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Make America Great Again?

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Catchy slogans are just that: slogans.

make America great

They’re words on a billboard,magazine cover,or TV ad.

Oh, and they’re on ball caps too.

Mostly though,slogans are just words that someone thought would provide motivation to accomplish a goal or a task.

Did you know there are companies that employ people to make up slogans? I found that out when I was still working. Go to any trade show or conference and you will see booths plastered with eye catching slogans.

So while the slogan “Make America Great Again” sounds wonderful,we must be careful to understand that it is impossible for a simple slogan to make that happen.

It’s sort of like our paper currency. The slogan “In God We Trust” sounds wonderful. But does it actually encourage people to trust in God? I think you know the answer to that.

You see, patriotism and nationalism aside,and forgive me if I don’t sound like a team player here,but neither hard work,government intervention,or catchy slogans can make America great again. Any more than riots and demonstrations in the streets will make America great again.

I happen to believe that slogans and demonstrations aren’t what is needed in order for America to become great once again. Oh sure,they may effect change at the local level,and they can be effective at rallying the troops.

Our need however,is so much greater than that. For America to become great again she must look beyond herself. Far beyond herself.

Our priorities are out of order. We seem to think that we alone can fix what ails us. Lest we forget, the brightest minds and trillions of dollars combined have failed to right the ship.

This is what happens when a people is lifted up with so much pride that it replaces God with themselves. We cannot see the forest for the trees! We have bought into the lie that we are in control of our own destiny because our collective pride will not permit us to recognize One greater than ourselves.

And if we are brave enough to dig even deeper, what we have in America is a consciousness problem. As in…

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,” I Timothy 4:1-2   emphasis mine

Paul’s letter to Timothy contained an important message for the church of today. What we have failed to recognize is that as the church goes, so go the nations of the world. Think about that for a few moments.

I will end this post by saying this. A couple of thousand years ago a warning went out to a group of churches located in what we now refer to as Asia Minor.

revelation_Turkey_map

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Revelation 3:17,18

While the verses above were directed to the church of Laodicea, America clearly resembles these words from Revelation almost to a “T”.

Make America Great Again?

The only way for America to become great again is for Americans to make God great again in America.

I’d like to see that on a ball cap.

Who’s in charge here anyway?

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At the end of the day today, there will have been approximately five million blog posts published (source). That is a staggering number, one that changes constantly as new people begin blogging and others drop off.

No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of information being put out there for the world to absorb. Come to think of it, that’s an amazing amount of work being generated to produce such an enormous volume of information. Wow!

From my perspective as a Christian blogger I am constantly evaluating input vs. output. That, unfortunately, is a trait I lived every day for several years in my former occupation. It’s now part of my DNA, I think.

Constantly evaluating data, extrapolating that same data far into the future in order to make an honest effort at predicting said future, then evaluating what worked and what didn’t work in order to justify the next project. That is how my brain is wired, unfortunately.

The reason I’m telling you this is because I have come to realize that evaluating this blog using the world’s methodology is an effort in futility. It doesn’t work, and here’s why.

In the business world every investment centers around something called payback. How long will it take before the investment pays off and profits are generated is the overriding factor of nearly all business plan investment ideas. The amount of work and resources needed to turn a profit must be balanced in turn by sufficient profits. That’s business 101.

A Christian blog however isn’t about profit and loss. For sure, there are an enormous amount of resources required to do this blogging thing. The biggest resource requirement of course is time. Lots and lots of time. But again, profits are not the goal of a Christian blog.

My goal is to reach a person who is hurting and offer them a word of encouragement, all while doing my very best to be obedient to the call of God upon my life. Like all of you, I wish I could say I’ve been 100% successful at it, but of course I can’t. Still, that is my goal each time I post something.

Taking a look at blog stats can be very discouraging; especially considering the input vs. output (there I go again). All of which brings me to this:

Who’s Blog is This Anyway, and Why Do I Do This?

If this was all about God, would I ever look at a stat counter? What would it matter if only one person read it or if ten thousand did? The truth is it only matters to me, it doesn’t matter to God. It matters to me because I want to be in control. P.R.I.D.E.

I want to control the input and the output. To be sure, I want to say what God wants me to say, but I want to control the way it’s said, because, well, I want control. You know what happens when I’m in control instead of God?

NOTHING

That’s right. NOTHING. Hearts aren’t touched, lives aren’t changed, no one is encouraged. Zero ministry happens when I maintain control of something that is supposed to be used for His glory.

