Private thoughts: 003

Unpolished, fearless, awkward thinking on making sense of Christianity.

For the why behind this style of post, read the introduction to Private thoughts: 001.

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I say ‘What if?’ on the reg. It does no favours for my anxiety. Whenever I catch myself saying it, I will change it out for ‘even if’. Because He’s got my back; I am never alone. I feel the relief just thinking about it. Take that, anxiety.

Jesus spent time with the undesirables of society. He:

  • ate with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:10, Mark 2:13-17, Luke 5:27-32, Luke 19:1-10)

  • talked with a promiscuous woman (John 4:7-27)

  • allowed himself to be anointed by a sinful woman (Luke 7:36-50)

In fact, he actively sought them out:

Matthew 9:12-13 | “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

This is the opposite of what I thought. I need to know more.

I’m following the ‘read the Bible in two years’ program from my church. In the whole nine weeks that I’ve been going, I’ve read about topics that make me feel super uncomfortable: violence, revenge, incest, polygamy and slavery are just some. I don’t quite know what to do with my discomfort, other than keep reading.

There is a lot of talk about bread, too. A lot. Especially unleavened. As someone who likes to make (and eat a lot of) bread, I’m curious to find out the mechanics behind this bread. (When did yeast become a thing? Why wasn’t it to be included? What sort of yeast was it? How was it stored? Did they carry it around with them?)

Studymate erasable highlighters.jpg

If highlighting your Bible is your thing, these bullet point, pastel-coloured highlighters fit the bill. They’re skinny enough to underline text, subtle enough to not detract from the page, and yet bright enough to match the passage with your notes.

They come everywhere with me. You never know when you need to highlight.

I’ve heard a few different people praying now. I’ve noticed people address God in all sorts of ways: Lord, Our Lord, Father, Father Lord and Heavenly Father are a few. Why are there so many names? Is there a difference with each?

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I’m reading Safe People by Cloud and Townsend. It’s a slow read, not because it’s a difficult one but it is so insightful, I have to keep pausing and thinking before I can move on to the next chapter. One paragraph I’m still brooding over:

We cannot lose and grieve what we need to grieve without something new to attach to. This is why so many people never get over the emotional hurts from childhood, or forever seek the love and approval from a parent who was unable to give it: they have never been able to grieve because of the lack of something new to replace what they need to grieve.
From Chapter 10 | Why do we need safe people? | Healing

I relate to this. Desperately. And I suspect if you don’t relate to it yourself, you might know of someone who can.

The thing is, I have attached myself to ‘something new’…. over and over. So why am I still grieving?

I always thought idolatry was when you bowed down to little golden statues. It didn’t apply to me. Lol.

John Piper’s What is idolatry? piece has not only clarified what idolatry truly is, but what its consequences are. I think of how much I actually idolise and I feel like I’ve been slapped.

I also thought: is our response to the fire of Notre Dame idolatry?

So many thoughts. In love, Amanda xo