I’ve Seen How It Ends

Cindi Gale

Choose well who you believe and whose thoughts and ways you ingest. Your life is either for Him or against Him. You cannot serve two masters.

*Song credit and rights belong to Brandi Carlile.


If there were only one teaching in the Bible to guide you, and to assure your correctness in this chaotic time, let it be John 15.

Connect to and remain in the vine. He who is love, truth, and power shall flow through you. Apart from Him you can do nothing.

John 15 New International Version (NIV)

The Vine and the Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have…

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Solid Rock of Truth

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The current division of America is known around the world. The vote for the presidency this week only confirmed it. It won’t evaporate with a change in leadership because what divides us resides within our hearts and minds.

We look at the same statement, event, or set of circumstances, and take away a vastly different view of it. One person sees a small black and white animal and calls it a cat; another calls the same animal a skunk. Neither can understand how the other can be so wrong.

We are baffled by this state of tunnel-visioned polarization. I have been intrigued since it reared its ugly head well before our last election. Many times per week, for over four years, I’ve read articles and listened to people, trying to find the elusive cause. I’ve observed, pondered, and asked God for understanding.

In the end, I realize there are many reasons to account for our great divide, but it can be distilled to this:

People value truth or they do not.

Those who value truth, require it before they draw a conclusion.

Those who don’t, start with their preferred conclusion and stand by it despite the facts. Their priority is their ideology, even if it is an alternative reality, and they reject challenges based on truth.

It’s dangerous territory in the land of alternative reality.

It goes without saying that it lies. It divides. It inflames. It slanders. It misleads. Many are unaware, though, that it damages both the holder of the untruth and the people in their life.

The choice for baseless ideologies allows mentalies and behaviors to become unhinged, unfettered, and ungrounded. It’s a frightening path to nowhere good. The state of relationships and of our nation is proof.

Today, Alex Trebek passed away of pancreatic cancer. His long career as the host of Jeopardy was focussed exclusively on facts and truth. Of alternative reality ideologies, he said this, in an interview with the New York Times, before his death:


“There’s a certain comfort that comes from knowing a fact. The sun is up in the sky. There’s nothing you can say that’s going to change that. You can’t say, ‘The sun’s not up there, there’s no sky.’ There is reality, and there’s nothing wrong with accepting reality. It’s when you try to distort reality, to maneuver it into accommodating your particular point of view, your particular bigotry, your particular whatever — that’s when you run into problems.”

Trabek knew a thing or two about facts. So did Jesus, who said this:

“If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

And this:

“‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)

If Jesus, and therefore God, is truth, then isn’t it in our best interest to value truth? Can a person be careless and dismissive of any truth and still be faithful to God?

If truth doesn’t matter to a person, but God IS truth, then doesn’t that equate to God himself not mattering to that person?

If a person claims to be a child of God and to prioritize God, but they do not prioritize truth, are they actually who they believe themself to be?

On the other hand, if a person has not (yet?) recognized God as their Father, but they prioritize truth, could it be that God himself calls them his child? It’s not only possible; it is probable. God is Truth. Love Truth and a person automatically loves a core aspect of God.

Truth. God is Truth. Christ is Truth. On Christ the solid rock we stand, all other ground is sinking sand. The truth will set us free.

Don’t take truth lightly. It is the core quality of God himself.

To reject truth is to reject God. It is the stance on sinking sand. It is the place of captivity.

It is critical that each person stops to recognize the grave consequences of being careless or dismissive about truth.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:17
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

1 Peter 2:16

Live in freedom, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

2 John 1:1
The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth–and not I alone, but also all who know the truth–

By Choice, Never By Force

Where do I go when darkness overwhelms? Where do I go when evil abounds and hopelessness prevails? Where do I go when I am powerless to right what is wrong?

To the only one who will accept my collapse for a time into total dependency.

To the one who sheds light on what is dark … little by little, or all at once … it isn’t up to me but up to him.

To the one who brings me into a partnership, not puppetry as I once imagined of him.

To the one who changes my expectations and beliefs  — about almost everything — who corrects wrong-teaching acquired from birth forward, the misinformation about people and God, earth and heaven, death and life, evil and good, darkness and light.

Where do I go when I am fearful? 

To the one who believes in me, and proves it by stepping back and expecting me to implement his private tutorials, making life a practice session, a lab class to follow the didactic portion of his lessons.

Even when I whine, “Me? I want you to do it! I know you can do anything! Why can’t I be a puppet instead?” and beg, “No, no, you do it for me; injustice and trouble and opposition scare me!”

To the one who doesn’t give in to my arguments, and responds with, “No, I know you can do it. That is my way, asking you to put my instructions into practice. Wanting you to take the mind of Christ forward, step by step, day by day. Helping you to walk out life overturning evil with my laws and precepts, my love, my justice, my mercy.

To the one who stands firm despite my fears, and helps me understand his will despite my finite mind.

To the one who explains when I don’t understand, “I don’t coerce, I ask to be in partnership; it’s always your choice to do so or not. What is a person if they are only puppets and pawns? I value you, each and every one of you, I welcome you to join me in partnership … by choice, never by force.”

To the one who declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

I go to the one who makes it possible, to together …

Overturn evil with good.

Take back life from the clutch of death.

Release captives of the prince of darkness.

Turn mourning into gladness.

Demand justice where there was none.

Bring mercy, hope and love to deprived people.

Shed light on what is dark.

All of this and more … little by little, or all at once …  it’s not by our might nor by power, but by his Spirit. For he is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.

DSCN0261.jpg God is light, for blog

The Vine and the Branches

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John 15. The words of Jesus.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

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“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

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The World Hates the Disciples

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

The Work of the Holy Spirit

26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

You Call That Caring?

Cindi Gale

I know a lot of faithful Christians, some I’ve known for several decades. I’ve noticed something over the past ten to fifteen years …

Many are increasingly vengeful.

Oh, they don’t package their revenge with admission — they believe they are “caring for humanity”.

They say things like, “The world has become godless. Back when I was growing up, we respected our elders, we went to church with our parents, we honored our leaders and our nation, we saluted our flag, we were taught about God at school. Nowadays, it’s ‘anything goes, there is no discipline, there is no respect. We worry we will soon become a nation without God. We won’t be Christian anymore, we won’t have traditional families anymore. Our country was founded on Christianity. And English. So God blessed us. We know in the Word, that when we don’t put God first, He will no longer…

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Turning Lead Into Gold

Philosopher’s Stone

Van Morrison

Out on the highways and the byways all alone
I’m still searching for, searching for my home
Up in the morning, up in the morning out on the road
And my head is aching and my hands are cold
And I’m looking for the silver lining, silver lining in the clouds
And I’m searching for and
I’m searching for the philosopher’s stone
And it’s a hard road, It’s a hard road daddy-o
When my job is turning lead into gold
He was born in the back street, born in the back street Jelly Roll
I’m on the road again and I’m searching for
The philosopher’s stone

Can you hear that engine
Woe can you hear that engine drone
Well I’m on the road again and I’m searching for
Searching for the philosopher’s stone

Up in the morning, up in the morning
When the streets are white with snow
It’s a hard road, it’s a hard road daddy-o
Up in the morning, up in the morning
Out on the job
Well you’ve got me searching for
Searching for, the philosophers stone
Even my best friends, even my best friends they don’t know
That my job is turning lead into gold

When you hear that engine, when you hear that engine drone
I’m on the road again and I’m searching for the philosopher’s stone

It’s a hard road even my best friends they don’t know
And I’m searching for, searching for the philosopher’s stone

Songwriters: Van Morrison

https://www.vanmorrison.com/music/the-philosophers-stone

Nehemiah 9:6
“You alone are the Lord.
You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host,
The earth and all that is on it,
The seas and all that is in them.
You give life to all of them
And the heavenly host bows down before You.

John 1:3-4
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

Psalm 16:11
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Psalm 36:9
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.

Connect To The Vine

If there is one thing you learn in life, let it be this:

The Vine and the Branches

John 15  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

To Have and to Hold

Cindi Gale

To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. We are all familiar with this vow from Christian weddings.  

Most of us know people who have honored that vow. Couples who seem to have the best of luck, couples who seem to have the worst of luck — no matter what life throws at them, they endure it together.

We also know people who have not honored that vow. Couples who drift. Couples who are torn apart by life events, or infidelity or abuse by one or both partners. Couples who used to have “love is blind” vision of each other, whose casual comments warn of trouble:  “The way he chews his food grosses me out”; “She irritates the hell outta me” — those people don’t have the big issues to drive a wedge between them…

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Those Who Wait

Cindi Gale

A year ago ago this decade-old geranium was near death. I didn’t have the heart to dispose of it, so I nursed it instead, giving it a new pot and fresh soil, proper watering, and the prime sunny spot in the garage for the winter.

It’s been on my porch all summer, but today I looked up from my reading and actually saw it. It has more blooms than ever before. Half facetiously, I anthropomorphized my geranium. I was happy for it in a way that a parent is glad to see their child who has struggled so terribly finally flourish.

But this isn’t about my awesome, resilient, over-achieving child geranium. Look closely at the picture above, and see what I finally noticed as I crouched with my camera, centering and getting the light just right. That’s my dog photo bombing my geranium’s fifteen seconds of fame.

She was waiting…

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The Illusion of Invulnerability

Cindi Gale

The conservative Christian church contributed its solidarity, its endorsement, its resources, and its numbers to power the successful election of this presidency. They say Trump represents them, that he represents God. They say God endorsed him.

Those of us who also call ourselves Christians but disagree with the growing voice of American Christianity have a choice to make: join the crowd or not. We could have safety in numbers if we join. We could immediately alleviate the criticism we are enduring if we do.

“Join in, and you’ll be accepted. Don’t join in, and expect our rejection of you. Expect our chastisement of you. You are out of line with God. You are out of line with the Church. Our beliefs are right. Your beliefs are wrong. Let me correct you with scriptures. You are clearly wrong.”

(Have you noticed the increased use of that word “clearly” in the church…

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