Monthly Archives: April 2012

Stop Doubting Thomas

I’ve been in a fog of the “end of the semester”. Writing papers and reading books and reading papers and writing books. In the midst of my research I came across a book called “Know Why You Believe” by Paul E. Little. In class a few days ago, my professor was talking about Thomas and how he REQUIRED to feel Jesus’ scars before he believed.

Thomas, like Peter, are my dudes.  I’ve never taken to calling Thomas a “doubter”, because he was too much like me.  Too much has happened in my life ESPECIALLY growing up “Christian” for me to blindfold my faith and say YES, YES I believe and run about the streets handing out tracts. Not gonna do it.  He’s been putting me to the test this entire month and finally I had to be honest and say Listen Jesus…if you really want me to believe you, I need to SEE it.  Finish what you started and confirm it for me.

“Doubting and questioning are normal to any thinking person. Rather than express shock, it is better for us to hear the questioner out and, if possible, even sharpen the question a little more.” p 29

A lot of folk don’t believe it but, “[f]aith in Christianity is based on evidence.” We have 66 accounts as evidence. “It is reasonable faith. Faith in the Christian sense goes beyond reason but not against it.” p 30

But see…here’s the clincher: “A doubter needs to see that he must come to a decision after having been given an answer…Continued doubt in the face of adequate information may be a cloak for unwillingness to believe, in which case the problem is that the questioner’s will has been set against God.” [..fought against the will of God and the call on his life…rather than praying clearing about his unwillingness to believe] p30-31


The Greatest

Sometimes you know what you want to express, but just can’t seem to spit it out in a way that’s truly befitting.  In those times, He may just give you someone else’s words…especially when they are saying exactly what you want to say.

Thank you Dave Hollister for taking the words right out of my heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhuXDyTXYr8


Plans

You settle into a routine, only to have it upended by something small.  You have all your plans laid out, then one hour happens, and everything you lined up is off.

I’ve never believed in “chance” – and I don’t think things happen by coincidence. I think that everything happens because it was supposed to happen for some reason.  Now before you get in an uproar because of something bad that happened to you that you had no control over so there couldn’t have been any reason for it, I’m here to tell you 1) I did too, having been molested and raped multiple times in my life, just as an example and 2)I’m finally at a place where I can reconcile the “good” of the “bad”, both big and small. 

Imagine those times when you were late by 5 minutes, and as you went on your way, you hear about or see an accident that JUST happened.   Be glad for your lost time.

Imagine those times when you had every intention of going out (wherever out may have been) and your plans got completely ruined, only to find out later that some massive tragedy happened OR that it wasn’t as interesting a function as you thought it would have been.  Be glad that you had to sit at home (with your money still in your pocket and/or your legs underneath you – because you could have lost both and not been able to get them back). 

So inhale and exhale…it’s really not that big a deal. As a matter of fact, it’s probably better than you think. 

 


What’s your real question…?

In the last 48 hours, I’ve seen and heard more “critiques” of Christianity that I have probably in a few years.  Blaming Christianity for the decay of reality in the world…reeeeally? Discussion upon discussion about how believing in God is really no good for this or that. One person actually said “I’m spiritual, so I know Jesus wasn’t really that dude. He was just like anybody else…he wasn’t nobody.”  In essence, it’s basically an attack on God and I apologize wholeheartedly on behalf of them for that.

I recognize that the fluffy easter bunny holiday is over, but we still have to know how to “forgive them for they know not what they do”.  In this instance, the most vehemence is usually from people who have NO idea what it’s really all about or what we do here. I couldn’t care less if you memorized every scripture from Genesis to Revelation and can recite them upon command – if you don’t understand what’s behind all of it and never take any of it into your heart and life, don’t tell me nothin about what you think of God or his plan. You don’t have a clue.

So my question is: what’s your real question? What really bothers you? Since you don’t have a real living notion of what Christianity is all about, what do you really have the problem with? Having somebody you can’t control controlling you?  Having to relate to people who put you up to your own mirror everytime you’re in their presence? Having to revamp your whole life system so that it doesn’t revolve around you?

Sounds more like it to me.


Really? (Real?Lie?)

What is truth? Really. What is reality? The definition of both unfortunately seem to be getting more and more subjective by the second…and isn’t that counter to the meaning of truth? Does the co-mingling of the two ideas render most hopeless?

