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! ❀

A Better Gratitude

Hey, there, friends! Gratitude on the brain for obvious reasons, but also in how it relates to how we spend our precious time-on what and, especially, on Who. Too much is wasted on futile pursuits and disputes, not near enough on sharing the good news of His love. Or, on the sometimes very necessary silence we ought to have before Him.

Time.

It ticks on, draws taut,

Gratitude all but forgot

As we all scramble to do what we think we ought.

Yet, minutes, precious and few,

Are too often frittered away

As comes forth from us the

Sad and endless spew.

Maybe if we all just for a while STOP THE TALKING,

The incessant talking,

The insistent, the maddening, elbow-jabbing bicker

And show even just the tiniest flicker

Of a Christ-like recognition for others,

Let His love truly be our ignition in

How we relate to one another,

Perhaps there could be less seconds

Shed like water down the proverbial drain

And instead the mindless jabber could

Bend

To become a much sweeter, more

Purposeful refrain…

Or maybe even, dare I say a blessed

Silence

When with Him we are at last in twain?😏

Ah, but is this hope of mine

None but a wistful dream?

Looking around at ever errant

Humanity’s darkening signs,

So it would seem…

Yet, I know a God who is greater than

We deserve

Who amazingly is yet extending to us

A grace we could never earn!

And patiently He seeks to guide us in

A better gratitude,

To infuse our attitude with the

Promise of life eternal,

To grow in us a beautiful garden from

A single willing kernel.

Would that we would pay heed to His

Instruction

Before we reach that final junction!

For time spins ever forward,

Well-spent or no.

May we still our wandering

Voices,

To Him look toward…

Tune our thoughts to become

Mindful of our forevers

And our choices,

And let the cross alone point which way to go…

Blessings and prayers on your Thanksgiving, friends! This year proves to be different but all the more reason to be mindful! ❀

What a Friend

Hey, friends. Lots of thoughts rolling.

Some on the cusp of creation; some more fully formed but not just there yet.

Some honestly rather heavy.

Heavy but, admittedly, necessary.

Example: the news daily brings us countless reminders of the temporary nature of fame, fortune, and the like.

Worldly accomplishments beckon us here on earth yet they still shift and blow away sooner or later, much like the foolish man’s house on the sand…

For nothing comes with us-not a guitar prowess or a cool rep or or a knowlegable facade.

Not even our own “niceness”.

No…nothing but our faith we carried in life.

Now, it might be faith in a thing.

A person.

Our own abilities.

Our bank account.

Or-prayerfully-it will be in Jesus Christ alone.

For those whose faith proved futile, unfortunately, all that awaits is a darkness beyond darkness-an eternal separation from God.

A hard truth indeed!

But, for those who have trusted Christ alone for salvation, there is an eternity of joy and peace in His presence!

So…mixed into those tough thoughts of grief for others who likely may’ve passed without placing their faith on Him alone, is the gratitude for that sure salvation and the rest in that steady companionship-both here and now and in the life to come. πŸ™‚

And all that, be it deemed random or no in the midst of the heavyish and less heavish thought train here today, reminds me of a song.

I checked and, yep, it’s been a bit since my last song share. So…yes. It’s time.

Yay! πŸ™‚

Today, after some (pretty major) deliberation, I decided I should share our community youth group “theme song”- “What a Friend” by Matt Maher.

Or one of the theme songs, at least. 😏 We are a seriously musical lot.

Anyway…it’s such a comforting word in the midst of troubling times!

Now, this version is likely a lot more professional sounding than what our little group pulls off with our rudimentary acoustics.

But, at any rate, may we sing along with what is the most important key- sincere hearts, rejoicing at the truth of lives redeemed and an eternal home to look forward to.

Blessings and Prayers, dear friends! Keep your eyes on Him! ❀

https://g.co/kgs/tJtP7t

Newsboys – Joy

Hi, friends! I have been sitting here waiting on deeper inspiration again.

So…in the meantime, an update, a song, and perhaps a bit of a ramble. πŸ™‚

Things are progressing pretty nicely on most all fronts in our world.

School has thus far remained a safe and happy go-to for my younger ones as the pursuit of music, performance, and friends tops their list. And for one, a big shocker is added-cross country! (Seriously, folks…athleticism is not in the genes. At all. So, the fact my 16 year old boy has determination to push through majorly sore ankles to try this is awesome.😊 )

And my college boy? Well, he is stepping forward in self-management and relationships, each step precious proof autism has become his fuel (As well as increasing evidence I’m getting older! Acck! πŸ˜³πŸ™‚).

Let’s see…what else?

Business is busy. Right now, my husband is on the remodel that never ends, but hey, that is job security right there! 😏

Oh, and Community Youth Group has begun again as of last Wednesday! I was thrilled to make cookies and spend some time in worship and study with our dear kiddos! ❀😊

And, beyond the usual allergy invasion and the nose-blowing fest that naturally follows, I am actually finding some fairly decent days physically speaking- between the creaky joints, of course. πŸ™‚

Life is still with its various shades of differences and challenges, no doubt, but there is a joy that rises…and not just because things are well at present.

Don’t get me wrong-it’s great things are well at present!

I’m so grateful.

But, joy is not found in whether all’s well or not-so-well.

No…rather, it is found in waking up and abiding with Jesus.

Every day I get to roll out of bed and know my sweet Lord is right beside me, ready to help me face whatever comes.

And that bubbles up in me a song that has been one of my go-to’s-from another band that has long been a go-to in of themselves…

Newsboys-in particular, their earlier years.

Hmmm…maybe it’s the 90’s-early 2000’s kid in me. πŸ˜‰

Don’t get me wrong. I still love what the newer incarnation of the group does now, but, oh, my…the exultant bounce to this one!

The effervescent, intricate lyrics!

It really takes me back.

I can’t help but rejoice with this one….

Have a listen and see if you don’t rejoice with me. Blessings and prayers, dear friends! ❀

Dying to Self

Something that popped in my head after our sermon today. Our fill-in preacher is doing a great job of carrying on the challenge Pastor Don set to deny ourselves and live for Christ.

Warning: A fair bit of sarcasm begins this. It just kind of poured out of me. πŸ™‚

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.-Matt. 16:24.

Dying to Self

Jesus loves me,

This I know.

And so, He’s going to buy me a pony,

White as driven snow. 😏

I am His special chosen flower;

What some church meanies still call “wrong”

He has “progressed” to permission for

And grants me full favor every hour.

Every day is to be filled in a flash

With rainbows, sunshine, and steady cash,

Cotton candy clouds

And everything dandy allowed…

A life of pure ease

And all because He sees

How much I truly want and need

To be happy in these things…πŸ˜‡

Ahem… Poppycock to the extreme. πŸ™„

Oh, yes, Jesus loves us and this we do know.

But the Bible never says

Problem-free existence in this time

Will be so!

Sin remains sin no matter the face put

Upon it.

The pieces you’re attempting to insert

Simply do not fit.

We need a savior’s love-so true.

But do not then cheapen His

Sacrificial love

To suit you!

Grace abounds, yes,

In the precious blood shed

For you and me.

But Christianity has never meant Jesus

Is ushering in an approval to sin,

The proverbial cash cow we lust to

Revel in,

Nor a spinning pinata to whack out a

Load of freebies!

Oh, dear ones, I survey this sickened

Land today

And to my grief and dismay,

I must say-

We ask a lot of Jesus.

Oh, with audacity do we ask from Him!

We wheedle and whine,

And don’t even recognize

Half the time what should be

Our shame and chagrin.

And, then, of course, begs the question-

How much do we give in return, my friend?

Now, this isn’t about works.

We know works can’t save us.

But, the life of a believer should never

Center on the perks!

For setting our hunger to such serves

None but to re-enslave us!

Oh, when will we ever die to self,

Deny ourselves,

Take up the cross and follow Him?

When will it stop being about what we

Wish to gain

And begin to be about the change

He wroughts within?

Ah, a quest to continue, I’m afraid,

Never to be fully achieved in these

Earthsuits in which we

Currently reside.

But, praise God the price has been

Paid!

May we keep placing our hearts in

His hands

And seeking from Him the strength to

Endure and abide!

May we indeed wake up each day with Matthew 16:24 in our hearts, strive to deny self, take up our crosses, and follow Him! Thanks for reading! Blessings and prayers, dear friends! ❀

What’s in a Name?

Inspired by our ever changing society and the way we as humans grab at the “quick fix” and forget to seek real change through Christ.

Much ado is being made today

On the subject of branding and mascots,

As we squirm in the spotlight

Of our less-than-exemplary days.

Fiddling with age-old monikers,

Wielding a heavy broom at the past,

Banishing chapter and verse,

Seeking to make vanish

Anything remotely troubling-and fast!

Understandable? Well, yes, I can get the desperate acts of contrition.

Yet, I feel compelled to express this cautionary addition…

What exactly is in a name?,

(As wise old Will might say.)

To be sure, some rightly evoke

Centuries of grief and plenty of pain.

And it’s certainly not that I stand

Stubbornly in the camp

That such words should forever remain…

But, still, I find I must also say-

All this panicked wiping away does

No earthly good

If the heart forgets to further pursue

What it should!

For, you can change a name all you desire,

Take a scrubbing brush to history,

Sand out the surfaces of blame,

And hope ugliness will expire.

You might even extend a

Well-versed,

Expertly rehearsed apology.

But, none will ever wash the years of shame

Nor fix a broken philosophy-

Especially if we allow ourselves to plunge from one dissonance to another,

Refusing to embrace the opportunity afforded

By the Lord to lift us

From opposing forces to brother.

For what we ought to ask,

Perhaps,

Is- what’s in His name?

Meekness.

Power.

The ability to bless.

The sin-cleansing shower.

What’s in His name?

Well, friends, that’s called change.

Real change and healing.

And only in Him will ever come the

Much-needed, ever-alleviating rain.

Oh, nothing can ever replace that feeling!

May we seek after that real change in a world addicted to quick fixes. Blessings and prayers, friends! Thanks for reading! ❀

When God Makes a Match Out of Our Mess, or the How Marisa Met Joe Story, Part Three

Hello, friends! Thanks again for all the prayers going up for Pastor Don, his wife, and church family. I will keep you posted as this continues to unfold…

So…in honor of Father’s Day, I thought I’d lighten the heaviness in so many hearts and share my final piece.

This goes out in tribute to the man who went from single guy to instant father for me and my precious own. Love you, Joe. ❀

If you missed the first two parts, check here and here. πŸ™‚

So…ready? Ok. Well, let’s see…

When last we met over this winding road, Joe and I had “met” over the mysterious space out there known as the internet and began paying our gratitude to Alexander Graham Bell for the spiffy invention of the telephone.

But-

We had yet to meet in-person, though the idea had been furtively nudged at.

Nor had we introduced my kids to him, though they did witness a lot of mommy giggling into the phone or merrily tippety-tapping keys on the computer.

They knew there was something to this.

Much more than the vague “dates” I was out on prior.

So…eventually the nudging formulated into actual plans.

And these plans became one of my first inklings this all could be for real.

Because, he wanted this first date to be all of us!

Oh, I still tear up nearly a decade later on this point…

Never had that offer ever been extended in all these long and troubled months of grappling with the nightmare of online dating.

Ever.

And, to top it all off, he wanted it to be the kids’ favorite spot.

So…we met at our neighborhood McDonald’s on one of his days off.

My mother dropped us off so she could get a gander. He immediately won her over with his politeness and good humor.

Ok. Good. Passed the mama check. πŸ˜‰

He was as fun and animated as he had been in our chats. My nervous self was definitely still present and accounted for, but had rarely banished itself to the background so quickly!

Part of what warmed me was that he became a kid with the kids, an avid listener to their tales( which were extensive in those days, especially for my oldest!😊 ), and quite the clown to their delight.

He also handled every sensory- issue-laden order with ease, ensuring Elijah’s burger was absolutely pickle-free, Timothy had his root beer, and Sarah had her usual pile of ketchup packets.

As if he had always been there doing this very thing with me.

It was…surreal.

I kept waiting for the bubble to burst. Fearing it. It always happened, after all.

Yet…it never did.

Our sweet Sarah, blunt autistic beauty she was at just 6 and still is at nearing 15, assessed the situation with a moment that is still one of the richest in our family history.

She slid in between us in the booth at one point, slipped an arm around us each, and with all the seriousness she could muster, stated the facts:

“You two on a date. You two gonna get married.”

Of course, we each laughed nervously, blushed like mad, and I think would’ve liked to have hidden under the table.

Her older brothers each had raised a brow then but did not comment. They were still in that boyish “eww-romance?” phase.

And yet…here we are. More than eight years later. 😊

The night continued on in that same homey vein.

On so many points, though each of our stories had their own unique struggles and joys, we could match experiences.

Rough childhoods and painful rejections. Awkwardness, failures and triumphs in carving out places for ourselves.

Where I had struggled in abuse, abandonment and seeking self-worth in relationships, his foster care beginnings had led him to addiction,theft, and some youthful years locked up.

Yet, for us both, the best of what we could share was our respective new lives reborn in the Son.

When at last it was time to take our reluctant leave, Sarah begged for a piggyback ride on the stroll back to our nearby apartment. She was obviously officially sold. 😏

The boys were also chatty and playful. They may’ve been “eww-romance” but they were also loving having a guy around to bounce their superhero discussions off of.

And…me? I was… full of wonder.

Still am.

At God’s astronomical providence.

His awesome love.

His astonishing attention to detail.

For He reaches through the messes we make of ourselves, plucks us up, and matches us with just who we need.

Not that all has been as easy as that, of course.

There have been falls from grace aplenty and graces extended once more.

I wish I could say our mutual hold on God had always kept us from spiralling into sin.

But, alas. I cannot. For we are human.

Banged-up, prone-to-sin humans.

For, the drawing together of so many scared and hurting souls naturally brings out the ache of scars and the risk of new wounds.

Both will press deep into the heart and bring emotions and wills to bear.

And…sometimes, we embrace the victory over sin He has given us…and sometimes, we don’t.

Without going to details best left to themselves, I will just say a bonus baby entered swiftly into the mix in our case.

He would be treasured, to be sure.

But, he was coming before we were ready, bringing us to a painful and needed place of repentance, reminding us of both the vulnerabilities and the joys of being human.

For there are so, so many of both, my friends.

And I could’ve either shrugged it off as “just the way of the world” or swept it under the rug unacknowleged altogether.

Or else lingered in the shame of taking His gift to me and misusing it.

I still could.

But, then, what would that say for His tender mercies to us?

That which indeed are new every morning.

Not at all that they should ever be taken advantage of!

But, neither should they not be allowed to do their miraculous healing work in our hearts.

So…we were set to marry as it was but the ceremony was somewhat hastened with this turn of events.

Still, it was beautiful. A bringing together of us all under one umbrella kind of beautiful.

And, indeed, what a beautiful way He has of taking the splotches our fumbling hands create on the sketchpad of living and etching out masterpieces!

For, here we all stand, over eight years later, a testament to His amazing grace.

With so many more stories than I could ever fill these online pages with.

Suffice to say, in my myriads of current struggles, this is what my heart must stir itself to rest upon.

And, so, where there is so, so much more I could say, I will end on that note, dear friends.

It’s been fun to share these tidbits with a new audience.

If you find yourself wanting more of this testimony in greater detail, I will fight my usual tendency to break out in a rash on salesmanship at this point. 😏

Here is a link to my book from a few years ago:

I don’t know what God will do here. Don’t know if this is a resurgence of my work or just a rebirth of the joy in sharing it.

Either way, it’s in His hands. 😊

At any rate, thanks so much for joining in on this reading journey with me! Blessings and prayers! ❀

Man-made

If there’s one thing we humans are good at, it’s manufacturing.

We perceive a need, we pull out the thinking caps, the drawing board, sketching pencils-complete with a towering stack of erasers to take care of those, err…rough drafts. 😏

Eventually, through trial and error, we usually crank out a suitable answer to that need.

And there’s mass awe and satisfaction…until the next need crops up, of course. πŸ˜‰

And, you know, that’s fine, in general. It keeps inventive minds rolling, something I can personally attest to the importance of, being a mom to such creative types. πŸ™‚

But, there are some areas humanity’s tendency to manufacture shows up that it just doesn’t belong.

Particularly, today, I think of the church as a whole-our places and methods of worship.

Observances. Rituals. Traditions. We are rife with such.

There’s a lot of Biblical essentials in there, too, of course-at least, for some.

The Holy Trinity, the Bible our inerrant Word, Christ our only means of salvation.

I still know several congregations where this is at least part of their core of beliefs.

I also know others where even such simple truths have been distorted, some more recently, others for, well… for centuries.

Either way, I have only seen them grow further altered as time goes on, unfortunately.

Along with so many other things from what marriage should be to who deserves life, with lots and lots of stops for tweaking in between. 😞

But, really, beyond these obvious and obviously dismaying alterations, there are countless little twists that predate them.

Rituals augmented without much scriptural basis, traditions tacked on because they seemed holy, emphasis weighed more on ceremony than purposes of the heart.

When you sit down and begin to really sift through some of the trappings-the things we do because we’ve always done them, the committees we belong to because we’ve always had them, and the structure we cling to because it’s always been there to cling to, there are a lot of things that are just…well, things.

Man-made things. Some well meaning, some not even inherently bad-when not adopted as requirement or penance.

And others?

Well, outright lies, bald truth be known.

Now, no disrespect meant. I have friends from many different denominations.

I know all have their own emphasis and I know there are devoted followers of Christ in many a style of church.

But, there are some traditions we hold onto that are just… unnecessary.

They don’t really equate to greater closeness to Christ and they certainly won’t usher us into a higher rent district in the kingdom of God! πŸ™„

It’s actually something akin to an odd sort of arrogance to think these things we do make us any more fit for heaven, even if we don’t really recognize it as such.

I think in some cases, years and years ago, we bought into specific notions, either by not checking them against scripture or by seizing on a misinterpretation of a verse.

Or, else it just felt right and that was good enough for us.

Humanity, after all, struggles to resist manufacturing…

Even ways to produce “virtue”.

Over the years, these notions were solemnly doled out, one generation to the next, gaining more and more a semblance of sacredness with each passing, like a hand-me-down garment worse for wear yet never allowed to be discarded.

Rarely do we recognize there was no value to donning it in the first place.

It’s not that I am anti-tradition, necessarily.

I was in the thick of the anti-tradition camp in my day, and that can become its own set of dangerous rituals, let me tell you!

No…the answer lies not in abolishing all we’ve ever done. That’s the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

But, I think what I long to see more of is being led by the Lord, seeking His word above the order of the program, the steps He’d lead us in versus the steps prescribed by the various procedures we’ve chosen to put in place.

To tear away all the man-made ways we try to reach God and truly humble ourselves before Him.

Because, in doing that, He who actually made man will lift us up in due time.

Heavyish word tonight, I know. But, the Lord put it on my heart, so…out it came! May we each examine our motivations carefully, seeking not rituals but a relationship with Him. Blessings and prayers, dear friends! πŸ™‚

Holding the Standard

I haven’t absorbed as much as you’d think being married to a handyman for nearly eight years.😏

(Maybe it has something to do with aptitude…or my downright clumsiness with tools. 😁)

But, despite that, there is one thing I have learned.

When it comes to any aspect of building, there is a standard to be met and held.

Without it, you stand a risk of all sorts of problems, to say the least!

The same can be said for our spiritual walk.

Now, I am not one to beat folks over the head with a list of “do’s” and “don’t’s”.

Such legalism can leave a person feeling mighty hopeless.

But, I must say that often, too often, it seems the bar is being lowered in this land of the living.

Particularly, sadly, for those of us who count ourselves the Lord’s own, more and more so as the clock wears on.

Oh, we have God’s grace. And we mustn’t ever forget we have that grace.

His grace is the only way we will ever measure up, after all.

For that matter, His grace is the only way we even recognize the sin stain which causes us not to measure up-on our own, that is.

Because, yes, our redemption is that amazing grace, found solely through the death and resurrection of the Son, praise God.

But, that said, so many of us, too many of us, take this beautiful sacrifice as a free pass.

“I have my ‘God Insurance’ in the game of life, so, now, I can just hop on the do-as-I-please express!” πŸ™„

But, oh, friends, you don’t want that ride! It’s a ride, I’m here to tell you, that does nothing in the end but disappoint at best!

And at worst? Well, let’s just say a crash and burn is painful beyond description. πŸ™

It’s not always easy to provide such cautions.

