Category Archives: Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

Picture Post Series

I’m trying something different here. I’ve been collecting a whole bunch of pictures that other people have put on the web – typically Facebook, Instagram or something like that. Sometimes I will share some of my own thoughts after the picture, some times not.

Rest vs. Peace

Think about it.

In today’s world, with everything going on, with everything being different, with death tolls on the news every night, there is very little peace in the world. When there is very little peace, there is very little rest.

May God give us enough rest so we can work to be the peace our world needs and then we can all experience the peace and the rest.

That’s a goal to work for if you ask me…..

TV

2020 is not very clear

CoVid

Racism

Lies, 

Puzzles, 

Elections,

Promises

Could we have more going on right now?

I listened to a podcast today that wrestled with questions about white evangelical Christianity  and its role in the current political quagmire that we find ourselves slogging through.   I have not read the book yet, but after listening to the Antioch Podcast talk about it, I think I need to.

We are in such a tumultuous time and during these times God will often use music to speak to his people.   Sometimes it is music that makes sense and very openly speaks about the struggle that you’re going through.

Sometimes it seems like it has nothing to do with what you’re going through.

Until later.

After the dust has settled.

After your heart has calmed down.

After the pain is settling down.

Look back and remember that song that you heard at just the right time?

Yeah, that wasn’t an accident.   Someone was using that to cheer you on.

For me, right now, it’s a new song by the group NeedtoBreathe…….

“I wanna be there when the voices in your head 

Are loud enough to make you lose your mind”

If you know some of the medical things I’ve got going on, you’d understand even more……

Tom

“I Too” by Langston Hughes

This was brought to my attention a year ago today. Randall Pierson from “This is Us” brought it to many people’s attention……

“I too” by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.
I the darker brother
they send me to eat in the kitchen
when company comes,
But I laugh, eat well, and grow strong
tomorrow, I’ll be at the table
when company comes.
nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“eat in the kitchen, “
then.
besides,
they’ll see how beautiful we are
and be ashamed–
I, too, am
American.

Thanks to Randall Pearson – “This is Us”

Conforming and Transforming – on Facebook?

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I’m reading in my devotions this morning and I come to Romans 12:2. “Do Not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind – on Facebook.”

Romans 12:2 NIV

Wait, what? Did Paul actually tell us to transform ourselves and renew our minds on FACEBOOK?

Well, not really. He didn’t specifically mention Facebook. I mean, really, Mr. Z wasn’t even alive back then. But look at a couple of things with me, and Mr. Zuckerberg might actually be making more sense than we thought.

I mean, if you look at it, does Paul state what we should be doing during an election period? Should we be following what the “leaders of this world” say? Not only the governmental leaders, but the media leaders, the news leaders, the local pastor, the mayor. Is Paul stating that we should follow them? Oh and also the Facebook stars and the Instagram “leaders.” Is he saying we should follow what Kim Kardashian is saying on Twitter? (I actually have more thoughts on that for another time)

Yes, he does and no he doesn’t. Paul says he wants us to transform our minds and by that we will be able to follow God’s pattern for our lives.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world?”

How do you avoid conforming to the pattern of this world? I mean especially during an election season where there are so many people yelling and yelling and blaming this guy and saying it was that guy’s fault and inflating this figure and that one.

I think you have to use the tools that are in front of you to make those decisions. And you can’t say that 1 particular “test” means that that is the right person. Especially in our tumultuous times, it’s really hard to honestly say that one line item tells you everything you need to know to vote wisely. Well, Mr. ______ said that Ronald Reagan was a __________ so I’m never going to vote for him.

Yeah, not so smart.

Instead, we need to fight the patterns of the world and look seriously at not only one question, but what God says and what he wants.

And then you can go tomorrow (or today) and vote knowing that you searched out where you felt God was calling you to listen.

TJV

Why……

Is your pastor quiet about racism? I listened to a college professor recently who switched churches because she, as a person of color, and her family could not sit every Sunday and never once hear anything about color, the effects of color, the effects of Covid19 on people of color. She told her pastor on the first Wednesday of November 2016 that they weren’t sure where they would be going, but they knew they couldn’t stay where someone with the beliefs and statements of Donald Trump was elected, but even more disappointing to her and her family was the fact that so many White evangelicals (pretty much all of West Michigan could fit in or be close to that description) supported the beliefs and morals and ethics of Donald Trump. The most recent statement of people the likes of Franklin Graham show that the number is easing slightly but not enough to make a difference yet.

If you happen to know Franklin Graham or have read a lot of his works (I have not – I just know him as Billy’s son) and can direct me to a place in his writings and speaking where he explains how an American Christian can support Donald Trump in.particular his lies, his verbal assaults and the money paid out to women because of those assaults of various type, I would love to read it.

I don’t expect you’ll be able to find such things. At lease not in documents that are issued by anyone with any sort of credibility on the subject.

Until you do, we’re stuck with pastors who are quiet about major social justice issues and Christian publicists/speakers promoting a Commander in Chief who, well, I’m going to fall back on something my Mom has had a saying she used for decades (well, we’re all growing up – or old) “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything….

………………..

TV