What happened? Was I out for 5 minutes when everything changed? Didn't up used to be up and down .. down.. not the other way around? And I am pretty sure too that WRONG is now the new RIGHT.
Let's start with a few easy Wrongs declared Right from where I sit observing our society.
So you see.. Wrong is the new Right.
We are numbed and dumbed down to vulgar language and violence in movies, TV, and pop/hip hop/rap music. Sex before marriage, and teen sexuality is assumed/encouraged not discouraged.. in fact sex without boundaries is to be explored.
We are a Victim Society where everyone claims to be a victim, or bullied which muddies truth of those who truly are victims and/or bullied.
AND anyone who voices a contrary view is expressing HATE SPEECH. Words of a contrary view can be considered 'violence'. I guess sticks and stones will break by bones, and WORDS ARE FAR WORSE!
The #MeToo movement, toxic masculinity, white privilege, systemic racism, and systemic police brutality often dilute if not poison truth and justice with blanket labels replacing truth/facts.
Then we throw together the old KKK in with the new Antifa (anti-fascists? not!). Both are bigoted hate groups. (BLM) black lives matter is a marxist hate group that harms the movement of equality.
Oh, and let's not forgot we live in a Cancel Culture society where past sins or perceived sins from maybe even 20 years ago can be dredged up and to ruin lives and there is no forgiveness with this mob. Wrong is the new Right.
We are also a culture who in one hand munches on popcorn while being entertained by the latest horror, violence, occult, or the sorted story of a serial killer, BUT.. think that our 2nd amendment rights are the root of all evil. Wrong is new Right.
Then a Virus comes along in COVID-19 where politics is more important than truth. Views on masking and vaccinations have divided us.. including the church. We condemn each other over instead of respecting each others rights. We label each other naive or selfish.. and our emotions become something just short of hate. This is Wrong, but again this Wrong is the new Right.
Even in the church simple choices of right and wrong are handled like a bomb squad whose only training was using the old 'Operation board game'. We are so deathly afraid to call sin.. a sin in fear others will judge us as judgmental.
The church (as a whole) is 1/2 afraid to speak truth in love, and the other 1/2 is like the frog in the boiling pan of water unaware the temp is rising. We are no longer salt and light as commanded in Mt 5:13-16 as we simmer in this world's hot tub of compromise. But we excuse our compromise with the broad brushed statement.. We are about love, Jesus is love.
Agreed, but also Jesus referenced Hell 46 times. Hell is the scary truth regarding sin though not very 'seeker friendly'.
"I am the way, THE TRUTH and the life no one comes to the Father but by me.John 14:6. does not accept 'YOUR TRUTH'.
If Jesus spoke today the Cancel Culture mob would rage against Him. Certainly banned from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. note: and Jesus would still preach truth in love as His truths will not ever be canceled.
To share the Gospel truth is the most important truth we can share though agnostics, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, and secularists would disagree... or do we remain silent in respect of your feelings. This is to say we would rather let you go to Hell for eternity than offend you today on Earth? This is so very Wrong, and is the new Right
MY OWN MESS - Let me be very clear, I know I am a sinner too with my own wrongs I treat as rights. Plenty of justications of these wrongs with my temper, watching movies and laughing at jokes I should not have. I have made compromises, told altered truths (aka lies) and all the other goodies that many of us do.
I am also a man compromised by alcohol (aka alcoholic), and it was ruining my life. I share the cartoon on the left that is typically received understandably with collective cringes as it is NOT FUNNY, but it was becoming my story.
So in response to my drinking my wife expressed to me in love and sometimes the appropriate amount of anger "YOU NEED TO QUIT. This is not good for you, or your family." So my question is.. was my wife intolerant and judgmental of me, or was she loving and caring?
Bottom-line my wife's loving admonishment CHANGED MY LIFE and I thank God for this. Changing this Wrong in my life to make me return to doing Right.
So in this world where WRONG is the new RIGHT how shall we participate? In our society compromised by ignorance, arrogance, and self we need to stand firm, in love and always stand for God's Truth.. because as they say.. Two Wrongs don't make a Right.
May God bless each of you to boldly with love go each day into a world that may hate you for saying RIGHT is still right, and WRONG is still wrong.
Thank you for indulging me sharing this topic of societal angst on my heart.
SKOSH.. From the Japanese word "sukoshi," pronounced skosh. That also means a little bit. For example, "I'll have just a skosh of that pie..."
Skosh is a great underutilized word, and though I don't recall Skosh ever making it into any translations of the Bible I am sure it can by implied and rest assured it will be in my Back Pew paraphrase.
In fact I would like to create a Skosh-Meter to measure small amounts (a skosh) of.. 'stuff' you cannot measure with your standard ruler or scale.
For example, Ned crossed through the Red Sea with the nation of Israel in Exodus 14 and the Skosh Meter would indicate with just a Skosh of faith.
when God asks Adam and Eve "Did you eat of the forbidden fruit?" ..
They answered in unison.. "Umm.. maybe just a skosh."
the Skosh-Meter is waved and.. beep, beep, beep
Oh they ate more than a skosh.
Next, how to insert the word 'skosh' in a loving words shared between a husband and wife.
Wife: "Honey, are these pants too tight?"
Husband: "umm, maybe just a .. skosh tight"
Ok on this one, don't wave your Skosh-Meter anywhere near your wife's butt (can I say butt?)
You might as well paraphrase President Trump and say "My dear, you look a bit BIGLY for those pants!
Then using a SKOSH-METER to measure my love for God
Let's try it on God's two greatest commandments.
Q: Do I love the lord God with all my heart and soul and mind, and others as myself.
A: After a long work day, I would sigh, but still say.. Yes
but.. I am not really sure what my trusty SKOSH-METER will say. I want it to be pegged all the way to the right by the words WITH ALL MY HEART, and far from the left side of the skosh-meter by the red letters -just a skosh- and no beeping sounds please
Then again, I really don't want a Skosh-Meter thank you very much. I prefer God's grace and God's Truth better.
God will not reject me from Heaven for scoring 67/100 on Heaven's Entrance Exam. He knows I have problems memorizing scriptures and story problems confuse me.
I mean missing out on Heaven by 3 lousy points (technically a skosh) is very un-Godlike. *note* To those of you that I worried for a moment.. There is no Entrance Exam. No minimum score.. only grace for the repentant heart.
But seriously back to loving God with all your heart soul and mind and others as yourself. These truly are the two greatest commandments and my daily pursuit until someday Heaven. Pursue God with my whole heart (not a skosh) put all (not a skosh) of your hope in Him, and I believe my love cannot help but grow for Him and a natural extension of this love for God is a love for others.
May God bless each of you in your journey to know God, and.. to know God is to love God in ways that are much more than a SKOSH but instead BEYOND YOUR DREAMS.
Oh, and if you ever have the need to move a mountain.. I hear just a skosh of faith (mustard seed size for you gardeners) will be enough.
Ha ha ha ha ha
Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want
I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want
I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha)
I wanna really, really, really wanna .. - Spice Girls Worship Band?
note: Just so you don't worry more about me I do know the above song lyrics are neither deep, or a worship song with a catchy tune.
I am at a crossroads of sorts in my life. Looking for how to segue into the semi-retirment years of my life, as my wife and I are settling into the stage in our lives. So in discussing our future the phrase "what I really want" seemed to come up often.. and my caffeinated brain 'logically' jumped into the lyrics from the 1996 song 'Wannabe' by the Spice Girls. Not that I was a fan of the Spice Girls, but it was a catchy tune.
But I also know it is OK to talk to God about what I want what I really want because He cares about what I want what I really really want. So I tell Him what I want what I really really want.
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me! -- Psalm 66:16-20 (ESV)
Our God is better than any Genie in a Lamp where our every wish/prayer is granted. Our God is our personal loving Heavenly Father hears our cry and desires what is best for each of us.
So to be clear I can count on God wanting his best for me, and even better yet He KNOWS what is best for me. Not so many years ago we were house shopping and made offers on three homes but each time the offer of another potential buyer was chosen. The last offer we were the runner up to the buyer who was chosen. I guess we were like the Miss Congeniality of home buyers.. and were still disappointed.
But after this moment (ok, it was a half a day) of disappointment. We turned back to trusting God in this process an actually excited about it realizing God really wants what He really really wants is our best. We now live in a home that is close to our kids and grandkids and we feel God's care and blessing in this home.
I believe He is personally involved with our lives and this home buying process. This is what I believe and where my hope is.
No matter if you are buying a home, single and looking for Mr or Mrs Right, choosing a career path, or the church you attend I pray you put your trust in the God who loves you. He is not indifferent, he is not detached. So pray to God and tell Him what you want.
Psalm 139:7-8 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
So one last time.. Tell God what you want, what you really really want.. and seek His will. The best is yet to come.
Jeff (really really wanting a donut right now) Larson
IS GOD BORING?
zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.. That is not a fair question..
I know people may say church is boring, but God? BORING? I mean you would not say this to God's face .. IF you were allowed to look at Him directly and live, but the whole stereotype of God in our society may present Him as a bit stuffy.
And let me be clear I would not say 'GOD IS BORING, but let's be fair and look how He stacks up with our 24/7 Entertain me NOW society.
Let's start with SUNDAYS:
Football - You can spend the afternoon sitting on the 50 yard line cheering your team as they play their hated rivals on a beautiful fall day doubly blessed with vendors who for a few dollars deliver to you your favorite snacks and beverages.
Church - You could spend Sunday sitting on a hard wooden pew in Church singing a hymn or EIGHT, listening to a sermon where the vendors are replaced with ushers who also take your money but there will be no food for you!.. Advantage.. FOOTBALL
Food Glorious Food:
Dining Out - The world offers wonderful dining opportunities of all cuisines whether you dine out, drive through, or have your meal delivered right to your door.
Church Potluck - Church offers the infamous potluck dinner where there are more ways to fix a macaroni casserole/hotdish than there are stars in the sky. Advantage: DINING OUT
Reality TV Superstar Kim - has over 20 million twitter followers with the focus on I guess watching Kim be Kim? and Kim is worth millions!
Mother Theresa - She ran hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens, dispensaries and mobile clinics; children's and family counselling programs; orphanages, and schools... BUT still no Twitter followers, and no signs of prosperity displayed in 'this' life. So based on Twitter stats and $$.. Advantage: KIM
God's Word - The bible teaches God's never changing loving truth for mankind, and there is but one God. This Truth not everyone can handle.
Secular World View - Our society teaches truth is a relative state of being up for interpretation by progressive thinkers. This world is polytheistic where there are many ways to find a god and/or truth. Based on the appearance of inclusiveness (though Col Jessup scares me)..
Advantage: appears to be SOCIETY
Cosmology v Theology:
Cosmology - Cosmology is the science of the origin and development of the universe. With an annual budget for space exploration of around $18 billion in the US, Resources like the images from the Hubble Telescope are used to support their studies.
Theology - This is the study of the nature of God and religious belief. Of course there is no annual US budget on Theology. Resources like the bible are used to support these studies. If money means anything.. Advantage: NASA
The above examples are a bit over the top but with a thread of 'humanistic truth' (please note humanistic and truth is an oxymoron). How can the church compete with the glitz & glam, the look & presentation, and budget found in our 24/7 self serving society?
What if part of the next year's $18 billion NASA budget was spent on understanding our creator rather than His creation?
So my conclusion is.. God is not boring! But the little box we attempt to put God in, and our lazy attempts to know Him are BORING.
What if there was a spiritual revival of our nation where we pursue God like a Spiritual Hubble Telescope? I am sure then.. we would not be bored.
May God keep each of you today from society's buffet for the senses, but instead pursue Him. To love God and care for others (God's two greatest commandments Mt 22:36-40) and NOT boring!
Hey.. you know what? I can no longer TOLERATE you INTOLERANT Christians.
You are un-WOKE, anti-LGBTQ right wingers who are Neanderthal in your treatment of women and her right to.. 'choose'. You are bible thumping, gun owning nut jobs voting blindly Republican every election like lemmings heading off a political cliff.
The only progressive thought in your life is considering a Progressive Insurance policy.
Ok the above rambling is my 'semi' exaggeration of the average 'progressive' Joe Secular. While I have overstated the views of 'Joe', the negative perception in society and fueled by the media is very real.
This whole INTOLERANCE label is concerning me. I agree when the heart and mind of the church becomes judgmental and become merely legalistic in our words and actions... living breathing CLANGING CYMBALS, 1 Cor 13:1.
BUT when we truly love God, we naturally honor Him with obedience in our words and actions. Truth in Love where we do not force our faith on others, BUT in all our ways acknowledge him first, and preach His truth even when it is not popular.
So this all leads me to my INTOLERANT JESUS. Of course Jesus healed the sick, the blind, the lame, and raised the dead. BUT he also lovingly told TRUTH to a compromised world. Jesus admonished his disciples, spoke frankly to the rich young ruler Luke 18:18-23, the woman at the well John 4, and instructed Nicodemus he must be born again John 3.
Jesus also shared clearly the ONLY way to Heaven, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me". John 14:6. In all his words and actions Jesus was TRUTH IN LOVE. Without His love Jesus would just another false prophet clanging cymbal. The end result though was the world rejected Jesus and He was crucified by basically the same people who were praising him just 5 days earlier.
Let me leave you with the words of my 'INTOLERANT JESUS' to his disciples in John 15:18-25 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
So kind of a reverse affirmation for us when we stand for God's Truth in the face of intolerant secular society to realize we will be hated. YIKES! If we speak boldly the Bible teaching of SIN, and the need to REPENT then only can mankind find REAL TRUTH & SALVATION. And again much of this world will hate us. If the world likes us.. maybe we are wallflower Christians ineffective while blending in with the world.
I pray we remember these words as encouragement to stand strong for TRUTH, but but but also to remember to be Truth in Love always.
Q: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God? <pause> A: Hmmm, maybe. What are we talking about, I mean I need some context here before I swear.
Ok, I do not believe this type of answer would fly well in a court of law. Truth is truth, and I should not be afraid of the truth. Right? Or can't I handle the Truth?
How about outside the court of law where I do not have to swear on a bible? Can I fudge or tweak the truth so it does not look so blessed incriminating? I mean to say.. that check is really in the mail.. almost. :)
What if a wife asks her hubby: "Are these pants too tight?" In this case, be truthful.. BUT choose your words wisely so they are not your LAST.
On the flip side if a husband asks: "How do I look?" There is a better than 75% chance the hubby will receive the whole (blunt as a 2x4 to the face) truth and nothing but the unfiltered truth.
For all of the above and more truth in love is a beautiful thing. Truth is not always convenient, and it may sting a little or A LOT, but avoiding the truth will not make it go away. In many ways truth purifies, and provides light to shadows, and clarity + context to motives, and agendas.
Side Note: I believe there will be a harsh judgment some day on today's media that is motivated by agendas and narratives instead of reporting truth. Half truths are in reality a LIE.
But also the church (we are the church) are called to share the good news (THE TRUTH) of Jesus Christ 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. To not share this gospel message of salvation would be unloving. To share a message that 'Jesus is love and wants to help you' but not share a message that convicts us ALL of sins (yes sins) instead of preaching we are all pretty good folk.. is a false narrative much like the above mentioned media.
Think about it,, If there is ONE WAY to Heaven through Jesus Christ then we must preach Christ always in our words and deeds. Do not apologize for this truth! If you believe in Heaven and Hell then as family, friend, neighbor, and/or citizen we cannot remain silent when the Truth of Jesus is eternally important.
While this subject of deep down nook and crannies of our lives truth feels a bit intrusive it must be a cornerstone to our faith. We should embrace truth in love for ourselves and others, and share the truth the only way to Heaven is Jesus Christ.
My prayer today is for us all to be truthful and loving in word and deed. Remember, 1 Corinthians 13 shares all is meaningless (including Truth) without love. In all things, To God be the glory.
Jeff (mostly-honest?) Larson
About once a year I like to share MY TALE from the Old (1965?) Mid-West, but just like any Clint Eastwood Western ie.. The Good the Bad and the Ugly, or The Unforgiven.. this story of Justice with six-shooters blazing begs to be retold.
I enjoyed watching a while back a TV docudrama on the history of the American West. It was a time when Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, and Jesse James with 'second ammendment rights intact' lived large in the tales of lawman versus Lawbreaker.
This brought my mind back to 56 years ago on the (MID)Western frontier of Cable Wi (population 280-maybe) when I served as an 8 year old lawman working with my deputy and 6 year old friend David Larson. It was a time of lawlessness where big talk and big guns (cap & pop alike) were a way of life.
Bad blood had been brewing since Sunday School the previous Sunday when Dastardly Dick Ludzack and BadNews Bryan Anderson AGAIN refused to sing Jesus loves me this I know and talked big about "singin' is for girls." This type of brash defiance of our Lord could not be tolerated. The time for words (or singin Jesus loves me') was over.. justice must be served.
So just a few days later September 14, 1965 (right after school) Deputy Dave and myself traveled to the Ludzack Farm on the east side of town to bring these brazen lawbreakers to justice. If justice came at the end of a rope or my smokin' guns.. So be it.
This day would later be known as The Shootout at Ludzack Farm. (kinda like an elementary school version of the Shootout at the OK Corral)
When we arrived at the Ludzack Farm we learned Dastardly and BadNews were camped out on the North side of the family barn, so we quickly set up just on the Southeast corner as news traveled they were heading south along the east side of this same barn. We were ready, but knew they would not surrender without a fight. Both sides brandished enough Guns & Ammo to make the NRA blush.
Tension was in the air as Dastardly & BadNews turned the southeast corner and were met with our guns a blazin'. BLAM, BLAM, PEW, PEW, BANG, BANG. and POP. This gunfight was was over before it started.
As the smoke from our cap guns lifted it was clear by their (imaginary/implied) bullet riddled bodies both Dastardly & Badnews had their 'comeupins'. There would be no trial, there would be no chance for dem boys to redeem themselves and sing like choir boys next Sunday morning cuz.. THEY WUZ DEAD.
Except.. out of the silence BadNews Bryan (always hated him) shouted "Uh-uh" you missed me, and you are both DEAD cuz I shot you both in the HEAD." BadNews was always good with a Ryhme.
This was such a grand lie. Such a big fib that 56 years later I am surprised Bryan thinks he has a chance at Heaven. This just ruined my day. I came to this town to bring law and order, and I am thwarted by a 7 year old and those weak words.. Uh-uh! I was so mad I went home and told my MOM.
Thinking back to those lawless times in the fall of 1965 I am haunted by my failure to bring to justice those no good lyin' snakes Bad News Bryan Anderson and Dastardly Dick. What kind of civilization do we have when we refuse to be dead.
Though I am no longer a lawman the story is not over as BadNews was the best man, and Dastardly an usher in my wedding in 1984. And I now meet BadNews almost every week for lunch where we reminisce on those days gone by in the Wild Wild mid-West.
You know what they say, keep you friends close, and your ENEMIES closer. Better sleep with one eye open BadNews.
Jeff (dreaming of exercising my second amendment rights since 1965) Larson
note: Spiritual lesson for the day.. Make your peace with the Lord before you have your 'comeupins'.
Ok fine, you are IRON MAN but what Iron Man are we talking about? In my few years on this Earth I have observed many Iron Mans.
In fact there are even IRON MAN CONTESTS where biking, swimming, and running are combined into one big competition. Don't know if that makes someone an iron man or just a very sweaty man.
There was also the TIN MAN from the Wizard of Oz, who technically was not Iron man as Tin and Iron are two different grades of metal.
And I have even heard rumor of MEN WHO IRON their clothes are IRON MEN, but I am not one of them and does not a superhero make you.
So that eliminates a few HEAVY METAL (insert iron pun here) guys narrowing my list of true Iron Men to three. Let's choose the right Iron Man via the ol' 'Let's make a Deal' selection method.
Will it be the IRON MAN behind door#1, door#2, or door#3?
There you have it, three fine choices for IRON MAN but let's take a closer look.. Choosing
Seriously, none of us of need Tony Stark, and certainly not Ozzy Osbourne to look up to for protection. In stark contrast we do need The Full Armor of God.
Not so many years ago I umpired a lot of baseball games and in doing so have been dinged by a foul ball, or two, or what seems like 1000 times. Sometimes I was hit directly on protective gear, but other times finding a gap in between my face mask and chest protector, or an exposed elbow. Even with a quality face mask a foul ball can really jar you.
And so much more am I exposed to the flaming arrows of the evil one where the Full Armor of God is very much needed.
Now considering those days I leave my house without quieting myself by praying, and/or without taking time to focus on God.. I believe I am left more unprotected like an umpire without a NUT CUP.
So I pray today to encourage each of you to.. Put on the Full Armor of God lest ye be struck by a foul ball wherest thou hurtest most. King James/Back Pew/umpire paraphrase Ephesians 6:11
Jeff (Iron Man) Larson
As a kid, Star Trek was a favorite of mine. Not Captain Picard, the ‘real’ Star Trek with Captain Kirk Spock, Bones, and Scotty. Who every week would pursue ‘Space.. the final frontier.. to boldly go where no man has gone before!’
Now fast forward about 50+ years and I can be found watching the National Geographic channel where frequently they do segments on our universe (SPACE) and beyond.
Very cool stuff, and if you have not noticed.. it is a very big universe.
I am amazed when watching these shows the passionate pursuit to understand this truly infinite universe. Are there little green men on mars? Was everything we know created from the BIG BANG? What is a black hole, a super nova, dark matter… and much much more. Think of all the man hours and the MONEY spent in the pursuit of .. Captain Kirk’s Final Frontier.
National Geographic channel also has many shows where archeologists and theologians seek truth in the great stories of our faith. What is a very interesting bit of IRONY of biblical proportions is that astronomers, cosmologists, theologians, and archeologists all should find at the end of their pursuits is a creator who in my opinion is the God of our Bibles.
So while Captain Kirk spoke that space is the final frontier, .. to explore the creator of the Universe instead of the Universe using scientific and Biblical evidence is the FIRST but most overlooked frontier.
Is there a God? Then is this God the God of our Bibles?
AND.. if a decision is made that there is a God, what is to be our relationship with Him? Is it personal, or is God a lofty distant deity?
Is there a spiritual realm beyond the physical elements in front of us? Is there a Heaven and Hell? AND..
Is there need for a SAVIOR for this world?
Personally, I believe in.. one God and He is the God of our Bibles. I believe He is personal and His love and grace for each of us is beyond my comprehension. I believe He is omniscient, omnipresent, and the creator of this vast universe that astronomers and Captain Kirk boldly pursue.
I believe there is a way to God and it is through Jesus Christ the son of God and that finding Jesus and accepting Him as our savior is the most personal eternity changing discovery anyone can make.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6),
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Jesus loves me this I know.. and Amazing Grace how sweet the sound. The first is a classic children’s song/truth and the second is one of the great hymns/truths of our Christian faith. To know these songs and to live them is life, and everything else is .. trivial pursuit.
I know needing a Savior sounds like church speak to our post-Christian society, but it is simply the truth that we all need a savior. We may all be pretty good folk, but to ignore the pursuit of our creator and realizing we need a savior should not be put off.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).
My prayer is for those who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior to do so today. It is as simple as speaking to God and to acknowledge your desire to understand and know Him then to pursue Christ the Final Frontier like a Cosmologist pursues a .. a.. BLACK HOLE?
Seriously, to pursue Christ is to realize we need him as our glaring humanity is weak even in us pretty good folk.
Blessings.. and may the force (aka God in Star Wars speak) be with you on this final and most urgent frontier of Jesus Christ.
Jeff ( Discovered Jesus at age 6 ) Larson
As I roller coaster through the amusement park of life past the sideshows of a bearded lady, the two headed cow and the tattooed sword swallowing vicar I realize again.. LIFE IS A RIDE.
My rollercoaster existence leaves me at times exhilarated while other times ready to BARF. These twists and turns in my life do expose my Dr Jeffrey and Mr. Hide (like a less sinister version of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde) personality quirks. I am Dr Jeffrey when all is good, but Mr Hide but rises up as my rollercoaster dips and there is a big bend up ahead.
AND yes I did mean to say Mr. Hide (not Hyde).. 'Good grief I am cartoonist not a monster’.
My alter ego Mr. Hide unfortunately appears when my "I'm ok facade" is threatened to be exposed by my collection of insecurities, circumstances, mistakes and bad choices. Better to hide and live to fight another day.. or something like that.
Mr. Hide wants others to see me as a success. A man with a career, admired, and a man of status, and dashing good looks. Mr. Hide promotes the illusion that he is confident, funny, never depressed, and has never struggled with substance abuse. Oh there are many other things Mr. Hide hides from others, but you get the idea.
I do recall from time to time where I want to hide. A circumstance mixed in with a dash of my special brand of stumbling/bumbling has me looking for a hiding place.
But while I may want to hide, or at least get away I know none of my circumstances surprise God. I am sure He did not slap his forehead and declare.. "Wow, now that's a new one."
Anyways, I choose to put my trust in God. I could quote a ba-zillion verses about God's love for me, but I will keep it simple and share the oft quoted Psalm 23.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Another reason not to hide.. God's people.. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
So today I pray God bless, care, and restore each of us when life seems to have replaced our highs with lows. Remember.. If God is for ME, who can be against ME? Ro 8:31
Jeff (hiding in the Back Pew) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson