Double Standards

We may not like it, but we’re surrounded by double standards. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with them. We don’t like it when someone else espouses a double standard, but if it’s our idea….

  • Children shouldn’t curse. Adults do it all the time.
  • People must follow the law. Politicians exempt themselves from the laws they pass.
  • If you arrive a half hour late for a doctor’s appointment, they can charge you for a no-show. But how many times have patients sat in waiting rooms for hours, waiting for their long-overdue appointment?

Then there’s our recreation. Books and movies portray violence and illicit relationships, which we excuse in the name of entertainment. It’s fiction, so that makes it okay. Watching violent movies doesn’t encourage violence in children, or so they say. But if what we watch does not influence our behavior, why are some companies willing to spend eight million dollars for a 60-second Superbowl ad?

Another prime example is the novel, You Deserve Nothing, by Alexander Maksik. It’s a story about an American teacher at an international school in Paris who has an affair with one of his students. One reviewer, Brian Hurley, wrote that it was a “racy, convention-defying romance.” Then he learned the story was based on real life and said he felt his stomach twist. The reviewer experienced a sudden change in opinion, calling the book a “craven, embarrassing scandal.”

Hmmm…when it’s fiction, it’s “romance.” When it’s fact, it’s stomach-twisting and “craven.”

Pointed fingerBut before I point a finger at politicians, doctors, or book reviews, I need to look at myself. Because I’m the biggest proponent of double standards, especially related to God.

I want Him to judge evil-doers with finality.
I want Him to vindicate me against my enemies.
I want Him to withhold mercy…unless, of course, it applies to me.

Enter my double standard. When I sin, I want pardon.
When I offend someone else, I want forgiveness.
When I mess up, I want a second chance…and third, and fourth, and….well, you get the idea.

But God has one standard of holiness and He impartially applies it to all of us. Since we will never meet His standard on our own merit, He provided the solution. Jesus’ sacrifice applies to all who receive it for themselves.

No exceptions. No double standards.

Aren’t you glad?


 
Writer’s World Blog Tour

My friend and fellow board member of the Christian Authors Network (CAN), Karen Whiting, asked me to participate in the Writer’s World Blog Tour. She participated last week. I want to thank her for the invitation and suggest you check out Karen and her newest books. She has a heart for families and it shows in her books, whether she’s writing for children or adults.

Here is her information and links:
KarenWhitingKaren Whiting is an international speaker and award-winning author of seventeen books. She’s the former television host of Puppets On Parade. Her newest books are Nature Girl: a guide to caring for God’s creation and The One Year My Princess Devotions. Her upcoming releases are The One Year Devotions for Active Boys and Hope From His Heart (a devotional for women). Karen loves to let creativity splash across the pages of her writing as she encourages families to thrive, treasure one another, and connect to God. I hope you’ll connect with her at:

Blog: http://karenwhiting.blogspot.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KarenHWhiting
Website: www.karenwhiting.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/KarenHWhiting
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/KarenHWhiting


As part of the tour I’ve been asked to answer the same four questions all the authors have been answering:

1. What am I working on?

I’m juggling a few projects at the moment, including a book about spiritual lessons from our rescue boxers, a children’s devotional on the names of God (as a companion to Daily Reflections on the Names of God), and another children’s book on God’s incredible creation.

I also teach a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class from September through May, so between teaching and writing, I spend most of my time doing what I love!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The phrase “A passion for God’s Word and a compassion for His people” is used by BSF, and I truly resonate with it. Whether I’m writing for children or adults, I try to incorporate even the hard teachings of Scripture, but in a way that delivers hope and encourages transformation and restoration.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I have grown so much as I walk with the Lord and teach His Word. Sometimes it feels as if I would burst if I didn’t share what I’m learning. My hope is that readers might learn the easy way what I’ve learned the hard way!

4. How does my writing process work?

I maintain an idea file for future projects. Each time I come across a resource, quote, illustration, and relevant Bible passage, I file it away in the appropriate file until I’m ready to work on the book.


Now that I’ve shared a little about myself, I’d like to introduce two friends and authors who will follow me in this tour. Next week Dave Fessenden and Marjorie Vawter will answer these same four questions on their own blogs. I hope you’ll check them out! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at their information:

 
Dave FessendenDavid E. Fessenden is a literary agent for WordWise Media Services and an independent publishing consultant with 20 years’ experience in editorial management for Christian publishers. In previous positions Dave served on the communications staff of Elim Bible Institute and was editor of a regional edition of the largest Protestant weekly newspaper in the country.

Dave has published six books, produced study guides for two titles by A.W. Tozer (published in the back of the books), written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and edited numerous books. His two latest nonfiction books, Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract and A Christian Writer’s Guide to the Book Proposal, published by SonFire Media in 2011 and 2014, grew out of his years in acquisitions for Christian publishers. Dave enjoys speaking on various topics at Christian writers’ conferences and other venues. He also conducts Sunday school teaching workshops based on his book, Teaching with All Your Heart.

Dave’s first novel, The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, teams up Sherlock Holmes’ smarter brother, Mycroft, with Dr. Watson’s son, Thomas, to solve the murder of a speakeasy owner and his card-playing cronies in 1920s Philadelphia. It was published in November 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. His blog on writing is www.fromconcepttocontract.com.

 

Marjorie VawterMarjorie Vawter is a professional freelance editor who proofreads and edits for CBA publishers, edits for individual clients, and writes. An avid reader, she also judges for several prestigious awards in the inspirational marketplace, and she serves as conference director’s assistant and appointments coordinator for the Colorado and Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conferences.

A graduate of Bob Jones University with a bachelor’s degree, she has taught elementary school (1st and 4th grade) and high school English and Spanish. In 2005, she “retired” to edit and write full-time. She has published several articles and numerous devotionals, including Discipleship Journal and several devotional anthologies published by Barbour Publishing. Her first fiction book, A Shelter from the Storm in Sundays in Fredericksburg (TX), released in April 2013 from Barbour. She has also indie published with her online critique group (aka The Posse), another novella in Threads of Time, available at the Amazon Kindle store.

Calming the Storm Within, published by OakTara, is Marjorie’s first nonfiction book. Marjorie speaks at conferences and writers groups on topics relating to editing and writing and to church ladies groups and retreats on depression/anxiety, and grounding in biblical truth. Readers can contact her through her website:  www.MarjorieVawter.com


 
When Do You Begin?

Parents have all sorts of questions regarding beginnings for their children. When should your child speak his first word or begin eating solid food? When should she start learning to read or begin learning math? When should your child learn to ride a bicycle or how to tie a bow? Educators will debate and parents will disagree, but the bottom line is that the answers often depend on your child’s individual development.

Is the answer the same regarding spiritual things? Is there a right time to begin teaching your child about God?

The answer is simple: begin at the beginning. Begin at the beginning of your child’s life. From infancy, tell him of the Father’s love. Sing to her the familiar words of “Jesus Loves Me This I Know” as you change her diaper. Play fingerplays with him when he wakes from his nap.

As your children grow from infancy into toddlers, read the Bible to them at bedtime. Use a children’s Bible to pique their interest with pictures and to hold their interest with age-appropriate vocabulary.

Pray with them at meals, pray before bedtime, pray when they first wake in the morning. Pray with them when they’re happy, thanking God for the source of their joy. Pray with them when they’re sad, showing them the importance of running to their heavenly Father first.

Trusting God will not be a foreign concept for your child. Children have a deep capacity for faith. Think about it. You don’t have to teach your infant, toddler, or elementary-age child to trust you. They wake in the morning trusting you for breakfast, for the clothes they’ll wear, for the roof over their heads. They trust you to protect them from harm. After all, what’s the first thing they cry out when they’re scared? Mommy!

Their deep capacity for faith and trust is just waiting for you to direct them to their ultimate Parent. The One who will be there when you can’t. The One who will carry them farther than you can. And, as difficult as it is to understand, the One who loves them even more than you do.

Begin at the beginning to give them a foundation of trust that will never end.

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Shameless plug for Faith Basics for Kids:

Do You Love Me More?                     Will I See You Today?

       

 


 
Draw the Line

I love to read. Newspapers, magazines, books. Lots and lots of books.

Now that the class I teach has ended for the year, I’ll have a chance to catch up on some recreational reading.

But there’s one book in particular I will not be reading. Not because my own county library has a wait list. Not because more than 2,000 people are already on the Palm Beach County library wait list for it. Not even because the Brevard County library system has banned the book.

The book I will not be reading is Fifty Shades of Grey. Rather than explain why, I’m asking you to check out the following link. Dannah Gresh has explained it so much better than I ever could.

Check the link below and read her post for your own sake. Then tweet it, post it, blog about it …for the sake of those you love.

http://www.purefreedom.org/blog/?p=320

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).


 
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