Tag Archives: Jesus

Speaking of Bullies

Are you scared?  The GOP Candidate is terrifying to me.  He sounds like Hitler before he became the killer.  He spews hate speech. He acts like a child who misbehaves to get attention. He recently said he would hit someone so hard their head would spin.  Bullying language!  He claims he wants to make “America great again”, but what he really means is he want to take us back to a time when only certain portions of the population had a say, reaped the benefits, and held all others down in the process.  He wants it to be a man’s world, a white world, a straight world, a wealthy man’s world, a world where only a few prosper on the backs of others and those “others”  have no say.  It was horribly wrong back then, even though they got away with it, but it is sinfully wrong today where women, people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, and  people of many religious convictions are finally getting recognized as what they are – citizens of the United States of America.  It is time to accept that we are all Americans and we all have rights according to our constitution (with amendments that spell it out). He will bully other nations too.  We don’t want or need that in a president.

Scarier still – the number of people who are rallying around this bully.  We knew there was systemic racism, though we hoped that it was changing for the better. Donald has revealed a deeply racist part of our society that has always been there but seemed to be decreasing.  He has revealed sexism, gender bias,  homophobia, and transphobia.  He espouses xenophobia.  He is a fear monger of highest degree.  He tells these people to be afraid, that all these factions are out to get them.  He goes to the core of their fears that they personally will not be able to thrive if any of THEM are allowed to thrive.

What is sad is that, contrary to that way of thinking, when we join together we can all thrive because we build each other up. Those at the top like the Billionaire GOP candidate benefit greatly from the rest of us fighting each other because if we are keeping each other down, the wealth flows to them. This is what Jesus fought for.  Recognition of the human being for everyone. Respect, care for basic needs, a voice, support for a decent life, where everyone could live healthy and productive lives. Do they really want a dictator?  I think they believe they will prosper with someone like this because they are like him but maybe that’s what Hitler’s followers believed.

This is so important for our country where we could be even greater if we cared for all our citizens.  If we stop blaming each other and trying to ban entire groups, we can come together to find those who mean to do us harm.  If we are fighting each other we play right into the hands of the real enemy.  Hatred spawns hatred.  Together we can fight terrorists, apart we are going to be victims of the same. Hatred will lead to more terrorist activity.  Love and care for one another make us stronger against all this negativity and able to help in the fight against terror.

I pray that we realize this.  What I heard at the RNC made me nervous and scared to my core.  What I heard at the DNC gave me hope.  It was good to hear that there are people who understand the real problems in the USA and are willing to move us in a direction that will help improve our lives.  Yes, OUR lives not just the few at the top but all of us.  I pray that those who are afraid of losing what they have if someone else gets what they need, will stop and think about it.  The biggest danger to middle class is the greedy 1%.  Believe me, they have no intention of sharing that with anyone.  Our greatest hope lies in our willingness to join together to build a stronger middle class, and make a way for poorest to enter into that.  Hold the richest among us to paying their fair share and participating in making the whole country better for everyone.  After all who needs a fourth jet or another villa when anyone in the country is hungry?  Seriously.  There is enough wealth in this country so that we don’t have to see anyone hungry or homeless, sick without care or suffering for lack of basic comforts.  When the Kochs (for example) can flitter away millions to buy elections, they can afford to pay more taxes to alleviate  the struggle for hard working people who just can’t make ends meet.  That’s just human decency.


Christmas 2015

This was a very special Christmas.  With all the stuff going on in the world that makes you want to curl up and hide, it was especially nice to think about Jesus and how he came into the world to be a fighter for justice, to show that love is a cure to all our woes, to help us see that being in relationship with God and with each other is heaven on earth.

Decorating the tree was great- I got to pray for so many people as I hung each ornament.  The house looked cheery and I noticed that many people chose to decorate early this year.  My guess is that like me, they needed something bright and happy to counter all the killing, abuse, violence and hatred in the world.  Celebrating Christmas gives you strength and energy to make a difference in the world around you.  I am grateful for my faith, for Jesus and the celebration of His birth.  Worshiping with my church family was special this year.

