What My Eyes See

What I see in the would of me.

My heart is broken.  I am not free.

Wounds unhealed hurt every day.

Darkness near, can’t find my way.

Tomorrow  clouded by regrets of the past.

Clouded vision. Mistakes that last.

How can eyes with a broken heart

See the light and not the dark.

 

My only hope is in You, Lord.

Every day I search Your Word.

In Your arms  I will be

As I trust what Your eyes see.

For what my eyes see is not what You see

You see a hope, You see a love

You see a plan, You see above

Every darkened sky, every broken dream

Every sin and pain, You redeem!

You make a way for me

For what my eyes see is not what You see.

 

 

 

 

Love Thine Enemy

I am left speechless after reading this. It is astounding!

Eclectic Orthodoxy

by George MacDonald

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.—St Matthew v. 43-48.

Is not this at length too much…

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Touching the Real

5/16/14
It has been at least 2 years, maybe more, since I have been to my daughter’s grave. Today, I felt the need to get in touch with something real, something true. Death is real; death is true. Thirty-four years ago, I said good-bye to a precious 2 year old little girl named Susie. And I cried today as if it was today. As I stooped down and brushed away the few strands of grass that had grown over the flat engraved stone, I wept. I wept because life is bigger than me. Accumulated pain is drowning me. It never gets any better.

Now at 57 years of age, I have more questions than I do answers. Where is the wisdom that is supposed to come with age?

Another cruel stone thrown with a vengeance on my life’s pile of painful stones has made them all come crashing down upon me again. It is a cascade of evil leading to destruction if it has its way, leaving nothing but questions in its path.
I thought if I prayed and lived a clean life, God would honor that. I thought if I was faithful to tithe and serve Him in the church, He would reciprocate. I thought if I put all my heart and soul into being a good parent, learning as much as I could about it, and putting it into practice with prayer, it would reap good things. I depended on His protection for my children. And yet, there was something I did not see that was happening to my children.

There is plenty of blame to be placed, but I blame myself for my blindness. Why did I not see what was happening? Why did I think that staying with their dad was better than leaving him? Why did I think the virtue of having a dad outweighed the detrimental influence of his emotional sickness and the evil in him? Why did the church teach that divorce was wrong across the board? How long will my children continue to pay for my stupidity, for the behavior of their father, and the negligence of the church?

More and more I find that I do not know what is real and what is unreal, what is true and what is not, what is right and what is wrong. The lines between the sacred and the secular have become more and more blurred as time goes on. We live in such an imperfect world that it seems ludicrous to suggest that there can be any values built upon it. If the foundation is wrong, there is no logic to anything rising from it. Anyone can justify and rationalize any behavior or way of thinking by only slightly tweaking the schematic. And who is to say they are wrong? Maybe they are right in their logic. Maybe I am the one who has hang ups.

But you know what? I have to get up out of bed every morning and make myself go to work and survive. Every breath I let out cries to be brought back in, and so I breathe again, wondering when that final breath might be, and how painful it will happen.
Life goes on and life finds a way. I don’t know how. I don’t know what to do with the irreconcilable differences between the holy and the unholy (if I can even tell the difference). Thank God this world is not my home. It is a veritable hell at times. I look for a better country and I seek the fellowship of a God Who loved me so much that He gave His Son to die for me. His Son has been born in me, and that is what keeps me going. Because He lives in me, I can face tomorrow.

In this confusing painful life, I know I have one steady thing on which I can always count and on which can always cling. That one Rock that is faithful, steady, and true. I had to feel something real today, so I knelt beside death. What is more real than death? Death means there is something real and true. Death is something to be reckoned with because it is real. It is going to happen to every one of us. And since death is real, it stands to reason there are other things that might be real. Life is real. Life and death. And Who has the words of eternal life?
And so once again, He is my strong habitation whereunto I continually resort. More than that, He is my Redeemer. No one else can take a bad situation and bring beauty from it. No one else can make beauty from ashes.

I need Him now more than I ever have. I feel the darkness of evil rising up to devour me and my children and grandchildren. I fall in desperation at the foot of His Cross. There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. In the cesspool of my sin, blindness, and mistakes, because I am helpless, I have only one recourse: to cry out from my slough of despond for Help.

