A Treadmill and the Inauguration

I’ve got to admit that as the years pass by, I grow less and less concerned about who is in the White House and more and more concerned about my role in the cause of the greater good.  I was on the treadmill this morning as President Obama took the oath of office and officially started his second term as leader of the free world (I know, I know, he was actually sworn in yesterday in a private ceremony, but go with me here).  What struck me was the brevity of the actual oath of office.  Short sweet and to the point.  Short enough for us to focus upon and yet filled with great meaning about the duty and responsibility for the office holder.

The one line that did catch my attention was the opening welcome when Pres. Obama greeted all of us fellow citizens.  Yep, that is the key for me.  All of us working together wherever we are and whatever we do.  The difference we can make together is greater than anything a government could do and more lasting as well.   It made me resolved to continue to advocate and work for social and economic justice in our society and the other cultures of the world.  My calling leads me to not worry about who is in office be they Republican or Democrat.  Their’s is a different and important calling for certain.  Rather my calling is to spread the news that the practice of forgiveness, generosity, and compassion is the way that leads to life no matter which political party is in power.

So I will continue to pray for Pres. Obama tonight along with the other government leaders.  May their decisions be profitable and actions just.  I will also continue to recognize that we as followers of Christ have an important part to play that transcends a four year election cycle in importance and urgency.

‘Millennials’ More Pro-Government Than Older Americans – Economix Blog – NYTimes.com

‘Millennials’ More Pro-Government Than Older Americans – Economix Blog – NYTimes.com.

Not only do Millennials want more government control, they also are more likely to sleep with their cellphones by their head!

I am intrigued by what forms a society and that changes over time with each generation.  Most of the culture is formed, in my opinion, due to shared experiences that occur during formative years.  For instance, if you are a child of the great depression, you are more likely to be fiscally conservative as you have seen what “can” happen with the economy.  There is nothing like a decade long economic struggle to shape an entire generation of people!

In the church we call this “liturgy“.  It is the common experiences and beliefs that are reinforced each and every week that “shape” us.  In the physical world, we are what we eat.  The same thing does for the spiritual world.  We become what we do on a regular basis.  Outward acts create inward shape.

This is why it is so important that we continue to take seriously our times of public gathering.  This is also why it is important we take seriously our times of personal devotion.  These outward acts shape us overtime into the image of He who we worship.

How are you being shaped?  It will be by the things you give yourself to on a regular basis!  Something to think about even if you sleep with your cellphone by your head like me.

From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employers cut 247,000 jobs in July, far less than expected and the least in any month since last August, according to data on Friday that provided the clearest evidence yet that the economy was turning around.

Help me understand how losing 247k jobs is a good sign? Don’t care if things are getting worse slower. You can tell how bad it is by what comforts us.

One quick thought

Disappointing is the word that comes to mind.  Why?  Because God has been in the news a lot lately.  Let me be more clear.  God’s NAME has been in the news a lot lately and it has been less than flattering.  God has been tied to a host of mistakes by influential people (Sanford, Ensign, etc, etc.),  and  God’s Word has been used as a means to keep powerful people in place while others are marginalized (namely women within the church).  It seems that Christianity is becoming more of a punch-line for late night comedians than the answer for the world.

Let me also be very clear here.  We all make mistakes.  We all are fallen and in need of forgiveness. Not one of us can stand on our own merit before God.  Thanks be to God for forgiveness and mercy in my life.  I am not throwing stones at anyone.  I am begging us as a people to be more cautious when speaking “for” God.

For the sake of the Kingdom, please let us begin to refrain from using God as a crutch or as a means to manipulate others or as a means to justify our own desires.

Rather, I am calling us to have as our goal Scriptural Holiness and nothing else.  A Holiness (separateness from the world) based upon God’s Word and not our desires.  A call to sacrifice.  A mandate for choosing to serve rather than be served.  A plea for living out what it means to be a people of forgiveness and justice.  A call for personal devotion mixed with outward works of mercy toward others.

In Search of Dignity

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/07/opinion/07brooks.html

Brooks from the NY Times gives an interesting account of how dignity in the public arena has changed over the course of our nation.

We have gone from a time in which stoicism (in terms of feelings) was valued to one where we are encouraged to live with our feelings upon our sleeve.  I am more toward the sharing your feelings end of the spectrum because I believe it is an authentic approach to life.  However, I can see the downside as pointed out in this article.   Do we really need to see all these public figures traipse in front of a TV and air all of their failures? Wouldn’t it be better to have them go away and get things figured out and show us their repentance by their actions instead of their emotional grandstands?

Count me as an undecided at this point…but something to think about.