Month: October 2014

It’s About the Girls, Stupid

There are occasions when a subject comes at me from several different directions, and I begin to get the feeling that the thing needs to show up here. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of catching up with a friend of mine who heads up a trafficking ministry in Charlotte, North Carolina called Compassion to Act. (You can check them out at www.compassontoact.org) They are the real deal.

I learned a few things from her during that conversation. Most men don’t wake up one morning and decide they are going to pay for a woman to have sex with them. What my friend and her ministry partners have discovered is the journey to buying a sex partner starts at home. On the computer. With pornography.

Pictures lead to videos, that lead to visits to strip clubs, and then prostitutes. For some, paying for prostitutes will lead to buying a ticket to Thailand to go have sex with a twelve-year-old trafficking victim. There are 27 million slaves in the world today. Most of them are in the sex slave industry.

images-1I know.

It’s gross.

My friend tells me that when her team goes to the strip clubs to minister to the women who work there, they pass by the cars parked outside, many with child safety seats and toys in the back seat. These are married fathers with families back at home where their journey started. On the computer. These men have started down a road that is going to lead them and their families toward destruction.

We often hear about how homosexual civil unions are going to destroy marriage in America. The greater enemy of marriage in America is pornography. It used to be a pretty well controlled industry back before Al Gore invented the internet. (I thought you could use a bit of levity just now) Back in the olden days, a guy had to go to the store to buy his pornography where the good fellow had to risk being seen buying it. Then the magazine makers figured out they would get more customers if they offered home delivery. Sin always prefers privacy. So Hustler and Playboy arrived at the front door monthly in their brown paper wrapping.




Those were the days. Tman-staring-at-computer[1]oday things are different. The internet has made pornography so easily accessible that those who were too afraid to buy it at a store, or even risk having the magazine/videos come in the mail, can sneak to their computer under cover of night, and with a couple of mouse clicks, begin their journey into the pornography underworld.

The enemy of our souls has carefully crafted lies to protect and propagate this practice. One of those lies is that looking at porn is harmless fun, is in no way cheating on your wife, and can actually improve the marriage relationship.

As a forty-seven year old woman, I call foul on that one. There is no way I can compete with a twenty-five year old woman who appears physically perfect, and who seems to want acrobatic sex all day, every day. Men who look at pornography lose touch with reality. They lose their desire for intimacy with their spouses. Women who know their husbands are looking at pornography lose the respect they should have for him and also the desire to honor him. These are the two things men need most from their wives. No one in the marriage relationship wins with pornography.

Another lie the enemy tells us about pornography is that it must be okay if so many people are into it. It is true that many, many people have fallen prey to pornography. Line up one hundred men and nearly every other one is involved in it. But guess what? Line up one hundred women and nearly one in three are involved. The pornography industry has started capitalizing on women and drawing them in. Not a problem for you? What about those harlequin romance novels? The pornography industry realizes the female desire for Fabio, and they are giving him to her these days. So if so many people are involved, then it really must be okay, right? Is that what you are telling your teenager when they tell you, “Everybody else is doing it, mom.” Of course not. Stop believing the lie.

I think my most potent argument against pornography is not really its destructive effects on the family. My most potent argument against it is simply… “It’s about the girls, stupid.” I cannot imagine any sane man, even one caught up in pornography, would feel good about pulling up a photo or video online and seeing their own daughter there performing lewd sexual acts with a man for the whole world to see. And yet every woman shown in pornography, every woman dancing in a strip club, every woman caught up in prostitution and/or trafficking is someone’s precious daughter. And all of these girls were fearfully and wonderfully made by their heavenly Father. It was never his intention for them to be misused in this way.

IMG_0098-1.JPGIt must break his heart.

It must also break his heart to see sex that he created for private intimacy, within the context of marriage, degraded to animalistic selfish gratification creating a multi-billion dollar industry. Now I realize that every man who looks at porn on his computer at home will not land in a strip club, or find himself shucking out twenties to a woman he just had sex with. I also realize that most will not climb on a plane and fly to Thailand or Greece or wherever to have sex with an underage girl who is forced to service sixty men a day.

But if it all starts with pornography, and it does, and we want to end trafficking (i.e. the sex slave industry), then we have to stop it at its root. We have to stop thinking pornography is no big deal. We must shine the light of truth on this lie. Because it’s the truth that will set them free.

Choose Well Your Path

I love Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. While it was a story intended to entertain children, it is such an excellent literary work, even as an adult I love to read and reread it. There is a never-ending line of one liners and passages that speak to life and the pursuit of it.

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A couple of my favorites, and there are many, are:

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”  “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Ain’t that the truth. I love that Cheshire Cat.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

With any luck, that is the truth.

But the one I want to land on today is another from Cheshire Cat.

“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice: “I don’t much care where.” The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”

If you don’t have any idea where you want to end up, then it doesn’t much matter which path you take. You are bound to end up somewhere. It just might not be anywhere close to where you had wanted.

Sometimes we look up and find ourselves in a situation we never intended. We look around, unsure of how we got to the place we currently find ourselves. But at some point, we chose a path. We stood at a crossroad and we made a choice.

And then another and another.

We didn’t particularly want to end up at our current location, but neither did we take steps to ensure that didn’t happen.




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I don’t only find life truths from the Cheshire Cat. Andy Stanley, Pastor of NorthPoint Church in Atlanta, has some decent thoughts, too. Andy said in a sermon series once, “Direction, not intention, determines your destination.”

It is the path you choose, not your intentions, that determines where you end up in life.

Let’s make this simple. Let’s say I intend to have a clean house. But if I choose the path to the couch with the TV remote at hand, instead of the path to the broom closet where my cleaning supplies are, my final destination will not be a clean house… even though my intention was to have a clean house.

How about another one… If Matthew and I, as young parents, had intended to have well behaved, obedient children who honor us and love Jesus, but we chose the path of inconsistency, no boundaries, poor example, dishonoring of each other, and religious hypocrisy we would likely be visiting our four social malcontents in prison today.

Good intentions on the wrong path still end up in a bad place.

We have to decide today where we want to be tomorrow, and take steps today to get us there. In other words, try asking yourself, “What am I doing today, to get me where I want to be tomorrow?”

Let’s say you want to be a good wife. Maybe there are improvements that can be made in how you manage your role as wife. I think we could all say that there are areas we can improve. We have to chart our course today.

Maybe your spouse would really love it if there was a healthy meal on the table each night for the family, and you have decided that would be your responsibility. But instead of that actually happening most nights, you find that you spend so much time on social media that there isn’t much time for healthy meal prep, and you end up ordering out most nights. It’s time for a change in direction. You intended to prepare a meal, you still provided one, but it wasn’t what your spouse and you agreed upon. Deciding to turn off the computer in time to plan and prepare a nice meal might go a long way in mending a fence with a disappointed spouse. It would be the right direction or path.

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I have a friend who helps me stay on one particular path. Every once in a while she’ll text me and ask, “How’s the book coming?”

For me, that can be a path changer. The book is coming along fine, when I choose the path of working on it. I intend to get it published, but unless I make choices today to make that happen “tomorrow”, then it never will. Sometimes a word from a friend is all it takes to help us get on the right path.

But sometimes it takes a tragedy or an unbearable circumstance. Sometimes we get to the inevitable end of the path we chose and find misery there.

Thankfully, we can change course. Oh, we may have to wade through some muck and slosh though some mire, but the right path? The one that will get us to where we need to be in our lives? He’s marked it out for us. Those things we are supposed to be doing? He planned those things eons ago.

Good intentions are… well you know what they say about good intentions.

In the words of the Cheshire Cat, “Where do you want to get to?”

Choose well your path.

Just a Little More Faith

Faith is a curious thing. The Bible defines it as confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Well. That clears that right up now, doesn’t it? We talk a lot about having faith, but do any of us really truly understand it? 20141025-221848.jpg

In my very limited understanding, faith is trusting in something unseen. Other than Moses, (and arguably Adam and Eve) none has ever seen the face of God and lived to tell the tale.

In the words of the song, “These Things Take Time” -by Sanctus Real,

“I want to know why you gave me eyes when faith is how I see.”

It’s true. The Bible tells us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). Why? We cannot trust in the things we see. Our eyes play tricks on us. Our understanding of what we are seeing is often flawed. So the only way we gain true understanding of what is really going on is by having faith in an unseen God.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone tell someone else they needed more faith, then I’d have a whole lot of nickels.

“If you just believed in God more.”

“If you just trusted in God more.”

“If you just had enough faith…”

Then things would certainly turn out right. We would all get what we want.
But what is that really? What is right, after all? Can we really presume to know? Could we not surmise from Scripture that trials actually produce in us the faith we need to endure? (James 1:3) We always want our trials to end quickly, but it is through trials that character comes, that we learn to persevere.

And when we admonish someone to have more faith, how do we know when enough is enough faith to get God to do what they want him to do? I think it’s a harsh thing to tell someone in the midst of a crisis to just have more faith. Is there a chart somewhere? Somehow I have a hard time picturing God just sitting there, withholding what would be best for his kids, until their faith quotient measures up. That doesn’t describe his grace and mercy at all.




I think that’s why Jesus talked to his disciples about mustard seeds. Now I’ve never seen a mustard seed in person. But Google has it on good authority that the mustard seed is an itty bitty little thing. Barely a speck in the palm of a person’s hand. Negligible.20141025-220728.jpg

Still, a mustard seed’s worth of faith is just enough. For anything. Certainly Jesus felt it would have been enough faith for his disciples to have healed someone. (Matthew 17) So if we shouldn’t tell someone in crisis they just need more faith, what should we tell them?

I suggest to them to draw close. Dig in and draw close to God. The Bible tells us that if we will draw close to God, he will draw close to us (James 4:8). It doesn’t take a whole lot of faith to press in and get close to Jesus. When we get close we know him more; we understand more about who he is. And isn’t it true that we tend to have more faith in folks that we know better?

We like to judge for us and others what is good and what is not. Sometimes the trials we face are the very thing we need to get us to the place God wants us to be. We are not promised an easy life. In fact, we are promised trouble (John 16:33).

I know it’s hard to watch someone you love walk through a trial. We just wish they could do something to help themselves out of their pickle. We think if they just had more faith they would be delivered of this thing. But maybe deliverance is not what is best for them.

Sometimes in the walking through the trial we become that person we were intended to be all along. Sometimes without the trial, we would never have found the traction we needed to get us to that place of surrender and healing. To a place of intimate relationship with Jesus.

To The Beloved Daughter of the Most High King

The blogs I write are sort of an outpouring of the things God is doing in my life. Most of the time what he’s doing is all about me. But sometimes, what he is doing in the life of someone I love shows up here, too. Those closest to me know this and love me anyway when they see their stories show up in the lines of Cracked Pot Pieces. Fair warning… Today is one of those days.

Today, I am writing for the Beloved Daughter of the Most High King. Oh, you thought that was you? For clarification, just who is the Beloved Daughter of the Most High King? Well, God only had one natural born Son. All the rest of his kids have been adopted into his family. If you are female, and if you have been adopted into the family of God, then you are the Beloved Daughter of the Most High King.

So maybe this one is for you, too.




If you have had the privilege of watching a little girl grow up, more than likely she went through her princess phase. Our daughter did. I like to argue that, at seventeen, she is still in her princess phase. It’s her father’s fault. He calls her “Princess”. Tell a girl long enough that she’s a princess, and there you go.

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When my daughter was about four, she enjoyed her princess status very much. Being the only girl in four kids gave her a bit of  an advantage. And by that, I mean she was the only princess in her kingdom. For four Halloweens running, she dressed as a princess. When she was six we celebrated her birthday with a princess party. All her guests came wearing their favorite princess dresses, we had long pink princess wigs to wear, and “pamper” was the word of the day.

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When you are a princess, you can do pretty much whatever you want. It is an understood position of privilege. Still, I would imagine that being born into that position is easier than being adopted in. Sometimes when we are adopted in, it’s a bit harder to grasp our new role and leave the old ones behind.

Here’s the thing though. Being adopted into the family of the Most High King is not like joining any other royal realm, ever. There are no princess dresses or maids in waiting. There are no servants to prepare our food or draw our baths. There are no crowds of commoners vying for a chance to gaze upon our visage. (I get extra points for using the word, visage.)

Sometimes being the Beloved Daughter of the Most High King is hard. Jesus left to prepare our mansion eons ago, but if you are like me, you are a princess in a pretty average kind of house, who does pretty average kinds of things. If you are like me, sometimes you feel like anything but a princess. Most fairy tale princesses live a life of luxury. Most are pampered and revered. I don’t know about your kingdom, but I can’t seem to get anyone to revere me in mine. As a matter of fact, most days I do good to be able to reach my hand around to pat my own back. More often, I can feel defeated or inadequate.

The world would like to tell us that we are not really Beloved Daughters of the Most High King. Our enemy would like to tell us that we are undeserving and wretched. He would like to remind us of all the un-princess-like things we have done and continue to do. With any luck on his part, he paints a picture of a smudge-faced girl in a tattered dress.

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Here’s the good news. As a Beloved Daughter of the Most High King, we only need one thing to walk in our royal position successfully. We need that mansion building Brother of ours. The Prince of Peace.

Our success as a princess rests completely in our ability to find sufficiency in Christ. He is all we need. All this other stuff we’ve been told we need? Not true. Jesus is enough. Everything else good in our lives is just icing on that already delicious cake. No one, and nothing in this world, can complete us. Only Jesus.

We sing several songs at the church I attend that allude to the fact that Christ is all we need. There was a time when I had a hard time singing one of them in particular. It hit me right in my royal tuckus. Was Jesus really enough for me? If I lost everything else in my kingdom, would Christ really be sufficient?

If I am honest, there are days when this princess wants more. There are times when this princess thinks she must have this or needs that to be whole. But here’s the truth. I became whole the day I accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation. The day I took my crown was the day I was fulfilled for all eternity. No matter what label this world tries to put on me, I wear the label he gave me.

woman-worshiping-3-300x200I am the Beloved Daughter of the Most High King, and if you love Jesus, so are you!

“Prayer Changes Things”

Does prayer really change things? It used to be a hip saying back in the seventies. Remember the seventies? When I think of the seventies I have to wonder if any saying from then could possibly ring true. “Prayer changes things.” In the church where I grew up there used to be these tiny pencils in the pews. There were little holders just for them. They looked like the tiny pencils you get when you are scoring putt putt golf. On the side of these little red pencils was printed, “Prayer Changes Things”. I wondered about that as a little kid. I wondered about that and why they never put erasers on the ends of those little pencils.

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The Bible says that “The effective prayers of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) That’s King James. I don’t really talk like that. My version of that is, “When you pray, stuff starts to happen.”

There’s another part of the Bible that says there is none that is righteous, no not one. (Romans 3:10) So… where does that leave us? If the prayers of a righteous man avail much, and there are no righteous men… then it sounds like we are up a creek.

The truth is, we are not righteous on our own. The only righteousness in us comes from Jesus and what he did on our behalf. It is because of his perfection and his sacrifice that we can even approach the throne of God with our petitions. It is because Jesus stands there, beside God, right at his right hand, and takes on the role of our advocate that God even entertains our prayers.

Some people are a bit put off by prayer. I am sometimes. People say it’s just talking to God. That’s true. I like a little light conversation as much as the next person. Sure. “Thanks for this beautiful Tuesday. Thanks for the decent hair day, today. Be with me today, God. Bless me today, Lord. yadda yadda.” But that’s like having a triple layer chocolate cake, and only dipping your finger into the frosting on the top. It’s good, but you are missing out on the layers beneath. The layers that require a bit more work to explore. It can get messy, but it is oh so good. And yet sometimes I just can’t go there.

I’d prefer to keep the conversation light. To go deeper requires more of me than I am willing to give. But if my prayers are going to be effective, I have to roll up my sleeves and get a little messy.

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In all honesty, I didn’t know how to go deeper in conversation with God for a long time. I didn’t quite understand the real power of prayer. The power it has to change things. The power it has to change me. Here’s the truth about prayer… the deep, meaningful kind. It may not always change my circumstances, although it often does, it always changes me. Take for instance when I am mad at my husband.

It happens.

I have found that it is hard for me to stay mad at him if I pray for him. Try it. Are you mad at someone right now? Go pray for them. Go ahead.

I’ll wait…

When I am upset with my spouse, and I pray for him, he doesn’t magically change the behavior that is presently irking me, but somehow, I am no longer mad. Or at least the smoke coming from my ears has dissipated.

So let’s say we are ready to ramp up our prayers. We are ready to go double fisted into that triple layer chocolate cake. What does that look like? Several years ago, I learned the practice of praying Scripture. When Jesus faced the devil in the desert he spoke the Word of God to his problem. When we face our trials and temptations, we should do the same.

Let’s think on this thing practically.  I will sometimes hear my kids say something I have said to them. When that happens, I cannot help the smile on my face. Can you imagine the smile on God’s face when we remind him of his word? Need an example?

Let’s say your husband is consumed with worry over something and it is affecting him, and perhaps your relationship. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So then, I would pray, “Dear Father, please remind Matthew not to worry, but rather in his current situation, to bring his concerns to You and to thank You. And then Lord, bring him your promised peace that will guard his heart and his mind through Jesus… because he’s driving me crazy.”

See? It’s easy. At least that one was. Sometimes the things we bring to the Father are more serious. That’s when the work of prayer is more difficult. That’s when we jump in with both feet, and we begin to pray out loud. If you don’t think praying out loud makes any difference, you’ve never done it. Especially if you are praying Scripture. God’s word is alive and it is powerful. There are many instances in the Bible where we are instructed to speak… to address the mountains we face out loud. James tells us there is power in the tongue. Proverbs says there is the power of life and death in the tongue. Jesus said if we have the faith we can turn to our mountain and tell it to move and it will move. How cool is that?

The saying, “Prayer Changes Things” may be the only really good thing that came out of the seventies.

Well, that and KC and the Sunshine Band.

KC & The Sunshine Band - The Best Of

All Who Wander…

All who wander are not lost. But if they continue wandering for long, most soon will be.

Most of us think we are fairly clever. I know I think I am pretty clever. Most of us see ourselves as smarter than the average bear. We may not think we are the sharpest tool in the shed, but we think we are certainly not the dullest. Comparison. We are all about comparison. I may be doing this, but at least I’m not doing that. I might have slid down the hill a step or two, but look, they are at the bottom in a crumpled heap. At least that’s not me.

Comparison. The tool of the sinner. Justification. The tool of the saint.

Human beings are all about continuums and spectrums. We love them. We love to place others and ourselves on the sin continuum or the failure spectrum. We may not be happy with where we are on the continuum or spectrum, but as long as we can successfully compare ourselves to others, we can at least put our heads on the pillow at night. As long as our end of day reconciliation puts us in some kind of favorable light, we are satisfied at least for the moment.

I am sometimes surprised at our amazing ability to justify the things we do in our lives that we know without a shadow of a doubt we should not be doing. The success with which we can convince ourselves that this thing we want to do is allowable is truly remarkable. We may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but should be sharper than that.

So why do we allow ourselves to wander?

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We allow ourselves to wander because we convince ourselves that we are smart enough to handle the consequences of our actions. Most of us know going in what the likely outcome of any given participation in sinful activity is going to be. Most of the time, we have weighed heavily the possible outcomes and scenarios in our minds. We have played them out to the inevitable endings, and in our minds convinced ourselves that we can outsmart them. We convince ourselves that laying down with dogs will not end in our bodies covered in fleas. We are immune. We possess what every other living, breathing human being does not. We have the ability to navigate sin and come out untouched.

We are not only not the sharpest tool in the shed, we are likely a handle devoid of any manner of blade at all.

I have watched believers convince themselves that they can do the very thing they would never advise another person to do. If I am honest, I have tried this myself. I have thought these thoughts in my own mind. I have walked down paths where warning signs flashed and virtual “bridge out” signs warned me, all because I thought I possessed a level of closeness with God that would allow me to come out on the other side of this thing immune to its affects. The foolish rush in where angels fear to tread.

Sometimes ideas come to us that we know are foolhardy. How do we handle these ideas when they come? Jesus was tempted in the desert. Just before he was to pay for our sins on the cross, Satan took one last chance to sway the inevitable. Three times, Satan tempted Jesus to give it all up and switch teams. If anyone could have given in to temptation successfully, it was Jesus. But all three times Jesus turned from it. All three times he did exactly what we should do when we are faced with temptations to sin.

He fought temptation with scriptures. Psalm 19:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

When we direct our own paths, invariably we wander off. We may not get lost right off, but if we stray too far for too long, soon enough we look up and are surprised by how far astray we have gone so quickly. We are like dumb sheep and have turned to our own way. (Isaiah 53:6) With each step we justify our actions and go farther and farther from what we know to be true and right.

I deserve this.

One more step.

No one knows what I have been through.

Another step taken.

If they knew, no one would blame me.

And another,

I can handle it.

and another,

I know what I’m doing.

Until we look up and find ourselves in a heck of a mess, unsure how we got here, and without a clue how to get back again. It’s Alice down the rabbit hole all over again.

So what’s the solution? The best solution is to never allow yourself immunity in the first place. Never, as a believer, give yourself permission to do that which you would not advise another to do.

But maybe it’s too late for that. Maybe you looked up from your wanderings a bit ago and realized you have lost your way.

Well here’s the great thing about wandering away from God. You have not really wandered away. He knew where you were going, even if you didn’t. While you were getting yourself lost, he was already working on how to bring you home. (Romans 8:28)

I have cats now, but I had a dog when I was a little girl. His name was Tag. When I was a preschooler, I wandered off into the forest behind my neighborhood and got lost. My mom turned her back for a second, and off I went. Tag, apparently aptly named, tagged on with me. I made the path into the woods on my own, but Tag was right there making every step with me. If I had had the sense to follow him, he could have led me right back to my house. He knew the way.

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Always follow the one who knows the way.

When we finally look up to see we have lost our way, we don’t have to stay lost. God is not mad at our wanderings. He doesn’t ever say, “Sorry, you got yourself into this mess, you’ll just have to be getting yourself out now.” No. Saving the lost is his favorite thing. I’m not suggesting that believers who wander lose salvation and have to be saved again… No. Scripture is clear that our eternal destiny is secure in what Jesus did on the cross. But bringing children back into fellowship with him is his desire and great joy. The prodigal son was already a son, but he got lost. When he was found there was a great celebration! (Luke 15:11-32)

We have a huge capacity as humans to justify bad behavior. It is a slippery slope. The best option is just to never allow ourselves to go there. But if you find yourself in that heap at the bottom of the slope, lost in your wanderings, don’t stay there out of some sense of hopeless surrender. Surrender is needed, but surrender to the hope you have in Christ. He rescued you once with his death on the cross. Don’t you think you can trust him to lead you home again?

Bats in the Belfry

Let’s face it, sometimes there are those situations in life that come along and make us feel… uncomfortable. We are unsure of proper protocol. We are uncertain of what to do or say to improve, or move on from, the situation at hand.

For example, sometimes there’s a bat in the belfry and you have to decide if you are going to say something or not. Sometimes it’s hanging there in someone’s nose, waving in the breeze, and you can hardly look the person in the eye for all its flapping.

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(I never said this was a dignified blog.)

You can barely focus on what they are saying because you’re having this inner turmoil, this ongoing conversation with yourself about whether or not you are going to say something… And if you are, how do you broach the subject without embarrassing them or yourself? It’s almost like it’s your fault the thing is hanging there in the first place, and if you point it out, then you are admitting your guilt. It’s a terrible predicament, really.

Of course, we always say we would want someone to tell us if we have a bat in the belfry, so wouldn’t it stand to reason that most everyone else on the planet would want to know, too? And yet, there is still the dilemma. Do we tell them immediately, or let them finish the story they are so animatedly telling us? Maybe we decide it’s a personal problem and hope they check themselves in the mirror before they move on to torture another person.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have this same conversation with myself about sharing my faith. Sometimes I find myself caught up in conversation with someone who needs to receive the grace and mercy of the cross so badly and yet I struggle with just how or when or what to say… exactly. They continue talking, but I am having my own personal conversation about my personal struggle. Just me, myself, and the Holy Spirit. Do they really want to hear this from me right now? How will they respond if I say what I am really thinking? Do they have any idea how far off into the weeds they are?

Here’s the truth about the Christian faith. It is personal. But it is not private. Did you get that? It is personal, but it is not private. So many of us were brought up with the notion that you don’t talk to people about those things. Good conversationalists never bring up politics or religion. Here, here. I agree. But I am not talking about talking about religion. I’m talking about talking about the grace and mercy found only in Christ. Religion never rescued anyone. It only binds them. Real freedom is found in a relationship with the living God.

I actually love talking about Jesus and living a life for him. The struggle with when and how and what to share is much less than it used to be. But I still have those inner discussions, when the need to say something (especially to someone far from him) hangs in the balance like a boogie in someone’s nose. They need to know so badly, but I struggle with how to present it in such a way that we are both feeling good about it in the end.

Here’s the conclusion I’ve made on this one. My mandate from scripture is to live my life in such a way that it points others to Jesus, and to be ready at a moment’s notice to give testimony to the assurance I have in him. What they do with that testimony is up to them. I merely bear witness.

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With any luck, it’s the same with the bat in the belfry. I cannot imagine, once told, a person would really be ungrateful for the hearing about it.

And just as a “by the way”- it is my habit, when I do tell someone about the bat in the belfry, to call it a “fuzzy”. We all get fuzzies from time to time, this one just got caught up in their nose. It saves them from embarrassment, and more importantly, it moves them to action.

Sharing the gospel should be just the same. Always done in the most gentle of ways, with the intention of moving them to action.

(If you’ve ever heard a more odd analogy about sharing the gospel, I’d surely like to hear it. I’d like to say the Lord inspires these blog pieces, and I merely write them down… but I can’t pin this one on him.)