Thursday, December 30, 2010

The New Anomaly

Many of us have had difficult upbringings. We come from dysfunctional families that have affected us in different ways based on numerous variables.

Unfortunately, most of us fall into that category now-a-days. Of course, there are always exceptions. I remember when coming from a broken family was a departure from society's norm. Today a person is almost considered an anomaly if they were raised in a completely healthy family environment. If you fall into that category, I'm really happy for you. Seriously. But if you don't fall into that niche please don't fret because I've got great news for you!

You are not only not alone, your life dovetails with a group of people that were the ancestors of the greatest person to walk this earth. A person who was actually God in the flesh. We celebrated His birthday a few days ago.

He came from one of the most dysfunctional groups of people I know of. Many of Jesus' ancestors did some pretty scummy things. For instance...

Jacob tricked his father into giving him his brother's birthright.
Rahab was a prostitute.
King David committed adultery then murdered the husband of the woman he had an affair with.

I could go on, but the point is clear. Jesus had both a gnarly family tree and difficult life circumstances to deal with. He was surrounded by people who hated, rejected and despised Him. But as Jesus allowed Himself to be molded into what His Father wanted Him to be, it is my guess that although the outside world He lived in was hostile and pained Him greatly, His inside world was protected.

Our inside world - our emotions - can also be protected and healed as we let God lead, guide and fill us with His Spirit. The healing restoration began when we joined the family of God. A family that many today consider "dysfunctional". Some people may see us as...

The New Anomaly.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Is It Possible To... Muzzle a Puzzle?

Whatever can I be talking about now? Muzzle a puzzle? Surely, the only reasoning behind that "title" is that is that it rhymes?

Yes, this morning I was asking myself what I could share. I suppose you could say I was...puzzled. Then I looked up and saw the puzzle that began when one Christmas years ago, our daughters gave us a Thomas Kinkade puzzle...with puzzle glue. We put it together and a beautiful picture formed. My husband found an old frame that had seen better days in the trash on one of his morning walks. He painted it and after applying the puzzle glue to our new picture, we let it dry and fastened it to the newly painted construction that would act as a border. It was beautiful. Matter of fact, we ended up putting together another round Thomas Kinkade, gluing it and mounting it on a round piece of wood that I purchased for very cheap. My sister helped us paint and prepare the backing and "voila"...another Thomas Kincade "painting" in our price range! It is what I see every morning as I sit here.

The point? It's beautiful...but it began as a puzzle. Life is like that. Though it has the potential to be the beginning and possibly even now, it is a mass of puzzle pieces that are overwhelming and meaningless. Intuitively, many of us know that there is no way we can put the puzzle pieces of our lives together by ourselves.

Even if we are clever and do manage to create a "Thomas Kincade" from our lives, it won't last forever and it won't be "the real thing". The good news is that when Jesus was born and gave His life sacrificially for us, He began putting the pieces of our lives together again. God sent the Holy Spirit to work in His children's lives as He takes the myriads of odd shaped puzzle pieces and creates a beautiful masterpiece! Unfortunately, many of us won't let God into our lives. We try to put the puzzle pieces together on our own but the pieces in our lives are so many that discouragement can quickly find a home in our hearts. We not only do not want to put the puzzle together, we try to ignore the pieces all together in our misguided attempt to...

Muzzle the Puzzle.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Complete Compassion

You want me to tell you something that will make you think twice? Something good?
I thought so! We could all use a little encouragement here and there. Okay...maybe a lot. So what am I talking about?

Let me start by asking you a question. Do you tend to feel that Gods love in your life is based on your performance? Isn't it true that you - we all - tend to feel Gods love when we think we deserve it? And, well, when we've had a rotten day and haven't been the "best kid on the block"...we feel God's disapproval?

We spend a good deal of our lives...feeling. Most of our actions and/or reactions are based on them whether we realize it or not. Some people hold in their feelings, but they're still there.

So why am I talking about this?

I just wanted to remind you of something that I needed to be reminded of as well. God loves His children. He has compassion on them. Since He is not confined to the thing we call "time", God is able to look at us ... at the end of our lives. He loves what he sees in you and me. Why? Well, it certainly isn't because of how awesome we are. It is simply because He loves us. Period. He is our Father and has compassion in His heart toward us when He looks at us. Does he still discipline us when necessary? Of course. Are circumstances that threaten to overwhelm us, in His control? Yes. Can He "get rid of them" for us? Yes, if He chooses.

What if He doesn't "choose"? Is it because He doesn't love us any more? No. God's love for us is not based on our actions. So next time you "feel" Gods disapproval - I want you to recognize something important. The disapproval you felt was not a reflection of Gods feelings toward you. It is how you felt about yourself. So take God out of the equation if you are applying it to His love for you.

God cannot love you any more or less than He already does. You can't do anything about that fact. Absolutely nothing. When God looks at us, His heart is filled with...

Complete Compassion

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Because of Christmas, We Have a Home!

This past weekend, everywhere I went I kept hearing one song over and over again..."I'll Be Home for Christmas". We all love the sweet aroma of a love-filled home. Whether that was a reality in our lives or not makes no difference. A good home is a good home and much to be desired.

In addition to mine and my husbands two girls, my husbands son and daughter from his first marriage visited us every other weekend. When they were young they had a good home with us. That didn't change...but we also let other adults stay with us from time to time who seemed to need help. Over time, after we witnessed the destruction these people brought into our lives, we finally realized that we needed to protect our home for our children's sake. They had been hurt because of the people we were trying to help. It was time for us to provide a safe haven for our little family.

We still cared for other people...we just had to care for them on different terms. It's difficult to do that, sometimes. But our children were able to finally grow up in an environment free from behavior that brought with it bad consequences.

God loves His children. I'm grateful that when I leave this world one day, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will go...Home. God provided a place for me that is free from corruption, free from sin. Heaven.

He didn't just provide that for me...His Son, Jesus, was sent to this world to take the punishment that we deserve. God is loving, but He is also Just. Only Jesus had the ability to take on the punishment for our sins, and God knew that. So God did what no man could ever do. He sent His Son...His only this world. Jesus was born to die. For me. For you. Christmas is a celebration of His birth into this world.

His death is meaningful for anyone...absolutely anyone...who asks Jesus into their lives. And now...

Because of Christmas, We Have a Home!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Fear Gear...

Can you feel it in the air? It's as if the Spirit of Christmas is turning into the Memory of Christmas. Without realizing it, it seems like people are more and more succumbing to a quiet fear. As a matter of fact, many people don't even know exactly what it is that seems to be shifting. It's as if Christmas, the way it used to be celebrated, is becoming a thing of the past - replaced with "Happy Holidays". It's not the same.

This country has, in the past, embraced the celebration of Christmas as it symbolized the birth of Christ. We had nativity scenes in the park. People would wish everyone a "Merry Christmas" with joy. The spirit in the air was due to... the Spirit. Why? Because we were celebrating the birth of Jesus. God had to have been pleased. So many people throughout the world and through the ages have hated God. But here, in America, even our coins expressed our love of God. "In God We Trust".

As a country we have been blessed in many ways, but some of us have confused Gods spiritual blessings with prosperity in the material realm, as if that were the only way God could bless us. It actually fits quite well with the American Dream idea...and then we did two things.
1) We relegated God to "Religion" and compartmentalized our relationship with Him, focusing on church attendance.
2) We stopped talking about Him.

Now, our big "evangelical tool" is to say "Merry Christmas". It seems, for a variety of reasons, some of us are allowing fear to dictate our actions or non-actions. But not everyone. Many citizens refuse to let fear rule them. It makes me happy to know that a significant amount of people throughout our land refuse to be shifted into...

The Fear Gear,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Are you a Moral Mirror...or a Morality Maker?

Our lives are more about "image" than we realize. We allow ourselves to think that the people that are concerned with image are people in their teens and twenty's. Even into the thirty's. But by 40 and up, well...we tend to equate image with fashion, appearance, idols - people with a guise that is in keeping with the trend of the day.

Image, however, is simply a reflection. So what do you and I reflect? Who do we "take after"? Are you the spitting image of your Dad or Mom?

I liked the story I heard about the little girl who asked Jesus into her heart and figured that since He was big and she was small, well...He would have to shine through her. As she let God live in her, she actually became a moral mirror that reflected God's life in her little human body. Do we do that? Will we let go of the self made image we have of ourselves?

Sometimes we might. Many times, though, we decide our own morality. We make up our own rules and regulations. Decide what is right and what is wrong. That's understandable if you don't believe in God. But what if you do believe in God? If so... I have a question for you.

Are you a Moral Mirror...or a Morality Maker?

Friday, December 17, 2010

So Tell Me...What Kind of Glue R U ???

How about it? Do you have "stick-to-it-ness" in general? If you don't...fear not. As long as you have given your heart to Christ, the Holy Spirit will work in you whether you like it or not. But I have to say, your ability to "stick" to things can come in handy.

If you are a Christian and have given your heart to Christ, it is time to ask yourself if you are wanting Him to be your Savior only or if you really do want Him to be the Lord of your life.
Lets say you want Him to be your Lord. I'm talking, like, on a daily basis. Well, God is in it for the long haul...but you can make life a lot easier for yourself if you let Him work and willingly stick to Him like glue.

No problem, you say. One question you might want to ask yourself is, "what kind of glue do you remind yourself of"?

There is, as I'm sure you all remember, good old Elmer's glue. It was, for most of us, the first glue we ever used. Kindergarten and elementary school come to mind. Remember, the little scissors and glitter? Elmers glue was a first for most of us. However, as we got older, we started to get tired of waiting for it to dry...and even then, it just didn't hold things together for long. was a start, right?

Then we heard of super-glue. That stuff was pretty nice. Matter of fact, you had to be careful to keep from getting it on things that you didn't want to get stuck together. It was and is a much stronger glue.

More, you say? Well, yeah. Next comes "Gorilla Glue". That stuff is STRONG. Talk about sticking power.

Then there is the "Hot Glue Gun". Oy vey! How many times does God have to use the hot glue gun on us? Nothing quite like the heat of trials and tribulations to intensify the adhering power. You've heard about the persecuted church and how rapidly they multiply? Hmmmm...I'm thinking, "Hot glue gun". Those brothers and sisters in Christ are really sticking to God!

And then...drum roll please... there is the all powerful... Post It Note. (I'm being sarcastic, I admit it freely). Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves becoming "unglued" fairly easily! Our sticking power is about as strong as a Post It Note. That, as you know, doesn't say a lot. So tell me...

What Kind of Glue R U ???

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Tevya Tirade !

Do you remember Tevya in the "Fiddler on the Roof"? He was a Russian Jew with a very "laid back" personality and a good sense of humor. Throughout the movie he would talk to God and speak as if he were talking to a friend that he had known for a long time and could speak comfortably with. I loved that. It's the way it should be...and is for many people.

One of the things Tevya would say was, "On the other hand" ... as he analyzed opposing views in his mind. You could almost see a ping pong ball going back and forth!

Anyway, that's how I feel sometimes. Like Tevya. Are you like that? Trying to see "both sides" of things and having to make a decision based on what you know? Actually...that can be a problem with me. I go back and forth as I think in my mind, "on the other hand"...but the two sides that are duking it out seem to be the analytical side and the emotional side.

More often than not I go through what I refer to as...

The Tevya Tirade!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Analytical Emotionalist

I get together with a group of awesome women every Tuesday night. I love it! It is so hard to find people that are compassionate towards others...yet also very aware of the fact that if anything is going to change in our lives - the focus needs to be on ourselves. I mean - we can't change anybody else, right?

