Monday, May 26, 2008

"Snuggle Jesus"

Snuggle defined:
1. To draw close especially in comfort or in affection
2. To make snug

Tonight at Celebration I really liked my thoughts that followed something Aaron Porter said. He was talking about heaven, and how the first thing he wants to do when he gets there is to snuggle with Jesus. At first, that sounds kind of funny, but once he said it and kept talking about it, the more I really liked the picture that presented. You snuggle with someone you love so you can show your affection for them, and it provides a feeling of security, too. How appropriate for our relationship with Jesus. The more he talked about it, the more excited he became - "I'm going to snuggle with Jesus!"

I've often experienced the desire that Jesus was here - physically - so I could just give him a hug. Or rather, so he could just hug me. A lot of times things seem so much better after you've "hugged them out." I have never really been a touchy-feely kind of person (I've never even liked that term, really, it's weird that I used it), but I do like hugs, when given without awkwardness at least. (There have been plenty of awkward hugs in my lifetime - most of the time initiated by me when I don't know what else to do. Because I'm someone who is not confident in my hug-initiating skills, I'm better off letting somebody else institute the hug. I'm a really good hug-receiver, though. If you're reading this and thinking "I'll never hug Karen again because she thinks it's awkward" - don't! I love hugs, really I do.) Can you imagine though, how it would be to hug Jesus? I get really excited just thinking about it - knowing that when we get to heaven we can actually, physically put our arms around Jesus and give him a hug. On this same note, I've always liked this poem - it makes you want Jesus to hug you so bad. I can't wait...

"The Hug Poem" by Bradley Hathaway
I read about how you touched them and they were healed
Or even if someone just touched your cloak they were forever changed
You let a broken women bathe your feet in her tears
And you washed your best friend’s feet
I am just wondering though did you just ever hug people

I mean I know that it is a silly question and all I am sure you would have why wouldn’t you
But its one of those things that was never mentioned that got me thinking about it

And how whenever there was a touch from you sins were forgiven and sickness fell
I think I’m caught up in my sins last time I checked all my body parts were properly working, nothing special here
I am just a kid with a heavy heart these passing sunrises and sunsets

I don’t think our encounter would have ended up in the gospels or anything
Because all I really need is a hug
That is ok for me to imagine right
That’s not going to be conflicting with any sort of theology is it
Ok good, then hug me

But not one of these side ways one arm around the neck type hugs
Or the ghetto right hand clasp fists elbows to chest pit pat on the back back
Or you put your right arm over my right arm and I put my left arm over your left arm and we make this weird sort of diagonal thing
Nah none of those

Take your old school carpenter arms and throw them over my upper body leaving my arms dangling underneath yours somewhere and I can barely move them because your squeezing so hard
But don’t pick me up and make my back pop because I hate it when people do that

And hold me, hold me here in your arms until I start to cry because
But I just can’t seem to do it on my own
I have been teary eyed once recently but not even enough for a drip down my cheek
Theres just hurt in my soul that needs to be purged so hold me in this hold pose until the pain is flowing from my eyes and nose

Monday, May 19, 2008

A page from the composition notebook

Journal entry from 5/11/08:

I want to love like Jesus loves. I want people to feel a difference when I love them. I want my actions for Jesus to define who I am. (In Matthew 11:4-6, when John asks Jesus who He is, Jesus answers with what he does. To me, that's powerful.) I want to not be distracted by human relationships and things that through an objective eye are insignificant, but while I'm in them seem life-altering. I fasted yesterday. I don't really know exactly why - I had things I wanted to pray about. I guess I should have prayed a little more than I actually did, but I still feel like it was good to do. I didn't get any answers flying at me from the sky, but I did get directed toward the concept of love a lot. Even now, reading about Jesus' love in John, and "My Utmost For His Highest" was even about love today, - I haven't read that in a while. Jesus can satisfy me, and give me the ability to love others and myself. Sometimes I wish I could just fulfill those desires practically - and that would make me feel better - but I have to be careful not to think that loving people in practical ways is what will satisfy. Jesus is what satisfies. Period. It's because we are satisfied that we love. I get it so messed up and backwards sometimes.

I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. - John 15:1-5

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Love Does Not Seek Its Own

Love for others as a result of my love for Jesus has been on my mind. We can love completely without complete understanding. We cannot be each other. No matter how close we are to other people, or how deep a relationship we have with them, we cannot understand them fully, simply because we are not them. Even if this kind of a relation was possible, being able to connect with someone 100 percent is not essential to loving them 100 percent - which is what Christ instructs us to do, utilizing of course the love He has given us in the Spirit. Selfishness is what distracts us from loving others completely. (Selfishness is the root of all sin, really. It's ugly.) Tonight I watched Into the Wild. It was good. I realized though, that the mentality behind Chris McCandless' travels was selfish. What he was able to do and see was really cool, but in the end, he died alone. It is profound when you see him write "happiness is only real when shared." It made me sad, and grateful that there is more to life than what Chris found. I thank God for human relationships and the small picture they are of our relationship with Him.

Monday, May 5, 2008

It's iffy that Wilford can wait that long, but maybe I can...

First, I read this story. It's kind of exciting, but I've heard so much stuff like this in the news, that I'm skeptical... and it's always five or ten years away. What happened to the studies they were doing five or ten years ago? Just wondering.

A Surgical Cure for Diabetes?

Then, I saw this next article. Completely a coincidence... I wear one of these!! The headline is definitely scarier than the article, and I'm responsible with my pump, so I know my risk of death by insulin pump is almost obsolete... but still, it made me wish that the findings from the first article could be proved and implemented quicker.

Insulin Pumps linked to injuries, death

I usually don't even remember that I have diabetes - honestly (unless I'm being taunted - "I'm Wilford Brimley, and I have diabeetus" - I'm sure you know what I mean...) - but today when I saw the phrase "a surgical cure for diabetes," I got excited.

Eh, we'll see what happens in five or ten years... let's hope Wilford makes it that long.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I Found Anger I Didn't Know Was There

I watched this video tonight on 60 Minutes. During this segment, and especially after, I was fighting to keep swelling emotions inside, even tearing up a little, which as you know is unusual for me. For the first half, I couldn't figure out why I was reacting this way. Then it dawned on me. JB's mom, Hillary, is in prison for life. They want her to plead guilty, but she is refusing, even with the option of parole hanging in the balance. I don't know the ins and outs of the case, but I do know that she's missing her son growing up. God brought him into our lives through this situation though, and we love him so much (I miss him a lot) - but watching this tonight really made me hurt for Hillary. It made me angry at the injustice of it all, and how complicated things have to be.

(The parts that really got to me come at minutes 1:30 and 8:00 in the video, if you don't want to watch the whole thing.)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"Her Beauty Makes Others Beautiful"

In England there is a man named Rob Whittaker. He is the principle at Capernwray Hall, a Bible school housed in a "castle" nestled in the breathtaking hills of the Lake District in Northern England. During my time at this school, Rob said many things that convicted me, taught me, increased my knowledge of the Bible, and encouraged me. One of the things he said that I want to mention because it's been on my mind, is not necessarily a revelation, and it's not as if I didn't know it already - but every time I realize I'm not doing this, I think of Rob. He said,
"If you want to know what God is like, get to know Jesus. It's a good idea to spend a little time every day reading in the gospels, soak in what Jesus is like."
I definitely have not read out of the gospels every day since I heard this advice - but I think it is a really good suggestion. If not every day, at least often. I've known Jesus for a long time, but I will never know him well enough. He is so constant, yet I continue to learn new things about Him and from Him. Reading about Jesus is so rewarding - and it's cool because Jesus likes spending time with us. Another thing Rob said that I really liked,
"I'm going to tell you something that 90 percent of Christians don't know. Not only does Jesus love you, He likes you."
I really like this thought. It's encouraging and comforting. And I need to remember it more often.

Another semi-related thought - last week I was studying for a midterm; cramming my head full of information about the legend of Tristan and Isolde. I have read six different books about this story, by six different authors by this point in the quarter. My brain was a little tired and I was having trouble separating who said what in what book, etc. (It was also 1 a.m. - so that could be a contributing factor to the confusion.) In reading the description of Isolde's beauty, in the text written by Gottfried von Strassburg, I came across this line, and it stood out to me amid the haze of information. The line was simply this, "...her beauty made others beautiful." I stopped and tried to wrap my mind around that. What a cool description. It made me think about one of my favorite passages of scripture in Isaiah 53:
"...He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was ... a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
Even though there was no reason from His physical appearance that people should be attracted to Jesus, they were still drawn to Him. The beauty of His love and sacrifice made us beautiful and perfect in God's eyes.

In getting to know Jesus, and endeavoring to be more like Him, I would love for my "beauty" to make others beautiful - that they would see Christ in me and in turn reflect it in their own lives.