Saturday, October 6, 2018

No worries.

I told a lie today.

No worries.

It wasn’t malicious. In fact, it was spoken to preserve the emotions of the person to whom I was speaking. It would not have been fair to dump out the spiritual baggage I was carrying on her via text. So instead, no worries.

But there were worries. It began earlier this week when I read an article about a gay catholic believer and his struggle with celibacy and the church. From the way he wrote I had little doubt that he loved God deeply, but his struggle was with the church. His church had expectations. His church didn’t help him. His church. His church. His church. And as fascinated as I was by the article, I wanted to know what about his God?

No worries.

Then there was the friend who publicly bashed white evangelicals on social media for their lack of service to the least of these. Ironic, because I thought he too was a white evangelical. And as my husband and I discussed the article, we wondered if we had ever seen him do the things he was accusing white evangelicals of not doing.

But, no worries.

Then there was the book I had just finished reading. Anything. By Jennie Allen. It’s about her journey with God after she and her husband tell God they will do anything He wants. Not rocket science, but touching.

So no worries became my mask today. My duct tape, if you will, holding back all my frustration. Somewhere inside, and probably not that deep inside, I was worried. I am worried. Am I more wrapped up in my church than my God? Am I one of those white evangelicals my friend talked about? Am I pretending anything more than praying anything?

God, only You know. Help me to serve You before your church. Help me to love You by loving the lost. Let me do nothing out of pride or selfish ambition, but all to glorify You. Amen.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

When God Calls Your Bluff

People are often fascinated by the fact that I don’t drink alcohol. Never have. Not a sip. The short story goes: In 8th grade I made a deal with God that if He’d help me with something I would never drink alcohol. He did His part; so by His strength I’m doing mine. There have been challenging moments, but it was never that difficult for me because it seemed like such a big promise to break.

But what about smaller promises?

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the feeling that I should start blogging again. I’m not sure if it’s the result of a book I recently read or a result of my reduced time on social media, but I’ve had more and more thoughts pop in my head that I feel God wants me to work through. Last night, that very thing happened. I was already in bed. I was comfy. And Harry Potter was just about to learn vital information to help him fight you-know-who. (Just keeping it real, folks!) Write something now? I’ll take care of that tomorrow, I told myself.

Fast forward to right now, literally right now. Well, ok, at this point probably 15 minutes ago. I am sitting at my dining room table having just finished lunch, still sipping my coffee, when I realized that I have forgotten what it was I was going to write about. Having had an amazing morning at church I do all I know to do, and I offer up a short prayer: Lord, if you help me remember I will write about it.

I pick up the book I’ve been reading (Jesus of Suburbia, by Mike Erre). There on page 79, just two pages from where I had last stopped reading, was the scripture I had been thinking about yesterday (Matthew 16:13-14, blog post to follow).

I didn’t feel like writing. I didn’t feel like doing anything really. I just wanted to sit for a few minutes and relax. How could I though? Pastor preached on sin today.

What is sin? I often think of James 4:17 when trying to answer that question, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

I hear you, Lord, loud and clear. Message received.