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Minister Ty Alexander
(Ty Huynh)
I've heard more than one survivor of abortion talk about how grateful they are to have lived. Claire Culwell in the following Irish Central article found out she survived and it inspired her to go to Ireland and speak against the coming vote to make abortions available. I hope the Irish retain their commitment to what is right in valuing life and that our country comes back to what it used to value too.


Claire acknowledges that people will get abortions whether it is legal or not. She says we need to provide good alternatives. I think that is good, but we also need to reform our societies' mentality to take sex so casually and so lustfully. That is the root of unwanted pregnancies. So if we should value our children and future generations we should also value ourselves and each other. Our families need to promote and support that.

I grew in an America where pre-teen pregnancies and sex abuse were far too common. If people valued each other and themselves enough to withhold sex and stop chasing it or forcing it, then unwanted pregnancies would be rare instead of common, and there would be no need to abort millions of children or have thousands grow up wanting a family in orphanages.
Obessions 1/4/2017

There has been a lot of interest in playing video games on cell phones and other mobile devices in recent years. One of the most recent gaming obsessions is Pokemon Go. People go to public places and linger for hours staring at their cell phones as they play the game. Some people get completely obsessed with playing it, much like people get obsessed with any addiction. It consumes all their free time and money.

These obsessions can become addictions that control people's lives if they don't keep their behavior in check. I've seen these addictions come from video games, Internet chatting, and even hobbies and leisure activities, like motorcycling.

The addictions can destroy a person's life just like chemical addictions to alcohol or drugs. If we allow these material things to control our lives, our spiritual eyes quickly dim and we can be in danger of becoming blind to things that are much more important, such as spending time with people and doing activities that bare worthwhile fruits.
"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23)
God demonstrated these concepts to a teen who was spending too much time playing video games, like Pokemon Go. The photo above shows a "God's Eye" he made during a summer camp. I noted how he had the green and blue yarn inside and the black yarn covered almost everything. From symbolism I learned about God's guidance, I knew green stood for Life and blue stood for the Holy Spirit or the Waters of God's Spirit.

We are supposed to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25) (the blue yarn), which is to live righteously as God wants, aligning our behavoir with His Spirit or will. Doing so gives us Life (the green yarn) instead of death because then we will conduct our lives towards righteousness instead of sin. It brings blessings instead of curses.

However, when our eyes become dark we become blind to doing what is right (the black yarn) and will walk life by the flesh, in darkness, and in sin, which brings death, because the things God wants us to do and understand are blocked by the darkness in our eyes (the black yarn).

When I told the teen how his God's Eye reflected his attitudes and priorities and that it was God's way of telling him to change his dark eyes, he was dumbfounded, even scared that God could control him and speak in such a way.

But I've seen the Lord speak in ways like this before - controlling works, like art and music and especially scripture, in detailed ways to speak a message. If the world would see how dark their eyes have become, how much more bright life would we enjoy.
What does a mirror say about the public? 3/29/2016
A Microsoft artificial intelligence experiment recently failed by turning into a strange parody of logical thinking, or really illogical thinking. Tay, the name of the program, was designed to simulate a teenager to converse with people on Twitter, but it turned into a promiscuous, genocidal racist. Microsoft had to shut down the program in less than 24 hours.

This AI failure seems amusing on the outset, but there's a serious point to be had. The "robot" learned from the people it conversed with on the Internet, so it basically mirrored the mentality of the public, or at least the Twitter public, which is very popular with teens and young adults. I'm afraid that sampling of the public can be generalized more widely, because so much of the same mentalities of promiscuity, hate and anger are promoted in popular media throughout western society and our country, especially.

It's disturbing to see the people of once Godly nations behaving so ungodly. May the world wake up to what is wrong with its thinking and return to God in ways that produce permanent good fruits. Let it be through Christ Jesus. Amen.

