Confession.  The word alone conjures up images of a darkened booth with a priest sitting on the other side of a window-type screen; filled with hushed tones and shame.

Why are we so afraid to go bold with confessing our sins when we already know that by doing so will allow that particular burden to be lifted off of our shoulders?

Do we believe for an instant that we are capable of hiding our sins from an all-knowing and an all-seeing Creator?

There’s quite a bit of shame involved, I understand.  I’ve been there.  We strive to do our very best to please God but often those attempts fall flat and we fail miserably.

But guess what?  He still loves us regardless of our numerous shortcomings.  That is what a loving God does!  How awesome is that!  So go boldly before the throne.

1 John 1:9 explains it clearly, “If we confess our sins, He  is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Now that is some great news, my friends!






When God is Silent

All my life I’ve been clinging to the hope of God and His existence.  Deep down I am fully aware that there is something greater than myself; than all of us; alive and in control of this infinite universe.  Death has had its fair grip on me for decades; what will it be like, how much pain, and will I still exist afterwards?  I believe in a God that is omnipotent and unending.  As a child I’d play church(not too many kids out there playing church, I imagine).  We had this half-shell knick knack with Jesus on the cross attached to it and I’d put water in the shell and pretend it was holy water, dabbing it onto my forehead just like I saw my parents and others do in the Catholic church we attended.

Having Aspergers, I just felt closer to the existence of some higher power; something or someone I could look up to and have a sense of peace over.  I’ve read somewhere women with Aspergers have a unique pull to the divine.  I have a thirst for Truth, to know wrong from right, to understand others and what they are going through.  I want to grasp why some people are good and others are seen as evil.  What turns a person from light to darkness?  What snaps inside?

Peace within is a blessing.  But when we seek answers from an almighty Being, we expect answers, and fast.  We don’t want to wait.  From experience there were, and still are, frustrating circumstances in my life that needle the flesh.  Why does this person act this way?  Why don’t I feel closer to the ones I love?  Why do I keep getting rejected in places that preach about love and acceptance?  My ear is attuned to his anticipated reply.  But I cannot sense any forthcoming. Then the fear and doubts set in.  Is God truly out there?  Does he even care about me and my concerns?  Now I’m drawing into myself again.  I’m screaming within, Help me, God!  Why aren’t you listening?  Do you even love me?

As a believer, fear of God no longer loving you is like a baseball bat to the face.  It’s like trying to breathe underwater.  Crying helps, a bit.  But after the tears, the cursing(yes, the cursing), the pleading, I can take a deep breath and refocus.  Peace surrounds me once again.  God isn’t intimidated by your little outbursts.  He knows you intimately since he created you.  His love for you is eternal.  When God is silent, I believe he is testing us and our faith.  Do we trust in him or not?  He swoops in to rescue us and our dwindling faith.

He is good and merciful to his children, and knows us all by name.  God has not abandoned you but continually longs to have a place in our hearts and thoughts.  Talk to him today.  He is waiting.

Goodbye 2013

This will be my last post for the year.  My intention was always to post something new at least once a week.  Unfortunately I’ve failed at that.  But no use beating myself up over it.  I can’t change the past but I can do something about it in the future.  A new year is almost upon us.  For some of us this is a blessing and a relief.  For others, it is a painful reminder of what surrounds us.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of ‘what-if’s’.  Will I still have my job next year?  Will my spouse leave me?  Will my illness get worse?  So much stress and worry.  But since we cannot see into the future what lays ahead, we have to take it one day at a time.  Baby steps.  We can’t change the horrible economy.  We can try to do a better job at loving and caring about our spouses.  We can get help.  We can go to counseling.  Life is so unpredictable.  We can’t see around the corner and peek at what is coming at us.

But this post is not meant to be negative.  I want you to read ‘hope’ within these words.  Hope for a new season in your life.  Hope that things will get better, or hope that things will remain just as they are, if you are pleased and thankful for what you already have.  I believe that we live with too much fear.  I for one am included in that.  I am a worrier.  I bite my nails still.  I overeat to calm my frayed nerves.  I get sick to my stomach sometimes, and have terrible headaches.  And for what?  Because I’m stressing out about something that will most likely never occur.  I recommend meditation or prayer.  A higher power.  I believe in God.  I believe that He has all things under control and no matter how hard I struggle to have things my way, I believe that He is ultimately the one with absolute control.  I think that we need to keep our eyes focused on something bigger than ourselves.  I’m not saying that you have to believe in what I believe.  I’m a firm believer in not forcing any religion down anyone else’s throat.  But I do think that we can find comfort in knowing that there is someone or something in control, who’s got everything in capable hands.  Leading us.  Guiding us.  Teaching us.

So as we look to 2014, let us release all of this strain, and worry, and focus on the good.  We usually cannot do much about the things that pop up unexpectedly in our lives, like the loss of employment, but we can take a deep breath and move on to something else.  We can release the ‘bad energy’ and move on to something better, something brighter.  Don’t settle for second-best.  Don’t settle for complacency.  You are so very important.  See yourself as valuable.  As a contributing member of society.  Life goes on even when the pain comes.  Talk to someone, if you need to.  Don’t go through all of this turmoil alone.  We all need people, even in this social media age.  Please never look at your life as being worthless, as you being worthless.  You are NOT worthless.  You are made for a reason.  No one is here by accident.  This is what I believe.  Don’t take your own life.  I read somewhere once that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  In life, this too shall pass.  Troubles don’t last for a lifetime.  I know what I’m talking about.  I tried, years ago, to take my own life.  But you know what, even though I was buried in anguish at the time, life did get better. 

Please, please, please look for the bright spot.  There is always one if you dare to seek it out.  Love yourself.  Let others love you, too.  Don’t wall yourself up.  Get out there in live!  Life is short.  It is unpredictable, but it is beautiful.  Please don’t squander another day. 

Going Back to My Christian Roots

The Word of God endures forever. It cannot be destroyed. Those in Third-World nations hunger for it. Fellow believers long for a copy of the Bible for themselves. They sit on wooden benches in hot, stuffy shacks, worshipping the Lord while we in this country are sitting in air-conditioned masterpieces of architecture, and still we are not happy. We feel that going to worship once a week is a chore; boring and without merit.

The Bibles we have are normally for display, not for reading, much like our grandparent’s plastic-covered living rooms were. As believers, we need to open up that book, filled with life-giving, cleansing water for the thirsting soul. The Word is our hope. It reveals the precious Lamb of God who died to take away the sins of the world, so that we may be reconciled to the Father.

It doesn’t matter to God how many chapters you read in one sitting, as long as you take the time and refresh yourself in it daily. A verse or two, a chapter; just read it and take its words to heart. It can calm you down, and it can energize you, depending on what you are looking for.

Many people scoff at the Word, thinking it’s nothing more than fables and pretty stories written by uneducated men making foolish rules, and oppressive to women. But they couldn’t be further from the truth. God is holy. And the world does not understand Him any better than the religious leaders of Jesus’ time didn’t understand who He was.

God’s love for you is truly unconditional. He will be there with you in your struggles and your questioning “why’s” God doesn’t delight in people’s suffering or addictions, or in your tears. No. He wants nothing more than to comfort you.

For you to obey His word means to be kept safe from serious harm. Is that to say that nothing bad will ever happen to you? No. Life will still have its ups and downs, and heartache, pain, and temptations. But the Lord will provide you with the strength to make it through. All you have to do is ask. In His Word, a great light is there ready to break through the darkness of this world.

Understand that it is the ‘religious leaders’ of our day that try to overburden you with foolish rules and guilt trips. God will not do that. Christian faith is not about bondage, but about breaking free from condemnation. It is freedom; freedom from fear, addictions, and from a hardened heart. If you haven’t already, choose this day to take a chance on God. Let Him reveal Himself to you. Let Him bask you in the glory of His light and in His love. You’ll be glad that you did. Accept this offer of freedom and peace today.

Going out on a Limb

Okay, I’m going to probably offend some people with this post, but it is not intentional.  This issue has weighed on my mind for some time now and these are my own personal views.  You can agree with them or not.  It is your choice.  So(deep breath) here goes:  God doesn’t hate you.  Too often people think they are too far gone for God to reach them; to change them.  Some people don’t want to change.  Others just plain do not believe.

I am not the in-your-face evangelist.  I like to share my faith with my words.  I am a Christian though many times a pretty lousy one.  But God doesn’t hate me for my weaknesses.  I struggle, just as we all do as human beings.  Life is hard.  Through all these modern conveniences, we as people can still feel so desperately lonely at times.   Why is that?

I think we no longer trust each other, and in many instances, for good reasons.  We’ve become more cynical.  Myself included.  We look at the world and see only pain, misery, deceit, hate, prejudice and death.  Okay, I sound like some debbie-downer here; but the truth is we all crave some good news and hope.  It keeps us sane and moving forward day by day.

Gay or straight:  God does not hate you!  Divorced: God does not hate you.  Alcoholic or drug addicted:  God does not hate you.  God is love, so He cannot hate.  I believe that He mourns over our sins and shortcomings.  I will not say ‘failures’ because we do not fail until we cease to try.

Too often it is God’s people who turn others away from seeking Him out.  Judgemental, overly pious, vying for some sainthood, and looking so pure on the outside.  It’s a lie.  We all have our faults, some obvious and others not so much.  God is patient.  He will never force you to come to Him.  I personally believe in Hell and in the consequences of rejecting God.  But let me say this:  He is a loving and just God.  He is not in heaven looking down waiting for you to screw up, to say or do the wrong thing.  He knows we are only flesh and blood.  He knows that life is difficult and messy.

Too often people don’t want to turn to God because they think then they have to be perfect, never screwing up and making a mistake again.  Wrong!  Let me lead by example.  I am a tremendous screw up.  I struggle with many things, especially my thought life.  I won’t go there but it ain’t pretty in my head, that’s all I’ve got to say.  But I still know that God loves me and cares about me.  He knows all about me and my screw ups.  He made me.  I don’t come as a surprise to Him!  He doesn’t look at me and think, ‘Wow, never saw that one coming!’.

Bask in His love.  Don’t listen to the lies that you will never be good enough.  There is no such thing as ‘good enough’ anyway.  We are all in that boat.  And that’s not to condemn anyone.  We need to strengthen each other.  We must stand together or we fall apart.  I think we all know someone who could use a smile, a helping hand, a warm meal, a friend.

Don’t look at the church to see God.  I’ve  noticed myself how lukewarm it’s becoming in this nation.  There doesn’t seem to be much energy and excitement anymore.  We seem to be dwelling too deeply in apathy.  Rise above it.  Don’t drown in it.  Though the waves may crash against that shore, don’t let it smash you against its rocks.

God is incredible.  I feel sorry for those who never gave Him a shot.  I am loved by a great Creator.  Yes.  I do believe God created the heavens and the earth.  His creation is awesome.  Just look at a rainbow.  How life begins anew in Springtime after a long and dreary winter.  I love watching the buds on the trees and the flowers push through the dirt in the ground to bloom once more.

You are incredibly made.  Just take a few minutes and think about it.  How your body functions.  It’s mind-blowing.  Please, all I ask is that you take a moment to see that God is not a god of hate and wrath, but one of love and compassion.  Religion can be numbing and downright mean at times, but faith is sustaining.  A lot of crap happened with the Christian church, I confess.  But let me just say that is what the people did, God did not ask for them to do that.  It is not in the New Testament.  Oftentimes people do such wicked and evil things in the name of God.  He is not a god of evil and torment.  He loves you.  He only wants you to give Him some time in your day; in your life.  But it is your call; your decision.  God wants you to love Him because you choose to, not because you have to.

Again, God is love, His people may not always come across as loving and caring.  Even I as a Christian have run across that too.  A lot of the times I’ve found that people out of the church can be more loving and accepting than those inside the four walls.  And remember, Jesus came for the sick, not for the healthy.  He came to heal the broken-hearted and how many of us out there are feeling broken-hearted?  We’ve all gone through that at least once.

In conclusion, please don’t write God off just because His people have screwed you over.  He wants you.  He accepts you.  He loves you.  It’s easy to accept Him.  Just open up your heart and let Him in.

Blessings and peace,