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Lord, make me an instrument of your peace . . .

27 December 2013

Christmas 2014 - some random thoughts

We have just celebrated Advent and Christmas for this year.  We are now in the Christmas Season.  What kind of impact has this celebration had on your life?  For me, it has been a time on wondering and prayer: wondering if I am really in love with God first and prayer that I find the way of understanding and knowledge to re-direct my life in the way that God wants me to live.  

Reflecting upon the four weeks of Advent, I realize that our society really needs to re-tune itself to God's ways.  The four principles of Advent that form the four weeks of reflection are Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  But modern man believes that hope is the "I wish", peace if the "absence of violence", joy is the "general happiness", and love is "sensual".  O how can we explain the reality of these four principles of our faith and help people to understand how far they have journeyed from the reality of God?!  Hope is a deeper understanding of a future of service, not just a "what's in it for me" selfishness.  Peace is the recognition that when one rests in God, there is a resolution of that inner conflict that is precipitated by modern desire and selfish gain.  Joy is the realization that God's peace brings an inner joy that is expressed  sincerity and a concern for the other.  Love is the looking outside of oneself to help the other and love God beyond all else.   

The essence of our life in Christ is getting outside of our own selfish needs and desires and becoming more centered upon the others'.  When we do that, we realize that this is more satisfying and rewarding that all of the accumulated things of this world:  goods, trinkets, power, position, and wealth.   When we do this, we become the Love that God is and transform the world around us.

May God Give You Peace this Christmas Season.  May His Love so burn in your heart that your life is transformed!

01 December 2013


Well, listening to what's been going on in Washington, D.C., one would surmise that our government is essentially non-functional due to a vacuum of leadership from all concerned.  All those folks do is argue about who's right and which party's ideas are relevant to the discussion (a term I use in its most sarcastic sense).  I thought that the point of representative government is for our "leaders" to represent the home district's wishes, desires, and needs, and then to work with other representatives to find a solution that is good for the entire country; not, draw a line in the sand and just say "NO" to every idea that comes along no matter how good or bad it may be.  Also, I thought that many of these folks (the entire D.C. crowd) claim to represent a faith of some sort, in many cases, Christian.  Somehow I find it really hard to believe that this is really true.  

It seems from the writer's view, that the DEMs require one to staunchly believe in abortion and redefining marriage and the GOP want to cut any spending designed to help the poor and give all the "goodies" to their already rich friends.  I am beginning to seriously question whether our two-party system is actually working or even good for our country any more.  The Party Line has become more important than solving the problems of the people in our nation.  Litmus tests abound and no real solution to the country's problems are apparent.

A while back I wrote about an idea to dissolve the party system in favor of a no-affiliation primary system and election compressed into a much shorter time span.  I still think this idea merits discussion. (See the October 4 posting.)

Moreover, I believe that we really need to concern ourselves with selecting what is known as "servant-leaders" for our representatives in our legislatures and in Congress.  A servant-leader isn't concerned for his or her re-election so much as solving the real problems facing our society today.  A person with this style of leadership would possess these qualities:
  1. Listens;
  2. Is aware;
  3. Heals;
  4. Transforms;
  5. Works for growth in people;
  6. Builds community; and
  7. Reaches out to help others.

If the leader claims to be a Christian or other person of faith, I suggest that they look at Matthew 25 and 1 Corinthians 13 and make a real, honest evaluation of their conformance to these values.  Although I'm not as familiar with other faiths' scriptures, I'm certain that they have similar tenets in their sacred texts and saying.  The point is that people who want to be our leaders need to take a step back and re-evaluate their reason for being in that position.  And, we who elect them need to demand a higher standard for their service.