We Have a Law

I just read an article that really resonated with me about issues involved with a need to be right. It resonates because I was brought up with this very perspective, that being right far outweighed anything else. To be more compassionate or loving was always secondary, subordinated to first being right. If I did not believe the right doctrines and do the right things, then it mattered little how kind I was, for God's highest priority from our narrow view, was knowing the right answers and to keep the rules.
In a context of religious fever for 'having the truth,' a relationship with God meant aligning our beliefs and behavior to follow exactly what was taught by reliable instructors practiced in religion and experts who could line up Bible verses and inspired quotations to prove what was right (1 Thess. 5:21). With sufficient proofs in place, questions were tolerated at best but discouraged much of the time. To raise questions about reasons for obedience was to invite bein…

Ultimate Wrestling

World Class Wrestler – Jacob
Jacob started his wrestling career prenatally (Gen. 25:22). His birth caught him and his brother in the act as he refused to interrupt his fight with his brother long enough to even be born (Gen 25:26). Jacob and Esau continued to develop their wrestling skills likely through their growing up years pitting their strength against each other with Esau likely winning many of their skirmishes.
Likely because of his underdog status with his brother (which his parents at first may have found somewhat amusing), Jacob would have become an easy target for alternative ways to try to win against his brother, something all too familiar for many of us.
Throughout his life Jacob found himself wrestling much of the time, though not always in physical matches as much as during his early years. His rounds now spilled into emotional wrestling, struggling for social status, wrestling with nearly anyone around him in attempts to find a sense of worth, satisfaction and strong …

Recieving Wisdom know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:3-7)
This verse has kept coming into my mind repeatedly of late. My attention keeps being drawn to the specific words highlighted above as key to understanding, appreciating and most importantly experiencing the promise embedded in this passage of receiving wisdom.
Do I need more wisdom? That's a given and hardly needs expressing. But then again, expression is a form of admission which is an important part of deepening a relationship through honesty. Without getting real …

Deflecting or Reflecting

Do not allow this world's system of manipulation through fear squeeze you into its mold of thinking;rather be transfigured through the renovation of your mind by the Spirit transforming the way you think at your very core, so that you may discern what is truly good, pleasing and mature from God's perspective and what actually is His desire. (Romans 12:2 Paraphrase from Greek)
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
Human beings by design are reflectors of God's glory. Yet sin – lies about God – have so distorted, warped and obscured the truth about God's glory that our reflection has often become ugly, abusive and involves fear. Our condition of selfishness leads many to believe God is more like the devil than like Jesus. As a result we …