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Guest Post: The Broken Definition of Brokenness — Michelle Lesley

I found the following guest post by Teresa Lawrence at Michelle Lesley’s blog very thought provoking, bringing to light and clarifying a phrase that is very Christian but misused in increasing frequency among the evangelical community. It goes perfectly with how the current tendency is to first subtly redefine words, and then ultimately changing the original meaning of a sentence, in this case changing the Bible. Words such as “brokenness” are powerful in a world that is being led by emotionalism and personal experience. The misuse of “brokenness” or “broken” can sweep aside the acknowledgement of our own sin and the redemption found only through Jesus Christ. The post is well worth the time to read, and then check out Teresa’s own blog. She writes eloquently and with wisdom.

Guest Post: The Broken Definition of Brokenness

via Guest Post: The Broken Definition of Brokenness — Michelle Lesley

What claims to be Christian isn’t always so

Ok, well, where to start when so much has occurred over the past four-five months.

Obviously, the biggest event was Christmas Day, which was only a couple of days ago. But let me jump a day before that to Christmas Eve. Since it’s our first Christmas in North Carolina and our own church wasn’t going to hold a Christmas Eve service since we are a new church plant, we thought it would fun, different, and a great experience to attend the Christmas Eve service at a well known Methodist church, a “traditional” service in a “traditional church”. They had several services to choose from, so we chose the 6pm.

Angel and Mary

Angel appearing to Mary stain glass window of the church we visited.

We had visited the church a month earlier and really enjoyed the architecture and learning some of the history behind it. It harked back to my childhood days being raised Episcopalian with all the traditional architecture and history. Sitting in the hard wooden pews brought back memories: the Bibles and hymnals in the slots of the pew backs, the organ pipes towering over the congregation, the elaborate wood and stone carvings, the many colorful stain glass windows, the podium where the priest preaches…However, I had left the Episcopal church years ago and don’t regret it. I can say with all confidence, the only things I miss about the traditional buildings, art, and even some of the rituals is the awe and reverence it creates and prepares in the church goer’s heart to worship God. These days, many of todays Christians go for the traditional ceremonies because of the ritual aspect, and having some link to history, but the theology and doxology are altered to modern whims. I’m finding that more and more of the old traditional churches are all just a visage for trustworthy preaching, while their internal practices and beliefs are a mess. (Think white washed tombs)

Realizing how progressively liberal this well known church is I wasn’t surprised, just saddened… in how lacking the Christmas Eve message was in mentioning the reason for why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Instead the priest went on about English grammar to build up on what he was going to talk about: the word “with”. His wordy reasoning on why Jesus, Emmanuel, “God with us” came to be among us. Apparently – and I’m paraphrasing here, Christmas is because God was so desperate for our company after he made us he came down from heaven into human form to gain our friendship. (Huh??) God doesn’t need us. He already had an intimate community, Three in One. He didn’t create us because he was lonely and longed for our relationship like a love sick lover. I found that portrayal of God offensive and Biblically incorrect. The priest missed the opportunity to speak of our need of the Savior Jesus Christ; that God so loved He created us, then when sin entered by Adam and Eve, God gave His very best, His one and only Son, to live among us, and to draw us back to Himself. Ultimately to die taking on all our sin in our place, dying in our place though He is without sin. And, gift on top of gift, Jesus comes back from death, conquering it giving us hope of new life in Him! But none of that was mentioned. Only weaving grammatical poetry regarding “with” to show how desperate God is for our acceptance of Him and how inclusive His love is. I’m sorry, that’s not the God of the Bible. And not one I want to know.

As we left at the end, I was feeling some of the wonder of Christmas dampened. I felt so robbed of the message that should have been told. And I felt a desperation within me for all the other people who were leaving the same service to hear the Truth of Christmas. All I could think of was what a missed opportunity to share the Gospel. But as we drove home, my spirits were lifted when we discussed with the kids what was off about the sermon, and I was relieved and so thankful when I heard the kids voice the same misgivings that both myself and my husband had. They caught this and some other observations on their own. I was reminded that God is sovereign. His Truth will and is getting out, and those who are meant to hear it will hear and follow.

At the Edge of the Earth

 

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Frothy beach at the churning Pacific Ocean

Unable to sleep. It’s around 11pm and I’m laying in bed hearing the raging wind and torrents of rain pounding on the roof. But, it’s not the storm that’s keeping me up.

The family is out on the Olympic peninsula for a family trip. I’ve been to this “resort” before with a friend, although it was during a calmer and sunnier season. This was where I saw the most glorious sunsets anywhere. Even better than Hawaii, I have to admit. I was speechless with the sunsets; it literally felt as if I was standing at the edge of the world. The Pacific Ocean went on forever disappearing into the distance, and the blazing sun sank into what seemed like the earth surface because the horizon appeared to be ground level. Yes, it was breathtaking obviously because I still remember it with such awe.

This time, our family shows up and the ocean waves are raging and roaring and crashing into the beach and rock cliffs. And the Pacific is hidden by the thick haze of clouds that don’t look like they’re going away any time soon. There is no way to see sky or ocean, let alone a setting sun.

We hurriedly unpacked the car and hunkered down in the cabin. We were all feeling the fatigue of the four plus hours of driving and weren’t terribly motivated to venture out and about on the beach.

It was an evening of board games, kids and Dad, and crocheting for me. I’m working on a shawl from a book, Making Winter. I’m using a hank from my stash but it’s not enough to finish so I’ll probably continue with another hank from my old stash. I want to use up the yarn I have. It makes buying more yarn less of a guilty pleasure.

 

Adding to the crafting pile

Fun things from the local yarn and fabric store

I had finally went to checkout the local yarn and fabric store, DownTown Knits, in Apex. It’s a small independently owned store right along S Salem St. with several other neat stores and restaurants.

It has been a while since I’ve sewn anything fun, such as an outfit for myself, so I was thrilled to find the Wiksten shift dress pattern. A while ago I had bought a punchneedle to make something like a pillow, and yet didn’t have all the materials. So I also got some precut monk’s cloth. Here’s to new projects! Now to get to it!

Am I serious? Seriously serious? Yes.

Some kelp sketches. Drawing their simple yet complex forms is a fun exercise.

(Deep breath)

Much change is in the air this year. It seems more of a big deal this summer because there have been major milestones reminding me that the kids are no longer toddlers, they are teenagers (gulp!-and *sniff*). They’re growing up and more independent, which signifies a different stage of life for me, “the mom”.

It is time. I have to take myself, the Artist, more seriously. I’ve realized it’s time to pursue what I’ve been pining away for years; to create beautiful art and explore other creative avenues. And along the way be accepting of imperfection and enjoy the process. For reals now. I’m not kidding. (This is self-talk pumping myself up for action)

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