Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Truth about Fence-Sitting

"The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing."
--Edmund Burke

You cannot be against something without being for it's counterpart.

Inaction is, in fact, action.

We cannot, and do not exist in a vaccuum.  When we fail to take action, we, in effect, promote our cause's demise.  

If this sounds random and theoretical, let me give you an example.

I buy my favorite cake.  I can choose to eat it or not to eat it.  If I leave it on the counter for a week, trying to make up my mind about eating it, I have by my inaction chosen to not eat it, for at some point, it becomes inedible. If I eat it, then I cannot have it, too.  (Thus, the famous saying.)

I use this example to illustrate what I feel many of my Christian friends are doing, regarding our current election.  They slam a particular candidate because he is carnal, and in their mind does not represent their moral world view.  So they use many opportunities, whether with humor, sarcasm, or outright character assassination to put that person down.  But they offer no solution.

"Oh, whoa is me, I don't like any of my choices.  So, I will just complain about how broken the system is, and rally my friends around me and we can make jokes and slam candidates (in the most christian way, of course) and live in our bubble."  But we have, in effect, made a choice.  We have allowed evil to triumph.

I believe there is a huge chasm between the two leading candidates, in what they stand for and what they promote.  One is carnal, one is evil.

I see a lot of my friends sharing strong opinions about what they are against.  But they offer no solutions. To them, I have to keep myself from reaching for the caps lock button, and shouting, "OKAY, OKAY, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE AGAINST, BUT WHO ARE YOU FOR??? To pray and then vote according to what they feel is the prompting of the Holy Spirit is their obligation as a citizen and as a Christian. To bash a candidate or a platform without promoting something else, is in effect promoting the counterpart.

I respect people who vote according to their conscience, whether or not their vote ends up counting. There are arguments for and against voting for a third or fourth party candidate.  If you have researched, and prayed, and then voted, well amen.  You are operating in faith and in good conscience.

BUT IF YOU SLAM, MOCK, ACCUSE, AND JOKE, AND THEN DO NOT VOTE, I believe it is sin.  I believe you have played into the hands of the pharisaical mindset.  And Jesus never had anything good to say about the Pharisees.  He wasn't politically correct.  He didn't beat around the bush.  He condemned their attitudes and their actions.

But he welcomed the sinners.  He even ate with them.  He granted mercy to the woman caught in the act of adultery.  He praised a woman with a sordid past for her broken and contrite spirit.  He healed the demoniac.  He touched the unclean.

"The difference between Trump and Clinton is that Trump is a 'Sampson' (repentant)  and Clinton is a 'Jezebel' (unrepentant).  God used Sampson.  He never used Jezebel." --Lance Wallnau (paraphrased)

I truly believe God is using the present political events to humble a man to be used for Kingdom purposes.  Don't miss it, Church.  Don't shoot our soldiers when God is using the circumstance to show His glory.

You have influence.  Your opinion matters.  Don't squander it.  Pray, pray, pray.  Then speak life.

And vote.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

This is Only a Test

Well better late than never to the FMF party.  Now it's Saturday, and it's been quite a week, with a pesky demon-looking hurricane named Matthew glaring at us, horrible videos of vulgar talk and treatment of women, and the normal trials of balancing family and a business run from home.  Let's just throw in adoption, and culture, and teachers conferences, and teenage hormones. Makes for a really nice test, doesn't it?  


This is a test.  This is only a test.  If this were a true emergency you would be directed to...well, can't remember where we would be directed to, but it sounded official and important.

Yes, I remember the blood-curdling sound announcing the test of the Emergency Broadcast System.  There were always mixed reactions to that sound.  Frustration that our show was interrupted.  Back before the comfort of DVR, whatever was blocked during the test was gone forever.  But amid our frustration was a sense of awe, knowing that if it were a true emergency, someone somewhere in some official place had a plan.  And there was always a sense of relief being assured that it was only a test.  Not a true emergency.

Life lesson there, glaring at me.

Had quite a few tests this week.  Some I passed, others, well, let's just say the jury is out.  May have to retake them.  

There was the customer who rudely insisted that we pay for new kitchen hardware because her husband didn't like her selection, and now it's "only fair" that we eat the cost of her change in plans. (Other hardware is not returnable now.)  To the tune of $200.  Part of me wants to tell her where she can put the extra hardware, but that's the test-failing part of me.  The other makes me want to eat the $200, but after I, in no uncertain words, let her know that it's not her right, but the extreme kindness of my heart that makes me even consider doing this.  The voice that said, "Give it to the Lord, He will take care of the results" was weak and not at all audible.

Would have loved to have heard that blood-curdling sound and seen the colorful screen as a reminder.

Or how about just yesterday when I jumped all over my son for walking into a room scraping a large object on the floor just as I was finishing my one hundred and ninety ninth take of a promo video we  were shooting, of course with.deadline.looming.  No screech.  No colored TV screen to remind me.  

Epic fail.

Truth be told, our days are filled with all kinds of tests.  We just don't recognize most of them.  

Will we react in kindness when sarcasm is easier and much more enjoyable?

Will we go the extra mile for someone who in our minds doesn't deserve it?

Will we give when it is hard, and messy, and we are so, so tired?

Most of our days aren't filled with final exams.  Just pop quizzes.  I don't always test well.

How about you?