Tag Archives: understanding religion

Wanting to Understand

My friend Barb shared this quote with me because it reminded her of my first book.

“We find ourselves in the middle of a story that is sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful, often a confusing mixture of both, and we haven’t a clue how to make sense of it all. It’s like we are holding in our hands some pages torn out of a book. These pages are the days of our lives. Fragments of a story. They seem important, or at least we long to know they are, but what does it all mean? If only we could find the book that contains the rest of the story.”

That is exactly why I wrote Love’s Playbook: The Real Story of Cosmic Love and War. And today it was Barb’s turn to teach the book study. We are in the second book, but she said, “I have to go back to the first book because none of the rest makes any sense without understanding this,”  as she waved the first book in front of us, continuing, “In fact, none of the  rest (the Bible) makes sense unless you understand the war in the universe.” (So neat to have someone understand and feel as passionate about this as I do!)

But though it makes me a little giddy, and thrilled, I’m awkward. I haven’t had enough practice responding. It doesn’t happen very often, but more since we started the book study. ( I should ask, if any of you agree on their merit, I would love to have you leave a good review on Amazon. It’s very easy. Just click on the book to review, and on the new page click on review. And then leave a sentence or two on what you like about it. Amazon is review driven so it’s a big deal.  I’ll give you the link: http://amazon.com/author/arla caraboolad And thanks a bunch!

Just imagine if I feel like that, how God must feel trying to reach us with real reality, and how delighted He (They) are when someone gets it. (One of the gals said, “I can’t even think of God as one person anymore. It doesn’t make sense that He would be one being.” I loved that because I have said for years, “If God is anything, He is relational. One God, yes; but not one being.”)

I came to understand this writing the first book. How do you have God having conversations with Himself? So I begin to understand the Trinity as three beings filling one position as God: same values, same passions, same abilities, but yet different personalities and functions. God is family and made us family in His image.

And I think it is safe to assume based on Genesis 2:1-4 that we were the end, not the beginning, of God’s creation. It says there four times in four verses that all of God’s creating was ended. Moses used repetition for emphasis, if something was important he said it twice in a different way. This is four times and not too differently stated! Yet I doubt he even understood why. He seemed to only have a slight grasp of the war–at least he didn’t talk much about it. Sometimes I have gotten upset that he said things the way he did! And I have asked God, “Why did you let him say it like that?”

Truth is, God preserved those “hooks for doubt” for the sake of freedom. If They blatantly overwhelmed us with truth, we would have no choice but to believe. Then where would be freedom? Another truth is the antediluvians had Adam around for almost 1000 years to talk to and chose not to trust his word or God’s for whatever reason–anger? doubt? self-absorption?

So of course my books aren’t for everyone, just for those who love good and are wanting to understand all the things about life, suffering and God that don’t make sense to them now. Thanks for helping me get the word out.

 

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Experiencing God

I’m hesitant to post this because it is so personal. And then I had the thought I’ve posted plenty of negative personal things in he said/she said detail, so why not something positive? You’ll understand after you’ve read it.

So I was on the plane, in the middle seat, flying back from a great sisters’ trip, and decided to journal for my time with God which I’d missed. Our pastor has encouraged us to journal on scripture–especially the ones he is preaching on. We write what God is saying, and then what He is saying to us specifically.  He’s just started a new series on Mark. This is Mark 1:8 “I immerse you in water, but He will immerse you in Holy Spirit.”

“I love the thought of being completely immersed in You, Ruach! (Hebrew for Holy Spirit, pronounced Roo ak.) The closest I have come to realizing it is sitting in Your lap, leaning against Your chest in the morning–I’m just waking up, still sleepy, and snuggled up as I have often seen my daughter’s children do after a nap. I love that loved, relaxed feeling. I want to feel that relaxed, that loved, all the time. I want the love to ooze out of me as Val described her friend.

“I know I’m not that comfortable with people or myself yet, but I’m better. Thank You that at least I can see a bit of improvement. I know You don’t usually let us see our improvement because it doesn’t bode well with us–over time we get careless, thinking we don’t need You. I want to always know I need You, but I want more just to want You, and that precious time with You–want to let You flow through me.

“Make me not have to need people’s feedback and approval. At least this trip I don’t think I gave offense to anyone! Thank you for that. And thank You that the meeting with my nephew and nieces was so special.”

And He answered!

“I am so proud of you, and so grateful for your heart. You wanted to share your love–My love–with others in getting them all together. I know that. And I did let you see that I understood your motive by inspiring the writing of that text to C.”

Thank You.

“You are so welcome My Love.”

You see why I was hesitant to share it. But if it helps just one person open up to God in experimental, experiential relationship, then it is worth it. He will be just as affirming, sweet and gentle with you too.

The only religion worth anything is a relationship with God that is real to you experientially.

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