Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

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

Category: Thoughts (page 1 of 50)

“It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor……..” Part of Micah 6:8

Oh that’s easy. If my neighbor has a baby, bring them cookies.

If their car breaks down, offer them a ride.

If they need help, offer to help shovel their driveway.

But wait a minute. That’s not all is it?

Nope. Those are only the neighbors right next door. And the easy things……

What about the homeless man on the corner on your way to work?

Or the friend who runs a care center for single teenage moms?

Or the former golfing buddy who is now in the US House of Representatives?

How do you do what is fair and just for them?

And then there are the neighbors who aren’t so close. But they are still neighbors……
• The victims of the Harvey, Irma and Maria.
• The victims of the earthquake in Mexico.
• The little girl growing up next to your friends in Haiti who is suffering from malnutrition.
• The children in the United States who fear being deported to a country they have never lived in.
• The families who are risking death to take a boat across the Mediterrean Sea because they are willing to risk a significant chance of death on the sea rather than a guaranteed death at the hands of terrorists.

How do you do what is fair and just for them?

And there’s one more important type of neighbor we can’t forget. The neighbors who don’t look like us.

They have brown or black skin and we don’t.

They might or might not speak English as well as we do.

Their favorite food might be different than ours.

And that’s just a small list of the variations that we could see.

They are our neighbors too.

So then ask yourself:
• Would Jesus want you to build a huge wall between us and their home country?
• Would Jesus want you to send 59,000 of them back to Haiti based on one person’s 3 hour visit that says, “Haiti is good, send them back?”
• Would Jesus want you to send……

I think you get the picture. There are a lot of ways that God can call us to be fair and just to our neighbors. And it really isn’t simple.

So what do you do? Stay tuned……

Tom V

But…….

Uh, hey God? I’ve been “sitting here” for a long time. When are you going to do something?

Uh, hey God? I’ve prayed that my brother would accept you as Lord again – but it’s been over 30 years (praise the Lord, this one has been answered – I believe it took 35!)

Hey God, why do you keep slamming doors in my face? I’m getting a sore nose.

Hey God, do you think this is fun? I don’t like waiting.

Hey God, I thought you wanted me to _________ but why are you not giving me the opportunity?

What was that, God? What did you say?

Moses? How long did he work in the desert before You used him?

Uh……. I think it was 40 years.

Noah? How long did it take to build the boat? And how far away from water were they?

Uh…..I think 10 years and far enough away that his neighbors thought he was Stoopid!

David? How long between when Samuel anointed him and he became King?

Uh……. A couple of decades?

Simeon and Anna? How long did they wait for Jesus?

Sigh, okay God. I get it.

It’s not my plans.

It’s not my timeline.

For some reason, you aren’t showing me the whole plan.

What? Do I TRUST you?

Of course I do!

Oh, yeah, you’re right, of course you’re right.

My impatience isn’t acting like I trust you.

My intolerance isn’t acting like I trust you.

My personal ambition isn’t acting like I trust you.

God, help me to live my life and treat others like I know I should. Help me to realize and to show that I am not in control. You are. Amen

“Hey dummy, he told you what he wants, aren’t you listening?”

God has made it plain.

He has put it in His book.

He has passed down the stories from generation to generation.

But are we listening?

Are we spending more time ranting on social media or more time reading the Bible and listening for God in his word and his people?

Are we spending more time telling other people they are wrong or more time looking to determine whether our beliefs are based on the Bible or based on tradition?

Are we spending more time reading the Bible or listening to the news?

God has made it plain. This world makes it really hard to see and hear it.

Maybe we need to remember that better?

Tom

I’ve seen it…….

I’ve seen the damage that institutional living can do to a young child. 

Especially when that child stays there longer than 12 to 14 months (according to ther World Health Organization).    The damage to a child’s brain, the damage to their self esteem and often the physical damage can last a life time.

In the United States, we don’t do orphanages any more.   Or at least we say we don’t.

Ever heard of residential treatment facilities?

Every heard of group homes?

If it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck and it quakes like a duck, then guess what?   Yep.

Watch and listen to the TEDTalk and then you tell me, is it time to end orphanages?

I don’t get it.

I mean, on one hand, I do understand.

But then on the other hand I don’t get it.

I get that people are upset about the flag. They feel that a respectful knee rather than standing is actually a show of disrespect.

I can understand that, in some ways. I have the utmost respect for the military and the sacrifice so many have made to keep our country, the country this flag represents, safe. I have the utmost respect for the people who, every day, are working to keep our country safe.

And I realize that we are by no means a perfect country. Actually we’ve done a lot of things to a lot of people that has tarnished that reputation. That hurts and the more I see and understand how that worked and works, the more it pains me.

But it is a protest, people. Protests are supposed to be a bit disrespectful. Jesus was protesting the money changers in the temple – how did He do it? By turning over their tables and trashing their place. The American Revolutionaries protested British tax policies by dumping tea in the Boston Harbor. Rosa Parks protested Jim Crow by refusing to sit in the back of the bus. Jackie Robinson protested the Major League Baseball “whites only” policy by going out and standing up to the racist players, managers and owners.

Disrespectful? All of them are, to some degree or another.

That is, to some extent, what makes them a protest against an injustice.

But why? Help me understand.

I was recently in a local public high school and it appeared to be homecoming week. There were a lot of events happening and the day I was there must have been dress in red white and blue day or something of the sort.

I saw teenage boys wearing athletic shorts that came down to the knees with the flag on the shorts. Parts of the flag were in very potentially awkward positions on said teenage boys posteriors.

I saw teenage girls wearing yoga pants that were made out of the flag. Well, let’s just say that what might have appropriate attire for the yoga class or a workout at the gym was way too tight for at school. That flag stretched and pulled and bent in rather interesting ways in interesting places.

Now, help me understand. This was an almost all white school, but how can wearing those type of clothes – shorts and yoga pants – with the flag on them be respectful of the flag and respectful of the country and yet kneeling quietly during the national anthem isn’t?

Or were the teenagers at the local high school protesting something too?

If they were, I missed it.

Tom

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