Love Your Neighbor

God tells us in the Old Testament and the New Testament that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart and the second is to love your neighbor. Then we have the golden rule. We are to do unto others as we would have done unto us. This rule can be found in almost every major religion. Loving your neighbor should come naturally to us as humans. 

With the current political mess our country is in I feel that some have forgotten how to love their neighbors. We have riots and protests going on. There are also people who are criticizing those that are protesting. They are saying awful things about them instead of listening to what they have to say. I recently have seen two men get into a heated discussion over Trump because of a comment that was made. These men are some of the most loving God fearing men I know. 

What is the point of not showing love to your neighbor? Have you or will you accomplish anything by not showing love? The only thing you will get is stress in your daily lives. Most people are wrapped up in current events regarding politics and might be neglecting their neighbors. Think about who you might have neglected. Have you forgot to say happy birthday to a loved one? Have you forgotten to say hello to or just check on a neighbor? 

As we approach the holidays I propose that we turn the news off and get away from the negativity that seems to bombard us daily. I say that we start loving our neighbors. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Be kind to those you meet and show them love. 
  2. Be respectful. 
  3. Stop letting politics get in the way of friendships. 
  4. Volunteer at a homeless shelter and provide a meal. 
  5. Call a family member and tell them how much you appreciate them. 
  6. Help raise money for a local food pantry. 

The list could go on for a long time. The point is that we need to get back to loving those that we encounter on a daily basis. Many problems we face in society comes from people looking out for themselves. 

Let’s have a joy filled holiday season and that is going to start with showing love to everyone. This might mean loving those that you disagree with. Imagine what your community could look like if everyone shows love to their neighbor. 

Unity in America 

There is no doubt we have division in America. We can see that very clearly with this nasty election cycle we just went through. It does not matter which candidate would have won we would have still had division. It is saddening to see so many people protesting and calling for Donald Trump to be impeached and he has not even taken office. 

As I have been watching social media posts about the protests I have seen some disheartening comments. People are saying they are mad because the protesters have to go and get a job. If you are saying these things stop. You do not know these people so you do not know if they have a job. You are just making generalizations. This does nothing to bring the two sides together. 

I have also seen name calling again this does nothing to bring unity. You are saying they are intolerant but you being intolerant of their constitutional right to protest. 

Now on the other side, the people protesting, ask yourself what you are accomplishing from these protests. Trump was elected through our election process. He is not going to be removed. I understand there are things you do not like about the new president. There are things I have not liked about all presidents. 

If you want your voice to be heard we have procedures in place for that. Call your congressman and set up a meeting with that person. Go in with a list of things that are important to you and why. Go in with facts and not just opinions. Your congressman represents you as the people of the district he or she represents. 

If you do not like the way things are going in your community then make change. We as communities have to come together and take care of the members of the community. We need to love our neighbors and look out for them. You do not make change through protest. You make change through love. You make change through coming together and talking about your differences. 

The president elect has a long road ahead of him bringing this divided country together but it will not be done if we do not do our part. President Obama is willing to work with Trump in order to have a peaceful transition. Are we as Americans willing to do the same? 

Election Day

Election Day is finally here. Odds are you are reading this Tuesday during the day probably before the polls close. At this point it’s anyone’s game. We do not know with certainty who will win. Depending on what time you reading we might have a good idea. If you are reading this in Wednesday hopefully we will know who the president elect is. 

We as Christians need to pray for whoever the new president is. Who ever is elected will be in place because of God. Paul tells us in Romans 13:1 that we are subject to authority because all authority is given by God. See we might not like who is in office but we must pray for that person. We should pray for guidance, wisdom, godly character, and that they seek God’s will as they carry out the duties of President. 

In Proverbs 21:1 we see that a kings heart is like a channel of water. God can turn it how He desires. God can do amazing things through the people that are in office. He might also allow things to happen that are not so good because of judgment against sinful attitudes of the nation. 

You might not like whoever is elected but instead of complaining spend time in prayer for that person. Spend time in prayer for the people that will be put in cabinet level positions. Pray that we as a nation will seek God’s guidance as we move forward. 

No matter what happens on Election Day God is still sovereign and in control. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is my savior and yours. Put your trust in Him. 

Vote Trump

Vote Trump! Very simple phrase. Very harmless phrase. It is as harmless as saying Vote Hillary or Vote Johnson. 

Vote ( fill in the blank) is no longer harmless when voter intimidation is involved. CNN is reporting Hopewell Baptist Church in Mississippi has been torched and graffiti with the term vote Trump has been spray painted on the side. The town is 78% black. The congregation of this black church is fearful and they feel intimidated. I don’t blame them I would feel the same way too. 

This is wrong on so many levels. In America we have freedom of speech and can say who we are voting for. What we do not have the right to do is intimidate someone to vote for a particular candidate. We certainly do not have the right to vandalize someone’s property especially to make them fearful of voting their conscience. 

There is no doubt this was done out of hate. I can imagine this was done because of racism. I am only speculating this based on the demographics of the church and community. We as Americans cannot stand standby and let our fellow Americans be intimidated because of prejudice. We must respect the opinions of fellow Americans. 

Immoral Acts of Politicians More Accepted

I came across the graph when I was reading another article. Here is the link to the original article. White Evangelicals Grow More Accepting

Look at the data from 2011. When you look at white evangelical and mainline Protestants you see that less then 40% believe a politician who behaves unethically in private can be ethical in public. Now in 2016 72% white evangelicals believe this to be true and 60% white mainline protestants believe this as well. The percentage of all Americans that believe this is 61%. 

I find this disturbing that so many evangelicals believe this. Being ethical deals with right and wrong behavior. Being ethical means you do what is right. Immoral means you do not conform to accepted standards of morality. How can one perform an immoral act in private and still be ethical in the public view? If you are behaving immorally you have been unethical. There is a big correlation between the two. 

Who you are in private is who you are. If you are willing to do something in private why would you not do it in public? Your morals are in you. If you believe something is okay, when it’s not acceptable by society, then you have become immoral. One simply does not have a public moral and a private moral system. 

If we as Americans want to see a morally acceptable government then we must demand that our elected officials behave morally in public as well as private. We need to stop electing officials that are trying to live a double life. 

I do believe though that if an elected official has committed an act that is immoral and has repented of that then we should be accepting of that. The elected official should show by their actions that they are truly sorry and not committing unethical behaviors. 

#elections2016

I heard a radio show host say we should not have early voting anymore. At first I was thinking this man was crazy. I remember voting in 2008 and 2012 and the lines were long even at the early voting sights. I remember standing in line for over an hour in 2008. This also seems to be the case in some early voting sights in metro Atlanta this year. I thought I cannot imagine waiting until Election Day the lines would be long. 

The reason he made the argument about the early voting is because of the reopened investigation into Hillary Clinton. What if you have already voted and think I wish I would not have voted for her. There is nothing you can do about it now. I know some will say this is a rare case and it might be. The point is you never know how things are going to change heading into the election. As we have seen in this campaign a lot can change in 24 hours. 

If we do away with early voting what would the Election Day look like? Well first there would be long lines. This could easily be resolved in a few ways. Open more polling places would be the first step. Some of you are already saying that will cost to much. Here’s the thing if you have early and advanced voting you paying poll workers each day. This can add up quickly over a few weeks. Take that money and put it towards more polling locations on Election Day. 

Second every four years make it a national holiday. Give people time off on that day so they are not pressured to be at work and fill like they have to miss out on voting because it will take too long.