Speaking What Is Right!

Speaking What Is Right!

Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance she cries aloud: To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who found knowledge. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies and nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 8:1-11 NIV

Before we get too far into the meat of this text–this is not going to be an exegesis of this segment of Proverbs, but it is fitting to note, just how apropos it is for the following promotion of my potential candidacy in 2020.

For the last few months, if not longer, most who read my blog know, I’m exploring a run for President in 2020. I’ve talked to a number of people–some who think it’s a great idea and some who don’t; I’ve run online surveys to get a sense of the issues that concern most people; I’ve participated in marches and will continue to do so; I’ve researched state requirements to get on the ballot in all 50 states; I’m participating in training sessions to get it right, and getting more involved in my community so I’ll know I’m speaking on behalf of the people and not myself.

For the next year or so, until June 2019, I’ll be working on putting together a coalition of Everyday Americans who want to see significant changes in Washington and are willing to work for it to happen. We’ll have to cover a lot of territory and as of this writing, I have yet to attempt to raise funds for a campaign. I am cautiously optimistic that when the time comes; we will have presented and promoted such a dynamic case of why I should be in the White House, money will come so we can turn things around and reclaim our position as leaders to the world. I’m convinced we can do this and the world will think better of us.

However, I want the masses to make that decision, not me. I believe in me and I want others to believe in me, too. So watch for all the updates on http://www.facebook.com/YesIAm2020 and my tweets @educatormary on Twitter. I encourage comments because I want to know what’s on your mind. I will respond to legitimate, serious comments, questions as quickly as I can. I will not respond or react to hateful, bigoted, misogynistic rhetoric because that would be a waste of my time, talent, and wisdom.

For what it’s worth, I will not lower my standards or values to interact with people who simply want to disdain, malign or belittle others–for any reason–and especially not because some–are simply bigoted racists. Am I perfect? Not hardly. A friend of mine coined a phrase that I’ll use often (I told her I would); I am flawed with fortitude in my commitment and passion to make a real difference in this country that will benefit all.

Are you ready? If so, don’t hesitate to join us in being the change we need to make this a better world, while we can.

 

Here’s my “practice” video. Others will be coming soon, so watch for them!

Words Just Don’t Express!

Words Just Don’t Express!

I’ve spent most of the day, tweeting and calling and encouraging others to call or write the FCC to protect our rights to a free and accessible Internet. The tweets and emails to politicians who were elected to represent the views and perspectives of their constituents but have apparently forgotten all about that. What we see today in the media regarding the illicit leader is beyond words for me. He attacks and demeans everyone proudly proclaiming his lack of intellect, civility and dignity and has certainly put a toxic stain upon the integrity of the office of president.

I’ve tried praying and writing and writing and praying and tweeting and begging his daughter to care enough about him to get him the help he needs–all to no avail.

I’m not the only person who sees trump falling apart or has some would say, having a meltdown that is evident in everything he does. To say that he didn’t know what the job entailed would be an understatement, but it didn’t stop him from undermining and demeaning President Obama. To say that he doesn’t understand how government works–another understatement–he has no clue and none of his enablers will tell him the truth. To say he doesn’t understand history–the biggest understatement I could make in my lifetime. What trump doesn’t know–about anything remotely related to governing–is enough to fill a few oceans. But I’m trying to be careful of my depiction of him.

You see, unlike him, I know karma can leave a sting in the butt that nothing can remove or ease the pain. I’m planning to be in the White House in 2021 after a successful win, not garnered by cheating with Russians or anyone else for that matter and certainly not by suppressing the rights of others to vote, or not counting their votes. You see, this is how trump won and those who enable him, are his apologists and supporters–know exactly how he won.

I care about how history will treat me as I serve the American people. Notice I said, “serve” not dictate to them, but honor them in all that I do and my commitment to make life better for all Everyday Americans. I also know that “compromise” is not a foul word and that it takes compromise–from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill to get things moving and growing. I know I don’t have time or energy to feed my ego to make governing America all about me–it’s all about, “We The People” whether people vote for me or not. I cannot just consider policies that benefit only those who voted for me. In fact, once the election is over, I must start composing an agenda and garnering all the experts who will help me make it happen.

I’m not rich–far from it.  I’m a retired educator with a limited income and will have to raise money for my campaign using rather unusual methods and encourage all who want to see real change in Washington to help support my bid. I’ve already calculated that since (before deportations and others changing their citizenship after 2016 election) our population is about 327 million, I’m guessing that roughly 80% of those are registered voters and will vote–best guestimate. That means there are approximately 261 million registered voters and if 40% of those voters (104 million) would donate $3 towards my campaign, I’d have enough to do everything I need to win and turn the tide in bringing America back to its former position of being a leader on the global stage.

Oh, sure. I know there are skeptics about my ability–heck some days, I allow the enemy to convince me I’m wasting my time, but then something happens to re-ignite my hope and faith, and I gear myself up to keep on going. That’s what this post is about–pushing me to keep on going. Listen, many could create a list of things that I don’t know about governing, but I’ll start my list as to what I do know: I know I love this country and every citizen in it–and I know how to love unconditionally because I am loved–unconditionally. I care about the well being of everyone–especially the poor and the vulnerable. I know with the right people around me–guiding and advising me, America can only get better–adding to its greatness. I know I can take with me to the White House, dignity, integrity and honor–along with a sense of humor and a bit of silliness to shake off the negative Nellies. I also don’t golf–if that means anything to anyone–I’m pretty much a homebody–traveling only when I need to do so. I love to read, write, bowl, and watch a good movie. I also love to encourage others to extend themselves–beyond their reach–in order to reach their goals.

I know I don’t have to be rich to know what’s best for others. I’ve been through the struggles and challenges that many face–being a single mother, having had a childhood full of lack, no one pushing or encouraging my direction in my life, but there was within me–a spark–that ignited risk and kept me going–daring to venture into fields and arenas where I had no knowledge. And as one person told me through the years, “No matter what happened to you, you always landed on your feet.”

I’m adventurous–a pragmatic optimist–and I seldom give up or give in when I’m trying to accomplish anything. I refuse to let circumstances inhibit me. Sometimes I’ve failed to accomplish all that I wanted to accomplish, but with the failures always came the lessons and it is the lessons learned in life–with all of my miss-steps and flaws that have molded me into being the person I am today. That’s right–I’m confident I am the Everyday American leader we need to have the voices of all Everyday Americans heard.

Nothing I say–at this juncture may convince and I certainly hope nothing said will deter you from reviewing my stance on the issues that I believe matter to most. facebook.com/YesIAm2020.  Leave a comment if I haven’t addressed a specific concern of yours and I’ll respond to you as quickly as I can.

If we’re going to make a difference in what happens to the poor and vulnerable–all those who don’t and won’t make $75K a year, we have to work together to accomplish our goal. I’m with you and I hope you’ll be with me as we navigate this journey to the White House together. Look at that–maybe I found the words I needed to express myself today after all!

How We Treat Others Matters!

How We Treat Others Matters!

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:8-14 NIV

What are those desires of the flesh that keep us from loving? Jealousy and hatred–once the seed is planted and nurtured by failure to accept responsibility for self–leads to actions ignited by our fleshly desires to avenge perceived (even if the perception is wrong) injustices.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is–there is liberty and love. Where there is no love, there is no perceptible presence of Christ. For when the heart of a person is filled with love, there is no room for hatred and bigotry and racism doesn’t stand a chance. When we acknowledge that none of us are perfect and are all in need of a perfect Savior, we open the door and prepare the soil of our hearts to receive His love and allow it to be nurtured by continuing our lives, loving others. This is how we ought to treat one another. For if we know we love one another, we will not plot to do harm to one another. We will not set traps in hopes that others will fall into them for we realize the traps we set–we’re liable to fall into ourselves–realizing the Hamanesque effect.

