Introducing… My {Dad}!

Today is day 31!

I almost can’t believe I made it… 31 days of confessing the truth of who I am… that if I am anything good, or gifted, or right… it’s because of my dad.

And where (not if) I am found lacking or wanting… it is to remind me, continually, that I really am no one apart from him and the lessons he teaches me.

So today is the day when I get to introduce you to my dad.

His name is Elohim. And El Shaddai. And Adonai. Also El Olam, Jehova Jireh, and Yahweh.

He is known by all of these and many more.

Moshia’

Hamoshia’

Savior and Deliverer.

Jesus. Yeshua. Salvation.

Yes, this is my dad… father to all who will have him.

You see… my dad… the Creator of all things… looked down upon this creation and saw that we would never be able to live up to the perfect standards of a perfect God.

It was impossible.

Not because He made it so… but because we chose our own way… the very first of us. When given the chance, chose imperfection. Something we’ve been striving against ever since.

In our jobs, in our homes, in our friendships and relationships… always missing the mark and despairing it. Always disappointed with the inadequacies of others and ourselves.

And then we blame dad like it’s his fault.

Even if I had been the first created… I would have failed as well. And if not I, then one of my children. It was bound up in us when we heard the words “freedom” and interpreted it to mean “do what makes you happy, even if it conflicts with what is good for you.” And we fell.

And fall always.

So this dad of mine… taking note of our imperfections and his longing to have us in fellowship with him eternally, devised a plan. Of course, this was a plan he’d held before creation… knowing even then that to offer us “free will” was to set the stage for his own grieved heart and separation.

Sacrifices had been made since the first mistake… animals slaughtered and offered, a blood sacrifice to cover up the error of our ways. But it only lasted as long as the smoke. And then we needed to do it again, and again, and again. And it still wasn’t quite sufficient. Because once the smoke cleared… there we were again… his desperately beloved child on the other side of the prison doors of our own insufficiencies.

And his heart broke.

So he took the piece of himself he’d wrapped in flesh, waiting for this moment, and sent him to live a human life.

Called him Son.

Jesus. Yeshua. Salvation.

Because only God Himself is good enough to pay the debt we owe. Our own lives are the penalty for our wandering ways. And wander we have…

This God-man lived among us, called us friends, spoke the language of humans while living the life of one.

We could hear him and not tremble.

We could see him and not become blind.

We could touch him and still live.

And this deceived many. We expected the prophesied Messiah to come as a warrior… and destroy the known world in our favor.

Instead, he came as a child.

And an Activist. A Doctor. A Coach, Advisor, and friend. A Counselor. An Advocate. A Gardener and lover of all creatures. A Teacher. A Public Speaker. A Healer. A Mediator. Peace.

Savior.

Yes, this God in flesh came to be our final sacrifice.

Knowing that the Deceiver would deceive and we would hate him. Hate him for flipping our world upside down… for not coming as we’d expected. For upstaging us.

For being right.

To the cross he marched, with joy set before him.

Because he knew that he could not be conquered… not even by death.

And he took upon himself all of our inadequacies, insufficiencies, mistakes… our crimes against the world, ourselves, and Him.

He wrapped himself in us… and for a moment, a dad lost sight of his son… and saw only humanity behind a locked prison door of our own doing.

The blood spilled.

The sacrifice was given.

But it wasn’t over.

The thing is… you can’t kill God.

Nietzsche was wrong… God is not dead. (Rest assured that Nietzsche knows his error.)

The price was paid. The debt covered. The blood of our Yeshua, Savior, lasts eternally… beyond the fading smoke of a sacrificial fire. Into the errors yet to be committed. The grievances yet to be filed. It’s already there.

So that when dad looks upon us.. he sees his children… perfected.

Able to cross the threshold of his kingdom, dine at his feast-filled table, and laugh until our tummies hurt.

Forever.

If you want to.

Thing is, you still have that free-will. The chance to join the party or start your own.

The invitation has been sent.

He’ll give you whatever you want… forever. If you want to live an orphaned life… you’ll get to spend it that way eternally.

You want to be adopted by a loving dad… my dad… well, he’s waiting for you in the courtroom. Documents are signed. His oath has been sworn. He’s just waiting for yours.

What are you going to do?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNR6zcoLLfs?rel=0]

One of my favorite bands, Downhere… and a great song… take a look! 🙂

  • First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus… (1 Timothy 2:1-5)
  • And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
  • For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:10)
  • For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Galatians 3:26)
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)
To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 31 of 31 Days in 2012.

My {Dad} – The Shepherd

The other day, as I walked to Black Forest Academy, I noticed that the sheep were down the hill and along the fence.

I have often seen these sheep wandering the nearby hills… and the city-girl in me delights in quaintness of life now lived.

We aren’t so disillusioned with life through the fast-paced technology and feed-me-now imagery that we can’t also enjoy a few bleating and wandering sheep.

A sheep on my walk to BFA 🙂

It made me think back to all the stories my dad has told me about his own life as a shepherd.

Yes, in addition to all of his other amazing professions and attributes… he is a shepherd.

And he’s taught me quite a bit about sheep. And what it takes to care for them.

So I thought about this post and debated telling this story… then today I arrived at my Moms in Prayer group. Sat down. Opened the Word. The leader said, “Today we will be celebrating God as our Shepherd.”

Isn’t He so ironic?

Confirmed that today I’d be writing about my shepherd father.

The sheep on a hill across from BFA… as I walk by 🙂

Who breathes every waking moment the air of sheep.

Which, if you’ve passed by any, isn’t always that pleasant.

He’s spent endless waking hours looking over their safety, their provision, their comforts.

When one wanders away… he secures the others and goes after the lost one. Even one will send him on a search.

Because it matters to him.

They all do.

Because he wants to eat them? Use their wool? Drink their milk? Make cheese?

No.

Because sheep are kinda… well… dumb. And without a guide, the scatter and fall off of cliffs or get eaten by wolves. They have no survivals skills of their own.

And my dad is compassionate.

To see such a lost and hopeless creature and it’s depravity without a leader… has brought him alongside them. No matter the color of their wool, their gender, or how they can  provide for him.

He’s there.

Sometimes, he’s told me, a sheep that continues to wander requires a little extra attention. And he (along with other shepherds) will gently break the leg of a sheep  in order to keep it close for awhile. So it gets to know him, trust him, and love him. And ceases its wandering ways.

I love this image… of a shepherd risking his life for a lost sheep…

He’s also found that sheep do not like to be alone. So he keeps an entire flock… builds for them a community, if you will. Because they like it that way. They are not lone creatures.

He uses oil to heal them and protect them. After carefully inspecting each sheep, my dad applies oil to any bruise or scratch. He knows the insects that can literally pester one of his sheep to death… and rubs its snout, head, and horns with oil as a bug repellant. Finally, he uses oil to slicken snake holes in order to prevent the traction of snakes hoping to dart out and bite a sheep.

Ah yes, he must be ever attentive to their surroundings… (hills or flat, cliffs nearby? water? predators?)

To their provision… (has the cold winter left them without food? Are there thorns among their food? Other dangers? Places for rest ?)

To their emotional and physical needs… (is there a pregnant sheep or one with young lambs to care for? loneliness? illness?)

How like his sheep am I!

Offering little and needing much! My eyes see the grass in front of me, the sheep next to me… he sees the whole of the hills and the predators that are housed within. Sometimes moving me to a new pasture when I think the one I am in is just fine. Sometimes I follow willingly, sometime I need a nudge of his staff… and other times I need a broken leg.

If I am to be a sheep…. how grateful I am that he is my shepherd.

That he is my dad and I am his daughter.

That I am not his only daughter or child… that he can be your shepherd too…

This could have been a pic straight out of our local woods… <3

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; – for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

Psalm 23:1-6

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 30 of 31 Days in 2012.

My {Dad} – The Defense Attorney

About seven years ago, my family endured a tragedy that led to the need for attorneys.

The defense attorney on the case of our loved one, in the name of creating “doubt,” began to insinuate preposterous ideas.

Like, perhaps the person charged in the case didn’t do his crime alone… perhaps one of us had helped!

How this aided his plan of proving the innocence of the accused is beyond me. But he was promptly asked to leave our home. (Yes, he made this suggestion in my home)

And he failed.

His client was proven guilty, we were proven innocent (even though the prosecutor never even questioned our involvement, or charged us of anything).

In fact, in the end, the position of the defense attorney to stretch his imagination and create fictitious situations because his job was to “win” (as opposed to discover and uphold truth) brought me to a sad reality about the state of attorneys.

Or at least that one.

Then I looked at my dad… who also happens to be a defense attorney.

And breathed relief to know that his work is based on justice, not “winning,” on upholding and fulfilling law, not finding ways around it, and doing what’s right for the sake of right… and not the paycheck.

And there’s one more difference.

My dad pleads the cause of his clients… then offers to take their penalty.

Yeah.

He doesn’t make it sounds less than it is. He doesn’t exaggerate what isn’t. He doesn’t ask for an exception for his clients.

He looks truth in the eye… and when it deserves prison time… he takes it on himself.

If the client will let him.

You should be in the courtroom when that happens!

Imagine this. A murderer stands on trial. My dad is his lawyer. The man is guilty and it’s proven. The charge is given… along with his punishment. Death.

My dad looks the judge in the eye. Looks at his client, defeated.

“Your Honor… I’d like take the punishment on his behalf.”

The courtroom is silent.

Then it uproars.

The guilty man just stands there stunned. Could he let this honest attorney take his place? Could he live knowing that this innocent man had died for what he had done? If he returned to his “previous” lifestyle… would any other lawyer ever make this same offer? He imagined only a place like Hell awaited the likes of himself… the gates were within view.

The judge returns the strong gaze of my dad.

“Are you sure about that?” he asks.

My dad nods. Smiles at the guilty man. Love for another human.

“Then son… you may give your life for his,” the judge answers… tears in his eyes.

The room explodes in confusion. This isn’t justice! This is… kindness gone too far! Generosity that certainly isn’t for the pride of the giver. And did the judge say son? What kind of soap-opera insanity is going on here?

But it’s not a soap-opera… though for some, it is insanity.

The bailiff steps forward. Handcuffs the hands of innocence. Opens the door of freedom for the guilty. Ushers my dad to his fate… his chosen fate. His fate of love for others. Self-less. Unheard of.

That’s my dad.

He’s taught me more than I could ever truly live… without his constant whispers. His hand in mine. His voice. His tender ways of walking me through life. Never alone.

Not even when he gives his life over for a criminal.

But you’ll have to find out how that works on Wednesday… my last day of this series of posts.  🙂

I know, right?

Do you need a defense attorney? If you were to stand before a judge… ruling over your thoughts, beliefs, actions… your treatment of others, your taxes, your driving record, every minute of raising your children, marriage, your work life, your honesty, integrity… every exam you ever took… where do you need a defense attorney?

I know a good one.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:1-2

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 29 of 31 Days in 2012.