This is my story

I realize it’s not Wednesday. But even if it was Wednesday, it’s been so long since I’ve done a Worship Wednesday post, it would probably confuse you all. But it’s not Wednesday, it’s Friday. And this Friday, I’m listening to music waiting for my husband to get home from the store and one of my current favorite Christian songs comes on, Big Daddy Weave’s My Story.

This song speaks to me so much. I grew up in a Christian home. There was never a time when we didn’t go to church. There was never a time when I didn’t believe in God, or know that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God who came to earth as a man, who lived a perfect life, died on the cross for ME, and arose three days later. This has always been true for me.

And then I’m around people talking about their story, and they all have this big AHA moment where suddenly they understood and believed and knew Jesus came for them. And then I feel like I am less. Everyone is sharing their salvation story, and I just sit there uncomfortable hoping no one is looking at me. I don’t have this big story. I do not have a single moment in my life where I remember anything but believing in Jesus. Does this make me less?

I grew up in the church. We always, ALWAYS, went to church. If you spent the night at our house, you went to church on Sunday morning, too. There were no ifs, ands or buts about it (unless you snuck out at the crack of dawn. I’m looking at you, Joey). We went on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights until we changed churches and then we went on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. We were always in church. And if something happened with the church we were currently attending, we immediately were in another church. Church, God and Jesus are just something that has always been a part of me.

I hear people tell these stories, and I am so moved by them. They were in this horrible place and God spoke to them and they found Jesus and I rejoice with them. These are amazing stories. And then I am terrified they will ask me mine. And then what do I say? I’ve always believed? I’ve never doubted the presence of God?

Don’t get me wrong. I have made mistakes. I have made my own gigantic, horrible, terrible mistakes. But even in the midst of those mistakes, I knew God; I knew Jesus. While I was making my mistakes, there was never a moment when I doubted the presence of God. And while my mistakes may have taken me away from God, I knew that He had never left me.

What kind of story is that? What kind of testimony is it to say you always knew Him? There are days this makes me feel less, less Christian, less devoted, just less. And how ridiculous is that? Shouldn’t always knowing Him be more or equal to? But still I feel less.

My middle brother was the first of the three of us that were baptize. I remember so clearly as a teenager my brother saying he wanted to be baptized again because the first time he was baptized we were attending a Church of Christ where they have communion every Sunday and my brother really wanted to be able to have communion because every one else was. I remember my teenage brother with his amazing story being baptized again. (I am not saying that he ever doubted God or Jesus, just so we are clear.) I remember watching him being dunked into that water and being so proud of the choice he was making. I remember being jealous that he had this moment of clarity and a story he could tell. Isn’t that silly?

I know not having an amazing story doesn’t make me less. It doesn’t lessen my worth in my Father’s eyes. It’s such a silly human thing that I’m sure comes from Satan. And maybe that’s why this song means so much to me.

To tell you my story is to tell of Him.

My story (or lack thereof) doesn’t make me less. It doesn’t make me more. It makes me me. We all have different stories. We all come to Him in different places. Do you know what is important? It’s not the story. It’s that we come to Him.

So if you ask me my story, I will tell you a story of when Life overcame the grave. I will tell you of when justice was served but when mercy won. Let me tell you of the grace that is greater than all of my sin (and boy have I sinned.). Can I tell you about the kindness of Jesus which is more than any of us can imagine? This is my story. This is my song.

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I’m not going to tolerate it anymore

Christmas Eve is 1 1/2 hours away as I start to write this and I really wanted to write one more post about Christmas. Well, I really wanted to write about Easter and how Christmas is just another birthday without the cross. But as I started planning out the words in my head, I realized that I’m going to have to wait a little longer to talk about how Easter should be a bigger celebration than Christmas.

The same phrase kept forcing itself into my head. Jesus preached love not tolerance. I’ve heard a lot about how as Christians we should tolerate the choices of others, especially after my last post on abortion. Add into that the political correctness that has over taken our lives and I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know where the world is heading and sometimes it scares me.

Jesus never told us to tolerate anything. In fact the only time tolerate is mentioned in the bible is in telling us to not tolerate. Jesus did not tolerate anything. In Mark 11:12-25 and Luke 19:45-48, Jesus did not tolerate the money changers in the temple, but he over turned their tables and threw them out. Jesus does not tell us to tolerate sin.

What Jesus did preach was love. We are to love the sinner because we are all sinners. He told us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and the secnod is to love our neighbor as ourself (Mark 12:28-34). Love not tolerate.

I’m going to love you. Even those of you I don’t know or those of you I don’t really like, I’m going to do my best to love because THAT is what my God has commanded me to do. You’re going to make mistakes. I’m not going to tolerate them. I’m going to love you, all of you. I’m going to make mistakes, and I pray that you won’t tolerate them but that you will love me, even those of you who don’t know me.

I can hate the sin and love the sinner, and I believe that is what God has told us all to do. Love the sinner. Love my enemy. Love my neighbor. Love the one that has wronged me. LOVE.

I can not tolerate the sin anymore.  I will not say its okay. That you can make your choices and that’s great. When your choices are sin, they are wrong and I’m going to hate the choices you’ve made. I’m going to love you and hate the sin. And when I make choices that are sin, I hope you will hate my choices, call me out on them, and love me.

If you’re wondering what sin is check out Exodus 20. It gives a pretty good list.

Love. Don’t tolerate anything.