Musings from an Alleged Vacation
I’m currently on a working vacation and had thought I would not post this week. However, I have changed my mind and elected to post these very brief observations. The first is actually a copy and paste from my personal Facebook page this week:
Friday, September 30, 2016 8:30 a.m. Bud’s Diner
I was sitting in a restaurant this morning with one of my favorite Pastor friends, Daniel McGee of Lenoir Community Church. The place was full and you could hear several conversations without eavesdropping. I never heard the names Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton – not once – but all around me I heard the Name of Jesus. And when the manager of the place was suddenly stricken ill with seizures, people around me began to pray – out loud – for her healing.
When I stood up from the table, I went to the table immediately behind us to thank them for such uplifting conversation over Breakfast – made two new friends in the Lord – one from Hudson, NC and one from Nigeria (I knew I recognized that accent).
Take heart friends, there are places in America where the Name of Jesus is still proclaimed, still gets top billing, and his grace, mercy and healing are invoked without shame or embarrassment. I am blessed to have been raised in such a community!
Friday, September 30, 2016 2:30 p.m. Hibriten High School
In 1966 I started my senior year of High School at a newly opened consolidated school, Hibriten High School in Lenoir, NC. I am in Lenoir for the 50th anniversary of the school. Tonight I will be at the Homecoming Football Game with a number of my classmates from the class of ’67. I went by this afternoon to get my ticket for the game. As I stood, looking down the hallway that I walked so many times – it struck me at how fast the years have gone. I haven’t stood in that hallway for almost 50 years (I left in the fall of ’67 and was never inside the high school again, until today), and yet I can still remember what it sounded like between classes, I could still see faces and hear voices that I haven’t heard in 50 years. I remembered beloved teachers and great classmates. Some of them will join me tonight and some are awaiting us to join them on the other side of Jordan.
We are really here on this earth for the briefest of moments. Let us remember to mark our time here well; to live for the eternal, because the temporal is oh, so very brief.
Monday, October 3, 2016 7:30 a.m. Kings Creek, North Carolina
As I pack up for the next leg of my journey to visit my aging Uncle in Gaston County I do what I do almost every morning: Drink my coffee and scan the news to see what the world is doing and social media to see what my friends are doing. As of late, both grow more and more concerning to me.
As I read, listen, and observe it would appear that as America has “progressed” into the 21st Century we are less and less like a “shining light on a hill” and more and more like a third world nation.
Our elections are filled with vitriol and hatred, our streets are filled with anger and violence, the gift of voting is a source of scorn, ridicule, and accusations. Dead men are voting, non-citizens are voting, and some dead, non-citizens are voting more than once.
The right, even the obligation, to vote our conscience has now become a sick joke engaged in only by fools. Because I refuse, as a matter of conscience, to vote for one candidate I am instructed that I will be personally responsible for the destruction of America; the continued murder of the unborn, and the loss of all personal liberty. I am clearly betraying the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Because I choose to vote for a candidate who “cannot win” but who espouses values that most closely reflect my own, I am “wasting my vote” and putting the nation at great risk (as if we were not already at great risk). I should just “hold my nose” and vote the right way.
I have been abundantly clear about my choices, how I have arrived at them, and consistently held that the problems we face are spiritual and not political; that we must address the spiritual issues or it will be irrelevant as to which candidate is elected to office; disaster is on the horizon. I have yet to tell anyone how they should vote and God forbid, try to shame or bully anyone into voting for a particular candidate. Hence, my observation that we are quickly looking less and less like a democratic republic, the shining example of liberty and justice and looking more and more like a third rate banana republic.
They tell me that you know you are a successful blogger when your hate mail exceeds your fan mail; and by that standard, I have recently become an extraordinarily successful blogger.
The problem I see is that most of the third world countries I visit are developing nations. That means they are emerging from generations of violent elections, oppressive governance, and strong man politics. America on the other hand, is quickly devolving into what these young nations are emerging from. Everything I see, everything I read, and especially the shrill voices of panic I hear tells me that our republic has crumbled and strong man politics is just around the corner. What has been preserved by the rule of law over these past 230 years may soon be enforced from the barrel of a gun.
But what do I know? I’m just the ignorant voter who will not betray his conscience and vote for the candidate I least fear.