God of Mystery, God of Truth

Good people,
Most royal greening verdancy,
Rooted in the sun,
You shine with radiant light,
in this circle of earthly existence
You shine so finely,
it surpasses understanding.
God hugs you.
You are encircled by the arms
of the mystery of God.
Amen.

– Hildegard of Bingen

Hello, world!

This blog exists because I need a place to talk about things that excite me about the Bible. I typed that word ‘excite’ just now and felt astonished by it because I actually mean it. I’m excited about the Bible. That is no small thing. I spent years hardly reading the Bible at all. There were years when, as Sunday approached, my stomach would go into knots and I would think, oh no, not church again. I suffered for decades from physical symptoms directly linked to trauma inflicted by other Christians. When it came to church, I wanted anything but church.

Many years ago, when I lived in America, a picture taken of me at a church function ended up on the church website. Who knows why they posted that picture because there was despair written all over my face. I hated being at church. I hated being around people who seemed to hate me.

Now, 20 years later, I write this blog as an expression of JOY. God Himself equipped me to reject the voices of legalism and theonomy and patriarchy and claim His word as a story for me, about me. This didn’t happen because I started reading the Bible more or praying more or somehow being a better person. I read the Bible with joy because of the friendship of other Christians, whom God brought into my life to bring me closer to him.

If you are a Christian, the Bible is YOUR story too. You might be someone who hates reading the Bible, who reads it out of duty, not joy. This blog is a love letter, written both to my younger self who carried a false burden of guilt and despair and to you, dear reader.

As a linguist, I work with texts day in and day out. Though I bring the skills of my training and profession to the Bible, God’s Word is like no other text. It isn’t a manual for life. It isn’t a list of rules. It isn’t a human invention. It is a story with authority, of incredible mystery and incomparable hope. It is a work of genius, a bottomless treasure chest full of gems to be discovered. On every page, the Creator of the universe is telling us something about Who He is and what He has planned for us.

Put simply, this blog documents my pursuit of Christ. I write with care, with knowlege of the creeds, knowing full well the danger (the horror!) of false teaching that separates people from the love of Christ.
But I also write with freedom, knowing that on this side of heaven, we will never have it all figured out and that there is joy in exploration.
And of course, I write as a woman, having witnessed that the Christian church is not loving or listening to women as we should.

And yet! In the Bible, the land, the people Israel, the city Jerusalem, the global church are feminine realities. When I read the Bible, I keep in my mind and heart where things end, or better yet, where things become NEW, when Jesus Christ will return and we will be reunited with Him in glory, as HIS BRIDE, in a new heavens and a new earth where all of creation will be restored in all its beauty.

Welcome!

9 thoughts on “God of Mystery, God of Truth

  1. Reblogged this on Russianpatient and commented:
    I as You have problems to understand the Bible because it isn’t a manual, it was passed to us through mysterious work of God.
    As a fellow Christian I struggle with Church which puts women down, and I struggle among people who call themselves Christians but are not really Christians because they don’t lead their lives like ones.
    A Real Christian is a person who doesn’t judge you and follows the Christ. A real Christian is kind, but knows how to defend the Christian kingdom.
    All answers are in the Bible, and I am looking forward to read this blog I repost here because as you, I struggle to interpret it and I want the answers.
    The writer is a real Christian whom I met back in Sheffield among other Christians which brought back my faith in Jesus

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  2. Hi Ekaterina! Remember me? i contacted you some weeks ago. my husband of 34 years passed over ten years ago last December 1st in a psychiatric hospital with me holding his hand.

    last November i had a dream about him so lucid so real and i felt his spirit had come to me.

    lately the turn of events in my life have happened in such a way i find myself returning to the Church as a christian and believer in a higher power God Almighty Supreme Ruler of the Universe not of any sex (he or she) but Supreme alien spirit.

    my husband used to be a Christan and so were the rest of my family who have now passed.

    i take great comfort in the Bible and have researched the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Bible is a book written by our Jewish ancestors so we know the stories of when God came to the Earth, when Jesus lived on Earth and is a window to the spirit worlds and our eternal lives where we will live to roam the Universe dedicated to the Supreme Ruler.

    Hope you are well Eaterina. Love your blog! Best wishes! Anne

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    1. Valerie Hobbs

      Dear Anne,

      Hi! I’m Ekaterina’s friend and writer of this blog. The Bible is the only book I trust completely as it is written by God Himself through the hand of humans guided by His Holy Spirit (He tells us this in 2 Timothy 3:16,17). I write this blog to seek His face. My pastor friend Bill often says to me, ‘Get in there and wrestle with the text!’ That’s what I’m doing here, as a follower of Jesus, digging for gold! You are very welcome here. I hope what I have to say will be useful to you as you are wanting to know Who God is.

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      1. Hi Valerie, just a thought what part of the world are you from? i live in mid-Wales and have lived here since i was 27 and i am now 68. I am from Wythenshawe Manchester originally.

        i used to know someone with your name years ago in the 1960s. I just wondered thats all where you were from Valerie?

        Anne

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      2. Valerie Hobbs

        Hi again, Anne. I’m originally from the USA and have lived in the UK for 15 years now. I was born in the 70’s, so it wasn’t me you knew, sadly!

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  3. Hi Valerie, pleased to meet you. I am going along to my local Bethshan Church this coming Sunday for the first time.

    i hope that lately life will have a new meaning for me as there is someone special who goes there and this is drawing me i feel back to God. My brother and his wife are both pastors in newcastle in Bethshan Church.

    I hope we keep in touch. My husband used to read the bible and loved reading the New Testament and in particular Paul.

    best wishes – Anne x

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