You Have My Respect

Cindi Gale

People are complex beings. Yet we catch mere glimpses of another’s life and draw conclusions about him.

Only by knowing the mind of God about a person, can we be accurate in understanding him. Or let a person who knows himself inform us, as long as he is self-aware and willing to confide.

We have another option to gain insight: observing behavior. Religious people call it “judging others by their fruit”. But be careful — if we’re not mindful of the environment a person is in, their “fruit” can mislead. What if he is in a God-appointed time of winter, wartime, or injustice?

tree in winter for blog pgIs it possible for him to satisfy our need or desire to judge? A person in winter is struggling to survive, not bearing tasty fruit. He is wrapped up and withdrawn to survive the frigid, dangerous climate. He will only open up and bloom when the climate is warm, welcoming…

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Wise Words About Fools

Proverbs 26

Don’t worry when someone curses you for no reason. Nothing bad will happen. Such words are like birds that fly past and never stop.

4-5 There is no good way to answer fools when they say something stupid. If you answer them, then you, too, will look like a fool. If you don’t answer them, they will think they are smart.

Never let a fool carry your message. If you do, it will be like cutting off your own feet. You are only asking for trouble.

A fool trying to say something wise is like a drunk trying to pick a thorn out of his hand.

10 Hiring a fool or a stranger who is just passing by is dangerous—you don’t know who might get hurt.

11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit, a fool does the same foolish things again and again.

12 People who think they are wise when they are not are worse than fools.

18-19 Anyone who would trick someone and then say, “I was only joking” is like a fool who shoots flaming arrows into the air and accidentally kills someone.

23 Good words that hide an evil heart are like silver paint over a cheap, clay pot. 24 Evil people say things to make themselves look good, but they keep their evil plans a secret. 25 What they say sounds good, but don’t trust them. They are full of evil ideas. 26 They hide their evil plans with nice words, but in the end, everyone will see the evil they do.

26 Just as snow should not fall in summer, nor rain at harvest time, so people should not honor a fool.

Light of Life

Cindi Gale

The storm drain on the perimeter of our corner lot wasn’t up to code — its opening was large enough for a small child or animal to fall through — so it was repaired last week. The first crew arrived two weeks ago to lift the cement cover and set it aside on the lawn. I’m sure the grass underneath perished quickly — a neighbor told me theirs turned yellow in mere hours from a forgotten tarp. After two weeks denied of light, our little rectangle of grass is emphatically lifeless.

DSCN1281

Grass needs light.

We need light.

We may not require literal sunlight, as plants do, but we do require an intangible thing still aptly called light — a reason to live; hope for a future; certainty that there is goodness on this planet, love on this planet; assurance that some of that love is meant for us — that

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On Staying Out Of Traps

Let’s talk golf. Specifically, let’s talk hazards.

By definition, a hazard is an area of a golf course which provides a difficult obstacle, and is usually of two types: water hazards such as lakes and rivers; and man-made hazards such as bunkers. Bunkers are designed to be impediments to golfers’ progress toward the green.

There are man-made hazards in life, too. They are abundant in quantity, seeped in varying degrees of injustice or cruelty, and often come from unexpected sources. Who are these people who choose to be bunkers, who aspire to catch us in their traps?

  • They are the trolls at gatherings or on social media, baiting whoever will bite with untrue or bombastic statements. They like to inflame, to goad us into reacting, to pull us into their broiler. The antitheses of peacekeepers, they are Fight Seekers.

golf course with fire hazard  

  • They are the self-serving plotters, strategists who design ways to take from us, to harm us, to come out ahead at our expense. When they succeed at both plotting and implementation of deviousness, we land right where they want us: in the rough; in the sand; in the deep water of injustice.

golf ball underwater

  • They are the malingerers, with goals of living out their days in perpetual trouble. While others endeavor to get out of hazards and put trouble behind, they stubbornly adhere to the bunker they built. They don’t care if we drown in their masterminded troubles, they just want us in there with them.

golf underwater, for blog

  • Unlike those in true need, they are the Hazard Makers. They pose as unaware victims, as having no idea where the trap originated. If they don’t advertise their rotten luck or the contrived injustice done them, they can’t get our sympathy, our anger and action against their so-called “enemies”, or our service to their fabricated needs. These people don’t want solutions, they want problems. Problems put them front and center as the object of our attention.
  • They are the impeccable actors and actresses in everyday life, good at their craft, and unmindful of truth or who they malign. Their bunkers are deceptively attractive; our entrapment essential to their hidden motives. We’re caught the moment we believe their falsehoods.

As the saying goes, “We have but one life to live.” We can choose to avoid the bunkers, battle our way out when we do land there, and play out our lives on the fairways and greens. We can do our best to never be a hazard to others. We can offer to help people out of the rough, point them to the smooth fairways, support their progress toward the greens, and applaud their well-earned victories.

Choose for yourself who you will be — a hazard or not — and how you will play your game. As for me and my house …

Search for Truth

Misinformation abounds. It has turned into a futile “war” out there:  an “us versus them”; a “my belief is true versus your belief is fake news”. That’s the current climate on every topic imaginable. God knows how it came to this, but to me it seems everywhere I turn there is a deep pit of opinion with slimy, slippery slopes. I sense I may not get out of some of the pits if I fall in.

And so I step aside from those deep pits and search out truths. 

Here is an example. Tonight I saw a meme — a deep pit of opinion with slimy, slippery slopes — saying that Clinton enacted and enforced a child separation policy regarding immigrants, Obama continued it, and Trump is now being falsely accused by “the Dems” for doing what those before him did, too.

But it’s not true. Did I decide it’s untrue because another meme or article told me so? Do I believe it’s untrue because I’m in a political, religious, or social group that tells me what to believe, and I complied with their Group Think?

No, I know it is untrue because I searched for the truth myself. Over the past few years, I’ve spent a lot of time reading immigration law and timeframes of enactment, in response to the conflicting claims on the topic. I went straight to the legal documents, because they are without political bias, they are the facts. Dry and factual and opinionless … those are the sources I trust.

I’ve learned that it was during Clinton’s administration that immigration laws were tightened in response to the influx of people from Haiti. All administrations since have enforced those policies, both Republican and Democratic. They did not, however, enact or enforce laws to separate children from their parents.

It was only Trump who has separated children from their parents and put them in holding facilities with other children. I hate the policy, and did from the second the truth was exposed. So, in our current climate, many people will then conclude I am pro-Obama, that I defend everything he did.

But that would be untrue. I am also aware of, and critical of immigration practices that were inhumane during the Obama administration. It is possible to stay in truth and out of “us versus them”. Let me prove it by listing some truths from our recent past:

Obama was tough on illegal immigration — memes now tell us this, as if we were all misinformed about it at the time, or as if it was information withheld from us — but it was well-known by those who were paying attention. I was interested because my oldest son was volunteering at Dilley Detention Center in Texas during Obama’s second term.

As it was for decades, during Obama’s administration families were detained together, or, at some facilities (including Dilley), teen and adult males were in one building, mothers and children in another. Children and mothers didn’t get to see or communicate with their fathers and teen sons for long periods of time. Obama’s “get tough” policies caused increased arrests and detentions, and therefore increased backlog of judicial hearings. With the severe shortage of immigration judges, cases were delayed for months, even years; files were lost; cases were bungled; countless migrants finally got their hearings but were not given a chance to speak; many didn’t have representation; cases were swiftly decided in mere minutes by overworked judges who had piles of files to get through every day.

For all, the conditions were little better than a prison. When people were deported, they were often dropped off in the desert without water or means of contacting assistance, and many many people died that way.

Separations before Trump’s administration occurred only in rare conditions: when family connections were unproven, or when there was suspicion of trafficking. Those separations were to protect the children. The separations that began with Trump are reportedly to deter migration and asylum seekers. He said so himself. They are unprecedented, and widely criticized, even by his inner circle and many in his party, which caused him to revoke his new policy. In June of 2018, the child separation practice was legally banned.

Yet the practice continues.

Those are the truths. Those truths keep me from falling into slimey, slippery pits.

People like my son aren’t political, they only hope for and expect that life, human and legal rights, and dignity should not be denied any person. It was already being pushed into a very gray zone during past administrations — during this one it has been pushed significantly further with the separation of children from their parents or guardians.

For me, too, it’s not about politics or parties. I’m not taking the bait of inciteful falsehoods; I”m not falling into the trap of “us” versus “them”. It’s not about Democrats versus Republicans …

It’s about what is true. It’s about doing the right thing.

It is likely that people will read this and say it is a political post; that’s how entangled views and statements of facts have become. Where there are the buzzwords (like “child separation”) within statements, there comes from many the automatic assumptions, categorizing, and accusations to dismiss or bury the truths. So let me say it again … It’s not about Democrats versus Republicans …

It’s about what is true. It’s about doing the right thing.

Can you read or hear facts on an issue without putting the writer or speaker into one of two categories? Must we all be categorized when in reality we don’t fit the criteria of those slots? Can you allow a person to stay outside of “us” or “them”? Can YOU stay outside of “us” or “them”?

Truths on nearly any controversy and issue are available online to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort to research the facts.

There is an even better source … a perfect source: our God. Truths on every single issue that we are up against are available to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort to inquire of Him.

God is Truth, and truth is a beacon in the dark night. I am determined to put in the time and effort to find His beacon of truth in all things.

It’s possible. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

I have given up trying to get anywhere with people who hold tight to lies — as long as they want mendacity, they shall have mendacity.

But as for me and my house … we will serve the Lord. 

silhouette of man under blue sky during nighttime

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, You would have known my Father also. From now on you know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)

We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (1 John 4:6)

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (1 John 1:14)

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18) 

 

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

Who You Are

Cindi Gale

“Glorious”

[Verse:]
There are times when you might feel aimless
You can’t see the places where you belong
But you will find that there is a purpose

It’s been there within you all along and when you’re near it
You can almost hear it

[Chorus:]
It’s like a symphony just keep listenin’
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it’s glorious

[Verse 2:]
You will know how to let it ring out as you discover who you are
Others around you will start to wake up
To the sounds that are in their hearts
It’s so amazin’, what we’re all creatin’

[Chorus:]
It’s like a symphony just keep listenin’
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh…

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