Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Faith. Trust. How?

For once I'm not questioning "Why" but "How." That's new. For me. It's always been "Why?" Why, why why? But now it's How?

How? That was our question at Thursday night Bible meeting. How does God fill us? How do we know without a shadow of a doubt that God finds us the most beautiful, the most special thing in the world. How do we find our confidence and self-worth through him? How?

I'm an introvert and natural internal processor. It's natural for me to work through things internally, so allow me a moment to process (or think) "out loud" here. Maybe we're focused too much on the How. The How (that word is starting to look funnier and funnier the more I read it) isn't the point. The point is faith - believing that "It" is and eventually we will not only know it with our minds but with our hearts as well. Eventually, with a little faith, we won't need to feel God's love and acceptance and adoring eye to know that it's there.

There is a song by J.J. Heller (thank you, God, for J.J. Heller!) called "When You Come Back for Me." The lyrics are:

I don't know how to follow you without losing my way
Jesus, come and take me by the hand
And I don't know how to trust that you will do the things you say
Spirit, teach me how to understand
That your love can heal the wreckage of my soul
The beauty of your light shining in me
I don't know when you'll take me home to paradise with you
The day when I will finally be free
Oh the day when you come back for me.

When I'm lost in the How, and I don't know what to pray, what to say to my Father, I pray this song. The lyrics are so honest and dead-on target. It's a wonderful place to start.

Moving on there's an old (or older) hymn that says, "Let's forget about ourselves and magnify his name and worship him." Perhaps we should forget about how we don't get it (the disciples didn't get it either, more on that in a moment), forget how we don't understand and instead say, "Father, I'm just going to praise you. I don't get it, but I'm going to praise you anyway." Perhaps we should be focusing on Who God is instead of How he is.

As I just mentioned, the disciples/apostles - Jesus' closest circle - didn't tend to get it either. In Matthew 14:13-20, Jesus is out in a remote area preaching. He has compassion on the crowds and wants to feed them. He asks the disciples what's available, and they respond five loaves of bread and two fish, but that certainly isn't enough to feed a crowd of 5,000. Then Jesus performs a miracle - he breaks the bread and gives thanks, and as the disciples pass the food around to the crowd, the tiny meal expands to fill up all 5,000 and create enough leftovers for a small army. Now let's go to one chapter later in Matthew 15:29-37. Again Jesus is speaking to a crowd (of 4,000 this time) in a remote area and wants to feed them; the disciples respond: "Where can we get enough bread in such a remote place to feed such a crowd" (v33 NIV)? Amazing to me that the Bible doesn't then say "Jesus rolled his eyes" or "Jesus let out a great sigh." The Bible says Jesus performed the same miracle. The wording of the two passages is even similar. So, the disciples didn't get it, and they were right there with Jesus! The point wasn't how Jesus performed a miracle - twice - but that he did perform it; the point isn't how is Jesus so divine but that he is divine.

God (Father, Son - Jesus, Holy Spirit) is Divine. First we must learn who God is by reading his Word (the Bible), asking him to reveal himself to us and discussing with other followers who God is. Then we must try to emulate (be like) him. The How won't matter then. We may never know the How. Something else important to remember: we will fail. How absolutely terrifying.

But not to worry, we'll still belong to God as his treasure. In Matthew 16:13-20, Peter names Jesus for who he is - the Christ or the Messiah, the living Son of God - and Jesus tells Peter that he will be the rock (Peter means "rock") on which Christ Jesus will build his church and the gates of Hades/Hell will not overcome it. Heck yeah, I'll take that job. Awesome. But keep going in chapter 16. Jesus explains to his disciples that very soon he will suffer and die, and Peter (the rock on which Jesus will build his church) rebukes the Living Son of God saying this will never happen to him. How does Jesus respond in verse 23? He says to Peter (the rock on which Jesus will build his church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it): "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." Ummm....

Another line from J.J. Heller: "Faith means holding onto You / Grace means You're holding me too" ("Painted Red"). Thinking out loud, I'm thinking the How isn't as important as Who. Once we start focusing on the Who and begin to participate in his nature knowing God is I AM, eventually our hearts will know this truth as well. And then we'll fail again and again, but that's why there's grace.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In Magnolia Park...

In Magnolia Park there lived Nina and Rita, Mavis and Debbie Wakefield; next to them were the Sappingtons and across the way the Pratts.


        She is a Huon.  The first Huon actually; as a Huon she is time and space and matter.  Each Huon created something and though their energy, which can be used to heal or destroy, may be drained, the only way a Huon can die is to sacrifice itself so another may live.  She can see all timelines except her own.
        She created the "weeping angels."  When she heard what happened to Amy and Rory, she created the leaf that led to Clara Oswin Oswald -- someone for the Doctor to find again (and again) because no one, not even the Doctor, needs ever be alone.
        Except her.  She is the last Huon.  Huons name things -- they know the names of every living being, but they also know the sacredness of a name and do not use this power lightly.  During her time with the 12th Doctor they come across a being whom she can't name.  She calls him a shadow; he (the being) just appears in the TARDIS and says, "The last thing I remember is the beach.  There was a bright light and then I was here."  Her and this shadow fall in love before he disappears.
         It is the 12th Doctor who discovers that she created the leaf that led to Clara.  Eventually the Doctor allows Clara to die; the huon is heartbroken over letting her "child" go. (She is also the woman in the woman in the shop who gave Clara the 11th Doctor's number as the customer service # for the WiFi.) The 13th Doctor gets into trouble, but has run out of regeneration energy, so she convinces him to use her because, unlike a human (e.g. Donna Noble), she can handle the Doctor's knowledge.
        They (in her body) land in the parallel universe (she's Time and Space and Matter, so therefore can) where Rose Tyler and Doctor clone are.  The huon discovers her parallel universe self is the young daughter of Rose and DC.  The huon's name, Mai, is short for Flowdabmai -- "I am Bad Wolf" backwards; she created herself.  Young parallel Flowdabmai, who goes by Flo, creates an angel too, but 1) Mai can't name it, and 2) instead of sending people into the past, it sends people into parallel realities. 
        Mai tries to sacrifice herself to save the Doctor (after having to rescue him from a parallel reality where Flo's angel sent him - long story), but he turns the tables on her.  She disperses what's left of the Doctor's soul giving the final piece to the TARDIS and naming him before sending the TARDIS off.  Mai is left on the beach with Rose and DC when they hear the TARDIS return.  Mai hears the two hearts.  The TARDIS has recreated the Doctor.  Mai turns and stops.  "It's you," she says.  "Of course, 'I was on a beach.  There was a bright light and then I was here.'"  This Doctor was the shadow she had fallen in love with -- and he's ginger!
        Mai and the Doctor adventure through all of time and space....The End.
Mai appears on the TARDIS.  "I'm Flowdabmai.  Just call me Mai."
"Falling in love, being in love, is different than loving someone." - Mai
Mai gets trapped on a pocket universe - courtesy of the Doctor - where life is "ordinary".  She finds herself married to one Doctor (John Smith), she's pregnant (with Clara), she's sister to Rose and 10th Doctor, etc, and Shadow is reading Puck's soliquy on the radio ("If we shadows have offended...").  All the Doctors have beards and all have some version of the name John - Ian, Sean, etc., the 9th Doctor is not there.  Mai begins to forget who she is, but before she is completely lost, there is a knock at the door.  She opens the door and there stands the 9th Doctor, sans beard, saying he received a message from Mai.  Mai remembers who she is, goes with the 9th Doctor, and erases the rescue and the meeting from his memory.
I'd love to see an episode where the Doctor discovers it's teddy bears saving the children (maybe from the angels - teddy bears don't blink)
Somehow the Doctor needs to fly the TARDIS to certain points (from point to point) to get out of trouble but needs a homing device to act as something akin to a lighthouse to jump from point to point.  Doctor (to Mai): "Where are you going?"  Mai: "Oh, out."  Doctor: "Out?  Now?"  Mai: "I'll be your beacon."
Jack Harkness (to Mai): "There's something so...familiar about you.  Like - looking in a mirror."  Later when Mai meets young Flo, she remembers Jack's words.  Mai: "'There's something so familiar about you. Like looking in a mirror.' Doctor, spell my name."  He rambles on about whatever from the mirror Mai put him in because she was tired of having him in her head.  "Spell it!"  Mai writes it (flowdabmai) on the mirror so it reflects the other way (iambadwolf).
Mai: Who in the universe would name their child "I am Bad Wolf" backwords?; Rose: Well, why'd you name yourself that?; M: I didn't name myself.; R: Then who did?; M: Something More (smiles).
By the way, I nominate this guy as the next Doctor:

 Sans beard.