Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Contention or Contending

So far November has "delighted" me with a contentious election, warm weather, little rain, and post-election contention. People are still so bogged down in politics, whether their candidate won or lost, I've heard little talk about giving thanks about anything! I've seen the November gratitude posts on Facebook, and the poster's very next post is angry, hateful, and or filled with pride.

If Facebook is causing negative emotions, sinful thoughts, and outrageous posts, maybe you should take a break from it. If Facebook does nothing other than cause negative emotions - give it up for a while. The world will still spin while you are off of it. Go outside, take a walk, ride a bike, read the Bible, talk to a neighbor...anything just quit expending energy and raising your blood pressure over politics and trash talk.

Newsflash this election has come and gone, let us turn our eyes to the Lord, let us contend in prayer for our country, the elderly, the widowed, the poor, the youth, justice, the lost, the prisoner, the unjustly incarcerated, the injured, the mentally ill, the physically ill, the spiritually ill...the list is endless.

Run toward the finish line, don't get stuck in a rut. Let these words wash over you anew:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

We need to walk in love, forgiveness, and dying to self. We must live out the Gospel without a drop of Pharisee of legalism. I jump off the soapbox now, get back to work, try to be Kingdom minded.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

America's Hate Group = KKK

An Open Letter to the KKK:

The truth be known, I want to shout y’all are stupid and leave it at that, however, that accomplishes nothing. I truly do not know how a fraternal order or whatever you call yourselves can decide to hate everyone who is not white and does not buy what you are selling.
From dressing up to conceal your identity (just like Jihadists) to your Sieg Heil salutes, you are nothing more than buffoons. Then we add your hateful signs, parades, and burning crosses to the mix and you morph from buffoons to hate filled people who need spiritual and mental counseling, possibly in-patient treatment. I can only imagine your lodge meetings and ceremonies.
You and your hateful rhetoric are a blight on this land. I would like to write you off as an uneducated, raised by packs of wolves, people. If I came to know any of you, most likely I would discover some of you are educated and were raised by loving parents.
Do you really think your ideals are right and just? Do you feel your lives have merit and bless our country? If you were able to drive out every person who does not agree with your “philosophy”, what would you do then? Become more extreme and attack one another because you find some to be Not KKK Enough?
The Constitution guarantees your right to free speech and parades. Men and women have died to afford you your rights. I will not be let myself be overwhelmed by anger. Instead, I will do the right thing, the loving thing, and pray for you just as I pray for myself, my family, the sick, the hurting, and the USA. I know Jesus is bigger than your hate. I believe miracles happen every day. I believe people can change.
I pray the KKK fades away because you cannot find new recruits and your current members come to repentance and turn away from hate and instead are filled with the love of Christ.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump

The campaign is over, the ballots have been tallied, and the dust will settle. Hopefully, people who do not like Donald Trump will stop the violent protests and heed Hillary Clinton's words to be open minded and give him a chance.

Many people have been praying over the candidates and our country for months. I urge you, please continue to pray. I don't care who you voted for or voted against, I don't care if he will never be your president, don't murmur and complain - pray for Mr. Trump and our country. If you supported him, continue to pray for him and our country. Don't stop now.

Don't spend the next 4 years griping and whining. God is not a fan of murmuring and complaining. Don't spend the next 4 years gloating. With humble hearts seek the Lord and His will. Consult your Bible not Facebook, Twitter, the news media. I think it is fair to say many mainstream media outlets need to reflect upon their lack of journalistic integrity.

In the words of JFK, "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country."

Go out into your community, spread the love of Christ, not legalism. Remember the least of these:

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Monday, November 7, 2016

Waiting at the ER

As you wait with a loved one at the ER, you hear many things. Machines whirring, carts being wheeled down the hallways, bells, alarms, people griping about various topics and the dreaded voice over the PA System announcing Code Blue. 2 people coded as I waited. One was a 35-year-old man brought into the ER by paramedics. One moment a nurse was taking my loved one's vitals, in the blink of an eye he was off to work on the man who was dying feet away from me. Earlier today, the man left home for work. I think it is safe to safe the day did not turn out has he planned. I feel for his family. He did make it up to ICU...

If he could push the reset button for the day, the last month, or the last year; I wonder what changes he would make if any? If we pushed the reset button, what changes would we make? Eat less, exercise more - maybe...Spend more time griping about politicians - NO...Spend more time maintaining our spiritual health and with friends and family - Yes!

We never know when we will be called home. When we pray and come to our Heavenly Father in repentance confessing our sin, we do push the reset button in a sense. Our sins are forgiven. I had a friend who always said, "I keep the accounts short and confess throughout the day because I cannot remember it all when I return home from work." I know I feel as though I've really accomplished something if I make it from the bed to the coffee pot in the morning without a single, sinful thought.

Scripture tells us:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Almost Over

Tuesday is Election Day in the USA. I know millions of Americans, including myself will be glad it over even though I know millions will be dissatisfied with the winner. (I am not sure citizens win regardless of the outcome.)

I will admit I am not a fan other either major candidate for various reasons. However, I consider it a privilege to vote and will exercise my right to do so. I pray for Hillary and Donald every day, not for my will to be done through them in Jesus' Name, but for them personally. The outcome of the election is important, but it is a blip on the radar in the big picture when you consider eternity.

With the finger pointing, trash talking, overreporting of issues, underreporting of others, it would be easy to get into the trash talking, candidate bashing, judgmental, hateful rhetoric. I think our opinions are important as we relay facts and concerns. Name calling and wishing people dead is ungodly.

I am saddened by the hatred coming from my Democrat and Republican brothers and sisters in Christ. We can be angry but we must sin not. We should spend the collective hours spent on moaning and griping in prayer instead.

So as we head into the last hours before the polls close Tuesday night, let us try prayer and love.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.