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As I turned on the radio, and heard the words spoken from stately lips, my breath was halted, I gulped hard, my heart ached. If I could describe my response, with the description of an action, it would be that of someone shoving a knife into my gut … and then twisting it.

The loss of a life, a soul, just a couple days before, elicited a similar, agonizing response.

The Crusades, the Inquisition … sins against humanity, in the name of Christ.

Slavery, Jim Crow … sins some believed had Biblical support.

Residential schools, child abuse … sins by those who led the church.

Witch hunts, abortion doctor shooters, bullies of homosexuals … all in the name of Christ.

What President Obama may be oblivious to, is the fact that those of us who are sincerely striving to live as Christ have no high horse to come down from …

as we have already been trampled by that ghost horse of the past over, and over, and over again.

“study the past if you would define the future”
Confucius

The past, history, is a most valuable educator. It shows where humanity has gone right, and where it has gone off the rails wrong, like a runaway train. I would never, ever be one to say, let the past stay there … in the past. We must study it, understand it, learn from it.

What I can say, though, is that I do not live in the past, I am not responsible for the actions of those who lived in the past, as it is not those of the past who are my leaders, who I am following.

I am only answerable for the actions, words and impact that my life has on those around me, and the world I live in. Yes, my heart aches when I hear of horrors performed in the name of Christ (past and present), but it is an ache not for myself, but for the one whose name has been damaged … Christ.

May we pray for those who are persecuted.

May we be the hands and feet of God in communities, and the greater world.

May we be the voice of love, of peace and of wisdom.

May we feel the weight of representing our God this day, and be convicted by that responsibility to speak, to act, and to impact our world for His glory.

May we always, only, follow He who is worthy.

“It is (only) the Lord your God you must follow,
and (only) him you must revere.
Keep (only) his commands, and obey (only) Him;
serve (only) Him
and hold fast to (only) Him.”

Deuteronomy 13:4

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The guest post for today comes out of a response to inappropriate, thoughtless and wrongly used words. The response, on the other hand, was appropriate, intelligent and wise.

During one of the recent American Presidential debates, conservative American colonist Ann Coulter tweeted the following, “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.” 

I am pretty sure that Ms. Coulter regrets the wording and insinuation of her tweet, nonetheless, she, a professional person of words and their meanings, should have known better!

The best response to her tweet was by John Franklin Stephens, whose response is well thought out, wise and very gracious. Mr. Stephens is a Special Olympics athlete with Down syndrome. He knows something of the word ‘retard’ and can speak to the power of that word from a place of very intimate knowledge and experience.

To me, his most powerful statement is, “no one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.” Amen to that!

Oh, and since the election is so soon, and I don’t want to be held responsible for swaying the American public to vote one way or the other (with my readership of … five 😉 ), the American liberals also have a special needs skeleton in their closet. Back in 2009 President Obama, when on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, joked about his bowling score of 129 “was like the Special Olympics or something.”

Obama did apologize to Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman.

Apologies are good, but it is better to think BEFORE we speak, because out of our lips are often the words of our heart.

And, as Mr. Shriver said after the presidential apology, “I think it’s important to see that words hurt and words do matter. And these words that in some respect can be seem as humiliating or a put-down to people with special needs do cause pain and they do result in stereotypes.”

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