Never Never Land or The Land of Never

never-never-landWhere are you living?  I don’t mean the place where you park your car or the address that your GPS takes you to when you touch the HOME button.  Where do you live in your thoughts, fantasies, worries and wants? Is it Never Never Land or the Land of Never?

Thanks to Peter Pan, most people have some knowledge of the fictional place called Never Never Land. It’s that place that’s fixed within the framework of your imagination where everything is so wonderfully pleasant and perfect that is far beyond the scope of reality.

The Land of Never is also an imaginary place, but it’s one of a harsher existence.  The boundaries of the Land of Never are marked by signs that reflect a contempt for self, others, and the truth:

  • Sign #1: I will never be loved or respected.
  • Sign #2: I will never get a job.
  • Sign #3: I will never be able to go home again.
  • Sign #4: God will never forgive me.
  • Sign #5: My life will never get better.

If you believe the lies of the Land of Never, you will be chained to your past and you’ll never live in the present.  Words like “never” and “always” are usually void of the truth, and they’re lies that limit you.

The only “never” that really matters is found in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

If you’re living in the Land of Never, isn’t it time to pack your bag, move out, and start abiding in Christ? Jesus said, “If you continue (abide) in My word, you really are My disciples.  You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:31-32).”

As you begin the move, I encourage you to focus on a promise found in the Psalms:

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Psalm 9:9-10

roboThe year was 1987 and the title of the movie, RoboCop, was futuristic and ripe with sci-fi-intrigue.  The plot of the movie told the story of Alex Murphy, a Detroit cop, who was was brutally murdered by a gang of thugs.  Murphy becomes the experimental project of a tech company and he reappears as RoboCop, a superhuman cyborg with a conscience.  

When I did a “robo” search, the Top 10 results surprised me:

  • robots
  • robocop
  • robot chicken
  • robo craft
  • roboform
  • robot vacuum cleaner
  • robotech
  • robot games
  • robotic surgery
  • robots movie

I’m not surprised by the contents of this list; however, I do wonder about the absence of “robocall.”   Consumer Reports describes robocalls as “those prerecorded, unsolicited annoyances that are invading homes every day like a swarm of gnats.

The Federal Trade Commission receives over 150,000 complaints each month from consumers asking for relief from this technological nightmare.  It’s estimated that scams related to robocalls rob consumers of about $350,000,000.00 a year.

I’m not suggesting that the church should adopt the techniques of the gods of the robocall; however, I do marvel at their zest and zeal to promote their product.  Why is it that those who live in the shadows are so energetic in the propagation of a lie while those who walk in the light are so lackadaisical in their stewardship of the truth?

Jesus warned us of the wolves who come in sheep’s clothing:  “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The minions of darkness carefully lay a snare with the intent of trapping the naive with their lies.  Your task, is to brighten the path of the innocent, so they can see Jesus and live life more abundantly.

Think about that annual loss of $350 million.  What if we changed the scheme of things and translated that to 350 million prayers.  How would your part of the world be different if people like you would prayer more and say more about Jesus?

 

 

 

Did I Just Lie?

I took two steps, then I asked myself: “Did I just lie?” While I was walking to my truck, I met a young man in the parking and asked: “How are you doing?” He replied: “Fine, how are you?” With a big smile, I replied” “Great!”

I took the two steps, and I thought to myself: “I’m sick at my stomach and I have a splitting headache, and I feel lousy, so am I great?”

It only took another second of reflection before my smile grew larger, and here’s why:
• I having a loving wife and a good family.
• I have a job, a roof over my head, and I have more than enough food to eat.
• I’ve never been exposed to Ebola or Malaria, and I don’t have cancer.
• I serve a loving God who has saved me through the sacrificial death of His Son.

I’m not great because of anything I’ve done or because of who I am; however, in comparison to much of the world, my circumstances are great.

***805 million people – or one in nine people in the world – do not have enough to eat.
***98% of the world’s undernourished people live in developing countries.
***66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
***Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases.
***1.7 billion people lack access to clean water.
***2.3 billion people suffer from water-borne diseases each year.

“Young man, I’m great. Thanks for asking.”