The Simple Truth

Hey, there, dear friends. Been managing my thoughts fairly well with the strength of my patient heavenly Father to rely on. 🙂 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 Social Gospel?

As Resurrection Sunday approaches, my mind naturally inclines to Calvary, to the glorious and complete redemption there.

But- it further goes to the churches in our land of late.

To pondering what the sermons across the country will consist of…

Will humble gratitude for the cross prevail?

Will a brokenness over the broken body of our Savior have its proper place?

Or will the disturbing trend for feel-goodism be front and center?

It can be a blatant parade of back-patting and busy work, a focus firmly centered on egg hiding and hunting and new clothes…

Or it can be more subtle, a type of gladness without the substance.

Doing the things because we always do the things, but all without pausing to contemplate why we do the things…

Or, sometimes, even if they are God’s things!

Yes, indeed, speaking His name, singing His praise,and doing good unto others can most definitely be His things!

But, then, there is also speaking His name in an attempt to gain His endorsement over sin, doing what we call good deeds that do not a thing for someone’s eternal destiny, aligning with what we deem the “correct” culture that has not a hint of Biblical correctness or an understanding of what mercy really means, and singing in a soulful, hip sort of way, but rarely inviting Him further than our lips…

It is a something that has infiltrated our churches at an alarming rate.

I did not coin this phrase, but it well suits where we are-

What we are far too often presenting is:

A social gospel.

An attempt to “cool” up and make “user friendly” the message of Christ that strips all the meaning.

And it sure doesn’t have to be Resurrection Sunday to see it.

But this season we celebrate His indescribably beautiful sacrifice to us does emphasize for me the disparity existing far too often between the soul of the church and the soul of the Lord…

So, all that spiel to say I offer you a perhaps different something to think on this Good Friday.

A list, if you will, of what the Gospel is and is not about…

It’s not about being cool.

It’s about being faithful.

It’s not about putting a happy face

To every gritty ounce of grace.

It isn’t the nod to embrace

The filth of our sin.

Rather, it is the precious breaking of

Those terrible bonds

Our mind must stay upon.

The cross must brutally remind

Of the Salvation we could not

Ourselves find…

Sundays of lapping up a self-soothing

Phrase,

Cannot cure the disease of humanity’s

Vacant glaze.

For your belly with fill for a while;

You might even dare a smile.

But the hollow, sin-shrunken frame

Stays on your back mile for mile…

You trade true freedom

For endless, useless scrabbling,

A weak, powerless strum

Over allowing Jesus in to blast away

All the wastelands you’re still

Inhabiting!

“But, I want to feel good, ” a grumble

Rises in the crowd,

“Jesus means all I do and all I am is

Stamped approved!

Let me float on my mellow cloud

And the rest of you can just sit there

Letting your Bible and your truth bog

Down your mood…”

“Ah, but friend,” comes the pleading

Reply.

“There is but one Bible. One truth. One Christ.

Christianity has never meant you’ll

Feel good for always-

Not in this life, anyway…

It’s about Jesus taking on the

Degradation we could not will away.

Not that we might stay in it,

But that He could split the veil

And show us a better way….

It is about endurance of hope

In the recognition of every high and

Low.

It’s about denying self and taking up

One’s cross,

Knowing the depth of His love

Covers every cost.

It is mercy, to be sure.

But blended perfectly with His

Holiness,

And this alone, church,

Must be our answer-no compromise!

For only in His truth do we begin to recognize

Desperate humanity’s cure….

May we hold fast to His truth this Resurrection season and always! Blessings and prayers on your Good Friday, dear friends! ❤

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. 🙂

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! 😳🙂).

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. 🙂

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. 😉

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! ❤

Faith for the Ragamuffin

Hello, friends. So far so good for our college boy. 🙂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! ❤

Listen for the Whisper

Read about Elijah the other day in his fleeing of Jezebel and listening for God. In the tempests both within and without this week, this was born. Figured it was worth a share…

Not in the rumble,

The tumbling down of stone.

Oh, how the ear strains in my stumble…

To snatch at thunderous voice resounding…

Monsterous choice to lean on flames

Forever pounding

Or to steal into the quiet cave,

Await the peace You generously gave.

And respond but to the gentlest of whispers,

Wrap my cloak about me

As You and I discuss what’s been

And what’s yet to occur.

Ah, trust how elusive!

Yet, I know it’s freedom You yet give.

By tenderness we are fed

Even when brutal violence demands blood be shed.

Somehow, the two though seeming to oppose,

Into twain in Your hands have arose.

Keep speaking the soft words to my troubled heart, Lord.

As in these ugly, calloused times we must ford….

Thanks for reading, dear ones. Keep listening for His voice. Hoping I can continue to do likewise. Blessings and prayers. ❤

Headlines Worth Reading

Update on Pastor Don: On Sunday, before delivering another great, encouraging sermon, he noted this week he is to be meeting with his doctors to work out the best strategy for his cancer. He and Deb welcomed two of their three kids home to be support in this time and expect their eldest to arrive in July, barring travel complications. They are very grateful for your prayers, as am I.

And as to my thoughts for today, they came in poem again after my dry spell, complete with a scribbling. 😊

Headlines Worth Reading

Another day

Jumping into the fray.

Scroll the ever regurgitating feed,

Sound the toll of the ever burgeoning need.

Headlines scream out impending doom.

Clouds deem themselves bent for gloom.

So automatic to think on the endless cares;

Easy ‘twould be to sink in the depths of despair.

And YET…

He who created us and this spinning ball

Is still there

Ever present and ever aware.

Loving us, guiding us on, seeing us through.

And from the dark, the diseased existence of it all,

He snaps the fingers of dawn,

Painting beauty anew;

In the Sonrise,

A headline worth reading

In a world hungry for what’s true!

Oh, He is so good, friends! May you live this day and always in light of this truth. Blessings and prayers to you! Thanks for reading! ❤