It’s time to get a grip- on eternal truth

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I’ve been working on a book for the last few months. Its about eternal truth and how what we believe effects how we live. Even though it’s been a slow go of writing (I’m a bit of a lazy butt when it comes to just sitting down and writing). And, yet, I find myself checking my thoughts and my words at the most random times.

This is new to me. I’d always figured my ranting about life in general was part of my “verbal processing” personality.

Maybe, maybe not.

Thing is, if what we say in our “processing” is not clarified within the boundaries of eternal truth, we may just be setting up ourselves and people around us to embrace a lie.

Now don’t get all pious on me. We all spout off now and again.

Take the U.S. election for example. I live in Canada but I was born and raised in the United States. I know how inflammatory election rhetoric can be – not just from the candidates but in everyday conversations of ordinary citizens.

Election 2016 election is like no other. The discussions are fierce and the dividing lines cut deep. People are frustrated, angry and scared.

And, sad to say, lies have made themselves at home in every corner of the debate.

“This election will determine wether America will be great or not.”

“If America ceases to be great, we will all suffer”

“If we suffer, what will become of us?”

Pretty scary stuff for adults, much more for kids.  They are just forming their view of the world. Imagine their takeaway from listening to the adults around them.

But the truth is….

God is sovereign. Not Democrat, Republican or independent. He is more concerned about the condition of our hearts than he is in party agenda. No matter what way the election goes God will use it to humble us, to draw us closer to Himself, to teach us to trust Him.

His existence is not threatened by the outcome of the election. Fact check- He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.

This is what our kids need to hear.

God is in control. He will take care of us no matter what happens. No matter what.

And, this is what our kids need to see.

Mom and Dad and Pastors and teachers and babysitters and leaders seeking God, not for some political agenda but for God to heal our land and our leaders and our neighbours and our friends and strangers we see on the street.

Sorry Nationalists. Eternal truth is global. We are to love and to reach out to the world with the gospel of God’s love.

On the other hand, it is also national. The ties that strengthen this nation will not come through one leader, no matter how charactered, powerful or wise that leader may be. It will come through the moral courage and compassion of individuals, loving families and communities of faith that reach out and embrace to those who have no family, community or faith.

We may not be able to sway an election with one vote. But, we can change the world one honest and loving relationship at a time.

Yes, you can verbally process (if you are like me), but make sure your processing is based on truth, eternal truth.  The kind of truth that heals and transforms hearts and not just promotes a political view.

God’s not dead.

He is alive and well on planet earth. All the earth and every nation. Pretty heady stuff.

Eternal truth.

Talk like it, act like it. Live it in front of your kids.

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Who stops the bad guys? Understanding God in a crazy world.

 

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Have you ever wondered about the bad guys? How come they don’t get stopped?

God can. Sometimes He does.

But, not always. Not this time.

In Aurora, Colorado, folks headed to the Century Aurora 16 multiplex. All they wanted to do was watch “The Dark Knight Rises”.

Sounds innocent enough.

Then, how come 12 never came home?

Fact is, they never will.

Fifty nine others are wounded. Many in critical condition.

It doesn’t seem

  • fair,
  • just,
  • equitable

for the ones who died. For the ones left behind.

I don’t understand God.

I never did. Never will.

How can I? He sees everything from the vantage of eternity. He acts on absolutes that will outlast all the philosophies of time.

And, He cares.

It’s hard to believe it when we live in a civilization gone mad, when a lone gunman can turn the world upside down.

What’s left to do? Hide our families? Start packing guns ourselves?

On days like today I feel like I’m huddled in a straw hut with the characters in the The Little Pigs. I feel like I’m just waiting for the big, bad wolf who will surely come and blow my house down.

Maybe. Maybe not.

But, I can’t hide. Close my eyes until the darkness goes away. I believe in God. In His righteousness. In His love.

There is only one thing I can do.

Care.

About the people around me.

  1. The hurting.
  2. The confused.
  3. The troubled.

Look them in the eye. Listen. Let them know that they matter to me and to God. .

It may not seem much in the light of today’s tragedy. But, it’s something.

Something good. Something kind. Something whole in a broken world.

An Alaskan Cruise and the final journey of a superhero

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It was the last night of our Alaskan voyage.

After seven days at sea, I felt like a cross between Christopher Columbus and a Beluga whale.

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Still, I indulged myself one more time.

My Mom, brother, sister-in-law and I gathered at the Crown Grill on deck Seven.

I opened a leather covered menu heavy enough to qualify for an aerobics accessory.

My brother whipped out his cell phone. (Being an American, he had a super-amazing cell phone plan.

  • Free calls between family members friends and total strangers.
  • Unlimited texting underground, across the world and between planets.

Ship to shore, Not so cheap.)

“Got a text,” He said, “could be the kids.”

Need I say more? My brother’s family is the size of a small nation. Bracing for some kind of national emergency, he opened the text.

“Marion…passed…away,” He read slowly.

It was my cousin.

Mom burst into tears. The rest of us just sat there stunned.

We all knew she was battling cancer.

But, we had no idea she had spent the last few days struggling to

  1. to live,
  2. to breathe,
  3. to say good-bye.

Now she was gone.

A courageous woman. A kind soul. A mom. A sister.

An ordinary superhero, not by choice but by necessity.

Perhaps, that is the way all superheroes are made. Forced into battle by

  • Natural disaster
  • Heartbreak
  • Moral outrage
  • An unexpected medical diagnosis

For the first time in a while, I thought about my Dad. Like Dylan Thomas, he had raged “against the dying of the light” when he found out he had six months to live.

I thought of my mother-in–law. She spent her last years in a body that would not obey her mind. Would not move. She could only smile or cry.

Like most superheroes, they won in the end.

  1. Left the body that had betrayed them.
  2. Entered a new world no human can comprehend.

I ordered a steak. Picked at my baked potato. Then, I headed to my room.

But, I could not escape the truth.

We were the losers. The ones left behind.

Evidence in Outer Space

twilight zoneI rummaged through the nooks and crannies of my past, looking for some little scrap of hope; evidence that God was real, that He cared for me.

Deep in the recesses of my early years, far below the sordid imprint of my first training bra I uncovered an image of a cramped living room. Long fingers of the late afternoon sun slid across the braided rug. A skinny little kid sprawled in front of a television console and stared at the screen. That kid was me, forty years ago.

“You have entered the twilight zone,” a man in a dark suit intoned as my favorite show began. The camera panned a circular room. Smooth walls curved around an eclectic gathering of strangers. An army officer. Clown. Ballerina. Bag pipe player. Tramp.

“What is going on?” asked the army officer, “Why am I here?”

He glanced around the room.

No windows or doors.

Instead of a ceiling, the night sky hovered over the brightly lit space as if trying to stay warm.

“I have an idea how to get out of here,” said the officer. Energized by the possibility of escape, the characters devised a human ladder against the wall. The army officer scaled shoulder after shoulder until he reached the top. He swung his leg over the side and looked down. Then, he lost his balance and disappeared.

The scene changed. Snowflakes drifted down to the frozen cement of an urban sidewalk. Beside a makeshift booth, a junk dealer hawked his wares.

The camera zoomed in on a cylindrical trash bin next to the booth. Beside the bin, a small doll lay face down in the slush. It was an exact replica of the army officer.

A young girl strolled by. She stopped, scooped up the doll and dropped it into the bin. It fell onto a heap of dolls; a clown, a ballerina, a bag pipe player and a tramp.

When the show was over I turned off the T.V. and ran outside to play. But, image of the army officer stayed with me. One minute he talked and walked and planned his escape. The next minute he was nothing more than a wad of fabric sprawled on a clump of dingy snow.

No thoughts.

No feelings.

No dreams.

That afternoon I had my first inkling of mortality, of what it meant to have a soul. I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live forever.

When bedtime came, I stared at the faint outline of the mattress above me. Suddenly, I detected the presence of an unseen world, a universe of energy and substance older than the dawn of time. The edge of eternity pooled at my window. It stretched beyond the dry grass, past the rusty swing set that clung to the edge of the back yard into the deep expanse of space.