Saturday, January 25, 2014

Begin To Receive

I have begun to give ... begin to possess.  Deut 2:31

What could God be possibly giving to me, that I am to possess?  And as I think about that, it's interesting that it is more than just "receive".  It is possess.  I think other translations talk about conquering.  Funny words "conquer" and "possess".  I have to admit I don't really relate to either of those concepts.  Especially in relation to other people.  But I don't think God is really talking to me here about "other people".

When I think about my relationship with God at this very moment, the thoughts that come to me are around prayer.  What does it mean to me?  How am I meant to pray?  And also what does fellowship with God mean as well?  What is my relationship with God really like?  I admit there are aspects of that relationship that I want to improve.  I want to be more spiritual.  I think I was once more spiritual than I am now.  It's a balancing act though.  In the days past when I was happy with my spiritual journey I didn't fully appreciate what it means to be authentic.  I had no idea how to be authentic.  Not really.  My idea of being authentic back then was connecting to the "image" and "perception" that everyone else had of me - I was born male.  I was married.  I had 3 boys of which I was their dad.

Not that it means much to me now, but I come from a Baptist background.  Southern Baptist to be precise.  We met every sunday for church.  We sang from a hymnal.  Yes, I still love those old hymns.  One of my favourites is "Great is thy faithfulness".  I love the line in that song "Morning by morning new mercies I see".  It was years later that I realised those words were pretty much taken directly from the Bible.  Lamentations 3.  And it was also years later that I was to discover that God would keep leading me back to that passage.

My loose paraphrase of that passage would look something like this:

Because of the Lords great Love we are not consumed, because his compassion (or mercy) never fails.  They are new every morning.  His mercy is boundless.  And beyond that it is renewed every morning.  Great is God's faithfulness to me.  He really is everything that I need.  He really is my Portion.

If I fail, and sin, his compassion is boundless and his mercy is renewed.  If I feel like I am being consumed by life, by difficulties, by conditions, His Love will make sure that I am not completely consumed.  He will look after me.  If there is something that I need or want, whatever that may be, I will find its answer in Him because He has become to me my portion for all things.  I need finances, and He provides somehow.  I need healing and again it is Him that provides.

I am transgendered.  I have recently had gender reassignment surgery.  To be frankly honest, there were times when I would have rather taken my own life than considered this path that I have taken.  I wanted to serve God.  I wanted to be spiritual.  I wanted to transcend the difficulties of my life and be lifted above them somehow.  Instead God had me go through it.  He paved the pathway through this "red sea" of mine.  I know it was him.  He gave me the "way through".  I had to travel that path.  That is where I took possession of what He had given to me.

I just turned 45 and I have to be honest I love my life right now.  I love who I am.  I love who I am becoming.  I finally feel connected to "the person that I believe I was created to be".  It's off the trail so to speak though.  It's not for everyone either.  But then that's how God works.  Peter asked Jesus about John, and what would happen to him.  Jesus replied, "Peter it's really none of your business what my relationship with John looks like and what I journey I have in store for him."

That's one of the reasons why I believe it is imperative that we don't judge ... it leads us to draw conclusions that we are all on the exact same journey when we are not.

What is God beginning to give to me?  Authenticity.  Being who I am.  Without that, prayer doesn't make sense.  So being authentic is what God is giving to me, and what I am beginning to possess.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Being Different

I am a spiritual person.  My desire is to understand that part of who I am.  I feel that I have a purpose that connects me to others.  I believe that this purpose has not been fully experienced or realised by either myself or others.

John 9:1-3
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Who sinned?  Interesting that we wonder that.  Interesting that the people closest to Jesus asked that.  More interesting that Jesus answered "neither".

Is being blind a defect or difference?  Is it a disability or difference?  Being blind leads to life being different from what we could conceivably consider to be normal.  But is it wrong?  Perhaps we could say "being blind is not what is intended".  "Life's not meant to happen that way," we could argue.  

But it does happen.  Life can go "wrong" in an incalculable number of ways.  It can happen at birth, or after birth.  It can occasion death or severe disability.  But is it in our best interest to judge if it's right or wrong?

Consider this man:  Derek Paravacini.  Born blind.  In his adult life can never be independent.  He must have someone take care of him constantly.  But there is something "super human" about this person.  He fills my heart with happiness.

I was born with a difference.  I'm kinda glad that I was.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Into the Future

I can't figure out if I am meant to be more nomadic and more of a traveller or that I have travelled too much already and I am unsettled.  I do like travelling, but not in an "out there" sense where I am not sure where I am going next.  I don't like it when travelling becomes stressful.  I like the idea of having everything planned out.  But then a part of me is torn ... especially when I think of the different places that I have been and am drawn to now.  Memories attached to geographical locations.  I feel like they are lost there somehow.  I don't own them and I am not able to return to some of those places.

Maybe that's memories though.  There is a sense of not being able to return.  We must move forward.  I am nostalgic, so that doesn't always sit well with me.  I don't much want to move forward at the expense of not being able to travel and return to places that hold value for me.  Are those memories holding me back though?  Am I to be moving forward, trusting in and having faith in the future, in God in the future?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Random acts of kindness

Just when it was time to leave work this afternoon the heavens opened up and gave us a spectacular storm.  It got so dark outside it was like midnight.  Crazy.  I wondered how I was going to get to my car.  I had recently moved desks and had hoped that the half broken umbrella at my old desk might still be there, but alas no it wasn't.  So I had every intention of braving the rain to get to my car.  I so didn't feel like staying at work any longer than I needed to.  Once the idea gets in my head to leave work I am gone.  I can't say I have ever been one to work back unless it has been scheduled.

Fortunately as I stood at the door to run into the rain a man with his ute was standing near the door getting something from the building.  He offered to drive me to my car.

I don't need rescuing.  I already have my rescuer in Giselle.  But it was nice all the same to have someone do something nice like that for me.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Being Spiritual

Judges 614 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save … . Am I not sending you?”

Galatians  6:1-3 … you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently …  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

What is God saying to me today?  

From the verse in Judges, I feel like God is telling me that I am enough … that the strength I have is enough.  From the second passage, I feel like God is telling me that as I live by the Spirit I should restore people gently.  

Perhaps this means for me to encourage other people to be spiritual.  Not in the sense of someone who is further developed, but as someone who is at the same level.  Maybe that's what it means.  "Am I not sending you?"  "Go in the strength that you have"  

Being transgendered doesn't exclude me from being spiritual.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Beginnings ... Time to be organised

Today I worked on a system to organise myself at work.  It's early days I know, but it does feel really good.  I had a lot of "anxiety" leave me as I continued to press through the things that I had determined to start working on today.

It would seem that "setting a goal of being on the journey" is really working for me.

I am getting a sense about prayer.  It's the image of Gideon as he laid out the fleece on the ground before God.  I don't know the significance yet, but I feel that this is a part of prayer for me.  So I will identify what is my fleece ... what is on my heart that I want to share with God, what burdens I will lay down at His feet.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Messages from God

I was talking to Jeremy tonight about the Bible and about believing.  Wow ... my thoughts have changed a bit I think.  And by rights, they would have had to.  I mean, I had no room in my faith for the journey that I have been on.  I guess that's what scared me most about it.  

I said to Jeremy that it's not so much our interpretation of what we think God is saying in this verse, or that verse, or through this person or that person.  It's still too impersonal.  It matters only what we feel that God is saying to us.  And I want to believe that God will use many different ways to talk to me.  That's what I would like to believe.

So that said.  What is God saying to me today?  I can see the letters of my name, Cindy.  And on those letters are angels holding onto each of the letters.  And next to the letters is a flask of perfume and an empty bottle / vessel.  My name is a sweet perfume to God.  The empty flask represented the start and commencement of a factory, glass containers.  It would be the first of many vessels.  Perhaps the perfume is to be like the oil for the widow who poured it out into many vessels, as many as she could find.  And the oil was poured out into these vessels.  Somehow, the fragrance of my life, the Holy Spirit, will be poured out and will fill many vessels.  And there is a rock on that table with the word "Serenity" on it, which means peace.  

Wow, interesting.