Blog Archives

Purity Forsaken, part 2

Continuation of thoughts from previous post:

….It is a battle no one but God knows you’re fighting. And possibly no other human will ever value, because they view you as foolish….You’re the butt of nearly every joke!

Yet it’s one battle more intimately tied to your walk w/God than perhaps any other, because our “sexuality” is a proclamation of the very nature of God himself….

So you keep turning away from TV, billboards, conversations, checkout lanes, commercials, books, movies, even friends….maybe even family. Without any “praise,” but the Proverbs 31 woman (as an example to me) does GOOD to her husband and not harm, ALL the days of her life. Even before she has met him.

And if she never meets him? She has honored God with her body; and tended the garden of her heart and mind….

I remind myself it is not a Lonely thing if the garden is the Lord’s.

Advertisements

Purity Forsaken

It is so tempting to despair of sexual purity in this culture of pornographic, animalistic reductionism which gives sex value only as it pertains to parts and bits and physical pleasure divorced from any genuine Love or self-sacrifice.

Masculinity and femininity are reduced to lines and curves and textures, to heat and wetness and odor….These things pervade even the most innocuous aspects of our “Entertainment” so anyone striving for purity is nevertheless infected. And any sense of the Sacred feels completely lost.

How do we get back from the place where sex is our god? How do we rescue our marriages? How can anyone compete with the allure of self-exaltation and no consequences….how can purity ever be seen as beautiful again? how can the tainted ever be made pure again?

Our best wine has been mingled with blood.

God, please save us from ourselves!

A Hedge of Protection

I was speaking with a friend, yesterday, about Psalm 139 which talks about how God knows us so intimately, and oversees the details of our lives with absolute precision.  In some translations, one early verse reads, “You hedge me in, before and behind….”

We were discussing this idea of being “hedged in” by God ~ in context, this has reference to the fact that the Lord both goes before us (as to clear the path, to lead), and follows behind us (as a rear guard soldier for protection).  And some Christians use the idea of praying for “a hedge of protection” in this same way ~ sometimes alluding to other Scripture which talks about how the Lord sends his angels to keep watch over us.

But the nuance of which my friend and I were speaking had to do with a conversation he’d overheard involving two of our coworkers.  One, a believer, was trying to describe to the other, a self-described “Buddhist Catholic” (who has no real Gospel-centric faith in Christ, but only believes in him as a kind of mystical “ideal”), what it is like to create “hedges” our MINDS, such as to protect against temptation to wrong thinking or wrong desiring.

What was remarkable was how foreign this idea was to our BC friend.  It was clear there was no frame of reference for reining (reigning?) in one’s thought life like this, let alone one’s lived-out life (such as avoiding temptation to sin).  And it occurred to me that this may be largely because our BC friend is very accustomed to letting her “heart” lead.  She perceives this as a kind of nobility, like “love” is the highest virtue in her life.  But instead, I find that it leaves her subject to the whims of her own emotions, she is often battling anger and depression on a day to day basis, and she lacks conviction about anything that’s “true” except perhaps her belief that all men are pigs and that’s why you can’t trust the Bible cuz it was written by a bunch of men, and so on.  She is very like the woman at the well in John 4, and I pray she will yet have a STUNNING encounter with the Savior, himself, that will send her running to tell everyone she knows that she’s found the One who alone can save our souls!

My “take away” from these reflections and conversations is three-fold: 

1)  Love is not fickle, easily tossed about as by waves of the sea, or convictionless.  So to HAVE some “boundaries” is like to anchor the heart (spirit) of a man, so he isn’t adrift and ultimately drowned.  It is from this position of strength that he is MOST free to truly love.

2)  The Lord IS ultimately our true Hedge of Protection.  He encompasses us about, like the picture we think of when as little kids we sing, “He’s got the whole world in his hands!”  But this is more than just universal power on display, this is a personal, covenantal, enduring FATHERLY protection, reserved for those whom he loves and who love him in return (savingly).  He will ALWAYS guard and preserve his children and deliver them to the better and the best of his ultimate will.  (This is the “mountain” of the promise in Romans 8:28.  You might also read the so-called “hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11 with this in mind!)

3)  And lastly, as a brief allusion back to my previous post about “No More Josephs?” ~ We ARE to also hedge OURSELVES in, to set proper boundaries, to say to ourselves we may “go this far and no farther.”  Not that we are seeking to earn the good pleasure of our Father, but because in Christ we already HAVE it, and we LOVE him, and so where he draws lines for our good, we are eager to agree with him and obey.  Thus we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  Thus we do not look on a member of the opposite sex as to lust after them in our heart.  Thus we do not give room to the enemy by allowing sinful anger to take hold of us.  Thus we flee from temptation and flee to Scripture and seek out the Lord’s presence so we are powerful to resist our spiritual enemy.  God’s GRACE is sufficient!

And we LOVE it, because it is the overflow of our Father’s heart, and we love HIM.

Be Blessed!

~Leah

No More Josephs?

I was scoffed at, recently, by a guy friend after I noticed a porn DVD sitting out on his DVD player. He made no move to cover it so I wouldn’t have to look at it; he laughed at me for believing there might be men who really would strive to live pure lives. He asked what I was gonna do when I find my boyfriend’s or husband’s stash, as if it was a given.

…I grew up the daughter of a godly man who wasn’t perfect, sure, but in this area, he went out of his way to avoid even underwear commercials on TV and the magazine row of grocery checkout aisles. Pre internet, pre VCR or DVD players in our home….yes, I believe it’s possible.

Rare, but possible!!

My friend? Says I’ll be proved wrong; that it’s normal behavior….for him and the men in his life, I don’t doubt it. I don’t doubt it for most of the women in his world for that matter….and I admire (!) men and women who aspire to purity in our sex-crazed culture. Not easy at all! But here was this DVD, covered w/headless young girls’ bodies….Thank God my friend is not a dad! How can a man not ruin his pure love for his own children if he’s filling his mind’s eye with other men’s children to fulfill his sexual fantasies?

Is my friend right? There is no such thing as victory in this area of ubiquitous temptation? How to guard against it? Moreover, how does a person exercise grace and forgiveness toward their spouse (maybe even the spouse they don’t yet know) while still encouraging them to strive for “holiness” – which, btw, is NOT the same thing as pruddishness, rather is “setting apart” intimacy for the context for which it was made, between only a husband and wife….

Mark Driscoll’s “Real Marriage” series is helpful in exploring this further, as well as his “Peasant Princess” series from a few years ago…..why rant on FB (and now on this blog) in the middle of the night about all this? I’m … disillusioned and saddened and tempted and horrified and … maybe just a little bit afraid my friend is right to scoff at my naivety. So, I choose to
cling to grace, instead. ….

After all, there was a Joseph recorded in Genesis (see Ch.39, and esp. v. 9) who ran from blatant temptation, seeing it for what it was, a sin against God. Not just his own body, or the woman attempting to seduce him, and not just her husband! but God.

Would that I would be so aware of and quick to flee my temptations for Christ’s sake!!

Gnite.
~Leah

Do I…?

Some recent tweets/reflections concerning how I have used my mouth (or typed notes) ~ Do I even realize what I’m saying??

  • Do I really mean I’d do anything 2protect this relationship? Then that must include not making emotional demands of u 2assuage my neediness.
  • Do I really think I’m willing 2sacrifice 4ur good? Then that must include prayerfully enduring silences when u need 2withdraw &be quiet.
  • Do I really mean that I want 2b led by Christ’s Spirit in all things? Then that includes joyfully yielding 2His leading when he says WAIT.
  • Do I really give u freedom, &trust u2discern &execute priorities as God leads? Then I must willingly lay aside any offense when I’m not it.
  • Do I trust God has shown me this desire he intends 2fulfill? Then I give thanks &walk by faith even when not yet seeing the manifestation.

Thank you, Lord, for how you teach us!  You are beautiful, my sweet sweet song!  ❤

~Leah

.

You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song
And I will sing again

You are so good to me
You heal my broken heart
You are my Father in Heaven (2x)

You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song

You ride upon the clouds
You lead me to the truth
You are the Spirit inside me (2x)

You are my strong melody, yeah
You are my dancing rhythm
You are my perfect rhyme
And I will sing of You forever

You poured out all Your blood
You died upon the cross
You are my Jesus who loves me (2x)

You are my Father in Heaven
You are the Spirit inside me
You are my Jesus who loves me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0mPveeVhd8

some recent Facebook updates

Amazing how a 30 second glimpse of sunrise over the city skyline can inspire such WORSHIP of God, in a way that 23:59:30 hours a day immersed in man’s ingenuity never could….
*
Thought for the day:  Expedience is not always Excellence. And Excellence is always worth waiting for!
*
Perhaps the finest thing about a cool October evening? Sitting quietly with a warm mug of mulled wine, listening to the sound of the rain. ♥
*
“Go back to the letter that the Lord wrote to the church of the Laodiceans.  Before he says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock,” he tells them exactly what they must give up and what they must take on (Revelation 3: 14-20).  There are certain rooms into which he will not come; there are certain things that must be put out before he will enter.  He will point this out to us, and he will chide us and rebuke us.  He speaks within us in the Spirit, and this often happens when we are not even thinking about these things.  Something will be put before us, and we will try to explain it away.  But if we go on trying to explain it away, we need not expect to have any knowledge of these spiritual manifestations of the Son of God.  He will rebuke, he will chastise, and he will make it quite clear to us that they must be got rid of, and then – and only then – will he manifest himself to us.  So we must be entirely obedient to him.  I add to that, we must resign ourselves to him completely and entirely.  The lesson here is just this – he is not at our command; we are to be entirely at his command.”
~D. M. Lloyd-Jones
*
The grace of Christ doesn’t just cover all our sin, his grace covers all our shame.
*
Fret, worry, anxiety, fear – often manifest as anger, sometimes manifest as indignant self-righteousness ~ all evidences of a lack of FAITH. how to get more faith? hear more Word from God.  (“faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of God….” Rom. 10:17)
*
“Why is legalism dangerous? It makes you think you’re more righteous than you are and that you don’t need grace as much as you do.”
~Paul D. Tripp
*
“Let peace be your umpire today. Know that your decision is “in” when you have peace and “out” when you don’t.”
~Joyce Meyer
*
“There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of-My-Altar.”
~Psalm 19:11-14 (The Message)
*
Sat watch this weekend w/a dear friend who got a severe concussion after a head-first 15 foot free fall into a cement basement floor via an unmarked trap door. Thankful he is recovering so quickly! Had to wake him up every couple hours to ck in, make sure not more severe. So glad a hospital visit hasn’t been necessary yet as no insurance! Please pray slurred speech & confusion & dizziness continue to subside. Pain is more manageable but a return or worsening of the other symptoms could indicate bleeding on the brain. Praying for full & swift recovery!!
*
Christian traditions are one thing, and often valuable/meaningful in their own ways, mainly such as being helpful for connecting with past generations of brothers and sister of the Faith. But when those traditions become legalisms – and that is, when they take on the tone of being more spiritual (!) solely by virture of their past-ness – they ensnare, and in fact separate us from our brothers and sisters of the Faith. The challenge? To recognize our traditions and forms and methods AS merely traditions and forms and methods, rather than practices yielding to the instruction/example of the Word of God.
*
read today:  “The primary way the Lord speaks to us is through His Word. He will never tell us anything contrary to His already written Word. He’s not confused—so you can have confidence that He will never tell you to do something that His Word clearly forbids and He will never forbid you to do something His Word clearly favors. That’s why it’s so important that we dig into the Bible as a workman who studies and rightly divides His written Word. …Listen. God will often speak a theme to your heart. ‘My heart is overflowing with a good theme….’ (Psalm 45:1, NKJV) …All the issues of life flow from our hearts and I have found the Lord helps us to hear and follow His will in a given season, by speaking a theme to our hearts. In other words, when we are seeking the Lord and asking Him to speak to us, He often does so in ‘themes.’…We may find ourselves consistently thinking along a certain line—a specific theme or flavor. Perhaps the word ‘faithfulness’ or ‘rest’ or ‘joy’ or ‘forgive’ or another word will seem to fill your heart. Maybe, it’s a phrase—’be filled with the Spirit’ or ‘follow your heart’ or ‘trust in the Lord’ or ‘new things’ or any combination of words will begin to fill your heart. If you will learn to recognize the theme the Lord has overflowing in your heart—you will hear His voice and discover He wants to speak a timely, customized Word to you. …So, what is He saying to you? You are His sheep—you do hear His voice. His word to you will always agree with His written Word. What theme is filling your heart these days? Identify it. Study the Word on this theme and listen—the Lord is speaking a timely, customized word to you!”
~Beth Jones
*
thinking about the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  hm.
*
…gotta get back in the posting groove.  😉  More to come!

Insecurities, and Believing the Best!

More recent tweets ~ there is a trick to fitting something worth saying into such a small amount of space!

 

  • I can b so quick 2jump 2judgments which in turn excuses me 2b quick 2take offense. Rather, if I love like Christ, I shd 1st believ the best.
  • I think our feelings of insecurity are, more often than not, evidences of idolatry: I desire -> I need -> I hv a right to -> U/they owe me!
  • Insecurity/Low Self-Esteem can LOOK like Humility but at root it’s Pride; it is eyes-on-SELF. Rather, humility is eyes-OFF-self &on Christ!
  • Insecurity/Low Self-Esteem is evidenc ur listening2 & believing anothr voice than that of ur Good Shepherd! Go bak 2Word & who ur in CHRIST.
  • 2b “In Faith” 4something doesnt mean ur just believing for it 2happen/be rec’vd. Faith isn’t power; faith LAYS HOLD of power by God’s WORD.
  • It isn’t “inauthentic” to NOT vocalize every thought/emotion that goes through my soul! It is WISDOM to hold some of these things close!
  • How can I engage u 2day 2edify u? Even if u hv the power 2hurt/embarrass/dismiss, can I turn the situation around w/a fit word aptly spoken?