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Who polled God?

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Today I exercised –

 

my right to vote!

 

Graphic showing how the popular vote winner ca...

Graphic showing how the popular vote winner can lose the electoral vote. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope you all in the US did the same.  I also hope that we can learn to live with the results, remembering that God is in charge, not the elected officials (or any other kind).  It’s amazing how quickly people forget that in the heat of the battle.  We should study and pray about our vote and make sure to cast it, but the results are in God’s hands alone and for His purposes.

 

I am really sad at what I have seen over the last few days months years as a dichotomy has widened the gap between people in this country.  The mud-slinging, cheating, lying, and more does not honor our country or God.  It also doesn’t honor those who engage in it.   I see a lot of finger-pointing, but it is arrogant to assume one person has the corner on being right.  We all have some things right and some wrong.  When it comes to issues we vote on, the Christian should hit his/her knees first, asking God for the truth.  Then he/she should search the scripture for God’s truth.  When God says yes, no, go, don’t go, or anything else, we should follow.

 

Bridging the gap requires spiritual knowledge, but it also requires good communication:  with the Father and with fellow human beings.  This is a subject that would take much more room than we have here to cover fully, but I hope you get the idea.  If we eschew communication in favor of judging, arguing, name calling, pride, etc., we have a big problem.

 

One of the meanings of being “United” states, is that we abide by the laws of the land (that do not violate God’s laws) and we work together when the vote is counted.  I hope no bad behavior will be in the news tomorrow no matter who wins the election.  I also hope that we can find a way to turn the tide.   “If MY people, who are called by MY name. . . . ”

Whose plan are you following?

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A few weeks ago I hosted my annual end-of-the-year Sunday School Class Party.  After spending many hours and lots of $$$ preparing for the party, things did not go as planned.

 

1.  Had Ginny (The Mother-in-law, but I knew this one).

2.  Wednesday before the Friday night party, I get a text from my son saying he and his entire family were coming for the weekend and arriving Friday afternoon.  That’s 2 adults and 4 grandkids added to the mix.

3.  Drama.  I don’t know what happened yet, but some kind of drama happened in youth group [I know that surprises all who know youth] on Wednesday and half the group did not show as a result.

4.  Some of the ones that did show did not want to participate in planned activities.  Grandchildren wanted to participate in ALL the activities.

5.  Isn’t that enough?

You know what?  Life is that way sometimes.  No matter what we plan, God is in control of what happens.  He knew all about what would happen at the party.  He is in charge of any results from the party.  I did my part by planning, God will do His part in the hearts of the students and others attending.

 

Best laid plans. . .

Most of us like to have a plan in place.  Plans help us feel ‘in control’ of our lives.  They do, that is, until things go awry.  I know some people who freak out when they have their plans usurped.   I know others who make no plans to avoid disappointment.  God doesn’t mind us making our plans, as long as we don’t leave Him out of the loop or raise a fuss when He has other ideas.

 

Trusting His plan gives life balance

His Plan.

Fortunately, God has a plan.  These are some things we can know about His plans.

 

►His plans never fail.

“…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46:9-10

 

►His plans include my good.

“11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

►No matter who governs me or my country, God is my ultimate ruler.

“For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations” Psalm 22:28

Knowing the above, I feel safe, even when my plans go awry.  I trust that God had a purpose in it all, and that He will carry that purpose out, whether I am aware of it or not.  I think we need a reminder of this, especially as those in the USA face the upcoming election.  No one can get in office unless God allows it for His reasons.  This helps me to know that:

 

►A person cannot cheat his/her way in.

►It’s not the end of the world if my candidate is not selected.  It is in God’s plan, and the end of the world will be when He declares it.

►I don’t have to be swayed by circumstances.  I know who has me in His hands regardless of the circumstances.  I know Him.  I trust Him.  That determines my attitudes and actions, not circumstances.

 

I hope as the world seems to have turned upside down, you will place your trust in the only place where it is safe.  Then I hope you will join me in determining to rise above the fray and bring a breath of fresh air into a sticky situation.  My hope is in God, not Obama or Romney.

 

How about you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

 

 

A Day of Rememberance

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Today is a mixed bag of feelings for me.  I remember hearing about the twin towers and then watching television for several days with tears flowing.  I learned some things that day I’d like to share.

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1.  People will come together and help one another in crisis.

