Barb's Space

Observations about life, family, church...anything else that is on my mind from the perspective that God rules, no matter what

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Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States

I am a 66 year young woman who has changed much in the last few years. I'm single again. I changed jobs twice (learned new skills), had a serious stroke in 2008, "retired" and after getting better started taking up new interests, and am continuing to get more fit. Some things have matured. I've enjoyed watching my three guys grow into men I respect and am proud of. One waited 11 years to have his first birth child. Today I'm a grandma of six (four boys and 2 girls between two families) with a third girl on the way. I have learned to love Jesus even more, and I have regained my sense of adventure. Someone said, "The best is yet to be."--I believe it, if I keep an open mind and heart and keep growing and walking with God.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

GOOD News!

I’ve been thinking lately about news and what the good news of God’s kingdom does for me. First, though, I have to hear and receive it. I have the news of salvation through my Lord for the future and for now. Once I receive that, I have the good news that my Lord loves ME and wants to help me live each day to the fullest by working in, through and for me. Both those pieces of His news give me hope, but receiving is a daily proposition.

There is another piece of good news that is reawakening in my heart recently. The body of Christ for the most part lost sight of it for many years, or else has held onto it in a religious way that hasn’t brought us the life we were meant to have from it. That, according to John Eldredge, is the good news that God says He is making all things new.

Without getting into the theology of timing, etc., that promise is in the Bible, and it is for now. What it means is there is nothing that is good in this world that we won’t see again and enjoy in its best form. When all looks dark and dreary, I’m beginning to look at that promise of my Lord and say, “Because of what God tells me, no loss of something good is gone forever. It’s a temporary loss I can endure here and now, because it will be restored to me in a greater way than ever before.” I will live to see this good on the earth God made for me to rule and reign over when He first thought of creating people. 

Because of this promise, I receive the energy to fight and war to see as much of His kingdom now on earth as I can, knowing that my Father is keeping track and keeping score and will bring that promise to fruition in its proper time. If you want to have this hope deeply implanted, I encourage you to ingest (not just read) John Eldredge’s new book, All Things New. Looking for wonderful days to come...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Levels, New Victories...

I wanted to call this “New Levels, New Battles”, but that’s not how my Lord sees it. It seems the last year and 3/4 has been full of trials. In August 2016, my ex-husband’s father went home to Jesus, followed in February 2017 by my ex-husband, followed last August by my ex’s stepmom. Both  of my sons’ grandparents went home with sweet spirits and hurting bodies. My ex went home with colon cancer, but with love for our guys and for his Lord. There was a breathing spot for about two months. God is good to give us what we need when we need it. Thank You, Jesus!

At the end of October 2017, we began another trial, this time with my mom. She fell, ended up in the hospital, and was in rehab for about a month, even though she didn’t hurt herself much. Her balance was bad, and she had to learn to walk better. On the first of December she came back home with 24/7 nursing care which we weaned her off over the next month. She was back using her walker, but things weren’t going well living alone at 91 1/2 years of age. We started looking around and found a good assisted living place that she liked down near my sis and her husband. Things worked out and she moved in on Friday, February 23, 2018. She has lived alone for over 30 years, though, so this was an adjustment. But declining abilities have followed her.

Mom has fallen 3 times since her move, and is still being stabilized. This is causing all sorts of family upheaval, and the Lord is really working on all of our hearts. We are in process, but I sense victory ahead.

The Lord has shown me blogs to read that are shedding light on where we are now, and I’ve really been praying about how to deal with things. I have many prayer partners, friends of mom’s, friends of mine and family, and that puts us in a good place... More to come...

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Role of Books...

Study to show yourself approved unto God... Books have been a lifeline to me. When I became a Christian at around 21, the King James Bible became my first teacher. As I grew, I learned that sometimes other versions say things in a way that I find easier to understand and obey, but King James will always be a favorite. As I continued on in life, I started having problems in certain areas, and since I had few mentors, books on my problem areas became my mentors. 

I have researched finances, abuse and marriage, parenting and mental problems to name a few areas. Then there have been fiction and biographies. God has been very good to instruct me over the years. 

