iChurch4Life @ The House of His Glory

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Shark Tank Christianity













LET'S BE ABOUT OUR FATHER'S BUSINESS!


Do you know that show Shark Tank?

My family and I have learned a lot about the structure of business, increase, profitability and return on investments (ROI) because of watching this show.

There are certain key points to consider in determining whether or not a business is successful - and a successful business has a high percentage of being a sound and profitable investment.  Some of the things to consider are:

1.  Valuation: This is determined by the amount of money an owner has into the business (to start it, develop product, cost of inventory, current investors, etc.), then, take into consideration the annual revenue and the rate of growth over the duration of time the company has been in business. The greater the revenue the greater the valuation. 

In other words: What have you put into it, and what increase are you getting out of it?

2.  Profit:  A company's profit is determined by how much it costs to do business, make the product and pay all employees or investors, subtracted from what the consumer pays for the product or service.  The profitablity margin then is that space between what the consumer determines the product or service is worth and the actual production costs.

In other words: Is the consumer value of what you do worth more than the actual costs?

3.  Equity:  If you have someone willing to invest in that company, then their portion of the profit is determined by the equity the owner is willing to give them according to how much money the investor is willing to spend to buy a portion of the company.  So, if an investor spends $100,000 for 10% equity in a company, the company is valued at $1,000,000 and for ever dollar of profit the company makes, the investor will get 10% and the owner keeps 90%.

The other day I had my regular conversation with the Lord about ministry growth in terms of members and revenue coming into the ministry in relationship to the various ministries and services to the community that I'd like to do as a Church, but still cannot yet.

And, since it is our first ever "Outreach Month," and because in last week's service I mentioned we have a 90% tithing rate because of our small membership; I had two other thoughts that I added to my regular conversation about the Church finances: 
  1. How to reach more non-members with an understanding of Church partnership
  2. How to reach more members with an understanding of how tithing helps them
 Well, before I gave the Lord time to respond, I thought "Too bad we can't treat Church business more like an episode of "Shark Tank!"

And God said to my spirit: "Why don't you try?"

What, say what!?     ...ok, I'll try: 

In Luke 2:49, a young Jesus told his earthly parents that he needed to be about His "Father's Business."  At the time, He was found studying in the Temple with the Elders.

But by Acts 6:3, the Apostles tell the early church to appoint well-abled deacons to handle the "business of the church" while they attended themselves to prayer and the administration of the Word of God.

So - there is church business.  Any pastor who has started a new church plant with no assistance from a parent organization should know first hand, starting a church is exactly like starting a business. (And if they don't, they may have done it wrong!)

Jesus makes many parables relating the Kingdom of God to various aspects of business and money management.  One of my favorites is the "parable of the pounds" in Luke ch. 19 in which the Good Master says to his servants "occupy until I come."  To "occupy" means to "do business!"

If each Believer knew how to treat their Christianity as a business, then they too would have to take the principles of Valuation; Profit; Equity and ROI into consideration!

Welcome to the SPIRITUAL SHARK TANK!
  • This is the Father's Business!  He is the "Parent Corporation" - pastors and their churches should be "Franchise Owners" operating eating establishments to feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15)
  • You are both the consumer and the investor! Most investors in the Tank have more incentive to take an interest in the company when they have a connection to it. Do you like eating at your restaurant enough to pay your bill and tip well?
  • What Valuation do you give the Word of God (the product) and the Kingdom (the company)? Often times in the Tank, the Owner gives the company a higher valuation than the investor is able to see, or willing to accept.  But when the investor sees a valuation that is as high as the owner's, both know it's a win-win scenario! Well, God has a HIGH - if not PRICELESS - valuation on His Word, His Kingdom and The Church who is the BRIDE of His Son, Jesus! If you value the Kingdom enough to go to church and get fed as a consumer, do you feel the product is worth investing in the ability for others to come get fed as well?  Remember, this ratio can determine your profit margin!
  • The greater your valuation, the greater your profit!  Luke 6:38 "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."  When you value the Kingdom of God greatly and forgive in equal measure, forgiveness is given to you 30, 60, 100 fold. When you put a high value on the Kingdom of God and pray in equal measure, that which you are praying for will be given unto you beyond measure.  When you value the Kingdom of God as being priceless and you speak in equal measure to the lost and unbeliever about the treasure of God's word, you store up treasures in heaven so great than when poured out it cannot be contained! And when you give your tithe and offering according to the valuation you have of the Kingdom of God, you will receive finances, wealth and tangible resources in equal measure - poured out from your treasures in heaven!
  • That means your Equity is based upon what you put in and the percentage you've determined you'll withdraw.  God, the Owner of it all is asking for a 10th (a tenth) of your income in exchange for 100% equity in His company, the Kingdom of Heaven!
What!?  Those numbers are crazy!  But true...

