Not My President?

Differing weights and differing measures—
    the Lord detests them both.
(Proverbs 20:10)

Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
    Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.

The Lord detests differing weights,
    and dishonest scales do not please him.
(Proverbs 20:22-23)

So, as far as I can tell, it’s now official.  Donald Trump is our next president.  I know there has been much ado over whether or not the electoral college would “vote their conscience”, and not for Trump.  I’m not sure, has that ever been encouraged to this degree in previous elections?  Maybe?  I’ve never paid attention.  In fact, I didn’t pay it much attention this time either – just that there have been so many postings, videos, etc.

People have attacked Trump, Trump voters, Trump supporters, Never-Trumpers, Anti-Trumpers, Never-Ever-Anti-Anti-Trumpers.  Pretty much EVERYONE has been vilified, threatened, harassed – some even harmed, due to the results of this election.  I had a dear friend seek out his Facebook “friends”, looking for Trump voters or supporters, and systematically unfriending each one. And then call out for others, who may be hiding.

And – even encourage them to take their own lives…

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
(Matthew 7:1-2)

For some, these verses I post may mean nothing.  I get that.  But they do mean everything to me.  And when I read the verses in Proverbs 20, I think about what Jesus said about judging others, as referenced in Matthew 7.  See, it’s very, very easy for us as humans to hold others to a standard we don’t want to hold ourselves to.  And before you jump to, “Oh, I don’t do that!”, please look at your heart with sober judgement.  Are you being honest?

Donald Trump is my next president.  Because I’m an American citizen.  He wasn’t my choice.  I don’t like him, or at least what I’ve seen of him.  I’m saddened by his behavior – past and present.  I’m completely flabbergasted that he thinks tweeting relentlessly about things that – just shouldn’t be said by a president, or – ANYONE really –  in public for the world to digest – is acceptable, presidential behavior.

Please don’t get me wrong – he has EVERY right to tweet away, to his hearts content.  As do we all.  But it’s just – childish…  I wish he would stop…

But he’s my next president.

And guess what?  If you are an American citizen, he’s yours too.

And further – I think he’s the president we ALL wanted.  Stop and think about that for a minute.  Even if we didn’t want Trump in office – we wanted this…  Oh, we wanted this… On his Twitter activity alone, he’s a perfect reflection of what we have become as a social media society.

Don’t agree?

Look at your social media feeds.  You all see it, if you haven’t blocked everyone you disagree with, or hidden all but pictures of cute grandkids and awesome recipes.  And even if you have blocked everyone you disagree with – read closely the language used by those you DO agree with.  Is IT “presidential”?  Yes, I know, you’re not the president-elect, nor are your friends.  But most of you who might read this ARE adults.  Is it becoming of you, or whomever may have posted it?  Does it foster conversation, discussion, even debate?  Or does it build walls and shut all communication down?  Does it foster love, or hate?  Would you say it to someone’s face, without a care as to how they might be hurt or offended?

The news does the same thing – no matter where you get your news.  Pick your poison.  We might get a nice feel-good piece on occasion.  But much of it is drama, because drama sells.  It stirs us up.  And we buy more and more, further feeding the beast inside us that so wants to hate…

Yes, there is a lot of bad going on in the world.  Yes, we should stand up for those who are oppressed.  Yes, we should absolutely be saddened, shocked, appalled, at what has happened in Aleppo, at Standing Rock, with the recent shooting of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, the bombings this year in France and Orlando and Istanbul, and elsewhere, the taking of innocent lives – whether by police officers, private citizens, mothers, fathers, sons or daughters.  We should be appalled.

But are we becoming people who have forgotten how to forgive?  Have we let fear and anxiety and hatred of our perceived enemy overcome us, to the point where we cannot love?  Someone I know made these cool shirts with the slogan, “Love trumps fear”.  And it does!  But are you letting it?

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18)

FEAR – is what is making so many lash out against the election, against Trump, against those who may support him.  FEAR – is what is making so many feel the need to DEFEND Trump and call those who have expressed their disdain for him less than honorable names.  FEAR – is what seemed to enable some to finally feel “empowered” to do some very deplorable things to Muslims, gays, blacks, hispanics, women, and anyone else I may have forgotten to mention, in the name of our next president.  FEAR – is what leads so many of us to respond almost in kind, attacking our next president for not saying anything about all this, or if he does he “doesn’t really mean it”.  FEAR – is what leads us to see all the ugly going on and assume that is what the next four years will be like.  And if we allow our fear to rule – that IS what the next four years will be like…

We don’t have to fear Trump.  Even IF he were as completely horrible as he’s been made out to be in news and social media (and as much as I dislike him, I do not think that’s even remotely the case), we don’t have to fear him.  Love truly does trump fear.  And whether you believe in an all-powerful mighty, just, loving God or not – you were created in His image.  Which means you have in you a desire to love and be loved.

