Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving Blessings

Let your gentleness be evident to all. 

The Lord is near

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

The peace of God, will guard your hearts and your minds.

Philippians 4:5-7

Master Chef,

FEED us

Break the chaotic chains of injustice
Untie the cords of persecution
Set the oppressed free
Break our shackles of prejudice

FEED us

You love everyone regardless of
Race
Faith
Gender or
Who we love and embrace

FEED us

Let your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing gravy flow

FEED us

We cry
You are with us

Break the chaotic chains of injustice
Untie the cords of persecution
Set the oppressed free
and break the shackles of prejudice

FEED us

We lay our anger and pain on your alter.
We seek your light in the darkness

Lord guide us – always

Sharing our food with the hungry
and the poor with shelter—
We clothe our naked brothers and sisters

Loving everyone the way you love us
regardless of
Race
Gender
Faith and
Who they love and embrace.

Wrapped in your love, we give Thanksgiving for feeding us your comfort and grace.

Amen

My Millennial Daughter’s Refreshing View of Trump Presidency

A Millennial’s View: The Unexpected Pastor’s Daughter on the Election

11760138_10207280306031984_6362984565707607752_n-1My 19-year old daughter posted on Facebook last evening a reflection that struck me with its clarity of thought, honesty, and charity . . . more charitable, if I’m honest, than I feel like being right now (although I’m working on it). But sometimes children set the example for their parents. I asked her if I could share her post on my blog, and she said “Yes.” So here it is, unedited by her proud dad . . . 

*deep breath* Okay. Hi friends. I haven’t really posted any of my own thoughts on the election besides videos and posts that I’ve shared, so here goes…

I’m going to start off by saying that to anyone reading this who voted for Trump…it’s okay. I still love and respect you, and an election is not going to change that. I am not going to sit here and call you a racist, or a sexist, or homophobic, or Islamophobic. I’m not going to classify you as a deplorable. And I’m also not going to threaten to unfriend you. I refuse to do any of these things because for one, these actions, to me, would be giving in to the very hatred and divisiveness that I was so against and afraid of happening with this election in the first place; and two, because I simply know that this isn’t true about so many of you. A lot of you happen to be some of my closest friends, who I know very well to be some of the most caring, loving, and accepting people I know. I refuse to let any of that go because of our political choice. Sure, I disagree with you, but first and foremost, I will not stop loving and respecting you as a person.

And here’s the thing, guys. (Yes, I’m talking to everyone now.) Donald J. Trump has been elected to be the 45th president of the United States. Donald J. Trump IS, as much as it pains me to say it, going to be our 45th president of the United States. And I know, I hate it. The man who, as a kid, I just thought of as “the big, mean man who fires people on TV,” is now going to rule our country. And you know what else? I’m absolutely terrified. So many people in our country right now are terrified, and with very good reason. The LGBTQIA community is terrified that their basic human rights are at stake. Our vice president-elect believes in shock therapy, for gods sake. I have several friends who are terrified of being separated from their families, due to our president-elect’s stance on immigration. I have black friends who are terrified of leaving their homes because of the fear and hatred that this election has instilled in people. Muslim women are afraid to wear their hijab in public. Parents are terrified of what it is they’re supposed to tell their children. They’re terrified of sending them to school, where bullying and racism has spiked. Me, I’m terrified of what happens when Obamacare is done away with completely. I’m terrified, what with my “pre-existing condition,” of the prospect of not being able to receive health insurance, and knowing full well that I won’t be able to afford the $30,000 treatments that I need to receive every six weeks, not even including any of my other medications. Our country is absolutely terrified.

But again, like it or not, Donald J. Trump is going to be president. Unless by some miracle the electoral college votes otherwise, it’s going to happen. And I think that, for right now, what our country truly needs is unity. I’ve seen so much hatred and fighting being spread in these past fifteen months due to this election. I’ve watched close friends become enemies, and people from both parties say some really nasty, hurtful things. But the election is over now. The votes have been cast, and the winner has been decided. Like it or not, we need to begin the path to acceptance. I think Hilary Clinton said it well in her concession speech on Wednesday:

“Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it … I count my blessings every single day that I am an American. And I still believe as deeply as I ever have that if we stand together with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.”

I’m holding on to the belief that the majority of people who voted for Trump are not the hateful, racist, bigoted people that have been described in the media. In fact, I think a lot of the people who voted for him would be just as scared as we are right now if Hilary was elected. (Mind you, I am not making any kind of statement on whether that fear would be justified or not.) I think that our country is snowballing so quickly into hatred on both sides, and I think that we all owe it to ourselves to take a deep breath. Nothing is going to be fixed if we stay divided. Donald Trump is not going to succeed if we don’t show him any ounce of respect or support. I believe it is time right now to come together and begin loving our neighbors, no matter what side we were on in the election. As President Obama said after meeting with our new president-elect, “I believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face.” And to Trump he went on to say, “Most of all, I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed — because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.”

I am not saying that we need to stop speaking up and fighting for what is right. I am not saying that it’s time to give up. I am saying that it is time to accept what cannot be undone, and to work with what we have, and that is each other. The fight is not over, but the hatred needs to end. We need to love our neighbors, and work together to achieve a better America.

I respect Donald Trump and his supporters, and I pray that he makes good decisions, and that he really will, as he claims he will do, work for the American people. (And by the American people, I mean everyone, no matter race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or otherwise.)

And if anyone needs someone to talk to, or someone who will just listen, I am here for you. I’m scared too, and I love you, and I support you. ❤️

 


 

 

Post Election Grief – How to Heal

Post Election Grief – How to Heal

Be glad, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because God is faithful. God sends abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. Joel 2:23 NIV

Great verse for Singing in the Rain but I’m not in the mood. I wish I was because it is definitely raining and my heart is drowning in a post-election shower.

