Please advocate for VAWA

Dear Friends,
I am concerned about a report today from the Heritage Foundation which has been released by the Trump team with plans to remove Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funding.  VAWA provides services for our rural and downstate victims of domestic violence. Dove
is a recipient of these funds for a five county region of central Illinois and while I cannot speak for Growing Strong I believe is also a part of their structure for the same region. The funds are not tax dollars, they come from the court fines assessed in
federal cases of violent crime.  These dollars provide shelter, counseling, hotline, legal advocacy for people who have had their lives shattered.  For nearly half a century Dove has fought hard for the tremendous gains achieved for victims of domestic violence
and sexual assault. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed with bipartisan support and was designed to develop the nation’s capacity to reduce domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault.

We have witnessed the life-saving support that VAWA has provided for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault locally and all over the country.

Please join me in advocating for the reauthorization of VAWA. Click the link below 

http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51013/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19850 

Truth

Truth is a real thing. It exists. We have many ways of discerning truth. Sometimes objective data is the measure, sometimes spiritual discernment, sometimes revelation.

Yet here today, so many people in the world wish to throw out all of the tests and tools. Is it evil, laziness, demonic possession? Why are so many content with lies and willing to be spun? Like Obamacare, the truth is being repealed without a replacement. The result is chaos and fear.

The good news is that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light.  Look for him in all things and be strengthened. Fear not, for he is with us. Search for truth is the search for our sovereign Lord. Seek him for he wills to be found.

Get it all wrong 

The US is felling quite devisive today. As we bookend a week with celebration of a civil rights hero and an alt-right hero.  It is an environment where conversation is replaced by resentment and growth and understanding is replaced by calls to arms.  

No move in this environment is seen as universally independently right. A pendulum swings, and it may in fact go well beyond the boundaries of decency in proclaiming right what history and God will judge as just another vanity in a lengthy list of vanities. 

 So I suggest that instead of being of the world, we get it all wrong.  Pray in earnest despite claims this is tacit acceptance. Listen to understand despite claims that listening gives credence to bad ideas. Love as we are commanded to love.  Go ahead, get it all wrong in public perception. Live into our alien nature as citizens of the Kingdom.

Prayers for our leaders

How passionately I disagree with someone, it seems to me, ought to reinforce my need to pray for them, and for my mission to love them as I love myself.

Why have you not built me a house of cedar?

It is a very human tendency to want to set down roots, to find a home, a purpose with which we can occupy our lives.  However, God is not content with the contented life.  He seeks to push boundaries and buttons as he moves us toward his coming Kingdom.

In 1 Chronicles 17, the Lord reminds David that this world of today is temporary and we should not become rooted. God did not ask David, “why have you not built me a house of cedar?” It is not an expensive and stationary home he desires. It is lodging in the tent of our hearts, our temporary bodies.

Let us house Him in ourselves as we journey together to the coming Kingdom, and not leave Him in a building we visit. He deserves so much more than a house of cedar.

Enjoying Family

Life has been hectic and full on this postulant you journey. I know I was asked during discernment whether it really made sense to do all of this while I had kids at home and a full time job. However, no matter the obstacle, presenting it to God has made it easily surmounted. 

Still family time has been at a premium. I’m happy to have spent time together as we enjoy the season of Christmastide. Our Lord has given us the blessing of each other. So we spent it serving, soup to the homeless, meals on wheels to the elderly, baskets to those in need. And we return to our duties tomorrow blessed.

Seriously

There is a hazard in all forms of graduate level education. This hazard is serious.  I creates anxiety, stress, and passionate intensity.  It’s called taking ourselves too seriously.

And yet the beauty of the Hope of Jesus is that it is not ourselves which we should be focused on.  In fact, anxiety, stress, and passionate intensity are all forms of the sin of pride. We use them to attempt to control the situations of our lives and they are ridiculously ineffective and inefficient. Yet we persist.Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.John 14:27

In some cases we dwell on the past, guilt, shame, and anxiety over sins we have committed. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin. Job 11:6  

So accept the call of joy.  Know that God is more powerful than all of this serious business. Move forward into the new year with a light heart, laughter, and secure in the love of our creator.