Jesus AND Divorce? the thoughts of a once divorced preachers daughter

this entry is long, but I feel that the topic deserves all that I can humbly offer.

an entry from my journal dated January 2009:

Every road must end. Every candle, no matter the amount of wick or wax, will burn out. Every fire dies. Today Seth left. He packed up his truck and is gone. I find it quite ironic that after these years of collecting “things” together he left with what he started with 5 years ago. Today standing in my driveway I examined the contents of his packed truck.. a few pieces of cloths, a guitar, and an amp.

I was so broken at the time the above was written. I was lost. The outcome of stumbling through life in such darkness for so many years was a severely bruised spirit..and, as what the above attests to, a failed marriage. My rebellion and defiance towards God and towards Seth had finally caught up with me. By the reality of my failed marriage, the levee had finally been broken and the waters that crashed down upon me were cold. Everything I had done had failed..everything around me testified to one sad truth : I was a failure.

That day, after I watched Seth’s truck pull out of the driveway and disappear into the road ahead, I stood there, frozen in my driveway for a long time. Our marriage had been a rocky one and we had separated and reconciled a few times before that..but on that day.. I knew that it was over. I was right..the next time that I would see him would be at the courthouse when we signed the divorce papers. With the cold, white January sky hanging above me, I stood there like a statue – it’s hard to explain how I felt..I guess my best attempt would be to say that at that moment, I had never felt so alone. Standing there that day, I had never hated myself more. I remember lifelessly staring at a flower-pot which held the shriveled remains of a house plant that I had forgotten.. what had once been a beautiful plant that had been very much alive had turned into nothing but a lifeless skeleton sitting on my front porch.. I had left it outside – my actions and neglect had killed it.

It’s odd to me how short my entry was from that day. One could assume that an event that brings such painful change would be documented with more feeling.. with a greater attempt to describe the pain of divorce.. with a greater attempt to put into words the depth of the gash which has just ripped apart their heart. I don’t know why I didn’t write about that dead house plant. I don’t understand why I didn’t express the anguish that my soul was overcome by when I wrote that. I failed to paint a picture of who I had been that day – a fool standing alone in her driveway tortured by the realization that the man who she had just pushed out of her life had once been the man with whom she had shared a deep and pure love with..a fool who had killed her marriage. My select words from that day show how truly numb I had become. I didn’t express the emptiness and the panic that I was consumed with because I ran from it.. I hid myself from it because to admit how bitterly painful divorce was would have also been admitting how truly messed up living for myself had gotten me. I needed Jesus so badly then..and as I will soon explain, it was the chain of events that took place after my divorce that caused me to finally find Him again.

Wait a second,  you may say..are you talking about the same Jesus that I’m thinking of..Ive read the bible and divorce is a sin..nothing good can come from divorce. Let me remind you of what Jesus said about divorce..

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. – Matthew 5:32

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” – Matthew 19:8-9

These are the verses that I have simply dreaded coming to in the past..these verses must have the same effect on others. The divorce rate in america is somewhere around 50 percent..I can’t be the only person reading the bible who is divorced or who is married to someone who has been divorced. Satan has used these verses to make me feel unworthy of God’s love and to make me feel like I don’t deserve to call myself a child of God far too many times.. he has crushed my spirit and made me feel as though I will not be allowed to enter heaven because I am divorced..and I am sick of it. How can satan use the holy word of God to hurt you, some might say. Look at Matthew chapter four.. Satan uses scripture in an attempt to hurt Jesus.. if he can use scripture against Jesus, don’t you think he can and will do the same to you? It was in a moment of doubt and self hate that caused me to call my father today. While reading my bible I came across a verse about divorce that completely crushed me..with tears rolling down my face I picked up my phone and called my daddy.

How my divorce would affect my father and mother is another aspect to this equation that has always caused me great sorrow.  In many circumstances, a preacher would be bought great shame by one of his children getting a divorce. I thank God that when his family is involved, the man who I call daddy is first a loving father and will not let his calling to be a pastor affect that. I thank God for a father who has  proudly walked me down the aisle twice. If my divorce has ever caused my father to be ashamed of me, I can’t say..but after speaking to him today, I do not think that this is the case. The love that brought my earthly father to tears today as he reminded me that, Jesus didn’t die in vain, cannot in any way be compared to the love that my heavenly father feels for me.

