When (& When Not To) Talk Politics | Don’t Panic: Week 4

In a world of angry tweets and hateful comments, what we decide to speak on matters. Change only happens when our actions back up our talk.

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    Welcome to Crossroads.
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    My name is Lena Schuler.
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    And you may have heard from a friend or seen recently
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    that Crossroads was part of freeing
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    over 45,000 families from medical debt
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    totaling $46 million in medical debt around our country.
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    And if you are part of the church and you are a generous giver,
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    you did that.
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    And I experienced great joy in seeing
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    what the news had to say about this.
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    Check this out.
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    - Crossroads Church locations in Kentucky, Tennessee,
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    Ohio and Indiana raised money to take care
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    of other people's burden of medical debt.
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    - It's millions of dollars we're talking about debt just erased.
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    - $46.5 million of medical debt just completely erased.
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    - Oh, my gosh, this is real.
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    It's the yellow, that like, it's not a hoax.
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    - We're here to bless people.
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    We're not here to have huge meetings.
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    We're here to have an impact in our local communities.
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    - That is what we're all about.
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    You know, I actually believe that I've experienced freedom
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    through relationship with Jesus.
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    And I want other people to be freed.
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    I want other people to experience freedom.
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    And that might mean freedom from medical debt like that.
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    And so as a church, we put our money where our mouth is.
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    We're not just about sitting around
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    and having a good church service
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    or creating some good content,
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    but we want to be a blessing to people
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    and cities in which the church resides.
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    And so whether that means that we are helping to eliminate poverty,
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    we are freeing people from medical debt
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    or rescuing girls out of sex slavery in India,
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    all of that is true about our church,
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    because we're a church who wants to be like Jesus
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    and we want to offer freedom.
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    And this could be your church,
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    whether you join us right here online
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    or at a location near you.
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    Today, we're in this series called Don't Panic, Take Heart, 2020.
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    Because in the midst of this election year,
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    we want you to have hope and we want you to take heart
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    regardless of where you are in the political spectrum.
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    And so we're gonna hear from my friend Ali,
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    who has some things to say about how Jesus equips us
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    to have healthy conversations
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    - It's a black van.
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    I have vaccinated baby pigs, and that's awful.
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    Well Mike looks like Putin.
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    - You have no idea how many mean tweets
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    I've heard over the last week or so
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    as I was getting ready for this weekend.
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    It's great to be with you here on the last week
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    of our series called Take Heart 2020.
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    That's what we're about today.
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    And as we finish up the series today,
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    I just want to tell you, we've taken
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    a little bit of heat over the series.
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    We've taken some criticism as a community
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    because I think some people have the impression
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    that what's been being said here is that we should
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    all clump up in the middle of the political spectrum
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    or give up interest in politics
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    or just not hold strong political opinions whatsoever.
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    That is not what I personally want.
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    What I want is to be a part of a community
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    that has allegiance first to a King and a Kingdom
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    and then uses that influence very well
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    wherever we can in this world.
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    And as we go about that, I just want to --
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    You're gonna get this on your way out.
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    What we have tried to do, you will be the judge
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    of whether we have accomplished that.
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    What we've tried to do is really embody
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    some of the things that you'll find on this chart.
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    You've probably seen this used throughout the series
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    about what it might look like to be first connected
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    to a King in a Kingdom
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    and refuse the kind of polarized political spectrum
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    that we're being presented in our country.
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    And yet we all have influence that I hope the series
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    will help us to use very, very well
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    as we continue the rest of 2020.
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    And today, I believe that we are going to talk about
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    the key to using that influence well.
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    Wherever you are, whatever your convictions are,
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    this applies to you and me always and forever
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    in the use of our words.
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    We're going to talk about what that means
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    and how our words influence people.
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    And we are first going to find out the exact myth
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    that we are going to bust today about words.
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    Now, if you're just joining us,
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    you don't know what I mean by that.
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    This over here is our,
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    I'm going to call it a slot machine like situation
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    where we're going to find out what is the myth
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    that we're about to bust here today.
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    Let's see who believes I'm pulling this handle
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    and making things move on the screen.
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    Is it giraffe's are so tall they can smell the moon?
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    No. No.
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    Let's do it again.
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    Starbucks is worth the price, another myth.
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    But we're not going to spend time on that today.
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    And one more time.
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    The myth we're gonna bust today is that
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    you should never discuss politics or religion in public.
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    But Lord help us, literally,
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    we're about to do that right now.
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    So let me pray for us.
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    Father, I just welcome You here with me
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    and in this place in a special way,
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    we really want to hear Your words.
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    And I pray that my words, as many of them as possible,
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    would be reflective of Your heart
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    and would be Your very words themselves.
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    And I pray that that is what would stick,
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    Your words and the influence that we know
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    that they have to bring life.
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    And so be here with us.
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    And it's in Jesus's name that I pray.
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    Amen.
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    Well, why this myth?
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    Maybe you've heard this before, this idea
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    that those two things are just a bad idea
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    They're just combustible.
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    It seems like there's just a lot of potential
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    for explosion when these two topics come up.
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    And so we've we've devised this kind of old adage
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    that's what I would call that.
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    It's sort of an old adage that it's just not a good idea.
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    Let's just stay away from this entirely.
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    You never do it.
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    And I think anytime I hear the word neνer
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    or the word always, I just kind of want to come after it
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    because it tells me that we just want to make this easy.
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    Let's just sweep all this messy gray stuff under the rug.
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    Let's just make this easy.
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    And I think that that's really what that myth is doing.
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    Just don't do it.
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    It's too hard.
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    It's too messy.
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    We're not sure how, just don't do it.
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    And I think we can do better than that today.
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    And I know we need to dump this because our culture
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    is already starting to react against it.
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    We have three different ways, I think,
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    that we kind of handle this idea
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    that we should never talk politics or religion in public.
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    The first is we want to fight against it.
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    I'm sure there's none of those people,
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    none of those types in here, no mean tweeters,
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    no highly aggressive types that just want
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    all of their stuff out there.
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    But I think that's one of the reactions against
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    this idea that we should never talk about these things.
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    I think some of us have just gone
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    the complete opposite direction
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    and we kind of fight against that idea.
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    And we just say whatever we want to say
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    whenever we want to say it, because we can.
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    And I think being online is probably made this worse,
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    maybe more inflamed, because we feel
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    the anonymity of being behind a screen,
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    being on a keyboard.
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    And we forget that there are actual humans
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    that we're talking to that also have keyboards
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    and screens and we're interacting with them.
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    We're using our words in a way
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    that just kind of fights that.
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    And the second way I probably have most --
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    most I see probably more in my groups of friends
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    and family is the passive-aggressive type.
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    We don't want to kind of walk totally away from that,
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    that myth, because there's something interesting about it,
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    like we do like to avoid the messiness.
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    But we have something we want to say,
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    so we just enter conversations.
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    We just -- I'm just going to drop in a comment,
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    I got to go to the bathroom.
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    Or we online, we might do things like this.
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    We might just re-post an article with no comments attached.
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    I'm just going to leave this right here for you guys
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    just in case you were interested.
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    That's what I would call the passive-aggressive type.
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    Kind of wants to toe the line,
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    maintain some deniability,
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    doesn't really want to come right out
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    and have messy conversations.
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    And then there's the last type,
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    which is far more like me,
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    who has just abided by this myth all together.
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    Just taken it, gone with it, believed it.
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    That's what I've done most of my adult life.
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    I just don't want --
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    I don't want to talk about politics
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    and throw some God in there and you know it's gonna explode.
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    It just seems like a really bad idea.
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    And so I don't.
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    I think I could best characterize my approach
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    to politics by telling you I really like a quote
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    from a movie, I've used this with my kids before.
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    And yes, it is a British period drama.
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    I like those.
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    I say, "If you don't have anything pleasant to say,
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    you will kindly restrict your remarks to the weather."
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    That's pretty much where I've been politically.
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    I might have said that to my kids a time or two.
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    They could probably repeat that back to you.
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    "Kindly restrict your remarks to the weather."
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    I mean, I literally engage the weather,
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    rather than join a political conversation
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    that happened between my husband and my father-in-law
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    at Christmas this last year.
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    I mean, I was all up in the blinds looking at it rain.
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    I just kind of back away.
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    That really has been how I have approached politics.
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    But it's really -- it's probably from my past.
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    All of us have some political context in our past.
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    Mine, just so you know, kind of where I'm coming from,
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    is I grew up in a family with a strong culture of politeness.
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    So first of all, if it was going to cause trouble.
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    better just not to say it.
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    As a matter of fact, better that we just maintain
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    the appearance of peace and unity,
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    not the actual thing.
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    But we can just get out alive, that would be fine.
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    Let's just all be polite.
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    So part of it comes from that.
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    And the other part of it comes from
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    I really logit grew up in a home where my mom and dad,
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    they weren't tense about politics.
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    As a matter of fact, they would go and vote.
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    They were always like good citizen and they would go vote
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    and they would come home on election day
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    wearing their stickers.
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    And at dinner we would talk about who they voted for
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    or what issues they voted for or against.
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    They almost universally picked the opposite of one another.
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    And so -- but they weren't tense about it.
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    They would actually laugh at this discovery
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    because it happened almost every time they would vote.
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    They would go, "Well. I thought about this
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    and I voted like that."
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    And the other one would just laugh and go,
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    "I guess we completely canceled each other out
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    like neither one of us needed to even bother."
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    And so it wasn't a source of tension
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    to have differences of opinion.
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    So I just kind of -- I just kind of grew up in that way.
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    And as I've come into adulthood, I've found myself
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    kind of abiding by this myth of just don't do it,
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    for some of those reasons.
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    But there is there's a major upside to that.
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    One of the upsides to that I have personally experienced,
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    which is people never get mad at you
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    about your political views
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    when you never tell them what they are.
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    I'm going to tell you what one of mine is.
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    I'm just going to confess this to you right now.
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    I think it's one of my more unpopular political viewpoints.
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    I miss my plastic straws.
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    I'm just going to tell you that right now.
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    I miss them. I care about the turtles.
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    In my mind, I don't think that having a plastic straw
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    is worth the life of these beautiful animals.
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    Also, I really hate it when I take a drink
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    and my ice hits me in the face
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    and then it like goes down my shirt.
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    And more than that, I hate my alternatives.
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    I brought these with me today
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    because and I feel strongly about this.
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    I'm sure I'm going to get some emails.
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    I can handle it.
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    Now, this is one of my alternatives.
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    This is a paper straw.
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    Blech.
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    That's all I'm saying right now is I get these
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    and I put it in my mouth.
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    And I really have a weird thing in my past
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    about wet toilet paper.
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    I just can't handle it.
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    And this becomes wet toilet paper in about 30 seconds.
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    So I'm like, no.
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    Back to the ice on my face.
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    Now, someone got me this.
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    This is my other alternative.
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    This is lovely, actually.
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    Love drinking out of this.
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    This is like a metal, like it's a metal straw.
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    But here's how I'm supposed to clean it.
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    Really? Are you serious?
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    This is what you want me to do?
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    I'm so committed to this straw
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    that that's how you want me to clean it?
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    No. Again, mom of four kids.
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    Absolutely not.
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    Not gonna happen.
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    So I miss my plastic straws.
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    Now, I don't ever have to tell people that.
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    So I don't look like the jerk
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    that just doesn't want to save the turtles.
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    That's the upside of taking my political point of view.
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    There's a downside also.
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    When you take the passive route, like I have taken
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    for most of my life, you also you forfeit
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    some of those things that just burn in you
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    that you would actually like to talk about.
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    And I've so conditioned myself to not comment
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    on things to avoid explosions
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    that I actually bypass opportunities,
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    maybe even some influence to talk about things
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    that I do care about.
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    And I would regularly bypass that.
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    I would regularly give that up.
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    For instance, I care about the opportunities
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    and the voices of women in our country.
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    And I don't think our work is done there.
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    And I care about those issues.
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    I care about how our leaders talk about women.
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    I care about the women that get elected.
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    I care about the voices that we haven't had
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    in how to run the country.
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    I care about that.
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    And I'm only one generation from my mom who was told,
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    "If you leave this house and go to college,
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    don't ever come back.
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    Because women don't belong in college."
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    That was one generation ago.
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    That was my mom.
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    I care about those issues.
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    I would love to talk about them, some of them burn in me.
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    Yet I've just taken the stance that I just don't do this.
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    I just bypass it.
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    I don't want the messiness.
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    I don't want the the potential explosion,
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    the potential impact on relationships.
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    And I think we can do better.
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    Whether you're a fighter,
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    whether you're the passive-aggressive type,
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    whether you're a lot more like me,
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    I think we can do better.
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    I think there's a different goal
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    that we could have for our influence and for our words.
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    In the rest of the season, all the way through this year,
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    maybe even we could adopt this for the rest of our life.
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    I think our goal cannot be to forego our influence.
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    I don't think our goal can be to fight against
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    everything that's out there that we need to care about
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    and have opinions about and be heard about.
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    Instead, I think our goal should be to speak life.
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    No matter where we are on the political spectrum
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    or what issue or person more engaging,
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    we all have access to this goal
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    to speak life into that place.
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    And I want to make a case today that I think
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    that should be your goal with your words
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    both in this political season and maybe forever more.
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    And that would be to speak life, because words,
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    they are a powerful, powerful tool that God has given us
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    and He's allowed us to share in their power.
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    And I want to read you this Proverb
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    from the Book of Proverbs 18 it says this:
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    Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
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    Our words have the power to both create and destroy.
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    They have the power to give life and to kill things.
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    And God Himself uses this power.
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    As a matter of fact, all the way back in Genesis 1,
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    we learned that when God created the world,
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    He actually spoke it into existence.
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    It says, "And God said, 'Let there be light.'"
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    And God said this.
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    In the book of Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah says
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    that God's word does not return to Him empty,
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    that it actually accomplishes what He sent it for.
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    It creates what God wanted it to create
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    when He speaks His words, whether that's through Him
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    or through somebody here on earth, His words create things.
  • 00:17:17
    When Jesus came to this earth as God,
  • 00:17:21
    He was called the logos, the Word made flesh.
  • 00:17:26
    And He came on a mission to bring life.
  • 00:17:30
    I believe that God's motive to use His words
  • 00:17:34
    everywhere is to bring life.
  • 00:17:37
    And I don't mean to be nice.
  • 00:17:39
    I do think we could be a little nicer,
  • 00:17:41
    to be honest with you,
  • 00:17:42
    but I'll just leave that aside for a second.
  • 00:17:44
    I already told you I come from a family that's nice.
  • 00:17:46
    And so I do, I think there are a thousand ways
  • 00:17:51
    that your words could actually bring life
  • 00:17:55
    and create and build up that aren't always flowery.
  • 00:17:59
    It could be that you're giving empathy,
  • 00:18:01
    that you're giving comfort,
  • 00:18:03
    that you're giving correction or conviction.
  • 00:18:05
    You could be giving encouragement or honor.
  • 00:18:07
    There's all kinds of ways that we can use our words
  • 00:18:10
    that aren't about saying them nicer,
  • 00:18:12
    they're about bringing life.
  • 00:18:15
    And God allows us to share in that power.
  • 00:18:17
    But the thing is, there's also the flip side.
  • 00:18:20
    It says death and life are in the power of the tongue.
  • 00:18:25
    And we also have the ability to destroy things.
  • 00:18:31
    I know that you can -- You're probably like me.
  • 00:18:33
    You can think of both of these things in your life.
  • 00:18:35
    You can think of somebody who created something
  • 00:18:39
    for you with their words.
  • 00:18:40
    And you can think of somebody who tore something out
  • 00:18:44
    of your life with a word that they spoke,
  • 00:18:46
    who you destroyed something in you
  • 00:18:49
    with a word that they spoke to you.
  • 00:18:50
    My positive example, somebody who built something
  • 00:18:54
    into my life with her words was my junior year
  • 00:18:58
    in high school American history teacher Mrs.
  • 00:19:00
    Watkins.
  • 00:19:01
    Teresa Watkins was her name.
  • 00:19:02
    She was amazing.
  • 00:19:03
    And she said to me, I've replayed this so many times.
  • 00:19:06
    I know this is a direct quote,
  • 00:19:07
    but I've lost the whole context.
  • 00:19:09
    I don't know why we were talking about this.
  • 00:19:12
    It has nothing to do with American history.
  • 00:19:14
    I don't know why she said this to me, because
  • 00:19:16
    I can't reconstruct the rest of the conversation,
  • 00:19:18
    but I will never forget her words.
  • 00:19:22
    She said, "Alli. I think that one day
  • 00:19:26
    you would be a very loving leader in a church."
  • 00:19:31
    I was 17.
  • 00:19:33
    I thought she was crazy.
  • 00:19:35
    I was like, what? And I moved on.
  • 00:19:37
    And guess what? Couple of decades later,
  • 00:19:39
    God starts to get a hold of my life
  • 00:19:41
    and do some very interesting things.
  • 00:19:43
    And all of a sudden, Mrs.
  • 00:19:45
    Watkins' words
  • 00:19:46
    starts circling around in my heart and in my mind.
  • 00:19:50
    I thought that created space for something in my life.
  • 00:19:55
    And I can also think, like you can,
  • 00:19:57
    of the people who with a word,
  • 00:19:59
    you spend the next decade trying to shake that off.
  • 00:20:03
    The old sticks and stones can break your bones,
  • 00:20:07
    but names will never hurt me.
  • 00:20:08
    That is a load of crap.
  • 00:20:10
    That is an absolute load of crap.
  • 00:20:12
    Words can tear down and destroying.
  • 00:20:14
    Guess what?
  • 00:20:15
    It's actually, without God, our natural way because
  • 00:20:20
    we live in a fallen world,
  • 00:20:22
    which is another sermon for another time.
  • 00:20:24
    There's sin and we're born into this environment.
  • 00:20:27
    Right? And so without God,
  • 00:20:29
    we will always use our words to destroy.
  • 00:20:32
    Listen to what Romans 3 says:
  • 00:20:58
    Paul, the writer of that passage, he was describing
  • 00:21:02
    our condition without God because without God,
  • 00:21:05
    we have no hope of speaking life.
  • 00:21:09
    Absolutely none.
  • 00:21:10
    I would say at best our words could be functional,
  • 00:21:13
    but worthless to Him.
  • 00:21:15
    But with Him, we have the capability
  • 00:21:19
    to bring things to life.
  • 00:21:22
    However, at worst, we could spend our lives
  • 00:21:25
    thinking we were right, expressing ourselves well,
  • 00:21:29
    and doing nothing but tearing things down
  • 00:21:32
    or killing things around us.
  • 00:21:36
    Politics 2020 is going to be our torture test.
  • 00:21:38
    It is.
  • 00:21:39
    Because someone is going to annoy you.
  • 00:21:42
    You're gonna be right about things.
  • 00:21:44
    You're gonna be convinced you are right about things
  • 00:21:46
    you're wrong about.
  • 00:21:47
    Where this is going to be a torture test
  • 00:21:49
    for how we're going to talk to each other,
  • 00:21:51
    how we're going to engage each other.
  • 00:21:53
    And if we will adopt the goal of speaking life,
  • 00:21:57
    then two things we're gonna have to be true
  • 00:21:59
    about every time we open our mouths.
  • 00:22:03
    The first thing that has to be true is
  • 00:22:05
    our words have to come from a good place.
  • 00:22:08
    And the second thing is that they have to be
  • 00:22:10
    for the good of someone else.
  • 00:22:12
    What God is asking of us is He's telling us
  • 00:22:15
    that we need to do good with our words.
  • 00:22:19
    We need to build up and not tear down.
  • 00:22:21
    And there's some very specific direction
  • 00:22:23
    around these two truths about our words.
  • 00:22:25
    That first, they have to be from a good place.
  • 00:22:28
    Jesus explained this in Luke 6.
  • 00:22:30
    He explained that our words are actually coming
  • 00:22:33
    from a place that we might not immediately be aware of.
  • 00:22:38
    Luke 6 says this:
  • 00:23:05
    I love that last line.
  • 00:23:06
    It's actually been one of my favorite verses
  • 00:23:09
    for a long, long time because it kind of stops me cold.
  • 00:23:12
    I want to read that one more time.
  • 00:23:18
    That means that our words are overflowing from our heart.
  • 00:23:22
    They're not originating on our tongue.
  • 00:23:24
    They're not even originating in our mind.
  • 00:23:26
    They're originating from what in Hebrew thought
  • 00:23:28
    the heart was the center of our being.
  • 00:23:31
    It was what brought everything together.
  • 00:23:34
    It's the thing that actually makes the decisions
  • 00:23:37
    because it's underneath everything that drives us
  • 00:23:40
    to do or say what we do and say.
  • 00:23:43
    The heart was the seat, the essence of who you are.
  • 00:23:47
    And Jesus is saying here,
  • 00:23:48
    that's where your words are actually coming from.
  • 00:23:52
    And if it's good, they'll be good.
  • 00:23:55
    And if it's bad, they will be bad
  • 00:23:59
    because words are giving us away all the time.
  • 00:24:03
    I have a friend who calls this the cup principal.
  • 00:24:07
    She says that when you knock over a cup of coffee,
  • 00:24:10
    it's coffee that gets spilled out.
  • 00:24:13
    When you knock over a cup of coffee.
  • 00:24:14
    It isn't milk that spills out, it's coffee.
  • 00:24:19
    Politics are going to -- we're going to bump each other.
  • 00:24:22
    We are. I mean, that's inevitable, right?
  • 00:24:24
    It's why I don't want to talk about things,
  • 00:24:26
    because we're going to bump each other
  • 00:24:27
    and it's gonna get messy and we're all gonna think
  • 00:24:29
    and feel different things
  • 00:24:30
    and we're gonna bump up against each other.
  • 00:24:32
    And guess what? When we get bumped,
  • 00:24:34
    whatever is in here is gonna come out here.
  • 00:24:39
    That's what Jesus is saying.
  • 00:24:40
    And so sometimes we're talking from places
  • 00:24:43
    in our hearts that just aren't His.
  • 00:24:46
    And I always feel like we're all in this process,
  • 00:24:48
    any of us that want to follow Jesus,
  • 00:24:50
    any of us that are actually seeking God,
  • 00:24:52
    we're all in this process of more and more
  • 00:24:55
    of our heart being His.
  • 00:24:56
    Right?
  • 00:24:57
    And so it's possible that you could be able
  • 00:24:59
    to talk about something today
  • 00:25:01
    that you couldn't four years ago
  • 00:25:03
    if you're following Jesus,
  • 00:25:04
    because more and more of our heart is becoming His.
  • 00:25:08
    It's those places where we want our words to come out of.
  • 00:25:11
    And if they're not, they're going to bring death.
  • 00:25:15
    They're not going to bring life because
  • 00:25:17
    out of the good, good words come,
  • 00:25:21
    words that bring life.
  • 00:25:22
    I decided to kind of put myself under the microscope.
  • 00:25:26
    I decided to ask a couple of my friends and my kids,
  • 00:25:30
    because kids are awesome at this.
  • 00:25:31
    My kids are like 8 to 14,
  • 00:25:33
    so they've got a lot to say about me.
  • 00:25:35
    So I decided to ask them,
  • 00:25:38
    "What are some things that I say a lot?
  • 00:25:40
    Like if you just close your eyes,
  • 00:25:41
    what do you hear ringing in your head?"
  • 00:25:43
    You know, because we can learn a lot about this.
  • 00:25:45
    Right? Our words today about about politics
  • 00:25:48
    and everything else, they're already giving away
  • 00:25:50
    the state of our heart.
  • 00:25:52
    So I thought, I wonder what they're going to tell me.
  • 00:25:54
    So the first one I got back was from a friend
  • 00:25:56
    and she said, she was laughing.
  • 00:25:58
    And she goes, "I just hear you saying this:
  • 00:26:01
    Oh, come on."
  • 00:26:03
    I thought, "What a weird thing to have played back to me."
  • 00:26:07
    I can hear myself saying that.
  • 00:26:09
    What's underneath that?
  • 00:26:10
    I'm irritated?
  • 00:26:11
    I think you're all idiots?
  • 00:26:13
    There's something underneath that
  • 00:26:15
    that my friend can hear my voice saying, "Oh, come on."
  • 00:26:20
    I got two back that I thought were kind of similar.
  • 00:26:23
    One was somebody said I talk about personal space.
  • 00:26:26
    And the other person said that I say,
  • 00:26:30
    "Just stop with the noise."
  • 00:26:33
    Maybe you could chalk that up to being a mom
  • 00:26:35
    with four kids in the house.
  • 00:26:37
    But also, maybe there's something about my heart.
  • 00:26:40
    Maybe am I pushing people out?
  • 00:26:43
    Do I not want -- do I want to isolate a little bit?
  • 00:26:46
    Do I want to be by myself?
  • 00:26:48
    At least it's worth asking God a question about, right?
  • 00:26:53
    I would encourage you to do this.
  • 00:26:54
    I would encourage you to do the same.
  • 00:26:56
    You want to text somebody today and say,
  • 00:26:57
    "When you think of me,
  • 00:26:59
    what are the phrases that come to mind?
  • 00:27:00
    What's the tone of voice that comes to mind?
  • 00:27:02
    What stories do I tell a lot?"
  • 00:27:05
    One of my daughters did make me smile.
  • 00:27:06
    She said, "Mommy, you always tell me the same thing.
  • 00:27:09
    You always say, 'I love you with all of my heart.'"
  • 00:27:14
    I was like, now that, that was worth the whole exercise.
  • 00:27:17
    Now my husband, he didn't quite --
  • 00:27:20
    He got it as a busy text at work.
  • 00:27:22
    He didn't quite grasp exactly what I was driving for.
  • 00:27:25
    He thought I meant just the isolated vocabulary words
  • 00:27:28
    that I probably repeat more than others,
  • 00:27:30
    just pure repetition.
  • 00:27:33
    He said the two words that I probably use
  • 00:27:35
    at the top of my vocabulary list are Bible and wine.
  • 00:27:41
    I was like, " He might not be wrong."
  • 00:27:45
    After I explained what I was really driving for,
  • 00:27:48
    he's like, " I'm going to let my answer stand."
  • 00:27:50
    So anyway, we had a lot of fun with it.
  • 00:27:53
    But what I learned is your words,
  • 00:27:55
    they are putting your heart on display.
  • 00:27:57
    They are.
  • 00:27:58
    And whether you want to hear it or not,
  • 00:28:00
    they're coming out of whatever is already inside of us.
  • 00:28:05
    If we want to use our influence well,
  • 00:28:07
    then we want to speak from places in our heart '
  • 00:28:09
    that are good because they're God's.
  • 00:28:13
    Our words don't just need to come from a good place,
  • 00:28:16
    they need to be aimed at going to a good place.
  • 00:28:19
    This is the most interesting part to me as I studied.
  • 00:28:23
    I hope we're getting to know each other well enough
  • 00:28:25
    to know that you know that I'm not going to talk
  • 00:28:26
    to you about something unless I've read
  • 00:28:28
    pretty much all the things that the Bible has to say about it.
  • 00:28:31
    And one of the most fascinating things
  • 00:28:34
    that I consistently saw in different ways
  • 00:28:37
    and places in scripture is that our words actually
  • 00:28:40
    should be aimed entirely at the good of the hearer.
  • 00:28:46
    Entirely at the good of the listener.
  • 00:28:50
    That is so simple, but it's a mind blowingly different way
  • 00:28:55
    to handle words than I think we used today.
  • 00:28:58
    I think generally speaking, I think most of us
  • 00:29:01
    we say what we say because we want to say it
  • 00:29:04
    and we have something to say and so we're gonna say it.
  • 00:29:07
    Somewhere mixed in there on the list
  • 00:29:08
    is that we think you need to hear it.
  • 00:29:10
    You know?
  • 00:29:11
    It's not nowhere, but it's certainly not the aim
  • 00:29:14
    of most of what we choose to communicate.
  • 00:29:17
    And the Bible actually says the entirety
  • 00:29:20
    of what comes out of our mouth should be
  • 00:29:22
    about the good of the person on the other end of those words.
  • 00:29:28
    I had to just sit and think about that for a while.
  • 00:29:30
    I really did, because I think it is
  • 00:29:32
    that radical a concept for how to use our words.
  • 00:29:35
    We know when we hear the opposite, right?
  • 00:29:38
    We absolutely know it.
  • 00:29:39
    Let's put that in the political spectrum.
  • 00:29:41
    You know, when somebody talks to you about politics
  • 00:29:44
    and it doesn't even matter if you're in the room.
  • 00:29:46
    Right?
  • 00:29:47
    They're going to say what they want to say
  • 00:29:48
    in the way they want to say it
  • 00:29:49
    with the emotion that they have,
  • 00:29:51
    getting to the conclusion they've already drawn
  • 00:29:53
    and they're just going for it.
  • 00:29:55
    It really doesn't matter if you get up and walk away,
  • 00:29:58
    they're still gonna have their rant.
  • 00:30:00
    Maybe we each have a rant.
  • 00:30:01
    You know?
  • 00:30:02
    Maybe that's a good question to ask when you text your friends.
  • 00:30:04
    Do I have a political rant?
  • 00:30:06
    That would be a great question to ask.
  • 00:30:08
    Because sometimes it doesn't even matter
  • 00:30:10
    if there's a listener, we are literally talking
  • 00:30:13
    entirely for our own benefit,
  • 00:30:15
    entirely for our own satisfaction.
  • 00:30:18
    And just to get things, quote, off our chests,
  • 00:30:21
    that is the opposite of what the Bible says
  • 00:30:23
    that we should do with our words.
  • 00:30:25
    I want you to listen.
  • 00:30:26
    You know, I must point out just for a second
  • 00:30:28
    that me, the one that won't say anything,
  • 00:30:31
    that is no more life-giving, right,
  • 00:30:34
    than somebody who just rants about all the things
  • 00:30:37
    they want you to hear.
  • 00:30:38
    I'm on the other end of the spectrum.
  • 00:30:40
    No matter where you are.
  • 00:30:41
    Whether I have something good or encouraging
  • 00:30:43
    or helpful or potentially sharpening to say,
  • 00:30:46
    I'm just not going to say it?
  • 00:30:47
    That amounts to the same thing.
  • 00:30:49
    It absolutely doesn't bring life
  • 00:30:51
    no matter which end of the spectrum we're on.
  • 00:30:55
    And instead, Philippians 2 kind of encapsulates
  • 00:30:59
    this idea that I found all throughout Scripture.
  • 00:31:03
    Philippians 2 says this:
  • 00:31:17
    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
  • 00:31:20
    I think, a vain conceit as just
  • 00:31:23
    an entirely self-focused attitude.
  • 00:31:26
    I am completely turned around looking at myself.
  • 00:31:29
    And it says:
  • 00:31:30
    Do nothing out of that spirit,
  • 00:31:32
    only do what is best and in the interests of others.
  • 00:31:36
    I think a lot of times, especially when it comes to politics,
  • 00:31:39
    we truly believe, so many of us do hold opinions
  • 00:31:43
    that maybe they are very well thought,
  • 00:31:45
    they could even be well researched.
  • 00:31:47
    They certainly are impassioned.
  • 00:31:49
    And we believe, "I know what's good for you.
  • 00:31:52
    It's to hear my immigration policy.
  • 00:31:54
    That is what's good for you.
  • 00:31:56
    So I'm just going to tell you that because there is
  • 00:31:58
    no circumstance under which that would not be good for you."
  • 00:32:02
    And so we want to go on like that, because
  • 00:32:04
    we truly do believe in many of the things
  • 00:32:07
    that we become impassioned about.
  • 00:32:09
    And I want to add the next part of that chapter.
  • 00:32:13
    Philippians 2 goes on to say this:
  • 00:32:44
    It says we're to have that mindset
  • 00:32:46
    in our relationships with one another
  • 00:32:48
    that are just like that.
  • 00:32:49
    Now, what is the "that"?
  • 00:32:52
    Jesus was God.
  • 00:32:55
    He showed up here as God.
  • 00:32:58
    That means everything He thought was right.
  • 00:33:01
    Everything He said would have been justified.
  • 00:33:05
    Had He wanted to say all the things,
  • 00:33:07
    He would have had every right to do that.
  • 00:33:09
    Hhe could have exercised any power,
  • 00:33:12
    any right that He had, anything.
  • 00:33:14
    And instead, what He did is
  • 00:33:16
    He actually confined himself to humanity.
  • 00:33:19
    He actually held Himself back in a bunch of ways
  • 00:33:23
    to show up here on a mission to bring life.
  • 00:33:26
    That is what those versus are telling us.
  • 00:33:29
    Be so focused on the person that you are talking to,
  • 00:33:33
    the person that you are relating with,
  • 00:33:35
    that you are willing to constrict yourself
  • 00:33:38
    to bring them life if necessary.
  • 00:33:40
    And not only was He doing that, he restricted himself
  • 00:33:45
    to the whims of humanity to the point
  • 00:33:48
    that He actually died on a cross.
  • 00:33:50
    And this is what makes Him far, far greater
  • 00:33:53
    than just our good example, because
  • 00:33:56
    it's really tempting sometimes to think of Jesus
  • 00:33:59
    And if we did that in this case, we'd be right to do that.
  • 00:34:02
    But we would still be where we are.
  • 00:34:04
    We would still have the same conversations.
  • 00:34:07
    We'd still have the same mixed up hearts
  • 00:34:09
    that's spew blah all over each other
  • 00:34:11
    when we talk about politics.
  • 00:34:13
    Instead, what He did was He became far more than a good example.
  • 00:34:19
    Let's go on and finish the rest of this passage
  • 00:34:23
    and find out how He did that.
  • 00:34:27
    After He died on the cross, this is what it says:
  • 00:34:46
    Jesus is not just a good example
  • 00:34:48
    of how we're supposed to treat each other.
  • 00:34:49
    He is the means by which
  • 00:34:51
    we will ever have any hope of doing that.
  • 00:34:54
    He is not just the example
  • 00:34:56
    of how to talk to each other better or being nicer
  • 00:34:59
    or have the right opinions.
  • 00:35:00
    He is the only hope that we have
  • 00:35:04
    to ever turn around our self-focus
  • 00:35:06
    and be concerned about the welfare of another person.
  • 00:35:09
    He's the only hope I have in ever wanting to open my mouth
  • 00:35:13
    when maybe somebody is going to explode out the other end.
  • 00:35:16
    He's the only hope we have that our hearts will ever
  • 00:35:19
    become truly good so that good words come out of us,
  • 00:35:24
    because where our hearts are not His, our words will never be.
  • 00:35:30
    I want us so much to embrace this goal of speaking life,
  • 00:35:35
    not just in the kind of dark political thing
  • 00:35:37
    that we're facing in 2020, but everywhere we go.
  • 00:35:41
    We have this crazy advantage as people
  • 00:35:44
    who want to follow Jesus
  • 00:35:45
    or at least are open to considering that.
  • 00:35:47
    We have this unbelievable thing at our fingertips
  • 00:35:51
    where we could speak the very words of God
  • 00:35:54
    and actually impact something around us,
  • 00:35:56
    actually bring life to somebody who's down
  • 00:35:59
    or doesn't have it.
  • 00:36:00
    Actually sharpen and communicate things
  • 00:36:03
    that would bring life into political spaces even
  • 00:36:06
    that are only and ever filled with darkness right now.
  • 00:36:10
    I don't want us to forfeit that right.
  • 00:36:12
    I just don't want us to play the game the world plays.
  • 00:36:15
    I want us to instead adopt the goal of speaking life.
  • 00:36:22
    And for that to be true, we have got to keep asking
  • 00:36:25
    ourselves these two questions, right?
  • 00:36:27
    You're going to get engaged in political conversation.
  • 00:36:29
    Someone's going to tag you online.
  • 00:36:31
    They're going to talk to you at lunch,
  • 00:36:32
    at work, or whatever.
  • 00:36:34
    My husband walked up on two people at the gym.
  • 00:36:36
    They were actually having a fight about because
  • 00:36:38
    the news was on in the locker room.
  • 00:36:40
    And he walks up on them at the gym
  • 00:36:41
    and they're like fighting.
  • 00:36:42
    And he kind of backs up and picks another locker.
  • 00:36:45
    But one of them, one of them yelled,
  • 00:36:47
    "You're just like my ex-wife.
  • 00:36:48
    You just say what you want and then you walk away."
  • 00:36:52
    That is not a helpful way to engage.
  • 00:36:54
    That is never going to bring life.
  • 00:36:57
    Instead, we have to constantly be asking ourselves
  • 00:36:59
    these two questions.
  • 00:37:01
    One, are my words really coming from a place
  • 00:37:06
    in my heart that is good?
  • 00:37:07
    Are they coming from a good place?
  • 00:37:09
    And number two, can I really honestly tell myself
  • 00:37:12
    I am speaking for the good of the person that is with me?
  • 00:37:18
    If the answer to one of those questions is no,
  • 00:37:20
    what do you do, right? Because here's gonna be no's.
  • 00:37:22
    There's gonna be times where your heart
  • 00:37:24
    is not in a good place.
  • 00:37:25
    It's just not there.
  • 00:37:27
    Or you you could talk about that subject,
  • 00:37:29
    but just not with that person.
  • 00:37:33
    And you really can't honestly say that
  • 00:37:34
    you have there good in mind to have this conversation.
  • 00:37:37
    And I'm just saying, not out of passivity,
  • 00:37:39
    out of integrity we need to be the kind of people
  • 00:37:42
    who are strong enough to say,
  • 00:37:44
    "This is not the right conversation for us to have."
  • 00:37:47
    Because God takes our words that seriously.
  • 00:37:50
    That is the answer to one of those is no,
  • 00:37:52
    that we would be people of integrity who would say,
  • 00:37:54
    "I'm not even going to have this conversation
  • 00:37:57
    because I cannot speak life.
  • 00:37:59
    I can't."
  • 00:38:00
    And I don't believe that's being passive.
  • 00:38:02
    I believe that's showing integrity and honor
  • 00:38:04
    to what God believes our words should really be about.
  • 00:38:08
    But what if it's yes?
  • 00:38:10
    I mean, what if it's yes?
  • 00:38:12
    If you can engage in a way that is helpful,
  • 00:38:17
    in a way that really prioritizes the other person,
  • 00:38:20
    in a way that really can speak life,
  • 00:38:22
    my goodness, engage.
  • 00:38:26
    Let's not walk by the opportunities
  • 00:38:28
    that are right there in front of us.
  • 00:38:30
    And I want to tell you, here's what I do,
  • 00:38:31
    because you know I've had to get better at this.
  • 00:38:33
    This is not this is not my wheelhouse.
  • 00:38:36
    I have discovered a very helpful principle
  • 00:38:38
    that I want to give to you.
  • 00:38:39
    And I call it the two way conversation.
  • 00:38:41
    I've got two conversations going when I engage
  • 00:38:45
    in kind of these tense conversations with people.
  • 00:38:47
    And one of the conversations is, of course,
  • 00:38:49
    between me and whoever I'm talking to.
  • 00:38:52
    And the other conversation is between me and God.
  • 00:38:55
    One's going this way and one's going this way.
  • 00:38:57
    Because, and only because, I try now to have
  • 00:39:01
    the intention to speak life, I'm asking God,
  • 00:39:05
    can you show me something about this person?
  • 00:39:07
    Would you tell me what's really going on here?
  • 00:39:09
    Would you give me the right question to ask?
  • 00:39:11
    Would you help me to listen?
  • 00:39:12
    Would you help me to hear what's underneath this?
  • 00:39:14
    Would you tell me what's at the foundation at the bottom?
  • 00:39:18
    And friends, it's incredible how many times
  • 00:39:21
    something amazing will just pop out
  • 00:39:24
    in the middle of a tense conversation
  • 00:39:26
    where you have the ability to insert life.
  • 00:39:31
    This is a skill, this doesn't happen just overnight.
  • 00:39:33
    It's easy, much easier to either say never
  • 00:39:36
    or just say whatever the heck you want to say.
  • 00:39:38
    But I think we have to be in the messy in-between
  • 00:39:41
    where we're willing to engage God in those spaces
  • 00:39:44
    where we think we might actually be able to do this okay
  • 00:39:48
    and try to speak life.
  • 00:39:53
    I want to invite the band to come back out because
  • 00:39:56
    I think there's a way that we should end this series,
  • 00:39:59
    this whole series, what we've really been trying
  • 00:40:01
    is to drive to the bottom.
  • 00:40:04
    Instead of talking about how you're going to vote,
  • 00:40:06
    what we have been trying to do is get behind that
  • 00:40:10
    and talk about what does it look like
  • 00:40:11
    to have your first allegiance
  • 00:40:13
    and all your decision making run through
  • 00:40:16
    a Kingdom with a good King?
  • 00:40:20
    And so we're gonna have a moment together right now
  • 00:40:22
    where I want to invite you to declare
  • 00:40:24
    your allegiance to that King in a very special way.
  • 00:40:27
    I thought about the fact that my my kids,
  • 00:40:29
    they say the Pledge of Allegiance still at school.
  • 00:40:32
    I know some of us have mixed feelings about
  • 00:40:34
    whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.
  • 00:40:35
    In this particular case,
  • 00:40:36
    I'm just gonna borrow the concept to say
  • 00:40:38
    it's a good thing when your heart is fully engaged
  • 00:40:42
    and pointed at God to stand up and declare
  • 00:40:45
    your allegiance to Him above any policy,
  • 00:40:49
    party or person that we might engage in our political year.
  • 00:40:54
    And so I want to invite you to do that right now.
  • 00:40:57
    And let's declare our allegiance.
  • 00:40:59
    You can stand up with me and Justin's going to lead us.
  • 00:52:37
    I hope right where you are at this moment,
  • 00:52:40
    you can hear the truth of that.
  • 00:52:41
    Hs love endures forever.
  • 00:52:43
    No matter what changes come, His love endures forever.
  • 00:52:48
    No matter how far you've gone,
  • 00:52:50
    His love endures forever.
  • 00:52:52
    and sing this together. Come on.
  • 00:55:25
    - When we sing together like that, we call it worship
  • 00:55:28
    because we're ascribing worth to God,
  • 00:55:29
    whether we believe those words with our whole hearts
  • 00:55:32
    or we want to believe them a little bit deeper
  • 00:55:35
    when we sing those songs it orients our day,
  • 00:55:37
    our week, our life towards God in a new way.
  • 00:55:40
    So thanks for joining us for that.
  • 00:55:42
    You know, we have a team of people
  • 00:55:43
    that would love to pray for you.
  • 00:55:45
    Maybe you have something heavy on your heart
  • 00:55:47
    or that you can't stop thinking about
  • 00:55:49
    or something big coming up this week.
  • 00:55:51
    We would love to pray for you specifically for that thing.
  • 00:55:55
    So you could text us at 513-731-7400
  • 00:56:00
    or chat with us on the Crossroads Web site.
  • 00:56:02
    And we have a volunteer that would love to pray for you.
  • 00:56:04
    And if you've got questions about
  • 00:56:06
    how to get deeper connected into the church,
  • 00:56:08
    maybe find a group or a location near you,
  • 00:56:12
    you could also ask that person over chat
  • 00:56:15
    about how to do that
  • 00:56:16
    and the best ways for you to personally connect.
  • 00:56:19
    You know, I'm a giver to the church because
  • 00:56:22
    I want to be about giving other people freedom
  • 00:56:25
    that I've experienced.
  • 00:56:26
    And I never have to question if my life has impact
  • 00:56:30
    when I get to fuel financially people's lives being changed
  • 00:56:34
    and finding physical and emotional and spiritual
  • 00:56:38
    and financial freedom through the church.
  • 00:56:40
    And so if you want to do that,
  • 00:56:41
    you could become a giver today
  • 00:56:43
    by heading to Crossroads.net/give.
  • 00:56:46
    Next week you're gonna get a full taste
  • 00:56:48
    of who we are as a church
  • 00:56:50
    because your adventure starts here.
  • 00:56:52
    We're going to hear from our senior pastor, Brian Tome.
  • 00:56:55
    You don't want to miss it.
  • 00:56:56
    Check us out right here online
  • 00:56:58
    or at a location near you.
  • 00:56:59
    Have a great week.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow Up.

  1. Plastic, paper, or metal straw—which is your go to? Let’s say Shark Tank was interested in your idea for a new drinking utensil. What is it made out of and what does it do?

  2. When a difference of opinion comes up, are you more likely to be polite or challenge it head on? What is more difficult to do? And why?

  3. Read Proverbs 18:21. When is a time you received “life” through the words of another person? Why do you think you can still recall it?

  4. Flip side. When is a time YOU “sowed death” with your words. What happened and what was the impact?

  5. Read Philippians 2:1-11 out loud—it’s a big one. What jumps out to you in this passage? Every day, how can you “count others more significant than yourself”?

    Remember to pray as a group before you leave. See you next week!

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Feb 29, 2020

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