5/31/2006

Disappointing Everyone

My car is almost packed. I have a few more days of work and then I drive to my mom's and stay there for a couple of days. After that I will scrape my pennies together and drive through the desert to Louisiana. I am taking my dog and what remains of my heart. I've lost respect from a lot of people because of my decision to leave. But, just in case you are thinking about it, don't try to talk me out of it. I am used to disappointing people and being misunderstood. Whatever, I can't live like this. God knows my heart and I pray that He deals with me in mercy and compassion.

I'll probably write when get to my mom's.

I'm just trying to make it through this week. Jesus help me.

5/20/2006

A Letter to Us

(Revelation 3:17)
You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. -the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

That is from the letter to the church in Laodicea, the lukewarm church. I believe it is the last days church and the one we see so much of now. This letter comes to mind when I get frustrated with my Christian brothers and sisters. Some of them are conforming to the patterns of this world, some of them seem like big fish in their little ponds of churches, some of them just look at me with daggers of scrutiny and judgement. But, thankfully, not all of my brothers and sisters are as inconsistant in their Christianity. There are some splashes of fresh, cool water among the tepidness. I wade through the contemporary Christian culture and feel nothing as if I am out in the world, but not as firey sinful as they. Just bland, mediocre, and unexciting. Too safe for a risk-taker like me and too boring for someone who's lived a life of white hot brushes with death. I'm not talking about the church I attend now. I speaking about my entire experience with those who call themselves Christians.

Thankfully the water is cool at my church. Sometimes it's even icy like the stream I was baptized in. It's so refreshing and cleansing and I'm thankful for it. However, there are those lukewarm spots where you are sure someone just peed! I move away from those pretty quickly now. What's sad is I use to like finding those little comfortable spots, that is, until I realized it was pee. You catch my meaning? :)

When people don't stand for anything but themselves they always lose. Cowards don't choose sides they conspire with both and then run at the sight of a battle between them. Well, there will be a time of reckoning. God wants wholly devoted servants and soldiers. He has threatened to spit out of His mouth those of us who won't pick a side! In other words, He will pick it for us. And I'm sure Satan has a whole section of his dark kingdom reserved for cowards.

It makes my stomach turn when I think of how I still struggle with my own cowardice. Isn't it just so nice to eat Turkish Delight and be wrapped in the soft furs of deception? We get fat on creature comforts until our minds are soft like gelatin and we forget what we really care about. Writers and producers try to reawaken the sense of nobility and honor in us by telling us stories of heroes and heroines who stood for something. We soak up the eye-candy and leave the theatre with maybe the smallest hint of inspiration. But mostly we comment on the actors and actresses themselves and the special effects. Some of us can't wait to pick the movie apart by injesting the dvd extras. Why can't people just be told a story?

I think humans went from serving themselves to being slaves of themselves. And now they are slaves to money because money is the means by which we serve ourselves. Well, you can't serve both God and money. You must hate one and love the other. But, maybe money isn't the real 'master of the universe', maybe it's significance. The ultimate human quandry is, 'What is my purpose?' The lifespan of the average American is still under a hundred years so we are naturally obsessed with leaving our immortalized image imprinted on peoples' minds. The movie stars and models scream "REMEMBER ME!" with every flash of the photographer and every 'Action!' of the director. It's almost desperate how much humans want to be significant. Evolution is the destruction of the Invisible. Now all that matters is that we leave our mark and our fossile behind. But God says it will all burn...

Poor, wretched, naked generation. I look around at even the girls I go to church with in their shorts and tank tops and think of the modesty of long robes and dresses. Could this be part of the nakedness He speaks of? What would a girl with bare arms and legs look like to even Mary Magdelene? I don't think the prositutes of biblical times were as revealing as we are these days.

And we are so blind. Our eyes see the illusion of control and wealth. We can't even see that we have the need to see! Jesus holds the salve out just waiting to rub our eyes and open them to His wonderful love.

So poor. Everything we own is something we can experience with our five senses. We don't know that we are dancing among the ruins pretending there is wine in the broken stone cups. We chew on pebbles and pretend it's caviar. The illusion is so grand that we don't want to remember we are actually in a pod of protein with cables coming out of every major part of us. Darkness and death steal our heat and light from us as we soak in oblivion, only caring about what the five senses can decide.

Gold refined by fire. Trials and tribulations create beauty and burn away the dross.

White clothes to wear. Pure and presentable before the throne of the Father.

Salve to put on the eyes. Freedom from the illusion and the joy of knowing we are on the right side, the victorious side.

5/16/2006

One Thing to Another Equals Revelation

Night before last I was walking through the house in the pitch dark without my hands out and I ran right into a beam with my face. I have a small little bruise on my nose now.

There were lots of mosquitos in the store last night and I love to kill them.

I made my mommy something for a late mother's day present and I have to mail it to her when it's totally finished. I'll post a picture after she gets it. I love it and I know she will too.

I am super excited about seeing X-Men 3 when it comes out in ten days.

Today I will visit with a girl from church, hopefully. She one of those girls with a lot behind the eyes, who you never know exactly what they are about. I want to spend time with her just the two of us. Maybe I'll be surprised.

I am convinced my dog is a genius. It's been really hot the last couple of days so she's panting more. She'll come and try to be a good girl by sitting in front of me wanting pets and she'll be puffing her stinky bref into my face. All I have to do is look at her with a particular expression and she closes her mouth and tries desperately not to pant. Her little doggy cheeks move in and out and she looks as though she's about to overheat. Then she turns her head or walks away to pant somewhere else. I just KNOW she is trying to be nice by not panting in my face. I smother her with affection and let her gnaw on my hand and slobber on my fingies.

My favorite thing about my job is that I can make people smile. Just when you thought every supermarket checker was ticked off at something, there's that Diana kid who's always got something silly to say. I love how humor disarms people. All I have to do is say what's going on in my head and people smile and play off of it. I usually crack up at what they say! There are some clever people out there. The old guys are my favorites. Last night this loud one was on a roll! He started with the lady in front of him saying, "You can ring my stuff up with hers." She looked at him and kind of half-laughed but not really. I was like, pfft! I've heard that one before. When it was his turn I say, "Paper or plastic?" He says, "Sure! How 'bout metal!" I grab a paper bag and laugh at him, this one's gonna be a peach, I think. "I don't know why you even ask me! You just give me paper!" He said some more things about how women love to make decisions for men, blah blah blah. I couldn't keep up with him but I desperately didn't want other people to think he was being rude when he wasn't. I just kept laughing and looking terribly amused, which I was. This guy pulled no punches! Finally I said, "You have a nice day." He nearly shouted, "I'll have whatever kind of day I wanna have!" I said, "All right! You have a day!" He walked away smiling and that's all that mattered.

Sometimes the most tore up people come through my lines. Women that are in their late twenties who look forty-five. Some of them no teeth, some of them false teeth. It's the "meth epidemic", I think to myself. These poor people, Lord. They are disintegrating and some of them even have kids who just stare embarrassingly at their fidgety parent. One lady had a horrible red blotch under her nose that she kept rubbing at, like she had the dirtiest dope and it was just eating away at her skin. God, I could hardly look at her. These people are shells with no smiles left in them. The smiles they do have for me are like weak attempts at waving to me from the abyss. Don't they have any chance of freedom? These, the poor in spirit. They push the black train full speed ahead to Rock Bottom. How much of this will they take before they will admit that God loves them.

I, myself, have a difficult time being loved. It's hard to love a lover. When other people love me it threatens my purpose of loving them. I shy away and timidly cower under their gentle hand. I soak it up for a second and then think, This isn't free, you know. Nothing this good is free. With a lot of the people in my life I have found that I was right. It truly wasn't free and it reaffirmed my belief in love. Well, for a while I decided that I wasn't going to pay for it. I also decided I wasn't going to charge people for love that I had to give. Love is not a currency and I realize that now. But, why is it that I feel I owe some people a huge debt? Those same people say, "Oh, you don't have to pay me back. Don't be ridiculous." But there is a phantom debt present either in my heart or theirs. Maybe the phantom reaches out and chokes me with words like, "How could you think that of me? After all I've done for you! I've given so much for you!"

I can't pay you back. So I don't want any more. I can do without love. I adapt because I am poor in spirit and I cannot pay. The debt collectors will come and try to strangle in out of me, but they'll get nothing; no blood from this turnip. Maybe they'll kill me. What good am I if I can't pay back what I owe in love.

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8

We are told to let that one remain outstanding, let it remain unfulfilled. It is impossible to pay it back and we shouldn't ask anyone to pay it back to us. We have to realize that we are comissioned to love and our paycheck comes from God the Father. Instead of saying, "That'll be $59.99, please. Cash or charge?" We are suppose to say, "No charge, ma'am. It's my job. It's what I get paid by the Boss to do."

Do you ever meet that employee who kinda seems to ask a lot from the customer? Or they are so miserable in their job that they want you to be miserable too? As God's children it should be our joy and pleasure to love! We aren't suppose to do it grudgingly, harboring resentment in our hearts toward our Boss like, He doesn't pay us enough and why do we have to wait to get paid till we're in Heaven? If you didn't know the job description, why did you take the job to begin with? You didn't think it would be this hard, did you? Well, work is work. That's why they call it work. Nowadays people sit on their fannies and type and talk and weasle the system and call that work. Well, there is no get rich quick scheme with the Kingdom. It's straight work, Sunday through Friday, one day off a week. Room and board are provided along with ongoing training seminars and books. Yes, there is room for advancement. What's the catch? You don't get paid until retirement, but that's okay because you'll have more than enough to live on and do a good job with and there is much better things to buy when we leave the jobsite. Benefits? Well, that depends on whether you get through the trial period without being uprooted or scorched by the sun. Then after that it depends on the hours you work, whether full time or part time. It's really about what you do with the hours you work. Then you may be promoted to full-time with benefits.

It's makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

5/12/2006

Another "Little Christ"

I watched the first part of a discipleship dvd last night. What really stuck with me was that Jesus called His disciples and said, "Come, follow Me." Matt 4:19. Jesus said "You did not choose me, but I chose you." John 15:16.

He asks us in Luke 14 to count the cost of following Him and realize the investment and dedication it will take to be made like Him. I see now that in begging God to spare me from the ravages of hell, I find myself at the feet of Jesus Christ, the Rabbi. The demons in me have been cast out, my eyes have been washed so I can see, I have been healed and forgiven so much that my tears wash His feet and my hair dries them. Now He calls me to follow Him. Now that He's introduced Himself to me by healing me and speaking the mysteries of Heaven to me, He wants me to follow Him and be His disciple. He wants me to watch His every move and imitate Him until it becomes second nature. I cannot see Him with my eyes, but as the disciples were walking on the street unknowingly accompanied by their Lord and Teacher, didn't their hearts burn within them? And He is with me in my spirit, closer than any other teacher could ever be. He disciplines me and corrects me, refining me closer and closer into His likeness.

My goal is to no longer to make happiness or sadness my primary concern. It has been burning holes in my walk like Jolly Ranchers burn holes in my teeth. It can be sweet, but too much of a good thing isn't a good thing. However, Jesus Christ is teaching me many things. And 1Corinthians 2:10 will be my reminder that I'm not alone in becoming a "little Christ" (Christian). We want to be like the One we worship. We adore Him and want to live our lives in His footsteps. What a perfect plan to give us His Spirit so that it is possible!

And the Rabbi's Spirit never leaves me. He is always teaching me, transforming me by the renewal of my mind. This is one of the outlines for the teachings of Jesus, given by Paul:

1 Thessalonians 5:16 is my favorite!

5/07/2006

Go to the Rock

Worship was great! I was a little nervous but I think it went just splendid. The greatest thing was, I worshipped God and desired that the whole church did the same. I was concerned that I might be a distraction, but true lovers of God can worship and do worship Him in spirit and in truth so no amount of distraction gets in the way when it's time to worship. It was a humbling experience in that I was part of the Body of Christ and performance had nothing to do with it. Humility is freeing in so many ways...

We sang a song called "I Go To The Rock" and I've had it stuck in my head ever since then. Where do I go when there's no foundation stable? I go to the Rock I know that's able, I go to the Rock. Such a great tune.

I just had beautiful fellowship with my Emily and I just wanted to praise God for that. Thank You, Father!!

5/04/2006

Faith to Love and Fast

I went to worship practice Tuesday. Yes, I said WORSHIP PRACTICE! I will be singing high harmony with the Lord's help this Sunday bright and early 8:30am! woooo! I won't be playing guitar though, because I didn't get time to practice the songs. I've been basking in the luxury of my sorrows...

We really have too much time on our hands. I just finished a Christian novel called "Redeeming Love" which is the best Christian novel I've ever read and very different than what I'm use to. It's a romance novel set in the 1800's during the gold rush. Talk about people with things to DO! Planting corn, making clothes, milking cows, tending horses, making babies, making pies, yeehaw! I mean, I sit on my ever-expanding bootie and chew my nails to the sound of my dog whining and blaze through half a pack of smokes and a couple of beers all by myself. Lord have MERCY!

What I've really been thinking about is the fact that fasting has crossed my mind again. I was listening to Chuck Smith on tape today. He was preaching on Matthew chapter 6. There is a part in there about fasting. He said that these days people are mostly all about the flesh. We have so many luxuries that we can indulge in, we are losing the strong connection with the things of the spirit. The idea behind fasting is to deprive your flesh of the things that it cries out for in order that you may develop the fruit of self-control and silence the flesh more readily. It gives one pause. You mean, if I just choose to deny myself the fleshly conveniences of this society that my flesh will eventually quiet down enough so I can hear what the Spirit says? Another way to know the will of the Father! Also it is practice for hearing the Spirit in the midst of outside screaming in the world and the screaming and whispering of the devil. But, the scream of the flesh is more difficult to ignore than anything I've ever been distracted by, except maybe fingernails on a chalkboard.

The screaming I can look forward to will go a little somethin' like this, "What are you DOING?! NO cigarettes?! Are you insane?! You will be a raving lunatic in a matter of hours! How will you do your job!?" and "What?! No lunch?! Just measly water?! Do you want to get homicidal?!" The real kicker is when she screams, "How can you love your neighbor with such a short fuse? You should just smoke. It will help you keep the commandments and you will be a good Christian to love others calmly and rationally."

GASP! Light bulb moment! No, really, I totally am having a revelation right now.

No wonder quitting smoking was so hard! I wanted God to just take away my cravings like *POOF. They're gone* But that wouldn't teach me faith. I mean, if my cravings were gone, it would be easy for me to feel pious and loving. I might even forget that it was God who took the cravings away. No, this is a battle of faith and God is the victor. The idea is not to fight the cravings but to fight to love despite the opposition! Only in faith can I continue loving during such detox. Just as I cannot defeat Satan without Jesus, I cannot keep the law without Jesus. The whole point is to love. Have the faith to love. Life doesn't get easier as a Christian, we just get more faith. It actually gets harder by comparison. So He's telling me to persevere and trust Him so that I can learn to have the faith to love, not so I can eventually get a blessing package on my doorstep.

So, if fasting means I will have to have more faith to battle the flesh and dominate it then so be it. I'll pray about it and then maybe I will get the courage to do it. The toughest battles are always with ourselves...