In 2007 (former VP of the USA) Al Gore won an Oscar for his Documentary on Global Warming entitled 'An Inconvenient Truth'. This blog is NOT about Big Al, his Oscar, or his documentary film.
But on an awkwardly ironically amusing side note there was a North Pole expedition in 2007 meant to bring attention to Global Warming but was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite. The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment. but I digress.
The real inconvenient truth America does not like to hear is.. THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD!
Our Oprah Winfrey-esk society passionately believes in respecting all paths to god (note the small g) at the expense of compromising honor and worship due to the one TRUE God (notice the capital G)of our Bibles.
Society says all paths to 'truth' are equal, and deserve equal respect. Hmmm, well 'your truth' may be your passion, hobby, your so called peaceful center, but still the INCONVIENT TRUTH remains there is only ONE TRUE GOD.
I like the analogy of the sincere mountain climber who summits Long's Peak in Colorado at 14,259′ believing he just climbed the world's tallest mountain, BUT.. in reality world's tallest mountain Everest 29,032′ is in Nepal. Well, sincerely believing in another god aka 'truth' will find you just as WRONG as this mountain climber in Colorado. In both cases YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE.
Many say "THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH CHRISTIANS!! They are so JUDGEMENTAL!" Well same logic would then shame first grade teachers for teaching 1+1=2 when you want 1+1 to = 37.
The above Mt. climbing, and simple math analogy, OR.. the fact I can no longer fit into the same pants I did 20 years ago all face an inconvenient TRUTH.
note: In my defense I believe they make pants with a 34 inch waist SMALLER now. Maybe it has to do with the metric system? Of course that is my wishful thinking about my waistline.
But back to important truths.. You don't have to be a GENIUS to realize Nature screams that there is a God who was the creator of this world.
CREATION was not happenstance, and our universe is NOT the random existence of matter and space….
Our creator is not Buddha, Zeus, or the Kemp’s Cow for you Hindus. It is not the Sister Sun, Mother Moon, or any New Age / Oprah Winfrey wild haired scheme found on a Hollywood Astrology Hotline.
The creator of this world and of all things is the God of our Bibles, and may the glory and honor be His and His alone. This is TRUTH no matter if it is convenient or not.
As believers let's celebrate and share this BEAUTIFUL TRUTH of our loving Heavenly Father to a world Hell bent (literally) on being inclusive to every nook and cranny 'truth'. There are so many lost in their own secular humanistic LOGIC while attempting to fit the concept of a God in a nice little man sized box.
For those who do not believe, I pray you take time to consider these Biblical Truths ..
May God bless each of our lives with TRUTH.. purpose, and love for God and others.
May this be the source of happiness and contentment and purpose that gives your life meaning like never before.
LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS.. leave the rest as details... and by no means an INCONVENIENT TRUTH
Jeff (inconveniently truthful in the Back Pew) Larson
It's a big day for ME today as August 11th, 2022 is my 38th wedding anniversary. I remembered!. On that day in 1984 Mary Kay Laun said 'YES' (WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?!)... and became my wife.
August 11th was a little more hectic 38 years ago. On that day before cell phones with the wedding set for 11 a.m., my groomsmen took me out for breakfast. Well, Mary could not get me on the old landline phone and assumed the worst. Either 1. they kidnapped me, or 2. I got cold (size 12) feet and ran far away.
note: I am writing about my wedding anniversary so rest assured my feet were warm, and I was not kidnapped and arrived on time for our 11 a.m. wedding. I did my part in the whole "I DO" process.
This morning (38 yrs. later) in contrast, we shared morning coffee and chocolate chip muffins while lounging in our pjs after taking our morning doses of ibuprofen. We did pray together and thanked God for these 38 years which included ups and downs. Those newlywed anticipation of 'starting our lives together butterflies' are replaced with anxious anticipation for those above mentioned chocolate chip muffins. love is still in the air for us two old love birds.. but .. rumor has it.. so is Monkeypox.
Our plans for today are not renewing our vows as the sunsets holding hands exchanging goofy young love grins but instead we will spend time with our daughter and very busy 16 month old grandson Ira. Then evening will be spent with various family members Mary's brother George is visiting from Illinois. We are cooking turkey on our grill. (insert prayers here)
But though what happened was 38 years ago.. I do remember
This was my tried and true 3 step plan for happiness with Mary as the love of my life, best friend, and a true gift from God.
We filled those 38 years with looks, stares, glares, loving glances, rolled eyes, kisses, quarrels, while raising 3 kids that cluttered up our home with good times, great memories… and lessons learned. Our family titles have included husband & wife, mom & dad, and now.. WE ARE GRANDMA and GRANDPA. Best job ever!
So in honor of our Anniversary let me share a few questions that if answered correctly are like … maybe a gift of a 1/2 dozen red roses. <pause> ok I admit they are not like roses, but there are six of-em... and your wife will like you better when you answer correctly.
Behold 6.. Simple Answers by Simple Men to Simple Questions by her
Q1: Are your pants too tight? A: NO DEAR
Q2: Are you listening to me? A: YES DEAR.. your cute little opinion is important to me. (scratch that last part)
Q3: Do you have something to say?.. NO .. NOT REALLY
Q4: Do I leave the toilet seat up? MAYBE.. um no, the dog did it.
Q5: Will I still love you when you are old? MORE THAN EVER
Q6: Do you want to go shopping with me? OK.. I GUESS
So in conclusion.. Happy Anniversary to Mary.. and me-self! How time flies when you are marry the right woman.
Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
Jeff (I found a gem) Larson
Just a Glimpse please!
There are those grey overcast days where I think the sun will never shine again. Maybe a little foggy, drizzling still morning but then a spot on the clouds glows and just moments later the sun peeks out. I now see the sun and feel it’s warmth.
Amazing how that feels especially on that cool grey day, but sometimes as quick as the sun appears the clouds return and the sun is gone and so is it's warmth.
This glimpse of the sun describes often my pursuit of God. I read, and pray and the story of God and the Gospel message makes sense. This time of clarity is beyond refreshing until.. circumstances and the world distract me, along with my inconsistent pursuit of God until my perspective is clouded and poof my moment of clarity is gone.
Does that sound familiar, or am I the only one? A simple check on Twitter and Facebook and the social media posts of Christians and I will conclude this line looking for Glimpses is a very long line. I am among friends.
In my defense I find Isaiah 55:9, and 1 Corinthians 13:12 . I feel like Winnie the Pooh, a Bear of very little brain creator of cartoons attempting to grasp Almighty God creator of the Universe. Advantage God
It does not seem fair to have only glimpses. I even have my share of questions about God and scriptures I do not understand. note: While I have questions, I want to be clear I place my trust and hope in Him and the answers found in His Word. There is a big difference between having questions and doubting.
So while I realize in this life I cannot and will not fully understand many things, but when those clouds part that glimpse of God like the sun through the clouds on a grey day is priceless. This glimpse of God's truth, and love speak to me like the warmth of the sun. My shoulders relax, there is sudden clarity and perspective.
Lord I pray for more glimpses, and prolonged glimpses found by quieting myself, reading God's Word, praying without ceasing, listening to worship music, spending time with other believers, and serving others.
In contrast I quickly can lose sight of God when I focus on the waves of this post-Christian culture instead of Jesus.
No matter how cloudy your day is in this broken world of sickness, conflicts, family issues, greed, racism, and/or POLITICS (please pass the bucket).. pray for Glimpses (and more) of God and His purpose and perspective.
Find peace in knowing the Lord as your Shepherd Psalm 23, and the live out Phil 4:8 dwelling on and pursuing what is good.
May God bless each of you this day with more than glimpses of Him that pierce the clouds in your life and this DARK world. And.. rest in the promise of what He will reveal to us fully someday.
Jeff (glimpse chaser) Larson
Note: The Apostle Paul given a tad more than a glimpse of the sun/Son on that road to Damascus. So on your Damascus Road.. wear SUNBLOCK.
A few years back my wife and I lived in Roseville, a suburb of St Paul MN. Nice neighborhood, easy access to highways, shopping, dining, but there were RABBITS everywhere.
Sounds like the beginning of a Gieco commercial.
These friends of Bugs (bunny) crisscrossed our yard constantly. We did not have a garden so they were harmless and cute.. I guess... but what goes on in their little minds as they scamper from here to there and back again. All this is done of course as they travel their literal bunny trails.
Then I wonder.. are there 'BAD BUNNIES'.. you know, with tattoos, wearing leather, all in black hanging out under the corner street lamp smoking cigs, harassing squirrels, and taunting dogs as their masters take them on walks Saying stuff like "Aaa What's up doc?.. yer' a really dumb dog!"
??..Sorry, my mind just went on its own bunny trail.
Ok, while I am obviously NOT a bunny I have traveled my share of bunny trails meanderings. I even have the 'gift' of veering off topic railroading a conversation 'deftly' interjecting my thoughts that have wandered away from the original subject. How did I get here?.. and now how do I find my way back?.. I don't know, maybe I will ask a BUNNY.
Even those involved in the conversation may with a bewildered look on their face respond with .. "whaaa.. and If no bunny can be found to help me I will segue back by saying "but I digress"
Of course for the most part the literal bunny trails in my yard and the nonsensical bunny trails in my head are harmless. They may be puzzling, possibly frustrating, but seriously no harm no foul.
But what about the more serious bunny trails we take? In a world that needs to be focused on Jesus we wander on bunny trails... maybe drifting far from God. How do we find our way back?
Prone wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love - from the great Hymn 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing' by Robert Robinson (I think)
So it's time to get off the bunny trails with the words of Jesus
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Js 1:27
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mt 22:37-40 .
There you have it.. all that is important shared economically in just 5 verses, BUT..
All of the above can be definite bunny trails that have nothing to do with Js 1:27 and/or Mt 22:37-40. These verses encompass the focus of a good life.
I am a big fan of the devotional 'My Utmost for His Highest' by Oswald Chambers. His daily readings are amazing bits of truth that return focus to what is important. Oswald's message is that life begins and ends with a devotion to God. What we say and do matters, and stay off the bunny trails that keep us from this truth.
Another great read is 'The Pursuit of God' by AW Tozer. In this book Tozer makes clear the pursuit of God is a direct path with focus and purpose and any bunny trails are mostly found in the pursuits of man... and his folly.
My prayer is to live a life that loves God in words and deeds (Js 1:27 and Mt 22:36-40) where I give my utmost for His highest in my daily pursuit of God while keeping my bunny trails to a minimum.
I also pray your life's journey has focus and purpose. May God provide hope, and a way back when you find ourself on a bunny trail by using His Word and our Prayers as our map.
Final bunny trail note: I no longer live in Roseville, have noticed many rabbits moving into our neighborhood and they are EATING OUR HOSTAS PLANTS! Time for me talk to Elmer Fudd and his gang of Wabbit Hunters!
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson