Category Archives: Spiritual Life

“So I crawl back into your arms…”

I have flaws. I am inadequate. I let people down. I hurt feelings.  I make inexcusable excuses. I make mistakes. I make compromises. I fail. I can’t live up to your standards. I can’t give in to your demands. I run out of time. I run out of energy. I fall behind. I can’t get it right. 

At a point of exhaustion I find it impossible to get back up. I will and no doubt have, but unfortunately I don’t accomplish everything I wanted to along the way. It’s then that I wonder if I have ever done something right. All in all, it is a frustrating thing. I want so badly to do everything, but can’t. I was not called to be humanly perfect.

My only consolation is Martha and Mary. In Luke chapter 10 it talks about these two sisters. The first one is “distracted by all the preparations” and she wants her sister to help her. Jesus simply replies, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed..”

I want to focus on one thing. That’s all. My house might not be clean and dinner might not be picture perfect. Just give me Jesus.

Lyrics from Warning Sign by Coldplay.

“And I believe in miracles, in miracles today”

I’ve touched on my feelings on the matter before, but I would like to say loud and clear that sometimes I hate the word “Christian” or at least the association that goes with it. Christ-follower is the new church jargon for the same thing, but it is only a matter of time before the term is also ridiculed for the hypocrisy and judgment it lavishes to all around them.

There are crazy people (and I am going to stick by that description, even if you disagree) that came to Missouri State every so often with bullhorns or signs condemning all the sinners. Last spring, as I was walking to class I saw a man who had a large crowd gathered around listening to him calling them all whores. Apparently, every girl on the campus is one because we were ALL having sex. News to me. His next topic was the flaming homosexuals. A girl next to me turned and said, “So if all the girls are whores but all the guys are gay, who is having sex?”

The whole time he kept yelling and pointing and telling people they were going to hell. Whilst doing so he waved his Bible around above his head. That’s the Bible I read and believe in. It makes me sick to my stomach. We somehow carry the same title of “Christian” yet I wanted to scream and shout saying, “This is not love! It’s about love!”

Today there was a very significant editorial published, and this time it wasn’t written by me. This blog might not seem to fit the editorial, but I assure you they relate. God is love. My faith is about love. Evangelism is love. I just want to love.

Lyrics from Miracles by James Laugerman.

“There’s no need to complicate, our time is short”

Consumerism is something that seems to have recently taken my thoughts by storm. No matter where I turn, it seems to show up. Then again, it is Christmas time after all. With the economy going down, I can’t help but wonder where that leaves those like myself, continuing to further drown in debt with no prospect of getting a well-paid job once I’m through with school. To which I want to turn to the average shopper and encourage them to give (aka buy) a little more this season in order to keep the economy afloat.

This morning, I happened to see a segment on a couple who lived on a dollar a day for food. It was all very interesting, and I decided to read a bit from their blog for further details. I couldn’t decide if it gave me hope that it can be done should our economy completely sink or if it depressed me that some people are already having to look at that as their only option. It makes me tempted to consider living on a much stricter eating budget (although I will admit funds are tight, I do try to allot for adequate meals each day).

I pulled out of one of my gift exchanges with a bunch of girls from high school. I’m trying to use old gift cards to get gifts and go to Goodwill for the rest. If that works out, I’m hoping to pull off spending less than $50 for gifts, which is quite a feat considering those I’m supposed to buy for and the recommended rate for each gift. When and why did it become a necessary gift-giving season?

Although none of this may seem to relate, I find it to be an incredible mixture of thoughts. The world makes it so easy to focus on ridiculous things by being caught up in the sheer perception of importance, and lose track of real meaning. Today at church we read a passage from Mark 4:14-20 about the soil, in which Jesus said, “The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”

This just speaks magnitudes about Christians. We’ve heard  the truth, the purpose, and the ultimate meaning of life for years each Sunday morning but suddenly become overtaken by the idea the failing economy, a lackage in tasty food, and constant expectations for things that may even be nice things, but not necessary. Consumerism is a desire for other things, so when that chokes out the word, what good is that? Despite my hope for a healthy economy, what is so much more important is to be fruitful in my walk with Christ. As a Christian, it seems absolutely essential that I live my life in a way that does not depend on materials, including food, in order to set a standard of trusting in God, and only Him to live.

Lyrics from I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.

“You see through my ways and still, you come to me”

I am not deserving, but He deserves better.

There is a section in Ephesians that compares a husband and wife to Christ and the church. I am a terrible wife.

Although it is not specifically required of me to read my Bible daily or go to church weekly, it really would be one way to show love. I could show that I care enough about the relationship to go further than a nightly prayer as I fall asleep. My money should be better invested in the church. Just overall time should be given, instead of “fitting Him in” my schedule.

While the passage is often viewed as a way to better understand how to love your spouse, I feel it can be reversed also. Dates are not specifically required, but it is a way to show love. Nightly conversations are fine and even important, but there is so much more to a relationship than just that. Gifts are not a must either, but again is another love language, same goes for time.  You should want to spend time with your spouse, and the same should be for God.

I want people to know that I am in love. I want to show it. More than anything, I want Him to know it too.

Lyrics from Love Song by Jason Morant.

“Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash”

Because I am a college student that is up late most nights and probably have a mild case of insomnia I have a pretty good idea of what is on television after 2 a.m. Let me tell you what I absolutely cannot stand – Televangelists that just want your money.

Really? How can they do it? I recently came across one that had printed across the screen you would receive 10 times the blessing if you donated over $2,500. WHAT? What about the poor widow who gave only two small coins and then Jesus said she gave more than the others (Luke 12)? Who is able to say the exact dollar amount that equals more blessing? And how are they okay with doing that?

What really makes me sick is that the camera scans the volunteers handling the phones like any other business would before cutting back to the choir singing an upbeat hymn. Are all of those people behind it too? Where does the money all go?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not remember the disciples asking people for money. When asked for money, Peter replied, “Silver and gold I do not have” (Acts 3). These televangelists are shown wearing really nice clothes and on a really cool stage and on television asking for more money. Is this really spreading the good news? If so, then I’ve been doing it all wrong.

I hope that’s not what all people who stay up after 2 a.m. think of Christians.

Lyrics from Money by Pink Floyd.

“And I would not be who I am if I didn’t have you”

Something that I continually question is a woman’s role, particularly in the church. In I Corinthians 14 and also in 1 Timothy 2 there are verses that say women should remain silent and are not allowed to speak in church. Various churches approach this very differently. I suppose it all comes down to how literally you approach and interpret the Bible.

1 Timothy 2:11-12 says, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” Some churches think this means that women are not to have roles over men in the most literal sense, therefore cannot teach any male over the age of 18, including Sunday school. Seriously? Is this what this verse is supposed to mean? Alright then, let’s backtrack a bit. 1 Timothy 2:9 says, ” I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes” Is this then to be enforced literally? Because if you go into a church it will be almost rare to see a woman without one of those. Why should one verse be emphasized so greatly above the one that is directly before it?

Then there are other churches that really value what women have to say and think it is extremely important to have a different perspective. There are then women leaders and deacons and elders and pastors. Seriously? Does that mean we are going to forgo that verse altogether? Some will argue that the time period in which that was taught women were uneducated and actually sat on a different side than the men. This means that when they had questions they were shouting across the room and being disruptive. These verses were put in Paul and Timothy’s letters to allow the message to be uninterrupted.

Regardless of what the deal is, I would just like to state that I thoroughly appreciate male leadership among the church. For example, the bible study I am in is co-ed (also, it’s through a completely student-led organization=super cool), and it is just so uplifting to see my brothers in Christ taking the initiative to see that there is spiritual growth among the group. In my opinion, there is room for both. Yes, I think women have valuable things to say and should be heard, but I strongly believe that the church needs male leadership. I’ve seen certain men really slack off and leave others to pick up the pieces, while I’ve also seen some of the most amazing men go above and beyond. For this, I am so grateful and will never forget what those men have done for me in times of need. It can set an incredible example and is something I highly value. It makes me feel protected, cared for, and loved. Thank you.

Lyrics from We Belong Together (Tarzan and Jane) by Steven Curtis Chapman.

“Aching waiting for life to start”

I realize that it has been awhile since my last post. Perhaps I could blame it on the fact that I went about a month without internet at home and was entirely unmotivated to go to the library. My lack of blogging could possibly be attributed to being busy spending time with various people over the break and then a full load of classes greeting me at the start of the semester. Let’s accuse the weather for my absence. If we wanted to be honest, there is some sort of block prohibiting me from finding things to write about. Suppression is how I handle things and a blogging deficiency could reflect that sometimes. Lastly, my most recent post holds more truth than you could ever know.

If you have not seen it I would suggest you scroll down now. It was written on a bit of a whim but expresses multiple messages about what I have to say and how I feel about so many things in general. It is probably my favorite blog in a long time. We say, write, hear, read, [insert other forms of communication], so much random crap. Does it really matter? Am I wasting my time and yours? What intention do you have when writing pages of essentially nothing? Straight up, what’s the point?

From here my thoughts begin to blend as I continue to ramble. This is not my letter of resignation to the world of blogging. Quite the contrary actually as I have missed it greatly. I want to find out how things are and become they way they are. Why is it that we say ten words when four will do? Is one length better than the other?  Why do we say things while meaning another? How is one to understand the meanings, thoughts, and language of another when they are hardly able to sort through their own?

Lyrics from Bend and Break by Keane.