l e n t :: day42_rejection

day42_rejection
Raena asked to draw Jesus on her Palm Sunday cross made by Pops.

An interesting juxtaposition of thoughts today: the rethinkchurch.com word (rejection) with the topic of IF:Gathering’s I Believe study of the Nicene Creed (the Trinity).  Here are my thoughts shared on the IF:Gathering App this morning:

“My first theology class in college was Intro to Biblical Literature – read the whole Bible in a semester, plus write paper and ace exams, of course.  Even with the overload of out of class expectations, I still consider it one of my favorite college classes and it was (and still is) extremely influential in at least starting many discussion of belief.  One in particular…the Trinity.  I love a phrase my professor used: reciprocal relationships.  God in Himself IS a reciprocal relationship: the working together of this three-ness (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to have this ultimate, life-giving, life-saving, life-sustaining Oneness.  And then the Bible reveals to us that God made us in His image, reflecting back the innate relationship.  He desires from us not mindless acceptance and obedience as if following a dictator, but rather a relationship of trust, service, regular interaction.  Reciprocal relationship.  So this concept, this doctrine, this crazy unexplainable thing called the Trinity just make God more approachable, more loving, more intimate, to me.”

The connection to rejection, while admittedly a possible stretch, culminates in processing what happens when we reject someone: they no longer live, or, in one word, death.  To thrive, like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do as GOD, one cannot reject another.  Cannot leave off, insult, discard another.  Think of how you feel at a point of rejection for a job or a romantic relationship: a bit of you falls and, for at least a moment, you know little of your next steps.  You often wallow and you become stagnate.  Sure, alive, but not living.

So I ask, do you want to be a person who spreads rejection or a person who lives reciprocal relationships?    Who leaves off a major part of yourself or discards another human being for any reason, or an individual who thrives internally and in community?

But you, my dear friend, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as your wait the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Jude 20-21

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:25

 

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l e n t :: day10_love

day10_love

Love means that I find your needs and wants as important if not more important than my own.  Perhaps at first that sounds a wee bit selfish, but I am being honest.  How did I know I loved Jeff?  His happiness became inherently more important than my own.  How do I know I love my dearest friends?  When they’ve had a bad day with their kids and I’ve had a bad day with my kids, I’m willing and wanting to go to their home, rock-a-bye a screaming babe, and wash their dishes.  Love isn’t losing yourself, but it is the daily crashing into other human beings and asking “Are you ok?” before checking your own wounds.  And when I think about it, I guess I don’t really love that many people, not in practice at least.  I need to work on that.

How do you love? 

If you want to read a bit more on love, my dear friend Caitlin Boersma wrote a beautiful piece including a summary of a challenging talk by Jen Hatmaker on loving like Jesus.

Murky Clarity || More Transitions #IFLEAD2015

My hope was not left unfulfilled.  If you offer God your everything, God will joyfully pick you up, shake you up, take what you have offered, and expose more than you thought you had to begin with.  Well.  At least that is how I am experiencing it.

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The IF:Local Leaders Gathering created space for me to listen to the Lord.  Many people, especially my mom, continue to ask us: What is your purpose here?  Why are you back on the farm?  We have had no answer.  Sure, we’ve received a variety of words and of course we have desires but no real answer.  Make a lot of sense, right?  We’re not odd at all.  But, like I shared earlier, I had great hope for revelation during these last days.

It came.

And now I feel heavy.  I feel urgency.  I feel great responsibility.  I feel fear.  But I am grateful!  I came with a question (or 153,628,000 questions) and I came home with answers.  Last night, I shared into the late night hours with Jeff, my parents, and my mother-in-law, Liz.  While it was great to share, it seemed they didn’t quite understand the depth of the…words.  How do you explain such intense clarity that isn’t a program? that isn’t a how-to?  that is years of story and experience and desire and fear rolled into an intense culmination of vision and reconciliation and restoration and yet, still incredible fear?  That once again is — watch out! Change is a coming.  Not everyone likes change.

Perhaps my language was poor.  While I obviously started this blog, I do not consider myself a writer.  I am not gifted with words; I’m just a sharer.  I have no desire to figure out life alone and I want to invite others in to comment and encourage and prune.  Dangerous, sure, but necessary.

Or maybe, it’s not meant to be understood yet.

As the days roll by, I’ll share what I believe will be direction for our family-for our little unit and for the folks who call this farm their home.  I should probably make sure Jeff and I are together before I share with the e-world all that’s on my heart.  🙂

But before I sign off–Margie, Rebekah and Caitlin: Thank you for words of encouragement and for reminding me of love.  You get it.  And few will be able to approach the changes I feel I am about to embark on the way you will, and have.  I feel heavy but you help carry the burden, in a unique way. Thanks for being my team! You were already lighting fireworks before you even got home.

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And to the staff, board, volunteers, local leaders, and friends of IF:  Thank you for exhausting yourselves to push us toward the Lord and true discipleship.  You encourage us by example to do anything.  I appreciate your stories and hearts and continual pursuit of real life and bringing folks to Jesus’ ways, words, and works.  Thank for you sharing with us great tools.

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them