The Write Place- Curtis Bruce Kessler

April 25, 2012

Telling the Truth

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 4:56 pm
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The day had come for report cards to be handed out.  This was the day I was dreading.

I knew that I had some bad grades and just couldn’t face my dad. He was working so hard and I didn’t want to see the disappointment on his face. So, I decided to take matters into my own hand.  I went home and practiced signing his signature.  Yep, I practiced and practiced. Soon, I had his signature down pat.  The next morning I hurriedly signed on the line for parents and put the report card in my coat pocket.  I tried to convince myself that everything was cool but the card was a heavy reminder beating slowly against my chest.  I stopped to eat breakfast at my Aunt’s house before heading to school.  While sitting at the table the card somehow tumbled out of my pocket and before I could do anything she snatched it up. To my embarrassment she read my grades.  I tried to become invisible. Then she noticed the signature.  Where was Houdini when you needed him!  With a twinkle in her eye said, “Good job with the signature honey but there is one wee problem.  You signed your name and not your dad’s!”  Dad had to come over and boy telling him the truth was really difficult.  But, what a relief once I did.

Telling the truth should be the high standard every day, right? Well, not so fast. All around us we witness politicians, entertainers, talk show hosts, athletes, news broadcasters, reporters, and spouses fail miserably with this principle. Truth telling has become our preverbal thorn-in-the-flesh.  We seem to think that the whole truth will hurt too much.  Our tendency in those moments of anxiety is to tell half the truth or gloss over it just a bit.  We want to give truth a make over. Our desire is to smooth what we may feel is truth’s sharp potentially hurtful edge.  Instead of a square pill we want to turn truth into an oval shaped pill that way we or the person we are talking to can swallow it easier.

Everywhere and everyday we expect people to tell the truth.

We demand truth from our congressmen, our president, our news media, our co-workers, our supervisors, our CEO’s, our teachers, our doctors, our policemen, our neighbors, our spouses, and our children.   Yet, the highest and greatest emphasis for telling the truth is the church.  The world should be able to look to Christians for stability in this area. As the church we are the light of the world and salt of the earth (Mt.5:13-14).

Yet, sadly, the church that the world sees more times than not are people just like them, cowering, rationalizing, and many times withholding truth selfishly. In fact by refusing to tell the truth, by watering down truth, by avoiding telling the truth, the salt that once had great influence is slowly becoming less potent and effective.  Why should the world be moved by people who will not even tell the truth to each other or confess to one another their faults?  Why would our communities be swayed by a standard we refuse to practice or aspire to live among ourselves?

Christ preached truth and said that his truth will set us free (Jn.8:32).  The standard is set before us in Eph.4:25 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” When an offense has occurred among church members then Christ compels believers to act in love and confess their faults to each other.  

When you tell the truth in this way Christ will tear down walls (strongholds) of bitterness, anger, frustration, doubt, sin, fear, anxiety, prejudice, faulty ideas, and stinking thinking.  When you have these barriers removed then real meaningful relationships can occur. Jesus promises that in these moments “where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I among them.” (Mt.18:20). This is real freedom and genuine fellowship.

If you desire this then a good place to start is by telling the truth.  It could be revolutionary.

Bruce

April 5, 2012

Every Second Counts

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 5:46 pm
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The elderly women are excited about the planned lunch party.  All their church friends will be there.  Good food, good companions, along with some great conversations; what more could a person ask for?

Eagerly they pile in their car and head strait way to the restaurant.  On the trip over they are all just having the best time in the world- laughing, singing, and teasing.  All are celebrating and enjoying the golden years of their life.  Life couldn’t be better.

The restaurant is now just around the corner.  You could smell the wonderful food from this point.  Pulling into the left turning lane they wait with anticipation as two tractor trailers pass by.  Delighted they turn to cross the highway.

Their true story ends in tragedy. They pull right in the path of an on-coming vehicle.  Within seconds two of the women died. One was ejected from the vehicle and the other received massive head injuries.  The other passengers suffered devastating injuries. Even more heart-breaking was the fact that no one had their seat-belts on.What would have taken just a few seconds to click was disregarded or through the excitement was put off.

I want you to imagine with me for a moment.  Instead of the ‘elderly women’ I want you to pretend that this is your family getting ready for a fast trip to the restaurant.  Yes, a fun filled glorious day out with the family.  This occasion is even more special because time is short, life is busy, and these are the quality times we live for.  We are all in the car now; everyone is giggling, laughing, and singing all the lame songs we always love to sing.  Excited and filled with anticipation we make the turn to cross the highway to enter the parking lot of our favorite restaurant.

BANG!

Unbelievably, as time moves in slow-motion, we remember too late that our seatbelts are not on and that the children are not properly fastened. Oh, how we wish we could have those precious seconds back! Disaster, tragedy ensues. We failed to fully protect our family.

True, having your seatbelt on carries no guarantee that you will survive every wreck.  You won’t find that kind of assurance anywhere.  What we do have however are hard facts, real evidence, and common sense.  Seatbelts do save.  What will you do for your family, for your friends, or for yourself?  Every second reveals the intent of your heart. 

Let’s apply this spiritually.

These Biblical facts cry out for our attention:

a. We will all die and then face the judgment. Hebrew 9:27

b. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:24

c. Christ is the only name by which we can be saved. Acts 4:12

d. We must take care of every living moment and live wisely.  Ephesians 5:15-16

e. We must obey the laws of the Government. Romans 13:1-2

f. Christ is the only one that offers complete assurance. 1 John 5:13

g. Through baptism we put on Christ. Galatians 3:27

Putting on Christ is like the seatbelt- every second reveals the intentions of your heart. Christ is our seatbelt of security and full assurance.  In our spiritual journey we will be facing demonic assaults and dangers from every angle.  Are you fastened securely in His Grace or are you driving down that highway of life without protection?  What will you do for your family, for your friends, or for yourself?  Have you put on Christ? Every second counts.

Humbly, Bruce

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