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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Monday Morning Munch No. 6 – The Art of Deception

The world lies. I’m pretty sure every true Christian realizes that.

But do we realize how subtle its deceptions appear? I mean, Satan has this whole misleading thing down to a glowing art that has the sinner–and sometimes saint–blinded.

I suppose that’s why he’s called the Father of Lies.

Anyway. The subtly of sin has been heavy on my heart this week and it has surfaced more than I’ve ever seen.

Or maybe I was just aware of its constant presence.

The following pictures were taken this week and are subtly deceptive.

The lesson?

Be on guard. The enemy is real and his devices cunning. Be sharp, stand firm and bathe yourselves in Truth (Truth is a Person, not a concept- John 14:6) through the Word of Truth so you can fight against the lies of the wicked one and his kingdom, the world.

Lies

 Okay, we’ll start out with this easily discovered lie found in good ol’ Walmart. 
Just incase you were tempted to try to and ingest something to make you more like God, just know that if you drink this you will, in fact, not gain eternal energy.
…Sounds strangely familiar.
Oh, right. It was Eve who tried to eat the fruit in the garden to be more like God. Yeah. That was it.
Lies. 
 Oh, look. Walmart again. 
This isn’t necessarily a lie, but should be a wake up call to the deceit bombarding us and young people everywhere. 
“SinfulColors” professional nail polish.
Wow. Now you can have pretty, brightly colored sin on your nails for less than $2. 
Sounds perfect.
Again, this isn’t really a lie, but tossing around the word “sin” flippantly, decreases its harshness and makes sin, well, less sinful.
This is broadcasting sin to be cool, hip and stylish as opposed to the truth that sin is the absence of God, offensive in every way and will lead you to an eternal torment. 
Sin is creeping in more and more and wants to be deemed acceptable in any way possible. This is just the first step, folks.

I really like Dove dark chocolate. Actually I like just about any kind of dark chocolate. In this case, Dove is known for its “Silky Smooth Promises,” variously written in each wrapper.
Smooth is right.
A smooth lie.
“Do what feels right.” 
Uhh, pretty sure God doesn’t say anything close to that.
In fact, I think His exact words were: “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it.” -Mark 8:34-35
That doesn’t exactly scream enjoyable feeling, now does it? 
Do not do what feels right. Do what is right no matter how it feels.
Where to start on this bag of ridiculousness?
“It’s OK to be fabulous AND flawed.”

To me this reads: “It’s okay to sin because being flawed is the accepted norm and you will never be anything else.”
Let’s just get one thing straight: we are all sinners. We sin. That’s what we do. And no, we can’t change ourselves, but we can be changed.
We are changed forever when God replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). When He does that, the new heart hates sin and loves righteousness. We do not become instantly perfect–in fact we will never be perfect this side of heaven because we still live in a fallen body–but we are no longer seen as flawed. 
For Christians, our lives are hidden in Christ with God. Hidden. Meaning unseen apart from Him. And thanks to the beauty of imputation, we are given Jesus’ righteousness and His very character and Spirit at salvation, therefore we are no longer flawed because He is not flawed. 
Amazing.
If you are not a Christian, being flawed is still not “OK,” as this eloquent wrapper tries to make you believe. 
God demands perfection. We can’t reach it on our own, hence the need for the perfect substitute, Jesus. (For more on Him, read the Gospel of John.)
I’m going to wrap up my little expose on lies with these four, but believe me, there is more where these came from. Satan has a whole arsenal filled with lies and he fires them every minute, each one aimed to deter you from experiencing the person of Truth. Don’t let that happen. Seek Truth and abound in it. Be aware of the lies and don’t let even the most subtle one suck you in. 

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” -Colossians 2:8

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