Transactions

I had been trying to solve this problem for about 3 hours.

My computer screen was painted with red messages I did not want to read anymore.

I’d asked my supervisor for help. He’d seen this particular error before and based on what he said, I was heading in the right direction but it seemed like each solution merely revealed another error.

Google.

Stack Overflow.

Github issue pages…

I was neck deep in comments, trying every thing I could.

Yet another error. So I continued doing what I had been doing all morning – I googled the latest error. I saw a suggested solution that looked quite different from what I had been doing thus far. Really, it wasn’t different from what I had been doing; It was just complementary. It had the potential to be the final action that would make all my previous mental exertions worth it.

But could this really have been it? It looked so simple: “Delete this file.”

I had been trying to solve this problem for about 3 hours.

My thoughts were simple:

I’ve done this before – I’ve gotten excited because someone in the comment section exclaimed, “Yes! This solved it for me!”

I’ve typed in the commands.

I’ve tried to run the program again. It seemed to be working when suddenly…

Red letters all over my terminal.

How is this different? Is this different?

But then a different thought arose:

What would happen if this was the actual solution?

There is a discomfort you feel when your life starts to go right after years of going left. I felt the anticipation of that feeling in my gut. It is the rejection of hope because thus far, all hope has done is fed you disappointment. It is the pain of breaking the locks you’ve consciously placed on your heart to keep disappointment out.

How am I to live in joy when all I have known for a long time is pain?

I’m still not used to a God of grace and mercy. I’m still not used to freedom, kindness and love. I’m still not used to a Kingdom of forgiveness. I am still bargaining, working to earn the rights to the soil I am standing on. Something must be given, something must be offered in exchange for this joy; a price must be paid.

And yet He says, “paid in full.”

I am not used to this. I don’t know how to be happy.

ng serve -e local

And I waited for the errors to roll in.

Nothing.

But you know what happened after that? I finally got into the sweetness of what I love to do – just getting lost in the code. I got to be creative. I got to build my castles in the sky and play with logic.

It’s funny… once you get that thing you never thought you’d get, you seamlessly adopt it and learn to frolic in your new reality. Joy’s not so bad. I accept it. I like it. I can dig this.

Last week, my best friend sent me a podcast by Rob Bell. It’s got me thinking a lot about a God who takes the yoke off you and simply asks you to come into Her arms. I would urge anyone that is still trying to buy their seat at the table to listen:

Alternative Wisdom (Part 6) – Sheep, Coins and Sons

Much love & peace.

Joseph

Joseph had two sons born to him before the years of famine came. Asenath, daughter of Potiphera the priest of On, was their mother. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh (Forget), saying, “God made me forget all my hardships and my parental home.” He named his second son Ephraim (Double Prosperity), saying, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.”

⤷ Genesis 51:50-52 (msg) ⤶

I love the story of Joseph a lot. It speaks to anyone who is a dreamer. But the hard thing about being a dreamer is being faced with that moment when everything goes left. At the age of 17, Joseph saw himself elevated. His dreams said, “You will be a great man someday.” It didn’t happen till he was 30 years old, not obviously anyway.

Continue reading

In the end…

A Story About Two Sons

28 “Tell me what you think about this: A man had two sons. He went to the first son and said, ‘Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’ 29 The son answered, ‘I will not go.’ But later the son changed his mind and went. 30 Then the father went to the other son and said, ‘Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’ The son answered, ‘Yes, sir, I will go and work,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two sons obeyed his father?”

The priests and leaders answered, “The first son.”

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God before you do. 32 John came to show you the right way to live. You did not believe him, but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Even after seeing this, you still refused to change your ways and believe him.

Matthew 21: 28-32 (NCV)

This is one of my favorite parables. I constantly find myself going back to it and, honestly, I’m surprised I have never heard it preached. This is not a joke. No one has ever preached this parable in my presence. I wonder why? Are we worried about the implications of a God who forgives those who once rebelled? I don’t know. I ran into it while reading scriptures one day and my jaw fell open. It was so amazing.

“Tell me what you think about this,” he said.

I wonder about our tendency to praise potential over product. At least, I’ve had that tendency. I’m drawn to people with potential more than people who are actually producing fruit.

Permit me to think out loud for a moment.

It could be a combination of things.

  1. I like to teach, which means I am naturally predisposed to drawing the potential out of people.
  2. My top 3 love languages have nothing to do with physical things people can do for me or give me. You can wash my car, clean my whole house and buy me shoes but it won’t light me up the same way a conversation, a hug or an “I love you” would. But then it becomes unfair, right? Some people who are genuinely trying to love me find their love overshadowed by others who feed me their grand intentions steeped in zero substance.

What if God was like that?

Thank heavens He is not.

He sees you really trying. If those lofty words mean something, He knows. And if that physical offering means something, He knows. If that grand declaration means nothing, She knows and if that physical offering is void of personal significance, She can tell. We can’t fool God with the aesthetics.

How I pray for wisdom to be like Him.

I have made many mistakes trusting in the person that seemed so amazing because of the promises flowing from his lips like honey. I have chosen the business partner that seemed to know what she was doing and promised me the world. And they have failed me.

But you know who’s a bit better in some cases? The person who doesn’t promise they can do it. Sometimes, they genuinely just want to count the cost. They don’t want to disappoint. So they approach the task at hand with sobriety and because of that, they end up being the most dependable.

I’m learning more and more not to trust the flash in the pan emotional display. I’m learning to trust the slow, steady growing tree that takes the time to dig its roots deep before it emerges to the surface and says, “Yes. Now I am ready.”

Here are some synonyms of “slow” that I quite enjoy: deliberate, unhurried, ponderous, moderate, dreamy…

I used to hate my penchant for questioning everything. I spent so much time deciding on things my peers would breeze through in a second. That is how I am. I get lost in the details. I give in to a little bit of paranoia and allow my mind to run wild with a million scenarios of how things could go given the current variables and their values. It makes me slower at many things – making decisions, getting ready, eating (because that’s also thinking time)… Getting started on anything is a long journey for me. And I didn’t like the way my mind worked but one day, I reflected on how some very technical things came to me naturally: creating a song, building a website, programming, finding the right words to describe that feeling/idea… And my paranoia, questions, and imagination became a gift. I realized my slowness was my strength.

It’s okay to arrive slowly. In some situations, it is genuinely better to question and requestion and go back to the drawing board and pray once more and prepare twice more and buttress thrice more because by the time you arrive? Oh wow. You will be unshakeable. There is nothing like a season of doubt (if you come out of it) to reinforce your faith . Yes, there are no’s that are permanent but sometimes, that no is a maybe. Sometimes, that “no” still finds a son thinking about that thing his father said. Sometimes, that “no” comes from the mouth of a daughter that is sincerely wondering and questioning, not just being a rebel for the fun of it. So let them take their time. Abba allows it.

There is no formula. We just have to walk with our eyes open and watch what people are doing. We can only pray that we will see them as they truly are. We can only ask questions and test the waters. Slowly but surely, what is within will bubble out; what is beneath the ground will break forth; what is hidden will be revealed.

Not all who say “Yes” are dependable and not all that say “No” are horrible. Sometimes, the naysayers are just being brave enough to be honest.

That was a very long tangent. My point is: in the end, you will know who was sincere based on what they did, not just what they said. So let actions speak.

This parable also reminds me of a theme I stumbled upon twice in Ezekiel:

21 Suppose wicked people stop sinning and start obeying my laws and doing right. They won’t be put to death. 22 All their sins will be forgiven, and they will live because they did right. 23 I, the Lord God, don’t like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live.

24 But when good people start sinning and doing disgusting things, will they live? No! All their good deeds will be forgotten, and they will be put to death because of their sins.

25 You people of Israel accuse me of being unfair! But listen—I’m not unfair; you are! 26 If good people start doing evil, they must be put to death, because they have sinned. 27 And if wicked people start doing right, they will save themselves from punishment. 28 They will think about what they’ve done and stop sinning, and so they won’t be put to death. 29 But you still say that I am unfair. You are the ones who have done wrong and are unfair!

30 I will judge each of you for what you’ve done. So stop sinning, or else you will certainly be punished.31 Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts. And be faithful to me! Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? 32 I, the Lord God, don’t want to see that happen to anyone. So stop sinning and live!

Ezekiel 18:21-32 (CEV)

The theme is also found in Ezekiel 3:17-21 and throughout Ezekiel 18.

Value is not determined in the beginning; it is determined at the end.  And thank God for that because it means bad situations can be redeemed.

 

Moon Mountain

Because the bond between my divine Maker and me dies from time to time.  

6:16am – Sunday, 6 Dec 2015

I loved waking up at 4am the first few days of camp for morning devotion. As the people would sing and clap, I would look up at the bright, beautiful, big moon right above the strong, solid, stoic mountain.  

I would think about God’s majesty and brilliance; how He made us all; how He designed and created the universe; how perfect it was; how perfectly everything turned… How beautiful it all was. How could I not believe in Him? He made this.  

Then harmattan decided to be weird. A fog rolled in so thick that it covered a mountain I had come to believe was unconquerable. Never in my days there did I believe I would wake up and not be able to see something so big and immovable. I looked in the same direction I had looked every single morning… Nothing but fog; just a blanket of white, flat against a vertical landscape. To me, that mountain and the moon had become an unshakable testimony of God’s faithfulness, presence and preeminence. It was mine. It was for me. The mountain was from God to me, to all of us, to see and marvel and know, “The Divine Maker was here.”  

And it was gone and it left me feeling hollow. Praying wasn’t as good or fun or majestic or cosmically vibrant as I had grown accustomed to.  

But I looked up and the moon was still there. Slowly traveling somewhere east-like every morning; sliding little by little in the sky. And I held on to it as my one solace in a land that had grown cold with a fierce and unforgiving wind.  

And one morning as we prayed, someone led with a song that said, “they don’t understand.” They don’t understand Our love, Our bond, Our journey, the beauty that is God and me. It just looks like confusion and randomness to the outsider but I can’t convey to them the depths of the dreams I have had, the things I have seen… The things I have seen. And I fell to my knees and cried like Jeremiah. With each saline drop hitting sand and stone, I felt God more for the first time in a long time. I let Him move me again. I let Us be again and He reached my fogged up heart with that song. You see, my heart was always His, moving and turning perfectly with Him, my moon…but some seasons are cold and winds and fogs fuck everything up. What was once clarity becomes confusion. And that thing I never thought I would lose was the first thing to go… My strong, solid, stoic unshakable stance beneath my moon,  my Divine Maker. And He moved further and further away from me, losing His fullness each morning.  Because the bond between my divine Maker and me dies from time to time.

But don’t these orbits and seasons and winds just happen naturally?  

“Even when I’m at my darkest, You know me all the same…and even when I cannot see You, I feel You closer than my skin.”  

Will the pull of the moon not always be felt? Are we not one Universe? Our connection will never die. No matter how She moves, She is mine and I am hers. And she will be near me, bright and full in a new season.  

Lift up your head (You won’t let me go) Lift your head cuz help has come

Lift up your heart (You won’t let me go) Lift your heart His will be done

Lift up your hands (You won’t let me go) Lift your hands and praise the One

Lift up your song (You won’t let me go) Lift your song O ransomed son.

Song lyrics: “Even When I’m At My Darkest” by Ascend the Hill.

On Loving God with your Heart and Soul

Continued from: Loving God with your Intellect


MATTHEW 22:37 AMP

And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). [Deut. 6:5.]

There is too much data in this universe. No matter how much I know I’m always building my perspective with missing information. I know my intellect cannot tell me everything. At some point, heart and soul must step in where she fails me (and even those fail me too sometimes but hey! We try our best, right?)

We are crazy surrounded by things we can’t use our ordinary senses to interact with. This is one of my favorite illustrations of that.

So, the intellect allows us make mental sense of data we gather through our physical senses but there exists this idea that there are unseen forces we interact with all the time using some sort of internal compass. Cultures and religions all over the world have a concept of this: intuition, 6th sense, third eye, sensing “auras” and “energy,” discernment…

When we’re introduced to ideas outside the range of our 5 senses, we tend to shut down. It doesn’t make sense to the intellect and we don’t have a robust vocabulary for it. We call it crazy or pseudo-science. But I mean, I can’t see a radio wave with my eyes, yet it exists; someone had to be the first one to build a radio – a complex process that I imagine was fraught with many failures along the way. For many generations, no one knew wireless communication was a tangible possibility; we had to collectively evolve to be able to create the technology we have today and I don’t think spiritual things are that different. I think the idea of spiritual perception overwhelms us especially when it doesn’t work like we expect. I think we’ve gotten quite worn out with it all, which is understandable[1]. We stop pressing in to find out what’s going on when things move from logical to intangible or (dare I say the dreaded word?) mystical. We expect it to be easy. It’s not. The art of learning how to feel in the right direction is complex.

Coming from the Christian perspective, we talk about prayer, worship, prophecy, discernment, faith… things that are received by the heart and soul. Generations of devout believers have seen miraculous things happen when they reach out for God past the logical and into the intangible. These practices breed a wide array of emotional responses. Sometimes, those feelings are explainable and sometimes not. I am fascinated by the stories of people who move using the eyes of their hearts, even when they can’t explain why they feel something so strongly, and get to see amazing things happen.

I’m talking about the freaky Jesus stuff. I’m talking about my best friend landing in Haiti for a mission trip. She goes to a woman’s house – someone she had never met – and the woman says, “I had a dream about you and your team yesterday.” My best friend then prays for the woman and she receives a miraculous healing in her leg. Like, that kind of stuff. I have ZERO logical explanation for that. This is the kind of stuff you see in the book of Acts, the kind of stuff my cessationist friends firmly believe don’t happen anymore. And you know,  I’m not just talking about a one time fluke. Stuff like this happens to her ALL the time and stuff like that has happened to me too.

I had a very interesting experience with one of my favorite bands. One day, while listening to their CD, I felt an urge to write them a message and pray  a blessing over them. I specifically felt like I should pray for them to love each other like brothers. The theme of brotherhood was huge on my heart as I penned my prayer to them. I didn’t expect a response and I didn’t get one.

Months later, they were playing a show an hour away from my town. I was so exicted that I wrote them a little fan letter saying that I really appreciated the way they expressed  the teachings of Jesus so poetically and prayed a prayer of blessing on their work. The night of the show, I hopped in my 1990 Honda Accord and headed there. My car made hellish noises that night; I pressed on anyway. After the most amazing concert of my life, I gave the letter to one of the roadies and asked him to pass it on because I thought the band wouldn’t be available to sign things after. I headed to the merch table and the front man was standing right there. I won’t lie, I fangirled a little bit. I was so excited that my words didn’t really come out right. I told him I loved his music so much and asked if he’d sign my guitar. I told him I had given a letter to one of the roadies for them.

Here’s the interesting (yet sad) tidbit. During the concert, they opened up about how one of the band members had just lost a member of his family and I later found out it was a brother. That night of the show was said member’s first time back after a few weeks. It was emotional for all of them. The story online was heartbreaking. 2 months after that concert, I got a reply to my first message to them. They thanked me for praying for them and said, “We couldn’t have gotten this message from you at a better time.” I’ve often wondered if they recognized my name from the second letter and if that was what made them respond.

This was a pretty simple story. I reached out into the void because I had a nonsensical feeling in my heart but for them, it was important. That is one of my favorite types of stories. In loving God with my heart, He often loves and helps other people around me.

Another time, I had an experience where the last thought in my head before bed was this random “knowing” that I was going to run into a specific person the next day – someone I knew was coming into town but had never met. I ended up running into that person at the park and we talked a bit. He was in town screening one of his movies. We became friends on Facebook and I messaged him a few months later to encourage him in his craft and in his ministry. It was a long message but I felt strongly, spiritually led to send it. He responded saying that the message came at a time when he felt like what he was doing was monotonous and routine. Sometimes, he thought about giving up but he said, “Your reminder sparked something in me that I believe came from the Holy Spirit.” He’s continued pursuing his craft and ended up working with some really impressive people in the music and movie industry.

I know there are times I encourage people and it’s just a nice addition to their day but there are these other times where, on the other end of my words is a life and death situation for somebody else. Sometimes, I try to pray a little more seriously and listen a bit harder so I can hear something specific for someone. In those moments, I feel God is working.

And I’ve seen people do spirit-led ministry wrong and seen them do it so right… no different than watching someone work a piece of new technology. Sometimes we don’t understand it and we push the wrong buttons and nothing happens and we say it’s broken. Other times, people give it a go and they gradually figure out how praying and worship and prophecy and healing works and they grow to lead amazing ministries that change the world, one person at a time.

Then sometimes, it doesn’t “work” and we don’t know why but that’s okay because in the times we have “done it right” it is so powerful and so worth it that we keep pushing through to understand this thing… this marvel… the Holy Spirit and what it means to worship in Spirit and in truth and that is investing your heart. That is loving God with the part of you that feels it even when you don’t understand.

What I sense physically isn’t always enough for me. Sometimes, I have to listen past what I am actually seeing and hearing and allow the light in my heart to guide me. That looks quite messy at first because it is usually an illogical choice but in the end, intuition and discernment have proved to be blessings not curses. The end always justifies the pain it took to get me there. That is why I am less afraid to trust God when things look a little crazy. I know in my heart, He has put assurance there, that it’ll all work out and He hasn’t failed me yet.


[1] The original statement read, “I think we’ve gotten quite lazy with it.” which I don’t agree with anymore. It implies people aren’t trying hard enough. That’s not necessarily true.

 

Genderless God

Lately, I’ve been practicing imagining God in different forms. The other day, He was a black woman with a huge afro like Mary J Blige’s character in the Black Nativity movie.

Because what are all these forms we imagine when we pray? If you’re like me, you use a visual when you pray and it’s usually a vague representation of stuff from movies. Sometimes, I imagine stereotypical Jesus sitting next to me. And since I’ve never seen Jesus, I’m essentially praying to an idol – an image crafted for me. It’s weird to me that some people will be offended by my new visualization practice but seriously what does God look like? I don’t know. He’s not a person. He’s a spirit. What does a spirit look like? I don’t know! What do I look like? I don’t know. I don’t interact with my spirit through my eyes. I’ve never seen my spirit.

A few months ago, I was reading an article about a Sikh woman and she said,

“this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually]”

I about jumped out of my seat with excitement at that statement. Even though Christians (technically) believe that, Sikhs have it way more together on this genderless God thing than we do.

A few years ago, translators of the NIV bible decided to release a gender-neutral bible and some people were just not having it. I’m not even talking about retranslating God’s gender references. I’m talking about expanding “brethen” to “brothers and sisters” in an attempt to

So I wonder how difficult this post might be for some people. A moment of silence.

Pressing swiftly along! While preparing this post, I read a piece titled, “Our Genderless God.” The author made a fabulous series of points:

“Most of us would say, if asked, that we don’t believe God has a gender. Instead, God transcends gender.

But we tend to use masculine pronouns for God because the Bible does. Yes.

We imagine God as male because Jesus called God ‘Father’. Yes.

Because Jesus, the image of the invisible God, was a man. Yes.

Because dominant images of God are associated with strength and power, with active and protective roles and we’ve been taught that strong means male… Ah.

Because we understand God in part by how we understand ourselves and the theologians who have had the most influence through Christian history have been male… Ah.

Because God is the highest and the greatest and the very best of the best, and our experience tells us that a person at the top is probably male… Ah.

Do you see where we start to have a problem?”

We know God is a spirit and not a person. We know we are images of Him and He is not an image of us… but we’re so small and we don’t know how to reach up out of ourselves so we still picture a white man speaking English (except on rare occasions when Morgan Freeman plays God on “Bruce Almighty” or William P. Young depicts God as a black woman in “The Shack.”)

We box God up. We assign human qualities to God so that we will be able to think about Her in a relatable way but She is not human. The box, the form, the object… It’s not for God; it’s for us. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove! It just seems like God was breaking all the rules.

God has to step in to expand our minds. He has to help us. And I believe She can help us unbox Her. Because I want GOD, not just my idea of God. So I knew, I had to shake up my preconceived notions of Him Her just to get started on the journey. I couldn’t just say He was more; I had to imagine God as more and ask Her to help me see truth, beyond my comfort and beyond my traditions.

God is the sourceless source of all, the eternity in which time subsists… God is not a dude. He doesn’t have a penis. She is not a woman. She doesn’t have a vagina. God is the intelligent, sentient, all pervasive force throughout the Universe. While many believed in a different god for the sun, the wind and the waves, we said, “Elohim is one,” that Elohim is the force behind all the forces physicists talk about. Elohim is the infinity that math teaches. Where all things have a beginning and an end, Elohim is the constant. Let us change our language to respect that. Let us not limit that truth we profess. I’ll admit that I don’t know the best way to unbox God but I am trying a few things. Honestly, I think God should have His own gender pronouns! She is in a class all by Herself, after all.

I look forward to the day when I close my eyes to pray and I see nothing. And beyond that, I look forward to the day when I open my eyes and I am shown everything.

The book and the God

I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand.  The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen. The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you.

-Jesus

See John 16: 12-14, CEV

(The amplified version is amazing too)

I was having a conversation with a friend one time when he asked, “What if there were no bible, Buki?”

What if I lived in a world where there was no bible? Then it dawned on me that I didn’t have to imagine too deeply because once upon a time, the bible didn’t exist. So I said, “I guess if God is who He says He is, then He would come down and reveal Himself to us…” (which is really what the bible is an account of)

Peace broke in the room. It was tangible.

Imagine something with me. Say, Claire stumbles across my blog and decides, “I’m digging this! I want faith like Buki.” (Hang with me before you conclude that I’m a crazy narcissist) So Claire takes my 15 posts on thesecondbreakdown.wordpress.com and turns it into “the Book of Buki.” She then starts a religion based on just those writings, using me as her excuse for/against her actions and beliefs. She creates a theology about how God takes the form of a child because of my one post, “He’s like a kid” and anyone in the congregation that tries to compare Him to a lover or a fighter is branded a heretic because, “that is not in the book of Buki!”

How do you think I would respond?

The posts you see are just snapshots of my many encounters with God and the many experiences I have had with the Holy Spirit. This blog is not the full description of my faith; an ever-evolving relationship with God is the full description. To someone interested in my faith, I wouldn’t say, “Read my blog.” I would say, “Talk with God. Walk with Him…”

So! The primary thing is the connection with God; the by-product is the book.

Abraham did not have a book but he had a connection with God. Moses did not have a book but he had a relationship with God.

I think Christians today are a bit handicapped. We worship the book. We reference the book ABOVE the walk with God and I think it is because many of us are devoid of Holy Spirit power. I get that we don’t want to wander off into heresy and it is good to rely on the testimonies of those that came before us but to say that they have written an exhaustive narration of the faith would be false and, honestly, impossible for a faith that purports to worship an inexhaustible God. We say our God is infinite, that His ways are too high to completely comprehend so why do we say the bible has said all that needs to be said?

Jesus said, “What is God’s kingdom like? What can I compare it with? It is like what happens when someone plants a mustard seed in a garden. The seed grows as big as a tree, and birds nest in its branches.”

Luke 13:18-19, CEV

It’s bigger, y’all. Do you realize how much we have limited Him in our minds?

If the God I worship is who I say He is, then He is God whether I have a bible in my hands or not. He can reach me on a mountain or in a church.

If He is who He says He is, then the God who spoke to Joseph in a dream and found Moses in a burning bush is still alive today. His Spirit is not dependent on a physical building, a book, specific songs or any of the other constructs we use to make Him portable.

If God wants to appear in a massive vision to a guy who has never held a bible in his hands, then God will do so because God can do whatever God wants.

Jesus said to her: Believe me, the time is coming when you won’t worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. But a time is coming, and it is already here! Even now the true worshipers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship him according to the truth.

John 4:21, 23-24, CEV

I want y’all to recognize that the greatest icons of our faith did not have a bible but you do. Think about it. No seriously… spend a few years pondering how that has affected you. Probably one of the most liberating things I realized was,

The bible is not the only way God can speak to me.

Here in Ilawe, it is a compliment to say, “Your daughter is more beautiful than you are” because the hope is that your posterity will pick up where you left off and go on to do greater things. The bible is beautiful. It teaches us magnificent things but let us not be content to allow our search for God stop there. The finite experiences of the people of the bible should start us off but let us go on to have our own amazing experiences with God – experiences worth writing about.

Jesus did many other things. If they were all written in books, I don’t suppose there would be room enough in the whole world for all the books.

John 21:25, CEV