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Here We Go Again

I should have known what the message would be. I have been studying Colossians as the current sermon series has been camped out in the 3rd chapter. I knew what was left, but I forgot. And I went to the church gathering anyway.
“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”       Colossians 3:18-19
There goes the “S” word again. It isn’t as scary as it once was. I love my husband. But that doesn’t mean it is easy.
Really, the fact that there was so much time spent on defining submission annoyed me. It seems simple: if a husband loves his wife like Christ loves the Church, it is easy for a wife to submit. There would be lots more sex and home cooked meals. It seems so straightforward: husbands need to love wives better. 
Simple, perhaps, but yet there is sin, and struggle, and fear. We both have needs and desires that we fight to meet, sometimes even fighting against each other. But even the desire for the hus…

Dawn is Coming

A series that I did in the past was Armchair QB-Monday morning meditations, sometimes critiques unfortunately, on the pastor’s sermon.  For those that became critiques, I feel quite ashamed. As a speaker, we merely ask to be God’s mouthpiece to share the truth that the Holy Spirit desires someone hear.  Ultimately, it is God who must show up and even show off at times. When God shows off, I can’t help but smile widely. Sunday morning He was showing off. 
I have been meditating on God’s holiness lately and trying to sort out what my response has been, and what it should be. While I haven’t been to Hope lately, and this sounds quite presumptuous, God met me there. Holiness was in the fellowship, in the worship, in the message. Perhaps it is always there, but I finally had eyes to see it and ears to hear it. 
Hope still sung off key and off tempo, but the melody rose to affirm His otherness and our humility. On that frigid January morning, friends and strangers gathered together because Go…

Holy Whole

Today is the feast of the Epiphany. One of my favorite holidays. Traditionally it is celebrates when the three kings found the baby Jesus. For me, it is about the treasure we all may find at the end of the search.
 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
The treasure I thought I had found in grace.
Perhaps I was short sighted. Maybe I simply was so taken aback by grace that I didn’t need, or want, to look further. While swimming in God’s lavish grace has been delightful, lately something is different. I still live in this Grace-period, breathing only because of His grace & mercy, but there is more now. In this space of His silence, I find it filled with God’s holiness which seems to judge my reliance on grace, at least as I perceived it. 
My reliance on grace brought on a cozy familiarity that seemed to remove the holiness, the otherness, of God for me. It isn’t that God wasn’t God, but the focus on grace drew me back to myself. God love…

Wholly Holy

I have been thinking a lot about holiness lately, as I have been reading about the early fathers and doctors of the Church. 
When Teresa of Avila encouraged her sisters to be “holy,” I think of those women -pious and good. Everything they did was directed by virtues to please God. Holy seems kind of like an abstract concept though. When I try to imagine “holy,” I see gem colored frescoes and gold leaf, I smell incense, I hear tenors singing “ahhhhhhhh,” I feel awe and feel my littleness, but none of these things really speaks to holy. It isn’t just a behavior or a sensual experience. It is being other. 
The word “qadosh” (holy) means something that is “other” (set apart) - the exact opposite of the something that is common. It is a state of being different and unique. So God is other because there is none like Him. We are all creation while He is the Creator. He is unique and other while we would be common. This is where my questions start showing up:
If, as it says in Leviticus, we are …

Dreams

I dreamt I was dying the other night.
I had been to a sort of rally listening to various candidates, political and religious, share their visions for how they could change the world when I realized it was all empty rhetoric. Without any effort or thought, I walked away into the dark night. 
The darkness seemed to engulf me. I knew where I was so I wasn’t exactly afraid, but I was also aware that something was happening. The street were dimly lit and lined with darkly painted buildings with windows that were also painted like old factories. To my left, something caught my eye. At first my mind tried to deny it, but then it registered as a shadow figure. I picked up my pace trying to look casual as fear rose. 
I knew the figure was following me. My pace began to quicken. A light shone on a strip of stores. As I leapt through the automatic door of one, I found myself bathed in the bright light of a sporting goods store. When I tumbled across the threshold, I fell, my side pierced. 
The sever…

Prayer for Today

My spirit is full, pleasantly satiated at this moment.  I find it curious that God remains hidden but yet is infused in it all. Less Himself and more Other-self.
The comfort of a relaxing shower and a favorite shirt, authentic conversation with a dear friend over a delicious cup of tea, an impromptu encounter with a sponsee and a meeting with beautiful women and warm hugs where truth is spoken and a new life practiced, shopping for delights both for creativity and physical sustenance...
An old sing-song prayer comes to mind: 
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
All goodness comes from Him. All sweetness comes from Him. All gifts of nourishment for body and spirit come from Him. He is present with me because He is life to me.
And then the whispers...all trials? All tribulations? I hesitate, not wanting to be blind but not able to dismiss the pain-or the grace. I look up where bil…

Thoughts...

None enough for a post, I am just going to drop off these odds and ends here:
It is interesting to me how readily words come one day and how barren my voice is others. Do I say too much? Is this my self trying to be modest or protect itself from exposure?
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I watch this show to go to sleep. Yes, I am that person-I need background noise to sleep AND I watch British tele. But sometimes tidbits like this come along: 
I am aware of how good it has to be that it is just painful now. -The Great British Baking Show
This reflects a bit of my soul right now. As I have been thinking about God’s holiness, His Other-ness, I continue to be confronted by my awareness of sin. Part of me is really aware of how good God and how dreadful I am is that it is painful. Then I seek I am also aware of just how unpleasing the world is. 
Sure, that London Fog was warm and cozy, but now it is just an empty cup. Christmas shopping is making the mall madness, but will our purchases matter in a few months? It is all c…