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Romans 12:2
Encouragement to fulfill God's purpose through Practical Life Application and Navigation

Presidents, Politics, & Decluttering Fear

Up until last week, I had no intention of voting for the next President of the United States. ZERO! NONE! ZILCH!

 

Morally, I just could not do it.

 

But I was torn between the responsibility to vote and the inability to support a candidate I did not like, trust, or respect.

 

fear-had-morguefile

 

 

Fear had won, although I didn’t see it as such until yesterday.

 

Have you ever experienced a situation when someone was conveying one message, but your ears and heart picked up not only the intended message, but then something so much more?

 

That’s what happened.

 

 

A Message of Hope

 

Our pastor gave an incredible message of hope. It wasn’t some generic, feel good, send-you-on-your-way  kind of empty message, but one that had tremendous depth and meaning. Words of truth packed with a wealth of wisdom and practicality all rolled into one. A message that was intended to calm fears and restore courage and optimism.

 

And it hit the mark.

 

 

Ashamed

 

You see, I was ashamed to make a choice. I was scared that a choice would reflect MY character, MY nature, MY ideals, and I wanted NO part of that.

 

It would have been easier not to vote and not claim any responsibility for whoever ended up in office.  I didn’t want God to be disappointed in me for supporting a morally bankrupt person. I hesitated to make a decision, that if proved disastrous, would bring guilt and regret. 

 

 

Skewed Logic

 

But yesterday, through a message of hope, I realized that my thinking was skewed.

Abstaining from casting a vote is akin to voting ‘for someone’, but relinquishing control of saying WHO that someone is. Whether I like it or not, by not voting, I am essentially voting anyway. And voting for a third party candidate who has no shot of winning is a similar decision. While initially, it may have felt like an honorable alternative, deep down, I knew it would have been a cowardly approach. Please don’t misinterpret. A third party candidate vote is NOT necessarily a bad decision, but for me to vote for someone I knew nothing about for the sole purpose of circumventing responsibility is. 

 

At the end of the day, while I have a huge lack of confidence in both candidates, comparatively speaking, there is one I dislike less. The right thing to do? Declutter fear and make the best decision I personally can.   

 

 

Decluttering Fear

 

If decluttering fear was easy, we’d all be doing a better job of it.

 

We all know, however, that easy doesn’t necessarily equate to good or right, so here are the hard truths I tackled yesterday:

 

  • While I have a responsibility to cast a thoughtful vote, the outcome of the election does not rest on my shoulders alone.
  • Taking a stand doesn’t mean I’m making the right choice or a perfect choice.
  • There is strength in being able to make an unsavory decision.
  • Regardless of what I do, there will be those who disagree.
  • Fear is paralyzing and I refuse to succumb to this scheme of the Devil.
  • God knows my heart and will love me through any decision I make.  He knows I’m doing my best.

 

 

 

Back to the Message of Hope

 

And one more truth…

 

  • Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can do ANY saving!

 

If we are looking for a president to ‘save us’ or ‘save our country’, we are sorely misguided.

 

As a Jesus follower, my hope is in the Lord. He ALWAYS prevails. Good ALWAYS triumphs over evil. And it will ALWAYS be okay.

 

Might there be some bumps in the road along the way? Sure. Of course there will. But I know the END of the story and it is good. Very, very good.

 

My hope is in Him and Him alone.

 

Need a little more convincing? Take a listen and allow the truth of these lyrics fill and soothe your soul.

 

 

 

My Coming Out Party

 

I am voting for Trump.

 

There I said it.

 

My declaration is not an effort to win or sway votes, however after making this decision, that would be okay too. And it’s not out of obligation. My admission is actually part of my healing process; my determination to overcome fear and live by faith. It’s cathartic and liberating. It’s necessary for me.

 

Regardless of who you decide to vote for, my prayer is that without fear, you will indeed cast your best vote, having full faith that our Lord Jesus Christ remains in control regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office.

 

Thank you Pastor Brett.

 

 

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I Was Seriously Depressed For A Day And A Half

I was seriously depressed for a day and a half.

Before you roll your eyes, start laughing, and make fun, hear me out. I’d never felt depression, nor could I relate to it, so this was an eye-opening, profound learning experience.  Brief as it was, it made a lifelong impression.

Some years back I was working through an extremely difficult situation. I was challenged by God to change the way I regarded my ex-husband. I was often quite critical of him and never viewed him through Christ-filled eyes of love, mercy, or grace. I’m not proud of this, but it’s the ugly truth. I could rationalize and say his actions earned my harsh judgment and I was justified, but even if true, his behavior shouldn’t have dictated how I, as a Christian, behaved. Ephesians 4:32 tells us to be kind and compassionate to one another; forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. This verse doesn’t tell us to be kind IF the recipient deserves it or has earned our respect. Nope, God just directs us in how we are called to act with no qualifiers attached.

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An Open Letter To Everyone I’ve Ever Offended, and Everyone Else Too!

Have I Offended You?

