Which Way Is Up??

Hi Friends!

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last blog for this space. My apologies, but if a guy doesn’t have much to say, he is better off not saying much. My mind has been occupied by “all things music” and I have been a bit lacking in keeping this blog current. Again, my apologies, but finally, here we go.

And the entertainer says, “pick a card, any card at all.” Somehow, by the end of his trick he has miraculously told you what your card was. For the sake of this article, let’s give names to these imaginary cards. Music, books, religion, politics, world events, or less weighty issues such as golf courses, food recipes, car brands, and the list goes on and on and on. Pick any card…and with the exhaustive development of internet search engines, social media, and modern-day news outlets, you will instantly enter a world of information never before seen in history…and we’re just getting started.

Recently I was on Facebook and heard about a controversial Christian book which will remain nameless here, as it’s not the point of my thoughts. The book was mentioned in a scathing review by an angry person whom I’m not familiar with but who apparently has a decent following. So, I went to Google and put the book title in and asked for reviews to confirm whether or not the original comments I read were accurately critiquing the book and its author. Yes, there was immediately a one-star review decrying the negative effect material like this has on the believer. Then I scrolled down, finding there were 3 five-star reviews from folks saying they wholeheartedly agree with the author’s handling of the sensitive subject contained in the book. Then there was another 1-star review from a disgusted reader who could not finish the book in good faith. Following that a couple more positive takes on the book. Onward.

Last year I was in the market for a new car. Long story short I purchased a Hyundai Palisade as our main vehicle. I did my pre-sale homework, watching a hundred YouTube videos and read at least that many reviews. The good…. tons. The bad…. Also tons. People were all over the spectrum, from worshiping the brand to saying they would never buy a Hyundai product. (FYI, my car is turning 1 year old this week and has been a pleasure to own.)

Now pick a religion card - what do you think of  Pastor/Evangelist/Teacher/Apostle/Prophet Sammy Slick, Peter Prosper or Harrison Humble? (How I hope these are not real people!) Well let’s go find out more about them. “Most moving service I’ve ever been in;” The man is a wolf in sheep’s clothing!”; “I was in tears as soon as he started ministering”; “he’s building his own kingdom.”..etc. Again, the gambit is wide with every angle covered on any given minister’s name…no matter WHO you’re talking about. What’s a guy to think? And churches….”Best church I’ve ever been in”; I will NEVER go back there again!”; "Pastor is funny;” “Pastor is too haughty;” “This place encourages me every time”; ”I can’t get any deep teaching of the Word there.” Of course, they’re all talking about the same church!

I could go on, including golf course reviews, popular worship tunes, presidential candidates…you name it. I think Jerry Seinfeld summed it up pretty well when he said, “Humans…they’re the worst!” We can (and should) all have a good laugh at that brilliant, comedic statement but oh how true it is! Reading or listening to 10 comments on any given subject online will show you how differently people judge other people, places, and things. Heck, I even got 5 different reasons why our chocolate chip cookies turned out flat! Part of me wants to run outside into the street and scream “STOP THE MADNESS!”

This article is not to point out who is right and wrong about any of the above subject matters. It’s to make reference to how much we need to fix our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith and not look to the left or right, for surely there is trouble in both directions! Thank God for Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Without knowing, believing, AND following this belief, how would we ever know which way is up!? The Word promised us in the last days, right would be seen as wrong and wrong, right. If we’re not there yet we’re certainly on a one-way fast track to that very dangerous and upside-down philosophy. This is no doubt the crafty scheme of the enemy of our soul. The more he can confuse things (as the author of confusion) the more he can sway people into his camp…”even the elect would be deceived.”

I really believe with this monumental life change called the internet, we as followers of Jesus need to adopt the “less is more” attitude. Personally, I spend WAY too much time seeing what others are doing, reading what others think vs what God thinks, and just observing human nature. Besides that, I am admittedly an OCD researcher when it comes to purchasing a product. It must be the Scottish in me that won’t allow myself to pay a dime more than I should. Yep, TMac is tight! (Liz will confirm). So, I have some work to do in closing the computer or at least keeping the hours spent on any given day to a minimum instead of a maximum. It really can be all consuming…. it’s the day in which we live. But if we’re consumed by this marvel, we can’t be consumed by His Spirit, and we’ll be the big losers because of that. All He wants is all of us. Tall task but it’s the life we signed up for as believers and followers of Christ. It didn’t used to be like this. Walter Cronkite would report the news every night and that was that. This is a different world we are living in now….very different; and who knows what the next 10 years will reveal should Jesus tarry.

Friends, we know that the Bible is true. We’re going to need to really embrace that fact in the coming days. With that thought a couple of scriptures come to mind. Hosea 6:3 says, “so let us press on to know the Lord, for as sure as the dawning He will appear.” Also, one of my favorites, Psalm 90:12 - “So teach us to number our days that we might present to You a heart of wisdom.” How many days do you have left? To some, not too many. To others very many; doesn’t really matter as a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day in the sight of the Lord. He’s looking for hearts attuned to His heart. He’s looking for moldable souls so He can do as He wishes with us. But if you and I are distracted by all the noise, all the voices saying things contrary to what He is saying or even agreeing with it, we will have wasted precious time, no matter how much time that is. We must find the mind of Christ alone and each work out our own salvation in this critical day in which we live. May the Lord’s unending grace carry us all the way to our reward. Those who endure to the end shall be saved. We need Him and His truth more than ever. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

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