Tuesday, January 26, 2016


On some levels, I can not believe I am penning this post.  When I titled this "Evolution," I was not talking about Darwin's theory; I was talking about me.  As a child, I was reared in a republican home, although I never remember being indoctrinated.  It was just obvious my parents were republicans, and as children often do, I grew up voting the same way.  Ronald Reagan was my not only my first President I voted for (1984), but I count him as the best in my lifetime.  I still attribute the decline of communism and the break-up of the Soviet Bloc to him.

Yet......fast forward over thirty years.  The world has changed, but more importantly, the United States has changed.  In my youth I was oblivious to social agendas.  In the last few years, it has become impossible for me to close my eyes to the suffering around me.  Perhaps it is more pronounced as the population of poor and homeless has skyrocketed. With the advent of the internet, the economic downfall of many is plastered everywhere. Whenever I seek out news articles, it is easier to find stories of the onslaught of tent cities or articles of homeless people who have been attacked or killed by youth.  So many Americans are literally one paycheck away from being homeless.  How can people turn their backs?  There, but for the grace of God.......

So, in this election year, I am aghast at the slate of republican candidates offering themselves for President.  Many spew hate-filled, paranoid speech against those seeking better lives in America.  What happened to "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free....."?  I remember having to memorize the Emma Lazarus inscription in a high school English class in the late '70s.  Aside from that, I have to think, "What would Jesus do?"  Would He approve of most of what He would be hearing today?  THAT and only THAT is driving how I plan to vote this time around.  For that reason, I will NOT be voting for a republican.

For the first time in my life, I will be voting in the Democratic Primary and casting that vote for Bernie Sanders.  Thirty years ago, I would have laughed if anyone told me that I would be voting for someone of his political persuasion.  However, I am not the same person, and when I look at the social needs of my country, I can not vote for a republican, and I believe we need some radical change---the kind of change he promulgates.  He may not make it to the Democratic nomination, but he has my vote in the primary. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's a heart issue

I "unfriended" several people after the Clemson-Alabama game.  Without repeating what they said about my beloved Tigers, let me explain before you say I was over-reacting.  These were Gamecock fans, and rather than rooting for the state team who would bring honor and dignity to South Carolina, they were so filled with hatred for Clemson that they pulled for Alabama.  On the surface, that's no big deal.  However, with what they posted, they totally disrespected their Clemson friends, and in one case, it even bordered on bullying or taunting.  These were adults----adult bullies---who were mean-spirited, flaunting insults that were meant to inflame or inflict bad feelings. That, folks, is a heart issue.

To put it bluntly, we have a mean society.  That little vignette above is true, but it is symptomatic of our society as a whole.  I can pinpoint that the degeneration of our society goes back to the days of the Jerry Springer "talk" show.  I never watched it, but I remember flipping channels and for the first time hearing the "bleeping" out of words and seeing adults on stage yelling and fighting with each other and the host egging them on.  From that with the advancement of technology, we now have kids in school taking videos of fights and posting them to You tube.  We have teenagers beating up homeless people, and I don't mean 18 or 19 year-olds.  Last week in a city near me, an elderly woman was shot and killed waiting for her daughter to come out of a mall----the victim of a purse-snatching.

Back to the "unfriending" story above----I don't need mean people in my life, especially not on Facebook.  I am not a Gamecock fan, but out of respect for my Gamecock friends, I would never taunt them on Facebook.  That is a heart issue, a character issue.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Listening to God and Obeying

It is sometimes a scary thing to listen for God's voice.  When I inexplicably hear it, I *know* it is His voice.  No, I don't audibly hear voices; it is in my head or my spirit, if you will.  I don't know how I know it is His; I just *do*.  This morning was such a morning, and it has taken me aback.  As I was making my breakfast smoothie to drink at work, I heard this voice say, "I know the plans I have for you.......Send this to ----."  It was as clear as a bell, as the cliché goes.  So, I did just that.  His text reply was that he had just been talking to his mother, who had told him the same verse.  He took this as a confirmation that he should rest in God's promises as the devil has been messing with his mind lately, too.

Later, I saw a post on Facebook from a young teacher at work whose grandmother died a year ago today.  As I was walking to pick up my first kids, I found myself turning onto her hallway.  I can only describe it as an out of body experience.  I had no intention of going there.  The next thing I knew, I was at her desk, past a sea of first graders.  I told her I had seen her posting and for her to focus on the good memories today.  She said that made her feel so much better.  I believe that was God's message for her, and I was merely the messenger.  I didn't plan to do this; I felt God steering me to her room; in fact, I get teary-eyed afterwards in thinking about this.  God knew exactly what she needed just as He knew exactly what my friend above needed.

Most people won't "get" this, and that's ok.  Twenty years ago I wouldn't have, either.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Love of Money

1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

I struggle with resentment of wealthy people, even disdain for them.  I would not want to be them for literally all the money in the world.  I have a wise friend who is now retired who has shared some insight into those people.  She says they are preoccupied with keeping their wealth and obsessed with how to make more.  I believe that is true.  Yes, there are some wealthy people who are philanthropic, such as Bill and Melinda Gates and Mark Zuckerman; however, there are far more who care nothing for the less fortunate and are, indeed, preoccupied with tightening the grip on what wealth they do possess.  The Bible has much to say about wealth, but I will focus on just this story:

Matthew 19:20-22  chronicles  the story of the rich man who encountered Jesus.  Here is what it says:  20The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?" 21Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.…

The same story is found in Mark 10: 20-22:   And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." 21Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.…

Finally, it is ALSO in Luke:  And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth." 22When Jesus heard this, He said to him, "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 23But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.…

I really feel sorry for people like this.  I have never bought a lottery ticket and likely never will.  I suppose I am considered "middle class."  All I want is enough money to pay my bills and be able to breathe a little.  I don't need a fancy house, fancy car, or trips around the world.

Total Reliance, Take 2

I was in an accident yesterday.  I have had an uneasy feeling for the last week that the devil was going to try something to derail my plans for this new year--financial plans.  Yesterday, he attempted just that.

I was leaving Walterboro after spending a few hours helping my dad with Mother.  I was still in the city limits in a 35 mile per hour intersection.  I had the right of way.  As I approached the intersection, a silver Chrysler Town and Country began to turn in front of me.  As I slammed on the brakes and horn simultaneously, he PROCEEDED to hit my driver side front end.  (I believe he was messing on his ......phone, though it is mere speculation.)  As I told his parents later, "How could he NOT have seen me????!!).  While I was on with 911, two of Walterboro's finest showed up; they had been on the side street, and since no one asked me what happened, I assume they saw it all.  After about an hour, the wrecker came and towed both vehicles to the wrecker yard.  The operator was able to pull my bumper out and tie it out so I could drive the car home.  The parents of the man who hit me came, and the father apologized for my discomfort.  He said, "If we had known he had a suspended license, we never would have let him use our car.  There had been a roadblock, and he was probably trying to avoid that."  Wow!

I have to flip this and look at it as the glass half-full.  I mean, in the blip of my life, this is a micro-blip.  Nevertheless, it is a difficult annoyance that I have to deal with.  For one, although I have a very nice boss, my profession itself does not lend itself to allowing employees to have personal lives that need attention outside of work.  In plan talk:  it will be very difficult to deal with all of this insurance-wise while having to return to work tomorrow.  I don't care if people snicker that I say the devil is messing with me; I know he is real and messes with God's people.  This couldn't have happened two weeks ago while I was off from work?  No.

Another annoyance is that I have very few people here in town I can count on.  I do have a ride home from work tomorrow, but I have to figure out getting *to* work from the collision center, about a mile away from work.

Today I was messaging with my splendid former student-turned-prayer warrior/friend in NC.  He reminded me that God already has all of this worked out.  And, I know he is correct.  Then, as I was driving home from my parents' house today in the truck, a few verses crossed my mind.  Proverbs 18:24. . . there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother

Philippians 4:19: "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

So, as my dear former student-turned-prayer warrior/friend in NC says, "....now you can let God take over and watch Him work again.  We need to see his power on a regular basis.....Your God has this!"