Avoid Polarization - Work For Faith and Love!

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Avoid Polarization - Work For Faith and Love!

Postby Pete P » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:48 pm

Just a note of encouragement for the New Year - to everyone in Solid Rock.

I have been very fortunate to travel widely in the world. In fact, God has given me amazing opportunities to see a wide variety of countries. I have been across a wide number of countries in Africa, often living in the simple houses (with a thatched roof, and walls of mud and cow dung). I have also traveled extensively across South America, and I have family in Brazil. You may think ... well maybe Pete was rich? But no ... these opportunities came about entirely because I chose to serve God. And frankly, it was the most eye-opening experience.

One thing I have learned - the vast majority of people in the world are just struggling to get by. Honestly, that's it. No more. For us, it's survival. But for them, they can't dream higher. If they can have some food each day, and send their kids to school, then they are happy. They never go to the mall, the street in front of their house probably has broken asphalt (or dust), and they constantly have to watch out for criminals who will steal their stuff. That is "basic life" for about 4 billion people on our planet. I remember one of my earliest trips to Kenya. I was in the capital city of Nairobi, and many people were just sitting and talking at lunchtime. And so I said to the Kenyan man with me, "Why aren't they eating lunch?". And he said ... Because they have no food. So when their boss gives them 30 minutes of free time at lunch, they just go and sit - and talk. They have nothing to eat. No options. And that was life - for a huge number of people in that city. And it's still the same today. We really have to adjust our perceptions ... and realize. The vast majority of families on Planet Earth are barely making it. Just squeezing by.

For this reason - all of this "hate talk" in the world today is a complete abomination. Truly ... an abomination. I can't begin to imagine how God feels about it, when He hears the prayers of many kids who go to school without even eating any breakfast. Our world is getting filled with polarized talk, hostile attitudes, and constant put-downs of other cultures. Everywhere we look we see .. neo-Nazi thugs, Arab tyrants, homicidal followers of Hinduism, Buddhist fanatics expelling villagers, talk of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, and Russians facing off against Americans in Eastern Europe. And in our own country - a constant stream of workplace shootings, gunshots in schools, ambushes by civilians on deputies and police officers, and a tirade of angry tweets from our own President.

We need to RISE ABOVE all of this.
We serve Christ. Nothing is too difficult for God, and His Son gave us the most important advice. "Blessed are the peacemakers.". Sometimes these days it seems that the peacemakers could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Even inside the Christian denominations, there is way too much politics, and not enough dialog and understanding. I was impressed recently to see a great example of compassion. And it didn't even come from a Christian. A boatload of North Koreans washed up on the shores of Japan. They were all dead. The Sea of Japan is brutally cold, and unsurvivable when storms are big. Only dead bodies remained in the boat. The local Japanese villagers did not want anything to do with the bodies of the North Koreans. They also have their own fears and prejudices. And so one lone Buddhist monk went down to the beach, claimed the bodies, saw that they were cremated, and placed in urns for a simple burial with decency. People asked him why he did this. Why did he help the "untouchables"? And his reply was ... "They were human beings too. They had families, just like we do.". Wow. That man sends us a powerful reminder, and he is not a Christian.

We cannot surrender our souls to the constant fear-mongering and hate talk in this world.
God has something much better in mind for us - and for the world!!
Walk with Hope and Courage ... Work with Faith and Love!!

Blessings, Pete
Pete P
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