Friday, August 28, 2009

Remembering Who I Am

I have the most problems when I forget who I am and whose I am. No, I don’t suffer from short-term memory loss. At least I have no memory of such loss. Troubles accumulate when I approach a decision and forget that I am a Christian, a member of the family of God. When my brothers and I left home as adolescents, our father would often exhort, “Remember who you are.” Besides belonging to God, he wanted us also to remember that we came from a family where we had learned to respect others, to obey the law, to make ethical decisions, and to love one another. When the moment of decision looms, practicing those values solidifies my identity. When I forsake them, my moral amnesia leaves me gasping in fear, all too aware of what I have lost. Family, of origin and of God, fortifies me against all that is wrong in the world.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Seeking the Salvation of our Nation

I've been reflecting on 1 Timothy 2:1-3 lately. There the apostle Paul writes, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior." We live in tempestuous times, as did Paul. The emperor for whom he told Christians to pray was pagan religiously and a persecutor of Christians. Rather than frontal assault by protest marches, the Christian writer advocates prayer for this ruler. He offers this prayer, later verses reveal, in the context of God's desire to save humanity. A prayer for a ruler includes prayer for his health, for his family, that he will govern in the way that will best serve his nation's citizens, and that he too will know the saving grace of God by obeying God's will. I have read and heard (on television and radio) caustic attacks on our nations leaders (both Democrat and Republican). Some of the most bitter attacks came from professed Christians, and at times simply were false. We can work for good causes without slandering our leaders. Let's pray for our President and other leaders of our government and military. If we want a particular course of action to succeed, let's do our homework, learn details of the situation, write letters to our leaders, participate as informed, well-mannered citizens in town hall meetings, and present to the public and leaders the gracefulness and joy that comes with being a servant of God. Let's lift up holy hands, in prayer, without anger and disputing (check out 1 Timothy 2:8). Let's seek the salvation of our country, our leaders, and ourselves with behavior that God approves.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

When Others Misunderstand

Isakson’s awkward contortions on end-of-life counseling

Posted using ShareThis

Sometimes it just seems like no good deed goes unpunished. In the article attached, the discomfort of a Senator after an amendment he sponsored is first expanded by the other party and then attacked by his own, illustrates that. I'm sure that the congressman wanted to encourage senior citizens to take positive steps to help themselves and to remove stress from their loved ones. Now he has to defend or renounce what he did, it seems. While this situation is more intricate than I have described, it does resemble what often happens in life. Someone tries to do a good deed for others, then another misunderstands his action and denounces him. If you have never been there, I rejoice for you. It is a most uncomfortable place. It reminds us to examine ourselves before we act. When we consider the consequences of what we do, when we believe we act for the good of others and are in the will of God, we should move ahead boldly. If others misunderstand, lets stand by our action. If our action was based on misunderstanding, then we should apologize and try to correct what we have done. And in all things, seek to see evidence of the grace of God at work.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I'm back!

I've taken a break from blogging the last year or so. I have decided to revive my blogsite. The focus will continue to be encouraging and searching for means to reconcile in our society where so many seem intent on dividing. Whether in marriages, religious disputes, or political dialogues, cultivating the art of listening is crucial. Patience also is, in that sometimes one must take the time to conduct research and determine whether a claim about an individual, institution, or legislation actually is true. I'll admit that sometime a story in the media will catch my eye and I will be livid about an outrageous action or belief that someone allegedly has taken or has espoused. Too often, when I investigate, I discover that the charge was false. What I try to do (It's difficult at times!) is think the best of people and treat them the way I would want to be treated. Hmm, didn't Jesus say something about that being the summation of the Law and the Prophets? Well, I'm back, and in the future hopefully will return more to my previous format.