Did You Just Start or Stop Praying for The President? Not Good

political-parties
This will be my one and only political-type blog, so enjoy.
The level of vitriol on social media and in the news has been over the top concerning politics. Friendships are being destroyed and families are stressed to untold levels from opinions about politics. I am not minimizing the passion from either side and their viewpoints but bringing up a bigger issue; only praying for the President when it is convenient and you agree with his or her (yes, I think there will be a woman president at some point in my lifetime) viewpoint is not Biblical.

As followers of Christ, we are instructed in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 to pray for our leaders and the language used was fairly comprehensive. Check it out.

1 Timothy 2:1-3
2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, (NIV)

I would say that “petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving” pretty much covers it all when it comes to lifting up all people (including leaders) in prayer. It doesn’t say, “…for the King and authorities that you agree with politically…” but refers to all those in positions of authority. In fact, I don’t see “political affiliation” in ANY scripture in the Bible, only values that we need to esteem and strive for in our lives.

When I pray for someone it does not justify what they have done or do but puts ME in a place of authority to pray that God’s will be done in their lives. If we think that personal anger will change things in people’s lives we are mistaken. (Check out James 1:20 for this bit of truth) This signifies that our hope is not in the leadership over our country but in the one who has the power and ability to change hearts and direct lives. Of course we can voice our concern for things that line up with our Biblical values, but we need to be careful that those values are coming from Christ and not from a political party.

The Bible is replete with examples of God advancing and taking care of his people no matter WHO was over them. This was proof that God wanted and wants those who follow him to make sure they are not looking to earthly leadership for their identity but praying for those who lead them with eyes focusing on Him!

Have a great day!

Three Key Takeaways from The Election

2016-presidential-election-us
Many things were going through my head the past few weeks as I watched the election season unfold and even the past few hours after the election. Here are a few things to consider for us as a country and as individuals.

1. Social Media has been a great litmus test as to depth of friendships

I can remember a time in life where Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms didn’t exist. I have really appreciated the ability to stay connected and reconnect with old friends and make new ones. It is awesome to be able to share my life with people and for me to feel like I am physically around them more than I actually am. That is about where the appreciation stops for me. The problem is that we create relationships with people online that are “an inch deep and a mile wide.” I can remember getting into arguments when I was younger and I would always know who was a true friend and was not by the outcome and spending time with them to know their heart.
I believe we have allowed our connections on social media to make us shallow with one another instead of really knowing and loving each other regardless of our differences. We need to take a look inside and the things that would cause us not to be friends with someone. They may be legitimate because it is a toxic relationship, but we need to be careful with things that offend us. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they hate you.

2. Wikileaks has taught us something; if you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it

No matter where you are on the subject of the hacked emails and the ethics of Wikileaks, we are becoming an increasingly transparent world. I was searching for cool looking backgrounds for my iPhone a few years ago and found an image that said “If you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it – Chinese Proverb” There is so much truth in that little statement. The entire Wikileaks situation gave an example of thinking first before you do something illegal or something that you will regret. This is not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing or even an American thing. It is a HUMAN thing to evaluate your actions and words and how they will affect yourself and others around you. That is the reason why I read the Bible and ask God for guidance everyday; to help me make the best decision for myself and be the best for everyone around me.

3. Donald J Trump is not the new Messiah of America

Even though I think the election was a move in the right direction and against the political establishment, electing Donald Trump for President is not the single answer for America. The ONLY answer is followers of Christ reflecting Biblical principles in their speech, actions and love. Each person who calls Jesus the leader of their life has a RESPONSIBILTY to not only love God with their heart but to share that love with others in meaningful ways. Some would see George W. Bush or maybe Barak Obama as the issue for the situations we see ourselves in but the truth is that the people we elect for President are a direct reflection of the hearts of the people. The point I am making is that we need to be focusing more on the HEARTS of people more than the VOTES of people.
We need to be a healer of hearts and brokenness with the people God puts in our path. If people say, “That Christian is a reflection of the love, heart and Godly correction of Jesus” then we have done our job on this earth.
For those of you who supported and voted for President Elect Donald Trump, please be VERY careful of your words right now on social media and with each other. Remember that Jesus was ALL about being a PEACEMAKER and not a CRAP-STIRRER when it came to interaction with each other.

I am praying not only for America but my part in helping bring healing to a divided country that needs Jesus more than they realize. I understand the responsibility of being in media to tell stories that make people want to make Jesus the leader of their lives but also to help bring us together as a divided country. Today, ask yourself what is YOUR part to help bring healing and what are you doing to make those things a reality to the people you interact with this week.

Caution: Your Candidate for President MAY Lose on Tuesday


I cannot remember an election season with so much anger and dissension as this one. I have never in my adult life gotten into an argument with a friend about the presidential election EVER but cannot say that anymore. I absolutely understand the passion that people have for the current election process that is happening at this time in our country. I also have a couple of reminders for us ALL concerning the current election and what the Bible says because the fact is that there is a chance that the person you are voting for on Tuesday will potentially lose.  

1. Make sure that your temper is in check and not just your flesh trying to “defend the honor of God and country.” 

James 1:20
– For the anger of man does not promote the righteous life that God desires 

I mentioned in the opening paragraph about how I got in an argument with someone about the presidential election and realized that I moved into the flesh and jeopardized a friendship that was more important that the result of the election. We need to pray and vote according to the Bible in every way but when we let our personal passion for something override what we are saying to someone (not just about the election) then we get in the flesh and become destructive.

2. No matter the result of the election, we need to pray for our country and our leaders

1 Timothy 2:1-3
– The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. 

I am in full agreement that the results of this coming election will most likely determine the condition and state of the United States for probably the remainder of my life. I am doing my part to vote the principles of the Bible but I cannot discount the directive from Paul who wrote these words when he was living under the rule of Nero who would burn Christians on stakes to light his gardens. I say this because, even to that extreme, God took care of the church and actually GREW the church in times of persecution. We need to commit to praying for WHOMEVER wins the presidency.

Like I mentioned before, I totally understand the passion that people have for their candidate in this election cycle but the President of the United States does not help give me direction, or peace or my purpose. Those things are reserved for my relationship to God the King of the universe who can actually MOVE the hearts of Kings and Magistrates and owns the cattle on a thousand hills. That is who I am putting MY hope in.

For this country to change it doesn’t need a Republican, Democrat or Independent in the White House. It needs people who call themselves followers of Christ to step up and BE the love, the arms, the tears and heart of Jesus to a lost and dying world desperately looking for peace and not finding it. Let them find it in YOU.

Two Choices in Life: Worry Backward or Pray Forward

holy-crap-quote-10_18_16-noweb
Below is a paragraph that I know God impressed on me to help people going through pain and is just one example of many helpful points for people in my book.

Worrying backward and praying forward is a statement that summed up my life for four plus years of dealing with things that were beyond my comprehension and a process that took me to the very end of myself. I became a professional at “worrying backwards” in life, trying to regain who I once was and working to find a path back to where my life had been before I was sick. The problem is the person I needed to be NOW was forward and not back to the old me. Enjoy this quick section and think about your life today and if you are “worrying or praying” in life.

Excerpt from Chapter 15 – Answers to Consider 
“We all have two decisions in life when pain hits; we can either worry backward or pray forward. Backward is familiar to us because it is something we experienced, and we have a point of reference of a time without pain. When I pray forward, I decide to look ahead with an expectation of solutions that bring even greater levels of contentment with God leading my life, using a roadmap that I could never access without Him. A fact of hiking that is true in life as well is that maps lead to destinations, but guesses lead to being lost. I trust God much more with my navigation than I do my best guesses in life or worrying about situations that, in reality, I will never be able to control anyway.”

My hope is that people pick up a copy of my book not for me to make more money but that I can use my experiences in pain to help others hang on, even if it is just for one more day.

Talkers are Praised While Listeners Go Unnoticed

Listening
I cannot say that I know very many people who are great listeners, including myself. Someone who, when their name comes up, is known to others as an exceptional listener. At the same time, we can name numerous amazing speakers when it comes to people we think have full command of the words that come out of their mouth. It is an interesting thing to me that we praise talkers but great listeners in life go unnoticed. Maybe it’s because we feel like if we don’t share how we feel we will not be able to change our corner of the world. Maybe you grew up in a large family and if you were not able to express yourself well that you were ignored or even forgotten.

As a follower of Christ, I was ALWAYS taught growing up the importance of telling others about my relationship with Jesus. Even now, Christians far and wide believe the most important thing is telling the world about how much Jesus loves them. We even sing worship songs about “telling” and build vision/mission statements around talking! When was the last time you read the vision statement of a religious organization that says, “We will listen to the broken and answer with love first and words second.”

Please hear me. I am not poking holes in religious organizations or churches but just making a statement about maybe some of the pacing we do as followers of Christ that tries to mimic the people who don’t have a relationship with Jesus yet. The world is all about telling others who they are, how they feel and the convictions they have and operate by.

There is an incredible power exhibited when you LISTEN to someone who either disagrees with your stance on something or even says things based from a place of hurt or pain. Stop trying to come up with a witty antidote to something being told to you and just tell yourself to shut off your mouth and engage your ears and mind to just listen.

The amazing byproduct of listening is that it encourages others to hear what YOU have to say because they felt honored that you would listen to them. So it is not whether you ONLY listen or ONLY talk but that listening opens up the channels of communication with others and helps you share what is on your heart. Maybe it is a priority of listening with a result of talking. Even Jesus would interact with people in a question format, listen to what they would have to say and then share. The greatest communicator to walk the earth was first and foremost the greatest listener, and He is who I want to be.