Monthly Archives: September 2011

Demanding honesty

In the recent past, I’ve been a shade monster.

For months, I was seeing a guy (now officially my wonderful boyfriend) but on a Sunday Morning would pretend like there was nothing going on, or if people would ask me about it I wouldn’t really be honest with them. Though I wasn’t fooling many people, I still wasn’t being straightforward and it was eating away at me inside. Though seeing Travis* wasn’t a “sin issue,” it still felt so good when we finally felt it was right to date and our feelings came out into the light. I realized later the distance that had grown between myself and others because of my not-so-secret-secret.

I thought being vague and discreet would keep me safe. From what? I don’t know. Now I realize all I was really doing was not giving others the freedom to be honest about their lives either. Romans 15 says this about the church:

Romans 15

1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”[a]

As a leader I thought by my general policy of withholding information about my past or even present shortcomings and questions, I wouldn’t cause other people to stumble like I had.** I thought it was a necessary boundary I needed to have between myself and others.

Really it was arrogant to place that much distance between myself and the people and FRIENDS I am SERVING.
Really I was protecting myself and not letting others in.
If I didn’t give my cares to others, how could I have a real relationship with them? How could I bear their failings and they mine if we weren’t honest about them?

Really  I could have even been perpetuating an idea of a “spiritual elite”:

I’m in ministry because I’m perfect and know the answers to all of life’s situations, oh AND and I know everything about Jesus.
Maybe one day you’ll be like me. [hair flip]

Ew.

If you believe people in ministry are a part of some “spiritual elite” you are wrong. As many of you have seen through hurts in your church and failures in leadership, people will always sin and will always let you down in some way. People can even do exactly what God wants them to do and still disappoint you! Don’t put your hope entirely in your leadership, but do demand honesty from them and give it in return.

And on that note: If your motivation for correcting someone or withholding information comes more from the desire to be “right” and accepted than the pursuit of truth, then you are in a danger zone…and you are not only hurting yourself. You are creating an atmosphere around you where people feel the need to put on a show for you. Your actions affect more than you. Especially if you are in leadership.

Repent, seek the truth…and TELL IT!

Honestly, I suck. I fail. I have no idea why Jesus died for me when I’ve cheated on Him time and time again. It’s a mercy that I have a hard time comprehending being able to extend to any human being. Yet this is what God commands. He asks us to participate in His SACRIFICE of love by loving each other. By admitting our idiocy to each other and in turn having the grace to forgive each other.

My Pastor displays this time and time again to me. I walk in there and speak my mind and tell him the stupid things I’ve done, and he LOVINGLY corrects me and I feel like a million bucks after. I still walk in there afraid to tell him things sometimes…but when I am afraid to be honest with my Pastor about things, I wonder if I’m being honest with myself or with GOD about them too. Have I really repented if I am afraid to admit my shortcomings?

I promise you this, at least from me to the best of my wisdom and very HUMAN abilities: I will from here on out be honest with you. It’s not always going to be pretty, but I am going to expect love from you when I am, and you can expect the same in return.

*Not Captain J. Travis,  hot guitar player Travis…just clearing that up
**I do believe there are some things that are WISE not to disclose to EVERYONE…but I don’t believe there is anything you can’t tell to ANYONE.
Also in truth telling we have to be VERY careful to avoid the temptation to gossip.
I’m just saying in general… let’s be honest.

Confession


Some of you think some things about me that just aren’t true.

So to clear some things up:

I am not following Jesus because it makes me happy. I’m not following Jesus because of all the money/well being/community/health/parking spots/giggles/candy He provides me. I’m not paying Him back for all the terrible things I’ve done. I’m not following Jesus because my family does so. I’m not trying to earn my way into heaven.

If the above things were true I would not be following Jesus. I would be following me.

I’m a Christian, a follower of Jesus, because Jesus is the Son of God and He deserves all glory.

If you have a problem with that, it might be because you see God how you see people, and you don’t like people who want glory all for themselves.

And you’re right: you shouldn’t like that…because that glory doesn’t belong to them.

It belongs to Jesus.

God will be glorified in my life because He is good. Not because he is working for me.

I don’t always know why.
I don’t always agree.
I don’t always get my way.
Bad things do and will continue to happen.
God is still good.

 

I have another confession to make:

I know the above is where I want my mentality to be. I know it’s right and I want with everything to declare that, but there are times I do forget that my life isn’t about me. Way more times that I’d like to admit. Probably most of the time if I’m honest. But this is what I’m admitting to God, (and to you) and going to let Him work out in me: my view of Him and my very existence. If I lose sight of that then, what am I even doing?

I feel compelled to share this because,
a)It keeps coming up this week and I think God’s trying to point out something, at least to me.
b) I care about you and want you to think about this stuff to. Why do you do the things you do?

 

If you have time, I totally encourage you to listen to Village Identity Part 1 for more on God and this.

When life gives you lemons, make a necklace

Howdy friends,

I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been so busy during some significant transitions happening in every area of my life right now, and it’s been really difficult to collect my thoughts or really figure out what God is trying to teach me…but I think I’m close lol.

What’s going on:
1) If you read my last post you know that my home flooded and my family is displaced for several months. Since then, I’ve been able to find an apartment in Downtown Albany and my parents now live in a house only a few minutes from our home that’s getting fixed up. God has shown a lot of favor on us in this regard and though it’s been difficult and uncertain in a lot of ways everything is really working out for us. Also, I’ve always wanted to live in Albany and never thought with my current financial status that I would ever be able to anytime soon, and God totally opened that door for me (a super secure door in a building with 24 hour security don’t worry friends!)

2) Right after I blogged about money some weeks ago, I’ve been hit with some things out of no where (car trouble, having to buy things for the new apartment, etc.) and had a hard time financially. BUT I have picked up some freelance work, and I know those doors are going to fling wide open again soon, so be praying for me with that, and I can’t wait to tell you guys when they do 🙂 I am transparent about my finances not because I want sympathy or donations or anything, but because I know this is an area of struggle and a great test of faith for a lot of people. I want you to know I struggle with this too but to be encouraged when things turn around for me, and for that to build YOUR faith in this area. I’m blogging about my hardships because I absolutely know God already has and will continue to provide for me above and beyond what I could even deserve (and that doesn’t even just mean someone handing me a huge check) and I want you to be a witness to this when it happens. I say that boldly because I know in my heart it’s true.

3) One of my closest friends and co workers has left House Of Praise to start a ministry in Albany. It’s definitely been emotional, but I’m really interested to see what God does. Keep both House of Praise and that ministry (White Couch Albany) in your prayers during this time.

4) Some amazing missionaries, Eric and Ginny Hanson, came to House Of Praise this weekend and totally reminded me why I went into ministry in the first place and am here and not in LA. I forget sometimes. You can see their message here 

5) I’m easing into the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in with a great, great guy. That’s really all I want to share right now.

…but speaking of, is it weird to anybody else how all of a sudden EVERYONE that can be is in a relationship or getting married. It makes me suspicious. It’s not just in my church either, it’s EVERYWHERE…at least according to Facebook. I wonder if this is just my 20’s or if God is doing something specifically monumental through relationships in the near future. I feel like it’s just too weird not to be a spiritual thing. Please let me know your thoughts.

So that’s an update for you guys.

K

BIG P.S.:
This is something God placed on my heart that I just shared with someone, but feel that I need to share with everyone:

Intense presence of God and more miracles, BUT only for those who ask for them/it. HE is waiting to reveal Himself not based on what we “deserve” but because of who He is, so we must ask according to who He is and trust that He is who He says He is. Provider, Shelter, Comforter, Strength, Author and Finisher. We have to ask according to who He is and not who we are. We have not and will never be deserving, but God will move according to the faith in which those who love him ASK. Not faith in themselves, but faith in Him. He’s waiting to reveal Himself.