Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Country Club Christianity

So Christmas morning I woke up around 3:30 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up to watch tv.  One of the shows was American Dad.  Now, I've never liked that show honestly, but for some reason I watched it.  I was so angry with the episode I watched and it convinced me even more why I hate that show.  So what happened?

So the main character (the dad) was a Christian.  He wanted to play as Jesus in a play but the pastor said, "You're too fat, you'd be better suited as playing as Santa Claus."  The dad didn't want to but he did it anyway.  He's miserable playing as Santa and then the play starts.  He looks to see who is playing as Jesus and it's this weird alien.  The dad starts to beat the alien up on public tv and a bunch of church leaders saw it on the news.  They all call the pastor (including the pope called him) and the pastor asks the dad to see him.  He tells the dad, "You're being kicked out of the church."  The dad can't believe it and to make matters worse the pastor says, "No not just the church, you're being kicked out of all Christianity."  Then he says, "Hand over your badge."  So the dad gives the pastor some badge that looks like a cross.  Then the pastor tells him there are three ways to become a Christian again.  He either has to kill the antichrist, find the holy grail, or give millions of dollars.  Turns out the dad's teenage daughter, her boyfriend had them adopt a baby, who turned out to be the antichrist.  The baby possesses the dad's son where he's crawling on the walls like a spider and is speaking Aramaic.  The dad gets beaten pretty badly by the baby.  So the teenage daughter sends the baby somewhere where the dad can't try to kill him.  The baby ends up being adopted by Sarah Palin. The dad survives and the alien says, "Oh, I found out I've been drinking out of the holy grail so now you're back in."

This made me so angry (seems like I'm getting angry often these days).  They made Christianity like some country club!  I admit, there may be some churches that treat it like a country club, and shame on them for doing that!  Christianity is FAR from being some country club.  People are being killed and persecuted all over the world for worshipping Christ.  Christianity is not an easy religion.  It's not like "Oh, I'm a Christian, I'm not going to have any more problems!  Life is going to be easy."  Far from it.  Dare I even say it's more difficult than someone who doesn't believe?  Jesus promised that life would not be easy for Christians.  "The world hated me first, therefore it will hate you too."  We are not loved by the world because they hated Jesus first.  Because we are associated with Jesus, we too will be hated.  We have to carry our crosses to follow Him.  We're not some social group where you just golf all day bragging about money (unfortunately there are people who claim to follow Christ and make it like that).  Many Christians don't even have money.  My husband and I are dead broke.  The only reason we're not living on the streets is because our parents are helping us.  My husband can't find a job and I'm disabled.  You don't get much money on disability and he's got no income.  We can hardly ever give money to the church because we're so poor.  One time when I went to Peru on a missions trip, I met a guy with Polio.  He had more joy than I had ever seen!  It's hard following Christ, but there are rewards in it too.  We learn there is someone who loves us more than we could ever imagine.  He loves us no matter how screwed up we are.  No matter what we've done, He still loves us.  He understands our pain and suffering.  We are never alone because He is always with us.  "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  We will suffer, but the creator of the universe is with us!  We are hated by the world, but we are loved by the creator of the world!  So go ahead, mock us, try to hurt us, but we will not be overcome by you.  The Romans tried to exterminate us, the radical muslims in the middle east are trying to destroy us.  But we will not be defeated.  Our God is greater than anything you could EVER do to us.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Legalists

Okay so I had another topic I was going to write about today but that will have to wait until tomorrow.  This is one I've been experiencing for a couple of days and it really grinds my gears.

So I've been going on a game/forum called Gaia Online.  I'm part of a guild (and I'm considering leaving) called Jesus' Lilies - Sister's Guild.  I used to be in that guild years ago on a different account.  I thought I'd join it again since it was great back then.  I don't know what happened.  Things have changed.  They've become VERY legalistic.  I got in trouble once because I said Merry Christmas and asked what kind of Christmas traditions they had.  Then yesterday I got in trouble for talking about a movie that had Jesus in it (Alison's Choice)!  Apparently according to them I'm worshipping an idol of someone who LOOKS like Jesus.  I'm considering leaving the guild because they've become very legalistic.  These are the kind of people who won't celebrate Christmas because it originally celebrated Mithras, and Halloween because it's the holiday of the devil, and Easter because we don't actually know when Jesus died and the Easter Bunny!  Might as well not have birthday's since pagans celebrate that or a child's missing tooth because pagans believe in the tooth fairy!  This is crazy!  This legalistic idea and behavior will turn people away from Christ!  It will cause people to apostasize from Christianity!  It reminds me of how in Islam, you can't portray Muhammed or you're pretty much going to get killed.  Also Jehovah Witnesses if I'm correct don't really celebrate holidays either, including birthday's.

If you're legalistic, you're not going to like this, but, let me ask you this, are you REALLY a follower of Christ?  The legalists back in Jesus' time were very similar.  They prided on being perfect and knowing God, when really, their hearts were actually far from God.  They (as did many) believed when the Messiah would come, he'd be a king and destroy the Romans.  But what happened?  The Messiah came as a meek baby born in a stable, in a manger which by the way, was where the animals ate in!  He grew up and people didn't pay attention to him because he was a carpenter's son.  The legalists hated him.  They couldn't even see that he was the Messiah they had been waiting for.  You know what Jesus did?  He didn't pay attention to them.  He knew who he was and knew their hearts were hard.  So he turned to the people who were sick and weak, for their hearts were open to a Savior.  Jesus said it would be better for people to wear a millstone around their neck's if they caused little ones to stumble and turn away.  In other words, if they cause the weak to turn away from God, then they are going to be in some serious trouble.  If I were a new Christian and these people kept hammering me into the ground because of their legalism, I would walk away.  But I know Christ is not like them.  He loves me, broken and everything, just as much as he loves them.  Sometimes I wonder, if I were alive back in the day when Jesus walked on the earth, would he love me and accept me, or would he turn away from me?  The answer is easy, yet I struggle with it so much because I know of my brokenness.  Satan whispers in my ear, "How could he ever love someone like you?"  But Jesus says, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, for my yoke is light."  So would Jesus love and accept me?  Yes!  And he does with you too!  I believe it angers Christ when legalistic people hurt others with their legalism.  He says, "This is not who I am!  I love them and you are turning them away from me!"  In fact, I will probably get in trouble for saying that because I'm "putting words into God's mouth."  This is crazy!  It angers me to no end when people who claim to follow Christ lay down the law on them as if they are people God hates!  Let me tell you something, God doesn't hate ANYONE!  Do people anger him?  Of course!  Jesus got angry when people were selling things in the Temple.  Jesus got angry when people didn't believe he could raise Lazarus from the grave.  Jesus got angry, and it was righteous anger.  Are there people who do things that make him angry?  Of course!  But he still LOVES them!  As angry as these sort of people make me, Jesus said I have to love my friends AND my enemies.  I do love them despite my anger.

I've known people who aren't Christians because the church turned away from them.  The church said, "You're not worth it, your sin is too great!"  My heart breaks for these people.  These people don't know the love of God because Christians showed them his anger instead of his love.  I can't even begin to explain how angry this makes me feel.  I'm one of the worst people.  My sins are great. I've actually been called by another Christian a goat because I struggle with feeling suicidal!  In case you don't understand the reference, God said he would separate the goats and the sheep in the end times.  The sheep are his true followers who will go to heaven and live with him for eternity.  The goats however will go to hell instead.  The goats will say "When did we not serve you?"  God will then say, "Away from me, I never knew you."  So yea, another believer actually told me that while I think I'm a follower of Christ, in reality I don't and God is going to reject me and throw me into hell.  Another believer told my husband and I didn't have the Holy Spirit in us because we didn't have any "fruit."  In other words, we didn't have patience, kindness, and so on and so forth.  These things people told me I've really struggled with.  They showed me God's anger instead of God's love.  As hurtful as they are though, I know the real God.  He would never say such stuff to me.  Does he accept my sins?  No, that's why Jesus came and died for us.  He doesn't accept our sins.  But, he accepts us as his sons and daughters.  He loves us despite our sins.  If you don't get anything out of my blogs I want you to get this one message:  God loves you.  Jesus loves you.  No matter how filthy you feel, no matter what sins you've done, no matter how sick you are, no matter how unworthy you think you are (in reality, no one is worthy, but He makes us worthy),!  If you are a legalist I beg you, please, stop with the legalism!  This is not what Jesus came to die for!  He didn't come for the perfect and healthy people, he came for the sick and weak people.  He loves them just as much as he loves you.  You are just as unworthy of him as everyone else.  No one is truly worthy of his grace, but he gives it to us anyway.  So please, stop with the legalism!  Instead, love people.  Love those who are different from you.  Everyone has their own crosses to carry.  Instead of tearing them down and making their crosses heavier, lift them up and ease their burdens.  If you don't, you will eventually turn those who are believers who don't truly know God yet, to people who don't believe God loves them and walk away from Christ.  Show them his love, please!  If I could I would get down on my knees and beg you to stop this!  Show people God's love, not his anger!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Alison's Choice

Merry Christmas everyone!  There are a couple things I want to blog about but I'll just do one of them for now and the other one tomorrow.

For Christmas my husband got me a dvd of "Alison's Choice," a Bruce Marchiano film.  I've been wanting to see it ever since it came out, unfortunately it was only showing in a select few theaters and none were in my state.  If you want to see it, don't read this blog entry because I'l be revealing spoilers.  So again, if you don't want to read SPOILERS, DON'T READ THIS BLOG ENTRY!!!!


Okay, so the film is about a girl named Alison (obviously).  She's a teenager in love with her boyfriend (who turns out to be quite the loser).  She finds out she's pregnant and when she tells her boyfriend (Rick) he encourages her to get an abortion because if she has the baby, it will tear their relationship apart.  She goes to an abortion clinic and while waiting in the waiting room, she's not really sure if she wants to go through with it or not.  She wants to to please her boyfriend, but while there when she wants to talk to him for comfort, all he does is talk to her through text.  He won't even go there to be with her.  In comes a janitor.  He starts talking to Alison and it turns out he's actually Jesus under disguise!  He tries to convince her as well as other women to not get abortions.  Every time a girl would go in to get an abortion, he'd start crying. At one point Alison asks him why he's crying and he says, My babies!  They're killing my babies!"  At that point, I nearly cried.  There's something about seeing Jesus cry that is really moving.  She goes in the back to be alone and starts sobbing on the floor.  She falls asleep for a short moment and she begins to dream about her and her baby (who is a girl) playing.  She wakes up finding out she was actually screaming in her sleep!  One of the nurses talks to her and tells her she's had 5,000 terminated.  She says she does want when she wants it.  Then the doctor comes in to talk to Alison and tells her she doesn't have a baby growing inside her, but it's a just a blob.  Alison questions him though about that.  She says "this baby has a heart that's beating!  If this weren't a baby, would it be growing with a heart beat?"  The doctor is at a loss and tells her basically it's her choice whether to keep it or to get rid of it.  She walks past a covered tray, curious about what's underneath the hidden part, but walks away.  Jesus tells her she shouldn't look under the hidden part, but she wanted to anyway.  He shows it to her (which the screen goes black, which means she probably saw a dead baby).  He also shows her what her baby looks like inside her.  Her boyfriend, the nurse, and the doctor all encouraged her to get an abortion.  But Jesus was trying to convince her differently.  In the end you don't know what her decision was, but in the credits you hear a little girl singing Jesus Loves Me and you hear Alison talking to her, so I assume she didn't go through with the abortion.  This is a very moving movie.  It is not common for me to cry in movies, but my eyes watered up in this movie.  I definitely recommend this movie to everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Can You Be a Child of God with Mental Illness?

So I've been having a conversation with a friend about the topic "Can you be a child of God while struggling with mental illnesses?"  I find this topic very near and dear to me.

In case you are just starting to read my blog and don't already know, I struggle with mental illnesses - a lot of them.  I have ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, PTSD, Schizoaffective (between bipolar and schizophrenia), severe Depression, and self-sabatouge.  I struggle with cutting.  I didn't want to come out and say this because I know there are some people who read my blog and I'm not really ready for them to find this out.  I almost went a year without cutting (next month would be a year).  I was planning on writing an ebook on how to overcome the struggles of cutting after not cutting for a year.  Unfortunately, I gave in yesterday.  I was really stressed out and started feeling suicidal again.  I wanted that feeling to go away so I wouldn't actually attempt anything.  So I cut my arm.  I'm not proud of that.  There are things I could've done instead and it's something I'm ashamed of.

Now, there are some people who believe if you're a child of God, you won't have any struggles as long as you rely on God.  This is not Biblical.  First off, when you say that, you are minimizing the struggles others have, and the struggles you have.  Sometimes I struggle with this in a sense too.  I have this weird belief in karma.  I tend to believe if you do something wrong, then something bad is going to happen to you.  But you know what?  That belief in itself is wrong too.  It's my way of trying to make sense of things that have been happening the last couple years.  But sometimes, bad things happen when you haven't done anything wrong.  Bad things happen to us sometimes and it's not our fault.  Just like we have struggles that aren't always our faults.  Now, some of my struggles are my fault.  I'm schizoaffective with a brain injury because of a suicide attempt back in 2009.  After having two massive overdoses in my life, I could possibly have kidney issues in the future.  These things are my fault.  I caused them.  Cutting is also my fault.  I choose to self-sabatouge.  But the rest of the mental illnesses I struggle with are not my fault.  None of these illnesses are God's fault either.  I don't blame Him at all for them.  Some of them have shaped me as a person to where I can help others who struggle.

Sometimes we go by our experience of God instead of what His Word says.  Sometimes I've done this myself.  This also is not Biblical.  When I was a teenager I literally hated God.  Based on my experiences, I thought God was just toying with me in some interstellar game.  I was a pawn.  I've had times where I was pissed off with God.  Why did He allow me to survive three suicide attempts?  You know what?  He's a big God and can handle my complaints.  I also know though that His Word sometimes says different things than my experiences do.  It's safe to say if His Word is not lined up with your experiences, your experiences are lying to you about God.  I've struggled with hearing voices, and a lot of times when I hear voices they are either talking to each other (like I'm listening in on a conversation), or they talk crap about God.  It angers me when that happens.  But what those voices are saying about God are not the truth.  Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."  What God says in His Word, is the truth, not my experiences, not the voices in my head, but His Word.  This is how He communicates with us.  When I used to think I was just a pawn to God, His Word says differently.  My favorite verse (Psalm 139) saved me because it says God created us in the innermost being.  He knit us together in our mother's wombs.  Just as the Psalmist says, "God's works are wonderfully made, I know that full well."  God didn't create pawns, He created living, breathing people.  As an artist myself, I can tell you there is no art better than what God has created.  Artists want to bring their artwork to life, God actually did that!  Jesus also said, "I am the Good Shepherd.  My sheep listen to my voice.  Nothing can snatch them out of my hands."  This is so powerful!  We are stupid like sheep.  When I think of this verse, I imagine myself being this little lamb that often gets itself into trouble.  There are hungry wolves all around me and I tend to separate myself from the rest of the flock and away from the shepherd.  But just as soon as the wolves are about to devour me, my sheherd comes to the rescue and beats the wolves so badly they run away with their tails between their legs.  Then the shepherd picks me up and puts me on His shoulders and takes me back to the rest of the flock.  As stupid sheep we will listen to a voice.  Sometimes we listen His voice, and sometimes we listen to another voice.  But even when we stray away, God ALWAYS brings us back to Him.  Nothing can truly take us away from Him.  We can walk away from Him, but to take us away from Him is impossible.

If you tell someone they're not a true child of God because of their mental illnesses, shame on you!  Even the Apostle Paul said he had a thorn in the flesh!  Elijah begged God to take his life!  You want to talk about depression?  Look at Jeremiah!  There are mental illnesses everywhere in the Bible!  Even Jesus experienced sadness and anger!  Are you going to say any of these people were not children of God?  Are you going to say Jesus wasn't really God because of His emotions?  If any of these people went by only their experiences, there's no way they would continue to follow God.  The difference is they KNEW God as He is, not based on experiences.  How do we know who God is?  By His Word.  All of the Apostles were brutally murdered except for John, though they tried to kill him.  We don't really know how John died, but he definitely lived past the others.  Don't you think any of them could've turned away from Christ for being killed for His name?  They could've, if they only went by their experiences.  But again, they knew God for who He really is, not just by experiences.  I'm not going to discount experiences all-together.  But if it comes between our experiences and His Word, the Word is the truth.  Jesus said, "I haven't come for the healthy, but for the sick."  God is not looking for perfect people.  The people who thought they were perfect Christ didn't even really bother with them.  You know why?  Because their hearts were hardened.  Jesus came for the weak and sick people because their hearts were open.  They were willing to change.  By saying children of God can't have mental illnesses, you might as well say they can't break any bones or even get illnesses like the flu or a cold!  We live in a fallen and corrupt world.  WE are fallen and corrupt people.  We will never be perfect until we die and go to heaven.  Christ would NEVER minimize our struggles.  I have a great movie called "The Encounter: Paradise Lost".  Without giving too much away, Jesus shows up in person during a storm at a hotel, where there's a couple who own the hotel, a drug smuggler with his wife and bodyguard, and a DEA Special Agent.  The drug smuggler's (Bruno) wife is hooked on crack.  She's practically dying without it.  She says how her pain isn't real and she feels it because she hasn't reached enlightenment.  Jesus says though that he will never discount the pain she feels.  It's the same thing.  Christ will never minimize the pain we feel.  He will never minimize our struggles.  He doesn't say, "Get your act straight and then we'll talk."  No.  He accepts us where we are, who we are.  End of story.  So what you're not perfect!  No one but Christ is!  He's not expecting us to be perfect, nor our lives to be perfect.  He takes us as we are: broken.  He gave us His Word, His "love letter" so we would know the truth.  Not by our experiences, but by His Word.  So if you are struggling, don't be disheartened.  Christ came to "overcome the world."  He's bigger than our struggles.  Can He take our struggles away?  Yes, but He doesn't always do that.  More often He doesn't.  But He uses those struggles to bring us closer to Him and to shape us in His image.  We are broken reflections of Him, but some day we will be perfect image-bearers.  That won't happen until we die though.  He understands where we are.  He doesn't take pleasure in our suffering, but He does when we overcome them!  If you are telling people though that because of their struggles they aren't children of God, then shame on you and I pray to God He'll have mercy on you.

This is probably the longest blog I've ever written, but I had to get these things off my chest.  I hope they will be helpful to you.  God bless.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


So I had this dream last night, and I think it's my brain trying to make sense of things from last year and this year.

So in my dream, I had two final papers to write at school and then I was graduating.  The papers were on if I could go anywhere in the world, where would I want to go to and why?  The first one was Kyoto, Japan.  I love Japanese history.  The second one was Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.  I've been there before and loved it there.  I've also been playing Pokemon Sun for more than 90 hours which is loosely based on Hawaii so that's probably where I got the want to go back.  After I turned in the papers I headed to my graduation.

As I head to the graduation ceremony, one of my best friends handed me a letter and said it was from someone who used to be a really good friend of mine.  I thought it was odd since I haven't talked to this person in over a year.  Everyone kept telling me to not read it, but there was a part of me that wanted to believe it would be a good letter.  I started to read the letter during the ceremony to myself and it said a bunch of horrible stuff.  Included was a passport and the letter said "You can go anywhere you want with this passport, just leave the country or I'm going to come after you."  I cried and couldn't read the rest of the letter (by the way, I'm choosing not to put their names on here because I'd rather not dishonor them like they have to me).  All of a sudden the two former friends came into the graduation ceremony with weapons and everyone panicked.  I tried to run away from them and hide, but the caught up to me.  My former best friend was laughing and had apparently betrayed me for over $994,000.  The other friend was going to torture me now that he had caught me.  He was either going to pull out my teeth molars, or sew glass into my skin where the bones are (like the elbows, I think this part of the dream represents my problem with cutting).  As he started sewing glass into me (obviously no anesthesia), a female archer came in.  She came from Japan and started shooting arrows at everyone who was trying to hurt me.  She came to save me.

I know, crazy dream right?  There are some details in there though that seem to close to real-life events though to be just a dream.  That's why I think it's my brain trying to make sense of things.  The letter in my dream?  Earlier this year my husband, mom, and former friend had been e-mailing back and forth to each other trying to end things on good terms.  The final e-mail my husband and mom got was really bad and they told me not to read it, without actually telling me what was in it.  I ignored them though and read it.  It was so bad I literally couldn't read the whole e-mail.  One of my best friends did betray me, but I'm not going to get into details what happened.  I have tried to escape what all happened last year and this year, but it seems like no matter how far I seem to go, the problems with these two people always seems to come back to haunt me.  The female archer, I guess I've just so badly wanted someone to save me from all this.  All these crippling problems.  I woke up really sad this morning.  Memories from these two friends just came pouring out when I woke up.  Memories I can't seem to be able to forget.

How about you?  Do you ever have dreams that seem to be your brain trying to make sense of events in your life?