I Don’t Always Feel Like a Writer

It’s true, I like to make up people and put them in weird
situations, where I’m the only one who can save them. Or maybe I won’t save
them. For the sake of the story, I might just let them suffer the consequences
of my imagination. Why do I get a kick out of this? I don’t have a god complex, nor a desire to run the lives of people in the real world. I’m not living out my need for control in a fantasy existence. On the contrary, I do it to give God control of my creative nature. I do it because it makes God smile. When I’m in the rhythm of writing, I’m exercising my calling. I’m soaring in the freedom of being who I was created to be. It’s fun and energizing. It’s also hard and exhausting and frustrating. It’s work, but it’s my work. My assignment.
I’m fresh out of a writer’s conference, which is also hard and exhausting and frustrating. But I got to hang with my people, the ones who don’t think I’m crazy for announcing a new character just told me her name. Instead,
they say, “Aw, I love it when that happens.” They understand. I heard some tough statistics tha made me want to stop writing. I got some good feedback on my latest project
that made me more determined than ever not to quit. I met up with old friends and made new ones, learned new techniques, and suffered a few you’re-doing-it-wrong moments. For instance, this blog has a new look and a more succinct focus.
So where do I go from here? I’ll keep writing, networking, and
making up stuff. And praying. That should always come first, because I can’t do
this on my own. I don’t always feel like a writer. I’m just somebody trying to
build a career around telling tales. But I live in the real world, and I will
write about that too. Sometimes the real world is weirder than my fiction, and
I write some pretty weird stories. Follow along and share your journey with me.
Are you a writer, a reader, or are you simply a real-world, truth-seeking
observer? I’m one of those too.

 

Children Learning About God

More Lessons from a Little Boy

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

My last post, “A Little Conversation” was written a couple of years ago, when my grandson was four years old. I wrote that post when he asked me if some people don’t care what God thinks. Joseph is now six, a rough-and-tumble boy, mischievous, not too compliant when it comes to chores. And he’s still amazing me with his understanding. He recently spent the day at my house, and I caught him walking out to the middle of our property to a low spot filled with what he calls flowers. Of course, they’re just the little purple-blossomed weeds that pop up in the spring. But for now, we’ll call them flowers, especially when they’re picked by small hands and placed in a jar to compliment my kitchen window. Joseph stood very still for a while then came back to the house.

He said, “Mimi, that spot in your field is my favorite place to pray.”

“It is?” I asked. “What do you like about it?”

“You know, the Bible teaches that we shouldn’t pray just to impress people,” he said. “We should go to a quiet place, like a closet, and pray alone. Or someplace in nature, I think, is good too. And your field is just right.”

So, he hadn’t picked a closet for prayer, but a field, which I’m sure was okay with God. But a few days later, he used an actual closet as he exhorted his younger sister.

The two were back at my house, and Joseph joined me in my walk-in bedroom closet to look for something. “Hey,” he said. “This is a great place to pray.” And then he ran off. I stepped out of the closet as he returned dragging his five-year-old sister by the arm. “Eliana, you need a good place to pray and Mimi’s closet is just right.” Then he shoved her into the closet and shut the door.

“Well, leave the door cracked,” she yelled, and Joseph opened the door just a bit. She remained in the closet for a minute or two, stepped out, and said, “You’re right, Joseph, that’s a great place to pray.” And then the two were off to play, sometimes teasing each other to the point of shouts and tears like any other brother and sister. But it was the rare moment of one child encouraging another to pray that I knew would stay with me. I didn’t think the day could get any sweeter. Of course, it did.

We were getting ready to take a trip out in the car, and Joseph decided he needed a bath because his feet were dirty from playing outside. I told him we didn’t have time for a bath, and that he should just wet a washcloth and wash his feet before putting on his shoes.

“Oh,” he said. “You mean like Jesus.” He ran to the bathroom, saturated a washcloth, and sat on the floor to wash his feet. Then without a word he carried the dripping cloth to the living room and sat down at his grandfather’s feet. “Take off your boots, Pops,” he said.

My husband pulled off his boots and socks, and Joseph washed his feet. Just like Jesus.

Perhaps I’ve spent too much time studying theology. I just want to be a child again.

A Little Conversation

Straight talk from a small child.

This world is going its own way. It started a long time ago. How long ago, I don’t know. Before Eve plucked the forbidden fruit, the self-propelling state of mind was already present. Lurking. Suggesting. The serpent went his own way long before the first garden dwellers. How long before? I don’t know. Time is just a sheet in the layers of our universe. To be certain, the call to go our own way sounded long, long ago. And it never ended.

Another call came, and I know when. At least, approximately. Two thousand years after it sounded, I answered it. The call didn’t suggest I go my own way. It commanded I go another way. To the cross. To Christ. To life.

But the call began even before the cross. As a whisper. Not two thousand years ago, but in timelessness. Before the foundations of the earth. Before the snake. Before the inevitable choice of mankind.

And it will not end until all who are called by God arrive home safely.

Too flowery? Philosophical? Other-worldly? For some, definitely. For others, the pretty words offer a feel-good moment, but not deliverance. They need some straight-talk from the mouth of an uneducated, doctrinally inept earth dweller with zero experience interpreting Scripture. Well, here’s what my four-year-old grandson asked me a few days ago:
“Mimi, do some people just not care what God thinks?”

Perhaps without giving it enough thought, I told him most people don’t care what God thinks. (But, isn’t that the truth?)

He responded, “So they just go their own way?”

“Yes,” I told him. And then I took the opportunity to explain why God sent Jesus to die for us. I shared a grace-filled conversation with this astute, amazing, brilliant child.

Okay, I’m his grandmother and I thought I saw a theological genius emerging. But the conversation quickly turned to why Spiderman can climb walls. The light of God’s calling flashed in my little man’s mind. Will it shine again? I have no doubt. Will this sweet boy go his own way? Of course, he will.

That’s why the plan came to be, somewhere in the timeless layer.

The point of all this? Creative writing is obviously very important to me. But sometimes, keeping it simple enough for a child to understand is much, much better. Take the time—for our world is not timeless—to converse with the children. We have a lot to learn from them.

