the blue fence blog – starting again

When I photographed this fence back in 2008 I felt the need to get out the feelings inside of me graffiti-style (I was having a rough week).  Not wanting nor having the talent to spray paint the fence for real, I did it the way I knew how… on the computer.  After about a month I decided that I wanted to try to post more often. That lasted for awhile and my posting was sporadic, but now it just seems like the right time to pick it back up again. So, take a look at the blue fence blog  Sometimes it is written as a message to someone else, other times I write it as a reminder to myself.  And sometimes, I simply have to write it like a shout – to get it out, so that whether anyone ever reads it or not, it has been said and it matters.

 

Nicole Kidman & Conservative Readings of the Bible

I really love this post… such a good point is made about our perception and distance from God.

Jared Byas

I’m currently reading a biography on Nicole Kidman by a journalist who has never actually met Nicole Kidman. The best part of the book is the beginning where he explains some of the reasons we love celebrities: “…the most important thing in that vexed transaction is the way the actress and the spectator must remain strangers. That’s how the magic works…For their cannot be this pitch of irrational desire without that rigorous apartness.”

His point is that we desire what we do not have because we can recreate it in our own image. We love the idea of God because we can make God into our own image, making God into whatever we want or need God to be. So long as God remains “out there” as “that which fulfills all my desires,” we love God. This is I think what is so compelling about the conservative Evangelical view of…

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Honesty

mysaying

I think I need to start writing for those of us who feel unholy and overwhelmed. For those who believe in God but who have distanced themselves from him for  one reason or another. For those who wonder whether watching the Wiccans on True Blood say their chants will affect you or your family because after all, that is the type of beliefs we are programmed to believe… but were we taught that because we fear too much or because it’s true?

Honestly, I thought I was further along than this in my Christianity. I thought the whole leave the church building behind freedom from religion thing was dealt with. Yet I find myself a bit angry, find myself doing things that are potentially going to get me in trouble somewhere along the line, and feeling not as worried as I assume (from my years if Christian training) I ought too be.

Am I the only one? Is there anybody out there that can relate? Does this mean I am lukewarm or does this mean that I am awake and alive?

I wish I were good and could believe better. I wish I trusted God with my temper and to provide for me. I wish I could see what’s really going on behind that veil that separates us from a whole other good world because sometimes I really do sense God and heaven and life in nature, my awesome, precious family and laughter. If I could see behind that veil than maybe that would help me not want to do wrong so blatantly and so often and have some strong faith. I don’t know.

All I do know is if I am not honest, you might go on thinking you’re the only one and I might go on thinking I’m the only one.

I’m no Peter or Paul. My shadow has never healed anyone and maybe it never will. I can identify with Moses though. Moses who murdered and feared and fled. Moses who hid in a desert for 40 years. Moses who stuttered and asked if someone else could speak in his place.

I long to be the Moses who is in the middle of that desert in the older years of his life who is caught off guard by a bush burning with God himself. Just writing that sentence out makes me cry with something that comes from so deep within. To be singled out and saved… from myself, from the mediocre, from the broken actions of my life. And don’t tell me that Jesus has already singled me out and saved me. That will really irritate me. That’s a pre-packaged answer. I want him to come into my now and show me that he’s paying attention and that he loves me. I need him. Don’t try to fix my needing him with trite answers like that.

Just let them be, my honest questions. After all, I am wrestling here. With need and faith and with missing the mark so many times. With my own deficiencies and with fear. As a matter of fact, fear of karma and consequences is massively strong on me tonight. I actually think I am wrestling with God himself too.

Who was it that wrestled God? Was it Jacob? I don’t know and I’m not even going to stop to look it up on the internet. Whoever it was, why is it that we are ok preaching about his wrestling story but not our own? I think its because we feel safe telling his because we know the outcome. We can wrap it up nicely as a good story with good pointers for the Christian walk. However, with our own wrestling stories we don’t know the outcome and it’s very, very messy – will I triumph? Will I continue to go the way I am? It’s hard to feel comfortable when you’re in the fight, and we do love our comfort, even at the expense of others.

Honesty and love. I can be honest but I genuinely struggle with love. I do know enough to know that if I don’t have love, its all for nothing. I don’t want it to be for nothing and I don’t want to love my life without acknowledging God more than my life when it’s rich with his presence and fruit. So let’s see where this leads to next.

Goodnight.

Beautiful, beautiful love!!

Image

“With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us……

…..So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!”

(Romans 8)

tell the truth, mark twain

In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.
– Autobiography of Mark Twain

 

No matter who you voted for, no matter how gutted or excited you are today, think for yourself. Ask questions, research, untangle the confusing facts and questions. Decide what you believe, not what your momma, church, or political party tells you to believe.

The night winds down

Sunday night. I have a love/hate relationship with Sunday nights. Love because it is still a part of the weekend, hate because it brings closer another long work week of being a sort of slave to the paycheck and time clock. I’m in a new job that is so much better than my old one, but I can tell you that even with new positive feelings for the new job, the Sunday evening blues still fall like a heavy fog.

It has been a contemplative sort of day. It began with cool, almost cold weather, which is pretty much unheard of here in Savannah, Georgia! We all sat out on the porch all morning and enjoyed the chill, the rain, the birds singing, and each other. Most Sundays around here tend to be relaxing for us. Most Sundays I get still enough to recognize and enjoy Jesus in our midst. I felt Him this morning, in my family and the air. I heard creation praising him as the birds sang. Even when we lost the keys (which we still haven’t found) I’ve felt his peace. I need Him and today I am very aware of that need within me.

Today I am so thankful for the freedom from religion that my life was so full of. Today my cathedral was my front porch, my teacher was his creation, my meditation was on some of His words: “ask of Me” and “my yoke is easy”. Tonight my peace is God himself as we wrestle with some deep things. So, I just wanted to write it all down to share with you. I invite Him into my days. In fact, I hope he invades them, if that’s the sort of thing God does. I want my Mondays to be as rich with Him as my Days of rest are. This is what I need and ask of Him tonight.