Guilt-fest by the Guiltless


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


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?


Image

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.

Can We Perceive Loveliness?


Is beauty in the eye of the behold, or the nature of the object being held?

Is beauty in the eye of the behold, or the nature of the object being held?

I had a conversation with my 13yo about this statement:
“Boredom is the seed of unloveliness.” Leigh Bortins refers to this idea in this video after reading a priest’s passionate book on cooking, The Supper of the Lamb. He has a chapter on smelling onions or loving onions?!
My son defined “boredom” and we defined “loveliness”. He remarked that loveliness included what is good, and “what you like”. That opened up a conversation about whether there are things that are lovely whether we see them as such or not. Is a rose lovely whether you like it or not? Is creation lovely because a loving God made it, not because we perceive it as such? Does our minute perception or opinion diminish the eternal beauty of created situations, subjects, or seasons of life?
Part of his definition of “boredom” was – not wanting to work. Yes! I am so glad he didn’t say – when there’s nothing to do, because the point of the quote is that the reason you perceive something as unlovely is because you do not want to work at seeing the lovely – if you are bored with it, it is unlovely to you – is this a correct way to assess loveliness?
What makes a thing boring – is it the hard work? Is it the lack of natural affinity – and then should an acquired affinity be attempted? – Because that strikes at the heart of the essence of Classical education – beholding the true, the good, the beautiful.
Here was a quote she also referenced from Plato’s Meno . Plato credits Socrates as saying:
“Some things I have said of which I am not altogether confident. But that we shall be better and braver and less helpless if we think that we ought to inquire than we should have been if we indulged in the idle fancy that there was no knowing and no use in seeking to know what we do not know; — that is a theme upon which I am ready to fight, in word and deed, to the utmost of my power.”
I want to convey to my children they should not be content to just be bored or dislike something – they should seek to ask why they don’t like something, and then seek to undislike it, acquire an appreciation of its inherent loveliness, and this may require hard work.
But what can I-I-I do to exemplify and inspire this attitude, or principle? I hope my children see me seeking what is true, and good, and lovely, and not avoiding the things that are hard for me.
Although, I will say I avoid housework. And as I listened to Leigh and her going through these ideas of loveliness and the passionate cooking priest loving onions, I wondered about the need for me to stop and seek the loveliness of keeping my home. – Help me, Lord Jesus!
What are some things you avoid because you perceive them as hard or unlovely? Can you see a need to ask God – how is this thing lovely and help me to work hard to see it that way too?
Some recommendations that reflect these ideas:

The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection (Modern Library Paperbacks),
Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education,
Meno

Who Likes Being a Failure, Raise Your Hand!


Well, you can’t see it, but my hand is not raised. I’m sure yours isn’t either. Yes, there are those of us who have resigned ourselves to failure in certain areas, or concerning things in the past. But nobody enjoys failing. Nobody likes being a failure.

What happens when your spouse leaves, or your child grows up to not be all you wanted them to be? What happens when your life at this moment is utterly removed from all you had hoped and dreams so many years ago?

failure.

Right?

Definitions are such an important part, or should be, of how we perceive a situation. Is the opposite of success failure? Isn’t that what we just said? Wasn’t what we really meant: My marriage was unsuccessful; I was an unsuccessful parent; my life is unsuccessful. I failed. I failed. I failed.

Right?

What if…

What if, God has a different definition of failureSuccess?

What if God said to you like he said to me: I didn’t call you to be successful; I called you to be faithful.

Oh.

Oh wait just a minute. Because I know I wasn’t perfect as a spouse, or a parent, or in my life, but I do know I was faithful. I never stopped coming back to you, Lord in my marriage; I never stopped looking to you for my child, Lord; I never stopped trusting you with my life, Lord. I’m hurt, I’m disappointed, I’m disheartened, but I’m not unfaithful. And neither are You.

Success belongs to God. It seems like semantics, but like a tiny seed, a word will plant and grow into thoughts, which branch into ideas, which give fruit to beliefs. What do you believe about your part in any success or failure related to your life?

Scripture tells us about one planting one watering; but God gives the increase (the harvest, the success). 1 Cor 3:6

Verse 7: So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

God isn’t looking for your works: your success! Just your faithfulness.

Even where you fall short in believing or having faith, Jesus is the author and the perfecter of such things. that means he begins our faith and he completes what we lack! Isn’t that awesome? I fail to always believe my situation is going to get better, or change but God is fully faithful, and Jesus makes up for my lack. Heb 12:2.

Put off the “old man” with his idea of  failure! Put on the new man, who only by faith and only by faithfulness should judge his “success”.

This post is part of a blog carnival you can enjoy at: http://peterpollock.com/2013/01/failures-blog-carnival/

Regret or Repent


Imagehttp://kibitskayainna.wordpress.com/dear-love/ – picture credit.

 

 

 

“I regret the actions I took with that woman…” Really? I bet you do. But you aren’t repentant are you. No, it’s not a question; it’s an honest observation.

So what is the difference between regretting and repenting?

Regretting is wishing you hadn’t done what you did; repenting is being sorry you did.

Judas’ problem wasn’t that he betrayed Jesus – Peter basically did that! – Judas’ problem, the reason he resides in hell today, is not his sin of action, but his sin of inaction: he didn’t repent. He regretted what he did. He told the Pharisees all about it. But he didn’t tell God, and he didn’t repent.

You may be at a point in your life where you have an overload of regrets that haunt you like angry old specters. They add up, gang up and torment you, your body, your mind, your soul, your spirit.

But you’ve never repented. Not once. You wish you hadn’t done a lot of things, but you’ve never hoped to do this one thing: humble yourself before God and admit you were wrong; not that you wouldn’t have done those things – because you did do those things! – but that you shouldn’t have done those things.

God’s not interested in your wishes; he doesn’t grant them.

God answers prayer.

He gives grace to the humble.

Forgiveness to the repentant.

 

 

Leave your regrets where your sins are: in the past.

 

Repent. For in repentance there is hope. Life. Change. Rest.

 

Peace.

 

How My Daddy Died


How My Daddy Died

On Thursday, January 19th, 2012 my daddy, Clyde B. Wainwright …”slipped the surely bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”* How did he die? Like a man.

My daddy was born on February 3th, 1930. He was almost 82 years old. He’d been sick, for quite a while, but none of us is really sure how long, because he wouldn’t tell anyone if he was hurting.

My daddy proudly entered the U.S. Army when he turned 18 and served over 20 years including 2 tours to Vietnam. He went on to also serve the great state of Texas through Texas Department of Corrections at the Coffield unit for 10 years. When they offered him a promotion from Lieutenant to Captain, he declined. He was content and didn’t want the added responsibility and necessary move associated with that little bit of pay.

My daddy was truly always and only married to one lady, the love of his life, hard to get; fickle as she was, he just couldn’t quit her: golf. She enraptured him during the years of the depression when as a young boy he went to a course offering to caddy for money. The glint of those clubs winked his way, those dimples in the little white ball, he couldn’t resist. Till the very last dregs of his swing were consumed by arthritis and age, and he could no longer stand steady, did he give up courting her courses. But never in his heart.

My daddy was fiesty. Not mean, or vicious; just fiesty. And he was proud. Proud to be a man. He enjoyed being a man. So it was hard to watch him grow more and more unsteady, feeble, elderly. I didn’t think about it, but I apparently believed that he was going to be prideful, difficult, and fight getting old or sick – maybe even bitter, because I was pleasantly surprised how easy he took his later years. As he needed more and more help to walk or stay steady, he took it, he laughed about it, he made up funny quips about his faultering.

He didn’t want to go to a nursing home, but he didn’t make anyone feel bad about it. He didn’t grow bitter or angry or demanding. He would even try finding cute ways to get the nurses to stay in his room for company at night. He had those ministering spirits God gave him in the nurses who were relatives and their friends. Oh, God’s favor was always on my daddy every where he went. Everyone loved his fun personality, and even if they didn’t always agree with his leadership, they respected it. In the ICU-Hospice ward, they called him, “The General”. I know he loved that. So even as liver failure was setting in, he was still making a sad and grim situation work for him.

He didn’t fuss or cry, and his body lingered on 3 more days after the decision to cease intervention. He bore it and went to be with the Lord. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t pleasant. It wasn’t pitiful either. My daddy taught me a lot about getting old, being sick, and dying.

Like a man.

A man I will always love and admire.

* Ronald Reagan. Speech after the Challenger Disaster. January 28, 1986. Speech by Peggy Noonan.