Blameless By the Blood

So, I’m back at school for my senior year! It has been quite the process moving in, getting settled, and starting classes again. It is so great to be back. David and I are back at wedding planning together (a summer apart isn’t so wonderful for planning purposes). Apparently we need each other to decide on flowers, the cake, the pastor, and important things like that. Who knew?!

Anyways, I thought I would post something new to kick start the semester. The other day I was discussing a theological topic at a staff meeting. While being the only girl in the meeting talking about theology with 3 men probably doesn’t work to my advantage, I managed to get some words in. I really enjoyed listening to the guys talk, though, because I sometimes I don’t know enough about the topic to give my opinion. This time I did know enough about the topic, and I didn’t let the opportunity pass to share my views.

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The topic we were talking about was sin, and if there were different levels or degrees of sin. The conclusion we came to was that, in God’s eyes, sin is sin. On the other hand, to the world (and the justice system) there are different degrees of sin. Even though this is a juicy topic, I won’t be writing much about it in this post.

What I do want to write about is the fact that God’s position and hatred of sin has not changed. God has hated sin ever since the Fall. However, the one thing that has changed is that Jesus is now in the middle, between God and us. He is literally in between God and His children. We are cleansed from unrighteousness because God looks through Jesus and sees us as holy. And the only reason we are holy is because the blood of Jesus was the one sacrifice that could satisfy the wrath of God. A thousand lambs sacrificed to God could never have completely cleansed us of the filth of sin that covered us before we accepted Jesus.

The point I’m trying to make is that God has always hated sin and He still does, but He was merciful enough to send His only Son as the ultimate atoning sacrifice. I think that is the most loving and selfless act He could ever make for people who could never repay Him. That’s who God is. And that’s who Jesus is. The One Who sent, and the One Who was sent to bring us back into a relationship with Him.

Then God said, “Let There Be… Science?”

I don’t want to stir up any debates, theological arguments, or scientific lessons. I’m not trying to attack, put down, or diminish other people’s views. But I have a few thoughts on science and God. A lot of people think that we can’t use science to prove that God exists. It’s true that God is a Spiritual Being, he is unseen, and that science is based on what we can see. Ok, let me back up. I looked up the term “science” in my handy Macbook Pro dictionary, and it gave me this definition: 

science |ˈsīəns|noun the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment: the world of science and technology.

The definition made sense to me, after re-reading it 5 times. What I got from it was that science is based on observation and experiment. We observe what we see, we test what we know, and we record the results. God has revealed Himself to us through creation. His handiwork is spread across the sky day and night (Psalm 19). His imagination has invented every colour we see, and even more that we can’t see. His hands have sculpted the human body, and He knits us together in the womb (Psalm 139). If you look at the sky at night, you know there has to be Someone bigger than you holding this universe together.

One of my favourite Christian speakers is Louie Giglio. He speaks on many different things, but my favourites are his messages about Earth and space. He speaks about the planets, the stars, and the galaxies. I don’t think I have watched one of his sermons without tearing up in awe of God.

What if God uses science as a way for us to get a better look at His glory? What if He is watching and waiting for us to discover things we could never have imagined? And what if He wants us to use science as a way of evangelism, like Louie Giglio does?

I really think science shows us how glorious and creative our God is. We just have to look around and see it.

Confidence Beyond Comparison

The other day I was doing some deep thinking (in the shower, naturally), when I had a realization. Everyone has at least one thing that prevents them from doing something in life. This one thing could be a fear, a physical problem, an emotional problem, or a spiritual issue they haven’t dealt with. And then I realized that almost everyone compares themselves to other people. We envy people who don’t have the same “one thing” as we do.

So for example, let’s say someone has a fear of heights and they talk to someone who is pretty fearless and jumps off cliffs (this may or may not have happened to me lately…). The fearful person might walk away thinking, “Wow, I wish I was that brave. I would love to jump off cliffs if I didn’t think something terrible would happen.”

If that example wasn’t good enough, imagine a young girl who doesn’t like a part of her body. It could be her nose, her eyes, or her weight. And then she sees other girls who have pretty noses, eyes, and who look pretty fit. This young girl with this insecurity (planted there by the Enemy through other people or magazines), if she is not careful, will become jealous of these other girls. But the truth is, these other girls who seem to have it all together, have their own “one thing” that they are dealing with.

Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I definitely agree. It’s hard to be joyful when all you’re doing is looking at yourself negatively. Comparison only brings you to the realization that no one is perfect. Comparison won’t get you a new body, different coloured eyes, a fearless spirit, or a growing faith. The one thing that will get me to love my body, my eyes, and help me to conquer my fears and grow my faith is a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. The only Person we should compare ourselves to is Christ, because He is the standard, and He is perfect. Jesus doesn’t have that “one thing,” but He can help us to look past our “one thing” and we can overcome our insecurities with His strength.

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Love is a [ verb ]

Love is one of those things that so many people think they have neatly packed in a box with no room for surprises or contradiction. But the thing is, love is not what today’s culture says it is. Love is not a noun, it’s not just a feeling, and it’s not something you fall into. Love is a verb, a connection, and something that takes work and a lot of patience. I don’t claim to fully understand what love is, or even how it looks, but I do know that it’s something that takes effort.

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So if love isn’t a noun or a feeling, then why does it make us act so goofy? Why do I get butterflies in my stomach? Why do I feel like I can do anything just because someone special is holding my hand (that would be you, David)? And then there is the other side of things. Why, if I love this person so much, do I feel so frustrated with him at times? Why can he get on my very last nerve?

If you have been in a relationship for over a year or two, you know that the beginning of the relationship is filled with all sorts of good emotions. Some people call this the “honeymoon phase” but there is a proper word for this kind of love, which is the Greek word ErosEros love is mostly chemical based, which is why our emotions are so high when we first start a relationship. There is another kind of love that is usually there from the beginning, and this is phileo love (brotherly/friendship love). There isn’t a whole lot of agape love (unconditional love) at the beginning of a relationship because that comes later with time and trust.

My point is, any good, lasting relationship will have all three kinds of love (sometimes all at once, or in stages). Once you and your sweetie move past the “honeymoon phase,” it becomes a little more work to stay in love. Eventually those goofy emotions and butterflies will fade (not completely though), and you will have to make a decision. Are you going to love him even though there’s hard times, or will you let your emotions get the best of you and find someone new who gives you butterflies all over again? If the relationship is right and God-honouring, I promise you the first option (to fight for your relationship) is the best choice you could make. David and I made that choice a long time ago (to always fight for each other and our relationship), and it was the best thing we could have done for our relationship.

I’m a Woman, I Have Rights! … Right?

I used to think I had the role of women understood. I have read Genesis many times, and I enjoy reading about how man “should not be alone.” The word helper made sense to me, until I heard what the Hebrew translation was. I always understood the word helper to mean a partner, but it’s so much more than that. The Hebrew word for helper is Ezer, which means “to rescue, to save.” It also means “strength.” Isn’t that neat? I think it’s so cool that God chose to use that word to describe what women were made for.

When I first heard the translation of “helper” in my Marriage & Family course at Liberty, I felt a sense of confidence. But not the confidence that culture says that women should have, it was a God-given confidence. I thought helper was a term that meant a woman was someone who was passive until her help was needed. It turns out that women were created for more than “helping.” Women were made to be a source of strength for their husbands. We are to fight to protect the honour and reputation of our men. But this role is not to be filled by a woman who thinks too highly of herself. This role was meant to be filled by a humble, serving woman. If you’re looking for ways to show respect to your fiancé or husband, then fulfilling your womanly role is a great place to start!

By showing your man that you accept the role God has given you instead of fighting against it, then your man can assume his role, too. Things go a lot more smoothly when we accept our rightful role as woman and stop fighting against it. I’m not saying a woman can’t go out and work (this isn’t about having a career), what I am saying is a woman was given to Adam. We were made for man, because it was not good that man should be alone. But God didn’t create woman so that man could step all over her. That is why He chose the word Ezer to describe the woman’s role. It sounds backwards, but I have stopped trying to be the leader in my relationship with David, and I actually feel like we’re more of a team this way. And that’s because we have both assumed our proper roles.

I don’t say all of this so that we can go and brag about how cool our role is (even if it is pretty cool). I’m saying all of this so that we can finally understand what the word “helper” really means, and step up and accept the role that God has given to us as women.