 -  But if you've determined you cannot tithe at all - your financial and spiritual equity is based upon the measure of your giving.  And sorry, 0% of $0 is still... 0 (zero, zip, zilch, nada) - robbing God? Technically, you're robbing yourself!

-  But, if you've determined that you cannot really tithe, but you can give what you can, when you can or a little of what you make, then your return on investment is measured back to you a little bit at a time, here and there in equal measure to your ability to give.

-  But if you are determined to give 10% of all your increase, then your ROI is increased back to you 100%! You get 100% protection on the 90% of your remaining finances, so that the enemy will not devour it or devour you!

-  But... bringing your tithe AND offering according to Malachi 3:8 is over and above!  It speaks of not just trust in God, but it shows your investment into partnering with God for the growth and building of His Kingdom. Giving "over and above" shows you have an over and above valuation on all God's Word says, and God will measure it back to you over and above as well - opening his treasure in heaven like Malachi 3:10 says, and pouring you out a blessing - good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over! That's over and above 30, 60, 100 fold! That's the 1000 times greater of Deuteronomy 1:11! 

That's when you see your 10th (your tithe) and your over and above offering give you a 100% return on your investment!  Here's what you get:
  • 100% (or more) of your giving returned in your finances
  • 100% (or more) of an ability to be a blessing to others
  • 100% (or more) of an increase in the fruit of your righteousness (2 Cor. 9:10)
  • 100% (or more) of God's supernatural favor in all other areas of your life
  • And 100% credit before the Throne of God for that all your pastor and church are able to do for the Kingdom of God through your financial giving, prayers and support.
 God's numbers may not make sound business sense... 

But it sure does make dollars, cents, common sense and spiritual wealth for Christians to fully invest in the Kingdom of God and be about the Father's business His way!


Praying your power, love & peace, ya'll!
~Pastor D

Monday, October 2, 2017

Church: The Problem With The Answers













CHURCH: The buildings were so grand and received as much reverence as the Lord.

CHURCH: The organization was a sanctuary, respected by even those who didn't attend.

CHURCH: The Pastors were sought out and looked upon as having wisdom & authority.


The Church was once the moral compass in America; a haven for love, salvation and solutions to the ills and devastation of the world. 

And the world was the problem.

Now the compass spins wild.  America is a hot-bed of depravity and what the world offers as love, salvation or solution is accepted; what the church has to offer is rejected and what was once commonly accepted as immorality is subjective and defended.

And now, the church is the problem.

This Church, made up of human beings known as Christians... we are the problem. We have imploded upon ourselves with a spontaneous combustion brought on by the same problems as the world - because we didn't know we had the solutions for the world, and ourselves.
  •  Pastors and Priests succumbed to sin and the same immorality of the world
  •  Believers no longer believed the preachers, seeing them as hypocrites
  •  The power of the Word of God faded as faith in Church leaders faded
  •  Leaders began to doubt themselves as they normalized to be "relateable" 
  •  As leaders normalized, so did theirs and the problems of the church
  •  Solutions to those problems no longer came from the pastors going through them too
  • The world began to criticize the church for it's hypocracy
  • In response, the church condemned the world for its sin
  • The church no longer offered love, sanctuary and forgiveness as Jesus said to
  • The church became the detectives, judge, jury and convicting authority of sin
  • Pastors stopped preaching the free gift of righteousness by grace through Jesus
  • Pastors now teach the Christian list of "Rights & Wrongs" affected by our efforts
  • Pastors are promoted, leaders selected and politicians are elected by this list
  • And members, Churches, pastors and leaders are rejected by it as well
Sound bleak?  Yeah... in a way, it is.

This is how the church (lower case "c") has imploded on herself with carnal self-combustion.  We've let the world talk us into eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil - deciding for ourselves, according to denominational authority what is "Right and Wrong" in the world, because of the world and in the church too.

And now, not only does the church not have the answers to the problems of the world (as if the world even wants the ones we think they do), the church cannot fix her own problems either.  

We are eating from the same tree as the world, while throwing fruit at them for eating it too!

But there are Churches (capital "C") that are arising in the ranks - globally and even denominationally in some cases (although sporadically) that are returning to the tree of life - eating from the truth of Righteousness, living a life like Jesus who came not to condemn but to save (John 3:17).  It is a Church that still strives to offer love, forgiveness and salvation.  These are the Churches with Pastors who are not afraid to walk in moral truth, while still loving, caring for and helping those who do not.

But these Churches are still made up of human beings, known as Christians... who are largely still conflicted by the ways of the world and The Way of the Word.
  • When these Christians no longer waver in doubt, not receiving anything (James 1:5);
  • when these Christians are no longer tossed by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14);
  • when these Christians walk in unity, not separated by Reps or Dems (Eph. 4:13);
  • when these Christians do not just receive, but walk in righteousness (Acts 10:35);
  • when these Christians walk in true Spiritual Gifts to help others (1 Cor. 12:1-12);
  • And when these Christians walk in the fullness of all God has for us (Eph. 3:19);
...then and only then will WE, actually BE The Church... not "the church," and not "the Church," but "The Church!"  

The Church that is made up of Christians who understand who they are in Christ, is The Church who is able to solve their own problems through the Word of God, and BE the solution to the problems of the world as well!

Right now, unfortunately "the church" is the source of many  of the world's issues with religion.

But right now, more than ever, "The Church" is the only solution to all of the world's issues.

God has given His Church the answers to the problems of the world.  But so long as the enemy keeps the church (and the Christians who are her members), suffering from the same problems as the world - we will not be able to be the light of the world. 

Be the light, ya'll - be The Church.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Non is Not None!













"Non" is not "none" and none is not "no."

What does that mean!?


The other day my son came home from school and said that he'd mentioned to a classmate (at his Lutheran run Christian Middle-School), that his mother the Pastor was not a Lutheran, but non-denominational.  She had no idea what that meant and he seemed to not have a clear idea as to how to explain it.

And of course, I got to thinking - maybe there are others (many, many others) who don't know what "non-denominational" means either.

Let me first say, that there does seem to be a generally dismissive regard for any congregation that is non-denominational.  It's as if some Christians who belong to denominations feel as though the definition of the phrase "non-denominational" is equal to meaning: despicable, deceptive, deficient of Truth or just plain Democratic.

You see, I have been disregarded as even being a legitimate pastor when I say our congregation is "non-denominational."  I know first hand why Pastor Joseph Prince of New Creation Church in Singapore, tells his people not to even answer the question with any thing other than "Bible Believing" or "Jesus loving!"

But let's look at the reason people ask in the first place... if they can identify which denomination your church belongs to, they can easily assume what you believe - beyond simply "the Bible" or that "Jesus is Lord."

This gives us a clue as to the definition of "denomination" and thereby, leads us in the direction of finding a definition of "non-denominational." Technically, the definition of a "Denomination" is an organization of Christians and churches who ascribe to the same belief system or structure.

In other words, Lutherans are Lutherans because they believe in the structure and teachings outlined and designated by the Lutheran church founders and it's governing board.
  • It's the same with Protestants,
  • and Catholics,
  • and Pentecostals,
  • and Baptists (Southern and Missionary),
  • and Mormons,
  • and Methodists, 
  • the Foursquare Church,
  • the Church of God in Christ,
  • and so many, many more!
The definition of their belief structure includes and implies "sameness."  A person gravitates towards a denomination because they look the same, believe the same, think the same or feel the same way about how to show reverence to God in a worship service.

But what one person gravitates to out of like-mindedness, is the same thing another person will reject because they disagree with it or don't understand it.

Therefore, those who are a part of one denomination, generally reject, exclude and do not believe that which another denomination does.  So as much as there is sameness and inclusion in a denomination, there is, by that same token, an almost equal amount of exclusion and disbelief.  And sometimes, that exclusion and disbelief will breed disdain and even discrimination.  It has even been the cause of deaths: just ask the Catholics and the Protestants.

Now I have to say, Universalists have created a denomination that includes everything. Their congregational structure and beliefs are based upon picking and choosing what they want to believe from many different denominations and religions, while promoting themselves as being all-inclusive, and rejecting, eliminating and excluding truths (generally only from Christianity) that they do not believe in or accept.

Therefore, a church that is non-denominational is one that does not function under a system of belief that fits a pre-described "religious" mold or belief structure of any one denomination in order to govern it's teachings or day to day organizational structure.

  • That does not mean that there is no structure. 
  • That does not mean there is no organization.
  • That does not mean there are no biblical systems of truth.
  • And that certainly does not mean there is no governing body.

Like I said, "non" is not none, and none is not no.

But what non-denominational is - and should always be - is a church organization that is inclusive of the whole word of God, governed by uncompromised biblical truths and lead by the Spirit of the Most High God, with a board or hierarchy of leadership that provides accountability and assures adherence to those practices.

That's The House of His Glory!
  • We believe what some denominations believe,
    •  and some of what they don't.
  • We believe what some denominations believe, 
    • but don't believe some of what they do.
  •  Simply put, if it's in the Word of God, 
    • then we believe it's true!

Non isn't none - it's ALL... of the Word of God
And none isn't no - it's ALL... of the promises of God and they are "yes."
(2 Corinthians 1:20)

- We say: yes to healing; yes to deliverance; yes to the gifts of the Spirit; yes to biblical prosperity; yes to speaking in tongues; yes to Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers and, yes to women in any of those offices.  

- We say yes to Salvation; yes to Righteousness; yes to Faith; yes to Grace; yes to Glory; yes to Power; yes to Jesus, yes to the Fruit of the Spirit and yes to the Kingdom of God.

Non-Denominational isn't none or no - it's yes to Truth!


Wishing you power, love & peace in Jesus Christ,
~Pastor D
 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Judge Not...

Hebrews 8:13 "Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever." 

Yesterday - 2000+ years ago, Jesus came NOT to condemn the world, but to SAVE it - (John 3:17). Why then if He is the same today, do we believe that America is being condemned or judged through terrorism, natural disaster or war? The Heart of Jesus is to save us from all these and more: yesterday, today and forever.

Unfortunately, many preachers and teachers today - especially very well-known ones - say that God is judging America.  They say that God has been judging America since 9-11.  And that all terrorism, war - and even the natural disasters the country is facing more and more, are all a result of God's judgement.

They say the world is being judged for abortion or for people turning away from God.  Odd, they never say these tragedies are a result of God judging America for racism, or hate crimes or judicial crimes against minorities!  If you were to actually apply this reasoning, it's as if they believe God picks and chooses which of the heinous acts of Americans he wants to punish then sacrifices the lives and safety of other Americans by way of many various devastations that He also chooses to inflict.

I know that sounds ridiculous when stated like that, but unfortunately, those who say that America is being judged just don't know what they are really saying.  These respected, renowned and honorable men and women of God don't realize that many of the people they may be speaking to are Christians who are still hurting and grieving the loss of loved ones during 9-11.  How then do they justify or find comfort in a God who would use the lives of their friends and family to punish they country we all love, live in and were working for?

Even though I don't know anyone personally who was a victim of 9-11, I find no comfort in thinking God is judging America - no matter what her many crimes may be.  They are crimes that are instigated through ignorance, or through the manipulation of the devil himself.  And God has most certainly already brought judgment against the devil through Jesus Christ by way of the cross.

And Jesus came to save.