Will you feed the desire to love and be loved in you?  Or will you feed the beast that fears and hates?

I have another dear friend, whom I recall some years ago, calling out the “anti-Bush” people, who would not acknowledge him as president, or give him any sort of respect that our president should receive – only to be the one treating President Obama with the very same disrespect…

Some might jump to the conclusion my friend was a racist.  But he wasn’t a racist.  He was just a hypocrite.  As am I sometimes.  As are we all…  But we don’t have to stay that way.  We do not…

President-elect Trump is not the president I wanted.  But come January, he will be my president.  And yours as well.

Differing weights and differing measures—
    the Lord detests them both.
(Proverbs 20:10)

Song Story #8 – Wedding Coat

sins-of-the-father-final

Wedding Coat

A little more than a year ago, I released a record called “The Wedding Coat“.  The record was written from the perspective of marriage, divorce, the pain around that.  It was a response to not only my past, but seemingly so many that I love, going through similar things.  I did a campaign around that record, ultimately raising $3000 for marriage counseling.  My hope was, and is, that God would use that for SOMEONE.   Some couple, or couples, where money might be the obstacle to getting help.  I still believe that the God who raised the dead to life can restore a dead marriage.

By the way – I’ve seen it with my own eyes, very recently.  God is so good…

So this song, I wrote with the theme of wrapping up the record.  The first verse was my past, how I treated my ex-wife.  Many can relate.  Some would still be proud of that.  Some, like me, not so much.

The second verse is actually my son-in-law.  See, at their wedding (an outdoor wedding in October, and we had SNOW.  It was COLD).  He stopped their wedding, mid-swing, to take his coat off and put it on his bride.  I still tear up, when I think of it…

The last verse is Christ, and we are His bride.

So – a couple things.

  1.  This song.  The original version is acoustic.  I wrote it that way.  I recorded it live, with a mic on me and another on my guitar.

    Note:  The original recording is actually two takes spliced together. If you listen closely, you can hear where I spliced together.  🙂

    Anyway, I played this song at a show last spring.  A friend came up to me, commenting on how he loved the song.  He told me, “Man, I hear a full band doing this song…”.  Huh…  I’d never thought of that…  So I did.  🙂

  2. These two records.  When I put together the “Wedding Coat” record, I would have loved to have done a full length.  I just didn’t have enough material.  In FACT – when I was writing, I wasn’t even planning on doing the record, or the campaign.  I was working on another record at the time.  And most of the songs on the “Wedding Coat” record were slated for that one.  I pulled them out, making two records.

    I did record some covers, that would have fit into the “Wedding Coat” concept.  But they weren’t my songs, so I opted to just give them away to those who supported the campaign instead.

    Then, I started writing new songs.  And the material for “Sins of the Father” materialized.  I thought, “THESE songs could have been side two of ‘the Wedding Coat'”!  Alas, it was a year later.

    So I think of this new record of mine as “the Wedding Coat, Part Deux”.  Where “The Wedding Coat” was about marriage, “Sins of the Father” is about family.  To me, they go hand in hand.

So to me, it seemed appropriate to do a full-on electric version of this song.  I really love how it turned out.  And so did my friend.  🙂

So there you have it!  That’s my new record.  Hope you enjoy!

Love you!

T.

Wedding Coat
I’m gonna buy myself a wedding coat
My life is over now, that’s all she wrote
I am no longer free, she killed my joy
Sucked the life from me, gave her a girl and boy

Toil and heartache is all you gain
A lifetime’s wages, such a waste…
Why am I so selfish, so self-absorbed?
There must be something better…
Better, Lord…

I’m gonna give my woman my wedding coat
To keep her safe and warm, this world is cold
But she belongs to me, I’d die for her
And a family we soon will birth

Joy and goodness, you give to us
What can I do, Lord, to measure up?
Why am I so blessed, so favored Lord?
There must be someone else…
Someone else…

I’m gonna waive my banner over you
You are my bride, I made you new
By my blood you gain my holiness
And my wedding coat shall be your dress…
And my wedding coat shall be your dress…

And my righteousness shall be your dress…

Wedding Coat