Back to Basics, Part 2

(ancient art, unknown artist)
(ancient art, unknown artist)

The theme of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) is Jesus’ call to righteousness. In the commentary section of the NLT Bible, it says (emphasis mine):

“Jesus uses the term for moral behavior that conforms to God’s will. Specifically, righteousness is doing the will of God as Jesus reveals it. This ‘revelation of righteousness’ unifies the entire Sermon. Jesus reveals the will of God as it contrasts with traditions. The realization of the law in Christ means that obedience to all of his commands is the only acceptable response for his disciples.”

Jesus lays out the lifestyle and character of his followers – those who do the Father’s will – through the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10). By recognizing our weaknesses, by being humble, by thirsting to do God’s will, we shine a light on the nature of God. By having pure motives and being peacemakers, we carry forward the intent of Jesus.

By doing the right thing – even when no one is looking, even if we are badgered or insulted – we are faithful to the One who saved us by His grace alone. By loving all people, we do not become children of God; we show the world we are God’s children, transformed by Christ.

We must carry the commands of Jesus in our hearts, in our thoughts, in our words and in our actions, for “whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19-20)

Jesus spoke strongly against anger, name-calling, adultery, lying, retribution, violence, hate and judging others. He told us in order to follow him we need to turn the other cheek, forgive, and love our neighbors. He commanded us to love our enemies, pray for them and go the extra mile for them! Significantly, Jesus told us to ask, and continue asking God for help in keeping these commands because we cannot – and in fact, have a tendency not to – do it on our own.

The apostle Paul clarifies this command beautifully:

Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘Vengeance is Mine,’ says the Lord.  But, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.’ Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21, Deuteronomy 32:35, Proverbs 25:21-22)

How can we continue to justify chaining ourselves once again to the traditional, pharisaical Old Testament Law and revert back to blood and sacrifice when the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross ended all that forever? We have embraced exclusion and wall-building, support state-sanctioned killing and national war. We have supported class- and race-based justice. How? With our votes. With our sarcasm. With our silence.

In doing so, we allow the Gospel to be kidnapped by wolves in sheep’s clothing professing to be Christian but following an entirely different and destructive “gospel.” When we ignore His true commands, we nail Jesus to the cross all over again.

We must read and deliberate long and hard on the words of Jesus. We must consider the consequences and impact on our own eternal life when we distort his words into something he never had in mind. We must remember The Son’s words came directly from The Father he served – our Father, who desires all of us to be reconciled to Himself.

(Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 1996, 2004, 2007, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Il., 60188)

Kitchen Table Conversation: Just What? (Justice)

The topic this day in Kitchen Table Conversation is Justice. I was excited when I first found this out about a month ago. I just happen to despise injustice.

So I began to think deeply about justice.  And I thought and I thought and I looked it up and I thought and I thought some more.

Good grief.  Justice is quite the topic.  I mean, it’s so vast yet so single.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I am no great Bible scholar.  I find it much easier to speak from my heart.  So here goes.

Having worked for Law Enforcement and having the opportunity to listen and type out interviews between detectives and suspects, well, justice had slipped into my thoughts often. I would allow thoughts about these people, who weren’t yet convicted, to swirl through my head.  I had to stop that before they entered my heart. I found a way, through prayer, to delete these thoughts so I wouldn’t bring these people home with me.

I realized that I was  just the paper filer, the records keeper and distributer of such documents. That was my place at the PD. I was not a Judge or even a Jury. The Officers were not those roles either.  I felt for the victims. Big Time! I often prayed for Justice.

So, how do I feel about Justice? Eye for an eye? Throw them away for life or even death…….before they even have a trial? These are thoughts I struggle with every time I listen to the News. But who am I to pass sentence on people?