We are fighting a spiritual battle with the demons of hell and the father of lies and the distorter of truth. I do not know how to fight, but I know I can pray to the One who promised He would hear me when I call.

“Something Beautiful”

Something Beautiful

“If there were ever dreams that were lofty and noble
They were my dreams from the start
And the hopes for life’s best, were the hopes that I harbored
Down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes, my castles all crumbled
My fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of my life
And laid it at the cross

And He made something beautiful, something good
All my confusion He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
But He made something beautiful of my life.”

-Bill Gaither

Tonight I was watching a man expressing his love to his family while he was on stage singing.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  I cried.  I cried for the beauty of it.  I cried for the loss of it, for never having known it.  I cried when I saw the look on his wife’s face.  There really are men out there that love their wives and families with all their hearts and are not only faithful, but live their lives for that moment when they walk through the door to be with their family every night.  These are men who are noble, honest and good.

I can see the beauty of love in their eyes.  I can see it reflected in the faces and eyes of their wives and children.  They glow with beauty.  This kind of man is “one of America’s best.”  He is a man who has been tested, tried, and has been found a winner, a creation of beauty.

Jaded eyes cannot see this beauty.  Bitterness blinds with night and there is no joy in morning.  Castles have crumbled, dreams have turned to ashes, and all is lost. These eyes have known rejection and betrayal, and refuse to believe there is beauty.  All men are relegated to realms of the damned.  All men are liars and cheats.  That is all she has ever known.

Until-

One day her eyes were opened to behold the most beautiful Love there has ever been.  A Love Who is in control…

A Love Who holds her times in His hand…

Who is faithful, a Rock to stand on, a Song to sing, a strong Habitation where she can continually resort…

A Love Who made heaven and earth and yet helps her…

A Love Who is good, Whose mercy is everlasting, and Whose truth endures forever…

Who commands His loving kindness to her in the daytime and sends His song to her in the night…

A Love Who gives her life, Who is her life…

Who gives her sight…

She takes His hand,

And in Him she lives, and moves, and has her being.

The Grooming of Americans… by the Church?

How did we as freedom loving Americans get to place where we would choose an authoritarian president who is a threat to our liberty?  It amuses me that the hippies who loudly rebelled against the establishment and authoritarianism are behind this man.  Every week the administration creates dozens of new rules and regulations, encroaches upon religious freedom, and mandates new taxes. Here is a president who thinks he can get away with murder by expressing outrage in order to silence his accusers. Added to this, he has solicited the help of the media in helping him get away with murder, blackmail, and at least the suspicion of possibly supplying arms to al-Qaeda.  What is outrageous is the hubris and arrogance of this president and his bully pulpit.

Why have we accepted this “touch not my anointed” concept toward the president? Could it be that people closely associated with him are afraid of losing their jobs and committing political suicide?  Or do they really believe that he holds the answers this country needs?  Perhaps we the people have been groomed to look for a demigod to worship.

Where did we get this idea?  I submit that the American church is partially responsible in grooming us to accept this unquestioning allegiance to a dictator.

One of the first stories I learned as a child was the Bible story about some children who were calling an Old Testament prophet names and making fun of his bald head.  The prophet told them that they would be destroyed and a bear came out of the wood and ate them.  This story was especially recited by the authoritarian pastor who had “divine unction” to run the church the way he wanted. Sure he had deacons, but they had been pounded over the head with this story also as well as the
“touch not My anointed” biblical phrase until they became yes men.  They did not want to be known as going against “God’s man.”  As a result, the pastor was put on a pedestal willingly or unwillingly by people who had been taught this all of their lives.  They thought this was how it was supposed to be.  They thought this was the way God wanted it to be.

I don’t know much about church government, but I highly suspect that the government of one head pastor for a congregation is neither wise nor entirely biblical.  You ask an average church member who keeps the pastor accountable and they will say, as they have been groomed to say, “God does.”

I have learned and observed in others that one of the main things we need in this life is accountability.  I need it, and so does everyone else.  Without it we grow lazy, unlikely to accomplish anything, and very likely to degenerate morally.  Knowing this, as laymen, we voluntarily submit ourselves to those structures that keep us accountable.  We attend church, we join a life-group or Sunday School class. We make good friends.  We become members of upright organizations.  We even encourage others to ask us the tough questions.  Without all this, it is a “Slow Fade” as the song says.  We go our own way, stumble, and fall.  The value of accountability cannot be overstated.

