The Rethinking God with Tacos podcast. Hosted by Derek Turner and Jason Clark. Their website is https://afamilystory.org/. This episode’s guest is Don Keathley. The topic is The Gospel. A great conversation.
The Rethinking God with Tacos podcast. Hosted by Derek Turner and Jason Clark. Their website is https://afamilystory.org/. This episode’s guest is Don Keathley. The topic is The Gospel. A great conversation.
By Sarah Nyhan
If I trust Trinity for anything then why don’t I trust Trinity for everything? Do we get as much of Trinity as we settle for?
I think about where it was written that Jesus did not do many miracles for a certain group because of their unbelief. If that translation and interpretation is correct, I don’t want to be in that group.
I don’t want to be the Israelites who saw Trinity move in their lives and then assigned their fears and weaknesses more power than God. Always no condemnation, but I want to be like Caleb who believed God to be stronger than any challenge.
Isn’t that the whole issue? We believe we are abandoned. We believe Trinity spun us out, left us alone, and expects us to do our part. Like I’ll believe God to bless my efforts, but to trust Trinity into and beyond my failures? Not anymore than for eternal safety and reconciliation.
But what about here? What if God is in the healing and redeeming business right now?
Do we throw the baby out with the bath water if we totally distance ourselves from what is commonly referred to as “name it and claim it” or “prosperity preaching”?
I don’t know. I just think about my own life. I think about the stories I’ve heard in the recorded testimonies. And I wonder. I don’t want to miss out.
There is this fine line between trust and witchcraft. One involves rest. The other is very much about the illusion of control.
Witchcraft still says I have to do something. Witchcraft says it depends on me. Witchcraft reduces the uncontainable love of Trinity down to a formula to manipulate God. And I think that might be one of the main things being worked out of me. Because the old way of religion versus relationship was most certainly about a formula.
It’s almost blasphemous if you think about it: that I, this little speck on earth not even visible from a plane, have the power to flip a certain switch to make Creator God behave towards me a certain way. And then of course it is my job to keep that switch flipped. Totally ridiculous! I’m just a kid. I was thrown into a body on this earth without a clue about what is going on. How can I possibly have that much power and responsibility?
Maybe earthly parents expect their children to do for them, instead of the other way around. But I think Trinity is teaching me that They are different. They lay up an inheritance for Their children. As quoted in Isaiah, even a nursing mother may neglect their child – but the eyes of God’s heart never wavers; we are continually before Them.
I have been thinking on Psalm 127:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
In times past I interpreted Scripture from a perspective of God telling me what to do. Versus the way I now have been leaning: where all Scripture points to Jesus. So from that different viewpoint I look at Psalm 127 and I wonder if Trinity is saying: “I love My children. I take great joy in My children. I take care of them. I protect them. It’s useless for you to scrounge about like an orphan. You were lied to. Focus on Me and My heart instead of your fears and weaknesses.”
I mean that’s the whole story of so many starting with Adam and Eve. David and Goliath also comes to mind. If that scenario repeated itself today, David would be chastised endlessly up until he knocked Goliath out.
Heck, it was those that saw Jesus based only on physical appearances that sought to murder Him.
Who or what is the Goliath in our lives? Where are we limiting God? Again, such a fine line between resting and turning this concept into yet another “spell” to get what we want.
I think the healing of our inward brokenness may be the first versus the final frontiers in all of this. I don’t know, that’s just where I am today. But in that, I was thinking about Joseph. How he endured so much in the physical and yet we know in hindsight those experiences were not an indication that God was unhappy with him. Same as with Jesus.
But how beautiful is it that Joseph’s dream played a part in getting him rejected by his family and ending up in prison and yet God redeemed the whole dream thing by using that as his ticket out of jail.
I mean can you picture yourself young and excited because you feel like God is working in your life? And then something major happens like ultimate betrayals. But you’re still fresh off time with Jesus so you roll with it.
But then a little while turns into a long while. And it seems like God left you or put you on the sidelines and picked someone else in maybe what felt like a place you saw yourself fitting into.
You sit there wondering whether you went wrong. Replaying all the decisions. I mean surely you messed up. “But THIS badly, Lord?! I mean, I don’t want to compare, but how can I not when you look at so-and-so?!”
And at some point you just give up and try to forget about all those dreams. You try to learn to live a simple life in the prision you feel like you’ve failed to break out of no matter how hard you’ve tried. You feel like at best you can muster up the motivation to go through the motions some days. But it’s too painful to hope anymore.
And then one day, even in this state, God says it is time for Trinity to redeem even those private points of pain that are too raw to share with anyone anymore. Maybe you’ve even minimized them in your efforts to move on. But Holy Spirit sees. Holy Spirit knows. Holy Spirit is not content leaving any part of your heart broken. Holy Spirit takes whatever time is needed to get close to our great sadnesses. To delicately place them in Their hand. To not only help us move on but to redeem that which was lost along the way.
That’s what happened with Joseph. He probably doubted himself so much. He was probably done for the most part. I imagine. And God says, ‘Not only am I going to get you out of this prison, but I am going to restore all that was lost to you. Publicly! Your shame will be no more. You will not have all these people looking down on you ever again. And I’m going to redeem dreams – the very thing that seemed to lead you into this.”
Now that’s a God I can trust!
What is God redeeming in our lives? We want deliverance and relief, but what deep healing could Trinity also be up to? What is that Achilles heel in us that we’ve lived with so long that we have considered it something that will never leave us? That place where our best intellectual efforts haven’t been able to speak to our wounded hearts? Maybe the place where deep down we can’t see anything other than God failed us. Or that we failed ourselves or others beyond repair? I don’t think Trinity is content with leaving us alone with any of that darkness. All of you, all of us, will be redeemed, is being redeemed.
Now therefore, give me my mountain. As Peter said, wash all of me, Lord. I don’t want to let go until You bless me.
By Sarah Nyhan
2020 has once again reinforced for me that there is a big difference between living and being alive. I always joke that I will roll out of this life and into the next one looking like one of the last cars in a demolition derby versus a vintage garage-kept low-mile showpiece.
I just don’t want to leave with regrets. I don’t want to leave wondering what if. I don’t want to leave money on the table or gas in the tank, so to speak. Even with all the bumps and bruises, overall this is a beautiful human experience that I want to make the most of. I have peace that any pressure is off. But I still want all that is mine for the taking.
I don’t want to spend the rest of my time on this side sitting and staring at screens. I feel so protective of my energy and time now in that regard. I want real life and real conversation. I want real connection.
We’ve let so many fears paralyze us. I wonder how life would look for us if we went back to living life with each other. So much has changed already in the past few months. I wonder how much more could change.
In reality these devices can have very helpful uses. So I am trying to find that happy and healthy medium.
I hope we can collectively see things for what and how they really are. Not in terms of being dogmatic. Just in terms of primarily reacquainting ourselves with who and Whose we really are. Versus letting our fears have the last word.
As knowledge of our identity increases, I hope fear will decrease in at least the same measure. I find I have to exercise that muscle at least once a day; bring all the various pressures and let Trinity speak truth into and for my life.
More and more I understand the directive to guard our minds. Not in the sense of fearing punishment. But in the sense of guarding the precious life growing inside us that the world is unrelenting in attempting to strip away, even if only in ignorance. I dream of us all getting to a place in my lifetime where statements like that are the exception rather than the rule. With God all things are possible.
If we could just lay down our fears and feel safe that our breath, resources, and anything else we need is provided through God versus having to muscle and guard it from one another.
If we could just get to a place where we felt safe enough not to hold people hostage.; emotionally, spiritually, and mentally to start. If we could just trust ourselves and each other to God.
If we could just get to a place where we embrace and were open to people with different perspectives so we could love, honor, and learn from each other. If we could base our value on Whose we are and let all other compulsions to please others for approval fall to the side.
How free would we be? What could we do with all of that energy and time? Surely we were made for more than this stalemate we seem to sometimes get stuck in.
And yet all will be ok. Either way. If not here than on the other side.