2.  People care!

3.  Some things are more important than politics and petty concerns.

4.  It does matter what you believe.

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The first two were obvious as we watched first responders and others take their life in their hands to help others.  People across the country stepped up to the plate in a big way, then and on down the road.  In fact, we still remember and honor those who died that day.  We still follow the lives of some of those who lost parts of themselves or their loved ones in that building.

The third reminds us that all those things we worry about and argue about won’t really matter if we lose our country.  We need to stop snarking at one another and come together in an effort to save this land.  Many of us are coming together on our knees.

Fourth, we are reminded that not every belief is valid.  In the USA (and I suspect elsewhere) we’ve come to the point where we want truth to mean whatever someone wants it to.  In this case, several young men believed that they were doing a service to their god by flying those planes into buildings full of people.  In fact, they willingly martyred themselves for this belief.  I believe they had a rude awakening seconds after the planes hit or went down.  How sad.

They weren’t the only ones with a rude awakening that day.  We learned how vulnerable we are.  We learned many things, good and bad, that have changed how we view the world around us.  I hope we will all choose today to remember those lessons and seek God for the restoration of our country.  These lessons were not just those of the people of the US either.  Everyone everywhere needs to learn what we learned that day.  Their life and their eternity may depend upon it.

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 What were you doing on this day?  What lessons did you learn?  How do you remember?

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Today is also my anniversary.  30 years!  I don’t know where the time goes, but I thank God that He knew better than I did who I needed and put us together.  I thank Him that He has kept us together through all the ups and downs.  I thank Him for teaching me some of those life lessons through my marriage.  I thank Him for teaching us what real love is through the hard times.  On September 11 of the tower tragedy, we did not celebrate.  We cried.   Today we celebrate the wonder of 30 years of life!

Brian’s mother (Ginny), the happy couple, My mother and father (Marilyn and Phil), and my son (Jason). My how life has changed 😀

Truth: It does a body good!

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truth

truth (Photo credit: Erick-Pardus)

Communication, the premise of this blog, cannot happen when based on a lie.  How can you have any sort of real communication when one (or both) parties approach it with a lie?  In other words, one or more person hides the truth and the real meaning behind the attempted communication.  Sadly, the person embracing deceit often has no clue they have done so.  They believe the lie to be the truth.  In the current political maelstrom in the US, both sides have believed lies and called them truth.  Thus, the breakdown of any real communication between parties (or even individuals) regarding politics religion  economics parenting pretty much everything.

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Malachi 2:17

You have wearied the LORD with your words.  Yet you say,  “How have we wearied Him?”  In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?”

In reading this passage this morning, my first thought was my country and it’s trajectory toward destruction.  Everywhere I look, I see people saying that “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them.”   Evil is not good in the sight of the Lord!  And yet, my country (and many others) have called evil good.  These are some phrases I’ve heard that show this:  {Some are direct quotes and some are put together from several statements and implications}

~*~

“God is a God of love, and He just wants people to be happy.”

“A woman has the right to choose what happens in her body.”

“It’s my right as a parent to give my daughter ‘gogo’ juice and parade her in bars and pageants in (a sexual way.)” 

“Since we evolved and there is no God, it doesn’t matter what we do – survival of the fittest and all that.”

“I had to get out of my marriage; I just wasnt happy any more.”

“A real woman knows how to make others pay.”

“God doesn’t discriminate.” 

“What God wants for all of us, above all else, is love.”

~*~

Some of these statements sound really good, right?   Some of them are even true to a point.  However, God does not call evil good, nor does he delight in

Communication

Communication (Photo credit: P Shanks)

those who do evil.  He wants to save them, for sure, but He does not delight in their deeds.  There is a difference between a person and their deeds.  He may love the person and want to bring them to Himself, but their deeds need forgiveness, not embracing and pride.  God’s love is not a free pass to call evil good and delight in those who do evil.   {Romans 1:32:   who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that they who do such things are
worthy of death, not only practise them, but have fellow delight in those who do them.}

All that to say that embracing a lie leads to broken communication and broken lives.  We cannot truly engage with God or with mankind when we start on the premise of a lie (based on scripture).

Lies have a short and troubled life, but truth lives on forever. — Anonymous

Or, as it says in Proverbs 12:19:  The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences (Photo credit: kxlly)

As I said, with political battles heating up here in the US, the lies fly about like a swarm of locusts.   I wonder if I am the only one who sees the ads with statistics or polls all over them and wonders about their truth?  Anyone who has studied stats knows how easy it is to manipulate them.  The same with polls.  Then we find partial quotes twisted to imply something not the truth.  I think all political ads should come with verification somewhere.  I want to know how the stats were collected, the sample, and much  more to evaluate the truth of the statements.

