Righteousness or Rightness

Have you ever had what I call Nathan moments?  These are those times when you have chosen, spoken, or acted badly – and the Holy Spirit of God/Allah tugs your heart with a situation, different but parallel to yours, and you rise up in righteous indignation to rightly judge that other situation — only to hear the Divine loving confrontation – as Nathan the Prophet did with, then king, David – “YOU are that man.
Those times teach the difference between being right and being righteous.  Those are growing pains of the soul.  Embraced and attended, they are growing pains; we come through them stronger, richer, and more teachable than we went in.
I’ve been having these fairly regularly of late.  Some people get prophetic revelations or ecstatic trips to Heaven, I get the loving, Nathan moments from my Coach and Cheerleader.  He knows my frame, and He is relentless in His work of teaching and polishing His own – I am one of those, and I wouldn’t trade this relationship for anything in this world or the next.
The other day, after both main US political parties had completed their conventions and named their final candidates for President and Vice President, I was weighing the content of those two elaborate, theatrical events.  I was digesting as much backstory, second-guessing, and peripheral content as possible, in my effort to be a faithful citizen-voter and representative of my set of values.
At the same time, I was disenchanted with both groups from my vantage point of being a senior citizen, living solely on Social Security, trying creatively to stay away from added, pitiful ‘government programs for the very poor’ – a group I was swiftly being defined into.  I was considering some drastic life changes in light of all this, and feeling very much like a “helpless little old lady.”  I’m rich in people that love me – don’t get me wrong – but these are mostly far away and very busy in their own everyday lives.  My solitariness was looming large.
In this mode, none of the items on my varied to-do list seemed relevant, and several activities that comprised “my work” the last few years actually seemed fruitless and vain – as if the last seven years of my life had actually been misspent – missing their point!  Again, there was no human that could speak to this moment.  I needed to hear my Creator’s voice, and I needed it now.
With a short whimper of a prayer, I flipped open my Bible – half asking, half not believing He would answer – to see if I could find the place from which He would speak to me.  As is often the case, I landed in Psalms (strategically placed in about the middle of the whole Bible), and my eye spotted Psalm 72:12:

For He delivers the needy when he calls, the poor also and him who has no helper.

…and him/her who ‘has no helper.’ This lept off the page at me.  Nathan was there.  How can I believe I ‘have no helper’ when the Creator Himself is so ever-present that He draws me to the very promise that pinpoints my need of the instant!  My ‘need’ was to be reminded of God’s power, love, and faithfulness – His ever-present help in times of need!
So, naturally, I began to look at the surrounding verses.  As often as I have read the whole Bible and the Psalms in particular, I do not remember ever seeing that verse!  It turns out that this Psalm was written as a prayer of King David for his Crown Prince and son, Solomon.  In this Psalm, David sings his prayer to the Lord God of Heaven and Earth – the Creator Himself, who has called David a man after His own heart.
Please do yourself and the planet a huge favor.  Please find a Bible and read Psalm 72 as a prayer from  your heart.  It is a Divine blueprint for righteous governance – the recipe for a prosperous nation to function righteously amid the family of nations. This is for governments, not just political, but organizational, institutional, corporate, and in families. If this counsel and strategy were ever needed, it is needed right now – today – in our world!
If we people who belong to Jesus and long to see our nation taking its rightful place on the Earth will pray this Psalm 72 from our hearts, I believe there will be that promised deliverance I found in verse 12 (needy and poor have many ways of expressing, even among the financially rich and powerful).

There is a glaring difference between being right and being righteous.  Most of us can recognize at a glance the wrong elements in the belief system or life choices of others – especially when those are not our wrong elements.  Most of us derive some small or snide satisfaction from noting such things and declaring our right standard or perspective – sometimes loudly and with unkind vulgarity.

Holy Spirit “Nathan” comes to me and asks:  But does that help?  Is this  behavior of yours serving to heal the breach or bridge the gap or empower the flow of mercy and grace?  Is it more important to you to establish your personal rightness at the expense of another’s chance to grow or heal?  Is that behavior in line with My heart of love for My whole creation?

Now, I’m pressed to find an example that I could defend in such a conversation.  I am silenced by His relentless love and patience – even with me.  I long to have His holy character woven into my fabric and to express it through my life to those I touch.  And I remember, on reflection, that even the worst of the worst humanity was created in the image of my Lord and King.  I remember that someone needs to stop and listen, to see and hear what these others believe to be true, upon which they are basing their choices and actions, so we can love each other into grace and light.  I remember, once again, that until we seek understanding of each other, there can be no optimum outcome and no peace – no good fruit from our shared lives.
And once again, I volunteer to be that someone – by the power of my promised Helper.  

