Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I grew up as the only white guy in my class at high school. Now there were only fifteen of us total and until my ninth grade year there was only one black girl. Janie got a "soul-mate" about that time when Regina moved in. Being the only white guy, I guess gave me a unique perspective in the turbulent 60's. I made friends with the black guys. It wasn't always easy. There were definite differences of perspective and culture between us. Sports, homework, field trips, and just the living of the days together brought some barriers down. Those common ventures of life, as Trueblood called them, like death, illness, marriage, births that all humans share also gave rise to better understanding. When you see a someone lose a big brother in Vietnam or see a guy you cheered in basketball come back from Nam without his legs, well, the color thing fades. I still consider Otis one of my true friends. I've been horrible about keeping in touch with him through the years. I deeply regret that and hope to correct this wrong in my life soon. Things were different from the time I was a little boy in Milford. Everything was separate. Toilets were segregated. Drinking fountains were separate. To a little kid in the late 50's the biggest difference I remember was at the doctor's office. The little clinic in Milford had a sidewalk that separated like a "Y" out in front of the building. The whites went to the left and "Negros," or "coloreds" as they were called then, ( I haven't heart those terms in decades) went to the waiting room on the right. Same doctor, same nurse Amy with the long needles, same X-ray machine, and same prescriptions handed out but white folks couldn't sit with the blacks in a waiting room. That all seems so silly, stupid and sinful now. How could we act that way? But we did and did much worse in fact. But today is a new day. Today the first black man elected president is being sworn in to the office of the presidency of the United States of America. We've long since left behind the prejudices of separate waiting rooms, toilets and drinking fountains. Politics aside, it's a great day for America on many levels for which we should be thankful. We should rejoice with the blacks as this signifies another mountaintop that has been too long in being reached. Grateful we must be for the safety our outgoing President has insured on our own shores. The transition of power in this nation takes place in such order and peace that is known a only a few nations. And in the climate of economic fear and the burden of war being shouldered, the hope that the new administration brings is refreshing. Tomorrow the real work begins. Today, rejoice for the privileges our nation affords us and the hope that new leadership brings. Tomorrow, President Obama's race will not matter. His strength, courage and wisdom will be tested and we can only hope that God will bless his presidency and our nation. The choices he makes and that we make with reference to God's blessing must be linked to God's will. Greed, arrogance, lust for power or selfish pleasure, and injustice will not preserve nor protect this nation. So pray for him as instructed in I Tim 2-1-3. Pray for our nation and pray for yourself that the righteousness that exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34) will be found not just in the White House, but in your house and mine. Terry
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
You may not have noticed but I took about three weeks off from this blogging thing. I guess its time to get back with it. Actually, I'm somewhat old school about some things and prefer to call these offerings articles or essays. But we've gone from smoke signals, drums, letters, pigeons, telegraph, telephone, email and now blogs. Progress! Before you know it, we'll have a man on the moon. I heard a smart man speak regarding love and laughter,those magnetized twins (some times they attract, sometimes they repel), that if you have to explain either one then it's probably neither. That is true about many things so I shouldn't attempt to explain these articles. So I will. When I started at White Bluff I just started writing them. No explanation. They just showed up in your inbox one day. We don't send it via email anymore. You've got to want it enough to make a few clicks with the mouse and go get it. But why do them at all? What's the reason then? I can't answer that succinctly-hey I'm a preacher what did you expect? That actually is the key word-expect. I write in hopeful expectation. For what do I hope? I take my cue from Isaiah 61:1-3. (if this were a sermon this is where you read the passage-so look it up. Go ahead, the rest of the article will make more sense) This happens to be the passage Jesus cited when He began His ending phase of ministry that will change everything we know about heaven and earth, living and dying, God and Satan, and history itself. There are wonderful things in this passage and also some tough things. It's easy to want to proclaim God's favor, His grace, but in this passage are also words about God's vengeance. If one adopts this passage to guide you, you will find yourself up to your epistles in mourning and grieving people. This scripture deals with binding up broken hearts, comforting those who mourn, and crowning heads once heaped with the ashes of sorrow with tiaras of triumph. Beauty for ashes...nice trade don't you think? So I sit at a computer a few hours a week in hopeful expectation pecking out these little essays, articles, wonderments. I hope you find a bit of a rag in these words to help you dust off some ashes and see the glitter of a crown headed you way. Some days they may be funny, even if I didn't intend it that way. I hope most days they make you think. Occasionally, they may make you feel, deeply I hope. On rare days, I hope they make you mad. On all days I hope they help you hang on. I'll bring my thoughts, questions, experiences, and put them into these articles. I hope by voicing them maybe I can wander, stumble, walk, run or crawl toward Jesus.You bring your hopes and dreams, anger and hurts, questions and experiences, joy and victories. I'll write, you read, and if you and I meet Jesus somewhere in the middle of these essays, then it was time well wasted.