Category Archives: Politics

When Do You Know If It’s Your Last Holiday?

happy-anniversary-card-for-spouseToday is Presidents’ Day…a special holiday set aside to honor all the amazing men who’ve shaped our country. I really want to share some thought-provoking quotations on time today rather than discussing the attributes and weaknesses of our various presidents (although I will confess to having done more than my fair share of complaining over the years and felt admonished by reading in Acts 23:5 last week, where Paul said, “You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people”). card-for-appreciating-spouseLast Tuesday was Valentines Day, and last weekend Alan and I celebrated our 44th anniversary. As we are now 66, that means we’ve now lived two-thirds of our lives together! That’s almost hard to imagine, even for us!!  🙂

I’ve really been thinking a lot about the privilege of still having a mate with whom to share holidays in the light of an increasing number of friends who’ve lost their mates in the past 10 years. In Sunday school, one of those friends, Jay Link, passed along some good food for thought on the topic of time, and I’d like to share a few of his quotes with you today:

“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” Theophrastus

“Lost time is never found again.” Benjamin Franklin

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” C.S. Lewis

“Time is what we want most, but…what we use worst.” William Penn

“We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.” John F. Kennedy

“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.” Thomas Hardy

“Time is the longest distance between two places.” Tennessee Williams

“Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.” William Shakespeare

“Time = life; therefore, waste you time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” Alan Lakein

“The key is not in spending time, but in investing it.” Stephen R. Covey

“Mind the moments because they become your memories.” Jane Anderson 🙂

valentine-for-wifeJay’s thoughts: Allot time to each season of life with care and intention, learning to grow in wisdom as we go. Each season of life is new to us, and it represents a path we haven’t traveled before. If it takes approximately 10,000 hours to become proficient at something, that’s about as long as many of the stages of life we pass through. I don’t know who said it, but Jay mentioned that in a car, the front windshield is larger than the rear-view mirror, because what’s in our future needs more of our attention than what’s already behind us.happy-anniversary-cardAnd, here’s my humble thought from becoming increasingly appreciative of every day Alan and I still have together: You never really know when it’s your last holiday, so “Savor each holiday as if it might be your last, because it might.”

heart-shaped-valentineSo teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12

 

Loving: More than a Just a Name

loving-movie-posterMuch more than just a name, Loving is “an absorbing, beautiful piece of American cinema” (Paul Heath, The Hollywood News) based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving. marriage-of-richard-and-mildred-loving-from-loving-movieLoving is a PG-13, 2016 movie recently released to video that has been highly rated. It’s already won 19 awards and has been nominated for 82 more, including an Academy Award nomination for Ruth Negga in her leading role as Mildred Loving. February is Black History Month. If you haven’t watched this moving film yet, February would be a great time to see Loving and start putting love into action by understanding and loving our dark-skinned citizens more.   🙂  ruth-negga-as-mildred-in-the-movie-lovingAlthough I sat through the entire movie feeling petrified that something terrible would happen to this young couple—and they did suffer many hardships for their interracial marriage (which was still against the law in Virginia back in 1958), I was able to sigh happily at the end. Their case, trying to legitimize interracial marriages throughout America, went to the Supreme Court in 1967.   richard-loving-in-the-movie-lovingIf you’re a white supremacist, I beg you to look deep into your heart and try to figure out why. What makes you think white is superior to any other skin color?  I promise you that, apart from skin tissue, we’re all the same colors underneath.  richard-and-mildred-loving-with-lawyer-from-loving-movieCaucasians, Mongoloids, and Negroids are all similar in what’s inside our bodies, brains, and hearts. When I look into my heart, I find that I’m a sinner, just like everybody else. I find that I’m imperfect. I find that very, very little of what makes me “good” has anything to do with me. Some of it has to do with how I was created in the womb, who my parents were, and all the advantages I had as a child growing up. The rest is attributable to God’s redemption through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. The only thing I can claim is believing and surrendering my life to Christ, and even that I know is a gift of God for which I can only thank Him.   mildred-and-their-first-child-in-the-movie-lovingIf you think whites are in any way superior to any other race, on what do you base that? Certainly not the Scriptures, which teach that God created all of us in His image, that we are all marred by sin and in need of a Savior, and that the death of Christ occurred to break down the walls between us and unify us into one glorious body, the Church of Jesus Christ, the bride of Christ. mildred-loving-in-the-movie-lovingIf you separate yourself from your brothers and sisters based on race, you’re separating yourself from the body of Christ and the love of Christ. God calls us to love and humility. Will you answer that call?the-lawyer-who-helped-in-the-movie-lovingBut now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
(Ephesians 1:13-22, ESV)the-movie-loving-mildred-feeding-their-baby

 

In the Spirit of the Ides of February

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Maureen Churabrutus-and-the-ghost-of-caesar-public-domain-wikiMost people know about the Ides of March, March 15, which was made infamous by the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC and continued in infamy by Shakespeare’s famous play, Julius Caesar, written some 1643 years later.

