Scriptures on Moving Temple of God

He might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God,  built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle.  Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’  …  And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.  Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously,  since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.

Therefore, I will now allure her,
    and bring her into the wilderness,
    and speak tenderly to her.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.

Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
 Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;

For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
 “This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
 I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
 I will also clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
 There I will make the horn of David grow;
I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
But upon Himself His crown shall flourish.”

A highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
    but it shall be for God’s people;
    no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
 No lion shall be there,
    nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
    but the redeemed shall walk there.
 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain joy and gladness,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord of hosts!
 My soul longs, indeed it faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.

 Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
    my King and my God.
 Happy are those who live in your house,
    ever singing your praise.Selah

 Happy are those whose strength is in you,
    in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
 As they go through the valley of Baca
    they make it a place of springs;
    the early rain also covers it with pools.
 They go from strength to strength;
    the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

 Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
    give ear, O God of Jacob!Selah
 Behold our shield, O God;
    look on the face of your anointed.

 For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than live in the tents of wickedness.

Appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law—over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it.  Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death.  The Israelites are to set up their tents by divisions, each of them in their own camp under their standard.  The Levites, however, are to set up their tents around the tabernacle of the covenant law so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelite community. The Levites are to be responsible for the care of the tabernacle of the covenant law.

 

 On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant; and from evening until morning it was over the tabernacle, having the appearance of fire.  It was always so: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night.  Whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, then the Israelites would set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the Israelites would camp.  At the command of the Lord the Israelites would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they would remain in camp.  Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the Israelites would keep the charge of the Lord, and would not set out.  Sometimes the cloud would remain a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they would remain in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they would set out.  Sometimes the cloud would remain from evening until morning; and when the cloud lifted in the morning, they would set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they would set out.  Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, resting upon it, the Israelites would remain in camp and would not set out; but when it lifted they would set out.  At the command of the Lord they would camp, and at the command of the Lord they would set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.
The cities that you designate shall be six cities of refuge for you:  you shall designate three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge.  These six cities shall serve as refuge for the Israelites, for the resident or transient alien among them, so that anyone who kills a person without intent may flee there.
Set up road markers for yourself,
    make yourself signposts;
consider well the highway,
    the road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
    return to these your cities.

 

– Eph 2:16-22; 2 Sam 7:6-7 & 9-11; Hosea 2:14; Is 42:16; Rev 12:6 & 13-14; Is 40:27-31; Is 40:3-4; Ps 132:13-18; Is 35:8-10; Ps 84:1-10; Num 1:50-53; Num 9:15-23; Num 35:13-15; Jer 31:21;

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Kissing: A Christian Parents Nightmare

My niece has told me about these parents who are idealistically strict with their teenage children’s romantic interest. As my niece tells me a few of the details I think, Oh no…the Joshua Harris movement…Is that still a thing?

Apparently these parents have made some unspoken but guessable mistakes earlier in their life and in their pursuit of romance, sex, and other things good Christians don’t talk about. There’s an obvious amount of shame still present there, or else I don’t think they’d be so strict with their kids. Especially since this strictness isn’t something they understand in experiential or self-disciplinary, one might guess from their overcompensating ways.

I want kids to have their innocents for as long as possible, afterall you can’t get it back once it’s gone. I agree to that. However I can’t agree that this approach of choosing how your children choose is really the way to bring up healthy teenage kids in today’s society. What happens when they leave home and get to do whatever the hell they want? umm.. hell happens, I’m guessing.

These parents mystify me. I feel sure I understand where they’re coming from and yet I still don’t agree with the conclusion they make. If these parents had made past mistakes which they regretted and they now strictly believe in a sort of holiness living, then what happened to “She loves much because she’s forgiven much”?

Why does shame seem to be the dominate factor? Why are the children paying for the sins of the fathers? Why don’t they trust that they’ve raised their children better and more comprehensively than their parents were able to do for them?
Why is love and romance about dominance in the Christian world? 

I don’t know anything about parenting. I only know about being a kid and being an adult. I also have the privilege to know about choosing for myself.

As a teenager I had some good adults around who gave good advice and reasonable tips. I had good brothers who reasonable friends who told me more than I wanted to know… but for the most part it was good advice. I had questions and I people I could ask. There was a conversation that was available to me.
Yeah… so my parents weren’t those people either, you know, the ones you can talk to as a teenager about relationships, love, and what happens after holding hands.  But I did have people to talk to. I read Christian books (much to my dissatisfaction), I looked in the Bible, I asked myself questions, I questioned what it was all worth. …and in the end you know what made a difference?

I had this one camp counselor who said this crazy but interesting thing when it was just the girls sitting around talking. She said something like, If the first time I ever got kiss was at my wedding I’d be like ‘Woah do it again!’. We all laughed at her description and she giggled too, but the fact was she was already engaged. She had already been kissed. But I hadn’t. …and I wondered…. how close to true was that statement.

Was kissing something that’s incredible regardless of time or age?
It seemed to me there was this big rush or push to date, to kiss, to make out, to “do the deed”, then …then what?
I wondered if these things were all something to get pass like a mile-marker, then what’s the point? What’s all the talk about?
But if they’re something in themselves, and they don’t lose value over time then that… that sounded interesting to me.

I’m a rare person who got to choose my own sexual fate, and I got to do that as an adult. I know not everyone gets to choose what happens to them in regards to sexual experiences. There at things that are stolen, there are things that are coerced, there are deceptions and lying-promises that are made and broken, and because of that, not everybody gets to choose for themselves.

So there’s an accomplishment here. If these previously mentioned parents have been able to keep their kids safe this far, and to teach them truth about what’s valuable, and how to be considerate others and not use people to get to your mile makers, then as someone who was formerly a kid, I have to say trust your kids! Let them choose.

IF you raised your kids right, then they should be able to continue in right on their own. And that trust you place in your kids might just go a long way into building a relationship between you and them.
If you think you raised your kids right, but just in case you think it’s better to “protect them from trouble” then, truth is they’ll find a way to get into trouble anyhow.

Teach your kids trust, not dominance.
Teach your kids how to make good choice so that they can become better people. Keeping them ignorant to choices will only work for limited amount of time, then it won’t work at all. Help your kids to make better choice than you made, but don’t force them to pay for your regrets.

Eventually your kids are going to taste freedom, eventually your kids will do something stupid, eventually your kids will be adults. For now, teach them from love and not from fear. Let them choose, let them grow up, and teach them to do that in healthy way.

Christians vs Romantics vs God

I did it. I shouldn’t have, but I did. I read another blog about “happy marriage”. No I didn’t read it for ideas, I read it to see how much I would disagree with it. 23 out of 85 I couldn’t agree with the idea or wording. 23 out of 85 statements I couldn’t let slip by without cringing.

When did idealism become so … mediocre?
Maybe some people are scared of idealism, so instead we shot for probability-ism.

Like for instance the phrase “nice guy” when your single these are the words that taste like arsenic.  “Nice guy” is the most general thing you could say about someone and still believe you’ve said something polite about that. It means nothing.

Now in the “married people world”  I’ve found this phrase “good man”. Wow. Really? Nice guys get married and become good men? Great.
We have a problem.

Example: Nice guys are faithful to their woman. So is a good man. So are many abusive men.
Nice guys tell their girlfriends ‘I love you’. A good man tells his wife ‘I love you’. So do many abusive relationship men.
I do not find these things to be crux of a healthy loving relationship.

Do people who worry about “a good marriage” not really know what an unhealthy relationship is? Or the similarities and role playing that can occur in an unhealthy relationship?  Maybe they’re just worried about personal unhappiness?
I am stupefied at the ignorance and the seemingly shut-up-and-take-it Christian attitude I see about relationships. Where does this come from?
Do they truly know what are signs of good or healthy relationship?

This have against the modern view of Christianity: mediocrity.

Thousands, maybe millions of church buildings, preachers, authors, speakers are teaching millions of people how to be a good Christian.
This is problem number one.

Being a good Christian is lie.

God calls for his people to be righteous. Righteous people affect the spirituality and history of the age they live in, merely by being that which God created them to be.

I was caught off guard this last time I read the book of Ruth.
I read about Boaz doing what was right according the laws and statures of Israel, and realized I’m reading about a righteous man.  Which made me think about the story of Joseph and Mary and baby Jesus, and how the Bible calls that particular Joseph a righteous man.
The proof of Joseph was a righteous man was that he was going to quietly separate from his fiance without embarrassing her publicly.  This is a little different than the standard of his time. This is a little different than the standard of our time. Yet this is something God loved about Joseph.

I’ve also notice how many “happy marriage” Christian blogs are against chick flicks and fictional stories of the such. It’s like people blame chick flicks for their unhappiness in relationships. Are these the same people that blame Barbie for their self-image problems?
People, there’s a difference between fiction and reality.
There is also similarities between fiction and reality.

Now some chick flicks are just stupid. I will give you that.
However, many of them stir something within us. Sentiment. Hope. Connection.  …So why are so many blogs, authors, and preachers against this stirring within us as women? What’s so scary about woman who yearn for something beyond the average “good man”?  What’s so scary about a woman who wants to be continual cherished? What’s so terrible about a woman who is waken to the possibility of the rollacoaster of love and the hope for the happy ending?

Who’s got time for that?  …Is that the scary part?
What if someone else is better at it? …Is that the scary part?
Or what am I missing?

God calls men and women to live beyond their standard roles within the era they live in. Instead there another calling for them to answer to, a calling from God. These people were God’s people. God’s righteous. The saints.
Dare I repeat myself?

Who’s got time for that?  …Is that the scary part?
What if someone else is better at it? …Is that the scary part?
Or what am I missing? Don’t you want to know what it’s like? That story that’s worth being the one that is written down. That story that’s worth repeating for ages. Is this too much to ask? Is this the fantasy that mess up the mediocre average.

I’m not a fan of the mediocre average.
I’m a fan of life, of beauty, of God, and true Love stories.

Maybe the secret of a “good marriage” is paying attention the story your living, and the make it one for the ages. Maybe the secret is knowing your story and not attempting to make it into some other story, one that doesn’t exist, one that’s average.

Maybe it’s not about trying to be or copy someone or something else, but by being who God’s created you to be, and by loving your mate and who God’s created them to be. The love story is right there. It’s still unfolding, and it’s beautiful.

Choices, conflict, perseverance, mistakes, connection …it’s got all the makings of a great love story! Unless we decide the best way to have a happy marriage to fill out the medium mediocre, and in that case we are no longer living our love story.

I don’t want to live for a happy marriage according to the assumptions of many of what a “happy marriage” is. I don’t want to keep a checklist for myself and my husband. I don’t want to rely on cliches for life-saving, marriage-saving advice.
I want to love the man I have. I want live the life we have. Take the adventures that we’re given. Grow. Learn. Not be afraid of changes, of goals, or of discussion.

Marriage, Life, Love … they are unique. Not average.
There is a calling beyond the standard of the age/era we live in, and that’s not asking too much. That call is fulfilling. There is more than average, there is more than happy. There is a beauty in the story you’re living. Do that. Live it.

Roots

My husband and I were on some of the local trails, out to catch a few sunrise pictures, when we came across this large been-here-before-you-were-born tree. I love big old trees, but this one had me even more taken. It was intrusive. 

Well technically the tree was out of the way of the paved easy-going path, but the roots did not hide themselves under the asphalt which was laid on top of them. Instead they continued to grow, expand, perseve, feed, and be known …the most natural thing for roots to do. However I could only imagine that they must’ve been considered intrusive, hazardous, and ugly for those who wanted a nice smooth path of walking, biking, and pushing strollers. 

There’s a problem when we trade the beauty and functionality of the natural for the luxury and easement of the synthetic. 

Roots are amazing.  They are the testimony of strength. No massive sized plant is worth much without health roots. This has not been the focus of modern indstruidal farming and lumber harvesting. Too often the industrial and corporate like a top-heavy product and do not care about the long term effects.  Roots care. 

Roots preserve. Someone had posted a picture of their backyard getting washed out during a flood. The erosion was swift, massive, and it bared the roots of their big old backyard tree. Yet that tree stood like the defender of the backyard with its root system in place and holding firm all that was enlaced into its roots.

  In farming and gardening as well, roots play a huge part and what the health of the plant and the over all garden or field will be. Roots feed nutrition not only to their plant, but it’s also believe they pull up nutrition into the soil around them, feeding the other plants and micro-organism as well.

Roots are the first thing that must grow on a seedling in order for the seedling to have any chance of success at all.  Personal I’ve seen many different plants that can be cut down or pulled out, but if there is still a root system in the ground this plants will revive themselves. Roots are life-giving.

I am intrigued by roots. But this isn’t just about botany and biology, it’s about our life. It’s about our beliefs. It’s about knowing where you came from and who your roots are.

In Christianty there is the potential to tap into some deep, deep, ancient roots. There is also the potential to be part of the system of growing roots. The foundational people of the faith. There is the potential to go down and bring up much needed trace nutrients which can stop disease, deficiencies, and erosion. 

If roots are this important why do they get no praise? If foundational people are this helpful why are they considered so backwards? 

Roots are often hidden underground, doing work that goes unseen and often unconsidered. They may not seem as majestic as branches who colorfully sway with the seasons. Roots that do appear are often considered bumpy, hazardous, invasive, ugly, gnarled.

 Often this necessary elements of a healthy field or forest are taken forgranted. Often these preserving vessels are only seen for their lack of smooth synthtic surface. They’re easy to get tripped upon for one who is not paying attention or is in a rush. Their exposed state maybe considered gnarly in comparison to leafy branches. Their strength and preservation maybe ignored. Yet roots continue to do their work, appreciated or not. We benefit from them whether we know it or not. Out of sight, out of mind does not effect the validity of the roots and foundational anchors.

There is a wisdom, if you will, that roots and foundational people of the faith live by that may seem contrary to the wisdom of those who dwell among the luxurious, synthtic, quick and comfortable, top-heavy systems. People may spend thousands of dollars to get rid of those bumps, but the same roots that can crack asphalt, can also sustain the earth and soil next to the river and keep it from washing out season after season as it gives life, hope, and sustainability.

I live an unsightly life. Nobody wants to be this. But I do. 

I am not afraid of the deep places. I’m not afraid of never seeing the light again. I’m not afraid of the floods.  I am not afraid of being walked on. I am not afraid of erosion. I am strong enough to know I can help only by being me. 

While some find me in the way, others find me to be a solid step upon a steep hill, a guardian in the midst of  a flood threatened landscape, a mysterious matter with unusual trace elements. I cannot be contained to a potted area. I need room to stretch, to expand, to grow. I’ll drill through strongholds to find something even deeper than what is known. I blaze my own path, which is never far from my core. I am connected, and my expanse does not demolish my connection, my feed, my response, my feeling. 

 I am only part of something bigger, but I love what I do. What I do is simply be who I am. It’s inglorious, but it’s beautiful in its own way.

Sports: An Emotional Investment

Have you ever noticed the most emotional state of being? It’s life. I’m not sure why we pretend otherwise.

I was asking my husband out loud the other day, what is everyone so busy with? What is everyone so distracted by? What are we waiting/hoping for?

Football season has started once again. I love sports! I love the competition, but I don’t watch them. I mean, I try not too. I can’t support that professional sports players each get paid millions of dollars to do something that uliatmely benefits no one. All the while, people who make less then 10th of what the sports players make, pay for everything that sports players get. Millions and millions of dollars are collected from faithful fans and are funneled into these Demi-gods. …and for what?  I love sports, but I can’t watch sports.

However, I won’t fail to recognize that within our society there is nowhere more appropreciate to be dramatic, zealous, and emotional than when you’re in the zone of watching sports.   Why is this? How is it that sports are the greatest reality which are worthy of our greatest treasures: time, attention, and emotions …let alone the lesser but still necessary treasures of money and dreams.

What faithful sports watcher doesn’t have a little jar some where filled with coins for the day their favorite team goes the champaionship game?

I knew this guy who was simply known as “the bread guy” and he worked from the crack of dawn until sometime in the evening for a reasonable living. This man was an avid fan of the Cleveland Browns. He had tattoos, season tickets, and his every shirt was the Browns, his coats and jackets where also the Browns. He knew their schedule, their players, their history, their statistics, and things I’m sure I don’t even know there is to know about these sports players and their games. This man was dedicated, invested, and emersed into the reality of the Cleveland Browns.

But from a distance… the reality is the Cleveland Browns are not a reality. They are only some people who play a game in order to gain money. The simplistic view of these things expose a certain amount of foolishness. ….again, let me say, I love sports… I just can’t support them anymore. Why? Because I need a deeper reality. Something that makes a difference at the end of the day, the year, a lifetime. Sports games aren’t changing the world. Mother Treasa, Katie Davis/Majors, and Amy Carmicheal are changing the world. They are among those who invest their time, zeal, energy, emotion, attention, dreams, and money into the people around them. People who need to be loved. To me that seems like a greater reality. So why are so many people preoccupied by something like sports? What’s the pay off? What fulfillment is there in helping millionaires stay millionaires regardless of whether the do their task at hand or not?

Why do we embrace the truth of sports being a reasonable emotional investment, but the stories of people around us are just passing details in life? We do not cry with their disappointments and tragedies. We do not wince at their injuries. We do not cheer victoriously over their accomplishments, big or little. We’re too busy for our neighbor …our friend or kinsmen. But for strangers who entertain us for a few hours in a week, for them we lavish all things? Why? What kind of reality is that?

If we can’t embrace our own lives as being the most appropriate place for emotions to be applied, but instead must filter it through a secondary funnel, then do we live in reality at all? Are we disconnected for life and from reality? If we save our best parts for a sports game, or tv show, or political media-gossip (or other questionable investments),  then are we simply escaping reality, maturity, and the preserving hope of life itself?

What are we spending ourselves on? And why? How can this invement change the world around us? How can it help us to grow up into the people we’re meant to be? Are we investing our emotions into life, where they’re meant to be lived out? Or have we choosen to hide ourselves and our emotions in imaginary realities? We have too much to invest. We must not waste ourselves on every intoxicating hype that pass through the screen. We must be the people we are created to be; a people who feel, who touch, who are moved by the stories next to us, around us, coming towards us even now.

If we check out, turn the lights off, and zone out ..then we’re not really living life. But if we’re still here… It’s because we want to live and to be alive. Maybe it’s time to check our reality and engage life.

“Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me.” – Martain Luther

Love Languages in a World of Profanities

If you’ve had any long exposure to the church system, there’s a chance you’ve heard an excessive improper use of the 1 Corinthians chapter 13, known as the Love Chapter. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13 there are character descriptions of love, but often it’s used a the chapter in the Bible that defines love. Personally I think there is a difference between a character description and the actually definition of a person, place, or thing…in this case Love.

If I saw to you my husband is a handsome, funny, nerdy, intelligent, sometime creepy, and strong man then you have a very brief character listing of my husband. If I posted a picture with no description, then you’d make your own assumptions about what kind of person he might be. However if you meet him, depending on the day & company his with, you might have a completely different idea of what kind of person he might be. Experiential definitions are super important.

If we read 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and say “this is what love is” it’d really be hard to put into practice in all the applications of life, or even to sift through different moments of our life and say “ah ha! there’s love!” because it’s only a brief character list. There’s more to love than the quick sentiments shared in 1 Corinthians 13.
However, this one particular chapter is important, because how many times do we lose sense of what love truly is in our world & culture around us? Love becomes to vaguely used we forgot what the core characteristics of love actually are. Moreover, sometimes “love” becomes a foreign word and we don’t know what it means anymore.

There’s beautiful older song by Avett Brothers called “I and Love and You”  which talks about how the three word of (or the combination there of) “I” and “Love” and “You” have become difficult to voice. Sometimes I think that’s an anthem that many of us can relate to, and can agree with. Sometimes words or phrase like, “I love you” have depreciation value set in so deep that the words are useless. Other times these words are so hard to use because we hold them so sacredly that there is no matching it.

Sometimes the most beautiful phrase get lost in our perception of the world around us. Other times, it’s stolen from us.

There are times in life when I’ll be listening to new album from a favorite band or I’ll be really into one or two specific songs, and at that time I also happen to meet a person. Now this song reminds me of that person because they happen to come into my life about the same time.  Well an occasion, when that relationship or friendship might go sour, I’d stop listening to those songs or sometimes that band because it so reminds me of that person who’d now brought hurt or shame into my life.  Those beautiful songs become lost to me, at least for a long while if not forever.
We have this same problem with words and phrase, and unfortunately sometimes the most beautiful ones are the ones we lose.

Sometimes the word “love” doesn’t really seem to mean Love anymore. It because nullified. Sometimes the phrase “I love you” starts to mean “I own you” or “you owe me”  or worst things than that. Sometimes the beautiful is stripped of its worthiness and we can’t bear these words anymore.

It’s curious to me, how it seems like more people at a younger age have horrorific words coming out of their mouth on a regular bases and no one shrugs or blushes or flinches in the least, afterall “they’re just being real”  or  “sometimes there’s no other word that really expresses that”. I totally can’t agree. How profanities are rapidly on the rise and words and phrase like “I love you” are declining in meaning… that my friends, is a strange and messed up world to embrace. Instead of embracing it, I’m going to suggest there’s something wrong there. Maybe something is being covered up. Maybe there’s a lot of hurt that happened to nullify the beautiful things, and all we’re left with is the ugly venomous things.

The Bible has this super simple statement, “From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks
Unfortunately in world of broken hearts where words are used for manipulation, words become nullified and often we don’t take the time to really consider what we’re saying or implying or what we mean to say. …and too often this continues to add to the hurt.

Thus we find ourselves back at places like 1 Corinthians 13, which remind us of some original characteristic of love. Things we had forgotten. Things we stopped considering. And some things we find aren’t there at all, but we had put them on it because of our bad experiences. At times something like 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us of we’ve been thinking about love under false assumptions. We haven’t actually addressed love in its purest form, and maybe we stopped believing that such a version of love exist. …and somehow, when we don’t see and don’t strive for it, it does stop existing around us.

When we allow our bad experiences to define our words, our phrases, and our expressions then we lose the freedom that comes from understanding the core characteristics of what these things can mean. Phrases like “I love you” can be painful instead of beautiful. If there is ever to be a time where I can listen to those old songs again, or where we can hear the phrase “I love you” again, then we’re going to have to remember the core essences of where the beauty lies more than we remember the hurt that came along with these familiar notes.

If we’re ever going to be in place where we can say “I love you” with more force and power than we say F.U. then we’re going to have to find a way to believe in the power & core of Love more than hate. We’re going to have to be willing to make a change that will remind us of some of the pain that brought us here, because getting stronger hurts a little bit. It pushes us to our limits. But being weak hurts all the time, and we hurt others all the time. Being pushed around by every experience and every sharp word brings our spirits certain death, and out of that overflow we bring forth death into the words from our lips and our experiences towards other. …unless we chose to interrupt this cycle. Unless we chose to seek core truths. Unless we start thinking about what we really mean and what we really intend to do with our lives & our words. Unless we reestablish our core, we will be pushed around by every experience and by every sharp word. Sometimes this happens, but we need to reestablish our footing, and get up and get at it again.

The brief character list in 1 Corinthians 13 won’t be the absolute healing power to redeem love for us, but it will tell us where to find love and what she looks like. From there we have to have a strength to approach Love and be willing to be in an experiential relationship with love. Then somewhere along the line, we might be able to begin to distinguish between our faulty experiences with “love” and that which love truly can be. If we chose to continue to do this regularly we might even find that love has found us, that words have meaning. that profanities are for the weak and hurting. …and we all hurt, but we don’t all have to dwell in our hurts. We can be a people who heal, who grow strong, who break spiraling cycles.

Choice is powerful. Thought is innovative. We can be who we choose to be, if we’re willing to try. Are we willing?