Dangerous Deconstruction

Hello, friends. Something on my brain I can’t leave alone.

Didn’t plan a post today but, hey, I don’t really plan them anymore, anyway. 😏

No. Instead, I find it best I wait on God to tug at my shirt sleeve a few (Ok. Sometimes several, depending on how stubborn I feel.πŸ™‚) times.

Ok. So…I have been reading an awful lot in recent times about an awful lot of well-known people who once claimed or still make attempts at a claim to Christ using the word “deconstruction” in regards to their faith, the latest being Kevin Max, formerly of my beloved mainstay, DC Talk.

Not that this sort of thing is new. I must recognize this has been the sort of statement he has been edging forward in more and more over the years, especially following the DC Talk years.

But, this most recent was perhaps the most discouraging yet. To say I am sad is an understatement.

Now, this sort of thing isn’t exactly new in any faction of society-just read Paul’s epistles if you think it is-but the recent rash of it seems to be becoming more and more inflamed.

Perhaps the 24 hour social media barrage does it.

Perhaps it’s the innate hunger of humanity to be heard on every last thought, or should I say to renounce every last thought that does not fit the cancel culture du jour…πŸ™„

At any rate, it can dismay the soul to the point of weariness when each news cycle seems to spring up with another in the body of Christ extracting themselves from the fold either blatantly or through the subtle lies of “progression”.

Especially when several of these folks are dear to me, either through music I was uplifted by, sermons once preached, or wisdom once imparted in the written word.

To hear that all that has gone before is now being shrugged off in the name of deconstruction?

It’s extremely deflating.

Now, I am no stranger to deconstruction-literal or spiritual.

As to literal, in his business, I have seen my husband take sledgehammers to walls, saw an ancient tub in two to unwedge it from a miniscule bathroom, gut entire kitchens, bring down (carefully) whole ceilings.

All in the name of making something new.

But, what he never does in remodeling is rip out the solid foundation.

Similarly, when it comes to faith, I have had to participate in my share of knocking out faulty walls and yanking out poor plumbing, for sure.

Growing up in the false doctrine of the charismatic church, there was a lot of stuff built up that had no business there!

And once I found those faults, took them to the Master Contractor, and questioned them, really questioned them, there was no turning back from total gutting of the mess made.

Deconstruction. No. Rather, reconstruction.

Complete rebuild of faith. It happens. It should happen-when it needs to happen.

But, the one thing He never said must be done away with is the solid foundation of Christ and Him crucified.

The core of faith, the Word and the truth there must remain for Him to rebuild upon. No compromises.

Because, you know what a compromise in construction is? Something that endangers the stability and durability of the whole structure!

And I think in there lies the difference between what the Lord did for me and what is happening with so many public figures in Christianity.

I will never ever regret taking those doubts to the Lord and letting Him have His way. I shudder to think what I might still be in the grips of  otherwise.

So…we all have doubts. I will never knock someone for admitting to them.

But-it’s what we then do with them that counts!

For, what is happening to so many of these folks, as well as many not in the media, is a removal from the  foundation the Lord intended for us.

It brings to mind 1 Cor. 3:11: “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Sometimes, it is an abrupt shift away following a period of relative obscurity, at least in our eyes, as we stumble on yet another article we thought we’d never read.

Other times, it is a very willful, in-your-face statement. Those often include not only the word “deconstruction”, but the word that I cringe at every time-“progressive”.

(Read: moral ambiguity, approval of all manners of sin, sexual and otherwise. Iffy on scripture. Path to salvation. Whether we should even talk about one way to heaven or the reality of hell.)

Oh, friends, this should not be! Progressing in that manner is not progressing at all!

In fact, whatever is built on such a foundation is doomed to fall!

So…what do we do? What is our part?

Well, firstly, a firm renouncing of such a “Christian” walk. That is a given, even if you thought this person was cool or taught you something valuable at one time.

Let people know that that “progressive” version of “following” Christ is not the Biblical version.

That following that “cool” person in the media down that path will only lead to a deconstruction that will devastate them in the end.

But, as you navigate that, you better make sure you don’t do it from a high horse or neglect recognizing your own failings or desperate need for a savior.

We must, even as we disavow certain things, do it humbly and prayerfully.

And keep these who have shifted from the foundation fast in our hearts, in hopes that they will find their way back.

Because I have to pray that Kevin, in all his introspection, will remember the words he once sang: “there ain’t no disguisin’ the truth”.

May we all remember this truth-of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the only path to salvation, the only covering for our sins, and the only way to live FREE of those sins.

With this our foundation and God our Master Contractor, what is built in us will stand the test of time. No deconstruction necessary. πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading, dear friends! Blessings and prayers!