Train my heart, O God, to see as You see and love as You love – for Jesus’ sake and Your glory, Amen.

Light shines in darkness, and illumines all of our hearts and minds.  This Eternal Light is that bright place where right and righteous merge and by His grace, we find the place of peace – speaking truth in love!

Here’s the challenge that faces each one of us – as a command and invitation.  How will we respond?

 

Fighting Fair

 

 

Be angry and sin not; do not let the sun go down upon your wrath.  Ephesians 4:26

So, yeah – I’m thinking about the steep increase in social division, destruction, and animosity over seemingly ‘every little thing.’  I’m reflecting on some recent conflicts up close between people that you’d expect to know better, but wounded people tend to hurt others – even people they truly love.
This list of factors in ‘fair fights’ arose out of these reflections.  It is helpful for me to review; I hope the same is true for you.  The world can be such a better place if we agreeably disagree, without harming the other person.  It is possible to even ‘win an issue’ without ‘losing a friend.’  And we never know which adversary actually may be right, or providing an important ‘learning experience’ in our life!  Here goes:

Fighting fair means:

  • Not wanting to destroy the PERSON to make (or win) a point

  • Refusing to use personal details about someone to shut them down

  • Refusing to generalize and make “all/always/none/never” statements to discuss a single issue, idea, or episode

  • Refusing to hide behind implications of personal impenetrability while jabbing deep into an individual or group soft spot

  • Remembering that you do not want to do damage – even when you feel threatened – at a spiritual/emotional, or even physical, level

  • Staying teachable – even by attackers or opposing views – being ready to LEARN from the conversation

  • Remembering that teachers MUST always be ready to learn – new and even inconvenient/uncomfortable or devastating and scary (new to you) truth.

  • Refusing to use the other person’s private (unique to them) details to silence their point of view

  • Remembering that the enemy is NOT the person or position before you at the moment

  • Remembering that the enemy is ignorance or lies, and it/he seeks to steal, kill, or destroy

  • Being willing to ‘lose ground or stature’ to win the true peace (not some Band-Aid placebo that ends the conversation and “stuffs the core” in a “let’s be nice now” kind of door-closing control statement)

image

Settle differences quickly – before the day ends; win or lose the issue, win the friend

Poor examples of ‘fair fights’:

  • A professor intimidating a student on the basis of his professional background when the student has asked a difficult, embarrassing, but earnest question. Authority figure dropping back to personal degrading of the student’s backgroundor education level and puffing/buttressing their own, declaring “I am impenetrable and you are my prey, so shut up and be nice – see? I’m nice.”

  • A marital quarrel about a specific purchase at a certain time – that devolves into attacks on the spouse’s family, training or character, and shuts the heart-door when the spouse on defense refuses to engage at that destructive level. Then the attacker refuses to seek truth and optimum outcome because they are not given permission to steam-roller the home or bond (“my way or the highway”) on a point worthy of mutual input.

  • Political leaders (in government, religion, media, education, or professional circles) that hide behind negative labels and misuse of language to gain power from an illegitimate place – a weak argument pushed through via name-calling and bullying.

If these guidelines don’t give us pause at the water cooler, bar, dinner table, or in social media, we are either already tried in the fire of fairness and practicing the law of love – OR – we are so blind we don’t know we can’t see, and we are probably thrashing our way through life, leaving devastation in our wake.

If this list is Fairness 101, then 1 Corinthians 13, in the Holy Bible, is Fairness 201-501!  How would our worlds change and lives improve if we were to review the elements of mature, healthy love – and commit ourselves to live out that “law of love.”

Just sayin’

 

 

 

Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets/voices have gone out into the world.  1 John 4:1

We live in a layered reality, in this time/space/matter continuum – called “our day.”  Not that it has ever been different from the time our first parents were expelled from the G…

Source: Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets/voices have gone out into the world.  1 John 4:1

A Filter for ALL Decisions

This article, by Dr. Reuben Egolf, explores the deeper layers of social injustice that have been in place for centuries.  Now is the time to make the shift into righteous behavior toward our fellow man.  In the face of deplorable “trade deals” or “treaties” being formed at the upper levels of international power, this article exposes and challenges colonialist thinking and reminds us all of the price for selfish thinking.  Wisdom lifts everyone – not just the few.  Let’s trade in ‘shrewdness’ for ‘wisdom’ and see what global life can be like! In the words of Jesus, praying, “Your will be done, YOUR kingdom come, on Earth [just] as it is in Heaven.”  Jesus knew what He was asking; He knew how things are governed and operating in Heaven – and He knew the hearts of men; He knew the difference.  That’s why He taught us to pray this with Him.  When we pray this from our hearts, we are on the right side of history and Heaven.  When we have opportunity to speak or act in line with this prayer, it is incumbent on us to do so.
The Lord be with all people of peace, for His glory and our fulfillment. Amen.

LeadingNations

A developing nation that has its sights on a prominent future that consists of competent leadership, financial stability, and a voice on the international stage must have the following filter for all decisions. What will promote human life? What will promote human flourishing — realizing the full potential of life and the freedom to do so? The establishment of placing human value at the pinnacle of the pyramid of priorities is paramount for all infrastructure to be built upon. In other words, what benefits the people and promotes the health of the individual.

That means that corporations cannot pillage, rape, and prostitute the people for rich natural resources. They profit billions and the indigenous workers receive pennies and barely survive. The corporations then take the money from the developing country and bank it in their home nation along with the finished product they have mined. The backs of the native…

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Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets/voices have gone out into the world.  1 John 4:1

We live in a layered reality, in this time/space/matter continuum – called “our day.”  Not that it has ever been different from the time our first parents were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  But we live now and experience our day.  Together. And this day, we are certain, is layered.  It is a 3D puzzle.

Nowhere is that more obvious than in the political theatre of US federal election campaigns.  The games people play are myriad, the machinations behind the scenes are often untold for decades or centuries – if they ever see the light of day.  But most observers – active, thinking citizens – are aware of the layers of manipulation and the role that money, power, and family/agenda ties have in how the story unfolds.

Decades ago, while a young woman working in a state-level lobbying organization, a seasoned veteran of the lobbying-without-direct-cash-to-dispense world gave my first peek at all this.  He would say things like, “Never be limited by the vocabulary of your adversary. Don’t let them control the language of the conversation.” Oh. Words matter. In the world of ideas, the flavor of words – matter.  He entertained me one lunch break with his musings about certain candidates then being run for office by the major parties.  One, put forward by the incumbent party, seemed weak compared to the opposition.  My friend tossed out the idea that the party now in power knew there was a mess coming, and they were offering up a sacrificial lamb so that – if he did win, he would take the heat and “take one for the team.” But if he lost, the other party would take blame for the mess, and power would revert back at the end of the shift.

This is not the way an average voting citizen sees or thinks; but this is how power brokers think and strategize.  And this gentleman was at the less sophisticated levels of such folk.

Notice that these puzzle pieces would fit together in any configuration of the four.  How often is the win-win simply a matter of rearranging the blocks – rephrasing the sentence – reordering the steps to the goal.  We can’t see this until we relax and trust each other’s motives – until we are negotiating in good faith with others of like heart.


I was reminded of all this a while back, in conversation with a young woman at our local library.  We were talking about the present candidates running for US President in the elections coming up, November 2016.  There were many contenders at the time. By the time this writing is read, the panorama will have changed a great deal.  Most states will have “spoken” re their preferences, and the money/morale/volunteers and sheer stamina will shift for those that have not come out ahead.  That’s why this process is called a race.  In some respects it is like a horse race.  What a pitiful way to select one of the major leaders of the so-called free world. It is very expensive, this free world, and it is highly restricted – more every day – so that term is obsolete language we still use because it makes us feel better… than… what, exactly?

Anyway, in this conversation at the library, my companion commented she was upset by the brash remarks of one front-runner regarding immigration, particularly the attitude toward Muslims and refugees.  I had been noticing that quotes and moves being reported re this one were not those of a person seriously contending for the post.  The world hardly needs that persona or set of expressed attitudes at the helm in the rocky days ahead for our shrinking planet.  But when she expressed her concerns, something dawned on me; the sun rose on my thinking, and details took on new color and clarity.  I played the devil’s advocate, after the pattern of my veteran lobbyist friend from so long ago.

What if he really doesn’t want to win, I ventured.  Her eyes widened in question – “Why would he run if he didn’t?”  “Well, what if he’s a spoiler,” I said, recalling the role in former races, played by Ross Perot, Jesse Jackson, and others.  Her lights went on and the level of consciousness changed.  We continued to consider the possibility that he was either running to help the opposite party, or to be able to spout off and say extreme and foolish things to get certain conversations on the table – but not with the idea of seriously trying to win.  And now that he was attracting surprising support, the potential of his being a final candidate was perhaps unnerving – even to him.  It is one thing to take potshots at the one in office; it is another to take that chair yourself, receiving all the potshots from others.

We ended our visit and went separate ways.  But as often happens, the topic stayed with me.  I usually talk things over with Holy Spirit – the Teacher and Counselor that Jesus has given us.  This was no exception.  I won’t say this is a “thus sayeth the Lord” – but it is something I came to wonder, and I’ll watch, listening, to see if it bears out.

I’m wondering if the two strong voices from the supposedly opposing parties are not put forward or pumped by the controlled media, with the permission or support (overt or covert) from the puppetmasters that back these major races.  Remember, in building celebrity, there is no such thing as bad publicity. But in running for office, this rule doesn’t hold.  If emphasis in media continues to show you at disadvantage or in twisted reports, public opinion formed thereby will follow the formers.

I’m wondering if these polarizing positions are set up and “allowed to be” so the party hardliners and money behind them can watch to see how the people will react to each.  Both parties have lost touch with their former constituencies – they have not kept faith with the US citizens or with the world of nations.  The backstreet deals, lies, copouts and sellouts have come so thick and fast that it is hard to tell what’s left of our real country.  No documents are interpreted to mean what they used to, and new voluminous ones are being agreed to, in our name, with major ramifications for us and our progeny – at a dizzying pace. (We have to pass bill this to see what’s in it?! Hello?! This is leadership?)

What if – the kingmakers and government-buyers want we the people to either (1) attempt revolt to “justify” martial law and enslavement of our lives, usurping our liberties and resources — OR (2) go along enthusiastically with some dreadful combination of fascism/socialism that shrinks our lives to some surreal version of Matrix or Soylent Green scripts, while buying into the impossible dream of getting back to the future where everyone has a clear shot at thriving — according to “them.”   This was the scenario set up in the Nazi and Communist/Bolshevik drama of the two world wars, so far. History reveals that some vile, deep pockets were funding and profiting from both sides.  “Heads, I win; tails, you lose.”

What if – the two extreme voices are being given the media exposure and teased into making comments that are bound to bite them later, so the shadow-watchers can take the temperature of the populace and decide then which way to go with their next level of deprivation and mass dimishment for their own despicable, unconscionable power grabs and gain.

I’m writing to suggest that we all pull back from drinking the media Kool-Aid, that we fast from the toxic nectar; and rather, that we each get in touch with our core: our faith, values, conscience, dreams, and reality.  That we let the candidates sort out while we pray and call on the Creator – who sees it all – and His Holy Spirit that brings us into all truth..

We don’t have to let the media circus dominate our lives or relationships.  Stay friends with people you love – regardless of who they support or why.   Don’t let our emotions draw us into foolish actions or be polarized by varied conversations, dividing us to be conquored by the players of the game.

Let’s REASON TOGETHER AND BUILD TRUST – BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING.  Let’s strengthen the fabric of our humanity and enjoy the tapestry of God’s design.

I believe we are at a place – as humanity and in God’s timetable – where this is possible.

BUT WE MUST CHOOSE IT.

Will we be the generation that chooses LIFE & TRUTH – or will Earth have to go through another round “in the wilderness” before the enslaved mindset is purged and courage can rise in obedience to the invitation from the Divine?

As for me and my “house” – we will serve and joyfully follow – the Lord of Heaven and Earth.

Herein lies my hope.  Not mine alone, but the Hope for all the world.

It IS finished – can we comprehend this?

Here is the truth – the word of hope and joy for this day, and every day!  

Life DOES swallow death, and Jesus Christ/Isa/Yesua/Yeshua has won it!  

This Good News of His Kingdom is for EVERYONE, not just some little club… 

We need to GET this – it is ours, individually and collectively – the life and work of Jesus is complete! 

He declared this from the Cross and Father God/Allah/YHWH confirmed it by raising Him up on the Third Day and seating Him at His right hand forever.  

The Name… Ha Shem… Hashemites… Connect the dots… 

The Good News is out of the box! It is for everyone – no need to fight about it – we don’t kill for it, we LIVE for it — there’s plenty for all — Grace, forgiveness, cleansing, new life, light on the Straight Path to Father’s House, our first and last Home!  

https://www.bing.com/search?q=keith+green+the+victor&form=APIPA1

Delights from the Concert Hall

These are some links to a wide variety of music (as the list grows) that are some of my all-time favorites for one reason or another – usually having to do with the time and place of first experience with each. Added here in no particular order.

1.  This, by Van Cliburn, I had on 33-1/3 LP record as a young teenager.  He had won a prize at a major festival for his performance of this piece and I happened to love it then – and it refreshes and motivates me to go for the gold – even today.

 

2.  This piece was one of my earliest childhood memories of a specific classical piece that I remembered and that moved me deeply with longings and wistful dreams beyond my understanding.  Whenever I hear this melody well done, that call from the mysterious other world still calls me toward it.