Thoughts

Why is it that sometimes when my brain is overflowing with thoughts it is almost impossible to get a word out on paper (or computer). It’s almost like knowing that a dam will break if you let the thoughts escape.

For now we see through a glass darkly…

The idea of seeing through a glass darklie – a dark shadow made of glass – came to me years ago when I was writing a story.

A darklie can be any size, but when you encounter one it darkens your vision and deafens your hearing so that the world seems the same way it does at night, composed of shadows and whispers. The fact that it is made of glass is important to remember. Glass can be broken fairly easily. If the darklie has not attached itself yet, then it is not usually too hard to remove and have the glass shatter. On the other hand, if the darklie is connected and especially if it has attached itself to someone’s eyes (their favorite place to grow) then it is only by careful patience and prayer that it may be removed without damage.

I feel I should add one more thing about darklies. Both Christians and non-Christians have them. They have grown on us over the course of many, many years, almost since the world was begun, and over those years they have steadily but subtly grown darker and darker. But by recognizing that we have them, we can start allowing them to be cleared, until one day we’ll be able to see stars and then twilight and then one morning we’ll wake up and see the sun rising and an angel stirring the waters.

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This morning I had a glimpse of what a normal Christian life could look like.

I feel that we have moved so far away from God that we see the reflection of His shadow and we’re content, we feel the whisper of His presence and it’s almost too much for us.

Adam walked with God. Abraham fed Him and waited on Him. He recognized God whether He ame as a person or came in a vision or Abraham spoke to Him. Moses could not see God’s face, but he spoke to God as a man does to a friend. Joshua stayed in the tent where God’s presence was.

I am so tired of seeing through a glass darklie. I want You, Father. I want my face to shine with Your light, I want Your glory to surround me, I want, I desire our house, our home, our family wherever we go to be filled to the brim, filled to overflowing with Your presence. I want to live a normal Christian life, not an average Christian life.

The glimpse I had was of a church somewhere very cold and very poor. And the Preacher was telling His parishioners that God would take care of them. And the warmth was coming from God to warm them as they listened. To illustrate, He turned to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo. It was much too hot for them there and God kept them comfortable. And it hit me that this is how our Christian walk should be, when we remove the glass darklie from our eyes (those dark lies like to hide things and put them in shadows so we merely see the outline of what is, like a child laying in bed at night nervous about the shadows flickering in his room).

Like cataracts over our eyes, we’ve allowed the darklies to grow over the years and over the generations until they’ve cut off so much of our vision that we’re practically blind, it’s just that we don’t realize it because we’ve never seen things any other way. And the change was so gradual for each preceding generation that very few were aware enough of it to work on removing it.

Can’t you just see us fumbling around, blind men who haven’t realized that we can’t see, diseased without knowing we need healing, only the difference in shadow tones telling us whether our eyes are opened or closed – and yet we say the shadows are real and we turn and trust in what we see instead of clinging to the One whose eyes are unfettered and allowing Him to heal us.

It’s bothered me for a while that:

Adam walked with God.

Abraham recognized God.

Moses couldn’t see God’s face, but he could be in His presence and see His back.

The children of Israel saw God in the cloud and the flame.

By Jesus’s time, people no longer saw the angel who stirred the water, but they saw the water move and knew what caused it.

And now we’re lucky if we see the water move and we have no idea what caused it. We have become so blind that we can’t see what is real, even if it’s close enough to bite us on the nose.

It just hit me. Until Jesus had come to the earth, it makes sense that each generation would see less of God.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God didn’t entirely turn away. They were still near Him because although the sin was a stain across them, they were still filled with God. With each generation though, the stain spread, growing ever larger from additional sins. And the sin darkens our vision even more than the darklie does. We can’t even think about having the darklie removed until the stain that covers and hides it has been removed. So that by the time Jesus came along, the stain covered their vision almost entirely. They could not even see an angel when they looked at one, and they could no longer recognize a face that glowed with God’s presence or looked like the Son of God, although Nebuchadnezzar (who didn’t know God yet) recognized Him in Daniel (3:25).

I don’t have words for the next part – it is more a picture in my mind. But I see us as Christians reaching out just as we would to those who have been in an accident, gently, tenderly taking their hands and saying, “Come, let me help you. Let me wash the blood out of your eyes so you can see. This? It’s living water. It will make the stain white as snow.”

From my study journal dated November 9, 2010

Monday Morning Bible Study

1 Cor 13:9-10 We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

Wow! Talk about a mind shift. What if we approached discussions with others as though we know a portion about God and perhaps they know a portion about God too, but all that we can say is incomplete because none of us know – none of us have the ability to know – God in His completeness.

What if we were willing to say, “I know that I only know a portion of what there is to know about God, and I know that my beliefs are incomplete. Maybe if we study together, we can both increase our knowledge of God.”

This seems to fit a discussion I had last night on Facebook. If I were to classify my political views, I would say that I am a Libertarian, but I do lean a lot closer to being a conservative than I do to being a liberal most of the time.

Last night, I was having a discussion with a friend whose views are different from mine. But, as I explained to her, I appreciate opposing viewpoints – if I only kept people around me who believed exactly as I do, my discussions, thoughts, and ideas in regards to that subject would quickly grow stale.

Is it perhaps the same with God? If we only stay with what we know, do we grow dull, our edges unhoned?

When we first started learning about Grace, Ken and I were shown an example of legalism in our everyday lives. And as we began to see the Grace throughout God’s word, we watched as the very idea of grace came close to destroying this soul who was stuck in their beliefs.

Father, I don’t want to be stuck, my sword dull, my armor rusty. I want to see You, and although I know that won’t happen for a while yet, I do know that You can open my eyes to even more truth and help me see a bigger and bigger portion of you. Help me not to discount ideas because they don’t fit with my version of the truth, but help me to be able to truly know what is of you and what isn’t, so that I grow in my walk with you and I’m not lead astray. Lord, I want to see clearly! Even if it’s only a piece at a time. But help me to never forget that I can’t see it all, and help me never to grow so settled in my beliefs that I can’t see other parts of You. And through it all, Father, help me to love.

[Love] Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.

I’m Typing, But The Batteries Are Dead

On days when Ken goes in to the office, often I pack 2, 1, or 0 boys up and head out to the bookstore.

When we moved, we left behind a bookstore that was about a mile from our home. Now, if I want to go to the bookstore, I’m looking at a drive of about 20 miles. Thankfully, 4 of those miles are a straight shot from Ken’s office to my favorite hangout. Even better, along the way is a Starbucks, so if we’re super early, we go get a coffee (etc.) at Starbucks and then at 9, when B&N opens, we head over.

Among the many things that I love about homeschooling is that fact that we can do it from pretty much anywhere. As long as we have 2 e-readers, we’re set to travel. All of J’s books are on the Kindle this year, and Will has all but 2 (with 1 more to come later). In fact, yesterday, J – wanting to show me that he was mature enough to do his studying without me needing to supervise, downloaded a 10 minute timer onto his Kindle and proceeded to go through his reading list, all on his own, taking time in between each book to share some commentary with me on what he liked or how interesting the lesson was. (I really can’t brag on the 10 minute lesson plan enough when it turns a boy who would avoid reading whenever possible into an eager student.) The wonderful thing about all of it was that because he got his studying finished, he was ready for an art lesson when Miss Casey arrived with her grinning and waving little one.

Casey is a dear friend who volunteered to teach the boys art and art history this year. Both of my artist hopefuls jumped at the chance, so J was super-excited about the lesson yesterday and the fact that older brother had opted to stay home made it even sweeter, since younger siblings don’t always get special one-on-one lessons.

Marty the Mighty Book DragonHopefully soon I’ll be able to share Casey’s website with you (once the start of school calms down and I can focus on something else), but for now, go check out Lady Sparrowhawk on Facebook and Etsy. Or, if you want something really special, check out her new book on Amazon, Marty the Mighty Book Dragon. J recommends it, “Mom, you have to read Miss Casey’s book, it’s good!”

Getting ready for another year of homeschool

Once again, we’ll be using Ambleside Online for the main part of our schooling. I really liked it last year and I think the boys did as well.

Will will be in the 10th grade this year. It’s hard to believe how rapidly he is growing up. Music is one of his electives, and web design will be another one. We purchased a program through Udemy on sale for $10 that presents you with a certificate at the end of the web design course. At the least, it will be enough information to get started, and from what I’ve seen, it looks like a very good course.

J also selected a course, he will be learning Python this year. It sounds like a good start to learning programming, and for $10, I’m not out much if he decides he’s not interested.

For the price, I couldn’t pass up adding  course for me as well, so I picked one on publishing your own book. You have lifetime access to the programs, so even if I don’t use the information this year, it’ll be there when I’m ready to use it.

Thoughts

Right now, I’m really not writing this blog to attract readers, perhaps people will like it, but it’s mostly just a spot for me to start writing again, to share the many thoughts that come into my head throughout the day that I tuck aside and then forget because they’re not put into writing.

I would like to start writing again every day. I know that requires determination and setting aside time to write, but that’s not really what holds me back. I think I finally realized today, what holds me back is that many of my thoughts might be controversial – and although I love hearing from all sides, I detest drama. In fact, I even avoid reading and/or watching most dramas. I might watch a love story IFF (if and only if) it’s a romantic comedy or the love story really isn’t the main story line. I’ve been known to stop watching TV shows that used to be favorites because they turn them into dramas instead of the sci-fi, comedy, or mystery that the show used to focus on.

And yet, I do have things to say and I want to share. I don’t even mind disagreements, as long as the disagreer doesn’t attack the disagreeee (LOL I’m sure that’s not really a word, but it’s awfully fun to make up words). It’s when people start arguing that their view is right and you’re wrong for your view (or that you’re teaching the world the wrong way to think if you have a certain view), that I want to just call for a break. We all have different views – and the bigger the issue, the more divided our views are going to be. Including mine. Including yours. We might agree on one, and totally disagree on another, and that’s okay, if we can share peacefully without getting upset that we’re not sharing the same view.

Over the last few days I’ve been reading posts on Facebook and thinking about how we want the world to be a certain way. All of us do. Even if your way looks different than my way. And when we see something that agrees with the way we want the world to be, we take it to mean that we’re right and we share it – the world is getting better! But then something comes along that bothers our world view. Often it’s something horrible that isn’t perceived as horrible by some entity. And then we’re frustrated. Just when we thought things were getting better.

The thought that’s been coming into my head over the past few days is simply this – the world hasn’t changed. Not really, and probably not much since the beginning of the world. Oh sure, we have electronics and devices that let us keep up with people half a world away in a matter of microseconds instead of minutes or hours or days or months that it would have taken before, but that’s not real change, that’s external, like putting make-up on and saying that you’ve changed, or going on a diet and expecting to be a different person inside. On the outside, the world in some spots has covered itself in makeup and new clothes and perhaps even shed a pound or two. But on the inside, it’s still the same. Looking under the cover, you’ll find the same, dark, lost world that was there before. Perhaps here and there is a spot of light and although light can shine in the darkness and brighten up a wide area, from my house here in NY, I can’t see the light of someone in Wyoming shining at night. I can’t even see a light from the next town over. So it is with the world. Until we get better at sharing our light, not fighting, not trying to force people to become like us, but sharing the only thing I’ve found that can change anyone, sharing unconditional love with a world of people who aren’t even sure what love looks like; until then, how can we expect any real changes? It’s all on the surface.

I guess that’s my prayer today. I want to be better at sharing love with the world. And the only way I know to do that is to love individuals, and perhaps they can turn around and love others that I would never have the opportunity to reach out to. Eventually, I pray that the love each of us experiences will turn to peace and then who knows what could happen. 🙂

I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company

I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land

That’s the song I hear
Let the world sing today
A song of peace
That echoes on
And never goes away

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony

I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company