Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

Is Somewhere Down The Road Good Enough?

I used to be better at accepting bad news that begs the question why or how. Why is this happening to such good people? How can this possibly be of any benefit or for the greater good? My stock answer has usually been, “we may never know this side of heaven” and “who are we to ask why? God will never leave us in this hard time.” But the last year has really attacked my uber-spiritual attitude and I am in the thick of “why, why, why”–more so for others because Doug & I have been amazingly blessed and safe. It is difficult to accept with grace, that even though we prayed and prayed and prayed in many situations, our will was not done.

Below are lyrics to one of my favorite songs about this very subject. Amy Grant performed it live at the memorial service for the victims of the Columbine High School shootings in 1999.

Lyrics to Somewhere Down The Road(Behind The Eyes 1997) :
(Amy Grant & Wayne Kirkpatrick)

So much pain and no good reason why
You’ve cried until the tears run dry
And nothing here can make you understand
The one thing that you held so dear
Is slipping from your hands
And you say

Why, why, why
Does it go this way
Why, why, why
And all I can say is

[Chorus:]
Somewhere down the road
There’ll be answers to the questions
Somewhere down the road
Though we cannot see it now
Somewhere down the road
You will find mighty arms reaching for you
And they will hold the answers at the end of the road

Yesterday I thought I’d seen it all
I thought I’d climbed the highest wall
Now I see the learning never ends
And all I know to do is keep on walking
Walking ’round the bend, saying

Why, why, why
Does it go this way
Why, why, why
And all I can say is

Somewhere down the road
There’ll be answers to the questions
Somewhere down the road
Though we cannot see it now
Somewhere down the road
You will find mighty arms reaching for you
And they will hold the answers at the end of the road

Why, why, why
Does it go this way
Why, why, why
And all I can say is
All I know to say now

Somewhere down the road
There’ll be answers to the questions
Somewhere down the road
Though we cannot see it now
Somewhere down the road
You will find mighty arms reaching for you
And they will hold the answers at the end of the road

You’re cutting WHAT off?

My very good friend gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy last week. It’s their 3rd child and first boy. We received an invitation today. An excerpt…

 

It’s a boy!

Celebrate our bringing our son into the covenant with God through
circumsicion.

For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised…My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.
Genesis 17:12-13

 

This is a traditional ceremony called B’Rit Milah or Bris in the
Jewish community. 

So I emailed Doug the time and date and particulars. His reply follows.

I’m not sure I can…………… OUCH!!!!!

Seriously…….. I’m not sure I can……….

I know……. get over myself…………..

I’m not sure I can……………

What about the kids………….

So many thoughts…………..

d.

Now, I was not in the room at the hospital when my son was circumcised. I’m told he slept through it. Maybe Doug can come for the after party.

Out of shame

Had a great weekend at The Orchard. At the end of today’s gathering, we sang these lyrics: “Into marvelous light I’m running, out of darkness, out of shame”. Shame is a big deal to me.  I don’t recover well from sin. Whether a simple mistake or a matter of the heart requiring serious attention, I believe I should feel as bad as possible for an appropriate period of time. And that’s because I think others won’t believe I’m repentant. Doesn’t that just suck to live so bound up? I know that through the sacrifice of Jesus, my sins are forgiven. All of them. Ones done. Ones to come. So why do I still stink at living life free of shame?

I guess I need to constantly remember or rather pray that the Holy Spirit will remind me that there is no condemnation in Jesus. That in Christ, I am new–regardless of sin committed by me or at me. I am not forgiven then relegated to the dog house, but I am forgiven and restored. I must remember GOD does not hold these things against me so why should I? You know what’s really bad? I have to force myself to stay in the dog house instead of move on. It takes more energy to stay stuck than to live free. Creepy. And on top of that if I live stuck, that’s what gets communicated to non-believers and new believers and the wrong message comes across. Ugh.

Wish I could just get this stuff and keep it. I tend to learn something and move on having “mastered” the concept. But a growing relationship with Jesus Christ is fluid. There is constant learning and remembering and rethinking. So once again in pursuit of mastering the concept of living without shame, I will head on back to the teacher for the next lesson and the next step.

Forward to normal?

Yesterday, I got to thinking about how life changes. I was feeling that disruptions seem to be coming at us one after another. Some bigger than others.

 Changes in how our family operates, how we relate to one another or others, how we live our lives day to day. Seems whenever we are directed through a life detour, I keep expecting the road to lead back around and return us to our original course–back to normal. The way I knew how to do it.  Revelation!

Life doesn’t go back to normal. We are directed forward into a different normal. Methods that previously worked are now awkward and more painful, seemingly impossible to navigate. Do old ways ever work in new times? I don’t know. I’m still thinking that through. Maybe instead of trying to get back to normal, we can hang on for the detour forward. It sounds excruciating to me to willingly(or not) allow myself to embark on a course I did not chart. Especially if it is a course I never would have charted had I the choice. And especially if I don’t get to pick the speed or pace of the journey.

We could relate this to culture–are innovators more successful than those that maintain the norm? Spiritually–do I or should I live out my belief system the same today as I did when I first chose it? Emotionally–do I expect to feel normal through and after crises? Is it a relief to know we don’t have to struggle to find normal? That wherever you’re at, that’s where your normal is–even if it’s crappy? Until the next step forward to the next normal. I don’t have any answers. I’m just asking. Its stuff that pops into my head during rare alone moments when I don’t turn on the car radio.

Still don’t get Romans 6

On my pastor’s recommendation last weekend, I decided to read through the book of Romans this week. I thought maybe it could help me get a handle on some things. Namely, why I lack the courage to receive good things from God like health, living freely, peace of mind. And, as I’m reading, a few things do jump out and that’s all fine. Then I get to Romans 6. The passages are familiar to me but always come across as “Therefore, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” The New American Standard translation says in Rom 6:4 “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” or from The Message “That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!  That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.”

Could my inability to easily embrace this newness of life be about baptism?

I was baptized as an infant. I was baptized as an adult when I first accepted Christ. I was not immersed in water. I was sprinkled with it. My old church did not do dunking until the next year. Long story. For the last 17 or so years, I lamented that I never got to have a “proper” baptism but didn’t feel I should get re-baptized just because I didn’t get what I wanted. My sprinkling was a public declaration of my faith and it was very meaningful to me then. Yet something is missing every time I hear about or participate in someone else’s baptism. And something is missing every time I read or hear this scripture. I can’t identify with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Would having a full immersion baptism finally fill in the gap after all these years? Would getting baptized again be just an exercise or would it solidify a sense of unity with Christ? For me its not about a public declaration anymore. A private baptism would be fine too, I think. Things I’m pondering with my church now as we prepare for our annual baptism celebration in August.

OK, that sounded a little odd

In the previous post, I mentioned we paid off a fund drive commitment. After I read it back it sounded a little self congratulatory. Let me explain.

1 year ago, Doug & I felt pulled to pledge an unrealistic amount of funds to a vision we totally believe in. We knew we wanted to give but at the time we were so behind the 8 ball we couldn’t even pay our day to day bills. I kind of figured that as long as we couldn’t afford to pledge a small amount, we may as well pledge a larger amount since either way, God was going to be footing the bill. As cliche as it seems to say, we knew God gave us the number in our heads and hearts and would totally come through.

So when we were able to complete the pledge, it was with great giggling we put that check in the envelope. That’s the deal.

financial update

In April, paid off 1 townhouse, 2 credit cards, 2 parents, 1 chiropractor, 1 dentist, 1 eye doctor, 1 fund drive commitment. Paid cash for gas, groceries, car repairs, animal shelter, cat vet. Still on the horizon: monthly bills, 3 credit cards, 1 doctor, more car repairs and a health club renewal.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above you heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost