View from the Gulkana Airport near Glennallen, Alaska, USA, December 26, 2016.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve.
Another year is winding down. A year of change in so many ways. The following quote from he Lord of the Rings movie sums up my thoughts on this year:
"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it." ~ Galadriel
I did not vote for Trump or Clinton. I voted for a 3rd party candidate and am waiting to play the "I told you so..." card. Contrary to all the Trump naysayers otherwise, my 3rd party vote was not "wasted", nor was it a "vote for Clinton". That is simply mathematically and statistically not true and never was true even philosophically.
In the Republican primaries, we voted for other candidates because, if we frankly admit it, Trump scared us. After he tied up the Republican nomination the over all line of thought was "Who do you fear more?" Many who opposed Trump in the primaries voted for him in the general election because they feared Clinton more.
OK.... But one thing has not changed. You feared Trump... Yes, you feared Clinton more, but the fact remains you feared Trump and there has not been a lot other than wishful thinking to change your reasons for that fear.
So now what? Talk to me a year from now after Trump has been in office for most of a year.
What are you going to do do if and when a President Trump does something that really goes over the top as well as far across the line; something you feared?
Yes, Clinton would have been even more egregious, but the point is Trump will be egregious. And when his time is done, the damage will be done and there will be little to none chance of going back and fixing it. And you voted for him...
My reply to you will be I told you so... Don't blame me. I didn't vote for either one of them. God judges nations and America is not immune from that judgement.
"Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him."
Thus, we are comforted each and every moment that our high priest ministers for us in the Holy of Holies. The prosecuting attorney is ejected from the courtroom. The case against us is dismissed because our sentence was executed on our high priest himself. But we are not only exonerated, we are actually declared "righteous," as if we had lived perfectly before God. And so we have only a defense attorney before the throne of God. He pleads our case, and the Father accepts his meritorious intercession as sufficient for our right to enjoy his eternal presence forever. "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess (Heb. 4:14 NIV).
There are no candles to light, no buttons to push, no aisles to walk, no rededications or resolutions to do better. Nothing will suffice but the intercession of the high priest whose ministry is far superior to that of Moses. For Moses brought us to Mount Sinai where God appeared in terror, clad in lightning and surrounded by peals of thunder. "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the first born, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel" (Heb. 12:22-24 NIV).
"We Believe: Recovering the Essentials of the Apostles Creed", Michael Horton, (Word Publishing, 1998), pages 143-144
A young friend of mine posted this on his Facebook page today. Josh has found the words and analogy to express the sentiments of a number of my Evangelical friends as well as myself. He has given me permission to re-post his words here. Note the above title is mine, but though it is a declaration of independence from the bondage of men, it is also a declaration of dependence on Almighty God. It is to God Himself we commit our lives and cause.
For me this election has been the moment when I escaped from the abusive, alcoholic husband that is the GOP. For the past twenty years of my adult life, I’ve put up with his cycles of verbal and physical abuse, lies, broken promises, and promiscuity clinging to the hope that he can and will change and at least he puts a roof over my head and feeds me. This year is the last straw. The arrogant, self-assured bravado with which the party threatens me has no hold over me anymore. Yes, I know the alternative is to live on the street. Yes, I know I may have some very bad times. But I do it from my own free will. It is my choice for once. I can and will find people just like me who have broken away and do what I can with them. And, ultimately, my home is in heaven, not this hell of codependency and clutching at the false specters of unrequited and unearned hope in the corrupt politics of man.
So, I have broken free. My conscience is clear. When the ‘greater’ of two evils wins in three weeks, do not come to me blaming me for the outcome. You as a codependent enabler of the bloated corpse of the GOP are as much to blame as me… at least according to your logic. At least my conscience is clear. My vote matters, and I will now withhold it from those who in NO WISE deserve it.
That’s my political statement. My spiritual statement is this: Brace yourselves Christian. Persecution is here. We have been given a rare respite from it in comparison to the historical mean. Buckle up and stand firm on Christ. Love one another.
~ Josh Hall
Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
Going to the candidates' debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose.
~ Simon & Garfunkel, "Mrs. Robinson"
I just deleted one of the posts from this blog that was originally published back on December 12, 2013. It was somewhat of a popular and a bit controversial post, but I came to the conclusion it really no longer served any positive useful purpose. Yes, I know some thought it never served any positive useful purpose to begin with, but I respectfully disagree with that assessment, and would cite their own protests as proof to the contrary.
My wife and I got back home yesterday after a three week visit to our daughter and family who moved to Alaska back at the end of June. They live in a small town in the interior where "going to town" means a 2 1/2 to 3 hour trip to the Palmer/Wasilla/Anchorage area. Words and pictures are inadequate to describe Alaska. I fell like I just got back from another world; another country. At this point in my life I could not and would not live there year around, but am thankful for the opportunities we have had to visit there. Our last visit before this trip was 16 years ago. It is a beautiful wild wilderness of a country, and I love being there and seeing it.
I have said very little about politics. I have no favor for either of the major party candidates, nor will I allow my conscience to be bound by the specious and mathematically flawed argument that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Hillary Clinton and her goosestepping minions. The electoral college diminishes greatly the influence of any one individual vote, especially in those states where the electoral college vote is allocated on the "winner takes all" basis which the vast majority of the states use. Whoever "wins" God still rules over the affairs of mankind and part of His judgement on a wicked secular materialistic nation wrapped up in its own hubris will be to give that nation the rulers such a nation thinks it wants and let us as a nation bear the consequence thereof.
Current Reading: "We Believe: Recovering the Essentials of the Apostles' Creed"; Michael Horton; (Word Publishing, 1998). Good stuff so far. I would encourage you to read it if you have not already.