Signs…and…No Signs

The first time we looked for our rental house in Dunoon, Scotland—we couldn’t find it. Knowing we are directionally challenged, we figured it was our fault. Later we realized…there were no legible street signs.

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We felt vindicated when friends from the Black Isle came to visit and also became lost. Signs are important. Faced with medical or other emergencies, signs attain life or death importance.

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Signs matter. They matter to me especially since I’ve been a sign painter. For one of the first signs I painted, I bought a dictionary to ensure correct spelling. When the 10 signs were delivered, the customer yelled at me for misspelling his signs. When I explained I had looked the word up in a dictionary, he demanded to see the dictionary, so I handed it to him. He was livid as he thumped the cover: Webster’s English Dictionary. Authorize is spelled authorise in the UK.


We read the rules on a pool sign recently. I don’t know if you’re allowed to bring glass containers into the pool area—but leave the ducks at home.

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Signs of spring, signs of autumn, signs of approaching storms—not all signs are produced by humans.


My favorite sign is the Bible, God’s Word. Lack of street signs may result in physical misplacement, but lack of spiritual signs result in miserable, misspent years in this life, and risk of eternal separation from God.

Luke's Bible

Jesus promised, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)


No other sign can match that promise.

Signs, Purple Penguins & Sex

Humans attempt to make their own laws and ignore God’s laws.

Some human-made laws make sense and make life better for everyone: don’t let aggressive dogs run free; don’t clutter the landscape with junk; don’t smoke in public places and expose others to the health risk of second-hand smoke; don’t drink and drive.

However, these laws are already covered by God in the Bible. We have dominion over animals and are instructed to treat them with kindness. We are to be good stewards of God’s creation. We are not to do anything that defiles or destroys our bodies, which are God’s temples. Not smoking or drinking alcohol, for example, would eliminate an enormous number of health, social and safety issues.

Rocks thrown up by the sea in front of a “No Dumping” sign reminded me of the futility of ignoring God’s laws and attempting to impose our own. No joke…a school has decided to call students purple penguins instead of girls and boys. The Bible says that in the beginning, God created humans as male and female. Yet this school will call students purple penguins to be “gender inclusive.” If there is any need to refer to a student’s gender, he or she will be called “the G word,” or “the B word”…or perhaps pizza or hotdog.

Insane. Attempting to supplant God. Just as the “No Dumping” sign is powerless to stop the sea from hurtling rocks along the shore, so are humans powerless to change male and female by re-labeling. God made us male and female. He made penguins – also male and female.

Imagine romance writers like me in a world of purple penguins. We would never sell a book. Gender-inclusive, gender-neutral purple penguins would never read a Christian mystery-romance-suspense like Bridge to Nowhere and Bridge Beyond Betrayal. They would be shocked by cowboy Marty’s male appeal and Miz Mike’s female attraction to it. The same for other books written by other authors. Those poor pitiful purple penguins would miss out on some good books!

Thank Jesus that He is still in control – no matter how many signs we put up and how many labels we change.

Celebrate, all you authors and writers! Calling boys and girls purple penguins won’t stop these future readers from growing up and wading into the thrill of books that showcase characters who are unashamedly male and female…and sexy.

God made sex. Like everything else God created – sex is good!