Tuesday, June 30, 2015

An Open Letter to the Christian Community (with a Note to the Gay and Lesbian Community)

Dear Christian Community:

I became a Christian in my early 20s.  My friend invited me to church and I came.  I listened to sermon after sermon, went to bible study after bible study and sometimes I disagreed, but most of the time I didn't.  As I sat and listened, I felt the twinge in my heart that told me there were parts of my life which God didn't approve...and He's still working on me. 

It took a LONG time before I realized He didn't hate me for it, He didn't condemn me for it, He didn't say I couldn't attend church because of it, He didn't say I was too broken to come to Him.  He said, "I don't like that for you, because it's hurting you. I don't like that for you because it makes you feel worthless.  I don't like that for you because it leads you down a path of poor decision making that continues to hurt you further. I don't like that for you because it makes you turn away from me in shame.  I love you and I want what's best for you."

No one ever needed to tell me what I needed to change.  I knew the second I walked in the door what needed changing in my life.  I didn't need anyone to tell me and neither did you.  We were invited to church out of love.  Christ loves me.  I am a sinner, but I didn't need anyone to tell me that.  I just needed someone to tell me that He loved me anyway.  What makes you think that any of us have the right to tell anyone what needs changing?  God can convict us better than anyone.  He can do it with love and with our best interests at heart.  If I don't feel convicted about something, then God doesn't have a problem with it.  

One of the best sermons I ever heard was when the pastor talked about three rules: 
1. Just because you can, doesn't mean I can. 
2. Just because you can't doesn't mean I can't. 
3. Just because you can, doesn't mean I can't.  

Here's what it might look like in a real life scenario:
 1. If you can drink and be responsible, that doesn't mean I can drink.  I might be an alcoholic. 
2. If your an alcoholic, you shouldn't drink, but that doesn't mean I can't.
3. If you can drink and be responsible, that doesn't mean I can't choose not to. 

This principle works in every situation. Just worry about what's okay for you, don't try to police everyone else. 

So, before you say another word about Gay Marriage or Gay rights, or the LGBT Community think about this: 

Matthew 7:3

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

John 8:7

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

Proverbs 12:18

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Do I need to keep going? Because there's a lot more where that came from. 

If you think for one minute that God needs your help convicting others, you need to take another look at your walk. He does not need your help. He is God Almighty. Let God be the one to convict. We are instructed to love. Love and that's it. Never has God told us to run around telling people what they are doing is wrong. If it's wrong, they already know it. They already feel it. They already have that hollow space inside of them that continues to grow. If we are truly Christians, then we can offer Jesus to them. We know he fills that space. We know he gives us strength. If we are truly Christians, we want that for everyone, because we know that it pulled us up out of the pit. We know that Christ healed and continues to heal our pain and gives us hope. Like I said before, I never needed anyone to tell me what I should be ashamed of, I already knew what I was sorry for. So did God. He didn't need your help then, and he doesn't need your help now.

No, I take that back. He does need our help. He needs us to show Christ's LOVE. I'm not saying you need to condone behavior you know is wrong, but you don't need to shame people either. There's a way to be loving and accepting without being hateful.

To my gay and lesbian friends:

Please do not let some crazy people turn you away from God. They do not speak for me. They do not speak for God. They do not speak for the majority of Christians. I invite you to come with me to church. I invite you to come and worship if you so desire. I will let God and you worry about what He wants to change in you. I'll worry about what God is working on in me. I will sit next to you. I will hug you. I will pray with you. I will hold your hand. I will love you the same way I love everyone else. I may not always be good at it. I may make mistakes. I may ask questions. You may ask questions. We might not like the answers, but do know that I love you and that's never going to change. If you come to church and do not feel convicted for being gay, then why should anyone get to tell you otherwise? It's between you and Him and no one else.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weight loss

I've decided to document my weight loss journey.
1. So I can remember what works and what doesn't.
2. So I can look back and see how far I've come.
3. So I can keep track of great recipes.
4. So I can help someone else!

When I started, I had 110 lbs to lose.  I was super stressed at work, and in a span of 4 years gained 80 lbs. I have taken back my life and am working extremely hard at losing this weight.  I'm 37 and single, no kids (but two gorgeous doggies) and I still want to have a family.  I'm not getting any younger!  So I have to get a move on!  I've lost 18.1 lbs (yes the .1 matters!).

Please feel free to comment and share what's working for you!

Happy weight loss!


These before photos are current.  I forgot to take one when I started.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Jesus knows your name

Luke 19:5
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name.  "Zacchaeus!" he said.  "Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today!" NLT

Must?  Yes. Must. These are the people Jesus wanted to meet in order that He could change hearts. 

You think you can outsin the love and forgiveness and grace of God? You cannot. You do not have the capacity! 

He called him by his name. He was used to being called "sinner" he was used to being called what he did wrong. Jesus calls him his name, which means pure. He was calling him who Jesus intended him to be, who he was with Jesus. Who he was as Jesus saw him. 

I will not judge you for the reasons you need Jesus. I need Jesus for my own reasons. No one needs Him more and no one needs Him less.