Reblog: Trying To Witness Vs. How You Really Are « J.S. Park

But some days — I just want to flip a table and kick a trashcan and race a cop car and jump out a window and tell everyone that I hate my life right now and I don’t really feel like repping Jesus everyday, and that it probably won’t get better if you tell me that I need to be a “better witness.”

I totally get that we’re called to bear fruits and endure patiently and other Christianese things like that, but it sort of shuts down my need to be honest and vulnerable and real with other people.

So then I just fake it, and that’s no good either, and I end up feeling like a failure whenever I read that bumper sticker, “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  I mean like jeez, I guess not if you put it that way.

The whole “trying to be a Christian” thing can get pretty exhausting.

I just thank God for people who can handle my insane neurotic twitchy craziness and never flinch at me. Those understanding types know we’re trying to get it right like everyone else, and we can fail at that, and there should be breathing room, and God gave us the biggest breather of all called grace.

Feel like you’re failing at this “witnessing” thing? Read the whole post: Trying To Witness Vs. How You Really Are « J.S. Park.

‘Heart arrows’

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Affirmation

But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for me, Christ brought me over to God’s side and put my life together, whole and holy in his presence. I’m not walking away from a gift like that! I’m staying grounded and steady in this bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.

{Adapted from Colossians 1:21-21 Msg}

Write this down somewhere and repeat it to yourself a few times a day for a week or two. Really let it sink it. Trust that God is working in your life because he is.

– – – – –

Use this pic or make your own:

‘Christ! No more, no less.’

Let’s file away all the paperwork of religion for just a moment and revel in how gloriously simple faith really is:

~ The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. Colossians 1:25-25 Msg ~

It’s that simple.

Something to think about

Out of this world

The Devil only has power in this world.

Never forget that.

He can’t stop God from loving you.

And when this world ends…

You go home.

And he’s left, out in the cold.

– – – – –

So don’t be afraid.

He will tempt you, trip you up and try to drag you down to Hell.

Tell him to be gone.

He’s from this world.

You are not.

– – – – –

“In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16.33)

“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15.19)

 

Christianity: madness

The cover of Newsweek caught my eye. Pretty hard not to. Hipster Jesus — some didn’t like it. But like the New Statesman cover, it grabbed my attention because it takes Jesus out of Palestine circa 2000 years ago, and puts Him right smack in 2012. Christianity as a religion is in decline because people are mistaking the church for Jesus, Who is ominously missing from His own Body. But there is more to religion than the church, with all its victories and failings. There’s Jesus.

While I don’t agree with everything Andrew Sullivan says, I did like this:

To reduce one’s life to essentials, to ask merely for daily bread, forgiveness of others, and denial of self is, in many ways, a form of madness. It is also a form of liberation.

Also this, which connects to my previous post:

There are times when great injustices—slavery, imperialism, totalitarianism, segregation—require spiritual mobilization and public witness. But from Gandhi to King, the greatest examples of these movements renounce power as well. They embrace nonviolence as a moral example, and that paradox changes the world more than politics or violence ever can or will.

And this:

I have no concrete idea how Christianity will wrestle free of its current crisis, of its distractions and temptations, and above all its enmeshment with the things of this world. But I do know it won’t happen by even more furious denunciations of others, by focusing on politics rather than prayer, by concerning ourselves with the sex lives and heretical thoughts of others rather than with the constant struggle to liberate ourselves from what keeps us from God. What Jefferson saw in Jesus of Nazareth was utterly compatible with reason and with the future; what Saint Francis trusted in was the simple, terrifying love of God for Creation itself. That never ends.

This Christianity comes not from the head or the gut, but from the soul. It is as meek as it is quietly liberating. It does not seize the moment; it lets it be. It doesn’t seek worldly recognition, or success, and it flees from power and wealth. It is the religion of unachievement. And it is not afraid. In the anxious, crammed lives of our modern twittering souls, in the materialist obsessions we cling to for security in recession, in a world where sectarian extremism threatens to unleash mass destruction, this sheer Christianity, seeking truth without the expectation of resolution, simply living each day doing what we can to fulfill God’s will, is more vital than ever. It may, in fact, be the only spiritual transformation that can in the end transcend the nagging emptiness of our late-capitalist lives, or the cult of distracting contemporaneity, or the threat of apocalyptic war where Jesus once walked. (Emphasis mine.)

I’m not saying we should abandon the church, but we shouldn’t follow it instead of Jesus.

“…anyone who holds onto his life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” (John 12:25)

Blessed, recklessly loving Easter, everybody :)

Conversion

“Christian conversion is the total–if never entirely complete–surrender of the person to God as revealed in Jesus Christ. Christian conversion, as the continual process of self-surrender to God in Christ, therefore encompasses every aspect of the Christian life and necessarily grounds the moral and spiritual efforts of every Christian.”

Becoming Good, Becoming Holy by Mark O’Keefe

Happy New Year!

“You who in heart long for something better than this world can give, recognize this longing as the voice of God to your soul. Ask Him to give you repentance, to reveal Christ to you in His infinite love, in His perfect purity.”
Steps to Christ, Ellen G White

Do you have any NYs resolutions for 2012?