Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Love Thy Neighbor".....Not Just The Ones Who Look Like You!

Mark 12:31 "Love your neighbor as you love yourself; No other commandment is greater than these."
(You should check out what the first one is)

Leviticus 19: 13-18

13 "You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord."
15 "You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor: I am the Lord."
17 "You shall not hater your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord"

Recently there is a lot going on in our lives, in our worlds. We are in end times. I know people have always said that when things happened that they didn't agree with but just go check out Revelations. It makes me sad every day when I turn on the news, when I look at my Facebook feed. Surely I can't be the only one who sees this world in such turmoil. People mad at others because they are different in some form or capacity. I post a lot of #blacklivesmatter posts because Black Lives Do Matter! I have noticed that my friends list has started to decrease. It does make me a little sad because those who decided that they no longer wanted to see the things I post on my Facebook page are missing the point and they are missing an opportunity to learn about things they might not have known, to be exposed to things they otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to.

I see the oppression, even after all this time, of black people in America and it breaks my heart and makes me feel physically sick. Somehow it's alright to protest for all kinds of things but when it comes to a protest for black people and their right to live as a fully free American citizen, somehow that is different and something is wrong with it. It's not just African Americans that have a terrible time in the United States but if you are here by means of an illegal act like hoping a fence or a train to ensure your family has it better because you live in a country either torn by war and/or ran by drug Lords, nothing is going to change in your country so you seek refuge in the United States and if your are Muslim in America, wow and something I didn't think about until today, what if you are black and Muslim in the United States?

I recently read an article about a Muslim woman who was leaving Target with her young daughter. She was wearing her hijab because that is what she believes. Two men assaulted her and her young daughter with eggs and screamed racial slurs at her. How sad for her to have to go through that and for her young daughter especially when America was founded based on escape from religious persecution. I posted the story on my Facebook feed because people need to understand a few things.

First, being Muslim is a religion not a terrorist group. A terrorist group is Isis. They are not the same thing. The only thing they have in common is that Isis is made up of radical Muslims. It's kind of like Mormons. The majority of Mormons do not believe in polygamy but you have some radical Mormons who still practice that belief. Need another example? The KKK professes that they are founded on Christian principles. So does that mean all white Christians believe what the KKK does? I can tell you, being a white Christian, I don't believe any of the crap that they spew. You want everyone to not judge an entire group based on a few? Start with the person looking in the mirror.

Second, just because I support so many people that maybe make other uncomfortable doe snot mean that I am supporting terrorists, that I hate white people, that I am anti-police officer,  that I am turning lesbian or that I am considering being transgender. It doesn't mean that I am becoming a Muslim or changing my own religion but it means that I understand what God commands for me to do. Love my neighbor.

Third, I am going to let God use me right now and I hope that I do His Word justice. Love is a huge theme in the Bible. Now, maybe that isn't what you believe and that's your choice but I am going to provide what God has laid on my heart and even if it's not what you believe, I hope you get something from what I am saying to you. God and Jesus both told us in the Bible to "Love Thy Neighbor". Neighbor in the Bible doesn't just mean your literal neighbors but in fact means your brothers and sisters and in case you didn't know, ALL people are God's children which means every single living soul on the face of this Earth, the ones who have gone on before us and those who are yet to come, they are all your brothers and sisters.

If you can find it in the Bible, let me know where God says to love only the neighbors you agree with, only the ones you like, only the ones who look like you, talk like you, dress like you, practice the same religion as you, who support your same sports team, who went to your school, live in your state or country, who have the same color eyes, listen to the same music as you, and who you are most comfortable's alright, I'll wait.

My point is you won't find it. Nope, all the people who profess to be Christians who aren't willing to help those in need, who want to shut down the border, to deport people, to group and entire religious group as terrorists and maybe you aren't a Christian and you feel that way, you will be harder to reach but Christian people, what is wrong with us? I say us because it took me minute to understand some of these things myself.

Yes, all lives matter because God created us all in HIS image! When people say black lives matter they aren't saying that others lives don't matter but can you please stop and look at this issue through a different set of eyeballs please? Regardless of who sold who way over in Africa, I am not going to get into all of that because there were multiple streams of this horrific practice, I"ll start when black shackled feet hit the ground after being cramped in a boat and I mean cramped, with very little food, in the place we call the great United States of America. Men, women and children were taken to "market" and sold. They were sold like they were nothing more than cattle, sheep, chickens or dry goods. How anyone could see other human beings being treated that way and still pay sums of money to have them "work" for them is beyond me. Whatever image you have of how slaves were treated, add in the things you know about Adolph Hitler and see if your mind can intensify those things by a million. Need some visuals:
 Young children and babies being used as alligator bait by Florida slave owners.
 Just can't even wrap my mind around this.
(I got all of these photos from my friend's facebook page. If they are your photos, please let me know and I will gladly give credit where credit is due.
So slaves become "free" but not really because then it wasn't until the 1960's the segregation ended and even then, not really. And imagine, look at the photos of how the Civil Rights Movement went:

Black people still aren't fully free. When black men have the same 2nd Amendment Rights as all other men and yet, are named suspects automatically because they are carrying a gun, sickening. When you notice people move their children where they are between you and them, when you're black and the lady clutches her purse a little tighter because you are standing behind her in line or if she moves it from the buggy to her arm, when your son is told her can't date a girl he has more in common with than anyone else because her family doesn't allow her to date outside her race, when you can't get an equal education, job, housing or medical care, when you will get 40 years for a crime someone said you committed and the white guy who commits the same crime only gets 10 and when you have to worry about your life every time you see a police officer because you are black in America. So black people are being treated so badly, the same way Jesus was treated so badly by so many while he walked the Earth.

Don't worry, I'm not just going to talk about the life African Americans live, and trust me, I don't do it justice at all because how can I? I'm white in America. Let's talk about the first people who suffered at the wrath of white people, the Native American. Purposely given blankets covered in small pox, entire tribes gone thanks to the diseases brought from cross the ocean, killed and buried in mass graves simply for being the first inhabitants and not wanting to allow white people to develop that land into what we have now because it didn't belong to anyone. The land, the water, natural resources, they all belonged to everyone to use but not to take or have possession of. To this day, Native Americans, who are the only legal people in the United States, suffer. Alcoholism, depression, domestic violence are all issues that are huge in the Native American community. The healthcare system is so horrible that the state of Oklahoma, the place where we drove Native Americans and placed them on reservations, will offer any nurse who is licensed in Oklahoma, if you work on the reservation for a set amount of time, they will pay a portion of your student loans. Just like African Americans, they are not fully free Americans either. Judged by the actions of certain tribes, Native Americans are portrayed as violent, head scalpers who can't possibly understand how to be civilized.

Muslims are the next group I'll discuss. I'll be honest, when 9/11 happened, I steered clear of anyone who looked Muslim and especially women because their hijab made it even more clear and obvious that they were Muslim and then something amazing happened. Lexi played basketball with a Muslim girl. She was covered from head to toe but other than that, she was just like the other girls. Her parents sat beside me at many games and tournaments and they were just like me; cheering on their daughter, cheering for other girls and for the team. It made me examine myself. See just because someone is Muslim doesn't mean they are part of a terrorist group. They want the same things for their children that we do: a good education, to go to college, to have a successful marriage, to have a great life and to give us grandchildren. What would you do when you realized Jesus looks just like the people who have learned to fear?

Illegal immigrants, I almost want to stay with Mexicans when I talk about this because lately, that's been the focus of one of our political candidates; to deport anyone who isn't a citizen and build a wall so no one can come in. Shoot them on sight so to speak. Would it surprise you if I told you Jesus was an illegal immigrant? Jesus had to flee so his life could be spared and he illegally went into a country that wan't his. Let me share two things with you guys. First, my son's girlfriend was not born in the United States but in Mexico. She came here with her family legally but here is her situation. When she obtained a social security card, they put a middle initial on her card. She doesn't have a middle initial. Now that she is done with high school and looking for a job, guess whose information does not match when searching a federal data base? An attorney wanted to charge her $1000 retainer and an awful amount per hour to do something she ended up being able to do herself. With her mother, she went to the INS office and explained what was going on. Instead of being help, they interrogated her like she had done something wrong. When she was able to prove she was here legally, they told her it would take AT LEAST 6 months for them to get it straight....we are still waiting! My granddaughter, Eliana, I love her so much. My heart breaks though. She has yet to feel the touch of her other grandmother. See, she is in Mexico and right now, coming here is not an issue. The border issue is only going to further separate families. Can you imagine your family being in an entire other country, your brand new granddaughter and you can't get your hands on her? 

The Bible tells us we are to love one another, not just the people we like. We are to give to those who are in need and those people coming here illegally, risking their very lives, they aren't coming here to steal jobs, to create problems but to try and provide their families with the same opportunities that we are trying to give to ours. See, if we really believed God's word, we would all tithe our 10%, we would not all live in debt or have a country in debt, we would reach out and help someone over the fence, we would fight for equal rights of all people, we would love people and be an example of God and His love rather than being the judge and jury, we would help our "neighbors" in any and all ways necessary including feeding, clothing, ministering, loving on, giving a drink....Jesus asks us if we would open our door to him, if we would give him food if he were hungry, water if he were thirsty but no where does it say what he will look like when he asks...ponder that one.

I know it's kind of long and I"m sorry but I have a lot on my mind.

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