Friday, January 21, 2011

Jealous love


"You shall have no other God's before me, You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." Ex. 20:3-4

The bible says that God is Love (1 John 4:8). Another way it translates is "God defines love" by who he is. This quality is inseparably linked to 'who' God is. Everything God does, says, commands, and performs is laced in love. It is the force behind all he does.
In love he has given us boundaries and commandments to lead us to life. One of the earliest recorded of these was the book known as Exodus. God tells man that he is not to put anything or anyone in the place where God should be. The reason being that no one or thing is like God, thus no one other than him can do ask good as a job as their master. Idols will only break our hearts, so God commands us to put him on the throne and be able to experience life with him as King. The Abundant life he designed us for

The bible also says he is a Jealous God (Ex. 34:14), he won't let an idol have his place among his people. His love is to strong to allow his people to endure an god who is not good. (As only he is). God knows that putting anything on the throne where only God should be will destroy the worshipper and what is being worshipped. Divine love will do whatever is necessary to destroy the idols of his people. Thus, he will destroy a job, a title, a unhealthy form of relationship, a bank account, or anything that he has to do to rescue his people from worshipping what will hurt them. His relentless love is too great to stand by and let us drink the poison we so often desire...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Music


After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

—Aldous Huxley


Music. There is something deeply stirring about music. It contains something that grips the inside of us, and brings forth a subtle reminiscence of familiar yet unknown beauty. I am not sure exactly what this is. Perhaps music reminds the soul of the rhythm and melody of a universe that was lost long ago. There are songs that the tune of which draw out emotions and pull our hearts to them even if there words are shallow or inapplicable to us. They carry us away to moments from our past, or longings for our future. Longings that we cannot even put into words. At times it feels as though they synchronize the pangs of the world and draw harmony to the chaos around us.

Imagine a world without music today. What a world that would be. Then imagine in this music less world what it would be like if someone introduced you to it for the first time. What a price we would pay to have music fill our existence. Millions of dollars would undoubtedly be paid just to hear something break the silence of our souls...but because music is everywhere I can so often grow numb to the life and wonder it breaths. Martin Luther said well: "the riches of music are so excellent and so precious that words fail me whenever I attempt to discuss and describe them.... next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our thoughts, minds, hearts, and spirits...A person who... does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs."


I have heard it said that music is the language of the Angels... I don't know if this is true... but it is certainly a taste of something divine, something beyond this world... and yet strangely present in it. Perhaps creation was sung into existence as one author put it... and every time a note is played it reminds us of the beauty that began our world.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tears...


Below is a republished older post that I was encouraged and reminded of today... A true story retold and a glorious hope in Jesus we anxiously await...

I ate dinner with a woman who works for Salvation army tonight. She has never met her father, and her mother died 7 years ago from HIV. Her mother was a prostitute, addicted to cocaine and forced by her own doing into a life that fed her addiction and sorrow. This woman never saw all of her children and she never raised them. She was not educated at a private school and was abused her whole life until she was 30 years old when Aids took her life... But that was not the story that haunts me.

This womans daughter, told me not of her broken life brought on by her mothers addiction, she told me of another woman. A 16 year old girl. The girl was 16 years old, and was originally from Arizona. She was deaf, and had been molested by her father her whole life. Finally she ran away at a gas station and pleaded for the help of a couple after serious abuse. The couple took her in, it was a pastor of a church in Dallas, his wife and their child. They took her back to Dallas in safety of what seemed like safety. This soon ended, and the man who had appeared as a savior, took this deaf and abused girl and locked her away in his basement. He opened a Sex business with her as the attraction. He set up video cameras and a website where for a fee one could go and type in what you wanted to see done to the girl and he would do it (including at one point set her on FIRE! For some sick bastard whose condemnation is just). He would do whatever act his paying viewers would type into the computer and say they want to see her to. For 2 years she was beaten and raped repeatedly. ALL BY A PASTOR IN DALLAS, TEXAS. This continued until Fall of 2009. She thought she would be saved only to be Tortured

The girl was eventually rescued by the police, but she came out with all of her body mutilated and her genital region completely destroyed... Oh God have mercy on Her, she needs you. I know you say that 'shall not the God of all the earth do what is just? (Gen 18:25) But Lord have mercy on her, Yahweh God of all creation save her soul...God help us... This is what Porn Addicts are watching!!! God let it stop, come quickly Lord Jesus I know you are enthroned on high, Adonai

"I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And Behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them...And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the son." Eccl. 4:3

You shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their Sins...for someday soon awaiting us

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Revelation 21:4...

We your "bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” -Revelation 22:17

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hunger

"And we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation but we ourselves...groan inwardly." Romans 8

The bible speaks of the groaning that all our world is currently expressing. Groaning that is seen in every place by all people. There is a mysterious thirst just to feel something that I am convinced takes place inside of all of us. Unquenchable however, strangely whether we drink from fire hose or dinner glass it is impossible to remove the burning and aching of our world.

I am convinced that whether you believe in God or Jesus is irrelevant to sharing in the experience of discontentedness no matter what life brings. We can not hide it, only numb it briefly with some vessel of pleasure or distraction. Even then, though it may grow dull for a season it never ceases. It almost seems like a longing for a friendship I once knew or someday hope to have, a city I vaguely remember or hope to one day live in. A longing for a fragrance i have never smelled, a woman I have yet to embrace...or have wrongly attribute to one that I have. A desire for some season ahead of me, or one from my past. Oddly clothed inside of my 5 senses I find an insatiable thirst the deepest well of this world will not seem to quench. With all my fury I am unable to extinguish this curious hunger for something inside of me.

I believe I am expressing something that we all at some point in our life...(if we are lucky) understand. It is imageless, unknown, undefined, uncanny, and yet deeply and unexplainably Desired. Many may grow numb to its calling by losing themselves in a drug, or job, a lifestyle, a marriage, a woman or a man...but when the ground shifts and when day turns to night the echo returns and we remember its melody. Hungry we fumble around through the darkness in search for bread...

Friday, July 16, 2010

how can we allow this?


there are thousands that will die between the time i write this blog and the time you read it. in a world where 30,000 young children die everyday from starvation, 1 billion people do not have access to clean water and the majority of our world lives on less money in a year than i will pay in rent this month.

it is not hard to see there is a problem... i have found that this leads many to a frustration with God. a frustration that often ends in the abandonment of their 'belief' in a God who could allow such. putting our maker on trial saying 'how could you allow this?'.

however what is horrifying about this question is that it is one all men should ask themselves. 'how can we allow this?'. perhaps the change of the world to come will be mainly in ourselves. we will no longer be content to fatten our savings and cushion our beds while billions literally billions go their whole lives without simple necessities such as water, food, and shelter. without protection, medicine, and safety.

i fear the question may one day be turned around and no longer will we judge our maker and ask 'how could you allow this?'. but he will ask man 'how in a world that had more than enough for all who lived in in, how could YOU allow this?'

he shall ask us again
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily;
if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness...And the LORD will guide you continually" Is. 58 6-11

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love.

Context is what allows us to understand almost any aspect of life. Context is responsible for creating hopes, fear, relationships, literature, history, and all of life. In order for me to step into a book or a circumstance and understand everything I see I must know at least a broad context of what is going on. Because man is by nature very observational and recognizes the context of the world around him, this is often taken for granted.

But we have all stepped into a story many chapters from its beginning. We are all in a story, and this story has a context. I believe that our not often "misunderstanding of the story" is the why so many wrestle to find their purpose, their role, and their Maker.

Any reading of our "story" or any understanding of who we are must center upon its beginning. I believe that the bible is true and I believe it gives the context for the story we find ourselves in. It is one about God. But this does little unless we know who God is. It is not enough to simply read, memorize, or meditate on what sentences in the Bible says, if we do not understand the Character of the author and centerpiece of the story. He is love. All Christian study and further I believe all life only makes sense when it is understood in light of the Character and nature of God. If we miss the fact the our father is a Good father, and a loving father we will make his instructions and guidance to us (revealed in scripture) as a attempt to simply exercise authority and not an expression of His great care for us. The bible says God is Love. All that he does is done in Love and because of love.

But this needs clarifying"Love" is everywhere. And it is something that being defined wrongly. It is more that infatuation, sex, attraction, or companionship. It is not simply romance, though all the virtue and wonder of romance is part of Love. No one denies love, it is referenced in the books we read, the relationships we have and often wrongly ascribed to the emotions we feel. But this is not Love. It is more.

'Love is patient and kind, selfless and humble. Love seeks not its own good, but the good of the one Loved'. 'This is Love, not that we loved God but that he loved us'. So deeply that he was willing to come and die and lay down his life... for us.

In bodies filled with Sin and hormones this type of love seems bland to us. We crave romance, eros, and ecstasy and I think we should. Yet, we still see only half the story, but one day 'we will see in full' and we will find our burning for love was never for a woman or for a man. But for God. This is why young men and young women crave beauty and sex rather than compassion and faithfulness. I see it is my own heart that is 'deceitful above all else'. But I don't wish simply sex and beauty for others. For those who I care about most I wish more, much more. And when the dust settles I wish more for myself. I wish care, companionship, purity, strength, laughter, joy, and peace. I wish faithfulness, trust, and love.

Money, sex, pleasure, they eventually give way and will always be just beyond our grasp. But if we are brave, strong and courageous, and broken we may drink from a cup that overflows with the greatest love we could ever know... and if this cup fills our mouths we shall dance like few ever dream of... Strong and courageous.

"But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love."- The Prophet (1923)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

the beauty of pain

the beauty of pain...

Pain. It is an inescapable reality, and to suggest that their is beauty in it is almost blasphemous. But indeed there is. A man once wrote that we should take joy in our pain because it produces a longing. That it increases our hope in what lies ahead (Rom. 5). The every time our lips burn from the bitter cup of life, be it by the death of a loved one, the ache of sickness, the failure of our circumstances, or of ourselves, those who have hope must remember this hope will not fail us. We long for a distant and yet strangely present reality that will erase all that has gone wrong and restore our broken world.

Almost absurdly, this tells us that those who taste the greatest sorrows of this life from divorce, depression, death, heart ache, and loneliness are considered those who may most eagerly drink from the cup of hope. They are the ones who most clearly see the slits and tears in the fabric of creation and thus are able (if they make good use of these pains) to be filled with a joy in what is too come.

I have suffered very little compared to most, however the suffering and aching I have experienced has pulled back the curtains of how I see life and allowed for a brief moment my eyes to see a deep longing in all of us... and it is that same pain and hurt that allow me to realize the things we hope in so often are only an echo of a song we strangely remember but could never compose or reproduce.

This peculiar longing may grow dull for a season if I drown it out with enough clutter, but never ceases. It almost seems like a longing for a friendship I once knew or someday hope to have, a city I vaguely remember or hope to one day live in. A longing for a fragrance i have never smelled, a woman I have yet to embrace...or have wrongly attribute to one that I have. A desire for some season ahead of me, or one from my past. Oddly clothed inside of my 5 senses I find an insatiable thirst the deepest well of this world will not seem to quench. With all my fury I am unable to extinguish this curious hunger for something inside of me.

I believe I am expressing something that we all at some point in our life...(if we are lucky) understand. It is imageless, unknown, undefined, uncanny, and yet deeply and unexplainably Desired. Many may grow numb to its calling by losing themselves in a drug, or job, a lifestyle, a marriage, a woman or a man...but when the ground shifts and when day turns to night the echo returns and we remember its melody.

Call it nostalgia, being a "romantic", a pain of youth or of death, beauty, or love... this will only send you searching for what you cannot find... The truth of the matter is, it has already found you. He has already found you.

Solomon once said "the purpose of a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out." Perhaps I don't have the understanding he is talking about. Or maybe, just maybe the purpose that this 'understanding' draws out is this... 'nothing in this world with quench the eternal echoes that call out inside of all men for their eternal God...nothing'.

And each time we finally reach the job, the relationship, the experience that we think will we find this they never live up to all we "hoped for". Only when I cease to try and make the world satisfy these longings can I begin to no longer grow hurt, hardened, or heart broken over its failures to do so. My heart remembers my God's love and His presence and as long as I am away from Him, I long for it again...

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