And Facebook confirms I’m not alone. There are many walking wounded on both sides who have been beaten or bruised by this election and are lashing out at one another. However let’s apply a few basic rules we learned in preschool:

  • If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything
  • Treat others the way you wish to be treated

We all have friends rejoicing over the election, reaching out to us to say “everything will be okay” and “God is in control” because my candidate won.

Here are a few tips to our friends who are trying to help. Be careful. You do not have the authority to speak for God about suffering; or understand it. And it doesn’t help.

Relax:  The election is over. This isn’t the time to post all the reasons you voted for your candidate. Don’t be defensive because we don’t support your candidate. And an important tip to my white friends, it is not helpful or compassionate or even biblically sound to post on the wall of a friend of color that you are not racist, you simply voted for your faith. Yes, I’ve seen several of these posts since last night.

Everyone who experiences loss goes through the stages of grief identified by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression

Unfortunately these stages don’t work like a checklist, their order and timing is all messed up just like our divided Country. Your friend is grieving and hurt. Remember when we weep, God weeps.

You don’t need to say anything, just be present, tell them you love them and let you know if they need anything.

Grieving people are rarely looking to join a bible study, nor do they appreciate being hit with scripture or reminded of their blessings or to have their feelings minimized; they want comfort.  They want to know someone understands they are hurt. Just say OUCH!

Pray for and with us – “God be with my sister, hold her, love her and give her your grace. Bless our Country. Amen”

Telling someone who feels like they fell in quick sand that everything will be OK doesn’t help.  Stay in the moment, leave the future planning to God. Pray God speaks directly to them, that they will feel the Holy Spirit comforting them.

To my fellow grievers, time is the most important factor in surviving the emotional roller coaster of grief. And this is what I’m trying to remeber me during this time:

Like this post, I write out my hopes, dreams and fears in words or pictures.

I allow myself to grieve.  Crying is healthy. I cried myself to sleep and woke up crying. It’s not the first time nor will it be the last.  I left all those toxins on my pillow.

I’m trying to accept the reality that while I’m grieving, my friends are rejoicing. Let them rejoice.  You don’t have to unfriend them, just unfollow or suspend notifications for a while. It’s important to acknowledge how difficult your loss is, it’s equally important to accept other people have an alternate reality. Which is obviously the hard part which leads to the next phase in our lives with any hope of meeting in the middle.

I’m trying not to beat myself or anyone else up. Believe it or not this is my perfectionist default unhealthy response. It’s easy to start criticizing or blaming myself and looking for what I could have done different so I won’t repeat my mistakes without realizing I’m caught in the biggest mistake of wallowing in blame and guilt.

Self-confidence needs to be intact to heal and cope. Challenge every negative thought that goes through your head. Focus on the positive.

Taking refuge in your “cave” may give temporary comfort, but is little help if your time spent there is not constructive. Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive family and friends may better help your self-esteem. I am very thankful for my family and thankful they know how to comfort someone who is grieving.

Taking action will help you feel more in control of your situation — I’m not sure what that action is but believe it will become clear. Simple words of sympathy and encouragement can be a huge boost in this difficult time.

Turn to people you trust for support

Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Ask for the support you need. Don’t try to shoulder the stress alone. Your natural reaction may be to withdraw out of embarrassment and shame or to resist asking for help out of pride. But avoid the tendency to isolate. You will only feel worse.

And this is the end of my grown up moment. Love you all, even if we disagree.

Election Day Prayer – Confirm Our Election

Election Day Prayer – Confirm Our Election

Growl for Justice

Heavenly Mother,

We cry out for your nurturing grace and peace in abundance.

We don’t just want to know you, we need you and Jesus our Lord.

Confirm our calling and Election.

Help us escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Add to my faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;and to knowledge, self-control;and to self-control, perseverance;and to perseverance, godliness;and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, LOVE.

I am nearsighted and blind. I forget I have been cleansed from past sins.
And you can use my weaknesses for your glory.

Brothers and sisters, let’smake every effort to confirm our callingand election.

Let your light shine so we will never stumble,and will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Wrap us in your grace, mercy and peace, be with us in truth and love.

Confirm our calling…

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Nope. My Vagina’s Votin’ – Not a Gender Vote

Nope. My Vagina’s Votin’ – Not a Gender Vote

Growl for Justice

Facebook is such a happy place during elections.  All the happy vacation photos turn to political rants that no one has the courage to express anywhere but Facebook.

The past few days has been gruesome with several male Facebook friends boldly posting how sad they are that a lot of women are voting their “gender”, not their convictions and not based on knowledge about who each candidate is today.

Does this mean men have voted with their penis since 1788? Is their gender voting for Trump? I wish elimg_20161108_100713ections were more like soccer matches where I could throw up a card to declare foul for the layers of sexist assumptions in their concerns but of course this would simply further the divide.

And since many of these posts end with a request to unfriend them if the reader is voting for Hillary, it is clear they are not seeking a…

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Is Hillary a Sheep or a Goat? Vote to Find Out

Is Hillary a Sheep or a Goat? Vote to Find Out

This election is like two opposing Christian families facing off.  There is so much fighting, bickering and meanness.

When I go into the voting booth I use Matthew 25:31-46 to vote for the person I believe is more likely a sheep than a goat.

In otherwords, the candidate most likely to care for their neighbors. Which 2016 candidate do you think will feed, clothe, visit and care for Jesus?

I’m interested in knowing which 2016 presidential candidate you think is more of a sheep and which is more of a goat, and will that make a difference when you go into the voting booth?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor.  We are called to feed, clothe, visit and care for Jesus in our homes, churches and yes even at the polls.  Please vote!