Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Orientation Crazy

There are so many voices, so many books and I couldn't be more happy and sad at the same time.  You see, never in my life have I seen or heard so many people talking at the table with regards to gender and sexuality.  It's in the news, on social media and most likely a topic that everyone of us will enter into with someone.

Maybe it's with a family member or friend who struggles with their sense of gender identity or sexuality and it could be with someone who doesn't struggle but fully embraces an orientation or identity within the LGBTQ descriptive.

I get it!  Having struggled with gender identity issues and unwanted same sex attraction, and then coming out gay identified, I get it.  I get the notion of needing and wanting to have a sense of congruence with how I felt in regards to my orientation.  I wanted to carry the card that said, "I AM GAY...and if I want to transition to a woman...that is my RIGHT! Just get over it already!"  I spent years trying to fit in with what I thought a heterosexual man was, and even more, what a Christian Heterosexual Man was supposed to be.  I tried not to show any signs of 'gayness!' or that I might secretly desire to be wearing women's clothes, and the more I tried to hide, the more I struggled to find normalcy.  I definitely wasn't living authentically or true to my 'feelings' but how was I supposed to live my life?

So eventually the hiding stopped and I came out.  GLORY BE, I WAS FREE!!  I could breathe, I could relate to others with similar stories and I could finally say..."This is how I was to be all along!" I lived like this for almost 8 years, with a strong sense of my orientation.  This is how I was created, this is how I was called to live my life.  I wasn't acting, or playing gay and I was no longer trying to act as a heterosexual man.

I was orientation CRAZY!

You couldn't tell me that I was anything else, because if God didn't eradicate the 'unwanted feelings' toward the same gender, then they should really be my authentic self.  Sigh of relief.  In my many circles of friendships this was often the mantra.  We didn't 'talk' about why we might feel this way, we just always said 'this is who we are'.
Then God did a funny thing.  Well, it wasn't necessarily funny, but it was life changing for me.  He spoke to me! In a moment when I was at a crossroads, I allowed myself to 'crack' just a little...I asked him for help and he spoke clearly.  He didn't say in a booming voice, "Thou Shall Not be GAY, Thou Shall Not be Transgendered!"  He said, "You don't have to go back to Egypt!"

What resonated was my orientation.  I knew God was saying I don't have to be gay identified, nor transgender identified nor heterosexual identified!  I knew God was saying; "Kenn,  your orientation is me!  PERIOD!"  The joy of the Lord in that moment was my strength, it filled me completely and was probably overflowing all over the place.  I would love to see that moment from above...what did I look like?  Was I glowing?  All I knew is that it felt like scales falling off my eyes and I could see clearly and know that this was HUGE!

I became crazy about orienting my vision and my identity in Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal more and more of Jesus, who in relationship with me, revealed my heavenly father who had always wanted my gaze to be on HIM ONLY.  Not on my life, my own sense of orientation, my desires etc.  He was saying "Come follow me!"  Will you lay down everything to follow me?"  Absolutely!

I knew as well that my journey would be hard.  It wouldn't be easy to swim upstream.  When I laid down the gay orientation label, it was by far, way easier in culture to be gay identified. What was I thinking?  Couldn't I just be a gay celibate Christian?

The temptation was there, yet it now felt in-congruent with who God was saying I was.  I was a new creation, created for his glory.  I was slowly being transformed more and more into who he had created me to be and that was toward his Holiness.

So, my orientation shifted and so did my language.  All things were being made new and this is good news.  Culture dictates and even many Christian's say: to be authentic with how one thinks and feels is critically important. To life healthy is to not deny your 'orientation'.  Yet, one can authentically say, this is how I feel, this is what I desire, Jesus help me in the journey and point me to my heavenly Father whose love is so radical and much so that I'm compelled to lay down my life and find it in Christ, and in the body of Christ.  Relevancy is not in becoming more and more like culture, but rather more and more like Christ, who denied himself and took up the cross to set us free, to live fully present, fully aware within the body of Christ.

