Texting, emails, calling and FaceTime are not enough to grow relationships. These new channels for comm may not even be enough for sustaining relationships. Hard times and good times together are required. Tears and Laughter are the life blood of true community. Communication is not community. Community is required to grow and sustain. This is how we are made.
I sincerely hope and pray that President Biden will be successful in governing our nation. I ask him and his administration to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and to empower American Patriots to serve together as we serve one another under the authority of the constitution of the United States of America.
I look forward to hearing the positive chills and thrills of the media over the coming months. My cynicism as to actual results from actions at the federal level will remain but this is the way with hope and change. We will all see how it plays out. Good luck Mr President.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and give you peace. I ask all of this in Jesus name. Amen.
#1 Church growth Factor is...
not: Worship Music ( but style matters along with depth and feel...)
not: Facilities ( but they matter both for function and look and feel..
not: Preaching (but skill, and practical cultural currency is critical... )
not: Technology (but it matters in rooms, in parking lots, on iPhones, and at home... it cannot be ignored or off the cuff)
#1 -->> HOW we, the congregation, interact with PEOPLE matters most of all.
Communications TO the people is just a piece of building COMMUNITY... with the PEOPLE. All tied up in circles of 5ths. -- contact me for more information
It is not possible to just expect community. We all choose. Everyone must choose. Context and activity, even purpose, come into play. Physical proximity is an enabler, but it is far from enough. Without a shared reason, living "together" becomes a chore not a blessing. Only Christ abides with us regardless of condition. We strive towards this prize. #churches #families #neighborhoods
With a shared purpose and context community can exist where members have never even met face to face. Love and respect can be exchanged. Even dissent can be lived together. This "distance" is difficult, it requires more skill and tools to manage, but it does provide community.
My experience has proven that we need all of the above, but that these blessings are just that... they are blessings. We cannot and should not expect them without sacrifice and condition, in this world. In Christ alone we stand indeed. It is not easy, it is simply true.
Just imagine what could happen if the social media giants turned their full attention to unity. They could “tune” their algorithms to promote the areas and topics of agreement, the topics which bridge and connect disparate groups. Instead, there is this rush to be right and silence anyone who disagrees, promoted and prioritized with insidious efficiency. The effect is a population at war.
We cannot silence and silo ideas and people so brazenly and expect the dissent to just go away. The history of humanity proves this point beyond a reasonable doubt.
My solution is simpler than most would imagine.
— Sing together regularly seeking a spark of inspiration in texts and melodies. It must be done intentionally and actively. Church is a place to start. The discipline of singing within the group and achieving a shared sound of the soul is worthy of high regard. #ChoirIsLife
As to social media. The powers that be could change their approach if they wanted. They do not. These 21st century robber barons profit from the fighting and the attention of their addicted population (products)
Battles should be fought inside the capital building... but our constitution dictates the rules of how they are fought. Our representatives are expected to follow rules of debate and decorum and conduct themselves in accordance with the expectations of both their constituency and their bosses in leadership. The job of an elected representative to the Congress of the United States is a job. The citizens job is to elect a representative... The representatives job is to fight for his/her citizens with in the legislature. I am cynical about our future as a country when so many don't understand and can't even begin to articulate the practical realities of their job. #idiotsincharge I suppose I am lucky that my representative is doing a good job. My Senators are a disgrace. Judgement of the executive branch is a disaster. My job, my mission, is to be heard and communicate. I don't have a direct vote. That is how the system is designed for good reason.
Christianity is not rational. It is miraculous. Jesus loves us in spite of us. He was resurrected from the dead and is God was God as well as man. Based on what we know, this is impossible. Faith requires belief in what it impossible.
The mystery of the Trinity boggles the minds of men because we are made, we are not God. It is okay to not understand everything. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat. This is the way.
Singing in a safe space is a way forward. We need to start somewhere in society. The local church and musicians are a critical step.
We as individual must step up and be the light. #JustSing
Best thing for all of us is to stop talking about President Trump and start talking about Jan21 plus.
First 100 days will do exactly what for 🇺🇸US? What are the steps to heal and move on. Leadership requires casting a vision and then executing. #SuckItUpButtercup applies to all parties.
2021 mass views. If you are conservative, then the views of the few(extremists) apply to you and you should repent because all of you are destroying society even if you have done no violence and have in fact condemned extremism at every opportunity. The actions of a few are used to condemn the many.
If you are liberal, then the views of the few(violent extremists) do NOT apply to the larger group at all. The left is a mostly peaceful protest model of civil service which is allowed by the benevolent overseers of information. The actions of the few are ignored because the powers that be benefit from the violence in thought and deed.
Riots are indeed the language of the unheard but no one is listening to half the country as the pendulum of power swings between the epic two towers like a scene the Lord of the rings.
Obviously... Of course... everyone agrees... it’s common sense/common knowledge - All Based on character assumptions. Using those terms is a clearer pathway to judgement and condemnation than influence and reason.
Always and never contribute to escalation not resolution.
Friday thinking on FutureOfUS
The GOP has never been about the man. The pivot to a party of Trump and its cult of personality as a response to the identity politics of the past decade was something to behold. I myself have been caught up in it all too often. The policy achievements were astounding to behold but in the end the chaos at the capitol has undone the legacy of President Trump. I was a reluctant Trump voter who joined the Trumptrain somewhere around 2018 and I have now jumped off that train.
I am not ashamed of my decisions and actions and I am not to blame for the actions of the idiots at the capitol or the many #idiotsincharge all over DC but I am accountable for my example. I hope and believe that my words matter. I hope that some may listen to them, read them, and learn from them. I'm not an expert in politics, but I am experienced. From my corporate consulting career, to 25 years in music and worship ministry in churches of many denominations, the power versus authority struggle is never-ending. Decisions and actions are required as the train of grievances continues down the tracks.
What do I think should happen now?
1. President Trump should resign from office immediately hand the reins of power to VP Pence allowing for an honorable and truly peaceful transition of power devoid of the divisive and toxic rhetoric in the center of our national discussion.
2. The GOP should unite behind this action condemning the rhetoric of President Trump but applauding his policy achievements. We the people can focus on vaccine distribution and restoring trust in the election system... it will take time but it will unify and heal in action and achievement.
3. That same GOP must publicly do a mea culpa to its base for losing the Senate and the Presidency.. Yes the Dems will howl at their moon and take victory laps. The media will trumpet their victory and moral superiority, and the adults in the room will sit and take it allowing them to show their true partisanship and elitist nature.
4. The GOP minority would then be positioned to shift the national attention to the incoming Biden/Harris administration and what will happen in place of what did happen. The policy failures of the socialist democrats will become obvious soon enough. The slim margins should allow for solid obstruction of the most radical agenda items, and for a delay strategy.
5. The populists, conservatives, and libertarians should unite and take control of both the house and the senate in 2022 under the banner of a new GOP.. unified in purpose, policy, and principles.
It will take decades to undo this damage. We might as well start now.
To be completely honest, I’m surprised that a lot more people were not shot and killed yesterday. If you storm the capitol of the United States of America 🇺🇸, threatening our elected leaders, you should expect to be met with deadly force.
Same Principle applies to lives and property everywhere just in a more local and individual scale. My property is my capitol. #2A — #1A is attached to peaceful assembly. Violent assembly and incursions must be met with force. (Including deadly force as an option)
74 million Americans voted for Trump and we lost the election. Vast majority of the protestors yesterday were peaceful proud Americans. The radicals who rejected rule of law and stormed the capital building violently were criminals and were indeed a vast minority. There are radicals on both sides of every issue and they must be treated with equal disdain and disgust.
President Trump again acted recklessly with his rhetoric yesterday and Americans died. The escalating violence over the last year could have been stopped by Democratic and Leftist leaders but they acted recklessly in appeasing violence for votes and Americans died.
Our system of govt is fully intact. We have a republic if we can keep it. Governing authority is derived from the people. Power is wielded by the people for the people by “the government” in DC and the states. We the people will always disagree. The mechanism for progress and prosperity is voting, and adherence to rule of law outlined by our constitution, enforced by our government. This is the way.
The rush to blame and group is natural but wrong. 74 million maga Americans did not storm the capital building yesterday. An Illegal, incited, mob did. It was allowed to escalate out of control and Americans died. This story has been told over and over through 2020. It must not be told any more in 2021.
Sadly, I’m not exactly hopeful that this is feasible.
Something broke last year. It may not be repairable en masse. I pray that God is making something new in all of this. As for me and my house, we serve and we sing. This is the way.
Many of us, spoke up passionately and vehemently condemning the protests and violence of the past year. I again condemn the protests and violence of today. The sides don’t matter. The emotions are strikingly similar. The results of our collective lack of action and appeasement have proven to be tragic and so very sad. The pursuit of uniformity is utopia and ridiculous. We CAN and must embrace a unity of purpose that binds US rather than divides us.
Quoting President Elect Biden, “enough is enough”... I add that enough was enough long ago.
Turning on a light in the midst of a dark, dangerous place is not a subtle small thing. It is miraculous, courageous and powerful.
Think evil, bugs, criminals, etc. The light is the beginning of their end and they know it. They will fight.
Stand up and fight back. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat is not about being neutral. Let your light, the light of God, shine. Let it shine Let it shine let it shine.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
--- Marianne Williamson.
If you are out there thinking that Covid is not that dangerous you need to educate yourself.
If you are out there thinking that the Federal, State and Local government’s responses to Covid are not insidious AND dangerous, you SERIOUSLY need to educate yourself.
