• Faith,  Personal Development,  Work

    On Work Ethic and Fear

    On Work Ethic & Fear | SheWillRise.ca

    Yesterday, I started reading, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The very first lesson is that “rich people don’t work for money… they make money work for them.” And, within this lesson, another said, “we need to learn to control our emotions — to think before we act”.

    Robert shares that most people (the 99%) are driven by the emotions of fear & greed… fear of not having enough money, and then greed about what things they will buy with the money they do get.

    These two fears never completely go away. So, we need to learn to control them … to respond (after thinking), rather than react (without thinking).

    After finishing chapter one, I set the book aside, needing time to let it all sink in. And, as I put some of my other books back on my shelf (ones I’d been reading the day before), my eye landed on “The Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard. So, I pulled it down and started skimming through it, as something in my gut prompted me to do so. And, sure enough, there was a whole chapter titled, “On Fear”. So, I sat down, and read through that chapter.

    Where I started off, it talked about the “weaklings” — those who fear effort — calling them “worshippers of ease” and “escapists” (all of which struck a nerve). It talked about them having given up their power to absolve themselves of the responsibility of living a remarkable life. Ouch.

    Brendon writes, “They don’t have the resolve to pursue their highest selves, or any meaningful purpose … [But] what good is a life without struggle? … What mastery can there be without real effort…?

    This made me think, again, about how I’ve never been driven towards “mastery” or “excellence” in anything. I’ve never cared to excel; good enough was good enough.

    Yet, I’d also researched “work ethic”, this morning (along with what the Bible says about this topic), learning that it’s about dedicating oneself, and giving your all toward somethinghaving certain principles that guide your work behavior. And, in combining that with these two new insights from these books, I’m starting to see that the value of all of this isn’t the outcome or the result. Its value actually lies in the fulfillment that comes from knowing you gave it your all, and –more importantly– that God is glorified by our dedication, integrity, diligence, and commitment to the task at hand.

    For me, the outcome has almost never been worth the effort I’d have to expend; it wasn’t worth me forfeiting things I’d rather be doing with my time.

    But that, there, is also faulty thinking: that “my time” is my own!

    God says we are to be good stewards of this life, including — maybe especially — our time… because my whole purpose for existence is to know God, love God, and to make Him knownto do as He calls me to do… not to whittle away my days, being comfortable, scrolling social media, and gluttonously feeding my ego with motivational quotes.

    So, the true fulfillment isn’t in what we get from the work we do (eg. the money, or all that it could buy). True fulfillment lies in giving our all to the work, itself, because that honors God — which is the whole point! In using the gifts and talents God gave us, in service to others (with a good attitude, and with excellence), we are bringing glory to God, and being –proving ourselves– set apart for the Kingdom.

    And, honoring, and bringing glory to, God is FULLY worth my time… it’s the only thing that really is!

    By knowing that our joy and fulfillment come through doing the work, it seems all the more imperative to me, too, that we choose work that best uses the talents and gifts God has given us… choosing work that brings us joy.

    Do you know what work best aligns with YOUR talents & gifts? If not, feel free to set up a time to chat with me (30 minutes, no obligation), and we can get you some insight on that!

  • Faith

    How to Hang On When You’re Tired

    Do you ever just get so tired of trying to move forward? Do you have times where you’ve gone at things with such intensity for so long and, all-of-a-sudden, it hits you and you feel bone-weary? I do, too.

    How to Hang On When You're Tired | She Will RiseI’ve got a feisty, stubborn, independent spirit, so I tend to fight long and hard for what I believe in, and/or am passionate about. Yet, every now and then, I hit a wall, and I just cannot summon the strength to keep going.

    Can you relate?

    I’m not saying that I’ll give up entirely. Definitely not! But I think that life has a way of telling us that it’s time to slow down, step back, rest, and refresh. If we don’t pay attention, and we don’t take a breather once in a while, life seems to force us to do so, whether we want to or not!

    Some of the ways I’ve found to help me slow down and regroup include the following:

    LET IT GO

    Instead of fighting to continue, I recognize my soul’s need for a time-out, and I mentally tell myself that it’s okay — that I have permission — to let things go for a while. It’s not forever. And, by taking some time off, I know I will come back to things with more clarity, and renewed energy, later on.

    GET CREATIVE

    I got into the whole adult coloring trend, a year ago, along with the practice of Art Journaling. And, while I don’t pursue these things daily any more, I do find that they are very relaxing, they allow me to “zone out”, and they get me into a creative “flow” state for a while.

    LISTEN TO MUSIC

    Along with getting my creative juices flowing, I also love to put my earphones on, crank up my favorite music, and tune out the world for a couple of hours. Combining my coloring time with listening to music has a really beneficial effect on my state of being. It calms me and brings me joy.

    READ FICTION

    Because I’m such an avid nonfiction reader, I’m constantly soaking up knowledge, and learning, usually taking notes while I read.

    So, every now and then, I find I have to force myself to dig into a novel (fiction) in order to just relax with my book, and “escape” the world around me. I am always happy after having done so, too!

    Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

    Now, because everyone is unique, the things I do to step back and relax may be different from the things you would enjoy. The point, though, is to find what it is that helps bring you a sense of calm, and then make time for that in your day-to-day.

    How long you take time off for will always depend on your unique circumstances. If you pay attention, your body and soul will let you know when it’s time to pick up where you left off. If necessary, you can always set yourself a flexible deadline — once that date comes, you can then check in with yourself, see how you feel, and decide whether you need a bit more time, or if you’re ready to roll.

    We aren’t meant to always be “on”. Even the Master Creator (God) took time off after creating the world! Follow His example, and take a break when you need to.

     

    How do YOU make the time to relax? What are your favorite downtime activities that help you feel refreshed?

  • Faith,  Identity,  Work

    Called To Be a Writer

    Have you ever tried to ignore something, but just couldn’t seem to escape it? I most definitely have. Let me tell you a story…

    Called To Be a Writer | She Will Rise

    For my 10th birthday, an older friend gave me my very first diary. I still have that book today. It’s got a mint-green cover, and the pages are heavily perfumed. It has its own lock and key.

    I remember, as a young girl, weaving stories in my mind as I drifted off to sleep each night. Often times they included living in a mansion, and/or horseback riding through the woods on my grandparents’ property.

    Sometimes I would even speak my stories into my brown Fisher Price tape recorder.

    In grade school, one of my favorite things was when the teacher would fill all three chalkboards with notes for us to copy into our notebooks… then erase it all, and fill all three boards again. I loved taking notes! And I still take notes from every nonfiction book I read, actually!

    I completed NaNoWriMo in 2006. I wrote 50,911 words in 28 days. My novel still sits on my shelf, unfinished.

    To this day, I keep a journal. I don’t write in it daily, any more — only when I desperately need an outlet for my emotions, and/or I need to sort through the tangled messes of my thoughts. Writing things out almost always brings clarity.

    I oftentimes “pray” on paper, as well, seeking God’s take on the issues I’m dealing with. I’ll write out what I feel He’s saying to my spirit, in response, also. This practice has truly helped to deepen my faith, and draw me closer in relationship with my Lord.

    Also, I’ve been a blogger since 2005. It started as a way to record the books I was reading, then morphed into a community of others who loved the book-related memes I posted each week, and then evolved over time into a place where I now teach others the things that I’ve learned, thus far… and what I am still in the process of learning.

    pencils

    You would think, on reading all of the above, that I’d classify myself as a Writer. Yet, for the longest time, I’ve fought that title. I’ve even told God that I don’t want to be a Writer. And yet, the thread of writing has been woven throughout the tapestry that is my life, and it seems that I, like Jonah, must surrender to the call.

    I realized something, this past week, that has truly helped me to start the process of accepting this: that I don’t actually hate to write. In fact, I have to grudgingly admit that, yes, I even like writing. As I said earlier, writing is how I sort through my thoughts; it’s always been how I am best able to express myself.

    The “aha!” came when I saw that what I don’t like is writing for others… and, in asking myself whythat is, it all came down to one thing:

    PERFECTIONISM (aka: Fear)

    …I don’t like writing out posts for my blog because I feel like my writing has to be “perfect” and “polished”, or else I won’t be seen as the professional that I’m aiming to be.

    Yet, every professional was once a beginner. And God even tells us to not “despise the days of small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10).

    I guess I need to learn to give myself more grace — to accept my “beginner” status when it comes to writing, and to not mentally kick myself for being so inconsistent.

    After all, I teach others that practice makes progress… and I think progress is as close to “perfection” as we’re going to get, this side of heaven. So, if I want to feel more confident in this role as a Writer, I just need to keep practicing. The more I do it — the more I write — the better I’ll get.

    ::

    I’m curious… is there some title or calling that you’ve been trying to run away from? Share in the comments. I’d love to know I’m not alone in this!

  • Faith,  Identity

    Something More: Why You Feel Restless & What To Do About It

    Do you ever feel that restlessness inside? … The one that says, there’s gotta be more to life than this?

    I believe that’s what is meant when the Bible says that God “has set eternity in [our] hearts…” (Eccl. 3:11b).

    Something More: Why You Feel Restless, and What to Do About It | She Will Rise

    Too often, we tend to get caught up in our earthly life, and we forget that this earth isn’t our home. We are here for a purpose — one that’s so much greater than ourselves.

    It’s easy, in the busyness of our day-to-day, to fall for the lie that our lives our all about us. But they aren’t. God placed each one of us right where we are, at this point in time, surrounded by these people, “for such a time as this“. We have a role to play for His kingdom… a purpose He predestined for us before we were even born!

    So, that restlessness you feel? That’s your wake-up call, reminding you that you have work to do … that it’s time to stop living for yourself, and to start partnering with God so He can show you the special job He’s assigned to you.

    Can this work get done without you? Maybe. But, it won’t be in the way that God originally intended. And, think about it this way: You’ve got a unique blend of your own style & experiences that, perhaps, can reach someone better than anyone else could. So, these people could end up missing out, because you neglected to take up the role you were created for!

    Personally, I count it a privilege that God would want a messed-up gal like me to play a part in His kingdom building! You’d think that a perfect God would want perfect people to help Him with such an important job! But, nope … He recruits from the pit… from the mud & mire. While I may not see myself as equipped or qualified, God says, “Come on, girl! I’ll give you everything you need for the job. Just come as you are. It’s all good.” ♥

    So, the next time you feel that restlessness within, stop and ask God to make it clear to you what He has for you to do. I promise you, He’ll show you the way.

  • Faith,  Work

    Overcoming Distraction (Squirrel!)

    If you have seen the Disney/Pixar movie, “Up“, you probably caught the reference in today’s post title. Yes, I’m talking about… what, again? Oh, right — distraction.

    Overcoming Distraction (Squirrel!) | She Will Rise

    The Dark Side has many tricks and tools in its arsenal to keep us from living the full & abundant life God promised us. Some of those schemes include:

    Discouragement | Fear | Procrastination | Gluttony | Apathy | Convenience | Mediocrity | Doubt | Ease | Instant Gratification | Laziness | Overwhelm | Pride | Greed | Lust | Anger | Jealousy

    …and, of course, DISTRACTION.

    The devil knows that we are easily distracted, so he uses this to keep us from doing what God asks us to do, and he slyly makes us forget what is really important. If he can distract us, then we don’t complete the mission we were sent here for (to make God known & bring Him glory). And that makes the devil really happy.

    I have been falling prey to distraction, a lot, lately. This is part of why my blog post schedule has been somewhat erratic. I’ve gotten distracted by the side-hustle I’m building, the books I’m reading, and the worst culprit of them all — social media.

    Revelation Wellness shared a quote, the other day, that really hit home, for me, on this. It said:

    “My concern is that our generation will miss their destiny because
    they are too busy scrolling through everyone else’s.” (Christine Caine)

    Whoo-boy!

    So, how do we combat this distraction? How do we wake up? Is this even possible?

    It is absolutely possible. “With God, ALL THINGS are possible!” And it starts with prayer.

    Actually, let me back up a bit. In reality, it starts with knowing that you have committed your life to God, by accepting His free gift of being saved from sin, through faith… which then gave you the Holy Spirit within you as your Counselor, Guide, and a sort of holy GPS system!

    The Spirit will nudge you to pay attention (maybe He’s using this very blog post!), and that is how you start “waking up” to the devil’s schemes. Once you start to become aware of what’s going on, then you can start fighting back! And, prayer is a good place to start.

    Prayer is our call to God to say, “Hey, I could use some supernatural help here, please!” Because really, we cannot fight the devil on our own. We can try, but it won’t last — it doesn’t really work. We need God’s help in this battle.

    So, we pray and ask God to open our eyes to all of the ways that the Dark Side is trying to distract us and keep us from our destinies. And we ask God to give us focus and strength to combat the temptation toward those distractions. Then we need to trust that God will help us (for when we ask for something that is already God’s will for us, we can have FULL confidence that we’ve already got it — it’s a done deal!).

    And finally, we then need to get to work, and DO what God has been asking us to do…pursue that which we have been distracted from.

    So again, to overcome distraction (or, any of the Dark Side’s other tactics), we need to:

    1. WAKE UP
    2. PRAY
    3. BELIEVE
    4. TAKE ACTION!

    A quick example for you:

    That quote from Revelation Wellness is what the Holy Spirit used to start waking me up. I recognized what had been happening (that I had been doing other things, rather than what God wants me to do), I prayed for focus and believed God would help me out, and then I took action — I left my computer turned off, this morning, in order to get this blog post written FIRST, before the online world could suck me into its distractions.

    Like I mentioned earlier, maybe the Spirit is using this very post to get your attention! If so, don’t hesitate… pray, believe, and take action, today. It’s the best way to fight back against the enemy. Don’t let him steal another day. You’ve got this!

    PS… As I wrote this post, my pens kept dying! I had to switch them out twice! Obviously, the Dark Side was working hard to keep me from sharing this with you! 

  • Faith

    Leaving Organized Religion (Part 2)

    This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series LeavingOrganizedReligion

    In my last post, I talked about how I feel God has shown me that I don’t need to go to church… it’s not a Biblical mandate. The Bible only says that we aren’t to neglect meeting together with other believers (Heb.10:25).

    Leaving Organized Religion: Part One | She Will Rise

    Well, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression… I might leave the church — meaning the Sunday morning services, or a specific congregation — but I won’t be leaving the faith. I am just tired of trying to live up to the man-made rules of religion.

    Wayne Jacobsen (author of “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Any More“), in this article, puts it this way:

    Many people giving up on local institutions are not doing so because they’ve rejected Jesus, but finding that the culture of Christianity is actually diminishing their faith not enhancing it.

    I’ve always felt really guilty for not keeping up with the “spiritual disciplines”: prayer, fasting, Scripture reading, etc. I do read my Bible from time-to-time (though, not as consistently as I should), and my prayer life is fairly active… I pray off and on throughout every day, little prayers sent up about this or that. But I don’t sit down do have “quiet time” with God, normally, and that makes me feel like a “bad Christian”.

    While I realize that the spiritual disciplines are important, I also now realize that I was trying to make them into a “law”, more than a loving, grace-based action. If it doesn’t flow naturally from my love for God, then it’s law, IMHO. We should be so in love with our Lord that we naturally want to spend time with Him, and learn from Him, and grow towards being more like Him. Or, at least, that’s how I see it.

    For me, I feel pressured by other Christians to always be striving in my faith. But, faith isn’t supposed to be about striving. It’s supposed to be about relationship; about letting Christ live out His purposes through us. Unfortunately, I never feel “good enough” when I’m around other Christians. I always feel like they are looking down on me because I don’t make it to church every Sunday, or don’t participate in church events, or don’t serve in some way at the church. I don’t DO enough. But, again, it’s not supposed to be about trying to please others.

    As I said above, if you’re in a relationship with God, and He’s given the freedom to live out His purposes through you, then you’re going to be serving, or acting out the other disciplines of the Christian faith… they’ll just flow naturally from that relationship. It won’t be forced.

    In the same article mentioned above, Wayne Jacobsen says this:

    We were promised a relationship with God but were handed a religion of doctrines we had to believe, rituals we had to observe, obligations we had to meet and a standard of morality to adopt. While most of those were true enough, many found that their attempts to follow them did not produce either the life of Jesus it promised, nor the reality of true, caring communities of faith.

    And, again, this is where I relate. I don’t feel like I’m growing in my faith — only being stunted by the “rules of the game”, and by the condemnation received from those around me. To quote Rob Bell, in his “Sunday” NOOMA video, “God doesn’t want the meaningless rituals… God wants our hearts“.

    “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen
    those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9a

    So, I’m not going to let those things condemn me any more… I am going to live in the freedom Christ is showing me, knowing I don’t have to follow man-made traditions. I can continue to meet with other believers, both at Bible study, and in one-on-one visits with Christian friends. And, I can continue to pursue a loving relationship with my Lord… just apart from “organized religion”.

    It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
    Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
    be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
    ~ Galatians 5:1, NIV

    Note: This post was originally written in 2009.

  • Faith

    Leaving Organized Religion (Part 1)

    This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series LeavingOrganizedReligion

    I’ve had issues with “church” (or, as some prefer to call it, ‘organized religion’) for many, many years. I have encountered way too much hypocrisy & legalism, and have never felt comfortable going to church every Sunday morning. I was practically forced to go to youth group as a teen, and then had issues at 2 of the 3 different churches I’ve attended in the last 20 years… issues that couldn’t just be overlooked, and so I left. My current church is definitely better than the other two were, but it still makes me uncomfortable, to an extent.

    Leaving Organized Religion: Part One | She Will Rise

    Back in 2009, while browsing in a bookstore, I came across a book called “Pagan Christianity” by George Barna & Frank Viola. I didn’t buy it, but just picked it up and skimmed through it. And, it piqued my curiosity. Here’s the description (from Amazon):

    Have you ever wondered why we Christians do what we do for church every Sunday morning? Why do we “dress up” for church? Why does the pastor preach a sermon each week? Why do we have pews, steeples, choirs, and seminaries? This volume reveals the startling truth: most of what Christians do in present-day churches is not rooted in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles. Coauthors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence in the first-ever book to document the full story of modern Christian church practices.

    The book had me intrigued.

    Then I picked up a book from the local library that I originally had no intention of reading: “The Year of Living Biblically” by A. J. Jacobs. An online friend reviewed it, and that review prompted me to give the book a try, and see what I thought. Well, I thought it was a fantastic book, and it got me thinking even more! What really got me, though, was the revelation I took away from that: Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have to attend church (in a building) every week!

    People have always loved to quote me Hebrews 10:25, saying this was the mandate that we are to never stop going to church. Well, guess what? This verse does NOT say you have to “go to church”… it just says you aren’t to neglect meeting with other believers…

    Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” ~ Hebrews 10:25, NIV

    Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” ~ Hebrews 10:25, KJV

    And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” ~ Hebrews 10:25, NLT

    See? Even in the King James Version (which is thought to be one of the most reliable — closest to what was originally written), it says not to neglect meeting together with other believers. But it does NOT say you have to meet in a church building.

    Then, while online shortly thereafter, I came across yet another book: “So You Don’t Want to Go To Church Any More?” by Wayne Jacobsen. And, by Googling the author, I came across his website, LifeStream.org, where you can read a multitude of articles on why he no longer is a fan of “organized religion”, and about how he believes “church” means something different than what we have always believed it to be…

    Mr. Jacobsen says “Church is not somewhere you go; it’s something that you are“. We, the followers of Christ, are His ‘church’, His bride. Wherever we are to be found, that’s where “church” exists.

    And I really like this concept! 😉

    I read some of the articles on this LifeStream website, and apparently this is a growing trend… people are leaving the church building — the Sunday morning gatherings — and they are seeking out other believers that they can learn from and grow with, believers who share their same belief that you can’t limit God to man-made traditions.

    Personally, when I realized that the Bible doesn’t even say you have to “go to church”, but only that you have to continue meeting with other believers, I was so relieved! No longer do I have to give in to the guilt that’s heaped upon me when people ask me if I’m going to church regularly, and I have to say ‘no’. No longer do I have to accept the shame they try to instill in me for not going. Instead, I can relax, knowing that I make my weekly Bible study meetings a priority, and am thereby obeying the Biblical command to continue meeting together with other believers.

    {…to be continued…}

    Note: This post was originally written in 2009.

  • Faith

    What Is a “Christian”?

    What Does It Mean to Be a Christian? | She Will Rise*** This article was written back in 2009, for a local newspaper, by the pastor of my church. 

    Are you a Christian? That may seem like a strange question for a regular reader of this column and I suspect that most would answer with an indignant ‘yes’ except for those who are disappointed that they couldn’t find their horoscope.

    This ‘yes or no question’ may elicit a common response, but if I change it slightly to “How did you become a Christian?” then I believe we could uncover a diversity of answers such as:

    • “I was born in a Christian country.”
    • “I was baptized as a child.”
    • “I was baptized as an adult.”
    • “I went through a confirmation process.”
    • “I believe all the right things.”
    • “I once prayed a prayer asking Jesus into my heart.”
    • “I go to church every week (pretty much).”
    • “I believe in God.”
    • “I am a good person (pretty much).”

    The problem with all of those answers is that none of them are right. None of them are Biblically complete. None of them reflect the radical faith that Jesus came to call us to.

    They may be steps in the right direction, but they fall far short of being the destination.

    When Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, He didn’t come to establish new religious practices and rituals like the ones listed above. In fact, He came to make it very clear that doing these things were not what God wanted from us at all. The mentality of religion as keeping the right rules was so prevalent in Jesus’ time that He got in trouble one day for healing a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath ~ a specific and serious offense to religious law. To paraphrase Jesus, his response was “That is ridiculous!”

    Jesus didn’t come so that we could be more religious, or to initiate an adjustment in the rules. Jesus came to call us to be His followers. The great commission was not to celebrate the faith of those who would assent to a set of beliefs and agree to keep the rules. The great commission of Matthew 28 is to make disciples. What is a disciple? It is a ‘little Jesus’. It is someone who seeks to be like their master.

    And so, are you in the process of becoming a ‘little Jesus’? Have you given up on pleasing God by keeping the rules and are you ready to join with Him as He changes the world while He changes you? Are you tired of focusing on an outward spirituality that is disconnected from the rest of your life? Are you a follower — a disciple — of Jesus Christ?

    If your answer is ‘yes’, then you are a Christian. It’s that simple.

    ~ Jim B.

  • Faith

    Making It Personal

    Making It Personal | SheWillRise.caSometimes I get so very frustrated with the way Christianity is portrayed to the world. More often than not, I see a Christianity that isn’t anywhere close to the one Jesus modeled and taught us to live out. And this hurts the overall message.

    Hypocrisy, legalism, shame, and condemnation are rampant. But is this how Jesus behaved? Did He worship in His Father’s house with His hands raised and eyes closed, and then go out to lunch with the Disciples and laugh about the Pharisees behind their backs? Did He condemn the sinners He met, like the woman at the well who was on her 5th man, or the tax collectors, or the woman who’d been caught in adultery? Did Jesus stand on the street-corners holding a sign that read, “Repent, or you’re all going to hell”?

    The answer to all of the above is: NO.

    Jesus was (and still is) gentle, kind, loving, patient. He convicts us of sin, but He never condemns us. He does say that the consequences of sin is death (eternal punishment), but also that all who believe in Him can be saved! He doesn’t preach this message with a sense of shame or condemnation, but with a soft plea spoken out of the depths of His love for all of us… not JUST Christians, but every single person on the planet.

    I know so many people who have walked away from, or just flat-out rejected, Christianity, because they think…

    • “If that’s what Christianity is all about, I want no part of it.”
    • “If being a Christian means I have to be like so-and-so, no thanks.”
    • “Being a Christian will mean I can’t have fun any more — so, forget it.”

    But, they have seen this “false” pseudo-Christianity, not the real thing. They have no idea how good it can really be. It’s not all about giving up the good times, or walking around all uptight, or about acting all better-than-thou, or converting everyone you see.

    It’s about a friendship with Jesus… a man who was so compelling that people couldn’t help but be drawn to Him… the only One who will never, ever hurt or betray you… the only “friend” who can offer the deepest satisfaction and sense of peace.

    I loved this article, written by Abby Johnson. She’s talking about the latest news regarding abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, but she gives a very good picture of the difference between the false, “pious” Christianity, and the REAL, grace-full Christianity that I’m talking about.

    A blog post from Abby’s blog {read the full post here} had this little paragraph tucked inside it, and it, too, says what I’m trying to say — shows the difference:

    {…“Well, one of our [church] members took her to the Target Café to share the Gospel with her.” So, no material assistance was offered for her or her baby? No resources offered for where she could receive assistance? No phone calls made to maternity homes or pro-life groups in the area? “No,” the woman responded. “Just the meeting at Target to talk about the Lord.”

    Well, isn’t that fantastic. I’m sure the Gospel will find her a hospital to deliver her baby in. I’m sure the Gospel will help her with food to nourish her body during the last few weeks of her pregnancy. I’m sure the Gospel will help keep her safe from harm as she sleeps outside night after night. Their answer made me disgusted. How can we expect to nourish someone spiritually when their physical needs aren’t met? How can we expect someone to be receptive to the Gospel when they go physically hungry during the day? How can we expect someone to believe in the mighty power of Christ when they don’t know if they will be forced to deliver their baby in an alley somewhere? This is Christianity? This is how we treat those in need of help? Certainly not. That is not what faith is about. James clearly states that “faith without works is dead.” What is faith if we are not willing to step out of our comfort zone and get our hands dirty in service to Christ? We are called to be the “hands and feet of Christ,” right? That means service to those who need him…not just words…actions.}

    Precisely. The REAL Christianity is one of compassion and love. It is actions and service. It is modeling Jesus’ actions and love to a hurting world around us. NOT condemnation. NOT shame. NOT ignoring needs because it makes you uncomfortable.

    Ugh.

    ………………………………………………………………………..

    For further reading, check out Acts 2. This is the story of the first community of Christian believers.