some things just get better with age

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first wedding!!!

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This is my first time shooting a wedding, luckily they were so relaxed that I wasn’t too nervous about it. Here are some, but go to http://flickr.com/photos/leslierachellejones/sets/72157600828514636/ to see the rest. I still have about 10 more pics to edit but most of them are up!!! and COMMENT please, good and bad. THANKS!

oh yeah, and the new Hanson CD: The Walk, is AMAZING! PreOrder it on hanson.net and you can dowload the songs before the cd is out next week. atleast go listen. !!!

While driving the other day I was listening to an old Building 429 CD and I got stuck on the song Shadow of Angels.

“I spend the night inside myself, but i haven’t found me yet….
I got caught in the memories Cause they never fail to prove
I’m insecure and incomplete, It’s a stinging point of truth.
So I will never find the best of me Until I find myself in You.”

I’ve also been reading a lot. Two of the books that I’ve read (Searching for God Knows What, and The Gospel according to MOSES:What my Jewish friends taught me about Jesus) talk about a few things that I have been processing some. The epiphanic conclusion I have yet to see but I want to share some of it with you. Mainly for encouragment. We always need encouragement.

The Gospel according to MOSES:What my Jewish friends taught me about Jesus takes the fundamental Jewish beliefs and uses them to deepen our faith and understanding in our Christian faith. It’s fantastic. One thing he talks about is the Shema, which is what Jews view as the most important commandment. We find it in our Bible in Mark 12:29-30 (which is quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-5 in the Torah)

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord, God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ “

The Jewish Shema is this:”Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohim Adonai echad.”
In other words: “O Israel, the Lord, God, the Lord is one.”

This first part we as Christians usually over look when we spit out the most important commandments, we jump straight to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart….”, but the Shema is the why and how of that commandment that Jesus places first. There’s got to be a reason for that.

This is what the Shema teaches us:
1) That God is whatever he is in the most complete and pure way possible (He is One), so no characteristic can apply to him in a partial or limited way.
2) That God is beyond the power of any other force in the universe
3) God is unchanging, and therefore he does not grow or learn, he is already all-knowing/omniscient. Without the ability to change he must be everywhere all the time.

4) That God is flawless, he is not just good but perfectly good, perfectly just, etc. He is not a composite creature like you and I, but the Shema oneness of God means he is not a consolidation of things but is fully and completely whatever He is: Perfect. And if He is perfect, His truth is perfect.

Things are out of our control because there is a reality/truth connected with them, whether we believe the truth or not doesn’t change the fact that it is that. Truth. The Shema leads to the conclusion that truth does not change because God does not change.

Searching For God Knows What has a chapter called “Naked” that talks about our insecurities and how we cover them, and when we are naked before God and are focused on him our nakedness and insecurities disappear. The Gospel according to MOSES also addresses this issue and talks about Adam and Eve’s sin dividing their state of existence into [at least] two parts of body and soul, or nakedness and presence. Two halves of a disconnected whole that previously been so perfectly interwoven that they couldn’t be distinguished from each other until sin caused the division in their very essence. This awareness of the separation between their bodies and consciousness that got them kicked out of the garden and separated them from God and themselves is more than a representation of being alone, insecure, and hiding behind fig leaves [masks]. It shows the fact that we are worse than alone, we are undone.

Now of course we know that God could have kept Adam and Eve from sinning, and keeping us from our sinful nature, but giving us free will (which I believe we have), that meant God had to allow two different choices to choose from, and God not allowing us to Sin would have gone against free will and contradicted himself as perfect and being perfectly just.

Sin causes us to be undone, but I think that is slightly different than being alone. You can take the side of being alone/separated from God in our sin, but God is everywhere, and there is a huge paradox there that you could write a book about. But before the fall of man, God stated that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and created Eve. So even before sin man was created lonely. Wasn’t God enough? or was God TOO much? Do we need each other because God is TOO big and overwhelming and another person seeing and feeling the same thing we are seeing and feeling creates a deeper sense of connection to God?

“God like us wants love, and fidelity, and commitment. Like him, I feel impatience with moral imperfection, yet when God expects the same perfection from me, I object that he asks too much.”

“Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohim Adonai echad.”
O Israel, the Lord, God, the Lord is one.
And if God is perfect, His truth is perfect, and He is One, What am I to conclude? How am I to apply this to my life?

At the end of the day we are who we are, and the “WHY” doesn’t really matter.
So maybe I need to stop finding the why, and realize the who?

and i started thinking WHO Am I?
Who does God say I am? I have no idea.
Who do I say I am? I have no idea.
I can say and think certain things about myself and who I am, but there are few positive things that I actually believe. Definitions of who I am have always come from outside sources, verbally and non-verbally. And not always positive. Mostly negative actually.

I’m not discarding hurt, I’m not saying hurt isn’t valid. Maybe recently that has been my attitude, that pain is a state of mind and life moves on. But experiencing my friend’s pain and seeing how beautiful it can be, I’m hesitant to discard my own pain fast so that I don’t strip the value of thiers. But still, all things set aside at the end of the night I still don’t know the answer to that question, ” who am I?”

Maybe this is the process. Maybe first I need to set the why aside and find out the who, who GOD says I am, before I can start dealing with the variables that have created the emotional/emotionless state I have mucked around in, and drug my close friends through for the last few years.

“I spend the night inside myself, but i haven’t found me yet….I got caught in the memories Cause they never fail to proveI’m insecure and incomplete, It’s a stinging point of truth.So I will never find the best of me Until I find myself in You.”