Category Archives: A God perspective

Lessons from a Lovestory

As promised, the message of the story of Ruth: the last chapter of book 7.

Ruth’s double-layered love story is truly about Messiah being our Goel, our kinsmen redeemer, who will do whatever it takes to rescue us and marry us in an everlasting bond of vowed love. God doesn’t waste stories.

Just as Ruth and Naomi need rescue from poverty, and their family inheritance needs restoring, so all of humanity requires rescue from Satan and restoration from the Law of Sin and Death. (That story is in Love’s Playbook episode one.)

Why do we need rescue? Because Adam gave up his dominion and sold all of us into slavery. And ever since then we are all born broken. Jesus’ stories would make it seem that we are the only ones in the universe who are broken and under Satan’s rule.

We want desperately to believe we are good. And half of each of us is good, but we have dual natures. However, it can take a lifetime to see your dark side clearly. Hiding our brokenness is the greatest temptation for Christians and people wanting independence.

The effect of sin on humans—all humans—is ruin and death, and sin is nothing more than separation from God and Their way. As J. Vernon Magee says, in his book, In a Barley Field, “The practice of sin is fatal to man.” But why?

Our brokenness gives us two natures—as Paul says in Romans 7—and   our evil nature likes being independent. It comes naturally to us. We like doing it our way, and taking the best for ourselves. We love ourselves to death. Except it isn’t really love.

True love is God’s love and it sets me free from slavery to me.

We don’t even realize that we actually became slaves of Satan.

We didn’t sell ourselves. Adam sold us. But God, in the Garden of Eden, didn’t give us over fully to evil. They made sure we still retained Their nature as we acquired Satan’s evil one, (see Genesis 3:15). So we are self-focused, but we are also conflicted. God guaranteed we would still long for love and goodness.

We need to be restored to wholeness and brought back into the presence of God in a loving relationship. With respect to the universe, we need a goel, a kinsman redeemer to redeem us from slavery and death; give us back our property—our true hearts and our lives.

And God provided one: “You shall know that Adonai is your Savior and your Goel, the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Isaiah 60:16) I learned from Magee that Isaiah uses “Goel” more times than the whole rest of the Bible. (No wonder I love that book!) Add to that Hosea 13:14 “I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be your plagues; O grave I will be your destruction.”

The first requirement for the goel is he must be blood relation. If he isn’t he can’t redeem the person from slavery or buy back his property.

Adam’s property went to Satan as the new owner of our earth because of Adam’s forfeiture and must be redeemed, same as Naomi’s field. We came under the law of sin and death and our family line was finished. But under God’s law the rental price until Jubilee could be paid to the present owner to redeem the property and the family-line could be re-instated by the next of kin. He wasn’t compelled to do it, but he was allowed to.

Adonai chose to become our Boaz, our goel, out of love for us. I think there was a closer kinsman in this story just so we would see that Adonai wasn’t compelled to come. He wasn’t “sent” to redeem us. He chose to come because He wanted to. In fact, I believe, as shown in episode one, that it was His idea to become Jesus our Kinsman Redeemer. Abba and Ruach painfully agreed to allow him to come.

And since that meant He had to become our blood relation, he had to be born human, under the law of sin and death, just like us, one of Adam’s sons, to raise up his family line. That is truly how They gave us his blood, because “the life is in the blood,” so he became a blood relative and gave us life.

It is in Genesis 3:15 where Adonai says to Satan, in serpent form, “I will put enmity (Hatred) between you and the woman and between your children and her children. It (their hatred of evil/their choice against evil) shall bruise your head (destroy you) and you will bruise his heal.” (Jesus will forever maintain his  glorified humanity. “He is not ashamed to call us brothers.” Hebrews 2:12) He promised to be our Goel in Exodus 6:6 “I will be your Goel with My stretched out arm.”

God gives us His name, life, and blood as Boaz gave Ruth his name and his life and blood to have a child and raise up her husband’s family name. In this story the goel, as a near kinsman, had to marry the widow of the deceased to raise up the family name. In our world God’s Law is the deceased and God’s church is the bride who marries the Goel to raise up His name (His law, reputation, character). If there was a widow (us), there could be no separation of person and property. You had to marry the woman to get the property. (Isn’t this cool!)

Satan’s power over us was in claiming the power of death (Hebrews 2:14). So Jesus went through death as a son of Adam, and gave us his life and blood to raise up humanity as whole again (no evil—no conflict, no brokenness.) And “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:11-12, Hebrews 2:10-14)

And two more things this story explains: atonement and redemption. As Magee explains, God redeemed Israel from Egypt, but at the Red Sea they were only freed slaves. It was after He showed his power in opening the water and bringing them into the presence of God walking through the sea, that they were “baptized” and given new hearts to worship.

This story also explains the temple tax that was the price of redemption in Leviticus. Whenever Israel was numbered, Satan must have claimed it signified that they were depending on themselves, and claimed the right to them—to send a plague. So whenever Israel ignored God’s way and did their own thing, depending on their own strength or numbers, Satan would send a plague, or at least he tried to.

To protect them, God had each individual pay a half-shekel to redeem himself because each person must cast his own vote for Adonai, and that was the way they did it. It made atonement for them—or showed they chose Adonai as king.

I never understood the temple tax making atonement before this story! Atonement is at-one-ment—oneness with God (Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17). It wasn’t much money and was the same for everyone, but it showed each individual’s choice for Adonai as king—a poll tax.

Redemption gives us restored sight to see God as good or worthy of love. (Redeemed beings sing “He is worthy” all through the book of Revelation.) Redemption is restoration.

My favorite quote shows redemption in contrast to our slavery, “Subjection to God is restoration to oneself; to the true glory and dignity of man.”

It’s good to be God’s because that makes me truly me—unbroken and restored to wholeness. That gives me true freedom. His laws keep us safe, protect our freedom, and keep our true selves intact.

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Filed under A God perspective, a perspective on evil, Living well, Love ed, Loved, Uncategorized, What is God like?

A Microcosm of Cosmic Chess

On a cold but cozy afternoon, my daughter and her husband were sharing their birth experience from last week, more like debriefing; and seeing the counterplay of bad and good, I commented, “This was clearly cosmic chess.”

Even though her delivery was scheduled to give greater control, her doctor got called out to an emergency c-section which caused her staff to try to delay her labor. But she was so exhausted from being in light labor all night, she was not ready for extended labor, and started passing out with the contractions. Her nurse thought an epidural would help her, and so she agreed.

However, that caused her blood pressure to  drop to 70/30, and her frantic nurses worked long and hard to get it back up. Suddenly the whole floor was slammed  with patients, and a new doctor was called to cover for her chosen doctor. However, my daughter liked her even better, and felt more comfortable with this lady who was definitely in charge, knew her stuff, and got the bleeding stopped.

With her hemorhage history, the dark side had been trying to  scare me for months, as they always do, and I had been refusing their fear fairly well. (Fortunately,  I didn’t know her bleeding started again during the night.)  The last lie they had pushed was that something would be  wrong with the baby–disfigurment or something, so it isn’t surprising how they set things up, and that the drop in pitocyn had confused both Mom and baby hormone processes. The baby kept turning and getting stuck.  The doctor had to reach in and move her shoulder so she could come out…  when she  did, the chord was wrapped around her neck twice and she was blue, but they were swift in dealing with it, and turned to mommy’s bleeding.

However, at home the hours dragged by, and I was praying, trying not to  be afraid. I was sure she would deliver by noon!! (Her last baby had come 45 minutes after they broke her water!) Then came Jeremy’s text at 2:30 and she was still only at 5! Now it was hard to be calm. What was going on? I was glad I only had Jack–the three older boys had  stayed with their dad–it would have been hard to hide my stress from them.  Finally came the first picture her daddy sent at 6:30, Eileigh was slightly banged up and swollen, and her color didn’t look good, but at least she was born!

