Names, Dates, Mates, and Babies

I used to go to a prophetic church and participate in prophetic ministry.  I honestly miss being surrounded by a prophetic community.  But prophecy can hurt people way more than it can help people, especially if you’re giving an unwarranted word to someone you don’t know, who doesn’t want it, and you’re wrong.

I had a friend visiting this last weekend and she really wanted to go to a church so we decided to visit one I haven’t been to before, since I don’t have a church here.  This experience made me want to find a church even less than I did before.
My friend wanted to talk to a man who had shared a dream when service was over, so we waited.  After she spoke to him, he decided that he needed to give me a word, and without asking started hugging me and praying for him.  I was uncomfortable the entire time.  And he thought it was appropriate to tell me that I’m going to find a great husband soon.  I wish I had said something, but I didn’t, and I am literally so mad.  Because I have already found my partner.  I have already found the person that I want to love for the rest of my life.

One thing that they taught us when I was doing the supernatural school of ministry and learning prophetic ministry is to not give names, dates, mates, or babies.  Especially if you have no rapport yet.  There are people that I would trust to give me these kinds of word.  But not a stranger.  Not a man that made me so uncomfortable that I just shut down.

It’s prophecy 101.  Learn it.

Last Time I Checked

Last time I checked, everyone in this country is entitled to their own opinion.  But it seems that if you have too many conservative people on your “friends” list, having an opinion is immediately offensive and should be shot down.  Which is why I don’t often share my opinion anywhere outside of this blog and the people that I talk to face to face.  I’m not great at arguing.  I don’t like to argue.  But I know what I stand for.  I know what I believe in.

I believe in a loving God that cares more about who I am than who we are than who we are attracted to.  He cares more about his pursuit of us and our pursuit of him than our individual “mistakes” or how conservative or liberal we are.  He is a forgiving God.  He is a relentless God.  And he cherishes every moment we spend with him.

I was listening to the BadChristian Podcast, and they were talking about Christians and abortion, now versus the early 70s and before.  Before abortion became a political issue for Christians, it seems like the Church cared a lot more about the individual women.  A single young woman would find herself pregnant with a child she was not ready for (because that’s what I believe abortion comes down to, essentially) and she would see abortion as the only option.  Maybe because her family would disown her.  Maybe because she knew she didn’t have enough money to raise a child.  Or maybe because, even if she adopted the child out, she couldn’t afford to keep working her job while pregnant.  So the Church would help these women.  Maybe help them find families for adoption, or maybe give them sanctuary from a family that will no longer accept them.  Or maybe help them with a job or with money so they can take the needed time off of work.  But then Republicans wanted to find a way to get the Christian vote, so they made abortion a political issue.  And it’s almost as if the women ceased to matter, only the babies that may or may not be killed.  Even though (I haven’t researched this, only got it from the podcast) the abortion rate hasn’t really gone up since Roe vs. Waide, it’s just become safer.
And none of this is to say that I’m pro abortion.  But I am about as pro choice as I am pro life.

So, I live in Alabama, and I decided, for the first time ever, to vote.  I voted for Doug Jones, even though he’s okay with late term abortions.  Because I don’t think that this belief that he holds is going to affect any laws, because he is one man, and this is a democracy, and most other people are going to vote agains late term abortions, if they ever vote on it anyway.  Roy Moore has a lot of allegations against him about sexual harassment, especially against teenagers when he was in his thirties.  I’m not comfortable with him being in our senate, thus, I couldn’t vote for him.  People are getting upset at me because these allegations aren’t 100% proven.  Because a woman’s word obviously isn’t important enough.  These women didn’t know each other.  It’s not like they had some plan to make him look bad so he wouldn’t get elected.  And whether they’re all true or not, the chance that they could be true is enough for me.  I wouldn’t want to work for someone that women had said harassed them.  I wouldn’t want someone like that as my leader.  I know what harassment is like, not to the extent of these women, but still.  We already willingly elected a man like this to be our president.  We already have several in our senate.  I just didn’t want one more.

Women are not meat or property, they are equal.  People with a darker skin tone are not worth less or property, they are equal.  People of a different sexual orientation are not dirty or sick or tainted, they are equal.  It doesn’t make sense to me why anyone would believe any less.  All humans were created equal.  I can’t be convinced to vote for someone who obviously believes otherwise.  And I’m not going to apologize for that.

Why hate Mary?

I walked out of my apartment the other day and the air smelled like weed.  I first thought it was my Dukes of Hazard neighbors, but there’s a possibility it was just post rain smell.  For some reason they smell similar to me in the South.  But this, mixed with a few other conversations as of late, got me thinking.

Smoking pot is completely illegal in Alabama.  It’s not just a slap on the wrist like it used to be in California.  And you can’t use it medically or get a medical card.  Like I said, it’s completely illegal.
The Bible says to follow the laws of the land and pray for those in leadership, so from a Christian stand point, if you want to obey the Bible, you shouldn’t smoke pot if you live in Alabama.

