Think Like A Winner

Cindi Gale

It’s easy to say, “Don’t be afraid” of the global Covid-19 spread. It’s more difficult to maintain a state of trust when its effects have reached your life. Parents are scrambling to find daycare with school closures. People have lost their sole sources of incomes while their work places are closed or staffing significantly reduced. Life savings invested in businesses or in stocks are reducing by the hour.

And these things are just a few of the peripheral effects of the Coronavirus. The fear is real for people who have no health insurance; with compromised, chronic health issues; who care for children or adults with those issues; or are older adults. We know the virus is directly more threatening to those demographics.

It’s not that I haven’t been impacted personally, because I have. I empathise with those who are experiencing fear, but I have not felt it myself. I think…

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What Power Is This?

Cindi Gale

Easter Sunday is less than three weeks away. What is represents was never meant to be a one-day observation, but the gift that keeps on giving.

What was the purpose of Jesus’s death and resurrection? He did it for us to be his. For us to be adopted, to be heirs to his throne, heirs of his kingdom.

Not just in heaven one day, but on Earth as well. Now. Know the truth of it. Know the power of it.

The power of his resurrection. It is power to heal, to create, to know, to understand. Not all things, as only God does, but as much as he is willing to trust us with. As much as we are willing to pursue and become consecrated for. As much as we stay determined to believe in, regardless the delays and events transpiring that appear contrary to who he is.

Do we…

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Love All-In

My favorite part of “The Chronicles of Narnia” series is the love between Lucy and Aslan.

He is the depiction of Jesus. And of God. He is massive. Powerful. Immutable. His ferocity is frightening to others.

But not to Lucy. She loves him. She buries her face in the beautiful silkiness of his mane, riding high over the mountains of Narnia. Death is certain should she fall, but she is undaunted. Settled on his broad shoulders, her fists clutch that golden mane. Because it is Aslan that carries her, Lucy is carefree.

Aslan, riding Aslan, for blog

His frame is strong. Unwavering. Secure. Unassailable. He never falters. Never misleads her. Never abandons her. He never lowers her to earth anywhere short of stable, sheltered ground.

Aslan and Lucy face to face

He is insulating. He speaks to her softly, words rich in wisdom. All at once, his heart a blend of tenderness, intensity, and protectiveness. In there also, his own pain.

And so she loves him.


An excerpt of their reunion, from “Prince Caspian”: The Return to Narnia …

And then—oh joy! For he was there: the huge Lion, shining white in the moonlight, with his huge black shadow underneath him.

But for the movement of his tail he might have been a stone lion, but Lucy never thought of that. She never stopped to think whether he was a friendly lion or not. She rushed to him. She felt her heart would burst if she lost a moment. And the next thing she knew was that she was kissing him and putting her arms as far round his neck as she could and burying her face in the beautiful rich silkiness of his mane.

Aslan and Lucy reunion cropped

“Aslan, Aslan. Dear Aslan,” sobbed Lucy. “At last.”

The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws. He bent forward and just touched her nose with his tongue. His warm breath came all round her. She gazed up into the large wise face.

“Welcome, child,” he said.

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”

“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.

“Not because you are?”

“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”


C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia The Chronicles of Narnia (1951, this edition Harper Collins, 1994) 141.

I Wish You Knew …

An unprecedented number of Americans are declining to participate in organized religion. (See “America’s Changing Religious Landscape”, Pew Research Center, link below.)

Is it any wonder that people are rejecting church attendance, given the last decade’s convergence of religion and politics in a large sector of American Christianity? Why would people be drawn to religion when what they know about church (and therefore think of God) is what they witness on public platforms? Why would anyone be drawn to God when people who claim to represent him think and behave as they do?

To you who are understandably and rightfully turned off from this growing branch of American Christianity …

I wish you knew that “those people” are nothing like God.

I wish you knew that unrighteous people sometimes affiliate with a religious institution for selfish agendas and personal gain, not to worship God.

I wish you knew unscrupulous people sometimes exploit religion as a cover to control others, to shut them down with handpicked, out-of-context scriptures.

I wish you knew this usury has gone on since biblical days, and that Jesus had harsh words for people such as these. The sinless, ever-loving son of God wasn’t all sweetness and acceptance — while he gave “sinners” a pass, he boldly confronted hard-hearted, legalistic believers, calling them “you brood of vipers”, “snakes”, and “sons of Satan”.

Many of these religious people own the podium today — they pursued their platform and got what they wanted. Their numbers have swelled, and with it their sense of confidence and correctness. We hear from them regularly that they are right and the rest of the world is wrong.

This segment of Christianity has positioned themselves as the door through which everyone else must pass to access God — they have formed a united front to separate others from the love of God

For those of you observing it all, know this:

All Christians are not the same.

It’s not only non-Christians those people condemn, they also reject Christians who don’t conform to their beliefs. There are many who are alarmed and appalled at it. It was much different before politics insidiously infiltrated our churches. Services used to be about honoring God. In many churches it has become “us” verses “them”, and “right” verses “left”. Anger- and arrogant-tinged monologue that used to be considered wrong is now applauded.

There are many exceptions, to be sure. Many churches and individuals have not been swept into this trend; they have resisted conforming to a contaminated amalgam of theology, agendas, pride, politics, and appetite for power. I know many, many people who have attended their churches for decades, some for their whole lives; they and their churches have not changed. They are busy living life and making positive, genuine contributions to the world.

Another thing you should know:

God has not changed.  

For those who have run the other way from Christianity, I wish you knew the immeasurable loss of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”. Throw out the contaminated water of fraudulent religion, but don’t throw out God with it.

I wish you knew that God offers to be your lifeline, your air, your shelter, your sustenance.

I wish you knew you don’t have to go through “those people”. Humans are not the gatekeepers to God, regardless their claims, demands, or puffed-up display of authority.

The truth is …

No person or thing can separate anyone from the love of God. 

Romans 8: 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

I Will Tell Them Plainly

Cindi Gale

If you haven’t spent time alone with Him to know Him …

If you haven’t heard directly from Him what His thoughts are …

If you haven’t studied His eyes and heart until you understand His feelings …

yellow animal eyes furIf you’ve only consumed theologies and teachings about Him …

No matter how many weeks and months and years and decades you spent feeding at the table of your religion …

If you learned the scriptures that support your existing opinions and ignore the ones that would disrupt them …

Then … 

You only know man’s interpretations and beliefs about Him, or …

You know your own “truths”.

You know mission statements.

You know your specific group’s theology.

You know your specific church’s or denomination’s culture.

You call “true” what your people tell you to call “true”.

You call “right” what your people tell you to call “right”.

But is it what…

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Then The King Will Say …

Cindi Gale

Matthew 25:31-46

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked…

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Rectitude

In America at this time in history, countless people have formed their stances based on two offerings: Option A or Option B. They founded their lives upon their selections, such as:

  • Republican or Democrat
  • pro-white or pro-people of color
  • traditional values or nontraditional
  • familiar or unfamiliar
  • nationalism or internationalism
  • power or weakness
  • religious or secular
  • predator or prey
  • oppressor or oppressed
  • us versus them

They failed to even realize they could have said no. They lacked the wisdom to decline the choices as posed to them. They should have known that something much better — something supreme — is available to found their lives upon.

People failed to realize they could just choose God. Christians failed to realize it.

People who claim to be Christian, but chose an alternative to God, turned their backs on Him. Once the substitute was in their committed grasp, they quickly took on the qualities of their chosen alternative.

How did God get overlooked by so many self-proclaimed Christians? How have so many come to be deceived, believing themselves aligned with God when in truth they rejected Him long ago?

The veil has been removed from the Church, and it is evident who, like the Pharisees of old, chose godless options over God.

Conversely, people who do actually know God, who always choose God, recognized and rejected the decoys and lures. They refused the substitutes.

People’s hearts are now on display for all to see. It is evident who chose Christ as their sole foundation. He alone is the rock upon which they stand. From that solid grounding comes knowledge of truth, certainly of right and wrong, and eminence of character and strength.

That strength is drastically different than the exhibition of violence that happened in the USA on January 6, 2021.

Strength from those whose feet are embedded in the solid rock of Christ is immovable, unflappable, impenetrable. A person who has himself or herself been refined in the fires by God, is strong like a crucible, a vessel capable of enduring and holding hot, melting ores, a person capable of keeping their composure in even densely concentrated evil. As a crucible is strong, they are strong. They hold firm; they defend correctness, they don’t attack it.

People whose feet seek the solid rock of Christ, who embed those feet on the foundation of God alone, resemble God himself. They are planted in the Lord, oaks of righteousness for the display of His splendor. They are vessels of His qualities, including:

  • Truth
  • Justice
  • Righteousness
  • Supernatural power
  • Rocklike strength
  • Correctness
  • Uprightness
  • Self control
  • Respect
  • Honor
  • A light to expose darkness
  • Virtuousness
  • Rectitude

God is the definition of rectitude, and anyone truly founded in God alone becomes the definition of rectitude as well.

Rectitude

1: the quality or state of being straight

2: moral integrity: righteousness

3: the quality or state of being correct in judgment or procedure

Synonyms & Antonyms of rectitude

  1. conduct that conforms to an accepted standard of right and wrong

Synonyms for rectitude

Words Related to rectitude

A person founded on substitutions instead of God, has chosen idols. They resemble what they chose instead of God:

Near Antonyms for rectitude

Antonyms for rectitude

2. faithfulness to high moral standards

Synonyms for rectitude

Words Related to rectitude

Near Antonyms for rectitude

Antonyms for rectitude

In His Shadow

Cindi Gale

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you

from the fowler’s snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes

and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”

and you…

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Rule-Bound

2021 is just days away. Moving into it can be viewed as a portal or gate — imagine a TSA checkpoint at an airport. What if the qualification of passing from our current status to the one we are meant to be in is that we must shed some luggage? — only those who are traveling light can pass through. Would we do it, or would we stay behind, unwilling to comply? What if it was God who defined those terms, and the requirements were personalized? Image result for TSA, person with tons of luggage

I know most people from church culture would say, “Of course, to love God is to obey God, I always do.” But what people say and what people do are often very different. I have traveled many miles, so to speak, with people who claimed God as their priority, and commander and King, but witnessed them unwilling to leave behind their massive pile of luggage at the TSA checkpoint. Had they only left it, as asked and encouraged, they could have passed through to what God had planned for them (plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give hope and a future). 

But alas, their priority was there in their luggage.

Although they begged the TSA agents, and tried to claim, “I’m with him” or “I’m with her”, with intentions to sneak in with someone who willingly shed all that God asked, they were left behind. 

Image result for person with tons of luggageWith their piles of luggage.

Believing they were treated unfairly.

Resenting those who got through the checkpoint and quickly moved out of sight. Inventing something to condemn them, to justify discreditation or dismissal of the forward movers. 

All the while turning a blind eye to the clearly-stated signs at the airport, those personalized stipulations meant for them, too, but conveniently ignored, the posted requirements that those who passed through did comply with.

Deciding themselves victims, not causes of their own circumstances. Dejected and angry, they gather their piles of suitcases and drag them back home. There they unpack the bags to inspect item after item, relishing their worth, reinforcing their decision to hold tight to them. Arguing with God, but not calling it so: believing themselves “right” and the travelers “wrong”. Making themselves feel better by bashing the blameless. Redefining themselves as “the staid”, “the consistent”, “the pillars”, “the holy”, and by compare calling the innocents who traveled forward “rebels”, “flashes in the pan”, “backsliders”, “amoral”.

Which is understandable, perhaps, considering human nature, and maybe not the end of the story for the noncompliant. As long as they don’t settle in where they are and continue to lunge for the future. As long as they look for the Lord’s pillar of cloud by day to guide them on their way, and pillar of fire by night to give them light, as the Israelites wandering the desert did, they may yet come to the passage to their promised land.

But keep in mind, God doesn’t conform to people, people must conform to him. Don’t expect him to change his terms for each person; expect the requirements and enforcements to be unchanged. As long as each is intent on hearing directly from the Holy Spirit and no other voice (including their own), they may yet hear and obey and perhaps even catch up with those who traveled before them.

But why do it the difficult way when it can be done with ease? Why refuse to comply and play all those mind games to hide misplaced idolatry? (It’s not as hidden as you imagine, by the way.) Why forego the good things that would have come with simple obedience and singular godship? 

If God asks us to see it his way, or do it his way, then do it. Do that over and over as often as he asks, and expect to ultimately arrive at portals and gates of things new, things wonderful, things grand, things possible only with God.

We can fake “the promised land”, “blessed”, and “favored” only until the real deal comes along, then the fake is overshadowed by the brilliant light of those who truly loved enough to obey, and who ultimately were planted by God as oaks of righteousness for the display of his splendor.

We can keep all those bags full of our preferred values, ideals, worldview, people, theologies, paradigms, prejudices, material things, and more — whatever it is we value more than him, and stay in the familiar world we like to control. But, don’t fool ourselves that we’ve arrived at the best stuff. 

For those who have been trimmed and thrashed and forged and refined by fires; for those who have loved and obeyed: through the TSA gate they go. They may only have wee little backpacks with next to nothing inside, but they have willingly thrown off everything that hinders. Their eyes are fixed on hope and a marvelous future. They know who God is; they let him be the commander or King or father or coach or any of his many roles in their lives, and they are headed to all things good. 

My friend, if God asks you to drop a suitcase or two or three or fifteen, don’t be a fool. Do what he asks. Travel light. There ain’t no other way to go through to the real deal. Image result for person with small backpack going through airport

Philippians 3:7.  I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.

Jeremiah 29:11 .  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Exodus 13:21 .  By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

Isaiah 61:3   and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Hebrews 12:1-2 . Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 

The Truth About Light

Darkness hates the light, because light overcomes it.

In good times and in bad, look for light. Call for God who is light. In Him is no darkness at all.

Darkness disguises itself as light. It dangles carrots, hoping you will bite. It promises power, control, winning. Once you take the bait, it overtakes, inch by inch. Give it an inch and it takes a mile of who you used to be.

Darkness is furious; it is reckless; it is demanding. It seeks to steal, kill, and destroy others. It seeks to steal, kill, and destroy you.

Darkness tells you it is all-powerful. In reality, darkness is not the boss of your life. You are the sole decision-maker of your body, soul and spirit. Disavow darkness. Take captive every thought to bring it into submission to God, for he is light, and light will overcome your darkness.

Resist darkness, and it will flee, for you, not it, are the owner and master of your life. Demand it go away. Refuse to believe it, focus on it, and yield to it.

Darkness go. Come light, come. Come to dispel darkness. Come and overtake darkness. Darkness wins only if you allow it. But if you choose light; if you search for light; if you welcome light; if you plea for light, He will come.

And your darkness will be overcome.

1 John 1: 5  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 

John 1: 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Micah 7: 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.

Psalm 18: 28 You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.