My Fitness

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

thoughts on God as father

For D-Group last week we started reading Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves. Even the introduction was great. In the first chapter there was a bit about Arius being a dummy. Do you remember Arius? He's the same man that jolly ol' St. Nicholas slapped (punched?) for being heretical at the Council of Nicaea. Hashtag Fun Fact.

But the real fun facts I thought during the reading was the following section about God as The Loving Father. God refers to himself as Father since forever. What was he the Father of though? Israel is the Lord's firstborn son. So then is God dependent on Israel? That seems like God needs Israel to be a Father. Unless he was Father before Israel. Maybe Isaac? So God is dependent on Isaac? Abraham? Noah? Adam? Did God create Adam because he wanted to be a dad? Does God need us?

We know that God does not need us. God must have another child that is not one of us. Those of us in the A.D. know that our time is even named after him. Jesus is the Son of God. Begotten, not made. He is part of the mystery of God. God is the Father and Jesus is the Son. Before time began there they were.

I wonder how Jews reconcile this idea. I will probably look into it. But I imagine if they take "Elohim" (plural) from Genesis 1:26 and "Father" from Deuteronomy 32:6 with the revelation that God chose them because he is awesome and not them, they would eventually realize their Messiah has come.

One other thought I had was how we use nature to help us understand God. Like fatherhood: we think that God is trying to explain how he feels about us and thinks, "oh they have fathers, I'll tell them I'm like a father to them." When really what happened is that God is the Father and thought, "I will create fatherhood in them to mirror what I am." He created us in his image. He didn't create himself in our image.

Realizing that God is first will help a lot of our attempts at understanding him. Realizing that we will always be tempted to put ourselves first will help us realize how selfish and depraved we are. Even as saints we still have sin that we must overcome with fear and trembling. #FunFact

Thursday, January 11, 2018

ambassadors movement

Have you ever considered how as Christians we are called to be ambassadors for Christ? Have you ever wondered what it means that this Earth is not our home? That we belong to a Godly Kingdom and we don't have a president? or a constitution? We have a King and we are supposed to represent him while we sojourn through this world. 

Recently this idea of being His ambassador has implanted itself inside me. Since I am a Christian, I am an ambassador. Once I started addressing myself that way I noticed a difference inside me. 

I am an ambassador of Christ. I know that that means I represent him. I've started thinking, "Is this action representative of Christ?" and, "Is this thought representative of Christ?" I've put myself under a microscope. I'm not ashamed of what I've found, although it's been quite shameful, because Christ's already forgiven me of all those thoughts and motives and actions that were not representative of him. I no longer represent me. I am a foreigner in a foreign land representing him. 
representing Christ in dance

So the first thing one must do in order to be God's representative is to find out who they are representing and how his representatives have succeeded and failed in the past. ie, read and study the Bible.

Second, for me specifically, I've found a bit of a discipline test that I've shared here before that builds up godly character. It starts with worship (which I accidentally just spelt "warship" and sometimes worship is like a battle, so that's interesting) and includes prayer, accountability, and service. (and more)

That last bit is my main focus actually today. How can I serve as an ambassador?

There's the normal moral aspects. And there's the whole, "whatever you do, do it for Christ." As well as the, "Whatever you do, do it well." For me that would mean like motherhood or wife-ing. You don't do it for your own glory, but rather that others would look at you and glorify the Father. 

I started to think, "What if there was a huge movement where Christians started thinking of their salvation as an initiation into ambassadorship?"

For me, this started a couple of years ago. This past year the dream has felt like a fire in my mind and soul. I had this idea that I'm not representing God enough. I need to go out of my way to make sure others know there's another option than these Earthly countries. We don't need to align our allegiance to flags and what countries they represent. We can choose a better way - a way whose only banner is Love. I want to pledge my allegiance to the flag of love and the Kingdom that it represents and the King who rules it.

Then it happened-
Ambassadors Movement - is a group of people dedicated to advancing the cause of Christ through artistic talents. It made sense to me since I am an ambassador for my King.
I first started AM in 2015 through dance with the hopes that others would eventually join me. (Maybe that day will be in 20 years; that’s fine. I will wait on the King’s timing.) The group remained nameless until November of 2017 (when I was listening to #RendCollective 's newly released Nailed to the Cross). As I was listening and worshipping, the name came to me and it stuck. 

How do I represent Him? How is he representable?

First, I think you need to get to know him. I once had a girl tell me she doesn't read the Bible because she's not a reader. But at the same time she thinks she has a closer, somehow "more", relationship with God. She's wrong. If reading about God and what he has done, kills your love for Him, then I postulate that it's not really him you're loving. If you don't desire to read more about him and what he's done, then I wonder how you can love someone and trust someone who you do not know. I'm not saying it's not possible just that it doesn't make sense to me. 

I developed a logo for us this past December using an A over an M and to my surprise it came out looking like an incomplete Star of David which is quite pleasant to me since I love Israel. And then another happy happenstance, I noticed that the image flipped looks like a person “en pointe” (on the tips of her toes) with a tutu (a dress) and her arms raised as if in worship.

And then(!) I thought, “She’s headless.” And the perfect head for this not-quite-star-of-David is the Arabic letter N that has been used to label Christians in the Middle East by ISIS for death. N as in the Nazarene, Jesus Christ (from whom Christians get their name). That N makes the perfect ballerina head for my logo. 
I especially love that its initials are “AM” - which often denotes morning. When studying Joshua recently, it was noted that Joshua would rise early to do what God commanded. He was eager and excited to do what God wanted. That’s how I want to be. Thus, AM’s verse motto became Psalm 59:16, “I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.” My troupe visits the dead and dying in hopes to share the gospel message with them: Christ came to bridge the gap between man and God. (*spiritually dead and *physically dying)

I have 4 points to this vision that are incomplete:
1- more Christian adults of any talent to come along side of me
2- have street evangelism by using those talents to engage pedestrians 
3- visit a women's prison with a show
4- have after school classes at a local impoverished high school

I do not have a timeline nor do I have much else as far as a plan. There are so many missing pieces. But I'm excited to see what develops. If you want to join me, let me know. Maybe you "only" have your testimony and no "talent" - I can still use you. And more importantly, God wants to still use you. If you have something that you want to donate, you should know that I have no official 501c3 status and have no idea how (even after reading how) to set that up. This is very long term vision and I won't be surprised if the next step isn't for another decade. If you want to contribute something now, that's fine; I'll accept anything. I've already accepted things and have (obviously) donated plenty of my own items and money. 

Things we might need one day would include:
funds for a babysitter
a babysitter
sound mixing software/equipment or service 
electronic piano/keyboard and equipment
portable dance floor
ballet barres (diy options are inexpensive)
ballet outfits for the high schoolers -tights, leotards, shoes, sweatpants/jackets. skirts, bags, water bottles (it'd be cool if they had the logo on them)
weekly healthy dinners if we held classes after school at an impoverished high school
and snack to send home with the girls (and guys?)
devotional journals and pens

Maybe it's all a dream. Maybe I'm dreaming too big. I'm trying to be faithful to my King whose throne is established on righteousness and justice. I'm trying to represent him by being righteous (through Christ) and doing justice (through AM). I love God and I love his creation. I've not been called to be successful, only faithful. Everything else is up to the Spirit to accomplish (thank God). 

I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. Psalm 59:16