Special Preview Excerpt: “Escape the Funhouse”

Photo Credit: Corey Doyle: Creative Commons

My newest devotional, Praying Grace for Women: 55 Meditations and Declarations for beloved Daughters of of God is now available for pre-order on Amazon. I’ve poured 35 years of loving and praying for an amazing wife and three extraordinary daughters into it.

I believe, with all my heart, that it contains truths and keys that are vital for thriving in these times of cultural shaking. Such times can be disorienting, which is the subject of this particular entry, which lives in the section titled “Grace for Peace”:

Escape the Funhouse

Help, Lord! Save us! For godly ones are disappearing. Where are the dependable, principled ones? They’re a vanishing breed! Everyone lies, everyone flatters, and everyone deceives. Nothing but empty talk, smooth talk, and double-talk. Psalm 12:1–2
Photo Credit: Paolosanches – Own work, CC BY 4.0 

Have you ever been inside an old-school carnival “funhouse?” The kind with a maze of strange mirrors and optical illusions specially designed to trick and confuse you? Some mirrors make you look impossibly round. Others twist you into a bizarre hourglass or other shapes. Clusters of mirrors disorient you. Other rooms with tilted floors and angled walls toy with your sense of balance.

Doesn’t that sound like “fun?” No? Well, it seems, thanks to the internet and social media, we’ve all entered a type of global funhouse. Traditional, long-trusted sources of news and information have abandoned any pretense of objectivity and now simply serve as propaganda arms for one side or another in the “culture wars.”

Thirty years ago, our sources of information came from a mere handful of large media organizations operating exclusively in three realms: television, radio, and print. For better and worse, the internet and smartphones upended all of that. Today every individual on the planet is a “news source” and a pundit, offering opinions, perspectives, and interpretations of the news—often anonymously and therefore with NO accountability. Many have an axe to grind, a viewpoint to sell, a grudge to settle, or a cause to advance. Some deliberately lie. Many unwittingly share false or misleading information with their network of friends.

Perhaps the psalmist David prophetically saw our predicament when he wrote his cry of “Help, Lord!” to begin today’s key scripture passage. In a funhouse environment, you can’t trust your own eyes. In a similar way, you can’t even trust your own brain because of something psychologists call cognitive biases. For example, confirmation bias causes you to notice “facts” that harmonize with what you already believe while making you generally blind to information that contradicts that belief.

So, is there any good news here? Yes! David delivers it in verse six of the same chapter as today’s key passage:

“For every word Yahweh speaks is sure and reliable. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.”

Psalm 12:6

You have a sure, reliable, trustworthy, ever-present source of information and guidance living right inside of you: the Holy Spirit of God. “The Helper,” Jesus called Him. More trustworthy than your own perceptions and thought processes, He is your way out of the funhouse.

Prayer of Declaration:

The Holy Spirit is my Helper; I shall not be deceived. Today and every day I turn my attention away from the flattery, lies, and deceit of this world’s information systems and toward the faithful flawless Words of my God. I trust in Him and do not lean to my own understanding.

Praying Grace for Women, “Escape the Funhouse”
It’s a lovely book.