Tuesday, October 27, 2020

You've Got a Choice to Make: Jesus Quote #5

Jesus has always been a polarizing person.

As much as pop culture wants to paint Jesus as this first-century hippie, roaming the land sounding like Ringo Starr ("Peace and love"), he always demanded an either/or choice from those who wanted to hang around him.

"Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." (John 3:3)

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (John 6:51-58)

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Truth is...This whole train of thought was brought about by the following 17 words:

"Who is Jesus? The answer to that question is a matter of eternal life and eternal death." ~ Stephen Nichols

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

What Are You Dragging Around?

Pearls Before Swine, by Stephan Pastis, is usually heavy on the snark and light on the poignancy, but this time...

Truth is...whether it's a dull, psychological heartache that thwarts all attempts to infuse lightness and joy into your life or the burden of unforgiveness toward another or yourself, you really do "gotta let that go."

The song, "Lay Your Burden Down", by seminal Jesus rocker Chuck Girard, may be just what the doctor ordered for you. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

What Are You Hiding From?

What lies about yourself are you believing? And who told them to you?

I've been asking myself these questions since reading the following section of Scary Close by Donald Miller.

A few years ago I let a friend stay in my house for a weekend while I was traveling. She had some friends over for a party and I think one of them did something to [my dog] Lucy.

I didn't realize it for a few days, but one night when I was making dinner I realized Lucy wasn't around. She normally lies on the kitchen floor waiting for a scrap of food to fall, but she wasn't in her usual spot. I checked the living room and she wasn't there, and she wasn't in the dining room either. Finally I found her in the bedroom, hiding half under pillows, shaking. I sat down next to her wondering what had frightened her, but nothing seemed obvious. After an hour or so she returned to normal until the next night when I was making dinner and she did it again. After a while I realized that whenever she heard a pan being pulled from the drawer under the stove she ran into the bedroom and hid. Each night I'd go and sit next to her and rub her ears and talk softly to her, but the damage had been done.

I'm not sure what happened, but what likely explains it is that one of my friend's friends decided to teach Lucy to stay out of the kitchen. Probably some party trick he learned about dogs, that if you scare them you can get them to do what you want.

But it bothered me. I didn't like the fact somebody had trained my dog, somebody had gotten to her. I didn't like the fact that every night she had to experience terror over nothing.

I know Lucy's just a dog, but the experience caused me to wonder how many people have been made to fear something because somebody else had an agenda.

With a dog, it's pretty simple. You can just scare them and they run and hide. With people, though, it's more complicated. The way manipulative people train others is by attacking their identity. They clang pots and pans of lies about who they are, how terrible they are, and send their victims running into the bedroom, shaking.

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Truth is...I bet our heavenly Father doesn't like it when somebody gets to His children and scares them into thinking badly about themselves. Jesus thinks you're to die for! Get out from under the pillows and gleefully gobble the abundant morsels being served up from the Master Chef!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Holy Obsession: Jesus Quote #6

Before seeing the quote I'm about to share, I had never heard of Leslie Ludy.

Apparently, she and her husband, Eric, wrote a book, When God Writes Your Love Story, that was pretty popular around the turn of the century. It wouldn't surprise me if that book is the source of this quote:

"Until Jesus Christ is the obsession of your heart, you'll always be looking to mere men to meet your needs that only He can fill. Only when you make Jesus Christ your first love, will you be ready for a love story that reflects His glory."

That's a pretty bold claim. But then, Jesus is pretty bold, too.

I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I am the Door for the sheep, leading to life. All who came before Me as false messiahs and self-appointed leaders are thieves and robbers, but the true sheep did not hear them. I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved and will live forever, and will go in and out freely, and find pasture/spiritual security. The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows. -(John 10:7-10 AMP)

Truth is...That doesn't sound like the words of a "good teacher" or "an example of loving and accepting everyone." That sounds like someone obsessed...and someone worthy of obsessing over.