FREEDOM!!

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What does freedom mean to you? If I were a kid, freedom might mean being able to stay up til midnight eating candy & watching cartoons. For adults it’s more complicated…. There’s freedom of speach, freedom to bear arms, freedom of religion, etc…. Some would say we should have the freedom to do whatever-the-hell we want (as long as it doesn’t hurt another person). So is freedom doing what we want? If so, who is really free? The world is full of expectations and boundaries. I am expected to watch my kids in a public place… Frankly, sometimes I just feel like running & hiding! 🙂 My husband expects me to provide meals for the family… Sometimes I’d rather waste time on facebook. My boss expects me to come to work when I’m scheduled…. You get the picture! There must be more to freedom!

Say a person decided that he wanted to be a dog…. He could exercise his freedom doing all kinds of stupid things… walking on all fours, barking at people walking by his house, and eating his own poop, but it would get old. Exercising his freedom would become a burden because he’s not really a dog. But what if he was mentally unstable and truly thought he was a dog? Would he enjoy eating dog food and scraping his knees on the ground? Would he feel fulfilled and at peace with lying at someone’s feet and lifting his leg to pee? Something tells me, deep down in his heart he might have a nagging suspicion that something wasn’t right…. Because freedom is being who you truly are.

Who determines who we are? Sometimes I find artwork that my kids have drawn and I try to figure out what it was intended to be… A person? A tree? An alien? I could guess all day long, but it’s usually easier to just ask them… Why didn’t I guess a weapon of mass destruction with fire blasting out? Perhaps because I don’t have the mind of a seven year old boy. 🙂 A creation is born in the mind of its creator. You began in the mind of your creator.

Before anything was created, He imagined you and planned for you to enjoy his love and companionship, to participate in the dance of the Trinity. He created you in his image, with abilities unlike any other created objects. He made you to reflect his beauty and to exhibit all that he is…. pure goodness! Some people wonder why God created us, knowing we would fall… Because Love is meant to be shared and he saw beyond the fall!

Did Adam and Eve exercise their freedom when they chose to disobey God in the garden? I would say, no because they were acting outside of who they were created to be. They were never intended to act independently from Him. It wasn’t part of the design, and instead of finding freedom, they found fear and death and bondage. But Love wasn’t worried. Love is patient and kind, and He would wait til the perfect time to reveal his master plan. Throughout the Old Testament he gave hints to the freedom that was coming, and many Old Testament people had faith in his kindness and in his providence. Then, one day, freedom was born! The One whose very body would set us free!

He came in humble appearance and many did not recognize him. He embraced the outcasts and ate with sinners. His love was so radical and wild that people who thought they understood what God required were angered. Surely freedom doesn’t act like this! Surely, God wouldn’t kiss lepers and dance with prostitutes. Then, came the day when Freedom made the ultimate sacrifice, taking the sin and bondage of all humanity upon Himself, offering His life so that his creation might know who He was and, ultimately, who they are. FREEDOM!!! When He rose, we rose… a new people, completely new- restored to our original beauty, restored to His image. He gave us his spirit so that we would never be apart from him and so that we would never forget who we are again.

We are truly free because He has said so…. Free to be who he made us to be! Still don’t know what I’m talking about and not sure you know who you are? Ask him. 🙂 He is not far away…. He is so very close and he loves who you are. He sees beyond your actions, beyond your attitude, beyond your skin… to that holy, beautiful person who Jesus has embraced. If you look, you just might see you too…. You look alot like Jesus. 🙂

Creativity and visions and playtime!

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“Creativity is… seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.” — Michele Shea

You are the creative expression of God!  His greatest masterpiece, his favorite poem.  Your very existence screams of his creativity and love!

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them! ~ Psalm 139:13-17

You were made to experience him and to enjoy his nature in you!  His very image in you gives you the ability to love, to share, and to create!

You may wonder why I chose “Playing in the Fountain” for my name….  It comes from a vision that I believe God gave me about 14 years ago.  It was pretty much the only time in my life that I felt like God spoke to me in that way, although, at the time, I didn’t really understand what it meant.  I saw myself in one of the prayer fountains at ORU where I went to school.  I had climbed into the fountain (which is a definite no-no at ORU…lol) and was having the time of my life.  Not only was I splashing and playing, but I was drinking the water and laughing!  People were coming to watch and were impacted by it.  My interpretation of the vision, at that time in my life, was that I just needed to get into God’s presence more so that He could use me to impact people.  I felt like I was only dipping my toes into the water and needed to jump in.  I was never satisfied with my level of surrender to God, always feeling like I should be doing more or loving more.  I didn’t see that God wasn’t calling me to try harder, but to give up trying and to start playing!   Perhaps he was even showing me that relationship is more important than following rules. 🙂  About a year and a half ago I discovered my union with Jesus and his finished work and I officially resigned from it all….  I have never been happier!  He pulled me into the water and I’m never getting out!

The world may not need another blogger, but I need to write, and if someone enjoys my ramblings that’s even better!  Join me as I journey into a new place of creativity and fun!  ~ Elissa