Subject: YIKES! Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer!!! :- O
I AM NOT KIDDING!!!
It wasn't exactly a reindeer -- it was George, the mule deer. [Bob’s precious trophy mount.]
And I didn't exactly get run over -- but I could have been if I had been standing closer! George came flying off the wall last night and I am just lucky I don't have hoof prints in my forehead!!! Well, if George had hoofs, that is. And, well, maybe he didn't exactly fly off the wall -- it was more like tumbling. And actually, I was sitting in the living room when he took his tumble in the dining room. Still -- whew! It was a close call!
Just saying -- I'm lucky to be alive!
Okay, I admit, my little story was a slight exaggeration of what really happened. A little distortion of the truth, you might say. But a slight bending of the truth is okay when Grandma just wants to make her grandbabies laugh—isn’t it?
A few days later Grandma was back in the distortion business again. I do a lot of work in my Print Shop program on my computer. It enables me to illustrate my books; make cards and calendars; design CD covers, announcements and all kinds of projects for my church; and edit photos, just to mention a few of the things I can do with it. There is a function in the photo editing section of Print Shop called “Warp and Distort.” I had never done much with it, so the other night, just for fun, I started playing around with it.
Oh, how I laughed! I ended up with a collection of family pictures that I labeled “Fun House Photos.” Warp and Distort can take a beautiful portrait of someone, and bend and twist it in six or seven different ways to make it a crazy, hilarious, silly caricature of that person—or maybe a monstrous version, depending on how you look at it. (I’ve included a photo of myself so you can see what Warp and Distort can do. I cannot believe I am actually posting this on the worldwide web! Oh, the sacrifices to my dignity that I make for the sake of this blog and your entertainment!)
Laurie called me last night and said she had just heard shrieks of laughter, howling and excitement coming out of the schoolroom. She went in to investigate, and found all the kids gathered around the computer looking at the Fun House Photos I had e-mailed to them of themselves and other family members. The girls were laughing hysterically, but poor little Matthew was traumatized! He was screaming in fear—especially, Laurie said, at the pictures of Grandma! Of course, then I felt terrible, and promised him Grandma would send some “nice” pictures just for him!
Well, enough fooling around. I’ve been suffering through a severe case of writer’s block this week, and didn’t get much writing done, so now that I’ve had my fun and taken a little break I can buckle down and get back to work. Sometimes stepping back helps to clear the thought processes.
The words “warp and distort” had me thinking, though. I remember seeing a poster when I was a teenager that illustrated a paraphrase of Romans 12:2. The KJV says it like this: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The poster had a cartoon of a little guy all smooshed and twisted inside a bubble and it said, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold…” It made an impression on me (must have, since I remember it almost forty-five years later) and it pretty much signified a part of who I was and am.
Even back then as a teenager, I tended to march to the beat of my own drum. For example, all my friends loved the Beatles. Not I, though, and it was probably for that very reason. If everyone else was doing it, I wasn’t going to be a sheep and follow after. It was another of those little lessons my mother taught me. She had always been a non-conformist, as well.
The Bible tells us that we are created in God’s image. That beautiful creation was marred by sin, however; it was warped and distorted into something that was no longer clean and pure and beautiful, but sullied and separated from its Holy Creator. God had a remedy for that, though—the precious blood of His beloved Son. When we trust in what Christ did for us on the cross, our sins are covered by His blood and we become a new, and once again, beautiful creation.
Living the rest of our earthy life as a Christian is no walk in the park, though. This beautiful, new creature is under constant attack by Satan, constant pressure by the world, and even constant battle with the lust of our own flesh. I John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” We are tempted, actually bombarded, daily with attempts to draw us into the world’s mold.
The world would have us to believe that we must be socially savvy, politically correct, trendy, fashionable, keeping up with the Joneses, preaching a social gospel, ecumenical, embracing diversity, tolerant, progressive, broadminded, world-wise, current, rejecting the old-fashioned “myths and legends” of the Bible, accepting scientific theory and human “wisdom” as fact, and yada-yada-yada… When we choose not to be these things, we are looked down upon as ignorant, bigoted, divisive, old-fashioned, misfits, fools, narrow-minded and so on.
Maybe little Matthew had it right after all. There’s something very wrong with this picture; something very warped and distorted. There is nothing beautiful or righteous or good about following after the crowd, the broad way that leads to destruction. In fact, the Bible tells us to “enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13, 14)
God Himself, in His holiness, is intolerant of sin and calls it an abomination to Him. Much of what is glorified and touted today as “in” is an abomination. “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15) Romans 1 could be describing our culture today when it says in verses 18 to 32, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
He has said when we follow after the truth we will be divided from even our loved ones who do not believe. “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter…”(Luke 12:51-53)
My little “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” story was a harmless distortion of the truth meant only to entertain the kids. The world, though, is full of distortions of the truth that try to diminish the real truth of the Gospel. It is full of downright lies that blind the eyes of the unsaved and mislead the spiritually weak. The Bible gives us a very clear picture in II Peter 2 of what we are seeing today—“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray.” (vs. 1, 2, 12-15)
Man’s so-called human wisdom is foolishness. While we are looked upon as ignorant fools, God says in I Corinthians 1:18-29, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” It is unsaved man in his human wisdom, pride and ignorance of the Truth who is foolish and weak.