extra regrets to feel guilty about.

***Read this article recently on the need for better palliative care funding in Australia https://theconversation.com/a-good-death-australians-need-support-to-die-at-home-32203