God’s Reality in a Fake World

If there’s one thing I have surmised over the years, it’s that the world is chock-full of false fronts.

Propped-up guarantees.

Surreptitious happenings behind the scenes.

Manipulated headlines.

Scriptedrealities”.

It’s a practice as old as a slithering snake deceiving Eve.

Only now, it’s found a whole new venue, often splashed across the various screens of our various devices.

It’s what tweaks the phrases, alters the photographs, teases the heart with carefully calculated angst, plies the mind with double and triple speak.

It twists the truth up into pretzels worthy of cheese dip at the mall. 😏

It even jangles through the dinner hour on our phones with robo-calls trying their darndest to convince us we’ve earned a free trip to the Carribean if only we will stay on the line ( And shell out lots of personal info and possibly a “minor” fee, naturally. 🙄).

And, along those lines, let’s not get into the vast piles of info raked in from us by the social media empire…😮

These sort of ramshackle happenings even apparently infiltrate happy little restaurant games-to the extent there’s now a three-part documentary outlining why no one we know ever won more than free fries from the Monopoly tabs. 😏

Makes it tough to know who and what to trust in this world!

Now, despite all that spiel, though, I am not what you’d call a hard-core conspiracy theorist.

That level of sniffing out the nefarious takes up more time and energy than I’m able or willing to sacrifice.

It can also lead a person down more than a few rabbit trails!

But, this I will say. Though the devil may try his best to fool us, there is One who has a firm grip on reality.

The real reality.

In fact, He is the maker of it.

And never will He ever pull even a scrap of wool over our eyes.

For His word is truth itself.

And where there is God’s perfect truth, there is the ability to trust.

A rather refreshing thing to realize in an all-too-often fake world! ☺

May we ever rely upon His truth to guide us through these times of deception. Blessings and prayers to you, friends! Thanks for reading!

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!” 🙄

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. 🙁

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. 🙂

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.

Humanity and the Incessant Quest for Position

Ever since Cain grabbed that rock and crushed the life out of Abel with it…no, I must go further back…Ever since the forbidden fruit was eaten by their mom and pop, we humans have sought after one thing:

Absolute control.

To be the top dog, main man, head of the pack, etcetera, etcetera…

For, what was it really about but that?

What was and is satan’s motivation in the lie that we can become like God?

He certainly wasn’t and never is concerned with actually equipping us with diddly squat.

No…his ambition was and always has been to try to best the Creator of the universe.

And being the author of such grandiose plans and outrageous ruthlessness, he doesn’t care one whit about who he uses to try to further those aims.

Never has.

So, he disingenuously dangled the prospect of power before humanity- but not without polishing it up with enough appeal to dazzle the eye away from the truth just long enough to get us to the point of no return.

And sadly, what was unleashed that day has infected the entire world.

From brother to brother, tribe to tribe, civilization to civilization, leader to leader, the human thirst to be the most important has caused indescribable havoc to this earth.

From the moment our relationship with God and to each other was first skewed, the hounds of hell have been on us.

And we still witness the effects today.

From boardroom dealings to political positioning, from Hollywood posturing to-dare I say it?-church committee bickering, we see it.

Right down to the family dynamic that willfully looks out for self above each other.

We all crave that feeling of being in charge, one way or another.

But, lest we get downhearted, there is yet an answer to it all.

For He is our Creator and our God, and, as such, He knew the chaos to come from the foolish decision in Eden.

So, He provided the way through His son.

His triumph on the cross would be our triumph.

The real kind, that has no truck with the temporal idea of our domination in this world.

But, rather, its chief concern is with our freedom from all the everlasting jockeying for position.

Because, in Jesus, our position is ever secure!

We have only to surrender our dirty, power-hungry hearts over to Him.

And, trust that, though this world grows ever darker and madder in its empty pursuits of subjugation, the Lord has it all in hand.

Has always had it all in hand.

And never lets us go. ☺️

Blessings and prayers to you, friends. May we learn the true strength that comes of relinquishing all to God.

We’re Fighting the Wrong Enemy

I feel like I might be harping on this issue, but it’s what He’s placed on my heart…

Even in my somewhat limited scope of living, I hear and read so many things from fellow believers:

“If only so-and-so group would stop doing this, we (Christians) wouldn’t have to do this.”

“If that wasn’t happening over here, we wouldn’t have to do that over there.”

“We have to mobilize ourselves.”

“Fight fire with fire.”

“Get stirred up for a cause.”

“Take down the enemy.”

Wait…what?🤔

Now, which enemy is it that you refer to?

“Well, the other side, of course.”

Ah. The other side.

The nameless, faceless amalgamation that stands for everything you do not.

That enemy?

Yes, keep them in that clumped up category to make it more palatable:

The liberal.

The neo-Nazi feminist.

The tree-hugging, seal-cub-saving, vegan toothpick.

The hateful Atheist.

The snowflake millennial.

The lisping fruitcake.

I could go on tossing out cruel, pointless stereotypes, but, that’s belaboring the point.

Which is that every one of those groups, the groups we as Christians often deride and label oh-so-conveniently are not just collective groups across the divide.

They’re people.

Individual people with names and hearts and dreams and vulnerabilites.

Created by the same Creator as us.

Souls for whom Jesus died, same as us.

Souls He expects us to care about, even when they answer with vigor.

And it’s not our job to fight them, no matter how much we might disagree with them.

They are not our enemy.

That designation belongs to he who is in the world.

Remember? The one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy?

The prowling lion, seeking to devour?

All too often, we believers forget that, standing idly by, hurling our useless words at the ones being devoured instead of addressing he who devours.

And don’t you think the devil loves that?

For he knows it does nobody any good to stand there stomping our feet and shouting at these misguided souls to stop letting the lion devour them.

Especially if we get so busy on that particular bent that we lose sight of sharing the way out of the lion’s jaws-the truth found in the Word and the grace Jesus provided through the blood He shed on Calvary!

Satan delights for us to forget that key!

Now, this is not at all to give the tired, off-the-mark argument of “judge not lest you be judged.” That verse gets misused way too often to excuse all sorts of rampant, ungodly behavior!

No, we must remain firm in our stance for Christ and in the Word.

But, that stance must always, always be in love or we’ve lost our foundation.

It isn’t to say all will answer our love with gratitude.

Most assuredly not!

But, it isn’t for us to fret on that score. Do we really think God does not have it all in hand anyway?

Of course, He does!

All we can do is prayerfully, humbly tell the good news of salvation as He instructs us and then leave it in Hands.

If we could only use our desire to mobilize for that!

Another thing to pray for, I guess.😉