"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Still mocking...

I had a little free time this morning and found myself catching up on my facebook newsfeed, some blog reading and a little Pinterest searching.

I don't even know how I got there, but as often happens on the world wide web, I got twisted and turned from place to place, until the place I end up was no where NEAR where I started out.

I guess that's how I started with reading some soul-nourishing words about Easter, then stumbled on a recipe for peanut butter eggs, then clicked onto a photographer's rendering of a newborn baby with bunny ears and eventually clicked somewhere very, very shocking and offensive.

Somehow one click off the beaten path brought me to a site memorializing a certain contest that actually takes place in the real world.  And my stomach turned in revolt of how far we have come from appreciating the Great Grace bestowed upon us that Easter so long ago.  We are subjected to this new take on Easter- the one created by the toy stores and candy makers who stand to profit from our stumble.  And we all have to make peace with what part we will partake in it...how far is okay and how far is just plain sacrilegious. I place no judgement on what others choose...I've chosen the baskets, the bunnies and the egg hunts, too. And only just this year I am in an unintentional boycott of them all.  It doesn't come from anywhere but that I'm kind of tired of it and have no gumption to make it happen.  Poor Emma...no fun for her.  I'm not a complete scrooge...I suppose I'll manage to find some leftover plastic grass from last year and a jelly bean or two.  If I have to.

But I've gotten away from the intent of this post....This site, the one that has my blood boiling- included pictures from a contest that was held last Easter.  For all I know, it may be held every year- I couldn't force myself to find out, I was so disgusted.  The contest is called the "Hunky Jesus Contest".  It didn't take me long to realize it is put on by a group of "alternative lifestyles".  And I'm not even going to go there.  The point is; they were taking the sacred Gift of the cross and all that it stands for and making a mockery of Jesus and His sacrifice.  I know, ironic.  He was mocked once and will be until the time He returns and every unknowing knee will bow.  I know this...but I am deeply offended.

I'd like to say that if you don't want to accept the reality of the Cross, that is your choice.  I'm sorry that you don't know...that you don't believe.  Every terrible thing I have done, or thought of, or wished for was wiped clean at the foot of that Cross.  Not because I'm better or because I'm delusional.  But because the Son of God took upon Himself my sin and instead of slapping me with the penalty, handed me a "Get out of jail free" card.

That's JESUS.

Not the one you portray with your sexually explicit costumes, or Mickey Mouse ears.  That's not my Jesus.  That's not His cross you have mockingly dressed up.  He isn't who you say He is.

Do your thing- whatever it is you're doing.  But leave Him out of it.  And stop using His name to win your contests.  You've mocked Him and beaten Him up enough...and I'm not really sure why.  Why mock something you don't think exists or make light of what you say isn't true?  Why do you take delight in making everything sexual and explicit?  I just don't get it.

SO...just because I need you to know....none of that is really Jesus.  But I'll leave you with this...because this IS Jesus.  And I think you should know....

Thursday, March 14, 2013

You go before me and follow me...

There's this young man-
and he calls me mom.

He is somewhere out there...way West of where I am.
He used to be here in the morning when I got up to start my day.
His presence was evident by the piles that he left and the hobbies that spread out all over the house.

Now his room is clean and untouched.  
There's a layer of dust beginning to form over each surface.
He has a new room now...
One that I've never seen-
that he shares with people that I do not know.

It's been 9 weeks since I've seen his face
but it seems like much, much longer.
Though we have the occasional text or call
it's not the same.

He still calls me mom
and I still call him son-
But he's a Marine now
and someone else gets to tell him what to do.
He pledged his allegiance to a new set of "house rules"
and he has new brothers...

His family stands behind him
encouraging and praying him through

But that doesn't mean we don't miss him like crazy
or long to have him home.

He still belongs to us
and yet at the same time, 
he belongs to you too.

He stands at attention for hours at a time
and awaits a day when he would be called to be ready...

for me
for his family
and for you.

He and his brothers are being prepared to stand between us
 and whomever would threaten our safety-
But let's not forget that while our Nation slowly takes away the benefits they were lured in with
they are still standing in our stead
still willing to serve with

If I'd had the choice to choose for him
I would have chosen differently
I would have chosen less separation
less unknowns
I would have chosen for him to be home for birthdays and holidays and family movie nights
I would have chosen to know what he is doing from one day to the next
and to have this house warm with his presence.

But he chose service
and I choose to stand behind him as he does.

And today,
when missing his presence is so strong

I remind myself that while he serves, 
He is not Forgotten-
his name is written on the heart of God

and He is
where I cannot be...

"You go before me and follow me. 
You place your hand of blessing on my head."
Psalm 139:5

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