It’s a Sign

via Symptom

Dorothy Parker, best known for her smart-mouthed wisecracking poety and one-liners, was a poet, writer, critic and satirist.  Here’s a couple of examples:

~  “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.

~  “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly.  It should be thrown with great force.

Here’s a sample of her wit in poetry:


When you read Parker’s biographical sketch, a realization occurs that she was writing out of her own personal angst, her writing but a symptom of what she experienced early on in a traumatic childhood.  The humor disguised a deeper, stronger coping mechanism to keep going on.  Often what comes out of our mouths and minds is a truer symptomatology of what’s in our hearts, than the actions of pretense, of lives without care.  Don’t take my word for it.  The Bible is my authority.

On one occasion Jesus told the surrounding crowds, “Listen and understand: It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” [Matthew 15:10]

On another occasion Jesus told the leaders of Israel, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” [Matthew 23:25]

Am I suggesting we shouldn’t live humorous carefree lives?  Not at all.  In fact it seems to me any Bible student would be intimately familiar with the phrase “abundant life,” and exactly from where this kind of life should originate.  What I’m suggesting is that we can’t see humor in general, or sarcasm in particular, as a face-value symptom of what’s going on inside a person.  There are other truer symptoms or signs of what it means to live authentically in our world as the Designer intended life.

I wrote about this in February this year under the Daily Post: Juicy.  But it bears repeating here, for I believe these are the symptoms or signs of authentic living.

Galatians 5:22-25
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

When God’s Spirit resides within us, He produces in us the evidence (symptomatology) of His indwelling power for living well.  None of these “fruits” are physical in themselves.  However, all these can be see as evidence by those observing our eyes, our faces, our actions, and our speech.  For each of these outward observation points will be influenced and governed by that which is inside us.  God’s Spirit.


via Lush

My uncle Wiley always said, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy!”  Lush.  I have fond memories of my uncle and his constant barrage of jokes and wit.  I can’t remember a time when I was around him that I felt threatened, afraid, or bored.  When his visit to our house was over, he always left our home with a phrase I still use today: “Glad you got to see me!”  His life seemed full and large to me… Lush.

Golf in west Texas can often be the opposite.  In fact growing up in Odessa, Texas, we considered it a huge success if we could find the lush section of any given fairway.  I’ve played on a few now, over the last several years, and I can say with some authority, there is a huge difference playing off lush fairways instead of waste areas.

I’ve had steak and potatoes all my life, Texas boys usually do.  Some were overcooked, some were barely cooked, some were tender, some were still kicking, but hey, it was steak so there you go.  When you have the rare experience (no pun intended) of ordering steak and have it arrive in front of you perfectly cooked, succulent, tasty, and juicy… that’s lush.

Perhaps what many people experience in their spiritual relationship with God is the fontal lobotomy, waste area landing zone, or something less than a succulent steak.  But my question is, “Why?”  Surely God doesn’t intend for us to play or live in these kinds of existences all our lives.  I realize everyone encounters a tough road every now and then, the proverbial steak that’s still kicking.  But certainly this shouldn’t be the defining attribute of our communion with God.

I’m not into the “name it – and claim it” prosperity gospel being presented in some Christian circles today.  Yet it seems just as clear that those of the more conservative Christian variety seem to go so extreme in the opposite direction, that they feel they aren’t spiritual enough until they “prefer” the wasteland to the Promised land.  Didn’t Jesus say, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]  My heart believes that Jesus means: spend some time in the lush life I promised you!

Paul told his readers:  1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Today I want to challenge you to live in the lush promised land found only in the abundant life that Jesus offers… to all who will step over that line of faith… into Him!