Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7 Things most Christians don't want you to know.

As I scroll through Pinterest I can't help but see the pictures that have something to do with current events or current struggles in our world. I can't put a number on how many "pins" I have seen that bash or put down Christians (especially now with gay marriage being a huge controversy), nor can I tell you how many cruel remarks or pushy statements I have witnessed being thrown back by Christians. It always leaves my heart heavy as I read the conversations between people. There are posts floating around with pictures of the old Willy Wonka saying "Oh you post scripture on your facebook? You must be so religious!" or "Oh the Bible says that? You must be so much better than the rest of us!" Jesus told us the world would hate us. They wouldn't get it. But sometimes I wonder if the world hates us for the wrong reasons? Do they despise our joy or commitment to Jesus? Or do they hate our "more holier than thou" attitudes? I want to take a few weeks to dig into this. I want to place on the table what we Christians really don't want others to know. I feel it is so important that we admit to this so that the world will see that WE ARE NOT PERFECT!.... and we know it.
 I realize my blog is no Proverbs 31 ministry's or Focus on the Family and that on a good day my posts only get about 20 people looking at them (and 5 of them are probably me making sure it all makes sense etc.) But I'm ok with that. This blog is just as much for me as it is for the public. By typing out my feelings etc. I get to understand what is really going on in my head and as it's laid out before me I can discern if what I'm thinking is right or way off base. I plan on writing a new post about the seven things we don't want the world to know every Tuesday for the next seven weeks. You're more than welcome to join me in this journey and to leave comments on how you feel about it. I will say that there's a reason why it says "Most" Christians. I realize that not all Christians struggle with the things I am going to discuss. But as I listen to friends and random strangers I have come to the conclusion that I am not the only one that feels these things. But again, feed back is always welcome. Lets try to be uplifting with one another and help each other.

Here is what I plan on going through, "7 things most Christians don't want you to know."

#1 We do unfairly judge others

#2 We do still struggle with sin

#3 We get worn out and depressed

#4 We try to do it on our own despite what we know and WHO we know

#5 It takes time to change

#6 Sometimes we choose happiness over Joy

#7 We forget what we have been taught, but God brings us back.

Lord, I ask that you would hold me accountable to stick to your word and plan and not my own opinions or desire to be right. I pray that you would bring Christians and non Christians here so that we may all accept that as humans we are nothing. We are weak, we are corrupt, we are missing the mark. It is only through you that we can stand. May my words not be harsh or unloving, but honest and true. May they reach into peoples hearts and stir them to become more like you. May I be honest about my own short comings, and not afraid to admit that I am nothing and that I struggle. Jesus take hold of this tool and use it in the way you so desire. I ask that you use me in whatever way you plan so that others may see you and get to know you. You know my heart Lord. You know the hearts of everyone out there. Bless our time God. In your name, Amen.

With Love,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Standing in the crashing waves

I'm a  "jump first think later" type person. I think some people would disagree with that and say that I think things through, but really I don't. Especially if it's something I think looks fun or "good for me."

Have you ever wondered if that's the kind of mindset Peter had when he yelled out "Lord if that is you walking on the water then call me out to you!" (Matthew 14:28 paraphrased) Now I don't know about you but I would probably even think that one through! Lets see, huge crashing waves, lots of wind, deep Deep water.. yeah I wouldn't say "I want to come walk with you on the water!" It would be one thing if God had said, "So that you may know that it is me come out of the boat and walk toward me." But no, Peter just stood up and declared his desire to walk on the water. Maybe he thought it would be fun? Either way it takes a lot of faith to say "I will come!"

 As he climbed out of the rocking boat he kept his eyes on Jesus. As he took his first few steps he kept his eyes on Jesus. Then the waves began to swell and the wind was blowing his hair into his eyes and his body off balance. He panicked and looked down. He began to sink and he cried out, "Lord save me!" and Jesus grabbed hold of his hand and said  “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Have you ever stepped out in faith knowing that it was God's will and He had called you to do it, but then found that it's hard and not comfortable? Maybe you're finding out that parenting isn't as "fun" and magical as you once dreamed. Or maybe you're in a job that has suddenly become very hard or taxing on you. Do you surge forward with your eyes on the Lord, the one that brought you to that place, or do you look down at your problem and begin to see just how big it is and allow it to swallow you up?

I would be in the later category. I run head first into what God calls me to do (ok only if I think it looks like something I want as well, I'm not that great at just doing what God wants me to if it looks scary from the gitgo.) but as soon as things start to get rough I look down and think "Holy cow! This is so hard! How do I manage to get through this rough patch?" What we're (yes we, I'm assuming I'm not the only one that looks down!) forgetting is that our problems are so small compared to our AMAZING God. He's got this!

Here's an illustration that my Pastor likes to refer to in times like these. Look at this picture of Jesus (yes I realize it's a bit corny)

Now close one eye and hold up your thumb in front of you, just to the side of the picture. You should be able to see both Jesus and your thumb. Your thumb represents your problem. Now bring your thumb closer to the opened eye until it completely covers the picture. This is what happens when you focus so much on the problem and not on God. It's not that God isn't bigger or more powerful, it's that you are allowing that problem to take the center of your life. Do you really want to live that way? Do you really want to sink? Remember, dear ones, that God is bigger and He can get you through anything you are dealing with. Trust in Him. Keep your eyes on Him. Don't let your perspective lie to you.

With Love,

Resources: Matthew 14:28,29, Tim Harkness, Image found on google (I do not own it)