Friday, October 12, 2012

The Spirit is always trying to teach (Just a thought...)

My friend and pastor writes a weekly email to encourage others he's met over the years. I think they are always great.  This one I thought was especially nice.

It doesn’t matter what stage we are in, unbeliever, new born believer, adolescent, or spiritual adulthood, God the Holy Spirit is relentless.  We have to respect this ministry.  If you haven’t given much attention to Him, take a moment to think about His job.  The Spirit finds us in spiritual death, totally cold and ignorant of the spiritual realities before us.  We have no idea about salvation or the way to get there.  He labors with us, is patient with us, He loves us enough to keep at it until we finally understand the true issues of the gospel.  A good illustration of this is in the Apostle Paul’s life.  He screamed out in desperation and helplessness – “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24).  The Spirit labored with Paul to get him to this point.   It was then, the Holy Spirit opened Paul’s eyes to see the Savior of the world.  I trust you can see the Savior as the only hope, the only way to life.  Then, the Holy Spirit takes up the battle of training us and introducing us to this new spiritual life.  His job is to battle with the thoughts and motivations from the sin nature (Gal 5:17).  He fights to establish the divine reality (truth) and influences us to walk in it.  He uses the word of God to rebuke us, correct us and give instruction in righteousness (2Tim 3:16).  He continues to work in us to will and to do God’s will (Phil 2:13).  He resides inside of us, making our bodies a habitation for all the divine persons of the Godhead.  Then, he reveals the deep thoughts of God to us and opens our understanding to things which no eye or ear has ever witnessed.  I thank God for such a ministry!  With such comprehensive love and care, there is no doubt if you are willing, “he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). 

Doug Presley, Pastor, 
Word-is-Truth Christian Church (

My Facebook post today is VERY different than her's were

Probably the saddest thing I've read in a while. Sad, too, is the fact that this is lumped into 'bullying' in this news story. It didn't start with bullying, and it didn't stop there either.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Seek, and You Shall Find

The gaps between posts on this blog are like canyons in my mind.  I set out years ago to express the lessons I had learned and was learning in this life.  But, in looking back at this blog objectively, I would have figured the author is pretty ignorant because it's taking months to 'get' anything.  In addition, he doesn't know the focus of his lessons.

Ah, but that is not really what's happening.  To me, scattering thoughts is okay.  The fact of the matter is I have so many things to say I don't know where to start.  Yeah, you've heard that one before, right?  ("No! Really!" I plead.)  What I should be doing is writing to this blog several times a day!  (But who's got that kind of time!)  Much of the reason for not writing is lack of time.  However, I admit that some is hesitation from fear.

Part of my hesitation to write is fearing that once it's written, it's a firm lesson.  I can't make mistakes.  I may have to defend my thoughts years down the road.  I can't contradict my thoughts unless I delete a previous blog post first.

The other part of my hesitation is two-fold: is it important, and is it private?  Those are tough questions for me.  I often wind up writing a paper-journal entry and forgetting this blog because I sometimes start by complaining about a situation at home or at work.  I can't complain about my wife and kids in this blog, can I?  Gee!  Even revealing that I journal about such things feels icky!

But, there is a very, very important lesson that I have learned and am learning that I want to share.  I've been through a lot.  I want to connect to people who might be suffering as I did.  I'm changing.  I want to share my growth with readers as a way to inspire in a similar way that I've been inspired.  Most of all, I'm seeking.  I long to know my heart's desire(s) and go after it (them). 

I'm awfully distracted by the necessary things of this world --I have responsibilities-- yet I'm discovering my real desire is to delight in Him, God, my Father.  To me, Psalm 37:4 is circular:

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 ESV)

At the same time, chasing and even grasping things of this world is becoming more and more meaningless.  I want real joy, and real peace, and real contentment in all things.  I have found words that promise this very thing in Scripture, the Holy Bible, but not as commonly taught in most denominations.  I know there is so much more to the "unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8) than what is taught in most churches. 

Many things, such as the 'prosperity gospel' (think and grow rich, the 'Secret', the 'law of attraction' view of the universe as your genie, positive thinking, etc.) are so cliche to me that they fall into the 'Christian World View' bucket with a plop.  I'm sorry, but I'm convinced that there's so much more to life than just getting by, getting ahead, family traditions, celebrations, work, career, routine, entertainment, the arts, self-actualization, being an upright moral citizen, and even Haute Living.  This world is a big let-down for me, and now I'm understanding why.

I've been through a lot spiritually.  I've tasted different denominations, read commentaries, even studied a bit of theology on my own.  I am amazed at how little of this plethora of so-called 'Christian' resources actually seeks to discover what only the Spirit of God can reveal, that is, the 'deep things of God' (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).  Yet, that's where I'm discovering the very promises of Scripture are being fulfilled in me.

Am I some kind of nut?  Depends who's asking!  Sometimes I think I'm nuts, and sometimes I have to respectfully ignore those who think I'm nuts.  It's the latter times I find that I'm growing, maturing.  In addition, I seek to connect with those who also desire to know the deep things of God.  Sometimes, I'm just doing what I have to do, like now: I have to go to a meeting for work.

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1-2)

God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Friday, September 28, 2012

To Obey is Okay, To Honor is...

A friend sent me this in his daily verse: Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. (Psalm 51:12 NLT).

I don't particularly like the NLT translation and prefer the ESV, and occasionally reference the KJV or NIV and a few others.  The ESV translation of the latter part of that verse is "uphold me with a willing spirit" instead of "make me willing to obey you." I think it goes much deeper than mere obedience. You can obey someone without ever having a relationship with someone.  I think it's more about having a spirit that joins together with the Spirit of God in His purposes. I was motivated to write back...

For family devotion one night, I decided to start with a question. What does the word 'honor' mean to you? The first answer I got was 'respect' from my son, and 'appreciation' (big word!) from my daughter, and my wife added 'revere'.  Then, I suggested that to 'obey' just means to do what you're told and they nodded in agreement. We could clearly see that 'honor' was not the same as 'obey'.

Next, I read Ephesians 6:1-2* and pointed out that while Ephesians 6:1 says for children to 'obey' parents, Ephesians 6:2 says to 'honor your father and mother'.  Obviously, the two adjacent verses were not merely emphasizing the same point, as if to say, "obey and I mean it."  Rather, it means to at least obey (v1), but the real goal is to honor (v2).

I think about our Father that way.  There is a goal and it is not merely to obey.  He wants to have a relationship with us.  He loves us, absolutely adores us, and He wants us to choose to love Him in return. As a child, simple obedience is required for their protection and training.  As we mature, let us move beyond that into honor, and eventually delight, just as He delights in us.  (Remember, as Christians, He is 'in us' by His Spirit, not just 'in our midst' like He was in the OT, from which this verse is taken.)

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

* The verse I reference above is: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother", (Ephesians 6:1-2a)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Good grief! What if he's right?

I like to stay in touch with what unbelievers are thinking.  An excellent source and, I feel, a very well written one at that, is a magazine called "The Sun".  Personally, I can relate to many of the stories, letters, and essays, and, because of them, I'm inspired to be genuine myself.

It is one thing to know that we are loved, whatever, whenever, and wherever we are, as Alan Knox stated so thoroughly in his blog.  But I believe it's quite another to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge in our hearts so well that others unmistakeably see Christ in us.

From the May 2012 issue of The Sun, the author is largely expressing the confusing disparity, resulting in an internal struggle, between tolerating and taking care of her terminally ill mother. Some of what's tolerated is the apparent hypocrisy of a church-goer, her mother, when she's not at church.

Speaking of a possibly convicting sermon, where the reaction is one of, "Good grief! What if he's right?" The author supposes that negative things carried for family generations can come to an end via a little applied compassion --

    "or,  if you know full well you're not up to the job [of forgiving people, and forgiving yourself], get down on your knees and let Jesus do it for you.  That is the arrangement that's on offer, if I've got the story right.

    All of a sudden church is over. These people! They grab you by the throat and wave God in your face, they preach damnation and everlasting glory, then they dismiss you just like that. That's it. We're done here. Go have lunch.

    At the door the preacher shakes our hands like we've made a deal, like we've each gotten rid of something we were glad to see the back of.

Dear Lord, let me be sure that is not the impression I leave as I encounter those who are struggling with real life issues, and are seeking a genuine answer, an answer only You can provide.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beyond Salvation

Alan Knox said in his blog, The Assembling of the Church, that his church was soon going to study the book of Ephesians. In that regard, did anyone have any favorite verses to share?  Well, I had more than a verse is mind.  This is the comment I left...

I love this book! How do I pick a favorite verse or even a phrase? It's the whole thought and intent I love: the mystery of the gospel made known to Paul by special revelation, not known to other generations, and now revealed to us.

What is this 'mystery of the gospel', or 'the mystery of His will'? Isn't salvation the greatest gift there is to know? No! Neither was salvation a mystery not revealed to other generations. Is it that by grace we have been saved and not of works? No! Far from it! Rather, it is what is now available to those who are saved in this church age.

Through salvation, we already have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. It can't be that. Through salvation, we are already seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. It can't be that. Through salvation, we already have redemption in His blood, forgiveness of our trespasses. It can't be those either.

Then what?! What could possibly be more than salvation by grace while we're still on earth and awaiting our heavenly bodies and inheritance?! Is it merely that we love each other and worship God? What a privilege, but no, it is not those either.

This is what... and it is far MORE abundantly than ALL we could possibly ask, think, or imagine!  It is the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and fullness of God! It is to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge! It is that Christ will dwell in our hearts through faith, and we will be filled with His indwelling Spirit. It is that He will manifest Himself in us!

Perhaps all these things are summed up in this verse: "This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32 ESV)"  It is through this profound mystery that we grow up in Christ, that we mature and move beyond the milk of the word and sink our spiritual teeth into the meat of the word.  If it were just salvation, it wouldn't be profound unless we artificially inflated it.

Don't take the verses out of context. Don't read the verses in this book quickly and say, "I know that already." Instead, let us humble ourselves and be as nothing, so that He may exalt us at the right time. It's ALL about Him! Let Christ and His Father come and make their home in our hearts! Amen!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fast Food Faith Fighters

[Edited 3/21/2017 because it sorely needed it.]

Grab a cause, any cause! Whatever you do, don't just sit there and enjoy your food.

Here's my dilemma. Apparently, I'm pro-gay marriage/anti-Christian if I eat Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked ice cream. But, I'm anti-gay marriage/pro-Christian if I eat at Chick-fil-A. Well, I hate to disappoint your club membership drives, but I'm just trying to enjoy a treat.

What am I supposed to do? Blog, of course!

oh... seems others beat me to it.  Oh well.

Yeah, it was a popular topic for a while. I'd left a comment on one blog. A friend on Facebook 'Liked' the blog, so I just had to read it. But after I read it, I didn't like the triviality of judging others and dividing left and right. At first, when I heard about all these restaurant sit-ins, it sounded fun! Only it wasn't meant to be fun. These people were serious!

To me, there's something way more important than these issues, your soul. Our souls. Maybe if you just read my comment you'll get what I mean... 

My Blog Comment: As Christians, we have a singular responsibility, and it does not have to with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Chick-fil-A, sexual preference, or even someone’s personal sin-of-choice. That singular responsibility is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who need to hear it, with all gentleness and reason. 

Who needs to hear the Gospel? Anyone who doesn’t know it, whether straight, gay, lesbian, single, thief, slanderer, liar, sexually immoral, baptist, reformed, Unitarian, Catholic, those living their best life now, etc. If they don't know it, they need it, and just because they go to church or call themselves ‘spiritual, but not religious’ doesn’t automatically mean that they know it. 

The Gospel is not even about personal sin; we sin because we have a sin nature. We have a sin nature because God condemned us in Adam.  When the Bible lists the symptoms of those who won’t enter Heaven, it includes everyone except those who have been saved by believing in Christ. Excellent article! Excellent reference to John 3:17!  Read John 3:16 again, but also include John 3:18 and discover why those who were condemned in Adam remain so. 

(PS – In addition to this responsibility, our primary goal, the race set before us, is to mature as Christians, so that Christ can manifest Himself in us. John 14.)

I don't know when, but my blog comment was either not accepted or it was removed. Shame. The blog was I had never heard of Freedom Church and really have know no idea what they teach or believe beyond this article.

My point is this: I don't care about what you eat. I care about what's in your heart.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Toast to... Wait, Why Are You Doing This?

Ever hear of Toastmasters?  It's an international organization ( that let's local club members develop speaking skills by giving them a structure in which to support each other in that regard.  That's my definition anyway.  Read the website for a formal definition and extra resources.

Membership comes with a 'Competent Communicator' workbook that steps the new speaker through ten projects, each a different speech, that focus on specific speaking skills.  The first lesson is called the ice breaker, because the simple focus is just to get in front of people and speak.  The topic is about yourself, something you should be very familiar with.

The second speech is about organizing your speech into sections, such as having a distinct Opening, Body, and Conclusion, with the Body consisting of directly related assertions and supporting material.  I have 5-7 minutes to deliver this speech.  My club lets me go over the time limit a little, but discourages me from doing so.  In an official Toastmasters speaking contest, I would automatically be disqualified if I went over 7 minutes.  My total speech time was clocked at about 6 minutes and 10 seconds during practice and came in at about 6 minutes and 20 seconds during our club meeting. (It's always a little longer than I expect.)

Here is the entirety of my speech written out for your edification, entertainment, and education.  I hope the theme question inspires you, which is the real reason I decided to post this speech.  As usual, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment.  Thanks!

Speech #2 “The Wake-up Call” – 5 to 7 minutes

A. Opening – 1 minute

Some time ago, I checked into a hotel, got settled in my room, and called the front desk for a wake-up call at 6am. The next morning at 6am the phone rang. I figured it was my wake-up call, but I answered it anyway out of habit. It was my wake-up call alright. After I said, “Hello,” the voice on the other end asked, “What are you doing with your life?” I’m up!

Actually, someone really did ask me a question that was truly my wake-up call. This question came years ago from a friend I met at a Bible study that I attended, and it continues to challenge my spiritual growth to this day. That question was, as I asked myself, “Why I you believe what I believe?” I would like to challenge you with the very same question in hopes that it invigorates your personal growth. Why do you believe what you believe?

B. Body – 4 to 5 minutes

The great ancient philosopher Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I don’t think I’d go that far, but there’s certainly more to life than simply increasing its speed or complexity.

For me, examining my life meant that I needed to discover the real reasons why I did things. I realized that most of my actions were based upon what I believed to be true. But why did I believe those things?

In that respect, are you examining your own life? Have you even thought of examining your own life?

Upon examination, you may discover, just like I did, that you have long believed, acted on, and depended on things that you only assumed to be true. Are you, like most of us, susceptible to ‘herd-mentality’ or ‘group-think’ and blindly following the traditions or habits of others? Perhaps, it’s more likely than you think.

How much of what you believe is based on previous generations of family , and yet you’ve never asked, “Why do we do that?” or seriously sought out an answer? Are your beliefs based on the beliefs of a culture that you’re associated with, no matter how shallow that association? Do you follow the ebb and flow of popular fads, the customs of your society, or even scientific progress, without even asking why?

How many people here believed in the Tooth Fairy? Did it ever occur to you at that time to ask why you believe in the Tooth Fairy? No, of course not! Your own parents may have just been carrying on a cute tradition from previous years. Yet, didn’t your actions and attitudes change when you no longer believed?

Well, life is no Tooth Fairy. But I’m sure, just like me, there are actions and habits you want to change.

It made sense to me that life was about much more than just working, playing, eating, sleeping, and pooping. More important than recognizing what I believed, was understanding why I believed it.

What beliefs do you want to strengthen, such as firmly understanding just how precious and beautiful you really are? Or, what beliefs do you want to weaken, such as a fear of failure, or even just the inability to be truly content with where you are? If you want to change, and not everyone does, then pay real close attention to the origin of your beliefs.

