Sunday, December 29, 2013

I believe in the gospel of Christ...All of it

I believe that popular society may decide what they allow and what they punish, but only God decides moral law, which does not change with societal trends. There is absolute truth, and that ONLY comes from God. Some of us, as imperfect beings, occasionally get drawn into trying to rationalize, adjust or omit certain laws He has set forth to our own liking or to be more in line with popular thinking. I do not believe that Christ's teachings are something we get to pick and choose from.

I believe that acting out in homosexual ways is a sin in the same way that I believe fornication, adultery, stealing, murder, lying, immodesty, alcoholism, drug abuse, disrespecting parents, worshipping idols, materialism, idleness, judging, swearing, physical/emotional abuse, neglecting sacred responsibilities, coveting, using the name of God in vain, pornography, breaking the Sabbath day, withholding help for the poor/needy, being easily offended, not praying, speeding, and gluttony are all sins. Christ and his prophets have been very clear on preaching against all such things (and more) in every collection of scripture.  All His commandments are important and necessary.

Therefore, which of us is not a sinner? None of us. We all have sinned, in a variety of ways; we all have weaknesses and temptations. We all have the opportunity to partake of the gift of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We ALL need Him in order to be forgiven and saved. Sometimes it takes us a long, long time to overcome our problems, but we are promised we will if we look to Christ, repent fully and keep trying, we will conquer and become perfected in Him.

If you or I are persecuted or experience discrimination based on these beliefs, so be it. It should not come as a surprise to us. Christians have long been attacked in a multitude of ways for holding fast to the moral laws of God, when it was unpopular to do so. As our society today moves further and further away from God's laws, we become even more of a peculiar people. How unusual is it that I didn't have sexual relations of any kind until I was married at age 31 or that I have never smoked or drank or used God's name in vain? How "un-modern" it is that I don't accept homosexuality as a proper way to act. Does that mean I look down on those that do? Absolutely not!!!! I don't judge because they sin differently than I do. I have friends that drink, that have addictions, have participated in pornography, that struggle with materialism, that swear, and that are gay. I can denounce the sin; while loving the sinner. I am not so unlike any of them. I struggle with my own faults, weaknesses and sins-but that does not make them right.  I have to be accountable to all the same laws and own up to my personal shortcomings in relation to what I know is right and true.

I like to look to the example of Jesus Christ when he was presented with a woman caught in adultery. He neither denied the sin OR the law. He only remarked in mercy "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". I have compassion for all and testify to any that sin, in whatever manner, to come and be converted unto Jesus Christ and be made new through his everlasting gospel. He has dictated exactly how to do that and what His gospel entails in the scriptures and words of the prophets (in olden days as well as the those on the earth today). Read them; Search them! Allow His Spirit to work in your heart until you become contrite, teachable and willing to change. We are not fully converted until we can accept Him and ALL His teachings, however unpopular. We cannot be saved by partial obedience. But, we CAN repent and start anew to try to be better each day to get closer and closer to His perfection, while partaking in His wonderful mercy on the sinner in every one of us.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bathroom Remodel

It is finally done! Our quick 2-3 week project that started in July is finally finished. Yes, it took forever. We had more setbacks and learning experiences than we ever expected but I think the finished product looks great! The new tile is gorgeous and that shower is so waterproof, I don't think it is possible to ever leak.
Here are some important lessons we learned to do differently next time (please take these to heart if you decide to do a bathroom yourself):
1. Use cement board for water resistance instead of drywall + Schluter-kerdi sheets on the's almost impossible to put up evenly and level.
2. Putting large tiles on vertical walls is pretty but 3x the work. Believe me. Stick with smaller ones
3. when you build up a floor, remember to move other fixtures up the wall as well
4. Harbor freight tools are good for a lot of things, but splurge on some high quality equipment (like tile saws, plumbing tools, and chop saws)
5. Measure 5 times-cut once
6. Always have another person around when you turn the water on the first time

Here are some pictures of the process
down to the studs
Schluter-kerdi walls and floor finally in place

chipping off the old tile from the cement floor
Here are pictures of the new and improved bathroom! Quite the finished product!