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Showing posts from March, 2016

Pizza with friends

"Listen!  I am standing at the door and knocking!  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20


I am an introvert.  I am also very aware of my personal space and who enters in.  I admit, I'm one of those people that will hide if I hear someone knocking at the door.  
The deciding factor for who will come into my house is if this is friend.. or stranger. Stranger?  Neighbor kids, political/religious recruiters?  I'm hiding. Friend?  You're in.  I don't care what my house looks like or what I'm doing.  You are welcome because you know me, know my heart for you, and won't judge the condition of the interior.
You're definitely in if you've brought pizza.
I like to think that this is the exact picture given here.  Jesus is standing at my door, holding a few pizzas for me and the boys, knocking casually.. just waiting.
When I invite him in he doesn't look around in disg…

Jumping on the bed and watching rubbish

"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in a humble manner." Galatians 5:13


This was a revolutionary paradigm shift for those hearing this message for the first time.  To "live in freedom" meant that the Jews were no longer bound by the law and the Gentiles were free to live and love God without strict regulations.  
It reminds me of the scene in Home Alone when the little Kevin finally learns that his parents are gone, "I made my family disappear!"  He takes off running through the house, doing everything he was never allowed to do under parental observation.  He jumps on the bed, eats junk food, plays with explosives, watches "rubbish" and runs through the house yelling, "I'm freeeeeee!"
But as the movie progresses, Kevin learns that his freedom was a poor substitute for the loneliness he exper…

Nothing

"No power in the sky above or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:39


I'm thinking that the "power in the sky above or in the earth below" may mean angels or demons.  And yeah, I'm not really too worried about any spiritual being dragging me away from God.  They are more powerful than me so I may lose my grip but God's pretty strong.  I think He's got me.
What calms my soul is the "nothing in all creation."  Because if I'm completely honest, it would only be my own human nature, my own flesh, that would separate me from God's love.  And when I consider that he even keeps me from destroying my own soul by separating myself from Him, I am comforted.  
Today, this day after Easter, tradition holds that Jesus was risen and walking among the crowds.  Hundreds reported seeing him.  "Wasn't that the guy that the R…

Accepting the Crooked Way

"Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what He has made crooked." Ecclesiastes 7:13
The first things that strikes me about this is that is plainly says God makes things crooked.  Isn't that contrary to what we are typically taught?  I know that I will always expend enormous amounts of energy trying to "straighten" what I perceive as crooked in my life.  It never works out well.

I see this in the story of Jonah.  God had put a crook in Jonah's plans by telling him to go to Ninevah. So Jonah tries to straighten it out.  It says he:

WENT in the opposite direction
WENT to the seashore
FOUND a ship
BOUGHT a ticket
WENT on board
HOPED that he was going west
ESCAPED God (tried!)

And then God acted.  Just once.

God SENT a powerful storm.

I believe it's a matter of perception, expectation, and will.  What God was asking of Jonah was, in reality, the straight way.  It was the perfect way.  But Jonah perceived it as crooked because it was not in line with his …

The taste of death

"On this mountain He will swallow up the shroud that is over all the peoples, the woven covering that is over all the nations, He will swallow up death permanently." Isaiah 25:7-8a
Something amazing has happened to me.  Something so other-worldly, "that never, ever, ever happens," kind of thing.  And I'm sitting here in absolute terror.  Like giving birth and "watching your heart walk around outside of your body."  Terrified that this precious gift will be taken.   My tormenting vengeful God-image teasing me with this opportunity to snatch it away like a cruel bully.
This Balancer of Justice that has watched all of my terrible, other-crushing decisions will finally spill well-deserved hell into my life.  As I have left others in the wake of my tumultuous, traumatizing torrent so too will I be traumatically trampled.  The Mighty Smiter will Smite.
Knowing my own dark heart.  And how I deserve to be punished with a death so much crueler than black oblivion. …

Paychecks and Gifts

"For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
The word here for "payoff" is oywnion which means "wages" or basically my paycheck for all of the sinning that I accomplish throughout the day.  And how true it is that I am working tirelessly at sinning each day hour after hour minute after minute.  I'm well trained.  
I truly believe that our work as followers of Jesus is to bring "the Kingdom of God" into this life.  Basically, live like Jesus (that whole patience, kindness, love your enemies thing) and I suck at it.  I didn't do any of that on the way to work today.  I tried, believe me.  But these Kansans drive soooo sloooowww.  Grrrr.  
So somewhere within all of the theology that I admittedly don't understand there is the God-established rule that anyone who "sins" deserves eternal death.  And I admittedly don't understand "sin" (although I think it&#…

Back to Square One

"So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him.  They began to shout, 'Hosanna!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the King of Heaven!'" John 12:13
Hosanna.  Save us.  This is our constant cry.  Who will save us?  We lift our eyes to the mountains.  We climb palm trees to search the horizon for a savior.  Who will save us from trauma?  And injustice?  And pain?  From hell?  From life?
And what a disappointment that Jesus was killed less than a week later.  They had placed their hope in Him.  All of their hope.  
I feel this.  Defeated and lost.  I was young when I married but was believing that I was leaning on God.  At the time, I believed that it was right.  And now, 15 years later, I am at the end of my marriage.  Wondering what happened.  Doubting my ability to hear the Lord's voice.  Scared that I will make so many mistakes again.  Scared that I will mess up my life more than i already have.  Scared that I will hurt…