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Monday, October 31, 2016

As a nation...

Thought for the day: "Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable." (Franz Kafka) I also like what Franz said about obstacles: "The thorn bush is the old obstacle in the road. It must catch fire if you want to go further." So many times today we allow others to define for us what is acceptable and that is what we seem to move towards in life. We sometimes even allow what we know to be acceptable to God to take backseat in deference to what society finds acceptable. I honestly have to say I know what I want in a President, Senator, and Sheriff, but often find the candidates just don't measure up to what I believe and find acceptable. Honestly, this is one of the toughest election years for me because I don't see one candidate as rising above the other at all and it is hard for me to "defer" to what one group says over the other. I think a whole lot of others are in the same boat as me, just in a whirlwind of unease over this election because we don't see great choices in that which stands before us. So, let me just give us a word of advice as penned by Mr. Kafka - start with what is right and go from there. It may be hard to pick anyone who stands out as "really right", but we have to do better than just choosing what is "acceptable"!

So get rid of hatefulness and deception, of insincerity and jealousy and slander. Be like newborn babies, crying out for spiritual milk that will help you grow into salvation if you have tasted and found the Lord to be good. Come to Him—the living stone—who was rejected by people but accepted by God as chosen and precious. Like living stones, let yourselves be assembled into a spiritual house, a holy order of priests who offer up spiritual sacrifices that will be acceptable to God through Jesus the Anointed. (I Peter 2:1-5 VOICE)

As a nation founded on the principles of "freedoms" - whether it be religion, speech, liberty to pursue a dream, or the right to bear arms - we must want what is best, not just what is acceptable.  It may come as a surprise to many of us, but the "freedom" we really want begins within each of us - accomplished by the igniting of the flame of grace and the removal of the obstacles of sin that encircle us in bondage galore.  As a nation, we need God's wisdom to choose well. As a believer, we need God's protection to envelop our nation. This may be the one prayer we can lift which will help us the most as we choose one over the other - even when the choices we have are not entirely what we may want to embrace.

As a nation, we do no greater service to each other than to tear down walls of hatefulness and deception. We certainly live with walls of hatred built with the blood of many innocent souls, erected in massive proportion and really impassible by "natural" means. To break down those walls, it will require the love that is more divine than human, for human love is flawed and oftentimes comes with many string firmly attached! To deal with the hatred, we must also deal with the deception which has become so prevalent in our culture today. The "spin" is abundant - the truth is harder to ferret out, is it not? Yet, we need that truth to surface if walls are to come down.

As a nation, we need sincerity in all our relationships - from casual acquaintance to deeper relationships built over years of learning each other's habits, hang-ups, and hurts. We need truth - nothing being more sincere than living without walls of deceit, hatred, jealousy, and unkindness.  We need to help each other grow - not tear each other down. We need to begin to add foundation into the lives of our children - not just allow them to be influenced by what others find "acceptable" in our day. No other investment will pay as high a dividend as that of seeking truth and living it out in every relationship we embark upon.

As a nation, we must assemble ourselves, not in defiance to tradition, or allegiance to new causes as much as we must assemble in the spirit of truth and reverence for the values God so dearly declares as important. These are the values we must ferret out in each of our candidates running for offices all over this great nation. These are the allegiances we must forge. The choices may be difficult, or even a little muddied by all the "slinging" of mud which has been so very prevalent in this campaign season, but we owe it to our nation to dig a little deeper, search a little harder, pray for God's wisdom, then choose as wisely as we can from that which we are offered.  Just sayin!