I will honestly be glad when Christmas comes and goes. I just deleted an email about a sale.
I’ve tried and failed and said repeatedly that I’m quitting Christmas. Reasoning? Christmas should be about Jesus.
But should it really? Word on the street is that Jesus couldn’t have been born in December. And what is most telling? The celebration of Jesus’ birth was supposedly chosen to coincide with a pagan holiday to assist Christian converts. It’s no wonder it is still so completely pagan.
My theory for quitting is that it is supposed to be about Jesus and we have our own birthdays. But since my family hasn’t quit I have yet to quit. 😂😂😂
Who knows if this is really my last year. But I don’t go too too crazy and they don’t either. It helps that my nephew was born around Christmas so we focus on him more for his birthday. We didn’t spend more than 30 on each other (my mom and sister).
But since the holiday isn’t really his birthday why not buy other people gifts? There are customary scripture readings and Christmas programs. I guess gift giving is somewhat reflective of the gift we were given at some point in the year.
To be honest Easter-which I think is the same sitch as far as pagan and Christian colliding-is far more important as a believer as it is more of the foundation for this whole Christianity thing. Ya know, the resurrection and all. But that’s been misrepresented too-the whole 3 days and nights but if he died Friday he couldn’t have mathematically risen Sunday.
I digress. I don’t know that I’ve resolved anything or said anything important.
Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy Festivus. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Hanukkah.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!!!!!!
“What if I don’t get into law school? What if I don’t pass the bar?”
I vividly remember uttering those words as a 16 or 17 year old child half my life ago. As far back as the 7th grade, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer.
I don’t think it’s because my dad is one. He never practiced full time. I just felt, and feel, it suits my personality. Also, depending on the field of choice, lawyers have the ability to help and bring about change.
It took me a while and some detours, but I made it to and through law school this time last year.
I said I couldn’t take the bar in February because that was too close to my finishing school. I was going to take it in July but I said I didn’t feel like I was retaining the information.
I signed up to take it this February. But I’ve been flirting with not taking it or only taking it once and reevaluating my goals if I fail.
When I talk about taking the bar my response has been if I pass.
But here’s the thing. As a Christian, this is in direct conflict with one of the main pillars of my belief system. Faith is a requirement to walk out this relationship thing with Jesus.
Faith has gotten me here. I had to have faith after being rejected, wait-listed, and accepted with no money to makr the choice to apply for the 4th time two years later.
I had to have faith after I was a horrible student and received a letter stating that I was in jeopardy of being dismissed from school based on my GPA.
Yet, I think that teenager still lives on the inside. I never really struggled until college. And that was minute compared to law school. The bar is a beast that is entirely different from anything I have ever done.
But all these faith scriptures pop up in my head. Not to mention, my coworker question if being a lawyer was my passion versus my plan yesterday.
I believe it’s the tool to walk out my passion. I’m gonna evaluate that. But I am going to take the bar in February.
And who knows. Maybe the issue isn’t fear so much as not wanting to have to pay aaaaaaaaaaall the money it costs to take it again.
This was my Facebook on this day yesterday: failure is merely [a]n opportunity for another chance to do something better the next time. I don’t think I should embrace this in this instance.
I don’t want to fail. I’m going to push this fear as far back as I can. And set myself up to succeed.
Ok. So forever I’ve been trying to come up with an intelligent, politically correct way to state my feelings on this whole equality and gay marriage situation. I can’t remember if I’ve attempted and dotlnt wanna go read all my posts this early before work.
What I will say is that my religious beliefs opposes homosexuality but love every single homosexual. People will wonder how can that be. It’s the whole hate the sin love the sinner that Christ, you know the dude who Christians are supposed to follow and model themselves after, spoke and mote importantly exemplified.
I mean come on. He loved a liar, betrayer who assisted his choice to lay down his life, a prostitute, a multiply married bed hopper he should have never associated with, and a doubter. A man whose life mission was to destroy his people and the legacy he died to create was the greatest apostle ever.
Almost every single person I’ve encountered who is a homosexual or believe it’s ok are awesome people-some of the best people I know. While I don’t agree with their beliefs or lifestyle, and they don’t agree with mine, I see their value and worth. Some of these people are Christians. Some aren’t. But I will tell you at times they’ve treated me better than those who lay claim to the same faith.
The interesting thing with Christians against homosexuality is that they seem to have something in common with Christians for slavery. Pause. I can’t believe I wrote it either. I don’t think that the fight for love and marriage equality is on par with the fight against slavery and for equal rights. But the Christians share an absolutely common trait.
Both sets of Christians have decided to pick and choose certain parts of the Bible to stand behind while conveniently ignoring others. I’m guilty of it in areas of my life.
Jesus told Peter to render unto Caesar what is his when the fish provided a coin. Not only that. The Bible says, paraphrased, to obey them that have rule over you. The Bible says, again to paraphrase, that you have to obey the law. I fail miserably every time I speed.
One of the core ideals of this nation is the idea of the separation of church and state. That’s why prayer is gone. That’s why people have campaigned against God on money and in the pledge. I don’t agree but I can’t fault them. That’s what this country’s law has allowed.
This country’s law has now allowed same sex marriage. All these politicians and government officials don’t agree. That’s fine. I’m sure no contract said they had to religiously agree. But they have to do their jobs. They have to obey the law.
The Bible also says there is a time for every thing under the sun. Talk radio, the news, the pulpit, the barbershop, Sunday dinner, op-eds, whatever, that’s the place for these grandstands.
Sure, I can see belief coming into play when arguing or voting for or against the law. It’s completely rational to argue that there is no true 100% separation. But the law is the law. And loving your neighbor is loving your neighbor. Modern day Christians are so much like Bible day Saducees and Pharisees. Again. I’ve been guilty.
Don’t agree. That is your right. Refusing to love, accept, and obey the law makes you just as bad as those you judge. Sure some sins are abominations. But sin is sin. No big one. No little one. They’ll all send you to hell-that is if that’s what you believe.
So I was going to write like three different blogs based off of the last one. I’m not in a mood or that frame of mind anymore. However, I’m sure some of what was going to be in there will make its way into this blog.
I think I’ve talked about love before. I may repeat so bear with me. I think I felt loved as a kid. At some point after ten I don’t think I felt loved.
The cool thing has seemingly always been being in a relationship. I had my first kiss in a Bally’s daycare playing house at like five. I had a boyfriend off and on until ten. My mom championed the cause of the last boyfriend around ten.
When I moved I eventually ended up with a boyfriend. I just wanted what everybody else had. And I’m sure I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere. He was a typical kid but it was hard to deal with his behavior and everything else going on in life.
After we broke up I vowed to God freshman year of high school that I didn’t need a boyfriend until he wanted to give me one eve. If that was after school. Foolish little girl.
I ended up obsessing over several guys, before my next boyfriend, before I finished school. I wanted to be loved. I wanted what the other kiddies had.
I was so foolish that I told some work friends, some with the same beliefs but not living it and others with different beliefs not living them either, that I wanted a boyfriend for my 20th birthday. Can you say mistake?
I always said I would give my virginity to my husband. I remember being at the dinner table as a teenager being adamant, even after they warned me about what I would and wouldn’t do, that I would give it to my husband. In my quest for love and being like others I made a foolish choice. Not only did I give my gift away, I didn’t do it safely. And I’ll be honest, I’m a tad nervous to find out if there are lingering consequences. I will find out before the one finds me, if I’m even supposed to be found.
I put my life in danger in more ways than one. Supposedly this dude was a triplet. I never saw all three. I think somebody I know saw them. I’m not sure. I do know that somebody was chasing my car through the streets. I do know that I was dumb enough to go wait at Walmart til he called me after the police left and went back to where he was.
Depseration will cause you to things you never said you would, never thought you would. Like, in addition ti the ither foolishness, spend money on a no good dude who couldnt answrr thr phone and was nowhere to be found. I fully believe my life would be far different had I not heeded a warning from God.
So I went to church urch one Sunday. I actually invited him. He said he would go. Of course he didn’t answer the phone. I went without him. The pastor called me out. She said something along the lines of “Karlissa. God says you are stinking and you’re dirty.”
Mind you she was like another mother. She usually knew all my business. But I was too embarrassed and ashamed. I knew what she was talking about. Though I didn’t want to stop, sin is nice especially when it was something God created to be and feel good, I told him we had to. And, thankfully, when i wanted to be weak he refused.
Of course there was no point in us being together after that. I haven’t seen or heard from him. Nor have I fallen on the seven years since. God CAN keep you if you want to be kept.
I’m grateful for God’s love and his warning. I beleive if I would have kept on I would have had his kid and maybe ended up in jail. Worse, I may have caught something. Again, i am currently willfully ignorant.
God reminds me and shows me of his love for me. His love was demonstrated on the cross when he sent Jesus to die for my sins in my place. He showed me my woth and sent people to tell me. He sent me home where could heal and eventually be loved unconditionally.
I will forever be grateful to my grandmother and aunt for giving me what I needed at a critical point in my life. I will forever be grateful for those, past and present, who helped me and loved me along the way. There are some true Christians in “the church.”
Contrary to popular belief and behavior, God, Jesus, the Bible are all holistic. The mind, body, and spirit of a man matter.
Contrary? The “churches” I went to seemed to be worried outward appearance. Looking good. Smiling. Faking the funk pretending. But we should come as we are without pretense.
There are so many scriptures dealing with the frailty of the human conditions. People crying out to God. People recording what God said. And the His descent in the flesh in the form of Jesus. Jesus told us to bring it all to him. Paul told us that Jesus knows and understands because he was in the flesh just like us.
