Misplaced Perception

 

So, sometimes our perception isn’t so precise is it? Sometimes how we view it, is just wrong on so many levels? Often we don’t see clearly all the detail of all the stuff in our way and so we make a false judgement, wrong decisions, critical remarks and as a result we act and react on false pretenses just because our vision is dimmed.

The other morning I noticed a spider in the bathtub, and you have to understand, we don’t get along well. No, spiders and me ~ well, we just don’t see eye to eye. Oh, I love the elegant patterns etched into their silken webs and for photography, I find their amazing draping, spun creations fascinating as they glisten with dewdrops in the lazy, hazy, morning sun! However, the way the spider crawls about in mid-air and free-falls to spin its elegant design is frightful for one who’s standing below in close proximity. Maybe it stems from the baggage of a fear awakened in my childhood spirit when upon waking one morning, sleepy eyes met with adrenaline, and widened and focused rather quickly to see a spider dangling from its web about two inches from my face! Did I say, I panicked? How does an eight-year-old figure this one out? Screaming was never my thing, as it was much too loud and dramatic for my quiet side. Yeah, I was on my own for this one and so I was.

I didn’t have much time to think but felt slightly frozen in fear!  Moving too quickly, could prove to be a bad choice, so I gently blew him gently to the left as I crawled out gently on the right from underneath, hoping he didn’t drop further with the wind in his sails. Yeah, to this day, I don’t like them and I really dislike their spidery, eight-legged characteristics and their predictable creepy crawl way they crawl.

So, this day here we were together, him and I, and this spider found lodging in the tub just had to be reigned in! I grabbed a very thick wad of paper in order to make sure he didn’t make a getaway! Now, my eyesight isn’t what it used to be and without magnifying glasses, all fine detail is a blur and a lot of things look the same to me. I sized up the moment as best I could and with a vision quite less than 20/20 I took him out! Upon checking to make sure I had him, he moved and fell back into the tub. I panicked and dropped the whole wad of nonsense, only to recoup to find to my embarrassment, it was nothing but nonsense, as a clearer view revealed a fluffy fuzz of dog fur that floated off the wad, into the air drifting back into the tub. No damage done this time, just a wake-up call to not be so anxious about things that might not even be. But how many times do I need to be reminded?

Do you do the same? Do you find yourself worrying about things that aren’t? Feel panicked about things that aren’t concrete? Anxious about issues that aren’t set in stone? I didn’t see clearly enough to know the detail and so I had it all wrong. Ok, so here’s the thing friends, physical eyesight isn’t always accurate and sweet and beautiful soul, neither is our spiritual insight? We are called to be discerning but we have to take care to see clearly before acting or reacting. In John 7: 24, Jesus rebukes a critical crowd in the temple courts, when He says to them “Do not judge by appearances but judge with right judgement.”

Sometimes you and I and we and us, don’t we just get it all wrong and judge before we gather all the facts? We see we perceive, we size up and we assume all manner of things! Sometimes we listen to wrong words and our false perception leads us off track and nonsense possibly leads many others astray as our false belief gives way to gossip and spreads like uncontrolled flames through a dry forest! Unlike the “no big deal” of it wasn’t a spider after all, we can burn valuable bridges causing a lot of damage to ourselves and to others because of anxieties and false perceptions.

Yeah, beautiful soul, you and I and we and us, we need to take care to give the heart magnifying glasses in order to see things through the eyes of spiritual discernment opened up in the Light of Truth, before we jump headfirst into something that’s all wrong. Sometimes, we need to put our “holier than thou” caps on the hooks of challenge and seek to understand by joining the ranks of those living where the rubber meets the road so to speak. Walk in their shoes and carry their baggage! Not all things come together to make a nice, clean, tidy story of perfection but each one is writing God’s story for our lives as the divine and sovereign God heals, repairs and perfects that which concerns us. David knew His God well and reminds himself and us of His constant care in Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your love O Lord endures forever. Do not abandon the works of your hands.”

How’s our story? Not perfect eh? Rest assured God is working on you and He’s working on them! Who are we to judge then? In Proverbs 3: 13 we have a promise of blessing to the wise and to those who seek to understand.

“ Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding…How then do we get wisdom? How then do we understand?”

James 1:5
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth

 

I sat and chatted with the Pastor in the early morning hours over that first cup of coffee and we talked over some of the issues of these strange days. There are many aren’t there? We’ve been through lockdown, quarantine, phases one, two and three of re-opening and now, with twin-demic threats of both flu and COVID, it seems we’re well on our way to a possible second lockdown if proper steps aren’t taken.

So, thing is, there is a COVID 19, somewhere out there and it seems that as the daily numbers rise there are many finding out it’s very real. Whether you or I know of any is irrelevant at this stage, because whatever the problem is, media states that we, the people, with our masks, hand washing and social distancing are a very real part of the solution in a very big way. So here, we sit with these government rules and regulations and a big pandemic problem on our doorstep, that we really know nothing about, but yet we know we’re a part of and apparently a part of the solution. Rumours of a vaccine nipping at our heels, as a solution somewhere down the road, is all the talk and depending on who we listen too and what we believe, we may be lining up for it when it’s made available, or we may be running in the other direction. And so we ask, what is Truth these days? So, you and I and we and us, we sit in our socially bankrupt states feeling very attacked and manipulated on all fronts with health threats, economic crisis and so many invading fears of the day. It’s crazy ‘day’-sies isn’t it, that we cozy up by the fire in our livingrooms and invite the whole world in through a hyped-up media invading our small closed-in quarters, overwhelming us with facts, that, true or not legislate our daily decisions. So we turn off the loopy news and head on into our offices where a click of the button brings artificial intelligence and hundreds of other opinions to light, feeding our news feeds and our minds with socialities and feel-good stuff that just adds to the mix of truth or error, and who knows which is which in these strange days? And so we turn it off, maybe? And we walk away from it all with a mixed-up mind and a bag of emotions that we carry in our heart and wear on our sleeves and wonder what’s next?

A few months ago, the world seemed fine and wonderful to those of us who lived in the old “normal” of things. Travel was unbridled and unchecked as we quickly made our way from point A to point B in short order without much thought other than we were in control of the situation, our lives and our future. We partied without thought and joined in festivities at home and abroad socializing in close quarters without any threat or fear of endangering those in our circles of influence. Yeah, a few short months ago, we, the people, pretty much did what we, the people, wanted to do without restrictions, no strings attached. Thing is, things are different now and so the new “normal” is now the old world sitting on a tight shoestring, dangling on the edge of the precipice, and we, the people, are left wondering what’s next, what’s truth and what’s around the corner?

So many questions and not too many answers meet us in our morning and walk us through our days. Thoughts that taunt and tease and strike fear into the very heart and soul of us. Big men of faith, who we’ve followed and perhaps put on pedestals speak out loud and clear to sometimes confuse the issues even more and we can choose to follow them or not, maybe to our ruin, or we can turn to the only One who knows for certain. The only One who holds the world in His care and keeping. The only One who holds this whole, old world in His hands and carries us over these uncertain days. The One Sovereign God who loaned us His only Son, and gave Him up in death to bring us absolute Truth, Life, forgiveness and salvation, comfort and peace. So yeah, these days, we can run to men for feel-good answers and comfort words to tickle our ears, with sweet pleasantries! We can criticize government powers and what they stand for, and what they mandate, but somewhere along the way, we, the people,  do have to get it, that the only source of comfort comes from the only source of Truth.

Jesus, said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6!   So you there, sitting on the other side of this screen, You seek Him out for yourself! Hear Him out! Let His words permeate that socially bankrupt soul of yours! Let Him be your friend in your isolation and let Him help you find your way and bring you real-life for the days ahead. It’s only in our Sovereign God we can find the comfort, relief, peace and joy that we so need right now and know with discernment any kind of Truth.

#Soulnotetoself #COVID19 #Truth #Hopeinhardplaces

Soul Friend

 

So when things just aren’t the way they seem, and when things just don’t go the way you planned, You gotta know it’s all ok anyway right? That medical diagnosis, just wasn’t what you thought it might be! That bank account that wasn’t topped off as you thought, and comes right down it, it left high you and dry with huge demands nipping at your heels. That friend, who well, turns out, wasn’t a friend after all and rather than supporting you ~ betrayed you, and just made for a terrible, miserable, very bad day! Yeah, so when you’re turned over to the wolves, shoved under the bus, or hung out to dry, life can be pretty upsetting and it can rankle the spirits a bit, not to mention the hurt and the broken that comes of it. The hurt and the broken that you’re left to deal with and mend, somehow, someway!

Well, friend, there is a Soul Friend when everyone else goes out. There is a Care Giver; a Sustainer, and a Provider when the bank account runs low and the cupboards are bare. There is a soul – saver and a mercy – maker when the underside of the bus is rusty and the ravenous wolves torment!

Oh yes, There is a Protector and One who is faithful, even in the hard places. David inspired by the Spirit of God, writes wisdom into Psalm 138 for all of us to read and learn from and in verse 7 he states, “Though I am surrounded by troubles, You will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out Your hand, and the power of Your right hand saves me. Ahh, then comes the thrilling realization for David, when he continues on to say, even in his hardship,

“The LORD will work out His plans for my life–for Your faithful love O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for You made me.”

Yeah! Our Lord has this too, whatever it is that has you, and when you’re looking at the gruesome underside of the bus, you can know, even there, even though He maybe didn’t cause it, He allowed it for a purpose and uses it for your good and His glory! Phew, that’s a perfect thought for us right now!

So hey, beautiful you, right there where you are, you can know He cares and cares deeply! Abandonment isn’t in His vocabulary. He won’t leave you, just because you messed up! He won’t turn on you or reject you. That’s not what He does. Trust Him in your trouble and hide out in His presence. It’s so safe there!

#Brokencolors #seasonsoflove

Boot Camps Of Life Training

Hard times come and go, don’t they? When they come they hit hard and fast and our first thoughts are not always of the enemy and how he gets in to wreak havoc with our souls. No, we don’t always think of his sly techniques and his outright lies whispered into our hearts! We don’t often see clearly just what’s happening above our heads in the unseen world around us. I find it so intriguing in Matthew 4: 4, that Jesus, after he had been baptized by John and stamped with God’s approval, through His Spirit descending like a dove to light on His shoulder, was then led by this same Spirit of God into the wilderness to be trained for spiritual duty. How was He trained? Yeah, through fasting and prayer but also through rigorous demands of the Devil, the Father of lies, the enemy himself. This perfect, spotless, sinless One, confirmed by God to be His beloved Son, was taken to the cleaners after he was taken to the wilderness, to be weakened with hunger! Today, our old enemy was our Lord’s enemy as well for those forty days and nights as he tempted Christ to show His credentials and turn stones to bread to satisfy His hunger. Jesus answered him well, in verse 4,
“Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
So devil, that didn’t go so well, did it? Second round then and a visit to the Holy City, to stand on the highest point of the temple and then, the sly guy that he is, our enemy quoted scripture from Psalm 91:11, in verse 6, as he blatantly tempted Jesus to throw Himself down,
“For it is written:

“He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike Your foot against a stone.”

Ahh, but Jesus also had an answer, “It is also written:

“Do not put the Lord Your God to the test.”

Yet, a third temptation was put forth from a very high mountain with an offer of all the splendour of the Kingdoms of the world and again Jesus answered, this time with a rebuke,
“Away from me Satan! for it is written, Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”

So when we’re on a rough road and the way daunting and we find ourselves at our weakest point, weary and worn from the boot camps of life’s training and when selfish passions make their play for us, remember who the enemy really is. Remember he was brash enough to quote scripture to Jesus in His wilderness and in His weakness, to get his way and ultimately take Our Lord down.

He does the same to those that God has called forth and given His stamp of approval.  The enemy prowls around seeking whom he may devour but, At Christ’s word to leave, the devil left and angels came and ministered unto Jesus.  God’s Spirit leads us into some troublesome times to prepare us for troublesome times, and we can know if He’s taken us to it, He’ll take us through it and what a glorious moment when He sends His angels to minister! It’s a glorious time when God’s angels care so much for our weakened, beautiful souls, to lift us up!
#Soulnotetoself