I have a story to tell you – not really a STORY, but something I really need to share with you today.
It’s about my dad. It’s about me. It’s a story about things that happen in our lives that form, change or solidify things that we value (or don’t) in life. It’s also about Jesus.
As always, it’s about Jesus.
Recently I felt the need to apologize to my face book friends, because I had found myself sharing not only big picture things about deception and corruption I see in our world but specific things about our current presidential candidates. That is not something that was coming across well, and it is probably largely because of two things:
- My own anger and emotion was coming through.
- All of us right now are feeling a bit emotional about this election in the United States and the candidates especially.
In light of that, I feel strongly that many of the folks who are on my face book and also read my blog should know a few things about me. I want for you to know where I was coming from.
BUT – I also do NOT want to minimize that I have still been in the wrong to allow my anger to seep in to what I share.
So please know that. This is about giving folks a little bit of insight that they may never have had before in regard to myself and what drives me to share things.
My father served in the United States Air Force for almost 20 years. He was dedicated to this country and the constitution, upholding the law, protecting us from evil things and corruption. He sacrificed a lot – including ultimately, his own life.
There were many things the man just could not tell us – and he told me that. There were also things he could tell me, later in life – because I too, worked for the government with a certain level of secret security clearance. The few things he COULD tell all of us hit us like a ton of bricks (it did me, at least). You could see it in his eyes how very important it was that we remember these things.
- Things like what totalitarianism and dictatorships can mean for people.
- Things about terrorists – their ideologies, philosophies and goals to destroy.
- Things about the methods of Satan and all the very real things that enemy seeks to do to human kind.
- Things that were going on even back then – under the surface – in our very own government – that our current President at the time was fighting AGAINST.
He taught us about the good things too. This was not a man led astray easily. He was (and I truly don’t say this just because he was my dad) BEYOND INTELLIGENT. He was wise. He sought after Jesus with all his heart, mind and soul. Like most of us, he had his times in which he became a bit lost – or couldn’t find a good church to attend, and even fell away a bit in his relationship with His Savior.
But he always came back. Especially toward the end of his life. He told me the last time that I saw him how very important Jesus was and our relationship to him. He told me that I might go through times that were extremely dark and difficult but to rely upon JESUS through it all. He told me that is the place he was in – after all he’d seen and experienced – and that he saw how easy it was to get caught up and grief stricken about the darkness we see around us.
He told me to always remember during those times the following two words: BUT GOD.
He had almost a photographic memory, so not much was lost on him. He looked at all sides of things and made up his own mind as to where he would stand firm for himself. He was not brainwashed. He carried experiences and things with him he couldn’t share with anyone close to him – only with Jesus.
So, I feel very strongly about a few things in regard to national security and especially terrorism. I feel strong feelings regarding corruption – in government and in other leaders in our world too. I won’t go into that at this time, but trust me – I have my reasons. And they are SOLID.
But more so – I feel compelled at times to bring to the surface the things I see in the enemy – the real enemy – who hides in the shadows and tries to trick us. Always, Christ’s truth and love is what is most important to me. But sometimes we have to be willing to go deeper into the mud before we can free ourselves from the pit.
Lt. Col James Michael Basile was killed in El Salvador in 1987. Ironically, although he was working there to deal with some corruption issues and saw and dealt with first hand what the terrorists in central america were trying to do, he died on a routine rescue mission in a helicopter.
He was in his early forties.
Right before he died (a couple of months prior) he had come home to us in Panama for a rest. The man was despondent. He had just seen something horrific happen (due to terrorists) that I cannot even repeat here.
Friends of his died. Families broken. Human sensitivities to such things only can withstand so much. He was pretty tapped out.
But he still got up.
He got up and he showed up for all the normal little things we, his family were going through at the time. My brother’s graduation from high school. Some activities my other brother was involved in. Family time and family dinners.
