Reality Versus Our Version of Reality

crown-thorns

When it comes down to our final breath, when the curtains close on this existence that we have been given, there are some who will think that it all turns black and we just cease to exist, that our thoughts just totally stop and that for lack of better words, we are no more. I can understand that logic, I just don’t agree with it.

My wife and I have five children and there isn’t one of them, regardless of their differences, that we do not love with all of our hearts. Not one of them is identical, each one of them has different characteristics and beliefs, yet my wife and I love each one of them, irrespective of their differing characteristics and beliefs. Any loving mother or father will know what I mean. Imperfect parents loving imperfect children. It’s just the way that it is.

When we become adolescents and even earlier, we begin to formulate our own thoughts and beliefs.  These thoughts and beliefs can come together in our minds and hearts through a variety of factors that may be similar or different for each one of us. How we are treated, how we treat others, our personal insecurities and strengths, all play a role in the formulation of our thoughts and beliefs.

And, in most cases, we learn from our experiences. We learn for example that who we think we are and who we really are, are not necessarily one and the same thing. We may think we are loving but experience will show us that even though we may love someone else, it doesn’t always stop our self centered and unrealistic judgements of others, even those that we love, when we honestly examine how we treat others and how we want to be treated. Short story is that we have a habit of expecting others to be more accommodating of our needs and wants than we are of accommodating the needs and wants of others. It’s the way that we are.

Our expectations and ideals have a tendency to change over the years. What we initially thought was relatively simple, becomes more complicated. We have a tendency to overlook factors that are important, we have a tendency to focus on our priorities and downplay our weaknesses.

I saw the mistakes that my parents made with me. My children see the mistakes I made with them. Their children will also see their parents mistakes. It’s a lot easier to see a mistake versus not making the same mistake yourself, or even creating new ones. It’s the way we all are.

I love my wife with all of my heart but I made a lot of mistakes. I love my children with all of my heart but I also made mistakes with them. We all make mistakes, we all fall short of our ideals, the variance is just a matter of degrees. I am far from being a perfect husband, I am far from being a perfect father and I am far from being a perfect Christian. This is the way that I am.

I think the biggest misconception that I personally had was that I thought that I could put it all together, that I could make it work out the way that I wanted it to work out. Of course, that includes everything, my relationship with my wife and children, my success at my chosen field of work, my goals and needs being realised. And the thing is, that for a while, some longer than others, we think we are making headway but then, sooner or later, the reality of our unconsidered or unacknowledged deficiencies begin to raise their ugly heads and honest reality begins to unfold, versus our version of reality.

I marvel at my own conceitedness, that this mind of mine and this heart of mine could successfully plot out my own course and reach my expected goal all by myself. Not only was I ill equipped to understand the complexity of my situation but I was woefully unprepared to look at honest reality versus my version of reality, especially as it pertained to myself.

Jesus said that there are people who have eyes to see but do not see and have ears to hear but do not hear, that there are people who are blind, leading others who are blind.

He was talking about me.

Religion, who needs it, right? I certainly didn’t. And then there are so many “religions” to fumble through, even if one wanted to look at someone else’s perception of “reality”. Just not worth the trouble, besides, it’s all man’s ideas about what people don’t understand anyway. That was my thinking . . . then.

The word “grace” has a special meaning to me. It means to receive unwarranted favour or consideration. The key word there is “unwarranted”. I personified “unwarranted“.

I can’t speak for others, I can only speak for myself but I’ve always believed that God existed, as far back as I can remember. Didn’t understand any of it but I just believed that He was there. How He and I would or could relate to one another I didn’t have a clue but I believed that He was there.

My road of walking with Jesus hasn’t been easy. And God, in His mercy, has shown me an awful lot of grace, far too much for me to tell you about in this post.

You can argue with me all you want but God is real.
You can argue with me all you want but Jesus was and is real and He is God’s Son.
You can argue with me all you want but I have experienced the love of God because of Jesus and what He did for you and me on that cross that He died on. He is my hope and I love Him. This didn’t happen overnight, at least not for me.
You can argue with me all you want but Jesus did rise for the dead. That’s the reason for Christianity and why Christianity is different from all other “religions”. Look at the Apostles testimony, look at the early church. Look at the millions and millions of changed lives, including my own.

Through sheer unwarranted grace I have been in His presence and I never wanted to leave, never, ever. Haven’t got a clue why He allowed me to experience that but He did. You can read about it here if you are interested. He allowed me to taste and I long for the day when I will be continually in His presence. This world is temporary, God’s presence is eternal. Don’t allow the world to blind you to His reality.

