Partisanship will be the death of America. We really need to find a way to meet in the middle if we hope to save our country.
I'm no prophet. However, it's not difficult for me to foresee the beginnings of a serious social civil war about to explode in our nation.
Think about it. Protestors have had a flag removed from a public building because they found it offensive. Protestors have had statues of historical figures removed from public places because they found them offensive. Protestors have had the names of some schools changed because they were offensive too. Now, thanks to one football player's decision to sit down during the playing of the National Anthem, the media is teeming with a new awareness that the song has an obscure third verse that some will certainly find offensive.
A media that loves to stir up trouble.
When protestors, riled up by their newest offense, begin sitting down en masse during the playing of our National Anthem at public events, I predict it's going to get really ugly. When the cry to discontinue the playing of the National Anthem raises its voice in deference to those who find it offensive, it could be the last straw of tolerance among Americans. The previous alterations to public spaces were primarily local in stature. A flag here. A statue there. A school in some other place. But this? This is national! It will provoke a very passionate and emotional debate among all Americans...whether they like it or not.
This is so much bigger than public prayer or the use of bathrooms. It will become the litmus test of patriotism. This is not about religion, gender, or sexuality. Those are moral in nature and people are generally apathetic about such issues as matters of personal choice. But standing in respect, removing one's hat, and putting a hand over your heart when our nation's Anthem is played is much greater in scope and significance. It runs much deeper. It's about being an American in the minds of millions and millions. Red. White. Blue. Stars and stripes. Patriotism will always invoke greater passion than morality. Always!
I shudder to think what that's going to look like in, oh, let's say, Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field, when 70,000 rabid fans find themselves deeply offended by each other before the game even begins.
It's not going to be pretty. Civil war - whatever shape it takes - never is.
Oh, say can you see...that Colin Kaepernick may have just fired the first shot.
The Good News is everybody has six pack abs. The bad news...
If there was anything Jesus really found offensive it was hypocrisy in the lives of religious-types.
Recently, I decided that I would apply a discipline I have been practicing in other arenas of my life to the drudgery of running. I am a firm believer in the wisdom that gratitude is one of the best ways to adjust your attitude. When I focus on all the things I have to be thankful for, my spirit is lifted to a more positive and joyful place.
So I have been rehearsing a list of things I am grateful for while I run. It looks like this.
Artists live in the tension between their creative imaginations and current realities. Rare is the occasion an artist does not straddle what is real and what he would paint if he had a brush in hand or a camera at the ready. There is life, and then there is life as an artist would render it if given a canvas.
Waiting around for God to fix what is difficult about your life is a bit like waiting around for the car dealer to drop off a new vehicle in your driveway to replace the one you’ve driven into the ground by your abuse and neglect. It’s highly unlikely that’s going to happen.
Pray for deliverance, if that helps you bide the time. Just don’t plan on it, wait for it, or expect it. Not saying He won’t. Just saying it’s not His character to save us from our neglect of the wisdom of His will.
Last year, a woman in our church received news from her doctors she had about sixty days to live. The likelihood of a misdiagnosis over a year earlier had allowed cancer to reign unchecked in her body for twelve crucial months. Critical time to react was lost in the shuffle of medical care.
Her response was remarkable.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
Why is that people who were nothing like Jesus, liked Jesus?
Why did Jesus like people who were nothing like Him?
Whenever people find out that I do some sculpting, they always ask me, "Do you have a website?" I don't know if in their mind that's proof that I am a legitimate artist or if they just want to see some of my work. I think it's the latter but I may be wrong. I guess in my mind, a website is some kind of statement that a person or organization is legitimate. Remember when it was a business card?
Everybody has heard of "the starving artist" - the struggling artist who is finding it hard to sell enough of his art to put food on his table. Occasionally, you'll see an ad in the paper or see a commercial on television announcing a "Starving Artists Sale." They're usually held in the ballroom of some outdated hotel and feature a lot of paintings of flowers, still-lifes and seascapes. If you've ever been to A Starving Artists Sale, you might be tempted to think there's a reason why some of these people are going hungry.
Yesterday I told a large group of men something very personal that very few people know about my life. It was pretty scary territory for me on a number of levels. What they’d think about me if they knew the truth was the most frightening.