A beautiful sunset tonight! I love sunsets. They make me feel calmer.
We have this owl sitting in our yard to scare birds away from our sewer. I didn’t realize he was so creepy. I think it’s working! 🙂
One of the things that I find so disappointing about Christianity these days is the fact that we are so busy ousting people and working on including people that we aren’t sharing with people who they are and how loved they are. I guess in its own way, inclusion can be considered love. I would put that on the individual person because not everyone and everything promoting inclusion is doing it because they truly love… Having POWER is huge!
Since I have left facebook I have been on twitter and listening to Progressive Christian podcasts. I have enjoyed what I have been learning and a lot of the outrage makes more sense to me but like some of the Conservative Christians who are so angry at the Progressives…some of the Progressives are just as angry at the Conservatives and I personally find that tiresome to read, on both sides ( and friend, I can see and even agree with the outrage on both sides). I see hate among different kinds of Christians. It makes me very sad.
One very important thing that I learned in my counselling was that God loves me. It wasn’t said to me as a bible verse or in passing. It was explained to me that He really really LOVES me and if I was the only person on this earth, He would have still died..for just me. When you are in a place that you’ve hit rock bottom. A place that is so dark and all you feel for yourself is hate and contempt…words like that are not easy to hear and definitely not believable. When you hear this every week in counselling and sometimes in a text or two during the week from someone you trust and someone you see living what he is sharing with you…it eventually starts taking possibility in your mind.
Why do I share this? I don’t know. I guess I am looking for something. I guess I am searching for answers. As I write this I wonder to myself “what nerve do I have judging how other people live and explain their journeys? What nerve do I have complaining that I have heard but one person and one podcast episode that address *this? What nerve do I have when I don’t even do it?” It’s easy to complain about not finding something but like the saying goes…and I have said it before as have many others “Be the change you want to see.” Interestingly enough this goes right back to something I have been thinking about the last few days and I started a blog on it. It will be a while until it’s published though. It’s a pretty important one to me that I want to give extra time and care to.
Really though, it comes down to knowing who “YOU” are in Christ and from there the rest will flow. When you know how truly loved you are, to the very core of your soul…when you know that Christ indwells IN YOU…THAT is when you can make the biggest difference. That is when you know what it is like to truly love everyone including those who don’t believe the same way you do. I don’t have it down pat. I don’t think anyone does. I still struggle with self-condemnation and shame. They are the bane of my existence and yet I know they are lies. I know I am truly loved by God for who I am right now. No one can love me like He does. I still struggle when I look at myself in the mirror. I don’t know if I will ever have freedom from these lies and how they make me feel but I know that I have come a very long way in 5 years and I know when I look at others I see them totally different than how I used to. Somehow I can see them through the lens of Christ. I am using my Christ filter. That whole idea that the fruits flow out of us…that the love of God is like a fountain and reaches others…I can see that and I like it. I don’t always know what to do about it. It sucks being an introvert that suffers from massive social anxiety, but I feel that God has a pretty exciting plan for me. I have no idea what it is, but I know it will involve loving others because He First Loved Me.
*You are loved….truly, 100% loved.
Stay tuned as I write more on this. This is what is mulling around in my head so I might as well get it on paper and share. Have a most fantastic weekend friend! I loves you and oh man, God loves you so much more than I can even express to you. Sometimes I feel kind of stupid sharing that because so many Christians do share it, but I mean it from the very pit of my soul where the Christ is in me and I hope that you will hear that from your very soul as well. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
It’s so easy to look at only the surface people and judge them, just on what we see and hear and that moment. I would say that I have experienced this in a negative way, both individually and as a couple with Wally ( more about that another time).
What makes me think about this is a Podcast that I have grown to LOVE. It is called the Inglorious Pastereds and they are what I would call Progressive Christians. It would be nice if we didn’t have to label people but as I am finding out, there are all kinds of people that call themselves Christians and they are quite different from each other in beliefs. Truth is, I don’t even hardly know what a Christian is anymore. I do know that Jesus wasn’t one.
Anyway, the first time I listened to these guys I was quite shocked and didn’t listen to them for a while. As I started to notice they came up on my feed more and more on Twitter I decided to give them another listen. I am so glad I did. You see…I don’t like cursing or drinking and because of that, I didn’t listen to them anymore. I hear cursing at home all the time and Wally was a drunk (his words) for most of our marriage up until two years ago. I didn’t want to hear it on a podcast. I’m glad I got over the hump and listened to them because they have really changed a lot about me, in the way I think (in a good way) and the way I look at the world and God. I swear that we as a society are just looking for reasons to not like each other. It’s so sad that we don’t even give some people a chance just because they communicate something different than we do and in a different way.
I love what God is doing in me. I love that my mind has become open enough that I can listen to others who communicate their truth in a different way that I do because I am learning new things. The hardest and most painful thing about a paradigm switch is the deconstruction but there is beauty and awe as construction happens in the midst of it and you learn the truth and you know it’s the Truth! I love that it’s the Holy Spirit who guides me into my new and different beliefs and out of my old. That is how I know it is the Truth. I also know as time goes on and maybe I share more, that some of my Conservative Christian friends will have problems with what I believe and I know I may even lose some of their friendship ( as we are already) but as I have learned:
What has been seen, cannot be unseen; What has been heard, cannot be unheard; There is no looking back.
My friend, I loves ya!
Check these guys out if you dare. Consider yourself warned. You might just learn something new and you might die from laughing, all in one podcast. They are on itunes and most podcast places.
This is soooooo good! I loves you friend!
Several years ago, Edward Farrell, a priest from Detroit, went on a two-week summer vacation to Ireland to visit relatives. His one living uncle was about to celebrate his eightieth birthday. On the great day, Ed and his uncle got up early. It was before dawn. They took a walk along the shores of Lake Killarney and stopped to watch the sunrise. They stood side by side for a full twenty minutes and then resumed walking. Ed glanced at his uncle and saw that his face had broken into a broad smile. Ed said, “Uncle Seamus, you look very happy.” “I am.” Ed asked, “How come?” And his uncle replied, “The Father of Jesus is very fond of me.”
If the question were put to you, “Do you honestly believe that God likes you?”—not loves you, because theologically he must—how would you answer? God loves by necessity of his nature; without the eternal, interior generation of love, he would cease to be God. But if you could answer, “The Father is very fond of me,” there would come a relaxedness, a serenity and a compassionate attitude toward yourself that is a reflection of God’s own tenderness. In Isaiah 49:15, God says: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
I’m doing devotional by Brennan Manning and today’s really jumped out at me. I know this is something I really need to do. There is so much I have gone through that I am not thankful for even though it has made me who I am today. I am just tired of bringing up the past. I guess this is one of those things we have one wrestle through and just decide to do or not to do. It’s another journey…another option. AP
Gratitude is inclusive. At an AA meeting in Kinsale, Ireland, a man named Tony said, “If I had to choose among all the diseases that afflict human beings, I would choose mine [alcoholism], because I can do something about it.” At that meeting (as at each meeting) he introduced himself as “a grateful recovering alcoholic.” When asked why, he said, “Because without the Twelve Steps of this program I never would have found God.” Likewise, in the book of Job, that ruined man of God said, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10) …
To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to this present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.