Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Syrian Refugees: Yes

America should take in Syrian refugees. The ancestors of every single person in this country came from somewhere else. Every wave of newcomers has contained risky people....that joined some risky people already here. 

Some of my ancestors were refugees from economic hardship or religious persecution in Northern Europe. Not all of us have refugees in our family tree....but my guess is that most of us do. 

Arguably, we should admit these desperate people in part because OUR decisions contributed to their misery. OUR decision to withdraw from Iraq before Iraqis were ready opened the door to ISIS. OUR decision to back the opposition in Syria has deepened the misery in that country. 

I do think that refugee resettlement must be done in consultation with the states. Setting aside constitutional questions of questionable federal authority, it is just bad government for the Obama administration to push refugees onto the states with what appears to be minimal or non-existent consultation. 

And I also think we should take a higher road than simply accepting U.N. certified refugees as we are now apparently doing. Middle Eastern Christians and other refugees of minority religious and ethnic groups are under represented in U.N. rolls because many won't register for fear of persecution by Muslims. The higher road would be to seek out and open our arms to these who are most in danger. 

Yes. There are risks. Among these broken people are almost certainly at least a few ISIS jihadis. But we decided to live with that risk decades ago as we allowed Muslims from many lands to come into our county. Jihad is an article of faith for Muslims (although most Muslims would never take part in violent jihad). But what the majority believes is irrelevant....because all it takes is a few Muslims who believe in violent jihad to cause new grief among us. 

Finally, and most importantly, we should take them in because this is who we are: a nation that is made of many nations. Our national motto, e pluribus unum, is on our coins.  It means "out of many, one." We should take them in because once we quit obsessing over the horrific scenes in Paris, I believe we will realize our hearts are telling us that this is the right thing to do. Our love and compassion will finally compel us.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Train Up a Child in the Way She Should Go.....

Solomon was trained from childhood to choose wisdom above everything else. Is it possible that he was the only one God gave this choice of a lifetime to because he was the only one we know of who was trained to make the right decision? I think it is highly possible. If that is true, then what are the parallels for us as we teach the next generation? What are we drawing into the lives of our young people through our faith-filled training? In what manner are we raising the generation to come? Our prophetic decrees over them might actually attract opportunities from God. God is the ultimate steward, opening doors where they will be walked through the most.

When my children were growing up, I put them to bed by repeating these two charges night after night: `Remember, you are part of a team that is here to change the world,' and, `When you go to sleep tonight, ask God if there is anything that is impossible that He wants you to do.' It was my effort to raise children who know no limits.

This excerpt is from The Power that Changes the World: Creating Eternal Impact in the Here & Now a recent book by Bill Johnson.

Normally I quickly fall asleep. But, after reading those words last night, sleep came slowly. My heart was on fire with the implications of those words.

What if we trained our children from their earliest days that they are beloved sons and daughters of the King of Glory.....and that the King is in a good mood?

What if we trained them to believe they can have the righteous power of princesses and princes in the Kingdom of God?

What if we trained them to turn their ears to wisdom and apply their hearts to understanding as for hidden silver?

What if we trained them that it can be on Earth as it is in Heaven more than we have ever seen in the history of the Church?

And what if we trained them to believe they can be so very important in making that happen?

My heart is pumping hard with hope and expectation.