Friday, November 19, 2010

What Happened?

In Acts Paul talks about how Church is suppose to be, and what Christianity is all about. And “Christian” means Christ-Like. It has made me start thinking. It absolutely breaks my heart how far we are from Christ, and I have heard people in church say the church is a building and not the people. What happened? Where did it go wrong? And most importantly how do we fix it? Jesus love everyone, and I love how when the leaders in the “the church” asked Jesus what He thought about stoning the adulteress, and He said “Let any one of you who is without sin throw the first stone” (John 8:7) I love how we all know not one of us is without sin. And Jesus knew that too when he said it. I think that means, “Don’t judge anyone unless you are perfect”, (Which only Jesus is.) Jesus even went so far as to pray for forgiveness for the people who were nailing him to the cross. (That is an AMAZING example of love!) I probably would have been cursing like a sailor. And if that isn’t amazing enough, He did it for me and everyone. And he even died for the murderers and rapists, people how sell other human being into prostution, the people in Iraq, and He even died for the terrorists. I go WOW! I do not understand it, but you are God.
The one thing that gets me every time is that God even sent His son to be brutally  killed for the people who play church, the people who go to church on Sunday and talk about Jesus and how amazing he is (which he is) and say how we need to serve Him, and Him alone. Then Monday comes around and they serve the world with how they look, how they dress, and how they acted. And this is why the world is so messed up! It is the Church’s fault! It is my fault and your fault. What are we going to do about it? People are rejecting Jesus because they see us (So-called Christians), and they think we are hypocrites, and fakes. This isn’t how God intended it to be. He intended us to love EVERYONE no matter if they are homosexual, homeless, poor, murderers, someone who is a different color than us, or people from different countries. We have been called to love.  Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
I think God meant it doesn’t matter what you are: He has called us all the same and the past doesn’t matter. The truth is we are all stupid and deserve nothing, and I think it is important to know that. But at the same time God is telling us that, He is also saying, “You are beautiful, and I have hand-crafted you in my image. I love you, and I have a plan for you.” It is all pretty amazing! I most definitely do not understand how God loves me, but He does.
I’ve been reading Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. It’s changed me life.
I love the quote that says, “I gave up Christianity in order to follow Jesus”. Christianity has become comfortable, and I do not think God meant it to be. We are supposed to be crazy for Christ. The Bible says “Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. 1 Peter 2:11-12”
What Happen?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Modern Form of Slavery

"In the last few weeks I have become very aware of where my clothes/food come from, and the more I have looked into it the more I want to change it. Most of the stuff we buy is made in sweatshops. The truth is sweatshop workers are incredibly exploited; they don’t earn a living wage, or receive any benefits. They have very poor, unhealthy working conditions often working 60-80 hours per week (with no overtime) and receiving verbal and physical abuse. Most sweatshops employ children. I know most of the people reading this are probably appalled to hear this, and most people have no clue what is going on, but 85 percent of the following stores’ items are made overseas, often in Third World sweatshops:
The Gap
Old Navy
And Kohl’s
These are just a few stores/companies that mainly use sweatshops. After finding all this out I was on a mission to find stores that do not use sweatshops; it is A LOT harder than you would think. After hours of googling I have only found a few online stores,
 are pretty much the only sites I’ve found so far. Pretty sad? I know! And a few days ago I found out the Chaco shoes were made in the USA but have now been moved to a sweatshop in China because it is cheaper for the company. This problem is getting bigger, and bigger. Sweatshops are everywhere China, Nicaragua, Mexico, Asia and many more places.
I know I’m just beginning to understand the injustices involved in the creation of many of the things I use and buy.  It makes want to do something about it.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” – Edward Everett Hale"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Giving up My Rights to My Life

For years now I have wanted to go to Australia, and last year I found out that AIM (Adventures in Mission) has gone there. This year my parents said I could go if I raised all the money I needed. So I went to the AIM site just to find that they didn’t have it listed for next summer.  I sent them an Email to ask if they were going to Australia next summer.  They said they didn’t know, but all their trips would be posted by the end of the month. I waited, but they never added it.

Meanwhile our church was on a mission trip to Benton, TN. While there every morning we had a Bible Study. The Wednesday morning we were there Mr. Chris (the camp director of the Camp we were working with) gave us all a piece of paper with a list of things we would call are our rights.  Things like:  “Your Right to Think,” “Your Right to Your Body” and so on. Mr. Chris asked us to mark the ones we were truly willing to give to God, but if we weren’t 100% sure we were willing to give those rights to God, not to mark it. I sat there for a minute thinking, “Am I really willing to give God my right to think?” And I realized it has never been my right, and I marked it. If I would have known what God was about to do I might not have marked it.

Shortly after I came back home I was looking at other organizations that were going to Australia, but they didn’t feel right. I could feel God saying, “No, you do not need to go there.” Everyone who knows me knows I am very stubborn, and I was arguing with God about it. He had to remind me that I gave Him the right to rule my life. I went back to the AIM site and looked at every trip they had, and I really liked the Ireland trip (I knew I wanted to go somewhere where the people spoke English), but apparently that wasn’t God’s plan. I fasted from sugar and secular music for 40 days, and during that time I prayed and prayed about what trip I needed to go on. One night I wrote down all the trips that looked interesting. (Even though I really wanted to go to Ireland), and I let all my family read them and let them say which trip they thought I should go on.  Mom, Cassie (my sister), and Dad all said Uganda or Nicaragua! And I was already thinking Nicaragua. The last place I wanted to go was to Nicaragua. I was like, “No! No! Anywhere but there!” And that night I went to bed saying, “I will go to Ireland and help the people there, because I would be doing it for God, right?” And then God reminded me I had given Him the right to pick my trip. (He was beginning to wreck my life), and finally I said, “Fine I will go.” I went to the AIM site and read all the blogs from previous years’ trips to Nicaragua, and I could feel like this was what God wanted me to do. And of course my parents were all for it.

I signed up to go to Nicaragua next June 15 thru July 15. Since then the idea of going there has become exciting, and God keeps showing me that this is where He wants me to go. Since I have signed up I have become very aware of sweatshops and the need for fair-trade items. One of the countrys with the most sweat shops is (you guessed it) Nicaragua. God is showing me everyday that this is His will for me. Nicaragua is a country full of heart-break and hunger, and people are so desperate for money they will even work in sweatshops, God has absolutely broken my heart for this country.