I rarely repost my stuff, preferring instead to keep popping out fresh thoughts. Yet, this one from September of 2019 was brought to my remembrance today. Upon re-reading, it remains as relevant as ever in the current landscape…
Just some pondering over the many discussions of the last few days. I felt like sharing a poem or two, maybe an old post, was enough. God said otherwise. 😏 Actually, what I heard was when you’ve got an answer, don’t sit on it. Even if your voice is simply joining others saying the same, you never know who needs to hear it from you….
How do we fix society’s ills?
Give what you’ve been given for centuries.
Hurt for hurt. Pain for pain. It’s “Biblical”.
Forget trusting God who says “vengeance is mine”. We can’t wait or trust in His results.
Instead, we must nurse the rancor.
Build that festering wound of bitterness.
Blame whoever is handy, as if they possess the power all by themselves to heal what is actually a heart problem that goes on and on because of the disease of sin!
A disease we all carry! Not one is righteous! No, not even one!
That’s His words, by the way. Not mine.
But, ah, do we listen? Can anyone truly hear above the din of our own endless rhetoric slung back and forth?
Oh, we do hear the words. But, hearing and heeding are two different things.
Hearing without heeding does bring a reply. But, it often goes something like this:
No! the cry goes up in return to His voice. That can’t be right! We can’t all be guilty! That goes against the very fabric of our narrative!
We are the blameless put-upon! We can’t be part of the problem! It’s them. Not us!!
And so, in one fell swoop, ears turn to stone against His call to holiness.
We grab our band-aids in an attempt to stem the gushing wound of our debauchery to no avail.
Keep rallying the shouts there! comes the command. Shame anyone who isn’t properly towing the line or advancing the pre-approved agenda!
Throw a few bricks. Fling a molotov or two. Set some fires.
Doesn’t really matter where. Everywhere, after all, represents a place of oppression.
Shatter the glass holding you out.
Grab what you want or need.
Grab even if you don’t want or need it. Grab it because it’s theirs, but should be yours. Grab for anger’s sake because anger justifies all.
Bail out those who have committed lesser crimes, because why should they have to be held accountable for anything because those guys in blue are worse?
All guys in blue are worse!
It’s impossible to recognize the grievious fault in both sides!
Ruins the narrative!
You are either on one side or the other:
Cowering in an apologetic heap because of the color you were born as or lording it over others because of the same.
There is no room for pinpointing the harder truths, namely:
There is no fixing a mortal wound of bleeding morality with anything humanity can devise.
Only in Jesus Christ and Him crucified do we find the balm for all these ills we’ve wrought on ourselves.
We can talk a good talk about deeper regulations, further accountability.
The importance of voting in someone who cares.
We can claim turning our cities into war-zones will teach those who need to learn and right all the wrongs of generations long.
We can misquote previous leaders to apply their words to the agenda which suits.
And we can verbally browbeat all those who do not follow suit.
We can even claim God for our “side” and wave Him like a banner.
Consulting Him is often considered optional in such cases, of course.
Yes, we can do all that, but, not one bit of that will ever heal us. In fact, for quite a few of those things, they are destined to further harm us.
Oh, friends, I know so, so many are hurting. I know. I cannot offer much but to say and keep saying:
Only in Him. Only in deep, ongoing abiding in Him can we ever find healing!
Now, more than ever, salvation through Christ must be our answer.
The fix, if you will. The one and only fix.
I am praying it’s yours. Blessings to you and thank you for reading! Much love in Christ to you! ❤
If you have questions about salvation or anything else, email me-
Thanks to my dear brother-in-Christ David Ettinger for stirring my heart on the direction to head next here…
A very difficult matter in my soul.
Has been since I can remember.
Being a four-year-old girl and already so unsure of your world you don’t really let anyone in is not the sort of thing one likes to spend a lot of time talking over- though I have written of it in blogs and book past. 🙂 ( Hello, old friends. You might remember some places where I’m going to go. I’ll try to add fresh perspective here.)
I haven’t brought it up in this venture much yet for reasons I’ve alluded to before.
But, today, in participating in a great and challenging discussion about Joseph and his brothers, my heart felt a pull towards discussing a bit more about the issues of trust and forgiveness.
Particularly, how they have manifested in my forty-plus years experience on this earth.
So, for testimony’s sake…back to that little girl. I hope I can make this concise enough. So much to tell…
I can’t quite remember the first time my mother turned on the sudden switch and took out her displeasure on me verbally and physically.
That part of my past is more a patchwork quilt of living, ragged at the edges, wild, screaming colors representative of the tough days, some muted squares for the quieter ones.
All I knew was what the proverbial eggshells felt like to walk on from an early age.
I tried very, very hard to be as good and unobtrusive as I possibly could, tucking myself away with my older brother most of the time, asking for as little as possible.
Dancing lightly around the edges of the days she poured out unexpected affection, taking it as a momentary relief, but being sure to remind myself it wouldn’t last.
In the midst of all this, my dad was on the road working, home some weekends, very much aware of us and yet…not.
They’d take us to church a lot of Sundays, various non-denominational gatherings that leaned heavily on “experiential” services.
Somewhere in there I did hear about Jesus loving me. I prayed a sinner’s prayer once with a Sunday School teacher, a prayer I didn’t fully grasp then, other than that I was full of intense longing for this unconditional love thing they spoke of.
And wondering how it could possibly be real.
There wasn’t much discipleship to assist with that, honestly. Mostly, a confusing jumble of “laying on hands”, urging for the further “baptism in the spirit”, and the occasional Bible story from my dad when he could be home.
I wanted to believe this Jesus was doing a work in me, but, like most of my world, my understanding was just…unsure.
So, that is how I grew up, mostly ducking in the shadows. Not much changed for quite some time. By middle school, church was something fading from our world after a sour experience at our last go-around with attendance.
Sometimes, my dad would play a B.J. Thomas or Sandi Patti record and I’d hear God’s name. I’d remember He was supposed to love me. But, honestly, I struggled to feel it in the midst of the pain.
Thoughts of suicide crept in, though I can’t say courage to carry it out then was there. I really just wanted someone to see me. Anyone.
Then, low and behold, my parents started to go to a new church. Still very much in the charismatic vein, but, they didn’t make my brother and I go this time.
And something in those services resonated with my mom. We never sat down for a big conversation in those days, but, by the time I hit high school, the abuse began to fade away.
It was surprising, to say the least. Yet, I remained wary. The other shoe always, always dropped. If I put my guard down, she could blindside me.
However, my dad did finally persuade me to attend a few services for myself, hoping, I think, that this would help us all heal. My brother, for his part, was having none of it. Felt weird to break from my loyalest friend, but go I did.
Yet, where I so wanted this to be it for me, I couldn’t find my fit. Between the heartfelt worship still came too many unusual practices I could not figure out for the life of me.
Maybe it was doing my mom and dad good, I thought at the time, but not me ( Charismania is a whole other ball of wax for another post, by the way. I’ll delve into it further down the blogging road for any wanting a more detailed perspective.).
So, out of that came my “pinball” years, ricocheting from that bewilderment into the relationship that would become my first marriage, attending a few different types of churches with him, in some still feeling a disconnect, but one in which I can say Jesus did become real to me at last, thanks to some very loving mentors.
Forever grateful for the tender way they took a wounded girl and showed her the grace of the cross in a way no one ever had.
But, still, the man who’d be my first husband and I were prone to drifting and, honestly, dragging each other down. Egos and lack of trust kept getting in the way of growth in the Lord and in our relationship.
Eventually, after a few bounces, we began to give heart and soul into his desire for youth ministry, hoping that would give us much-needed stability.
But, three kids (one still in the womb) and nearly complete studies later, the strains of our all-too-often emotionally stunted existence had collapsed us.
He found comfort in someone else’s arms and the kids and I were left behind.
And a lance stabbed through my ability to trust in love once again.
Suicide’s dark spector revisited in earnest, but, blessedly, not for long. Because, Jesus was there, too. Only a whispered prayer away.
My desperate prayers, yes.
But not mine alone!
My mother and father were on their knees, too.
As well as by my side, scooping up the grandkids and me with more overwhelming love than I had ever known from them.
My wariness took time, but, finally, it began to melt away and forgiveness began to bloom.
Need has a way of threading together healing in broken hearts.
On this point, the story of Joseph and his brothers resonates with me.
“Though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good…” Gen. 50:20
For it was need that circled all the pain of those years back around and knit that family back together, too.