Are y’all lining up? I’m confident there’s a crowd forming.

 

After just celebrating my most recent birthday, I can now say I’ve got fifty years’ worth of time accrued offending, hurting, and otherwise ticking people off. Well, perhaps not quite fifty. I’m sure I didn’t do much damage in my first few years on earth, but when I got the hang of it, seems like I made up for lost time.

 

Today I ask for your forgiveness. Maybe.

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Decluttering Vacation Debt Before You Leave!

Not fully recovered from jet lag, I’m still trying to get back in the swing of things just three days after returning from a ten day vacation.

 

It was lovely and wonderful and all sorts of cool. We saw incredible sights, hiked, snorkeled, dined on delicious food, shopped, and enjoyed a bit of adventure too.

 

And guess what? When we came home, the only thing we brought with us were memories and souvenirs, NOT DEBT!

 

Our entire trip – flights, accommodations, transportation, food, tours, gifts, and entertainment – was all paid for with cash. No, of course we didn’t traipse around with thousands of dollars in our wallets, but we had the money for everything we bought. And it felt good. Actually great! We packed a lot of things for this trip, but guilt wasn’t one of them.

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The World Has Gone Mad

The world has gone mad, or so it seems, imploding from all sides.

 

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Tim 3:1-5

 

So, why are we surprised?

 

 

Our pastor said, “Dark is getting darker faster.”

 

We know this and yet we are still shocked and dismayed. In all fairness, it’s hard not to feel overcome with grief considering the atrocities that are befalling our nation, our communities, and our churches.

 

Dark is getting darker

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Life Lessons in Finding Dory

Last week I had a blast going with family to see Finding Dory. It was my grandson’s first ‘Big Movie’ and boy did he love it! I don’t know if I had more fun watching Finding Dory or watching Kai. Bright-eyed with squeals of delight, he was over-the-top crazy about the whole experience.  Not only did he have his cousins there with him, but there was popcorn, candy, and even a blue Icee to boot. Life just doesn’t get much better than that when you’re three.

 

While I thoroughly enjoyed the movie too, I found myself watching it through Kai’s eyes. What was he thinking and feeling? What was going through his smart, sensitive mind?

 

It wasn’t until afterwards that I really pondered the characters and storyline from an adult perspective. Sure, there’s the obvious issue that Dory struggles with short-term memory loss, and the strong message that we should ‘Rescue, Rehabilitate, and Release’ marine life, but beyond that, there were so many valuable life lessons woven into the vibrant animation.

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Relationship Via Classified Ad

Would you agree that most people spend more time doing research for a new vehicle purchase or during a job search than they do when choosing a friend or spouse? I would!

 

classified ad - morguefileIn the days of old, people would pour over the classified ads, highlighting, circling, and tearing out the stand outs. Nowadays, the method might be a little different, but the concept is the same. Dig and dig and dig until you find exactly what you’re looking for.

 

If you’re searching for a sport utility vehicle, you aren’t going to dissect the luxury sedan section. Nope, you look in the appropriate listing and scan for details – year, mileage, engine, etc. If you’re an office administrator, you’re not going to find a job in the engineering section, so you stick to the ads specific to what you do and compare location, hours, qualifications, responsibilities, growth potential, benefits, and salary.

 

You narrow your search engine and hunt for exactly what you are looking for. Except in relationships.

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God’s Truth In That First Darn Scratch!

You buy something new or someone gives you a special present. It might be expensive. Perhaps not. But that isn’t the point. It’s new. And perfect. And shiny. And then WHAM, the first time out, something happens to it and all of a sudden your brand new thing ain’t so brand new anymore.

 

Talk about heartbreak! If you could just turn the hands of time back a few seconds, all would still be perfect, but alas, that isn’t possible. So you pout and wallow in your disappointment and regret.

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Why Should I Care About The Orlando Shooting? Decluttering Apathy

Before going to bed on the night of the Orlando shooting, I made a note to write something about the tragedy, but at the time, I didn’t know exactly what angle I planned to take.

 

Until I woke up the next morning.

 

God pressed on my heart the burning need to declutter apathy.

 

It’s the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and we’re not altogether shocked. At least I’m not.

 

These types of horrific crimes against humanity are becoming more commonplace and I feel wholly incapable of stopping them. Completely helpless. And since I don’t feel God has called me to live in a bubble of isolation, I simply go about my business, while understanding the inherent risks that are present in today’s world.

 

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NO EXIT! The Key To Marriage

It’s crazy to think that I’m writing a blog post on marriage. For those of you who don’t know my past, I was twice divorced and done, as in DONE, DONE, DONE, with men and the idea of marriage.

 

And yet here I am, years later, happily married. Glory be to God!

 

I would never lie about my past, but it’s not something I generally bring up unless prompted. Sadly, more and more couples are divorcing today than ever before, but it’s still not something to be proud of or brag about. Especially if you’re in ministry. Especially if you’re a life coach. Especially if you’re an author of self-help books.

 

Some nerve I have writing about marriage…

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