Archive for November 2020

It’s our Anniversary!!   4 comments

Today is my 14th Wedding anniversary so I trust you will permit me a rather personal post. I am incredibly grateful to have been married to this lady for the past fourteen years and to hope for many more. She has truly revealed to me what the scripture means when it says “more than you could ask or imagine”

I expressed a little of this in a Facebook post this morning but here is where my joy is tinged with sadness. She will not see that post (unless I show it to her). Why? Because she has closed her Facebook account . Like so many others, the inability of so many to resist the temptation to post angry and divisive material has caused her to conclude that it is mentally healthier for her to close her account. 

That choice is hers and hers alone of course, but it make me sad that Maggie, and so many like her, are prevented from enjoying the positive aspects of Facebook and the like by those who seem unable to refrain from anger and meanness. 

This makes me wonder, has anyone ever had their mind changed by a Facebook post? Has any one “seen the light” because a post revealed to them how wrong they were? Maybe a very few but my observation indicates that the responses to such posts take two forms. First there are the admiring affirmations and then the equally angry arguments. So why post at all? Was it just to bask in the warmth of people agreeing with you? I have even seen people include in their post “if you disagree with me feel free to unfriend me” or even “ please unfriend me” so I guess that post was made for the soft cushion of affirmation alone. If, however, the purpose was to invite the angry arguments that so often ensue, I am even more mystified.

I recently learned of a similar app that has become a home for those who want to express with passion, opinions representing one side of the aisle. I can but hope that a similar site will be created so those wishing to share similarly passionate views from the other side of the aisle can do so. Then both groups can have their needs met on these sites leaving  Facebook for the rest of us to celebrate, communicate and encourage one another, enjoying the blessing that social media can provide us.

Posted November 10, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Dilemmas   3 comments

It’s the morning after election day and, at the time of writing, we still have no idea who will live in the White House for the next four years. A number of things have however become very clear. Firstly, whoever ends up winning will preside over a nation so deeply and toxically divided that one wonders if healing is even possible. Secondly, around fifty percent of the nation will find themselves with a government that they have already condemned in the strongest terms. Every election results in one group of people being deeply disappointed and finding themselves wondering how we can survive the next four years. How will they tolerate being governed by people who have such different ideas about how to solve the nation’s problems? But this time it seems different, the condemnation that has been poured out by each side on each other has included, in many instances, writing people off as morally reprehensible.

I was reading in Jeremiah this morning an incident that occurred when Isreal was taken into exile in Babylon. Representatives of the leaders left in Jerusalem came and asked the prophet to seek God for direction at what they should do next. (Jeremiah 42:5-6) The leaders commit themselves to act on God’s instructions said “whether pleasant or unpleasant.”  After ten days the prophet comes back with God’s message (Jeremiah 42:9-12). He tells them to go and settle among the pagan and Godless people of Babylon. This answer was, of course, morally repugnant. Their choice, trust God and His word through the prophet despite the nature of the guidance, or decide that they knew better and ignore what God had said. Sadly (Jeremiah 43:2) they chose the latter and it did not work out well for them.

When the counts, recounts and legal battles are over, it seems to me that one half of our nation will be presented with a very similar dilemma. Someone, who they have judged, not simply wrong, but as morally indefensible will have been elected to form a government for the next four years. The choice they have, either accept that God is still on the throne and the people have spoken.  Their task must now be to commit to pray for the incoming government. The alternative is to conclude that God is no longer in control, his plan has failed and He has made a dreadful mistake.

Whichever choice you make if you are a follower of Jesus, you find yourself with another dilemma. You are surrounded by people that you don’t just believe are wrong but whom you have publicly judged to be bad people with motives that belong in the gutter. I confess I struggle to understand how in our churches and small groups we are going to be able to repair and forgive those judgments and avoid retreating to enclaves of people who simply agree with each other. How then will we be able to fulfill Jesus’s command that we be united and known for our love for each other?

Posted November 5, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,