IT’S UP TO YOU….

I just recently learned a family member is gay. I wasn’t expecting that news. I admit I was surprised and maybe even a little shocked although not much shocks me these days. However, my reaction was much different from what it would have been just a few years ago. I’m thankful to be learning about Grace and Love.

Much is being written and debated these days about the gay issue. It’s such hot topic and causes division and great anger between conservatives and liberals. It affects all of us in many ways. Sadly it’s a cause of hurtful turmoil in families, churches and our society in general.

Until a couple of years ago my reaction was typical redneck hate and disdain as a result of a very strict legalistic upbringing so common in my generation. I had no gay friends nor did I want any or have a desire to establish understanding or common ground with anyone involved in that lifestyle.

However over a period of a few years my attitude towards gays has changed drastically. Through lots of reading, prayer and being forced to interact in the workplace with a few gay people I’ve slowly come to a much more compassionate and I believe Christ like stance on this issue.

Having said all that I just want to make the point that this is more a people issue than a sin issue. I’ve come to know that there really is no sin issue. Sin was taken care of at the Cross. Jesus dealt with sin and paid for it with his blood. The sin of the world was forgiven at Calvary, Hebrews 10:10. Once for all time.

I propose our reaction to the “gay issue” is the greater problem.

The church in America has dropped the ball. They say they love the person but hate the sin. However, I see much more hate than love. The preaching of sin and hell’s punishments has been going on for decades and I just want to ask the question…how has that been working out? How many gays have been welcomed into your congregation and how many of their lives have been changed?

Most gays in America feel unwelcome in our churches though we say we love them. I don’t blame them for not wanting to have anything to do with us. I’m at the point I don’t want to be associated with the self-righteous religious crowd either.

We must learn to follow the example of Jesus. He hung out with sinners, let prostitutes wash his feet, was kind to adulterers and even dined with crooked tax collectors. I’m convinced if he were here today he would be a friend to the LGBT community.

I have news for some of you. He IS here today! He is here in us! We are Jesus in the earth and we must be Jesus to the gay person. Let me ask you….how many gay friends do you have? For most of you I know the answer.

I’ve made it a priority the last couple of years to develop friendships with some gay people. I’m learning to see them just like I see everyone else. One of the best ways to spread the gospel is to be kind and caring. My responsibility is to be a friend, the rest is up to God.

Finally, I believe God is big enough to handle the “gay issue”. Let him do His job and let’s do ours. It’s up to you.

Cogitate on that,

Gene Reasoner

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CAPTAIN

IMG_5956 This has been a difficult week. Our cat Captain has been sick and this morning we had him put down. This picture isn’t the best of him but it’s one of him with our granddaughter Emma who is Captain’s real owner. Here is the back story…

We had decided we probably wouldn’t have another pet. Pets are great but we aren’t your typical animal lovers and really weren’t cat lovers. You’ve heard it said that you will do anything for your grandkids and we lived that out with this cat.

Emma called her Nana one day in tears and heartbroken. She had just been diagnosed as allergic to cats and she loved Captain dearly. She called to tearfully ask Nana if we would take Captain so he could remain in the family and she could see him when she came to visit.  Well, what are you  gonna do? We didn’t want a cat in the house and didn’t particularly want the responsibility of caring for a pet. Nana told her we would think about it and after 30 seconds we said yes. What are you gonna do? After all it’s Emma and we do anything for our grandkids.

That was a few years ago and through the years we got very attached to Captain. After our daughter Brooke died in 2013 Captain really became Nana’s buddy. We quickly learned how therapeutic animals can be. Captain gave Viva a world of comfort as he sat with her in her recliner by the hour.

He was de-clawed in the front so he stayed indoors a lot. But did he ever enjoy being outside! He was quite the hunter dragging mice, birds and other varmints on the deck for his pleasure.

I just wanted to write this little tribute to  Captain and thank God for creating him. I can’t help but think that in the next life we’ll see him again. You may think that’s silly but after all cats do have nine lives!

Cogitate on that!

Gene Reasoner

IT’S A GOD THING, & A GOLD WING THING!

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…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on GOLD WINGs like eagles; Isaiah 40:31

There is no other place I can think of where I’m totally relaxed and feel like my strength is renewed but on my Gold Wing motorcycle. I soar on that bike just like an eagle. Riding a motorcycle is scriptural and I would concur a very spiritual experience! Those of you who ride can relate….those who don’t are missing out.

I took a long week-end last week and rode over 1400 miles in three days. I went by myself so my only company was satellite radio, CB radio and “the still small voice”. It was quite a combination. Classic country and bluegrass music, truckers to give me traffic reports and Holy Spirit as my tour director.

I call western Oklahoma cowboy country because the landscape makes you feel you’re in a Cowboy movie. I’d ride along the remote two lane roads and Holy Spirit would say,” Look over there! Isn’t that pretty? I own all those cattle and I put the oil in those hills!” Every few miles I would thank God for blessing me with a good motorcycle and the opportunity to enjoy his creation with the wind blowing my hair. Yes! I did ride without a helmet for a while. Get over it. It’s legal in Oklahoma.

My trip was also a walk down memory lane. I visited May, Oklahoma where my father pastored a very small church when I was in the second grade. I attended church there on Sunday morning and just like 60 years ago there were about 15 people attending and still conducting services the same. There was even one couple there who were part of the church when I lived there. It was encouraging to see people who are still faithfully keeping the doors open and the lights on.

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When I lived in May, OK I began to travel with my dad and grandfather to wheat harvest every summer. My favorite memories of childhood are my summers in the wheat harvest. We were custom cutters and cut wheat from southern Oklahoma to North Dakota.

I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful wheat fields on my motorcycle trip. The wheat is looking good. There’s nothing quite as pretty as seeing thousands of acres of beautiful wheat waving in the breeze. I rode a few miles with tears in my eyes remembering the good times we had in wheat harvest.

The older I get the more thankful I become for the blessings in my life. I’m thankful for my family, friends, financial blessings and most of all thankful for realizing more fully who Jesus is, what he has given me and most importantly that He is in me in his fullness. I can meditate on that the rest of my life and never exhaust the fullness of that reality.

Those are just some of the things I cogitate on while I ride the Gold Wing. It’s a “God thing.” It always will be.

I hope you have a place and time when it’s just you and Jesus. A place where you can renew your strength and mount up on Wings.

Cogitate on these things….

Peace!

Gene Reasoner, Gold Wing rider.

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