Tuesday, June 14, 2011

bringing love with a sword

Recently Joe and I started going to a bible study here that has really been making me think about what I truly believe. How it goes is the leader will tell stories of things that have happened in the bible but these stories are told almost like "old wives tales". It's fantastic - because this makes it easier to remember and re-tell but also helps us to ask questions instead of taking the verses for just what they are - allowing us to dig deeper. I would like to post here about what I've been learning as a way to share but also remember.

We started with creation and Adam & Eve.
While we were discussing these stories I couldn't stop thinking about the song "When We Fell" by David Bazan - this song made me extremely uncomfortable when I first heard it.
If you knew what would happen and made us just the same then you, my Lord, can take the blame..."
I was quick to think that God would never do something like that to us. The bible study leader asked if God is just playing games with us. once again I was uncomfortable and immediately thought about God's mercy and gave Him the benefit of the doubt. But after a lot of thought I can see how people think that God simply is just messing around with us - like we're puppets. I was reading through the verses several times and couldn't help but notice that God SEEKS US. He extends His grace quicker than He gives curses. When Adam & Eve ate the forbidden fruit He WENT LOOKING for them and asked what happened. He gave them a chance to ask for forgives but instead passed the blame around. When Cain killed his brother Abel God WENT TO HIM and asked where Abel was - Cain lied.

"Because the God who is Love desires to love the whole world and genuine love involves freedom, the creatures of the Creator have received the gift of freedom to love God as a result of God’s own free decision to create and love."

Last week we read the story of Noah and what struck me the most during this story is Genesis 6:6 "The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled" He felt regret. we discussed this at length and we ended with "God Himself never changes but He changes His mind". This makes me feel like He is flexible, that He hears our cries and re-acts with genuine feelings. He may know everything that will happen before it happens but He may not know how it's going to make Him feel in the moment.

*We serve a God that is LOVE and love is messy. When love comes in there has to be room for changes and flexibility. I'm learning a lot about this personally. As God uses His sword to cut away everything that is not Love inside of me (matthew 10:34) I'm having to change a lot and although I thought I counted the costs it's been really hard and painful.
Please keep us in your prayers as we keep going ahead with all this stretching.

to those who read this: we love you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

rise and fall

Sorry again for the lack of updates.
To be honest it's been hard to write lately because life's been hard.
Lots of letting go of things that I have been carrying for years.
Lots of dreams lost and relationships broken.
Lot's of good to come though...at least I have hope.

Once again, I find this fitting:
"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall."-Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran