No Real Winner


The election results are in. It is over, or is it? While there are many differing opinions as to why it turned out the way that it did, I thought that I would share mine. The reality is that nobody really won the election even though we now have a president-elect Trump. Both sides of the political spectrum need to do some soul-searching and this is my attempt to point them in the right direction. So, lets start with democrats since they lost, and then move to the Republicans.

This election was in no way a mandate for Trump. It was however, a rebuke of three different entites. First, Hillary Clinton was simply not an electable candidate. Secondly, the Democratic National Committee rigged the primaries to make her their candidate. Lastly, it was a rebuke against the establishment media (which is all democratic). Clinton lost this election not because Trump was so electable but because she was so unelectable. The fact of the matter is that she is a difficult politician to trust. She’s done some shady stuff. The emails, FBI investigations, the rigging of the DNC primary, and the flip-flopping on so many issues made her difficult to stomach. Secondly, when the email leaks came out that the primary was rigged in favor of Hillary, the DNC did nothing. The chairman resigned and that was the end of it. Richard Nixon was impeached from the Presidency for doing less than this. All he did was wire tap a headquarters in an election that was a landslide in his favor. The DNC and Hillary rigged the primary in her favor and simply accepted this as OK. Its not OK. The establishment media never really reported on it. The never dug into the heart of the criminal activity. Instead, they dug up an eleven year old audio recording of rape culturist Trump and let all of the DNC criminal activities go. This is simply not OK and most Americans didn’t tolerate it. On top of the fact, that all their polls were so wrong that now, we have to question the validity of all of them. Perhaps they were just trying to brain-wash the public and the public would have known of it. Had the Bernie Sanders been there candidate, he would’ve probably beat Trump. The fact of the matter is that all of this was simply too much for most folks. These are the reasons why the democrats lost, it wasn’t because of race or the electoral college system, it was for these three simple reasons.

Republicans have some soul-searching to do as well. The fact that Donald Trump won the primary against several other heavy hitters in the party still boggles my mind. We have got to do better. This election in no way validates the Republican agenda it only means that even Trump could beat Hillary. Its sad. As I said previously Trump won because Clinton was simply not electable not because folks have this trust in Trump. For sure, some do, but for him to win the way that he did, says more about Clinton than it does about him. It is my hope that he will recognize this and all Republicans will recognize this and get on with the business of uniting the country from humility rather than ruling in arrogance. Trump will have to address the racism. It is simply not acceptable. It is also my hope that the Republicans who oppossed Trump will continue to hold him accountable. As I said, this election was not a mandate for Trump.

Moving forward, both parties have got to be selective in how we pick our candidates. The shady business of political rigging must stop and the rhetoric of race/hate must also stop. We, as Americans, are better than this.

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Love the Lord Your God

I’ve never really known what real love is. I discovered my lack of understanding recently, while having marital troubles, which I’ve written a little bit about Here(Love Suffers: It Must!). I’m learning, but all I have right now is a great theory of how to surrender which, as of yet, is really untested. But I have discovered one thing that must stop: Conditional Love. I have only loved God (and my wife) under certain conditions. I love God when things are going good but when life takes a turn for the worst, I stop loving and start blaming. I blame Him for anything that is happening in my life that I don’t want or like. This is just not cool and it’s not OK.

I have to learn to love God even when life isn’t going the way that I would like it to be. I need to let God do (or not do) whatever He wants and choose to love Him anyway. Even if I don’t feel like He is acting very loving, I must love Him regardless. I must learn to love my wife the same way. Rina doesn’t always act loving but I can’t blame her. I must love her as an act of the will – through the choices that I make. My love cannot be conditional.

