Dec 18 2014

Go Home for Christmas

Published by under Poems

Go Home for Christmas: A Poem
by: andy merrick

Go home for Christmas
No matter the price
Overcome money,
Emotions, and time

Truth isn’t pretty
So here it is ripped
Mom and pops will soon
Die from falling sick

Your tire might explode
Your house go up in flames
Your brain become so weird
That you forget your name

Put aside your pride
Trust God for cash to flow
Ask for more vacation
Go “HO! HO! HO!” home!

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Dec 15 2014

When You Have Racist Thoughts

Published by under Life,Race

One of the times I see racist attitudes come out in me are when people of other colors or classes do things that go against how I learned things. 

During my entire childhood, I heard about manners, respect, suits, hand shakes, and fine foods. 

It’s not so for many people who live in other parts of our country. Their places and chances for advancement look very different than that of a middle-upper class person. 

So what happens? New living rules are created. 

Suits are sometimes replaced by sagging pants.

Smiling faces in photos (many of which are fake in the upper class, anyway) are replaced by middle fingers.

Wine drinking is replaced with smoking blunts.

Many of us look on from our perch above and shake our heads at how ridiculous we think the behavior is. It’s not. It’s very normal and understandable when viewed through the lens of sociology. 

Jesus was clear. 

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
_Matthew 7:1-2

We’re all trying to impress each other. Where we grow up and who we’re raised by largely determines what criteria we use to evaluate others. Let us not despise other sub-cultures. God can very easily judge my sub-culture for decadence. 

In the end, most sub-cultures do a really lousy job of pursuing God and doing his will. It has nothing to do with race or class. We’re all human and broken. We’re just broken in different ways. May God help us evaluate our lives in the light of heaven, not the “light” of our own sub-culture. Lord, free us from any hint of judgmental racism! Fill us with all your love!

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Dec 12 2014

Why We Pray for President Obama

Published by under Politics

I’ve been praying a lot for President Obama and our elected/appointed officials these last couple days. What a hard job!

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I didn’t vote for Obama (or Romney) but it always bums me out when people hate on our president – especially when Christians do it.

“There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God… The one in authority is God’s servant for your good…”
_Romans‬ ‭13‬:‭1, 4‬

For those of us who are Christians… when we complain against Obama, we need to understand we complain against God. God does plenty of things in our lives that we don’t THINK will lead to good. But they always do. We may not THINK Obama will be good for us, but he is!!!

People protest: “He’s running our country into the ground!” Maybe he is. Maybe he isn’t. Only time will tell. We need to remember that while God has most certainly blessed the United States, our nation is but one stopover of God’s Kingdom advancing in our universe. This means our country’s policies may not necessarily serve the United States. They serve God.

“…dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.”
_Psalm‬ ‭22‬:‭28‬

Pray for our brother Obama. Brobama! Pray for him and all our officials. That much good will be brought into our world through them – even if it costs us a little personally! May love and God’s kingdom advance through them!!!

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Dec 09 2014

I Can’t Compete With That: Thoughts on Feeling Inferior (Part 2)

Published by under Life,Relationships

When we lament what we lack and long for what others have, we’re living our lives in a way we’re not supposed to.

There’s only one thought we typically have about God when we’re moping about, feeling inferior to others: “God, why am I this way? Why am I dumpy? Why don’t I have what they have?” We forget much about God.

Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of all who forget God… What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web. They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.
_Job‬ ‭8‬:‭11-15‬

Spider webs aren’t tables. And our lives aren’t competitions. We can’t lean on the external things – things that aren’t God. He didn’t make life to be lived like that!

Why do we despise beauty and success in other people? It threatens our reign as the most supreme and admirable.

We need to change where we compare.

We tend to look at people we imagine are better than us on earth and say, “Oh no!”

We need to consider all God has done – his beauty, his works, his hand on our life and say, “Oh my!”

We reach across and try to push people down in our minds. We need to reach out and ask God to pull us up to his level. 

God never intended us to compare ourselves against each other. 

When we get irrationally jealous, resentful, and angry at others we see we’re not holy yet.  

We ask the wrong questions. Our goofy hearts ask the shallow questions! Paul talked seriously about this…

But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”
_Romans‬ ‭9‬:‭20-21‬

To dig beneath the surface and examine our displeasure with our lot is a hard but essential thing in order for us to grow into all God made us to be. To ask, “Lord, why am I this way? Why am I dumpy in my soul? Why don’t I have what you have? Why do I despise how you’ve made me?”

God has architected the human race. Every last one of us. He’s perfect. He doesn’t make mistakes.

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