May I approach the bench?

The following is copied from my personal Facebook profile. I felt the need to address the jury before I presented my case for Christ.

I’d rather be muted for 30 days (or more), unfriended, or lose a friend in reality because I posted a bold Christian message. If one friend or acquaintance gains eternal life and a peace beyond all human understanding, my social standing is worth it for that one soul.

There are a lot of theories called religions. But unless they are believed 100%, they are just theories. A knock-off Rolex still tells time, but not for long.

All creation sings His praise! “Mother Earth” has been singing the blues. This earthly groan is calling all sides to focus on the one common strand in our DNA. Both sides of this radical world have buried their heads in the sand. In the end, both sides will have people going down with their beliefs to the extreme, the end. We’ve lost our focus.

God is the true north to the compass imbedded in our hearts. It’s a longing that we fill with stuff as we wander, demagnetized and spinning. We mock faiths with millions of gods but here we are, truly seeing where our allegiance is— how much “faith” we have stockpiled in our pantries and linen closets.

When I’ve flown to the other side of the world to share the good news of Christ, it isn’t as bold as you’re reading in my tone or my posts as I sit in America amid a global pandemic.

God put a verse (John 21:6) on my heart the second time I left America to go where He led me. I prayed the question many asked, “Why go away when so many need help here in the US?”

Indeed, there are needs here and that is why I serve locally as well. But there are far too many distractions to reach people. Literally, noise causes fish to scatter.

I went to Central America, Africa, SE Asia, and then back again when He made a way. People, including my own family, said, “ Why should I pay for your vacation?” Hmmm… not many are willing to do without toilet paper much less squat over a hole in the ground and call it a vacation.

[Side note: BYOTP and carry it back from your trek with you. If you encounter the luxury of a flush toilet, never flush the paper.]

The part where we are humbled to ask the Body of Christ for support is part of the refinement. We ask because people are supposed to part of the sending— in prayer, with supplies, with finances. In this, we all are a part of the great commission given at the end of Matthew (the first book of the Bible) to go to all nations to share the news of Christ.

Here’s a crazy fact I learned the first time I trekked the foothills of the biggest mountain in the world— there are more missionaries coming to America than America sends out 🧐. Our television and movies tell the truth that we are not a land trusting in God, but in gods.

Here’s another fun fact— more money is spent on pet costumes in the US than sending and supporting missionaries 😬. Sobering, isn’t it?

When I trek mountains, prepare for summer camp with foster kids, teach kids about hygiene in Africa, or lead a small group of oppressed women in Central America, I’m not feeding them a double cheeseburger or shoving it down their throat. Our teams are coming along side people and asking first— “Tell me about yourself? Your life? Your family?” And many times, folks aren’t too busy to offer a cup of tea and enjoy the company. They will ask about our lives in return and will carefully listen to the interpreter. They watch our faces as we speak, even though they don’t understand our words. It is a joy to watch their faces respond as they comprehend, in their language, what we shared. They ask more— they too have a strand in their humanity looking for truth. They too, have hand-me-down religions that are ritual rather than beliefs. It’s like the full churches America sees for weddings, and at Christmas and Easter. There maybe some belief or romance to what they practice, but at the top of the world, they sense there is more. Men dream dreams and miracles still happen. They don’t have a way to know anything other than what they are living because they cannot travel, do internet research, or own a book that might hint at something other than their government sanctions.

There are parts of the world with distorted messages of Christianity. These are the most challenging to witness to. There is a false sense of belief that a Christian is on the same path to eternal life regardless of doctrine. But without the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, present since the beginning, and they only way to eternal life with our Creator— well, it’s like following your GPS when it’s not calibrated correctly. It happens, right? Usually when your running late too.

That, my friends is the trickery of Satan. He leads you along quite believably but leaves you standing at the alter. Check out Revelation 12:10-12

“For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God, has been cast down and silenced. By the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witnesses, they have become victorious over him. For they did not hold on to their lives, even under threat of death. Therefore, rejoice, all you heavens; celebrate, all you who live in them. But disaster will befall the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to your spheres. And he is incredibly angry because he knows his time is nearly over.”

He knows his time is nearly over. The threats become more deceptive, more global, more personal— especially when he is losing his grip on someone he thought he had won.

I referenced Ephesians in an earlier message. Read it. You have time, right? Well, kinda sorta. You think you had time and procrastinated on a lot, we are all finding. If you feel compelled to recalibrate your compass, there is no better time than the present. Dig in with an earnest desire to know. If you dip your toes with cynicism, you’re not going to find the clues to get out of the escape room. Maybe you need to find friends to earnestly try to find the escape from this world into the next. Make sure you have a trustworthy leader.

Truth is, we all will live forever. One soul. One life. One chance. You’re not banking on coming back as a Labrador, are you? Those beliefs are lovely and poetic with a soft foundation.

I can’t give you a tour of the time-share and hope you’ll buy in. You have to trust that all the joys and blessings of this world are just a drop in the bucket. A foretaste of the feast to come.

I love you too much to let offense stop me from shining light into this darkness. Truly, if we are connected here, I want nothing but the best for you. And if I love you this much, believe that your Creator— your Heavenly Father— He wants you back too. You have freewill to chose. He isn’t an oppressive leader. His love is inconceivable!


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