Posted: November 4th, 2013 |
Filed under: life | Tags: freedom, grace, purpose, sin |
2 Comments »
“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction…?” - Romans 9:22 ESV
She’s a song with the end as the intro. She emerged under the fluorescent lights dodging knuckles with two clenched fists. She had a fire strong enough to torch the house that burned her down. Her secrets formed her in the dark corner. She could see the light, but it couldn’t see her. She survived the burns and the walls. She made it through the dark corner knowing it wasn’t her fault.
Never a child, always a fighter, she built her fortress early.
“I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths.” - Hosea 2:6 ESV
It’s a No-Man’s Land where her good wasn’t good enough and her evil didn’t fill the well. Her heart screamed from the inside, but tinted windows made them think whatever they wanted. She spoiled her spoils with tears and marked all of her marks with pain. No place for a girl who didn’t know how to be good, but was too good to live in shame.
She’s getting older, always a fighter, her fortress needs new paint.
“…in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory…” -Romans 9:23 ESV
Bird of death, the raven hatched an egg. Mother of sin, the mother bleeds milk of grace. A foundation of loss, a first floor of abuse, a second story of condemnation, and a third that tumbled down, only God makes right with wrong and completely forgets.
Only God can completely forget like forgetting was His plan all along.
” I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, “You are my people”; and [she] shall say, “You are my God.” - Hosea 2:23 ESV
I am No Mercy and I live in the land of Mercy. I am from Not My People and He calls me His People. And He is my God.
2 Comments »
Posted: October 28th, 2013 |
Filed under: life | Tags: advice |
4 Comments »
“Restore me with the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” - Psalm 51:12 ESV
So many people have lost their passion for Jesus. They’re passionate about their church, about philanthropic opportunities, and they’re passionate about their Christian community, but they’re neglecting the object of their love. Religious activities can consume your life and still have nothing to do with Jesus or that with which He consumes Himself. Nothing we do in His name matters when we’ve lost our passion for the only thing that matters. Love, grace, mercy… It’s damaging to engage in a Jesus-branded culture when the perspective of “why” is obscure. There is such a thing as a person being more harmed than helped by much of the church environment.
There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about your church. It’s kind of like being passionate about your company or school or other informed choices you make. It’s fine. It’s just not the point.
What is “the joy of your salvation” and why would you need to be upheld with a “willing spirit”?
“I know how bad I’ve been, my sins are staring me down.” – Psalm 51:3 MSG
Don’t move so far away from that moment that you completely forget what lifted you into the purpose you’re trying to fill in. Everything is most clear when you are wrecked with thanks.
“Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.” - Psalm 51:13 ESV
Your purpose is to use your eye-witness account to show others the Jesus you met when you were at your worst. The most powerful perspective is the one where there is no question about who gets credit for what.
Don’t get so caught up in how awesome you are. Trust me, we all know how awesome you are. Don’t get so far away from “the joy of your salvation” that you start thinking the awesome is coming from you.
Like an old married couple, how about you revisit the days when everything was exciting and you fed off the tension of possibility.
“Smooth seas do not make good sailors.” This is a journey. Failures are not the end. Rise stronger and help the others. He’ll uphold you with a willing spirit.
4 Comments »
Posted: October 19th, 2013 |
Filed under: life | Tags: grace, purpose |
6 Comments »
We have a tendency to corrupt our explanation of God by giving him human attributes – by making him like us and giving Him our own blind spots. It sounds like a simple mistake, but it’s much bigger. Even thinking that there is a point that God would give up on us implies that He expected us to not fail. It implies that something lies outside of His sight, and is therefore an unexpected occurrence. John 1, John 2, John 5, John 6, and John 16 all say that Jesus knows what is in our hearts, in our thoughts, and that he sees us.
I think that pride can be cleverly disguised as ignorance because maybe it’s not that we bring God down to our level of understanding, it’s more like we assume that we have His. The implications should sting. This should be making you uncomfortable because it is no different than Garden level thinking.
Humans give up on each other. Even parents give up on their children. But that’s only because we as people have designs on each other that the other person is not fulfilling. God’s only design on us is to be a product and recipient of His love. Read Isaiah 49. Read Isaiah 54. God’s plan for us is all about being rescued and rebuilt. Why would we need to be rescued and rebuilt? If you think that God has given up on you, you need to consider that things are not always about you. This thing is so much bigger than you. It’s about Jesus and what He’s done for you.
6 Comments »
Posted: September 2nd, 2013 |
Filed under: life | Tags: personal |
29 Comments »
I’ve been leaving alphabet behind and building things in my mind. I write for myself because it’s quieter that way. It gives the people without thoughts somewhere else to play. I hung a wind chime in my garden because it’s outside my bedroom window, but it’s so small I can’t hear it. I keep things to myself and hang bits of my worship on display. Music for a stranger who might pass by this way.
Have you ever thrown a party that got too loud, so you had to step outside in the quiet night until they went away?
You can hear more truth in silence, anyway.
Do you know anyone else who put herself through college just to write a book?
Straight A’s. My, how things change.
I don’t like the mess of self promotion. There’s a psychology to the game. “Create a community, a sense of ‘Us’. Encourage interaction, ask questions to get comments. Write consistently. Like me. Fan me. Like this. Promote me and I’ll promote you. Read me and I’ll read you. Like me and I’ll like you. Get more followers, get more fans, get get get.”
