I Received Grace…

June 27, 2007

As published on MSN.com June 25th, 2007
http://lifestyle.msn.com/familyandparenting/babyandpregnancy/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4999437

A young woman, pregnant by a stranger’s rape, chooses adoption over abortion.
By Donna Lewis
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It was January, and cold. I sat in the frigid car, my insides twisting in fear, tears streaming down my face. It was an ugly cry. I sobbed out loud, and pounded my head on the steering wheel. What now? I was at a complete loss. I prayed for an earthquake that would make the brick building in front of me crumble and crush my car—with me in it. I just wanted to be dead.

This was my second abortion appointment. The first was canceled because I had to pay for the abortion up front, and all I had was a check. They didn’t take checks. I had to make another appointment. This was it.

I took a deep breath and started the car. Frosty air blasted from the vents and kicked me out of my hysteria and into a dull, nearly comatose state. My nose was completely plugged, and my eyes were swollen and felt like gravel. I should have headed back to school, but I didn’t want to. All I knew was the overwhelming need to flee the clinic parking lot.

It had all started four months before with a group of friends out to have a good time downtown. Since there were so many of us, we all agreed that if we got separated, we would meet back at a particular building whose lobby was usually open after hours, and where we liked to hang out on the roof and talk about everything and nothing. Forget getting in touch by cell phone—at the time, only CEOs and high-ranking government officials had them.
We did get separated along the way, when I had to go to the restroom and my friends took off. I couldn’t find them, so I decided to go to the roof of our building and wait.

I waited for a few minutes. Since it was October and somewhat chilly, I decided to wait in the lobby instead. I got in the elevator, and a man entered a few floors down. This man pressed the emergency stop button and coldly raped me as I struggled in vain to fight him off. He got off at the next floor and left me a crumpled mess on the elevator floor.

My mind was in chaos. What had just happened? I could make no sense of it whatsoever. My brain cells slowly reorganized themselves in an attempt to deny the incident. I left without meeting my friends and simply went home, took a shower and went to bed.

I am not sure I would have ever mentally revisited that night again. But I was pregnant.

Initially I would not even entertain the idea. I was stressed. Finals were around the corner. My dad was let go from his job. There were plenty of things that could cause stress and mess with my system. I even refused to acknowledge the vague nausea I felt every night. Nerves, I supposed.

But after three months, I could not deny it much longer. I told a friend of mine who worked with me at the library, and she took me to her OB/GYN. I had never been to one before. I gazed at the diagrams of unborn babies on the wall, used so that women who were excited about their babies could see exactly what was going on inside their bodies. I couldn’t stop staring at the tiny little toes on the picture of the four-month pre-developed baby. Ten tiny toes. Perfect.

The doctor didn’t notice my gaze when he came back with my test results. Even though I knew it already, it still felt like I’d been hit in the stomach with a baseball bat when I heard, “Well, the test is positive. What would you like to do?”

After collecting my breath, I asked for clarification. “Do? What should I do?” He looked right into my eyes and said, “I can schedule an abortion for you if you like.”

Silence.

Likely knowing that I would have sat there in his office in a stupor all afternoon, he gave me a card with a phone number for the clinic down the street, wished me luck, and ushered me out.

I grew up in a home that followed the teachings of Jesus Christ. I had dedicated myself to that relationship years earlier. It was expected that I would graduate from college, have a wonderful career, marry and have a bunch of children. This horrible event was not part of the plan; I had never discussed with anyone, investigated for myself, or even really heard in passing, what a woman’s pregnancy options were.

Interestingly enough, my faith simultaneously drew me toward and away from an abortion.

The word “abortion” meant nothing to me. What had profound meaning was the phrase “pregnant out of wedlock.” This phrase reverberated through my life, sending feelings of doom. I felt intense shame and embarrassment. I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. It did not matter how it happened. I was, effectively, a statistic. Another black girl pregnant out of wedlock.

God set up some teachings that He knew we would need in order to be happiest and healthiest. It pleases God to see us live according to design. This includes the ideal of having children inside the protection of a good marriage. However, because of this principle, some Christians show disdain, even revulsion, toward women whose sexual lives are made public through pregnancy. That anticipation of judgment, pity, and being shunned as an “outsider” in my own church drew me toward an abortion. I did not anticipate grace from people.

