Sunday, July 27, 2014
And, because of that, I've found that my life has constantly shifted, constantly changed... and, in some cases, I'm barely the person I was yesterday - let alone a few years ago. That's just how it goes.
Jesus says that He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life - no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) I really like that verse. I think it demonstrates, pretty clearly, that Jesus is - essentially - a gateway to God. And, that is awesome.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
We need to trust that - even if the feedback is critical or negative - we can know, in our hearts, whether or not we have done the right thing.
For example, I put up one blog post for Fold a day. And, in that post, Rebekah and I have taken time and thought to piece together exactly what it is that we feel is important to say and then we package it all together to produce what gets published.
We have to trust that what we have "set in stone" on the Internet is what has been good to put up at that time - and, it will do the good that it needs to do for those who read it. So, how do you get that kind of trust?
Your body knows the truth. Which is a great thing. Because, that by-passes the mind, altogether.
That is why politics completely confuse spiritual truths and make them diluted. Any decision that comes out of a grounded, whole person - mind, body, spirit - can be discussed in an atmosphere of kindness and sensitivity.
But, without that ground, decisions made because they "seem right!" or because "we need to do this!" or whatever... a) never actually carry any weight, and b) make people feel uneasy about the attributes of God working in such a decision-maker. Some people are just unstable. Many of them make decisions, fight for causes, post on Facebook, run for office, etc.
God gives stability in the body. Wholeness. Calm. Trust that your body knows how to find God, even if the ideas hitting your brain are telling you the opposite. Then, recognize those ideas and you will have a first-hand taste of the roar of the lion the bible calls the devil.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Rebekah and I were under a bridge near Torrington, Wyoming, observing the graffiti. It was very colorful. And, also, we could really feel the anger splashed up on the underside of that bridge, in so many colors.
Sometimes, people push, and push, and push, and you just can't find an outlet. And, sometimes, because of that, everything backs up - and, you want to explode.
I can see how people could take to tagging on the side of a bridge and on the buttresses underneath it! This world is crazy. The pressure to conform is immense.
Then, you throw God into the mix. And, you've got tension, stress, and a constant choice to make: what do I do next? How do I follow Christ without dishonoring Him? How do I avoid sin!?
In my own life, I have found that the answer to those questions is actually not an answer but a Person. Jesus. God is alive. And, everywhere. His Presence fills all of reality (Colossians 1&2, if you need the "biblical" reference for that one!)
Can you find safety in the midst of the pressure!?
If God is our refuge (Psalm 46:1), why does this world feel so unsafe? And, why do many of the people who feel the most threatening have "Christian" as their public testimony?
I think it's because there's a gulf between Jesus and culturally-acceptable forms of Christianity that are really nothing more than political movements.
More next time...
Thursday, July 24, 2014
In this difficult world, pain and strife are constant companions. False peace usually comes not far behind! (i.e., everything's fine! Really! I'm happy!) But, false peace is only superficial; it barely even begins to cover the wounds, let alone address them. False peace clouds the issue. I wish people would stop trying to make others feel good, superficially.
Telling somebody, for example, that their photographs are "so BEAUUUTIFUL!" when you don't, actually, see beauty inside or out only hurts that person's soul, whether or not they would be able to admit it. False peace comes when uncomfortable people project their discomfort on to someone else, then go about the business of trying to solve the other person's "problems." I know. I've done it.
True peace comes in something much more genuine than that. True peace comes in brokenness. A broken heart understands that this human condition has nothing to do with insincerity, in truth, but that people are created to be honest with one another - and, that, it is because of trauma that people can't do so, today.
Pretending the world is sunnier than it is only turns the knife in deeper, for those who are in pain. God is good. But, His goodness extends to understanding the complexities of every human need. Not brushing those needs off.
I do not want any false encouragement. I want honesty. From others. And, from myself. And, that takes work. For me, it has been a life-long journey. I have always tried to be open, only to find that my attempts have not always helped but have, instead, hurt. I am not looking for advice. What I am asking for is patience.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
For example, my yard is a rectangle of green grass. It is really simple, that way. It is about 4,000 square feet. And, to me, that is a lot of space. In fact, I know that - because I live in Wyoming - space is more readily-available; but, at the same time, 4,000 square feet could be enough land to house several families.
I remember people telling me that Christianity isn't about making the world a better place but just about saving souls (as if there's anything saved inside of a soul that doesn't care about making the world a better place). But, I am grateful for the heart-attitude that has, over time, developed in my own experience. I consider it valuable. I don't want to be a greedy person. And, I think it is clear that many people are opening their hearts, more and more, to needs around them.
Even Hollywood people. I like seeing the ways that people who have wealth seek to give it, donate it, share it. If you are bitter, you only accept the goodness that others are doing if it goes in line with your own preferred causes. I don't want to be bitter.
Jesus is a Name that polarizes. In my own life, just even mentioning His Name has meant certain reactions from other people. In some places, mentioning Jesus' Name might even result in death to the person speaking that Name. And, for that, I am very sorry. I would hope that in our increasingly-enlightened world we could find the kindness within ourselves to allow people to feel positively about Jesus, without being threatened by those feelings.
I don't expect us all to "coexist." But, I do think people who talk about unconditional openness and acceptance ought to unconditionally accept people who love Jesus.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In my case, some of those circumstances were very politically charged! In hers, not so much.
But, we both came to our marriage with immeasurable amounts of trauma, and the constant need for healing.
That being said, maybe you haven't considered the power of healing in your life, before. Or, maybe you thought it was something that just the "doctors" do. Well, that is most certainly not the case.
I think, if we were all honest with ourselves, which is hard to do, we would realize that life throws us curve-balls after curve-balls, and there is always grief. Sometimes, something strikes a chord in us - for example - that makes us angry! Then, we want to run away and hide... etc., etc., etc. I have friends who deal with somatic healing (working in a healing capacity with the body); the amount of pain and trauma packed in to our bodies in many ways is immense!!!
Then, there are the various ways that bad ideas - the Bible calls it "demonic wisdom" - carve themselves into our hearts, we believe them, beat ourselves up because of them, that goes into our bodies and into our perception(s) of ourselves and others, even our children, etc., etc., etc.
There is so much need for healing, it's not even funny. And, that's the point of Fold.
Fold is a blog from our hearts, about the aspects of God's life that we resonate with, in our journeys, as He directs us. We both love God. And, we both know that He has given us the ability to share what we have learned - insights, etc. - with you. And, for that, we are grateful both to you as well as to God. And, we hope that you can experience healing from what we write.
The world is full of bad ideas. We spend a lot of time thinking about them.
Please consider Fold an encouragement.