I used to think, “One day, some day, some way—He’ll come. You would come!”
You’d spin the dial on the padlocks in my life and I would be free!
When did it happen?
I just stopped.
I stopped looking for You.
I stopped expecting things to change.
I’m looking back over my shoulder trying to see the day or the moment when my hope turned to stone.
Now I stare at my cell and my locks and I feel nothing at all.
It just stopped.
It all stopped working for me.
All the songs, all the sermons; people of faith look like aliens to me now.
Two-headed creatures from another planet!
I know You promised God.
My head knows.
But, my heart?
It’s over there, in the corner of my soul, curled into the fetal position, still… mute… cold.
How did this happen?
I should weep or wail.
I should be terrified, or furious, shouldn’t I?
My heart is on life support.
My hope is D.O.A.
I don’t feel anything at all, except… curious.
When did I stop believing God?
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
“And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us, This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.'”Isaiah 25:9Isaiah 25:9 English: World English Bible - WEB 9 It shall be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God! We have waited for him, and he will save us! This is Yahweh! We have waited for him. We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
God? What good is church to one who no longer believes?
I can’t relate to those people God. (You know I can’t.) What am I supposed to do? Lie? Fake it? I hate that stuff! (And so do You!)
The only Believer I can relate to now is that honest-heart from so long ago. (You know the one.) His cry is mine as well: “LORD… help my unbelief!”Mark 9:24Mark 9:24 English: World English Bible - WEB 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, “I believe. Help my unbelief!”
I am so sick of candy-apples-church and cotton-candy-comfort.
How long, LORD?
Is this all there is until You return? These so-called men of God, who offer much, but deliver little!
Each week I go to the well for a taste; a touch; of You. Each week I go away with sugary words that melt away to nothing.
It all sounds so sweet, but years and years of this have left me so…
Hungry? Thirsty? Both?
Where are the true men who speak for You?
The ones whose words don’t fall to the ground?
Isn’t that supposed to be the mark of a true prophet?
I know no one is perfect. I know we all get it wrong sometimes. But LORD! These people are all empty words – promising all – delivering, oh so little!
Where LORD? Where?
On my left, vile ones; tombs filled with vipers and dead men’s bones.
(I couldn’t run fast enough!)
To my right? Sugary fluff! Looks good; sounds better; delivers less than nothing…
Because these ones leave you more empty, more desperate, than when you first came!
God, help me!
(No wonder I’m depressed.)
Your word promises You will not leave or forsake.
So here I am.
Feed my hungry heart with Your truth.
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
“These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for who is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”2 Peter 2:172 Peter 2:17 English: World English Bible - WEB 17 These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
I know I’m supposed to forgive my enemies God. (I know.) But I don’t even know where to begin… there’s so much stuff!
So many wounds. (They wanted to destroy me God!) They tried. Oh, how they have tried! Over, and over, and over again, and they almost succeeded God… so many times. (You know. – You saw.)
How do you forgive someone who is dedicated to the task of destroying you?
You know sometimes I feel just like a little kid again. Dad is standing over me telling me to, “Eat my yellow squash.” (I hate yellow squash!) I know it’s good for me… but that doesn’t mean I want to do it! (Yeah… just like forgiveness.)
Jesus help me. I can’t do this on my own. (They hate me so much… they wanted me dead!) It’s there in their eyes… in their deeds. Pure hatred.
So much, I can’t even bear to look at them anymore.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto
the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Psalm 51:1Psalm 51:1 English: World English Bible - WEB 51
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, God, according to your loving kindness.
According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
The words I wish I hadn’t said… the deeds so petty… so unkind?
If “saint” I be (and this I know) for Your own word declares it true…
Then why this “un-saintly” behavior?
I do not understand myself.
I let You down, and others, too.
I do things even I can’t stand, and think, and say…
(Well, God… you know.)
I’ve no excuse.
(I give You none.)
It’s for my failures that You died.
All I can do; all I can say; is hushed in shadow of Your cross.
I bow my head in shame’s disgrace, and wait for cross’ crimson tide, to sweep away sin’s heavy load.
Oh God… I thank You for this gift!
(You truly are my only hope.)
My hope is built on nothing less; than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame; but wholly lean on Jesus name
On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
“It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.
So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.” Romans 7:21-25 The Living Bible
Not supposed to happen. Not supposed to exist. Not, us!
(I hear it everywhere…)
“Tut-tut… shame-shame… don’t talk about it. Behave yourself… or please shut up!”
We’ve gotten so good at faking it.
Why do we in the Church think that trying to pretend to be something you are (quite obviously) not, is the way to go?
It’s everywhere, but then, so are angry Christians.
(Those crazy birds don’t have anything on us!)
Some of us are angry at the Church, the society we live in, and some of us, are really just good-and-ticked-off at ourselves. And, “Oh-my-oh-my!” some of us, are Mt. Vesuvius, ready to explode all over any poor soul who unfortunately gets a little too close!
It’s an angry world these days. Workplace violence, road rage, domestic violence in our homes, crazies attacking our kids at school, or the zealots who just plain lose it and gun folks down in our workplaces, shopping malls, and airports…
Why do we try to act like there are no angry Christians?
Is God unaware of our inner battles and angry frustrations?
(Of course not.)
Is the world?
I think they see and hear just fine.