But at the same time, that very same faith drew me away from the abortion. I knew of God’s great affection for children, and His fierce desire to protect them. The Bible repeatedly speaks of how God wants us all to be like children. I knew He would not be thrilled if I decided to abort. I anticipated God’s anger, which drew me away from an abortion. I did not anticipate grace from God either.

The fact is that I did receive grace. But I had to take a risk to receive it.

A few days later I called the number on the card I got from the OB/GYN and made an appointment for an abortion. When I tried to pay with a check, I was told I had to come back later. So two weeks later I did.

But the day I returned, hoping for a compassionate face, a smile, something, all I got was a cold question: “Do you have proper payment?” She didn’t even look up. Something happened in that moment. Something broke inside me and I turned around and left without a word. There I sat sobbing in my car out in the cold. Lost.

After that I slowly changed my mind. I felt incapable of parenting, but I wanted this baby to live and decided to take a personal risk on her behalf and face whatever came my way. I told my parents. I told people in my church. And to my great surprise, I received grace. I was treated with such love, affection, compassion, and acceptance, it still amazes me. I couldn’t even absorb it all at the time, but later the realization of it brought me to my knees in grateful tears for those people who demonstrated real grace to me—the kind of grace that God wanted to show, no matter what I might have decided.

Many have asked me why I decided to make an adoption plan for my daughter Vanessa, when some people would have understood if I aborted. I don’t think there was any one reason—so many things merged into the eventual decision. I think my choice had four components:

Truth: I saw the truth of what was happening inside me. When I saw the medical pictures of fetal development, I couldn’t deny that she was human.

Love: I secretly loved that baby. It seemed to me then that I wasn’t supposed to love her because of the way she was conceived. I came to realize later that the love a woman has for her child has incredible strength—no matter what the child looks like, what handicap he may have, or the way he was conceived. I also wanted this child to have one thing I could not provide—the love of a daddy who had been waiting for her.

Vision: I had a vision of what I wanted. I wanted to be a mother someday. The conflict that went on in my head was this: How I could be a good mother later if I aborted my first child? I struggled with the knowledge that the value of a child is constant. My circumstances would continuously change. Should one of my children live or not live, depending on my changing circumstances? Or should I protect my children in the face of unpredictable circumstances? My desire became to protect this child, even though I couldn’t figure out how to protect myself.

Belief: Even in my numb state, I believed that doing the right thing would benefit me at some point. The right thing was to let this child live. It did not feel good. I knew I would have to walk through five more months of stares, questions, and self-perception struggles. But I believed, and it turned out to be true.

The process of my pregnancy was the most painful, difficult, and frightfully emotional thing I have ever gone through. The healing process was not easy either.

However, I am now much stronger having fought my way through it, and I have been able to incorporate my experience into my life, and my career as a life coach. I believe that most women can choose to use similarly difficult experiences to become stronger, more self-aware, and more compassionate human beings.

Seeing my beautiful daughter has been a huge factor in helping to heal my wounded spirit from the violence of the rape. Beauty was brought from ashes. The world now has this incredible person with potential to give back in ways I cannot foresee. She, too, has brought grace into my life.
In the years since we’ve been in contact, I am increasingly proud of the decision I made. I am also proud of my daughter, a fabulous addition to the world. She is a happy, intelligent, centered, socially aware human being, preparing to be launched into young adulthood and make her mark in the world.
Take a risk to receive grace into your life. You might be surprised where you find it.

Donna Lewis is a wife, mother, and personal coach (www.lewiscoaching.com). She and her husband Gerald live in Washington with their two toddler girls, Kathryn and Stephanie, who are getting to know and love their birth sister, Vanessa.

Protecting my Stuffed Horse

March 26, 2007

Kate and Stephie Closeup
Kathryn (on the right) is almost three, and a little obstinate lately. Not terrible – she is an eager to please child, funny, and beautiful (biased mom that I am). However, lately she has taken to obeying when and if she good and well feels like it. She has also entered the “MINE!” stage…including every variation thereof (It’s MY turn!; It’s MINE!; No! MINE!)

