Friday, April 26, 2013

Solid Foundation

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Since God’s love is the bedrock from which we build our foundation, we need to look at what is true about God’s love. We need to stare into the darkness that begins to grow in our hearts and search out what is true versus and what we’ve believed that is not true. It’s one of the hardest things we can do, because seriously, we believe what we believe because we’ve already weighed it and reckoned it as true.

We may add faulty rock to our foundation when we incorrectly weigh the ingredients. Perhaps a lie has been justified because we were wronged and we overcompensated for a thought we wanted to believe, to somehow ease the pain we’ve suffered.

If, for example, in high school, my boyfriend cheated on me, I may overcompensate in the part of my heart that was broken, by assessing the ‘fact’ that all guys cheat and reckoning it to be true, thus easing my own burden of heartache. I might justify his betrayal by asserting that it had nothing to do with me, or our relationship, it’s just something guys do. Or I might hide behind the ‘fact’ that all young women go through this. By doing this, I’m laying foundation in my heart that sets me up for future heartbreak and faulty baselines for relationships that have nothing to do with this guy. 

The truth is, all guys don’t cheat. So, I’ve lowered my expectations and may now settle for the kind of guys that do, because I allowed myself to believe this lie in order to protect my heart.

Does this make sense?

It’s normal to discover a protective mode early in life, and in it we set boundaries that are based on lies. As we continue to experience life in an imperfect world, we add to our foundation based on how we interpret what we’ve experienced, no matter how faulty that interpretation is.

So how do we discover what is true? Some might say that what is true for me is not necessarily true for you. That’s like me insisting that as time goes on, the world becomes blurrier. The world is a place of concise lines and beautiful detail – for everyone that doesn’t need glasses.  Since I wear glasses to see that precision, it’s a fallacy for me to assert that now the world is blurry for everyone. To remedy this situation, I simply put on my glasses.

When it comes to matters of the heart, we see through distortion. The lens we need to see truth is God’s Word. When we read the Bible daily, whether we understand it all or not, our everyday life begins to clarify, just like my world comes into focus when I put on my glasses. Then, and only then, can we build on a secure foundation, a foundation of Truth.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” ~ John 14:6 (KJV)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Crumbling Rock

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“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 (NIV)

One among the ten verses I pull up when searching for “love your neighbor” in the Bible (NIV).  

Of course, those aren’t the only scriptures that instruct us to love each other, there are many. 

Mark 12:30-31 tell us to: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

This is God’s Word for us. If we have not love, we have nothing. If we say we loveGod but hate our brother, we make ourselves liars.  

Our entire foundation is on shifting sand if we cannot love our neighbors. If once we believed we could, but now find ourselves hating someone, our foundation is broken and our entire world will fall apart without serious repair. Once we’ve given ourselves permission to hate, our foundation is really no foundation at all, merely crumbling rock, good for nothing.

As Christians, our foundation is Jesus Christ – The Rock, the only true foundation. He is the source we are to be found in; we are in Him and He lives through us – from inside of us!

God is love, He doesn’t just have love or do love; He is love. The song from First John 4:7-8 claims my mind, we have to go to the KJV for this: 

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

The crack in our foundation that will crumble our world, is hatred. It’s a strong word, but like water seeps into rock, freezes, swells and produces fissures that become enormous cracks… hatred destroys our foundation, which brings down our house.

Ponder this, who among us do I not love, and why?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Where's The Trouble?

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On Sunday, Pastor Mark made some great points, again. He always gets me pondering.

He gave an interesting illustration of the idea that “it looks like a sheet rock problem until you see the problems with the foundation”. We can repair the cracks in our walls repeatedly, and we’ll have to, if we don’t take the time to look at and assess the damage to our foundation, and work to correct that.

In the famous love chapter of First Corinthians, Paul tells us that no matter what we have, if we don’t have love, we have nothing; no matter what we do, if we don’t do it in love, it’s in vain.  (Click here for a great song that puts it beautifully: The Proof of Your Love.)

If the foundation of who we are and what we do isn’t rooted in love, we’re not representing Christ at all. If the walls around us always seem to be in need of repair, if cracks consistently reappear, the problem isn’t the sheet rock, it’s in the foundation.

What happened to the foundation? Life can be hard. Hardship can shift or break-down our foundation if we’ve not been guarding it. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’ve let our guard down, or were never taught to put it up in the first place.

Our guard isn’t to keep others distanced from our hearts, not at all. God instructs us to love our neighbor as ourselves (in ten different verses in the Bible). But, if we no longer love ourselves, how can we effectively love others?   

The guard posted at a military base gate doesn’t just keep people out, but is charged with keeping the wrong people out, while allowing the right ones in. He can identify the right people, because they’ll give him their I.D. card granting them access.

However, in the journey of life, we don’t have I.D. cards, per se, to display for each other. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us in relationships, to warn us of impending danger, to help us stand guard over our hearts, where our foundation is hidden.

Yes, Christians sustain damage to their foundations as well as non-believers; trusting ourselves before consulting with our Father.

And yet, with God, there is no damage beyond repair. He created our hearts. He’s jealous of our hearts and to whom we give them; yearning to protect us. Still, He  allows us to choose for ourselves how we conduct our lives and when, where and to whom we hand over our hearts.

Don’t beat yourself up for damage done to your foundation. We can’t live in the past or it’s sorrows. We can, however, rebuild – with the Master Carpenter.

The next blog post I’ll share will look at how we do that rebuilding!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hanging on to Hope

What happens to hope when we let it go?

When I’ve hoped for something and I begin to see tell-tale signs that what I’m hoping for just isn’t going to happen, I admit, I sometimes let go.

Did I not want it badly enough? Or did letting go of hope result in the weakening of my faith to the point that I could no longer call it faith, therefore I stopped believing I’d receive?

Remember, Jesus said, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” – Mark 11:24 (NKJV)

Perhaps like in so many children’s stories brought to life before our eyes on the big screen, in surround sound and Technicolor, we just need to hang on a minute more.

The magic comes when it looks like the hero can’t hold out any longer, in the breathtaking, intensified moment that occurs just after the hero is emptied of himself, when defeat is upon him, and the sparkle of life in his soul looks like it’s extinguished.

But, as if hope itself has a hold on the hero – the light deep down inside of him that gave him hope in the first place is rekindled; now comes the breakthrough!

Some things we’ve hoped and believed for didn’t happen. Life’s events didn’t have the outcome we anticipated. Could it have gone the way we so wished it would if we’d have hung in there one minute more? We can’t relive it to find out.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

The things we’re hoping for are made of a substance we can’t tangibly hold in our hands, but a real substance nonetheless, called faith; not mere plastic or cloth or stone or wood – but faith. Is faith an imaginary substance? No, but it’s not something we see with our eyes. There’s plenty we can’t see, and it’s all as real as anything we can.

“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” – Hebrews 11:3 (NRSV)

What we see around us didn’t come “from nothingness” – but what it was created from is hidden from our carnal eyes.

So by faith, we can cling to hope.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Who Knew There's an Obedience Plant?

Obedience Plant photo from

Obedience won’t always be met with satisfaction or approval from all around us, nor even those our obedience involves.


Sometimes the only place it’s confirmed is in our heart.


Sometimes no one else even notices.


Sometimes others are angered or puzzled by our actions.


Whether it looks to us like a huge act of obedience, a demanding sacrifice or a simple word to a stranger, being obedient doesn’t have to be hard. But, there’s nothing that says it will be easy, either.


It can be a delightful thing, like buying a cup of coffee for a stranger, in Jesus’ Name.


It can be giving up something we want so badly that we’ve worked for it and earned it by the sweat of our brow, or scrambling to win a contest where the prize is phenomenal, only to hear that still small voice prompt you to let the second place person beat you. Or giving your coat to a homeless person, even when it’s your favorite coat…


It might be an act we consider embarrassing in some way or that takes us out of our comfort zone, perhaps like striking up a conversation with a stranger that doesn’t “look” like someone we’d normally talk to. I’m pretty safe with that one, because I’ll talk to anyone about just anything. But there are still times it feels uncomfortable when I feel God’s Spirit nudge me to bring Him up in the conversation. Don’t ask me why, I’ve asked myself that question hundreds of times; fear of rejection (they’re not rejecting me, though, they’re rejecting Him!) or not feeling prepared for a question they might ask….


Every year at our church on Easter Sunday, we celebrate God giving His best, His Son, with us giving our best offering; our Resurrection Seed. This time, it was more of an act of obedience for my husband and I than ever before, because our “best” offering, was not our biggest offering. Pride wants us to give more each year. But, obedience demands that we do what God shows us to do. Our pastor rehearses it in our ears repeatedly, to seek God for the seed. This year our offering was pitifully small, and an odd amount. We are capable of giving so much more to this offering. But what better seed to sow than that of obedience?


It felt terrific, once it left our hands. Up till that moment, however, it felt terribly awkward. Now it feels as though we’re walking in a paradigm shift of some sort.


“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 2 Samuel 15:22 (KJV)


Obedience Plant photo from