Sunday is not an egg-stravaganza or celebration of spring

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(photo credit: Cassidy Lewellen)

 

This is the holiest week in the Christian faith. It is a week of reflection and celebration. And contrary to everything my kids have seen on tv this week, it is not a spring egg-stravaganza.

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. It was the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and the people spread palm leaves out on the road. They shouted, “Hosanna!” (Matthew 21:1-11)  as He rode in. It was just days before Jesus was betrayed, arrested, beaten and crucified.

Friday is Good Friday, the day Jesus died for you and me and everyone else. It is a day of remembrance. Jesus lived a sinless life and was willing to die on the cross for all of us. God loves us so much He sent His Son to die a horrible death for you and me.

And Sunday is Easter. A day of great celebration. The day Jesus conquered the grave and rose from the dead. It is the day that the stone was rolled away from the tomb to show the world an empty grave. (Matthew 28) This is the most important of all the biblical stories. Without Jesus rising from the dead, none of the rest of it matters.

 

Egg-stravaganza

I have two young boys, and they love cartoons. Their favorites can be found on Nick Jr. and the Disney Channel. Yesterday every cartoon was about Easter. Wow. That sounds great, doesn’t it? But the Easter being celebrated on tv is not the Easter that we will be celebrating. All the shows were about the Easter bunny and finding eggs and helping the bunny and a celebration of spring and the blooming flowers. It got to the point that my youngest son asked me if Easter was the Easter bunny’s birthday. Um, no. Easter is not the bunny’s birthday.

This lead to a long discussion where we pulled out their children’s Bible (or the Jesus book as it gets called around here). We read through all the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) discussing all the miraculous things Jesus did. And then we got to the crucifixion (which is very, very condensed). I then had to explain all sorts of fun words to a four year old and a six year old. Words like death, dead, grave, and tomb. Once they understood that as best they could, we got to the resurrection.

We talked about how Jesus rose from the dead and how that meant that He was alive again. We talked about how He is living in Heaven with God and someday He is going to come back and get us so we can live with Him. I told them that Easter is the day we celebrate that Jesus is alive. And my six year old reacted to that information the way we all should. He looked at me with his eyes wide and said, “WOW!” And, really, wow is the best way to describe all of it.

 

Are we doing it wrong?

 

As I’ve been writing here about faith, I’ve thought a lot about it. I’ve thought about what my faith means to me and how we celebrate the holidays, especially now that we have kids. I’ve thought about Christmas, the celebration of Jesus’s birth. I wrote a post about how we handle Santa Claus in a Christian home. And then I thought about how we celebrate Easter. We read the Bible. We talk about how Jesus is alive. We do go on egg hunts. We do not do the Easter bunny. The boys know that the bunny is pretend.

But as I was thinking about all of this, I wondered if we are celebrating these two important holidays the right way. For Christmas, we gather our families together sometimes with celebrations happening on multiple days. There are gifts and lights and decorations and parties. It is spectacular and over the top.

And then Easter comes. There are no lights and decorations unless you have an Easter Lily. Theres no big gift giving. Depending on your family, there may be some candy or even Easter baskets and some gifts like religious jewelry or Bibles. And sure, you may even have an Easter dinner. But I’m guessing that you don’t put up decorations a month (or more) in advance of Easter. I’m guess there’s not a giant pile of gifts awaiting your kids when they wake up Easter morning. And although you may have dinner with your extended family, I think it’s a safe bet that you aren’t having Easter dinner three or four times with all of your family and friends. And your employer probably hasn’t thrown an Easter party for you and your coworkers.

Compare the two holidays. These are the two big ones for Christians, and I think we may be doing them wrong.

 

A real reason for celebration

 

Don’t get me wrong. Christmas deserves all the celebration and grandeur it gets. Jesus came to Earth as a baby and it is right that we celebrate His birth. But without Easter, without the cross and the resurrection, Christmas would be just another birthday. Without the cross and the empty tomb, the manger is just another birth.

At any time, Jesus could have ended His mission on Earth. He didn’t have to let the soldiers arrest Him. He didn’t have to be beaten. He could have saved Himself from the cross. But He chose to fulfill God’s plan. He chose you and me. He gave His life so we could have eternal life with Him. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

We should be shouting it from the rooftops. Our Lord is alive! Our Savior has risen! The stone was rolled away so we could see that the tomb was empty. The sun rose that morning to show the world that He is alive.

This Sunday we will thank God for the sunshine and the flowers that are starting to bloom and the green grass and even bunnies, but that’s not what we’ll be celebrating.  We will be celebrating that Jesus is alive.

This year we are celebrating while looking through the eyes of a child who heard the story and could only say, “Wow!”

Jesus IS alive! WOW!

 

The promise of the rainbow

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(photo credit Liz Stump)

 

After the rain stopped, God put a rainbow in the sky as a promise to never flood the Earth again. But it is also a promise of love, a reminder He is with us. Let the rainbow be a reminder this too shall pass. The sun will shine again tomorrow.

 

 

 

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I’m taking part in a 50 word blogging challenge.

Can we agree that the government doesn’t belong in marriage?

This week there’s been a lot of talk about a CEO being forced to resign from his position for donating $1000 to a proposition in California.  This proposition called marriage a union between one man and one woman and received a lot of attention all over the United States. Tonight I read what Matt Walsh had to say on this issue. My original idea was to share his post on Facebook with a little bit of my thoughts. Then I realized that my thoughts were too big for the little room Facebook would give me (or that my friends would read) and my  only choice to share my thoughts would be here.

So, for those of you who read my blog because I write about my faith, here is a warning. This post is a little different. I’m not including a bible verse (sorry, that was a lie. Go check out Philippians 2:12 which tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling). This post is not about my faith. This post comes from the libertarian side of me (which I believe I’ve always been but just recently learned what to call it.).

Almost 10 years ago, my husband and I decided to get married. I never dreamed of a big wedding (and my parents offered me money to go to Vegas to get married). I knew I wanted the dress, but other than that I wanted small. Maybe to get married outside, barefoot in the grass. Maybe in a small church (one that even in 2004 looked like the doors were always unlocked) like the one my parents were married in. My husband had a different idea. He thought a sandy beach in the Caribbean would be the perfect place to exchange our vows.

It turns out he was right. Once he said beach, I was sold. It was the best of all worlds. Our closest friends and family would be willing to make the trip, but we wouldn’t have to invite everyone we know. It would be outside. It would be intimate. And let me tell you, it was perfect.

However, it almost didn’t happen like that. My uncle is a preacher, and there was no one else I would have wanted to perform the ceremony that day. My uncle was more than willing to travel with our group of 17 to Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands and do the ceremony. We had a great wedding planner who handled all the details for us. There was one little thing we had to do when we landed on the island 36 hours before the wedding. We had to get the marriage license, and my uncle had to show that he was licensed/ordained to perform the ceremony and the judge had to approve it.

Less than 36 hours before my wedding, my preacher was told he could not do the ceremony and it be a “legal” marriage. There are not words to describe to you how 23 year old me reacted to this news. It was not pretty, and there were a lot of tears.

There was no one for us to call to step in. There was no one else I wanted to be a part of our day. I had been waiting 23 years for this day and the United States government told me my uncle’s pocket membership card with his official information on it was not good enough to perform my marriage ceremony.

Once I was talked down off the ledge, we started discussing options. We didn’t have another minster so just switching was out. We didn’t know anyone on the island (except the wedding planner who was amazing at dealing with my crazy calls). What we did have was each other and faith in God.

A decision was made. The next morning, less than 24 hours from the start time of my wedding, my uncle, my future husband and I would go back to the courthouse and ask the judge to reconsider. If the judge still said no, the wedding would go on as planned, and when we got home we’d go to the justice of the peace and get the official paperwork. And that ceremony would be just as Holy in the eyes of the Lord as if the judge said yes because that piece of paper from the government means nothing to God,

This is my point. I find it insane that the government has to “approve” a marriage. Had the judge said no a second time, we would have had a wedding, and we would have been married in the eyes of our family and the Lord. And it would have been Holy and beautiful.

That day the judge approved our request the second time, but that’s not what this is about. Why is the government telling us who we can and can not marry? How is it possible that one judge in a small family court had the power to approve or deny my marriage?

And why should anyone have that kind of power? Why have we given the government that kind of power over us? Why are they in the marriage business at all? Why should a judge be able to deny my marriage because he didn’t like the paperwork my minister had?

He shouldn’t.

I truly believe that marriage is between the people getting married and God, and the government shouldn’t be involved at all.

If you want to stand before your friends and family and God and vow to love each other until death separates you, then you should be able to. I don’t care if it’s a man and women, two men, two women, a man and three women, or you and your horse. And the government shouldn’t care either. As long as no one is being forced into it, marriage is none of the government’s business.

Again, this is not a faith based discussion, and that leads me back to Philippians 2:12. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. My personal beliefs and yours on this issue are not important. That’s for a different discussion. What is important is that the government shouldn’t be deciding for anyone who can and can not be married.

I won’t force you into my beliefs if you won’t try to force me into yours. And let’s get the government out of all of it.

There are three of us in my marriage: my husband, my God and me. I have no room in my marriage for the government, and there is no reason for the government to be in it.

This is what happens when you just flip open your bible

I was in the mood to write tonight, but I didn’t have anything burning to write about. Since I mostly write about my faith, I decided to just open my bible and see where God led me. I flipped my bible open to the New Testament and landed at Philippians 1.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have in my heart, inasmuch as in both my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 1:3-8

This feels like a timely scripture. It describes how I feel about all of you who take the time to read my words. For some of you, it is vague. Some of you, I don’t know or I do know, but I don’t know that you read this.

Some of you, it is specific. I pray for you by name. I think of you always. My best memories include you. You are my life and my love.

And I do greatly long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.

Having a blog is a very strange experience. It’s a place where I write for myself. I write when I feel led, when I have something to say. And then a crazy thing happens.

You read it.

And it amazes me every time.

Now I know that it doesn’t matter what I write, my mom is going to read it. It could be just a bunch of random words, and she’ll click on it every time, along with my grandparents.

But the rest of you? You take the time to read this. You don’t have to and chances are high that I’ll never ask you if you’ve read it. But you do and this scripture made me think specifically of you that I don’t know (or know but don’t know read this) and my closest friend in Nashville.

So that was my first thought on this scripture. My second thought was on “being confidant of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.

God has begun a good work in all of us and will continue to until the day Jesus comes to take us home. God has a plan bigger than me and you. God’s plan is so big we can’t even begin to fathom it. I know that he is working in me, and I know he is working in you whether you know it or not.

I know that everything that happens God is using for his plan. My part in God’s plan is so big in our terms that I can’t see it and so small in God’s terms that it’s hard to believe that I matter.

But I do matter. And you matter, too, whether you believe or not.

God is using us all, and we are all an important part of His master plan. And His plan is so big, you don’t have any idea what part you are playing.

I pray that you all know you are a part of God’s master plan. I pray you know the amazing power of Jesus Christ. Thank you for being part of my part of God’s master plan.

This passage made me think of you all so I shared it with you. If it brings someone to your mind, I hope you reach out to them, even if it’s in a really vague way like this.

Are you pretending God is in control?

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My husband drives by this church several times a day for his job. Last week, the sign out front caught his eye, and he came home and told me about it. “Be calm and pretend God is in control.”

Let’s be honest here. I didn’t believe him. Pretend God is in control?! I mean, there are a lot of really bad church signs out there (just google it if you don’t believe me), but what church would tell you to pretend God was in control?

And then he sent me the above picture. Sorry, honey, you were right.

The phrase be calm and (insert anything here) is very popular right now so I would not be surprised to see it popping up on church signs everywhere. And, in fact, I would not be surprised to see this sign on churches everywhere if pretend was changed to know or trust.

 

Are you pretending?

 

If you are pretending that God is in control, you need to take a close look at your heart. And if you are attending a church that tells you to pretend God is in control, you need to take a close look at your church.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding what they meant. But I really can think of nothing that makes this sign okay with me.

In the gospels, it tells us that Jesus controlled the sea and the storm with his words. “So then the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey him?'” (Matthew 8:27) Genesis tells is that God said, “Let there be light.” and there was light.

God controls the sea and the winds and the light and the darkness, but you’re just pretending that He’s in control of your life?

 

Give control to God

 

I feel that whenever we talk about God being in control and people, we must also talk about free will. God gave us free will, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t in control. I believe these go hand in hand.

Not only do I believe God is in control, I pray God is in control of me and that He would help me to see His will and follow it. Do I fail? Yes. Absolutely. I fail over and over again. Am I pretending when I say that God is in control? No. Absolutely not.

I know that God is in control. I know He has a plan so big I can’t even begin to understand it all. I know that I will stumble and fall, and God will pick me back up and help me on my way (His way) if I will trust and turn control over to him.

That’s called faith.

If you’re pretending God is in control, that’s not faith. That’s a lie. And, in my mind, it’s the worst kind of lie you can tell yourself.

There are so many things this sign leads me to believe about the church it’s in front of. If you are pretending that God is in control, do you pretend that Jesus is the Christ?

Do you pretend He died for our sins?

Do you pretend He rose three days later?

Do you pretend God hears and answers our prayers?

What else are you pretending about?

 

Change one word, change the meaning

 

Can we change just one word on the sign? Let’s change pretend to know.

Be calm and know God is in control.

Know that Jesus is the Christ.

Know that He died for our sins.

Know that He rose three days later.

Know that God hears and answers our prayers.

I hope that the sign was changed today. I hope yesterday morning someone on their way into that church looked at that sign and it gave them pause. I hope they talked about it and decided that they’re not the people pretending God is in control. I hope they’re the kind of people who hand God the wheel and put Him in control.

That sign out front is the first impression people get. It tells them who you are. Look at the sign, not just in front of your church but in front of your life.

Are you pretending that God is in control, or did you hand Him the wheel and give Him control?

There’s something wrong in Boston

Since November, I’ve been following a news story out of Boston. At first it just seemed crazy, unbelievable that this could happen in the United States. I listened to the story and read what I could find on it. Because Justina Pelletier’s parents disagreed with Boston’s Children’s Hospital about their diagnosis and wanted to take her to a different doctor, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families got involved and took custody of their child. This is not the first time this has happened.

I don’t want to get into all the medical issues with this. You can find more information here and here and here about what’s going on with this case.

What is going on with our government and hospitals if they can take custody of your child because you want a second opinion?

Okay. Maybe you think the state is in the right here. Maybe there’s more to this story than we know. I know that I thought there had to be more to it when I first heard about this. This kind of thing doesn’t happen here.

So, instead of talking about the medical side of this, let’s talk about the faith side of it.

Last night I watched another interview with Lou, Justina’s dad, about the case. In the last 13 months that the state has had custody of Justina, she has received no schooling. Along with no schooling, she has also not been allowed any contact with a priest. She comes from a religious family. So not only has she missed birthdays and holidays with her family, she also missed communion at Easter and Christmas. Is there a shortage of priests in Boston that I haven’t heard about? Does the hospital not have chaplains on staff? (Yes they do.)

Matthew 19:14 says, “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of heaven.'”

If everything else that Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Mass DCF has done makes sense to you, can we at least agree that it doesn’t make sense that she’s getting no schooling and is unable to practise her faith? What reasoning could you possibly give for this?

I’m asking you to do your own homework on this story. You don’t have to believe me that what’s happening here is wrong. But, as you read the stories and watch the interviews, think what if this was my child. And if at the end of your research, you find that you do believe what the family is saying, I ask you to get involved.

There are a number of ways you can get involved:

-pray.

-contact the Massachuetts governor, Deval Patrick, here.

-contact your federal representatives (find yours here)

-share these stories with your friends on facebook and twitter (use the hashtag #FreeJustina to connect with others talking about this.)

-visit A Miracle For Justina’s facebook page

-go to www.freejustina.com where you can read more about this story, sign a petition and donate to the family

-there is a prayer vigil for Justina Saturday, March 1 in Merrimac, Mass

-pray.

If this can happen in Boston, it can happen anywhere. If this can happen to the Pelletiers, it can happen to anyone.

What would you do if this was your child?

I Pray

It has been an exciting week around here for our crazy little family. Doors have been opened, new possibilities are happening, and prayers are being answered. It’s been amazing to be a part of and to watch it all unfold.

And it got me thinking about prayer and the way we pray.

Prayer is an amazing thing. A way to talk directly with God. And He always answers. Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes it’s no. He answers with wait. Or trust. Or peace. 

Sometime God answers with silence or opportunities.

The more that I’ve prayed, and the older I’ve gotten, the more my prayers have changed. When I was younger, I prayed for things, for actual items, for stuff. “Dear God, Please let me get a bike for my birthday. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”

These days my prayers are much different. I still pray for specific things but it’s more people than items. And because I know that sometimes God answers prayer with opportunity, I’m thoughtful in how I pray. I know that if I pray for courage there’s a good chance God is going to give me opportunities to be courageous. Sometimes instead of what we normally think of as prayer, I just cry out, “Oh, Lord.” More and more I just pray for help.

I pray for my military brother that God would keep him safe at home and abroad.

I pray for the health of my parents, my husband’s parents, and our grandparents who are all in fairly good health and none of which am I ready to lose.

I pray for safe travel for any of us when we are traveling.

I pray that my husband and I make the right decisions for our boys so they grow strong in God.

I pray for the girls that my boys will someday marry.

I pray for my country, which I don’t recognize some days.

I pray for the President, for his safety and that he would make good decisions for our country.

I pray for vague concepts for people because I may not know what you need me to pray for but God knows.

I pray for Justina, a 15 year old girl I’ll never meet.

I pray for people I haven’t spoken to in years.

I pray for friends and family and strangers.

I pray that if something is right it will happen, and if it’s not, it won’t.

I pray for His will over my own.

And I know that God answers all of these prayers. And some of the answers, I won’t understand this side of Heaven. But I do know that He always answers. I may not like or understand the answers, but He always answers.

I pray.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Every time we open our mouths, we have two choices. We can tell the truth or we can lie. It seems like an easy choice, an obvious answer. Tell the truth. But the truth is getting harder and harder to find.

A story is posted on facebook. Your friend reads it, is outraged, and shares it. You read it, are equally outraged and share it. Soon the story is everywhere. People everywhere are outraged about this horrible thing that happened and the horrible person who did it. How could this happen? People united together against this horrible thing. Everyone is talking about it. Sounds great, right?

The only problem is the whole thing was a lie. The horrible thing didn’t happen (or if it did happen the “victim” was actually the perpetrator). The truth comes out a week or two later, but no one shares that story.

And this happens over and over again.

The first lie was told in the Garden (Genesis 5), and the lies have continued. The Bible is full of references on how God feels about lying and the truth.

“These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” -Proverbs 6:16-19

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” -Proverbs 12:22

“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape.” -Proverbs 19:5

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” -Revelations 21:8

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” -John 8:32

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” -John 14:6

And there are many, many more.

When everyone lies, how can we trust anything? I find myself believing less and less. I find myself trusting people (outside those I’m closest to) less and less. I trust almost nothing I read on facebook and other social media sites. I trust almost nothing that comes from the government. I don’t trust the news media. I try to be very careful about what I share on facebook or twitter.

I don’t want to live like this. I want to trust people. I want to be able to trust the stories my friends share. I want to trust what’s being reported. I want the truth.

I’m raising two little boys who I pray will speak the truth. And as we are continually surrounded by lies, this is harder and harder. I find myself correcting things they hear and see on a regular basis. How can we raise our children to be truthful if they are surround by lies? I try to be very truthful. I find myself exaggerating something and then immediately correcting myself.

Can we just all start telling the truth?

Just imagine that. Everyone just starts telling the truth and calling out the lies. Think of how great it could be. We could trust each other because we would tell the truth. Think of how much easier it would be. And, yes, sometimes the truth is hard. But the truth is always better than the lie, and the truth always comes out in the end.

Tell the truth.

Call out the lie.

The truth will set you free.

It took all day, but I got the message

It’s been a crazy kind of week. The boys (ages 5 and 4) and I have been trapped in the house for the last 5 days. Between the bitter cold and snow and my husband needing our truck, there hasn’t been a trip out. No going to the library, or grocery store, or even sending the boys out to play in the snow.

The house now feels like it is about 20 square feet.

We have all reached our breaking point.

I’m on edge and my nerves are shot. The boys are loud and appear to fight over EVERY SINGLE THING! And I ran out of coffee creamer yesterday morning.

And through the whole crazy, loud, obnoxious day we’ve had today, the same thing has repeated through my head.

Be still and know that I am God.

It’s like a chorus running through my head. The boys are chasing each other (and the dog) through the house screaming (and barking). I close my eyes, take a breath, and hear:

Be still and know that I am God.

No one likes their lunch (except the dog) and they want [insert any random food we don’t have here].

Be still and know that I am God.

I take a break to read a blog post from a blogger I just found (mustbethistalltoride.com) and its called “Be still and know that I am God.”

Okay, okay. I get it. A couple posts back I talked about God speaking to us and how it takes two or three or more times for me to get it, and today was proof that those words were true.

Be still and know that I am God.

I get it. I know that I’m not in control of what’s happening, but I am in control of how I respond. And how I respond directly reflects how the boys will respond. I need to take a breath. I need to be still and know that God is in control and knows exactly what is and what will happen.

And it took all day, but I finally got the message. And when I did, the situation changed. Don’t get me wrong. The boys are still chasing each other and hollering. But I’m different.

They are growing up so fast, and someday I’m going to look back on these days fondly. Yes, even the days where they made completely crazy. I’ll wonder where the time went and how they got so old so fast.

Im going to cherish the time when they are small enough to want hugs and kisses and cuddles and tickles.

Im going to remember when it’s just the three of us at home that we are not alone here.

And then I felt at peace. I felt calmer. I felt better. Because I took the time not only to hear God speaking to me but to really listen to what He was telling me.

I believe that God speaks to all of us. Sometimes we hear Him, but amazing things can happen when we take the time to listen to Him.

With all of our gadgets and noise and stuff, it’s hard to hear God sometimes. But it’s even harder to listen. And when we listen amazing things happen.

Be still and know that I am God.

I got the message. It just took all day for me to listen to it.

Christians, stand united!

There are things going on within the Christian community that I just don’t understand. Christians are being persecuted all over the world. Why aren’t we all standing up against this? Why isn’t this on the news every single night?

I am defining the Christian community to include all people who believe that Jesus is the Christ, that he came to Earth, died on the cross and rose again three days later to pay for all our sins and give us eternal life. In Philippians 2:12, Paul writes, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.

I don’t care if you call yourself Catholic, Protestant, Coptic, Mormon, Amish, or anything else. I don’t care if you say you are part of the Church of Jesus Christ Whom We Serve By Raising Cows. If you believe that Jesus is the Christ and are living to serve Him, we are brothers and sisters and should be united. We should all be standing together as a united front against Satan and not worrying about our differences.

And if one group is being persecuted for their belief that Jesus is The Christ, then we are all being persecuted. Right now, I, personally, am not being persecuted for my faith. However, if we stand by while others are, how long until that persecution reaches us? If I don’t stand up and say that this is wrong when it is happening elsewhere, who is going to stand with me?

We are The Church, and we should all be standing together.

Why are we letting the little differences separate us? If you believe that babies should be baptized at birth, and I believe that you shouldn’t be baptized until you are of an age where you can make that decision on your own, does that mean that Jesus loves one of us more? If you are a pacifist and I serve proudly in the military, do I not pray to the same God as you? Does it matter if I have a minister, preacher, bishop, priest, or what I call the person who gives the message on Sunday mornings? Does it matter if my church meets on Sunday mornings or Saturday nights or Tuesday afternoons? Does it matter if the person giving the message is wearing a robe or a collar or jeans and a t-shirt?

Instead of letting all of these things divide us, why don’t we all stand united in Christ? As people who believe that Jesus is The Christ, let’s unite and say that enough is enough. It’s not okay to murder people. It’s not okay to persecute people for their beliefs, no matter what those beliefs are. We don’t have to agree on all the little stuff, but can we stand together on the big stuff?

Let’s start talking about what’s happening to Christians around the world. Let’s tell the media to start reporting on it. And let’s tell our elected officials to stop sending money to the people persecuting Christians. Let’s stand together.

I am Coptic. I am Catholic. I am Mormon. I am Protestant. I am Amish. I am Christian. I believe that Jesus is the Christ. I believe that He came to Earth. I believe that He died on the cross for all the world. I believe that He rose from the grave three days later to save us all and give us eternal life.

I believe and I’m not afraid to say it.  

 

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For a story on where persecution is happening now (and where the US is sending money) go here: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/confirmed-the-us-facilitates-christian-persecution-around-the-world/

For a story on a Nigerian Christian church being attacked, go here: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/28/huge-number-of-nigerians-killed-in-two-day-shooting-and-bombing-spree-that-began-at-a-sunday-church-service/