Thursday, March 20, 2008

god's politics

"to me this immigration issue....i feel like america is so selfish. all we're concerned about is our self preservation and protection from terrorists. so we support candidates who will best protect us from terrorism. i'll tell you what, there is no president that will protect us from terrorism if God's face doesn't shine upon us....if God deals with us on the basis of shedding innocent blood, i don't care who you elect.
....
what if God will show mercy to america, if we will show mercy to the foreigners? that was the biblical to the foreigner. so what are you going to do -- send them back home and split up their families? i thought we did that with slavery!
....
i'm crying in my heart, i don't have an answer! the pain and the rumblings of this issue, of immigration, literally the votes of the latinos could go with those who are not pro-life. if God deals with us on the shedding of innocent blood.....i don't know what is going on in God's heart."

"i think he's got us in a squeeze play -- that will drive us to His heart." - lou engle, "state of the nation" (listen here)
i've been closely following the republican and democratic debates the past couple months. i don't recall ever being this involved in previous elections.

this election also marks a huge shift in my own convictions.

there was a time, when i felt like electing bush as someone who was pro-life and a proponent of family values was the right thing to do. after seeing the absolute botched handling of iraq, guantanamo bay, the culture of fear that has been promoted in our nation, the lies and deception rampant through the policies and members of this administration -- i think its fair to say that bush didn't live up the lofty expectations that put him into office.

as i've been following the elections, there's been an increasing sense of being caught in the middle. people say that jesus wasn't a democrat or republican, but its obvious that they prefer one party to the other. democratic supporters looking down on those who support a republican candidate or prolife advocates that are horrified that someone could possibly vote for a democrat.

when i first saw huckabee talking during the republican debates (watch here) i was very encouraged that there was someone who could articulate with clarity and sanity on the issue of evolution. since then, huckabee has emerged as one of the best communicators among the candidates and a surprise dark horse among the republican party. he's officially out of the race at this point.

i admit that i was wary of obama from the beginning. but watching the democratic debates has convinced me that obama is someone who is genuinely attempting to stop playing the washington game and bring a new direction to this country. (watch obama describe his response to questions about his weaknesses...) having ted kennedy and caroline kennedy come out in such strong terms endorsing obama's candidacy, the incredibly amount of independent and republican voters that have come to support his candidacy -- there is something that obama carries that is inspiring our nation.

but i feel stuck, because i feel like the abortion issue is absolutely critical to our country. millions of unborn being killed in the womb. at the same time, i am looking forward to seeing humility come into america's role in the international community, and an end come to the war in iraq. so which issues "win"? which one is ultimately is the one that defines which candidate we vote for?

and even more than that...which candidate has the best approach on the issues? even if say, obama and clinton agree the iraq war should end -- who has the best way of doing it?

so to me its not clear who to vote for -- and its more unclear who God would "endorse." (or if he even does that sort of a thing...)

the quote that starts this post comes from lou engle, founder of the call prayer movement and one of the generals leading the charge in overturning abortion in our nation. i have incredible respect for this man as spiritual mentor and someone who hears from God.

to me it captures my heart the more i follow the debates. in light of the abortion issues, the trickiness of immigration policies, etc --- God, put into office those who are righteous and just! those who are humble and wise and that fear God. i'm stuck on these issues and our nation is faced with so many issues, God, what is your heart?

so, i guess what i'm saying is that there are plenty of opinions to go around -- lots of people saying "vote obama" or "vote mccain," but not many people saying "pray and vote." we need to hear God's heart on these elections. is the church going to play the game of politics and pick the right or the left or are we going to go the third way? and if we decide to vote for a candidate, are we willing to call the candidate out in the ways that they fall short instead of blindly supporting them? i think heaven and the world is longing and yearning for a western church that rises up as a prophetic voice into a political process instead of one that is hijacked by either side of the political process.
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

- Matthew 5:13-16

collective gratitude

1. staff folks are back from catalina...
2. which means the fiance is back. i have missed her greatly.
3. fiance and wheaties rocked their studies as i had hoped and expected :).
4. a good friend has possibly found a special friend. i suspected it would happen soon, but i did not expect it to be THIS soon.
5. hanging out with jess & antony on tuesday night. it was good for my soul.
6. health. its a precious and fragile thing. i was filling out an application for insurance today and i skipped pages and pages of health history that i do not have. at some point i'll have to stop and read those questions, so despite feeling under the weather i'm grateful.
7. jz and dhoff being my work companions. the chat logs continue to grow. they keep my consumerist tendencies in check and i can nerd out with them :D
8. that God is good, He is present, and He is active in our lives.
9. gonna have a staff retreat next week that will be pivotal in what we focus on next and shape where i will work next :)
10. the beatles and dave clark five. haven't listened to that music in awhile... they made some wunderbarful moosic.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

ten recent missives of thanksgiving

1. we were able to get a killer deal for a new macbook pro.
2. God set up the deal right before the old computer puked.
3. we were able to save the data just fine.
4. God wants us to learn lessons in the small things so we can graduate to bigger things.
5. I'm finally getting a new driver's license picture, no more looking 16.
6. having a dog around to play with, even if our relationship is purely predicated on me having food for him. food whore.
7. we're going to have some sick suits for the groomsmen at the wedding. (hopefully)
8. God is present in the midst our daily lives.
9. wrestling with what it means to be a living sacrifice to God and how this is worked out in "loving our neighbor." short answer: it's hard and we need God's help!
10. 5 months and I'll be married! woot!
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benson lee | sent via blackberry