Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


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The Light that Waits


Graduating anything takes work, time and sacrifice.  Most of the time, the diploma received makes it all well worth it in the end. Forget the misery, sleepless nights of study and coffee breaks full of caffeine induced moments. Once it is over, looking back we wonder “how did we do that?”sleep coffee

Levels of growth are not always within the pages of Shakespeare or Chemical equations. After class or graduation, the hard work begins. And we thought it was difficult staying awake to read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Matryona’s Place.

So it is with learning the ropes of how the world works or making the list of the “survival of the fittest.”

That phrase really doesn’t apply to Biblically speaking formulas. No one is prepared much less able to live one day without God’s intervention. Many believe life is one big cliff waiting to happen or the step-ladder to fame and fortune is not far off.

Either way is a misconception of what God intended.

We tend to believe on the road to life after dissecting innocent frogs in Biology lab or Sweetheart Dances, bumps, potholes and major interruptions to our plans hit from all sides won’t happen to us. But, they do. Memories of those sleepless nights of reading boring Russian authors all of a sudden don’t seem so dull.

Unfortunately it may take years of alternate testing and problematic intrusions before we understand the Creator has been waiting to supernaturally intervene in those hard places. Had we done so early on the rest of the journey may have turned out completely different.  The brutality of life blocks the view that any remote thought of joy or peace even exists.

After so many blows we yearn for answers to stop the beatings. Knowing who to run to for help is an answer in itself, but getting to know him personally is the height of harmony.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Reaching for his presence, reading his word and speaking to him as you would your best friend opens the door to entering into his Holy Place. It is there the mysteries of God reveal themselves. It is in that holiness miracles occur, visions appear and prayers are answered before our very eyes.

As much as we may want out of our dire straits, God has waited since the beginning of time for that moment when we seek him for the first time.  We were born for his company; to enter into a union of perfect love from him that allows us to begin to discover his character and nature.

Hearing over and over that “Jesus is the answer” doesn’t make any sense when there is no relationship with him.  Finding that out can be done by the saint or desperate non-believer who extends to God their hands for a heart to heart makeover.

John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

As he answers the calls he places the “Lampstand of Light” before us so that we might see his spirit upon our soul.  You might say it is “bonding” with “Abba” or the Father of us all.

Freedom comes from repentance bringing with it a purification of our guilt and shame. Once our conscience is clear, he begins a process of giving us revelation which is…

Jesus Christ resurrected; the Light of the World shed for us to shine for others.

 

Photo by Freddy Winter Media4lifephotography

Photo by Freddy Winter
Media4lifephotography

 Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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A Season of Folly? Part 2


Why do we find it so hard to go to God first?

Why do we ask others what to do when the world is collapsing around us?

Why seek guidance or direction from individuals who are in worse shape than we are?

Sure. Reaping and sowing come along with the territory, but so do God’s promises. Forgetting God has made a covenant with his people comes all too natural for today’s believers.  The reason is most look behind instead of what is in front of them.

The enemy fights his battles with the present because he knows nothing of the future.

Not only is our nation, the world crumbling, weird, strange things are happening. And some of it is so bizarre it is almost silly or trivial.

Who cares what Hollywooder’s are wearing?

Where is the next Big Foot sighting?

Paris Hilton looks back on the good times.  WHAT?

The devil will do anything to get our minds off of what is really important. He could care less what it is as long as he accomplishes his goals.

A key point here lies in the closer we get to God, the more understanding is given to prophecy.

Focusing on the cross aids in alleviating the enemy’s nonsense to form strongholds in our minds.

God is and has heard our prayers. He is in the process of restoration and abundance. So many have been hit with one crisis after another, the thought that God will or is able to do so has been lost.love

Do you think seeking for our needs to be met have been aimed in the wrong direction?

Are we so afraid of another tragedy or trauma God will abandon us before it happens?

Believe. Know that God is for us; so who can be against us?

God is wanting us to step into his yacht.

Doing so requires us to forget the crowd; the blasting, loud mouth media and take a risk of standing alone.

The scope of foolishness hanging over the land needs to be kicked out and replaced with enlightenment of God’s promises.

I cannot emphasize enough what sitting and spending time alone with God will do. The list is infinite. The transformation is indescribable as it naturally becomes a part of you.  Your thinking becomes his thinking.  Instead of seeing the negative, the positive jumps out first covering the imprints of anything the enemy may have tried to plant in your head. Faith takes a leap and you don’t even know it.  The future becomes first and foremost leaving the pain and misery of the past at the doorstep of the abyss.
“What the World needs now” is a close, intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Out of that relationship comes rivers of flowing water satisfying our needs no matter where we are. He gives us strength and soaks us with his Holy Spirit so we will be likened unto a spring that never dries up. (Isaiah 58:11)

Are there any takers out there?

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Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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The Liberated Woman: Eve, Esther, Ruth etc. etc. etc. (Part 5)


There is no doubt our society has hit an all-time high with doing; doing this, doing that, doing whatever. It didn’t hurt that the feminist movement aided in turning people into materialized robots. Give mothers and their adult daughters a longer to-do list than they already have.

Women should assert themselves aggressively and powerfully avoiding any natural instincts of being a “woman.”  Women’s lib decided listening, being open hearted to the hurting or exercising passivity at any length should be denounced.

Proverbs 31 is the design God gave to us womenfolk.  The key is balance.

God gave women the ability to listen well, receive others in need and honor God in everything they accomplish whether that is staying at home or working outside of the home according to his will.

He wants us to be the shoulder for others to cry on, enjoy the love and blessings that come with a family and use her wisdom as God leads in the world market.  God never told us not to work outside of the home but when our family, husband and/or children suffer at the hands of one who chooses to place it first, it should be addressed. But, he also never told us to go to the extreme where we end up “burned out” or exhausted.

When we allow God to lead us, give us direction and bring out in us the talents he has placed in us, he will provide whatever we need.

He has given Godly women the ability to hold positions in his church to further his gospel.  With the need in the world as it is, church work can be infinite.  Even then and maybe more so in this extension of liberty we need to set examples of stability and steadiness.  It is all too easy to get caught up in the activities of the giver instead of spending time alone with him.

Having had the opportunities to do all of the above, I can tell you success is not found behind a desk, filling up a large apartment complex with renters, or delivering lunches to office complexes. While these are achievements in their own right, there is no satisfaction like a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The victory lies within his presence opening up a world most people never find.  Within that domain are the secrets and solutions to all of the questions, requests and essentials we need to do whatever he created us to do.  That can and should lead us to the vocation(s) he has trained us to accomplish.proverbs 31

Finally, the Proverbs 31 woman reminds me of the “gal” who has found and lives in the center of God’s will.

And that my readers produces winners.

Copyright@ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Quotes


“Character in a saint means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested.”

Oswald Chambers

Unfortunately I know not anyone who fits this character but Jesus. Life is one striving effort after another of becoming more like Jesus. In so doing we may manifest the disposition of Christ little by little.

Holiness, not happiness, is the chief end of man.”   Oswald Chambers

We have these two mixed up. The belief that we are responsible for anyone else’s happiness much less our own, is greed we have created ourselves. We are incapable of offering such happiness. Holiness is a life- long pursuit of Jesus.

Mark it down. You will never go where God is not.”             Max Lucado

Imagining God non-existent never crossed my mind.

“Immerse yourself in the curriculum of grace.”                     Max Lucado

The Cross of Christ is the ultimate Grace. The heart who knows the Cross, understands Grace.

“The use or abuse of Christianity in contradiction to the very message of the gospel reveals not the gospel for what it is, but the heart of man. That is why atheism is so bankrupt as a view of life, for it miserably fails to deal with the human condition as it really is.”

It was not the volume of sin that sent Christ to the cross; it was the fact of sin.

                                                               Ravy Zacharias

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Aboriginal Cries


 

Crossing my mind were words written by a fellow blogger, “The Atheist Pastor.” Realizing God uses other people to get our attention, speak to us or confirm our mindset happens quite often for me.bitter

Don’t take that I am singling myself out for the “Dove Award for Prominent Thinkers.” If anything, it is representative of my empty skull. At least I left it somewhere else and have moved on.

Pastor Parks wrote:

“I once tried a Very Dangerous Experiment (which I do not recommend!) where I stopped praying for as long as possible, just to see what would happen.  By the end of Week One, I was getting snappy and bitter and resentful.  By Week Two, I was an angry broken wreck.  I knew I would crash if I didn’t pause to pray. Unfortunately, this isn’t just an experiment for most people: this is their entire lives.  Even secular psychologists will tell you that not pausing to meditate will kill you.”

Talk about getting struck with a dagger.

Never testing myself as he did on purpose, there have been a few days here or there where sitting down with God didn’t occur. For whatever good reasons I may have had, they weren’t good enough.

As he discovered, so did I that my internal clock of need for prayer, God’s word or simply venting began tearing at my soul.

A cry of desperation has evolved into the best part of my day; the point of where my life begins and ends. There is no in-between or dissolution of faith here. More than the vegetables, fruits and chocolate chip cookies I pour into my physical body is this need for spiritual cultivation boosting energy centered on Jesus. This is not a habit or a liberating gesture for religion.

The instruments of trial and error, replicas or copycats, there is no substitution for the cross of Christ. Ingesting the world without it will breed void, emptiness, loss, and “broken wrecks” as Pastor Parks spelled out.mcauley

Hollow gaps must be filled. Load them with waste, wickedness and improprieties or all that is the love of Jesus; we make the choice.

A burning question is how did we become so arrogant at birth? Did we arrive from the womb with the genius of Albert Einstein or was Mother Teresa on hand to pull us out? How nice that would have been. Unfortunately I don’t remember either one present on that cold winter day as I decided to join the land of the living.

Learning the ropes of truth began that moment we first breathe. However, the entitlement license immediately sets in as we scream our aboriginal cry for whatever.

When and who decided we were unleashed into society without God? I would like to slap them upside the head.

Years of unknown arrogance, self-sufficiency and a know-it-all attitude left me with myself.  And God thinks that is funny as he let me wander off the “yellow brick road” of his guidance and direction into my own veracity. The trouble with that is I had no idea what I was doing.

We think we know better than God.

Somewhere God grabbed me out of “OZ” and landed me on his feet. You know the ones bleeding and nailed to the cross.

Hit by a brick of his mercy and grace, he opened his sphere of wisdom to me through his word. How he got me to that point of realizing the Bible was not just a book on the coffee table, is a miracle in itself. The “wreck” I made of myself drove me to the one place I knew had the answers.

A conversation recently reminded of the days when I wondered myself what was so special about the Bible.

“It’s boring” was the response. “It does nothing for me.”

Then why is it still around? Why have more Bible’s been sold than any other book in history? Duh….maybe there is more to it than a nice, leather cover with your name inscribed on the front?

The only way to find out what is in it is to open it. Read it. Study it. Pray over it, daily. Not just once or twice, but every day. Why? It holds the treasures to all wisdom and knowledge which is Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:3

When we desire to get to know someone what do we do? Kick them out, make fun of them or spend time with them? If you’re smart you will talk, communicate and learn what makes them tick.

It is the same with the Bible, and/or Jesus.option

Get serious with God. Once you start, you will be drawn to his presence like a magnet. Sitting the Bible on the coffee table won’t be so easy anymore. And maybe that cranky, irritable tone of bitterness and resentment will be replaced with love, joy and the peace that passes all understanding.
Philippians 4.

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/11/05/question-when-you-are-more-burdened-with-yourself-than-people-you-serve/

http://womenswindow.com/2012/12/02/true-love/

http://diaryofasuperchamp.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/5-steps-towards-greatness-part-i-the-call/

http://goodchristianfiction.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/coming-home/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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The Truth


Most people don’t want to believe the truth. Why?

Change would be the next step.

Facing facts about ourselves is a direct link to weakness or some may think.

How can we not realize we are not perfect? We were born imperfect so when did we decide we know it all? Our 5th birthday?

When did we find out we didn’t need help? Or God?

Who told us we were so wonderful that they wouldn’t change a thing about us?
I don’t recall anyone ever telling me that.

The truth is the truth is the truth.

John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

So you ask, “What is the truth?” Jesus Christ.

And the way you get that truth is by spending time alone with him.

Jesus opened my eyes years ago to his awesomeness, presence and knowledge.

I certainly haven’t arrived, but I left. Once I started getting to know him, I realized how little I knew. We have this idea this earth and life here is all there is.

Well, it ain’t close to what God has to reveal to us.

God’s knowledge and wisdom that he wants to teach us is infinite. There are storehouses of wisdom in his word, prayer and sitting in his presence.

He waits for us to seek him so he can fill us full of him.

Prayer is powerful. God was rather clever when he thought the idea up. Just think: you can’t be across the world to help someone because we are not omnipresent like God is. In prayer, we release the need to God and he takes care of it.

And the truth again here is God is much better at dealing with us than we are with each other. He can fix what we can’t.

Once we get close to God he will take us on a journey of molding us into what he created us to be. The process can be painful, miserable and no fun. There are times we feel as if the grinding of our souls are nothing but a soggy mess. At that moment, God will use his compassionate hands and begin to form us little by little into his image.

The transformation is startling. As we begin to view life, people and difficulties through God’s eyes, our hearts change.
Once you experience it, there is no going back. And you don’t want to go back.

Everything looks different.

Earthly desires have a stench to them.

Materialism loses its meaning.

We lost ourselves in a molded bowl and came out looking like a vase.

Past hurts, wounds and betrayals are attached to the Cross.

It is there we are set free.

It is there we receive redemption.

It is there we behold the love of God in a brand new, shaped heart.

A heart he filled with himself.

http://learningtobeblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/the-door/

http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/tears-for-god-%e2%99%a5/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/lord-please-open-our-eyes/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/11/question-sort-of-you-lack-humility/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Changing Tunes….


Common musical notes

Image via Wikipedia

I have been thinking lately. That can be scary my husband says but that is not the point.

It has come to my simple mind that many have the idea of becoming one with Christ, one who asks for  forgiveness to follow Jesus and accepting his gift of salvation leads to a dull, boring, mediocre existence. Years ago I did. And I understand why.

Going to church was given a bad rap from having to dress a certain way, look a certain way and hearing “hell fire and you know what” being preached. Not that those are not very important issues because they are, but could have been taught differently? Does that make sense?

There were preachers I heard at times as a child that scared me to death. Others made it easy to nap. I am not knocking preachers! I have 2 in my family who I adore and admire!

Allow me to say that maybe it wasn’t always the preachers undoing: it may have been me. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to hear what they were preaching…..anybody out there? Are you with me? Just checking.

Like so many others I didn’t like what they had to say because I didn’t want to have to change. Fun was the name of my game and following Jesus was not fun…..or so I thought. It ain’t always easy, in fact it is often hard, but considering the alternative? Well I’ m sure you can figure that one out.

This has led to the great misunderstanding about Jesus and the lie we have been told of what Jesus expects from us.

He wants to give, not take away. (John 10:10)
He wants us to love each other and our enemies. (Matthew 5:44)
He wants us to give out of a giving heart, not to be forced to. (Proverbs 3:9)
He wants us to learn his wisdom and knowledge. Doing so teaches you right verses wrong. (Proverbs 2:9-10)
He wants us healthy. (3 John 2, Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 9:22, Matthew 15:36, Mark 16:18)
He wants us prosperous and successful. (Proverbs 3:10)
He wants to save us more than anything. (John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Romans 3:10)

God wants to be close to us in every way. He is interested in every part of our lives from the food we eat, to the friends we have to picking out our mates. Believe me if you don’t let God pick out your husband/wife you will wish you had.

We are flooded with entertainment, books, movies, television, music, vacations; etc. Not all are bad or wrong. We are under the impression God wants to rip those things away from us. The enemy has come at us with every possible maneuver to keep us busy so we won’t get close to God and anything that takes us away from God is hurting us.

The truth of what happens when you come to a heart felt knowledge of the Lord is your desires become his desires. You are changed within and what seemed important, exciting or fun before  can often become a lot less desirable. That is not to say they are all wrong or bad! It is to say your desire has changed to what is important, exciting and fun for God.