Reference: http://www.timesofisrael.com/microsoft-drops-chatbot-made-into-hitler-loving-monster-on-twitter
Protecting pornography also protects prostitution 3/14/2016
The ban of a pedophilic book by Ireland's censorship board recently took to the news. The book was published by a United States pornography distributor and is the first book in 18 years to be banned by the board. When I looked for references to it in media, I was dismayed to see it was only discussed in conjunction with the news from Ireland. Child pornography is illegal in the States yet I saw no mention of it in American media in the first ten or so pages of search results for the book.

When I looked closer at United States child pornography laws, I saw a reason why the book was ignored. The laws only made visual depictions of child porn illegal and does not address anything written or non-visual.

Our laws need to change to prohibit all forms of child porn. The First Amendment for the freedom of speech is often brought up to justify the unrestricted production of material, but I don't see any difference between written or any other non-visual forms of pornography with forms using images. I commend Ireland for banning the book. It is righteous to not allow that material into their country. Pornography degrades people's morals when it is accepted, however, I would like to see countries everywhere go further and ban pornography and its production in general.

Pornography of any kind harms people by allowing sexual immorality and its mind-sets to be perpetuated and then acted upon. Making pornography is actually no different than other forms of prostitution and when you use it to satisfy your lusts then it is also no different than participating with the prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:15-16; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17). Why then should pornography be protected by laws when prostitution is a crime?

The wide-spread acceptance of porn and overly sexual material in media has been corrupting the morals of every culture it's been allowed in. There is little moral value in that kind of material or in protecting people from making it, such as with First Amendment arguments. It's like legalizing prostitution, abortion, and other sins. Doing so serves to make immorality acceptable, which brings about the acceptance of more and more sin. When that happens people can no longer see the difference between right and wrong, and society as a whole goes down dark paths it cannot return from. Unfortunately, this country and many more around the world are already too far down the wrong paths. It can only bring disaster in the end.

Reference: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Ireland-censorship-board-bans-first-book-in-18-years.html
A sign to the people 3/11/2016
I found this bread interesting considering the times we're in of national judgment and warning for our country and others all over the world. Ezekiel 4:9 is where the prophet is told to symbolically siege Jerusalem and then lay on his side and eat the grain bread as a sign to the people that their nation would fall to Babylon. When I see this I weep as Yeshua (Jesus) did as He approached Jerusalem and saw the city saying, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace..." (Luke 19:41). May people know they must turn from sin and go back to God's true ways to have peace for their lives, families and countries.

The Slippery Slope of Popular Media 2/6/2016
Popular media can be a slippery slope. Have you paid attention to the lyrics and themes used in popular music, TV shows and movies? Songs on the radio and popular media constantly talk about sex, lust and other inappropriate focuses. TV, movies and Internet media do the same things. They are too brazen in showing lust in all kinds of things and do little or nothing to show those focuses corrupt us. Many even idolize those lusts and pursuits, which makes people covet them and chase after them all the more. All this media is popular because people think it's amusing or arousing; they accept it all too readily. But children, especially, should not be taught to accept those things before they're mature enough to see what is right and wrong.

Acceptance of sin and unrighteous behavior is a slippery slope that escalates what may seem trivial, like excessively crude jokes, into more and more serious sin that will bring great harm because you begin to think that behavior is fine, such as having unwed sex or supporting abortion. That kind of thinking and the acceptance of sin is what brings down great nations. It happened in Russia and is happening to the United States and other nations around the world now.

We can't control everything our children are exposed to. We must live in this world, not become xenophobes or isolationists. After all, how can we help people with God's Light if we only keep to ourselves and communities of like-minded people?

