(Written 6 years ago on November, 6 2012)
On this election eve I find myself reflecting on this voting season. Postal fliers, pervasive emails, attack ads, debates, party conventions, pre-spin, mid-spin, post-spin and rhetoric so tornadic it seems all are pulled into its grasp. Pastors make political preferences known from the pulpit, Christian brothers and sisters from both political sides, send emails, post on Facebook, call, write and generally become indistinguishable from the cacophony that threatens to deafen our world to the true source of He that is our only, true hope .
As a pastor many people ask me “Who do you think Jesus would vote for?” and I answer them; “The question is not ‘who would Jesus vote for?” but would Jesus vote at all?”
Psalm 20 is my thought and prayer this night for each of us and the community we desire to be. I would ask, if you so choose, to pray it with me.
“The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary,
and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings,
and regard with favour your burnt sacrifices.
May he grant you your heart’s desire,
and fulfil all your plans.
May we shout for joy over your victory,
and in the name of our God set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfil all your petitions.
Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with mighty victories by his right hand.
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall,
but we shall rise and stand upright.
Give victory to the king, O Lord;
answer us when we call.
Mayonnaise is a tricky condiment. When using too much food gets messy, too little and food becomes dry. I made Tuna Fish today and ended up on the soupy side. It’s better than it being dry but it was hard keeping the Tuna on the tortilla shell.
While I was eating I thought about life and the last few weeks. They’ve been tough. I have felt dry emotionally and spiritually. Setting the clocks back an hour so that darkness comes much earlier doesn’t help either. I desire life to be easy. Not too easy or everything would be taken for granted but easier so that everything doesn’t seem like a chore.
Life is tricky, messy, sometimes easy, a lot of times hard. Like a Tuna Fish sandwich, the current mood and state of mind, doesn’t last forever.
Normally I am a broom type of guy but today I used a Swifter for the first time. We had a cleaning service at our home last week and they used all types of Swifters for floors, furniture, appliances, and it seemed to work well. After using it today I see why it was a tool they depend on for quickness and doing a good job at collecting dust, dirt, dog hair, and more. The Swifter seemed to find dust a broom couldn’t. Oftentimes a broom pushes stuff around but the Swifter attracted the junk on the floor.
As I went over the floors in our home with my new toy I couldn’t help but think about the upcoming elections in next Tuesday’s midterms. This isn’t a politically leaning post but rather a; “I wish we could take a giant swifter over the lot of politicans and collect the junk and leave those who would take care of our country not themselves, ignore the lobbyists for firms and organizations, make decisions not based on attaining more power. All that were left, if any, would be able to govern and we’d have the tools to unite our nation and help the world at large.
What a dream…
“This is a case where, if they had an armed guard inside, they might have been able to stop him immediately, maybe there would have been nobody killed, except for him, frankly. So it’s a very, very – a very difficult situation.” President #DonaldTrump (Fox News – https://fxn.ws/2JtWNFe)
I read this quote the other day and shook my head. Guns in places of worship? Seems to be the popular answer to our mass murder crisis. Maybe some places need armed guards but guns do NOT belong in church. It is antithetical to the teachings of our Master Jesus. Jesus was arrested by the Temple guards, crucified by armed soldiers and never resisted.
A few months ago Beth and I visited a church, found our seats, and began to people gaze. I spotted a man carrying a gun in plain sight. To my dismay, when the service started, he led the worship. Singing about trusting Jesus, going to heaven, loving people, all while strapped with a sidearm. At the middle of the service, ushers came forward. Two of them had guns. Finally, the pastor got up to speak and was packing as well. I told Beth; “We will never be coming back to this church. Even if a gun-toting person with evil on their mind busted in here we would probably be shot by the church posse!“
A long time ago a menacing, sword and ax-wielding, warrior entered a town to terrorize the people. Everyone fled except the priest at the town church. The warrior made his way to the holy man’s location, kicked open the doors, and stomped to the altar where the priest was praying. He screamed at the humble servant of God, threatened him with his sword, grabbed the priest by the throat and snarled; “Don’t you know I am a man who can kill you without giving it a second thought?!?!” The priest looked into the eyes of the warrior and softly responded; “Don’t you know I am a man who can be stabbed by you today and not give it a second thought?“
The church is called to love, pray and live like Christ. We can’t do this with armed guards, guns, or by any other violent means. To live like Christ is to also die like Christ; humble, prepared and showing Christ with our last breath.
Taught this today at an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) event. #Truth.
Yesterday I wrote about cracking my phone screen on Saturday (Cracked – https://thewannabesaint.com/2018/10/28/cracked-3/). Today, however, I discovered I didn’t crack my screen at all it was the screen protector that cracked like a spider web on top of the screen. The screen protector did its job, was a worthy investment, and the next Verizon store I come across I’ll be buying another one!
It was a shock to see the screen protector was damaged and not the actual phone screen. It reminded me of attending a week-long seminar about the importance of raising children, being raised ourselves, and living presently in a safe, nurturing, environment. The woman who taught the class, named Michelle, said that all of us, especially babies and young children, need the protection, the shield, of a parent’s love, a welcoming and supportive home, other people in our lives who will affirm our worth.
These essentials are protective layers that wrap around us and teach us how to be resilient. When tough times come, and they always do, our layers will help us have the strength to meet challenges and difficulties head on without lasting damage being done to our core selves.
I dropped and cracked the screen on my new Galaxy 9+ yesterday. Listening to music and bumped into the chair the phone was sitting on. Only fell about three feet but it landed on a small, hard object and the force was great enough to puncture the screen protector and send a spiderweb of cracks over the screen. Sigh!
I had prided myself on never cracking my phone screen. An almost fifteen year smartphone owner and not one crack, puncture or scratch. I’ve known several people who have cracked theirs and always wondered how they could be so careless. Now I know it only takes a second and it’s not carelessness but life.
I think many times we see a blessed, fortunate, lucky life, perhaps our own, and believe it’s all due to hard work, clean living, good choices. We might even wonder how others who aren’t so blessed, fortunate, lucky, can be so careless.
Perhaps we should keep in mind there’s a fine line, a pressure point, that if crossed or force applied, would result in our life looking very different.
“The most precious gift we give is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”