Friday Coffee with PJ

It's Friday .... and its snowing!  I sure hope it is the last snow fall of the season. I am more than ready to enjoy the warmth of a spring breeze rustling my hair and the fragrance of spring flowers tickling my nose (and yes, sometimes making me sneeze). But whether we are in winter or spring ... I enjoy my coffee whatever the season. I hope you to do. So pour yourself a cup of your favorite joe and join me for a couple of random thoughts.

1. I must confess that roller coasters were not really part of my growing up years. It's not that I never went to amusement parks ... in fact ... the year between my freshmen and sophomore year of college, I worked a summer at Hershey Park. One of the perks was free park admission for me and a guest. So opportunities to ride coasters were always available. It was just ... well, lets' just say I began to cluck when ever someone suggested we ride one! But this all changed when I was 25 years old. It was a hot, steamy day in July. At the time, Sharon and I were houseparents at Bethanna Christian Home for children. Our campus was located in Southampton, PA. That particular day began with an early departure from campus. Our nine kids were beside themselves with excitement. We were heading to Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Once we arrived, we gave the kids their instructions. We allowed the older kids to venture off on their own ... but they had to pair off and check in at regular intervals. The younger had to ... you guessed it ... stay with either Sharon, me or our assistant houseparent. Little 7 year old Billy got stuck with me. Our day was going along quite well until he expressed a desire to ...ahh ... ride a roller coaster. I did my very best to talk him out of it. But he was determined to ride one (and of course he had his eyes on the biggest one in the park!). Since he could not ride alone, I finally worked up the courage to climb the twenty stories to the roller coaster's platform (well ... it sure seemed like 20 stories - I also do not like heights!). I certainly was not going to allow a 7 year old to think I was some sort of scardy cat (which would not have been far from the truth that day!). Well ... over 30 years later I can look back and chuckle. For not only did I survive the ride, it was the first of many that day and in the years since. My experience with roller coasters makes me wonder how many of us miss out on things simply because we are too afraid to move out of our comfort zone. This applies to not just the "fun" things of life ... but also ministries God calls us to do. Ministry can be messy and therefore uncomfortable. But at the end of the day, getting messy serving others in Jesus' name brings a meaningful soul satisfaction.

2. As I wrote the above about roller coasters, it brought to mind the presidential campaign. This election cycle's campaign, especially on the Republican side, as most certainly been very much like a roller coaster. When Donald Trump threw his hat into the ring, no one took him seriously. That has all changed as he looks poised to win the GOP nomination. As of today, this is certainly not etched in granite, but it sure looks like a strong possibility. People are responding to this in very different ways. Some are very enthusiastic. They find Trump's "telling it like it is" approach refreshing in a day when a number of (definitely not all!) politicians use "political double talk" or "political correctness" whenever they give a speech or press conference. There are others who simply shrug their shoulders ... having checked out of the political process long ago (if they were ever in it to begin with). Others are stomping for a third party if Trump wins the GOP nomination (which would be an ironic twist of history given the GOP began as a third party in 1854). Finally there are those who are threatening a move to Canada if Mr. Trump eventually becomes President Trump.  SOOOO ... how should we as followers of Christ respond to all of this?????

1. Stay engaged in the process. Learn where the different candidates stand on the issues that really matter.
2. Rest in the truth of God's sovereignty. Ultimately God decides who rules and who doesn't (Daniel 2:21).
3. Remember that you are a citizen of God's Kingdom FIRST ... and a citizen of the United States SECOND. I love my country and thank God for the opportunities that I have had simply by being born here in the United States. But I fear that too many Christians get the order of our two-fold citizenship reversed.
4.  Finally, pray for all of the candidates (of both parties). One of them will one day be our president. This last is first!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

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