Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pure Insanity

I LOVE journaling. Gimme my go-to writing instrument (a Pilot "Precise V5" Extra-fine Rolling Ball pen), the warm glow of my bedside lamp, and a quiet evening, and I'm set to scrawl out twenty pages or so of whatever comes to my mind. Whatever comes to my mind. That means government officials could make a good case to incarcerate me for mental instability based simply on the contents of my journals.

But I like it that way. Journaling helps me open up and unearth all the little secrets hidden beneath my skin that I didn't even know existed. And, most of the time, the very act of putting all my thoughts to paper is a way for me to get honest before God in a way that verbal praying doesn't allow. I once had a rare moment of brilliance and captured the essence of that idea, writing, "'s almost as if these journals are their own gateway, an entrance into the very presence of God." I've written everything from the secular to the sacred, letting my pen go with the flow of my heart. Sometimes my words are soft-spoken and whisper prayers; in other cases, I eek out my frustrations in some kookier ways.

The following entry is a case-in-point:
September 11, 2011
 I would wish upon the world sanity and with it an escape from the ludicrous, self-induced chaos that plagues it.
At the very least, I propose sending the majority of Earth's population to another planet. Once this is done, then those who possess at least a measure of sanity could find each other and cease risking their mental health.

Or maybe the sane ones could pack off to another planet and leave the bedraggled rest of the populace to their own devices.

Ah. Whatever the case, a split is most certainly called for. I think I'll telegraph Pluto (probably their most advanced form of communication) and negotiate immigration affairs.

Will update when more is known.



I really did write that. Eeek.

But it really was a very valid rant on the blight of general human insanity. Not the think-outside-the-box-and-break-the-cool-status-quo insanity (that's the one I'm pleasantly plagued with), but the insanity that occurs when we try to live life apart from the way God designed life to work. I've watched people seemingly lose, as they say down south, their "ever-lovin' minds" by choosing to reject God's way and go with the flow of whatever the culture...or their friends...or their boss...or their girlfriend/boyfriend...says.

Sometimes the errors they make are so blatant that I want to punch something and scream, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHERE IN THE WORLD DID YOUR MIND GO?"

And then God whips back my mental punching bag and plants His truth right in front of me like a hybrid wall of bricks, concrete, and steel ringed with barbed wire on top. And my mental fist connects rather solidly - rather painfully - with that mass of immovable truth.

"If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall"
(1 Corinthians 10:12).

 *winces* Oh, hello, Pride. Ummm. Wow. This is awkward.

"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience" (1 Corinthians 10:13)

So...I'm capable of being just as stupid? Even though I think they're making some pretty terrible decisions right now, I could turn around tomorrow and do something just as bad? I could "lose my mind"? 

Yes, you poor deranged self. Apart from God's grace (1 Cor. 15:10; John 15:5), you are dead to any impulse that would lead toward doing right. In reality, you should be doing everything wrong! The Apostle Paul understood this reality clearly: "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. " (Romans 7:18). In and of ourselves, we're pretty useless when it comes to doing good - when it comes to pleasing God. That's where His grace comes in.

"And God is faithful" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Get that? While this statement clearly reminds us what a faithful God we serve, it also shatters our self-sufficiency, that clingy hang-up that tells most of us human beings that we can do it ourselves. First, in verse 12, we're reminded that we're just as "accident-prone" as anybody else. Second, we're told that we all deal with temptation. The final death-knell for our pride sounds when we read "And God is faithful." It's almost as if this author (Paul, again) is saying, "Now, let me tell you how messed up you really are apart from God. And once you've figured out that there's nothing you can really do about it, let me reinforce that idea by saying, point-blank, that God is faithful. Not you. Not your friends. God is faithful." 

But don't get down because you've just been blindsided by the reminder that you can't live a holy life on your own. Celebrate! Rejoice! Get excited! Why? Because there's another meaning to that phrase that should fill you with joy. What is it? Well...God is faithful! Not, "God is sitting in heaven cooking up fire and brimstone for you." Not, "God is experiencing an intense hatred of you." No! God is faithful! 

"For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you..." (Ezekial 36:9).

Today, I just pray that God makes us realize our utter need for Him (Matt. 5:3) and shatters our pride. That's where revival starts, after all. And then, I pray that He will remind us that He is faithful, that He is for us, working beyond our weaknesses to showcase His glory in our lives. For when we are weak, then He is strong (2 Cor. 12:10).

" I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need." -C.H. Spurgeon

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's Almost Monday!

Let this be your prayer as you head out into a new week! Trust Him, seek Him, and submit to His will - and be prepared to have a truly amazing Monday...and Tuesday...and beyond!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Well, I've been running around like one of those chickens (you know, those presumably headless ones), but I have a moment to share some miscellaneous graphics with you. The first is a 1024x768 wallpaper (an extinct size, I know, but...) and the last two are sized specifically to serve as Facebook cover photos. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ardent Lovers

Ever feel as if you're just a little too average - you don't hate yourself, but then, you're not exactly thrilled with the person you are? 

"If only I looked like _______"

"I wish I could ________"

We all experience moments of identity crisis. Mild or absolutely untamed, these feelings of insufficiency are normal. But we must never let them go unresolved. Why? Because God, our Creator and the Lover of our souls, has already definitively resolved who we are in His book (Psalm 139:16) and longs for us to come to grips with the fear-shattering reality of His love (1 John 4:18). "You are precious to Me," He declares. "You are honored, and I love you" (Isaiah 43:4). Subtle fears like "I'm not loved," "no one wants me," "I'm not anyone important," etc...all of those crack and crumble to dust in the wake of His love.

If you haven't figured it out yet, get ready:

You are His treasure.

*contemplates photo* Yes. Enough said. 

The King is enthralled with your beauty.

Just let that sink in. He is enthralled with your beauty, inside and out. Not just happy with, satisfied with...but enthralled. The King - God - looks at you with perfect love and says, "Very good." 

Honor Him, for He is your Lord.

Your response? Don't simply absorb the glow, the warmth of His love, although there are certainly moments when being still in His presence is the best thing you could do. But don't settle into a cozy spot on the couch and never leave your comfort zone, merely content with a me-oriented faith.  Only ungrateful people respond that way. Get up, get out, and share the love that has so richly been gifted to you. The prophet Micah put it rather succinctly: "Do what is right, mercy, and...walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India in the late 1800s/early 1900s, was one person who undoubtedly grasped the potent reality of God's love. During her life, she saved the lives of over one thousand Indian children who would otherwise have died or experienced a living death in the Hindu temples due to the harsh beliefs of the Indian culture of that day. On God's love, she wrote:

"God wants lovers. Oh, how tepid is the love of so many who call themselves by His name. How tepid is our own - my own - in comparison with the lava fires of His eternal love. I pray that you may be an ardent lover, the kind of lover who sets others on fire." -Amy Carmichael

Because of the love that has been lavished upon you, be a God-lover who goes out and sets others on fire. And don't forget...

The King is enthralled with your beauty. 
Honor Him, for He is your Lord.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...