Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


Leave a comment

Noisy?


If you think God doesn’t have a sense of humor read the following verse:

Proverbs 9:13 (Amplified)

“The foolish woman is noisy; she is simple and open to all forms of evil, she [willfully and recklessly] knows nothing whatever [of eternal value].”

I thought about making a list of qualified candidates but nnnnnaaaaaaa………we know who they are!

 

 Crying Baby 2

 

Advertisement


4 Comments

How to Throw a Successful Pity Party


shame

 

Inspired by Ellay’s Space, a blogger who wrote about her own quandary of throwing “pity parties” she shed new light on the subject.

http://anxiousandawesome.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/crap-happens-date-edition/

Admitting she had them it was time for a change. What a confession! Most people will have a pity party about their pity party.

Years of illness, heartbreak and “burn out” gave me the opportunity to further my knowledge of how to throw countless and lofty “pity parties.”

Self-pity by definition is indulging in one’s own sufferings, hardships and difficulties as self-absorbed unhappiness.

The source of pity is often found in the sandbox.  Throw it at those you dislike who bully you into feeling sorry for yourself. When you can’t steal your siblings toys or get the same bicycle your friend did down the street, it is a loss of “human rights” not to weep, complain or throw sand in the name of selfishness.

Having mastered this great art in our younger years we move into adulthood; only now we aren’t throwing sand.

The list of civil liberties is almost anything;

⇒Your best friend steals your boyfriend (you were ready to dump him but you don’t want her to have him either)

⇒An uneducated idiot gets the one job you wanted; forget buying that new car

⇒Your marriage falls apartwhine

⇒That friend you had? Just dumped you for a better model

⇒Illness hits you blindsided and you wonder how this could happen to me.

WHY CAN’T I EVER WIN?

Does this sound familiar? The following are assets to a celebrated pity party:

∗Amplify the pain. Whine and moan over all your losses announcing to the world your “heap of troubles.”

∗Remain gloomy. Live in darkness. Throwing graffiti isn’t permitted.

∗Complain to the homeless man.

∗Send a letter to Gweneth Paltrow confirming you know exactly how she feels.

∗Stay in your pajamas all day as a requiem to your position.

∗Sit on the floor and repeat:

        “Everybody hates me. Nobody loves me. Think I’ll eat a worm.”

∗And whatever you do remember the basis for your party is to get as many as possible to simply feel sorry for you.

Getting to the heart of self-pity is understanding the destructive nature it presents. There is nothing good about it. It is a root of depression and fear. Like so many of its friends, despondency, rejection, gloom, anguish, etc. the seed of self-pity sinks deep into our character and nature solidifying a pattern of narcissistic behavior. In other words, “it’s all about me.”

 

What does God say about self-pity?

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”

1 Thessalonians 5: 8 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

God says it was and never will be all about us.

In fact, it isn’t about us at all.1003520_705847879441919_5093802_n

 

 

 

 

 

 


3 Comments

Basket Case Sufferings


 

Deciphering life’s questions and problems is what we do every day. Most have something better to do or we think we do. Pursuing our own dreams or desires won’t make them disappear.

We build mountains out of molehills and exercise the art of exaggerating our misfortunes. But do we really understand sacrifice? Do we honestly know what it feels like to hurt beyond comprehension?

I doubt it. Don’t think so. How could we?

This time of year brings home to roost with me the Cross of Christ. It wrenches my mind so much I fast something for Lent and I am not Catholic.

Over the years I spent qualifying myself as one who in this category used Analysis Paralysis to understand it all. This is not my normal learning process but for some reason the need to analyze and reason it became a walk-through delivery.Via_Dolorosa-09-

The Via Dolorosa was forever etched in my memory.

The crowd is a perpetual clanging symbol only making noise.

As he stumbles by I cry out, “please! Let me help him!”

“At least let me carry his robe! It would lessen the load!”

No one hears me. Anger and retaliation take over.

Maybe if I drag out my Dirty Harry AK 47 and start shooting at some Roman soldiers and egotistical Pharisees I might get their attention.

151473042.OLddHylXSurely I am not the only one here who wants to stop this “death without a trial” injustice?

How can you crucify an innocent man? Do you have any idea who he is?

My broken heart wants to take the wood-splintered cross and chop it up into little pieces so I can burn it.

Selfishness bends my ear as I thank God he never chose me to be his mother or sister.

He sweat blood. His body became unrecognizable from repeated beatings and whippings. Carrying his cross was so inhumane it sent him into a state of shock. He was a barely-walking dead man waiting for his death.

He was thirsty, exhausted, human flesh.

It is a much too grievous and heinous crime to paint with words not to mention how my soul refuses to send him back by reliving it on a blog post.

Our basket-cased sufferings, whines and complaints have no business spewing forth from our emotionally depressed lives. We have no idea what suffering is.

At the end of the Via Dolorosa I stand observing the sacrifice of one who would never have allowed me to stop him from the worst death ever recorded.

“I must go and do this for you,” he would cry out.

As I slide down a dirty, rock wall on this road that is forever colored with his blood, tears gush as my heart aches because I hung him on that cross as much as those cruel, hate-filled soldiers did.

As the thunder roared, lightning lit up a dark sky, the earth shook; and I heard him whisper to my heart,

This is Friday, but Sunday is coming.”

friday-but-sunday

 

 


3 Comments

Vindication


Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God).

Psalm 37:1 (Amplified)

Our first inclination when we are hurt, betrayed or done wrong by others is to get revenge, retribution or the almighty payback.1912256_10152357953146757_2113735190_n

Believing it has to be done immediately weighs heavily on our impatient souls.

Wanting to do it ourselves is a performance we are simply not qualified for.

But God is. While he looks out for our best interests he also rescues us from the “thorns” that pierce our torn emotions.

He even vindicates those who seek him when they don’t know they need it.

God is the heart-warmer for the oppressed who have been kicked when down. He is the avenger of stolen finances, the retribution for years of mental anguish and the promise of restoration in double portions. (1Thess.4:6)

When we hand over to God those who have deliberately hurt us, he takes the reigns of time and space to bring it full circle.

It may be weeks, months or years before the event is brought to light, but as he exposes the truth the innocent are set free. The evil are punished (often) by their own blunders.

And God? He smiles as he says to his acquitted,

 “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:21

 


Leave a comment

The Holier-Than-Thou Dilemma


Have you ever heard or said these words yourself? “Oh, I cannot understand God. Why would I seek a God I cannot see? Why would I want a God to help me who allows people to live through unbearable circumstances or horrific pain?”

Trusting God seems to be a cop-out.

“Not sure I really believe God is real even though I grew up going to church. Remember those Bible stories they told us in Sunday school? Who can believe them?”

Eve ate the wrong apple.sin

Noah built a very large boat for the flood God told him was supposed to come.

A Philistine giant didn’t see that rock coming that killed him.

Daniel was thrown into a den of lions yet lived to tell about it.

The problem here lies in our definition of what we believe Jesus can and cannot do.  Forget he is God on earth and everywhere all the time and is all-knowing.  Or that he was here before time began, created the earth and did it solo.

Yet we have the audacity to think he is incapable of doing that which we think we can? Even if we can’t, we aren’t quite sure we can leave him to his own merit or aptitude to do it either.

This sanctimonious haughtiness we indulge in is a result (only) of our independent self-reliance. We don’t need God nor do we need him to do it for us.

Remember your words of self-determination when the sky falls and Chicken Little is nowhere to be found to announce your impending doom.

If truth be told we know our limitations or boundaries but refuse to admit we were not born equipped to do that which only God can do, nor can we accept he did this on purpose.

Our false view of ourselves could be the outcome of an inner envy that we cannot do what God can.

While we question and analyze how we think God will accomplish the impossible, our own inadequacies and weaknesses are exposed.

Why not humble yourself, get on your wobbly knees and confess your need for his help.

After you have respectfully and meekly admitted your sin of pious, holier-than-thou self- efficiency, maybe, just maybe he will give you a hint of how he does the impossible.

forgiven


2 Comments

Isaiah 54:17


Behold, they may gather together and stir up strife, but it is not from Me.

Whoever stirs up strife against you shall fall and surrender to you.

(Amplified Translation)


1 Comment

The Thief that got Away


Our moral rectitude in modern society is based on the conclusion we are here temporarily so what is the point?

Depending on your belief or non-belief system constitutes how one looks at the future and what to do while here in this earthly existence.

Past the future are 3 positions:

The Afterlife: Reincarnation brings you back as a rat who once was a goddess or god.

Dead: You retreat to a state of being “dead” as you were before you were born.  (Atheist)

Eternal Life: Heaven with God the Father!

Personally I choose #3 because there has to be more than this and I kind of like the thought of living forever with the Creator and riding down his golden streets. 

If you really “think” about it, why would God go to the trouble of creating masses of people century after century for a few decades of misery? Why would he bother to create a whole lot of people he continually works to save?

For those who believe the earth is a spinning ball of dirt floating through a galaxy of stars with nowhere to land, go ahead and find your spaceship. The concept everything is meaningless and we are wandering endlessly is a mindset on hold. The earth and its inhabitants are an accident waiting to fall off into some mud pit of non-existence.

 

In the first place it is an underestimation of God to believe we are here ONLY “for a short time as this.” He had a plan beyond our graves which includes giving every human being a “Destiny.”

Common sense tells us someone had to be in charge. If you don’t believe that, you are probably lurking around trees with no leaves and empty Mason Jars waiting to be filled with Guava jelly or Peach Preserves. You are simply missing the point of living.Titian_-_Christ_and_the_Good_Thief_-_WGA22832

No vision means there is no destiny.

No destiny means there is no value.

No value means there is no purpose.

He hung on a cross next to him. His criminal lifestyle was ending with this cruel, painful death.

To the average person, he had no value; no purpose because he never found or looked for his destiny.

 He lied his way through the few short years he lived. Worthless and useless, this thief deserved this cruel death as the crowd cheered to the Roman soldiers, “kill him!”

Yet even in the worst possible place on earth, God’s mercy was a few short feet from where he hung.

The thief maybe lacked a lot intellectually, but he was not stupid. Common sense told him this was no ordinary man they were crucifying. He had done nothing wrong. He had performed miracles unknown and given life to the dead. He had changed the world he knew in a matter of a few years.

On the other side was a criminal hurling insults at Jesus.

“If you are the “King of the Jews, the Son of God, save us and yourself!” (Luke 23: 32-43)

The thief replied, “Don’t you fear God? We deserve our punishment. He doesn’t.”

In that moment Jesus gave him value, purpose and destiny by welcoming him into Paradise.

Our value is not based upon our accomplishments, but our existence.

Our existence and entry into Heaven is only through the Messiah.

And his credit is perfect.

 


1 Comment

Analysis Paralysis and the Amplified Translation


Since changing from my past NIV Bible Translations to the Amplified (which I had to since I tore the others up) I have discovered some interesting verse differences.

Preferring an NIV I must admit the Amplified is growing on me.  It is wordy, descriptive, a longer narrative than other translations. However, the potential of understanding certain sentences or phrases in verses is broken down for the reader to comprehend more of what God is saying to us.

Romans 8: 6-8 are in this category.

“Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].” (Amplified Bible)

The words that struck me are “the mind of the flesh which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit.”

Revelation.analysis

Many people are or have tried to make life decisions or choices by sense and reason only. While it may work temporarily or in specific situations it isn’t a recipe for success.

Reasoning leads to analyzing everything from point A to Point B leaving nothing out in between.  Dissect it, break it down, and tear it up piece by piece. Cover every angle, curve and side until there is nothing left resulting in making no decisions at all.

In Psychological circles this is referred to as Analysis Paralysis. Old wounds surface causing the analyzer to go overboard to disprove the initial wound or a present application of the wound. In other words, reliving a trauma that was never dealt with or removed.

Analysis Paralysis forms from certain deep seeded pain, low self-esteem and worry.

Sense can be sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Common sense is perceiving, understanding or judging that which is reasonably expected by most people.

Both can become obsessions or used in part for acquiring major goals in life. Again, these are not complete on their own nor do they promise positive results.

The Holy Spirit is the glue for the other two that holds it all together. God meant for his saints to connect the 3.
Anything independent of the Holy Spirit is subject to large voids, mistakes and negative consequences.  

God filling us with his spirit is truth, life and the best guide to keep us out of trouble.

Now how good is that? 

albert


4 Comments

The Finisher


Many years ago Charlton Heston caught my attention in the Ten Commandments.  It helped solidify what the Cross of Christ meant.

Charlton-Heston-as-Moses-The-Ten-Commandments-1956-Paramount

From that movie God revealed to me the death and Resurrection of Jesus was the most important event in history. It was a timeline changer; a weekend of antiquity; a narration that chronicles life for every human being that has or ever will live.

Whether the event is believed or not nothing else has created more controversy. It is the butt of jokes, the question of doubters and skeptics and the twist of nature even atheist can’t stop talking about.

A very large heavy piece of wood cut into a cross has riled nations, caused wars, and fueled debates.

Some have made it into an idol, others trash it. Some burn it and others weep over it. Many wear it around their neck.

While scoffers ridicule it, many search for its true meaning. Those who hurt or grieve look to the cuts on his back, the bruises from beatings and his nail pierced hands as the ultimate in ransom for our hearts.

