Monday, January 23, 2012

Be Careful Out There...

mistakes will not be tolerated.

“It was one thing to make a mistake; it was another thing to keep making it. I knew what happened when you let yourself get close to someone, when you started to believe they loved you: you'd be disappointed. Depend on someone, and you might as well admit you're going to be crushed, because when you really needed them, they wouldn't be there. Either that, or you'd confide in them and you added to their problems. All you ever really had was yourself, and that sort of sucked if you were less than reliable.” 
~ Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

“Will’s voice dropped. “Everyone makes mistakes, Jem.”
“Yes,” said Jem. “You just make more of them than most people.”
“I —”
“You hurt everyone,” said Jem. “Everyone whose life you touch.”
“Not you,” Will whispered. “I hurt everyone but you. I never meant to
hurt you.”
Jem put his hands up, pressing his palms against his eyes. “Will —”
“You can’t never forgive me,” Will said in disbelief, hearing the
panic tinging his own voice. “I’d be —”
“Alone?” Jem lowered his hand, but he was smiling now, crookedly. “And
whose fault is that?”
~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

“It is part of the human nature always to judge others very severely and,when the wind turns against us,always to find an excuse for our own misdeeds,or to blame someone else for our mistakes.”
~ Paulo Coelho, Like the Flowing River

“Everyone's life is a mess. Everyone's. We all make mistakes . . . and not just little slip-ups. Major mistakes that hurt us and other people.” 
~ James Alan Gardner, Trapped
“You seemed to be listening to me, not to find out useful information, but to try to catch me in a logical fallacy. This tells us all that you are used to being smarter than your teachers, and that you listen to them in order to catch them making mistakes and prove how smart you are to the other students. This is such a pointless, stupid way of listening to teachers that it is clear you are going to waste months of our time before you finally catch on that the only transaction that matters is a transfer of useful information from adults who possess it to children who do not, and that catching mistakes is a criminal misuse of time.” 
~ Orson Scott Card, Ender's Shadow

All the crap about being "free" to make mistakes, and how "wisdom" is the yield of mistakes--all the biblical and pop-psychological yammering about how forgiving people for their mistakes leads to freedom--HAH! Nice ideas.  Too bad no one actually practices them when caught up in their own errors, or when confronted with the opportunity to practice what they preach.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Whose Report Will You Believe?

Many a discouraged Christian (or encourager of same) asks this question--inspired by Isaiah 53:1...

Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

I don't claim that the verse is rightly used by anyone...including myself.  Yet there is a constant battle for our belief, isn't there?  Not only belief in the report of Christ's saving grace--His amazing,redeeming love--but also belief in one another and ourselves.  So much unbelief is the pleasure of the enemy.  

Liar. Thief. Satan. Devil. Serpent.  

Hate him early and often.  Determine against all natural instincts to refuse the lies. Use every last ounce of your strength to utter the great Name of Jesus to bind, rebuke, and dismiss the evil one who would rob you of your faith both by swift, hard blows and slow, numbing half-truths. 

Dress out in the full armor of God, then, with love as the maker of each garment.  Without it--without love-spun amor--we haven't the first chance of joy.  Without it we build our own prisons, starve our own souls, and dig more graves than we realize.

I was watching Ingrid Bergman's portrayal of Anastasia Romanov, today. I was reminded how important it is to be believed and to hang onto those whom we cherish.

Last night, my little girl and I watched Horton Hears a Who and I was struck by the message of persistence and the importance of listening carefully, generously...believingly

Poor Horton.  What humiliation, fear, and pain he endured because no one would believe his report! Thank God for the Hortons and the JoJos in this world...the ones who don't give up on others or themselves...even when all seems lost.

Matthew 11:15 says, He who has ears, let him hear. We don't need elephant ears to believe the the good news of Jesus, or to believe kindly about one another.

Commitment. Courage. Faith. Humility. Love. Vulnerability. Willingness.  

These are the characteristics of those who believe.