I can’t remember…

Daily Post: Memorize


There were times in the past when I almost lost myself; awakening a fearsome reality; not knowing where I was, or how I got there.  I may be 63 years old, but I’m not having a “senior” moment here. These were real events, with real long-term issues to face, and memorized answers just wouldn’t cut it any more.

Do you ever feel there are days when 2 + 2 +2 does not equal 6? Sometimes it seems to be 222, and other days maybe only 5.5, and I think I know the answer… but, I just can’t remember.

A few years ago I wanted to be a better communicator so I took a memorization course, or was it 25 years ago? I can’t remember. It was one of those “visualization” methods, where everything you wanted to remember was tucked away in your mind with visual cues, supposedly resulting in instant recall of valuable information.  The technique became so cumbersome for me that I couldn’t remember why I wanted to memorize stuff better in the first place.

I almost forgot who I was.  I was a person.  I had real feelings just like other regular people.  I had hidden places inside me that were almost dead, and then they weren’t anymore. Even though I had helped people with these same kinds of issues, it seemed because of my position, I wasn’t supposed to be plagued with the concept of just being human.  I struggled to remember just what it was like to be accepted for being me.

We, the human creatures inhabiting this planet, have the great privilege of having minds which can think and choose and remember.  All too often we don’t.

Thinking before speaking requires a great deal of effort.  The proliferation of tweets or posts which destroy people and perpetuate hate, is evidence that too few people know how to think through things anymore.

Choosing to slow down and filter thoughts through some sort internal vetting system was simple when I was growing up. My mother said “count to ten before you say something.” I think most people today don’t count at all, much less to ten.

Remembering to think, or choosing to slow down, seems a lost art in our world.  Even among Christ-followers, I’ve watched over the last month just how human we all are.  Forgiveness and grace are concepts we love to talk about, but aren’t too keen on doling out.

When my son was just three years old or so… (I can’t remember)…. he walked into the room one day and said to his mother, “Do you want to hear my Bible verse.”  Of course, she’s thinking, “God is Love” or some other such three-year-old verse, right?  She said, “sure, tell me your verse.”  So he did, in his three-year-old verse voice he said:

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. [Ephesians 4:32]

Needless to say, she was shocked.  When I returned home from a hard day’s work, at supper she said to my son, “Why don’t you tell daddy your verse.” And he did it again. He didn’t miss a beat, he didn’t blink an eye, just like before he quoted it perfectly.

The point of this story is simple.  If a three-year-old can memorize a verse this way, clearly our minds are capable of much more than we think, or do.  Did my son understand all these words?  Forget about it.

Perhaps the world would be a kinder, gentler place today if we could just all live by this one verse, don’t you think?  But then, that would require that every human out there, understand the basic tenets of Scripture.  And when you pick up the paper to read the headlines, or turn on the TV to listen to the “news,” or open the FaceBook app on your mobile device, it’s clear the world is very far removed from this verse.

If we really wanted to serve God, please God, and bring God glory and honor with our lives, wouldn’t we read and apply, (much less memorize), the Words He gave us to guide our paths?

Psalm 119:11
Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. [NASB]

The King James version says it this way:
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. [KJV]

Whether “hid” or “treasured” is the Word of God the foundation for your life?

Yes, it should be.

Offering forgiveness to others, or showing grace and tender-heartedness to others?  It’s not possible without first experiencing these yourself, from God, through Jesus.

But when we do step over this line of faith into Christ, His word is a treasure to guide us along our way.

Memorizing for memorizing’s sake is one thing, remembering who you are in Christ, is quite another.

Don’t forget.


Rancorous Relationships

Daily Post:   Bitter


It tastes like the tart, acidic, bite of lemon.  That moment when you realize the majority of people in your life don’t understand, can’t understand, wouldn’t fathom the depth of pain that caused your actions, even if you explained it to them.  Even for the most transparent of people, there are parts of us that stay hidden, unveiled to no one. When these shadow driven areas determine our actions, there is almost always collateral damage.  The resulting attitudes of those around us become jaundiced or sullen, resentful or bitter, and they lash out in anger at us for hurting them in some way.  Collateral damage.

Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.  Rancorous relationships abound in the world today, because people hurt each other.  Everyone has a thought process that seems rational to them at times, which if shared generally even with their closest friends might seem to the friend as madness.  If the thought process takes form, and becomes activated in behavior, the friend can sometimes be the one who reacts like a terrorist ready to tear your head off.  Or worse, become the one who starts the rumors that ruins your reputation among others that don’t know you well.  Is any of this ringing anyone else’s bell out there?

Imagine being Jewish in the first century city of Antioch, and hearing the narrative about Jesus for the first time.  It’s a story so bold, and so brilliant you’re intrigued, but know that you can’t act like it, for fear of offending your friends and family.  After all, you’re like one big family as Jews, and the Roman government is enemy enough.  You don’t want your own people to turn on you.  But you become convinced of the action you must take, to surrender to the truth of Jesus as Lord and Messiah.  You know the moment that this comes out you will be like the others of “The Way” and you will become an outcast.  Your parents will disown you and treat you as though you have died.  The man you work for will fire you, and treat you as dead.  Your brothers and sisters will ignore you and pretend they don’t see you on the street.  Your life as you know it will be over, dead.

But you choose Jesus anyway.

What results?

You are dead, but alive.

Just like Jesus.

The bitter actions of the people in your life, who don’t understand you choices, do not determine whether the choice was right or wrong, good or bad, God does.  Their harsh rumors and speculations of how you’ve gone mad, cannot determine your next steps.

Be careful in interpreting my words here.  I’m not bitter.  I’m pragmatic.  I get that 90% of the people around me don’t understand my actions, or the reasons for my actions.  My attempts at transparency can only go so far.  That said, I’ve learned the hard way, that the very people who ought to be loving, forgiving, kind and accepting, are the ones who lash out bitterly in retribution, on a vengeful vendetta to judge and destroy those who they deem “unworthy” of grace (me).  The church can be very unforgiving, and unloving, for those who need grace most.

I’m really struggling here to make sense of how bitter feelings wreck a church, and destroy people’s lives within the fellowship of believers.  It really is this simple:  either we believe Paul was writing with the authority of the Holy Spirit… or we should quit calling ourselves Christians and join the country club instead of giving our money to churches.  Here’s what Paul says about it.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ – God forgave you.

The picture above is the epitome of this verse.

Grow up.


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via Aware

According to the Urban Dictionary, “Ignorance is Bliss” is a term used to falsely justify apathy on the given subject in the form of a catchy cliche.  Example: Seat belts are to be worn while driving a motor vehicle in Texas. If an officer of the law stops you to ask why you aren’t wearing your seat belt, don’t answer “I didn’t know I had to.”  Ignorance of the law, is not immunization from the law.  And by the way, every passenger in the vehicle must also be buckled up… don’t be caught unaware.

Today, after examining FaceBook, it seems to me that we should expand the meaning to include any attitude used by the liberal media, iconic celebrities, Facebook post writer, or Twitter-bird who screams incorrect information, to falsely justify their hate.  They are blissfully ignorant of just how wrong they are; they are unaware and don’t seem to care.

It’s an easy trap to fall into because most of us live in such small circles of influence, and this earth is a great big world.  I would venture to say that less than 1% of FaceBook writers even know what Trump’s travel ban document really stated, because they haven’t read it.  To have an opinion on a matter so grave as this would necessarily dictate, that a person do some research on the topic, don’t you think?  Yet, the constant spin-doctored dribble from the “unaware” social media, is like a festering sore oozing green-grey slime, seeking out someone to infect with this particular version of social cancer.  For example, a simple search on my browser this morning yielded the EXACT language used, showing the WHOLE executive order as submitted by the White House.


Perhaps we should return to a Three-Wise-Monkey attitude.  See wisely, hear wisely, and speak wisely.  The Three-Wise-Monkeys came to us from Japan, where they have been widely known since the 17th century.  While there are many possible meanings, the exact meaning lost in the passing years, there is something we should gain here.   The monkey’s gestures suggest that we “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.”  A wise “monkey” person is one who is prudent in what they look at, listen to, or what they say.  The wise person considers the consequences (awareness of each having consequences), then makes sensible decisions with the awareness that if he or she does not know what to do, they ask another “monkey” person for advice.


Awareness, or consciousness, is what distinguishes us as a human.  That a monkey should have to teach us how to act is rather insulting at the least.  Humanity has traveled down a long dark path away from what we were created to know deep inside our DNA.  Right and wrong go all the way back to the beginning, with Adam and Eve choosing to use the “but we didn’t know” excuse with God.  The problem is, both Adam and Eve, and God, knew this wasn’t true.  They saw evil, they heard evil, and they spoke (said yes) to evil.  They were not wise in these actions.  They pretended to be unaware of the consequences of their actions, but in this they lied even to themselves.

Ok.  Time to wrap it all up.  First, every person’s actions have consequences.  Being blissfully ignorant of this fact, will not impede the person’s accountability in the matter. Second, when we continue to only see the “evil” in other people, instead of the “good,” we unwisely tend to lash out in ways that are in themselves evil.  Third, this in no way brings glory to the God who created us to know better.  It’s time we employ the “one another” rule given to us in God’s Word.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Ephesians 4:2
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.