Sunday, December 25, 2011
my walk, and the reasons of my heart
as water passes over the stones smoothng away the rough edges, so does the trials of this life wash over us, smoothing the edges, changing us into the smooth diamond we are meant to be.
Following are some status posts a few friends of mine made today on facebook: (After these I will explain why I included them here..
"Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world."- Calvin Coolidge,was the 30th President of the United States.
Lynne Tyner Melby
There's a time for crying and mourning what's been lost. But today is not that day. This is a day to celebrate what's been found. As the angel told the shepherds on the day that Jesus was born:
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).
Happy birthday to a radical, nonviolent, anti-death penalty, anti-public prayer, never anti-gay, non-English-speaking, long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless, socialist, middle-eastern Jew. Merry Christmas, everybody!!
Pastor Mark Leonard
Jesus did not stay a baby!
Jesus did not come to show us the Way, He is The Way!
Jesus did not come to show us the Truth, He is The Truth!
Jesus did not come to show us the Life, He is The Life!
Jesus is the Greatest Gift! Merry Christmas my friend Something Good Is Going To Happen!!!
Taina Like China
Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ - the Son of the Father - will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.--2 John 1:3
This morning I posted the following status:
"Good Christmas morning all-for those who believe--as a part of the family we celebrate Christ's birth. We sing to the King our praise and thanks for the gift, the greatest gift of His birth. The reason that He came as a child of lowly birth, for us the common sinner. We celebrate, and we remember. May this day be a day of joy, of peace, of good will. May you see in those around you the remembrance of the reason of and for the season. May you each and all in all things be blessed."
and was called on it:
"And merry Christmas to all those who don't believe because its a special time for a lot of families during kwanza, Hanukah, and people who just have a holiday to spend with family. Right? Especially since Jesus was born in May, and the Romans used the winter solstice for the holiday to get the Pagans to buy in who had been celebrating the 21st to the 25th for a thousand years or more, and the Jews who had been celebrating this time as well.
I think that all people not just Christians deserve the love today don't you?"
to which I responded:
"...you are correct in that my post sounds exclusive and I apologize as I did not mean for it to be. My only excuse-- which is no excuse-- was that I ended it quickly for a phone call. So may I amend it now, may this day be one of joy, peace and good will to all for all. May you find multiple reasons for joy, song and love. May you day be one of color, song and great wonders of peace, mercy and love. May this day and all days to come be blessed. for one and all--"
I am deliberately leaving out the name of the one who questioned my status because it isn't important.
It was the following response that has me writing this:
"Rebecca, you're an angel, always will be to me. I just thought you may be blatantly Christian."
My dictionary, Webster's New World College Dictionary- fourth edition (yeah, a real hardbacked book)- defines blatant this way: adj.coined by Edmund Spenser,1. disagreeably loud or boisterous; clamorous 2. glaringly conspicuous or obtrusive .
No, I am in no way trying to pick an argument with the one who made the comments above. I am simply going to make an attempt to explain where I stand and how I feel. Why I say the things I say, things that are from a heart healed, a life of sins forgiven, a life where my hope is placed solely in the hands of my Lord and Savior.
I remember when I was growing up and would be allowed to accompany my mother and grandmother on the Saturday shopping trips 'downtown' there was almost always a street preacher on the corner holding up a Bible and shouting about how you had to be ready, you had to be saved. I remember being a bit curious as well as a bit nervous the first time I witnessed this. I had never seen anyone carrying on so before. He isn't there now of course, that was forty some years ago. No one does that around here any more. Not that I've heard anyway.
As youth, I went to a revival where the visiting preacher was talking about hell. He was very descriptive in his explanation, how it was real and how it was not going to be some wild never-ending party. It is a never ending time of darkness, pain and torment. It is a place that was created for the demons, not God's children. God does not want any of His creation to go to hell, it is those who use their free will to turn away from and deny God that send themselves to hell.
The term-Christian- means 'Christ like', or more specific, 'little christ'. Followers, believers, those in a relationship with Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior are to be like Him. Christ, in His time here judged no one. He was here to be the Living Word of God. He walked the dusty roads, He taught the Word, He taught in parables in a way that the people of the time would understand. He healed the sin, the lame, those shunned from society due to leprosy. With a word or a touch He gave sight, strength in limbs weak and unusable. With a few fish and loaves of bread He fed thousands with food left over. As a youth when Mary and Joseph found Him at the temple deep in discussion with religious leaders He told them plainly He was about His Father's business. He forgave those whom others would stone, spoke with those that Jews in that day would go out of their way to avoid. He ate with sinners and tax collectors and allowed a woman with a bad reputation to wash His feet with her tears and dry them with her hair all as the pious men around whispered.
During His time here, He was a teacher, a prophet, a healer, one who drove out demons all as He taught the disciples what they would need to know. He was innocent and without sin, and He willingly went to the cross a lamb, a holy lamb to slaughter, a sacrifice for ALL mankind. That we would have salvation.
He was born of lowly birth, the angles announced His birth first to the shepherds nearby. He was placed in a manger from which the animals fed, wrapped in swaddling clothes. He came for the every day man, He came as servant, a suffering Savior. For the shepherds, for the tax collectors, for the every day person man or woman, Jew or Gentile, for those who were humble, who sought truth.
Christ Jesus did not judge, He cast no stones, demanded no punishments for sins. He came to love, to show, be, the Way.
Jesus went to the cross, He could have called a legion of angels down to His side, but He did not. He died and was buried in a borrowed tomb. He had no earthly home, no money in a bag tucked to His side. In material things one would say He was poor, but He sought no material things, He had taught, lay up your treasures in Heaven, for where your treasures are, there so is your heart. Three days later, He arose. Why three days? Because the people of the time thought that the soul lingered and could reenter the body up to three days. After the third day it was impossible. On the third day Christ left the tomb and showed Himself to multitudes of people in various places. He spoke with His disciples, one of the last things He told them was to go and tell, go and share the Gospel.
I am not a preacher. I am not a Sunday School or Bible study teacher. I cannot (even though I should be able to, I can't) quote scripture verses. I am also not much of a public speaker. I can start talking and one of two things happens, I feel like I'm babbling, or I get the impression that other people think I'm babbling which does in turn cause me to babble. So, rather that verbally share, I try and share my faith by my writings and my life. A life where I try and immolate my Lord in my actions.
I speak kindly to others as I would like to for others to speak to me. While I am not perfect, I try to not lose my temper, allow frustrations to guide my steps tripping me up, or vulgar words to escape my lips. For what passes off your tongue and through your lips is what resides in your heart. I do not want a heart of anger. One's actions and words do effect those around, those that hear or see. You can spread light or darkness, I choose light.
I do not judge those that live a lifestyle called 'alternative' at one time. Because I may perceive it as wrong, gives me no right to judge the person. I do not condemn. If I see one that lives in a life trapped in substance abuse, or the abuse of their body and life in any form- it is not my place to judge. It is my place to try and discuss alternatives, to share my faith in a way that is not disagreeable. One gets further, but kindness, compassion, gentleness than one would by condemnation and hatred.
In this world there are many religions, many different beliefs. I have chosen the belief where I walk with a living Savior. No other faith can say that. I have chosen to walk in a relationship with my Lord, walking with Him daily, listening for His directions through the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I walk in a Spirit of love. Speak gently, live a life of compassion for you know not the troubles and trials of those who you meet along the way.
Christians are not promised a life of ease and comfort when they decide to walk with Him. In fact we are warned of just the opposite. We will endure pain, suffering, storms. We will be forged in the fires of troubles. I have endured storms along the way. As a teen I felt that I nearly drowned. Maybe it wasn't that close, but I felt at the time it was. As a young adult about 20-21 years old, I was electrocuted. Around 24/25 years old I was in a very abusive relationship. Four years ago in Feb. I began a cancer battle. My trials are minor compared to some. Each of these storms I had no idea at the time why I was having to suffer through these things. Now I understand that they teach me understanding, compassion, empathy for those who are walking roads similar to what I did. I can talk with them in near full understanding.
We do not know the storms that others are dealing with. We only know the peace and comfort that we have inside. I know the comfort I have in the knowledge of where my treasures lie. I write what I do, I say and act as I do because it is my hope to share the peace within my heart, the hope, the belief. It is also my desire that when my time comes and this life is done, that I will hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
I will judge no one, it is not my place.
I will condemn no one, it is not my place.
I will show no intolerance, simply for race, religion or lifestyle
I will show and share the love for my Lord my God and the love for my neighbor as I was told. Through my words, my writing, my actions. If that is blatant- so be it.
We all have our beliefs and way of expressing those beliefs. We have our own ways of sharing-whether we use our words, or share the words of others. At times our expressions may seem exclusive, condeming, judgemental even when it was not intended. Patience, tolerence and understanding needs to come from all directions and hearts.
Agree or disagree with me, it is your choice. I am not going to argue my beliefs or reasoning. If you have comments that can be made in a respectful way I will read and discuss. If you are a hater just wanting to stir up hatred, controversy and drama your comments will be removed.