I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to go see them—it was too late and they wanted to have the first two hours alone, also to make sure Lox was ok. Jack needed to go to  bed—he’d had a runny nose that we were successful arresting with alkaline food. I was sure with good sleep he’d be well tomorrow.

But his dad wanted us to bring him, so we did. And  I was so happy  to see my daughter and get to hold the baby during  her optimal bonding time (the first four hours).  It was a bit unnerving to hear my daughter say she was sure she wouldn’t have made it if it had been 100 years ago. Or even if she hadn’t been in the hospital. Baby Eileigh had a scrape but looked beautifully like her mother.

Also unnerving was Jack screaming uncontrolably all the 20 minutes home. I was sitting in the back with him an nothing worked, so I finally moved to the seat in front of him and then felt like I’d abandoned him. I don’t remember how he went to bed but it must have been ok, he was exhausted. I was too, but I was amped and couldn’t get to sleep til 1:00. The next morning the alarm went off at 5:00. (They’d asked us to sleep in their room so we could hear Jack, but forgot about the alarm.)  And then I couldn’t go back to sleep.

Jack was fine the next day until he facetimed with them at the hospital and melted down again. This time putting him in his room worked, telling him to scream as long as he needed to and to come out when he was done. But I already knew I wasn’t taking  him to the hospital again. Actually I knew better the night before and wished I’d been strong enough to tell his father. He was happy and would have been fine if he hadn’t seen him.

So I suggested Jeremy come put him to bed that night, which seemed to be a good idea, till Jack dragged it out. Finally, he went to sleep, and Jeremy left, asking me to check on him. My husband and I were already in bed so I went in immediately–afraid I’d fall asleep. I pulled up another blanket ever so lightly and he woke up and started screaming for daddy! (Once again I should have trusted my instincts and gone too sleep!) This time it only lasted about 5 minutes or less,  but then he woke up cold 3 hours later probably from kicking while screaming, and I felt like the world’s worst grandma! He woke again 2 hours after that, but no screaming.  And no more sleep for  me.

The next day they came home and we started to sleep again, but I still got his cold. He hasn’t yet. I’m amazed, but remembered hearing that colds are just uncried tears. I’m sure he had gotten them all out! But I hadn’t!

However, God prevailed, as They always will with our choice. My cold is gone, Jack is sleeping through the night again, and even Lox is doing better. I’m glad I’m still here to help and give her a couple more hours sleep in the mornings. This place can get loud even with the best intentions of four boys (three tracted out of school). And baby Eileigh is wonderful, beautiful, and looks exactly like her mommy did as a baby. It’s amazing and bonding! It’s going to be hard to leave.

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The Power of Love Warriors

After the past month I’m wondering should I write about weekly massacres, or natural catastrophes or the unraveling of Hollywood?

I feel so bad for Puerto Rico. I don’t care if they’ve had mismanagement, I don’t understand why there aren’t motorcycles or helicopters or something that can distribute food and water. I was so disappointed at President Trump’s calloused response. Does he want to make an example of inside corruption? Even so…to me it is unacceptable to treat the people so differently than another catastrophe.

And this business of people just taking out their anger in mass shootings! A steady diet of violence exacerbating! I know evil is going to be given more and more power in order to expose it and create choice points, but it is so frequent, and so painful for so many families. And it raises so many questions. Remember, God protects people’s freedom to choose.

And finally the exposing of sexual bullying going on in the movie industry. I’m not surprised, and I think it will get bigger. I’m glad it’s coming out–a lot of pain and shame is hidden there, which can now be healed. And I’m glad men are beginning to take it seriously and look at their own behavior!

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by negativity–or just shut down feelings because it hasn’t touched you. But it will. I just learned that a dear friend has brain cancer. It was his goal to live to 100, and he is only 12 years short of it. He is so active and has a great attitude; and has lived a healthy lifestyle. Why this? We live in a broken world, diseased by evil.

We can keep our balance and help fight evil by choosing to be friends with God, no matter what our questions. There is no darkness in God at all. That is important to remember. None of this evil comes from Them–our mighty band of Three; it’s happening because everyone must make a choice between evil and good. But it’s easy to get drawn into fear and doubt when it is everywhere. That’s where choosing becomes important–so important.

I’m always saying ,”Your choice is the strongest power in the universe, because God won’t force you to be Their friend. And they won’t let evil overcome the weakest person who wants Them, but you will have to choose. The good news is that God’s love is always drawing you. Unless you resist, you will be drawn to Him (Them). And then you can become a love warrior, fighting evil by living in God’s love and delight.

The most important thing I’ve learned in life is God is all good, all love, and to choose to let Them love me. Unless I spend time alone with God just being loved, I forget that and get derailed by negativity. If you are like me, you may have to choose over and over and over. sometimes one right after the other until your mind gets untwisted. It’s ok. Just don’t get discouraged. There are times when Satan asks for permission to test us over a particular weakness. Don’t forget the power of your choice. Use it. It totally works, but it may take an hour and 20 choices.

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Confidence is a Good Thing

Thanks for your responses to last week. I’m late writing this week–had two prayer retreats at my house this weekend. They were awesome–and turned out to be one person each. I had a feeling that might happen and told God I was ok with canceling them, but He told me to go ahead. And I’m glad I did. I’m sure I received more than either of the attendees. The morning one was so beautiful it was surreal. The sun, the time, (I love early morning), the sky, the temperature, the breeze, everything was perfect.

I started doing the Lord’s prayer as a group prayer three retreats ago. I say a phrase and everyone says whatever comes to their mind. It’s really neat, and we have done it at every one since, usually spending fifteen or so minutes on it. Since it was just my friend and I, we spent as long as we wanted, and were amazed to see we had spent an hour on it! (The rest of the time we spend reading scriptures, listening to God individually and then sharing.)

When God shows up things happen. The first year I held it here, we had healings and a prophecy over our church. This time I learned something very valuable about myself: I’m so afraid to promote anything I do, that almost nobody finds out about it. I wait until the last minute, hoping key people will get excited about it and promote it. That has been very limiting, but I am not an effusive person, and I feel extremely uncomfortable “blowing my own horn”. My client that goes to Alanon says, “Attraction, not promotion,” and I love that. I want God to promote it.

So the staff at church knew I was offering retreats, but that was it. Finally a week before it, I talked to them about it and wrote something to put in the newsletter and bulletin. But even though I sent it to two people, it got overlooked and didn’t get in either one. I didn’t know this until the day of the event. I was discouraged, but I knew God had said, “Go ahead with it,” so I did, and it turned out great. My friend said afterwards, “I’ve been wanting to do this with you for years.”

“Why didn’t you say something?” I asked. She didn’t know. But it was confirmation for me. God had already said, “It’s ok for you to get excited about what you are doing and learning.” I knew I had a confidence fault that ran right through me.

I love learning and sharing it, but  not what I’ve created out of it, and especially presenting it… It’s not that I’m afraid of speaking, I’m afraid of looking like a fool. I had a brother that really reinforced feeling like a fool in me, even my husband is good at it, though he is also my best supporter and encourager. Ridicule withers.

But I’ve proved to myself again and again–God has my back–when I trust, He is faithful–everything works out. This past week I had one of those nights–something woke me and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I  decided to just spend the time with God and not worry about the next day. It was a really good day. I felt good, had a good attitude, was happy and got a lot done. I did have to take a nap before I saw clients at 5:00, which never happens, but that was good too. It was a great day on two hours of sleep, and I was so grateful and excited. It felt like freedom from fear–“I can trust God for anything”. (If you’re wondering, the next day was good too.)

So back to Sunday morning, it was as if something inside shifted. I  saw my lack of confidence clearly as crippling. And I felt that it’s ok for me to feel good about something I have done. (I knew that–but it took healing to feel it.) I can’t wait to see what happens!

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When God doesn’t make Sense

Once again, why is it bad things happen to good people?

Because suffering shows what we are really like–what we are made of–our characters. And character is simply the accumulation of many choices. How will I look at this situation? What perception will I choose?

And as previously mentioned, I believe, based on several instances in scripture, that Satan asks to test each of us. He knows where we are weak, our Achilles’ heal, our tragic flaw; and that is what he excoriates. He attacks us because we want to be with God, because we are His followers, and want to become authentic lovers. He wants to expose us as posers, phonies, pretenders. So I have imagined several of these counsels in heaven where he gets permission to test based on some “truth” he is presenting about us that makes us unfit to be used, unsafe to have around for eternity.

It’s been interesting and engaging, but if I thought Leviticus was difficult, it was easy compared to Numbers.

I understand there are rules of engagement in every war–the agreements to boundaries that are supposed to be adhered to, i.e. no attacks on civilians. What makes it difficult is that God takes responsibility for everything They allow, as well as what They decide and execute. So some of what looks like it’s coming from God isn’t Their ideas or actions; it’s just allowed. Sometimes it’s pretty clear. Other times, not. For instance, why 40 years in the wilderness?

I admit. I’m stumped. Ordinarily, I would say this is Satan’s engineering. And it could be, but it seems to be a theme that becomes the day for a year theory in prophecy after that. Would God go by something Satan demanded once? It seems unlikely. But as of yet, it doesn’t seem to make sense to me; and if you know me, God has to make sense: that is one of my tenants: Everything God does makes sense if you know Them and understand the big picture. That represents the revealed things, the actions in our world, the things we can understand–not the mystery that is beyond us. I’m good with that, but not good with being too lazy to try to understand.

But based on the first 5 episodes, even God’s strange acts make sense, if you think cosmically. That may not be a word yet, but I’m referring to thinking from a cosmic perspective. Knowing Him (Them) and knowing the people, I can’t figure out even from the big-picture, universal-war perspective,  why He would give them, in this situation, a year for a day. It doesn’t make any sense yet. So back to more time with God. I’ve been to this place several times, and He has always shown me something I’ve overlooked or didn’t understand. I’m sure Ruach will do it again!

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Filed under A God perspective, a perspective on evil, Love ed, Loved, Respect and disrespect, suffering, Uncategorized, What is God like?, When religion gets it wrong...

Got Laughter?

I have a new high: the joyful spontaneous laughter of a two-year old that roles up and out uncontrollably.

Yesterday, I was playing legos with him and his cousin. I made a truck that looked perfectly normal to me, and he thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen. His cousin (22 mo.) either agreed, or just got set off by him and they laughed till I was sure they would fall over. It was so funny I was in awe.

When the moment had passed I took my truck out to my daughter to see if my reality was that far off, and she didn’t see anything funny about it either.

Tonight he was in the bathtub and again that laughter got set off. I called him a silly goose and he thought that was hilarious and again that completely natural, unaffected, outrageous laughter rolled out of him. It was great. He loves to laugh, and once it gets going, it lasts a while.

I’ve been asking God for joy and humor (among other things) every morning. There it was in the eyes and voice of a two-year old.

It has made me think of one of my favorite hurmorists, who always said, “Laughter is a holy sound to God.”

Tim Hansel is dead now and I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful to hear someone died–because he was in so much pain. His body had been so broken up by two different accidents. And  still he continued to write and travel speaking before large and small audiences. I happened to be one of those privileged to hear him–a man so full of joy and humor it flowed out. Humor was certainly his gift, and one he used to cope with pain.

I remember hearing another man who cured himself by laughing. Norman Cousins came down with Collagens Disease in which your insides dissolve, to put it simply. He decided to use it as an opportunity to test a hunch of his–that laughter is healing. He did and it was. He got well and founded the Immunology Department at one of the California universities.

Humor and joy are not my gift; I’m made of much grittier stuff, but I love true stories like these because I love laughter and have always appreciated good humor. I love to laugh.

