It’s a God-bathed world. And the devil hates it!

I just can’t take it . Every time something terrible, horrible, bone chilling happens, the same question rises up.  Where is God? And I tell you He is where He said He would be.

Right in the middle of the mess with us. 

One of the single greatest omissions of modern church thinking is the concept that we live in a war zone. It is our enemy who prowls around looking to devour, even to kill, steal and destroy. (1 Peter 5 and John 10) So when that destruction comes, why are we so surprised?

Are we so deceived that we do not know how and why to rail against the true source of hate and death? Are we so socially and spiritually numb that we do not see the war against God’s children?

God loves the world He has created.  The enemy hates it.

The enemy uses all manner of strategies to mar and distort all he can.  But God still brings comfort, healing, hope and peace regardless of the tactics used. God’s number weapon? Me and you.

Last night, the Lord woke me up. As I focused my eyes in the dark, I saw the brilliance of the moon in my house. I heard this phrase over and over in my spirit

A Great Light has come
and the darkness cannot put it out.

So now what?

Jesus did this crazy thing in the gospels. First He said, “I am the light of the world.” (John 12) And then He turned around and said, YOU are the light of the world. (Matthew 5) 

I don’t know about you, but I see a Great Light burning in the hearts of men and women who run to help in places of devastation and horror. I see God’s light shining through us as we love and bless when we could hate. I see a Great Light in the hearts of believers who carry His power and authority to stand and overcome the prince of this world.

I tell you worship God. It is our greatest weapon and the enemy hates it!

God is good. God in the details. So instead of blaming Him, let’s display Him.

 

 

 

Fix it or Heal it?

I had this crazy encounter with God last week. The details don’t matter except to say that I was at my wits end. I had planted myself on my couch in desperation. I read my bible, I worshiped. I sat there crying, and crying out to the Lord, that I didn’t know what to do. I was hurting, and I needed to hear from Him. My heart was breaking and I knew I needed His comfort and  His wisdom.

“How do I fix this?” I feebly said.

First came a wave of comfort like a blanket around my shoulders. Then came a wave of peace settling my mind and spirit.  Then ever so gently came His reply.

“You’re trying to fix something. I am trying to heal something,” He said.

lend-a-hand

Continue reading

Why Bruce and Caitlyn are Both Welcome at God’s Table

I want to begin with a couple of disclaimers. No Christians, I am not judging. Yes gays and lesbians, I have homosexual friends and love them just the same. More importantly God loves us  all the same. That’s why Bruce/Caitlyn is welcome at God’s table.

And.

God gave us free will. Pastor Danny Silk wrote “freedom is the language of heaven.”  The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Everything is permitted, but everything isn’t beneficial. Everything is permitted, but everything doesn’t build others up.” (1 Cor. 10:23) This is a scandalous statement. It gives us all the sobering responsibility of choosing our lives and living with our choices. Free to choose, and free to produce results that have implications, good or bad.

And.  If Bruce/Caitlyn calls on the name of the Lord, he/she will be saved. End of story. That is the beauty of grace. Was he/she a Christian already? Still saved and fully loved. That is the beauty of grace.

There is a charge to all of us.  Either the blood of Jesus frees us from all sin, or it doesn’t. God does not part and parcel forgiveness. There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.

And.

BrokenChains-500x285

There is a confusion about the person and the action. Every person deserves dignity. Every action has a reaction. I can love the person and disagree with the choice or action.  In fact. I must be able to do both, or I have no freedom to love at all.

Let me bring this home.  One of the most damning lies that held me captive was the idea that because I had aborted my child I must agree, endorse, promote abortion. Yes I chose that. But my choice had very, very real consequences beyond what I could see in the moment.

After meeting Christ, I could not, would not, be an advocate of such a horrid thing. In every way possible, Jesus washed me clean. I am longer bound by that sin. And yet there are consequences. So grace for the person and consequences for the action. This is not judgement. This is reality. I may forgive you for shooting me in the foot, but my foot still has to heal and I may have a limp for the rest of my life. In His goodness, God will even grace me in my limp, but there are ongoing implications.

May I challenge us to separate the person from the movement?

Think of the woman who represented Roe vs Wade.  The powers behind that movement used her story, her wounding to advance an agenda. She is a person, who made a choice, who was used for cultural influence.

When people of that time protested, the argument centered around mean people judging a person. But that’s not true. There was an outcry of the social implications.

Think of Martin Luther King. Many denigrated his personal choices of infidelity. His choices had consequences. But as a movement, no one questions that he was after a collective social change.

All this to say, be wise in what you are standing for and arguing about. There is a social movement in progress.

Yes. Jesus saves. Jesus loves. Jesus forgives.

We are called to love as he loves. But while we are quoting verses about “not casting the first stone,” remember that Jesus told the adulterous woman to “go and sin no more.”

Just because Jesus paid for sin, doesn’t mean He endorses it. He calls us all to holiness, or,  “His way-ness.”

Sure many people do not believe in God or His standard. They think they get to decide what is male, female, marriage, God’s sovereignty. I get it. Everything permissible, but not beneficial. Remember?

And.

Scripture speaks often about “doing what is right in our own eyes.” Every culture that has veered off to this path of Self reigning as final authority has not ended up so well. “There is way that seems right to  man and in the end it leads only to death.” I am not talking about wrath of God. I am talking about how we break our own souls by our self-centered choices.

Finally, I have been around long enough to learn a few things worth repeating.

1) Just because there is a “ism” or phobia or disorder slapped on it, it doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want. It doesn’t mean hands off. “Earth has no sorrow, that Heaven can’t heal.” Christians, are you praying? On earth, as it is in Heaven? Earth doesn’t tell the Maker how things roll. We hold the cure for every heartache.

2) Just because everyone else is jumping on the band wagon, doesn’t mean God is wrong, irrelevant, or mean.  A lot of harm is done by people who have more concern about fitting in than seeking Truth. Are you willing to stand alone if that means standing with God’s opinion? Are seeking His opinion more than Twitter or Facebook?

3) Just because you go public, doesn’t make it right. I have a lot of compassion for people who go into the public eye. Scrutiny is a maker or breaker of character. You and I both have seen people lose their way because of their fear of the public’s approval. Either gaining it, keeping it, or losing it.

I literally pray peace for Bruce/Caitlyn, now in the feeding frenzy, but also in the coming months and years from now when the implications become known.

I pray the peace of Christ on our culture that is so confused, self centered, and often deceived. We are making it harder than it has to be.

I pray for the endurance and stamina of the saints to stand firm so that their hearts will not grow cold. Now more than ever we must hold out the truth and hope of Christ. For everyone.

Come one, come all. Come to the table of the One who makes all things new. No plastic surgery required.

 

Why More Sex Doesn’t Fix Porn

It makes me sick when pastors tell wives that if they had been sexing their husbands enough, then their husbands would not have turned to porn. But it makes me violent when pastors tell these now broken, betrayed wives that it is their duty to keep giving their porn addict husbands sex to make them better.

These same pastors misquote scripture to further beat up these wounded women. Well played guys.  Because orgasm is the god of the age.

One commonly misused passage is 1st Corinthians 7: 1- 7 Continue reading

The Missing Ingredient for Breakthrough

“I’m stuck.”     “I can’t.”       “I don’t know how.”

I have come to a real epiphany around these phrases. As a warning, you may not like my revelation, but it is in the Word.  So I guess you’ll need take it up with the Author and Finisher of our Faith instead of with me. Smile.

I’ve spent a lot of time telling people how to get well.  Some respond and some don’t. No problem. But I have also spent a lot of time trying to talk people into getting well. Most don’t.  This is a problem on both our ends. It’s not a counseling issue, it’s a repentance issue.

Why?  Because, while God has forgiven us completely of our sin and no longer counts it against us, there is still a spiritual principle of repentance that is for OUR good health. Let me explain.

Repentance is like a spiritual thermometer. It checks the tenderness of our hearts, our willingness to see with spiritual eyes, our openness to hear from the Lord. When I get in a wad, it is repentance that invites God to redirect my heart and mind. Otherwise I continue to harden—defend — isolate—blame. These heart conditions always lead to stupid actions. Always. That’s why we want our “repentance reflex” to be very quick and strong.

So what is repentance?  To turn back. To return. To agree with God.

It is like Google Maps saying, “Re-routing.”  Somehow we have gotten off the blue line of wisdom or truth so repentance, or returning, helps us get back on God’s blue line of direction. And with repentance comes a promise.

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19-20 NASB)

This makes my heart beat faster. Have you ever felt this burden? The sheer weight of the bitterness, confusion, anger, disappointment, unbelief, sarcasm, shame or accusation?

As soon as we confess it, agree with God, turn our faces back to His, He wipes it away and we are given a fresh breath of His loving presence. Again and again He does this. His mercy never fails.

People who love to repent do get well over time.

But what about those who scoff or ignore or despise even the idea of repentance? Here is my epiphany.

So much time is spent on God’s people who are Clearly lost and yet they act like they are not. This is denial, or worse, pride. I am finding it is better to let them soak in the hard place rather than to give hours of unheeded counsel. Here’s why. I believe our good intentions hamper their healing. People want to talk about their problems and they should. We all need it. In fact the Bible encourages us to confess our sins to one another that we may be healed. (James 5:16)

Yet here’s a dividing point. Danny Silk has this beautiful phrase, “You don’t have a solution for anybody on the planet that doesn’t have a problem.” People who want to massage their problems are not repenting. They want to feel better for the moment but they never want to get right with the Lord. They rarely ever want to confess that they are the problem. And more importantly, they never want to believe that Jesus can or will heal them. Even Jesus asked, do you want to get well? (John 5)
He didn’t ask, do you want spend endless time arguing, blaming, defending, explaining why you are sick and why I should feel sorry for you?

He asked a crippled man, Do you want to be well? When the man started giving his list of excuses, Jesus gave a clear instruction, “pick up your mat and walk.” It was completely counter to what the cripple expected. Here is where choice is a life or death matter in healing. The cripple had to respond to Jesus’s instruction in order to be healed.

Everyone has the freedom to choose life or death. God or drama. Free or stuck. Worship or numbed out.  People have to choose to go to God. To listen and respond in repentance. They need to feel the squeeze of their choices in attitudes and actions. We call this beautiful phenomena “being led by the Spirit.” And we all have to respond when the Spirit tells us to get up and walk.

I think it’s important for us to tell people about the incredible love of God and then get out-of-the-way. It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance. Not our begging, enabling, cajoling, controlling. Only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction and only the Holy Spirit can empower healing. Our job is to tell them what’s available, love them either way, and then let them choose their own path. Life or death. Healing or addiction. Conquering or quitting.

May we all work on our “repentance reflex.” There is so much more life available in God. I believe repentance is the key that unlocks the door.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. 
Psalm 42:5

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 
Proverbs 28:3a

For The Wounded Ones in the Abortion Battle

Because I know you are out there…

I know that every time you even hear the words “pro life” or “abortion” or “pro choice” you get a pit in your stomach, or lump in your throat, or rush of fear, anger or regret in your heart.

Your worst fear is to be found out. Your deepest desire is to be forgiven, finally. You wrestle with what your parents, pastor, boyfriend, husband, friends said before and after your decision. Or what they would say if they only knew…

You replay the day. Over and over.

You flinch at babies. Or you long for a baby.

You can’t stop crying. Or you can’t stop raging.

You can’t stop hating yourself. Or the father, or person who pressured you, even if that person was you.

You can’t even think about heaven. Because what on earth will you say to your child?

And then there is God…how could he love you now?

Even churches act like your choice is too bad, too big for God’s mercy. Will God punish you forever?

Do Christians even care about the scared, trapped pregnant woman or just the baby?

Sisters (brothers), God’s grace is greater than all our sin. It truly does wash us white as snow. When we sing “Jesus paid it all” it means He paid for that day in the clinic as well.  Not partially, or conditionally, but it is completely covered by His redeeming love.

I pray you will have the courage to begin the journey to freedom.  One of the steps to my own healing was to talk about it. I had to open the door to let the shame and fear out but also to let His breath of cleansing freedom in. God led me to a grace-filled believers who really, really understood the Power of the cross. They spoke truth over me that Jesus came to save the world not to condemn it. (Thank you Nan Sprouse and Pat Gilley.) They cried with me. They grieved with me. They loved me with the eternal Love of Jesus.

Look at John 3:16-18 with fresh eyes:IMG_1318
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

The gospel of Jesus, His desire to make the world whole applies to  you. You are not disqualified. You are not cast out. You are not unlovable or unforgivable.

Truly, as the song says, “God renders miracles of our sin.”

For the wounded ones of the abortion battle…Your child is with God but you are still here with us. I pray that God will lead you to people that will love you into freedom.

The Oil of Intimacy

Oswald Chambers once wrote that some things revealed in the spirit are difficult to convey in words. As I write this sentence this morning, I see now I why God told me to create a picture.  The revelation He gave is a rich reality not intended to be easily digested, or dismissed. It is so profound that He wanted me to experience the supernatural moment, but also to fully appreciate the sensation in the natural. And, he wanted me to take a picture so that I could remember it, and share it. Why?  Because this truth is for us all.  So allow me to create the backdrop of the Masterpiece.

I was lost in worship at church. It was one of those surreal moments when His presence was so strong that people responded by singing, crying, sitting or standing with outstretched arms. It was heavy, soaking, glorious. In a word, we were undone. As I sang, I realized that I kept rubbing my fingers across my forehead. Suddenly aware of how foolish it seemed, I asked the Lord, “Why am I doing this?”

The verse out of Revelation came to my spirit about his name being written on our foreheads. I laughed in my heart and told Him I was rubbing in the name that he had written on my forehead so it wouldn’t fade away.  “What would it say anyway? Jeee-sus?” I asked in a silly sort of way.

“No, that’s my name. That’s not my name for you.” His penetrating response shook off my childishness in an instant.

Now I have a long history with God about names. All through scripture, and today, we see God changing people’s names. He gives us new names, even pet names, to show us our destiny or to strengthen our confidence in Him. It is a huge jump in affection when we faith Him to tell us our names, we receive that name and eventually agree with His new name — his idea of who we are becoming, not what we currently see.

That being said, I asked Him if it was my “new name” written on my forehead?

“No, today it’s different,” He said. So I waited in worship.

Then I saw myself standing in front of Him, my head bowed, a smile on my face, and the word “Beloved” written on my forehead.

“Your name is Beloved,” He whispered so tenderly and then He kissed my forehead.IMG_3499

Tears rolled down my cheek in the natural as I experienced this holy picture in my spirit. I am, we are, Beloved.  Known intimately and received completely by Jesus. Not collectively, but individually.  He holds nothing back from us. He calls each one of us, writes on each of our foreheads His distinctive declaration.  Not a number. But a name, a lovely, awe-inspiring, worship-invoking name.  Beloved. His Beloved.

And then. Then came the oil. After the kiss, I saw the Lord pour oil on my head and I heard, “I anoint your head with oil. The oil of gladness.”

Selah.

To say I was wiped out would be an understatement.  I could hardly speak the rest of the night. The next day I could think of little else as I thanked the Lord for his beauty, nearness, and desire. But He wasn’t done with me yet. He kept reminding me that He wanted me to create a picture. I wanted to protest, but how could I refuse Him?

