Someone I love dearly quoted a scripture to me today.
They reminded me that:
Above all of these things, love thy neighbor and all of creation.
We just couldn’t remember if that was in the second book of Jebediah or the epistle of Zebulon…
He prayed for the Church.
John 17:1-26 Common English Version
17 When Jesus finished saying these things, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son can glorify you. 2 You gave him authority over everyone so that he could give eternal life to everyone you gave him.
3 This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent.
4 I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I shared with you before the world was created.
6 “I have revealed your name to the people you gave me from this world. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.
8 This is because I gave them the words that you gave me, and they received them. They truly understood that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
9 “I’m praying for them. I’m not praying for the world but for those you gave me, because they are yours. 10 Everything that is mine is yours and everything that is yours is mine; I have been glorified in them. 11 I’m no longer in the world, but they are in the world, even as I’m coming to you.
Holy Father, watch over them in your name, the name you gave me, that they will be one just as we are one.
12 When I was with them, I watched over them in your name, the name you gave to me, and I kept them safe. None of them were lost, except the one who was destined for destruction, so that scripture would be fulfilled. 13 Now I’m coming to you and I say these things while I’m in the world so that they can share completely in my joy. 14 I gave your word to them and the world hated them, because they don’t belong to this world, just as I don’t belong to this world.
15 I’m not asking that you take them out of this world but that you keep them safe from the evil one.
16 They don’t belong to this world, just as I don’t belong to this world.
17 Make them holy in the truth; your word is truth.
18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
19 I made myself holy on their behalf so that they also would be made holy in the truth.
20 “I’m not praying only for them but also for those who believe in me because of their word. 21 I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.
22 I’ve given them the glory that you gave me so that they can be one just as we are one.
23 I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you gave me to be with me where I am. Then they can see my glory, which you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, even the world didn’t know you, but I’ve known you, and these believers know that you sent me.
26 I’ve made your name known to them and will continue to make it known so that your love for me will be in them, and I myself will be in them.”
If the word submit induces the taste of bile?
BUT THE BUTT WAS COMING.
I heard a man say that all people have opinions and they are like butts. They all stink.
I rebuke myself.
Moment of silence…
Let me focus on jumping all over the place again.
It never ceases to amaze me how many times I hear this in church circles. Truly makes me want to face palm with a George Foreman grill.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
BACK THE TRUCK UP!
Thems fighting words for real…
Why is it when the mechanics of the Christian family are discussed we always jump our way right to this verse?
Congregation, can you please turn your bibles to:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
You ready to die Cowboy? Lay it all down? Ultimate sacrifice?
Back to the Future…
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
I wish I could remember where Christ waltzed around with a badge that said how special He was and that He didn’t need reservations. He was the greatest servant of all. I wish I could remember where it was that He reminded others that they were below Him.
I don’t understand how a few scriptures that were written under a different political climate, different cultural norms and expectations, with intent to love and protect have been warped to STRIP, GAG, BIND, MINIMIZE, MANIPULATE, LABEL, STIFLE AND SUFFOCATE THE
Daughters of the most High God.
We are one body. We have one head. One flesh.
Back to Ephesians 5:22
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
We are allowed to pray too?
Jesus died on the cross for daughters. For women.
For your mom.
I hear from God. He dwells in me. Just because your wife has a love affair with shoes doesn’t mean I do (not faulting her for being her). That makes about as much sense as you claiming to be a doctor when you are a fisherman by trade because of your plumbing. Stop labeling me. Don’t minimize me. Stop stifling the gifts that God put in me for the whole body. Take the rope off of my hands. Christ did.
Don’t you dare put it back.
Christ died for women.
God gave me a voice.
God gave me a personality.
God gave me a purpose.
This is not an elite club with favorites.
A few scriptures that were relevant to the law of the land at the time do not supersede the entire New Testament preaching of Jesus and his commandment.
When you tell me I have to submit and you do not, you are telling me you are exempt from serving like Christ.
You are telling me from the point that I am stupid enough to make a covenant with you, that my God given: needs, wants, talents, gifts and strengths are no more because of the muzzle you put on me. You are telling me I gave up the perfect Man and liberty for Horse… Shut yo mouth!!!!!!!!!
You are telling me that those that Christ set free are only free until they go into the shackles of a one sided elitist tyranny where I am equal to Bessie the COW?!?!?!?!?
When you say you make the ultimate decisions (have heard so many guys say this one) you are confirming that you won’t listen, or compromise and only seek to fulfill your own needs. You take. Christ knew it would hurt and did it. You are saying it hurts too much and I am more interested in my own needs.
You are indeed shooting your own foot, because you do not love me the way Christ did.
You are binding your own body.
Ephesians 5:29 and 30
29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.
This particular passage is about Christ and the Church.
Maybe I should write a book on the few scriptures out there that have successfully laid the church on its back and put a gag in the mouths of the Daughter’s of God. The Church of God is not disabled. The gates of Hell do not prevail.
There is mutual honor, respect, love and giving on both ends. Both parties have the promptings. Don’t even I’m the head blah, gag, puke, until you look the gun down the barrel and yield.
In English yield is to submit. Get a thesaurus. Stop throwing the word submit as a dagger or a chain.
The translation for helpmeet is also Half. Helpmeet wasn’t even the original word, talk about lost in translation! Opposite. The other part of the body. Equal. Companion. Ally. Right hand, left hand. Stop binding! Stop oppressing!
I hear from Him too. Didn’t need a permission slip.
The world does a great enough job of selling us short, using us, stripping us, labeling us, mutilating us, minimize our value to the maggot food casing men and women alike bare, not to mention rape culture that torments us like we are nothing more than toys. Don’t you dare do it in the church.
The teaching with this emphasis continually reminds me that no matter where I go in this world, I am not important and truly only second class. I never get that from my God. He gives me dreams, He gives me wings. We are a family. We are a body.
I am not under your feet. Wrong person. You done just shot yourself…
Eve sinned first…
How about get a life? They both did.
Women was made for man…
A living gift, a blessing from heaven that got trampled, stripped gutted, broken, silenced and swept under the carpet.
AS HARD AS I TRY, I JUST DO NOT SEE JESUS KICKING ALL OF THE WOMEN OUT OF THE THRONE ROOM TO THE HEAVENLY KITCHEN TO MAKE SANDWICHES FOR THE BOYS.
I grew up in the church. My Dad’s church.
I grew away from the church.
I had an experience with God.
I got hurt in church.
I blamed God. I got offended. I was a young idiot lacking in spiritual and social graces. Friendly fire smarts.
I believe in the church.
God loves the church.
I want to be plugged in with the church with what’s coming.
I do want to grow.
So I am trying to get plugged into this church. It is a wonderful church. The leaders love. They give. They inspire me. I see good in them that I wish I saw in myself. They work their butts off. They truly love people. The people there on the other hand scare the bejezuz out of me sometimes though. I have socially awkward moments like birds sing… and that translates to demon possession to those also wanting to grow but lost in orbit. People that wear the same pull-ups size as me. Ones like, or similar I suppose. Maybe some of them worked their way up to the plastic potty and don’t know why I come along and want to use their pretty plastic.
See in my experience some very spiritual people come along briefly. Some are like flashing stars and poof they are gone. They impart something lovely. Like a beautiful seed falls off and into my life and I never forget it. The moment they were there was beautiful. Others I feel come along and wax all spiritual with their holy wrath and righteous indignation and from this I am terrified. They see me trying to grow, change, eventually help and build. They come along. They open their mouth. They openly rebuke me for an obvious weakness of mine. They walk away. They don’t look back. They did their duty. If I have the misfortune of seeing them again in the same place of worship, I get these cromag brows. A righteous knowing. This is where I think to myself…
WELL THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.
Then they are gone. Gone away. It is okay to judge though. It says if you see a brother/sister in sin yada yada yada…
So, let me recap. I am on my journey. I am trying. I see someone walking towards me. They are likeminded it appears. They walk up and tell me why I do not add up. Negativity is all. They make sure that I understand that I am not as good as them. Poof… gone. Then they keep walking and don’t tell me how to fix the broken wheel. It appears that theirs work fine but that isn’t their problem. The Holy Spirit told them nothing. They had official training in broken wheels. Maybe I should just sit down and stop. Maybe that is what they wanted.
Now, I might have noticed that they had a knot tied wrong and they were choking their donkey. They will find out down the road. They were already on their way and didn’t have to be bothered with someone that couldn’t even master the wheel.
Friendly fire. They come up. They go out. Poof. There is no investment. There is no cost. There is nothing. No exchange. Except for the tidbit that I am not good enough. Exceptional advise, manna from heaven, you are broken I am not. Good day! Yeah that is a little much at times. Especially when I leave that place I get inundated with the same in the dog eat dog place.
They get mad since I wasn’t there since day one. They can get off their righteous indignation and thank their lucky stars they didn’t start on my path, or take a few rabbit trails on the way. We are family though. It’s funny to me that I am an expert on absolutely zero of the metaphors used to describe the church. BUT…
Thank you Jesus for the experts on everything!
I’m labeling though now. I am terrified but I am giving this bull a ride.
Part II of this incoherent madness incoming…
I found a video on YouTube that touched my heart. It inspired me to crawl out from under my rock. The song is beautiful, Grace by Michael W. Smith.
Alas, now I wax all spiritual and stuff.
In my personal experience there isn’t a twelve step, 21st Century, American Gospel out there that can change a life. The love and goodness of Jesus Christ is what caught me.
I don’t qualify for that 12 step to Christ gospel anyways…
Not pretty, virgin, or submissive enough
Made too many stupid mistakes for one lifetime… still bumping into walls too
Hurt too many people because of fear
Missed too many opportunities
Don’t wear the proper department store clothing
Dreamer & too artsy fartsy
I don’t fit the mold
My big fat pirate mouth
I am disqualified by religious standards.
Still not perfect… Never will be
I don’t feel I can ever reach up to the expectations of others. Maybe that is the wrong goal.
Thankfully though, God doesn’t disqualify me for reasons that people would. In fact, He so loved me that Jesus died for me when he knew exactly what He was getting into. Jesus didn’t take it back. He didn’t sacrifice everything and call it a mistake. When He gave His life for us, He meant it. I don’t have to be Bob, Jane, or Sister Susie Christian to live and learn and grow in Him.
God doesn’t disqualify me because of my gender or personality. He doesn’t trash me because of my social class or religious position. In fact, even when I feel the people closest to me may think I don’t quite make the mark; I know God wants me to press in and get up and try again. He will not give up on me. He started a work that He intends to preform.
God is better than any earthly father.
He never leaves us.
If you search for Him, you will find Him.
Dare Him to meet you where you are. He is already there.
He is no respecter of persons.
Thankfully He doesn’t put us in a box because of:
I jest about religion, but I love Jesus Christ with all of my heart. I can never forget what He has done for my life. Sometimes I feel like we lose sight of what is important. I feel like we have good intentions at times, but pick the wrong battles. Sometimes I feel like we might put others down, and almost compete like children to be a parent’s favorite. We compete to prove who God loves the most. I thank God that He reaches out to every single one of us just as we are. He isn’t as superficial as we are. He isn’t stuck in this epoch, or whatever cultural norms we live with. I think He is magnificent and unlimited. I don’t think He gets hung up on small things the same way we do; for example people’s plumbing. If He wanted masses of carbon copies, I don’t think he would have needed the blueprints from us.
Maybe one day we will stop putting Him in a box.
I’m thankful He hasn’t put me in one.
Keep trying. Don’t stop. Look for the beauty in life. Shake it off. Get up. Try again. Smile. Breath.
Everyone’s path is different. Different isn’t bad. God sees the inside. He sees our true intentions and dreams. He gives us the desires of our hearts.
Don’t try and please people. God is more forgiving anyway. There are some people that nothing will ever be good enough. Just smile and release it. Get up. Try again. God will help.
He won’t throw you away like yesterday’s trash.
He is faithful, faithful in a way we don’t even understand. He loves us.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
So What Do I Do Now?
I can find myself getting angry. It is hard now-a-days to try to find my voice. That is how I feel. I think I am too sensitive to others opinions or suggestions at times. It seems like a lot of conversations boil down to who is right and who is wrong, even if that is off topic. Even if that wasn’t the question, or the answer to the question. I don’t want to live in fear. You know, of getting protested for liking mint chocolate chip ice cream? I also don’t want to hurt others. Seems like a seriously fine line.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Help me to see how I need to change. Help me with each step.
I pray for the Church.
I pray for the World.
I figure that covers everyone.
I won’t share all the details. 😛