The Perspective Truth will ALWAYS give you…

With all the controversy in our world, it’s hard not to find yourself wondering .. now which way did Jesus say to go? The scriptures speak very much of deception; Jesus warned of it several times.  Let’s let alone all the other religions of the world for a moment and focus where I believe truth to lie .. Christianity.  I’ve visited enough Christian congregations to know that every church believes it’s the one with truth and yet somehow, each perspective is different.  Forgive me for saying so, but if everyone is right and no one agrees on what exactly it looks like, then what does truth look like?

A couple years ago, I had a conversation with God where I asked Him to show me this enemy that kept attacking me.  I didn’t feel it was fair that I kept getting attacked without being able to see this ‘spiritual enemy’ that kept blind siding me.  Well, let me tell you, I got exactly what I asked for.  God gave me a first hand glimpse of deception.  While the ultimate lessons were a blessing in disguise, I would never wish that upon anyone.

Today, however, I’m going to share the revelation that I have regarding truth vs. deception.  First, admittedly, I’m like every other believer, I know I have the truth; quite possibly, my perspective is different than your own.  That being said, I can also say, I know that I am capable of being deceived.  God allowed me to experience the reality of the scripture, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and give signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Mark 13:22

However, there is one thing that I have found to be consistent, despite which perspective you decide to consider.  Truth always leads back to the cross.  It’s like a Rubic’s cube.  No matter how many times you turn each cog, there is only one solution.  Which way did Jesus say to go?  If you ask me, I’m going to tell you, “To the cross, that’s which way.”  It’s at the cross that I am once again reminded that every once in a while, I either catch and use or deliberately pick up a mallet.  It’s at the cross that I’m reminded of what Jesus did.  It’s at the cross where I get the best perspective of truth;  a good look in the mirror to see my own faults.  It’s also where I get a reminder of just why I need His holy blood to cover my sins just as much as the guy next to me.  You know, the one I was determined to share truth with, even if it did mean cramming it down his throat?  Sigh …

We all have the capability of losing what is really the right perspective.  Dare I say it? … even of being deceived.  But then, didn’t Jesus shed His blood for everyone?  I know, I know .. heaven isn’t going to have homosexuality, drunkards, pot heads, liers … the list goes on and on.  I know.  Quite frankly, I haven’t figured out how He’s going to do it, but here’s what I do know.  Every time I start to point my finger at the guy who’s doing the thing on the list, turns out I have 3 fingers pointing right back at me reminding me that my judgmental spirit is just as much a part of the list of things that aren’t going to make it to heaven.  If Jesus had this planned out from the beginning, I’m thinking He’s probably wise enough to figure out how to sort us all out.  In the meantime, I figure my best perspective is looking in the mirror and keeping the cross in clear view.  If I get off track again, I know He’ll remind me to pick up the mirror and get back to the cross.

Needle in a Haystack

I’m pretty sure I found it this morning.  It was hiding, like a needle in a haystack.  I didn’t realize it at first because I was too busy reeling from the pain of finding it, but I did .. I found hope this morning.

See, I fell again yesterday  ….  pretty hard.  I was certain when I started that I knew exactly what I was doing and my intentions were right.  I was moving forward and I was going to take charge of this thing called the enemy.  I had a better image of what he looked like and I was not going to tolerate him invading me and my family.  Unfortunately, once again I found that despite my best efforts, the enemy got the best of me.  It got ugly and it certainly wasn’t my proudest moment.

After doing what damage control allowed to me, I really felt defeated.  I’ll spare you the details, but I will tell you that this is an area that I am constantly struggling with .. parenting teenagers.  I could go into all kinds of justification about how as a parent, I have all kinds of challenges that face me.  Truth is, I’m just scared of messing it up.  Having seen some of the darker things in life, it’s a place that I don’t want my children to go.  When I see them heading down that path, I have fought tooth and nail to put up every blockade imaginable.  Not only am I exhausted, I found that for every obstacle I put up, the enemy seems to find a way to create a manuever around.  It seems to be a relentless cycle and despite my best efforts, my children have made some mistakes that one day I know will grieve them.  As a mom, as a Christian, as a human being … this sickens me.  Seriously, who wants to see their kids make devastating choices?

Perhaps I should be one of those parents who just trusts that everything will be okay, smile and say ‘kids will be kids.’  I’m not wired that way.  I’ve seen too much devastation in my own life and have also been the recipient of others’ poor decisions.  While knowing Jesus provides forgiveness and a washing away of those sins, it also leaves a pit in my stomach that makes me want to scream out with every ounce of my being .. ‘NO!  DON’T GO THERE!  I beg of you, please trust me.  That is a place you don’t want to go.’

I still haven’t figured out how to gracefully say this.  I also haven’t figured out exactly what is my part and what is God’s.  To me, it’s easier to minister to someone that is not your family.  It’s easier to see your part vs. God’s part.  As a parent, it’s an entirely different story.  I didn’t realize it because I was still reeling from the chaos of the evening, but last night I was pricked with a needle of hope.

This morning, I can look at the events of last night and see how, yeh, I messed up; but I can also see where God stepped in.  I experienced God picking me up, placing me back on my feet, and directing me.  I experienced God’s holy spirit working through me to do what He would have me do.  I’ve experienced this before, but something was different this time.  The thing that is different is that when  I looked in the mirror this morning, I didn’t chastize myself and go into the cycle of self defeat.  I simply looked in the mirror and knew, ‘I’m probably gonna’ mess up again.’  I’m too passionate about not wanting people I love to go the place of darkness to not find myself in a position where my intentions get ahead of God’s direction.  But I also have the reassurance of knowing that God’s going to be there to pick me up again.  We really are in this together.  I may not be the best at hearing the exact directions of what God would have me do, but I have this hope that God shed His blood on the cross because He too doesn’t want His children to go to that dark place.

The Reality of It All

I had this image in my mind yesterday.  It was an image of Christ being nailed to the cross.  He was a bloody mess, but still living.  There were all kinds of people around and every one of them had mallets.  Each one was angry, madder than mad.  Each one waiting to get his turn to pound the nail into Jesus’ hands.  I found that a mallet had been thrown at me and I caught it.  You would think that I would have thrown it down immediately, but I didn’t.  I was ticked off that someone had thrown it at me and it took me a bit to realize that all my ranting and raving with a mallet in my hand, was putting me in the same position as everyone else; waiting for my turn to pound the nail into Jesus’ hands.  So I tossed it to the ground and just stood by Jesus.  I recognized the one who had thrown the mallet, and after dropping my own mallet, I considered telling him to put his down, but knew that my heart was still blaming him for tossing it to me in the first place, so I did my best to just keep from picking up another mallet.

What’s the motive?  My husband and I talk about this all the time. Our house is never without a dull moment.  Every single day, we are challenged with what seems to be, more than our fair share.  Often I find myself doing exactly what I just described, catching mallets that have been thrown at me and realizing all too late, that I could simply have just cast it down.  So the motive question is an important one.  I know it helps him and I to get back to common ground.  It helps us both remember that we are literally at the foot of the cross.  I’m pretty certain we toss the mallet back and forth at times, and I don’t know how He does it, but somehow Jesus convinces us both to just put it down.

My stepdaughter, on her own spiritual journey, spoke of God’s amazing grace yesterday.  Yes, I have to agree.  It is the reality of it all.

Hello world!

So you want to blog?  Yeh .. I want to blog.  According to the ‘get started’ instructions, I’m supposed to work towards ‘becoming famous.’  Not so sure that’s where I’m headed, but I can’t seem to kick this innate urge to write.  I used to blog on MySpace and it seemed pretty casual, now things seem so official.  Yikes!  What is going on in our world?  Luckily, I’m a realist and understand that the likelyhood of more than a handful of readers tuning in to my words is slim.  Whew!

The tagline for my blog is ‘The conversation of my Faith.’  The best explanation for what I plan to write about is my journey as a Christian.  I don’t know what the ‘official’ rules of blogging are, but it seems that it’s more of a ‘one-way’ conversation.  A conversation where you seek to gain insight and either are rewarded with that insight or are challenged by the thoughts of someone that you may have never met.  Almost like reading a book.

My conversation really started back in 2007.  I wrote a blog entitled ‘Googling God.’   Wow!  I’ve come to so far since then!  While my journey began like a beautiful romance, somewhere along the way, my beautiful bubble burst.  I plan to share some of the experiences I’ve had.  Knowing my own history better than anyone, it’s very possible that some of my thoughts are going to challenge you.  I don’t set out to be confrontational.  I choose to believe that when we feel challenged by something someone says, it is because God is asking us to take a good look in the mirror.  What we do with the challenge is up to us.  If that happens, all I can say is, ‘Don’t shoot the messenger!’ 🙂

With that thought, I invite you to tune in to my conversation.