Today I'm gonna make myself at home and unpack all my craparooni. Let me just say that His Majesty Jesus Christ is the best! He's been schooling me on fear and how fear and doubt can cause accidents on the freeway going 85 mph (the speed limit is 80 through most of Texas!). At night while heading out of El Paso the white line in the middle has no reflector dots and you can't trust where the red tailights in front of you are going (because unless you're tailgating, you can't tell when the curve happens). One must focus untently on the faded lines a mere twenty feet ahead of you to stay on the road. So, being that I was in Texas and I didn't want to mess with Texan Truckers in the slow lane or Texan SUV pilots in the fast lane, I had to find a way to stay going 75-80mph without crashing. And talk about a black night! No street lights anywhere for many miles. I think I went between a few large hills or mountains but I honestly don't know. In any case Jesus taught me something really great that I wanted to share with y'all.
The future is shrouded in dark black mystery and we can only see a few feet in front of us. We never know when the landscape, weather, or vehicle will change the level of apparent danger so we must be alert and in prayer. We must always keep our eyes on the dotted white line and the solid white line. Don't follow other people because while it may look like it's time for them to turn, it may not be time for us to turn. Always trust that God is sovereign and He knows every microscopic detail of our circumstances. Resist the temptation to soak up everything around you because it could cost you a lot of time and pain if you crash because you missed where God was leading. Life is like cross-country freeway driving. It takes patience, courage, vigilance, and all of it comes by grace.
I like that analogy. I spent the whole trip with Jesus and it's only by His grace that my eyes have been opened and I am at peace.
U.S. is still trying diplomatic talks with Iran about their nuclear "issues". Iran, for now, is being just cooperative enough. But thanks to those Hizballah muslim terrorists, Iran might be torn between muslim world domination and peace with the U.S. (an assumption on my part, what's apparent is that they support muslim terrorist efforts with lipservice but want peace with the U.S. at the same time)
Meanwhile the U.S. is hoping North Korea will stop being like a little ankle-biter dog with a big ego and just comply with the "6-party talks" way of negoatiating. It's no fun to take the wind out of a little doggy's sails when they think they are somethin. Luckily China doesn't think North Korea is cute so we can count on the big dog next door to shut the little yapper up and stop throwing missiles around.
Then there is Israel and this is my heart's most troubling concern. With all the delicate diplomatic "talks" going on, the U.S. is kind of putting off Israel and it's little war on terrorism for the time being. It's understandable seeing as the ground is shaky for the U.S. and the controversial changes that we are making in Iraq. Even Vladamir Putin mentioned he didn't like what was happening there. Here Israel has to start up a bunch of crap with Lebanon over kidnapped soldiers. But, wait a second, there is something very important that I don't know if the Bush administration is considering: Israel is the holy land. Whether or not you believe in 'replacement theology' (where Gentile Christians become the new Israel of the bible), it bears repeating that Israel is known as the Holy Land. Things that come to mind when I imagine the U.S. refusing to support Israel like we are suppose to are the following: hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and fires; terrorist attacks everywhere with a population over 5,000; the abomination that causes desecration set up in the Holy Place by the terrorist successes. Needless to say I am praying that we will stand up for Israel as we have promised even if it starts a third world war. The end will come and I would at least like to know that my country's Christian values weren't completely lost to the New World Order of "Might equals Right".
But I am just a little girl with a little girl's knowledge of world affairs. What could I know about what's really going on? Isn't it interesting the chaos that is beginning...
"I have no husband," she replied.
Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." (John 4)
Jesus offered this Samaritan hussy living water and said that one day she would worship God in spirit and in truth. I'm going through my second divorce and though I am not happy about being divorced again, I know divorcing wasn't the mistake. Marrying was.
One of the first things I am going to spend my money on, when I finally get settled in and get a job in Louisiana, is a tattoo. I am going to get a tattoo around my wedding ring finger that says ISAIAH 54:5. That will be to remind me that NO ONE comes before the LORD in my life. I know that it will take a lot more than a silly tattoo to keep me satisfied in God alone. It will take His grace and His provision. But at least it will hurt like a bitch standout for all to see. Maybe boys will be less likely to googoo all over me when I get back into shape and start singing publicly. I will be explaining why I have it to everyone and they will know my priorities. I don't know what God would think of it, but I want to do it for Him. I want to be HIS alone. and HIS first.
Anyone who might have judgments, this is no place for them. Because with the measure you judge, you shall be judged that same measure. No one knows what my situation was so no one can properly decide what I decided with prayer and patience. For those who's faith is weak, please trust that Jesus had compassion on the woman at the well and He is also Lord of my life.
A mere nine hours away compared to the approx. 36 hour drive from here to Louisiana. Austin's right next door! Anyway, I've heard nothing but great things about that city so I want to check it out for myself.
That's my tentative God-surrendered plan. ONLY IF HE WILLS. I must put that disclaimer in there lest anyone get the impression I am master of my own destiny. I wouldn't know what to do with a destiny if I could stick one in my pocket!
5If you need wisdom--if you want to know what God wants you to do--ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. James 1:5-7 NLT
3For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:3-5 NAS
(Borrowed from Malcolm Smith) The journey has three stages: INVESTIGATING, COMMITTING, IDENTIFYING.
This is the stage I have been emersed in for ten years. though there are some truths about God that I need no more convincing about, I still go back and double check. It's almost like I don't trust the mind God gave me to place these truths in my subconscious as part of my identity. I think it's because I haven't committed fully.
To commit is to decide not to look back. Liken it to your baptism. However, some people get baptized more than once which is them getting stuck in the commitment phase of the journey. I've been baptized once, but I haven't moved from the investigation stage in many other areas of my faith. You know you've committed when you are applying what you've learned to your daily life. I have done that, but not with much other than morality (to a point) and prayer in times of distress. I've learned more than that in my investigations and now it's time for me to commit to what I've learned.
This stage I have reached in the areas of my personal preferences whe it comes to small things. Most people my age have done some identifying. There are some truths that immediately become part of the identity (example: I've investigated hallucinogens and they don't agree with me and aren't worth it. I've committed to never doing them again. I am now a non-hallucinogen-taker). When we can say, "I am Christian," we've made it part of our identity ONLY if we act accordingly. That's the major difference between stage two and three: people don't have to ask you about that part of yourself because they can just tell. The Hebrews never asked eachother what they believed, they watched eachother and that's what told them. You can UNDERSTAND something without BELIEVING it. You can say, "this is fact," but until you become a walking example of that fact, it isn't a part of your identity.
I'm excited about the IDENTITY phase when it comes to my faith because it means I won't have to keep investigating myself to see if I still believe God loves me. You know the impression you get when someone with a solid identity walks into the room? One of my favorites is when you can say, "Now THERE is a Rockstar!" Rockstars are comfortable in their own skin, no compromise and no fear about being a rockstar. They are un-selfconscious so that they can focus on others and share the music that courses through their veins. It's very dangerous and unhealthy for a rockstar to investigate himself too closely. I'd imagine a lot of rockstar suicides happened that way. Either that or they were so unconscious of themselves that they lost control of themselves. Like in X-men3 when Xavier says, "Don't let it control you," to the girl with the most power ever. It's very dangerous for a rockstar to not have Jesus and the fruit of the Spirit: self-control.
I am confident that I will experience a Rite of Passage soon. I don't have to go anywhere to experience it. It's within me as God teaches me about BEING myself. Soon after we've learned to walk as a baby, we walk without thinking about it. We run, we jump, and walking is the norm. Discovery is fun but I cannot halt there. I know and understand but I cannot halt there either. It's time to believe and become. It happens when we don't think too much about it.
I am the parable of the wineskins. At this time I don't know if I would burst or hold the wine. I don't know if I am a new wineskin or not. Maybe therapy has something to do with my wineskin. I totally trust God to love me but I find myself going, "Do You need me to help You with anything?" Duh. That would be blasphemy if I wasn't such a silly little kid. But it was sin when I tried to 'help' God. Now I am starting to realize that when we address God it should be a question, a petition, or a praise.
I feel like I have been under the influence of some sick drug my whole life. I HAVE been under the influence of LIES. God is calling me ever closer and it's scary business, but wonderful. I do want Him to love me and only He knows how to break through. Until He loves me I won't know what love is. Until I let Him love me I won't know what faith is. This is GOOD NEWS. I don't have to define love. God is love. It is the most intimate relationship to have Someone living within you. Only God will be allowed in if He wants in. It's too heavy for words. To write anymore would be disrespect.
I walked the blistering hot desert this morning before the sun had baked the earth for more than a couple of hours. It was still a comfortable 90 degrees or so. At first I felt foolish and disrespectful for addressing God aloud. But soon I was weeping and rambling on and on about my silly feelings. Every thought that passed through my head was immediately spoken and tossed up to God who knows them all anyways. I didn't know what it would accomplish other than making me look crazy, but no one could see me but God. The predominant feeling was that of a naive kid thrashing at the injustice of it all. I snotted on the backs of my hands as I wiped my face and blubbed on. "Pathetic," I said, "What a loser!" I said. It's really none of anyone's business what I say to my Maker in private. But I want to tell the world about how God in Heaven responds to even the whiniest of His children.
My day was fantastic! I owe it all to God. It's like He's telling me that He heard me and wants to be my comfort. Yesterday I was dejected and bitter but today I have been at peace and much more clear-headed. This morning I walked on shifting sand and complained my head off to God. I didn't pray or petition or give thanks, I just wanted to talk to Him about my troubles...out loud.
I like talking to Him. he's the best listener I know. :) Life may be confusing and noisy but in the morning I'll take in the desolate beauty of the desert and talk to God. Why did I think I had to be all pious to talk to God? It's not like I can keep anything from Him! He knows my heart, that I was upset and just wanted to vent. I talk to my family and friends candidly and honestly, I NEED to talk to God that way. Not because He'll be mad if I don't, but because it's intimate. We talk so much in our society today: cell phones, emails, coffee shops. He gave me a mouth and vocal chords to talk to HIM!
...the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" Genesis 3:9
He knew where Adam was. He just wanted to hear Adam say it...