Portland Protesters, PLEASE Beware!

Portland, Oregon has (in recent history) had a very active army of protesters. Their purposes and messages are usually distorted by their chaotic antics, and at times are outright incoherent.

Anarchists and mobsters usually join the public foray, instigating the unlawful destruction of property and creating dangerous situations for well meaning and law abiding protesters, business owners and employees, and police and emergency personnel.

PROTESTERS, PLEASE BEWARE!

I do NOT want the following tragedies to transpire, however will you hear the following warning?

Please, beware of the possible outcomes of your actions. You are entering an atmosphere in our community when playing with fire just might end up burning you. I do NOT want these things to happen, so please do not erroneously interpret my warning as a threat, or a wish list, or a veiled call for people to revolt against the revolters.

So far, your demonstrations and associated actions have been mostly tolerated by the general public. However, the toleration of SOME citizens is wearing very thin, and they themselves are on the borderline of becoming criminal in their reactions to you. Your destruction of property, your blocking of roads, and even your in-your-face screaming at non-protesters may be met with deadly force.

The next few roads and freeways that you block as a mob tactic, there may be one or two drivers who might genuinely feel their own lives are endangered enough by the surrounding mod to prompt them to plow right through your arm-in-arm road blocks. You may be hurt, maimed, or even killed!

Even if you are convinced in your own mind that you would “never hurt anyone,” your actions are communicating a very different message. Other citizens do not have the privilege of reading your mind and knowing your heart; all they are able to do is look at the mob that is surrounding them with signs on wooden 2×4’s, facial expressions of anger, voices that are loud and incoherent when raised with 100 other voices at the same time, and seeing reports of buildings and vehicles being destroyed.

If you feel the need to demonstrate and protest, then do so with intelligence and common sense, not with mob-sense. If you feel you need to lay your life on the line in order to take a stand, then give your life daily to the productive service of your community and your country. If you insist on using the mob-tactic to announce your message incoherently, don’t be surprised when your friend who is arm-in-arm with you gets run over by a car.

Protesters, please… BE SAFE, and police yourselves. If anarchists hijack your demonstration, find the police and point them toward those who are creating trouble. If the mob gets out of hand, leave! Better to live another day. If your friend gets crazy, be the calming influence for them. You just might save their life!

#PastorsTip

Shrewd Like Serpents & Doves

Do you have “street smarts” that have been developed and sharpened by the Holy Spirit? Do have a grasp on how the real world is functioning, or do you have a closed-eyes approach to navigating this fallen world?

Jesus spoke several times about having a shrewd perspective, understanding, and practice in the real world.

“’… For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.’”

~ Luke‬ ‭16:8‬‬‬‬

Some believe (erroneously) that being “street smart” and “shrewd” does not fit the Sunday School-level concept of real life that they hold to dearly. Their approach remains simplistic, binary, and linear. They assume that being “shrewd” means being unChrist-like and compromising on what is clearly right and wrong.

However, the scriptures both commend and condemn shrewdness on the basis of its context, like motives and actions, and not outright as always being inherently right or wrong. Let’s consider the biblical subject of shrewdness.

Biblical Language Definition of Shrewdness :
  • Astuteness or craftiness in dealings with others, especially in using one’s understanding and judgment to one’s own advantage.
  • Scripture commends it when it is seen in wise words and actions directed towards a worthy goal, but
  • Scripture condemns it when it takes the form of cunning and deceitful scheming for sinful and selfish ends.

~ Dictionary of Bible Themes (Martin H. Manser, Managing Editor)

Jesus’ Call for Us to be Shrewd

Jesus shines His light on the subject, calling for His disciples (i.e. us) to be shrewd (intelligent, tactile, strategic, wise, and understanding human nature) while remaining innocent (a no-compromise life in regard to what is right and wrong).

“’I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.’”

~ Matthew‬ ‭10:16‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Being shrewd is where a person looks at a world-minded human being or group, anticipates their course of action, and then plans their own wisdom-based strategic actions accordingly (without compromising righteousness).

The shrewdness of a snake is referred to, and a dove as being innocent. A common mistake is to misunderstand Jesus’ use of the snake analogy: He is encouraging us to be shrewd like a snake without being a snake, to be shrewd in the right way with the innocence and righteousness of a dove.

If you have thought of “shrewd” as always being wrong and worldly, please consider rebuilding your definition of shrewd, and begin to be more clever and wise with “street smarts.” Pray for God to lead you in developing a godly use of shrewdness that is wisdom-based and that you will use it with godly motives and godly actions.

Shrewdness in Political Season

During this election season, if after praying you do not receive a clear direction from the Lord in your heart as to who should receive your vote, consider looking at the big picture with an eye to exercising godly shrewdness.

Our single vote for president has more impact than just for one candidate. Our single vote can also be used shrewdly as a simultaneous vote against another candidate. This is strategic and shrewd, but only if the vote is applied to a particular candidate.

No, I’m not condoning voter fraud. Vote once, and only once! But our single vote can provide more influence upon the outcome if we cast our vote shrewdly, cunningly, and wisely.

Have I said who to vote for? No. However, if while reading the above paragraphs on shrewdness in voting you seemed to clearly see a potential candidate that fits the picture, perhaps you are having a “shrewd” moment of clarity, and not just a “David” moment through the “power of suggestion.” Let’s vote prayerfully, vote our conscience, and of course let’s vote strategically.

Developing a Shrewd Perceptiveness

Beyond the political election season, consider developing a shrewd-with-innocence perceptiveness and practice at home, at work, and in society. It may take time to change your way of seeing things in the light of shrewdness, but ask the Lord to help you be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2). Ask Him to help you become shrewd in the way that He intended when He says, “Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves’” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭10:16‬‬‬‬‬‬‬).‬‬‬

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#PastorsTip #Shrewd #Wise #Clever #Astute #Snakes #Doves #Righteous #Innocent #Vote #Elections #Politics

Who Will You Listen To For Advice?

The World Population Clock ( http://www.census.gov/popclock/ ) currently estimates the globe’s total population at 7.3 Billion souls. That’s a mind boggling 7,300,000,000.

So, I would like to ask you a question. Out of 7.3 Billion people, who are you willing to listen to when they advise that you are wrong about something very important in life?

“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

~ Proverbs 12:15

All of us are imperfect. We need the shared wisdom and insight from one another. To “listen to advice” does not mean that it is done blindly, but it does mean to hear what someone has to say and to give honest and careful consideration to it because they just might be right!

When a person literally has no one in the world that they can be corrected by, they just might be foolish. They are convinced that their way is the best way, they explain away all other voices, they make excuses that pardon themselves, and that all others’ ways are foolish. Again, it’s not about blindly accepting everybody’s advice, but it is about having a small circle of trusted friends that can speak into a person’s life and genuinely be heard and considered.

So, to reiterate, out of 7.3 Billion people on the planet, how many do you trust to give you good and important advice without your meeting them with resistance and suspicion? The fool has none (or they are only “Yes” men), while the wise have some.

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#PastorsTip #Proverbs12 #Advice #Wise #Fool #WorldPopulation