The Simple Truth

Hey, there, dear friends. Been managing my thoughts fairly well with the strength of my patient heavenly Father to rely on. πŸ™‚ I have actually been able to push aside my own personal cares a bit more and renew concentration on other concerns.

I’ve been pondering a lot lately on how we as humans complicate the truth of salvation, in the world as well as the church. A few thoughts I jotted down in the last couple of days on the matter…

Found myself thinking on humanity today

And all the futile efforts ever on display…

There are so many complicated ways

We aimlessly strive for heaven.

So many foolish tries derived

From the devil’s crafty leaven!

And, yes, the unchurched is bogged by its fair share of cares,

But my musings are more than equally logged by

The church itself –

With its mangled thoughts and jangled “oughts”

They increasingly demand its people to bear.

And, oh, all the sins they no longer recognize

In their vain attempts to be “progressively” wise!

They shut their eyes to the Word of God

While evoking His name on paths both twisted and broad,

“Fixing” what needs not be fixed

While ignoring the rotting within the mix…

And, oh, the tragedy of trying our hearts out

To make our hearts right by ourselves!

We bend the beauty of salvation out of shape every time,

Presuming we know which way to climb,

Straining to reach heaven by our own deed,

With our sin-stained hands

Ever searching for the remaining

While the only thing required was done,

Already won

When the Lord took pity upon our need

And for us did bleed…

If only in all our dim thinking

Into that one untangled thought we’d truly delve!

We’d find the truth.

There’d be nothing left to prove.

If only we could surrender the notion

Of knowing better,

From the ugly claws of deception

We’d find ourselves finally unfettered!

Oh, teach our hearts to be so simple, Lord!

Help us each to take your

Uncomplicated offer on faith

And learn to rightly carry it forward,

Finding in You the endurance to stand,

Resting in the assurance of eternity’s hand.

A sweet guarantee indeed,

When once we see from all humanity’s been freed!

May we hold onto and hold out to others the simple truth of salvation in Christ! Blessings and prayers! Thanks for reading! ❀

“The Message – 4Him

Firstly, let me thank you, dear friends, for the prayers and support after I shared my struggles here last time we met.

There are things yet to sort through and only time will tell how my situation will progress, but I am seeing breakthroughs and finding avenues to express my concerns while keeping in mind the desire to minister.

Ok. So…onto what my title refers to. Here comes yet another group that anchored me in my teens and twenties…

Safe to say, if you haven’t figured it out already, I have always listened to a LOT of music-each with its own flavor. πŸ™‚

4Him captured my attention from the first time a cassette tape of “The Basics of Life” was played for me by a high school acquaintance. I just had to have my own copy, along with everything they produced thereafter.

The authenticity and passion combined with these four beautiful voices inspired my hunger for more of Christ. Every tune seemed to point the way and I eagerly followed.

I can well recall being up to wee hours devouring one book of my Bible after another while their music played in the background.

Sometimes, I could even be caught singing along. 😏

I still remember a time my dad was home from the road one night and embarrassed me to no end knocking on my door to tell me how neat it was to hear me singing along with those guys. Maybe it was also a kind hint I might dial down on volume, but, at any rate, I think it was the compliment that threw me. πŸ™‚

Oh, it’s a nice memory, to be sure.

I think it just felt like a very private session between me and God exposed for a minute there. My relationship with my folks was beginning to mend by then, but was still often uncertain, almost awkward.

Anyway…we did wind up having a brief but good chat about where my faith was heading. And I turned back to my music further bolstered ( and turned down the volume a touch.πŸ˜‰).

And so, I continued on. Grew up. Sort of….

And, over the years, through the numerous hills I climbed and valleys I found myself in, there were my many 4Him cassettes and CDs to hold onto, usually put in and cranked over the uglier noises in my world to stir my heart on (Maybe that accounted for my fixation with the volume…😏).

Now…when it comes to choice of song to best represent my love of 4Him to you, I am once again in such a quandary.

So many of their songs speak so much to me.

In the end, I went with what convicts my heart most at present.

For, in the end, whatever I am dealing with now and whatever comes down the pike later on, my heart is to live a message.

One of faith.

One of truth.

To make my life stand as this group’s name testifies to…

For Him.

Listen, be stirred, be inspired to live such a message.

Blessings and prayers, dear friends! ❀

Faith for the Ragamuffin

Hello, friends. So far so good for our college boy. πŸ™‚Mommy, however, is experiencing some unrelated kinks. A poem born from the trenches of this last week…

I think today

On the subject of faith.

And I have to wonder…

What have I to offer?

For my faith feels so meager most days, so frail-

Rags from a tattered old bag really.