However, we must protect Godly values and wisdom and trust God to keep our loved ones safe when we cannot. Our responsibly as Godly parents, teachers and leaders is to make sure our children know what is right and wrong in God's eyes and that accepting the wrong focuses of the world is not what God wants. Teach them and pray for them so they are strengthened in true righteous wisdom, because not all church or spiritual wisdom is truly from God. Do that so they will turn away from committing sin when they are tempted.
"[God and salvation through Christ] teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and Godly lives in this present age... these are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority..." (Titus 2:11-15)
Proper Sex Education 1/11/2016
I agree with Hayim Ezra Ani's last note in this Times of Israel article - we must change how we teach children about sex. Sex ed needs to cover more than our maturing bodies and scare tactics to make us afraid of sex should not be used. The plain truth is best.

However, Hayim is missing some very important points. One is that it's the parents' responsibility first (not schools) to educate their children about sex at the right age, which is not the teen years but much earlier. For people of God, this is especially relevant because the Lord told us to teach our children His laws and commands (Deuteronomy 4:9, 11:19, Psalm 78:5-7), which does include things related to sex, marriage and appropriate relationships.

Parents should not make the excuse that teaching their children about sex is uncomfortable. There aren't many more beneficial things than teaching our children the truth when it comes to God and how He wants us to live, because if we know how to avoid sin and what it truly is, then we will have much more blessed lives. How could we as loving parents deny them the best future they could have?

Another important point is the proper age to talk about sex is not in the teen years but pre-teen, somewhere around 10 or 11 years old. Why? I've heard far too many stories of kids in grade school (aged 12 or less) having intercourse and getting pregnant. I heard about them when I was in grade school and that was decades ago. Children need to know as soon as possible what is appropriate intimacy, what is sex, and what God wants us to do related to those things - kissing and touching breasts or buttocks is not sex, penetration of the woman in any way by the man, though, is sexual intercourse and is reserved for marriage. Kids really shouldn't be touching each others' genitals at all before marriage.

Popular culture is too full of sex and romance, which makes children think they need those kind of relationships and worse, that sexual relationships are fine for their age or before marriage. I see pre-teens seeking boyfriends and girlfriends and coveting those relationships. It's not a healthy way to look at life even if they are generally innocent relationships. "Dating" in grade school is often just a closer friendship and limited to holding hands, but it isn't a good way to have relationships, especially at that age. Dating of any kind sets our focus on the wrong things, like trying to satisfy your partner in ways you should not, and it will lead to more serious things, such as sex and dependence on those kind of relationships. We should be teaching our kids to be dependent on God first, and not to take comfort in unhealthy relationships or activities.

Teaching our kids the right things to focus on will make them more ready for when they do have intimate relationships. They will be able to see what is right and wrong and be strong enough to refuse inappropriate advances because they've set their mind on doing what is right in God's eyes and not on pleasing anyone else.

Reference: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/lets-talk-about-sex

Material before spiritual? 1/10/2016
Jonathan Sacks makes a good point in this Times of Israel article. Physical circumstances do greatly affect how we perceive the world and what we wish to listen to. However, Jonathan goes too far with making one's physical situation the highest priority. This does not apply to every person or situation, especially if you see the world with spiritual eyes.

Jonathan is coming from a world-centric Jewish viewpoint, which is not God's way nor was it ever. The Lord simply wasn't very obvious or explicit in revealing that, but if you look to see how God often did things in the Old Testament/Torah, He did not make physical needs or satisfaction the highest priority. He let people wait in longing or suffering before He delivered them or gave the desires of their heart. Consider Hannah and her prayer in 1 Samuel and Abraham and Sarah's very long wait to have the promised child, Isaac, and Jacob's seven plus seven years of labor so he could marry Rachel.

The reasons why God allows us to suffer or brings suffering or makes us wait a long time are many. Our suffering can come from our sin or the Lord can take a long time because He wants to work circumstances a certain way. Our long trials are also meant to build us up and mature us into more perfected people.

God's Will is also a factor in many things people often don't think are His Will, such as so much suffering coming to individuals, peoples and nations. But you see throughout God's recorded Word that He brings disaster for good reasons. The tribulations of Israel and the Jews through the centuries and still today are in large part due to their sin. They reject God, not entirely, but they reject His commands and desires, which was why the Jews had so many bad things come to them in the Old Testament.

