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Explain this to me…

This post has been a long time coming.  (And I mean years.)

The last year has been a year of Jesus really working on my heart when it comes to loving people regardless of who they are. First, let me give you some background, though.

After getting engaged last June, I started trying to figure out who would be in my bridal party.  In the process of picking my bridesmaids, I almost didn’t pick one of my best friends and cousin who I run this blog with.  Why?  Because I was worried about what other people would think about Ryan being a “bridesmaid” (a title he’s okay with) and not a “groomsman.”

Can I gently explain something to you?  It doesn’t matter how feel about Ryan being transgender.  It doesn’t matter how you feel about it.

Here’s what matters:

  • We’re not to judge anyone else.

Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3 ESV)

  • That we treat everyone in the LGBTQ community with love and respect.  Because, guess what, church?  They’re not getting it.  I see it all the time.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34 ESV)

  • Realize that although someone may identify as LGBTQ, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily acting on it.  (Do I have to say that?)
  • Stop ostracizing them!
  • If someone tells you they’re LGBTQ, don’t tell them they’re wrong.  (Seriously?) Understand that there’s a difference between an educated, biblical discussion about the matter and a rude, ignorant one that’s going to ruin your relationship with them.

So, if anyone has a problem with one of my bridesmaids wearing pants… that’s your issue, not mine.  Because Ryan will be in my wedding party along with the rest of my bridesmaids.  

Disclaimer  By no means am I supporting or affirming same sex marriage or relationships.  However, I have heard enough stories on my own (and my circle isn’t that big!) of the church flat out rejecting people that have admitted they were LGBTQ. ***

So, why is this post titled, explain this to me?

As someone whose heart breaks for those who many churches leave behind and just tend to forget and overlook (not all churches, please do not think I’m saying all churches here).  The churches that do exceedingly well here, please keep doing what you’re doing!  You’re doing amazing work fulfilling the Great Commission.  While the church as a whole has made strides when it comes to helping others in need and becoming more diversified.  Why can we not allow our brothers and sisters who identify as LGBTQ to serve and be a part of the body of believers? It still amazes me and irritates me.

Check out these previous posts!

Take Me to Church … Literally

Yeah, I Wanna Get Married Young (Original Post)

Dating Someone Who Doesn’t Love Jesus

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Things Jesus Didn’t Say (Part 1): Don’t Talk About Me

donttalkaboutme

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. 

This is the first post in a series I’m starting called “Things Jesus Didn’t Say.”  We’re going to talk about things that the church, as a whole, tends to act in a way that Jesus said.   These posts will probably all be short and “sweet.”

One major thing Jesus did not say? “Don’t talk about me.”  In fact, he directly commands us to do the exact opposite, all over the world.  That, my friends, is quite the conundrum. He tells us this in the Great Commission:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV).

How can we continue to live our lives as if Jesus never commissioned us to tell the world about Him when he so directly did? How can we live as if we have no purpose when Jesus gave us our life’s mission in Acts 1:8?

Doesn’t your hurting friend need Jesus just as much as you do every day? When we fail to tell others about His great love for us, we are being selfish.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should go get a bunch of gospel tracts and hand them out to your neighbors.  Maybe try a more personable approach, like having a conversation? Yeah, it’s hard at first, but you’ll get to the point where what you care more about is honoring God and that person’s soul than whether you offend them.  They’ll get over it, or maybe they won’t.   But you’ll know that you reached out because you love them and care about their eternity.


Even if they don’t respond positively, you can continue to pray for them and hope that they do change their hearts.  If you’re walking in step with the Holy Spirit and that person can see in you the grace and love that they need, they’ll probably come around. If they don’t, it’s not your job to save them, but it is your responsibility to talk to them about the one who saved your soul.  And why wouldn’t you want to talk to them about your Jesus?

Have other ideas of things Jesus didn’t say that you’d like us to write about? Please share your thoughts!

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Called to Worship

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  

What do you think of when you think of worship? I think it’s fair to say most people think of singing praises to God.  Singing is a form of worship, but it’s not the only way we can worship God.  In fact, quite the opposite is true.

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24 ESV).

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).

If our purpose is to glorify God, we are worshipping Him in spirit and truth.  On the other hand, you could be in a church service during worship and not really worshipping God because your heart is not focused on Him but on every other possible thing you could be focused on.  Don’t get me wrong, I love worship music. 

 

God deserves to be honored and glorified in everything we do, not just in song.  All Christians have spiritual gifts that allow them to do that in a specific way.  We can also use hobbies that are not necessarily spiritual gifts to worship God.

Bible Art Journaling

I started Bible Art Journaling a little over a year ago, but just recently started diving back into it.  And when I say diving, I mean head-first.  For the past two months or so, I’ve been more focused on getting consistent Jesus Time.  The last two weeks, I’ve needed something to do as stress relief with an overloaded school schedule.  So with knowing that I had a journaling class coming up this past Saturday, I just started doing it more and more.

1John4:18-19

Here’s one that I started before the class, worked on during and finished after, because this one was one I really wanted to do but I wasn’t sure how to tie it together.  Who knows, I may always add more later. 1 John 4:18-19 has always been one of my favorite passages of Scripture:

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:18-19 ESV).

There’s so much to this verse and I want to encourage you to study it on your own, but there’s just a few things I want to mention:

    • God is love.
    • God’s perfect love dispels fear.
    • If we are His, we should not fear.
    • Because God loves us perfectly, we are able to love others even though we are imperfect.

 

The class I went to Saturday was taught by Tai Bender, who sells the hymnal cards that you can see in the picture. I had all but the card that reads “Tune My Heart” on it done and wanted to add something because I had a lot of white space at that time.  So, looking through the cards, I realized that that card has “Come Thou Fount” on it, which is my favorite hymn. So I added that at the last second because that song was on my heart and seemed to fit there as well as with the worship theme that I knew I was about to be writing about.

Worship God in everything.  Your work, your hobbies, your relationships; everything.