Full of scraggly tears and gaping holes;

Not near enough to cover my sin-stained soul!

And I have to question-am I merely destined

To fall and to fail?

Oh, but when I know the Lord, friends,

Such queries, sooner or later, prove silly!

For I know His Word says

More than a conqueror I am;

Never forsake or leave me will He.

And to what do I owe this bright victory?

The fact His Son hung upon a tree…

For ragamuffin me.

And it’s sufficient, this infinite love

To stretch faith enough

To cover my weak humanity…

Praise God He covers us! May we embrace that fact as we navigate both the good and the tough days! Thanks for reading, friends! Blessings and prayers! ❀

These Are Big Days

Hello, my friends! It’s been a few again, hasn’t it?

I confess I have had somewhat a lack of inspiration lately-at least for my favorite deep, poetic word-painting.

Sigh.

It’ll return, I know. It always does.

But, just now, my mind is too stuffed to do more than simply unload.

Forgive me. πŸ™‚

A major part of that, I guess, is the busyness that has steadily crept up in my family of late.

These are big days in our corner of the world. Big days indeed.

Beautifully, dauntingly BIG.

For starters, our middle boy turned 16 late last month and the youngest turned 8 the other day.

Our fanfare may’ve been somewhat more limited than usual due to our country’s current circumstances, but both celebrations had their share of joy, pizza, and giant birthday cookie sugar rushes.😊

Now, we are poised for our only daughter’s 8th grade promotion-a tradition in our community that was delayed along with so much else, but, now, allowed to continue as a safe, masked affair. Grateful for creative minds making something important still possible for our kiddos.

And, perhaps the biggest of all, we recently got to have a safe, socially distanced high school graduation for my oldest.

He will be off to college this very weekend, as it’s rather pertinent his engineering studies remain actually hands-on in classroom.

I am certainly feeling the emotions of this poem I shared earlier this year, let me tell you!

We have actually seen shifts in venue, shifts in decisions, shifts in circumstances even since then, but with equal measures nerves and excitement, ready he is to walk through the doors God has opened.

Ready are they all for various launches and changes.

And my husband and I?

Ah, jury’s still out, honestly! πŸ˜‰

Hard to believe so much is happening so swiftly!

My adorable bonus baby born of my second chance is now only two short years from double digits!

My sweet consolation prize autistic beauty is heading for high school!

My middle boy, my astonishingly mature little rock, is two short years from a graduation of his own!

And my eldest-this brilliant, oft-baffling one who started this whole crazy, amazing journey into motherhood in general and on the autism spectrum specifically, is fully adult and preparing to fly. 😒

It takes the breath and any attempt at adequate words, my friends.

I am by turns proud and terrified.

The wheels in my brain roll to this concern and that thrill.

This hope and that fear.

This coming into their owns in this turbulent season alone is enough to set the mind reeling. 😳

At times, it even momentarily paralyzes me with a dozen tasks yet in hand!

But, then, in the midst of that comes the gentle reminder from the Father to place my reliance on Him.

He who wraps us all in His hands.

And I can push forward with that knowledge, then, keeping my step in time with His, trusting that He who began a good work in each of my dear ones will be faithful to complete it…

He can do no less, after all. He’s God. πŸ™‚

And, so He will do the same for us all, friends, when we rest in Him. Thanks for letting me unload a bit about our big days. Blessings and prayers! ❀

Thought I’d share a few photos for a change…

P.S. Something else big- I noted I have made it past the one year mark with this particular blogging effort and have yet to want to close up shop and run. 😊 Believe me when I say that is HUGE for me! Thank you so much for being an integral reason I have had this breakthrough, dear friends! I pray we can continue to have many years of fellowship to come!❀❀❀

Pastor Don is Free!

Well, here we are, friends. Mere weeks from the beginning of my request for prayer to this moment I honestly thought I’d dread to report.

And yet…it does not speak well of the body of Christ nor the glorious truth of life eternal to approach this with dread.

So, rejoicing through the tears, I will just say that at 2:40 pm, our dear Pastor Don left this earth.

He leaves behind his wife, Deb, and three grown children-Michael, Andrew, and Michelle.

They are blessed to know he is pain-free and waiting for them on the other side, but, of course, will sorrow in this separation, temporary though it may be.

They will treasure any prayers offered for them.

And, may it be noted for those of us privileged to have known him, he also gave us the gift of both a legacy of faith and a humble determination to lift the name of Jesus high.

Lord, may this inspiration continue to serve me well.

I appreciate so much the uniting of your prayers with ours. It has been such a comfort to know where we are separated by miles, we are near in our hearts, thanks to Christ.

