Donald Trump calls himself a Christian. I feel sick. I watch fellow Christians fall for it. What is it about that man that appeals to the Christian Right? Or Christians of any kind? Oh yeah, that’s right. He campaigned to feed fears and self-righteousness. It worked.
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It’s clear that Christian Americans came out last night and took part in voting Donald Trump into (more) power. Despite flapping his arms in mockery of the disabled, talking about grabbing women by the pussy and calling all Mexicans rapists…despite this and so much more, we filled in the vacant space next to that man’s name and gave his ego all it needed to reign, disregarding counsel, because he says he doesn’t need that. Here will sit a man who refuses to own mistakes, nothing to apologize for, he says.
At the heart of every narcissist is the inability to apologize or accept even the best advice.
So now we’ve done this. He is seated, as inexperienced as he may be, with the power he craves.
I keep thinking, Pharisee or Disciple. Pick one. 
Watching the numbers come in last night, I saw all the Facebook posts about trying to get booze to ease the pain. We are good at numbing and avoidance, of desperately reacting to stress and angst. Nothing works, really. Nothing but begging the good holy heavens above for just a slice of peace, alongside the slice of pizza or the slice of cake or the cocktail. With the glug of the bottle comes little solace, I’ve learned. Same with cake. But begging prayers and surrounding yourself with people who love well, that works. (Please do that today. Try not to isolate. Isolation has really screwed us. So many have been fed an Above Others mentality when grouped together and then we live in our heads–a dangerous place–most of the time, alone, feeding the beast of Self and fear and I Am Right. That’s how Donald Trump became President, because it felt safer to have a Pharisee in the oval.)
 
Most definitions and translations of the word Pharisee include the word SEPARATE. A Pharisee was one that believed they were set apart but not beside, above. They thought they were the only true followers of the law, ascended above others by their morality. Basically, Pharisees were the self-righteous judgment-holding arrogant finger-pointers. They saw fellow humans who didn’t live as they did as Other. Below. Pharisees believed in their own powerful leadership. God’s heart-gut leading need not apply.

Most definitions and translations of the word Disciple include the word FOLLOW. It means emulating a leader, and being challenged as a student to learn by example. Humility must exist to follow, of course. Christ’s disciples were eccentric and radical and the Pharisees didn’t like them. They weren’t Religious. They were learning what it meant to hear God speak in love and with grace, always grace.

You get the idea. The Pharisees were Religion. Christ and his disciples were not.
I keep thinking, Pharisees or Disciples? Pick one.

I will not live out an unhealthy obsession with politics, or my country, and I will not live in fear and judgment while using the name of Christ. I will fight to not flee into a bottle or a cake, to isolation under the comforter on my bed. (Okay, I may take some time there, but I will get up.)  

Most importantly, I will finally (I admit I have not done enough) be more defiantly protective of my brothers and sisters that don’t fit the Christian Nation mold. Clearly, I have not been doing enough. We have not been doing enough. 

(Oh God, have mercy.)

Christians have done enough damage with the (even subconscious) idea that We are The People, the first and best, the ones who are right. Christians have done enough to protect their own–their own beliefs, perspectives and money and right to Fear. Facing that our entire belief system got totally jacked up somewhere along the way is hard work, but I’m asking my fellow Christians, who differ from me a whole lot, to please take a good hard look…

Pharisee or Disciple? Pick One.

This happened, Donald Trump became our President last night, because we have twisted and eroded the gospel for so long we can’t even admit it anymore–it’s just normal, it’s just okay–because it feels safer to protect it in fear and call this a Christian Nation and align ourselves with a Pharisee. It feels safer, but only for us. I don’t want your safety, it comes with too high a price. 

 

As a believer, I’m devastated at how successful he (Trump) has been in pandering to our lowest, basest selves. The selves that are willing to be openly racist. The selves that are afraid of anybody that does not fit our demographic. The selves that close our arms and our hearts to victims and vulnerable people. He’s run on a platform of fear and othering, and it has been a study in precision, because it’s worked. He has exposed the darkest corners of our human hearts and then given them free reign to live out in the open. That scares me. – Jen Hatmaker

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that could be lame

April 17, 2016

If you hardly ever say anything, do people listen more closely when you do?

I used to say a lot here.

My dad is one of those people that doesn’t talk that much. He is also the kind of person that, because he waits to speak, ya best listen when he does. It’s going to be worth listening to, truly. (No pressure, dad.)

My friend Jean had a stroke several years ago. It took a toll on her body and makes it so that her words come out slowly. Her brain will have it all lined up nice, words flowing to sentences and then paragraphs and pages, but it comes out like the dripping of a slow-leak faucet, or sometimes simply like a person who has had a stroke. This can be terribly frustrating for her.

It is one of the things I adore about her.

Well…that’s…lame…she said recently. And that was it. After quite a rant from me. Well, that’s lame.

She will say something like that, after I have given her a five minute ramble about whatever ridiculously irrational thoughts and feelings I am having. I will shoot words at her all rapid-fire like, and she will listen intently and then…

Well…that’s lame…

or, GOOD. See? You are not a victim.

or, STOP. Just stop.

and that sums it up. She’s right. She isn’t going to waste her energy on wrong. No people-pleasing. No beating around the bush. No manipulating. No polite and carefully crafted rambles to caress my ego.

She was right, you know. That day. When I talked about how I went about dealing with something painful. How I was over-thinking myself into a tizzy. She was right. It was lame and I needed to just stop.

Brevity is good. Saying very little can be very good, too.

I know someone else who says, Show up, shut up and shine.

I like that. I want to do it more often.

In the last couple of years, with more silence here in this space, I have probably said more out loud than in the ten years before that. In meetings, with friends and loved ones, to my children. I have been more present. Sometimes painfully present. When I get those notices on Facebook to look back at memories from years past, I see links to this blog, from 2013, 2011…and sometimes I click over to see what I was talking about back then, right here.

I will think, Hm, that’s odd. I don’t know…where did I go? 

Why did the writing stop?

Well, I could go on and on to explain that, and I mean, I really could go on and on to explain that. But we’ve just discussed how not doing that can be a better idea; how good it can be to say less, so I won’t.

I have not forgotten how to write, but I may have lost the ability to trust myself with words.

That could be lame.

I miss writing.

For today, besides all of that up there, I will tell you just this one small thing:

My two oldest, the boys, they were babies (BABIES!) when I started this blog. Now they are lanky long things, thin and electric, floppy-haired and good. They will soon be eleven and nine years old. They could not speak when I started writing here. Well, I suppose Miles was toddler talking. And now they read and write and have friends over and they are trying to figure out really big life questions and they play Minecraft.

With them, and with their spitfire suddenly almost five year old sister, I have changed just as much.

We are here living so many lives, I don’t even know what to say. In the midst of the movement from one life to another, I have lost clarity. You don’t really know how badly you need that until you don’t have it and then people remind you that you need it.

showup

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Yes, honor the pain: On Marianne Williamson, #PPD and compassion

January 28, 2016

This is for the suffering mother. This morning my little Elsie Jane alarm clock woke me up whispering “Mommy…Mommy…” you know, how they do. And I groggily came to and whispered back, “huh?” or something lovely like that. Then she started in, like she’d been waiting for so long to talk about something very important…   It went like this: Why is there a thing that goes way inside the tennis shoe and comes out and you can pull on it, it’s a tongue…and we have one in our mouth too and then there is gum that we can chew and also the gums where our teeth come out, why are they both gum and tongues?   So we talked about that.   I was there to talk about that.   This is my truth: Part of the reason I can strive for a perspective that sustains my spirit and attitude is because […]

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come back home

November 17, 2015

When we blame an entire religion, or its people, for something terrifying, it makes it easier. It makes it all feel far away, over there, by Them. Those People. The Evil Ones. This is born of fear and insecurity and those are natural things to feel, but we have to work through them and come back home. And if we claim to be Christians, home is where we keep the fatherless and the widow. Home is where we pick up the man who is opposite of us but still us, on the side of the road, bleeding. (Syria photo credit – Amnesty International) Do you see how we are all connected? We once were anyway and I can’t remember it and neither can you and most of us are fine with that. Terrorism, war, carnage…results of isolation and separation and disconnection and fear. We all did that. Not just politicians or religious fanatics, both […]

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