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A change of heart involves circumcision: Part 2

Everyone knows Jeremiah 29:11" For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."(NIV)  Like everyone else who has read that verse you hold onto it, pray it over yourself and give it to the people you know who are in a tough place.  That's what I did.  And then a couple of weeks ago I decided to read it in the Message and whoa, something changed, something came to life.  The Message (Remix version) has verses but they are grouped together.  For example when you look for verse 11, you'll find 10-11.  Here goes:

10-11This is God's Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 

Did you see that? It is only after Babylon's 70 years are up that God will do the Jeremiah 29:11.  God allowed the Israelites to be exiled to Babylon and other places.  He allowed for them to be carried away to a place not comfortable, unfamiliar.  But here is the amazing part and it is amazing.

4This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel's God, to all the exiles I've taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:
 5"Build houses and make yourselves at home. "Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country.6"Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you'll thrive in that country and not waste away. 7"Make yourselves at home there and work for the country's welfare. "Pray for Babylon's well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you." 

Man oh man.  Fireworks went off in my brain when I read this.  When we are in the uncomfortable place we need to continue living, to live there.  We need to not wish it away.  I know this may seem extreme and if I'd read it a while back I'd probably have had a wobbly.  But here is the change of heart for us, we decided to live and enjoy living.  And we decided it in our uncomfortable place.  When things still came/come up I'd shout at Emiel that he has a bad attitude and should sort it out (he'd never shout at me, just calmly tell me.)   We decided on smiling and growing.  We decided on living the Kingdom of God.  We decided on forgiving and learning.  When you make decisions to allow for circumcision the cut is clean.   My pastor told a great, yet rather gross story illustrating the point.  A man had to cut his dog's tail off.  He figured it would me more cruel to do it at once and decided to cut it an inch a week.  I know you're thinking stupid man!  But that's what we do when we thrash and beg for God to save us from the dessert, the valley, the hole.  Why don't we just trust God?  

There were specific things that happened, like reading Every Woman's Marriage and Every Man's Marriage, The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Clairborne, watching the Nooma DVD 'Rhythm' by Rob Bell, deciding to forgive, being invited to a wedding, learning to work with what money we had, going to listen to a talk by Mary-Ann Shearer (that's a whole other post), starting to use the library, changing our diet, smiling. We are supposed to be a people that live and love and grow and reproduce.  We need to be participating!!!  I am on adventure!!!!  And I know God is moving!!!!  

I hope you are encouraged.  I love sharing my life with you as I know that God has allowed me a certain journey so I can share it with others.

Much love Philippa

p.s.  I really don't know how to reply to comments.  I think there is an e-mail link on my profile so if there was something you wanted prayer for try that and I could reply.  I have asked my genius cus Nathan to help me with the comment thing.


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