A Christian Woman in a Post-Christian Woman’s World

An old song claims a man makes
everything and then earns the money to buy everything. The lyrics are trite and
outdated, but perhaps, like me before I googled the song, most people only
remember the hook: “This is a man’s world.” James Brown composed the tune, but
it was a woman, Betty Jean Newsome, who penned the words. Years later, Newsome
claimed Brown wrote none of the song and that the royalties due her had not
been paid.    Seems it was a man’s world, after all.
The role of the woman was given vague
mention in the song that became a classic. The man would be “nothing without a
woman or a girl.” The chauvinistic theme placed the woman in the sideshow of
the man’s world. She was a supporting character. But not anymore. This is a new
world, and the woman is center stage.
The progression of women into a greater
force started long before the memorable women’s march in January 2017. That day,
I wondered what they wanted, besides the chance to voice their outrage over the recent presidential election. If
it’s seems odd that I would refer to women as they since I’m one of them, it’s not because I’m ashamed to be a
woman. My womanhood is not insufficient. I’m not weak, or incapable, or of less
value than a man. I’m also not power-hungry, or angry, or fearing the violation
of my rights, so it’s hard for me to feel their pain. To experience their
hunger. 
That particular women’s march was not
the first or the last, but it was grander in scale. News coverage gave the
event what it needed to clarify undoubtedly that this was no longer a man’s
world. Since then many prominent men, some of them newsmen who covered the
women’s march, have been taken down by women. Sexual abuse and harassment will
no longer be tolerated, and rightly so. But why did it take a movement to give
women the courage to speak up? I’m sure there are varied reasons, and I
empathize with the women compelled to keep quiet for a decade or longer. The
man’s world can be intimidating.
The goal of the modern woman for
herself and her sisters is leadership in the workplace and in politics. Women
are running for office and winning. Good for them. Many men have abused their
power. But misuse of authority is not a man’s issue. It’s a human one. Hopefully,
the ambition of the new women in charge of our nation’s policies is pure and
the ensuing changes will benefit all people.
But when I look at the crux of the
movement, I wonder if the motivation is uncorrupted. I realize protecting the
rights of the unborn is far from the heart of the women’s movement. I know abortion
is legal and that it might seem the only choice for some women. But it used to
be a difficult decision, a choice made under great distress. Even now, I’m sure
most women considering this option don’t go into it with a casual attitude. But
some women want to change that.
The women’s movement in the modern era
demands, even celebrates abortion. And when women march, the message turns
gruesome. The displays in the streets have been bloody and the language from
the mouths of protesters has become obscene. Signs depicting female reproductive
organs have carried the message: “This machine kills fascists.” A banner was
painted to read: “If Mary had an abortion we wouldn’t be in this mess.”  
Are women intimidated, harassed, and denied
their rights because Jesus was born? This is where my womanhood grinds against
theirs. Jesus liberated us from “this mess.” He spoke to women when he wasn’t
supposed to. He treated women with respect. He healed them, absolved them, and
welcomed them. He gave them a voice. He might have been the first man on earth to
support women’s liberation. In the centuries following the remarkable earthly
ministry of Jesus, women gained the right to become citizens, to own land, to
run businesses, to lead countries, and to fight wars. And if a woman becomes a
follower of the One who marched to the cross for her redemption, she has the
privilege of proclaiming the gospel. She has the power to gain much from
selfless giving. She has the confidence to achieve her calling and the freedom to
experience the joy of being a woman.
No woman in this modern era can be held
back from accomplishing anything set before her. It really has become a woman’s
world. But I don’t belong to this world. I know my Liberator and He knows me. And
that’s a declaration to paint on a banner and wave in the streets.

Here We Go into the Dark and the Deep

Transhumanism may become the
not-so-fictitious science reality of the future. As I put it on page one of Wake the Dead—the near future. Some of my readers are troubled by the deep, dark world of altered humanity. Others consider my
rendering of a new world order the more frightening prospect. But the two
society-shifting events—operative AI and revolutionary government— must be
closely intertwined. At least, that’s how I wrote it.
I’m deep into writing another
novel now. One set in current time. No transhumans. My research intent for this
new story was to read a couple of books outside my comfort zone as a Christian—books
by Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett—outspoken atheists who’ve written on the
subject. But I wanted to write about a likeable atheist, one who would rouse empathy, and I wasn’t sure I
could do that with too much information. Some may disagree with my decision to
skip the research once they’ve read the new book, but I’m okay with that.
Now that my imagination is
occupied by someone other than Chase Sterling, I’m not always as judicious about the shifts in technology and how they affect our lives.
For instance, after hearing the term “dark web” at least a hundred times, I
decided to look into it. Not literally—I still don’t know how to pull it up on
my computer. But I do know that most people refer to the “dark web” when what
they really mean is the “deep web.” I started to read a beginner’s guide to
accessing the “dark web” but decided to save it for after the apocalypse.
Along with the web growing dark and
deep is the state of the media growing deeply unclear. The “deep fake” has
surpassed “fake news” with undeniable creations of real people saying real
things. Only they didn’t actually say what they said. If we can’t believe our own eyes and ears, then we can’t believe anything reported by any source. And if we lose all faith in the media, what will be
the outcome? Somebody will need to take charge. In my books, it’s the media and entertainment
conglomerate called SynVue, which gains control over both politics and the
reporting of politics. Prior to this widely accepted takeover, the
Constitution loses all power, and the United States dies as the Western Republic is born. Fringe groups of dissenters form and Christians begin meeting
underground. But it’s a gradual process and most people adjust to their new
existence. That is, until SynVue turns a celebrity into a transhuman and inadvertently
creates its own worst enemy. Of course, it’s only a story, the plot of my
trilogy.
But the truth waiting around the
bend of our reality may be just as subtle, just a weird, and just as defeating.
As a Christian still enjoying the freedoms of being an American, still
attending packed worship services in a publicly designated facility, still getting this blog out there on the not-so-dark web, what am I supposed
to do to prepare for the future? If I learned anything from Chase
Sterling, it comes from this quote at the end of Transfusion: “We will not hide. Love is too strong and judgement
too certain for us to remain a whisper of weakness.” (Yes, I realize I wrote
those words, but a character worth writing becomes real to the writer. So in my
mind, Chase said it.)
While I’ve got the chance to
share the hope of the gospel, and even if I lose the privilege, I will not
hide. It’s all I have to offer, now and in the future.
Articles of interest:
New Malicious AI
Reports Biggest Threats of the Next 5 Years
Deep State Panics:
America No Longer Believes Us!
Alarming Advances Made In Digital
Media Manipulation

