headstone
Quite frankly this is a discussion I would like to avoid. Cremation vs. burial of the dead.

It seems that most discussions of the issue happen when emotions are raw. No one wants to ever imply that someone did a "wrong" or "bad" thing in how they chose to care for a deceased relative. So when I stumbled upon John Piper's sensitive discussion of the issue, I was intrigued.

Perhaps this is a "sticky topic" it would be good to cover here before it catches any off us off guard in a moment of grief.

I did not know that the statistics toward cremation had shifted so dramatically.

"There has been a skyrocketing preference for cremation over the past decades in the United States (1960 — 3.5%; 1999 — 24.8%; 2014 — 46.7%; in some states over 75%)."

I think Rev. Piper's sensitivity is clear when he accurately states there are no "mandates" in scripture on this issue. However, his points of concern I believe are well taken.

"...the afterlife has never been viewed as the 'immortality of the soul' finally liberated from its physical prison. Rather Christianity has always viewed the body as essential to full humanity so that the life to come has primarily been seen as the resurrection of the body in glorious eternal life."

I would add another to his concerns. It relates to the grief process to those who are left behind. I have noticed the trends when their is no body awaiting burial. Saying good by sometimes seems confused.

Since their is no body awaiting burial, memorial services are frequently delayed to a "more convenient time" which can, for some loved ones, delay the grief recovery.

What is right for your family? Armed with this article you will be ready to wade into the conversations.

Image: Bryan "Headstones fore and aft"  via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

 

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Dear Target management:

 

Your corporate announcement April 19 reiterating your "stand for inclusivity" in relation to transgender bathroom laws failed to include me. And, since you stated on your corporate webpage that you "strive to make (y)our guests and team members feel accepted, respected, and welcomed in (y)our stores and workplaces every day," I figured you would value hearing why I feel incredibly rejected, disregarded and unwelcome in your store.

 

I am a mother of a child sexual abuse victim. Issues of child safety are not political to me. They are very personal. So, please, in the name of "inclusivity" allow me to express my objections.

 

Allowing anyone of any biological or perceived gender at any time in any bathroom (or dressing room) of their choice for any reason with anyone else is outlandish. Your global policy statement opens many questions for which there seem to be no reasonable answers. 

 

First, how will you protect children and women from sexual predators who on any given day may choose to self-identify as transgender just so they can gain access to their next victim? Second, what about sexual abuse victims rights of privacy? Don’t they have a right to privacy in public places where their own personal space is most vulnerable? Third, how will anyone supervise the security of these "inclusive" facilities? Will you hire security force bathroom attendants to keep voyeurs out? And how will the untested laws provide boundaries of what is appropriate bathroom behaviors for those who just want what has now become a legal peek? And what about a large percentage of us who just want our privacy while we are performing bodily functions? Why aren’t we included in your "inclusivity" to NOT have members of the opposite biological gender in a stall next to us performing their bodily functions? And, how can your corporate policy statement issued at the national level mandate local government policy interpretations in my local region?

 

Lest you choose to identify my aforementioned arguments as "hysteria" or "discrimination," I encourage you to click on the links where many of the situations I listed above have already happened. Then I also ask you to view the video Women: Decide For Yourselves and then explain to me how you will assure that I, as well as other women or children, will be safe in your stores when your policies are in full swing. Are you not concerned about the potential lawsuits to your stores in the face of potential crimes?

 

Once I learned of your new corporate decision, I immediately called my local Target store. A very sweet lady answered and attempted to refer me to the corporate headquarters phone number. (800-440-0680)  I was polite with her, but asked her to please take my concerns to her local manager. You see, the bathrooms you are writing policies for are not at your corporate headquarters building. They are in my local small town community. And as a community leader, I do not want to see any of our local children or women become the victims that ignites court cases which would eventually reverse these dangerous activist policies!

 

Do you see now why I feel excluded? How will you include my needs in your inclusive policies? How will you include the needs of the more than one in four women who have been victims of sexual abuse and who struggle with issues of personal safety and sexual privacy? Sure the needs of the 0.3 percent of the population that identifies as transgender deserve attention. But opening the 99.7 percent up to negative consequences is not the way to help. Private accommodations in separate facilities are the sensible and kind solution.

