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Archive for September, 2017


Is Trump Giving Evangelicals Permission to be Carnal?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017


JohnSmidReflectiveShotB&WFantasyBackground


For many years I’ve heard people saying that “Evangelicals are false, they hide their feelings behind religion. They don’t tell the truth about their lives.” Yep, that was my story for 35 years!


I’ve been reading posts from Evangelicals that say things like “Trump is saying what we’ve been thinking.” Or “He’s just like us.” They’re also saying, “Our country has tried to remain non-committal and middle of the road for too long.”


Bush was a hard-line Evangelical conservative. He agreed with the vast majority of the Evangelical mind-set. Obama broke through that mold and generally agreed with the liberal mind-set. However both were always careful about their public presence. They followed political protocol, carefully drafting their public words. They always followed teleprompters and certainly never let loose with a word that was considered crass. Even their casual front seemed to be scripted. That’s what we expected from our nation’s leader. We didn’t want someone who might be like us, clumsy, natural, opinionated, and full of loose wires.


Trump, however is rude, rough around all the edges, doesn’t follow protocol, and basically sets his own rules for life and for the Presidency.


Son’s a bitches!

Grab her pussie!

A sugar daddy with a young attractive wife

Kill them all!

We’re the greatest country in the world and I’m the leader of it!

If you do that, I’ll make sure you’ll never do it again, because I can!

Fire them all if they don’t do what we expect them to do!


Hmm. is he really like us? Is Trump freeing Evangelicals who’ve been afraid to be honest, publically? Is the leader of our country giving permission to draw outside the sexually conservative box? Is he giving permission to reveal racism, anti-Semiticism, or selfishness and pride about our country’s privilege? Is he supporting the pride of white privilege so that those who live in it won’t feel guilty? It seems so.


Leaders set the tone. They produce a front that establishes the lines of permission. Trump has lowered the bar, he’s carnal, sexually and verbally abusive, and definitely allows for horrible verbal mistakes and breaking the protocols. He seems to feel it’s okay to build his fortune on the backs of the smaller humans. Isn’t that the American way to the top? And taxes? He seems that it’s okay to round all corners there and he uses the system to the fullest dishonest extent. He doesn’t draw a straight line at all and is as fluid as the closest stream that goes wherever it will. Human? Oh yeah! If its okay with the President, then it must be okay for me.


Are Evangelicals breaking out? They appear to be finding freedom — freedom to applaud bigotry, racism. and unhealthy sexual behavior. Well from what I’m seeing, Evangelicals whom I’ve known for years are sure showing a side of themselves that is shocking to me. I find myself saying, “Boy, you’ve sure lowered the bar in your life.” But truthfully, they haven’t lowered the bar, they’ve just exposed where their bar really is and likely has been for some time. Jesus said he came to set captives free, but I’m not sure this is the kind of freedom he was speaking of.


Maybe there is something good about Trump’s Presidency. If it breaks through the veil of dishonesty and hiding behind a religion then that may be a good thing. If there is a public revelation that Evangelicals are really human beings, carnal behind closed doors, and are seeking a freedom they don’t even know they’re asking for, than it’s wonderful when the captives are set free.


We’ve known all along that a large portion of our country is uncomfortable with LGBT people. We’ve felt the ongoing racism. We know how many people are hiding unhealthy sexual behavior behind closed doors. I think there are still a lot of captives around us. My hope is that they find true freedom. But honestly, most of us are uncomfortable with this kind of truth.


Well, Jesus did say that the truth will set us free.


 

Prayers for…….

Monday, September 11th, 2017


Ugh, I just googled “prayer” and began looking through the images. It’s exasperating.


The whole concept of “prayer” has always been challenging for me. I’ve never fully grasped the whys and wherefores of prayer. I’ve heard all of the reasoning one could ever hear and teachings etc. But when I see it in reality, in my perspective, nothing ever lines up. Oh, yes, I’ve seen wonderful things happen, coincidences and hopeful outcomes. I’ve seen people experience wonderful healing, tremendous blessings that they’d hope for, but I look at all of those who see very different outcomes when they have the same desires, same heart, and same beliefs behind their hopes.


Two major hurricanes


Two friends died this past weekend


A family member going through extensive chemo therapy


Hundreds of thousands dying around the world from tragedy


I’ve changed my approach. I no longer say, “I’m praying for”. Oh, my mind has been filled with thoughts, caring hopeful thoughts for all of those I know who are impacted. I easily think and say, “I hope for”, “or it sure would be wonderful if.” When something amazing happens, I say, “I’m so thankful for” or, “I can really celebrate”. But I really can’t ever say anymore that my prayers were answered, or, “Thanks be to God for answered prayer.” When it hurts, I can also easily say, “I’m so sorry.” or “I hope you’re not alone.”


During our recent weather conditions, as with everyone else, I’ve heard many asking for prayer or praying that the tragedies would go around them. So, if they go around them, this likely means they’ll go to someone else, other than them or their families. Or, of someone experiences a pass, they thank God for the pass and I see several miles away someone else didn’t get the pass and they’re suffering. Are we really praying with such selfish plans? Gee, I sure hope this doesn’t affect me! Or, I want to win this battle, even if it means someone else loses.


Or, someone is praying for miraculous healing, quoting all sorts of Bible scriptures to support their prayers and faith, then the person’s health declines or they may even pass away, then they say “God chose to take them home.” Or “Another angel in heaven.” Human’s aren’t angels!” and I truly never believed God chose to take anyone home. God does not choose to remove our little ones from our lives! Nope, I don’t believe that. But it’s horrific when it happens, painful, and leaves us with mind boggling questions most of the time.


Celebrate healing! I’m truly thankful when someone’s life takes a turn for the better. I’m grateful when a tornado goes back into the sky and skips over humanity and belongings. But I do not believe its God turning the tornado around, or causing it to skip to another location causing devastation. Life happens, good and bad. People live, and people die. Weather can cause tremendous trauma when our lives get in it’s way.


Can’t we just walk alongside one another, support, give, share, and hold one another through challenges? Can’t we just be “thankful” when something wonderful happens? When we ascribe it to “God” then what does that say to someone else who didn’t get the promotion? Does God not love them? Does God not think they begged enough?


I am actually finding more gratification keeping it away from “God heard, or God acted!” and just living in the circumstances, good or bad. I’ve seen deeply motivated people, families, who are encountering life-threatening cancer. They’re connecting, supporting, living through, and with those affected and I can share with their hearts deeply. As soon as they say, “God promised full healing, and I’m standing in faith, believing,” they lose me completely. I lose them because of my thoughts about the many others who do not see the answers they hope for.


I believe in God. I believe in the total connectedness of the universe and the way all things seem to be so intertwined throughout creation. I believe that there are times when things we hope for occur and it’s truly because we’ve desired them to happen, asked for them to happen. I believe in goodness of connection and the way that things at times seem to just line up as in “the stars were in alignment.” And I can see how easily one can say, “Its from God”. But that’s when separation occurs between the have’s and the have-nots. I do not believe God is the big game controller in the sky.


So, today, in the wake of losing two friends in death over the weekend, I’m in shock. I’m deeply challenged when I heard that a mom had just suddenly died in their sleep, at just 60 years old. Her husband came home and she was gone, laying on their bed, he couldn’t wake her. Why? Why did my friend, whom I had promised I’d call, pass on before I could call her? Her family is devastated. People loved her dearly. By all accounts she was beautiful, helpful, caring, and an influencer. God did not call her home. She passed away for reasons unknown at this time. It is just the way it is. And yes, it sucks!


My other friend suffered for a long time with a brain tumor. Painful, enduring, disheartening and it dealt a deathblow to him and his family. They experienced relational healing through it. His family drew close and suffered together in losing their father. His former wife was left with years of struggle from the relationship and then the grief coming from death before she could understand.


Oh, the prayers of many flew up! Prayer vigils, churches across the land supported this man with belief, and statements of God’s healing. The mom, who passed suddenly, had no one beside her as her heart stopped and died alone without any preparation. Rather than “I’m praying for you” what will her husband and sons need now? Once the last amen is said at her memorial, what then? Will there be prayers of faith that their pain will go away? Sometimes that kind of sudden loss creates a pain that never goes away. Is God present in that kind of grief and answering the cries for relief?


Frankly, I’m finding far more comfort in my uncertainty. I’m finding relief knowing that I am no longer believing in a “God” miracle, but rather I’m seeking patience, peace, and joy in circumstances, through life, in trials and in celebration. And I’m no longer “on my knees” begging God for things to be different than they are. But when they are different, I find I can celebrate and connect far more easily because it’s usually because of people responding, or amazing circumstances unexpectedly occurring.


I hope!

I share!

I celebrate!

I hurt!

I struggle!

I don’t understand!

I question!


Not God;


But life. The Universe. Humanity. Creation.


Answers unknown to any human.


Outcomes; unexpected, and desired.


Life is what it is and always has been.


There is nothing new under the sun.


Weather destroys without discrimination.


People die, we all do.


Some find a silver lining and attribute it to God.


Some do not and shake their fists at God.