Gun violence is a national crisis. Law abiding gun owning citizens are not the perpetrators. We are not even major contributors. We are simply the only viable target available to a ruling political class bent on virtue signaling over virtue.
To fight an epidemic you must target and eradicate the source first and foremost. Any solution must be rooted in policing criminals, transforming mental health solutions/care, and teaching firearm safety.
This futile exercise in creating more and more laws to restrict those who already follow the law is deplorable and misguided.
It will have no material effect on the epidemic. The parallels to lockdown mentality and subservient citizens is unavoidable. The only option available is a “we will not comply” movement. This will create more law breakers not less. The #idiotsincharge are playing more and more games with the politics of power and control, manipulating emotions of the weak.
When they fail to affect the gun violence with their new lockdown logic(as they did with The 2020+ lockdowns) what will we do and say? That is the question.
When the stone was rolled away, the mask was ripped off of the facade that death is the end. The fear is overcome and faith is revealed in the flesh. Man’s vicious pursuit of relevance and virtue at the expense of the virtuous is proven false and empty.
There is nothing rational and reasonable about our risen Lord. The resurrection is miraculous just as our salvation. The Age of Enlightenment has no answer for a resurrection because Jesus is both God and Man. We see dimly through our human eyes, but today we see enough. We celebrate eternal life given to each of us specific, beloved, first born children of Christ. Hallelujah. He is risen. He is risen indeed. In the resurrection, the promise is fulfilled.
This cactus “crown of thorns” was given to me by dear friends years many ago. We aren’t good at plants in our house but it always seems to survive. Some periods have more thorns than others. Some times have more flowers than others. Today is Easter and we celebrate the risen Lord. Earthly death awaits all of us. In Christ we live forever. Death, o death, where is thy sting? It is not here in this period and time.
Palm Sunday reminds me that Triumphal entry celebrations can turn to vicious ego and power driven public executions in a matter of days. Who leads the charge? It is almost always the pious posing puritan pseudo protectors of the greater good.
Artists and their art do not fit in. They inspire and spark the soul. The popularity premise of our world today is rubbish. Light and Salt are not optional for living.
Let me be clear. President Biden is definitely not okay. I watched that press conference and it was obvious. I don’t know for sure who is running the executive branch but it is not him. My guess: whoever wrote the cards for him knows who is really leading the country and they aren’t going to tell anyone.
Also, WTH is going on with “holding” facilities on the border. There is obviously a crisis as VP Harris was assigned to solve it... seems to me that the “no transparency/media allowed” policy is also a crisis. No one is assigned to that one and the media is useless. The orange man bad model now equals old man good. The stark difference in the reporting lens for each is harming the country.
Americans are suffering. Job #1 for POTUS should be the citizens of the US. The globalist autocratic moral busybodies are the king #idiotsincharge these days.
A year ago, the federal government and state governments of the United States of America locked down the greatest country in the world. We the people were told that it was for our own food, for the greater good.
Stay at home, no church, no school, no hugs, no handshakes, no travel, no exercise, no choice. No preventative and normal medical care for anyone. Why? Covid.
The “experts” used faulty projections and models to terrify the population into submission instead of leading with authority. Media fueled the panic. Toilet paper disappeared. Supply chains were disrupted globally. Families disintegrated overnight. Singing in choirs was utterly destroyed overnight.
The TRUTH: none of the countermeasures delivered as promised. The epidemic and mortality curves of the lockdown leaders are equal or greater than the anti lockdown leaders. We live and we die. This was true before. It will always be true. The mortality rate of the human race is 100%.
What happened, whether intentional or not, was the further subjugation of people’s minds and ability to think for themselves. Our bodies fought the battles with Covid. Our minds chose to surrender to the “experts” opinions over our own because we were and are afraid.
We the people fell in line. We went along to get along. We dutifully put on our masks and stopped singing our songs of community and connection.
The medical crisis is ending now. Science has prevailed with vaccines and synthetic immunity. Those of us that had the actual disease either lived or died like every other disease. The infestation of fear and dependence on government has only begun. The consequences of THIS disease will be far worse over time. Write it down. Follow the science.
We the people need community. Masks are bad things both physically and mentally. Not singing in community is catastrophic. The one societal entity that could have fought successfully was the local church. Instead, it largely proved its insignificance and irrelevance and stayed on the sidelines like it has in so many global crises of the past.
God is working indeed. He is working individually in hearts and minds. Faith over fear is the answer. Once we accept the astounding authority of God and His power to overcome death, these earthly things become nothing. Governments rise and fall. Churches form and fail. My God is real and present in my day. I am not afraid. I am sorry for when I was afraid. I will strive to NEVER be afraid of death again. You should too.
Assigning blame and convicting a leader is a weekly reality in most churches. Punishment is death. This is how the majority of the world of “church politics” acts in response to a message of hope, plans of action, and accountability for results and better choices. This is a story we all know and relate to viscerally. Apologies and reconciliations are rare indeed but they are a foundation for healing.
Couple of weeks ago I was attacked by friends in public, in my church. It is true that I was to blame for many results over the past year. It is also true that I deserve credit for inspiring, desiring more, and delivering when most did nothing and continue to do exactly that even today.
My choice as a leader was to stay and fight on terms of men or withdraw and let God work in hearts and minds. I and family made a hard choice based on principles, plans, and hope for a future for everyone involved. The pain is still real. The grief is stifling. This is the life we are provided. Every day is an opportunity to be. Love. Serve. Repeat. Some years go better than others.
Results can’t be determined one day at a time but my decisions over time will show that I’m proud to say. Look at what I did when I stand for judgement.
I’m pretty sure that I retired from vocational music ministry this morning officially. 25 years of doing the job, fitting in, and going along for the greater good with notes, rhythms, and service design are over in my mind.
I actually resigned from First Baptist Ridgeway for any that don’t know. No hard feelings but plenty of anxiety.
Ministry is guaranteed to always be part of my future. I’m a musician so there is that, but I can’t see a job for me which forces me to fit into a box anymore. The old Jeff, the tenor, the performer, the passionate powerful presenter has been in a chrysalis for a long time. Maybe I stay in there. Maybe I come out a moth. Maybe I come out a glorious butterfly. Who know? Only God knows.
I hope that I’ll be afforded and opportunity to lead again in the future. I adore choirs. I revel in live music making with passionate and skilled collaborators. I also love preaching and teaching scripture and leadership and using technology.
the future is bright but the one thing I know for sure is that it won’t be like it was. I’m grieving that loss. I’m a change champion but even for me it is exhausting and the cost is high.
What you do when someone says “I am not okay.” Says a lot about you.
Most people will never answer that way because they don’t trust. They expect judgement, condemnation, fixing, and controlling behaviors to follow such a personal admission. Fear is in charge.
What do they most often need?
Acceptance, attention, time... relationship and connection. LISTENING and Sitting/serving, maybe studying, eating or just silence.
Are you okay? Don’t ask the question if you aren’t prepared to put in the time, sacrificially, to love and serve.
Doctrinally, I do not believe that blanket submission to govt authority coupled with the idea that safety comes from medicine and SCIENCE is correct. Forcing masking for vaccinated, and recovered patients based on nano-risk thinking is misplaced... Locking down ALL of society by force was a terrible failure and a horrific precedent which we the people have allowed.
We have swung the pendulum to politics and science and media WAY off center....
The ONLY path back is Faith over Fear.. but that is NOT popular. never was.. never will be.. such is life. PrinciplesMatter. Practically now and into the future. Be not afraid means something powerful and profound.
For anyone who sings and leads in worship AND anyone who attends and wants to lead. Perhaps most important of all...for the congregation: as we approach worship we must find the balance and always seek the higher excellent things for glory to God, not praise of men and not our own preferences. It is difficult for all roles to execute. It is simple to criticize. The relentless return of the sabbath provides a weekly opportunity. As for my experience, some are far better than other. This is simple reality.
The force is strong with this one. He should go back to population and act like everyone else to set a good example. That is one way.
In the movie of course, the special then step up and lead in a new way, setting themselves apart.
The real way is to learn where you can best serve and then do so safely after education yourself. Raising all with you while you continue to seek to improve yourself.
The answer is never to lower the bar and race to the bottom to simply include. The distribution curve has a top and a bottom. Neither can be ignored.
Educate yourself. Live your life. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat. Freely giving and loving but standing proud. Let your light shine bright for all to see. Sing loud for all to hear. Stand and be counted. You are specific, beloved, first born child of Christ. Act like it.
it would be awesome if Jesus gave the disciples light sabers. Wait? Maybe he did. See: #TheHolySpirit
Best thing I’ve heard from a pulpit in a while. I’ve added my take of course...
2019- year the media and “culture” said to cancel the negative people. Don’t do anything with them. Those realists are just negative Nellies. Everything will be fine as soon as the negative voices are gone.
2020- the year where we were all encouraged to shout down the positive hopeful people because the world was ending and system is deplorable. Their support for standing up and singing loud and proud is a radical position. Hunker down and look out for yourself above all. Socializing is unsafe. If you want to see and be with people you are killing them. Be fearful.
2021- this year we are not supposed to ANYTHING with ANYONE because... there is just too much risk. Be alone. Wait for permission. Someday when it is safe the powers in the know will tell you.
I never bought into any of it. I’m sorry for the months in 2020 where I was so flipping afraid. It will not happen again from me. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat. Is not a passive sit back and watch thing done on a video stream or TV. Living is loving and loving is living. Face to face. Hand to hand. Heart to heart.
Local churches too often thrive on a culture of control. We set a standard of fear and condemnation based on an unachievable standard and spend our precious relationship cycles telling people what they can’t do. Our control choice inhibits the mission of spreading good news.
We should be focusing our leadership and congregations on what they CAN do. That is GOOD News of great joy. God is love. We the people are charged to live in that example. The entire garden of Eden is ours and yet we focus on control and the one tree. That power choice controls us.
Here is the thing about war... cold or hot, it doesn’t matter who is to blame for the aggression. The casualties are the soldiers and the civilians, not the generals and the politicians. Think about it because the moral paradox is stunning. As the Dems and the Reps fight, the people of the United States Suffer. As friends and family fight on social media, relationships are destroyed, damaged, and in many cases lost altogether. This carnage is avoidable if we return to local actions with liberty and accountability, family and church responsibility, and respect for ALL lives now and into the future. The blame game retribution retaliation rhetoric and violence is utterly useless and only perpetuates the problem. Period.
Things that are not common:
Obviously is a term used to condescend and condemn commonly. Of course is as well.
A Conversation with a good friend today evoked this quote. “I blame Hollywood for everything... for a long time.” This continued with discussion of governing policies that have entrenched the entertainment signaling into power degrading entire segments of our population. I believe it is a both and scenario and the backstops and cultural relevance of the local church and free speech are effectively insignificant today. This is deeply disturbing. Oh, and BTW, I agree now. I blame Hollywood for everything. He who controls the minds controls the culture.
The entertainment movie, tv, media money model is literally eating America. Correction: it has eaten America.
Originally posted on FB in Feb 2017.
Results of 2020 elections provide this point.
FB activism is NOT useless.
I read thoughts and ideas from all sides. I am an adult and I ignore most of them. You can too. Recognize what your filters are and use them. Love others because of their diversity and uniqueness. Let go of the ego and accept your place in time. Tomorrow it will be different.
People are equal in value. Ideas are not.
The hysterical temper tantrum, personal attack rhetoric witnessed within the echo chamber friend circles of late is extremely effective. It diminishes respect for the presenters and contributes to the division. It isn't useless. It is destructive in unskilled hands like so many powerful tools. Recognize the power.
Choose to listen. Choose to ignore or to accept and learn. Vote and lead by example.
Faith in God trumps fear, Including fear of viruses and fear of big governments. Fear easily focuses ME exactly on what I view as the ultimate authority AND power in my life at the moment. I choose to use faith as my lens instead, now and into the future. If I remain afraid, I’m not rooted in faith and I’ve chosen poorly. Honestly.
Defining disinformation and misinformation is a serious gap in 2021 Where is the fact checking, no context warning, cancel culture hysteria when the right is targeted?
Intersection of principles and practices...