Prayer for Our Nation on Election Day

Dear God,

You control all things. Every poll, every phone call, every yard sign and hanging tad; every drop of rain and every beam of sunshine today comes from you. You raise up kings and queens and bring them crashing down at your pleasure; empires ascend and splinter at your word.

And all your power works for the good of your people, those whom you have loved and redeemed through Jesus. Governments may change, but your good intention will never change, and will work until time’s end for our flourishing.

We are sojourners in this nation, sojourners who have felt this identity more strongly in years past. When we try to place our hopes in the leaders of our nation, their failures rebuke us. Their shortcomings remind us that there is no God but the LORD–only you have been perfect from eternity past and will be perfect into eternity future. Only you model perfect power and perfect humility, perfect servanthood and perfect leadership.

And yet I pray that you would give the grace of this leadership to whoever emerges victorious tonight, as well as whoever does not. I pray that the ruling party and minority party would have mutual appreciation and respect for one another, and learn to work together for our nation’s sake rather than for the sake of individual careers.

I pray that as a nation, your kingdom and your values would suffuse us. I pray that we would learn to value life at all stages, of all classes, in all colors. I pray that we would be characterized by high moral standards and lowly spirits, considering others better than ourselves and jumping to serve our neighbors.

I pray that this government would make equitable, just policies which promote opportunities for those who work hard to create better lives for themselves and their families. I pray that you would help us to steward and manage the vast wealth our nation possesses–our technology, our finances, our natural resources, our diversity, our systems and ideas, and so much more which you have given us–in order to help one another and help this world. I pray that we would leave this earth in better shape than when it was given to us, in every way possible.

Unify your church in this hour Lord. If we cannot reach across our divides, how can we ask our politicians to do the same?

I pray all this in Jesus’ name, amen.

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Almost 2016 Media Dump

On colorblind casting, and specifically the weird tension that colorblind casting can cause, e.g. in Ex Machina:

“The fact that the film is so self-aware about its most brutalized characters being robotic women of color becomes even more unnerving considering the audience is expected to forget Isaac is himself Latino.” (Angelica Jade Bastién, The Atlantic)

just found out that Oscar Isaac is Latino! I feel a little sad for him as a fellow person of color…if I became famous and somehow the fact that I was Chinese got hidden in the process (not that this could ever happen, since I don’t have white-passing privilege anyway, but regardless) I would feel ashamed. Like Esther in the palace of Xerxes or something!

NPR has a really good and brief commentary on that.

In the day-to-day experiences of these two characters — notably both created by writers of color — sometimes race matters very little, and other times, it matters quite a bit. Just like in real life! Race is not the focus of Creed and Master of None, but neither is it treated as a coincidence without consequence — and both works are far more textured and richer viewing experiences for that honest, straightforward acknowledgment. (Gene Demby, Code Switch/NPR)

And on an utterly unrelated note, here’s another piece from The Atlantic from my friend Andrew on the “new warfare,” aka the information/propaganda war that’s going to be, the author proposes, the warfare of the future. Unfortunately, liberal democracies don’t do well at this kind of war:

While it is relatively easy for authoritarian regimes to fuse the efforts of military, media, and business entities, in democracies the interests of these groups are often diametrically opposed. For example: When the U.K. government signed a deal this fall allowing China to invest in a new British nuclear reactor, the money men at the Treasury were delighted; the moral men in the media appalled by the United Kingdom selling out on human rights; and the military men worried by Chinese penetration of British energy and telecommunications infrastructure. Of course, Western powers can unite money, media, and the military to devastating and diabolical effect when a war is declared (the lead-up to the Iraq campaigns being the most obvious recent example), but they are more at a loss when responding to not-quite-wars that are undeclared. (Peter Pomerantsev, The Atlantic)

This is especially fascinating to me, because of late I’ve been obsessively and guiltily cutting into my expensive London time to watch The Newsroom, a show that hubby introduced to me and which is honestly excellent. I’m really sad it’s over already! (And now that you know that, if you start watching and feel similarly, at least I didn’t pull a Firefly prank on you)

I guess John Oliver is the closest thing we have to this amazingness:

Words of the Week – a catch-up

You will grow old. When you were young, you would go to institutions and gradually gather letters after your name: BA, MD, PhD. Now that you are old, you do the same thing, but they are different institutions and different letters. Your doctors will introduce you to their colleagues as “Mary Smith, COPD, PVD, ESRD, IDDM”. With each set of letters comes another decrease in quality of life.

From this essay, sad but too true. Reminding myself daily that behind each patient is a person, and that even behind all accomplishments and professional facades is a person too.

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“Choices will continually be necessary and — let us not forget — possible. Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong we can do nothing but act on them.” (Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline)

From Mary Ann’s gchat status. Too often I have been deceived into thinking that my feelings are stronger than the Holy Spirit, or more important than obeying God’s loving will for me.

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 “You are not entering into a partnership. You are entering into a union. So forget that 50/50 split business; being in a union is about giving 100%.”

From R & E’s wedding. Lately God has been exposing to me my own self-centeredness and stinginess when it comes to truly meeting others’ needs at my own cost.

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I’ve got more but I’ll save them until Sunday. 🙂