Tuesday, March 29, 2011

He's THE Christian!

I have been working with my sons who are 24, 36 and 38 in the big city and I so enjoy the different conversations that are tossed about like a pitch and catch game.  Back and forth, back and forth, dropping the conversation to answer the phone and then picking it right back up.  It is invigorating to be with them and their friends as they discuss new business ventures and make strategic plans to get them up and running.

Recently I was invited to join them as they met with a group of 30 somethings to discuss an initiative to help the Boys and Girls Club in their area.  They were all so very nice and seemed to have such good hearts as they wanted to offer their assistance by using their talents and skills used in their various businesses to bring about a product that could help TB&GC.  As I looked around the table I wondered what their backgrounds were as far as their beliefs.  Well, I soon found out. 

One of the members was unable to attend and in order to describe him to the others the leader said, "He's a red head!  And he is THE Christian!"  My son asked what he meant by that and the reply given was, "Well you know we say we are Christians but he is a real Christian."  His tone of voice told me that he admired his friend and I really want to ask what was so different about him, but it wasn't the time or place.  But I do hope I meet him someday.

I have thought about that one sentence over and over and I have told several people about this young man I do not know.  I also wonder if anyone would ever say that about me....without me telling them first that I am a Christian.  Could they tell that I am sold out to the ways of Christ by my behavior?  Do the words I speak influence them to want to know more about Christianity or does it make them turn and run?  What makes this young man so different than his friends who call themselves Christians?  Maybe if I brought to my mind everyday that I am an ambassador of Christ, I would act accordingly.  Lord, help me!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Should I Really Write Out My Rambling Thoughts?

Recently I had a friend suggest that I should write a devotional. Last month an older women (I use that term with much admiration) emailed me that I should write a book. Through the past ten years, I started both endeavors many times over only to throw up my hands and throw out my thoughts; who in the world wants to hear the ramblings that go on in my head? Some of them, no, most of them, are so random that I wonder how they even entered my brain. Certainly God sends out ideas and notions that I am to ponder, go to the Bible for clarification and grow in my understanding of Him. But I worry that some things are not of Him but of my own pitiful mind or worse, of the devil who deliberately keeps me off track.
So here I am thinking about writing out my own interpretations of life…again. This time I will not hold back even if readers may think I am stepping on sacred ground with dirty feet. I believe in the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus is my only way to the Father and the Holy Spirit guides me in all things. I want to engage with God and if by doing so I write about things that you do not agree with, please know it is not my intent to upset or enlighten you. Please do not judge my ramblings as gospel truth but a way of sorting out my real beliefs. Please share your thoughts with me. Maybe we will grow closer to the Lord together.

My first interpretation…The title is shocking but the surge it gave me in my Christian walk is electrifying.

If Virgin Mary were a whore would they call her Whore Mary?

As I read this status on Facebook I was instantly upset. What would ever posses anyone to think of Mary in those terms and post it on the web for all to see. This nineteen year old college freshman was someone I taught in Sunday School and I knew without a doubt that he believed in the Lord. How could he make light of the Lord’s mother? I was so disturbed about it I called him and asked (well, told him) to remove his status! He obliged, but it had already received comments from other young people who liked his post. What’s up with that?

The next morning the Lord spoke to me as soon as I opened my eyes and He reprimanded me for the way I handled the situation. Wasn’t this an opportunity to have open dialogue with this young man? He also brought to my mind that if Mary were a prostitute, He would have called her as such. God does not sugar coat anything in the Bible. There are prominent women in the Bible that are described by their sexual condition, like it or not.

Write down what comes to your mind first as I mention the names of Biblical women; Sarah, Rahab, Mary Magdalene, the Samaritan woman, the adulteress woman. Did you write words such as, barren and told her husband to sleep with her servant, prostitute, demon-possessed, married 5 times, and promiscuous? Unfortunately, most of us were taught those adjectives to describe these remarkable women as bad girls of the Bible. Are we missing what God wants us to really take away from their lives? Wouldn’t it be more encouraging to think of them as; mother of nations, helper to God’s people and great, great grandmother to King David, freed from bondage and then possessed by Christ, first evangelist in Samaria, and forever grateful. Each one had an encounter that changed them forever.

The next phone call to this young man was an apology for my outburst but also a plea for understanding. What was going through his mind to bring up such a thought? “Well,” he said, “When I was out raking leaves I was just having random thoughts and wondered why there is a sexual word in front of Mary. I know why she had to be a virgin but what would it be like if we gave sexual titles to everyone? Instead of introducing you as my mom, would I have to say this is three times married Barb? Or this is my never married aunt? Or this is my childless aunt?” Wow! What a deep thinker my son is! I had jumped at the chance to defend what I thought was an attack on Mary without even asking my son what he was contemplating. Now I was the one thinking about how I mentally label people.

God stated the facts about a person to show the condition of their heart before encountering His divine intervention. We state the facts as if making a derogatory remark about the person to make them lower or raise us higher. Did God really intend for us to remember Mary as the Virgin Mary or that she was chosen by God for a specific purpose? Did God want us to remember that Elizabeth was barren or that He created a child within her when it was seen as impossible? Did God want us to remember the woman at the well as the one who had been married 5 times or that she accepted Christ as Living Water? Did God want us to remember the harlot who came uninvited to Simon’s house or that she boldly worshipped him when she washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair?

Why do we always look for the bad in a person instead of the results of an encounter with God?

It still bothers me that my son would even put the word whore in a sentence with the mother of my Lord, but I am delighted that he was thinking of Mary while raking leaves.

Because of the teachable moments that occur afterwards, I have asked my son to tell me whatever roams through his mind.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kyria Blog: Embracing Idols

When I read this blog it spoke directly to what is in my heart as a member of the Women's Ministry Team at my church.  When I was in Bible studies that stretched my way of thinking and convicted me of my actions that were not God pleasing, I grew closer to the Lord and my life was balanced and blessed.  And yet even knowing that, I put aside study for just about anything.  Shame on me!!!  Read this blog and tell me how it motivates you to seek the Lord.

Kyria Blog: Embracing Idols