Just the other day I received an email out of the blue from a former colleague. A bit bewildered as to the reason for the email and yet giddy with curiosity, I opened with eager anticipation. The email was a simple asking for coffee and to enlighten her how she had wronged me with the opportunity to right any wrong. My jaw stiffened and I felt a scowl roll across my face. Then I saw the words “I’m sorry” in the body and I was even more disgusted. Lately I found that the words “I’m sorry” are just a form of lip service and not a request for forgiveness as the statement or question of “Forgive me” would suggest. Continue reading “I’m Sorry Forgive Me”
Leaving Jesus because of Christians
For the last six months I have been suffering in a very painful silence. My suffering is something I was not even sure if I should discuss because of deep wounds and reopened scars. As I shared some months ago I was given the opportunity to work in ministry. Over the moon excited to share my gifts, talents; the opportunity to share my love and faith with others. Allowing God to use me as his tool to share the Kingdom and do His work in this world. What I wasn’t prepared for was how damaging Christians can be to one another. What I wasn’t prepared for was the desire to leave Jesus because of Christians.
Do you recall the day your parents told you that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and even that the Easter Bunny were not real? Such a magical let down to have your whole world shattered in an instant. The magician revealed his tricks. The mysticism, the heightened feeling of wonder that something so great and marvelous existed beyond out wildest dreams and imagination. Continue reading “Leaving Jesus because of Christians”
Christians so unlike their Christ
Some of you may or may not know from a previous post that I went to work for ministry. As my husband would refer, I am “The Church Lady.” I was warned that this would be the most challenging position of my life. Continue reading “Christians so unlike their Christ”
Confessions of a Prodigal Son
Life is about creating a story. The story we write or create is based on the decisions we make banded together with His story. So often we think we have total and ultimate control over our decisions and to some degree we do. Often we are allowed the opportunity to live our life a certain way, where our Father allows us to learn the hard lessons in life, sometimes painful, challenging and can reveal the worst parts of ourselves. Continue reading “Confessions of a Prodigal Son”
The Power of Prayer
Have you ever considered the statement, “You are in my thoughts and prayers.” I have found that this is such a statement of
(in)consideration, truly a good majority of people say this as a form of pleasantry and never with intention. I am not quite sure why this irks me, but when people say “you are in my thoughts and prayers” I want to reply, “Am I really or are you just saying that because it sounds heartfelt and reassuring?” What people may not realize is the power of a prayer. To be a pray-er you have a conviction that you believe what you are saying, that there is power on a very human and supernatural level that God and the cosmos will hear your pleas, cries, and requests.
I never understood prayer. Being boldly honest, I was that smug, ass of a human to say, “I’ll pray for you” of which I thought quietly to myself how horrible their situation is and wish it better. I never clasped my hands, closed my eyes and opened my heart to the possibility that God may hear my plea. Albeit I was selfish, only praying for myself when the moment seemed dire or I had tremendous fear: a long road trip, a flight, or any other personal want.
I never understood how to pray. One might think, well you bow your head, close your eyes, clasp your hands, maybe fall to your knees, or raise your hands to the sky and plea to our Almighty to hear our requests. While these are a few forms, to pray means to really believe in your request. You must feel in your heart, soul, in the very fiber of your DNA, that you believe in the request you are asking of your Father. I compare this to my kids asking for something they really want. They come to myself or The Chad, mostly The Chad(…since I have a tendency to say NO…go figure God would be our Father, Dad’s are better about giving us what we ask for) and make their request with the strongest possibility that we will say yes, but they do not expect any let down. They are open to unimaginable possibilities with our answers, that we may offer up a concession to their request in which we have an answer, with a twist.
A year ago I attended a conference on prayer. Before the conference I read a book by the keynote speaker, Mark Batterson called The Circle Maker. Mark heads up a church in Washington, DC and he prayed circles. By circles I mean he would walk the blocks in the area in which he wanted his church to be planted, he walked circles around the lives and neighborhoods he wanted to transform, he walked circles and prayed while making those circles. His continuous efforts meant that he prayed with conviction and specificity for what he was looking to accomplish, by his consistent efforts his prayers were answered. Maybe not how he expected to a tee, but they were answered where needs were met.
His book and conference transformed the way I looked and thought about prayer.
I began to journal my prayers. I began to make prayer circles for what were extremely bold, sometimes superficial, requests we had in our lives. What happened next was not as I expected.
Nothing happened. I even became bored after just two short weeks of writing in the journal of these prayers.
