The Reality of Inaccurate “feel good quotes” …

crop person hand in broken mirror

Photo by Bruno Pires 

Sometimes as I scroll my Facebook and Instagram I see what seems to be a fabulous and profound quote…but then…but wait…I saw one that said, “rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” Another one I saw said, “Nothing is worth it if you aren’t happy.”  Well, while this might sound like accurate loquaciousness in the emotional sense, it is not accurate in the journey of life, at least not in my experience of 64 years on the planet. A storm is defined in the dictionary this way, “a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow OR a tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy.”

And happiness has nothing to do with some situation or someone’s worth…there are limitless relationships, and situations that are totally worth it and totally hard!

The Truth is that you are born into a storm, into a world of tumultuous reaction, uproar, and controversy. It is called a “Fallen World of Sin and therefore broken.” I see no way that a human being can “rise” above any storm on their own.    See Romans 6:23.

Some might see my outlook as discouraging which is not my goal. However, if you believe God’s Word and you read and understand what occurred in Genesis chapter 3 then you will also understand that if you read the whole Bible there is good news and a solution to “THE STORM”…and He, Jesus, is the provider of Joy.

That is because happiness is an emotion in which we “experience feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure,” whereas joy “is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness.”  (Dr, Hud McWilliams). We experience joy when we achieve selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice.”

In the storm of an abusive childhood, or a miscarriage, a broken marriage, a health battle, an addiction, a mental illness, financial destitution, a death of your most beloved, and on the list goes…there is not a way around this storm! This storm touches everything and everyone from sunrise to sunset…There is no place in scripture where it says that we, in and of ourselves, will rise above anything. “Jesus said, without me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Many places in scripture we are promised, by God, that he will go with us through the storm, the suffering, and His Spirit will not leave nor forsake us. It does not tell us that we will be relieved from the lonely unlit path of the storm or that we will not get hurt by the storm. Again, the promise is that God will be with us through the pain.

In a time when Bible illiteracy in and outside of the Church is evident, I believe words of encouragement need to be accurate more than ever.

2 Corinthians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

How to Recognize a False Bible Teacher

Hyperbolic language: Proper Bible Teachers derive the passage’s authorial intent and arrive at a common meaning.

Direct Revelation from God: NO! God has said all He has to say to us through Jesus Christ, using the Holy Spirit to guide us to Jesus and in all Truth! God stopped speaking when He gave His Son, and all He has to say now is in His Word. Hebrews 1:1-2

Busywork: Fluff instead of exegesis.  Simply teach the passage verbatim.

Taking words and verses out of context: THIS is a BIG ONE! You cannot cherry pick words and verses randomly and unrelated to the main passage you are teaching. Usually spiritualizing and cherry picking occurs because someone never learned or knows proper hermeneutical methods to learning or teaching.

Softening understood Christian words and concepts: Instead of using words like sin, submit, repent, obey false teachers will use words like “wrong choices, cooperate with God, resist His direction.”

Legalistic warnings and scare tactics:  Telling people they “MUST DO, MUST TRY, MUST ACCOMPLISH to reap benefits of the Christian life. This is IMPOSSIBLE. If we are in Christ, we have Christ always and forever. Matthew 28:20

Quick Glance False teaching flags

  • Direct Revelation
  • Poor hermeneutic
  • Spiritualizing
  • Twisting verses, taking out of context
  • Man-centered
  • Legalistic
  • Overblown emotionalism and language (this usually hides the vacuousness of this person’s teaching.)

One sited source Elizabeth Prata (Blog)

River Song

river between green leafed tree

Photo by Baskin Creative Studios

 

The River Song shall make us glad

when the mountain’s snows melt above.

The swelling waters giving drink below

it’s melody quenching our thirst for love.

The River Song shall lead us homeward bound

where heaven and earth can never meet

Here we shall find His Kindness all around

it’s melody reveals the hope we keep.

 

So take me down to the River

Take me there where I may also sing

Of the beauty of your Holiness

And worship you as my King.

 

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:5 NLT

 

 

 

 

The Steeple Green

architecture building catholicism church

Photo by Pixabay

She ran away with fear and a string of lies
She idolized her anger but could not hide it in her eyes
She grew up kneeling upon the steeple green
She grew so weary of trying to be clean

One day on her knees again she heard The Holy voice
“Rise up, my daughter walk away from this noise.”
She stood up and cast those idols back to hell
And tore off the string of lies she had to tell

“I have made you blameless and set you free in life
why do you still cling to death which can never be clean?”
She cried for joy and danced before the LORD God
and chose life that day upon the steeple green.

 

To Him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy…to the only Wise God our Savior be glory, majesty, power AND authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:24

Orbs of Light

ball ball shaped blur color

Photo by Pixabay 

Dreamlike orbs of light float by. I feel removed from afar. I compartmentalize the uncertainty of these times. It lessens the sharp edge of the unknown, of false information, and loss around every corner. This must be similar to wartime trauma, although in many ways no where near it. Yet still there is communal suffering in my world and there is idle time that cannot be healthy. Texas summer heat is unleashed. The sun beats down in all of it’s glory, unrelenting. Dozens of small wisps of clouds seem motionless in the watery blue of the summer sky.

Yet, in this stillness and overwhelming simplicity I know the Presence of God washes over me. Steady and strong, I know I am meant to live in this time. Right now I am alive. The sharp edge of the unknown lessens because of the Power of the name of Jesus. Yes, I am one of those who cling to the Power of the blood shed on His cross and the indescribable power of His Resurrection! Jesus alone!

I am able to live in the present most of the time as it is the gift He gives me. I am comforted by Him. The Alpha and Omega…The One whose name is Faithful and True. Today is what I have.

 

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.”  Revelation 1 9:11

Early on We are taught…

boy jumping near sprinkler

Photo by Johan Bos

 

Early on we are taught 

Time is all we’ve got

and then we learn it’s not…

 

Grief comes to call

at some point

for us all, it’s true…

 

In the bubble of our backyard

we grow not knowing fear, it’s true

Dad is a super hero, Mom is always near…

 

Now we know those still waters 

let us grow, it’s true

no one can take that love from you.

 

Now we are old

and we know Time is brief 

like melting snow and falling leaves…

 

In the meaning of it all

we learn Time means nothing at all

It is  love that is never small, it’s true

Like a column of marching Nazis jackboots

person wearing red hoodie

Photo by sebastiaan stam 

 

Like a column of  marching Nazi jackboots.

The Merchant of Death has goose-stepped his way in.

There is no more denial in this hideous illness.

Streets are deserted and creation weeps in stillness.

The politico has become the other greater enemy.

Hatred is ravaging the souls of men.

Oh God deliver us from evil, deliver us from this dark night.

Thank you for your everlasting faithfulness and light!

 

Daily there are new hits

ancient antique armor armour

Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

Daily there are new hits.

The death toll rising and no place to sit,

at the table of commerce there is hunger and doubt.

Some will be let in but so many left out.

 

So  a new reality is here.

In whom will I trust and whom will I fear?

Will people be kind and help stop the bleeding?

My country is dying and my soul is grieving.

 

Decency and kindness are being crucified!

No one tells the truth, the media is all lies!

My soul is crying in the long dark night!

Deliver us oh God with your Holy light!

 

Never let it be said of this patriot here,

that she ever gave up her country so dear!

Let her be remembered as a woman who prayed,

“In God we trust until the end of days!”

 

 

 

I know up ahead there is a stream…

quarter moon and desert

Photo by Louis

I listen to the sound of my boots on the ground.

I walk these dry roads, it is just me.

Nothing but my footsteps makes a single sound,

but I know up ahead there is a stream.

A stream in the desert of loneliness.

A stream that flows for all mankind.

A stream where all people can be washed clean.

A stream flowing with the Water of life.

Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert… Isaiah 32:2

I take up my pen…

fashion woman notebook pen

Photo by Negative Space

 

I take up my pen to write again of the love you give to me.

No one else was there in that dark night of despair when I saw how much You had to bleed.

You tenderly wrapped my dead body in your shroud of forgiveness, and sealed it with the balm of your Grace.

Your kindness brought me to repentance, and you held so sweetly my tear streaked face.

People say they have heard it all before, and I hope that they too have seen,

The One who knelt beside me and cried along with me.

The chief of sinners, I was your enemy yet still you died to claim.

I will tell you Jesus loves you and me and by no other name can we be saved.