Ticking the Boxes

So yesterday we had our Australian Elections.  Ever since we became citizens many years ago (we kept our USA citizenship as well), we have been required to vote. It’s not an option in this country unless you want to pay a hefty fine along with a good reason you didn’t vote.  I actually think this is a good idea. It makes you put your vote where your mouth is, and insures that we do indeed get the government we deserve.

Anyway, we’ve been voting for about 20 years now, and I still can’t really figure it out.  All I can really understand is that I must vote LIBERAL.

Liberal in Australian-speak means “Conservative”.  The other significant party is called “Labor” and it’s the equivalent of that party in the States whose platform centers around its dislike of Trump and tearing down things like family values, freedom of (not from) religion and gender issues that I won’t go into here.

So we went to the polls.  I often have a flashback to our days in Zambia from 1973-75 when they had just begun open and free elections.  I still remember the ballot.  A good part of the country was still illiterate, so pictures told the story. One was a picture of Dr. Kenneth Kaunda next to a box where you could make your mark, and the other was of a snarling hyena.

We couldn’t vote, of course, but we did celebrate when Kaunda was elected by a landslide. He was a committed Christian, Baptist pastor, and worked hard to bring the nation into a stable, productive government, in spite of the 70+ different tribes that make up the country.  I shudder to think what might have happened if the hyena had won.

But back to Australia, after signing in yesterday, we were presented with two papers.  One had about 15 names on it and was (I’m not exaggerating) about a yard long.  On it you had to list your first EIGHT party choices, in order of preference.  The other one had an equal number and you only had to pick SIX.  I frantically looked for “Liberal” anything, and found a couple of names with liberal in them, but wasn’t too sure.  By the time I got down to my 6th and 8th selection I was deliberating between parties like “Stop Global Warming Now”, “Legalize Marijuana”, and believe it or not, there was even a ‘Pirate Party’ (I’m not making this up). At least there was no hyena on the ballot.

Fortunately, God was in control and Scott Morrison, a professing Christian, was re-elected in an overwhelming show of support that even Mr. Morrison called “a miracle”. This morning, he is recognized as the most powerful man in Australia… at least until the other party gains enough support to call for another election, something that happens frequently here. Please pray for him and his “Liberal Party”; pray that he will use his power for good, and that God will work through him to accomplish great things.

From Australian politics back to the country of Israel, I was impressed the other day when I came across the passage in Luke 19 about the events leading up to Palm Sunday.  Jesus rode into the city through the gate that Suleiman the Magnificent bricked up in 1541 to prevent the “prophesied coming of the Messiah”.  Too bad he didn’t get the message that it was already too late.  Anyway, in Luke chapter 19 verse 41, we read,

“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it, and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.’”

It’s hard not to imagine that this is happening right here in both of our homes, the USA and Australia.  Sin just keeps creeping in and squeezing our freedoms, and I’m sure you know what I mean.  But so many do not know, because they don’t know Jesus.

While you’re praying for our leaders, please pray that God will Stay His Hand awhile longer. Pray for those whose ignorance is leading them to destruction, both on a personal and a national level. And for you, Dear Readers, hang on tight!

Til He returns,

Marsha

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