Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Two Cents of Good Reading

by heavenly_angellourdes in photobucket 

"Christians are addicted to “answers.” For some reason, we think the ultimate favor we can do for the world is to explain the ways of God.

I humbly disagree."
~Chaplain Mike at Imonk~

"What is hindering your thinking? What preconceived ideas do you have that are keeping you from learning? What if someone revealed a truth in scripture that completely rocked your world? Could you be complacent and not even know it? Does he have to earn your respect before you even begin to approach the scriptures he teaches?"
~Serena Woods at Grace is for Sinners~

"The Crucifix is at once both jarring and profound. You are forced to acknowledge the brutality of crucifixion–it is not a pleasant, polite, docile image. It is shocking. It is almost…garish. It made me ask myself: why? Why the crucifixion? Why such a brutal, seemingly needless end to life?

The only power that overcomes the reality of suffering, injustice and evil in this world is love. Only love conquers death."

"In the hands of a sinner, God is a dangerous weapon."
~Hillary at Quivering Daughters~

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Catty Wisdom

Did you ever hear this scripture:
 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (2 Timothy 4:3, King James Version)
wielded to say your pastor was the only one speaking God's truth?

Cherry-picked phrases are dangerous.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Two Cents: should the walls come tumbling down?

photo by erykag
                              Mending Wall
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'
~Robert Frost~

“for whatever reasons, men continue to need marked boundaries, even when they find it difficult to justify their existence.”~George Montiero~

who makes the lambs fight? by Serena Woods

Repenting of a Political Mindset by Chaplain Mike @ Imonk

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cracked about the head

image by RoseKeller in photobucket
Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.
~Herman Melville~

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

For Ash Wednesday

My prayer for Ash Wednesday:

 1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
         According to Your lovingkindness;
         According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
         Blot out my transgressions.
 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
         And cleanse me from my sin.
 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
         And my sin is always before me.
 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
         And done this evil in Your sight—
         That You may be found just when You speak,
         And blameless when You judge.
 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
         And in sin my mother conceived me.
 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
         And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
         Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
 8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
         That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
 9 Hide Your face from my sins,
         And blot out all my iniquities.
 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
         And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
         And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
         And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
         And sinners shall be converted to You.
 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
         The God of my salvation,
         And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
 15 O Lord, open my lips,
         And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
         You do not delight in burnt offering.
 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
         A broken and a contrite heart—
         These, O God, You will not despise.
 18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
         Build the walls of Jerusalem.
 19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
         With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
         Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar. (Psalm 51, New King James Version)

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Two Cents: Have you heard about the jailbreak?

"But it comes down to this: If I am the one in control, then I am in a prison of my own making.
I have come to this place in my life: I either want to let go of my life and let God be in total control, or I want to be in total control myself. Splitting the duties just doesn’t work. “Balance” is not the way. (That is another essay for another day. Just know that the “B” word is not welcome with me.) I can try to earn my way into God’s good graces by doing all of the good and prudent things that Christians are supposed to do, or I can have God’s good Grace simply by receiving it."
~Jail Break~
Internet Monk
“Since when have you not had permission to live any way you like? Even in the prison of legalism, you are free to act and think and do anything you want. It just comes heaped with guilt. And guilt is not a way God speaks to us. Guilt comes from doing something you think you are not supposed to do, whether that goes against tradition or against what you have always been told is wrong or it goes against what religious teachers tell you is wrong. Guilt is based in fear, and fear is not of God. Fear is based on the thought of punishment. And if we are really and truly totally forgiven, then there is no more punishment ahead.”
~Monkshank Redemption~
Internet Monk
"Grace gives you your dignity back. Your dignity is rooted in the identity of Jesus. Jesus came FIRST. He’s not a plan B. He’s not an afterthought. He’s not a result of God saying, ‘Fine. I’ll do this.’ God wanted to ‘do this’. So He created us.

When we sin, we have all of hell trying to get us to believe that we haveruined everything. However, sin illuminates the need for Jesus. Hell wants you to believe that you’re only good enough if you’re good enough. God is trying to get you to see that He created you to need Him, therefore, without grace you are never going to be good enough. It’s not about your failure, it’s about the way this whole thin
g is set up. We’re useless without Him. Would you want it any other way?"
~getting your dignity back~
Serena Woods
"It’s so easy to miss this. Sometimes we even seem to want to miss this. Maybe we prefer things to be more complicated. Maybe we want to feel like we get some reward for our good works. Maybe we want to feel superior to all those sinners who don’t know how to lead a holy life. Maybe we think it isn’t fair that sinners get the same deal as righteous people. But then that’s probably how we felt about salvation before we first received Christ. That’s how we feel when we don’t like the Gospel."
~Just As You Received Christ...~
Eric Pazdziora

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lake {Me} Superior

I am going to start this post by apologizing:This post is the apex of four thought processes train wrecking. Please excuse the messy thought and sentence structure as well as gratuitous allusions.

To start or rather to understand any of this rambling please watch the following clip. The section of 1:30-2:15 is relevant to my point:

The fact is I don’t live in Lake Male Superior. (Though a disturbing amount of men do- see here)

I live in Lake Me Superior (Just call me pond “J”)

Who came up with all the rules in Lake Me Superior? I did. I was influenced by parents, Bible reading and cult living (HA! You thought I was going to say good living didn’t you? Oh come on-just admit it :)

The point is: I made up my rules based on views handed to me by fallible parents and a skewed understanding of God)

Now no diving to conclusions. You might get hurt. I haven’t added a diving board to Lake Me.

There are moral absolutes. Ten of ‘em in Exodus. I haven't kept all of them all of the time-have you?

There AREN’T, however, me absolutes. Me absolutes used to say that all women who wore pants were sinning. Add a little makeup to that if you will you ungodly huzzy!

My absolute authority on this: A cult pastor. (Funny that it was okay though to steal people’s life savings. Just don’t wear pants and make up while you do it!)

My point: I am fallible. I do not make the rules. I am not (SNICKER!) a judgment stone. I list more toward the natural disaster zone.

Serena Woods describes it brilliantly:

People sit on their throne of judgement with their scepter of wisdom petting their bobble head lion of Judah and consider the shortcomings of others in order to determine their eternal position. The disease of the religious insider is the complacent familiarity with the profound evidence, turning the sovereign power of God (which should scare the skin off of us) into pathetic beliefs based on ‘vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations.’ They would much rather serve a god who sits on their mantel, over seeing their living room lives with stoic approval. They don’t hear God speaking any more, their ‘minds have been darkened’, so they feel compelled to speak for Him.
I can quote because I am guilty. I have been a god with stoic approval for rule-abiders. As long as they wore skirts.

No more stoic allowed here and I am crushing my bobble-head doll.

The fact is that worshipping at the temple of my goodness (usefulness, godliness) is so much easier than working on my relationship with God

Relationships are hard. They are great one morning and boom the next morning it is a cat of a different color.

There is hurt, pain, and misunderstanding. And tomorrow there will just be more of the same.

Relationships require staying. If you stay through tomorrow's pain there might be next week's reconciliation.

Joy and laughter.

So here cometh the apex of my thought train wreck:

I realized I am not going to change the world with my blog. I am not even going to alert people to a destructive church in Dade City.

More often than not I find myself praying for the twisted person that abused my spirituality for her own gain. I pray she find peace.

I still struggle. I still have days of anger and nights of repenting for hatred.

But I pray. And breath. As Ann Voskamp said:

Just breathe.

And I think of it again, how it really is, the very name of God, YHWH, “is the sound of breathing.

The holiest name in the world, the Name of Creator, is the sound of your own breathing.”

I will breathe my prayers for healing and hope.

I am not going to read my google analytics and tie my self-worth to it. Thanks Jon!

This is all part of me walking away from the pain of the Cult Next Door (Experience not blog).

And totally unrelated topic :)...I heard in various places that Rob Bell is writing that the whole world is going to heaven and that Ann Voskamp has a book about what?!?! (See Elizabeth Esther's humorous explanation.)

Their influence has lead commenter KatR to hilarious determination:

I’m going to write a book where I claim that God lets non-Christians into heaven. And then has metaphorical sex with them. It’s going to be called “Love Wins A Thousand Gifts”. Please make sure that John Piper knows immediately, cause it’s all about the benjamins, baby.
SNICKER!!!! Thank you Elizabeth and KatR for putting things into perspective.

Might I humbly say that we should rejoice that a sister in Christ has allowed others to worship with her?
Or that a pastor is willing to explore John 3:16? Why does hell have to be the sell point?
 16-18"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. (John 3:16, The Message)

Ride on Rob Bell and Ann Voskamp.

Very respectfully: Maybe some other folks need to come out of Lake {ME} Superior?

I am putting my accusatory finger to rest and sing along with Anna Nalick:


Why not take a moment and share at Elizabeth Esther's Blog party?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I am here and there...

I have been a scarce blogger since October- Life has a way of taking over one's time.

Mostly in that time I have been reading and healing.

And working to pay for gas.
And paying for gas to work. [SMILE!!!]

I do have some ideas for some posts...mostly just more "stuff" I want to say about healing.

I am going to share some of my favorite reads:

On the serious side:
The Secret Life of Grief by Hillary McFarland
Once again Hillary's writing shines on the haunting beauty of grief

Clean by Eric Pazdziora
Eric describes the glorious fact that we are indeed washed

This is where the healing begins by Tenth Avenue NorthI feel like dancing after listening to this song :)
dear unloved by Serena Woods
Serena describes perfectly the feeling of being an outcast

in light of all the furor Rob Bell has stirred up:
Lewis discusses with candor the Christianity's need to proclaim the burning side of grace

AND just for giggles:
If you need a belly laugh visit this site.
And no. They are not serious.