Archive for the ‘Christians’ category

The Answer Came

February 16, 2008

seess.gifMy thoughts keep coming back to this deal with the illegal immigrates. So, the other day I took the time to really pray about the confusion and fears in my heart about the subject. I then sat and thought for a long while, waiting I guess for an answer that I was not sure would come right away.

I thought back to when the first white man came to America. How we had no regard for the Indian’s way of life and how we did not try to change to be like them, just because we were in their country. However, I expect this of the Hispanics.

I thought about how they had not known a life of security or prosperity. How they must think it could all end at any time with them being sent back to their homeland. Could this be why they work all the overtime they can and not because they are greedy? Are they just making hay while the sun shines? What would I do if our roles in life were reversed?

I thought about how dishonest they are to; not pay a fair share of taxes. How they use food stamps, Medicaid and other social programs designed for the poor, when they are making as much as I am and not even having to pay taxes.

They have the same option as me for buying insurance at work, yet they sponge off the government that allows them to live here. They steal another’s identity and give no thought of the problems it will cause.

Why do they behave this way? Could it be they are afraid of the paper trail that could get them deported? Are they afraid that if they pay for the insurance and then they need to use it, the insurance company will refuse and say they are illegal? Would I not be afraid? Have I never taken what was not mine to take? Have I never told a lie to help myself? Do we not have many lazy Americans cheating us by falsely using the same services that the Hispanics abuse?

I thought about how unclean some of them are. They don’t even know to wash their hands after going to the bathroom or to flush used toilet paper down the commode. Could this be because they grew up in a culture where basic health education had not been ingrained in them since birth? Don’t I know Americans who are just as unsanitary?

I thought of how I hate the hot tortilla smell that fills our break room at lunchtime. Most of their foods, I like. But this smell is repulsive to me. It nearly turns my stomach. But, what do they think of my salmon patties and tuna salad? Would I give up the foods I love if I had to live in Mexico? On the other hand, would I not see these foods as a link to the place I missed?

I thought about how haughty and pride filled some of them are. How they expect you to move out of their way in Walmart. How they allow their children to run wild in stores. Am I free of the guilt of pride? Have I never looked down my nose at another? Are they more permissive with their children because the mortality rate of children is higher in their homeland that it is in America?

All these things I thought about. It kept me from my sleep as I pondered on it and walked a mile in their shoes. The fit was not good. It has left me limping today because I have no answers to offer.

Only this do I know: they are no different from me. They too are flesh and blood. They too laugh and cry, love and hate, give and take. They worship the same, the one and only, God that I do. They too have fears, prejudices, dreams, hopes, desires and aspirations. They too will do whatever it takes to provide for their children, be it lying, cheating or stealing

What has this shown me? That I have been more blessed by God for His own good pleasure. Yes, I have known hard and difficult times in my life also. However, I have never been driven from my home by hunger or poverty. I have never had to watch my child grow up uneducated, or sicken and die because there was no doctor or money to pay one. I have never been drawn to an alien country by a hope for obtaining the very necessities of life.

Yes, I am truly blessed, through no efforts on my part. Living in this country is a blessing. Who am I to set limits on who else can enjoy these same things, freely given to me by God? I have no right at all. Everything belongs to God. This is His earth, His land and His children.

Somewhere, between the extremes of arresting and deporting all illegal immigrants and flinging open the borders, is an answer. We may find it in time; we may not. The world is watching us. They watch to see if we are just all talk or if we are the compassionate people we proclaim ourselves to be.

Are these famous words only that, famous words?

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Or do they still have meaning? Has the prosperity showered on us by a loving God, made us so selfish we cannot share? Is there no more room in this wide country?

If ever there was a poor person, these Hispanics are they. Not only in money are they poor, but also in all other aspects are they also needy. Many have bowed legs from malnutrition in childhood, bad teeth from lack of hygiene and proper dental care. They have no education, few clothes and nowhere to live.

Many come from small villages where there was no running water, which means no flushable toilets, no electricity, no paved roads and no social services. There was little time for school because it took all family members to raise enough food to live on and there was no money to pay a teacher.

Many fall prey to the exorbitant fees charged by their own people when they first arrive. They need clothes and shoes for work. They are in a strange place without an inkling of the laws or language. It is little wonder they often cheat, steal and lie to get by. I do not say it is right, only that I understand why.

I know a man named Mario who told me of when he first came to America. He had run out of money three days before payday. Another man lent him $3.00 for food, until he received his first paycheck. He ran to a grocery store and spent a long time trying to decide what was the most food he could buy with his money.

He finally picked up a large can with a picture of fried chicken on the front of it. He rushed home with his mouth watering in anticipation of the fried chicken. He quickly opened the can, with a pocketknife, only to find he had purchased a can of Crisco.

He told me with tears in his eyes, how his belly gnawed on its self for the next three days as he searched through the break room trash for scraps to eat. He said this made him determined to learn to speak English. Hunger is a good motivator. Today he speaks it very well.

There are thousands of heart breaking stories like this. Stories of hearing news that a loved mother or father was dying and no money to go to them who were so far away. Stories of a fiancée contracting aids because she had to sell herself for food to feed her brothers and sisters. Their hunger could not wait on the first check from America to arrive. The tragedies are endless.

So, where does this leave me? Wondering how I can begrudge them a place in the land of plenty. It is true they have flooded the job market with workers and that this keeps wages down. We cry it is unfair to American workers. But, is it truly fair for us to have so much and them to have so little? Does this not come under the heading of sharing?

How many of us in America really know needs that are not met? I speak here of the basic needs of life: food, water, clean air, shelter and medical care. Not of new cell phones or more designer clothes. Nor do I speak of bigger homes that house fewer people each year. I speak not of a large nest egg for retirement, which we may or may not live to use. I speak of the needs of the present time, right now.

I have felt rage and hate, pity and compassion by turns. I have been incited to anger when listening to the complaining at work. I was filled with disgust as I watched them march last year, demanding their “rights.” But no more. In one night, my heart has changed. The issue is settled in my heart and I believe it is sanctioned by Christ.

My part is to treat all humans with respect and dignity regardless of race, religion, color or nationality. It is, to be a living example of righteousness, by how I live each day. It is, to deny anger, hate and jealousy a place in my heart. It is, to help anyone in need and to share with anyone who has less than I do. It is, not to allow myself to be drawn into disputes of the crowd, but to stand firm on my beliefs and convictions. It is, not to be afraid and to place my whole, complete trust, not in the hands of the government but in the able hands of God.

Well there you have it. The answer came. I know there will be times I forget and fail, but I know too a God who is forgiving. I most assuredly will fall from grace in the eyes of many and be counted no better than a turncoat or traitor, but such is the price of having a conscience and of following The Way laid out by Christ during His life on earth. God sees and He is watching.

I’ve never really been afraid of being different from the norm. In fact, most of my life I have been so. I only get lost when I take my eyes from Him and listen to the world whine and cry about what is fair. However, as my Daddy always said, “The only fair you will find in life comes to town in the fall for two weeks.” How wise he was.

The Anchor That Holds by Pamela Kay

October 8, 2007

anchor-clipart-picture18.gifIn these troubled times, we often feel lost, alone, hopeless, useless, doomed and afraid. We do not know where to turn for help or for hope. Friends and family forsake us. Loved ones can be so into themselves that they have no time for us and often find themselves in the same boat with you. But they offer no help. It seems there is nothing safe to hold on to. No anchor in a storm filled life. Jesus is the anchor that holds fast.

Only Jesus can help us. The sands of time flow fast into the bottom half. You can read the times and the signs and see we are on a collision course with destruction. No fortress will be strong enough, no cave deep enough to keep our fate at bay. It comes in great galloping strides to end our existence on this earth. It cannot be stopped. Any who tell you it can be stopped or that this is nothing more than religious drivel, is playing ostrich by hiding their heads in the sand. Pretending something will happen to change things. It never works.

As bleak as the inevitable may be, it is far better to face it than to deny it. If we cannot stop the sands of time, then what can we do? This is the simple part. The hard part was getting to the point of asking this question. The answer is to give your life to Jesus. Get ready for eternal life in heaven with Him.

A lot of the Bible has been proven true. None of it has been proven false though it is often hotly contested. This alone should give one pause to think of the consequences if it is true and you are not ready according to its words when time runs out. Yet sadly, everyday the chasm between mankind and God grows wider as we seek to make gods of ourselves in a futile attempt to be in control.

But God will not be mocked. We are here for His own pleasure. Not meaning fun, but meaning His use or purpose. It does not matter that you do not believe in Him, for He believes in you. He is the Creator and thus has the final say. He has given us warnings, examples and rules to help us live, as He wants His created beings to live. He has His own plan and it will be done as He deems it should be. He even sent His Son to show us. He sent Jesus to us.

So just, who is this Jesus? Well He is the Great I AM, Yahweh, Jehovah, the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, Lord of lords, King of kings, Savior, Chief cornerstone, Eternal Life, Holy, True, Light of the world, Judge of the living and dead, Lamb of God, Life Eternal, Prophet, Rabbi (teacher), Resurrection, Rock of ages, Root of David, Lion of Judah, Mediator, the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Word of God.

These are some, of over a hundred, names or titles given to Jesus Christ in the Bible. However, they alone cannot tell you who He is. What I call Him is Friend, Enabler, Savior and Anchor. He is the most important person in my life though my actions do not always reflect this. Family is important, but He is more so. For in His hands rest the fate of my eternal soul. This life is but a wisp of smoke and then it is no more, but eternity is just that: eternal.

Jesus Christ is an enabler. Through Him, I am able to conquer and withstand the onslaught of evil that I confront each day of my life. I am able, through Him: to love those who are not lovable, forgive those who deserve no forgiveness, and have compassion for those who have brought their own house down on their heads by folly. Through Him, I am able to give to the needy, when my own cupboard is almost bare. I am able to smile at others and offer hope and comfort, when inside I weep, for my own pain. Jesus did as much for me.

Jesus Christ is a friend closer than a brother. In Him, I have found a friend like no other. Someone who loves me and is for me, no matter how many times I break His heart with my selfishness, sinfulness or willfulness. He calls me to repentance instead of turning away and giving up on me. I am so precious to Him. He is all the more awesome because He first loved me and did not wait for me to repent, to start loving me, but has known and loved me from the beginning of time.

Jesus Christ is my Savior. I do not deserve the love, grace or mercy of Christ Jesus. It is a gift, from the most powerful person in the universe to me, a very small inconsequential speck in the vastness of creation. How awesome is His perfect way: to give love where none is deserved. To make me worthy by the giving of His own life, so He could love me. Who else, but He, could devise such a perfect plan?

He is also my anchor. There is a song by Ray Boltz entitled “The Anchor Holds.” My reaction to this song is a good definition of who Jesus is to me. Each time I hear this song, I weep. It brings to me a mental picture so real that all else fades away, a vision if you will.

I see me, in a boat close to a rocky shore in the midst of a raging storm. The boat is anchored by a rope in the hands of Jesus, who is on the shore. In the darkness the wind howls, lightening flashes and waves wash over the sides of the boat as it rolls from side to side. I can taste the salt of the water and the blood from a bitten lip. I am tossed and thrown about, bruised and battered, aching and sore, but somehow, my eyes never leave Him. He wears a simple shirtdress of white, which is plastered, to his body by wind and rain as He too is drenched by the ruthless storm. The wind whips His hair against His face and stings His skin. The tightly held rope is cutting into the flesh of His hands, but still He holds to it, with His feet planted firmly and His body leaned back in the struggle. The muscles of His neck and arms are strained, in the flashing light of the storm. He notices none of this; His attention is focused on saving me. I am weeping in this little vision, but not from fear. No, I am weeping because I know I do not deserve what He has done for me, and because the love in my heart for this man is too great to be contained. I trust Him with my life, and because He gave His life to save me; I know that no matter the cost, He will not let go of me, ever.

Why, you may ask, does He allow these storms in my life if He loves me? Can He not, as He did in the Bible, speak the storm into submission? Yes, He can do this. But how then would I ever be able to see just how much He loves me and what a terrible price He paid to save me? No, it is far better that I experience these storms and learn to hold on to Him and trust Him to hold on to me.

I know He is my only hope of salvation. However, He is more than enough, for He is the great I Am. When the storms of this life have reached an ending, He will tow the boat to shore and reach out His hand, welcoming me to eternity with Him. We will remember the storm no more.

The following is the end of a poem I wrote about this mental image I have of Jesus loving me. The whole poem as well as other of my writings can be seen at;

My mind just cannot comprehend, that someone could love me so.
That such a price could be paid for me by someone I did not know.
For even when I was lost in the world, too blinded by sin to see
That I had been bought and paid for, Jesus was loving me.