Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

This journey through life is never boring......

Month: April 2016

Inconsistencies

First off, let me say that I am in favor of this law……

http://woodtv.com/2016/04/26/new-law-ups-penalties-for-assaulting-pregnant-women/

The State of Michigan just passed a new law that makes it a harsher penalty if you assault a pregnant woman than if you assault a woman who is not pregnant.

Why is that?  According to the interview on the news last night it is because “pregnant women hold a special place in our society” and need to be valued more.

I couldn’t agree more.

But let’s look at it a moment.   We’re going to make it a harsher penalty for someone who assaults a pregnant woman – but it’s still legal to perform an abortion and kill the life that is inside the pregnant woman?

So we’re making it a stronger penalty if you assault a woman who is pregnant but it’s okay to “get rid” the reason that a pregnant woman “holds a special place in our society?”

I don’t get it.  

We’re saying that unborn babies make a woman special.   I agree.

But we’re inconsistent in our message……..

Speak? Or Listen?

To say the least, we’re in an interesting time right now.   Many would say it’s some of the darkest days.   I would suggest that those who think we are in “the darkest” days have not closely studied history.  Not only modern American history but many other past historical times could certainly give this time a run for it’s money, so to speak.

I’ve been doing a good bit of reading on the web – news, commentary, social media – and then today, in my devotions, I read I Samuel 3:10 – when God is talking to Samuel in the night:

“Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Samuel answered, “Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.”


And it really struck me.   Do we have it all wrong?  

Are we, in these times of turbulence, doing too much speaking?

Are we too busy talking about those who are offended or those who take offense?

And not busy enough listening to what God is saying?

Are we too busy speaking about advancing our own agenda – and not busy enough listening to what God’s agenda is?

Are we too busy doing what we think we want so we can’t hear when God is speaking?

Are we too busy speaking about how to make a difference and not busy enough listening to what God says about how to love our neighbors?

May we all, in this “interesting” time, spend more time listening to God and doing what He says and less time filling up our minds with what modern media and modern politicians say?

Speak.  I’m your servant, ready to listen.”

Notice the fourth word?  Servant

Samuel isn’t saying He’s in charge, he’s acknowledging God’s in charge and he’s willing to do what God says……

May it also be said of us that we listened to God and did what He told us.

TJV

Ronald McDonald Does It Well – Do You?  Do I?

If we’re friends on FAcebook, you probably know that we’ve spent the last two nights at the Ronald McDonald House at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.   My daughter has a heart condition that is currently in the “watch and monitor” stage and that requires annual trips to Cincinnati.

Until the first time we were here, I never truly understood what wonderful places the Ronald McDonald Houses are.   Friends of ours have spent significant amounts of time in one with their sick son and they’ve talked about it often.   But they didn’t really do it justice.   If you had asked me to describe the Ronald McDonald Houses from my conversations with them, I would have said, “It’s a really awesome place to stay that is structured around families who are away from home and need a place to stay with their sick kids.”

That’s only part of the story.

Last night, it hit me what makes the Ronald McDonald House such a special place…….

They sit with you.

They sit with you when you are in pain.

They sit with you when you are nervous and don’t know what to do.

They sit with you when you’re lonely.

I could go on and on and on but what it comes down to is that the Ronald McDonald Houses are built as places where people who are, in most cases, at one of the worst places in their lives and the staff and volunteers sit with people in those places.

They entertain the kids.

They cook so parents don’t have to.

They provide shuttle runs to local stores.

They sit and listen at the end of a tough day.

While they aren’t a religious organization, they truly are the hands and feet of Christ to weary, worn out families.

They aren’t afraid to sit with someone in their pain.

And by doing that, they are making a difference in many many ways in many many lives.

If only the church did more of that too.

TJV

It Strikes Me……

It strikes me again how mind boggling social media can be.

Just this week…..

Through social media, I’m praying for a friend who is escorting a severely malnourished infant to a hospital in Haiti.

Through social media, I’m wrestling with some very deep questions with a friend who is struggling with some challenges from her children’s birth families and their stories.

Through social media, I’m grieving with a family I’ve never met over the loss of their 19 month old daughter who died on Easter morning.   And I’m grieving with a group of hundreds who have been impacted by the grace and peace God has given this family through this painful time.  

Through social media, I’m feeling jealous of people who are trekking to significantly warmer temperatures for this next week.  We won’t be going that far south so swimsuits and flip flops aren’t on the packing list.

Through social media, I’m happy with two friends who discovered they will be coming grandparents this year.   Don’t worry, they are a LOT older than I am.

But also, through social media, I’ve seen scars ripped open……

I’ve seen people be reminded of things that haven’t turned out the way they wanted..

I’ve seen people brutally reminded of losses that happened in their past – while at the same time, they have been instrumental in preventing similar losses in other people’s lives.

And it all happened via social media.

Some of it is good.

Some of it is hard.

I hope we all can remember that whatever we share on social media has the potential to either encourage or hurt someone else and be conscious of that possibility.

A kinder and gentler social media would be a blessing that we could all use.

Pay it forward, it will be good for everyone……

TJV