I’ve realized, as I get feedback from friends, that some of you, my readers are Adventists and may understand a bit of where I’ve come from theologically, but have a hard time getting where I’m headed, or may misunderstand where I’m headed. On the other hand, some of you, my readers are not Seventh-day Adventist, and so don’t know the foundation on which I’m building. In addition, for many of you, you are seeing my writing for the first time, and it seems to coincide with the end of my marriage… In conjunction with that, it may seem like I’m moving really quickly in one particular direction, largely because I’ve not done a lot of writing since the birth of my second child till this summer, when I finally felt like I was coming out of the “baby centered” time of life enough to be able to voice what had been going on in my head these last 4 years… So, I thought it would be helpful, for us all, if I gave some history and also what I see on the horizon – Where I came from, where I’m going. And helpful if I showed the process, so you see that what I’m writing here is not sudden by any means, but a long road, which I’d love to draw you into, and encourage you to journey with me 😀
If I tried to do that all in one blog, it would be a mammoth, and no one would read it… So, this will be broken up in smaller blogs. However, let me summarize.
I was born into a family dedicated to Christ, and to the Seventh-day Adventist church. 4 generations back on my mom’s side… I know SDA Doctrine & Theology pretty well as I was schooled, grade 1 thru 12 in the private schools of the Adventist denomination. 98% of my friends and even acquaintances were Adventist until I was out of High school. I wasn’t a mediocre student. I got straight A’s – I learned the material. I can remember coloring pictures of our founders in first grade. We had daily worship, bible class, and regular history classes, and there was a lot of Adventist doctrine that went into each. My family attended the yearly or so “Daniel & Revelation” seminars and I with them, throughout my childhood. Eschatology (the study of end time prophecy) is a big word I didn’t then understand, but none the less, I was well versed in end time events as seen by the Adventist founders. By High School, I liked the curriculum presentation of that eschatological perspective so much that I kept my Bible textbooks (I also kept much of my science, math and foreign language textbooks, and one or two history textbooks – indications of the things I loved in school) – just found them last week while unpacking. 😀
Along the way, I had issues with some of the doctrine. I had questions left unanswered. Some things didn’t line up right. Some things seemed completely overlooked. Integrity seemed to be lacking in places.
But under all of that was a strong faith that had come down thru the generations before me, in the Lord. There was a true heart, receptive to the Spirit, to His move, to relationship with Him. I answered His call at 6, when I gave Him all of me, and at 9 when I entered the waters of the Lake in baptism. He’s lived in me from a very early age. In my teens, along with doctrine and science, my study was His love, and as I’ve blogged earlier, I memorized 1 Cor 13 over the course of a year or so, and that has had a profound effect on my life since. I also somewhere picked up an intense dedication to honesty which tho diminished thru the years is still pretty strong, and I became the “story teller” not in the sense of “tall tales” but in giving voice to what was happening in my life, and the lives of my family. I was the family teller of the story. I have no qualms (to the chagrin of many of my relatives, friends, and acquaintances) in being quite open about things that “you just don’t talk about”. LOL.
The lake above is the one I was baptized in, before the forest service built the pier… I can now stand above the place where I was baptized as a child 😀
After marriage, we attended church on a semi regular basis for many years, even started a small group, and attended church planting seminar, Seeds, at Andrews University in MI… until our hearts withered in a small church in GA and we drove there arguing, drove home arguing and seriously wondered what was the point… When we moved to AL, the one saving grace was a beautiful fellowship of real people sharing real struggles. Water in a dry and painfully thirsty land. While still in TN, I had the joy of working with a non-Adventist, wholly dedicated to the Lord boss, Peter Murphy, who was such an example for me, and with whom I had many delightful conversations about Scripture with. While in AL I joined a non denominational forum designed to connect people blessed by the ministry of Ransomed Heart & Author John Eldredge – who’s writings are excellent, and have done much to form me and if not form me, confirm what my heart has always known by way of the Spirit. In that forum I encountered real, true, honest, committed Christians coming from many denominations and I got to see so very much. Namely, that Adventists aren’t the only ones sure they have the market cornered on salvation; not the only denomination with sacred cows. I wrote much in those years, from the time Aiden was 15 mos or so, till about 2 years ago. I loved, loved the place we affectionately called the hockey rink – where we pounded out doctrine, shared our perspectives, learned the art of persuasive, or not so persuasive argument, wrestled with how to love and yet totally disagree on doctrine, etc. Some people came to that part of the forum, saw all the heat and passion poured out there on the rink, and left running.. I ate it up 😀 Not that I like to argue, I really prefer peace, but because it gave me 100 points to see from, it gave me a cultural education, it gave me appreciation for many different theologies and doctrines, even if I didn’t agree with them. And, I think it helped grow me too….
along the way, personally, there was a lot of pain, healing, God stuff happening too… That’s been summarized in other places here on this blog…
The year I was pregnant with my youngest, I had several things happen all within a few months. I watched the History Channel’s History of Christmas. I was introduced to the teaching of Tim Jennings, Adventist Psychologist in Chattanooga, TN, who’s focus is on the Character of God. His website is here, Come And Reason. I was reminded that I’d long wanted to know more about Hebrew Culture, and especially the Feasts of the Lord (back to those questions unanswered from childhood.)
Since then, I’ve been on a 4 year long journey to learn more about Hebrew Culture, I’ve come to LOVE the feasts of the Lord, and I’ve been continually called “out of Babylon”…. Along the way I did have a huge house of cards come tumbling down in re to SDA theology. I’ll get into that in a later blog, but will say, that in the 2 years since then, I’ve been picking up the cards of doctrine and examining them – do they fit scripture? really? If yes, then it’s kept, if no, then it’s tossed out. I’m no where near done, and I know that there is still much change to take place, but I trust that He will lead me into all truth thru His Spirit.
I see the path I’m on as being the natural Spirit led end result, the natural trajectory of my upbringing and the foundation of faith and doctrine into which I was born, the natural outflow of the relationship I’ve had with my Creator, Yehovah, from early childhood. See other blog posts, like: Dreams – What do I want to be when I grow up, Love Well – a revolution, a fight, a journey, Beloved, A time to Dance, Yeshua, Under His Wings, Abigail-Beloved, A Time to Dance, 7 years (all listed in the “from my heart” category) for examples on that incredibly beautiful relationship. He is just Wonderful and so very good to me!! 😀 The Pictures at the top and below which reflect just How Good He is, and how in Love we are were taken one beautiful day this fall after some incredible time with Him, My True Husband 😀