Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cumbersome Sack of Discontent

Over the last three days, I have had the complete displeasure of watching and listening to most of the keynote speakers at the Democratic Convention. Last night, I watched the repeat broadcast of Joe Biden's speech.

I was struggling to find a catchy line that would describe what was heard in most of the speeches. Then, while reading a chapter from Max Lucado's book Traveling Light, I found the phrase I was looking for:

Democrats: Those people who trudge through each day with a "cumbersome sack of discontent."

I am serious!! All that I heard coming out of the mouths of most of the speakers were complaints!!

Except for moments of grandeur and praise of themselves, their own families, and other Democrats, did you hear any mention of gratitude for living in the greatest nation on God's green earth??

The other thing that really bothered me was seeing Hillary and Bill join the clueless, Kool-Aid drinkers and through their individual speeches, ultimately ended up bowing at the altar of Obamination. Are we to really believe that what they said was sincere?

Perhaps Hillary was sincere in her rejection of John McCain, but the recent campaign commercial where she states something like this - "John McCain is prepared to be president and has served this country honorably for years - Barack Obama gave a speech in 2002." [paraphrased here] has to make one wonder...when was she telling the truth? Was it when she made that original statement about Senator McCain or the other night when she disparaged him and praised Obama?

Isn't it logical to ask, "When was she genuinely sharing her true opinions and feelings?"

It is mindboggling how Democrats consistently talk out of two sides of their faces - and end up saying completely opposite things. What's even worse is that the MSM lets them get away with it!! Thank God for the Internet where we can discern truth from lies!

Did you happen to see the new NOBama fad? Flip flop sandals with mini heads of Obama attached at the top! Each one represents each of his known flip-flopping stances on issues! Ha!! More accurately, it appears that he tries to be "both ways Obama." Now, that's a real hoot!!

It wasn't my intention to continue describing all of the discontent that reeks from the Democrat Party. It's just that it served as a perfect example of what Max Lucado describes as "the prison of want" in chapter four of his book Traveling Light.

This particular chapter is so good that I wish I could type it all out! But I will share just a few portions that will hopefully give you the main message.

Max describes the "world's most oppressive prison" as "the prison of want." He gives examples. People who may not want much, but just that "one thing" that will make them happy.

Excerpt:




They want just one thing. One new job. One new car. One new house. One new spouse. They don't want much . They want just one.

And when they have "one," they will be happy. And they are right - they will be happy. When they have "one," they will leave the prison. But then it happens. The new car smell passes. The new job gets old. The neighbors buy a larger TV set. The new spouse has bad habits. The sizzle fizzles, and before you know it, another ex-con breaks parole and returns to jail.


Personally, I think that many liberals and most Democrats are in the prison of want. What's worse is the fact that their leaders want them there in order to get what they want...elected!

When the Democrats took over Congress in 2006, did you see them pass any legislation to make their "prisoners of want" happy? No. Of course not! Why? Because they wanted the "sack of discontent" to linger all the way up to this forthcoming election day on November 4th, 2008! Doesn't it seem that way to you, too?

Lucado tells us how to recognize when we are in this type of prison:




Are you in prison? You are if you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less. You are if joy is one delivery away, one transfer away, one award away, or one makeover away. If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink, or digest, then face it - you are in prison, the prison of want.


If the truth be told, I think that almost everyone goes through a time in this particular prison. However, some people remain their for most of their lives! That's truly sad!

Well, as Max writes, "that's the bad news. The good news is, you have a visitor."




And your visitor has a message that can get you paroled. Make your way to the receiving room. Take your seat in the chair, and look across the table at the psalmist David. He motions for you to lean forward. "I have a secret to tell you," he whispers, "the secret of satisfaction. 'The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want'" (Ps. 23:1 NKJV).

David has found the pasture where discontent goes to die. It's as if he is saying, "What I have in God is greater than what I don't have in life."

You think you and I could learn to say the same?


Wow! That's SO POWERFUL!

Let me take a brief time out to share some thoughts about a movie documentary that I saw yesterday. The movie is called Young At Heart.

At that link, you can read a brief review (that doesn't give a lot of the plot away) and also view several video clips (may contain spoilers) of the documentary.

At the end, I teared up big time!!

It was so awesome to see these people perform and receive standing ovations. They got such responses from both a huge concert audience, as well as from prisoners (who were holed up in a real prison camp) they had performed for earlier in the movie.

Several of members of the choral group were believers. One sang in his church chorus and another mentioned that the Lord will take him when it is his time.

I have to say that seeing some grown men at the prison camp tear up - and then hug the choral group members after their performance - was so very moving!

We know that many Christian groups bring children and various singing groups to nursing homes to visit the elderly and cheer them up. But to see the elderly from nursing homes come and sing for a group of hardened criminals was just amazing!

These chorus members still had their problems - health and otherwise. They had their aches and pains. They had difficulty learning and memorizing some of the lyrics. They had their emergency trips to the hospital. They had physical disabilities and all the rest that comes with the aging process. Yet, when they were performing - in those moments - all of those problems went away...for a time. They expressed how much they loved singing and performing for grateful audiences.

The final concert at the end had me sobbing - both with sadness and joy!

You see, the life of the Christian believer is like that. Sometimes filled with sadness - but also overflowing with joy!

When we receive Christ as Lord and Savior, that born-again experience releases "the fruit of the Spirit" within us.




Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,


Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Eph 5:8 ¶ For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:


Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)


Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.


Notice that one fruit is called "long suffering." The Bible tells us the truth - and the truth is just as Jesus described to us in John:




Jhn 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


And, why can we be of good cheer despite all of the turmoil going on around us?




1Jo 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.


Jesus is all about overcoming. At the moment of salvation, he overcomes the effect of sin on our souls. With Him in our hearts, he allows us to overcome our fears, trials, tribulations and yes - even the "prisons" that tempt to snag us in this life.




Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.


Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.


Which brings us back to Max Lucado's book.

Excerpt:




Think for just a moment about the things you own. Think about the house you have, the car you drive, the money you've saved. Think about the jewelry you've inherited and the stocks you've traded and the clothes you've purchased. Envision all your stuff, and let me remind you of two biblical truths.

Your stuff isn't yours. Ask any coroner. Ask any embalmer. Ask any funeral-home director. No one takes anything with him.


The author goes on to tell the familiar story of one of the wealthiest men in history, John D. Rockefeller. When he died, his accountant was asked, "How much did John D. leave?" The accountant answered, "All of it."

"Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand." (Eccles. 5:15 NIV).

Back to the election for a moment. During all of the back and forth about Barack Obama's elitism (and, now he's 4 million dollars richer through book sales) and John McCain's wife owning seven homes; on campaign camp tried to outdo the other in the "rich man" game.

However, I liked what I heard from John McCain. Compared to most of the rest of the world, every single one of us in America is rich! He probably wasn't only talking about financial circumstances. America is rich in many other things too.

Rich in faith, hope, love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and salvation through Christ.
Rich in freedom.
Rich in generosity.
Rich in protection.
Rich in good people.
Rich in a military unsurpassed by any other.
Rich in giving to those less fortunate.
Rich in providing education.
Rich in opportunity for those who work for it.

The list could go on and on.

What would you add to it?

I see John McCain's candidacy as being filled with optimism - about today and tomorrow. I see Obama's campaign as filled with pessimism and discontent about today - with a pseudo kind of "hope" for tomorrow. These are just my opinions, of course.

Back to Lucado's book:

All that stuff - it's not yours. And you know what else about all that stuff? It's not you. Who you are has nothing to do with the clothes you wear or the car you drive. Jesus said, "Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot" (Luke 12:15 MSG). Heaven does not know you as the fellow with the nice suit or the woman with the big house or the kid with the new bike. Heaven knows your heart. "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7 NIV).

When God thinks of you, he may see your compassion, your devotion, your tenderness or quick mind, but he doesn't think of your things.

And when you think of you, you shouldn't either. Define yourself by your stuff, and you'll feel good when you have a lot and bad when you don't. Contentment comes when we can honestly say with Paul: "I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have....I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty" (Phil. 4:11-12).


Back to the election.

Tonight, there will be a grand performance held at a stadium which holds 70,000 people for Obama's speech. I just can't even imagine what the cost of such an extravaganza will be. In the midst of all this hype, I have two questions.

1. Why doesn't Obama donate money (even just some of the 4 million from book sales could do a LOT!) to the needy he often talks about in his speeches?

2. Why is he wasting millions of campaign donor money on an event that is designed just to specifically glorify himself?

HT: Young at Heart

Max Lucado's Traveling Light

12 comments:

Susan Smith said...

Dear Christine—

You have been missed. Welcome back.

I am praying for the leaders of the United States. God bless our country and may the Lord’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Dr. Richard A. Swenson in his excellent book “Margin” wrote: “The World does not stop nor the family fall apart when we unplug from the treadmill of consumerism...”

In the same book quoting Gregg Easterbrook (“The Power Paradox”): “Most of what people really want in life—love, friendship, respect, family, standing, fun—is not priced and does not pass through the market.”

Hope you are at peace in our Lord. Love to the West coast from a contented friend in the East...Shabbat Shalom. (ss)

jeleasure said...

Hey Christine,
Very inspiring. I must say, I will probably take a few days to complete all of my comments on this blog.
My first comment: None of the democrats are saying what a great country this is. In fact, Biden sickened me (among other Dems) for stating that when Barak Obama becomes President, America will be great again and other countries will look to us for leadership, again. (Had another comment, but it escaped me) I'll be back.

Stephen Bennett said...

Excellent post Christine. Praying for our nation, as well as California. Hopng the Lord will be gracious and give us what we DON'T deserve. It will take a miracle!

Many blessings,

Stephen

Matt W. said...

Hey Christine,
fortunately I have been working a ton of overtime this week and have managed to miss all but the clips of the DNC, and of course, and most importantly, Mark Levin's explanations of the whole affair.

Personally I don't much care what NObama and Plugs have to say, but I am waiting with baited breath to see who McCain announces for his pick tomorrow, as it will determine if I can vote for him, or not, after all.

Sosthenes said...

When I came of age to vote, I considered which party to register under.

What I'm going to say is going to make some people mad but Congress is very generous with other people's money. Why take out a quarter of what someone makes in taxes when they make less than $10K a year just so you can hire IRS workers to audit what they owe and then lower class citizens don't qualify for a lot of different benefits because they make too much? And then their plan is to put the money back into their pocket through health care which they may have been able to pay for anyway if the Congress wasn't generous with other people's money? I may not be able to afford a health plan but if you gave me back one quarter of what I make then I think I can afford a doctor's visit now and then. This has been the Democratic plan to take from the least of people to make them pay for things they can't afford.

Then the Democrat's solution a few years ago was to hire 100,000 new police officers to deal with crime. The problem with these plans are they are "make work" projects because they really don't contribute to the Gross Domestic Product and if you were to hire two police officers for every resident instead of allowing religion to make residents more responsible then you can employ citizens of Mexico to enforce our streets.

I remember my mother going to health clinics and there is a political nepotism that goes on there because they scare the people who can't pay with losing services in order to make citizens go out and vote for them. That is one of the reasons why Democrats want bigger government because they make the average citizen think that you can't do for themselves / yourself and that you need someone else to do for you. Give me what I pay in taxes back and I'll take care of myself. I saved for my house and I saved for my car but I can't give myself a $40 a month raise like the township which decided to give themselves. The reason you can't do for yourself is because the Democrats are using your money to hire advocates for their political causes.

Clinton talked about America being the leader but how can your country be taken seriously militarily when Clinton fired off half of the cruise missiles in Afghanistan at a training camp which was a dirt hole in the ground and when they cost $1.5 million or more a piece, they aren't easy to replace when what they should have done is sent in troops so that we wouldn't have had to deal with 9-11 and what we are doing today. It is because liberalism is a weakness that (because) Clinton and the Democrats couldn't send troops into Afghanistan then and it is the reason why America can't fulfill their leadership under them. The cruise missiles were supposed to be able to scare Russia in a cold war scenario and I think it was the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal did an article about how they were too costly to replace and they weren't going to do it. The Cruise Missile was supposed to fly at tree top speed and do its job and now we are facing a cold war again and Russia isn't scared of a cold war because they know that Democrats and liberals are opposed to fighting them. Putin is trying to interfere with the election by saying that American leaders started the conflict in Georgia because they don't want NATO in Georgia or a defense shield in Poland.

I believe that Obama is more for the ultra poor which won't help middle or upper class.

I work near a Methadon clinic and the ultra poor is there and they stay out on the corner and socialize for hours. Giving someone entitlements only empowers them not to work because they don't need to earn it.

And NAFTA and other "Free Trade" agreements which the Democrats voted for only empowered high gas prices because there is little control over a monopoly who controls unfair prices. If you made goods and services unfair then maybe these other countries would lower oil prices or at least you would have a chance.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks you! It's good to be back.

I'm so glad to read that you are one of my contented Christian friends!

As someone noted in my next post - perhaps God is answering our prayers about this election! I'm so pleased with McCain's V.P. pick. Yay for Sarah Palin!

Love those quotes you shared...and they are very true!

Love,
Christine

Christinewjc said...

Hi James,

Thank you! I'm glad you found the post inspiring!

I am even MORE inspired after finding out McCain's V.P. choice!!

You made a great point. It is true that Democrats are often so negative about our great nation!

Obama's speech last night was even more of a turn-off than Biden's! Both of them can't seem to resist being arrogant, disparaging towards John McCain, and elitist in their attitudes. What worse - they are dead wrong on the issues!

I look forward to your future comments!

Christine

Christinewjc said...

Hey Stephen,

Thanks for those prayers for our nation and California. We need them!

You wouldn't believe the commercials that are airing here against Prop. 8. It shows a heterosexual couple running into obstacles (literally!) and being "prevented from getting to the altar to marry."

What a crock! They didn't have the courage to show two men or two women attempting to marry? Shows what a sham their claims to not having "rights" really is!

I think that God is listening to our prayers. Let's keep it up until election day!

Love & God bless,
Christine

Christinewjc said...

Hi Matt!

Welcome back! I have missed your comments here! Hope you get to enjoy a three day weekend over Labor Day!

I am elated that McCain chose Sarah Palin as his V.P. running mate!!

The Obamabots are in a tizzy over it! Ha!!

Christinewjc said...

Sosthenes,

I hear ya! The Democrats' Marxist plans for this country would be devastating!

McCain has GOT TO WIN this November!

Now that he has picked a smart, get-things-done, anti-corruption, pro-life, pro-family, conservative Christian woman as his V.P., I think that the Republican base will be VERY pleased and energized...I know that I certainly am!!

David Alves said...

Hi Christine,
I was introduced to your blog last year while reading Pastor DL Foster's GCMWatch (an excellent site, by the way, as I'm sure you know).
My question after reading this post is: Is there anything good about the Democratic Party, and atre there any pro-life, pro-family, conservative Christian Democrats?
I know this seems a little off topic but I thought I'd ask. (If you would rather discuss this in another post or by email, let me know here on this thread and I'll give you my email address. I don;t want to clog up the combox with things not related to the post.)
Your brother from CT,
David

Christinewjc said...

Hi David,

Welcome to Talk Wisdom! Glad that you decided to come over from Pastor Foster's excellent site.

I think that you answered your own question with the second part of your statement!

Allow me to rephrase your original question:

Is there anything good about the Democratic Party, and atre there any pro-life, pro-family, conservative Christian Democrats?

Pro-life, pro-family, conservative Christian Democrats ARE WHAT IS GOOD about the Democratic Party!

The trouble is, ourwardly admitting your views within the Dem Party can get you in trouble! Look at how badly Joe Lieberman has been treated - and he isn't even pro-life or pro-traditional family! His only "vice" is that he holds conservative views regarding the war and fiscal, financial responsibility.

The Dems that you first described have two problems:

1. They don't have a voice in the party and their beliefs are not included in the party platform.

2. The Dem Party is current being run by the hyper-liberals who would NEVER ELECT ANYONE with your beliefs.

I have a question for you. Why stay with them?

I don't know how old you are, but when I was young my family (when I lived back east) were all Catholic Democrats. The current party (and their associations) is NOTHING LIKE the Dem Party from the 70's.

I liked John Kennedy, but was too young to vote then.

Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter has forever ruined (and continues to irk me to this day) my positive appeal towards the Dem Party.

Every issue they stand for - refusal to preemptively fight against radical Islamic terrorism, liberalism regarding sexuality and being in lock step with the ACLU, higher taxes, no domestic drilling, universal healthcare (Canadians know that trap), anti-choice in education - just to name a few - makes me wonder why anyone, especially pro-life, pro-family, conservative Christians, would stay with such a political party.

But this is just my opinion, of course.