I love thinking of God laughing. I know all Three of Them have a great sense of humor–all you have to do is look at creation…especially baby anythings. And I love the fact that They never laugh at anyone’s expense, never make fun of anyone, never even shame anyone.

I’ve been spending lots of hours early in the a.m. just listening this vacation. And one of the things He told me is He never makes anyone do anything. I swung around that concept for a while. I knew it theoretically, but have never felt it before. Now that carries some awe! And it makes me laugh, just because it is so incongruous to me.

The juxtaposition of incongruity is the basis of humor, and to me the knowledge that the All-powerful Ones in the universe don’t make anyone do anything is so contrary to the way I think, it’s funny! It opposes my very makeup.

And looking at the world, I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks and feels like that. I think there are a whole lot of religious people who won’t believe that–especially a lot of Christians! And that is not funny.

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A Perspective Excerpt from Love’s Playbook 5

I’ve decided to share a couple of pages from the book I’m working on. It’s book five in the series: Exodus and the plagues. This is a break in the story for a new perspective.

“Whether or not Satan can create brings up an interesting question. Does God create destructive elements—in this case flies? Egypt has historically had the dog fly. It is large and venomous with a painful bite. And this one God instructed Moses to tell Pharaoh would not come on the Hebrews because God would make a distinction between Egypt and His special people.

It’s possible the first three hadn’t affected them either, but this is the first time God specifically tells Pharaoh it won’t, to make sure he is aware of it. Does God protect his own people from God? Or from enemies?

Back to the original question. It is true Satan doesn’t have ability to create life from nothing. But we have all seen how he can twist God’s gifts to create aberrations. Look at the suffering and disease he has created from sex. Or just the diseases he creates in us from ignorance and from taste, let alone viruses he creates. Remember in this series how Lucifer was given the chance to study the laws of nature and see what he could create. No doubt, he learned a lot about nature and its laws.

At that time he was still under God’s influence, and getting to fulfil his dream. He had not yet defected and activated the law of sin and death. But imagine what he must have done in the lab after he had activated entropy. He is called “the destroyer” in Exodus 12:23 and also in the book of Hebrews (2:14). He would destroy all of us (or have us destroy each other) if God allowed. It’s who he has become.

This is the first plague where it says the land was corrupted—literally the Hebrew is “the land was destroyed.” Would God have done this? Or would he have allowed the dark side to do their thing? I think it is the latter. I don’t believe God is the creator of evil. I think it is the absence of good as death is the absence of life.

Yes, They allow it to exist for choices, but They are winning the “right” now to banish evil, keeping it only as a personal choice forever, because it brings death. God has allowed Satan to have the power of death as long as he is kept alive. When God stops shielding him, he and all of his will cease to exist. Evil can’t exist in God’s presence. Revelation 20 says death and hell will be thrown into the lake of fire which is simply a metaphor for the dark side rushing into God’s unbridled energy to take his new city. (See Rev. 20:7-10.)

So why haven’t we questioned this before? We didn’t have the perspective. Our collective consciousness thought God does what He wants to because He is God, and thought the fear of God was literal along with other metaphors. Most people served God from fear—not what God wants! Now we know that another translation is more accurate: fear is best translated reverence or respect.

So why did God allow this? Because to protect our freedom there has to be hooks to hang doubt on. God can’t make everything completely plain until someone asks. Some things had to be shrouded in mystery until we started questioning and searching for a better understanding.

I don’t suppose I am the first one to question or understand this, just one who dares to interpret scripture this way, write it down and publish it.”

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Only a Big Man can Admit He’s Been Wrong

I have to give kudos to my new son-in-law. I am so proud of him for being open to Spirit and being teachable. He has been drinking green juice that I would have a hard time drinking and I’ve been at this health thing almost 40 years. A few months ago all he liked was meat, white pasta and white breads, and that’s pretty much all he ate, besides desserts. But his pastor went on a Daniel Fast (Daniel 1 and 9) and he was impressed to do the same.

