Morality vs Holiness

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” ~ C.S. Lewis

We’ve all done it. Christmas is over and New Years is upon us. The challenge to read  our Bible in one year creeps into our minds and we are resolved to do it this year! January comes and you get through Genesis and Exodus, but then you get to Leviticus. A detailed book of ceremonial, moral and civil laws. The rules that God expected of His people. The laws priest meticulously abided by. At the end of that book, I remembered just craving the New Testament where Jesus summed up all the law to this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22: 38-39).

It is human nature to find loopholes in laws or rules. This is why we have 60,000 page health insurance plans. Even with children we say: “Don’t hit your sister”. Brother then touches her and annoys her, “Don’t touch your sister”. Brother then holds his finger before her eyes and gets as close he can to her skin. “Don’t hold your finger so close to her”. Brother then begins to touch his own eyeball making the girl scream in disgust. “But, I’m touching myself!” he yells out in triumph. He found the loophole. We all do it. When making a U-turn, when figuring out where to park, when sitting at a restaurant, we make decisions based on signs (rules) or lack thereof. It doesn’t say I can’t do this or that, so I’ll do it. It says I can, so I will. It says I can’t so I wont. Some rules we obey because they make sense, others we obey out of fear – paying taxes is one of them for me.

As Americans we love rules! And structure is a good thing, but what does that look like when we act out our faith?

The professing Christian cannot live like this. Yes, we shouldn’t commit adultery and it is a sin, but Jesus expounds on that and says, “love one another”. Am I loving my brother in Christ if I look at him with lust? Am I loving my husband, if I dream he were different or sigh after actors or read books that excite me sexually? Does the Bible then have to specifically say: Do not lust after men. Do not lust after younger men. Do not think of leaving your husband. Do not watch movies that make you think badly about your husband. Do not read books that are sexually explicit. Do not look at magazines where men show off their toned abs. Do not stare at men exercising. Do not compare your husband? The list can go on and on!! Is that what we are saying when we pompously exclaim: “well where does it say that I can’t do that in the Bible?”. Is this what we truly want? More rules.

This is where we clearly see the difference between morality and holiness. Morality demands rules. It needs details. It commands specifics. It is a slavemaster. Holiness, on the other hand, is a way of life. It does not need specifics. It is a life picture. It frees expression. It is a liberator.

The moralist hates the rules, because he wants to enjoy his own pleasure. The saint loves God for He is his highest pleasure.

I am not unaware that in the New Testament there are ways we should live and things that are forbidden and things that are not. But these rules are not there to feed our Pharisaical tendencies. They are there to allow more freedom. Let me explain with an analogy that I give all the time to teens. There are two playgrounds on a mountainside. Both are close to the edge and if you fall from any of them you will die. But one playground has grass around it and a fence all the way around. Where will you have more freedom? The answer: where the fenced one is. Now some of the teens ask: “well can we play on the fence?” and that is the wrong question because you have a WHOLE PLAYGROUND, why do you want to play on the fence? The saint enjoys the playground, swings high and low, runs and bounds, laughs and squeals. She may fall, she may scrape a knee, but she will not die. That is what these boundaries are in the New Testament, they allow for so much more freedom.

We shouldn’t have to ask “where does it say that in the Bible” in regards to rules. Ask yourself, “Am I loving God with my heart, mind and soul” when I do this or think this? And “am I loving this person as myself” when I treat them this way?

Christianity is so much more than a list of do’s and don’ts. It is a way of life that exists on a completely different plane. We are odd because we get excited when God reveals more of himself to us through His Word. We are weird because we love on the ugly, the mean, the depressed, the annoying in very unique and individual ways. We are not normal because we still fawn over our spouses and love being married. We are crazy because we are quick to forgiven and even quicker to ask for forgiveness. We live in a different world. We don’t have the same problems as others. We follow the beat of a completely different and heavenly drum. We feed strangers, we hang out with prisoners, we go to places all over the world, we smile more, we cry more, we laugh more. Our money is spent on others, on Godly knowledge, and on the furthering of His Kingdom. Our family tree consists of people of all tribes and nations, of children abandoned by their biological parents, or widows and of criminals and the insane! We have tons of stories of what God is doing in our lives. Good things, wild things, frightening things! We almost die and laugh at his salvation. We then die and rejoice! Our hope is not in our money, in our children or even in ourselves. It is on the work of what Christ did, it is on Heaven!

You see then how all this is muted if we then ask, “Well where in the Bible does it say I can’t read ’50 Shades of Grey'”. My dear Christian, go ahead and read that filth if you want. I will be over here going to a garage sale with my kids (3 of whom are foster kids), as they buy me 25 cent coffee mugs that say I am a #1 mom. I will be planning out a surprise party for a dear saint. I will be thinking of a way on how to love on a sad friend. I will be memorizing some new verses to help battle temptations. I will be shopping for decorations for a new Crisis Pregnancy clinic. I will be on the floor overwhelmed by the realization of my salvation. I will be peeing in the jungle with a fellow sister in Christ. I will be going to a fun movie and having great conversations with teenagers who struggle to fit in. I will be listening to a great pod cast that provokes me to love God on a higher level. I will be meditating on a delicious verse about God’s love for me. I will be holding the hand of my husband, leaning my head on his shoulder as we listen to our Pastor preach. I will be enjoying the prayers of my daughter as she lays her worries on a very big and awesome God.

Go ahead and play with the mud pies. I will be over here enjoying the sea.


This is a picture of the mug one my foster kids gave me for Mother’s Day last week. He is 8 and his mother has basically abandoned him. Yes, I cried. Yes, he is a darling! And Yes, it was $.25 at a garage sale we went to. 🙂

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – Movie Review

A movie with a talking raccoon with an attitude and a tree as his sidekick never really caught my interest. It seemed a little too fantastical and a bit pointless, but I am around teenagers a lot and when one of them had the Guardians of the Galaxy on DVD and we found out volume 2 was coming out in a week, I decided to give it a try.

The first movie was hilarious and I couldn’t wait to see the second one.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a continuation of the first. It’s main focus is on Star Lord Quill (Chris Pratt) and his daddy issues. We learn more about Quill and his mother and the movie has a main theme about what truly makes up family.

The animation is just beautiful and the make up is outstanding. I recently learned that the CG on Kurt Russell (Ego) to make him look young was minimal and most of it was really good makeup and really good acting.

The movie is funny and silly. There are moments of tenderness that almost did bring tears to my eyes, but overall it is a fun movie. I did find this movie to be more sexualized than the first one. There is a rather long scene that takes place in an alien brothel that I found a bit lengthy. There is also a scene where the conversation is about Ego’s penis. And another scene where Drax talks about his parent’s sex life. It is all a bit cringy. The acting did get a little silly and watered down, but I don’t think that’s the main purpose to this movie. It is a fun movie. One that cracked me up quiet a bit sometimes because of the outright silliness of it and sometimes because of true and witty scenes.

It would be a disservice to not mention the cuteness of Baby Groot and his simple-mindedness. He is so stinking cute! My daughter also really likes this character. I don’t know how Vin Diesel was able to make some of the sounds Groot made, but kudos for that.

The movie does leave on a cliffhanger and I look forward to Volume 3.

I recommend this movie to the Marvel fan and to those who loved part one. I also recommend it if you want to see a fun movie, with lots of action and great animation.

There is also a very important theme in this movie on fatherhood. As a foster parent some of the scenes towards the end were very moving. Do not miss the opportunity to talk to your children about what parenthood means.


Girl on a Train

I love thrillers and mysteries. When this movie was recommended to me on Netflix, I decided to give it a try.

The movie  focuses on three women and how their lives are creatively entwined to one man. It is a dark movie that delves into the damage addictions cause in these women and those around them. It is a movie where hope and dreams are lost and the sadness caused by these loses spiral the lives of these characters out of control. Overall the movie has a sad undertone.

The acting by Emily Blunt (who plays Rachel) was superb and her monologues truly mirrored the pain of a woman experiencing the sorrow of bareness, loneliness and loss.

As a Christian, I noticed all of the problems in this movie would have not existed had the characters decided to be faithful. Most of the characters in this movie have no problem with infidelity and the consequences caused by it. In the end, the movie blames the man. They portray the movie in a way so that you feel sorry for the adulteresses because they are in such horrible circumstances. If it wasn’t for these horrible men, all these women would  be so much happier.

As adults (regardless of gender), our actions result in certain consequences that not only affect us, but also affect our children and loved ones. I cannot expect to sleep with a married man, marry him and then expect fidelity. I cannot expect to be always seductive and then be taken seriously. I can’t expect the man who I am cheating with, who is also married with a baby to be a “nice guy”. I can’t expect there to be no consequences to my reckless behavior. So when the movie moves the viewer into sympathizing with only one person in a two-person problem, it really became annoying to me. It was basically Lifetime with a bigger budget and much better acting.

I really wanted a good thriller/mystery but I got a soap opera of love triangles and crazy women who can’t deal with the bed they have made for themselves. The movie started off with a good plot, but the feminist agenda reeked towards the end. I ended up hating this movie.

The movie does contain nudity and sexuality. There is also cussing.  There are several scenes that are traumatic in nature because of how violent they are. The movie is rated R for these reasons. If you have ever been in a violent relationship this movie will trigger your memories of abuse.

I can only recommend this movie to men and women who like Lifetime.