Too Far Gone? Oh, Really?

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I would like to dedicate this blog post to calling some crap for what it is.

Did you know that saying, “I am too far gone” is one of the most prideful and arrogant things a person can say?

You heard me.

With your very own limited cranial capacity, you have decided that you are doomed. Multiple resources are available. Information that you are not aware of. And yet . . . and yet, you have decided that you are basically as good as yesterday’s trash.

That’s just a mess of crazy right there!

One of my favorite bible verses is found in the Book of Revelation, which I actually believe to be one incredibly hopeful book—despite how I get the sense it has been radically misinterpreted by those determined to see an angry, vengeful god bent on whooping some butt. Revelation 22 talks about who’s inside the walls of Heaven’s gates and who’s outside. But Revelation 21 happens to mention this one very key fact: the gates are always open. What you got here is a walled city—with gates. Open gates. The walls are there to stop anyone who wants to ruin the party from ruining the party. But, let me reiterate: it’s got open gates.

The book closes with an invitation to come!

Come! Eat! Drink!

You want inside? Let go of that sad little declaration of self-rejection. Let go of crappy self-identifiers that totally under-describe how chock full of glory you are. Put on that new outfit of what God has to say about you! It’s basically a massive hug-tackle. Acceptance. A declaration of how completely legit you are in God’s eyes. Waves and waves of love that ever crash upon you.

Don’t be a petulant, whiny little thing with a stick up your rear. Come join the party!

 

 

Release From Shame

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This article is written or anyone dealing with that one secret that keeps your head bowed. That one memory that keeps you feeling like you are not worthy.

“Jesus sees you.”

For some, that is a terrifying phrase. Why? Because they have been taught a Jesus whose character is more akin to the devil.  A Jesus who accuses and is keen to call out sin. Not a Jesus who sees the beauty in a person and seeks to call it out.

People run away from a God who looks down upon them. No one wants to feel condemned. No one wants to feel ashamed. For some people, it’s even just easier on their consciences to claim that they believe that God doesn’t even exist or that God’s existence is highly doubtful.

Oh, but you are so beautiful! You were not meant to be kept in the dark. You were created to dance in the light and know love!

I remember reading a story about a man who lived in a graveyard and had a legion of demons inside of him. Did Jesus look at him and say, “Too far gone?” No. Jesus loved that man who was tormented. He cast those spirits out. The very presence of love cast torment out. Jesus saw past the blasphemous muttering to the man. He knew of the man’s pain and had compassion on him.

May you know love and no longer hide.

Hugs,

The Joy Detective

Call Me a Silly Little Donkey

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Call me a silly little donkey. Call me a mad fool. Declare me out of my pretty little mind. That I may be! I see the treasure even in those who insult me. What, after all, has shadow to with substance? A question to ponder.

Can you truly threaten me by disagreeing with me? Shall I lose even an aspect of who I am if you call me an a–? I think not. I shall laugh as one who has had a bit much to drink and give you a hug, madman that I am. Or madwoman, haha!

Go on. Call me a silly little donkey!

Tell the Truth

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I have a bible verse that has become a personal favorite of mine over the past year. It comes from Ephesians 5:11. It reads “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (NIV).

This has become a very personal thing for me.

I have watched havoc be wreaked on the lives of people I know—including myself—because they were afraid to tell the truth. And there are always a myriad of reasons to conceal something. There’s always a rationale. Maybe you’re trying to protect someone. Maybe you want to avoid hurting someone. Maybe it’s self-interested. You think your entire world will shatter if you open your mouth. You don’t want that change.

It’s way too scary.

But scary has gotten to a point where it’s sick of living with me now, and I have realized that scary doesn’t really have much to do with who I am. Sure, I feel fear every so often. But that’s like a radar picking up on crap in the surrounding environment. That doesn’t have a fudge to do with who I am.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

Ever think about the wording of that verse? I know if you grew up hearing it in Sunday School, it’s a bit easy to just brush under the rug. Oh, I know that one. I have heard it a million times! But if you think like that, chance are, you miss the humor. (The Bible, by the way, is a very funny book!)

Think about it. “Fruitless deeds of darkness.” The deeds of darkness have no fruit. It’s a bit hard for death to leave a legacy, actually; everyone committed to it turns to dust! It’s bound to fail.

And then life inevitably plants seeds in the dust of death and makes a frickin’ garden out of the whole thing. There’s irony for you!

So, telling the truth is something to do because it’s a whole lot more fun. There’s a bit more party involved in telling the truth. A bit more dancing involved at a light-show. And, oh, look! Read it in context, and Truth is Love is Life is the Way is God. Time for some happy-dancing. Go tell the Truth.

 

Beauty in the Bleak: Heroes & Villains

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Not all you see

Before your eyes

Matches what’s hidden

Beneath a guise.

For all the tales

Of villainy,

What it is

Isn’t what you see.

A wicked heart,

An evil fate,

A life that seems

Consumed by hate—

I think you just

Fell for the bait—

Of seeing only

Surface things . . .

Fascination with

Babbles—

And with rings.

A miracle,

A spark of light—

May yet conceal

A bit of spite.

You haven’t seen

What’s truly light.

For light illumines

All before—

Revealing treasures,

Revealing more.

You might not hear it

Knocking at your door—

In guise of simple

Woman poor.

(A ‘helpless victim,’

That’s for sure.)

But what is hidden

In her guise?

Is there spark

Within her eyes?

Far from flicker—

Endless light.

Eternal circle

Of innocence right.

She stares to deep

Within your soul;

She seeks your

Treasures—

Not control.

She longs to call

Your beauty forth—

To point a way

Unto due north.

But will you

Be fooled by

The lies?

Fail to see

Through her

Disguise?

For treasure

Worth it

You shall seek . . .

Beauty hidden

Beneath the bleak.

Shameless

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I really miss those pants.

Such fun I had dancing in those pants. They just would go *swish* *swish*  and swirl and twirl around me when I moved.

Such happy pants. 

Anyways, I am alive. I am alive, and that is awesome. My sheer existence is a miracle. I am irreplaceable. Did you know that you are irreplaceable, too? I know; I know. You may or may not hear that at your job. You might have that one relative who spouts criticism 24/7, it seems. But you are! You are irreplaceable!

You are one of a kind. You are full of glory. You could literally just sit there on your butt all day, and you would be breathtakingly amazing. (Not that I recommend that; you could get stiff after a while.) You are a treasure. You are a gem.

It is time that we tossed shame to the door. We do not need it. It is not humility. It is like an evil version of Pac-Man who wants to eat you alive and put out your fire. For those of you who need the reminder: God does not see you as a worthless piece of crap sinner who He looks forward to “teaching a lesson” or tossing into a hot, fiery pit of lava to scary little creatures with pitchforks. You are precious in the sight of God. God is not ashamed of you. In fact, God is delighted with you. Yes, go ahead. Get over your crappy self-perception!

LIVE SHAMELESS.

Worthy?

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(If you have not read The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker, I would highly recommend it. Stories, I find, have a way of communicating things to the heart in a way that your best sermon, newspaper article or inspiring speech do not even come close to. This book is no exception. And . . . its themes tie in with the topic of this particular blog post.)

Value.

Let us talk about value.

So, I was in my early teens when I heard Clay Aiken sing a song called Measure of a Man. It was nice listen. I would tune in simply because it sounded beautiful. But it is also one of those songs that gets you to thinking. You hear people say, “Well, you can tell what this guy is worth by _________ .” They could fill in this blank with actions, character attributes, social status, appearance,  economic status . . . and even how high one up one is on the FBI’s most wanted list.

Depending on who you talk to, you are going to run into different opinions.

If you are raised up in some degree of religiosity, you might even run into another fun little qualifier: your ability to please God. Now, certain people clue in a little quicker than their fellows to the reality that on your best day jumping through hoops and keeping commandments, this is futile. You cannot make God like you. God is either going to like you, or God is not going to like you. That depends entirely on the nature and character of the Deity you are worshipping.

And at some point, people may realize that the same applies to the rest of humanity. You cannot make someone like you. They are either going to like you, or they are not going to like you.

Who do you believe you are? Who do you believe your fellow humans to be? Who do you believe God to be? Your POV (point of view) is going to greatly influence how you interact with the world around you.

For instance, if your POV is that God is head-over-heels in love with you and the rest of humanity, it is probably going translate into how you treat people (including yourself). If you believe that there is goodness and worth inside of every human being, it is going to translate into how you treat people. You may give a few more hugs and words of encouragement. You may have more patience  with everybody (including yourself)—especially when tripping and falling over one’s own two feet occurs. You may be quicker to forgive everyone.

But if your POV is that God hates you and that you and your fellow human beings are worthless pieces of crap . . . I will let you use your imagination here. 

Finally, if your POV consists of measuring your fellow human beings based on some sort of standard you learned as a kid or made up in your head, and you measure yourself by this same standard, you are going to run into challenges. These are naturally complicated by believing that God who thinks the same way about everybody as you do. It turns into a rollercoaster of emotions.

He loves me. He loves me not. She loves me. She loves me not. 

We wonder why people have self-esteem issues. Mental breakdowns. Do crazy stuff. Maybe it has a little to do with this???