On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

That was our theme this morning as we woke up early and helped Mark get ready and out the door for his first day of teaching. He was nervous and we did all we could to encourage and motivate him. In all honesty he is more confident than I have ever seen him. He is all about setting the tone for the year starting with today. He doesn’t want to go through the stress he did last year, and ya know, I think he’ll do it this time. He has a great attitude about teaching and is focused on the things that really matter to him in his class and not so much about the little stuff. Yeah Mark!

So he woke me at about 5:30 and I made breakfast, coffee and helped get his bags in the car. So exciting! I always have loved this time of year. It’s like every Fall we all get a chance to make a difference and to have a fresh, clean start. As I prepare for my new year I hope that I will be able to make the changes that I so desperately hope to. I’d like to be more receptive to new ideas and to approach them and the people behind those ideas with respect and thoughtfulness. The biggest change I would like to create in myself, is the ability to keep my comments to myself when confronted with those ideas that I find in opposition to my own. I would like to remember that it isn’t a contest, I don’t *have* to be right ALL the time and that I can let people learn on their own (speaking of fellow students). I’ll need the strength of God and the intervention of the Holy Saints to accomplish this though 🙂

Right now Kailey is doing summersaults from hunger so I need to get going. It’s 6:43 a.m. What were we thinking?


Inhospitality Or Homosexuality – Which Explanation Is Given in The Bible For The Sodom Story?

nhospitality is always the reason cited in scripture for the destruction of Sodom. Homosexuality is never cited in scripture as the reason God destroyed Sodom. Isn’t that interesting?

A camel train was the common method of travel in Bible times.

Christians, Catholics, Evangelicals and Fundamentalists believe widespread homosexuality caused God to destroy Sodom. Yet when asked to produce a verse of scripture which clearly states that homosexuality was the sin of Sodom, they are unable to do so.

Perhaps that is because lack of hospitality (among other sins) provides a far better answer to the question than homosexuality.

It is difficult for modern Christians in an entirely different cultural setting, to grasp the importance of hospitality in Biblical times.

What does the Bible say about hospitality and lack of hospitality?

After a weary day of travel, even a Bedouin tent was a welcome place of refuge.

Hospitality in ancient near Eastern culture was far more important than in modern culture. Travel through an often desolate wilderness was a slow process. Inns and safe places to spend the night were few and far between. Therefore, travelers tended to stop and spend the night with whoever was friendly enough to invite them in.

Imagine yourself riding a camel or leading a camel through arid, dusty country day after day and you begin to appreciate the importance of hospitality in ancient times.

Welcoming weary travelers for an overnight stay was common in the ancient near east. Hosts welcomed travelers passing through, expecting the same hospitality would be returned to them in their travels.

Ancient travellers depended on the hospitality of strangers.

Desolate Israeli wilderness.

In the Sodom story, Genesis 19, Lot is responsible for the safety of his angel visitors and all their needs as long as they are under his roof. Travelers in ancient times depended on the hospitality of strangers for their lives and safety.

Testimony Supporting Inhospitality As The Sin Of Sodom

1. The Testimony of Lot, an eyewitness.

Lot and his daughters.

After the men of Sodom gather at Lot’s door and demand, “Bring the men out unto us that we may know them,” Lot steps outside, shuts the door to protect his guests and tries to reason with the would-be rapists.

Lot, the main participant and an eyewitness to the incident, cites hospitality as the primary reason the men of Sodom should not rape his visitors:

“for therefore [for hospitality] came they under the shadow of my roof” Genesis 19:8.

Lot’s appeal to the men of Sodom not to breach the hospitality ethic carries evidentiary weight for everyone who believes the Bible. For Lot, an active participant in this drama, Inhospitality was a major factor in the Sodom story.

Notice that Lot never says, Don’t rape these men because that would transgress male-female complementarity.

2. The Testimony of Jewish Law

A flock of goats in Israel.

Genesis 13:8 tells us the herds of Abraham and Lot were so large, they agreed to separate, in order to have enough room to graze. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. The pagan influence of the people of Sodom eventually caused Lot to lose his family.

Scripture demonstrates extraordinary concern for the welfare of strangers. God carefully instructs His people that strangers must be treated with hospitality, justice and righteousness. Emphasis on hospitality – being careful not to practice inhospitality – permeates Jewish law.

a. God contrasts the hospitality of Abraham with the inhospitality of the men of Sodom, Genesis 18-19.

b. God commands the Jews not to show inhospitality to strangers.

“Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 22:21.

God grounds the hospitality ethic in Israel’s history.

As strangers in Egypt, they had personally experienced inhospitality. They knew how it felt to be mistreated. Therefore, God commands them not to mistreat strangers in their midst. This is the Golden Rule in the Old Testament. “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

c. God’s next command against inhospitality is aimed at Israel’s heart.

Rugged Judean Canyon

“Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 23:9.

d. God next commands Israel to love strangers. Philoxenia, the Greek word translated “hospitality” in the New Testament, literally means “loving strangers.”

God instructs Israel that it is not enough to simply treat strangers with hospitality. The children of Israel must “love strangers” as they love their neighbors.

“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:18.“But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:34.

3. The Testimony of Ezekiel About Sodom’s Sin.

The prophet Ezekiel, writing under inspiration of God, precisely describes the sin of Sodom. He lists six transgressions which the people of Sodom committed. Homosexuality is not among these sins but Inhospitality definitely is. Isn’t that interesting?

“As I live, saith the LORD GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom,

  1. pride,
  2. fulness of bread, and
  3. abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters,
  4. [Inhospitality] neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were
  5. haughty, and
  6. committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.” Ezekiel 16:48-50

Ezekiel is very clear about the sin of Sodom.

Read and believe your Bible.

Had God intended us to believe that the sin of Sodom was homosexuality, God would have said so in unmistakable language. He did not. Instead, God points out, in unmistakable language, that Inhospitality is the sin of Sodom. Do you agree with God and His prophet Ezekiel about the sin of Sodom?

The abomination Ezekiel refers to (in Genesis 19) was the attempted gang rape of angels – gross Inhospitality. Genesis 19 is most assuredly not about a loving, committed relationship between two men or two women, according to this heterosexual scholar.

These Links Contain Additional Helpful Information.

Does the New Testament also affirm Inhospitality as the sin of Sodom? Is the hospitality ethic, so important in the Old Testament, also important in the New Testament?

The Babylonian Talmud On Sodom.

The Sodom story is not about consentual same sex relationships.

Hospitality in the New Testament.

The Real Sin of Sodom.

The Bible contains many analogies which affirm gay relationships as blessed by God. You’ve read about Inhospitality. Click here to return to GayChristian101 Home Page.

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

It’s 8 a.m. but we’ve been up for about a half hour. Mark left early again for his workshop and Kailey slept a little later than her usual 7 a.m.

We awoke to the pitter-patter of raindrops against the roof and windows, and the earth. It’s beautiful and cool. No hot-hot heat today. We have errands to run and purchases to make. The rain will make it much more pleasant 🙂

Last night for supper I made Shepard’s Pie with Lentils instead of ground beef- one of Mark’s favorite dishes. I wanted to make something for dessert and found a Butter Cake recipe that turned out perfectly delicious. The butter sauce really finishes the cake well. I suppose we could have frosted the thing but it’s marvelous on it’s own.

Today we turn in our application for the child care center Kailey will be attending and getting all her paperwork taken care of. WooHoo.

Tomorrow her Bento-bako should come in the mail via UPS and on Friday I get new tags for my sweet little car.

Saturday is the BIG day. And becuase I am so anxiously awaiting it’s arrival, I know the day will never come. You see, on Saturday we are doing some heavy shopping. First we’ll head up to Pembroke and purchase my books then head back this way to swing by the community college for a final book. Then we’re headed down to Florence, SC to get school suppplies for Mark and to Payless for school shoes for Kailey-girl. We looked online last night and she has picked out an adorable pair of Mary Jane’s.

We’ll need everything taken care of by the 19th since I start school on the 20th. That’s so close that I am getting a little nervous. I hope all will be ready by then.

Ok, we need to get going…

First Day

Today Mark is participating in his first workshop of the new school year. He left at about 6:30 this morning with all of his class belongings. It was little like sending your child of to his first day of school. I hope he is having a good day.

While Mark is away Kailey and I are playing and keeping things tidy. We are planning a nice meal for Mark when he gets home- though I haven’t decided what I want to make. And dessert. We’ll have to make a nice dessert too. Maybe something with strawberries, or bananas 🙂

I’ve also been turned on to a fun little craft project for today. So as soon as my cramps subside enoug for me to function properly we are going to make “Homemade Bath Time Crayons”. Stay tuned for pictures. If you are are interested here is the recipe. Brought to you by AmandaLynn3526 of JustMommies.com

1 cup grated Ivory soap
1/4 cup warm water
4 to 6 drops food coloring
Plastic cookie cutters

Mix water, soap and food coloring together in a medium sized bowl. Stir the crayon mixture until it begins to stiffen. Remove the mixture from the bowl and knead until it is the consistency of a very thick dough. Spoon crayon mixture into plastic cookie cutters. Place the cookie cutters in the freezer for 10 minutes. Pop the crayons out of the cookie cutters and allow them to dry overnight or until hard.

Kailey’s New Homework Area

Last week I made this little area for K to do her homework. This week after revamping her room it has moved into her room. Pics to come later 🙂

“Catch the Reading Bug” Reading Program

Our county held it’s annual reading program during the last two weeks and we were able to attend a few of the activities. Unfortunately it was during the time we were having car “issues” and we weren’t able to make it to every one. However, we did go to two of the meetings. The first was an introduction to the program which included a story time, talk about bugs and talk about choosing books to read. The second was at a library in another town and we were lucky enough to catch a ride with a friend and her daughter. The “Lizard” man showed us many interesting reptiles that Kailey was both intrigued with and terrified of. Here are a few photos:

White Lake Pictures

A couple of weeks ago we visited a place called White Lake here in North Carolina. We fell in love with it immediately. Here are a few pictures from the trip.