Slave to Bride

From slave to bride
I am bought with a price.
No longer nameless.
No longer without a family.

From servant to princess.
I have an inheritance without measure.
No longer without power.
No longer without authority.

From trespasser to priest.
Love without ceasing.
No longer without access.
No longer without intimacy.

This is destiny.
This is fate.
Take it by force.
Or be overtaken.

Imagine Dragons – Radioactive

I’m waking up to ash and dust

I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
I’m breathing in the chemicalsI’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse
Whoa

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive

I raise my flags, don my clothes
It’s a revolution, I suppose
We’ll paint it red to fit right in
Whoa

I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse
Whoa

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive

All systems go, the sun hasn’t died
Deep in my bones, straight from inside

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive

I love the song.  I love the video even more.

A villianous Lou Diamond Phillips is running a fight club for stuffed animals.  His stuffed animal beats everyone else’s every time.  He’s the champ and will always be the champ.  He’s gruff, he’s rude, and he’s mean.

Nobody can challenge him.  That is, until an unnamed girl walks in with a teddy bear.  This meek and mild teddy bear takes punch after kick after punch until finally he’s knocked out.  He’s dead.  LDP is about to call another victory when the teddy bear stands up and shoots lasers out of it paws.  The lasers wipe out the mean old stuffed monster and several of the onlookers who try to fight him themselves.  In the confusion, the girl takes the key from LDP and he is thrown in the pit with the other stuffed animals.

This reminds me of that old Carmen song where Jesus and Satan are boxing it out.  Jesus is KO’d but rises right before the countdown is finished and KO’s Satan.  It is just like Jesus to use a teenage girl and teddy bear to stop ultimate evil.  I love how, at the very end, the girl takes the key to the pit from LDP’s neck and sets free the prisoners.  Isaiah 61 prophecies this part of Jesus’ ministry, that he would free the prisoners and set the captives free.

Marriage

When talking in church about marriage, I’ve heard all sorts of things. I’ve heard that the other person should be really attractive, they should be debt free, from a stable home, mentally and physically stable, and an innocent virgin (precluding the possibility of a previous marriage or children), among other things.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting those things in a mate. However, most people are lucky to have only one or two of those qualities. A lot of those things exist on a spectrum. Even one’s status as a virgin. Have you watched porn, masturbated? Maybe you’ve had sex but it wasn’t consensual? Or are you completely innocent regarding all things sexual?

What do we set ourselves up for when we make a list of what we want in a mate? A friend of mine said it’s the same objectification that arises from the culture of pornography. Pornography is so powerful because you’re given the perfect partner. He/she is always ready and willing. He/she is always attractive. He/she has your same kinks or fantasies. He/she responds the way you like. It’s a fantasy.

But what happens when people make a list? They also get a fantasy mate. A mate with no previous commitments (such as old debts or children from a previous spouse or partner). They are perfectly sane and rational. They are perfectly loving and know your love language inside and out. They are perfectly sexually compatible. They are attractive. They come from a loving family. They have no physical handicaps.

I don’t think this person exists. And if they did, why would they choose you?  That’s not supposed to be a condemnation. It’s just a fact of life. Who would this perfect person be seeing out? But it sure feels condemning when you’re the one being passed over because you lack one or more of these qualities.

A lot of people get so tied up in a list and have a picture in their head of what their mate will look like that they miss the treasure God has put before them. And God’s treasures are not always easy to see. They are usually hidden in some undesirable exterior.

Endless Glory

A song during worship time in church today contained a line that went something like, “We’ll bring endless glory to the King.” So, in my head, I put the question out there. How do I do this? I felt a little condemned by the lyrics of this song. Seeing as my life feels like a continuous f*ck-up.

Sooooo…..

How do I bring endless glory to the King?

“By being who you are.”

We do it by existing!

We do it by being made in His image!

We do it by being who we are at our core!

We do it by being who we are without lies, guilt, shame, and/or condemnation!

All Of Me Loves All Of You

What would I do without your smart mouth?
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
You’ve got my head spinning, no kidding, I can’t pin you down.
What’s going on in that beautiful mind?
I’m on your magical mystery ride
And I’m so dizzy, don’t know what hit me, but I’ll be alright.

My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine.
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind.

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you.
Love your curves and all your edges.
All your perfect imperfections.
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you.
You’re my end and my beginning.
Even when I lose I’m winning.
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, oh oh.

How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too.
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every mood.
You’re my downfall, you’re my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues.
I can’t stop singing, it’s ringing, in my head for you.

My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine.
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind.

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you.
Love your curves and all your edges.
All your perfect imperfections.
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you.
You’re my end and my beginning.
Even when I lose I’m winning.
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, oh oh.

Give me all of you.
Cards on the table, we’re both showing hearts.
Risking it all, though it’s hard.

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you.
Love your curves and all your edges.
All your perfect imperfections.
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you.
You’re my end and my beginning.
Even when I lose I’m winning.
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you.

I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, oh oh.
_____________________________________

Enough said! It’s a Gospel packed song!

The core of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that he gives us all of him. Nothing more, nothing less. The way I read the chorus is, “Give your all to me BECAUSE I give my all to you.” We can’t begin to give him all of us unless he gives us himself first.

I really love the second verse. We have this idea of God as a stoic figure. That he’s very proper and polite.

Gag me.

He is fire and passion and jealousy. He’s the very definition of passion.

We are his distraction. We are his song. As much as we say/sing “Let our life song sing to you!”, we forget that his life’s song sings to us.

What Love Is and Isn’t

A lot of people are familiar with I Corinthians 13 as the “Love Chapter”.  It is read at weddings and other events quite a bit.  Other than John 3:16, it is probably the most recognized piece of scripture in everyday life.

The chapter talks about what love is and what it looks like.  “Love is patient.  Love is kind.”  These things seem obvious to most of us.  However, a lot of us gloss over these truths in practice.  We think we are being loving but, in reality, we are being something else.  For example, a parent may think they are being loving by giving their child a candy bar that he or she is craving.  But, too much of this results in a sense of entitlement and the child begins demanding candy, or junk food, or later bed times. Etc… Etc…

I got to thinking about this glossed over piece of scripture the other day at work.  We know that Love is patient and Love is kind but what does love look like when it doesn’t have these attributes?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 reads:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

What is love with patience?  What is love without kindness?  Etc…

Love without patience is entitlement.

Love without kindness is manipulation.

Love that boasts is just pride.

Love that is self seeking is narcissism.

Love that keeps a record of wrongs is legalism.

Love that delights in evil is vengeance.

Love that doesn’t protect is apathy.

Love that doesn’t trust, hope, or persevere is fear.

Not that you can truly have Love without these things.  But we try to substitute these things like it’s pasteurized processed yellow cheese food when we really want and need aged sharp cheddar.  It’s a lot easier to be afraid of the future than to be brave.  It’s a lot easier to give in to the demands of the world than to teach and practice patience.  It’s a lot easier to love yourself (in a selfish fashion) than to love others.  It’s a lot easier to tell those we love what they’re doing wrong than what they’re doing right.

So the next time you hear this passage, really listen to the worlds.  Thank goodness we don’t live in a world where Love is NOT patient or Love is NOT kind.

 

Flashlight

On Halloween night, I felt God’s presence in an almost tangible way. I felt love and peace and grace and mercy all at once. I couldn’t help but bawl my eyes out.

I’ve been having a lot of anxiety attacks lately with lots of little triggers. I feel like I’m dying and I cry and cry and cry. Tonight, I cried because I am loved. I didn’t cry out of despair.

What brought this on? I was watching Pitch Perfect 2. Their finale includes an original song called “Flashlight”.

“I got all I need when I got you and I
I look around me, and see sweet life. I’m stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight.

You’re gettin’ me, gettin’ me through the night. Can’t stop my heart when you shinin’ in my eyes. I can’t lie, it’s a sweet life.

I’m stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight. You’re gettin’ me, gettin’ me through the night. Cause you’re my flash light. You’re my flash light, you’re my flash light.”

So yeah, God spoke to me through a raunchy comedy on the most “demonic” night of the year.

The Million Dollar Question

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Oy!

Did you know God thinks you’re a lying thieving blasphemous adulterer?

News to me!!! I thought God thought of me as a daughter, a princess, and a bride. I was told that his thoughts towards me are good. But, ok, you can go with that if you like….

No, wait! You know what happens when someone is told that they are no good? They believe it. And if they believe it, they’ll act it out.

The Million Dollar Question apparently is whether you will go to Heaven when you die. What a load of crap! As if the end all and be all of creation is to actually ditch this rock and live in some white-washed utopia.

These are the same tracts that got confiscated by the Treasury Department on the charge of being counterfeit million dollar bills. The charges were eventually dropped but… Oh my, how prophetic. The world knows you’re full of crap too!

This tract mentions nothing about love or relationship. It describes a legal status. You’re just a legal case to be decided. You’re a docket number. You’re in but Jack over here is out.

This tract is everything my blog is against.

1) Will you go to Heaven when you die?

Irrelevant. Do you know Jesus now? Do you know his voice? Go read my post about The Hunt, an episode of tlThe Twilight Zone. Heaven is revealed through our relationship with Jesus. Not saying there isn’t a plane of existence called Heaven. What I’m saying is that Heaven is in us at all times.

2) Have you ever ….?

I just wrote a little bit about the nature of sin at the end of my series on The Ugly Stepsister.  Sin is NOT about right versus wrong. It is about life versus death. God is not keeping a list and checking it twice.

3) Going to Hell is not God’s will.

Ok, it isn’t. However, simply going to Heaven isn’t either.

4) Jesus paid the price.

Because God just needs to be bought off?

5) Repent and God will give you eternal life.

How about God gives you eternal life to allow you to repent?

6) Read your Bible daily and obey it.

Of course, you should read your Bible. BUT the Bible is NOT the word of God. Jesus is. We obey Jesus, not the Bible.

Update: Twins – Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito

I heard the Lord speak to me this morning… I don’t want to be all “Thus saith the Lord” but I felt this was on the heart of God this morning. It will make a little more sense after you read my blog post that I linked to below.

——–——-

I have come and am coming to claim my brothers and sisters. I have made a great journey at great cost. I will NOT go home empty handed. I will search high and I will search low. I will search in the gutter. I will search in the palaces of this world. The world tells me that it’s not worth it. The world tells me that you are just a piece of trash. How can that be? We share the same DNA! You were made in my image. When I look at you, I see myself. How could I not seek you out? You are not just a lost sheep, you are a lost brother or sister. How much more will I go after you than I would a sheep!

There is no need to come after me. I have made the journey. No need to press in or work to find me. I am inside of you. The veil in your soul has been torn. Look and see that I am here with you and have always been with you. My journey led me right to the center of your heart and soul. I am not out there in a distant future or a distant paradise. Paradise is right here with you.

Twins – Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito.

Alabaster

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Matthew 26:6-13

I heard this story again tonight and I had some questions.  Why did she have this perfume in the first place?  What was she initially saving it for?  In the other gospels, it is mentioned that the perfume is worth a year’s wages.  Surely, she did not buy it herself.  I imagine it was a gift.  Here, I veer into Wild Mass Guessing but here’s my thought: That perfume was part of or all of her dowry.  Or perhaps, it was her inheritance.  It was her ticket to a better life but she takes it and “wastes” it on Jesus.  The people in the room could think of many better uses for that perfume but it ended up on Jesus.

It’s like life.  We all have talents and desire in our lives that are valuable in the sight of others.  For me, it’s my talent at mathematics.  I have a master’s degree in it.  And the world has lots of ideas as to how I should use it.  But what does Jesus want me to do with it?  He wants me to “waste” it on him.  Philippians 3:8 says, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”

But it is not wasted.  In the story, the perfume permeates the room.  The smell of Jesus radiates throughout the room.  You see, when we pour out our gifts on Jesus.  He will radiate those gifts and passions throughout the world around you.  Much more so than you could do yourself.  Jesus wants to use those talents and desires through us.

So Lord, help me step aside and let you walk through me in my journey through life.  Radiate my talents and passions throughout the world around me so that they turn back to you.  I want people to “smell you on me”.