 

I believe I speak for a large group of concerned citizens who, in the past have been your faithful customers. For our safety and that of our families, we will not continue to do business in your store until these issues are appropriately addressed. We are watching the LGBT activists in the business world draw their lines and we, as law abiding citizens and business customers who consider this issue morally reprehensible and dangerous, are ready to draw our lines as well.

 

Thank you for your consideration in these matters. I look forward to receiving a response to my inquiry.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Lisa Cherry

 

 

 

Postscript to readers:

 

The dark force of lawlessness has hit our nation like a flood. It is time we not only support those in the public leadership who are attempting to affect change on our behalf, but also to wade into the deep waters ourselves and courageously take a stand. 

Here are three very important action steps to consider right now:

 

  1. Call your local store. Ask how they will handle the store policies and voice your concern.

 

  1. Repost this article on Facebook and discuss the issues with your neighbor. We have to take action now to stop this insanity.

 

  1. Be willing to take steps of action. No, it may not be convenient to stop shopping at Target, but if we don't make the sacrifices now, what other freedoms are we willing to lose as we watch these new laws exclude us from our rights?

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Cherry's  passion is to encourage and equip today's Christians. She is the author of “Like A Flood: Live Boldly. Love Truthfully. Stand Fearlessly in a Post Christian America,” “Not Open: Win the Invisible Spiritual Culture War” and “Unmask the Predators: Every Parent's Battle to Protect Their Children.” She may be contacted via her ministry website Frontlinefamilies.org.

 

Image: Jeffrey Beall "Gender Neutral Restroom" via Flickr Creative Commons

License: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Last week, Mississippi's Republican governor, Phil Bryant, signed a new religious freedom bill into law. This was on the heels of another bold act by North Carolina’s governor, Pat McCrory, who signed House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, on March 23. Both of these governors’ actions set off a firestorm of controversy that lit up the online newsfeed with debate as the conservative Christian view of their actions and in these bills seems pretty clear. These men are heroes. And for very good reason.

For in spite of the massive backlash they may face, these courageous men are willing to say a distinct "no." Today as never before we need more of these heroes who are willing to stand up and say,

“No, I will not agree that fifty-eight gender identities are normal.”

“No, I will not agree that anyone can marry anyone and God says it’s okay.”

“No, I do not believe that a woman has a right to kill a baby just because.”

“No, I do not believe all roads lead to God and all religions are therefore ‘peaceful.’”

“No, I will not arbitrarily deny the reality of gender in DNA.”

“No, I will not tell my children that however, whenever, and with whomever they want to have sex is totally up to them to decide.”

“No, I will not alter 2,000 plus years of biblical interpretation for the sake of those among us who want a new deal.

“No, I will not pretend that “free love” is loving, or that “politically correct” is correct, or that “tolerance” is tolerant, or that “social justice” is just.

We must choose to stand with courage and answer a just plain "no." We will not be tricked, coerced, bribed or threatened. We will not change and we will not move. And, no matter what anyone says, we are not going to apologize and we are not sorry.

Oh that felt good to express that, didn't it? The volcanic pressure building inside us yearns to address the darkness that has enveloped our land like a flood, and to expose it for what it is: a massive spiritual deception. We might fantasize about walking through the public square and asking complete strangers, "Excuse me, but can you agree that something has gone terribly wrong in our land and our world? Can you see it? Are you aware? Wickedness, sin, and lawlessness are flooding our streets, and it is dangerous and deeply disturbing!" But will we actually do it?

That is why we look for heroes who do what we dream about.

This is an Isaiah 59:19 moment in history. The enemy has come in like a flood sweeping our families and friends off their feet and toppling foundational beliefs that have endured for thousands of years with its tsunami force. We are desperate for the Lord to make good on His promise in the second half of this often quoted Bible verse:

" When the enemy comes in like a flood...the spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19

We are eagerly awaiting the Spirit of the Lord to do His work and squash the devil's schemes. It is as if we are saying, "We need some massive angelic assistance down here, Lord. We need You to show up with Your heavenly host to put dark perverse forces on the run and set leaders in place to save the day. And we need it like yesterday, please!"

So we get excited when we see courageous acts such as these of these two governors and think someone might be functioning as an agent for this God work.

But is it possible that while we have been waiting for God to do something supernaturally miraculous to stop the flood, God has something else in mind? Could it be that He is raising up a standard and that standard is actually us, the common ordinary Christians, who take the Isaiah 59:19 promise through the grid of our New Testament realities? For according to the words of Jesus and the entire doctrine of the New Testament, we are His agents on the earth.

So while we are crying out for Him to do something about the darkness, He is saying, "You step into the flood, because when you do, I, in you, will raise up the standard against the enemy's best plans.”

So, I agree with those who are offering support of Mississippi Governor Bryant. Indeed he has taken his part as a standard bearer. But the question becomes, will we do the same in our own lives when we are called to be the Standard?

Somehow it is easier to remain in our cozy armchairs, to criticize the people we think should have stood in the flood and failed. Go ahead and get mad at Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal who, according to our view, seemed to wimp out.

But let's get honest. When the issues get closer to home, we sometimes shake in our own pious boots. Stepping into the flood and becoming a standard bearer is not comfortable, popular or risk-free. Sure, not many of us are like the leaders of North Carolina who have over 100 major American business leaders breathing economic threats down their backs at the hands of the Human Rights Campaign LGBT activist group. Not many of us are feeling the pressure of PayPal or Pepsi or the NBA. But that does not mean our standard bearing role is insignificant.

The honest truth is that most of us are struggling with the inconvenient cost of our "less glamorous" roles. We don't want to be labeled bigots or haters. We don't want our family or friends to reject us with our views. We don't want to risk our jobs, suffer economically or be inconvenienced.

So we play the game. We do nothing while the loud minority seems willing to lay everything down.

Oh, we cajole ourselves with the line that our "little man actions" will do nothing significant to raise up a standard. Hey, what can a few million of us do anyway, we chide ourselves, while the activists smugly call the shots?

Cancel our own Paypal account? How disruptive!

Give up our Starbucks? You've got to be kidding!

Get involved politically? How utterly useless!

So, I guess the plans of the enemy work, and we sit home complaining it is all out our control.

We stay at our post on the sidelines of the battle cheering the standard bearers who dare to wade in. But maybe it is time to do more than cheer. History will record what each of us does with our own standard-bearing moments. Some of us will embrace the cost to take our place as the Dietrich Bonhoeffers of our generation who, even in the face of death, refuse to back down. Others will be like the German establishment church, who rolled right in with the darkness in fear of personal inconvenience and suffering.

Oh, I can predict the objection to the previous paragraph's comparison: Don't be so melodramatic! We are just talking about bathrooms for goodness sake. To which I would say, "That's ridiculous and incredibly naive!" The dark flood that is steamrolling our generation is after every bit of holiness God designed. It is Romans chapter one. This screeching voice of change wants nothing less than complete lawlessness to rule. And we, as believers, should be able to see into the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:1-4) that is at work.

So, if not now, then when? If we cannot be inconvenienced and suffer now, what makes us think we will do it then? Will we suddenly get brave when we are faced with a little mark that, without which, we will not be able to buy and sell? Will we get ready to face our fears, laziness and insecurities later when the threat gets a little more “real”?

How much more intense do the threats need to get?

You see our little idea of screaming “NO!” is only part of the needed answer. We as the church of Jesus Christ will also need a strong "YES" if we are really to be able to step into the flood as the standard. We will need to say,

“Yes Lord, we will take up our cross daily.”

“Yes, we will embrace the persecution that Jesus promised would be ours.”

“Yes, we will prepare our lives as one of Your five wise virgins.”

“Yes, we will receive Your power to be the standard in this most critical hour.”

___________

 

P.S. On Thursday I had a chance to share the message of Like a Flood on the Harvest Show. Click on the links below to see that interview.

Lisa Cherry | Harvest Show Interview Part 1 | 4/14/2016

Lisa Cherry | Harvest Show Interview Part 2 | 4/14/2016

 

*     *     *     *     *

Today is the day! 

Please help us boost to #1 today.

Like a Flood National Launch: Saturday, April 16

6 a.m. - 8 p.m.  CST

Today is the national launch of Like a Flood.

Please help us make it a big success, so that we can reach a wide audience with this very important message.

Be sure to purchase your copy today here on Amazon.com between 6am-8pm CST. Thanks!

* * * Excerpt from Like a Flood * * *

Our nation has clearly made a wrong turn. If America's greatness has in any way been tied to our worship of Almighty God and our promotion of godly morality and character, we, by very definition, are in trouble.

But the condition of our nation is only a part of the dark flood story. Over the course of human history, nations come and go So American's sowing toward wickedness will inevitably create a harvest of wickedness. How horrible! None of us want this to happen.

Doug cherry_-5253 Dear Frontline Moms & Dads readers,

For the last nine months, I have watched my wife labor over a message that I believe is vital to you and your family.

She has poured her life out into this project called Like a Flood: Live Boldly. Love Truthfully. Stand Fearlessly. In a Post-Christian America.

On Saturday, Like a Flood will release with an Amazon bestseller contest. If you don't know what that is, please allow me to explain.

Millions of books are written and released in America every year. Only a few will be marketed and make it into homes. If enough people purchase Like a Flood as it releases this Saturday, marketing efforts within the powerful Amazon world will be signaled.

It's kind of like what happens when a movie releases. If it has a big opening weekend, the movie moves around the nation.

I truly believe this life-changing message is from God and needs to move around the nation.

Will you help us?

On Saturday, will you go to Amazon and purchase a copy of  Like a Flood

Will you also refer your friends there?

Click on this link to get a sneak peek of what is in the book. I believe once you take a look, you will understand why I am making this personal appeal.

Thank you so much for your faithful support of Frontline Family Ministries. Please know that all proceeds from this book sale goes right back into helping families.

Together, we can prepare our lives and those of our family members for this turbulent season in America!

Please look below for the exact instructions for what to do Saturday.

Sincerely,

Doug Cherry

    *     *     *     *     *

Like a Flood National Launch: Saturday, April 16

6 a.m. - 8 p.m.  CST

We are excited to announce that Like a Flood will be making it's big debut this Saturday, April 16th!

Be sure to purchase your copy here on Amazon.com on Saturday, April 16th between 6am-8pm CST.

 


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If you have teenagers in your life that you care about who are attempting to navigate this ridiculous culture,then you should read Reggie Osborne's She Only Said “Yes” Once.

Warning: there are some strong words and sexual terms in this post. But no less than what almost all of our kids are being exposed to on a regular basis!

This author makes a good attempt at explaining what's really happening in our kids' world.

I often hear from parents who have been shocked to discover their children's sexual behaviors.

Many of these are good Christian people who truly believed their children would make wiser choices.

Many of these parents are devastated and left discouraged and overwhelmed.

This is a great time to remind all of us to step into this discussion with our children. Now.

Here is a great quote to encourage you to read further:

One generation…two generations, have grown up in a culture where sex means practically nothing on TV and media, and so they’ve actually embraced the idea that it means nothing in real life!  They’ve heard the message and believed it:  “Sex is no big deal”.  They feel totally inadequate and unfulfilled if they aren’t having it.

And we have done such a good job teaching that message, that now 1 in 5 women who attend college for four years say they’ve been sexually assaulted.  Or is it 1 in 7, like the authors of the study tried to clarify in TIME Magazine?  Am I supposed to feel better about 1 in 7, as opposed to 1 in 5?  Is that supposed to comfort me?

Read the full article here.

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See these related posts:

Sex Education: 8 keys to talking to your children

Talking to Kids about Sex: 5 Reasons It Can be Hard

Sex and Your Children: What You Don’t Know

Is Marriage Optional for Our Kids?

The Sex Ed Book List I Promised

Image: Marlelle "Sail Amsterdam 2005" via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic