Monday, August 25, 2014

A Time to Die

Bear with me. I'm going to attempt not to jump from topic to topic. I'm going to attempt to be coherent. This whole thing might be a mistake. Maybe I shouldn't be putting up a blog post at this time in our lives. If you're reading this, I guess I decided to hit publish. But again, have patience, I can't go to the grocery store these days without falling apart. I can't look at a bag of coffee without thinking of everything I stand to lose. At breakfast my friends' words start to slur and fade in my ears and before you know it, I'm that the woman at The Original Pancake House whose tears are preventing the waitress from getting her tip.  I've spilt every glass of water I've set next to the bed every night for the last 3 nights. So I might not actually be able to write this. I'm already rambling about my inability to write.

Summer is ending. People are lamenting the end of warm weather and easy living. They don't want Autumn to arrive because it will usher in the inevitable return of winter.  I've always loved the Fall, but this year, I beckon her. I call out for her brown leaves and crisp air. I welcome the end of summer and the start of Fall. I welcome the death of the life that greets us in green lawns, baby rabbits, and colorful flowers all summer long. Sometimes everything needs to die.

That's a bit morose. I wasn't trying to get that dark. I actually wrote a blog at the end of June about how I've grown cynical, how it seems that I'm always holding my breath waiting for the next person to hurt me, which writing that seems like a cruel twist of personal foreshadowing now. I didn't post it because I thought it was too dark, I thought I needed to add some light, but I couldn't. I always thought the hope I have in Christ would prevent cynicism from creeping it, but it had taken its hold. I still had hope- Christ's hope, hope in people who loved me, and in life getting better. But I was losing my hope in people. And maybe I still am.

Anyways. Autumn. The end of summer. Bring it on. This summer has sucked for us. It's been awful. In June I thought we had been hurt more than we could ever have been hurt. I was wrong. August has brought a new pain. And so I don't care, good riddance summer, you've been a cruel bitch. And there is something I know, something I cling to. Jesus can make all things new. He is the source of new and everlasting life. He can clean and purify us. But, for the tulips to bloom in the spring they have to die in the Fall. For the trees to grow lush and green in April and May, they have give up their life in September and October. And right now, I could use a little death. There are parts of our life, Mark and I's, that need to die.  We are in desperate need of renewal and redemption. And I know its right around the corner, I know it's coming soon, because it feels like I'm dying right now.

Isaiah 49:4-5 says, "Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in empty futility; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense is with my God. And now, says the Lord, Who formed me from the womb to be His servant..."

This past year, we have been laboring in vain. We have spent our strength for nothing. It's our own fault, we drifted. We stepped out of the Lord's protection. We are weary and heavy burdened. It seems as though Isaiah felt that way and yet the Lord called him to be servant, and not just any servant, God made him a light to the nations. Even though he had labored in vain.

We can still be a light.
But first redemption and renewal. The dying is painful, but the renewal is beautiful.

On Sunday the pastor talked about a polished arrow, an arrow made from God's words that was made to purify and refine. To cleanse and make bright. I'll stand in front of that arrow.

Our marriage is experiencing some trouble. The 3-fold cord is threatening to completely unravel. But I am standing on God's promises. Mark and I were ordained to be joined together. And no man or woman can tear us asunder. Jesus took the failing of the last few months with Him on the cross. I don't know why we desire to cling to them. But I'm done. I am tired. I am laying our marital troubles at the foot of the cross, I am crying out for us to be washed with the blood of Jesus. And I know the Lord has heard and is already answering my prayers. I've had a vision of a renewed marriage, better, and stronger than ever. God is planting trust and forgiveness in our hearts and they are taking root in our covenant marriage. He is taking our pain and He is making something beautiful. From the ashes of this long summer, we will rise strengthened. My Dear Mark, my sexy quokka, hope is not gone, we have not gone to far. The darkness has never been overcome by the light. We are meant for redemption, for purification.

John 10:27-28, "The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of my hand."
 Mark, you are a blood boughten, child of the living God. You are anointed. I've witnessed this anointing, I've seen the Holy Spirit work through you and I've seen you be bold for the Lord. Do not forget that. You can not be snatched from His hand. You are precious to Him. You are His child. Rest in Him.

[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son [of His love,
In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins. -Colossians 1:13-14 The father has delivered and drawn us, Mark and Carla, to himself, out of the control of the darkness. We have been drawn out of darkness, we no longer need to wallow in it. The love we share is meant to be in the light.
Ephesians 2:4-5
But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
I know you know these things, my beloved husband, I know you have these words stored up in your heart. Let the Spirit dismantle your walls so that you can feel the grace, mercy, and forgiveness you need. It's yours for the taking. We can renew, redefine, redeem what has been lost. It is not too late, it is never too late. For you, Mark, I will walk through Hell. I will cling to Christ with one hand and to you with the other, and I will never, never let go.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spare Me Your Reasons

I hate the phrase, "Everything happens for a reason."  Somehow this overused phrase makes people feel better about the fact that life is hard. But if you really stopped to think about what it implies, it should make you feel even shittier than you already did. If everything happens for a reason, if every horrible thing is divinely ordained so that some good thing can happen, doesn’t that mean the God we serve is a giant asshole in the sky just messing with your life?  Can God make beauty from the ashes? Absolutely. Can He speak to us in our valleys of despair? Often times He does. Can Christ bring us peace beyond our pain and understating? Yes.  But that does not mean that the trials we go through are purposed to bring us beauty, truth, and peace.  God is almighty and can bring us out of bad times in the most wonderful ways, but it does not mean the bad times had to be ordained to receive the good.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Symbolism over Substance:
Playing with our toys…making a lot of noise!

Thank God for their selflessness *cough*
On September 11th the motorcycle “patriots” descended on Washington DC to defend the United States against the “evil” army of Islam and preserve the legacy of Patriotism and Nationalism. Since then, every time I hear those bone chilling un-muffled roars that drown out all sound and conversation within my head (and my house) I just can’t help but say: “thank you…Thank you loud pretentious, patriotic motorcycle people!”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Sickness unto Faith (Part II)

Psst- I need to ask you a quick question: Would you let a homeless person stay at your house? Why, or why not? And if you would be so kind, please comment and share your reason/s below before reading any further.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Sickness unto Faith (Part 1)

and your lack of action!
As well as your lack of action!

Faith is Action….Are you acting in Faith?

I was out of town on business awhile back and I stopped at a McDonald's for lunch. It was a chilly rainy day- the kind of day that makes a person want to stay in bed for the duration. While looking around and trying to choke down my lukewarm, sub-par "Filet of Fish” sandwich, I saw a man walk through the door.  By the looks of him he obviously had spent a great deal of time outside in the elements. He also had the countenance of a man who is being put through the winepress. The man sat down at a booth adjacent to my table and just put his head in his hands. I could almost feel the pain this man was dealing with. I prayed at that moment that I or someone else could help relieve his suffering. Almost instantly a man sat down at the booth across from me and directly behind the suffering man. In the time it takes for a carnivore to take two bites of an artery clogging Big Mac, the suffering man took his head out of his hands; tears flowed down his cheeks and you could tell that he was visibly embarrassed. The man seated behind the distraught man took notice and said: “How are you doing Jerry?” They obviously knew each other. Jerry said: “I’m OK, but I've been better”.  The man in the booth said: “I have not seen you in church lately.” Jerry responded by saying- “I recently lost my wife to cancer, and I've been going through a rough patch.” Booth-man says: “I’m so sorry for your loss!” Jerry then tells him that in the past 9 months he has also lost his job, his home and is currently sleeping in public parks. Booth-man, being very uncomfortable with all Jerry's negative talk, changes the subject to local sports and weather. After about 5 minutes of this idle banter, Booth-man somehow summons the godly-courage to address Jerry's original problems. He said:“Jerry I will pray for you…and really, I hope things get better for ya. Good luck buddy!” Booth-man then gets up, dumps his half eaten Big Mac in the garbage, puts on his raincoat, and exits the establishment- leaving Jerry in exactly the same state he was before. At this point, I was absolutely mortified! What a missed opportunity! This is the problem with so-called Christians: they have this misplaced conception that “prayer” is some sort of spiritual currency; they believe that prayer replaces action.

They are wrong!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Grasping at the Straws of Christian Persecution

I know, I know, I have the tendency to lay on the sass. But sometimes sass is needed. And I am just so exhausted by the claims that American Christians are persecuted.


                                                  Discriminated against.

 I mean, seriously. Does anyone spouting this stuff actually believe the crap coming out of their mouths?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wasted Time, Wasted Grace

Languid conjecture brings on the desires of a new year. My thoughts are a bit jumbled and scattered so I hope you can bear with me while I try to mold them into some semblance of organization.