How can we claim to be Christians–followers of Christ–if we don’t know Him for ourselves? To know Christ is to know His Word and to know how He lived among men and to do likewise. Jesus was not silent when He saw injustice, but rose up mightily to condemn it and so should we. He was the ultimate rebel in tearing down religion and religious leaders who only wanted to control others, not live for God. All that He did, He did with love at the forefront of His life so we might understand that we can do all things and should do all things in love for Love–for He is Love.

Again, I say, where there is love, there is no room for hate and where we find hate, we must drive it out with love, not more hatred. Those who think they are superior to others do not know Christ for we are told in His Word that we ought not to think more highly of ourselves than warranted. God is not mocked nor fooled by superficial acknowledgment of who He is. He looks upon the hearts of all and sees the discernible difference between the light of love and the darkness of hate. He knows! We cannot fool Him with mocking rhetoric that sounds like being a Christian.

Unfortunately, for those who think they are mocking God, He will have the last word when we stand before Him and He tells some, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Those are not the words I want to hear from God when I stand before Him, so I’ll keep promoting truth, integrity, honor and love and where there is opportunity to rise up against hate and bigotry, I will rise to the occasion and never back down.

I’m Mary Hall-Rayford and I approve this message of love and hope you will, too!

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Raising The Standards

New School Year!

New School Year!

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young–let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance–for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7 NIV

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 4:5-8 NIV

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. 4:10-16 NIV

Though there are those in the WH administration who do not think an education is important, those of us who know The Lord, know wisdom and knowledge go hand-in-hand and we should never take access to a quality education for granted.

So, on this first day of a new school year–I’m praying for the students who are entering schools all over the place. I know that some schools (not in Michigan) started weeks ago, but this is the first day for many of our public schools and having access to education through public schools is important.

Of course, Betsy DeVos will never understand that and neither will trump supporters since they think getting an education makes a person “an elitist,” and therefore they are happy to stay ignorant and trump is also happy for them to say ignorant; he can continue to dupe them into believing anything he says. I guess they don’t realize he has a Bachelor’s degree, but then again, the way he talks and writes, no one would believe that anyway.

I’m straying from what I need to say: to the students who are crossing that threshold of your school building–have a wonderful first day and a great exploration throughout the school year. Stay respectful and inclined to learning.

This is a particular emotional day for me since my grandson is beginning his last year of high school–at 15 years-old and will soon be driving (in a few days) on his own. Time flies and next year, he’ll begin his first day of college.

I pray that every student, in every school, will clear their minds of old lazy habits and prepare to receive wisdom and instruction from every teacher in every classroom; by the end of the school year, all will be more knowledgeable about every subject taken than when they were on the first day.

For those 17 years-old and older–pay attention in your history and government classes so you will vote wisely and consider country over political party agendas.

Have a safe and wonderful day!

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Praying For Safety!

Praying For Safety!

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race, Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue–those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us–who is lord over us?” “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan I will now rise,” says the Lord. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race. Psalm 12 NIV

For all who are participating in the March For Truth and other events around the world–demanding truth, equality and justice for all, I’m praying for your safety. God is with us and He smiles upon all who are fighting to defend the rights of the poor and vulnerable. Unfortunately for those of us in America, with trump in the White House–we are all vulnerable–since he has proven he has no ability for critical thinking or compassion on those who are less fortunate (financially–for he is morally depleted) than he is.

Father in the name of Jesus,

We know You are the same God–yesterday, today and forever. Whatever You did in the past to protect those who valiantly fought for justice and equality in the past, You will continue to do today and in the future. Encourage hearts in the face of evil and remind those marching You are going before them and no weapon lodged against them shall prosper. Strengthen their bodies and renew energy and determination to keep moving forward in Your strength, never wavering or being enticed by evil. Peace be upon everyone who knows The Lord and how to conduct themselves decently and in order. Thank You for hearing and answering prayer, to Your glory. Amen!

Remember the battle is not ours–it is the Lord’s and He shall conquer and we will be victorious in all we do that honors Him.

