Roots & Fruits

Have you ever tried
Stopping the tears by
Drying your eyes
That only protects the make up applied

Like using an umbrella to stop rain
The effort is appreciated and has its place
Yes, it keeps away the water’s trace
But to stop the storm, it is vain

It is the same for pain
Don’t deny the fear or anger
To be the fixer or the strangler
Or bury it in the dust to remain
What you seek is The Healer
To one who knows you, you can be no realer
He knows every blot and stain

Have you ever tried
To kill a weed
By plucking its leaves
Any gardener who did that lied

So we tell her to wear this or that
But we didn’t dress her
In righteousness’ armour
Now she dresses to kill, but you she isn’t aimed at
What she needs is the Soul Filler
One who would hear her prayer
Stop seeking attention, we spat
When we never showed her the love she did require

Have you ever tried
To kill a tree
By plucking its fruit or chucking the seed
That only helps its presence go far and wide

Its the same with emptiness
You can move things around
You can pad the echoing sound
But something is missing like a bad game of Tetris

Only His peace can calm the stress
We must get to the root
And not go attacking fruit
He seeks the heart we attack dress
He seeks to open hearts, we digress
He seeks to heal, we say hide in shame
He seeks to put together, we seek to blame
He seeks to love, we attack names
He seeks freedom, we’re lost and we want for them the same
This is not a game

To get to the root He must go deep
To stop the rain He must call us up high
Yes, we might feel pain and we may weep
But instead of run we must draw nigh

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Be Who You Are, But Who Are You?

I am sure you have heard it said, “Be true to yourself.” Or “Just be yourself.” Or “Just listen to your heart.”

But is this really what God wants for us? I am not saying we need to find a verse that says, thou shalt be thyself, but can we find the principle in the Bible?

Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of doing something and the thought springs up, “I never thought I would be doing this. Not me.”

We even surprise ourselves sometimes, when we find ourselves in certain circumstances. We don’t even know who we are in all honesty. We may know who we want to be seen as and even how we see ourselves. The truth is, no. No, we don’t know who we are.

No, we are not told to follow our heart, nor to be ourself, or that ourselves is who we are to be true to. The good news is we are told Who knows us and if we get to know Them we get to know who we actually are.

So the question then becomes, who am I and how do I get to know me?

Genesis 27:19 “ And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau your first born….”

In the world we currently live in, we really can be anyone. Social platforms allow us to stage a life that is all roses and no rain. Make up allows us to be unblemished and hide the scars. Mobile devices help us to soak up distractions on demand. And we can be anyone we want to be, except who we actually are.

In Genesis we are told the story of Jacob. He knows what it is like to have no idea who we actually are. To get what he wanted, he was Esau. To himself, he was Jacob (meaning deciever) and many of us look at our own lives and see that we are a living lie.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: Who can know it?
I the LORD, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to every man according to is ways and according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jeremiah 17:9&10

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you….”

I have found in my own experience, that I really could pull off seeming like anyone. I could put on any number of masks. But when I was by myself, I knew that all that was empty and pretense has a way of becoming a whole other me that even I wanted to run a way from. Behind academics, behind writing, behind ministry even. But I would always keep thoughts of reflection on the surface. Until I came face to face with God.
1 Kings 3:7-14
It was like being Solomon. To everyone else, I am king. I see myself as a child, not knowing how to come in or go out (shhh…. never let them know that). And God sees someone He can walk with if I only I choose to do so.

Psalms 139:1-5 – “O LORD, You have searched me, and known me….”

If you own a Toyota. No matter how bad you want for it to be a Mercedes (and you can even buy the emblem off someone), when that car has a problem, it will do no good to take it to the Mercedes dealership.

Likewise, we were created by God (believe it or not) and so when we want to know who we are, it makes no sense to go to the world to find out. We could get a good idea of who people think we are or what they want us to be but not who we actually are.

It makes no sense to turn to a drug or drink to tell us who we actually are. Because the mistake we often make is to think that a man is who they are when they remove all inhibitions. But a person is not one dimensional. We are not only made up of our instincts, we are also made with our reason.

Proverbs 25:28 – He whose spirit is uncontrolled is like an unwalled town which has been broken into.

“Many youth mistake strong, uncontrolled passion for strength of character; but the truth is that he who is mastered by his passions is a weak man. The real greatness and nobility of the man is measured by his powers to subdue his feelings, not by the power of his feelings to subdue him.” – Child Guidance, pg. 161

So to say that you are who you really are when you are on some drug or drink that alters your reasoning ability is like inviting guests in when you have been robbed and saying “I guess this was my home all along.”

So who are you. I don’t know. And I am glad that I don’t.
Because I know God does know. But you have to go to Him and be honest with Him (not just with yourself). He will grow you to be you.

In a world where you can be anyone but you. Be you. Truly you.

Autocorrect Christians

You know these phones learn
After a time, by them, your character we discern

And so what would we expect
If Christianity is judged by predictive text
And your autocorrect

When you type Romans for instance
Does your phone say that must be “Romance”
Or say that’s obviously “womans” the way he is
Or it predicts to follow Romans with revenge like Nicki Minaj’s
Or does it predict immediate
To follow with 8:28?

When you type in Nicodemus
Does your phone say mistaken she must
That must be “no, i’m famous”
Naked or in the least Nicholas
Or maybe Nickelodeon
Toons more likely than scriptural names to be on

Forget Nicodemus
What about Jesus
It would predict Navas at best
At worst words that put the 3rd command to test
Or does it guess
“Is My Lord”, “Saves”, “The True Witness”
In predictive text

Does your autocorrect know Nebuchadnezzar
Or does it say that must be neighbour
Even “netted a trailblazer”
Because we can’t be talking scripture
Prophecy
Must be “profit see?”

Where Mark, Luke, and John
Come out as Stark, Skywalker and words you don’t wanna show mom
And you blush and say “I wonder where it learnt that from”
No, it was not all at one
But it picked your crumbs
Followed the tap of your thumb
And so you type Genesis and it says jeans sum
It comes out dumb

For every word will come up in judgement
Yes, every text sent
And it won’t be the pretended instant
But the trend to which your autocorrect is now bent
When they called them smart, there was the hint

You know, these phones learn
After a time, by them your, character we discern

Scary Thought

There is inkling scary
Hidden behind the nervous laugh emoji

That maybe
I need these filters to be me
That all those insecurities
I try hide plainly
On TLs, memes, and statusees
And the comments I reflect on thee
Is true actually
Of me
Though I try hide, saying proudly me
Or loving me
It’s kind of scary
But what if I don’t really
Know me

There is something we try bury
Because like the grave it’s quite scary

That maybe
The
The friendship we
Had drawn from so freely
Now that we walk separately
Was the
Whole thing fraudulently
All bathwater and no baby
Just maybe

There is a thought we bury
Because like closed closets, it’s scary

That maybe
When I forgave without your apology
And I said I set you free
Then i see you and the rise in me
Is that past anger but fury
Maybe in even wrath blindingly
It’s scary
Maybe
I never forgave truly

There is a consideration scary
Like fate worse than death scary

That maybe
I gave my life to God fully
And I gave gladly
Not just the vices, see
But sacrificially
Of my dreams, my friends, and all of me
And they didn’t just call me
Crazy
But said you’re doing it wrongly
And then by no wrong done by me
I have no reward for the world to see
Struggling, hands emtpty
Failure to launch, they say of me
And I look to Thee
Did You deceived me
Were they right and I had walked blindly?
Maybe

Though these thoughts are scary
Let me address fairly

You are not filters and comments
You are God’s missive and sonnet
Friendships part
But this does not mean fraud from start
And has taught lessons to the heart
Neither does it require skewing names with darts
That forgiveness
Is a process
And not endless
Because you feel the heart stress
Don’t discount the progress
Plucking roots leaves a mess

And, Christian, ye
Carry on faithfully
For your trust unquestioningly
And your sincere obediency
Is valued more than jewellery
Like stars in His diadem, brightly
You shine in obscurity
Don’t let this world successfully
Suggest to thee
You have not walked blindly
The fire burns but will not kindle on thee
The waters rise but an Anchor is He
The mountains stand but He bids them leave
And gives you a path to walk freely
A righteous man falls but if on Me He leans
He will endure to sit on My throne with Me

The doubts are scary
But love overcomes fear, perfectly

Can’t Or Won’t, But HE IS Love

An apologetic

Why do bad things happen, even despicable, horrid, vile things happen to the innocents? It’s either God can’t deal with it (which makes Him not God) or He can and He won’t (meaning He is not love because love does not stand by and let evil happen). Our instinct is to get on the defensive or live in denial and say neither.

But what comes to mind is that He won’t. Don’t stone me yet. God won’t stop all the evil from happening. But this does not automatically mean that He is not love. That is our automatic assumption because of how we define love.

Love wants the best and not a temporary fix. Fix means there is something wrong. That something is sin. We often mistake the symptoms of sin as sin itself.

Now, what would be the best way to deal with sin?

We often think the best solution is to eradicate the sinner. Nip it in the bud. While this is a great fix in the meantime it does not have lasting results in all cases, especially when the problem is a condition that has taken the whole body and so will arise in another member eventually.

We underestimate just how deep of a problem sin is. And so we think God is supposed to snap a finger to solve the problem. We think He is failing to do what is best.

What would have been best is that sin would not have come at all. But sin is the choice to turn from what is best (the will of God). And we took that choice. Now God is to remain love (just and merciful) and still save the children who want a way back.

The best is to now show what sin is, contrast it with what love is so that sin will not be the choice ever again. The whole universe seeing exactly what the results are. And love will be the choice.

This is not a quick fix situation. Jesus (One equal with God) living here, dying on the cross and rising from the grave to now intercede for us shows that sin is no small problem. It required all of heaven to be poured out in the person of Jesus Christ to save us from sin.

Sin is not only the opposite of love but the perversion of it.

If you ate something really nice and then the next time you ate it, someone put something poisonous in there and you collapsed and went in to a coma because of this and then someone came over after your miraculous recovery and brought that same great dish. And said, “Have a bite”. Would you dig in?

And this is the problem. God is trying to let the whole universe see that love is the only Way. Love is that great dish, it always has been. But all this evil that is now here? An enemy has done this. The enemy has perverted this. But God will not eradicate love (His character), lest He destroy the safety of the entire creation.

So God could have just gotten rid of the enemy but we have seen how martyrs (even of violent uprisings and ignoble causes) are made to be the heroes. Sin would only have been further propogated and the thought will always be “maybe the martyr was right.” God’s aim is not to heal symptoms but to root out sin and have it never rise again.

Now, God could just say that sin (going out of His will) is bad. Knowing that He is right would be enough if He was like us. I Am God and that is that. But God wants transparency, full disclosure (and it is necessary). That while He could easily just say, “Trust Me”. He wants all to see that He is worth trusting and that sin will not worth rising a second time. Who – after all that we have been through as a race, even just this far – will honestly say, “maybe sin is the right way”? Very few. And by the end of this entire case, nobody will say sin is the right way at all.

For every knee shall bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God is worthy to sit on the throne of the universe. He is just, merciful and love. And that eternal destruction (i.e forever wiped out, not forever torment) will be the most merciful thing for those who do not want to be around Love.

So not that He can’t. He won’t. Not because He is evil but because He is love. By love, He must.
And while love can ease suffering and give relief, the final aim of love is restoration. This requires for sin to be seen for what it is and love to be seen for who He is and we must choose.