The day began with a clang, then a bang and a screech of upset as dad cringed from his chair by the TV, “are you okay?” He called, knowing the answer. The irritated growl of a pig tailed, overall wearing, covered in diesel little girl comes around the corner, “no, I am not okay.”
Silently dad puts down his coffee and comes to see what happened. Outside the tractor is out and the hood is up and the side is covered in something wet that smells similar to the wet diesel on the girl. Dad shakes his head, “how much did we lose?”
The girl thumps down the can with one hand, showing how empty it is.
“I just wanted to fill it for you, but it was so big and heavy….” she flings her arms wide and gestures at the mess around her to finish her sentence.
Dad nods his head, “that is a really big can, too big for you to have to lift. Tell you what? I will go to town and buy three smaller cans of diesel and then you don’t have to lift the big one when you fill the tractor.”
A lip quivers as the girls nods her head, “I’ll get my money to pay for it.”
Dad laughs and puts the gas cap back on the tractor, “no need for that, I’ll take care of it.”
“But it’s my mess.”
“That doesn’t matter, I’ll still take care of it, and how about we get some ice cream?”
Small arms hug dad causing him to smell like diesel too, “thanks daddy.”
Dad nods again and the two go into the house to get the truck keys.
“At least this time I didn’t put gas in the diesel tractor huh?”
Dad grimaces, “yes, thankfully you didn’t do that.”
Then they laugh and drive to town.
Good dads are an example of our Heavenly Father. We make big messes and He cleans them up. We offer our tiny offerings to cover the cost, but He has already covered it for us. He loves us past the failed attempts and broken tries. He loves us when we are pouting and when we are laughing, His our dad.
I am so thankful for all the dads that are good men and great Fathers and show the love of God through their own actions. I am thankful for all dads like this, but I am mostly thankful for my own.
Happy Father’s day’
The earth creaked as though the heat of it’s core would burst out. The sun was red in the haze of the flame around her, but the woman felt no fear. She was a servant of the King and had been commissioned to go forth into the forest of the dead. The corpse trees snapped like fireworks as the flames engulfed them and the stench overwhelmed her senses to the point of causing her vision to blur. Then she saw it. No. Him. Dusty grey from trekking through his own destruction. He stared at her and for a second he looked like he might shake the dust off and blink the wrath from his eyes, but then he saw the seal on her crest and knew she knew better then to be deceived by him. The King had trained all His warriors by hand and they knew their enemy liked to appear good. He had worn pure white as his scales, which looked like downy feathers when he walked, his eyes could become the purest of gold, seeming to draw you in with love, he could be such a charming monster. But his fangs dripped crimson and his talons oozed death; to come close to this handsome beast meant to sacrifice your life, your soul. Yet he had already lured away so many. The flames swirrled around her, rustling the chinks in her armor. She braced, Sword in hand and Shield raised, she was here to gain ground for the Kingdom. A moment of fear and doubt flashed through her mind and she shook it away, he was playing with her. Panic seized her and she fell to her knees, her stomach churned as her mind screeched-“ the King doesn’t really care you know. He’s just toying with you. You could die here and He sent you to this place. Is He really good? Does He truly exist? Have you seen Him? Was that really Him instructing you? Maybe it’s all in your head.” She couldn’t hear or think past the swirrling, she lifted her shield and hid behind it the best she could, but her mind wouldn’t stop. She sobbed bitter tears and screamed out the words in her head as they came, directing them at the King, nothing made sense, she gripped her sword harder and found pain, where was the King anyway? Why was she alone? Why wasn’t He here fighting too. Blood hit her face like rain and she knew it was over. She peered out past her shield and saw Him. Somehow, she wasn’t as surprised as she felt she should have been. His arms were outstreatched defending her, blood seeped from a gash in His side, His head bled like a wet crown of red- “get up. Get up and fight. I am right here, I was always here watching you, get up. You have my Spirit as your weapon, you have Faith to shield you, fight! Fight daughter, fight! And don’t give up! Not ever!”
She stood, legs shaking from the attack. She turned her face and could see the King no longer, but His blood still covered her, and she knew He was still there. She stared at the monster, the thoughts began to spin again, she lunged forward at the beast and screamed her battle cry- “JESUS!”
The devil attacks us at our weak points, using lies to destract us from our King, from Jesus. We feel defeated so often, but if we remember who won the war and turn our thoughts on Him, we can take back the ground that the devil is fighting for.
Let the King guide you, let the name of Jesus be your battle cry, because His name drives out evil.
Remember in The Last Battle by CS Lewis? There was a monkey who had a donkey who hung out with him and they found a dead lion, then they skinned the lion and dressed the donkey up in the skin. Many came to give gifts and worship the donkey thinking they were worshiping the king, but in truth it was just a donkey in the skin of a lion.
The Bible warns us about people who will rise up claiming to know God, they will preach sermons and have visions and even heal people, but it will be through the devil’s power that they do these things, they will claim they are leading the way to Jesus when in reality they are leading away from Him. Don’t follow a donkey made up to look like the King. The Jesus in the Bible is the only true Jesus there is, if the Jesus being told to you doesn’t coincide with the scriptures then it isn’t the authentic Jesus, just a sorry look alike; and like the false donkey king, if you look too closely you will see the seams and strings holding this copy together. Jesus is all holy like His Father, He is so pure that if He hadn’t chosen to have us with Him, if He hadn’t decided to die for our sins, we wouldn’t be able to stand in His presence. He is so good that He loves us sin and all, but He also loves us so much that He offers to us the chance to repent of our sins and be the full person He made us to be.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Jesus when a person who didn’t repent dies, because He loves them so much, and at the same time sin cannot exist in God’s presence, so those people go to hell. Like when He went into Jerusulem before He was arrested and said to her gates that the people within was a people He could have loved and was heartbroken that they were going to betray and kill Him.
Imagine the first of Jesus’ accusers who died without repentance, standing there and seeing Jesus, then as the Christ cries and denys him entrance to Heaven he realizes he was wrong. Because even those people who betrayed Him Jesus loved, yet many would never see His kingdom.
Don’t be decived by a cunning monkey and a false Aslan, there is only one Jesus, and unless you know the real one you will never see the white shores of Aslan’s country.
When in doubt of anything, but certainly of something you heard someone say or preach that doesn’t reflect well with the Holy Spirit inside of you, turn to the Bible and see what it says; because the Bible is always true and always the answer, if the Bible disagrees then throw away what you heard, because false doctrines are everywhere, and they can sound true if you aren’t careful.
Watch for the coming of the true King. When you meet Him you will realize how great it is to know the real Jesus, and the peace and paradise of Heaven.
Don’t fall into the lie that you can change God to fit into your box, trust me, any box we humans create will be too small for our Great Big God to fit into.
Changing our ways to be Christ like is something the devil tries to keep us from doing, he wants us to stay in his clutches and makes it look like freedom when in truth it is a deep pit with a heavy lid. Only through Jesus can we find true freedom, only in trying to follow God’s commands and keeping our eyes on the savior do we stand a chance of being out of the devil’s reach. Don’t back away hissing when I say we need to try to follow God’s commands, I know it’s hard and that we don’t always want to, sometimes it even hurts – but it’s the only way to be a Christian. You will fail from time to time, there is no doubt of that, I fail daily too, but you keep trying to do better, that’s what God wants- not perfection, but effort, He sees that you are trying, and He helps you back up when you fail so you can try again. We don’t like being told what to do because the devil is rebellious and he wants us all to be the same, but you will be happier if you learn to do as the Bible commands, I know we all cringe at that word and hiss ‘don’t tell me how to live my life,’ okay, God won’t tell you what to do if you choose not to follow Him, that’s your choice, but if you claim the title ‘Christian’ you must also follow the God you claim to serve, there is no gray area.
And if you do decide to discard the box and see God for who He is and follow His path to see what He wants for life- be prepared to be amazed, because Jesus, who cannot fit into your idea of Him, is greater and more amazing then we could imagine, and He has a greater and more amazing plan for you then anything you could have thought up on your own.
But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
Acts 5:34-39 NIV
The Christian person has been attacked by many opressors and many enemies over the years since Jesus was here in flesh, even to the point of people on TV and in movies denouncing our God as someone made up out of weakness. Why bring this up on a day we should be celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit? Because we need to be reminded and encouraged. It is easy to begin to doubt the existance of someone we can’t see or touch, and I don’t know how anyone who doesn’t believe in the Holy Spirit can hope to retain any Faith in Jesus because He is the living Spirit of God in us, but that’s what we believe and I know some Christians don’t -and we love you still even if we can’t see eye to eye on this. But as someone who has felt the power of the Holy Spirit and seen what He can do I have full Faith that He is still active and moving amung Jesus freaks today. Wait. What did she just say? Yes, I said Jesus freaks. I like that title. It shows that we are truly seaking God because those who don’t get it and don’t know Him think we’re crazy, which you might think if you had never known the presence of Jesus that we do. That’s why the Holy Spirit is so important. He is the one who touches souls and fills them and cleanses them, it’s the Spirit of God who takes the murderer and advocate of wrongdoing and makes him a man of God, ( I mean Paul as an example when I say this,) (The Spirit does full turn around healing of the soul in women too- believe me, I should know)
We need the Spirit of God!
Many have tried to dissuade us, torture us and kill us. Governments have tried to turn the people against our Faith or make us so afraid that we abandon Jesus forever out of panic. Paul was beaten daily until his execution. The devil has worked hard to kill us off or make us look like we are the bad guys, in some countries the Governments have warned the people that Christian Missionaries are soul snatchers….ya, that one hit me as odd too… or have marked Jesus speak as pornographic content…. again…odd. What does all this mean? What does it prove? Well. Either it proves that Christas are the most stubborn and unmoveable people you will ever meet, or it means that we put our Faith in a true God who gives you no room for sliding to the left or right because it is obvious to us He is real. What makes it so obvious in a world where signs and wonders no longer simply walk down the street? The Holy Spirit. He makes it obvious that there is no life without Jesus.
As the Pharisee said, “if this is of human origin it will fail, but if this is of God then it can’t be stopped.”
We still believe. Even People who have never been witnessed to by other people discover Jesus, and they believe. how? You can answer that by this point, I’m sure of it. Even if I fell away from my Faith today and my whole family did the same, there would be more who rise up to take our places, and God would fight to bring us back because He loves us. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us because we matter to Him. God is still moving His Spirit through the world, you just have to be open to Him and He will come. If this is of God no one can stop it. God is on our side, don’t ever give up, you are special and chosen and loved, and the Holy Spirit lives in you and fights for you daily.
Thank you God for sending your Spirit to fill us with power. Amen
We’re all so trapped, we need release, we need your strong love and strange peace- Larry Norman
We are all so trapped. Trapped in sin, trapped in slavery to our circumstances, trapped in fear, illness, sorrow, war… everyone has something that traps them and our only release comes from God’s strong love and strange peace. I want to break that into two parts, because though they go together they are also very different.
God’s love is strong. Strong enough to fight our battles, strong enough to hold us when we fall and strong enough to take the hits when we blame Him and yell at Him and claim He is at fault for where we are now, it hurts Him, but that’s why His love being strong is so important, because when we break His heart He still loves us. Moment by moment sustaining grace is God’s love language. Never giving up on us is God’s banner. Look at Nineveh, they were corrupt to the place of God’s destruction, but He sent Jonah to try and persuade them to change. God didn’t want to destroy them, but they fell back into deeper corruption and wouldn’t repent later on and God had to break His own heart to end the evil that was there. But He gave them every chance to change, He refused to give up on them until it was obvious that there was nothing more to do. His love is so strong that He fought for those people despite their evil. Some say that God hates people because of their corruption, but what He hates is the corruption, not the people. He gives every chance for us to change because He wants everyone of us. But something broke in this world when the devil was hurrled out of Heaven and it has never been put back together. Someday, after God has given us a lifetime to change from our evil ways and come back to Him, He will fix this world, but He is going to have to destroy it first. Better to come back when His hand is offered then to realize the truth after it’s too late.
His love is strong, it takes every broken piece of us and holds it until we stick back together, this time with Him stuck in us too.
His peace is so strange.
Why is it that when we are drowning all we have to do is call His name and we are free again? Safe again? Healed again?
We know we should be screaming and crying and dying on the inside but His peace keeps us sane. How does He do that? It’s so amazing.
He sets us free from all that traps us everytime we fall back into it. He loves us that much. And He puts us back into a place of peace that makes no sense at all, because that is just simply who He is.
God doesn’t make sense, but as my Grandfather says, ” I would rather have a God that is beyond my understanding then a god who I comprehend fully. If I can understand him then how is he greater then I am? But I don’t understand Him because He is greater and beyond my understanding.”
His love is strong enough to bear all our sin and pain, His peace is strange enough to hold us together when we should fall apart, and He is good at all times, even when our moments aren’t, but He will sustain us if we fall into Him, because God’s love language is a broken heart.
Everyone these days believes in empathy. Understanding the position of the other person, where they are at and where they are coming from. Though empathy has its benifits I believe more in compassion. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes is not always a good idea. Sometimes loving and showing kindness requires you to be dissconected from the person themselves because the situation is not safe or is unhealthy. Other times understanding the other person’s point of view is impossible for you, I can love my friend who is an addict, but I cannot emphasize with them. I can love the homeless man out front of WalMart, but I have no way of relating to him and his story. Empathy has a place, but it is not the begin all and end all of human and Christian emotion, this is my opinion, but I would say compassion is more important in the long run. Compassion does not require you to understand where the other person is at that moment in their lives, compassion says, ‘I can’t understand, but I want to love you and help you anyways.’ Compassion does have a space of empathy in it, because you understand that the other person is hurting and needs help. But you can’t always undertand the situation the person is in. Compassion is also less condisending. Empathy forces you to Place yourself in the other person’s shoes, in doing that you see how you would respond to the situation and you feel you have a right to tell them that they should try and do things the way you would. Compassion simply says, that person is hurting and in need, they don’t need my opinion But they might need a shoulder to cry on. Jesus calls us to love one another, he doesn’t call us to be one another. Having a certain understanding where the other person is at can be important but it can be taken too far. Walk a mile in my shoes and your feet might gain my blisters. If you are trying to be empathetic to someone’s sin you are opening the door to commiting that sin yourself. Empthy is good when it is in it’s place. Compassion is good at all times. All it takes to be compassionate is the love of God showing us how to care for those around us. God Himself is compassionate to us and we would be so lost without that.
Just a thought.
Life was filled with guns and war
And everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we’d all been ready
Children died the days grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we’d all been ready
There’s no time to change your mind
How could you have been so blind
The father spoke the demons dined
The son has come and you’ve been left behind
You’ve been left behind
You’ve been left behind
Songwriters: Larry Norman
I Wish We’d All Been Ready lyrics © Ordure Blanc Music
As a kid I loved this song. It was sort of dark and moody and I liked that. As I grew older and the tune gave way to the words I still liked it for it’s powerful meaning, but now as 2022 has been in full swing for five months and we see how much worse things are getting this song breaks my heart, because I see it. I’m not saying Jesus is coming tomorrow or trying to prophesy end times, I am just saying we need to have eyes that are open. You might sound crazy if you mention the word apocalypse, until you are proven right. This might not be it. Jesus might not be returning for another two thousand years for all we know, but I wish we were all ready. I have heard the people call us Christians fanatics and Jesus freaks and other things I can’t say. I get it. We look crazy to some people, we talk about an all powerful God who takes away sin and makes us clean, a God who loves us as we are and is willing to help us be better. We talk about a paradise and a second coming and Heavenly beings. We sound a little crazy. But if you have met Him. Heart to heart, and found a true connection. If you have seen Him do amazing things, if you have been in darkness and then met His perfect light, you know that you aren’t crazy, you know that He is real and what He says is true.
Don’t get discouraged by the bribes and threats of the fallen world around us. Stay strong and continue to follow.
My Poppa who has been an evengelical minister for seventy some years said something really good the other day.
‘Those in the stands will always find criticism in those running the race, but those who have crossed the finish line will cheer you on.’
Those who aren’t aiming for Heaven will always find fault in those who are, but that doesn’t mean that those who are striving toward God are wrong, it means that the people in the stands aren’t running, they don’t understand the race and have nothing better to do then yell at the people who are down on the track sweating it out. But the people who have run the race and are watching from Heaven, they know what it’s like, they understand and are cheering you on. Don’t give up because the guy buying peanuts in row three seat A5 thinks that you should do something differently, is he running? No. So how does he know what you should do?
Look closer at that guy who is challenging you to give up, do you see the sneer and…is his toungue forked? Never doubt that the one telling you to stop being a Jesus Freak is the devil. It doesn’t matter whose voice he uses to dissuade you, it’s the deciver trying to make you give up. So keep going. And when you can’t run, walk, and when you can’t walk, kneel. Jesus is there beside you cheering you on too. I wish we’d all been ready, but just as much I pray that those who are ready don’t give up before the race is won.
Mothers in Heaven
No one can love me like she does, no one can support me like her, and if she is ever gone, I can’t imagine the hurt. Yet from the prayers I hear as she is near me on earth, I know that when moms get to Heaven there is one thing for sure, they sit by our Lord Day and night without fail, they talk about us and tell every tale. They require to know our day to day lives, they speak on our behalf both day and night. When moms get to Heaven one thing doesn’t change, their love for us remains the same, their prayers continue as they seek for our care, their love for us is something they all share. God gets to hear every word just the same as when they were here with us, that will never change. So, when you wash dishes or make tea by moonlight, missing your mom and feeling not alright, know that she is near you in every little deed as she talks to our Lord about your every need.
I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am at how amazing God is. There are so many moments when I don’t ask God for help because I don’t even know that the thing that could have been disastrous without God’s intervention happened. There are small things, like coming home and realizing the hair straightener was left on all day but did not burn the house down. Then there are big things, like me letting my dog out and having him chase the six big deer in our yard, yet by some miracle they didn’t kill him. Or having a driver who is high on who knows what, swerve into my lane, I hit my breaks and head for the ditch and the person swerves back into their lane seconds before I am killed annnnnnd the guy behind me doesn’t hit me as I try to avoid a head on.
These things you didn’t know you needed to pray for so you didn’t, yet God stopped you from being hurt. The words lucky and coincidence come up so often when these things happen, but if you know God, then you know it was Him who saved you. They have an old saying about magic, if you don’t look for it you will never see it. The same could be said about God, if you don’t look for him you will never see him. It is too easy to throw aside God’s goodness and try to explain away his truth, but he is there just open your eyes. And. One more thing we forget. God cares more about us and more about the people, the animals, and the things we care about then we ever possibly could, they’re his creation after all. We forget that he cares because we can explain away his goodness, but if we give the credit where credit is due we will realize that God is always watching over us and that He truly cares about us. As my Poppa sings, “Jesus loves even me.” Don’t forget that.