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Running Your Mouth

October 21, 2014

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Just because you don’t run your mouth doesn’t mean you don’t run your mind.

Running your mind the way you would run your mouth if you were to say what you were thinking or feeling is worse in some ways because it masks what’s in your heart.

You see every issue you have with other people and situations and circumstances has ONE common denominator: you.

The Bible says the heart is deceptive above all things, who can know it? You probably don’t even realize how much of the issue you are.

All our issues stem back to us, not “them”. Jeremiah 17:9 says not only that the heart is deceptive, but it’s wicked – wicked! – the Hebrew word there is sick and incurable! You are stuck with an incurable, inoperable sickness! it’s so bad only the God of the universe sacrificing his only God-son could cure what you have! Other people are not you’re source of ill or health. there’s nothing ANYONE can do to make you whole again – nothing but the blood of Jesus. But it ONLY saves. Even it won’t make you content.

The whole book of Philippians  is about learning to be content whether people or our circumstances are ideal.

I have recently been sinning in my mind with my attitude toward people and circumstances. God had to remind me: I’m the common denominator. I am not God; I cannot change people; I cannot change circumstances – that’s why it’s called Providence! And while that’s a sentimental name for a circumstantial miracle, its point is not the realm of human ability our possibility – except to perceive and give glory to its proprietor.

Praise The LORD

So the next time you are tempted or find yourself in the midst of running your mind – remember to glorify GOD with it instead.

If you shut your mouth in order not to say something you shouldn’t, you ought not be thinking it either.

Moral Shepherds, Immoral Kings

April 22, 2014

 

 

 

 – Why we should be exposing and reading to our children fairy tales and stories. God is only truly believable through the imagination. And so then are his statutes only obtainable through parable, story, and fable.

 

 
 I had a thought while reading the section about Beauty and the Beast: most children these days are only exposed to children’s TV programming. While we all have known this is not healthy for children – my eyes were opened to “why” we are seeing such moral depravity in younger generations: they were not exposed at early ages to moral imaginative stories. They are always silly, or community-citizen driven animation, but not moral and virtuous stories of old.

If children are only exposed to what is silly – not only are they deprived of learning a correct definition of humor – which is not bodily functions or back-side bearing – but also they are missing the formation and inspiration of virtue, character, and morality. I wish I had read more to my children when they were younger than I did! I am glad we stopped TV, especially children’s shows years ago. But I have not taken special care to ensure the reading of fairy tales. Redeem the time, Lord Jesus!!

 
 
Another thought: When the prophet Nathan had to confront David about his manifest transgression against the house of Uriah and against God, he used a story. He had to capture the heart of the shepherd in order to rouse the conscience of the king. When we try to “teach” ethics and morality we only rouse the conscience of the king – and he is a KING!
 
Don’t we each feel some sense of dignity that needs defending when people are about to accuse us of doing unjustly? – even if we are just surmising what may happen in the future and what we need to do should we be faced with the temptation to do unjustly – well, we are KINGS! We don’t do injustices!
 
 – ah, but we do. All the time, and we justify our injustices. So, our hearts must be got at another way. Is there something or someone ELSE we care for deeply, that we would never want to see hurt – an animal, a child, a lady in distress? Well we would never want to be the cause of pain or penalty for that fair one. And so the moral is embedded in the heart more assuredly than if we tried to forcibly erect it in the conscience. Perhaps the heart is more of a garden than the conscience. And so it is that by time and tending and cultivating this moral imagination, a great plant produces fruit in the conscience that is ready during a time of crisis to be consumed.

Worship Me with Your Ears

March 17, 2014

rabbit

 

“Worship Me with your ears”.

I was singing loudly as usual, you know, to bless the folks in front of me. OH, and I was singing to God to bless him too. God had said to me a few months ago – while I was doing the same thing – Your voice is louder than Mine. OH, Lord. I am so sorry. I will work on this.

It wasn’t just about the singing, it was about my life. God also shared with me that I can’t hear him because I am too loud. He made me put it into practice too. It was easy to sing softer during worship time at church. It was excruciating to say nothing when my feelings were hurt by my husband. I immediately went to write a SCATHING email to him laying out in perfect persuasion and pointed passion the ways he was failing in our household and how he had hurt me. Just the second before my finger found the send key God whispered, Is your voice louder than mine? 

UGH!!

But God! This letter is the only thing keeping me from crying. I don’t want to be hurt, I want to be angry and act in that anger. I want to avenge and pillage! I had to erase the whole thing, because if I kept it as a draft, I was sure to “edit” it and send it later. I then sulked up the stairs to my bathroom where I turned on praise music and cried. THAT HURT MY FEELINGS, LORD!! Then I left it alone. I didn’t take it with me. That was it.

The next day my husband sent a text apologizing – which is a big step for him – but it wasn’t good enough for me. It was so mean, what he said to me, I wanted a full-on frontal, verbal apology. God would not have it. I walked around offended a few more days, but God would not be moved. So then I-I-I had to apologize. That’s what I get for trying to be louder than God.

 

But this weekend, God upped the ante: I want you to worship me with your ears.

In two ways he showed me I need to be a better listener. And then he gave me this word to back it up. And again, it was easier to not use my voice to worship in the congregation, but once I got home – oi vey! I have six children still living at home. I have a lot I want to say. But God wants me to listen.

So, if you think about it, pray for me – pray for me ears! Or, I suppose pray for my mouth! – that I might not open it, but instead, worship God with my ears. And, if you think about it, you might try it as well.

James 1:19

Proofing Your Faith

March 3, 2014

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Proof.

The world wants proof.

Proof God exists; that he is; that he is coming.

Well you know what? God wants proof.

Proof that WE love him. That we follow him.

And he doesn’t even want it presented to himself.

He wants us to prove to ourselves, so that we may not be deceived.

Consider these two scriptures:

1st out of Luke 13:

18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?

19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?

21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Do you know what you do with leaven – yeast? You wait on it. It has to “proof”. 1st you have to “bloom” it – sort of a 1st proof – you have to ensure it’s even active before you put it in your bread. You mix it with a little sugar to give the living bacteria something to eat, and they in turn give off carbon dioxide which creates bubbles. You do this separately, in a bowl with a little warm water. Image

If after fifteen minutes there are no bubbles, you have dead yeast. The bubbles and the “digesting” of the sugars throughout the dough, the yeast itself, develop the texture and the flavor of the dough making crackers into bread. But you have to wait. and you have to prove the yeast again.

Once you know you have live yeast you mix it in with the rest of your dough and you knead it – you agonize over it – wrestling with it creating gluten – stretchiness – in your dough. Once you have kneaded it enough for the type of bread you are making you set it aside to proof. This takes hours. And sometimes days. It is a patience-building process. You don’t make bread in 30 minutes.

Or even an hour. Image

This does two things: ensures your yeast was alive enough, and gives it time to work throughout the whole dough to cause it to rise.

This brings us to our second scripture reference out of 2 Corinthians 13:

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Prove your own selves.

Proof

 

Is the yeast of the Kingdom of God in you? Have you bloomed? Is the yeast alive? Is it active? Are you a cracker, or do you resemble the Bread of Life?

Assess your own self today and see if God exists. If you find him lacking, it is not that He is not, but that he is not in you.

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Pictures provided by this great recipe at: http://www.macheesmo.com/2010/03/chocolate-donuts/

Guilt-fest by the Guiltless

January 31, 2014

got guilt

I am loving the current guilt-fest by the guiltless of society.

I watched a major network interview (interrogation?) where the host tried to guilt Nancy Grace into feeling sorry for a word she chose in a  publicly captured statement. I don’t mean something someone took time to write and chose to word purposefully. I’m talking about talking, but it being caught on camera, and then being stoned for a “poorly” chosen use of a word or phrase that the gods of this age have all agreed goes against their commandments; you know something intolerant, or insensitive, etc… their definition of blasphemy of course.

And so I am left in a wonderment. This Age of Tolerance where there is no God to say what is right and what is wrong, is actually run by many gods. All these “freedom” fighters yearning to be free from the oppression of religion and it’s tenents of morality, have only and simply replaced that God with themselves and their own religion of Self, and are now, with their media influence, despots forcing their oppression by riots, causes, and scathing criticism to downright verbal stoning and political boycotting of anyone of a different view. Talk about Pharisees? Talk about Hypocrisy! Can we say I Paula Deen?

So the very thing they swear there should not be – guilt – is the very vehicle they try to drive over those who don’t agree with their religion of immorality!

Where is the speech of John Galt when you need it?
Atlas Shrugged

Gotta love it.

Resolving to be Good

January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s 2014! It’s a new year! That means resolutions right?

Well, I’ve already broken mine. Isn’t that pitiful? It’s only 14 hours into the new year and my resolve of yesterday is already thwarted.

What the heck?

Don’t tell me you have made it through an entire month sticking to your resolution – what about a whole year? Did you change your life because of a New Year’s Resolution?

Not me. I always have good, some even GREAT, intentions. But not enough resolve to back them up.

Makes me sick.

Makes me sad.

A couple of times, even hopeless.

So I quit making resolutions and decided to live a mediocre life. I was definitely happier not failing at living up to my potential dreams! But I knew there was always something missing. I knew I needed changes in my life.

 

What’s this all got to do with a resolution to be good? I just thought about how people, who for the most part cannot even keep a New Year’s Resolution to loose ten pounds, think they can ‘be good’ and they don’t need salvation, or religion: just resolve.

I guess I’m weak.

I guess I’m deceived.

I guess I’m underachieved.

Because I can’t do it. I can’t just resolve to “be good” – mind you, not “better than” – as most of us truly mean i.e., I’m a good person – I mean, I haven’t murdered anyone. Oh, you mean you are better than a murderer. But are you better than God – because his standard is not other human beings, who are all flawed. To live in our house and be in our family – you have to become a Floyd. To live in Heaven you have to become a child of God – and you can’t do that with your “resolve” to be good.

Thank GOD he doesn’t have a standard of “good enough”. His standard is perfection – and this is why you quit; you quit trying to go to church, to be good enough, and you think you are happy in your mediocre life. But then something happens to remind you, you aren’t quite happy, you are just settled to the fact you are flawed, most of the time. But all of the time Jesus is available as our first-born brother – because of him we can be adopted into the Family of God.

Family of God. I know they are a mess. God’s not finished with them yet. He’s finished with “his” work – Jesus as our entry – but “our” work has just begun. Not our work of getting in to the family, but now working as a family member with our family. Don’t you have a crazy earthly family? Why wouldn’t you expect the family of God, made of these earthly people, to be crazy too while we’re still here in the flesh, on earth. Don’t you want forgiveness? How about you give some? How about your resolve to be forgiving, full of the grace you so greatly need and desire. Can’t do it? Not enough resolve? That’s why you need God not a goal.

My resolution for this year is just change. I want to be more like Jesus. I am so blessed: God wants this too. So that means I’m just working on what he’s already got going. And you know how much easier it is to work on something when someone is already on it.

So, still resolved to be good – enough? Any thoughts on making resolutions and not keeping them?

Is Santa a Better Jesus?

December 15, 2013

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You better not pout. You better not cry. You better not shout. I’m telling you why…

You’ll go to hell if you do.

He see’s you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good – so be good for goodness’ sake.

Then you’ll get to go to heaven.

Who are these verses talking about? Who keeps a list of who’s naughty or nice? Who threatens, “No special gift for you if you don’t behave!”?

It’s not Jesus!

I just find it fascinating that we are so highly offended with the idea of a righteous God punishing sin, but we love to wield over our children this mythological being who has attributes of God – knows all, sees all, can be all over the world in one night, answers all prayers – he will not give you presents if you behave badly! But we don’t like the real God who sent his real son to die for our “naughtiness” so we could be on His List: The Lamb’s Book of Life (1). And we don’t have to be “good for goodness’ sake” – that’s what Jesus did for us!

It makes me think of a cosmic White Elephant Party: You can’t afford to bring the gift to take part – So Jesus paid the price, and then you get to take the gifts of salvation, life, and sonship home with you! You enter the party a stranger, you go home part of the family of God.

What exactly is it Santa gives children? A sense of a need to be good – a false sense. Parents don’t actually withhold a present – no matter how bad their kid is. So in essence, you’ve made them feel there isn’t really a standard of right and wrong – and there is no real consequence for delinquency, in fact, just the opposite: You are entitled to presents! You are entitled to heaven, and life, and happiness! “Good” is something subjective anyway – as long as you aren’t Charles Manson you are a good person, right?

Except, God didn’t use Charles Manson as our standard. He didn’t make up a fat man in a red suit either to be our judge. God says: Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect. and Jesus came down to live in the flesh so he could die our deaths for all eternity just so we could mete that standard.

I just wonder if our Santa standard contributes to our culture’s disillusionment with God – how dare God call me a sinner and my actions sin. How dare he bring consequences into my life to try to turn me around from my wicked ways. There is no God. I stopped believing in “Santa” long ago.

Santa is just a fun way to make memories. What memories are we making? Are we imparting ideas about the nature of the supernatural – that it’s not real. it’s only pretend. We don’t really have an obligation outside of ourselves to a moral existence. “We’ll get presents either way. We all go to heaven. Because we’re all basically good. That’s why mommy and daddy gave me presents and pretended to be Santa: they love me. And if we all just love each other, we’ll go to heaven.

Except mommy and daddy lied. They deceived you. They made you believe in something that wasn’t real – be it an Elf or Santa. And now, they may be internally messing with your belief in a real God. A supernatural God. A holy God who requires holiness.

Where is the “holy” in our holy day – you know, holiday? Where is THAT gift to our children? Where is THAT gift to God?

There is only one purpose for Christmas: Christ’s mass

There is only one present that is omniporant – Christ.

There is only one person who brings peace: Jesus Christ

Luke 2:13-14

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

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