Friend asked about black churches, democrats, and D vs R “theology” this am. I responded this way.
Political party affiliation really has nothing to do with Christianity. Period. Worldview and politics are best rendered and focused to Caesar. I love attending “black” churches and all Great commission focused churches. There are plenty, look to left, look to right... and then focus UP. Philippians 4 addresses it perfectly.
For record: All have sinned and fall short of glory. We are saved by Christ... not by govt or politics... or Caesar.
Unity of purpose in great commission does not require uniformity of action. Period. It is a hard reality for all sides. I do not need to understand actions and choices of others if I’m focused on God and my assigned mission. Where I am. As I am. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat.
Fear mongering is about focusing on what others cannot or should not do because of what you "might" lose...because of wildly speculative models and ideas with faulty logic and flawed assumptions...
Hopeful leaders focus on foundations of faith and love... anticipating what we will all gain when we adhere to principles.. rather than principals.
It is easy to find people and things to hate. It is even easier when our world view is based on victimization and comparison. This hatred often flows into violence and oppression.
Newsflash: the solution is NEVER more hate. Violence is a symptom of the hatred not a solution.
Loving and serving in a world based on individual accountability, honor, and respect is not a utopian dream. It is achievable here and now. Every day is an opportunity. Every person is a specific, beloved, first born child of Christ. When we start acting like it, things change.
Big things are managed by little things. Big problems are solved by many little solutions. There is no easy button and there is no magic bullet. Do the work. Make good decisions. Good BIG things will happen. Keep your eyes on the right prize. This is a big thing.
Luke 16:8-18 MSG
[8-9] … God Sees Behind Appearances [10-13] Jesus went on to make these comments: If you're honest in small things, you'll be honest in big things; If you're a crook in small things, you'll be a crook in big things. If you're not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store? No worker can serve two bosses: He'll either hate the first and love the second Or adore the first and despise the second. You can't serve both God and the Bank. [14-18] When the Pharisees, a money-obsessed bunch, heard him say these things, they rolled their eyes, dismissing him as hopelessly out of touch. So Jesus spoke to them: “You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what’s behind the appearance. …
By Lonnie Bullock..
As we move into early voting and the last few weeks before the election, I have been thinking often about the filters I use in selecting the person I will vote for. Beyond party alignment, beyond fear, beyond media hype, beyond the deception of advertising, I find myself asking, "What will influence my decision when I mark my ballot?"
Here are some of the filters I am using to determine my vote:
1. I am a Christian who values the teachings of the Bible so that is my first filter.
2. I have and will forever be a defender and voice for the unborn. I will never silence by voice by voting for a person who devalues the life of the unborn.
3. I value our history of being a republic of states, united under one constitution.
4. I believe government should be as small as possible and exists to serve the people not for the people to serve the government.
5. I believe all people are created equal and should not be used as pawns to accomplish political agendas.
6. I believe in capitalism and that government exists to encourage private ownership and not government control.
7. I believe those who have much, much is required as individuals find ways to serve the community.
8. I value religious freedom and believe the church is essential to the health of communities and our nation.
9. I value law and order equally administered and enforced.
10. I will support those who best match my filter and who love their country.
I am proud to be an American and am excited to participate in our great democracy by voting. I encourage all of you who live in America to do the same.
The choir and collective singing is in the heart of worship. It is powerful, indicting, and comforting, but not always comfortable. Your congregation is essentially a choir. The recent pandemic crisis has restricted almost all communal singing due to the numbers, aerosol science speculations, fear, and the reality that Covid is a serious and dangerous disease for many choral singers due to age, comorbidity and a whole series of issues and complications born out of congregating together.
Is worship suffering? Yes it is.
Are churches growing in the midst of this crisis? Not in nickels and noses that I can see. but maybe in other ways.
My premise is that the absence of congregational and choral singing has reminded us all of how important worship is to our wellbeing. It also exposes a critical gap in many churches engagement models. Fellowship, Sunday School for kids and adults, Bible Study, and Service projects are the lifeblood of our churches.. Worship is a reflection of service.. in a service. It is the lens, the metric, to evaluate our health. When we are faithful and submit to serve and love others… Worship will showcase our hearts.
We must sing together and share songs. This is about more than physical singing. It is about example. Singing is uncomfortable for many because it is an outward and public sharing of heart. This exposes us, and makes us vulnerable. We are so lucky that God covers us.
Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you.
Breaking news! It really is September First. The world continues to turn. God is in control, and we are all going to be okay.
Also.. don't be fooled by the media and politicians.. every election is important.. every single one. Principles and Platforms are the game.. not the individuals. Experience teaches us this. The seasons continue, and we the people are just that.. people. GOD HAS GOT THIS!
Romans 8:28 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Solid question asked today in our era of crime and punishment and evidence and science. If you died today, is there enough evidence available for your friends, neighbors, family members and even strangers to review and convict you of being a Christian? It isn’t about talking, being good, nice or moral... the case is made in your words and deeds. Your legacy in sharing the good news of the Gospel. We are so easily distracted these days, consumed with a desire to look good, be good, do good. Those things are indeed good, but the way to heaven is through Jesus. Belief and devotion to a man that lived, died and was resurrected for us. Earthly standards are just that. God’s standard is all or nothing. Everything ventured. Everything gained.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life— your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life— and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” Romans 12:1-2 MSG
National political strife and division in face of a historic election decision , violence and protest.
Disease, sickness, death.
Isolation, mental illness, bullying, tyranny
Entertainment, education, and evolving expectations of everyone.
Too many spending too much time focused on not dying above all else.
we must choose to live and be alive in Gods world.
The sun rises. Today is an opportunity to serve. What we see and how we see matters. Don’t worry, be happy is more than a platitude. It is a critical principle to living. Faith. Hope and love remain. That is a trinity of advice we must see and say every day.
Every group, family, and relationship has cracks. Here is the thing. When that foundation stone is under intense pressure, it is NOT possible to repair the cracks. If nothing is done, then cracks will widen and eventually the foundations will crumble completely leaving a disaster zone for everything, and everyone connected. The problem to manage is repair, without driving wedges into the cracks and making the problem worse.
In our world today, our families, our churches, our institutions are under immense pressure. Cracks which have been present forever, are being stressed and widened. Many of these “institutions” will suffer catastrophic failures. As a leader in my family, in my church, it is my job to care for the entire system. I seek to repair the cracks, or at least fill them. HOW?
First, I use time to remove pressure and then I find the strong pieces, and use them to carry the load for the weaker sections as we add strength.
The mortar is love, but the solution requires more than simply loving and accepting. It is a balancing act of stress and relief, communication and care and accountability for change. Understanding the true pillars of the foundation is a required step. For me, that is faith and commitment to God.
As a family comes apart, there are flex points.. fulcrums and pressure points. The process is the same for bring one together. We must accept the cracks, and seek to fill them so that we can lift one another and shore up the foundation.
Disagreements must not be allowed to move to contempt.
Actions and decisions affecting the “whole” must take into account the needs of the individuals.
People are equal. Ideas and solutions are not. Decisions and actions separate but they also unite when connected to a shared purpose. Unity of purpose does not require uniformity of action, but it does require a shared understanding and direction.
FAMILY. FAITH. These are flawed and cracked… but the foundations rooted in stone, rather than sand will stand the pressure… and by working together, we can find a way to avoid collapse. IF… we choose to do so.
For me, it is unacceptable to see the coming failure and do nothing, but doing something must not spread divide and weaken the whole. We must agree on the definition of the whole.
The vision to move on with life embracing faith and fellowship over fear and isolation threatens the houses of sand for many in power. Reputation, position, even authority is shifting. A powerful vision. evokes fierce opposition from many who are comfortable and just want to return to how it was “before”.
Our times are a chrysalis. We will emerge and fly soon enough. God is in command and evolving HIs space and time around us as He decides. We are changing and when we live in Him we are remade...literally. EVERYTHING CHANGES.
Tutto cambia. Vedo la luce.
Will you seek a future filled with faith and hope, rooted in love? Now is the time to decide. Don’t be one of the millions who is acting a part, performing for man rather than worshipping a loving and living God.
Worry and anxiety kill. Faith, Hope, and Love sustains. Each of us chooses how to LIVE.
Focusing on how to not die each day is a mindset for victims and losers. Worst of all it spreads like a virus. I don’t understand the morbid attraction to suffering and victimization so prevalent in 2020. I speculate that it is perpetuated by #idiotsincharge to facilitate control and compliance.
Faith in Jesus Christ and His love and immediate care for us is a vaccine against the virus of fear. The consequences of fear are real in the near term and long term window. Faith and belief secure us now and forever.
To believe that science will secure you and save you is the root of foolishness. The only thing worse is to believe that government will somehow secure and save you in the now, near, or far. That is a 2020 hindsight reality check
I want to grant sincerity to technology and healthcare leaders. I don’t anymore. My cynicism born of the 2020trials and 20+ years in tech and leadership has infected me. I’m not sure there is a cure. I’m not sure there will ever be a cure. Without a modicum of respect, the distrust germinates and spreads like a virus into every experience.
I trust God. Period. His power is absolute. His love is unbounded. He listens and hears me in my whining.
The government told you it was dangerous. The government is now telling you it is safe. If you trust the government you should be fine right?!
Perhaps trusting the government and the media is the actual problem with 2020. Think about it.
I have a specific and personal view of the #idiotsincharge but I am also bound by my views on Romans 13.
As for me and my house...
Life. Liberty. Pursuit of happiness.
Faith over fear ... trust in God.
If you choose to blindly trust and follow the government into fear and subjugation, that is your choice. I strive to not judge. It is very hard.
The #idiotsincharge of America’s public health policy are unable or at least unwilling to qualify and quantify risks and reactions to decisions. The risk of dying immediately (acute crisis) MUST be balanced against the long term ramifications and chronic crisis concerns. This reasoning includes employment, social connections, and the entire Maslow hierarchy of needs.
Life, Liberty or Lockdown seems to be the current state of affairs in leadership. The cost of impairing education, and jobs/dignity along with creating systemic dependency and victimization is catastrophic.
As a man of faith, I am not afraid to die today. I do not want to die today. I do not want others to die today either, but it will happen as life goes on and our story continues to be written. We live and we die. The crisis is not in the death as much as it is in our choice to not live.
We need to reject fear.
We need to seek liberty and livelihood and love and service.
We must choose a better balance as we rebuild America. Hindsight is 2020. The fear of the first half of 2020 must be managed.
To live or not to live will always perplex us in the how. I say that we accept the crisis and manage but we must see and embrace the totality of the crisis. There is no drug to fix it. There is no magic easy button. Every day, I choose to live.
Headlines read “cases up, new record highs”
this is a good thing. The virus will spread as they always do. The morbidity rate for just about anyone under 70 is so small that it is largely insignificant. As the cases in the “99.9+% likely to survive” segment increase the human race develops the ability to fight back with its intelligent design immune system and systems.
the approach must be to minimize the deaths from this new threat. Period. That means isolating elderly, at risk segments and continuing life among everyone else. Yes the virus will spread. Yes. Folks will get sick and in rare cases die... That is LIFE.
we all live in face of fear and and make choices. I choose to LIVE and do the best I can as I always have. The viruses and sickness and tragedy surround me. My faith hope and love sustain me. The fear is a disease in itself and the impact and fatality rate of this global fear virus is at a record high. Cases are up and spreading even now.
It is done now. Recovering from the sound and fury is not simple and everyone does it differently. Our societal leaders rang the fear bell in March. We the people responded and hid away from life and one another. We denied our basic needs for community and faith and fellowship and embraced FEAR as our overseer. Authoritarian tendencies were encouraged because it was for the greater good, for public health, to save our most at risk, to save ourselves.
we the people are now afraid. Our fragile hold on trusting one another has been ripped away in most cases. Instead we now rely on the TV, on the Internet, on the government.
Dictators and authoritarians know that fear binds us. They use it to manipulate and control us. It is then followed by force.
The solution to the sound of fear is the liberty bell. We stand up and sing together of our faith in God, and one another. We must embrace our lives and living in place of fear. We cannot unring the fear bell that our #idiotsincharge rang so recklessly but we can stand together and ring a whole chorus of bells into the future filled with faith, hope, and love. The fear is always there but it can be overcome with faith.
Last few days and weeks have represented a manic phase for me and many. In my mind, I can see clearly how so many threads are intertwined. Sleep is the casualty it seems. As I manage and prioritize my time and attention on others in place of self I am able to cope.
The unending victimization mentality is exhausting. It is true that each of us has different advantages and challenges. I am lucky to have made many good choices and experienced so many wonderful people. I want to share my blessings and I do but... others are not as lucky and dod not. Seeing and hearing them... the emotional toll is a high cost. The mission to love and serve in spite of the nearly constant noise floor of “gloom despair and agony on me” is essentially endless.
I have no idea how those without faith cope. Writing, working, and studying help me. I know that in Christ all things are possible and that He is with me always, and that my charge is simpler than can imagine. Share the good news that Christ saves and go, tell, and make disciples. It IS simple. I make it hard. The threads are all around me, like a warm blanket, protecting and keeping me from the cold hard world. Every day Is an opportunity to be love and serve in this endless variety show. I am not the producer.
Quoting and thinking of great friends and great sacrifice. I give thanks on this Memorial Day and I choose to live into a hopeful and faith filled future.
“I for one will not live in fear of meeting or hugging or dining together or laying on hands to pray... I will honor those who died for my freedom by being free to weigh risk and act accordingly.” MommaY
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.” John 10:14-18 MSG
Not everyone has the ability to look ahead and see what is coming. Caution is appropriate but life is not fair or safe in reality. The sooner that each of us accepts and begins managing this reality mentally and physically, the better off we will be. World views matter. Money runs out and when it does, life becomes traumatic and dangerous.
2 Thessalonians 3:5-10 NLT
 … An Exhortation to Proper Living  And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don't follow the tradition they received from us.  For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you.  We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you.  We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.  Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” …
Intersection of principles and practices...