How to Terminate Your Testimony

A few subjects not pertinent to the Gospel.

I once wrote about the witness of a pretend Christian. A laughing matter—said Christian was a sitcom character. Her testimony of forgiveness and her dependence on God rallied my hope in network TV’s ability to present Christianity in a truthful manner.
But the make-believe believer failed the test. Or rather, whoever wrote the script didn’t know a Christian from a crow. But it was a comedy and it served its purpose, I suppose, of entertaining the viewers. The motivation of the collective writers, directors, actors, producers, and sponsors was not to share the Gospel. That’s somebody else’s job. The TV preacher, right? The independent channel airing one show after another directed at a Christian audience? Who do you think watches those shows? Some Christians do, but it’s typically not where my finger stops when I’m station hopping. Occasionally an unredeemed soul ends up on the right channel at the right time. God can use those air-wave missionaries if He wants to. But…
You know where I’m going with this. Real people giving it straight to other real people is what it takes. We’ve got an opportunity the pretend Christian didn’t have. When the half-hour tale supplied all her desires, her fictitious friends found their reason to go to church. God was a good idea after all. Say a prayer, sing a song, and get yourself a new car. But the TV Christian’s misdirected focus terminated her testimony.
Okay, most of us aren’t that out of touch with true Christianity, although some TV preachers come across like sitcom characters. But if you’re living in God’s grace, you aren’t going to suggest to the lost that God is nothing more than a means to get their wishes fulfilled.
However, there are others ways we mislead people, or shut
down their interest, or brush them off. Or tell them they’re not worth it. Some
of the things we insinuate about Christianity terminate our testimony. Here are
a few subjects NOT pertinent to the Gospel: Money, music, race, religious
upbringing, habits, body art, hair style, clothing, belief in a young earth,
the number of children at your dining table, the number of Bibles on your
coffee table. Church attendance? No. Morality? No. 
Are any of these matters redirected in the minds and lives of the redeemed? Sure, some of them. Obviously redemption doesn’t change everything. You’re still who God made you to be and race still doesn’t matter. If your tattooed, come as you are. If you want a tattoo, talk to your mother. Will your financial focus shift? If God leads you in that direction, then yes. Music? Old hymns are great. But they were a movement in Christian culture just like the post-contemporary praise & worship style is today. The Bible teaches that whatever we do, we should do it for the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31). Just respect others while you’re doing it. The age of the planet? Don’t even bring it up. God didn’t. (I know, I know, it’s an interpretation thing, but seriously, save that conversation for later.)

As for church attendance, better to tell the unredeemed you don’t care if they go to church—you care if they go to Hell. As for morality, God will deal with every part of the redeemed soul’s life. And it will take a lifetime.

So how do you converse with the unredeemed? What kind of person deserves your judgment-free, sweet time? Well, he needs to be alive. Doesn’t he need to be called by God? Are there some people we just shouldn’t bother with because God probably isn’t calling them? The lip-pierced freak? The evolutionist? No, and here’s why: We don’t know what God knows!

Any other requirements at all? None. The work of redemption is Christ’s. Nothing else matters. So sideline the other stuff. Don’t be a terminator.