The Lord said He was doing a new thing where a woman will encompass a man (Jeremiah 31:22). This "thing" has come to pass as He was speaking of His Bride for Himself in Mashiach Yeshua (Christ Jesus). Like Jonathan, who is speaking from a limited viewpoint of things in the article, the Jews who reject Christ also are living by a limited view of things. God made Yeshua (Jesus) their Eternal King and wants all people, including the Jews, to live under His Kingship. What would you do in the next life to be shown that you were living in rebellion to God by rejecting Christ?

You could attest to being a Jew under the Law of Moses, which is a valid argument, but that is a very heavy yoke to live under, because all who live by that Law must live by all of it as God gave it and not as by what men think it is or changed (Galatians 5:3). Christ broke that yoke and gives us a much better option for living as one of God's. God revealed how He wants people to live and what to focus on first through Yeshua - the spiritual comes first (His Kingdom and righteousness), then He provides all the rest (Matthew 6:33). So simply taking care of physical needs first isn't always the best route. We need to know what God wants in all situations and then follow His Will, so prayer and waiting on God's guidance is essential to have a Godly life. That is also a part of spiritual first. We can't live life as a Godly people by seeing and taking care of the physical first.

Reference: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/spirits-in-a-material-world-vaera-covenant-conversation-5776-on-spirituality
Over doing Can Do 1/10/2016
The "can do" way of thinking this Israel Times article promotes is off. There is great value in humility. The Lord did say the meek will inherit the earth and He values our show of peace and love for one another more than having an authoritative stance. There are times for being humble and for being authoritative. We don't always have to look confident. The issue of "shrinkers" and using confident speech is overemphasized here. I am also a writer and just because you use "just" or "actually" or any other "shrinkers" does not mean they modify the context negatively. My use of "just" just now shows that. The reader's attitude, background and viewpoint also matters a lot on how they perceive wording, so simply trying to get rid of certain words will not help your perception to others as much as the people who made the Gmail plug-in hope it would. I also don't believe there is anything wrong with saying I'm sorry when something goes wrong, even if it isn't your fault. It shows your empathy and if you start to hold back apologies, you start to think too proudly and will be less likely to own up to your own mistakes. That is a very bad and common way of thinking in Western culture today. If you're always trying to get away from being blamed, you will blame others and not fix the problems you have to fix yourself. I also agree with the other comments here about simply being polite and respectable. It is a good standard that has been dying because of Western cultures' overemphasis on freedom and underemphasis on disciplining our youth appropriately.

Reference: http://www.timesofisrael.com/make-a-new-years-resolution-to-communicate-confidently
What If 9/27/2010
Earlier this week I was moved to pray for a friend who was straying from Christian ideals. Later that day, she told me to check out a song she liked called "What If" by Nichole Nordeman. I wasn't familiar with the song or artist, but when I checked them out, I found the theme jolted something from my past life.

The song started, suggesting, "What if you're right. Jesus was just another nice guy who taught us love. What if it's true? They say the cross will only make a fool of you..." But then Nichole continues singing with a forceful vibrance, "BUT WHAT IF YOU'RE WRONG? WHAT IF THERE'S MORE? WHAT IF THERE'S HOPE YOU'VE NEVER DREAMED OF HOPING FOR?..."

In that moment I remembered an instant in time five or six years ago when a "born again" Christian reached out to me. She was talking about Yeshua (Jesus) and salvation and I remember starting to feel uncomfortable and thinking, "Oh great, she's trying to hook me into religion." I was polite and listened to her, but inside I couldn't wait for the conversation to end.

I said, "I don't believe in that stuff. I don't think it's real." And I especially remember her reply, "What if you're wrong?"

You know how I responded? With pride in my own viewpoint and a devil may care attitude, I blurted back, "Then I'll be wrong, and I'll deal with it," and ended the conversation there.

