Thoughts on my 90th

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Sign on my Castle Door

As I listened to the debate between Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders I was also reading an article in Truthout about the voices of veterans against war.  Since politicians say they care so much for veterans, I hope that they will all embrace veterans with harsh memories, unending aches, and the tired hopes of those who are for peace.

In past centuries small contingents of Christians stood for peace against war. Their voices were often muffled by other Christians who proclaimed fealty to their rulers, blessed war-makers by praying for their success and actually taking part in the killing and destruction.  That’s a christian way, as it were, but it is not the Jesus way.  Now some veterans are adding new voices, their own, against war and for peace.

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Beautiful cake chosen by Rachel

Now I’ve listened to the republican candidates debate in Miami.  Everyone, including candidate Trump, noticed the difference.  There was less shouting, name calling and rancor.  Some commentators assumed that the candidates understood that their previous childish behavior did not help their cause.

But since that common calming, there has been an escalation of rhetoric that has stimulated even more violence with threats of dire consequences to come.  And, I wonder when the Trump campaign will discover that their tactics damage their cause severely. The call to expand laws to allow torture and building of walls is futile.  When will they ever learn to expand a love that welcomes homeless immigrants; feeds, clothes and nurtures them.

This morning I listened to Phil Waite’s sermon from Acts 18 with a focus on Cornelius, a gentile soldier who was attracted to Judaism. He gave alms to the poor and prayed at the Judaism’s hour for prayer. It is safe to assume that after Cornelius met Peter he turned from Judaism to Jesus.  Perhaps Peter advised Cornelius in keeping with an apocryphal story: John Fox to William Penn on his conversion that he should wear his sword “as long as thou canst.”

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Bouquet from the celebration

Yesterday afternoon my family threw a birthday party in celebration of my 90th birthday.  It was an act of faith, for my birthday is today, not yesterday.  We wished to see my 90th. As time went by we believed that we would see it. Eventually, in firm belief we began to act on it.  That is faith. Only the foolhardy would have thought they knew I would realize 90 birthdays.  Yesterday we celebrated by faith, and only this morning dare I celebrate by knowing..  I do not know the future, but I will act as though I might legitimately shoot for 100.  (I would like to live another five years and celebrate My Joy’s 90th.)

Suppose Donald Trump wins.  Ponder Paul’s words in the time of Nero. He urged that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.ph

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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7 Responses to Thoughts on my 90th

  1. Nate Lehman says:

    Martin, Being 9yrs older than me I will listen intently to your words and as often given, also your advice. Make it a peaceful day! Nate

    • Nate, I know I remember getting haircuts by your father, my Uncle Menno, in his shop in Marion, and I think I remember you as a little boy playing in the shop at the same time. Is that possible? How old were you when you moved to Maugansville?

  2. Freda Zehr says:

    Happy birthday to a dear friend, Martin. It was interesting to me to read your thoughts on the current political situation as I had just been thinking, that I wish I could have a chat with you about this whole scenario which is occupying to much of my thoughts these days. It is difficult to believe that this is happening in America, that an american can stand up in public and be praised for being such a bigot, such a warmonger–well I could on and on, but I have decided that prayer is the only thing which comforts me at this time. So glad to know you celebrated your 90th birthday! Here is to another ten years of fruitful living. Thanks for all you have contributed to my life with your words.

  3. Judy Stoltzfus says:

    Happy Birthday dear Uncle Martin! You have been an inspiration to me throughout the years and I treasure keeping in touch with you through your blogs!
    Love,
    Judy S.

  4. Wilmer Lehman says:

    Happy Birthday cousin,
    Glad you had a great celebration yesterday. It would have been nice to be there but distance prevented. You and your brother show that not all Lehmans die young. Set your sights on 100.

  5. Merle Cordell says:

    Welcome to the 90 club my brother. We grew up together and did a few things together. But I was closer to your father because he was my spiritual father in the church. I follow and read all your blogs.
    I also have a special “joy” who is 90. We enjoy each other’s company and are pushing for the 100 mark together.

  6. Roberta and Harold Kreider says:

    Martin, it is good to hear that you have enjoyed a great 90th birthday celebration with family and friends. On Easter Sunday, our family is planning a “surprise” 90th birthday celebration for me, one week before the actual event. We will celebrate Harold’s 92nd birthday in May. Life at any age brings its surprises, some welcome and some unwelcome. But all of them have much to teach us about the Joy of Being Alive and Tuned in to LOVE that never dies as Saul transformed to Paul assures us in I Cor. 13.

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