Who Will Join the Clean-Up Crew?

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By: Susan Bea Good

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eye; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression…” (Isaiah 1:16-17a)

Tuesday was my State’s Primary election day. Since then I’ve been tossing around two options for blog topics regarding the outcome. I worked as a Poll Challenger in Grand Rapids and suspect I witnessed many Hillary Democrats using the Republican ballot in an attempt to spoil the vote for Ted Cruz. If this is so they may have cost her the State of Michigan, as Bernie Sanders snatched it from the 20 point deficit it had been in just days before. I could write about that irony or the analogy I saw this morning as I performed my spring dog poo yard clean up. I believe I’ll take on the analogy.

Each spring thaw I’m faced with a three acre yard bombed with dog debris that must be removed ASAP, preferably before our seven grandsons take their first-of-the-warm-season-run-through. This job requires a plan and a strong stomach. The key to my strategy is to triple bag my dominant hand, which enables me to fulfill my commitment to thoroughly remove each pile. Of course this initial clean up must be maintained throughout the warm months, as the chance of an unexpected “ugly incident” is always possible, and nobody wants that!

Drawing an analogy comparing my seasonal yard clean up to the underbelly of politics is too easy. The number of candidates, supporters, spokespersons, and party strategists perpetrating excremental-bombs on the public during an election cycle is enough to overcome the strongest stomach. Just as one is exposed three more surface. Identifying the extent of the affects of their corruption is more challenging, and successfully implementing a plan for clarification and clean up is nearly impossible. However, without a commitment to occasional vigorous restorative measures the landscape would become unusable for our families.

May God bless those who sacrifice themselves to be part of the clean-up crew. These positions are not often glamorous or appreciated. Our government would be completely corrupted and there would be no hope for our children’s futures if someone wasn’t willing to clean up the messes!

This blogger’s intent is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

(Photo Credit: wantwaaromniet.nl)

 

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Why Are Good Men Promoting a Bad Man?

Trump and Jeffress

Birds of a Feather?

By: Susan Bea Good

“Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence,
and their lips talk of trouble.” (Proverbs 24:1-2/ESV)

Hallelujah!…finally a substantial attack is gaining traction on the bad acts of the Republican frontrunner. During this week’s Republican debate Marco Rubio scorched the legitimate brand of “con artist” onto Donald Trump.

While writing this post on Friday morning I was surprised to hear the announcement that Chris Christie was endorsing Trump. Then something much worse occurred…Pastor Robert Jeffress, from First Baptist Church in Dallas Texas, stepped up on the stage with Trump to offer a tearful plea to us Christians. In it he all but guaranteed that if we would support Donald Trump for President we could be assured that he would protect Christians and support our causes!

Jeffress isn’t the only good man to endorse Trump. Earlier this month Jerry Falwell’s son did the same. That’s right, the son of the founder of the Moral Majority stood at the side of Trump and called evil good.

Why are “good” men promoting this bad man?  What has gotten into their heads that they would believe this con artist, and encourage us to do the same? Can’t they see what many of us see plainly?

There will be a price to pay for this foolishness regardless of whether Trump becomes President or fails in his bid for the White House. These good men have lost their way. Many will never trust them again. Their churches, university, and personal ministries will suffer for their decision to stand with a bad man.

This blogger’s purpose is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

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Putting the Big Rock In First

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Concept and Photo Credit: Steven Covey

By: Susan Bea Good

The “Big Rocks” concept describes a vessel filled to its limit with large and small elements, all fitting together due to the order of their entry. For the individual who desires a full and satisfying spiritual life the big rocks concept offers a visual of success.

If our lives are filled primarily with things that matter least (materialism, pride, and a struggle for power) there will never be room for more important content (other people), and certainly no place for the Most Important (our Creator). However, if we prioritize the most important Factor in first, followed by the interests of others, and pour ourselves in last, we will find the perfect fit!

Our world is full of distractions which matter least. The only way to keep life meaning-full is to make a daily effort to position the Big Rock first!

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…but seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.”” (Matthew 6:19-21, 33/ESV)

This blogger’s purpose is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

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The Bet is On!

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By: Susan Bea Good

Three years ago a precocious fifteen year old, Caiden Cowger, started his own “Christian Conservative” news and commentary site, The Cowger Nation. He asked me to join him, writing twice a week, growing and expanding his readership. I wrote over two hundred pieces for the Cowger Nation but left abruptly two months ago after the site descended into Trump mania. Before I left the managing editor, and chief Trumpet on site, challenged me to a bet. The bet, for a New York bagel, was that Donald Trump would walk away with the Republican nomination for President and leave Ted Cruz in his dust!

My parents raised me to be cautious about placing bets. However, this one is a sure win, for me! Last night’s Iowa victory was a first big step on the way to renewed blessing from God for our nation, and a cleansing of the evil within the Republican ranks. I am sorry to report that Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, too many at FOX News, Dr. Robert Jefress, Phyliss Shafley, and even Dr. Ben Carson have shown they are not committed to truth and righteousness.

These are amazing times, where the truest content of a man’s character may be revealed. I am sorry to see formerly respected people bowing to power and cooperating with evil to gain a win.

This isn’t just “politics.” What we’re experiencing now is nothing short of full-on spiritual warfare! As a Christ-follower I believe it is my duty to be in this fight. Watching from the sidelines as one “too righteous” to care about politics is not an option. I pray that God permits this nation to return to its founding principles. I am willing to do my part in an effort to help others better understand what those principles were.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

This blogger’s purpose is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

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Too Many Trump Supporters Just Don’t Care

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By: Susan Bea Good

Even when confronted by the facts, some people just don’t care!

Twenty two Conservatives courageously submitted Trump-facts to the National Review’s “Against Trump” effort late last week. Outrage erupted immediately from some surprising places. FOX New’s Judge Jeanine Pirro exemplified the knee-jerk reaction against any who would provide cogent arguments “against” a Trump presidency. She scolded and cajoled the brave souls who stood against indecency, fraud, deceit, self-promotion, tyranny, injustice, and New York values.

When confronted with the truth about Donald Trump his supporters respond, “We don’t care!”

Trump on abortion… “We don’t care!”

Trump and women… “We don’t care!”

Trump on universal healthcare… “We don’t care!”

Trump and gay marriage… “We don’t care!”

Trump on religious liberty… “We don’t care!”

Those who stand against Trump are courageous. There’s a lot to lose when confronting a powerful foe whose followers have turned off their hearts and minds. The good news is those who do care about life, women, healthcare, marriage, and religious liberty will not back down!

“Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or His ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2/ESV)

This blogger’s purpose is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

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If Trump’s the Nominee I’m Withholding My Vote

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By: Susan Bea Good

I worked hard for Mitt Romney in 2012. When he lost and the stats came out that millions of Evangelicals withheld their votes from the Republican candidate I reacted with a blog entitled, “Withheld Votes.” Later I apologized to my fellow Conservatives over the post, as I came to realize their legitimate objection to participating in the election of an “objectionable” man.

This week it’s looking like half of those who identify as Conservative are planning to cast their Primary vote for Donald Trump. I am unable to see their justification.

To this date Phyllis Shafley, Willie Robertson, Jerry Falwell Jr, Sarah Palin, Rev. Robert Jeffress, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have all endorsed Trump for President. Again, I am unable to see their justification.

I will not vote for the “lesser of two evils! I also do not subscribe to the argument that Trump would be “better than what we have now.” I have decided that I will never vote for a man like Donald Trump. That means even if he becomes the Republican nominee against the Democrat, Sanders or Clinton, I will NOT vote for Trump-2016!

(The brave prophet Jeremiah) “This evil people…who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing.” (Jeremiah 13:10/ESV)

This blogger’s purpose is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

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Trump: the Definition of Corruption

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By: Susan Bea Good

Trump supporters claim their man is “above the politics,” while in fact he is a prime example of a main cause of corruption in the American system of government. The billionaire Trump’s personal money trail meanders into the pockets of both liberal and conservative politicians, and the coffers of social causes from opposing ends of the moral spectrum.

A friend of a friend, Anastasios Tsatsakis, made a profound comment on Facebook over the weekend. “Trump supporters don’t think that Trump can be corrupted because he has his own money…but they fail to realize that he’s the reason why everyone around him is corrupt!”

A.T. hit the nail on the head. Trump’s ability to pay his own way should be exposed for what it really is. He became super rich by “working the system.” Now he wants to claim he’s not a part of that system! He admits he has contributed to all sides of every cause, “to get them to pick up the phone when he needs a favor.” Wow…the average working guy can’t make a call for “favors” from their Representatives in government, but a rich man can!

Money can corrupt. Trump has a lot of money. Trump uses his money to corrupt!

Trump’s corrupting abilities seem to be second nature to him. This weekend he bought out a local Iowa theater offering free showings of the movie “13 Hours” to the public, just two weeks out from the first primary votes there. What’s next?…vouchers for Little Pig’s BBQ in South Carolina and Starbucks in New Hampshire?

Our U.S.Constitution has built-in “justice for all” safeguards meant to level the playing field for all of its citizens. When presidential candidate Donald Trump claims to be “above it all,” he is speaking his own brand of truth. His “above it all” is the opposite of moral superiority. It’s actually his own personal immunity, bought from elected officials, and apparently from some of the current voting public.

Sometimes it’s interesting to note where a rich man did not spend his money. Perhaps Trump’s advisors failed to notify him that a donation here would ensure his appearance as genuinely empathetic, and confirm his instinctive “New York values!”

“They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:19/ESV)

This blogger’s purpose is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

 

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4 AM Calls are Always Interesting

4 am

By: Susan Bea Good

Last month I did some pre-Christmas cleaning, which resulted in posting items to sell on Craigslist. Days later my cell phone rang at 4 AM. Calls at that hour usually signal bad news, so of course I answered immediately. The caller asked if I still had a particular item for sale. I asked if he realized the time, he responded with, “My mom said that if you want something you must call right away.”

After too many minutes of interaction with this man I determined he was probably of the type I would call a “Freddy’s Friend.” I’m involved with a Bible Camp that designates two weeks each summer for adult mentally impaired campers. Those special weeks feature a puppet named Freddy, who is everyone’s friend. Campers may be referred to as Freddy’s friends.

So, a possible Freddy’s friend and I continued to converse about my CL item, how he would use an UBER for transportation to my house, who his favorite teacher was at the High School he graduated from in ’79, and his desire to have a picture of me- after asking if I was pretty. (No, I didn’t tell him that I was pretty!) In fact I warned him that if he came to buy my item I’d be carrying my 350 Magnum. Without missing a beat he offered to bring his AR-15! When I laughed and pointed out that it would be hard to conceal such a big gun, he offered, “I’m a big guy…grrrrr!”

I’ll admit that throughout this wierd 4 AM conversation I considered hanging up many times. But I wanted to confirm that this was indeed a harmless friend-of-Freddy, and not a serial killer. I finally did end the call by promising to call back later to set a meet-up spot near him. Calling his number many times the next day, I had a plan that when he answered I would immediately demand to speak to his mom. I figured that if this guy was still living with his mom in his fifties he was most probably harmless. However, he never answered the phone. So the danger level of my mystery caller remains unidentified.

The next week I donated all of my CL items to a second-hand shop that supports research for a cure for Alzheimer’s.

I’m not sure this blog posting can “encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it,” but I missed posting last week, and this is what I have to share today.

