Another Tree, and He Still Speaks

My heart is that you would comprehend His love,  and turn and hear Him whisper peace and kindness to you.  There is no question– we’ve sinned and rebelled and screwed things up.  But He doesn’t judge, or give us what we deserve.  Jesus gives us the most wonderful present ever.

We really have nothing to bring. We are like the poor shepherds– and not at all like the three kings. When it comes to spiritual, or eternal things we are completely bankrupt.  The Holy Spirit who wants to speak to us, we more or less confuse His voice.  People tell us about Jesus, and we turn it into ‘gobbledygook.’  We simply can’t connect the dots.  Don’t you wonder why you think there must be something more? That is the plight of a fallen heart.

But Jesus did die for us.  And, furthermore He paid the ‘sin-debt’ that we owed.  When we receive Him as our personal Savior, we will find the forgiveness that we need.  Seek Him, and ask for understanding.  Things are really not what they seem.  His deep love for you goes beyond what you can possibly imagine.

There is another tree. One we decorate with sparkling lights, the other becomes the only way we can be saved.  And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:32).

But dear one, there is another tree. 

If you would like, I’m just an e-mail away.  I would be honored if I could offer you some kind of simple guidance.  No weirdness, just a friend.

You can also call 24/7, 1-888-NEEDHIM.

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Judging Others: A Dangerous Post

Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged.”

Matt. 7:1

This is probably the most common sin that people commit. We stand in judgement more often than we realize, and it turns into an automatic response over time. The pointing of the finger has become an art form, and we can be deliciously mean and be applauded by others at the same time.

Our culture has been steeped in the judging of others. We point our fingers and focus our attention on the things that are not appropriate. Christians have a built-in knack for doing so and are tailor made for practicing this sin.

Repeatedly we are told not to judge others. And we repeatedly we do so. The Word tells us we are not to point our fingers, and Jesus was clear on this issue, stating that our own forgiveness would be nullified if we wouldn’t forgive. This is a little too much truth for us and we look for detours that circumvent so we spare ourselves the act of forgiving.

On the other hand, we demand that we be treated fairly by others. We expect leniency and a fair shake. We become hypersensitive to any perceived slight or a voice inflection. We wince under unjust judgments. We resent unkind fault-finding. We demand that people shall judge us fairly. We claim forbearance and charity in our derelictions in duty and for blemishes in our character. But can we expect other people to be any more lenient towards us than we are toward them?

We squabble and position ourselves into the best light possible. The words of Jesus get nullified or interpreted so repentance is avoided. We say we have a gift of discernment, and Jesus is begging us to drop every particular issue.

37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Luke 6:37-38, NLT

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Dismayed by My Own Fallenness

“Blessed and enviably happy [with a] happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!”

 Matt. 5:4, Amplified Bible

Scripture never, ever flatters the human ego.  It acts on us directly, “dividing the spirit from the soul.”  I find no glowing review of our common humanity, nothing leads me to draw any other conclusion.  At our deepest essence, we are depraved, separated from truth and goodness.  In theology this is called, “original sin.”  (I don’t think there is really anything original about it.) There is also a concept called “contrition.”   It means, “having sorrow or sadness over sin involving making steps to amend your ways.”  Notice the definition instills a sense of action.  Perhaps the idea of penitence need a new emphasis?

Does your discipleship include you?

There are broad, generalized teachings woven into the Word of the iniquity and fallenness of men.  It consistently talks a seemless truth, without fail. ( That’s one of the reasons why I know the Bible is true.)  The Father has made provision for our falseness and weakness, he sweeps nothing under a cosmic rug.  You might say the Scripture completely understands us, as us.  Our illusions and deceptions, blatant or subtle, do not confuse or mislead him. Our discipleship must be “walked out” in brokenness.

We have absolutely nothing to boast about.  I cannot point to this blog– or having been a missionary, a teacher and a pastor as my “good things.”  Today, I sat and became very alert and aware of my inner wickedness.  And unless He directly intervenes in my life, I will die in my sins.

I am sad.  You see, I am fallen, a complete “junk heap.”  It’s easier to find water in the Sahara Desert than to find goodness in my heart.  As a matter of fact, I’ve taken evil to a new level.  I excel, and then I keep practicing it trying to squeeze out more and more power– pride–pleasure.

Those who mourn their contagiously evil hearts are the ones who God can comfort.  Our sadness over our sin (and the sin of the world)—is evidence of the Spirit’s action over our depravity. Look for it, and rest in the Spirit’s work.

Original sin is in us, like the beard. We are shaved today and look clean, and have a smooth chin; tomorrow our beard has grown again, nor does it cease growing while we remain on earth. In like manner original sin cannot be extirpated [completely destroyed]  from us; it springs up in us as long as we live. Nevertheless we are bound to resist it to our utmost strength, and to cut it down unceasingly.   ~Martin Luther

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Six Hours One Friday

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Mere Christianity
Who Really Has the Answer?
I’m Glad You Asked

Six Hours One Friday
The Day Christ Died
God Came Near

From Resurrection to Pentecost
It’s Not About Me
At Jesus’ Feet
Won by Love

Grace
What’s So Amazing About Grace?
Peace Like a River
A Love Worth Giving
The Light and the Glory

Walking with God Day by Day
Streams in the Desert
A Life God Rewards
In the Footsteps of Jesus

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Be Blessed, Linda K

This is a “stack poem,” a type of found poem that Samuel Peralta wrote about on dVerse Poets Pub today.

Linda K has a wonderful site– well worth a look… http://lindakruschke.wordpress.com/