Anyway, we were all talking about a bunch of things. At one point we discussed people who are analytical and people who are emotional. After listening for a while, I piped in with "I think I am both analytical and emotional". As in... half and half. Hey? Isn't that what people put in coffee? But I digress...

See? I made my own point. I immediately found myself analyzing the statement "half and half". I tell you, sometimes I am so overwhelmed with thoughts that I get...overwhelmed.

And then there is the emotional side of me. Some might say, " you mean the emotional outbursts?" Yeah, well...I guess that comes with the territory. Sometimes though, don't you wish you had a switch that you could turn off? Sigh...

What point do I want to make? No point. Just an observation from...

An Analytical Emotionalist...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Now What?!

I know. It's frustrating. We look at the world around us and it's changing so fast...and not for the good. Not overall, anyway. The economic climate is a bit "humid" if you know what I mean. The future looks bleak to most people. They want to know what happened to their country. It's as if they blinked...and everything changed.

Don't blame this on Obama or the government. Criticizing schools, their administrations and or principals may make us feel better for a while...but the problem began with us. WE elected those people. WE looked the other way when people tried to warn us. Most of us acted like ostriches with their heads in the sand.

Prayer was taken out of the schools in 1962. Did you hear an uproar? I didn't think so. Abortion was legalized in 1973. What did you do about that? Have you even bothered to inform yourself about life and when it begins...or have you just listened to people tell you what you are supposed to think?

Are you aware that anybody - regardless of their political views - can run on any platform they want? That's been going on for decades and we wonder, for example, why the Republican party is not very conservative much of the time. Hey, Democrats have been running on the Republican Party platform for quite some time now. didn't know that either?

Did you know that eventually when abortion protesters protested...they were not allowed to "speak their piece" even though they were given a jury trial? Nope. The lawyers gave the judges anywhere from one to three typed pages of words that the "protesters on trial" were not allowed to say. The list of words was approved by the judge. If any of the "forbidden" words were repeated (,hospital,baby,clinic,etc.) the person on trial was sent to jail for three days and three nights. Eventually, they returned to their trial - and an entirely new jury. Yes...this was in America - the land of the free.

Many Christians tried to say something. They weren't all silent...but they were all shut down, for the most part. The media put their special spin on things and "political correctness" was formed. I hate to say this but even most churches decried "activist" as inferior interlopers who don't understand that they simply need to pray...and it will all go away.

But, as the saying goes, all that is water under the bridge. The question facing us at this time is pretty simple.

Now What?!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The "Haters"

You know what's really weird? Really, really weird? Not long ago (In the mid-90's) I watched some "end-time" movie. I can't remember the name. But I do distinctly recall how ridiculous I thought it was. One thing in particular stood out to me as being especially absurd. I took it with a grain of salt because even though I am a Christian and believe that this world will come to an end someday, the movie itself was just fiction. I'm referring to huge numbers of people in the movie that would refer to Christians as "The Haters".

Admittedly, I thought it sounded pretty cheesy. I cringed inwardly when I heard that terminology being applied to groups of believers in Christ. It was so outlandish. I remember thinking that whoever put that movie together was really "reaching" when they came up with that term.

Now...not even 20 years later...that doesn't sound far-fetched at all. The animosity people have towards Christians is becoming increasingly evident. I can't even play a Christmas song that speaks of Jesus and why He came, without people attacking me. I am now a judgmental hypocrite who can't be trusted. It is a horrible feeling to feel abandoned and betrayed by people that I love. Actually, I think it is pretty naive of me to think people wouldn't be offended. I suppose I'm accustomed, as an American, to being able to express my beliefs freely considering most of our founding fathers did exactly that and more.

But time is passing and our culture is passing with it. The Christians that once were loved are now, in growing circles, seen as...

