Thursday, May 16, 2013

All Creatures

One if the most beautiful aspects to the worship of our Creator is the integration of His creation into worship. Our early Christian fathers and mothers seem to recognize this beauty so much better than we do at present. Yet, the murmurs of their devotion is apparent even today. In so many Bible stories and so many worship songs and hymns, we hear distant whispers of the goodness and of the beauty of creation. And how beautiful and pure is that recognition. That we humans are not the only creations created with the purpose of worship... That we share the Father's affection and that we share the opportunity to live lives that are reflective of the goodness of the creator... That worship is not about who we are and what we bring but about who He is.

And He has created creation, all of creation, to worship Him.

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Thou, burning sun with golden beam
Thou, silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
And praise the Spirit, Three-in-One
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

All the redeemed washed by His blood
Come and rejoice in His great love
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Christ has defeated every sin
Cast all your burdens now on Him
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

To Him who loves us
And is returning be honor
For we shall see Him in His glory

He shall return in pow'r to reign
Heaven and earth will join to say
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Then who shall fall on bended knee?
All creatures of our God and King
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

Written by Francis of Assisi, circa 1225

Sunday, May 12, 2013

"He Wants it Back"

I love this phrase! "He wants it back!"

Referring to the Creator and the created order, the created rhythm. He wants it back. But what and why?

All creatures of our God and King. It all belongs to Him!

"For everything, absolutely everything above and below, visible and in visible, rank after rank of angles - everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him." - MSG, Colossians 1:16

He wants our resources back, yes, that is obvious to me. But he also wants our life rhythms back. The heart behind what and why we act. The motivation. The secret place. He wants the secret place back! He wants sex back, He wants our jobs back, He wants or free time back, He wants our thoughts back. He wants to hold all these things captive, but He wants us to choose to give them back.

To some, this may sound controlling and possessive... To others this is beautiful. I think it depends on who you know the Creator to be. The truth is that He is Father and He is Love. Like no other father and no other love than you have ever experienced in full. That is our Creator. Part of Knowing Him is trusting who He is; that He is Father and that He is good. If He is Father and He is Love, then calling back His creations and His created order is the most beautiful thing imaginable!

There is a maturing process in which we are first loved because He is Love, and we are given free will because we were created in His image. Second, we can choose to grow to believe and personalize that truth. And third, we can then respond by seeking the Creator's heart for all things, especially the deep things. Not just for giving us free will and loving us freely, but for letting our free will thrive in the created order and grow beautiful in the environments and communities where we find ourselves.

He wants it back.

He wants us to partake in the awesomeness that He created sex to be. Not just the organism or the fun or the procreation, but also the beauty of choosing to be selfless in how one loves another. The beauty of choosing to respect another individual by being intentional with such an extreme and natural drive. The beauty of waiting until trust and communication are strong to then mutually give and receive in such a physical way, and, conversely, to mutually give and receive sex because trust and communication are strong.... Both regardless of how ones feels in the heat of the moment (or not). To experience the beauty of self controle not because we "should" or because of social contracts, but because self controle is rooted much deeper. It's rooted in the way we shop for clothes and make our clothes. It's rooted in the way we shop for food and grow our food. Its rooted in the traditions that our cultures have held onto, for whatever reasons. It's rooted in the elevated value of the whole rather than the elevated value of the self. It's linked in the way we are connected to the earth, because from the earth God provides. It's related not just to if we eat McDonalds or food from the farmers market. But rather, it's related to our relationship with McDonalds and McDonalds relationship to the earth and to the Creator and Sustainer of the earth. As well as our relationship to the vender at the farmers market and the venders relationship to the earth and to the Creator and Sustainer of the earth.

Imagine how much more beautiful sex would be if our children learned the early and simple lesson of valuing the dirt they play in because God created it, and because they come to trust that it brings life to flora as well as communicates its needs of water or sun depending. Imagine how much more beautiful sex would be if sex was a physical response between two humans that mirrored the other rhythms of life - of the mutual give and receive of the ecosystems, of the give and receive of jobs, of the give and receive of our physical need.

He wants us to partake in the awesomeness of working as He created it to be. To give of oneself for the purpose of getting a return. To create. Whether it be the creation of a cabinet, of a house, of a lesson plan, of a medical remedy, of a homework assignment, or of a delivery rout. He wants us to take joy in what we do and to "do all things as into Him."

What if we really worked like that? What if we really set out to do all things as unto Him? To view work and labor as a gift rather than a curse. In Genesis, Adam was called to tend to the garden before he and Eve were ever cursed. In Genesis 1:26-27, the Creator said: "Let us make human beings in our nature so that they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of the earth."

I believe that with the New Covenant that Jesus has offered, we are living in the "already but net yet." The old curse has been over come, and for that reason, I choose to live in the knowledge that work is a blessing and that when it doesn't feel like it, that I'm not living in the created rhythm.

He wants us to partake in the awesomeness of free time as He created it to be. To use our time wisely. To use our time to flourish in our gifts. Not to get board nor to be unnecessarily busy.

He wants us to partake in the awesomeness of our thoughts as He created them to be. To explore His universe with imagination and awe. To set our mind on a course of intentionality. With purpose and with accountability.

He wants it back. He calls us back to His created rhythm. But we get to choose how much we join in.

Transformation Comes through Prayer

I want to see transformation. I really do! I become excited by topics like "spiritual transformation," "cultural transformation," even "tran-substantiation." Maybe it's the romantic idea of groups, concepts and ideas becoming more than they are in the natural.... More like what they were made to be. More like their "Cave" like-ness. More like their SUPERnatural potential. More like their Creator.

At least that's the idea.

But transformation may not always be so glorious. Poorly guided transformation can be selfish. It can be fruitless. It can be evil. No transformation is ever benign. Transformation does not inherently promote supernatural potential. But transformation always has the potential to bring out the supernatural.

Thus, transformation is powerfully dangerous.

It's dangerous to promote change and to dabble in the unknown. It's dangerous to inflict a future that always has consequences beyond the initiators awareness.

Transformation comes at a cost. All change comes at a cost. A cost of the transformers and a cost of the transformed... Present and future.

Not just a cost of a status-quo but also a cost of cause and effect. Which may be the biggest reason why I seek to live so intentionally... Because I seek sustainable, wholistic, all encompassing Kingdom transformation.

Hope of Creation

What is my revolution, you ask? Well I guess that's part of my previously referred to tension.

I believe in a God of redemption and restoration. I believe in a Good that is making all things new and I believe that Christianity is more than church, more than legalism and more than The Bible. I believe in the restoration of all things as spoken of in Colossians. I believe in a God who created all of creation and called it good long before man and women were made. I believe that mankind has no power to give value to those things which were already given intrinsic value by the Creator. I believe in the sanctity of eating free-range chickens and in the need to spend hundreds of extra dolors on camping gear made in factories that are run ethically. I believe in putting money where my heart is. I believe in the need for social justice in my refrigerator and in my heart. I believe in living intentionally with the hope of creation in mind. All of creation.

I believe that creation groans for us to value it as God has. I believe that much of the Church has lost it's love and value for the things that God actually values... The restoration of all things... The coming home... The salvation and triumph over all evil. I hate that the ones who claim to most love the Creator often live in such ignorance and apathy of the impact of their actions.

If I do nothing else, I desire to love the Creator and to love His creation with fierce abandon. And, if I'm given the influence, to teach, disciple & lead Christians to sustainably & systematically transform, restore & reconcile Creation back to the Creator. To bringing שלדם through ἀποκαταλλάξαι .


I've taken some time off from blogging because I've been frustrated. Frustrated that blogging doesn't produce immediate results and that it seems so small and inconsequential. I mean, I currently don't have any followers other than one or two friends and my husband (who would all read my blog even if it was the most awful thing ever). Where we live, I've even felt stifled from intellectual networking or progressive discussions that produce change because the community in which we find ourselves seems less interested in intentional living and more interested in the comforts of church community or their own circumstances

So, for months I just read and hiked and prayed and waited for a great creation care non-profit to hire me or for us to pay off my undergrad loans and finish grad school (hoping both would come sooner than probable).

Frustrated, and, ultimately, limiting myself because I've been unwilling to be faithful with my opportunities and my circumstances, I feel as though I've lost much of my voice. A voice I used to have in plenty. Full of passion and full of ideas and full of action.

Recently I received a word from someone that I have much wisdom but have allowed lies to stifle my voice. I've looked for the BIG opportunities and I've neglected the journey. I've not been faithful to history, either, as all historical revolution has been preluded by intellectual quorums. I have settled for the dreams of Civil War but have forgotten the decades of senate debates and half-way related Seaneca Falls declarations and discussions. I've doubted the power of the individual and I've forgotten the value of the little pamphlets that have changed history. I've chosen complacency over the ever persistent, ever patient fight. I've devalued the blog.

It's funny to equate a blog with no followers to seminal works such as those by Elizabeth Cady Staton or as "Uncle Toms Cabin" or Martin Luther's letters in Worms. But if I'm being true to history and true to our present culture, blogs are the word press, they are the quill, they are the oral traditions that so influenced our history through our ancestors. They are the culture in which we presently reside. They are the voice and they will be the history makers of our time.

So, with much resilience, motivation from my husbands own blog ( and some unintended motivation from a friend who is still living her passions in the same environment in which I've thus far only felt held back, I find myself back at my word press. It's gonna be messy and I can't picture what the results will entail, but it's worth it... Because, ultimately, what I really want is revolution, and revolution comes at many costs and requires a long journey. So here is my real fight, in the tension of the frustration and the tension of small influence.