Tag Archives: being Christian

No Fear

No Fear

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” – 1 John 4:18

635897229513164483-866846937_heartI am not afraid.

I will not let the media frenzy lure me into the cesspool of fear mongering.

Neither will I let my own fears rule my heart and mind in this tumultuous time.

I REFUSE TO BE AFRAID.

Instead, I choose to be bound by my faith to reach out and build bridges, not erect physical walls and emotional barriers against the Muslim, the Migrant, the Refugee, the Opposing Political Party, the Other.

As a Christian, I am called to love…even my enemies. Even the politicians who condone division and stir up strife, however difficult, I am called to pray for and to love them.  For those with dramatically different views of the world as me, I must, as a Christian, pray for and love them, too. For those who carry out hate crimes or acts of terror…yes…I will lift even them up in prayer and love them. (Luke 6:27-28)

Today and every day, I will step further into my call as a Christian to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God (Micah 6:8). I will work even harder to forgive others (Colossians 3:13); I will recall that when I show kindness to “the least of these brothers and sisters,” I do so to Christ as well (Matthew 25:31-40). I will strive more and more to rejoice, pray, and be grateful in all times (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  I will put bitterness, anger, and slander aside making “Kindness-Compassion-Forgiveness” my mantra as I make my way through each day, with each soul that comes my way. (Ephesians 4:32)

I will withhold from judgment and remember that it is not mine to carry out. I must consider my own actions or inactions instead (Matthew 7:1-5).  I will trust that no matter how crazy the world appears, assurance rests in my trust in God (Psalm 27:1).

I am a Child of the Most High called to do my part to bring peace, kindness, and civility back into fashion; to show others the profound powers of love and forgiveness to mend the endless divides between individuals, groups, and nations, bringing much needed healing to our fragmented world.

I am a follower of Christ, a believer in the Way, and I am NOT afraid.

 

(I originally published this March 20. After the recent shooting in Orlando, I felt the need to revisit, revise, and publish it again…)

 

 

Why I’m Praying for Donald Trump

Why I’m Praying for Donald Trump

In just over an hour, Donald Trump will be speaking at a rally just 6 blocks from my home. And despite the ever-so convenient 10-minute walk, I will NOT be attending—for so many reasons.

More than anything, his tone and rudimentary rhetoric trouble me and strongly go against my Christian values.

My faith instructs me to welcome the stranger, not to inflame division or exclusion. As a follower of Christ, I am called to show kindness and respect, and refrain from taking cheap shot and condoning maltreatment of others.  And yes, I am expected to not judge—a character defect I’m working on all the time.

Most heavily on my mind in this hour is the expectation I pray without ceasing. 

I consider both word and action to be part of that unceasing prayer and believe I am faithful to this on-going expectation.

But here’s the rub for countless faithful people including myself.  As a Christian I am also called to pray for my enemies.  And although I cannot consider Mr. Trump a direct enemy of mine,  I do notice my jaw clench and chest tighten when I think of all that he has uttered and all he represents at this time.

And so, like it or not—challenging or not—as a Christian I must pray for Donald Trump.

I pray then that he will experience the transformative power of forgiveness and humility.  I pray, as my daughter suggested, that he be given eyes to see the ways in which his words and actions hurt others.  I pray that should he be elected as our next president that he makes decisions that are wise for the nation, not made in order to defend or bolster his ego.

Do I believe prayer will change him?

I believe in miracles. Many hardened men and women have been transformed into compassionate, sacrificial, loving individuals. Realistically, however?  A spiritual make-over for Donald Trump is probably a long ways off. In truth, only the Holy knows what awaits him.

But here is what I do know.

I know that in praying for Donald Trump, I, myself, will be renewed in the Spirit.  I know that through prayer the seeds of hatred I’ve allowed to be planted in my heart won’t take root.  I trust that my prayers will be answered—most likely in unexpected ways—and that someday, those prayers might even be reflected in a new creation found in Donald Trump.

So join me in prayer in this uncertain time.

Pray for the candidate that has your vote. And especially pray for the candidate that causes your blood to boil.

Pray without ceasing. And let your own heart be renewed in the process!!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.                                                                                                                                              ~Philippians 4: 4-7

 

 

 

Called to Forgive. Called to Love.

Called to Forgive. Called to Love.

I had done it again.

For the fourth time–not a second or third, but FOURTH time–I spilled tea in my car.  An entire thermos of tea.  I simply could not convince myself that wedging my leaky-lid thermos between my work bag and the seat of the car wasn’t the greatest idea ever.

And so, four times later, I felt like a total IDIOT.  Seriously, Rebecca?  You couldn’t learn after the first time? You are SO dumb!  You will obviously never, ever learn.  Just like with all the other stupid mistakes in your life you keep making. (My critic’s voice was impossible to silence.)

A co-worker asked later that day how I was doing. After confessing my pathetic, chronic idiocy, she, the passionate Pagan, questioned why I, the devout Christian, was unable to rise above self-deprecation and move into the belovedness of which my faith teaches I am worthy.  Why was I feeling so unworthy?

Whoa!  Mind blown.

I didn’t have an answer, but mulled over her words for the rest of the afternoon.

That evening my daughter and I went to the Ash Wednesday service at our church.  No sooner had we sat down did the pastor hand me and my daughter two copies of the Prayer of Confession requesting we read the highlighted section of each.  No hesitation on my part. I enjoy participating in worship. My daughter? Not so much.  So her copy went to a somewhat willing congregant behind us.

I then previewed my part: For the times we don’t love ourselves or others as you have taught us to love–  God, forgive us.

Mind blow, again.

Forgiveness.  I had forgotten to forgive myself AND to ask for forgiveness.  I had mostly forgotten to love myself, flaws and all.

ash wednesdayWhat a blessing to be surrounded by messengers of the Holy to call me back as a Christian to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and will all my mind; and, to love my neighbor as I love myself. (Luke 10:27)

This Lent may you, too, hear and perceive words of wisdom from God’s unexpected messengers!