Monday Morning Musings for 11.14.16

For those new to this, I started writing a few years back with "Monday morning musings...a few thoughts and observations on the issues of the day." It's not a great name, but MMM stuck, so that's what it stands for.

  1. All of us have things in life that tend to control or enslave us. We make idols out of these things because like the serpent in the garden, they whipser to us: "This will give you life! You'll have power and control now!" This, of course, is a lie for our idols don't give us life; they take it from us. Further, these "controlling" elements are not necessarily bad things. They can be good things that we try to make ultimate things, and without question, the one that seems to control us the most is money. We falsely believe it will give us life and security, so we segregate it away from our faith. In Acts 20, Paul says no. The gospel and financial generosity are LINKED. The latter is an expression of the former. When we give, we actually heal our hearts from our greed. Paul says "It is more blessed to give than to receive." That was his secret, but not only does it heal our hearts, it heals the world (Keller). When we partner with the church to meet the needs of the poor, the alien, the orphan, the weak, we are restoring "shalom" - the original peace and order of God's world. Our "blessing" comes when we see that restoration take place, even for a moment. Heal your heart and heal the world - not bad for a simple little thing like giving. #tryit #tightlyclenchedhandscannotreceive
  2. ELECTION THOUGHTS: I see some of the same idolatry struggles at work in regard to our nation's response to the election. Without question, the person who becomes President matters. I get that, but if you try to make it an ultimate thing - if you are pinning all your hopes on that one person to make things right with your life, your world or your ideology - then the result has the power to crush you which is exactly what we've seen. In the absence of deep faith in God's Lordship over all, people will find other ideas or structures or people in which to place their faith, all of which will ultimately prove disappointing. "We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and shield." (Psalm 33:28). #theidolatryofpolitics
  3. OTHER OBSERVATIONS: "Be quick to listen, so to speak and slow to anger." James 1:19. We seem to be missing this one. We don't listen to each other. We have spent the past 18 months talking past each other, forming our retorts to what people are saying instead of actually hearing them. This is how the mainstream media absolutely whiffed on their predictions. They worked with intellectual arrogance assuming they knew the country, but they weren't listening. They didn't hear middle America, the huge numbers who repudiated our country's lurch to the left in the last eight years. Instead, those same pundits acted as if the worker in the heartland was intellectually backwards, one whose thoughts or opinions did not matter. What's backwards may well be how far we have pushed God to the edge of our culture. CONVERSELY, post-election protests have been shouted down and cast aside as "ridiculous" by the right. Listen, people. The protests are happening because they are a means for people to express their grief and concern for the country. People have real fears about their futures. Instead of dismissing the action, we should express our understanding of their concerns while exhibiting Christian compassion.
  4. TOWARDS THE FUTURE: For the first time in history, well over half of voters made their decision based on who they were against and not who they were for - 60%. Also, President Obama enjoys a 55% approval rating currently, yet only 29% of voters (exit polls) said they thought his policies should be continued. Bottom line, people are "against" things and want to "change" things. No one is happy. People are divided. So, what do we do? President Obama and Hilary Clinton both said it in similar fashion: respect the office of President, respect one another, and give Trump the chance to lead. He IS our President (or will be soon), so while I loathed many of the things he said in the campaign, especially his treatment of women and minorities, I respect our democratic process and pray for him to lead us well. As Obama said, at the end of the day we're on the same team. It's like rooting against the pilot who is flying your plane. 
  5. THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE: The college student quoted in WSJ who said she felt the same way after the election as she did after the Pulse shootings. Sorry. I live in Orlando. #Nowords.
  6. Following an election where most people didn't care for either candidate, I pray more people will again be inspired to enter public service, to fill the void created by the past few decades of political partisanship and gridlock. #roaringlambs #runforoffice #getinthegame
  7. WIFE QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Walking into the Auburn/Vandy game last week, Leigh spot's a funnel cake stand. She says, "Oh, I have to have one of those. Funnel cakes are my love language." And have one she did. 
  8. ANONYMOUS MAIL: I got a lot of it through the fall. Just a reminder of my personal philosophy on that: what's the point? If you don't have the courage to stand behind what you say, then I'm not reading it to begin with - so don't bother. #havenotreadonesince2002
  9. PET PEEVE: The guy at the gym who, even though music is already blasting through the overhead speakers, insists on turning up the volume on the TV above his machine so loud that he can hear it above the music.#newthingcalledheadphones