#whynotme

I deleted my blog in the hopes that I could run away from the very thing that God called me to- talking about my abuse. It is such a thing to deny one’s call amidst the notion that the call is inextricably tied to suffering. Most people understand suffering in the context of misery and pain and not in the light in which Christ bathes it. Shunned is the man who walks away from the light. This man indeed calls himself a Christian.

In the arms of the gospel, Christ’s soldiers falter for just an ounce of understanding, for one inkling of His mind. And when we spend enough time on the one word, or the one story that particularly convicts us, its uncomfortable sway leads us to continue on as if we never read it. Such for me was the parable of the Dishonest Steward found in Luke’s gospel Chapter 16. It took me ten times to read it, and hours of rage to understand it. I wanted it to come easy, like this is what he says I read it let’s move on. Like that run on sentence. Like we read, move on with our day, we completed one-third of our day, I got it Jesus. But today was different. With the day off and imminent silence, the frustration of His words led to a rush of trying to understand Him. And that led to an Aha moment, which in turn led to this post.

It was the commentary from MacLaren that pierced me, opening wide the gaping wound sewed up with the consolation of knowing He was behind them,

Let God be Your End

He was talking about applying the same success used in the world as being the same success we should use in Christianity. He goes on further to say,

“And let there be a correspondence between your end and your means. That signifies, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all they mind.’ Or else when everything comes to be squared up and settled, the epitaph on your gravestone will deservedly be. ‘Thou fool!”

When we find success in the world, we find it at the expense of another, at the expense of ourselves. Our means to an end are for our own self-fulfillment, our monetary gain, our own name recognition. We may not recognize it and so then it is simply a matter of time until we do. But when Christ lifts the veil from our eyes as He did today for me, I realize that I am tired and broken because my perseverance has been weighed down in the worldly definitions of success rather than in the context of the Kingdom. My shrewdness has been capitulated to the world, shrouded in defeat of the success I thought I wanted or needed to attain. So I say no not #metoo, I say instead #whynotme. For those of us who have suffered at the hands of our abusers but who find our solace in Christ. For those of us who are not recognized by Hollywood or by professional sports leagues. For those of us who are not rich or famous. This is perseverance in the kingdom of God- recognizing our abuse as a platform for Christ’s message of forgiveness, mercy and redemption through Him who gives suffering a meaning and a name. Who gave me my name- Melissa, servant of Jesus.

 

 

 

I am convicted!

“And I am convicted.”

Why do I never hear this word other than in “church speak” … ?

And why does church-speak seem to make that statement its very own evidence?

“I am convicted so I am right/it is right/we are right.  And you should be convicted too.   If you search your heart I know that you too will be convicted.   I have the proof – my proof is that I am convicted.  So just why isn’t that proof enough for you?”

Dictionary:
“conviction”
an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence

“And I am conviction-ed.”

an unshakable belief
without need for proof or evidence

Is it just me – this use of “church speak” to make “an unshakable belief without need for proof or evidence” into a good thing simply because it is “church-speak” which means it is “all the proof we need” in holding an unshakeable belief (that requires no proof) –

Or does anyone else find that just a little scary?

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Sin no more

 

Do those who have been saved weigh less than those not?
When I have been knowingly bad do I put on lbs?
Is confession like doing weight watchers?
Is forgiveness having a detox?

 

I was raised on the spiritual food groups.  Bible.  Church.  Sin.  Seems to me, looking back, that is a very frugal diet for a young man with appetites.

 

Do those who have been saved look thinner than those not?
When I have been knowingly bad do I get flabby?
Is confession like doing weight watchers?
Is forgiveness having a detox?

 

I thought love was smiling at everyone.  I thought love was chatting to everyone.  I thought love was something God did to us.  Because I never knew what love was at all.

 

When I was saved did I look heavier before?
When I have been knowingly good am I thin?

 

As I journey I have less and less interest in sin.  Sin bores me.  Sin distracts me.  Sin has become a label for something I no longer understand.  For something I am told I must.

 

Is confession like doing weight watchers?
Is forgiveness having a detox?

 

Sin no more, Jesus said.  Cured and “sin no more”.  And I wonder … What if he meant it?  What if “sin no more” was: sin “no more”?  What if I … sin “no more”?  What if I am free … “of sin”?

 

Confession is good for the soul
But confession of what.
Confession for who?

 

What if we would not let go of sin – just so that we didn’t have to love?
What if:  “You are cured and can only love”, we didn’t get on with?
What if heaven is now, and what if … we chose hell?

 

We seem to want to see a lifetime of suffering.
We seem to wish it upon ourselves.

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You are cured and can sin no more.

Would leave so much more room for love.

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Who makes me uncomfortable?

I have learned that when I fear taking on (add your own pet hate) I miss the point:

a) “fear” has no place in love
b) “taking on” is a win and lose scenario
c) “pet hate” is a roadblock to relationship

The God I know is not of fear – nor of winning and losing – nor of placing roadblocks in my way.

I do that.

e.g.

“taking on the atheists”
“taking on the gays”
“taking on those who do not believe the bible (as they should)”
“the qualified theologians”
“the unchurched”
“the congregation”
“the institution of church”
“the lack of church”
“the homeless”
“the grieving”
“the druggies”
“the prostitutes”
“the criminals”
“the ones who scare me”

The “anyone who makes me uncomfortable (pet hate)”

Because behind every label and category is you and me several choices from now – several choices ago – several choices I couldn’t face – several choices I had to face.

I think that is why I find it easier and easier to follow God Soft Hands Jesus.

He sees me – no matter my label for me (or you).

And THAT is relationship.

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A lesson in “why discipling”

 

There was a Man who provided a service. He was very knowledgeable, very experienced and very connected. He advertised, for how else would anyone know he even existed? He advertised in the places people would look for his services. And one day he received a distressed call. Someone who needed help. Someone let down by another “expert”. Someone who was paying the cost for the expert not being the expert he said he was.

This Man went to see the person in distress. And immediately saw why there was distress. The expert was indeed no expert at all. And the person in distress was right to be distressed. This Man listened to a tale of woe he had heard many times. He advised as he had advised many times. He took photographs as he had many times. But this Man could not make the past different. He could only make the future different. And the person in distress was no longer distressed – he was now angry – the “expert” had been proved to be no expert at all – and to put right the wrong would cost more money. The Man had also heard that anger many times.

The person in ex-distress and now ex-anger thanked the Man, and then set about researching the Man’s credentials – and found them to be good everywhere he looked. The Man indeed seemed to be the expert he claimed. So the job was agreed, and the job was done. By other Men who were indeed skilled at their different jobs. Men who had a pride in doing their different jobs to a very high standard. They were indeed good Men in the image of the Man.

The end.

 

That is a true story. The firm is a real firm. The job was a real job. And the job (done second time around) was to a very high standard.

 

It struck me that “the firm” – each person – was as good as the Man (the boss): each person had a job – each person understood their own job – each person knew the jobs of others and how all the different jobs fitted together. And I learned that each was valued by the boss, and each was necessary to the boss (and each other). Each had the skills, experience, tools and right attitude to do “the job” properly. And the pride in doing a good job was not for my benefit , not for their boss – it just “was” in each.

And the boss was absent a lot of the time. And there were no calls to reassure or enquire. He simply popped in on two occasions over one week. On both occasions his visit was not to impress me, it was to talk to his crew. The entire job was done to the very high standard, to the agreed price (including some details not included in the quote (and not charged either), and to the agreed schedule. All was as promised. And those details along the way … each was agreed as it happened. And that left a great impression.

Each of the crew was entrusted with the authority to change/adapt/amend his own bit without reference to the boss. I think it was because each had the same pride in their bit, and – as importantly – of the whole. Each knew they were part of the whole – and each worked their bit to achieve the whole. That was how they did things – it was that simple for each of them.

 

And – without any of us talking about God or no-God, church or no-church … I was given a fantastic living and real lesson in why disciples and “why discipling”.

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I believe because the bible says so

Beliefs are all.

Beliefs are of the believer and the non-believer is missing out.

We should all be believers – the bible says so – we have the Great Commission to fulfill!

 

When I was one I believed I was the centre of the universe and all were here to serve me.
When I was two I believed I should be the centre of the universe and all should serve me.
When I was three I believed puddles were the best things in the whole world
When I was four I believed I had been abandoned by my parents in a place called school
When I was five I believed football was the best thing in the whole world
When I was six I believed bikes were the best thing in the whole world
When I was seven I believed it was unfair I had to go to bed too early
When I was eight I believed it was unfair that everyone else could do what they wanted
When I was nine I believed I should be able to do what I wanted
When I was ten I believed girls were the scariest creatures in the world
When I was eleven I believed in time travel because I did
When I was twelve I believed that being eighteen was ancient
When I was thirteen I believed I had made it – I was a teenager!
When I was fourteen I believed the world was my oyster: shut tight to keep me out!
When I was fifteen I believed bikes were the best thing in the whole world
When I was sixteen I believed girls were the scariest creatures in the world
When I was seventeen I believed I was nearly an adult
When I was eighteen I believed being an adult wasn’t so different
When I was nineteen I believed girls were the best creatures in the world
When I was twenty I believed rye n dry was the best drink in the whole world
When I was twenty-one I believed I knew everything
When I was twenty-two I believed I knew everything
When I was twenty-three I believed I knew everything
When I was twenty-four I believed I was the luckiest man ever
When I was twenty-five I believed I was the best father ever
When I was twenty-six I believed I was the worst father ever
When I was twenty-seven I believed the world was full of fools
When I was twenty-eight I believed I was one of them

 

As I have grown older I have come to believe that my beliefs will never stop changing unless I do.

And whether that happens whilst I am “still breathing” – or when I am dead (and not breathing) …

Is my choice.


(just like whether I believe being a “good Christian” is important or not)

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Dust to dust

“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.   Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Matthew 10:14-15

“And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”  Mark 6:11

“If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”  Luke 9:5

“ “  John

 

I don’t know who has it right: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.  Because the “dust and shaking” seems to be “having the last word” – without any words at all.

When I “shake the dust off my feet” – I don’t want to make a statement to anyone.

It is to leave “all that” behind me – literally and emotionally.

Because I want to heal.

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