I write this because this story is not uncommon.  Thousands of men and women share a similar story and we are part of the make up of a diverse society.  A society that would like to say, our voice is not to be heard.  That we are 'acting' rather than 'being' authentically ourselves and yet we can honestly say, "Who the Son sets free is free indeed!" 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

I'm a nobody...and so much more

Nobody wants to be a nobody.

Seriously, if you think about it for a moment, you have an innate desire to be 'somebody' or 'something'.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"  For the longest time my daughter wanted to be a vet.  That changed when she realized she didn't like blood...and she might have to do stuff that is really gross!  Then she wanted to be a teacher.  This is slowly changing and the other day she said she wanted to work at a spa!  Oh, my precious one!  I hope one day she comes to the place of realizing that she is a nobody, created to be a somebody.

Here's the thing.  This morning while I was at a city wide prayer meeting I saw all our titles being thrown to the ground.  All our duties, job descriptions, the ways 'we' describe ourselves and the deficits that we still live with and all of it was rubbish and thrown out and what was left was just abiding in Jesus, and living in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, knowing the affections of our Heavenly Father.

Here in this place of total surrender, nothing hinders us.  We can no longer say... "I can't serve because...I can't do that because...I'm not strong enough because...I'm too weak because...I don't know enough yet because...I'm not qualified, because..."

The moment we said yes and amen to Jesus' work of salvation/gospel message and we've been baptized, we are a 'new creation, created to do His good deeds that he has established for us to do...long before we even said...YES!

So nothing else matters.

I continue to struggle with the residuals of being gay identified, and authentically walk out my same gender attractions, and have done great work in the whole area of searching my heart, asking Jesus to heal and restore many deficits, and yet what remains is the residuals of sin...but I can't use any of that to stop me from doing what HE calls me to do, which is to be the Spiritual Head of my home, to love and call forth my wife and child and to make disciples of all nations.  That means, fear, insecurities, esteem issues, identity issues, deficits...all take second place to trusting God with what he tells me to do, and the submission of all authority in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, who equips me with all wisdom and knowledge to do what pleases God.  Not out of duty or to check something off a list but to really do it out of a love relationship that come from abiding in him and being obedient.

So today, I cried out to him for more...that he would continue to form and create in me a new person, the old has gone the new has come...and I told him, I'm scared...but I won't back down to what HE wants to do, because it isn't about me, I'm a nobody, created to be a somebody, to further His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

Today, if you feel like you are stuck in fear, insecurities, and maybe a list of "I can't...or...I'm scared!" That is the best place to start, in acknowledging your need of the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God.
Call out to him while He is near, and He will show you the way to go...and do what pleases him.

Psalms 1-5
Proverbs 1

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Living Love

Well, it seems my writing and personal journal writing this past year kinda bit the dust. All good intentions flew out the window in what was a very difficult year on many levels. In retrospect, I was managing life, but that was about it.  There wasn't a lot of capacity or reserve to do much else.  Living with someone with a Chronic illness can put excess pressure on the whole house, and I learned much in this season about myself and my own propensity toward 'dark days'.  I had many upward moments (the ups!) in the midst of the down (dark) days, and as I look back I have chosen to cherish all the days, all the moments, because I was alive and God gave me breath.  Each day whether easy, difficult or just plain neutral was a gift to us and we can either forget all about it or we can learn and grow from the experience.  I want to grow.

Entering into 2018, I wondered..."Will life look any different? What will life look like?" and as I thought about it, I began to see that all God is asking for me at the moment is to live love. Not so much a focus on love living, but to live love out of His empowerment for His glory. You see my understanding of 'love living'  is to think that everything will be rosy, dandy, and of my choosing.  That somehow I can love living through experiences that I make and yet I want something deeper than experiential opportunities.  I was to live love, despite the circumstances that I may face whether good or bad.

It's a manifesto of sorts, to proclaim and declare that one will live love rather than love living.  To some this will sound rather redundant or you can't have one without the other, or the later is a by product of living love, but I think if we decide to seek first the Kingdom of God and ALL his righteousness and choose to live love in every situation, circumstance and experience, we can in the good times and the difficult times learn in very essence the art of loving life.

Practically speaking, I think it looks a whole lot like the fruits of the spirit: Kindness, gentleness, self control, patience, goodness, joy, faithfulness, peace...and the greatest of

Choosing to live love means to be cloaked in love...and we can't have this fully unless we are seeped in the Holy Spirit.  Declaring each day the Holiness of God our Father, who extravagantly loves.  Asking for the fullness of our day..."Give us this day...", guarding against evil, sin, patterns of selfishness, walking as ones forgiven and ones offering forgiveness...and laying down our lives to serve only one master...God. (Matthew 6)

To live love is to radically choose the opposite of how we may feel on any given moment and to choose to depend fully on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit who is revealing Jesus, who equips us with everything we need to live life to the full, not for our glory or fame but for his.  To God be the Glory and furthering of His Kingdom.  AMEN

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Filled With Joy

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. I’ve been thinking about this thing called Joy for quite some time. It’s been a long season of trying to figure out happiness versus joy. You see, for most of my life happiness was my goal. How I felt was important and it weighed heavily on my day to day activities and how I viewed myself as a person. I would seek out things that would illicit happiness. This could be material items, a scenic place to take photos, an intimate connection with someone, and though I would feel some emotion, the happy feeling would soon vanish and all I was left with was a material item, or a memory of a connection with someone, and a dark cloud over my head. Troubles mounted in my life like a pent-up volcano and it ended up erupting. There had to be more to life than what I was pursuing? How could I be content in emotional happiness and what was this thing called joy? This brought me to a place of connection with God my Father who lovingly began to show me my value and his power in my weak emotional state. He began to show me that I could trust him with all my heart and He would help me through this journey. Yet it felt like I was in a valley of misery. Early on in my faith journey I read Psalm 18:7 and I thought, ‘it’s rather difficult to burst out in songs of thanksgiving when you are in a valley of trouble’ and yet what I began to see is that this is the place our songs need to sing out louder than ever. Sure, some of my troubles began to vanish, but I still had struggles. I faced unimaginable pain in losing children through miscarriage, my wife becoming quite sick from a chronic illness, and financial burdens weighing me down. The realities of life began to feel more like a Job existence. So, I sat in the midst of all the realities of life and began to breathe deeply and gave thanks. It started small like a child singing a nursery song for the first time and it grew to a quartet, then a chamber choir until finally my thanksgiving was like a full ensemble. An orchestra with a majestic choir. Songs of thanksgiving come from being aware of every moment and second of your life. Being mindful of the breath that I take which reminds me that God has given me this exact moment to live and allow Him to be glorified in and through my life. Listening carefully to my neighbour and enjoying who they are is being thankful that God created us all in unique and wonderful ways and to celebrate this by bearing with one another’s differences in love. Calling out to God for help when the going get’s tough and knowing that His help will come in His perfect timing and His help often looks completely different than what I would have thought or imagined. This posture of giving thanks isn’t always easy. Sometimes the full ensemble can diminish and become like that child again, just learning to sing, but at least there is a song. The difficult experiences that we may face as we live our lives as believers is always the place where God wants to show up and be God. It is in these experiences where not only do we see God, but others see his manifest glory. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever. The Lord is our strength and shield. We can trust him with all our hearts. He helps us, and our heart are filled with joy. So today, let us stop, look and listen to the Lord who gives us breath and burst out into songs of thanksgiving.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Day 2 Freedom: Glorious Surrender

Day 2 
Readings: Romans 4, Psalm 134
Romans 4:3 (msg)
What we read in scripture is. “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point.  He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.”

I think a big part of fasting is the growing awareness that God is our provision.  Freedom comes when we surrender everything and say, “Jesus, take over!”  How many times do we in our own striving to make things right, get everything wrong?  Or we get things right and yet, we feel utterly empty at the end of the process.  Maybe we think that our way is better.  Abraham needed to enter what God was doing FOR him, rather than what he was doing for God.  He needed to trust God to SET HIM RIGHT, instead of trying to be right on his own.  What a glorious surrender.

The question we’ve been asking ourselves is this: “If you could see you free, what would that look like?”

Today, ponder this with God’s truth.  As you spend time the Jesus today, bring your thoughts/thinking, emotions/feelings and ask him to speak his truth to what you may think or feel.  His ways are far better than ours, and he loves us more than what we can think or imagine.

Prayer:  Jesus, I thank you and praise you today.  How amazing is your love and faithfulness.  I lift my hands in praise to you today.  I surrender my own will and I ask Jesus that you would set me right as I trust in you.  I know you are true to your word that you will accomplish what you started in my life.  Amen

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Freedom 2017 - 40 days of Wholeness


Welcome to the journey of 40 days of wholeness. During the next 40 days, I will be blogging each day to share an insight which will be more of a devotional.  This may be something I've read, or a revelation from the Lord.  I want this to be about FREEDOM.

We are free people.  Therefore there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Here in Romans 8:1-4 (The Message) we read how God has freed us through the work of his son Jesus.

The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms

1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

This is so amazing.  Here in this place of justification we partner with God in the area of sanctification.  We have been we walk in the throwing off of the old and putting on the new.

Think of an orphan, who grew up with no influential people to help care for him/her.  This orphan received no support structures, in any area of his/her life.  Then along came a healthy enough family who finally adopted the orphan and said, "you belong!".  Here they showed love, grace, mercy, guidance, forgiveness, loving discipline, this child, no longer an orphan is put in the families will, and has a bed, food and now belongs.  The adopted child needs to throw off abandonment, rejection, fear, isolation, coping strategies, and embrace and put on a new identity of belonging, security, safety, inheritance, etc.
Will this be an easy process?  Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't.  Often the child will have to wrestle and work through emotional, relational and spiritual wounds, that affect his/her thinking, especially about themselves.(Am I really worth something?  What if I'm abandoned again?)  They can also reject the families affections and health they want to give.  So wounded, the child may live behind a self protective wall, unable to receive any good the family has to offer.

In essence that is us.  We have been adopted by a Father whose son the King of Kings (Jesus) has not only accepted us but seeks to minister to us every day. We have access to the Father because of this great King, not by what we do or not do, but because of our belief in the King.  He clothes us in righteousness for his name sake and gives us a new identity and inheritance. 

Even as we are free, we can still enslave ourselves with the old ways of thinking.  These are often well trained patterns of thought which enslaves us in emotional, spiritual and even physical poverty.  We can be enslaved to ideas, thoughts, and the ways we self identify.  

This journey to FREEDOM is in essence a call I feel the Lord drawing me into and I welcome you on the journey.  I sense the Lord drawing my heart to expectancy, rather than poverty. 
I was reminded this week of a prophetic word given to me years ago.  The person saw me sitting in a prison cell, it was like I had resigned myself to live in the cell, but the door or the cell was unlocked and Jesus was calling me to walk out!  I have walked out, but I know how easily I can succumb to lies that the enemy uses to draw me away from living free, or better still, when I create a panic room of safety, which is not into the trusting and safe arms of Jesus.  I'm declaring that I will demolish the panic rooms of self preservation and coping strategies and run toward Jesus, no matter how I feel, or think and ask Him to minister to me.  Would you join me?
Today, think of your freedom.  How has God set you free?  Do you know you are free?  Do you feel condemnation?  If you do, where is it coming from?

Take time to reflect and ask Jesus today, to minister to you His Truth.  

