The Cost

I’m not a perfect Christian and I won’t pretend to be. In fact, there is nothing more anti-Christ in spirit than an exclusive, pretentious Christianity that upholds a false holiness. I sin less often than when I first believed but I still struggle with sin and I will continue in this battle with my sin until I pass from this world. The good news is that after I die, my war with sin will be over and I will enter eternity free from sin. None of this is due to my self efforts but to Jesus who bought forgiveness for my sins by giving His life for mine. Any victory I’ve won in self-control has come by surrender and obedience to God and not by my own strength. Before I knew Jesus, I lived to sin but when Jesus became the center of my life, I died to sin and began to live for Him. Jesus put a new desire in my heart, that of wanting to please God and I am no longer driven only, to satisfy myself. The inner conflict this created isn’t pleasant and each victory over my sin requires a death to self. Jesus died to set me free of the penalty of sin (the second death) and I in return, die to my selfish desire daily, in order to live for Him. When I falter and give in to my old ways, He forgives me, heals me, and sends me back into battle. Nothing about this process is appealing to a world driven toward achieving temporal perfection. I’m not a good Jesus sales-person for those seeking to package a more modern Jesus who promises to give people all that their hearts desire in the here and now. Serving the Jesus I know and love, the Jesus of the Bible, comes at a cost and delayed gratification in the world to come is the prize for which I contend.

I regret no sin habit I’ve left behind for Jesus. I’m more than grateful to be free of the drugs I used as a young person. I don’t miss cigarettes or alcohol. I am eternally thankful for all the dysfunctional behaviors God has helped me correct and the inner healing that only the Bible can give. I’m happy that I learned to live within my means, remain faithful to my husband, and live a quiet life. Trading my sin for values that work is the greatest blessing of my life but I know all these blessings will pale in comparison to living in a world free from sin. The thought of my complete transformation into the likeness of Christ is more than my mind can fully comprehend but I do love to try to envision it. The amazing thing is that the more I die to myself the closer I come to being the woman God originally, designed me to be. With each wrong-headed desire I give up, I find greater happiness and increased joy.

I know these words I write seem a bit crazy to those from a Darwinist, secular viewpoint but I’m old enough now that I don’t care about speaking anything but that which I’ve come to know as true. There is no hope in this secular culture, not even for those who are among the fittest. Our world seems to be becoming crueler each day and the most repugnant cruelties are hidden beneath a veneer of politically correct words and outright fear. Children suffer the most in this world because they are the weakest among us. They are murdered in the womb as a means of birth control much more often than to save a mother’s life but abortion is the sanitizing term applied no matter the reason. The more powerful mother has all legal protection and the weaker child has none. Children are abused by parents and bought and sold for sexual pleasure at alarming rates but little of it is even reported. Old people are next in line for abuse in this culture, where equality must be earned. The ageing must remain young for as long as possible to retain viability. Women must become more like men, men have to be more in touch with their feminine side, and children must be more adult-like in a world where equality is gauged in equal outcomes. The more the world tries to make everyone the same the more heartless and dysfunctional it becomes. Everyone is trying to earn status as one of the elite fittest but the reality is all are victims of inequality and abuse. I see insanity in the world and find sanity in Jesus. God loves all of His children despite their sin and all have equal value in Jesus no matter how diverse or lacking in power. Human life matters in God’s economy but in the world, human life is valued less every day.

Accepting Christ into my heart and making Him the Lord of my life was the most important decision I ever made. My faith isn’t magic. Faith is better than magic because it is based upon divine truth and not any sleight of hand. When I opened my mind in belief and Jesus entered, I became a spiritual person, a new creature in Christ. I received new life and a new beginning. My attitude changed and I found the guidance I needed in the Bible to transform my lifestyle from unhealthy to healthy. I received the strength needed to correct my dysfunctional behaviors and world view. Jesus turned my upside down world right side up. Without Him, I would die in my sin and carry that sin with me into eternity. I would never know anything but cruelty. Because of Jesus I know the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father even though I presently, remain in a cruel world. I will not die in my sin. I will die once and be free from sin to live eternally in Christ. What I have received from Jesus is available to all. My hope and prayer for anyone, who reads this testimony and is tired of their sin, will open their hearts in faith to receive Jesus and His gift of eternal life. He doesn’t promise to make you rich, famous, or powerful but He will give you a new desire for God that leads to a future free from your sin.

John 12: 23-26


A Mocker’s Twisted Joy

Bill (always referred to as William by his mother) was once a bright, happy, little boy. He was the youngest child, with two older sisters, in a family that doted on him. There wasn’t anything his parent’s wouldn’t do for their children but in William his mother, Della especially, saw greatness. She centered her life around him and tended to his every wish and need. Determined not to deny him any opportunity, she sacrificed many things to make sure he attended the right schools, had special lessons, and played whatever sport caught his interest. Della did everything she could to make sure his childhood was the opposite of her own. Her William had the right clothes, the right friends, and never lacked for anything. Bill was the center of his family and understood that the sun, moon, and stars revolved around him; and were purposed to serve him. Bill seemed to have everything but he was denied the joy of serving others and never learned to give but only, to receive.

Della loved Jesus and she taught her children that they should love Him too. She took them to church every Sunday and did her best to raise them “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Della and her husband, the original William, both had servant’s hearts and dedicated many hours to their church. Truly, they were nearly selfless people who gave of themselves freely and seldom asked for anything in return. Young Bill observed them giving away what he thought should belong to only him and grew to resent their church service. He saw how some took advantage of his parents and came to regard them as foolish but that didn’t stop him from availing himself of all he could garner from them. It was jealousy and entitlement that tied the first hard knots in Bill’s heart; knots that anchored him at the center of his universe and strangled any remnant of childish joy. Though Bill knew everything about the Christian faith, he never accepted Christ because that would mean surrendering the throne of self that he knew himself as entitled to. He grew bitter toward God and as a young man, declared himself an Atheist. However, deep inside he knew the reality of God but had no use for a God that required service rather than catering to his whims.

Bill is now known as a bitter, old man. Life was a disappointment to him as the world refused to serve him as his parent’s had. He hates them too for making him believe that everything he desired and wished for would be handed to him on a silver platter. The only thing he really enjoys in life is deriding Christians, in the same way that he derides and abuses his aged parents. Bill didn’t learn to work and doesn’t like to work. He rode his parents financially for as long as he could until, their money ran out. After that they were useless to him and he abandoned them entirely. He assuages any pains of guilt brought on by his actions by trolling social media and haranguing believers. He made it his call in life, to de-evangelize the world. He prides himself on his intellect and reason, as he seeks to free others from purpose, hope, and the joy of faith that he finds most, unreasonable. His methods consist mainly, of rapid-fire statements disguised as questions, designed to overwhelm intellects he regards as inferior to his own. Even though he denies belief in any deity, there is nothing he adores more than blaming God for every evil in the world. In this Bill reveals the truth buried deep in his heart that he is not an Atheist but an apostate. Instead of choosing a faith he knows is Truth, he decided instead to unreasonably rely upon human reason and its inability to prove the existence of God. It was the only, way to keep his throne. He denied a life of purpose and embraced a life of purposeless, self-gratification that left him empty, bitter, and joyless. Bill still proudly, sits at the center of his universe and he sits all alone.

Many blame Bill’s parents for creating the man he is today; but Bill is the only one who can change his destiny. As a child, he observed all their ways and chose to be the kind of man he wanted to be. Any hope for him lies in changed desire and the softening of his hardened heart. Only the Truth that Bill eschews has the power to free him from his isolation, pain, and bitterness. Only, Jesus can loosen the knots of defective non-belief and fill his heart with joy. His only, hope lies in the Mercy of the one true God that he denies.