You May Argue, But …

Whenever my brain waves begin to lay flat and my mind becomes exhausted from a day of writing, I grab a glass of tea and the TV remote. I depend on Joanna Gaines and Giada DeLaurnetiis to give my mind a break. They offer the inspiration I need to fill a skillet or two for supper.

Cooking shows typically begin with a tantalizing picture of the dish about to be prepared. If the picture looks tasty, I’ll stick around thinking I might try it someday. It’s always a process; but I’ve come to enjoy that process. I love replicating new recipes that come from sources I’ve learned to trust. My family and friends, for the most part, don’t resist the dishes I place in front of them. When bellies are full, everyone seems to enjoy one another so much more.

No doubt, many of us will gather around family tables for Easter. For some, it is just a holiday filled with hidden eggs, chocolate bunnies, and spring flowers. For Christians, Easter is a day of grand remembrance. It reminds us to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection all year long. And who doesn’t love a year-long celebration?

Yet, how we feel about Jesus determines whether or not we passionately participate in that kind of celebration. The former atheist C.S. Lewis believed each of us must decide for ourselves whether Jesus was a lunatic, a liar, or Lord. If He was either lunatic or liar, then He could not be Lord. If He was Lord, He could be neither lunatic nor liar. 

It only takes a quick internet search to hear all of the pro and con arguments for each of those descriptions of Jesus. I used to enjoy that kind of banter, partly because I love to learn, but mostly I just wanted to prove I was right. However, I’ve repented from that attitude and discovered a most wonderful and absolutely irrefutable “argument”, if you can call it that. It’s so simple that I’m embarrassed I missed it for so long. It invites, rather than pushes. Yet, like most simple things it requires intentional time and exceptional diligence to convey properly. So, what IS this complex, yet simple thought? Here it is: 

You may argue about my theology, but you cannot
argue with my transformation!

Yes, I believe that Jesus is Lord, the Son of God. 
I believe He has, can, and will do all He says He can do.
Most importantly, I believe that He has, can, and continues to willingly do all those things for me!

Because I believe those things, I trust that Jesus sits beside God right now as my defense attorney, friend, brother, and the one who gave me a right relationship with God. I trust that His Holy Spirit lives inside of me. His lovingkindness helped ushered in my physical healing so that I would be convinced of His power and have the strength to serve others. His Spirit convicted me of all my legalism and helped me find spiritual rest in the love of God and the grace of Jesus. His Word healed my depression by transforming my mind, will, and emotions. I have an abundance of peace like I’ve never known, and I look forward to seeing how God will most definitely orchestrate the rest of my days. 

There is no other counselor, friend, pastor, teacher, family member, neighbor, or doctor that could do all that Jesus has done for me. He has changed me from the inside out. Because my spirit participated in His death, burial, and resurrection, and I exchanged my will for His, I am a new creation! My life has been resurrected from the ashes, and no one can make me believe there’s a better way to live. And, apparently, no one can shut me up either! Yes, you may argue with my theology, but you cannot argue with the transformation I have experienced.

I’m praying that each of our lives will serve up a dish so tantalizing that those who’ve become exhausted and weary will stick around long enough to try it someday. Then, maybe they’ll want to replicate it. Your life’s transformation just might be the healthy helping of inspiration someone else needs to fill their bellies full of faith. Never underestimate the power of a tasty meal prepared by the hands of Jesus! 

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.”

Psalm 34:4-10 NLT

Posted in
a poster with text saying “You May Argue, But…”

The Good Life

By Donna Jackson | September 20, 2022 |

My grandparents lived in my college town long before I became a student. They made sure that I knew their house was my home. Even though they’ve gone on to their new eternal home, being back in that town still feels like home.   Wandering from street to street wakes up sweet memories. Traveling just a…

When An Alligator Is Under Your Armpit

By Donna Jackson | September 13, 2022 |

Nine months ago, our daughter and son-in-law welcomed a five-year-old little boy from Taiwan into our tribe. He wears a perfect smile most of the time, and his eyes light up when he sees a new face. He welcomes everyone into his heart immediately. No one is allowed to be a stranger in his world…

Going Back to Kindergarten

By Donna Jackson | September 6, 2022

Year after year, a reserved spot on my fifth-grade classroom wall displayed the same laminated poster. On it were the simple, yet profound words of Robert Fulghum titled, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Maybe you also remember seeing the same popular poster somewhere in your life.  After fulfilling my duty to laboriously…

We Interrupt This Program for a Special Announcement

By Donna Jackson | August 30, 2022

At 1:11 pm yesterday, our seventh grandchild arrived kicking and screaming. While I might have had time to string together a few paragraphs to craft a blog, I was much too excited to focus. I did, however, use my time to notice the goings and comings of those around me. Many young mothers wheeled by…

BREAD!

By Donna Jackson | August 23, 2022

Between church services Sunday morning I took a few minutes to do one of my favorite things – people watching. I observed men, women, and children of all ages, colors, sizes, and classes. Some men wore wrinkled sport shirts, others spiffy sport coats; some had donned long pants, others wore shorts; a few shiny wing…

Subtle Obedience

By Donna Jackson | August 16, 2022

What hints help you identify someone as a fellow believer? What causes you to inquire about someone’s faith? Are you drawn more toward people who do great public things for God or to those who work quietly behind the scenes? How might others recognize YOU as a believer? These are the questions I wrestle with;…

What Teachers Need From You

By Donna Jackson | August 9, 2022

As a first-year teacher, I soaked up every tidbit of advice my veteran cohorts floated my way. Some of it worked well for me, some of it didn’t fit my teaching style. I especially needed to hear how those master teachers conducted their parent conferences. Thankfully, I sat in on many meetings with a teacher…

Slip Sliding Away

By Donna Jackson | August 2, 2022

Maybe they just don’t see where you’re coming from. Or, maybe you’re looking at it all wrong. Maybe you’re both looking at things from totally different perspectives – from opposite ends of the spectrum. You intended to bless. They felt cursed. You see one side and they see the other. Whatever caused the rift, you’re…

One Team

By Donna Jackson | July 26, 2022

What seems like decades ago, (Oh, wait, it was decades ago.) I coached my daughter’s softball team for several seasons. I learned early on that it helped to keep a hit sheet, among other things, for each opponent. Knowing where each of their girls usually hit the ball allowed me to move my girls into…

God Was Not Surprised

By Donna Jackson | July 19, 2022

I learned the hard way that being negative can have adverse effects.  Maybe I should clarify that a smidge. My BLOOD TYPE is A negative, and apparently in 1959 hospitals could not type blood as well as they do now. After becoming anemic at age 2, I received a blood transfusion that introduced positive Rh factors…