Where Does Your Truth Come From?

This is a theme I often speak about, because it is fundamental to every person’s journey into reality and their discovery of what is truly BEST in their life. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is sure

they are right! Yet opinions differ even to the point of violent contradiction. So “opinion” is not a good source of Truth.

So…. Where does YOUR truth come from?

There are only three broad sources of truth: Human Thought; Divine Revelation; Alternative

Spiritual Sources.

Most people rely on Human Reasoning, their mental faculties, their sense for what is right and

best, expert opinions, scientific analysis, popular opinion, and so on. These people rely on Human

Thought as their source of truth. Is that a reliable source of truth?

Well, if it was, we could expect all people who thought about something to come to the same

conclusions, over and over again. If Human Thought is the source of truth then there would be

almost universal agreement, especially among those given to analytical thought, reflection and

study.

Is that what we find? Absolutely not!

What we find is that just about everyone has a different opinion

about every conceivable topic. Arguments, contentions and wars are commonly based on

conflicting ideas of what is right and wrong, or the best way to do things. Clearly Human Thought is a complete failure as a reliable source of truth.

Note, however, that people commonly elevate THEIR OWN thinking as superior to that of the

people around them. Pride in the human heart is the reason so many people look to their own

thoughts, or their own preferred mix of expert opinions, as their source of truth.

Divine Revelation is another source of truth, which has been commended by common people as well

as kings and queens of nations. Multiplied millions of people have attested to the remarkable value of

the Bible as their source of truth. So, what would make Divine Revelation a worthy source of truth? Simply, because it is DIVINE. With God as our creator, He is eminently qualified to give wisdom, direction, understanding and truth to otherwise ignorant human minds.

Now, if Divine Revelation is a reliable source of truth we would find people from diverse cultures,

in different periods of history, of different personality, age and sex who all find the Bible’s contents valuable and infallible.

Is that what we find? Yes, Absolutely!

I have chosen to base my life on Divine Revelation, as given through the Bible. That is where my truth

comes from, as you will see in the various things I write and share.

The third source of “truth” is found in Alternative Spiritual Sources. This is where people look to

individuals or processes which promise to bring them insight and direction but not from human or

divine sources. Various forms of witchcraft, occult and new age practices seek to draw on input from

these alternative spiritual sources. If Alternative Spirituality is a reliable source of truth its devotees would come up with the leading outcomes in human experience, and the most effective wisdom for the whole gamut of human society.

Is that what we find? Absolutely not!

What we find in the devotees of gurus or spiritual processes which promise enlightenment and true truth, is that they withdraw from the mainstream of life, often developing bizarre thoughts and lifestyles and inclined toward destructive actions and outcomes.

You are finding your truth in either Human Thinking, Divine Revelation through the Bible, or

Alternative Spirituality.

So… Where does YOUR truth come from?

Parenting – the Silent Years!

Some parents are very verbal, while others are not. Usually one parent is noisier than the other, more ready to speak up and say their piece. But in family life, even with the “noisy” parents, there are long times of silence. Over a life-time those silent moment accumulate into years – the “silent years” of parenting.

I recall travelling with my dad when I was a preschooler. We lived in an outback, country setting and my dad built houses in some pretty out-of-the-way places. He would drive miles along a dirt road, turn into a track that was barely noticeable, drive for miles across farm paddocks, opening gates, driving over cattle grates and finally coming to an isolated spot where he was building a new homestead for someone. His apprentice would be the only other person there, unless I came along for the ride.

Dad would sing songs and tease me at times. But many miles were traveled in silence. On the job site there were times when dad and his “chippy” apprentice would brew a cup of tea and talk about things, involving me in their banter. But most of the day I was on my own, watching dad work, but mostly wandering around and amusing myself.

In fact, over the years there were many times and places when dad was there, but no words were spoken. At the beach he would join in swimming or playing at times, but many hours passed with him reading or snoozing. On long drives, after we had sung all the songs and tired of our chatter, my brothers and I would trundle along in silence, just watching the world roll by.

Those “silent” times didn’t need talk. They weren’t empty because there was no chatter. They were just as full in their silence as other times were in their raucous banter. Now, how could that be? The answer is simple. What gave our relationship meaning was not that we continued to verbally affirm our commitment or involvement with each other, but that our being together confirmed that the things we said along the way were true.

As I think about it I find that silence is as sweet a memory for me as those meaningful conversations. The long trip I made with my school buddies, driven to a remote gem field by one of the dads, was a sweet time. We covered a lot of miles in silence. At the creeks we each fossicked in silence, in search of our fortune. Those silent stretches were as much a part of a sweet weekend as sitting up and telling stories late into the night.

Open-hearted communication is a precious element of family life and relationship between parent and child, spouses and siblings. But family life can also be just as full and blessed in those silent stretches, even those “silent years”, where each simply enjoys being part of the family without the need to prattle on just to prove the point.

Susan and I often drive for miles without a word, holding hands or each passing the time with our own thoughts. Her “being there” speaks volumes in the silence. And me being there for her says just as much.

I encourage you to talk, and to express the reassurance that comes from hugs and physical touch. At the same time I encourage you to enjoy the silent moments, the reassuring smiles, the times when you are together but not needing to talk about it to make it valuable.

Here’s to the silent years!

Being a Wife & Mother

One of the most vibrant churches I have ever ministered to was a “Youth Church” in Kuching, Sarawak. The building was jam packed with youth who were hungry for God. They stood to worship and sat on the floor to hear my teaching. That night was special, not just because of the  response of the youth and Unistudents, but because of the reaction of the leaders as well. The things I shared were eye-opening and answered questions that had defied solution.

One of the key issues I like to point out to youth is that of “insecurity”. In the transition from child to adult most Western youth are left without sufficient clarity and direction to bring them through their insecurities. Insecurity, in turn, makes people vulnerable.

If a young man is insecure about his arrival at manhood then he can be manipulated. An insecure young man can be led astray into various actions which he is told will “prove” his manhood. He may succumb to social values, peer values or the expectations of those who have his attention.

Similarly a young woman may be told that she has to attract male attention to prove her womanhood. This sets her up for moral danger and sells her short of her divine destiny.

Much of Western culture promotes insecurity, in order to exploit the vulnerable. If a young man is content in his appearance, course of action, selfworth, career path and so on, then he will only acquire those things he needs to pursue that path.

But if the culture can make him insecure about his looks he can be sold just about anything from fashion clothes to hair gel and acne lotions. If he is made to feel insecure about his ability to attract female attention, then he falls prey to a whole bunch of products and services which marketers want him to buy.

“Insecurity” oils the wheels of Western marketing. And for people who are trying to find their feet in a new dimension of life, that of adulthood, insecurity is an area of ready exploitation.

So, what is the solution? Finding a source of meaning and direction from God and parents is a fantastic way to be immune from the demands of the culture, peer-group and marketing machinery.

When a young man or woman is committed to fulfilling God’s will in their life, despite the cost and only for God’s approval, not man’s, they are liberated from slavery to insecurity and from exploitation and manipulation by the culture at large.

So, how does the devil set young people up for insecurity, where they can’t be protected through faith in God or by their parents? You should be able to work that one out yourself. It’s “rebellion”!

As each child grows they are given ample opportunity to be disappointed with their parents and to resent the expectations and limitations those parents impose. When a child succumbs to independence, resentment or rebellion they are successfully severed from the protection and direction that their parents provide.

So then, when they reach the season of change and insecurity strikes, they do not have the anchor which God provided for them. They will have a weak and possibly broken relationship with their parents. They will be trapped by pride, self-will and sin, and not be able to humble themselves and accept advice and direction from their parents.

Oh, and the other thing that goes hand in hand with that is when the child looks to their peers for approval, rather than their parents. When the peers at school or at play dictate the values, and the parents object, the child must choose whether to honour the parents or to break God’s law and honour the peer-group instead. When the child chooses to break the fifth commandment, that they are to obey their parents, that child becomes a slave to the sin of rebellion. You see, you become enslaved by the sins you serve (see John 8:34 and Romans 6:16).

Most Western young people have no escape from their insecurities and the manipulations of the world. The source of their identity, through their parents, has been cut off and they have sold their soul to the approval of their peers, which are the mirror of the culture.

What do you do about it? I’m glad you asked. You humble yourself. You repent. You ask God to forgive you for breaking His Commandment about honouring your parents (Ephesians 6:2). You commit yourself to God, to live for Him, as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). You then break from the demands of the culture, revoking your previous commitment to seek people’s approval. Then you seek God, read the Bible and find out from godly people, what it is that God has for you. As you live for Him, not yourself or your culture, you will be able to throw off the cultural demands and finally be yourself.

There is a pretty exciting world of adulthood waiting for today’s young people. My heart is that they find that world, in wholeness and freedom from every compromise and slavery, so they can live the wonder of impacting their world for God’s Kingdom.

Youth & INSECURITY

One of the most vibrant churches I have ever ministered to was a “Youth Church” in Kuching, Sarawak. The building was jam packed with youth who were hungry for God. They stood to worship and sat on the floor to hear my teaching. That night was special, not just because of the  response of the youth and Unistudents, but because of the reaction of the leaders as well. The things I shared were eye-opening and answered questions that had defied solution.

One of the key issues I like to point out to youth is that of “insecurity”. In the transition from child to adult most Western youth are left without sufficient clarity and direction to bring them through their insecurities. Insecurity, in turn, makes people vulnerable.

If a young man is insecure about his arrival at manhood then he can be manipulated. An insecure young man can be led astray into various actions which he is told will “prove” his manhood. He may succumb to social values, peer values or the expectations of those who have his attention.

Similarly a young woman may be told that she has to attract male attention to prove her womanhood. This sets her up for moral danger and sells her short of her divine destiny.

Much of Western culture promotes insecurity, in order to exploit the vulnerable. If a young man is content in his appearance, course of action, selfworth, career path and so on, then he will only acquire those things he needs to pursue that path.

But if the culture can make him insecure about his looks he can be sold just about anything from fashion clothes to hair gel and acne lotions. If he is made to feel insecure about his ability to attract female attention, then he falls prey to a whole bunch of products and services which marketers want him to buy.

“Insecurity” oils the wheels of Western marketing. And for people who are trying to find their feet in a new dimension of life, that of adulthood, insecurity is an area of ready exploitation.

So, what is the solution? Finding a source of meaning and direction from God and parents is a fantastic way to be immune from the demands of the culture, peer-group and marketing machinery.

When a young man or woman is committed to fulfilling God’s will in their life, despite the cost and only for God’s approval, not man’s, they are liberated from slavery to insecurity and from exploitation and manipulation by the culture at large.

So, how does the devil set young people up for insecurity, where they can’t be protected through faith in God or by their parents? You should be able to work that one out yourself. It’s “rebellion”!

As each child grows they are given ample opportunity to be disappointed with their parents and to resent the expectations and limitations those parents impose. When a child succumbs to independence, resentment or rebellion they are successfully severed from the protection and direction that their parents provide.

So then, when they reach the season of change and insecurity strikes, they do not have the anchor which God provided for them. They will have a weak and possibly broken relationship with their parents. They will be trapped by pride, self-will and sin, and not be able to humble themselves and accept advice and direction from their parents.

Oh, and the other thing that goes hand in hand with that is when the child looks to their peers for approval, rather than their parents. When the peers at school or at play dictate the values, and the parents object, the child must choose whether to honour the parents or to break God’s law and honour the peer-group instead. When the child chooses to break the fifth commandment, that they are to obey their parents, that child becomes a slave to the sin of rebellion. You see, you become enslaved by the sins you serve (see John 8:34 and Romans 6:16).

Most Western young people have no escape from their insecurities and the manipulations of the world. The source of their identity, through their parents, has been cut off and they have sold their soul to the approval of their peers, which are the mirror of the culture.

What do you do about it? I’m glad you asked. You humble yourself. You repent. You ask God to forgive you for breaking His Commandment about honouring your parents (Ephesians 6:2). You commit yourself to God, to live for Him, as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). You then break from the demands of the culture, revoking your previous commitment to seek people’s approval. Then you seek God, read the Bible and find out from godly people, what it is that God has for you. As you live for Him, not yourself or your culture, you will be able to throw off the cultural demands and finally be yourself.

There is a pretty exciting world of adulthood waiting for today’s young people. My heart is that they find that world, in wholeness and freedom from every compromise and slavery, so they can live the wonder of impacting their world for God’s Kingdom.

“Our Father……….” What an IMPACT!

It is not uncommon to find people who are lost and in search of meaning and direction in life. It is also not uncommon for such people to find exciting meaning and direction in life when they experience God as their “Father” in a new way.It was Jesus Christ who promoted relationship with God as “Father”, particularly through the prayer that came to be known as the “Lord’s Prayer” (since it came to us from the Lord – Jesus Christ). 2,000 years ago the Jewish people thought that God should be revered by being made unapproachable. They decided not to call God by His name but to identify Him by the four lettertetrogram, YHWH. It was even considered blasphemous to call God by a name.When Jesus came on the scene and spoke freely of God as “Father”, He not only threw aside religious superstition, but also connected people to God as a loving and gracious resource with special interest in their lives.The Lord’s Prayer starts with “Our Father, who is in Heaven…” By that prayer Jesus taught people to approach God as their Heavenly Father.So it is that when people encounter God and discover Him as their Heavenly Father, they often find meaning, direction, fulfillment, confidence and wholeness which they did not know before. This is the Impact of having a Father!!!So take a moment and think about the implications of all this. When people who feel an absence of the ministry of a loving father in their life find God as their Heavenly Father they come to levels of completion, direction, meaning and so on, which they previously longed for. What does that say about the value of having a “father” in your life? Doesn’t it clearly indicate that each one of us would be enriched and impacted if we could all enjoy a higher level of fathering in our lives?Praise God that He is a “father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). When the level of fathering we experience is deficient, we are as one who is “fatherless” in the affected areas. So God can then be a “father” to us in the areas where we are “fatherless”. God is able to meet each one of us and bring incredible ministry into our lives, whether we are a genuine orphan or have grown up in a loving home.Yet, recognize also that it is FATHERING that makes the difference!! This is a significant observation for all fathers and men to note. The role of fathers in the lives of their children is so valuable that God Himself takes it up if the fathers have failed.This article is called “Our Father” What an Impact! ….. because I want you to recognize the vital importance, the IMPACT, of “fathering”. Wives need to realize the desperate need for their children to have the ministry of a “father”. This comes both from the child’s natural father and also through God making up the deficits left by a man who does not rise to his calling. A double dose of “mother” does not replace the “father”.I need to insert here that a step-father or adoptive father can most certainly provide the input of a “father” in a child’s life. How can I say that? Because God, as our Heavenly Father, ADOPTS US into His Family. We are His “adopted” children, and yet His Fathering in our lives is the VERY BEST FATHERING we could ever get.So don’t get distracted by the hopelessness of the absent biological father. Just choose to value the wonderful provision of “fathering” which God upholds by His own example.

And remember, you don’t have to go chasing after a man to fill the fathering need in your child’s life. God is the very best father and so your children need to be introduced to Him, as their loving Heavenly Father, who is vastly better than all the other fathers on earth put together.