Category Archives: Social Issues

Truth, Lies and Anxiety

question-mark-2I have a theory. Does this resonate with you?

When people lie to us, and we have no evidence that they are lying, we have two different responses from two parts of our being. Our mind listens to what is being said, and finding no evidence to the contrary, agrees with the lie. But our spirit senses the lie at a spiritual level and is grieved. Whether our spiritual awareness is small or great, an incongruence now exists between our mind and spirit. Our spirit and mind are not resonating in unity and this creates discomfort in the emotional realm. Anxiety and mistrust are the result. We don’t understand any of this in our mind, but it happens anyway – the fruit of experiencing an unknown lie.

Think of the spouse who is betrayed by infidelity. They don’t know, but they do know. Anxiety, mistrust and turmoil grows. Or the boss who fires an employee, but gives a soft reason instead of the real reason. The employee’s mind is relieved, but the spirit knows otherwise. Anxiety results.

The solution to this angst is truth.

But for many, this is a problematic solution. Truth is often deemed too painful and therefore must be disguised or hidden. But if my above theory is true, then lies do greater damage in the long run, as they destroy inner peace. The best solution may be speaking the truth (with love, not hate). Truth accepted by the mind creates a united resonance with the spirit, and our emotions are therefore more at peace. And don’t we all want peace!

If this theory is true, then this has important implications for our lives not only as individuals but also as a society. For anxiety is rampant and we need to understand its causes. It begs the question – how much of our anxiety is the fruit of lies? It could be minimal, but I suspect it is enormous. For lies do not just come to us from individual relationships, but they also come from society as a whole. If the philosophy that we build our lives around is simply not true, then how much greater the anxiety and inner turmoil. We are building on sand.

As a deeply personal response, I believe that truth is found only in Jesus Christ. He is my ultimate peace. This is not theoretical for me. This is my experience on a daily basis, to greater and lesser extents, depending on the day. His truth brings me much peace. It slashes misconceptions, which may initially be painful, but also bring enormous relief.

My quest is to keep seeking God’s truth and to challenge every part of my life that does not flow with his life giving Word! “The truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).

An Open Letter To Australia

Australia map 3Dear Australia,

We are an incredible nation. From the natural Uluru to the master built Opera House, we display outstanding beauty. From the original inhabitants to the British settlers to later immigrants, we epitomise diversity, and enjoy its benefits. We are passionate, yet easy going, hard-working, yet know how to celebrate. We despise facades and welcome gut level honesty. So I probably won’t surprise you when I also say… we have some serious problems.

We see never ending domestic violence in the news. The victims suffer in body and soul, robbed of their safety and human dignity, tortured by ongoing emotional turmoil. The perpetrators also suffer – their inner freedom is destroyed by their own hatred and lack of self-control. We are also robbed of their exceptionality.

There is an increasing and pervading darkness. It is most obvious in the atmosphere of our movies – every decade is darker than the one prior. Compare a 1950’s movie to one today. This increased darkness is also obvious in our faces, in our eyes. There is a loss of innocence which stands out.

Our nation is blistering with porn addiction – a huge percentage of particularly men and boys are addicted to lust, driven for a hit, minds altered, innocence lost, robbed of intellectual creativity and freedom because of the addiction that stalks them. And we as a nation are robbed of their finery, of their purest contribution to family and society. Not to mention the many partners who suffer silent anguish.

We see a tsunami of depression. It’s everywhere. Depression sucks the life out of people, robs them of their capacity, their ability to flourish and change, learn and grow. THERE IS NO FREEDOM! We never get to see their best.

I could go on. Each one of us have our own story.

I have to ask… Why are we suffering? What is diminishing our capacity? Where is our inner freedom?

I would like to suggest that as a society we are reaping the fruit of walking our own way.

We sing the song, “I Did It My Way” and “It’s My Life”. We believe that no-one can tell us what to do. ‘It’s my life, my choice.’ And this is true. But we are reaping the consequences. And the consequences are too much!

There must be another way.

