I must still be classified as a “dummy” because even though I have tried to learn the language I just don’t speak no “Christianese.” It is just not a language I am even interested in learning. I keep getting pop quizzes from people who speak it fluently though. We all know the type. They can quote the bible at a drop of a hat and live a totally different life. They have their pointer ready to aim at those that don’t live this “perfect” life that they don’t live themselves. They hide behind scriptures so that no one will learn who they truly are. God knows and he is the only person that really counts. They use the bible like a bullet in an automatic rifle ready to aim at anyone who doesn’t meet their every “Sunday churchgoing” stereotype. They totally miss the messages in the sermons because they are always focused on the “words.” I often think of how many people get turned off by the church because of these people who speak “Christianese.” Churches are filled with sinners and think about how many people you could really touch if you just speak the local language of “transparency.” There is nothing cooler than that and it is a universal language that everyone can enjoy. God is more impressed with actions than regurgitation.
The holidays can be tough for people and I thought it would be the same for me this year. As the year starts to come to a close many people will often reflect on all the things that happened the other 11 months of the year. I thought I was going to fall victim of this but I didn’t. Today I feel merry. I thanked GOD 25 times straight. I have another day to make things right. I asked for a miracle and GOD gave it to me even when I fell way short. When I say short I mean below an ant’s height with their legs cut off. That still may be too tall. I learned about forgiveness. I forgave and I forgot and this includes myself. I learned to give in a different way this year….to me. Beating myself up means no one wins and I am a winner and you can be one too.
Being a giver it feels good for once to not worry about someone else and how they might feel. There is nothing in the bible that talks about “feelings” that I have read so why be concerned with it? There used to be a time I would have beat the streets to buy thoughtful gifts for people with my hard-earned money to barely get a thank you and a pair of socks or a grocery store gift card in return out of “obligation.” Christmas is not even about all of that. This year I give thanks for all that I have right now in this moment. Merry Christmas!
Many times I have caught myself on the verge of complaining or after having my own “Complaint Fest” and then I realized that I have way more on my list to be thankful for. Here are some of the things that have made my list this year:
1. 5 years clean from Facebook addiction.
2. Elastic waist, spandex, and anything that stretches after a good meal.
3. Turkey that is not dry as a bone.
4. Vegetables that are not made with ham.
5. “A Christmas Story” that plays over and over and over again on TV.
6. Spending quality time with people who love you no matter what.
7. Failures. I have learned that being good at too many things can make you not appreciate the “falling and seeing how well you can get back up” moments.
8. Loses. In order to make room for other things then you have to lose stuff.
9. My relationship with God.
10. Surviving the temptation to resurrect the “old” me.
11. Friendships that are not from the dollar store. (People who only give you what they have left after they think about themselves).
12. Black Friday deals that start on Thursday and in the comfort of your laptop.
13. Tears. (It is the best detox out there).
14. Laughter. (It is needed to work off the extra carbs that I ate today).
15. Accepting that you are always a work in progress, a half-finished project in the works, and that you will never be perfect.
16. Relying on God. He will remove everything out of your life and I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G until he drives that point home. Not that I know anything about that…Just kidding…
17. Last but not least…Cool Christians…The ones that are real and not judgmental. The ones who speak English and not “Christianese.” The ones who walk the walk (and not on water). There is nothing cooler than that. :-)
Some of us carry way too much baggage. For example: bad relationships, one-sided friendships, broken hearts, disappointments, hurt, pain, mistrust, lack of love, etc. What if we were charged a fee for each of the emotional baggage that we carried? We probably would probably let things go a little easier, huh? A 2.5 million dollar baggage fee for that $99.00 round trip special to Hawaii doesn’t sound like such a great deal anymore does it? Sometimes we just have to let go and let GOD handle it. He doesn’t charge a fee and sometimes he will upgrade our flight to first class if we let him. Why ride coach with a bunch of bags if you don’t have to?! All we need is one carry on and I mean “Carry ON.”
If you are attractive….
then people think that you aren’t smart
If you are attractive and smart….
then people think that you have bad credit
If you are attractive, and smart with good credit….
then people think that you can’t possibly have a good personality
If you are attractive, smart, have good credit, with a personality….
then people question rather something is wrong with you
If you think you are attractive, smart, have good credit and a personality….
then people think that you think that you are all of that
If you are quiet….
then people think you don’t have anything to say
If you say what is on your mind….
then people think that you are outspoken and you don’t know anything
If you talk about what you know….
then people think that you know EVERYTHING
If you tell someone what you do….
then people think you should do it for them for free
If you dress like a bum….
then people think that you have no taste
If you like nice things….
then people think you are materialistic
If you say you are spiritual….
then people think you should go to church….
then they think you should go to their church or follow their religion
If you go to church and say you are a Christian….
then people expect you to be perfect
If you turn out not to be perfect….
then they think you are not a “real” Christian after all
If you own too much….
then people think you should give
If you give….
then you don’t give enough or you give too much or better yet
people think that you should give it all
If you are alone….
then people think that you are lonely
If you are lonely….
then people think that you want them
If you don’t want them….
then people think that you don’t know what you want
If you try….
then people think that you don’t try hard enough
If you try too hard….
then you are ambitious
If you are too ambitious….
then people start to make you feel bad for wanting more
So the next time you want to concern yourself with what someone thinks…
What God thinks is ultimately the only thing that matters. :-)
I firmly believe God has a sense of humor. I am living proof of it. He might as well have named me “Joke.” I am horrible at making lists. I go to the grocery store hungry. I go in for a sub sandwich and I end up with 5 loaves of bread, 10 pounds of seafood, and 20 of those 100 calories snacks. I am going to eat 300 calories worth in one sitting because they are so small. Don’t judge. :-)I have been told to be specific in my prayers and for some reason I always seem to miss one very important detail in all of them. I cannot get mad because I get what I asked for. Sometimes I get a lesson in being “greedy” or “shortcuts.” I want my prayers to be retroactive. If I pray to lose weight I want 20 pounds to be gone as of a year ago. I don’t want to have to get a tooth pulled TODAY to lose 10 pounds because I was not “specific” enough. I have learned the hard way that God is not a genie in a bottle and if you want him to answer your prayers then you have to be specific, pass all of the exams and pop quizzes, and trust him….ALWAYS.
I know God gives us all gifts but sometimes I wish he had a return policy. I have the gift of giving and thank God that discernment comes with it in a boxed set. Sometimes I want to give that gift back and I do not care if it comes with a free miniature size version of it with a 19.99 value attached. People who give will often attract “takers” and with it will be emotional vampires, users, and people that do not realize that being kind is not the algebraic equation for weak. I have counted how many times I have said,” I would be selfish and not think about anyone but myself.” The number is now at 1.5 million times. I can’t help myself. I want to save people and I have often almost drowned doing so. This is when that “boxed set” has come in handy. Discernment allows me to watch people drown because God is trying to teach them something. It shows me that every cause and sob story that I hear doesn’t need my support. I am not an ATM machine for unlimited withdrawals without a fee. I am a person who requires deposits and an occasional life vest. I am not an Encyclopedia Brown set (yes, that was a throwback) or your cheering session all of the time. Appreciate people who give because the world is abundant with people who only want to “unwrap” gifts.
Being a Christian does not make your perfect. I am only Handling Unusual Mistakes Awfully Natural. That is what other people might observe but it may not be that natural. I have so many flaws that my flaws have their own section of flaws. I am cool with it too. I always wanted my flaws to be departmentalized. I am extremely proud that my type A personality became a good solid B. I like for people to think highly of me but don’t put high expectations on me. I do not like that. You tell someone that you are Christian and they immediately start bringing out their notebook called, “Judge Immediately!” I can see them licking the tip of their pen and looking over their rimmed glasses the very moment you tell them you are saved. I hate to disappoint anyone but I did not walk down the aisle on a Sunday and become saved and then suddenly I became a “Cool Christian.” I had to work hard at it and I still do. I used to beat myself up for not being perfect, but now I just except that I am just being H.U.M.A.N. I don’t make being “human” my excuse when I know better. Honestly, I just do not always feel like doing the right thing even when I know better. I am held accountable of course. God never lets me get off that easy. I won’t be able to sleep and I will feel bad afterwards. None of it makes it worth the headache and the four aspirins I have to take later. Do you know how long it takes to make puffy guilty eyes go down? It takes a long time. Making mistakes are going to be a part of all of our lives but how we handle it will make all the difference in the world. Maybe it will help someone and isn’t that what we are here for?
Sometimes I think about life before surrendering to God and life afterwards. Afterwards is so much more peaceful although it comes with its moments. Life’s obstacles can remind me of that commercial with the eggs frying in the pan trying to scare people from using drugs. Some people probably thought those eggs fried over easy weren’t so bad. Personally, I like my eggs scrambled with cheese. You add a side of toast and an orange juice and you were doing something. Little do they know that life is full of high calories and preservatives that we can’t pronounce! God is pure. No additives. Yes, life gives us lemons and even when we make lemonade it doesn’t always taste good. However, during those sour moments our relationship with God grows. How many times would we think about him if our lemonade had two pounds of sugar in it? We have to praise him during those bitter moments and not only make lemonade but create a lemonade stand.
Life is Living In Faith Eternally. Don’t we all wish life was as easy as 1-2-3?! We would probably even settle for life being as easy as A-E-I-O-U and sometimes asking why? When it comes to faith I have sometimes wondered if a mustard seed comes in extra small. Sometimes, we just missed the boat and we have to have faith that a yacht will come back and pick us up. We are supposed to have faith every day but it is sometimes difficult if we are truly honest with ourselves. Faith is easy when things are going great but when the bottom falls out that feeling of panic can easily settle in if you let it. Not only will it come in, it will bring its best friends called “Worry” , “Doubt”, and “Fear.” The only way to build faith is to trust GOD all of the time and not only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and every other weekend. It requires a lot of prayer and A LOT of practice. Don’t just live life but live L.I.F.E.