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Category Archives: America

Praying for Truth in the Misinformation Age

liesI have a friend who suggests that the so-called “Information Age” should be relabeled the “Misinformation Age.” I think he has a point, and that point has been sharpened considerably in the last few months. No matter what you think of our president-elect or his opponent, you can prove your side of any argument with just a few strokes of the keyboard and clicks of the mouse. Anybody with even the smallest platform can publish truths, half-truths, or flat-out lies, and regular folks like you and me are left to parse facts from fabrications.

It’s maddening, isn’t it?

I studied journalism in college, and I was proud to be part of a long tradition of men and women dedicated to ensuring the public knew what was going on behind all the closed doors—in police stations and schools and state houses, in courtrooms and congress and the White House. Today, journalists and bloggers and anybody else with keyboard or microphone can espouse whatever they wish—truth or fiction—with no fear of backlash from the public.

Well, it’s time to lash back. The question is, how?

Tweet this: Only God can replace the lies with truth in the Misinformation Age.

I’m sure there are lots of great answers to that, but I just want to focus on one: Prayer.

I pray that America once again becomes a nation dedicated to truth. I pray that citizens will discard the lies—and the sources that advocate them—in favor of honesty and integrity, even when the truth doesn’t line up with our philosophies. I pray that Americans would again be able to distinguish between falsehoods and facts. I pray that we would become a nation capable again of clear and logical thinking that differentiates between feelings and realities. In short, I pray that, as Shakespeare said, “Truth will out.”

Will you join me in praying Psalm 25:5 over our nation? “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Only God can accomplish this, but God can accomplish it. Let’s pray that He does.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Visit her website for information on her latest release.

 

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Pray and Vote

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On the eve of Election Day in the United States, I wanted to encourage you to be praying for this election, for our potential leaders, our country. Along with praying, get out and vote.

This morning on the Christian radio station I listen to (WCRH 90.5 FM), Phillip DeCourcy gave the following quote: “We have a responsibility to vote…Part of obeying the government is to vote.”

Here’s what Romans 13:1-5 (NIV) has to say about those in authority over us: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

Pray and vote.

social-media-2015 Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. She has a regular column in Home School Enrichment magazine and has written for Christian Devotions. Her newest novella released in November, Love in the Seams. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

 

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Seeking Truth in Modern America

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Such a lofty title for my blog this week, but it seems apropos as Americans try to discern truth from fiction in these final days before the election.

“What is truth?” That question has been asked throughout the ages, always with different answers, answers that reflect the speaker’s own beliefs. In recent years, many Americans would reply to that question with the stock response: “There’s no such thing as absolute truth.” I find that answer ironic, considering that it is worded as an absolute truth. Therefore, it cannot be true.

Alas, I pointed that out once to a young ideologue and received a blank stare for my efforts. Some people prefer not to be confused by pesky logic.

The most famous person to utter the words “What is truth?” was Pilate when he questioned Jesus the morning of his crucifixion. It started when Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king.

John 18:37-38 reads:

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

Right after Pilate asked this question, he walked away, not waiting long enough to allow Jesus Christ, Truth Himself, to answer. Imagine if Pilate had  been “of the truth,” as Jesus described, and had cared enough about the truth to seek it out that day. The outcome—Christ on the cross—would have remained the same, of course. But perhaps for Pilate, the outcome of his life would have been vastly different.

We Americans behave in a similar manner. We say we want to know the truth, but we don’t seek it out. Instead, we settle for pretty lies that confirm what we believe. Like Pilate, we walk away before we receive insight and understanding.

It’s so evident in this election season. We have media outlets skewing facts in order to get their candidate elected. We have citizens making up news stories and passing them off as truth in order to cause one candidate to look bad, so the other will be elected.

It’s not as if we can blame one side or the other for this behavior. I have a friend who consistently shares stories on social media about one of the candidates. Unfortunately, often those stores aren’t true or have been spun so fast, the truth has leached out like dirt in the spin cycle. But what we’re left with doesn’t smell fresh. Instead, it reeks of deception. This is happening on both sides of the political spectrum.

Lies are everywhere. That’s no surprise. Jesus called the god of this world the Father of Lies, so we shouldn’t be shocked when we see him at work.

What shocks me is how little Americans seem to care. We should be outraged by:

  • Lying candidates
  • Lying newsreaders
  • Lying journalists
  • Lying businessmen
  • Lying non-profit leaders
  • Lying pollsters
  • Lying friends and family members
  • Lying everybody

Instead, what do we do? We shrug. We justify it when our own side lies, while we cry foul when the other side does it. We keep watching the dishonest personalities on TV. We keep reading the skewed news stories. We take in the lies, swallow them over and over, until we’re bloated and sick with them.

We’ve become a nation that feeds on lies. The Father of Lies would stop to celebrate if he weren’t so busy. Tweet this.

It all feels so out of control, doesn’t it? But we still have the Truth on our side. His name is Jesus, and he is waiting to help us.

Isaiah 30:18 reads, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”

The Lord wants to rescue us from this foolishness. Join me in praying that now and beyond the elections, Americans would once again become a people who seek truth. Tweet this.

Otherwise, these lies will destroy us all.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Connect with Robin at her author website and at her freelance editing website.

 

 

 

 

 

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To Speak or Not To Speak?

repub-and-demoThe closer we get to election time, the more I’m convinced this isn’t a war between Trump and Clinton. It’s a spiritual war. The nastiness being blasted on social media isn’t just among republicans and democrats but between Christians.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve read dozens of Facebook posts by Christians defending Hillary’s stance on abortion. Likewise, I’ve read posts by Christians sugar-coating Trump’s absurd behavior toward others, especially handicapped individuals and women. However, the fact we don’t have a decent candidate to choose from this election isn’t the focus on my post today, though it highly concerns me. What makes steam pour out my ears like Yosemite Sam after a failed attempt to make Bugs Bunny his dinner is the way Christians are treating other Christians in the comments they’re leaving.

I’ve seen more adults act like children while defending their viewpoints, calling each other names (like anyone is going to take them seriously with that kind of behavior), relaying in detail exactly how God will judge that person for their belief (as if any of us are holy enough to make that call), and some even being so bold as to put words in God’s mouth that aren’t even biblical.

I’m appalled.

Truth is, folks have already made their choice on which candidate they believe is best, so to debate, especially on such an immature level, is a waste of time. I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t “like” or leave comments at all, I simply want Christians to think about a few things before sending their opinions into cyberspace.

  1. Why do you feel the need to comment? Are you defending God’s word or are you really just convinced you’re right and they’re wrong?
  2. Is commenting really worth your time? Or risking a friendship? After all, you could spend that time in prayer for your country, witnessing to someone, or reading your Bible.
  3. Do you have sound scripture to defend your viewpoint? (Putting words in God’s mouth is unwise.)
  4. Is your defense based on God’s word or your own understanding?
  5. Is your comment insulting to others (are you name-calling or acting immature)? Are you using the right tone with your words (opposition given in love)

After all, we’re not advancing the cause of Christ if we’re not living Christ-like.

Lastly, choose this day whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15) DON’T defend something God is against, but you think there should be exceptions to. (Proverbs 3:5-7 and Ephesians 5:17) You’re either following God or you’re not. (Matthew 6:24)

Pray for your country. Pray for your fellow Christians. Pray for wisdom and a right attitude as we prepare to elect the next leader of our country.

Pray for God’s mercy.

~Candice Sue Patterson

 

The Election – Not the End of the World

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With our country in upheaval about the coming election – well illustrated by these signs my husband drove past earlier this month – it’s good to remember that God is still in control. Of everything. All the time. Even who gets elected in a couple of weeks. Yes, even that. This election is not going to destroy the planet … although at times it seems like it. The planet will be here when Christ returns. He is the only One who can – and will – destroy what is corrupt and replace it with that which isn’t.

2 Peter 3:10-18

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore,beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

Debut story will release in April 2017 from Barbour

ponyexpressbookcover

 
 

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When Friends Spew Hatred: Love in the Political Season

battle_of_bosworth_by_philip_james_de_loutherbourg

Innocently scrolling through Facebook the other night, I came across an article posted by a friend that intrigued me. The author of the article claimed to be able to discern characteristics of the supporters of one of the candidates based solely on the fact that they were planning to vote for that candidate. I clicked open the article, assuming I’d see statistics and demographics.

I was sorely mistaken.

The article made huge sweeping (and cruel) assumptions about all that candidate’s voters based on nothing but stereotypes. It would have been hilarious if it hadn’t been so insulting. The article’s sole purpose was to shame half the voters in America.

You’re guessing which candidate it was, aren’t you? But does it really matter? If you’re planning to vote for Clinton, does that make you a lying America-hating murderer? If you’re planning to vote for Trump, does that make you a money-grubbing, mean-spirited xenophobe? Are the voters really guilty of all the worst things the candidates been accused of?

Let’s face it: Not even the candidates can be guilty of everything they’ve been accused of. This campaign cycle is nothing but a battle of the barbs, where soundbites have become headlines as if they’re actually news.

Where does that leave voters? Many of us feel we’ve been given two lousy options. So we’ve considered the candidates, maybe even prayed about our decision, and made a choice.

I commend everybody who’s planning to vote, even if you don’t enthusiastically support your candidate. Voting is our civic duty, and letting everyone else make the crucial decision about who leads our nation the next four years doesn’t seem like a wise move. All the people who’ve decided to, as some have said, “hold my nose and vote for [insert candidate here],” have now become targets of people like the one whose article I read the other night.

What bothered me most about the article, even more than the ridiculous claims it made, was the fact that a friend had posted it. Have we really come to that as a nation? Have we become people who hurl hate at our friends because they’re supporting a rival candidate? Whatever happens on November 8th, on November 9th, I fear the ground will be littered with the tattered remains of former friendships, ripped apart by the vitriolic language spewed for months on end.

Tweet this: On 11/9, will the ground be littered with friendships ripped apart by the vitriolic language of the campaign?

At the end of this election cycle, God will still be sovereign, and it is He who chooses our leaders (see Romans 13:1). Yes, we Americans will vote–as well we should–but the final choice is God’s. Is this election really worth losing friends over? It is worth losing business associates? Is it worth all this hate?

In John 13:35, Jesus tells his followers, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Our job is not to win arguments. Our job is not to shame or insult our enemies. Our job is to love even those who disagree with us. It’s getting harder and harder to respond with love during this heated campaign season, but I will keep trying to respond with love or, at least, silence. If all believers choose love, imagine the impact we can have on the nation. Imagine how we can stand out in the crowd of haters.

Maybe that’s what Jesus had in mind.

 

*Image by Philip James de Loutherbourg

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Connect with Robin at robinpatchen.com

 

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When All Your Choices are BAD

choices-fork-in-the-road3

The American Presidential Election is seven weeks away. Seven weeks of candidate behavior the likes of which are rarely seen outside of an elementary school playground. Lucky us. As far as I can tell, there are twenty-six people looking forward to this election. That’s counting the candidates and their families. The rest of us view it like swallowing a spoonful of castor oil. We know it’s going to be nasty, and we’re pretty sure it’s not going to do us any good.

… I WILL VOTE …

Generations of Americans have bled and died to secure our freedom to vote for our leadership. Even though I’m pretty sure this election isn’t what any of them had in mind, I believe we owe it to them to uphold the basic foundation of our nation by exercising our freedom of self-governance.

Who do you vote for when all the choices are bad? Let’s face it, this year it’s been whittled down to the liar, the jerk, and some minor characters who don’t have a chance to be elected. Not exactly the stuff of legends.

I’m not looking forward to voting. I know who I’m going to vote for, but I’m only voting that way because I think it’s the person who will do the least amount of damage over the next four years. Still, I will vote.

… I WILL ALSO TRUST …

God already knows who our next president will be. He’s already chosen. We know this from Roman 13:1, Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. That’s the verse I have to hang on to this election. God can and will use whoever He puts in that position. Our job, our obligation, is to do our part, cast our vote, and then support with prayer whoever the next president is.

And lest you despair, remember, God has used a talking donkey to accomplish His will. Numbers 22:28, And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times? Prayerfully make the best choice you can, and then trust that God’s got this.

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com
Debut story with Barbour Publishing will be released in April 2017.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2016 in America, Current Events, Pegg Thomas

 

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