The Haters.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thank You ... Memory

When I was in the college dorms, the public telephone rang. I answered. The girl on the other end asked me if I would like to take a survey on Life and Death. I decided it sounded interesting so I met with her the next day and took the two page oral survey. The first page was basically for the giver of the survey to determine where a person was at spiritually. She must have figured I was 'nowhere' based on my answers. On the top of the second page was the only question I remember. "Are you afraid to die?"
I answered, "No". That answer was apparently surprising to the survey girl. "Why?" she asked. "Well", I said, "because Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and the sins of anybody in this world who believes in Him and I believe in Him... so why should I be afraid to die? I'm going to Heaven."
The girl, shocked, said... "You're a Christian!"
"Oh?" I said. "I didn't know there was a word for it."
"You should be going to church", she says. "But", I said, "there is no Christian church around here". That is when she told me I could go to her church. It was christian. Happened to be a Baptist church. "Oh, okay" was my response. I've been going to church, bible studies and appying God's principals on a daily basis ever since.
Obviously, I must have learned about Jesus and how He died for the sins of the world, somewhere. But where? My life was a blank as far what I remembered. But...
God sent memory to me that day.
Did I tell you the name of the girl who gave me the survey? Her name was... Memory.

Yesterday, I told you about all the memories that flooded my mind in an instant. Everything I needed to know to deal with the circumstance at hand poured into my little naive teenage braincase. One year later...the same thing happened. This time, however, the "circumstance" had to do with my eternal destiny.

Thank you...Memory.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"I'm Going to Run Over That Cat" Part 3

Brief recap. I'm driving 50 mph in a car at night on a country highway. I round a curve and the head beams of my car hit a cat in the middle of the road. I was only 18 and a novice driver. Nevertheless, everything I needed to know to deal with that moment, came to my mind in a flash. It was supernatural. There is no other explanation. I had to avoid a rock wall on my right, a ditch on my left and a cat in the middle of a narrow 2 lane road. The passenger on my right thought he needed to help me drive so he reached over and turned the power steering drivers wheel significantly. There was no way to avoid an accident.

After "Danny" turned the wheel, I knew...for some unexplainable reason, that I had to turn the wheel slightly to the right. That put us into a backward spin which thrust us back into the cushion of the seat as opposed to throwing us forward on impact. If you knew me you would know that it is not "me" to think of something like that. It was utterly amazing. With my mind and body, countless thoughts, assessments and actions took place in about a two second period of time. Maybe less.

Another problem was the fence. I knew that hitting the ditch alone could be disastrous... but the heavy fence as well? It was a hopeless situation. But again, I somehow knew in that brief period of time that if I applied any pressure to the power brakes they would lock and we would flip. Where in the world did I- a naive inexperienced teenager- get that information?! Then, I covered my eyes and placed both of my feet on the floorboard...and waited.

Let me enlighten you about something. The fence I was careening towards was miles and miles long with a 12 foot gate every 1/2 mile that would allow a truck to enter the cow pasture with hay, I suppose. Of course, the foreboding ditch would be exposed on either side of the wide dirt path that enabled the truck to cross into the pasture once it passed the gate. Got that picture in your head?

So, I am prepared for a crash, with my hands covering my eyes after the car went into a backward spin at 50 mph. Miles of ditch were avoided as the car somehow managed to find the 12 foot wide dirt bridge and avoid the miles and miles of fence! Oh...and it was just a few feet wider than the car. Oh...and the car just happened to go through it at exactly the right angle to avoid the ditch.

The car crashed through the heavy gate and spun a couple of times before it halted...about 15 feet from a cow. He just slowly looked up and... mooed.

The cat lived. Neither Danny or myself had a scratch...and the police gave the ticket to Danny for "interfering with the driver."

A horrible accident was avoided. Nobody was hurt. That was the first time that I was really aware of...of...of something beyond me. Something that I didn't understand. But I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that "reality" was not limited to what I could see with my eyes and even understand with my mind. I knew...

I was not alone.

Neither are you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"I'm Going to Run Over That Cat..." Part 2 of 3

Before you have a hissy fit (pun intended) I just wanted to let you know that my intention was to run over the hopes that it would be still and stay low to the ground, allowing me to refrain from hitting it with the car tires.   It worked and the cat probably died of old age.  I never saw it again.  But the accident that was sure to take place and would actually result in a totaled car, was just beginning.

It's strange to think of an accident "just beginning."  They happen so fast.  But if you have ever actually been in an accident-especially if you were the driver- you'll know what I'm talking about.  Everything slows down.  It's as if you are in a surreal dream or walking in a sea of molasses.

Right after I told Danny that I was going to "run over that cat", I concentrated on my steering.  The car my dad let me use had both power steering and power brakes.  I knew that even a slight overreaction could be disastrous.  While I was intently focusing, Danny - undoubtedly  thinking I had lost my mind - reached over and turned the steering wheel about 4 inches to the left.  As a result, we headed straight for the fenced in cow pasture...but before the pasture was the ditch.  There was no doubt in my mind that we were about to experience a very unpleasant crash. (Is there such a thing as a pleasant one)?

I took my foot off the accelerator and planted both my feet on the floorboard.  If I applied the power brakes at that speed, I'm sure the car would have flipped.  Again...all of my reactions, all my thoughts before the reactions, came in an instant. There is no absolutely no way I could have thought all those things in an hour...much less recall all that information that quickly.  No more than one second passed during the whole time before...well, I'll finish my story...tomorrow.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"I'm Going to Run Over That Cat..." Part 1 of 3

They thought dropping Danny off at my parents house, where I lived at the age of 18, was hilarious.  Why?  Because he was drunk.  Surely my parents would get upset and I would be the recipient of their anger.  Danny's buddies laughed as they took off in the night... undoubtedly looking for more mischief.  What they hadn't counted on was my parents indifference.  After all, both my Mom and Dad knew I didn't drink or party. They understood without my saying anything that it wasn't my fault that Danny was now under the influence and under our roof.  My Dad trusted me and simply told me to take Danny home.  He gave me the keys to his car.

Earlier in the year, Danny's parents - who he lived with- asked me if I would be Danny's "driver" as his license was revoked.  They were thrilled that their son actually knew someone who wasn't a fellow mischief-maker.  I think they were hoping to be matchmakers.  It didn't work.  But, hey, I did take Danny home when he was drunk.

He lived about 15 miles away, in the country.  Ever the vigilant driver, I drove a cautious 50 mph on the small country highway.  I always tried to do things "right".    A few miles past the town I lived in,  I rounded a curve.  The headlights of my car hit a cat in the middle of the road. When you have to stop quickly ... 50 is fast.

How long does the light from your headlights, reach?  And how long would it take for a car to reach the end of the original headlight beam?  A car that is going 50 mph?  And what do you do when you can't go "around" the cat?  On my right was a high rock wall/hill.  To my left was a ditch...the other side of which was a cow pasture.  And... cows.  Oh, and sitting on the seat to my right was poor, drunk, Danny.

It was really weird.  In less than one second, countless things went through my mind.  Now keep in mind, I was only 18 and had been driving a car for no more than two years at this point.  I wasn't a bad driver, but I wasn't a skilled, professional  either.  There was no way I could have avoided an accident. I said, tons of things came to my mind in no more than one second.  Obscure newspaper articles about people getting in accidents and even dying in order to avoid an animal, came to mind.  Not just one article - lots of them.  I remembered things that I learned two years earlier, in drivers ed.  I don't have the time to tell you all the thoughts that flooded my mind in an instant.

You've heard of a persons entire life flashing before their lives in life and death situations?  Well...this was similar - except I knew it wasn't a life and death situation.  Nevertheless, everything I needed to know to deal with that moment, came to my mind in a flash.  It was supernatural.  There is no other explanation.

Then I heard a voice - Danny's voice as he screamed out "What are you doing?!"  I replied with a calm, concentrated certainty:

"I'm going to run over that cat."

Tomorrow, I'll tell you what happened...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Amazing Circumstances or Miraculous Milestones?

Okay, so yesterday I asked the question," Why would a stubborn person like me, turn to God? To Jesus? Was it an...action or reaction?

Well, frankly, I think a lot of people would assume that I was reacting to my "need" to belong. I mean, yes...I grew up lonely and estranged. It would certainly make sense that a person might turn to just about anything in a desperate attempt to belong to something. That kind of thing happens all the time. But in my case, I would have to say that I have always been a very stubborn person. For example, in the "peer years" of teenagehood, many people will find themselves involved in something that they wouldn't normally choose - but because it means they will "belong" they will do almost anything. I, on the other hand, was disgusted at the thought that I would finally be "accepted" ... if I would just join a particular church.

Even though I wasn't a Christian at the time, and in spite of the fact that the church I am referring to claimed to believe in the Bible...I knew they were a cult. I was so certain of that that I refused to join their church in spite of all the "events" I would be able to be a part of. From sixth grade through High School I quietly refused to "give in" and join a group of religious people just so I could be invited to dances. The very thought made me ill. Consequently, I had no friends and no social life at all.

The year after I graduated High School, before I went to College...something happened that was the beginning of a series of amazing "circumstances".

Why am I sharing these things? Because I need to remind myself of very real things that took place in my life. Things that shaped my thinking. Some people would refer to them as "Amazing Circumstance". Were they...

Amazing Circumstances or Miraculous Milestones?

It begins with the accident...I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Action or Reaction?

So...what does determine a persons actions and reactions? What determines your actions and reactions? What determines mine?

We can be people that are always on the defense...forever reacting. Or we can be on the offense as we take action. It's easier for some people to be on the offense. Other people, like myself, struggle in our attempts to refrain from reacting to circumstances...whether they are good or bad. If you ever battle with that, I encourage you to at least refrain from reacting right away. Try not to do anything when your emotions are still raw and you are reeling with hurt, anger or pain of any kind.

You guys, I don't have the strength in myself to do what I just encouraged. If you ever struggle with emotions that are boiling underneath the surface like a volcano that is ready to explode...or if you are so lonely or hurt that you feel like every cell in your body is filled with cement and your heart feels as if it is in your stomach...I just want you to know that I understand - and I am so sorry that you are experiencing that agonizing ache that is so distressing and disturbing that you literally feel crushed. Your wounds are deep and you despair of ever living a somewhat normal life.

The emotions I described above are not what I want in my life...but I would be lying if I said I never experienced them. I can say that I don't experience them nearly as frequently as I used to. But as I said in the paragraph above, I don't have the strength to deal with all those emotions on my own. Nevertheless, I've also always been and continue to be, a very stubborn person. On the one hand, I say I can't deal with all those harmful, raw emotions, on my own. On the other hand... I can't stand it when people tell me what to do.

So why would a stubborn person like me, turn to God? To Jesus? Was it an...

Action or Reaction?

I'll begin telling you about the journey in my life that answers that question...tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Is Our Society Experiencing "Truth Decay"?

Why do people have to make the meaning of the word, "truth", so difficult? The following is a sampling of definitions I copied out of on Google:

1.the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2.conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3.a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle
Sample sentences from the same source:

At some point you have to face the simple truth that we failed.
Their explanation was simpler but came closer to the truth.
The article explains the truth about global warming.
A reporter soon discovered the truth.
Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Her story contains a grain of truth but also lots of exaggeration.

I'm quite sure that the reason people indicate that the word "truth" is difficult to understand is because they don't "agree" with the truth they are hearing. Perhaps it conflicts with their paradigm, or world view. Therefore, they insist that truth is relative. But wait. If a statement is relative...then it can't always be true. Would that make it partially false? But if something is partially false, can it then be completely true?

Is Our Society Experiencing "Truth Decay"?

Check out:
Absolute and Relative Truth