However, God, who sent Jesus to save the world from sin by way of the cross, has also made Jesus the Judge of all mankind.  

Acts 10:42
"And he [Jesus] commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead."

Jesus is the Judge, but He didn't come to judge or to condemn but to save.  So how does this reconcile - especially when there is biblical proof that God has judged nations, and He continuously judged Israel and allowed them to be oppressed by pagan, heathen kings and countries for their crimes against God?

Yes, He did - but all before Jesus.  All of God's judgement was before the Holy Spirit came into the Earth through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Now, the Holy Spirit convicts men of sin - and if men will not be convicted of their sin and receive Jesus Christ - our God who gives all mankind free will, also gives men and women the free will to serve the enemy if they so choose.

Terrorists judge America.  Sinners pass laws that go against the Word.  Racists, bigots and people influenced by the devil perpetuate racism and hate.  And they will be judged as individuals, and nations will be judged and separated.  But not not today.  And not yesterday up to 2000+ years ago.

And God will not judge tomorrow either.  But there will be a day when Jesus will finally be that righteous Judge God has ordained Him to be.  

Acts 17:31
"Because he [God] hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."

And in that day God will judge according to who accepted His son and who did not.  Those who did not will receive the wages of their sin and their decision - eternal death.  And those who have accepted Jesus, will not be judged for sin (our sin is forever dealt with the instant we accept Jesus).  Instead we will be rewarded for all that we did for Christ, whether great or small.  Jesus came not to condemn and in that day He will still not condemn those who believe in Him.

But until that day, God will continue to bless America - but only as Americans walk more and more in the blessings of our Father God and the freedom of serving Jesus.

America is blessed by the blessing of the Believers who are blessed.  As we pray for sinners, as we serve our country, as we love our neighbors, as we heal the sick, prosper the poor, teach against abortion and hatred, bring Jesus to the lost and share the truth of the Kingdom of God we are being a blessing to all peoples of our country.

But it's not our job to be the judge of sin, especially if Jesus isn't.  It's not my job as a true Christian or a Godly Pastor to determine what anyone's sin is - and so who am I then to judge what is the sin of this country?  

Either way, I am called to love and to be a blessing.  And so, when I say "God Bless America" I know that will only be fulfilled when I do what I'm called to and "true" Christians in America do too.

Power, love and peace to all, and may God continue to bless America
~Pastor D

Friday, August 25, 2017

It's No Bull!

Luke 14:5












Luke 14:5 "And Jesus answered them, saying, Which of you shall have a donkey or a bull fallen into a pit, and will not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?"

This was Jesus' poignant response to the Pharisees when they questioned Him about healing a man with dropsy on the Sabbath Day.

And, when I heard one of my favorite TV preachers teaching on this today, he simply said, "You know, if you have an issue in your body right now, this is how Jesus sees you - as a bull, fallen into a pit and in need of immediate rescue.  If a farmer has a bull that falls into a pit, he doesn't blame the bull for being down there."

That's all he said, but it immediately made me think of several things that add up to one simple, yet amazing truth: 

It's no bull! Jesus wants us healed!
  1. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever."  That means if Jesus did it; said it or taught it in the Bible, He still means it and means it for all of us today! No bull!
  2. Matthew 6:26 says, "Look at the birds of the air: they don't sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you much better than they?" We are better than birds or bulls!  And if Jesus would suggest that rescuing a bull is an immediate need; than your immediate healing is that much more important! That's no bull!
  3. Christians justify their sickness by saying, "God is trying to teach me something" or "God is trying to get my attention."  But that's like the farmer blaming the bull for falling down the pit!  Sickness comes from the pit of hell and only the enemy is to blame for it.  John 10:10 says the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.  If your health is stolen and destroyed, or if a Believer you know was sick and still died - the devil is the source - not Jesus the Healer!  And that's no bull either!
  4. Christians misunderstand and misuse John 11:4 to support their mistaken belief that their sickness is given by God for His Glory. Now, that would be like the farmer pushing his own bull down the pit and only pulling it up when people were looking so that they could praise Him for rescuing his own animal.  Now, does that sound like the God we serve? Sounds like total bull to me!
  5. Finally, preachers, teachers and Christians today will give all kinds of reasons and excuses as to why Jesus heals some and not others or why Believers who were sick died anyway.  This is as if after the bull falls down the pit, the farmer then stands there at the edge debating whether or not the bull is worthy of being pulled up! What a load of bull!
Pastors, leaders and Christians that think this way say that sometimes Jesus heals and sometimes healing comes in death - that we cannot control the results, all we can do is pray and leave the results up to God.  But they are basing their beliefs on their previous experiences more than the word of God. 

