Huckleberry Finn

I have been sitting in front of a blank screen for a couple hours, trying to dig up the post I had intended on writing. It seems the only thing I can think about is this blog post that has been haunting me all morning since I read it.

( http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/huck-finn-hell )

It’s interesting to me that this exact reference from Huckleberry Finn be used in this discussion, as it was also the punchline of an article I posted a few months ago that started my great exodus from the fundamentalist way of thinking. It created a tornado of theological debate and ugliness, so much so that I had to take the whole thing down. The whole event spurred me into evaluating what I actually believe…

(Here is that article : http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2012/december-online-only/going-to-hell-with-ted-haggard.html )

For a long time as a Christian I was tucked in safely with all the others around me who had the same beliefs. After my initial “salvation experience” I settled into the Christian culture and over time, became very comfortable. I served in my church. I listened to Christian music. I pretended like my husband and I didn’t cross “physical boundaries” before we were married. I went to bible studies and retreats. I voted republican. I judged those whom appeared to be on “slippery slopes”. Then vowed to “pray” for them, like that would excuse my gossip.
A lot of these things I still do. I have gone to a wonderful church for 13 years. I like bible studies. It has been a safe environment where I have been led to grow spiritually and also been given the space to be me. It hasn’t all been pretty but I am so thankful for it, and the people who are my family there.

The thing that has changed for me is the realization of that stale, comfortable culture I was living in. Somehow I exchanged real living, breathing, life altering faith for a code of moral ethics. But who’s morals? Gods?

My “morals” were squeaky clean ( at least what I portrayed) until I realized they weren’t. My attitudes and judgements had actually been repelling people away from the love of God instead of attracting. I began to thaw from what felt like a deep freeze.
I posted the Christianity Today article because it choked me up. The question was asked, ” why do we eat our own?” and I felt that. I remember feeling compelled to share it because even though Ted Haggard’s story is not mine, it was. I resonate with the monster of the story. He, being the betrayer and harm doer, had to publicly fall from grace. Ask for forgiveness. Only then was he able to really be shattered and put back together by God.

Aren’t we all harm doers? Truth benders? Betrayers? Outcasts? Saying and doing secret things in dark, secret places? Isn’t that why we run and dive into the Christian life when we hear about the forgiveness offered at the cross? The blood of Christ blotting out these things that we try to hide…It’s already finished. He did it for us. All of us. Maybe even my Gay friends ?

As we approach Easter Sunday this weekend, I am challenged yet again on what it all means and whom will be gathered at the foot of the cross. I think we may be surprised.

I learned recently that the actual meaning of the word repent is “to have a change of mind or change of heart”.

May it be so.

Climbing

So I saw this motivational picture early this morning. It read, ” success: doing the best you can with what you have every single day!”
I like these. Sometimes you can feel like your Facebook newsfeed is over run with spammy stuff like this, but every now and then there is a really good one that jumps out at you.
I try to share the good ones to keep the momentum going.
I think the hardest part of choosing to live my life with joy, and choosing a positive attitude is that someways ya just don’t feel like it. Somedays I would just rather eat leftovers and rubbish and play mahjong instead of get up and do what I need to do to start my day right. Somedays I would rather throw my clothes on and for whatever reason just be in a bad mood. Maybe the Hubs and I are funky because we had a disagreement, maybe my children are being annoying ( yes! I said it!). Maybe I’ve just let myself go ahead and crawl back into my dark cave of accepting a powerless, painful life. It never fails that when I allow this, my whole day sucks. Why are we prone to this kind of living? It’s our default.

The magic is in the momentum. The great bursts of motivation do you no good if you only grasp it and hold onto it for five minutes. This has always been my problem! Seeking and grabbing ahold of momentum every single day is what inches you closer and closer to success. Inches us closer and closer to lives we are actually enjoying. Joy amidst any circumstance! It’s ours for the taking!
I did a little dabbling this morning in the bible for some morning inspiration and found some exciting things.

“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
(Lamentations 3:23 NLT)

This, the classic morning verse beloved for the reminder that YES, each morning we get a fresh clean start. Clean slate. God is merciful and if your eyes popped open this morning and you have oxygen in your lungs…you get one more day to live, gotta get after it.

“If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” (Psalms 139:9, 10 NLT)

This one I really liked because of the great poetry of it all. I WANT to know this in my life! that no matter where I go, His hand is guiding and supporting me. Riding the wings of the morning paints this great mind picture, sweeping down near the waters close enough to feel the spray and run your fingertips through it while you’re flying by. Conjures up memories of the movie “The Neverending Story” which actually used to bum me out, so lets move on.

“Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain.”
(Exodus 34:2 NLT)

This is the money verse right here.

Be ready. In the morning. To climb the mountain. Present yourself to God on top.

The verse is taken from Exodus where God is telling Moses what to do to obtain the Ten Commandments. My tasks for the day are no where near that heavy and important for mankind, but for me in my own life, they are! I’ve got heavy tasks. I’ve got mountains to climb. We all do.

The question is am I ready?

“Be ready in the morning to climb…”

If I can begin each day in this way, bringing all I’ve got, the best I can with what I have, in the morning and presenting it before God on the mountain top…there isn’t much I won’t be able to do. The great news is when Moses climbed the mountain He was rewarded with being in the very presence of God. When he finally came down His face was so radiant that he had to cover it because he freaked people out. Yes! I want to be radiant! I want people to know that I’ve have climbed to the mountaintop and been with God. We have the choice. When you choose to climb everyday I imagine there isn’t much that will bring me down or get in my way. Success is simply a state of mind.

We can choose momentum or we can choose apathy. But it has to be grabbed ahold of daily. Go get it.

#mygirl was the official photographer for my club @anytimefitness_northreno free workout event today...she got some great action shots and video...but this sneaky selfie she took is my fave.  #mybaby #mydaughter❤️ #thosefreckles

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