I was surrounded by my dear wonderful family.  It is fantastic having adult children who want to spend the Holidays with you.  I am abundantly grateful for family and friends.  I pray for all those who are lonely, grieving, or can’t enjoy Christmas for whatever reason.  I wish them comfort.  My prayer is for the deep peace of Christ to enter into their hearts to help them heal.


The Church is Changing

We are in the process of rethinking who we are as church in our congregation. The transition period is a little unnerving for a woman who likes structure. I have been praying a lot in these many months. I’m trying to discern where God wants me in this. As is always the case, when I pray there is hope and a sense of well being in me. It is still uncomfortable but I know God is present and active and I trust that I will be called where I will grow.
So, that was not enough, the region has decided to undergo a complete transformation as well. Here is one way I am being called to act. I have taken on some leadership at this level. It is a bit uncertain as well but I am trusting that I was led this direction for a reason.
I just returned from General Assembly and guess what? The entire denomination is beginning a transition. The writing is on the wall and we are at a place where we either change or die. WOW!
In every case the movement is away from a corporate model to a model much more like the beginning of our Christian movement. I mean WAYYY back when people were gathering who still knew the person Jesus or his disciples.
I am all for that kind of thinking. It pains me to see what some people do in the name of Jesus. They act like they have never read the Bible or heard the stories of Jesus’ ministry on earth. The man was passionate about justice, about caring, about equality and about living a life filled with love. If we can get ourselves out of the confines of the church building we might find that living a life that is truly Christ-like is actually easier than we thought. He said love one another. If we take that to heart we can change the world.

The 1% and Advent

I saw this video Wealth Inequality in America today and it made me sick. I know that this is true but have no idea what to do about it. Perhaps sharing this will be some small contribution. Remember that this is about wealth in the United States. If you include the world even our poor are rich.
As I think about Christmas and the teachings of Jesus about equality and loving one another, I wish that humanity would learn that when everyone is cared for the world is a better place. Humans are so easily ruled by ego, by desire, by greed. I believe that it is work to avoid temptation. Perhaps it is written into our DNA so we can survive but the reality is that we are social beings and survival isn’t individual but communal. We could enact laws to insure the ideal in the video for our country but those in power are among the wealthiest and don’t want to see it change. I suppose what disturbs me most is that the top 1 % controlling 40 % of the wealth will never even begin to use it all and those at the bottom may not even have the basic needs met. The top could easily change the bottom without losing anything of substance for their own lives.
The argument that they worked hard for their money doesn’t explain why so many hard working Americans struggle. It is hard to be efficient when you are hungry or worried that your children will not be ok.  I ache for the people who are just barely making it.
Christmas season is a time of giving, it should also be a time of recognizing the truth and maybe finding a way to care a little more.


Snowart2aI wrote this in 2009 for an Advent Devotional but it spoke to me today and I’d like to share it with you.

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” – Jude 17-18

Godlessness. At the time when the Letter of Jude was written the people were being led astray by those “who will follow their own ungodly desires.” In our own times there are so many things that appear to be ungodly. Greed is rampant, there is a loss of concern about others and a self-centered disregard for the effects of one’s actions on others. We are bombarded with images of violence, exploitation of persons’ bodies, and denigrating language — all in the name of entertainment.

In the season of Advent we are particularly vulnerable to being drawn into greed with the commercialization of a most holy time in the church year. How can we remain true to God in a climate such as this?

Perhaps the words of Jude’s letter ring true today as we face a world at odds with our understanding of the kingdom of God. When we regard one another as children of God and care for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, we catch a glimpse of the world as God intended it to be.

The Jude text offers hope. “Build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love…”

There are always choices to be made. We can allow ourselves to be swept up in the craziness of the season or we can remember that we have been given an amazing gift. If we can remain true to our belief that Jesus is the Christ and he is the lens through which we can focus our lives on God then we can combat the negatives in our lives that try to keep us from staying on the right path.

It is in this season of Advent as we await the coming of Jesus once again, that we, too, can be born anew in him and build ourselves in holy faith.

Godless world? No, we are in a God-filled world. We just have to be open to the many wonders of our God and turn to God in spite of all those things that pull us in other directions.

There is hope in Christ. We are called to that hope. We pray that we will find it as we await the coming of Christ anew. Amen.