Good Afternoon Guys 🙂
I hope everyone is having a good day. Here in the High Rockies we are in the middle of the biggest May snowstorm in over 40 years 😉 Yep, a bit crazy and lots of snow for May. Today I had some time as I was sitting inside watching the snow fall and wanted to share something on my heart and that hubby and I have been talking lots about lately. I feel it is largely been put on my heart to create community and foster it. There is HUGE blessing in community!! For some years in my life I fought it and it truly was a huge blessing I was allowing myself to robbed of. I feel Jesus wants us to love people with his love and offer grace to others as we so graciously need ourselves. We should feel others people’s burdens and hurt when they hurt and be excited and champion them through the good things too! However, truly what we answer for is ourselves. Please hear me out here. Yes, we should create community. The way we were raised, where we are in this season of life, where life has led us, where we are in our journey with Jesus all impact us differently and even more so God created us all with different gifts and personalities and passions. I feel Jesus has been so laying on my heart to make sure I’m seeking him and going to the Holy Spirit daily for my life. Of course we all know this. However, what I mean is sometimes we see things. Good things we want to be more like and bad things we don’t care for especially the more we build relationships with others. Sometimes, we so want to help or “fix things our way” just wishing that person would listen because we have been there and made that mess ourselves and yet they don’t sometimes. They keep waddling in the same messes. (As yes I and you and everyone absolutely has both good and bad things in our lives and are a work in process all the time! My prayer is to never stop growing and being teachable and having l God challenging me to new heights because he knows I have a LONG way to go!! ) However, God has clearly laid something on my heart lately through the Holy Spirit. He has said, “Lauren, I have called you to walk the life I have for you. I have imprinted the passions and such on your heart that you have uniquely for you. Yes, please always be real vulnerable and share with people so you can show them some of what I have taught you. However, the life I have led you to is uniquely yours. When you get upset about something or see someone doing something that breaks your heart yes talk to me about it, yes be there, yes love them, but at the end of the day remember THEIR WALK IS NOT YOUR WALK! ” (Please note I’m NOT saying we shouldn’t walk out things with people. We absolutely should. The only time I would say no is when someone has made it clear they don’t want you then you do need to step back 😉 In these situations we will have to learn how to love from afar. However, regardless we must allow people to have the freedom to walk out situations with Jesus int their own way not just the way in the way he has led us “I” or anyone else thinks they should or would handle it) If people are truly seeking Jesus even if it looks different from our journey did or we think it should it will still be an amazing journey and if they aren’t going to Jesus we can pray they will and he will show them but we have to let go of that as well.
We all have unique walks. It is so easy to get so caught up over little things and we all have passions and things that matter more to us or bother us more than they would someone else or when we are at a different place on our journey. I’m pretty sure if we are honest we all do this! I know without a doubt I def sometimes get on others people’s nerves or can’t understand sometimes something God has greatly laid on their hearts and I do the same to others sometimes. God uniquely through his Holy spirit lays things on our heart. I also do absolutely feel he lays discernment on our hearts as well and so we can see both good and bad and sometimes be corrected as well. I’m not talking here a cop-out for saying oh if something immoral is on someone’s heart then God has laid that on their heart. Of course not because God will never lay something inmoral on our hearts to live out! I believe in speaking truth in love and at the times God allows and tells us to do so . However, I do believe at the end of the day what truly matters is me going to Jesus for me and my daily portion. Jesus will equip me personally to be the wife, mom, friend, and so forth for the people he has placed in my life. My walk won’t look the same as someone else’s walk and theirs the same as mine. Bottom line of what I am trying to say is build community and love people. However, at the end of the day we need the Holy spirit alone for where we are on our personal journey. The passions my husband and I have our hearts are uniquely ours. The places and both good and bad God has allowed me, my husband, and our children to walk through and grow through is uniquely for us and the plans he has for us. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what someone else is or isn’t doing but in us walking in the freedom of the Holy Spirit for our own lives. There is great freedom and joy of that. I’ve had to personally learn how to balance that while still creating community and there is great peace and joy in that and realizing our own individual worth and journey in Christ. When we realize this we are truly free to love others and champion others with Christ like love but also letting go of feeling like we have to answer for everyone.
“Christianity is decaying and going down into the gutter because the God of modern christianity is not the God of the bible.” A.W. Tozer
Wow what a way to start a post huh 😉 I will preface and say I go to an amazing church that loves people well. P This post is about our American christian culture as a whole and my general heart on this topic. This has been on my heart a lot lately. My husband and I were talking about Christianise and how it has hurt so many people and creeps up almost everywhere. It started with a discussion about marriages and how many marriages are hurting and people seem to think our area has more hurt marriages that some other areas. I was telling him I am not sure that is the case as I have seen hurt marriages and broken people everywhere we have lived. My husband made a profound comment to me that I have been thinking about and 100% agreed. He said, “Babe I don’t think our area has any more hurt people and broken marriages than anywhere else as they are everywhere but I think our area debunks Christianise.” I was intrigued by his observation but it started a deep discussion. There have been some places I have lived where almost the whole population is “christian”. Everyone in those areas knows who Jesus is and attends church. However, in many of those places there are a lot of hurt marriages and hurting people who feel the need to pretend it is all okay. Statistics definitely help validate this point. Where I currently live people don’t seem to pretend. People don’t go to church because it is “expected”. You can’t really measure someone’s relationship with Jesus by if they are in church and I feel this is true no matter where you live. I am NOT saying fellowship with other christians and outreach is not important. However, in our “American Christianese culture” as a whole we measure someone’s faith and the christian population of an area by whether people are in church and how many new people are coming in. Look, people can go to church without being saved. We can all look the part for anything in life without really changing. For instance, I can go watch my team play football every week and show up faithfully, however without being involved on the team I am NOT part of the team. We can show up for church and pretend it is fine and we have a relationship with Jesus and not. I have been there before myself until I craved more and really dug deep and was grasped by Jesus to make my faith into a real relationship. I am NOT anti church. There are some great churches that truly care about people, including mine. I think we should be involved with church and community and that is hugely my heart. However, I am ANTI evaluating if someone is saved or not by Sunday attendance and their pretending life is perfect. If we don’t take the time to truly know people and walk and DO LIFE with them we will never know the real person. If we all feel we have to “play a part” and we are good then we have Christianity backwards for sure! If we can’t understand why so many don’t want to come church and play a “Christianise game” then we need to re-evaluate. We ARE the Church! We will all screw up and need Grace. However, we need to see where our hearts are. Our American christian culture has, as a whole, equated the church model to a business model. If we are tithing to our church and yet our church isn’t helping our community then we have it backwards. If our community food banks and programs are caring and loving on people more than we in the church are that is wrong. If we care more about our sunday church attendance then we do caring and loving people daily maybe it is time to re-evaluate. If we equate attendance and growth as to how healthy our church is we have it wrong. Christianese can creep in fast and it can and has hurt a lot of people. Our relationship with Jesus matters, things that break his heart matter (including morally), our relationship with others matter, and loving people and truly walking out life with them matter. Understanding people’s hurts matter. My hearts cry for myself and others is for us to “drop the Christianese” and love people and care about people and invest in people. If we don’t than we have a mere business based religion that no one wants. I know I DON’T want that! If that is what christianity is then I’m out has been the general point I have gotten from a lot of people I have talked to and you know what I AGREE with them! That is NOT who Jesus is or what our aim should be. “Christianese” hurts people.
I will head this off with a warning….This post is nothing based on weigh loss specifically though I did apply some of this through my journey and will bring it together at the end of this post. I have something on my heart and kind where God has been taking me personally. In proverbs 4:23 it says “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. In the new testament there is also TONS on the heart. For example, Romans 12:8 says “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others have fulfilled the law.” Jesus and Paul both talked a lot about our hearts and guarding our hearts as well as truly loving others. This past few years God has been showing me how important it is truly be pure with what flows from our hearts. For example, I think about with my marriage. I don’t want to love my husband based upon a list of things to do, yet I want to truly love him and connect with him on a heart level and I want him to do the same. If not then we don’t have a true marriage. I don’t want my children just to follow my rules because I say they need to. I want love for Jesus and others to be in their hearts and the reason they choose to do things. I don’t want to raise children who know my rules but have never had any heart behind it, because then they are following a “plan” and that’s what keeps them on the right track so to speak. (DISCLAIMER : I do know when you are a parent sometimes we have to make boundaries and pray our children’s heart follows. I know part of the job of parenting is to establish boundaries for your children to follow, however I hope to show my children the heart and why behind these boundaries and rules ) I personally don’t want to do things just because I need to check them off my list. Look this may be controversal but I think a HUGE problem with “american christianity” is so many times we look at things as boxes to check off with no heart behind why we are doing things. We look to do things to get it checked off our list with no true heart behind it. Look, I know we are all human and at times we know we just have to do things and we have to be willing to die to self and know that the heart will follow. However, I DO NOT want that to be my life verse and song. I want to love others truly because God first loved me. I want to build community because I love people. I want people to know I’m real and make mistakes and I screw up but my heart is pure. I am so thankful for a savior who loves me and bestows grace and mercy upon me, yet I pray daily to have my heart transformed to love people BIGGER and MORE. Look people MATTER!! We have such an awesome Lord who loves us and when we truly can grasp that as much as our humans minds can we truly want to love others. I have known religion and of God my whole life but my faith truly didn’t really start becoming my own till my 20s when I truly started developing relationship and seeing Jesus and his truths for myself, not as a box of something I had always known. Once I truly had the heart to seek him and make my relationship with him truly my own I really started knowing him and his heart.
With my weight struggles before I had success I always looked at my weight and issues as something to check off. Yes, I needed to lose weight and get healthy but truly for a long time I had no heart behind my motives to truly take action and get healthy. I would try something with no heart behind it and it may work short-term or whatever but I wouldn’t stick with it. My heart wasn’t in it. It was not till I truly put my heart into wanting to get healthy and change my lifestyle I had true transformation to make my weight loss journey happen. NOT just the idea of it but truly wanting to change and willing to put in the effort. ( Yes, even with our heart in things we have to put in effort it just changes the attitude we have behind the effort and usually makes our effort truly a 100% effort) I honestly had to get to this point in my relationship with The Lord and my marriage as well. Things never really changed till I changed my heart and I was ready to take action.
My burden and desire is to truly have a HEART to love others, put in effort for things that matter, and not look at things in my life as just boxes to check off. When I have looked at things and people as boxes to check– and oh have I with so many things at different times of my life, it either made be give up or made me biter. May we truly have the heart to put in the effort to love people and make effort and heart change for the things that matter to us. It is WORTH IT!