Will We Accept Hatred or Will We Build Love?

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Our country is once more facing the sorrow of mass murder at the hands of a hateful, angry man. His hate has been expanded beyond the boundary of the church to discussions and conjectures from every corner of the nation.

One hateful, bigoted man has blown bigotry out of proportion, yet again. It was horrifying for a man to murder others in the midst of a prayer meeting, especially in the historic AME church.

It offers every politician a means to make a comment, a statement of disgust, return small donations from one who has been accused of racial hatred. Even President Obama has offered his opinion.

No, bias has not been eliminated, from any of the so-called races. Hatred and bias against others is a means of division, a way to encourage strife and war. Such bias has existed from near the beginning of time, since Cain slew Abel. Satan has used the weapon of bias and bigotry since then as a way to divide the children of Adam and Eve. It has become a favorite weapon in his arsenal.

Causing strife and hatred, leading to arguments and war, is one thing Satan pulls from his quiver frequently—much more often lately.  There has been war of some kind, somewhere for more than one hundred years. Even a small battle, the murder of nine people in a church, has a similar effect, especially in our day of immediate media and immediate reaction, resulting in agitation, unrest, and hate. It draws our hearts and minds from our love of others and our God down to hatred and despair.

We should abhor the murder of nine in prayer meeting. We should be aggrieved by the hateful actions of the murderer. However, our horror at his actions is no reason to further the hatred, increase the bias, or provide photo ops and sound bytes for politicians.

What is happening in the world beyond the furor over the Confederate flag? Surely there is something happening in the world beyond this current battle.

The media is so focused on one event, other larger, more despicable occurrences of hatred happen elsewhere, unmentioned by the press, unknown to the population of our country. How many were murdered in other countries today because they believe in Christ? Have others been lifted by the actions of others? Were there forces of nature affecting the lives of others beyond our borders? Who knows? The eyes of cameras focus on the Confederate flag controversy, or the latest killing of someone by the police. All horrid, unspeakable acts, to be true, but all sharing in the act of drawing Satan’s bow and directing pain and hatred into the population.

We are loved. There is much good in the world today. Much that can be shared to battle for right and beauty. Take a walk and enjoy nature. Sit in a park and watch little children at play. Drive in the country or the mountains. Enjoy the beauties of the world given to us by God.

What else can you do to move from hatred to joy and love? What ideas can you offer?

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How Long Do You Want to Live?

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Life extends easily into the eighth decade and it is not unusual to hear of one living past 100. Over our history, life expectancy has varied dramatically. In the recent history of the last two or three hundred year, men and women were lucky to live to be 50 or 60.

Women especially struggled to survive through the births of their many children, facing unsanitary conditions and the resulting infections and fevers. Men didn’t fare much better, facing hunting accidents and war injuries with less than sophisticated medical knowledge and technology.

Even in the last century, accidents were fatal. Stories of men or women burning to death from accidents resulting from kerosene lamps are not unusual, nor are stories of death and injury caused by other accidents.

The question is: how long do you really want to live?

In the far past, it was common for people to live much more than 100 years. Abraham lived 365 years; Methuselah was the longest lived man on record, living 969 years. Adam and Eve lived well into their ninth century. That is much longer than I want to live!

Our lives are easier than theirs; we have all the benefits of electricity and electronics. Easy travel and rapid communication join with near effortless work in the home, food production, and other occupations, especially in comparison to lives just a century ago.

Our lives are more difficult in some ways. Consider the intensity of the challenges of hate, immorality, and evil that inundate us. It is difficult to get through a day without facing scantily clad people caught up in fierce expressions of lust, unless you stay in bed with the television off. Violence, hatred, pornography, abuse, immorality, and many more symptoms of a failing society abound, throughout the world.

Ancient days were not much better. None of the modern conveniences were available. All the work we depend on electricity to do was done manually, often by servants or slaves. Cleanliness would have been difficult. Medical knowledge was adequate, but certainly unable for its practitioners to cure or prevent infections and diseases.

Worse, battles between men were hand-to-hand, face your enemy, and slash him to bits before being destroyed. Women whose husbands and sons went to war could only hope and pray theirs would be the lucky ones to return without injury, if they returned at all.

Women who lived in those early could expect to be attacked and raped without protection of husbands, fathers, or their hired guards. Most men in nearly all ages believed in their right to have sexual relations with about any woman, while holding their wives and daughters to a stricter standard of sexual purity.

Violence and evil of every kind surrounded these people—much like it does today.

Eve struggled in her time in learning to survive a new, uninhabited world. Everything was new requiring thought and effort to overcome the problems, often failing and needing to try many different solutions before finding one that worked. She, too, faced the grief too many of her children who listened and succumbed to the voice of evil.

No, living for multiple centuries is not enticing. Seventy or eighty years is more than enough for any of us!

Refuse to Check the “Ethnicity” Box!

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Each time children register for school, or someone completes employment paperwork, there is an obnoxious little box quietly demanding to be checked, demanding self-revelation: What is your ethnicity or race?

Ethnicity? I know, some think it is Hispanic, or Black, or Eskimo, or Native American, Asian, or some other “color” people. Aren’t we all people? Don’t we all live here in America? What difference does it make where our ancestors came from?

Yes, money is added to a school or organization from the government if sufficient numbers of these “Ethnicities” are included.

All this sounds a bit biased. It has become almost shameful to check that box hiding on the bottom: Caucasian. My check doesn’t add money to coffers of the organization, or give them needed diversity.

Each time I see this box, I want to write in “Human”. Most American families can trace their heritage back to many different countries around the world. But the nasty little box doesn’t want to know your family arrived in America sometime in the 1600s, making you as much an American as about anyone else, except Native Americans. Many can follow their ancestry into multiple countries and more than one continent.

But, look! That naughty little box doesn’t offer “American” or “Descended from Multiple Countries”.

The United States is again becoming divided by “racism” even though it has been proven scientifically that there is no such thing as race. We are all humans. That should be enough. All the honoring of different groups of people sounds good, but in reality, it divides. Identifying differences causes everyone to notice differences. It is more important to recognize similarities.

Our communities need and want to draw together. We want to know our neighbors; we want to have friends around us, people we can visit. We need to be aware of who lives next door so when something that shouldn’t be, it can be stopped. Fear of others, caused by divisions of differences, does not help neighbors to interact.

Join the movement, refuse to mark that obnoxious box!