Category Archives: Politics

God Controls the Course of World Events

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Fellow believers, whether you’re Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or undecided may I offer you hope through God’s word.  Daniel 2:21 says, “He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.”  The outcome of this election is in God’s hands, not ours.  Pray for our country, vote, then lay your anxieties down at the feet of God believing He is in control. 

This election has been particularly hostile; passions and beliefs are running hot on both sides of the aisle.  I’ve heard believers say “how can you believe in God and hold that political point of view?”  Comments like this are earnestly spoken by believers in both major parties; their convictions are strong.  May I ask, should we be treating each other that way? Questioning one’s belief in God because of their political views is harsh. 

In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul addresses the Corinthian church because of a schism between Christians who passionately believe one teacher is superior to the other.  Paul cuts through all the dogma by asking a few thoughtful questions.  “One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.  Is Christ divided?  Was Paul crucified for you?  Were you baptized in the name of Paul?”  Paul’s point was clearly made; we’re followers of Jesus, not man.  Our faith is in Christ Jesus not our leaders.

I believe the current presidential election has divided some believers.  I believe the outcome could bring about hostilities between Democratic and Republican believers. Whether Hillary or Donald wins, God is in control and he is neither Democrat or Republican.  There is room enough in The House of God for differing political beliefs.  We are members of the family of God and shouldn’t allow human leaders and our political views divide us.  We must seek God first, give grace to fellow believers and pray for our leaders.

Christian, remember the world is watching us and will judge us harshly if we turn against each other.  Extend grace to those whose political beliefs differ from yours; after all, we’re all voting according to our consciences desiring the best for our country.  When the presidential race is over, accept the outcome with God’s grace and continue praying for our leaders and our country.  Then, if you’re still upset get involved instead of bad mouthing the new leaders.  Be a voice of reason and positive action.  Reflect God’s principles.

God Bless America,

 

Debora Shelford Hobbs

 

Contemplating the Declaration of Independence

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I’m taking a side trip this post into some patriotic history, I hope you don’t mind. I’ve made it deliberately brief but hope my encouragement for you to read the Declaration of Independence is heeded. I know you won’t regret it.

 This morning I read The Declaration of Independence in honor of The Fourth of July (America’s Independence Day) and once again I was overcome by the wisdom and courage it possesses. I’m also made aware of the determination and strength of character the 56 original signers possessed. Each one put their lives at risk when they publically signed and formally declared the United States of America a sovereign nation. Their convictions that the USA needed to be free from Great Brittan’s rule were so strong the risk of death was a small price to pay.

The signers were a diverse group of men, many had the privilege of a formal education and were lawyers, doctors, professors, and politicians. However, others had an informal education and were craftsmen, farmers, printers, and politicians. Though their walks in life were varied they shared a deep conviction that the United States of America should be autonomous, self-directed, and unencumbered by the dictates of England’s King George III. This conviction kept them discussing and fighting with each other from June 7th 1776 until July 4th, 1776 when the finished document was agreed upon by all and signed.  After a month of discussion and several revisions this group of men managed to agree upon and create one of the most significant documents in the history of man.

The last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is not quoted as frequently as the second paragraph, but I find it empowering. It couldn’t be more straight-forward. “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” What strong and clear words these are, King George III had no choice but to take them seriously.

I encourage you to read the Declaration of Independence in full this Fourth of July to gain insight and knowledge into our Country’s independence and the start of the Revolutionary War. The USA’s freedom from tyranny came at a high cost then, and continues to require sacrifice today; a price paid over and over again by men and women whose convictions and courage lead them to fight for their beliefs, much like our Founding Fathers.

This Fourth of July I feel a particularly deep gratitude to our Founding Fathers and their courage to argue with each other but not give up on their goal. Their courage to fight against a tyrant and their wisdom to agree that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

May you know  you are blessed to live in these United States of America.

 Debora Shelford Hobbs

 

Independence Day

A few days ago I was outside working in the yard when I heard several loud booms announcing the official start of the Fourth of July firecracker extravaganza that takes place in my rural community.  There are two Indian reservations within a few miles of our small town and it is legal to sell firecrackers on these reservations making it easy for anyone to get their hands on a stash of celebratory explosives.

Fireworks aren’t the only thing igniting just before the fourth of July in my small town, the community explodes with activity.  Dads are busy mowing the grass and cleaning the barbecues.  Moms are looking for red, white, and blue recipes while extending and accepting invitations to friendly gatherings.  Flags are hung from banisters, porches, decks, and windows making us all feel very patriotic, and we like to feel patriotic.  We like being Americans.  We are proud to be Americans.

Why are proud to be Americans?  On July Fourth, 1776 the Continental Congress ratified the declaration by the United States of its independence from Great Britain.  The 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence couldn’t have imagined what a great country the United States of America would become.  They didn’t know that their passion, intelligence, faith, and courage would be an example to all generations that followed.  What they did know was that there was a better way to live, a better way to run a country, and they risked their lives to make this dream a reality.


One of the best known phrases crafted in the Declaration of Independence is; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” They crafted this phrase believing it was an important part of designing a better country, a just countryThere is power in these words.  They’ve helped bring about some of the most important societal changes in the U.S.A.  This phrase helped free the salves, give all Americans the right to vote, and bring about equality of pay.  This phrase has helped make America a better country, a stronger country.  In a way it has become our Golden Rule.

So, we Americans celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, firecrackers, barbecues, gathering, and parades.  We celebrate with pride what our forefathers put in motion.  We celebrate their amazing faith in God the Creator and in the human spirit.  We celebrate their profound courage and intelligence that propelled them to conceive, write, and sign the Declaration of Independence.  The United States of America is an exceptional country filled with amazingly diverse people who are using their passion, intelligence, faith, and courage to keep our county strong.  God Bless America

Debora Shelford Hobb

Fourth of July Politics

                      Politicians and Grandkids Use Same Tactics

I love the Fourth of July and in my small town we really know how to celebrate the birth of our great country.  The town decorates its self in red, white, and blue with flags waving from every business and light-posts are dripping with lush hanging flower pots.

Part of the Fourth of July festivities is a wonderful area called Tiny Town, a field that’s turned into kid central during the Fourth of July bash.  Tiny Town is jam-packed with a blow-up slide, bouncy house, kiddy cars, face painting, and free arts and crafts.  Surrounding the field are booths sponsored by sports clubs, school organizations, and the Boy & Girl Scouts all selling cotton candy, pop corn, soda, and ice cream.  In the back corner of the field is a base ball diamond that becomes the Pony Ride where unhappy looking ponies tethered to a metal post walk drearily round and round while little children frown and cry when the ride ends after two rotations, and this is where my story starts.

Desiring to share the joys of Tiny Town with our grandchildren my husband and I loaded them into their car seats and headed to Tiny Town.  Amazed by our good luck at finding a parking space right next to the back corner of the field we unloaded our energized grandkids.  Holding hands and talking about all the fun activities that await them, we naively headed down the trail that dumps out next to the pony ride.  My granddaughter immediately started pulling me towards the unhappy ponies; I pulled in the other direction.  I quickly noticed the sign hanging lopsidedly from the dilapidated corral fence; it said $6.00 a ride.  Now, some may call me cheap, but $6.00 for a less than inspiring ride on a depressed pony didn’t sound like fun and in my opinion would not be money well spent.  I quickly added the second grandchild into the equation, $12.00 for a two loop ride; not happening.

My granddaughter looked at me with her sweetest smile and said, “Please, I really want to ride the ponies, please, please, please” I smiled sweetly right back at her and redirected her attentions to all the other activities they would be doing.  My smile was returned with a frown and then one more round of ‘Please, I never get to ride ponies.”  Above Audrey’s head my husband gave me a roll-of-the-eyes and we headed over to the arts and crafts booths where they painted wooden bird houses bright colors.  Breaking her creative concentration ever-so-often, Audrey would lift her head just long enough to again plead for the pony ride. She smile sweetly, pouted demurely, and huff at me, to no avail.

We moved on to the blow up activities where they slid down the slide, jumped in the ball pit, bounced in the bouncy house, and climbed through an obstacle course.  In between activities I would hear a new version of the Pony Plead; my response remained the same, it now became a matter of the will; I needed to win.  With their hair full of static electricity we headed the grandkids back to the arts and crafts booths to decorate vinyl visors.  Audrey found a large princess sticker covered with glitter, she had to have it, and placed it directly in the middle of the visor then surrounded it with flower and butterfly stickers.  She then placed the visor on her head upside down so it looked like a glittery, brightly colored, princess visor/crown.  The day was over and we headed back to the car, the only problem was we had to pass the pony ride one more time.  I set my resolve and moved forward. 

Audrey, assessing the situation and realizing this was her last opportunity to persuade Grandma into seeing her side of the debate, pulled out the largest weapon she could think of.  Stepping in front of me and looking directly into my eyes, she said with passion, “Grammy, if you don’t let me ride the ponies I will never visit you again.”  That face will forever be etched in my mind, eyes filled with determination, mouth set tight and firm while her hair flew wildly from static electricity and remnants of treats circled her mouth.  The whole look was topped off with the princess visor-crown. Unable to suppress an amused smile I calmly said, “ I’ve raised three boys honey, that won’t work’”   She tightened her lips and assessed me to see if there was any chink in my armor, nope, she sighed and walked to the car, defeated.