All those thousands of years ago, and God is still the same.
Still about the business of reconciliation-when we give our hurt over to Him.
If you find yourself hurting and just need someone to pray with you, send me an e-mail via the info page.
God bless you!
Forgive me for the potential crudity in the title.
I began writing this just after a conversation with fellow believers who said if certain people won our next election in this country, we are “screwed”.
I could have added a bit more finesse to my phrasing, I suppose, but, as it still suits my feelings, I’ll let it sit.
I’ll tell you I started off this post weeks ago. I was in a flurry of furious thought, frankly, burrowing through headlong when I suddenly found myself unable to finish.
I think it was mostly for fear it would all just become a means to sputter the bitter anger I was so troubled by.
However, after a few weeks reflection, I feel like I can prayerfully explore these thoughts.
So, back to the beginning.
They said, “We’re screwed.”
And my first thought was, “No… no, we’re not. God is in control.”
I said as much.
I’m not sure if I was really heard or not, to be honest. When folks are on a roll, they don’t tend to want to be stopped in their tracks. And their track that day was to shake a fist at society.
My assertion was like an unwelcome gnat to be brushed off. 😏
It’s not that I’m in love with the deteriorating morals on display in our current cultural climate.
Nor that I don’t care what goes on in this nation.
I most emphatically do!
To say we’re “screwed” is to dismiss the One who is ultimately and always in control!
And I can’t rightly reconcile myself to that, no matter how much some of my fellow believers seem to want me to fall apart with them.
It isn’t that it’s easy or going to get any easier if the trend towards anything-but-Christ continues.
But, didn’t He warn us of this very thing in His word?
I’ve been in 1st and 2nd Timothy again recently, reading of the difficult times to come.
Lovers of self, lovers of money.
Boastful. Arrogant. Disobedient.
Ungrateful, unholy, profane.
Looking to have their ears tickled.
One need only glimpse at headlines or, dare I say, glance about the neighborhood to find these things.
Difficult times? We’re there.
We’re getting deeper and *spoiler alert* going to keep getting deeper all the time.
At least until Jesus comes back to take His own. (Come quickly, Lord Jesus!)
Now, it isn’t that we should just resign ourselves and sit back with folded hands watching the evil unfurl in front of us like the late, late movie we’re repulsed with yet can’t look away from.
God does ask us to stand up, workmen that need not be ashamed. We absolutely must be about the business of standing for Christ.
But, what should that standing look like? 🤔
For, He also says He’s not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
My amplified Bible actually says: “sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control.] ” 1 Tim. 1:7
I think, at times, we sacrifice the calm for the storm.
Namely, the storming of social media with our angry words, the storming of the streets with our shouting matches, the storming of government institutions in our frenzied attempts to bend policy to our will.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Jesus preached for us to go stomping about like the Hulk, smashing whatever’s in our way, so consumed with our righteous indignation we’ve swelled ourselves beyond recognition.
Now, yes, I hear someone out there bringing up the moneychangers Jesus rather firmly chased out of the temple.
He wasn’t necessarily calm then, was He?
No…but, He was always in control.
Not the anger controlling Him, as we are so prone to do.
Because, where Jesus went in there, took care of business, and moved on, we struggle much with that particular ability.
For, we as humanity have this nearly insatiable hunger to take something and gnaw on it.
Regurgitate. And gnaw some more. 😛
Forgetting often to reflect what we are chewing on and whether it was even beneficial in the first place.
We tend rather to assume if its flavor seems reminiscent of the “correct” side, it must be okay to have swishing around on our tongues, never knowing the sweetness of the Lord was never even there.
And so, we wind up choosing the bitter gall of whipping each other into a state of dark outrage instead.
We say things like, “We’re screwed.”, polluting ourselves with the claim it’s fact, dismissing all the while the purity and refreshing to be found in trusting the Lord, come what may.
I know I can’t change how others feel nor the lens they might be viewing our present circumstances from.
Only Jesus can do that.
So, the best I know to do is keep living and sharing His truth, no matter how many times it may be brushed aside.
And, of course, pray for the souls in need- both those tangled up in this self-serving world and those who don’t even realize the knots of anger they’re in.
May we be mindful of how we speak and where our trust lies, Lord.