But the word of God says that healing - even immediate healing - is the absolute will and desire of God - yesterday, today and forever!  You can expect healing and be healed!

No lie, no bull!

Do you need healing? Buy my book "Be Made Perfectly Whole: Body, Spirit & Soul"
Do you need healing right now? Email me with your circumstance and receive an anointed healing prayer in response.


Praying for you power, love & peace, ya'll!
~Pastor D

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Now. More Than Ever

~eMinistry 4 Life-Giving Power











Now more than ever, God's people need power.

The power to change this country or change your life will not come through any political party, leader or candidate.  If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ, that power is already in YOU.

This morning it was my 7th grade son that announced the winner of the 2016 presidential election to me.  At 7:11 am.  My knees buckled.  I went upstairs to pray: "What now Lord?"

"NOW, MORE THAN EVER - MY PEOPLE NEED TO WALK IN MY POWER." 

The people have spoken - on both sides of the election.  CHRISTIANS have spoken - or chosen to be silent - on both sides of the election.  And the result is a true representation of what is going on in this country.  

And one can no longer say that the result is because of Republicans.  The result is no longer due to Christians.  It is "neither Jew nor Gentile; male nor female; saved nor sinner..."

There are GOD-FEARING, JESUS-LOVING, BIBLE-BELIEVING, SPIRIT-FILLED, WELL-MEANING Christians who are both Republicans AND Democrats.  And God has NEEDED and used His true Disciples of Christ in both political parties.  God loves balance - even (and especially) in an unbalanced, corrupt system of society.

But God needs His people to BE balanced.  To walk in balance. Because unbalanced power is dangerous, ineffective, unpredictable and volatile. 

And because God knows the end from the beginning; and because He is the beginning and the end; he has known what would be needed for this dispensation in time, as His people would wake up on November 9, 2016.

Wake up.

Wake up and prepare to walk in His power.

Only those who will have faith in Him; believe in His word, and do not doubt in their hearts will receive the fullness of the power of His Truth.  This power of Truth is:
  • The power to overcome hate
  • The power to overcome fear
  • The power to discern lies
  • The power to prevail
  • The power to prosper 
  • The power to heal
  • The power to save & deliver
It is the power of the Spirit of Truth abiding in you, as YOU abide in the Word of God. 

And it is truly the power of love - because God is Love; Jesus is God; and as Jesus is, so are we in this world.

It is through this power that we, God's true Disciples are transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus.  It is through this power that we, God's true Believers will be able to do the great and greater things of Jesus.  It is only through this power that we, the men and women of God will be able to make this nation great again.

And all that you thought either party, leader or candidate would do, will only be done through you and the supernatural Spirit of God working abundantly, exceedingly more in you.  Even whether those things you hope will change are:
  • Jobs 
  • Family
  • Health Care
  • Equality
  • Education
  • Protection
  • Assistance
  • Provision
  • Prosperity
  • Life
  • & Love for all... God's love, that is.
 But only through the love of Christ in you and empowering you - now, more than ever. 

Power, love & peace - (2 Timothy 1:7)
~Pastor D 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

If Trump Was My Neighbor...

My husband, 11 yr. old son and I live in a cul de sac with just a few homes.  It's a very multicultural street.  We have Asian, Latino, White, Mixed: White & Black and Black - including us, of course.

And, most of us really get along and care about one another - especially the multi-racial kids on our block (girls and boys), ages 7-13.

Galatians 5:14 is just one of the scriptures that admonishes us to love our neighbors: "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

I think we do pretty good on our little street.

But lately I've been thinking - what if Donald Trump was my neighbor?

