Over the weekend, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl was released to US armed forces after being held in Afghanistan for almost 5 years. I’ve kind of followed this story from a distance & it’s becoming somewhat controversial. There have been concerns raised on many levels including the 5 Taliban leaders who were released from Guantanemo Bay in exchange for Sgt Bergdahl. There are also questions related to how Sgt Bergdahl became a hostage in Afghanistan.
My kids tell me not to believe everything I read on the internet & I think that’s wise advice. But as a follower of Jesus, how do I respond to things that seem shifty in our rapidly changing world? Are there timeless truths and unchanging principles? Absolutely yes. In Jesus’ life, we see that He demonstrated great love and generosity. Even as He hung on the cross He asked the Father to forgive those who were killing Him. Jesus personifies what it means to genuinely love in the middle of deception, intrigue, duplicity and betrayal. Let’s pray for the Bergdahl family as they have some big challenges in front of them
Today, Maya Angelou passed into eternity. Dr Angelou was 86 years old and achieved so many things that if I were to attempt listing them here, someone would likely be offended that I left out something important. She was a writer, artist, teacher, mother, grand mom, activist and LOTS more! She grew up in a tumultuous time and totally swam against the current, which is one reason why I want to honor her today. As I looked through some of her writing, I thought it would be fitting to share this poem she wrote as encouragement to those who endeavor to walk in Jesus’ footsteps:
I’M A CHRISTIAN By Maya Angelou When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin.” I’m whispering “I was lost,” Now I’m found and forgiven. When I say…”I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride. I’m confessing that I stumble and need CHRIST to be my guide. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong. I’m professing that I’m weak and need HIS strength to carry on. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success. I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it. When I say… “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartaches So I call upon His name. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not holier than thou, I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow.
Please forgive me – I was informed that Dr Angelou did not write the preceding poem. Rather, it was written by Carol Wimmer. I’m sorry for making this mistake, but would like to honor Dr Angelou, nonetheless. She was an amazing person & her numerous & diverse achievements will be treasured for decades to come. Again, I apologize for my mistake.
Greetings & happy mid-week to you! I’m working on a message about family & really want your input. Please answer this question (I’m not “grading” any answers & I’m not looking to judge or critique your feedback – I just want your wisdom, thoughts & insights):
???What is a functional family???
I really like basketball & the recent racial disgrace with the NBA Clippers & Mr Sterling has been disturbing. Adding more fuel, there’s been some public comments about Magic Johnson & then Magic replying about these comments. The nature of the banter gives us a place to look into ourselves & consider our own actions & words.
Some things to consider:
*If someone verbally attacks you, do you attack back? Magic Johnson replied that he would pray for Mr Sterling after Mr Sterling made some questionable comments.
*If we expect perfection from public figures, we are indeed naive & perhaps our focus is misplaced
*Whats the high ground? It seems to me that all high ground almost universally includes forgiveness.
*If you’re looking for someone after whom to model your behavior & to idolize, pick Jesus 🙂
Approximately three weeks ago, more than 200 girls were abducted from a boarding school in Nigeria & they have yet to be found. The leader of the group who abducted these girls says that his group is planning to sell the girls for about $12 / girl. There is a huge outcry against this atrocity and many nations, including the US, are putting intense pressure for these girls to be returned to their families. There are many grassroot movements also forming to petition for the release of these girls.
I’ve been following the news on this atrocity since it happened a few weeks back & I’m extremely concerned for these girls and totally outraged that someone could even think of doing such an horrific thing. Please join me in praying for these girls, their safe return & for their families who are suffering tremendously!
YAHOOOOO!!! Today is Cinco de Mayo – the 5th of May (after the official Star Wars May the 4th be with you). This is a day when we commemorate the history of freedom and democracy, along with celebrating Hispanic culture, achievements and heritage. Having grown up in Denver, Colorado and making innumerable vacations with my parents in New Mexico, I particularly enjoy this holiday and honor the achievements of my latin amigos!
When I think about cultural diversity on a more universal scale, I think that heaven will be a completely OUTRAGEOUS celebration of diversity, blending of cultural strengths and honoring the amazing diverse beauty that our Creator has designed into the fabric of humanity throughout all time. Today, we honor our latin friends and we are also reminded that we are each fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God – such breathtaking beauty, captivating and consuming!
I read this morning about some high school seniors pranks in NJ who have been arrested for pranking their high school last night. Now I can’t really say that their behavior would fall into the “civil disobedience” category because it’s May, they’re seniors & might have possibly watched “Ferris Bueller”. With that being said, I also read this morning in Acts 5 about how Peter & some of his friends disobeyed the direct commands of the Jewish leaders by preaching about Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem, shortly after Pentecost & Jesus’ resurrection. In verse 29, Peter told these Jewish leaders they he had to obey God rather than man.
There’s a place & time for civil disobedience & some expressions of rebellion are even condoned by the Bible:
- It’s not ok to passively watch someone get hurt or bullied.
- It’s not ok to follow popular culture when it conflicts with loving God & loving people.
- It’s not ok to blindly do what’s popular, trendy or hip.
- It’s not ok to compromise your God-given identity to blend in for social acceptance.
Particularly when we are confronted with compromise, social acceptance and even being politically correct, let’s make it our fundamental priority to please God, end of story, full stop.