Freedom, Guns, Drugs, and Jesus

In any society we must balance freedom and so called safety.  The more Freedom you give to those in power, the more safe they will keep you from criminals-  Until of course the ones in power become the ones who threaten your safety and well being.

The Bill of Rights, when enforced, protect us from the need for Libertarians.  I almost became a Libertarian when I felt my Rights as an American citizen were being threatened. Then I remembered the Bill of Rights.  I just want those buggers not to be messed with.

The idea that  legalizing drugs will end gang wars and stop prisons from being over crowded shows some people don’t  know the nature of the beast.  When drugs become legal, are gang bangers and mob bosses going to become florists and school teachers?  Criminals will just find another enterprise.  People will still need to cheat and steal to support their drug habit.  Drug addicts would skip the stage sentencing them to rehab for possession of narcotics, and move right into being incarcerated for petty theft or repeatedly  robbing  gas stations by finger point.

I hate guns.  Yet the powers that be have guns.  Criminals have guns.  So despite my distaste for them, I think citizens should have guns.  It is not only constitutional, it is the balance of power.

We all have social security numbers…why?  So we can receive money back from the government that was ours in the first place.  For this privileged we are numbered-serialized from birth.

Now anyone in NH can carry and conceal without a license.  Why do we need to pass a test in order to drive, but not to own a gun?  While I believe in the right to bare arms, I would be lying if I said this didn’t bother me. Is there a middle ground to be found here?  Or is a jackass with a gun who doesn’t have a clue how to use it the price we pay for freedom.  I don’t know.

Political Correctness has replaced manners.  It is a word that robs people of stating reasonable opinions.  Manners is about being kind, pleasant and respectful.  Someone with good manners does not insult people or use any kind of racial slur.  Political correctness  is simply a way of not offending those who want to revolutionize society’s norms.  If you are uncomfortable with males having access to the women’s bathroom because of the transgender issue, you’er a bigot, no matter how respectful and honest you try to be about your feelings. Calling someone a bigot or a Nazi is serious actuation, a hurtful term, and an insult of the worse kind.  It is bad manners.

We live in a world that is imperfect and contains evil.  We have to live with it and do the best we can in politics and laws.  I think the answer to evil has always been about Christ.  It is about changing the world, one person at a time not by laws but from within.  It is not the kind of change that makes us “decent” people, but a gradual change to become transformed into a being that radiates God’s love.  If everyone were like that, the world would be an awesome place.  Yet people have free choice.  So I guess the best hope for America and the world is Jesus’ return.

 

Dare

I am dragging my feet

A child not wanting to go

To school…

Yet this school is different

We call it life

And it’s calling me,

To look at past hurts,

Release them to God

Setting them free…

 

My other blog, Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins contains poetry and real life stories about my past.  I am also writing a chronological story about what happened to me, but that remains private and may indefinitely.  I have two blogs because I don’t want everything I write to be about trauma, though I suppose healing is a mystery.  Some posts may appear in both blogs.

Perception

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.Isaiah 43:19 NIV

One of the hardest things I had to do about ten years ago was leave  HCMA church.  After a brief membership at another church, I have found, with my husband, a church that feels like home.  Yet my memories of being  a new Christian at HCMA church awash in a kind of golden glow.  I and my twenty something friends were on fire, (when we weren’t distracted by the ever strong and also burning desire to marry)  The whole church seemed ALIVE with the spirit and awash in strong prayer. I was drunk in the spirit, experienced holy laughter, and felt like I was in the throne room of God.

God through Jesus Christ gives all believers the spirit.  The church in Corinth was alive and kicking.  They had all the gifts in the spirit and need instruction on how to use all of them.  However, they also very spiritually immature.  Their were divisions, competition  and lawsuits. (1 Cor. 6:7, 1 Cor 11:1)  Spiritual gifting is not a sign of maturity because it is not earned-that is why it is called a gift. A church can be alive in the spirit, yet immature. Habits like  gossiping and divisiveness  will eat at a church like a cancer, causing it to slowly die out.  Unfortunately, that is something many Christians, like myself, have both experienced and, to my shame, participated in.  I can see now how destructive it was and is.

Despite knowing this, I still long at times for those powerful experiences in the spirit, which have waned.  While I am happy in my new church home and still using my gifts of intercession, I sometimes miss the good old days.  Only were they really that good?  I don’t know.  The felt that way at times.  Yet I can look back and see that my maturing in the Lord didn’t coincide with spiritual experiences.

God is the God of every season of our lives, every church experience, every spiritual gift.   I was praying at a church meeting recently, and I got the following verse; See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19   I recognized it as a word for our church, and I believe it was.  Today  God reminded me it was a word for me as well. God worked powerfully in one way at one church at one time.  The same is true for me.  He is working in my life- I have seen it-the fruit has been amazing. Yet if I keep chasing past experiences, and not God, I will miss out on what Christ is doing in my life now.  And that my friends, is ingratitude.

 

 

 

Paper Snow

I have always been a fan of making paper snowflakes.  I think this is mainly because I cannot draw, but I can fold and cut crude shapes.  The best part about making them is unfolding them to see what they look like.  I love to challenge myself to make each one unique as possible.  Sadly, after a while they  all start looking some what the same.

Recently the kids in my afterschool program created crystals out of Borax and water.  I realized I did not know enough about why the crystals formed-well I did not know much about crystals at all.  So I did some research.  It is then I saw for the first time snowflakes magnified to the extent they are in the featured image…mind blown

So after I finished scraping my brain off the the ceiling and placing the remains back in my skull, I decided to blog.  Only I have few words to describe how I feel or what I am thinking.

Honey if that aint intelligent design I don’t know what is.

Millions and billions and trillion of snowflakes have fallen over the centuries and no two are alike.  This I knew.  What I did not know is how different some are from each other, and the intricacy of some of their designs. They look like silver and diamond patterns that you might find on a royal crown.  I can almost see an angel in heaven or God Himself  cutting them out sending them to earth like floating, weightless jewels.  One shovel full of snow contains tiny treasures tossed aside until spring steals them away.  I am awashed in wonder at the thought, realizing that God is King of Kings, a generous one, who shares His riches with us, if we only stop and look. Every fall leaf, every spring flower, Every summer storm thundering from the heavens reveals His splendor.  We take them for granted.  We forget to be amazed, to walk in wonder upon the earth God has created.  We forget that we exist because of Him, that in Him, in Jesus, we live and move and have our being.

That being said, I hope come February I will not complain about the snow or the cold.  Instead I hope to continue to view it as glorious gift from God.  Pray for me.

Egypt

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven Ecclesiastes 3

Moses was born in Egypt.  He had to go back to the place he was before he knew the Lord, a place where he had sinned, a place of sweat and toil for his people.  He did not want to go, but he did. He went (reluctantly) where he did not want to go, and the deliverance of the Lord went with him.  He was sent.

Sometimes we do have to go back and face things.  We may want to remain where we are, but the way forward is sometimes backward.  This is contrary our self help, think positive and leave the past behind culture.  We cannot leave anything behind by simply walking forward.  We need to do more than just let go of the past.  We need the Everlasting Arms to take those burdens.  I think of the lashes Christ took.  How deep the marks were on His back, how maybe there are lash marks on my heart, and he wants to take those too.  He bled with emotion in the garden.  The places within me that hurt so much, that ache, the emptiness that wants to swallow me up, it’s too damn much for me.  Not for Him.  No he bled and died and was crushed like grapes in a wine press when he could have gotten away.  I sip sweet wine on Sundays because He drank the bitterest of poisons down to the dregs.  What reason could I give to His face, swollen and beaten on the cross, for not trusting Him?  He knows my sorrows, and the sorrows of the whole world from the beginning of time until it’s end.  He is strong enough for what threatens to break me.  And He is more than prepared to go with me.

1But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43

Once again I am faced with the mystery of the Gospel.  Jesus is with me.  The fire will not burn me.  Yet there will be fire.  The waters won’t drowned me, but their will be cold water to tread.”Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?” Rom.11:34

On Labor Day Weekend I went on retreat and heard from the Lord.  I surrendered my depression.  I accepted what God had told me.  I had prayed for healing of my clinical depression several times.  Every  time I got the same verse “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9.  So I went on retreat angry at God.  I finally realized I was not in control.  I could exercise, eat right, or pound down caffeine, take medication, but only Jesus could make me symptom free.  And He said no.  No matter what illness or circumstance we face, His grace is enough.  I broke down crying and surrender to Him.

It is then I believe The Lord spoke to me about writing my story.  The story of the sexual violence and abuse I had been subject to my freshman year in college.  I heard the following verse distinctly on retreat and the next week at church: “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam”.  These words were spoken by Jesus to a blind man, a man whose eyes Jesus had covered in mud.   The blind man obeyed and washed in the pool, and regained his sight.  He had to do what he was told in order to be healed.  I find it interesting that the name Siloam means “sent”.   I felt like Jesus was sending me to do something that would result in healing.  I also felt my story might help others, and maybe I was being sent to tell others what Jesus has done for me.  I am not sure what this all means, but I do know the first step: Write my story.  Whatever happens next is up to the Lord.

 

 

Life Is Not A Poem

“I had as yet no notion that life every now and then becomes literature—not for long, of course”…Norman Maclean  A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Many are familiar with the movie with Brad Pitt directed by Robert Redford but of course, like most good movies it was a book first.  The writing style is haunting and poetic, full of allusions to nature with a little dash of some kind of faith thrown in.  In short it is very Celtic and beautiful.

However, he is right.  Life is not literature for long.  We live in a fallen world full of ugliness.  Abuse, rape, violence, murder-they  are all ugly things.

The God who wrote the Psalms and Isaiah gave us down to earth parables.  He also died a violent bloody death.  Only He could turn something so ugly into a beautiful sacrifice.  Yet the sins that held Him there were not pretty.

I am an idealist.  In my walk with Christ I have tried to use my writing to paint beautiful pictures.  I want life to be beautiful, a work of art.

Yet it is not.  It is a work in progress and very messy.  It doesn’t always feel like a sacred mystery or a piece of art work. Sometimes it’s just a bunch of broken pieces that don’t make sense.  I’ve try to put them together and cut my hands. So this weekend I give it up to Him.  And I will keep having to do it.  I cannot control my depression.  Just let Him get me through it.