Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Boy, those planks are hurting my eyes.

I'm already sick of it all.  The posts, the shares, the likes, my own Bleah on the topic.  We are where we are and the reasons we are where we are can be debated in the history books.  We have to live now.  Wherever the blame lies or the victory goes, this much is still true:  God is still on His throne.  He is not surprised by anything that is going on in the United/Divided States of America.  Not a smudge, not a bit.

Long before any of us were born, He knew what would be going on in the summer of 2015.  And He let it happen anyway.  He could have stopped it, but He didn't.

So, what are we going to do about something God could have stopped but didn't?

Exactly what the Holy Spirit leads us to do or not do.

Your guilt can drive you to waste your breath calling your congressman, the President, your momma; or you can call on God to give you eyes to see, feet to move, hands to work in whatever way He wants you to go.

Or you can do what you're doing now.

Fretting.  Lamenting.  Agonizing.

Roll up your sleeves, put on your big girl (or boy) panties and let's deal with it, shall we?

The SCOTUS ruling has been a great wake up call to me.  When I see all the ways Christians are mocked for their beliefs - some with good reason - I can't help but wonder if this is exactly what believers needed to get their game face on.

We've been throwing around quotes and well-written blog posts and articles like they are candy being thrown from a parade float.  But every once in awhile it is fun to sneak a piece of the candy and taste one for yourself.

We, brothers and sisters in Christ, are getting a good dose of spanking right now - in my opinion.  While the church, not the visible building either, but you and me - the called, that CHURCH - has been greedy, divorcing, having affairs, killing our babies, stealing, lying, being fake in general - the door was opened for this fruit to be sown.

Why are we so surprised and shocked?

When an unbeliever mocks us with cut and paste verses and cut and paste verses are thrown back, why are we surprised when the Word doesn't penetrate?  Until believers embrace and marinate in the Full counsel of God - Genesis through Revelation - why should anyone else?

I've written this here before and I'll write it again.  We are lazy, Church.  Lazy.

We love being spoon fed.  We love claiming ignorance.  We love being able to say, "I'm not smart enough, educated enough, I didn't go to seminary or bible college...."  Blah, blah, blah.


And now, our excuses are water under the bridge.

We can't change a second of yesterday or last week or last month or 1973 or 1964 or any other time period.

But we can change now.  We can.

God is not done and neither should we be done.

Now is the time to be the believer that truly is a force to be reckoned with.  The time for weakness is over.  The time for Holy Spirit power is upon us.  He is hovering around us, searching for wholehearted hearts willing to be used by Him.

Get out your connection to God.  Dust it off.  Open it up and say, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening," and don't move until He says "MOVE!"

Don't wait another second for the world to conform to your candy.  Let the Holy Spirit conform you to His image and then, then maybe, just maybe the world will see something more than a cut out paper doll with globs of glue in the hair.

The only one at fault for not being light in a dark world is us.  We are the light of the world but church, we have been very, very dim.  The world hasn't put out our light.  We have put out our own light by our laziness.  By our refusing to be Bereans and search the scriptures for ourselves to see that everything we have been taught is true.

We are the only ones to blame.  Not our government, not present or past Presidents, not the courts, not the left, not the radical right, not the moderates.  We are, Church.  We have let this happen because we fought the way the world fights.

It's a new field now.  The law is not in the favor of the Christian.  All we have now, all we ever really needed anyway, is the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

So grab onto that mercy we claim we know.  Taste it again.  Let Jesus wrap you in it again.  Wear it, proudly and without shame.

What I see the most from those who mock us is this:  We are hypocrites.  We are fake.  We don't know our own manual.  And they're right.

Now is the time to make liars of them.

Take off your masks.  Take off your shame.  Take off your fears.  Lay them out before this open field and say, "No.  I'm not a hypocrite.  I am not fake.  I am _____________."  (and don't you dare use the word SINNER!)

I am a liar.

I am greedy.

I have cheated.

I have killed.

I have mourned.

I have lost.

I have been tempted.

I have given into temptation.

I have gossiped.

I have mistrusted.

I have been faithless.

And then you can really say, "But God-He is nothing like me."


Friday, June 26, 2015

Sometimes Loyalty Comes in Small Packages

We've had a busy few weeks in our corner of the world.  All in about two weeks we hosted a 50th wedding anniversary party for my parents, along with having all our children, spouses and grandchild under roof.  When the party was over and our children all headed south, back to their adult lives, and we started the clean up of five days of sun, fun, food and family, we were hit with a painful loss.  We had to put down our ten year old dog, Maggie.

In the grand scheme of things, and in the wake of all the division that continues to divide the United States right now, it seems silly to even be writing about her, but we have felt her loss much more than either of us ever thought we would.  I have grabbed two treats instead of one when rewarding Maggie's sister Lucy.  I have grabbed two bedtime snacks instead of one.  I had to put her leash away when it was painful to see both hanging in their cubby.

When our children pleaded and begged over the years for a dog, I held them off over and over, until one day, when all my arguments had been rebutted and God brought a little puppy into our home, and our daughters PROMISED they would take care of her, would feed her, would walk her, would get up with her, would clean up after her.....Maggie picked me to be her person.

Even though I never wanted a dog, Maggie taught me a lot of things, mostly about what it means to be loyal, faithful, and willing to give up all in order to make sure the one she loved most was safe.

I tried not to like her.  They tried to get her to like them more. We all tried.

But Maggie wouldn't budge.  I was her person.  She became my dog.

If I left Maggie's sight, she left whatever she was doing - sleeping, eating, playing, barking - to come and look for me.

If someone besides me took her outside to potty, the instant she came in she would begin her hunt in search of me.  She would not relax until she knew I was safe or close by.  She passed up her treats until she knew I was ok.  She would not eat her food if I left the room.  (Which became a problem because her little sister was more than eager to empty her bowl if Maggie stepped away).

I was her girl.

And now she's gone.

But boy, did she teach me about loyalty.  Her loyalty humbled me.  I was her master and she did not do anything without getting her master's ok.

Many times through Maggie's life, God would show me the kind of loyalty he desired.  He'd point to Maggie and say, "It looks like hers."

I'm still trying to learn from Maggie.

It wasn't easy for her to have me for a master.  I left the house many times, out of her sight, and all she could do was wait for me to return.  She'd look for me, sitting on the back of the love seat in the window, eyeing every car or person that came by, knowing exactly when it was me pulling in the driveway or walking up to the house.

When we said good-bye to her on Monday I couldn't be in the room when she went to sleep.  But I couldn't lie to her and tell her I'd be back, like I had hundreds of times in the last ten years.  I could only tell her "Thank you.  Your job is over now, Maggie.  You did a good job."  I wanted to tell her I'd be back, but I couldn't lie to her.   I couldn't let my last words to her be a lie, even if she was a dog and would never know the difference.

So I just told her to stay, she'd be ok..and then we closed the door.

I hope my Master, Jesus, sees my heart wanting to be like Maggie's was to me.  Loyal, faithfully waiting and watching for Him to come back.  Not wanting or needing anything without His approval.

I've learned a lot from a fifteen pound ball of white fur.  I think that's why she picked me.