I Am Not A “Christian”

Christianity, what does that mean to you? Do you think of church members, do you think of people that say they believe in God, or do you think of people that say one thing and act a different way?  See I have been struggling with the word and meaning of Christianity, or Christians, I know what some may be thinking “how can a pastor’s wife be struggling with the meaning of Christianity” don’t worry I am getting to that. I just wanted to share my struggles and my heart with you guys. So, keep reading and maybe by the end of this we will be on the same page, and you will understand me a little more.

I work with many different people, I work with people of different cultures, religions, and life styles. If we all think about the places that we work, we work around the same type of people. Simply different. As I get to know the people that I work with, the people that I have worked with, and the people that I encounter daily I find one thing in common, most everyone claims to be a Christian. Most people claim that they love Jesus and believe in God, or if they have a different religion that their religion is no different they that of a Christians. I don’t know if it is because of who my husband is and what he does for a living, or if it is because I tell everyone that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and He is the reason I have life, that people feel the need to tell me that they are “Christians” or they believe in God, or my belief is no different than theirs, but the one thing remains is that they do not have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. How I know this is simple, their life does not reflect Christ. I understand that some people are going to be upset or offended with me saying that, but the truth is I don’t care. I am called to stand up for Christ, and to stand up for what I believe, and to live for Jesus Christ and that is what I am doing. So here is the truth, I am not a Christian, I choose not to be placed in the same category of anyone that claims to be a Christian and their life does not reflect that of Christ. No, I am not a Christian, I AM A BORN-AGAIN, FORGIVEN, FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST.

Did you hear that, I am not a Christian! I AM A BORN-AGAIN, FORGIVEN, FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST my life is not my own. I choose to stand up for Christ in this dark world, I choose to be different, and I choose to believe and follow the word of God no matter how many people say I am wrong. I am tired of being placed in the same category as the other “Christians” in this world, that clam to know my God but does not have a relationship with Him. I might be hated, disliked, beaten, unwanted, or killed for following Jesus Christ, but there is no other life that I want to live. This is the life that I choose. I choose to be different, I choose to stand out, and I choose to follow Christ no matter how hard it is.

Now I’m not saying that everyone that calms to be a Christian does not have a true relationship with Jesus Christ, but what I am saying that the ones that have a true relationship with Jesus Christ as I do, always say that they are followers Christ and they will live for him. THEY ARE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST, THEY ARE BORN-AGAIN, AND THEY ARE FORGIVEN. So as Christians that have been born again, let’s stop being in the same category as the world of “Christians”, it’s time we are classified as Born-Again Followers of Jesus Christ. If you are reading this and do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ and want to know more, well I am always here to talk. If you are reading this and I have offended you, then good! You should know that calling yourself a Christian will not get you into Heaven, saying you believe in God does not mean you have a true relationship with Jesus Christ, heck even demons believe in God (James 2:19). If you want to know more about having a true relationship with Christ I would love to talk to you. See my life is about winning people to Christ, I am a fisher of men and I want everyone to know the love that I have through Christ.

Please don’t feel like I am attacking anyone, I simply want to share the truth. I want everyone to be clear on the difference of a follower of Jesus Christ, and a person that clams to be Christians. I don’t want anyone to think that I will hate anyone that has a different belief than me, or a different lifestyle than me I am not that type of person. I choose to love everyone because He first loved me, I choose to talk to everyone without any hate or judgment in my heart because I was saved by grace and forgiven of my sins. My goal in life is to live like Christ and love the way God has loved me. But sometimes the truth hurts, and the truth is not easy but it has to be said.

I am proud to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and I am thankful for the life God has given me. Without a life in Him I would be dead, and I am alive because of the blood that Jesus Christ spilled for me. I AM BORN AGAIN FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST. The question is are you?

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Action —-> Reaction

Newton’s law of motion states: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. Consequence: The effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier.

When I think about my life, I always look back at the choices that I made when I was a teenager. I remember the times I backed talked my mom, the fights I got into with my siblings, and how I was in school. I rarely look back at my life and have regrets, I am a strong-willed person I never had a desire to do anything that would hinder my character. I accepted Christ when I was in high school and always stood strong in my faith and my actions, I knew from a young age that anything that I did wrong could affect someone that does not have a relationship with Christ. Anything that I do as a Christian can effect someone that is not saved, it will affects someone that is saved. As young Christian I had the understanding that people were watching me, people wanted me to mess up, and people wanted me to successes because of my beliefs. I understood that my peers around me did not have a relationship with Christ, and if I messed up they could and would call me a hypocrite. The world wants Christians to mess up, they want to see fault in our lives, because they want an excuse to not give up their lives and live a different way. I understood how important it was for me to simply abide by the “rules” of a Christian life, so I simply did not do the things that I was not supposed to do.

In my youth, and in my grown-up life I have never done anything “bad” I always stayed true to what the Word said my life should look like. I have never tasted alcohol, I have never smoked, I never cussed except for when I was unsaved, and I never had sex when I was a youth (adult life yes, I’m married); the point I am making is that I was a “good” kid. So many times, adults tell young children, and youth about all the bad things they did when they were younger. These children and youth rarely hear about the good we did when we were young. Simply because we want to make a point that our mistakes should not be theirs, what if we start to tell them the good we did, what if our conversation changes from bad to good? How would that affect them if they heard the good more than the bad? Every action has a reaction.

A wise woman pointed out to me, that so often youth only hear the consequences of bad choices and rarely hear the consequences of good choices. With all the things I did not do, I received good consequences, with every choice that I made in my life had a reaction. I could make a list of all the amazing consequences that I received from my good choices, but we would be here all day because God has truly blessed me in so many ways. He saved me from many heartaches, because I chose to follow His path and not on my own desires. Yes, I felt pressure to fit in, yes, I made mistakes, and yes, my mistakes have had consequences. Every action has a reaction.

I am not perfect, I am a sinner and my natural reaction is to give into sin. But I have learned in my life that I must fight. I must fight my sinful nature, I have found my strength in Christ and Christ alone, and nothing else. There is no good person, we are all inherently bad. We deserve nothing but Hell, but we have a loving Father that gave His son for our sins (John 3:16). I do not deserve all the good that God has given me, but though His Grace and love I have more in life than I could have every image. God is good to me and my life, but I followed Him even when it was hard. I stayed strong, I made good choices, and I was rewarded form my choices. Every action has a reaction.

I want to change the world, and I believe changing the world starts with the young, it starts with what they hear and what they see. Let’s change our words, lets change our stories to good instead of bad, lets show them that living for the Lord has good consequences. Living for the Lord is not about rules but freedom. Let’s change the conversation, let’s talk about the good more than the bad, stop talking about what you did wrong as a youth, say what you did right. Let’s change the world together! It starts with your speech, it starts with action. What are you telling young children?

Every action has a reaction.

Let’s change the conversation!

Adopted: One, Two, Three Times

November is a special month for many children and families. November is adoption awareness month, and November 11th is World Adoption Day. A day to recognize children that were adopted, families that adopted and bring awareness to the fact that many children around that world do not have a family of their own. On November 11th I myself think about the life that God has given me, and my parents that chose my sisters and myself to be a part of their family. November is a time for thankfulness and family; for me, I am thankful I was adopted into a family. I was adopted when I was a child, but I was not just adopted one time, I was adopted three times.

February 4th, 1999 Ruben and Pat Simmons had four little girls walk into their front door, they were greeted by two boys and and two grownups. I was fortunate to be one of those four girls. This was a scary thing for me and my sisters. We were in a new place, with people we did not know, and we did not know where our mom was or why we could not go to her. Days, months, and years went on and those four strangers were no longer strangers, they were family, they were our parents, and our brothers. We wanted nothing more than to have our last names changed, and to be our parent’s children.

On March 6th 2003, Ruben and Pat Simmons walked into court with six children. Two boys who were already adopted, and four girls who were longing to be adopted. On that wonderful day, we sat down with the judge and he asked each of us if we wanted to change our names. When it became my turn, I told him that I only wanted my last name changed, and nothing else. The judge smiled at me and agreed to that. After they signed the papers, he congratulated my parents, and the four of us on our adoption. Everyone was so happy, we got many hugs from random people in the court house (everyone knew our family) and so many pictures were taken. It was a wonderful day; we have been waiting so long to be adopted. It was a new life, it was a new begging, and, thank the Lord a new last name! I only remember a few things about this day, and one of them was cake! But the best part was having a new family, and knowing that my parents loved me and that I was theirs.

A few years later on a Wednesday night, our youth pastor was talking about Jesus Christ, and what He did for us on the cross. I already knew this because my parents took me to church whenever I wanted to go I loved church, but I was not a believer, I was not a child of God. As Pastor John keep talking, he made the statement that no matter what happens in life Christ knows, and He is our protector and Savior. When I heard that I began to realize that I needed Christ, I needed a Savior, and I needed someone to protect me and to save me. As the night ended and the music began, I went down to the alter and asked Christ to come into my heart and to forgive me of my sins. After the song ended in told my youth pastor that I gave my life to Christ, and I wanted to live the rest of my life for Him.

This was my second adoption, an adoption that would never end, and an eternal life with Christ. From that day on I have strived to live my life for Christ. I follow Him wherever He calls me to go, my life is not my own I belong to the savior of the World. The day my parents adopted my sisters and myself was one of the best day, but the day I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior has been and will always be the best day of my life. In my life and walk with Christ, I have learned many things, and I have grown. I went to college, got a degree, and I married my best friend. Because of my adoption into Gods family I answered the call to ministry, and now I am in ministry with my husband; I get to stand beside my husband as he ministers to adults, children, and youth. My calling in life started the day that I accepted Christ and was adopted into His kingdom.

The third time I was adopted, was an adoption out of love, and one that God gave me. My life was not always easy, there were many hard times. Throughout the hard times I prayed that God would send someone to be there for me and help guide me. God is so good, and He answered my prayers. I began going to a new church and became close with the youth pastor and her husband. Throughout the years we became a family. They are the people that I call for anything, and that I can talk to about everything. They are my third adopted family, and I could not have asked for two better people to call my other parents. Don’t misunderstand me, I have two wonderful parents, that love me and take care of me, and are always there for me. In my prayers, I prayed for a mentor in my life, someone that would help me grow in my relationship with Christ, and someone that I could always look to for guidance outside of my family. God answered my prayers in more ways than one; He gave me two mentors in life, two people who became more than mentors but family. If it were not for them, I would not have gotten close to others in my church, and I would not have believed in myself the way I believe in myself now.

Adoption is something that is close to my heart, it is something that I have experienced first handed, and something that I have a passion for. One day I hope to adopt children. I hope that I can give love, and hope to a child that feels no love or hope. I pray that God sends me someone to me that I can be a mentor to, and one day will become apart of my family. Family is not just blood, family is the people that we love, care for, and would give our lives for. I have three families, but the one that matters the most is my family in Christ. As this month is coming to an end, as we are giving thanks for our families and our friends I ask you to think about the meaning of family, and what family truly means to you. Adoption is not meant for everyone, it is not meant for every family, but it is something we should not turn our backs on. We should pray for the children that don’t have people to call mom and dad, we should pray for families that are longing to have children, and families that don’t have much at all.

Adoption is a wonderful thing. It is a gift. By being adopted by loving parents and mentors was life-changing to me, we can all be part of the greatest adoption of all- entering into God’s family. He has chosen us, and all we have to do, is choose him too.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love. He predestined us to be adopted though Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that he favored us with in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1: 1-6

Church

Let’s talk about church, church is the place where believes go and meet every Sunday and Wednesday to have fellowship and hear the word of God preached right? I have been going to church for as long as I can remember, I was what you would called a pick up and drop off church kid. My dad would wake me up every Sunday morning, take me to church and then pick me up when church was over, but every Sunday I would ask daddy the same question “daddy you want to go with me? You know that it would save you gas so in the long run save you money, and you would not be wasting time driving.” Of course he would chuckle at me and give me his same response “No, I don’t want people judging me and I have nothing nice to wear maybe one day.” Well that day has never come, my dad still has not stepped foot in a church because of how he feels. As I think of church I think of the many times I wish my dad would have come with me, I think of the many times that I thought that he was crazy for feeling that way, but then I really start to think of the feelings I had when I went to church when I was younger. When I was younger I did not care too much of what people thought of me, I would get up find something that I wanted to wear and head to church with my head held high and a bible in my hand ready to learn more about God. As time went by my thinking started to change, I would get up on Sunday mornings trying to find something “perfect” outfit because I knew that someone would say something about what I was wearing and how I looked. I would walk into church with my head held down with my bible in my hand and hope that no one notices that I wore the same pants as last week, I would pray that no one knew that I was wearing the same shirt I wore two Sundays ago, I would wonder what it would be like if I had the same cloths as the other youth and maybe I would feel like someone cared about me and not what I wore. As time went on I would go to church and people would ask me how I was, I would respond “I am great” with a big smile on my face, but truly I just needed someone to tell me that it was going to be okay and all I needed was a big hug, but I knew that no one really cared about what was going on in my life and everyone only cared about their lives. This is not a good way of thinking about church and members of the church, it is an awful feeling walking into church praying that no one knew the pain that you were in, or feeling like no one really cared. As I got older this feeling went away because people showed me that church was not just a place where you are judge but that people really care about you. I have a wonderful church family, and I had so many wonderful people that took me in as their own and really loved me for the person I am. The same people showed me that they really cared about my hurt and pain, my dreams and where my life goes. As I think back to the times where I felt judged, unwanted, and unloved in church I wonder how many other people in the church feel this way every Sunday and Wednesday? How many people go to church with their head held high but leave with their head down low? I wonder how many people decided not to enter the building because they do not have the right cloths, or feel like they are going to be judged.

Church should be the place where people come with all of their “stuff” and not feel judged. Church is the place where people should feel welcomed and not unwelcomed. Church is the place where people find redemption and not feel more lost than when they entered the building. Church is the place where people should feel unconditional love and not leaving as if no one really cares. Church is the place where people should come and see Christ though the people and not leave feeling like everyone is fake. Many people feel this way leaving the church building, I would go as to saying that everyone that has entered church has left feeling this way at least once in their life. As I start to think about all the things people should not feel like leaving church, I think about how the church can change this. Change starts with one person, change starts with people wanting to make a difference in the world. What if the church welcomed everyone that entered the building, what if church members took the time out of their day to sit down with someone and listen to their problems and pray with them. What if the church disciple each other, what if the church went out and shared the gospel to every person that walked through the doors? How different would the world be, how different would the community be, how different would the hearts of people be if the church opened up their hearts to the hurting, to the unsaved, and to the unwanted?