But I wonder how much heaven we could bring back to earth if we felt safe in our Creator’s heart? Really safe. Perfect love drives out fear. What would we do and who would we be here and now if we stopped worshipping fear and instead spent that time in contemplation of God’s heart and our place in it? In seeking direction and wisdom?
I don’t mean to blame any victim for anything they have endured. I’m just saying what if the prison doors are already open and it’s just a matter of us feeling safe enough to walk out? Not depending on ourselves. But running to The Father’s embrace. Taking our seat at the table.
There is no condemnation. There is no pressure. This is about you. Who you want to be and why. Who you are free to be. What makes you uniquely you. And to that I pray and say, “Amen and oh sleeper, wake up.”
Am I living the life I want to live or am I simply alive?
I celebrate even the person who sits in front of the screen as a survival tactic. So don’t let condemnation or any external pressure determine your path. I now truly believe that receiving God’s love is the main objective during this time.
But I’m just wishing, hoping, and praying that we will discard fear and have fun exploring whether our hearts yearn for more.
What if we saw ourselves as sons and daughters of the most generous King and Queen? What if They made us feel completely safe? What if They provided us full access to everything They had? What if They were excited and encouraged us to follow our hearts and explore all that we could be without any fear of rejection or punishment?
Who would we be? And do we dare explore that freely today?
By Sarah Nyhan
There is a difference in how I approached patience before versus now.
Before I hoped for a specific outcome. I thought that if I believed enough and didn’t give up then that outcome would manifest.
Now I am learning to approach patience a lot differently. I still desire certain outcomes – after all, I am 100% human. However, now I am learning to detach myself more and more from specific outcomes. I am learning to trust God’s heart more.
My mind has been opened to realize that God works within our logic to bring us to whatever healing is next. I always think back to the story of the rich young ruler in that regard. The rich young ruler couldn’t see the open door. The rich young ruler was hung up on his own perspective. Jesus never expected the rich young ruler to be perfect. That directive was funny enough a form of playing devil’s advocate per se. It was climbing inside the logic of the rich young ruler. Working with what was. Basically getting to the point the hard way, at the insistance of the rich young ruler versus the insistance of God. After all They long to embrace us as a mother embraces her young, but we are often not willing.
The tax collector, the blind men, the woman with the issue of blood, and many others – they were ready for the easy way. Some of us take a bit longer. That may be why it is more difficult for the rich, talented, intelligent , etc people to see themselves running to the safety of the Trinity. If I’ve mostly been able to hopscotch around and over vulnerability my whole life then it may be a long stretch to see weakness as welcome versus a burden, shameful, dangerous, etc. I pray to God that I will not need some even more horrible tragedy to put me in a place where I am completely dependent and then can finally see beyond my own strength.
The old me kinda resents the process sometimes, honestly. But I try to remember the Israelites. Their minds had been so warped that they could only see the crumbs of what they resorted to seeing as comfort in their Egyptian slavery versus understanding that our eyes and ears haven’t ever even imagined what good things God is more than ready to give us in exchange for our dysfunctions.
Sometimes people hold on so tightly to what is hurting them. The idea of really trusting has been proven to be that dangerous to them in the past. But God is always and ever patient. Trinity doesn’t operate out of ego. They can use anything and everything we give Them and turn it for good. Our crucifixion of Jesus being the prime example.
And so I am learning to let go. To open my eyes. To be honest at least with God. To trust in Their heart versus my strength. To ask where we are going next versus demanding my way. When I ask, wisdom and comfort beyond myself floods my heart and real peace dissipates my fears. In this moment. And then again the next time I need God to be bigger than any boxes I can imagine. I am continually amazed. And that builds real trust. Versus saying I believe in hopes it will guarantee or rush along some desired outcome.
I may have told the story before, but it bears repeating again as I think about it almost daily. Such a seemingly benign moment that really changed my life. I was sitting in the lobby of the Business building on campus. There was an incredibly long hallway in front of me. I watched as this father walked behind his toddler. The toddler was just learning to walk and his little engines were on go. The toddler was not steady on his feet but you could see he was loving his newfound power. I felt Holy Spirit nudge me with, “Pay attention.”
As the toddler fumbled down the hallway, probably having no real understanding of where he was or where he was going, the father stood behind him smiling a big smile. Super proud of his child. Enjoying watching his son exercise his given strengths. He stood just behind, letting the toddler find his legs but also ready in an instant to catch the child if he stumbled.
Then the toddler turned to go down a hallway for faculty. The father jumped in front of the son. He didn’t touch the son. He wasn’t angry at all. He just stood in the way so the toddler couldn’t go down the faculty hallway.
The toddler had no frame of reference to understand why the father didn’t want him to go down the faculty hallway. And the toddler wouldn’t have understood at that time even if the reason was given to him. He might have been young enough to just barely be understanding and acquiring language.
But nonetheless, the child was unhappy that the father was blocking him and tried a few times to scoot around the father in order to continue down the faculty hallway. The father never was upset. The father never touched the child and never said anything. He only moved his body in order to block the toddler if he tried to go around him.
The child finally surrendered and turned around and went another direction. The father followed him and stood behind him, ready to catch him as he continued on his new way. The father continued to smile and his pride in his boy was still apparent.
God used that to show me how Trinity sees us. That sometimes the rejections and obstacles we experience are forms of protection. Sometimes we don’t have the ability yet to understand why our seemingly harmless desires have not been fulfilled or our ways are being frustrated.
I’m not saying there is never a time to fight for what we want. What I am saying is the attitude I have found most helpful is to slow down, look to my Creator, and ask for understanding and direction beyond my strength. And in doing so, I find God honors my desires so much. I find Trinity wants more for me than I am willing to settle for. And as I experience God, my patience organically grows.
But what to do in the meantime, in the waiting? I feel repeatedly encouraged to do the work I want to do. That God works within my desires, that following my heart in trust versus orchestrating my own salvation out of fear will be what often may lead me to experience the most healing and joy.
In other words, what is the right now? What work do I want to do right now? If I really trusted God’s heart for me, what would I do right now? If I really believed that the Creater of the entire universe loves me so much that even if I was the only child, Jesus would still have gone to the greatest lengths to prove that my strength is not needed, what would I spend my right now doing?
And there is where color comes back to my life. There is where I find my emotional, spiritual, mental, and sometimes even physical “legs” again.
I share in hopes that if your ways are frustrated, or as you are waiting, I encourage you to seek understanding and direction from Trinity versus repeatedly requesting and persuing a specific outcome. Picture The Father smiling, proud of you, excited to see where you want to go and what you want to do. Would that Father not want the best for us? Ask to see. Ask to hear. Ask for comfort. This is about relationship. You are a child that is so welcome. Let’s not only know that, but live it also.
By Sarah Nyhan
I feel like God has been encouraging me a lot recently about being patient. That rushing is born out of fear. And fear is extinguished as I experience perfect love.
I feel encouraged and reminded about The Good Shepherd who does not berate the sheep into trusting. No, sheep are extremely sensitive. There is no talking to a sheep. The Shepherd earns their trust slowly until the sheep feel safe. As slowly as the sheep need the process to be.
Many of us listened to people who left us almost drowning in condemnation. So much of their focus was on our behavior versus the heart of God. And let me be clear, I was one of those people. Unfortunately. But the more I experience God, the more all of that heaviness is filtered out of me.
All to say, I was talking with someone who had a heart attack recently. They were taken to the emergency room and surgery was performed immediately. They were kept awake during the surgery. As the surgeon inserted something to allow the blood to return to the heart, the blood flooded the heart all at once. It was such a shock to the system that the body took a bit to adjust. Even though it was a good thing that the blood returned to the heart, there was a danger that it could have been too much too quickly.
That really spoke to me in regards to those I love. I wish so badly to celebrate with everyone. And yet my words seem to continue to fall on deaf ears. In my own strength, I get so frustrated. The disappointment can be so tiring. I admit I have lashed out in my grief and frustration.
And I feel strongly corrected especially during recent times. Not that I have been on the wrong path, but I have been going about things in ways that are at least not helpful. I have seen people through my strength and my ego versus God’s heart. I feel like there are boundaries to be had, but that my focus needs to shift from defense to desiring healing in all. To see us all as those little sheep that primarily blinded by their fears. Who need healing.
And so it would probably benefit all if I was more patient. A pastor once referred to me on more than one occasion as a pitbull. And both my middle and last names mean “warrior”. Whew! But I need to be sure I am fighting for the right things in the most helpful way. The surgeon does not come in with a butcher knife in order to operate on the heart attack patient. No, the surgeon has a team and they delicately, as non-invasively as possible, make little cuts in order to repair what needs to be healed. They make sure the patient is responding well as they go. I need to also meet people where they are spiritually and fully trust God with their hearts and our connection. That looks like being patient and listening a whole lot more. That looks like letting go of prioritizing love over intellectual consensus or amy similar agenda. My motives are for the most part pure, but the ends will probably be furthered along faster if I use different means.
Now that I think of it, the heart attack survivor that I spoke with had to return to the hospital for a second surgery at a later date. Again, a great picture for spiritual things: God meets us at our current need. Trinity does not heal everything at once. The whole book isn’t thrown at us and we are not beaten over the head with it. Some speakers might do that, but not Holy Spirit. Jesus meets us exactly where we are and patiently walks with us step by step. One day at a time. And my relationships could most likely benefit from me doing the same.
By Sarah Nyhan
I can remember being elementary-school-aged and experiencing a specific event where I thought to myself something like, “It’s going to be up to me to take care of myself.”
Fast-forward a few years later when I was in high school and I created a female superhero cartoon character. She was who I aspired to be. I even created and wore a t-shirt with her logo.
Fast-forward to probably shortly after my 18th birthday and I had the logo I created for my female superhero cartoon character tattooed on me. The only tattoo I’ve ever had.
I would save myself.
I believed Jesus for eternal salvation, but probably not much more. Afterall, I incorrectly thought God’s primary emotion was anger. I had pasted the face of other adults onto God. I had projected my thoughts onto God.
I look back in hindsight and see how so many of my decisions were motivated by this drive to save myself. To do my “part”. To figure it all out.
And I hear the words ring back to me, “How’s that been working for ya?”
I look back and see how the best things in my life came as surprises. God-sent surprises. Nothing I orchestrated. Nothing I planned.
And yet it’s been such a long time coming to that realization. Decades. I’m happy for the process even when it has been painful. Maybe I would have taken the truth for granted otherwise. Maybe I wouldn’t really have understood the sweetness of being loved by God had things always been smooth sailing.
Now I am learning to let go. I am putting down my torn and tattered superhero cape. I am living loved. I am relishing the reality that I am a very loved child. That I don’t have to come to my own rescue. That’s it’s ok and to be expected that I do not and will not be able to know or figure everything out.
My motivations for my actions are thankfully changing from fear to following my heart. I can barely type those words after being oppressed in religious errors for so many decades. It feels almost wrong to say. But I experience God for myself these days. So I know it to be true.
Regardless of where you stand on the issues, 2020 has exposed the fact that many of us may have been unconsciously in the habit of defaulting to fear-based decisions. Which situations have we stayed in due to fear? Which actions have we taken out of fear?
You’d think my own track record would be enough motivation, but lately I have become aware that I have my first name to thank for the continuous reminder of how well the fear-based decisions worked for the Biblical Abraham and Sarah. Among many other recorded testimonies.
To be sure, there is never any condemnation. And Trinity never does abandonment. Holy Spirit is only ever and always in the healing business. They always go to rescue the little lambs no matter how far they wander.
But I am really tired of circling this desert of self-sufficiency and fear. How about you? I want to get on with Life. I want to experience all there is to experience. I want to stop giving any power to lies.
My prayer for 2021 and beyond is that we will all more deeply experience and know the perfect love of Trinity. So that we will be free. So that we and our world and our relationships will be healed. I think it is ours for the taking once we realize who and Whose we are and always have been.
By Sarah Nyhan
I was thinking about how Jesus says this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting (as recorded in Mark 9 and Matthew 17). I feel like God comforted me with the revelation that what it means for me is that the disciples were relying on themselves to be able to deliver this person they wanted to save. Even with good intentions. And yet the point was that in doing good they had even veered off the path.
Mercies are new every morning. What happened to the manna that was collected in fear? I haven’t trusted God to show off for me tomorrow in greater ways than today. I have projected my own self-image on Trinity. I haven’t fully loved myself and I have put that on God. Even after all Trinity has done for me. Over and over and over.
And it will be ok. But some healing, this healing, won’t happen without my heart. Won’t happen just in my mind. Won’t be some routine thing done because it worked before.
I think of Moses. God keeps reminding me of Moses. What was the big deal about the rock and the water?
I picture Moses being so tired. Going round and round all these years. Not understanding how safe he was in The Father’s heart. Incorrectly feeling like he carried all these people he loved on HIS back.
“Yet again here we are in need, God. Yet again these people don’t believe Your love for them.”
But what was the issue all along? “It doesn’t depend on you, Moses.”
“And it doesn’t depend on you, Sarah.”
“It doesn’t depend on you.”
It doesn’t depend on us. In returning and REST will be our salvation.
But just like me, Moses didn’t want to “fall” that far. I mean look at all these people that were depending on him. Or so it seemed.
God gave him a new way. But he was scared. Understandably. So at the last minute he chickened out and hit the rock instead of just speaking to it. His strength again. Sure, not murdering an Egyptian this time. But still his strength. Versus God’s heart.
Did God really lead Moses out into the desert and then leave him there and expect him to be responsible for all those people? Any of those people?
What did Jesus do when He was led out into the desert (not at all as punishment)?
Our prayers are answered. Just not always in the way we expect. We are not being punished. That thinking is one of the things being healed. Our total healing is only ever the aim. FOR us. If God was in the using business, which I don’t believe Trinity is, then there are plenty of others. But I think there are things especially FOR us. Joys especially FOR us. That God is so excited for us to get to and enjoy. Through all this.
God does new things. And the fasting and prayer don’t make them happen. The fasting and prayer just helps us be in better alignment.
And so we can face these wrestlings head on without fear. Easier said than done. 🙂
“Ok, God – what am I not seeing? What am I not hearing? What are You doing differently this time? Who is this for? What Word do I need? What Word do they need? Help me hear. Help me see. Help me see Your heart. Help me see myself and them through Your heart.”
Prayer like that. Fasting is simply removing my distractions to that end. Not me moving mountains in my own strength.
Different rocks, different fears possess me and others in that and this future. There isn’t some formula I can run to apart from running to Trinity. New. Fresh.
Yesterday They might have me hitting the rock. Today They might have me speaking to the rock. It’s not torture or some sick game. My healing comes not from a formula I can fall back on. Not some witchcraft. But in knowing I don’t need to know. 😊 In coming to experience the unlimitedness of my Father’s heart for us all.
I think our gifts are greater than we know and God wants us to be totally free to use them without worrying that all of Israel depends on us, so to speak. We are this loved, beloved child. Just as we are. We are exactly where it was always known we would be. Who we are was always factored in.
God keeps telling me that we’re not late. But also that we can stop circling the deserts of our self-sufficiency whenever we like. We can choose. We are already fully healed. We can experience that as much as we want.
The only thing God ever depended on was our fear and failure. 😊 Our betrayal. Our sacrificing Him on the cross.
By Sarah Nyhan
I’m tired of giving power to fear. I’m tired of not including Trinity.
Maybe we were Created to receive Love. Maybe it’s that simple.
Maybe there is much more available to us than we realize, than we experience, because we are pathologically obsessed with our weaknesses versus resting in the absolute strength of who and Whose we really are.
What if we felt so secure in our origin and true identity that we stepped out of the boat and onto the water? What if we actually didn’t sink? What if we focused on what Jesus thinks of us versus making gods of the opinions of others and even ourselves?
What if we are the only ones that are ever coming to save us and all of Creation is groaning for us to WAKE UP!? All of Creation waits expectantly like a parent of a toddler; saying, “You can do it! You can do it! Almost there, c’mon, don’t be scared. You got this! Trinity is right here.”
What if all of heaven and Creation combined are pregnant with the expectation of being able to celebrate as we step fully into our divinity? As sons and daughters of The Divine. Kids who know their King, their Abba, and the truth of Who they belong to?
What if healing is ours for the taking? Jesus asked, “Do you want to be healed?”
What if there is no battle outside? What if the war is already won and we just need to realize it in our hearts and minds?
What if this is nothing more than a mirror (exposure therapy)? Reflecting the result of focusing on our fears versus who we always could have been and still can be?
What if we were totally secure, loved, and cared for? Would we make different decisions? Would we choose to give our power away?
We are divided in our minds, in our hearts. The outside echoes the inside. We are too long scared little children intimidated by other scared little children.
Who is your Father? Who is your Mother? Who showed us that there is nothing to be afraid of?
Is this really all there is? Is this really all we can ever be? I wager we aren’t even close. I wager we have only just begun, only just started.
The fight is only on the inside. Who will stand up? Who will run to Papa? Who will risk taking Trinity at Their Word?
Did God die or will we come aLIVE?
By Sarah Nyhan
Interesting that God says to not even judge ourselves. If we judge others then it might not be God, but our own judgement that will come back and haunt us so to speak. What if I stopped judging myself? What would that even look like? Maybe it would involve giving Jesus every bit of shame, disappointment, and even anger towards myself. Asking Him what He thinks of it all.
Sometimes when I ask God for forgiveness, I feel like He says, “Stop”; that it never was, never is, and never will be about appeasing Him. He is the kind of parent who knew what He was getting into before we even showed up. He is not disappointed. He does not operate out of ego. He has nothing to prove. He knows who we are. His love for us is never in question. He never has a doubt. It has only ever been our perception of Him and ourselves that Trinity is ever healing. Collectively and individually.
Our hearts know when we see true love. We feel it in the part of us that sings apart from knowledge and arguments. The part of us that rejoices when a baby is born, a dog is rescued, or a long-awaited loved one returns home.
Will we forgive ourselves? I wager we don’t even know how. Again, Jesus says we are welcome to bring Him everything. He will sort it out. He will open our eyes and hearts. He will wash us clean of all the mess we and others have put upon us. He will show us how to receive His love. As we allow ourselves to rest, others will feel the difference without our having to force them to submit to any postured authority.
By Sarah Nyhan
Is my relationship with God? Or is my trust in the incorporated church? Is it me who has God? Or is it God who has me?
If anything depends on me then I have no hope. I need God to make up the difference. Trinity reached out to me as I raised my fist and turned my back in angry sadness and frustration. Will They not meet me now? Will They not meet me whenever and wherever I am?
Is God so impotent that He cannot open any door? Will we not trust Him in this time?
Is Jesus only present in a typical physical church building? Or could we be where He already resides? Christ in us. Revealing what already is; what we have been blind to despite countless hours of staring at the invitation. Jesus said it is finished.
Why might He have us in this space at this time? What good, what healing could be at work right now? I have spent an inordinate amount of time pleading for things to go back to what feels most familiar to me. What if God wants to take me somewhere new?
He is not a God of 2,000 years ago. He is a God for today. For this moment.
How many times did God reach out to individuals through means other than reading a book? How many times did God speak to people outside of the traditional temple? Is God not able to speak to you right now? Is this a relationship as we say it is? Or just a religious performance? What spells do I have to cast today in order to speak to my Father? Does He really require such blasphemous incantations? What hurdles do you require your children to jump through before they can speak with you? Even in our brokenness we do not do the things to our children that we accuse God of doing to His children.
Could God be all that our hearts dream love to be? And more? He does not only have patience; He defines patience. He does not only have love; He is love defined. Will He not give us all that we need?
Maybe we are not asking the right questions. Maybe our ideas of God are too small. Maybe we need to pivot. Maybe we need to start by asking God what questions we should be asking. Will He refuse us? Is He and His wisdom not given freely to all who ask?
I need to leave room for new beginnings. I need to make more space for uncertainty and God to show off in ways that I am not capable of imagining. I need to be held. I need to receive and rest.
We are welcome.
Maybe the whole world is being given a big collective breath.
The Message Bible translates Isaiah 30:15-17 as:
“God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: ‘Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me— The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.”