Recently I was unjustly accused of something that I did not do. I’ll tell you that story. It was small and menial compared to breaking the law and committing an unthinkable crime. But I felt so betrayed. You see, someone I thought was a close friend decided that some things our family faced recently was all due to the fact that I read a series of literature books that, apparently, they did not approve of. Therefore, our family went through a difficult week with “life stuff”. Say what?

This may sound silly compared to the serious subject of Justice, but bear with me. You see, with my relationship with God, I know I had the liberty to ready this particular series. I even ran it by my husband just to see what he thought. I knew he would agree with me. My mistake was not knowing the depth of my friendship with these people. It was shallow and I thought it was deep. Not only did I feel betrayed and judged by them, but they didn’t even tell me, they told my husband. That was probably a good idea though, my husband is much kinder and merciful. He turned it around and they didn’t even see that. I, on the other hand, would have possibly gotten all “Jersey” on them and cried. 😀

I really hate the feeling of being misunderstood and accused of something I didn’t do. I have spent the last week looking into my heart and what I came up with was the fact that I trusted them as friends. That is where it failed. After I got over all the things I felt about them (not pretty) I realized that I should have seen it coming. The hints they dropped about themselves were there. I chose to dive in anyway. Bottom-line, I want to show them love and mercy. They wouldn’t look at me at church, I tried to make eye contact. Our friendship has dropped to another level on the friendship meter. It is sad, but we will try and work it out and most likely agree to disagree – at least I will.

You see, I decided, after I threw the book at them and unjustly attacked them before God, and threw away the proverbial key, that I would let their Father and Friend, Jesus and Holy Spirit speak to their hearts. Their choice to listen to Him or not. My choice? My choice is Mercy. I want to show Mercy every time a misunderstanding comes up. And as humans, we know how often that happens. I would rather err on the side of Mercy than Judgement any day, and let God be our Judge. And in the place of the Law on this earth, the powers that be.

There. I now need a cup of coffee and a piece of pie and a good book to read 😉

Cate B

 

Kitchen Table Conversation — In Re: Roman Goddess Iusticia et al. versus God, Our Father Almighty

Alien Invasion Fears Replaced by
Concern Over Mysterious Celestial Lights

Worldwide Press – 1 February – Everywhere, Earth

Jurists and tourists the world over were astonished to see countless statues and monuments step down from their plinths and ascend radiant golden stairways that mystically appeared before them outside museums, government buildings, and courthouses this morning. An unprecedented broadcast began – source undetermined – following the progress of an extraordinary legal case, apparently proceeding beyond the venue of any earthly jurisdiction. The broadcast is accessible just beyond the cable capacity of all networks, nonetheless appearing on any device or screen whose viewer seeks to find it.

The evening news broadcast began thus:

Petition was filed in Celestial Court last week, by Plaintiff Goddesses Iusticia, Themis, Dike, Isis, and Maat, (hereinafter referred to as “Plaintiffs Justice”) alleging that Yahweh, the Father God Almighty (hereinafter referred to as “Respondent God”) was not consistently “Just” nor in keeping with “Law and Order”.

The crux of their claim is that, “Respondent God, with total awareness and forethought, does not uphold the Cosmos with ‘Justice’.” They indicated that the fundamental principles of justice must incorporate their blindness as to parties, their scales and balance as to magnitude of offense, consequence or recompense, and their sword as to ruthless determination to execute judgment upon the guilty.

More details as they become available. . .


Plaintiffs Rest After Five Days of Witnesses and Evidence
Respondent’s Defense Eagerly Awaited Tomorrow

Worldwide Press – 8 February – Everywhere, Earth

Plaintiff Counsel, Lucifer Lightbringer, held rapt attention as he laid out the Petitioners’ case, calling witness after witness, and supporting his arguments with Respondent God’s own internal and public documentation.

Among witnesses called were:

  • Three workmen who were hired at different times of day – in hot, sweaty circumstances – to clear the Respondent’s fields, and yet were compensated with precisely the same wage. (Note: Counselor Lightbringer offered to file suit for inadequate compensation and creating an unfair workplace, on behalf of the first and second laborers, when the current trial finishes.)
  • Ninety-nine sheep, who claimed abandonment against the Respondent’s Shepherd, for leaving them very much in the lurch to go searching for one single lamb who refused to keep with the group as instructed.
  • Various and sundry owners of grain fields and grape vineyards, who were forbidden to harvest the full measure of their own produce, despite their investment in seed, care, pesticides, and other maintenance necessities, so that shiftless vagrants such as widows, orphans, or illegal immigrants could freeload from their largesse.
  • Various major contributors to worthy community and religious causes and charities, who were shown up and insulted by unflattering comparison to a poverty-stricken old hag whose entire contribution consisted of a single copper!
  • A number of prestigious religious leaders who, although they had endeavored to keep their actions always within the bounds of law and order, found themselves called such names as “white washed tombs” and “brood of vipers”. “Imagine!” Plaintiff’s Counsel dramatically paused, “simply for heeding the Law.”

Lightbringer’s voice rose in volume and pitch as he approached the end of his closing arguments, pointed an immaculately manicured bony finger directly at the Respondent, and demanded in stentorian tones, “Do You deny, Sire, that You ‘make it rain on the just and the unjust alike?'” as he paused for dramatic effect.

No one had dared to “swear in” Respondent God as to telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” That was taken as a given. You could hear a pin drop in the courtroom, every breath and word hushed, as majestically He rose and said,

“I do not deny this.”

After which with a theatrical flourish, Counsel responded, “From His own mouth! Ladies, gentlemen, and Cosmos, what further proof is needed? The Plaintiffs rest our case!” And he sat, as court was adjourned for the day.


Text of One Typical Evening News Cast:

“Government and academic officials are stymied to explain the nature of the ongoing broadcasts from the alleged ‘Celestial Court’. All attempts to track the signal to its source have been unsuccessful, as each satellite in geosynchronous orbit receive this full strength broadcast, regardless of position, location, altitude or nationality of the satellite. Of further interest is that there is no consensus on what language is being spoken throughout the proceedings. Without the apparent presence of any microphones, headsets, or translators, reports indicate that every person on earth is hearing every broadcast in his/her own language. Technology experts and various well-known commercial interests have convened emergency conferences, brain trusts, and activated think tanks to analyze the nature of these phenomena, and attempt to reverse engineer the means of these broadcasts. Patent attorneys for the 10 largest communication and computing firms, have already begun preparation of documents to exert exclusive ownership rights over any discoveries made.

“On a totally unrelated note, correspondents in Vatican City, Mecca, Canterbury, along with religious centers all over the globe, have been unavailable for comment, as have Justices of the United States Supreme Court, the World Court at the Hague, and the United Nations. This, of itself, has prompted speculation of some sort of divine or metaphysical manifestation, as these parties have never before been notable for their silence or absence from press coverage and photo opportunities. Official sources have announced that they are sequestered in “prayer, reflection, and consultation”, but rumors persist that they may have retreated to deep mountain nuclear redoubts left over from the Cold War, consulting with military and political leaders on potential strategies in the event of unscheduled End Times or Armageddon. Government officials deny any such reports.

“Viewers the world over await tomorrow’s developments with great interest. Respondent God is on the docket to testify on His own behalf. He is the only witness scheduled for the defense.”


Mysterious Ending(?) to Untraceable Court Case
Panic Averted as Art Works Return Home

Worldwide Press – 9 February – Everywhere, Earth

Activity seemed to come to a standstill today, when Goddess Iusticia, et. al., vs. God, Our Father Almighty came to an abrupt, totally unexpected, end. After the brilliant presentation on behalf of the plaintiff goddesses by their advocate and accuser, Counsel Lucifer Lightbringer across five days of testimony and documentary presentation, the petitioner’s case was rested. Everyone expected an equally brilliant and protracted defense from the opposition, as the Advocate Jesus (also known as “The Mighty Counselor”) rose to make His statement to those attending, and introduced His One and Only witness, His Father, the Almighty.

“Ladies and gentlemen, and all of Creation, My honorable opponent has spoken passionately and researched diligently to present his case for the petitioner’s, accusing Respondent God of being, in short, ‘Unfair!’ You may ask yourself why, given the exalted rank and undeniable authority of this Respondent… how is it even conceivable that such a cause of action, to take God Almighty to task as being unjust… has been tolerated? Nay, even embraced, by His Divine Majesty? The answer is quite simple.

“My Client, in this case, Our Father, seeks to set the record straight once and for all. Day after day, night after night, we receive and absorb the prayers and tears of precious children asking over and over again… “Why me, Lord?”… “Why this?” … “Why now?”… “This is NOT FAIR!”

“And, even though Our Father has manifested the fullness of His nature in many ways, through Creation, through Me, through the Spirit Indwelling, through Scripture, and countless times through the words and teachings of those with ears and eyes for Him… nonetheless, well-meaning, good-hearted, trusting-spirited children harbor the terrible suspicion that Our Father’s conception of ‘justice’ is heartless and mechanical, and His exercise of grace and mercy are capricious and arbitrary. This day, in this place, through the unwitting and unwilling cooperation of the plaintiffs’ advocate, Counselor Lucifer Lightbringer, we endeavor to bring light into darkness again, and help people understand… Divine Justice.

“Ladies, gentlemen, and all of Creation… I present to you, His Divine Majesty, Our Father, God Alone…” and the Mighty Counselor bowed as He made way for the “I AM”, the Tetragrammaton, the Divine and Holy One, to cross the court, mount the step to the witness chair, and stand a moment before all assembled.

“I appreciate,” He began, “that no one has asked about this as I approached, but let Me assure all assembled and witnessing… I speak only TRUTH, here now, in the past, throughout the future, for that is all that I CAN speak. That is, in fact, a major reason for this gathering.

“I have only three things to say here, and then I shall let every being decide for him or herself how they choose to exercise judgment over these proceedings.

First:

“Counselor Lightbringer, again you have done a masterful job of quoting true facts, to bring about an utterly false picture of Reality. Herein lies your magnificent talent as the Father of Lies, and you’ve not lost a jot of skill across the centuries. Ladies of Justice, while you filed this suit under the titles ‘Goddesses of Justice’, I must point out that you are indeed NOT goddesses. You are, as one recent author put it, “anthropomorphic personifications”. That is, you are crafted and created not only by the HANDS of man, but by his mind as well. I do not say this to insult your ancestry, but merely to recognize it. Worshiped you may be, as man mistakes your principles of fairness, blindness, and ruthlessness as being divine… but those qualities have nothing to do with Me, never have, and never will.

Second:

“Yes, I made a covenant with man, to be his God and he My people. In this, we vowed together and I gave man My Law under that original covenant. The Law, the Old Testament Law, the Covenant Law, was developed in a particular time and context, with a particular people, with very specific requirements. The practice of The Law seemed to take on a life of its own, as people became obsessed with its punctilious execution. As man so often does, they stared at it so closely, wrote about it so intently, even adding flourishes and swashes seeking to improve upon it, that astonishingly… they seldom see the point of the Law at all. Throughout its entirety, from the initial commandments to the narrowest requirement of worship, the Law addresses one thing and teaches a single lesson.

“The Law is intended to teach man how to deal with ‘the sacred’. The Law reflects My heart in its fullness and entirety. The Law is a revelation of My own caring for man and for Creation, and, when followed, shows man how to treat all of Creation, himself, others, and Me… as sacred as well. My Law, to be bound on the head and graven in the heart, is not simply a static list of requirements for behavior, worship, sacrifice, and sharing. Over and over again, the Law requires the giving of care, of time, of resources… from those blessed with much, to those blessed with need. The Law specifies how to deal with Me sacredly, how to deal with one another sacredly, how to deal with oneself sacredly, and even… how to deal with goods and lands sacredly. Why? Because all these are gift from Me, sacred gifts, to be treasured and enjoyed, and handled as sacred. The Law taught Sacred Relationship, as I gave and give Law. There was mercy and compassion, grace and love, throughout the Law. But man seldom sees this.

Third (and last)

“Let us dispose of ‘the Fallacy of the Fair’. I am accused of being ‘unfair’,” as the Witness shook His head. “That is true. I am NOT fair. Love isn’t fair, love gives of the self beyond measure or reason. Kindness isn’t fair; kindness gives as there is need, not as it is deserved. Grace isn’t fair; My Innocent Son took the crimes, the blame, the condemnation, and the punishment… for those ‘justly worthy’ of facing their own consequences.

“Why? Because of His love for you, and because of My own.


 

To Conclude Then:

“One last thing, for those who have struggled to reconcile the God of Grace with this God of Justice… I’ve been asked, countless times, by some who have seen this… the ‘unfairness’ of grace, and struggled with My Justice as God… I’ve been asked, ‘Why?’

“‘Why did Jesus have to suffer so? Why did He have to die? Why did He have to go through all that? Why not just say, ‘OK, all is forgiven and good,’ without that price of death having to be paid?’ Well, here is the short answer for those who can understand…

“Once death entered existence by man’s exercise of will in the Garden, all was set askew. All of Creation was ’tilted’, ‘canted’, ‘off-kilter’. All of Creation exists by and through My Word(s). For Me, to ‘speak’ is to ‘create’, to ‘make’, to ‘declare Real’. In the Garden, I said if that tree was eaten from, death would result. And it did. My Word cannot be undone. All of My Words must be True. For ANY word of Mine to prove false, the very foundations of the Cosmos would unravel. If you cannot believe ALL of someone’s words, then you cannot ever know which one(s) are false.

“Jesus fulfilled not only the Old Testament Covenant Law, but also the words spoken to Adam regarding sin and death. Only Jesus, as fullness of humanity and fullness of divinity, could possibly have done this. But in His taking on Himself all the consequence of all law, He satisfied, fulfilled, and completed all unfinished business. Doing this, He set free all My other children from debt and obligation.

“Jesus did what He did, to keep My words True, so that all my words, and all Our grace and blessing, are intact in Our love for Our children.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Now, to all who have followed these proceedings:

“You are the jury. It is you who must ponder, pray, think and decide whom you believe, whom you have faith in, and whom you trust. Make no mistake, it is not ‘what’… as if Justice and Grace were ‘things’, ‘objects’, or ‘doctrines’. The question is never “What?”, but “Who?”

“Decide now. Decide for yourselves. To live a life worshiping man-crafted idols of Justice, Law, Lists, and Codes… Or see beyond all that, see in a new way, hear and study My Word(s), and receive Our embrace of self-sacrificing love here in Jesus’ divine hands and heart. It is all up to you.”

Kitchen Table Conversation: Justice? I just don’t get it…

"Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer!"
“Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer!”
Leverage
“The rich and powerful take what they want. We steal it back for you.”
The Shadow
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”
Superman
“The never ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.”
Underdog
“Never fear, Underdog is here!”

Even Underdog! Then there’s the Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Green Hornet, Red Rider, Zorro… not to mention my all-time favorite, the A-Team.

What do all these have in common? The demand for justice. Fairness. “What’s fair is fair.” Because people know what is right, what is fair, what is equitable.

From the very beginning, they knew that some things were wrong. Like killing, stealing, lying, destroying.

How did they know? They were created to know, and they were given to know. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)

Along the way (beginning in the Garden), God’s definitions of right and wrong were questioned, then perverted by some. And people still cry out for justice, as they have from the beginning. God himself said that Abel’s blood cried out from the ground (Genesis 4:10). The perversion of justice demanded a penalty – death. (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23)

The oldest of civilizations devised codes of laws and systems of justice, attempting to get back to the beginning, to the Garden, perhaps.

Back in the 1980’s when Tim and I first got involved in politics, an irate woman shouted at us in a meeting, “You can’t legislate morality!” She was angry at our stances on various issues. Especially our pro-life stances. (We were actively, vocally opposed to removing the pro-life plank from the state and national Republican Party platforms.)

“Sure you can,” I answered, when I could get a word in. “That’s what legislation does. The question is, whose morality are you going to legislate?” I may not have persuaded her that day, but I hope she thought more about my question. Whose morality? Whose justice?

In the scriptures, the words justice and righteousness come from the same root word. Justice is a principle and a system of right and wrong as defined by the Creator. Righteousness is a state of being right in God’s eyes, in his opinion.

God gets to define “right,” and he gets to decide who is right. (When the word is translated justice, another word – judgment – is often found in that verse, meaning the decision and legal declaration of justice.)

Is justice always doing the right thing, never doing the wrong thing? But I couldn’t live up to that standard, no matter how hard I tried. So then, what is justice, to God? What is righteousness?

“Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3) Hebrews 11 lists the “Heroes of Faith,” men and women who believed what God said to them and thus were considered righteous by God.

Now, I believe, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (II Cor. 5:21). Jesus took the penalty of sin, instead of me.

Consider:

  • Having their conscience seared as with a hot iron – I Timothy 4:2
  • Having their senses exercised to discern good and evil – Hebrews 5:14
  • Let justice roll – Amos 5:24
  • There is none good but God – Matthew 19:17
  • There is none righteous – Romans 3:10
  • Vengeance is mine, I will repay, said the Lord – Romans 12:19.

And he did. Jesus got the penalty in my place, satisfied God’s requirements of justice, and I get his grace instead.

Kitchen Table Conversation: Justice

Where is the Love Justice?

As a kid growing up, The Justice League was one of my favorite shows. The cartoon dedicated to superheroes working together to defeat an enemy for the common good appealed to me. Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman never failed to disappoint.

Good triumphs over evil.

Everybody needs a hero.

It was so easy then to root for the “good guys” because the opposing evil was always crystal clear. The enemy was obvious, rarely disguised or sequestered in the shadows. There were no “gray areas” just right and wrong.

There is much injustice in the world now.

People are starving, dying, and trafficked as slaves.

Discrimination and religious intolerance are rampant.

War is tearing families apart.

Even some of our real life “heroes” have failed to protect the very people they once swore to serve. There is no lack of media coverage for the latest “cop gone bad” video of the day.

Politicians blatantly betray their constituents for personal gain.

What is fair about .01% of a nation’s population possessing the wealth equivalent to the bottom 90 percent combined?!

Where is “justice” today?

One of three definitions for justice as defined by Merriam Webster is conformity to truth, fact or reason.

Now I’ve lived long enough to learn that facts can be skewed and reason is relative.

Both vary according to personal perspective.

Yet, “truth” is absolute.

God is truth.

“Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice,” Proverbs 29:26 NIV

Justice is often viewed through our own limited experiences or by the tacit agreement of a ruling majority. However, that doesn’t make it true.

So, who are we to judge?

God spared Cain who killed his brother Able.

Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Genesis 4:15-16 NIV

Where is the justice in that?

Mercy, maybe. Or, love.

But justice?

King Solomon asked God for wisdom and with that he was able to administer justice.

Are today’s judges/leaders/ringmasters seeking God for such wisdom?

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Romans 12:18-20 NKJV

Our many nations “under God” certainly haven’t embraced this particular bit of scripture.

Most of us are not mature enough to wait on God’s justice.

How much less injustice would there be in our world if we waited on God instead of us rushing out and creating more mayhem?

I suspect God declares “Vengeance is Mine,” because most of us can’t comprehend what justice truly is.

I doubt any of us can fully comprehend God’s justice any more than we can fully grasp the extent of God’s love for us.

God is justice, yet God is love.

God spared Cain.

God sacrificed His Son that we could be spared as well.

God’s justice crushes the “law” that condemns; He chooses to spare us from what we rightly deserve.

Good triumphs over evil.

Everybody needs a hero Savior.

“Justice” … 6 days to go … make a date in your diary!

kitchen table

Wednesday, February 10th 2016

Topic is “Justice”

The Church Set Free kitchen table

A bunch of posts on one theme

a diversity and abundance of

style

content

appearance

individuality

personality

life and living

Pull up a seat – our table is big enough.

 

FEBRUARY 10th 2016

Conversations around the globe

“JUSTICE”

 

Make a date in your diary … !

Yes, you are here for a reason, but it’s not what you think: Why am I here?

MPresserLogo_BLK (1)
Look familiar?

One idea sparks another. Your writing and God inspired stories touch my soul. They provide wisdom and truth and open up doors. The likes and comments are human features, it’s the words and conversation that stirs my soul.

I oftentimes find myself writing about God’s gifts and calling. It has been a sort of obsession of mine ever since I can remember. And after finding the truth in God’s son, I chased after it even more. And the commercialization of it led to so much dread and defeat. The idol, that thing that you can’t stop thinking about. They are always “situations,” chasing of dreams. I am talking about the gifts and talents you know God gave you. But you think you’re not using them. And your view is so myopic. Because you are a writer, and you are writing right now. 

And so through the inspiration of another Spirit-filled writer, Melanie Jean Juneau and her post Ladislav Zaborksy: Imprisoned for His Catholic Art, I came to realize what God had been teaching me all along, don’t let the gift become your master. 

I find that us creative types especially oftentimes become prisoners of our gifts. The label of  “working” and “full-time” become intertwined with divine desire. I hear this also among the best of friends who hate their jobs and know they are just made for something more “I am suffering, I cannot bear to be here any longer.” 

Welcome to the passion of the Christ.

And I love this excerpt from Melanie’s post:

“While imprisoned, Ladislav felt as if his hands were nailed to the cross because he could not paint but only seek God in the depths of his soul. .. The result of his inner crucifixion meant he no longer fulfilled his own desires but only sought God and His desires.”

Notice he did not say that he felt crucified because he was imprisoned, but rather he felt crucified because he could not paint. And Paul from Just me Being Curious offered such an eye-opening statement on my last post about forgiveness:

“In the daily readings I have there comes up, from time to time, a suggestion to pray for all those who are prisoners of war around the world. And I always nod – and always wonder: why do we think ourselves free simply because we have a computer, a job, a home and a fine “free” life?” 

And Ladislav understood that, and now I do too. We cry out to God because we are still in jobs we don’t like or our talents don’t get us paid. We believe preachers and pastors when they tell us that we have some singular “purpose” or “calling” on our lives that we must continue to seek out day after day. But fear and pain, it is a gentle liar. 

There is only one singular purpose for our lives, and that is to glorify the Lord Jesus in all that we are and all that we do. It is not only in our giftings but also our lack thereof. It is in the hug that we give or the conversation that we have. It is in the minutia. God does not believe in minutia. In every second of every day our lives should be a song and a prayer.

Our inner crucifixion is our reconciliation to the creator moment to moment. It is deeper, way deeper than a NY Times Best Seller or any stadium filled with thousands of congregants. You may think that your purpose is to write, and that certainly may be part of God’s plan. But what if that one post or newsletter or even that one text or email changes the course of life for someone else? It certainly will not make you money or allow you to quit your day job, but it will lead you closer to understanding the role of the creator.

That thing. That thing you want more than anything. That thing you want so bad. It is consuming you. It is overshadowing God. Let it go and watch it fly away. Die to that moment. And then , only then will you be free.