Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunsets and Puppies

1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

I am browsing through my Facebook feed the other day when I come upon these thoughts written by Barry, one of my buddies from high school.

Just FYI, I really love and cherish the diversity of my FB friends, all walks of life, all religions, all different party affiliations.  No harm meant, but you won't get a like or a comment this election season.  My thoughts about this country and where it is and is going aren't going to change this polarized population, and my eyes will glaze over your posts, and turn to sunsets and puppy pictures.

Wow!  Barry's words strike a chord in me.  Especially in light of the number of posts I see on Facebook which are politically oriented.

And, as the November election draws ever closer, I envision these posts growing exponentially.  As, I fear, will the potential for disagreements, confrontations, and, in extreme cases, de-friending.  All because of differences in political opinions.

Is it worth it?  Losing a dear friend because he or she doesn't share your vision?  Your party affiliation?  Your candidate?  Is it?  Really?

Like my friend, Barry, I, too, have a rich diversity of incredible friends on Facebook who are such blessings to me.  And, truth be told, I know some think differently about this election than I do.  That's okay.  They are as free to have their opinions and speak their minds as I am.  It's what freedom of expression is all about.

But, as Barry is doing, I'm choosing to ignore the ruckus.  Why?  Because, as Pastor Wallace is fond of reminding us, "Jesus was neither a Democrat or a Republican".  Bingo!  The Lord's Kingdom is not of this world.  Politics are . . .

And, Satan loves nothing better than seeing Christians attack one another over worldly affairs.  After all, can a house divided against itself hope to stand?

During this election cycle when you are tempted to vilify a friend's political views, remember this:  You are a child of God, and so are they.  And, as children of God, we are to be about our Father's business.

Loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Loving others as we love ourselves.

And, rejoicing in the glorious sunsets and adorable puppies with which He has blessed us.
~
If you are an American citizen, do you plan to vote in the Presidential Election?

Will you pray with me?
Help us to remember, Father, that as Christians, we are in the world, but not of it.  Let us love one another as You love us, and respect the different opinions of others.  May we live fully into the promise that we are Your beloved children.  Amen.

28 comments:

  1. So true Martha...friends should never be judged based on their religious / political views. We need to appreciate the diversity amongst us and celebrate the differences amongst us :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Me!
      Yes, there are so many other factors we can appreciate about each other that have nothing to do with politics. Glad you enjoyed today's post.
      Blessings always!

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  2. Yes, of course I will be. It is being sent here to me in Japan. I would never not vote for a president, especially if it is one I want OUT :)

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    1. Thanks for coming by, RoseAnn!
      Yes! Doing the patriotic thing, for sure. :)
      Blessings always!

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  3. Vote early and often - absolutely

    Danny

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    1. LOL, Danny! Let's hope not! :)
      Love you and thanks for sharing my post, sweetie!

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  4. I really love the diversity in my fb friends as well...It leads to some interesting exchanges! I think it's healthy to associate with those who might not always think or believe the way you do. It challenges us to open ourselves up more in the way we think, while at the same time can help confirm in ourselves the resolve we have towards our own beliefs. To me, open dialogue between those who don't always think and believe the same is essential in promoting understanding.

    Great post!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Jessica!
      You are so right on here, my friend. How can we grow as people without healthy dialogue with others who see the world differently? I know such exchanges have truly helped me to understand others and grow in my personal knowledge.
      Glad you liked the post!
      Blessings always!

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  5. I love a good debate, but posting political messages on facebook isn't the same and most people don't like to debate. I wish more people with differing beliefs could get along. It is good to understand the other side of your beliefs.

    Great post Martha. But, where are the puppy pictures??? :)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Rachel!
      I love a good debate, too, but what I too often see on FB is the personal bashing that goes on when people discuss politics. It's not healthy for anyone and certainly leads to major misunderstandings.
      Puppy photos? Darn! I should have done that, shouldn't I? :)
      Blessings always!

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  6. not only voting in November, Martha, but actually actively involved in politics. I'm regularly best tested and challenged in this field. How to live a normal, spiritual, balanced life in such a hard profession which tends to polarize things and attack each other.

    I like the approach you're taking on facebook though. I should probably do the same outside of work:)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Vishnu!
      Wow! That must be a difficult task, balancing your personal, spiritual life with your work. It takes a strong, secure person to be politically active and not get swept up in the rancor often stirred up by opposition to your stand.
      I'm glad you like the approach I'm taking on FB. I hope you can do this, too. :)
      Blessings always!

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  7. People are passionate and you can never be certain what they are passionate about. A few years back I was living in London. I was working in Investment Bank back then and running a settlement desk for Futures and Options (global desk). My team was a motley crew of Brits,Scots, Irish, New Zealanders, etc., You can imagine the diversity of opinions. I had one rule during the working hours: There was no discussion: of politics, religion, or sports (surprising, sports in the UK took on a fever pitch).

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    1. Thanks for dropping in today, Brenda!
      Yes, that sounds like a potentially volatile place to work, indeed! You made the wise decision not to discuss those topics while there. :)
      Blessings always!

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  8. Bravo to my High School friends Martha & Barry! They both inspire me constantly. Both are talented, and more than that they are what I refer to as 'Walking on Earth Angel' friends, living the way God wants us to be - kind, accepting, understanding and compassionate! I am grateful to Mark Zuckerburg for FB....my opportunity to reconnect with such awesome friends like Martha & Barry. -Ginger-

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Ginger! Great to see you on board!
      Oh, my dear, your words are too kind. I am grateful for reconnecting with you and so many wonderful high school buddies. I don't know where I'd be without you all!
      Blessings always!

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  9. Friends are friends no matter their different views on anything. How true!

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    1. Amen to that, Rimly, and thanks so much for visiting today!
      Blessings always!

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  10. Martha, today you especially touched my heart with this message. The divide is growing greater as days grow darker. I have FB friends that I know don’t agree with my politics, that are far to the other extreme. Within the past year I’ve grieved deeply over people’s inability to love one another in spite of differences. But I really feel that it isn’t all me grieving; it’s the Holy Spirit in me. It feels like the fellowship of his suffering.
    More often than not, I chose not to identify with a party or ideology because, as you so aptly stated here, it’s of the world to believe that we can achieve world peace without the Prince of Peace ruling our hearts – no matter which side you’re on. I place my hope on this verse from Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
    Politics divide, the Prince of Peace unites.
    But he also said in Luke 12:51, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” So does the Word contradict itself? Not if we understand what he’s talking about here, which is this:
    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
    No, his kingdom is not of this world.

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    1. Oh, Debra, I hope everyone who stops by takes time to read your pearls of wisdom. "Politics divide, the Prince of Peace unites" - amen, and again, I say, AMEN!
      His kingdom has never been of this world and His peace which passes all understanding is exactly what can lift us above the mire of worldly concerns and allow us to focus on the eternal.
      Before I began writing the devotional blog, I was much more politically outspoken on Facebook. When my views were attacked and I was told that there was definitely something "wrong" with me and I needed "anger management", I was in absolute shock, especially since this was coming from an individual who initially sought me out as a friend. It seems, more and more, that civil dialogue between opposing positions is going the way of the dinosaurs. That saddens me to no end.
      So, with Barry, we'll just take the high road that leads to Christ, knowing God has the victory in the end.
      Love and blessings, dear friend!

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  11. Oh thanks for this post. I was reminded to get my voter's ID in preparation for next year. I pray that your elections will be safe and I also pray for enlightenment to the people who will vote.

    I think a good debate is okay just to express different opinions but certainly not to go down to the level of real heated arguments resulting to hurt feelings and de-friending.

    Relationships are more important.

    I pray with you as you all prepare to vote...I pray for love and respect. May you all be able to vote wisely.

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    1. Thank you, Melissa, for wishing us safe and fair elections and for the enlightenment of all.
      In comments above, Debra and I talked of how civil dialogue is disintegrating. So sad! Honest, and kindly, debate is exactly what is needed.
      Relationships are important, and, though we might not be able to see it at the time, God sent. We must treasure them all, and, when we are confused, go to God in prayer.
      Thank you for visiting and for you wonderful input, dear one!
      Blessings always!

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  12. WoW! Perfect timing, Martha, since I just announced today that I'm running for Mayor. I've given this much thought and I'm not running as a Republican or a Democrat, I will not say anything negative about anyone else, and I refuse to become embroiled in political anxiety. Should be a great adventure and education, right??? Stay tuned...XOXOX

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    1. Linda, once again, I will say, I'm so proud of you! I am convinced that those who get elected, in the long run, are those who have workable ideas and a vision (board) :) for what the community should look like. Leaders offer hope with concrete results. You can do this! I know you can! May your faith in God and your passion see you through, dear friend!
      Blessings always, and prayers for this next venture!

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  13. In the last election my good friend and I were on opposite sides of the aisle. I felt so strongly in favor of my candidate, as did he, but we managed to continue a dialogue all through the election with attentiveness and respect for each other's views. It was a good lesson in bipartisanship for me!

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    1. Oh, Galen, I truly admire that you were able to both keep a friendship and enjoy civil dialogue. So many can't do this whatsoever when it comes to politics. And, true bipartisanship begins with mutual respect.
      Thanks so much for coming by today!
      Blessings to you!

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  14. Dear Martha,
    Always insightful are your posts my friend. Different opinions and different views are what I see here. All I can say is...no man, or body of men can save the destruction that will one day come upon the earth. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Andy!
      Yes, you are so right - in the end, God holds the key and the ultimate victory. As Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage . . ." We play our part while here.
      Blessings to you!

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ...