Archive | August 2020

A Plea to President Trump for Repentance


“A tree is known by its fruit.” The Gospel of Matthew

I am writing this post out of a deep concern about the message President Trump is sending to the world about Christianity through his behavior. I cannot imagine Jesus Christ acting and speaking as he does. My heart weeps.

Some of you may be his supporters. I do not hate you or him. If you vote for him again, I will not hate you. I cannot endorse his re-election. I hope you will read what I’ve written and will ask God for discernment.

If you need carefully documented evidence of his unfitness, I recommend reading “The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump” edited by Ron Sider.

It’s thirty essays written by Christian scholars who love Jesus. They are not vindictive. They are compassionate and respectful. Some of them are Republicans, some are Democrats, and some are Independent. All of them speak the truth in love. They care about not only people of this nation but people in every nation.


Please consider President Trump’s behavior in light of the following two Scriptures.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 NIV)  

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord and enter where he lives? Who may stand before the Lord? Only those with pure hands and hearts, who do not practice dishonesty and lying (Psalm 24:3-4 TLB)  


A Plea to Donald Trump for Repentance

God is in heaven.
Revere and respect him.

You are not in this office
Because of your goodness,
 
Because of your smartness,
Because of your greatness,
 
God’s our Protector,
Not you! He’s our Maker.
 
He loves all nations, all people;
With him, every human is equal.
 
He pays no attention to color of skin.
It tells nothing at all about what lies within.
 
Don’t call yourself “Greatest”,
Or assume that’s your status
 
Before God Almighty!
Don’t take warnings lightly.
 
If you don’t stop lying,
You’re in danger of dying
 
And facing his wrath;
At proud mockers, he laughs.
 
It says that in the Bible.
Repent while you’re able:
 
Care for the immigrant,
The poor and indigenous,
 
Show respect for women,
Don’t treat them as stupid.

They know how to reason.
Hear all who’ve been wounded,
 
By you and by others;
God hates one who covers
 
Up sin! Unless you become honest,
You can’t claim his promise
 
Of safety and protection
Or eternal salvation;
 
Don’t honor the thief
and hold back relief
 
From the poor and needy;
Stop being greedy.
 
Put an end to your twitter,
Stop being bitter,
 
Be respectful, not caustic,
Don’t bash the agnostic.
 
Close your mouth, pay attention;
Please learn how to listen.
 
Seek peace with all people,
Return good for evil.
 
Use love as your weapon,
Not cruel words or a gun.
 
Much damage’s been done
By your uncontrolled tongue;
 
Don’t brag about your rating.
If you’re not relating
 
With the fruit of God’s Spirit,
Your work has no merit.
 
What I see and I hear
Fills me with despair.
 
My heart’s deeply grieved
By the way you’ve deceived
 
Your unquestioning supporters;
Who blindly take orders.
 
I cannot trust you.
How can I support you?
 
Do my words hit the mark?
God alone knows your heart.
 
He will show you what’s true
And what you must do,
 
If you humbly seek truth,
Don’t just accept what will soothe
 
Your conscience and mind;
Ask, “In what ways am I blind?”
 
For your eternal well-being
I am praying and pleading.
 
8/22/20

This entry was posted on August 24, 2020.

What it Takes to Finish Well


We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. 
The night is coming, and then no one can work.
(John 9:4 NLT)

In a conversation with a friend this week, I described my early activity in the church as “I thought I could do everything so I did”. Of course, I could not do everything well. Also, some things and some people got left out. Sadly, sometimes it was my children. I did not recognize my limitations and lacked boundaries. I had the problem that leaders of ancient times had. Dallas Willard describes them in his book, “The Great Omission”.

He says the primary reason kings of Judah and Israel failed was because “they took more upon themselves than was warranted”. In other words, they ignored the limits (boundaries) of human strength and stopped relying on God (acted independently from him). They did not finish well.

I want to finish the race God has given me to run. I want to finish it well. I want to hear Jesus say, “Well done!” I assume that’s something you, too, want to hear. It’s possible for every one of us.

God blessed me with grace, showed me my past errors, and forgave me. He’s been faithfully teaching me what it takes to finish well. No matter what we’ve done or failed to do when we come to him admitting our failures and committing to change he will forgive us. We can get back into the race.

Simply stated, there are two parts to finishing well: God’s part and my part. God’s part is grace. My part is a choice to receive God’s grace. Accordingly, I call my website “choosinggrace”.

The grace God offers includes forgiveness, mercy, faithfulness, strength, truth (revelation of reality), love, gifts of the Spirit, fruit of the Spirit and much more.

My choice to receive God’s grace involves effort. There’s a lot to learn. Yet, as I connect with Jesus, it’s restful, not stressful work. To finish well, I must learn and practice disciplines. Disciplines which successful followers of Jesus practiced. These include solitude, fasting, meditation, Scripture memory, prayer, confession, celebration, fellowship, giving, and more.

Setting a boundary for myself, which defines the race God has called me to do, and sticking to it is a difficult discipline to practice. It means saying “no” to people who might be disappointed. It means saying “no” to my own desires, even good desires which distract me and keep me from finishing at all.

This fall I am starting, again. I’ve reviewed what it is God has called me to do, made plans, and I’m acting on them. This week I said “no” to my desire to be involved in several worthwhile events. I want to finish well.

Questions to consider:
What is that you’ve heard Jesus call you to do?
What discipline do you most need to learn in order to finish well?


Design your life to do, today,
What you heard Jesus say
 
This requires that you plan
Though it’s not a written command
 
Without it, you will drift away
From what you heard the Spirit say
 
If you want to finish well
On this message you must dwell
 
You must, also, work your plan
And when you fail, just start again.
 
Do not think when you’re corrected
That you have been rejected
 
Remember Jesus loves you
Rejoice because he called you
 
Discipline is hard (that he knows)
Without it, no child ever grows.
 
Without correction, you’d be dreadful
Without correction, you’d have a head full
 
Of information, not examined
Of knowledge, not applied
 
Design your life to do,today,
What you heard Jesus say 
 
Jane Ault
8/20/2020
 


This entry was posted on August 21, 2020. 4 Comments

Am I An App of My Telephone?

They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert,
    provoked God with their insistent demands.
He gave them exactly what they asked for—
    but along with it they got an empty heart.
Psalm 106 (MSG)

Technology is a gift. I’m thankful for it. Yet, I can easily become distracted by it. Going without it would be like farming with yesteryear’s machinery. Very slow. Maybe slowing down would be a good idea.

Today’s poems reflect the struggle I have to stay in control of the very precious gift of time. The questions I’m asking are first of all for myself. I hope they cause you, also, to think about your use of technology.


When God’s people, in the past,
Pleaded for unworthy goals
God gave them their desires
But sent famine to their souls.
 
We must be careful what we ask for
When we pray to Our Father;
If we’re set on having own way,
It’s better not to bother.
 
I felt unhappy with my phone
So I purchased an upgrade
As I waited for it to download,
My happiness began to fade.
 
That night I could not sleep.
I lay wide-eyed in my bed.
That new phone had injected
Too much data in my head.
 
I wonder if that upgrade
Was truly a wise choice;
With that phone as my companion,
Will I hear the Spirit’s voice?
 
With it help me access God?
Can I Zoom into his presence?
Will he appear on YouTube?
Will I miss him if he’s absent?
 
8/13/2020
Jane Ault

Finding balance in this technological world
What should I keep?
What should I discard?
 
Finding balance in this technological world
I’m easily distracted.
I get caught off guard.
 
Finding balance in this technological world
What will cause me to lose?
What will bring a reward?  
 
Finding balance in this technological world
What should be kept private?
What should be shared?
 
Finding balance in this technological world
God, I need wisdom.
This really is hard.
 
Finding balance with my computer,
My IPAD,
My phone,
 
Finding balance in this technological world
God, please help me.
I can’t do it alone
 
8/13/20
Jane Ault
This entry was posted on August 14, 2020. 12 Comments