- Is there an answer . . .
- Looking Outside . . . Standing Inside
- Politics of Sweet Tea – hypothetically speaking
- Politics of Sweet Tea – 2022
- Pandemic – Hard Questions
- Thanksgiving thought – 2021
- Connected by Humanity . . .
- Storms, Rainbows, and Light
- Me, God, a dot in the Universe
- Undermining Trust in God–Pride of Mankind
Just one question . . .
IF I had to go out into that scene to perform
some task or do some work or to travel to
some place, would I still feel peaceful?
OR would I be concerned about the slippery
ground and the coating of ice on all those
surfaces? I had not thought about that!
Looking outside while standing inside makes
me feel peaceful because I only have to look
at the scene, not deal with the consequences
of a winter storm “dump” of ice and sleet.
SO is life the same way?
Can I look at some “scene” and
while those having to deal with it
are not peaceful?
DO I stand inside my safe place and criticize
others for not being peaceful as they face
the consequences of some “dump” of
circumstances that do not concern me
because I am still standing inside my safe
place just “looking” and judging?
DO I need to think about the world outside
my safe place, about those who live outside
my safe place and what they face outside
my safe place?
I am not sure I like where this might lead me
. . . outside my safe place
. . . still a peaceful scene – outside?
• how I see
• what I see
• why I see
Perhaps I need to take a deeper look
at my perspective . . .
inside AND outside
Think about this . . .
IF I own a sports arena and I love SWEET TEA,
so I sell it to people who come there to watch
the competitions AND,
because I sell so much, the vendor gives me
a break on the price for the product meaning
I can sell it for less than others around me.
Then, a friend of mine is diagnosed with
diabetes and starts having to watch his sugar
intake. He can’t buy my SWEET TEA and that
leaves him with no other options, but he has
adjusted to drinking UNsweet tea and asks
me if I would consider stocking it so he could
drink some tea when he came to the arena.
Well, I want to help my friend, so I start selling
both SWEET TEA and UNsweet tea.
Then, I get acquainted with a man who
comes to the arena a lot and I notice he is not
drinking anything while he is there and some
of those days were very hot, so I asked him
about that and he said he belongs to a group
who believe it is sinful to drink tea of any kind
because they think it harms the body.
Well, I had never heard of that, so I gave it
some thought and decided to ask him what
he could drink and I would add that to
Things were really going along fine and
everybody was able to enjoy drinking
something during their visits to the arena . . .
but, then someone came to me and said,
“What are you doing wasting your money
carrying all these drinks besides SWEET
TEA? You know it is the most popular with
the most folks and you don’t have to carry
those other drinks—
it’s a waste of your money.”
So, I thought about it and he was right, but
there were other things to consider, like my
friend who had to restrict his sugar and my
friend who had a religious conviction against
tea, so I answered my objecting friend by
explaining about being considerate of others
and his response was quick:
“So, are you going to let others
tell you what to do?
Are you going to waste your money for just
a few people who probably don’t even spend
that much with you?
Do what YOU like—SWEET TEA and
forget all that other stuff!”
The thought popped into my head . . .
what if there was NO SWEET TEA?
What if there were ONLY the other drinks and
I couldn’t enjoy my SWEET TEA???
No, there was really nothing to consider.
If I wanted to enjoy my SWEET TEA,
I should be willing to let others enjoy
what they could drink.
I didn’t have to drink what they were drinking,
I could drink my SWEET TEA . . .
and that seemed fair to me!
Ah, the politics of SWEET TEA!
I live in the United States of America
in a Southern state and I drink SWEET TEA
and I really enjoy it—it’s the only way to drink tea!
Now I know that there are people out there
who drink their tea unsweetened and
there are even some who don’t
drink tea at all—how sad!
So consider this . . . SWEET TEA supports
the job market in many areas like sugar
cane fields and the companies that process
the sugar and the vendors who sell it and the
ones who put it on the shelves in the stores—
I feel really good about drinking SWEET TEA—
it’s the right thing to do!
Of course, then there are those who drink
their tea unsweetened, just plain tea, and I
guess they could say they support the
tea plantations, the companies that process
the tea, the vendors who sell it, and
the ones who put it on the shelves in
the stores—yeah, that’s okay, I guess.
Then there are people who do not drink tea
at all! Maybe they don’t care for the taste,
maybe they have some sort of health issue
that prevents them from drinking tea, or
a religious belief that prohibits drinking tea,
or some other reason, but they just
don’t drink tea in any form—that’s a bummer!
That’s why living in the United States of
America has always been different than
other countries . . .
the idea that each person should have
the right to choose to drink SWEET TEA
or unsweetened tea
or no tea at all is a part of the
basic “freedom” package.
SO . . . come on, folks . . .
allowing each of us to choose
how we drink our tea—SWEET TEA
or unsweetened tea,
or not at all—
is what shows that we are willing to
allow others to have the same freedom
we want for ourselves.
I cannot demand a right for myself
that I am not willing to give to another.
Of course, trying to apply this concept
to other subjects has proven to be
almost impossible because of the
intensity of emotions involved.
