A Little Perspective

A Little Perspective

With all of the Executive Orders limiting and quarantining people–all over the world–and especially in the United States, people are grumbling.

CEOs are grumbling about losing money in businesses–the sports arena, airlines, children and parents are grumbling, every market that contributes to the economy is grumbling because of the attempt by many leaders to save lives–from a destructive virus that does not discriminate and then we have an occupant in the WH who chose not to recognize and deal with the situation earlier than he did. But this isn’t about him, it’s about us–the everyday, working Americans who have apparently taken the privileges (to get into cars and drive where we want to go, when we want to go, and do what we want, when we want to do it), we have as a right.

There are hungry children all over the world. There are adults struggling with lack of job skills, addictions and apathy. There are homeless people living in parks, dumpster diving to eat, sleeping in public toilets so they have someplace to wash their face. There are people who have job skills and can’t find jobs. There are companies who won’t hire specific groups of people and have wage caps that won’t allow a person to save for a rainy day.

Well that rainy day has come and it’s been raining for four weeks now with no sign of a let up, yet. Why? Because of that pesky virus that’s killing people and since we weren’t prepared to contain it or stop it, here we are–on lockdown–except for going out for essential needs–food and medicine. And here is where things get really crazy. The grumbling by folks who yet have lives to live–angry because they can’t travel to their homes up north, or have their landscapers cut their lawns (they can do it themselves, but that’s too much to expect of the privileged, right?) or they can’t go to the salon or the barber or get their nails done or do some spring painting or plant gardens. Really? Did anyone see the statement about lives lost?

Over 200,000 thousand people have contracted the virus in America and 20 thousand have lost their lives. In order to minimize any further loss of life, governors–primarily–have issued executive orders asking people to stay at home, away from large gatherings so they limit contact with others who might be carrying the virus. And what do silly people do? Complain and grumble.

I wonder what they would do if someone had started a war and over half of the nation’s buildings were destroyed, banks, hospitals, stores, farmland–everything. The homes in the Hamptons, and Martha’s Vineyard and further north in Michigan–all desolated and the beaches demolished with contaminated water. What good would privilege do anyone then? There is no food to be found, no water to drink and the air is polluted with contaminates from exploding bombs. What would we do then? There is no shelter other than a partially standing wall here and there, and masses are huddled wondering which way to turn or fearful if they’ll be attacked for the shreds they now call clothes. The rats are thriving, but there is little animal life left and people are hungry. What will they do?

We are not in that situation but there are people in other countries who are and they’re too busy trying to survive to complain. So why can’t we do the same? We need to take another look at ourselves and see this situation from a different perspective. We may be doing without our favorite restaurant or getting gussied up or entertaining friends and families, but what we have, that the dead don’t have is–another chance to live our lives, if we practice social distancing and abide by the executive orders of those who are simply trying to keep us safe. If we don’t have life, having a job won’t matter, flowers and vegetable gardens won’t matter, homes in other places won’t matter, none of it will matter if we are dead.

So, do everyone that’s left a favor–practice social distancing and give us all a chance to live until the next pandemic (for it will come), but let’s learn from this one how to survive and thrive, while we can. Think about it, with a little more perspective other than not being able to live our “privileged lives” having everything we want.

The Grace of God Ignites Faith!

The Grace of God Ignites Faith!

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Titus 2:11-15 NIV

Remember hearing anyone say, “if not for the grace of God, there go I?”

Usually, this statement is made by people who look upon the tragedies endured by others–homelessness, addiction, loneliness, dissonance, isolationism, all those things that set them apart from the “normalized” view of the world. And it’s true, if not for the grace of God, where would I be?

I could have been lost in sin, but Jesus stepped in

Reminded me of His love and why He came from above,

To shoulder all I could not handle on my own,

And not only to me, has His love been shown.

Whenever I see, helplessness and despair in the eyes of others,

I’m reminded to help all my sisters and brothers,

In Christ for if it had not been for His grace,

I could be standing in their place.

I could be as despicable as those who hate,

But in this life, loving others was always my fate.

So, how could I give up or give in to defeat,

When His Grace has my made my triumph complete?

A word of encouragement for all who read and see just how much we have to be thankful for in spite of the greed and corruption we see emanating from the White House and those court jesters in charge. We have an opportunity to change the landscape and our fate by voting out those who are abdicating their constitutional responsibility and electing those who care about all people and will uphold the constitution–no matter what. Congressional representations should not be shackled with party partisanship, but bonded to serve all Americans–no matter who voted for them. That’s what it means to be a true Patriot.

America Votes

With this in mind, I still implore those who will to support my impending run for president in 2020. The foundation is being laid and more information will be updated on a regular basis as need warrants, but for now, I am encouraged and inspired by the Grace of God to move forward in the face of immeasurable odds.

Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose. – Tom Krause

I will not allow any negative thoughts or dastardly deeds by others to deter me. I will continue to fight the good fight of faith and prepare to enter the White House in 2021 as the next president of the people. Hope you’ll join me in this venture so we can all celebrate the victory and triumph of being Everyday Americans!

 

The Pro-Life Liars!

The Pro-Life Liars!

These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it. Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD. Proverbs 1:18-29 NIV

Look at what the “religious right” have managed to do–kill off 24 million Americans and they claim to be “pro-life!”

To be fair–not all of the GOP House betrayed their constituents in order to “give the #WHidiot a sense of a win,” and they will reap what they have sown.

But let’s look at some of the facts:

  • They claim to be pro-life (in the womb) but once a person puts in an appearance, they set them up for premeditated murder.
  • In voting to pass a bill that could ultimately keep the most vulnerable from receiving adequate medical, but cutting taxes that benefit only the rich, the GOP House showed its true colors.
  • They are the American-bred Terrorists
  • Most of them never read the entire bill
  • There was session in committee before presenting for vote.
  • They ignored most of their constituents who told them (at least that dared to face their constituents) they needed their healthcare
  • Hate–against the Black President–drives again–the need for the White-lash against their own people.
  • The biggest losers could be (if the Senate is not more responsible) those living in red states (not the ones who flipped).

The consequences are going to be phenomenal when Republicans across the country are going to lose any re-election efforts they push.  The outrage is real, people’s lives are real, and they will not forget who jeopardized their health.

So when people say they are “pro-life” ask them if all lives matter; especially those who are impacted by the idiocy that exists in DC and remind them how the GOP voted against providing healthcare for the vulnerable.

It’s time to go BLUE all across the country because really, they are the only political party that cares for all people.

change in landscape

name recognition

 

The Lord Will Not Ignore Us!

The Lord Will Not Ignore Us!

But the LORD reigns forever,
executing judgment from his throne.

He will judge the world with justice
and rule the nations with fairness.

The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.

Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.

Sing praises to the LORD who reigns in Jerusalem.
Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.

For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless.
He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer. Psalm 9:7-12 NIV

Every morning when I rise,

His goodness is seen through my eyes,

His love is felt in all I see

His mercy, forever there for me.

Not  for me alone does He reign

But in every heart where His love remains,

Full to overflowing, onto all who will receive,

And share with others, praying on their knees,

Knowing He never abandons,

Never forgets or ignores,

Those who are His, Those He adores.

We praise for His might acts,

For His love, mercy, and grace,

Seeking wisdom, finding Him in His place,

High above the heavens, waiting for us!

What we need, He knows and provides,

From our despair, He’ll never hide,

But through His Word, we have a guide

To get through this journey called life,

Without anger, hatred or strife.

On This Journey–Let Passion Drive!

“Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. “And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ “So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.“So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.  “So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ Acts 22:6-10 NKJV

Most of us know Paul’s testimony about his trip to Damascus to persecute followers of Christ–how his encounter with Jesus–changed him and established a clear path for all who followed Jesus.

From persecutor to champion of the cause–from Saul to Paul–God’s grace on his journey in life was due to his passion.

Now, the same grace that saved Paul and put him on the path to securing solidarity for the Body of Christ is available to all who are willing to receive. Much has been said about Paul’s conversion, but perhaps the most important thing that any of us need to know is this–in order to be effective at doing anything–passion must drive us!

Paul (as Saul) was taught by the masters of Jewish faith in the law–he understand better than most what the law said, but it wasn’t until his encounter with Jesus–contact with The Living Word–that he learned to apply what he thought he knew. At the point of his conversion to knowing how God wants us to treat us, he changed–the scales of blindness came off and he clearly saw how The Law kept people in bondage, making a mockery of a faith they claimed to be in God.

Are we religious or are we Believers in the Most High God? Have we allowed religious traditions to hinder passion for true belief and action on our part? Are willing to have an encounter with Jesus–The Living Word–to set us on the right path–a path destined with challenges and victories? Are we ready for the journey of a lifetime–promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our conduct and not just our words?

The journey–may have it’s ups and downs, but if we remain faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us and accomplish all He has put our hearts to do. This journey called life–has not really been lived until we are living it for The Lord! What is your passion?

 

Victory Through The Finished Work on The Cross!

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15: 56,57 NIV)

Whenever Jesus taught the people, He used parables or anecdotal stories to which the people could relate. All He told them, they understood because of the times of their lives. The Word is still taught in anecdotal stories–those things to which people can relate. So today, we look at how much “stings” hurt and can damage.

There are so many things in our lives that can sting us. We can stung by bees and wasps. We can be stung by jellyfish and sticky leaves on plants. We can be stung by betrayal, hurt, and sadness. and we can be stung by death when we allow sin to reign in our lives. How does sin reign? With the power of the law–given to Moses–and rejection of the work on the cross by Jesus Christ.

For when The Law was given–Holy Spirit ascended upon people as God directed and those people were the only ones who had the authority to speak what God said. With The Work on the Cross, Holy Spirit dwells within every Believer who has received Him and God speaks to every Believer in whom Holy Spirit dwells. However, if we choose not to hear and obey, that is on us and we miss receiving the victory over sin in our lives.

We no longer have to go to a specific place or to a specific person–asking them to seek God on our behalf. We only have to look within–The Word and our hearts, and decide to hear what God has to say. If we do not know The Word, we will not recognize God’s voice when we hear Him. If our spiritual ears are blocked with the cares of the world and those things that distract and distort the sound, we will not hear Him. If we cannot or will not hear Him when He speaks, we allow sin–whatever our fleshly dictates desire–to overtake us and we give up ground in the victory we had won, and sometimes, we never regain our position in order to enjoy the victory we were given.

The war with ISIS is a perfect example of giving up ground. The United States has time and time again, helped other Middle Eastern countries to gain control over cities in which ISIS had captured. And with each loss, ISIS regrouped and gained that territory back. That’s how the enemy works. If we’re not careful with the victory we have, we allow more demons to come into our lives and take up residence, leading us back into the captivity of sin and we know–sin’s payment is death.

When we accept the Work on the Cross, Believe Jesus is the Son of God, and give Him His rightful place in our lives–as Lord, we have victory of sin. However, we must guard our victory vigorously by staying in The Word, always ready to hear God and obey. We have the victory–our problem–as we can see in our society is how to maintain the ground we have gained without allowing the enemy’s forces to regain the territory.

Victory is ours–through The Work on the Cross and we can loudly proclaim–Jesus Christ is our Lord!

Better Than Life Love!

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” (Psalm 63:3 NIV)

People may have a number of different opinions about David and I’ve heard many of them. He was a hero, he was murderer, he was adulterer, he was callous, he was… and the remarkable thing about David is that he was probably all the things many say about him, but he was also quick to repent when he was wrong and he had no problem remembering who God is and praising Him, even in the midst of trials.

In this Psalm, David is in the desert and begins it my talking about how his thirst is quenched by God even when there is no water in the land. Jesus reminds us that when we hunger and thirst for righteous we will be satisfied.  But when we are lacking in the natural substances–food and water, are we praising God simply because His love is better than life?

We are so quick to complain about current circumstances rather than praising God for His love that we sometimes lose our focus and become bitter and angry and our faith wanes. David is our example of how we should treat those moments (and we all have them) when things are going exactly the way we want them to go. Instead of complaining, let’s sing a song of praise, even if we have to create one–just for our moment. When we sing praises to God, it lifts our heart and the weight of circumstances become lighter. If we would just remember that every trial is only for a season and we can determine–in that season–how we respond to it.

I’ve often said out loud when trials come that appear to want to take me out, “Devil, I will come through this and even if I don’t, I get to go home sooner so I still win!”

If we exercise our lips to lift our hearts, we will experience the love of God that truly is better than life–just surviving it– and know that God’s love will help us get through anything.

Exercise for the lips to lift the heart:

You, O God, always know what I need when I need it,

You, O God, are the creator of my life, know my every thought and deed,

And You, O God, love me enough to life me from the bottom of the pits in which I fall,

In the face of all those who would scorn me and You shower me with favor so they understand,

Just how much You love me and that Your love is better than life,

Because it is You, who makes life worth living!

And I praise You, lifting Your name higher than any trial that comes my way,

You, O God, have already established victory as the end result! We Win in the end!

Refuge!

“The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” (Psalm 37:40 NIV)

Who does the Lord help and deliver? The righteous–those in right-standing with God can count on The Lord helping them and delivering them from all that attempts to hold them bound by the temptations influenced by evil. He delivers them from the wicked and saves (those in right-standing with Him) because they seek refuge in Him.

Every community should be a “safe haven” for those who live in it, but we know that does not always happen. Evil lurks, seeking whom it will attack and devour in our times, just as it did with the walled cities of old. The difference then is the cities had the watchmen walking the walls, looking for the attempts by others that meant danger to those who lived inside. When danger was seen, the alarm sounded and everyone knew what they had to do.

In addition to the walled cities for the majority of the occupants in a region, there were also cities built as a place of refuge for those who had been estranged from their place of origin or for those seeking shelter from the harm of others because they had accidentally killed someone (Numbers, Joshua).

I remember that in one neighborhood where I used to live, my home became the apparent refuge for children seeking shelter from harm by those living there who were certainly not law-abiding. There was drama unfolding on one particular evening and I looked out the door to see my porch full of children who were trying to get out of harm’s way. Most of these children participated in my “porch” bible study during the summer and I was glad they felt my house was a safe haven–a refuge from harm.

In the midst of stormy weather, we are told to seek refuge in low-lying areas and for those of us who have basements–to run to the basement for shelter. In the Midwestern regions–open ranges, they have storm cellars in which they seek shelter from the storms.

In the storms of life, filled with uncertainty and confusion, Our God is our refuge–a place where we can go and no one can harm us. When we are in right-standing with Him, there is nothing we cannot expect from Him–safety from those who would harm us, deliverance from things that would distract us, provision when we are unable to provide for ourselves, wisdom when we lack it and ask for it, mercy and grace we cannot earn, and love overflowing–when we are emptied out and need replenishing.

If ever there was a time we needed to know where we can find refuge, that time is now. Dangers are all around us–bone-chilling weather, icy road conditions, mindsets in opposition to God’s Word–all dangers that should cause us to run to The Lord, seeking refuge in Him to avoid the consequences of staying on the path of the wicked.

Don’t linger in the face of danger–RUN to the Lord and seek shelter in Him!

Your Precious Thoughts!

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” (Psalm 139:17,18 NLT)

How can I not know how much I mean to You?

How can I not show You how much You mean to me?

With every breath I take and every move I make,

I know  I am able to do so, because You never stop thinking about me

Or how much You love me!

You never stop showering me with love!

You never stop forgiving me when I mess up!

You never stop speaking to me, even when I disappoint You!

You never give up on me, always bringing me back into the safety of Your arms, if I stray!

How do I know all this? Because I am still here and You are still with me–each morning I wake!

You O Lord, are the reason I can hold my head high,

You O Lord are the reason I can see heaven beyond the sky,

You O Lord are everything I need and could ever desire,

You O Lord, give my life meaning and makes it worth while.

How do I know You love me? You gave Your life that I might live,

And I will live my life so all will know, just how much I love You!

Thank You, O Lord for Your Love, Your Life and my own,

And for being with me every step of this journey on earth,

Until You return to take me to be with You, forever–Amen!

Just Because I Didn’t Have!

I know there are a number of people out there in the world who didn’t have their fathers in their lives. But just because I didn’t have my father in my life, doesn’t mean I cannot appreciate those who did have theirs and understand the importance of recognizing them.

I cannot remember my father or my step-father carrying me to bed at night because I fell asleep some place other than my bed. However, I can appreciate and envy somewhat, those who did.

I didn’t have my father around to encourage me or tell me everything was going to be all right when things went wrong.

I didn’t have my father around to encourage good grades in school (my step-father did until he and mother parted), but I got good grades anyway.

I didn’t have my father around to screen (or scare away) the boys I liked or the men I chose to marry, and I really wish I had for some of them.

I didn’t have my father around to give me away when I married, but someone stepped in and saved the day.

I didn’t have my father around when I walked across the stage or received my degrees, but that didn’t stop me from doing so.

I didn’t have my father around for so many special events in my life that if I really wanted to resent him, I could, but I don’t.

I didn’t understand when I was little why my father and mother couldn’t get along, but it doesn’t matter now–I’m grown and have a better idea of why adults have conflicts and some just cannot be resolved.

With all the things I didn’t have with my father, I did have a few special moments when I decided to get to know him on my own. No, my father was not a perfect man, but he was good man and he did provide for his children. Even though he was not there for me for many things, I was there to do his eulogy when he died–my first and hopefully–my last.

Just because I did not have him in my life the way many people do, doesn’t mean I didn’t love him or that he didn’t love me. I simply had to recognize that life is not fair or just when it comes to human frailties; it is what it is and it’s up to us to make the most of life–with or without a father standing behind us or living with us.

I choose to look to the One Father I can always count on and because He is who He is in my life–I don’t have to have regrets or resentments because of what I didn’t have with my biological father.

Happy Father’s Day–to the One who is always our Father and never abandons us!