My own personal stance against religious hypocrisy - both my own, and any others who seek to hurt people in the name of God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Trumpet Blows For Each of Us

I have often written about how my grandmother was a writer. Many of her works were published in newspapers and certain magazines. I do not believe she was ever paid. She also self-published a book of poems, and was part of at least two collaborations in which a writers' group self-published a book.

What I had forgotten is that my mother also writes, and has also been published in newspapers and magazines, and also had collaborated with other writers to self-publish. I just came across a book in which my mother's poem leads the way.

When I hear the Trumpet Call
by Helen Delger

Oftentimes I wonder where I will be when I hear the trumpet call.
Will it be in spring when flowers bloom
Or when leaves turn in fall?
Will it sound for me in summer,
Or in winter when cold winds blow?
No matter what the season, when I hear the call I will go.
I just hope that I will be ready to take that chariot ride
To cross over into His kingdom with Jesus by my side.
There to meet all my loved ones who made the journey long ago.
I await a glorious reunion with all the saints I know.
We will be clothed in garments beautiful,
Heavenly angels will sing.
Until joy will fill our hearts when our spirits then take wing.
A heavenly home awaits us there, no down payment is due.
The precious blood of Jesus has paid the price for you.
I still have tasks on Earth to do;
It is not for me to name the date.
Until the trumpet sounds for me, I will trust in Him and wait.

My mother is now the oldest living member of our extended family. All my grandparents have gone. I have one aunt and uncle left (plus their spouses), but they are my mother's younger siblings. Everyone else is gone, including Daddy.

I suppose Mother thinks often about her time to leave. She is well past eighty now. Gone are the days of youth when eternity was that far away. Now it's near the doorstep, and making even the most stoic consider what lays ahead.

We were not big into church when I was young. I do recall attending a Lutheran Church when I was five. But when we moved away Daddy quit going to church. Mother tried to bring us to various churches in the area, but we never continued for long. First Mother would quit going. Then she would quit bringing us. Once, two of my sisters and I were kicked out. We were teenagers. Need I say more?

But I knew God was important. I just didn't know who he was. To me, I visualized him as an old man with a beard - eager to catch me in a wrong so he could send me to Hell. I resolved to live a perfect life.

My definition of perfection was according to my own rules, which were flexible to suit occasions. Thus, I maintained my self-deception for years. Until I was nineteen. Not long before the morning of my nineteenth birthday I had done something which violated my person rules for right and wrong. There was no rationalizing it away. I was haunted. God had me now. I had "sinned". And I was caught. So on the morning of my nineteenth birthday I fell to my knees in the darkness of 4:00 a.m. and asked for a miracle. I asked for forgiveness. It was a Saturday.

For some reason, the message of forgiveness had never come to me. I must have heard it. It just never registered. All I knew of God was that he was demanding to the impossible degree. He wanted to send people to Hell.

The following day I went to church with my brother and heard and understood for the first time that God forgives. It was such a relief! And then I went right back into my self-righteous ways. Until I found myself in the same predicament three years later.

The message of God's forgiveness is preached all over the world. Yet the message most receive is that God is unforgiving, demanding, hard, old, unfair, uncaring, and a host of other horrible things. For this reason many people deny God, or even doubt he can exist. For even the most hardened person eventually must conclude that there can be no such God.

How do we make people understand that God forgives? I struggled with that for a long time. I have now discovered the answer.

We can't.

That is God's job, and he will do it in his own way, and in his own time, with each person individually. For some that means learning it as a child. Others must wait until they are much older. Even old, perhaps. To us that may seem unfair, but God is not unfair in anything he does. He not only factors in everything about a person when deciding what and when to do something, but he factors in everything about everyone and everything else, too.

Our job is to trust. Trust in God. Trust in his forgiveness. Trust in his mercy. Trust in his answers to prayer. Trust that he cares. Trust that all he has said is true and will come to pass. Trusting is how we run the race. It's how we finish the race.

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." Hebrews 10:36-38 New King James

Ephesians (chapter six) New King James Version

[10] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

[11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

[12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

[13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (emphasis mine)

[14] Stand therefore, having girded yo waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

[15] and having shod your feet with the preparation of hte gospel of peace;

[16] above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one.

[17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

[18] praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints -

I understand that some readers object to my calling Jesus, God - and vice versa. But there is only one God, people. Just the one. So no matter what name you call him, he is still God. Call him what you are used to calling him. He will hear, I am sure. Call in in the honesty of your heart, and he will hear. I do not doubt that at all. God forgives. Not because he doesn't care about the sin, but because he cares more about you and me. Before he even created the world he made it possible for all of us to be forgiven for the sins we had yet to commit. My Bible says he did that by becoming Jesus Christ. You call him what you will. But do accept that God is offering you forgiveness, and a future.

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