Inserting here the valid injustice that God has been given as a bad rap for being God. Yet he is more creative, humorous, fun and a lot move loving than anyone I know!

Once you have a personal, close relationship with him, he will show you his expectations of you. His expectations may differ from one person to the next, depending on his goals for each one so that is between you and him. You can rest assured though, he will only want his best for you.

Finally more than anything, God wants you saved. Jesus died and rose for each one of us because his blood shed on the cross was the only way it could be done.  He paid more than we will ever know for our sins. You know when I first realized this? In 1986 watching the movie “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston. It wasn’t  in church, or Sunday School. It was a movie on TV.

Scene where Moses is taught how to tend sheep ...

Image via Wikipedia

So to help you further understand why God wants you saved, please go to the following link,
“What happened, Jesus Happened.”

His explanation tells it like it is people!

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/02/03what-happened-jesus-happened.

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Falling Off A Cliff Backwards


Do you ever feel like this picture? Ever wonder how life got that way?

Do you think about the journey ahead from the trail you left behind?

As you get closer to the cliff, dirt begins to fall before we do. That is when the cliff gets too close for comfort. What is worse is if you are heading there backwards. I think that might be a good place to stop. Don’t you? OH, it is like a signal; a sign; a moment of truth.

As my dad has always said, “when you play with fire, eventually you will get burned.”

The same happens with a cliff. The closer you get the more likely you will fall off. And if you are heading that way backwards you can’t see the end of the cliff. Whoa.  Is that 2 signs or signals?  I remember some cliffs I almost fell off of.  I am thinking right now “what in the world was I not thinking?”

Cliffs are like finding “the end of the rope” or “you’ve come to the end of the road.” That poor old goat had no idea where he was headed. But he is a goat. Not that the end result there isn’t the same, but at least he has an excuse for getting there.

The truth is we have no excuse. God gave us brains to figure this out. Well, most of us. The truth is we rebel. Truth. Truth. Truth.

Why do we rebel? Did the goat rebel? How did he get there backwards?

We rebel because we think we know better than God. What? No. Would we do that?

Yes we would and present company included.

The definition of rebel is: To refuse allegiance to and oppose by force an established government or ruling authority.  To resist or defy an authority or a generally accepted convention. To feel or express strong unwillingness or repugnance.

I do not recommend rebelling against God. I tried it and it simply doesn’t work.  Thankfully he showed me how to put both oars in the water instead of  one before it sank. OK! I hear those snide remarks! Don’t make me come looking for u!

Actually, falling off the cliff is like rebelling. And for some of us we get right to the edge before we allow our broken or hardened hearts to see the rope God is throwing us. He was throwing the rope all along; we were too stubborn and full of pride to reach for it.  It doesn’t take “Rocket Science” or the brain of a genius to let go of pride. It has nothing to do with  intelligence or smarts or even the lack of it. It is a will or a choice one has to make of their own accord.

For those who refuse to let go of their pride but are headed for the cliff, wise up. Humble yourself. Let go of your stubbornness. Realize what is at stake which is your life.

If you don’t get hold of God, surrender to Jesus Christ as your Savior, you might end up like this goat; only you won’t be falling into Heaven.

Copyright @2012 All Rights Reserved


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“I want to know what I am doing here! Does anyone know?


Fire in the Sky

•Now that I have your attention have you ever asked yourself that question? Are you one of the many on this planet who wonder if we are the only people in the universe? And if we are, what are we doing here?

In the last week I have heard 3 people who do not know each other speak this same question. OK.  My brain may not be what it use to be but I don’t know a coincidence when I see one because I don’t believe in them anymore.  The skeptic might, but God could care less. God works in mysterious ways..not coincidences. In fact he doesn’t need them to fulfill his plans.

He is creative, rarely if ever does anything the same way twice and takes you on journeys you don’t expect. Some you wish you could forget! This is definitely not a question I can ignore so I am asking you! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

My answer is God only knows. He put us here for his own purposes; I do know that. I know why I am here, but it has taken many years, much pain, suffering, and resistance on my part to find that out. God never said it was easy, especially if you are like me and pull a Jonah on him. I don’t recommend that route; it is no fun. I didn’t end up in a whale but I am not going to tell you where I ended up. Just don’t go there.

Now I can tell you where to find it. The answer is in the Bible. At least that is what our Pastor said this morning. I can vouch for him as he is a well-educated man who seems to know what he is talking about most of the time.

What I find so amazing is he gave reasons today to read the Bible to find out what we are doing here. I already knew this because I have been reading and studying the Bible for years and it really works. The more time I spend alone with God, the more he speaks to me even telling me what I am doing here.

It really isn’t that hard. You just pick up your Bible, say “Speak Lord, I am listening,” and start reading. I am not telling you to read it all in one day, two days maybe. NO! lol. Take your time. 

Allow God to speak to you; just be open and realize he doesn’t usually write it on the wall. I have lost count of how many times I have asked him to write it on the wall, but the good news is when I don’t know which way to go, he SUDDENLY! reveals it to me. I have even offered to buy him a chalk board with the chalk to speak to me. The problem with that was he let me know in no uncertain terms he is a lot more creative than a chalk board.

I thank God literally that his thoughts and ways are higher and better than mine. (Isaiah 55) This is a touch of who God is. A small portion of his character. It is fairly simple; he is a lot smarter than we are!

I can’t speak for you, but if you really want to find out what you are doing here, ask God. Read the Bible. Study it. God created us for his purposes, for his kingdom. It is up to us as individuals to seek him to find out our personal story. A good place to start is Acts 17:22-28.

We are not accidents. We did not just appear. We did not evolve.

We were created individually by the most loving, caring Father to be here, at this time, at this place, for his reasons. Jesus Christ is the center of everything. Once you allow God to place this in your heart, he will lead you to your purpose.

I am writing mine.


“You’re on this planet for a purpose. Find it.”by Grantley Morris. netburst@net.burst.net

Photograph by John Randolph Harrison

http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh/image/20091540



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When it Becomes Personal, Not just Business


I must be doing something right.  Joyce Meyer spoke that maybe God brought that person into your life to shave the outer crusts off of you.  Well, I feel shaven.  Just when you least expect it, someone shows up that you believe will  make a great friend or neighbor, only to find out it is all about them.

How do I deal with this person? What does God want me to do as they pursue relentless persecution and constant attacks to get what they want? How do I react when they walk out the door with a face of contempt and say, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing personal. Just business.”

I guess I should feel like Jesus did. He did nothing wrong. He stood there while being questioned about claiming he was the Son of God and gave no response. His heart was in the sacrifice he knew he would give to receive the love of the children of God in return. He knew it would all be worth it.

Just as Jesus felt for us as sinners, I feel the same for those who don’t know him, or have no desire to know him. They are lost in a sea of themselves; their pride does not allow them to see they are not the only ones in the universe. The veil has not been lifted because they do not even know it is covering their eyes.

Returning to me doing something right. I kind of like the sound of that.  A few years back I would have reacted completely different towards someone who is sitting beside me throwing their verbal animosity and hostility in my face. This is a christian site so I won’t announce my declaration of war that I use to have because it would land me in jail but I also know it is not the answer.

Instead God has taught me the meaning of forgiveness which gives me freedom.  God has taught me to pray for my enemies. This releases me from trying to find the answers and let God take care of it. He has taught me that those who hurt, hurt others.  He has taught me that those who have repressed emotion have a great, spiritual need. He has taught me if I pray for those against me, he will fight for me. (Isaiah 49:25)

During this time of spiritual shaving the Lord showed me two verses in the Bible that lead me to believe he is not only in control, he is my vindicator.

Luke 21:14-15 But make up your mind not to worry before hand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

Proverbs 16:7 When my ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even my enemies to live at peace with me.

The truth always stands for itself. The real truth that is. I would like to think those who “contend” with us may be angels in disguise God has sent to do something other than shave us.  The shaving is painful, often annoying and bothersome to put up with. Unfortunately it works.

The flip side of this is at least you know those attempting to sliver into your life for whatever reasons are an application of God’s discipline even if we don’t like it. The result is God helps us separate the sin from the sinner and to view that sinner as God sees all of us including ourselves. That makes it all worth it.