Tyrants, Geese and Ganders

Tyrants…we all seem to think we know who they are, and that we can spot them.

Most people who were ruled by Tyrants didn’t see them coming. They were duped into believing that the Tyrant was just a ‘good guy’ looking out for them…right up until they realized that he wasn’t so good, and wasn’t actually looking out for them…just themselves.

In the USA, some of our Republican friends thought of Barack Obama as a tyrannical leader. He didn’t go through congress to get his agenda across (at least, not after the Republicans took over leadership of both House and Senate). He had “a pen and a phone” and just did what he thought was right, utilizing Executive Orders to establish policies that he knew would never make it through congress. Republicans (myself included) thought this was ‘soft tyranny’, and wondered where it would lead.

I am pretty sure that’s part of the reason that Donald Trump won.

However, as one who has always been concerned about President Trump, we have to watch carefully.

Tyranny, after all, can come from both the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’.

Just because a Republican is in office and ramming through policies that some on ‘the right side’ are in favor of does not mean that he should rule as a King…or a Tyrant!

President Trump needs to go by the Constitution…checks and balances…just like we called on President Obama to! We need to be able to ‘keep him in check’–a big part of the reason that the Founders put the ‘separation of powers’ into the Constitution!

As my mother used to say, ‘What’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander’. I think this is the kind of thing she meant (although she’s not an expert on either Geese nor Ganders, so…).

Anyway, I think it is incumbent upon all of us to take a ‘big picture’ approach to laws and policies in our land.

When we think about it, no one person–not Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan, Obama or Trump–should be a power unto themselves.

No one is that perfect, but the Lord Jesus! HE is one we can trust implicitly…no one else!

Certainly not a President.

So, what should we do?

  1. Pray for President Trump, his cabinet, and congress–that they’d be humble before the Lord, and lead accordingly. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
  2. Stay informed.
  3. Don’t assume that someone is ‘right’ or ‘good’, just because they’re ‘on your side’ of the political aisle, and conversely…
  4. Don’t assume that someone is ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, just because they’re on the other side of the political aisle.

We must get to the point where we can examine the merit of a policy, law, etc. not because ‘our side’ put it forth, but on it’s actual merit, from a Constitutional…and even Biblical…point of view.

We must get to the point where we can admit that ‘our guys’ are wrong occasionally…both left and right. Otherwise, the divide will get bigger, the animosity will grow…and the future is even more bleak.

In short, we need to have INTEGRITY in our politics (as in every area).

Are YOU willing to make that stand?

#IntegrityInPolitics2017

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Where Is Your Hope?

I remember that day very clearly. My mother was in tears, fearful for the future of our country, convinced we were heading into nuclear war with the USSR because ‘that man’ had just been elected President of the United States.

The date was November, 1980. ‘That Man’ was Ronald Reagan, and I had voted for him–my first election.

I thought my mom was completely overreacting, but that’s exactly the message that had been promoted in the media leading up to this election night.

Of course, history shows that we did not go to nuclear war, but we did have some very tough negotiations with the USSR…until they dissolved and ‘America won the cold war’.

Fast forward almost 40 years (please, no comments about my age).

‘This man’ Donald Trump, has been elected and sworn in and many people seem to think that our future, as a nation, is just about toast! We’re finished, if you read some opinions. I keep waiting for the raw emotion to die down, but it’s been pretty consistent since November, and now, post-inauguration, it seems still to be running pretty ‘hot’.

Now, I have to say: I have my own concerns about President Trump, and I’m not a huge fan. I certainly think we need to pray for him and his advisors, that they’d humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face in their leading.

But…with all due respect to my Democratic friends, I want to let you in on a little secret:

I felt almost the same way you do 8 years ago, after the election of President Barack Obama.

I could not watch the celebrations, I could not watch the ‘Inauguration Ball’, concerts, etc. I could barely listen to the news because most of them seemed to be so obviously tripping over themselves in praise. President Obama would quickly remind his political opponents that ‘elections have consequences’ and that ‘he won’. Honestly, from my perspective, I thought our country was toast.

I know, I know…many of you right now are scoffing at the mere suggestion that President Obama and President Trump are similar. One is full of class, and the other isn’t. One is respectful and the other isn’t, etc.

I’m just going to put this out here: I think they are each arrogant, boastful, narcissistic, petulant, and each one of them treats political opponents disrespectfully and vindictively. Now, at some other time, we can get together over a cup of coffee and talk about all of the reasons I disagreed with President Obama’s policies, etc…but that is for another time.

I simply wanted to say–as sincerely as possible–I understand your feelings. I get it.

However, I’d also like to encourage you: Take a break, take a breath and think about this: Policies in Washington (and Lansing) are important, but what’s Much More Important is what YOU (and I) choose to do in our daily lives.

You and I have the choice to pour ourselves into our communities, serve in our schools, love our families, and cultivate a generous, caring lifestyle. I am trying to continue learning to do this, more every day. I fall short, but I realize that I have a daily chance to live of life of IMPACT in this world…and you do too!

The most important thing I’d like to say to you, however, is this:

This last 8 years…and the last several months…has challenged me to clarify something within myself, and that is this:

Where is my hope?

I’ve realized that I have, over the years, been guilty of buying into the idea that America’s best hope is ‘my’ Presidential candidate, and that the World’s best hope is America. I’ve bought the idea that political victory for ‘my guy’ is the most important thing. I haven’t even been aware of how much I’d bought into this, but this past election showed me more than ever before.

If you’ve read my posts before, you know that I believed these two candidates were DEEPLY flawed this year. I still do. What that reminds me of, however, is this: My hope…and the hope of my family, my church, my country and this world… is NOT in President Trump, any more than it was in President Obama…or Bush, or Clinton, or Bush, or even Reagan. Our Hope–our real, genuine Hope for the future–only lies in our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I know…some of you who’ve stayed are tempted to click out right now–‘There he goes with his faith stuff’. Yup, I freely admit it: My faith is my core, and it colors every thing I do. I certainly colors how I view politics and politicians. One thing that has become more clear in this election cycle is that Politicians–whichever party they’re from–are not our ‘saviors’. There is only one of those, the Lord Jesus Christ.

God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

I want to encourage you–as one American to another, one man, one father, one guy who’s trying to live his life the best way he knows to another–take some time…today…to consider where YOU are putting your hope.

Mine is not in a politician, a policy, or even a country. My hope is in the Lord Jesus, our eternal King…

“our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21).

Ultimately, no matter who is elected in this country, and no matter what policies they put out, this life is temporary. Certainly, these are important things…but ETERNITY is much more important! If we’re going to spend time and energy thinking about anything, I want to encourage you: Let it be eternity! Let it be Jesus!

Let’s pray for our Leaders…and let’s pray for each other…today!

Love to all,

Dave

Let These Bones RISE!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”                (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

We have just come through a great time of celebration.

Christmas was, and is, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, ‘Emmanuel’, God in the flesh.

We also celebrated the New Year, the ‘birth’ of 2017…a time to look back, and a time to look forward.

As we’ve been looking forward, we here at KCC have tried to say that we are seeking to experience ‘Full Life’ in Jesus Christ–the full life that He promised in John 10:10. This is life with Him on the throne, His Word as the guide, and the Holy Spirit as the ‘power’ that enables us.

We’ve said that we want to be #GrowingDeeperGoingHigher together, as we seek the Lord more. We realize that ‘fullness’ only comes from Him.

Therefore, we are trying to identify and lay aside the things that take us off-track. As the writer of Hebrews wrote,

“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

We have said that our desire in 2017 is to really move forward with the Lord, letting Him take us to new levels of faith, new levels of intimacy with Him, new levels of power in the Spirit, and new levels of holiness in our lives.

Nothing could be more important.

In 2017, we stand on a precipice. The United States of America has flirted with ‘gods’ of this world for years, but recently has begun openly ‘thumbing our noses’ against the One True God, openly rebelling against His standards. We have elected a humanistic, self-centered, and short-sighted mindset and morality, and have basically told God and His Word to ‘take a hike’.

Most recently, we have elected leaders that seem bent on taking that mindset even further. Rather than call our nation to repent and turn back to God, we seem to be doubling down, thinking we can make ourselves great again.

I hope and pray for our leaders, including President-Elect Trump. I am praying that he humbles himself before the Lord, and encourages us to do so as well.

Yet, the bigger picture is this: The Church in America has fallen asleep. We have become complacent, comfortable that we are ‘safe and secure’ here, and frankly we’ve adopted the standards of this world.

The Church–the people of God–need to wake up. We need God to move in us again!

I was reminded this week of a passage in the book of Ezekiel where God gives him a vision…of dry bones.

Ezekiel 37:1-10:                                                                                                                                                        “The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.”

In many ways, the Church in America is like those ‘dry bones’…as is the Church throughout much of the world…but I believe that God is doing something again to breathe LIFE into those dry bones! I believe that God is calling us as His children (before any other identity) to revival! I believe that He is inviting us…imploring us…to repent of our sin (active and passive), to seek His face, and to ask Him to bring these ‘bones’ back together.

The Church of Jesus is being purified…being made ready for the next moves of God. These moves will require us to be prayerful, committed, and strong in our faith and in our fellowship.

We MUST ‘Grow Deeper’, so that we can ‘Go Higher‘!

Are you ready?