Could Forgiveness save our Country?

Righteous anger. I know ALL about it. That person’s behavior is despicable and uncalled for and they should absolutely apologize. And they don’t. Just because. Perhaps owning the bad behavior would require some humility. Perhaps the shame is too much to face. So what happens inevitably is they withdraw- from the relationship, the family, facebook, whatever. It is a sad thing to watch.

When you want to maintain relationship with this person, for the simple reason that they are connected to people you care about and you don’t want there to be discomfort, what do you do? You seriously are in a dilemma.

Enter  forgiveness. You suspect they may not interested in fixing the relationship since they haven’t apologized. You know you didn’t deserve the slap. Who should forgive who?

Obviously, this person has a journey to forgive you. Do you have a journey to forgive them? I propose that  you do, righteous anger or not. Especially if you are a follower of Jesus. Is it easy? Not at all. So why not just leave things the way they are? Let the relationship go? Who needs that kind of a person in your life anyway?

Jesus invited Judas into the house for the last supper, and washed his feet just like everyone else. He is no respector of persons. Nor should I be if I am His follower. Jesus said I came not to be served but to serve. Tough words to avoid.

Now comes the “humble” part. Approaching this person, saying, you are sorry, can  only happen after you have truly forgiven them. And that may take some time. And don’t be fooled that you are capable of doing that in your own strength.

I don’t know what i would do without the grace and love of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew what He was doing when He left this amazing Helper for us. He knew we were going to need all the help we can get.

That is how to begin the forgiveness process. From the servant heart of God. Apologizing for the thing you clearly didn’t do, but perhaps appeared to do, is a humble move of God that can only happen with His grace and power.  However, I think forgiveness from the heart for the slander and the lie must come first.

I pray something like this. “Father, I do not feel like forgiving this guy. He clearly was out of order and everything he said was a lie. I don’t know how to let go without your power. So please transform my heart to be soft towards this person. I do not excuse the bad behavior, but I do believe I must forgive. Help  me. ”

When you realize some time later that you are no longer thinking of all the indignation you feel over the slam, and can picture that person without wanting to throw darts at their face, you may be ready to approach them and apologize. Are they required to apologize back? Don’t let your apology be contingent on that. They may not be ready. They may not have even thought about it again. But you have. And you are the one feeling the pain. That is all you are accomplishing here. Apologize and let it go.

As I was ruminating about this whole process, which I recently went through and the feelings are still fresh in my mind, I consider what would happen in America if all the Trump Haters would forgive the Deplorables for choosing the wrong guy? And could all the Deplorables forgive the Trump Haters for hating them? And most of all, can we forgive Donald Trump for being a pompass and mouthy man?

What if? It clearly has to start with the followers of Christ. We have a model of forgiving behavior. So I just want to say, on behalf of other deplorables, (yes I am one) I am sorry your candidate lost. I pray that you begin to let go the loss and gear up to win the next time. That is what is great about America. And I forgive you for the attacks on my personhood because I simply disagree with your brand of patriotism.

I am so glad we live in America and have freedom of speech. I am also glad we have freedom to forgive. It is a choice. And one I encourage to consider. And by the way, unfriending someone on facebook because their politics make you angry….. That is not forgiveness. That is the opposite. Someone needs to start the ball to reconciliation going. Let it be me. I forgive all of you who unfriended me. I pray you come to understand that the love of Jesus far outweighs politics.

Whew. That felt good.



Accomplishment or Assignment?

Do not seek to accomplish the task at hand; but rather seek to fulfill the assignment given to the fullest of your ability.

That is what I hear Father whispering to me as I complete the book in front of me. Many will say it is a great accomplishment. I suppose it is. But that is not why I wrote it. It was given to me as an assignment. why do I say that? Because years ago i received a short and sweet prophecy, “you will write a book”.  That made it an assignment.

Accomplishments are the same as completed goals. When we accomplish something, it is usually because we set our minds to something and finished it to the end. People are often mesured by what they have accomplished. I cared about my accomplishments until I met Jesus.

Now i have assignments. And I better be sure I know what the current assignment is. Sometimes it can look like an accomplishment.

Accomplishments are good. They are like feathers in our hats. However, once completed, they lose their shine and glory, and it takes another accomplishment to continue the good feeling.

An assignment starts from a source outside of ourselves. it is not always something we are excited to do. Remember homework? Yea, that wasn’t too exciting though it was often an accomplishment to complete it. But the greatest result of completing an assignment is the response of the one giving it. A teacher saying congratulations and giving you a good grade for completing an assignment feels good. Well done! Accomplishments often go unnoticed or unrewarded.

In high school, I so wanted to be a songleader. I set out to accomplish that goal and I did make the squad. I was able to pat myself on the back. No one did that for me. It was a great accomplishment. I didn’t know about assignments then, Perhaps the desires of our hearts are assignments God put there first. That would surely make  becoming a songleader much more of something I would cherish. God sent me there! yes!

Recently I had an assignment to go up to someone I didn’t know and ask them if they had ever had a repetitious dream. I am not a dream interpreter, so this was a challenge. What if they rejected me? What if I failed? Seeking to accomplish something also can meet with failure, but the only person you disappoint is yourself. When you fail on an assignment, you disappoint the one who assigned the task.

Maybe I am splitting hairs. Maybe they aren’t that different. All I know is that writing a book was something I dreamed of accomplishing, but when I saw that God was assigning me to write a book, the heaviness of the project caused the dream to be a reality. If no one knew I was writing a book, I would disappoint no one. But now, I had an assignment. God knew, because He put it in the heart of that person to tell me.

Accomplishments and assignments both carry the heaviness of performance. I know that God is not interested in our performance. So if I had failed to complete the assignment of writing this book, He would not have cast me out of heaven. His grace would have immediately relieved the disappointment and love would always remain. But disappointing Him, even for a flash, was a heavier load to carry than failing.

Whenever I look at possibilities in front of me, choices I have to make, I find it clarifies my thoughts of what to choose if I consider if they were accomplishments or assignments. You see, an assignment from God will be perfect for me because it will suit my identity and my calling. He knows those, often better than I do. So completing that assignment will bring me closer to my purpose on this earth.

If that potential project ends up being a future accomplishment, and not a God assignment, no matter how awesome and good the accomplishment, it doesn’t compare with what happens when you follow an assignment. You may feel accomplished, but the joy isn’t lasting. It may simply become a line on your resume.

Knowing this book was an assignment kept me on task. I knew that God was waiting, and guiding its completion. I knew I wasn’t in it alone. I wanted to be able to complete it as brilliantly as I was able, and hand it to Him as a gift. I wanted to hear “well done.”

I have accomplished many things in my life. As I look back, some of them were not assignments and were in fact distractions that drew me away from the focus of God’s assignments. Fortunately, the assignments don’t go away, just like housework. They are always waiting. And I am glad of that.

I am no longer interested in just accomplishing something in my life. I want to be listening to the voice of God giving me my next assignment. I don’t want to be distracted by looking for something to do to fill the void, and miss the thing that He has assigned, and therefore will see through to the end. I don’t want to lean on myself anymore. it is a lonely place. Partnering with God is the best way to accomplish anything. Yes, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That is not a gift I want to waste on anything except His assignments. I am ready for the next one!




I Identify As…….

My passion is identity. So imagine my angst when I see casual explanations of identity by simply using the words, “I identify as …….” and fill in the blank with male, female, dog, cat, black, white, brown, adult, child, muslim, christian etc …. the options are endless.

It is what happens when freedom of choice takes a rabbit trail ride  into permissiveness and goes awry.

God created us with free will. His purpose was for us to choose right from wrong, God from self, truth from lies. He didn’t want to manipulate us into the things he created for us as He knew that when we choose love, good, righteousness, it makes a difference. If it was in us automatically, it would not have value.

Choosing to identify with whatever suits your fancy or feelings at any given moment is an assault on that precious gift He gave us. We forget that He gave us free will while also laying out a foundation of righteousness. The two trees in the garden symbolize that foundation. The only way to know if you are making good choices is to know what a bad choice is. A bad choice was when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the garden that was forbidden. As soon as they did it, they knew it. They felt shame. When you directly go against design and truth, you know it. You can’t blame God saying, “You didn’t tell me”. He did. You disobeyed and there are consequences.

I wonder if the trend of the day to support any identity that feels right at the moment is a result of those same people, sometimes children, not being told what the good fruit was so they could know that the choice they are making is contrary to God’s design.

When we are born, we are identified as male or female. Our genitalia makes that decision. What doctor would agree to treat a child as “we are letting her/him decide what he/she wants to identify as”. Is this the demise of even our language use of the words her/him and he/she? Knowing who we are is tantamount to being comfortable and secure in living life to its fullest.

It is concerning to me that God’s design is taking a back seat to feelings and impulses. While I recognize there is a legitimate belief by those declaring their identity that they truly are who they say they are, it is deception. And when we agree with it and let it replace truth, we too are deceived.

Is there such a thing as too much freedom of choice too soon? Are we as adults and parents making a mistake by embracing the choice as more important than the  beautiful design God created them to be? Do we even offer that alternative? I think we need to . Everyone benefits from choice.  It is universally true that male genitalia is quite different from female, and consequently one is male and the other is female. That is a fact, irrefutable. No matter what you put on that piece of paper, you are not “other” … you are male or female based on your body parts, a precious creation of God.

When Johnny comes home one day and says he wants to put on a dress because he wants to be a girl, we have an obligation to be sure he has other options. I can’t imagine many parents are responding to that with glee and excitement in the context that Johnny is “finding his true identity”. Perhaps Johnny is testing the boundaries of life and is looking for direction. The same way he tested his boundaries by running into a busy street, or hitting his sister. Perhaps someone at school had done this, and he wanted to know if it was acceptable. Kids often start smoking and doing drugs because someone at school was doing it.

If we started from the premise that Johnny is a boy until proven otherwise, wouldn’t the direction we take be toward helping Johnny accept his gender? To learn how to live within the perameters of society and go into the correct bathroom? At least give them a good start, allowing for choice when they are 18 and have enough maturity to choose.

You have to start with what IS true in order to decide what to believe is true. Truth and belief are two different concepts. There is one truth. Whether or not we choose to believe it depends on our experience and teaching in life among other things. Free will is part of the process of choosing to believe the truth.

If that foundation of what IS true is missing or lacking, all choices are deemed good. There is no wrong choice. There is only your choice. That works fine when it comes to food and clothing choices, but when what we choose will affect the people in our world, it has to be looked at more carefully. I am happy to let you believe a lie, I just don’t have to allow you to cause my world disruption because of it. If my child is screaming at me “I hate you” and having a temper tantrum, that is his choice, but I don’t have to engage in it and say it is fine. Wisdom says to separate from this display of opposition i.e. go to your room until you come to your senses. But we are afraid to do this when it comes to gender identity and sexual preference. Our society is being asked to see these alternative choices as normal.

No. Normal is not allowing a child with male genitalia to shower in a girl’s gym. What about the freedom of those girls? What about their choices to be happy they are girls?

We forget that the greatest guidance we can get is in the home before we even go to school. We honor the son or daughter, each with their own uniqueness and specialness. Each have a particular role and characteristic, and we all carry a little of male and female DNA. Remember, Adam was both at first. God didn’t create another body from dust, he created another person from Adam’s side, taking his “womb” to create the “wom-an”.  There was a reason God did that. He created man and woman to be “one”. That is what is natural and true.

Corruption and imperfection happen. Yes. We live in an imperfect world. God gives us what we need to overcome the imperfections. Lets celebrate our uniqueness and identify as God’s perfect creation, and let Him show us how to live in the imperfection. There is apparently a genetic predisposition to addiction but we don’t see society making room for addicts because they identify as such. There may be a genetic disposition to homosexuality, yet I have seen many  live out their lives in healthy marriages because they choose to embrace the way God meant them to be. And when pre-pubescent boys start to wonder about their sex drive, it is normal. But it is not meant to make them question their identity as a male. It is meant to be a learning process and a time to validate who they were created to be. Being content with who you are and were created to be makes for a life with a future and a hope. I want that for all mankind.

Please hear me. My heart bleeds for those who are confused and believing themselves to be something contradictory to what their body dictates. I feel that way about children born with missing parts, or twisted parts as well.  I want them healed and able to function normally. I pray for a restorative miracle that would restore them to the way they were created. I want them integrated into society. I want to celebrate their uniqueness and surround them with love and validation. That is healthy and Godly. And I am sorry if that has not been offered as an alternative.

At the same time, I will not stand by and watch those who feel confident and secure in their God-given gender to have to step aside from their truth in order to accomodate someone else’s idea of truth.

We are all special and deserving of that respect for who we are.  God’s love has no filter; he loves all of His creation. He was very intentional in His creation. He knew that free will would get his creation in trouble at times. That is why He made a way back to wholeness through Jesus Christ.

We are not stuck in our imperfection. There is a way out. And while we may not reach the fullness of who we were created to be this side of heaven, God is forever in heaven displaying his miraculous power to those who ask. Maybe we are not asking for the redemption we seek. Society does not hold our redemption. Only God has that power.







Just as you don’t go to the doctor and find out you are pregnant out of wedlock and not be counseled on your choices.