Be blessed and stay safe. Never allow the provocation of evil to determine your path; laugh in its face and keep it moving.

Looking forward to hearing the excerpts of victory resulting from this day and all those to come until we rid ourselves of the menace in the White House.

While you’re marching, think about the kind of “real change” we need to see in Washington and remember 2020 election is coming.

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Know Peace!

Know Peace!

“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 32, 33 NIV

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 NIV

“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Job 22:21 NIV

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 NIV

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11 NIV

Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. Psalm 37:37 NIV

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30 NIV

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3 NIV

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NIV

The word “peace” appears in the bible 249 times–most of which relating to a position of not worrying about anything. It is God’s desire that we have and live in peace. And He admonishes us to do all we can to live in peace with one another.

It is my desire to see the people in the United States–first–to be at peace with one another and then as the world looks upon what we do; they will work to establish and maintain peace within and without the borders of their country, but knowing peace must first begin with each of us.

We must find ways to come to terms with our positions and roles in life and how we do impacts the lives of others. If there is no peace within us–we are always anxious and panicking–we cannot create peace around us.

I’m on a quest for peace and I’m starting with understanding God’s peace in my soul. There are so many things happening out there that create anxiety and animosity that I’m working on me–to get over it–and it’s working. I haven’t reached the place where nothing bothers me, but I’m getting there. I’m getting there by not just complaining about what’s going on around me, but getting involved to change the status quo and making my voice heard.

Since making a decision to explore the possibility of a presidential run, I have felt less anxious; I’m not prone to panic attacks thinking there’s nothing I can do, and I am experiencing a peace within that I’ve seldom felt before. I know I’m on the right track and there is no looking back. Whatever happens in the next two years as we pull this together, happens. God knows and my ear is inclined to hear Him.

“This is the day The Lord has made and I shall rejoice and be glad in it!”

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With Great Compassion!

With Great Compassion!

This is what the LORD says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. See, they will come from afar— some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan. Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:8-15 NIV

No matter what happens to us–we can hold onto this unchanging truth–God will never forget us!

Politicians may forget what they say and ignore those who forged the path of their success, but God won’t.

Parents may forget about what their children should mean to them, but God won’t.

Older Americans suffering from dementia and Alzheimers may forget much of their life, but God won’t forget one moment of their lives.

God’s remembrance of us and for us is a result of His compassion for the nations. He knows all about our troubles, and He knows when we veered to the left or the right instead of staying on the path He established for us, but His compassion keeps our place with Him until we find our way back to where He would have us. Hallelujah!

Without compassion–we who believe would be lost and so would the rest of the world. It is our responsibility to be the living example of who Jesus Christ is and unless we conduct ourselves as ambassadors for Christ–the nations will be lost. We must be compassionate people–able to love and care for others–especially those who don’t look like us, believe like us, or think like us.

If we can only be compassionate to those who are like-minded, what have we accomplished? Our compassion has to extend beyond our immediacy or the immediacy of those we know. They should know–who we are in Christ–and if they don’t, we haven’t done a good job of living the message. We must move out of our comfort zones and extend compassion without bias to all who need need it–whether we think they deserve it or not.

Think about this for a moment–and be honest with yourself–do we really deserve God’s compassion? Is there anything we could have done to earn His compassion when He made the decision to leave His throne, live among us, and for us that we might have eternal life? No–there is nothing we could have done to earn His favor and compassion. He did what He did because of love–He is Love–and He will continue to shower us with compassion because He can do nothing more than He is–Love!

Without having a compassionate nature–one that sees and feels the needs of others pulling at heart strings–one cannot lead a nation into anything other than chaos and bondage. When a leader has no compassion for others, their deeds are only intended to benefit them. Remember that!

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Steadfast!

Steadfast!

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.  The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.  Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:11-27 NIV

Wow! Keep your head up–looking forward–not backwards–keeping your eyes fixed on what’s ahead, not what’s behind! Know what’s in your heart and guard what God has put there for only what is in your heart will come forth and be seen by others. Carefully think about the path of life you take and then be steadfast–unwavering in all your ways.

Steadfast (according to Merriam Webster) is to be immovable, not subject to changing, firm in belief and determination or adherence.

The steadfast love of The Lord–never ceases, never comes to an end. His mercies are new every morning! Hallelujah!

There is much to said about the physical posture and spiritual posture in this selection from Proverbs. If we keep our eyes focused on what is ahead of us–chances our we are holding our heads up, not down and we can keep the muscles in our neck and back toned, avoiding some of the effects of gravity with atrophied muscles which lead to hanging flesh and aggravation of nerves and muscles.

From a spiritual perspective–if we keep our heads up, we demonstrate a posture that proclaims our confidence in God. We always look to how we can lift others so they too will be able to hold their heads high–not in arrogant pride, but in a confidence that says, we trust God. When we look forward–we are ready to receive all the goodness He has for us, putting aside our pasts and those things that kept us from receiving God’s best. When our gazes are straight ahead; it’s difficult to look down upon others.

When we trust God and know that His plans are what is best for us, we can confidently put one foot in front of the other without worrying about stumble, because if we stay on the path He has determined for us, He will clear the way and nothing will hamper our journey.

I can’t speak for anyone else today, but I am confidently moving forward in all I hear God speak to me, trusting the path He has established and I will not allow what others say or do to deter me.

This is the day The Lord has made and I shall rejoice and be glad in it–holding my head high and looking ahead to all He has for me!

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In Humility!

In Humility!

The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead. The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight. The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:24-33 NIV

It is with great humility that I acknowledge the quest I’ve taken upon myself is going to be the biggest challenge experienced in my life.

Though there are some who may be hesitant to grasp the reality of a potential presidential run by me, others have embraced the idea to the point of being willing to board the bandwagon that as yet, has no wheels. I am thoroughly humbled by their trust and support and candidness.

I remember saying to my walking buddy, that in this place and time (as always with me), I need people to help with my campaign, but I don’t want anyone around who is simply going to agree with everything I say. I need people in my life right now who will question everything I do–to ignite critical thinking about everything I say or do. I’m not afraid of correction and when I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it.

There is much I do not know about undertaking the challenges of a presidential run, but I’m an avid researcher and know how to say, “Uncle” and call upon others who have the knowledge and expertise that I don’t. I’m willing to learn and work hard to earn the trust and respect of those who believe in me and to maintain their trust and respect.

One person expressed their concern about me risking trading my faith because of all the unethical behavior associated with politics or compromising my stance with regard to biblical principles that I teach and write about–prolifically. I appreciate her concern and addressed it and she was assured that I would do nothing without putting the issue before The Lord and would obey Him.

Now, I realize that my belief in the Bible and relationship with Jesus Christ may cause some to halt–mid-stream in a desire to support my run and I can certainly understand it. But let me say this much to clear the air before we even start to put those wheels on the bandwagon. I have not changed my views about what God has said and won’t change my views about what God has said. I recognize that people–every human being capable of making a logical decision–have a right to do so without my intervention. Though I may not agree with their lifestyle or decisions, none of that will stop me from loving them as a human being and praying for them to receive God’s best for their lives.

God is pro-choice (giving us all free-will and not forcing us to do anything) and therefore, I am pro-choice. This does not mean I am pro-abortion, nor does it mean that I or anyone else has a right to tell anyone else what to do with their lives. I believe that every woman has a right to make the best decision she can about her life and I know there are situations in which an abortion is the right choice and the only person who has to live with the choice, is the person making the decision–not me or others.

I cannot see myself–as a Born-Again Believer–attempting to force my views upon others when I don’t have to live their life. I am concerned about all life–especially the lives of babies, mothers, children, senior citizens,  and students and know that it is the responsibility of the Believer to take defend the rights of the poor, vulnerable and needy. So while I admit, I do not understand the choices some people make (and I’m sure that’s equally true in how others feel about me), I can respect their right to make decisions about their lives. As long as a person’s rights don’t infringe upon mine or mine infringe upon them–we’re good. The wisest people know that whether we agree about anything or not, there are consequences for everything we do that will impact our lives either negatively or positively.

I’ve also been reminded how the enemy will work overtime in trying to dig up dirt in an effort to create animosity against me. I know what people cannot find to undermine me they will manufacture in an attempt to discredit me. I can’t stop them. People can say whatever they want to say and nothing they say defines truth about me or others. Therefore, they can have at it. I do not have to respond to foolishness or stupidity or trumped up allegations about anything and I won’t. As I pointed out to a couple of people–my life is “literally” an open book. Anything, anyone wants to know me–good, bad, indifferent–can be found in one of my books or in a blog post and they’re all available online. I have nothing to hide.

Knowing the challenges I’ll be facing over the coming months will certainly keep me communicating with my Daddy and because He loves me, He’ll guide me every step of the way. If by chance I happen to misunderstand something He’s telling me, Holy Spirit will be right there to remind me and set me back on track.

Father,

Thank You for wisdom and insight and humility to understand I need You–every hour of every day–I need You. Thank you for loving me, correcting, and my guiding me in all that needs to be done and for sending people in my direction that can and will keep the wheels on the bandwagon turning in the direction in which You would have us to go. Remind me that nothing I do or encourage others to do should be done in an effort to bring glory to anyone other than You.

In Jesus’ name I pray and thank You, Amen!

 

name recognition

Dare To See Yourself!

Dare To See Yourself!

Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. Proverbs 14:10 NIV

Here’s a challenge for everyone today. Get a mirror or go to the mirror in your bathroom or in your car. Take a good look at yourself and be willing to see the depths of your soul through the windows of your eyes. What do you see?

Do you see joy or sadness?

Do you see love or hate?

Do you see angst and bitterness?

Do you see helplessness or hope?

What do you really see?

Think about that for a moment. Now think about “why” you see what you see.

Far too often, people are bitter and hateful because they do not recognize the seed that has been planted by circumstances beyond their control. That includes how parents raised them or not raised them (love and hate are taught)–the struggles they fought through on a daily basis–or the envy and jealousy they felt when they looked at others and wondered, “Why them and not me?”

I have a better question for everyone to wonder about–why not you?

Look, every morning (because of my age) I take a good look at myself in a magnifying mirror so I can “see” the hair growth and pluck it out before I leave the house. Some women don’t care, but I do. Nothing creeps me out like discovering I left the house with a long, curly black hair sticking out my face (chin) wherever it might be. But now here’s the tricky part–cataracts are forming in both eyes and even when I look before I leave, I don’t always see the ornery little hair trying to escape detection. When I “feel across my chin” even the tiniest hair is discovered and back into the bathroom I go with my trusty little tweezers until the culprit is gone.

Even though I get a little put out when I miss those hairs, it’s nothing that compares to how I feel when I know I have slighted someone–unintentionally–and when I look at myself–I recognize when I’ve headed in the wrong direction and immediately, I repent.

Though life’s circumstances (in the last 65 years) have provided plenty of fodder and fuel and fertilizer to nurture bitterness and disappointment--I refuse to let it grow. God has been too good to me to allow a seed of bitterness to linger in my soul and bud, attempting to flower and spread like an ivy throughout my being. So, I allow His love to flood my soul and heart–washing away the bitterness and disappointment–never allowing hate to bud or flower and every time–every time–I get angry and want to hate–He reminds me He is love and if I truly belong to Him; I cannot hate. What a wonderful feeling–to have so much love within that hate has no room to enter.

Now, have you had time to really look at yourself and think about what you see? If you haven’t, keep looking and dare to see beyond the surface, all the way down to the depths of your feet.  Is there anything there that needs to be plucked out? Do you have a trusty pair of tweezers?

Own what you see and be willing to rid yourself of anything that will nurture bitterness and hate and allow the Love of God to fill you to overflowing and the world will see–the joy that resides within.

This joy I have–the world didn’t give it and I won’t let the world take it away!

exploration