So, I’m saying to God (and to my wife): Do whatever you want, I’m going to love you regardless, because that’s the way you love me. This is the covenant and it must go both ways. The last verse that the prophet Habbakkuk wrote rings true for me:

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

The Prayer of Fear


I’ve been praying prayers of fear for years. The structure for them is basically the same as what Jesus taught in the “Our Father” or the “Lord’s Prayer” with just some slight variations of my own. Here is generally how my prayers of fear go:

      1. Praise: Oh Great and Wonderful; All Knowing; All Powerful; and Loving Father. You alone are Holy.

      2. Flattery: I know that You can do whatever You want and all things are possible for You.

      3. Declarations: Since Jesus died for my sins and I’m in a blood covenant with You then I have the Keys to the Kingdom and nothing will be withheld from me.

      4. Logical Conclusion: Therefore, I should win this power ball jackpot so that I can have abundant life just as Jesus promised and, He never breaks a promise.

      5. Negotiation: You know me, I will give 20% of all my winnings to whomever you want me to.

      6. Benediction: Blessed is God , Yours is the Kingdom; Power; and glory forever Amen.

      7. Gods Answer: No!

This prayer is rooted in my fears and I’m slowly beginning to learn that God doesn’t serve my fears. My fears mainly revolves around my financial situation. I feel that God should change “what is” because I’m not “OK” with it. But God is not in the business of changing what is to make my fears vanish. Fear is a liar, and I know that God is with me. Michael Singer, author of the “Untethered Soul” writes “everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything, and that’s the only time everything will be okay.”

It is time for me to stop praying the prayers of fear and start praying prayers of faith. The only problem is : I’m not really sure that I know what faith is, but I know what it is not and that’s a good place to start.

Change: The Only Constant

This post is more like a journal entry relating to gleanings from the last post. A sort of “ad hocum” from my previous post about seasons. So, here it is:

Change is the only constant.” This, then, is the only absolute. I’ve recently come to this revelation and I don’t like it much. I’d rather live in absolutes and hope that the end of the good season will never come because with absolutes, there is security.

Security, for me, is the absence of change. I have fought for absolutes and security my whole life and I’ve lost. I’ve raged against change and the end of seasons and, so far after damn near fifty years, I have never won. I’m 0-2. No wins and 2 losses. I fight against what is or I fight against losing what is. I think it time for me to end the war against change. I need to surrender. To raise the white flag of unconditional surrender to life and to change. I can’t beat what is. I can’t prevent what is from changing. I must surrender to it.

Perhaps I can embrace change and just live in what is. To live in the now. Live in the now, neither in the future (praying and hoping that what is will be different) nor in the past (regretting the decisions I have made that might have made what is now something different). Surrender to what is now and not try to change it, or be miserable in it, and drive myself and everyone around me crazy. Better to live in the now and love in the now. Let life be what it is; let my feeling about it go “in-through-out” and just love. Its gotta be a better way to live. Michael Singer wrote in the “Untethered Soul”: “The only way that everything is going to be OK is when You are OK with everything.

The Beginning, the End, and the Season

The end of tabernacles generally sucks for me. I hate the fact that the week long camping experience, which is supposed to signify eternal life with God, has to end. When it finally ends, I’m left feeling empty and lonely, dreading the return to work and the same old routine. It’s depressing. I feel this way any time a break from my normal routine ends. I never want the exciting fun stuff to end and I never want to return to the same-stuff-different-day life that I occasionally feel imprisoned in. But, this year, the end of tabernacles was different.

Rina and I have been reading “The Untethered Mind” by Michael Singer and what I gleaned from his wisdom was this:  Don’t fight it, just feel it and watch it… in almost the same way as you watch television. Feel it, then let it go. Rina says it like this: “let it in, let it through, let it go.”  So, this is what I did.  It was sad.  In the beginning, it felt the same as it always did, but somewhere in the midst of the experience, I had a revelation.  Maybe, just maybe, I was supposed to feel this.

If everything has a season, rejoicing and lamenting, then lamenting is something that I’m supposed to do but have never actually allowed myself to do.  All I have ever done is rage against the inevitable conclusion. So this year, I sat and watched. I just sat and stewed in the midst of it. Wallered in it. I thought the feelings of sadness would continue, but this isn’t what happened. Instead, I found something I didn’t expect: Hope.