I don’t have a good poker face. Or at least I didn’t at times growing up. I usually wore my heart on my sleeve. I didn’t like the fakeness I saw. I didn’t like hiding and pretending. I also read my Bible for myself. I listened to who differ people said he was. But I was a mess. I couldn’t understand, didn’t like the fact that my “church”/”christian” world didn’t line up with the Bible.
When I finally gave up on the dream of better where I was, moved to the same, and eventually moved where I could heal, things got better. I had the hard task of looking at my life. I try not to feel ashamed or regret. I am painfully embarrassed and sad for her. But I try to remember what was going on with her and look at the big picture not just her behavior.
Everything isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. I wasn’t promised a bed of-thorn free-roses or a field full of daisies. But I was promised help, a comforter, a listening ear. I try to pleases him but I know I mess up. I’m going to keep on trying.
So I just tweeted back to back to back. Reflection is not usually a fun or pleasant thing. Especially when your past was not fun and unpleasant. I spent much of my life unhappy, depressed, and I think angry. I was a kid when my parents divorced. Younger than ten. But I remember the counseling and the arguing. I do remember having fun. I had friends and people I considered family that I went to church with. My relationship with my dad wasn’t that great. I know now that it was due in part to factors we could not control. My friends at school ended up being enemies. Fifth grade was the beginning of a long period of a struggle with the isolation that came with being me.
The other day I realized a lot of my personal struggles began shortly after I received the gift of salvation. I didn’t know what I was setting myself up for. I think the church, at least the churches I grew up in, romanticized salvation. The truth about the struggles, the issues, and difficulties that come along with serving God are often hidden and buried. The salvation, the God, the church I was given was one of ignorance and blind devotion. The human side of salvation is replaced with a domineering subservience. If you didn’t think everything was going to be okay, if you didn’t trust God, if you succumbed to humanity you weren’t good enough. The arrogance of the Biblical Sadducee and Pharisees was alive and well in the 20th and 21st century church. Jesus wasn’t taught or shared much after I reached a certain age.
The certain age would be when I left home by force with my mother and sister. Moving was the absolute worst for me. I had carved out a belief system, an understanding of God, Jesus, and life in ten, almost eleven, short years. I was allowed to be a certain way, to ask certain questions, and to live a certain way at home. I had to change almost everything overnight. I didn’t want to move. And once I moved I hated it. School was horrible. Church was horrible. Home was barely tolerable. Eventually school and church got better. Home got worse. I told people at church. They listened. And sent me home. Some saw my point of view. While others told me the devil was attacking me and I was wrong. I told family members. They listened but rarely agreed or did anything. One made things worse by mentioning things I thought were told in confidence. I almost, or did actually somewhat, lose my mind. How could the God I read about, the God I tried to have a relationship with despite so called “Christians'” behavior toward me, allow so much. How could I be trying my best yet still feel this way, go through these things? I wanted to die. I begged him to kill me. The only thing that prevented me from committing suicide, outside of people praying for me, was the thought that I would be committing murder and would not be able to repent for that.
I denied who I was, what I felt, what I wanted, what I believed because people told me that I should. I changed, I caved, I merely existed because I believed it was the right thing to do and that one day things would change and I had to stick around and see them through. NOBODY called a meeting to address my issues or concerns. NOBODY truly stuck their neck out to defend me and make my world a better place. The church, at least from my experiences, hides. The church has amnesia. The church doesn’t really help its members. The church just tells you to go pray about it and you have to hope it gets better. The church only loves you if you are a certain way or bring a certain thing. The church I know is a failure.
Christianity means to follow Christ. If you follow, in that sense, you strive to be like Christ. You exemplify his example. I am not perfect. I am not the best Christian or human. I strive to be. But I know I will fall short. Yet I keep trying. I’ll never figure it out. But what I do know is that I will not be a failure. I will not idly sit on the sidelines while others hurt and die. I will not tell people to just accept things. I will not send people to a life of emotional death and suicide. I will help. After all, Jesus came to heal, he came to help, he came to teach. Jesus came to fix what was broken by showing a better way and then proving his love by his death at Calvary.
To succeed the church must take off the blinders and admit, like David and Job and others, that there is a human aspect to the lives we live. We hurt, we cry, we have issues, we have pain. And then the church must accept people, serve people, LOVE people, and help people. There are churches that do this. At least on the outside from what I have seen. I am so completely and thoroughly jaded, not to mention holding onto a strong set of criteria, that I don’t even belong to one. I have decided that there are things that are nonnegotiable when it comes to a church home. After joining several because they looked good on the outside only to find out they were rotten on the inside, I am taking my time. But while I wait, I choose to try to be the best me I can be, based on the example Jesus gave me, and hope he’s pleased. Only once more of us begin to exemplify Christ in the earth will the church be anything more than a failure.