Tag Archives: Racism

When I Grow Up……

When I grow up…..

But wait, I am grown up? How can I grow up?

Been there done that a LONG time ago.

Or did I grow old but not grow up?

Is growing up signified by the age on your driver’s license?

Or by how achy you are when you work in the yard for an hour?

Is growing up signified by the question to answer ratio? Haven’t heard of that? My dad told the story about how, when he was a young boy, he would love working in the garage with his Dad. But there was one problem, he talked all of the time and was constantly asking questions about what they were doing. Finally, my Grandpa, who had the patience of Job, turned to my Dad and said, “HOWARD! WHY ARE YOU TALKING ALL OF THE TIME?”

Dead silence as my Dad was thinking, “Uh, oh, I’ve screwed it up. What do I do now? I’ve gotten my Dad, the guy who never gets mad mad and now he’s mad at me. What do I do?”

“Well, I guess I better tell him the truth.” (Smart answer for a 4th grader who eventually becomes a preacher.) So, he looks at his Dad, my grandpa, and says, “Because I got questions!”

Pause……

Nothing gets said (quite a feat for these two – if you ask me). Wait! You don’t have to ask me because I just told you. Why do people use that phrase?

I had an English Professor, a few years ago, who felt it was very important for writers to conserve words. Don’t say something in your writing unless it adds to the whole picture of what you are saying.

Back to the story. “Well, if you’ve got questions, then I think we better answer them. But I have a question first……. Can you work really hard on your speed and your volume? Because sometimes you talk so fast and so loud it makes my head hurt. “

“I will try…..”

The story moves on and we find ourselves looking over this place in front of the Capitol Building.

The history on those steps and inside that building. It can take your breath away. From Abraham Lincoln to Joe Biden, from Dad Bush to Son Bush, so many people made a difference in the world from these steps.

On January 6, many people made a difference on the Capital steps, and it was not a good thing and it did not help us grow up.

On January 6, many adults behaved like children on the Capital steps and it was not something to make Americans proud.

On January 20, a 22 yr. old writer stood on the Capital steps and showed America and the World that there still is good in America.

And a collective sigh of relief was heard through out our country.

Amanda Gorman, age 22, wrote what was on her heart and a country and a world listened.

May we all continue to do so……

TV

Amanda Gorman on James Corden’s show

Times Change…..But do they?

28276382_10155314382716966_3287178305439075791_nThanks to our “friend” (and I use that term very loosely), Mr. Zuckerberg, we get quite often reminded of things that happened it in the past.   Some of it is hilarious – I was going to throw some examples in – but I don’t think my kids would like that.

Some of them are just, “Oh I remember when we did that!”   Some of them are not so fun – “Wow, it’s been 5 years since I broke my finger?’  (I think it’s actually closer to 9 years.)  Or “man, did you see how much hair I had 11 years ago?”

And then there are the thoughtful pieces.   If we’ve been hanging out on here for a while, you know what I’m talking about – the pieces that are designed to make you think.   There are people out there who get a lot of attention – way more than I do.   Jen Hatmaker  Bob Goff, John Pavlowvitz, Benjamin Watson, Brandon at Hony, Nicholas Kristoff, just to mention a few.   They write and people pay attention. 

Recently, due to Facebook’s “memories” I came across some writing that I did about this time of year in 2014.  6 years ago – has anything changed?  So I read through what I wrote and oh my…….

There’s a lot of changes and looking back on it, I think there’s a lot more we can learn from what has transpired since then.   I’ve spent a number of hours this morning reading through what I wrote then and there’s a lot more big and small issues that need to be given a closer look to hopefully better understand what’s going on since then and now.

I’m working on rewriting, updating and refocusing those pieces based on what changes have happened since then.

I hope you’ll join me for the walk through these times.   I think we will all understand what is happening right now.   So, join me.

Hope to hear from you on it as well.

 

Thanks,

 

Tom V

The Church and Donald Trump

The following is a quote from an article in Politico magazine. In it, they summarize some things but they also quote the current President a number of times.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacists. On Wednesday, he blamed suburban, low-income people of color for “ruining this American dream.”  The comments represent a feature — not a bug — of Trump’s presidency and campaign that are ramping up in the final month of the election.
A day after he told the far-right Proud Boys, to “stand by,” igniting outrage from Democrats and concern from Republicans, the president equated having a low income to being a minority. He also claimed — falsely — that Joe Biden wants to turn Minnesota into a refugee state.
Speaking to a mostly white crowd in Duluth, Minn., on Wednesday, Trump gave a shout-out to the suburbs, particularly “women in the suburbs.” He boasted he was the person to end an Obama-era fair housing rule, which he said brought “low-income housing” to suburbia.
“By the way, just so we can get this straight, 30 percent of the people in the suburbs are low-income people. Thirty percent of the people in the suburbs are minorities. And so we’re ruining this American dream for everybody,” Trump said.” From the Politico News

Can someone do me a favor?

Answer this question – “As a Christian, meaning you believe in Jesus, and you believe that what the Bible says is true, can you please explain to me how that works?

How does what Donald Trump does and says line up with the Bible calls Christians to do and to believe in and to support?

I’m not talking about the stuff he did and said in the 2016 campaign or the way that he verbally abused people (one handicapped reporter comes to mind). I’m not talking about those, I’m talking about the last couple of weeks.

If you feel you can answer that question in a calm well thought thorough manner and would like to share it with me and the rest of my readers, write it up and send it to me. But a couple of guidelines:
1. No name calling or blaming anyone else for anything (no words that I have to blank out either.) This has to be about you and Donald Trump. Why can you, a professing believer in Jesus Christ support him for president.
2. If it’s going to be more than 500 words, it needs to be split into parts so that each piece is no more than 500 words (give or take 20).
3. No using the term, “if only” or “but when” or “he tried” or “the Democrats wouldn’t allow him.” I don’t want you to make excuses for “the Donald.” I think that after four years, we pretty much know what we’re getting with (though it might be worse than we think based on hints dropped lately).
4. Pretty much what I’m asking for is for someone to attempt to explain to me how a Christian can vote for another 4 years and can at the same time acknowledge the ways that he has violated what God tells us in the Bible.

If anyone would like to take a stab at answering that, I would be happy to share my relatively small stage with you.

I will report back with brief updates if anyone says they are putting one together or anything like that. My hope is that all of us, Christians, non-Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and any other religious groups out there look at their beliefs and attempt to match it with our current president’s behaviors.

I look forward to seeing your thoughts and I will share mine once there has been ample time for others to share there.

Sincerely,

Tom

It’s okay….

What’s okay? The news?

Nope

The crime figures?

Nope

The fact checker results when politicians give speeches?

Nope

The most recent Covid statistics and the grief and pain that they represent?

Not a chance

The anxiety ridden discussions that take place on places like Facebook as parents wrestle with big questions about this school year. At home? Online? What about work? My career? My high school and college aged kids – what will this do to their plans?

Last week I had a relative whose job changed drastically, a friend who had to go back to college to bring her daughter home – because she’ll be doing college from the basement rather than at college. Oh, and two families who decided that they were going to home school this coming year rather than send their kids to the local private school. That reduced the number of students at the school by 4.

One of the difficult things about churches, private schools, orphanages, missions is that often you are forced to make business-like decisions in the middle of a charity run organization – and often in very desperate times. So, that school I mentioned above, they removed 4 kids from the local private school – I don’t know, but I would be surprised if that didn’t cost the school $25,000 or more this year. How do they make that up?

And this week, one of the major political parties held their “virtual” convention. I know it’s necessary to finalize the candidate the delegates are supporting, but let’s be real…..

If you watched the speeches and listened to the talking heads analyzing it all 6 ways from everywhere, how much of it can you really believe it is true? I’m working on a very personal piece about that which I promise will be out before the election. It is hard to write because basically, I’m…….. (sorry, not going to give you a sneak peek.)

I’ve had conversations with some of you about the whole concept of righteous anger. If something truly crosses that “line in the sand” for you, then it is okay to be mad about it. It’s okay to be angry that _______ is happening. It’s okay to be upset that the President said _________. It’s okay to be angry at what those who are not following Covid guidelines are doing to the health of so many and frankly the health of our nation.

It’s okay to be angry.

It’s okay to be angry at God because He didn’t give you what you wanted.

It’s okay to be angry at politicians who you feel betrayed their word.

It’s okay to be angry about children who are caught in immigration struggles that POWs shouldn’t even have to face.

Get angry. But then don’t stop there. Don’t just walk around being angry.

It reminds me of the song by the Christian Music Artist, “Mike’s Chair.” It goes something like this:

“Then I shook my fist at heaven and I hollered, ‘God, why don’t you do something?”

And then God said, “I did……I CREATED YOU!!!!!”

We’re going to be talking a lot more about the “do something” part of it, for a number of reasons, but for now, just think about this thought…..

The world is messed up.

God’s okay with us being mad about it.

But he wants us to not be satisfied with being angry but to do something about it.

More to come,

Tom