Then he had to go back to El Salvador. Alone. And I could see the deep grief and sadness in his eyes the morning he left.
That was the last time we got to see James, “Jimmy” Basile alive.
We all wrote a letter to him for Father’s Day that year. We each wrote a paragraph or two and mailed it to him from Panama, where we were living comfortably. This was one of the things that I was deeply worried and concerned about when we found out he died….
Did he get the letter and was it opened?
We did find out later that yes – it was in his apartment and was opened. I still have that letter today and treasure it.
This gives me peace and I believe with all my heart that it was a gift that God gave to me at the time.
My point is this – friends, we all have things that have happened in our lives that we feel pretty emotional about. We have things that have formed, solidified, or utterly blown apart certain values we hold dear.
Some of us are called by Jesus to share His love and His truth. Sometimes the truth part as to what Jesus tells us is really going on all around us isn’t pretty or comfortable.
Jesus went all the way to the cross for that and more. But He did it IN LOVE.
BUT…..we are little humans. We are sinful creatures. It is easy for the enemy to sneak up on us and get us to focus on one thing more than the other.
- The Ugly Truth OR….
- The Beautiful Love.
- OR the distorted truth and/or the distorted love – the counterfeit ones.
I say this a lot because I really mean it: When it comes to JESUS’ truth and love, it’s not either/or. It is meant to be both/and.
But sometimes we have to choose to emphasize one over the other at certain times. That’s what listening to the Holy Spirit can do for us. That’s what being in tune with the Lord does – it helps us to discern whether to do both/and or either/or at just the right time.
The Holy Spirit, our Helper – helps us to know when we are falling off course and helps us to correct our footing. Also, we are helped to stand firm when needed if we only seek the Lord in prayer and lay it at HIS feet each and every day.
Right now, although I feel strongly that I am called by Jesus Christ to share BOTH His truth and His love, it is HIS, not mine. And if it becomes tainted with myself, my own “feelings” or anger, it’s time to listen to correction and change course.
And I am now moving into a place where He is asking me to share more about the love than anything else – without sacrificing His truth – not by any stretch of the imagination!
Always with and in HIS love.
At times the Lord puts it in my heart to get tough and share the things that aren’t so nice to hear, but are true. At times, He asks me to share nothing but encouragement and light. At times, He asks me to do both. But when my human sensitivities start to get in the way, that’s when it all just becomes corrupted by the enemy.
I told you in my post the other day – it’s a conspiracy. And often what I write about is something – a spiritual war I am waging myself, or a thing Christ is working on within me – right at that very moment.
- It’s not because I am enlightened and “past” the attacks myself.
- It’s not because I have some awesome wisdom or knowledge that others don’t have.
- It’s not because I am on the other side of it and not waging the war myself.
It’s quite the opposite of these things I just listed in most of the things that I write, dear friends.
That’s the whole point. I write about what Jesus is showing me about these things in my own life and sometimes I feel He urges me to share it.
Right now, when I look around myself – I see things the way I think my dad did at certain times in his life. He dug deep. That man dug for gold in others around him and he also dug for truth – even when it wasn’t pleasant. He didn’t hide his head in the sand but he didn’t forget that we have to love one another at the same time that we seek the truth.
Of late, I have felt so strongly to share with others that Jesus tells us to remain watchful – because there will be so many coming in His name to deceive – because the enemy is walking around – prowling – waiting to devour.
What I see right now is that maybe once in a while I need to do quite the opposite at times such as these.
Maybe when I see how utterly deceived we are – we are soooooo being led astray – instead of sharing what I see, I am to share more of the light and the love again.
I don’t know. I am in prayer about it like I haven’t been about something in a long time.
BUT GOD –
But God will reveal Himself to us – those who seek Him – even in the ugly.
And for now? I have only to remember one thing if and when I am conflicted or in a place where it feels like I have to choose between truth and love:
It is both/and. But it needs to always be done in love.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13