Which Is The Greater Right?

Washington DC 6


I was recently involved in a friendly debate/discussion regarding rights.  I awoke this morning, thinking about individual rights, and my conclusion to the matter is also my introduction to this post:

Both the Democratic party and the Republican party support the free exercise of rights.  The debate is really over which right or which freedom is the more important one to protect with legislation.

Which is the greater right?

I am going to do my best to respectfully express both views and the rights and/or freedoms that are being debated by each side of the arguments.

I will try to not over-simplify the issues, but realize, for the sake of clarity, the arguments will be abridged.

I. Gun Rights Vs. Gun Control

Gun Right activists believe in the right to protect oneself and to bear arms.  They believe that, according to their Second Amendment rights, they should be able to buy firearms in order to defend themselves or another innocent citizen from dangerous criminals.

Gun Control activists believe in enforcing stricter laws to protect the welfare and safety of the general public.  Their goal by enforcing stricter gun control laws is to prevent criminals from having as easy access to weapons that can be used to harm the general public.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Freedom To Protect Oneself & Bear Arms


Protecting The Welfare Of The General Public

Note: There is much more to this debate.  For example, Gun Right Activists debate how personal firearms have been used in numerous occasions to protect citizens.  They also argue that criminals never obey laws so gun regulation is really about curbing the rights of law-abiding citizens rather than criminals.

Gun Control Activists argue that they are for legislating the regulation of specific types of firearms.  For clarity, see the following link, differentiating the types of firearms and what those actual terms mean: http://www.gunsandcrime.org/guntypes.html

II. Wearing A Burka In Public


Public Safety (Travel) — Protecting The Welfare of The General Public

France passed a law on April 11, 2011, preventing the wearing of Burkas in public places.  The argument, supporting this legislation, was for the safety of the general public.  To understand some of these issues at stake, read the following: http://www.dw.com/en/five-years-into-ban-burqa-divide-widens-in-france/a-19177275.

The argument supporting an individual’s right to wear a Burka in public places falls under the category of Freedom of Religion.  Those arguing in support of Burka-wearing in public places believe that individuals should have the right to exercise their personal religious convictions.

The argument against Burka-wearing in public places is that religion is a private matter and should not be expressed when it places the public sector at greater risk.

Freedom Of Religion (Within The Public Sector) Vs. Welfare Of The General Public

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

III. Socialized Healthcare Vs. Individual Health Plan Options

The arguments for socialized healthcare is that every individual should have access to the same healthcare as everyone else.

The arguments for individual health plan options are that individuals should have the option whether they want to purchase healthcare or not, to have healthy competition within the healthcare marketplace, and to have options when it comes to the price and quality of their healthcare.

For more information on this debate, see the following sites: http://healthcare.procon.org/ and http://www.balancedpolitics.org/universal_health_care.htm.

Right For Every Citizen To Obtain Proper Healthcare


Right To Have Individual Freedom Of Choice In Their Own Healthcare

Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

IV. School Vouchers Vs. Mandatory School/Property Tax

The argument for school vouchers is that citizens feel they should have a say in where their money goes and therefore greater choice in the where and what of their children’s education.

Those supporting mandatory school taxes argue that it is the government’s responsibility to insure that all children receive a proper education.  (Therefore, the government needs to tax its citizens in order to cover the costs of education.)

Freedom To Choose What Type Of Education Your Children Receives And To Have A Say In Where Your Money Goes


Right To An Education

The argument could be made that this over-simplifies the issue because vouchers do not prevent children from having an education.  It merely gives greater opportunities in the selection of educational choices.

V. A Woman’s Right To Choose (What Affects Her Body) Vs. The Unborn’s Right To Life

The argument in support of a woman’s right to choose abortion is that it’s her body and therefore, her choice.  It is argued that she should not be forced to become a mother if she doesn’t want to be.

The arguments in support of the unborn’s right to life is that the unborn baby is a separate being (separate blood types, different gender, different physical characteristics, different DNA, etc…) — a human.  Therefore, it is argued that the unborn baby has the right to the most fundamental and basic of human rights: the right to life.  It is argued that the child’s right to life should not be based upon its ability to defend itself or upon its dependence upon another to survive.

Freedom To Exercise Personal Choice Vs. Right To Life

Declaration Of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,

VI. LGBT Couple’s Right To Hire Any Professional Or To Shop From Any Business They Choose


A Private Business Owner’s Right To Choose With Whom They Make Business Transactions, Based Upon Personal, Religious Convictions

The arguments in support of the LGBT Community’s right to shop where they want is that they should have equal opportunity to obtain the same goods and services as any other individual.

The arguments in support of the private business owner’s right to choose with whom they interact with in business transactions is that they should be able to choose how they operate their own personal business and that they should not be forced to do something that goes against their religious or moral convictions.

Again, this is another sticky debate — with many sides to consider.

It is argued that views against homosexuality are a personal matter and therefore should be kept out of the public sector.  In addition, it is argued that every paying citizen should have equal access to services.

It is also argued that private business owners should not be forced to do something that goes against their religious convictions, thus infringing on the Freedom Of Religion.

It could be argued that there are many choices available from where to shop, and you don’t have to force your lifestyle/opinions on another.  The point of this blog is NOT to make a stand for or against this issue, but I would say that my husband and I choose to not shop at various stores due to the dubious ingredients they use, due to the offensive content of the merchandise they carry, and/or due to unfair business or trade practices they use.

It could also be argued that there would be a major civil issue if business owners started to withhold their services to various groups of people, based upon their ethnic or religious backgrounds. Again, the point of this blog is NOT to make a stand for or against this issue, but I would be upset if a business owner decided to prevent me from shopping at their store due to my religious affiliation.

Once again, the debate is over which right or freedom is perceived as the most important:

The Right For All Citizens (Regardless Of Lifestyles/Values) To Have Equal Opportunity Vs.

Freedom Of Religion (To Exercise Religious Values Within The Public Sector)

Note: I need to clarify that this is not preventing religion within the private sector, but it is preventing the free exercise of religious views by a private business that interacts with the public sector.

Bill Of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

What I find interesting is, when you look at each of these separate issues and then at the issues at whole, people often pick and choose which right and freedom they support — rather than the actual right or freedom those issues support.  When you look at the actual freedoms and rights these issues represent, you see that there are double-standards on both sides of the political parties.

If we want to see these issues with clarity, maybe we need to stop shouting the buzz-words and being distracted by all of the personal issues but instead look at the issues from the standpoint of which right or freedom is truly the more important freedom or right to defend.

One final thought: I actually think it is possible, in a number of these cases, to be able to find a solution that integrates and supports the rights and freedoms of both groups/individuals. 



No Neutral!

roller coaster


We often think we can live in neutral.  Neutral sounds safe.  It sounds free of risk and rejection.

The problem with neutral is that neutral isn’t neutral.

Neutral is coasting either uphill or downhill.  We can debate the mechanics of this and argue that if the grade is even then there is no movement.  The problem with this is that life isn’t even.

Ambivalence is my escape or pretend stance when I don’t want to make a choice — when the choices facing me are uncomfortable, and I feel trapped.  Ambivalence is a paltry excuse, but it really isn’t a legitimate explanation.  It’s the coward way.

We take the neutral stance when we want to avoid confrontation or uncomfortable decisions.

I grew up as a “people-pleaser.”  I majorly dislike confrontation.  I would rather avoid people and conversations that are going to go in an unpleasant direction.  Sometimes, that’s the wise thing to do.  If someone is contentious, there is no profit to arguing with them.

Sometimes being a “people-pleaser” means I avoid confrontation so much that I am avoiding myself — that I am avoiding being the person God wants me to be and not doing the things He wants me to do because they require risk and potential rejection. 

People-pleasers really aren’t about pleasing others; they are really about avoiding rejection.  They will avoid rejection — even if it means they avert erecting necessary boundaries in their lives.

I grew up among a group of people that stressed obedience and submission for children and women.  It was stressed so much that to assert our voices was assumed to be rebellion and an unsubmissive heart.  The truth is that view is suppression!

As a parent of five children, I am trying to find balance.  I want my kids to feel heard and valued.  I also want my kids to learn respect and honor.  It can be tough to find that middle ground.  …But I want my kids to feel valued and heard and at the same time be respectful and obedient.

Note: As a woman and wife, my opinions do matter, and my voice should be heard.  It’s a foolish husband who silences his wife and doesn’t listen to her wise cautions and insights.

In finding our voices, it is easy to fall into the trap of demanding we are heard, and that doesn’t produce positive results. 

I want to be a woman of dignity who knows when to establish healthy boundaries, who knows when to speak up and when to stay silent, who knows which battles/hills are worth “dying on,” and who is willing stand for truth, regardless of who is for or against her.

There is never a neutral though.  If you choose silence, it shouldn’t be out of intimidation or fear.  If you choose to walk from a conflict, it should be because you are establishing healthy boundaries and avoiding unhealthy interactions — not because you are being a coward.

It’s hard to be honest and truthfully evaluate why we avoid or engage in conflict. 

I have been doing a study on the book of Mark in the Bible.  It struck me powerfully that Jesus approaches people in such a manner that you can’t remain neutral about Him.

So often, we think we can be neutral about God too.  We don’t understand or don’t like the things we don’t understand about Him so we either avoid Him or try to change Him to fit our ideals.  We pretend He doesn’t exist, or we take the coward way and think we don’t need to make any decision about Him until He performs according to our demands (jumps through our hoops).

The problem is you can’t be neutral about God.

You are either for or against Him.

To not make a decision concerning God isn’t remaining neutral, it’s making the decision to not accept Him.  You can make that decision, but do you want to live with the full ramifications of that decision?  Is that a “hill you want to die on”?

In Mark 3, we see how various people and characters interacted with Jesus.  They were either pursuing Him, running from Him, or accusing Him.

I read the following quote in my CBS study guide:

Consider each of the groups who interact with Jesus in this lesson.  The crowds of people who converge upon Jesus and His disciples are not neutral; they identify, hate, and fear the Son of God.  The 12 men who are appointed by Jesus to be apostles are not neutral; they have given up everything to respond to His call.  Those who are close to Him in a familial way are not neutral; they doubt His sanity and attempt to halt His ministry.  The religious leaders are not neutral; they accuse Him of being possessed and empowered by Satan and seek to destroy His credibility.

As you observe Jesus Christ through Mark’s narrative, personal neutrality is not an option.  …“Whoever is not with Me is against Me.”  (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23)

We might think we are being neutral when it comes to life, but we aren’t.  Your decisions and the way you live your life is either with/for God or against God.  To not move with God is to slow down and prevent His work in your life and in the lives of others that you influence. 

“Choose you this day whom you will serve…”

Joshua 24:15

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.


A Simple Life Is A Contented Life

daisy in hand

(FreeImages.com/Ne¾a Èerin)

It was August.  I was rushing everywhere.  Life had me on a merry-go-round — that is, the life I had chosen…  In one of my reflective moments, God’s still, small voice spoke to my heart, “A simple life is a contented life.”  It struck me.

A simple life is a contented life.

Most of us are rushing around, striving, struggling, doing, trying to prove… what?  We are trying to prove that we aren’t our parents, that we are significant, that we are intelligent, that we are worthy, that we are pretty, that we are one of the best mommies out there, that we are the “all-American” family…

If we are honest, that’s what this is all about, most of the time.  The problem is we are rarely really honest with ourselves nor do we take the time to ask those pointed questions.  God will, if we will listen.  The problem is we are too busy rushing to listen.

And God…  He keeps speaking into our chaos and calling us to Himself.  We don’t need to be more.  We don’t need to prove. 

We don’t need silly craziness that stresses us and makes us less able to be the spouse and parent we need to be.  In addition to all that stress that makes us less gracious and patient, we then add shame because we should be able to do everything on our agenda and be super-mommy, super-nanny, super-chef, super-cleaner…

Right after God showed me that simple but profound truth, a simple life is a contented life, I was talking with a mom of quite a few kids.  She was expressing that she was feeling that maybe she should do more outside of the home with her kids.  I looked at that mom, and I saw a contented woman.  She was peaceful, restful, and happy.  Her kids were content and happy.  I then told her what God had shown to me: “A simple life is a contented life.” 

