My Testament

I know you have said that you don’t need church or religion–it’s full of hypocrites anyways.  I agree.  In fact, I have found hypocrites in the most unlikely places.  I found some at the bank, the post office, Starbucks, the grocery store, and even employed with Apple.  Amazing!   I’ve seen hypocritical husbands, wives, parents, and employers.  I see the dual lifestyles of so many people and wonder “what the heck?”  Hypocrites are definitely a problem.  But are they really your problem?

What do you do with the guilt for the bad things you have done that eats at you when you are alone?  What do you do about the wild and sometimes evil thoughts that pass through your head on a daily basis?  What do you do with the shame from the actions you have committed that have wounded or maybe even destroyed another person?  What do you do with your insatiable desire to numb your feelings, or gratify your desires?  By what standard will you filter your thoughts and actions?

When crimes and atrocities happen in the world, everyone asks the question “why?”  or “what were they thinking?”, or “what would drive him/her to……”  Everyone wants there to be boundaries on the behavior of humanity.  All of us want others to behave in ways that treat others with kindness, decency, and love.  Who gets to set those boundaries?  Have you ever thought about that?

Shame, guilt, hypocrisy, and selfish self-gratification are realities at work in all of us.  All of us.  They are existential consequences to lifestyles that are lived contrary to the prescribed design.  You can’t escape it, you can only temporarily numb it– unless you have a Savior.  Unless someone or something takes on the full weight of all that you carry in guilt, sin, shame, and selfishness and destroys its power by bearing the full consequence, you and I will continue to carry this weight and spend the rest of our lives trying to shake it–with no success.

As much as I want to, I cannot rescue you.  Even if I could take chemotherapy in your stead, I cannot remove your “cancer”.  I just can’t.  I am powerless.  I cannot be your moral compass, your peace, your eternal future, or the reason for your existence. I can possibly relieve some of your suffering by offering comfort and friendship, but I myself had to be rescued from my own cancer of sin.  I found out quickly that there was nothing within me that could eliminate my disease of selfishness, shame, guilt, and hypocrisy.  Looking within myself I could not find a morality good enough or a reason high enough to justify my life.

I need– you need,–we need a Savior.  I have found Jesus to be just that.  To have never told you would be my cruelest act. To watch you suffer when I have found the remedy would be incomprehensible.

I can’t speak for those who call Him Lord and live as frauds.  You will find them everywhere.  I can, however, speak of the Savior Jesus, who holds the power to change you, the remedy to heal you, and the grace to see you through from this moment into eternity.  That is who I have put all of my hope in, and I have found Him more than able.

Romans 3:23-26

The Message (MSG)

21-24 But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

25-26 God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.

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Reflections

The untimely, and unforeseen death of a friend this past week has given my heart time to reflect, and somehow writing it out puts some purpose to the sadness.  God uses moments like these in my life to cause me to step back and take stock of my life and the lives of those around me.

He was 51 when the heart-attack came and in just moments he was gone.  A strong healthy man, husband and father with an ache in his arm sat down to rest in front of the fire.  As his wife massaged his arm and shoulder, he collapsed and never got up again.  “This is the only time in Neil’s life that I ever saw him go down when he didn’t get up again.  He never stayed down,” his wife Nancy recalled through tears.

This past week I entered into the story of grief  and goodbye with my friend Nancy and her son Blake who lost the love of their lives.  Memories—they had made so many.  Photographs from Neil and Nancy’s wedding day, candid moments as they took their vows, and the sheer joy and bliss of having signed that wedding certificate were stories that leaped off of the photos she showed me.  Then there was the birth of their blond-headed joy-filled son Blake, and the tender moments of Father and Son snuggling together, then adventuring together as Blake journeyed from baby boy to man.  Adventure, joy, struggle, happiness, and friendship filled the memories marking this man’s life.

It has been said that the only legacy a man or woman leaves behind is how they treated the people God placed in their lives.  I believe this to be true.    In the case of my friend Neil, every picture brought a smile to the faces of his family and friends.  His son shared at his Memorial Service that his dad gave him everything he needed to be a man.  Neil left nothing undone.  He made sure his family and friends knew he loved them, and left no one guessing.  He died with no regrets, and his family had no regrets of him, only sweet memories.

The road ahead for Neil’s family will be rough, with much sorrow, but not because Neil was a man who left them with pain and misery.  Instead, the sorrow will be of the loss of such a grace-filled spouse, father, and friend.

Proverbs 20:6 says:

Many claim to have unfailing love,
but a faithful person who can find?

Neil was this kind of man–faithful.  His family, friends, and neighbors attested to this fact with such admiration.  Neil passed away having “filled the tanks” of his loved ones with his love demonstrated in his actions.  Fifty-one years is what he was given.

Reflecting on Neil’s passing leaves me asking:  How many years will I have?  I have no way of knowing.  One thing I do know, however, is that when I leave this world for the next, I want to have filled the tanks of my family, neighbors and friends.  Like Neil, I want to live without regrets  so that those who know me can say,  “She was a faithful woman who gave us all of who she was.  She left us full.”

These are my thoughts this November evening….

When Even Answers Cannot Satisfy

Our community is suffering a tremendous sadness today due to the untimely death of a young student via suicide.  There are no words to express the deep grief, sadness, and pain that his family is feeling at his loss, and the deep sorrow that sweeps over our youth who were his friends and peers.  The tears flow freely and the hearts seem to hang so low that speaking just seems irreverent at times.  Questions rise to the surface about the “why’s” of this tragedy, and they linger like eternal echoes in the souls of all of us.  There are just no answers that can satisfy.  But there is one question that finds its way to the forefront of conversations among many, and that is the question:  “How could God let this happen?” That is the question I would like to follow-up on here in this blog.

Love that is forced is not love. What makes love beautiful and powerful has to do with choice.  We want to be chosen, we want to choose.  When we are moved by our free will to choose to love someone, we have the ability to express it to the deepest levels of our heart, and even beyond if we are conduits of the love God has for us which transcends our thoughts and feelings.  We feel the power of love when it chooses us, pursues us, and keeps us.

Choice.  Choice is a gift.  Choice is a gift given to humanity by a God who loves us.  With our choices we can build cities, paint pictures, love people, explore the world, settle down in our hometowns, raise families, foster children, work in hospitals, care for the orphans, feed the hungry, provide for the needy, bless our friends, and build our dreams.  With our choices we make faithfulness mean something.  With our choices  we become heroes, friends, soldiers, servants, and leaders.  With our choices we live life to the fullest and enrich the lives of those around us.  Without the power of choice, we are puppets who have no will, no desires, no outs, and no hope.

As long as we have the power of choice, we have the power to bless one another.  We have the power to “speak life” into the sorrowing soul of another.   With our choices we can be a conduit of healing, of hope, of love and forgiveness.  This is what God intended when He gave us choices.  “Choose life” God says.

Deuteronomy 30:19

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

I don’t know why this beautiful young man decided to end his life this past weekend.  I can only stand on this side with sadness for him as he made his choices, and sorrow that his choice was not life.  I ache for his family, and I sorrow as a mom who cannot imagine a life without my sons.  With this sorrow I am made more confident in the love of God that has endowed me and you with choices.  He could have made puppets out of all of us.  He could force us to love Him, and force us to choose Him, and His desires; but He doesn’t.  He lets us choose.  He lets us use the depth of our emotions, and the epochs of our strengths.  He allows us to feel the depth of loss, and hold our loved ones close.  He, Himself, all the while, chooses us in love, comforts us, and holds our hope.

We may never know “why?”  And even if we knew the full story, our hearts could not rest in the knowledge of it.  Life is just too precious to be lost, and this young man was no exception.  My heart and prayers go out to my community tonight and in particular to the family of this beloved son whose life ended all too soon.  God be with you.

 

For more reading on the subject of “free will” I submit an earlier blog:

High Tide

https://catemorris.com/2009/12/10/free-will/

 

Facebook, Gnats, and Camels

In this world of quotes and quips posted quickly on Facebook out of context, it is interesting to see how one tries to derive the actual meaning of what is said.  Often a quote is interpreted by the life experience of the one reading it, if there is no supporting sentences to direct the reader anywhere else.   What I find troubling, however, is the spirituality that is formed by fragmented ideas that are posted on this medium.  One-liners from philosophers, pastors, gurus, and celebrities all amalgam together in this soup are often devoured as one meal without any discriminatory, or ensuing thoughts.  It’s fascinating!

Recently, on Facebook,  I read a quote by Bertrand Russell (a devout atheist) that said:

“No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being.  When the car will not go, he does not attribute it’s annoying behavior to sin; he does not say, ‘you are a wicked motorcar and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.’  He attempts to find out what is wrong and to set it right.”

This quote strikes on several nerves of someone who holds to a framework of absolute morality as a Christian does, and that is how Bertrand intended it since his argument deals with sin, right and wrong.  It points out how we are often insensitive to the needs of others and are quick to judge without offering any help.   People like me who have been hurt by the church, and it’s abuse of people can identify with Bertrand’s comments, and find them to be full of truth and insight.   The problem is that there is no real solution posed in Bertrand’s world view and philosophy other than “attempting to find out what is wrong and right it.”  This is where it all breaks down.

Bertrand Russell did not believe in an absolute morality.  He did not hold to any framework of right/wrong, good/evil or even bad.  Bertrand’s comments were intended to borrow from another morality (that of the Christian), accuse it of abuse, and stand outside of it because he himself did not believe in anything he just wrote.

He tells us that there is a foolish way to behave.  He tells us that there are wrongs that need to be set right.  He himself denies any moral reference for any of his standards, but if you, a moral person reads his comments, you are struck by them.  More likely you reflect on them through the lens of the abuses you have encountered.  I know I have.  The problem here is this:  There is still truth missing in this quote.  Where is the remedy?  Who is the savior?  How do I know when something is wrong, and how do I know when it is finally right again?

With a motorcar, I have a grasp on it’s function because I know it was designed on purpose by someone who also wrote a manual on how it should operate.  If the motorcar was designed to “go”, I could quickly deduce that if it wasn’t “going” something was wrong that needed to be made right.  But how do I do that with a human being?  How do I know what they are “supposed to be doing”?  How do I know that what they are doing or not doing is a malfunction?  How will I go about changing the outcome?  How do I know my methods or tools are the “right ones” to fix it, and when it is fixed, will I know it?

Bertrand’s comments beg for definitions.  They need some absolutes.  Both the motorcar and the human being must be framed in the same light…as products of design with a Creator and a manual for correcting and instructing.  But that is exactly what Bertrand is avoiding by his atheistic stance.  If the car won’t go and we find there is a broken fuel line, we can deduce the problem because the manual will tell us that we need a non-broken fuel line in order to power the engine and we can go about correcting that.  But when a man or woman has behavior rubs us the wrong way or is contrary to our comfort level, we have no way of correcting it if we do not believe that there is any design involved in their makeup.

So, let’s frame the human being like the motorcar in the sense that both are designed and have purpose.  Both have a designer and a creator, and both have needs of repair.  The difference lies in the fact that a motor car has no free will, or heart from which good and evil emerge.  That we will have to factor into our solutions for both.

I submit that the designer of all human beings is God.  God is the creator of all things, and also the ultimate repairer of them.  He has written a manual on the subject of the humanity He has created and it is called the Bible.  In it you will find the diagnosis for most all of our behavioral issues, and very often that diagnosis is sin.  Sin is anything that takes you away from God’s purposes for your life and/or the life of your neighbor.  The remedy:  repentance and receiving the forgiveness offered by God’s son Jesus Christ, who shed His blood in order that you and I could have our sin AND guilt wiped away, and receive a new heart.

What you will also find in that manual is how we are to treat one another.  You will read the words from Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly
 with your God.

You will find these words from the book of James 1:26 that says:

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 2:8-11

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

James 3:13

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

There are countless other scriptures that teach us that people are valuable and are to be honored and treated with compassion, respect, love, and grace.  There are also many passages that will point at our hearts and point out our evil.  God will call it sin, and tell us that we must repent and change.  He has promised to help us and give us strength in our weaknesses.  He promises to draw near to us when we draw near to Him.  He promises to lead us and empower us, forgive us and cleanse us, change us and heal us when we come to Him.

I find it easy to blame the church and “organized religion” for the bad behavior I see among Christian people.  After all, if we just had better churches, our lives would be much more moral (or so we want to believe), but the Bible calls us to a personal responsibility before God to deal with our own sin, and attitudes, and it’s not by pointing the fingers at churches, organizations, or people at all; it is by pointing the fingers at our own hearts, acknowledging our sin, repenting and changing the way we live by the power of God working in us.

When you find that a quote or comment on Facebook, or by another, strikes a chord in you of pain or makes you think, think it all the way through.  If it convicts you, take your heart before the Lord and let Him speak to you.  Be careful who you take your solutions from.  Many people are able to point out problems, very few offer solutions.  Beware of those who strain on gnats and swallow camels in the process.*

So you need to help another who is struggling?  Throwing away your morals and the design book will not get you to that goal, as Bertrand Russell will espouse.  Blaming religions, churches or others won’t help either.  Coming to God on His terms will.

Be careful.  All of us have a free will and with it we will either choose God or something lesser.  We cannot control that in another, so we must be vigilant to guard our hearts, and make sure that our lives are  constantly being re-aligned with God’s design book for us, and in the mean time, w pray for our neighbors, point them to Christ, and work to help in whatever capacity we can.

*From Matthew 23:23-24

What is a Woman?

A letter to women….

There are thousands if not tens of thousands of different cultures in the world today.  Shaping those cultures are ideas and belief systems. Many of the belief systems revolve around a religion or a world view–the lens through which we view the world.  If I make culture my starting point in defining a woman I am going to come away with multiple answers as to her worth and value.  Each culture will define her differently and some will not even give her honorable mention. So what is a woman?  Is she human?  Is she valuable?  Is she competent? Is she necessary? Is she a product of ideas and ideals thrust upon her by her culture?

I began studying this subject after picking up a book called “Nurturing the Nations” by Darrow Miller.  The book was written to bring attention to the war on women, girls, and femininity around the world.  The book expressed the various crimes against women that are allowed, propagated, and encouraged in the cultures where they live. This war is not recognized or understood, however,  if the meaning of the word “woman” is not defined and understood, and therein lies the problem that generates and perpetuates the loss of womanhood.

Speaking only from the lens of my culture, I can tell you that the term “woman” is quite often just a tag applied to those who want to wear it.  My culture has done its best to remove biology, physiology, from reality and began a de-sexualizing of culture through the scalpel of language.  Sex distinctions between male and female are now labeled “gender” which is a rather loose term applied to anyone who has surgery to change their sexual anatomy.  We are trying so hard to become gender neutral without realizing what that will cost us.

Gender neutrality is rooted in a philosophy called “androgyny” which allows gender to be constructed or deconstructed by the culture it lives in.  It is affected by fad, fantasy, and celebrity stunts.  Androgyny denies any inherent meaning or significance to physical bodies or sexuality, therefore eliminating the biological differences and role distinctions between the sexes.  In a sense, each individual is a sexual blank slate to be written on with any pen or carved with any scalpel.  Androgyny teaches a “sameness” in the sexes by blurring or removing any lines of distinction

My culture will celebrate “International Women’s Day”.  We celebrate the right to vote, the right to have jobs in the market place with equal pay.  We have equal rights, and a voice that is heard in our government.  Simultaneously, however, my “Feminist” culture will tell women  that only masculine characteristics are valued.  A woman who bears children, nurses them, or stays home to care for them is seen as a woman who has not yet realized her intellectual potential.  She is pitied as one who needs to assert herself and “take her place” in society.  Children are seen as baggage that slow down her progress, and even marriage and commitment are viewed as attachments that will inevitably bring her demise.  In doing this, gender neutrality, as perpetrated by my culture, kills womanhood by strangling some of her greatest strengths and influence in an effort to look strong.

The Bible says that in the beginning God created mankind both male and female.  When He was done, He said that what He had accomplished was good.  He made them equal in being, and value, but distinctly different in form, strengths, and roles.  He gave both man and woman the mandate to subdue the earth.  It was a team effort that would not succeed without both sexes working together.  (Genesis 1:26-31) If the man could have done it alone, God would not have needed Eve.  Eve was created to be the counterpart for the man.  She was fully equipped as a woman to be fully human, and fully alive possessing strengths that Adam would need.  God said that all of this was good.  Male and female working together in varying roles now reflected fully the Glory of God.  Through the sexes of man and woman, the world would see God’s provision, strength, nurturing, patience, mercy, ambition, creativity, power, love and justice.

As we reflect on women of influence today, this “International Women’s Day”, remember that who you are is by design.  You have great influence.  The Master Craftsman thought out every part of your being and created you in His image to be the sex that you are to reflect His glory.  To sacrifice your gender or any part of your inherent characteristics would be a devastating loss to humanity and a diminishing of God’s glory reflected here on earth.  You are necessary, you are valuable, you are designed on purpose to reflect the Glory and image of God to a hurt and broken world.  You have a purpose to fulfill and a world to change and God will give you the courage to meet that challenge using all of your femininity empowered by His Spirit whether it be in the marketplace or in your homes and communities.

Today, I celebrate you!

Uzzah, David and Me

“It’s the thought that counts.”

That is often the phrase I fall back on when I attempt something with good motives only to find it fell short of it’s expected goal or crashed altogether.  My intentions are what I want people to see even if the outcome was not favorable.  Motive and intent are huge pieces of the puzzle that explain the why and the what of  all we do.  So can I possibly do something with good motives and intentions that can be very wrong?  That is the question I want to delve into as we look at a passage of scripture from 1 Chronicles 13.

Many of you have read this story.  You will find it in two places in scripture.  The first place is 2 Samuel 6, and then here in 1 Chronicles where we have a little more insight into the story.  The narrative speaks of David,  who has recently been crowned king over Israel, coming up with a brilliant plan to bring back to Israel the Ark of the Covenant of God that had been stolen by the Philistines during the reign of Saul.  David’s intent was to restore the glory of God to the people of Israel, and to show once again that God reigned over His people and was present with them.  Verses 1-4 of Chapter 13 show us David’s idea and how he communicated it to the people, with verse 4 telling us that “The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people.”  David’s motives and intent were understood by the people as being right and pure and  in keeping with their convictions, so the plan proceeded.

Here is where the story becomes full of energy.  There is such excitement about going to get the ark, that people make a parade out of it with music, dancing, and celebrating.  They built a brand new cart to transport the Ark on, so that it would look magnificent as it wound its way “home”.  This was supposed to be a festive, God-honoring event, but something happened:  One of the oxen pulling the new cart stumbled and the cart began to tip.  Uzzah a man with good intentions reached out to steady the Ark, and instantly was struck dead.   The parade came to a dumbfounded and sorrowful halt as the realization of Uzzah’s death settled on each of them.  Confused, hurt, afraid and angry, David asks the question, “How can I ever bring the Ark of God to me?”

God seems so unfair.  So unpredictable.  He seems to make goals unattainable, and consequences dire.  He is unjust if we leave the story right here.  Sadly, many people do leave the story right here.  But let’s press on further.

David is angry and hurt, but David takes that pain to God and inquires of God about the reason for Uzzah’s death, and what David discovers is the lesson that I need to remember.  David finds out that God had a prescribed method for transporting the Ark of the Covenant and it did not involve carts, or exhibition.  God takes David back to His instructions from Numbers chapter 4 where the specific, detailed instructions of Ark transport were recorded.  The Ark was only to ever be transported by the priests of the Levitical clan.  They were to wrap the ark in the shielding curtain of the Tabernacle, then cover that with the hides of seals, then put the transporting poles into the rings attached to the side of the Ark.  After that was completed, they were to wrap all of that in a blue cloth.  (Numbers 4)  Never at anytime were they to touch the Ark, or have anyone else come near it.  As David inquires of the Lord, he realizes something:  God is always right and just.

David has a choice in his anger to do several things:  1. he can justify himself and his motives and accuse God of being cruel;  2. he can run from God and choose to no longer try to attempt anything for God’s glory; and 3.  he can re-calibrate his heart to God’s desires and designs.  David chooses to align his will with God’s.  We see this in verses 11-13 of 1 Chronicles 15.  David recognized that God had already given instructions on this issue, and David’s sin was that he did not inquire of God about those instructions.  David repented, did it God’s way, and succeeded and bringing the Ark back to Israel.

So how does this story apply to you and me?

We have a host of scriptures that give us instruction on many areas of our lives.  Without gray areas or shadows, God gives us His intents and His design for much of our life.  Somehow or another, however, we allow ourselves the ideas that God is all about our happiness.  We let this idea rule our decisions.  We think, of course God would be okay with this because it doesn’t hurt anyone else, and it makes me happy.  This idea is a costly one.  If I disregard what God has already said in order to accommodate my desires, I have become the plumb line that God must adjust to.  He is now on my terms.  Interesting to note, however is the fact that God does not regard my standards as His.  Like Uzzah, I can reach out with good intentions to do what seems right at the moment, but if it is something I have already been instructed about, I cannot accuse God of being unfair when He keeps His word and I suffer consequences.

My prayer is to be like David, who when confronted by his sin, changed his direction, re-calibrated his heart and intentions with God’s desires, and saw the fulfillment of his dreams doing it God’s way.  God will not always bless what we are doing, but we are always invited to “do” what God is blessing.

So in every decision, ask the question:  “Has God already spoken about this issue?  What did He say?”

**My thanks to my Pastor Rick Wise for teaching on this subject and giving me God’s perspective.”

Set it Into Motion

Take a few minutes to watch this video above before you read this blog.

Over the last seven years, I have been on a journey to love God with all of my mind.  I have grown up loving God with all of my heart, and soul.  Through music and art, through worship and prayer I have encountered the depths of God.  Now, here in my mid-life years, God has drawn my interest to reason, physics, philosophy, apologetics and the elements that prove God reasonable, plausable, imminent, and present.  I have homeschooled my kids for many years which has also contributed to my appetite for learning once again, and so it was as I stumbled upon a video about quantum physics that I began to awe and wonder at the presence of God in the very nature and movement of elements in the sub-atomic world.  (Don’t worry, I’m not too smart about that subject yet.)

I am not a scientist, and I have much to learn, but I am a communicator and I want to understand how to communicate what I have learned as it relates to my life and walk with God.  Many of you have read my musings in the “Deep Thoughts” category of my blogs.  So here I am again, contemplating what I have learned and discovering its application

I have often thought of life as a set of points on a line that travels into eternity.  The line would begin with my birth, and then as I grew, memorable events would be plotted on the line as a dot.  For instance, the first time I sang a solo as a four-year old girl in front of people was memorable.  Other major points would be when I got my driver’s license, my first date, my wedding, and the births of my four children.  The dots continue from there.

What I am learning though, as I study God’s word and explore fields of physics, is that every decision that I make is not just a dot on a line of eternity, but is a moment where something is set into motion.

Think about Adam and Eve for instance.  In the garden their lives were intertwined with the life of God.  They communed together and enjoyed one another’s company.  The day came when they made a decision to figure out life on their own.  They chose to master their own ideas of what good and evil were and they ate from a forbidden tree.  From that moment, sin was set into motion.  Now it wasn’t just Adam and Eve’s lives affected, but like the pendulum’s in the video above, their action caused action and relationship between the rest of mankind as well as nature itself.  The Bible states that “Sin entered the world through one man, Adam, (Romans 5:12) and was later conquered and paid for by one man, Jesus Christ who changed the pattern  through grace and mercy.

Trace the stories throughout the Bible and find moments of decision and you will find the consequences still playing out in our modern day history.  Some consequences have been blessings, like Rahab’s faith in God, that changed her from a prostitute into an ancestor of Jesus Himself.  Other decisions, like disobedience, caused the nation of Israel years of exile, attack, and punishment.  Every point of decision was setting something into motion.

I ask myself this:  “What am I setting into motion?”

Notice, in the above video, that there are times that the pendulum’s seem to swing independent of one another as if they have their own pattern and plan, only to then rejoin a choreographed “dance” so to speak with the others beside it.  Somehow, and again this is in the sub-atomic realm, every pendulum is in relation to one another and acts accordingly.  My life is no different.  My neighbors, my family, my circle of relationships are affected by my decisions and behavior.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I cause the behavior of others by my actions because we are all accountable before God for our own decisions, but I am saying that the way I act, react, and respond to the people around me either sets up a dance of blessing or cursing.  And if I persist in my behavior patterns, either positive or negative, the effects will still be felt long after I have passed away.

When my children or children’s children sit and talk about their mom, grandma, great-grandma, etc… they will have many stories to choose from.  Maybe because I will leave them in blogs, but more likely because they will be passed on from others who knew me “back in the day”.  My children will carry on my legacy.  They will pass on my strengths and my weaknesses.  My grandchildren will “dance” to whatever I put into motion in my lifetime.

I still have so much to learn.  My mind can’t take it in fast enough, but what my mind cannot comprehend, my heart seems to already know.  Every decision has a consequence.  Every action stirs a reaction.  Every life sets something into motion.  I have choices.  I want to set Grace and Truth into action in my life and in my lifetime.