i sat here for about 15 minutes, trying to think about a good blog post. i have very little to say about the weekend, except that open houses are kind of a violation...it's weird to have people lollygagging their way thru your house for no da*n reason except to snoop. icky.
i also did nothing in the area of crafts. i do have a vision for the dresser, but the stripper in the basement didn't work too well. he he. that is kind of a funny statement. anyway, you know what i mean.
so, i'll blog about my new bible study. i will also whine about the fact that my used book from amazon that i ordered over 3 weeks ago is STILL not here, so i downloaded a version for my phone. this is the first time that amazon has let me down! but whew. it was handy to get the book in a 1-click touch. i may be asking for a kindle from santa at some point :)
back to the book. it's not one that was really jumping off the shelf for me to pick up. but, if you've read greg boyd at all (most famous is probably 'letters from a skeptic'), you know he has some pretty interesting perspectives. in this book, boyd is seeming to challenge a ton of 'accepted' chrisitian beliefs about God that are simply false. i admit, i do tend to see God in ways that perhaps don't match perfectly together all the time. i get bound up sometimes in the disciplinarian God of the old testament, rather than the God that paul talks about in the new testament. i get confused by some of the parables of Jesus. sometimes, his behavior confuses me, too.
i don't usually admit this kind of stuff, but in the group i'm in, it's okay to question. wow, i never knew how much that HELPS in terms of God growth. last week, i had a real, serious meltdown on the phone with carey. i admitted that i was completely confused by God most of the time. i asked some really hard, scary questions that i would NEVER ask God himself, but that it seemed safe to vent to a friend about. that very night, at church, the video i was watching ASKED THE SAME QUESTIONS. i am taking that as a sign that God understands that i'm still in the dark about some foundational things. i don't think he wants me to stay there. that is the good news, that the questions i have are something God cares about me knowing.
in the meantime, i was hit with romans 5 three times last week. a three-time reminder is a pretty sure sign that God is wanting you to get it. i admit, i usually don't read the verse in context, but a lightbulb went off when i did....!
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
3-5There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
9-11Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!i think what this passage says is that God thinks i'm okay, because i DO have faith in his son! i cannot boast about a ton of things as a christian, but i do KNOW in my heart that Christ is real, alive and working on earth today. that i know. for today, is that enough? i sure hope so :)