Why can we not seem to be able
to discuss issues with each other
with a willingness to listen to
the other person’s views
without flying into
angry defense mode” AND
how did we reach the point of
having to make all others
conform to our view of anything
while we do not even consider their
view or ridicule it?
SO much chaos in the world all around me . . .
SO many hate-filled, insulting words spoken and written . . .
SO many others I thought I knew who have shocked me
not reflecting any care for anyone else . . .
WHAT is the answer . . . how I can respond in a way that takes me to the “higher road”
so I do not become
just like those I find myself resenting and fearing?
The pandemic has turned out to be not just a health issue
physically — but also a “heart condition” issue revealing
much about us as we see how we as people could be so
easily divided into “us against them” and display such deep
anger and rebellion against often unnamed foes while
believing all sorts of “stories” that seem to be created to
earn money and gain power over the “groups” and tribes
we have joined driven by their manipulation of fear . . .
all it seems to take is a YouTube video to be considered
“valid” especially if it presents some threat or identifies someone
or some group as “evil” . . .
SO, I thought about my friends and family members
who have been deceived
and asked myself some questions . . .
What if these people, just like me,
are struggling to be where they are
at the moment?
What if, just like God showed me
in my own life,
is the only thing that can bring them
to a point of healing and growing
in their relationship with God?
What if, just like me, their attitudes
are a defense against pains and wounds
either being perceived by them
now or past hurts?
What if their hearts are filled with fear
I cannot understand because I am
not where they are?
What if I stop looking at them
as the “enemy” and start
looking at them as
“just like me” but with
different experiences on
their path of life and, therefore,
different areas of strength and
What if God looks at them with
His eyes of Love,
drawing them to Him through
the experiences He allows,
just like me?
What if, just like me,
they don’t see beyond the moment or
control their fleshly responses to
what happens in life?
What if, just like me,
they resent those who
seem to stand between them
and what they think
they should be doing?
What if . . .
they are just like me???
Heart thoughts today—
and God said:
“let there be light”
and there was light . . .
What if God is still saying
“let there be light”
God is saying
“MY Grace is sufficient”
to all of us . . .
Such a blessing during this time of the year
to read all the thoughts people write
about what they are thankful for and
how it really is rooted in forgiveness,
the gift GOD has given us—
I can’t be thankful if I feel the weight of my imperfections
and focus on my inability to get it all “right”
(impossible for me, of course)
which is why God through the ages has found
many ways to show us
He Loves us, picks us up, dusts us off and
wants relationship with His Creation—with us . . . with me!
When my heart is opened to the value of what I really have,
I am filled with thanks—thank-FULL—and
accepting God’s forgiveness is the ultimate way
to open my heart and put things in perspective!!!
Forgiveness means to GIVE freedom to the captive
(that includes me),
to release all that blocks my heart from
accepting the gifts of others including God Himself.
Thanksgiving is my focus in the Fall of the year,
when the leaves are changing colors and
it seems most plants/animals are going into hibernation
to await Spring when life renews and
the colors of life flow into all things living.
SO—maybe thanks flows more when Fall makes me think
about the transition from life to death and
the promise of life’s cycle of renewal seems obvious
in all of nature . . . and in my heart—
and “thankFULLness” and “forGIVEness”
flow out into THANKSgiving
when I remember the Truth of whose I am
that draws me to be who I am and
my heart overflows with THANKSGIVING IN EVERY DAY!
(not always FOR everything, but IN every day and
that gives me HOPE for tomorrow . . .
a heart filled with thanks for an awesome GOD!)
CONNECTED BY OUR HUMANITY . . .
we don’t understand our differences
instead of trying to figure it out,
we need to just LISTEN
to each other RESPECTFULLY
why we feel the way we do
if I can tell you what I
and you can listen
acknowledge my fear
as being real for me . . .
we can work together
to face the challenges—
those unseen demons
that drive our fears
and seem to put us
on different sides
if I can accept that
you are person
with needs just like me
and everybody else
and not some evil being
out to destroy me,
then we can talk . . .
we can open our HEARTS again
to life for all human beings
and close our MINDS to the
words and thoughts
that divide to gain power
if I can hold onto
HOPE in our destiny of life
and see the basic needs
of food and shelter for all
as a part of “we the people”
our country was built on
and a union created . . .
we can open up a way
to the best path
that explores all our fears
and works on building
connected by our humanity
perhaps . . .
In the midst of storms in my life,
I often choose to sit down and give up!
Storms can be overwhelming and,
when I cannot see anything but
the dark clouds all around me,
I climb into that dark pit of despair and
mix my tears with the heavy rain falling everywhere . . .
God has made promises and
I can look back in my life and
see times when I have come
through other storms and I REMEMBER—
God put a rainbow in the sky
to confirm the Covenant,
the promise made to mankind t
hat no storm would destroy all life on earth again . . .
and one day, after a really strong storm,
I saw the rainbow in the sky and then,
as I watched the rainbow fade away,
an amazing display of glorious light
came into that same sky and I THOUGHT—
The rainbow confirmed God’s promise and
the “glorious light” confirmed God’s presence
through the storm and after the storm . . .
my heart was filled with an assurance that God
was showing me a “cycle” that I could trust
in my own life: the storm, the rainbow, the light . . .
when storms are what I see and
fear fills my heart and mind, I KNOW—
• the storm
(I can see that!)
• the rainbow
(I can trust the promises of God) and
• the light and
(I can know God will never leave me)
SO, the cycle confirming
God’s Word and
continues in my life . . . SO I—
look to God and believe . . .
Wait on the Lord:
be of good courage, and
he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.
it’s all about GOD . . .
our amazing GOD!
back BEFORE the “basic” questions
I have asked, I have come to realize
that there is a question I need to ask
and answer before those “basic”
the foundation of what I need to know:
does GOD see me and hear me?
The universe that man knows exists
is SO vast, so beyond all imagination . . .
and there is SO much more that we
do not know exists—
does the Creator of all this immense,
evidence of an inexplicable life force
flowing through more than science
can explain, more than mankind
DOES this Creator,
CAN this Creator have interest in this
one miniscule container of the common
life force put in place throughout a
universe so vast outside time and space . . .
To equate the Creator with a parent,
I can grasp how I can love the child I
“produced” no matter how many millions
of other children are in the world,
BUT what if I had billions of children
crying out for my attention . . . it is
beyond my ability to comprehend and,
SO, I ask the questions
and I wait in uncomfortable silence
for the answer I need deep within . . .
GOD, do you see me?
GOD, do you hear me?
GOD . . . dare I ask it . . .
do you love ME?
and my heart “hears”
a gentle whisper,
“yes, my child,
I love you . . .”
and, for a moment, I feel the
life flowing through my heart
and I know . . .
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity—
According to Christian teachers,
the essential vice, the utmost evil,
Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and
all that, are mere flea bites in comparison:
it was through Pride that the devil became
the devil: Pride leads to every other vice:
it is the complete anti-God state of mind…
So where is the wise philosopher
Where is the expert scholar
And where is the skilled debater
of our time
who could win a debate with God?
Hasn’t God demonstrated that
the wisdom of this world system
is utter foolishness?
(based on 1 Corinthians 1:20)
Recently confronted with a video by a self-proclaimed “scholar”
who used Aristotelian logic to “explain” GOD and God’s motives
putting forth his conclusion that basically made God like humans
(can you believe it?)—I was very disturbed by the potential impact
of this man’s conclusions as his claim questioned the very nature
of GOD while claiming he was “explaining” God and “evil.”
He assigned motives to God of unbelievable self-centeredness.
My discomfort in listening to this man was that his conclusions
would undermine my trust in GOD – why would I trust someone
who, like me, has a human nature and not as GOD is described
in Exodus 34:6—much like the powers of darkness in the
story of the garden of Eden, this man displayed remarkable
arrogance and PRIDE in his claim of a “knowledge” of God
so he could “explain” to the world the motives of GOD . . .
as if any man could? My heart breaks because he is a good
speaker and could convince a lot of people by his oratory skills.
HOW, I ask, can any man presume to tell me that GOD is not
“merciful and compassionate, slow to anger,
rich in grace and truth”
BUT tell me that GOD is motivated the the very human
characteristic of creating forces the HARM people
just SO there will be more “glory” for GOD!
NO! God is not like humans and God does not
misuse power for personal glory!
This is what happens when humans try to explain
what humans cannot understand.
GOD dealt with Job’s accusations against God because
of what had happened to him by giving Job a sample of
questions that were beyond the ability of man to answer . . .
The wisdom of God makes man’s “wisdom” foolishness.
I fear that this man’s arrogance would make him think he could answer God’s queries
for he would not, I fear, be able to say “I don’t know” to any questions posed to him, even by GOD–that’s PRIDE, that’s arrogance. Stand toe to toe with GOD???
Amazingly, this man used really good marketing skills
in that he ended his disturbing diatribe by referencing
Job’s interactions with God and saying in closing:
“let God be God” which makes it sound like his
conclusions were “good,” just like the deceiving spirit
did in the garden of Eden. BUT, no one can “explain” GOD,
we can only share opinions and ideas about our experiences.
MY GOD is merciful and compassionate,
slow to anger, and rich in Grace and Truth
and NO MAN will convince me of the truth of
anything that undermines that understanding
or makes me question God’s motives which
I cannot always understand or explain, BUT
I TRUST GOD and GOD’s motives are ALWAYS
for my good (Romans 8:28 And we know that
God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are called
according to His purpose.)
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who change darkness into light
and light into darkness,
who change bitter into sweet
and sweet into bitter!
Woe to those seeing themselves as wise,
esteeming themselves as clever.
(Isaiah 5:20-21 Complete Jewish Bible)
It is SO important to be careful what we listen to and be sure we are not
being drawn in by an “expert” claiming to be able to explain GOD!
Prayer and Scripture should be our
primary diet . . . 2 Corinthians 10:3-5