Tuesday, March 31, 2009

love, God, and marriage. (notice which one is capitalized)

On the plane coming back from a great snowboarding spring break and finding a cute duplex in Maine, I was thinking about the sermon from the Ledyard church we attended and I was reviewing his 09-10 schedule (Chris will be out to sea for half of our first year) and wrote this in my journal.
"Soon I shall be his wife. I will be a strong wife. confident, courageous, sturdy, and unafraid. Loneliness will not intimidate me. It will be an opportunity. And when my darling comes home, I will be there for him to offer him the love and tenderness and encouragement and support and entertainment that he needs. I will be his wife. He will be my stronghold, my cornerstone. Christ will be our foundation. I messily sketched our marriage as little a solid structure with Christ as the foundation, me as the support and Chris as the roof and cornerstone between my columns. I will encourage him, I will not complain to or about him, i will not mock him or bring him down. I will not lie to or deceive him, I will be fully straightforward and honest with a love for Christ above us both and farthest above myself.

I had thought a lot about John 14 "Ask for anything IN MY NAME and I will give it." I wont go into the workings of the secong part of that sentence, but just that first part- what does "in His name" mean? It is not a phrase to tag onto a prayer. It is a life style. when I take my new name, it is not just something we say at the wedding or a new signature to practice, it is a lifestyle. Lord make me IN YOUR NAME. Oh God, I love you. You first loved me. The pastor was right this morning. You cannot talk about oneness in marriage until you talk (for a really long time (ha)) about oneness with God. I am longing to be "in Chris' name." I am going to take his name onto myself. When I relinquish myself and my own will and desire- like the Jone's binder says, I am letting my name go and also my pride and selfcenteredness and ambition.
The pastor also said this morning that, like with God, once I let go of myself (which I do not claim to have sufficiently done), it is not like my joy becomes irrelevant. It will be considered and cared for by the one whose name I take. Just as we, together, have taken Christ's name and Christ cares about our joy, I will take Chris's name and Chris will care for my joy. Sidenote: Christopher means "Christ bearer." I will bear the name of the bearer of Christ's name. Mr. and Mrs. Christopher- selfless as individuals for each other and selfless as a couple for God. Yes, I know that is not fully attainable. But the Jones to us to accept reality while still striving for the ideal.
Jesus is very concerned with our personal joy and fulfillment. When we give ourselves to Him and let Him care for us instead of looking after these concerns ourselves (aka sin), he will do so and the results will be far better than our own sillyface ideas. As I look to Chris, Chris will look to Christ (not that I am not also looking to Christ, because I am) and our marriage will make His joy complete and fulfill His purposes and He will in turn make our joy complete and we will be fulfilled with and by Him. John 15:11. I know that Chris is not perfect and I am so imperfect; the Jones said that we must recognize that two imperfect people cannot make a perfect marriage- it needs focus and reliance on God. And even as we aim to rely on God (the ideal), we still have to understand that that perfection, though it is possible and will be remarkable at times, is not realistically going to be the case all the time. I know.

Bring what into the light?

I was listening to my ipod on an airplane from Maine to Dallas. Jennifer Knapp's song, "Martyrs and Thieves" is such a true and honest and humble song. I typed the lyrics at the bottom of this blog.

It made me think about several verses and a deep meaning that would have to be deep rooted in a persons subconscious being in order for it to displayed in their life. Ephesians 5:11 says, "for one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true,)... Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but INSTEAD EXPOSE THEM. For it is shameful even to speak of the things they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light." Okay that is deep and confusing. Expose your sins?! That is scarily humbling. Once again, humbling ourselves= glorifying God- hence Jennifer's chorus... "turn on the light and reveal all the glory. I am not afraid (of being embarrassed and a known sinner) to reveal all my weakness." Revealing it/ exposing it/ letting people see that we are imperfect/ letting down our pride= this "lets His light shine bright in our lives"? hm... So we Christians are to bear all our weakness to glorify God. The showing off of His grace ads to His glory. If I do not reveal my failure, I falsely glorify myself and the example of living grace is not revealed. It is like saying Christ died for nothing (Gal. 2:21); it empties the cross of its power (1 Corinthians 1:17). Therefore I will boast all the more in my weaknesses! (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). We know and must announce, instead of hiding it like many churchgoers do, that while we strive to follow his commandments and he makes us holy and blameless and righteous, we are not holy on our own. It is by God's glorious grace ALONE! Declare your weakness from the rooftops. "My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness" -2 Cor. 12. "We must become less; He must become greater" -John 3:30. So "turn on the light and reveal all the glory I am not afraid to uncover my weakness..."

John 3:19-21 talks more about those who fear exposure. "This is the verdict. Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it mah be clearly sen that his deeds have been carried out by God."

There's a place in the darkness that I used to cling to
It presses harsh hope against time
In the absence of martyrs there's a presence of thieves
Who only want to rob you blind
They steal away any sense of peace
Though I'm a king I'm a king on my knees
And I know they are wrong when they say I am strong
As the darkness covers me


So turn on the light and reveal all the glory
I am not afraid
To bare all my weakness knowing in meekness
I have a kingdom to gain
Where there is peace and love in the light, in the light
Oh I am not afraid
To let Your light shine bright in my life, in my life
Oh I... am, I...

There are ghosts from my past who've owned more of my soul
Than I thought I had given away
They linger in closets and under my bed
And in pictures less proudly displayed
A great fool in my life I have been
Have squandered till pallid and thin
Hung my head in shame and refused to take blame
For the darkness I know I've let win


Can you hear me? (repeat 6x)

Well I've never been much for the baring of soul
In the presence of any man
I'd rather keep to myself all safe and secure
In the arms of a sinner I am
Could it be that my worth should depend
By the crimson stained grace on a hand
And like a lamp on a hill Lord I pray in Your will
To reveal all of You that I can


Saturday, March 7, 2009


This is a cool quote about it. It's a chain reaction:

Sow a thought, reap an action.
sow an action, reap a habit.
sow a habit, reap a character.
sow a character, reap a destiny.
-Samuel Smiles

And I thought, so, Shakespeare's Macbeth actually taught us something. Macbeth let the THOUGHT of killing the King turn into an ACTION, then the act of killing people became a HABIT and he killed lots of people, then he grew a destructive (and self-destructive) CHARACTER which inevitably brought his bloody DESTINY. Of course this is a little extreme but it also applies to other things like drugs, alcoholism, pornography, and smaller things like gossip and laziness.

I worked backwards. 1) My Destiny: I want to have a DESTINY where God says, "Well done good and faithful servant." Matthew 25. Not "Dang, I wish you had chosen to live a little differently." 2) So in order to have that DESTINY, I need to have the CHARACTER of a godly woman. 3) In order for me to be a godly woman, I really need to have good HABITS. 4) If I want to have good HABITS, then obviously, I need to make the decision daily to ACT in a way worthy of Christ. 5) Each ACTION sprouts from the admittance of a THOUGHT. So the goal is to "hold every THOUGHT captive." 2 Corinthians 10:5 and Philippians 4:8. We have the ability to choose what we think about and it is on that choice that our destiny hangs.

Back to Matthew 25, after He says, "Well done good and faithful servant", he says, "You have been faithful over a few things, now I will put you over many things." One of the "few things" that He first puts us in charge of is our own self-control and if we are faithful with that little thing, then He will put us over greater things like mentorship or mission work or whatever He has planned for each us. If we can not prove faithful with something small and personal like that, then why would He put us over His flock? We have to prove faithful with the little things He gives us now so that He will trust us to give us bigger roles in furthering His kingdom later. It is impossible to be perfect all the time. We are human and He wouldn't give us forgiveness if He didn't know that. Still it is good to bare in mind that He has instructed us to be faithful. So we try. Jesus says, "If you love me, you will follow my commandments." So not following Him is straighout saying, I dont love you more than myself and I don't trust you that you can satisfy me fully. When we take our pleasure into our own hands, we must be breaking God's heart. He is a jealous God and that is something to be jealous of. (read 1 John 2)
I want to grow to my full potential for God so that He can use me without the disruption of selfish sin NOW OR LATER/ LATER THEREFORE NOW with the chain reaciton thing.
In order to be who He wants you to be later, you have to choose what you THINK now. "Hold every thought captive."

Galatians 6:7-9
"Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eiternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up."