But what about the states where it has been legalized such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California?
See, the Bible doesn’t say anything specifically about smoking anything, or really anything about drugs at all.  Yes, in Titus it talks about being sober minded, but that also applies to drinking, and a lot of Christians drink.
I personally believe that anything can become sinful if it excessive.  I like to say, “anything in excess.”  So if you’re in a state where it is legalized, go for it, or don’t, just don’t let it take over your life.

So why do so many Christians freak out about it, even in those legal states?  Is this something they didn’t think they were going to be confronted with?  Seriously, I’m asking.  Well, maybe don’t answer me though.
Someone close to me was rumored to have been smoking pot.  Which, whether that was true or wasn’t true isn’t the issue (it wasn’t true and most likely will never be true).  But someone was telling people to stay away from this person close to me because they smoked pot.  And that just doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason.  That’s like telling people to stay away from me because I drink wine.  Sure, if you have an issue drinking and expect me to offer you wine, maybe let me know, and if you really think it’s an issue, stay away from me.
If someone had a problem with marijuana or was trying to stay away from it, I could see why they might let this person close to me know why they might want to spend less time together.  But the thing is, the rumor wasn’t true.  So the person close to me called me laughing, because they thought the whole thing was funny, or at least pretended to.  But I’m not okay with gossip or slander.  Especially from Christians.  Especially from Christians who are supposed to be in high standing and have influence.
Why do we feel the need to talk about people?  Even when we don’t know the facts?  Ugh, it’s just so frustrating, and I’m across the country and can’t protect my people.

But really, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.  Because in California marijuana is legalized.  It’s fully legal now, but has been medically legal for quite some time.  So Christians freaking out about it doesn’t make sense to me.  I’m not saying whether you yourself should smoke it not, this isn’t about that.  It’s about the thoughts and the fears behind it.

I’m not saying that Christians should or shouldn’t advocate for Mary Jane.  That’s not what I’m doing.  It’s not even legal where I currently reside.  But stop being afraid.  Stop spreading rumors and shunning people because you heard they might have smoked pot.  It should not matter.

Why don’t we love each other anymore?  This is why it’s so hard for me to trust.

Trolling

I don’t often comment on things on Facebook, unless it’s to say how much I love a photo.  People can go on political rants that I don’t agree with, and I let them have their opinions.  Arguing online is the dumbest thing you can do, because it takes away tone of voice and people get angry when they miss context.
I have a few friends, one of them being my manager at work, that troll me pretty hard.  They will never fail to find something funny and teasing to say on a status that I post.  But I’m okay with it.  I can see the humor.  I understand that they’re being funny.
You know who’s not okay with funny trolling?  Christians who post memes.  Not all Christians though, just the ones who are a little older than me, a different generation, and who are a lot more conservative than I am.  I really feel that they take things too seriously.  Sometimes I’m like, no wonder people hate us.  We can’t laugh at things that are funny!

A week or so ago, one of my overly conservative Facebook friends posted a Muslim hating picture on Facebook saying that our nation is “One Nation Under God, not Allah.”  If there’s anything that annoys me, it’s Christians hating on other religions.  Yes, we don’t agree, but putting them down is not loving them.
In one of my classes in college we studied how Islam got started.  They literally believe that Allah is the same God of the Jews and the Christians.  It’s one God, three religions.  Not that all of these religions are equally right, it’s that they all believe in the same God.  So one nation under God is one nation under Allah to a Muslim.  It’s the same thing.  However, those conservatives refuse to accept that.
Anyway, on the photo I commented this fact.  I also mentioned that America is pretty into freedom of religion, so it’s not technically a “Christian” nation anyway.  Another fact that we need to accept.
And I got flack for it.  “God and Allah are not the same smh.”  Actually… you’re wrong.  But whatever.  It literally doesn’t matter.  Stop being mean to people because of their religion.  You don’t like it, do you?

Another conservative Christian friend of mine posted a photo of a manger that said “The very first king size bed.”  Now, I get where they’re going with this, but I saw an opening and I took it.  I commented, stating that Jesus technically wasn’t the first king to have a bed.  Because like… all the kings in the Old Testament, and in history, they all slept too.  So technically they had “king size” beds too.  I was just trolling and being annoying.  But I thought it was funny.
And then more conservative strangers freaked out, not seeing the humor, only seeing blasphemy.  But I don’t think I’m very likely to blaspheme.  I just like to laugh.

Anyway, I like trolling on Christian things too much.  I should probably stop.  It’s just funny.  And annoying.  Makes me wonder.

Dig a Little Deeper

I should probably choose where I find my identity
Because it’s possible that I’ve found it more in the words that spill from my pen
Than in him who put them there in the first place

And maybe I’m just angry
Angry with him because of his people
Even though I’m one too

So even if the largest part of who I am is rooted in who he is
I deny it within myself
Because those who claim it break me more than anyone else

I found myself in the darkness
And I found him there with me
But he never meant for me to stay there

It’s in the light that this is all revealed
It’s the light that makes me want to run away

Because although it is in his light that I am made whole
It’s also in his light that I am exposed
And anytime I am seen it is distorted so that no one knows who I really am

Do I even know who I really am?
I think that I’m this broken mess
I think I need to pour everything out in ink, because I don’t have anything left to give

But who am I really?
Wasn’t I made whole?
Am I not something more than a beautiful disaster?

There must be more
So maybe I should dig a little deeper
I feel that I’ve been on this journey for so long
But maybe it’s just begun

Church People

So I’ve been working a lot lately, and haven’t found the time or energy to write as much as I wish I did.  In fact, I just walked home from work, got ready for bed, and am now writing this.  

I had a little bit of a hectic day at work; I cut my finger open on the paper slicer minutes after I clocked in, and then I got asked to stay late.  I got yelled at by a band member over the phone (I work at a resort) and I got left alone during a rush for 45 minutes.  But I actually really like my job.  As I walked home I thought about how I was bummed that I missed church tonight and how I could have taken a longer break, if I followed my coworker’s example.  My coworkers do a lot of things that I never would have thought we were allowed to do.  But then I realized that I should be a better example, and should work as hard as I can, even if my efforts are not noticed.  I realized that I might have opportunities to show who God is, even if I don’t realize it.  I just need to live like Him.  

Anyway.  I went to a church in Crowley today all by myself.  I know a few people there, but I’m not quite comfortable, and I need to learn to comfortable by myself.  As I walked in a lady went to shake my hand and then just held my arm until she could remember who I was related to.  It was really uncomfortable for me.  And some other strange lady touched my back in a touchy-feely way.  Church people like to touch.  The pastor I grew up with always says “hug someone new today!” during greeting time.  The thing is,  I hate touching people that I don’t know.  I told one of my friends that showed up later, jokingly, that I sometimes wonder why I’m still a Christian when all the people in church make me feel uncomfortable.  I don’t want to hug a stranger.  

After church I was blessed to be taken to lunch by a friend of mine.  We talked about where we are in life and caught up on things that had happened in the last year.  I talked about how I’m finding my balance in church again, after being educated theologically for four years.  I find myself becoming skeptical of some people’s actions in the Spirit, but I also know that God can be teaching me things that will get me out of my Bible College bubble, because I do not want to become close-minded.  We talked about people getting “words” from “God” that don’t come true, and are probably bad advice.  The person giving them probably has the right intentions, but is more saying what they think the listener wants to hear, rather than actually hearing what God has to say.  Sometimes when someone hears from God once, they think every word is from Him, which isn’t necessarily reality.  But it is not my place to correct the churches here, at least not yet.  

Over the last month I have realized that church gives me anxiety.  Almost to the point that I don’t want to go at all, but I know that that’s where my friends are.  It happens the most during worship.  Sometimes it happens when I’m playing worship music by myself at my house.  Why?  How is God going to move if I have anxiety and shut down anytime I’m in His presence?  I know God can do anything, but I need an answer.  Or maybe I need help.

 

And.  rant.  over. 

Pessimistic

I realized the other day that the world is pessimistic.  Especially toward other humans.  My History of Christianity professor brought up  how defeated Christians get when conversations with non-religious people go badly.  He said there are at least three arguments against Christianity that we have no answer for.  To get a Christian to leave you alone about Christianity, simply bring up the Crusades.  Or even better, point out how hypocritical Christians tend to be.  Or just say that you’re good; you live a good life, don’t you?  You do good things, don’t you?  You’re moral, aren’t you?  But then my professor made the statement that allowing this defeat you in a conversation as a Christian does not have to happen.  Those arguments take every bad thing that has ever happened within the context of Christianity, and reduce it to that.  That is like taking the worst moments of your life and allowing people to reduce you to that.  Don’t let them do that.

What are the worst things that I’ve ever done?  I don’t know the exact answer to that, but I know it definitely has to do with my words.  I have definitely said things in the past that I regret.  Reducing me to my three worst statements about a person or situation would show how truly horrible I am.  But seeing all the good I have brought to the world (if I have… now I feel awkward…) shows that I really am not that horrible.  And the same goes for every other human being ever.  So why do we let people do that with Christianity?

But yet, I find that I do it as well.  I make blanket statements about Christians all the time, and I am one!  I say how unaccepting  Christians are, because they allow someone who is having premarital sex or who is known for lying or being untrustworthy to be a part of their church family, but shoo out anyone who confesses that they are gay.  I see how hypocritical some Christians are, and I strive to live incarnationally.  I often question someone’s faith if they mess up.  How pessimistic am I?

It’s time to see the good in the world, in people, again.