Our problems are too big for the government to solve. They are too big for the universities to intellectualise. The media can bring them to our attention, but they can’t change anything? We have millions of different opinions, but which voice do we listen to amidst the cacophony on the airwaves? Nobody has a monopoly on national perspective. Not one of us qualifies for the job!

I put it to you that there is only One who can fix our nation’s problems…

And that One is God.

He’s the only one that sees everything at once, every person, every problem, every pain and the interaction across the globe of all of these things, impact now and impact across the generations. The God that was smart enough to create the intricacies and inter-relatedness of life on the planet is smart enough to restore order, if we will listen.

When we want something done properly, we ask the experts. If God is the creator of our world, our brains, our emotions and our communities, then he is the ultimate expert, so why not find out what he says. Why belittle our potential by following our own myopic vision when we could follow the one who sees everything?

God’s way is very different to ours. The ancient Scriptures read,

 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NLT)

 But what are his ways? And how do we walk in them?

I challenge you to find out.

God’s way leads to inner peace, hope and personal freedom. And on a larger scale, to national peace and prosperity. God is good and his ways are right. He personifies love in its purest form, whilst standing firm on justice and truth. He is both holy and revered, gentle and personal. He holds the keys to abundant life and gives us freedom to grab a hold of them… or freedom to choose our own way.

Let’s use our freedom to grab the keys and change our direction. Let’s humble ourselves and admit we are wrong.

I challenge my country, from the politicians, to the workers, from the business owners to those living on welfare, from the students to those serving our community – let’s stop living life our own way and start living life God’s way. It’s a change of perspective. It’s a change of priorities. And it’s therefore a change of consequences.

Let’s be a nation that learns to seek God’s truth and apply it in all areas of life, in every sphere of the community, with all the fruit that entails. Let’s see every individual released into the uniqueness and brilliance of who they have been designed to be. Why wouldn’t we want this? Why wouldn’t we sacrifice everything, including our own false freedom for the true freedom that is available.

In the words of Isaiah, the ancient prophet:

 “Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
 Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.” (Isaiah 55:6-7, NLT)

Please share this on social media and get the message out!

Abortion – Make The World A Better Place

Sitting in my chair I had a moment. And decided to record it…

Kudos to Candace Payne for recording such a beautiful version of ‘Heal the World’. I played the song on my iPhone as I spoke, as it set the atmosphere for what I wanted to convey. This world can be healed. This world can be a better place. We can approach the abortion issue with compassion and love, with value for all.

Love, Freedom, Truth

 

Musings mum and Summer outsideThere’s so much wrestling going on in my mind. Love, freedom, truth. Over and over.

God is love. His love is SO good. It’s beyond our human experience. The Scripture oozes with examples and direct conveyances of his love. “How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18); “this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19); “this is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16). Etc, etc. Just google and you will find a GOLD MINE.

It hurts to know even a smidgeon of this love, and to know that so many have ABSOLUTELY no idea of the depth and the richness and the spiritually overwhelming goodness of this. It’s actually upsetting!

And the life giving Scriptures tell us that the world will know who Jesus’ disciples are by their love for one another (John 13:35).

That one upsets me too. Even though God has placed his love in our hearts, we often do a really lousy job of conveying this love. When we are in his presence it is easy. But then we can so easily slip into our old bad habits. We get cross, we get grumpy, we are not loving. SO frustrating!!!

But then we get his love dose. And when this happens, the outcome can be amazing. We can overlook the judgments, the insults, the kids’ bad behaviour, the stress. And love conquers all. It actually does. In moments like these, our soul is deepened in God’s strength. We become mighty overcomers.

I remember when my three youngest children were milling around me in the kitchen. Summer (the one with microcephaly and autism) was agitated, Sarah was whinging. They were all noisy and demanding. I felt pulled, I felt stressed. And it was after a really stressful car trip with all five kids, having to sit next to Summer and manage her behaviour full-time for about 50 minutes. I was really stretched! I felt like I was about to snap, like a war was going on inside me. And then something rose up from deep within me. Something erupted that shocked me. A groan came from my inner being and I unleashed the words, “I LOVE YOU SUMMER!” The kids looked at me shocked. And then I swiftly moved and embraced Summer and poured out love from my heart all over her. It just oozed from every pore of my being. There was such joy and freedom. And I knew this was the place that I wanted to live life every day. I had energy to move forward. I didn’t want to escape anymore. It transformed that moment for me and the kids.

If only we could live in this zone 24/7. How different life would be! I believe God gives tastes of heaven, of his goodness of his love. And then he teaches us how to live like this more and more.

And then I think of truth. God’s truth. Not the twaddle of relativism that we’ve been spoon-fed by our culture over the last few decades. I love God’s truth. It is liberating. God’s ways are the ways of freedom. If only I could shout from the city’s billboards how amazing truth is. Some luscious Scriptures come to mind… “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6); “then you will know the truth and truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

But truth on its own can often come across so weakly for those who do not agree. There is so much variety of opinion in the world, that to talk about truth from the one who made it, is not received so well. And it can come across as hateful, especially when you quote verses on homosexuality, etc. It makes me sad that what is so precious and so life-giving, can seem so corrupt. And it is not!

I wrestle with how do we present this truth. I see Christians who just tell it like it is, straight as an arrow. And I see Christians who despise this approach and emphasise the need to come from love and no judgment. I look at the Scripture and I see a loving God who is straight down the line with his speech. But he oozes love 24/7 and so when it comes, it comes from a place of love.

One thing I have learnt from being married, is that skill is important to some extent. I can learn relationship skills, I can learn better ways to phrase things so that conflict goes down better. This is hard but can be worthwhile. But what is SO much more effective is when my heart is in the right place. When I ooze God’s love and I’ve been in his presence and my heart is wanting freedom for my husband as well as myself, without condemnation or judgment or unrighteous anger, THEN IT IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and it doesn’t matter how I say it, because what is read is far beyond words. Maybe not all of the time. But even if it is not received, I am still free. I am not fuming. I am full of love and joy. And it is certainly a lot easier for the other person to hear.

This seems all wonderfully ideal and there is lots of truth here. But I’m not 24/7 living out Jesus. And so I wrestle, with love, truth and freedom.

One thing I will finish with. When I have spoken hard stuff to people and it’s come from my own sense of timing, it hasn’t worked very well. I’ve not seen good fruit. But when the Holy Spirit has prompted me to speak hard stuff, and even though I’m scared I do it, it’s completely different. It’s been received, not necessarily followed, but seen as love.

At the end of the day, I conclude I trust God and I want him to grow me. And I want him to direct me. Because his way works. And mine doesn’t. And I want to speak his truth with love and power. That I hunger for so much!

I’m Ticked Off!

angry emoticon

I’m feeling mad today. I’m feeling angry at so many lies going around, that are being chewed up and swallowed by the wider community. Lies that keep people locked in chains, that take away freedom.

For a long time I’ve felt muzzled. I’ve felt like it’s not OK for me to say what I really think. Because what I have to say in the current cultural climate and ideology is…

  1. Embarrassing
  2. Unpopular
  3. Outdated
  4. Irrelevant
  5. Bigoted
  6. Hatred

Aaaaargh!!! I’ve been tipped over the edge and now I have to SPEAK!

God is TRUE! God is LOVE!

God loves gay people. God loves transgender people. God loves politicians. God loves adulterers. God loves kind old ladies. God loves everyone!

And he is not interested in chaining people up and making their lives miserable. He is in the business of bringing freedom. Not freedom to do what one feels in the moment. But true freedom. Inner peace, inner joy, liberty of spirit and soul. What we all really LONG for!

So I’m angry. Because God is misrepresented. He is not a bigot. And true followers of his are NOT bigots! They are the biggest love balloons that the world has ever seen. And if it pops on top of you, you get a love dose! You don’t get a rifle in your face, you get LOVE. And if you have met one who is a bigot, then understand they are on a love journey. None of us are perfect, just like you!

And this God I’m talking about – he wrote the Bible. It’s his book, written through inspiration from him. Him himself! And it’s good stuff.

And the stuff in there that you think is judgment and bigotry and hatred is NOT THAT AT ALL!

I used to hear people say that when you read the Old Testament books of the prophets, that God was such an angry and vindictive God. As a teenager I read these books. All of them at once, all in a row. And I braced myself. But what I saw was not an angry and vindictive God. I saw a God that desperately loved his people SO MUCH. He kept warning them again and again and again and again to turn from living life their own way, and to turn back to HIM. He warned them of consequences if they didn’t. When they listened, he forgave them. So freely, and with so much love and joy. He’s a loving father. And when they didn’t, after immense patience – far more than I would ever have – he brought judgment.

He must have hated seeing such unnecessary suffering after bringing judgment. But he understands the bigger picture. He sees the short-term and long-term impact of living life one’s own way. He sees the inner individual devastation and he sees the wider community devastation. And he puts a stop to it. And what he does is from LOVE because that is who he is. And with our puny minds we can’t understand some of the things he does, but he GETS it. Because he is the only one that sees the bigger picture!

God wants us to walk about in FREEDOM. He has let us know very bluntly in the Bible, the things that will take away our individual and community freedom. Things like lying, stealing, murder, coveting, adultery, etc, etc. He created us and he knows what works and what doesn’t work. He knows what breaks us as individuals and what destroys communites. We need to listen to him. We need to read his Word and take it seriously.

When he writes about homosexuality being an abomination, it’s not because he’s a bigot and he hates a segment of the community. It’s because he’s the loving Creator and he knows what we are made for. He knows what is good for us. He wants us to live the richest, most fulfilling lives in love with him, in trust with him and in unity with him. It means laying down our own agendas, our own wills and trusting him. And there we find our true selves and what we have been created to be.

When we are willing to trust him with our lives, and let him work in us he can do miracles! He can do the impossible. He can take long-term feelings, addictions, thought patterns, ways of thinking, beliefs and turn them around, dissolve them and bring true freedom. Sometimes it’s overnight. Sometimes it’s over a lifetime. But we have to trust him and submit to his shaping.

Jesus came to set the oppressed free. He came to bring liberty to the captives. He gave his life away to dismantle the power of sin and Satan so we could have true freedom and union with him.

Aargh! That’s another one… I’m tired of being scared to talk about Satan. Because science has scoffed at the notion of an evil supernatural being. So believing there is a devil has vibes of anti-intellectualism and being out of date. But we are spiritual beings. Most of the planet will acknowledge this, plus the truth – yes truth – that there is a God. If there is a good God, and there is, then it is not so absurd to believe that there is an evil supernatural being.

Satan is the one that we are at war with. Not gays with Christians. Not pro-lifers versus pro-choicers. Not whatever versus whatever. Satan is at war with gays. He wants to rob them of their true selves and keep them chained up. He wants to feed them with lies that this is who they are. God is not against gays. He wants to expose Satan’s lies and show them who they really are, sons and daughters made in the image of God. He wants to teach them his ways and lead them in his paths. He wants to deliver them from their sexual bondage and bring them into their true sexual identity, as he created them to be.

I’ve had enough of the stupid rhetoric. I’ve had enough of the accusations of hatred.

When Jesus was on earth, the religious leaders brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery and demanded she be stoned. They asked Jesus about it. He said, ‘let him who is without sin cast the first stone’. Talk about the grace genius! But that wasn’t all. After the woman’s accusers all left, Jesus told the woman that he didn’t condemn her and told her to go and sin no more. He did two things. He forgave her. And he told her to stop sinning.

Same with homosexuality. Same with any sin. Jesus forgives and says, ‘go and sin no more’.

What we feel like is not necessarily good for us or society. We need to stop idolising our feelings and start paying attention to what our Creator says. He’s the only one that knows the bigger picture. He’s the only one that knows what works and what doesn’t.

One of my favourite Bible verses is in Psalm 119:45: “I will walk about in freedom for I have sought your commands”.