[New faces, new places, and new destinations]

Election day.
Yikes, I can't believe its already here and gone! I was only able to watch part of the whole inauguration process, but I did see Obama sworn in and heard his speech.

It was incredible seeing the thousands of faces of people in the crowd in D.C. on the mall. I don't know how so many people crammed in that place, but they were most certainly there, and the whole day was certainly momentous and historical. It was said that the number of people in the crowd was the biggest its ever been to attend the swearing in of a U.S. president. I can only imagine what it would have been like to see that, and to experience it all.

There are so many cool things about this day, yet so many things that scare me. Seriously.

Good things: President Obama is now the first african-american president, and he has certainly won over the support of many many Americans.
He's promised some good change, but has promised some things for America that I'm not so sure about.
Annnnnddd.....that's all I can think about for the goods. Hopefully that list grows.

He spoke often in his speech of the big melting pot that America has become and should continue to become. He made specific mention of religions too: Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindu, etc....he said we are all coming together and working together and living together. It may be true that many other religious groups will call this place we know as America home too, but I pray to God that that does not smudge the defining line between Christianity and any other religion in the world. I hope that more than ever, we as ambassadors for Christ never forget our true mission and purpose in the crazy messed up world....and that is to do just that: to be ambassadors for Him. I hope we will hold to the guidelines God has set up for us in His word, and I pray will never stray from them, or hold them of less esteem that we do now.

It seems that his speech stressed the importance of coming together, of accepting everything, and everyone, different lifestyles, opinions, religions, ...everything. "Be one..." they say. I can't help but to refuse that. I will not melt in and be "one" with the world I have been put here to fight against. Satan's forces are ever fighting in our midst for the soul of every human being on this planet. How can I sit back and just let everyone be "one" and be happy with their sinful ways?
No. I'm sorry Obama. I will not be one with the nation. I will follow my God-given purposes in this life.

All this talk of the new-age scares me too. We're destined to see so much change happen in our lifetime. Yet it's already begun. Obama will probably sign the freedom of choice act once active in office as well-- allowing mothers to have abortions legally. I can't express how grieved I will be if this act actually passes. We're all about "equality" and being "one" in this nation, yet we've lost the VALUE of a human life!!! Apparently gays and lesbians deserve to live in peace and happiness, have equal rights and be protected by law, but a baby can't. Hmm. What's wrong with this picture??

I could go on about things I hope that don't happen in this new presidency, in this new path we've begun....but I can't.

I am praying for Obama this year, that God will grip his heart, guide him to make the right decisions, pass the right bills, follow not in the ways of the world, or be persuaded by those that really should not be persuading him. He's certainly not entering office during an easy time in America's history.
I pray he'll be strengthed, that he'll have endurance to make it through each day and the stresses that come with getting adjusted to living in the white house.
I pray he'll always have time for his family, that their relationship will be strengthened and not weaked by this new job he has taken on.
Most of all, though, I pray he finds a true relationship with Christ, and that he will listen to God for wisdom and guidance above all and any opinion.

It's history in the making. I'm excited to be a part of it, but I pray for God's protection as we go forward in these crazy times!

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[Taking the Bait.]

I've been reading in Genesis lately, (in my ESV Study bible, btw, just a small plug for this amazing tool and road map for my life, go here to check it out yourself :)
Anyway, back to the point--
Genesis 6:
"When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. [...] 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. "

There is something significant here (noted by the esvsb,) about the way of men's hearts and the pattern of sin we have become prone too because of the fall. In the first couple verses of this chapter, it says that the sons of God "saw....attractive (good)...and took."
Remember how sin even entered into the world? Check back in Gen. 3:6:
" 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate."

This really stuck out to me today....this is the pattern we as sinful people have followed since the fall in the garden of Eden.

We see something, it looks good to our human eyes, and we take it. It is the sickening pattern of our society these days. We do not consider the consequences, we are prone to satan's every temptation, and how often do we take the bait in front of us? It's everywhere. The temptations to get more, be more, have more, buy more, take take take TAKE. I only wish I could say I was good at not taking the bait, but I'm not. I fail over and over, I am a sinner in debt to His grace, and will always be imperfect. There is no one capable of being completely like Christ. We're not even worthy to call ourselves His children even after we have accepted His GIFT (the opposite of taking!) of eternal life.
I guess that's why I'm so grateful and excited that He has shown me His never-failing love and forgiveness!! To think that the sin we commit grieves the Lord's heart.....wow. Shouldn't that make us want to be like Him? To pursue godliness and righteous living? Shouldn't that make us want to guard our hearts against the tempter when he comes knocking? To give more of ourselves in love?

If the world only had more love it would be a better place to live. Love is obviously the opposite of taking, and Christ showed us the ultimate form of love on the Cross. In the words of one of Brandon Heath's songs..."No greater gift [has ever been given]... There has never be a greater love than your son, no not ONE, there will never be a greater LOVE no not one. With His life you have forgiven us, hope has come!"
What is love? (1. Cor. 13) It is definately not selfish. It is patient. It is enduring. It does not end. Isn't this what Christ showed us when he died in OUR place? He endured His fathers wrath, so we wouldn't have to. If He wasn't patient with us, would He forgive us? Does He tell of an end to His love? Of course not!

Knowing THIS should change our every action, motive, attitude, feeling, and heart. We should rejoice in our every circumstance, our true heart's desire should be for Him! To please Him in ALL that we do, not just some of the things. We should be willing and want to sacrifice everything for His glory.

I wish I could say again, that I was perfect at this. It is only by the grip of the Holy Spirit I can say I am trying all the more.