A bit of levity despite the madness

In a constant effort to grow in the spirit of humility and sometinesitisbesttokeepyourmouthshutness, I must share a Red letter day for a social media FAIL! Enjoy!

 

Dateline November 2nd, 2012;

So an old friend and all around good guy updates his relationship status on Facebook to “engaged”! Good stuff!

As I scroll past it, happy for him, I see a shared post praising the hope of a Romney victory. So in true form, I must contribute to the comment string, as I have grown tired of all of the banter. As I submitted my comment, I could only watch with perplexity a refreshing of the newsfeed on my cell phone screen . In just moments confusion led to horror as I saw that my comment had been misplaced into the congratulatory string of my friends relationship update, instead of the string intended, the “Romney” comment. As hard as I tried, it seemed that it could not be deleted quick enough! Enjoy the context of a comment out of place!

My comment ;

“Only if it ushers in a resurgence of our founders intent, without that any stooge will do!”

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Restoring Honor

The way I see it you either get it or you don’t.

It surpasses race, religion, donkeys and elephants.

The reason that our country is on its knees, is because we have forgotten how to get on ours.

A change in government and policy won’t fix all of our woes. The elected officials in a Republic such as ours will always show a reflection of the current generation’s values and virtues…and my friends I am afraid that for the last 40 yrs we have cultivated a culture that we are so woefully reaping of greed and self-centered lifestyles.

When we return to finding that “Golden Rule” lifestyle within ourselves and our community on an individual scale…it will translate globally.
Again it begins with humbling oneself to a greater power than what we possess in our finite minds.

I want to be a better steward of those things that are in my charge, and I realize that I must have help with that from something much greater than me.

God, help me to continually seek your help in an effort to “fix me” so that I may be ready to help those around me, family , community, and country alike. Teach me each day how to be a better husband, father, son, employee, friend, and citizen to those that matter most in my life.

Joel Johnson

The Faith of Barack Obama

(Disclaimer: This book review is not intended as an endorsement of any political candidate)

We are coming to the end of the Democratic National Convention and Denver.  And no matter what you might think and believe politically, the fact is that we have witnessed a historic event.  For the first time in the history of our country, a major political party has nominated an African-American as their party’s candidate

Even though Barack Obama has received overwhelming acclamation and support, many people are still wondering, who is this man?  And one of the key issues being asked is Barack’s faith.  Stephen Mansfield in his newly released book, The Faith of Barack Obama, attempts to address that question.  Mansfield has written an honest and balanced account of Barack’s faith addressing the many questions and concerns people have about Barack’s life and faith.

Knowing a candidate’s faith is essential.  According to Mansfield, the book is written in the belief “that if a man’s faith is sincere, it is the most important thing about him, and that it is impossible to understand who he is and how he will lead without first understanding the religious vision that informs his life.”

Barack’s story of faith isn’t typical of the American experience. For instance, if Barack ascends to the presidency he will be the first American president to do so having not been raised in a Christian home.  Instead, he spent his early years under the influence of an atheist mother, a step-father’s folk Islam, praying at the feet of a Catholic Jesus, and influenced with a humanist’s understanding of the world that sees religion merely as a man-made thing. 

In Barack’s adult life, his spiritual journey toward Christianity also defies pattern and refuses to fit in a clean theological box.  Although his coming to faith typifies the pattern and process that many Americans have journeyed.    He came to faith not so much to join a religious tradition, but rather to find belonging among a people.  In Barack’s memoir, Audacity of Hope, he describes his religious conversion as such, “it came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear.  But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God’s spirit beckoning me.  I submitted myself to His will and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.”

Barack’s beliefs are tailored to and reflect the diverse religious experience of America.  For Barack, “Christianity is but One religious tree rooted in the common ethical soil of all human experience.”

Within the book, Mansfield effectively addresses the lingering questions of Barack’s brush with Islam and whether or not he is a secret Muslim.  Mansfield’s answer is a unequivocal NO.  Also Mansfield dissects and seeks to understand the religious soil of Trinity United Church of Christ and Jeremiah Wright, the environment where Barack’s faith first took root.  Mansfield discovered from first hand experiences Trinity’s a mixture of both good and bad.  According to Mansfield, his experience transcended more than just the couple of Jeremiah Wright bombastic video clips on YouTube that have come to define the religious culture at Trinity.

Barack not only forged and developed his faith during his adult years, but he also allowed his faith to intersect his political life.  What became distinct of Barack Obama was that he unapologetically brought his faith into the public square and within Democratic politics.  Mansfield writes about Obama’s speech to Jim Wallis’s progressive Sojourners organization, “With the speech’s tone of moderation, its welcome of faith into the public square, and yet its insistence that people of faith conduct themselves in public debate according to democratic values, it became what Obama had intended: a call to reform, a redefinition of religion’s role in American political life. Soon, his words were debated on cable news programs, heard by tens of thousands on YouTube, and argued fiercely on Web sites from every political perspective.”

Mansfield’s book takes a fair and balanced tone to the discussion of Barack’s faith.  Mansfield is honest with some of the lingering questions and concerns that still swirl around Barack, especially concerning Barack’s view of abortion and his voting record on partial birth abortion.

As you take the time examine both candidates this election year, I would encourage you to pick of a copy of The Faith of Barack Obama, and take the time to get to know a facet of a man that you may have not have already known.

Bill Reichart is a pastor at The Vine Community Church in Forsyth County, GA. He blogs at his personal blog, Provocative Church and his ministry blog, Ministry Best Practices.

Is It Too Much To Ask?

Is it too much to ask…

…for a presidential candidate to say what he means, and to do what he says?

Is it too much to ask…

…for a presidential candidate to NOT use religion as THE reason we should vote for them?

Is it too much to ask…

…for Christians NOT to vote for someone simply because they are pro life?

Is it too much to ask? Just wondering.

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