Over the last few months I have watched the news dismayed at how the politicians, Republicans or Democrats, sound like my granddaughter.  They look straight into the camera and say the most drastic and disturbing thing they can to get the American people worked up.  They smile sweetly, pout demurely, and huff at us in hope of manipulating the American people into seeing things their way.  If they don’t get the response they want or the opinion polls suggest a need to redirect, they do so, and once again appeal to the American people to see things their way.   This process is repeated weekly, sometimes daily, and I’m tired of it.

I’m tired of listening to the politicians speak with passion saying “It’s not a tax” when it’s a tax, or accusing one of lying while they lie.  It seems to be impossible for the American people to know what truth is when it comes to politics. For every absolute truth spoken by a Democrat an opposite absolute truth is spoken by a Republican.  So, who do we believe?

It’s not just the politicians I’m fed up with, I’m tired of hearing people in my community simply being a conduit for the news channels or worse hearing them repeat what a comedian said as if he/she has some great political insight.  Wake up people, care enough to do some research; care enough to know even a little about what you speak, don’t just repeat what the talking heads said today.  Like the politicians they will most likely change their tune by tomorrow or next week.

At times, I think I can see the princess visor/crown on their heads and remnants of past lies circling their mouths all the while pleading with passion for what they want the American People to believe.  Let’s not give in!  I encourage you to read many sources of political information.  Listen to both Liberal and Conservative news so you can form an intelligent opinion and when the politicians start talking with their Princess visor/crowns on, stand firm in your convictions and knowledge, our country needs well informed involved citizens to make a difference.

Debora Shelford Hobbs

Sound The Alarm

A friend and I have pondered the topic of Christians and alcohol consumption numerous times and after our latest discussion I was inspired to explore the issue in a blog entry.


So here goes.  I am not writing this because I have all the answers; most assuredly I don’t.   I am writing this to sound an alarm that alcohol is one of many areas where Christians are being worn down to the point that we look just like the world.  This desensitization is dulling our spiritual awareness and we are losing power. Now I am not trying to be the fun police and I believe that God wants his children to enjoy life and laugh. Nor should we go back to the days of made up sins like going to movies, playing cards, dancing, or drinking.  But in our spiritual freedom we must be careful to see that our lives bring honor to God, that we aren’t stumbling blocks, and that nothing but the Holy Spirit controls us.


Have you noticed that in many Christian circles the freedom to have an occasional glass of wine has grown into a regular occurrence? We come home day after day from a stressful job and rather than falling on our knees before God, we grab the bottle of wine.  In uncomfortable situations where God wants to stretch us, we mask the discomfort with alcohol and miss a chance to grow in character.  Some of us have even taken to flat out partying; ignoring the example we set as parents and Christians for temporary fun that ultimately damages our reputation. 


When we drink too much at a gathering we may miss an opportunity to share our testimony with a hurting person. After all, how can we hear the Holy Spirit nudging us if our senses are dulled?  When we go through trials and we numb ourselves with substances rather than God, we cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to grow and learn from hard times.   After all, how can we learn if we don’t feel?  If we are too tired, too hurt, and too disappointed in life to seek God so instead seek comfort in a bottle, we will never see God take beauty from the ashes of our lives.  We will however be caught with our armor off, our shields laying at our feet, and our swords broken in two.  In other words we will have handed the Devil a mighty victory.


The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12  CJV   You say, “For me, everything is permitted?” Maybe, but not everything is helpful.  “For me, everything is permitted?” Maybe, but as far as I’m concerned, I am not going to let anything gain control over me.


The bible makes it very clear that we are not to get drunk and that we shouldn’t be a stumbling block to anyone.  It also states that we should do things in moderation, that we are to have self control, and that we should be different from the world.  Whether or not you decide to drink is a personal decision.   But whatever that decision is, we should regularly ask ourselves if we are framing the choice on scripture.  God doesn’t tell us to not do things so that we miss out on fun.  He gives us boundaries to save us from trouble and heartache because alcohol like so many things CAN grow in our lives and can devour God’s plans, purposes, and blessings.   


A call is sounding to search our hearts to see if anything is taking God’s place in our lives. An alarm is sounding to be watchful and careful over what we do, what we see, and what we say.  We are faced with daily choices that border a slippery slope and when we walk along the precipice of a slope, we must be very careful to see that we don’t slip and fall.  We are living in critical times and are called to be light in the darkness.   Our charge is to stand out and be different and to offer the world an answer of hope and inner peace that can’t be found in anything except at the feet of God.    


Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.  Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.  It is close at hand. –Joel 2:1


 


Rhonda Shelford Jansen