Followers

Monday, January 8, 2018

NOTES TO MYSELF- Goals Goals Goals

2018. Already 8 days old.
This is a year we need to :


PURSUE GOD. First and Foremost

Be Kind to ourselves- we tend to be our worst enemy
Be Humble- it is NOT always about you.
Be Gracious- people need our grace to them, as much as we need God’s Grace to us.
Be Gentle- we don’t know what everyone is going through.
Be Forgiving- because we ALL need forgiveness.
Be Vulnerable- don’t hide behind what you think others think you should be.
Be Honest- then you never have to wonder “what did I say before”
Be Brave- we all just need to be brave
Be Loving- always. To all that we meet
Be a Listener- people have their story to tell us.
Be Patient-Because we all need to practice that.
Be Resourceful- find what you need and go after it.
Be A Dreamer- keep following your dreams.
Be a Reader- there is so much we need to know and experience through books.
Be a Giver-whether its your time, or your money or your skills.
Be a Helper-who of us doesn’t need help at some point.
Be an Encourager- lift someone up who needs it.
Be Thorough- do your best each and every time.
Be Joyful-even in the worst of times, we still can have joy.
Be Truth- tell your story, even the hardest and worst parts. Someone needs to hear it.
Be Grateful- Each of us has so much to be thankfulf for.



DON’T :
Be judgemental- you judge others often for what we see of ourselves in them.
Be a gossip- because it ALWAYS HURTS.
Be Bored- LIFE is anything but boring.
Be Proud- being boastful is unbecoming.
Be a Grumbler- It doessn’t help anything.
Be a Cheater-Sometimes it might get you ahead now, but our actions always catch up with us.
Be a Miser- give to those who are in need-there are so many around.
Be Self absorbing or Selfish- it is never attractive.
Be Lazy- There are others who would love to have your gifts.
Be Someone you aren’t- be yourself
Be Complacent- Use your skills and gifts to benefit others.
Be Stagnant- we all need to keep moving forward.
Be Negligent- do what Needs to be done.
Be a Stranger- People need you.
Be Racisit- Hate never wins, we are ALL equal in God’s eyes.
Be a Hater- it will just make you miserable.


I wrote these in less than 10 minutes. As time goes on, I will add to them. But I am encouraged to start this new year with a fresh start and this goal list.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

Do you remember the childhood game of Telephone? One person would say something, could be a phrase or a joke or possibly an abstract sentence and they would whisper it in the ear to a person, who would then whisper it in the ear of another person, and down a line of people. When the last person hears the phrase or whatever it was that was whispered, they say it out loud. I would venture that 99% of the time, it was NOT the same as what the first person said.
We would crack up that this sentence could get so muddled over a short period of time and yet in ways not always understandable to us, we do this often throughout our days and lives.

How often when you are in a conversation with someone, that they say something and you completely misinterpret what they mean?
Or if there is more than two people in a conversation, there can be multiple versions of what was said.
This seems to happen frequently in my marriage or with my children; I will say something and they will take it in a way that it was not meant. Communication skill takes quite a bit of effort and we often don't speak what we intended to say.
Why is that? Why do we hear things differently? Is it because as we listen, we are trying to conjure up a response? Why do we have two ears and one mouth, and we tend to use our mouth more than our ears? Often I am so guilty of this.

Having been an RN for 31 years, I often would tell patients to have someone with them when a doctor is talking to them, because too often, as in the case of a cancer diagnosis, you HEAR the word 
"cancer" and your mind tunes out and you become so quiet because all you hear is cancer, and your mind goes in overdrive. To have a family member or friend present, who will take notes, so that nothing is missed is invaluable.

How often do we read God's Word to us and misinterpret it? His Word is most often the way God talks to us. I have read the Bible through each year for so many years but how many times do I read something and think to myself: "wow, I have never seen this before". And I know I have read it because I read the Bible each year, but this time a word or sentence or paragraph leaps out of the page and touches my heart and mind.

How often do we disagree on the Bible's interpretation? Churches have split, people have left their faith because of something they heard. The biggest example of that today is the LGBTQ issue. Many have attempted to discern what God is saying and there are two huge differences of opinion. This post is not about that, it just is such a prevalent topic nowadays and ways we interpret what we read that God says.

But do WE REALLY SEEK TO HEAR WHAT GOD IS SAYING TO US?
Genesis 3 is the familiar story of the account of the first sin on our earth. God had told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil but that they may eat of any other tree.  He also instructed them that if they ate it "they would die".
Along comes the devil, disguised as a serpent, and described as "more crafty than any of the wild animals God had made". And he questions Eve by saying:
     "Did God really say, "you must not eat from any tree in the              garden?'
      Eve responded by saying:"We may eat from any tree in the 
      garden, but GOD did say "You must not eat fruit from the tree 
      that is in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or
      you will die."

Right then and there is the first communication misinterpretation in our world. God specifically mentioned the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And He never said anything about not touching the tree.
So Satan, the enemy of God, being so crafty asks the question: "Did God really say?". His tactic to make her question what God said, was unfortunately for all of us, a tactic that worked. The serpent then proceeds to tell Eve that surely she would not die, because if she ate the fruit, her eyes would be opened, "and you will be like God, knowing good and evil".
Most of us know what happened next.  Eve ate the fruit and then gave some of it to Adam.
      "Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized 
        they were naked,...and made coverings for themselves."
How wonderful it must have been not knowing you were naked, and having no shame in that.

How often are we lured by satan's lies of "Did God really say?"
We won't know what God has said if we don't spend time reading His words to us. How can we know what God is saying if we aren't in the Bible? How often do we misinterpret the Word of God because we want to believe it says what we want it to say?

Again I bring up the LGBTQ issue. I have searched mightily for God's answer on what He means. I have read commentaries and many books. I have looked up words in the original Hebrew or Greek. I have prayed and prayed that God would show me His truth. What I have come up with is that God wants me to love ALL of His children, regardless of race, sex, sexual preference. Is it OK for gay people to be married in God's eyes? I don't know. For some reasons known only to God, He has not chosen to reveal to me what His answer to that question is. I know both sides of how people feel, but do I know God's thoughts? I know some of them but do I have His final say? I do not. And I am not sure any of us do, although many seem to think they do.

Being in my mid-sixties and having followed Jesus for 46 years, I still know I have barely scratched the surface of knowing God completely. But what I do know is that the most reliable way for me to hear His thoughts and words the majority of the time, is to be in His Word-reading the Bible daily if at all possible.
Because if His enemy (and ours) tries to trip me up by saying : 
" did God really say?", I want to go to His Word to see what He really said. I know I may interpret it wrong in my mind and heart, that is why I begin each time of reading the bible praying:
" Guide me in your truth LORD and teach me" (from Ps 25:5) and 
 "Open my eyes LORD that I may see the wonder and beauty of your law" (Ps 119:18).

I continually ask God to reveal His truth to me and I hope that you will to. We need to hear what God says and not others view of what He says.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

A WEEK OF MILESTONES,MISERY AND MEDICARE

Oh September. You are month of milestones and memories for me. But you also have caused untold mishaps and misery for millions of our human family in Houston, Florida and Mexico. And today is only the tenth of the month.

Today marks a milestone for me. Four years ago today I had the first of two surgeries that were six days apart for Medullary Thyroid Cancer. Anyone who is told " You have Cancer", has a multitude of emotions. I was like the countless millions who have heard this diagnosis; scared, confused, anxious for a time and then coming to a time of acceptance and the fight that fuels from inside you to fight this however you can.

I used to think that having thyroid cancer was the easy one of the cancers. UNTIL three days post op, my surgeon called and informed me that I had the type of thyroid cancer that could metastasize and I would need a much more extensive surgery. The second one took 4 1/2 hours and took part of my hypothalmus along with a sizable amount of tissue. Not to mention, the "J" scar I have from the top of my ear to midway around my neck.
Four years later, I still need two pillows to sleep. I still get occasional nerve pain and am still mostly numb around my scar.  I also have had my thyroid replacement hormones switched multiple times trying to get a range that will keep me in a normal rythum. That still has not happened. I have suffered so much insomnia and have gained weight. But as I reflected this morning, I AM ALIVE.

I am so grateful that God has given me these extra four years. I have seen both of my sons marry and became a grandmother for the 3rd time. I also got to celebrate my 2 other children (from another mother) get married and one even had a baby.
I have continued in my job in Young Life College; and now I get to work for national and international YLC as the Coordinator of Prayer and Resources.
I have gotten to witness hundreds of kids stand up and say they began a relationship with Jesus each summer.
I indeed have been blessed by being given more years to live!!

One more milestone this week is I turn, what I have come to call " Medicare" age. How the he** can I be 65 years old? What the What? That really makes me a senior citizen. (well the one plus is all the discounts of these so called "seniors"). Why don't I feel 65? Do I look 65? This is way more weird than turning 60, which I absolutely hated. Now I have two insurances, so in case I get hospitalized, I wont pay a cent. Sheesh.  This is crazy. Can I still be a contributor to society? to Young Life? This Medicare card has caught me in a conundrum of thoughts. Well, lets face it. I can do nothing about this milestone. Just try and embrace the facts. And also be thankful. Sixty Five years is twenty more than my mom had. And its been a good life. Ups and downs. Joys and Sorrows. But I have been sustained by a Faithful, merciful and loving God. That is what I must reflect and meditate on.

Oh but September, you have created havoc on our world. Between the end of August and today, you have had two Category 5 hurricanes hit our soil and do incomprehensible damage to the city of Houston and surrounding areas, and today your Irma tore through Florida to major cities and we don't know the extent yet, of the damage but the estimates in Florida already are over 200 Billion dollars.
My heart has ached for the devastation in our country and then there was an 8.1 earthquake in Mexico, where hundreds have died and destruction  looks catastrophic.

The incredible meleƩ caused by the horrific 185 mile per hour winds is almost hard to really comprehend.

Where are you GOD?
Do YOU care? 
Do YOU see?
WHY?

How many of us have asked any of those questions?
I truly believe these "forces of nature" have grieved God's heart too.

What is the purpose? Why do these things happen?
I am no meteorologist. I don't understand much about seismic activity. So I have no answers to these questions.
But I am almost sure that God didn't "cause" these disasters because Trump was elected president or that being gay caused this.
I don't believe with all that is in me, that the God I love and serve, works like this.
YES, HE did in the Old Testament.

But we are two thousand years past the death and resurrection of Jesus who loved us so much, He was willing to suffer and die so that we might be reconciled to God.
Today, I believe that as always, God welcomes all of us, ALL OF US, to His Table. All can come and feel loved and accepted no matter what their nationality, no matter what their race, no matter their sexual orientation, no matter their color, no matter their financial position-the poorest of poor and the richest of the wealthy, male or female-WE ALL ARE WELCOME!!

Our world is a HOT MESS.
Natural Disasters, wars, poverty, racism, exploitation of many in the sex trade, sickness and disease, mental illness-which often results in people taking their own lives, drug and alcohol addiction, marriages in trouble, parents abandoning their children and spouses, families not speaking. Not to mention despicable evil rulers around the world, and people in America having the least regard and trust in the president than any previous president in our nations history.
YES, our world is a mess. 
Obviously I have a faith in God and I often wonder if this is the beginning of the times when soon we will see JESUS return to earth as He promised?
I don't have the answer to that.

What I do know is that in the midst of turbulent times, I believe that God, the Sovereign ruler of the Universe, is still in control. That ALL of our times are in His Hands, not man's, not nature.
The peace that brings me is indescribable.
I am praying that you know this peace as well.
If you don't , I would be happy to talk with you.

Keep your prayers and thoughts on Florida, Houston and Mexico, no matter what you believe. We are all brothers and sisters in the human family.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

GETTING RID OF THOSE PESKY WEEDS, In your garden and your life.



Spring is finally here in the mountains!
For most of you, spring has been here for quite awhile now. Not where I live. Oh, we've had occasional days of sun and warmth, maybe for 3 days at a time.
For one week now the weather has been glorious, and the temperature slowly warms, making for one happy gal.

I absolutely love to garden. Getting my hands dirty, pulling the weeds, preparing the soil, and  then heading to the nursery to buy the annuals, the vegetables, the fertilizer and plant food. It's my idea of creativity.

For the ten years I have lived in the mountains of northern California, my goal is to have everything done by Mother's Day weekend. Except for the one year our youngest daughter was married ( 7 years ago yesterday). We were done planting at the beginning of May so that things would be blooming by her wedding.

This year though, we had 96 inches of rain. Yes, I mean 96 as in four less than one hundred. So picture in your mind the amount of weeds that that amount of rain could produce. LOTS. Well, way more than lots. I have more weeds than I have seen in the past few years combined. That would be due to the extreme drought California has endured, but thankfully this years over abundance of the wet moisture, ended our drought!! I can take longer than 5 minute showers.

Back to my gardening escapades. Because we had such a wet fall, winter and spring, I am just now beginning my gardening for this year. Today was my day to tackle the weeds. A few weeks ago I asked my dear husband to spray the weeds where I typically plant all my flowers. He is so sweet and did that almost immediately. 
Unfortunately, he sprayed many of my perennial flowers as well. Seriously I cannot blame him; I don't think I would have seen the difference. So this morning I began the process of getting rid of the weeds and the plants that had been doomed to death with the weed killer.

Silly of me to think it would take a couple of hours. I started at 8am and worked until about 10:15, until the sun was completely shining on the place I was working. Due to an unusual type of thyroid cancer, during my second surgery, half of my hypothalmus was also removed. This organ regulates your body temperature, and having only half of mine, I have become much less tolerant of heat and I tend to get overheated sometimes rather quickly. (this doesn't bode well for our Kauai vacation in September). So because of this pesky complication, I can only garden now in the early mornings and evenings. Given the amount of rain we have had, the mosquitos are also in overabundance, so the evenings are pretty much out as those pests love to get to my blood.

But the WEEDS. They are EVERYWHERE. I was overwhelmed before I pulled a one. There is this one type that lives here in the mountains that I never saw living in a city. This one is actually always low to the ground, but grows underground with roots that you pull up sometimes almost a yard long. They flourished in my flower area. Maybe I weeded half of the space today before I got too warm.

Weeds always remind me of the many flaws and sin I have in my life. Those areas where I think I have made progress ridding myself of my problem attitudes, but before I know it,  they reveal their heads again and cause me to further stumble. Just like the weeds I began to pull up today, I know those suckers will return and I will try and stomp them out again.

Extreme weaknesses that I have seen repeatedly in my life are judging others and jealousy. Oh I can't even tell you how often I have confessed my sin of judgmentalism. Why do I think I can cast judgement on others and what they say or what they do? It is the sin I would love to eliminate more than any other. And I can admit, that I have gotten much better as the years have gone by- for crying out loud, it should,  I mean seriously, I am now in my 60's. 

Jealousy keeps popping up its ugly head from time to time, just like those damn weeds. 
"why can't I have that house?"
"why does she always look so good?'
"why do they get to go there?"
"why can't I write like she does?"
"why can't I have the money she has?"
"why are they so successful in their ministry?'

Blah blah blah. Always wishing I could have what others have. Why can't I be so grateful for what I do have?
A husband who loves me and is faithful to me.
Four kids who have turned out well and have amazing spouses.
Three amazing little boys I get to be Grammy to.
Friends that I wouldn't trade the world for.
Involved in a ministry, working with a boss and team that is beyond fantastic.

