Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Have You Found Brother Lawrence? (I Didn't Even Know He Was Lost!)

I enjoy browsing through the library.

Almost always, it results in finding something I didn't know I was looking for.

For instance, during a recent stroll through the 248 section of the Dewey Decimal System (no relation), I found a book that I had heard about countless times but had never read, The Practice of the Presence of God: Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence.

For something first published in 1692, it certainly feels up-to-date so far. I'm sure several quotes will be finding their way into this space. Such as this one:
In order to form a habit of conversing with God continually, and referring all we do to Him, we must at first apply to Him with some diligence; but after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty. (Oneworld Publications, Oxford, England, 1993 p.15.)

In other words, when our first attempts at a spiritual mindset seem forced and done out of a sense of duty, we shouldn't fret. They will eventually become matters of the heart that we could never abandon.

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Truth is...if at first you don't succeed, pray, pray again.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

God Is the World's Biggest Abortionist

Nobody kills more unborn babies than God.

Apparently because of some recent state legislation, the topic of abortion has been trending again. And because of that, I reposted my first blog entry on the subject to my Facebook timeline.

And because of that, I've been involved in a few comment threads of late, one of which brought up the point alluded to by the title of this post and spelled out in the first sentence above.

The argument basically goes like this:
Abortion shouldn't be such a big deal because there are far more miscarriages, including those that happen before a woman even knows she's pregnant, than there are abortions.

My single-point response? There are far more people who die every day from natural causes than there are murders, but it's still illegal to murder.

Truth is...to get a broader scope of my take on this topic, click the "abortion" label to the right, or just click here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

What Did You Become at School Today, Johnny?

So there's no misunderstanding, the title "What Did You Become at School Today, Johnny?" is not meant to imply that this post will be a disparaging diatribe on how the educational system in the United States has turned from teaching skills or knowledge and is more focused on indoctrinating the young in the ways of political correctness and the celebration of all things except traditional, Judaeo-Christian values.

Not that I couldn't spend some time ranting about that.

No. Instead, I'd like to bring to our attention a quote from Oswald Chambers.

"We are apt to think that everything that happens to us is to be turned into useful teaching; it is to be turned into something better than teaching, into character. We shall find that the spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something but to make us something." ~ Oswald Chambers, "The Love of God: An Intimate Look at the Father-Heart of God", Discovery House

Truth is...Yahweh has never been a tyrant demanding adherence to a set of ideas or a list of rules. It's always been about relationship and the condition of the inner person. " The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (I Samuel 16:7 NLT)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

That No Good, Lying Wizard of Oz

Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure. "Everybody loves The Wizard of Oz." And I admit, it has long held a firm spot in my top five list of favorites.


There is one pronouncement the Wizard himself makes that is exactly the opposite of the truth.

The scene is within the Wizard's chambers. Toto has exposed "the man behind the curtain" and creative alternatives to what Dorothy's companions asked for are being handed out.

Instead of brains, Scarecrow receives a diploma. Instead of courage, the Cowardly Lion gets a medal. Instead of a heart, Tinman is given a testimonial with an accompanying heart-shaped watch.

It's what the Wizard says to conclude his time with Tinman that sets my teeth on edge:
"A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."

I submit that the exact opposite is true. How much you are loved by others is not a tool of judgment, but a result of judgment. How much you are loved by others is a direct result of how much you love.

I'm speaking in human terms, of course. Our mortal commitment to another's well-being (i.e., our love) is very rarely unconditional. There is almost always something we are reacting or responding to that elicits such a commitment or response.

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Truth is...Yahweh may be the only person this doesn't apply to. Paul had it right when he wrote, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 NIV)