Mike’s Rumblings – 11-10-23
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy‘s Friday rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider audience. You may agree or disagree with what he says, but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version or read it below
1. Former President Obama said this about the Israel/Hamas War:
“ … this is centuries-old stuff that’s coming to the fore …take in the whole truth ..
what Hamas did was horrific, and there’s no justification for it …And what is also true is that the occupation and what’s happening to Palestinians is unbearable… And what is also true is that there is a history of the Jewish people that may be dismissed unless your grandparents or your great-grandparents, or your uncle or your aunt tell you stories about the madness of antisemitism. And what is true is that there are people right now who are dying, who have nothing to do with what Hamas did…” ~ Lisa Lere NY Times
War is quite a nasty, nasty thing. Obama reminds us that war is also quite complicated.
I want Israel to remain a flourishing, democratic country. I am anti-Hamas and any other terror group. I want Palestinians to have a homeland where they can also flourish.
I want to stand with the powerless and against the extremists especially those who use religion as their rationale to do harm. I am always for win-win decisions and for wise men and women to continue to rise up who know how to broker peace.
What are you for?
2. “If we truly believe that God surrounds us, we believe that prayer is an everyday experience of being alive…. When you step outside and engage with the world in quiet listening, prayer will happen, and it will take on its own way of being for you.” ~ Kaitlin Curtice, CAC
Step outside. Engage. Quiet listening. These are building blocks of a healthy prayer life.
3.“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” Dorothy Day
“I pray my Christianity will not keep me from being Christlike.” ~ on love and mercy : a social justice devotional
4. “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy
I’m chuckling. “Let us accept our own responsibility …” could that really happen?
I’m still chuckling.
Personal responsibility doesn’t fit well in a point your finger, blame game culture. It’s time we get back to it though.
It seems voters in separate states this week, defying what the pollster predicted, did indeed take the opportunity to accept responsibility for the future. Good for them.
5. “Do not love half lovers.
Do not entertain half friends.
Do not live half a life
and do not die a half death.
If you choose silence, then be silent.
When you speak, do so until you are finished.
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent.
If you accept, then express it bluntly.
Do not mask it.
If you refuse then be clear about it
for an ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance.
Do not accept half a solution.
Do not believe half truths.
Do not dream half a dream.
Do not fantasize about half hopes.
Half the way will get you nowhere.
Half an idea will bear you no results.
Half a life is a life you didn’t live,
a word you have not said,
a smile you postponed,
a love you have not had,
a friendship you did not know.
The half is a mere moment of inability,
but you are able for you are not half a being.
You are a whole that exists to live a life
not half a life.” ~ Khalil Gibran
6. “Most of us think of God’s commands in terms of restraint, a restriction of our freedom to do as we please. God’s command is closer to us than we are to ourselves, in our words and in the deep desires of our hearts. It calls us to freedom and growth, not to diminishment.” Pray as you Go
7. Kristin DuMez of “Jesus and John Wayne” fame interviewed David Gushee, Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University. Here’s a snippet.
KDM: You make the case that a close alignment between Christianity and the state is bad for both. The threat to democracy is clear, but how is this bad for the church?
DG: The marriage of church and state confuses Christians about their identity and loyalty, reduces Christianity to a certain version of worldly politics and thus makes politics a new creedal element, often corrupts Christian moral behavior because of the ends-justify-the means dynamics in politics, drives dissenting Christians out of the church, distorts Christian public witness, and positions Christians as oppressors of minority groups in society. Other than that, it’s perfectly lovely.
8. Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.
Where there is apathy, let me provoke;
Where there is compliance, let me bring questioning;
Where there is silence, may I be a voice.
Where there is too much comfort and too little action, grant disruption;
Where there are doors closed and hearts locked,
Grant the willingness to listen.
When laws dictate and pain is overlooked…
When tradition speaks louder than need…
Grant that I may seek rather to DO justice than to talk about it;
Disturb us, O Creator,
To be with, as well as for, the alienated;To love the unlovable as well as the lovely;
Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.
9. Eugene Peterson awakened many of us to the wonders of scripture when he gave us “The Message.”
His son Leif, at his funeral, told the congregation that he liked to joke with his dad and tell him that despite decades of creativity in sharing the Bible with people in new ways, he really only had one message, one sermon, and one theme. And it was this:
“God loves you. He’s on your side. He’s coming after you. He’s relentless.”
10. “Republican evangelicals are putting America under immense strain. Christian commitment to the Big Lie almost broke America. Evangelicals’ loyalty to Trump — in spite of several other options — is placing one of the most malignant figures in American politics within striking distance of the presidency, again. And now Republican evangelicals applaud as Mike Johnson, another man who fully committed himself to overturning the election, has become second in line for the presidency.
This should not be. The Bible that sits on Johnson’s shelf, the one that tells him what to think about “any issue under the sun,” may not tell us how to formulate immigration policy or how much money to send to Ukraine. But it does condemn dishonesty, it does condemn cruelty, and if there is a clear theme that echoes throughout its pages, it’s one that “MAGA Mike Johnson” and his legion of evangelical supporters should take to heart: The ends do not justify the means.” ~ David French, an old school Republican and Evangelical, Opinion columnist for the NY Times.