I was shocked today after I entered, “Jesus and divorce” into google. Every article that I read would make any divorced person feel unworthy and feel like they are  a useless person in the kingdom of God. One of the articles I read had the title of:

 Divorce is a Merciless Act of Unforgiveness; God Said He Will Likewise Show No Mercy,

this title alone could cause a person struggling with their faith to turn away from a God who seems so unloving. Another article titled What did Jesus Teach on Divorce, had this to say:

How ridiculous that so many people today, even professed Christians, are misquoting the Bible in a selfish attempt to justify the sin of divorce. It cannot be accomplished. Try as they may, sin is still sin, and divorce will always be a horrible sin just like abortion, homosexuality, and adultery. 

Yes abortion, homosexuality, adultery, and divorce are sins.. BUT WHERE IS GRACE?  Yes, sin is still sin.. BUT WHERE IS GRACE? Not one of the articles that I read today mentioned grace. It is this attitude that many in the church today have towards divorce that caused me to call my father today and ask him if my husband and I were sinning everyday that we continued to be married..why has God blessed me with a husband who loves me and who fears the Lord..why has God blessed me with having a beautiful daughter in my life and with the birth of my son..why has the Lord blessed me with anything; why has the Lord redeemed me from a life of solitude and granted me the family that I have longed for all of my life.. the family that I don’t deserve. The question that most confuses me is, why did it take my divorce for me to realize that I was nothing without Jesus.. the blessings that have happened in my life and also in the life of my first husband would not be a reality if we were still married. If God hates divorce so much does he hate me as well? If God hates divorce so much then why has he blessed me regardless of my wrongs?

Mercy – compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish.

Grace – a favor rendered by one who need not do so.

Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies..He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him – Psalm 103 : 4 & 10-11

Now, I am not saying that divorce is ok. Divorce is not ok. Divorce is a horrible and ugly thing..but we must remember that this is why Jesus died a gruesome and monstrous death in excruciating pain..  Sometimes I think that we forget just how ghastly Calvary was. Roman citizens were exempt from crucifixion..only slaves and non-roman criminals died by crucifixion. Cicero, a roman orator, described crucifixion to be, “a most cruel and disgusting punishment” he also suggested that, “the very mention of the cross should be far removed not only from a Roman citizen’s body, but from his mind, his eyes, his ears.” Unlike the paintings that we see of Jesus on the cross..he hung there naked for all to see..our Lord..our innocent Saviour died a humiliating death that even roman murderers and rapists were not condemned to. Before they nailed him to the cross it says in Matthew 27:34 that,

 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with  gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 

Something that many people do not know is that in an act of mercy a cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh was sometimes given for the purpose of deadening the pangs of the sufferer. Gall was used as a painkiller in those days. Our Lord refused to drink it because he didn’t want anything to numb his pain or ease his suffering. He refused to go to the cross drugged and insensitive, he refused the painkiller because he had to feel the anguish and the pain of sin.. he had to taste every bitter drop of God’s wrath. He had to take the suffering from the whole world and he had to feel it to the uttermost.  He knew that there was no other way.  His death was ugly because sin is ugly.

Divorce is a sin  that causes such great pain and heartache to all who are involved..I believe that one of the reasons that Jesus spoke passionately against divorce so frequently is because he wants to protect us from that hurt..he doesnt want his children to pass through the destructive wasteland that divorce creates. I believe that he speaks against all sin for this reason..the wages of sin is death. If you continue to reject Jesus and to live selfishly in sin.. the outcome will be painful. Without Jesus sin will kill you. But thankyou my saviour! There is NO sin that one who seeks the Lord can do that the blood of Jesus cannot cover ..not adultary..not homosexuality..not abortion..not divorce. Nothing you have done will ever make the Lord unwilling and ready to forgive you..to redeem you.. to give you a brand new start. As my daddy reminded me, Jesus didn’t die in vain. He died for us.

My inability to find an article on divorce that expresses and relays the true message of christianity is a shame and something that every follower of Jesus should be motivated by. I believe that we should stop focusing so much of our energy on pointing out the sins that can keep us from God and instead pour our energy into spreading the message of how to find redemption from sin.. spreading the message of accepting Christ, putting your faith in him, and letting him influence you little by little.. as he, day by day polishes away your impurities. Is this not the message that Jesus taught.. at the root of it all is following Jesus not simple? Our finger pointing and name calling, in some ways, can weaken the importance of the sacrifice that Jesus made on Calvary…  it can turn people away from Jesus before they are ever given a chance to hear about what he did for them on the cross and what it all really means. Divorce, or any sin for that matter, is not going to keep you from entering heaven.. as long as you ask for forgiveness, seek what it is that He wants for your life, and submit to what it is that he reveals to you. Let us never forget that Jesus did not die in vain.

