For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What Do Yoga, Mother Earth, and the Easter Bunny Have in Common?

This morning on Facebook I shared an article about yoga and how there is no "Christian yoga." Yoga is, in fact, a form of Hindu worship. In Hindu there are five paths to the universal deity. One of those is physical discipline, yoga. Each position in yoga represents a characteristic of a god or goddess. By disciplining the physical into these positions, it is believed the spirit is also aligned with that particular characteristic or trait of the god or goddess. The more yoga, the more one is fashioned into these characteristics, and the faster one becomes one with the universal deity.

You can't redeem that. That is like saying a black mass can be redeemed. The purpose is the worship of Satan. That can't be redeemed.

Several folks told me they had no idea, which is concerning. The Bible tells us to resist the devil, and he will flee from us, but people are not be educated and equipped concerning practical things that have infiltrated our culture and the culture of the church that we need to flee.

In response to the, "I had no idea," I wrote the following. I pray it is for the deliverance of captives from darkness and the equipping of the saints for holiness.


A few people have contacted me concerning the yoga post saying they had no idea. Here are some other things you may not know about:
mother earth
the universal mind
All of the above are based on the idea that there is some cosmic energy that has control of the universe and thus has control over lives. All of this is blatantly against the teachings of God and in fact, is godless and anti-God.

Fortune telling such as
palm reading
tea leaf reading
tarot cards
All demonic. How can you tell? None of them have anything to do with God. In contrast, go to the Bible and see the real prophets and how they gave all glory to God.

I know we don't like to stomp on tradition, but Easter is a festival for the goddess Eastre, which some believe is the actual origin for the idea of mother earth. You can read more here.

By the way, this whole aura crap and namaste is about the god that lives in you. It is not about God the Father. It is referring to the goodness of the person.

According to John 10:10, we have two forces at work in the world: Satan and Jesus. If you are involved in the godless practices above, you're worshiping Satan. There is no other way to see it. The right answer is to repent, turn from your wicked ways, and serve God, but if you choose not to do that, then whatever happens, you can't blame God because you know the Truth, and you chose the lie.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Christian Disciplines: Silent Retreats

I know you just got here, but take 30 seconds to stop reading this and listen.

Listen to the distracting noise around you.

Listen to the distracting noise IN you.

Ready. 30 seconds. Or a minute. Minute might be better. I'll be here when you get back. Alright. Go.

Right now in my world, my dishwasher is running but keeps banging on something, so I'm wondering if the dishes are really getting clean or not and what kind of damage that is doing and if I'll need to replace some part of the dishwasher soon because of it.

I'm thinking about my daughter's orthodontics appointment in two hours and wondering if I can get this done and get the website for my personal protection started with a possible post to the blog.

I'm wondering if the wind will be so high that kayaking is a bad idea because I'm feeling kind of overloaded and need a break and maybe kayaking would do that but if the wind is too high...and, yes, it comes at me in one very long, fast-paced sentence.

And I'm wondering if I should have gone to the gun range this morning or not, and how hard is it going to be to relearn shooting with my left hand, and are increasing inability to use my right eye muscles for long periods plus the optical migraines a mountain to overcome or God's way of saying to put the guns down, and if I put the guns down will the people who custom made my competition rifle understand that competing isn't even a possibility anymore?

Then there is the whole other....

There is a lot of noise in my brain, plus the phone that has beeped twice just in the short time I've been writing this and the email that has come through and the lure of's a lot of noise. It can get so loud that it is hard to hear God.

Even setting aside time each day for prayer and Bible reading or study, the noise can be hard to hear through.

One of the ways to handle it is a silent retreat.

Think of it as detox for the mind and spirit.

It's not complicated. It is merely taking a large chunk of time and turning off everything except God. Don't turn on the TV or the computer. Leave the phone alone. No radio. Not even worship music. Don't take an agenda. This is not intensive petition time where you pound heaven for what you want. This is when you get quiet and let God tell you what is on His mind.

All you need is a Bible and journal, and sometimes I don't even take the Bible because if I get antsy because God is too quiet for too long, I'll start reading the Bible just to hear "something". Silence is hard. But it is worth it.

When Elijah ran from Jezebel, he hid in a cave. The Bible tells us there was a great fire, but God was not in the fire. There was a great earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake. Then there was silence, and God was in the silence.

You may be wondering, as folks often do, how long do you go and where you are to go. I don't know. I try not to make hard and fast rules about these things, but when I first started, it would take me a day or two just to detox and be okay with the quiet. Now, I can spend a few hours on the water and have the same effect. On heavy ministry days, I'll take an hour and go to my room where all I hear is white noise (blocks out the voices of the teenagers in the house) and meditate on a scripture or just let myself breathe and wait for the Lord.

As for where, I've tried bed and breakfasts. I ended up becoming friends with the hosts. I've tried camping, and that was good. I like places where I can meditate or focus on natural sounds like water, birds, crickets. Not coyotes. Coyotes do not have a good effect on me. Fishing is good. It's repetitive. Mostly mindless. And that is what you want. Mindless so your mind is open to the Lord speaking. Oh, I turn my phone off. I always have backup folks for the kids, who are now teenagers, so there is no reason why anyone should call. Yes, there are emergencies that happen in life, but for the most part, those are rare, and believe it or not, in the days before leash phones, folks had quiet days, emergencies happened, and life went on. I'm willing to risk it. If I am at a B&B or hotel, I give the number of the establishment so folks can reach me there in case of an emergency. A few years ago when I went to Arkansas, I had set times, 2 times a day, when I would contact the kids. I was in a no cell service area, perfect for retreats, and had to go to the ranger office to get service, so I did that first thing in the morning and in the evening before they went to bed.

