Conviction

It never fails that when I hear a sermon Sunday morning that convicts me spiritually, I am tested HARDCORE on the subject. is it just me?

Maybe I dont want the eyes of my heart opened!! 🙈


Sweet baby Jesus, can you please just let whoever I come in contact with be spiritually enlightened instantaneously with the same conviction? 🙌🏼

#gobeforeme #specificprayer

Stumbled Upon

Sweet friend, I don’t know where you are as you read these words. I don’t know the circumstances of your life. I don’t know the dream God has given you. Maybe you don’t either… yet.
But I do know you’re reading this post for a reason… to be reminded that God has a plan for you. A dream you can’t even imagine, an assignment you can’t figure out and wouldn’t even dare to consider as being for you.
I pray that you will find great hope in these words today that God really can use any woman who surrenders her inadequacies and circumstances to Him.

Rise Above 

The last few months have been emotionally charged for me on a humanitarian level. Ive struggled spiritually to find my way. 

The Supreme Court ruling on healthcare and same-sex marriage. The shooting in Charleston in a place of refuge. The Confederate flag debate. 

These things have drawn much attention to the adversarial charged nature of our society. It’s been disheartening to say the very least. 

I recently attended a church service at a church I had never been before. The pastor played a video of a group of random humans upon a beach. You could see different races, assume different socio-economical backgrounds. Their only commonality was that were all at this beach at the same time. As the tide rolled in, dolphins became beached. The people watched as maybe a dozen of them began to struggle to breathe, unable to swim away from their ill-fated predicament. In an instant, they all took action. They worked together, complete strangers, to help the animals  return to the ocean, to live. 

The pastor then pointed it out that it seems that when we remove our beliefs, whether religious, political, etc. that most of us know “the right thing to do”. It comes naturally. It rises up from the most genuine, beautiful and important part of us. We don’t consider our political party’s stance on the environment. We don’t wonder  what sins the creatures of the sea may be guilty of, what the Bible might say about it, if they are worthy of our compassion. 

And he’s right. 

In obsessing over who and what are right or wrong we have lost sight of what really matters …our purpose, to love one another. Maybe the answer is that we look at one another as wounded animals instead of humans. It seem preposterous. Surely our fellow humans should warrant more love and compassion. Our capacity to process deeper meaning and thoughts should increase our understanding, not hinder it. 

It’s time to evolve to higher intelligence and expand our capacity for love. 

It’s time to rise above this surface level  state of distraction and get to the heart of the matter. 

  

Im no longer a Christian 

I’ve just figured out my spiritual debacle. I am not a Christian. 

I am a disciple of Christ. 

Putting everything else aside, taking no cues from anyone around me and striving to get this one thing right:

“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

Open letter from my husband 

If you know my wife you know that she is very caring. The kind of friend a friend would want to have. She does everything she can for the people she loves even when she is struggling and thats one of the many reasons I married her. 

Im a simple man and usually have few words on social media but in the last 24 hours Ive watched my wounderful wife be truly broken up and I need to say something. 

My wife got pregnant before she was married. According to the Bible that’s a sin. Even though she did everything in her power to make her 1st marriage to a abusive alcoholic work she got divorced. Again the Bible says this is a sin. She married me -TECHNICALLY adultery in the Bible, another sin. A broken commandment. Right up there with murder and taking the Lords name in vain. 

Even so we were allowed to get married, I adopted the kids, we get to be a family, we get tax breaks for all of this, I can provide insurance for my family, I am able to hold her hand in the hospital and we can legaly make decisions for each other and our kids if we need to. We attend church. These are our rights despite our sin. She said all this to me today. Then she asked if we were undeserving of our rights. She asked if she was less deserving, if I was less deserving, if our kids were less deserving of these rights. Then she asked if we were deserving of Gods grace and love. 

My wife has taught me more about Gods grace and love then I ever learned from church. She acts in love even when its uncomfortble Because of her faith and I think thats exactly what a christian should be. 

Maybe our other actions make us sinners according to the Bible but I dont believe that they make us or our kids less deserving of freedoms, rights, privleges, love or grace from the government, society or the church. 

So when I see her reading things from “the church” and “christians” discussing how sad it is or against Gods word it is when rights are extended to gays because of sin and how christians SHOULD feel and think about it with tears in her eyes, when I see how it effects her hope and crushes her faith, I wounder if its really the message of Gods will.

If youre saying that gays should not have these same rights because homosexuality is against Gods word, then you’re saying the me and my own family do not deserve our rights. I have to ask if this is the message you really want to convey because if it is I think everybody is gonna need to take a minute to look in the mirror and at friends family and congregatons to realize how many of us have or are acting against Gods will and commandments. 

What do we all deserve? 

Let those without sin throw the first stone.

stream of consciousness: unlock the mind

You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen — it becomes distorted, and it’s been diminished. The writing you end up with is an approximation, if you’re lucky, of whatever it was you really wanted to say.

– Author Khaled Hosseini, “How to Write,” the Atlantic

i have been thinking a lot about this quote. it is such a truthful statement. i can’t tell you how many times i have sat down with an idea and felt like i am getting no where in expressing what it is i am truly trying to convey despite continuing to write about it. in realizing i am not alone in this struggle, i started laughing to myself about how naive we really are. we like to think we know a lot. our senses deceive us to believe that because we can see, hear, smell, feel and even taste things that we can understand. but there is really so much that we don’t know. especially when it comes to people. we trick ourselves into believing we understand situations, conversation and people but all we know is really what we want to know of what has been shared with us. we have no idea of the experiences that go into someone’s thoughts, feelings and decisions. there is a great chasm between what we think we know and reality. there is so much held beyond our reach, even in complete honesty. we can only hold our truth. but when i think of what could be accomplished just in acknowledging our own ignorance, it breaks my heart a little. i know that pride will keep us from true understanding. i know no one likes to admit that they are wrong and the more i think about this i realize that we are probably wrong more than we would ever care to admit. we can only have our ideas.  we can only examine what is given to us. but I think true understanding, enlightenment, is a worthy cause to attempt to unlock the mind, to stretch and expand our horizons. after all, what else in life is more worthy of such an effort?

The Work

Im currently reading ‘How To Be Sick:A Buddhist-Inspired Guide For the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers“. It teaches various Buddhist practices in application to the trials faced by those, like myself, who are chronically ill. As you might expect, there are many other practical everyday life applications that could be used by anyone. 

I just finished reading a chapter about Byron Katie and her work in encouraging us to question the validity of our thoughts and ending any suffering that may accompany them, using what she calls “The Work” or inquiry. This inquiry practice begins with us asking whether the thought is true. Then, asking whether we know absolutely that is true. Third, is to note our reaction when we believe the thought is true. Fourth, reflecting on who we’d be without the thought and finally to come up with a “turnaround”, a statement in the opposite form of the original thought. 

It struck me in reading this that there are many thoughts, illness related and otherwise, where this work would do me some good. So without further ado, I will tackle the thought that has been plaguing my heart for a good bit of time in what will likely be the start of a new blog feature called, what else?, The Work:

Thought: Im tired of being misunderstood by people who offer no benefit of the doubt or resolution especially in constrast to my continued grace and forgiveness with the same people. 

Is it true? Yes, I absolutely hate not being given the benefit of the doubt, having the good brushed under the rug and a perceived flaw focused upon without being given the chance to explain or remedy the situation. 

Is it absolutely true? YES! 

My reaction: I feel wounded, hurt, maybe even betrayed. Unimportant. 

Without the thought I guess I’d just be a person who continues to extend grace and forgiveness. 

The turnaround: I love not being given the benefit of the doubt! Now I dont need to offer an explanation. Those who really know me, dont need one and those who don’t would probably not believe me anyways. This has to do with their thoughts. I cannot control someone’s elses thoughts anymore than I can control my own. I dont have to tiptoe around on glass trying not to re-offend. I conserving time and energy. I can be myself. 

And there you have it, folks. 

All better.