Saturday, May 28, 2005


I never liked the song "Amazing Love" by the Newsboys because it was so plain. Until yesterday. As I was listening to it I thought of a lesson I am learning. I think about who I was at 16, before I was saved. My vision for my life back then, was very similar to the lives of people I hung out with, in terms of what they go through now as adults. And yet here I am, with so many good things around me, so much joy and satisfaction with life in my heart, so blessed. That could have been my life. But it wasn't.

I'm forgiven
Because you were forsaken
I'm accepted
You were condemned
I'm alive and well
Your Spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again
Amazing love
How can this be
That you my King
Would die for me

My life was exchanged for a better one. And He took my place. I think of all those situations that former friends have been through, and I understand that Jesus took my place so that I could have an abundant life.

While listening to the song and reminiscing the images from the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" starring Orlando Bloom and Liam Nelson came into my mind, when I hadn't thought about it otherwise since I saw it a couple weeks back.

I recalled the scene where Orlando was out there with the people who were the servants of his land he had been given.... There he was, sweating in the sun with them, dirty, working alongside them, leading them in it, and I thought, "This is my God." Jesus covered himself with the dirt and sweat so that He could be with me. The woman who was the queen of Jerusalem was there in the shadows in the palace, watching him, watching how the people followed and embraced him, and he embraced them back. She knew that this was a good man, and you could tell that she was impacted to want to follow him too. The plot had been leading from the very beginning of the movie with the burden of Jerusalem needing a true king, a faithful king, and it was implied that Orlando would eventually take that role.

The woman in the shadows, who was intent on watching for the good in this man, that is my personality. As I peer on Jesus, I too like the movie am convinced

"You are my King
You are my King
Jesus you are my King" as they sing....

Thursday, May 19, 2005


My mother and I were talking on the phone and we started talking about how to handle some situation.... And she said to me, "You know how I have always talked about when I am at work I can tell those who are close to God, even if I just meet them briefly, and I tell you that they seem to have a halo around their head? That there is something heavenly about them? Well I have never told you this but I have this same feeling about you. You know I can see the difference in you and your sister and she has so many anxieties and struggles and it's like... Well, not exactly like you are at peace because I know that you often struggle hard with many things but you just must know and have God to fall back on to comfort you, and that is why it seems like you are always at peace."

I didn't know what to say. She went on to talk and reminisce about how I, several years back, brought home my Christianity and started preaching with a baseball hat to the head, and she simply couldn't understand where this religiosity was coming from, but she gets it now finally, looking back.

Wow. What she said could be taken right out of the bible. I just happen to be quoting today some of these very passages

"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 cor 12:9-10

"The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing." is 51:3

When I became a Christian ten years ago, this was the vision given to me: that I would be a part of His cause for right, and one day my parents would see His great love that was given to me and to them. I had no clue that today was the day that I would hear it so easily confessed by my mother. What a confirmation that Christ has truly made my life a thing of beauty.

I so long to have Christ glorified, in my life. I am greatful that I was granted both this desire and ability to the portion I have been given.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Baby #3

Okay, so when I said yesterday that I was laid low I decided to leave out the most important issue of why I was tossed about. So I'll tell you now. Because I didn't know if it was right to mention it since there might not be a decision for another baby and friends and family will read this and then pester me for more information, which I am not ready to give yet.

I feel my mothering instinct very strongly in the last couple of months.

I see babies and almost cry. They make me light up. Especially boys. I have none. I dream a lot about having a boy whom Ben could raise and I could watch him train and teach. I left my girls overnight at the in-laws last weekend, and it made me so angry that they were gone, that I just felt like going back over and getting them. Totally irrational.

I am so pleased at the bond baby-making potentially creates between my husband and I, as it is designed to do. There's something about being off birth control in a decisive way by both partners that just makes everything seem more loving. It is a feeling of committment that is very real and tangible in the moment, knowing that this could be the day that another child is made. It says "I'm with you" like very little has similar power to say. Mmm.

I also consider the changes of my body, and the aches I know pregnancy will bring. I know that a real surly attitude waits under the surface of a lot of bodily strain. Not a good thing to know. Being so far removed from pregnancy and breast feeding, I am feeling more than ever like a woman again. I look more reasonable. It is ironic that my sense of feminity, at its height, brings out the strongest desires to conceive, to walk that road of transformation, where all feminity is lost in my mind. I ought to just be glad that I get to experience both of these extreme points in their due time. One makes the other, and the other makes the one.

If I were pregnant again, would I have the energy to watch other kids? For a timeline with a horizon, to be sure. And that also worries me. Because I do not feel my heart ready to surrender the kids under my care. I have just as strong an instinct to help children who need to be watched as much as I do to stay at home with my own kids. So there is a possible delimma--which is better? To bring yet another child into the world, or to commit to loving the ones who are already here? I can not make up my mind between the two as to which one is more right, or right to me. The same heart of mine spurs both loves.

I always wanted to have a baby in February. My other two are born four months forward and backward from this month. There's no major holidays, no other competing birthdays, not too close to Christmas. I could be pregnant during the winter months, when it isn't hot out. If I aim a wheel at mid february, that means that I would need to conceive a child during... the week of the 20-somethings of May. That's in a couple of days. Feeling the pressure.

My sister is pregnant again. Isn't that wonderful? Baby #3. Our first two pregnancies have been simotaneous, and all have produced girls. I want to be pregnant with her again, although I realize this is not the most important consideration. I have been praying every day the same prayer "Lord, if this is the right time for me too, let us both have boys, and then let that be the end of it." I hold on to that prayer, knowing that I really don't know how important this is--God is so much wiser. Who's to say that when I am 35 that I would not want another child again, despite a contrary desire today? What if I have a surprise pregnancy? I feel the danger of praying such a request.

My good friend has been accepted into the nursing program. Knowing this, knowing how close I am to being ready to start, makes me take pause. I still want to be a nurse. If I feel that in pursuing this goal I will neglect my husband, my husband's wishes, my children's need for their mom, or my obligation to be a good steward of my home, then I will surrender this goal once again. But now is a better time to go. My baby is 1+1/2 now, and she is ready for disattaching from mom. We have better finances, which considers my husband's wishes. I don't know.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about. And I have been entertaining most these questions for several weeks. I am going to pray for God's peace in the matter. Should have tried that a long time ago. It's hard to explain, but so often I avoid praying about stuff with God because I fear the answer. It's dumb, you and I both know.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Laid low

I just feel quite overwhelmed today.

I have a tenant in my parents' home who called me this afternoon accusing me of not caring about her. However my care for her was the reason why I got involved in the first place. She is probably Hindu, and so it matters to me knowing that Christ's reputation is on the line. I fought so hard to be at peace with her. She was so angry. She accused my tone and word choice as being unkind. It was quite a struggle. In the end I think she finally took some hope that I was indeed caring for her to the best of my ability like I claimed. She relaxed a little bit.

I am also having a conversation still with some individuals at Fellowship Hall recently about polygyny and it rips my heart up. I want to join in the conversation. It is such a burden to think that I need to delve into the scriptures. I want to do it, but I need to find the time and patience to do it. They don't understand how contrary it seems to me that God would find practice of polygyny accpetable. It calls to my mind the journeys I have had in my own life in the last several months, where the concept of "seeking another" has been purged with fire from my own life. Such a fight. I decided to dig deep into my own explorations of why God desires monogamy, and it was hard work.

But most heavily I have been burdened with the JW group that have been visiting with me on Mondays. When they came yesterday we got into an uncomfortable silence about the divinity of Jesus Christ. They got angry at me when I confirmed that I did believe in the trinity. I stood the ground of the truth as much as they asked me to share my opinion, but when I did they found what I said to be upsetting, unbelievable, and frankly, dumb. Which goes to show how much they have been trained to think otherwise. I say trained because I went to their church service last Sunday. I saw for myself how they study, underline, and, like a classroom, vy for the microphone to share their own insights on the truthfulness of the Watchtower writings. Now I am reading some information about "how to reach the JW--not just play bible verse ping-pong," and the task set before me seems almost too great. I feel like I am swimming in a sea of information, that, if I do not know ahead of time, will be to the loss of the effort to open their eyes. I am being educated to the fact that they spend several hours a week learning how to answer my own points with their own interpretations, where as I am spending a lot less time doing similar preparations. I want to be ready.

I suddenly realize that this is the task God has set before me for this season of my life. These are the people given to me whom want to talk about the bible with me. God wants me to concentrate on their needs, as opposed to the LDS or Oneness Pentecostals or ICOC, even. Here they are--God wants to plant a seed today.

I feel like retreating into a dark hole to just let my mind stop buzzing.

Take a deep breath, Sanc.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


What happens when you take the Christ out of Christians?

I wish I could say I did not know the answer.

In "Draw close to Jehovah," by the JW group, I read today how they replace the name "Jesus Christ" with the unworshipped idea of a simple "ransom." Thus they can say (with scriptural basis even) "meditate on the ransom, and you will find yourself growing closer to Jehovah God in your heart."

But Jesus is more than just a promise, or an exchange, or a good deed. He is a person. And most importantly, He is God--worthy of all our worship.

"He who has not the Son has not the Father. But he who has the Son has the Father as well."

What is this effort to take Christ out of our worship??

I am sorry to say this, but in all of our hearts there is a tendency to resent Jesus for the attention he claims He deserves. In fact, I find it a daily struggle to surrender all the thoughts and practices of my "religion" and submit and subdue them under the authority of the person Jesus Christ whom I long to treat with respect.

Here are the noble pursuits our religion, Christianity, has given us, through Christ:

--WAlking by faith, not sight. Can we trust in an unseen reality? Can we believe in things we have not yet received evidence for? What a challenge it is to do so!

--BElieving in promises or cause-effect relationships as given in the bible. We believe that we will reap what we sow, a teacher of experience which makes us more wise for life. We believe in prayer, that it helps because God answers. We believe that if we can just be healed of our hurts, it will be easy to obey God, and so we ask for a healing, according to the promises in the bible. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted...". Just another principle we grow in knowledge about.

--IMmersing ourselves in the word. While many of us read our bibles and appreciate the perfectly-timed answer we have received for our current need, many people still read the bible for satisfaction of sinful choices, for making checklists of how much you have accomplished, for impressing others with your extensive knowledge.

--GOing to church. It's commanded in the bible and we all know that since God wants us there so that He can grow close to us, we better do it so that we can be useful to Him and obey Him during the week as we interact with others.


Scores of faithful and fledging churches alike could potentially write sermon after sermon on such noble topics as these. And, with Jesus at the center like He ought to be, these things have worth. Faith matters to God. But not if you don't put your trust every day in Jesus. Trusting that God comes near to the brokenhearted is important, but not if you don't have a reconcilation with God through Jesus' broken body. Reading the bible is spiritual for some purposes, but a man can still ignore or feel contempt to think that Jesus would wash away their favorite sins. When we are stuck with a problem and God gives us a miracle answer, our faith is built, but what exactly are we relaxing in to? Are we trusting in a miracle experience? In a promise? In ourselves that we can receive an answer?

Is the statement of our belief in God simply something akin to "God has been proven to me to be a genie-in-a-bottle. He was right all along!" God is more than a force of the universe, a cause and effect relationship. A granter of wishes. A perceiver of needs. A source of truth. A checklist of "good people do these things in my book."

My concern is for the self-proclaimed or actual Christians who are busy attending to the lower things of our Christianity, while forgetting to look up the whole time. A religion of business, of knowledge, of meditations, of works, of becoming acquainted with the system's principles.

What truly matters beyond Jesus Christ? We are all in need of every good thing, but lack it, and He is rich in every good thing, and has stored it in the person of Jesus. God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Is this the reason why you became a Christian? Did the message change for you, once you joined your local assembly?

If the message is still the same, then you are in a church that God approves. However if you are in a church which does not attend to loving the person Jesus first and foremost, then you ought to reconsider. What else is more important? I dare say, how can anything be more important? Faith, bible reading, cause-and-effect testing, knowledge, these things ONLY have value if you first have understood what it means to be a Christian. John 3:16--when is the last time your church has asked you to work and strive this week to love Jesus as He has loved us? Just your heart, and His??

So many approvable, strictly Christian phenomenas of behaviors and beliefs... yet only one God who makes all of them have any meaning, or reason for acquisition.

Is Jesus lost from the personal, private practice of your religion? I know the feeling. I am only beginning to see that these things, while pleasureable and satisfying, are simply irrelevant if I were ever forced to choose between them, and Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Flash flood!

This evening, at 6:45pm, after all the kids were nestled in their AWANA program for the next hour-plus session, I aaproached the doors to the parking lot of my church. Two men with walkie talkies stood there, relaying discussion about the rain. It was pouring very hard. And while rain is as common as the rain here in Oregon, a hard rain is about as frequent as a thunderstorm--a novelty.

I got in my car and headed for McDonalds; my whole reason for leaving the church: dinner. I did not understand the nature of this rainstorm until I saw the car in front of me, try and drive into the parking lot and pickup window. It was as deep as over a foot in some places. Wow.

And the rain did not let up, either! For a half hour, there it was, pouring so hard that even though my wipers were going as fast as they could, I could only go 25mph. I haven't seen anything like this in a long time. There were a couple of kids who thought the flood so fascinating that they decided to hang out at an intersection and watch the cars go by. One of the young teenagers sat down on the curb, and the water sat at shoulder-height. He could have taken a swim if there weren't cars also trying to navigate that same area.... Another person was taking photographs of the whole scene.

I realized once I was driving through the exit that I now had a lot of time, and nothing I needed to do. However I was always wanting to take time and a detour to see the Planned Parenthood Clinic, and size it up. I believe I have at least a little gift for spiritual discernment. I can feel the hidden opression or confusion of a place, even before I know anything about it. I am not always right but it is getting more accurate as I go.

Once I got there in the parking lot, I turned off the motor and stayed in my car. The reality of abortions happening right here impacted me into silence. I started wondering why God was so slow to carry out justice? How can this really be a good thing in His purposes to wait to act, I can not see, I admitted freely.

There were a couple of women who left the clinic while I was there. Only after several minutes did it really strike me.... The cars in the parking lot were all luxury or trendy cars. There were two ford mustangs, well kept, two nice-model new Cadillacs, which looked impeccable. A Volvo, a BMW Jetta. I thought, these cars were purchased in part perhaps with the money that came from shedding someone else's blood. Image and money meant a lot to their owners. And here I was, in a minivan?? I must stick out, I realized. One of the two women was watching me for awhile, too. But the most powerful thing I noticed, and I did look: in all ten cars, not a single carseat inside them. What a statement! Without saying a single word, there is the very tesimony of it all.

As I watched the rain pour, pour, pour, I remembered a passage I had just read for the first time a couple of days ago which was really impactful at the time.

"Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender grass." deut 32:2

As I write this, I wonder even right now, did God pen these words with me in mind?

Abundant rain as a symbol of his Word, being absorbed by a people tender and ready to receive. What more could I hope for in such a place? Because of this vision, I found my prayers quite passionate.

The washing of the rain all around was also a promise by God to me, for a wash of the soul by the Word. I saw how I, too, needed refreshment, a "destructive washing" (greek; "baptize"), in order to be at peace.

I need to write a Blog

Okay; -- Go!


I have a very important blog coming up sometime soon regarding my thoughts about the LDS church.

I think it would benefit me, however, to start with the JW's and type up a report on their state, first.

All of my blog ideas in the last couple of weeks have been revolving around the idea of the business of works and ideas which distract from really exaulting God. How playing religion (unnoticeably supposed to be good things) become something monstrous which itself becomes the true object of worship, instead of the King of Kings, the man, the person of God.

Let me just say, I don't care about your doctrine, your church, your title. Just make sure that you are there because of Jesus and you haven't lost Jesus once you're there.

The JW's want nothing to do with Jesus whatsoever; in fact their bible acknowledgement and understanding completes a well-formed circle that includes everything admirable as long as it isn't a reflection on Christ. It has been hurting me. Especially last Monday's visit.

I am thankful that God has been with me in the last couple days.

God told me to dress well before I met the tenant for my parent's house. I knew the reputation of Christ was on the line. I am proud in Christ for the sufferings of my family and I to serve the tenants. It was quite a night last night. Today was a continuation of that. I remember the first time I sat down today was at 5:40 pm. I just trust that Jesus will be proclaimed today in actions and perhaps maybe sometime later in words to the family that is Indian in culture, living in my parents' home.

Tomorrow I will have 3 extra kids and childcare at church. So we'll see if I can pump out something useful in the naptime after noon.

I'm off to bed.

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