All I Can Say…

I watched “the Good Place.”

In fact, I’ve watched several shows that depict God, Christianity, Christians and religious zeal.

We’re bad!

And I don’t mean a little bad.

Well, some are just weak-willed sheep. They plod through accepting whatever, questioning nothing. Pathetic. Extras in the scene.

But most pictures presented are downright evil. Murderous, hateful, vile.

And God, my King and Hero, is presented as, for the most part, simply not really there. Humans doing whatever they want. Demons having the real power, the real authority over humanity.

And we sit back, silent.

No, don’t start bashing the movies, the shows. They only glorify what they have been taught.

We need real Christians, living out the love of Jesus, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, moving by faith in the Holy, beautiful, amazing, one and only GOD.

It might even make a good movie.

All the Glory

I can’t write without Him. I can’t play without Him. I can’t sing without Him. I can’t love without Him.

He is Jesus!

It isn’t just a trite saying. I’m not trying to Impress my religion on someone, or impress with my holiness (ha! If that was even possible). It is just science.

The explanation for the chemical pathways, the presence of enzymes, neural functions and higher emotional and intellectual processes has been understood, in part. And yet, there is still so much that can not be explained. And the more we understand, the more questions it raises. We are left with a feeling that all life is miraculous. The fact that any life is possible is just a miracle.

I have seen the evil of this world. The fact that we have not annihilated our own species is a miracle. The hope that we can fix ourselves is misplaced. This country, America is a miracle. And we are not alone. Even in the poverty of what we would call third world nations, there is love, there is joy.

So to You, my God, my King. For not giving up, for loving us and pouring out your spirit in us and through us, I give You all the glory. I give you all my praise and honor!

Laish

Of the tribes of Israel, there is none that leaves a blacker mark than the tribe of Dan.  Interesting that the name means “Judge” but I’ll leave that for another post.

Israel was sent into the promised land to clear out the inhabitants because of the evil they were doing.  Sexual immorality, greed, child sacrifice being high on the list of their offenses.  But there appears to be one notable exception, the town of Laish.

I don’t know much about them, their practices, their religion.  The bible tells us that they were quiet and secure, and had wealth.  It would seem that, from the narrative, that they were to be left alone.  But to Dan, a tribe that had forsaken God, they were a gold mine.

We know that Dan had not “come into their inheritance” yet.  Seems an innocuous statement but it reveals a complacency, a lack of faith.  Israel had been told to go in and possess the land.  They had been there many, many years at this point.  And yet Dan still didn’t have their inheritance.  It can be surmised that this was due to their lack of faith.  The area that was allotted them was “too difficult,” so they went looking for another.  They wanted an easier prize.

Our struggles with addiction, our anger with God over “not coming through” smell a lot like the tribe of Dan.  And the evil, the sad horror of the sins we commit as we take the “path of least resistance” mar the name of Jesus and separate us further from His will.

What seems impossible to you?  What exhausts you just in thinking about it?  What feels so overwhelming that you can’t bear the weight of it?  Know that you have a choice.  Know that you want what only God can handle.  And know that, everyday, innocents die when we choose to not step out in faith.

It may sound like I’m condemning.  To my shame, I spent 40 years addicted to pornography.

This is a battle cry!  Fight!  Go save them!  Stand up!  Live!  That is the life of faith.

“Well that’ll never work!”

The world is going to tell you how you can’t, how you won’t, how it’s impossible.  It will point to all your inadequacies, all God’s inadequacies.  They will make sure you remember prior failures, dreams that died, hopes crushed.  And, in case you haven’t given up yet, they’ll make you aware how little you can change, how dumb the idea is and how tired you already are.

That’s the world.

It always makes me laugh to hear people talk about God and His rules.  The picture is painted of a God that looks down sternly on His children, waiting to zap them if they get out of line.  His angry look is intended to keep us from sinning and doing anything stupid.

Anger is usually pretty poor at keeping evil at bay and, can I get real here for a second, He knows us.  Do you think He envisions us never doing something stupid?  Nah!

He is our creator God.  He is creative.  He created imagination, intuition, dexterity, intelligence.  And He put it in our hearts.  He put inside us a warrior’s heart, a couragious heart, and a curious mind.  Those things have to be knocked out of us.  Questions come naturally, not rule following.

He clarifies what won’t work but it’s actually a pretty short list.  It can be summed up in two statements.  “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And, “love your neighbor as yourself.”  This does not inhibit creativity, it frees it.  It channels it in healthy directions.  It moves it to bring life, not destruction.

My picture of God, at least the one I’m trying to wrap my mind around, is of a God of laughter who looks down at His kids, amazed and enjoying the myriad ways we show His love.  He opens His hands to bless as we move in His Spirit.  He casts down the walls, the hinderances, the enemies that stand in our way.  He miraculously intervenes to show His glory and power.  He enters to make what should be impossible, not only possible but completed, finished, accomplished.

Do you dream?  Do you believe?  Listen to Him.  I hear Him cheering you on!