The other day my husband was talking politics with our neighbor Mr. Vazquez and confessed our family's "secret joke" that if Donald Trump becomes President (which he won't), then we're moving to Fiji.  His response was "Well, it wouldn't matter - we'll be deported anyway." ...Also a joke.

But neither is really that funny - because Donald Trump's campaign, behavior and his own public comments have instigated our comments.

But what if Donald Trump was the same person he is, with the same character and personal history - but was also just a regular person living next door to me, and on my street with our other neighbors?

Well...

1.   I would not hesitate to think that "Neighbor Trump" was a prejudice bigot, bordering on racism.  His comments, if stated around the neighborhood would force me to teach my son the difference between racism and prejudice and how he should manage it.  Especially if it meant, treating Mr. Neighbor Trump with respect without giving his comments any credence or respect.

2.  We would probably go to great lengths to avoid having any contact with him - for any reason.

3.  I would be totally offended at his comments about Latinos and hope the 9 and 13 year old Latino neighbors hadn't overheard that Mr. Neighbor Trump thought illegal immigrants were rapists and drug smugglers - or that a Latino lawyer couldn't try his case fairly because of his Mexican Heritage.  True story: Mr. Vasquez was a lawyer in Mexico before coming to America.

4.  I would also be concerned about Mr. Neighbor Trump's behavior towards the really gorgeous black neighbor Mom across the street.  And, my goodness, how would he act with her in front of the 8 & 9 year old girls on the street? Or God forbid - how would he act with them when they are 17 &18 year old beautiful girls!?  Or with the rest of us women who might fit the category of "well, just look at her - I don't think so."  Would we also be accused of being "Miss Piggies" who "love to eat?"  (Sorry Kaleigh from CNN - I would be offended - no matter how big my belly might be!)

5.  Oh and, if he did state his sexist, predatory comments about our beautiful black neighbor... or worse, and act upon them - would her White husband think it was just "locker room talk"?  Or better yet, how do you explain those comments as being "locker room talk" to her 7 year old son, who plays basketball like he could post up on Steph Curry right now?  Unacceptable. Highly offensive. Dismissive and totally, incredibly - jail worthy unacceptable in our out of a locker room!

6.  And, if Donald Trump was my neighbor what would I think about his comments in relation to my Dad who is an African American veteran?

7.  And finally, because of presidential candidate Trump, we are already having a challenging time teaching our son - from a Christian perspective - about his fear of terrorism, gang violence and police brutality against minorities, as well as the responses and retaliations from the Black Lives Matter movement and the heinous violence against law enforcement.  We want him to direct his concerns specifically towards the offending groups or individuals and not on whole people groups, religious beliefs or people from certain geographic regions - whether locally or globally.  I think Mr. Neighbor Trump would make that challenge exponentially worse.  Oh wait, it already has!

Oh, and - let's not get started on what if Mr. Neighbor Trump was as blatant a liar about neighborhood facts, conditions, situations and the people as he is about America!

Now then, let's just say Mr. & Mr. Clinton were our neighbors too - in my opinion Mr. Neighbor Trump's comments towards Mrs. Neighbor Clinton would be legally slanderous and unacceptable - more so than hers against him. And his comments about her husband's history would be nasty, unnecessary and extraordinarily hypocritical!

If Mr. Trump were my neighbor, and our one neighbor who does (or did) support him, then defended him as "politically correct" as his CNN supporters do, I would call it the way they refuse to.

Oh, wait... I did anyway.

Galatians 5:15 says, "But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."

If Donald Trump was my neighbor, I could teach my son how to regard Mr. Neighbor Trump from this verse and avoid being consumed by his vicious behavior and comments.

If Donald Trump was president... I could not.  And, I think America would be consumed.  Just as many Americans already are.

Our little cul de sac of multicultural neighbors is actually pretty great.  And so is our country.  Let's all consider HOW we want to keep it great and make it better for all our neighbors and our children - of every ethnicity.

And as for Mr. Trump... pray for all your neighbors and love them as yourself.

~Pastor D
p.s.  VOTE... not voting at all will only make matters worse.