Small circle fame and a fast plastic train.
I don’t like games. I don’t like strategy. I like quality. I like the real deal. I want to be an artist. I want to use words to create a picture that may never be seen. I’m the girl who hung a wind chime I can’t hear.
I’m learning the secrets that others use to sway you. I don’t think religion should be sold like survival gear to the afraid. They don’t talk about Jesus or grace because it takes away the fear. If you’re not afraid, you can’t be controlled. You can’t oppress people who have no fear. I’m learning how the human brain works so that I can help you avoid damaging “group think” and “social loafing”, and “fundamental attribution errors”. Give me some time, I’ll explain.
I want to help you avoid getting psychologically destroyed if your church community doesn’t like you anymore. I want to help you not destroy someone who falls down. I want to help fight the fear.
This is me telling you that I’m still here. I’m learning, I’m building up, and I’m writing.
29 Comments »
Posted: July 8th, 2013 |
Filed under: life | Tags: faith, hope |
4 Comments »
It’s been quiet because I’ve been thinking. I create distance to silence the buzz. I stepped out of the argument and watched the tide gravitate to what is safe. Homeostasis of the “ye of little faith”.
I watch people and I listen to them. So sure of something they should never be finished discovering.
The man, trying too hard for too long to be cool, sits in the coffee shop and talks like he has all the answers while the kid can’t edge a word, a question, in. And I know he’s a Christian not because he’s drinking in the honesty of someone else’s life, but because he brought a stack of books and talks incessantly. Like a salesman selling timeshares of eternity in paradise. All he needs is a signature.
I read a lot. Mostly I read things that have nothing to do with the argument, but if it’s true it’s God and the call keeps speaking. I clean up my feed so that I don’t get dulled by the short-sighted. I accept an invitation to read someone else and wonder how they can use so many letters to say so little. It’s all back peddling and hampster wheel racing. The clanging cymbals of the loveless busybodies drown out the real music of the little guys asking the big questions.
When was the last time your journey of faith wasn’t about you? Do you know what it’s like to be dwarfed by just a glimmer of Him? When was the last time you were in awe?
So much effort is put into keeping their lives between the lines because nothing can hurt you if you follow the rules. Blinker’s on, tread’s thick, oil’s fresh, and the needle stays where it should. They’re convinced that nothing bad happens to those who follow the rules. Until something bad happens.
What if they knew that they could do everything right or everything wrong and end up in the same place? The squire says “All is vanity.” He writes that all the streams run to the sea, yet the sea is not full. The ears never fill with hearing and the eyes never tire of seeing (Ecc 1:7-8).
People fall prey to groupthink and still feel original. They credit God for math that doesn’t reconcile, but blame themselves for messing up the formula. They say that you have to get it right to be right, but when all of your rightness can’t produce the dream, then God’s got other plans. It’s like He’s omnipotent when you’re good and impotent when you’re bad.
God is God no matter who you decide is you. You’re a fickle heart, choosing this battle over that battle, justifying what is yours and condemning the match to your set when it’s another’s.
People are boycotting words like a skinny girl boycotts chocolate cake. Kids are standing in corners for saying the wrong thing while extended family walks through the illogical landmines of an uptight and worn out Christian trying in all the wrong ways to distance herself from the rest of the godless world. It’s as though God cannot come where too much skin shows, or too much wine is consumed, or too much chaos ensues.
It’s as though God cannot hold that which has no order to order.
We live in a galaxy that is so inhospitable for life it’s a wonder anyone has a life to sweat over. Step away from the mirror for just a second and consider our place in space. We live in a galaxy that is being pulled at by two other galaxies wanting to swallow us up. The Small Maggelanic Clouds and the Large Maggelanic Clouds are pulling on the hydrogen gas in our atmosphere so severely that it’s warping the outer edge and playing it like a three piece acoustic band. We’re the rope in a gallactic tug-o-war (Cain, 2006). It’s like God is using the chaos to make music. If Middle C was the Y-axis on a chart, the three notes are 3 million octaves below it. The literal notes our vibrating gallaxy sings can’t even be charted.
We have a black hole in the middle of our gallaxy that, at it’s smallest, is the size of 40,000 suns (Finley, 2004). Black holes are gluttons and anything close to it becomes a gallactic gas burb. Yet, right on the lip of this massive monster, a collony of new stars is born as though survival was not unlikely (Deutsch, Hupp, Roy, & Watzke, 2005). Black holes destroy stars, they don’t help create them. But, ours did.
Our lives are layered with ordered chaos and thrive in inhospitable conditions. What should rip us to pieces and rename us is actually creating music that only He can hear. What should swallow us whole and crush us with the weight of a mass most of us can’t even calculate, is actually creating new life. We’re dwarfed by our lack of control and asked to trust the One who can snuff us out with a word.
He made it to where our sin cannot destroy us. If he can hold the universe together with a decision, then His word about you can’t be trumped with your own chaotic black hole. Knowing Him, He’ll probably use it to create new life in you.
He gets the last word. He creates order out of disorder.
“Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about? Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much! Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements? How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone, While the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise? And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night. Then I made a playpen for it, a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose, And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place. Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.” – Job 38:2-11 MSG
4 Comments »