Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Eye of the Tornado ~ Part Two


Eye of the Tornado: Part One   Part Two   Part Three

Dear Friends,

It was 110 degrees in Sylmar last Sunday. I’m sure glad I don’t live in one of our county’s desert communities where it can get hot. I’m also grateful for the air conditioning I have in my house. I can relax on a Sunday afternoon and read in a cool environment while my house is completely surrounded by the extreme unrelenting heat. In the afternoon there was an 870 acre fire three miles away that Santa Ana winds were fast-blowing towards my house that sits at the base of the hills. But as the intense heat rose from the valley floor, the swirling winds suddenly reversed and the fire was now being driven in another direction. Smoke and dust whirled in the hot winds outside and it was suffocating to breath. Inside my house, the filtered air was clean and fresh. I was in a pleasant micro-environment completely unlike what was taking place outside my house. It was calm. Cool. Peaceful music. I’m sensing the sacred holiness of the moment as I’m enveloped in the tranquility and serenity. It was like being in the eye of the tornado.

Many of us feel as if we are caught up in a cultural tornado today. Last week’s headlines: Vogue fashion magazine, proclaims that this is the “age of the witch” and “every woman is a witch.” Another top Hollywood celebrity calls for the assassination of our President and a CBS news anchor called the recent attempt to assassinate a republican congressman “self-inflicted” because of his politics. An MSNBC news host “explained” the assassination attempt by pointing out that the congressman was a co-sponsor of a bill to define marriage as between a man and a woman and he voted to strike down Obamacare. Nuclear arms experts believe that North Korea has, or very soon will have, the capability of striking Hawaii with a nuclear bomb and both Hawaii and Japan are educating their citizens on how to survive a nuclear attack. Islamic experts predict that the terrorism we see in Britain and Europe is a preview of what we can expect in America as Islam spreads to our Country. Last week, Muslim extremists flew an Islamic State (ISIS) flag over a waterway in New Hampshire and the ACLU argued that it had a first amendment right to be there. In Hartford, Conn, a progressive liberal Trinity College professor called all white people “inhumane” and said “all (expletive) white people need to die.” In Canada, a law was passed last week making it a criminal offense for a  Christian school to read or teach any Bible scriptures that the government finds offensive. In Columbia, three men became legally married to each other. Does reading the above make you feel tense? Worried? Angry? Sad? If the current events in our Nation and the world make you feel as if you are surrounded by a tornado of hate and the breakdown of society, it can be overwhelming at times. Like living outside in 110 degree heat, we feel as if we are suffocating. We need to move into the eye of the tornado.

One way of doing that is to limit our intake of “news” and be more discerning about the media’s attempts to manipulate public opinion. Back in the days when news was objectively reported, Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in America and he inspired me to major in journalism in college. But when the news media became politicalized, journalism integrity died. Today, both liberal and conservative news sources select stories that fit their constructed narrative and spin those stories in a way that is designed to alter public opinion and mold the minds of Americans to fit their political agenda. We used to call that “propaganda” and today we call it “news.” Perhaps we need to limit our exposure to the “news” and spend more time in the eye of the tornado. 

If you find yourself stressed and tense with the events of the world, you may need to spend more time in the Word of God than you do in the World of Man. Do you have trouble sleeping at night? One of the most emotionally and physically damaging things we can do to ourselves is to watch the nightly news before falling asleep. We can become tense, stressed and have difficulty falling asleep. You might find that one of the best places for your Bible is on the bedstand so that the last thing you read at night before falling asleep is the Word of God. Many start their day with upsetting morning news and then find themselves filled with rage when they get cut off on the freeway or highly offended by an inconsequential remark when they get to work. Start your day with your Bible or a favorite devotional. Listen to Christian music. Pray. Eat a healthy breakfast. Thank God for all the wonderful things He has given you and done for you. Start your day in the eye of the tornado.

And, trust in God! While He permits us to self-destruct by exerting our will and turning toward evil, God is still in control. And, know that the pervasive hate we see in our Nation is not sustainable. God is love. Hate from political and religious extremists does not ultimately work in God’s Creation. Many democratic politicians are having second thoughts about the direction that extreme progressives have hijacked their party. The social justice platform of the old democratic party was rooted in the Bible. Democratic Christian presidents Kennedy, Carter and Clinton knew the Word of God and listened to “activists” like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Today the atheist-led progressive democrats are rooted in a secular platform of hate and violence. Things will change for the better. Last Sunday the intense heat shifted the direction of the winds in Sylmar. In politics, the intense hate will shift the direction of the democratic party back to a more moderate agenda. 

Last Sunday it was 110 degrees. Next Sunday it’s predicted to be in the 80's. Things change. They always do. So we just need to chill out..Come into the eye of the swirling storm..Rest in God’s peace..It’s gonna be okay..God’s in control. to be continued.

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