Maybe Your Forgiveness…

I was driving the SS Vanterprise back from work yesterday and I was listening to a song on the old iPod shuffle.  It was a song that I have heard no less than 100 times (and that is NOwhere enough).  There was something that I noticed this time.  Some lyrics that were in the song all of the 100 times that I had heard it before, but for some reason, this time was the moment for them to pound my chest like King Kong.

Maybe your Forgiveness is right where you Fell.”  Jon Foreman and the Switchfoot crew hit it on the head on this one.

I have always wondered just how close God was when I have fallen.  Or for that matter, when I still fall.  Does He turn His back on me in shame?  Does He hang His head and regret creating me?  Does He sigh?

I think maybe the last one of those, yes.  But it is just like the Prodigal Son.  I mean, the prodigal son wished his dad dead.  In those days, to receive your inheritance it meant that the father had to die.  So dude took off with his inheritance and blew it.  And after a while he decided…  You know, I am just as unclean as these pigs that I am cleaning up after (which was a HUGE disgrace in the Jewish culture) but if I returned to my father’s house and worked as a slave, I would have it better than this.  But watch what happens…

The Bible says nothing about him cleaning up before he got there.  Prodigal would have to go through ceremonial cleansing and sin/guilt offerings to be purified.  Regardless of that, the father ran out to meet his son.  (Another faux pas, it was not proper for to run…)  and then he embraced him, wrapped a cloak around him, and cranked up a party.

The son returned right to where he fell.  What a beautiful story.  The story of Jesus was not too much unlike the prodigal.  God sent Jesus to earth.  When he was born, the swaddling “cloths” he was wrapped in was known to be death shroud.  That is where he appeared and took on flesh.  He lived a blameless life physically apart from the Father.  But when the time came, Jesus took on OUR sin and became separated from God totally.  When “it was finished”, they took him down and wrapped him in (you guessed it) a death shroud…the same as he began.  And as he beat death by raising up on the third day, he was once again reunited with his Father…who welcomed him into the Holy of Holies…the very throne room of God…at his right hand.

Just know that God will break all the rules just to have you back.  But it starts with you.  It is your decision.  You can recognize your sin and distance from God.  Confess your sins to Him.  Ask Him for not only to forgive you, but to change your heart with the power of Jesus Christ.  Surrender your life to Him.  He will embrace you… And you know what?  There is a party going on in Heaven waiting just for you.

What say you?!?!?

So I’m trying to figure out a few things that go along with the past few blog entries…

What it all boils down to (as it was revealed a few nights ago) is that my past issues are still issues. Now sure, people go through things…some difficult, some traumatic and they have a choice…they can work through their pain and overcome it with their hope in Christ OR they can let it affect them as long as they breathe. I have, for the most part, chosen the latter of these two.

Everyone I see has the face or voice of someone that has caused me pain in the past. This is unfair to the ones closest to me. The ones that want to call me friend and brother. They are pushed away when they get too close. Friends try to draw close to my heart and as soon as I realize it or they get too comfortable I run off with some “TO DO” list or just don’t answer their calls. OR I blame them for something that they didn’t even do. Whatever will allow me to put distance between my heart and theirs. Same goes with my emotions. DON’T ASK ME HOW I FEEL!!! Cause it might make me weak and then I would have to rely on someone else to pat me on the back and help my emotions off of the ground. I come by it honestly, I suppose? It was typically the example growing up. When things get rough I was shown to either withdraw and hide, punish my self, and/or survive by keeping everything secret… Someone hurts you once and from then on just don’t let ANYONE get close…not even your family. Let’s just let our conversations be surface and not allow time to really dig into the heart or discuss what our feelings really are.

I will say this, my brother and I have worked through some messy times from our youth. Now, we have talked through this, repented when repentance was needed, and forgiveness given where it was needed. My brother is the only exception to the above. I know that I can tell him anything and he would love me anyway…and vice versa. I think it is because we both know that we are flawed by our sinful nature, but that we are man enough (at least to each other) to “just tell it like it is.” When I’m angry or whatever I can call him and chat. I know that he would drive the 1 1/2 hours to hang out and talk through stuff. He’s done it before. I know that he knows that he can call me and I would do the same. I love to just call him up and say something stupid…he gets it and knows what kind of mood I’m in. Maybe it is because we come from the same up-bringing and scars. Maybe it is that brotherly kinship that most people never really tap into. Maybe I just like him because he is, in a lot of ways, like me. That is not the case with everyone else.

So will I let this emotional childishness go on? Will I consistantly run away from close friends because they might change into the “Boogie Man?” No!!!

I must realize that if I continue to push people away, then I won’t ever grow up. If iron sharpens iron and I don’t let people get close to me and brush up against me then I will never become the husband and father that I need to be…or that Lovely and Little Bear need for me to be.

God, won’t you reveal my heart for what I really am. Afraid. Show me that while you told us that we are to be like the little children, you call us to be “mature, not lacking anything.” Please, show me my obedience and let my heart be reminded constantly that you are my strength and my hope as well as my Father, who chastens whom he loves.

Newton had it right…

What goes up must come down. Or in some cases…What goes in must come out.

In most every serious blog entry I find myself trying to work through things or
beliefs or just my emotions. This one is no exception…no exception
at all.

I was watching the “idiot box” last night waiting for the Biggest Loser to come on the screen. As I watched, there were all these commercials for “Lipstick Jungle” and “Desperate Housewives” and a few more smutty, soft-core shows. Even some commercials for Nutrisystem and some Loreal products came on that were so provocative that I just turned my head in shame.

I know that the world is just that…the world. And that I’m supposed to live in the world, but not live as the world lives. These commercials are only offensive to Lovely and me as far as our house goes. No one seems to see the “world” in it. Sex-driven ads and provocatively/scantily dressed women splattered all over everything…not just TV. We need to shelter Little Bear from this world. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we go stupid and tell her to close her eyes when we watch something that is too racey…it means that we don’t watch anything racey. And along those means, we teach and train her what the bible teaches about sensuality in the context of marriage. It means that when she asks a question about what other people say things or do things that are contrary to our beliefs that we educate…not try to act like it didn’t happen. But, of course, we DO need to shelter her because as Proverbs says, “Foolishness is locked up in a child” and we have to be mature, not lacking anything. We have to teach little Bear that we need to surround ourselves with people that have similar sensitivity to God’s heart as we grow. And as we are empowered by God, we reach out to those not surrounded by the hope and beliefs in order to spread the truth of God and the gospel of Jesus, the Christ.

As I reflect on it, the Bible says that Jesus pretty much hung out with everyone that everyone hated or thought that they were the scum of the earth. He ministered to them and met more than their immediate needs. He met needs of eternal proportion. Like the woman at the well…Jesus spoke to her even though she was a Samaritain and He, a Jew. He spoke with authority into her life…and hope for the future. He didn’t promise that times wouldn’t be rough or that life would be easy and without pain or grief. He did promise living water that she would never thirst again. But you see Jesus throughout the Bible seperating himself from everyone else to pray and to be “re-energized” before going out again.

I’m finding that I should do a lot more praying and studying. My family and the people around me that I affect (whether pointing them to Christ by my actions and reactions or pointing them away) deserve a more clear and consistant Christian to watch and judge.

Father, please forgive me for being self-centered and prideful. I
make every possible plan that I can and neglect to wait for your direction and
plan. I fail to see your will as possible and try to make my own way,
which I know leads to failure due to rebellion and disobedience. God,
please correct me and guide me in Your way. God please restore my heart
and the heart of my family. I submit to your guidance and your will for
us. I long to be mature in faith. I know that I have failed trial
after trial because I have hardened my heart to your voice. Break my
heart, God. Please hear my voice and teach me to listen to yours.
Amen