Also, I try not to eat out or be around people at all. I'll end up talking most of my time away, and I get little accomplished.

There are no absolutes with this. I don't know where your quiet place is. Some like the beach, just sitting on the sand listening to the water. Some like being on the water. Some like a hunting blind. I have a friend who is so self-disciplined she simply unplugs all the gunk in her house and hangs out in her own hammock. If you are single with no kids or the kids and spouse leave, great! Cheap. Food at the ready. Low planning. It's good. Plus, it's your own bed, and you may sleep better.

Some folks fast during their retreat. I have done that. I did not find that it helped me, but, I am also not sure that was what God wanted from me on that fast. I can honestly say I think I did it as a way to prove my seriousness and convince God to speak to me. He won't respond to that, thankfully. Even with fasting food, you need to have water. Don't give up water.

I am trying to explain how a retreat works so you don't think it is a matter of going, parking on a lawn chair, and expecting a booming voice from heaven. When I go on these retreats, it is about communing with God. I want to hear Him, but I also talk to Him. I tell Him how amazing the trees are or how wonderful the frog chorus is. I make the conscious effort to be in awe of Him.

I choose to acknowledge my need for Him.
I consciously think about love that wants time with the messiness of me.

I focus on Him, not on me, but on the wonder of Him, and when I focus on how wondrous He is, He often opts to be wonderful.

On one hand, I am tempted to be still and make conscious note of the quiet or silent time I have with the Lord. My real concern with doing that, though, is people take that as the only way to do it or they try to make it a road to a goal, and it is really about the journey with Him.

Really, that is what a silent retreat is--a journey with Him, to hear Him, and know Him.

The details are between you and Him because only the two of you know where you connect best.

Monday, September 7, 2015

What is the Point of Being a Christian

Last week I had a great conversation with a friend of mine about what it really means to be a Christian and to live the Christian life. We see things very much alike, but sometimes he says things far better than I do, so I’m going to use his words.

“Pastors ask the wrong question. They ask if a person wants to be saved. Duh. Of course they do. No one wants to go to hell. They ask if they want to be blessed by God. Who wouldn’t? What they need to ask is, ‘Are you willing to let Jesus be the Lord of your life and live only for Him? If you aren’t, then you don’t understand salvation.'”

He’s right.

If all you think “accepting Jesus” means is saying He exists and wanting Him to be good to you, you don’t understand what being a Christian really is.

Let me give you a vivid picture. Jesus died on a cross to save all who believe in Him and serve Him from their sins. Of the eleven disciples who stayed faithful to Him, ten were martyred, and they tried to martyr the other, but when they couldn’t, they exiled him. Of course, that is where he received what we call the book of Revelation. Not looking very "I know the good plans I have for you", is it?

What is my point? The point of Christianity is not to enjoy some R&R in the lap and luxury of Jeremiah 29:11. The point of Christianity is found in Ephesians 4.

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

The purpose of Christianity is for us to become like Christ.

The point of attending  church on Sunday is so we learn about Christ and apply what we’ve learned so we serve him better, grow in faith, mature, and become like Him.

I have yet to find where the point of Christianity is to be blessed and have an easy life. In fact, I’ve read the Bible, and Jesus says if you love Him and really serve Him like we are called to do, it’ll be hard.

In the next several posts, I am going to share with you spiritual disciplines that will empower you to develop an intimate relationship with the Lord, grow in your faith, and understand the Bible more, and in doing so, you are more equipped to become what a Christian should Christ.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Great Thing about Being a Drunk

When I was in high school, I liked things that got rid of nightmares and made me numb, and that became a problem. Alcohol and prescription meds were a staple of my life for quite a while. I could tell you all the reasons this is bad, but let me tell you why it is good.

This morning on  the way home from church I saw a friend watering the trees in his front yard, so I stopped to see how he and his wife are. She has health issues, and I thought she might be sick. She’s fine. He’s fine.

“I’m not used to you being home on Sunday morning. You’re usually in church.”

“Yeah, I can’t go to church right now.”

I stared. “How long until you can go to church?”

“Depends. Three to five years, they figure.”

See, this friend spent some time in jail last year for sexual assault of a child. Now, he is restricted from being where he might victimize another child. I understand that. I want my children safe, too. But I have to say, I wonder about the logic of keeping someone from the very place where they can find the One who can heal them. And, yes, Jesus is everywhere. People find Jesus right where they are. I know in the Bible, Jesus found folks right where they were. In fact, if you read through the Gospels, you could argue that Jesus found more folks alone in their solitude than He did in the throngs at the Temple.

However, Jesus also promoted fellowship. There is not one person Jesus encountered that He said, “Now, go be by yourself and live a holy life on your own because you are strong enough to do that.”

No. Christianity is about community and being part of a group that holds you up, prays for you, encourages you, and holds you accountable.

The great part of being a drunk and pill addict? I could still be part of that. I could still go to church. Unlike the drunks that wreak of alcohol, the addict that smells like marijuana, the gay couple that comes in together, or the sex offender with a label, I was allowed in church. I was allowed to hear the Word, to sing songs that spoke to me, to be in the presence of God. Not everyone is allowed that because not everyone can pull themselves together enough to hide their sin and brokenness well enough to be acceptable in the house of the Savior who is trying to reach them.

Thank God I was just a drunk.