December 24, 2017

Trust is an Issue

I am very analytical.  I overthink some of the most basic details of things.  This is a most honest self assessment. Meaning I am the person who can literally stand in a fast food restaurant and think through all of the pro and cons of any menu item, and each and every combination of items that might contain too many calories or make me too full or make me sluggish or maybe cost more than I want to spend for fast food, or maybe might make a mess in the car, or whether I want to or have time to sit inside the restaurant and eat, or if I sit inside the restaurant what type of activities might be going on around me that I dont want to eat around, and on and on and on.

So when I say that I have put some thought to something, that is very much the case. I assess situations like a Rubics Cube. I look at things from all sides and angles and possible meanings and outcomes.  This can be to a fault. This type of other thinking can be paralyzing on so many levels.  It is a good skill  to have because of the type of work that I do because the attention to detail is essential. But for the most basic things in life, I work at not having to think so hard as if it is a journey towards some sort of bliss.

Yes, I have to work on conditioning my mind to not overthink things.  Even at this moment, I am writing as form of processing information, which is usually the case. But on today when I have worked an extremely long day, and still have a lot on my mind, I am sitting up writing to sort through my thoughts so that hopefully I will be able to settle down my mind enough to relax and find my way to sleep.

What does all of this have to do with trust? Absolutely everything.  When you notice the smallest details, it leads you have sufficient pieces of information to assess and analyze in a way that most people just skim over. And I like most women often have these fairytales playing out in my head of perfect endings and spectacular outcomes. Here in is the foundation to the issues that I have with trust.  After much thought, those perfect outcomes turn into realistic reality.

After realizing that I have been replaying this perfect outcome in my head for a few years now, I finally came to the conclusion that holding on to this fairytale ending was draining because when I put it to the reality test, I realized that at the most basic core of the reality is a lack of trust. 
A lack of trust really has very little to do with guilt or innocence, perception or deception, but trust is an internal working of the individual.  In this way, my inability to fully trust the person or the situation means that there is already a breach, a gapping hole in the fort.

When there is no trust, or even when trust is questionable, there are way to many opportunities for a person with trust issues to find reasons for trust to deplete or simply not be present at all.
Once I realized that my inability to trust  in this situation was going to be problematic in a way that would manifest in so many other areas, then I decided to completely throw away my fairytale ending, because it would be like have a Bentley with no tires and no keys...... pointless bragging rights.

Theologically, I had tried to justify my hanging on to hope because I trust God.  So that became my blanket assessment of the situation.  After years of hoping against hope, I realized that I will continue to trust God regardless.  Trusting God is so very different from putting your trust in a person or a situation.  There are no guarantees in life, but some times the most trusting thing you can do is realize that God is still on the throne and still in control. So even if I dont get a fairytale ending, staying in a mindset of being able to trust God is most important.

Truth is, everybody and every situation is not deserving of your trust and most fairytales turn into reality sooner or later anyway. So facing reality and learning how to allow wisdom to develop your process and ability to trust means facing facts not vicarious ideals.

After all, God's Truth is based on the facts.

December 20, 2017


There are times when the most loving thing you can do is to take a hands off approach.  It is hard because the loving thing to do seems to be to support and guide and cheer.  But when a person has a stubborn and disobedient will, you cant do anything but allow them to learn the hard way.

Being that our culture is no longer as accountable as during biblical times, many people now do not understand nor respect the concept of having a sense of accountability to your community, especially the community of faith. For example during biblical times when something was considered a sin as unto death, this meant that you could actually be literally stoned to death. The offense was not only about the sin of the individual, but a reflection on the community as a whole, and therefore the community was within its right to respond. Currently our culture has gone the complete other end of the spectrum,  which means that we turn a blind eye to the wrong of others. Although I do think stoning is extremely harsh, I do believe that there is a place and purpose for a community, especially a community of faith, holding its members accountable for certain principles and behaviors. ( Here I must insert a note: I dont believe that 'putting people out of the church' is the correct response. As a matter of fact, I think that is just as harsh as stoning.)

Taking a hands off approach can look a lot of different ways, depending on the situation. This is very hard to do when you know that the person knows better and should be doing better. But the 'master of deception' does a good job at convincing the mind of the individual that there are other solutions other than doing things God's way, according to Biblical Principles.  That is exactly the success story of deception from the very beginning, to convince one that there are ways to get better outcomes than to be obedient to God's Principles.

The question might be asked, why would you want to negotiate with God? Why would you want anything thing other than God's Will for you?  And what do you really gain when you 'seemingly' win the negotiation with God?  Does getting your way instead of God's Will really turn out to be a win-win in the long run.... now or eternally?

The ripple effect of disobedience only leads to more and more disobedience, as one attempts to find ways to navigate making the disobedience seem like it is going to turn out alright. And before long there is a snowball affect of multiple acts of disobedience. And the disobedience leads to a house of mirrors of deception, eventually make the truth sound harsh and unreal.  As long as the individual is trying to sort out ways to make the wrong turn into a success, you cant reason with them about their thoughts or actions.

Here is where loving is hard. Letting go. Backing off.  This is also when you stop praying for God to cushion the blows that sin and disobedience are causing the person. This is when you realize that God is allowing the individual to truly see what getting their way means.   God is not going to be manipulated.  But God will let one have their way, and all that comes with it.  Being determined to be out of the Will of God, means being determined to deal with not having God's Covering or Guidance, as if saying to God that one wants God to take a Hands Off approach to one's life.

Think about it, if someone wants God to take a 'hands off' approach, then why would the same individual want someone to have a 'hands on' approach other than to support the deception? Being a support to others, often times means that you have to back away and God can allow the person to see where their way is taking their life. After all you cant become party to the wrong, or you too will find yourself slipping into darkness, and deception. 

Because here is the deal, deception loves darkness, hidden agenda, under the table negotiations and secrets.  One of the greatest clues that something is not according to God's Will is if it has to be kept secret or hidden.  I dont mean privacy, privacy is the right to keep things to yourself or away from the public.  But shame and guilt are built around those things that would not be justified as having a right motive from the start.

So why back off, other than self preservation?  I will give you an example of when my son was a toddler.  I kept saying to him hold on, dont fall down the steps.  I was doing what I thought was the loving thing to do by coddling his every move.  But one day a friend said to me, that he is a boy and he learns by understanding, and he wont understand until he sees for himself.  This was the most profound thing that was said to me about raising a son.

One day, I got up the courage to let him figure it out for himself. I was cautious to make sure that his fall was a little one and not a major one, but I had to let him navigate a few lower steps on his own, his way, without holding on.  And as truth would be revealed to him, he flopped down a couple of steps and then looked at me as if to say what happened.  The hundreds of times that I had attempted to get this message across to him, now he figured it out because he realized that he didnt like his own outcome.

This examples may seem simplistic, but from that day on, I never had to negotiate or even mention to my son that he needed to hold on while walking down the steps. Grabbing the railing became unspoken second nature.  And so it can be with someone who wants to try their hand at being blatantly and boldly disobedient to God's Principles.  The only thing you can do after attempting to coach and encourage is allow the individual to learn the hard way.  Some times the fall, the hitting bottom is what it will take to help the person know that they dont want to do it that way again.

This is when repentance is true.  True repentance is when one is no longer trying to make the disobedience work, but is willing to drop all wrong and turn with intention to do what is right with a no looking back mindset. It is the determination to be redeemed.  This is when the individual can stand before God with a sincere heart and say 'Lord, please take me back'.

Now the mindset has completely changed from negotiation with God to complete surrender to God.  Until the individual is willing to surrender, there will be a constant attempt to negotiate for good outcomes from disobedient actions and motives.  But once the individual surrenders and truly acknowledges their need for the Savior, then God can guide and send others to guide and support the individual getting back in step with the Will of God both spiritually and naturally.

December 2, 2017


Sin is an addiction. The causes and affects are both spiritual and natural. Just like any other addiction, the addict feels justified because of their inability to believe that life could be better without the sin.  For the person who is entangled in sin, it is the sin that they feel like makes one feel alive. The person can not imagine feeling more alive by a life without sin.  This is what gives the sinner the joy of sinning, the urge to sin, and the sense of normalcy while living out their favorite sin or sins.

Just like any other type of addiction, the individual can change, can give up the addiction and live a life of normal activity that may actually include the chosen thing or behavior, but in a different context.  The amazing thing about sin and sinful nature is that it is caused by a distortion of thought and a distortion of the context. Most sins are taking something that is a normal healthy behavior and causing it to have more control over the individual than the individual has over one's self.  Sin at its core is a lack of self control that is guided toward what is outside of the Will of God.

Let's take Gluttony for example. I will not describe it because, depending on the individual, it can take on many forms of manifestation in one's life---- for this reason I will simply note the reference 1 John 2 and what is referred to as 'pride of life'.  In this way, it can be said that sin is selfish, having little to no regard for others or how one's behavior or mindset affects others. In other words, having the same characteristics of any other addiction. I wont bore with talk of dopamine and neurotransmitters. But just like any other addiction, science has shown that the chemicals in the brain are released that make the individual feel like there is reward in fulfilling craved addiction.  This is what makes the sin seem like a thrill, and makes the person feel alive.  The problem is that the feeling wears off, and this make the need for the behavior to become repetitive/a cycle, in other words, a sinful lifestyle.

One's way of thinking has to be distorted to justify the sin.  This is why you can point out the sin to the individual without the person ever giving any real thought or consideration to your words or the option to change.  We all want to believe that human beings can self regulate and make some basic auto-adjustments, but when it comes to sin and immorality for real change to take place the person has to be convicted.

The legal system has given us a very different understanding of conviction than that which is actually true from a spiritual perspective. In the court system the individual is tried by a jury of their peers. In this way, the burden is on proving to the jurors enough evidence to make a decision about the individual's guilt or innocence. This is why people who are in a sinful lifestyle can engage the conversation about their sin, because they are waiting for someone to convince them that what they are thinking or doing is wrong. And this is also when you will hear someone say, 'you cant make me feel guilty', letting you know that the individual is untouched by your defense of what is right.  This is also the reason why, if we are not careful, we as Christians can spend a lot of time and energy trying to convince someone to give up one's sin, in hopes that something that we say might be just what is needed to convince the person to see their ways and make the necessary changes on their own.

The individual can not even hear or give any validity to what is being said to them until they have found God. Until then the ways of thinking are distorted in favor of the sin. To spiritually auto-correct is not possible, as much as we would want for the person to auto-correct, change cant not happen until there is pneuma experience. If the individual could change on their own, then that would imply that the person could be self saving, which goes completely against the Christian understanding of conversion and salvation.   But when the individual has a moment of clarity that can only come from an experience with the Holy Spirit of God, there is an awareness of one's ideas and behaviors as God sees them.

This is the reason why we keep telling the Truth of God to individuals who brush it off or just dont want to do what is right. This is the Great Commission (Matthew 28), and this is what motivates the preacher to continue to preach.

Conviction, in the context of Christianity,  is when the individual, internally, is convinced that self is guilty of sin. Then the individual is able to hear the evidence as presented according to God's true knowledge of the details, which brings about the desire to change. This change is to completely turn away from the sinful nature, through repentance.   True repentance (action of change) can not happen until the person has been convicted (found self guilty), and makes an intelligent decision to completely surrender to God and be converted (persuaded to change).

Change is possible. Sinners can give up sin. This belief is at the core of Christianity because Christianity is build around the understanding of Salvation. And Christian salvation requires Jesus Christ. To accept Jesus Christ is to admit to God that there is a need that is bigger than self and what one can do or provide for one's self.  It is this reliance that gives the Christian the strength to live a life that is not controlled by the addiction of sin.  It is to be humbled, to let go of the pride of life. It is to realize that one needs God more than the sin. It is to realize that God is the giver of life, and makes one not just feel alive briefly, but to live truly alive with New Life that spans eternity.

As a little girl, I can remember people literally walking in off the street and proclaiming with a loud voice that they wanted to be saved. Often times this would happen during the altar call, when the preacher would say, 'if your soul should be required of you today, this very hour, would you be ready to answer the call?'

Someone walking down the street could hear what was going on inside, but this day something happened that had never happened before.  Many of them had walked by the church often because it was in their neighborhood, but when blinders were removed  and the soul was willing to hear what God had been saying, the individual became aware of their guilt of sin and wanted to change, wanted to be free from the thing that had control over their life. The individual was able to see that the feeling of being alive that they were experiencing by being controlled by their sin was no longer as appealing as the search to find out what it was really like to be free from the bondage of sin and know truly what it was like to be alive, to be born again, given a new life in Jesus Christ.