Little did I know how "unenlightened" my position was or that God would move me towards Him a few years later in ways I couldn't even imagine. I was one of those "I need proof to believe" people and remember rejecting evangelists on many occasions. Now I feel sorry for rejecting God so many times and wonder, "What if I understood those many years ag? Where would I be now having given God those extra years to move me on the path He wanted me to be on? How much more could I have done by now?"

What if?...

Remembering and Connecting the Dots 9/11/2010
Originally posted 8/31/2010

Last weekend I attended a Christian motorcyclists' retreat at a lake about an hour northwest of the cities. I didn't originally plan on going but after getting some Godly nudges, I decided to go at the last minute. The weekend prior, I was camping in the Black Hills and this weekend I was just content to hang out at home and watch the MotoGP races running in Indianapolis. But after a few taps on the shoulders, I found myself signing up to fill the last remaining spot for the biker retreat.

I didn't realize the importance of my going until I actually went. Sometimes that happens when you follow those Godly nudges. For me, the weekend was about remembering and contrasting where we've been to where we are now and to where we're going.

You see, in the days before I decided to go, I got guidance referring to my past life. My first hint was when I was still in South Dakota last week at this place called the "Mammoth Site", which is interestingly also all about the past (fossils and all).

That link to past life was reinforced less than a week later by Pastor Mike who invited me to the biker retreat. He was talking about a prophetic drawing a woman gave him, which is also about past life - the one he had before he came to know Christ. He used to spend a lot of time playing baseball, and the woman had sketched a baseball glove with a ball in it while he was speaking one time and afterwards gave it to him.

The interesting thing is, he was thinking in the days before that that he'd like something in his office to remind him of his past life, a token of fond remembrance for things he gave up after he assumed a new life path. The glove she sketched for him matched exactly his own glove down to the number of rivet holes for the laces in the palm and the manner that a certain tassel fell downwards over the thumb palm. He recognized it immediately and said he "lost it" in tears after she gave him the drawing.

He took out his old, faded leather glove and showed me how it matched perfectly the prophetic drawing. I thought, "Wow, that is really cool," but I didn't connect it with my own nudgings until I was at the retreat last weekend.

When we first got to the lake on Saturday afternoon we had free time to do whatever we wanted. I decided to go on a walk, so I went about and tried to find some trails by the lake. After some winding about on local streets, I found a trail along the lake shore and it was then in the midst of the sounds of sloshing waves (photo below) and the sights of reeds and rocks by the shore that fond memories of my childhood came back to me.

Lake Andrew, MN

My family used to go boating and fishing a lot when I was a kid. I hadn't retained very many childhood memories as I grew up, but the ones of being on the lakes and fishing had always stayed with me. All the times of skewering worms, grubs, and leeches, catching fish bigger than my mini kiddie's pole and reel could handle (thankfully, my parents always had a net to finish the job), and being around family and friends all day in the comforting rhythm of waves and rustling reeds came back to me with an intensity I had forgotten.

It was in that moment of remembrance that I understood why I got the nudges about the past. When we begin new lives with Christ sometimes we will leave behind things, both good and bad, and things and people we love and cherish. We'll also go through some tough times being bombarded with the negativity of a world that doesn't understand why we've set ourselves apart for Christ. It's all a part of being a maturing Christian.

When those difficult times come, remember that God provided for your joy before you truly knew Him. Remember what He did as you accepted Him. Remember what He does now as He works to make you whole.

It was hot and sunny but very windy as I walked along the trail that day. I could have passed out as I trekked the 40 minutes from one end of the lake to the other, but the wind and forest shade kept me refreshed. The butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies were out flitting about my path, as well, and in their wispy flight,  I thought, "Thank you, Lord, for bringing me out here. I know I'm exactly where I should be." Sometimes the city kid and racer in me needs to slow down to take stock of the really important things - Remember...

Connecting the Dots
originally posted 9/11/2010

I talked about my time remembering at the Lake Andrew biker retreat in my last blog. On that Saturday night, the group gathered around a campfire and shared personal victories God had given us.

One person told us how she was stubborn in giving up an expensive hobby. She used to own and ride horses and when she had her last one she knew she was getting Godly nudges to give it up, but in her heart's stubbornness she didn't want to give it up.

She amusingly relayed how the horse had changed its demeanor suddenly and didn't even want to be ridden. It hunched its back and stiffened up whenever she got on it. But she forced it, thinking, "It's my horse, darn it, and I'm going ride it!"

After about a year of forcing the horse to ride that way (she admitted she was pretty stubborn), one day she went out to it and it just lay down on its side and looked at her. She thought, horses don't usually do that and took it as a hint to finally move on. She put the horse on sale and soon a lady came by just loving it and when she rode it, it didn't hunch or stiffen up at all. The horse even seemed to prance about.

"Hmmm," she thought and sold the horse to the lady, who afterwards came back saying, "That horse is the greatest ever! Do you have another like it?" which raised another eyebrow.

Many of us dismiss God's nudges to change, thinking there's nothing wrong with doing what we want as long as nobody gets hurt.

It's also difficult to see how slightly negative things can quickly cascade into worse and worse things. People involved in chemical abuse often say how their problems start from just smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol and then progress to trying marijuana to trying heroin to trying cocaine and so on until they are lost in addiction. Drugs aren't the only things that can progress into uncontrolled and unwanted behavior. Like chemicals, power, position and personal satisfaction are intoxicating.

We often can't see how things can get worse in the situations we're in. It's part of our nature because we only experience a limited set of things, and we forget a lot too.
In any case, God leaves it up to us to acknowledge His signs and follow through. He usually doesn't coerce. He nudges, taps, and whispers continually. Are you listening to those whispers and tidings of wisdom?

Hold Out 7/26/2010

"I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired..." (Psalm 77:6)

This morning I drifted into full alertness at 4 am after a night of tossing in the humid summer air. Being alert that early is not normal for me, believe me. I was never a morning person, but today something struck me as I lay there listening to the music I left playing all night.

Celtic Woman's "Send Me A Song" was playing and the lyrics start: Take the wave now and know that you're free. Turn your back on the land, face the sea. Face the wind now, so wild and so strong. When you think of me, wave to me and send me a song...

As I listened, I thought about relationships and finding that perfect someone. Sometimes when relationships end, you wonder why it was so hard and it didn't work out. You had to let go, and then you're left facing the sea again, and it doesn't feel calm but so wild and strong like in the song. It looks scary, and you're not sure if you want to go out and face it again.

In that moment, I realized that God made our hearts to love Him because how could we love someone we've never seen in person, hugged, or snapped a photo with? How can our hearts yearn to be with our Heavenly Father? Yet we do. Who would want to be with someone if they didn't love them?

Then I realized God also made our hearts to love each other in similar ways and there's different kinds of love - brotherly love, motherly love, fatherly love, sisterly love - but also there's that love for a soul mate. We yearn for it in our hearts, for that someone who complements our lives with a wonderful pattern of harmony and unity.

I realized then that God made us all and predetermined our desires as much as our gifts and abilities. We're predestined for more than stations in life and accomplishments, so it's best not to rush off into marriage whenever you feel that flood of emotions with someone you think is perfect for you.

No. Hold out for your true soul mate, because we're all tested and tempted in relationships and dating. Our physical reactions can make almost any mate feel like a soul mate in the moment, but it takes time to test that. Give your relationships that time and give them to God. Ask Him to bring the right people into your life and to tell you if you should stay in or leave relationships. Give God time as well, because His plans can take a long time to come, and even though He predetermined many things about our lives, we do have free will and can go against what God wants for us, especially when we get that stubbornness in our moments of attraction to run after someone but who might end up leaving or even harming us in the long run.

Read True Love - What Does it mean to God? to learn more about love, soul mates, and what God says is love for Him...

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