LOVE and WRATH?

For starters, this is NOT about Clinton or Trump!!!

It’s about here and hereafter.

It’s this -and- that, sun -and- cloud, clear -and- rain, life -and- death. This is reality regardless how we seek to mentally, emotionally or spiritually re-arrange the dynamic truth of it.

Just read a sad tale of a lady who as a little girl ran right into the shock/horror/pain (very real and understandable) of seeing death up close and personal. Followed by her Christian mother tearing apart her room and ripping up her journal some years later with incredible rage over her writings which seemed demonic to her mother. The now older woman writes that she still does not believe there is a God.

Paul in writing letters to believers said a LOT of stuff… and both sides of life in this broken world show up… in the extreme:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1.3)
[He goes on to say one part of experiencing comfort in the midst of suffering is to bring empathy and understanding for others later on…]

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1.18)

Yet in Romans chapter 8 (plz see vs. 31-39 for the whole picture) verse 39 Paul writes: [nothing…] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We also hear John in Revelation 6.1-11 and again in chapter 19.11-16 clearly speak of God’s righteous anger and judgment, indeed wrath upon humans as well as a rather clear look as to -why-.

Lastly, Jesus is quoted on this subject on several occasions in the Gospels (GOOD News…) but perhaps the most obvious is at the same time deeply comforting OR painfully distressing:
(my CAPS for emphasis)

16 For God SO LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to SAVE the world through him. 18 Whoever BELIEVES in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

And in verse 36, also attributed to Jesus Christ Himself- Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

When you are the true God, you are utterly holy, righteous in all your thoughts and judgments. NOT SO WE HUMANS. And that’s the rub- we want it our way with zero repercussions. Love for me, “justice” [vengeance, perhaps suffering??!] for my enemies or at least those I judge as being “the lessers”.

Reaping what one sows flies in the face of mercy BUT/AND living a life in and out of God’s love reflects His mercy.

Faith in Him, trusting in His forgiveness, forgiving others, walking when you can barely crawl… this has made my life worth living and I fully expect eternally with Him and His people as well REGARDLESS of past, present or future circumstances.

In a fallen, sinful, broken world, one in which we so want to BE GOD -we likely think the only righteous anger is our own. Disbelief and unbelief is a normal, understandable response when we are in agony, when we suffer, when our loved ones suffer, when we read about the horrible injustices in our world- and not only at present but as one studies human history from the time of Cain and Abel.

I am deeply thankful The Bible tells enough of the story, both sides of it- to help us navigate both realities of everyday life.

Perhaps worth considering? As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Weekend Report, Larry Howard Benefit Next!

I know this weekend report is getting to be “same old” but again, I just can’t say enough good about the kind folks in all three of this past weekend appearances. Just so very kind, receptive and the norm, meeting old friends and new.

Fri and Sat we went indoors re. the weather reports so the intense heat wasn’t a problem.

Sun a.m. a very kind church and I finished with a blues song that leaves the challenge of loving people as our legacy. Genuinely affirmative response.

So now on to Florida in support of my friend and fellow bluesman Larry Howard who battles cancer. He and his sweet wife Peggy have been friends for many years and all I can say is I hope if you cannot make it to the Sunday benefit shows, auction and such in support of them, please consider sending some loot to help. The expenses are massive for treatment.LarryHowardBenefit

Please send some prayers up for them, dear mutual friend Skip Frye who is making this all happen, and for all traveling to be part of this worthy effort!

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

My Core View: POLITICS

Here come the U.S. elections once again. My thoughts follow-

CHURCH DIVIDES
First let me say I just about fully Hate “church politics”.

With understanding why/how folks have to make decisions in any association, at some level there may well be and need to be a framework/grid for any association, therefore politicizing the issue/s.

Yet the motives can be (“all have sinned”, do sin) suspect and at times the petty personality clashes, unwillingness to truly hear one another and come to (yes) that sometimes evil/maligned term “compromise”… means some will end their association. Certainly that is EXACTLY what God Himself wants in some cases. Scripture speaks to this.

But the very same goes for any group of people in any part of spiritual OR civil society. People are imperfect, decisions get made you/I/we don’t like and perhaps even seem deal-breakers and so separation results.

There IS a time for that (Ecclesiastes and other Bible texts are clear.

Then there are the piddly little disagreements and all-too-often “pecking order”, who gets THEIR WAY is often the deciding factor as opposed to God, His Word and to the best current ability of all involved, let us continue, grow, move on as opposed to split.

CIVIL DIVIDES
Face it, marriages, families, near and far relatives, churches, civic organizations, businesses, bands, fraternal orders, sewing clubs and of course entire nations have fought Civil Wars (of some sort) over such things.

So we might say “UNcivil” is the way things have gone on the U.S. (and other national, regional) political scenes over the past couple decades. Some reading this last line will say “Really? How about since Cain and Abel?” -and I wouldn’t disagree.

TO VOTE OR NOT TO VOTE
First off, there is the sad view- understandable… that many have just given up, refuse to engage in studying candidates and who will not show up in any (or most) elections to cast their vote.

