Monday, April 07, 2008

Where the Line of Antithesis Lies

Sometimes in our desire to pursue and maintain truth, we draw the line of antithesis between ourselves and other Christians, forgetting that the real line lies between us and the world. Here is a small snippet of something that Douglas Wilson wrote recently on his blog, "Blog and Mablog."

When we gather to worship the Lord, when the call to worship is uttered, the Holy Spirit gathers us up, and ushers us all into the heavenly places where we then worship God in the name of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We have not come to a mountain that can be touched, but rather to the heavenly mountain of Zion, the New Jerusalem. We have assembled with all the holy angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. Moreover, we are doing this with all the saints all over the earth, time zone after time zone, in successive waves. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord shall be praised.

There are two thoughts in this that should comfort us. The first is that, because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, in whom we all make our approach to God, we all do so as members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Before the throne of God, where all of us assemble every Lord's Day, there are no denominations -- just a multitude that no man can number. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. We are to grow up into one unified perfect man in history precisely because this is already given to us in the heavenly realms. [Emphasis added]

The second encouragement is this. As we worship God in the heavenly realms, we are rising above the culture wars. This is not because those conflicts are now irrelevant, but rather this is our only successful way of fighting them. In our worship, we pray this: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are engaged this morning in glorifying the name of Jesus Christ in heaven. As a result, we may then ask by faith for God to do the same on earth. As the name of Christ is glorified on earth, as it is in heaven, the kingdom is coming, the will of God is being done. It is the will of God to exalt the name of Jesus Christ.

As the name of Christ is exalted by God this way, the secularists who do not wish to honor the name of Christ discover they have no countermeasures for this. There have nothing available to them that can stop this. Be encouraged, and worship the Lord this morning.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Depression, Guilt and Miscellaneous other Things...

One of the things that you should never do if you at all think you are depressed is to take the MMPI -- one of a form of psychometric testing. The test will confirm the depression, but the other stuff they tell you in it could very well push you over the edge. When I did one recently no one told me that the test results would come back in a totally negative light. Now I am not one who believes herself perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but to read this sort of negative report without anything to balance it off on the other side was almost enough to have me considering whether all my friends and family were completely and utterly blind not to mention a little crazy themselves if they could love such a miserable specimen of humanity as myself.

Depression sucks big time. You look perfectly healthy, can function to a certain extent, but inside your head you are sick. Your serotonin levels are down and out, your feel good neurotransmitters have gone south, and holding a positive thought can be difficult. And then there is the embarassment of it all when people casually ask you "How are you?" and you burst into tears to their and your horror. You sit in your house and there are whole sections of your home that you are afraid to go into. You see that things need doing, but somehow, mustering the energy to do them seems to be beyond you.

I never imagined that I would be doing this but I am trying the "better living through chemistry" approach. I am doing a few supplements in addition, but the motivation to eat properly, take my supplements, exercise, do stress-relieving sorts of activities, etc., is HARD to find. Somehow I have to try and do this, earn a living for the kids and myself, and make a whole bunch of decisions and judgements at a time when I feel the least capable of doing any of it. I totally get why some people become workaholics. When I am cleaning a house or doing a kinesionics session on someone, I have brief times of being in control of something and being competent at it. The temptation is to do more of what gives you that feeling.

Even though it feels like my world has become unglued, the alternative, ie., returning to Marc and that marriage, are out of the question. As bad as things are now, I will NEVER go back and endure that again. I have a small measure of self respect now, and I enjoy the freedom of being an adult and free from the particular stresses that living with him imposed. I have no guilt whatsoever about ending this marriage aside from the disruption it is causing in the life of my kids. I wish I could spare them all this turmoil and uncertainty, but not at the cost of returning to marital tyranny. I'm only just beginning to grasp the fact that not only do my kids deserve better, but so do I.

On the topic of guilt, I received what follows in an email the other day. One of the things that I am attempting to grasp on the subjective level is the whole idea of grace. Grace truly is a scandal in its unfairness. We all desire and need it, yet it is so counter-intuitive in many ways. Works righteousness comes so easily to us. We want to be found worthy through our own efforts. The following story is an illustration of how it really works.

The Devil and the Duck

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingsho t fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved!

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes" But Sally said, "Grandma , Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fish ing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally just smiled and said, "Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help" She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.

Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."

Thought for the day and every day thereafter?

Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.)...whatever it is ...You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven.

He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness; He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved

Go ahead and make the difference in someone's life today. Share this with a friend and always remember: God is at the window!