Sunday, August 15, 2010

I was 'saved' but I did not have salvation.

Growing up in the teeny-tiny fundamentalist Baptist church by the creek (I do not recall the name of this church, but I recall the creek I used to look at through the window) I was well versed in the "You are a horrible, rotten, evil sinner and God would rather just throw you in hell.  There were many hell fire and brimstone sermons, and at the age of five, I was terrified enough that I went forward during the altar call and was 'saved.'  This is a process that was repeated many times over the years...only it was called 're-dedication.'  There would be a sermon on a particular 'sin' I would be scared of hell, question the sincerity of my salvation, get 'saved' again and hope it sticks this time. Rinse, lather, repeat.

The sins preached against were numerous. Watching a specific TV show, reading a certain magazine, listening to a certain music group, wearing 'immodest' clothes, not being 'bold enough,' The list of  'sins' goes on and on. Over time, though. I slowly came to a realization. These things were not sins, or at least not as 'sinful' as some people made them out to be.

I felt driven to read my Bible for itself, to try to forget everything I was taught and simply read. I found this amazing thing called grace. I had always heard that we are saved by grace, but then, you better follow all these rules' in order to be 'truly saved.' Not only that, but the rules I was made to follow, to feel hell-bound over, were man-made- or man-made extremes.

Reading the Bible just in and of itself, I realized that God does, in fact, have 'rules' for us to follow but they have precious little to do with what I had been taught all those years.

God's greatest command is LOVE...He said so himself when asked what the greatest command was. Jesus said, in short, to "Love God with all of your being and love your neighbor as yourself." I read further on and see "Let us love one another, for love is of God and anyone that loves not knows not God." "They will know you are my disciples by your love." and so on.

I read on and found Matthew 25 about the sheep and goats and how they are separated. It isn't by what we are entertained by, it isn't what we wear...but how we LOVE and care for our fellow man.

Love is another thing that was distorted in my growing up. "Love" was defined as "Telling people they are horrible, rotten sinners that God will toss into hell. This is not Biblical love. The love God wants us to share is found in 1 Corinthians 13. You know it..Love is patient, keeps no records of wrongs.

Love, Biblical love, is what I found to be the difference between being 'saved' and receiving salvation. It is understanding God's undying love for us. God does not want to toss in hell; he wants for no one to perish! God so loved us that he sent his son, who endured unspeakable pain and agony so we can be saved.

Having that love in you can't help but bubble over and overflow and reach out to others. We don't love because it is on the checklist of holiness; we do it because we have realized just how God loves us and in realizing that and letting his love wash over can't HELP but spread it around.  You see someone in need and your heart yearns to help them. It pains you to see suffering in any form.  This isn't a work; it comes as natural and predictable as the sunrise.

When you let His love come and captivate you, when you toss aside the 'rules' and let the Holy Spirit work a mighty work in your life? THAT is when salvation comes. You realize that there is noting you can do to earn salvation, and that your very best efforts are what God thinks are filthy, horrible, and rotten- not you someone who he created the innermost being of certainly not one he sent Jesus for.

This is grace. This is freedom. This is what God desires for us.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wherein I whine....

I am just slap exhausted.....and I can't sleep.  My body hurts head to toe, every joint, muscle and even to the bone in some places.  I suck the pain and drag myself through the day the best I can and not say anything about hurting. No one wants to hear the whining anyway. It sucks.

I can't muster the energy to get moving and do the things I need to do.  My house is a total wreck I am sick of working my ass off at work all day, only to come home and have to clean the house...only to have it trashed again by the next day. I am a person of neatness and order. Mess and chaos disturbs me.  I can not function properly when things are not in order. I have tried to explain this to my husband till I am blue in the face. Last time we had this go round he did exactly ONE load of laundry. WOW. I am sick to death of being the only one who gives a shit.

I seriously need to get some work done on my current house projects. I am wanting to clear out the two upstairs rooms so I can make one into a playroom for the kid and another into a hobby (mainly soaping) room for me. I have to clear both rooms out, then paint the floor and walls then move everything back in.

I am also trying to get to the origional hardwood floor in the kitchen.  We have nice hardwood that is covered by 70'sish vinyl tiles covered with plywood (250+ nails per board!!) covered with another vinyl tile covered by even more vinyl.

Who is doing this work, alone? You guessed! If I don't do it then it will never get done.
I want to get my soapping business going. I really want to do this so I can stay at home while earning money and having the freedom working for yourself provides. This is a HUGE desire of mine.

I need rest, I need energy, I need some give a damn. I need to not hurt!  I need HELP! I need to get the ball rolling on my business. Instead I just feel like I am sinking.

/end whine