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Truth is Freedom

truth will set you free

We make our decisions based on what we know and believe. If what you believe to be true is a lie, then that lie becomes the foundation for your decisions.

We all have the chance to decide if we will believe in Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t it be nice to be free to make that decision based on truth?

Yet some people aren’t interested in the truth, as Paul said, “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10) Some may be more interested in their self-made delusions than the truth. So before someone can decide how they will respond to Jesus, they first must decide how they will respond to the truth.

The truth is freedom – from worry, fear, doubt, uncertainty, stress, guilt, and the control of lies. As Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” (Luke 4:18) Yet, is there a dungeon door that separates you from the truth? Jesus is knocking on your door… and His truth will set you free.

Empty and Ready for More

Yesterday I finished rev 10 of the book I’m writing. And like most times when I finish a revision, I feel weird. This morning I feel this question pestering my mind: “Okay, what do I do now?”

But I also felt like I’m at a place of emptiness with God. I don’t mean negative emptiness. I mean good emptiness, like an empty jar ready to have something new poured into me. I like this feeling, just sitting here, opening my heart to God, waiting for Him to fill me with the next thing He wants me to do. It’s actually a little scary, but, “Dear Lord, bring it on.”

Look for the Beauty

Beauty

War, school shootings, terrorism around the globe, ebola, killings over parking spaces, blog posts predicting these as signs the end is just around the corner. No matter how hard I try to not worry and leave it all in Gods hands, it all wears on me, darkening my mood. Then this morning, while blog surfing, I came across several blog posts where the topic was beauty.

Like a shot of espresso, opening my mind and soul to things of beauty brightened my mood and gave me a shot of energy. And I realized that much of the beauty in our lives (maybe all of it), is truly a gift from God. And I want to spread the gift around.

So today I’d like to encourage all of you who stumble across this post to leave the dark behind and really look at the beauty in your life. Open your mind and soul, and let the beauty sink in. Let it flood into your being, washing out any darkness and filling you with lightness and peace. And while looking at whatever you see as beautiful, maybe say thank you to God.

I Forgot to Trust

Forgot to trust

 

I’ve been feeling really funky the past few days. Our recent long weekend away gave me a break from writing. But it also felt like I had taken a break from God. Not a total break, but with all the activity going on during our brief trip, it was hard for me to focus on God. It felt like the distance between us grew.

So after getting back home, back to work, and back to my writing, I set my sights on God… the Holy Spirit within me. Yet, though I got my focus back on God, I still felt funky. Work was stressful. The writing was hard. My best writing comes when I relax and let the Holy Spirit take my hands and write through me. Though I felt His presence, I didn’t feel His hands on mine. I didn’t feel Him directing my words and actions. It sucked.

Then last night it hit me. I had forgotten to truly trust God. It only took the few days of our long weekend trip for me to forget what it feels like to really trust God, to trust Him with not only my writing, but with my entire day.

Trusting God is so peaceful. I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to say or do. God will take care of that. I just sit back and let Him direct my life, and my hands as I type.

Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me to trust you. And thank you for being here within me, having the patience to wait for me to come around to you. I learn so slowly, and I seem to need the same lessons repeated – thanks for not giving up on me, always waiting for me to turn back to you.

Hide ‘n Seek

hide n seek

One of our favorite places to play hide and seek was the old cemetery up on the hill, amid the forest of eucalyptus trees. The best days were when the fog came rolling densely over the coastal hills and spilled amongst the trees. The fright-level was fantastic, especially as evening approached and it started to get dark.

We always used the same statue as our base. I would hide behind a tree or gravestone, far from the statue but still within sight. When the kid who was “it” went searching in the other direction, I would scamper from one gravestone to the next, working my way toward the statue. Maybe I looked like John Belushi in “Animal House,” sneaking up to the girls’ dorm in the middle of the night. Anyway, if I got to the statue before “it” spotted me, I was safe.

I didn’t see the symbolism in what we were doing until a few decades later, when I remembered that our base was a statue of Jesus. When we make it to Jesus, we are safe.

jesus statue

My Mind Adrift

mind adrift

Routine – it brings me peace. I have certain times of the day when I can break away from the chaos of life and quietly focus my mind of the Holy Spirit within me. And there I find peace. But when my routine is broken, it’s hard to find those quiet times, and it can feel like my connection with God is broken as my mind drifts away.

The past six days were filled with travel, visits with old friends, my wife’s college homecoming, sleeping in five different beds in five different cities, great food, good wine and beer, and even some tasty scotch. Though I grabbed many brief moments to say hi to God, I felt like we were drifting apart. I didn’t like the feeling. I worried that it might be difficult to gain the close connection again.

God reminded me of something on the five-hour drive home yesterday. He never intended to let the two of us drift apart. He patiently waited for me to look again to Him. And He was right there where I last saw Him, within my heart and with my soul. Nothing was lost, the connection was not broken. God’s love is too strong to let me drift away. And I’m so grateful. Thank you Lord for always being here, within me.

trust God

I want to live more in the present, with my focus on the Holy Spirit of God within me, sharing my present with me. The other day I wrote about my tendency to live in the future (see it here). Right after posting that, it occurred to me that living in the present, and not trying to pre-plan my future, is a way of trusting God with my future.

Trusting God has been frequently on my mind lately. Now I’ve found another way to show my trust – leave the future to Him. Live in the present, with Him. And He continues to open my mind to the simple truths that make such a difference to my life. I’m so grateful. Thank you Lord.

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