Somewhere in the middle of wallering in my “why does this have to end and why does my life suck, and why doesn’t God do something about it because I’ve been praying about this forever now?!” It all seemed to go away. I felt a release. This was the end and the end was just that, the end. I felt it, let it in, and then let it go. By allowing myself to feel it, I was actually able to appreciate the end, which gave me another revelation:

The beginning of something new is what follows the end.  All seasons cycle.  This gave me hope.   Hope that this season is going to be good and maybe even better than the season I just finished. By allowing myself to accept the end, I inadvertantly accepted hope, stumbling onto it like a lost hiker lurching out of a dark wood.  It was a beautiful experience.

At the end, Rina bought me a zippo lighter.  It has become, for me, a symbol of hope “a light in the dark places,” if you will.  It will serve to remind me that I’m always in the season where God wants me to be. That each ending generates the beginning of something new, even if it looks as if it is old. By the time I went back to work, I even felt a little excited to see what this new season would look like. This is the first time ever that I’ve not dreaded the return to work. And you know what? I had a good week. “Hope does not disappoint” is written in Romans. Indeed, it does not.

Oh Bumby, Oh Bear, Oh My

To Bundle From Daddy

Oh Bumby, Oh Bear, Oh My

Has Grow up before my eyes

She was so small

Now she’s so tall

Oh Bumby, Oh Bear, Oh My

Oh Bumby Oh Bear, Oh My

Under my bead she used to lie.

Now she sleeps on her own

And I’m left all alone

Oh Bumby, Oh bear Oh My

Oh Bumby, Oh Bear, Oh My

Would imitate vultures as they fly

She was “being a goat”

that night long ago

Oh Bumby, Oh bear, Oh My

Oh Bumby, Oh Bear, Oh My

When I think of it, I start to cry.

One day she’ll be grown

and have a home of her own

Oh Bumby, O Bear, Oh My

The Joy of the Lord will be your strength

Joy.  What the hell is that?  I’ve heard church people for years say, “Well, you can’t always be happy but you can be joyful.”  What the hell does that mean?  I’m not so sure that the church has any understanding of what the joy of the Lord is or the joy of covenental relationship is.  Here is what it means to me.

To live in covenant with God means that He will have to forgive me, tolerate me, be good/kind to me, hope for me, and basically, I Corinthian 13 me.  To live in covenant with my wife means that I will have to forgive her, tolerate her, be good/kind to her, hope for her, and basically, I Corinthians 13 her.  For her to live in covenant with me means that she will have to forgive me, tolerate me, be good/kind to me, hope for me, and basically, I Corinthians 13 me.  If we can do this, we will share a bond, a union, that is unshakeable.  Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ, and nothing can separate us from each other.  No matter how bad I hurt her, no matter how bad she hurts me, no matter how bad we both hurt God, none of us will break the bond of covenant and bale on the other parties.  When this is experienced and not just the topic of Sunday morning services, it becomes a strength.  It becomes a source of joy because no matter how bad it gets with each other, or with God, we all know that eventually we will work all these things out and the working out of these things will be for God.  All things work together for good for those in covenant with God and each other.

The feast of Trumpets is this weekend.  Rosh Hoshanna for the Jews but biblically the Feast of Trumpets.  Christians don’t even acknowledge it.  Nevertheless, the bible verse so frequently quoted as the title of this article takes place during the Feast of Trumpets.  Its in Nehemiah chapter 8 for all you bible bangers.  The context of chapter 8 is the first day of the seventh month, this is the biblical day of the Feast of Trumpets. (Lev 23)  Read it for yourself and see what happens in that chapter.  Sin, shame, guilt, conviction, and condemnation have no place with people of the covenant.  They happen but they are simply fleeting emotional storms and not the condition of the heart that we live in.  No matter what happens, God and my wife, will always love me and not matter what we go through we will stay together in covenant.  Indeed, the joy of the Lord is my strength.