God has enriched my life with so many blessings and gifts. I need to cherish them as much as I get enjoyment over the flowers that will eventually be planted and bloom.

Life is like a garden. We all need the pulling of our weeds in order for God to have us bloom where we are planted. It is never easy work. We will always get stretched and might feel the sting of the pulling; but HE knows this is what needs to happen for us to produce a garden that aligns with His character.

Next time you go to pull the weeds in your garden, maybe ask God what weeds He needs to pull out of your life to make His garden of your life as beautiful as He always envisioned you to be.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

TIME TO WITHDRAW

I realized this morning, that it is time to withdraw.

Are you at all like me, and the news that has transpired in the past week, has perhaps traumatized you? That you get sad and angry, frustrated and confused?

Five days into the Trump presidency and I am upended. I don't know what to do. The mostly repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act (aka: Obamacare) was the first thing that got me reeling. I was an RN for 31 years. It wasn't until I became a home health nurse that  I saw the huge disparity in the care of patients. When you had good healthcare coverage, you were allowed extra visits. When you were on Medicaid, you got one visit. I was horrified. People who need Medicaid (Medi-Cal for us in California) do not have the money for health insurance, are living in the below poverty level; they barely have enough money for food and clothing and shelter. It was in the early 1990's when I began to consider that universal health care or national health insurance was something we needed. I learned that most of the world's countries all provided health coverage to each citizen. I wondered why we didn't.
I know that in the early stages of the Clinton administration, that they tried for this and failed. 
Then came Obamacare and I was grateful that then, everyone could get insurance. And yes, it was very confusing and the computer servers crashed, but the outcome gave millions of Americans the access to healthcare that they needed. President Trump's repeal of most of that was the starting point of my frustrations.

The thing that has upset me terribly is the news that today he will order that there are to be no refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan allowed into the United States. These countries have been known to have people enter the country, and some are ISIS proponents here to recruit.
The President also tweeted that "we will build the wall"

Yes, I know that there are HUGE numbers of people that have entered our country illegally at the borders between Mexico and the United States. I know it has caused a tremendous financial cost to us the US taxpayers. I admit that I have no idea of why the people of Mexico cannot enter our country legally; perhaps there is a yearly quota.
What bothers me is that there is NOT any ONE of us who live in the United States that is here because someone in our family tree came here to better their lives. To be free from oppression, whether it be for religious reasons, to escape the taxes of their countries, to try and give their families a better start in life. Do we not profess that: We are the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave?
Trump wants to use money from the Homeland Security Department to fund the building of the wall.
As I sat on the edge of our bed this morning with tears streaming down my face lamenting to my husband on the unfairness of all of this, he reminded me that this is why our country has checks and balances. Donald Trump is the President of the United States but HE IS NOT THE CEO. He cannot sign things into law without Congress's approval, and even then if someone files a lawsuit, it could be overturned by the Supreme Court or appellate courts.

I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for 45 years now. HE will always be the ONE I have my allegiance to. Way ahead of my allegiance and love for the United States of America, is my love and devotion to Jesus.
I have a friend and some of my family who I asked if they wanted to join me in reading the Words of Jesus this year in the four Gospels. (you can read about it here:http://missyscud.blogspot.com/2016/12/join-me-with-jesus.html) and this morning I was reading in the 4th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. This is the chapter where Jesus is led into the wilderness and tempted by the devil. In the first temptation, the devil tells Jesus to make some stones become bread.
Jesus answered: It is written: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of the LORD". (Matt 4:4). From the very start, Jesus emphasizes how the WORD of GOD is of primary importance. Which once again confirmed to me, that I must be in the Bible, that my choice to just read the Gospels this year so that I can see the Words of Jesus is of upmost importance.

Later on in the chapter in verse 12, it is said that Jesus withdrew to Galilee after hearing the news that John the Baptist was imprisoned. There are many instances in the four Gospels that Jesus withdrew by Himself to be with His Father. I have to surmise it was to get His Father's instructions, His Voice, to confer with Him on the big decisions that were coming, when his ministry depleted Him and He needed spiritual refreshment on His human side.

If Jesus needed to withdraw when things were taxing on him, why wouldn't I also need to withdraw?
To be with Him. To hear His Words. To seek His advice. To listen to Him, and be able to pour out my heart to Him in things where I need clarity, or wisdom, or just to be with Him and tell Him why I am confused or frightened; to bear my heart and soul to the Only One who fully knows me and still loves me in spite of who I am.
So I am withdrawing to be with Jesus. From the news, from Facebook. I need to pray for our President. I need to pray for our country and the world. I just need to be with Jesus.
Don't you?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

JOIN ME WITH JESUS

Over and over and over again for the past month, GOD has been getting my attention.
Instead of focusing on the election (yet again) or being fearful of what a Trump presidency means, or getting so frustrated that my husband has limited my time to watching the news, I am being reminded that it is JESUS who I am to follow. Who I am to obey. Who I am to serve.

It has never been about me. 
It has been and always will be, ALL ABOUT JESUS.

There is so much going on in the world that breaks my heart.
So much that can terrify me.
Between the refugees from Syria (now over six million have been displaced from their homes), the sex trafficking all over and the atrocities being committed against women and girls and young boys, to the heinous dictators (or leaders) in Syria and North Korea and Russia, and the so many I don't know about, I can become totally paralyzed with fear.

I choose not to be. 
Instead I choose each day to pray and ask God to intervene, to protect His children. And although I do not see the answers to my prayers right now; I know that the ONE who created life, who created us, will one day soon, have HIS way.

I am choosing the word "FAITHFUL"  for my word this year. It has been on my heart and spinning through my mind for a month now. I had been planning to write this blog all day and just now read a blog by Sarah Bessey, a much younger follower of Jesus who has challenged me over the past several years and she too chose the word, FAITHFUL (http://sarahbessey.com/my-oneword365-for-2017/). I guess great minds think alike!!

FAITHFUL to GOD and what He has called me to be: His servant in this world, to be obedient to what He has asked me to do. To pray for what He has put on my heart. To give to where He leads me to give. To be a LIGHT that shows others the reality of living a life following CHRIST. To TRUST Him in the midst of my uncertainties. To be mindful again and again of the HOPE He gives. To CLING to Him, no matter what.

NO MATTER WHAT I hear on the news or what I read online. No matter what happens to those I love. No matter who is president. I am called to be FAITHFUL  to my GOD.

One way that I can be faithful is to listen to His Words, to let sink in His way of life. So for the year of 2017 I am going to read the Gospels each day. I did this a few years ago and it was incredible to hear and soak in just Jesus' words. Because they are always TRUTH.
I will read one chapter a day. It takes about 3 months then to read through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
This way I will read through the Gospels four times this year. Each time I will read it in a different version. Most likely I will use the NIV, the Message, the NLT and ESV.
The gleanings I will receive each day will be immeasurable. I remember when I did this last, that I was so surprised each day that the LORD would speak to my heart in a new way and remind me of His truths.
I have tried to follow Jesus for 45 years now. I have read through the Bible over 25 times. I know the Gospels. I know the stories and the miracles. I have heard them since attending parochial school as a child. 
But when I come with an expectant heart each day, Jesus reveals Himself to me anew.
I would love to have you join me in this endeavor. To soak up the words of Jesus each and everyday in 2017. I think I can guarantee that you will be surprised and grateful at the end of the year.
When we get our perspective from JESUS, our fears will lessen. We will be more focused on Him, on what He wants and His will.
And as I've said before, "Its all about Him and not us".
It will change how I (we) think, how we pray and hopefully how we think and how we act. 
I for one, NEED to do this.
What about you?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Trying to Turn over a New Attitude.

Oh this month. What a ride! Not necessarily a fun ride, but one that has had more downs then ups, and one that won't be forgotten soon.

The presidential election has left half the country so disheartened, questioning everything that has transpired.
I am one of them.

I could not, would not, vote for Donald Trump if he had given me all his money. More than anything, I am absolutely confused and baffled by those who say they are followers of Christ and voted for him. 
How do you vote for a man who wants to build a wall across the border of Mexico and the United States? Who wants to throw out anyone who is a Muslim? Who says he wants to change the immigration Laws? ( mind you, he has had 2 wives who are immigrants). Who changes his mind on issues like women change their clothes? Who tweets unbelievable things? Who has groped women and boasted of it?

This man is definitely someone who does not resemble Jesus Christ to me. As I have pondered for a month now, I have wondered if those who proclaim to be a follower of Christ, and voted for Mr Trump, actually have an american worldview of Christianity?  The kind of view that believes we are superior to the rest of the world and that we don't need to be concerned about "them".  I do not believe that 81% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump; they didn't poll me or so many of my friends.

I have to admit, a Trump presidency scares the heck out of me. He is so irrational at times, speaks without thinking often, and bullies so many people. I thoroughly believe that God remains in control and that many times I often do not understand His ways. This may be the end of the US as a world power and that may be part of God's plan, but I have chosen to trust Him in spite of my fears.

Today I read the book of Nehemiah from the Old Testament. It is the story of how one man took a risk and asked a king for a favor so he could re-build the wall in Jerusalem. The reason the wall needed to be rebuilt is that the Jewish people had continuously disobeyed God, discarded His commands and pridefully thought they could run their lives better without Him. 
Sounds so much like us in the United States today. We were founded as a country granting religious freedom. We included God when our country began and today, we are much like the Jews of old; we think we know better than God, we discard His views on loving one another and we wonder why His favor does not rest on our country anymore.

In Nehemiah 1, he writes:
     "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I
     mourned and fasted and prayed to the God of Heaven"

Is that what we need to be doing?  Can the answer to our anger and grief most likely can be found in prayer and fasting? I am beginning to think it is. 
Not so that we could change the results of the election (but maybe we could change the electoral college-oh sorry, I could only wish), but maybe in prayer and fasting, in trusting God with our questions, our fears, our extreme disappointment, we might gain His perspective. And I for one, need it.
What if each of us who almost despaired in the days following the election, set aside a day or two to fast and seek God and His will, and to hear His Word. Because if you are anything like me, you have heard too much from what the world is saying, getting riled up reading the news, looking at social media and being disgusted. What I need to hear, and most likely you too, is the TRUTH. And God's Word has always been and will always be the truth. We need to hear from the ONE who created life, created us and who holds all of us together.

Further on in Nehemiah 1, the prophet writes:
     "I confess the sins we the Israelites (or us americans),            including myself...have committed against You. We have
   acted wickedly toward You. We have not obeyed the commands, 

   decrees and laws..."

This stopped me this morning. Why do we think we God would bless America, when we don't listen to Him or follow Him? I am like Nehemiah, just as guilty. I have disobeyed, have acted wickedly, and now is the time to repent. For myself and for my country.
2 Chronicles 7:14 states:
     "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble them-
    selves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked
    ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their
    sin and heal their land."

This is what we, as followers of Christ need to do. WE need to humble ourselves. We need to pray and seek God's face. We need to turn from our sin-our pride, our anger,our holier than thou attitudes, our judgmental thoughts, and ask God to forgive us.
Then and maybe then, He will begin to heal our land.
Because we NEED HIS HEALING. We have said things we should not have said, we have been angry and NOW is the time for us to start the process. WE, who profess our faith, who say Jesus is our Lord, need to begin the healing process. To release our frustrations and our fears and to TRUST God, that He is the ONE who does the healing.

NOW is the time for us to be humble. To drop the accusations and to just do what He requires of us. To love others, regardless if we agree with them or not. To show kindness-to EVERYONE. To be respectful because this is exactly how Jesus is to each of us. And to be forgiving, because WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN.

NOW IS THE TIME FOR US TO ACT LIKE WE ARE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST.