The importance of commitment.

I’ve been attending Membership classes for my Church and hope to take up membership shortly.  I feel this is an important step in my Christian Life and am looking  forward to being accepted, loved and to be able to give something back to God.

COMMITMENT

Am I ready to join the Church, to make a commitment, to submit to the care and authority of those God has ordained to watch over me?

What does it mean, what does it require, is it what you desire for me oh Lord?

Worship and learn, care for my sisters and brothers, serve my community sharing my faith with others. Blessings will flow from my commitment, my allegiance and obedience consistent with my new found faith, giving credence to my beliefs.

Yes, I am ready to commit, you have called, I pick up my cross and follow, time to accept the guiding, love and care that my commitment will provide me through my new, extended family.

What is an idol?

This morning I was struggling big time with my thoughts, to be frank being celibate is really hard at times and I was battling some of those thoughts/feelings and these were really dominating my mindset.

When I did my online reading today the subject matter was “Idolatory”.  So here’s the thing, I kind of got to thinking that if anything becomes “dominant” in our minds, whether sexual, monetary, food related, relationship driven or other, does that then detract from our relationship with God?  I felt that the reading and teaching I was getting this morning was showing me that because these thoughts were so dominant and overbearing almost, it was becoming my “idol”.  I needed to recognise that this was a barrier and move on.  Funnily enough after having spent some time reading and reflecting I was able to move on quite easily so just confirms that keeping our eyes on God really is the answer at all times.

NO MORE IDOLS

What is an idol?  Not just a statue of gold or precious metal, not solely a graven image or symbol of hope, nor an effigy depicting some wannabe God, this may be hard for us to hear, but our idols may be incredibly near, causing damage to our hearts, causing us to marginalise our God, squeezing him out of our daily walk, preventing us from constructive talk and prayer, stripping away layers of our time, prime time which we can never recover, time which should be spent discovering the love of our heavenly father; we waste that time with him forever.

What are your idols, stop, reflect?  What can you not do without, what fills your head when you first wake, what sacrifices do you make to ensure you get what you really want, what barriers haunt your walk with God, what idols really make him sad when he looks upon your daily journey, what makes you really not quite worthy to say my God I am yours wholly.

God I’m sorry for anything I put in my life that takes time away from your great love, that I place higher on my agenda, may I surrender them now to you and use my discernment to recognise the reactions I have to such idols, to amend my actions, mend the fractions of my heart, make a new start, no more idols but a tidal wave of love and yearning, for Godly blessings and more learning, may my head turn back to you in all I think and say and do.

Is how you define yourself important?

Since becoming a Christian I have experienced so many emotions and learnt so much with so much more to learn no doubt!

I wrote a poem very early on about being Gay  https://newchristianmusings.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/this-is-me/

Whilst I still agree with most of what I wrote in this poem I have now changed my mind on one point.  I do believe now that I was born Gay and accepting that fact has been really helpful in terms of the “shame and blame” culture of my mind.

Today I have written this:

I’M GAY (#2)

I’m Gay.  Not a badge of pride, simply an aside.  You ask me how I define myself, like when you stand up and say, I have a husband and three kids, you don’t say I’m straight, I’m heterosexual, you state the facts, you actually say I’m married or dating, not a badge, just a statement.

I’m Gay, how else can I define it?  I realise now that it’s not to be ashamed of, it’s who I am and how I choose to deal with it that really counts, no need to flaunt it but flip it over, no need to hide in shame and blame myself for making someone else feel awkward.

God loves me, he always would have regardless of my choices, doubtless voices were raised in heavenly joy when I finally drew the right conclusion, released my brain of so much confusion, a profusion of delight that I had finally seen the light.

I’m Gay, that’s me, I have a partner, I’m working hard to show I love her in a new and different way, but staying true to my God (and believe me when I say it) can be scary, but this the Cross I chose to pick up and carry and contrary to what others may say, this is God’s way, his way for me, happy with my sexuality per se, recognising myself as Gay, but knowing how to live each day free from sin, free to win others hearts and minds, free to serve all mankind, free to worship my God on high, free to no longer live a lie.

Let it go…..

So went to ladies prayer group last night and we were talking about “bad girls of the Bible”.  Now my small group were looking at Eve and we got to talking about blame and shame.  I mentioned to the group leader that shame of my past was one of my biggest issues, OK we’ll pray about that was her response.

In praying for me she cited Isaiah 61, what a magnificent reminder from God. When she finished praying for me she asked what I felt and my overpowering feeling was that God wanted me to let go of my shame.  This whole experience inspired me to write the following based on this chapter.

LET IT GO…

The spirit of the supreme Lord is on me, a spirit of courage and counsel, a spirit of instruction and enlightenment, a spirit of excitement to share his word.  I am anointed, I am ceremoniously conferred divine office by the Lord, to proclaim good news to the poor, support those whose hearts are broken through their sense of guilt and rising dread of wrath, their inability to shed their fears, who are fractured, tattered and shattered by the sheer scale of it all.  I can affirm and declare freedom for those enslaved in captivity and release from darkness for those imprisoned in negativity.

