Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Give Us A Try!

   I apologize on behalf of ALL the churches who have gotten it wrong.  Who have forgotten the purpose for which what we were designed, for all the ways we have pushed away all the people whom we should have been pulling in.  For all the ways we've been insular in how we have catered to each other (church people).  Forgive us for, in some cases, being down right mean and self-righteous.  Please forgive us for doing too much as we've added a whole bunch of "extraness" on top of what it takes to follow Jesus.
   If I am ridiculed by my fellow Christian brothers and sisters for being relevant and touchable so that I might win some, oh well.  May the love I give and grace I extend to all those who have been turned off by the church, show that it's PEOPLE who have gotten it wrong not the institution that is the church.  Jesus never intended for us to add all the "stuff" that we have on top of what it takes to have a relationship with him.  He never wanted us to make it difficult for those who want to follow him.  God's plan is simple (but not necessarily easy):  He wants us to Love him, and love each other.  
   So, if you never went to church, or stopped going, don't give up. Give us a try. Just find a church that is welcoming to ALL people.  Where the only agenda is to love you unconditionally and  to share the truths of God's word in culturally relevant way that makes going to church irresistible.

Monday, April 18, 2016

An Imperfect Christian

   Since I became a follower of Christ I have not been perfect.  I have talked about someone behind their back, I have been jealous, I have struggled with pride, I have lied...(just to name a few sins).  Yet, Jesus never gave up on me and I never stopped trying to be more like Him, and he continues to love me.  Just because you didn't know my struggles doesn't mean they don't exist. I hope you won't throw me away for sharing this...and please let's not mistreat those whose struggles are more obvious than mine.  I've had these struggles AS a Christ follower.  So why are our expectations so warped towards those who are not (Christ followers)?  They should be treated with the same amount of grace that you might extend to me.  Everyone has issues (yes, Bishops and even the Pope), whether you're a Christian or not. 

  Let's make ourselves approachable in such a way as not to come across as some sort of super saint (like we're better than those with struggles).  Let's run toward the messes not away from them.  I love Jesus with all my heart and just as I am forgiven, I'm determined to extend grace and show love to others.  #graceforall

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Celebrate The Good

    The positive things in our life can often be so mired in the miasma of our world that we forget to celebrate the good.  
   We sometimes look at other people, who seemingly have it all together, and long for the life they have.  There is no one on the planet with "the perfect life."  But I've watched people who are dealing with the most treacherous issues navigate their life with uplifting and encouraging resolve.  I want to be one of those people. 
   We all have so many things in our lives to celebrate and be thankful for.  But we must be more vigilantly conscious of them.  Sharing a fun moment with a loved one, enjoying our favorite ice cream, listening to our favorite song...these are just some examples of simple things that we often don't stop to relish.  No matter how hard life may get we have to remember to build in some exhale moments.  What simple things make you smile?  Find a way to have more of that in your life.  Hang in there, and celebrate the good.  There are better days ahead.