 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.  – Romans 3:22-25

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions … For it is by grace  you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. – Ephesians 4 & 8

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. – 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

a blog for chuck

I stood there in a silent reverence..I stared into the picture that was before me as tears slowly rolled down my face. There were a few candles burning beside the urn which held the ashes of the man who had once been my dear friend.. I gently touched the man’s face in the picture before me and said a quiet farewell. As I turned around and made my way to the exit..in my mind, I scribbled the final words of a chapter in my life’s book..wiping my eyes, I marked it with a stamp of closure.

How I became dear friends with a hard living hells angel who was the same age as my father is a long and eventful story that I dont have the time to tell. The story of my friendship with chuck is also darkened with addiction and sin from my past.. none-the-less, it is a story that I am not ashamed of anymore..it is a story that I believe was written by the hand of the Almighty. I met chuck while I was in highschool. I gave his son a ride to and from school..even though I was first friends with his son, I quickly found myself going over there to hang out with chuck. Now dont get me wrong, our relationship was never anything outside of friendship..but we used to joke around about how we were soul mates separated by 30 years. We were both running from God; chuck just had a 30 year head start on me. Just as I knew, chuck also knew what was right.. there were many times when he and I, in the midst of our destructive behavior, would join hands and pray. Sometimes I wonder if the Lord heard our prayers..I know he did. Even from the lips of two wayward fools our words still made it to God’s ears. I am sure of this now because of how things came together in the end.

Praise the Lord for not giving up on me and for leading me onto a new path. The path that I found myself walking on sent me in a different direction from chuck.. the years before chuck’s death, I didnt see him all that much. I would run into him here and there..he even stopped by my house to say hello not too long ago. I just glanced over into my kitchen..death makes things so permanent here on Earth. Chuck walking into my kitchen is the last thing that I have of him here on Earth. He was about to ride his Harley to somewhere that was far away..I dont remember the place he was going to now..but I do remember him sitting at my kitchen table as I braided his hair. Sometimes I think that was the only reason that he stopped by that day..maybe he had no one else around that day to braid his hair and needed me just for that. Whatever the reason, I am glad I got to see him. Before he left, he gave me a hug and told me that he was proud of all I was doing. I told him that I loved him and that I was praying for him. His last words to me were, “briana, never stop loving me and never stop praying for me.” I would never hear  another word leave chuck’s mouth. He would hear me again though.

The morning that I heard the news of chuck being in a coma and on life support, my heart sank. He lived a very hard life and the things that he did during those last days were just too much. His body was tired and it simply gave out. The first time I went to the hospital to see him I was the only one there. I took my bible and read to him. The sound of his life support machine was the only other sound besides my voice. It was a few days before easter so I read to him the crucifixion and the resurrection. I told him over and over that the blood Jesus shed on that cross was for him too. I am no prayer warrior, but that day I rebuked satan..that day I pled the blood of Jesus over his life. Sitting there holding his hand..all that I could think of was a time many years ago that he called me crying in the middle of the night asking me to come over and pray for him..if I ever heard chuck’s heart it was on that night. Sitting in that quiet hospital room, I remembered the things chuck had said to me the night that I went to pray with him. He was scared that night.. “Jesus please remember me,” was what he had kept saying that night. As I was sitting by his hospital bed that day..I spoke those words for him.

The next time I went to see chuck in the hospital..the room was packed. Standing around him were many leather clad, “zz top bearded” bikers and a few family members. The doctors had taken him off of life support and every breath he took was painfully labored. In that small room, the spirit of bondage was heavy. I found myself  unable to pray for chuck..I called my dad. When my dad walked into that room I could honestly feel the darkness part.. im not saying that my father is God or anything..no preacher is God..but the light of Jesus was definitely radiating from him that day. My father anointed chuck’s head with oil and prayed for the Lord to grant mercy to this dying man. We left shortly after.

