Do I want to wait in the emergency room for a year and a half?

Well, this seems to be one of the more peculiar years in a presidential race history.  I find it all very interesting, and hope everything turns out in the best interest of our country.  I have no desire through this blog to endorse a candidate or try to persuade anyone based on my own political passions.  I just had a thought the other day that was worth voicing.

I’m sure you have heard about the FEMA Trailer fiasco on the southern coast.  After Hurricane Catrina and all the damage, one of the solutions was to house people in trailers so they could come back home and pull their lives back together.  So many were just leaving and staying gone, which would have been my course of action.  Seeing that nothing major has changed has only solidified my position on that.  By the way, when it happened we opened our facility and took several families from new orleans in for about six months, so we have some first hand experience with the situation.

First we all know how long it took for help to come in the first place, which is rather frightening for everyone in the united states.  Do I believe the slow response was racially motivated? No.  Do I believe it was all Gearge Bushes Fault?  No.  I believe it was poor planning on the Mayor, Govener and federal Government part, of which our president is a part.  Not to mention the local corruption.

The bottom line is that is what beuracracy gets us.  Slow response times, bad decisions, complicated issues.  There is nothing simple about it.

Now, back to the trailers.  These trailers were mass produced to house as many people as they could while things are being rebuilt.  A year and half ago, a report came out, where many of the people in these trailers were complaining that they and their children were getting sick, and having headaches, and they thought it was because of the trailers.  Now that sounds far fetched, and I can see someone saying, “no, how could it be the trailers?’  but recently a year and half later, they send a specialist in and find that the way the trailer were made, and i cant remember at the moment what element it was that caused the problem but something in the construction of those trailers was making people sick, and “now, we have to get all these people out of the trailers and get them another place to stay.”  35,000 trailers by the way.

So what’s my point exactly?  And how does it relate to the election or politics.  Here is how, we need to know the policies of the people running.  We are naive when we think the President, and I mean any president, is making all the decisions, and influencing all the policy.  There are three branches of Government, and they all inform our lives.

So we need to know what the candidates think about specific things and do we agree?  So, still, how does that relate to this.  We have big government candidates.  People who want to socialize health care, which a little research of nations who have it will enlighten us to the enormous problems with it.  My point is, do we want the system that took so long to respond to Katrina, and then took so long to respond to their own mistake, with the trailers, and still have not created a good solution in New Orleans and the coast, do we want that system to be our health care system.

Do I believe that everyone should have health care available to them?  Yes.  Do I believe that the corruption in the health care system, and the insurance companies, and the legal system should be addressed and dealt with because of their appearent unholy allience held together by greed?  Yes.

I believe there are ways to deal with this and I believe that everyone should have access to health care, and there are ways for the govt to help make that happen.

Lets be honest with ourselves however and look at the operations of many things the government takes on versus the private sector and as far as being successful is concerned there is no comparison.  Lets be careful that in our compassion we come up with the best solutions, and beuricratic, govermnet controlled, government being the answer to all lives problems, has never, will never, and can never work effectively.

Just some thoughts I’m having.  There is something to like and something to hate with every candidate, thats why we should base our decisions on principles, values, and Record.  Things that are fact, and final.  What people say can and will change in the course of political battle, that is the nature of the beast.

I have interest in what the candidates think about injustice, and how they propose to change things, and so far, I haven’t heard anything new, or anything at all.  We need to help others and we need to provide for those who need provisions, while empowering them to learn to provide for themselves.  There are organizations that can do this, and are, but where do our candidates stand really?

So Just think Long and hard, not with the passion of personality, or the enflamed partisan view point, but with our brains and our hearts, and in my case much prayer, research and consideration, and remember there is more to vote for than the president.  Lets make the goverment take responsabillity but not be our answer for everything.

David

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Clear the Clutter…

 

Have you ever moved?  If you’re like me you would rather get poked in the eye with a tire iron, than to pack everything up and move it.  The one thing I’ve noticed about moving is, each time we’ve done it we have more stuff than the last time. 

       Some of this “stuff” is no doubt excellent and has great purpose, but when you look around, you realize, a lot of it is useless junk.  Toys your kids haven’t played with in years.  Things that you bought, and said, “I have to have this!” then hardly used it. 

The question is how does all this accumulation affect us?  One effect is, it clutters our homes.  Have you ever felt like you’re cleaning and picking up constantly?  It feels like the job’s never done. 

Another effect is a lack of space.  Have you ever wanted to put your car in the garage, but there was no room?  The garage is made to keep your car out of the weather, and give you easy access to your home, but if you have needless accumulation the car stays outside and you walk in the winter weather to get to the front door and your stuff is packed neatly and “warmly” I might add, in the garage.

Our lives at times look like this type of house.  They are filled will accumulated trinkets of one kind or another. The thing about clutter is, it doesn’t matter if it’s negative or positive, if there’s not room for it in the house it throws everything out of order.  Hebrews 12:1 says “therefore we also, since we are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin….”  You know, it’s not always sinful and bad things that complicate our lives, sometimes it can be things that are moral and positive but because there is no room for them in our lives they become a weight.  

       Life’s accumulations are just like the clutter in our house, they create an environment where we are constantly picking up after ourselves but don’t seem to be making any progress.  Just like the garage not being used appropriately, our lives many times get out of order because of all the extra accumulation.  When we should be spending time in prayer, or with our families, or working on our marriage, those things which are true priority, we are running around, trying to be seen with the right people, to have the right stuff, and be involved in the right extra curricula’s, yeah, “walking in the cold to the front door, instead of parking in the safety of the garage with easy access to the house.” 

        Another thing accumulation causes is indecisiveness.  We are worried about finances, and relationships, about acceptance and lack of time.  Our mind is so full, going in so many directions that we can’t decide what needs to be done.  We become double minded. 

I know its winter, but it’s time for a good spring cleaning.  Sweep out the clutter; get rid of things that are not truly priority.  Matthew 6:31 (msg) says What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. 32People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.”

How do we de-clutter our lives? How do we measure what’s necessary and what’s not?  How do we know when something that is not wrong has become unnecessary accumulation?

       What do we do when our house gets cluttered?  We clean house.  We put things in order. 

Cleaning house takes the renewal of some things and the removal of others.  We have to renew our priorities.  Those things that God says are most important, and then remove the things that steal time and devotion from them.    

       Sometimes we create worry and anxiety in our lives, being frustrated over all the clutter.  We say, “I am so tired of this clutter.” “I am so busy; I don’t have time to clean up.”  The problem with this mind set is nothing changes, as a matter of fact it gets worse and we become more anxious.  Let’s just do what Jesus said, and relax.  Quit fretting and worrying, and clean up.  Matthew 6:33(NKJ) says “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

       By doing this we are renewing our focus, we are removing distractions.  We are setting our lives in order to fulfill their true purpose, and to achieve true happiness and fulfillment.

       So, gather your family around, get your broom, and start sweeping.  And before you know it, you’ll be parking in the garage again.  Have a great Christ Centered day.

      

 

-David Gadberry

 

We can learn from anyone especially our kids…

Great day yesterday….very productive. I had the privilege to attend open house at my daughter Sydney’s school. She is in first great and very smart by the way. She really is a brilliant child. Sweet, Kind, sharp, funny, and very expressive. It was good to observe her element. We see our kids in our element all the time, but do you ever stop to just watch them around their peers, and at their school.

We looked through all her papers, and we did a math center together, then she read me a wonderful story about the friendship between a boy and his pet. She also reads well. Am I bragging to much? You’ll get your turn. I was truly blessed by her for an entirely different reason.

As we walked through the halls, different kids would say, “hey Sydney”, “how ya doing Sydney?” and they were all very enthusiastic about saying hello to her. At one point i was talking to the school counselor a friend of mine, and as we stood there talking a young Hispanic girl came up and hugged Sydney around the neck and the whole family said hello to Sydney. The counselor said to me, “did you see what just happened there?” I said yeah, they said hi to Sydney, He said, you have to understand this is who Sydney is. She befriends everyone, especially the kids who have obstacles to deal with. This particular girl speaks very broken English and her family as well.

He said Sydney really connects and cares about people, and doesn’t let any barrier keep her from connecting.

This gives me pride. I love people, I love to be around people, I love to deal with people issues, its what I do. However i have to admit, sometimes when there are barriers, I find it easier to move on then take the time to cross them.

One more thing she showed me, was her “I have a dream” paper.  They did a section on Martin Luther King Jr.  She was very artistic and her coloring exquisite of cours…”here i go again,” but what she wrote was the most important.  She wrote…”My dream for the world, is to love God, and everybody everyday,” and “My dream for our country, is no war, and no more arguing.”

I think if will listen, we might learn something.

Lets all take it from Sydney and develop relationship beyond any barriers. I think it would make for a better world….

What do you think?……..

“Let go my ‘ego'”

 

We need to empty our lives of the accumulation of ego. Things that appeal to ego, or pride are what caused Lucifer to fall, Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit, person after person in the biblical record to fail, and is what Lucifer tempted Jesus with in the wilderness.

Ego and pride ruin marriages. Tear down businesses. Steal opportunities and kill friendships. We can’t make the mistake that inflated ego and pride are synonymous with confidence. Actually they are the exact opposites. People who are carried away with ego and pride are insecure people. Secure people are confident. Confidence is calm assurance that I am who God created me to be.

Ego and pride are what keep people from repenting. Many times our status with others is more important than our status with God. We need to make a decision that our lives will be centered on Christ, not around our wants, fears, passions, or desires, but around His purpose, plans, and destiny for our lives.

Can you imagine what it would be like to have all the essential attributes of God; His power, glory, omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, and then give it all up, even for a season, and take on all the essential characteristics of man. Having to grow and develop, face temptations, limitations, and accusations. (Read Philippians 2:5-15 in the amplified).

It would be somewhat like a general in the military getting stripped of his authority and demoted to the level of a private with no authority. Jesus didn’t have his rank taken from him. He gave it. We are so busy trying to obtain rank in life that it would never cross our minds to strip ourselves of it. It would violate our ego and our pride. So how do we do it? First, we think like Christ thinks. We renew our minds according to His word. (Romans 12:1-2) Second, it takes action. (James 1:25) We need to obey especially when it hurts our pride and challenges our ego.

Several years ago, before I came to harvest I had a leadership conflict with a man on my elder team. I had to remove him from the team for behavioral issues. I was right in the situation, according to the bible and our leadership values. He was definitely in the wrong. It was a long, hard situation. Finally by the grace of God the whole thing subsided. The church moved on, we got healthy and had some great successes there. A couple years later we moved to another ministry, but I couldn’t seem to get past this hurt. I would pray, and study and my mind would go back to him, and how he hurt me and the church.

One night I was praying, and the Lord begin to deal with me about allowing my thoughts to be dominated by the past. I thought He was going to say, “You need to forgive him.”, but instead he said, “You need to call him and ask him to forgive you, ‘there are some things about that situation you could have handled differently’.”

My immediate response was, “no!” “Lord”, I said, “you know what he did.” Until He said, “David your life can not move forward until you get this out of the way, so be humble and apologize.” I begin to rehearse what I would say, maybe something like, “I don’t condone the way you acted but I could have handled it differently, I’m sorry.” To my ego that sounded great, I am reinforcing my judgment, yet doing what God said at the same time. I could here the Holy Spirit saying, “No, you are going to say, ‘I’m sorry that in our conflict I did not handle some things appropriately’.” And that’s it. I thought, “I can’t do this, it’s not right. The issue at this point wasn’t who was right or wrong, or even if I handled it right. The issue was if I didn’t get over it, I couldn’t move forward. I couldn’t be successful in ministry on a large scale. Thank God, he had me do this. So, I called him. I was expecting a cussing, literally. I thought He is going to tare into me. I was hoping to get an answering machine, but he finally picked it up. I told him who it was, and said, I’ve been praying and the Lord told me to call you. I just want to apologize because in our conflict I didn’t handle everything appropriately, and for that I’m truly sorry. I was amazed at his response. He said, “You know David, we did a lot of things wrong back then and I am sure it was hard for you to deal with. ‘Thanks for calling me’, he said, ‘and I apologize for my behavior’.” Wow! I was amazed, at his humility and how easy it was to change once you get pride out of the way.

One of my favorite scriptures in the bible is Galatians 2:20, especially as read from the message bible. 20Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central…” So let’s empty our lives and take whatever action we need to help us move forward in the journey to turn things around. Forgive, release, but most importantly, Kill the ego and pride, and let humility lead you.

-David

 

Super Bowl…Super Tuesday

Wow!  What a game.  All I can say is the Giants came to play.  It is interesting, how people are motivated by being considered the underdog.  Coming from behind seems to drive us to push ourselves even beyond ourselves.  Every Giants player I heard interviewed said something to the effect of “no one gave us credit,” or, “No one thought we could beat the ‘perfect team.'”  I think they were more motivated by that, than by the fact they were playing a team with a perfect record, or that they were playing for the super bowl, the ultimate achievement for them.  It was more motivating to them to prove they should not be underestimated, they should not be counted out.  They proved it!

My dad used to always say, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  We can say we’re going to do this or that, but doing it, is what makes it taste so great!  The ingrediants of this pudding were exceptional.  The sweet taste of defensive domination, and the beautiful presentation of offensive prowess, kept the Pats on their heals, and intimidated.

Make no mistake, the perfect team, played excellent, they were just out played.  Simply Outplayed.  What a victory.  Its also interesting to me, that what motivated them, “the underdog syndrom”  is what made the victory so sweet.  Every interview after the game was….“they said we couldn’t do it.  Well, we did!”  I love it.

It makes me wonder on super Tuesday will there be the same effect.  Obama on one side and Romney on the other, both facing significant odds but neither giving up.  They are facing established opponents, politcally worthy, both.  Listen to their speach, listen to their tone.  “We may be the underdog, but we believe we can do this. ” Its funny, we can be motivated by what people think, or what they believe or don’t believe about us, but when it comes down to it, its about what we believe about ourselves.

What are people counting you out about?  What old mind set is telling you, “your not good enough,” or ” you’re to old or to young.”  Who’s voice do you hear saying, “the odds are to great, or you don’t have enough experience.”  Let it be fuel to your fire and flowers to your victory.  Dream, believe, act, and achieve…..defy the odds!

David

When Compassion and Need Meet

    It’s interesting to me how uninterested we can be at times about real need.  I don’t think we are bad people, but there are a number of reasons why we turn our backs on needs around us and around the world.  One reason is denial.  I used to be the person who would see an informercial about starving children in Africa, the kids with bloated bellies and swollen bodies because of malnutrition, or the skeletal looking kids appearing to be just skin over bone, and plauged by flies all over everyone.  I would turn the channel as fast as I could.  I think, not because i didn’t care, but because i did care.  It was hard for me to understand how that could be real.  I mean, look around us in our culture.  We have our share of injustice, and there is plenty of poverty, and we have a responsiblity to help those who need it locally as well as globally, but we do the same things locally that we do globally, just ignore it.  Act like we don’t see it.  Turn the channel quick.

Another reason for a lack of interest in need is our personal pursuits.  We are so busy trying to be successful, which is a great pursuit, but we obsess to the point that we ignore need so as to not be inconvenienced by it.  Lets move from successful to significant and make a difference for others as well as ourselves.

There are many other reasons we turn our backs on need, the point is we do.  We can so easily forget how hard some people have it.  As long as we and our family are making it ok, we can forget that others are starving, we can forget there are kids right here in our city, being educated in schools that are completely underfunded.  We forget about precious wisdom in our elderly, consined to nursing homes never to be remembered or visited.  We forget about the literal millions of people who have been killed or are being killed by genocide, the systematic destruction of a people based on race or religion.  We forget about the millions of children around the world being sold like a posession after being kidnapped or bought in a multibillion dollar a year business called human trafficking.

I think if we would stop for a moment, and realize, someone has to take responsibility to help the forgotten, someone has to remember.  We would then act, like Jesus did.  If we would not deny but embrace the fact there are real issues, real people, real problems that need solutions. I think if we took the time to look long enough the compassion in our hearts would compel us to act.

Jesus, when he was on the earth, obviously had a strategy.  He had three and half years to teach, train, and develop 12 men to carry out His plan, and purpose of the Gospel once he was finished.  What I notice about him, however is he is never to busy to stop.  The bible talks many times about Jesus stopping and being moved with compassion.  When he saw the woman burying her only son, he stopped.  When He was asked by Jairus to heal his daughter he stopped and went with him.  While on His way, the woman with the issue of blood touched his garment and He stopped to speak with her.

There is another phrase I love in the bible.  “When Jesus passed by…”  In John 4, it says when Jesus passed by he saw a blind man.  We know what happened.  When He passed by the leper, he healed him, When he passed by the crippled, He healed them.  You see when Compassion and Need intersect there is a powerful opportunity for change.

So lets allow compassion to rise up in us, to shake us out of denial, and to stop our busy lives long enough to help with the needs of the forgotten.

Everyday we come to intersections of need, lets be fueled by compassion and remember the forgotten

David