So, why in heaven’s name, do we pretend like the problem doesn’t exist with us as well?
WP-Bible plugin] It does not say, “Pretend like you’re not angry, even when you really are, and everybody else knows it.” The bible admonishes us to deal with it quickly. Don’t let it last more than a day.
Doesn’t denial simply prolong our anger?
Personally, I think our anger goes on and on, because we continually try to deny it, bury it, or excuse it away, as something else. Let’s face it, there is a lot in this world to be angry about. I can totally relate to Jesus going into the temple, blowing His top, and overturning the money-changers tables. (The money-changers are alive and well in today’s church.) Perhaps we should, get a little more hot under the collar, when it comes to the pretense and phony posturing we see. Hypocrisy should make us angry, especially our own! Sin should make us angry.
Sins involving the exploitation of the innocent, bloodthirsty brutality, or the blatant evil we see all around us. These are the things that make God angry. The pain of the exploited and innocent. These are the things that should propel us to righteous behavior and righteous choices.
People? Especially the ones we dislike or disagree with? God valued them so much, He sent His only Son to die for them!
So, (if we are angry) perhaps we should ask ourselves some pointed questions like:
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'”Matthew 25:31-40Matthew 25:31-40 English: World English Bible - WEB 31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35 for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in;
36 naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink?
38 When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you?
39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’
40 “The King will answer them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers The word for “brothers” here may be also correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”, you did it to me.’
Abba, help me to be angry about the things that make You angry. Give me the strength to let go of the stuff that is simply “the anger of fools” lest I be numbered among the foolish.
LORD, open my eyes to every opportunity You give me to make a difference in this world before You return for us. Forgive me for every time I’ve missed it… missed You, and what You wanted to do, and blown it BIG TIME!
Holy Spirit, give me wisdom to take every “talent” I’ve got and invest it for the Kingdom’s sake, for You, and for others. Lord help me see, betrayal is a huge boat, and I am not in that boat alone.
Much of the “Christian” stuff I read nowadays is just filled with super-sweet-fluff, talking, talking, blah, blah, blah… about how “spiritual” we in the church are.
I shake my head and think to myself, “Have you read the latest statistics about how there is little difference between how we “the church” live, and our current society?
(Those of us who are talking to, and coming clean, to the pollsters anyway.)
We have just as many serious problems in the church as those out. We struggle with the same demons “the worldly” do. Sexual promiscuity, sexual abuse, pornography, addictions, not to mention the “little” stuff, like gluttony, gossip, and marital meanderings. Hang out on any given Sunday listening carefully to the casual conversations among church-goers about the politicians, radicals, and the anti-church folk, not to mention, those worldlysinners who are going to hell in a handbasket, and you will get an ear full! (But doubtful you would call it loving.)
When I read most of the stuff… (not all to be fair) but most, of what passes for Christian? I think, “Who are we fooling?” And when will we be honest enough, or brave enough, or just plain Christian enough, to tell the world who we really are?
I guarantee they are hip to our act!
If we really want to save the world… which surely we should all want, (for we are the ones who are supposed to know where this whole thing is headed!) then maybe we could lose the plastic Jesus routine, with all our pretenses and pretending, and just get real with people.
Starting with ourselves maybe?
Should there be any such thing as homeless, in a country with this many churches, and bank accounts such as ours? Should there be any such thing as an unwanted child, here or abroad, in a country claiming this many Christian Believers?
I think if I read one more blog, or hear one more sermon, on “glorious grace” I shall vomit!
Of course the grace of God is glorious. I am not saying it isn’t…
What I am purposing is that we first—stop abusing it!
Do not tell me you actually care about “saving” the world, while people are starving, believers are murdered for their faith, women and children are being “trafficked” as sexual merchandise to any pervert with a few bucks, and you are planning on taking another “Christian cruise” at a price tag of $1500.00 to $4500.00 a pop!
We love to trumpet the word values don’t we?
Blowing our own horns about what we say we believe?
So where are our values?
Look carefully at your bank statement and you will have a crystal-clear picture, of what and who you value. Check your schedule. Where is your time spent? And with who?
That’s where your heart is.
We in the Western Church like to talk a good game… but living it?
Doesn’t the word of God say, that when He begins to clean up this planet He will begin first with us, those in His church?
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? [1 peter 4:171 peter 4:17 English: World English Bible - WEB 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don’t obey the Gospel of God?
I guess I am suggesting we clean up our own backyards, and start living-grace to the broken, downtrodden, and fallen all around us. Not to mention behave in a more loving manner to those who vociferously disagree with us!
Jesus, who was the epitome of grace, and is our only and true model of grace (not ourselves) led by example. And we all know the kind of people he hung out with, spoke to, and oh my goodness, actually loved!
Is this grace we love to sing and talk about just for ourselves alone?
How about a few less sugary blogs for the choir… and instead, a more consistent redeemed-reality-walk for ourselves? Being Jesus to a desperate and hurting world, instead of just regurgitating our own tired rhetoric, endlessly singing the praises of ourselves, to ourselves.
Or, we could just keep doing what we’re doing…
(Yeah, that’s really working.)
On the choir, for sure.
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”Revelation 3:14-19Revelation 3:14-19 English: World English Bible - WEB 14 “To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write:
“The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Head of God’s creation, says these things:
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.
16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;’ and don’t know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich; and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.
19 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent.