Tag Archives: truth

Belonging

If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.
1 Corinthians 12:15, NLT*

One of the lies the enemy of our souls has baited me with over the years is “You don’t belong.”

Someone hurts my feelings. Or I don’t get a joke, or everyone else seems to have it all together. I notice I’m different. The lie slides right into my thoughts and I cuddle up with it, nodding agreement. “That proves it. I really don’t belong.”

I used to think Paul’s words about the foot and the ear saying they weren’t part of the body meant we should use the gifts God gave us and not compare ourselves with others. We shouldn’t sulk and refuse to serve if someone else got the talent we wanted.

That’s really what it’s about, but today I see something else. If I—or you—fall for “I don’t belong,” then part of the body will be handicapped because we’re disqualifying ourselves.

Of course I’m different. We all are, even if some of us look the same on the outside. Different is good; I know that, and I don’t want to be a clone. But I guess the deceiver’s words resonate with a fear of rejection, and maybe it’s easier to tell myself I don’t belong than to wait for someone else to say it.

This is one of the things God’s been talking to me about lately. I risk sharing it because maybe He’s been saying something similar to you, whether it’s about belonging or about another of our enemy’s lies.

Creator God, Your Word says we’re each “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and that You love us. How many ways do You have to say it before we can believe it? You also warn us we’re in a spiritual battle and we need to use the weapons You’ve given us so we can stand. Help us be vigilant. Help us take every thought captive to Christ and speak Your truth to defeat the lies. We can’t do this on our own, but Your Spirit within us can. Help us rely on You.

Let Kathryn Scott’s “I Belong” reassure our spirits today. We belong to God.

*New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Review: Oak Island Revenge, by Cynthia d’Entremont

Oak Island Revenge, by Cynthia d'Entremont

Oak Island Revenge, by Cynthia d’Entremont (Nimbus Publishing, 2012)

It’s 1958. Fourteen-year-old Jonah Morgan and his best friend Beaz live on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia (Canada). Nearby Oak Island is forbidden territory, so naturally it’s a rite of passage to row to the island and search for the legendary treasure.

This summer vacation, Jonah and Beaz are set to hit the island, but they’ll be even more secretive about it than most teens. Jonah’s mom is overprotective since his older brother died, and he’s pretty sure Beaz’s mom is abusive.

What they find on the island piles secrets on secrets. Jonah doesn’t want to lie, but he can’t tell the whole truth. When missing 16-year-old Charlotte Barkhouse turns up dead, surely what Jonah knows wouldn’t make a difference. Would it?

His parents and his dead older brother seem perfect, and Jonah can’t measure up no matter how good his intentions. As he wrestles with how much truth to tell and how much to hide, he begins to suspect that everyone has secrets of one sort or another and that life is more complicated than it looks.

Oak Island Revenge is a coming-of-age story that evokes the feel of 1950’s small-town Nova Scotia in a mystery for young adult readers. It’s one of those satisfying novels where all the threads weave in perfect balance to make an organic whole.

Author Cynthia d’Entremont has a fresh, vivid writing style with a satisfying splash of humour. She’s also the author of the award-winning young adult fantasy novel Unlocked.

[Review originally appeared on the Maranatha News site. Review copy provided by the author.]
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Feelings and Emotions

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Isaiah 53:3, NIV*

I’ve been writing a lot lately about the deceptiveness of feelings and how we need to trust God instead of ourselves. I’m still learning, thinking it through on-screen, discovering what it means in my own life.

For me, the emphasis has been on not believing false feelings: the vague unease, dissatisfaction or sadness that can have me living “in the dumps” instead of in the confidence in my heritage in Christ.

Then there are true feelings, and I’ll call them emotions to help me see this clearer. Things like grief, fear, loneliness. Anger. Happiness—why does that one not come around as much as the others?

Jesus experienced emotions. There’s nothing wrong with them, and I think they’re a key ingredient in what makes us human. It’s not healthy to suppress or deny them, but we still can’t let them rule us.

Recognizing them can help us rely on God’s sustaining grace in our daily lives. In the words of author/speaker Grace Fox, if we feel fear over something God calls us to do, we need obey anyway—to “do it afraid.” Or sad, or whatever.

And He is calling us to do things. If angry, we’re still responsible to refrain from delivering a sinful response. Grieving, to treat others in love.

God our Maker, You know our weakness and You promise to give wisdom when we ask. Teach us to discern between deceptive feelings and genuine emotions. Teach us to rely on Your truth and to reject the lies. And help us rightly handle our emotions so we’ll live as genuine humans who trust Your care, neither denying what we feel nor being ruled by it. 

There aren’t a lot of songs about true emotions and about the lie that we shouldn’t express them. Here’s Don Francisco’s “It Ain’t No Sin to Get the Blues.”

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Believing the Truth

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV*

Tuesday morning, yesterday now, I curled up with my Bible and journal, tea at hand, reminding the Lord that I still didn’t have anything for today’s post.

Since He nudged me into blogging in 2008, He’s given me a devotional thought to share each week. Sometimes it comes early, sometimes it’s pretty close to the finish line, but He provides every time.

I don’t fret about it anymore, although I do like a few days’ breathing space in case something else in my schedule goes boink. So no stress on that account, but something else was bothering me this time.

When I tried to read the day’s psalm, my spirit felt tight, shrink-wrapped. Instead of pushing on, I stopped to pray. “Lord, there’s some kind of blockage. I feel… well… like You’re holding out on me.”

Everything seemed to hush.

Okay.

I knew that lie! It’s so old, it goes back to the Garden of Eden.

Truth defeats the lie, so I asked God to give me a verse to counter it. I knew He wasn’t holding out on me, because He’s not like that. He gives good gifts. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17, NIV*)  That was my answer, although I didn’t remember the reference.

And if we ask Him for bread, He won’t give us a stone.

“Recognize the lie—defeat it with truth.” I’m hearing that a lot lately. It’s one of the things God is working on in me, but it’s also something to share today. I’m not the only one learning this particular lesson.

God who is holy, faithful and true, You know we’ve accepted lies and they’ve diminished us. Some of them are so rooted-in that we think they’re true. Shine the light of Your Word into our darkest places, reveal the deceit, and help us to replace it with Your truth. Teach us how to believe and rely on Your Word.

Jonny Diaz’ song, “More Beautiful You,” counters one type of lies we face. The line “Don’t buy the lies” applies to them all…

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.