Read Isaiah 61 & Romans 8


Jesus, I think you for your ministry.  I'm so grateful that you have set me free by the work you did on the cross.  You have released me from the power of death and condemnation and given me eternal life.  Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to be my counselor, fill me anew with your spirit.  Empower me Jesus to know your truth not just in my head but in my heart.  Jesus, I confess my unbelief that you aren't able to meet all my needs, help me in my unbelief.   Father God, thank you for adopting me.  For your love that cannot be measured because it is never ending.  Thank you for the ways you knit me together in my mother's womb and formed me to be your image bearer.  Help me God to submit all the lies that I believe about myself and others and help me to believe the truth that is living and active in the very nature of Jesus.  Amen

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Christian Mingle lawsuit - flawed

Now in the news...
Christian Mingle Lawsuit: settled!

2 gay men (identities surprisingly covered up) sue the Christian Mingle company because they discover that there is no place for them to sign up.  You have to be a heterosexual christian to sign up. Oh dear!

The world is ending! (okay, maybe not today!)  I had no clue this was happening until I read the article on a FB friends page.  I even responded with a lengthy post, but it magically disappeared.  What's becoming increasingly clear is that if you do not adopt a broad spectrum of service for ALL people, even if it does not fit clearly in your mission statement or in your business, then you are violating the human right of an individual to participate and you will get slapped on the wrist, you will be sued etc.

Christian Mingle was now forced by coercion to put on their site a place for gay and lesbian Christians the ability to sign up.  They also paid the legal fees of the two men (450,000) and money to the 2 gay men (9,000 each).

Sit with that info!  Sit with the amount of money that was spent on this 'human rights violation!'

I then researched dating sites specifically for LGBTQ+ including those who identify being Christian LGBTQ+.  I wasn't sure what would pop up, and so I informed my accountability guys that "hey, I wasn't looking at things that I shouldn't, nor was I thinking or tempted to sign up on a site!" (yup that is what accountability looks like for me!)
A whole list of sites came up and then I wondered.  "What was the meaning to this law suit?"  Because it wasn't because there were no sites available, on the contrary, there are many sites.

I don't like how this sits...period!

Firstly: Do we as self identifying heterosexuals sue all (ALL) LGBTQ+ dating sites?  Maybe if I held that as a cultural response (that I should sue people), I could get enough money to go on a cruise or do a much needed reno on our house!  But I would much rather see the 468,000$ go toward a good cause. 

Secondly: If those 2 unidentified gay men were Christian's, why are they suing Christian Mingle anyways?  Why not start your own company if this bothers you so much.  One that will cater to your community.  Not all communities (businesses like Christian Mingle) need to cater to your belief or the ways you live your life. Christian Mingle was targeting a specific group...Christian heterosexual men and women...period, and this should not be classified as a human rights violation.

Thirdly:  There is no mention whatsoever in any of the articles written that they will cater to transgender individuals.  Is it just Christian gay or lesbian's who get the privilege?  How come the 2 gay men did not stand up for the rights of those who identify themselves as Transgendered?

I am all for baking a cake!  If you have read anything that I have written, I believe that a business should cater to all people...but something like a dating site which is specific...that is different.  There should be a freedom in that place, just as there is a freedom to have just a christian lesbian dating site, which caters to just that specific group.   

Again we have a double standard!  Dictated by culture in the name of human rights violations.  When will this stop?  Until there is clearly no specific groups anymore?  Why not just do away with all narrow, specific groups and classifications?  Wouldn't that just solve everything?  Or would that just make everything a bit more chaotic and challenging for everyone?

As for the 2 unidentified gay men?  I have no idea who you are, or what your motives were (though I have an inkling what it was!) I hope you use the money you got on serving the community around you.  Instead of fighting for something that is so not worth it, why not feed the poor, care for the widows and orphans and look after the sick!

I'm going out to do the same!

Tunnel Vision

My wife and I are in the midst of clearing house.  Its amazing how in 9 years of marriage you can accumulate so much 'stuff'; paper, knick knacks and journals.  We have so many journals, some full and some half started.  This morning I was going through my work journal/to do list book and I came across notes I wrote as I reflected on my driving.  These thoughts came to me as I began viewing how I drive our car and I began to slow down to 'see' others.  What I encountered was frantic people, with tunnel vision.  I had been so preoccupied with where I was going that I lost sight of others, making me a dangerous and unkind driver.  I found that we can take this attitude into ever part of our lives and can be consumed by it.

