They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love

Our love? Really? You mean, not by our cruelty towards those we believe to be sinners?

Huh.

So, who looks more like a Christian

Even after being targeted directly

And upon learning of his passing.

Funny, I first heard of the imminent demise of Fred Phelps from George Takei’s post. And I was touched. Honestly moved by the grace and mercy. I will humbly admit that had I heard it without his commentary, my reaction would have been far more along the lines of ‘good riddance’ and ‘hope it hurts’. Not especially Christian of me.

Even still, I think the world just became a better place for having lost that much hatred. It is hard for me to hope that God has mercy on his soul. I don’t want him to experience mercy! I want judgment! Hell-fire and brimstone! But that is my own failing and weakness talking. My lack of understanding. Only God knows a man’s heart.

As much as I hate the bracelets, when I ask ‘What Would Jesus Do?’, I believe that he’d act a lot like George Takei here. He would recognize the sin and show grace and mercy to the sinner.

We Aren’t Promised a Tomorrow

It’s all too easy to forget that all of our days are numbered, and no one bothered to tell us that number. We don’t think about it too much until there’s a ripple in your circle. I’m selfish, okay. I want my friends to have lots of days because I never want to lose any of you.

I told you; I’m selfish.

And I’ve already had more days than Amy has. She’s 32. She’s got two beautiful little girls, a 3 year old and a not yet 1 year old.

She’s also got cancer. A rare and aggressive one that’s already stage 4. Experts are being consulted and the fight is underway.

She can’t have too many prayers sent on her behalf. If you can spare some of yours, it’d be appreciated. I know, your lists are already a mile long. Mine too. So really, what’s one more?

I’ve known Amy her whole life. We’ve played in sandboxes and splashed in pools. She’s a strong woman with a good heart and a contagious smile. She’s also got big faith and knows this is all in God’s hands.

You Do Not Have To Choose Between Belief in a Creator God and Science

They are not mutually exclusive.

So there was some debate between a scientist and some young earth creationist that got the internet riled up recently. I haven’t watched it nor do I plan to. That kind of thing makes me embarrassed for everyone involved.

Choosing to believe in God seems obvious to me specifically because of the scientific wonders of the world. Yes, I believe God spoke the world into existence. I also believe He made it scientifically sound. Whether or not it was a literal six days is irrelevant because what he created was a fully evolved world requiring very specific balances of chemicals and conditions, forces and events. Just like Jesus turned water in wine in an instant; God made an old world.

I don’t buy it that it all happened by chance. Science has not nor will it ever prove or disprove God because science is in the business of the observable. It is not in the business of faith.The study of evolution is the study of the mechanics. The how the world was built. Science is no more a rejection of God than making wine is. Every time there is a scientific breakthrough, I stand in greater amazement at the world God created. A world so complex and interconnected with no continuity errors. Humans can’t even avoid that in our literature and video games. A world that continues to become more amazing as it evolves. It’s a work in progress.

The theory of evolution is far from perfect. It’s got holes. But it would be bad science to throw it out and replace it with ‘God did it’. I believe He did, but He did it scientifically. There is a lot we don’t know and can’t explain. Probably always will be. That’s no excuse to stop trying.

But I have brilliant and thoughtful friends that reject the idea of a Creator God. They too are fascinated with the complexity of the world around them. Honestly, some are far better versed in the science than I am.  Although I disagree, I respect their choices in matters of faith. Because I believe that they too are divine creations endowed with free will. God gave us a choice whether or not to believe. If we couldn’t choose not to, faith would be meaningless. And my friends respect my beliefs as well.

I would be a terrible Christian if I belittled my atheist friends for their lack of belief. Sure, I’d love for them to change their minds. I believe in an eternal paradise, and I’d love my friends to be there. But I can’t badger them into faithfulness. That would not only make me a terrible Christian but a terrible friend as well. Honestly, it would make me a terrible human being to think less of anyone for their personal faith or lack thereof.

Unfortunately, it seems the recent sensationalized debate has brought out the worst in some people on both sides. There are professed Christians lashing out at atheist and atheists taking cheap shots at Christians. It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. At least no one is mounting a crusade or throwing anyone to the lions. It’s just sharp words and hurt feelings.

And it’s not everyone. Just a few blowhards that can’t see beyond their own pain and bigotry. In fact, if you’re reading this, chances are high that none of that applies to you.

Now, can we get back to badgering and belittling the people that really deserve it? You know, like progressives and people who don’t like bacon? ;)

In Case of Emergency, Talk to God

A few weeks ago, a friend posted about some former pastor that has decided to live as if there is no God for a year. He’s chronicling it here. I initially blew it off as some publicity stunt. Hey! Look at me! I’m radical with an attention grabbing headline and everything. But it kept cropping up in the back of my mind, so I read more.

He makes the point that many people that call themselves Christians live their day to day lives no differently than the atheists. Sure, we visit church and go through the motions. We even promise to pray for the sick and the hurting. Some actually do. But are we really living as though we believe and all-powerful, all-knowing deity is with us every step? Do we turn to Him with real expectation that He hears us? That He will intervene? Or when He doesn’t, do we really, deep down, trust that He knows best?

Ryan Bell’s journey pushed me to take a hard look into my own life, and to be honest, I didn’t like what I found. Challenging even. When was the last time I picked up my Bible for study or devotion? I don’t know. I pray with my son before bed every night, but when was the last time I took a quiet moment to talk to God myself? I don’t know. I got busy. I stuck God back with my canned goods in case of emergency. I’ll use that when things are really desperate.

That’s not the kind of Christian I ever set out to be. I know God is bigger and better than that. I’ve seen Him do amazing things in my life and for those I love. I’ve never lived as though there was no God, but I haven’t always walked as though He is right beside me either. So I made a point of changing that. A point to stop and listen for God’s voice. And sure enough, He’s calling. Calling me to do something. What that is, I’m not sure. I’ve got a hunch, but it’s going to take a miracle.

I am and always will be a work in progress. I will stumble and I fall and even fail. God will be with me through it all. He will pick me up and dust me off, but He really wants to see me succeed like any good father would.

Is it Arapal? Lord, if that’s where you’re calling me to go, it’s in Your hands. You know my fears and hesitations.You know all the reasons and excuses why I can’t. But I’ve got a flashlight or two, and I’m not afraid to read in the dark. Lead me, still waters or no.

New Pigeon Toilet Proposed

Worshipers of soft, shiny fabric have proposed a new monument to be placed on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol. Slick sheets are nice and all, but I can’t imagine worshiping them. To each their own, I suppose. I’m an Egyptian Cotton girl, myself.

And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the embodiment of satin looks like this.

pigeontoilet

Oh! You meant Satan! As in Lucifer, the father of lies! And here I was wondering why you had a temple of not quite silk.

“The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond,” temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement. “The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”-via NewsOK

And tacky selfies. You know it would happen.

I wonder if Lucien is just dyslexic.

funny-Devil-reading-letter-Santa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bet he was really confused when his parents took him to the mall at Christmas time. He was all ready for the sulfur and damnation. Although, there is a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth around the fat man in the red suit, so I guess it wasn’t that far off.

 Similar requests for monuments have been made by a Hindu leader in Nevada, an animal rights group and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. -NewsOK

Eventually, the Capitol grounds are just going to be littered with monuments. Our pigeons will be so confused. So much selection and variety. Why, they might even run out of time to patrol the car wash.

Personally, I think it’s ugly. If it gets approved (which I doubt), it’ll be a real eye-sore, but it’s not going to cause me any crisis of faith. At least they aren’t asking me to pay for it. As a Christian, I already know who wins that war. Seems silly to build a monument to the loser.

God didn’t call us to build monuments, He called us to feed His sheep. The Ten Commandments monument that is already there is neither sacred nor deserving of any special reverence. It’s a thing. His word is written on our hearts. Only you can let Satan in there.

“Miracles are a shadow of what’s to come, miracles are a temporary fix.”

I. am. moved.

How many times have I wrestled with hopelessness praying for a miracle? Praying for healing or deliverance or…

Just watch

Found via Matt Walsh

How very short-sighted of me. I worship a God that has promised eternal life free from pain and suffering. Free from worry. An eternal kingdom where miracles look like mere parlor tricks.

Miracles are a shadow of what’s to come, miracles are a temporary fix.

This is the most profound statement regarding the promise of the Gospel that I’ve heard in a long time.

I’ve prayed for a lot of miracles, and I’m sure I will pray for many more. I’ve seen miracles with my own eyes. But I hadn’t really thought about it that way. A shadow of what’s to come.

I stand amazed.

I suppose when faced so directly with ones own mortality, the fleeting nature of life is a bit more in focus. Funny that, since we have no promise of tomorrow. None of us do.

Abby is beyond miracles. Her fix is permanent. The promise is fulfilled.

 

Loaves and Fishes

I woke up the morning of Sunday the 22nd with a feeling of inexplicable peace. Inexplicable because I had gone to bed worried and stressed. But God said, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

But

Shh

But

Shh

Okay

So I made plans. And they fell through. So I tried something else. And it failed.

So I waited. I just knew exactly how God was going to make it work. An unexpected check would arrive. Surprise windfall.

Nope. His ways are not my ways. His thoughts are not my thoughts.

Checked our bank account every day. No change. Well, more correctly, just change. Checked the mail, no surprise windfall.

But no bills either. None. I was a little worried when the envelope came from the credit union. It contained the receipt from my mom making my loan payment. A note on the back saying just because we love you. (Thanks Mom!) And each night, we had food. Plenty of food. Leftovers, even. Just enough fuel in the gas tank for the week.

One week. Sixty eight cents in the bank account. And it was enough.

Loaves and fishes.

Sometimes I need the reminder.

 

So, Here We Go

We’ll just start with the graphic

I stand with Erin Palette banner

Today is a big day for my friend, Erin. Follow that link because it answers most of the questions.

It’s funny, she actually told Michael before she told me. And then she let Michael tell me. My initial reaction, “That explains a lot.”

Then I proceeded to message with Erin on Facebook and tell her how much I appreciated her trusting me with her big secret and how honored I was that she’d be so vulnerable with me. Since then, we’ve had conversations about whether or not it was time to tell the world. My answer has always been the same, “You have to do what is right for Erin. I will support whatever decision you make.”

You see, Erin has always just been Erin. Since I am in a happy, committed, monogamous relationship, her fiddly bits or who she’d like to share them with are none of my business nor concern. She had already proven herself to be a good friend to me and the rest of the gun-blogging community. Something she has just done again in support of Bonnie (click that link too). I judged her on the content of her character and found it good.

I’ve learned a lot about her struggle that I never would have realized had she not been so willing to be so frank with me and had the patience to explain when I have blundered into an offensive landmine. My eyes are opened to a world I never saw prior to knowing her.

Brigid, as usual, said it beautifully

What if just for a day, you were judged solely on what you’ve read, what you’ve learned the hard way, what you are, what drives and inspires. What if you were valued for your innate abilities to survive and prosper through that day without birthright; handling yourself and your actions without apology, but simply by the human vanity of your own strengths and the grace of He who loves us as we are.

If that day came, who would the world see?

You see, I have the advantage of looking like my image of myself. It’s me looking back from the mirror. When you see me, it’s me. Sure, it’s not everything. I’m sure you see the confident woman I am always striving to be. You see the brown eyes, the olive skin, the dark hair. The same olive skin and dark eyes that meant my elementary school best friend wasn’t allowed to come to my house because I was one of ‘those people’ to her mother. Her mother couldn’t see me. You all saw Erin long before you ever saw her face, and Erin is beautiful.  I am proud to stand by her side and call her my friend.