Friday, October 29, 2010

"Election Season" - It's That Time Again

Well friends and neighbors, it's that time again.  The leaves are falling, the air is cooling and the time change is coming.  We fall back next week November 7th at 2 am.  It's Fall.  A simply beautiful season.  And of course, every two years during our fall festivals and merry making it becomes "Election Season".  Now most of like Fall, in fact, some would say Fall is their favorite season.  But "Election Season" has it's cheering section as well, but many do not like what comes with "Election Season".  The negative ads, the blizzard of newspaper ads, mailings, just the whole bunch of it.  This year if you add it all together, over 1 billion dollars will be spent on the election- that's both sides, with all groups added in.  Over 1 billion.  A few years ago the Supreme Court equated money as free speech.  So people are speaking with their money.
I wish that that 1 billion could be spent on something more productive or helpful, but I don't think that will ever happen.  
Now, many of you know as a pastor I try and stay pretty neutral with politics, not wanting people to feel that their church is telling them how to vote, because I would never, ever want the impression to be given by me or any other pastor.  We can all gripe about the negative ads and all the other stuff that comes with the "Election Season", just as much as we all gripe when the fifth snow storms drops the white stuff on our streets are not clean.
But let me say this-
Recently Jill and I had a chance to spend a few days in Washington DC.  A conference I was scheduled to go to was canceled, and since the tickets were purchased, we just changed the destination.  So for five days we wandered around DC.  We rode the Metro, visited the museums, the monuments, churches, the stores and restaurants.  It was a great few days in our nation's Capital.  What really struck me was all the religious and faith-filled language from the past leaders of our country.

In the Lincoln Memorial is inscribed his second inaugural address-  part of it says

Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether"
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

Those were the days.
I know many call for more civility and make claims of giving their vote to the one person who stops this or that, but let's be honest.  It all begins with how each and every one of us conducts ourselves in this world.  Be a light in the darkness.  Understand that people you disagree with might just read from the same Bible that you do.  Just because we disagree does not mean we should be disagreeable.  Remember these words- "faith, hope and love"?  
What was the greatest of the three?
Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pro Deo Youth Center

I met with one of the Executive Directors of Pro Deo Youth Center today and thought I would share about it.  From their website- Pro Deo has been called by many a "teen refuge". Pro Deo is an intentional community which exists to co-journey with young adults to encourage character development empowering them to reach personal goals to positively influence their generation.  
They are making a difference with teens in our community.  They have several things going on right now-
Homework help- Mon-Fri
Life group/Mentoring
Family dinner on Tuesday nights
Leadership Development
Thursday night hangout
Fun Fridays
They serve weekly 40 kids a meal and reach between 150-200 teens.  Kylie Ewing was a youth director at Grace my first year here.  She is an amazing Christian who has a passion for helping those in need.  She and her husband Andy are the directors of this ministry.  They are doing something profound.  They are seeking to reach teens that other don't reach so well.  If you would like to help, they are a non-profit (tax deductible if you give), please contact them or me.  Send money to:
Pro Deo Youth Center
PO Box 6742
Lee's Summit, MO 64064
Pray for them as they continue to reach out and help those in great need.  They are an example to all Christians of what missional focus and sacrifice are all about for the next generation.  Please prayerfully consider helping them today!
Go in peace and go with God.