June – Here We Come!

Confessions first: the first two weeks of this month are going to be hard for me to be present. MY BABY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED!! I already told you that – and I am spending the first 2 weeks of June between Texas and Kansas with all three of my sisters, my parents and close friends. My gracious hubby is releasing me from my wifely duties to play big-sister again for a little while. Honestly, he’s probably glad he’s not coming along until the wedding day because I will be a giddy, girly, sobby mess the whole time.

To hold myself accountable, I’m submitting to you a rough draft of our June plans here at Predatory Lies.

Your’s truly has been the victim of many lies.

John 8:31-32 … So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

BUT

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I could write this whole post in Bible verses, but that’s cheating (: I promise you that I have submitted these hands and this keyboard to the work and glory of Jesus- who is the truth.

This month I will share several sources of truth that God has used to save my life, encourage my growth in righteousness and keep me in the truth. Lucky for you, each of these resources has an online presence, so I will provide links and details about what aspects of each resource ministered to me the most. I will spend one week on each source. To be fair, I am constantly learning more from these ever-growing resources. I will do my best to highlight all they have to offer, how you can take advantage of them and how you can give back.

For the first week of June, we will take a close look at an online, Christ-centered, freedom ministry called: Setting Captives Free.

Week two, we will look at Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, and the Flag Page, ministries by Pastor Mark Gungor.

June 21-24 boasts the annual Hungry For Hope conference, hosted by Finding Balance. I’ve spoken much about this ministry before, but I’ve barely scratched the surface.

And for the final week of June, I will try to select only three days worth of valuable, truth-filled resources available at Lifechurch.tv.  Wish me luck. There is a fairly recent book and online experience called Chazown, by Craig Groschel. Maybe if I focus on that resource I can limit myself (:

I’m so excited, Friends. As I re-explore some of these ministries, I know I will be blessed as much as you. I do plan to offer some of the books and CDs that these ministries produce as giveaways throughout the month. So make sure you’re chattering here in the “comments” section!

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified youd to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption,e the forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:10-14

Innocent Little Lies, For a Good Cause

The story you are about to read is true… some details have been changed to confuse the victim.

I’ve learned a lot from my sisters. The Bible says that a brother is born for adversity. We certainly taught each other lessons the hard way. Tears and tantrums, practical jokes and cold shoulders – oh and the silent treatment. Fortunately, as we’ve grown, we still learn from each other, but with less fanfare.

Such was the case a couple weeks ago. Kelsey, my third sister, is highly practical. She manages money with frugality. To be honest, she and I both border on miserly – or are at least incredibly fearful of financial issues. So we tend to be overly cautious and fretful especially in these economic times. Funny too, since both of our husbands are blessedly employed, happy in their jobs with no eminent threats. Ah, but fear is rarely rational.

We are planning an event together. When I was in Texas visiting her recently, we decided to make a trip to the planned location to scope it out. When we arrived, our chintzy instincts went to high gear.  Nickel and dime-ing was an understatement! Even as a resident of D.C., one of the most expensive places to live, I was shocked. Parking was a fee, valets were extra, of course reservations cost, then add on a separate “resort fee” and another per-car charge and by the way – no discounts. Even my military discount was denied, as they insisted that the active duty soldier must be present.

The place itself was spectacular! We must have looked like back-woods hicks, traipsing through with our eyes bugged out and tennis shoes squeaking on the polished floors. We drove away, called and made our reservations (they don’t have a place to make reservations in person). I was dogmatic that this place was so exceptional, we had to have it, but just as dogmatic that I didn’t want to go broke on a one night event. For the rest of the day we schemed up ways to get the military discount we felt we deserved. What innocent (is there such a thing?) little white lie could we tell so that we could sneak in under their up-turned noses?

A few days later, I was home again and planning to call the uppity reservation line again. I had devised a small fib that would hopefully get us around their red tape and rules. Quickly, I called Kelsey and told her my plan.

“Um, I’ve been thinking,” she began. “We’re studying holiness together on Wednesday nights. And I just can’t get beyond the conviction that lying to them to save a few dollars isn’t very holy or Christ-like. I think we should just be completely honest, ask again, and see what they say.”

Nothing like being put in your place by your little sister! It feels good, I promise. I’m so proud of her!

So, I hung up with Kelsey and dialed the huffy operator. Much to my surprise a very friendly Diane answered the phone this time. I carefully, politely explained the situation one more time. I told her why we wanted the reservation and how surprised I was that my military ID was worthless for the appropriate discount. I have never had this problem anywhere before. Diane was as surprised as I was!

“I don’t know why the operator didn’t understand,” Diane apologized. “Of course I’ll take care of that, email you the confirmation of the new discounted rate, and I’ll make sure that Kristen knows the policy.”

I hung up the phone and danced through the kitchen!

“Kelsey! Guess what,” I had to call her back. “The lady I spoke to said that we deserved the discount. She apologized and adjusted the rate!”

What a good God. He truly honors obedience. And as God’s children we have no choice but to be honest and imitate the one who calls Himself, “The Truth.”

How should we respond?

If you watch me on any given day, I don’t look scared.  I doubt you do either.  But, I bet I can scare you.  Let me tell you some of the things that rumble around in the back of my mind and make my heart skip beats every now and then.

We all know the United States is in debt over its eyeballs.  No one can agree on what to do about it and politicians seem to be turning  their debates into publicity opportunities and propaganda for the next election.  And most of us normal people can’t wrap our minds around the astronomical numbers or how we got into this mess.

As of May 2011, the largest single holder of U.S. debt was (is) China – whom we know has nuclear weapons and is a growing military power.

Worldwide, there are about 42 million abortions per year. 

The United States is involved in longterm conflicts and our military is stretched thin.  Daily and sometimes more often we are informed of another pop star death (Amy Winehouse), rampant immorality at the highest levels, in Norway  – dozens of children – slaughtered, merciless tsunamis (Japan) and earthquakes, a father killing 6 people at his child’s birthday party in TX, friends and family without jobs, depressing heat, wimpy Christians… are you feeling threatened?

How do we respond?   

“‘Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.  Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?” Joel 2:12-14

Governor Rick Perry has blown the trumpet and consecrated August 6, 2011, as a day of prayer and fasting, an acknowledgement of our need for the mercy, grace and intervention of Jesus Christ – and His intercession to the Father on our behalf – as a nation.

Go the the website, The Response, because I cannot begin to express the need for and purpose of this event with the eloquence and urgency of the organizers.  But, I will remind you that this call to prayer is precedented call – consider the previous calls to humble ourselves and pray. 

Lest you think that God won’t answer, that we’re too far gone or that one more rent heart won’t matter, listen, “Then the Lord became jealous for his land and had pity on his people, ‘Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine and oil, and you will be satisfied;'” Joel 2:18-19a

“‘I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.  You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.'” Joel 2:25-26

And, if we are obedient, He is able. “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Ex. 14:14