The Perfect Size

There are so many things on the internet today, about how to get rock hard abs in 5 days, or how to get killer legs and a killer butt in 7 days. When I see posts like these I always over look them or if they really look like they can help I read them and then tell myself that I will start to do this but never do. When I look at myself in the mirror I see me, but then if I look long and hard enough I start to see all the things wrong with me, like I don’t have a flat stomach, my sideburns are too long for a girl, I have man shoulders, or every breakout on my face. I start to see everything wrong with me, and then I wonder where this perfect image of what I should look like comes from. It comes for the media, it comes for the girls you see in school that get everything because the way they look perfect, it comes from someone picking on you when you were a kid/teen/adult. This image of being perfect is all around us and that is what is being poured into us every day of our lives. I was scrolling on Facebook one day and I say one of those long picture memes, it was this meme of a bigger lady saying that she was fat and that America made being fat a disease, that if your fat that you have to change yourself, but then she goes on to say that I’m fat and I’m proud of it because I love myself and the person that I am. I saw this meme and it really got to me because all of my life I have felt like I had to be a certain way to be accepted, or to be beautiful. One of my friends always calls themselves fat, and when this person does I get so mad because when I look at my friend all I see is how good looking they are, I see their heart, I see there personality, I see more than just their body type. Just like me I have always been hard on myself for not being “the perfect size” and have called myself names because I did not feel good about my body. What I have learned over the years is that so what if I’m not “the perfect size” so what if I don’t like to exercise every day, so what if I have love handles, so what if my legs don’t look like supermodel’s legs, so what if I have breakouts on my face, so what it I have man shoulders, so what if I don’t look like every person on media. I am happy with the person that I am, I am proud of the choices that I have made in life, and I love myself. I don’t need to be a “perfect size” to be beautiful I am beautiful because I am made in the image of God. Beauty is not what you look like on the outside it is what you look on in the inside, beauty is not “the perfect size.” Beautiful is from the inside out, so stop looking the in mirror and finding every flaw, stop watching movies and saying I wish I look like that person, stop reading every stupid little blog about being the “perfect size.” The truth is, is that there is no “perfect size” there is only you, there is only what you think of yourself! You are beautiful no matter what size you are, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, LOVE YOURSELF, YOU ARE THE PERFECT SIZE!

Love is Blind, Love is Real

Love is Blind

My whole life I have always heard that love is blind. When I was a kid, I did not understand what that meant because surely when you are in love you can still see, right? As I got older, I understood more why people say love is blind; it’s because when you’re with the person that you love, you don’t see anything wrong with them, you want to spend all your time with them, and you sometimes lose track of time because you’re with them. In high school, I saw so many relationships where the couple were so consumed with each other that nothing else mattered in life but the two of them. They would lose friendships because they would blow off their friends for their significant other; they would only talk to their “other half” and it seemed like they did not care about anybody but each other. “Love is blind” is right – you don’t see how your relationship with your significant other is messing up your relationships with your friends. You don’t see how you are changing because your significant other does not like a certain thing about you: that is the kind of love that consumes you and all you think about is the other person. That is why people say “love is blind,” because you don’t see the flaws in the other person. You don’t notice if you are being consumed by the other person. All you know is that you love that person and nothing else matters.

Love Wakes You Up

When you find the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, love wakes you up. Love is one of the most wonderful things that God gave us. Love makes you see the world in a different way. When I look into the eyes of my fiancé, I feel alive, I feel safe, I feel happiness so much that I want to sing all the time. Love wakes you up; it makes you want to be a better person, makes you want to go somewhere in life because you want to be the best you can be for the person you love. When I look in the eyes of my fiancé, I see myself. I see me as he sees me and I see the way he feels about me: nothing but love. Love wakes you up because even through the person you love has flaws and they do things that aggravate you, even though you fight, they are the only person you want to talk to about all of it. They are the person that you need to make everything better. They are the person that you can look at from a distance and you smile ear to ear because you feel loved just when you look at them.

Love is Real

So many times in this world, you meet people that just don’t believe in love they; think that love is stupid and it only causes nothing but heartache. Love is real; just look at a child when they look at their mom and dad; look at a parent when they look at their child you see nothing but love in their eyes. The truth is that we are humans and we get hurt. Sometimes that hurt feels like it will never go away, but the only way you get though pain and hurt is because the people around us are the people that love us. We are created to love God and each other. When I think about love, I think about how I came to life when I asked Christ into my life. Love is a wonderful gift and it is really what makes the world go around. Love is not blind because when you love like Christ loved the Church, you see many things wrong, but you choose to look past that and love them anyway. Love makes you alive; it makes you see the things that you never payed attention to. Love is real; it is the only thing that keeps us going every day; it is the hope we have in our lives and in others. Love is a gift from God and when we turn our lives over to Him, we know unconditional love and love that never asks for anything but to serve Christ. I would do anything for the people I love. Christ loved us so much that He died so that we may know Him, the Father, and true love. I want to love like Christ, to love unconditionally, and to love with my whole heart.