Thursday, October 30, 2008

Meditations Today

I am a thinker. I like to chew on an idea, a verse, a quote or a topic for a long time. I probably think and rethink things too much. As much as I think about things, though, does not mean I am trying to make up my mind. I usually have a decisive, quick and reasonable arguement for or against the thing I am pondering, just ask anyone who knows me well. (Dawn!) It annoys me when people say they do not have a position on a topic (like politics, of late)- I find that to be virtually and logically impossible, especially when in the next breath they are able to come up with a position. And I think, "See, that wasn't hard now was it?"

Anyway, I have been thinking. And thinking. And rethinking.

So, I thought I would share what I have been thinking about today. It may interest you and it may not. In my desire to blog more, it just seemed like a good place to start and to let you inside my brain. That is the weird thing about blogging- I broadcast it on the internet and you read it!

1- Several years ago I found A Challenge to Women. I have mentioned it several times since I began blogging (like here). I continue to read and use it as a constant reminder of what I want to be. Today's Challenges are this:

8. That, if I am single, I exploit my singleness to the full in
devotion to Christ and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.

9. That, if I am married, I creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of my husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that I encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that I influence him spiritually primarily through my fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.

Now, here are several of my thoughts on challenge #8:

  1. I am single still- in the sense that I am not married.
  2. I am not single- in the sense that I have no idea who I may marry.
  3. There is no gaurantee that I am going to marry the man that I am courting.
  4. How can I use the singleness I have left to the fullest?
  5. Have I used the past years of singleness to the fullest?

The last question I try to not ponder too much because I have no control, at this point, on what I did in the past. I have to trust that God will use what I did to His glory and forgive me for any missed opportunities. His Kingdom will still go on as planned. The reason I ponder it is to learn from my mistakes and know how to better encourage completely single women (not married and no man in the picture!).

My thoughts today are focused mainly on, "How can I use the singleness I have left to the fullest?" It is a tough question to answer. First, I have no idea how long it will be until I am married. So, in many ways, every moment needs to be used to its max. Second, I already see how being in a relationship with a man, heading towards marriage, distracts me from serving the Lord. My mind has a lot more factors to consider than I did 5 months ago. My time, attention and desires are divided. Third, there is a hard balance between remaining an individual because we are NOT yet married and at the same time uniting our purpose into one as we head towards marriage.

Now, here are several of my thoughts on challenge #9:

  1. I am not married.
  2. I may be married soon. (As C.S. Lewis says, "God calls all times soon.")
  3. I have a good idea of who I am going to marry.
  4. How can I be learning to do the things outlined in challenge 9 right now in preparation for marriage?
  5. Who can help me prepare for the role of wife?

Again, I struggle to find a balance between challenge 8 and 9. I am in the middle and need a challenge 8.5, I think! I feel that I need preparation for marriage without assuming that I will be married. Does that make sense?

Part of me feels like I was better prepared for marriage 5 years ago while the other part of me is quick to argue that is not true. The last 2 years I pushed marriage out of my mind in many ways, which was good and bad. Now, though, I wonder if I could have done more to prepare for marriage. Like my thoughts on challenge 8, I will not dwell on what I could have done differently. I must trust God and obey Him now.

The last few weeks I have been thinking and learning a lot about prayer. At this time in my life and my relationship with Joel I feel God focusing my attention on what it means to pray. Not pray. Pray, truly pray. What does it mean to throw all of my dependence on God in prayer- for myself and for others? It is the bedrock of a solid marriage, I am convinced. I want to be the best wife this world has ever seen. There are no books or conferences that can replace a communion with God by prayer for a relationship (any relationship!). It is my prayer that God would teach me how to pray... really pray... as I prepare to be a wife.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Knowledge of the Holy- Chapter 2

The title of chapter 2, "God Incomprehensible," is enough to deeply challenge a soul to know more of God and cause that same soul to realize God can never be fully known. The fact that God cannot be fully known does not mean that we throw up our hands and say, "Well, then, I am not even going to try." No, it should cause us to desire Him more intimately than ever before. It is a wonder that He would create us and then reveal Himself to us. Our lives should be devoted to knowing Him and making Him known to others.

Truly, what else matters?

Excerpts from chapter 2:
  • In Thy Presence silence best becomes us, but love inflames our hearts and constrains us to speak.
  • ...God is not like anything; that is, He is not exactly like anything or anbody. We learn by using what we already know as a bridge over which we pass to the unknown. It is not possible for the mind to crash suddenly past the familiar into the totally unfamiliar.
  • When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement an idea from our own head and make it mean "in the exact image." To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all.
  • ...whatever we visualize God to be, He is not, for we have constructed our image out of that which He has made and what He has made is not God.
  • If all this sounds strange to modern ears, it is only because we have for a full half century [the book was written in 1961] taken God for granted.
  • If what we conceive God to be He is not, how then shall we think of Him? If He is indeed incomprehensible, as the Creed declares Him to be, and unapproachable, as Paul says He is, how can we Christians satisfy our longing after Him?
  • The yearning to know What cannot be known, to comprehend the Incomprehensible, to touch and taste the Unapproachable, arises from the image of God in the nature of man. Deep calleth unto deep, and though polluted and landlocked by the mighty disaster theologians call the Fall, the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its Source.
  • "What is God like? If by that question we mean "What is God like in Himself?" there is no answer. If we mean "What has God disclosed about Himself that the reverent reason can comprehend" there is, I believe, and answer both full and satisfying.

So, praise Him that He chose to reveal parts of Himself to us. And spend the rest of your life knowing Him and making Him known. It's the only thing that lasts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Not to Write?

It has been a long time, again, I know.

I remember the days when I was able to blog three, four or five times a week. The last few years as my life schedule has changed I have found myself forgetting to blog. It is not like I do not have anything to talk about, I do. It is just hard to put it into words. It is not that I do not have things to say, I do. It is more like there is less and less time to say them.

God continues to mold me into His image. There is a lot that needs changed, trust me. The older I get the more I see how far I fall short and just how desperately I need a Savior.

So, when there is no time to say anything else, I will leave it at that... and hope to remember to blog before another month passes.