Mr. Truth and the Con-Man

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Every so often, I run into some pitiful, depressing sort of message, article, and/or piece information that claims “I am Reality; I am Truth.”

I like to laugh at such things.

Why?

Because I find the underlying logic required to believe them preposterous.

Have you ever met a con man? Somebody pretending to be someone or something that they are not? Bold. Fresh. Confident. They must be who they are because they claim to be who they are. Why question them? After all, they are confident. 

Now, suppose one of them walks right in the door. He’s got the strut. He’s got the swag. And he says, “Hello. My name is Mr. Truth. Care for a dance?”

He bats those long eyelashes at you. 

Suppose you believe him. Now, from this point on, everything he says or does—everything you notice or observe—about him will register and be identified with “Mr. Truth.”

Now, suppose he’s a rather wicked man. He rapes you, steals your wallet, slanders your best friend, blows up an elementary school, deliberately starts World War III,  and . . . well, you get my drift. 

What’s your grid for “Truth” going to be?

If you continue to believe that he is who he said he is, then you will come to some rather nasty conclusions about Truth.

But did you ever stop to ask yourself: is he really “Mr. Truth?” Does he even legitimately own that name? Because you see, if he was actually not Mr. Truth, then all of those ways he acted, all of those ways he treated you, all that information you gathered “Truth” were not actually legitimate expressions of Truth. And if he is not Mr. Truth—-but in fact a con man—then who shall we call him? What should his proper name be? Hmm?

Perhaps we should call him “Mr. Lie.”

I don’t believe that Mr. Truth has the character attributes that the above-mentioned hypothetical man does. I believe that Mr. Truth is a rather noble person. A good person. A kind, compassionate, loving person. Someone I can trust. Really trust. 

Now, I have challenge for you: Go back through this little blog post, and replace “Mr. Truth” with “God.”

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Joy Experiment #1-Words

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So, I’m just going to listen to what I am sensing that God is saying and declare it over this blog. This should be fun! Am looking forward to some miracles. Please let me know if any of these things I am seeing and releasing right now apply to you. I’d love to hear any testimonies y’all have out of all this! Be sure to reference the number so that I can tell which word(s) applies to you.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the love.

1) I keep seeing a picture of a lady giving birth. I sense that the baby needs to turn around inside the womb to come out headfirst, so I just speak that into existence right now. Turn around and come out the right way! I see a picture of a baby being held up; this baby is wearing a yellow outfit with white stripes. 

2) I see a lady standing over a record player. She is switching tracks on the record. I also see a pink bunny with this same lady. And a pair of brown, slipper-looking shoes than look like they’re covered with suede on the outside and have some sort of soft fluffy, off-white/ivory interior. I am sensing she needs money for a car. I see a picture of an envelope with money inside left on the front porch. If that is you, please check your front porch. I see a white envelope with money in it. I release that right now in Jesus’ name!

3) I see a little girl. She’s wearing a pink dress. It looks like she is having a tea party with some of her stuffed animals and dolls and such. One creature in particular is a bunny rabbit with a bow tied around the neck. I keep seeing sparkles show up in her room and something like a diamond in one of her tea cups. I release that, too , in Jesus’ name!

4) I see a broken leg. Lower part of the leg. Bone’s sticking out a bit. I also see a jar of cookies nearby. I release healing and wholeness right now into that leg.

5) I see a wooden salad bowl. Someone’s serving up salad. And garlic bread. I see garlic bread. I get the sense it’s some kind of family dinner. It looks like you just ran out of salad dressing. Check the fridge again, and I declare you’re going to have more than enough.

Who Do You Expect?

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So, I was talking with God about “The Challenge” and all the joy experiments that we’ll be running together on this blog, and I felt Him impress something quite strongly on my spirit: people need to know who they’ll be meeting.

It’s maybe a little easy for me to take for granted that everybody else on the worldwide web is on the same page as I am when it comes to the goodness and the nature of God because God’s goodness  and nature seems so obvious to me. But He started to remind me that not everybody sees Him that way. Not everybody lives with that as their reality. In fact, some people are downright scared of Him and don’t want Him to come near them.

I used to be.

I remember going to church growing up. There was this sign that someone on the church staff put up—probably halfway as joke. It stood near the entrance and said something to the effect of “Turn off your cellphones. Lightning may strike.” I remember hearing a heavy emphasis placed on God’s displeasure with any kind of sin or unrighteousness. It was understood—at least from my perspective—that if you sinned, God was disappointed in you. Angry with you, even. And He did punish. Look at the Israelites. Look at Sodom and Gomorrah. I was terrified to make mistakes. I was terrified lest some unknown sin go unconfessed. I lose track of how many times I prayed “the prayer of salvation” just to make sure I did it correctly and didn’t wind up in the hot place.

It wasn’t as if I never heard “God loves you.” That I heard a lot. But the meaning of “love” got a bit watered down under the weight of how disappointed I felt God was whenever I screwed up. And of course, it was inevitable that I would screw up. (After all, what do you expect from a sinner? Sinners sin. It’s their nature.) I felt more put up with. Tolerated. And actually . . . used. Kind of like:

“Here, I love you enough to get you out of hell and into heaven—after you die—if you believe in Jesus. Okay, now that you do, I’m going to put you to work. Go convert people. The more people you convert, the happier I’ll be with you. But if you miss just one opportunity, I’m going to sic my frowny face on you. Because they’re going to hell, and it’s your fault. Oh, and by the way, you’re still a sinner. Just ‘saved by grace’ now. I kinda expect you to fail.” 

Yeah. Way to inspire me . . .

Then one day God told me He liked me.

I remember He had this kinda lady come up to me and say, “Hey, I felt like the Lord was saying He doesn’t just love you; He likes you.” It resonated with me. I knew—I just knew—that what she was saying was true. My ears came open, and I began to hear God speaking true love to me on a regular basis, telling me how much He delighted in me and was pleased with me. And He didn’t stop saying it when I messed up. It became clear to me that His love for me was on 24/7. And it also became clear to me that His love and delighting in me were not dependent on what I did and did not do. 

So, WHO exactly am I inviting to show up on this blog? 

Jesus Christ.

Mr. Love.

Mr. I-Healed-Your-Cold.

Mr. I-Put-Sparkles-on-You-Because-I-Love-You-and-I-Can.

Mr. I-Defend-the-Cause-of-the-Orphan-and-the-Widow.

Mr. I AM.

Mr. Get-Up-Out-Of-That-Wheelchair-And-Walk!

Mr. Fun. 

Mr. I-Turn-Water-Into-Wine.

Mr. It-is-Finished.

Mr. I’m-Already-in-the-Room-in-Case-You-Didn’t-Notice.

 I am inviting the God who totally OWNS the title and the name SAVIOR. When He saves, it’s not based on human efforts—because it’s really “saving” someone if they have do it—it’s based on His being Him and actually manifesting the very meaning of the word. When He saves, He does it thoroughly and doesn’t go about calling saints “sinners” after the fact.

And He’s not saving us from some multiple personality manifestation of His who wants go all “HULK SMASH!” on everybody just because He likes to power-trip and appear the benevolent dictator when His kind, anemic, nice-guy version of Himself shows up. Typical “bad-cop, good-cop” routine.

 No, that is NOT the guy I am inviting. 

I am inviting the God who is already here because nothing can exist without Him. The God who’s everywhere. The God who’s madly in love with you. With me. With all of us. Crazy, head-over-heels madly in love. The God Who permanently interwove Himself with humanity in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. (He just overdoes Himself on our behalf. I love it!)

Yeah, I am inviting the Living God.  

The One Who embodies true goodness.

The One Who technically doesn’t even need an invitation. 

That’s Who you can expect.

 

 

The Challenge

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So, was doing some thinking and praying, and this idea struck me: why not invite God to show up and show off on my blog?

I figure it’s one thing to talk about Him, and quite another to invite Him speak for Himself.

Now, I haven’t done this before, so I don’t know exactly how it’s going to turn out. But I am quite excited!

I am going to be begin to run a series of what I call “joy experiments” to chronicle this, and they may turn out to be a bit reader interactive, so do follow along. I want to include everyone on my fun little adventure!

Questions

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I like asking questions.

How else am I to learn anything?

When I know something, I know it. When I don’t know something, I don’t know it. There’s never any shame in that.

I used to think that God would get mad at me if I asked too many or the wrong kind. After all, according to many human beings, there are certain questions that can get you into trouble, and there are certain things better to blindly accept rather than risk being turned into human bacon in the fires of hell. Or risk being ostracized by the people who believe that God would turn someone into human bacon in the fires of hell for not blindly accepting those things.

Take a step back for just a minute and look at what’s going on here. 

Does it not seem circular to you?

If you want to know my personal opinion: believing in a god like that—one who would condemn the questioner, the truth seeker—seems more like hell to me than the human bacon option. At least the human bacon gets to be honest and is not obligated to violate his or her conscience.

I just don’t believe that God is that kind of cranky. I mean, are we talking about the same God? The One who made kangaroos and giraffes and the platypus? The same God who made and was besties with King David? King David—you know, the guy with all the vents and songs and stuff in the middle of the Bible. If King David were here today, would he get labeled a heretic by so-called God-believers for asking the questions that he did?

Okay, so maybe I have a hard time believing in a hateful God because—among other things—He supernaturally healed me of a cold, put sparkles of out nowhere on my hands more than one time, and just keeps doing sweet things for me each and every day just like we’re some cute old married couple.

So . . . when all this hate stuff gets attributed to my bestie, I feel a little sad. And puzzled. 

I ask God questions all the time. I want to get to know Him. He’s just so . . . good, and I keep getting to uncover more layers of His goodness. And I feel like a God like that is worthy of honesty, you know?

He’s worthy of being sought by honest seekers.

So, here’s my challenge, folks: don’t be afraid to ask questions. Honest questions.

And starting expecting a response.

Everywhere

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There is not a place I can go where God is not.

I literally cannot outrun God.

He’s everywhere.

Forgive me, dear ones, if you start talking about God as if He is far off, so distant and disconnected from our world, so unaware of what’s going on in our day-to-day . . . And I bust out laughing. For never, ever have I heard I anything so ridiculous. What a joke. What a joke. You are too funny!

Forgive me, dear ones, if you say, “He knows me not!” and I begin to weep. I weep and weep, for I see the One who formed your very mouth, your very mind, the One who animates you with life-breath. Forgive me if I weep because you are so beautiful, so breath-taking.

Forgive me, dear ones, if you say, “I do not believe He exists!” and I fall down in worship right before your eyes because I have seen the I AM staring right back at me out of them. I do not mock you; I simply see Him in your eyes, and I want to cry, “Holy!”

I see God everywhere.