While I have on rare occasion abstained I do not believe anyone has right to complain nor castigate candidates and positions who have themselves removed their voice by removing their vote. If one truly has zero opinion or sees absolutely no candidates anywhere (write-in??) in sight for a particular post, sure, don’t bother. But hush when it comes to voicing complaints later because unless you are literally DOING something locally to help meet the needs you are most concerned about which the presiding office-holder/s seem to be botching up, you are (here comes my only harsh slam in this post) essentially a whining windbag rather than someone who actively participates in the (in the U.S.) democracy you likely think the best form of government.

If you are very young and support a hardcore anarchy, I would say by abstaining you effectively gut and sterilize your own ability to effect actual change. Then again, other anarchists may disagree with your own chosen view on issues… hmmm?

MY VOTE
That last point also goes for Democrats, Republicans and Independents -and I fall into the last category and have for the majority of my voting years.

See, I do not publicly support a presidential candidate because my own over-reaching concern are the views, policies and most of all, faith, hope and love of Jesus Christ.

Like many in the world, we are “damned if we do and damned if we don’t” when speaking to a larger public audience.

I have stated consistently that I personally think I can drive very large trucks through BOTH U.S. political parties platforms, in at least four areas re. both sides of the aisle.

Those who believe political positions are “words for FIGHTIN’ Bubba” have only to check FaceBook, etc., to see what political nastiness, propaganda and mud-slinging does for anyone caring about faith, hope, love and any real sense of justice in my nation or for that matter, the world which our nation truly and deeply affects.

Our own people are so sharply divided on issues that for me to voice a hard political position not only divides them from myself, but one another yet further.

At this point (if you’ve read this far) you may think “Glenn- dude, you’re copping OUT man”. My response to that is you’re not listening. “A listener, a learner” is the core meaning of the term Jesus uses in the Gospels for “disciple”.

I take issue with both parties as there are agendas (beyond the personal agendas possible, perhaps probable) I find fault with as I survey the width and depth of the Bible’s clear teachings about love, mercy, forgiveness, patience, and at core, GRACE which is essentially UNearned favor.

I hear a great many shouting, demanding people who seem to be talking out of rage and/or fear, not faith. CERTAINLY there are practical issues both parties are talking about, but in the end- in my personal view, it must come down to “love your neighbor as you love yourself” rather than tacit agreement or self-defense to the point of brutality and for that matter, a “bunker” mentality which decides that other guy/lady/kid/group isn’t WORTHY of kindness or grace.

Neither is anyone reading this WORTHY… and unless we learn how to live out “love is patient, love is kind, does not demand its own way” when at times that last point is the gut-motive-fact in our choices, we will likely make the wrong choice both at the polls and in our own personal lives, families and communities.

I have a great many longtime friends all across the political spectrum and I seek to remain friends though at times I fully disagree on what I consider major points of policy but more so, attitude and behavior towards people who do not share their views. It is a very difficult thing loving your enemy, but it is the very command of Jesus Christ.

What have I done, shall I do this election season? What I have done most of my days:

Pray. Study the issues. Listen to all sides of a divisive issue. Try to put myself in the shoes of both people/groups. Try to get a handle on the character of the candidates. Work at considering the content of the points raised understanding the old phrase “They’ll say ANYTHING to get elected” and yet voting in accord with my own conscience for those I think may best (in NO WAY fully) line up with Christ’s Own core policies…

Again, I have zero interest in people piling on either candidate with “more heat than light” statements and I have friends on both sides of the divide who think they “do God service” by doing so. Nothing new under the sun.

May WE have mercy on one another… I am not half as concerned that God will forget to.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

One Last Reminder, Show Changes for Danville, Illinois Tonight & Tomorrow

Again, tonight’s show and now tomorrow night’s (GK solo blues) are indoors due to possible rain and excessive heat forecasts.

Tonight (Friday) has been moved (diff. address than prior) to 535 S. Bowman Ave. Danville, IL and we begin at 6:30pm If needing more info.: 217.497.6712 This show benefits local rescue mission, but is free, no cover charge.

Tomorrow (Saturday) will be at 100 N. Franklin St., Danville, IL 61832 but now is indoors in the gym at that address. Showtime Sat. is 5pm and more info. can be had if needed at: 217.442.0541

Sunday a.m. I lead worship and bring the message at the same address as above (Friday), Bowman Ave. D-ville.

And that’s all for now 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! If you’re in the area, may you stay dry… and cool in the Illinois heat! -Glenn

This Sat. Danville ILLINOIS…!

FRI. Dan First’s backyard -or if rain, stay tuned cuz there will be a new (5 mins. from his house) address where we’ll be indoors (and in a.c.)!

SAT. it is indeed Danville ILLINOIS (yep, I’m shoutin’) and -not- Danville, VA which was the link I mistakenly put up at first. There are apparently two First Pres. Church Danville/s in two different states!!!

Please forgive my blunder! HERE is the FaceBook addy for 1st Pres. Danville, IL this Saturday at 5pm… which again, if weather is poor, we’ll be indoors there at the same address:    https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-Presbyterian-Church-Danville-Illinois/281788761842162

SUN. is indoors at Community Church of God Danville (you guessed it…:) Illinois!

Ok, there you go. Will update new location for Friday show If/As needed.

Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn