CHEAP AND YUMMY BROWNIE RECIPE!
6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.

1/14/09

ON MY EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY

(Dear Reader: Please remember that this blog is first and foremost for my children to read when I've gone the way of the Dodo bird, thus this post exists to share my thoughts with them. My thoughts to my children on the Catholic religion is soon to come.)

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I was raised in a Christian household. My parents are Christians. I became a Christian when I was 7 years old as I asked Jesus into my heart, kneeling at an alter, in our hometown church. I was Baptised in the Ohio River when I was 12 years old in the name of The Father, and The Son and The Holy Spirit. I ran around "churchless" for 2 of my later teen years. It was in that time that I met my husband, Brian, who was raised in church also but, alas, was running around churchless in his later teen years also. Brian and I got married 11 months after we met one another. We were married 6 weeks after I had turned 20 years old. He is 1 1/2 years younger than I am.

Brian and I "got saved again" a year into our marriage. (if that's possible) We were Baptised together in a baptismal at our church in the name of The Father, and The Son and The Holy Spirit. Through the years, I've had questions and spent much time searching out why I believe the way I do, but when it comes to knowing who my Saviour is, I know. Period. I questioned His existence and came to believe that He does exist. Not only do I know who He is but I know life without Him and I choose to keep Him nice and safe in my heart, thank you very much.

All of that said, I do have a tendency to walk around being saved without telling everyone about it. There are days, weeks...even months when I never mention it to a person who passes by. I don't throw Bibles out my window trying to bless "sinners" as they walk by or go around blessing everyone I see. I just don't care to bother everyone down the pike with my views.

In the past 2 years, since I broke my leg, our family has homechurched. We were in transition between churches when my leg broke and since I was bound to our home for 2 months, we just kept staying home after I was able to walk better. The process of finding a new church has sort of drug its heals. We homeschool from a Christian curriculum, and so the slow church hunt has taken our family a bit longer than I had hoped since our children are already being "fed" at home. It's been nice actually, but I do miss the family time spent together going to church and then lunch afterward. But I digress...

There is a term in the evangelical world called a Lukewarm Christian. I've noticed in my years of church-going that many adults are afraid to become "Lukewarm" because God spits you out of His mouth and all that. In an effort to be "hot" there are some who "talk like a Christian" whenever they feel someone may be looking their way with a judgemental eye. They may actually be afraid to allow themselves to breathe lest they fall off the wagon, so to speak because there they would sit all Lukewarm and what-not.

I've found, that some Christians like to evangelize every soul who happens to say a "buzz" word that is in disagreement to their particular kind of Christian faith. Heaven forbid an evangelical happen upon a Catholic who says the word, "works." But that's another post for another day.

I am a people watcher. I like to figure people out, and because I'm made that way I watch how people act in various situations. Many Christians lighten up when they are around other like-minded Christians. They may feel they don't have to "work" right now so they can let their hair down without the worry of having to bring someone to Christ. I've seen many who are like me and are the same pretty much everywhere they go. I try to surround myself with those people, thus the reason I have such wonderful Christian friends. but I digress...again...

Then I've seen some who are wound tighter than a tire swing about to spin. They have to let everyone around them know the right way to Heaven and that happens to be their way or no way at all.

In my years of Christian People watching, I've found that the more people try to talk like a person they are not, the less likely they are to live like the person God made them to be. They are much more likely to live for those around them in the hopes that everyone will think they are "holy enough" to get to Heaven, instead of living their lives in the Joy of Christ.



For instance, There are many Christians who say "Amen" a lot or call me sister anywhere within 100 meters of their church but when outside the confines of their church circle, they don't call me sister or say Amen at all. What's up with that?!

On the flip side, there are many who stop conversation in its tracks if there is any semblance of scripture to quote for the circumstance. There are some who will say that they feel led to do this and led to do that, so they can put some weight behind decisions they have made. Once in a while, sure, God may tug you in a direction but the more I hear those words come out of someones mouth the more I begin to wonder if they are really being led or if they are pushing the circumstances along.

I live with Christ in my heart because he's rooted and grounded there. I don't feel like I need to say bless you sister all the time, though on occasion I do. I don't mind that there are some people who do that, but I'm just not one of those people. I decided a long time ago that I can pick up my cross daily, keep His suffering on my mind daily, and take solace in the knowing that my Christian roots are pretty deep. There came a time in my life when God took control, I gave over the reigns and I let go of "showing off" my Christianity. I finally realized that if I only let God steer my life, the faith I hold so deep will somehow be shared through the life circumstances that God puts in my path. He places the witnessing opportunities in my path, gently, quietly and many times, without fanfare...and at times, even without MY knowing it has happened.

There's nothing shaking this tree, though some may think I'm cold in my Christianity because we took some time to find a church. I, however, think it all happened in God's timing. As always, I was thinking, praying, keeping my mind on Christ. This solidifies my desire to serve Him daily with or without a church. My willingness to go to bat for Him at any moment of any day is anchored in my soul. I've been planted, watered, fed and the roots are so deep that God can now use me to help others take root. Still, I catch little buzz words and phrases now and then that let me know some people wonder about me. "Is she Lukewarm? or worse yet, Is she cold?"

I guess that's life. We can't please all of the people all of the time. I have to wonder if maybe I'm sent here to get the judgmental types praying for me so they have something to pray about since their lives are so perfect. Who knows?

It is my belief that at some point in a Christian's life there comes a time when we've heard what we need to hear, shored up our beliefs and can then go out and do what needs to be done. We only live so long! Somehow, somewhere, the need for council dwindles a bit. The Holy Spirit does lead us, and who better to direct our steps than Him?

Boys, I guess what I'm saying is this. Our church sabbatical hasn't been a time of fasting from Christ. I'm a grown up Christian teaching the souls put into my care. I teach from the deepest roots I have sown into my soul and your father and I live in such a way that we would hope you want to emulate. We wish this for you and your children.

You boys know I enjoy talking about doctrine but in the end, I'm fed. I'm built. Jesus continues to give me the bread and drink I need to do the work on my plate of life. It is the journey that I find fascinating. Yes, some acquaintances judge my Christianity for lack of in your face fervor but I am happy to know that I take my judgment from a higher power. He sustains my breath, my purpose, my everything.

So boys, when you feel the finger pointing in your direction from those who are supposed to be on your side, just know that turning your site from their glare and tilting your head up toward Christ works best. It was when your father and I were running around "churchless" that God led us to one another. It was when we were running around "churchless" that I broke my leg and we all were bonded tighter as a family. It was when we were running around "churchless" that we decided to become a foster family. It was in between churches that God had some time to speak to our hearts. It was IN church that He fed our souls, allowed us to be rooted in Him and built the foundation that holds our course steady to this day.

Sometimes, worrying about what a church is doing, saying, or thinking about us can get in the way of what God wants for us. Some personalities need space to think, reflect, and pray without wondering what others will think. Church is a wonderful gift. It is needed, but church is NOT God and neither is that pastor or priest behind the pulpit. Remember who you are worshipping and who deserves your undivided attention. The preacher has a job to do, but so do you!

Somewhere between committing my life to Christ and becoming an "adult Christian", (rooted) I got hot-melded to Christ. My prayer is that when you feel yourself hot-melded, that you will keep your eyes on what He wants for your life. You don't have to mold to some Christian look or some churches idea of how to sound to gain His Grace. He allowed me to weed out the useless garbage that surrounded my soul and He will do the same for you if you ask Him. He will use your differences, as He uses mine, to touch those He would put in our path. I like that. I feel as though you will get a kick out of it too. It's kind of a high five moment between you and God. I'm comforted in the knowledge that I don't have to be what some guy behind a pulpit wants me to be. I just have to be the person God made me, And boys He made you all very, very special. Let Him guide you. You'll enjoy the ride.

11 comments:

hmc said...

Thank you so much for that. Your thoughts are right on the money. I often feel like a "bad" Christian for not saying the "right" things. You have freed me to be me. The me HE made me to be. You are one special Mom.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

What a good post about your testimony and encouragement for your sons! I don't push my beliefs on others either, but just pray that the Lord would give me the right words to say and open my mouth if the opportunity to witness arises. I don't go for all that "sister" and "Amen, Hallelujah" terminology either--it's just not me. God in his wisdom created everyone different. I just found a blog today called "Heresy Today" (http://www.heresytoday.org/) that has a very good slogan in its header which says: "Don't blame God for the actions of his "'an Club'" I like that!

Heresy Today said...

And here he comes, that old loudmouthed "God's Angry Man Pt. II"

First off...

Excellent post. What you have said, is being said by so many others today! You are not alone in what you have typed here...

But...

Is that REALLY a good thing?

In my exegesis of the the Scriptures?

No.

Why?

What singular command comes directly from the mouth of "God the Son", by order of "God the Father", with help to be given by "God the Holy Spirit"? (post Pentecost)

Mat 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Now now... I have heard every excuse in the book, with the most popular 2 being...

"Well, I have a hard time talking to people."

"That is not what Christians are supposed to be about, that is not MY Christianity."

Ok... Lets go with those two, and any other excuse that anyone on earth wants to throw into the pile.

Would anyone be saved from the point that Christ ascended into Heaven to be back with the father?

Nope.

Salvation would have ended as soon as Christ rose up into the air. So why not the "Second Coming" 60 seconds after he leaves? Might as well, everyone has given up and ignored Him!

First Off...

There is no such thing as "My Christianity". I am not picking on the title of your post in particular, that is a phrase that has been played out, washed out, used, and abused for centuries.

If it is ANYBODIES "Christianity", it is God's, not ours. We have no possession of it, we did not save ourselves, we did not extend the grace that even allowed for salvation to exist in the first place. So how do we get on such a high horse to make it ours?

John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Problem #1.

Folks that are not "Spreading the Gospel" are doing it for one reason, and one reason only. They are not "Trusting in God".

If they were trusting in God, they would know that God watches as every person walks by them, past them, and on down the road, while God shakes His head and wonders...

"Why didn't he/she tell them about Me? What did I do? Is he/she ashamed of me? Did I do something wrong? Did I not make myself clear? Was it too much to ask that the same grace I gave this person, should at least be shared with others, so they too can be saved?"

I tell everyone the same thing, (not just you here in this comment)

"What if no one on earth shared the Gospel with you? What if no one had any churches around you? What if everyone just walked on by, never said anything, never offered for you to come to church, never did anything?"

9 times out of 10, they fire back with... "Well, my parents took me to Church! So there smart guy!"

Ok, then remove the word "you" and put "your parents and you" in there" and if folks wanna keep loopholing, then insert "all mankind" in there.

Where would you be after death, if everyone just simply "did nothing"

Well, sadly enough...

Hell.

If you are truly saved, do you really wish the punishment of "Hell" upon ANYONE? You must if you just watch folks "walk on by". You play judge, jury, and executioner for every person that just "walks on by".

Well! What if I can't save them? What if they ignore me? Then they go to Hell anyways! Is that MY fault?

Uh... Humans don't save.

Humans "plant the seed", the Holy Spirit "waters it", Christ "harvests it", and God "stores the harvest" in Heaven.

All that is required of us is to tell folks about Christ. Nothing more. After that is done, the Holy Spirit picks up the ball from there.

You cannot fail, because it is not your job to "convince them". It is only your job to tell them. Once told, your job is complete at the "unsaved" stage in their life.

Problem #2.

Folks become complacent, and think that they are doing "God's Will", and that God is using them and blessing them, even though they are not "evangelizing".

Nope.

If you selfishly hog salvation to yourself, share it with no one, then why should God trust you with another job, when you are refusing to do the fist one He gave you! What you think are "blessings", are nothing more than "gifts from Satan", for disobedience, for not bringing others to Christ, for doing Satan's job for him!

Lets say you are the CEO/President of a corporation, you tell an employee to do a job, they refuse. Are you simply going to give them yet another job, and wonder if they are even going to do that one? They can't even do what they are told in the first place, why keep piling jobs on them that... Historically, they have shown they will not do!

As long as folks refuse to do the job they are given, then they are "out of the will of God", by default.

Again, you are the CEO/President...

Do you "bless/reward" that employee that refuses to do the job.

Nooooo... Of course not!

Then why would anyone even think that God would lift a finger one way or another for their refusal?

Problem #3.

Satan...

Satan loves to propagate the lie of "No biggie, someone else will do it."

Really? Will someone else do it? Are you sure? Are you willing to gamble the soul of another on that coin toss?

What if everyone said the same thing about you and I? No one ever gets around to "doing it", and where do you and I end up?

Yup, you guessed it!

Hell.

That person that just walked by you... What if they get hit by a car, slip in the bathtub, have a heart attack, get robbed and killed? What if YOU were their "last chance before they are called up."?

The boss doesn't give a person a job, the person refuses to do it, then the boss gives them a raise in pay, a promotion, a bonus, and more responsibility...

The boss "turns His head" until the person givin the job actually does it. Then and only then, does the boss even care about what you want, who you are, or anything else. You may have gotten your salvation, but that is all you will get, and you should be grateful for that, because not only did you not deserve it in the first place, but you won't even show any gratitude for it after getting it.

Whether folks "witness" or not is up to them, but with that decision to refuse comes the decision by God to turn His head to you, as you have turned your head to Him, and your fellow human beings...

Everybody loves to chime in with that... "My Christianity". "My Faith", "My Christ", "My this", "My that"...

But what they forgot was that Christ did not what He did (on the cross) for "My"...

He did it for everyone...

Are you?

The Mom With Brownies said...

Heresy...

My entire post is about allowing God to work through us so that the Spirit can lead those to us whom we are to bring to Him. Our work is done with his guidance.

I do speak to people about Christ. I do live for Him. I am not at all shy about it. I am the founder of a large Christian Homeschool Support group. I live my life for Him and the post is about doing just that.

"Live For Christ. Minister when He calls you to do so. Don't shout at people about Him."

Is that blunt enough?

The issue here is not that we stop telling people about Christ. The issue I speak of is to stop beating people over the head with Him.

Those who push, scream, rant, exude their "Christianity" to the point that they seem angry about it, tend to push non-believers away from Christ. Who wants to turn into THAT CRAZY person? Not me and certainly not a non-believer!

You do it your way. I'll do it mine. I am not about to argue doctrine. It held me back way too long. Now I focus on prayer and looking at everyone as the soul God created.

Spreading the gospel can be done in many different ways. That is why God made many different people. It takes all kinds to lead people to Christ. Some do it "softer" than others and that is fine!

When God leads someone to me in His Spirit, I feel it. I know Him immediately. When I hear ranting from "self" I know that too. Discernment is a beautiful thing. I'll keep it, thank you very much.

Jeanies Heavenly Treasures said...

That was a wonderful post you wrote, The Mom With Brownies! I fully believe it's a personal relationship that we are to have with God. Everyone's journey is not the same. What a precious gift that you wrote for your sons's. Like someone else said , "You are an Awesome Mom!"
Oh, I want some of those brownies! Smile!

Heresy Today said...

Hey! At least you approved the comment! 9 out of 10 so-called "Christians" either refuse to post the comment, or edit it after I strike a nerve with them.

Taking my comment a little personal? Conviction from the Holy Spirit?

If you actually re-read the comment, you will see that I wrote it speaking to a group of individuals, using you and I as examples, but obviously it hit a little too close to home, to see what I actually wrote.

If you go to my weblog, you will see that I reposted the comment for that very reason! Because the message was better served getting out to as many individuals as possible, and not just the author, and selected readers of said weblog...

9 out of 10 so-called "Christians" dislike what I say 9 out of 10 times for one simple reason only... Because I make waves in their "personal christianity", not God's, theirs. And I do indeed love it! Satan hates it as well, but therein lay the true reward, spreading the "biblical truth", and debunking man's "personal truth" just gets him all riled up, which in turn causes him to rile up those 9 out of 10!

It's Win/Win!

Well, i'll let you go, you will need to fire back at me over this comment...

You said: "Discernment is a beautiful thing. I'll keep it, thank you very much."

If you actually do get that gift one day, let me know, there is a myriad of things I wouldn't mind discussing with you about it! :-)

P.S. Don't feel too angry, some folks like what I say on the first read, (like your comment on my weblog.) then by the time they read the second writing they get steamed, and write me off. But at least I planted the seed! Besides, your better off writing me off anyways, being the 1 in 10 is a bad spot to be in among the "Me, Me, Me, Christians"...

Matthew 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many."

Hey! Good Luck! And ya have a nice blog here...

HISchild said...

What a wonderful testimony for your boys!

Everyone is affected by the spirit differently because we are unique. HE created each of us differently to accomplish something different in his will.

Thanks for fulfilling yours!

The Mom With Brownies said...

Heresy,

You need to read, "Thank you very much" with a little upswing at the end. My voice has inflection when I laugh. :o)

I am not upset at all, though I do believe banter can get in the way of what God would want for His flock.

I have had the gift of discernment for many years. I've used this gift to bring people to Christ and in my ministry to children.

I try hard not to argue or get into heated debates. I don't find a place for it in my life because I've seen that debating usually ends with hurt feelings. It has caused division between people, especially when one or both sides are closed to the idea that the Spirit may have something to say to them from their fellow debater.

It "seems" as though you believe what you say and have no room for the idea that you may be incorrect. I "feel" like you are very sure that I have no gift from God. So in the spirit of your comments, I'll try to do battle. Here we go...

I will disagree with you about my gift.

There, does that make you feel better? I have put my foot down. LOL

The Mom With Brownies said...

HISchild,

I can say the same to you. I have watched you speak and choose words and laugh and carry others concerns close to your heart for a long time now. You are a special child of Christ. I am so happy to call you my friend.

Deanna said...

as usual, you crack me up while you're putting many of my own thoughts in writing.

I love the comment about giving judgmental perfect people something to pray about. I could keep a megachurch busy for a decade, with all my real-life issues!! ;-)

cloakedbook said...

Once again Shelly, you make me glad that you are my friend, I don't always agree with you , we both know that one, LOL, but we share a love for Christ that keeps us going every moment. Thanks for your bravery, and thanks for allowing us all to be a part of what you want your boys to know about you. I can tell them that you are an amazing woman of God, and that you love Him deeply, and want them to as well, God bless my friend, and may they understand just how bravely you LIVE Christ.