Missing: Truth

I have a confession. I subscribe to publications from a variety of viewpoints in order to hear from voices on both ends of the spectrum. On social media, I do my best to keep the bars of my personal algorhythmic cage as widely-spaced as possible. And I always assume I’m missing something in every story. We all are. All to often, the missing element is truth.

We live in a world currently run by the one Jesus called “the ruler of this world” and “a liar and the father of lies” (see John 12:31, 14:30, John 8:44). To find the truth, you have to research and think deeply and logically about what you read or watch. You cannot merely consume.


The Friday after the most recent election, my inbox was filled with the typical sales flyers and political emails. Among them were a selection of Red and Blue propaganda pieces loaded with highlights, bold type, red letters, shrieking capitals, and shameless abuse of the exclamation point.

Propaganda to my left and right both made similar claims:

  • The election results are hanging in the balance!!!!!
  • The stakes are the highest they’ve ever been!!!!!
  • YOUR EMERGENCY CONTRIBUTION IS URGENTLY NEEDED TO FIGHT BACK against the enemy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!!!!!!

Or something.

I have to wonder why the stakes are higher now than, say, when Hitler and Stalin made blood-soaked bids for world domination or when our own fledgling nation tore itself apart at a time when some people wanted to own other people. I thought those stakes were pretty high.

But I also have other questions:

  1. How, precisely, will my donation impact the results of an election that took place three days prior?
  2. Assuming my rushed contribution manages to (alarmingly) sway the counting of votes, how can I be sure all the swaying won’t cause fatal fractures in the whole structure?
  3. If both Red and Blue are threatening to destroy my liberty, who am I supposed to believe will preserve it?

You get the picture. But it isn’t just politics. The American media seems to have won a bloodless coup far more effective than all the concentration camps, purges, and gulags combined.

Just Keep Spinning

In his fine book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman opined that Huxley’s pleasure-dominated society in Brave New World comes closer to today’s America than Orwell’s hate-based domination portrayed 1984.

For the most part, I agree. However, Orwell’s dystopia did absolutely nail humanity’s brief attention span.

To see what I mean, all you have to do is refuse to scarf down the news like fast food fries. Instead, take time to test and discern the flavors. Look for articles with emotionally-charged language or “facts” that seem to contrast with other articles.

A simple example is the media handling of unborn babies. From one perspective, you’ll find pieces in support of a woman’s “right” to terminate a pregnancy. Yet you can also find stories where a mother and her unborn child were both murdered. In the first style of story, there is no body count; just a natural consequence eliminated. In the other, the body count is two. One is a right, the other is murder.

A careful reader of today’s news might note that the answer to the question, “When does life begin?” appears to be, “Whenever it best suits the agenda of the person you are asking.”

Our newsfeeds are full of similar contradictions covering a wide range of topics. All of them prey on a population whose collective memory seems to extend no further than seconds into the past and whose attention span is easily caught by the next shiny scandal. We move from mayhem and murder to enjoying quirky cat videos with a seamlessness rivaled only by the criminally insane.

I would argue that, apart from Christ, criminally insane is precisely what we are.

Lost and Found

But like it or not, there is such thing as truth – even if it seems to be missing in the public square. An incredible Book I’m addicted to reading mentioned as much:

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.

Isaiah 59:14-15

These words were written in the 700s BC. Truth, it seems, has been MIA for a very long time.

Strange though it may seem, all this madness actually encourages me. Such ruminations help me remember that human depravity and sickness of mind are as old as the Fall. It reminds me that there truly is nothing new under the sun.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

What’s more, I know that while it may appear that Truth is nowhere to be found, it’s actually never been far off. Truth is as close as the wind on your cheek, as real as your heartbeat, as wide as the sky – for all of creation, including your body, contain evidence of the Truth that brought them into being.

Even better, we’ve been given a tangible document, the Word of Truth, as a gift to avoid making careless assumptions. Our feelings often override the evidence of our senses, and the God who made us knows this and gave us His Word as a reminder. Cultural norms will come and go, nations will rise and fall, lies will be tossed around like dodgeballs, but the Word of God will stand forever.

And because of this truth, we can have confidence that one day, the Truth will out.

Labor of Love: A Former Teacher’s Thoughts on Teacher Shortages

Disclaimer: I’m not a real teacher.

That is to say, I’ve had little formal training as a teacher; never took courses towards a teaching degree even during my miniscule collegiate experience; and never harbored even the teensiest trifling thought of teaching anyone anything on any basis before my Lord called me to homeschool our little brood of three.

So by the current American view of what it takes to be a “professional” teacher, I’m not one. But I have played one in various contexts. In doing so, I’ve discovered three facts that make me appreciate teachers even more.

Fact #1

Teaching is less a job and more of a lifestyle.

Most teachers are required to have a college degree. Some places even require them for preschool – a truth which never ceases to boggle my mind (as if your average, non-substance-addicted human being isn’t capable of teaching the alphabet, letter sounds, and color recognition !!).

Yet I doubt any degree can prepare you for the actual job. Despite the classroom time, most teachers spend hours arranging and decorating the classroom itself (often partly out of the teacher’s own pocket).

Untold hours are devoted to grading, brainstorming new ways to present key concepts, licensing requirements, helping with athletic events or drama productions, attending meetings, and so on. For many teachers, an average day begins around 7:00 a.m. and often extends past 9:00 p.m.

And despite the stigma, not many teachers take summers completely off. Summer is a time to sleep past sunrise and do some lesson plans and/or curriculum tweaking without the pressure of skipping lunch or prepping for that kid who simply will not stay on task.

And that’s for teachers who are supplied a curriculum. Some of us write our own.

Fact #2

The teaching lifestyle is not highly profitable.

One former teaching colleague graduated with a degree in data science and was asked to step in to fill a sudden gap in the math department during the school year. And he loved the job – until he moved out of his parents’ house.

College degrees are not cheaply obtained, and teacher salaries make the payback difficult for those who enjoy eating every day. Not only is teaching not for everyone, it isn’t affordable for many of us.

Fact #3

Teachers often burn out from fighting battles on too many fronts.

American teachers are often treated as the enemy – or even the servant of the enemy – rather than as the professional, hard-working, child-loving human beings most of them are.

Even in the very warm and wonderful environment I taught in, I experienced a few parents who reminded me of my waitress days and what I always called “low priority customers” – something to think about next time you’re treating your waiter as an inferior being. ūüėČ

In social settings, I’ve spoken with well-meaning parents who simply cannot grasp why a teacher with fifteen or thirty other kids can’t provide the one-on-one time their little Charlie or Susie needs to flourish. It’s as if some folks indulge a bizarre belief that a teaching degree confers upon a person the ability to sidestep the space/time continuum and also perform actual sorcery.

The truth is, most teachers have bent over backwards so often, a side gig as a sideshow freak is a viable revenue stream.

If little Charlie or Susie were the only child with unique needs, it would be possible to help. But close to 15% of today’s kids have some type of learning challenge, while the rest of them are dealing with the heaviness of modern life. The teacher is left trying to present the day’s lesson multiple ways, competing with near-invisible earbuds and fifty-million video game hacks while still giving individualized attention to several kids – all in less than an hour.

Of course, this is assuming the day goes smoothly and there are no external distractions. Which happens, well. . . never.

Support Your Teachers!

If you are a Christian, please remember we are called to treat others as we would like to be treated and to consider others as more important than ourselves. This includes teachers, even if they are getting paid a few coins to shape and mold the minds of our future.

If you are not a Christian, you are still human. You may not have the motivation of realizing Jesus died to pay for all those horrible things you’ve done (though He DID, and He’s always willing for you to accept the free gift of eternal life from Him), but you can still be a decentish human.

Just be nice to your kids’ teachers. Please.

A Bit of an Honest Rant

For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

2Chronicles 20:12

This crazy year…

It’s possible I may ruffle a few feathers or step on some toes here, but may I say I’m an equal opportunity ruffler? I try to dishevel and tread equally without taking sides… except the Lord’s side. When it comes to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, I won’t budge a millimetre. I belong to Him, you see.

So anyway…

We kicked off 2020 with wildfires in Australia. Of course, there was also the now-standard biological dementia which is Relativism’s crowning achievement… and it’s all been downhill from there.

A global pandemic, COVID-19, brought widespread lock-downs and economic closures, disrupting the rhythms of an entire planet.

In its wake came economic instability, fear, and the inevitable conspiracy theories. These began a fatal feedback loop, drawing fear out of a tense environment, amplifying it, and pumping it back into the social current.

Thus was born COVID-Madness. Riding the wave of this new socio-psychological pathology came a series of social-media opinion wars cleverly disguised as “facts.”

The pandemic is real and will kill all of us. The numbers of COVID deaths are crazily high, killing more people than the seasonal flu – and here’s a graph to prove it.

NO, the numbers are inflated by the rich and powerful for… reasons. The flu kills more people – and here’s a graph to prove it.

You’re a hopelessly deluded sheep if you wear a mask in public.

You’re a callous, selfish humanity-hater if you don’t wear a mask in public.

People, we need a vaccine to fix this thing so we don’t all die!

No, the vaccine is an evil plot to microchip everyone and infect them with retroviruses so the rich and powerful can become richer and more powerful …

(…I suppose so they can spend their vaccine-inflated wealth burying everyone they slaughtered with their vile plan as they skillfully document graves via microchip technology, then dance about a lonely world populated solely by giant murder hornets and other wealthy mask-wearing vaccine-givers, clutching their money and laughing manically ???)

Thanks, guys. All very helpful and supportive. Really, we needed more division in the country. And this only gets us through April or so.

As if my country wasn’t already on edge, yet another series of what appeared to be racially-motivated killings slammed racial tensions back to the forefront. Many people I love who happen to have more melanin in their skin are hurting and angry – for good reason. I am hurting and angry.

I may be a white woman but I’m still human. So are my brown friends and family. The last thing I want is for a single one of them to be gunned down in the privacy of their home, chased down and shot in the streets, have the life literally squeezed out of them, or some other atrocity all due to a social sickness birthed in slavery and perpetrated by the bizarre human love-affair with evil, division, self, and sin.

Protests were begun – rightly so. But of course, peaceful protests have a tendency to morph into riots. Especially when a country is already pregnant with unrest from a pandemic, quarantines and lockdowns, disinformation wars, and financial trouble.

And July is just around the corner…

Perhaps this is the cat the ancient Egyptians worshiped borne on the Saharan dust cloud, awakened from his slumber by the quaking world and infuriated by the general maelstrom of social media babble?

I confess: Some days I am just tired.

Tired of hearing angry rhetoric and useless hype.

Tired of social justice movements that ignore actual justice from the perspective of the One who not only made the world but is its sole rightful Judge. Not to mention bearing the only correct assessment of right and wrong by merit of creating all the things…

Tired of a Church too willing to adopt social trends and too lax in her handling of the Word of Truth. (Note: I don’t mean a specific church body but the American church in general here…)

Tired of a people who are too busy defending their opinions to listen to the voices of others; too busy to listen to the Voice of Truth.

Tired of trying to speak of my God only to find my voice is only adding to the global cacophony.

And yet, I dare not stop speaking. I dare not stop trying. Lives are at stake. Eternally.

Lord, guide my words and my heart. Let them both be pure before You and purely Yours. You are the answer – the ONLY answer – to the problems we face. And though we may not like to hear it, the answer lies not necessarily in the here and now but in eternity.

In this world, we will have trouble. You have promised it! But in Your Son and through Your Spirit, we may also have peace – shalom – and we can take heart, because Your Son has already overcome the world. Help me remember that no matter how large the horde of propaganda is, this battle is Yours and Yours alone, amen.

… Thus says the LORD to you, ‚ÄėDo not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.

2 Chronic;es 20:15b

The Funny Thing About Hell…

In truth, there is nothing whatsoever funny about hell. Nothing. It’s more serious than a heart attack, more gnawing than cancer, and unlike both of these, it is eternal and spiritual, not temporary and physical. Hell is not funny in the least.

But people do have some funny ideas about hell.

When I was a young atheist, I remember discussions about how much more fun hell sounded than heaven. The thought process went something like this: “If I got to choose, hell is the place I’d go. I mean, if all the fun stuff you’re not supposed to do isn’t found in heaven, then it must be in hell, right?”

Well, to be blunt: No. No it isn’t.

But the good news is that we do get to choose. Either we choose Yeshua who is the Way to heaven or we choose hell by default.

Make no mistake: Satan is not the ruler of hell, nor is he the life of some fiery party. He is in misery already because of his rebellion, and his mission is to take as much of the clay creatures stamped with the image of God – that is, humanity – into eternal misery with him.

…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever…

…And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:10, 15

Whether the image of a lake of fire is literal or symbolic doesn’t matter. It isn’t a nice place to be. Hell is Satan’s torture chamber, and I believe his hatred of humankind is partly because of the redemption offered us and his own bitterness towards God.

Looking around this world – the suffering, the heartache, the pain – I can’t help but think there’s hell enough on earth. Why would anyone choose to continue suffering throughout eternity? Most, I think, simply don’t really believe in the reality of hell or heaven.

Now that I am no longer young nor atheistic, I can look around at many of those who embraced the mentality of hell as the “fun” choice and ran with it to its logical conclusion.

Some of them are heroin or meth addicts. Others have adopted a more legal drug dependence, but they have cabinets full of drugs – and drugs to counteract the side effects of drugs – just the same. Others are addicted to sex and shallow relationships or drink so much they don’t know they’ve had the same conversation 85 times. Still others are dead.

I guess the last sort know by now.

My heart breaks for the dead who didn’t choose the Lamb of God and whose names were not written in His book of life. I literally cry for some of them, and I weep and plead for salvation for those who still live and have not yet chosen the Way.

May my God draw them to Himself and may they choose to surrender to Him now. O Lord, please; let it be!

Hell is a far cry from an eternal party. Honestly, after watching the party scene for a few years and seeing the end results – addictions, broken relationships, broken lives – even if it was a party, I wouldn’t want it.

The sex, drugs, and alcohol party lifestyle is its own hell. Just ask any sweat-drenched addict as he pukes his guts out between fixes. Or anyone who is a prisoner of their own fear. Or anyone who age catches unaware after they’ve squandered life on shallow physical relationships and now face old age and death alone.

No, my friends, you do not want hell. I don’t want hell for you. And if I know you personally and you are not a follower of the Lord, chances are good I pray frequently that you will come to Him of Your own free will.

I so desperately want you to choose life. I so desperately want to keep you from hell. But you know what? As much as I want this for you, God wants it even more. He wants it so much, He paid the price of your sin with His own blood.

Please. Choose life.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose lifeloving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days…

Deuteronomy 30:19a, 20a, emphasis mine

Preach It, Brother!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
(Romans 1:16-18)

There’s a concept bouncing around here and there in¬†my nation’s church culture, and it’s one I have always found rather odd. It’s the idea of a letter, article, devotional, or what-have-you being too “preachy.”

As a semi-aspiring author I’ve also found numerous submission guidelines cautioning against preachiness. And if I may be frank, I don’t get it.

For one, “preachiness” is subjective. I wonder sometimes if we get preachiness confused with conviction? What one man finds preachy, another may find wakes him up to some truth he’d previously been deceived about. Still another may pass it over without a second thought either way.

But for the most part (and pardon me if I slip into my native East Tennessean here):

Y’all! Since when are we afraid of a little good, old-fashioned preachin’?

Now when I write of preaching, I do not mean hatefulness. There’s a vast gulf between preaching truth and spewing spite and venom.

Real preachiness is twofold, stemming first from God’s Word and secondly from a sincere desire to see other people saved from what the Lord calls “the outer darkness” (or sometimes the fiery furnace) where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (see Matthew 8:12, 13:42, 50, Luke 13:28, et al).

