Monday, May 2, 2016

Target, Transgenderism, and the Toughest Love

What you applaud you encourage, but beware what you celebrate... 
~Ravi Zacharias



We went to an Amish nursery the other day. And we bought some flowers and we walked around and we petted the sweet puppies that this simple hard-working Amish family is selling. 

And I quietly marveled at the order and the neatness and the attention to detail and the unusual beauty of it all. 

Another world. 

I wanted to linger there awhile. 

I think that the Amish understand something that most of us have lost -- something that my mom often reminds me of--

That underneath the pavement, the concrete, the constructions and buildings and noise  (and the wild rush and race of "progressive" civilization) is dirt. 

Simple, unassuming, real, gritty dirt. 

A reminder of where we have all come from and where our physical bodies will eventually return. 

Every person -- from dust to dust. 

And what we do here with this tiny span of life given to us -- minute in the hush of the infinitesimal song of eternity -- matters. 

We get so caught up in sipping our Starbucks and planning our next vacation and worrying about clothing, food, shelter, and what we will do for retirement--

That we forget that what we do here matters, really matters.



I signed a petition the other day. 

I signed a petition, but I had already stopped supporting Target some months before, after it had taken an activist stance supporting LGBT marriage. 

I don't like Wal-Mart; I never really have -- but I have been shopping there for awhile now. 

Because my conscience was pricked -- and I could no longer in good conscience push those sleek red carts at Target and hope for a sale on over-priced clothing. 

My conscience was pricked -- as much as I am able I try not to support businesses that openly push an agenda that brazenly and pompously flies in the face of God's express commands. 

Christ's sacrifice  was too costly -- and I cheapen grace when I make light of His Word by supporting those who do--

And I realize that it is impossible to remove our financial support from every secular institution that runs in some or in many ways, contrary to the Word of God -- we cannot live in a bubble and there are times when we buy meat in the temple. 



But for me, as much as I am able, I would rather support businesses and individuals who align themselves more closely with value systems that are not death-producing. 

I realize that this is not possible in every circumstance -- but we have to humble ourselves before God and before our fellow Christians and ask ourselves as individuals and as the Bride of Christ, purchased with His blood -- Are my actions/decisions pointing people towards Christ and His truth, or away from Him? 

We do not need to be afraid of transgender individuals -- people just like us -- in sin just as we were before Christ,  who desperately need Him and we hold the Word of Life -- Who will bring it to them? 

We do not need to fear "giants" like Target, who try to push and push and push their liberal agenda until it suffocates and kills us--

But I have to ask--where are the Davids who will stand and hurl the stone of the Word of God at its ugly, leering, menacing head?

And I didn't decide to stop shopping at Target because I'm afraid of a transgender individual molesting my child -- I will be honest (although I understand that there are legitimate concerns about a child's safety in these new and unusual situations in our "brave new world").

What I fear more than these things is Christians who make light of supporting or not supporting businesses who are taking an activist stance regarding issues that are black and white--

What I'm concerned about is Christian modesty blogs continuing to advertise for companies like these who are openly paving the way for Christian persecution and encouraging others to buy their clothing and accessories. We have to be honest with ourselves: Do we love money or the Word of God? 

What I'm concerned about is our witness to our weaker brothers and sisters in the Lord who, by observing our support of businesses that are taking an open, activist stance against the principles in the Word of God, may think that we agree with them and may think that what they are doing is at best "not a big deal," and at worst, OK. 

For a long time now, and we are all guilty of this as believers, we have at first shyly and then increasingly brazenly lived as if nothing really matters outside of the express commands of God--

But things like this matter -- and the world is watching. 

Because there is a point when a store crossed over from its usual secular agenda to an activist one -- when it is brazenly taking a stand against the basic principles of God's Word--

And it is not the transgender individual that we need to be afraid of -- it is our own complacency. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer says--

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

Sometimes we need to just step back and look at the dirt. We need to remember Who made us. We need to remember where we came from -- We need to press His truth and His Word and His principles to our hearts and ask ourselves whether we love Him enough to stand -- or whether we are clutching the concrete of this world. 

There is evil enough in this world to stand against. 

So stand. 

We need to stop wavering between two opinions -- the world doesn't need wishy-washy Christians -- it needs the Truth -- spoken in love, lived in love-

So stand. 



