January 25, 2008

Beautiful Sound

I think I'm going to fall in love with this song...

Turn the page,
Can't turn the light out.
Every word, every line
Carries to my soul.
Dark letters on a page
Singing so loud.
Where did I go wrong
Not to hear You?

Eighteen years,
I guess it was all right.
I let You do the thinking,
I'd just bide my time.
Father to son
Sunday hand-me-down.
Where did I go wrong
Not to hear Your song?

It's a beautiful sound
Moving through the crowd.
Voices lifted up
On high for You.

It's a beautiful song.
We've only just begun to understand.
Rediscovering You.

To have found You, and still be looking for You,
It's "the soul's paradox of love."
You fill my cup, I lift it up for more.
I won't stop now that I'm free.
I'll be chasing You
Like You chased me.

January 23, 2008

More on the Bride of Christ...

I am of the persuasion that there is nothing in scripture that applies to only one situation. I strongly believe that there are principles modeled in the Bible that are relevant to many different parts of our life here on earth.

If men are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, what does this say about a woman's role within the Church? Are we equal in our roles with men? If a woman has the same spiritual gift as a man, does this mean that they will both perform within the same roles in the Church? If the same-role ideal isn't modeled in marriage, why would it be carried out within the Church?

Now, with all questions asked (maybe), let's look at the role of women in marriage. Even from the very beginning, Eve was created to be Adam's helpmate. Paul instructs that men are the head of the home, as Christ is the head of the Church, and women are commanded to submit to their husbands as the Church does to Christ. While this is not directly addressing the role of women within the Church, I do believe it applies.

Men and Women are created for specific natural roles, regardless of their spiritual gifting. If we are created to be nurturers and helpmates, it is unlikely that we are intended to use our giftings in the same way. This is simple for those who are gifted with Mercy or Serving, but it gets a little harder when you run into a Prophetic female voice, or even an Apostolic one. What then? What does the Apostolic woman do when the issue of submission arises in Church leadership?

I would certainly not suggest that it is impossible for a woman to be gifted in such a way. If that is so, then it would also be impossible for men to be gifted with the less confrontational gifts. We are not gifted based on gender, but I do believe that our gifts work differently according to our gender. I also believe that as women of a prophetic or apostolic gifting, we are called to more than loose submission to a vague male spiritual authority. We are called to be the support system and helpmate for the men in authority over us. We are called to be the mentors of the younger women around us, and we are called to work by the Spirit within our own giftings regardless of the social pressure to do otherwise. Is this a dichotomy?

So... I THOUGHT I had asked all the questions.... :)

January 19, 2008

Wedding Plans are underway

Lately, God has been speaking to me a lot about the Bride of Christ. Until this season of my life, this meant very little to me. I have never been the kind of girl who planned their big, fancy wedding at the age of twelve. I have never been very romantic in the traditional flowers-and-chocolate sort of way. Even now, as God is preparing my heart for marriage, and taking me through the process of wedding-related things with my best friend, I still have very little foresight as to what my wedding will look like. One thing I do know is that weddings require a lot of attention to detail and a lot of preparation. This preparation can be frightening, frustrating, joyous, and just plain painful sometimes.

If it is true that the Church is the Bride of Christ, and the wedding will be after Christ's return, is not the time we have here the time of preparation for the wedding? What does this entail?

The engagement announcements-- Usually, the bride isn't afraid to put the name of her betrothed on the announcement of engagement. For some reason, it seems, we are afraid to even reveal his identity. But, when we don't tell the world Who it is that we are going to be married to, we keep them from sharing in the blessings of the engagement.

The perfect dress-- All brides want one thing, if nothing else, for their wedding. If the dress isn't right, the whole wedding can't be right. Bridal ornaments are talked a lot about in the Old Testament, always as a symbol of the bride's identity. In Isaiah 61:10, it says that the Lord has clothed us "...with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." What dress are we wearing as the Bride of Christ? Is it a radiant white that displays the purity and righteousness provided for us by Christ? Or did we opt for an ivory dress because of our infidelity, our unsightly pale skin, or because we thought we would break the norm of society?

The bridal shower-- I think that the bridal shower is the thing that we, as the Church, neglect the most. Instead of bringing our spiritual gifts before the Bride of Christ, we spend all of our time offering services that will in no way aid in the wedding preparations or in the life we will share with our Beloved after the wedding day is over. We were all created with gifts that will help the Bride fulfill her one true wedding preparation (that is, restoring God's glory in the world), but we either work out of our flesh, or we never RSVP for the bridal shower. Help the bride out a little!

"... Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." - Ephesians 5:25-27

January 12, 2008

"The Church"

I have come with one purpose
to capture for Myself a bride
by My life she is lovely
by My death she’s justified
I have always been her husband
though many lovers she has known
so with water I will wash her
and by My word alone
so when you hear the sound of the water
you will know you’re not alone
'cause I haven’t come for only you
but for My people to pursue
you cannot care for Me with no regard for her
if you love Me, you will love the Church
I have long pursued her
as a harlot and a whore
but she will feast upon Me
she will drink and thirst no more
so when you taste My flesh and My blood
you will know you’re not alone
there is none that can replace her
though there are many who will try
and though some may be her bridesmaids
they can never be My bride
derek webb

January 03, 2008

Floridian Mosquitos are my least favorite.

I have finally, in my treks across the country, to various states including but not limited to, Kansas, Colorado, California, Ohio, and numerous other places where I have been bitten by mosquitos both large and small, discovered one thing......

Floridian mosquitos are my least favorite.

Why? Because, when you're enjoying a fantastic, chilly evening on Miramar Beach as the fog is rolling in along with high tide, and your forehead starts itching... then burning... then swelling up to an insane size, it sort of ruins the moment.

But, all swollen foreheads aside, Florida was great... well, as great as salt water and sand can get. I really did like the thunderstorms, though. I'm glad to be back!

On Aprils

Ten years ago, I sat in the dining hall of a Christian camp. A man my father's age sat with me. It was April, and I had no idea... I had...