What can you expect?  Straight talk, laughable humor, real truth, simple living, and passionate yearning...

all regarding the God that still involves Himself in the details of the lives of His people


​​​A calling to write what He leads, no matter how uncomfortable...

Because simple daily Christian living is never what we thought it would be

​​​​He told all of us that day, that to follow Him, and be His disciple would mean absolute commitment to Him.  And, at some point, we each will be called to prove it by our ‘Love Him’ and ‘Hate the rest’ reaction; even if that reaction includes our spouses and parents and children.  He is asking for a heart that is instantly ready with that kind of decisiveness; that kind of absolute commitment.

"Salt of the Earth"...Not Just Salty Water

My husband comes from a long line of ice-cream connoisseurs.  He was raised on homemade ice-cream and finger sandwiches as a regular Sunday evening meal.  Summer and ‘just-made’ ice cream; what goes together more perfectly?  And he loves to please our indulgences.  On the last occasion that my husband made ice cream for the family, he dumped the salty ice water that he had used to freeze the cream in a different place. He poured it in the field of prairie grass next to our mowed lawn.  Now nothing is wrong with this decision, we call it the “good grass” lawn and the “bad grass” field for a reason.  And it’s not like the salty substance should have been saved for another day.  It did not contain enough substance to preform another ice-cream job…it was just a by-product.  

It’s just interesting to me that this became such a big ordeal with my kids.  A week or so after the incident, which no one knew about at the time, the grass began to turn browner than usual and die.  Three weeks later the spot was not only dead, but the grass had vanished completely.  And there, in direct contrast to the edge of the lush green trimmed lawn was a very evident barren spot.

“Hey, what happened to your lawn?” One guest asked.  And others seemed to be pulled toward the location to examine the infestation.  One visiting member of a birthday party went into a long scientific explanation about mineral deposits from underneath the soil layer, the escape of said deposits in the form of a gas, and the resulting poisoning of the grasses.  Mostly though people just glanced that way, as if some big red flag had caught their attention, and then dismissed it and went along with what they were doing.  But, my children could not leave the spot alone.  Two of them especially were drawn to the amazing reaction and treated the spot of bare soil like some sort of science project.  They studied the ground and the withering plants, and they examined the crust of salt crystals on the earth’s surface.  Day to day, week to week, the damage caused by the salty water spill seemed to grow in size and destroy everything on its boarders.  And boy, so many were intrigued.

I was reading today in Luke, chapter 14, and was surprised enough at the translated words to read the passage again and then review it with a couple of other different translations.  This is a practice that I normally use when studying, so that is not the unusual part.  The unusual thing about my study today is the content and the words themselves from my Master.  

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

“Whomever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?

“Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

“Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

“Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace.

“So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?

“It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

I was stunned by the word “hate”.  What possibly could the Lord mean by hate?  My whole life I have been taught that “love” is the word of Christ and that “hate” is something bad and wrong; that we are even to love our enemies.  How is it then, that Christ could be telling us that if we cannot hate our own families, that we cannot be His follower?  Then I remembered the salt.

You see, Christ doesn’t just want a large group of followers.  His desire is that all should be saved, but He wants to make sure that we each weigh out the decision and readily understand what we are getting into when deciding to follow Him.  He absolutely is not trying to discourage anyone.  In fact, He spends a great deal of His ministry in trying to get people…to get us…to understand that He can supply all of our needs when we make that choice to believe.  But, at this moment in His ministry, thousands of people in crowds were following Him place to place without real commitment.  Some followed Him because they were curious.  Some followed because they liked the show.  Some came because there just wasn’t anything better going on that day.  Some came to eat. But some came to feed their longing souls.  He looked out over that great crowd of people and read each individual’s intention toward commitment…and then He gave them a stern warning.

He told them the same thing that He always tells us.  He did not want half and half.  He is not fond of the color gray.  His ways of compromise and tolerance are much different than ours.  He spews out things that are neither hot nor cold.  And fences…well fences are for dividing…not sitting on.  Yes, one of the absolutely amazing things about my Lord is that He is always, absolutely consistent.  And though sometimes we do not understand, we always can look back, at the greater picture, and see the consistency.

That day, as the multitudes gathered, He tried to startle their human hearts in an effort to reach their spiritual souls.  He said, “He who has ears.”  Now, the Lord God created us.  He certainly knows that we all have ears.  But He was calling out those who had a yearning; those who could really hear…understand…maybe just barely…the meaning He was defining.  Christ wanted the mob to know that this was no easy choice.  That what He was offering was going to cost them everything of the flesh that they had…including the flesh.

He told all of us that day, that to follow Him, and be His disciple would mean absolute commitment to Him.  And, at some point, we each will be called to prove it by our ‘Love Him’ and ‘Hate the rest’ reaction; even if that reaction includes our spouses and parents and children.  He is asking for a heart that is instantly ready with that kind of decisiveness; that kind of absolute commitment.

Or, we are like salt with no flavor.  Our in-between, mediocre selves have no real purpose.  He really cannot use us the way He needed to…maybe not for anything.  Like the salt water from my husband’s ice cream maker…we are too salty to be called water, and too diluted to be of any seasoning.  And no matter where we are placed, we will not be of benefit.  Instead, as time goes on: weeks from now, we will seep into the substance around us and cause a drying, a dying, and…destruction. 

I love my family.  I have such great respect for my parents and the things they have sacrificed for me.  I absolutely adore my children and count it a blessing each day that I get to watch them grow into wonderful spiritual beings.  And Lord, I have become one with my husband…just as you spoke in Genesis.  I cannot imagine a day without his calming nature and words of encouragement.  
And although I stand before You very firmly saying that
I do want…You.

I have spent time searching my heart.  I have sat down and calculated all that is required.  I do know for certain that you want all of me…that this is Your desire and that everything I might need, You will supply.  I love You most Lord.  And although I am quivering while speaking these words, and although I still feel the splinters from the fence on my leg…I am choosing sides. I individually choose absolute commitment to You…I want to be the Salt of the Earth…not just diluted salty water.

In obedience
Rhonda D Loucks

"Salt of the Earth"...Not Just Salty Water