This is the Most Important Day for the Rest of our Lives.

Happy Mid Term Elections Eve Day! I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited since Christmas Eve’s Day 2018. Tomorrow, all across this great country people will be heading out to the polls to cast their ballot to see what direction this country heads. Republicans look to keep majorities in the House and Senate to push through their agendas, while Democrats look to take control so that they can do things their way.

If you’re the type of person that enjoys harming themselves like I do, you’ve been watching all the news cycles and panelist discussions staking the claim that “THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!”

But in fact, Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 is not “THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!” Whatever day is “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November” every two years will theoretically be “THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!”

What if I deny myself and say “you know what, you’re right,” will that bring us closer together relationally?

This morning my wife said to me “babe, I love you and today I’m going to get up early, get the kids dressed, and take them into school.” Wow I thought, she must reaaaaaaaally love me. And she does but it’s also my birthday. But it brought me closer to her relationally.

One call of the Christ-follower according to Romans 12:10 is to “be  devoted to one another in love, Honor one another above yourselves (NIV).” Another translation, HCSB, says outdo one another. What if every relationship we had with each other we attempted to one-up each other in the area of respect? It’s door opening for each other. At work, I would usually get to the office at the same time as this other guy and our building had double doors, so if he got to the door first he would open it for me, but then upon entering was another set of doors that I would then open for him. If I was truly selfish, I would take the door from him but then say “screw off” and not hold the second door for him. It’s a way for us to move closer.

So on the night of Tuesday, November 6th, 2018, prepare yourself. After all the votes are tallied you’ll see your side may win or, your side may lose. But what’s important is how we relate to each other the next day. For it’s November 7th, that is the most important day for the rest of our lives.

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It’s a Beautiful Story

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:32-43 (ESV).

Jesus, as an innocent man, is nailed to the cross between two sinners. One criminal mocks at Jesus to save himself if he is so great. The other criminal humbles himself before what he sees. I wish I could say that I am like the criminal who humbles himself, but my heart leads me to mock.

Still, Jesus died for both.

The Women’s Marches

There’s intimacy when you share your thoughts or concerns with another. #WomensMarch #MarchforLife

I would much rather talk politics face to face than from behind a keyboard and screen. In any capacity of communication, there’s intimacy when you share your thoughts or concerns with another that you just do not get when done virtually.

Our culture and political climate can be summed up over the days of January 19th and 20th, of 2018.

On Friday, thousands of women, men, and children descended upon our nation’s capital to “provide all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person.” (March for Life Mission Statement). Local marches across the country proceed on the following day. The core tenant of the statement is that every human life, especially inside the womb, is valued and protected

On Saturday, thousands of women, men, and children descended upon our nation’s capital to “harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.” (Women’s March Mission Statement). Local marches across the country are happening the same day. One of the core tenants of their statement under reproductive rights states “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”

It’s an interesting scene. Could you picture these two groups sharing the same National Mall at the same time fighting for the exact opposite of what the other group wants? This is the part where Big Bird introduces our word of the day “juxtaposition.”

What’s most stunning out of all of this, isn’t the positions they take, or the passion they have for their fight, but it is the belief…in particular of the women…that the women on the other side of their opinions are misguided, moronic, oppressed, and of all things not REAL women.

They are a subhuman species undeserved of dignity, respect, decency, an open mind, and the right to call themselves a woman. Instead of battling ideas with other ideas, they are degraded to petulant children and ignored. They scream and yell in each other’s faces, with furrowed brow all while painting themselves as the loving, compassionate, and tolerant one. And if you haven’t caught on, it’s not just one side that does the yelling.

While the two sides seem to hate each other, maybe the two sides need to take a look again at the intimacy that they could share while having a coffee at Starbucks or a slush from Sonic. People love Starbucks and people slush.

Yesterday my coworker and I talked throughout the day, and shared Sonic Slushes, about everything from politics to women’s issues to Aziz Ansari to religion and while we probably disagree on more than we agree there was a shared moment of dignity and respect because she is entitled to her opinion and I respect it and I am entitled to my opinion and she respects it. In this shared intimacy we did learn that we both have an equal hatred for the ugly green bikes that are strewn all over Dallas. And I loved our talk all day.

So maybe it’s time that all people, try to listen to the words of a famous King…not Martin Luther, but Rodney

Probably not, but it’s worth a try.

The Good Man: Day 9 12/5/17

I had a conversation with my coworkers, they’re all women…yes it’s important to know that, about the string of pervos out in Hollywood currently getting their lives deservedly wrecked for their actions.

They looked at me and jokingly said “Matt, thanks for not sexually harassing us at work.”

I laughed, but I want to be 110% honest about something. It’s difficult to not be a total creep. If you’re a woman reading this, you’re not going to understand this. If you’re a guy reading this, depending on how honest you are with yourself, you’ll know where I’m coming from.

But a lot of men, myself included, are scummy. This isn’t me beating up on an entire gender. And this DEFINITELY isn’t me playing the victim. Men’s minds are crazy, illogical, irrational spaces of horror. Every day, a man must fight this battle to be a good man. Some can, and often some fail.

Have you ever worked with teen boys…or been a teen boy? We’re absolutely crazy. If I wrote down every thought that went through my mind into a notebook, you would probably have me locked up.

There’s a reason in 2nd Corinthians that it says we must take every thought captive. If I get raked over the coals for this, then so be it.

But at least I’m honest.

Skeptic. Day 6: 12/2/17

This religious person dropped their book off to us. I took it back to them because simply I didn’t need it. I decided I would talk to the woman just to ask her a few questions. Her religion, like 99% of religions, says that in order to reach paradise you must work for it. My reasoning lead me to ask can’t we always do more?

I could have talked to the woman behind me at Starbucks about God.

I could have gave more money to the homeless person.

I could have loved my wife better.

I could have prayed for my coworkers before the meeting.

I could have paid my neighbors water bill.

I could have…

I could have…

I could have…

It reminds me of the scene from Office Space when Jennifer Aniston’s character yells at her boss that if he wanted them to wear 37 pieces of flair then make the minimum 37 pieces of flair. Video here for reference.

Laws and rules tend to bring out the spite of people, not the love of people. I’m skeptical of a religion that says there are things you must achieve in order to gain paradise. And I’m not skeptical for my sake. I’m skeptical for the sake of others. I’m skeptical for the forgotten prisoner. I’m skeptical for the abused and unloved child. I’m skeptical the “why do bad things happen to good people.” I’m skeptical for the person that says life is just unfair.

How do you explain living righteous to those who have lost all hope?

Preparation: Day 4/5 11/30/17 & 12/1/17

I haven’t been lifting weights. In fact I was talking to a friend and said “I need to lose weight before I get back to that gym to lift.”

That makes 0 sense. You may apply that mentality as too…here’s what I mean.

God has called my wife and I to inner city missions. Boom! Big huge announcement. In my prayer and fasting over these past 2 weeks a simple concept, God doesn’t need me to be prepared…God needs me to be faithful in serving Jesus.

“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭4:18-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This came to my mind over and over again. There’s no mention or indication that they did anything else. They didn’t make sure that had the right attitude, the right credentials, the right anything. They just took off with Jesus. No preparation.