That night I received the call..Chuck had passed. Sometimes you just have to leave things up to the Lord..but still I grieved for my friend’s soul. I remember sitting in the living room when I received the call and the tears that followed. That was the first time that Trinitee had ever really seen me cry. “What’s wrong mommy,” she said as she gave me a hug. How do you explain to a four-year old the ramifications of sin? I told her that my friend had died and that he may not have gotten to know Jesus before it happened. She looked up at me and said something that i’ll never forget..”Jesus knew him though, mommy.” I gently kissed her forehead and went outside to sit alone on my front porch. Shortly there after I got a call from one of his family members that made me realize just how right Trinitee had been.

That evening after my father and I left the hospital Chuck came to. After being in a coma for days..after being taken off of life support..chuck woke up. It was only for a short time, but he was able to speak. He told the people around him that he had heard everything.. that he had heard me.. he had heard my father praying over him. Chuck woke up long enough to say his goodbyes and to get right with the Lord..he passed away shortly after.

When I think about Chuck..my heart rejoices. He lived a hard life..he did things that “good” men do not do..he ran from God the majority of his life..but oh the blood of Jesus! Jesus did know him..just like trinitee had reminded me. Jesus doesnt just forget about us when we sin..even though we may allow our sin to separate us from Jesus, the Lord doesnt let our sin separate us from his love. His love is always there waiting for us to embrace it. My dear friend’s life could have been snuffed out in a second with a needle in his arm..but praise you my merciful Jesus..you didnt let that happen. Chuck’s prayers from that night years ago were answered.. just like the thief on the cross who cried out to God in the last moments of his life..Jesus remembered Chuck.

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23: 42-43

He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. – Psalms 103:4

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee  from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens,  you are there; if I make my bed  in the depths, you are there. – Psalms 139: 7-8

sharing a dream that ive had twice

I am unsure why I feel the need to share this, but the need will not leave me. I have tried my best not to post this in fear that people might think im crazy..however, the need to post this keeps resurfacing. So, I will share. This is  a dream that I have had twice now.

I am in my church gym with many others. We all know that something terrible is about to happen.. but we are not afraid because we are prepared. We have food and water stocked up and we are all in deep prayer for the world. I go to the doors of the gym and look out into the parking lot. The parking lot is filled with people..as far as my eye can see there are people. It looks as though they are having a party..almost like they are at a concert. Standing on a hill above all the people is a huge marionette..he is taller than the trees around him. He is dressed like an 18th century french king..he has a huge red wig and his face is elaborately painted. I open the doors to the gym and begin to scream to the people, “come inside! dont you see what’s coming? save yourselves!” I am in a panic but no one pays me any attention..its like I do not exist. The “puppet man” begins to laugh at me..his laugh sounds so evil. During his laughing fit he thrashes about and lifts up his hands.. I see that from his hands millions of wires come and are connected to the people in the parking lot. His laugh becomes deeper and more crazed and he begins to violently jerk the people around below by the wires that are connected to his hands. The sky above turns a bright white color..like lightening..and I wake up.

 

on virgins and the lack of common sense

This is completely different from what I usually write about..and many of my regular visitors will probaly not like this entry..but I am doing this to make a point. When looking at the things that critics use against the Bible and against christianity, I am amazed at the amount of intense “picking” that goes on. I find it comical because the claims that are blasted across the internet always state these damning claims as to why one should not believe the bible..but they never state any of the background or relate anything other than their side and the cut and dry biblical contradiction that, “is the reason you should not be a christian.” Now, dont get me wrong..I am not a naive fool who believes in something just “because”..no, when I read these things I search to find out some background information… and like the example I will use today, I am always so outraged by the end of my search because the contradiction in question can easily be understood if you just do some dang research. I do research because I am a christian..but what about people who are not christians and who have no idea of the bible or who that “Jesus guy” is..they probably will not do any research on the matter but just say, “ok..well just one more reason why I think all that bible stuff is just crap.” I wonder if the authors of these claims have done any background research for themselves..if so, I dont see how any of them could go thru with publishing the article.. unless it be for one reason – they dont like Jesus and they dont want anyone else to like him either.

I am going to state the problem and then give the research i did..and at the end, I’ll let you decide how you feel.

PROBLEM: (and I am typing this word for word from an article I found online)

 Another false, or at best misleading, translation is that of “virgin” in Isaiah 7 14. The Hebrew word used by Isaiah and translated “virgin” is almah, which does not at all signify “virgin” in the sense in which we understand it, of an unmarried woman who, in the often-repeated biblical phrase, “hath not known man by lying with him.” The exegetes of the Biblical Encyclopedia thus correctly define it: “Virgin, Heb., almah; i.e., a young woman of marriageable age” (Vol. III, p. 117) — not necessarily, or even presumptively, of intact virginity. The Hebrew word for a woman actually a virgin is bethulah..

ok, so what is he saying here? Well lets start with the verse he is speaking of in Isaiah –

 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:   The virgin (almah) will conceive and give birth to a son,   and will call him Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14

wow, ok..so any christian would recognize this verse. This verse is HUGE! It is this verse that the book of Matthew speaks of when it says-

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,  because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill   what the Lord had said through the prophet:“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). – Matthew 1: 21-23

so.. he is saying that the bible uses the hebrew word that means young woman (almah) when if Mary had been a true virgin they would have used the hebrew word for virgin which is bethulah.  So, by pointing this out the author is basically saying that one of the building blocks of christianity is based on a lie..he is saying that the virgin birth of Jesus is nothing but a concept made up by the early christians to make Jesus seem like he was the messiah. He is calling Jesus a fake. He is calling my saviour a lie. He is not making some light accusation here..His words could cause deep damage to someone who is not interested in doing the research to see what this is all about.

MY RESEARCH

almah– a lass (as veiled or private):–damsel, maid, virgin. (strong’s hebrew concordance)

verb root of almah: alam-  to veil from sight, i.e. conceal

bethulah: a virgin  (strong’s hebrew concordance)

verb root of bethula: bathal- to seperate

first off..may I please just say something here..COMMON SENSE PEOPLE. I guess no one cares about that when it comes to proving the bible wrong. In those days a young unmarried woman would have been considered a virgin..unlike today..back then, in the ancient hebrew world  being unmarried (not widowed) and being a virgin pretty much meant the same thing. ok, but anyways..let us go further with some actual reasons.

The word almah is used 7 times in the old testament. (gen 24:43, exodus 2:8, psalm 68:25, proverbs 30:19, song of solomon 1:3 and 6:8, and Isaiah 7:14) There is no instance where it can be used to show a non-virgin. Lets go through a few of these..see what you think after reading these.. do they,  “not at all signify ‘virgin'” as what the author of the article that I shared above said? I’ll let you be the judge..

GENESIS 24: 43 – before we look at the first time almah appears in the bible, Genesis 24:43, first lets get some background to the story. This is the story of how Isaac met his wife rebekah. Isaac’s servant prayed that God would send a woman to the well who would not only give him water but would also offer water to his camels..and if this happened the woman would be who God wanted Isaac to marry. Here in Genesis 24: 13-14 we read his prayer:

Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

after he has prayed this..here Rebekah makes her entrance. keep in mind that in verse 16 the orginal word used in the hebrew bible was bethula.

  15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16 Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin (bethula); no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.” 18 So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.”

next, we are going to skip down to the first time that almah is used in the bible, Genesis 24 : 43. Isaac’s servant is explaining to Rebekah’s brother why Rebekah is going to marry Isaac –

 “And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O Lord God of my master Abraham, if You will now prosper the way in which I go,  43 behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin (almah)  comes out to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44 and she says to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,”—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’

next we hear from Rebekah’s brother:

The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you either bad or good.  51 Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.”

so why did I go through ALL of that? To show how much actually doing some research will show truth. The funny thing about this all is that the author of the article above actually uses Genesis 24:16 as an example to show that bethulah means a true virgin. Of course he didnt mention that just a few verses down the bible would call the exact same woman an almah. Here we can obviously see that almah can also mean virgin.

PROVERBS 30:19– in this verse Agur is describing things that he cannot understand-

The way of an eagle in the air, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, And the way of a man with a virgin (almah).

really? almah never means virgin? What would be so significant about the way of a man with a young woman..umm nothing. it is the way of a man with a virgin that is something significant. Almah obviously means virgin here.

SONG OF SOLOMON 6:8 In this verse the maiden who is the object of this love poem is favorably being compared to a harem..

There are sixty queens And eighty concubines, And virgins (almah) without number.

that’s right..60 queens, or legal wifes of the king..80 women who the king is not married to but still gets to have sex with..and countless young women? Once his queens and concubines get old..he’s not gonna want just some regular girl whose innocence has already been “plucked” by another man..no, the king is going to want virgins.

EXODUS 2:8– here the word almah was translated as maid. Pharoh’s daughter is speaking to moses’ sister who scholars estimate to have been somewhere between 8 and 10 years old. would you assume that an 8 year old is a virgin? even with how corrupt our world has become, I would hope so.

8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother.

BETHULAH

the word bethulah is used over 50 times in the old testament, and yes it does describe a virgin but just because of this how can one say that almah could not have also meant virgin. There are actually a few examples of where bethulah obviously doesn’t mean virgin –

Lament like a virgin (bethulah) girded with sackcloth For the husband of her youth. – Joel 1:8

THE KICKER – THE SEPTUAGINT

In 132 BC (over a century before the birth of Jesus) a group of jewish scholars completed translating the Torah (the jewish scriptures) into Greek. This  translated Torah was called the Septuagint. The jewish translators were the ones who translated Isaiah 7:14 from almah to the greek word parthenos. Parthenos is the greek word that specifically means… VIRGIN! Why would these jewish scholars who would have been well aware of any nuances surrounding these two words have chosen the greek word for virgin instead of the greek word for young woman or maiden. ummm..let me think.. BECAUSE IT WAS MEANT TO MEAN VIRGIN.  When Matthew was written Greek was the primary language..so dont you think that they would have refered to the Torah that was written in Greek? This is also pretty funny..  the early pre-Christian Jewish versions of the Septuagint were held in great respect in ancient times; Philo, the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, and Josephus, the 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian, ascribed divine inspiration to the Jewish translators..but for some reason the jewish community has now rejected the Sepruagint..wonder why? Ill let you figure that one out.

MY CONCLUSION

My conclusion is pretty simple..yes almah can also mean virgin, hopefully anyone with a lick of common sense would be able to figure that one out. I have come to conclude that Isaiah 7:14 is one of the most defiled verses in the bible because of one thing – this verse refers to the prophecy in Matthew that shows Jesus as the one to fulfill prophecy through his conception and through his birth. That is why Jewish “anti-missionaries” and others who wish to specifically attack the New Testament make such a big deal about something that takes little sense to figure out.  When it comes down to it..there is something pretty special about this “Jesus guy”..if not, really think about this.. then why has his name and the bible been attacked since the beginning of christianity. What about him makes people hate him so much? Why did i just have to waste my time writing about a problem that has such an easy answer? Why has christianity grown and endured through the hardest of times? From the early christians who were torn to shreds by lions in Rome to the modern christians who are slowly beheaded in the middle east..why do they not recant? It is because Jesus is real.. the blood he shed on Calvary is real. No matter how many arrows are thrown..christianity will not die out..because it is real. So bring it..

for a more in depth look at this and an article that actually has citations (i have kids I dont have time for all that mess) see http://www.studytoanswer.net/doctrine/almah.html

on the difficulties of explaining light to a blind man

My soul is hurt today..it’s been hurting the last few days. Because of events that I will not disclose, I have recently set out on a journey to discover a course that i may share with a friend who is seeking God. How can something that I hold so dear to my heart be so challenging to explain? My relationship with Jesus is an aspect of my life that joyfully consumes me..yet, I can not figure out a way to show why that is.. a way to show who He is.

Why  do you believe in God? Usually when a person asks this question, they do not want the answer that I have. We are all constructed differently and I guess the need to deeply analyse things was not something that God decided to mix into my mortar. I do not have some uniform and rigid answer as to why I believe in God.. To say that I believe in him not because of anything scientific or anything that can be fully explained would make some think that my faith is flaky, but their assumptions would be incorrect. He wove into my being the ability to feel his pull.. as the moon tugs the waves over the sand, so he has wired us all to feel his presence. Even Jean-Paul Sartre, who was one of the leading proponents of atheism of the 20th century could not hide from his creator.. his candid confessions attest to God’s call..

“As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for wont of being able to think otherwise.”

“Everything in me cries out to God, I dont know how to forget him.”

 I guess that’s were my lack of desire to have everything shown to me in black and white comes into play; why should I seek to find truth when there is nothing that I cannot explain. For it is God who has composed all things..it is God who stands in the void of the unexplainable..God is the only answer that I need.  As he has placed into the structure of all mankind the ability to feel that pull, he has also placed in our hands the means to sever it. His gift of freewill gives man the mental capacity needed to ignore his call or to make ourselves numb to his power.. if that is what we choose to do. When you have separated yourself from the very force that gave you life..from the very force that pulls you towards the truth, of course you will instead be pulled towards skepticism,doubt and confusion. That is where the pain that my soul is laid heavy with has come from. How can you describe a thing that cannot be compared to anything else to someone who has forgotten the thing that you are trying to explain. How can you describe light to a blind man?  

I shared this with my friend tonight and it really sums up how I feel..

If you were a servant in a warm castle in dead of winter, and I a freezing traveler in the snow outside your doorstop, you might invite me in to warm myself by the fire in an inner room. But I, looking through your open doorway, would see no fire, but only the fireless outer room, and I would have to trust your promise that I could get warm ‘if I only stepped inside’, judging the legitimacy of that promise on the basis of characteristics about you–the fact that you were not dressed heavily for the cold, that your hands actually felt warm, that you SEEMED to radiate honesty, and that you could make descriptive statements about the fire. If I insisted that I would not take that first step into the castle until I could actually SEE the fire in the inner room, I would obviously have to stay in the cold…

Of course, if your hands were COLD instead of warm, you were shivering, and you were dressed in heaviest furs, I would suspect duplicity, and be wise to take my chances with the snow and wolves, than with a fellow human with dishonesty in his heart, leading me into who-knows-what treachery…

I feel a little like the servant in that story…I am very, very warmed by the Fire but am limited to sharing with you the warmth of my hands, my ‘non-verbal’ expressions, and the grossly insufficient language to describe such a robust thing as a fire…

I lift my hands to God in prayer. I lift my hands to God in surrender. I pray that he cover – with a fiery warmth – the hands that I raise to him. I pray that he sends a revival to this land. I pray that he calls out his people and anoints them with a holy fire.. A fire that will shine the light of revelation and understanding directly into the ugly face of the darkness and confusion that holds our world in captivity.

For our God is a consuming fire. – Hebrews 12:29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on the child I lost.. the child who waits for me

Today I will share something with you that is very personal..something that I rarely speak of. Today my heart is grieved for the child that I lost. For some reason on this day, far more than others, I yearn to touch the baby that I never met. To say that I have refrained to speak of the child that I lost because of shame isnt necessarily the case..however, this statement does hold some truth. At the time when all this happened Jonathan and I were not married. We do not live in a society anymore where a young girl, without explanation, goes to live with a relative for 9 months..but still, the bible is clear about the fact that God created sex for married people and I knew that I would not be able to hide my disobedience. I remember the fear that gripped my heart as I walked the steps to my parents house..I was so afraid of their disappointment. I was so scared to see the look in their eyes and to hear my mother cry. I remember standing there for a moment trying to find the words to say..my mouth was dry and my mind was blank. With my parents just looking at me, waiting for me to speak, I finally just let the words, “im pregnant” spew from my mouth. After I said it,  I kept my head down almost like I was watching the words I had just spoken fall to the floor and shatter into a million little pieces. When I finally lifted up my head, to my surprise, my eyes were met by smiles. My mother took me into her arms. My father told me that he loved me. Yes, they wished that we had done things in the order that God tells us to, but they were not angry.. their rath did not fall upon me and my unborn child as I had supposed it would. My fear had caused me to forget something that my parents believed to be true.. something that all christians should believe to be true – For all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but in no way does this make the blessing of a sweet child any less precious. Today I stand up against any feelings of shame. Today I stand up for my precious child. Today I stand up for my sweet baby whose death helped me to see life again.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. – jeremiah 1:5

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.. your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book – psalm 139: 13-14 & 16

On the day of my first ultrasound, the excitement I felt was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The thought of seeing the life within me and hearing its heartbeat caused such  joy that I almost ran off the road a few times driving to the doctor. My excitement quickly turned to panic when they could not find a heart beat. My panic turned to sadness when they also could not find any indication of a pregnancy in my womb. I was 2 1/2 months when I lost my baby. Even though at 2 1/2 months gestation I was unable to feel my child move ..I still knew that within me was a life. The love and connection that I felt with something that I could not feel nor see was something that I cannot explain..it was something that caused me to lay in bed at night holding on for dear life to my stomach. How a woman recovers from losing a child late in pregnancy is something that I cannot imagine and something that my loss cannot fully relate to. No matter the stage they are in when it happens, one thing is shared between all women who have gone through this loss and that is the dream that is crushed with the loss of a pregnancy. Walking out of the doctor’s office that day, I was numb. It was early spring but still very cold out. Driving down the desolate stretch of highway that day was the saddest moment of my life. At that point, it was pain and sorrow that caused me to cling to my stomach not the never-ending love of before.  I had been traveling down the opposite side of the same highway just a short time before with nothing but hope and dreams for my new life..and just like that, as I drove home..everything was gone.

During that time in my life I was not living for God..I was running with all my might in the opposite direction of what He had planned for me. During that trip home something occurred to me that I had not considered in some time..I thought about my salvation. I thought about where it was that I would spend eternity. The loss of my child was a turning point in my spiritual life. It took something so important..a loss so painfully personal for me to realize how important heaven is. It was when I realized that I would only be able to meet my child if I made it to heaven that I began the slow turn around back to where my faith was supposed to be. Sometimes I feel so guilty when I think about my child who never had the chance to be born.. did the Lord send him or her just to die so that I might be able to find my way back home? All the days ordained for me were written in your book.. I truly believe that the life of my beautiful child that was never given a chance was not in vain. He or she was all apart of God’s plan. It was in God’s mercy that I went through all the pain and heartache of losing a child.

I cant wait to get to heaven. I cant wait to walk through those pearly gates and to see my little boy or my little girl running up to me, arms stretched wide screaming, “mommy, mommy..Ive been waiting for you!” My child was precious in the eyes of God. My child was created with a purpose. Maybe you have lost a child or maybe you have made some bad choices that you now deeply regret. Dont drown in sorrow or in guilt. Your child was fearfully and wonderfully created by God. There is hope to one day right a wrong from your past. There is hope that crushes any pain felt by anyone who has lost a child because of any circumstance. That hope is Jesus. If you are already a christian, be comforted in Him. If you are still seeking..just know that if you choose life in Him..one day the beautiful words that I long to hear you will hear also..”mommy, ive been waiting for you..mommy i love you.

and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. – John 10: 27-29

 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. – Revelation 21:4

I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days – Isaiah 65:20

on when God grew skin. email # 2. a child from a barren womb

Response to my question, When did you know that God was real? Email # 2:

I stopped doubting God the day my husband and I found out that we were expecting. We had been trying to conceive for 3 years and my hope to have a child seemed like something that would never happen. Every pregnancy test that I took was more painful than the last when I saw that negative result. The pain and desperation from not being able to have a child caused me to go on a search for something more. In my search I stumbled onto the book, The Power of a Praying Wife. I had always known about God but my relationship with Him had always been very childish. The book showed me how to be the type of wife and mother that God wanted me to be. It taught me how to pray and how to be patient. I knew that I was pregnant the night of my 10 year anniversary. I prayed that night for the first time EVER for God to please give me a child.  That night after my husband and I made love  the peace that I felt after praying to Him is a moment that I will never forget. Shortly after I found out that I was pregnant. During all the years of heart-break I never prayed. Only after giving it to God did I receive the answer that I hoped for. I believe that the wait was all apart of God’s plan because my daughter has had a lot of health issues and if she would have been born earlier, I do not think that my marriage would have survived the first year of her life. God is real. I have a beautiful daughter as proof.

Maybe it is not a child that you hope for but other areas in your life that are barren. In biblical times, a barren woman was thought to be cursed. It was a disgrace and to be barren brought a woman great shame. What is it that has cursed you? What is it from your past that has disgraced you? What is it that you cannot get past on your own?

There is a hope for the barren spirit. Just look at Sarah from the bible..

 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. Genesis 6:1

She was barren. In those days, she was useless. After God stepped in and after she opened her heart to Him and to His will for her life..the bible goes on to say.. (God is speaking to Sarah’s husband in this verse)

As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will  give you a son by her. I will bless her, and  she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her. – Genesis 17: 15-16

But Sarah shall be her name. After you let God step in He will change you.. He will give you a new name. All the curses and shame from your life before God will be erased, for He will give you a new name.. He will make you a new person. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her. Not only will he erase the darkness and shame of who you used to be, he will also cause great things to come from your new life in him. Giving your life to Jesus will change the course of history..it will change the path of your family.

Maybe all that you have done on your own has been fruitless and without reward.. but, with God all things will flourish. With Him, all things will be given according to His beautiful plan for your life..for He is the God who gives life to the condemned. He is the God who gives joy to the hopeless. He is the God who gives the barren womb a child. How long will you remain Sarai? How long will you run from becoming Sarah? The new life of becoming Sarah is only a prayer away.

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord! – Psalm 113:9

The most beautiful thing that has ever been shown to me.