If the Law ( or laws ) could make us holy, then Jesus would not have needed to die on the Cross. No state-appointed law is going to make us clean for Him. He is SO HOLY that we don’t stand a chance. If we could make ourselves holy, then Jesus died for nothing. I think Paul says that quite eloquently. At any rate, think on it. It IS extremely tempting to think that finger pointing and condemnation will make another person BETTER, but it doesn’t work. Only the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST can make any one of us WHOLE again. Without Him, not one of us is CLEAN.

– Carley Evans, July 25th, 2013

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No Matter How Small ( by Carley Evans )


U.S. Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. ...

U.S. Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Today I clapped my hand over my mouth and tears welled in my eyes as I heard the gay men’s choir burst into song. The song sung by the men was our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I was in my car, driving home from work, listening to NPR as I usually do. Some reporter was defending the positive nature of the coverage of the historical moment when “a group of people came together to grasp” its rights under the Constitution of the United States. No matter how you view marriage, that people who live in the United States are constitutionally protected is undeniable. (This is why babies should not be aborted, by the way. They each have a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights outweigh any parent’s right to privacy!)

Every citizen of the United States of America has a right to pursue happiness. If you don’t believe this is the truth within our system of government, then you may be more comfortable in a different country.

I heard someone say that the Supreme Court was “out of control.” I wondered, “And whose control is that?” God is always in control, so that argument fails right there.

That the Supreme Court is not controlled by religious zealots ought to make us thankful. If only Christians controlled members of the Supreme Court, then the constitution would be at risk. So many Americans do not subscribe to the Christian lifestyle or to its core belief – that Jesus Christ came to earth from heaven to die on a Cross in order to save the world. If the Supreme Court was controlled only by the Christian Right – the conservative membership – then many people would be denied their right to pursue happiness.

Why is it that Christians ( not all of us, mind you ) want to throw stones at particular groups of people? Why the enormous focus on homosexuals?

I ask this because I find it hypocritical that Christians accept divorce and marriage to another person as part of the fabric of our lives rather than viewing the remarriage as adultery ( in many cases, at any rate. ) Before you protest that I am judging; I’m not. I’m only saying what Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.” I don’t know about you, but I find I always wind up opening my hand and allowing that stone to fall to the ground.

And so, today, I cried when I heard our national anthem sung by men ( this was a men’s choir, by the way ) who have finally gained a measure of equality in this – our great – nation. A citizen is a citizen, no matter how small. Thanks to Dr. Seuss.

“Born Blind and Deaf” by Carley Evans


Imagine

(Photo credit: Javier Q.)

Imagine if you will being born blind, unable to see. You live in a world of darkness. And what if you are also born deaf, unable to hear. You move in darkness and silence, unaware of light, unaware of sound. Your world is emptiness.

Imagine a Man comes to you. He touches your eyes, then your ears. You suddenly see and hear. You see His face; you hear His voice. He is Love, and you are fully aware that your world has changed forever in a moment because He touched you.

Now what if this same Man walks by you, and leaves you in your darkened, quiet state. Suppose He has a perfect reason for doing this, one you don’t know and couldn’t understand even if you did know.

Now imagine other people try to tell you about this Man, how He has given them everything. How would they tell you? You are blind; you are deaf. Still they try because He is everything to them. But you can’t see or hear that He is Love. You are blind; you are deaf. You are lost.

Remember how He touches you? When the Man touches you, you are able to see and hear and believe. Only a fool would not believe once the Man gives sight and hearing.

Imagine.

Conviction versus guilt


Orestes Pursued by the Furies, by John Singer ...

Orestes Pursued by the Furies, by John Singer Sargent. 1921. The erinyes represent the guilt for murdering his mother. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is there a difference between conviction and guilt?

I heard that guilt is a good thing. But, I maintain that guilt is never a good thing. Instead, conviction is the good thing that leads us to change our behavior – either via apology and often through restitution. On the other hand, guilt leads to self-loathing and inaction. Guilt comes through demonic forces aligned against the Christian. The demon whispers, “Look what you’ve done! You worthless creature. How can anyone love you? Why would God forgive that?!”

Conviction comes from God, the Holy Spirit. He whispers also. But His whisper is gentle, a reminder that your guilt is taken care already through the shed blood of Jesus Christ but that apology and restitution are your tasks. God says, “Go and tell your neighbor you are sorry, and if you took from him, give it back and give something more for good measure.”

Therefore, I say, guilt is not of God. Conviction is.

They Hate ( by Carley Evans )


 

Anaclasis – A Haunting Gospel of Malice & Hatred

Anaclasis – A Haunting Gospel of Malice & Hatred (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This morning I realize why I don’t like church. I don’t like church because of the sometimes invisible, sometimes highly visible people inside the building who spout evil rather than good, who obviously hate rather than love. The pain I feel inside church is unimaginable. I used to try to ignore it, deny it, justify it. No more. I fully embrace this pain, this incredible disappointment in people who claim to know who Jesus is. I pause because I know how hard it is not to hate these hypocrites –right back at ya!

 

But, I recall Jesus dies for them, too. His agony on the cross is proportional to the level of their hatred.

 

Who do they hate? So-called Christians in church hate sinners. They hate “the least of these.” And they hate socialists, communists, homosexuals, abortionists, murderers, the poor, the disenfranchised, the lonely, the mentally ill, the homeless, the lost. Oops. In short, they hate themselves.

 

Surely We Know ( by Carley Evans )


Surely we each know the pain of life — the unexpected loss of job, the devastating illness or infection, the sudden or prolonged death of loved ones, the demise of self through dementia, the agony of self-loathing and self-doubt, etc. etc. etc. No one is immune. Some pretend to be immune, but no one is.

So, why can’t we say a prayer for each other? Right now!

Thanks! And many blessings!

May God meet all your needs in His perfect way and in His perfect timing. In Jesus’ Name, amen!

How Many Times? ( by Carley Evans )


Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus' description of himself "I am the Good Shepherd" (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows a vertical section focusing on Jesus. The memorial window is also captioned: "To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The disciples want to know how many times they must put up with the offenses of others?

How many times, Jesus, do I have to turn my cheek so as to be struck again? How many times must I allow the thief to take my cloak or my shoes or my purse? How many times do You expect me to walk an extra mile?

Jesus’ answer is straightforward — an infinite number of times!

“Then Peter comes to Jesus and asks, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’

Jesus answers, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22, NIV)

Jesus also warns the disciples that if they are unwilling to forgive others, then they should not expect God to be willing to forgive their many sins against Him.

Think carefully on this — Jesus is actually saying that if we are capable of forgiving an infinite number of sins against us, God is even more capable and definitely more willing to forgive an infinite number of sins against Him.