Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pen to Paper or Fingers to Keyboard

Writing blogs.  It is a challenge.  Who am I writing for?  Sometimes it is for myself.  It helps me solidify my ideas, think them through. I haven't solidified my ideas here recently. Maybe it's because they have become less of a priority and are still in flux. I can't show you how many unpublished posts I have.  I do not think it's important that others know what changes have occurred.

Sometimes I think I am writing for other people.  This one is a challenge because I don't know who reads these ramblings of mine.  But I try it anyway, or I don't.  I let it slide.  Is it an exercise in futility? Who knows.

I received an email a few weeks ago asking me to return to writing my anonymous posts for their website.  I finally wrote another brief article for them. I write anonymously there because the topic is painful and close to me and those I love and know.  Others have found them helpful, so I write.

Does this sound like a diary entry?  Maybe it is.  Maybe that is all I have today.

Know that Jesus forgives you all your sin.  

CMP and Me

The summer of 2015 is when the Center for Medical Progress released it's investigative videos into the dark, violent world of Planned Parenthood.  The videos are difficult to watch. Each week, a new video was released. I began to post the videos and articles on my Facebook page.  There were daily articles that I would post. Anger and frustration began to rise within me.  The more those around me seemed to be blissfully callous, the more my frustration rose, the more frequently I posted.  I finally decided I wanted to help locally, so I called the Pregnancy Resource Center in town.

My appointment day arrived and I walked into the PRC office.  I spoke with the director for an hour, telling her I wanted to help as a result of the CMP videos that came out over the summer. Then she asked me to tell her about my abortion.  I couldn't hold back the tears as I relayed my story. At the end of the appointment, she asked if I would like to participate in a CARE group, a six week book study.

In the group, I was able to walk through the process of grieving and my Facebook postings stopped almost immediately.  After 30 years of hiding this shameful act that society does not want to hear about, I was able to talk about it with others who are also post abortive.

I fear I offended some of my dear friends on Facebook due to my early postings.  I am apologizing to you now.  Please don't hesitate to speak with me.  I am no longer beside myself.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cool Lutherans

One of my friends, Tracy, had a temporary roommate.  Tracy's roommate was finishing up a job assignment in town, while her retired husband was at their new home in another state.  June was going to be joining him as soon as her job assignment was complete.

Our small group from church will do things together outside of just doing church-y things.  We attended a dinner and a play together and June came along.  She came to our house when we had bible study here.  It was after we finished studying the Gospel of John and decided we would compare it to the movie, "Son of God."  We had dinner together and watched the movie over two weeks' of meetings. We are a group that likes to laugh and have fun, as well as dig into scripture.

At our last weekly meeting, where we are beginning to study Ruth, Tracy reported that June is happily in her new place and adjusting to their new life in their new community.  June and her husband decided they would look for a Lutheran church because she thought we were so cool as a group.  We whooped it up and praised God when we heard this news.  We were chuckling at the thought of someone thinking we are cool.  I think she was attracted to the Jesus in us, the delight we can have in being with one another, we were just being ourselves.  No program, no agenda, just sinners learning of their Savior.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rethinking Gerhard Forde

The 20th Century Theologian Gerhard Forde likes to say that "the Gospel puts an end to the voice of the law".  The reality is that it does not.

The accusations of the law to reveal our sin still has teeth, still chase us to Christ Jesus our Savior. We continue to see the horrors of our own sin, where we fall short.  The old Adam needs to be drowned daily by baptism.  By seeing who we now belong to, by remembering whose name was placed on us in our baptisms.

Jesus never teaches us to hate the law, or to behave as if God's commandments are non existent.  When I put my faith in Mr. Forde's words, I hated the law.  It scared me, chased me to and fro.  Now that I see the reality of Law and Gospel, I have peace restored once more.  We do not have Gospel alone.  Lutherans teach, believe and confess both law and gospel, all of God's Holy Writ.

One day God's commandments will be a reality for every believer.  We will dwell in them forever.  We will live in the house of the Lord, where pleasant lines are made for us.   Take delight, like King David did, in meditating on God's commandments. We will no longer be accused by our failures.  Until then, cling to Jesus and His Words about us, that we are forgiven and loved.

God is pleased with us.  He even likes us in our shortcomings.  After all, he knows we are weak and that we need a savior, so Christ, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, was provided.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Lonely Way

There is this peculiar phenomenon that happens to me on occasion.  I've mostly experienced it online, but last week or so have experienced it offline.  I am outcast, ignored, not included, avoided.

Other than my husband, parents, daughter, family, I am rejected.  It feels like a shunning.  It can be caused by sin on my part, or sin on the other person's part. It is the law I'm seeing, not the Gospel, not forgiveness, not Christ.

Sunday morning comes.  I remember my baptism.  Then in The Lord's Supper, I hear Jesus' voice.  I am purchased.  I am His and He is mine.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lutheranism for the Rest of Us

I love theology.  Ask anyone who knows me well and they will confirm my first sentence.  Living, breathing, and discussing God and the Bible. We can never exhaust our knowledge of God because we are finite and He is not finite.  He is a bottomless well of endless treasures and delight.

He is also bigger than I can get my arms around, or wrap my brain around.  So much so, there are times I need to put theology and theological terms aside.  There are times when I must live out my faith without discussing it, without trying to fathom the depths of God.

There are many more books to read about God than I will ever be able to finish.  Including heretical ideas about God.  In Lutheranism, The Holy Bible and the Book of Concord are enough to keep one engaged for a lifetime, let alone all the other books out there that are not an official part of our confessions.  It is wonderful to have such a plethora of reading to choose from, except when your mind spins in circles. Round and round the thoughts go, never landing in a peaceful, restful place.  Stop it. Just stop.

That's my sure sign to do something else.  It is unnecessary for me to read every book on why Lutherans catechize, or why we accept the Book of Concord, or how the LCMS differs from WELS and ELCA.  Am I a Philipist or a Gnesio Lutheran?  Yes.  Am I a Radical Lutheran?  No.  How about a pietist?  The questions on topics like those can go on for a long time.  They've worn me down and out.  I am a member of a local LCMS, I think catechism is good, I'm working on understanding scriptures and the Book of Concord.  Help me to understand the basics.  I want to delight in the basics.  I love Jesus and He loves me. He even likes me.

At some point I may be more curious about why Lutherans did what we do.  But for the time being, I am living and trusting in my savior Jesus Christ.  That is enough.

I'll think about that!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mid-night Adventures

You've had these kinds of nights if you're over your teenage years.  You wake up about 2:30 am either to get a drink of water or to use the bathroom.  You pad around the house in the dark, searching for what you want.  You stumble your way back to bed, slide back in, pull up the sheets and lay there.  Tossing and turning, unable to get back to sleep. Oh, it's maddening.

Our window has been ajar at night to let the cool breezes in after the warm days.  It's always easier to sleep when it's cool at night.  I could feel the cool air, and I could hear the neighbors.  They were newer neighbors. Apparently, they can be quite chatty at 2:30 am.

I listened.  Back and forth they called to one another without regard for anybody else.  Oh, how I wanted to blame my sleeplessness on them. It wasn't their fault. I lay there eavesdropping. I couldn't understand them.

"Whooo.  Whooo."


My irritation turned to joy. I had heard one voice on previous occasions, but now there was back and forth banter.  Our lone owl neighbor was chatting with a friend!  I continued to listen. Never having seen these neighbors, I imagined they were Barn Owls, big and burly.  I refused to get out of bed again, so I continued listening.

Then I began thanking God for these owls who were keeping me company and bringing delight in the middle of the night. They stopped hooting.  Did they begin to hunt?  Maybe they will get a few gophers that permeate the neighborhood and terrorize all our plants.  It's still quiet except for the beginnings of the workday, as a few trucks were on the freeway.  My thoughts turned to the new heaven and new earth where we will dwell with God's creatures the way we are meant to dwell with them. They will live with us the way they were meant to.

What sleepless delight.  Praise God.