Blessings and prayers. ❀

Still King

Hi, there, dear friends! On this Palm Sunday, I felt the urge to carve out at least a little time on here forΒ  one of my dearest loves-poetry.

I admit I haven’t been able to tinker around with it near as much as I’d like lately. But, it’s okay. It’s necessary. And life on the homeschool front does have its joys! Really does!

Yet, the fact is, life looks so…different right now. So simple yet somehow more complex-on a whole different plane.

We are all well in my household, praise God. Still, there is much upheaval, much uncertainty-that which I know most all of us are facing in one way or another.

But, now more than ever,Β  my heart mustΒ declare-Β this truth remains. Jesus is still Jesus…

 

 

Still King

Walls rise between.

Isolation becomes the theme.

At a time when we most crave the comfort

Of another human soul,

Sickness steals the effort;

Hands must still, relinquish all the control…

Oh, uncertainty!

That which lurks unrestfully in the morning breeze…

So easy it would be

To simply sink into this haunting anxiety,

Or numb ourselves to hopeless apathy.

As the news scrolls

The seemingly unending tolls

Where lies our heartsong?

Is it lost in the desperate, teeming throngs?

Where is that which in our utter weakness

Can make us ever strong?

Oh, not in ourselves by any means,

Despite the empty promises to which we cling…

No…those sort of actions are none but a smoke screen…

Here’s the realΒ thing.

Jesus is for once, for only, and still Β The King ofΒ Kings!

Not a wall can hold the truth

Of hosannas loudly echoing-

“Save us now! ” we cry.

And when we believe that He can,

This humble, this righteous King-

That He hasΒ 

For all time,

That is where we will find comfort

That can ever withstand.

And strength where distance exists not

As He holds us each in His capable hand….

 

Know that today and always, dear friends! Blessings and prayers to you! Appreciate the read! πŸ™‚β€

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Story (A Reblog)

Hi, friends! I know this is unusual for my posting schedule ( do I really have one? πŸ€”) and style, but there are times God sets a person or a story or both in your path that is a bit different yet so relatable, you simply must break with the usual to see where He wants to take you.

Sarah Walton is such a person with such a story.

From the pain of chronic illness to the struggle of raising special needs to the pinch of major financial need- and maintaining faith in the Lord all the while, this story echoes with amazing familiarity in my heart.

Firstly, if you are not following her blog, Set Apart, I highly recommend it!

I leave every post so blessed by the honesty and Godly wisdom.

Secondly, she and her husband, Jeff, have a wonderful-sounding book coming out shortly. I eagerly await the opportunity to read it! Follow the link to find out more…

https://wp.me/p5exjO-1B7

I know my reach is fairly small potatoes to the world’s eye, but I trust the Lord will help take this where it needs to go.

Prayers and blessings, dear friends! If you feel so led, pass the word on…

Winepresses We Hide In

This is sort of a reworking of a poem from about 14 years ago. I originally wrote it after picking through some of the Bible stories of the unlikeliest He called, including Gideon. I wrestled much with doubt then. My faith has been mightily stretched, of course, but I can admit thoughts written long ago still echo through the here and now

Sometimes, I feel like Gideon,

Crouched down in the winepress,

Hiding out,

Quaking with anxiety.

I’ve never seen an angelic guest,

I confess,

Nor do I ever find myself with

Much wheat to thresh, 😏

Yet, there is a something in the

Story there

That sounds such a

Recognizable ring

Through the air…

Perhaps it’s his utter smallness,

From birth order to clan,

That meets me where I live,

Connects to where I am.

Perhaps it’s the “Who, me?”

Manner,

An imagined incredulity at the

Idea of “valor”

Which tends to give to my soul

A nod of familiarity.

Between us lies years and

Obvious difference in

Circumstance,

Yet, in feelings?

I suspect there ‘s very little

Disparity.

For, I can well picture

My questioning heart here,

My begging for just one more

Fleece, please,

To alleviate my fear.

I can feel the wonder

As the odd proceedings

Prove might is not in man

And it’s His truth which sends

Doubts and enemies asunder.

I can only pray my faith keeps on

Gathering

And my growth in Him becomes

More than a mere smattering.

For though my battle be

Not with a Midian horde,

Nor my weapons broken jars,

Torches, or ram’s horns,

That which I march into

Is a trust walk nonetheless,

Numbers with me modest,

And my tendency is to the flesh.

Yet, I know that I know

He meets us

In every winepress we hide in.

And, oh-so-patiently,

He lifts us beyond cowering dust

To call out a depth of courage

We didn’t know was within….

May we step out of our respective winepresses and approach each battle with faith and courage in the Lord, especially as a new year prepares to unfold! Blessings and prayers to you, dear friends! ☺