I’m taking an ADVENTageous perspective

The posts and sounds of December

im-taking-an-adventageous-perspective

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Of course, in some places, that started months ago.  It is, after all, convenient to be able to buy your Zombie Halloween costume on one aisle and your tinseled garland (or is it garlanded tinsel?) on the next.

Other signs of the season: people with cuts, bruises, and dark, baggy eyes still recovering from Black Friday shopping; credit cards hot to the touch from the friction of holiday-pace swiping; turkeys who survived Thanksgiving starting to look over their shoulders again; critics getting ready for every “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Xmas” sign.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

During the month of December, I have decided to give Life Matters an Advent flavor through some Advent/Christmas Carols.  Full disclosure here: growing up in a small, traditional Southern Baptist Church, I don’t remember even hearing the word “advent”.  So, for anyone with a similar background, here’s the Wikipedia version.

Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.   

    Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday … At least in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian and Methodist calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, which is the Sunday between November 27 and December 3.

    Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was one of the most prolific hymn writers in history, publishing the words to over 6,000 hymns in his lifetime.  Charles and his brother John were ordained as Anglican clergymen, but they pushed the envelope of their tradition by emphasizing personal and methodical study and application of Scripture and personal relationship with Christ characterized by holy living.  The hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is one example of that emphasis.

Come Thou long expected Jesus
    Born to set Thy people free
    From our fears and sins release us
    Let us find our rest in Thee
    Israel’s strength and consolation
    Hope of all the earth Thou art
    Dear desire of every nation
    Joy of every longing heart

    Born Thy people to deliver
    Born a child and yet a King
    Born to reign in us forever
    Now Thy gracious kingdom bring
    By Thine own eternal spirit
    Rule in all our hearts alone
    By Thine all sufficient merit
    Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Our lives matter so much to God that he “came” to us in Jesus. My prayer is that we would enter this season with an ADVENTageous perspective.

Our lives matter so much to God that he “came” to us in Jesus. Click To Tweet

What is something you will do this week to focus on the coming of Jesus?

 

091 – Old New Worship [Podcast]

The best case for blended worship I have ever read

old-new-worship

 

Welcome to Season 2 of the Your Church Matters podcast. In this episode (91) I shared a reading of the best case for what I would call legitimate “blended” worship that I have ever read.  You will be encouraged and challenged in your thinking about worship and music.  I do not have permission to print the text, only to provide an audio recorded reading.

 

 

Reading

Taken from Then Sings My Soul (Book 3) by Robert J. Morgan Copyright © 2011 by Robert J. Morgan. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.

Robert J. Morgan – Then Sings My Soul (Book 3)

thensingsmysoul3

Purchase from Amazon

 

Music Underscore for Reading

Keith L. Cooper – The Hymns

Copyright © 2008 by Keith L. Cooper. Used by permission of Keith L. Cooper

cooperhymns

Purchase from iTunes Buy CD from Keith’s website

 

How you can help me help others:

  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and give us a rating and review. 
  • We are also on Stitcher.com, so if you prefer Stitcher, please subscribe there.
  • Share the love by clicking on one or more of the social share buttons at either the top or bottom of this post.

To comment on this episode or leave a question for a future episode:

1. Comment section below

2. Email: contactgerrylewis@gmail.com

3. Voicemail: 817-929-0643

4. Direct tweet @drgerrylewis

*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)

*Special thanks to Nathan Woodward (Saxophone Music)

 

How about some good music for a great cause?

From April 17-28, 2017, I will be traveling to Ukraine with the Singing Men of North Central Texas.  This will be my 4th trip to Ukraine with the Singing Men since 2010.  We have seen more than 20,000 people register decisions to become sincere followers of Jesus during these music mission trips.

As members of the Singing Men, we are responsible for our own travel expenses. So, in preparation for the next trip, I’m highlighting the availability of my most recent CD, Distant Music: The Prayer.  All proceeds from the sale of this CD will go toward my Ukraine Trip expenses.  The regular price is $14.97.

I am offering this for a limited time for $5 off.  That is $9.97 with Free Shipping!

Distant Music

To get your discounted copy, click on the add to cart button below.  Your item will show up on the shopping cart on the right hand side of the page.  Please enter the coupon code ukraine17 and hit the apply button to get your $5 discount.  You may then check out.

What if we were the blessing others were thankful for?

Could it be that our lives matter most when we are fulfilling an eternal purpose?

what-if-we-were-the-blessing-others-were-thankful-for_

 

My friends, I hope your Thanksgiving was truly a time of gratitude to God for His blessings, provision, and presence.  And I hope you survived Black Friday!  (Of course, if you didn’t survive it, you are not reading this, so never mind).  As I heard someone recently say, “Only in America, do we follow up a day of gratitude with a day of unrestrained and frenzied shopping where we spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t even like!”

If you live in the USA, you are among the most materially blessed in the world.  If you made $25,000 last year, you are in the top 10 percent of the world’s wage earners.  To make the top 20 percent, you only had to make $1500 (yes, annually).

If you are a Christian in the USA, you are among the most privileged of all your worldwide brothers and sisters in Christ.

And that could be a problem.

In his 2015 book, Where I Am, Billy Graham writes: “It always costs something to follow Jesus Christ. Some years ago in a country where Christians were looked upon with suspicion and disfavor, a government leader said to me with an unscrupulous twinkle in his eye, ‘Christians seem to thrive under persecution. Perhaps we should prosper them, and they would disappear.’

There is an underlying truth in this statement. Many rely on Christ when they have nothing to lean on except Him, but they fall away when they climb the ladder of success. They think they can lean on their own power and authority, forgetting about Jesus. They just don’t have time for Him anymore.”

I can’t think of a time when that is more obvious than right now.  We are in a season between an election where many American Christians focused on selecting the candidate who would be most likely to “protect our values” and a holiday season where many American Christians will choose to be offended by the words people use to celebrate that holiday season.

You may not be aware that Christianity is growing exponentially all over the world except in North America and Western Europe–the places where the church has enjoyed generations of “favored” status.

Please don’t hear me say that I wish for the persecution or hardship that Christ-followers around the world are experiencing.  But I do wish for their passion and focus.

Could it be that God’s purpose in allowing us to be where we are is not so that we would simply enjoy the blessings, but that we would be conduits of His blessings?  Could it be that our lives matter most when we are fulfilling an eternal purpose?

Luke 12:48 says, “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

Question: What might result if we focused less on our blessed position in the culture and more on being a blessing TO the culture?

 

where-i-am-cover

Click on image to purchase from Amazon

 

How about some good music for a great cause?

From April 17-28, 2017, I will be traveling to Ukraine with the Singing Men of North Central Texas.  This will be my 4th trip to Ukraine with the Singing Men since 2010.  We have seen more than 20,000 people register decisions to become sincere followers of Jesus during these music mission trips.

As members of the Singing Men, we are responsible for our own travel expenses. So, in preparation for the next trip, I’m highlighting the availability of my most recent CD, Distant Music: The Prayer.  All proceeds from the sale of this CD will go toward my Ukraine Trip expenses.  The regular price is $14.97.

I am offering this for a limited time for $5 off.  That is $9.97 with Free Shipping!

Distant Music

To get your discounted copy, click on the add to cart button below.  Your item will show up on the shopping cart on the right had side of the page.  Please enter the coupon code ukraine17 and hit the apply button to get your $5 discount.  You may then check out.

 

We can’t afford to get this Thanksgiving wrong!

We need to be thankful people, not just people who give thanks.

we-cant-afford-to-get-thisthanksgiving-wrong

 

I have long believed that Thanksgiving is treated as a second-class holiday because it is so difficult to commercialize.  Only stores that sell food are going to make money from Thanksgiving.  Parents don’t take their children door to door dressed as pilgrims to deliver turkey and dressing to their neighbors.  Neighborhoods don’t organize tours of homes for people to be amazed my who has the most beautiful Thanksgiving lights outside and decorated trees inside.  No one goes to the mall to sit on Squanto’s knee and tell him what they want for Thanksgiving.