Going back to our quote, I also see quotes from some of the candidates in the past that have come back to haunt them.  The candidate was either truthful and now wants to cover with lies, or lying and now wants to pretend he/she didn’t mean that.  So how can we find a truth in this maelström of lies?  How can we find ways to communicate with one another?

Lies will come out, but the truth will stand forever.

Have you ever realized you believed something that was a lie?  How do you hold up your beliefs for the litmus test of truth?  Do you rigidly hang on to lies and half truths, or do you seek truth in all your dealings with God and others?  Have you ever felt the communication breakdowns of lies?  How did it feel?  How I long for the day when all truth will be revealed!

Political Communication: Is it possible?

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As the USA heads closer to election time, people’s’ humanity (sin nature) seems to be rising to the top.  It’s everywhere.

“I’m right.  You’re stupid.”

“I know what’s best.”

“Only an idiot would believe that.”

“Libs are . . . .”

“Conservatives are . . .”

You know you’ve seen/heard it all too.  How can a country that has become so polarized ever find neutral ground and begin communicating with one another?

 

Real communication starts with respect.

1.  No name calling.

2.  No trying to out-yell another to get your point across.

3.  Really listen to the other person instead of formulating your argument or interrupting.

4.  Try to turn off your filters and hear the other person without bias.

5.  Recognize that stupidity, bias, greed, etc. runs in both parties.

6.  Turn off the arrogance!  You are not God and do not know everything.

7.  Recognize that your rights end where my nose begins.

8.  Remember that people often want they same things, they simply have a different plan for arriving there.

9.  Recognize that your world is not the universe.  Where you live, how you were raised, and a hundred other factors go into your world view, and everyone’s world view is at least somewhat unique even though common characteristics may exist.

10. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23).  Exersize these fruits and begin to plant seeds of kindness, and respect as you go about your daily life.

11.  If you are a Christian – pray for them.

 

This a start to the list.  Can you think of other ways to show respect to others?  Are you guilty of disrespect to those who disagree with you? 

 

By the way, silence is not respect.  We need to speak up, but we need to do it in a respectful way that acknowledges others as human beings.  I can and will stand on my principles, especially those that God laid down in the Bible.  But,  I will attempt to do so as Jesus did.  He was tough when needed, but always thought of what would bring others to God.  He was/is the embodiment of the Fruit of the Spirit.

 

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man shows, this he will also reap.  For one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.  And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.   Galatians 6:7-9

 

 

Random Ramblings

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Sorry it’s not a better picture – use your imagination 🙂

Shared at the right is one of my absolute favorite scenes.    This scene is in Kentucky, just before going over the bridge into Cincinnati, Ohio.  You come down a steep grade for the last two miles and go around a curve to be met by this site.  It always makes me catch my breath, and it always reminds me of the “city on a hill” or heaven.  I’ve seen this site more times than I care to say, starting when I was about 8, but it still gets me.  When we moved to the Cincy area a few years ago, it was like coming home for me because that sight and that bridge (over the Ohio River) have been a constant in my life and something I always loved and looked forward to (going South or North).

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Downtown Cincinnati

Downtown Cincinnati (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, I was cogitating randomly, and I thought it sure would be nice if I had a straight road that went from my house to my gks house (maybe over top of other roads… so no traffic. . . .    God whispered to me, “Boy, you’re never satisfied are you?”   He reminded me that he moved me 2 hours closer before I even had grandchildren.  AND–I 71 is 3 miles from my house and 8 miles from the gks home.  So, I do have a road (fairly straight) from here to there.  I get almost entirely highway all the way!   How ungrateful of me.  Father forgive me for always wanting more.  (See last post:  But I need you!)

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In trying to be creative, I decided to put the word random in the thesaurus to see if I could come up with a less-used word.  Then I put in thoughts (because ramblings lead to something else entirely).   How do you like these:

Haphazard Happenings

Aimless Intuitions

Designless Deliberations

Indiscriminate Musings

Hit-or-miss Rationalizations

Driftless Discernings

Irregular Inferences

Slapdash Speculations

Promiscuous Perceivings

Hmmmmmmmm.   Do you have a favorite?

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Isn’t it funny how we don’t like people who are like us?  Seeing ourselves in others (whether we recognize it or not) is not fun.  The Daughter and the Husband do NOT get along well.  Why?  2 peas in a pod.   We have a friend who is quite the talker when she gets going.  My Mother-in-law is also quite the talker.  Now-a-days her conversations are repeated over and over, but the talking continues even without the memory.  Anyway, last week we were out to dinner with the friend who had not seen us for a while and had a lot to say.  Ginny was sitting at the far end of the table.   With her 2 yo mind, she turns to my daughter and says in her best 2 yo, loud voice.  “What in the world is she yammering about down there?”   YIKES!   Not to worry, the talker didn’t even skip a beat, even when my daughter then  told her Grandma, “She’s yammering about her job.”   Ain’t life fun?

I hope you all have those promiscuous random moments to enjoy in your own life. 😀         Oops, I think this one got published first!  Ah well,  ……

Ten Ways to Love: Listening

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The item I’m taking today’s post from is one found on Facebook with no attribution given.  The ideas come straight from Scripture, however.  I printed this and put it in plastic so I could hang it on my ‘prayer wall’ in my bathroom.  It’s been there for a while, reminding me to put the precepts into practice in my life.  It’s amazing how you can read something every day and still walk away and forget it.  However, I want to go a bit deeper with this.  The plan is to share 1 or 2 over several days until we get to 10 in the “Ten ways to love”.

Hearing

Hearing (Photo credit: Keturah Stickann)

1.  Listen without interrupting.  Proverbs 18:13  13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

At first glance, finding the connection to love may be difficult, but if you’ve ever been in a situation where someone kept interrupting you or didn’t really listen, you’ll understand.  As a grandmother, I truly understand this.  You see, when we’re raising our children, we’re usually quite self-absorbed unaware busy.  We try to listen to them, but countless times, we just don’t.  When it comes to grandchildren, however, life has generally slowed down a bit, and we’ve learned a few things about what’s really important in life.  One reason grandparents are so important to a child is that they take the time to actually listen to them–without interrupting.

Listen to me Grandma

My granddaughters will plop down next to me and start talking about something that happened at school (or millions of other topics).  I may have been busy, but I stop and listen to them.  I do this because I love them, and I know how important it is to them to have me really listen.  There are occasions when I have to ask them to wait a minute while I finish something, but they know I’m not going to get caught up in my stuff and forget about them.  They put on shows for me as well.  The shows involve singing, dancing, and whatever else they think off.  I’ve learned to limit them to three shows at a time, but during their show, they have my undivided attention.  Children (and adults) equate listening with love.

Listening blocks
(composit pictures from morguefile.com)

Oh, yeah, I know just what you’re sayingWhen we converse with others (family or not), the tendency to try to guess what they’re trying to say or to plan our next statement rears its ugly head.  We’re not really listening, and we certainly have not really understood their words.  I’ve been there, and I’m guessing you have to.  You’re trying to tell something (important or not) and the other person clearly is not listening.  Today, we often see them checking their phone as we talk.  As a distractable person, I have to plan to focus.  When teaching, I have to be very careful not to get distracted when a student is speaking to me.  It’s not easy, but I know that student will judge whether I care or not by my ability to actually listen.

Well, if I were you . . .

Then there’s the times when I make a statement (usually in support of/against something or someone) when I haven’t heard the whole story – EMBARRASSING!!!  It’s amazing how quickly I can back-peddle when this happens.  A few embarrassing (and hurtful to others) moments has taught me well that I should make sure I understand all aspects of a matter before opening my mouth.  Have you ever experienced this?

How about God?

Do you really listen to Him?  Our prayers often resemble a litany of wants or us doing all the talking with no listening involved.  God speaks to us in several ways, but how often do we listen, really listen?  I confess:  I’m guilty!  We can love God by actually listening to Him (and obeying what we hear).  If anyone deserves our attention, it is God!

What about you?

Do you listen without interrupting?  Do you listen without allowing distractions to pull you away?  Does the person speaking know you’re listening?  Do you interrupt, plan your next statement, check your phone (or even text/take a call), or something else that tells the person speaking:   I do not really care about you enough to listen.   Maybe some of you have pointers on how to listen well (or posts you could share a link to).  Do you think listening without interrupting shows love?  I await your feedback and comments. 🙂

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