Monthly Archives: December 2017

Wild Beauty

God is the source of all beauty.

God is the Creator, and His creation is perfect.

God is a god of order.

Thus, the Wild (untouched by man’s hands or the ugliness of the Fall) is the perfect example of order.

The Wilderness draws our hearts and inspires us and causes us to point and say, “this is beauty” every day… and yet sometimes when humans create order, we try to move so far away from entropy that we leave the Wild behind, and in its place we create sterility.

Wild is beauty.

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Gordian Knot

We try to figure out how we got in the mess we’re in right now, and as much as I enjoy playing with ideas, I think it tends to look a lot like this:

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credit patrick corrigan, found on google

Where’s the end of the string?  Do we look at culture, the loss of religion in school, marriage????  And if we unraveled things back a layer, wouldn’t we find another pile of knots to work on?  It’s not as if there weren’t serious societal problems 50 or 100 years ago.

Again, not that I’m not interested.  I do think it’s quite interesting, and fun to think about.

But ultimately, the solution isn’t in our untangling the knot.  The solution is in the sword.

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For now, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  If you want to get right, really right – get right with God and the rest will sort itself out in time.  If you want to fix the mess, make converts and disciple them and teach them to burn for the Lord and have lives that reflect His glory.  The ropes just fall away…

For soon, the sword borne by our Lord in conquest, when all will be set right and justice will return to our poor earth.

Talking about “we should unravel” … um.  The World has always been a Gordian knot.  Only the sword can solve this problem.

 

Hands should not covet ears

At prayer meeting last night and one of the other ladies and I just went OFF on how beautiful the body of Christ is, especially when we’re all operating as we ought.  (We were talking about the spiritual gifts).

Thing is that we are a body.  We’re supposed to use the gifts that we’ve been given, thoroughly and in total submission to Christ.  We aren’t supposed to sigh heavily and envy someone else’s giftings, which is what a lot of us do.  Sure.  Pursue (in prayer) all the gifts.  But you still have a job to do.  What is it?  Do that.

My job is counsel.  People have been coming to me to tell me horrible things since I was just out of high school.   I didn’t ask for that job, people just started talking to me.  My gifts are necessary to do my job.  And the spiritual part of my gifts have grown over the years, as I’ve sought God.

Yes, I’ve been able to feel God’s presence since … always.  What that means is that sometimes when I’m counseling, I’ll think up something clever, and God will stuff a sock in my mouth and I don’t get to say my clever thought.   Or He’ll press me to say something I would really rather not say.    His felt presence is necessary to my work for Him.

Confession:  I’ve always wanted evangelism.  Always felt less because I couldn’t “seal the deal” no matter how hard I tried.  (I do evangelize, I don’t have the gift).  I grew up Baptist – if you’re a good Baptist, you make conversions!  And I didn’t.  I don’t.   My family is full of gifted evangelists.  I’m not one of them.

I think some of what feeds this envy is that we each see the need, right where we are.  I see the need for more folks to go out and love people.  (Oy.  Awkward things to ask for – the gift of love.  Now I can’t NOT love most people I spend any time with).  I see heart after heart in need of a friend to stand alongside them, pull them out of their shell a bit, and love on them.  I can’t do as much as I’d like.

And the evangelists go nuts seeing people not be told the gospel.  The helpers see the mess.  The healers see the sick.  The teachers see the ignorant.   We all pull at each other, begging for help!  And that doesn’t help the envy problem.  Now I don’t just see my lack, I see the problem *and* my lack.  Ugh.

But we’re not called to win the battle, we’re called to fight.   We’re not called to fix the problem, we’re called to get up and do our bit.

Did you get up today, did you do your bit?  Was that your bit to do?  Then stop worrying about what’s on someone else’s plate.   If you’re supposed to dig ditches, you get issued a shovel, and if you’re supposed to pound nails, you get issued a hammer.   That’s how this works.  We’re a body, we work together for Him.

Pre-determination/Free-Will

I’ve said before that I think the argument is a bit specious because God is outside of Time, but I had some thoughts that made this gel a bit better for me.

It is one of the attributes of God that He is Omniscient.  He cannot be ignorant of anything.

It is one of the attributes of Man that he was created with free will – freely to choose love and obedience or rebellion and alienation.

God cannot be ignorant of the choices that Man will make, regardless of when he makes them, much as we were known from the time before our conception.  But this does not mean He makes the choice for us, that we will love Him or not.  Love without choice is not love.

When the Bible speaks of pre-determination, it speaks of this knowing, not of God having taken the choice from Man.  If God was the One choosing, all would be saved.  He limits His power so that we can make the choice – but He does not limit His knowledge of what we will do.

And that amount of love staggers me.  To create, to love, to know all the while that some of the beloved would leave forever… simply for the sake of those who stay.   Flabbergasting.  I mean, face on the floor whimpering even to think of it, the pain that God must have.

Anyway.  I wanted to share and get it on paper so it wouldn’t bump around in my brain.