This morning I was scanning my Facebook news feed when I came across a Muslims meme that mentioned things they hate like “pork, dogs, beer, bikinis, Jesus and freedom of speech”.  Then it asked, “what the world do they want to come to America for?”  There were several replies or comments “answering” the question.  Mostly, the comments were something about taking over the world.  Well, I had a strong response boil up in me as a Christian mother, who protects her child from all kinds of evil every day.  I felt I needed to answer the question too, but not on Facebook.  I have a couple of reasons for not taking to Facebook to reply.  For one, I would not do or say anything to knowingly hurt someone’s feelings even “in love”.  You know, “in love” is a way some Christians make comments or prayer requests that are not necessarily loving!  Sometimes it is purely unloving gossip, but that is a topic for another day.

Another reason is that there really is no freedom of speech on Facebook, in many ways.  I mean, if you post something on your own page about your own feelings, you open yourself up to an onslaught of varying opinions that are oftentimes anything but loving, even from your very own family and friends!  Sometimes their feelings are hurt by your post without your even meaning to hurt them.  They may have posted something and they feel you are sideways attacking them, when you probably did not even see their original post in the first place!  See the problem with social media yet?

 

Why do I care about a meme anyway?

Wikipedia:

meme (/miːm/ MEEM) is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture—often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme.

Sort of sounds like a virus doesn’t it.  Well, when it is harmless and funny, it can spread cheer and good will.  However, it can also have the opposite application.  Then it sounds like a root of bitterness that spreads poison.

Why Are People, Who Are Against Everything America Stands For, So Interested In Coming To America?

In the meme, we can clearly see that Americans love pork, dogs, beer, bikinis, Jesus and freedom of speech, right?  Well, that is debatable.  I mean, what about vegetarians and vegans; cat lovers; 4 year-olds on Youtube who won’t eat animals anymore; overweight women; children of alcoholics; plus other Americans who value Nature over the Creator of nature; and still others who don’t like what you have to say on a subject so you are automatically labeled a racist, homophobic, a pedophile or trying to destroy marriage?

Face it, America Is A Mish-Mash Of Beliefs.

I am thinking about some Christian denominations that shun pork, beer and bikinis. They even tell their women what to wear to be godly, as if clothing makes one godly or chosen of God.  1 Samuel 16 puts it like this, “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  While we may put on fancy clothes and smiling faces to impress or disguise our true selves, God sees straight to the heart of the matter.

There are some denominations and individual churches that claim Christ, but disregard His teachings like  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”  Instead of being peacemakers they are often found stirring up trouble.  Look at the news sometime and notice “churches” that show up at our military funerals only to mock and cause trouble.  These guys call themselves Christians.  Not very Christ-like.

We have extremists in the Christian Church.  No doubt about it.  Does that mean ALL Christians are bad?  Well, I guess that depends on who you ask.

So What’s Your Point?

We often label things and people with convenient names and generalize about them.  One problem with that is people often judge God’s character based on those who call themselves Christians.

1 John 4:7-8 tells us Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

In the next few verses we see “God sent his only Son into the world” to save us from OUR SINS.  Not because we deserved it or earned it, but because He loves and is love.

So knowing that, what should we do?  Verse 11 of the same chapter tells us in no uncertain terms.

 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

No big words that are too hard to understand.  A child understands this with no problem, right? So why do adults, who know better, have such a hard time with it?  I will let you search that out, if you truly want to know, just read 1 John chapter 4.

Why Write About It In A Mama Blog?

As mamas, we are supposed to train up our children in the way that they should go.  When they are old, they will not depart from it.  If they do, they will return.  I believe that.  So, teaching our children to love is probably the most important thing we can do.  More important than Math, Science, Government, even Home Economics! 🙂  Without love, none of the others will even matter.

Brace Yourself, We Have Friends Who Are Muslims.

Did I just hear a bunch of readers click off my page?  Well, I hope not, but if I did and you are still here, maybe this one is for you. 🙂  I’ll continue.

My youngest son came home from school one day talking about a new friend.  Well, it was actually a couple of new friends, one boy and one girl.  They are really into Minecraft and spend a lot of time discussing it and playing it.

Naturally, I wanted to encourage good friendships and mentioned to my son that maybe his friend could come over some time to play or swim.  We don’t really do over nights.  Michael has always been shy about leaving us and we are fine with that.  I don’t trust easily when it comes to letting my son go off with strangers.  Turns out Michael’s new friend, the boy, has a mother with very similar views to mine, at least when it comes to protecting her children.

Sometimes We Need A Paradigm Shift.

Speaking of his friend’s mom, Michael says, “She is very protective.”  As if he thinks, I am less protective.  He only has one perspective or paradigm, that of an over pampered youngest child.  He has his own bedroom; his own TV and game consoles; his own laptop and a dog he loves.  He never goes hungry and is safe at night in bed.  He has a few chores, but most of his time is spent doing what he likes.  Often that involves rolling around on the floor with Oliver, our Beagle.  Michael is our youngest, as I told you a moment ago.  He is every bit our son, though he was never inside my body.  We became mom and dad through a family adoption.  He is our blood.  His life started out a lot different from his current life.

Much like Michael, his friend knows where he could be now, if his parents had not made the choices they did.  The boy’s parents and grandmother share stories of their old home freely.  It is war-torn, terrorism is rampant, the government does not protect the citizens.  Many are held captive, tortured, beaten or forced into service of the government.  Many of their large family have been killed.  Very few remain.  Thankfully, almost twenty years ago, his mother and father came to America.  Just a few years ago, his grandmother followed, after the passing of her husband left her alone in her country.  They came in the “right way,” the legal way.  The grandmother, in her sixties, is learning English!  The father is a civil engineer and contributes greatly to his community.  He’s a hard worker and owns his firm.  He is a tax payer!  All of the three children were born in America.  They speak English, attend public school, excel in their studies, are polite and pleasant, respectful, kind and Muslim.

Notice how I threw that last word in?  They sound like perfect Americans, right?  Until, I added that last word.  Hmm…Why is that?  Maybe we need a paradigm shift, read about this in 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. We are studying the book in our homeschooling.

How Do You Know So Much About Your Son’s Friend’s Family?

We setup a play date for the kids.  Wow, what a novel approach.  Just kidding.  I know we did not do that when we were kids, but it is commonplace today.  Believe it or not, they are regular people too!  Go figure.

Since I have a strong Southern accent and his mother’s first language is Arabic, sometimes we can’t understand one another especially on the telephone.  We communicate via text for the most part.

So we exchanged phone numbers at a school function and arranged a time and place to get acquainted personally.  The first time we got together was at their house.  Mama served pizza at the community pool and I brought fruit for dessert.  We swam and talked.  Next visit was at my house and I provided pizza.  They brought Key Lime Pie.  Yum.  Now the pizza is always cheese.  They do not eat pork.  That’s fine with us.  We all like desserts.  Usually shooting for healthy, but always “no diet” is reminded as we eat together.  Just enjoy each other’s company.  Don’t think about calories.  I can use more friends like that, can’t you?

The first home visit I learned they were Muslims and from Syria.  I heard the story of how Grandma gained US citizenship.  Also, heard the story of how Mama and Daddy met and fell in love.  It’s a beautiful story.  I heard the horrors of losing family and friends.  Heart-wrenching stories of loss.  I’m not sure why they felt they could or should share such intimate details with me.  Maybe they thought it would be the only time we would ever see each other.  Maybe their past experiences with Americans had ended abruptly.  Maybe they realize we are not promised tomorrow and take advantage of each day.  All I know, is my heart broke hearing their stories.  My love for them bloomed quickly from the broken ground.  We hugged and cried together.

Before you get to thinking that I hid Christ because Muslims hate Christians, no way buddy.  I am very up front about my Christianity.  In fact, I believe it is the love of Christ that attracts people to me.  I am nothing without Him and He shines through all my broken cracks.  I am a hugger, like my mama  taught me.  I am serious about hugs.  No sideways half-hearted hugs here.  When we ladies met, it was like greeting family.  The whole bunch met us at the door.  Hugs and kisses all around.  When we left, it was the same.  Every time we get together, no matter where it is or who is watching, it is always the same.  Feels like a family reunion.

When we are together, we don’t eat pork; they are warming up to Oliver and I don’t push him on them; I wear one piece bathing suits because I am not as skinny as I used to be and it is more comfortable; we don’t drink because we have children to watch, we’re driving or like me, I don’t drink because my father was an alcoholic and I just don’t want to; Jesus is an open subject; we all speak freely and show love to one another.  We are friends.

So You Must Want Open Borders?

Before you think the wrong thing, I am not for open borders.  I think everyone who is allowed into our country should come in legally and fully vetted.  They should love America and her values of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  To be an asset to their community, they should learn our language, work, pay taxes, teach their children to love America.  Be good citizens, don’t litter, obey laws, serve where they can.  Treat others as they wish to be treated with respect.  Love one another.

What About Their Religion?

Let’s face it, Americans are not all Christians.  Although, we wish everyone knew Jesus, the fact is many do not, even some in our churches every Sunday.  One sure fire way to make sure they do not meet Jesus is to treat them like the devil.  Muslims are not the enemy of Christians.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

We must love, plain and simple.

And in case you are wondering about all the other people you don’t agree with in America, same goes for them too; No matter their life style, their heritage, their dress, their music, their skin color, their language (foul or foreign), where their pants hang, if they can dance or not, if they speak in tongues or not, if they go to your church or not.

Every problem that exists can be solved with one simple thing…LOVE.  The love chapter in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13, check it out, but I bet you already know it.  Notice it does not say love has to prove it is right.  It doesn’t say everyone has to believe like you do to love them.  It does not even say you have to accept their beliefs or condone their actions to love them.  It does say Love never fails.

That’s my two cents worth.

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