Proclaim now the year of our Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God.

So all who mourn will be comforted, all who grieve will be provided for, sackcloth and ashes replaced with oil of joy, a cloak of praise replacing their spirit of despair.

We are called to be oaks of righteousness, I am but an acorn first sprouting, growing daily since God planted me here, blooming, flowering and flourishing for the display of his splendour.

Shame be gone, disgrace be banished, vanished; we will rejoice in your inheritance, we will inherit a double portion of joy and blessing, no more wrestling with blame, no more hiding due to shame.

Rejoice rejoice, delight in our God, we are clothed in garments of salvation, our sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise rise up before all nations, as we are adorned in all our finery, experience God’s refining power, we are like seeds sprouting in the garden, having received God’s pardon, we will grow and grow, let it go, just let it go…

Celebrate with me!!!

Now this may sound strange to some, but I had not told my Christian sister about my new found faith until last night.

Why not?  OK a bit complicated but I have always struggled with being open about my sexuality with my family.  Sure they knew I was gay but I was a bit (a lot) ashamed of that, knowing their Christian feelings.  So what happened?  My sexuality became as my sister says “the Elephant in the room”, we all knew it was an issue, but no one was talking about it. Perhaps I was a little bitter about that and I had to let that go.

So challenged by my friend at church I decided the time was right to tell her last night.  Being as she lives some way away I wrote her an email sharing my news and explaining my reticence at sharing this sooner.

So how happy was I to receive her incredibly happy and supportive response which included the following:

And God must be so pleased with you!  ‘Oh yeah, that’s my daughter,’ he must say, pointing you out to the angels.  ‘She is just wonderful.  I LOVE her!!!!’

Wow.  Inspired today I rang Mum.  We have never, ever spoken about my sexuality except for a few probing questions when I first came out some 30 years ago, so I thought it might be a bit awkward, particularly the sensitive issue around my relationship with my partner.

She was so cool (for a near 80 year old!) very concerned for my partner’s welfare and she cried (but tears of happiness) WOW

So please today celebrate with me as I have reached yet another milestone in my new Christian journey, banished my bitterness and hurt with my family for years of the “elephant in the room” and given them joy and hope for my future.

Trinity Sunday – who knew??

TRINITY

Trinity Sunday, who knew? A day specially designated for you, the Holy Trinity, the amazing three that share my life and set me free.

Trinity, what does that mean to me?  Today we celebrate not one, not two but three faces of our awesome God, who guards our paths and lead us on through this maze of life, our fears and strife he deals with lightly, our needs precisely cared for, our sins quietly and wisely dealt with, our salvation purchased entirely.

Number one, our almighty God, number two his awesome son who died that our life can go on, and number three the one who remains within our hearts and supports us through every part of our daily challenge, who lives within us, balances our minds and enables us to find eternal peace, releases us from every piece of manufactured pain with which the devil tries to gain ground, the Holy Spirit who has found a place within our lives to enable us to grow and thrive.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thank you that you chose to visit me, saving me from an eternity of damnation, giving me a path to salvation, praise you from the depth of my soul, that you indeed do make me whole, Father, Son and Holy Spirit thank you that by your Grace, I will inherit the Kingdom of God, no longer flawed, no longer a fraud, by your mercy I am yours.

Being Jesus in Skin (living my life as Jesus would)

You know one of the people who does the same online daily devotional as me made  a comment the other day, I want to be like Jesus in Skin…  I have been thinking about this and today I have written the following.

JESUS IN SKIN

My ambition, to be like Jesus in skin.

Can you take in what it would be like, to follow his teachings and like, well here’s the thing, it’s not just a story, so to reflect all his glory through my way of living, would help others to see that you died not just for me, but for all of humanity.

What would it mean, love my neighbour as I love me?  Not simply my neighbour I see every day but all those I meet along the way, whether young or old, sick or well, Christian and other religions as well.

Forgive me my sins as I forgive others.  Do I forgive others as I should, do I make excuses, I would, but…?  As Jesus in skin, forgiveness is akin to breathing, if I don’t forgive I am nothing.

Respecter of authority, not a follower of the majority, am I prepared to be in a minority? Not one for conformity, not a wannabe and confident in my theology.

Jesus in skin, would go out of his way, push the boundaries of possibility, leave a lasting legacy.  What did you do for me?

What will I do with my life?  The challenge is clearly to think as he would, give freely of my time and mind, take a step back when I need to remind myself that love is required.  Bring compassion and a passion to engage in society, not with piety or for notoriety, but with a sense of propriety, quietly and silently serving our mighty God through my behaviour, reflecting that of our saviour, being Jesus in skin.