Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Position on Politics

I'm a man of strong opinions. I wouldn't necessarily call myself "opinionated" in the sense of it being a bad thing, but I do have my opinions, which are deeply held and due to my diligence in seeking information, I believe I can change my opinions, when needed. I am also a man of strong convictions, insofar as I am unwilling to compromise my beliefs or opinions based upon the beliefs and opinions of others, solely to "fit in", as it were.

I dislike receiving political eMails from my friends, and absolutely loathe receiving them from special interest groups. I am capable of, and frequently exercise that capability, finding out the information I need to know about a candidate or an issue. Some of my friends have described me as fiscally conservative and socially moderate. Others consider me extremely conservative or extremely liberal. I do have a few opinions and beliefs that are what most people call liberal, in as much as they have to find a label to put on me.

I do not suffer those who allow the talking heads to shape their opinions or stands on the issues or candidates lightly. I believe far too many good men and women died to ensure the right of every individual in this great Republic of ours to enjoy the freedoms, privileges and responsibilities that come along with citizenship in The United States of America. I firmly believe each and every man and woman in this nation who is 18 years or older has the obligation to be politically active by researching the issues and candidates and fulfilling the responsibility to vote.

What I find most loathsome, however, is the way the political parties throw mud at the other party and the politicians in the other party. I find it abhorrent that the Republican party claims itself as the party of the Christian, yet they spew hatred, arrogance and poison on the people of this nation and spout lies regarding the members of the Democratic party. Yes, I do find the same actions on the parts of the Democrats to be vile, but the Democrats do not proclaim themselves to be the "Christian Party"! There are always things to dislike when it comes to the positions of politicians. That does not excuse, however, the bending of the truth of someone's affiliations, beliefs or political views, much less the outright lies that they tell about one another.

The worst part of it is, that we, as Christians, not only overlook these things, we support and even perpetuate them. I find that situation to be almost intolerable. We are to be the light of Christ unto the world yet we are using the tactics of the enemy while convincing ourselves that this is somehow "okay" with God. I'm afraid for many Christians when they stand before Christ on judgment day and have to face up to this standard they've borne.

I pray for the leaders of this nation, daily. The ones I agree with and most especially for the ones I disagree with. I pray for God's hand to guide them to the right decisions for this nation and His mercy upon them when they perform contrary to His will. And I pray for those who allow themselves to be led like lambs to the slaughter based solely upon political party membership. We are called to be separated from this world, for this world is not our home. We are, however, called to be responsible and good stewards of what we have been given in this life, and that includes those of us who were fortunate and blessed enough to be born as citizens of this great nation. But, we are not to become bogged down in the strife that is the political spectrum of this country. We are commanded by God to pray for, and to obey, our elected leaders, for they are in their offices by the grace and appointment of God; even the ones we disagree with. After all, how would we know the good ones without having the bad ones to compare them to?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Embarking on God's Call

I've suffered horrendous, debilitating, intractable, insipid pain for the past 23½ years.  God did deliver me from the pain for several months, earlier this year but it returned after they removed the hardware from my lumbar spine back in April during emergency surgery due to infection.  Last week's appointment with the surgeon revealed the broken L4 vertebrae has begun slipping, which is causing even more pain.  For many years I allowed myself to be deceived into thinking that I deserved this pain, and the complications that come with it.  Thanks to my friend, Becky Fender, I came to realize that it was not deserved nor is it God's will for me to live in chronic, persistent pain from the base of my skull to my toes and all parts in between.

Over the years I've had good-intentioned Christians tell me that I just don't have enough faith, or there's some sin in my life I haven't repented for that causes this pain and the lack of healing.  The truth is, I have lots of faith for a divine touch and miraculous healing.  I've experienced miraculous healings in other areas of my body and life; as for the unrepentant sin, I can only laugh when someone says something like that.

Due to my inability to work, I spend most waking hours either on the computer or watching TV.  This year has been especially egregious when it comes to not being able to do anything.  Without the hardware to support the lumbar spine, pressure increases on the nerves, 2 of which have a condition called Arachnoiditis.  That's where the chronic pain comes from.  Also have 2 instances of the condition in the cervical spine (neck).

Now, having said all that, I do believe that God works ALL things for good for those of us who love Him!  I don't know how He will make this into good, but His will and plan for me only includes good.  Over the past few years I've been able to help others who are just beginning the long road that is chronic, insipid pain.  One was a little old lady in her twilight years who had developed chronic pain and was considering having a pain pump implanted.  My doctors asked me if I would consider speaking with her because she was terribly frightened.  I do think I helped her, and I pray she's finding some relief from her pain.

The one thing I know for sure about this pain is that it's intent is to keep me from doing what God has called me to: music.  Music for His glory, for exhorting my fellow Christians and even to teach through song.  Despite basically being confined from doing anything, I can still write, and I have.  I've written some amazing lyrics over the past few months, and I know beyond any doubt that those words came directly from the Throne: I was merely the vessel God used to bring them into creation.

So, I ask for your prayers for healing, for anointing, for doors opening.  I know God can, and will, make a way!