My daughter was astonished–what would he eat? But he was resolute. She is amazing with food–like a magician almost; and she was so grateful that she decided to make it as easy on him as she could. He ate things he had no idea he was eating. They did it for 60 days, and she said he began to look different after even one week.

We visited not long after their fast was over, and I asked him if he had felt a difference?

“Oh yeah!” was his immediate response.

I resisted any desire to comment further. That was enough. 🙂 I was so proud of him for even that. Because he had always given me such a hard time about being vegan. He had called me “the veggie prophet,” which I assumed meant I was calling for eating vegetables? (I had never asked for explanation.)

But I was thrilled that three little boys heard it–we were all sitting at the dinner table, and they don’t miss a thing–especially when he speaks. They had heard the teasing, so I was glad they could hear the admission.

It takes a big man to admit he’s been wrong. He is a big man, but he just grew in my eyes, and I think in the eyes of three little men.

This morning Richard and I read Psalm 23-25, and in  25:9 was, “The meek (teachable) will He guide in judgment (discernment), and the meek will He teach His way.” God’s ways make us happy (and healthy). And He is happy to teach us because when you feel better, life looks better, it improves your perspective by 100%. Verse 12 is a companion saying, “What man fears (reverences) the Lord? him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.” The way of God’s choosing or ours? It is also translated “He shall teach him in the way he should choose.” (guidance) The NIV says, “…in the way chosen for him.”

I couldn’t find a translation to support this but I think it is true, that even in the way of our own choosing God will teach us if we reverence Him and realize that He knows better than we do–and really that is what being teachable is. Who doesn’t believe that the Creator of a universe 15 billion light years across might know more than me? That isn’t really the issue, is it? It’s whether I believe God created me, loves me personally, has my best interests at heart. Does He care? Can I know Him? Can I trust Him?

This makes a dilemma for Memorial Day. It’s a day to be grateful for so many men who died and underwent horrible trauma for our freedom.

I hate war.  I have seven grandsons. Need I say more? But we live with it, and it scares me to think what they might have to go through. So I ask God to make them strong men who always have a relationship with Him and a heart to listen to Him. Men who can admit when they are wrong, men who will ask for guidance, men He can teach His ways.

Have to add this–the message in church was from Leviticus 25–God’s ways bring rest and space and trust and plenty into our lives. We need that rest–Shabbat rest–even the land rested. You can rest because you trust. You can trust because you know Him.

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Filed under A God perspective, Becoming real, fathering, Health, Living well, Love ed, Mental Health, Parenting, Uncategorized, What is God like?

Vulnerability is Strength

Nobody likes being needy. I wrote last week about vulnerability–was going to title it Vulnerability is a Good Thing–but my husband said it was a terrible title–he wouldn’t read anything with that title. I guess guys especially don’t like being vulnerable, but why? Why do we think there is a clash between vulnerability and strength? I think only those who are truly strong can be vulnerable. They are the only ones who aren’t afraid.

I suppose men see the vulnerable as those who can’t protect themselves physically, those who are over-powered by brute strength. The old “might makes right” idea. Men are built with protective instinct, and that’s a good thing. The worst abuse, called sanctuary betrayal, is when those who are supposed to protect us are the ones hurting us. So I’m glad they are programmed that way. God did it, so He wanted protectors in society, just in case something went wrong, which it did, and we were physically vulnerable. (Remember He created it perfect–no evil.)

But there is another kind of vulnerability that is good. Emotional vulnerability. The willingness to be vulnerable–to make yourself open–transparent–nothing to hide. Most of us can’t quite get there–not with everyone and not all the time. Life has given us experiences we are afraid to share for fear of judgment, some of it warranted, but everyone’s experience is different, so it’s good to really know the person you are telling before you share all. God is the only one brave enough and good enough to be totally vulnerable, and even He has taken time, and considered who, when, and how he shares.

A great example of this happened this morning with my husband. We were both tired this week, and hit a high point of crabbiness yesterday. I was sure I must be hormonal, but this morning he was sitting in the sun on the patio, and he got vulnerable (!) and motioned for me to sit in his lap. Then he said, “No matter what we might do or say to each other, know that I love you.” This is rare sharing for him, and it brings reciprocation (almost always for anyone).

Later we were in the car and I shared that I had thought my irritability had been from hormones, but maybe, since he had felt the same, it was our week long empty-carb binge beginning with some decadent pancakes we had on Mothers’ Day. He had blamed me that he didn’t feel good and we had been distant for days. We had also had pizza three times, instead of our usual “clean eating.” (For some reason he was in search of the perfect frozen pizza. And since he cooks three nights a week, I just try to be grateful.) So we talked about getting back to our nutrient-rich diet, and I told him, “I’m so glad you shared how you felt and we talked about this. It was very helpful to me.”

Vulnerability is scary, I know, but it is what makes therapy work. It’s also what makes relationships work.

And it is the way God has chosen to secure His universe in freedom forever! He has made all of His actions transparent, full disclosure for the whole watching universe! He wasn’t afraid of being hurt or misunderstood. Now that is vulnerability! And don’t miss that it is also coming from tremendous strength.

 

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Boundaries

So ISIS beheaded another 21 people–Egyptians–this week. In the name of God? I think not. The one before that was an American woman. Before that burning the Jordanian pilot. They are going for reaction and intimidation. Notice how tall their black-clad executioners are compared to their victims. They are going for fear. It brings up some important questions:

How could they possibly think a God who died for freedom would approve? Or is that why they hate Christians–because we believe in a God who died to guarantee our freedom? Are these guys so demented that they actually think God rules with force? The word demented has ties with “demon” –have they been so pounded on by people who were controlled by demons that their boundaries cracked and they allowed evil to take over?

Were they so powerless, so mistreated as children and became so angry or were so hurt that they chose evil in the form of revenge? They have attracted many such “demented” people. Do they all really think God is like them? Or is this just an excuse to act out their rage?

What caused them to feed such rage? Helplessness? Powerlessness?

Have they thrown off their ties to their own religion in order to vent their fury? Or are they really deluded into thinking they are acting righteously?

I’ve read their holy book, and it says over and over–more than anything else–that Allah is most gracious and most merciful! Where is their disconnect?

I love it when the things I’m thinking and the things I read converge.

I’ve been working on God’s conversation with Cain in Genesis 4 for weeks, and was thinking the above this morning, when I went to God Calling for today. It said to be more afraid of disturbance between God and us than anything.

“When you feel the absolute calm has been broken–away alone with Me until your heart sings, and all is strong and calm. These (disturbances) are the only times when evil can find an entrance. The forces of evil surround the city of man-soul, and are keenly alert for one such unguarded spot, through which an arrow can pierce and do havoc.”

He had my attention; this is just what He had said to Cain! Then He said something shocking! “Remember all that you have to do is to keep calm and happy. God does the rest.”

What? No word about choice? It is only implied, but what a choice it is! And I know you experience it–when someone treats you meanly or rudely, or worse, scares you to death. And you choose not to let their arrows, poisoned by the dark side, go in.

Is that even possible?

It is! Listen to the rest: “No evil force can hinder My Power–only you yourself have power to do that.”

I think the next words are going to be about choosing because that’s what He’s talking about. But no–the last line is, “Think when all God’s mighty forces are arrayed to aid you–and your poor, puny self impedes their onward march.” He’s talking about how our emotions like fear and hurt get triggered. grabbed, and we run away with the wolves instead of sounding the battle cry, “Onward! Fight!”

There is a fight, a holy war, going on, but it isn’t about us killing each other, it’s about us choosing calm or trust and letting God fight for us. God’s boundary is our freedom, our boundary is not hooking in, not letting ourselves get carried away by fear, or hurt, or desire for revenge  but knowing our Helper and choosing to use His forces.

Right after that I read Psalm 4 and it’s all about the same thing! Wow! The last line is “Now I will lie down in peace, and sleep; for thou alone, O Lord, makes me live unafraid.”

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