Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 14

I think I'll now forever remember this date.  This picture was taken on that date.  It was our last Sunday in our beloved Grand Forks, North Dakota.  It was the day we were to say goodbye to friends who felt like family.  Goodbye to our perfect house that we had remodeled exactly like we wanted.  Good bye to the church who had launched us into ministry.  All because God said, "Go."

I was reminded of the date this year on July 14.  An overwhelming sadness lurched over me that day and I wasn't sure why.  I was looking through pictures during my little pity party when I came across this picture and realized the date was July 14, 2013.  We were all so happy then to follow God's Great Commission and GO!  We considered it a journey.  An adventure.

My life verse since about 2010 has been Psalm 37:23, "The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives."  That verse has sustained me through A LOT!  So, why did it surprise me that when I went to my devotion book, "Jesus Calling" (that I received for Christmas this year) on July 14 that this verse was there to sustain me through a day of mourning my past friendships.

All I can say is God is good.  He has forever been good.  He will forever BE good.  Have we been through a year of hardship and sadness?  Yes.  But it's good.  It's growth.  It's obedience.  God delights in every detail of my life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I have been offended...highly.

I am officially offended.  It takes a lot to offend me, so this one must be big.  In reference to the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court ruling, someone referred to Christians as the American Taliban.  Seriously?

As a Christian, I am expected by others to never publicly give my opinions on homosexuality, on government, on abortion, and so forth, because my beliefs are considered by the culture as "offensive", as "bigotry", as phobias, as "hateful". Since that is the case, how is it okay for someone who believes different from me to refer to ME as the American Taliban?  Do you know what the Taliban stood for?  Do you know the evilness that abounds in their hearts?

Do you realize there will come a day in our country (it's already happening outside of our country) when Christians will be killed?  Are you really okay with my death? Are you okay with Michael being beheaded for believing in and sharing Jesus with others?  Are you okay with Alex and Evan being shot in the head because they choose not to denounce their Lord and Savior?  Are you willing to kill ME because I believe contrary to you?  When you spout anti-Christian hate speech, you are hurting me and my family.

My sister in law is gay.  I love her deeply.  I love her girlfriend.  I do not spew anti-gay speech because I know that's a nail in her coffin.  I have friends who have had abortions, so I don't go off the rails telling them they are going to hell because I realize they are a soul God loves and He is a great redeemer. I don't advocate for anyone to die because their beliefs are different from mine. If you are a Muslim, I don't pray for you to die because of your beliefs.  You are still a soul God loves.

I believe our issue with such extreme polarization and hatefulness comes from the fact that on social media we can "say" whatever we want without seeing the repercussions of what we say.  Would you say to my face that you feel I act like the Taliban?  Would you say to my face that you hate me because of my beliefs?

To your face I would tell you I love you.  I will pray for you, for God to reveal Himself to you in a miraculous way.  And if you don't like hearing that to your face, then I'll pray for you privately and not post things that I know are detrimental to you.

I have so many friends who are all so different from me. I will never use words of hate to describe them.  So please don't refer to me, a Christian, as a member of the Taliban simply because I have a belief system that is different from yours.  I am proud to be a Christian.  The Bible will always be my final authority.  I am raising my kids to be pure, holy, and set apart, non-judgmental, and kind.  I am forgiving and passionate.  I have specific views on sex, raising kids, marriage, and family life.  They are MY beliefs. I realize they are contrary to public opinion and they flow counter to the current culture.  I'm okay with that.  And I will die for them.  Because if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. And I have earned the right to have MY beliefs because I sacrificed many years without my husband while he was off fighting for the freedoms we all enjoy.

I would expect you to stand for what you believe in as well.  And I will fight for you if anyone ever tries to claim your life.  So, yes, I'm offended.  But, I'll be okay.  God's got me.  And He is truly the only thing that makes sense when the world has gone crazy!

My "different" friends...I pray for you all daily.  I love reading your posts about your silly kids, your vacations, your jobs, and your pets.  And I do read all your posts that are far different from what I believe.    Just know that I'm reading and watching.  You can offend me, but I hope your not okay with killing me.  Even if you are...that's okay.  Christ in me, the hope of glory!

Thank you for letting me speak freely.