You might find me on these link-ups:


Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Motivate and Rejuvenate Mondays,, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, Testimony TuesdayTell His StoryA Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Theology ThursdaysChildren Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Thought Provoking ThursdayCount My Blessings, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewBlessing Counters Link PartyThe HomeAcre HopMommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog Hop, Faith and  Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate Monday Link-UpA Little R&R WednesdaysTGI Saturdays Blog HopTotally Terrific TuesdayRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdaySo Much At Home Link Up Party

56 comments:

  1. Ravi Zaccharias and Deitrich Bonhoeffer in one post! What riches!

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    1. Michele; I enjoy their writings so much, too! The Lord has really blessed me through them!

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  2. Rebekah thanks for taking a stand. I've taken it too and believe me I love getting my Mrs. Meyers stuff at Target and patio stuff and a few other things. I have shopped Wal-Mart and Target usually every week. This weekend I had to say no - no in front of family and friends that were going there and yes to my beliefs. It's not just transgender like you said - it's all of it. I'll be canceling my Target card also.

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    1. Deborah, may the Lord bless you as you stand strong in Him; your words encouraged me.

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  3. Rebekah, thanks for such a thoughtful post. You spoke the truth lovingly and well. This summed it up:

    "Because there is a point when a store crossed over from its usual secular agenda to an activist one -- when it is brazenly taking a stand against the basic principles of God's Word--

    And it is not the transgender individual that we need to be afraid of -- it is our own complacency.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer says--

    Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

    Amen!

    I'll be pinning and posting this on FB in the hope that others will stand, too. I hope you'll link this at Mondays @ Soul Survival.

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    1. Donna, thank you for your encouragement . . . I am so grateful for believers like you that are standing upon the truth of God's Word and who will not compromise. I pray that the Lord would strengthen the hearts of believers (and my own heart!)to stand firm. The Lord bless you, Donna! (linked up this post at Mondays @ Soul Survival, too :-)).

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  4. Beautiful! This pretty much sums up why I signed as well.

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    1. I'm so glad, Sarah! It is such an encouragement to know that other believers are standing firm on this issue. The Lord bless you. :-)

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  5. Can you tell me more about this/can you link to an article re: the store's stand? Is it WalMart or Target or both?

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    1. Gillian, I'm sorry that it was a little confusing! I went back and clarified which store had implemented this policy in case it was not clear--Target, has recently implemented a Transgender bathroom policy--you can read about it here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/04/25/conservative-christian-group-boycotting-target-transgender-bathroom-policy/83491396/
      There is a petition going around to oppose this measure--the link to that petition is here: https://www.afa.net/action-alerts/sign-the-boycott-target-pledge/ Thank you for asking! the Lord bless you :-).

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  6. Loved your thoughts on this.

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    1. I'm glad that they were encouraging, Diana; the Lord bless you!

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  7. To be honest, this huballoo about bathroom policies seems to me like much ado about nothing.

    Bathroom usage has never been regulated by law. It has always been regulated by people's sense of decency and social mores.

    I assume transgender folks have used bathrooms in the past. I assume they have gone to whichever room they felt the most comfortable in...which was probably the one in which they caused others the least discomfort.

    I don't understand the need for businesses such as target to make grand public announcements about bathroom gender usage. Nor do I see the need for new laws to regulate a system that has worked just fine for centuries...nor the need for petitions against store policies.

    It just seems like a major distraction from much more important concerns.

    My two cents worth...

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    1. Exactly which is why it is an activist stance. I will not participate. We have to put our money where are values are, and we are obligated to do so. The aggressors are keen on destroying our country, families and faith in the name of tolerance for our children to have their Innocence and chastity destroyed. Christians must pull together and let their bottom-line know we stand strong with Christ and the true word of God, and will not be seduced by Mammon. Look at the Amish, who are thriving; we too must say enough is enough.

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    2. Joe, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to this post. And I think that what you say would be true--if we did not live (and I borrow this thought from Ravi Zacharias) within the framework of a moral society. If we did not live within the context of being created by God, made for Him and for the purpose of bringing Him glory, if there were no unbreakable laws by which a Greater Moral Being governed the universe, then what you say would be true--that this is really "much ado about nothing," and that it is a distraction from more important concerns.

      But we serve a God who is holy--and who commands us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, "Be holy, as I am holy." (I Peter 1:16). And holiness entails action on our part. We serve a Moral Being, and so things like this matter. There is a prayerful right or wrong. It is not an inconsequential issue.

      Things like this happen because there is a spiritual battle raging, one that we only see glimpses of now and then--partly because our earthly eyes are dim and partly because we are too in love with this world to notice.

      Where we shop and what we do with our money speak about the state of our heart--if we choose to support a business that we know has taken an activist stance on the side of an issue that belittles, mocks, and aggressively attacks the Word of God, then I think that we need to step back and question the state of our heart. Our witness for the Lord is damaged, and we do harm to the kingdom of God.

      Saying that something like this is "much ado about nothing" is like saying that the battle between the Philistines and the Israelites was "much ado about nothing." Really, the Philistines shouldn't have gone to battle and why in the world didn't the Israelites just ignore them? And yet, we see that standing against evil frees us from evil.

      Because we cannot ignore evil when we are directly confronted by it. Because as moral human beings created in the image of God, we need to stand on the ground of truth or become lost in the trap of "this really doesn't matter."

      A "major distraction from more important concerns"? Or an opportunity to stand on the truth of God's Word and to take a stand--what could be more important than the truth of God's Word, Joe?

      Again, I appreciate your thoughts; may we both continue to prayerfully consider this issue--

      Blessings in Christ,
      Rebekah

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    3. Carolina, thank you for your input; I strongly agree--what you said is very accurate--"The aggressors are keen on destroying our country, families and faith in the name of tolerance for our children to have their Innocence and chastity destroyed." I am encouraged by your conviction and your desire not to compromise. The Lord bless you, Carolina.

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  8. The wisest part of this post is this: And I realize that it is impossible to remove our financial support from every secular institution that runs in some or in many ways, contrary to the Word of God -- we cannot live in a bubble and there are times when we buy meat in the temple.

    It's easy to boycott Target because they've OPENLY taken a position. But if we're going to take a stand with one store, then logic dictates that we must research every single company we do business with. Tell me, who has time for that?

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    1. Jill, I appreciate that you took the time to comment. I think that what you have missed is exactly the point that I was attempting to make--and that you actually made in your comment. Target has "openly" (as you said) taken an aggressive, activist position on the side of an issue that mocks, belittles and blasphemes the Word of God. Because they have openly done this, as believers, we DO know where they stand. Many other businesses have not taken such a drastic, activist step, as of yet. If they do, and we have knowledge of it, then we will have to prayerfully consider whether we would pour our support into that business as well.

      You are right, Jill; time is precious--and the time that we spend here--this little span that we have been given will either speak of Christ or not. For me, with the knowledge that I have of Target's activist stance on this issue, my conscience is pricked before God.

      There is something greater than logic alone, and that is the wisdom of God, given through His Spirit, Jill. We have to ask ourselves, "What is the Holy Spirit leading us to do in this particular situation according to the knowledge that we DO have??

      May we both continue to prayerfully consider this issue; the Lord bless you, Jill.

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  9. I've felt guilty about shopping at Target for years now, but I just love it so much! After their latest announcement though, I realized that shopping there could actually be unsafe for my children and I finally decided not to anymore. I switched all of my grocery subscriptions over to Amazon and found out that their prices were actually cheaper. But I'm still going to miss the dollar spot...

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    1. Yes, Hannah! I know what you mean; I used to enjoy shopping there, too! The Lord will bless you as you stand upon the conviction that He has given you; I was blessed by your words.

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  10. Bekki,

    As always, your posts are so well-written and carefully thought out, always putting the Lord above all.

    Your words "Christ's sacrifice was too costly -- and I cheapen grace when I make light of His Word by supporting those who do--" convicted and encouraged me to stand firm.

    Thank you for always being a light and beautiful testimony of a Christ follower.

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    1. Karen, your words are such an encouragement. It has been heartening to see other believers standing strong on this issue. I pray that the Lord would continue to make our souls brave in Him!

      The Lord bless you, Karen!

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  11. Rebekah,
    You wrote this so beautifully. It didn't omit respect nor our call to love our neighbors as ourselves and reach with the love of Christ into every dark corner of the world.
    I miss the simplicity of life and am saddened by the drastic changes in our world. I, too, do not want to continue to shop at Target. However, I know that our actions will be misconstrued as judgmental and unloving toward the transgender community. A rock and a hard spot. But, ultimately, God is in control and my actions must be approved by Him and Him alone.
    Blessings,
    Lori

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    1. Thank you, Lori; this was such a tough issue . . . I know what you mean about our actions being misconstrued. Christ shining through us will speak. Your words blessed me so much; the Lord bless you as you honor Him.

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  12. Enjoyed this, very well written and thought out. If we would all unite together and stand what a difference it would make.

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    1. Yes; I think that you are right, Mindy! The Lord bless you as you follow Him!

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  13. Hi Rebekah, I agree it is time for us as Christians to take a stand. We don't have to do it noisily, just by our choices. Our choices should reflect our faith. I like what you say, that we should prayerfully seek the Lord before we make decisions to use or not use a certain outlet, but if they scream "we love the world" louder than anything else, the choice is pretty obvious. Time we take a stand! Amen! Great post, and thanks for linking up.
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Yes, Tracy, what you said about taking a stand is so true--"We don't have to do it noisily, just by our choices. Our choices should reflect our faith." I really appreciate your comment and your encouragement. The Lord bless you!

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  14. Thanks for the intel. The days seem to be coming - and are here - when there will be pagan stores and companies vs. God friendly stores and companies. It also (strongly) feels like a great wrath and purging is not too distant over the horizon. Zephaniah 1

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    1. Yes, Patrick; I think that you are right--and it is so easy to forget our purpose here and to become "dazed" in a worldly stupor--there is so much to distract us (me!) Thank you for your comment and also for the reference to Zephaniah; it was a blessing to me.

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  15. Bless you for writing with compassion and grace on a difficult subject. As believers we are faced every day with making difficult decisions. [I believe} this is just going to get more difficult as time marches forward. The important thing is that our actions honor God and that we act according to His word, knowing that we'll fail at times, we'll make bad choices. And for those times there is grace. In abundance. Thank you for this today, Rebekah, be blessed!

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    1. You're welcome, June; your comment was such an encouragement! Have a blessed week!

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  16. You finished this post beautifully - "the world doesn't need wishy-washy Christians -- it needs the Truth -- spoken in love, lived in love-

    So stand. "
    Amen. Thoughtfully written, Rebekah. Visiting via #thoughtprovokingThursday.

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    1. Thank you, Kristy; you're always an encouragement to me! The Lord bless you.

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  17. I appreciate your well thought out words and your sense of conviction here. Life can be so hard and decisions hard to make, but if we will keep our eyes on Christ and be sensitive to His leading we will know what to do. I do think that Joe makes a good point, too, and we each have to prayerfully consider what God is calling us to do. This is so important and very helpful to ask ourselves when we make our decisions:"Are my actions/decisions pointing people towards Christ and His truth, or away from Him?" Thanks for sharing at #LMMLinkup! Blessings!

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    1. Yes, Gayl, that is definitely very, very true--that we need to prayerfully consider what God is calling us to do and to ask ourselves that question of whether our actions are pointing others towards Christ or away from Him. I appreciate your insights and your comment; the Lord bless you!

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  18. Is Target actively promoting and endorsing this lifestyle, or are they simply saying that they refuse to discriminate and that everyone is welcome in their store? I think the only store I would ever boycott is one that chose to close their doors to a certain segment of society that they didn't feel aligned with their beliefs

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    1. Jeremy, I think that Patrick answered this really well below, but I'll just add that yes, Target has taken an activist position on transgender/LGBT issues, rather than a neutral one-- https://corporate.target.com/article/2016/04/target-stands-inclusivity I understand that secular stores will be what they are--secular, but Target has taken this a step further--a step that should cause evangelical believers to consider whether they can, in good conscience, continue to support Target.

      I appreciate you taking the time to ask!

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  19. @Jeremy Barnes

    Hi Jeremy. I don’t know what persuasion of beliefs you hold, but there are a few things to consider.

    1) The progressive secular agenda is pro-active and very anti- Christian to its core. Target (and other companies) is being influenced by those imposed sentiments. Any business which takes up their causes is indirectly discriminating against a segment of traditional American citizenry without even saying so. But they get away with it because a majority of that segment is silent.

    2) Progressive agendas have permeated into all aspects of American society leaving Christians and other concerned religious adherents with mounting challenges in politics, media, education, and when to use the power of boycott.

    3) If a Target superstore was doing business smack in the middle of a heavily dominated Muslim community which brought 80% patronage to their doors, you better believe Target’s policy would be different for that particular store where LGBT activism, et al, are concerned.

    In the end many businesses (not all) can be cowardly and self serving like desperate politicians (not all). They will shift and manipulate for the sake of their profit bottom line.

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  20. Thanks for taking a stand for what you are convicted about. I need to do more research about Target's policies but what I know so far is not promising. You are so right that God's Word must be prominent in any generation. Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.

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    1. You're welcome, Leslie! It has been really encouraging to me to see other believers prayerfully examining this issue! The Lord bless you!

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  21. Rebekah,
    When I first started reading this post...I had NO idea you were going where you were going!! How convicting! I have, sadly, only recently begun to take a stand - against human trafficking - and I have to admit it is a bit scary at first. But to realize that our own complacency is the thing to fear...well, that puts it on a whole nother level!!
    Praying that in these days we all have the wisdom to discern what battles He calls us to stand against. And then praying for the courage to do so!
    Thank you for the reminder, and the encouragement...
    And although after all this it seems trite, I'll be featuring this post on this week's Coffee & Conversation - thank you so very much for sharing it with us there...

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    1. Pat, I'm so glad that this post was an encouragement! I have been really heartened by other believers who are standing firm in love on issues like this--your words brought me encouragement--truly, the Lord always has His remnant who stand by His grace. May He bless you, Pat!

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  22. Thanks for sharing this post on Coffee and Conversation, Rebekah! AND encouraging me/us to take a stand...
    We'll be featuring your post this week!! I so appreciate your thoughts and your courage :-)

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  23. I really appreciate this perspective, Rebekah, thank you! While I also stopped shopping at Target when they started displaying their rainbow rack of t-shirts the day after the gay marriage ruling, I've been making the case to my readers that a boycott is hypocritical when it's almost impossible to find a business that doesn't dishonor God in some way. However, you are right that there's a distinction between a secular business and one that takes an activist stance. Great point of view! I hope you'll consider linking up with The Homemaking Party!

    Blessings,
    Mrs. Sarah Coller

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    1. Oh, you're welcome, Sarah! I understand where you're coming from and I was able to read your post on this topic. I want to say that I admire your very gracious response and for linking back to my blog in your post--your humility and the way that you are prayerfully considering this issue really touched me and spoke to me.

      It is encouraging to see believers addressing this issue with grace--I pray that the Lord would deeply bless you as you honor and serve Him, Sarah!

      I linked this post up with The Homemaking Party in last week's linkup; I went back and checked! Thank you for inviting me to link it up!

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  24. You've shared so wisely here, Rebekah, and we're glad you linked it with us at Grace & Truth. You're so right in pointing out the difference between a company that happens to make decisions we disagree with and a company that actively seeks to support and publicize a destructive agenda. Thank you for adding truth and grace to this conversation!

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    1. You're welcome, Jennifer; I'm glad that I could share it! The Lord bless you!

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  25. Thank you for being a part of Booknificent Thursday this week.
    Tina

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    1. I'm glad that I could be a part, Tina; God bless you!

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  26. My dear Rebekah, what a joy to have come across your blog...I do believe the Lord had His hand in leading me here {{smiles}}

    I was greatly blessed, encouraged, and inspired by your post. Your shared my very thoughts and feelings about these matters in a beautiful yet convicting way. My husband and I are in the very same boat as you and many other believers and it was truly refreshing to see there are many others out there desiring God's WAY.

    Thank you for taking a stand and sharing the TRUTH. God's richest blessings to you. Hugs! Stephanie-The Enchanting Rose

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    1. Oh, thank you Stephanie; what an encouragement your words were! It is heartening to see and know that other believers are standing on the truth of God's Word . . . May He "grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of these days." Much love and blessings to you.

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  27. I totally agree with everything you said. Also, can you check out my blog? It's called The Depth Of My Faith. I'm trying to start this writing ministry, called iheart writing. I hope you check it out. And also, I do blog design if you want a new look, or i can just touch it up for you. I work with blogger templates, and I can tell by the format that this is one.
    The link to my blog is http://thedepthofmyfaith.blogspot.com

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    1. Allie, I'm glad that you stopped over! I will definitely check out your blog! :-)Thank you for letting me know about your blog designing; I will keep that in mind if I need help! The Lord bless you! :-)

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  28. Oooh, "...the world is watching." So true! I live in NC where all the restroom hype is happening, and I hate how the media has blown something innocuous into something to be feared. sigh. That's life this side of eternity, unfortunately. Thanks for sharing, Rebekkah. Visiting you today from Marie's Friday Faves. Nice to connect. ((grace upon grace))

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    1. You're welcome, Brenda; I'm glad that you stopped by--it's nice to connect with you, too! The Lord bless you!

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