I am in the middle of the book: Captivating by John Eldridge and his wife Stasi.
Here is a section from the book that I felt was relevant to what I'd been discussing earlier:
"Take a deep look into the eyes of anyone and behind the smile or the fear, you will find pain. And most people are in more pain than even they realize. Sorrow is not a stranger to any of us, though only a few have learned that it is not our enemy either."
This passage comes from chapter four: Wounded. This is an amazing chapter. It deals with why we, as women, react the way we do. It deals with our need to feel wanted and depending on our childhood, affects the ways in which we desire to be needed as an adult.
Read the book...it's amazing. I am going to be using it as a jumping off point with my high schoolers this summer. A friend of mine and I are going to be meeting with high schoolers of all ages this summer and doing our best to dig deep and help them to understand who they are, where they come from, and who God calls us to be.
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. There has been so much talk and frustration over the words "post-modern." I wonder if the culture that we have been referring to as of late as the "post-modern" culture really isn't just a group of people screaming out for help as a result of all of the pain in their life. I have also been pondering the question: "Why does the church have such a problem with this "post-modern" culture?
Here are my thoughts:
I think that there has always been pain in the world, but the way it was handled has been different through the ages. I will use the topic of divorce to illustrate my point. Ages ago, divorce was unthinkable. It was avoided like the plague. Than it moved to place where divorce happened, but then the woman was considered unclean and unfit to remarry. Then divorce become more common, but something to try to be avoided. Now divorce has become the easy way out of a commitment that was not thought through completely. This being said, I agree, yes culture has changed....in that it is more accepting of things that once were looked down upon. This is both good and bad.
I say that this is both good and bad because our world is now promoting things that are unbiblical, when once our society had been founded in high morals and biblical truths. While this change in the world has been happening, there has also been a change in the church. Instead of existing to be among the people it was trying to shepherd toward Christ, it began closing it's walls trying to "protect" itself from the world, as if it was a deadly illness. This is where we find ourselves today.
We are in a world that is full of more pain than ever, but we are part of the church that has closed itself off so far from the world, that the people within the church even have trouble admitting their own faults, let alone accepting and loving those outside of the church.
I don't think the problem in the church is "modern" vs. "post-modern." The church has created a bubble effect. It's as if in order to be part of the church you have to fit in this bubble and somehow being in this bubble means that you can't have pain or struggles that cause you to sin. While we know that no matter how hard we try we will always sin, because the only perfect person to walk this earth was Christ, the church has made it hard for people to admit their faults, thus making us appear to be hypocrites because people on the outside hear the message being preached, but see that the lives being lived by the people preaching just don't match up.
It's time that we let people know that Christians aren't perfect and they don't have to be. What we do need to be is loving and accepting of all of God's children. This does not mean we have to promote unbiblical behavior, but it does mean we have to love unconditionally and walk along side our brothers and sisters and help them in whatever areas they need it.
If anyone had the right to hold their perfection over our heads it was Christ and He didn't even do that. Who are we to try to appear as if we've got it all together? It almost contradicts why we need Christ. The very reason we need him, is because we don't have it all together.
So, as mentioned earlier, I wonder: is the difference the church is resisting with this "post-modern" term really that it's too accepting or is it because the church would have to admit their inconsistent unconditional love that Christ calls us to? The church has become quite intolerant of many things and has done a bad job of loving the sinner and hating the sin. They have become very good at making the sinner feel like crap and unworthy to walk through the doors of what is suppose to be such a loving, welcoming place
I have a job interview today at 2:00 pm. It is for a teaching position, but not sure as to what grade exactly. I know that the school has some primary and upper grade positions available. I am excited about this interview and am hoping it goes well. Wish me luck...I'll keep you updated!!!
Well, I finally got a resolution to the never ending saga at work. I was officially told that I will not be asked back next year. I was called in for a "meeting" and there was my principal and one of her boss'. I was told that I was done and I was told my rights and what to expect as far as benefits and how long I had to be out of my classroom. Then, I was given the chance to ask questions...what good that was going to do, I'm not sure...but I asked one question: "Did this have anything to do with the rebuttal that I wrote?" The response was that they couldn't answer, but all they could tell me was that I wasn't "a fit" for the school, whatever that means.
One thing I can say though, is God is amazing. I prayed for a little while before going into my meeting. I asked him to give me strength so that I wouldn't cry, no matter what the outcome. I asked him to give me wisdom as to what to say and when to say it. I also asked for a sense of peace. God provided it all, not that I doubted him, but I walked out of there without shedding a tear, which is a hard thing for me to do. I also only spoke once during the whole meeting and I felt that I was justified in doing so. I also had a complete sense of peace about the whole situation and a comfort that this is all according to God's Will.
If any of you know of any jobs in the Orange County area, I'd love to hear about them. I am open to anything at this point, as my husband is studying for the Bar exam and I am the one working at the moment. I am just seeking a job that will pay the bills and includes health care if at all possible. Thanks for listening!
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new."
2 Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with uncovered face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
These two pieces of scripture speak words to my heart. They go along with the message of most of my posts. There has to be a change within each of us when we make the choice to follow Christ. If it is purely about heaven than why claim to be a Christian now? Simply wait until your death bed and accept Him then. There is more to it and so many Christians miss the point because they were either told the story incorrectly or they were led to believe that our God only wants us to accept His son into our hearts so that one day we can be with Him in heaven, yet live in a hellish world while hear on earth without any interaction with God, our creator.
God loves us and wants to be in a relationship with us. He wants us to be the light here on earth. How do we do this? Well, we have to change!!! We have to choose to live as Christ lived, or at least attempt to. We need to live a life of love.
Steven Curtis Chapman has an amazing song called, "The Change." Here are the lyrics:
by S.C. Chapman/J. Elliot
Well I got myself this T-shirt that says what I believe
I got letters on my bracelet to serve as my ID
I go the necklace and the keychain
and almost everything a good Christian needs, yeah
I got the little Bible magnets on my refrigerator door
And a welcome mat to greet you before you walk across my floor
I got a Jesus bumper sticker
And the outline of a fish stuck on my car
And even though this stuff's all well and good
I cannot help but ask myself
What about the change?
What about the difference?
What about the grace?
What about forgiveness?
What about a life that's showing
I'm undergoing the change, yeah
I'm undergoing the change
Well I've got this way of thinking that comes so naturally
Where I believe the whole world is revolving around me
And I got this way of living that I have to die to every single day
There comes a point in life when we will each face a situation where we have to stand tall. We will be called to stand firm in what we believe. At school, I've been going through a tough situation that has called me to stand firm.
I was able to fix what I was upset about, but at the expense of new things being added that aren't the full truth.
At this point, I know that my job is probably at stake. So, I have prayed about this situation and decided to accept my new evaluation, falsities and all, at the sake of preserving the name of Christ and not creating a spectacle.
I do believe God calls us to stand tall, but He also calls us to live by example. If I push this issue any further, I believe I would be dishonoring our Lord. It has begun to feel more like a nitpicking game, rather than the simple task of changing one word like it was suppose to be. It was never meant to offend anyone or to cause a problem. It was simply to change one word that I didn't believe was used correctly.
To say the least, my situation has snowballed and is out of control. I need the Lord's strength to maintain my composure and to keep my spirits lifted. Lord, I give the situation to you and trust you whole heartedly with the outcome.
I love to get up early and work out. It starts my day off with energy while giving me peace and quiet as well as time to myself to talk with God. I am married to a wonderful man with whom we have a beautiful daughter and a dashing son! Life can't get much better than this!!