Searching

Poetry and other random thoughts from a wandering mind and a searching heart!


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I Don’t say “I Love You”


I don’t say the words “I love you”
I’d rather let my life show you
Rather give you the respect you deserve
Than speak the words and offer the hope
And let you find that it was an unforgivable joke
Too often I trusted the things that were said
Only to find no reality there
Words thrown about with such great ease
But lacking in meaning or acts or deeds
They say I’m too serious, too intense
But words have meaning where I exist
So I choose my words carefully
Let my actions speak
Try not to make promises I cannot keep
Friendship is a precious treasure
Love a sacred bond
Hearts were made for tender care
Not to be trampled upon
So I do not take it lightly
This offering of my love
I just do not say the words “I love you”
I live my life to show you!

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Even if it’s true, is it loving?


This Meme  angers me every time I see it.  For me it makes it worse because it is christians who post it.  This week I found it on the facebook page of an elder and a ministers wife.  As of today it has been shared from the original site 39000 times.   I am stunned.

At first reading it sounds possibly a correct assessment.   If you got hurt by “the church” or by those who go to churches…and you lost your faith in God, then perhaps you had faith in the wrong thing.  But how do I know that and who am I to judge?

In my younger days I was a part of a movement that turned out to be more of a cult.  They were legalistic and demanding…even controlling.  At first this movement brought lots of people into the church.  The message was good but the implementation was bad.   As time went along many people became disillusioned, hurt and left.   Some left the church and some left the faith.   I do not believe their initial faith was in men.  I can think of a specific young lady that was brought into the fold.  She was as excited about reading the bible and learning more about Jesus and God as anyone I have ever met.   There was nothing in her response for me to ever doubt that she fell in love with Jesus and wanted to follow Him.   But the practices of this group left her with a different vision of the Jesus she found in scripture and she was hurt and abused by the group.   She left the church and her faith.  I ran into her about ten years later and the hurt was still real and she had no desire to pursue God.   She still crosses my mind and I can only hope that in the ensuing years God found her again.  She was just one of many that struggled with faith after becoming disillusioned with the people who she thought knew more about walking the path than she did.

By way of disclaimer I will state that I have been hurt by “the church”…too many times.  I come from an abusive family but the hurt I have experienced from those who claim Jesus is far worse than any I knew growing up.   I never lost my faith in God but I did at times have to fight my way through a crisis of faith.  I was blessed to have Godly people who stood by me, stuck with me when I seemed to be going off track and who loved me back to higher ground when I had been so wounded by “the church”.  But the sorrow and anger I feel when I see this is not for me.   My relationship with my God is solid.   But for all those who have been hurt, whether young christians like my friend, or those just weak in their faith…or those whom satan managed to entangle,  my heart breaks.   This meme marginalizes those people, it blames the vicitim.   It reopens wounds.

I understand that sometimes there have been trivial issues that people allowed to pull them away from church…or their faith.  That should not be.  We should all be focused on God and never allow anyone or anything to pull us from that focus.  But the reality remains that “the church”, that christians have hurt people.  And too often it has not been small misunderstandings.  The pain is real and the damage is huge.

I am not a scholar but I do know that God calls us to love…all.  He tells us not to cause others to stumble…more importantly He calls us to humility.  If the actions of this thing we call “the church” has caused pain, enough pain to at least some people to cause them to doubt our God, should we not be concerned, humbled, gentle, repentant and do whatever we can to lead them to a purer faith in God?

This meme comes over as arrogant and mean..or that is my opinion of it.   With almost 40000 people posting it on facebook it helps me to understand why we are unable to reach the world with the message that Jesus is love.   We are all broken and if we have not been part of hurting someone we probably will be.  That should humble us.   We should never put our faith in people and we should never let anyone change our relationship with God but this “in your face” message does nothing to help reach those who might have lost faith or never had it.   If they are lost, separated from their God and we are truly part of “THE church”, then our mission should be to find them and bring them into the fold.   This meme does nothing to accomplish that mission.

Even if this message is true, is it necessary?  And if it continues the pain that any person out there felt because of being hurt by “the church”, is it worth being right?   

 

 

 

 

 


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It is time to break down the walls that divide us and embrace the things that unite us.


I just got back from seeing “God is not Dead 2”.  I love going to these spiritually based movies because they make me think deeply about spiritual concepts.  Today’s movie reminds me that we are at war, a war against the forces of evil that are way more real than we like to think about or talk about. I think the time is soon coming, if not already upon us when we will be called upon to defend our faith, when our faith will be challenged in ways we have yet to imagine, a time when we will be persecuted, called names, and perhaps be confined for our beliefs. 

Having faith, being a Christian becomes less popular by the day and there is a movement to wipe it out.  While we as Christians know how the story ends and that there is not a chance that God will not maintain a remnant of His people as long as the earth survives, we are already seeing people in foreign countries dying for their faith.  I believe the time is now for those of us who claim the name of Christ to unite together, for us to break down the barriers, the walls that divide us and embrace the things that unite us.  It is time to drop labels, to stop idolizing the particular brand of Christianity we adhere to or the buildings where we gather to worship.  We must be the church, God’s church.  God’s church includes all of those who have understood their need for him, have recognized their own sin and repented of it and who have committed their lives to following Jesus.  It is not confined by titles, buildings, denominations or styles.   

It is time for us to show the world Jesus.  He says that the world will know we are Christians by the way we love each other.   If we are going to be prepared to fight the forces of evil and stand firm in our faith we must figure out how to unite in love.   We must stop fighting each other, we must hold each other accountable to live in righteousness, we must be kind to each other, help each other, offer grace to those who stumble and we must walk in humility.   We must settle our disputes, we must practice reconciliation and forgiveness.  We must learn to love as Jesus loved and commanded us to love each other.

The movie also made me realize how much I hunger for deep, spiritual community, for people to talk with about truth, the challenges of walking in faith….people who will help me to be accountable and who are willing to be held accountable, for a safe place to explore the world around us and the loving response to it.  

If you have not seen the movie check it out.   And if it challenges you or causes you to think, let me know what you take away from it.

 Ephesians 6:12  New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.


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Iron Sharpening Iron


Iron-Sharpens-Iron-So-one-man-sharpens-another

What if we talked to each other instead of about each other?

I was recently blessed to have a sister in Christ approach me after I, in a moment of hurt, had done something in a public way that should not have been handled that way. She came to me and asked if she could share her heart, if she could speak freely to me. I told her to speak what was on her mind. She challenged me and asked if the way I had handled this event that had disappointed and hurt me was the way I should have done it. She reminded me that scripture tells us to go to each other with our concerns, disappointments, and hurts. She acknowledged my hurt and simply asked that I consider what would glorify God, what I could do that would be building rather than divisive.
I confessed sin, the error of my actions…I acknowledge that I had acted out of hurt….and I thanked her for her willingness to be vulnerable, to come to me, to speak truth, to help me to reorient my thinking.
Her actions and her words just confirmed for me a path that I am convinced we are called to follow. I mess up. We all mess up. What if when we saw sin in each other we talked to each other instead of about each other? What if we had the courage to go and confront the issue? What if we refused to gossip, to listen to gossip? What if we refused to let rumors grow? What if we loved each other enough to help each other change our harmful ways?
It is so easy to get hurt and go to others to seek affirmation, to vent our frustrations, to paint others in a bad light. It is so much easier to gather together and try to put together our puzzle pieces about a person or a situation to try to come up with a reason or an explanation for things we do not understand.
Can we find the courage, the resolve to love each other enough to talk to each other instead of about each other? Can we be iron that sharpens iron? Can we be the people who bring about healing, hope and reconciliation? Can we march boldly into the war and take away the enemies weapons?
To my sister, Thank you for reaching out, for speaking truth and for being a source of light in the middle of darkness.

Ephesians 4:2-3New International Version (NIV)
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.