Saturday, June 30, 2007


"Help my mind to conceive what it is that You want to do," is what I prayed at the prayer group.

"I Believe I can fly." Remember that song?

Oswald Chambers said in his little great devotional book that we don't really know ourselves until we know of ourselves in the midst of relationships. There, in that connection between two people is a part of ourselves we don't otherwise know.

Maybe that part of ourselves isn't even there without the relationship touching it and making it alive, like a part of the body, of the skin that a blind person never knows until it is touched and it is discovered comes to life.

Are you a broken person? I am. Yet, as I have become strong, I have allowed my brokenness to be better seen. It is sad, but good also. The scars. The damaged skin. The pain that can be imagined when you look at the damage. A hurrican Andrew was here I guess, the visitors to Charleston say. I don't think I am a Katrina, so I didn't use that anaology. Don't want to be overly dramatic.

Yeah, I am broken, but not that bad, but actually, pretty bad too. And the "who I am" is the sum of three parts. There's me. Then there is the one who acts like she is me and gets everything done and does it well. Then there is the Holy Spirit Who watches over me and keeps it all working.

Someone saw the real me the other day, and I wasn't expecting her to see me that way, but she had been paying really close attention, and I guess I let my guard down, because I was trying to get to know her, and she got to know me. Funny how that happened.

I feel so pathetic sometimes. Do you ever feel that way? I am so pathetically needy. That is the way that broken people are, I guess. Well, the needy kind of broken people. It is really so pathetic, their broken lives, oozing with, well, brokenness and a desire for somebody else to make them whole.

Because Christ is my life, He has enabled me. He has given me a husband who has been a nourisher and provider for me. He has sent another friend who has been a listening ear and counselor to me by her acceptance and continual supply of love and empathy and encouragement.

I don't want to talk about what is really going on right now with any more specificity, but let me see if I can tie the ends together a little bit more.

I need God to open my mind to be what He wants and not just walk in the tradition of men. This applies for my work, my view of work and the world, and my relationships. God is working and changing and doing new things and I need to be transformed in my mind to understand it and walk in the light of it and move according to His Spirit.

I am not into positive self talk. However, there is a from of pride that looks like humility but it is really pride. When God gives a gift He expects it to be exercised, not to be quelched with a false sense of graciousness and humility. Sometimes flying may make others to think that you are full of pride, but people are frequently misdirected. I need to follow God, and for me I think that means standing up and claiming the land that He has given me and being bold. It is flying when there is a sign up that says, "your mother wouldn't like this" and flying anyway because I am all grown up now. It is flying when there is a sign that says, "Christian women aren't stronger than men in the community workforce." Go to hell, God told me to claim this damn mountain and that is what I am doing. Doesn't look pretty, but it is effective.

As far as the relationship thing and Oswald's book, I found new places in me, or drowsy, sleepy places in this new relationship that I have and it is pretty interesting. But it is disturbing because it touches parts of my broken insides, broken due to past relationships that hurt me, not all other people's fault (much). There were cirsumstances. I am a difficult person, too strong willed by nature, but God didn't do that by accident either (making me too strong for my own good sometimes).

Because Christ is my life, and because I have been in intimate relationships and have important ones, I can sit with the pain and not act out on it. I can sit here now and wish I didn't ache inside. Why am I aching? No particular reason, other than, the relationship aroused pain from turbulance - opened wounds that touched old scars and so it just hurts. If the pain could talk it would say, "hold me." But then, if held it would say, "Don't touch me." It is like one of those no-win situations. When someone says one thing but does the other and then doesn't even see the ridiculous nonsence that they do. Stupid stuff. Stupid pain.

People like me need to know that others don't really want to wallow in your irrationality unless they are irrational themselves, and then there is no way out or the sick and disturbed relationship (okay, exageration - there is a way out). It is best to be mature. Like when a wound hurts and the nurse in the ER says to sit still so she can clean it. Sit still damn it. Don't make a scene.

Then later, you can act like a normal human being with the person who trampled upon your Katrina back yard with the upside down truck sitting on the roof with the mold growing in the termite infested walls. You smile and remember how normal people act. "How are you today? That's good, and how was your weekend? Great, mine too. Would you like a bit of lunch?" Real normal-like.

"There, that wasn't too bad, was it?" Says the ER nurse. "Now give it seven days and we'll take the stiches out." "In six weeks the cast will come off and after the three months of physical therapy we'll take the halo off the neck. Next year the third surgery will remove the hardware. Have a great day."

"And in all things we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us!"

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:19 PM | 2 comments

Monday, June 18, 2007

Helmet of Salvation

In the Bible, there is the "helmet of salvation" that one wears when putting on the whole armor of God. I used to ponder that and wonder why it was called that? What exactly is it that we cover with our head when we wear the helmet of salvation and how does one do that?

These days I have been wearing the helmet of salvation and for me this is what it is. It is when everything is too confusing to figure out, with the "voices" in your head (not psychotic voices, but doubting thoughts) argue with your common sense and you don't have your common sense anymore because you are following hard after Christ and he is leading you in a way in which you can not depend upon your common sense. You have given up common sense and are having the mind of Christ and are walking in power and strength and effecting change and then the thoughts get you down and you begin to wonder. You try to make sense of the nuance if things but then get discouraged.

Then there is the helmet of salvation. "Jesus loves me, I'm saved and going to heaven." "Jesus loves me, I'm saved and going to heaven." "Jesus loves me, I'm saved and going to heaven." "Jesus loves me, I'm saved and going to heaven." "Jesus loves me, I'm saved and going to heaven."

It is so simple and the mind clears, and for today, there really isn't anything else that I need to know. I'm saved and I'm going to heaven.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:12 AM | 6 comments

Monday, June 11, 2007

Now that's Fun!

"Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight."

I found a hidden source of joy. Joy in obeying God in the difficult things. Like being a wife. Life being a slave (or a servant that thinks like a slave).

That was a "YUCK!!!" situation through my entire childhood and growing up until I became a Christian at 21. Even then, God had mercy upon me, drawing me in His lovingkindness unto Himself and being patient with me.

Well, now again, when I think of it, maybe not. I mean, from His perspective it was lovingkindness. From my perspective it was, "Where is God when you really need Him?" "How come He isn't listening to my prayers?" And frankly, I told Him many a time that He did not know what He was doing and how He was really screwing up my life and I didn't appreciate it at all.

Then when I had walked in the Lord for about ten years, just as I was walking in a parking lot, I thought about how bad my attitude had been with the Lord in regards to my husband. I just decided that I didn't want to have that bad attitude anymore and sort of like apologized to God. It wasn't like I was a lot different right away I guess. But from His perspective, I guess that I was.

So, anyway, there is a new delight that I am finding, a secret joy, reserved for the narrow path walkers. The joy of submission to earthly and governmental authorities of earth due to the respect and fear of the Lord.

That is another thing. The fear of the Lord and the fear of sinning. I want to have a tremendous fear of sinning. Because sin takes us to the path of death and opens the door of the enemy and eventually there are going to be really big problems and a fall and the sorrow of regret that stings.

So, have a fun filled day - in the Lord, the source of Living water and joy. And remember what Jesus said in the parable about the good servant (I think that is where He said it), "Come now and enter into the joy of your master." He is our Master and He has joy indescribable waiting for us, prepared especially for us as He creates rooms and duties just right for us in eternity that will specifically thrill our hearts. Gotta run!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:35 AM | 4 comments