Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Sunday, October 23, 2016

It won't matter by and by

  Back in August, I got the new Gaither Vocal Band CD. They did several older songs, and there is one that has got me thinking every time I hear it. We'll Talk It Over. The chorus goes like this:

We'll talk it over in the bye and bye.
We'll talk it over, my Lord and I.
I'll ask the reasons - He'll tell me why,
When we talk it over in the bye and bye.

  There's also a well known hymn that has a similar idea:

We are tossed and driven 
on the restless sea of time; 
somber skies and howling tempests 
oft succeed a bright sunshine; 
in that land of perfect day, 
when the mists are rolled away, 
we will understand it better by and by. 

By and by, when the morning comes, 
when the saints of God are gathered home, 
we'll tell the story how we've overcome, 
for we'll understand it better by and by. 

  Almost every time I listen to that CD and hear that song, I have had the same thought run through my mind: "will it really matter in the by and by"?

  Heaven is going to be amazing, far more and better than we can ever think of. The most beautiful things and scenes here will pal in comparison to what Heaven will be like. And then there will be Jesus.....imagine what it will be like to see our Savior face to face.....

 And then imagine this:
"Hey Jesus, I was wondering: that job I wanted so badly in 98', and prayed about? Why didn't I get that?"

"And that time I was in that traffic jam for 5 hours...what was with that?"

"Why did I have to suffer with that disease for so long?"

"Why, why, why?"

   The things that happened in our lives here on earth aren't going to matter then. I doubt they will even cross our minds.... not even the big things:

"Jesus, why did you never let us have children?"

"Why did you take my spouse so early?"

"Why did I have to grow up without parents?"

  When we enter those pearly gates, gaze upon the sites of Heaven, see loved ones who have gone before, and see Jesus; nothing in this life is going to be of any consequence then. We aren't going to be asking why. I also don't believe that when we enter Heaven, we will suddenly know of those things either. And we won't care.

 There's a new song that sums up this idea: "If we ever gotta look". The song says if we ever got a look at what's waiting in Heaven, we wouldn't want to stay down here. I also think that if we got a look at what Heaven is like, and what it holds, the things that happen here wouldn't seem that big to us.

 It is too easy to get focused on the here and now, and to forget that we aren't living for this life. We are living for Heaven. Some day, all of we who have been faithful to serve Him, will hear those words " well done, good and faithful servant", and we will be welcomed into an eternity in Heaven. And all that happened here, won't matter anymore.

If We Ever Gotta Look

Verse 1
God had a plan for His children down here to serve Him
Live every day, help people get saved, and go to Heaven
But He can't reveal, He must conceal the land of no more tears
If we ever gotta look at what's waiting up there, we wouldn't want to stay down here

If we could open up the door, look at the floor of the street that is paved with gold
Pass through the walls, look down the halls, see the half that's never been told
We never could imagine all the splendor of the mansions or the river that is crystal clear
If we ever gotta look at what's waiting up there, we wouldn't want to stay down here
No, we wouldn't want to stay down here.

Verse 2
Heaven's so grand, language just can't describe it
John tried to say but He couldn't convey or define it
The end of war, we'll die no more, the heart will never know fear
If we ever gotta look at what's waiting up there, we wouldn't want to stay down here

If we could open up the door, look at the floor of the street that is paved with gold
Pass through the walls, look down the halls, see the half that's never been told
We never could imagine all the splendor of the mansions or the river that is crystal clear
If we ever gotta look at what's waiting up there, we wouldn't want to stay down here
No, we wouldn't want to stay down here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

You're not my God

  Last week, one of my coworkers, a young 21 year old guy who never shuts up, but is a nice kid, goes to me "Buzz, would you get a tattoo if I paid for it?" I laughed and told him no way. I didn't tell him this, but I believe as a Christian that is something I should not do....even if other Christians do.... but it is becoming increasingly unpopular to refrain from doing pretty much anything because you're a Christian.

   It is getting more and more difficult to serve God in America. Nothing is considered wrong anymore, and the line between the world and the church is so thin that it is barely visible.

  If you are one who still believes the Bible, and who is trying to live as God wants you to, not as you want to, it is a constant swimming upstream. It is one thing to have to deal with the world mocking you and telling you that you're wrong, but another thing when others professing to serve the same God as you are mocking you, criticizing you, and telling you that you don't have to do that.... or that you don't have to abstain from doing that.

   I've become a lot more open about talking about my same-sex attractions on here, probably to the dismay of some..... but just because it may make some people uncomfortable and they don't know how to deal with the subject doesn't mean I have to go back into the closet, so to speak. This is one area where it is becoming increasingly difficult to live as God wants us to. There is such an acceptance and promotion of being gay today. TV promotes it - even in Disney shows aimed at kids, songs promote it, politicians, churches, and Christians. If you are a Christian attracted to the same sex and not living the gay lifestyle, you are very unpopular and hated even more than the average Christian who believes it is wrong. But the Christians promoting and encouraging it are the worst. I have had Christians give me a really hard time and argue til they are blue in the face trying to get me to just accept my sexuality and live as a Christian gay male. Thank God that I am well enough versed in Scripture and have read enough from the correct viewpoint that I have never fallen for those lies.

  I grew up in a very conservative church, with very conservative beliefs. I have grown and matured as a Christian enough that I have my own beliefs, and don't do everything the church thinks I need to do... some may call that rebellion, but I call it finding God's will for my life, not the church's will. I have gotten used to swimming against the current. Other Christians have questioned my beliefs and tried to convince me I was wrong and that I can do certain things I don't. Christians in my church circle have questioned why or how I could do certain things........ you just can't please everyone,  but they aren't the ones I want to please anyway.

   And though I am trying to stay away from politics, this fits into my blog post and plays into why I am doing this one: there is a really hard push to vote for a certain candidate. Other Christians who are voting for him refuse to acknowledge that as a Christian some of feel we can't and should not. I know, I have done my share of saying why I don't believe a Christian should vote for him....... and I stand by that. However, we all need to stop telling other Christians how to live, even when we view it as something important that we believe they should or should not do....even if it involves the fate of our country.

   This may come as a shock to some of us, but we aren't God. There is a wide variety of beliefs across this country, and some are very wrong, while there are a lot of things that are not salvation issues. There are things that are truly in black and white and not open to interpretation,  such as homosexuality, while others are open to interpretation and principle.

  Unless something is very clear in the Bible, we need to be careful telling people what they can or cannot do, and un-Christianizing them if they aren't living just like us.... or voting just like us. (Yeah, I had to throw that in there). We should be very careful trying to convince people to do something they believe to be wrong and something they believe they should not do..... even if it is something we believe to be important for some reason or another..... even if we think the fate of our country lies in their vote. (it doesn't)

    Some day we will all stand before God, and we will be judged. On that day, excuses won't matter. "But my friends told me it was OK to do that....." "But the church I went to was OK with that....". I don't know how God will deal with us on that day, and I am definitely not saying people will go to hell if they felt they should not vote for a certain candidate and did it anyway....... but I want to be able to face God and know I lived as He wanted me to live, that I did the things He wanted me to do, and didn't do the things He didn't want me to do.

  Christians are to deny ourselves, take up a cross, and follow Jesus.... not other Christians. We aren't called to be like others in the church, but we are called to be like Jesus and do His will. And others are not called to be like us and do our will, or what we believe to be right..... and we'd all do well to remember that during this election time and all through the year.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Long way gone

  Some books can reach inside of you, grab you by the heart and overwhelm you with emotion. I just finished reading one such book, and am still wiping tears from my eyes and face. Emotions? Oh yeah, I am drowning in them. And no, this isn't a book review..... though I will need to post a review of it.

 The book: Long Way Gone by Charles Martin. The plot: it is a "radical retelling of the story of the prodigal son".

 The whole book was good....no doubt there.... but the climax of the book, and then the author's note at the back about the prodigal son..... I was crying so hard I could hardly see the words.

 I've been a prodigal for too much of my life. Time after time, I'd give up on God and walk away..... at least inwardly. And time after time He would forgive me, knowing I'd give up and walk away again, knowing I was only trying to serve Him out of guilt and out of the fear of going to hell.

  Thankfully, finally believing how much this God of mine truly does love me - or at least getting a little bit of an idea - led to me finally getting a relationship with Him. I still let him down. I yell at other drivers - in my car, not to them - have thoughts I shouldn't have, am too shallow, and never measure up to what I think I should be.

 And yet He loves me. He is the Father who is always watching and waiting for us to return when we stray. He is the shepherd crawling down the cliff to rescue that one lost sheep. He is the merciful compassionate Savior forgiving us again for the umpteenth time, yet not keeping track of how many times we have begged His forgiveness for that same thing.

 I'll never comprehend His love... none of us will. Oh, we will have moments like I am having tonight when the realization of His love washes over us like a flood, bringing thankfulness, awe, humility, and tears..... lots of tears.

  As someone said, the story of the prodigal son isn't really about the son, but the Father. How many days did the Father stand watching for his son to return? He didn't just happen to be watching that one day, but had been watching for days, weeks, months, and years......and He didn't stand there with His arms crossed waiting for His son to grovel. but ran to meet Him and forgave him before the son could even say the words.

 And then He threw Him a party. Our God doesn't want groveling. He doesn't let us wallow in self incrimination while He watches with smugness and self satisfaction.

 He loves us too much. No matter how far we go, how long we are gone, we are never too long gone for His love.

  I am so thankful He never gave up on this prodigal, and loves me no matter what I did, or how far I went.

A day in Amish country

  Monday is always my second of two days off, and I usually shop a bit and eat out. Today, I did something different: I drove to Sugarcreek, Ohio, which is in the Amish part of Ohio. I started the day out with breakfast at the Dutch Valley Restaurant, and man was it good.

 Then I drove over to the main street of town, and since I was too early for my main reason for visiting the area today, walked around a bit. I visited the world's largest cuckoo clock, and took some pictures and also a video when the hour hit. A bird comes out at the top and does its thing, and then some mechanical figures join the two that are already out there. The girl and guy dance, while the other figures are supposedly playing the music that plays. It lasts close to three minutes.

   My reason for visiting the area was two Christian fiction authors were at a small bookstore there, and I wanted to meet them: Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse. I am friends with Kimbery on Facebook, and have gotten to know her pretty well through it, but had never met her. It was awesome to meet both ladies, and I got to chat with them for around 45 minutes since no one came in after I did. I have been curious for a long time how two authors collaborated, especially when they don't live near each other, so they told me a little about their process. I parted ways, and headed out to do some shopping.

 I hit up a thrift store, and got a few CDs for $1 each, then headed to my next stop: Walnut Creek Cheese...which is much more than cheese....... but it is in Walnut Creek.  I went there for fry pies. If you have never had them, think those hostess pies that are usually apple or cherry..... only tons better, and several other flavors. I know, not in my diet, but I don't get them very often.

 I then headed to Millersburg to go to one of my favorite places: Heini's Cheese. Their main thing IS cheese, and they have tons of samples: cheese, fudge, salsas, beef sticks, relish, dips, etc... and I sampled a lot. The best buys there is a bin of cheese ends.... mostly misshapen odd pieces of cheese that are marked at less expensive prices. I loaded up, and headed for Berlin, OH.

 Berlin is a cool town with all sorts of shops. I parked my car at one end of town, and wandered all over Berlin, going in and out of shops, not buying anything until I reached the Gospel Bookstore. For the same of Christmas surprises, I won't say what I bought there, but they did have just what I was looking for :) This store is odd in that it is inside of a grocery store. You go in the grocery store, and the bookstore is straight ahead of you with its own entrance and walls. Kind of odd, but they have a big selection of the best music..... Southern Gospel.

 I headed home and happened upon another thrift store.....I can't pass them up often, so I stopped and bought a few things there.

 My trip ended on an amusing note:

I stopped off at a little post office today to mail a package. As the friendly lady behind the counter was weighing the package, I spied a flag on the counter mounted on a plastic base with a button on it. Curious as to what it did, I pressed the button. ...it played a whole verse and chorus of the national anthem....loudly

I commented that it must get annoying to hear that all the time. With a bit of a smirk, she replied "usually it's just kids that play it".

  I am thankful for a beautiful day I had to enjoy Amish country. I couldn't have asked for better weather, and am thankful to God for a safe trip, and for a great day off.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

My work week in review

  There were a few things this week that made an impression on me in one way or another. I'd thought about blogging about the one incident, then decided to mention them all on here:

A kindness shown

  The hospital I work at has been putting in a new helipad for the last several weeks. First, they had to turn most of the Emergency Department parking lot into a temporary helipad. I have been stationed out there every day to help tell people where to park, and where not to park. Since I am out there, it has also fallen my lot to help when a life flight helicopter comes in..... stop traffic, make sure no one walks close, and then guard the helicopter while it sits there waiting for the patient to be brought out.

 As I watched the helicopter, a young man came towards me with a boy about 8 years of age. He said the boy, his brother, was autistic and had never seen a helicopter up close. He wanted to know if he could take the kid's picture in front of it. I asked the pilot, who was by the helicopter, and he said it was fine.

 I watched as the grinning boy stood in front of the helicopter and his brother snapped a couple of pictures. Then the pilot walked over to them, said something, and next think I knew, he was helping the boy into the pilot's seat in the helicopter. The brother took some pictures, thanked the pilot and I, and left.

 I was impressed. The pilot didn't need to let the boy in the helicopter, but that is something the kid will never forget.

A funny thing happened......

  This may not be as funny as the time a drunk woman was feeling my butt and kept saying I had a nice butt, but it comes close.

  Thursday as I stood on the sidewalk between  the Emergency Department parking lot and the next lot over, a woman pulled up beside me and asked where to park. I pointed at the lot to her left and told her in there. She immediately cranked her steering wheel and started to turn and ran over something. She stopped, and I walked to the front of her car on her side to look. There are two traffic cones in the middle of the driveway with "pedestrian crossing, please yield" attached to them. She had run over one of the cones and signs.

 There was no car behind her, so I had her back up off of the cone. That didn't go so well. The cone was stuck between her front tire and the bumper. I had her crank the steering wheel as far as she could, and it wouldn't budge. She goes "don't tell me I am going to have to drive around forever with that in there!" Trying not to laugh, I assured her I'd get it loose. I put my foot on the cone and started stomping down on it. After several tries, I knocked it loose, and held onto it as she backed up, minus the cone.

  She parked, and as she walked past me she said how embarrassed she was and that she wasn't telling anyone. I chuckled after she walked past. Women drivers........ :)

Affirmation given

 There is a position open at the hospital I am interested in, but it has its advantages and disadvantages. Since I am not an actual hospital employee - I work for a security guard company that is outsourced by the hospital - I cannot apply for it yet, as this week it is open to only hospital employees. I called the lady Thursday that I thought was over the position, and she was not, but said she would let the right lady know I was interested.

 Later that day, my boss was outside chatting with me, and goes "so I hear you might apply for that new position? Don't expect me to give you a good reference, I don't want to lose you."

 The next morning, he was talking to me again, and told me I should apply for it, and said that I'd be a shoo-in for it. He said it would be a good move for me, but it wouldn't be good for him to lose me as an employee. That made my day. He doesn't give compliments often, and I really appreciated it.

A free lunch

 This one isn't meant to toot my own horn, but is something nice I did for someone. I don't buy food often in the snack shop/coffee shop. I'll occasionally buy soup, and I buy the walking taco every Friday because that is the only day they have it. As I threw my garbage away, I said hi to Jeff,  a young male nurse that is always friendly with me. The kid - he is 21 - worked over in the Emergency Department as a PCA for a while, and I got to know him a bit there. Then I would see him occasionally as he was training to be a nurse, and I'd ask him how it was going, how much longer he had, etc.

 Then he became a nurse on another floor, and I see him occasionally in passing. I asked him how he was doing, and we chatted for a moment. He told me rather excitedly that he was going to be coming back to the Emergency Department soon as a nurse, and I told him that was awesome. He stepped up to order, and I walked over to the register to pay, and the thought hit me, "I should pay for his food." I heard him order the Nachos Grande, and saw he had a bottle of pop. I told the cashier, a lovely volunteer lady of 85 years of age who likes my jokes, what I got, then quietly told her I was paying for that nurse's food, and what he got. I paid, then stopped at the desk in the main lobby to say hi to my lady friend there (78 year old Thelma).

 Jeff exited the snack shop, walked over, thanked me and shook my hand and said he appreciated it. I told him he was welcome, and we parted ways. Yes, the kid makes a lot more money than I do and could easily afford his meal, but I like to do that every once in a while. It feels good, and it feels good to the person on the receiving end.

An embarrassing moment

  There is a no smoking policy at the hospital where I work. No smoking anywhere on the grounds. I often have to tell people that they can't smoke. As I was standing outside Saturday, a young woman was walking towards me that appeared to be smoking. As soon as she came around the small tree blocking separating us, I politely informed her of the policy.... but she was only eating a cookie. Fortunately, she was amused and graciously accepted my apology, and even offered me a cookie..... which I did not take.

Don't you think we have taken this "for all have sinned" idea a bit far?

This is not a political post, but it was brought on largely in part because of politics, so if you're weary of politics and political discussions, bear with me...... I am going somewhere with this.

  Back in March before Donald Trump had gotten the nomination, a young friend of mine was being a big cheerleader for him. He attends Liberty University, so I blame Mr Falwell for influencing him. After one discussion on Facebook where I was pointing out reasons a Christian shouldn't vote for DT - his strip clubs, his adulterous affairs that he bragged about, his vulgarity - this young man commented and said "I am bothered by you rating his sins worse than yours." I didn't tell him what bothered me about him..... but I did do a blog post on rating sins.

  I have many Calvinist friends, and appreciate them and have confidence in them. I believe they are wrong, but I believe if we are living for God and doing our best to live above sin it is different than merrily sinning and chirping that we aren't under law, so it doesn't matter..... as some do.

   Many Calvinists, including my young friend, have this idea that since we all have sinned - and supposedly continue sinning - that we have no right to call out sin, or criticize sinful actions in anyone. So DT has strip clubs where women are used and abused....you have also sinned, how dare you say anything. So he committed adultery on both wives and bragged about it... let him who has not sinned, cast the first stone.

 Can you imagine these same people chirping this for other things? No, because the only time these Scriptures are used are when attempting to lessen or excuse sins in either ourselves or in someone else.

  Saddam Hussein was a wicked and evil man. He put people through big meat grinders to kill them, and the horrors he launched on his own people should earn him a special place in hell. Can you imagine one of these people saying "but we all have sinned" when confronted with the evil he did?

  Or Hitler. Can you imagine going through the Holocaust museum, hearing of the horrors Hitler did, and then having someone pipe up "let him who is without sin, cast the first stone!"

  Jeffrey Dahlmer was a disturbed individual who kidnapped young men and did unspeakable things with them, including cannibalism, and I believe sex with them even after he killed them. Imagine someone saying "oh we all sin, you have no right to judge him".... especially if their son or brother was one of his victims.

John Wayne Gacy. Between 1972 and 1978, this man sexually assaulted 33 teenage boys and young men - that they know of - in Illinois. Imagine your friends have just been told their teenage boy was kidnapped by this man, raped, and then killed. Could you sit there and say "we can't judge him - we all have sinned, remember.... and don't cast any stones unless you haven't sinned....."

 Imagine posting "all have sinned! Judge not! Let him who hasn't sinned cast the first stone" on September 11, 2001 after the worst terrorist attack in our history was launched using airplanes.

Imagine sitting at the trial of a man who has molested several little boys and piping up with those pet Scriptures..... you'd get seriously hurt.

  Many of us have watched in horror as ISIS executed Christians in pictures or on video for serving Jesus. I have never, ever seen one of these people comment and say any of these trite sayings they love to excuse sin in their lives or their candidates at that time.

 And one more to bring it home even more: I have yet to see any of these people piping up with these Scriptures about DT, bring them up when the Clintons are being exposed for what they have done. When someone posts about  Benghazi and Hillary being responsible for those deaths, no one uses Scripture to defend and excuse her.

 You see, we all admit there are sins worse than others. I believe God even views some sins as worse than others. Read your Bible and you'll see a list of things God hates, things God calls an abomination, and times certain things kindled His anger more than others.

 Get real: owning a strip club IS worse than telling your kid there really is a Santa Clause.

Adultery and being in a porn movie IS worse than stealing a piece of candy.

Rape and sex trafficking IS worse than blowing up at your boss.

  The truth of the matter, is people like to excuse their own sins and sins in others. They would never chirp their favorite Scriptures in the scenarios I mentioned above, or in others I haven't mentioned.

 Go back to me a couple of a thousand years. Jesus is speaking and teaching, when there is a ruckus. The religious leaders drag a beautiful young woman barely dressed in front of Him and shove her on the ground. "She was caught in the very act of adultery... the very act! The law says she be stoned, so what do you say we should do?"

   This story resulted in the famous line "whoever among you has not sinned, cast the first stone". You may disagree with me on this, but this gets quoted out of context. These were not upstanding men that God had saved and they were living sinless godly lives. These were hypocrites who had their pet sins, but were walking around condemning others for lesser infractions. Many of them likely had used this girl, or others, sexually. Jesus knew their hearts, and called them on it.

    Now go with me further back in time. King David had a beautiful wife that he had worked hard to get. He had had sex with her while she was married to someone else, and then had her husband killed to cover it up. And then in walked the prophet Nathan who said "don't worry David, we all have sinned... let him who is without sin, cast the first stone, and don't anyone dare judge you......" No, that isn't how the account goes. He called David out on it, and David repented and was sorrowful (which doesn't fit with those comparing David to a certain politician).

   All through the Bible, prophets, apostles, and other followers of God called out wickedness and sin in people.

   In the Gospels, Jesus gives instruction on how to deal with a Christian brother who has sinned....if you aren't supposed to judge, and if we all have sinned.....how does that work?

  I am not a Calvinist, and I don't believe we sin daily. I don't believe that once we are in, we can never walk away from God. Not all sin is equal. If God can save the murderer so he doesn't kill anymore, he can save the liar so they don't lie anymore. If we are truly living for God, we will be doing our best with His help to live above sin. His Word DOES say he who is born of God does not sin, but IF we sin, we have an advocate.

 So no, if you are secretly living in sin, you shouldn't be pointing out sins in others...... but if you are a Christian truly living for God, you are going to be disgusted by evil and sinful acts, and by people's defense of them. And if you are one of those chirping these Scripture verses to excuse sin in you, a politician, or anyone else......then you had better be consistent and chirp them all the time..... even in scenarios like I gave above.

 Yes, I have sinned.... but all of my sins are forgiven and under the blood. My past sins does not mean I can't call out sins that others are trying to excuse or defend.

 All sins are not equal. And we do have the right to find certain things offensive in a politician and grounds for us to not support and vote for them. If you do that in the candidate of the other party, then you are a hypocrite and have a double standard.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Being like Jesus politically

**I tried to back off of politics, and then bad stuff came out on a certain candidate. I was horrified at the defense and the outrageous statements being made by said candidate's supporters, and I let myself be dragged into it again. However, I am seriously going to step back now.... I may have to un-follow some people until this mess of an election is over (already have!)  but I am going to step back. And this post is an attempt to say why.

 I did a series of sorts of ways or areas we should be like Jesus. I haven't done one for a while, and since this has been on my mind lately, I decided to attempt one on being like Jesus politically.

   People love to say what Jesus would and wouldn't do:
Jesus would vote Republican

Jesus would vote Democrat

Jesus wouldn't vote at all

Jesus would....

and on and on

  But what would Jesus be like politically?

   Israel during Jesus' time on earth was under Roman rule. The Jews definitely did not vote in their rulers. Their rulers had come in and taken over the country. I have read stories about how the Romans treated the Jews, and it was bad. It wasn't unusual for them to crucify anyone who dared speak up or attempt an uprising.

  John the Baptist spoke up against Herod for his adultery, but we have no record of Jesus speaking up against Rome or Roman rulers. When asked about paying taxes to Rome, He said to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be a record of Jesus saying anything about politics or political figures.

 So what would Jesus be like if His earthly ministry was going on today in 2016 America? Would He vote for the party intent on killing babies in the womb because He is pro-life,  or would He vote Democrat because they want to open the borders and liberals say Jesus would be for that? Would He vote for the very corrupt Hillary Clinton, or the corrupt and immoral Trump? Would He be so dedicated to a political party that He would vote for the candidate no matter what they did or said? Would He vote for a third party candidate who doesn't seem corrupt at all, and lines up with Biblical principles, or would He not even vote at all?

  Would He post things on Facebook defending immoral behavior in a candidate? Would He post things on Facebook condemning either candidate for their acts and words? Would He post anything political on Facebook at all........ would He even use Facebook? (He may actually do that one, but sparingly and for only good).

  How would He act towards someone voting differently than Him? Would He call them names and labels for not voting as He thought they should? What would be important to Him in a candidate: morals and character, or keeping our freedoms intact?

  Would He un-friend those who spoke differently about a candidate than He did?

    I am not answering those questions because I don't know for sure (though I do have opinions), and I am not going to be one of those saying "Jesus would" or "Jesus wouldn't" in an attempt to prove my views are correct and someone else's are wrong. I do believe there are Biblical principles to guide us, and I am doing my best to abide by them.

  You may disagree with me on this, but if Jesus was here doing His earthly ministry in 2016 America, I don't believe He'd be paying much attention to the political scene, if at all. He was all about loving people. He'd be doing His thing: healing people, loving people, speaking, and ticking off  the religious leaders. He likely wouldn't register to vote, nor tell people how to vote.

    There is a Christian ministry called Hope for Wholeness. It is for people dealing with unwanted same-sex attractions. I have gone to two of their conferences they have in the summer, and found them helpful and encouraging, and made some new friends. I am in their Facebook groups, and interact and pray for people in those groups. The leader of the ministry has become very pro-Trump and anti-Hillary, and posts some pretty intense political posts on Facebook on his own page.  I messaged him recently and politely pointed out that even though I am against Hillary, he may want to tone it down.. that he may turn away the very people he is wanting to help if they are for her and/or against him. He thanked me, but then posted on his page what I had said (not by name) and said just because he is a ministry leader, it doesn't mean he should be quiet about politics.

   But is he right? What if people are coming to him for help with same-sex attractions, and are turned off by his anti-Hillary comments or his support and defense of Trump, if they are disgusted by him. What if people seeking help with their same-sex attractions walk away from him and his ministry because of him being political?

   I know what you're thinking (well, maybe some of you) ...and you are correct. What if non-Christians are turned off by any of we Christians being political. What if your friend Betty May loves Hillary, and has been watching your life. Election time comes and suddenly you become a raging machine against Hillary. She sees what you say about Hillary and her supporters, and how you act towards them. What will she think of your Christianity then? What if your friend Billy Bob has been watching you and wanting to talk to you about Jesus, but then election time comes and you support and defend things in a man that he finds indefensible. He sees how you act towards,  and what you say to those who don't like your candidate... will he want your religion after the election is over?

  And no, I am not leaving one out. What if Billy Bob or Betty are watching we #nevertrump people? What if they are curious about our Christianity, but see what we say about people supporting Trump, and how we act towards them? Will they want to know our Jesus after the election? Will they think Christians and the church is too concerned about politics, and not enough about people?

 There have been some very vicious things said by Christians on every side this election: pro-Cruz, anti-Cruz, pro-Carson, anti-Carson, anti-Hillary, pro-Hillary, pro-Trump, anti-Trump. What must the world think of we Christians when they see how we act towards each other and towards politicians we don't agree with, or agree with too much?

    If Jesus was posting just like you and I during this election, saying the same things as you and I,  acting the same way as you and I.... how much time would He have to be doing His ministry. How much time would He have left to love and heal people? Would people be following Him everywhere, or would His actions and words during this election time turn them off and they wouldn't want anything to do with Him?

  I admire the Christian leaders who are taking what I believe to be the right stand this election: Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Albert Mohler, and some others. But there are others I admire even more: the people who are leaving politics off of social media. I have friends who post a lot against Hillary, a lot who post a lot against Trump, some who post a lot in support and defense of Trump....... but what if the ones being quiet about politics are the ones being most like Jesus during this election?

  What is more important to us, being like Jesus, winning people to Christ, having people see Jesus in us..... or winning a political argument, shaming those who vote differently than us, and having our candidate win at any cost? Seriously. I don't care if your'e for or against Hillary Clinton, for or against Donald Trump, if you're voting third party or not at all.... if we are putting politics, country, and freedoms above God, then we have made politics, our freedoms, and our country into a god.

  And it would appear that many of us are doing exactly that.

  Yes, it is nauseating to see Christians defend things that we have stood against before this election.
And yes, I am sure it is irritating to have people point out why you should not vote for a candidate.

  But where is Jesus in all of this? Ben Carson said sometimes you have to set your Christian values on hold get the work done.....it would seem too many of us have set our Christian values aside this election, no matter where you stand on either candidate. And Carson is wrong, by the way.. you never set your Christian values on hold.

  We would be better off to not even vote, get the worst candidate the liberals could come up with, yet keep Jesus and our Christian witness; than to be too obsessed with politics and lose friends and turn people off on our Christianity and our Jesus.

 Some day we will stand before God. On that day, it won't matter who won the 2016 election. The Supreme Court, gun rights, or politics won't matter....... but it will matter how we treated people and if we loved.

  How would Jesus be politically? Nothing like we have been this election season.