Showing posts from January, 2018

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 …