I am no better in myself than anyone. That’s the truth. I cannot comprehend why God loves us the way He does but He does. And He has demonstrated that love that He has for us through His Son Jesus. Read what Jesus said (Gospel of John is a good place to start), look at what He did and call upon His name. Jesus is who God our Father sent us, so that we might know Him. Jesus said that he who has seen me has seen the Father. Jesus personifies our heavenly Father, that’s how important He is.

What you do with regard to Jesus is the single most important decision you will ever make in this life. Take the time, disregard all the hype, listen to His words and take His words to heart.

You can argue with me all you want but this world that we live in, this life that we have been given and all that we see and experience, is all about seeing Jesus for who He is and what He represents from God, our Father, to us.

My wife and my children know me. I can’t be any more honest that I am being now. I have two sons and a daughter who do not share my faith and trust in Jesus. I understand their logic, maybe if my witness as a husband and father had of been better, things might have been different, I don’t really know. There are no perfect parents that I am aware of and there are no perfect sons and daughters. That’s not an excuse, it is just a reality. Look at Jesus. He is the Christ. Please don’t reject Jesus because of my mistakes. I am not the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, He is.

Jesus said in John 14″1-6 NIV, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian Armed Forces and residing in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Apologetics, Faith, Witnessing
52 comments on “Reality Versus Our Version of Reality
  1. bcparkison says:

    You have said what is on a lot of hearts today. Thank you dear brother in Christ.

    Like

  2. bcparkison says:

    Reblogged this on moreinkpleaseblog and commented:
    His thoughts are our thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hawk2017 says:

    Our children are watching tho we don’t think so. They know the truth of God in ths mind, it just must reach the heart. They are aware of the Fruit of the Spirit in our actions. Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dettinger47 says:

    Ditto me as well, Bruce. Not the most profound comment, but sadly accurate. Excellent post!

    Like

  5. Cindy Dawson says:

    We can plant a seed. We can water the seed, but only God can make it grow. God bless you, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I often believe because it is too hard NOT to believe. To have no hope … How do people live like that? I sure couldn’t.

    Like

  7. I really believe not only does our faith in God resonate and bring us closer, so does our walks and our stories. Much of what your walk has entailed resonates with all of us as we seem to have those moments as well and thanks to a wonderful Creator that sent His Son to save us! Trusting that His plan is just gives us all hope that perhaps some day those whom we love will be saved. Until then, we continue to be the best example of God’s love we can be! Thanks Bruce for another great validation of the existence of God and Christ Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sue Love says:

    We are all only here in God’s presence by the grace of God. Not one of us has lived a perfect life, nor have we been perfect parents. But, we forgive ourselves and we forget what is behind and we press on to what lies ahead. And, hopefully we have learned from our past failures not to keep going down that same path, and now we are headed a good direction, and we are listening to the Holy Spirit, and we are now impacting lives for good, for their benefit, and for the glory of God. We can’t change the past, but we can live for the Lord in the present, and we can keep growing and changing and becoming more and more like Jesus.

    Like

    • Bruce says:

      Good Morning Sue! Thank you for the wise advice and you’re right of course. How is your brother doing? That obviously can’t be easy for you. I also was thinking about your husband, is he doing better now? I’ve been having a heck of a time with sciatic nerve pain in my left leg lately, We’re talking over a month now and it seems to be getting worse, not better. Haven’t got a clue what is going on but praising God anyway. Had to apologize to God for my own grumbling, all things considered, He’s been more than generous with me. Have a blessed day Sue and thank you for taking the time to comment, always appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Love says:

        Bruce, thank you. I am sorry to hear about your sciatic pain. Have you had your back xrayed? I used to have bad sciatica in my leg due to ruptured disc in my back. I ended up with two surgeries before it got better. Years later scar tissue from the two surgeries mimicked the same pain as I had before. I was in patient in a pain therapy center for a month and then outpatient for 6 months. That was in the early 90s. Thank the Lord I have not had any serious back issues since then. But this morning in the dark I ran my knee into the footboard on my bed and I am in a lot of pain. I’m sitting up in bed with an ice pack on my knee as I write.

        My brother has stage 4 prostate cancer. Hospice has been called in. I don’t know beyond that.

        Rick still needs a lot of prayer. Thank you.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Yes, I’m thinking it’s about time to get it checked. I had a foot spur for a couple of weeks and the Lord took that away, was kinda hoping He’d do the same thing with the sciatic nerve pain but not so much. I don’t know about you but I’m really looking forward to our new resurrected bodies! Just said a prayer for your knee and I always include Rick in my prayers. Getting old is not fun! Take care Sue.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Love says:

        Thanks, Bruce. I agree, the older we get the more our bodies don’t work they used to. Try looking up exercises you can do to stretch out your back muscles and that might relieve some of your pain.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Doing that now!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Arkenaten says:

    Are three of your kids non-believers or are they of a different faith?

    Like

    • Bruce says:

      Legitimate question. Actually three are Christian but one of the three, has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder and subsequently has a problem identifying with admitting personal fault, which makes empathy for others a tad difficult. With the remaining two, one believes that there is a God but has not affiliated themselves with any particular faith and the latter is still in the undecided category. All my wife and I can do is love all five of them equally and that is what we do. Hope that helps.

      Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        I have two sons and a daughter who do not share my faith and trust in Jesus.

        I was referring to the above quote. It suggests non belief, or have I misunderstood?

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        The daughter that I mentioned there is the one who has the Narcissistic Personality Disorder so she calls herself a Christian but does not admit to making errors in judgements or mistreating others so that is a hard one to call. Kinda leaving that one in God’s hands. People can believe in God but not have faith or trust in Jesus or they can also be undecided to the whole concept of God. Does that answer your question?

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Better.
        So one is a deist?
        Are the remaining two (of the five) Christians like mum and dad?

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Yes, one daughter who was delivered from alcoholism, which nearly took her life and one son who also has faith and trust in Jesus, like Mom and Dad.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Glad your kid got sober.
        My mother has never been keen to discuss my atheism, and geography plays a part in such non discussions too. Far better things to talk about when we are separated by 13,000 kilometers!
        If your kids are still at home, how do you deal with non belief or deism?
        For example, do you pray at meal times?

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Our children are all grown up now but they still come over for family get togethers such as Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas dinners and drop in unexpectedly, which we love. We always say grace at meals and we can talk freely without anyone getting annoyed most of the time. Common sense usually prevails. All of our now grown up children talk to us on the phone almost daily and Nanny and Papa do babysitting chores of the 7 grandchildren we have on a regular basis.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Are your non believing kids obliged to say grace?

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        They just bow their heads out of respect, I would never ask them to say grace. Sometimes I say grace, sometimes my wife, sometimes one of our grandchildren say grace. No pressure.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        They just bow their heads out of respect,

        No pressure! Yeah, right!

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        You’d have to be there. I respect the opinions of those who differ from mine and when our children are in our home, eating a meal that we have prepared for them, they respect ours. Common respect for one another doesn’t need to be an imposition.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Would you be offended if they did not bow their heads?

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        No, but they all do. It’s called mutual respect. When I am in their home having a meal I respect their perspective and do not ask for grace to be said. I say my own and silently so as not to make them uncomfortable or impose my beliefs on them. Accommodation for one another doesn’t have to be taken as a direct challenge to opposing perspectives. Love accommodates if at all possible.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        So if I were to eat at your table, you would be okay if I did not drop my head, hold hands or anything else that I considered to be some sort of religious ritual?

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Excellent!
        However, I would most certainly thank the chef.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Is your Mom a Christian?

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Yes, very much so.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        That being the case, I’m pretty sure she prays for you. That’s what mothers do. How about your Dad? Without either one of us being overly critical with one another, may I ask you to tell me what it is or was that so turned you off of faith in Jesus as God’s Son? I’m aware of all the arguments as you obviously are. With all the focus on the negativity, I’m just curious why. I’m not trying to be a smart ass.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        I’m pretty sure she prays for you.

        I’m pretty sure she does too!
        My father is a devout non-believer!
        Religion was never part of family life at home. If we identified at all it was solely as Cultural Christians.

        It was never something I concerned myself with.
        I wrote a fantasy novel a while back and needed some background history on Moses.
        I was somewhat surprised to discover he is nothing but a work of fiction.
        This was what sparked my interest in the history of Christianity etc and the internet became a marvelous resource.
        Blogging was an outlet and a way to glean more info and a lot of interesting previously unknown perspectives.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Interesting discovery on Moses. I was just reading an article recently by an archeologist who took issue with that very same assumption you made. There are always opposing perspectives. I don’t argue any more. I got tired of playing ping pong. There’s nothing that I can say to you that’s going to be able to prove the reality of God and there’s nothing that you can say to me that’s going to change the reality of God that I have experienced. Your Mom is a Christian and your Father is a devout non-believer. There’s a pretty good chance that one of them is wrong. Question is, who do you want to be right because that’s going to effect how you look at everything. It’s never that there isn’t sufficient evidence, it’s the chosen conclusion that determines what evidence you validate. I wish you well my friend and I thank you for the cordial exchange. – Bruce

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        I was just reading an article recently by an archeologist who took issue with that very same assumption you made.

        Now you have peeked my curiosity. Would you like to share the name of the archaeologist?

        It’s never that there isn’t sufficient evidence, it’s the chosen conclusion that determines what evidence you validate.

        In actual fact there is only evidence. Anything that cannot be substantiated is merely a claim. This is why faith is paramount to religious belief.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        I could but I’m not, Remember, I don’t play ping pong anymore. Not only do you get to reserve the right to determine what is valid evidence but you also take the liberty to define my faith. Calling it a day. Take care.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        All of our children have moved back home at one time or another, some multiple times. We always try to be there for each of them when they need us and there have been many opportunities to do that, in more ways than one. All of our children love us and we love them, it’s that simple. With regard to God, they all know who Mom and Dad believe in and as opportunities present themselves, we try to reinforce the giving and serving aspect of faith that Jesus asks us to do. Imperfect parents loving imperfect children. Grace is a beautiful thing.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        as opportunities present themselves, we try to reinforce the giving and serving aspect of faith that Jesus asks us to do.

        Hmmm …. if you were my father I would put my foot down at such religious opportunism, I’m afraid.
        Proselytizing and I have always been very uneasy bedfellows.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Saying thank you for the time together and the blessings shared is just saying thank you and respecting the faith of the one who says thanks. If you view that as proselytizing then your objection articulates rejection of their faith, in their home. Accommodation is not relinquishing your right to disagree, it’s respecting their right to express their faith in their home. When we eat a meal at one of our sons who is not a Christian, I say my own silent grace, I do not impose my faith within his home.

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        I may have misunderstood, as the way your comment was phrased suggested( to me) that you were making a point regarding Christianity, and would use this and any other opportunity to ”punt” your faith.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        No, I don’t do that. An opportunity would be when they open the door, not me banging on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten says:

        Define: when they open the door,.
        And why, as non-believers would they want to open the door in the first place?

        Hell would freeze over before I did, and with what I now know about Christianity it would not even happen if that freezing were glacial!

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        Sometimes something comes up in conversation or they have a question or observation. They both have open minds and we all have a mutual respect for one another. Last week we were discussing Jordan Peterson. I know that both of them are very intelligent and articulate and we have learned to be able to listen to one another and accept or appreciate alternate perspectives. Unfortunately that’s not an option that your mom can enjoy with regard to her faith in Christianity and you. Some of the greatest minds in the world have been or are Christian and you have chosen to delegate your mom’s faith as akin to someone with the IQ of an African sand flea. Candidly I find that sad. “Hell would freeze over” and “what you know about Christianity” actually says quite a lot. You probably don’t want to pursue that.
        Take care and thanks again for the exchange. – Bruce

        Like

      • Arkenaten says:

        Unfortunately that’s not an option that your mom can enjoy with regard to her faith in Christianity and you.

        I assure you, it wasn’t/isn’t my call!

        Some of the greatest minds in the world have been or are Christian and you have chosen to delegate your mom’s faith as akin to someone with the IQ of an African sand flea. Candidly I find that sad.

        In times past, many great minds were also Muslim. But you would reject their faith out of hand. And if you are honest you would react this way with any other ”great mind” of any faith that did not comport with your own.

        It is also worth bearing in mind that when Christianity held sway over much of humanity it would have been foolhardy to pronounce one’s atheism or non-belief.
        A decidedly bad move, health-wise!
        It is also worth noting that many intelligent people function quite well while maintaining a staunch religious faith.
        This is called compartmentalism.
        You can see it in someone as esteemed as Francis Collins for example.

        Hell would freeze over” and “what you know about Christianity” actually says quite a lot. You probably don’t want to pursue that.

        Pursue away, Bruce.

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        No response. You win, enjoy your day.

        Like

Comments are closed.

Blog Stats
  • 156,098 hits
Google Translate Available here …
Post Categories

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 602 other followers

Last 100 of 1100+ posts

Christian Apologetics

%d bloggers like this: