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!

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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.

Tarzan

“A normal man will do the impossible for the woman he loves. My husband is no normal man.”

From Song of Solomon: “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved? Under the apple tree I roused you; there your mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birth.

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.”

I was scrolling Facebook the other day when I came across this trailer for the new Tarzan movie. Normally, I don’t watch videos on Facebook but the caption caught my eye. “My husband is no normal man.”

Holy Spirit immediately began to speak to me about Tarzan as a type and shadow of our bridegroom, Jesus Christ. Before a couple days ago, I had never given the story of Tarzan much thought but now I’m going to have to read some of the original stories.

I was meditating on this image of Jesus as Tarzan and here’s what I wrote:

He doesn’t care about your culture.
He doesn’t care about your rules.

He doesn’t care about your religion.

He doesn’t dress like you.
He doesn’t talk like you.

But he loves you.

He is your North Star.

You conform to him.
Not the other way around.

Abandon your culture. Abandon your rules.

Learn a new language. Learn a new culture. Speak out of the heart and spirit.

The enemy can take you but you can say,

“A normal man will do the impossible. My husband is no normal man.”

You can face your trials with no fear.

For he will come for you. Be near you.

He is wild. He is passion. He is fire. Jealousy unyielding as the grave.

He has no fear. He has made a public spectacle of your enemies.

Your husband rewrote the natural order to be near you.

Where is death’s victory?

Where is death’s sting?

Your husband is no normal man.

Yet.

You are one with him.

You are no normal person.

Greater things will you do together than apart.

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.

 

Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song OR Who is your husband?

Spoilers for “The Husbands of River Song” obviously!

River Song has been a favorite character of mine since she first appeared in the 4th season episodes “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead”. From the beginning, she was a mystery. She appeared to know the Doctor intimately despite his never meeting her before. She gained his trust in those few first hours together by whispering his actual name in his ear. If you watch this show for more than a minute, you know that his name is something that is never given out, even to those he trusts very much.

She then explains that they never meet in the right order. It’s back to front. His first adventure with her is her last with him. She’s had many more adventures with his future self. She has to be careful not to reveal too much in any of their adventures together. Through the course of the series, it is revealed that River Song was born Melody Pond, a child of his companions and also of the TARDIS after a fashion. Her connection to the vortex is exploited in a plot to kill the Doctor. However, they end up falling in love instead and eventually marry.

Her story appeared to be over with “The Name of the Doctor”. Here, the Doctor and River say their goodbyes.  Before that, we see her in “The Angels Take Manhattan” where she witnesses the death of her parents. “Husbands” appears to take off from there as I get a sense that she’s mourning her parents in a way. Her parents loved each other very much. In “Husbands”, she appears to have lost faith in true love.

The Doctor himself is also mourning the loss of another companion. He also said goodbye to River in “The Name of the Doctor”. So when a knock on the TARDIS door lands him in front of his wife again, he is at first excited. However, his joy is short lived when he realizes that she doesn’t recognize him. She knows of his first twelve faces but does not recognize his thirteenth. If you didn’t know already, it had been established for quite some time that time lords only get 12 regenerations. And the Doctor had “wasted” one on his disembodied hand at the end of season four. It’s obvious she had been told this by the Doctor a long time ago.

The Doctor is even further surprised to know that she is married to a cyborg king, a diamond, and a handsome guy named Ramon. She has also had two wives. Eek!

Throughout the episode, we almost get the feeling that River was just playing with the Doctor’s feelings and was just using him for occasional access to the TARDIS.

However, we see later on that this is not at all the case. Towards the end of the episode, the cyborg king wants the Doctor’s head. He demands that River tell him where he is. She doesn’t know. The cyborg asks, “Don’t you love him?” River responds with, “When you love The Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves! You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back!”

How heartbreaking! We see now that River isn’t being cold to the Doctor. She genuinely believes that he is simply out of her reach. He’s larger than life. He’s thousands of years old to her two hundred. He comes from a long dead civilization. He saves millions of people at a time. And she has settled for watching from afar.

But then she realizes that the man she has been carrying on with for the whole episode is actually the Doctor and her face falls.

I have been pondering this Christmas about it’s true meaning. I’ve wrote about it before. One of the names given to Jesus is Immanuel which means “God with us”. It’s such a powerful statement. We tend to think of God as being “beyond”. He’s not “here” but “over there”. We think of him as being far off in some other dimension of existence, only peaking in once in a great while. God is too great and too glorious to bother with us, right? Surely, he has better things to do than think about me?

But what does the birth of Jesus tell us about this attitude? His name means, “God with us”. He joined himself to human existence. At the moment he was born and took his first human breath, the angelic host proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest and on Earth peace, good will toward men.” The moment that God was most glorified was NOT when he was sitting on his golden throne and donning his crown of jewels. This didn’t ring out when he was traveling the golden streets of Heaven on his pure white horse with his large sword at his side. God’s most glorious moment up to that point was when he stretched his arms and legs in the physical world, when he felt the touch of cold air on his skin. His most glorious moment was when he became flesh and was born among animals and filth to two impoverished parents. There was no fanfare. There were no news reports. Only a few were invited to witness this event.

The lie from the beginning was that God was not near, that he wasn’t really interested in us, that he was holding back. This goes all the way back to Eve. The serpent told her that if she ate the forbidden fruit that she would be like God. The implication being that she wasn’t already like God which was inherently false. Adam and Eve were made in God’s image! We are made of the same stuff!

It’s also implied that there was an inequality in the relationship. How many times have we heard a pastor or church leader tell us not to be unequally yoked? Meaning that we should find friends and/or a spouse with similar personalities and beliefs. And yet God has no problem being “yoked” with us! “My yoke is easy and burden is light.” What should that tell us? And yet we question every bit of it.

Just like River questions the love the Doctor has for her, she also doesn’t see herself as equal to him. But it is obvious that they are. She may not have been born on Gallifrey, but she is a time lady. She can regenerate. She can pilot the TARDIS. She is just as clever as he is. However, she feels like a mere mortal compared to her husband.

And what is her response to those feelings of inadequacy? She takes on other lovers. She takes them on without much regard to their feelings. As seen in the episode, she has no problem wiping Ramon’s memories when she’s mad at him. She’s also plotting to murder another husband. It kind of reminds me of the woman at the well. She meets Jesus who tells her she has had five husbands and the one she’s with now is not her husband. She runs into town to tell everybody about the man who told her everything she ever did. Which oddly enough, is similar to what River says in, “The Impossible Astronaut”. She tells her father, “When I first met the Doctor, a long, long time ago, he knew all about me. Think about that. An impressionable young girl, and suddenly this man just drops out of the sky, and he’s clever, and mad, and wonderful, and knows every last thing about her. Imagine what that does to a girl.”

So the real question is, “Who is your husband?” What are our true beliefs about God and how do they affect our lives? For me, the relationship between River Song and the Doctor has always been a mirror of the relationship between Christ and the church (as well as the relationship between the Doctor and the TARDIS). Jesus is a timelord in a sense. He can travel space and time at will. He can cheat death. He is very old. River, being conceived in the TARDIS, has a very different nature. She was no longer simply human, she was human+ (in the words of Madame Vastra). This change put her on equal footing with the Doctor.

From her beginning, her nature is questioned. Is she Melody Williams or Melody Pond? Is she just a geography teacher or is she a superhero?  Is she natural or supernatural? It appears that she struggles with this identity crisis until the very end of her life.

From the beginning, mankind’s nature has been questioned. Are we natural or supernatural? Are we like the animals? Or are we more? We question our own nature constantly. The Bible says that we are a new creation. New, in the sense of replacing your beat up Ford Taurus for the Starship Enterprise. We are truly human+.

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.