I’m With You, All of You

I am full of arguments against writing this post.

The first is the loudest voice, it tells me that it is more loving to stay silent, or if I can’t stay silent then to stay vague. Don’t offend anyone. Don’t cause conflict. Don’t rock the boat. It’s wiser to just listen. And while this voice speaks some truth, it also lies. I have spent a lot of my life listening to the voices that tell me to get smaller and quieter and I don’t want to follow their lead anymore.

The way of love also asks us to listen, but it asks more of us than just getting quiet. It asks that we show up to the table, that we listen when others speak, but that we also speak up ourselves. It asks that we show up with all of ourselves and our hearts and we let others show up with all of their selves and their hearts too. It asks that we love and value others enough to hear them, really truly hear them, but also that we know ourselves to be loved and valuable enough to not tolerate anyone who doesn’t respect, validate, and listen to our voice as well.

Without good people speaking out, disregarding their own security and acceptance, ignoring the apparent wisdom of silence for the courage of love, we would never have change of any kind.

And I think the way of love is the way of change, because love wants growth. Love is not passively condoning an action that hurts someone because saying something might hurt someone’s feelings. Love is speaking up and calling forth something higher, something better, some growth that would lead more and more towards wholeness, health, well being, and true connection.

The voice that tells me to stay silent, even if the reason is that “it’s more loving”, is not a loving voice. It is the voice of shame. Period. And I will not live under shame’s tyranny. I want to live under love’s dominion.

Having gotten over one hurdle towards writing another emerges.

“Other’s are already saying it better.”

I have felt proud of my Instagram feed this week. I am sure there are those out there who are being hurtful, hateful, and spiteful, but I have heard little of that. What I have heard and seen from so many people, people who are disappointed and hurt, is grace. I have seen love in action from so many people as they engage socially in sharing their thoughts, their feelings, there ideas, their fear, and their disappointment. I have seen people inviting those very different from them to the conversation both online and face-to-face. I have read words that are more thoughtful, beautiful, and powerful than anything I have read in the modern era in a long while.

Others are saying it better.

And then today I happen to be reading Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet in which she writes:

“If I thought I had to say it better than anybody else, I’d never start. Better or worse is immaterial. The thing is that it has to be said; by me; ontologically. We each have to say it, to say it our own way. Not of our own will, but as it comes out through us. Good or bad, great or little: that isn’t what human creation is about.”

And like a flash of lighting I know I have to write this post. There is something I have to say. Not because I can say it better, or in some new way, but because it has to be said by me. There is something in me, which must come out. Not because of anyone else, but because of me. Because in the process of speaking, writing, sharing, creating, there is some growth that happens in the one who speaks, writes, shares and creates. There are words that need to come out of me because in doing so they can change me. And I need that. Always. No matter how many others are also doing that work and seem to be doing it better.

So, I sat down to write and a new fear rose, a new argument made it’s case. What if someone takes my words the wrong way? What if someone feels personally hurt or angered or harmed by my words? That can’t be the way of love, can it?

I think of a post I read this morning in which a woman I follow wrote beautifully on the cyclical nature of change and progress, the discomfort of it, the way the pendulum swings back and forth. The words were thoughtful, and gentle, and reading it felt like a call towards peace. But then I scrolled down and a rather long comment caught my eye. The person writing the comment was clearly upset, angry, and feeling their choice was being attacked by something that I could see clearly didn’t aim at attacking.

What if someone misunderstands? What if they take my feelings as a personal attack?

And I’m reminded of a truth that seems to be everywhere in my life right now. It is both simple and one of the most complex ideas I have ever grappled with:

I am not responsible for other people’s feelings. Just as someone else is not responsible for mine.

When I try to make someone responsible for my feelings I am placing shame and blame somewhere it can’t be placed.

Where this get’s complicated is that I do have a responsibility to my words and actions. I want to live in love, speak in love, act in love. I want to be aware and intentional. I don’t want to harm another, even in their feelings. And if I degrade, devalue, humiliate, abuse, dehumanize, brutalize, wrongfully accuse, or shame someone either in my words or my actions I am absolutely responsible for that. If I intentionally (or unintentionally) inflict harm on another with my words (or actions) I am responsible for that.

But, I cannot be responsible for how someone takes something I say in love, for how they interpret my words or how it makes them feel. Feelings are a rather tricky thing, and they come not just from what I say but from how what I say triggers a myriad of past experiences and stories in someone else. I can’t control that reaction. I am not responsible for another person’s feelings. I am responsible for my own actions, my own words, my own responses, that’s it.

So, here’s my promise to you: I will speak carefully.

I will chose my words with intention and caution. I will not use shame, I will not devalue, or degrade.

Will you read this post with grace? Will you read it with softness and understanding, not taking it as a personal attack, but as exactly what it is, my own processing, the words that must be said by me?

So, here it is…

I felt shocked, saddened, angry and discouraged that Donald Trump won the presidency. I could even go so far as to say I felt heartbroken by it. I walked around in a depressed daze for much of this week.

It wasn’t because a Republican won. I don’t often feel that Republicans value the things I value, but I have nothing against Republicans and I feel like there are plenty of them who would do a fine job running the country even though I may not agree with them.

It wasn’t that Hillary lost, I voted for her and I feel good about that vote, but I don’t love her. I didn’t want her to win the Democratic ticket. She feels like a typical politician.

The depression didn’t come from those things, it came from who won and how they won.

It was because someone won who is endorsed by the KKK and other white supremacy groups (yes, those groups shockingly still exist), who continually makes racist comments, who advocates for war crimes, who according to politifact tells the truth only 4% of the time, and has bragged about sexually predatory behavior.

It felt to me like a victory for hatred, for racism, for bigotry, for sexism, for disrespect, for inequality, for fear.

It felt to me like love and respect and civilized human decency lost. And that feels rather discouraging (to say it lightly).

I know a lot of wonderful, kind, loving thoughtful people who voted for Trump. I do NOT think they are about everything he seems to be about.

I am personally struggling to understand how, not being about those things, a person could vote for someone who is so blatantly about those things. But, I know this was a complicated race. I know people value different things than I do. I know there’s a lot that went into every persons decision, but knowing that doesn’t make me any less sad. I’m sad.

I’m sad for our country. I’m sad for the world, because this swing towards extremism, towards fundamentalism, towards exclusivism, and ethnocentrism, is not just happening in America it’s happening in a lot of places right now.

And I personally chose not to value those things.

The truth is those things are in me, as I wake up to myself I can see all of it.

In 1942 Etty Hillesum, a Jewish women in Amsterdam, wrote this in her journal as Nazis were rounding people up in the streets:

“I try to look things straight in the face, even the worst of crimes…I feel like a small battlefield in which the problems of our time are being fought out. All one can hope to do is to keep oneself humbly available, to allow oneself to be a battlefield.”

I don’t want to admit it, to see it, and especially not to write it, but the hatred I see in others is mirrored in me, the fear I see in others is mirrored in me. I am just as capable of bigotry and racism and sexism and exclusivity as even Donald Trump. I am just as capable of being close-minded and judgmental as the next person. I am not naive enough to say I am innocent; I am not. My world, my very soul, is subtly and not-so-subtly colored by all those things. Just like Etty I am a “small battlefield in which the problems of our time are being fought out.” But I will fight them out. I will not give in to my baser self. And I think I had hoped that we would not elect a candidate who time and time again seems to give into that baser nature and not even be in the battlefield.

So, what I need to write for me, right now, ontologically – in order to be – is a new commitment, a sort of vote of my own.

I need to say I’m with women, and girls, who are afraid to walk down the street alone at night, who are paid less than their male counterparts, who are kept out of certain jobs and certain industries, who are still in so many settings treated as objects for someone else’s pleasure either blatantly or subtly. I’m with you.

I’m with those who’s skin is darker and history more tumultuous than mine, who are between two and four times more likely to be stopped by police and 3 times more likely to be shot unarmed, who still in this day and age are segregated and looked down on and treated as lesser by so many, who enter their society being seen as a threat before they’ve even done anything. I’m sorry. And I’m with you.

I need to say I’m with the immigrant, those who are searching for home, for place, for safety; whether you come here legally or illegally because I know sometimes coming legally is just too hard and too expensive and you would do anything to have a future and give your children a future even if it means breaking the law. I get it. I would feel that too. I’m with you.

I’m with the disabled, those who walk differently and talk differently and those who don’t walk or talk at all, those who’s brains work differently than mine, who see the world with entirely different eyes, who we label as “disabled” because often we don’t know any better, but who just like me were made in the image of God and have so much to teach me about life and love and what it really means to be healthy and whole. We need you in our societies, in our churches, in our families. I’m with you. I’m with my daughter.

I’m with the sick who don’t know how they will afford the treatments they need, who are concerned that they will be denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions, who are held responsible for things they should never be held responsible for, who in any other industrialized civilized country would be cared for, because basic healthcare is a human right, at least equal to that of education, that any ruling government should be obligated to provide, but here we haven’t. I’m with you. I understand your stress and your fear.

I’m with all those who have been treated as less than, because of their race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. People matter. You matter. You have value. Even if others don’t treat you as valuable. Even if our highest office of government, the president himself, doesn’t treat you with value.


I need to say I’m with those of you who voted for Trump. Not because I agree with you, but because you have value too, just as much as me, or anyone else. You are entitled to your choice, to your ideas, to your vote. Just like I am.

I want to try to understand you…

To those of you who voted for him because you’re hurting, you feel like you’ve been forgotten, you feel like you aren’t getting what you’re entitled to, you want a better future for yourself and your children and you think he can give you that, I hear you. I want a better future for you and your children too, for all of us and our children.

To those of you who voted for him because the most important issue to you is abortion, you are outraged that so many innocents are being murdered every year, I hear you. I’m with you in wishing abortions would stop. It’s a complicated issue, but I’m saddened by that loss of life, by all that potential destroyed. I’m with you.

To those of you who voted for him because you believe in the Republican party, you might notice that it’s not the party it was, you might not like that, but you still believe in the things the Republican party stands for and you could never vote otherwise, I respect your loyalty. I was raised Republican, there are things they say that they are about that I could get behind if I actually saw them being about those things. I hear you. I hope for a Republican party that is more than just a hate group, that is really about some of the things they say they are about, and I know that will only happen by kind passionate people like you staying in the party and working to raise the level of discourse and the quality of candidate. I’m for that.

To those of you who voted for him because you wanted change, you liked how he said whatever came into his mind and wasn’t polished and rehearsed, you liked that he wasn’t a politician, and even that he sometimes messed up and said the wrong thing, you value authenticity and people being who they are even in the spot light, I get that. I like that too. We desperately do need change, we desperately do need people in office who are authentic and not two-faced, but I also believe in the value of words and that words matter and what we say matters and we should be careful in how we use our language, using our words to built up rather than abuse or harm.

To those of you who voted for him because your parents, or friends, or maybe your pastor and the other people around you told you it was the right thing to do, even the “Christian” thing to do, and you believed them, because your relationships are built on trust and you trust them, I understand that. I voted that way for a time. It’s nice and comforting to see the world in black and white and so much harder to try to start wading through the grey. I get that. I feel that. I’m with you.

To those of you who voted for Trump because you really couldn’t tolerate seeing Hillary in the white house, you have a visceral, extremely negative reaction to the Clintons, you think they are manipulative, lying, slimy, two-faced, disingenuous, and even evil, I hear you. That feeling that you get in your gut when you think about the Clintons, that’s the feeling I have when I think about Trump. I get you. I understand you. The Clintons are far from clean, far from honest or forthcoming. And you value those things. I understand that. I’m with you.

And to those of you who voted for Trump for reasons I haven’t thought of, reasons perhaps beyond my understanding, maybe you really are scared about immigrants taking your jobs, maybe you really do like the few policies he sort of put forth, wherever you are coming from, whatever reason you had for voting for him, I’m with you.

I’m with you.
Not because I agree.
But because I value you.
I value your voice and your right to chose.
I value democracy.

Most of all, I’m with you because it’s the only way we can move forward.

But the second you, or our president-elect, start to devalue another human being, whatever their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion I will call you on it. I will fight you on it. I will not stand behind that.

I am willing to enter into an honest, respectful, discourse about differing political ideologies and plans, with love, but I am finally ok fighting when you say or do something that devalues another human being. Loving, respectful, discourse is so deeply needed and important, but if all I do when you degrade another human being is shrug my shoulders and say you are entitled to your beliefs I am no longer walking in the way of love. I am then part of the problem.

And I do not want to be part of the problem anymore, even in the darkest most subtle and unconscious places of my heart. I will let my heart, my life, be the battlefield. I suspect I will fail at times, but I will try and I will keep fighting.

I do not want to stand silently or idly by any longer.

I am with America.
I believe in the experiment that is America.

I am also for our shared growth, our shared progress, our shared value. Each and every one of us.

Grace and peace,

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

Politics, Fear, and Third Party Canidates


When I told Bryan I was thinking of writing this post he was surprised. “Should I not do it?” I asked. “No, I think you should, I just didn’t think you had the guts.” He replied. “Neither did I.” I laughed.

That little bit of conversation gives you an idea about how nervous I’m feeling writing this post. I don’t really like conflict. I am not very political and honestly I don’t usually understand how fierce people can get over politics. Maybe part of why I didn’t understand it is that I don’t really agree with the fiery people around me. Maybe it’s partly because the issues people get fiery about aren’t usually the same issues I really care about. Maybe it also feels a bit pointless getting fired up about something when you really are quite powerless.

When it comes down to it, I feel like I didn’t have much choice. I always felt like my vote had to go to one of the two main parties and neither of them really resonated with me all that much.

In every Presidental election I’ve participated in my deciding factor when it came time to check one box or the other was this, “which guys better than the other?” Which is the “lesser evil”? But, honestly, is that really a good way to pick the person who’s going to run our country?

I consider myself relatively informed, especially in the last few elections, but I still would say that at the end of the day I didn’t vote for someone because I really supported THEM and their party and their stance on important issues, but instead voted for them because I thought they were better than the OTHER GUY. I didn’t vote FOR a candidate I voted AGAINST a candidate.

And when it comes down to it that’s how I’ve voted in all the elections I’ve participated in. I voted out of fear instead of conviction. The fear may have been different depending on where I was at in life and different influences. The boxes I ticked may have been different, but the fear was the same really.

Bryan and I try hard in our personal lives not to be driven by fear and not to make decisions out of fear. I don’t think I should turn around and decide who I’m gonna vote for now out of fear. This election I really wanted to vote FOR someone, instead of just AGAINST someone.

So, when a friend posted about isidewith.com on facebook I was intrigued. Here is a site where you can take a quizz and it will tell you which candidates you line up with best. I was intrigued. But, I was also skeptical.

I didn’t feel like I fit in any party. But, I also don’t really feel like the democratic party fit or always emphasised the things I really care about. I knew there were third party options, but knew very little about them and assumed they were mostly just extreme options that wouldn’t fit me either. So, I took the quizz, completely expecting to get a really mixed answer with low percentages across the board.

I was first surprised to find how thorough the quizz was. It covered a lot of issues and policies and even had a way for you to designate which ones were most important to you. And then I got my results: 88% Jill Stein, green party.

I was surprised. 88% is a pretty high percentage. It means that my views line up with Jill Stein and the green party view a vast majority of the time. After getting over my surprise that there actually is a party out there that for the most part fits with my opinions, my next thought was “I don’t know anything about the green party, well, apart from the whole Nader thing.” In fact as I thought about it all I was taught about the green party, and third party candidates in general, was that they aren’t good because they pull votes away from the main party candidates.

So, I started reading about the green party and was surprised again. Overall, there was a lot that resonated with me in this party that emphasized environmental stewardship, social justice, and equality.

Ok, I have to stop right here for a moment and tell you what happened when I got to this point in writing this post… I sort of freaked out internally. I set the post aside. I started rethinking posting this, but more than that I started really debating in my head the merits of voting for a third party candidate. I started feeling fear. And I started asking myself, why the heck am I writing this post and telling the world all this anyway? But, I worked through all that and I’m back writing again.

When it really comes down to it there’s two things I want to share and these two things are why I’m writing this post:

First, I hear a lot of people bemoaning their choices during elections, saying that they don’t really like either choice, but “this guy is better than that guy”. That really is no way to pick our leaders. Or at least I don’t think so and I don’t want to vote like that anymore. And really I’m realizing that our choices are only limited if we allow them to be.

As long as we vote that way and continue to buy into the two party system nothing is really gonna change. Third party candidates won’t be taken seriously and won’t be given a place at the table until people start to step out and vote for them. Truth be told voting for a third party candidate probably won’t change much in this election, but it could start changing things for the next election and the one after that. Because if they can get just 5% of the vote then people may start taking them seriously and including them in debates.

And really how bad would it be if either of the two main party candidates this time around won? When I try to rationally answer that question, well, not that bad or at least not that different.

Perhaps this is part of why the big parties promote such fear (and even terror), because if people believe that it’ll be “the end of the world” or something equally terrifying if the other candidate wins then they won’t risk “throwing away their vote” on a third party candidate. If they believe that the worst will happen if the “other” candidate wins then they will vote for the main party candidate closest to their views even if they don’t really agree with them.

Which leads me to my second point…. I don’t want to live in fear. And I don’t want to vote in fear. And I don’t want to be inundated by the opinions of those who do.

I’ll be happy when this whole thing is over. Because, whoever wins, God will still be on the throne after this election and at least all my feeds won’t be inundated with politics anymore (or at least not as much).

Rejoicing in the journey,

Bethany Stedman

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

October 13 Synchroblog – Same Sex Marriage

The Christian Synchroblog that I am a part of is tackling the issue of Same Sex Marriage today as the topic for October.

I’m sitting this one out, but here are the links from the bloggers who are participating. I haven’t read any of them yet, but I look forward to reading through what everyone has to offer on this hot button topic.

Kathy Baldock at Canyonwalker Connections – Marriage “I Do” For Who

Dan Brennan at Faith Dance – Sexual Difference, Marriage and Friendship

Steve Hayes at Khanya – Same Sex Marriage Synchroblog

Sonja Andrews at Calacirian – In Defense Of Marriage

John C O’Keefe – Exactly What Is Gay Marriage

Liz Dyer at Grace Rules – Nobody knows why or how same-sex marriage is harmful

Herman Groenewald at Along The Way – Same Sex Debate

Margaret Boelman at Minnowspeaks – What Have We Done

David Henson at unorthodoxology – ban marriage

Erin Word at Mapless – Synchroblog: Legalizing Same Sex Marriage

Joshua Jinno at Antechurch – The Church Is Impotent

Kathy Escobar at The Carnival In My Head – It’s Easy To Be Against Equal Rights When We Have Them

Peter Walker at Emerging Christian – Synchroblog – Same Sex Marriage

K. W. Leslie at The Evening of Kent – Mountains, Molehills and Same-Sex Marriage

Rejoicing in the journey –

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

Immigration: Choosing Love Instead of Fear

I don’t often write about political issues. I don’t like politics. I don’t like talking about politics or thinking about politics. It tends to just make me upset. But I’m excited that the Christian synchroblog I used to be a part of is starting up again and I want to jump back in even though this month’s topic is a very political issue.

I’ll be honest, I don’t feel like I have something really helpful to add to the debate. I don’t have a solution for the “immigration problem”. I don’t know all the ins and outs, or all the pros and cons of different suggestions. I don’t have any idea what a Christian policy on immigration should really look like – I’m not sure there really is ONE “Christian policy on immigration”. I am sure that the issue is complex, that there are probably a variety of solutions that would solve a variety of the problems that arise when dealing with immigration. I’m sure that there are a multitude of “right” approaches.

Personally, I don’t want to talk about solutions, or suggestions today. I don’t want to talk about the legality of the issue, or about how it relates to jobs and the economy. I don’t want to talk about the politics of the situation. What I want to talk about is attitude.

As followers of Christ what should our attitude be towards immigrants? I don’t know about you but so often when I hear people talking about the “immigration issue” I hear a lot of negativity and very little love. I hear a lot of prejudice and racism and not a lot of love. I hear a lot of condemnation and not a lot of love. I believe that as Christians we should take a higher approach, a different stance. We should try to understand instead of condemn, to help instead of degrade and to love instead of fear.

I think a lot of the problem comes from fear. People fear immigration and immigrants. They fear the influence that immigrants (both legal and illegal) will have on the American economy, culture, and political system. They believe that we have to protect America and that the protection of America is the ultimate goal and makes any act (including the restriction of civil liberties) justifiable. Out of fear, policies are then made that restrict civil liberties (case in point: Arizona). The restriction of civil liberties due to fear is much more detrimental to America than immigration will ever be.

The truth of the matter is that we are all foreigners and strangers on this earth. The truth of the matter is that our ultimate allegiance is not to a specific country and protecting its way of life. Our ultimate allegiance is not to a specific political or economic system. Our ultimate allegiance IS to Christ Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and his radical new kingdom.

As Christians, I believe we need to support policies that are not driven by fear, but are instead driven by love and sound reasoning. We need to remember that although we owe America some gratitude and allegiance for the gifts that it provides us with, America is just a nation – nations rise and fall, but our allegiance is to God most High and Him alone. We need to remember that immigrants are our brothers and sisters, even if they look and act differently than we do. They each have unique stories to tell and a no matter how they crossed our boarders, or why they crossed our boarders, God loves them passionately and recklessly and so should we.

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

Here are the other synchroblog participants posts. Hope you all enjoy the discussion! I know I’m really looking forward to reading through these:

Mike Victorino at Still A Night Owl – ‘Being the Flag
Sonnie Swentson-Forbes at Hey Sonnie – ‘Immigration Stories
Steven Calascione at Eirenikos – ‘The Jealousy of Migration
George Elerick at The Love Revolution – ‘We’re Not Kings or Gods
Liz Dyer at Grace Rules – “Together We Can Make Dreams Come True
Sonnie Swentson at A Piece of My Mind – “Immigration Stories
Matt Stone at Global Christianity – “Is Xenophobia Every Christlike?
Steve Hayes at Khanya – “Christians And The Immigration Issue
Ellen Haroutunian – “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses
Beth Stedman – “Immigration: Choosing Love Instead of Fear
Pete Houston at Peter’s Progress – “Of Rape And Refuge
Joshua Seek – “Loving Our Immigrant Brother
Amanda MacInnis at Cheese Wearing Theology – “Christians and Immigration
Sonja Andrews at Calacirian – “You’re Right
Kathy Escobar at Carnival In My Head – “It’s A Lot Easier To Be Against Immigration Reform When You Have Papers
Jonathan Brink – “Immigration Synchroblog
Beth Patterson at Virtual Tea House – “What we resist not only persists but eventually becomes our landlord”

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

Post-Election thoughts and readings…

There’s been a lot said in the blog world over the last few days about the election. Some are rejoicing, some are mourning, some are criticizing and some are honestly processing. Today I feel thankful that most of the people I choose to surround myself with have been thoughtful and compassionate throughout this election and continue to be so now at the close of it.

Last night we spoke briefly at bible study about the election and we started to talk about how “terrible” it can be when Christians so vehemently and even hatefully attack the “other side.” But, as we talked I (we) were reminded that when we talk about others like that then we are no different. I was reminded that some people don’t have the same world view I do, they read scripture differently and they come to different conclusions, and that is ok. The same God works in them. They are loved and cherished deeply. I often fall into feeling superior and criticizing the “stupidity” I see around me, but in doing so I am not showing love, I am not acting as Christ calls me to act. So, forgive me Lord, and change me, help me to love like you love. Help me to be able to really see and understand and have compassion and love for those who are different from me and those who think differently from me. In Jesus name.

Ok, so I know I’ve done a lot of linking lately but here are some posts about the election and its outcome that I thought I’d share:

The Element blog page had some good things to say about this election and people’s responses to it. I especially liked Chad Demiguel’s post entitled, After the fact.  He writes,

“As children of God, our response to the world should always be one of faith, hope and love. Let’s be proactive about praying for this next president, whoever he is. Let’s honor our leader in how we discuss him in conversation with others, especially if we disagree with him. Let’s be the kind of citizens that inspire those who don’t know God toward citizenship in the City of God. If for whatever reason we experience the best or worst four years our country has ever seen, let’s do what Martin Luther prescribes. Let’s plant a tree – meaning, let’s daily create God-inspired aspects of His kingdom. Let’s constantly, lovingly be on the lookout for how we can bestow life to a country that needs it so greatly.”

Sean and CJ Bergemen also shared some revealing and insightful thoughts on the Element blog in their posts, My Heart on 11.05.08 – Part 1 and My Heart as well. CJ writes,

“He is glorified when we take hold of every action and every deed. When we show restraint with our words. When we use our words to build each other up, when we don’t assume that everyone does or should believe everything we believe. I wrestled over my decision up until the last second of voting, and asked God to direct me the entire way… The more I thought and prayed about it, the more compelled I felt to be less sure that any opinion I have truly is the ‘right’ one, the one that honors God the most. I will continue to carry a sense in my heart that I may have made the wrong choice, which will remind me that ultimately Jesus is always the right choice, and praise God He is on the throne, and not me, and not a politician.”

I appreciated this post by Jeremy at A Mending Shift, Hope vs. Fear.

Here is a Prayer for President elect Obama from Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes.

Here’s A Prayer from South Africa for Barack Obama.

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.