Calmly, quietly, and infrequently, i write what comes to mind and share only what might be helpful to others.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Male or Female?

I remain mystified by much of life. One pondering in particular that I can never rectify: God is supposedly genderless but he made us male and female. There is plenty written on this matter, I know. Some say God isn't genderless, rather he's male -- dominant, strong, even violent. And if you question that, just read the Bible -- God is a HE! Others say she's female -- caring, compassionate, nurturing. Others say something like "God created us in the image of God and couldn't put all of God into one of us, so we are made into two of us; that's why we aren't complete until we find a mate." (Pretty much leaves singles always incomplete.) Still others see God as transcending gender somehow, that asking "Is God male or female?" is a false choice, like asking "Will the next President be an independent or a communist?"

Now I'm fully aware of the biblical imagery and descriptions of the church as the bride of Christ. This would definitely make Jesus the Christ male and us female. Well, I'm not female, so what do I do with that?

Admittedly, I usually ponder this question after my wife and I have had a less than admirable run at getting along, as in "Why did he make us so different?!" For this pondering round, we've just returned from a wonderful weekend getaway. Strangely, I find myself wondering again, "What's up with God making US male and female while he seems to remain neutral or at least leaves a female out of the heavenly threesome?"

It just seems strange and gets stranger when I throw human sexuality into the equation. Is there such a thing as heavenly sexuality? Musings from a happily married and happily confused male.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pure delight

Adding three adolescent girls to the two I already have for an overnight splurge of giggling and silliness provided joy to my home that remains contagious. These five girl/women from 13 to nearly 16 spent at least 5 hours (I fell asleep at 11 PM) fully enjoying one another's company. Pure joy; laughter; screams of delight; good medicine. In small doses, please, so as not to lose its value or me my sanity!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

There and Back Again

After a long absence, I am "back in the saddle."

It has been a very long 40 days of trial, pain and growth. Support from our fellow Christians has been invaluable. Mostly, God has found ways to smile on us in the midst of this trial, yet those smiles do not relieve the pain that comes with difficulty. Normal is different now. I have learned new things about me, my family and my church family. The trial continues but at a lower intensity than before -- manageable.

I pray that we do not have to experience such again, but no guarantees are given. I see others in situations that would crush me and thank God I am not them. Others have looked at our situation and thanked God they are not us. What does not kill us makes us stronger, but getting stronger hurts beyond belief. Here's to living in pain for the opportunity to grow. Been there and back again and moving on to the next cycle of pain and growth.

Thank God.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Going it Alone?

How do people go it alone? How does an individual or a family make it through trials and struggles without extended family and/or friends to help them carry the weight and strain. How does an individual or a family make it through without faith in God and his power?

I cannot imagine what life would be like without faith in God. I cannot imagine suffering alone without family, without friends to hold me up. And when those friends have similar faith in God, similar beliefs in the Almighty, and make themselves available to comfort and support, peace comes.

Trials will come, and with them much pain. Yet the one who promises the peace that passes understanding is available and alive and holds all things together, especially us. God bless those who extend themselves to comfort others. Because of God and their faith in him and their acts of love, life becomes less a burden and more a joy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More God, More Pain?

My interaction with God has increased since the beginning of the year. I've spent more time in prayer and more time in His Word and more time reading spiritual literature than ever before. I've had more "God discussions" in the past year than ever before. I've thought more about God -- who God is, what God wants, where God lives, how God might think, how God came to be -- than ever before. I've asked more questions of God in the past year -- what's the deal with free will? do you learn? how do you feel pain? what brings you to action? do you laugh? -- than ever before.

It also seems that I am now challenged more, tempted more, and feel more vulnerable.

Now, more than ever before, I have reason to spend even more time in prayer, more time in his word, more time in "God discussions," more time thinking about God and more time asking God questions.

My latest question to God: Is it true that the more time we spend with you, the more pain we can endure and therefore more pain comes our way?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Growing Up

Today I became angry, very angry. I was watching one of my children's basketball games. Before I knew it, I was screaming my head off and getting the attention of both my spectator daughter and spectator wife -- attention I did not want. My anger continued as I attempted to wriggle out of being resposible for my actions.

I remained defiant about my behavior, justified it and didn't back off until two hours later. I didn't like what I did, either the yelling or the justification of it. I'm trying to understand both the outburst and the silly stance afterward. I think the first was passion, the second immaturity. The first was in the moment, the second was out of bounds. The first would have been forgivable if not for the follow up prideful posture.

I need to grow up.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Slow Down Discipline

At what point am I allowed to give less than my best? If I'm tired, do I get a break? If I'm depressed, can I slack off? Who says what is my best anyway? Sometimes, when I think I'm giving less than my all, people tell me, unsolicited, that I'm doing good things. Other times it seems when I'm giving it all I've got, I get the most criticism. So why not just give enough rather than all I'm capable of, especially if enough is good enough?

I don't like giving or being just enough or even less than my best because it lessens what I've been made to do, as well as letting down the one who made me. I find myself most tired, most bummed when I'm doing a bunch of things that don't matter, when I'm being less than that for which I was created. To do that for which I was created requires some discipline -- actually a lot of discipline. Most of the time, I don't have the discipline required.

Most likely then, most of the time, I'm giving less than my best. I don't like this one bit. So, I'm trying to slow down and more fully understand who God has made me to be and what my purpose is. I'm trying to be more intentional to what I say "yes" to. And I'm seeking God's presence more to remain in tune with him rather than in tune with me. All of this is hard, because it takes discipline, discipline I don't have. So, I'm trying to slow down and , , ,