Love Thy Transgender Neighbor

This is a blog article for those who believe that the Word of God is completely true and that we are to obey what God says in it.  If you are not a Bible-believing Christian, this article isn’t for you.  I have not written it to have transgender debates.  Thank you.

 

I live in the pacific northwest.

I love it here.  It’s gorgeous, the trees are more numerous than the stars that can be seen in the cloudy sky, and the summers are to die for – light up until 10 pm at night and most days a perfect 75 degrees.  I love the lakes, the hiking, and the views.  I also love my church, Bible study community, and neighborhood.  I love that the Christians are who they say they are, and homeschooling and attending a mega church isn’t cool just because you live in the Bible belt and everyone else is doing it.  It’s what you actually believe. Even the Christian youth seem different.

But living in the pacific northwest means that homosexuality is acceptable and rampant.  I’ll never forget going on a date with my husband into downtown Seattle, and seeing a homeless woman on the ground with all of her belongings strewn about her, being ignored by a pair of sharply-dressed men holding hands, waiting to cross the street.  I wish I had snapped a picture of it.  If that doesn’t say Seattle, I don’t know what else does.

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This is not my picture, but it almost could have been

In our teeny community a drive from Seattle, we mostly avoid running into this kind of thing, and for a mom of three girls, two in elementary school and one a toddler, that makes me feel relieved, which in turn makes me feel a little bit guilty.

Better to just not look and pretend it’s not happening, right?

But yesterday I was out shopping with the oldest daughter, who is almost eight years old, and we ran into a Taco Bell up north of us in a slightly more urban area.  After placing our order and asking for the code for the bathroom – proof you’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto – I was flirted with by the cashier.

Who was very obviously a woman.

Now I can’t tell whether or not she was actually a lesbian, but a lot of the signs were there, and nothing about the exchange left me feeling at all comfortable.  I laughed, motioning to my daughter at my side, making a point of saying, “I’m a mom of three, so it’s nice to hear such a compliment.  Thank you.”  But the serious stare on her face and her insistence on commenting on my physical appearance went a long way to making me want to hightail it out of the restaurant.  Still, I wished her a wonderful day, and smiled at her as if she were any other woman, thanking her for her high praise. 

My daughter had no idea anything was up, only knowing that someone kept calling her mom “really, really pretty” a couple of times, as well as other chatter that meant nothing to her.  We moved on.

But what if she had realized the woman just might be flirtatious with other women? What if something made her vaguely uncomfortable too?

It’s not going to take very long for her to figure this kind of thing out.  Because that’s where we live.

I don’t think Christians are supposed to move out of every liberal area and create mini conservative heavens-on-earth in the Bible belt or podunk hick towns out in the middle of nowhere.  I don’t think that’s being salt and light. (John 17:14-16) Now, obviously, things can get so bad that it’s just time to protect your own and leave.  And that decision – that things have hit So Bad Level – is totally up to you and what God’s telling you. But how are we supposed to evangelize these Christ-apathetic or even Christ-hostile places if we don’t actually live there once in a while?

I actually do homeschool my kids, and I look for lots of ways to protect them, but not when it comes to who she runs into in daily life, and learning to love no matter what.

I see a lot of absolute, throwdown, hogwash nonsense (my years in the south are showing) coming out of the media and the liberal left these days.  They have been bullies, pushing their homosexual crazytalk down Christians’ throats, badgering them, twisting them into corners, taking away their businesses and their rights to free speechEspecially here in the pacific northwest.

I, along with many Christians, often press the “angry” button as a Facebook response to these posts.  I very often shake my head in total shock and horror and call it “insanity.”

And it is insanity.

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But it’s just so not the first time the church has been up against outright insanity.  Back in the time of Nero – who actually was insane – Christians were thrown to lions to be torn to shreds in front of a cheering crowd.  Real live people got a rush watching real live people’s limbs ripped apart, blood everywhere, while the beasts gorged on their flesh.  All because those people believed in Jesus.  Yeah, that’s insanity.