Or as Paul puts it:

…I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
(Romans 9:2-3)

As I’ve been reading and studying through Romans for several weeks now, it amuses me to imagine Paul, Peter, James, and some of the others looking for a market for their letters in today’s social climate. Goodness, a good percentage of the Word of God is preachy, even in-you-face confrontational.

In my own experience with the Lord, it was not positive and upbeat snippets of devotional thought which brought me to bow the knee before the King of kings. It was through the preachiness of good expository speaking and writing, verified by the words of Scripture itself, and stirred up to Godly grief which lead to repentance by the Holy Spirit.

Church, if someone’s called to preach it, let him preach it! We each have a job to do for the Kingdom, and part of that job is holding one another accountable to the Word of Truth.

So unless someone preaches a different gospel, let ’em preach on, whether you like the tone or not. Perhaps you are not the divinely intended target.

But what if you are? I’ve only walked with the Lord for around 2 decades, but in that time, He has kept me diligent in my reading and study of His Word. One thing I’ve learned when I find my feathers ruffled by a writing or teaching is to take it before Him in prayer and with my Bible open before me.

Sometimes the teaching is erroneous, and I sigh in relief since I’m not the one in need of chastisement.

But other times… Well.

My first question when I take these matters to the Lord is whether or not my reaction to preachiness is actually conviction. It is all too easy to confuse the two.

So maybe when we find ourselves chaffed by some preachy article, it’s time to do a prayerful heart check. It could be a message we need to hear, exposing something God wants us to address. Or it could be a message for someone else.

And yes, it could be a flaw in the writer. But as Romans 8 says, God really does work all things for the good of those who love Him – which includes learning from our mistakes.

After all, each of us is ultimately accountable to God. And He does discipline His children when we step out of line. Trust me on that one.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
(2 Timothy 4:1-2)


On Anger, Racism, and Other Foolishness

And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
(Genesis 4:10)

A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
(Proverbs 18:6-7)

This rainy morning finds me somewhat melancholy. For one, I blew my top at my eldestFight004 yesterday. Although he did not deserve to shoulder the brunt of my wrath, he was the unfortunate person in my path when I reached a tipping point. I took my eyes off the Lord and focused on my problems instead, and I am heartbroken at my own foolish response to my child.


I am, however, proud to say that he handled the whole thing with maturity that put me to shame. But today, another problem also grieves my heart: the ridiculous and entirely insane fact of racism. I have never understood this issue. I never will.

In high school, I had the misfortune to be admired by a boy who belonged to a group of Neo-Nazi skinheads; a racist group that existed in my town in the 1990s. ¬†I recall one of his friends handing me some printed material – some preposterous drivel about sending the black people back to Africa and taking back “our” country.

Far from gaining my respect, this nonsense raised a cold fury in my heart. One of my closest – and indeed, one of my only – friends at the time was black. Of all the people in my grade, she was also quite possibly the one I respected the most.

Refusing to be defined by any clique, Miss C was funny, gregarious, and cheerful even when life was hard. When depression eclipsed my heart and I became sullenly withdrawn, often behaving like a complete freak, she still always treated me with a dignity I knew I didn’t deserve. Thus, for some combat boot-wearing child to tell me that she needed to be shipped back to Africa aroused only my contempt.

Needless to say, that little boy never earned my affection, but he has since earned my pity. ¬†How sad a life to believe oneself superior to another by a mere accident of birth! How wretched to be so lacking in logic as to think white skin gives one a “rightful” claim to a land mass that was originally wrested from a brown-skinned people. How horrible to live so full of hate and darkness.

My response to the Neo-Nazi race propaganda remains the same today as it was when I was a teen. Though we might share a skin color, we emphatically do not share an ideology. If anyone ought to be shipped back anywhere, it is us representatives of a lighter-skinned population Рthe descendants of land thieves, exploiters, and slave-owners.

Although I am ashamed that these things likely lurk in my ancestral closet, I am not my ancestors. Personally, I agree wholly with the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. that each of us ought to be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our epidermis.

Recently, the above-mentioned friend posted on Facebook about several instances of racism she has experienced in her life, some flung out by foolish peers and others perpetrated by authority figures. It grieves me to think of those incidents, and again I admire her that she has never given up hope in the human spirit despite such atrocities.

Then… then I heard about what happened in Virginia. May I state something for the record? As a white woman, I utterly reject any such notion as “white supremacy.” ¬†The very idea of something as arbitrary as pigmentation offering any people group supremacy over another is not only abhorrent, it is entirely illogical.

As if my friend or any other person has any control over the very fact of being born! To hate someone for that is the very paramount of ridiculousness.

Oh, people! Have we still not learned? There is truly only one race among humanity; we are all of the human race. Despite differences in skin color, hair color, eye color, geography,  or intelligence quotient, we are all subject to the same curse of sin. It is sin that breeds such nonsense as racism. It is also sin that bears a grudge and refuses to forgive.

Today, I am sorry for all the atrocities of human nature, for every news headline that demonstrates the truth of¬†words penned so many centuries before: “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”¬†(Genesis 6:5).

I weep for those damaged by racism and hatred; both those who are its victims as well as those whose souls are devoured by such cancerous hatred. I pray for my beautiful nieces whose skin is browner than mine, that they may see the goodness of God more completely because of the evil of mankind. I love that my own children have friends of many colors, shapes, sizes, and nationalities.

