Monday Musings: The Truth and Mockery Edition

Huntsville Botanical Garden
God’s children tend to forget (or just not realize?) that we will give an account for every idle or careless word we speak (Matthew 12:36).  So, is it careless to repost clips, memes, photos, and posts that we didn’t bother to verify as truth?  

The Bible tells us that God hates lying (Proverbs 12:22) and that all liars will have their place in hell (Revelation 21:8).    I wonder if God considers it lying when people post untrue “memes” or repost false stories?  I think He does.  He is serious about that “not bearing false witness" thing.   

Every day we sow seeds.  If we sow deception, what good could we possibly reap? 
Don't be misled--you cannot mock the justice of God.
You will always harvest what you plant.  (Galatians 6:7 NLT)

No one is holding news media or social media accountable to the truth.   Well, except God.   He’s watching His children as they carelessly post and repost photos and stories.  We do want Him to be watching over us, yes?  Except for when we put our typing fingers to use for things that do not give Him glory and honor?   Untruth never has honor attached to it…for anyone.

If we choose to share a post or meme on social media, it is our responsibility to verify that it is true.  Otherwise, we are in the same place as the person who purposely wrote it.  Ignorance is not an excuse.  

Wouldn’t we all like to see a better America?  We can start by sowing some healthy seed.   Stop reposting garbage on social media, consider carefully what say and what you post, don’t argue with people who don’t agree with you, and stop whining!

In case you hadn’t noticed, people have a tendency to whine.  
That might include me.

One last thing…though this is not a LAST thing, but a LASTING thing:  Pray.  Get your eyes on Him instead of what’s going on around you.   Change your focus.  Let me grab a mirror and say that again:  

Change your focus. 

“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  (Hebrews 12:1, 2 NIV)

Cades Cove Sunrise, Great Smoky Mountains


Saturday’s Six: The “If” Edition

If every event that happened this century hadn’t been sensationalized by the media for ratings, maybe people wouldn’t have stopped caring.

If vulgarity wasn’t accepted as comedy and blatant disrespect of authority wasn’t customary, maybe people would be nicer to each other.

If people weren’t belittled and harassed for a different political or religious view, maybe people would come together and solve problems instead of creating new ones.

If we weren’t drowning in a sea of deception so vast that people no longer care whether or not what they are saying and hearing is the truth, people would realize they were drowning.

If people realized they were drowning, who would they look to for help? Are Christians floundering in the same ocean, or are they in the lifeboat with lifelines ready and willing to help?

If Christians realized that their lifeline is the Word of God, they would know the power in the name of Jesus.

Full-grown thistle...Lawrenceburg, TN
Half-grown thistle...Lawrenceburg, TN

Baby thistle...a weed by any other name...
but pretty little finches love to eat thistle seed
Lawrenceburg, TN


Let’s talk about Donald Trump, Christian to Christian

When we look at America in the natural, with the blatant disobedience and rebellion…the sheer ugliness of what is happening around us, it is easy to forget that the battle isn’t flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). It’s not a comfortable thing to think about principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and hosts of wickedness, is it?  But that’s where the fight is, so when we aim our darts at people, we lose ground in the fight, because we are being disobedient to the word of the living and almighty God.

God is a God of purpose, with a plan for each and every person, and as the creator of the universe, He placed each of us where we are for a reason.  Who dares question His methods or the people He chooses to use? For now, He has chosen Donald Trump to occupy the White House.

What are we to do with this reality? 
What does His word tell us?

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  (Romans 13:1)

It doesn’t stop there. Paul further says:

Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:2)

I sure don’t want to bring any extra judgment on myself. I choose the respect the Office of the President, regardless of the occupant.  To disparage the president, no matter how you feel about him, is wrong according to scripture.  We can't attribute every good thing in the economy to a previous administration without also blaming that same administration for all the bad things that might happen.   A year and a half into the current term, it's time to let go of what used to be and focus on where God has us now.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel anointed David King of Israel.   During the next many years, David would not raise his hand against King Saul, though Saul was determined to kill him, and he would not allow his men to speak against God’s anointed.   That is respect for God's authority of who He places in authority.  It's how we should act.

We aren’t called to like Donald Trump or everything he says or does. Aren’t you glad God didn’t put that in the Bible? But we are called to pray for him (1 Timothy 2:2), and to not speak evil of him, or anyone. (Titus 3:1-2).

I cringe at some of President Trump's tweets and his prideful comments. I also cringe at the way his comments and actions are so often distorted in the media. Like you and me, the President is not the finished product, and not everything news personalities and political pundits say about him are true.

Some say Donald Trump is God’s judgment on America (I do not believe this is the case, and the same has been said about Presidents past). But if so, wouldn’t it be ever so important to already be in a posture of prayer?

God’s word is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword…and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). I think it’s time to put the word of God back in authority in the hearts and lives of His people.  God blesses obedience.

If you are unsure of what to pray for the president, here are some starting points:
  • Pray for the summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday. For God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).
  • Pray for his salvation, that he be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray that his eyes be opened so that he sees, that his ears be opened so that he hears from God, and pray that his heart is opened so that he understands.
  • Pray for maturity in his position.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit infiltrates his every decision.
  • Pray that God gives him spiritual wisdom.
  • Pray that President Trump is consistently surrounded by God-fearing, praying men and women.
  • Pray that God gives him strength to follow through with Godly decisions, even in the face of much opposition.
  • Pray for his safety.
  • Pray for Truth to sweep our nation, that the blinders be removed from God’s people, and that the Holy Spirit will permeate and saturate this nation in a way that those of us living in this day have never seen.
(Prayer points from a previous post: Quit Tooling Around)

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
(Psalm 33:12)

I long to live in a peaceful and unified nation; blessed by God to be prosperous and powerful.  It can happen.  Jesus told us that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). I look around me, and I acknowledge that unity very much looks impossible, but I remember that the first part of this scripture says “With men, this is impossible…”

But it won’t be free. Someone is praying the price.
That would be us. The Elect. The Remnant.
The Ten. (Genesis 18:32)

It has to start somewhere.
O God, let it start with me.


Monday Musings...

O Thoughtless One
It’s a rare occasion that strangers ask me for money in my hometown, but this weekend a woman stopped me as I was getting out of my car.  In her ramblings of “I have food stamps, but I haven’t had anything to eat today…standing just feet away from a store she could get food using her EBT card…assuring me she wasn’t on drugs or “anything like that,” I am pretty sure she wanted drug money.  If I’d had a few dollars, I probably would have given it to her.  As I was apologetically telling her I really didn’t have any cash, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “I believe you, you have an honest face.”  She walked on and asked someone else.  I have thought about the lady several times since then, a lot of “what if’s.”  What if she was really hungry?  What if she was out of food stamps (she didn’t allude to that), what if, what if, what if?   I had failed her.   It wasn’t until the next day that I realized just how much I failed her.   Can you tell me why a professing Christian did not even think of telling her about Jesus?   She came and was gone in just a matter of seconds, but I don’t think that’s a good enough excuse to have not said, “I can walk you over here to the store and get you some food, and let me tell you about a Friend of mine…” 

O Feckless One
“Feckless” is a word that has been forced upon us lately, and it sums up 99% of the “comedians” these days, and about the same for television shows.   There are people who find vulgarity funny, especially when it is aimed at others who have a different viewpoint than them, it seems.  I feel pelted with negativity from social media.   If I had any sense, I’d give up all the feckfulness that comes across my internet.   Feckfulness…I made it a word because fecklessness just didn’t seem to cover it all. 

O Blessed or Depressed One
I am fully aware that I am immeasurably blessed and face precious few adversities in my comfortable life, but there are days when I feel something akin to depression trying to settle on me like a fog.   There is no reason for it, no explanation as to why.  This morning is one of those days.  I don’t think it was just because I was so feckless this weekend with the lady asking for money.  Depression does not discriminate.  Thankfully, ever so thankfully, the name of Jesus chases depression away, and I have to make a conscious choice to be careful about my thoughts, choosing gratitude over negativity.   That would probably be a lot easier if I gave up the feckless internet.  Maybe with less negativity, I’d think about telling a person in need about Jesus.

O Wet Doglike One…
I wish shaking off the fog were as easy as a wet dog shaking off water…and it would be much funnier, watching people do that. 

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