H(illary)(tr)UMP DAY

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It was the worst of times, it was the even worster of times.

Nice grammar, huh?  But that’s kind of how I feel about the 2016 Presidential Election.

It was a time that seemed to bring out the worst in everybody.  Finger-pointing, nit-picking, lies, and immorality.

And that was just Facebook.

Debates that seemed to unfold like boxing matches.  Media feeding Americans’ insatiable desire for more dirt, more drama.

Everyone was drawn in the fray.  This election became personal for women and men, well-educated and less-educated, Latinos, African Americans, veterans, the working class, and so on.

Over the past month I’ll admit I became obsessed.  Every hour on the hour I found myself checking various news sites to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

But I did miss, quite a lot.

I missed civility.  I missed unity.  I missed a constructive exchange of ideas.

I missed out on several good night’s sleep.

I missed verifiable truth.  I missed the America I love.

I wonder…will it ever be the same, here?  Have we burned ourselves too badly with all the nastiness?

I hope not. I hope…for something more.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   –Jeremiah 29:11-13

This is how we get over the HUMP of H(illary) + (tr)UMP

By focusing our attention where it should never stray.  On The Lord, the one true source of our Hope.

I’ll keep that in mind as I watch election results tonight.  This is an important moment in our country, but there is never a day — not even Election Day — when God is not at work in us and through us, and even through people who don’t vote like us.

So rejoice, friends!

Today is election Tuesday.

Thank God tomorrow is over-the-HUMP day.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Transparency

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For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.  –Luke 8:17

 

So…perhaps you’re worried about your favorite presidential candidate.

Maybe they haven’t come clean about their health.  Or their tax records.

You could say that both leading presidential candidates are dealing with some transparency issues.  And it can make them look like they’ve got something to hide.

It’s a problem that anybody in the spotlight has to face:  How much goes public and how much stays private?

It’s not just a problem for famous people.  It’s a problem for you and I, too.

For instance:

If people thought you were grumpy, and it was because you have irritable bowel syndrome, that’s a transparency issue.

If fellow church members wondered why you were being so quiet, and it’s because your account was over-drafted and you didn’t know how to make it till payday, that’s a transparency issue.

If your mental illness keeps you from getting close to people, or your failing marriage keeps you from being social, or your ongoing struggle with alcohol makes you less fun at parties, those are issues with transparency!

In a better world we might share our weaknesses and illnesses with each other, expecting understanding and support, with no stigma attached. There are certain places and certain people where we can do that.

But in this world friendships hang in the balance, jobs can be on the line, and privacy can be essential.

In other words:  We can’t be transparent all the time.  It’s not always beneficial and it’s not always safe.

It’s important to remember that not everybody has to know everything about our lives…but God knows.

We must figure out how transparent to be with the people in our lives, but with God, there’s no hiding.

No holding back.

The Good News is that there’s no risk of embarrassment or judgment either.  God wants to know you, warts and all.

Here’s the cool thing:

When we willingly turn our whole lives over to God, we open ourselves to the fullness of God’s grace.  That grace is something we, in turn, can share with the people in our lives.

And the more grace we live with, the more transparent we may allow ourselves to be with others.

As for ‘Hil and Don?

I guess there may be some things that remain…

to be seen.

 

Have a great week,

Mitch

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