Never Never Hardly Everland (NNHELand) is a magical land where WE are all ok, and THEY are not.
In NNHELand we live by our three core Statements of denial.
In NNHELand we can even reference our Bibles for a feel better about myself fix.
- Well at least I never tried to 'give away' my wife like Abraham.
- Well at least I never was 'saved by a prostitute'.
- At least I get along with my neighbors better than Samson did.
- Well, I know I married better than Ahab.. and married less than Solomon.
More 'I aint so bad after all' pick me ups can be found by attending church by rubbing elbows with real life folk. The saints and the 'aints' who again are.. ' obviously not as good as you'.
- I never have drooled into a dish at a church potluck. (I have seen this happen)
- I know the difference between figurative and literal unlike some.
- I do NOT think out loud.. most of the time
We all know Neverland is fictional and there is no Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, or Captain Hook, but also it is better to realize NNHELand is a land of make believe as in reality we are all sinners saved by Grace.
Truth be told the stories of flawed men and women of the Bible, in history, and today used by God who served God despite circumstances, limitations, and/or failings is inspirational.
Abraham the Liar - Becomes The father of a Nation
Moses the Murderer - Delivered Israel from Slavery
David the Shepherd Boy - Defeats the Giant, and becomes King
Noah the Boat Builder - saved mankind from the great flood
Peter and his sinking Faith - Was the Rock Jesus built his church
Paul the persecutor of the Church - Becomes the first great missionary of that same church.
No need to hide out in NNHELand as we are all sinners but.. saved by God's Grace. Instead be faithful in the big and little ways in your life so God can bless and use you in ways that are beyond your dreams... unless you believe you are blessed to build an ark.. that one has already been done.
Jeff (Never Never Hardly Ever Sleeping in Church) Larson
Note of Clarification
The following blog commentary is about the little word 'BUT' ..but.. it is not to be confused with the word 'BUTT' (aka bottom.. aka buttocks, ) which always makes Minions laugh.
I recently read a quote by Tim Keller on Twitter.. 'Repentance is crucial for renewal and restoration', and full disclosure honesty is required for true repentance.
Very true, BUT it is often easier to say "I am sorry, BUT.." then insert my favorite excuse/rationalization of what I am supposedly sorry for.
Here are a few I am sorry BUTs.
Next let me share a couple gender specific 'sorry but' prayers.
Back to Tim Keller's words of wisdom. 'Repentance is crucial for renewal and restoration', and full disclosure honesty is required for true repentance. Not much wiggle room for any sorry buts.
BUT.. Hey I am a pretty good guy. I go to church, love my wife and stay out of trouble.
But who am I fooling? Not God. He knows my secret doubts, rage, anxiety, envy, mumbled profanities, and other more quiet rebellions against what I know is right in my heart.
I have too often compromised time, resources, and talents that were truly a gift from God. This does not include my bigger past sin (ie alcohol) that almost killed me. For all these and more I am sorry.. no buts.
Mark me down as a work in progress.
What would be possible if we all were truly repentant and inspired by the love of God? It could be a revival this fallen world needs.. like.. NOW!
May God bless each of you on your spiritual journey, where you are blessed and used by God in ways that are beyond your dreams. My our hearts be repentant, and open to receive the promise of God's Grace.
Jeff (no ifs, ands, or buts about it) Larson
Ever console yourself regarding your behavior, words, judgments, and/or circumstances that makes you look bad by qualifying a these moments by saying something like ..
“Well at least I am not like ‘so-in-so’. Or the infamous backwards apology that goes like…
“I’m sorry BUT” and the but is followed by a litany of excuses that makes your apology anything but apologetic.
"I'm sorry BUT your face got in the way of my fist?"
and just like that.. man grades his life on a curve.
So today I am going to console those of us with bad budgets, bad marriages, bad kids (actually they are not bad kids, only 'good' kids making bad choices), bad job, bad health, bad attitudes, or bad hair with.. men, women, and circumstances from the Bible and our world today.. that are intended to make us feel better.
Are you ready? Well let’s get started.
The Old Testament
- Yes my wife and I argue sometimes, but at least I never gave her away
- Nor had reason to tell my wife I was saved by a prostitute
- I have worked some bad jobs, but never as bad as guard duty on the Walls of Jericho.
- Yes I get migraines, but at least I never had a LITERAL splitting headache
- No I have not always liked my neighbors, but at least it never became.. violent.
- I will confess now and then I have occasional adult acne (argh) but at least it never went rogue!
- OK on occasion I skip my daily shower, but at least I never smelled like FISH BARF
The New Testament
- Not everyone agrees with my strong opinions, but at least no one wants me dead (that I know of)
- My Credit Rating may not be perfect, but at least my finances are not public knowledge.
- I have not always listened to God, but at least He has not used a Blinding Light to get my attention.
- I confess I have fallen in sleep in church, but at least I have never fallen out of a church pew (yet)
- Not everyone likes my cartoons but at least (so far) I am not the target of murderous 'anti-humor' zealots
- I have had a number of minor health issues over the years but at least I never been bit by a snake
- I confess to a few speeding tickets in my life, but at least I have not done jail time
- I am no Einstein, but at least I know the difference between figurative and literal.
- I am not a perfect husband, but at least I no longer THINK OUT LOUD... often.
And finally..- I may not be perfect, but at least I am not ONE OF THEM! .. sorry.. it is the cheese that made me do it.
So while life's trials and circumstances real, at least I never have to face them alone. This is not a Christian cliche' , but is our rock solid hope we have with Jesus.
Psalms 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.
May God bless each of you this day. May you be inspired by at least you never are alone in this life. If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
Jeff (at least I don't attend a snake handler church) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson