I still mean it #LetGraceReign

This morning I woke up to the horrific news that my candidate had lost the election.

I went to bed convinced we were going to have our first woman President elect, but by the time I woke up, the USA had made a huge mistake.

But I stand by what I said yesterday  https://screamofcontinuousness.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/letgracereign

#LetGraceReign was not just a mantra for being nice to people if my team won.

#LetGraceReign applies even now.

Even though my heart is filled with fear. I know that God is still the one who sets up rulers and tears them down.

My 8 year old daughter is crushed and horrified.  I spent the first 15 minutes of my day praying with her.

Praying for our neighbors, our friends who are Black, Muslim, Gay, Transgender, Latino.

We even prayed for Trump.  That God would confront him and radically change his heart and mind.

I’m frustrated.

I’m angry.

But even now, I will not authorize hate. Not towards people who voted for him, not towards people who voted for 3rd parties, not even towards the protest people who stayed home.

I believe that Trump is inimical to all decent humans.  Therefore all decent humans (whether Christian or not) just became missionaries in hostile territory.

I have an advantage over people who don’t believe God and the Bible.  I know that Trump cannot touch my soul.  I know that my redeemer lives. And I know whom I have believed and He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto him against that day.

I’ve given my soul into God’s keeping long ago.  That is what matters most and Trump can’t touch it.

That said, I know my mission for the next four years (what should have been my mission all along) is to stand up for those who need my help.

And to spend more time on  my knees praying for us all as we learn more about forgiveness and mercy than we ever knew before.

#LetGraceReign

 

 

#LetGraceReign

It is time, and more than time to begin the work of healing the wounds that we all have given and sustained these past few months.

The die is cast.

People are casting their votes.  Their minds have been made up for quite a while, now we just have to wait to see what the outcome is.

But you know what is remarkable?

Whoever wins this presidential race has no effect whatsoever on who I am.

I am a precious child of God……and I still will be on Wednesday morning.

I am a sinner who is covered in the blood of the Lamb……and that will still be true Wednesday morning.

I have friends and family on both sides of this contest who are angry…..and that is still, sadly, going to be true on Wednesday morning.

God expects me to obey the laws of the land….and that will still be true Wednesday morning.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, the one who resists authority is opposing what God has set in place, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
Romans 13: 1 & 2

 

God is in charge of this and all other elections…..that has always been true and it will still be true Wednesday morning.

“God changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others.”
Daniel 2:21

“But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another”
Psalm 75:7

“By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice”
Proverbs 8:15

So, whether we have a Trump or a Clinton president elect by Wednesday, know this beyond all doubt –
GOD PUT THEM IN THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THIS LAND FOR A DIVINE REASON. 

So guess what?

All the hurts, and the scorn, all the anger….let it go.  It has no meaning anymore.

Lets move on to the very real business of extending GRACE to each other.

Forgive those who have hurt you.  Love those who have wounded you.  If you can’t figure out where to start or what to do, or you think you lack the strength to accomplish this, I have good news for you.  God himself has promised to help you.

“If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”
James 1:5

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Colossians 3:13

“Though he scoffs at the scoffers, yet He gives grace to the afflicted”
Proverbs 3:34

“But He gives us more grace. That is why scripture says that God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble”
James 4:6

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God, through Christ Jesus, forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32

Remember, I’m saying all this this BEFORE we know who will be sleeping in the White House in 2017…..and it will ALL STILL BE TRUE WEDNESDAY MORNING.

#LetGraceReign

 

 

 

 

 

don’t hurt yourself

I’ve been posting a fair amount in the last three months on my social media sites about something a lot of white people don’t like to talk about.

I’ve been warned.

“don’t post anything political”

and

“don’t post anything that can be seen as negative”

“don’t use that hashtag about Black Lives cause it is only going to hurt you, and your business”

um….

no.

No, I’m not going to keep my head down and keep posting only sweet photos of Ginny, and positive stories about work, skating and life in general and fail utterly to acknowledge the horrendous treatment of black people in this country.

Shootings make the news every other day now,  and that’s horrific, but I’m not even really talking about that.  To me the saddest thing is all unvoiced, insidious assumptions that are made about black people.  It’s all the times I’ve kept silent and allowed others around me to speak to black co-workers in ways they would never talk to me.  It’s all the times I myself have failed to recognize my own assumptions about others that were based on appearance.

I’m not a social activist.  I’m not a social scientist.  I’m not qualified to evaluate the mess in this country and propose sweeping solutions.

What I am qualified to do is to tell the truths that I know.  When I see an article from a friend or stranger that moves me.  I’m gonna share it.  Whether it is about an uplifting time someone had a recent youth retreat, or a horrific encounter in a department store as blatant racism reared its ugly head.

If those posts cost me business (my jewelry business involves social selling,  on-line and home parties etc) that’s fine with me.  If sharing how I feel about how black people are mistreated and systemically pushed down in the USA costs me friends, I’m okay with that too.  If that is the only pain I encounter from being truthful, I’ll consider myself blessed.

I don’t want to contribute to the idea that “everything is okay” because everything is not okay.  I don’t need statistical analysis to show me that people all over this country are being judged by how they look.  I’ve been in a grocery store line with one of my dearest friends. He happens to be a very tall very black man.  I’ve seen the cashiers avoid his eyes and look at mine to make sure I’m okay.

People don’t do that to me when I’m with my (white) husband…even when he looks like a scruffy wild-man.  No one has ever tried to catch my eye to check that I’m alright.   That cashier had no reason at all to judge my dear friend.  He was dressed better than I was that day.   Actually he is always dressed better than me.  The man is a snappy dresser.  The only thing she could possibly have had against him was his skin color.

Let’s get something clear –

making any decision about any human being based on what they look like

is flat out wrong.

That’s not a political statement.  And it shouldn’t be a shocking concept.  It shouldn’t be even remotely controversial.

Yet somehow, sadly,  it is.

Because none of us like to confront our own flaws.  None of us enjoy the work it takes to eradicate bad habits and sloppy thinking.  But we have to.  Especially if you claim to be a follower of Christ.

Jesus followers should glory in all the incredible range of color and style of the entire human race.

Jesus followers should recognize that we are all precious. We are all valuable.  For one very simple reason:

Jesus Christ, the only Son of God spilled out his blood and died for ….who exactly?

only people who deserve it?  NO

only people who have never made a mistake? NO

only people who interpret the Bible the exact same way I do? NO

only people who happen to look just like yourself?  NO

only the people who vote the same way I do?  NO

Christ suffered and died for ALL types of humans, with all different opinions.  Get used to it.  Or stop calling yourself a follower of Christ.

 

 

 

did the world just end?

did the world just end?

My mother and I had an actual conversation about politics last night.

We spoke to each other about who we will each be voting for in the presidential race and why.  No, it is none of your business who is voting for whom, and it’s not really germane to this post.

Here is what is germane:

  • We actually listened to each other.
  • no one yelled.
  • no one vowed to pray the other around to a right way of thinking.
  • no one said anything insulting.

Obviously we are on opposite side of the voting question.  Basically if you put us in one car to go to the polls we may as well go shopping, because we cancel each other out.

nomakeup

From a family dynamics perspective this conversation itself was a miracle.

and I’ve been happy about it for a little over 12 hours now.

but…..

Neither one of us is overly thrilled with our own choices.  Both of us feel we are choosing the lesser of two evils. Even though we disagree about which candidate is the lesser evil.   We each acknowledge the flaws in our chosen candidate, but choose to ignore them because we see something bigger and ickier in the other candidate.   And we each see the flaws in the other candidate as being too big to ignore.

Our reasons for our choices are basically identical.  Reasoned out logically and thoughtfully stated.

But we came to exactly opposite conclusions.

I find that troubling, but not for the reason you may assume.

It is far too easy to think of people who are on the opposite side of the political fence (or any other fence actually) from you as “ravening hordes” “masses of ill-informed cretins” “unthinking persons swept up in a near religious fervor” etc…. but this my own mother.  And her mind, though approaching elderly, is pretty dang sharp.

No, I’m not re-thinking my political choice based on her stated position. What I am  getting to is this:

We all desperately need to re-think how we paint those who disagree with us. 

Life is not about “US vs THEM”  I’ve been guilty of this far too often.  So, for my own benefit, and perhaps my one or two readers, I’m going to spell it out:

Painting ANY group or person with a broad brush is NEVER going to produce TRUTH.

  • women are not all excessively emotional
  • black people are not looking for trouble
  • gay people are not twisted sickos out to harm kids
  • men are not all cheaters
  • rich people don’t all spend loads of time and energy avoiding taxes
  • poor people are not looking for a handout
  • teenagers are not making your life difficult on purpose
  • democrats are not trying to destroy this country
  • republicans are not trying to destroy this country

If we stopped having such sloppy thinking, a whole lot of the problems of this society would evaporate.

Look at it this way….if  you hired a portrait artiste to paint your portrait you would have certain expectations.

They will show up with paints, canvas and brushes.  The brushes will be varied in size, but will typically include some small enough to do justice to the details of you.

If instead the artiste shows up with one color and a single large house sized paint roller you would dismiss him, right?  He can’t adequately convey the complexity of you using only one color and a paint roller bigger than your head !!!

How would he capture your smile? the light in your eyes when you are about to get creative? the tiny, barely visible scar from that time you and your best friend decided to play super heroes and you learned that you don’t really know how to fly?

Do you see what I’m saying?

If YOU DESERVE to be SEEN IN FULL DETAIL, SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE

So put down the paint rollers people.

Instead, pick up a palate with a full rainbow of colors to work from and for the simple love of accuracy (if nothing higher) please learn to look for the details and use a smaller brush to paint the truth about each individual in your life.
Lets commit to see, and create, works of, Human, Earthly, ART.