Boxes With Labels

You think a Christian is only a Christian if they spend their Sundays in a church and wear that glistening cross around their neck. But let me be the one to tell you the honest truth. A Christian is flawed and imperfect, covered in hideous bruises and cuts so deep you’ll get lost in their depth. We’re fallen, we’re lost, we’re confused, but we’re driven. We’re determined, we’re motivated, we’re ready, we’re loved, and we’re loving. We’re not judgmental because we know that sin is all too real and it’s all too difficult to live that holy life. We have our moments of hypocrisy and disingenuous moments. But we own them, we notice them, we fall on our knees and ask for forgiveness.

Guess what? My God loves me. My God loves effed up me. My God loves me despite my major shortcomings. He died for me. And he loves me more than I will ever be able to understand. Because I don’t understand. I don’t understand how someone so perfect and just can be so forgiving and loving. But He is. And He calls us to be so too. He calls us to welcome our neighbor with wide spread arms and hearts filled with love. He calls us to encourage and to witness with not just our words, but our actions. Because actions speak so much louder than words. Words can be empty and meaningless. But actions are real.

So I urge everyone who has little boxes with labels, stop trying to shove me and every other Christian into your little box. Because you’re idea of what a Christian is, isn’t real. It also isn’t fair to expect us to live up to your ridiculously false expectations. I will do me, and I will expect you to do you.

 

Intentional

What does being intentional mean to you? Does the word stand out as something important?

in·ten·tion·al
adjective
  1. done on purpose; deliberate.

As Christians we need to be deliberate in our words, our actions, our thoughts, our prayers, everything we do needs to be intentional. Intentional ministry, intentional fellowship. We are called to be deliberate, to serve, to worship, to love. What if we started each day with the thought to be intentional, to do things on purpose? I think we would touch more lives, and be more fulfilled ourselves.

Instead of just going through the motions: wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee, drive to work, work, drive to the gym, drive home, eat dinner, shower, go to bed – let’s switch it up a bit. Challenge ourselves to act deliberately. With great intention for the Lord. With intention to love Him and love on those around us. Open our eyes and actually take in our surroundings. Intentionally break away from the clutch of our phones to see who or what is around us.

How can we be a light if we walk through life with our heads down? Be intentional.

Uncomfortable.

It has been an entire year today since the tragedy that took place at Pulse Nightclub in Orlanda, Florido. My heart still aches for the loved ones of those 49 people who lost their lives that night. Terror shouldn’t exist – yet it does. I think one of the most gut wrenching things in all of this is how many people I used to call my friend rejoiced that day. They saw it as some gift from above. Your religious background shouldn’t matter – you should be kind to everyone. You should mourn for those 49.

I can’t speak for everyone but I remember feeling like the wind was knocked out of me when I heard the tragic news. It felt like someone punched my stomach. The number of deaths kept rising, the number of injured reached almost 60. I read the tweets and Facebook posts of loved ones who had yet to find out if their best friend, brother, sister, daughter, son was alive. I read the texts that a mom and her young son exchanged before his was killed. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain they endured during that time – and are still feeling to this day. Those families will never be the same.

Christians should be offering love and support – not shaming them for their sin. Christians should be seeking out those who are in pain – and offering a safe haven. We should be going out and being Jesus to all people. We shouldn’t be feeding the stigma that Christianity is hatred. Christianity is not hatred. Christianity is love. Christianity is following Christ and striving to be more like Him every single day. Jesus would be crying with those families. He would be visiting with those injured in the attack. He would be praying for those people and the families. This is why I am so ashamed with the people who saw this as a sign from God. It’s not a sign from God. Get off your high horse and show Christ’s love. What if you are the only way these people will ever see Jesus? Think about your words, your actions, and your thoughts. Think about spreading love and being a missionary in your own backyard. If you continue to be filled with so much hatred for the group – you are no better than Westboro Baptist and that’s a fact. 


Islamic fundamentalism is the movement of Muslims who look back to an earlier time and seek to return to the fundamentals of the Muslim religion. They are seeking to live like Muhammad. This means having an absolute hatred for the LGBTQ+ community.

Islamic fundamentalism has been defined variously as a movement of Muslims who think back to earlier times and seek to return to the fundamentals of the religion and live similarly to how the prophet Muhammad and his companions lived. Islamic fundamentalists favor “a literal and originalist interpretation” of the primary sources of Islam (the Quran and Sunnah),and seek to eliminate (what they perceive to be) “corrupting” non-Islamic influences from every part of their lives, and see “Islamic fundamentalism” as a pejorative term used by outsiders for Islamic revivalism and Islamic activism.

The perpetrator was a 29-year-old Islamist named Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent who was residing in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Mateen is reported to have pledged allegiance to ISIS, and was previously monitored by the FBI for his extremist proclivities. It is now quite clear that the mass shooting was yet another Islamist terror attack. There can be no doubt: Mateen was motivated to attack a gay nightclub because he believed this was a righteous Islamic cause of jihad

I urge you to listen – really listen – to Andy Mineo’s song Uncomfortable. It rings true.