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Posts Tagged ‘cleansing’

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There is much hesitancy in our world today to identify as … anything.

Gender is, obviously, much discussed, but it is not the only issue with great debate.

Interestingly, there are many people who go to church, attend youth or small groups, pray, participate in communion and practise many other activities related to Christianity … yet they struggle to identify as a Christian or Christ-follower.

The most common reasons I have heard for this lack of ability or willingness (or is it a lack of faith?) to identify as a Christian is:

  • they do not yet ‘have it all together’
  • they so not want to identify as a Christian because there are so many ways that Christians have messed up

In the early days of Christendom, identifying with Christ was very public.

Baptism was the initial identifier of those (Jews) who were identifying as followers of Jesus, their Messiah. It was John the Baptist (the cousin of Jesus) who was inviting them to confess their sins, then come to the Jordan River, where they would be symbolically, publicly cleansed or redeemed of their sins.

The Jewish people could relate somewhat to this practise, as the Jewish custom of Tvilah was common. In this ancient practise, people of the Jewish faith went to be cleansed, purified, restored after having encountered something or someone (ie. a corpse) unclean, according to Levitical law.

The baptism that John was inviting the Jews, the early Christians, to was a once-for-all cleansing. It was symbolic of the forgiveness and redemption that Jesus had come to offer …

Forgiveness and redemption for our sins
yesterday, today and tomorrow.

John the Baptist did not invite people who were already purified to participate in the baptism that he was performing, but those who were dirty and who desired to be clean … those who acknowledged their sin-dirty condition, and who were choosing to be identified with the only one who could make them clean for all eternity.

For those waiting to identify with Christ until they ‘have it all together, the identifying comes before the purification … and the having it all together is a goal, not a destination.

For those not wanting to identify with Christ, because of the many Christians who have, are and will mess up … see above. They are not perfect, as you and I are not perfect “not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:2).

Paul said,
“John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance.
He told the people
to believe in the one coming after him,
that is, in Jesus.”
Acts 19:4

 

 

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Men and women are so different!
(and this is news?)

Men just do not get us!
(duh!)

Remember the little childhood poem :

“What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That’s what little boys are made of !”

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and all things nice
That’s what little girls are made of!”

I’d like to modify the ‘little girls’ part …

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and teary cries
That’s what little girls are made of!

We females cry …

we cry when we are sad, we cry when we are happy,

we cry when we remember, we cry when we look to the future,

we cry when we are hungry, and when we are full,

we cry when we are with friends, and when we are all alone,

we cry when we laugh hysterically, we cry when we are spitting mad

we just cry.

What is misunderstood by the testosterone-filled gender, is the fact that we do not choose to cry (certainly there are those who turn the waterworks on and off like the garden hose, but those are the manipulating few). Most often, for most women, the tears flow naturally … as if estrogen is the main ingredient! When the tears fall, the result is not simply wet cheeks, the main result (as if this was the plan to begin with, by our Creator) is that we females feel better. Oh, the thing that brought on the tears may still exist, but the pressure that had built up prior to the dam bursting is relieved, and we can breathe again.

Revelation 21:4 tells us that, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” This verse does not tell us that He will stop the tears from flowing, but that will wipe them … with a tender, loving wipe of our Father’s hand. He will comfort, He will console, He will empathize.

God ‘gets’ tears, He understands the pressure that builds up in the tear ducts of a woman … that is how He made us. That is how He wanted us to respond as we walk this Earthly existence where leaking from our eyes is how we survive the realities of this world.

Tissue anyone?

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I miss the thunder and lightening storms that I grew up with on the East Coast.

I miss them from our life in Ottawa as well.

Where I live, on the west coast, we do not get many thunder and lightening storms, and when they happen, they are short lived, and not terribly dramatic.

For many, there would be no ‘missing’ of thunder and lightening storms, but I truly do.

I miss how they made my heart pound.

I miss how they made the house shake. I miss the rumbling of the Earth, the shaking of the pictures on the walls, as the lightening hit nearby.

I miss counting from one clap of thunder until the next … counting how close it might be.

I miss the power going out, and darkness only being distinguished by the eye-blinding flashes of unpredictable lightening.

I miss the way such a storm would draw the whole family together in one room, as if we were together to play a game, or watch a flick, or share a meal.

I miss the story-telling that would come of the togetherness. Stories of storms past. Stories of how we, how other responded to the storms. Stories of those we knew, stories of those we had only heard of. Stories of fear, of bravery, of loss and of delight.

I miss the air cleansing rains that come after the storm. The rains that push the heaviness in the air away, far away. And replace it with a newness that breathing is intentional, so as to cleanse our lungs as well. All that was heavy, all that was life-hindering, all that was suffocating, was changed by the ear-pounding thunder, the earth shaking lightening that scared us to the point of alertness.

And the rains came, and washed all evidence of all that had been stealing our breath, so that we could take joy in the gift of living, the gift of every breath.

I miss it, I miss them, because the shock and fear that they produced reminded me that I am alive.

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