The Don Who Stole Christmas

President-Grinch
I Donald J. Trump do grievously swear…
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There’s a lesson to be learned from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. After President Trump blocked a relief bill for the American people, it’s official: “The Donald” is “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

Sadly, many of us, including myself, might literally be able to relate to Yehushua being turned away thousands of years ago. Millions of Americans stand to be evicted from their homes on New Year’s following the expiration of the CDC’s moratorium protections.

I was ashamed until I recalled how God’s Holy Son Yehushua was turned away. He was thought to be insignificant and sent to be born in a cold, funky barn with animals. Just as a rich innkeeper did not make room for an exhausted, pregnant woman bringing forth the King of kings, the U.S. Congress and the President continue its months-long bickering, leaving citizens in precarious predicaments.

Pregnant with struggling small businesses, plummeting savings, lost wages,
rising illnesses, mounting bills, the passing of loved ones, and soon,
lost homes, our most dire needs remain unaddressed
by the very people we elected to speak and act on our behalf. 

At this moment, a “fluffed” bill that is hardly relief for distraught Americans, has been stagnated. Congress has padded this bill, which is incredulously over 5,000-plus pages long, with support to foreign countries, a slew of government operational funds, research, and more aid going to undocumented immigrants instead of what’s been designated for American citizens.

Why are vast federal aid components not directly associated with COVID-19 relief for Americans and the economy laid out in this bill? Why has Congress spent months toiling on a bill padded with federal securities for government operations? How are undocumented immigrants receiving more funds than taxpaying Americans?

Can anyone make this make sense?

Although the $1,200 direct stimulus payments to Americans in April was the largest expenditure in the CARES Act spending bill, totaling $600 billion, direct aid to Americans remains dismal.

One of the richest, most advanced countries in the world is lagging when it comes to providing support to its citizens in the midst of the worst pandemic in the world’s history (see STATISTA study here).

Refusing to take responsibility for his own lack of leadership in this process, President Trump slammed the bill late Tuesday, then scuttled off on holiday. This morning, U.S. House Republicans rejected the Democrats’ proposal to increase direct stimulus aid to Americans from $600 to $2,000, leaving the entire relief bill in limbo.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, AMERICA!

President Donald Trump as Santa Claus.

I was under the impression that great leaders delegate, supervise, and manage their resources well. We clearly have a president who has missed this mark continuously during his tenure and rides out his pending days confirming this assessment. In addition, Trump’s administration and the elected U.S. Congress has shown us where their priorities lie, and it is not with the needs of its suffering constituents.

Just as we shrug off Yehoshua throughout the year, looking only to The Nativity Story long enough to get us into the Holiday spirit, we have missed the message in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The real meaning of Christmas NEVER came from a store, and America has clearly forgotten what “In God We Trust” means.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Kevron2001

Now more than ever, man must seek the Holy Spirit, be obedient, and have the faith of a mustard seed. No government, or gift, can, or will, save you. That is a job meant for One Who is Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and The End. Trust in The Lord, and know that no matter what, all is well. It is going to be a Merry Christmas! SHALOM.

Just Believe..

So, just when your mountain seems too high

And your valley falls too low

Just when your tears, they come so fast,

You can’t tell which way to go

Just when your heart’s about to break

From the pain that’s deep inside

That is the time when you just believe…

                                     ~ LaShanna R. Tripp, Just Believe. Wordz & Rhythmz Publishing, 2007.

 

I originally wrote the song, “Just Believe,” in 2007 for the one and only American Idol Songwriting Competition that took place that season. It didn’t win, but this season, those lyrics are speaking to me.

When God told me to “launch into the deep” in the Spring of 2019,

I knew then that I was about to be swimming for my life.

Literally.

My older siblings will tell you that I had a time battling water as a toddler, so any references to swimming around in deep waters instigate fear. I prefer to feel my feet touch bottom.

But we know that sometimes, the only way to overcome that fear is to jump in head first, right? Well, I seem to have that part down pretty good!

At the age of three, I saw all of my older siblings splashing around in the cool, aqua waters of our backyard pool in Yorba Linda, California. I saw their heads above the water so all was safe, right? I gleefully called out their names, waving wildly. Then, I launched my little brown body into that pool,  nearly drowning.

If it weren’t for my oldest brother, Lou Price, I wouldn’t be here writing this.

43 years later, I am drowning again, but God warned me and promised a safety net. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t apprehensive. The last time I left the comfort of a full-time job to pursue passion, I lost everything and ended up homeless.

I just couldn’t go back to that. As I prayed for a new response, all He said to me was, “This time won’t be like last time,” then sent me to Isaiah 54.

When you want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful!

~Eric Thomas, The Hip Hop Preacher

If this season has proved anything to those of us who believe in Him, it’s that God says what He means, and He means what He says. As I see so many of my friends, family and entrepreneurial cohorts succeed and make huge moves to shift their lives to greater during this pandemic, I am excited for them, and celebrate with them, but I myself am encountering some extremely dire circumstances that threaten to take me out completely.

WHAT. IS. THIS?!?

Ever feel like all you did was wake up to conquer the day and all you continue to hit are brick walls? I mean, how many meetings can you take and be told no? How many calls, how many emails, how many grants, how many auditions, how many opportunities can you apply for, and be told no, and keep moving? How many, how many, HOW MANY?

Yep. That’s me right now.

I can’t make sense of anything right now, and it’s so frustrating! And I can’t help but wonder, am I the only one willing to verbalize how low I feel? I have never been great at covering up how I feel. What you see is what you get, and my face will tell you everything. Want to win at poker? Play me. Worst poker face EVER. Heck, I don’t even know how to play poker, so there you go!

But this lets me know, more than anything, that there is something big brewing with every step I make. With every call, I am closer. With every email, I am closer. With every no, there’s a yes building somewhere. I just have to keep striking the rock, place my hope in God, and trust I will strike gold soon.

Every delay, every denial, every choice, every thing God has allowed to be placed on hold and blocked is leading me on a journey to something greater that must be completed in order for His will to manifest in my life. I will continue to work, I will continue to keep the faith, and I will continue to confess His Word.

I am in spiritual labor,

and these pains are something serious.

Lord, help thou my unbelief…

 

 

 

New Devils STOP!

What adversaries are stopping you from taking a leap of faith? Just pick any distraction.

Distractions are interesting. Distractions cause us to pause and more often than not, miss out on important, right-now moments in a life we’re not promised to be living tomorrow.

These disruptive distractions are unnecessary hesitations that delay what we know in our hearts we need to be doing. They are also emotions fed to us by others seeking to infest us with their own innate fears.

Today should be the day we stop living our life based on other people’s fears!

These distractions are simply your adversary seeking to delay you from your purpose. And man, did one hit me just this week through a loved one.

I found myself on a call that was intended to be a moment to catch-up, but it became pretty shady fairly quickly. I felt as if my talent and choices to transition to a new career was being attacked through a hidden, one-sided verbal war I thought I was unsuited to fight.

Out of respect, I could only sit there in shock as I listened to an onslaught of self-righteous opinions that sought to apparently somehow correct me. The goal, of course, was to stall me and take me off of my game!

I finally just hung up, but I could only stand there, stupefied. And then it hit me out of nowhere.

NEW DEVILS.

Earlier that morning, while running errands with my husband, he pulled to a STOP sign in our neighborhood that we’ve passed hundreds of times before. However, my eyes caught something posted on the sign that I had never noticed before. The two words somehow screamed at me just then, and I instinctively knew that it was a warning:

NEW DEVILS

I Corinthians 16:9 rushed to mind. I recalled that as doors and resources are being opened up to us during a season of growth and transition to greater, many adversaries rush in right along with the blessings. Now, this sign can be seen in different ways if we add punctuation:

  1. NEW DEVILS STOP. (Meaning new devils distract you and keep you from moving forward.)
  2. NEW DEVILS, STOP! (Meaning we shout out and tell the new devils to stop distracting us!)

I immediately just thanked God for the warning because it allowed me to focus back on what He told me: that this time won’t be like last time!

Both interpretations of this sign today were important to me!

Some of you, like myself, have taken risks before and failed very well, and are now in a season of trying again. God has promised that this time won’t be like last time.

That last time, you didn’t have a plan.

The time before last time, you were younger and didn’t seek wisdom and understanding.

This last time, you didn’t trust Him like you do now.

This is not the last time. This time, is your time.

Despite what your adversaries are doing, focus on what God said to you! Do you need discipline? Buckle down. Do you need help? Ask Him for it.

Fulfillment will only come when you are in pursuit of utilizing your gifts and talents to help others.

Cory Asbury’s moving song, Water and Dust, reminds us that God makes beautiful out of our ugliness. When everything around us is falling apart and not shaping up to be what we thought, don’t lose heart. He is working. 

You were created for greater! Tell the new devils you are three feet from striking gold, and you are not quitting!

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