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Don’t Let em Consume You

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I look back on what I write from time to time and this one was so interesting how timely it is for right now. I published this in 2018 as one of my first posts. I have added and edited some of it to fit for today times. These points are still valid.

It was November 6th, 2018 and the midterm election had just wrapped up.

I find it imperative that we all vote. As cliché as it can be to say how important it is to vote, it has a deep impact. Deeper than you think. The first time I can remember an election is President George W. Bush.  Laying in my grandma’s bed watching the television as she stood in front of the tv. I remember it being exciting and yet I didn’t understand any of it. Just the memory in the back of my mind that I am so grateful to have. I also remember during the election of President Barack Obama, walking to the nearest polling place from our house with my mom. She showed me how voting worked. The action of voting was exciting too but I still didn’t fully grasp at 15 years old what politics was about. All I knew is that a President is chosen to run our country and it is important to have leadership. How did it affect me and why is it so important to vote?

This blog was inspired by witnessing so many Facebook conversations turning ugly. People I considered friends bashing on their friends for what they believe. I am not a saint. I may not have taken to social media to shame anyone but I certainly did it out loud after reading comments and posts. Whoever was nearby to hear me get my thoughts off my chest (many times my cat). Whatever, it’s all the same! Negativity and hateful words breed more of it. We also have our opinions of people altered after we see such passionate differences. When they don’t listen to your opinion and only seem to want to shout theirs at you. It’s really sad. All of us are only human and its easy to say mean things from behind a screen. Or say you have been that person where you get so fired up you end up saying things that maybe weren’t thought all the way through.

The reason and purpose of this blog is to spark conversations to learn, to dive deeper, to ask questions, to seek after truth. I am hopefully conveying my words and thoughts in a way that is fruitful. I learned that healthy conflict is a thing.

Healthy Conflict 

I was talking with a friend the other day and they stated how interesting it is when you think about why we take politics personally. It stumped me the more and more I thought it through. Why do we get sensitive about it? Why do we judge people based off of who they voted for? We associate politics with identity. You could argue it is a part of our belief system. It is what or who a person believes in and supports. If any of that support is not in support of you then we get offended and have a different point of view of that person. I will be the first to admit how hard that is. To really sit down and hear out someone that does not have the same values while showing empathy. Those are passionate moments! Let me share an example. Its a rough topic so bear with me…

Make America Great Again. Let’s first talk about the unspoken words that creep into the minds of those that disagree with this statement. While it’s a nice day dream for some, not every person ever lived in an America that was great or even good for them. They didn’t have certain privileges that others have. Their ancestors were born into less than great without the same freedoms that our founding fathers wrote down. Still to this day there is a lack of freedoms for some with the exception for others. So when people like myself see or hear this slogan, it stings. The moment you stop seeking justice for your brothers and sisters is the moment we all fail. 

Well I hate to break it to you, but we have been failing a long time as a whole. Sure, we have come a ways from many varieties of shortcomings. There is still so much work to be done. For our people of color, things have not been right for, well…ever.

So as you can see around town, in classrooms, and grocery stores Make America Great Again rings differently for people. If I were to guess, not many people who support that slogan knew that majority of colored people passing has thought about the ignorance behind the words. But I guess this is exactly our problem…we are selfish. We only care about what is good for ourselves. If you wear this proudly, you either think it’s super patriotic and doesn’t bother you that it cuts like knives to others. Or you had no idea and just think others don’t like President Trump therefore, they hate the hat or shirt.  No. It’s much deeper than that. That same feeling has been shared among my community that I have asked. Like I said – this is a healthy conflict I am willing to have any time with you.

Religion

In a recent article one said, “We are also told that we “should not mix religion and politics.”…This saying has a powerful truth: that when religion is used for political purposes, it empties religion of its eternal meaning and becomes just one more cynical method of acquiring power.” I had to take a few minutes after reading this and think hard about why I bring my religion into politics.

I believe in the Holy Bible to be inspired, the only infallible and authoritative Word of God. I have a relationship with Him and live my life according to His purpose for me. Insert your religious/spiritual/etc. beliefs where I just wrote mine. Share with me how you separate your beliefs from what is affecting our nation. I really don’t think it is possible. Your beliefs should provoke the reasons why you think the way you do about political topics. I know this sounds silly but think about what YOUR higher power would choose when filling out the ballot. Not what your political party would choose or your friend or family. That’s what truly matters at the end of it all. Political parties are chosen based on the side where your beliefs lie the most. I will tell you that my beliefs do not lie on a particular side. I promise I am not just saying that for the sake of this blog. I believe this is because the Kingdom I live for is upside down from what this world looks like.

Politics

I side slightly towards individualism, meaning I more often support free market policies that create opportunity for personal liberty and success rather than collectivism. However, I believe in extreme globalism, meaning I strongly support policies that prioritize the interests of the entire world above those of individual nations. I care about people. I care about what is right and just and ethical for everyone. I don’t know what party this throws me under so I don’t focus on that. Rather, I educate myself by talking to people, reading up on politics coming from every political background. I research things I don’t understand and I ask a lot of questions. Take this tip as well…don’t spend a lot of time on it. Do not submerge yourself so much that it consumes you. It is an earthly matter. Politics were created by human beings which means there are bound to be flaws in the system hence, our imperfect nation/world.

To put it all simply, I try to walk out what God’s will is over my life. By reading His word, meditating on it and how I dissect it with discernment. Not perfect at it as non of us ever will be. I am not “good” because I live this way. I fail every day but I get back up and try again and again because of how perfectly good I see God to be in my life and the lives of others.

As you have seen for the past couple of years, politics do affect each and every one of us. You don’t have to like politics. You know that at some point these past 2 years you have had some conversation regarding the man in the White House. When you vote this year,   focus on what you care about and look into who is advocating the best way.  Who would you get behind based on their values, morals and character. Character does matter in politics! The person you vote for is going to be a global leader who will set the tone of our country. Character trickles down from authority to the general public.

A lot of people ask me how I consume information regarding politics. Here is what I say- Please please please do your own research. Just like you stalk your ex or friends before you knew them…take the time to stalk political talk as well. We have grown to produce tons and tons of outlets for news in media. It’s a problem. A bigger problem than you realize. There is too many articles, newspapers, tv hosts, streamers that put news out there and you and your neighbor are getting different news from different sources. So we all consume different information. Leading to the big question. What is the truth? What is the most credible source? There are a lot of lies out there but there are great resources. What I find to be the best for me is watching live television, speeches, hearings, etc. Then shutting off the tv before the analysts come on. That way you can take time to ponder on what was said. Then later look into what sources are saying so you have that knowledge as well.  Take in the information and determine for yourself what you just heard and witnessed. If I miss the live speeches then I search for them. I cannot read an article quoting a president if I have not heard it for myself. You will find many times, key words, emphasis, tone is missing. How was it said? Where and when was it said? All that matters. You consume media, don’t let it consume you. So when in doubt, strive for live!

We need to vote. Yes, us young people, women, those who have NOT  been going to the polls better get out there this year. This is not a game and despite what you think about conspiracies that it’s rigged. Vote. Just do it. For the sake of hoping things must change for the next generation.

P.S. Let’s not make America great ‘again’ but instead just make America awesome.

Simply,

LB

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Should Politics Matter to Couples?

I hope this was an intriguing title because I honestly don’t have the answer. I do have my own experience as my husband and I have been together 10 years and married for 2 years. Marriage and dating is very different but together we found out each others values early on. Values beyond beliefs and political preferences. To us, politics don’t matter. You are probably thinking…well if politics is not important to your relationship then what the heck are you doing writing about it? I actually have the answer to this one! I’m a fixer. I saw a problem and felt passionate enough to write my perspective on the issue in hopes to change the world… It’s okay, I’m laughing too!

Talk About It.

I am in no way claiming we do it “right” or “well”. So don’t quote me…

Not just in marriage, but in every relationship you should seek to listen to a persons values. However, when it comes to politics, do not define that person by their preference of party. I do not want anyone to see or hear my name and automatically pin me as a republican or democrat who has a political blog. I’m much more than that and at this point I would hope you have read most of the posts and found I’m not writing on behalf of one party. I am writing on behalf of every person – believer or not, democrat or not.

Go Deep.

Talking about where you both stand on political issues can deepen your relationship. I asked Sean before writing this questions to gain more content. Just in listening to his answers, I found out a little more about him. Just like when I told him I was going to start a blog about politics and religion, he learned just how much I cared to share my experiences.

We believe as a couple that:

  • It’s important to know what is going on in the world. It is foolish to be blinded from what is happening around you by choosing not to look.
  • Have a healthy balance of knowing enough of what is going on but not so much it dictates most of your life.
  • We do not assume by lumping a certain party together that they all believe the same thing as one another.

Do Not…I Repeat Do Not Try to Change Them!

Your relationship is founded on mutual respect for one another. You have not had the same experiences and their perspective is probably valid! It took us time to figure out our own stance on politics because we were so focused on our religious beliefs. I’ll say it again, politics do not matter in the big picture. In other words, Sean and I do not live for our country.  We strive to function in unison to replicate God’s image and expand His rule in the world through our individual callings. So together we have the same end goal. When approaching political conversations, you have to keep in mind you may not agree with them but their perspective is still valid. It’s disrespectful to think you can change them to “your side”. They are their own person just as much as you are. If political party is important, you need to bring that up early on to avoid trying to change them.

Take a Lap.

When conversations turn to arguments…take a lap. It’s really not that serious. “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2

How do you and your significant other talk about politics? Share with me and note if you mind it being shared below.

Simply,

LB

 

 

 

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Christians Are Arrogant

Many times I have been made to think I am arrogant. Some of the things I say come off very direct/harsh. For years I have cared so much about how people view me while trying to stay true to my beliefs. The media and some far right Christians have put a bad wrap on what Christianity is supposed to be. I know that’s incredibly strong but…hey, I’m arrogant remember? It is no easy life no matter how big you smile or how easy things look on social media. If you find yourself in the same boat, you may be thinking, “But I do it out of love!” I know, but to others you are arrogant and nobody wants to be around someone who’s telling them what is unhealthy for their life. Even if “the Bible tells me so…”

So What Does the Bible Say About Politics?

2 Things:

  1. First of all, God knew the world needed saving long before any national government was founded. Hence, Jesus. God sent Jesus to walk this earth to demonstrate to the world that redemption could not be accomplished through the power of man alone, his economic strength, his military might, or his politics. Jesus was fully God and fully man. Jesus taught those around him that with God, all things are possible. In other words, God permeates and supersedes all aspects of life. Leaders rise up whether they are good, bad, evil or great. People have free will. Those that abuse their political power, capital gain, etcetera, God is working and will turn it towards His will. He already won.
  2. Secondly, you are taught to obey the laws of the land and take responsibility to be a good citizen. You can only hope our authority is for us as a collective but do not put all your faith in the government or a political leader. You see, all of this is for the bigger picture. Your voice during elections matter and you should exercise your right by voting. Vote for a leader that best demonstrates Christian values and biblical truths. Huge emphasis on demonstrates because talking is not the same as walking and living it out. Your intentions are only as good as your actions.

Betting = Failure

Have you noticed that you are betting on a president to live a godly life? Humans are full of flaws. That’s like betting in this scenrio: You are given a test by a teacher before you learn about a subject. No prior quizzes, homework or lecture was given. You have some hope because you remember you heard about the topic before but this test you find extremely challenging. You fail it. That’s how life works. That’s also how Christians are called to live daily. You have this huge test called life. The Bible is your study guide. Life comes with a teacher and classmates to learn from. It’s your choice how you prepare for the test that’ll also determine your outcome.

You cannot walk this life alone. You will always find yourself turning to others for answers, approval, questions. So why not try turning to God who is bigger than all your problems and has a book with stories and answers that relate to your problems? Don’t knock it before you try it because when I did, I found that every time He was right on. You have to first accept then experience His crazy love in order to really know.

Conclusion

My mission is not in changing the world through political reform. My mission is changing hearts through the Word of God. That is because God permeates and supersedes all facets of life. You should obey the laws set forth by authority because if you can’t practice that, then you won’t practice the Laws set before you, by God. Only through practice, obedience, grace and love for yourself will you truly grasp the teachings of God. Which is your life test on how to truly love others, show them grace, and actively live out in love. 

Go ahead and reply below to start a conversation!

Exciting News for LB!

So remember I told you in my last post I had good news? I didn’t know if I would actually have good news but I declared it! Well…your girl got the job she had been praying and waiting for months! I had to work on patience and be obedient to God’s timing. It was not easy. I had many rough days but I persevered. This job will allow me to spend more time with my family and also will challenge me to be a great professional in business. I am very excited! Thank you for your prayers and being dedicated to go on this writing journey with me. You are so appreciated! 

Recommended Resource: Politics – According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture by Wayne Grudem