Wednesday, November 9, 2016

When All Is Said & Done . . .

Dear Friends ~

I bet you didn't know I was a 'political junkie.'  

Since childhood I've learned to appreciate the intricacies, the responsibilities, and the fascination of the freedoms provided by our political system at the knee of my Dad, an immigrant to this, our beloved country.

Yet this election has brought out the worst in me.  As my own disappointments and frustrations mounted, as my ears couldn't quite believe what I was hearing, as I saw the beautiful word 'evangelicals' morph from those who proclaim Jesus Christ as Savior into a divisive political football, I mounted my soapbox too many times and made myself obnoxious to those closest to me.  

For that lack of sensitivity, I ask forgiveness.

After months of high political drama, sordid revelations, unethical unearthings, and a distinct lack of kindness and respect and decency, can I tell you I'm glad this election is over?

You're most likely agreeing wholeheartedly.




Here's where I'm coming from right about now ...

God is on the throne.  
Nothing in our world surprises Him, He is quite aware of the ins and outs of this world's political systems and has been for eons.  He knows the beginning from the end and this current season is just a blip on His eternal radar.  This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance {and for this we labor and strive}, that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all {1 Timothy 4:9}.

We are not defined by our political party.  
We are defined by our Savior.  Our hope is in Him and Him alone.  It's in Him we live and move and have our being {Acts 17:28}.  An unhealthy rabid allegiance to any earthly designation does nothing but bring Him dishonor.  

We need to acknowledge that our emotions have been whipped into a frenzy.  
Blame it on the media, the non-stop availability of flame-fanning pundits, the candidates themselves, and our own lack of boundaries in how we've invested our time and energy.  We need to acknowledge any fear that's crept in, feelings of disrespect that have taken center stage, or disappointment in our political or spiritual leaders.  

Depression and anxiety have increasingly begun to swirl around in too many bodies, while some find themselves in a place of serious spiritual desolation, a dark night of the soul.  And for too many women, memories of past sexual abuse have resurfaced their ugly presence thanks to tawdry revelations and the distinct lack of support from those who should have displayed a serious concern for their woundedness. 

Relationships have been impacted.
You won't have to look far to find marriage relationships that have become strained, churches who have ostracized their own, workplaces that have been divided, relationships that have been pushed to the wall.

When we don't love each other well, the enemy of our souls gains the victory.
He specializes in knowing what buttons to push to bring disharmony, a lack of unity, strained affection.  Endless political campaigning, non-stop verbal wrangling, and extreme power plays easily provide a productive playground for his efforts.  He knows how to thwart the gospel of Christ as we strive for power. And sadly, the lack of loving respect toward each other that easily emerges is his bread and butter.  We can agree that he's had a field day.

We are obliged to tend to our own battered souls.
My friends, let's encourage each other today to care for our bruised souls as never before.  May our political focus be replaced with a season of silence and solitude where we can hear our Savior's tender voice.  Whatever we need, He promises to provide.  Comfort, wisdom, realignment, peace, hope.

May powerful Scriptures and sweet hymns of the faith play in our overstimulated hearts.  May we fall head over heels in love with our Savior once again so that the fruit of the Spirit will define the essence of our beings and our every conversation ... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control {Galatians 4:22-23}.

If ever we needed to come together in the strength Christ provides, it is now.
No matter what our political leanings, may we move ahead to minister a lovely grace and peace to those we rub shoulders with.  May we ask forgiveness if we spoke in ways that were disrespectful or harmful.  May we figure out how to best combine forces to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God {Micah 6:8}.

A watching world awaits our response in the days ahead.

He is our peace ~



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spending a few quiet minutes

50 comments:

  1. Hi Linda,
    You have shared such wise words with us about how world events can rile up our souls and impact our relationships. I love the points you shared to regroup, reconnect and realize that God holds every leader, every country in his hands and he alone offers wisdom to them -- and us as we navigate these post-election days and enter into a new presidency for our country. I'm grateful we can choose to respond with love, peace and serenity in the midst of turmoil! Love this, friend! xo

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    1. Oh thank you, Valerie. It was with a bit of trepidation that I hit the publish button, not wanting to be misunderstood, yet believing, without a doubt that I needed to speak what is true for me.

      It means so much that you've offered such a sweet gift of encouragement today. I can't even begin to tell you ...

      Grace and peace to you, lovely friend.

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  2. I had had no doubts that if you were to appear in my inbox this morning that the words you shared would be filled with love, compassion, wisdom and just all around goodness for ones soul. Beth (SimplyBeth) I have removed my blog so need to figure out this whole commenting thing. Much love to you, friend. (((hugs)))

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    1. Oh Beth, your loving kindness brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for hearing my heart.

      May Jesus Christ be praised ...

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  3. Linda, I get it. I've been known to suffer a tinge of "politico anger issues"...we are pleased with the election results yet we also know that GOD IS GOOD regardless of election outcomes. We continue to pray, eh?

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    1. 'Politico anger issues' ... I hear ya', Susan! We do so love a soapbox don't we.

      And prayer. Yes, our first work, our most important work. There's where we want to put our best efforts.

      Thanks for joining the conversation today. I am so glad you're here ...

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  4. Well said, my friend. Our prayers for this nation and one another must not cease as we go forward, sleep more after a late and long night, and regain our focus on what Kingdom we are citizens of and where our future lies.

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    1. Oh how serendipitous ... I was just writing you an email as your comment came in!

      I'm with you, Pam, so grateful that we belong to Kingdom that will not end, that never dies. Thank you for speaking to the need to refocus on what matters most ...

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  5. I so appreciate your words here, Linda. We do need to give ourselves permission to heal now, whatever that means to each of us individually. I bought myself a bouquet of flowers yesterday after I voted; I knew I would appreciate having them to look at today, regardless of the results.

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    1. What a fragrant gift to give your soul, Lisa. I applaud that you've shown such lovely grace toward your weary heart.

      For if we can't see to filling our own wells, we'll have nothing to offer the travelers we walk alongside with ...

      Thanks for bringing that sweet aroma to the table today, friend ...

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  6. Great post, Linda.

    To me, this election more than any other was a mirror, and in that mirror we saw ourselves. The candidates were a reflection of the worst and best in our individual hearts...and that is precisely what the ALmighty loves so dearly.

    He could have made a race of decorous and just automatons, but I suspect He would have been bored to tears spending eternity with them.

    Instead He made us, fit partners for the rough-and-tumble God of the Old Testament, and the New.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/11/your-dying-spouse-230-shame.html

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    1. Grateful with you, Andrew, that God has made us flesh and blood and mind and soul ... and not those automatons who function robotically.

      It means that life hurts and isn't at all easy. But still there is freedom, there is joy, there is grace for the rough spaces.

      And that you've taught us well ...

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  7. Hi Linda! That passage from Micah is one of my favorites. My sisters and I were all texting to each other last night...so emotional, so many ups and downs. Today, I'm remembering who is really in charge here, and it is my Father in heaven. He's got the throne, and he will always remember us, protect us and love us.
    That's enough for anyone.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Yes, indeed we know Who's in charge! Praise God! And that sacred truth takes the pressure off us, lifts our loads, recalibrates us back to where we need to be.

      Leaning on His everlasting arms ...

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  8. Yes, Linda! This is exactly what I needed to hear today... American politics affect the whole world... Even us in South Africa...

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    1. It means alot to get a perspective outside our own borders, Jandi. I'm so glad you're here, for we Americans need to be reminded that what happens at home has a tremendous ripple effect for good ... or not so much.

      Aren't you glad He's got the whole world in His hands?

      ;-}

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  9. Yes, we gain nothing and our enemy gains much in the splintering of relationships within the body. Now is the time to focus on our unity in Christ and our One purpose on this planet: to glorify God together. Thanks, Linda, for words of peace.

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    1. Peace, peace.

      Yes, that's what we're craving.

      Come quickly, Lord Jesus ...

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  10. Replies
    1. Marian, I am grateful you've joined the conversation here today.

      Dear Reader ... head over to Marian's to read 4 Things to Tell Our Kids {and Ourselves} the Day After a Bitter Election.

      http://marianvischer.com/4-things-to-tell-our-kids-and-ourselves-the-day-after-a-bitter-election/

      Must reading, indeed ...

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    2. Wow my former neighbor on FB was so concerned as to what to tell her son after the "bully" won so I sent her Marian's post. Praying for her to get some peace and notice Jesus....

      Thanks, Linda, for all these soothing words!!!!

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    3. Carol ... thanks for letting me know that the words here have been soothing to you. I found out this evening that I've been misunderstood today in the writing of this, so I'm grateful that one who knows me so well heard my heart.

      Praying that Marian's post will minister to your neighbor. God is good!

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  11. Thanks for sharing this wisdom, Linda. I've been thinking of all my American friends this week- I know it's been difficult for many. Praying for the peace that comes from knowing God is in control and for unity in Christ, despite differences of opinion.

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    1. I feel the love from across the pond, friend!

      And yes, let's hear it for unity through Jesus Christ, our Lord ...

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  12. Oh yes. I am exhausted mentally and emotionally at this point. Praying for us to love each other well and be kind. And of course, praying for our leadership!

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    1. Kindness.

      Yes, yes, Sarah. It'll conquer that exhaustion.

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  13. Well said and good advice Linda. I was so over the garbage-all of it- and am so glad it is done.

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    1. My husband has been so done with this long before I was ... I look forward to some new, improved evenings together.

      Meanwhile, I hope you are mending well, friend. What a nasty experience to recover from. I'm praying even as I type ...

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  14. Now is the time for healing, for forgiveness, respect and love for one another.

    We had an election (referendum) here in the UK last June; and the debates and arguments still go on.

    Prayers for peace throughtout the world.

    God bless.

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    1. Oh Lord, have mercy. I'm so weary of all the back and forth. No wonder the world is not our home ...

      We truly are just passin' through.

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  15. The Lord is gracious and faithful to us, that is one thing we can always count on! Thankful today, and every day for the blessings of the Lord in our lives. Our hope is in Him anyway, and not in this world, and that thought always brings me comfort. But, it does seem like today is a day we can rejoice in!

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    1. It's so refreshing to switch gears and focus on the only One who can save our souls, our land, our world.

      Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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  16. Oh, Linda, you don't know how much this post means to me. You have made me feel less alone and understood. I love all your encouraging advice, and I cried as I read this. Especially when it came to this part - "And for too many women, memories of past sexual abuse have resurfaced their ugly presence thanks to tawdry revelations and the distinct lack of support from those who should have displayed a serious concern for their woundedness." You have helped me to figure out this deep hurt and fear in me these last months. I realize now it is not only the past memories and the intense grief I feel for those who have been sexually abused, but also the silence and lack of support from many Christians. I realize now it is also betrayal I feel. Yes, I grieve deeply for the loss of babies in abortion and want it to end, but I also grieve for those who have felt unheard and have been trampled upon, whether it's women, the disabled, minorities, etc. I admit I'm scared. The comfort my hubby and I have though is that God is still in control. Thank you so much for giving me hope. Also for telling us about Marian's post which also gave me such hope. Yes, we so need to be more like Jesus and show kindness, love, and acceptance. Blessings and hugs to you, my friend! I'm so glad you hit the publish button!

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    1. Oh dear Trudy ... I am so sorry that the silence and lack of support from Christians has re-wounded you. You've named it well, betrayal. I pray that knowing that others gather 'round with you and for you will offer you some measure of peace and consolation.

      I pray that one of the gifts of this political season will be the realization of the support women need to find healing and wholeness. I feel like a movement is afloat that crosses any kind of party lines.

      My best to you tonight, sweet friend ... you have often shown us all what the word 'courageous' looks like.

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    2. Thank you for making this online space a safe place, Linda. After I posted a comment, I was worried that I shared too much. You have such a gift of love and compassion. I have always felt supported and comforted by your words, both at your blog here and the comments you make at mine. You have such a special way of hearing a person's pain behind their words. No wonder you make such a great counselor. :) I'm choosing to take my focus away from the betrayal and remember that there are still many Christians who do speak out for those who can't speak for themselves and who do realize the support women and other vulnerable ones need to find healing and wholeness. I'm so grateful for you and other friends who understand. I'm especially grateful for Jesus who always cares and understands and loves us unconditionally. Blessings of God's peace and hugs to you!

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    3. I'm glad you feel safe here, Trudy. Truly. It speaks to your health that you can identify what's bothering you, how it makes you feel, take steps toward healing, and then move on to live your life in ministry to others.

      You model something beautiful for us ... and I am thankful to do community with you. God is so good to have brought us together.

      Blessings, friend ...

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  17. Yes, we Christians must come together. The election is over. Let the hatchets be buried, and may we focus on what we have in common: Jesus as our Lord and Savior. As you touched on above, it's all in God's hands.
    Blessings!

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    1. Yes and amen, Martha! Our brothers and sisters are not the enemy! I fully agree with you about laying aside anything that hinders us from claiming the gift of unity and grace that comes with embracing Jesus Christ as Lord.

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  18. Well said, my friend. I'm going to share a link on my FB page as I think as many people as possible need to heed the advice you have so lovingly gifted to us. I know I am one who is sometimes passionate in my opinions and in proving points. Thanks for the reminder to be kind and keep it all in perspective.

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    1. Oh Teresa ... thanks for your kind support and for sharin' the love with your gang. I'm so glad you're here tonight. Truly.

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  19. I.love.this. Beautiful words, friends.

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    1. Thanks for finishing off mid-week with us here, Kristi. I agree with you wholeheartedly ... this conversation has been beautiful and uplifting.

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  20. As to your blog today, "Amen, Amen, and Amen!"

    {via email}

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    1. No truer words were spoken. May He bless the words of our hearts and works of our hands ...

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  21. AMEN, Sweet Sister, have nothing to add to this eloquent post!
    Thank You!
    Blessings

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  22. It doesn't surprise me that you are a political junkie, Linda. My own dad's influence in this area has always guided my instincts too. I love your words here ... so much truth, so much helpful perspective. For some reason, Mike Pence has been on my mind a lot since Tuesday night. I keep thinking of the Jewish people who were placed in very high positions in pagan governments--Nehemiah, Daniel, Joseph, Esther. Perhaps Mr. Pence is there for such a time as this as well. Just thinking out loud, my friend, as this space so gently permits.

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    1. Profound ... 'For such a time as this.'

      We love and serve a powerful Redeemer who loves nothing more than to redeem our stuff and turn what seems most troubling into something incredibly beautiful.

      I so appreciate your being here today, friend. And that you've found this space to 'gently permit' you to ponder is such a grace. Thank you for letting me know ...

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    1. Thanks for hanging around here a bit today!

      Seeing you here and there makes me smile ...

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda