We Christians have been silenced for so long and most are afraid, which is a pretty good guage of how strong your faith is at the moment definitely. What I mean is, we have been lazy, most of us. We need to speak out with the most radical tools we have, our voice and our love. We must forgive openly and readily. We must serve with live often and fluently. We must voice peace and joy and encouragement on every occasion. And we must do this no matter what. This is the radical example Jesus Christ modeled for us. Love everyone no matter what and so doing speak volumes of truth and power and change things. Love is power. Love is so much stronger than fear or hopelessness or discouragement or pain. Love is the light, the truth and hope for God is love.
All bullies are cowards. My daddy (the Marine) taught me that. He was right. He was always right because he never said anything unless he was sure he was right. When people attack, they are bullies and cowards. And there are one of three reasons: 1. they were brought up and/or treated that way, 2. they have pride issues and feel they need to feel more important by putting someone down or 3. they are really punks because they have been coddled and never disciplined and think they can do whatever they want. All of these categories boil down to the fact that regardless of why, they choose to attack. They choose aggression. Remember that. To defend yourself is the choice you must meet them with or the cycle continues. I have always done this and always prevented or curtailed or punished an attack. One time I was blindsided because it was an old boyfriend who had never acted that way before. Once I realized, it was too late but I took care of him after. I still stood up, still fought. Someone attacks you, turning the other cheek is the right thing to do but before you turn it, make sure your firearm is in hand. Rolling over and taking it empowers them to do it again, to you or your loved ones or other people. Bully cowards will keep attacking once they get away with it the first time, once they choose that behavior and level of cowardice. Defence is being a good steward of your body, God’s space to live in you. They chose to put their bodies in harm’s way by attacking, you must refuse to let them get away with imposing harm upon you or those in your care around you. The right thing is to stand against an attacker. Let no one tell you otherwise. Seems like an awful lot of people nowadays are getting away with an awful lot lately here and abroad. Fight back, people. We have arms for defence of ourselves and families. This is on purpose. There are bad people that should be relieved of their right to impose badness on everyone else. Who better to defend themselves than those who would be attacked. Do not let these lunatics free to attack. Stand against this evil. The day you let evil in, it does not stop until ruination. Do not reason with evil, stand against it with solid arms and a soft voice of truth. “Speak softly and carry a big stick” or equivalent you are comfortable with is still very good advice. Just my momentary thought after watching the news.
Some people burn them, some walk across them, some like to stand on them and look both directions, some may even get on and forget why they did. But bridges are always a transition. And when you journey down the road of life long enough, you will have to cross one sooner or later. Some people in turbulent water country have to cross often. Bridges then allow for a transition between land masses more safely, as a person is much less likely to drown on them or suffer the discomfort of wet socks and underwear. So when a transition bridge comes into your path, do not be afraid of it and know that no matter the uncertainty to get over to a new idea tity, new job, new friendship, new band member, changed relationship, retirement, new pet or release or any of the above, God always walks with us and provides what we need for the journey. Trust God and take your spouse hand in hand and cross that bridge and grow together. Love is a journey that does not stand still, it moves forward and crosses bridges. Do not burn them behind you ands you do not know when God will send you back for a forgotten umbrella or to grab a lost friend’s hand and lead them across. No burning bridges. Just cross confidently with your spouse and God and keep going to the no text leg of the journey together. 🙂
Our expectations are powerful. We do not always expect things to go the way they do. Most of the time, our expectations and hopes are golden. We e left Jesus Himself to swoop down and rescue us from every difficult situation. He does not work that way. He may send angels and He has sent the Holy Spirit but quite often, we are going through difficulties to build our faith, build our character or prove ourselves so why would He rescue us without letting us be tried or proven? No, the expectation is wrong. Hope stomps in with muddy boots, the majority of the time. He goes through it with us, warts and all, dirty and gritty. The hole is that we will come out better, more mature, wiser, built up, reliant more on God, worth more to Him and those around us, more perfected, holier. And we are NEVER alone when we belong to God along the journey. That is the hope. Change the expectation, change the hope. And then when it comes stomping in with you in the more, you will see it and appreciate it for the perfection that it is. You are so very truly purely loved!!
Seems like we have to be ready and prepared all the time and then are in wait mode much of our lives. Never big on patience, I realize as a Christian I should be because patience is one of the attributes of God (fruits of the Spirit). So, having been told that patience is not the having to wait but the attitude while waiting, I received some hope from that as it proves everyone has to wait. Prepared people have to wait, unprepared people have to wait. But when our turn up finally arrives, those prepared can actually do something while those unprepared generally have to first be sent away to prepare and have to stand in line again. And those who have fallen asleep miss their turn entirely. I see salvation this way. If we are prepared, when the time comes when Jesus comes back, we get to see Him. If we are not prepared, we will be in trouble and may not have time to get ourselves in order. And if we are sleeping, we miss our chance entirely. We have to be ready. We have to be alert. Being a Marine’s daughter (Semper Fi!), I was told stories about rifle work, sniper’s task, and the hardest part of it being to stay alert when in place and ready and aimed up. You have to wait, for the right time, the right opportunity, a clear shot. Not that the rapture will involve us shooting at a person, but the principle remains, focus is our hardest task. Patience is our goal, the waiting well. I want to wait well. I want people to say, “There is that crazy girl, always talking about God and Jesus coming back, always trying to serve”. Nothing would make me happier than to think I am waiting well for my Savior. We need to think this way. We must. There is eternity at stake. And if that sounds crazy, so be it. I am okay with crazy for the right reason. I care what God thinks about me not people. I answer to Him for eternity, I owe no one else an explanation. They have their own eternity to contemplate. Wait well with me. Keep focused with busy hands in service, kindness and gentleness to everyone we happen upon, love to everyone crossing our path. This is waiting well.
Society has laws in place which we should follow and conform to to keep people safe. Rules are very important and very crucial, especially when dealing with a lot of people. If there were no rules, we would have chaos. And when people decide those upholding those rules should be punished, we are in trouble. People want other people to follow the rules and complain very loudly when they don’t but they don’t always want to follow them themselves. It is horribly unfair. And unfairness is also a part of society. Norms seem to supercede that. However, when we get into rules that force contortion of one’s beliefs rather than conformity, there is a disconnect, a very real problem. When lawmakers think with their own personal agendas, against the common good, there is a forcing gradually of people to follow laws against their religious or moral or ethical internal beliefs. Then we have chaos but also some sort of tyrannical dictatorship where people don’t matter, only the agendas matter. That is very dangerous and a form of terrorism in of itself. when we go against our beliefs, we lose our identities and voice and freedom. So contorting is not the way to go. We are not obliged to follow unreasonable requests, rules that go against our personal freedom. We are at liberty to not follow those rules or just follow it until it comes to a point of no return to our identities. Because when we face the judgment after this short life is over, we have to answer for what choices we made. And I believe if we act against how we know we should act, even if we are persecuted for that, we will be held accountable for that. Dwight L. Moody has a story about that. He picked up a hitch hiker, as he used to a lot, and the guys pulled a gun on him as they were driving down the road and told him to pull over. Moody kept driving. The guy told him again and Moody calmly kept going. The third time, Moody asked the guy, “Look, are you threatening me with heaven?” and took him right to the police department. We are responsible to hold to our beliefs or we cease to be who we are supposed to be. We cannot live our lives in fear but in faith. So rules that don’t go against your faith, follow those. We are obliged to and for good reason. But rules that go against our faith, we cannot every obey those. Our country would not exist if we did not believe that. It was founded on faith, despite what others would tell you. People tried to come to our country out of greed. They did not succeed. But when men came to escape others imposing on their faith, there was success. God takes care of those who obey Him. He doesn’t give two shakes about us obeying people who disobey Him. That is my belief. I believe I am right. 🙂 Doing what is right is rewarding, even if it hurts a little at the time. It is always worth it. Always worth it.
There are places where ocean meets bay or bay meets river or ocean meets ocean. Those who sail much will tell you there is always a change in the water, a temperament change, a current change, a pH change, something. Everytime you move from one water to another, there is change to contend with but the greatest hardship is in the transition between the two. That is where the greatest pull is, the greatest danger, the greatest trial. There is make or break. And during these difficult transitions, sometimes you can work with the current. You can never fight the current, though. You simply will not win. The current is bigger than you are, set in place and designed to work by the Ancient of Days. But all sailers would tell you that the best way, after you have done your best work in trying to work with the currents, is to let go of control and ride it out. This requires patience and release and contrition as it puts you in God’s hands and not yours. And the ride is terrifying. Easy to want to grab an oar. Letting go can feel like giving up and we fight that. Oh how we fight it. But letting go is sometimes the only way to get through to the other side safely and damage free. A d if you absolutely have to do something, you can always lighten the load while waiting and release some excess baggage that can weigh down the ship. Strong currents are a great time for release.