No matter where you are in life, there’s always room to grow, and that’s a good thing! Your journey through life could become more, maybe a lot more, wonderful, amazing, rewarding, and genuinely soul-satisfying. Perhaps, your life itself could have more life in it! Is the examined life worth that?

Let’s make it a positive statement. Instead of saying, “the unexamined life is not worth living,” let’s say, “the examined life leads to abundant living.” Personally, I believe in Jesus Christ who said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly,” and “Out of their hearts will flow rivers of living water.”

To me, those are beautiful thoughts and beliefs to hold onto tightly that have gone through the scrutiny of self-examination. I know why I believe those things. The question is, “Why do you believe what you believe?” What do you firmly believe and have no shadow of a doubt as to why you believe it? What beliefs do you truly own?

A. Conclusion – 30 seconds

Make my wake-up call your wake-up call, and answer it when it rings. Ask yourself, and seek earnestly and often, to discover why you believe what you believe. The answers might not only surprise you, but delight you as well.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What is THIS thing called, Love?

For a moment, forgetting the challenge of reflecting intonation in writing. I attempt to ask, which is the proper question? "What is THIS thing called, Love?" Or, "What is this thing called 'LOVE'?"  I first heard the former question from a comedian pretending to allude to something private. The implication is that it should, of course, be the latter usage that is appropriate.  I still chuckle at the pun. Then again...

When I was in my late teens, I did some not-so-nice things.  In my late-twenties and early-thirties, I heard about Positive Thinking. Now, as a 'certain amount of time has passed,' I fully believe in the Lord.  I believe and trust that scripture is the Word of God as He chose to reveal Himself. I also came to believe that Positive Thinking isn't necessarily obsolete for a Christian.  Consider this...

We are encouraged to engage in a form of 'Positive Thinking' in scripture.  Take the book of Philippians, verse 4:8 (ESV), which says (enumeration mine):
"Finally, brothers,
1) whatever is true,
2) whatever is honorable,
3) whatever is just,
4) whatever is pure,
5) whatever is lovely,
6) whatever is commendable,
7) if there is any excellence,
8) if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things."

I must say it sounds lovely (#5) just to be told to think about these things!  Gladly!! You got it! But, as I began to ponder, I find the exercise is not so easy. Rather than immediately dreaming and beaming, I find myself asking:

1) What is true?
2) What is honorable?
3) What is just?
4) What is pure?
5) What is lovely?
6) What is commendable?
7) Is there is any excellence?
8) Is there is anything worthy of praise?

I find, then, that the question that is the subject of this post is, in fact, appropriate after all. "What is THIS thing called, Love?"  I would LOVE to solicit feedback from you the reader before I expound upon my ponderations. Any takers?

Friday, February 17, 2012

When I Don't Know What to Write, I Read What I Wrote

When I don't know what to write, I read what I wrote. When I read what I wrote, I'm amazed at how enthusiastic I was about writing.

Yet, I notice huge gaps of time between my posts on this blog. Huge gaps! My introduction to 'Write to Heal', for example, made it sound like I was going to write every few minutes. But, I did not, as evidenced herein.

Why not? Four reasons stand out:
  1. I don't know what to write, 
  2. I write elsewhere other than this blog, 
  3. I'm not making and taking the time to write, and 
  4. I'm embarrassed that my journey through life and Christianity isn't perfected and I will be judged by those who know me. This is a big one and a reason for the others.
I do believe what I have to say will resonate with a few. There will be those who appreciate what I've written and shared. Therefore, I'm encouraged and I write.

But, those few are not likely to be the ones most vocal in my life. Rather, it's my perceived judgment of this latter group that scares me. I fear being honest and vulnerable in my writing because I fear repercussions. It keeps me from writing personally and genuinely because I'm too busy validating my own shame based on someone else's opinion of me.

Yet, as time goes by, each day, I realize more fully that I am in Christ, and Christ is in me, and the Father is me, and I am in Him just as Christ is in Him and He is in Christ.

In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

The good news is I've gone through various worldly disappointments. I had hoped for deeper earthly acceptance and greater success, but I'm met with little, by worldly standards anyway. This is indeed "good news" because I've learned and still learn not to put my hope and trust in the world.

I've come to accept circumstances that were out of my control, instead of trying to force my preferred result. I've come to accept people for who they are, and acknowledge my inability to change others, instead of trying to force my thoughts, methods, and standards on them.

I thought I needed to be treated a certain way in order to feel loved. I needed to hear my love language spoken. The silence, however, has made me realize, more than anything, that real love comes from God, and I find love in what I give, rather than what I get.

Familiar with Psalm 23? If not entirely, I've pasted it below. 

I'd like to focus on just a tiny phrase of just one verse for now: my cup overflows. Here's the ironic thing I learned about love; I feel loved when I love others from a pure heart, and I am able to love others from a pure heart because God first loved me.

Therefore, I've learned, rather, am learning, imperfectly, to seek God first. Know Him. Pray to Him. Treasure His precious words of revelation to me in scripture.

Let His words be my, and your, 'Revelations For Life'. Amen!

Psalm 23:1-6

A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reflection Time!

“It is not about me!” I found myself repeating that phrase to myself a few times on Saturday, my birthday. What a depressing weekend! It started off great at Men’s Bible Study, but went downhill fast when my wife and I started talking about budget-related items. Earlier, the Bible Study leader had invited us to attend a Couples Dinner at the church that evening. We went, almost reluctantly. Bruce McCracken gave an introduction to his Seasons of Marriage weekend seminar. It was convicting at a time I didn’t want it.

Sunday was even worse. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone, and mostly didn’t. By nighttime, my wife thought I was mad at her, even though I told her how I felt during our little break between Sunday school and morning service at our church (a different one): depressed, like a huge disappointment to my family, and slight headache. I don’t know what to think now. But this is certainly not the time to bring up issues either. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. (This was written yesterday, 2/13.)

“Whether I feel like it or not…” is probably an applicable phrase for me in many respects. “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her… whether you feel like it or not.” “Be anxious for nothing… whether you feel like it or not.” “Pray without ceasing… whether you feel like it or not.” “Confess your sins… whether you feel like it or not.” “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect… whether you feel like it or not.” “Love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength… whether you feel like it or not.” “Love your neighbor as yourself… whether you feel like it or not.” Let feelings be the result, not the motivation. Let His love be the driver.

It complements my earlier statement, “It’s not about me!” But I should not leave it there. It is about Christ! His love will motivate me! Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, but be filled with the Holy Spirit. I love because He first loved me.

Therefore, I am able to love my wife, children, in-laws, regardless of the love I receive back from them. God has pasted the “Here You Are” label to my life and, just as the kid looking at the museum directory sign, I should be astonished that He knows this, and rest in the comfort of His provisions graced to me in my present circumstances.

I should also keep in mind how I would want to evangelize to others. I want to show my reasonableness, Christ’s love, and His assurances. It would be stupid to start with condemnation, commands, and judgments. Yet, that is exactly what I do with my own family: condemn, command, and judge. “Come to me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls,” says Jesus. Lead others to His gentle ways.  Let them find rest for their weary souls in Him.

Lastly, just because I don’t feel it doesn’t mean it’s not real. There was a time that His word did not make sense to me. But it was very real nevertheless. Be real. Be genuine. Be useful to Him. Do not bury my talent. Love others with His love, not my own. Soak and baste in His love, then I will have more than enough to give away, and find I love others whether or not I feel loved by them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Love is Given Me

My love is like a rose;
...a rose.

I've been given who I am;
...I am!

Yet no one asks, who knows;
...who knows?

What's with the spotless lamb;
...Spotless Lamb!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Right With God

At the end of another Al-Anon meeting, we would all stand in a circle, hold hands, close our eyes, bow our heads, and clearly articulate The Lord's Prayer, King James version.  It was a good meeting. I cried at one point because I heard my story. Someone knew my pain. Emotional and spiritual were closely linked experiences, in my mind. Capped off with our usual ending, I used to think that's what made me right with God.