Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Penniless thoughts

A lot of my posts are about something I learn. This time I'm going to start out writing something I feel and see where it goes. Often the things that are there to be learned are in plain sight and we just need to lay it all out so we can look at it in its entirety.

I often think of myself as not a very emotional person. This is in fact, not correct. I think it is just that my emotions run very deep. I often struggle with how to express my emotions, yet I lay my heart on display in this blog. How does that work?? I like to hide my heartache behind a corny joke or sarcastic comments. I don't like to cry. I don't often cry, but when I do, you know something is very wrong.

In Bible class last night we read a little from the psalms. When I was younger I could never understand why people liked the psalms. To me they were emotional dribble that was a great thing to read to make you sleepy. Now I'm older and I've put away many (not all!) childish ways. Now when I read the psalms it is as if my heart is aching to speak the words that are spoken in that book. To read them is almost to speak them myself. Maybe I'm getting soft or maybe I'm realizing that not everything can be stuffed down and bottled up. If this great man, a man after Gods own heart, can lay his heart on paper, why can't I?

David messed up....a lot. So do I. So do you. Our mistakes just aren't written for all to read. But David kept coming back to God. He had a relationship with God. David craved his presence. When he messed up, he made it right.

Sometimes, I wish I could catch a glimpse of me through Gods eyes. Maybe he sees potential there that is unknown to me and all others. At the same time, I know God loves me. He loves everyone. It is just hard for us to imagine a love that is not displayed in this world. Lets just admit, no one can love like God can. Oh we can try, and we can have amazing love, but God's perfect love....we can't match that.

This week has been tough. Stuff came that I didn't see coming. I've been praying and trying to make sense of everything. Sometimes though, things just don't make sense, and never will. We just have to wade through them and come out better on the other side. When we go through a refiners fire, we learn what we are made either get purged or you get burned up.

I've also stepped away from some of my responsibilities this week. I let go of something that I didn't want to let go of, but something had to give. I am committed to so many things that I can't fully commit to any one thing. So I cut back. Was it hard? Extremely. Do I think it was the right thing to do? Absolutely. I'm sure people will wag their heads and say I "gave up" or "quit". But I am one person and if I am to be used effectively in any area I have to cut back in some area. So I did.

Tonight I'll be reading the psalms. Not to fall asleep though. No, not even to relax to. Rather, To pour my heart out to God.

So I'm not even sure if this post means anything or if it is even worth reading. But to those who read my blog, thank you. For what it's worth....these are my thoughts with no pennies.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The problem is the problem.

There has been a lot of violence this year. It seems each week some new form of evil is rearing its ugly head to destroy the innocent. People are throwing the blame on anyone and everyone within reach. Fingers are pointing, voices are raising, laws are tightening. People are sick of the violence.

We want to line up the suspects and carry out a sentence. This country is broken. It's people are broken. The more we remove God, the more room evil has to wiggle. We try to change our laws and shake our fists at the air in rage. We have tried to put a band aid on a broken leg. It's not gonna fix it! We need to get to the root of the problem and treat the problem, not the symptoms.

We want someone to blame? Find a mirror. We let our families fall apart. We forget to take care of our children and teach them the value of a human life. We tweet, Facebook, and text (these things are fine IN MODERATION) our lives away while our children grow up without us! The weapons are not the problem, we are! We are responsible for molding the next generation. Our country is so self-absorbed and concerned with instant results, that we have failed to look at our future.

Forget political parties and agendas! It is all just band aids! Those politicians are people. People that were once children. Children that needed to be shaped. They are People who are now shaping children.

Little girls aren't taught how to be women, little boys are not taught how to be men. People don't know what commitment is or what promises are.

We are a broken people. We have come to accept our brokenness as the norm. In doing so, we have passed it on. We have to fix ourselves. We have to let God fix us. We have to sit down and talk to our children. Teach them what is good and honorable. Teach them that there is value to every single human life. Love them no matter what. Show them love in action.

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NASB)

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Let us over shadow this evil with good.

Our country is once again left shell shocked and searching for answers. My post "this is when." may offer some comfort. Now is the time to act. Spend time, good quality, non-electronic, time with your kids. In my previous post I spoke of the fear we have to stand up for what is right. If there ever was a time to stand...this is it.

Just imagine the possibilities!! What would this world be like if we stopped blaming and started taking blame? I am as guilty as the next guy. Lets rip off the band aids, and treat the injury not the symptoms. On the count of three:!

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 NASB)

Monday, April 15, 2013

No god? Know fear. Know God? No fear.

Once again I had a post all put together. Once again it mysteriously disappeared from my drafts. So, yet again I am trying to rewrite what I had wanted to say. Often when I write it is about something I feel a passion for and so the words just flow. Once my passion is poured into something, it is hard to duplicate.

Everyone is afraid of something. One of my minor fears is bats..yuck. Or of my major fears is being buried alive. When you are afraid of something you generally try to stay far from it. Fear can help us in some situations. It can kick our adrenaline up and help us in crazy situations. However, the ways fear can help us are minimal. Although I do believe our country could do with a healthy dose of god fearing. Do I mean we should sit in a corner our whole lives and be afraid? No. I mean we should know our God enough to know that we should have a healthy respect for him and his omnipresence, omnipotence, and those other omni words. Basically he knows all, sees all, is everywhere, knows everyone, and is all powerful. Yep, sounds worthy of respect to me.

What I want to know is, when did we become a people afraid of the very truth we proclaim? Why do we fear we will offend others? Why to we dread discussion of our faith? Why are we afraid and what are we afraid of? Where have the fires gone that burned in our hearts? It's time to fan those flames!!

Why do we sit idly by as people smear the name of our Lord? We are just as the children of Israel in the bible. They turned from The Lord so many times! We sit in our comfy pews and ask why they were so dense. We like to think we would do differently. We'd like to think that when others are worshiping idols we will hold fast to the truth. We'd like to think that we won't bend the laws of god to fit the laws of man. But what are we doing?

The bible has much to say on the topic of fear.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 KJV)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:6 KJV)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18 KJV)

How can we try to tell people how great and powerful God is if we have too much fear to do so? We must live what we believe! People will call us haters and discriminatory. Let them. We will still love them. Hating sin and standing for truth does NOT mean we hate the people, but rather we pray for them and shine the light of truth and love. {Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (Romans 12:14 KJV)} Make them ask why it is that you still love and pray for a person when you don't approve of what they do. Wet the appetite of the world for God.

So, why is it that we are so afraid to stand up for what is good and right? I think there are a lot of reasons. One reason, I think people just don't want to get involved. It's easier to sit on the sidelines. How is remaining silent better than agreeing? I'm not sure it is. I also think a tiny voice in people likes to ask...what if I'm wrong? That is satan. He wants us to doubt our faith. He wants to weaken us, just enough to get his foot in the door. Perhaps we need to step back and ask why we doubt. We need to consume the word of God. People don't know the word like they used to. It is our can we fight without it?
Are we afraid of "persecution"?

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:10-16 KJV)

Why are we afraid?

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)

I believe that in the next few generations being a Christian may be outlawed if we stay on this path. I hope that if I'm ever arrested for being a Christian that there will be enough evidence to convict me. If there isn't, then I have been doing something wrong.

We cannot be afraid. God did not give us a spirit of fear! We must speak the truth with gentleness...not silence. The world is searching for God. They are trying to fill the void with all manner of things. We must live our lives with Joy, and light. For as tough as this life may be, it will all have been worth it. How will they know the truth if no one will tell it?

Let your light shine!! Stand up for what is right. Help when others hide. Reach out when others retreat. Sing when others are silent. Cast out your fear and cling to God and his promises.