The Inside Scoop

I want to think that I’m genuine & forthright. I don’t want to think that I am either deceived or deceptive. But alas, in Jeremiah 17:9, it says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”
So it’s important to acknowledge that we can trick ourselves into thinking & believing things that aren’t true.
When we think & believe things that are untrue, even if just slightly, we put ourselves at high risk to live in distortion & dysfunction.
The best vaccination for deception is the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus calls the Spirit of truth. Let’s make it a platinum priority in our lives to be led into truth by the Holy Spirit – John 16:13

Don’t Surrender

“Bow down to me & I’ll give you all that you see.” This was the final temptation the devil tried against Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. I’ve been thinking about the 3 ways the devil tried to tempt Jesus – against His flesh, worship & power / authority. 
It seems to me that the devil uses the same schemes on us. He tries to tempt us with flesh stuff. He tries to sabotage our worship of God using alluring idols (money, image, pride, intellect, etc). And the devil endeavors to undermine the authority God has given us, telling us that we are frail, powerless, disabled & incapacitated. I think the devil’s number one tool is deception. This is reason alone to snuggle into the Holy Spirit, our Spirit of Truth, so we don’t fall prey to the devils’ efforts & schemes. 

Be sure to read my book, Heavenly Help, so you can stay in synch with the Holy Spirit & out of synch with the devil, the enemy of your soul!

Let Go

There are some dangerous traps that we fall into, often with well-intentioned ignorance. Let’s consider that many of these traps started off in good ways, as tools that have been helpful, but maybe such tools have turned into traps. Consider some of these possible traps:

  • Achievements: while it’s helpful to achieve lots of good things, sometimes this becomes a trap when we find our value / significance in what we do instead of who we are, a fully loved child of God. Full stop.
  • Cell phones: a helpful tool, but a dangerous trap that can disconnect us from engaging in this moment & from what’s happening immediately around us 
  • Money: we know that money can help us do things, but when our lives become entrenched with acquiring or the absence of money, it’s become a trap & not a tool
  • Image: while it’s important that we reflect our internal beauty, it’s a trap to think that our image is our identity

Let’s get out of the traps that are designed to be nothing more than tools 🙂

Let Go

There are some dangerous traps that we fall into, often with well-intentioned ignorance. Let’s consider that many of these traps started off in good ways, as tools that have been helpful, but maybe such tools have friend into traps. Consider some of these possible traps:

  • Achievements: while it’s helpful to achieve lots of good things, sometimes this becomes a trap when we find our value / significance in what we do instead of who we are, a fully loved child of God. Full stop.
  • Cell phones: a helpful tool, but a dangerous trap that can disconnect us from engaging in this moment & from what’s happening immediately around us 
  • Money: we know that money can help us do things, but when our lives become entrenched with acquiring or the absence of money, it’s become a trap & not a tool
  • Image: while it’s important that we reflect our internal beauty, it’s a trap to think that our image is our identity

Let’s get out of the traps that are designed to be nothing more than tools 🙂

I’m a skunk

Ok, not like in substance but more like in appearance.  For whatever reason, I forgot to schedule a hair dye appointment and the wonderful white hair I inherited from my dad is now the streak down the middle of my head.  So I look like a skunk & it’s not merely a bad hair day but rather a bad hair hue ,)

We both know that appearances can be deceptive and hopefully, we don’t always fall for the trap that says a shiny suit equals sterling character.

But sometimes we do.

So let’s ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into truth so we don’t get tricked by our natural senses.  Just because I look like a skunk for a few days doesn’t mean that I’m smelly ,)

hot topic: REALLY helpful!!

I don’t do this often, so heads up!!  Buy this book!!!!

 Identity Thief

Seriously, the enemy of your soul wants to deceive and steal your identity every second of your life & often we are totally clueless to these efforts.  It’s his oldest trick from the beginning with Adam & Eve.  This book by my friend Robby is super helpful & brand new!!

I’d also strongly encourage you to buy:  Do What Jesus Did  Also by Robby & totally a blast!!

Happy Wednesday dear friends 🙂

Smoke & Mirrors

I recently read about how Jacob tricked his dad & brother to get Esau’s birthright & blessing – definitely shifty for sure. Whenever I read how Jacob’s mom put him up to being deceptive with his dad about getting his dad’s blessing, it makes me twitch because of the smoke & mirrors manipulation scheming. I find it positively revolting that Jacob & his mom would be so deceptive with their family, conniving, tricking & undermining trust. It’s repulsive to me because their actions totally sabotaged any trust & ultimately intimacy / connection they may have had with their family – maybe this trust never existed in the first place.

Nevertheless, for me an important take away is that when people are shifty & deceptive, there’s no real or grounded connection with them. Ultimately, it’s all just smoke & mirrors.

Leaping Lizards!!

If a lizard jumps on my leg, I’ll likely leap in startled surprise, hoping to loose the lizard & releasing my lips in loud yelps ,)

Just some literary fun that popped into my mind as I just watched a little lizard shuffle with staccato footsteps along a rail, watching carefully to see if I’d do anything scary or startling. Truth be known, I’m not a reptile fan of any sort. They creep me out, entirely. So this lizard had absolutely NOTHING to fear, whatsoever. 
Maybe the devil is kind of like that, altogether scared of us, but pretending to be bold & strong by deception & intimidation – smokescreens my friends. The devil uses slight of hand, loud noises, spooky images & deceptive emotions to make us freeze & evaporate in fear & discouragement. Don’t buy the lies & stop smoking his weed. Only Jesus has truth, destiny & purpose for our hearts, grounded in nothing less than genuine love. 
No more leaping lizards ,)

The right fight

In the war on terrorism, it can get tricky to figure out who to fight. Similar to the guerrilla warfare in Vietnam, when a soldier wears civilian clothing, it’s hard to figure out that he’s a soldier until it’s often too late. In the same way, the enemy of our soul often masquerades in what seems to be various human conflicts, stresses & pressures. If we only look at the outside of what’s happening, we’ll get distracted & fight the wrong fight, rather than warring against the true opposition of our soul. Jesus says in John 10:10 that the thief comes to kill, steal & destroy.
There is a real enemy warring against your soul & more often than not, your enemy isn’t your spouse, your pastor, your friend or your kids / parents, a co-worker or fellow student. The enemy of your soul is a masquerade genius, so don’t fall for the disguise!!

one of my favs

One of my favorite people in the Bible is Jacob, Isaac’s son & Abraham’s grandson.  I like Jacob for lots of reasons:

  • he’s very human:  his mistakes, flaws, shortcomings aren’t hidden nor minimized
  • he’s God conscientious, even when it’s hindsight
  • he learns and grows:  working for Laban was a long & vertical learning curve, moves to Egypt at the end of his life, etc
  •  he’s wise in how he handles Esau when he returns from serving Laban – a very touchy situation

Jacob was certainly a schemer and manipulator, but he was also repaid for his deceptions (Laban & the Rachel / Leah fiasco; Jacob’s sons trick him about Joseph).  But Jacob was also attentive to God – at Bethel he built an altar, he paid attention to the God-given dream about Laban’s flocks as well as the dream to move to Egypt.  And possibly one of my absolute favorites of all times, Jacob wrestled with God’s angel after he left Laban & before he crossed into his homeland, acquiring a new name from that wrestling match.  While Jacob certainly didn’t do it all right, he learned, grew, changed and honored God 🙂

Have an awesome weekend!

tricksy, I say!

If the devil can get you to question or doubt God’s character than you’ve moved into a very dangerous place.  If you think about it, that’s exactly what the snake did to Eve in the Garden of Eden – question God’s motives and character.  Consider this:  God is love, so God is always loving.  When we think that God is sometimes unfaithful, unreliable or not helping us, then we’ve already eaten the apple with which the snake was tempting Eve.  Some things about God that never change, regardless of how we feel or what we’re going through:  God is love, all-powerful, ever-present, our Helper, all-knowing and steadfast.  Don’t fall for any decptions that might cause you to think differently about who God is in your life! 🙂

reality check

My family had a really wonderful Christmas break full of fun, snuggling, coziness, time, laughing, great food and a well needed exhale.  I’m extremely happy that God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it!  As an interesting side note, one of my kids had to do some extra school work for catching up in class.  This child seemed to think that putting in 20% effort would be enough to squeeze by.  Needless to say after checking this homework, I helped this child to have an education revelation related to effort, quality and general work ethic 🙂

I’m learning a lot from my kids that I probably should have learned much earlier in my life – but alas, better late than never!  So here’s a great lesson from the education revelation over Christmas break:

I’d rather deal with the pain that can come from truth than the destruction than can come from deception.

you buy it, you carry it!

When I was growing up, I remember a family vacation where my dad bought these giant copper pots because they were cheap & he wanted to use them as decoration in our house.  Nevermind that we were in Egypt & that we’d have to carry these monstrosities on various planes, through airports, security, etc.  After this experience, we made a family rule, “you buy it, you carry it.” 

This rule makes me think that sometimes we buy into the lies that the devil tells us & then wind up carrying his junk.  Don’t buy these lies, so you don’t have to carry the luggage J

a sneaky trap

I read this morning about Adam & Eve getting tricked by the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  I found it interesting to consider that the serpent tried to create a doubt in Eve’s mind about the goodness and intentions of God.  In the serpent’s conversation with Eve, he made it sound like God was holding out on something good by not allowing them to eat from this one particular tree.

I find this to be an interesting trap that the devil continues to use on us to this day – that when God says “no” to something, that God is holding back something good from us.  Let’s consider that if God says no to a situation or request that we’ve made, God has something better than what we would’ve settled for.  When God says “no”, we can trust that God is protecting us from something awful and has something significantly better in mind for us 🙂

something from my recent small group

This last Sat, I had my small group study & we’re watching a video series.  This last Sat was our 2nd video & one of my friends was walking by & commented about how pink the color of the picture was on the TV.  I thought his comment was funny & said that it was this pink last week – “Was it supposed to be a different color?”, I asked.  He explained that the pink was definitely a color aberration.  So we both looked around at the DVD player & noticed that the blue plug was unplugged from the back of the player.  When he plugged it in, suddenly the color on the TV screen lost the overpowering pink tones and cleared up into a more normal scheme.  I laughed because I would have just kept on watching the pink DVD & thought nothing of a color problem.

So here’s my point:  I think that if we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to express Himself in our lives, we’ll walk around in deception, thinking that a “pink” life is normal.  The reason I say this is because one of the first descriptions that Jesus gives of the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17).  One of the greatest needs in my life is for the Holy Spirit to immunize me from self-deception because I can most certainly throw out some very convincing self-deception schemes.  I want to love Truth more than deception 🙂

Soul Enemy

If there was an enemy to my soul (and I firmly believe that there is), what would be the methods he would use to sabotage my relationship with God? Here are some things he has tried to use on me:
*camouflage: blending into the culture around me to disguise himself as something normally acceptable, all the while attacking my identity, purpose & trust in God
*weakspots: looking for weaknesses that I have. These are different for everyone, but could be areas related to emotions, pride, relationships, forgiveness, independence and others
*persistence: the continual attack & ongoing waves of the negative
*distraction: getting me to focus on things that may seem important or big, but in the larger perspective are really quite irrelevant
*communication: trying to get me to listen to the enemy’s voice by making it seem similar to God’s voice, but off just a smidgen

These are a few enemy tactics that he may try to use in you as well. I pray that we remain in Jesus’ light & life to stay far removed from the enemy’s efforts, under the protecting wings of the Almighty 🙂

The enemy will not see you vanish into God’s company without an effort to reclaim you-CSLewis