Sexual Purity

This is the start of random thoughts about sexual purity; what’s right, what is wrong and where are we going?

To start off I want to quote Lisa Bevere’s Book, “Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry” :

“I believe God wants to tell you a bedtime story, to rock back to sleep what’s been so rudely awakened. One to softly lull passions back to a place of waiting and resting in slumber, a story to restore to a dreamlike state what was awakened before its time. A place where fears are calmed and hope is restored. A haven where shame is not permitted, and everything is fresh, new and clean as flowers after a spring rain.”

 Whether God needs to rock back to sleep desires or actions that have woken before the marriage covenant; pain and memories that have bombarded your psyche so that true love cannot breathe, or thoughts and imaginations that have been inundated with images and suggestions from today’s society- God never intended for our souls to drown in a society of promiscuity and lust. It’s time that we remember what love is, what sex is meant to be, and experience that which God created for us to, under the confines of marriage: a healthy, enjoyable intimacy with our partners.

 I wrote a sermon a while back called Prayer and Sex. It was a side-by-side view of how the two mirror each other in many facets. One of those was intimacy. In too many marriages (and Christians) intimacy is nothing more than going through motions, saying the right words and occasionally having a “feeling.”

Prayer should be nothing more than an intimate time with the Father. When we pray we are having a conversation with our Maker. It is not meant to be a time of ritualistic recitals of common prayers and/or mundane expressions of our “want’ list to an All-powerful, untouchable Great Power. It is the time that we are welcomed to come and dine with Him. A time when we can not only tell Him how we are feeling or express our needs, but also when He has the floor to speak to us.

Think about a close friend you once had but no longer communicate with. Now ask yourself why you stopped talking to them? Did you move? Did they? Was their an argument of some sort that has put up a wall between the two of you? Or, which is often the case, have your lives just taken different paths now and each other are not in them?

Now consider what it would take to have that relationship blossom once more? It would take TALKING.

Intimacy is nothing more than talking. When we are intimate with God, our Father, we talk to Him. We don’t just give him our “gimme” lists. We don’t just recite age-old prayers or repetitious expressions of intercession. We talk to Him; and we listen as He talks to us.

Sex is the same thing: a man and a woman speaking to each other; to the other’s mind, body and spirit. Intimacy is supposed to be a time of complete trust and surrender. Why is it then that so many people struggle with what is supposed to be care-free and liberating? Why is the most important relationship in a person’s life often wreaked with uncertainty and doubt?

Over the course of this exploration to find answers to those questions and many more I am going to touch base on some things that I have been asked, whether by friends or people I have counseled. I will talk about:

  • How far is too far?
  • What parents are teaching their kids by what they are listening to, reading and watching.
  • What to do if you’ve already gone “too far”?
  • What is hurting girls and boys of all ages.
  • How to heal from past abuse or promiscuity.
  • How we lose when we give in.

I hope you will take this journey with me over the next couple weeks. This is a public site where I know my writings will be seen,but this is also going to be my wall for expression, my canvas of pain, tears and trials and my map of exploration. Blessings and Shalom

Sanctimony

Sanctimony, Sanctimony!

I have traveled in and out of different churches due to my husband’s job. We have attended different denominations, different cultures and varying levels of spirituality. All the while I have noticed the same thing in each church. There is always a degree of sanctimony in some of the members.

Why?

Because there will always be people in the church that are fakes. When you are faking something, most of the time you either fall short of representing it or you over exaggerate the character. People who are not very close to God either show it in their lives or they become sanctimonious in their actions.

Just from observations alone I have come up with a list of sanctimonious characteristics and actions:

            Very loud about what they are doing. Whether it is praying, singing, giving, helping, serving or teaching- they tend to do so in a manner where others know that they’re doing it.

                        ~ “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have your reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself rewards you.”   Matthew 6:1-4

            Judgmental. Sanctimonious people are very judgmental. They will point out the faults of others, ignoring their own. “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Many times the things we see in others as wrong are the very things that we do ourselves but justify.

                        “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

            Prideful. A person who is sanctimonious is said to be “disapproving.” When we disapprove of someone’s actions, it’s usually because we have our own idea of what they should be doing. (Judging them) Pride says that I’m wrong, you’re wrong. Sanctimony involves an idea that you’re morally superior to someone else. That’s pride in a nutshell.

                        “Pride comes before a fall.”

Chances are that if you’re sanctimonious then you’ll either fall to find out or you’ll repent before it happens. Either way- it will be brought to light what you are doing. At that time you will have a decision to make: either repent and turn from your sanctimony; or keep at it and fall.

Afraid of the Fire

She walked away from the fire

It was all too familiar and hot

No matter the warmth it provided

She went to find her afghan instead.

Those standing around the wood burner

Questioned her place in the cold

They didn’t know of the scars

On her feet to the back of her head.

So she shivered in the night air

Ignoring the invites to come

Although they all looked comfy

She knew too well what fire could do.

Now there was no more afghan

Since someone else took it from her

She knew that she could get closer

But it scared her just being in view.

So when you see someone shivering

And wonder why they don’t join in

Some things are harder for others

That make perfect sense to you.

The Poetry of the Apple

She sat the phone down, another conversation ended. Her thoughts began to inundate her now quiet mind and so she found little tasks to occupy her the rest of the day. She would do the dishes, wipe the counters, dust the furniture, clean each bathroom, wash, dry, fold and put away the clothes and sweep the house. Outside, she pulled all of the new weeds; swept the porch…the driveway…the sidewalk…the neighbor’s sidewalk. She began picking up the rocks that were scattered about out of her garden and returned them to their rightful places.
Dinner was elaborate as she kept herself focused on keeping busy. More menial responsibilities were tended to and the hours slowly elapsed.
Her bath was long and welcomed, but the thoughts that accompanied it were not. Moments of tears swelling up in her eyes as her loneliness began to invade her relaxing moment moved her out of the tub and onto more distractions.
She picked up a book and tried to enjoy it, to no avail, so she flipped on the television. Her lack of interest and high morals flipped it back off. She found no solace in any of the things that she tried to grasp onto as meaningful and resolved to go to bed early.
With the light switched off the blackness of the room hugged her. She found her way through her room and into bed and laid down slowly. The warmth of the blankets she covered herself with began to relax her senses and she closed her eyes.
The normal thoughts that visited her everynight showed up, right on time. She pushed a few of them away, analyzed those that were still undecided and welcomed the few that actually were pleasant. Even with the silence of the house, the hustle within her pushed her weariness to the back of her mind and she lay there unable to sleep.
The different thoughts that danced for her attention began to settle down and take a seat as poetry began, once more, to unfold a story for her. She wanted to get up and write it down, but knew that any movement now would surely cause the poetry to lose its balance and fall off the stage. So, she remained as still as she could and took in the unfolding art before her mind:

“An apple lay motionless on a shallow bank in a stream.
It was quite out of sight to those not passing by.
A young lady spied it when she found herself there by chance.
Eventually continuing her journey it remained there in place.

The years would pass, others would reach for it now.
She did not know any of them, their stories untold.
As turbulence interrupted her once happy life
She began taking walks to clear her saddened mind.

An apple, once more, did she see in that stream
Closer to the edge this time wondering if she could reach.
As she stood on the bank, her arms held out straight
She began to contemplate how the apple would taste.

Quite often when she was about to retrieve the fruit
One would call or visit or summoned she would be.
Each distraction kept her away for a few days.
Yet to the apple on the bank she returned always.

Without a warning, the phone rang and interrupted her as she began to see herself on the stage. She went to get the phone, leaving each verse in the dark of her room. After a short conversation she attempted to return to the stage in her mind. By now, the seats were empty, the stage bare, and loneliness stepped in.

She looked at loneliness and lonelinss looked at her. As they stared into each other’s eyes they both conferred the poetry just told. She gave way to the tears that now knocked on the door. As they fell off her cheeks she fell into sleep.

I’m not Alone

I'm so tired of being weary

 I sleep, I rest.

I take a moment to relax

To no avail, the fatigue creeps back in.

I've been worn down, Almost like a nail

That's been picking at the bricks

That starts to encompass me.

They tower taller every single day

As my tears keep falling

My hole fills, now I find I'm drowning

All because of past pain

So don't throw me a rope

Or a boat to get in

I think I just ultimately

Need to learn how to swim

No matter my surroundings

Or the echoes that I hear

I know within my spirit

That God is always near.

“Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray my dreams, God, you keep

From going down that path I’ve known

But gently remind me I’m not alone.”

I hate the Night

Take a journey in your soul
but only if you can take it
I'll be your tour guide tonight
Through my cave that's barely lit.

You know the part of the movie
where you feel so sad and weep?
It's those moments that fill my mind
when I'm trying to get some sleep.

Don't tell me that you're sorry
about the life I must live everyday
The darkness that sits under my eyes
The company in dreams still stays

What type of shadows hover
Where you refuse to even step
When day is shining brightly
But at night your fears are kept

Who is this one that has no face
that brings you to your knees
Why do you paint that smile on
But all I hear is, "No, please"

The flowers no longer live here
The ashes blow through the air
You wake up shaken and cold
Then walk through life
Like you don't care

The dream

 

A little girl is walking down a dirt road with groceries in her hands. She is smiling and singing an upbeat song. As she turns one corner she crosses the path of a boy who begins to follow her. She continues singing and before she gets to the chorus he steals the bread out of her hands and runs away. She starts to cry and a man from the barbershop comes out and comforts her. She continues her journey home and starts singing her song again. This time she is not smiling but her tears have dried up. A couple people she recognizes greet her and she turns another corner at the end of two blocks. Just as she is about to sing the first word of the chorus she runs right into a boy who is a little older than the first, but has the same look on his face. He asks, "Can I help you carry those?" She declines but strikes up a conversation with him. They talk about their families, church and a book they are both actually reading. The girl begins to tell the boy about the first one who stole her bread but before she has a chance this young man steals her eggs from her bag and runs off. The girl begins crying again and a man from the auto shop comes out. He puts his greasy hand on her back and asks if she is all right. She backs away from him and thanks him for making her dress dirty. Her step is a little faster now and her upbeat song she has slowed but begins singing once again. The long road begins to wind around the park of the city. She sees friends, but they ignore her. Her sister drives by failing to acknowledge her. As she approaches the last street to her house, and the chorus of the song, a man runs up to her and grabs her bag of groceries.
"No!" She refused to let go and held on tight.
"I just wanted to help you, dear." The man said as he let go and took a step back. "I saw what happened with the other two and thought that maybe if I carried these home for you, you'd make it with at least what is left."
The girl, puzzled now, begins to give her bag to the man. Before she could think twice, he took the bag and ran away.
She falls to her knees and begins to sing her song:
"There is within this little girl
Such a beautiful love
I hold the only power
To give it to you"

Tears interrupt her as she realizes the events that just took place. She tries to continue:

"No one can just take it
It's hidden within me
For the one I wait for
To give him the key"

Now cold as the sun sets behind the mountains, she shivers and sings the chorus:

It's not in my hands
to be snatched away
It's not in a carton
for thieves to steal
It's not in a bag
Just to be grabbed
It's in me

No matter how
Some may try to take it
Despite the attempts
To make it void
It's still mine
Until the time
I give it away

The little girl arises a young woman. She brushes off her knees, straightens her dress and pushes her hair from her face. Wiping the tears from her eyes she finishes the walk to her house. As she enters the house she sees a man in the kitchen. He pulls from a grocery bag: a loaf of bread, a carton of eggs, milk, meat, fruit and vegetables. He turns to see her and says, "I tried to call you today. Did you get my message?" She says "no" and he continues, "I just wanted you to know that I have everything we need to make the meal. You don't need to worry about bringing anything."