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

However, did you know that February 15 also has special significance historically? February 15 was the date of an ancient ritual of purification, particularly washing with water, to purify people and their city from any evil spirits, which would allow the blessings of health and fertility to flourish as the citizens prepared for spring. februar_leandro_bassano-public-domainI don’t know about you, but I find all the dissension in America deeply disturbing, and I’m wondering if we might honor today as a day of personal purification coupled with earnest prayers for the healing of ourselves and our nation. It’s so easy to be critical of others…to make ourselves and our own values  into a gold standard for the way things should be. Can we instead humble ourselves and ask God to purify our hearts and straighten our thinking, so that we can see clearly and become a positive influence for good instead of adding to the cacophony of discord? There’s an old saying that “Charity starts at home,” and I think it’s just as true that “Purity starts with me.” Are we casting stones because we’re perfect and angry, or are we throwing mud because we’re frustrated that life is unfair and things aren’t going the way we think they should? Instead of adding to the problem, let’s pray that God will make us part of the solution by purifying our hearts and the hearts of our people. We can’t change others, but by God’s grace we can change ourselves. Then, I do believe God himself will rise up and move to work all things together for good…something no amount of fighting and anger will accomplish.mourning_mingrelians_pranishnikoff_1884“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” (James 4:7-9)

Are You Tuned in to Donald Trump’s Inauguration?

donald_trump_august_19_2015-wikiToday is Inauguration Day… “the big day” that every American’s been waiting for, either with a sense of anxious dread or excited anticipation, or something in between. Are you going to watch Trump being sworn in at noon today?trump_rally_in_cincinnati-wikiWhether you’re lining up with the thousands of protesters in L.A. or have a room reserved in Washington D.C., there’s electric energy in the air across the country. I try really hard to avoid being political on this blog, although I am deeply grateful for every person who has invested his (or her) life in trying to make our country the best possible through serving in a public leadership role…a difficult calling at best and a heart-breaking disappointment at worst.  trump-caucus-wikiWould you like to be the president of the United States? Frankly, I would not. donald_trump-wikiApart from spending my life flat on my face praying to God Almighty for wisdom, I can’t imagine how I (or anyone) could possibly have the insight and courage to rule our country well. I have a few friends who are quite delighted with the prospects of Trump becoming president, and I have many friends and family members who vacillate between feelings of fear, anger, and despair.  electoralcollege2016-wikiNo matter how you feel personally, as Christians I know what the scripture teaches, and that is: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).  donald_trump_laconia_rally_laconia_nh_4_by_michael_vadon_july_16_2015_19-1Over the years, I’ve done more complaining and less praying for our presidents than I want to admit, but I’d like to encourage all of us to take up our role as prayer intercessors on  behalf of those who are in positions of authority… especially Donald Trump. Do you want to be able to live a quiet, peaceful, godly, honest life? I do. Let’s put our prayers where our complaints have been and lift up Donald Trump to the throne of grace, so that we (and he) “may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

donald_trump_and_mike_pence_july_2016-wikiWhen the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice:
but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn
” (Proverbs 29:2).

(All photos used by permission of Wiki Commons.)

For the Healing of our Nation

lotus-seed-pod-meijer-garden-10-09-16“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows.”
~Helen Keller

“In your hands you hold the seeds of failure or the potential for greatness. Your hands are capable, but they must be used and for the right things to reap the rewards you are capable of attaining. The choice is yours.” ~Zig Ziglar

“We need a spirit of community, a sense that we are all in this together.
If we have no sense of community, the American dream will wither.”
~George Walker Bush

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” ~Winston Churchill

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not,
but rejoices for those which he has.”~Epictetus

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.” ~John D. Rockefeller

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
~ Henry Ford

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“If you look at what you do not have in life, you don’t have anything.
If you look at what you have in life, you have everything.” (~Can’t find author)

“You can complain because roses have thorns,
or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.”~Ziggy

“We could never learn to be brave and patient
if there were only joy in the world.” ~Helen Keller

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.” ~ Margaret Mead

“The first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself…Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, and humility.” (from Walk the Talk)

“We must become the change we want to see.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“The depth of a revival will be determined
exactly by the depth of the spirit of repentance.” ~Frank Bartleman

“Hold to Christ and for the rest be totally uncommitted” ~Herbert Butterfield

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” ~Abraham Lincolnrose-in-rodin-museum-garden-5-8-16But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise
with healing in his wings
” (Malachi 4:2).

Don’t Forget to Vote! Need Wisdom? Try Asking for Spiritual Discernment

grandma-and-grandsonFor the sake of our country’s future, We Need YOU to Vote!

For those of us who live in America and have the great privilege of participating in choosing who will be our commander and chief for the next four years, I sincerely hope you are prepared and planning to vote today! Now that Alan and I are both over 65, we get our ballots in the mail and have already sent them back in. I’ve heard many people saying they didn’t want to vote because they don’t like either candidate…that one is “publicly repulsive and the other is privately repulsive.” But, please appreciate the privilege and vote!!

donald-trump-third-presidential-debateFor whom?  Well, I don’t think it can be based on integrity this round. As I’ve been studying and thinking over the past months, I’ve found myself totally unable to approve either of the candidates based on their character or integrity (which has been a conundrum for the large majority of Americans). I agree whole-heartedly with one of my blog followers, who says she wants to vote “Pro-life, Pro-freedom, Pro-truth and Pro-Christ.” Amen, Sister. That still doesn’t make it crystal clear to me. Trump is clearly pro-life and promises to nominate justices who believe in a literal interpretation of the constitution as originally intended, which I consider “pro-freedom.”  However,  I’m still gravely worried about how honest or Christian he is, and whether or not he has the wisdom and self-control to keep us out of any unnecessary war.

hillary-clinton-third-presidential-debateOne morning as I was meditating on scripture and praying about the election, it occurred to me that what I really needed was the ability to see into the future. I have a pretty good idea of what Clinton would be like as president, and I fear she will lead our country into further moral and economic ruin, but to me Trump is a wild card. He could turn out to be a Reagan type who reinvigorates our economy and becomes an able leader despite his anti-illustrious past, or he could make our national reputation completely odious to the world and plunge us into war. What would really happen?

grandfather-and-grandsonI thought to myself…”Isn’t that why you pray? To seek wisdom and help from the One who knows all things…including the future?”  So, I stopped being anxious and started praying for God to guide me by His wisdom to make the best choice. Ultimately, that’s how I make personal decisions all the time: pray for wisdom, study, seek counsel, and pray more until I feel peace. How in the world did I get sidetracked into imagining I had to “figure this all out” with my own ultra-limited brain? God knows all things, and He can give me an answer of peace. So, that’s what I did, and I am at peace!

I believe if you ask Him, He’ll do the same for you! Also, let’s continue to pray for one another, and for our nation, especially during this critical time of election.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (1 Corinthians 2:13-15).

Ya…Politics Again. But No Commentary, Just Quotable Quotes

hot-chocolate-heart-shapedTomorrow will be a momentous day in America. It’s the day of our national election. Today, I’d like to ask you to take a break and ponder a few timely quotations by some of our world’s thought leaders. May they inspire us all to pray, prepare, and turn out to vote tomorrow!

“Even if you are on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~Will Rogers

“Socialism is GREAT -UNTIL you run out of other people’s money.” ~Margaret Thatcher

“Always do right. This will surprise some people and astonish the rest.”
~ Mark Twain

 “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” ~John Adams

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” ~ Helen Keller

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian.” ~Henry Ford

“Additional problems are the offspring of poor solutions.” ~Mark Twain

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“To reach a port, we must sail—sail, not tie at anchor, sail, not drift.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for all your life.”
~Elizabeth Kenny

“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” ~Winston Churchill

“Do what you can with what you have where you are.” ~Teddy Roosevelt

“The doors of wisdom are never shut.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Change your thoughts and change your world.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

“The time is always right to do what is right.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “The doors we open and close each day decide the way we live.”
~Flora Whittemore

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” ~James 1:5, Bible