Well, today, I was packing us up for a vacation we will be taking, and on her bed was a new package of diapers for her baby sister, Stephanie. Kathryn picked them up and brought them out to the kitchen, and stood on top of them and said “I’m surfing!” (I honestly don’t know where she picked that up — we don’t surf, read about surfing, watch surfing or talk about surfing.) So I laughed and then told her to bring the diapers back to the bedroom.

They suddenly became too heavy to carry. “It’s too heabby, mom.” And she grabbed her stuffed horse and made for the den to play. I wavered for a moment. Do I just let it go and take the diapers into the room myself? They were a little bit heavy for a little girl to carry. Then I realized that she carried those “heabby” diapers all the way to the kitchen, she surely was strong enough to carry them back. So I called her and told her again – “Take the diapers back to the bedroom, Kathryn.”
Kathryn fooling around

After the third command, she finally realized I was serious (a blow to my “immediate obedience” philosophy). But by that time, her little sister Stephanie crawled into the kitchen and immediately went for the stuffed horse, which opened the floodgates for Kathryn’s fierce protection of her toy. “No! It’s MINE! MY TURN!” Meanwhile, I was still looking at Kathryn expecting her to obey the diaper request. So she looked at me, glared at Stephanie, and tried to pick up the diapers along with her big stuffed horse so Stephie couldn’t get to it.

Now that was too much for her to handle. She struggled for a few seconds more before putting everything down, and then bringing the horse to me for protection from her invading sibling. Then she, with relief, quickly took the diapers back to the bedroom.

I shook my head and tried to remember what I was doing before that episode. My ABBA tapped me on the shoulder and asked “Do you have a stuffed horse preventing you from obeying ME immediately?”

Hm. There are many assets that I try to protect when God asks for my obedience. I can’t do both – I have to give my assets to Him to hold for me, while I go do what He asks. I risk a spanking if I struggle to do both for too long.

A good example is my struggle not to go back to work. I love being a stay at home mom. It is something I have always said I would do if the Lord ever let me have children. But now we are always so close to broke! So periodically I think – If I would just go back to work, things would be ok. I have worked for the last 15 plus years, and it has always been a source of comfort and control for me. Protecting my stuffed horse. (Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me state here, that I believe that the Lord has NO direct commandments in Scripture about whether or not mothers should or should not work outside the home. This is simply my own agreement with Him).

If I allow myself to dwell there too long, I end up doing a poorer job mothering my children and caring for my husband, which for now is my full time job. So, I have to give my assets (financial in this case) to the Lord for him to hold while I obey. It is really interesting the relief that I feel once I realize that His capable hands are holding the things that I care about, allowing me to obey with freedom and abandon.

I don’t think I ever did finish what I was working on, but somehow it doesn’t really matter right now.

How to Have God Show Himself to You

February 18, 2007

We had finally hit it. The “NO” stage. My daughter Kathryn at 18 months had discovered this word. Along with her happy babbling, she started adding her marked dissent to situations that do not suit her.

Sometimes she just practiced the word for no real reason. In the car…”No no no no no no no..” or while playing “No no no no no no no no” or even when she meant to say yes to a bowl of applesauce she sometimes said “No no no no no no” (and then got mightily upset when I responded with an “OK” and took the applesauce away. Hahaha!)

I have to admit, it became exhausting. I think if she only realized that what I had for her was so much better! Getting a bath, cleaning her bottom, giving her dinner (rather than just Saltines)…

I remember hitting this stage in my Christian life. When I first got saved, I was SO happy and grateful that I just wanted to please the Lord no matter what. Until He asked difficult things of me, like giving up certain relationships or doing the work to change a habit that did not please Him. Then I entered the “NO” stage. Of course, I didn’t categorize it as such because I was so good at disguising my “NO” with really spiritual sounding excuses. I can’t imagine how irritated my Abba must have been.

“Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him” (Jn. 14:21) [Emphasis mine].

The key here is in the last four words. He will show Himself to us when we show our love for Him through our obedience. The more obedient we become, the more revelation of His presence we will feel in our life. Jeremiah tells us, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer. 33:3).

Do you ever wonder why sometimes you cannot hear or sense God’s presence in your life, even though you know He is there? I did. I have found for me that it is often because at times I do not seek Him with a whole heart, and I am not always obedient to the things He has asked. God does not show us the next move until we are obedient to the first thing He has spoken to us. It is a progressive process. He entrusts the small things to us first, then moves us to the larger.

Sometimes we can become so focused on seeking the activity of God that we don’t seek God Himself. Hebrews tells us that God rewards those who diligently seek Him. In the Old Testament we are told, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 4:29).

Do you have a situation in which you are giving the Lord a sophisticated, well researched “NO”? Let me encourage you to do whatever it takes to change that to a “Yes”. Obey Him! The Lord has such wonderful things in store that we don’t know of! Things that will fill our souls and give us joy…it is what He desires for us – hope and a future. But we must do it His way.

Sometimes, we do not have to seek Him out to know His desires. We simply need to choose to obey His words. The more I seek Him, the more clearly I hear Him. And when we hear Him we must simply obey so that we may be empowered by His presence.

My journey to Clutter Prevention

February 9, 2007

So, I am embarrassed to admit that I was watching Oprah yesterday. Nothing wrong with her show, it is just the “lazy-soccer-mom-stays-home-and-watches-Oprah-while-eating bon-bons” stereotype that I resist. Just so you know, I was emptying the dishwasher and preparing dinner while watching. No chocolate in sight.

The show caught my attention because the girls were still napping (a quiet house!) and because on the show they were cleaning out a really “cluttered” house. If my mother ever watched a single episode of Oprah and saw it, she would have called it a “downright pig-sty”, and would have said they had no “home-training.” But today’s terminology is “cluttered.” I can get with that.

Now, I don’t think our house is overly cluttered, but the potential is one pair of shoes away. Our house is smaller and seriously lacking in closet space. I mean, right now, there are only two functioning closets for clothes – the master bedroom and the front closet. All the other clothes closets have had their doors and clothing bars removed and now have bookshelves or dressers in them to create a more spacious look in the room itself.

So, needless to say, any overflow of shoes, clothing, or accessories have nowhere to go except in the garage in a box. In fact, almost all of my shoes are on some shelves in the garage. Kind of hard to get dressed when you have to go to the garage or dig in a box. Now, mind you, I am willing to admit that my closet is plenty big. I simply have too much stuff. So, either we buy a bigger house to store all 2 gazillion pairs of shoes, or I pare down. Simplify. I decided paring down was cheaper.

So, I watched Oprah. I was inspired to get rid of everything not in “the present”. My closet and the myriad of boxes in the garage were filled with items from “the past” (“I wore that on our first date”, or “I spent way to much money to throw that away!”) or from “the future” (“I will get back into that pair of size 4 pants if it kills me” or “I might need to wear that one day”). I am inspired to try to live in the present.

Well, unfortunately, I realize that I have not fully accepted my present. Why? In the last 4 years I got married in my late 30s, moved to a new town, and had 2 children. I think my brain is still stuck in my career focused, socially active, living by myself mindset. Am I really that stay at home mom who wears sweats 6 times more often than dress slacks? Is my social life now playgroups and birthday parties? Do I really share my house with 3 other people and so cannot take over every closet in the place to store my clothes and shoes? Am I now to accept that my butt is really that big?

I sit here staring at a pile of sequined evening dresses as the reality of my new life hits me with a thud like a chubby unwanted bully. Cleaning out the closet seems to be resurrecting a need for therapy.

Now, mind you, I love my new life with my girls and my husband dearly. I would not trade them for anything. So why is choosing to live in the present and give up my favorite jeans that no longer fit and those 4 inch stilettos that kill my toes so difficult?

Clinging to the past
So many of my things remind me of the past…I have many happy memories, and have some regret about the way I have accumulated things. Ecclesiastes encourages us to live in the present, not the past. Eccl.5:19-20 To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life, that is indeed a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.

Living for the Future
The things that I don’t use, I tend to save because I might need them in the future. I mean, should we be out of work and become homeless with no money, at least I will have my black crocodile stilettos to wear while we panhandle, right? And you never know, I might just get back to my pre-baby weight and shape so that I can wear all those size six fancy suits while I avoid being touched by little fingers covered in mashed bananas.

