Monday, November 14, 2016

Who voted for Donald Trump?

I keep seeing so much stuff like this on Facebook...


I could add more images, but I'm sure you've seen them all, as they all have the same message: Trump supporters are morally bankrupt, racist, sexist, horrible, deplorable, (add your negative word here)...

And I've heard it said over and over. "I don't understand how ANYONE could vote for him?"

Well, I'll tell you why I did...



HE'S NOT A POLITICIAN

I remember back as far and long ago as 3rd grade, back when Jimmy Carter was president, people complained about "the government" and "politicians." People were always complaining about how "the government" did insane things like pay $20 for a hammer! (I guess back in 1977 that woulda' been a high price to pay for a hammer?)

All thru my life I remember this was the complaint by all - "the government" wastes "our" money! 

And "the government" is corrupt because it's full of politicians. 

Politicians make promises and never fulfill them. 
Politicians lie.
Politicians cheat.
Politicians steal.
Politicians can be bought.
Politicians are only in it for themselves!

The complaint was always that someone needs to stop this!


All my life I've seen "the problem" as "the government." The problem was them, the smooth-talking politicians...as in separate from us, the voting citizens.

And so began the 2016 election season...

I was walking through a room and saw the Republican hopefuls lined up across a stage. I paused and the 1st person I happened to see speak was Donald Trump. I didn't take much notice to what he said until the next guy opened his mouth...and then I was floored by how he'd spoken. The 2nd guy spoke like a politician. Moved like a politician. Stared straight at the camera and smiled like a politician. Trump, had not.

That made me feel like although Trump is like...a billionaire and not really "like me"in that sense...in the sense of not being a smooth-talking well-practiced speaking-like-a-TV-evangelist politician he was like me.

Then I noticed how MUCH the politicians disliked him. That made me think of things like this...


I voted for Ross Perot back in the 90s for the same reason.



HE SEEMED AN ANTI-POLITICIAN

As the drama began over how rude he is, I took it differently than most people. One thing I know about people is that none of us are totally benign. We all laugh at rotten jokes. We all make snide remarks. We all have bad attitudes. I know I do. I have made fun of just about every type of person on the planet and laughed the hardest at the most awfullest of jokes (I'd never repeat!) So when Trump let some rude things fall out of his mouth the thing I noticed wasn't that he had said something rude...but was that he actually said it. He wasn't hiding his bad attitudes like everyone else was.

I felt like if there were 10 candidates standing there facing off the same person...and all 10 of them FELT like telling that person off...9 of them would smile and talk around it but Trump would be the one to just tell the person to go do hades. Personally I feel safer with someone who will just say what they really think, even if I don't like what that is.



HE ALREADY HAD A BUNCHA' MONEY

He was using his own $ to fund his election. A lot of it. And he has way too much already. He's also old and has spent his life pursuing money. So I'd think lobbyists wouldn't get too far with him. He wouldn't be swayed by people dangling bribes in front of him. I feel lobbyists have controlled Washington too long and it has led to much of the corruption. It was nice to think of a president not  likely to be swayed by big corporations waving dollars at him.



THE ECONOMY, SOCIAL ISSUES, AND TRUMP'S PRIDE

As a billionaire who's run big corporations, had employees, and dealt with bankruptcy that told me he knew some things like...
- how to make money
- how to run a huge business
- how to manage a huge amount of employees
- how to recover from huge debt
- how government regulations affect how companies hire and how much to pay them
- why businesses leave the country
- what to do to encourage factories to stay in the country

Obama...was an idealist. His whole thing with being president was to "change" things in the culture socially and we saw a lot of that happen in the last 8 years. Money wasn't his "thing." 

I don't think "social change" is Trump's "thing." I don't think he's going to pay any attention to gay rights or abortion or any of that. I don't think that's what he's into OR he'd already have a history of being really involved in all that. Besides the social change is brought about by the people not the president. (Example: we've had over 20 years of pro-life presidents since abortion was legalized.)

Money IS Donald Trump's "thing" so...what if he'd treat the US Gov't as though it's a big business?

No one can deny the guy's got ego. How would someone with an ego like that want to go down in history? A friend on Facebook put it this way:


Back in the late 80s - early 90s I remember that if I got the urge to work somewhere I'd just go there, fill out an application, and I'd get hired. I almost always had two jobs, and sometimes three. Getting a job was easy peasy. Not so much these days. And everyone's wanting the minimum wage raised because people can't make it these days! 

When Donald Trump says he wants to "Make America Great" I think what he means is he wants to "Make America Rich..." And that ambition seems to be something that would benefit everyone. Social changes directly benefit those who want those particular changes. But everyone wants/needs money.



HIS KIDS

I walked into the room another night and found an interview on the TV with Trump's kids happening. The thing that stuck out to me most in the interview was the kids all agreed that no matter what when they were growing up - their dad made time for them. They said that even if he was in a meeting, if they called, he answered them. He'd leave meetings just to talk to them.



I READ ABOUT RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS HE'D DONE OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS

Politicians generally have their real self hidden (bad attitudes) and their public face is all smiles and talking around the real answers to questions. It was as if he was a negative image of a politician, being a public jerk and a private good guy. 

Example:

"Lenard Dozier Hill took his own life in 1986 on the morning his farm was to go to a courthouse auction, believing that his life insurance would pay enough to save the cotton and soybean plantation that had been in his family for more than 100 years. He never knew his insurance policy had an exemption for suicides.

Trump heard about the case in news reports and paid off the last $77,000 owed on a $300,000 bank loan himself, showing up in Burke County, Georgia to burn the mortgage papers with Mrs. Hill in a photo-op that locals still talk about."
Burning her mortgage


HE DIDN'T SEEM TO BE MUCH OF A REPUBLICAN

Trump didn't seem too "political" in the sense that he wasn't up there blaming "Democrats" for all our problems. He blamed "the government." He wasn't out to get Democrats, which meant he wasn't out to get my friends (loved ones) who happen to be Democrats. He was against "the government." 

The idea of a president who doesn't take sides...who isn't for half my friends and dismissing the other half...appeals to me. 



"HE'S FOR AMERICA"

I lived in Guatemala for ten years in a town that has a steady flow of people paying big bucks to have someone sneak them across our border so they can get a chance at the American Dream. Some call them illegal aliens. Some call them undocumented immigrants. Either way they're people who come to the US without permission.

A wealthy family from that town we had lived in came to the US on vacation and visited us for a day. I asked them, "So, who would you say the people in Guatemala prefer for the next president of the US?" They said Hillary. I asked why? 

The answer? "Trump is for America."



HE'S MARRIED TO AN IMMIGRANT

For all his talk about the wall, I believe he's thinking about it economically. If he had something against "foreigners" he wouldn't have been attracted to or married a woman from Slovenia.



HOW'D I TRY TO CHOOSE?

All along I really was not sure who I'd vote for. I believed Hillary would do a good job because so far as job experience goes...she spent 8 years as the president's wife, and I thought he did a decent job. Then she just spent another 8 years very high up in the government so...she knows stuff. I wasn't even scared by the email scandal because she may just be the "fall guy" for whatever is going on. I don't know because I'm not there. 

I took the isidewith.com questionnaire, answering EVERY question, three times. And all 3 times it told me I was just right of center. (I'm assuming my pro-life stance puts me there). 


The 1st two times I did it was before the primaries...in which I couldn't even vote since I'm a registered Independent. 

The last time I took it it told me I agreed with Hillary 68% and Trump 72%.

I didn't agree 100% with either.
AND...I had just about the same in common with both of them. 

So how to choose?



ULTIMATELY

It was the horrible attitude the far left seemed to be having that decided it for me. 

One thing about me is that since I'm in the center I have friends on all sides. And as the elections approached my newsfeed increasingly filled with more and more political stuff. The stuff I saw on the right was aimed at Hillary and her possibly law-breaking activities, and the fact that those things meant she wouldn't be a good president. Mostly it had to do with her being untrustworthy. The stuff I saw against Hillary reminded me of all the political things I've seen my whole life at times like this.

However...the stuff I saw from the left was...unreal. It was aimed at Trump...not as a candidate and pointing out his lack of qualifications for the job of president...but at his heart. Basically if Trump had been satan they'd have said nicer things about him. I couldn't believe the things I was seeing! Some posts even called for him to be killed. And worse, the posts called all his supporters (aka many of my friends) the most horrrrrrible things as well. 

I realized that if the left felt "they won" this election...that their awful view of anyone who isn't exactly like them would only grow...

The only way for them to stop thinking that every bad thing that happens in the world is because of "Republicans" would be for them to see a Republican in the White House again...and for the sky to NOT fall. Then maybe they'd stop seeing half the country as their enemy...and maybe we could all get back to seeing "the government" as the enemy and us...as us?



MY HOPE

And after seeing this message the day after the election...I'm hoping that over the next 4 years the chasm that's grown between the Democrats and Republicans...can finally begin to close a little...




Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Does your left hand know you're posting all those selfies?

Hey, Christians. Like...remember this?

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

In case you don't remember that, it's from Matthew 6. The New Testament. Jesus said those words.

I feel like if He were to express the same sentiment today, He might say something like: 

“Beware of posting all of your righteousness on Facebook to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not tweet about it, post it to Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men, and receive lots of likes. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand pull out your cell phone to take those selfies with the poor people you're 'blessing', so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

The Bible tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, and yet, we've become a church of selfie-fans, keeping our eyes fixed on ourselves, as we do our good deeds, adding our cutsie spiritual-sounding #hashtags and watching the likes add up so we can feel good about ourselves.

And it's not just missions and good deeds. Christians are obsessed with selfies to the point that even when they're not IN the post or photos they post, their comments direct the viewers back to them, all begging for "likes." One picture I saw posted was captioned, "Look at who I got to photograph the other day." 

Look at the picture "I" took. 
Look at "my" photograph.
Look at "meeee!!!"

It's out of control!!!

There is no "i" in team and there is no "me" in Jesus. 

Maybe Christians should take the focus off themselves...and turn the life camera around on others? 









Monday, May 23, 2016

Dining for Jesus

So much fuss lately about who pees where, why, and how, and with what equipment...

So much fuss...all...the...time over what everyone does.

The fuss from the left is always shouted from the rooftops with words like:

"discrimination!" 
"war against..."
"bigotry!"
"racism!"

And the left demands that everyone be allowed to do whatever they darn-well want...(so long as it's what the left wants.)

The fuss from the right is always shouted from the rooftops with words like:

"God's judgment!"
"sin!"
"repent!"

And the right demands that everyone be allowed to do...only what their brand of Christianity deems God-approved.

My advice to the left would be to...pay more attention to science. Science has the answer about abortion, what "it" is or isn't and the effect on mothers and on society...and it has the answer to the gender fuss...and just everything if only you look.

My advice to the right would be to...go out to eat with the left.

Huh?

Really. Have you ever gone out to eat with someone? You know...you sit at a table, look at the menu, and you order stuff to eat, right?

Sometimes the person you dine with will look to you and say..."I don't know what I want? What do you think I should order?" And you give them a suggestion. "Order that." Sometimes they take your suggestion. Sometimes they order something else. 

When this happens...what do you do? Do you lecture them? Hound them? Look at them in disgust and tell them they are NOT going to like what they just ordered then chase down the waitress and make them change their order?

That's silly, isn't it? What's it to you what they order?

And then...have you ever been out to eat with someone and after the food has been delivered and you're eating...they look down at their own food with disgust and regret...then over at what's on your plate with longing?

Are you good at metaphors or do I need to explain this?

See...that's how it's supposed to work with your life.

Christians...you've at the "table of life" right now and have checked out the menu. You've made your choice (and really are making choices every day) and you have before you "on your plate" what you've ordered.

Your friends and neighbors...have likewise looked over the menu, made their choices, and their choices are now "on their plates" before them, as well.

If their choice really doesn't "taste" that good...if it's making them feel sick...and they're regretting their choice and look over at "your plate"...what do they?

Do they see you enjoying a "plate" full of awesome, happiness, and success? Or do they see you gagging down a "plate" full of anger, frustration, complaint, and nastiness? 

If what you chose from the life menu really is better than theirs...they should be able to look across life's table at you and see you enjoying your "meal" more than they are enjoying theirs...and it should be appealing to them. They should want to try it. And rather than trying to push your choice on them, you need to work to make your "plate" more appealing than theirs so that they come to want it...all on their own. Their own choice. 

So stop worrying about what everyone else does. Stop worrying about all of it and make sure your own order is the best "meal" life has to offer. Make sure your side dishes, your drink, and dessert are top-notch, nutritious, and delish...and let your joy be evident as you sit at life's table with your "meal" before you.

And if what you have on your plate before you isn't appealing at all to the other person...to the world...maybe you need to look down at your own plate and see if what you've got before you is actually rotten...Bones and other things that need to be cut away are one thing and part of everyone's "life plate" but if what's on your plate just plain stinks...there is a problem. 




Examine your own plate to see if you need to scrape your own plate clean and order something else.

Basically...
Worry about the log in your own eye.
Show the world that a life lived for Christ is better...don't tell them.
If you're actually living a life for Christ...you won't have to tell them...so if they don't see it...you aren't livin' it.


Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen 
and save some of them.

But prove yourselves doers of the word
and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in yourown eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds

John 13:14-15 
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 



Saturday, May 14, 2016

$1,300-worth of fun!

I took my kids to a theme park this week, finally buying annual passes for me and the 4 youngest kids. That's 5 annual passes to an Orlando theme park. 

At some point in the day, I jokingly said to one of the kids, something to the effect of, "They'd better have $1,300-worth of fun!"

And that...got me thinking.

What's the point of a theme park, anyway? 
To have fun.

That's it. 

And the theme park is a wonder in and of itself, if you really take time to look. So much planning, designing and building to create the fantastic rides! And the daily running and maintenance of the park! Whoa! What an enormous undertaking it would be!

All for...fun.

So like seriously...what a total bummer it'd be to take the kids there and watch them...as they spend the day...fighting.  Not enjoying one bit of their time! Like...what if my kids spent their entire time in the park...complaining about the rides, protesting the park's policies, and demanding the park change things they disliked?


Wouldn't that like...just totally suck? 
Wouldn't that be a complete and utter waste of $1,300???

Well...once upon a time someone spent time planning, designing, building, and creating this world. And just look around this world...the natural world. So much beauty and wonder. The stars. The sun. The clouds. The rainbow after a rain. The ocean. So many creatures! Eagles! Cats! Dogs! Fireflies! Butterflies! Flowers!

There is so much beauty and wonder in this world. Though some highly depressive religious folks see this world as some sort of...negative place God made for negative and unhappy things...Why would our good God bother with all the really neat things He made, all the beautiful wondrous things He made...unless He wants to see us...enjoy our time here?

And He paid a little bit more than $1,300 for us to be here, didn't He? 
He paid with His life. 
His very blood!

And so now look around this "theme park" of earth. What's God see when He sees us passing our time here where He paid so much for us to be?

Bickering. 
Fighting. 
Hating. 
Blaming. 
Whining. 
Complaining. 
Protesting.

I mean, c'mob! Really. Can't we be nicer kids? Can't we?

Just...seriously watch yourself from His perspective...and quit making God sorry He paid for you to be here...

"Worship" isn't a few sentences sung repetitively for 3 minutes in church on Sunday. It's an attitude. 


Look around this world and put on an air of appreciation and enjoyment for everything you see...and that will give God something to smile about.




Sunday, January 24, 2016

All done :)

There's a story my mom told me always when I was younger, about how I stopped being one of those screaming kids at the grocery store. Yeah, I was one of them, apparently. According to her I was a terror to shop with until one day when I was about 2 or 3 there was another screamer in the store. She said I stopped and listened...totally focused on the other child...and it did something to me, I guess, like flipping a switch. I heard that other child and I heard me. And, apparently I decided I didn't want that to be me anymore and she says I never did it again.

I think something I've seen in people on Facebook has flipped another switch in me over the last year.

It seems like everywhere I look, all over Facebookland, there is someone trying to change my mind about something. Someone trying to teach something. Someone trying to share this wonderful knowledge they have about something with the world...

circumcision
politics
Plexus
GMOs
Health food
spanking
the evil of Democrats
the evil of Republicans
God
gay rights
corrupt police
good police
animal rights
refugees

You name it...someone's on a soap box preachin' about it.

Seeing people's posts...day after day...you can tell which people are into which subject. It's to the point you can read the post first and then guess who's posted it. It's that consistent. People are just out there...everywhere...trying to convince others how to think, believe, live.

And, this...I think combined with another self-revelation I had about six months ago has led me to "here". A place where I actually, for the first time in my history, do not even feel tempted...to argue with internet strangers...no matter how stupid they are.

Seriously. Anyone who knows me in real life has to know it's like Jesus is gonna come back tomorrow or it's gonna snow in Miami or something.

I used to be one of these preachers. I'm always trying to figure out the best and right way to do things and I have always liked sharing the good news to help others see things I've seen. Like...just look to the right at my topics list. Like...I'm always thinking about stuff... But seeing others do it all the time...I'm realizing...it's not helpful...it's not changing the world...it's...just...irritating.

Facebook's little catch line is "a place for friends" but is it, anymore? Isn't it more like a place for proselytizing?

So it happened recently that my inner 2-year-old (really only a few years above 39)...as stood again in the grocery store (at my desk in front of my computer)...listening to the other child having a fit (reading everyone's posts about how they're right and everyone else needs to think like them.)

And, I think this observation has combined with another thing that happened to me and together...it's struck that nerve again. Flipped that switch.

What's the other thing?

I imagined one day for some reason...let's say...I managed to convince the whole world to stop doing bad/wrong things. I find some magic wand and "Bibbity Bobbity Boo!" now everyone isn't stupid anymore! 

Like...then what?

Like, seriously then what? What would I start doing with my time then if I didn't have to spend such time and energy telling everyone else how they oughta' be living and thinking?

And, that's when it hit me. Vanity vanity. I should be doing everything I'd be doing...if the whole world stopped being stupid...now. I should be enjoying the people in my life, right now, all around me. I should be reading with my kids and talking with them and watching shows with them and going out in the yard and playing with them. And, I should be doing the same with friends. I should be enjoying my life...enjoying my home...my pets...and all the love around me...because Jesus said we'd always have the poor (of money, brains, and spirit) with us. 

I no longer feel a compulsion to argue, neither in real life or online, with people about what they believe, think, or do.

And blogging, though I like writing, was really compelled by the people who irritated me and the particular way they did so. I'd read someone say something totally irrational and ridiculous and I'd blog about it. In fact, I have another blog...with about 140 reasons why spanking your child is bad...all motivated by the stupid reasons people have for hitting their kids.

But now...I feel like I have people here in my house that need my attention more than all the random people sitting in their houses...staring at screens...ignoring their own kids.

I once was a strong "presence" I suppose you could say...on many different groups and pages. I had my settings set to alert me about everything and it was a constant stream all day long. And, people tagged me all the time to go argue with people about stuff. 

Now...I've unfollowed everything. My interest level has dropped to zero with all that. Really.

And...I am writing. Books. I see all the time I have on the computer doing stuff like "this" now as time I should be working on a book...

So...I'm done. 

When I get inspired I'll be back around probably...but for the most part...like Forrest Gump when he finished running...I'm done. 

:)









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