Monthly Archives: April 2016

So Long Target { and why shutting them down is not my goal }

So Target has made the headlines.

trans bathroom

I do not have a Facebook news feed but if I did I am sure it would be full of opinions on it.

And knowing the hundreds of different views would scare me away from writing this. Because what if our opinions are different? The horrors!

Seriously, this is something I battle.

But that pyramid lesson is fresh so I will write on.

Target has made a bold statement with the bathroom situation.

They are leading the way for retailers to progress the progressive movement.

Progressive, only in the sense of constant forward movement away from what was. It is, in my opinion, currently a movement that is progressively digressive in many ways.

Today it is the bathrooms; next year it will be something different.

And we have people raising fists on both sides of the aisle, shouting to convince.

But shouting doesn’t convince. I don’t want to shout and I don’t even want to convince.

To persuade or guilt one another into a desired outcome is no victory. I respect your own ability to think and seek truth; these are simply my thoughts out loud.

“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3

Unholy. That word catches my eye. In the last days, men {people} will be unholy.

What is holy?

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3

Scripture. There it is found. The instruction in righteousness, the blueprint for holy living.

“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 22:5

And here we have a great divide. Who believes in this God? Who believes in His Son? Who believes that the Father and the Son are one? This is the Father. This is the Father that the Son is one with. Holiness is important to Him. Holiness is important to His Son as well.

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully on the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:13-16

What is our response to this? For many it is offensive, this talk of lusts and ignorance, obedience and holiness. They war, we’ve all warred against this. Why do I have to change? How dare you call me sinful?

It all hinges on truth. His Word is either incredibly true or it’s not. If it is incredibly true, then we have a drastically different life ahead of us. Our thoughts, actions, decisions, everything hinges on His truth. There is no dictation of sin in others; there is persistent pointing to the One who holds the authority of what is sin. There is persistent pointing to the One who paid for that sin. There is persistent pointing to repentance and reconciliation, because He’s real and true and how can we bury that?

But He offends a lot of people. His way of holiness that wars against our flesh is offensive to those who do not love Him.

“… You will be hated by all for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” –Jesus, Matthew 24:9-12

Lawlessness. That word catches my eye. There will be offended people, deception, and lawlessness. The law of God will be trampled underfoot because it offends. Turn on the news and you can see this in action.

The deception is deep people. His name has been slandered, false prophets promoting this idea of grace-filled lawlessness. They dictate their god, divorcing him from righteousness. They carry their god wherever they please and many follow because they use His name. And these deceived people could someday find themselves surprised.

“Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven… I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” –Jesus, Matthew 7: 21 & 23

I never knew you. And you never knew Me. Workers of lawlessness. Deception and lawlessness go hand in hand.

If you talk about embracing and promoting biblical lawlessness to a group of young people today, no doubt you would hear applause and cheers.

But if you talk about embracing and promoting biblical lawlessness before the throne of the Most High God…. Can you imagine it?

We must know the real Him.

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” Psalm 25:14

Those who fear Him will be shown His covenant. Like the covenant of holiness between a husband and wife.

And we must know our real enemy.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

I am not against a person. I am not against a group of people who want to use the wrong bathroom. I am against the principalities that I cannot see. I am against the rulers of darkness who want to spread more darkness and confusion. I am against spiritual hosts of wickedness who want my mind and the minds of my children to love lawlessness and hate righteousness.

I would love for every single person who feels trapped in the wrong body to search for pain that is trapped in the heart. What have you been through? There is a God who makes forgiveness and freedom possible. There is a God who holds broken hearts in blood stained hands and heals and cleanses.

But you see? Those spiritual hosts of wickedness hate that. And they work against light to bring confusion and darkness. To trap those who already feel trapped.

I want no part of it.

There is not a shirt that is cute enough or a convenience factor that is worth it enough for me to give legs to anything that attacks truth.

I am not trying to shut Target down. Most likely, they will plow ahead with momentum and continue to support the message with force. It is not my goal to defeat and subdue these opposing forces. My goal is to be more fully surrendered to One who has already overcome.

The change I’m making? It’s in me. It’s in training my eyes for war, to see beyond the temporary trends. It’s in learning to forgo something that I want because in the end how will my actions, in any way shape or form, assist a message that attacks the truth of my King and encourages others to hate His Word? Yes, they’ve announced the bathroom deal. What about the things that haven’t been announced? What sort of money do they give to different organizations that tirelessly and passionately promote lawlessness? The spiritual battle is real on both sides of the fence, at work even in those who don’t believe in it.

We have to have spiritual eyes open wide.

Recently, I came across these words written by Kara Tippets in her final book, And It Was Beautiful. She went to be with the Lord last March.

“Last week, when I heard I may have another long road to travel this journey, I turned to Jason and cried. I told him how day after day this place is losing its grip on me. Driving down the street, this place sometimes feels so vulgar, so wanting my money without care for my heart. Billboards blare at me what to buy, what to think, how to vote. But the tie that binds me here is relationships. Sickness makes those bonds more real, more important. It’s people who grip my heart.”

I needed to hear that. She lived with the eternal as forefront thought. Because her temporary stay here? It was fleeting, going, and she knew it. The things that we obsess over were like moth and rust and she saw it. Our temporary stay here is fleeting as well. The rhythmic pulse of our hearts will one day stop and life will no longer course through our bodies. This cessation of life has to affect the way we live it.

“No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4

We have been enlisted to fight.

May we spur one another on, encourage, and challenge each other to fight and fight well.

Aubrie

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Building Pyramids {and needing approval}

The blog was supposed to expire today.

I’ve been getting letters and emails for months warning me of the upcoming death sentence.

Honestly? That was just fine with me. I let the statements gather dust, one on top of the other, thinking maybe it will all just slip my mind and one day I will find myself unfortunately too late to renew.

But it didn’t slip my mind. In fact it took up so much space I was forced into prayer. A whisper barely audible from a distant heart.

“Lord, You don’t really need me to do this right now, do You? I don’t have anything to give.”

Which was true. Is true. How can I share when I am too busy to receive?

I find myself in this struggle especially when I am pregnant. My blood runs to the center of my womb and my thoughts dance in circles about all things baby, and everything else loses my interest. My energy drops, my pillow beckons… the Bible sits. Again, and again, and again.

It doesn’t take long ya know. I’m thankful that it works that way. It doesn’t take long until joy slips away, discontentment creeps in, and somehow my first response is to love myself full again.

And the Bible sits while I converse with the lies.

“You need to be this.”

“You need to accomplish that.”

“This is the problem.”

I bend my back.

In a land filled with glamorous pyramids, a deceived heart bent on feeling full will need one of these. A beautiful, tall, pyramid that others will admire and approve of. Something that will make a splash on social media because how full-filling will that second be?

I bend my back. That’s kind of laughable. What sort of bricks do I even have to work with? None really, but when it’s a battle of the mind, the spirit, it doesn’t matter whether you have the bricks piled high or not. They both need to be higher. Better. You need to be more than what you are. You must gain approval. Love of self cracks a hard whip. Another statement comes in the mail. I bury the red deadline out of sight.

Later at Bible study we piece apart the parable of the talents. It’s the one about the three servants, each given different sums of their master’s money, and all of them held responsible for what they did with it. I’ve always felt bad for the last guy, the safe one. That would have been how I would handle someone else’s money. Burying it means there is no risk of losing it. Shouldn’t he be rewarded for handing it all back in the exact condition it was given him?

A few years back I realized that I was reading this parable all wrong. What was given to those servants wasn’t something perishable or losable. It was truth.

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you haven’t sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’” Matthew 25:24-25

And my heart pricked at the table because I still could relate to that servant.

“You are requiring too much of me. My culture, my generation does not want to hear the Word anymore. I am afraid, and quite honestly I want their approval, so let me just put this in the ground for a season. Look, here is Your truth, buried right over there. Have what is Yours.”

Sometimes it takes voicing my thoughts for me to realize the gravity of the situation. Is this really why I want to let this blog go? Have I no fear of the Master I serve?

“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed…’”

Yes, this is going to make you uncomfortable. Yes, I know how the fields look, but I reap even in the most unexpected places.

All this heart stuff is going on at the perfect time. It’s Passover this evening. There is no sweeter feast to me than that of Yeshua’s salvation.

We will drink the juice and eat the bread and enter into the covenant of our Savior.

We will search our homes and hearts for leaven, and remove it. Whether that be sin, or an area of deception, pride, or selfishness, all these things have to go.

We will eat bitter herbs and remember, this Egypt is not our land. We have been redeemed and led out! We don’t have to be a slave of comparison. We don’t have to gain approval. I can let these paper pyramids go and worship, really worship the God who has given me life, the God who has given us life.

This blog isn’t expiring, although my heart’s an honest work in progress.

I am not saying that I will write often, because you mamas in the house know why.

Yesterday I had to answer more questions than mentally possible: (I am not making any of these up)

“How deep was that puddle we just drove through?” – Um… 2 inches? I don’t know.

“How many miles per hour did my hand wheesh through the air?” – Wheesh?

“What is air?” – Can’t we handle this question in eighth grade?

“How hard were your spankings when you were a kid?” – Very hard, son.

“No, like a number how hard?” – 8. Definitely an 8.

“What is taller- a humpback whale or a building?” – Well, the whale is taller than some buildings but not taller than a skyscraper.

“What is a skyscraper?” – Why did I say skyscraper?

“How many miles per hour is that squirrel running?” – Who knows these things? Let’s say 3 miles per hour.

 

My son has these big blue eyes full of curiosity and his questions are a constant string of conversation. Sometimes I imagine myself putting an end to all of them, with hands outstretched and face taut. “NO MORE STINKING QUESTIONS!” but then I remember that one day in elementary school. My teacher had his teeth clenched underneath a plastered smile. “Well, Aubrie, you certainly like to ask questions don’t you?”

I did. I do.

My daughter loves to talk, especially when her brother is a talking. They have this “Let’s see who can talk the loudest” competition multiple times a day.

My belly is large. And active. All. Night. Long.

I love being a mom. This phase is demanding but passing so quickly.

So I am not going to be a consistent blogger, but if the Lord lays something on my heart, I don’t want to bury it or sugarcoat it.

And I don’t want to be too busy to receive it. I’ve learned this lesson time and time again, everything my heart longs for is only found in Him.

With love,

Aubrie

“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and the son of man who will be made like grass? And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth… I am the Lord your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared- the Lord of Hosts is His name. And I have put my words in your mouth..” Isaiah 51

dandelion

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