Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do you hate Hillary Clinton?

My good friend Sharp recently mentioned an article in Christianity Today entitled, "Hating Hillary". In the editorial, the author equates jokes, marketing, and satire with personal hate. I think it is possible as a Christian to love someone, especially a public figure, while at the same time making fun of their politics or persona. God has called us to love our enemies, not to like them.

Franky, in some ways, she is my enemy. She is a politician who actively promotes things that are adverse and offensive to my world view as a Christian. This is not only true on economic issues, upon which many Christians can have honest disagreement. It is mainly true on social issues. God is not a Republican, but I believe with my whole heart that He is pro life. I also do not believe that He is for gay "marriage" either. Everything I have read in the Bible tells me this is so. I could go into many more issues.

This article accuses some Christians of using Hillary's status as an "enemy" in order to create "a feeling of mutuality among those with whom we share dislike. The factions created around enemies may even bear a far-off resemblance to true community." I disagree strongly. I know of no such organization, formal or informal. I think we already have communities of evangelicals, called churches, whose membership is usually fairly like-minded in their world views. Senator Clinton came along later, spouting views that are diametrically opposed to those views.

The article goes on to say that, "vitriolic language directed at political figures does not, to use the Pauline metaphor, attract others with 'the aroma of Christ.'" Of course not! It is not designed to do that. Does cheering at a football game, singing at a concert, or laughing at a play attract others to Christ? Probably not, but I think that activity is permissible!

I believe God calls our politicians to be honest, especially those who claim to be Christian. I believe He calls them to take a strong stand for eternal moral truths that are contained in the Bible. I believe that He expects politicians to look at their office as an opportunity to serve, not as a grab for personal power. Everything I have seen, heard, and read tells me that Hillary Clinton does not even attempt to meet these high standards. No one can be perfect, but I at least want a President that understands the importance of these things and makes a valiant attempt to live up to these ideals.

I don't hate Senator Clinton. I just hate what she represents. And I hate the way she represents it. I think most evangelicals hate those things, but not her as a human being. I think the vast majority can make that distinction. Hating sin and hating her ideas does not equate to hating her.

I hate the fact that she lied about her trip to Bosnia. She said it proves she is "human." I say it is yet another in a mile long string of lies. But way more than that I hate the way she "lies" about how her ideas will help this country. She has not shown how socialized medicine will work here. She makes outlandish claims about crises that we are not having. If one does not agree with her socialist/liberal agenda, she seems to treat them like an ignorant backwoods snake handler.

I hate the fact that she sends her daughter out to campaign and work for her and then whine that she is asked tough questions. Tuesday Chelsea Clinton was asked whether her mother's credibility had been hurt during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. She replied, "I do not think that is any of your business." I think that it is. I think questions about a candidate's credibility are very much our business. They are wanting us to "hire" them, right? If Chelsea can't handle the heat, she should stay out of the kitchen. I would. To me, if you want to lead the free world, or campaign for someone who does, then put up with it or shut up.

Most of all, I hate her support for abortion on demand. Is it all right as a Christian to hate abortion, lack of personal responsibility in leaders, condescension, socialism, liberalism, and lying? Sure it is! These are moral issues, ideas and character traits, not people.

Finally, we are told in this article that the most courageous thing we could do this year is love Hillary. I already do that, and it takes little or no courage. I want Senator Clinton to know Christ as her Savior and Lord. I want her to be blessed personally and professionally as she does that.

The most courageous thing we could do as Christians this election season is take a firm stand for eternal moral truths. We should write about them, talk about them, and live them out. We should even do it if (in so doing) we are branded as haters by others. That is courage!

I Dreamed About Jesus

By Parker and Evelyn McDonald...

Just a Little Talk With Jesus

From 1989: Evelyn & Parker McDonald and your's truly in 1989....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mamaw's story from 9/4/88

This is one of my favorite memories of Evelyn McDonald....

Sad news

I just got the call from David. "Mamaw" passed away this morning at 6:30.

I say "sad". I know she is not sad now! It's just a selfish sadness for those of us she loves.

Thanks, Lord, for letting me say goodbye, for now.

Obituary From the Cullmann Times:
Funeral services for Evelyn Ruth McDonald, 91, of Cullman will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at Moss-Service Funeral Home Chapel, with interment in Bethlehem Cemetery. Officiants will be the grandsons of Mrs. McDonald.

Moss-Service Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. McDonald passed away on Sunday, March 23, at Cullman Regional Medical Center. She was born on Sept. 4, 1916, in Cullman County to George and Alta Grimmett.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Parker McDonald; a son, Jerry McDonald; three brothers, Arnold, Bill and Don Grimmett; and a sister, Helen Dickerson.

Survivors include four daughters, Mary Ruth (Henry) Knight of Birmingham, Janice (Larry) Gambrill of Cullman and Paula (Ben) Knighten, both of Cullman, and Gail (Frankie) Wilkins of Helicon; a daughter-in-law, Celeta McDonald of Walker County; two brothers, G.W. (Faye) Grimmett of Blount County and Windell Grimmett of Cullman; three sisters, Rosalee Lynn of Pell City, Allene (Odis) Ponder of Cold Springs and Carmen Davidson of Birmingham; 16 grandchildren, Tony (Anita) Knight of Tuscaloosa, Terry (Pam) Knight, Pam (Barry) Todd, Sandra (Curtis) Garrison, Larry Gambrill Jr., all of Birmingham, Laura Oliver of Vinemont, Tim (Lori) Turney of Jacksonville, Fla., Angela Carroll of Kennesaw, Ga., Gina (Jeff) Bishop and Bobby Childers Jr., both of Dodge City,Teresa (Ricky) Bartlett and Lisa Childers, both of Cullman, Kim (Ronnie) Overton of Crane Hill, Darron McDonald of Wilsonville, Brent (Dana) McDonald and Ben (Lori) McDonald, both of Empire; four stepgrandchildren, Ann Carter of Florida, Chris Wilkins of Birmingham, Ginger (Norman) Bacate of Good Hope and Angela (Michael) Day of Holly Pond; and 27 great-grandchildren.

Visitation was Monday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My little tribute to a great lady

The sky I wish Mamaw could have enjoyed at 6:45 p.m. tonight, just before I saw her for the last time....

There is a precious lady that tonight needs your prayers. She is one of my favorite people in the world, and has been ever since I first met her 20 years ago. Evelyn McDonald is the grandmother of my ex-wife. She is 91 and tonight she is in the hospital with a severe illness that is attacking her body, but not her precious spirit.

Do you believe in unconditional love? Do you believe that a life best-lived is the life that is centered around meeting the needs of others, rather than self? Do you believe in being positive when everything and everyone else around you is negative? Can a person do that while maintaining a healthy sense of humor? Do you believe that a human, other than Jesus Himself, can exemplify these characteristics? I do. I have seen it lived out beautifully in the life of Evelyn McDonald.

I am hesitant to even write for publication some of the things that she put up with. I don't like saying negative things about people. One of the things that she lived through, though, was the death of her only son. He was driving home from work after working way too long, and he fell asleep at the wheel. This happened in the early 1970's. I think she still grieves his passing. Her husband, when they were in their 70's, was unfaithful. Some would have told her to let him go. She continued to believe in him and hold out for him. She refused to completely reject the love of her life. When he decided to get his life right, guess who was there for him in his time of need? Guess who took care of him when he was on his deathbed? You guessed it!

If there was a family member or friend down on their luck, or just in need of a smile, laugh, company, or an encouraging word, where did they go? Where did people go to laugh, sing, and feel "at home"? That would be the home of Evelyn McDonald.