Those other voices, telling her to be more and to do more were trying to steal her joy and her peace.  They were trying to tell her that being a good mother is equated to running like crazy.

This summer, I ran like crazy, I confess.  I remember though saying, “I feel like I am doing more things for my kids than with my kids.”  That’s the trap with this never-ending crazy cycle of busyness.  What do your kids really want?  For what are they going to remember you?  For how you ran or for how you spent time with them?

The same is true with our possessions.  More doesn’t equate to happiness.  You can’t buy happiness.  You just become a greater prisoner to the things you own.  There are more things to replace, to repair, more debts to pay off, more financial strain which leads to relationship strain, more fears, and suddenly, a simpler life sounds more appealing.

Remember, a simple life is a contented life.

Perhaps, we need to make changes to the life we choose to live.


Failing To Win



I have been reading the book, Go For No.  What an incredibly powerful book and so very eye-opening!

I, personally, have a side-business with sales.  I never thought I would see the day that I would be in sales.  In fact, in the past,  I turned down numerous opportunities to sell for several reasons: never thought it was “me,” never wanted to be seen as superficial (which a lot of sales’ people seem to be), and never wanted my business to get in between relationships with people.

All that changed when I joined a company that had products to help my son.  Desperate mommies do desperate things so I joined just for him to get some healthy products.  Over time, the business sort of found me.  People heard about how these products were helping my son, and before long, I had a small team.

Recognizing my team needed a strong leader, I dove into growing as a leader so I could be what my team needed.  Before long, I discovered I loved leading my team!  I loved supporting my team and helping them to realize and develop their strengths.

Then, I realized that my teaching skills could be put to use in teaching people about amazing products that do help people and that they need.  It became more than “selling” to people.  It became about helping people, and I was able to step out of my comfort zone and personal prejudices against selling.

As I grow within my business, I am learning some very important lessons about failing and success.  I am learning that failing is very much linked to our success.  In fact, in order to succeed, we have to first be willing to fail.

This is so powerful that I am going to restate it:

In order to succeed, we have to first be willing to fail.

The key to success is the tenacity to never give up, to understand that you have to fail and fail many times before you succeed. This is true for us with all of our humanness.

We are going to fail, but the difference between the winners and the losers is the winners never quit.

The failings don’t define the winners. On the other hand, the “losers” allow the failings to define them.  As a result, they live the life of failure instead of living the life of victory, as God intended.

Winners though understand that failings are opportunities to learn and grow, and failings are often necessary to win.

These truths are so powerful in a business, but what about in life?  How many times do we give up on people, on prayer, on God’s callings for our lives because we allow the “failings” of life to define life for us — rather than allowing the life God has given to us to define the failings? 

I know this can get complicated, but grace is the opportunity God gives to us to have a fresh start every day and throughout our day.  It is God’s opportunity for us to get up and to quit allowing our failings to define us.

Grace is the power of God to claim the victorious life that Grace already won for us on the cross!

Don’t let your failings define you; let grace — God’s grace — define you.  Grace means triumph.  It means triumph over sin, our brokenness, our weakness, our failings, and our fears.


This Is My Worth!



The book lay open in my hands.  I had been given the privilege of reading for a few uninterrupted minutes, and the book I chose to read told the story of Jesus’ life, ministry on earth, and His death.  It was a story that I had read many times.  Yet, reading it again was like hearing it for the first time.  I read again about someone who lived so purely, so sacrificially, and so lovingly.  His humility was such a stark contrast to the showiness of the religious leaders and to those who sought Him for His works but not for Himself.  Yet, He gave and healed so freely, and what was given and done for Him?  A few rugged and uneducated men followed him, often bickering and then finally abandoning Him when it became dangerous and unpopular to follow Him.

Then, my mind’s eye could picture Him in all the gore of His beatings, the pain of the betrayals, but even more the weight of all the shame He bore.  Do you know how horrible it is when we needlessly carry the shame of our mistakes?  Yet, Jesus carried all of those horrendous sins — from Adolf Hitler to ISIS to the Ted Bundy’s of this world.  He carried every abuse, every lie, every lust, and there was no one to shoulder the burden for Him.  We don’t have to carry the weight of our sins, but He did.  He carried the crushing weight of EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THOSE. SINS.  Yes, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE!

And God, His perfect and incredibly loving Abba Father had to turn His back on His Son.  Jesus had never experienced that — ever.  We don’t understand that because God pursues each of us and loves us.  Yet, Jesus didHe experienced what it felt like to have to carry every last sin and carry it all upon Himself.  He carried all of that for me.  …for you.

Then, it struck me.  It struck me how incredibly I am loved!  Such a price was paid for me… for you!  It was a price of infinite worth!  The price paid was God Himself.  He gave His all.  He gave Himself.

Then, I realized this:

We don’t understand our worth because we don’t understand the depth and magnitude of the sacrifice He made for us.

I don’t deserve it.  I am absolutely humbled and incredibly grateful that God Himself gave His all to redeem me and to give me an inheritance with Him!

To be honest, I can’t wrap my mind completely around that thought.  It’s overwhelming!

As the truth of this sinks in, I raise my face, slick with tears, to look up, knowing He sees and hears me.  Into the holiness of the realization of Who He is, I whisper these simple words, “Thank you, Jesus!  Thank you!”

This is what it means to be His daughters and sons: it means to have infinite worth because an Infinite God loved me that much!

He gave His everything for me… for you!

Thank you, Jesus.

“Won’t You Open The Door?”

Knock Knock

(FreeImages.com/ricardo Santeugini)

I awoke early this morning, dreaming this:

There was a home-owner whose house was a mess. Dirty dishes were piling up. Laundry was in heaps. Floors and bathrooms were a mess…

A House-keeper came to his door because He knew the homeowner needed help. The House-keeper knocked. The home-owner called out from the peep-hole, “What do you want?”

The house-keeper told him, “I came to help get your house cleaned up. Can I come in?”

The home-owner said, “Well, I don’t know you. Besides, I saw a house that you own, and it was a mess. I am not sure I can trust you to get my house in order.”

The House-Keeper: “Really?” Which house?”

The home-owner: “The one the vandals broke into.”

The House-keeper: “Oh, that one. Well, the people living in that house decided that they didn’t want my help so they ‘kicked’ me off the deed. I am really sorry the vandals messed up their house, but that doesn’t reflect me.”

The home-owner: “Well, if you can’t take better care of a house you used to own, how can I believe you’ll take care of mine?”

The House-Keeper: “I take care of all the houses where the owners invite me to come in. I can fix your broken and run-down house, but you have to first let me in the door. I can’t promise that right now, you won’t have more dirty dishes or appliances breaking down. But, once you let me in, I will clean it up. I will show you how to keep your house in good repair. Oh, and someday, I have a very special mansion prepared for you, where thieves and vandals can never enter. It also never breaks down, never dirties, never gets disorderly. For now though, I want you to experience what it means to have me to help you. I want to teach you how to get your own house in order as you learn from me. On days, when life is too much, I will do it for you. But, you first have to open your door. Will you?”

Your Ministry Is Where Your Heart Is…

beach love


This past Sunday was one of those “light-bulb” moments.

I was sitting in a gathering with many people, listening to a powerful testimony and under the truth-piercing Word of God.  My heart was being convicted — not in a shameful way but in a way that caused me to repent in order to receive from God.  I was being convicted of selfishness, pride, and self-seeking within my heart.

God had placed within my heart a calling to reach out to people and to share with them how God changes hearts and what it means to have an authentic and personal relationship with God.  The problem is that my calling had turned into self-seeking.  I was looking for a ministry out there, when the ministry was in front of my face.

On Sunday, it was a powerful moment when I recognized my pride, selfishness, and lack of faith.  Because of these soul issues, I was often unwilling to do the “scary” thing, to step out of my comfort zone, and reach out to others.

As soon as I repented of this, the “light-bulb”moment appeared.  I, all of a sudden, realized that God had placed His love in my heart for several strangers surrounding me, and those were my ministry.  I suddenly realized, that when I follow the love, my ministry will be found.  I know this may sound “cheesy,” but it’s the profound truth.

So often, we follow after a ministry, but instead, God wants us to follow after Him and to be so filled with His love for others that “ministry” is the natural by-product.

Ministry is where the love is.

Loving God through others is the ministry

God doesn’t call us to be in full-time ministry.  God calls us to love Him and to love Him by loving His people.

When you follow the heart of God, you will find the “ministry” He has in store for you.

This past Sunday that happened in a huge way for me, I began to reach out to strangers with whom I had fallen in love.  God led me to pray over a couple, their sick child, a young woman in a wheelchair, and other hurting people.  Why did I do this?  Because He gave me His heart for them.

So often, we get it so wrong!  We want the glory or this sense of purpose by doing things when God just calls us to give His heart to others.  Suddenly, the self-glory and the fear that holds us captive are no longer snares, and we are able to step out in joyful abandon, following Him.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Luke 4:18

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,






“Do You Trust Me With Your Dreams?”

dreaming of


I was struggling…  Life was pulling me in many directions, but my real struggle was with something greater — the root of my struggle.  I was trying, pushing myself, and oh so stressed!  I was trying to force something.  That something is my dreams.

Then, God and I had a talk.  Well, it was more like He spoke conviction into my heart, and I knew it was truth.  It was this penetrating question, “Do you trust me with your dreams?”

I knew then that was the struggle.  I was trying to force my dreams in my strength, my time, and my way.

God was asking me if I trusted Him enough with my dreams.  I then realized that was the issue.

That question helped me to recognize again that all of life comes down to one penetrating question, “Do you trust God?”  And the answer is almost always a definitive “no” if you don’t really know He loves you.

God then flooded my heart with so many reminders of His love, but the greatest one was the cross.  This is what He spoke to my heart, when I asked myself, “Do I trust Him/believe He loves me enough?”:

He spoke this to my heart: “Because I was willing to give my life for you.”  If He was willing to sacrifice everything, including His relationship with His perfect Abba Father and suffer the ultimate of all suffering for me, then I know.  I know He loves me enough.  He loves me enough for anything life might send my way.

The point is, dear ones, the problem is not with our faith — our faith in His power.  The problem is with our awareness of His love.  The truth is we often don’t really believe or comprehend His love for us.  We are still measuring it by the tragedies of our life, by the false earthly representations, and by the twisted thinking of those who claim to represent God.

What God spoke to my heart this morning was this:

As the parable of the father in the Prodigal Son, so He will always pursue me — no matter what I’ve done, always desiring to bring me back to Himself.  And with that, I whisper, “God, don’t ever stop pursuing me and bringing me back within the security and fullness of your Love.”

Wrote this to friends this morning:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgGUKWiw7Wk — And then I finally found Love — Love so perfect, so infinite, and I am reduced to an unashamed curtain of tears … to this overflowing, overwhelming awareness that I am “found,” “seen,” “heard,” and complete within Love. We all yearn for perfect, infinite Love… we want someone or something to truly know us and to truly love us within that vulnerability and transparency, allowing us to blossom within the security of unfathomable, immeasurable Love! Within the embrace of lavish love, my heart unfurls, and the fragrance, vibrancy, and life blooms!

My heart is coming unfurled.

I may be accused of being more emotional, but the truth is my heart is learning that it can be more vulnerable.  My heart is being allowed to feel more because I have found a “Safe Haven.”  I can “risk” my heart when I know there is truly no risk with God. 

How about you?

Do you trust God with your dreams? 

Do you trust Him with your heart?

Divine Guidance

Path to the light

(FreeImages.com/Dhany Syamsuddin)

I hear so many Christians either erring on the side of ignoring the reality of Divine guidance in the everyday details of life or erring on the side of placing “Revelation,” as it is sometimes called, above the written Word of God.

The former group of people tend to be those who are so scared of false teachers that they ignore the reality of the Spirit of God and His divine inspiration and guidance within our daily lives.

This group of people tend to imply that God’s Word alone is our source of inspiration and guidance.  They believe that God speaks only through His Word, with few exceptions.

I believe this is mainly in reaction to so many false leaders that have led people astray from supposedly hearing directly from God.

We are wise to “test the Spirits.”  There are many false teachers, and it is especially wise to be prudent when someone claims to hear something from God.  Every word needs to be “checked” against the truth of the Word of God.

Yet, to imply that God speaks only through His Word alone is to imply that we live most of our lives outside of the realm of Divine guidance.

For example, when it came time to moving, job changes, academic choices for our kids, business decisions, relationships, etc…, I asked the Lord for wisdom and relied on His Holy Spirit to lead/direct.

The Bible does not address specific life events.  It does give overall life principles that do help to govern our daily choices, but it does not tell you if you should buy a specific house or relocate to a specific area.  So, if God does not speak in any other way than through His Word, are we living most of our lives outside of Divine guidance?  

I remember when I heard a friend say that she looks for the open door.  If the “door” is “open,” she assumes it’s a go.  If it closes, she assumes that means a “no.”  I believe there is a lot of danger in this.  There are many open doors, but they are not all for us to enter.  That seems more like relying on chance than actual Divine guidance.

What if instead, God does desire to direct our lives in every area of life?

Makes sense, right?!!!  If every decision in our lives does impact our lives, then would it not make sense that God would want to give us wisdom to make the best decision — rather than the most convenient?

There are many ways God speaks, and His Word is replete with verses that talk about His thoughts towards us and His speaking to His people.

God has used music, creation, dreams (on occasion), godly advice from friends, books, and many other ways to speak to my heart.  Sometimes, I get this definite impression from God that is very different from any other type of thought. I have known, in those times, that the impression was from God.  I usually ask Him to confirm with His Word that what I thought I “heard” was from Him.

There are dangers in putting too much emphasis on human “revelation” rather than God’s Word.  Within the groups of people that fall into this category are those who seem to even disregard the written Word of God over their own “divine inspiration/revelation.”  That immediately sends off a “red flag” to me.

God’s Spirit will never contradict His Spirit-inspired written Word.  The Word of God was inspired by the Spirit of God.  God does not contradict Himself. 

A truly Spirit-led person will love the Word of God, the people of God, and God Himself.

I believe there are two groups of people often seen within the present-day Church:

  1. There are those who from fear act like the Word of God replaces the Spirit of God.  These churches are known for their emphasis on truth but spurn many allusions to the Spirit’s leading and seem to have difficulty understanding grace, outside of the theory of it.
  2. There are those who put such emphasis on the “Spirit” that it becomes questionable whose spirit is directing them.  Their “revelations” contradict the Word of God, or there is a lack of love for the Spirit-inspired Word of God.  In other words, they seem to ignore the fact that God’s Word is Spiritual.  Their concept of grace is another man-made theory that is as effective as slapping a smiley face sticker on a person who just lost a loved one and telling them that if they smile it will be all better.

I love the following verse which expresses the balance so beautifully:

John 4:24

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

It is the Spirit of God that directs the Word of God to penetrate into our hearts with unfailing precision.

We can, indeed, live every moment of our lives within the protection of Divine guidance.

A Summer Trip

My husband and I recently had the privilege of taking a trip sans kids for five days to a gorgeous place!!!

We enjoyed some new experiences, like tasting Bubble Tea and enjoying a sauna.

We visited a castle, danced in its ballroom to Big Band music (just the two of us), toured its “Secret Garden”, and ate a fabulous breakfast there.

We climbed a high mountain and never tired of unending view of breathtaking glory!

We enjoyed a sunset and sunrise at beaches, visited little shops along the beach, and ate to our heart’s content.

The best part is we also spent time with family (won’t include pictures of them for privacy).

We really had a marvelous time as a couple!  Enjoy the pictures!  Here are a few more…