I got to talking with Ang about it, talking about legalism vs love. I'm not sure how to go about this without having to give a whole lot of background....According to the protesters Rob is preaching a message of universalism..
--- the doctrine that emphasizes the universal fatherhood of God and the final salvation of all souls.
Doesn't sound so bad right? Well in this link:
it shows the guys protesting outside one of his events.
So legalism is:
----the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
(Thanks again dictionary.com)
Now there are a few things that I believe off the bat that may help you understand where I'm coming from.
That God created everything
Sin entered the world and man is inherently sinful
God was brokenhearted by his people's continual rejection of him
God sent his Son Jesus to die for the sole purpose of reconciling us back to a creator that longed for relation with his people.
The gift of Jesus on the cross to people is a representation of grace. We have done and can do nothing to earn it, the ground at the foot of the cross, at the entrance to heaven is level ground.
A sin is a sin is a sin. Murder, lying, adultery, all the same. God despises sin all the same and desires for everyone to be in relationship with him no matter how big, or small their sin is.
OK, that's a very watered down version but you get the point.
Legalism can tell you that if you aren't *example* then you won't get into heaven. Legalism tells you that if you don't do *example* you won't get into heaven.
To me, severe legalism completely takes away the necessity of Jesus, which makes my heart hurt. My interpretation of severe legalism makes a savior completely unnecessary because we can get ourselves into heaven so who needs a Savior right?
I get that there are "laws" in a loose sense of the word. I understand that there are black and white issues in which Jesus spoke out and said this is sin, this is wrong, this is unacceptable in the sight of God. Those should be adhered to. But we are broken, selfish, and damaged people. I know that pre-marital sex is wrong, but I've had it. Does that mean I'm forever doomed to go to hell? In my mind, no. I've repented. I've confessed to Jesus and repented.
to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one's life for the better; be penitent.
(and dictionary.com for the win again!)
I've lied, I've stolen, I've cheated, I've lusted, I've *any number of other examples*
Jesus still loves me. Jesus still chases after me in any number of ways every single day of my life, every single moment. He chases after you too.
So there is a place for "legalism" (for lack of a better word)
But when people get caught up in legalism, they can and do often lose sight of the love. Jesus said above all else LOVE. That doesn't mean condone, that doesn't mean turn a blind eye. That means that while you're rebuking someone, while your correction or convicting someone, while your sharing with someone these "laws" that should be adhered to to live a life that honors God, don't forget to love them.
To often we can get so caught up in being right that we end up being wrong. Don't forget to show the compassion, grace, love, respect to others that you so need to have shown to you.
People will screw up. People will let you down, people will lie, cheat, steal, break your heart, kick you when you're down. But getting even, not the answer. Shutting down and withdrawing into a reclusive shell, not the answer. Oh, don't get me wrong it's my gut reaction too, just read back a few weeks ago at my posts.
Don't get so caught up in following the letter of the law and holding people to a standard that you can't even keep and forget to love them.
I don't know what heaven is like, or what it will look like, or if I'll be asked specific questions. But I'm pretty sure if I am asked questions, Jesus isn't going to say, "Hey Bethany, when you were my follower, how often were you right?" If anything, I think that question would be, "Hey Bethany, when you were my follower, how often did you love, how often did you feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the disturbed?"
Being right often looks different then what we think it should, and sometimes the opposite of what we expect to.
But above all else, love.
I know that I've reacted inappropriately when people come to me with their struggles and troubles and the conversation has been the lesser because of it. Trust has decreased and often a completely seperate crop of troubles arise because of my dismissiveness.
But I've been thinking lately about how important it is to not react with your first gut instinct whether it be judgement, fear, disgust etc. How much more would people open up to each other if they knew that even if the person they were talking to didn't agree with them that they would above all else reassure them that they are loved and cherished?
I joke around a lot. I can be excessively sarcastic and it more often then not comes across the wrong way. I like my sarcasm. I think I'm hilarious. (and humble). But during interactions with someone I know "A" I realize that my sarcasm and joking comes across as judgement and condemnation to A. It's the last thing I want.
So how can this be fixed. A lot of who I am is in my ability to laugh at morbid and uncomfortable things. To me it doesn't seem like the answer should be to completely squash my entire personality to make others more comfortable. At the risk of sounding like a petulant child, that doesn't seem very fair. But I can adjust I suppose, I can soften myapproach and edit myself occasionally when I know that person can't take the joking well.
But, doesn't it make sense, that if someone is confessing to you something that you don't want to hear that it's pretty obvious to them that you might not want to hear it? If they're still confessing to you, then maybe it's so important to them that to not tell you would keep a barrier up between the two of you. So maybe when people are confessing or confiding in you something that is vulnerable about them, we could focus on what is best for the other person and not what would make us feel better, more comfortable.
It's just a thought.
We all have these secret things that when revealed make us feel so at risk of rejection that it's less painful (but painful still) to stay hidden behind then the pain of blooming in full to show people who you truly are.
I would like to take a nap
I need to go to the bank
I'm going to Cleveland this weekend to see Rob Bell speak and chilax with Angie and Melissa, Jake and Cody
I desperately need to do some laundry. I mean, seriously I have no clothes left
I miss you
I'm enjoying my fingerless gloves, they're keeping my hands warm which I find ironic
I'm starting to like my hair again, finafreakinly
I think I'm going to start making Christmas chocolate next week
I need someone to do my christmas shopping for me, I'm feeling a little lazy this year
I have 4 minutes left until my lunch break
I've been wearing Gma's mother's ring for a year and a half, almost every day in the warmth, cold, dry, and rain and today it has randomly turned my finger green
I find that irritating.
I really need to go to the gym
I really need another hour or two in the day to make that possible
I should clean my tub at home
I need to start pricing condos
It annoys me when people say you're when they mean your
I can't think of other updates in the minute left until my lunch
I'm currently having a conversation. It's a top secret conversation, but one that I so appreciate being allowed to be part of.
This conversation is one of those moments when I feel pulled towards someone in a way that will not leave me unchanged. In a good way, in a way that grows me, stretches me, improves the way I communicate with people and the way I express my affection for people I care deeply for.
I feel exhausted and electrifyingly (is TOO a word!) alert all at the same time. I could lay down and sleep, but my mind will race with things that I'm on the edge of my seat wanting to say. I want to say so much but feel completely inept in my ability to express myself.
It's like conversational over-stimulation, but in the way that wires you up instead of wearing you down if that makes sense.
Frankly, it doesn't matter if it makes sense to you because it makes sense to me. Even though the converstion is about serious, rough things. It makes my heart smile to be trusted and to be able to help in the slightese bit.
It's not laying to much on me *edit*. I promise. I've gotten leaps and bounds better in setting boundaries and letting people know when it's to much. But I have broad shoulders and a deep heart, so bring it on. Maybe one of these days I'll tell you about my history and you'll understand that I feel almost uncontrollably compelled to bear witness to suffering and to love people and encourage them in even the slightest way.
Some people I feel almost unable to help myself. God saved
me in every sense of the word. He save me from taking my life quickly
with a slice of the blade, and from taking my life slowly through boys and
alcohol. This is what he saved me for. So I can be even the
slightest part of a love letter that he is writing to those that live in the
margins socially and emotionally, those that feel dejected and rejected by
everyone and every church. It is the greatest honor of my life that he
allows me to be even a small part of his work *edit*.
Anyway, I wanted to share because sometimes I feel like people think it's morbid or masochistic to be in these situations. My dad has often said that I need to just tell people to leave me alone and that I can't feel responsible for solving the worlds problem.
But I don't, I feel responsible for comforting people, for encouraging them etc.
How can that be bad?
The broken clock is a comfort
It helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow
From stealing all my time
And I am here still waiting
Though I still have my doubts
I am damaged at best
Like you've already figured out
I'm falling apartI'm barely breathing
With a broken heart
That's still beating
In the pain
There is healing
In your name
I find meaning
So I'm holding on
I'm holding on I'm holding on
I'm barely holding on to you
The broken locks were a warning
You got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded
I'm an open book instead
And I still see your reflection
Inside of my eyes
That are looking for purpose
They're still looking for life
I'm falling apart
I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart That's still beating
In the pain Is there healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holding onI'm holding on I'm holding on I'm holding on
I'm barely holding on to you I'm hanging on another day
Just to see what you will throw my way
And I'm hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will I will be okay
Broken lights on the freeway
Left me here alone
I may have lost my way now
Haven't forgotten my way home
I'm falling apart I'm barely breathing With a broken heart
That's still beating
In the pain There is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holding onI'm holding on I'm holding on
I'm barely holding on to you
I'm holding on I'm holding on
I'm barely holding on to you
A strong group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James
The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. ~Leo Rosten
Live simply that others might simply live. ~Elizabeth Seaton
We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa
Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful. ~Author Unknown.
I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. ~Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojarhiu)
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can. ~Sydney Smith
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~Mother Teresa
This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. ~George Bernard Shaw
How far that little candle throws his beams!So shines a good deed in a weary world.~William Shakespeare
Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice
I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. ~William Penn
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Do not commit the error, common among the young, of assuming that if you cannot save the whole of mankind you have failed. ~Jan de Hartog
Past the seeker as he prayed came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them... he cried, "Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?" God said, "I did do something. I made you." ~Author Unknown
I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives. ~Tracy Chapman
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~Robert F. Kennedy
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~Mahatma Ghandi
Go the extra mile. It's never crowded. ~Author UnknownExecutive Speechwriter Newsletter--
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. ~Betty Reese
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. ~Mother Teresa
Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. ~Mother Teresa
I came home from a week in St Louis, don't worry, Alaina and Heather came over and took care of the kitties and played with them every day...sheesh.
So I came home from a week in St Louis and you would have thought these cats hadn't had any human interaction for months! They were all over me, both of them sat on the rim of the tub while I showered, they both slept on my pillow with me all night and occasionally would nip and lick at me to wake me up so I could play with them (yeah, it was annoying).
So, Agnes was all up in my face, whining and crying demanding attention. If she didn't get it, then she made sure you were miserable until she did.
Gertrude on the other hand was all cool and aloof for most of the time. Oh, she would come around, let me pet her for awhile then wander away. Sometimes, while I was petting her she would nip at me, but she didn't purr until probably almost 11, and I was petting her a lot.
During the night, Agnes slept right on the pillow, always touching me with some part of her. Gertrude occasionally would come over and curl up too, but mostly she was just out of reach on the other side of a pillow. I would reach over every once in awhile and make sure she was still there and pet her for awhile before falling back to sleep.
Why am I giving you all this information about Gertrude? Because I think that I'm a lot like Gertrude. It struck me last night how much we act alike. Please don't think I'm turning into the scary cat lady. Let me explain.
I am extremely uncomfortable being like Agnes. Demanding attention, constantly putting myself near people is exhausting and more then a little frightening for me. So I act aloof, distant, and more then a little disinterested in people that I long to be close to. All so that if they reject me, or lose interest, or find me repulsive then I can feign indifference and not let anyone know that I feel like I'm crushed within an inch of my life inside.
Like Gertrude, I fade in and out. I will occasionally be all about making contact, instigating spending time together and be very open about my "feelings". But I will alternate that will not making any contact at all. Maintaining long periods of almost total silence because all I really want at that time is for people to see me, notice me, and pay attention to me. But I know that it's juvenile to jump up and down near people that I love saying...."Pay attention to me Pay attention to me Pay attention to me Pay attention to me Pay attention to me!" Worse still, when I finally get the attention that I've been longing for, I find it almost unbearable.
If someone asks me direct questions about me, I'll deflect. I'll talk for awhile and then turn almost every conversation back to them, how they're doing, what can I do for them, how can I help them. That's my safety zone. I'm not comfortable talking about the deep hurts that I feel, it's almost unbearable to me to expose those to others....even though I so appreciate and want to bear witness to other people's deep hurts.
So like Gertrude, I'll come around for awhile, but more often then not, I'll lay just out of reach, hoping someone will take the time to reach to the other side of the pillow and make sure I'm OK. But I won't let them in for to long, I'll grow skittish and run away for awhile, until I feel safe enough to share a little bit more of me with them.
Like Gertrude I withhold my "purring". It's like I'm holding my breath, waiting for people to walk away from me. Purring is a cats way of showing they are content, that they are happy. Gertrude, when she purrs, has a sweet little smile on her face. Agnes will purr if you look in her general direction (apparently Agnes is a little bit of a whore). But it takes a great deal of time and commitment to get Gertrude to purr. You have to consistently and steadily show her that you're not going to stop petting her. That's a little how I feel. I don't know what to equate purring to in human terms...but I know what I'm NOT equating it to so cut me some slack with the terminology. In order for me to purr, to really trust that people aren't going to walk away and wipe their hands clean of me I have to feel that consistency and steadiness coming from them. I have to really feel safe in the feeling that they aren't going to just stop one day and there's nothing I can do about it. But I don't really know how to do that without having a relational guarantee...which most of us know doesn't exist.
Like the week before Thanksgiving. While I was ranting raving, also known as pissing and moaning, on here. In real life, I barely spoke about it. I could hardly bear to think that I would pour myself out to someone and have them dismiss my feelings as unimportant, or worse, totally wrong with no basis.
I held it all inside, I retreated into my head.
But randomly, one specific person truly surprised me. By asking the most benign question at just the right time I unleashed it all and didn't hide. For the first time I didn't hide. I honestly expected to be teased, or dismissed as "overly emotional". But I was listened to, cared for. There was follow up almost every day...
"how are you feeling, what's going on, are you OK" It was nice. It was mostly through text, and the occasional phone call. It was just the right amount, gave me the space and attention that I needed.
It was like I was on the other side of the pillow and every once in awhile this person would reach across to make sure I was still there.
So.....I think I'm like Gertrude. I think that's OK for now. But more and more I'm realizing that if there is ever going to be healthy and functioning relationship in my life, I need to push through the pain a little but more and be a little more like Agnes....loving, initiating contact and trusting that someone who has given me no reason not to trust them won't let me down.
OK Pete, the blog is posted, you can stop sitting on pins and needles now!
Especially Justin. He really isn't good at ping pong!
I know that a lot of people have a hard time during the holidays. It just seems that I put so much pressure on myself to put on a "good face" and act like nothing is wrong, when there are so many things wrong in my head sometimes. I;m not certain that anyone else has these expectations of me, but I have them of myself.
This holiday, more then the last few, is reminding me of all the mine field filled holidays that we spent with my mom's side of the family. I don't know why. The uncle and aunt that strife is with, aren't here. Everyone seems to be having fun and doing ok.
So why am I so bummed out?
Why can't I shake this?
Is it as simple as I don't have anyone to spend the holidays with? I'm thinking no, because I would probably just be irritated with them too.
Why is it that I feel so lonely sometimes, in the midst of all my family? Why is it that I would give anything to not feel so lonely, and yet, all I do is retreat beacause sometimes the slightest human interaction is so incredibly painful?
I just don't know.
Ruminating on it is just making me feel worse. So I'll go stuff the feelings away with some food. Gain some more weight so I have excuses for not socializing, and spending money on larger clothes.
I am thankful. I am thankful for my family, my friends, and my ability to have this time off to spend with them.
There is just something missing, and I don't know what it is.
So I have all week off work. Could I BE happier?
Monday I got up and went downtown as usual, then came home about 8am. I thought, I'll take a little 30 minute nap, maybe and hour and then get in the shower. Yeah, so 3 hours later I woke up!
Then I showered and went to meet with Ryan from church about outreach stuff. It was a lot of fun. We talked about the Stretch the Benjamins: Christmas Edition and about how to help people identify why they serve, and why serving others is important to 4Corners and why God calls us to serve. It was exciting to be thinking about the things that are coming up in outreach and hear about the possibility of an international mission trip.....is it weird that I've already started packing in my head : )
Then after the meeting I came home and Alaina came over. She's feeding and watering Gertrude and Agnes while I'm in St Louis. She had a bunch of stuff to do so she didn't stay, then I took another hour nap.
I was reading this book called Escape by Carolyn Jessop. It's the story of the only woman to escape from the polygomous cult out ther in Arizona AND retain custody of her children. (Most women have to flee without any of her kids, or just a few of them. I just couldn't put it down.
Hmmm....what else. I want to give Pete a blog fix ; )
So I read that until 1230am and then passed out cold. I packed too.
Then I got up and went to the bank and left for St Louis about 10am. It wasn't a bad drive really, my fancy roadtrip playlist helped a lot!
I got the St Louis and visited with my Uncle Ross, Casey my cousin who was pining away for us to come has been ignoring me for his PS2 since yesterday, but heck, it's a PS2 who can blame him : )
Aunt Cathy came home from work with dinner, I visited with her for awhile, then we hit the sack about 10pm St Louis time (11 Ohio time).
I've had a series of phone calls from D, txts too, just checking in to be sure that I'm feeling better, that I'm feeling for stable and not so raw and upset about the situations from last week. It's been lovely. It makes me uncomfortable when people worry about me, but it's been nice feeling a little taken care of.
S read my blogs and called Friday wondering what was up, worrying about me too. It was nice.
Thanks again for all the encouragement and kindness it's helped a lot.
Now.....I must shower and get dressed for it is off to the grocery to buy fixings for dinner!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
T minus 3 hours and 10 minutes until I'm done working for over a week!
Plus there is a solitary 6 hour road trip in my future with my newly minted road trip playlist to burn through.
Time away from regular life always helps my perspective.
I'm not all better.
But I'm a little better
I can now carry on conversations about non-work related things without crying. I'm still pretty angry, but I can now smile in addition to seething.
After I leave work today I'm not sure how soon I'll be back on the internet, maybe a little tomorrow, and then probably not again until Wednesday.
So if I don't get a chance to check in...Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for all of you.
Oh, and Happy Birthday Nicole
I received a lovely phone call last night from d. Just to say hi, how are you. I ended up blubering on the phone for about half an hour, and then I disintegrated into anger out of frustration. Being sad and fearful makes me feel weak and vulnerable. So I try not to feel that way. Instead, I curl up with the stone of anger that I've re-hung around my neck and settle in for the winter.
I don't want to be angry. I was angry enough for so long that I've more then used up an appropriate allotment of anger for my lifetime.
Yet, I've colored my hair black, I painted my eyes black today to match the mood in my heart.
Anger gets me nowhere but alone, no where but more frustrated and more sad...which leads me to up the anger ante.
I hope it stops soon. I don't have the energy anymore to be so angry.
I hate feeling like this, I know that it will be better, but I'm having an awfully rough time holding on to that right now. I feel like it's coming from all sides right now and all it makes me want to do is run away and not even try.
I love you so much more then I can explain, I would fight to the death just to protect you. How is my heart and the intent of it so hidden that you can't see that? How can I make myself more transparent so you know how deeply I love you and that I would do anything within my power to keep from ever hurting you, and to keep anyone else from even bruising you?
Please, I just don't know what else to do. But I love you and I so hope that we can have another shot at this.
(EDIT: Because what I said was just not kind, and more then anything I always want to be kind)Just a thought. I want to throw up I'm so worked up about this and I'm even more angry that I'm so worked up about it because it's not important. (EDIT)
I'm not talking about basic respect. I'm talking about people consistantly and IMO intentionally interpreting a conversation as malicious and degrading when there are two options, (EDIT)
I want to take my ball and go home.
> : (
Apparently I shouldn't say that I'm in a good mood or feeling pretty...apparently that's an invite for open season.
NOTE: This was and is out of total frustration and emotional wreckage. I'm sure that it will pass, and I'm sure that this like inumerable other things I will get over. And yes, I know that what happened is to be sorted through so I can discern what it is that I truly can improve upon. I know that part of this is the work of the enemy because of the irrational thoughts in my mind that make me want to just take my ball, go home, and never speak to anyone again because I can't effectively communicate with any other human on the face of the earth (see, irrational).
So please extend to me a little of the grace that you so appreciate being extended to you. I would deeply appreciate this. If you know someone that would be willing to come cuddle with me, that would help even more. It's days that this that I'm sorrowful that I don't have anyone to go home to that isn't a cat. A better solution apparently is to buy black hair dye and make my hair color match my mood and general outlook on people ATM. I don't know if I'll use it yet. Be thankful I'm going to Switchfoot tonight, it's a delay that may save me from another damaging image alteration, but I'm doubtful I'm intelligent enough to pull that manuver off.
I'm happy too.
It's a good day.
Here is my favorite Maya Angelou poem. I hope that I can feel like this one day : )
by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret liesI'm not cute or built to suit a model's fashion sizeBut when I start to tell them They think I'm telling lies. I say It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips The stride of my steps The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally Phenomenal woman That's me.
I walk into a room Just as cool as you please And to a man The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees Then they swarm around me A hive of honey bees. I say It's the fire in my eyes And the flash of my teeth The swing of my waist And the joy in my feet. I'm a woman Phenomenally Phenomenal woman That's me.
Men themselves have wondered What they see in me They try so much But they can't touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can't see. I say It's in the arch of my back The sun of my smile The ride of my breasts The grace of my style. I'm a woman Phenomenally Phenomenal woman That's me.
Now you understand Just why my head's not bowed I don't shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say It's in the click of my heels The bend of my hair The palm of my hand The need for my care. 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally Phenomenal woman That's me.
I just inhaled a bag of Skittles. I wasn't hungry.
I just ate some Wendy's. I wasn't really hungry then either.
I ate a (read 3) Little Debbies last night...you guessed it, wasn't really hungry then either.
Gee, I wonder why I'm fat?
Now for those of you that love me I know you're going..."oh you look fine!"
Ok, so we'll go with I look fine. But that does not negate the fact that I am fat. Fat is not a curse word.
I find it relatively easy to be fat. It's easy to say the reason I am single, is because I'm fat. The reason people don't like me, is because I'm fat. Let's be honest, it tastes good to be fat. I mean, chocolate, grease, sweets, carbs, it's just yummy to be fat!
But I'm exhausted of being fat. Ironically my exhaustion keeps me from going to the gym, but that's a whole other point.
I eat all the time.
I eat when I'm sad, when I'm happy, when I'm stressed, when I'm relaxed, when I'm celebrating, when I'm mourning, well you get the point.
I want to stop. I want to start listening to my body and eat only when I'm hungry. I want to eat things that are good for me, and the appropriate portion of it.
But I don't.
With all this outreach stuff coming up, I'll need to be in shape. I can't be panting and heaving for air when I'm trying to help people. I want to have more energy then I already have and I want to be able to physically exert myself for long periods of time in hot conditions in order to improve the immediate conditions of people.
So...we'll see how this goes. Maybe I'll fast. That kicked my butt into gear in many ways the last time...
I'm just tired of my pants pinching my stomach, and my stomach muffin topping over my pants and making my shirts look gross and ill fitting.
Now...where did I put that kit kat again?
I'm not exhausted because I'm tired of the conversation, I'm exhausted because I feel at a loss as to how to participate. I feel under informed and education in theology, and I hear a groaning rising up in my heart to know more.
I also feel a little uncomfortable. In part because I don't know how to give validity to my point of view, in part because honestly some of my points of view don't really have validity...I just believe because I do...then I stick my fingers in my ears and yell, "I'M TAKING MY BALL AND GOING HOME" As I stomp off content in my blind faith.
But mostly, I'm uncomfortable because of the fear I associate with learning more. I'm afraid that if I learn more, then more will be expected of me. If more is expected of me then I will disappoint people. If I disappoint people, they will not love me or even like me. Stupid huh? I know.
How do I kick my butt out of this rut?
I'm stepping up and risking all the passion that I feel for outreach currently. In about 3 months, it's not just going to be between me and church leadership if all goes well. People will officially know. It's terrifying me.
The good news is that it's not terrifying enough to not do it. The fire has been lit hot enough that the excitement overwhelms the fear.
But then there is this knowledge issue.
On one of the forums, one that I don't visit that often, I'm lurking in the serious parts. Reading about reformed theology, Calvinism, and people who are defining themselves as this or that or even other things that I can't remember the names of. I don't know how I define myself in that that realm. Honestly, I'm not sure that it even matters to me. At this juncture it seems that people can get themselves all lathered up about which theological vein they're in, the definition of their beliefs, which catch phrase they're going to identify with. Emergent, non-emergent, non-denom, etc. People will argue until they're blue in the face about predestination and good vs. evil, the sovereignty of God vs. free will, the literal interpretation of the bible, the divine inspiration vs. human fallibility.
OK....when everyone else read that did they read:
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah ?
Because I sort of did.
People that I'm lurking near are also being combative. Telling people to suck it up and get thicker skin....which I'm honestly guilty of as well, but not in the spiritual sense of the meaning.
So what's the point? What are we fighting for? If you win, what will you get?
In higher religious groups, I can understand the spirit of these debates. I can understand it. But why are we fighting with people that don't even understand that God sent His Son to die on the cross so that we can be reconciled to him? That I don't, and I don't think will ever understand.
Now....that that tangent is over.
In regards to the higher levels of religious groups.....
I think that my aforementioned issue with the debates and arguing is not that I'm not interested, it's that I feel completely under prepared for the conversations. I want to participate, I want to understand what they're saying but I don't. So what's the point? I try to knock them down to the emotionally driven level that I reside on all the time? I honestly vacillate (<-- One of my FAVORITE words BTW) between desperately wanting to be included and understand the conversation, and thinking that the people involved are a bunch on pompous *insert expletive here* trying to one up each other to make themselves feel better.
Can both be right at exactly the same time?
Finally, how much time and effort should I put into learning something when I could just be doing it? I find it hard to understand why I should spend all this time, alone, buried in a book that is by all accounts worth the time, when I could be out serving people in Christs name. How much will the knowledge help that? Why does it make me feel so damn selfish to take that time to study? Where would I start to study?
The most important question...what will happen if I grow intellectually? Will it change, or decrease the emotions that are driving this need, this passion for serving?
Ben said at church on Sunday (and I'm obviously paraphrasing), that most people will take a leap of faith for God, but only if they can see waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy down the path to what will happen if. When God is showing you the first few steps, and then when you take the leap of faith...he'll show you a few more steps.
I'm petrified to take this leap, but my legs are growing weary of balancing on the ledge.
Totally stopped me in my tracks. Check it out. This part in particular really slapped me across the face.
…so many young people are being lost to the cause of Christ's mission because they are not taught how to deal with the guilt of sexual failure. The problem is not just how not to fail. The problem is how to deal with failure so that it doesn't sweep away your whole life into wasted mediocrity with no impact for Christ. The great tragedy is not masturbation or fornication or pornography. The tragedy is that Satan uses guilt from these failures to strip you of every radical dream you ever had or might have. In their place, he gives you a happy, safe, secure, American life of superficial pleasures, until you die in your lakeside rocking chair.
I especially liked the part when they said that there are some people that are trying to make the sexual purity of a young single Christian the measuring point of their relationship with Christ. While that is important, it is not equipping people to deal with the reality of past or present sexual indiscretions.
Good stuff, I think I'm going to pick up the whole article.
I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday And I know That I amI amI am The luckiest
What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?
And in a white sea of eyes I see one pair that I recognize
And I know That I am I amI am The luckiest
I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you
Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away
I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know That I am I am I am The luckiest
I kinda have this picture in my head of getting to meet God face to face, and asking Him why? Why did this thing have to happen? Why did this guy's little girl die? Why did this hurricane destroy all these people's lives? And when He explains it all, of how it all served the best possible purpose, I'm going to be amazed at His genius. I'll say "Wow! You're so smart! Wow! You oughtta be God!"
I have a friend, who knows who they are I think...if not, well, anyway. I was recently trusted with some information that so resonated with me, that so spoke to me. It felt good to be trusted, to be trustworthy.
I so appreciate it when people trust me with themselves, in any facet. How am I robbing people by not trusting them, not opening up to them in person?
Is it fair that I send them this link and let them peer inside my head through the computer screen? Is rejection any less rejection when it happens over the internet?
Proably not, but it's maybe a little easier to hide from others.
Ben was talking about mentoring at a church meeting on Satuday. He was talking about explaining the process of what you're doing and why you're doing it to someone to help refine what you do. He said, "If you can't explain what or why you're doing something, then you're probably not doing it right" At least I think it was Ben....I attribute a lot to him that I'm not sure if he says, but I'm maybe 93% sure on this one.
So I was thinking, why do I do outreach, why do I love it so much.
For so long I felt unseen, unacknowledged in some way. There was a time that I actually thought I was invisible. When people saw me, took the time to look past the funny sarcastic defenses that I had built up it meant something. It saved my life many times over.
To feel seen by people, seen for who you truly are and not only accepted by loved. It changes lives. It's what Jesus did. He saw past the saduccees (no clue if that's spelled right) and the religious rulers of the day that faked religion. He saw past the blindness, leprosy, and filth that was on the poor and downcast and saw the person that God made them to be, loved, cherished, worthy.
If I can see people, meet them where they are and love them, sit with them through the pain, and just share life with them, that's what I want. If I can break bread with people, share meals, laughter and tears, maybe they can feel seen. Most of the time it feels like the least I could do for God. To see people through the lens of Jesus and love them.
Why are simple things so hard?
But I appreciate the trust that people put in me, that many of you put in me. I work hard to be worth the risk and trustworthy. Thank you to those that I trust, and those that I'm learning to trust...in person and on the internet : )
"When we stand before God will we get to opt out if we were poor? Life is hard."
"You have to be willing to pour yourself out continually, all day long, and not look back"
"If my delusions were what were killing me, driving me to want to kill myself, then how can my delusions also be what saved me?"
Being sick messes me up in the head...my edit button shorts out and all hell breaks loose in my brain...
I'm leaving work early and going to bed.
It frustrates me even more when I can't find the words to expresss my frustration adequetly.
I hate being sick, and that's not helping this frustration.
If we can't trust emotions then how will anyone ever fall in love? Stay in love? If emotions are manipulating our lives then what's the point have having them? Because we can choose to turn them off. I did for years and years and that was a living death that I can't live through again, I barely made it out alive the first time.Jesus literally saved my life. Literally removed the razor from my wrist. Because I can't prove he exist is irrelevant to me, because I'm still alive and that's damn near all the proof I need.But still I'm troubled, wondering if that's enough to other people, then hating that I care if it is.
"Arrogance is not a state of mind reserved for the intelligent."
Hammer (no not MC)
"Some accounts had apostles flying over the city of Jerusalem and shooting fire out of their asses. "
Hammer again...still not MC
"But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."-C.S. Lewis
OK, so CS.Lewis isn't ON the forum...but that's where I read this.
"*phlegms all over everyone*Don't mind me. Sick person passing by..."
"Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding. I don't even know what sponge pudding is. It sounds aweful, not to mention that the first half of the name sounds like slang for a serious STD."
This one is from mrwitty, but we were all saying something along these lines.
It would be so easy I think, to just find someone to fill up the space that is in my bed. Someone that is physically there to (well after searching there really isn't a not gross word....)
It would be so easy to just find someone that I would share a part of my life with, that I would share a part of my heart and soul with, a part of my passion and perhaps obsession.
Some lonely days I think that maybe it would be OK to only have someone as a place in my bed. Some days when I'm surrounded by those in love, those fighting the good fight of staying together till death do they part do I want someone so badly I can taste it.
I've gone back and forth about posting this, this way. Because I realize there are maybe particular people reading this, that I'm not sure I would have this conversation with normally. Some days I can't decide if it's brave or masochistic to spill all that is in my head in the way that I do, on here and to people in person, on the phone etc.
But I've lived that way. Filling space, filling what I thought would fill me. All that happened was I felt emptier and emptier. The emptiness is palpable. Made worse by the distance I would put between God and I during these rebellious times, these times when I had the choice of obedience or my way in front of me and I would repeatedly choose my way because it gave the quickest payoff. I"m no longer talking about just the space in my bed at this juncture.
I fill the space in my heart, my head, my hands with all sorts of thoughts and behaviours, ideas and opinions, sounds and sights that drive me farther and farther from God somedays.
The days that I think it would be easier to find someone that just fills these spaces are dwindling. More and more I want to find someone that will be everywhere with me. The cynic says that's not possible, that that type of match doesn't exist, isn't realistic. But the hopeless romantic lover in me says that she doesn't care, she's holding out anyway.
I can't change anything about the life behind me. It's done, it's over, and that's about that.
The other line that I like is this:
"It's a tight navigation To fight my way into the space in your head"
I like it because it reminds me of almost every relationship I've ever had. It's like I had to carry a crowbar in my purse just to pry my way into their life, like these fellas just couldn't be bothered to want me around for more then the time being, the time being being the place aforementioned. It's easy to be flip about it in the light of day. To say it's no big deal, to say that it doesn't matter, to say that it hasn't completely changed the way I see myself when I look in the mirror, the way I interact with fellas now. It's easy to say whatever and move on being funny and sarcastic.
It's difficult to say that the other line in the song I like is:
"Find a word for us other then shame"
Because even in the culture, in the society that we all are very well aware or, that is still the word that is branded on my mind. The jokes, they're funny. The talk, it's oh so titillating...heck, even that word is pretty hot. But the bed, it's still empty in the morning isn't it? I'm still no closer to being more then a place in someones bed, the crowbar is no more successful in getting me into that space in their head.
So where does that leave me? Making tough decisions and risking losing friendships that I cherish with people? Friendships that I have no real reason to believe will end if I make these decisions, but the shame in me is shaming me into continuing down this path for fear of not being loved, seen, wanted. Transitioning into another role in peoples minds? It was freaking difficult transitioning into the role of Christian in the first place given my hatred of all things God related even the day before. Ben said on Sunday that we don't know when we get lost. That we just look up one day and lost we are. If we knew when we got lost we could go back to that place and get unlost.
"We could learn a new language and talk like we know"
So I could learn a new language I suppose. A language that involves bravery and decisiveness. A language that involves not backing down and not hiding what I'm feeling behind innuendo and witty banter for fear of rejection.
It could work out, it could be OK. It could suck, I could fall on my face and lose face. We'll soon see won't we.
I love this song.....I'll tell you why in my next post : )
A New Language
Sleep will come in the morning
Just like you, I’m learning to live without
Any hope, for a warning
Of things getting worse as two by two we slip down
Could you wait for redemption?
Maybe I’m more than a place in your bed
It’s a tight navigation To fight my way into the space in your head
I’ll find a pattern of hope in us
I’ll find a reason for holding on
I’ll find a pattern of hope and hold on
We could wait for redemption
Find a word for us other than shame
We could learn a new language
And I’ll call you out by your favorite name
We could learn a new language and talk like we know
I went to David Crowder last night! It was my first time ever seeing him live and it was awesome! Probably would have been awsomer (it is SO a word!) if I wasn't so sick, and stuffy, and phelgmy but I do what I can : )
The Myriad opened along with Phil Whickham. I didn't like Phil that much, but I loved loved loved the Myriad!
More details later, I must work!
We're having agreat discussion about the truth over on ye olde forum. Specifically in whether or not Jesus and/or the Judeo-Christian God is the creator of that truth. I feel overwhelmed and under prepared for such conversations.
The reason that this conversation got started for the most part is because "B" as I'll call him, renounced his faith in the Judeo Christian God of his upbringing. He brings up all sort of scientific and technical reasons for this decision.
If any of you know anything at all about me I'm not really the "scientific and techincal" type : )
My relationship with Christ and all the issues surrounding it's beginning are all so visceral and emotional. I don't know how to "defend" my God in the course of those conversations. I don't even know how I feel about the language "defend". Why does God need defending?
I was at cafe for church one Sunday and Joel was telling a story about his gma, about how God is enough and God will speak for himself (admittedly a VERY loose recount of that story). Ben came up and said something about how we as people try so much to add to the gospels, to make it appealing to people when God is enough.
Which I also understand.
But what about for the people that it's not enough for?
What is the best way to compassionately listen to their questions, the best way to represent God to them? What is the best way to not alienate or further "prove" their "proof" for denying the existance of God?
What are the answers to the questions of how to reconcile the God of the OT with the God of the NT? How can I answer that, respond to that, without sounding like a mindless trite bible thumper that has no real compassion for the struggle of belief vs. disbelief?
The answer may be that people aren't really looking for answers. That they're looking for conversations, love, compassion, a shoulder, an ear etc.. But how can I tell the difference?
How can I reconcile this feeling that I should just love and Jesus will make himself clear enough, with this idea that I need to be speaking his truth and word to people, and what does that even mean?
Note to self, make no appearance altering decisions while sick.
David Crowder is tonight. I so want to be super excited, and I was about 3 hours ago. But now, I just want to go to sleep. If I wasn't so frugal *coughcheapcough* then I would just skip it and go to bed. But it will be so much fun! I just hope I can enjoy it.
My nose hurts. I've been trying to covertly apply neosporin, oh wait, I'm sorry...."Meijer Triple Antibiotic Ointment with Pramoxine" but can't keep from wiping it off when I sneeze or have to blow the trumpet that is my stuffed up nose.
Oh I know, life is so hard and terrible.
I would like to cuddle. Any volunteers? I don't want anything awkward or leading...I would just like to be held. Is that to much to ask? I mean I realize it is because I'm sick and that would probably entail someone else being sick, but well, I'm sort of worth it ; )
Man, I'm a sucky sick person...blahbitty blah blah blah blah blah empty words and complaining
Time to answer the phone! Hooray!
It was so much fun.
I mean, I have vacation time to use, but I still feel as if I'm letting someone down if I take the day of...grrrr.
My voice is still gone, which doesn't bode well for the David Crowder concert tomorrow. But I'll make do, it is afterall David Crowder!
So I slept sitting up against my wall last night, or rather, I dozed on and off while sitting up. When I woke up this morning I had of course fallen over and was lying flat, which wasn't the issue. The issue was that Gertrude and Agnes, in their own kitty way, were trying to comfort me, by LYING ON MY CHEST AND THROAT! Yeah, that definately didn't help the not being able to breathe part : (
Hmmm, what else...
I get to go see Switchfoot and Reliant K next Wednesday for free. Alexis got the comp tickets at the bookstore and is taking me...woot woot
Tootsie Roll Pops are my crack, I mean they are my CRACK.
My sister and I are working on organizing a food drive for the local food pantries. They are in emergency status because they are running out of food. It's all totally her idea this helping out. It makes me proud to see people being generous, no matter who they are, but especially when they're my seester!
So if you live near here then donate, contact me to find out how. If you don't live near here, then buy an extra bag of non-perishable food and donate it to your local food bank. This is the time of year that people are deciding between buying groceries and paying their heating bill....help them not have to decide to go hungry.
I think that's about it.
My short lunch is about over, and it's back to the off the phone work that is being scrounged around for me to work on.
Peace out Homies...and remember, if y0u're going to tell the hair stylist to cust your hair to your chin...be sure to specify which chin it is that you mean!
I'm a bad sick person you know...
I've peed so much today because I've been drinking so much water....blargh.
I wish I would have brough my notes, then I would be dulling you all to death.
I'm hungry too....mmmm leftover sloppy joes.
Apparently sometime last night I swallowed a golf ball, in the not really kind of way but that's how it feels!
It's difficult to breathe if I move to fast, and my voice is coming back a little, but it still hurts terribly to talk.
I know I know, you all feel soooo terrible for me : )
Let's see....I have a couple of soapboxes to jump up on. But I left my notes at home (YES I make notes about what I want to rant about, it helps me remember when I actually type them out!) and I believe I'm far to tuckered out to rant and rave anyway.
I went and saw Dan in Real Life on Saturday. It was a good movie. We were supposed to go to see Lars and the Real Girl, but it was only playing in certain places.
I went to church on Sunday, great sermon. I chopped my hair off, it's about an inch or so shorter then what it looked like in my head, so Bethany will be wearing a few hats for awhile : )
Oh! I went grocery shopping on Sunday too. I mean, REAL grocery shopping. This is the first time I've been grocery shopping in probably 3 months, no joke. By real I mean, more then just milk, toilet paper, and face wash. I got yummy stuff for lunches, cereal, sloppy joe fixings (which I made for bible study Sunday and it went over spectacularly!), I mean yum yum, yum! I can pretend to be a grown up for awhile!
Oh, also on Saturday, I discovered a mistake that I made at the end of August, and it's sort of a big deal. And it super sucks. I mean, it will be fine. But I shudder to think at the repurcussions had I kept NOT reading my mail.
I need to be more organized, I need to keep my house cleaner, or at least closer to clean then it was on Saturday morning. I mean, those of you that have seen my house know that it's not that big. It's basically 3 rooms, living, bedroom, bathroom. But it took me almost 4 1/2 hours to clean it! That's some dirty stuff there.
Umm, I think that's it. I'm going to go peruse a certain business owners blogger, at least until I can charm him into revealing the location of the top secret blog ; )
I was so nervous about how things were going to go off, I was nervous that the volunteers weren't going to show, or show and then abandon their posts but they didn't (of course I have no idea why I thought that). It was a blast wandering around just chatting with people, pointing them in the direction of where they were looking to go, helping them register, drawing the names for the prizes.
Also, I knew it was going to be cool to see the helicopter, but I wasn't prepared for my regression to age 8 thinking "AWESOME!"....it was super cool.
I talked to so many families that thought it was so "nice" of us to throw this fun free event for the community, so many people said they loved doing things like this with their families but often couldn't afford to because of so many other obligations. How great it that?
It's so hard when you're saddled with debt, or just squeeking by pay check to pay check when you're on your own. But when you have kids, I can only imagine. They see all their friends doing all these great fun things, but they can't because mom and dad can't afford to. It must break so many hearts. How great it is that on Wednesday some of those families could do something fun, safe, and FREE with their kids, without worrying how they were going to say "no" when their kids wanted souveneirs that they could ill afford.
Just awesome. I still feel a little high from the whole experience!
Even as exhausted as I felt Wednesday night and Thursday, I was still itching to get going on the next outreach, the next project to just love on people.
Oh, another thing that was so awesome, how well everyone worked together! Even S, who I thought would be moping around and all! Everytime I saw her she was smiling ear to ear, chatting with STRANGERS and having a blast. She got a little shy at the end but I ran her down to make sure I gave her a hug.
There were so many "new" volunteers there too. People that I haven't seen at other outreaches. Which was awesome!
The thing is, corporate outreach doesn't take a huge investment by most people. The core team and the layer after that have a huge commitment, but people that are just serving at the event, it's easy as pie! Show up, smile, have fun, and you are changed! How awesome is that?!
Well, my endless call with FedEx is over so it's back to work!