03 Oct

Truth, Justice and the American Way?

I know it’s been ages since my last post. I’ve been dealing with a lot of health and personal issues and getting better every day. I’ve also been re-thinking things… what I want Abiding Ways to be as well as this blog. More to come as I get back to it. 

What is Truth?

This question was asked by Pilate to Jesus as He stood in front of him after being handed over by His own people. (Read it: John 18:33-40). I think that is a question that has puzzled mankind since the beginning of time. Even the serpent questioned truth when he asked Eve “Did God really say that?”

As the United States continues to be divided by a number of issues in the political world I am personally confronted by this same question. Generally in a court of law, evidence is presented and jurors or a judge weighs the evidence to determine who is more truthful. Hopefully this is done without pre-conceptions or biases. Needless to say, no matter how it turns out one side or the other will not be happy.

As did many of us, I watched the testimony of Dr. Ford and Mr. Kavanaugh. If you didn’t watch ALL of it, you have no business even having an opinion!(You CAN watch it on C-Span here) If you can’t set aside all your other beliefs/opinions/bias and view this circumstance – you also don’t have any business commenting one way or the other.

I was pleased at the outcome of the judicial committee’s vote to seek the help of the FBI and further investigate. And now we’re waiting with bated breath to hear what they learned.

As a survivor of sexual assault myself, I confess that as I listened I recalled my own experience, especially about not being able to breathe. I found her to be credible, as far as I could see… and believe that what she spoke is truth as SHE understands it. There was no anger, no seeming ulterior motive and definitely credible.

Mr. Kavanaugh from start to finish (you can see his testimony here) was noticeably angry, emotional and well, if he didn’t do what Dr. Ford said, I guess I’d be angry too. What especially struck me about his testimony is his own animosity and use of talking points which I previously heard from other members of the Republican side of the aisle. Also, there were a few questions he didn’t want to answer even when pressed. And more recently, as more people come forward, it appears that he lied under oath to the Judicial Committee. Summarizing, his character is in question, his anger and personal bias are disarming and well, lacking in judicial temperament. And more than any accusations of assault-THIS is why I cannot support him. As we learn more about him through investigative agencies and journalists it seems he may not have been truthful about his early life or his public life.

Just a side note… when he was first nominated, I heard and read much about his leaning toward over-turning Roe v. Wade-the Supreme Court decision that basically says that women have a right to control their own bodies, health and reproductive decisions including abortion and contraception.

In a discussion via Facebook Messenger, I was asked by a fellow believer why I hated Donald Trump. Truthfully, I don’t hate him, I just don’t trust him, believe he has the character and temperament or knowledge to be where he is and as we learn more about him in the news and through various investigations, I suspect my opinion will be confirmed. Anyway, in the conversation I had I asked “…and why do you support him?” The answer I got was “He is anti-abortion”. In a phone conversation with a sister believer I asked why she voted for Trump and she said pretty much the same thing. People at church said he is against abortion. These two live in separate parts of the country but it seems the only qualification for voting is “anti-abortion”. Is that any reason to vote for someone (employ him to represent the USA) – a singular issue that was sadly preached from the pulpit or other Christian gatherings? It is NOT a “pro-life” issue and anyone who says Trump is pro-life is deceiving themselves. This is the same man who took children away from their parents and put them in prison. Seemingly for illegal immigration but dare I say it… his racism/bigotry is showing. The Office of Inspector General (government watchdog) just released this report as to all the things that went wrong with just this one policy. Consider also the “Muslim ban”, gender restrictions, and fomenting division throughout this country. I always thought real leadership, especially in a president was to foster unity, peace etc. around the world and at home. Most depressing to me is that we left the United Nations Human Rights Council, pointing specifically to this body’s view of the Israel/Palestine conflict. There is so much more I could say about actions of this president/administration that is just not right, moral, peacemaking, or even admirable and should I dare say it Un-Christian!

My views on abortion are simple… I hate that there is a NEED for abortion. In this day of birth control (which this administration is also trying to reduce by wanting to defund and otherwise malign Planned Parenthood) and simply say “don’t do it” all the while seeming to support someone for a Justice on the Supreme Court being accused of sexual assault… well, it just doesn’t sit right with me. Abortion is a LEGAL, safe medical procedure. Should it become otherwise where women are incarcerated, doctors are jailed and persecuted, it will revert to back alleys and coat hangars and more dead women and babies which seems to be what the anti-abortion faction wants to prevent.

Needless to say there is much controversy about when life begins. Scripture talks about “the breath of life” (Gen. 1:30 Gen.2:7, Gen. 6:17,Gen. 7:15,Gen.7:22, Rev. 11:11). It can be interpreted that life begins when we take our first breath. Another phrase in scripture to consider is “for the life is in the blood” ) Lev. 17:11,  Deut. 12:23 ) After a bit of internet googling, this happens at about the11th week of development as cells. Both of these biblical signs of life are, to me, views that dispel the “Life begins at conception” theory of anti-abortion advocates… and therefore is not “murder”. Note also that Jesus and scripture never specifically talks about abortion.

Getting back to TRUTH….
Is evidence truth? Are proven facts truth? It seems in our animosity and taking sides no matter what’s right or wrong we’ve lost sight of the unity that is supposed to be a hallmark of the Church. Scripture tells of what happens when a nation is divided

(Read 1 Kings 16:21-28  )  … taking note that while Omri won the battle he was also EVIL) and Paul warned about factions and division in his letter to the Galatians ( Gal. 5:19-20 ) … all these things Paul talked about… not commendable in a judge of the people either!

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21 Dec

Things on My Mind as Christmas Comes…

Can you believe that Christmas is in FOUR days… and a new year begins less than two weeks from today!?!

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I love all the love that comes with the holiday spirit and I hate it because I review my good and bad of the last twelve months with a view to improving on the good stuff and maybe letting go of some of those goals and dreams that seemed so right this time last year. It’s a time to remember those who are no longer with us as well as to rejoice in new friends, new interests and maybe, just maybe accomplishing what might otherwise seem impossible.

As I’ve mentioned before, being more disciplined and consistent about posting here is in the top three for 2018. I love writing and posting. I’m not in it to sell anything or make it a business. My primary purpose is, and has always been to give witness and my personal testimony of Jesus work in my life. A secondary vision, especially in 2018 will be to prayerfully increase interest in studying scripture and teaching what I’ve learned in my studies. I find it sad that so many who are called Christians have so little personal knowledge or interest in studying what He taught and what His apostles and disciples spread throughout the world. Sadly, some accept without question whatever preacher, pastor, or teacher they follow is telling them without benefit of reading and studying for themselves. Indeed my hope is to encourage anyone and everyone to be Berean-Minded( Acts 17:10-12). Needless to say as I continue to tweak the blog, I hope you’ll share on your Twitter and Facebook pages if you find anything worthy.

While I do a lot of personal study I also have a few select devotionals and teachers I follow. My favorite is Chuck Swindoll and “Insight for Living”. I’ve always found his teaching deep and with practical applicable lessons for those of us in the 21st century. John Piper is another favorite and you can find him and an abundance of resources, many of them free at Desiring God website. Others include Richard Rohr and James McDonald. Click as you will for their websites. I find Rohr especially deep. While I am not of the Catholic tradition, this Franciscan monk has insight that goes beyond the basics.

My daily devotions recently changed and include the “Book of Common Prayer (1979) Daily Office Lectionary”. I found a website that provides the liturgy and worship for these readings and use Life Application Bible notes to gain greater understanding of the readings especially as it may apply to me!

Well, now you know a little bit more about where I go for outside help and direction. There are many others I read including Christine Caine, Beth Moore and of course my pastor Craig Groeschel! Again, I encourage you to drop in at Life.Church during the holiday. Our Christmas message and worship begins tonight and through next week!

