Monthly Archives: October 2014

Today Is A Gift!

Today is a gift

Brothers and Sisters, today I just wanted to remind you that today is a gift from the Lord! Whatever your worries, whatever your struggles, the Lord is aware of them. He has given you this day as a gift and wants you to deeply rest in Him, trusting in His providence and sovereignty. Take some time today to remember all the Lord has done for you and know that there is still so much yet to come.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, today I lift up to You all who feel burdened by heavy worries. I ask You to surround these brave souls with Your loving care. Place a hedge of protection around them. Surround them with Your people who will remind them to slow down and enjoy the preordained blessings of this beautiful day that You have created. In Christ’s Precious Name I pray. Amen.

Your sister in Christ,

Mandy 🙂

Race Wars in the U.S. {Children’s Sermon for Sunday}

On Sunday, I’m teaching the children’s sermon at my church. Anthony and I are both youth leaders, working on building a sustainable youth program. On Sundays, we take turns with several other church members teaching a short lesson to the wonderful kids in our church. This Sunday, our topic will be social justice, but more to the point – segregation and reintegration. I want the kids to be thinking about how Jesus would like us to react to this issue today. As I’m doing my research for this sermon topic, I came across an article* that caused me to catch my breath. In 2001, the fight to end segregation in schools was still happening in the south, brothers and sisters! The article states that “A study by Harvard’s Civil Rights Project finds that schools were more segregated in 2000 than in 1970 when busing for desegregation began.”

For us to be fighting this issue nearly 50 years later is an embarrassment to this great nation. How can we call America “God’s Country” if we are not doing His work?

Last night on the HMong for Life radio show** it was revealed that the Del Norte California school district has had money for a HMong teacher since 2009, but has not yet taken any steps toward hiring one. How is 5 years not enough time to locate and hire a qualified candidate? 10% of our local population is HMong, brothers and sisters. That is significant!

We are far past being able to stay silent about these issues. We must stand with our HMong brothers and sisters and fight for social justice.

I haven’t even begun to reintroduce the facts and sad (true) stories of the lives of Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. I’ll get to that later. For now, I’d just like us to consider this one point. Most asian immigrants can never “return home” and for many, the U.S.A is their home, as they were born here. This is their land just as much as it is yours and mine. Laotian blood was spilled for our freedom, brothers and sisters. If you’re not aware of the secret wars during Vietnam, please take some time and acquaint yourselves with it now. I’ll place some links below.

As I consider the deep impact of race wars in the United States, I’m reminded of a certain story from the Bible about the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:25-37 Living Bible (TLB)

25 One day an expert on Moses’ laws came to test Jesus’ orthodoxy by asking him this question: “Teacher, what does a man need to do to live forever in heaven?”

26 Jesus replied, “What does Moses’ law say about it?”

27 “It says,” he replied, “that you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind. And you must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself.”

28 “Right!” Jesus told him. Do this and you shall live!”

29 The man wanted to justify his lack of love for some kinds of people, so he asked, “Which neighbors?”

30 Jesus replied with an illustration: “A Jew going on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, and beat him up and left him lying half dead beside the road.

31 “By chance a Jewish priest came along; and when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Jewish Temple-assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but then went on.

33 “But a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw him, he felt deep pity.34 Kneeling beside him the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his donkey and walked along beside him till they came to an inn, where he nursed him through the night.  35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two twenty-dollar bills and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said, ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the bandits’ victim?”

37 The man replied, “The one who showed him some pity.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

It is not the oppressed, brothers and sisters, that are causing this great nation harm. It is the silent – those who see injustice but turn a blind eye to it. It is the oppressor – those who hate because of nationality and skin color. It is the bystander who watches, but can’t be bothered to help.

Martin Luther King Jr. said it best when he said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

 

* BROWN V. BOARD: Timeline of School Integration in the U.S.:  http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-25-spring-2004/feature/brown-v-board-timeline-school-integration-us

**HMong for Life radio broadcast is easily tuned into every Thursday evening from 5-7 pm Pacific Standard Time by visiting http://kfugradio.org 

The Secret Wars

  • Legacies of War: Secret War in Laos: http://legaciesofwar.org/about-laos/secret-war-laos/
  • Laos is Still Under Attack from the Secret War: http://www.vice.com/read/laos-is-still-under-attack-from-its-secret-war
  • A Desperate Life for Survivors of the Secret War in Laos: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/world/asia/16iht-laos.1.8763976.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  • Hmong Story 40 Laos and the Secret War (interactive map):  http://www.hmongstory40.org/laos-the-secret-war/

 

Falsely Accused

These are just some quick thoughts and encouragement for anyone currently undergoing persecution due to false allegations brought against them. I know it can be tough Brothers and Sisters. I have been falsely accused of many things and each time God has brought me through the trial stronger and better equipped to stand tall the next time someone gets a bee up their bonnet about something. False accusations are never fun and it’s easy to become angry and outraged. The world tells us we should become so! But the Lord has other plans for us.

We cannot be concerned with what others think about us. When we do that, we become the worst versions of ourselves even though we’re attempting to please others.

If you have a problem with someone, take it up with God. I do this often in my own life, as there are many aspects of my own personality I know need God’s cleansing. Abrasive people in our lives are doing God’s work, even though it may not seem that way sometimes.

False testimony against your neighbor will not achieve the desired effect. Liars will be found out. When this happens to you, remember: you don’t need to defend yourself. There is One who has already promised to do that. Just ignore them and walk away.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. + Romans 12:19 (NIV)

It can be hard to love our neighbor or even know how to in the face of persecution. This is why we must rely on Jesus and trust in Him to guide us. Sometimes we just need to ignore our neighbor and act as though they are not there. Sometimes we need to embrace our neighbor and love them with kindness and respect. Sometimes we need to move. But always, Brothers and Sisters, we need to follow Jesus and never allow others to dictate the strength of our faith.

Let’s pray.

Dear Jesus. Love us to do good. Love us to do no harm. Love us to love our neighbors even when they persecute and revile against us. Silence the lips of those who seek to silence us when we ask for Justice and Mercy. In Jesus’ Name we boldly pray. Amen.

Bullying From Both Sides {Homosexuality Debate}

It is possible to disagree with someone and still respect them. The “homosexuality is OK” camp is really deep into bullying anyone who disagrees with them, slinging names like “bigot” and “ignorant”. Conversely, the “homosexuality is a sin camp” tends to do the same.

Folks:  no one can hear you if you’re screaming and bullying. It defeats the purpose of the discussion. In the end, what does it really teach our kids anyway? That they no longer have to mind their manners and be respectful of others because their personal agenda is too important? How sad.

We can separate all sin from the individual person and love them anyway. My kids have told lies to me and I hate the lies, but I love my children. God feels the same about sin. We don’t need to bash each other for our beliefs.

If you’re placing your identity in your sexuality, think about this: have you ever told a lie? Well, then you’re a Liar. Do you want to go around with that label hanging over you your entire life? No? Then why would you walk around with the label of homosexual hanging over you? You don’t need to carry that sin on your shoulders.

Labeling ourselves by our sin is dangerous. Even Christ does not do that. He has taken our punishment and in turn He calls us Beloved. That is our identity. Turn from your sins and repent. There is One who is waiting to receive you.