Believe

According to an on-line dictionary, the word “believe” is defined as: accept as true, feel sure of the truth of and, have faith. The thesaurus gives us: be convinced by, regard as true and, think. Given my role as an elected person, I’m often forced to follow politics even when I don’t want to, and I’m forced to be political; and I never WANT to do that. So, I walk a very narrow line in the middle of the road. I’m an independent voter for a reason. It’s campaign time here in Arizona; primary election season is ending on August 28th. So, the mailers continue to arrive with half-truths and twisted facts. I can’t wait for it to be over!

Alternative facts, fake news, all of media being deemed “the enemy of the people”; it’s hard to believe in anything these days. I know the truth is out there and we should all be trying to find it. I love the old -phrase “figures lie and liars figure”. To me, it represents the concept that you can make anything appear the way you want it to just by moving the numbers around. As a society and a humanity, we need to find a path into the future that is not polarizing our beliefs but benefiting from our differences. Perspective changes everything and oftentimes we simply lack perspective to understand the problems. Instead we rely on the sound bites and the “tweets” of others to shape our perspective. Do a little research on your own and spend a little time getting informed. I wish our State Candidates would do it! The devil is working hard enough to turn us away from the love and peace that Jesus left for us, let’s not allow him to succeed or we will all understand what wrath means.

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36

God’s word is very clear throughout the bible; He can be made angry easily, He has a long memory and He gave His one and only Son to save the world. If the Son is rejected, He will send His wrath and not let them see eternal life. The promises of God have not been broken. Jesus told us of the wonders of eternal life and the glory that we have, don’t we want to share that with everyone?

I thought about the people that do not know Christ, which means they have rejected Him. What about the people that I know who don’t have a relationship with Christ or who have children that haven’t been baptized? After reading this verse, I became very sad when I thought about God’s wrath that remains for them. In reflection, this is why I keep writing these weekly devotions. Maybe, I can reach one person that is lost or sustain a relationship in someone else. The work I do with the military is all about safeguarding, and so is this verse. Please reach out to those that are lost and help them find Christ. We are all busy in this life but we need to take time to gather as many as we know s they too can enjoy an eternal life which is not possible without Christ.

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Rejection

Rejection is the worse! It happens to us pretty early in life with the rejection of a first date offer, high school romance breakup, marriages, car loans, mortgages and jobs just to name a few. String a few of these together and life becomes miserable. People begin to fall into despair and then nothing seems to go right. This is when hopelessness takes over and all is lost; someone without hope is in danger. A month or so ago, the City of Phoenix became the first metropolitan city in the US to end homelessness for veterans. They had identified 225 chronically homeless veterans in the city and worked them into a program called Project H3 – Health, Home and Hope. These men and women returned from active duty to find they either had job skills and no job or few transferrable skills and certainly no jobs. They were proud and wanted to work. One rejection after another and they started to lose hope. Once they became hopeless, nothing else mattered. Mayor Greg Stanton of the City of Phoenix was determined to see that this ended. He worked with a number of agencies to partner on the Project H3 program for veterans. It’s an awesome story of a community coming together to solve a problem but the issue hasn’t gone away. We have a big homeless veteran problem in our state, so the work continues.  Many people today are rejected regularly. There isn’t a month that goes by that we don’t read about a young teen that takes their life because their peers who resorted to bullying them have rejected them. Do you know when you feel like you are losing hope? Can you recognize it in someone else? When you do, have you considered how you might react?

“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”  Luke 10:16

We’ve all exclaimed at some point in our lives “This is hopeless!”. We usually rebound and find a solution to the problem or God puts someone in our life to help us through. What about being rejected? We experience rejection a lot in our youth but we learn from it and adapt. As adults, we typically experience it less and my guess is because we don’t put ourselves in situations to be rejected – we learned from our youth. We must learn to recognize when we are losing hope in our lives or when its happening to someone else. For some, losing hope turns into clinical depression but for most of us, it starts with the feeling of “being down”. Much like a frog in a pot of water on the stove that doesn’t feel it getting hotter until it boils, we too don’t know when our feelings are turning from being down to becoming depressed. Find your hope in God; through Him nothing is hopeless. Jesus is warning in this verse that He will not be rejected without consequences. If we reject Jesus, we reject the Father. No wiggle room in that! So, if our hope is in God we should have nothing to fear, right? God wants us to come to him and to come often in prayer. Know the word of God by reading the bible and you will be filled with hope regularly. Armed with this knowledge, you can be that person God puts into someone else’s life to bring them hope and acceptance rather than despair and rejection.