Commercialization is not, however, the issue.  It is not the fault of the retailers that they are making a killing on Halloween and Christmas.  They are simply responding to what the market demands.  It is our cultural ingratitude that is the deeper issue.

For most Americans, Thanksgiving Day is about the 3 F’s: Family, Food, and Football.  It’s a day.  Call it Thanksgiving Day or Turkey Day, it’s still a day.  By the way, some people are offended by the use of Turkey Day instead of Thanksgiving Day.  What someone else calls it has no bearing whatsoever on how you celebrate it.  But I digress.

Christmas, on the other hand, is seen as a season.  For some, it is the Christmas Season; for others, it is the Holiday Season.  If you are offended by “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” please see the previous paragraph.

Here’s the deal: No matter how much lip service we give to the birth of Jesus, the Christmas season is still largely about us.  What we get.  What we give.  Our decorations. Our celebrations. And none of those is inherently wrong.  All our celebrations should be characterized by joy and goodwill.

But a true attitude of Thanksgiving isn’t about us.  Some may want to argue that point and say it is about us pausing to give thanks for our blessings.  I would suggest it is less about pausing to give thanks for things and more about living as thankful people.  We need to be thankful people, not just people who give thanks.

 

Tru Thnkgiving is less about pausing to give thnx for things and more about living as thnkful ppl. Click To Tweet
None of us deserves the things for which we are thankful, even if we worked hard to obtain them (perhaps, especially if we worked hard to obtain them). The Bible says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)  Even the ability to work hard is a gift from God.

 

Even the ability to work hard is a gift from God. Click To Tweet

 

Every heartbeat is a gift from God.  Every breath is a gift from God.  Even if those breaths and heartbeats come in the midst of the most intense tragedies and disappointments of our lives, they are gifts from the God for Whom our lives matter.

Right now, more than I have ever seen it in my almost 55 years on this planet, we need to be thankful people!  We need, by God’s grace, to turn off the self-centeredness, not for a day or a season, but turn it off daily!  We need to see one another, 365 days a year, as those who are created in God’s image and for whose sins Jesus died.

We can’t afford to get this Thanksgiving wrong!

090 – Guard your heart [Podcast]

Physically, as well as spiritually

guard-your-heart

 

Welcome to Season 2 of the Your Church Matters podcast. In this episode (90) I shared from the heart about a recent experience that got my attention about how we need to truly and diligently guard our hearts.

 

 

Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.

This is not just necessary spiritually.  It is also essential physically, as I recently found out for myself.

 

How you can help me help others:

  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and give us a rating and review. 
  • We are also on Stitcher.com, so if you prefer Stitcher, please subscribe there.
  • Share the love by clicking on one or more of the social share buttons at either the top or bottom of this post.

To comment on this episode or leave a question for a future episode:

1. Comment section below

2. Email: contactgerrylewis@gmail.com

3. Voicemail: 817-929-0643

4. Direct tweet @drgerrylewis

*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)

 

Chicago Cubs break curse. Steve Bartman still not welcome.

Wouldn't it be cool if we were more gracious, both in victory and defeat?

cubs-break-curse

 

This post is an excerpt from Culture Wars: In Search of Spiritual Jedi

 

If you’re ever having a bad day, just remember Steve Bartman.  I imagine that upon arising on the morning of October 14, 2003 he thought it was going to be a great day.  A lifetime Chicago Cubs fan, he box seat ticket in the left field corner behind the bullpen at Wrigley Field, where his beloved Cubbies were hosting the Florida Marlins in Game 6 of the NLCS. The Cubs were up 3 games to 2.  A win that night would send them to their first World Series since 1945, with the possibility of winning it all for the first time since 1908.

By the end of the seventh inning, Wrigley was one gigantic party and Steve was living a Cub fan’s dream.  He had never seen the Cubs in the World Series.  Their last appearance was 32 years before he was born!  The eighth inning began with the Marlins at bat and the Cubs leading 3-0.  With one out and a runner on second, Marlin Luis Castillo hit a fly ball that drifted foul, headed for the box where Steve was standing in celebration.  A fan’s dream!!  To catch a foul ball at a Major League game—and not just any game, but the game where your team clinches a ticket to the Big Dance!  Eyes glued to the ball, Steve reached out for it, never noticing that Cubs left fielder Moises Alou was charging toward the wall to attempt a leaping “highlight-reel” catch.

The next few seconds changed Steve Bartman’s life.  He didn’t make the catch.  Neither did Moises Alou, who slammed his glove to the ground in anger.  The Cubs pled for a call of fan interference, but video replay clearly showed that—while Alou had a legitimate chance to catch the ball—the ball was landing in the seating area and not on the field of play.  By the time the Marlins had scored eight runs in their half of the eighth inning to take an 8-3 lead, Steve was no longer at the ball park.  He left with a police escort, his head covered by a jacket to protect him from all the beer being thrown at him.  Instead of hearing cheers directed toward his beloved Cubs, he heard chants of “Kill him!” and “He cost us the World Series!”

Steve Bartman, forever known as the fan that cost the Cubs their trip to the World Series, still lives in Chicago and still receives threats, according to a longtime friend.  Of course, it was the nine Cubs who were on the field that could not get two more Marlins out before eight runs scored.  It was Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez who fumbled a routine ground ball that should have been an easy double play to end the inning when the score was 3-1 in favor of the Cubs.  But Steve got the blame in a culture that needs a scapegoat.

Culture Wars cover

Wouldn’t it be cool if the Cubs organization and the people of Chicago offered him an unconditional pardon now that they’ve won the World Series for the first time in 108 years?

Wouldn’t it be cool if we would be more gracious, both in victory and defeat? 

Wouldn’t it be cool if we saw every person as one whose life matters to God?

089 – Make your church more Guest-Friendly in only 7 days [Podcast]

Immediate impact starting next Sunday

make-your-church-more-guest-friendly-in-only-7-days

 

Welcome to Season 2 of the Your Church Matters podcast. In this episode (89) I shared an encore recording of a previous podcast (Episode 41) where I talked about some simple things you can do in the next few days to make your Sunday morning experience more “Guest Friendly.”  These are not effortless, but the effort is minimal and the potential impact far exceeds the cost.

 

A church that is friendly to guests is not the same thing as a church that is guest-friendly. Click To Tweet

 

 

3 Simple Steps toward “Guest Friendliness”

1. Define “Guest Friendly”

  • It is different from “friendly”
  • Think of it as “user friendly”
  • Think of it as lowering the intimidation factor and removing barriers

2.  Stop using the word “Visitor”

  • “Visitor” implies “outsider” who needs to be identified
  • “Guest” is someone who is welcome and wanted who needs to be included
  • Start with the spoken welcome

3. Design your bulletin/worship folder with the Guest in mind

  • What do they absolutely need to know? (service times, contact information)
  • What would be helpful to know? (coming events and opportunities, mission/vision statement)
  • How easy on the eyes is the layout?

(Check out Dr. Thom Rainer’s podcast on the topic of church bulletins: 9 Things a Church Bulletin Must Have)

 

How you can help me help others:

  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and give us a rating and review. 
  • We are also on Stitcher.com, so if you prefer Stitcher, please subscribe there.
  • Share the love by clicking on one or more of the social share buttons at either the top or bottom of this post.

To comment on this episode or leave a question for a future episode:

1. Comment section below

2. Email: contactgerrylewis@gmail.com

3. Voicemail: 817-929-0643

4. Direct tweet @drgerrylewis

*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)

*Special thanks to Nathan Woodward (Saxophone Music)

 

The Princess and the Pea: A Messy Metaphor

Maybe it's time for some de-cluttering

the-princess-and-the-peaa-messy-metaphor

 

Are you familiar with the story of the Princess and the Pea?

According to Wikipedia, it “is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a young woman whose royal identity is established by a test of her physical sensitivity. The tale was first published with three others by Andersen in an inexpensive booklet on 8 May 1835 in Copenhagen … In 1959 The Princess and the Pea was adapted to the musical stage in a production called Once Upon a Mattress starring Carol Burnett.”

Earlier this year, while writing my latest book, I worked with a writing coach.  One of the effectiveness tips he gave me was “embrace the Princess and the Pea within.”

What he meant was that the best writing and deepest focus comes from addressing the physical writing atmosphere and getting rid of irritants that tend to distract us because they make us uncomfortable.

We talked about things like proper lighting, background noise, comfortable seating (all easy to address) AND we talked about clutter in the work area.  My writing coach was in Edinburgh, Scotland, but when he started talking about clutter, I figured he must have a hidden camera in my office!

If you come into any of my work spaces, you are likely to find some clutter.  I used to have a sign that said, “A messy desk is a sign of genius,” but it got lost in the clutter.

It’s not that I enjoy clutter.  Quite the contrary!  It is a constant source of irritation.  The problem is that I stay so busy (excuse alert!) that I don’t have time (excuse alert!) to get everything put away.  And when I get really close to having it all organized and in place, someone gives me something else that adds to it (excuse alert!).

Besides that, I really know where everything is (excuse alert and untruth!).  I can work just as effectively (blatant untruth!) despite the clutter.  It may just take me a little bit longer to put my hands on it or get the task completed because I sometimes get distracted by the clutter and lose my focus (truth!).

Does that sound familiar?  It is not only our physical work spaces that get cluttered.  Our schedules get that way.  Our minds get that way.  Our family time gets that way.  And while we think we have adjusted to the reality and developed the ability to multi-task, we have really just lost our sensitivity.  We can no longer sense our loss of focus nor recognize that we are not multi-tasking (a neurological impossibility, see links below); we are really engaging multiple tasks in rapid succession with diminishing effectiveness.

What might happen if we decided to stop the madness and “embrace the Princess and the Pea within?”  Might we discover a new level of living?  Might we discover that our lives matter to God and we don’t have to earn that with busy-ness?  Might we embrace our royal identity as those created in His image?

Excuse me while I get back to de-cluttering.

 

Articles on Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking: Switching costs (American Psychological Association)

Think You’re Multi-tasking? Think again (NPR)

The Multi-tasking Mind (Brainfacts.org)

12 Reasons to Stop Multi-tasking now (Health.com)

088 – Where will you be in 10 years? [Podcast]

You can choose your life

where-will-you-be-in-10-years_

 

Welcome to Season 2 of the Your Church Matters podcast.  In this episode (88), I shared some perspective gained from a recent LifePlan experience and my conviction that we can choose the life that we desire.  If that idea goes against the grain for you, please listen and/or read all the way to the end.

 

 

LifePlan

Book: Living the Life You Were Meant to Live (Tom Paterson)

LifePlan Process: A two day process guided by a facilitator trained and licensed by the Paterson Center

 

Future Reality Exercise

Think about your goals and where you would like to be 10 years from now in your personal, family, vocational, church, and community domains.  Write out those goals in present tense, as if they have already been realized.

Examples from my LifePlan:

  • I am experiencing excellent health and energy
  • I am at my ideal weight of 200 pounds and am exercising 5 days a week
  • We enjoy our getaway cabin and spend time there with family and take pastors and wives there at least 2 times a year to encourage them in their marriages and ministries
  • We have been able to set aside a college fund for our grandchildren that will largely fund their education
  • My books and online courses are producing enough passive income that I can work with any church or pastor that fits my schedule and I have a great team that helps me to continue to produce top notch resources and use technology to work with pastors and churches all over the world and still sleep in my own bed at night

Lessons from the Exercise:

  • Writing them in present tense creates a sense of enthusiasm, optimism, and energy.
  • Clarifying a future vision gives a sense of direction and calls on me to get clarity on my current reality and some obstacles that exist
  • None of these things will be true 10 years from now if I don’t start on them today.

 

What about God’s will?

James 4:13-17Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.  If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

“The Lord’s will” is not an excuse to never make plans or set goals.  “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  This or that leaves plenty of room for plans goals and strategies.  This passage is not about plans or even about the future; it is about leaving God out of our plans and then boasting in ourselves.

For more on the concept of God’s will, I have written an eBook that you can get for free.  Click here for details on how to get it.

 

Psalm 37:4Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

This verse doesn’t mean that God will give you the object of your desires if you have enough delight in Him.  It means that, the greater your delight is in Him, the greater the likelihood that your desires originate in Him.

None of my goals originated with my two-day LifePlan process.  They are desires that have developed in my heart over years of walking with Jesus.  None of them exist in isolation or for the purpose of making something out of me, but of desiring above all to fulfill His purposes in and through me.

Here’s the great truth: My LifePlan is not simply my plan; it discovering God’s unique plan for my life.  Hence the book title: Living the Life You Were Meant to Live (not the life you want).

 

Challenge

What desires has God placed in your heart as you have delighted yourself in Him?  How can those desires be translated into goals?  Are you willing to do the Future Reality Exercise and envision your life 10 years from now?

I’d love to hear from you and know how I can assist you.

My mission: I guide explorers on their next steps toward amazing.

 

 

How you can help me help others:

  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and give us a rating and review. 
  • We are also on Stitcher.com, so if you prefer Stitcher, please subscribe there.
  • Share the love by clicking on one or more of the social share buttons at either the top or bottom of this post.

To comment on this episode or leave a question for a future episode:

1. Comment section below

2. Email: contactgerrylewis@gmail.com

3. Voicemail: 817-929-0643

4. Direct tweet @drgerrylewis

*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)

*Special thanks to Nathan Woodward (Saxophone Music)

An Open Letter to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

We owe you an apology

an-open-letter-to-donald-trump-and-hillary-clinton

 

Dear Donald and Hillary, is it ok if I call you by your first names?  I realize that, in a just a few days, apart from something totally unexpected and unprecedented, one of you will be the president-elect of the United States of America. Then, we will all have a couple of months of getting used to saying, “President Clinton” (round two) or “President Trump.”

Before election day, I believe we owe both of you some apologies and I offer those on behalf of my fellow Americans.  I realize that some people who read this will insist that I don’t speak for them.  So, maybe I’m speaking FOR some and TO others.  I’m ok with that because these things are OURS as Americans, whether WE choose to own them or not.

I want to apologize for putting you both in an impossible position for which neither of you are equipped intellectually, emotionally, or morally.  Conspiracy theories notwithstanding, neither of you got your nomination on your own.  WE put you there.  It was OUR votes in the party primaries that led to your respective nominations.  And now, many of US don’t like either of the consequences that are the result of OUR choices.  Are any of your flaws really new revelations?  I don’t think so.  WE failed to eliminate you in the first round and now WE are promoting the idea that WE must vote for the lesser of two evils.  And in a few days, WE will hand one of
you a set of keys that you are not ready for.

I want to apologize for creating a system that causes politicians to make promises they can’t keep.  (And please don’t insist that you are not politicians.  That dog won’t hunt). When you, or any other politicians, have made outrageous campaign promises, WE have blindly allowed ourselves to get caught up emotionally in the fairy tales without assessing reality.  You have both blown a lot of smoke in this campaign, but you’ve done it because WE have demonstrated an appetite for it.

I want to apologize for putting expectations on you to do things for which human beings are incapable.  Neither politicians nor governments create the kind of world WE want to live in.  Those tasks are above the human pay grade. Some things are always good, right, and true.  Some things are always  evil, wrong, and false. Even those who say they don’t believe in absolutes don’t want to live in a world without absolutes. (Just ask if they are absolutely convinced that a world without absolutes is better.)

I want to apologize for making it difficult to respect those in authority because WE have consistently put personal preference above character.  Instead of allowing personal character and integrity to be the litmus tests for placing people in positions of authority, WE have consistently asked for OUR personal itches to be scratched.

I want to apologize for blaming a flawed political system and biased media for division that OUR choices created. Neither of these systems could flourish in a society where unity is truly valued and where we love God above all and love our neighbors as ourselves.  WE have chosen to be Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, Liberals, and Conservatives before Americans.  WE have chosen to be Americans before being members of the Human Race.  WE have chosen to be members of the human race without acknowledging that the human race was God’s idea in the first place.  WE have chosen to acknowledge Him as Creator without acknowledging Him as Sustainer, Lord, and the One for whom all our lives matter.

WE have failed Him and WE have failed you.  I pray that YOU and WE will turn to HIM for what’s next.