 

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How to Start a Bible Club: Look for the Bikes

Bike

By: Susan Bea Good

How to start a Bible Club:

  1. Listen for God’s instructions.
  2. Answer “Yes.”
  3. Do the next obvious thing.
  4. Wait for His timing to move forward.
  5. Respond immediately when God opens the doors.

It’s as easy as that!…and as hard as that too.

In two days it will be Christmas. Seven months ago my daughter and I took a drive through a needy local mobile home park. A public school teacher-friend had shared a compelling story about one of the children living there, which melted our hearts. What better way to respond to a melted heart than to begin a Bible Club?

Our initial pass through the Park revealed lots of bicycles, indicating lots of potential for a Club. After more investigation we discovered that over two hundred school-aged children reside in the Park. It has been my contention for years that kids in these locations do not have the ability, because of transportation limitations, to attend their local After-School Bible Clubs. Historically, Release-Time Clubs (operating during school hours) succeeded in reaching this demographic, but these are harder to operate, and most ministries have stopped making that effort. Neighborhood Clubs are the only option for many children.

After trying since July to find a safe location within the Park for a neighborhood Bible Club, a pastor-friend came up with the perfect hosts. Sarah and her daughter seem pleased to become involved with this outreach within their neighborhood. I am looking forward to working as a Team, reaching kids with the message that Jesus loves them, and wants them to know Him.

We passed out invitations in the Park today. God blessed us with mild weather, which made it easier to identify homes with potential Clubbers. Though it took some initiative and patience, our Club is scheduled to begin next Wednesday. We still have challenges ahead, but we’re committed to doing what it takes to get established. No doubt God is calling many of these children to salvation, and because we are willing to be His messengers we’ll also be witnesses to His work!

For all of us, these are our “last days.” Whether our Lord returns soon or waits another century, these are the last opportunities we each have as Christ-followers to witness His work and be a part of it. I want my last days to be full of His activity. It’s always been true that there’s no time like now to respond to His calls. And now is really the only time we can be sure we have to give to Him!

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.'” (John 4:34/ESV)

This blogger’s purpose is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

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Sometimes Winners Turn Out to Be Losers

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By: Susan Bea Good

Last night I caught the last minutes of the Miss Universe Pageant, hosted by comedian Steve Harvey. The long awaited moment had arrived. The two finalists, Miss Philippines and Miss Colombia, stood shoulder to shoulder as the final results were read…wrong! Harvey declared Miss Colombia to be the winner, when actually she was runner up. The crown was awarded to the wrong woman! The real winner graciously left the stage, only to be brought back forty five long seconds later to be awkwardly and unceremoniously crowned 2015’s Miss Universe.

Miss Colombia was in shock! She had already offered the viewers her daintily shed tears, many royal waves, a few heart-pats, crown caresses, and blown kisses. Now she was a loser!

America’s current national election competition is providing our nation with a front row seat to watch a lifetime “winner” do his thing. Because of his misplaced pride and destructive lack of self-control I don’t expect him to be the final winner. In fact he may already be losing as this year winds to a close…he just doesn’t know it yet.

Before his die-hard, mind-numb followers turn me off, may I say that my personal first choice of a candidate is also beginning to show signs of, shall I say, not winning. I had a lot of hope that my wise doctor would continue to climb in the rankings. However, even before an official Primary vote, he seems to be falling behind and may be beginning to lose.

It’s hard to acknowledge that your favorite may not be the winner. It’s even harder to look for another candidate to support, as this indicates that your initial judgment was wrong. But, it’s imperative in this race that all true Conservatives get behind the one that can win next November! If that one is not my first choice I will adapt. There is potential great harm in waiting too long to turn away from a loser.

If you are backing a loser, I encourage you to shake it off. You were wrong! It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last, but you can recover and be on the winning side next year.

For the Christ-follower, who looks at the world today and sees God’s people losing, do not believe it! Though our “prize” is hidden for now, we are assured that Jesus Christ will bring us through all of the challenges of this life and present us to the Father as winners!

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4/ESV)

This blogger’s purpose is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!

 

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