I will be celebrating my first year of “winter season” as I now have to apply for Medicare… and it is good. What I’m learning (Yep.. ol’ gals can learn new tricks) is that much of what used to seem important even a few years ago isn’t such a big deal. In fact, there isn’t much that is except loving others, and serving God as He leads. As I grow older this truth becomes more and more apparent… the world needs Jesus! And it is up to those of us who follow Him to get out there and share His love.

As we anxiously await the day of His coming into the world, keep this in mind. Our duty as believers is to first, love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That means not just believing there is a God but doing what He says in complete obedience-relying on the strength given to us by Him in the power of the Holy Spirit that now lives in each of us. Secondly we are to love our neighbors-ALL OF THEM-as we love ourselves. Yes, that even means the grouch next door, the Muslim down the street, the immigrant who just moved here from another land. It means your boss, your co-workers and of course, your family!

I may or may not post before New Years Day… don’t know yet what the plan is. My beloved, in his Grinch-y way, will be working for his co-workers who have family for both Christmas and New Years. He’s pretty giving of himself for an unbeliever… and there’s always hope in my heart that our Lord will grab him where it counts-in his heart and mind! Me? I’ll be sleeping in the spare room or in the living room as he goes to bed earlier for these workdays. At midnight or right before, I read Luke 2 and worship and pray.

Until then, I hope each one of you has a very Merry Christmas and a most joyous and blessed Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to digging deep and wide into the Book of Romans with you!

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16 Oct

Technical Difficulties-Please Stand By

Ever have one of those times, whether its a day, a week, a year— A time when you’re on a roll, a gasket gets blown or a gear slips? In my case it was a computer issue where I couldn’t get from my desktop onto my website to upload anything. Then, of course, being the secret obsessive-compulsive gal that I am- I harassed my provider with screenshots and other uh, frustrations.

Finally, it got figured out and after all that aggravation and behavior unbecoming a disciple of Jesus… it was remedied. And the really sad part is that there was such a simple and easy workaround.

You see, one of my lesser pursuits is that I’m an “Insider” and often use pre-release software and one of these caused my favored browser to not want to talk to the control panel for Abiding Ways.

I know you’ve heard at least a few times that, yes, bad things DO happen to good people. Well, our TV also went out just yesterday , the pup needed a bath, and because of my frenetic obsession, housework went by the wayside. I guess you could say it’s been a rough couple of weeks around here.

However, there IS an upside…in fact a few that happened as a result of what, on the surface, are negatives.

As a result of the internet glitch, I re-discovered an old favorite browser! So, after the work of getting it set up, I am once again able to share my wisdom and joy which is all from our God!  With the TV out, I’ve started my 2018 planning, praying and “hope to do”‘s and it felt so good! More time for priorities, and also taking care of business, which for me is also satisfying and brings great joy! More time to pray, read, and yes-write and prayerfully teach, too (Romans will return starting this Thursday, Lord willing!).

Most of all, I’ve had more time to just contemplate and meditate on this season of life. I’ll be “medicare eligible” on my next birthday and sometimes it seems like I still have so much more I want to get to before it’s time to go home and stand before Jesus.

For me, more and more, the urgency of sharing with my few readers and trying to take the step by step path the Lord leads is readily apparent during times such as this. Earlier this week I was reading one of my email devotionals and came away realizing that all I can do is what I can do with what I’ve got. Rather humbling for sure! I freely confess to hopes of a huge blog following and recognition. Then it came to me that I’m right where God wants me. And it’s not for me to question the “why” of it. Every once in awhile I get that delicious “AHA!” moment when something Jesus said to the apostles comes back to me for personal application.

The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12 )

… and like it Luke 9:46-48 talks about an argument among the disciples as to who would be the greatest! After he had demonstrated the “least among us” Jesus said “For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest!” So, personal application for me is this: do what I can with what I got, when I can and to God’s glory without regard for stats…(I AM consciously working on more consistency in posting, tho!)  who knows, I may be sharing for just that one little child!

I will be posting the next segment on the journey of Paul’s letter to the Romans on Thursday. Hope you’ll come and check it out.

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