Justin Jelincic

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Archive for April 2010

“I reserve the right to get smarter”

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I admit to having a built-in tendency to want to think I know what I need to know to make quick decisions.  And once I have made a decision, it is difficult to say: “I was wrong, let me change course”.  While I may not be unusual in this trait, it does not make it a trait I take great pride in possessing.

I listen to politicians who “know it all” and are “never wrong” and wonder how can that be so.  I learned in my marriage and in raising my children, that there are times when I just have to say “I was wrong”. They would likely say I need to do this more often.

As I have been out talking to people I keep reminding myself, it is okay to say, “I don’t know”, or “I need to learn more before I can give you a final answer, but …”.  One of my employers likes to say “I reserve the right to get smarter”, I like that and should make it my own.

I know what I know.  There are smart people out there who know things I do not know.  I would be a fool to not listen and learn from them.  I think a large part of the problem of a polarized congress is that they do not listen to each other, and learn.

It is not that the conservatives like me need to wake up and become liberal, nor is it that the liberals like Pete need to wake up and become conservative.  It is that we need to be open to learning.   As the Proverbs say “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” We need to listen more, and keep learning.

My dad told me a few times, (being the teacher that he was), “The day you stop learning, you die”.  I think he ment that you may not take your final breath, but if you are no longer learning, you are no longer really living.  You have become a statue, or monument to what you decided was the end of your need to learn.

As people ask for Yes or No answers it is necessary to provide instruction, not just Yes / No soundbites.  The logic behind the answer needs to be provided, so that they understand your framing of the issue, and if they see it differently, to provide the opportunity for the gift of feedback and instruction from their point of view. 

A representative of the people needs to listen to them.  As their voice in the government affairs, the representative must understand their point of view.  When a clear majority (65%/35%) of those they represent hold an opposing point of view, I think it is incumbant on the representative, to vote the constituents point of view, or abstain if necessary, but they should not vote against such a large majority, unless they know something the citizens can not know for security reasons. 

In most cases though I think there is a closer margin of opinion, and then discussion and understanding needs to be sought out. It is not possible for any individual to know everything.  Therefore everyone’s point of view should be open to being changed by acquiring new information.  If we have a closed mind, we can not be wise. 

Seeking to serve you in Washington D.C.

If elected to represent The People of the CA 13th District, I will seek to do just that, represent them.  Have a dialogue with them, and ask them to have one with me.   

I think we do not trust our Congressmen because they often fail to show us that they want to represent us.  The People do not appear to be their first priority.  When we fear that they have been influenced by special interest, or purely by self-interest we can not trust them.   I want your trust.  It is a core value of mine to trust others and to maintain their trust.  I will work hard to maintain your trust.

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Written by Justin Jelincic

April 30, 2010 at 6:46 am

Today’s Scripture reading: Proverbs 12

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“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
      But he who hates correction is stupid.”

I almost feel like I could say “duh” to this Proverb, except I have to acknowledge I do not like correction.   Gladly I can say I do not hate correction, but I need to keep hungering for more instruction.  I suppose the point of many proverbs is to state the obvious (“duh”) while instructing me that I do not always do the obvious.

I have a built-in tendency to want to think I know what I need to know to make decisions.  And once I have made a decision, it is difficult to say: “I was wrong, let me change course”.    Lord help me to receive correction and do this more easily.

I have been told that the slavic blood in me tends to make me stubborn.  I know that I am willing to take a stand, and having taken a stand, I will not easily be moved.   Lord I ask you again this morning to help me know when I am wrong, to receive instruction and correction, to repent of my ways, and change course to conform to Your Word.

Do I LOVE instruction?  While I say I do not hate correction, I have to ask, do my actions say I LOVE instruction?  I enjoy instruction.  I like learning.  I have a question mark for a brain.  But does my interest in learning, and my question mark for a brain, mean I LOVE instruction?   Lord teach me to LOVE Your Word more.  Let my first source of instruction be from Your Word.

Many want me to understand what they believe, Lord help me to know what YOU want me to believe, and help me to share what You teach me with others, that we might both be instructed by Your Word. 

I thank You for the opportunities You give me to teach Your Word.  I thank You that when I have the privilege to teach Your Word, I also get the privilege to set increase time aside to deeply studyYour Word in preparation to teach.

Dear Lord keep my eyes and ears open to seeing and hearing what You want me to learn.  Be faithful to correct me when I am wrong.  Do not let me be wise in my own eyes.  Keep me humble.  Help me to remember, if I know anything of value, it is because YOU have taught me.

Written by Justin Jelincic

April 30, 2010 at 5:58 am

Posted in Spiritual musings

Monday, May 24 – Close of Voter Registration

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 Close of Voter Registration for the June 8 Statewide Direct Primary Election  Monday, May 24, 2010

Seeking to serve you in Washington D.C.

Various places including:

Registrar of Voters Office  1225 Fallon Street   Room G-1,  Oakland , CA

Written by Justin Jelincic

April 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

On speaking the truth of moral absolutes.

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Speaking the truth.  How often do I and others listen to the voices of those who are looking for the easy road.  Who speak without conviction.  Who dare not say something controversial, lest they offend.

It seems that on the Left Coast, or at least here in the San Francisco Bay Area, that the message of the day is toleration.  Toleration of every point of view EXCEPT that there are moral absolutes.

Anything goes, EXCEPT a view that says there are things that should not be done. They are offended to hear that not everything should be accepted. They do not agree that just because it is legal under Federal, State or local law, does not make it morally right. They seem to reject the concepts of morality. 

Such views of absolute standards are not accepted.   But those same voices call for government regulations  demanding that we start some things, and stop other things.  They say with one side of their mouth “everything goes” but with the other side of their mouth they says “things have to change, because we don’t like that”. 

“Immorality is okay, those who want to stand on morality should be silent.”  To them anything goes, except the things on their list; and their list changes. 

They find those of us who hold to the unchanging absolute Word of God as being out of step, old-fashioned, bigoted, and worse.  And why are we these things? Simply because we are not willing to say that the Word of God should be ignored, or twisted to mean what it does not mean.   In their mind we are evil because we hold that there is an authority greater than man, to whom all will give account. 

They call us names, because that is easier for them.  If they label us with names, they do not need to address the basis of our claims for moral absolutes.  They do not want to be accountable.  They want freedom to do what they want to do, while rejecting our freedom to hold opposing points of view.  They want their point of view taught, and they want the other point of view silenced.  They are not tolerant of both points of view being taught and discussed for they fear, that given a fair hearing, their point of view will not prevail.

We need honest debate.  We do not need polarization, we need honest debate.  We need FREE speech, and the FREE ability to choose.  Nations that have abandoned moral absolutes have fallen into the decay of self-centered, self-satisfying selfishness.

God bless America, and may America bless God.

Written by Justin Jelincic

April 29, 2010 at 7:24 am

Today’s Scripture reading: Mark 1

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“Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.  And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

HE taught as one having authority, for HE is THE authority.  HE is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  The words seem so simple, and yet how often do I and others listen to the voices of those who are looking for the easy road.  Who speak without conviction.  Who dare not say something controversial, lest the offend.

I still remember the first time I heard YOUR voice of authority. I remember having someone simply ask me to read what your Word said, and tell them what it meant to me.  I remember YOUR Word cutting like a sword, and laying my life open for examination.  I remember not liking what I saw, and understanding that as a hypocrite things had to change.

You did not hold back.  You spoke the truth,  you lived the truth, for you are the Truth. 

When I first heard YOU, I  heard something very different.  When others first hear you, they hear something very different.  They do not hear a message that sounds like every other message of the world.  It is not a message about feeling good, and maintaining high self-esteem.  It is a message about the need of man to admit his errors and to repent of his ways and turn to a loving and forgiving God for redemption.

I wonder how many churches have teachers on Sunday who do not know the authority of the Word?  How many, like the scribes, are teaching without authority? The church of the Laodiceans were told:   “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” It is clear to me that this is a statement that they had a church were Jesus was on the outside.  They had the form of religion, but not in the presence of the Lord and Savior.   I wonder how many congregations today would be invited by the Lord to open the door and let him in?

Lord help me to yield to your teaching, and not to the traditions of men. Let me not seek to water your Word down in any way, to make it easy on myself.   Help me to speak YOUR word with authority.  Lord let my mouth be filled with your words of authority, not my authority, but your authority.  Use me so that those who hear my words, and find you to be on the outside, might see how they can invite you in and begin to have rich fellowship with YOU.

 Thank you for your Word.

Written by Justin Jelincic

April 29, 2010 at 6:53 am

Posted in Spiritual musings

More about me and my values

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When I was a youth I wanted to be “ruler of the world”, at least ruler of my world.  I had a plan, I would go to Berkeley, get a Business degree, go onto law school, and become a high-powered corporate lawyer.  I would use my speaking skills to make millions. The world would serve me.  

That path was leading to destruction.  Perhaps it was even leading to an early death.  I had a self-centered, and self-absorbed focus, like many I was living for the stuff.  “He who dies with the most toys wins”.  The advertisers, or my friends would say, “you need this” and I would be bummed because I could not afford it.  But I kept telling myself, someday, when you are a rich lawyer, you can buy that, and better.

I am grateful that I learned that I was on the wrong path.  While I have had times of unemployment, I never went begging for bread.  Fortunately I had learned that I did not need a monster house, even if the agent told me I could afford one.  My first house was only 930 square feet. 

I learned that advertisers wanted me to have stuff, but stuff would not make me happy, it would just make me broke, in debt, and a slave to the stuff I would need to maintain.

A life without stuff is a simpler life, there is less to worry about being stolen, and less to maintain. 

My current house, bought while raising my children, is comfortable. At ~2,500 square feet,  it is very comfortable, but it is not a monster house, and sits on a relatively small lot (4,000 sq ft.).  It requires time and money to maintain.  I enjoy my house, but it is family that makes it a home.

I look at the American Dream and wonder if the reduced role of spirituality, has led to a greater earthly bankruptcy?  I grew up thinking the American Dream was to buy whatever I wanted.  But I have now begun to think that the true American Dream, the one held by those who immigrated here in the 1700’s, 1800’s, and 1900’s was a dream for FREEDOM.  Not to be able to buy more stuff, but to choose for yourself, what you would do, and to know that you could use the reward of your labor, as you saw fit.

To be sure for some that will be buying stuff.  But for others, it is the ability to invest in better things.  To be generous, kind and loving.  To be able to meet the needs of family and friends, and at time even strangers.  I work for a company that Henry Kaiser helped start.  I see public buildings in Oakland that bear his name, and I read stories of his investing in the community, at the same time he was investing in his business.   Success in one, allowed him to be generous.  I think that is true of Rockefeller and others.  I mention Rockefeller because of his role in Colonial Williamsburg.  But those who have more should choose to be generous in giving back to the society that enabled them to amass fortunes.

I do not think it is right for any society, especially America, the land of the Free, to take from them because they have too much.  But I do think that increased spirituality might lead to greater generosity.  I think that less TV would lead to less pressure to buy stuff, and would lead to greater opportunity to be generous.  Less time in front of sources of entertainment, might mean more time for interacting with our fellow Americans. 

Perhaps as people focused on each other, instead of the stuff, we would have more citizens enter into the public service, and our political roles would be filled with people who looked to serve, instead of being served. 

I have learned that a great land, is made up, of great people, not great laws.  We The People need to strengthen and restore the role of spirituality in the lives of our nation, that we would be a great people, who valued people more and stuff less. 

Remember history - or repeat it

The current efforts of our government to buy our way out of recession seem backwards.  The GREAT generation, that survived the depression, fought WWII, and sacrificed so that their children and grandchildren could have better lives, no doubt are shocked to see those children choosing to bury their future generations in debt so that they do not need to experience hardship, suffering and sacrifice.  We can learn much from the few remaining from the GREAT generation.   I am proud to say I learned much from mom and dad.  The establishment was not the enemy that the 60’s generation thought.  The establishment was a link to moral, and spiritual values that helped us through tough times. 

Looking forward with a right focus, will help us endure any hour, and any hardship.  The American people are a strong and proud people.  When they fear loosing their freedom they fight to preserve that freedom.  Let us remember the next generations as we make choices for our generation. Let us not enslave our children in debt.  Let America be the land of the Free and the home of the Brave who endure hardship to secure FREEDOM.

Today’s Scripture reading: Matthew 16

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“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

“Let him deny himself”.  These are not words that express what the natural man wants to do.  Rather these words express how much of a change in heart and mindset is brought about when anyone chooses the path of being a disciple of Jesus. 

The disciple learns to look into the eternal timeframe.  Today’s events are not seen in terms of this life, but in terms of the eternal life that the Lord has promised to those who surrender to HIS authority in their life.  They are not living for comfort in this life, “take up his cross”, but are living to follow the example of their Master, and await HIS reward in eternity.

The  majority do not think this way.  The Lord said the path is narrow, and few are on it, that leads to the glory of eternal reward, instead of earthly reward.  HE asks if it is worth it?  What are you selling your soul for?   I thank HIM that HE led me see this life differently. 

When I was a youth I wanted to be “ruler of the world”, at least ruler of my world.  I had a plan, I would go to Berkeley, get a Business degree, go onto law school, and become a high-powered corporate lawyer.  I would use my speaking skills to make millions. The world would serve me.  Thanks be to God that HE changed my course in 1979.

That path was leading to destruction.  Perhaps it was even leading to an early death.  But HE pulled me out of that self-centered, and self-absorbed focus, and gave me a reason to live that enables me to look at stuff as just stuff.  

I am thankful that over time HE has provided for me.  While I have had times of unemployment, I never went begging for bread.  HE has always provided for the housing bills, and has allowed me to meet the mortgage payments, because HE had taught me that I did not need a monster house, even if the agent told me I could afford one.  HE taught me that it was HIM who provided for my family, not me.  HE, and not my employer, met my needs.  I thank him again this morning that HE taught me that HE is my true employer, and that my true employer was not the name on the paycheck.  I work for HIM, and to HIS standards, and my “employer” get the benefit of HIS high standards. 

Lord you are an awesome God.  And a patient God, as you do not give up on me when I lose my way, and focus on the stuff.  Thank you for bringing me back to you, in repentance, when I wander away.

Let me know this day, what it means to follow YOU.

Written by Justin Jelincic

April 28, 2010 at 6:27 am

Posted in Spiritual musings