Three Ways to Talk Yourself Out of Anything

July 29, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

Good things.  Specifically doing good things.

Oh, we all say we want to do good things, and sometimes we even do.  But then there are those other times.  Those times when we know what the right thing to do is, but we just can’t get ourselves to do them.

Well, just for those out there who are looking for a really good excuse to get out of doing something good, here you go.  Three ways to talk yourself out of doing anything good:

1)  Why is this my problem?

If you’re like me, you see them–the people who need help all around you.  Some are small problems.  Maybe someone needs help getting picked up for services, or maybe someone else needs a babysitter for the evening.  It doesn’t really matter what the problem is.  The solution to getting out of helping, is one little question:  Why is this my problem?

The truth is.  It’s not.  It’s their problem.  And you have no obligation to help anyone.  Someone else will probably help, and even if they don’t, you won’t have to worry about the consequences of not helping.  So, when you’re faced with someone needing help, go ahead, ask yourself, “Why is this my problem?”  It’s not, so you don’t have to do anything about it.

2)  What’s in it for me?

Probably nothing.  In fact, the greater the need of the other person, the less chance that there’s something in it for you.  We all know that if there’s nothing in it for me, there’s really no use doing it.  So, now you have a back-up to Question #1.

3)  What’s the very minimum I have to do?

If all else fails and you find that despite your best efforts to avoid helping, this question is for you:  What is the minimum I have to do?  If they say come for two hours, can I show up 10 minutes late and leave 15 minutes early?  After all, it’s the face-time that really counts.  If they need a Sunday School teacher, can I tell them I will do it and then show up… oh, say 3 out of 4 times?  If they need food, can I bring something store-bought, frozen, or maybe just napkins?

/snark off

Okay.  Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but too often, I find myself using these three questions to get out of doing something good.  Now I know there are people pleasers among us (you know who you are) who say yes to everything, including things they know they cannot hope to accomplish.  However, some of us go to the other extreme.

If any of these sound like you, do a simple heart check.  Make sure your actions are lining up with what you profess to believe.  After all, I really can’t see Jesus asking any of these questions.  Can you?


SLW: Right Counsel & Fortitude

July 27, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

Now posted at Spirit Light Works, from The Gifts:

Right Counsel

Fortitude

And don’t miss Thursday’s Final entry on Piety & Fear of the Lord.  Subscribe to Spirit Light Works today!


Nature vs. Nurture

July 26, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

The other day I went to my son’s gymnastics class.  During the class several of the mothers began talking about their children, how they learn, how different parenting is than what they expected.  Two of the mothers had only one child.  A couple of us had multiple.  One of the Moms (I’ll call her Mom A) was talking about how she had taken psychology classes and how they had talked about nature (how a child is born) vs. nurture (how a child is raised).  She said in college, she would have argued that nurture was the most important factor, but when she became a parent, she realized that nature is (as she said), “90% of the equation and we have this little sliver of influence.”

Of course we all laughed because as mothers we know how innate and powerful nature is.  Some children are born laid back and docile.  Others want to go screaming with their hair on fire as soon as they can roll over.

The others talked a little about potty-training (I’m thankfully beyond that stage!), and then I spoke about reading.  How each of my kids is so different in the challenges they faced when they started reading.  The oldest was a slow reader, not that she had a lot of trouble, but she just couldn’t read very fast.  My middle one could read the whole library in an afternoon (an overstatement, but wow!  I never had to explain reading to her AT ALL.)  Now my youngest has dyslexia, and that has opened a whole NEW set of challenges.

But as we were talking, I said something profound that I don’t think I came up with.  I said, “The problem is you have to nurture each nature so differently.”

I think THAT is the crux of parenting.  Learning to be there for that particular child in the way that he or she most needs.

The problem is:  Every one is so different!

My oldest is INDEPENDENT.  I mean her picture is probably listed as Example one in the dictionary under the word “Independent.”  And she always has been.  When she was first having trouble reading, I tried to help.  Big mistake.  She did not want my help.  She didn’t even want me to offer my help.  What I learned is the value of PEOPLE BESIDES MOM.  She will gladly listen to Grandma, her teachers, her friends, even her dad.  So if I want her to get help, I send her to those people.

My middle one is a Mom Kid.  She loves to do things with me.  We went shopping one day recently and spent… NINE HOURS shopping.  And it was FUN.  Now anyone who knows me, knows I don’t shop.  I don’t like to shop.  I don’t want to shop.  I don’t shop if I don’t have to.  But shopping with her was a breeze and actually a lot of fun.  She loves to read also, and she loves to read what I love to read, so we read little, teen romance books and talk about them.  She loves to watch movies and football.  She also has this thing about being perfect in music and sports (don’t know where she gets that. HA!).  So there is nuturing about playing to enjoy not just to win.

Then we get to my son, the kid who has no concept of not being able to do something with his hands and head.  He called my husband one day with the following question, “Okay, Dad.  I’m out here in the well house, and the four-wheeler won’t start.  I’ve got the seat off and the battery charger out and ready.  All I need to know is which one to hook up to which post.”  He’s 7!!!!!  (In my defense, I didn’t even know he was out in the well house until my husband called me.  Okay, maybe that wasn’t a good defense!)  However, he is also really soft-hearted.  He likes to earn days out (bowling, swimming, etc.).  He doesn’t like to be pushed to do things he doesn’t want to do, and he will fight you.  But he will do just about anything to get to do something he enjoys doing.

The more I think about it, the more I think the Holy Spirit was right saying that.  You do have to nurture each nature differently.

Then I think how much harder God has it with us.  He doesn’t have three kids.  He has billions.  And we’re all different.  Some of us are really independent.  Some turn up our noses at doing anything He says.  Some need someone to give us direction.  Some just really need a shoulder to cry on.  Even more, most of us need and do all of those things at different times.

What I love so much about God is that if you really watch, you will see HOW He parents each of us just the way we need to be.

Not a bad lesson.


I Wish

July 21, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

My son has gotten into strange and profound questions lately.  I don’t know why this has happened.  Maybe because his mind is now free from having to memorize every single word in the English language TWICE–once to read it, and once to spell it.  Whatever the reason, he’s gotten back into probing the depths of who I am, what I think, and why.

It reminds me a great deal of two conversations we’ve had in the past.  The first occurred when he was about 3 1/2. We were driving, and he wanted to know if everyone has to have parents, who were Adam and Eve’s parents.  Well, I tried to explain that God created Adam and Eve.  They didn’t have parents.  But that wasn’t good enough.  If everyone has to have parents, then Adam and Eve certainly had to as well.  So who were they?  We talked around and around and around that point until he was screaming at me to just tell him who they were!  I finally told him he was going to have to ask God that question because I didn’t know.

Then a couple years ago, he asked another question that I didn’t know the answer for, and I told him he was going to have to ask God.  He got very serious and asked how he was going to remember all of these questions when he got to Heaven.  He told me flat out that he couldn’t write them down because he couldn’t take them with him to Heaven.  I told him that maybe God would send an angel to get his list if he made one.  Then he started asking more questions, like, “Why couldn’t the people after Adam and Eve get into Heaven?  Were the gates closed?”  “Yes, they were.”  “And there was no way in?  Not even if you jumped really high?”

Yeah.  No kidding.

Well, this morning he came up with another.  It’s one I’ve heard before, but haven’t thought about for me in a long time.  “If you got 5 wishes, what would you wish for?”

I was honestly stumped.  I used to say things like a million dollars.  Now I see that money doesn’t buy everything.  I used to wish for a new car or a house, but I have a house and I like my car, thank you very much.  So I wasn’t sure what to even say.  World peace, maybe.  Or inner peace for everyone.  For my kids to have a good life.

Then I came in here to look for something to write for today, and I was overwhelmed by the number of books I have started!

I’m reading three on dyslexia, one for fun, several God-type books, one of my own that I’m editing, and I got two more in the mail today that friends had suggested.

So I know what one wish would be… that I would be able to read all the books I would like to read, get every nugget of good out of them, and not feel so behind as I put good stuff upon good stuff in my mind.

Another wish would be for my son’s decoding system to kick into high gear.  Oh, it’s getting there, but it’s the slow progress things that can drive me bonkers.  Not to mention that school starts in a (shhh!) month, and I would like him to be caught up or nearly caught up.  I think that’s possible.  I just wish we had a bit more time or could make a bit more progress faster.

So there’s two.  The other three I’m going to have to think about.

How about you?  What are your five wishes for today?

I’ve decided the best I can do is to commit to making a little progress on each wish each day.  Who knows, maybe the wishes will come true with or without the genie.  And who knows, maybe the genie is just God’s plan and my willingness to follow it.


SLW: The First Three Gifts

July 20, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

The Gifts:  Living in the Light Bible Study Chapters:

Knowledge & Understanding

Wisdom


Fear, Feat, Feet

July 19, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

As I reported on Friday, I’ve been working a lot with my son on reading.  One of the exercises we do is use letter blocks and change one letter or group of letters at a time to make new words.  This helps him connect that we take individual sounds and blend them together into words–as opposed to each being a whole unto itself like he used to think.

So it was funny that I picked up a book I read a few years ago about how difficult but important it is for us to stop clinging to our boat, to believe in what God can do, get out of the boat, and trust that God’s going to do what He said He would do.

I often write in books when I read them.  It’s kind of like “talking back” to the book, or interacting with it, having a conversation if you will.  I’ve found when I don’t do this, passages that have great meaning to me when I read them just float into the haze of living and life.  By writing in the margins and highlighting, I can go back, sometimes years later and read a passage and see what I thought at the time.

One such entry in this particular book struck me as funny, poignant, and particularly useful to me now.

It went like this fear -> feat -> feet.

I think we use (or let) fear stop us.  To go forward in the face of fear is truly a feat.  It takes a leap of faith and courage to do it anyway.  I heard someone once say, “You’ve got to learn to do it scared.”  I think that’s true.  We sometimes think those with courage don’t have fear.  That’s not true.  They do have fear, but they have found a way to do it anyway.

That’s why I think doing it anyway is such a feat.  And such feats happen everyday, if we’re atuned enough to see them–in others and in ourselves.

When faith conquers fear, it is a feat that often turns into feet… that is action.  It’s like your heart throws you over the bar and the rest of you follows.

I think this week, I will be working on fear to feat to feet.

How about you?  What’s fear stopping you from doing?


Learning Different

July 15, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

When I was in my 20′s, my sister-in-law decided to teach me to crochet.  Oh, I wanted to learn so I was motivated enough, and I was pretty good with my hands–having sewn and cross-stitched and embroidered.  So we sat down one afternoon, and she proceeded to show me how.

Now I’m one who usually learns quite quickly.  Yeah.  Not that day.  She showed me, I tried.  She showed me again, I tried.  But the stitches kept slipping out and away from me.  For about an hour we tried, and I had learned pretty much what I had known when I sat down.  My “potholder” looked pitiful, and sis-in-law and I were both totally frustrated.  Then my other sis-in-law showed up and asked what we were doing.

“Trying to teach Staci to crochet, and it’s NOT WORKING.”

Second sis-in-law watched for a moment and then she said to me, “I didn’t know you were left-handed.”  “I’m not.”  “Oh, well, there’s your problem.”

You see, first sis-in-law IS left-handed, so she was teaching me the only way she knew how to do it.  Now, I’m sure her way would have worked like a charm for anyone who was left-handed.  For me, it was just a frustrating disaster.

For any of you who have been following the blog for awhile, you know that back in November and December my son went through a really frustrating time in school.  He was struggling mightily to learn to spell and read, and it wasn’t working.  We ended up at the doctors with seizures and trying some alternative things, which helped, but the schoolwork was still a struggle.

In April, I decided to do Hooked On Phonics because his reading skills were so poor.  We did that for two months, and for the first 6 weeks, it looked like it was helping.  And then, we started going downhill again.  He could read the lessons on the 3rd or 4th pass through them, but each lesson seemed to weigh him down more and more.  He got whiny and defensive and totally frustrated.

Then came that fateful Monday about two weeks ago.  I had previously talked with a mom whose daughter is dyslexic, and she talked about how her daughter “moves” when she reads.  Well, that Monday as we sat trying to read, my son was “moving.”  Up.  Down.  Leaning on me.  Laying on the floor.  Holding a stuffed thing.  Putting it down.  It was like his attention was everywhere but on the words.  Something in me clicked, and I knew we needed to find solutions to dyslexia.  It was the only thing that made any sense–although I still couldn’t wrap my mind around how this bright, intelligent child could have trouble reading.

The next 48 hours were like a bolt from the sky into my life.  I found a website by a woman whose nephew was dyslexic.  She got into the field to help him, but she ended up helping us!

The first thing she explained was why a person is dyslexic.  Their right brain is bigger than their left.  (In most people left is bigger than right.)  Well, right there, that set off a million bits of understanding in me.  I’ve studied right brain/left brain.  In fact, I used to say it was the difference between and English person and a Math person–with the math person needing step-by-step and the English person being, “just start somewhere.”

The right brain is your creative center.  It allows you not just to think outside the box, but to think as if there were no box in the first place.  It sees things intuitively, even though it can’t always tell you how or why.  It is immensely curious and creative.  In fact, I think it is a direct link to our spiritual self, the self that knows without knowing how it knows.  I’ve always had great respect for the right brain as it is also the storehouse for artistic ability and musical ability and kinesthetic ability.

As I researched this fascinating new way of learning, I found that children who access their right brains to understand their worlds think in pictures.  They don’t think with words so much or even at all.  That was news to me.  I think in words, and then if I have to in pictures.  Not right-brain dominant kids.  They think in pictures so much that to them words ARE pictures.

When they see the “word” CAT, they don’t grasp that it’s made up of C  A  T.  They see cat–one unit, and they memorize THAT word as if it has no connection to any other word on the planet.  And they have an incredible memory.  That’s why at first things with my son made no sense.  He could “read.”  Only he wasn’t reading, he was memorizing… EVERYTHING!

This became obvious though I didn’t understand it as we did the HoP program.  He would be able to “read” a word on one page, and then have no clue on the next (because he was using context clues on one, and the other had no context clues).  When he would hit a word he knew (had memorized), he would say it, and he would be right until we “learned” a new word that looked like the old word.

So for example, he would see bag, and say bag.  Now to him at the time, bag was “starts with a b, has a little letter and then a long letter.”  Then we’d “learn” beg.  So when we’d get to beg, he would say “bag I mean beg.”  Well, when you add bog, boy, and bay to the mix, he was shuffling cards in his mind’s Rolodex on nearly every word!  Some words, he only knew by the letters present.  So “of” might end up… “for”  “from”  “off”  “Oh, I mean ‘of’!” Or “on” might end up “no, not, on.” He was stumbling through every lesson, and the more new word pictures he added, the more he had to sort through them when he read.

One of the things they talked about on the Bright Solutions website was how these bright kids learn to use context clues and any other clues and then when all else fails, to guess.  That night as I lay in bed with my son, I started asking him some questions.  “Reading’s kind of tough, huh?”  “Yeah.”  “Do the other kids read better then you?”  “Yeah.  They brag a lot.”  “How do they brag?”  “They say, ‘Look, I can read this.’”  “How does that make you feel?”  “Kind of bad.”  Then I asked, “So when you read, do you ever guess at the words?”  To which he looked a little perplexed and said, “Mom, that’s all reading is–a lot of guessing.”

NO WONDER!  No wonder.  He had been trying to memorize EVERYTHING.  Then he would guess which of the things he’d memorized the next word was!

So I got the program, learned about it, put some of my own together, and started afresh working with my son.  I can honestly say that in five days he has learned more than in two years!  He is now reliably sounding out words.  Many have become automatic already.  In fact, yesterday we started two-syllable/both closed words (like tomcat and traffic).  I showed him how to split the word, splitting the vowels first and then the middle consonants.  We did the first one and he said, “Oh, cool!”  As if he never knew you could break apart longer words to figure them out.

What I’m learning is that kids who have dyslexia simply learn differently.  They don’t intuitively grasp that each letter has a sound and when you put them together, they form a word.  They look at a word and think it is a word–whole unto itself, having nothing to do with any other word on the planet.  In fact, my son was so cute the other day.  He said, “Mom, how many words ARE there anyway?”

“Millions.  Okay.  Not millions.  Thousands.”

“Oh.”

I could just see him in his mind saying, “And I was going to try to memorize all of those?!”

My thought exactly.  The “bad” news is, my son learns differently.  The GREAT news is, now I understand HOW he learns and I can help him learn that way.  We’ve got about 5 weeks until school starts.  We’ll see, but yesterday he read a piece that was at the end of the first grade year in the HoP program with only a couple of stumbles.  Somehow I never thought we’d make this much progress in this little time, so who knows where this is going.  Further, who knows how many kids might benefit because my son’s mom had to search out a new way to teach him.

I don’t.  But God does.

God is so cool.


SLW: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

July 13, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

All of Chapter 1 in the Living in the Light Bible Study, The Gifts is now posted.

Check it out.


What do I have to do to get a 75?

July 12, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

Many years ago I was a high school teacher.  There are things about teaching that they don’t teach you in college.  One is the politics of teaching–navigating issues like the 75 rule.  Maybe they don’t teach you that because it’s such a thorny problem, no two times you face it are the same, and they don’t even know how to fix it.

Some of the 75 rule troubles come because of students.  They just don’t study enough.  Some are skating–trying to get by.  Some genuinely have learning issues and to them a 75 is like a 100.  For a teacher that magic 75 can be a real issue.

I remember it being a REAL issue once for me.  I had a very bright (but quite manipulative) student in senior English.  The kid could do the work, no question.  The problem was, he really didn’t WANT to do the work.  So he skated by, getting 20′s on the quizzes and 90′s on the tests.  When the six weeks ended, he came up with a 73 or 74 (I don’t remember which), and you would have thought the world was ending.

His father made an appointment with the principal and me to discuss this totally “unfair” grade.  After all, if his kid didn’t have a 75, he didn’t get to play basketball, and basketball was sacred!

I don’t know how many of you are teachers, but I can tell you from experience that facing a parent can be an intimidating experience.  After all, I was only 23 years old–the junior in the room by about 25 years.  And I’m called to defend MYSELF, nothing said about the student and his culpability in this matter.  So we talked about the quizzes, which of course were poo-pooed as being non-important if you could pass the test.  If you got a 90 on the test, you should get a 90 in the class–no matter that you didn’t do any of the homework or in class work along the way.

Suffice it to say, the kid ended up “getting” a 75–not because of me but because the principal “saw the parent’s point” and “adjusted the grade.”  That wasn’t the only time that happened either, and it was one of the reasons teaching kind of lost its draw for me.

But here’s the thing.  Many of us play life by the 75 rule as well.  This thinking is highlighted in the story of The Good Samaritan, not in the story itself, but in the questioning that leads up to it.

Here’s Jesus telling the story of the Prodigal Son, and the Pharisee (stricken with a bad case of Older Brother Syndrome) is just not pleased that the younger son was welcomed back by the father with open arms.  I mean, “HE DIDN’T DESERVE IT!”

So this Pharisee takes it upon himself to question Jesus.  “What do I have to do to have eternal life?”

Understand that this would be the equivalent question, “What do I have to do to get a 75?  What do I have to do to pass so I get to go and do whatever I want after that?”

Jesus asks if the man knows the law.  Of course he does.  It’s a ridiculous question.  He’s made a life-long study of the law.  He knows it backward and forward.  You give him a written exam, and he’s there.  No problem.

The problem is that this is not a written exam–it’s a heart exam, and by that standard, the man is not only under 75, he’s failing!

He tells Jesus the law says to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself.  See, he passed the written part.  The problem is, he hasn’t been doing any of the homework or classwork.  If he had, he would not have followed this up with, “Yes, but who is my neighbor?”  If he had been practicing this law, if he had taken what he knew from his head to his heart, he wouldn’t have asked.

Jesus then tells the story of the Good Samaritan.

I think in life we go through with a 75 rule mentality.  What is the LEAST I can do to get through this?  What is the least I have to give?  What is the least God expects of me?  What is the least I can do and still “pass”?

And so, we become stingy with our love.  We are stingy with our faith in others.  We are stingy with how much we help and how much we give.

Trying to skate through on our own strength is bad enough, but I think trying to skate through on our own, skirting the fine line between a 74.44 and a 74.50 is really, really dangerous.

Thank God our God is an extravagant.  He doesn’t love us at a 75.  He loves us at a 120!  All the time!  Every day!  Out loud!

So ditch 75-rule thinking.  Strive instead to give like your Father gives.  Trust me, you’ll get a lot closer to the mark like that.


And You’re Mad at God?

July 8, 2010

By:  Staci Stallings

Okay.  Let’s play a little game first.  Here’s the way it’s played.

I’m going to give you either ten million dollars or nothing.

It’s your choice.

Got it?

Great.

Now, let’s pretend just for a moment that I’m here and I’m holding out to you these two choices–ten million dollars in one hand, nothing in the other.  You’re looking at the options.

Which one are you inclined to take?

But don’t make your choice just yet.  There’s more…

As you stand there observing your options, someone comes up to you and says, “You know there’s a catch, right?  She’s not just going to GIVE you ten million dollars.  I mean, even if she does, you are going to owe her forever.  It’s much better to take nothing.  At least with that, you’re not going to owe her anything.  She won’t have control over your life forever.”

Now what are you going to do?

Take the ten million and risk me being in control of your life (which by the way I never said was a stipulation of taking the money) or nothing because you don’t want to be “owned” by anyone?

Maybe it seems an easy choice.  Maybe you think, “Well, with ten million I could tell her to go jump in a lake if she gets too obnoxious.”  But then your friend says, “Oh, and there’s no guarantee that she won’t just take it right back either.  I mean sure, you’ll have it for a minute, but what good will that do?  It’s HER money after all.  It’s not yours.  Even if she gives it to you, it’s not really yours.  It’s still hers.  Wouldn’t it be far better to know whatever you have is really yours?”

Now, you’re breathing hard, trying to decide.

But here’s the thing.  I never said anything that your friend is telling you.  None of it.  I said nothing about the gift being conditional.  I said nothing about giving it to you and then taking it back.  I said nothing about you owing me anything if you take it.

However, your friend isn’t finished.  “If you take that money, she will hold it over your head forever.  You will never be free to do your own thing again.  She will remind you all the time about what she gave you, and you will feel so guilty for taking it that you’ll probably want to get rid of it anyway.  Do you really want HER to be in charge of your life forever?  Do you really trust her like that?  Wouldn’t it be much better to just walk away?  At least then she wouldn’t have reins on your life.”

After thinking long and hard about what your friend has said, you reluctantly tell me you want no part of the ten million dollars.  You’ll take nothing.  I say, “Fine.  Then you’re on your own.  Good luck.”

Now, let’s say that a short time later, you come to understand that the offer I was making was for real.  I really would have given you ten million dollars.  And let’s say that you come to understand that it would have come with no strings attached.  In fact, behind that ten million was another ten million and another ten million that I wanted to give you, but in refusing the first, you refused all the others as well.

Here’s a question.  Who are you mad at?

The strange thing is, we often get mad at the wrong person in this scenario.  We get mad at the person offering the ten million instead of that “friend” who knew exactly what that would have meant for us and talked us out of taking it.

That’s what happened in the Garden of Eden (and what happens to us every day).  Here was Eve.  Everything was hers.  God withheld nothing from her.  She didn’t have to worry about where supper was coming from, what she would wear, if anyone would love her.  She had all of those things.  She already HAD the first ten million God gave her.

Then the serpent, Satan, came along.  He acted like her friend though he was anything but.  He planted a seed of doubt that God’s offer wasn’t really what He said it was, and Eve fell for it.  She started doubting that there weren’t massive strings attached to what she had been given.  She listened to the serpent, ate the fruit she knew God had forbidden, and then gave some to her husband.  She took nothing when she could have had ten million and ten million after that and ten million after that.

But here’s the thing.  Once she took the offer of nothing (of her own free will), she could never go back and ask for a do-over.  She knew almost immediately that she’d chosen the wrong thing, but notice who she got mad at.  She didn’t get mad at Satan (though she did try to excuse her behavior saying he had tricked her).  She became afraid of and mad at GOD!

God, Who had made the offer.  God, Who had loved her so much.  God, Who even stitched clothes together so she wouldn’t be naked after she had disobeyed.

She became afraid of Him and mad at Him.  She (and all those who came after her) blamed God for what He had done in the Garden.  Somehow the fact that it was Satan’s lies that were the turning point doesn’t really come into mind.

Is that the way it is with you?  Do you have anything in your life that you chose to listen to Satan about (i.e. you lied when you should have been honest, you cheated, you stole, you got angry and killed someone’s spirit, you made something else your god and it came back to bite you)?  Are there places were you went willfully off into the tulleys, found yourself in a mess, and got mad at God for not making sure you didn’t get off the track?

Maybe it’s time to get mad at the RIGHT person–Satan.  Maybe it’s time to stop listening to him and his insidious lies.  Maybe it’s time to start trusting that the offer God made doesn’t come with strings, that He loves us no matter what, and that He will even stitch us together clothes when we make the wrong choice.

God’s offer of life and death is real, and Satan is always going to be there to tell you that the offer isn’t what God says it is.  Which one are you going to believe?


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