Considering Kindness

I read
international headlines from prominent publications, and some from
not-so-prominent fringe sources. I’ve done this long enough that the shock
value is low. I’m no longer incensed when the Pope declares that America needs
to be ruled by a world government as soon as possible “for their own good.”1
I’m not shaken
by reports about who might use which restroom at the drug store where I
frequently shop.2 Nor am I surprised to learn we might
need to pass a law in order to keep public schools from adding gender identity
to their curriculum.3
I do
carefully consider the topics of war in the Middle East, of my own government
slipping away from its Constitution, of threats of terrorists and dictators.
These reports are numerous and at times unsettling. But the news stories
hitting me with the realization that the Age of Grace may soon culminate are
the ones about the leaders of the Church. Not the aforementioned Pope, but the
accessible clergy of other denominations who, at least in name, oversee the
followers of Christ.
One recent
article extolled an interfaith assembly of ministers for blessing an abortion
clinic, it’s doctors, nurses, and patients. They prayed for God “to keep them safe and
keep them strong. And may they always know that all that they do is for Thy
glory.”4
Another
newsworthy event was a “renaming ceremony” for a Lutheran pastor in transition
from female to male. Rose became Peter and the supportive congregation made it
a church-wide event.5
For the sake
of protecting the freedoms guarded by that slippery Constitution, I accept that
we live in a nation defending all manner of life choices. And I believe we as
Christians are called to be kind to all people. No matter how much a moral
vacuum this lost world becomes, we must remember this good instruction:
If it
is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18
I am not
opposed to befriending one who decided to abort. I understand how a woman in
desperate circumstances might choose what I consider unthinkable. I can extend empathy
to a person lured by the culturally promoted exploration of sexuality. I realize
people who do not know their Creator might think it right and acceptable to
recreate themselves. Knowing that I’m not privy to who is led by God to receive
redemption, I can’ t call anyone hopeless. And if I am to demonstrate hope, I
must do so with a kind and gentle spirit.
But when the
leadership of the Church turns kindness toward sinners into the public
elevation of sin, I have to wonder how long God will endure our perversion. Surely
there’s an end to His patience.
Jesus is a
friend to sinners, and we as His followers should be as well. But Christians,
if they are Christians, recognize sin. They know what it looks like, how it
feels, and when they’ve fallen into it. And they don’t call it righteous. We
all fall into the trap of sin at times. I choose to follow Christ as He leads
me to come alongside the lost and sinful with hope of celebrating the glorious
power of the gospel to break every chain. But there must be a stopping point for
tolerance, even if tolerance is the order of the day. For me, the end of my
forbearance is the clergyman, or woman, or man who used to be a woman who
celebrates sin as though it were a virtue, decent and upright in the eyes of
God. I can’t accept that brand of leadership. I don’t want to be so kind to my
fellow human beings as to slap God in the face.
News
sources — click on the titles to read articles:

1 Pope Francis: World Government Must Rule U.S. ‘For Their Own Good’ 

2 Walgreens All In for Co-Ed Bathrooms  

3 FINALLY This State Considers Banning Schools from Teaching Gender 

4 Clergy gather to bless one of the only U.S. clinics performing late-term abortions   

5 Transgender Pastor Celebrates Transition with Religious Ceremony 

The Tick Tock of the Doomsday Clock

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is not my go-to
publication for calculating the world’s immediacy to “The End.” But I do find
the discourse of physicists enticing, especially when the brainy guys and gals
pontificate the fate of the modern world. The great thinkers should know when
the planet is about to blow, so it’s only fair that they take time to warn us
annually by moving the hands on a clock.
The Doomsday clock debuted in 1947, on the cover of the premiere
issue of the Bulletin. Designed by artist Martyl Langsdorf, the timepiece of terror
first placed the minute hand at seven minutes until midnight. Martyl was the
wife of Alexander Langsdorf, one of the physicists who helped develop the
atomic bomb for the Manhattan Project. From it’s inception, the clock has advanced
or recoiled according to the predictions of people who might be the ones to literally
bring about Doomsday. The simple rendition of a clock with its dots, hour hand
and minute hand has given report as to the nearness of the end of life as we
know it from that first magazine issue until today. Last week, on the cover of
the Bulletin, the smart people moved the minute hand to a new position: two
minutes until midnight.
The clock has taken this position before, in 1953 with the
advent of the hydrogen bomb. In 1991, the countermove to seventeen minutes
until midnight purported the safest year since the clock began ticking out it’s
predictions. Overall, the countdown has brought us closer to Doomsday than it
has to worldwide security.
This latest forward motion toward destruction was based on “the
failure of President Trump and other world leaders to deal with
looming threats of nuclear war and climate change.” Of course, Trump will take
the heat for…whatever. I agree, along with the people of Hawaii who were wise
enough to take cover in the recent misidentified drill, that somebody might
drop a bomb one day. But I’m not convinced that what used to be called global
warming has any real chance of ushering in the apocalypse.
The magazine, the scientists, the clock, the bombs,
the weather—that’s all interesting and it brings a bizarre sort of excitement
to our mundane lives. I’m guilty of pouring literary fuel on the theoretical
fire with my own novels. But only one publication offers substantial vision for
the future of us. In the scriptures, a thrill-seeking end-timer might get
pumped up when prophecy and current events collide. As for me, it’s where I
find peace and security. Not the kind the world seeks, but true rest in the
knowledge that God has things under control. Bombs have already been deployed to
annihilate human life. The earth has already survived periods of life-altering
change. And we are still here to live or die according to God’s plan.
Now, were closer than we were yesterday to “The End”
if that’s what you want to call it. Perhaps as close as two minutes.
Something’s going to happen. Life as we know it is going to change. I’ll agree
with the scientists in that regard. I might even help sound the alarm. The
clock is ticking. But I won’t cower in the darkness or succumb to the anguish.
My Deliverer is coming!
“When
these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your
redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:28

The Quantifiable Gospel

Little games
present themselves on a popular social media site—one I’ll not name. It’s the site
where some people scroll at length when they ought to have their face in a book
instead. No, I’m not bashing social media. It offers valuable information,
contact with friends, opportunities for marketing, videos of adorable animals,
and glorious pictures displaying the splendor of our world. It also provides a
platform to share our convictions, whatever they may be.
But back to
those games—innocent little quizzes designed to help you learn more about
yourself. They’re laughable and rarely accurate. Nobody’s gullible enough to
take them seriously. I admit I’m more an observer than a participant, so I’ve
never clicked on such a quiz. But I have been amused by the results quantified for
some of my friends. Then I scroll on and snicker at a kitten smacking a
Rottweiler’s nose. I don’t like Rottweilers.
Neither do I
appreciate it when a simple game meant for entertainment perpetuates a common
misunderstanding of the gospel. So, I wasn’t amused when I noticed a quiz titled,
“Are you Going to Heaven or Hell?”

One of my
online friends had taken the test and the results totaled about 120 deeds under
“sins” and 500,000 or so “good deeds.” This meant my friend was well prepared
for eternity. Good outweighed bad and the gates of Heaven were opened.
Promptly considering
my own life, and the lives of the Christians in my real-world circles, I
concluded 120 sins was probably a low number, and 500,000 good deeds seemed a
stretch. Using these quantities, 4,166 good deeds were needed to cancel out one
sin. Of course, it’s not to be taken to heart. Christians who know anything
know their salvation is not based on works, but on the finished work of Christ.
But that harmless little quiz might give somebody the idea their long-held
belief that good people go to Heaven was right after all.
Before I’d
moved past my indignation over the “Heaven or Hell” quiz, another post shared
on social media muddied the matter even further. This one came from a teacher
of the Word, from a supposedly trustworthy site aimed at Christian edification.
The quiz—however misleading it might have been—was just for fun. But this
devotional piece was meant to reach into the minds of God’s elect, the ones
saved by grace.
The lesson
of the day: your salvation is not assured. If you sin, you need to get saved
again. Do we live a cycle of sin—repent—get saved—sin—get unsaved—repent— get saved—sin—get
unsaved, and on and on until we die? If this is how to quantify the gospel,
then on any given day I could get hit by a bus and go to Hell because I sinned just
before stepping into the street and I didn’t get a chance to repent.
That’s not
the gospel I know. It carries the same fallacy as the quiz. One suggests your
good deeds will get you into Heaven. The other claims that even though you’ve been redeemed, your bad deeds might keep
you out of Heaven. Both hang on the deeds of the one seeking salvation, rather
than on the unmerited favor of the giver of salvation. 
For by grace
you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the
gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians
2:8,9
I’m not very
good at math, so I’m sure I’d get it wrong if I tried to cancel out my bad
deeds with good ones. And while I know when I’ve sinned it might take me a few
minutes, or longer, to allow the kindness of God to lead me to
repentance. And a bus might hit me. I’m glad the gospel is quantified in the
simplest terms. The good deeds and the bad don’t figure into the equation.
Neither does the up-to-date repentance ledger.
That doesn’t
mean I can forget about good works and confession. It means my good works grow
out of love for my savior. It means I confess with thanksgiving because the
price for my sins was paid once and for all. To add to the gospel is to
subtract from it until all you have is a knock-off. An imitation. Here’s a calculation
shared among Christians who meet in the cyber world and in the church building,
and if the gospel must be quantified, this is the only solution:
Jesus +
nothing = everything.
Contemplate the good and the bad going on in your life. God cares and so should you. Repent
of your sins as soon as you can. That’s what you’re supposed to do. But don’t
give up your freedom in Christ to live in fear of not bringing enough to the
equation, because there is nothing you can bring. If you’re His, He’s got you
covered.
“Truly, truly, I
say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has
eternal life. He does not come into judgment,                                but has passed from
death to life.”
John 5:24

Happy New Year

☑ I Am Not a Robot

No
sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only
the world as it is, 
but the world as it will be.    Isaac Asimov
Asimov made this
statement in reference to the constant and inevitable changes reshaping our existence.
Based on the realities of science springing forth from fiction, he knew we were
headed for a new world. Seeing that my own fiction reports the potential human upgrades
of the near future, I understand. I agree with his assumption that the wonders
of science fiction are becoming the everyday way of life.
A new world is coming.
We may be surrounded by transhumans when it arrives. We may have computers in
our brains. We may be living far past our current life expectancy. Some may even
consider death a conquered foe, for the prospect of science preserving life
will bring great hope. Here is where my agreement with Asimov’s statement
negotiates a major shift. Despite the pseudo faith in the god of exponential
progress, those of us who wait on the Lord must know we can no longer make
decisions without taking into account the world as it will be. We who follow
Christ abide as the world rushes into the greatest era of man’s accomplishments,
some of us mildly entertained by the whole thing.  But…

But our
citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power
that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Philippians 3:20-21
No act
committed in the science lab to usher in everlasting life can compare with the
transformation brought by the One True Creator. He will rescue the redeemed
from the perils of this world and present us glorified, ready to live forever by
the only method that ever gave any real hope of living forever. Should we not
take this into account when making decisions about how we live? How we spend
our time? Our money? Our talents? Our conversations?
The
great men and women of science will persist in trying to conquer death. I will
continue, on some level, to admire them, find amusement in their efforts, and
sit amazed by what is reported. I might even make up a story or two, or three,
to peruse the progression. But within the core of the stories, I’ll not forget
the foolishness of the meager mind of a scientist attempting to climb the tower
to meet the mind of God. As for the already completed great accomplishment of
God in conquering death, I stand amazed.
Many are
the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that
will stand.
Proverbs 19:21
In this
new year, take into account the world as it will be. Not as an existence remodeled
by the wonders of science, but as a creation held together by the strong force
of God, who will soon bring more wondrous changes than Asimov ever imagined.
Therefore
if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has
come.
                            2 Corinthians 5:17