Thursday, March 5, 2015
The campaign ads have begun and no one, except maybe the people profiting from the ad, is thrilled about that! As much as I try to stay out of the political conversation, I am drawn back in by a comment, question or striking picture. (Somewhere in my DNA is a political gene!)
This morning a candidate asked, "Don't you WANT to have a woman President?" Cheers abounded.
And so I answer. (When I'm alone I talk back to the TV or write a blog post!)
I do NOT want a woman President, a male President, a purple President, black, white, yellow, pink or lime green President. Why does a persons outward appearance rank so high among, "we the people?"
I want a President that is a proven leader, smart, qualified, fearless and capable of governing!
Why have we reduced the position of the most powerful person IN THE WORLD....to their color, gender, or political savvy? Why would we cheer for such foolish statement?
(I've given this a lot of thought!)
It seems that the Presidential vote has been reduced to a popularity contest based on appearance, brief sound bites, glowing words and TONS OF MONEY, regardless of where that money originated.
Hollywood influence has to be inserted here as well. Our pop culture says our leader should be young, strikingly beautiful, wear designer clothes and, of course, be a certain weight. Our leader must be witty, with beautiful teeth, and a lovely family. He or she must be a reflection of how WE want to be!
Wouldn't it be refreshing if the issues became important once again or a person's history of legal and moral accomplishments were displayed without bias?
There are folks out there crying out for such a change. I don't know if this will be the cycle that citizens demand integrity, experience, common sense, and pure motives. I don't know if they are the majority.
If the people interviewed by Jesse Watters is any indication, then probably not! (Those folks have a hard time remembering their own name or where they left their car, let alone the name of their governor or state representative.)
No doubt there will be people that vote for a woman JUST because she is a woman and somehow that will improve the state of the nation.
We've learned nothing. After all, it's a chance to make history, right?
I'm turning off the TV and not answering the political calls to my phone. For now.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
How many times have I read the great "Sermon on the Mount?" I have taught it, studied it, prayed over it and actually read it aloud on that sloping hill where Jesus is thought to have delivered it.
And every time I open the book of Matthew, something new appears.
Today it was verse 4.
"Blessed are they that mourn...." Matthew 5:4
All my life I've heard that the mourning here meant the sadness a person feels when they've realized the depth and depravity of their own dark heart. No doubt that is important and included.
But today, Pastor Chuck Swindoll of Stonebriar Community Church gave some added depth to the word.
He explained that this type of mourning was more accurately defined as "passionate lamenting." It means lamenting over the "WRONG that swirls around us and the WRONG that lies within us."
WRONG brings mourning to the believers spirit.
WOW! Somehow that helps. (Because I ALWAYS have to understand!)
That statement explains the terrible sadness I feel when researching the issue of Human Trafficking, when I see children bruised and crying, or young women struggling at the Planned Parenthood centers.
It explains the physical pain that develops in me when friends tell me their divorce is imminent, the cancer has returned, or their child has runaway to join some foolish cult.
It explains my tears when a child has died at the hands of his/her parent, when a person of any religion is beheaded, when complete strangers are captured by thugs on the other side of the world, or when a veteran is abandoned on the streets of America.
It explains the deep sorrow that washes over me when I hear an adult tell me of the abuse they suffered as a child and kept it a secret for 30 years, or when I become aware of family members that refuse to even speak to one another because of some ancient and now forgotten offense.
It explains why the lies, deceit, backstabbing and greed of our politicians are so offensive.
The definition explains why the foolish philosophies, racism, pride and ignorance that permeate the national conversations are so sickening and cause such grief.
WRONG....What a simple word!
Then there is the mourning for "what could have been" and of course the lamenting that occurs when a loved one leaves us here to grapple with their physical absence.
(I won't even begin to discuss here the wrong that lies within me! That's another article!)
Who mourns? "Believers that care intensely."
Who does NOT mourn? I'm sure there are people who do not care what happens beyond the end of their own noses or the noses of their immediate family members.
The good news? Matthew 5:4b "They shall be comforted." BY GOD! How supernatural is that?
Mourning over WRONG should be a part of life and Jesus says they that participate in it are BLESSED and filled with JOY.
Our world & our culture has lost it's way. Only GOD can provide LASTING JOY
and TRUE CONTENTMENT. The God of ALL COMFORT shows up AS we mourn!
CARING--to--MOURNING---to--JOY. Who knew?? This chapter goes against the world's philosophy of "how to be happy." (Aren't we told to look out for only #1, brush off what doesn't affect us personally, take a pill or a jog or a swig to deaden the view, buy a new car or some other toy, or just look the other way?)
The BOOK says it is God's plan for His people to genuinely and deeply CARE (even to the point of lamenting) about others and situations that are WRONG, experience HIS comfort and then do something to help relieve the suffering!
The benefits are out of this world!