I have just started putting some of these reads on Goodreads so that others who want to see some of my education can, and learn from what I've learned from. My name is Barbara Irwin, and you are welcome to see both what I have read and what I'm reading now. These types of websites (Goodreads) can be used to help others just like weight loss and healthy living websites like SparkPeople, so enjoy, and maybe you can be a resource for others too! 

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Time to Reclaim My Inheritance

It seems the Body of Christ is in a very active season right now. There appears to be a push for growth amid a lot of sad and challenging happenings. The wheat is growing and "getting wheatier" (maturing) and the chaff is more and more showing itself for what it is. "Ye shall know them by their fruits..." .

As I spend time with the Lord, I am hearing that it's a time for many of us to prepare, and that if we don't, God won't be able to use us in some of the ways He desires. I have some gifts of the Spirit that need to come back to the forefront again, but I can't bring them forth on my own. I am praying for myself--to be stirred up in my spirit in these areas, and I'm beginning to ask others to pray for me.

Which brings me to an important point--if you have been gifted by God in areas you haven't operated in for years, that doesn't mean the gift is gone--it just needs to be stirred up again. If you don't want it to be stirred up, you may need emotional or physical healing, or both. God is calling us to be willing to come into His plans and purposes in this hour. How will we respond?

Part of what God wants to deal with is disappointment. The Bible tells us that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Many of us have sick hearts and don't want to move on with God because past prayers weren't answered the way we thought they would be or should be.

I'm thinking of a few past prayers of my own right now. I really wanted my son, Joseph Daniel to be healed, but six weeks after birth he went to heaven. I have been devastated about it for years, but in the last few months the Lord put on my heart that I could ask Him for vindication. The Bible says that when the enemy is found out, he must restore seven-fold, and that is what I'm now believing for. I don't fully know what that looks like in my life, but I'm seeing signs... . The same for the daughter I lost... . I also have seen more than enough church splits I prayed to avert that happened anyway. Now I'm in a very good church where I'm really growing....There are other things, as well, and I'm now revisiting them and asking the Lord for what He wants to teach me.

I know it is not God's will for me to have a sick heart because of prayers that seemed to go nowhere. That is the enemy's strategy to render me ineffective/unfruitful. My heavenly Father still has a plan, and He will perform it--with me or without me. But right now He's giving me opportunity to deal with the things that would hinder me. What about you???

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Monday, December 17, 2012

What Word Is God Giving You?

The word I'm getting for this season is, "LISTEN." I am now restored enough to know when I'm hearing His voice, and I know He wants to speak.

After my run-in with a stroke over 4 years ago, it was hard, sometimes nearly impossible to fellowship with my Lord. I was hurt physically (my speech, driving, typing, eating, swallowing, and right side were all affected and are still healing), mentally (my comprehension and retention speed are still being reworked), emotionally (lost my sense of humor, my sense of self and felt totally worthless-getting healed more here too), financially (am still on temporary(?) disability with a very low income) and spiritually (I believe totally in divine healing and divine health--how could this happen? and what am I doing wrong?). 

My biggest obstacle with the Lord was feeling betrayed. I also felt I didn't have faith for healing after the stroke. My blood pressure took a couple years to stabilize, and I would wake up in the middle of the night wondering if I was dying. Fear filled my heart over anything and everything. I didn't know if I'd ever speak intelligibly again, or be able to write blog articles or work on computer in general. I started with 1 or 2-line sentences, staying at that level for over a year. I had no idea if I'd ever drive again. (I do in a limited fashion now and there continue slowly to be little improvements.)
It has taken all this time for my faith to rise. The good news for me and for all of us who are trying to touch the hem of Jesus' garment, is that my God has been working on my behalf even when I felt faithless. If my healing depended on faith actions all along the way, I'd be much less healed now than I am.

Now I'm beginning to rise up, but it truly is God who is at work in me (us) to will and to do of His good pleasure. The healing that's continuing to come is truly of Him and I could not and can not MAKE it happen. Any healing I (or any of us) receive is for His purposes in the earth. So, it isn't, "This should have happened <i>by now</i>, but <i>by faith</i>--first by the faith of Father God, and as we get better, by our  faith echoing His will cause what He wants in our lives to bring more of His will on earth as it is in heaven.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stones of Religion or the Bread of Life?

This article was also written in 1999 - but if anything, it's even more true today. I pray it speaks to your heart.

