Hypocrite

I picked up the pen and hesitated for a split second before signing the petition to reduce the speed limit in our neighborhood. I am not against reduced speed – not at all-  but have an extremely heavy foot.

When a while ago blue and read lights lit up behind me, I knew it wasn’t because I had accidentally hit my neighbor’s Christmas tree. I was incredibly grateful for the dark, since I was only several hundred feet from home. I am sure a few curtains parted and my neighbors were glad that the kind officer was finally catching the offenders. I fumbled for the registration and my license with my head hiding behind the dash. I felt like such a hypocrite.

Sometimes our hypocrisy can be seen for miles. Our two faces can be obvious to those around us and embarrassingly clear, even to ourselves. However, sometimes hypocrisy hides in the darkness of pretentiousness and selfishness.

Hypocrisy becomes most evident when we ignore the law, actually, when we ignore the intentions of the law. I sped because I didn’t care about my neighbors at that moment; I thought that the reason for my hurry was more important than the reason for the law, namely to keep kids safe.

Jesus told us that the most important law is to love God and love our neighbor(s). He said that loving God and others was the entire reason for the law. Jesus said He didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.

Unfortunately, I need the law. I need the reminder of my own shortcomings and hypocrisy. I also need the One who paid my fines and continues to give me grace – like that kind officer who gave me a warning … “this time!”. I wonder if he knew I had signed a petition?

Romans 10:4
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

Romans 12:9-10
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor”

 

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The Singing Tree

Far in the mountains, way up real high
Where the soil turns hard as stone,
Where cold grey meets the blue of the sky
A strong and rare tree had grown.

The roots drew deep, despite the tough ground
Through hardened circumstances
Strove and dug until water they found
Past harsh and cruel chances.

Within the tree no branch ever burst
Perfect wood maturing tall
Wood slowly was to purity nursed
Many years – then had to fall.

When it fell, a stunning sound was heard
Like the grand bell of a tow’r
Like a gorgeous song with grace-filled words
Then grew still in all its pow’r.

A carver took the wood from the hill
Made an instrument fine and rare
Then played a song, for it was his will
That this wood be in His care.

Friend, so are you in your suffering.
In Christ your wood turns to song
So all who can hear will with you sing –
That Jesus makes weak things strong.

“Lord, let my circumstances bring me to a place of surrender. Help me to know that I am growing today into what you have me be tomorrow. Help me understand that I can rest in my imperfection and in the imperfection of others. Help me be patient with the process, knowing that you faithfully finish what you have started.”

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 (ESV)

(Poem and prayer by Heidi Viars, 2019, Pictures by my sister Moni. Danke!
The poem was inspired by “Der Klang”, Martin Schleske)

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“Hey, You Can Write!”

About a year ago, I came across an amazing mentoring program and encouragement for writers called, Hey, You Can Write! – hosted by Chris Fabry.

Hey, You Can Write! has become a vital part of my writing and has had a huge impact on me. I thought today would be a great day to share it with you!

Chris Fabry is a published author of more than 80 books. He is also the host of Chris Fabry Live (a talk show on Moody Radio, Chicago). At Hey, You Can Write! he shares much needed encouragement with writers, beginners as well as those who have been writing for years.

Chris tutors through weekly video and audio clips. He is not only knowledgeable but incredibly up-liting. He understands the opposition writers face and helps with practical advice. On many occasions I received the boost I needed there.

While shopping for deals today, maybe stop by his place and take a look.

Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Go Home

Why do you wander so aimlessly,
My soul, far away from home?
Have you been evicted shamelessly
By lies … and were made to roam?

Your walls, your dignity, once were strong
Now broken, and occupied
By worries and fears of being wrong –
By evil and sland’rous lies.

Run back in a hurry! Take your stand!
Believe now what God has said
He paid for your home – secured the land
All claims by others are dead

None may slander – steal honor from you,
Nor take strength and dignity.
Go home with Christ and with Him rule
He’s your grace and holds your key!

(Inspired by Martin Schleske, Der Klang, S. 114-115)

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:33-39 (ESV)

(Poem and pictures, Heidi Viars, 2019)

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Attachments

There is one question I am repeatedly asked at church and other places,

“It’s been five years since you have adopted. Are things easier now?”

Many times I give the short answer and nod my head.

The fact is that many things have gotten easier. However, many more things have gotten much harder.

In the beginning, when we tried mushing a family of five together with a family of three, we were so much more graceful with each other. We knew we needed space and tried to put on a good show. While we knew in our minds we were family, our hearts were not attached and bonds needed to grow. We kept our tempers in check and instinctively knew this was going to be hard. But then, slowly over time, as we were trying to figure out the new “us”, and almost unnoticeable, something terrifying happened: We started to attach and care for each other!

Loving relationships are dangerous business. They have the potential to hurt, a lot. Through them people attach to our hearts and can cause havoc. At times they may cause us to build walls. However, without this audacious endeavor of truly attaching we may forfeit the reward of real and proven love.

I am reminded of the Lord who attached Himself to a cross and died a cruel death. He did this because He had no greater joy than to attach us to the Father’s love. His death made the greatest provision for us: He paid for our sins to take down the wall that had built between the Father’s heart and ours. In His resurrection He proved that nothing could keep us separated, not even the power of death.

In Christ and in His love we can grow in a loving relationships toward God and one another – and may even take a risk or two … or three.

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

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UNKNOWN (Five Minute Friday)

My husband and I sat in the large meeting room. There was a incredible tension in the room, an anticipation, a fear of the unknown. In a few minutes we were to meet three kids that would change our lives forever.

Home studies were finished, interviews done, many hours of talking and contemplating had passed. We were armed with little photo books of our lives, snippets of who we were, trying to convince three lives that it might be a good idea to take a leap into a forever family, into yet another unknown for them.

We heard foot steps and the first day of the rest of the greatest unknown unfolded.

I am linked up with Five Minute Friday. You can check it out here.

FMF Writing Prompt Link-up :: Unknown

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Dying toward Life

The maple seed it twirls around
On wings of snowy gusts
Up over roofs it spins about
Goes where the wind it thrusts.

Its journey-end I cannot see
Nor grasp where it will lie.
It knows that new life comes to be
Through willing seeds that die.

“Oh, Lord, that I would always know 
That you’re the wind beneath 
That I would gladly die and go 
Toward where you’re planting me. 

May it not be that I should live 
To make death my great goal  
But die toward life that you will give –
 Serve there and rest my soul.”

Truly, truly, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. 
John 12:24-26 (Jesus)
~
(Poetry and pictures, Heidi Viars, 2019)

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