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)

Advertisements

God Is Good…  All the Time…

A cornball Christian saying. Or is it?

I’m reminded of this cornball Christian saying, and my heart is warmed, as I am able to comfort dear friend going through horrendous divorce.  It’s nothing I can do, but God works through our time together. He is comforted, if even for a moment. God uses us this way when we are willing. God is good…  All the time…

I’m reminded of this cornball Christian saying, and my heart is warmed, as I hear and see people lay down their agendas, if even for a moment, as their hearts break compassionately for those who lost love ones. Those who suffered terror at the hands of cowards. If it was even just a small fraction of time, people showed they are created in the image of God in the way they cared for others. May seem small to you, but it’s A big deal to someone who is hurting. God is good…  All the time…

I need to remember this as life goes on. As walls Are built between us.  As our flesh gives way to fear, judgment, condemnation. 

There.  Is. No. Fear. In. Love.
Even when our hearts break. Even when things don’t go the way they should. Even when we can’t understand. God is good… All the time…

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

‭‭(Psalm‬ ‭27:13-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

What Do You Meme? (Or “Why I Quit Facebook”) (Or “Don’t Buy What They’re Selling”)

Meme

I find it odd, funny, sad, maybe sometimes irritating, how many memes we can find, post, like, steal, to try and prove a point and shut down the opposition with 20 words or less.  Aha!  I got you now, disagree-er of mine!  For now, anyway, until the next clever saying becomes popular.

We all know what the latest social media “thing” has been.  I won’t name it, cause you know. Also, if you are reading this post some time later (maybe even a week later), that “thing” will have changed – and you’ll still know what it is, because we all know.

I was off Facebook for a while, and it was kinda nice to be one of the persons “under a rock”.  Life was good…

But I re-opened my Facebook, to promote my “Wedding Coat” campaign.  I gotta say – while it’s helped, I find myself scrolling through the sludge, letting my head and my heart get caught up in garbage!  Gotta spend that time better, I think.

I do however want to address a cleverly worded, but sad, meme or saying that I saw recently.  I hope to lovingly counter this way of thinking, as, well – it’s wrong.  Here we go.

“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy.  A tragedy is staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching children the wrong things about love.” (and this one ended with “Nobody ever died of divorce”)

This is a common way of thinking today.  That’s so sad…  Now, if this meme said “A tragedy is staying in an abusive or adulterous marriage…”, that would make more sense.  But unhappy?  We should just check out if we’re unhappy?  THAT is teaching our children the wrong things about love.

Love is not a feeling, though we do feel love.  And we as a society have given to that.  “All you need is love”.  But if love is just what you feel – I’m really saying, “All you need is to please yourself”, or better yet, “All you need is to please ME”.  Because that “love” is really what makes you happy.  LOVE – the action – isn’t fun, very often.  It’s work.  It’s sacrifice.  It’s certainly joyful, happy, at times.  But in a relationship you get out what you put in.  And we’re not perfect.  So sometimes we’re going to put in garbage.  The bible says, “Love covers a multitude of sins”.  This means we are to forgive others, when they wrong us.  It does NOT mean we are a doormat (remember, I’m not talking about allowing abuse).  But we do need to forgive, and continue to cultivate the soil of our marriage.  Or, we can only expect weeds.

My wife is a gardener.  We have beautiful gardens, cause she puts the work into them.  If she did not, they would be weed-infested, crap-beds.  The same holds true for marriage.  If you don’t put the work into it, you will have a weed-infested crap-bed for a marriage.

So, my loving counter to the above statement is this:

“Divorce IS a tragedy.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Show your children the true meaning of love, by loving your spouse (Nobody ever wins in divorce)”

I get that this may not work for someone who’s already gotten divorced.  My response to that is, please, PLEASE, no matter what your situation was, acknowledge that it’s tragic that it ended in divorce.  Heck, you GOT married at some point, because you probably “felt” love for them.  And when it ended, even if you “felt” freedom in the act of divorce – we all know it’s not what you had originally planned.  Perpetuating that divorce is a GOOD thing, feeds that way of thinking to our young world – our children.  And we are teaching them truly the wrong things about love…

So if you have been divorced, own it.  You don’t have to be shamed, or wear a scarlet letter D.  But own that things did not go as planned, and it’s tragic.  It’s ok, you’re not perfect.  Neither am I.  Nobody but Jesus is.  Just don’t try and justify what happened, and sell it as righteous.  I love you, and you are hurting yourself and others by buying into and selling that lie…

To those who are young, getting married (Or newly married) – don’t buy this faulty product the world is selling.  SEEK your spouse.  Love them, in action. Respect them, even when in the moment you don’t.  TALK TO OTHERS ABUT YOUR MARRIAGE – and not the ones who will side with only YOU, when things hit the fan.  Have people in your life who love you both, deeply, who can speak to you truthfully.  Be hunble enough to submit your marriage to others, for the sake of your marriage.  After God, your spouse is THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON in your life.  Don’t ever forget that…

To those that are older, in “the ball and chain” life…  It’s not too late to turn it around.  Guys, remember the wife of your youth.  You loved her, and you love her still. She’s not your roommate, not your enemy.  GO AFTER HER.  If  you don’t, someone else will.  She needs your love, don’t rob her of that.  Remember, she’s not your enemy…

And ladies – your husband needs to know you trust him.  That you respect him.  Show it to him, even when he doesn’t deserve it.  Remember, he’s not your enemy…

I am going to put together a list of options, for people.  For those married, marriage retreat options, marriage counseling options, other resources that can prove helpful.  I can already give you a link to a great counseling organization, Northland Counseling Services.  They are just one option, among many.  They would be a great option, whether your marriage is healthy or struggling.

To those who have suffered through divorce, or are going through it – I will do the same.  Here is one great option right now.

Look for most posts like this.  And remember – love, the love the world has shown you and is trying to, is NOT all you need…

I love you.

T.