In September, I was thrilled to share my first guest blogger post by my dear friend Julie Imirie. I’m very pleased that she has submitted another post. Reading her words reminds me of one of my favorite life verses, Jeremiah 29:11.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Please enjoy this amazing story and share it. May God continue to bless you Julie, thank you!
What I did on my Christmas vacation.
You might remember that last August, I wrote a piece about my summer vacation. And, about life and death, both real and metaphorical. Well, it’s time for an update.
My husband did not make it until November 6th. He passed away on November 1 quietly and peacefully. The doctor couldn’t quite keep him going to” vote the bum out”, but early on in this process, we decided that an absentee ballot was probably a good idea, so that’s what we did, and he voted. As you can imagine, the outcome of the election was not what he or I would have wished, but the process of being involved at a grassroots level was amazing and educational. So, I have begun the process of rebuilding a life for myself, alone, but not lonely. The friends I made will last forever. Their comfort and strength was transcending and was truly God’s gift.
I ushered in the New Year with some of those friends, not unlike many other people. But what was unique about this group was its makeup. Myself, a white protestant born in the USA sitting with a group that included the daughter of a Vietnamese refugee who brought his family out just before the fall of Saigon, another the Syrian-born daughter of immigrants brought to the US at three years old, a Philippine-born State police trooper, and the adopted son of a German Jew and English mother. The obvious conclusion is that all these people’s families wanted better for their children: the American dream of opportunity for work and wealth, freedom of thought and religion, safety from war in the streets, and the relief from the heavy hammer of a tyrannical government run amok with corruption. Yep, you guessed right where I am going with this. Has the thousands of years of history of these ancient cultures of oppression taught us nothing? It is 2013 and we are in the infancy of our land and government, but we are traveling at warp speed to the decline and fall of the United States as it was designed to be. Where it was once the dreams of our forefathers to abandon the collective and encourage the inventor, we are being led by a body of leaders unable to check their egos at the door and remove the blinders.
I believe the answer is simple. I believe that we dismiss the one thing that gives us all the answers and solutions as being politically incorrect. The answer is Jesus Christ. This is the lesson of the story of the baby in a manger. Yet, many in our modern world wrap the presents, decorate their trees and feast on the turkey, and so completely miss the point. The point of Christ’s birth was not just to send a Messiah for the Jews 2000 years ago. He sent him to be the Son of all men, for all time, and his message was clear. Imagine …. (no, not John Lennon’s vision), if the world was taught from the same Gospel. It is abundantly clear that there is evil walking on the earth, and some folks just won’t ever get it. It is true that different cultures will accept only what is comfortable for their environment. I fully don’t expect that we will ever see a Linus recitation of the Christmas story in the mountains of Afghanistan, in the mosques in Baghdad, or in the villages of Somalia. But maybe, just maybe, if we bring the pageant back in to our schools and our government chambers, we might begin to set the world on the right course again.
So, what I did on my Christmas vacation was re-affirm my commitment to my Savior by returning to a church home, vow to be a steward of His message and encourage people to drop the labels and be a member of the community of all men and women, and pray that in a thousand years when history is written, the young people of 3013 aren’t studying about the rise and fall of America. We can and must change the pop culture, hold our politicians’ to accountability, stop punishing the successful people and burying our future generations in debt. We must convince our leaders that taking from the wealthy will never cure poverty. There is no such thing as someone’s fair share, because who is going to decide what is fair? Giving all the power to the government will never give the people anything but less power over their own lives. Believing in the theory of work, not welfare, is not racist, and standing up for values is not denying anyone their civil rights. But the most important thing we must do is remember the message of this season – for God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I did.
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