Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I became a Christian when I was ten years old and I grew up in a Christian home with both parents. It is in that statement there that most people would believe that this is exactly why I “disagree” with homosexuality. I do not know if I would be a Christian had my life or culture had been different, because it wasn’t. However, there are plenty of people who grow up in my same life situation that are not Christ-followers, so I don’t necessarily agree with the notion that I am a direct product of my environment. I have been arrested by the grace that Christ has lavished on me and there is no other explanation for my worldview other than that at this point. With that being said, let me make my point. As the Supreme Court convenes to determine the rights of gay marriage from a federal perspective, I believe it is important to express my views and not just sweep them under the rug. Now I realize that I am not a political or religious leader whose views will change the course of the Supreme Court’s decision, but I won’t let it go by without at least expressing where I stand. I do not wish to engage in arguments nor am I necessarily trying to disprove what others believe. I am simply stating what I believe and why.
Now, I love all people- gay or straight. I, in no way, believe that I am better or deserve to be treated better or anything like that. However, I have heard people on the pro-gay-marriage camp say that they do not want the church to agree with marriage, just want the same rights as others. By legally giving the same legal rights to gay married couples as opposite sex married couples, we (the Church/Christians) are saying that we agree, when we do not. Let me go back in history for a moment to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s: if the Church (when I speak of the Church, I synonymously use this term for Christians) were to say, “We believe that African-Americans are equal to us but they should still go to different schools, eat in different restaurants, etc.” (i.e. Jim Crow Laws), then it would be OBVIOUS that those saying that did not truly believe that African-Americans were equal because they didn’t want the same rights. Fast forward to today, by the Church saying we believe that gay marriages should have the same legal equal rights as opposite sex married couples, we are saying we agree. They are synonymous with one another.
Please know that I am not pointing my self-righteous finger at homosexuals because I know that I am in need of the Savior just as much, if not more, than most homosexuals. I am the furthest thing from perfect and I need God’s grace every single day of my life. By calling sin, sin, does not mean I am condemning, it just means that I calling what is, what is. I believe that if Christians just sit by and don’t stand up for what they believe in then God will leave us to our own devices and that never turns out well:
“Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches. Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing.” (Romans 1:26-29)
But there is still hope found in redemption. God gives us a chance to return to Him- all of us, not just homosexuals, every single person on earth!! “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
My hope is that anyone who may read this will understand that true grace and love is found only in Jesus Christ. I need His grace and love every day. I fall short of His glory and yet He still loves me and He still wants me. He still loves you and He still wants you too. “I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 8:38-39) There is nothing we can do to make Him stop loving us! So no matter what the Supreme Court rules in favor of, God’s grace and love will forever cover a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8)…including my own.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
As a child growing up in a Christian home, it has been very easy for me to fall prey to what Perry Noble refers to as “The Performance Trap.” I came to know Christ when I was ten years old, but learning how to act and what to say from a very young age also taught me how to love Jesus with my head, sometimes forsaking the matters of the heart. “We can’t only love Jesus with our head; we have to love Him with our heart- that’s all He wants anyway…His love is not based on our performance.” I have learned that in order to move forward, I must reconnect my heart with Jesus, and leave my past in the past. “If you don’t let your past die, it won’t let you live.” As Perry reminded me, I am created on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. I am currently delving through that very thing in my life right now, and while reading Unleash! I was given practical ways to glorify God in finding my purpose. Perry undauntedly, in ways that only he can, stated how and when we are to take our next steps in our walk with Christ. I now know what my next step is in my walk with Christ. Christ merely wants my obedience to Him- whole-hearted and unwavering devotion to Him. I genuinely love to be around people. I have always enjoyed working with the public and getting to know people. However, often times when I am pulled away from Christ to sin, I have pulled away from His people too. “The first step people take away from God is usually a step away from church and their friends.” However, just because I have messed up or turned my back on God, He still wants me and can still use me. In Unleash! Perry tells us stories of people in Scripture who have turned their back on God and came back and He still used them. Through his own personal testimony, Perry showed me that God, indeed, does work everything out for our good if we just trust Him through it all.
After reading Unleash!, I am convicted in my walk with Christ and challenged to my next steps, all the while knowing that the best is yet to come! I am encouraging everyone I know to get their copy of Unleash! and read it as soon as possible. You will definitely be changed after reading this one!
Monday, July 9, 2012
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Commitment is one of the major things in life with which I've always struggled. I don’t know the root of my struggle with commitment (at this point in my life.) I had a decent childhood so there is no traumatic event to trace it to or anything of that nature, but I’m not here to psychoanalyze myself. A friend of mine blatantly told me once when I was about to back out on a commitment, “You need to learn dedication.” As jovial as he meant it, the words pierced my heart and gave me a huge reality check. I have never made a life-long commitment in my entire life. I’ve never been married or have children for that matter, so that kind of commitment is out of the question. Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, that is a life-long commitment. But let’s be honest here, I don’t think I’m the only one who has ever flip flopped on my relationship with Christ. I’ve told myself numerous times that I won’t allow myself to have an up and down relationship with Jesus anymore….yet it happens- time and time again. But the reality is that as long as I’m living in this sinful world, it is going to happen. Sin is the ever-constant divide between my Lord and me. I have an unaltered relationship with God, through Christ because of His work on the cross, yet sin is still present and still separates. Growing up, I had this picture of salvation as this “get out of Hell free” card. I went to the alter when I was 6 years old to get saved because I didn’t want to burn for eternity (what my 6 year old mind could comprehend eternity was). Yet, in this ever-growing relationship that I have with Jesus (since I was truly saved at 10), I’m even more grateful for my salvation because I have learned that not only am I not going to burn (HUGE plus, lol), but the main reason I’m saved today is because I have unity with my Father through Jesus Christ. While we are in a sinful world, I’m still able to throw my hands up and shout, “I Surrender!” When life gets me bogged down and I go astray, I can still say, “Forgive me Father.” No, being a Christian isn’t always pretty and I’m not perfect, but I know that He won’t let me go too far without bringing me back into His loving arms. “We know that ALL things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”- Romans 8:28
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It has been over a month since I posted a blog. This was the main reason I hadn’t started a blog in the first place- because I knew I would start it and write a few times then never write again. I had told myself that I was going to keep this blog up! Ha ha! Nonetheless here I am now—writing my life. Honestly, there have been times I would go to write and I couldn’t find anything to say so I would just pray and cry out to God. He always meets me right where I am! Writing is one way I relieve stress and when I sit down to write and there is nothing, well that can be stressful to me to say the least. But in those times, God ministers to me unlike He does through my writings- so I would not trade those moments for the world!
Recently, I’ve started feeling better about myself. I’ve blogged before about how I am on what I like to call a “weight loss journey” and since I’ve been eating healthier and exercising, I feel better. When I was eating terribly and doing no kind of exercise, except from walking from the couch to the fridge and back, I felt awful- physically, emotionally, and mentally. Not only because I looked like I had had some kind of allergic reaction to peanuts and swelled up like a balloon, but because I was not taking care of my temple (“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). As Christians, when we are living in sin (no matter the sin), we will not live comfortably. After the fact (the commission or omission of sin), I am grateful for the conviction because I know that conviction is God’s chastisement. He chastises those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). In the south, if we are asked if gluttony is a sin, we will say yes. Us southern Christians wouldn’t dare get caught saying that something isn’t a sin when it clearly is! However, we think that that gluttony is one of those sins that somehow pass by God’s heart without hurting Him. Every sin breaks the heart of God because it separates us from Him. All God wants is unadulterated intimacy with us. He longs for our health to prosper even as our soul prospers (3 John 1:2). I honestly believe that a reflection of our relationship with God can be seen in how we take care of our temple. In my personal experience, when I was not taking care of my temple, I could not hear from God as clearly as I can when I am taking care of my body.
With that being said, tonight I bought the book “Eating Animals” by Johnathan Foer (technically the eBook, on my Barnes & Noble app for iPhone- get that app if you have the iPhone!!). From what I understand, the author of the book did extensive research on factory farms in America (where most of the meat I eat comes from) and proves how unsafe the meat they process truly is for our bodies. I am going to educate myself on how to eat properly and truly take care of my temple. While I do plan to lose weight (as a beneficial by-product), it is not my main focus in this venture. My main goal is to learn how to take care of my temple by not forsaking that gluttony is a sin with many consequences. I call this a “venture” because eating healthy and exercising is something I plan on doing for the rest of my life, however I may or may not be a vegan for the rest of my life. Ha ha! I love to eat meat! I have been raised on some good cookin and have learned how to do some good eatin! (That was in my country-redneck voice LoL!) My point is not to stop eating meat, but to know what kind and where to buy the right, healthy meat. I am excited about reading this book and rest assured that I will blog my critique of it.
…Well it’s 2 am and I still need to clean my room and shower before I go to bed! Goodnight my fellow bloggers!