May 11, 2016

An Excerpt

“…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Perspective is not Absolute Truth. It’s not even reality at times. If our perspective of reality is true we thank God because He is Truth. It is grace, love, the Holy Spirit that allows our perspective to line up with the truth.

Our perspective of Reality comes from our thoughts and feelings which we have dominion over. Just because a thought or feeling exists does not make it worthy of keeping. They could be lies.

We are responsible for our thoughts and feelings. Take fear for instance. Fear is rooted in our perspective—our thoughts and feelings—which often come from tangible experience. For instance, “Something” happened in the past, thus I am afraid it may happen again. Or, “Something” may happen, it is possible, thus I am afraid it may happen in the future.

We’re convinced our perspective is true and justified based on our past experience and future possibilities. However, God says emphatically, “Fear Not.” Fear is a sin. Anything against the will of God is sin. How can that be? Our fear is justified. “A” just happened; it can happen again. “B” may happen because anything is possible.

To obey God we have to allow that our perspective might need to be given up.

Do we love our perspective more than God? Usually.

Is fear a perspective or a result of perspective?

It is a result. Fear is the sin not the perspective. Our thoughts and emotions are not sin. To avoid sin we cannot live based on our perspective, but rather on TRUTH, on REALITY. Sometimes we cannot sense reality. We cannot see, hear, taste, touch or smell it. We must walk by faith.

But there is a fight.

Our greatest enemy keeping us from walking by faith is often Self-Defense.

Self-Defense convinces us that he loves us and has our best interest at heart. He will protect, defend and reveal to lift us up. But Self-Defense does not belong to the Christian. Jesus Christ is our Protector, Defender and Healer. He alone is Truth and reveals all. He alone is the one who sets us free.

Self-Defense promotes ourselves, justifies our actions, more deceptive even, he justifies our thoughts and feelings so that we keep them, so that we count them worthy to keep and then believe them.
Self-Defense makes us feel good and so we yield. We follow his lead. Whatever we yield to we become a slave to.

Are we slaves to Self-Defense? Consider these questions:

Are we willing to let go of our perspectives and trust God? Are we willing to allow God to defend us? Are we willing to be justified by Jesus, by His good works and not ours?

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness.” This is what Jesus teaches.

A follower of Jesus Christ or a slave to Self-Defense? What are you seeking? God’s kingdom or your own? God’s good works or your own?

Self-Defense is a liar. His purpose is to make you believe that you know the way, the truth, and the life apart from Jesus. Depending on your bent, he may lead you to believe You  yourself are the way to truth and life. This is a popular path of belief, but it is not Christian.

To live the Christian life you may have to let go of your self perception, the thoughts you have of yourself. You may have to let go of all the “Yeah, but’s” or the excuses that begin with “Well, he did this…” or “She did that.” Difficult as it sounds, you may have to turn from feelings of fear and sadness to obey God. Obey Him by giving thanks and rejoicing, perhaps not in your circumstances, but in Him.
This is His will for you. His will is thanksgiving and joy, not based on your circumstances, but on WHO He is and on your Salvation in Him.

What weighs on you, dear one? A conflict? An unfulfilled desire? An offense? Needs? What are you afraid of? Are you willing to trust God?

It may be that you are to forgive and give grace to have the burden of conflict lifted.
It may be that you never receive your desire. Can you, no, will you be thankful and rejoice without it?

Is what you desire more valuable to you than God?

Are you in need? What if God doesn’t provide? What if his answer to your need is that you don’t need it. Will you allow that His grace is sufficient for you?

Afraid? Are you surrounded by evil? Will you trust God to deliver you from evil? What if that deliverance means giving up dependence? The source of evil in your life might be your friends, your abuser, your drug of choice.

Freedom is available. Trust God. He loves you. He is worthy of your trust no matter your perspective. 

One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. All our perspectives will evaporate in the heat of the one Reality.

taken from "Invisible Life" © all rights reserved 2016
Please do not reprint without permission.

Romans 6:16 “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteouseness?”

I Thess 5:18 “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

May 6, 2016

A letter

Hi Mom,

It’s Mother’s Day. I’m glad there’s such a thing even though it’s painful for some; we mask our pain or put it in the cupboard to forget about it. Then, this day arrives, our masks are lowered, doors are opened and there it is: the reality of our pain and loss. I’m thankful because the truth is revealed and now freedom is possible.

Oh Mom! How I miss you! I forgot how we talked together. I cry because I don’t remember our conversations. Life moves fast with each day full to the brim, and yet, I don’t have much news to share.

The kids are growing.

Sophia is fifteen now. You would enjoy her. She’s fashionable and smart and funny. She’s like you in that she’s very aware of right and wrong. I want her to trust God when her only desire is for justice. However, when justice is met, then her desire for mercy overwhelms. So, we go up, then down, then up, then down. This road to maturity is a queasy ride. I often want to get off but I know the end will be wisdom.

Naomi Baloney is thirteen. She is amazed by life and by the world wanting to know and experience everything. I’m glad we chose to homeschool since it keeps us talking. Sometimes, she asks me questions I never would have asked you. Nothing is too personal or “gross” to talk about. I’m glad. She’s as stubborn as a brick wall, but also a delight. I guess being her mother is hard, easy, hard, easy: also quite a ride.

Noah, our little man is eleven, twelve this summer. Oh my goodness he’s handsome! He is also kind and simple. You would delight in him, I’m sure. At times he’s lazy and selfish, as we all are, and now that the girls are in their teens, Noah seems to pester them more; but I don’t think that will last. They seem to have a good foundation of friendship. He’s an early riser and always at my beck and call. I shouldn’t take advantage, but I’m afraid I do; he would do anything for me. Sometimes, I will find him lying around or out on the road with his stick. “What are you doing, Noah?” “Just thinking.” I wish you could know him.

The kids don’t spend much time with Luis. He’s become a globe trotter, always out of town. This makes me a true single parent. I miss you more than ever when I think of you raising us girls alone. I blamed you for so much. I didn’t know you were tired, I didn’t know how lonely you were, how fear hid behind every corner.

So, here it is Mother’s Day. I would rather have you to celebrate than to be celebrated. I ache for you! The cupboard is open, the pain is real.

But, Mom, it’s been good.

The best thing God has done for me over the years is to say, “No.” Obviously, He has said yes too; look at how blessed I am, but He has said “no” to big things. Nothing reveals the relationship between God and me more than when He gives me, or asks of me, something I don’t want.
I trust God. I SHOULD say I trust "God the Father-Creator, the Man Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit." It’s common now for people to say they trust God, when really it is “the universe”, which God created, or themselves, or solutions that they believe in.

A great benefit of my loneliness has been talking with God. He hears me and communicates with me, I love it. It’s called prayer, but for me it has become spending time with my truest, the fairest of 10,000.

I go to work and clean my house; I teach the kids, cook a little, visit friends; I cry a lot, and laugh a lot. I write little chapters to go into a book…but it is very personal. How do authors let go for publishing? I don’t know if I will ever publish it. We have plans this summer for camping and boating (no, not tent-camping. Are you kidding me?) Life is simple and good.  I wish you were here...every day...every day.

Happy Mother’s Day,
Love, Laura

Aren't they the best?

I love these kids!!