I was thinking about the human condition of 'self' and how this plays out in our every day lives.  I think this concept is something that isn't necessarily new (what is now a days!)
but still applicable and necessary for us to evaluate on an ongoing basis.

We talk about LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, DIVERSITY but let's look at the fundamental belief that 'I am here on earth to get what I need and deserve!'  

There is this Christian worship song called 'Jesus, lover of my soul' by Paul Oakley.  It's a great song and I love it.  One day as I was singing it, I changed the words to the verse to better fit how we often live out our life.

It's all about me, Jesus
and all this is for me
for my glory and my fame
It's not about you
as if you should do things your way
I alone am God and I don't surrender
to your ways

If we think closely to this verse and how these words speak to our spirit, we can most likely shout out an ouch...that hurts.  Is it really all about me?

Now before you jump all over me with excuses and thoughts on surrender and 'life is to be lived to the fullest', hear me out.

If I truly evaluate my life and examine my thoughts and I keep in mind the statement; 'I am here on earth to get what I need and deserve!'
This will cause me to see life with tunnel vision, narrowing my sight to just me, myself and I.  Our narrow vision may include others from time to time, but deep down, a questions continue to nag at the very depth of our soul: "Who am I? and What am I getting out of life?"

I think of many men that I know who have left their wives or their wives have left them because they came out identified with being 'gay or lesbian' or they left their spouse because they 'fell out of love, or never loved at all' or they found 'love someplace else'.  It's tunnel vision.
We bought into the notion that self actualization, self worth is more important than commitment, respect, honor, love, integrity, hard work, faithfulness, self control, goodness...kind of similar to the fruits of the spirit! We make excuses and tell others what we want them to know which is actually just appeasing our own neediness and brokenness, because we don't want to feel pain.  I get that.  I lived it for years...and if I am honest, I still wrestle with it. 

When I came out gay identified, it was about me!  It wasn't about others.  It was me, realizing that I had to live true to myself.  It was I in the garden, the serpent handing me the fruit saying "Did God actually say that?  He wouldn't hold good back from you, would he?"  I bought into a cultural definition of worth and identity because it felt right and good.  It didn't take into account those who loved me, or people who would be hurt by my 'self actualization'.  I was applauded by society, and yet I left a trail of pain behind me as I plowed off in my own direction.  I was a relatively good guy to boot. I hated injustice (I still do) People liked me, I liked people and I tried to treat others fair.  Yet, life was about me!  I viewed success as how I would prevail and rise above and get more money.  I was busy getting!

I met a great friend in the midst of all of this 'life of self' who challenged me by the ways she lived her life.  To this day, I don't think I have met anyone who is like her.  She challenged me to see others, to value others and to give generously.  We were co-workers at a school and we began to pay things forward (before it was even popular!)  Kindness; how could we be kind?  How could we lighten someone's day?  We tried secret pals, we created events like goody days that went all out in blessing others, and who knows the impact it had on others, but it did something to me.  It began to change how I saw people.  It slowed me down, because I needed to be intentional.

Now as a believer, I have come to realize even more, that life is not about me...and I still wrestle with that.  I still battle my own will when it comes to my interaction with my wife, my daughter, friends and those around me.  I'd love to say that I have laid down all my selfishness at the cross and live totally free of that.  Hardly.  There are still decisions that I mindlessly make that are fully equated to what I get out of it, rather than asking the question: "God, will you direct my decision making so you are glorified and others benefit?" 

This note that I found this morning, came at a good time as I reflect on getting rid of clutter, as I choose to allow God to continue to direct my steps and as I seek to do His perfect will and not live out of my own broken will.

Galatians 5:22-24 (The Message)

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.