Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taming Tongue and Heart

Warning: I just need to do a little bit of venting/expressing my frustrations. Also, this blog was not written to show support or lack there of for any candidate.

I am so disappointed with the people who are associating Barack Obama with Osama Bin Laden and the terrorist extremists. How is it not a blatant prejudice to compare a good, law abiding American citizen with a religious extremist who was responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent people solely because of the way his name sounds? Whether you like or dislike, support or don't support Obama, it is absolutely wrong to compare or even associate him with a mass murderer because he doesn't have an "American-sounding" name. What have we come to when we label someone as something so horrible because of their name? And how is that different then labeling someone because of the color of their skin? This kind of thinking must be stopped! It is this thinking that leads people, like the two young men who have recently been arrested, to taking it upon themselves to "be the hero" and "save America from this terrorist" by plotting an assassination. I respect everyone's choice to vote for whom they wish, but I do not respect such ignorant and damaging ways of thinking. Don't fool yourself; you are not merely dehumanizing the other person, you are greatly dehumanizing yourself. If you honestly think that Jesus Christ would speak and act in such ways I would highly suggest that you take another look at His life and His words. We should not allow the values that we follow that are taught by Christ to just walk out of the door whenever election time roles around...it is unacceptable. We must decide whether our utmost devotion is to the donkey, the elephant, or the Lamb.

I'm sorry for the ranting, but I just feel like this needs to be addressed. If you were compared to Osama bin Laden or Hitler or any other mass murderer you probably wouldn't think it as anything light hearted or funny. Let's think about the implications of our speech.

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. - Proverbs 15:2

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles. - Proverbs 21:23

Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins. - Proverbs 10:12

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts… - Colossians 3:15-15

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

For Love of Differences

I’m really beginning to learn the beauty and greatness of loving others, not just in spite of, but sometimes even because of our differences. I’ll try to explain. We all know how easy it is to love those who look, act, think, and talk like we do. It’s easy to smile at the person who is reading the same book as you or listening to the same song, but what about the person who is reading a book from an author that may just go against what you think or believe? Do we smile the same at them?

My husband, Noah, in his latest blog writes of a situation where two neighbors have never become close but are always cordial with one another until they each post a political campaign sign in their yards supporting opposite presidential candidates. Their cordial smiles turn into glaring snares and rolling eyes. All opportunity for any sort of friendship is gone without a word ever being spoken. I have started to see this everywhere, and even in my own life. Why do we allow differences to create enemies?

When I began to love others for their differences God became much bigger and yet much more relational than I had ever known Him to be. God doesn’t only love those who look, think, and act like me, which means He calls me to love people other than my look-a-likes as well. If He can love the beggar and the rich, the hurting and the healthy, the stubborn and the meek, and all those in between that shows His unique relationship with each of His people and that love should bring us together as a community.

We must change our attitudes and realize that we are missing the point of being a Christ-follower if we continue to separate ourselves into categories of the ever present “I’m right, you’re wrong” theology and politics.

We were given mercy & grace, and yet we act as judges and executioners. We were shown love & compassion, and yet we deny it to others daily. If we allow God to be bigger than the boxes we try to put Him in, we will begin to see how deeply and intricately He really cares for us. We have allowed our fears to control us and keep us from loving the way Christ would have us love. What are we so afraid of?

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

"There’s got to be a love that’s stronger than our fear..." -- Derek Webb

Monday, October 6, 2008

Our God

Our God is faithful, our God is perfect, our God is beautiful, our God is peace, our God is grace, our God is just, our God is mercy, our God is righteous. Our God loves us more than we could possibly imagine!

When times seem hopeless, we must rethink what or who it is that we are placing our hope in. My hope is in our God. He is the father to the fatherless, the comfort to our pain, the strength in our weakness, the beauty amidst our ugliness. He is the One who is worth our trust, devotion, praise, authenticity, brokenness, faith, love and hope.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.