Monday, 30 January 2017


So, yesterday I posted this on Facebook:
Just thinking here... which means this will make both sides mad...
Saw an anti-abortion post quoting Dr. Seuss "a person is a person, no matter how small"
And I thought, "even if they come from Syria?"
Which generated the following responses (so far):
Person A: You are BAD! Lol yes even if !
Person B: Every life has great value in the eyes of God no matter where they live. But God put boundaries around His people for protection of His seed. We are His seed who are born of His Spirit, there is no harm in boundaries. God also commanded war when men rose up against His people.
Person C: No boundaries, no country. No country, no help for humanity
Me: I don't deny the purpose of government and laws, borders, etc.
But Christianity ought to see beyond those things. And I'm beginning to think that to claim the title "pro-life" one has to value all of humanity.

Person C:  Of course. Absolutely.  Not pro birth but pro life
Person D: Trump's directive with its immediate enforcement, no planning, and haphazard implementation, has: left families separated across continents; people fleeing oppression even more scared and afraid; individuals with green cards who have already been vetted shut out; translators for our military in Iraq detained; and the elderly and young with existing visas integrated. Whether you are for isolationism or not, this will have long term repercussions.
And I should add, in keeping with your question - does NOT value humanity. Quite the opposite.
Person B: It is not easy to be President. Life and death decisions are made daily. Sometimes when you choose one group of people to save, you condemn others to death. That's the job. Don't know why anyone wants it. Walk a mile in his shoes. I think Trump is more compassionate than many believe, but His job is to protect Americans first. He took that vow with his hand on the Bible. Read the Bible and see the decisions made by kings, not an easy job      
Person D: While it is not easy being president, one can strive to be presidential. Compassion? All you need to do is look at Tump's Twitter feed and see his insults, attacks on personal individuals, fixation on inauguration numbers, support of torture, and pompous attitude! Every. Single Day. (And this just in tonight- attack on Republican senators). He has no time to be president or compassionate when he is being petty and lashing out instead.
 "Protect Americans" is the same argument used when when our government put US citizens of Japanese ancestry in internment camps during World War II, turned way Jews seeking to flee Hitler, etc. I too want safety, but tempered with fairness and - "whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
Person E: Their have been religious wars going on ever sense time, wars against good and evil,

So it quickly turned political and finger-pointy. Which is sort of the opposite of what I had intended.

I didn't mean to attack the march-for-life-ers, the president, or even the "bleeding-heart liberals." I meant me. (And maybe hoped someone else would read what I said and think about themselves.) When I say I am pro-life, do I mean I'm pro-birth? Anti-abortion? Pro-American? Or do I mean that I actually value every human I see/hear about?

When I was growing up I heard things about "letting them define the vocabulary" and how when the media uses words like "anti-abortion" they are setting the stage in favor of abortions, and making self-defined "pro-lifers" look bad for being "anti." And that makes some sense if a person explains it better than I have here. But recently I have followed some Catholic blogs on Facebook, and one said once that "Pro-life" is much more than "anti-abortion." To be pro-life you have to be anti-war. Anti-death-penalty. Anti-poverty, even. And then I have been hanging out with Anabaptists (the ultimate pacifists) for a few years. So my brain just made that little comment on that little picture...

I know this stuff is covered in ethics classes to an extent, but I took a few minutes to ponder what it means to believe that "a person is a person."   Leaving aside the "just war" theory for now, though that always puzzled me in the abortion debate, specifically, let me think of self-sacrifice. Obviously I would give up my own life for my husband or my children. I already have in many ways. I feel sure I would go to great lengths to save a random baby, or child. But nevermind a Syrian refugee - what about a terrorist? A known terrorist, on his way to buy fertilizer, steps off the curb in front of a bus. Do I cheer (silently, so as not to alert him)? Do I feebly wave and yell? Or am I willing to do a movie-scene rescue and put myself in the line of fire to push him to safety? If I did save him, would I be responsible for killing all his victims, or am I giving him a reason to change his ways? How can we know what a life may be worth? Shouldn't it be our part simply to do the right thing and let God take care of the results?

And I'm getting off my main point, and this train of thought doesn't really have a caboose. ttyl 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Glory of God

Last summer I met a lady who asked me for my thoughts on praying for the "glory," and I wrote this down, but never got back with her... Anyway, thought I'd share here. 

The Glory of God

Three things come to mind when I think of defining or describing God's Glory: the Praise, the Presence, and the Place. I put them in that order because I believe we must praise to feel His presence (though we must have Him present before we CAN praise), and then someday we enter the Place.
Let me explain.

Strongs #1391 (doxa) is defined by Thayer as 1, opinion; 2, splendor, brightness, majesty; 3, a most exalted condition (the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter).

So, #1, opinion, or as I have termed it, Praise. We often say and sing that we will glorify God, or give Him the glory, as we should. This is pretty straightforward: we voice our high opinion of Him when we talk to Him and when we talk about Him. We also glorify God when we cause others to have a high opinion of Him because of something we do or say. I believe that a Christian is living praise. We don't have to be singing to praise God - the way we present ourselves to the world (our manners, our appearance, our tenderheartedness) - all of it is a way to bring Him glory and  honor.

#2, and probably what your friend was talking about when she said she desires the Glory of God to fall on Huntsville, is the Presence. We talk about God's glory filling a room or falling on a person/people.  This is His "splendor, brightness, and majesty." When we catch a glimpse of God with our spirit, and know that something bigger than us is present with us, that is the Glory. God is so majestic, that regardless of our opinion of Him, He IS glorified. This one is harder for me to put into words. Celebrities and earthly royalty carry with them a certain amount of glory, that we recognize by acting foolish in their presence, or going out of our way to see them, or reading every article about them that we can find. God's glory is so much beyond that. When He enters a room, everybody recognizes Him and reverences Him. This is more than a feeling, and cannot be drummed up by emotionalism or even good music, though many leaders try.

As far as wanting the Glory of God to be manifest in Huntsville, it is a thing worth asking for. We must realize, however, that God comes to people in His own way and time, and we shouldn't be disappointed if it's not what we expected. There might be a shouting service at one church and a thoughtful one at another. Sinners might get saved, or maybe just not get stoned when they normally would. 

#3, the Place (or Promise, as Thayer has it). We sing about "glory-land" - what we normally call Heaven - the place where God lives and we plan to live with Him for eternity. (Of course we know that at the end of time, God with create a new heaven and a new earth, and we live in the New Jerusalem where God is present with man, but we still call it "going to Heaven.") This is sort of the perfection of the other 2 points, as we will be without sin and able to fully Praise God while experiencing His Presence in the physical as well as the spiritual body.

This probably isn't what you were looking for, and may not help at all, but it's what I've got. :)