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Whose plan are you following?

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A few weeks ago I hosted my annual end-of-the-year Sunday School Class Party.  After spending many hours and lots of $$$ preparing for the party, things did not go as planned.

 

1.  Had Ginny (The Mother-in-law, but I knew this one).

2.  Wednesday before the Friday night party, I get a text from my son saying he and his entire family were coming for the weekend and arriving Friday afternoon.  That’s 2 adults and 4 grandkids added to the mix.

3.  Drama.  I don’t know what happened yet, but some kind of drama happened in youth group [I know that surprises all who know youth] on Wednesday and half the group did not show as a result.

4.  Some of the ones that did show did not want to participate in planned activities.  Grandchildren wanted to participate in ALL the activities.

5.  Isn’t that enough?

You know what?  Life is that way sometimes.  No matter what we plan, God is in control of what happens.  He knew all about what would happen at the party.  He is in charge of any results from the party.  I did my part by planning, God will do His part in the hearts of the students and others attending.

 

Best laid plans. . .

Most of us like to have a plan in place.  Plans help us feel ‘in control’ of our lives.  They do, that is, until things go awry.  I know some people who freak out when they have their plans usurped.   I know others who make no plans to avoid disappointment.  God doesn’t mind us making our plans, as long as we don’t leave Him out of the loop or raise a fuss when He has other ideas.

 

Trusting His plan gives life balance

His Plan.

Fortunately, God has a plan.  These are some things we can know about His plans.

 

►His plans never fail.

“…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46:9-10

 

►His plans include my good.

“11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

►No matter who governs me or my country, God is my ultimate ruler.

“For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations” Psalm 22:28

Knowing the above, I feel safe, even when my plans go awry.  I trust that God had a purpose in it all, and that He will carry that purpose out, whether I am aware of it or not.  I think we need a reminder of this, especially as those in the USA face the upcoming election.  No one can get in office unless God allows it for His reasons.  This helps me to know that:

 

►A person cannot cheat his/her way in.

►It’s not the end of the world if my candidate is not selected.  It is in God’s plan, and the end of the world will be when He declares it.

►I don’t have to be swayed by circumstances.  I know who has me in His hands regardless of the circumstances.  I know Him.  I trust Him.  That determines my attitudes and actions, not circumstances.

 

I hope as the world seems to have turned upside down, you will place your trust in the only place where it is safe.  Then I hope you will join me in determining to rise above the fray and bring a breath of fresh air into a sticky situation.  My hope is in God, not Obama or Romney.

 

How about you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

 

 

Truth: It does a body good!

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truth

truth (Photo credit: Erick-Pardus)

Communication, the premise of this blog, cannot happen when based on a lie.  How can you have any sort of real communication when one (or both) parties approach it with a lie?  In other words, one or more person hides the truth and the real meaning behind the attempted communication.  Sadly, the person embracing deceit often has no clue they have done so.  They believe the lie to be the truth.  In the current political maelstrom in the US, both sides have believed lies and called them truth.  Thus, the breakdown of any real communication between parties (or even individuals) regarding politics religion  economics parenting pretty much everything.

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Malachi 2:17

You have wearied the LORD with your words.  Yet you say,  “How have we wearied Him?”  In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?”

In reading this passage this morning, my first thought was my country and it’s trajectory toward destruction.  Everywhere I look, I see people saying that “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them.”   Evil is not good in the sight of the Lord!  And yet, my country (and many others) have called evil good.  These are some phrases I’ve heard that show this:  {Some are direct quotes and some are put together from several statements and implications}

~*~

“God is a God of love, and He just wants people to be happy.”

“A woman has the right to choose what happens in her body.”

“It’s my right as a parent to give my daughter ‘gogo’ juice and parade her in bars and pageants in (a sexual way.)” 

“Since we evolved and there is no God, it doesn’t matter what we do – survival of the fittest and all that.”

“I had to get out of my marriage; I just wasnt happy any more.”

“A real woman knows how to make others pay.”

“God doesn’t discriminate.” 

“What God wants for all of us, above all else, is love.”

~*~

Some of these statements sound really good, right?   Some of them are even true to a point.  However, God does not call evil good, nor does he delight in

Communication

Communication (Photo credit: P Shanks)

those who do evil.  He wants to save them, for sure, but He does not delight in their deeds.  There is a difference between a person and their deeds.  He may love the person and want to bring them to Himself, but their deeds need forgiveness, not embracing and pride.  God’s love is not a free pass to call evil good and delight in those who do evil.   {Romans 1:32:   who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that they who do such things are
worthy of death, not only practise them, but have fellow delight in those who do them.}

All that to say that embracing a lie leads to broken communication and broken lives.  We cannot truly engage with God or with mankind when we start on the premise of a lie (based on scripture).

Lies have a short and troubled life, but truth lives on forever. — Anonymous

Or, as it says in Proverbs 12:19:  The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences (Photo credit: kxlly)

As I said, with political battles heating up here in the US, the lies fly about like a swarm of locusts.   I wonder if I am the only one who sees the ads with statistics or polls all over them and wonders about their truth?  Anyone who has studied stats knows how easy it is to manipulate them.  The same with polls.  Then we find partial quotes twisted to imply something not the truth.  I think all political ads should come with verification somewhere.  I want to know how the stats were collected, the sample, and much  more to evaluate the truth of the statements.

Going back to our quote, I also see quotes from some of the candidates in the past that have come back to haunt them.  The candidate was either truthful and now wants to cover with lies, or lying and now wants to pretend he/she didn’t mean that.  So how can we find a truth in this maelström of lies?  How can we find ways to communicate with one another?

Lies will come out, but the truth will stand forever.

Have you ever realized you believed something that was a lie?  How do you hold up your beliefs for the litmus test of truth?  Do you rigidly hang on to lies and half truths, or do you seek truth in all your dealings with God and others?  Have you ever felt the communication breakdowns of lies?  How did it feel?  How I long for the day when all truth will be revealed!

Political Communication: Is it possible?

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As the USA heads closer to election time, people’s’ humanity (sin nature) seems to be rising to the top.  It’s everywhere.

“I’m right.  You’re stupid.”

“I know what’s best.”

“Only an idiot would believe that.”

“Libs are . . . .”

“Conservatives are . . .”

You know you’ve seen/heard it all too.  How can a country that has become so polarized ever find neutral ground and begin communicating with one another?

 

Real communication starts with respect.

1.  No name calling.

2.  No trying to out-yell another to get your point across.

3.  Really listen to the other person instead of formulating your argument or interrupting.

4.  Try to turn off your filters and hear the other person without bias.

5.  Recognize that stupidity, bias, greed, etc. runs in both parties.

6.  Turn off the arrogance!  You are not God and do not know everything.

7.  Recognize that your rights end where my nose begins.

8.  Remember that people often want they same things, they simply have a different plan for arriving there.

9.  Recognize that your world is not the universe.  Where you live, how you were raised, and a hundred other factors go into your world view, and everyone’s world view is at least somewhat unique even though common characteristics may exist.

10. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23).  Exersize these fruits and begin to plant seeds of kindness, and respect as you go about your daily life.

11.  If you are a Christian – pray for them.

 

This a start to the list.  Can you think of other ways to show respect to others?  Are you guilty of disrespect to those who disagree with you? 

 

By the way, silence is not respect.  We need to speak up, but we need to do it in a respectful way that acknowledges others as human beings.  I can and will stand on my principles, especially those that God laid down in the Bible.  But,  I will attempt to do so as Jesus did.  He was tough when needed, but always thought of what would bring others to God.  He was/is the embodiment of the Fruit of the Spirit.

 

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man shows, this he will also reap.  For one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.  And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.   Galatians 6:7-9

 

 

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