Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Sobering Moment Between an Atheist and Me (a Christian)

For all you pearl clutchers, there is nudity AND profanity in the following post.  Usually I eschew both, but I am hoping that others will be similarly shocked into deep thought by the image like I was.

I heard a story once (internet legend? true? either way, the point got to me) of a pastor who opened his sermon with the following quote:

"I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."

Wow.  That hit home.  I am known as a bit of a goody two shoes (though I might be veering from that a little, which is a whole other blog post.)  I have not looked at Christianity the same way since.

This photo that a self proclaimed atheist posted to Twitter took my breath away.  I was trying to get recs for a church to visit while visiting family this summer out of state.  I don't know the person who posted this, personally, but it was a very personal moment for me.

I don't think money is bad.  I don't think God cries because I have a super schmancy 2011 Ford instead of a beat up Pinto.  But I do think I and the church at large are all ignoring major issues in favor of majoring on minors and sitting comfortably.  No longer am I okay with giving to ministries where the leaders live in multi million dollar homes and take their jets on 'missions trips' to London, Paris and other fancy locations while staying silent on issues that REALLY, REALLY matter and avoiding poverty stricken mission fields.  Yes, salvation is so, SO important.  But how can someone think of receiving Jesus when their body is shutting down from something preventable?  This is why I am such an advocate of feeding programs and other ministries that take care of practical physical needs as well as the spiritual ones.

This is really how the world sees the Church.  It's heartbreaking.  What can we do about it?  Not just to change the perceptions but to change our actions from the inside?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lars and the Real Girl

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever suggested a movie on here.  My critics (yes, I have them!) will have tearing of clothes and gnashing of teeth that it isn't Son of God or God is Real, Yo or some other deeply deep spiritual movie that I'm sure is great...

But this is a deeply spiritual movie that is great.  And I totally didn't see that coming:

A blogger that I love, (who may or may not see me as a stalker) tweeted that she'd watched this and loved it.  *AhemRachelHeldEvansILoveYou*  So I watched it.  Baaaaaaaah.  I'm a sheep.

I expected a slightly raunchy comedy.  It is about a sex doll after all.  But it isn't really about a sex doll.  And it isn't raunchy at all.  It's a love story.  Not your traditional love story.  But a "church and community in action" love story.  

Please, watch it.  Let me know what you think.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

...When Your Kid Drops The F-Bomb

Wow.  Okay.  So I was minding my own business, sewing costumes for Vacation Bible School, talking to the kids yesterday, when things took a turn I didn't expect.  A bomb was dropped.  THE F BOMB.  

I had just a moment to decide how to handle this.  I am working on not overreacting and not reacting too quickly.  I'm glad I paused, because if you had asked me last week how I would have handled it, the way I handled it would NOT have been what I'd say.  I was led in a different direction.

I calmly said "Where did you hear that word?"

What I wanted to say was, 

The response?  "Everywhere."

Lest you think I am a potty mouthed sailor, my children have never heard John and I say that word.  My usual utterance is "FLUFFERNUTTER PUMPKIN BUTT" or some other nonsense.

My mind flashed to things I say when I drive.  My kids hear me call people morons and idiots when I drive sometimes.  Why do I say those words?  Because I'm a person who has feelings that I don't always control well.  I wouldn't want my kids to use those words against someone else, but I do it.

The truth is, a word's meaning is the most important part.  Not the word itself.  If I call someone a moron with the same fervor and feelings someone else would put behind a "bad" word, does that make me a better person?  No.  An arrangement of letters isn't the issue here.  It's the heart.  

I had a child who was baring their soul to me in this moment, talking about really serious feelings- and they slipped.  I could see the look on my child's face, begging me to hear what was really being communicated.  

We talked for a while longer then went about our day.  That evening, I said "I know that you know that isn't a word I think you should use with frequency.  You aren't in trouble.  I'm glad you talked to me.  You are allowed to share anything with me.  You have some very serious things going on and lots of valid feelings."

That's it.  No long sermon.  My kids know how I feel.  I know how they feel.  Our goal is to speak life and love to each other.  Driving home a lecture would have shut down the lines of communication.  I have had and will continue to have opportunities to model and teach self-control, kindness and other positive attributes that should be the driving force behind our words.

I wasn't so collected about it the whole time though...when my kids weren't around that night, I texted a friend and fellow parent and said "OH MY GOSH MY KID DROPPED THE F BOMB."  

The response?  "Mazel Tov."

Phew.  The world didn't end.  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Stop Trying To Impress People

Be yourself.  Because there are really only three types of people that you will encounter:

those who will never approve of you no matter what you do

those who will accept you with conditions

those who accept you unconditionally

So if you're beating your brains out trying to impress people, STOP.  It won't matter!  Be yourself.  Be constantly improving yourself for YOU.  It will effect other people but it won't change their perception of you.  They've likely already made their assumptions.

What kind of person will you be?  What kind of person will you surround yourself with?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Love Is For Everyone

Love is for everyone.  There is nobody excluded from it.  Not you.  Not the person who makes choices you disagree with.  Not the person who annoys you.  There is nothing that can make someone unworthy of love.  Maybe someone you know needs a little extra love this week.  Maybe it's you!  Be gentle.