Different problems... related but each is a tragedy and a catastrophe in its own right. The impact of the governing authorities’ failures is just beginning to be noticed. Buckle up because 2021+ is gonna be INSANE.
I enjoyed listening to Cardinal Dolan in NY just now. I agree... Religion is a very personal thing, but it is not private. The secular humanist idea/movement to silence and sideline faithful is in direct opposition to the great commission. Relegating faith and testimony to Jesus as non-essential is insidious. Amplifying secular voice while restricting and minimizing the "church" will not succeed. It never has. Focusing on secular and human ability has however created and spread chaos and tyranny along with pain and suffering whenever it is separated from GOD. History proves this simple fact over and over and over.
Christians must utilize our rights and stand up publicly for our beliefs and principles. Government is not God. Science is not God. Pain and suffering are not God and are certainly not eternal. We are blessed beyond measure to understand and accept the simple truths personally as we share the good news publicly.. in word and deed. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat.
"God fully expects the church of Jesus Christ to prove itself a miraculous group in the very midst of a hostile world. Christians, of necessity, must be in contact with the world but in being and spirit ought to be separated from the world. --- and as such we should be the most amazing people in the world." A W Tozer 1897-1963
“...All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with youalways, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20
It is difficult for me to understand actions which elevate the darkness of our world in the face of such hope and light. The birth of the child, any child, is an inestimable miracle and blessing. Jesus birth, savior of the world, shows us the love and hope in the Lord.
It is a choice to embrace the sadness, and the darkness born out of our fallen nature. It is a choice to submit to the fear of the unknown. Faith is hope in the throes of the turmoil and struggle.
Joy comes in the morning. The night is cold and dark, and we must not linger there precisely because we KNOW that the morning is coming.
We as Christians MUST stand and be counted for what we know. I know whom I have believed. It is not the television, or the government. I trust in the name of the Lord of Lords. Jesus loves me in spite of my nature. That is a miracle indeed.
The new face of our 2020 Rona reality has been unmasked. 300+ Million Americans must decide for themselves how to proceed just as it has always been.
Principles MATTER!! Protect the vulnerable. Educate yourself. Live your life.
If you consider yourself at risk take precautions accordingly. Your neighbors’ health is not your concern. Your neighbors’ decisions are not your concern once you’ve been vaccinated.
We have mechanisms for you to protect yourself. Use them. Let’s Roll. Choose for yourself. Move on .gov.
Refuge and relief from evil does not come from logic, laws, nor music, nor art or poetry. Evil and darkness do not recognize reason. We cannot save ourselves but we need to only ask and we are saved. In a moment... Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the way the truth the life... Our hope... He is our refuge and our strength in the face of evil. He lights the way and walks by our side. In him every valley shall be exalted...the crooked straight, and the rough places plain. Look to the heavens friends. Seek ye first the kingdom and his righteousness. And then, all these things will be added unto you.
The election is over. VATENOR has spoken.
The mandate to the People of the United States (potus) is to make America great again. 100%. Congratulations to President elect Biden. POTUS elect.
I think the next 4 years will be rough but they won’t be any rougher than the last four were for Democrats. Extremism on both sides is the enemy. Conservatives must stand and fight inside the system. Keep the senate. Obstruct the leftist agenda wherever possible. Investigate corruption and fraud. Protest peacefully in the streets. Adhere to the rule of law but be willing to stand and be counted as soldiers against the words and rule of the media elite communism tenets which have such a strong foothold in society.
I hope the Harris Biden administration can be kept in check to conserve the policy progress of the last 4 years while restoring some sense of unified purpose. We the people who voted for Trump will not come to heel but we are supportive of HEALING.
Mechanisms for disagreement are built in: VOTING and rule of law.
If you don’t know what I think it is on you. from Vatenor on FB to VaTenor.com to this personal page. Even my sermons and videos on my Vimeo page are consistent. I walk my talk.
I am a rugged individualism champion and an artist and a lot of things that don’t fit into any box. The question is. Will you allow me to think what I think? And still keep me on your life? Lost a lot of “friends” (mostly just pseudo friend acquaintances) in last year and that is a shame but it was necessary.
My worldview allows for yours. My actions and decisions/actions are aligned and intellectually honest. As a principal I’m not always right... literally. As to principles... right is the way.
If you can’t tolerate principled conservativism and you choose to censor, lock down, despise and demean... and disconnect that is on you. I’ll grieve your loss in my world and respect your freedom to be as you are.
As a proud resident of Henry County (legacy of Patrick Henry) I repeat give me liberty or give me death.
The Bill of No Rights
The following was written by State Representative Mitchell Kaye from GA
We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bedwetters. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights .
ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone - not just you! You may leave the room (ed.: or this page), turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.
ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.
ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.
ARTICLE VIII: You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.
ARTICLE IX: You don't have the right to a job. All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
ARTICLE X: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness - which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
Intersection of principles and practices...