Jesus had twelve disciples. Twelve. Not twelve thousand or twelve million. Twelve. Do you think these twelve carried around in their pocket a stat counter? Did one of the twelve keep attendance at their house meetings? Did one of them ever mention anything about input vs. output?

Nope, Nope, and Nope.

What they did do was die to self so that His will would be done, not theirs. What they did do was forsake everything for the cause of Christ. They decreased in order for Him to increase .Last time I checked, their efforts were still paying dividends as sinners continue to come to the Cross.

I no longer want to be in control of this blog. It’s not working and I’m tired of doing something that’s not working. Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity? That’s me. I don’t want to play this game any longer.

The next post from me might be in a few days, a few weeks, or a few months. Rest assured that whenever it is, it will be Christ in control, at the head, as it should be. And it will be different!

I’ll be the one hiding in the background, not worrying about inputs and outputs.

Till then……

Ron

 

Monday Morning Musings

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I thought I would take a break from my usual type of posts and share a few light hearted thoughts on different topics making the news lately. Being newly retired,I have a lot of free time on my hands! So here goes…

The Presidential Election: how strange that we now have a president that his own party refuses to fully support. I wonder,how will this administration unite an obviously divided nation when the presidents party itself is so deeply divided? And what about all those elected officials who refused to attend the inauguration? Way to be the example on how to start the process of unification guys and gals. Talk about speaking out of both sides….

Gun Violence: I support the Second Ammendment that gives us the right to keep and bear arms. I do not however,support stupid. Some people,obviously,have no business owning a firearm. Can someone tell me what is so hard to understand about this? Which leads me to…

Gang Violence: Who is running the asylum here anyway? Who is in control of our cities? I know who is supposed to be in control,but all the evidence points to the bad guys being in charge. Hello governments of all levels: more of my tax dollars is not the answer.

Celebrities: Am I the only one who is wondering why people who seem to have so little control over their own lives expect us to take them seriously? Really? Many of these people live in a bubble and are completely out of touch with reality. Consider the recent statements by the “material girl” who apparently wants to blow up the White House as a prime example of the lunacy of these people. Or maybe I am the one out of touch with reality. After all she has millions of “adoring” fans. Me? Outside of my family,not so much. I am approaching 100 WordPress followers however. 🙂

TV Weather Personalities: Ok,so it’s really great that we have such awesome weather technology available to us.But when did we get so soft that a prediction of an inch or two of snow sends us into full on panic mode and we rush to the grocery for bread and milk? It seems like the TV weather personalities might be secret stockholders in their local grocery stores. Ya Think? At any rate,I really get annoyed at the way they act like we don’t have the sense to come in out of the rain.

Minimum Wage: Of course you can’t support a family making the minimum wage. Hello? News Flash!! The minimum wage was NEVER intended to be more than a temporary wage! Protests in the streets won’t change that.What is it that people don’t understand about that? And the $15.00 per hour wage that we keep hearing about? Do people not grasp the fact that companies exist for the purpose of making a profit? Now,I don’t know if paying McDonalds employees $15.00 per hour will raise the price of a quarter pounder to $8 or $10 or whatever,but what I do know is that a lot less of them will be sold at those prices. See the domino effect here? And yes, I actually do understand that this is a very complex issue. In no way am I trivializing the plight of the poor.

Political Correctness: This is a gem. Let’s see,there can be no right or wrong lest one party is offended. And no losers lest someone’s self esteem is tarnished. Oh,and every kid gets to bat because we all know that they will hate their parents,trash the school,and become a social recluse unless they get to bat. How about instead we urge little Johnny to try harder,to actually practice hitting the ball instead of using his thumbs to conquer far off galaxies in a video game? Harsh? Don’t hate.

Millennials: Ah yes,the hapless generation who want to change the world,but allow me to pay for it. Do me a favor will you millennials? When you’ve paid for a couple hundred roads and bridges,approved a few tax levies to fund the local school system,financed a war or two,come see me. Until then,you got nuthin’.Did he really just say that? Ouch.

Sports: I saw where Atlanta is building a 1.5 BILLION dollar stadium just for football. How nice. Hmmm…last time I checked Atlanta had some pretty serious issues of a social nature going on. You know, things like poverty,horrible education system, unemployment,shootings. Hello Atlanta! Ever hear of something called priorities?

OK,I’m pretty sure I’ve offended enough people for one day so I’m out!

BTW….this is all said tongue in cheek.

Mostly.