Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dancing


I am so exhausted...Selah had a rough night last night and we have had a busy day today between going to Beth Yeshua this morning, lunch with new friends, and then spending some time with the fam celebrating DD/Mom's birthday.

Today wasn't easy - Selah only took two very brief naps and was very difficult during lunch and the afternoon, and I have really been missing my hubby. But, I found this quote recently that I am really trying to embrace in this time of separation: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain." Sometimes it's easy for me to think, "When he gets home, it'll be easier" or "I can't wait for this time to be over so life can go back to normal" - essentially just longing for the norm, especially in those tough "single" parent moments. But, that quote reminds me of the absolute importance that I live in this moment. Life cannot stop because it is not picture perfect right now; it must and should go on. I will be sad at times, and that's ok. But I can't stop time for a year.

So, in the spirit of "dancing in the rain", today I am thankful for...
- Being near family. While I may not ask you to do a lot for me, I appreciate the things you do do for me, and checking in on me.

- The beautiful community at Beth Yeshua. Words cannot express the joy I feel when I am at the synagogue and sit under Rabbi's teaching. For the first time, I truly feel the freedom that God gives from legalism, sin, and the flesh.

- New friendships. I don't have any super close friends in the area, yet. But, I am excited as I begin getting to know people at where those friendships will lead.

- Our home. I am sure there will be things I don't love about this house. However, I am so grateful that God led us here for this time, and gave us this home. It is exactly what we need - not too big for me to handle, and yet sufficient for our needs as well.

- My wonderful husband. Words cannot express how very grateful I am for the gift God has given me in my hubby. He is exactly what I need and he brings so much joy into my life.

Friday, February 15, 2013

God of anger or love?


Since we moved, we have been attending a Messianic synagogue. Yes, I know that probably sounds like some kind of Old Testament group, or a cult or something. But in reality, it has been a beautiful experience. I won't go into all the details of what the synagogue is all about, except to say that it is a fully-functioning Church body, and in my humble opinion, it is church done the way God intended.

One of the things I love about the synagogue is that I truly feel like I have gotten to know who God is. It's not because of any one specific thing that's been said, it's just, I don't know - Rabbi Greg has a way of making the pieces of Scripture fit together in a way that just makes God make sense. When Rabbi speaks, I see the Old and New Testament as a symphony - working together to create something beautiful.

However, I have spent many years - almost my whole life - in Baptist circles. I will not dismiss all of the teaching I was given, for I believe much of it was on track. However, one teaching that I absolutely cannot stand that I have heard among some is that the God of the Old Testament was one of anger - a God who demanded a standard Israel couldn't meet and who showered them with curses. In contrast, the God of the New Testament - so these ones say - is a God of love, who bestows many blessings on us, and who does not hold curses over our heads any longer.

I am not going to get into all of the doctrinal issues behind those statements - it is not my desire to discuss doctrine here. But what I do want to point out is this: God Himself told us that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He told us that He doesn't change. Therefore, there is something infinitely wrong with this teaching. Either God had just as much capacity for love in the Old Testament as in the New, or He is a liar. And since God cannot lie, I cannot accept this teaching as truth. The God of the Old Testament was NOT a God of anger or judgment. Did He get angry? Sure. But so did Jesus in the New Testament. And just as Jesus showed endless amounts of love in the New Testament, so too did God the Father repeatedly pour out His love to His people, Israel.

Sorry - kinda random post. But this is something I've been thinking about all week, and I really needed to get it out.