this is your life, are you who you want to be?

I’m kind of freaked out at the moment. Okay, let’s rephrase that. I’m very freaked out. I very much want to go in the ministry. I want to teach, to reach, to help. But I don’t think that Director of Christian Outreach is right. I’m not made to witness to people! I can’t do these face to face convos, calling people to faith! I can’t help a pregnant woman, because I don’t fully believe that abortion is wrong. I can’t help a gay person, because I don’t know that it’s wrong to be gay and I’ve become more accepting of it over the years.

But how can I be a director of Christian outreach when bringing people into the church freaks me out? I don’t want to bring new people in – I want to help the ones who are here. I go into a cold sweat, panic, puke, cry, clam up, and my mind goes blank when I have to do this stuff – even though I know it all logically. I can do it over a messenger. But if i have to do it in person? It’s a living hell. I’m not made to do this! I want to teach! I want to read about Mark (my favourite gospel) and make it relatable! I want to play with children! I want to do young adult ministry! (I can’t deal with teenagers :P) I don’t want to pull new people into the church! I’m fine with helping the broken, Lord knows i want to help those who have been broken be it by the church or by life or both. But I’m not the one to pull them into a relationship with Christ.

I’ve been struggling with this for awhile. It doesn’t help that my eating disorder is out of control, it doesn’t help that my pain and depression and ADD are not medicated. (I go to pick up my Remeron  tomorrow). It doesn’t help that I’m struggling to pass math. It doesn’t help that I’m trying to find an apartment, move off campus, line up doctor’s appointments. And at times it feels like I’m doing it all single-handedly. It doesn’t help that I feel so stressed out.

It’s like I’m playing Pokemon, and I’m up against a trainer who has the attack that’s super effective against me. We’re down to a grass pokemon and a fire pokemon, and I have no other pokemon left other than my poor Leafeon and they’re kicking ass with Rapidash. I can’t flee from a trainer battle, and so attack after attack is hurled at me until I faint, until I black out.

Y U PICK ON ME? THAT NO IZ NICE.

Ahem. Anyway, I’m struggling with this. This is my life, is it who I want to be? I try to make the changes to make things better but it’s hard. And there are some things I cannot change. I guess it’s like the serenity prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to accept the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
It just seems like such a struggle some days. Every attack is super effective, and wears me down more and more. I just don’t know what to do anymore and how to keep pulling through. 

a king, a priest, a lover.

“Imagery of Christ as a king is often exciting to Christians, and rightly so. We belong to a great and glorious king, who has made us His own.” (Mueller, page 143)
“King of my heart, I crown you now. I fall at your feet, and before you I bow.” I think that this is something we think a lot: we know that Christ is our King. But I agree with the fact that it says that this is sometimes viewed as a future. Christ is our king yesterday, today, and forever. He will stay our king!

“Our saviour is Christ, the annointed one, the prophet. He sreves us as our great high preiest who offeres himself as the greatest and final sacafrice for the sins of the world.” (Mueller, page 143)
Ths verse in Hebrews is one of my favs. He is our priest – who makes the sacafrice and who loves us deeply.

Author reflections:
Christ is not only a king, but a great high priest. He loves us deeply, and cares for us beyond measure. What a priceless gift!

this robe of flesh, i’ll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize

“He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life.” (SC)

He forgives daily. All sins. To me, this is baffling (not in a “I don’t quite understand it” way, but more in a “say what?!” way). I struggle to forgive. I don’t hold grunges easily and for the most part, but there are some things that happened to me when I was little that I still haven’t forgiven people for. And to myself, I am the hardest critic. I remember one time, crying to a friend, about how God could not possibly forgive me for what I’d done. All I remember is this friend saying “Angelique, who are you to deem what God can and cannot forgive?” And I think that is how I started wrestling with the concept of forgiveness. Quoting myself feels weird, but I look at a poem I wrote in 2010 which has this line: (he has scars just like ours) [maybe some day I’ll post that poem on this blog because it really shows a great deal of my faith struggles]. But he has scars, too. And those scars are the reason he can forgive, whereas mine are the reason I need forgiveness.

God forgives daily. He forgives not only me, but all believers. The believers that, in the past, have hurt me and I struggled to forgive. And in turn, He forgives me for not forgiving. And finally, on the last day he will raise up from the dead and will give to all in Christ, everlasting life. What struck me was the realization: we won’t need forgiving anymore on that day. He is forgiving us daily until then, molding us until we are in the state where we will no longer need it.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

“But of Christ we could know nothing either, unless it had been revealed by the Holy Ghost. ” (LC, number 65).