I also long for mankind to judge rightly, assessing one another by the content and expression of character rather than arbitrary cosmetic differences. More than that, I hope that we will learn to humbly apply the standard most rigorously to our own sorry selves.

Yet even as I write, I realize that I stand condemned by my own character as evidenced by my childish outburst mere hours ago. It seems that we will need something more than character. As a species, we are in need of grace.

As Ravi Zacharias wrote, “…no matter what part of the world we come from or what strata¬†of society we represent, we must all admit our own shortcoming–that we only feel exonerated when we gauge our level of saintliness in comparison to someone else of lesser esteem.”

My friends and brothers of all colors, we are all of lesser esteem.

The solitary standard by which we may rightly measure our own character or that of another is the perfect standard of holiness – the standard of God Himself expressed in human flesh by the works and person of Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ).

If you are tempted to look down on another person, look up to Him first. He alone offers true grace, for He is the sole owner of holiness and worthy of reverence. The rest of us stand condemned daily by our own, innumerable childish outbursts.

One final plea – as you do look to Him, be certain that you are looking to Him alone. Humanity has perpetrated many evils in His name, all of which will be called to account someday. Beware of discarding the veracity of God because of the fumbling mishandling of sinful humanity.

No matter where you stand on the issue of racism, know that the sinful expression of anger is only foolishness. Even those of us who are victims must be careful of our responses. My rather loud outpouring of fury to my son last night was no less an expression of foolishness than that of the anger-fueled murder of other people in Virginia days ago.

I feel deep sorrow for my angry words, and I feel no less sorrow for the very fact of racism. Yet as I was reminded rather painfully last night, responding in anger only feeds a fire which already rages out of control, damaging all who are caught in its blaze without regard to complicity.

With full understanding that by giving vent to my anger I have played the part of a fool, I leave you with a Proverb as it is translated from the original Hebrew by David H. Stern, a Messianic Jewish scholar:

Don’t answer a fool in terms of his folly, or you will be descending to his level; but answer a fool as his folly deserves so that he won’t think he is wise.

Proverbs 26:3-4, CJSB

My friends, let us no longer act as fools and beasts ruled by our impulses, but let us instead submit in humility to God and allow Him to set us apart for holiness instead, agreeing with His definitions of goodness and truth, imitating His example of perfect love, and shunning evil – especially the evil that lies in our own hearts.


(As a side note, all comments on this website are modereated. While America may still play at offering freedom of speech, I do not, nor do I tolerate disrespect. Any useful, respectful, gracious words will published; all hateful comments or angry retorts will be heartily ignored).



Not My Job

So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'”
(Luke 17:10)


To the right, you will find a section of my kitchen floor that I have come to think of as No-Man’s Land. Although my children have been required to help clean up the kitchen after dinner in some capacity since they were old enough to bring their plates to the sink, their responsibilities have grown with their bodies. Currently, they divvy up the duties among themselves and typically I will wash the dishes while they do the rest.

Or at least in theory.

It has come to my attention that there are two “sides” to my kitchen: the kitchen proper and the¬†eat-in portion with the table. Apparently, if a young person sweeps one side, he or she is exempt from sweeping the other side. However, this section¬†of floor between the island and the kitchen table does not belong to either side.

In fact, as far as I can tell, this particular stretch of floor is kept free of debris primarily by a combination of magic, fairy wings, and wishful thinking or failing that, Mom.

Yesterday, as I stepped barefoot onto some crumbs in No-Man’s Land and resignedly turned to get the broom, it occurred to me that perhaps some portion of the moral decay we see in our society today cannot be fully attributed¬†to seething masses of pagan hordes gleefully¬†spreading debauchery and gloating in evil. Maybe, just maybe, some of it has to do with the attitude that certain behaviors “aren’t my job.”

The things I’m talking about are small things, like cleaning the bathrooms at our churches or being the one who does not complain when our spouse does that crazy irritating thing he/she does.

There are medium jobs, too. Things like visiting a cantankerous widow, treating an outcast in your circle with love and respect even if they are hateful in return, or continuing to uncomplainingly serve someone who seems to take your kindness for granted as if it were their right.

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
(Hebrews 12:14)

Then there are the bigger acts – the places where we speak with our dollars and our actions. When the entertainment industry insists on placing inappropriate content in films, when stores embrace policies that are dangerous or exploitative to others, when advertisements marginalize or objectify women, we, the Church, need to be the ones who refuse to finance such choices.

That might mean inconvenience, taking a hard stand, being willing to do without certain things, spending our dollars wisely in order to send a message that we stand for the poor, the women who do not know better than to be objects, the children who are exposed to topics they are not yet ready to deal with. It is our job to be a “pillar and buttress of the truth,” and implicit in that is standing against immoral, corrupt, and deceitful practice even if it costs us.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
(Hebrews 12:3-4)

As the Church, our job is to go and make disciples. The Greek word translated there means, “learner or pupil,” and since most of us learn by example, setting an example is certainly the job of the Church.

And let me be extremely clear about this point: if we claim to be disciples of Jesus, we are the Church. We are the example. Where we spend our money, how we spend our leisure time, what we accept or embrace in our entertainments, how we act towards our families in private – all of it matters.

It might mean doing a job that no one else wants to do. It may mean dealing with humiliation. It may mean inconvenience, being out of the loop in our entertainment choices, or sacrificing a show we really did want to see. It may mean being called prudish or seeming to be an oddball in our culture. In all honesty, it may even mean our death in certain situations such as those our brothers and sisters face worldwide.

But if we are to make disciples, we need to first copy our Master, and while He was kind and loving, He was also uncompromising when it came to holiness and the honor of our God.

And He did many jobs that were not His to do.

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
(John 13:14-17)




The King Sits Enthroned

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
Psa;lm 29:1-2

Normally, I am not a politically-minded person, probably to a fault. Although admittedly my focus strays from time to time, I try to view everything — even politics — through the lens of God’s Word.

That being said, I am of two minds this year concerning the political mess in my country.

On one hand, I am angry. It infuriates me to be told that I have a voice in our government and simultaneously told that my voice is limited to a choice between two candidates that, as far as I can tell, are morally reprehensible. This does not feel like a choice. It feels like a sham.

When I happen to look in on the news, read a bit of text from the “debates,” or take a peek on social media, my anger quickly turns into something more akin to a wondering despair

And behind all the noise and reactionary chaos of social media, I can almost hear someone (or a group of someones) laughing in their sleeve. I could very easily be wrong, but the circus-like quality of the modern political “debate” seems to be a thing more akin to a diversion for an entertainment-hungry mob than a civil discussion of various viewpoints on critical national issues.


On the other hand, I really cannot get too upset. To be perfectly candid, it truly does not matter much who wins this election. For either way, God will bring about His purposes, and not all of those purposes are going to be enjoyable at the time.

And although you may occasionally see a glimpse of the other side of my brain if I get excited, the truth is I actually have a good deal of peace this election year. The crazy thing is, that peace exists although I do not know what to do.

I know I’m not alone here. Many Christians do not know what to do. Most of us feel trapped, although if we are honest with ourselves, we are trapped in a cage that we have watched being welded together bar by bar over generations. But that’s another tangent…

“Oh, our God, will You not execute judgement on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

What I do know is that my God does know what to do. He is God. Lest we forget, I fully believe He is perfectly capable of doing something strange and amazing through this election. He just might. But, much like the ancient nation of Israel, He may just give us what we have asked for.

They wanted a king and got one, along with a vendetta against the up-and-comer, David, a great deal of war and strife, and eventually a divided kingdom and moral bankruptcy. What we crave in America is freedom — freedom from consequences or repercussions, so much freedom that the boundaries of reason begin to blur and fade around the edges.

And we might just get it, too, along with all the chaos, mischief, damage, and debauchery that come along with “freedom” from logic and limits. It’s called anarchy, and it typically does not end well.

But there I go again…. I will do my civic duty and vote, but not before I have gotten on my knees in fasting and prayer to ask my God what He would have me do. Whatever He tells me, I will do. If He chooses to be silent, I will do my level best with the information (albeit rather shady information) I have been given to work with. And I will trust Him with the results.

The truth is, brothers and sisters, for those of us who are in Christ, this election is just another point of interest or intrigue in the land we are journeying through. This is not our homeland. We already have a Ruler, and He is our Refuge and our Strength; the King of kings and Lord of lords, The Almighty, the Most High,  Maker of heaven and earth, and He has not changed.

Nor will he. Oh, this old world will change. We’ve already seen its tendency to slow decay. It’s called “entropy,” and it is an actual, accepted scientific law. Nor does it only apply to matter. Civilizations rise and fall; all that is new fades, becomes old, and crumbles; ¬†governments rise to glory and fall to ash; and still this ball of rock spins on its axis around its wondrous and fearfully-powerful star. Until it does not any longer, that is.

For once now, God sent His own Son to live as one of the very beings He created. He walked as one of us, enduring the same joys and sorrows, trials and triumphs with one exception — He alone understands the full depth and breadth of temptation because He alone has withstood it until the bitter end without knuckling under or bending even once.

He fulfilled the Laws given to Moses, then He gave Himself willingly in a bloody and terrible sacrifice to save the very ones who beat, mocked, and rejected Him — including me. Then He rose again, this God-Man who is my King. And someday He will return, this time not in meekness and to offer sacrifice, ¬†but in power and great glory to claim the earth that He paid for in blood. Then, oh my friends! Then every knee will bow before before Him, whether in worship or in fear.

That is my Ruler. That is my Sovereign. That is why I only worry for small times in weak moments, mostly for the sake and safety of my children. ¬†But then I rally and take heart, because I remember that I am a stranger in a strange land (and I already know how strange, so you don’t have to say it!). My King is secure, and He is my strength in weary times.

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!
Psalm 29:10-11

An Appeal to my Brethren of Any Color

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
(Mat 24:10-12)

I am a white woman.

There is nothing I can do about this. I was born this way.

My sisters are white women. They did not choose their skin color, either, but were also born this way.¬†All three of us have some things¬†in common: our skin is ¬†of that pinkish-tan hue that for some reason is called “white” and our hair and eyes are brown. We can make alterations with dyes, contacts, and other superficial and temporary aesthetic changes, but we can never be anything but white women.

Besides our coloring, we three share other characteristics. We all made similar mistakes before we came to know Jesus as King and Lord of our lives. Despite our love for Him, we all are imperfect and still struggle with sin. We all make mistakes, we are all learning to humble our hearts and repent when we do, and we encourage each other to this end.

Additionally, we are all married to husbands we love and have children we adore. As it happens, our husbands are also human beings, are imperfect, make mistakes, and are striving to be Godly men who love and support their families.

But there is one difference that, to us, is insignificant but to this irrational and fear-driven society in which we live, often becomes inflated beyond aesthetics: one of our husbands is black.

And to be¬†truly¬†honest, I don’t care.Hands004

I enjoy my brothers-in-law equally. I love the
m both the same. At times, I am even irritated by them both the same, not because of their skin color, but because of our mutual sin natures. What I mean is that sometimes my irritation may be justified while at other times it is not because I, too, struggle with sin and pride and fail to be humble. To me, my brothers are no more or less different than my two sisters. We are all in this family together, and Lord willing, we will all be together from now and forever on into eternity.

Why am I telling you all this? Frankly, this is nothing short of an outright plea to all fellow members of the human race to stop thinking in skin colors and remember who the real enemy is.

The real enemy is not marked by something as arbitrary as the amount of melanin in a person’s skin. The real enemy is not a person at all; he is a liar and the father of lies, and he has come to kill, steal and destroy. And in fact, that is just what I see him doing when the racial pot is stirred.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
(1Pe 5:8)

Please, brothers and sisters of all colors, please remember this. In God’s house, there is not black and white but we are all one in Christ, part of His body and paid for by His blood. Please do not be distracted by our enemy’s attempts to divide us up into little knots made up of labels we have imposed upon ourselves. We are not merely black and white — we are Christ’s and it is for Him that we should stand together.

I am not saying racism does not exist. It does; I have seen it too often to ignore. What I am saying, however, is that we who are one in Christ ought not let ourselves be divvied up so easily into racial categories. Instead, I propose we keep our eyes on the proverbial ball and keep in mind who our enemy really is. I propose that we remember that behind each killing lies one common factor: sin. The skin color of the murderer or the murdered does not matter in the least. Murder is murder. Sin is sin. This has not changed and will never change.

We cannot generalize. We cannot class a people’s behavior by a merely cosmetic difference. ¬†I have friends and loved ones of many colors. Because we who are in Christ are God’s children, I even have brothers and sisters of many colors.

Imagine, for a moment, a world in which people with blue eyes were considered to be sinister in intention simply because of the stark blueness of their eyes. Ridiculous, but no less ridiculous than being divided over skin color. Please see this.

Even if you read these words and you do not know my Lord (who, by the way, was also not a white man but a Jew), I urge you to consider Him. I implore you to get to know Him through the Bible and through honest and sincere prayer that seeks to find the truth in a world teeming with lies. I encourage you to put into practice His words; such actions as loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you, dying to yourself and living for Christ, obeying God no matter the personal cost. But even if you will not listen to God, at least listen to one of His servants and my brother in Christ, Martin Luther King, Jr.:

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. . .

. . . I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I implore you all –brothers, sisters, or non-relatives; black, white, brown, or whatever you may be: Do not judge anyone by the color of their skin nor by their nationality ¬†but solely by the content of their character.

In my youth, I was once protected from a white rapist by a black man who frequently acted as a sort of big brother to me. ¬†Indeed, this man of different skin saved my skin more than once from white guys with unsavory motives.¬†Their skin color did not matter, but their character did.¬†Back then, I did not understand who my enemy was, but I knew enough to realize that it wasn’t a person with a differently colored epidermis.

Today, I enjoy sitting at the table of brotherhood with fellow humans who happen to have a variety of colors of skin, eyes, and hair; who are of different heights and weights; who have different backgrounds and different family upbringings; even who attend different denominations. We do not all always agree,  but we can still love each other. We can still find what we share in Christ, and that is His undeserved forgiveness and love.

I am begging you no matter what your skin color, if you are in Christ, remember that we are one body in Him and individually members of one another. Let’s rally around the cross, not divide up over incidents sparked by sin and lawlessness. Let’s not even look too hard upon the sins of others but remember to feel shock and grief¬†over our own sins most of all.

Most of all, let’s remember who the enemy is and resolve to stand firm¬†against his schemes together.¬†Your brothers with various flesh tones are not your enemy. Our enemy is the prince of this world, the one called Accuser. Do not listen to his accusations against our brethren.

Now more than ever the world needs to see Christians coming together in Christ regardless of external differences. Now more than ever, the world needs to see the love and forgiveness of God acted out and spoken out in the real, day-to-day lives of His children. Now more than ever, the world needs to see us humbly addressing our own sin with repentance instead of angrily addressing the sins of others and assigning blame. Now more than ever, the world needs to see that God is real by genuine acts of love and forgiveness, of unity in Christ and in His purpose, and by the ways God’s children refuse to be distracted from the real¬†struggle.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
(Eph 6:11-13, NASB)

Remember, brothers and sisters, remember who the enemy is. Don’t let your love grow cold. Stand together. Resist evil. Rejoice together; grieve together. Share each others’ burdens. And always, always remember that we are to forgive as we have been forgiven and love one another.

By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.¬†

(1Jn 4:17-21)


My Two Cents: An Appeal to Reason

I have struggled for many days about whether or not to post this, and so after the encouragement of some friends, I have decided to do so. If you read this, please commit to it and read through to the end,  particularly my post script.

Often I will stay out of hot button issues just because I hate fueling fires unless¬†said fire is necessary for warmth and light; however…there is one¬†recent controversy¬†which has left me completely bewildered.

To put it bluntly, I’m astonished at¬†whole issue of “gender identity.” For the life of me, I cannot fathom why this is an issue at all. Whatever happened to common sense and reason? Gender is somewhat startlingly evident by certain physical markers, thus¬†it is not a detail that is difficult to assess.

And while I am a Christian — and openly so — I feel strongly that the concept of gender has less to do with any one person or group’s Christianity or lack thereof than it has to do with any one person¬†or group’s ability to be sensible. I am¬†puzzled as to why this thing is often¬†made a point of Christian vs. Non-Christian when it is solely a matter of¬†facts vs. fiction or reality vs. fantasy.¬†This is not a hateful viewpoint; it is a rational one. It is patently absurd to haul words like “love” and “hate” into the thing at all.

You see, a person’s identity¬†is not and has never been a basis for reality, but identity¬†certainly should be affected by reality. We teach this to every three-year-old who zooms around the room wearing a pillowcase for a cape.¬†He¬†may indulge this fantastical identity as a superhero to a point, but the moment the tyke attempts to fly from the upper story window ought to be the¬†point at¬†which the loving parent intervenes with a healthy dose of reality.

To put it another way, I may identify myself as a 7-foot tall, black NBA player, but an appointment to be fitted¬†by the Big and Tall Men’s shop, a peek in the dressing-room mirror, or about six¬†seconds on the court would lay that fantasy to rest rather¬†efficiently. The reality of my shortness, pasty whiteness, and sports-related ineptitude would give lie to my belief.

Why is it, then, that the ¬†reality of physical¬†gender has become such a stumbling block? I’m not saying that people might not be genuinely confused, but isn’t it more loving to help them deal with the reality of their circumstance rather than redefine what is and is not “real?” ¬†As a culture, have¬†we forsaken reason altogether?

I wonder sometimes. It frightens me to think of whole groups of people careening through life without a tether to anything so concrete as reality, though I daresay that the sensation of free-floating must be, at times, even more frightening to them. When I think of it in those terms, it makes me terribly sad.

But since many insist on dragging Christ’s name into this mess, I will address the matter from that standpoint as well. Perhaps it is inevitable, for He is never far in my¬†thoughts on any ¬†matter; this one is no different.

If this world has entirely forsaken facts for feelings, then I do have an appeal to make to my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is one of those points at which we must, must rally around the cross. We have a solemn duty to uphold the truth of the One who first created us and then ransomed us through no merit of our own — and truth as He created it and not as we interpret it. We must be humble, but humbly accepting His truth and not the world’s version. Truth and reality were not our creation and therefore are¬†not ours to rewrite, and I fear we cannot bend truth to please mankind when to do so would dishonor our Creator.

Besides that, I do believe that fallout will come of this eventually, perhaps not for all but for some. The initial thrill of abandon caused by casting off anchors to truth will diminish. Soon confusion and fear will set in as lives affected by  this faux freedom find themselves in dismay, floundering in the deep with nothing to indicate up from down; no beacons to indicate a right turning from a wrong one.

At that point, we need to be there; a levelheaded people of Truth standing on the firm foundation of the Rock of Ages,  ready to give an answer to the hope that is within us to a deluded and frightened world; a hope that is in Jesus Christ alone.

Make no mistake: Jesus did come to save sinners and He does come to all of us just as we are.  That is truth. However, it is only a part of the truth. He comes to us as we are, dressed in filthy rags , blind and disease-ridden, but He does not leave us there.

Because of His love for us, He heals the blindness, cleanses us of the disease, and dresses us in His own garment of righteousness. In fact, He gave his life to pay a debt we cannot pay.

We have no choice, none of us, but to come to Jesus just as we are: sinners enslaved by sin. However, we cannot remain as we are and still walk with Him. There must be a change, a yielding to His authority and a dying to self, even to self-identification.

As His ambassadors, we who are in Christ must hold fast to truth. Who will speak truth and life into madness and decay and show the way out if it is not those who belong to the Way, the Truth, and the Life? If we fear being labeled “intolerant” more than we fear tolerating wrongness, what good do we do? Does love ever tolerate those habits or practices that cause ultimate harm to the beloved? Not at all!

Do not become confused by shifting ideologies¬†nor afraid to speak¬†intolerantly of deceit, my brothers and sisters! Love people enough to tell the truth, enough to be intolerant of those things that may cause temporary pleasure but will bring eternal harm. ¬†Jesus is, was, and always will be the only hope we have in this world, and it is His truth — THE truth — that provides genuine freedom.

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31b-32)

Post Script — Because of the current social climate, I feel it important to add this. When it comes to the whole issue of gender or sexual identity, I am absolutely not picking on one sin over another. The reason I speak so passionately against sexual sin is that I was once enslaved to it. Though all my iniquities were committed with men, they were not by any means lesser sins. They were¬†grievous ¬†and horrible, and although I have received forgiveness, I still carry memories¬†that I wish I could shed.

I know the danger, I know the corruption, and I was rescued from it by the grace of God. It is from genuine love that I long for that same rescue to all who remain enslaved, wherever in the spectrum of sexual sin their particulars may fall.

That being said, I reiterate that do not see the gender identity issue as much an issue of “worse” sin — again, it is simply a matter of facts vs. fiction. I am not appealing to a lost world to act saved; I am appealing to all mankind to act rationally.¬†