Simple Truth

For those who are in a rough patch, feel free to sing along:

Jesus loves me, this I know! For the Bible tells me so! Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong!

Yes! Jesus loves me! Yes! Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me; the Bible tells me so.

Hang in there, brothers and sisters. You are well and truly loved ❤

-J

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Live & Let Live

Hey all. So this one’s a little more important to me, cuz…well, just keep reading. So, one extremely important aspect of my life is that I’m a Christian. I love God. I don’t care what anyone says, He’s good, He’s kind, and He’s got love and healing that won’t end. And if I didn’t believe that, boys and girls, I would have died of hopelessness a long time ago. I believe it like I believe the sun will come up tomorrow, like I believe fire will burn and water will cleanse, and books will take me to a whole new place that I could never imagine. I believe it because it just is, and life doesn’t make sense without it.

Now, mind you, I’m no model of Christianity. I’m…I’m not Jesus. I can be a pretty awful human being, and I fall far short of the mark, all the time. I wish I were a better person, and a better Christian, to be honest. I feel like a pretty big screw up a lot of the time. But this post isn’t about that. I realize I’m a work in progress, and I know, with time, patience and a whole heckuva lot of trial and error and swallowing my pride, I’ll grow into the man God made me to be. But again, that’s not the focus of this post. The focus of this post is on my friends, some of the people I love most in the world, and I guess our relationships, both with one another, and more importantly, with God.

So for me, I grew up in church. Born and raised in the Foursquare church in my native Oregon. I loved it. The people from that church are like a second family to me, and we teach nothing more than the Bible. I believe that God loves you and me, that Jesus died to cleanse us of all our sins and iniquities, our faults and flaws, and that He rose again to life and is even now urging us toward that new life. Call it dopey if you want; I can understand why people would. I can see both sides of the equation, sure. But there’s just…something that rings true. I’ve tried looking into other religions and spiritual ideas and beliefs, and none of it has that solid, tangible truth to it. It doesn’t smack of reality to me.

But how do you explain that to people? How do you tell someone that you adore a God who they can’t see or hear or feel, and expect them to believe it? /sigh/ I guess I care too much about how they see me. But in this world of Bible-thumping nutjobs and hatred-spewing zealots, I really don’t want to push folks away. But…but because I don’t want to ostracize anyone, or make somebody uncomfortable, I hold my tongue. More often than I should, really. Even with my friends.

That kills me the most, I think. It’s not just that I feel like I’m failing both God and people; it’s that I’m not…I’m not being true to myself and I’m not helping my friends. I love God! And I want my friends to be happy. And when I don’t speak up, when I don’t say, “Well, y’know, the Bible actually has the answer to all that,” I feel…I dunno. Cheap, I guess. Weak. My relationship to God is precious to me, man. And maybe that’s why I don’t wanna bring it up; like, I don’t want something that dear to me to be ridiculed.

Right, backstory. So, I’m Christian, but pretty much none of my friends are. Makes it hard sometimes, to talk about the real important stuff. You know, the “My life is falling apart!” kinda stuff. For me, I immediately go to God. But what can I say to them? If they don’t believe, how can the most important things I could say even begin to matter? And then there’s the disparities between us. They focus on this life, with making it here, being “successful” here, while I tend to take the longer view. I can see how a behavioral issue, if not addressed, will grow into a terrible problem down the road, or how a particular philosophy doesn’t jive with what God says, and how that will tear apart a friend’s life if it’s not handled. I can see what it will do to a person’s heart, and the heart is the most important part in a human being. And I…/sigh/ I don’t wanna rock the boat. Because I feel like nothing I say will make a difference. Gah, I’m just a big old coward, aren’t I?

I want so desperately for my friends to come to God. I want them to experience His joy, His peace, His strength and comfort. But maybe I don’t really want it bad enough. Not if looking the fool or being ignored or being ridiculed for what I believe or whatever is enough to keep me from continuing to try. I feel so weak, hehe.

/sigh/ So, I guess that’s it for now. I want so much more for my own life, and for the lives of my friends and loved ones. I want everyone to come to God and have everything He has in store for them. Which, by the by, is waaaaay better than what the advertising and the nuts say it is. I don’t want to live and let live if it means I let someone slip through my fingers. I don’t want to let opportunities to really actually help somebody get away. Because what if my inaction leads to their hearts dying? What if my silence dooms them? Then I’m a murderer, aren’t I?

Gah, rereading this, I sound like a looney. Clap me in irons, officer. I’m a wacko. But at least the chow is nice.

-J