If I’m honest, my “truth” has always only been an extension or reflection of someone else’s. It was never really mine.  So while it was really a truth, it was a real lie at the exact same time. I have found that people, including myself, will lie so that their current “truths” can be true.

Definition clear now? Yeah, didn’t really think so.  Doesn’t that all sound absolutely NUTS??

It’s even more sick when God is in the equation.  If you’re willing to listen, He always tells you the truth and what’s true…not only about you, but anyone and anything else you ask him about.

 


I told you NO

Me and Myself were having a serious debate (don’t know where I was…probably off watching TV):

“Ok…wait…maybe I should! I know I’ve gotten all the “God will Provide” scriptures, but wouldn’t it be wrong of me NOT to accept an opportunity that seems to be calling my name?”

“No. No. NO.  He said “wait”! He said “relax”. You have more important things to do right now. You don’t have time for that anyway.”

“Oh come’on. Of course I have time. And since I have time, it would be selfish not to accept the offer, right?”

WRONG.

Don’t try to okie-doke God because He already knows what you’re up to.

I knew as soon as I walked into the initial meet that it was wrong. Everything about it was off.  And every subsequent conversation and interaction was disjointed. But I heard the “benefits”…rather, how it would benefit me.  He whispered – “no…you don’t need that”.

I left and resolved in my mind that I would not do it.  But MAN it sounded good, didn’t it? And God you’ve been working hard for me already…I can take this part and give you a break. See……I’m helping! He cleared his throat and said: “Surely, you know I don’t need your help, right?”              Hmmm…ok…well, don’t say I didn’t try.

And after all this, I STILL went ahead with MY plan….and after having to rock with the consequences of my error for four days, I CLEARLY got the picture.

Your rationalization and minimization won’t change His NO to a YES.  And He does not play. Whatever needs to be done for you to recognize that you’re off track, even by a little bit, will be done; and you will be re-railed. If you’re smart, you won’t dumb out and get mad at Him for taking you from your plan B- and putting you back on HIS plan A+.

Because if you are willing to be honest, the obvious truth will be that you had been warned, and now you will be stopped.


You Have More than Enough

I’ve been treating God like a magician, and completely ignoring Jesus.  What I mean by that is that when I’m in a bind, I’m good at kinda praying to God about what I need and then just figuring it’ll fall out of the sky somehow because now God knows.  I told Him — so now I can just wait for the miracle to happen – SHAZAM!!…oh, but when it doesn’t, then it’s like “Why hast thou forsaken me Lawd? WHY???” or even better the “Well…it musta just been God’s will.” (We blame so much stupidity on God.)
Immediately, He reminded me of all the things Jesus did – specifically the two fish and five loaves story. Jesus got to a place where there were tons of people that he healed … apparently all day…and that night the disciples were ready to send them on their way so that they (the people) could get some food. Jesus’ answer was that they – the disciples – should help them.  And the story goes that he took what they had and gave honor to God for it and it feed 5000 people. But THEN, I realized that that wasn’t the only time he’d fed almost that many. There was another occassion where there were 4000 who needed to be fed and while the disciples had a little bit more in stock this time (7 loaves and “a few fish”…still not enough by their standards), Jesus AGAIN asks for what they have.  Ok so why does this all matter? Because the FIRST thing I was reminded of was that all of Jesus’ work here on earth was done as a MAN. He never gave himself equal standing with God, even though He was, and it was his relationship with the Father that gave him the power to do all things. Then He made me to realize that miraculous help and provision came through PEOPLE who had a relationship with God…one and the main of such people being Jesus.  People told Jesus their problems and through the power that he had in God he was able to help. For me, that was a revelation that had me on my face apologizing to God!! It’s like the man by the water who had been there for decades but just couldn’t quite get in the healing pool. I have never truly received because I never asked for the right thing!! I always ask for God’s help (Lord gimme this, gimme that cause Madd Dogg is a’comin!!) but never to release me from the pride and attitude that I shouldn’t “tell my business” cause “nobody can help/wants to help anyway”.  For the longest I read the two fish, five loaves story as the disciples just being ready to get rid of the people. I’m sure they were tired and hungry themselves and figured Jesus was too. I can see Peter over the grill about to throw those few fish they had on it cause what they had was probably just enough for their crew.  But after looking at it now, I can see their plight and it wasn’t completely selfish, just unaware. Maybe if they’d had a trough of food they would have considered feeding the people, but in their minds, there was nothing they could do.Yet all they needed to do was ASK JESUS!! He was standing right there in all his human Godliness!!! Jesus related to people as a person even through his Godliness. His mission wasn’t to call thunderbolts down on cities or create floods to wipe out a people. His mission was to save the people through Himself. And then, He gives the word that “I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father.”  So if He left authority with His people to do such things as He did, then where is my trust in what He has said He’s left as a legacy?!?!
If I believe in Christ’s Words here, then that means that I should have no problem in telling my story (to whom God directs) because I also have a task in that — regardless of what my situation is, I should be able to look at my two fish and five loaves (7) or my seven loaves (7) and give honor to God for them, then pass them around to the multitudes. Because if one of our greatest treasures as a family under God is that we take care of one another, then that means me too and I know some people who need help. So if I know that God can take my little bit to take care of someone else, then I know God can take care of me. I just have to trust and believe that He’ll do so.

Whatchu worried about?

Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying?1  Good luck trying. Usually the only thing you add is grey hair and ulcers.

So don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.2  Seriously, you can’t even wrap your head around everything that’s gonna happen in a couple minutes. You’re already rushing and the today day hasn’t even effectually started yet.  So why are you trying to deal with tomorrow too?

Cut it out and turn all your anxiety [issues, concerns, fears, worries] over to God because he cares for you.3  In other words, just talk to the Man. Tell him everything on your mind.4 EVERYTHING.  Ahem…I repeat…EVERYTHING. Cause if you’re gonna bother praying, what’s the point in lying and trying to hide stuff. It’s counterproductive. And once you finish talking to Him about it, stop running around telling everybody else your sob stor(ies). Because if you tell five people, four of them will have you more worried than when you started. So instead of hoping that telling someone else will guilt them into helping you out, or just having mouth run-on, trust in Him and he will act and help you.5

Just let Him do what he does. And he will. Don’t worry.

1. Matthew 6:27

2. Matthew 6:34

3. 1 Peter 5:7

4. Psalm 62:8

5. Psalm 37:5


Dis-Traction

I’m “puppy-sitting” for some family while they’re on vacation – and after less than 24 hours, I’m pretty convinced that I don’t want kids! lol Don’t get me wrong. She’s adorable and really no trouble. She’s a 3 month old Westie who is more like a 3 year old toddler in a puppy suit.

And cute thought she may be, she is a distraction.  I have a ton of both school and work work to do today and I thought I’d be able to give her a couple toys and let her play while I got some done. Not happenin’. Because when she wants to be with you or just wants to play — or gets too quiet, you’re in for it.  She’s not concerned with ANYTHING I may have to do and because she’s a baby and a dog, I have to stop and tend to her regardless to what I’m doing. (oh…and before you mention it…no, she sleeps with one eye open at all times. When YOU move, SHE moves.).

People, places and things do the same to us…especially when we’re focused and moving forward in everything we’re doing.

Dis: prefix – opposite of, deprive of

Traction: noun – adhesive function of a body on a surface on which it moves; a pulling force exerted on a skeletal structure by means of a special device

We have a “special device” that propels us to move in a certain direction and keeps us attached so that we can continue moving forward. We just celebrated the embodiment of our “traction” and if we really have a relationship, we continue to do so everyday.  We don’t start or stop at Easter Sunday.

We also have “dis”s in each and every one of our lives. Those ones whose business it is to deprive us of our focus. And they are usually loved, protected, and covered by us.  By all accounts, you think they’re harmless – just doing what they do and playing around to get your attention. You feel obligated to be there for them because they somehow “need” you right at this specific second. Though it’s hard to stay on track when they start pulling on your sleeve; and as cute and/or helpless as they may be, you cannot get caught up in that. Because before you know it, you will have completely changed direction and/or stopped everything you were doing in order to help them, their issue will be resolved, but you won’t hear from them again until the next crisis. And you will be left lost and in a ditch…wondering where you are and how you got so far behind.


This HAS to be re-shared (hashtag.it’s.still.Easter.)! Love it!