Saturday, September 1, 2012

REFRESHING GUEST POST "Overdosing on the Church "

               Brandees Photo featuring "my" Clementine........ :)   
                              oh and Jesus,  of Course!   ~ Anjie

LOVE MY BRANDEE.......let me introduce her to you, this is her rendition of who she is:  "Brandee Shafer is an English instructor turned SAHM to the 3.5 children for whom she records her life and thoughts, through blogging. She, her husband Jim, and their children live in a log cabin in Powhatan, Virginia, where she writes, teaches Sunday school, and tries, daily, to diminish toppling piles of dishes and laundry"

This is MY rendition of who she of the best all around people that reside in the town of Powhatan County!  She has a love story or two in her past and a few most awesome children in the world, a funny , luving family that has its "characters" that I can relate too on many different levels and to top all of that off she is a NON PERFECT CHRISTIAN ......(oxymoron i know) and has more faith in her little finger that I have in my entire body.  I look to this young person in bewilderment and really don't know how she does what she does except to say ......."SHE LOVES" ....... thats what sums it all up........ I am proud to have the author of SMOOTH STONES as my blanket friend and guest poster today......ENJOY HER as I do!...... she is an ispiration matter what your faith is / or your journey I think you can appreciate hers....

                                 "Overdosing on the Church"     

                          By: Brandee Shafer

I've discovered: if I'm not careful, I can overdose on the church. It's scary to think it and scarier to admit it, but I'm learning: as long as I don't speak in anger, the Lord uses me best when I speak my scary truths.

Most everyone I know and read--especially on facebook and in the blogosphere--claims to be a Christian. So many of them clamor on about different things, thinking their religious actions and affiliations, even their political views, make them stand out as the real deal. I rarely find myself confused about where I stand on any given issue, just annoyed. I asked myself why the annoyance until I determined: people have agendas. They aren't just blathering on; they're trying, all the time, to convince others--me!--to climb up on their bandwagons.

I wish I were referring to Christians' earnest efforts to win souls, but their words add up to something much darker and more complex. In fact, their cumulative, persuasive efforts form a shouting match in my brain. I feel like my very own Jesus is being crammed down my very own throat, and from several angles all at once.

I start to wonder if there's something wrong with me because I don't appreciate so-and-so's eight scripture "status updates" per hour. What if my efforts in the name of the Lord, I wonder, aren't enough? What if I'm not focused enough? What if I'm not righteous enough?

Then I start feeling judged for behaving or thinking differently than other Christians.

When that happens, it becomes critical that I put on the brakes. I'm overdosing on the church. God may well be calling so-and-so to the foreign mission field, the haunts of the homeless, the abortion clinic, the drive-thru on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. He may well be calling such-and-such to stand on a street corner or march in a small-town parade and howl for souls. It's not really my business until it's my business, and, right now, it isn't. I need to concern myself with those things the Lord has called me to do.

I'm a small fish in a big sea, and that's alright. Maybe my ministry will grow as my faith grows, or as I become kinder, wiser. In the meantime, know this: I really, really love Jesus, and He loves me. We have a relationship, and it's like any other in that it has its ups and downs. I've learned: inside and in spite of my relationship with the Lord, nothing--nothing!--is safe or guaranteed beyond my very soul. It hurts, sometimes, when things don't go the way I'd like. I grieve; I rage; I break into countless pieces, in countless ways. But over and over again, I find: when I lift my head and wipe my wild eyes, He--having never left--is with me, still.

Sometimes I overdose on the church, but I can never quite get enough of Jesus.


here's her blog........   SAVOR THIS


Fern said...

Anjie thanks for sharing this! I can SO relate to this woman's post! I too am so sick of Christian's judging one another. They spend so much time pointing fingers at each other that they forget about what they are really here to do. I don't have time for that mess. My priority is to minister to my husband and my children and the people who are in my life on a regular basis. I don't do that by cramming my belief in God down their throats, but by example, by loving them unconditionally, and by showing them how we reach out to others in love not judgment. I once had a friend who cared for my children when I was working and she claimed to be a Christian. I won't judge and say whether that was true or not, but the problem came when she decided that my faith didn't live up to hers. She sent me a Christmas card and tucked inside was a Christian tract trying to get me to repent of my sins and turn to *her* church. Apparently my church and my faith wasn't good enough for her. Needless to say I chose to walk away from that friendship, because it had become more painful than beneficial. I knew no matter what I said, I was never going to make her see the error of her ways and it was best for me to walk away. I never regretted that decision. I have also realized that we don't win people to the ways of Jesus by cramming it down their throats, constantly quoting Bible verses or judging them. We win people to our faith by the way we live our life and hopefully that is by living the way we are lead by God. I chose to show people God's love by reaching out in love and acceptance and by not wavering in my faith. I want people to see peace and unconditional love in my life and want that too. I recently have been asked how I can be so calm when we don't know from where our next paycheck is coming. My answer is that it's in God's hands. He has never let us go hungry or left us out on the street without a roof over our heads and I believe that He won't allow it this time either. I believe He's leading us to something better and the oppression my husband has been working under for the past 15 years is over and it's time for God to reward my husband for his faithfulness, his devotion, and his loyalty even though his boss didn't adhere to those principles himself. My husband did and he deserves better than to be tossed out with the trash and I believe God is going to bless him for it. That's why I am so calm and at peace over what's happening.

Pamela Dolen said...

Loved the fact I am not alone in this feeling that sometimes I am not good enough for some Christians!!

Pamela Dolen said...

Glad to see I am not the only one who feels sometimes I am not as good as some Christians That act like they are Better then me!!

Brandee Shafer said...

Thanks, Anjie, for welcoming me into your corner of the blogosphere...and, more importantly, for being my very real friend in my very real life. I love knowing that you're one person who will always look me full on and accept me for who and what and where I am.

nic said...

i love you, brandee. so much. and oh my, with that last line: yes.