We know nothing, unless it’s revealed. Allow me to repeat that: we know nothing unless it’s revealed. We may think we’re great theologians, we may think we’re great Biblical scholars. But the thing is? We really, in reality, know nothing unless it’s revealed. I struggle with this because I’m the kind of person who has to KNOW things before I do anything. But the thing is, the Christian faith isn’t like that. You can’t really know before you take the plunge, you just have to take the dive in and trust that God will be the life jacket to keep you afloat. You just have to go with what you do already know, and have faith and confidence in Christ that He will, in His divine timing, continue to reveal things to you to enrich your faith and deepen your trust in Him and Him alone.

Author comments:
Forgiveness is a strange concept. To think that what we have done can be washed away by the Almighty. That he can forgive, and continues to forgive. And that he, in his wisdom, chooses to forgive AND reveal to us.

Pretty cool!

my sin, not in part, but the whole… is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more praise the lord O my soul

“Sin is not a matter of morality. Morality may be the worst form of sin.
Said differently, to understand sin as a matter of morality is to misunderstand sin.”

I’m not quite sure I agree with this. Why is mortality the worst form of sin? How is that any worse than child abuse, murder, etc? What is so bad about morality? We are all mere mortals, we are all created mortal. And really, how can you say that “morality is the worst form of sin” when we are taught that all sins are equal? Really, in God’s eyes, aren’t we taught that a sin is a sin, and no sin is “worse” than another? True, the earthly consequences may be “worse”, but according to the Christian doctrine I’ve been taught (granted, not LCMS, but Nazarene and Church of Christ) that a sin is a sin. I’m not even sure if I fully jive with the traditional Christian concept of sin. And what if people do understand sin as a matter of morality? We are all mortals, so what is so wrong with viewing it that way? What if people do “misunderstand” sin? Does that make them worse sinners than someone else? Does that make them a bad person? I don’t think not fully understanding something is bad. Or is it meant more that “morality is the worst form of sin” that doing mortal acts is sinful? Maybe I don’t understand. Maybe I’m wrestling with this in the wrong way. Maybe I’m way missing the mark. I don’t know. Maybe I’m not doing what I should with this assignment. All I know is I’m struggling with this concept, and trying to make sense of it. That’s okay, right? It’s okay to show my struggles and where I am more “firmly grounded” (for lack of a better term) faith wise.

“While it is understandable that people in the midst of tragedy or
philosophy ask “Why does God allow x?” the source of sin and evil is never-
the-less not God.”

It’s not God? But God has the power to stop it. He has the power to “make it better.” He could have stopped so much from happening, but he didn’t. How do I explain that to someone, though? Maybe one day I’ll understand it myself, but I’m not sure I get how I get that through to someone else who has suffered more than me. I just… I grapple with it. And I hope that soon I can write about something that I’m confident about in my faith, right? Right!

Author comments:
Well, sin is always a fun topic to write about. And it’s one I struggle with. I don’t even know if I view sin in the traditional Christian way or that I really know what I’m writing about. It’s hard to write about, that’s for sure.

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Classes begin in just six days.

I have Theological and Philosophical Foundations of Ministry. At 7:50 AM. Am I happy about it? Not hardly. I do not do mornings well. I’m an insomniac who sleeps better during the day than at night. Fail. Thankfully, it’s only for the first half of the semester, but still. Double dog ew.

I have Abnormal Psychology. I’m a nerd who’s uber excited for it. Learning about psychology just makes me want to do a happy dance around the living room while singing upbeat songs. Seriously. Psychology is amazing.

I have Psychology of Counseling. Which should also be quite enjoyable. What’s not so enjoyable is the super expensive textbook. Good lord, am I not happy for that!

I have The Problem of Evil and Suffering. Which I’m sure will be a great class. It sounds all deep and profound. I know nothing at all about the professor. That’s always fun, right? Right.

I also have Contemp. Religious Movements. Otherwise known as cults. But they can’t really call it cults because that makes doing research slightly difficult. But for all intents and purposes, it’s cults.

I’m uber pumped for my classes. I’m not dreading a single one of them. Which is awesome to be pumped for all 16 credits. It should be a kick-butt semester.

And a new apartment and a new roommate. Which will also be nice. =)