Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year!

Woo Hoo! It's a day that doesn't exist for the majority of our years and I had to get a blog in! I would hate to have been born on Feb 29...

Well, a ton is going on in my life, but what I really wanted to talk about is corpuscular rays. :) They are one of my most favorite things to photograph. If you don't know what they are, it's what they call rays of light (or the absence of light) that break through some other atmospheric material. (i.e. clouds, mist, smoke...) Here's a photo I snapped with my phone as I was driving to work on the morning of Feb 21, 2008.

It's not the greatest photo, but it captured the moment. It was another one of my first days of freedom, and whenever I see the sun shining through the clouds, it's like God is coming down through sky and time to touch the earth once more. I love it. I imagine Him saying, "See, I'm here..."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Whoever He Really Is, He's the Real God...

I've known for a long time that God isn't who we think He is.
He's so much more than human words and minds can imagine.
When someone comes to a fantastic idea about God, it seems that they write a book about it, the idea catches on for a while or in a certain area of the world, perhaps a new denomination of Christianity is formed... perhaps a new religion is formed... Well, I'm not going to write a book - I may read one or two of the books already out there that are seeking the "true" nature of God, but I'll be content to blog and pray, "hoping to God" that I'm not deluding myself or making it more difficult to commune with Him.

"Commune with Him." Sometimes certain phrases I've said all my life strike me and make me stop and think how crazy and wrong I must sound to someone who does not know God. But then I think about all the other religions that have their own ways to God like "following the Noble Eightfold Path" (which is actually pretty good until the last one...) and "Worship Allah as if you see Him."

And so I, because I have grown up in Christianity, have come to believe in the God of the American Protestant convention. Don't get me wrong, whoever He really is, He's the real God, creator of the universe, and He loved us enough to give us the choice to love Him - because who really feels loved when the other person has no choice? And He loved us enough to come rescue us when we blew it and turned away from Him.

But, but, but, the waves of doubt crash on my forehead... what if we're not completely right? Or what if some of those other religions are on the right track but just haven't reached the Jesus switch? At times like this I turn to the book I have that for centuries has been snipped and stretched, translated and screen played, but has always been called "the Word of God." This is an excerpt from the book of Romans. (Romans 1:1-7, 18-28. My emphasis added.) Paul was a killer of Christians who was forgiven by Jesus in a blinding flash of light. Then he couldn't stop telling people about the love of God...

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

- - -

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

Sit in that for a while. That's what I'm going to do... thanks for reading.
- Jen

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sometimes I Say It Pretty Well Too...

Ahhh, "vacation." Right now, I'm sitting on the couch at Steve's place and we are watching X-Files all day on the Sci-Fi Channel. But we are also each on our own laptops; (what's the world coming to?) he's playing Texas Hold 'Em and I'm finding and listening to new music, Googling things we see in commercials, and checkin' the old email.

See, yesterday was our 12-year-anniversary and even though we aren't going anywhere special, we kind of are, because we are together, just living. It's nice. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for us. Our plan is to find a place that we can afford and takes dogs around April 1 (no joke...) when Steve's lease is up.

There's so much more going on, but that's the general plan for now. God works miracles.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Others Always Say It Better...

New Creation

Today's Scripture

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (II Corinthians 5:17).

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

Everyone loves to get something new. But as a believer in Jesus, you’re not only getting something new, you are something new. You are a brand new creation! Your eternal being, or the spirit on the inside of you, is re-created in Christ. The old is gone, the new has come. The Bible says that we are to work out our salvation. That means you have to retrain your body and mind to act, think, speak and live according to the new spirit within you—instead of the old habits you used to have. Don’t ever get stuck in a rut thinking, “I’ll never change…that’s just the way I am.” No, the Bible says that the Spirit of God aids us in our weakness. He gives us strength to overcome. He empowers us to live as more than conquerors. Is there something you want to change in your life today? Remember, you are a new creation in Christ. You are empowered to overcome. You are equipped to walk in the new, abundant life the Lord has in store for you!

A Prayer for Today

Father in Heaven, thank You for making me a new creation. Thank You for empowering me to live as an overcomer. I give this day to You and ask You to help me fully understand the plan You have for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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Stockton, CA, United States
Free to run.