Thursday, April 30, 2015

Our World is slipping away...

Never before in my life have I witnessed so much hate. So much anger. So much divisiveness. Never before have I felt so helpless and hopeless about the state of our nation. About the heart and soul of this country that used to be so great. 

I was born after the Civil Rights era. I am a child of the 70's and 80's. And while the town I grew up in didn't have many black people living in it during those years, there were a few and they were treated with kindness and respect by the general population. The black kids who attended my schools- I remember them fondly- were treated like any other kid and they were popular and high achieving and sweet. 

I never imagined that I would see a time when 'Race' relations would be dragged so far backward as they have been recently. I put the '' around race because in my eyes we're all of the same race- the human one. Why on earth- especially in this day and age- anyone would even care what color someone else's skin is, I have no idea. Why is this once again an issue? Why are people tearing up cities, burning businesses, attacking police officers, and throwing around the race card? Why? Why are 40% of our nations prisoners black when only 13% of our nations entire population is black? Is this because black people are being targeted by the police and arrested more often than white people? Or is it because black people are breaking the law more often and so get arrested more often? One group of people will see it one way, another group will see it another despite what the actual facts are. 

What it comes down to is respect. Kindness. And most of all, as Jesus said, Love. It comes down to love. Are we loving our fellow man, no matter what  color he/she is? Are we respecting them? Are we helping them we're they're down? Are we teaching them about the love of God? It shouldn't matter what color they are. It shouldn't matter what color we are. God created each and every single one of us with a purpose. He created us to love our neighbors. He created us to serve Him and in doing so, lead others to Him. 

Are we doing that? Or are we too busy comparing skin colors? Are we too busy turning our backs on those who need us the most because they look different or act different or came from somewhere different? 

Mark 12:31 Jesus himself said, "The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 

Love God first and everyone else second. Your neighbor is not just the person who lives next door. Your neighbor is anyone you come in contact with. Anyone in your neighborhood, your community, your town. And when you travel, those around you are your neighbors! Love everyone as you love yourself! 

I'm not just talking to white people here. I'm talking to black people too and Hispanic people, Middle Eastern people, Asian people...ALL PEOPLE!

If we could all just practice loving those around us, this world would be so much better for everyone- yourself included.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Don't sell your vote!

Hello my loyal and faithful readers. I'm so glad you're here because I have a challenge for you, a task of utmost importance.

We're entering another election cycle, hard to believe but it's true. Those running are already campaigning in mighty ways, traveling around the nation and shouting their agendas from the roof tops (so to speak). And it's only going to get more intense until the actual elections take place. In my own state of Kentucky we're electing a new governor this cycle. Several people are running so we'll have our primaries in May. Presidential elections won't take place until November next year but already we have many hats in the ring. So here's my challenge to you:

If you're not already, please educate yourself. Research, study, and get informed about the people who are running. What do they believe? What are their political ideas and ideals? What does their track record look like? What have they done for this nation that has helped or hurt the people? What are their accomplishments and/or failures? Does this person's values match your own? Whittle it down until you find a candidate that you can be proud to vote for.

Please, please, please do not vote for someone just because you like their gender, skin color, or hair style! Don't vote for someone because you think they're cute! Do not vote for someone because they claim they can save you $2500/year on your health insurance, because chances are high that they're lying to you!

Don't believe campaign promises, look at what they've already done that impresses or concerns you. Our nation is in a bad place right now because people are not truly informed before they vote and it's hurting everyone.

Next, after you've educated yourself, help someone else get educated too. Don't let the people you love vote uninformed. Point them in the right direction to find the information they need to find a candidate that they can feel good about giving their vote to.

You see, our vote is priceless. It's value, when used properly, is worth more than gold. To the right person, you give your vote with careful thought and consideration, knowing that it's going to achieve good things for you and your country. However, if you sell your vote for skin color, gender, or 'hand outs' then your vote  becomes worthless and cheap. Please, let your vote count for something valuable. Don't sell your vote.

Pass it on! Vote informed!