Ok.  Who keeps the pastor accountable?  To whom does he submit for accountability?  God? Does not God give us structures like those mentioned above to keep us accountable?  Is this not also the way the pastor becomes accountable?  If he answers to no man, then does he hear God’s voice in a way that his people do not?  Does he have a divine connection that is denied to his people?  Or is he rejecting the accountability available to him?

We have been groomed in America to accept an unaccountable authoritarian demigod president in part because for years we have set up little religious kingdoms across America who unquestioningly accept a man in a bully pulpit as having a divine mandate.

Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  This is a proven principle.  The man or woman does not exist who can be uncorrupted by absolute power without the building the structure of accountability around him or her.  One only has to look at the long line of fallen leaders, religious, secular, and political to understand this.

It is up to the people to hold our leaders accountable and to insist that they accept the counsel, yea even ask for it from those around them who are knowledgeable in the pertinent fields.  It is also up to us to demand answers when questions arise and integrity seems compromised.

Of course how can we hold others accountable unless we submit to it ourselves.  We generally vote our lifestyles, and perhaps that is a large part of the problem.  If we don’t want accountability, it makes pleasant company to elect those who do not want it.  We must have integrity in order to demand it from others.  It behooves us then to take care of both obligations.  The future of our churches are at stake as well as the future of our country.

 

Our Changing Nation

It is no longer a nation worthy of carrying the banner “One Nation Under God.”  We are a divided nation; a nation of givers and takers.  There are characteristics of both that have built two opposite national mindsets.  Givers know what it means to build an economy.  Their agenda is to turn takers into givers.  In order to do this they know that they have to work.  They believe in “If any should not work, neither should he eat.”  They work for what they get and believe that all should.  They don’t make excuses, they work.  This takes character.  They don’t steal, they work.  They keep a clear head so they can work.  They are not druggies, not alcoholics, and are generally not promiscuous.  Indulging in any of these turns them sooner or later into takers. People that work hard want to protect  that for which they work and they want to protect the freedoms and rights that provide them this work environment.  They become defenders of liberty and the military.  They know that without employees they will fail, so they give people jobs, they give to charity, they support causes they believe in that which further protects and promotes freedom.

Takers are an opposite breed.  Entitlement is their agenda, and government is their god.  Their worship of the nanny state takes precedent over character, over loyality to country, and over morals.  It is evident by their vote for a man who murders babies, pushes the gay agenda, violates freedoms, taxes the givers, and destroys the military.  Why do they vote for him?  He takes from the givers and gives to the takers.  He tells them they do not have to work, that they have a right to free stuff, even free healthcare.  They no longer have to work, they can play and talk on their Obamaphone.  They have given up self-respect and have no respect for God or His principles.  They scoff and make fun of, and hate those who do respect God, and those who have profited by making something of themselves.

What in the world is going to happen when the givers don’t have any more to give?  Where is Obamacare then?  Who is going to pay for abortion?  Who is going to pay for contraception?  Givers have to pay for the self-indulgent life styles of the takers.  They are forced to become enablers of a lazy self-indulgent society by those who do not understand how a nation becomes great by empowering people to be independent and strong.  There is one thing that takers do not take.  They do not take responsibility for their own actions.  They want choice after they have already chosen.  That is not the way it works.  You choose, and then you pay the consequences of your choice.  That is the responsible thing to do.  But wait.  They are the takers.  Takers encroach on the freedoms of others.  They want someone else to pay the consequences of their choices.  Because they want something they did not work for, they want to make givers do things that go against their conscience.  How low can they go?  Very low.  Takers have no respect for religion.  Religion now has to provide for their indulgences, yea their very sins.

How did we raise a generation of takers? How did we raise a generation of people who choose to be dependent on the teats of government and reject  morals, character, religion and country? Indeed they glory in their rebellion against morals, character, religion and country. They want what they want and they want it now.  They are the bad egg.  They are the spoilers of our nation. These are the takers…the destroyers of freedom…the murderers of babies…the playboys and playgirls of our society…the traitors of our nation.  They will bring us down.