I cursed. I was pissed. I wanted to throw in the towel. What in the bloody world would make these prayers come to be? I believed in these prayers. Requests happened for others, why not me? Why wasn’t God listening to what needed to happen, what needed to be fixed, healing ills, healing hearts, completing miracles.
I found I didn’t believe enough in my requests. I wasn’t broken enough. By broken, I was not allowing myself to succumb to the possibility that He could be moving in my life. By broken, I was not allowing for my life to be transformed by faith. Lacking in conviction I tossed aside prayer because quite frankly I wasn’t feeling it. As most do, they don’t feel the stirring that true conviction in prayer can bring. I also lacked the faith that God saw a higher plan for me. (Deuteronomy 29:29)
Take getting fired. Praying with conviction and stirring to find a new job, to escape the confines of my misogynistic boss. My prayer needed to be less about me. So when I began praying to find a job that made me happy, that made a difference in the world because I felt I was destined for something greater for Him and when I prayed for wisdom for the misogynist…
BAM! Prayer answered. Literally. Less than one month into praying for the boss to have wisdom I was fired.
God has a wonderful sense of humor.
We make these bold requests, prayerfully and faithfully expectant that He will eventually answer those prayers. Sometimes what our prayers need is more specificity in seeking answers. Sometimes we fail to remember is that the answers come in His time…
We so desperately want things to happen overnight. We so badly want our circumstances to change that we begin to muddle the situation. Meddling in the fine details and operations that we then change our prayer direction because something broke. So we pray for the broken to be repaired and we pray for those changes in circumstances.Â In those moments I found the best action to take is nothing. Do nothing but pray. God likes to let things break to show us that our earthly ways are not working, stop getting in the middle of the plan.
For example after being fired I immediately began looking for another job. Futilely and completely in vain I hunted for months. Broken, depressed and feeling less than worthy, struggling with what felt like impending doom with the holidays and tightened finances. I took to writing again in order to relieve my struggles, coupled with bold prayer. Admittance I was broken both in my posts and my prayer. What happened next was less than extraordinary.
Tithing 10% of my small unemployment and praying. Emails began to roll in for Christmas promotions. A friendship was rekindled that helped me utilize my God given ability to put emotions and thoughts to words, this same friendship encouraged me to begin promoting on my blog for Christmas. In just a few short months leading up to Christmas I was able to stuff my tree with items that were promotional goodies that you see posted on my blog. These items were transformed into gifts for my children. Yielding enough money to pay for all of Christmas, simply because I have a passion for words. A God given gift to write. A heaven sent answer from prayer. What was even more spectacular was The Chad’s bonus that we had not expected had allowed us to help answer one of our children’s prayer circles that they had: quads.
Prayer moved me more than just these superficial moments. At our 24/7 Prayer event that we had this past fall I signed up to pray for two hours. The church does a phenomenal job of providing prayer prompts to guide you through some of our most basic struggles with life and prayer. I attended with zero expectations and opened my heart. Guided to a black curtain station, setup for privacy reasons, I was greeted with the most uncomfortable and life changing of prayer moments.
What was suppose to only be about ten minutes of prayer in this station, where I would move on to other stations, resulted in a full 60 minutes of deep, trembling, crying until my eyes hurt, prayer for forgiveness. I prayed for those who had wronged me, forgiving them because I was holding onto the pain for me, I thought I couldn’t forgive them because that would mean they won, so I prayed for forgiveness.Â At the close of my session, I prayed for myself. I prayed that all I had done wrong to myself, how my horrible choices inflicted so much pain, the pain I felt just fueled more pain. The one person and event whom I had total control also resulted in being the most damaging at times. Exiting that day after my hour I felt rejuvenated and freed. The bonds of torture no longer applied to me. I let go of my anger. I let go of the pain. I embraced the power of prayer.
Looking back at those moments in prayer, observing our prayers and prayer circles, a gritty, raw, realization was made. Everything we wanted as a family, as individuals, had to do with passion. We update our prayer circles based on our passion, specificity and knowing that everything happens in time based on His plan.
I prayed for a new job and was fired. I prayed to become a mom and was gifted three amazing children. I prayed to provide for Christmas, tithed and received an abundance to give to my children. Today I pray more than I have ever prayed before because I know that He is listening. He provides me the comfort in taking away the superficial worry of occasions, events and happenings that are out of my control. He provides me guidance in struggle, clarity in uncertainty, resolve in our conversation. Feeling a conviction that sweeps over you with chills, that makes your very being tremble and shudder is powerful and brings us to our knees in joy and thanksgiving. Take the discomfort out of the thought of prayer by finding comfort in prayer. Believe it, feel it, and see what happens next. Stop using prayer as a conversational consideration but as consideration for conversation.
It’s Cool to be a Christian
For many years I walked in shame for my faith and beliefs. Truly mortified to speak them aloud, I even went as far to recant that I ever truly believed in the first place. I thought being a Christian meant carrying this tremendous burden of shame, embarrassment, yet for years I never truly understood why. The moment was truly divine and as if God struck me across the back of the head; I was paralyzing my thoughts, my beliefs and my faith until that moment. My realization allowed me to confront that my beliefs were not about me, but about Him, my life was more than just me and that life was cool to be a Christian.
My friends of various faiths, Judaism, LDS, Catholics, were all staunch with their affirmation in their beliefs, as if they paraded like the emperor in his new clothes. I could not fathom the realism of being myself, in my own skin, with my own beliefs with all the looming disgrace of being me. I never understood, not until I was 35. I felt like Moses, having lived this long in my life with no spiritual intervention and then wham, this life. The life I love came to me. Realization came when I saw how the veil was torn. I saw His grace, love, sacrifice.
That epiphany defined the genesis of shame and embarrassment. Our culture, society, those who truly do not get what being a follower of Christ truly entails, defined who a Christian was “suppose” to be, who I was suppose to be amongst my peers. The skewed and obtuse perceptions, interpretations, and teachings create this shame; finding yourself kicking a toe in the dirt, a low hung head and sheepish voice claiming, “Yeah, I’m a Christian. I believe.” You know that moment, you have felt that burning into your soul. Chills quiver through your existence that you might be rejected by your peers for loving something greater, desiring Greater. Dare you speak a whisper of your faith, the succeeding actions from your audience are of heavy sighs and a possible eye roll. Pity.
As of late I have seen such a beautiful and genuine emergence of “cool” Christians; wearing their flaws on their sleeves, these broken people shout to the heavens how much they love Him, love themselves, love others. These folks aren’t kicking the dirt, they are initiating a new breed, transcending the stereotype. Escaping the traditional fire and brimstone, maladies of classical hymns by a choir on Sunday that would showcase who we wanted to be and hiding who we really are as a people. Sinners.
I ran into a friend from church the other night while dropping the kids off for their Wednesday night life groups. Our encounter humbled me ever more. She told me, “I love your writing. Keep writing. I know very few people who are our age that get it.”
She got it. She got that I got it. Praise God. Maybe my age, our age has everything to do with faith, our faith. Relinquishing the fear of judgment from others, which is a mortal reflection of insecurity and personal fear. Grieving our former selves, loving them all the same as they have shaped us into the people we are today, bounding with love, benevolence, calm and a bit of whimsy.
As I progress into my elder years and I have accepted that life is more than just me, I want, I lust, I desire more of this life, my life, the life of and for my children. Communing with people, tendering a love the way He did, and exploiting the whimsy for life by unlatching the societal norms, the harnesses confining our being.
Some 25 years ago I was confined to my grandmothers Pontiac, the travel from her home in Eloy to my childhood home in Chandler felt like an eternity in her car. The endless stretch of desert was like a sea of beige back then, littered by the occasional eye candy of a billboard.Â Cruising along as a passenger I remember battling for the radio station.Â She had her presets, Christian music, as I say that in the most childish, sarcastic voice…possibly with an eye roll. While I, on the other hand, fought to listen to Top40 pop. I was an 80s child, dear God, anything but old hymns. I could feel the yawns and an overall feeling of sleepiness with the suggestion of the organs playing in the background.
Christian music was not what it was today. The bestÂ you could get was Amy Grant, but she was like Debbie Gibson, catchy but you would be caught dead listening to her.Â Yesterday’s Christian is not today’s Christian. My grandmother is a perfect example that Christians today are not as they formerly were. Grams was, is, the strongest woman I know in Christianity. A warrior of faith, love, sacrifice and selflessness; her grace for the love of the Lord has evolved so magically and enviably. Today she rocks her Christian stations, the same one’s I do, she even does so in her Ford Mustang GT convertible. She has helped me embrace the evolution of owning brokenness. Shattering my own veil that I have a perfect love in an imperfect world.
Listening to the traditional hymns and psalms in my grams’ car was reminiscent of the shame, the culture, the secret we all bore but never uttered. Our hidden heathen, God truly forbid we ever let the bastard roam free amongst all the other hidden heathens, declaring our humanity. How could we display the truth outside these ecclesiastic moments; broken people, sinners, lovers of the Lord existed as a singularity. Not today. Today’s music, I can crank in my Jeep with the top down, all windows down and never feel ashamed to be broken, to love worshiping out loud. Bands like Lifehouse, P.O.D, Jars of Clay, FlyLeaf, Switchfoot all derive their music from strong faith, religious roots and stream into our homes on traditional Top40 radio. I have even become THAT parent. While I still have my normal radio stations I find myself cringing and changing the channel when I truly hear the lyrics. These words playing into my children’s ears, minds, and then they are spouting them. Last thing I want is my seven year old daughter spouting off about menage a trois from Katy Perry while riding in the Jeep. So when they ask for “Greater” by Mercy Me…
What is on the other side of your cool? What about your faith, what quality causes you angst? Are you in the disavowal stage? Accepting who we are and in our faith does not mean that we are, for lack of a better term “Bible thumping.” We can be who we are, be in our beliefs, and share the good Word just like we share small talk. Like breathing.
How can life be cool to be a Christian; just do these three things. Get over it! Get over what you thought you knew. Find a home that tells the story of the Bible, but be ready. The story is a romance, a love story of a Father who so loved his children he sacrificed his only son. Get under it! Serve your community, serve the way Jesus did, because you know this life is not about you. Get with it! Be with other people who love God. Do life with these people. Because what is this life if you cannot share with others? In my walk, I have found more people, friends, who have helped me redefine my cool.
Walking with God
My tone has changed as of late. If you have been around me long enough, you know that the holy roller seems a bit fetched, if not out of character for me. I was likely to quote Andrew Dice Clay before I ever quoted scripture. Oh! I digress. Funny thing about character is how we evolve. Changing with the seasons, age, enlightenment of our environment, as if a light switch was turned on in a room of pure darkness. Life for me seemed to be spiraling into that room. I was not walking with God as I am today.
Walking wasn’t easy either. I tripped along thinking karma would float me along through the nethers of the universe. A magic carpet ride of listless engagement on my part, that basically if I lived a decent life and acted as a decent person everything would turn out alright. Even if I effed up royally, in the end my karma bank would be in the black.
Or so I deluded myself to believe.
The deeply human part of me was calling for something bigger, to be a part of something bigger. My purpose was far greater than anything I could imagine. Not that I would break out into a leotard jumpsuit of red and blue with fabulous hair like Linda Carter (who was friends with my grams by the way), more so that I knew my purpose in the mortal realm was temporary, there was more to life than me.
Truer words could not have been spoken to me one summer evening while visiting my brother. The Chad and I sat out on the back patio slash balcony of my brothers home in Northern Arizona in a small town called Show Low. His home is on the side of a mountain with breathtaking views. Overlooking a bluff, Show Low creek, and sprawling meadow lands with tall, wild grass, spotted with feral sunflowers, littered with sage and speckled with wild horses, elk, and an occasional jackrabbit. A view so picturesque, one could only paint with their imagination. We sat in the cool night air listening to the pines whistle in a monsoon storm as rain patted on the roof above.
Our conversations were light and airy, typical chit chat to warm up the tone of the evening. Just then, my brother fired a grenade into the conversation. “When I die, I want to know that my sister will be joining me for eternal life. I want to know you will be joining me in heaven. I love you Karie and I am concerned you don’t have salvation and we won’t be together forever.”
He took my breath away as I sobbed. I knew exactly what he was saying and I knew my life needed a change. We discussed the outlook of karma, living a good and honorable life, being good to others in spite of ill will or harm. Further discussion about how The Chad and I have embraced various religions and their sound beliefs. Not that anything was wrong with Christianity, but at the mention one might be confused with extremists due to media exploits.
For the years leading up to this moment I was engulfed in a rat race of desperation to grapple to the top of an imaginary corporate ladder. Hyper-focused on a goal that would offer me what? Happiness, success, notoriety within the corporate realm? Further separated from my family in order to serve the overlords of big bank. Aching in my heart, a burning in my chest, my eyes bled tears as my soul felt as if it were ripped open to expose a truth I had been denying myself.
Our discussion tripped further down Alice’s rabbit hole yet rose towards the Kingdom.
The next morning I attended church with my brother for the first time in over 15 years. His pastor spoke of living a life under the idea of karma, a life devoid of the Holy Spirit. Could he have been at our table on the balcony last night? I took communion for the first time in over 20 years, I was a small girl shortly after my baptism when I took part in this ritual to honor my Savior. Fighting tears to prevent others from seeing my brokenness as my brother and I held hands during the service and worship. I left the service that day feeling a sense of redemption, as if I came home.
The week after was a struggle. My renewal was tested as I returned to work and I struggled with situations that would push my every limit. I prayed to tolerate my boss just a few days longer. Yearning to be in the word again, to hear what my soul was craving, I needed strength.
So I found my home at Central that upcoming Sunday. I walked in alone and afraid, my uncertainty felt like a 600 pound gorilla. The message was more than appropriate and befitting to where my situation lay. After the service I knew I had found my home. Week after week I attended and sat in the seats alone. I took the time to soak in the message, but felt an emptiness that I couldn’t share my new understanding of the world. My life felt like it was moving forward but my marriage was askew.
The Chad is the love of my life, but I felt as if we were not connecting on the same plane. Mostly due to my Sunday absences. So we felt a strain, until my prayers were answered. Praying for Him to touch Chad, open his heart and mind. He agreed to attend with me, upon the condition I kept the hellfire, brimstone and flames at bay as he entered the worship center. Pft, as if I had a say with The Big Guy on what happens.
His decision was not light, but he was surprised at his lack of spontaneous combustion as he entered the worship center. We discussed at length the message our senior pastor shared and he thoroughly enjoyed the rich history that came from the simple Bible teachings. One of the many qualities that drew me to Central.
My heart was full and my soul lightened as I could share this evolving part of my life with my best friend once more. Our conversations engaged a new level, we saw changes with our children, this new life we were living was infectious. Even our best friends joined our fellowship and our relationship with them changed. A strength, peace and love we had never felt before engulfed our way of living. Transforming our professional lives. Infusing our spirits.
These changes were not without a cost of pain or death. A slow and excruciating death to the person I once was in order to envelope my life with Christ. Spiritual warfare at some level raged on between my old self and the person I was becoming. My career began to change on the most drastic levels, so much so that being fired is just what He wanted to truly ensure my proper path in life. Even then I had unrest. Bouts of darkness as I would retreat to my head with thoughts of not being good enough, a failure, self deprecation seemed to be normal. Prayer seemed in vane. Staying the course because there was no turning back. Following Christ came with a stigma that seemed to spark shame at the mention to others, hushed tongue…I am a Christian. Realizing so many had brought shame to the the true word of God, Christ; their misinterpretation would not be my shame, I would sing the praises of what being a follower of Christ truly represents.
What He was telling me taught me about faith, hope, patience, trust and love. In all of this was whimsy. Life seemed to have a bit more spontaneity and I found a new appreciation for people, community, and the richness we offered each other as a collective. Above all else he showed me that had I stayed my course I would have found more pain than happiness, more destruction than what we were building as a family, and the semblance of myself would be far from recognizable.
As a follower of Christ, walking with God has been the most rewarding and challenging transformation to my life and that of my family. With every change comes the exit, or death, of the former self.Â I wouldn’t change my choices for the world and am ever grateful for the summer evening on my brothers balcony.
The Good Christian
I attend church each Saturday evening. I ingratiate myself each morning in His word. I pray regularly and even keep a prayer journal. Tithing? Done, at my 10%. I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior and he died for my sins and for that belief I have sought salvation.
For some, this basic attestation would be the epitome of a good Christian. Believing in His word, carrying on in our godliness, acting upon some righteousness. But truth be told this is just bullshit. Being a good Christian and acting like a good Christian are two entirely different state of affairs.
For the last 18 months I have found a great deal of insight into the truth of Christianity. At the forefront and the most humbling of qualities for a true, “good” Christian is the admittance that we are broken. Our core of humanity is our faults, our errs, our inability for perfection and that we are truly sinners. I have watched so many glorify their existence as a follower of Christ only to contradict their very faith and being. Going to church, believing, praying, tithing are not the only determinants for “good” Christian values.
As I bounced between loving and understanding Jewish faith, Islamic faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and even Agnosticism, the experiences brought me an insurmountable amount of respect and love for people, no matter their faith. The acceptance and understanding we are one. This path of enlightenment and higher learning led me back to Him. While my beliefs did not mean I was not worthy, nor did they deem me ineligible for salvation, but they were a road map to what Christians should represent, we are all human beings. Being one with each other. Review the historical lineage to understand that each of us has been given a divine plan in our depreciation:
Christ was born unto a teenage girl (teen mom, nothing lavish or righteous here. Divine plan) and was poor; the family was not wealthy monetarily nor was he extravagant or boasting. If we date back farther into Christ’s past we see Rahab. Rahab who was a prostitute, while she played an intricate role with Joshua in the battle of Jericho (Again, nothing lavish, nothing to brag about. Divine plan), ultimately she was a sinner, broken, and imperfect. Her imperfection is within the lineage of Christ.
So I struggle with “Christians” who bark about living a godly life and attest that we should all be “good” by their standards, detesting others for their imperfection; when really the only standards we should be living to are in some sense biblical. Let me clarify that when I say we live to biblical standards, we are not literally living to the exact verbiage, with some exception. In my path of learning I have found a great deal of interpretation with the Bible. If we lived to biblical terms we would be burning and offering our children, sheep, to the Lord and living much more humbly if we were literal. Living by the ten commandments however should be literal, they are basic and set an amazing foundation.
I found that at the core, of any belief, we are to love and respect our God. The Father of life, he has given us wonderful blessings and abilities, magical, supernatural and sometimes indescribable moments of beauty. Through the horrors and pain is the simple beauty of hope. Hope is the magical essence of all humanity. To the end we always have hope. Good Christians should represent hope. Jesus had a whole lot of love and hope for people. He had hope for the Pharisees, the Philistines, the tax collectors, the Romans. His hope was his goodness and love for all man, which led to his priceless sacrifice.
Sacrifice, or denying oneself should be a “good” Christian trait that many do not posses. Recently I attended a 24/7 prayer event with my church. Truly moving. I was not certain what to expect other than I enrolled for two hours of prayer, one hour on two separate days; happily denying myself two hours in the week.Â During this time I wanted to become better at my prayer to honor my Father, to have a stronger bond and deepen my faith. My first day for my first hour was the most powerful. I was to pray for those who have wronged me in my life.
I was also to make a list.
I sat back and thought long and hard of who I was to put on the list. Surprisingly my list was shorter than expected, maybe a handful of people. So I began to pray for them. I prayed for myself in this prayer as well to ask for my forgiveness that had I hand in the maltreatment I would be granted forgiveness and wisdom. Tears burned through my eyes, my jaw clenched as I tried to fight back the tears and I felt a tremendous weight upon my chest. In my quiet I wailed, I exposed my heart and my pain and the brokenness of all of us. My hour brought such understanding to how we as people as a whole should love one another, to accept one another with our faults, our pain, our hurt.
“Getting good with people means getting good with God” (Cal Jernigan). Something truly powerful exists in the acceptance of all people, we don’t have to understand them and in most cases we won’t; but basic acceptance and love for people in their brokenness can bring about peace. Albeit an inner peace, maybe a small step towards peace at large, and above all hope.
Moreover my sacrifice to deny myself was an acknowledgment that this was NOT about me, life is not about me. Life is about loving God and doing his will. I think Christians lose sight of this fact, they become so engrossed that it is about them and what they are doing, how they will be rewarded. They lose perspective that their movement is about what God is doing through you and with you that should be the focus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableâ€”if anything is excellent or praiseworthyâ€”think about such things. (Phil 4:8)
God is not hellfire and brimstone, God is a father, a disciplinarian, a lover, a teacher, guiding us in equality, righteousness and love.
Being a good Christian is truly a holistic action. We are broken, always broken, always sinners. By taking that first step to admit this fact and then following in behind the word of God we can work towards our salvation. By loving all people we can make strides towards being a good Christian. Making sacrifices by denying ourselves for the Kingdom is a true Christian. Acts of kindness, love, selflessness, never abasing others or boasting of our works.
Admittedly I am not a good Christian to the societal standards. I am broken, a sinner. I live a humble life. I am benevolent to the point where my philanthropic heart is richer than my coin purse. I do not pretend to be perfect or righteous and I pray each day for guidance and wisdom. I pray one day that the stigma of being a Christian is eliminated from our world. One day may we end acting like good Christians and starting being Christian, being like Christ, denying ourselves and picking up our cross to follow him. If we could admit its okay to err, our life is okay to be in need of spiritual growth and healing despite “finding God” only in our desperation. If we could admit that its okay to be who we are, no matter our color, race, creed, religion, beliefs, without retribution or vengeance that maybe we all could embrace a bit of the ideal of a true good Christian, a fundamental basis of God and all people in the state of human being.