After training at our local Crisis Pregnancy Center I was turned loose! Yes, I finally became a counselor. Now I began to concentrate on message a bit more than methods. - I learned the methods, but they don't rule. The Holy Spirit rules. He shows me as I seek Him how to use the methods He inspired to minister life.

Now I am able to come up for air and "check out the lay of the land." One thing I have been observing is the background of the clients we serve. Many of them had considerable exposure to church as they grew up. In fact, many of them go to church now on a regular basis - some once a week, some more than that. Also, many of them go to conservative, evangelical churches.

This brings up a question: Why are so many churched young people coming in to see if they are pregnant? - Are they familiar with the concept of sin? Yes. Do they have consciences? Many seem to experience guilt and discomfort when we talk about their Christianity in relationship to their actions in the sexual arena. So what's wrong? Why this great gap between knowledge and action? Something's missing in the "diet" they are getting in these churches.

As I seek the Lord, asking Him what each young person needs, there is one thing that stands out above all others - many of our clients don't see their Lord if they are saved, or the Lord if they aren't, as pertinent to the situation they are in. They have been gnawing on religious stones instead of bread. Few of the churched youth I see view Him as the Bread of Life, that is, their best friend in the war against sin - if anything, they see God as an absentee rule-maker who has left us to flounder around.

In light of that, some think what God desires of us is unrealistic today considering what they are up against. They have the morality right, but they don't have support and a plan in place to enable them to say no. Others feel what God desires of us makes Him their adversary, yet they don't want to admit this because many of them have just enough "religion" to know they'd better not charge God with being unfair, even if they think it. Then again, still others feel the religion they were taught as children does not apply to them now - they have been hurt by life, and feel since God has let them down, well... . These things and more they wouldn't dream of speaking out in the church - that just wouldn't be Christian!

Brothers and sisters, this brings me to another question. Do you know what the young people in your church are feeling about the things they have been taught? It is one thing for an eight year old to agree to the truths of the faith, and it is quite another for our teens to agree and act on what they know.

In the context of the young people you know, let's examine things. For starters, do your young people know why God said not to have sex until they are married? - All I can usually get from my clients is that God said it was wrong. Teens today need to know more than that. They need to understand it is wrong because God has a plan for families. He wants them to be solid - parents loving each other, having their priorities right and their marital foundation secure, and working toward common goals. This will be the best climate in which to raise secure, loved, God-fearing children. God says in Malachi 2:15 (New Living Translation) "Didn't the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. ..."

Today because of the breakdown of society, many of our young people don't understand what you just read. They don't have the foggiest idea of how to make their marital foundation solid. They don't even think of God's "rules" in this light, much less know how to solidify their relationships. They don't understand that for a boyfriend to want sex before marriage shows a fundamental disrespect for God Himself, His institution of marriage and family, and the girl he is with. They don't know that God doesn't want women to be used - and that sex before marriage is using a woman (or a man). They don't know that God's purpose for families is to "raise up godly seed" as King James puts it. They also don't know what real love is. Yes, they know Bible verses about love, but they have little understanding. This is why they often don't understand what "using" someone means. They have been trying to swallow stones instead of the Living Bread.

This lack of understanding I'm running into says to me that we adults have dropped the ball. It is our job to communicate our faith in such a way that our youth can "catch" it. What are these young people missing? They don't understand God's relevance to every part of their lives. Why? Relevance comes from knowing Jesus not just as Savior, but as Lord. Our youth must see our lives as He becomes our best friend. Then we will naturally model to our young people dependence upon Him when we don't know what to do and when we are tempted to sin. They will see us dropping our religious facades and getting real - with God and with ourselves. This in turn will have an impact on their lives, because they will see firsthand how to find the Bread of Life.

You may say, "But we have regular times of training for our youth. We have videos about dating and marital and family relationships by Joshua Harris, Garry Smalley, Dr. James Dobson, and Chuck Swindoll. We try to encourage our youth. Surely what is taught is plain. Are you trying to say that isn't what we should be doing?"

No, I think those things (and others I haven't mentioned) are a good start. However, we as the Body of Christ need to recognize that for our youth to walk in righteousness, holiness, and repentance, we ourselves must be doing no less. Instructional videos aren't enough. Our churches must be filled with interested God-fearing adults who are willing to model lives of humble submission to Jesus' lordship, or all our youth will see is religion.

When they look at us, do our youth see self-sufficiency or broken, humble dependence on God? Do they see us seeking God regarding our priorities or "adding God" to an already full life? Are we more concerned about "doing" or "being?" - If we are "being," we will find our eyes will be more open to the gaps in understanding our young people are experiencing today. If we are "being," we also will find our young people themselves will become more aware of the difference in quality between "religion" and true faith, and they will be more open to input. Then these types of instructional materials can be used with great effect.

Friends, the only way our faith, and that of our youth is going to get practical enough for living in today's world is to ask Jesus to be our Lord in every area of our lives. As we do, He will teach us lessons He wants us to impart to our youth through our speech and our conduct. Remember, not only are we responsible to have faith - we also are responsible to impart it. Are we feeding ourselves and our children stones of religion (Mt7:7-11, Lk11:9-13) or the true bread of life? - It's a choice for which we will be held accountable.

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

That question rings down through the ages, ever since God asked Cain the whereabouts of his brother Abel (Gen 4:9). Cain's response to God's confrontation and subsequent punishment also echoes down through the ages. What was his response? Gen 4:14 says he was still concerned about self.

As we walk the corridors of time, we see God continuing to take issue with Cain's defiant question which was never fully settled on man's side. In fact, God was so concerned about this that when His Son Jesus came to earth, He addressed it:

Matt 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)

God further spoke through Paul: Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (KJV)

Looking at the world today as Christians we must ask and answer that same question. If we are to be in obedience to our Lord, we will answer in the affirmative - Yes, Lord, we are our brother's keeper. What our brothers and sisters in Christ do and are going through is to some extent our business.

I have heard it said recently that some churches believe that we are to take care of our own and let other families take care of their own. The feeling is that we are butting in if we are concerned for others. While it is true that the Bible says we are not to be busy bodies or gossips, it also says (in Gal 6:1-2), Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (KJV)

In view of this charge and the fact that the Lord says we are to love our neighbor and to do good as we have opportunity especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal 6:10), what we need to be asking ourselves and more importantly God is, "How are we to do this without becoming gossips and busy bodies?"

The beginning of the answer is to realize who we are not. We are not Christian thought police, or our brothers' and sisters' saviors, consciences, or Holy Spirit. We do not have all the answers for them. Some Christians who believe we are our brother's keeper come at it from the wrong angle and end up hurting their brothers and sisters in Christ. This can give care and concern a bad rap.

Next we must realize who we are. We are blood-bought believers who are redeemed from sin. We are those who die daily to sin and selfishness. We are standing on the ground bought by our Lord Jesus Christ, and we are now His bondslaves. We stand carefully, taking heed lest we fall. Keeping all this in mind, we look around us prayerfully, asking our Lord whom we are to "consider to provoke unto love and good works" (Heb 10:24). Once we hear of those whom we should be involved with, we must ask the Lord what, how and when He wants us to do for them.

As we ask, God shows us what He wants to do for them through us. Often it first means lending a listening ear. It can mean building a relationship and praying. It can mean giving of our finances, time, talents... . Eventually it means earning the right to be heard through our compassion. This is where the Scripture comes in: Prov 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (KJV)

Friends, there are so many troubles both in the world and the church today, that if we are about the business of our Lord, we will not be islands unto ourselves. We will become involved. We will, however, become involved as servants of Christ rather than as people who know the answers. We will be humble, meek, and compassionate. We will share as we've received (which also means if we've not received from the Lord, we have nothing to give others): 2 Cor 1:3-4 Blessed be God... 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (KJV)

Make no mistake about it. - This kind of compassion will take us into sticky situations, but it will be worth it. God can use us to push back evil as we share His light. The world today still asks with a negative twist, "Am I my brother's keeper?" As God's people answer a loving, resounding "Yes!" and listen to God for ways to implement that answer, the world and the church will have evidence that there is a God who cares.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Teenager's Voice...

I was looking through my old web page, and found this—think it fits as well in today’s landscape as it did in 1999 and bears repeating. Our nation isn’t any less violent than it was then, and throwing God and His values out caused our morals to become subjective. Many of our teenagers know this is true. This article is about that, but it is also about those young people God wants to use in this day. Are you one of them? How does God want to use you? After reading this, please let me know under Great Ideas below. Every adult reading this can use the encouragement

“I found this passed to me on my email. It was an excellent article that came with an internet-ready copy attached, so I assume its author, Sarah Roney, doesn't mind if I edit and use it. I don't know her personally to ask her, but I believe she would be happy to see the message go out far and wide. I hope, pray and believe there are many more teens like her who have the courage to prayerfully think, then speak. In case you ever see this, Sarah, I respect and appreciate you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I pray they go into people's hearts. It is young people such as yourself whom God delights in using in this disobedient, hurting, broken world. - Barb Irwin 05-17-99”

A Teenager's Voice from Inside the Culture of Death

On April 20, 1999, there was yet another gruesome shooting in Littleton, Colorado. Kids killing kids. And again, the entire nation in its uproar is trying to figure out why.

I am eighteen years old. I live in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, just like the ones where these horrifying shootings always seem to take place. Every time those stories come on the television, I can't help but notice how easily it could be my small town next. And I want to know why this is happening just as badly as any parent or police chief or anchorman.

The thing is… I am in the same age group as all of these high school kids. So I may have some insight… .

The night of the Littleton shooting, I heard something that struck a chord in me. An anchorman asked the mother of a victim in the Jonesboro shooting, "If you look at America in the 1950's, you will find that this kind of thing never happened; whereas if you look at America today, this kind of thing is becoming more and more frequent. Why do you think this is happening?"

The woman, of course, could not answer the question. In fact, she didn't really even try. But I did. I thought about it for a long time that night. And again the next morning, when my favorite morning radio talk show asked its listeners why they thought this has been happening. Many people said it's the parents of the kids. Many people suggested television and video games and popular musicians, looking to put the blame somewhere.

But I will tell you what I, a regular teenager riding on the coattails of Generation X, think it is. It is not the parents or the movies or the rock stars. It is AMERICA. It is this culture of death, this culture in which liberals and feminists and activists are so anxious to let anything be "OK" that the once tightened, knotted rope of society is unraveling right beneath us.

Don't you see? There can be no order without discipline. All of those things people think are causing children to run into a school and shoot their teachers and peers and even kids they don't know - the movies, the video games, the parents, the rap artists - they are only REFLECTIONS of our society. Society breaks down, from one big metaphoric "family" into 50 metaphoric "families" and so on and so on, until you have the actual FAMILY, the one with the parents and the kids and the dog. It is not one thing or two things; it is the attitude of an entire "familiar" nation being reflected back at us in the kids.

Just as that anchorman suggested, something was different about the 1950's. WE WERE CONSERVATIVE. We had boundaries; we had a definite knowledge of right and wrong throughout the entire nation. We didn't have feminists pushing women so hard to go get a job that a woman who didn't have a job was somehow "bad," thereby leaving kids at home with inadequate parental guidance and often times with parents who were truly unhappy. We didn't have liberals fighting so avidly to legalize everything that it was at the point of completely blurring the line between good and bad. We didn't have a nationwide media surge dedicated to sex and violence so intense that if you weren't playing killing video games at age 14, then you were trying to choose between contraceptives beforehand or abortion afterwards. We didn't have disputes over whether or not we should help someone who is dying die sooner, over whether or not we should ASSIST them in committing SUICIDE. And we certainly didn't have a President who was in favor of NATO bombing and killing children in Serbia come on the television to grieve the loss for the families of children killed in America.

We live in a loosely tied society, a culture dedicated to death. If you don't want the kid, kill it. If you don't want to live out the rest of your God-given days, kill yourself. Or better yet, have someone else come help you do it. I guess, no matter how horrible or gruesome or gut-wrenching it may be, it was just a matter of time before someone got that "killing-as-a-means-to-an-end" idea stuck in their head for the part between birth and death as well. Everything that happens in families and cities and states and countries is the mirror image of the big picture.

We are falling apart as a society. Am I, some random normal teenager in Farmertown, U.S.A., the only one who sees that? It's sad and it's hard to believe, but what's worse is that it's scary.

I think it's time for our-America's-Mom and Dad to ground us-to say, "If you don't shape up by the time I count to three..." And then really count to three. Because we are running wild and pretty soon we're going to be too far from home to ever get back. [Barb here—I will add that it is every person’s responsibility to embrace God’s values and influence others in that direction to become a culture of honor and respect again.]

There was once a great saying by a famous man that has rung true throughout the history of mankind - in every family and in every society and in every social group and in every religion - it was a frighteningly true statement that cannot be disputed. I am reminded of it now, in the wake of yet another indescribably tormenting result of a nation gone haywire...

"By their fruits you shall know them."

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Effectively Effecting Change

Well, the election is over. Time for business as usual again? Not really. We cannot just look to our leaders to change our country. Each of us has a part as well, and that means more than voting, though I believe that is often part of the picture.

I last wrote about how God wants us to do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God, according to Micah 6:8. Most of us as humans weigh in too heavily on the "do justly" or the "love mercy" side of things. I don't think any of us, in fact, has the proper balance. That is why we need to "walk humbly with our God." If we don't we will miss it every time, for only He knows how and when to apply what He says in individual situations.

When I fall too heavily on justice, I have a lot of legalism and become a "pharisee" or control freak, wanting people to do what I say--rather than what I do, because I don't perform perfectly. I like to forget about that, however. On the other hand, when I weigh in too heavily on the side of mercy I can forget that going against a holy God has serious consequences in my relationships with people and even more, with God.

This is where I can greatly simplify things. God has said I can talk with Him every time, asking His guidance. He alone knows people's motivations, what's in their (and our) hearts, and He alone knows how we should conduct ourselves in any situation. He knows when we should speak, how we should speak, and what we should speak. At least as importantly, He also knows when we should remain still and in prayer.

If we will determine in our hearts to walk humbly with our God He will teach us many things. His ways and thoughts are so much better than ours. He will first teach us to listen. But what about when we have speaking gifts, you ask? Can't we use those? Only under the Lord's direction will they be beneficial. Just because I know something doesn't mean I should share it. I always need to be in direct contact with my Lord to be effective. And as I'm led by Him, even silences will be fruitful.

As more of us begin to walk in this way more often, we will see more change in ourselves, in our relationships and in our nation. Are we humble enough to acknowledge our need for help? 

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Sunday, November 04, 2012

America 2012--Where are We Going?

I’ve been thinking about the upcoming election…and wondering why I am so uncomfortable on all levels. I just turned off the morning news after hearing the ad about what Richard Mourdock said about rape and abortion for the umpteenth time. That ad really upsets me, because I know he didn’t mean that rape is a gift of God, but that life is. I also believe that the ‘misunderstanding’ is being played up for gain, if possible.

I agree with Richard that life is a blessing and needs to be cherished as God’s gift however it came about. Children born out of sin are as loved by God as anyone else, and it grieves Him for them to be aborted. That story, along with a lot of others, needs to be told and grappled with in our society today. That is not why I’m uncomfortable, though.

As I keep thinking and meditating on these things, I think what makes me uncomfortable is the realization that we need more than just people with correct moral principles in office today. Some of the most dangerous people are ‘pharisees’—those who are morally right, but have wrong application of those principles.

I don’t know about Richard Mourdock—I only know the few things I see. But I’m considering the election as a whole—and frankly, I’m scared. I think it’s also because I’ve been reading The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. I knew the ground had shifted in some permanent way when we had the terrorist attack on 9/11/01, and that book is explaining it to me.

One thing of many I am being reminded of from that book is that America will not get right with God just through correct principles. Without relationship with Him those correct principles will be applied wrongly. That lesson is driven home in the Bible many times, and the story in John 8:3-11 is a good example of this potential for wrong application, and how relationship with God, as opposed to just correct doctrine made it work out right:

John 8:3-11  As he [Jesus] was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. 4 "Teacher," they said to Jesus, "this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?" 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!" 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" 11 "No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more." NLT

The Bible says we need correct doctrine or principles. But we also need to hear how to apply them in a life-giving way. What did Micah in the Bible say God wanted of us? Mic 6:8  But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women.
It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don't take yourself too seriously — take God seriously.  The MESSAGE

That’s what I’m looking for in leaders—is that what we will get? I’m praying to that end…

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