(And I’ve got to stop right here, people, and be real with you.  When you exclaim your love for Game of Thrones… you look like a crazed Colosseum-goer.  There’s sick stuff on that show.  Maybe no one’s really dying, but those are real naked bodies, and they’re being exploited on national television every day.  And you’re putting that kind of poisonous lion-eating adrenaline into your bloodstream and created-in-God’s-image soul, desensitizing yourself to that kind of exploitation of women.  And if you can get a kick out of a show that glorifies abuse of men, women, and children in that way, then you’re not safe for my kids.  Please let me know if you love Game of Thrones so I can never, ever ask you to babysit. We Contes will love the heck out of you, but you’re not going to be left unattended with my daughters.)

In the time of Hitler, Jewish people were gassed en masse, and children tortured in horrendous medical experiments, and many left in prison camps to starve to death all because they weren’t of Caucasian European descent.  That’s insanity too.

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Wedding bands taken from Holocaust victims

Even now, across the globe from you in your comfy pjs and your Diet Pepper and your takeout hamburger, people in other countries are raped, burned to death, kidnapped, and tortured for converting away from Islam or Hinduism.  That’s also insanity.

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Or how about the fact that we are murdering our unborn infants by the millions, and that abortion was the leading cause of death WORLDWIDE last year at 41 MILLION infants slaughtered? Utter, utter, depraved insanity.

So why are we surprised and wrathful and icked out by transgenderism?  It’s abuse our fellow Americans are doing personally to themselves this time – personally torturing their own bodies in ways that are truly biologically impossible – in yet another attempt to stick up their middle finger at God.   They’re not really hurting you, are they, Christian?  They’re surgically knifing themselves.

And they suffer and pay for it.

A recent study showed that 41% of all transgender people have attempted suicide. And many, many go through with it. That’s compared to 4.6% of all of the rest of the general population who tries to kill themselves.  A documentary I watched tells the graphic details about the sex change operations and how rarely they succeed, how they mess with you in horrific ways, and how so many regret such drastic changes that stunt their future marriages and bodies’ capabilities permanently.  There’s even an entire “underground railroad”-like ministry online helping people who are miserable and want to “detransition.”  Youtube is full of anonymous people talking about how miserable they were trying to live life as the opposite gender.

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These are deeply confused, deeply hurting people.  People who don’t feel right in their own skin, people who don’t feel like they even have an identity (which is a horrifying thought), people who notice when the look in your eye changes from, “Have a nice day!” to “Oh no.  That’s a man.” And suddenly you can’t keep eye contact and you want to get away as fast as possible.

Many who were abused before puberty by the same sex, resulting in feeling lost and confused when hormones kick in and they know they’ve only ever felt pleasure doing stuff with a man.  People who have had abusive parents of both genders, people who are told their emotions and interest in art isn’t “manly enough.” Or their less feely personalities, leadership skills, and faces and bodies aren’t “attractive” or “feminine enough.”  People who look at the older generation or the way society treats them, and decide, “I’d rather be the opposite gender than be anything like you.”

When women think that the only way they can succeed in life and protect themselves is to be male.

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Almost half of all transgenders in the U.S. are Hispanic or black, and often state it’s because they felt prejudiced against all their lives

 

And a host of other reasons, countless reasons, that, frankly, you and I will never guess.

Also, regardless of what Gillette has or hasn’t done in the past, an ad like that is aired, and most men are in uproar.  When, in reality, if you look closely, the ad’s simply telling men to be decent human beings who try to love and care for others.  That maybe “manhood” isn’t about always barbecuing and wrestling in the grass and watching porn on the TV with your friends because boys will be boys.  Maybe manhood means being affectionate like John once in a while, writing Psalms like David, caring for small children like Jesus, or weeping with the women when your best friend dies like when he lost Lazarus.  It also means slaying your Goliaths like David and averting your eyes so you do not lust like Job and being a wise ruler in your household like Solomon and running a profitable business that protects the poor like Boaz.  Let’s not forget the balance here. Masculinity is open to all types and gifts God gives men.  Femininity is open to all personalities and love languages God gives women.

Your son writes poetry and cries at other people’s funerals and is diplomatic without feeling the need to fight it out with his fists?  It’s not because he was meant to be a woman.  It might mean he has a heart like Christ.  Your daughter grows up to be a judge and her “serious voice” can make grown men under her shake in their boots and she slays all her own personal dragons in a no-nonsense way?  Probably means you were blessed with some amazing biblical Deborah, not that she’s too “butch” to be a lady.

Transgenders can be broken, abused, misunderstood, confused, and lonely people who have assumed they were created wrong because they’ve been told so by a society that has one pigeon-holed way of defining human beings.

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Jesus said “Love thy neighbor.”  (Mark 12:31)

Did He mean, “Be all for thy neighbor’s sex change and tell them you’re all approve their gay marriage?”  Absolutely not. Let’s not throw out God’s Word here.  (Romans 1) That’s sending unbelievers to damnation just the same as if we ran scared and never talked to them in the first place.  But He also sat with the woman at the well and told her all about the rich, lifegiving water she was thirsty for before calling out her sexual promiscuity in a kind, subtle, and no-frills way. (John 4)

Be aware that the people you run into in your grocery store probably aren’t the leftist media, ready to bully your kids at the checkout line, wanting to expose your children to weirdness at Taco Bell, and looking for a bomb they can toss into your neighborhood.  A lot of them are deeply emotional, sensitive people. They’re just folks who need to hear the gospel and repent of their sin – fear of man, discontentment, ingratitude, bitterness, thinking God is wrong, lack of love, and unbelief – all sins you and I commit daily.

Can you imagine raising children to know clear Scripture truth and to see instantly how to lovingly apply it to our transgender neighbors?

When I see a transgender person, I now see someone with a big “I’m going to try to commit suicide” label plastered on their forehead, because odds are, almost 1 in 2 will.  And others admit, in anonymous studies, that they at least think about it daily.  How shocking would it be for the adults in our churches to go up to them instead and ask them what they think about Christ?  Like, hey, we care about you and your pain and we think you’re worth sharing the gospel with just as much as the people in Timbuktu where we’ve sent missionaries.

If you saw your neighbor standing in his house while it was on fire, even if he wasn’t calling for help, wouldn’t you care enough to either yank him out, or at least call to him from the outside?  Wouldn’t you dial 911 and shout for help, doing all you could to protect him?  These people are lost, and have no idea the flames are licking so close.  If we run scared and angry from the insanity, who do they have left?  Your transgender neighbors are dying – by society’s twisted brainwashing, and ultimately their own.

Let’s love and save them, okay?

 

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From House to Home

Looking for Christian young adult issue-driven fiction?  (Fyi, that’s the kind of stuff I write.)

Along with My Fault, this book by Patricia Bell is also on sale for 99 cents this week!  Grab it up now!  I’m going to pick myself up a copy and read it too.

41u4bqm4ualFor fifteen-year-old Karina Murberry, Life is about to change. When her drug dealing mother lands in jail, she finds herself sleeping on a park bench. What’s a girl to do? Just as she’s resolved herself to the idea of entering a group home full of bully’s and cockroaches, her principal discovers a mysterious emergency contact in her file. 
Without any discussion, she is shipped off to a small town away from everyone she’s ever known. And If learning she has an estranged Aunt and Grandmother wasn’t bad enough, Karina must now contend with an Uncle who is younger than her- and not so nice either. 
After overhearing a phone conversation between her aunt and grandmother, Karina suspects that her father, the guy her mother said left them stranded when she was two, could be in this very town. Armed with determination, sharp wit, and her new bestie, Amy, they begin an investigation. 
After all the lies her mother told her, Karina is on a quest to uncover the truth. Along the way, she uncovers long held secrets, experiences real friendships, and for the first time in her life realizes what it means to go from house to home.

Buy on Amazon

Cassi is in a Coma – FREE Book

51-6kgew0ylMy friend, Krista Wagner, has a new issue-driven book for free!  If you like your YA to have a punch and come from a Christian worldview, this is the book for you.

FREE tonight and tomorrow!

A cross between If I Stay and Remember Me 

A Small Town Secrets Novel Standalone Series – (Book #3)

“You are not wanted” 

Cassi Walker has been Royal High School’s most-liked girl for the past four years, but a lot can happen in two days. Suddenly, she’s the school’s most-hated girl, but before she can figure out why, a ten-story fall off a water tower sends her into a coma. Soon, rumors start to fly that it was attempted suicide. Unfortunately, she has no memory of those final seconds before the harrowing event. Through a strange barrage of dreams, flashbacks, and an out-of-body journey, Cassi will attempt to expose the secrets and uncover the mysteries behind what happened to her. But will she be able to handle the truth? 

Dear Reader,
I dedicated this YA supernatural mystery thriller to those who have been betrayed in the worst kind of way. I wrote the novel when I saw a need to tell a story about someone who is liked by everyone at her school and then is suddenly treated like a pariah without any explanation. Unfortunately, this is an experience that many of us can relate to.

There is a lot of mystery and thrill here. You will find a surprising story that uncovers many secrets through a barrage of flashbacks, dreams, and an out-of-body journey.

Enjoy!

~Krista

PICK UP FOR FREE here on Amazon!

NOTE: I have not read this book myself, but I’ve read a few other books of Krista’s, and, while she doesn’t mince words on serious issues teens face, she’s approaches them with a Christian worldview.  ❤

HELP! Angel-Lover Rising to the Top!

2DHave you picked up your copy of Angel-Lover yet? There are some ads running on my second novel this week,  and it’s up to #15 in all issue-driven, Christian, teen fiction!
I was inspired by Frank Peretti’s “Hangman’s Curse” and wanted to pursue an evangelistic, issue-driven story about a Goth boy like Ian. ❤
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Please help me beat the book in the #1 place, which is an LGBT story that defames Christians!! :-O 😦 Just one dollar will help pull a book that has the gospel into a better seen position on an important Amazon list. ❤

Clean Romance, Infertility, and Marriage Advice from Melanie D. Snitker!

MelanieDSnitker2016Melanie D. Snitker is a sweet author friend of mine from Texas.  She writes stories with a heart – an emphasis on a deep love for each character, and a romance to go with it!  I’d like to think that if you enjoy my novels, you’d enjoy hers.  🙂

Melanie has prayed for me, knit baby cutesies for me, and encouraged me at the hardest of times.  I hope all of you can support her worthy books!  Thanks for being you, Melanie!

You can purchase Melanie’s books here on Amazon.com!

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Me: Hi, Melanie! Here at BlondeRJ, we’re all about Myers-Briggs types.  Share about being an ISFJ and what your personality is like. 🙂

Melanie: You know, I’d never thought much about the Myers-Briggs types until I met you, RJ! I find it all fascinating. Like you mentioned, I’m an ISFJ. I’m definitely quiet and very introverted. I get along well with people, and I tend to be a really good listener. If I say I’m going to do something, not only will it get done, but I’ll do my best while I’m working on it. I’m organized, and I rely heavily on lists and my online calendar. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced ties into my being an introvert: I also tend to worry about what others think. I’m slowly getting better about this as I get older, but it was something that held me back for a long, long time. I think that it will always be something that’s in the back of my mind to a degree. I have to admit I really admire those who can say and do anything and not worry what others will think!

Me: Even we 100% extroverts can be people-pleasers and worry what others think, for sure.  I’ve been LOVING the book When People are Big and God is Small by Edward Welch, and would love to recommend it right now to my readers.  It’s helped me put God in His proper place, and see my need to love others instead of just *need* them.  🙂
Speaking of loving people, you write the sweetest romances ever. What first inspired you to help and write about clean romance for Christians?

Melanie: I enjoyed romance novels as a teen, but didn’t really read much beyond Janette Oke, Dee Henderson, and a few other Christian authors. When I got into high school, I started to browse through some of the other romance novels at the library. I was shocked to find that clean romance was a difficult thing to find. That’s when I decided I would start writing the kind of romance novels I wouldn’t mind my own daughter reading some day.

Me: What a sweet legacy!
How many different places have you lived, and what is your favorite?

Melanie: I’ve lived in Arizona, both in Flagstaff and Phoenix. A lot of people that haven’t been to Flagstaff are surprised to find that it has a lot of mountains, and it can get a fair amount of snow in the winter. I’ve also lived in many different places in Oregon as well as Texas (where I currently reside). My favorite place to live overall is Texas. The people here are incredibly friendly, I like the mild winters, and I love all the wildflowers (bluebonnets, especially) in the spring. My second favorite place would be Oregon, especially in the fall when all the leaves turn. Gorgeous!

Me: I live in the gorgeous pacific northwest as well!  Love it!
Melanie, you were a huge encouragement to me two years ago. Can you tell us about one of the hardships you’ve experienced and how God has used that in your life? ❤

Melanie: I have endometriosis and it has resulted in a lot of infertility issues that I’ve dealt with for a long time. It took two and a half years of tests and a surgery for my endo before we found out our son was on the way. After he was born, we’d hoped that the next baby would be much easier. Four and a half years later (after another surgery and different medications), we were finally able to try one round of IVF. Praise God, one of those sweet embryos burrowed in to stay, and our daughter was born eight months later. There were so many times during this journey when I wondered where God was and why this had to be so hard. But I learned more about patience than I would’ve liked to, and I also learned about God’s perfect timing. There have been many times in the last six years since our daughter was born where I’ve looked back and realized that, even though I didn’t think so at the time, God really did know what He was doing!

Me: I loved your faith when I was going through that hardship myself!  And you have absolutely beautiful kiddos!!  You have absolutely beautiful characters too.  😛 Which character, in all of your books, is your favorite?

Melanie: I’m going to have to go with Lexi (although Lance is a close second). She’s introduced in Finding Peace, the first book the Love’s Compass series. Then she and Lance get their own story in the second book, Finding Hope. She’s my favorite because she goes through a lot in her life with a cancer diagnosis that leads to a complete hysterectomy which saves her life. It also means she’ll never have children of her own. What causes her inability to get pregnant may be very different from what I or many of my friends have experienced with infertility, but many of the emotions are the same. She’s definitely a character that was written straight from my heart.

Me: Awww.  I remember Lexi!  So what’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your books?

Melanie: I’ve had several readers thank me for creating quality, clean romance novels that they can read without the guilt, and that they wouldn’t hesitate to let their teen daughters read as well. It’s what I originally set out to do, and even though the road of an author can be a rocky one at times, it’s encouragement like that which reminds me it’s all worth it!

Me: Amen! On a real-life front, how do you think we, as Christians, can learn to love like Christ more in our marriages?

Melanie: I think it’s easy to get caught up in every day life. Things get hectic, the kids always need something, and by the end of the day, it’s easy to feel like we have nothing left to give. But it’s the little things that show Christ’s love in a marriage. Like when my husband is completely exhausted, yet takes the trash out with a smile. Or when I’ve had a rough day and I’m tired, but I bake my husband the cookies he loves because it will brighten his afternoon. The other day, we had a busy afternoon full of cleaning and grocery shopping. I’ll admit, I was a complete grump by dinner and not much fun to be around. Instead of getting upset with me, or even letting my mood change his, my sweet husband made a trip to the store to find something I was looking for, and even brought something else back that made me laugh. Finding ways to put our spouse first, even when it isn’t easy, can give us even a small glimpse of the kind of unconditional love that Christ has for us!

Me: I think your home must be very joyful and warm.  🙂  Thank you, Melanie!

Melanie: Thanks again, RJ!

In Which I Say the Big, Bad C Word: Courtship

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Courtship…

…is a hot button these days, and I’m not always sure why.  Some Christians have been the victims of dictatorial, patriarchal homes, but most don’t even have a clue what the word actually means. As a society, I think we’ve swung back and forth so many times on relationship norms that most of us are dizzy.  I think every generation “does it differently.”

Recently, my uncle, Richard Briggs, in an author Q and A query, asked me about my own ideas on courtship (I had a very successful and happy one!) and how it plays into my writing love stories.

Since we’re raising a new generation of children – my own included – and I’m seeing the pendulum swing again to “get rid of courtship altogether,” I’d like to say to look past the big, bad C word.  What even IS “courtship”?  Every single group I’ve ever been in defines it differently.

Let’s just talk relationships on the whole. My girls are young now but it is NEVER too early to start planning for and being aware of this.  You are raising children not just to be obedient kiddos in your home, but to be godly adults out in the real world.  Your home is just a stepping ground for all of life and, let’s face it, most of our kids are going to get married. So that relationship with their spouse will last the rest of their life, and be the most important relationship in their life.

So what are my views on courtship?  Here’s my succinct personal definition:

Committing to love, serve, and honor God by being intentional in doing the best for others and looking at relationships through the lens of future marriage. Being future-mindful and Christ-centered in your relationships, not selfish in your physical affections and giving into lusts, and not causing anyone else to sin, including yourself. Eschewing the worldly, selfish ideas of playing around before finding a spouse.

Beyond that, my ideas are so simple, and yet so foundational.  I think, when you muddy it up with more than this, you get into legalism. Let’s leave out all the common sense physical rules like what’s your curfew, if you’re chaperoned, if you kiss before your wedding day, etc. etc.  That’s up to your home and your child. My husband and I haven’t set any of those in stone. We’ll see what we decide when the time comes and where the child’s heart and temptations are.  And our “common sense rules” may be different from yours – and there should be no judgment from house to house on those types of safety rules.  But honestly, that’s not what I’m thinking about or looking for when I’m training my children to be spouses.

I want only three things.

A. I want them to so love God that they’re committed to honesty, morality/godliness, and Him most of all.

(See the previous blog post in the link above.) It’s why I’m seriously, seriously addressing sneakiness and dishonesty and selfishness and other traits now.  My child lies to me or selfishly hoards me or is disloyal to friends?  He’s going to be those things to his spouse too.  They don’t just disappear in marriage or adulthood.

B. I want to so strongly have my kids’ hearts – be such good friends with them and be so close to them that they trust me and communicate with me.

It takes two to tango on this one.  I can only do my part, and pray that God leads them to value me as their mother and counselor and friend.  ❤

C. I want them to so love others and think much less of themselves that they’re committed to protecting and doing what’s best for the opposite gender always.

At the heart of the “courtship model” that I know is protecting others because you value them so much as fellow human beings, and you love and care about their safety, their hearts, and their emotions.  Leading the opposite gender on when you have no intention of marrying or committing to them – whether it’s through mass dating or just being too affectionate as friends – can injure them greatly.

At the heart of relationship values that I was taught was protecting and loving others as better than yourself. (Philippians 2:3)

This starts in just sharing toys as toddlers and choosing to go last to getting your piece of candy.  These foundational things prepare them for why they choose what they do with the opposite gender in the future.

 

2DRJ Conte is a Christian, realistic, issue-driven fiction authoress with six books on Amazon, including the novel, Heartsick, for young adults. In Heartsick, the main character, a homeschooled college student, who has devised a picture-perfect courtship model with her father, turns her back on it to get entangled with a guy who has a very mysterious and dark past.  The novel has been likened to A Walk to Remember meets Hitchcock, and is recommended to any young Christian lady starting out on her own.

$2.99 on Amazon.com