How do you respond when you learn that your granddaughter is getting divorced from a man that you love and respect? What if he is accused of heinous things that are not even true? I don't know what Evelyn thought, but I know one thing. She treated me with as much love as ever before. She never blamed anyone. She just loved and accepted people, no matter what. What is wrong with that? She didn't even seem to waste her time getting to the bottom of things or getting into who was right and who was wrong. She seemed to have the sense that everyone needed to be loved and treated with as much respect as possible. And she does love!

Tonight I went back. I went to visit Evelyn in the hospital. She has been in and out of consciousness. She can barely speak. She seems to have a hard time recognizing everyone and what is going on around her. She keeps saying, "OK" over and over, as if she is talking to someone and doing something for them. That is not surprising! That was her lifestyle: giving.

The first time I was by her bedside tonight, she looked into my eyes and seemed to light up with recognition, but didn't say anything. She just reached for my hand. I held her hand for a while and told her that I love her. There were a lot of people who came to visit her. I stepped out of the room for a little while and spent some time with my sons David and Matt. Joe was spending the night at his friend's house. David stayed up all night with his mom last night at the hospital. He was supportive and has turned into a young man. I was proud of him. Both he and Matt drank vanilla jungle coffee. I digress.

I felt strongly led to go visit Evelyn one more time. Almost as soon as I came in the room, she saw me. She said, "Mike!" loud and clear. I immediately went to her side, hugged her, told her I loved her, and said, "hang in there". I didn't know what to say other than I wanted her to hear how much I love and respect her. She pulled her oxygen mask off and my ex-wife's sister said, "She wants to kiss you!" I put my cheek up to her so she could and I kissed her back on the cheek and forehead. I hugged her.

I am so glad I went to see her! I am not good at going to hospitals. I am like a fish out of water. This was not easy for me to do at first, but I felt an overwhelming urging from the Lord in my heart that gave me an unusual desire to do it.

Before I left I prayed and prayed. I wanted to be a special blessing to her. I realized I had a unique opportunity. Not because there is anything particularly special about me. I just realized that few people have the ex husband of one of their grandchildren come and visit them like that to tell them they love them. Usually there are a host of reasons why that would not happen. I even struggled with that a little bit. I wondered who would be there and what would they think of me based on the things they have been told. I decided my love and respect for this great lady trumped anythings else.

We all have a tendency to think that great people are famous people. There is no denying that many great people become famous because of their greatness. Most great people don't become famous. One of the greatest is Evelyn McDonald.


I was part of a group who sang "Mo Li Hua" or "Jasmine Flowers" and "Amazing Grace" at the Chinese New Year Festival at the University of Alabama in February 1992.

This is what it was like to be in the audience.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

What a loser!

I will admit I have been concerned about Barack Hussein Obama. Why does he hate people to refer to his middle name, anyway? But I really didn't know exactly what he believed until yesterday, other than the fact that he has the most liberal voting record in Congress. I also know he is the least experienced candidate for President in either party.

Obama is a slick speaker, talking about "hope" "change" and various other nebulous, feel-goodisms. He has fooled so many people that Republicans I know say he is not as liberal as Hillary. Check his voting record!

People have spread lies saying that he was a Muslim, which were easily debunked. Now we all know what he believes. His 'pastor' for the last 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, gave him the title for his book and performed his marriage ceremony. Obama said that his church is not controversial and defended his so called "social gospel".

This is pure, unadulterated hatred. There is nothing at all in this message that resembles my blessed savior, Jesus Christ, who told us to beware of false teachers. Everyone who says "Lord, Lord" will not enter the gates of heaven.

I wouldn't vote for Obama for anything, except to say if you don't love this country, you are free to leave it! His pastor is a loser and since Obama supported him for 20 years until he retired, Obama is guilty by association. I am embarassed that my state voted for this clown!

This is some of the most vocal opinionated stuff that I have ever written on this blog, but don't take my word for it, listen and decide for yourself!