Sunday, October 30, 2016

What do you have to lose?

When one seeks to know the heart of the heavenly Father, laying aside what one thought they knew for the adventure of seeking what He wants you to know about him, interesting things begin to happen.  Things you couldn't prepare for or imagine.

When one boldly gives God a timeline and says, "Ok, show me you, and show me you NOW, I'll give you a year," He has a funny way of drawing you in and showing you in a year's time you have only begun to scratch the surface of all he wants to show you about him.

And by then, it's too late, you're in....like Flynn.

All of a sudden seeking God's heart, if you're not careful, becomes a subtle addiction. A good addiction, but still an addiction.

A craving starts and when you want to walk away because He's grabbing your heart and pulling you away from the safe and comfort of your oh so blah and comfortable and boring comfort zone, you get pulled back in because your comfort zone isn't so cozy.  In fact, it's rather prickly.

You try to sit in your old comfortable chair and recline in your old comfortable ways telling yourself that you can go back to the way you were BEFORE you started seeking to know him, but in the end, the footrest of your recliner snaps down with a jolt because you have to know more.  You have to understand him better, because he has brought up so many more questions that you didn't know you even had when He was in a box and you were safe in your comfort zone.

Words now jump off the pages of stories you thought you knew because you'd heard them over and over and over and over again when the church calendar told you you should hear them, but this time there is something different about them.  Something is.........new.  And relevant.  And, dare I say, exciting.

Your heart is unsettled because the familiar way is dry and tasteless and without spice, lacking dimension or relevance to selfish and self centered and self absorbed you and me.

But when you take the courageous leap to discover the heart of the Father, not just the words that tell of his heart, but His actual abiding in your heart, and you listen and you turn your ear to a voice that  once was muffled by the comforts of your recliner and now is clear and loud by the wind breaking open the prison doors of your mind, you begin to crave the whispers and long for the gentle echoes of his wooing gentle voice.

As the treasure hunt for seeking the heart of the Creator of the world and the Savior of all men begins to unfold, taking you in directions you would have never dreamed you would go, to areas you had firmly said, "Never" in the comfortable days, you see the light for your path taking you in the place of greater joy and peace than you had ever experienced in your comfortable yesterday.

It's not without pain, this seeking the heart of the King of Kings, and it is not for the faint of heart either.

As you begin to see the world through the eyes of the Heart who gave up his comfort zone to walk among our world, the paths of suffering start to appear but the addiction of knowing and having to know what the Master would do or say or how he would endure takes your eyes off the suffering that lies ahead and to the side and taking up the tail wind.

You just want to know Him.

You want to know what He means when he says that he delights in showing mercy and kindness and justice and righteousness.

You want to know what it looks like and feels like to see the sin and yet still have great and abiding love for the sinner, especially when the sinner is you.

You want to know how he continues to not turn his eyes from the evil his creation does, when all we who are in comfort want to do is turn away, turn off, unfriend, and unfollow.

Then you will have that moment when you know that out of all the people in the world He is the one who gets you.  He is the one who understands you completely.  He and he alone sees the whole picture, the hidden as well as what's out there strictly for show.

He knows the real you.

And you're not afraid anymore to realize that he does.  (Actually, you are relieved to know that he knows the real you and can't believe he still wants to be with you).  You don't scare him away and that's what you don't know until you start seeking his heart.

Religion and rules will always entice you to believe that if the you stray from their paths you will lose His favor.  They gang up on your mind telling it you know his love and grace is unending, and bully your heart that has never been convinced.  You know with your mind.... but your heart doesn't believe that you know that you know what you know.

So you give up and give in and put up and forget.

But God doesn't.

Mercy, God's heart size mercy, doesn't give up or leave you.  His heart is the treasure.  His heart is the goal.

You will no longer be comfortable when you start the journey to know the heart of the Father.  Not just memorize some verses, but seek to know his heart.

You'll have moments of great joy and celebration and other days and weeks and months, and yes, even years, of great pain and suffering and wondering where he is.

You'll never be the same.

You won't be able to go back to your old ways, but it won't be because you can't go back it will be because you'll no longer want to go back because the new you doesn't quite fit in the the old wineskins.   He'll grab and hold your heart so tight that to go back and give up what you learned along the way will be too big a price to pay to be who you were before you sought out his heart.

When you taste and see that the LORD is Good, your addiction for knowing his heart as one that will never leave you will not require you to sit in a recovery circle of anonymous faces, hearts fearful and ashamed.  This addiction is allowed and encouraged.

You just have to start.  One verse.  One prayer.  One plea.

Father, help me to know who you are and who I am and who I am not because of who you are.

Really, what do you have to lose?



Peace,

Ronda

Isaiah 30:18-22
Isaiah 41:10
Isaiah 41:13
Isaiah 42:3
Isaiah 42:16
Isaiah 43:1-2
Isaiah 45:2-3
Isaiah 46:4
Isaiah 48:6
Isaiah 48:17
Isaiah 50:10
Isaiah 54:4-8
Jeremiah 6:16
Jeremiah 17:7-8





Thursday, October 27, 2016

Stand up or shrink back?

I just saw another story about another well known Christian putting their two cents worth into the public discourse of......well, it doesn't matter what was said, who said it or why they felt they needed to say what they said.  It's their conscience.  It's their life.

As I've come to learn, most assuredly this election season, is that most everything is taken out of context, most everything is twisted to say what wasn't said, or what someone wished was said, or what wasn't said but reported as said because someone said it was true and you know someone never lies why would they lie or why would someone believe what someone who lies said is true when you know someone lies.

How's that for a run on?  Hmmmmmm?

The more I know, the less I know.  The more I understand the more I realize there is more to understand than I will never be able to understand in my lifetime.  Probably three or four lifetimes wouldn't even get me to where full understanding waits.

I could pick out a bunch of Bible passages and if you're not real knowledgeable, you may quickly agree that because this blog posted this passage stating a certain truth is backed up by a certain passage than it must be true.

But then along comes someone who is smarter than me or more knowledgeable or has more wisdom or has a degree that says they have the authority to understand it more clearly than either myself or my friend in the above paragraph.....

And that person would then point out why the first passage is not correct and why because that passage does not confirm an imagined and/or hoped for truth

...and then both me and my friend are left wiping egg off our faces.

So what is one to do?  Who is the authority on where these cut and paste pieces of an ancient text can be glued into our fragmented and disjointed and disagreeable 21st century?

Jesus.

He's the one with the authority.

And He drives me crazy because He's all about saving people and loving people and freeing people and he puts up with a lot of misconceptions and lies and half truths about who he is and what he wants and what he expects and he lets us all just duke it out until we're SCREAMING AT EACH OTHER IN CAPITAL LETTERS or unfriending or unfollowing our own brothers and sisters in Christ or otherwise!

I mean really, Jesus, could we please just get some clarity?  Please?  The authoritative clarity only you seem to have.

Ugh.

So I like to find a word, any word, and see and read all the places it's used in the ancient text - or what we like to call, The BIBLE.  I like to look up the original languages, see it used every place it's used in the Bible, and even read it in a several different translations so I know I am fairly clear on its meaning.

So the other day I was soaking in Revelation 21.  (Kinda under the bleh feeling of, Lord give me some hope it's going to be better SOOOOONNNN!)  If I had a super power my super power would be that I could read the WHOLE Bible in one sitting every time I sat down to read it.  It would make it so much easier if I could read and know and understand the full context of a verse or a chapter or a book in relation to the whole book.

But.....alas, I am a mere aging woman, graying, shrinking, and widening, and no such super powers to boast.

So back to Revelation 21.

God has such a way with causing a word to jump off the page with me.

And if you've read Revelation 21 I'm sure you are trying to guess which word was the one that got my attention.

No, it wasn't the one on mourning,

or the seven angels,

or the light

 or the lamp.

Nope, none of those.

It was one in this passage:

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur."

I'm guessing you think it might be.......LIARS?

Nope.

I won't hold you in suspense, I know you have things to do.









But the 
COWARDLY
the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars.....

Cowardly - afraid in a way that makes you unable to do what is right or expected; lacking courage

Cowardly is not last on the list nor is it in the middle.  For some reason, John was led by the Spirit to put Cowardly front and top of the verse.

Now, I have to confess something.  If I have a list, whether it is a grocery list, a list of tasks to complete, or any other list, whether I am making it or memorizing it, I usually ALWAYS remember the very first thing on the list (if I forget the paper my list is written on).  It's usually because the first thing on a list is the most important thing on the list I need to buy, do or remember to buy or do and thinking of the most important thing to write down started an avalanche of other things to write down, but the most important thing stays at the top.

So I went ahead and looked for some other lists in the New Testament and I found a few more.

You can look them up if you would like:  1 Corinthians 5:9-12 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 4:29-5:7.

Now, I stayed in the New Testament because we are living in the New Testament, not the Old.  And I know how some God mockers hate when the Old Testament is used as a basis for morality so I found it interesting that the New Testament held quite a list of "deal breakers" (if the words of Paul and John are considered a valid part of the truth package).

Did you find it interesting that Paul stated that these were all about people INSIDE the church, not outside?  It wasn't about "sinners" and their end game, but it was a plea to the "saints" and their end game.

They are strong words, and it's a tough list so you may want to soak in them for a little bit before you come back to this post.



If you come back.



But when, and if  you do, let me point out something:

Cowardly makes no other list but the list in Revelation.

The Greek word for it, deilos means to be cowardly, fearful, timid.  It's used for the English words, cowardly and afraid.

It is an adjective that describes a person who loses their "moral gumption" that is needed to follow the Lord, because of an excess fear (dread) of losing, causing someone to be fainthearted (cowardly) hence, to fall short in following Christ the Lord.

Second on that Revelation list, is the word unbelieving (apistos) which means to be not faithful because he or she is unpersuaded, not convinced, or they are someone who rejects or refuses God's inbirthings of faith.

So, my lists usually have the most important things to buy or do at the top.

I wonder if that was what John intended.  He got a great vision and as he tried to record it, I wonder, did the word cowardly and unbelieving jump off the corner of the vision and onto papyrus first because it was the most telling trait he saw?

I'll ask him when I meet him.

But for now, I'll ask you.....

Are you a coward?  Are you unbelieving of what God can do?  Has done?  Could help you overcome?

If you follow the rest of the list you will see a lot of things that in other places of the Bible you may believe grace covers.  Those sins that so many of us have laid aside because we trust and believe that grace, God's undeserved favor, has freed us from the guilt of them.

Or have we?

Do we listen to the liars who say we were made that way or that we are just doing what society or our culture accepts or has rejected as old fashioned?  Do we throw our hands up in the air and say to the Potter, "You made me this way.  You know I'm a 'sinner', what do you expect from me?  Perfection?"

What say you, Jesus?   Does grace cover this or not?

The best answer I think He gives is that it depends on the heart's motive.

If you and I cowardly believe God has no power over our sin and so we just continue living it, practicing it, running towards it, accepting it, believing we have been sentenced to a sinners' life....then we might  be a little nervous at this point of this post.

But if we struggle with any of these and are continually asking God to help us overcome and conquer the struggles, going two steps forward and three steps back sometimes but always aiming for a forward path to victory, then these passages need not frighten us of death, just to confession and repentance.

It all depends on our hearts.

We either trust God to help us overcome or we don't.

We either submit ourselves to his escape plan from temptation or we cowardly give in to temptation.

Peter was afraid, but he wasn't cowardly.  When Jesus told him to walk to him on the water, he was afraid.  But Jesus didn't accuse him of being a coward.

Which are you?

Fearful or cowardly?  The fight or flight is a natural physiological response.  Cowardice takes thought.  And mulling over.  And considering of the cost.

Does your faith just need some exercising to be less fearful or is your fear of what you'll lose if you step out in faith driving you to shrink back and cower?

What is God calling you to be bold for?  What is God compelling you to stand firm on?

It's ok to be afraid, but clearly, John thought it important enough to place it number one on his list...

what he saw did not give the ok to be a coward.

I think there is a call going out around the world for courageous believers to stand up, not shrink back.  What that looks like for you may not look the same for me.  But, if you're about standing up for an ancient text describing an everlasting Lover of men's and women's and children's souls, then now may be the day you walk into light and out of the darkness of your own fears.

The cowards are on the same list as the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, the magicians, the idolators and the liars.

Our fear and shrinking back doesn't look so innocent on that list, does it?

Paul told believers not to associate with a brother, (a believer) who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolator or a slanderer, a drunkard, or a swindler.

Why?  Why Paul, why do we want to stay from those who claim to love Jesus but refuse to trust Jesus with conquering the sins that have entrapped them?

Why do you think Paul told us that?  And, even more difficult to think, what does that look like?

I think we'll see a great divide if and when that day ever comes, where the cowards are set apart from the fearfully courageous.

Which side will you be on?

Do you trust him or don't you?  Being willing to be made willing to trust him is more powerful then one who shrinks back and is afraid to be made willing.



Ugh.  I hate when these kind of words rattle around in my brain.




Peace,

Ronda




Matthew 14:30
Hebrews 10:39
Titus 2:11-15
1 Corinthians 7:23

Deilos
Matthew 8:26 (afraid); Mark 4:40 (afraid);  Revelation 21:8 (cowardly)

Apistos (unbelieving)
Matthew 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41; 12:46; John 20:27; Acts 26:8 (incredible); 1 Corinthians 6:6; 7:12, 13,14,15; 10:27; 14:22,23,24; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 6:14,15; 1 Timothy 5:8, Titus 1:15; Revelation 21:8


Cowardly synonyms:
chicken; chickenhearted, checken-livered, craven, dastardly, gutless, lily-livered, milk-livered, poltroon, pusillanimous, recreant, spineless, unheroic, yellow

Cowardly antonyms:
brave, courageous, daring, dauntless, doughty, fearless, gallant, greathearted, gutsy, hardy, heroic, intrepid, lionhearted, stalwart, stout, stouthearted, valiant, valorous


It is for freedom that Christ has set you free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be  burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

United we stand, divided we fall

What does Jesus think about division?  Does he like it?  Does he condone it?  Does he embrace it?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

If you ask a theologian he or she may say something different than someone who is new to the Bible. If you ask a pew warmer he or she may say something different than someone who refuses to have anything to do with religion.

What do you think Jesus thinks about division?

We only have the Bible to find out.  We can't speak to things he may have thought or said that weren't recorded or we didn't hear because we weren't there when he walked the earth.  It would be interesting to speak to him "off the record."  To read those things John talked about, the things that  "Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

We only get to know what we only get to know.  The mystery of many things remains a mystery.

But there is one thing Jesus said about division that I hate to read.  I hate it and it goes against my need for him to be nice and sweet and unifying and kind and understanding and willing to look the other way and just love me where I'm at.

"Do you think I came to bring peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but division.  From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

Ugh.

Jesus, this is not how a good sweet God should try to build his people up.  Isn't there a seminar where we can learn how to get along, where we can learn to listen to each other and communicate with each other in a way that brings mutual understanding and edification?

Surely, you didn't mean what you said?



Could he be the one behind all the division we see right now?

If so, why?  What purpose could there be to division?  Is there a purpose?  What could he be trying to work out the only way it can be brought out but through division?

I used to hate the thought of division.  I couldn't understand how God's people could ever be divided. I thought that if there were enough prayer, enough seminar attendance, enough turning the other cheek, then surely it would be ok.  There would be unity among the brethren.

I liked to believe in fairy tales on earth.

And I said to Jesus, many times,  "What about what Paul said about division?  Hmmmmmm?"

"The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!"  And the hand cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.  And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment.  But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."

And there's Jesus' answer to my argumentatively based question.

He brings division so that the Body can be united.  He brings division, he divides out the parts that are unpresentable, less honorable, dispensable....those parts that are keeping the body from having equal concern for each member of the body.

He brings division to cleanse, to bring honor and modesty to those parts that lack them.

He brings division so that when one part suffers, every part suffers.

Division shows us where the suffering parts are.

There's a lot of suffering parts right now in America, least of which is in the visible church housing the invisible members of the body of Christ.  Some of them may be marching about certain lives mattering.  Some of them may be refusing to see the truth about their candidate.  Some of them may be so sick and tired of everything they have just given up and refuse to engage in anything.  Many of them sit in church buildings, Sunday after Sunday, week after week, never knowing what God is after in the division they are sure is right.

The division is palpable.  The division on the news is a perfect reflection of the division of Christ's body.  We are divided Americans because the visible American church is a divided body.

We have settled for the first statement by Jesus, "I have come to not bring peace but division" and said, "Well, that's what Jesus promised there's no getting around it," yet have failed to take to heart what the Apostle Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to say just a few decades after Jesus' left the earth.

So which is it Lord?  Which will keep us in your good graces?  Which shows our true devotion to you?  What you said, or what you said through Paul?

We're waiting for an answer, Lord.  Can't you see the world is on fire now?  Don't you see the news?  Don't you follow Facebook?  Don't you read the comments?  Don't you see what is going on out there?

"But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other." 

Ugh.  What is that supposed to mean?  I need clear answers, Lord.

What will it matter who is elected if the Body of Christ continues to be divided by its own stubbornness, fears, or personal sense of justice?

Jesus said something else about equal concern for our neighbor.  You know the quote, it gets blasted at his followers from the bystanders who mock believers.  "Love your neighbor as yourself."

It's a good quote.  But it's funny how that quote gets used and the one just before it gets ignored.  Maybe if the one before it didn't get ignored, maybe the division that Jesus said he brought would do its work a little faster so that we could all get down to the callings we've been given.

Have you heard this one?  Have you quoted this one when you quote the Love thy neighbor one?

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this:  'Hear O Israel, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'  The second one is this:  'Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandments greater than these."

If we're working on the first of the greater commands we probably won't have much time for marching or commenting or pouting.

I'm terrible at following my own advice.  Even worse at practicing what I preach.  I like to use that division quote of Jesus to justify some of my own not so pretty behaviors.  Almost like I can say, "See I shouldn't worry so much about making peace with those I don't get along with, because, look, look right here in Luke's gospel Jesus said it was going to be like this."

It's nice to have that as the ace in my pocket to pull out when I don't want to love my neighbor as myself.  When I don't want to give equal concern for the suffering parts of the body because I'm afraid I will give the wrong idea of supporting a brother or sister who is suffering in sin because I'm afraid it will look like I am condoning that "sin" whatever it may be - whether it is vulgarity or false teaching or alcoholism or gossiping or overeating.

Jesus said there will be division in our own family, but he didn't let us know why until decades after his death.  Those early first century Christians had to wait to know why they were being hated by their own families and tossed to lions.  Most probably never knew.  But they do now.  And so do we.

So that equal concern for the Body will be attained.

It doesn't look pretty.  If anything, Jesus was giving us and the early church a heads up on that very fact.

Division isn't pretty.  But it's going to happen.

Division is never pretty when there is no purpose to it.  When it is just division because pride or stubbornness or fear doesn't want to do what it takes to put the effort in to loving my neighbor as myself, let alone working on the loving God with everything part.

But division with purpose is beautiful.  It has an attainable goal.  Division with purpose is so that there is growth.  If a seed never died and its pollen carried in the wind, there would never be new flowers.

Division with Jesus' purpose in mind is beautiful.

When there is no division in the Body its parts will have equal concern for the other.  When one part suffers, all will feel the pain of the one suffering, not just those on this side of the theological aisle.  When one part rejoices, all will rejoice. Not just those who have the most "likes" or "followers."

When division is embraced the way Jesus intends division to be used, God is glorified.

If nothing else during this time of great division, let us ask God these things:

What are the indispensable parts of the your Body?  The honorable parts?  The modest parts?  Where are the parts that lack honor?  What can we do to show equal concern for your body?  Not just the parts of the body that we like or agree with or find more important?

There will be division.  But division does have a role.

Where do you fit in division's purpose?


Peace,

Ronda

Luke 12:51
1 Corinthians 1:10
1 Corinthians 11:18
Romans 16:17
John 21:25
Psalm 133:1
John 17:23
Romans 15:5
Ephesians 4:3
Colossians 3:14


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Just enough light for the next step

My husband and I rode four wheelers recently.  It was a beautiful fall weekend in Northern Wisconsin.  The colors were brilliant as we zipped up and down trails, taking quick turns, with even quicker glimpses of beautiful lakes and ponds reflecting the white birch bark, the yellows and oranges and reds of the trees getting ready for their winter sleep.

With the sun not so high in the sky this time of year, and shining so brightly against a clear blue sky, the shadows it made with the leaves played tricks on my eyes.  There would be splashes of light in a polka dot pattern of shadow, sometimes dangerously placed on a hairpin turn or on a rock that was camouflaged in nature's disguise.

When we rode into an open clearing and the visibility was unfettered, the sun brought sparkles of diamonds on the pond waters, and made every color even more brilliant with the amber filter of my goggles.

But when the light was unpredictable, when it only shined itself in splotches of the forest trails, that is when the path seemed almost dangerous.

As the already low sun began to set, and the dust stirred up by the dry conditions, visibility was further impeded; where light was shining it was clouded by the dust left behind the rider ahead of me.  The light never stopped being light, but the dust came in and clouded what was already being camouflaged by the shadows from the trees hanging above the trails.

I knew God was trying to tell me something about this, because all day I kept grumbling about the light and the dust and the mixture of both with shadows.  The light was there trying to warn me of rocks and dips and puddles, but I was frustrated often because the shadows and dust seemed to be working so hard to block the light from shining on a clear path.

Sorta like what's going on right now in America.  It seems nearly every hour, more and more darkness is being exposed as more and more light is being shed on the corruption of our government and elected officials.  We see the light and what it is exposing, but the shadows and dust of those ahead of us is hindering a clear unobstructed view.

We see the light, but the shadows overpower it.  The darkness covers it, just when it seems a clearing is coming into view.

One more email released, one more video exposed, one more recording blasted over the internet.....

The Light is there.  The Light hasn't gotten darker just because the shadows have covered it.  The Light will never lose its power, no matter how much darkness tries to hide, the Light is still shining.  The clearing is just around the corner.  We'll be riding into that open field with the twinkling water reflecting the beauty of the forest around it soon.  Maybe it's just around the next hairpin turn, maybe we still have miles and miles to go.

Nevertheless, when we get there, the reflection is perfect.  The winds are calm, not a ripple is seen sans the rise of a fish searching for its afternoon snack.

Soon the Light will push away the darkness, as the last leaf falls before the winter nap is taken.

The Light will burst forth and there will be nothing to stop it.  No dust, no shadow, no forest canopy will be able to hinder the path we must take.

The rough ground will become level, the rugged places a plain and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind together will see it.


Peace

Ronda

Isaiah 40

Saturday, October 8, 2016

SMH

They must be shaking their heads.  The Holy of Holy and all who are with them.  They must be shaking their heads at us here in America.

That's what I'm doing.  Shaking my head, yelling at the TV, yelling at Facebook, yelling at family and friends who don't think the way I do on screen.  Why don't "they" see what "they" are doing?  Why can't "they" see that "we" are right and "they" are wrong?

Surely, the Holy of Holies is looking at us and shaking his head and doing the same?

Oh wait, the Holy One is not like us.  He lived like us, He walked like us, He felt like us, He experienced like us.....but .......

He's not us.

His vision is broader and wider and higher and deeper and longer than ours will ever be.

He sees the beginning the middle and the end.  We have only glimpses of the same.

But still, we hope, at least I do, that I'm right and "they" are wrong, because I'm a child of the Holy One even though "they" say they are also children of the Holy One.

Ugh.

Double, triple, quadruple ugh.

These things I know in my head are true, yet my heart gets distracted and forgets daily, ok, every time I'm on Facebook or watch the "news."

1.  God is still in control.

2.  God is not surprised by anything that is going on in America right now.

3.  God's grace is still for EVERYONE, no matter what he said, or she did or he will do or she might do.  God's grace is still for EVERYONE.

It's so easy to forget that one.  As much as I want to point fingers and yell through cyberspace, I have to yell louder for GRACE to pour over us, to spill out of us, to cover us, to cleanse us.

God is not surprised.

God's grace is still active and available for all who call on His name.

It's so hard to walk that talk though, during this time, is it not?  Maybe it's just me having a hard time walking the talk I believe.

It's all so...so...so  murky.  I love my country.  But I love God more.  I love justice, but I'm pretty fond of His grace too.  I love those who agree with me, but I want to love those who don't just as much or more.  I love the freedoms I've known as an American citizen my whole life, but I love the freedom I have in Christ more.

He's in control.

He's not surprised by anything that is going on in America or anywhere else right now.

His grace is still for EVERYONE.

I'm working on that one the most.  It's hard, but I am working on it.  We're all just a breath away from being trapped in our fears and guilt and shame...again.  No matter how free Christ has made us, the battle for our minds and words and behaviors is still going on.  Strongly.

None of us have anything to boast about.  Our only boast is this:


Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength, or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:  that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the LORD.

That's my new prayer for all of us, for "them", "we", "him", "her"......us.  That we understand and know the Lord who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth.

I want to delight him, don't you?



Peace,

Ronda