Sunday Thought: God’s Holiness and my Husband

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It’s interesting to me to share a Sunday Thoughts based on a sermon my husband preached. I’ve done them based on my Dad’s sermons and our other pastors’ sermons. Why does it feel odd to do it based on my husband? Well, I’m very thankful for him. I’m proud of him, if I can use such a word. I pray for him. I think part of the sense of strangeness comes from the fact that our other pastors have been pastors so long it’s part of their identity. With my husband, I’m watching a man become a teacher and preacher from the inside out. It’s very humbling to be an observer of this process. It’s a constant balancing act for me to want to praise him from the roof tops, while at the same time understanding that this is all of Christ and nothing of him. I want him to remember that truth. The minute it becomes about my man, we have a serious problem. So, that’s why it’s a bit odd to me to write this.

There was something in his sermon that has stuck with me for weeks. Not like three notes from a song you can’t quiet remember, but like a new book that clutches your soul and fills you with joy. There was also something after his sermon that filled me with joy. I want to share these two things with you.

One: God’s Holiness. My husband confronted us with the sin of thinking of holiness as something hard or arrogant. I laughed to myself inwardly. I never thought of God’s holiness as hard, cold, grim, or arrogant. But if that’s true, why was I floored when he explained that the sin Isaiah preached against was injustice, harshness to the poor, taking bribes? If that is the sin, then God’s holiness is expressed in defending the weak, the fatherless and widow. God’s holiness is being kind, gentle, humble, and longsuffering, not harsh and cold. It’s also just. It doesn’t take a bribe pitting the rich against the poor.

What a beautiful thing! Holiness isn’t harsh or arrogant, but humble and submissive. I have fed on that truth, meditated, thrilled, and reveled in the joy of God’s “matchless condescension”. He who had every right to be harsh and arrogant became a poor homeless man for me. He defends the one who is defeated and broken. Oh, you who are broken look no further than the Holy God. He is kind because he is holy. He defends the orphans and widows (those who are so alone) because he is holy! Look what grace and strength is on the side of the meek. Chew on that. Read Isaiah 1 -11 and feed on how the Word defines holiness.

Meekness and majesty manhood and deity
In perfect harmony the Man who is God
Lord of eternity dwells in humanity
Kneels in humility and washes our feet

– Graham Kendrick

Two: Christ says in Ephesians that he will gift the church with pastors and teachers. Seeing my husband in the pulpit feeding me and the rest of our church with the truth of Scripture is Christ keeping his promise. Christ is gifting our little congregation with another man who can preach and teach. Will my husband ever be called as an elder? I don’t know. That’s not important. What is important is him using his gifts to serve his church and the praise and adoration I can offer up to God at this very tangible gift he has given our local body.

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I’m so humbled and thankful to witness this in my husband and play a small part in supporting and loving him.

God is good to wretched sinners. I stand amazed  that he would use my husband to  serve his bride. I stand amazed and filled with joy.

Out with the Old and In with the New

61674_424808927863_2159283_nToday, November 1st, is the day I change my writing.
Change has been brewing in my heart and mind. Explaining the change will encourage some of you, puzzle others, and mark me as crazy for a few of you – tis life and life where faith is involved. As a Christian, I believe that Christ is constantly working to sanctify me and make me more like Him. He asks me to live a life of sacrifice for His sake just like He did for me. How can I do anything other than that??
In the process of that sanctification, Christ challenges us and pushes us out of our comfort zones. He seeks to make us holy, not necessarily happy. (Assuming you understand happiness and joy to be two totally different things.) Recently, I have been challenged and convicted about my writing. I don’t believe anything that I’m writing is wrong, but I have begun to wonder if it the best use of my gift. This has been a very painful thought process, and a very long one. I love my urban fantasy/warrior stories. I love them. They are a deep part of me. They resonate with me. I cherish them. But my local church family and my husband aren’t being served by them. I’ve been able to use them as a bridge to a few people in our church and I have forced them on others with threats of friendships ending, but they aren’t serving my body as a whole. If I love Christ, than I’m to love my brothers and sisters, and if I say I love you, than I should seek to encourage and edify you with the gifts I’ve been given.

About a year ago, my husband was provided with the opportunity to start teaching in our Church. This is where his heart is, this is where he wants to go as the Lord provides. As his wife, it’s my goal in life to help him in everything that I do. I want to help him achieve his dreams and I want to grow and mature alongside him, not away from him. I want to be the old couple who still enjoys each other. That takes sacrifice. (And before anyone gets all feminist on me about him sacrificing for me, remember, this is me talking about me, not him, and he has sacrificed for me. He does every day. This is not an idea he foisted on me. He gave me his opinion, of course, but he left me alone to sort things out in my own head, and between me and God. There was no dictatorial edict from on high, but a loving friend at my side in the journey of life.) Needless to say, my particular brand of urban fantasy doesn’t feature in his Biblical Studies….ever. So as he grows and changes, I want – more than I want to be published, and more than I want to share these stories – to grow with him.

What does this all mean??? I’m not sure yet. LOL. I’m making a new blog where I can write things that will be more encouraging and edifying for my church. I’m thinking about taking all the rumbling tumbling stories inside me and writing children’s books. I have lots of nieces and nephews and it would be nice to write stories for them. I think there is a deplorable lack of decent, fun, and wholesome stories with strong life lessons offered to the youth of our day. If we want them to stop acting entitled along with all their other problems, giving them more books like Perks of Being a Wallflower won’t help. (I’m not saying that’s the problem entirely, I’m just saying stuff like that doesn’t fix anything.) There are lots of thoughts stuffed in my head and I feel a bit crowded. I have lots of decisions to make. What I can tell you with all certainty is that I will use my gift to encourage and edify my church. I will find new ways to express the concept of the Undeserved Rescue which sets my heart and mind on fire.

This new blog will include a Writing Journal. I’ll review Books, Movies and Music, and I’ll have Quotes. Since these were the articles I got the most views and comments on in my previous blog, I thought I should keep them. I will also be sharing articles about my own Christian Journey, things that have happened in my life, Sunday Thoughts, and other random things. Once again, my main goal is to use my gift to edify, serve, and encourage my church.

If you want to follow this new blog, you now know what my focus is. I’d love to have you along for the ride, but I understand that some of you may find this offensive, uninteresting, and choose not to follow me as I change focus. I understand. For those of you who are interested, hit the follow button up there on your right, or enter your email address!

Thanks for reading the old blog, commenting, and encouraging me for the last two years! It’s been awesome! And thank you to all the new followers. I look forward to sharing with you!