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thoughts from II Peter 1:3-9

In II Peter 1, we find that we are completely empowered through Christ…everything we need to live this life and live it well, we possess.  Really?  I’m intrigued already. We are called to virtue, and given promises and told that we can escape corruption.  We get to verse 5 and we are given ingredients to add to the faith we have. Oh no, here comes the hard part. Add to faith, virtue; to virtue, knowledge; to knowledge temperance; to temperance, patience; to patience, godliness; to godliness, brotherly kindness; to brotherly kindness, charity.  Whew! It seems a little daunting, right? I think it does if we think we have to create the things we need to add.  Good news.  We don’t. We just need to accept these gifts as our own; take possession; put them on; wear these promised garments. Who doesn’t like gifts, right?   Sadly, we live sometimes in a state of defiance, a place of pride and resistance.  We don’t accept the power promised.  If we lack these ingredients, we are given two diagnosis’.  Diagnosis # 1 is blindness.  We are told we can’t see afar off-no perception of what is true, no knowledge of where to go.When someone is blind, they are NOT confidently walking into unknown territory without help. They fear. They fall.  They become prey.  Diagnosis#2 is Dementia-forgetfulness, and how sad to lose reality and the truth of who we are. We have forgotten that we were purged from our old sins.  Do we realize the unnecessary guilt that comes from not remembering that we are forgiven?  Both of these spiritual diseases are fueled by the enemy, but thankfully there is a cure.  We are cured with faith. Faith is sight. Faith molds the unknown into known…and remembers.  I was challenged by these verses to take a step back from the list of things to add, and instead reconnect to the truth that Christ has already given us what we need .  In that connection, the ingredients come pouring in. It’s the natural process of growth.  When we grow, we add. The list seems hard, but when faced with a situation in life, these ingredients speak and come to life.  Brotherly kindness becomes a viable option looking into the eyes of another person. The Spirit confirms it for us.  Ironically, each ingredient added prepares the ground of our heart for the next ingredient. At the end of it all is the greatest of these, charity.


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My Genealogy Search

I have a two week free trial on ancestry.com  that ends tomorrow. I’ve spent hours on it looking into my family history on my moms side, because I had no knowledge of who they were and where they came from.  I now know I have lineage from the French Huguenots who came to America in 1700, fleeing persecution.  (I thought I should have done better in my college French class if this was the case).  I found myself in Ireland and I also have now hit Royalty in England and France.  Pretty crazy, huh?  At the same time I was doing this search I have been in an early Gen study, blogging thoughts from the life of Eve.  I felt so connected to her, but of course she is the mother of all living. I do share her story.    Then I read an article from a Yale statistician that claims if we are from European descent, then we all have connection to royalty in Europe.  It’s a math thing, (I really wouldn’t understand) but the implications were big. It’s big because we think of our ancestors in isolated lines, not so huge like the atomic mushroom looks, all encompassing.  We have so much more in common than we think.  Here’s the link to that article, if you’re intrigued.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/05/the-royal-we/2497/

I think we all desire to feel special, wanted, memorable.  Sometimes genealogy searches are more for validation than interest.  In truth, we are all special and memorable and wanted because we were created by God. After seeing my line of ancestors, I didn’t feel more “special”.  Instead, I read the specific names and was curious about them individually.  I was more curious about the specific times in history that they lived.  What were their struggles?  I think I probably have the same inclinations and humanness that they did, we just dress differently. 🙂 There can be no pride from who I came from because that choice wasn’t mine. So, I guess all in all, I’m reminded of our connectedness as humans, the perseverance and frailty that we all have in common, and most importantly, the reality that our decisions impact so many others…around us and behind us. What are the decisions that I will make that will impact my descendants for good?  It was weird because I had duplicity of thoughts: 1. A lot of choices are up to me, 2. No choice was mine in deciding my lineage .  It reiterated in my mind these two truths: God is sovereign, and yes, I have a will. Both make history.

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Entry in Eve’s Diary part 2

I leafed through my writings from that terrible day, noticing the tear-stained pages, and the blur of words I scribbled from my heart.  That day I will never forget, the day our lives were defined by wrong choices.  I still mourn, but thankfully, there is more. I must tell the rest of my story, our story.  I write not only for myself, but for my children and their children; to give them hope in this place. Little did I know how quickly death would find us.  We are all on the way to death now, but then again, I knew this from the very day my eyes were opened to Evil.  I’ve borne precious children, many children and I’ve also mourned the death of my precious second-born son, Abel.  He was beautiful in spirit, so teachable and humble, hard-working and thoughtful.  You see, the lessons learned in paradise, I have tried to teach my children.  Abel believed.  He heard my words. I know it’s difficult because my children know nothing but the work of the field, the hunt and pursuit.  I knew a different life in our paradise and have shared the truth with them…that our God can be trusted, that He loved us and desired our conversations.  I lost Cain for a time, for, you see, it was by his hand that Abel found death.  Cain’s strength unfortunately paved the way for his pride and arrogance; planted seeds of jealousy.  He pays such a price, even now for his anger. He lives in punishment, banishment, and is marked for life; so much like what I have lived and experienced.  My heart aches for him and also because of him.  But there is good news to share today. Let’s talk of these good things.  It is a time of celebration, a celebration of redemption.  You see, when Cain left, he was sent to the east side of Eden, the place of THE tree.  I wailed at the sight of his leaving, but it was there in the east that he saw the truth with his own eyes.  What was once a fantasy story told by his mother, is now reality, a truth he knows and most importantly, lives.  He sees THE tree of life.  It is a reminder of my words, of Gods truth. He was able to send word this very day that he has built a city; a beautiful city that bears the name of his son, Enoch. I’ve cried such tears of joy…this is a reminder in my heart of what God has done for us.  There is something so very special about Enoch.  In many ways, his tenderness reminds me of Abel, yet he has the strength of his father…a perfect combination, this strength and humility.  Though life was altered for us all, I feel loved.  God has not revealed HOW, but I believe He has a plan.  Is it too much to hope? In his commands to us, I feel direction and purpose.  I don’t want to doubt His love again.

I feel His love knowing that He protects THE tree of life.  It is protected FOR US.  I doubted Him and didn’t understand at first. But now I know, I see.  We don’t want to live forever like this, especially after knowing what paradise is like. He’s protecting eternity.  This gives me hope and I’m listening to His instruction. I feel redemption is coming…maybe even paradise can be found again?  I think back on the walks and talks with Creator God.  Something about Enoch reminds me of these walks.  Could it be that God is walking among us again?  Yes, I lost my Abel, and in losing Abel, I lost Cain too.  But Cain believes now.  He believes.  He has passed the words of truth to his son Enoch.  There is hope for us.

I’m sure I will be remembered for my failure, but I hope the rest of my life will be defined by the hope of redemption that I share this day.

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Entry in Eve’s diary

I feel like I just woke up in another body. I looked around and felt suffering and death hovering over me like a cloud.  This must be EVIL. These are feelings I’ve never had before. My heart skipped a beat and then a sinking feeling I couldn’t shake pressed down within me, I’m waiting for an inevitable blow…I now know the possibilities of pain.  I’ve been deceived. I thought I would immediately be like God. I thought Adam would be proud of me.  He will hate me for what I’ve done. I thought I could  experience something I have never felt.  That part is true. I shouldn’t have believed the serpent.  He lied to me!!  Why didn’t God stop this? He could’ve stopped it, right?  Why didn’t He?  I think again about His words.  Adam told me what God said I needed to know about the tree.  It was the only fruit we were not to eat. His words are haunting me.  I can’t blame Adam or God.  They tried to tell me.  They trusted me.  God created me perfect, but He gave me a choice. I should have chosen to believe Him. I feel different now. Ashamed. All I can do is hide and try to cover my body.  What have I done, what have I done? Adam ate after me and now we are trying to cover ourselves with these leaves.  What futility.  I feel His presence of purity.  I hear His voice calling…

I can’t stop crying.  I was naked and cold and trembling. My God clothed and covered me, but at the price of the life of my lamb. I now know what death looks like, what I will be like one day. This is the beginning of lifelessness. This seed of sadness is planted in me. Even with Adam, I now feel alone.  He calls me Eve now and we are banished far away from the beautiful tree.

I remember THE tree, a tree large and beautiful, full of promise.  It is now protected and guarded with angels holding a flaming sword. It towered over us and a sense of hope filled me at it’s presence.  It mesmerized me. It’s beauty I so enjoyed.  It’s where the serpent spoke to me.   If I could only go back. This shame, fear and blame is consuming me; insecurity is taking over. Conflict is in the air.  I hate it. It is almost a tangible presence spreading through me like ink spilled on a page. I have words for all of these emotions that I don’t want.  I was enlightened with things I don’t want to know. I guess there was truth to the serpents words. And the perfect innocence that made me beautiful is gone.  I can tell when Adam looks at me. It’s gone and I’m not the same. The love and fellowship I had with Adam and my Creator is now only mocking me. Was I dreaming all of this? Was there really a place, lush and green, with perfect breezes?  When I close my eyes, I can almost smell the oceans calm, the sweetness of flowers, the place where I had no need. Now a chill is in the air.  I feel scared and needy.  I’m looking for paradise…I want to be there again…Unity. Harmony. Devotion. Love. Bliss. Completion. Peace.  I want it back.

It seems like forever.  The trembling won’t stop.  So this is life without God.  This is the day paradise was lost.