Wednesday, April 23, 2014


"I think some people are in denial of their true character. I don't mean trying to overcome their character flaws; I mean hiding behind a computer pretending to be transparent when in fact, they choose who they are depending on who they're with. I want to be remembered as real, regardless of all my flaws." 

It's funny (but not funny, haha.)  I'd actually spent the morning contemplating my "true character", my identity, when the above comment rolled through my newsfeed.  I didn't write it, of course, but it's certainly written about me (though not explicity, I'm sure.)  In fact, I recently told a friend - one of my very closest, smallest-circle friends - that I am guilty of this very thing:  presenting only the best of myself via the social network.*

It's all true, though not at all times.  I would like very much to deny my true character.  My mind, my heart:  deceitful, desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9.)  I have not the capacity to recognize just how deeply my motives are flawed.  Having the desire to examine myself, to see my flaws, to air them out on my front lawn - even harder to muster.

That's why, however, I have a "very closest, smallest circle" of friends.  These are the folks I can be my most honest, real-est self with, free of condemnation, and know that we'll still be friends tomorrow.

Am I choosing to behave differently with different people?  Absolutely!

As Paul said, "Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life." 1 Corinthians 9:21-22 (MSG)

Do I always get that right?  Absolutely not.

Do I share with everyone, all the time about the times I get it wrong?  Of course not. I do, however, try very hard to be as open and honest as I can muster the courage to do within my small groups ~ those gatherings of like-minded, equally flawed believers who are also doing the best they can.

* "Presenting only the best of myself via the social network."  Even this is all true, though not at all times.  I'm not inclined to [intentionally] draw negative attention to myself.  I had enough negative attention in high school to pretty much get me through.  However, I've tried to be transparent with some of my deeper, darker stuff via this very blog.

Bad Teacher, for instance.
I Am His Beloved?, probably the first really hard thing I shared.
Loose Lips Sink Ships.  I'd do my own self some good to re-read my own stuff.
Live Free Or Die.  Here are a few of my bad habits.
You Can't Write If You Can't Relate still embarrasses me somewhat.
Share Much? because I know I share too much sometimes.
Alleluia because sometimes that's all that I have.
Public Hearing because I've been here already.  More than once.
This Is The What Is The Happening.  Just trying to keep it real.
Betwixt My Lines.  Sometimes that's very, very hard to do.
A Picture's Worth.  Sometimes there just aren't enough words.

Have I shared everything?  Do you know exactly who I am?

Nope.  Some things are just between me and Him.

And I cling to that, knowing that however flawed I may be, He still loves me beyond measure and has made me a promise.

Several, in fact.

"I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart." Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)

"I am sure that God, who began this good work in [me], will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 (GNT)

"I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins." Galatians 2:20 (GW)

My identity, my character, my 'all that I am' is rooted in my relationship with Jesus Christ and God, the Father.

I want very much to be remembered as real , transparent, and flawed.

"Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at." 2 Corinthians 4:5-9 (MSG)

I hope that somehow - through my flaws, in fact - you'll see Him.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Small Matters

I've heard some folks say that God's not in the small things, that He doesn't care about the details, that because He is GOD, He only has time for the big prayers, the big miracles, the big stuff.

I'll make two assumptions about folks who believe this way: 1) you acknowledge God exists; 2) you believe He created what you see (skipping any debate about the means by which He did it.)

And so I ask:  if the small things aren't important, why create the cell, the molecule, the subatomic particle? Why don't we human folks - and all living creatures, for that matter - exist as solid blobs? How come the human eye is so durn complex? Why so many colors (and more that we can't even see yet?) Why a dandelion? Why does every species of bird have its own song?

I propose that to believe God does not care about small matters is a reversal of image, a transference of personality. Perhaps we have trouble seeing, focusing on, or caring about [what we may consider] trivial matters. Or maybe we don't always believe or sense that it's possible for anyone to care about the small things of our lives.

I assure you, however, that God does care about every single enormous and tiny part of His creation. Including you. You matter.  And you're no small matter to Him.

“What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries." Luke 12:6-7 (MSG)

I pray that today and every day, you'll sense just how much you matter to Him.