This is not a political post by any means. I just feel fortunate to be living in the day and time that we live in. To see the racial and gender barriers begin to come down is historic for all of us. We are moving toward a society which values diversity, embraces different viewpoints, and values people. As a Christian in this day and time, we have been given a wonderful opportunity to weigh into the fray of discussion. I hope that we seek to understand other people as well as hope to be understood ourselves. I say it often to the congregation and it is true, “people don’t care what you know until they know you care.” That is why debates bore me. No one changes their opinion. We just root for or against a side. The reason being is that they are adversarial in nature. A much better forum for acceptance and change is open dialogue. And I do mean OPEN dialogue where we do not enter a conversation with any preconceived notions of the person, the topic, and the need to ‘win’. Now that does NOT mean we sell out our core beliefs, may it never be, but it does mean that all situations can be learning events and therefore chances for our own personal, emotional, and spiritual growth.