I always want to make sure I am coming from a place of love.

Too much danger of tipping into the sanctimonious otherwise.

Now, it’s great when you encounter those who get the spirit you intend, or, better yet, are at the table, already hungry for such truth.

But, try to kindly counsel others, especially those who look around and just can’t seem to recognize their own emaciation staring back at them, and it’s a whole new ball of wax.

It can be rather dismaying to watch the hostility, labels, and angry epithets fly then.

Or, worse yet, indifference.

For, there’s a disturbing trend to keep a tight grip on spiritual compromise in these days.

It’s everywhere we look.

Media. Government. Schools. Homes. Churches.

Our hearts.

It’s becoming increasingly unpopular to do otherwise!

Oh, perhaps, it’s not really so new. One only has to peruse the scriptures to see such littering page after page.

It’s only become more prevalent, perhaps, as everything’s on a twenty-four-seven information overload.

The world’s got more opportunities than ever to spew out an ongoing parade of violence and vulgarity.

Not to mention, time is drawing nigh and satan, the defeated foe, is seeking to entangle and take down all those he can with him.

And no one is what I’d call immune from his schemes.

For, even for those of us saved by God’s grace, there is the endless subtlety of distraction, in all its countless forms.

The strategy being if the devil can’t snatch our soul, he can at least sideline us with the world’s many “goodies”.

That way there’s no one left to hold up the standard.

Or, after a while, as our Bibles collect dust in favor of a pulpit pep talk, even remember what the standard is supposed to be.

So, what is one to do? Hole up from the whole world, singing our Kumbayahs under a blanket and wait on the Lord from the comfort of a hermetically sealed bubble? 😏

Well, no, of course not!

That defeats the “in the world, not of it” principle set out in scripture.

Not to mention it’s kind of difficult to shine a light for Jesus burrowed in your down comforter. πŸ™‚

So…no…we mustn’t duck and cover from it all.

Rather, ours is to remain firm in the Lord in the midst of it all.

To celebrate that grace that saves us, but never allow it to become cheap.

To seek the light of His truth that it might grow us and direct others to the same.

Ours is to know the standards set forth in the Holy Word and hold it fast.

And to refuse to build our house on anything less.

Blessings and prayers to you, dear friends! May we be mindful of the many distractions this world throws at us and may we indeed hold up the standard the Lord set forth for us in the midst of it all.

Feeling Your Heartbreak

Reposting for those wishing to leave comments. It’s been a while since that section went on the fritz. I was kind of hoping I’d left that problem behind with the old year, but, alas!

Empathy.

More than β€œOh, I feel bad for you.”

No…

It involves something deeper than a perfunctory phrase.

I don’t pretend to be a psychological expert, but I do know that mingled in there is the ability to feel what your fellow man feels.

Or, at least, to understand it.

Something which is becoming a rare commodity these days, unfortunately.

You only have to tune in to television, scroll through social media, or just walk into the local grocery to see an appalling lack of thought for the other guy.

People spout impatient cruelty and knee-jerk opinions at one another, and call it β€œjust speaking our minds”.

We pronounce judgments aplenty-and deftly excuse and defend ourselves from such.

Love is something that we indulge in for the warm fuzzies when it strikes our fancy, but quickly bypass when we encounter what we deem undeserving.

Easy to become desensitized. Far too easy.😞

And, for those of us who grieve the current status of the world, it can be a sad, dismaying burden indeed.

But, lest I just be a downer today, let me insert some slightly lighter truth in here.

For one, we don’t have to allow this ugliness to permeate our souls-when we choose to live in light of His grace.

And for those of us who feel grief over fallen mankind rather keenly, it can be a gift.

Grief a gift? πŸ€”

Yes, when we realize it is His grief we are being allowed to feel.

The Lord grants us the ability to see with His eyes that we might recognize the ragged need we all have.

For Him. For His incomparable cleansing. His extraordinary sacrifice. His matchless love.

It serves to stir compassion we would honestly not be capable of otherwise.

So…hard as it can be, I would much rather be able to feel His heartbreak than not.

I pray we all can tap into it more and more.

Blessings and prayers to you, dear friends! May we each live in light of His grace and allow His compassion for us to extend to our fellow man.