I realize that hording things for some moment in the future is simply worry in a form that is more difficult to recognize. After all, God is the one who gives me a future – He has the plans. My next breath belongs to Him. Jer 31:16-17 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. There is hope for your future,” says the LORD. ”

Now, of course there is reasonable planning for the future that wisdom dictates we do. But I don’t need to keep so many extraneous things to feel secure. God has given me hope for my future. He has given me reasons for joy.

My Present: a reason for joy
So cleaning out my closet and dresser is my first stab at living my life in the present. My sweats wearing, grubby kids handprint wiping, dinner cooking, Volvo driving, big hipped, wonderful, blessed present.
.
Matthew 6:25-34
“So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.

“And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!

“So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Are our church programs accomplishing anything?

February 9, 2007

I am fairly active in the Women’s Ministry at my church. We have a diversity of race, marital status, spiritual growth, career, age, and about every demographic area you could think of. Therefore, it has become a challenge for us to plan for these women so that we are being effectual (having an eternal effect on each woman) rather than just temporarily fun, or interesting.

To this end, I have begun researching the state of Christian women in the US, and have in the process come accross some interesting research about the church as a whole. I am hoping to post some of the information I find about women specifically here, but surprisingly, I am having difficulty coming up with research that is as specific as I would like.

Research guru George Barna commented on his “top twelve” interesting research facts about the church. “These results point out some of the areas in which the Church needs to devote greater attention. Among the major challenges to churches are the 4 Cs: commitment, comprehension, caring and communication. A lot of people attend church services, but relatively few have a deep commitment to their church, to personal ministry and to spiritual maturity. People hear a lot of religious teaching and buy millions of religious books, but there is as much theological confusion as understanding. Compassion is a term that most believers endorse but surprisingly few practice. Better communication is necessary not only to teach people more effectively, but to build more meaningful and lasting relationships and to help people stay focused on the things in life that really matter.”

As our congregations change and shift in the people who are attending, the list below might help us know where to focus some additional attention. It creates some interesting benchmarks that we can use to measure whether we are being effective or not in our programs, after all, if a program is not being effective for Christ, what is the point?

(1) Children’s programs: Is evangelism a focus?

(2) Youth Programs: Do kids choose to attend church once they have graduated from your program? What do they know by the time they have graduated?

“Fewer than one-third of all teenagers are likely to attend a Christian church once they are living independent of their parents. Although two-thirds of all teenagers say they know all the basic teachings and principles of the Christian faith, two-thirds of them reject the existence of Satan, three-fifths reject the existence of the Holy Spirit, and half believe that Jesus sinned during His lifetime.”

(3) Administration: Can the community count on you to be available for help?

“40% of Christian churches are virtually impossible to reach by telephone, no matter how many calls are made to those churches.”

(4) Young Adult program: Are they saved? Are we reaching the unsaved young adult?

“The share of 18-29 year olds within the born again population has dropped from 20% in 1991 to just 14% today.”

(5) Marriage/Couples Ministries: What is our divorce rate?

“Born again adults are more likely to experience a divorce than are non-born again adults (27% vs. 24%).”

(6) Women’s programs: Are we adequately feeding and supporting our women?

“Women make up 60% of church membership. Although women are more active in church life than are men, their levels of participation in many aspects of church life – from worship attendance to volunteerism – are significantly declining.”

(7) Lay Leadership Development: Are we adequately training/mentoring our leaders?

“Among adults who are lay leaders in their church, more than nine out of ten prioritize their faith in their life goals. However, large proportions of the lay leaders in Christian churches hold a range of unbiblical religious views regarding the holiness of Christ, the reality of Satan, the existence of the Holy Spirit, the reality of the resurrection, and the means to salvation.”

(8) Members: A challenge – where is our money going? what are our life goals?

“Born again Christians spend seven times as much time on entertainment as they do on spiritual activities. In a representative nationwide survey among born again adults, none of the individuals interviewed said that the single, most important goal in their life is to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ.”

(9) Evangelistic Missions – “Half of all unchurched and non-Christian adults admit that they are seeking meaning and purpose in their life – providing a meaningful entry point for evangelizers.”

Just some food for thought!

www.lewiscoaching.com

A Cheat Sheet for How to Prep your Heart for Communion

February 3, 2007

Christmastime, like any other year was pretty hectic this last year. I had to stop and take stock one day, as I found myself with my mouth full and overflowing with sugar cookies with globby green icing, short tempered, and resenting the box of decorations sitting on my living room floor in front of the naked Blue Spruce. As I stood in the middle of the kitchen, it was as if the Lord whispered in a southern accent, “Honey, you are more worked up than a mule running the Kentucky Derby. I didn’t even ask you for a birthday party!” “You didn’t?” I said out loud.

It was true! I suddenly realized that the Lord didn’t command us to celebrate His birth. It is a wonderful meaningful time, but nowhere in scripture did Christ ask for a birthday party every year (as much as I love to give Him one anyway!)

Then my mind immediately went to all the things that He did ask His followers to do — one, namely, was to remember His death. Or participate in our version of that memorial service — Communion. Did I spend near enough time preparing my heart for Communion the way I did for Christmas? Not even close. So I determined that this year I would start with that one thing. I would pay attention to and prepare my heart for remembering His death and the supernatural power that it has to set me free.

So, this Sunday is Communion Sunday. I put together a cheat sheet for properly preparing my heart to come to the Lord’s Table. Feel free to use it to prepare yourself for this important ordinance! You’ll be amazed at the depth that the Holy Spirit will bring to the service for you.

Who should and should not take communion:
Anyone who has a personal relationship with Christ should come. No one needs to stay away from communion or “the Lord’s Table” because they have sin in their life – we all have sin in our life. No one needs to stay away from communion because they have doubts – Jesus included doubting Thomas at the table along with the rest of the disciples. No one needs to stay away from communion because they are struggling spiritually – Jesus invited the weary and heavy laden to come to him and find rest. If you do not yet have a personal relationship with Him there is no reason to remember His death, and you might actually be doing more harm than good.

Why the way we take communion matters (Why bother to prepare?)

There are a couple of things that scriptures instruct us to do prior to taking communion, or coming to “the Lord’s Table” .
A) The first is that we don’t take communion in an “unworthy” manner. Because “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” 1 Cor 11:27 Ack! I know I don’t want to be guilty of that!

B) Nor do I want to bring weakness, illness, or even death upon myself (I don’t know if he was referring to physical or emotional/spiritual, but I don’t want either of those – physical or spiritual weakness, sickness, sleepiness, or death! 1 Cor 11:30)
PREPARING YOUR HEART AND MIND FOR COMMUNION…before you get to church — ideally throughout the weekend…

(1) Examine your heart for ongoing sin and choose to turn from it. You are already forgiven, but should speak your sin to the Lord in agreement with His view of it, and then change your behavior/thought processes/attitudes.
I Cor 11:28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
(2) Take care of any business you have outstanding with other believers

Matt 5:23-24 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 1Cor11:31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.

(3) Take time to remember/muse/meditate on why He died
Matt 26:26-28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

1Cor 11:29-30 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

(4) Take time to “proclaim the Lord’s death” — tell someone!

Just wanted to bounce that past you so we can all come before the Lord in a worthy manner on Sunday!

And so it begins…

January 29, 2007

I can’t believe I am writing a blog.  I always have had an elitist attitude toward these public diaries. I mean, don’t we have friends to talk to? Why do we feel the need to share our innermost feelings with complete strangers in the universe? Are flesh and bone relationships so unsafe that we run to the ironic tension of intimacy and annonymity on the internet for that sense of “connetion without risk”? The whole concept has always boggled my mind.

And yet here I am. I don’t know what I am doing, but I do have a deep desire to share my jouney toward honesty with other Christians.  I sometimes feel that I am drowning in a cartoon life – trying to seem perfect and joyful, when inside I sometimes feel dry, lonely, afraid and distant from God.  It is time for me to be as real and radical in our relationships as Jesus was.   Otherwise, it comes off sanctimonious and “religious” (because it is) rather than the reality that my spiritual life can be vibrant and energizing.

 So, today I begin this blog.  I am somewhat paralyzed at the thought that others will see my inner rambling passions, but so be it.  This is my call to the vulnerability that is missing from many Christian lives.    My heart is racing at the thought that the Lord might actually do something AMAZING through my life as a result of being open with others about what I am learning. And I do look forward to what will happen as I comment on the awesome rollercoaster that is being a follower of Jesus.

And so it begins…