Monday, March 26, 2007

Daydreaming: This post is for my dear friend who hates Sin and loves Love and truth. :o)

We all like to daydream.
Even when we don't plan to, we sometimes find ourselves in the midst of it.
Daydreaming of the future, or of days gone by.
Of friends and foes, of being worthy of such.
What ever.
Me, I wonder if I am odd.
(well decidedly so!...but...)
certainly there must be others because I am not likely special in this.
SometimesI daydream about worshipping God.
With friends and people I have come to hold dear.
People like my friends KiKi, or Pete B. Carl T or Jason and Ran and Rich and Ang, and Bryan an d Peej, Tina and Leh and a host of others. Many, many others. The Pratt even...
To be caught up together,
in the song of angels and the music of Charis.
Certainly there are others who have such daydreams?
Such imaginings?
Who are they?
Who are you?
Certainly I do not sing alone?
Decidedly not!
Someday I hope
(and not blindly)
that we will be together, properly installed in eternity in His presence.
We will sing.
Together revelling in the Reciever of the song, and in the sharing of the singing.
The sharing of the Chord.
Dissonant and releasing all through out eternity.
It will be perfect.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Paint Jobs and Cardiac events

So apparently my dad had a "cardiac event" during the night. During the course of the day we discovered that there is swelling around his feet and ankles and now even into his legs, as well as fluid around his heart. So Judy, my step-Sis is visiting him. "How long has this swelling been going on?" she asks him. "Oh for about 4 weeks or so." Four weeks??? 4 freakin' weeks and he's only just mentioning it NOW??? No wonder he is having TIA's and heart trouble. I am sure that he thinks that if he just ignores it, maybe it will go away? Criminy. SO they have him on a diuretic and the DC'd all the meds that might be causing his allergic reactions. He seems to be stable for the evening. This means I can take a couple of benedryl and go to bed and actually sleep.

On a more light hearted note, there is the subject of Blakes new/old car. He was given an old Mazda 323. It was fairly beat up but runs pretty good! So Skyler and Andrew came over today to help him paint his car...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tidbits on the fly

Ok so...
Dad has a TIA (mini Stroke)
Brother bogues out and gets hammered at local bar. Must come back to Oregon from Rhode Island due to inability to function in society and actually take care of dad's needs.
I fly out - emergency style - to take his place.
Dad gets hospitalised for pneumonia.
I pack up 75% of his house for the move from RI to here.
I get dad installed in rehab facility and come home.
Work for a week.
Dad gets re-hospitalised for allergic reaction to meds.
I get new tixx to fly back there for two weeks starting the week following Easter.
So...after a ghastly week at work what am I doing tonight?

Prometheus and Bob!

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Last Debate of the Decade

I really hate to get into these sorts of philosophical debates that modern college students are so fond of. I also detest it when the debate comes down to the existence of God and His input in our world.

I believe that I can NOT make anybody change their belief system if they have no desire to.
Their spirituality is between them and God.

Likewise, this is MO OWN personal blog.
If I want to write about God here, its my business, and I don't feel the need to defend God.
He is more than capable of defending Himself -ya know, being God and all - and He doesn't need my help.

I also don't expect to be called stupid for having had experiences with my God and writing about them on my own blog.

Having said all this, I would like to take time to answer a series of letters I have rec'd from a good friend regarding this God I speak of.

My friend's sentiments are very commonly held among "educated people" and as is also common among "educated people" there is only a little bit of truth to the notions implied.

So I will paste snippets from my friend's letter and then my responses to them, so that nobody need ever bug me about it again. Every one will know where I stand and they can choose to delete my blog from the list of places they visit , or they can read on.

I am not here to thump anybody over the head , but likewise, I will not change my views unless given VERY good information and a reliable tracking of such information.
I haven't yet seen it, from the intelligencia of the world, or anyone else.
Conversely, I have very good reasons to believe.

My friend writes:

Mishehl, if God can do anything, why can't he still do all of his good will without all this pain?
i just know that i could do a better job than this. and i'm just a human. how can that be? how can there only be one way of doing things? This is the same god who killed his own Son Jesus cause he couldn't think of any other way to cure sins.

My response:

First of all, I would counter that last question you asked with one of myown:

"how can there only be one way of doing things?"

Why would there be MORE than one way?

Frankly, as horrible and evil as the world has become, in a small, strange way I am glad He has let things go on as long as He has.
I mean, He could have put an end to this all so very long ago, but if He had, then I would be rotting in hell which is what I would deserve for the choices I have made, and any angry or lustful thots I have ever entertained.
I am glad that He gave me time to find Him So that He could change me from the inside out.

I am imperfect.

Originally humans were designed for perfection and eternity,
but we allowed ourselves to be told that we were better than God,
we allowed ourselves to believe that we are the masters of our own lives.
We allowed ourselves to think that we could be like God,
and the result of such choices was imperfection imputed to all mankind through Adam/Eve.

My choices are imperfect, and as a result my life is imperfect.
I was born bearing the taint of the original transgression.

I was born imperfect.
I came out screaming and crying.
When I was two I had temper tantrums.
Not because my environment trained that into me.
I was just born that way.
But God is not willing that any imperfect person should perish, but that even the most Vile-evil-swine-monster have a chance to see the error of their ways and to understand the reasons He was willing to sacrifice His own Son : so that the most vile could have a chance to be changed, down to the very roots of their heart.
He does not reckon the vilest sinner as any worse than the secretary who snitches a post-it note pad from the office.
He does not reckon one atrocity as more offensive than another.
All are imperfections.
He designed us originally, to be perfect. Because of His nature, He cannot reside with imperfection - its the old "Dog Poop In The Brownies***" analogy.
(***See botton of this post if you haven't heard it before. )

Whether there is a little imperfection or alot, matters not.
Its' there, so the whole person is ruined/tainted.
I cannot change myself and neither can you.
No one can change their inner nature permanently.
Your life is just like mine in that regard. And so is everyone who's ever been born..
There is no such thing as good deeds done by humans. At least not the kind that "Win Points" for one with God. We can not earn our way to a right relationship with God and a regenerated heart/nature. Its just the taint -whether a little or alot. (again with the Dog Poop Brownie story) It's not because we are made badly - but because all life is tainted by original sin. Its why there are zits and the flu and cancer.
Its why flowers die and things decay.

i swear i could think up better ways of doing things if I were god,

You are not alone in your sentiments.
When Satan lived with God - he was called Lucipher then - he was created as one of the most beautiful beings.
In Him were the giftings of beauty and song.
He lead the ANGELS to sing.
He began to look at himself and see/percieve his own value more highly than he ought.
He became consumed with pride and arrogantly said to himself that He could become like the Most High - that in fact he WOULD become the Most High.
That is when He became truly ugly and vile. His nature turned to pleasing him self. Self came first. Self self self. He "believed in himself."
Much like we humans. When we think of our selves inaccurately we become arrogant and vile, thinking that it is more important to serve our own needs and have things our way first..

and yet i'm not and everyday lately has hurt so much and i just don't understand why a good and divine god is choosing this for me. And the best answer God gives us when Job complains for similar reasons is just that "well i'm God -- who are you? sit down and shut up."

No that is not His answer.

His answer is "come to ME all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."
Its not "and I might give you rest," it is a definite statement and a promise.

Having said all that, for someone to come to Him, they have to do the following things:

-They have to believe in Him. (I mean you can't "come to" someone unless you believe they exist.)

-They have to humble themselves and drop all notions of deserving (whatever they think they deserve), notions of their own greatness, and acknowledge their inability to change their imperfection to perfection under their own power. The fact is, do I deserve Hell and death? Yes. Do I have better? Then I need to get over myself, and let God do what He wants in me, to me and through me.

-They have to be willing to trust.

These are not religious do's and don'ts, these are just simple facts that you could apply to any loving relationship.
You can't be arrogant and loving.
You can't be arrogant and a true friend to some one.
It just doesnt work. Its the same thing in a relationship with God.
One has to be open, honest, vulnerable and true.

When a person truly admits their 100% neediness to the point when they are heart broken by it, then a place-a new freedom- is opened up in their heart that God can fit His loving hand into and begin to remake. He scoops out the crap (a painful process) and then He can heal the cracked vessel only AFTER we LET Him in to heal, THEN he can begin to fill the vessel with good things. It is better to humble ones self in honesty than to wait to be humiliated by a loving Creator who knows we need to get to that humble place before we can truly excel.

I suppose one difference is that there is a kind of "belief" that is more than mere mental assent.
I mean, I believe in George Washington.
I know he existed.
Can I talk to him today?
Would I trust him to heal my child or my father, or intervene in a situation at work?
No, and for obvious good reason. :o)
There is another, deeper belief that goes along with mental assent.
This is one of the ways that belief in George Washington is different than belief in God.
I can talk to Him, He does hear, He does answer and He does act.
Alot of the time He says "no Michelle, I don't think you really want that" or "just be patient, I've got something going on there that is bigger than you and you can't understand it right now, but you will eventually, when you get here with me." (He says this to me because I often ask for things that are either selfish, or that I haven't thought out. I guess for an illustration, I would's like I am driving a highway. Trees line the road on both sides. There are hills and valleys and ALOT of curves. Sometimes, other people or circumstances are 'driving' ahead of me and I percieve them as being in my way - and some times they are indeed an obstacle.
God is in a helicopter over head.
He can see around the curves and over the top of the hills and he can tell me when and when not to try to pass these people.
If I go on my own, I risk not knowing whats ahead. Sometimes I may never know, but much is at stake and I am not willing to gamble.

The kind of belief I am talking about is the kind that has shoe-leather to it - it is like an otherworldly belief that comes from making the choice to humbly trust, and wait and see.
Future faith ,and the ease with which it is flexed, is based upon practical application of this "trust and wait and see" activity, rather than blind faith.
Blind faith is not faith.
It is just wishful thinking, and is a waste of energy, imho.

I am a goal oriented person.
I like trackable reults.
If I put a seed in the dirt, I have a relatively good reason to believe that it will grow if I do my part, by watering it and feeding it etc.
Do I make the seed grow?
Can I see its innermost workings down under the soil?
Do I have faith that it will grow?
Because past experience has taught me as much.

It is the same kind of faith that fuels my ability to let God have His way so that things get done in my life.
No I am not always happy. I am not freakin Polly Anna, but I know that any setback is not permanent - not because of me or any great faith excersized on my part, but based upon what I know and have experienced with regard to who God is and His nature.

It comes from telling myself that I don't know everything, and that, if left to my own devices, my world would become "The Lord of The Flies" reality show.
It all started by taking the simple choice to try to trust, and humbly watch, patiently...just try it Michelle...what if God really did care? WHat if you really didn't owe Him anything and what if you really don't have anything to lose? What if...? And I did. And it has lead to a wild adrenaline rush of a rollercoaster life that I would have missed out on had I not tried. Other people have peaceful, uneventful lives. Godly lives. Thats what I thought my life was suppsed to look like too. God said to me. "Oh get real! You need a challenge! You need a party, girl! You need adrenaline and energy and no dull moments. You need to live out the weirdness I gave you, because I like you this way!"

So I humbled myself (still wrestle with that!) and just asked myself the simple question..." What if...?"
It has made all the difference in my life.

But humility is unpopular, and it is impossible to be humble 100% of the time.
I will NEVER conquer it until I am dead.
And people want too much to believe in themselves.
That will lead them no where.
Thats not an imaginative statement.
I mean all you have to do is look around at people, both "In the Faith" and out of it.
When any one of us is unsurrendered to God, our life hurts. (If course life also hurts a bit when we are surrendered because that is the nature of things here at the moment.The difference is that we gain peace and a thrill when we know we will see God's hand work it out one way or another in ways that we can't possibly have influence.)
Things bother us and we feel depressed, hurt or angry, which is a natural out working of putting our own ideas ahead of Gods.
Humans are created beings.
How can the creation compete intellectually with The Creator?
No way.
I would not be so arrogant as to think I could compete with God intellectually and demand that He give account of Himself to me.

Might as well paint me red and call me Satan.

God is a God of paradoxes it would seem
Its one of the things I love about Him.
As a human in my current state, I find it difficult to grasp that, what I consider to be two completely opposite things/ideas which can not possibly co-exist at the same time, I find that with God, they can and often do. I can not often understand how this can be, but it does happen in the spiritual realm.
I guess you can say that I am not afraid of the spiritual side of the universe. I was once a practicing witch. It taught me enough to know that there is only death and sadness and vileness in a life spent outside of a daily relationship with God.It also taught me that, while I am in a right relationship with God, through Christ, all the forces of evil are no match of the Creator. Yes, they can cause people to hate me. Yes they can cause people to abuse or torture or kill me, but that is the only power they have.

Humans were created for eternity.
That is why broken relationships hurt.
That is why death is such a horrid thing.
Relationships are broken and we are built for eternal relationships.

At the proper time, this WILL all end.
The sheep and the goats will be seperated.
Some who thought they were Godly will find out they missed the whole point and spread woe through out humanity while here.
They will recieve the same reward as Satan and all of his host.
No one deserves that either. Hell was not built for humanity, and God does not send them there. People choose to go all by them selves when they reject the payment that was given in their place - the sacrificing of His own Son.
He imparts the perfection of His own Son onto us, so that His deepest desire can be realised -"that none should perish."

The Dog Poop Brownie Story;

A girl and her friend were making brownies one day while dad sat at the table reading the newspaper. They assembled all the ingredients and were mixing and stuff. In the meantime, they were talking. The first girl said to her friend, "Well I don't believe that God would send me to Hell. I mean I am basically a good person - oh sure I'm not perfect, but nobody is. I don't kill anybody, and I try to be nice and do good things. What is up with this whole Jesus thing?"

The other girl sought to answer her friend and they got into a deep theological discussion regarding original sin and man's inability to save himself. Dad got up from the table and went outside for a while. The girls prepared the baking pan and preheated the oven. Dad came back in with a little box. He went over the the drawer and got out a little teaspoon.

He sat back down at the table.

The first girl asked, "what's in the box?"

He held it out for her. The overwhelming aroma of dog poop filled her nostrils. She wrinkled up her nose and said, "ugh! What are you doing with that?!"

He ignored her question but went on to speak:

"There are alot of "good people" in the world, but you are right, nobody is perfect.

And we have to be.

God is perfect.

In the book of Mattew, the bible tells us that "we are to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect."

Can you do that?
No, and I can't either.
It's just like you said.
Nobody can.
But because God is completely perfect, He can't have anything around him that is marred or imperfect in any way - no matter how good they appear to be, or try to be while they are in the flesh.

This means that God has a huge problem.

He wants us ALL to be with Him for all eternity.
He created each one of us differently because He wanted to spend all of eternity with some one just like me, and like you and like each one us. Because sin and death have come into the world making everything created imperfect ,he can't be around us.

It breaks His heart.

Anything that is imperfect must be destroyed.
But He doesn't want to do that.
Still, the nature of God and the Nature of the Universe are immutable and 'facts is facts.'
So no matter how good a person is, they are not perfect, and God can't have a relationship with them."

The dad scoops out a teaspoon of the dog poop and plops it into the brownies, as the horrified girls protest.

He goes on:

"Ok. I think its time to bake the brownies."

The second girl says, "What??!!! Are you crazy? What are you doing! We can't bake these now!"

The dad answers, "Why not? I mean it's mostly good in there. Oh sure its not perfect, but ...?"

The girls look at the brownies and then at dad, the sudden light of understanding coming on behind their eyes.

Dad speaks,

"Its like that with God.
He is perfect.
He can't have imperfection around Him.
Not even a tiny bit.
It has to all be removed.
But fortunately for Him (and us) He has come up with His own solution:
He will send His own Son, in effect coming to earth Himself, and He will undergo all of the trials and ugliness of this world that we encounter, and He will not make any mistakes. He will live our perfect life for us, and then He will permit His own blood to be spilled, on our behalf, taking all of our imperfections on Himself, so that He can undergo our punishment/destruction for us. This will reverse the problem and once He has made this transaction, God will put His Son's perfect life on us, and the payment for the imperfection will be complete.
The imperfection will be removed as far as God is concerned.

No matter how "good" we try to be, we can't be perfect.
We are like the dog poop brownies.

God loves us, but not our imperfection so He must get rid of it, while keeping us.
Imperfection must be destroyed and He must remake us from scratch.

This is what He has done and you don't have to jump through any hoops.
You just have to trust and believe.