Tag Archive | Life

Where Else Is There To Go?

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. I write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt. No heavy editing. I just see where it takes me. Today’s prompt is “where.”

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In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, we are told the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. There were actually more than that, because that was just the number of men. Amazing story. Truly incredible.

The very next story is about Jesus walking on the water. Wow. OK, so that’s pretty awesome.

After that, we are told of the hard things that Jesus told the crowd, and then things He said to His disciples alone. These things were so difficult, that John records “After this, many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (6:66).

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How heartbreaking that must have been for Jesus. They had just seen what He had done. In the next couple of verses, this conversation takes place: So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God’” (6:67-68).

In other words, “Where else is there to go?” Jesus had said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one could come to the Father except through Him. He was the bread of life. He was the living water. No one else had made the claims He had. No one else was offering eternal life.

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It was either walking with Jesus and having life and joy, or walking away into eternal sorrow.

Choose life and joy.

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Our Unbridled Freedom Will Lead To Our Ultimate Destruction

eagle-of-freedom-31539Freedom of religion.

Freedom of speech.

Right to bear arms.

Freedom of assembly.

The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We hear a lot about freedom in America. But what happens when those freedoms have no boundary?

Freedom OF religion becomes freedom FROM religion. Your religion is wrong, so you shouldn’t be able to practice it. If someone doesn’t believe in God, then your practice of your religion offends them. There should be no sign of faith in any public place. That’s not freedom. It’s no longer about practicing your religion without government interference; it’s about demanding that I not be offended because of your beliefs. Without the boundary of love, that freedom has become twisted until it’s unrecognizable from its original intent.

Freedom of speech becomes license to spew hatred to any who disagree.  You have the right to say whatever you want, whenever you want, about whomever you want. The other person’s feelings don’t matter. It’s not about being able to voice your opinion without fear of prosecution anymore. Without the boundary of love, that freedom wounds deeply and wins no souls.

The right to bear arms becomes an incensed fight to stockpile weapons that have nothing to do with hunting or hobby. It doesn’t take into consideration logical arguments about waiting periods and mental health. Other fears, experiences and thoughts on the matter aren’t important. Without the boundary of love, that freedom screams irresponsibility and insensitivity.

Freedom of assembly becomes an excuse to riot and destroy and loot in the name of a worthy cause that could be so much better supported with peaceful demonstration. You’ll get your 15 minutes of fame, all right, but what have you proven about yourself? Without the boundary of love, that freedom simply shows the world your worst side.

The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness becomes an excuse to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, to hide our elderly in nursing homes, to forget the disenfranchised, to change our gender, to marry whomever we want, or to do anything else that we might see as the way to our happiness. We can justify anything. There are no longer black and white issues. Nothing is wrong anymore. It’s MY life. Stay out of it! Without the boundary of love, those rights are excuses to make things more convenient for ourselves.

We’ve lost our moral compass. In the name of freedom we are chasing every wind and demanding that we be allowed to do whatever we want without interference, and the government is catering to the loudest voice. And the consequences of this unbridled freedom will be our ultimate destruction.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Free to love, free from the tyranny of sin, free to worship God with no barrier, free from condemnation because Jesus already paid the price. But shall we then use that freedom as a license to sin?

May it never be.

Life is Precious, Life is Sweet

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“Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value, to which all other values are subordinate.”

― Albert Einstein

When life isn’t held sacred, as Einstein says, we really shouldn’t be surprised when it is taken so casually. Bombs, abortions, mass shootings, stabbings and the like. My soul is weary of the turmoil it encounters every day. But we don’t consider life sacred in this country. When people get too old to be “useful,” we forget them in nursing homes. When someone is severely handicapped, we speak of euthanasia. If a child is unwanted by its mother, we do away with it.

I, along with many, have been appalled at the revelations coming out of the Kermit Gosnell case in Philadelphia. It’s horrific. And on top of that, we struggle to understand the motivations of those who would plant bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Did you know that a group of families from Newtown, Conn., all touched by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, was there participating? Thank God they had all finished the race, and their families were out of the grandstands and back at their hotel, before the bombs went off. I can’t even imagine what was going through their minds.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

— Jesus of Nazareth (as recorded in the Gospel of John, chap. 10, verse 10).

Satan is a thief, and a liar. He steals everything that is of value to us, and the chief of that is life.

Outlawing guns won’t help. Tighter controls on abortion clinics won’t help. The Boston bomber used pressure cookers, for crying out loud! Only Jesus will cause all things to be new. Only Jesus will turn hearts from evil.

My heart is heavy for those who lost loved ones, limbs and eventually, if we keep going the way we are, their liberty.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:35-37).

My prayers go out to all those affected by tragedies, conspiracies, the hand of evil and the acts of someone else’s will. That covers just about everyone, doesn’t it?

What Yard Work Taught Me About Sin

If you don’t have borders, even good things can turn bad.

Sin is attractive sometimes. Knowing the roots and fruit are essential to telling the difference between the real beauty and the junk.

If you try to root out all the sin in one day, you’ll get discouraged and never want to tackle it again.

Sometimes you find sin in unexpected places, even in the middle of something that’s good.

Work with another person to control the sin in your life–it’s so much more fun.

It doesn’t work to just cover up sin, the roots are still there and eventually, the truth will come out.

Some roots go a lot deeper than you think, and sometimes you just need professional help.

Sin never, ever totally goes away. We are never free from it and it’s a constant battle to keep it at bay.

Life is messy and hard and it hurts, but it’s worth it for the beauty in the end.

 

 

 

Thankful today for:

345. Flowers

346. the first full day of summer break

347. photographs

 

Who Am I?

Justin, Morgan, Nathan

After spending much of the last two days doing things with and for the kids that I didn’t really want to be doing myself, and feeling like a selfish PIG because of it, I’m trying to find out who I am again. What is it that I really enjoy doing? How do I spend time with my kids without feeling like I’m not getting any enjoyment out of it? What’s the matter with me? Who am I anymore?

I know I don’t like standing in lines. I know I don’t like amusement park rides. I know I get really tired of noise ALL the TIME. I don’t like being pulled around, clung to, whined at, argued with. I know I don’t like playing games that degenerate into bickering and crying when one loses or doesn’t get ones way.

The problem is, it’s not all about me. And I want it to be. Except that I’m a mature adult and know better than to act like that. But it’s how I want to act. I want it to be all about me. What if I don’t want to spend the day at Wet ‘n’ Wild? What if I don’t want to walk around for hours at a Fall Festival, then wait in line for more than an hour at the rock wall, only to have the child insisting I stay there with her give up after getting only three feet off the ground?

As was so plainly pointed out to me when I mentioned my feelings, I do many things that don’t involve the kids and that take a chunk of my time: I watch baseball, I read, I am on the worship team at church, I’m the copy editor of Worldwide Challenge magazine. We host a small group in our home every week.

All of that’s true, I am involved in those things and they aren’t kid-driven, but somehow all that seems more for survival than fun. And they’re things I mostly do alone. Nobody really enjoys watching baseball with me. I read by myself. I work from home as a copy editor by myself. The only things I do with other people are lead worship at church and host our small group. But those aren’t leisure-time activities that I find “fun.” They may be what God’s calling me to do right now, and they may be fulfilling, but they don’t bring me lighthearted joy.

I want to feel light hearted.

But if I’m not feeling that way, I don’t think it’s my activities that are the problem. Ouch. Don’t really want to have to face the condition of my heavy heart right now. Takes too much work. And I’m tired.

Tired of laundry and grocery lists and cooking. Tired of correcting homework and having frustrations taken out on me. Even vacations aren’t really vacations when disputes still have to be settled, cooking still has to be done, laundry doesn’t stop. I think I need a week at a spa.

And whether it’s my own vain imaginations or not, when I think of wanting to do something for myself, I feel guilty for wanting it. When I do sit down to read and my daughter comes to me wanting me to play with her, I feel very guilty for not really wanting to do that. It is all about the kids during these years, right? But what’s that the airlines say? Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you try to assist someone else.

I feel like I can’t breathe. And nobody in this house understands that. I really want them to understand. I want someone to ask me what it is that I want to do. But first I have to figure out what that something would be.