On a journey to find the silver linings

On a journey to find the silver linings

Friday, July 22, 2016

Let Christians Remember

  My friends, like most of you I am weary of this political season; of the candidates, the rhetoric, the fighting, the doublespeak & lies said with straight faces, the hate, and the accusations. I am unsure of so many things on the news because of the spin, the angles, the agendas, and the sources. I hardly know what to believe anymore. And like so many others I've talked with, I can barely believe any of this madness is really happening to our country. At times I feel that we're simply being swept along in this surreal tidal wave of political and social lunacy, and that these United States are unraveling right around us.

So in the mayhem here is what I, a confessing Christian, must tell myself:


Let Christians remember that we do NOT live in a "Christian nation."


Let Christians remember that Jesus was rejected because He refused to assume political power and control.


Let Christians remember that Jesus' only explicitly expressed political views were to pay our taxes.


Let Christians remember that the words "democrat" and "republican" are not in the Bible.


Let Christians remember that God does not lead a country - He leads His people. That is a big difference.


Let Christians remember that God does not lead a political party - He leads the Church.


As a Christian my conscience is spun from sure and ancient Words, and my hope is not in the words of a man or woman I will ultimately cast a vote for.


And even though I live in this crazy, sad, and ever-changing world for my numbered years, 
there are things I know,
there are things I am sure of.


Divide this as you will, hate it if you want, but it's what I believe.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Missing the Moment

Here's my deep thought for this Monday morning, something that's been bothering me for days.
As I'm sure most of you have, I watched Diamond Reynolds' video. She was recording her boyfriend Philander Castile in the aftermath of his shooting by a Falcon Heights, MN police officer. It was tragic, simply tragic, watching a man as he lay dying. One of the worst things I've seen in a long time - because it was real.
But here's what struck me. And please don't get me wrong - I am not diminishing his death, I am not taking sides on who did what or what went wrong, who was at fault, any of that. Here's what caught my attention as I was watching it for the very first time. Diamond Reynold's was paying more attention to her phone than to the man laying next to her dying. Period. She gave very few words of consolation to him, but many to her phone. And it struck me as so obvious that even the bloodied Castile was secondary to her need to be taking video. So like a weirdo I went to her Facebook page and was dismayed at what I found. I'm not here to smear someone or discredit the story - do your own research and come to your own conclusions, but I came away with an awful realization, and because I saw a bit of myself in it I'm not exempt from my own contempt; people are so narcissistic that they live through their phones, missing the actual moments that make life on this planet worth living and dying for. She missed the moment. She missed it. He was passing, and then gone, and she missed it. Yes, she experienced it, but she experienced it through Facebooking.
Let me say this. My dad died nearly two years ago. He passed suddenly of lung cancer; it was the most awful thing I've ever seen with my own eyes, and I will not ever forget those last moments before he left this world. The look in his eyes. And at that moment he needed my mom. He needed me, my brother, our family, and for someone to hold his hand as he made the journey out. What if I were taking video of that moment? What if I were giving a play-by-play to Facebook Live instead of sharing wordless conversations with my mother? What if I were paying attention to my phone and not my dad? 
This is too big of a thought right now. Words are not adequate. My mind is shutting down. I truly TRULY cannot comprehend missing that moment for the sake of engaging in social media. 
Granted, there are many other dynamics at play in these situations, countless things about them that are different, and I acknowledge that. But at the very essence, down to the core, a life was passing from one world into the next. With all political, social, and racial issues aside, she missed the moment. And regardless of Philando Castile's guilt or innocence, and despite the fact that his girlfriend was a foot away from him, her company was her phone, and he was alone when he passed over. And THAT is tragic.
Lord have mercy. 
Please let us learn.