Why I think being a Christian is the best thing ever....

I became a Christian when I was 15 years old; I was baptized at a tiny little church in Funston, GA. I remember reading scripture after that day, thinking "Wow, Jesus is talking about ME!". My spiritual life since then has been a series of mountain tops and valleys. Sometimes I feel really in tune with God; other times, He seems as foreign to me as someone I read about in People magazine--interesting but no one I really know.

However, no matter how I feel, I KNOW that knowing Christ and following after Him is the best thing ever and like Peter said..."To who would we turn? Where would we go?" There are no other alternatives left for me. There is simply no one like Jesus.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not Satisfied

April 26, 2010

Well, it's Monday, and I am not satisfied that it is Monday. I am not satisfied that I only had 2 full days with friends from out of town. I am not satisfied that it rained ALL day Saturday while we were tailgating outside. I am NOT satisfied to have begin another week of work. I am just not satisfied. Period.

However, there is a bigger, more looming thing I am not satisfied with and that is my relationship with my Savior. I feel that I am missing a more deep and personal connection that can totally satisfy me in Him. And I know that it is me that is the one holding out...not God. I have only recently realized this. Maybe I am at the point in our relationship that I am beginning to see how I am holding back, not completely yielding to Him, to let His joy be at the root and core of my being. If I can get there, I know that my joy will be made complete in Him; my worship and adoration of Him more pure and real than ever before. I know that I cannot do this on my own power...it is only through Christ that I can reach this place of contentment in my soul. "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27 Please Lord don't let me stay where I am...take me deeper with you.

I am also realizing too for the first time, the depth of my own depravity...the sin in me. I think this is almost harder for those of us who grow up in Christian homes to truly know our own sinful nature because we are trained to "do the right thing" and "be obedient"; that's what "good boys and girls" do afterall. We slip into a "sin coma" because we are not told that by being born we are sinful and objects of God's wrath. But thank the good Lord we are covered by Christ's innumerable and immeasurable grace and are forgiven once we accept this incredible gift of salvation. Lord, please help know and understand my sin, that I may confess it before you and clear the air between us.

I also read a prayer by John Piper today that he prayed for his church last Sunday before his hiatus. It was very moving....I've copied below and highlighted the parts that spoke to me:

O Lord, as you are often accustomed to do, show your great power in my absence. Send a remarkable awakening that results in hundreds of people coming to Christ, old animosities being removed, marriages being reconciled and renewed, wayward children coming home, long-standing slavery to sin being conquered, spiritual dullness being replaced by vibrant joy, weak faith being replaced by bold witness, disinterest in prayer being replaced by fervent intercession, boring Bible reading being replaced by passion for the Word, disinterest in global missions being replaced by energy for Christ’s name among the nations, and lukewarm worship being replaced by zeal for the greatness of God’s glory.

Love it!! Lord, keep with me. Let me know your holy presence more fully that I may be satisfied more deeply than I've ever known.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter...a celebration

Easter was yesterday. The weather was perfect...sunny, warm, with birds singing. I mean, it couldn't have been more perfect in terms of that. However, this has been one of the saddest Easter's I've experienced as an adult.

My dear old friend and best dog, Allie, had to be put down last week. Then, hours later on the same day, our friend and neighbor, Mike Sweeney, went to be with Jesus. The cancer wore down his body until he had nothing physically left to give. Finally, on Saturday morning, another beloved community member, Shane Richardson, lost his battle with cancer as well. Both of these young men were shining examples of Christ in their homes, churches and neighborhoods. My dog Allie was a constant companion and true friend, beloved by everyone in my family. All three will be missed sorely by those of us left behind.

So, how do I reconcile all this loss with the joy of Easter? Celebration and death usually don't go together. But, that's exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross. He experienced death to give us something to truly celebrate...eternal life. He drank from the cup he'd prayed hours before to be taken from Him. He went willingly to that tree, to be tortured and killed for something He did not do. And all because He wanted us to participate in this fabulous celebration called life. Death is not the end for those of us who know and accept Jesus. We have much to celebrate here and in the next phase called heaven.

Live on and celebrate!