No matter how you feel about it, the cross cannot be discounted or overlooked.

The cross defines history. Before and after.  

If Jesus never died on the cross, it is the largest con ever performed.

If he did, no other event in history will come close to matching it.

The Cross is one for the record books; a one of a kind heartbreak and blessing all wrapped up in God’s redemption.

Skeptics will argue he can’t possibly be God on earth. And if one really thinks about it, his mission was quite absurd, but it had to be done. No other blood could do what the Holy blood of Christ did.

Beyond its cleansing power over sin, it fooled the devil and ruined his plans. For the time being he is fighting for a kingdom he will never have and making life miserable for as many as he can attack.

Jesus conquered the enemy in the most horrific death anyone has ever experienced. It is unfathomable to the human mind to comprehend it.  (Isaiah 52:14)

Up to his last breath, insults were hurled, jokes were made, and his robe became a gamble.

And Jesus? He looked beyond their sin and his unbearable pain knowing why he hung there.

Love.

Hebrews12.2


3 Comments

Talking Donkey’s for Sale


If you are a true skeptic of the Bible, this story is one for the record books. God is creative and enjoys using and performing the extraordinary. He is the Master of Billboard rights; Producer of theatrical plays and Director of taking that which is evil and turning it around for his purposes.

Balaam was a sorcerer; a self-imposed dream interpreter who hated the Jews. He was evil and actually believed he could change God’s mind about Israel.  He joined forces with Balak, the King of the Moabites to curse the Israelites for the slaughter of the Amorites. The battle was a result of this wicked nation trying to stop the Israelites from passing through and their sin.

Balaam tried to use God for his love of money. As he and Balak schemed to curse the Israelites he was met with “fees for his divination” from Balak’s messengers. (Numbers 22:7)

If your donkey all of a sudden began asking you, “why are you beating me? What have I done to deserve such treatment” what would you do?balaam

As the story goes Balaam’s donkey was stopped by an angel Balaam couldn’t see.  How embarrassing. But not for Balaam. As the angel appeared to him he fell on the ground as if to be repentant of his sin, yet sincerity isn’t a positive characteristic of the wicked. It didn’t last long.

God basically forced the words he wanted to come out of Balaam’s mouth to the King of the Moabites. 3 times he blessed the Israelites instead of cursing them.  Balaam told Balak he had to speak blessings; if he didn’t it was probably physically painful.

How many of us need a talking donkey?

Most of us?

The church itself needs a lot of talking donkeys.  The vision of the angel in front of Balaam was invisible to him, but not the donkey. Like us, we can’t see past the donkey ears to what is ahead because we have pushed the angel and God to the side roads or the ditch.

The vision God wants for us is to see the good in everything yet the first thing many see when walking into a freshly painted room is the one spot the painter missed. Where is your focus?

In a beautiful field of flowers many will find the dead one first.

Your harvest of corn is growing better than usual but that one stalk is covered in bugs.

The latest so –called Christian movie is full of the love of God, but don’t go see it because the producers are New Agers.

If God told me to walk into a bee hive even though I am allergic to bees, I would obey him, but that is the only way I would do it.

The Bible is full of bad people. Murderers. Adulterers. False Prophets. Evil Kings. Stupidity. Fearful Prophets. Prostitutes. Hypocrites. Religious Zealots. Betrayers. Money changers. Thieves. Liars. Idol worshippers. Sound familiar?

Did God tell Abraham when he committed adultery “Forget it? That promise I made to you to become the Father of many nations won’t happen now. At least not from you.”

Did God tell David after he became King, stole his best friend’s wife and then murdered him, “You really have blown my plan. My lineage to the Messiah was to come from you, but not now. How could you do something so stupid?”

NO. God went right ahead with his plans and used them anyway. And what happened?

He took the evil and turned it into good.

He took their sins and put them on Jesus.

He took the darkness they were living in and brought them into the light.

Are we limiting God by nit-picking evil out of the good he produces?

Have we stooped so low we believe God isn’t powerful enough to remove the evil so we have to step in and do it for him? Have we become such great believers in ourselves we can dictate to non-believers or the backslidden from going to see a movie or read a book about God that isn’t quite up to what we as Christians believe the Bible wants it to show?

Isn’t God capable enough of revealing the differences of an imperfect movie made by humans to the awesome perfect wisdom and knowledge of his own theatrics?

Give me a break.  Anything we do will be imperfect and God will take that imperfection and do for us the same thing he did for Abraham and David.ugly-donkey.jpg

Who wants a talking donkey?