So I asked the girls to help me follow through on something the Lord had told me to do, even though it sounded crazy! Salem wrote on my forehead and Charis poured oil while Salem took pictures. Can you even imagine the expressions on their faces? But we did it all together. And as I relived in the physical world what I had experienced in the heavenly one, even more love exploded in my heart and spirit.

Can you see this word on your forehead? It is there. Written by Jesus himself.

Now let me show you the verses in their fullness and colorful beauty.

The River of Life
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life,
bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God
and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city;
also, on either side of the river, the tree of life
with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.
The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
No longer will there be anything accursed,
but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun,
for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22: 1-5

To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. Is 61:3

God has used both of these passages in my own life to reveal hope and healing and destiny. But He has also purposefully planted these promises in me so I can give them to others.  It is His heart is for His people. He gives us these truths so that we can walk, no run, no DANCE in the joy of Being His.

After this all happened I was reading a new book and saw the phrase, the Oil of Intimacy. I had to put the book down.

That was it. Precisely.  He pours on me, you, us, the oil of intimacy.

Oil. Produced by crushing and refining. A product for softening, nourishing and healing. A product for burning, lighting, or scenting — anointing.

Intimacy. A result of two hearts connecting in deepest places. The two becoming one flesh. In-to-me-you-see. To know and be known, to love and be loved. Be loved. Beloved.

Can I get an Amen?

I can hardly contain all this as it is…but this morning He reveals two more pieces.  First, this revelation comes on the heels of an encounter that had come the week before where I was left with a hard question of “who will you become?”  He had shown me three different pictures going from devotion to distraction. I have wrangled over the answer and He himself answered His question. I am His Beloved. I am His.

And second, as incredible as it sounds, my friend Chelsi sends me a link to a song this morning. It’s name?  “Healing Oil” by Kim Walker.  Think He is wanting me, wanting us, to soak in His goodness?

So what to do with all this?  Maybe you should have someone write the word Beloved on your forehead and take your picture.  It is very sobering.

Maybe you should pour oil over your hands, or head if you dare. Feel the sensation of the richness, let your spirit and your body agree…His has anointed us with the oil of gladness. It is ours for the taking.

Maybe you should sit in quiet or worship and eagerly desire the presence of God.  He inhabits the praises of His people. So He is eager to be with you as well.

Maybe you should just thank Him. Thank Him for calling you Beloved.

We are His beloved.  Let Him write on you. Let Him pour oil on you. Let Him love you.

A Cry for Humanity

It was a convergence of wrenching heart moments. First came two hard movies within days of each other: The Impossible which is the the miraculous true story of an entire family who survived the tsnumami; and Hotel Rwanda which depicts the incredible true story of a man who saved 1268 Africans during the genocide in Rwanda. Next came this “ah-ha” revelation as I spent the day at Dollywood with my girls and some friends, only to come home to the horror of the death and destruction caused by the Oklahoma tornado.IMG_1050

How does the human soul carry such deep and diverse emotions? How do we celebrate the small victories when the devastation is so great. One family was reunited when 150,000 families had loved ones swept away by the sea. One hotel served as a haven to 1268 Hutus and Tutsi when one million corpses were left after the murderers were driven out of Rwanda.

Dazed and terrified children were pulled alive from school debris while other parents waited and searched in anguish for their child’s dead body to be discovered.

In light of this, my “ah-ha” at Dollywood seems so small now.

But perhaps as I connect all these emotional dots it is bigger than I realized. For the first time, as I entered into the mass of humanity that Dollywood attracts, my eyes and heart were seeing people.

Real people. Not the classes or the accents, not the perfect flesh or flawed flesh, not the beliefs and attitudes expressed through clothing, tattoos, or language, but I saw real people.  The flawless, fake “image” of beauty had no place here. What was real and true and honest was the weary but willing parents holding the hands of elated children. It was the mentally handicapped man who could not stop laughing and clapping his hands because he was so excited. It was the fit and obese, the rich and poor, the educated and hicks, the blasphemers and believers, all standing in line together, screaming together on rides, enjoying their loved ones, enjoying…life.

Enjoying. Life. Together.

If we truly are but dust, a flower that rises and falls, a vapor that appears for a moment then vanishes, if we truly are to savor every moment…then all these real life stories of great loss must prompt us to ask…are we? Am I? Are we seeing the beauty of God, the gift of life, the sufficiency of Grace, the overwhelming presence of the Spirit in our daily lives?

Because I am concerned, stirred and agitated that if I do not, will not savor it in times of blessing and peace, will I have the stamina and practice to rely on it when the my world spins out of my control?

Thank God today. For your life. For your loved ones. For His Life and Love.

“You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake” Psalm 23

 

The More of Marriage: a mini-series, part 2

Marriage has shown me my lack of grace, my need for grace, and the reality  of God’s grace.

I have these random memories.  Like puzzle pieces, God put things into place long before I was even aware He was working on me.  One memory is of my arrogant self telling our supposed pre-marrital counselor (snort) that “I am a great catch. And I don’t need Chuck, but I choose him.”  (Poor counselor. Poor Chuck.)

Fast forward to somewhere around year 5 when a wise friend from church asked me what I would do to save my already suffering marriage. I said emphatically, “ANYTHING.”IMG_0972

“Would you quit your job?” he said looking me dead in the eye without flinching. He had nailed my pride,  independence, superiority.  Shocked by the suggested sacrifice, I had to sit squarely and solemnly in the reality of being a liar.  I wouldn’t really do ANYTHING.  I  only wanted to do enough to  make Chuck act better for me.  After a great deal of gnashing my teeth with God, I realized that He could and would do ANYTHING — if my heart was humble before Him.

So I did. It did. God did.   I quit my job and launched my marriage in a different direction.  God was up to something better for me, for us.  My marriage radically changed when I saw my lack of grace for Chuck and I acknowledged  my need for grace to let go of ideas and actions that were poisoning my marriage. It is one thing to say you’re committed; it is another thing to act committed —especially when those acts require sacrifice.  Jesus  knows all about the cost of sacrifice, and it’s why He offers us His loving grace to do it.

From years 10-15,  there are lots of memories and  journal entries of “when Lord, when” or “why Lord why” or “help, Lord help.”

Funny now to think of it all.  I don’t how God carried us, but He did. Every day.  8030 days.  Sometimes we walked with Him. Sometimes He carried us in His arms while we were sleeping, or weeping, or too sick to walk.  Sometimes, He pulled us along,  His firm hand clamped around ours, as we kicked and screamed down the road He had determined. But He was there from the start in all the chaos, dreams, and questions. From the start He was planting life and hope and renewal. And as we went along He whispered…

“Trust Me.”

“Look at Me.”

“Expect Me to Change Things.”

“Believe for Good.”

I know folks married 30 – 50+ years are laughing at me.  In that world of marital staying power,  I am only a youngster.  But if you are under the 20 year mark, you need to know that God’s grace really is yours. It’s not a  pithy church statement. It is a divine fact, a gift, an investment.  He pours in to us what we cannot manufacture on our own. He never gets tired, frustrated or quits. We might, but Jesus doesn’t.

His grace is always available, and it comes to those who know they need it. Chuck and I have grieved over our hard-headedness and hard-heartedness. Why did we wait so long to humble ourselves before God and before each other in so many sticky places?

Our goal now is to shorten the recovery time.  After this many years, we are learning to bypass the manipulation by silence or anger or emotional explosions. We are more eager to get to the heart of the matter…. Really, the Heart of the matter. God’s heart. Chuck’s heart. My heart. “God what am I missing here?  I am committed to this person more than I am committed to being right, so give me grace to see what you see.”

Even in those times when one of us was more eager for health than the other, Grace happens. I have found that many times the only reason ONE person is still holding on, is because God’s grace is at work.  With so much marital collapse all around, we shy away from clinging to His grace and our vows.  Yet I believe it is a sure promise for those who desire to cross the finish line.

Truly, His Grace is all sufficient. For every need, He is there.

To save, not to condemn

IMG_0475The intersection of our social upheavals with Easter could not be more pertinent—more unsettling or perhaps even more hopeful?  I have considered both sides. I have listened to the barbs thrown at human beings from both political stances. And I keep coming back to some simple truths. Jesus came to save the world, not condemn it. There is no condemnation because of Christ. But—we are also not in charge.

Jesus came to restore us to the original intent of the Master Designer. He came that we would have true intimate fullness with God.  And in the same way that He came that Crucifixion day long ago, people rejected Him. They scorned His way, His blood, His promise. But He died and was raised again — anyway. Despite their protests to defend their sin, He shed His blood and was raised again to make them new creations, to give them more than they dreamed possible.

The same is true today. Despite our arrogant attempts at determining the “way things should be” and doing “what is right in our own eyes” there is a Holy Agenda being fulfilled.  It is hope and life open to all. There is just one hitch – we are not in charge. We can choose ultimate love, or not. We can have mercy and peace, or not. We can have all His provision and true satisfaction, or not. He always lets us choose life or death.

Yet it remains that God himself is the one who creates definition, truth and identity. The law doesn’t. The lobbyist with money doesn’t. The person with the most vehement Facebook posts doesn’t (regardless of the mathematical symbol). “In his image he created them male and female.”

I have had, and do have, homosexual friends. I also have friends who are addicts, liars, and gossips, and who cheat on their heterosexual spouses.  I love them all.  More importantly, God loves them all.

But this is not the sum total of who they are—or who they could be.  And He has a better plan than each of these counterfeit identities.  We don’t concede to our personal preferences, or even our supposed rights. We begin and end with God’s image. I used to think that sleeping with a guy to get love was “the way things work.” But then I met Real Love, and my preferences changed, my idea of Truth changed. My political stances changed. Mercy does that. Resurrection power does that.

Years ago, with the emergence of gay rights, the buzz from the medical field was not positive. They would say (and still do say) that anal sex is one of the most high risk sexual encounters ever. Why? Because this body part, the original intent of its design, is being distorted.
This is not brain surgery. Talk to a child about our great political issues: abortion, slavery, homosexuality. Killing babies, owning other humans and same sex couples do not add up to them. You don’t have to persuade them. It is simple math. I have taught thousands of middle and high schools students. I’ve seen the results over and over.

Tell them the bare facts: how abortion is performed, how slaves are forced by threat of death to trade their bodies for sex or labor, and how the human body is wired for sex, male and female, and they can come to simple revelations—

I was once a baby, I needed someone to allow me to be born.
Humans don’t own other humans, regardless of skin color, or value as a commodity.
Simple biological plumbing suggests that male and female coupling is in our DNA.

Is any of this popular? accepted? comfortable? No.
But I don’t make the rules. I also don’t set the standard for life to the full.

Just like the Roman empire did not, could not, dictate Jesus’s mission of love, neither can Apple, Amazon, or Starbucks defer ours. I heard two men from opposing sides use the phrase “embrace without endorsing.”  I can live with that. I can live with disagreement. What I can’t live with is trying to legalize same sex marriage to make it socially normal or right. The law of God is written on our hearts. The supreme court isn’t. There is a higher law we are to governed by.

How then shall we live?  With a heart of Christ that seeks to save, from a heart that loves the world without condemnation but with absolute resolve to stand with Him. There is a great line from the movie Mulan. The enemy Hun invader demanded the Emperor bow before him.  His response?  “No matter how much the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow.”

God is still on the throne, whether we like it or not. His heart is still for restoration and salvation, whether we receive it or not. The choice is ours, but the earth is His. We are His children, His creation after all. When it is all said and done, mercy triumphs over judgement.  We wait for the sons and daughers of God to be revealed.