Lent

So I’m not religious.  And 40 days is a really long time.  But I do love Jesus and the idea of giving something up – a sacrifice – doesn’t seem like too much in comparison, right?  But then I went back through the years and thought about things I’ve given up.  Red meat, any meat but fish, cafe mochas, chocolate, soda, french fries, some dumb girl, another dumb girl, and so on.  What next?

I want to succeed.  I want to feel good at the end – you know, like I really wanted what I gave up but feel great that I was able to keep my promise.  Blogging was an option but that just seems mean.  (to me)  Facebook would be a good alternative but then I’d miss seeing all my friends that don’t blog.  I should give up Criminal Minds because it gives me nightmares but it’s just SO good – I’d surely fail at that.

Instead, 2 things.  Every morning, I will stretch and reflect on the blessings in my life.  There’s nothing bad about being more bendy and I really do have that much to be grateful for.  And I will not drink any brown soda.  This one isn’t hard, as I don’t drink much soda now but it’s something, right?  I realize this doesn’t mean much to Jesus and I certainly can’t give my brown soda to the poor (part of the meaning of Lent) but I will give to the Food Bank before Easter.  – $$ and food donation. So…3 things.

These are my sacrifice(s).  Not much.  But doable.  I’ll be proud of myself on Easter morning!  As a non-catholic, I think this is pretty good.  Welcome to Ash Wednesday.  🙂

You?

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Tell Me, Are You a Christian Child? …

… and I said, “Ma’am, I am tonight!”

I had a conversation with a young person the other night. – just a random Monday day where I accidentally left on my fb chat.  Anyway, she asked if I believed in God and then how I reconciled the Bible with my sinning ways sexual orientation.

I used to get this question more often when I was working.  I guess that’s because I was around more strangers but even this person knows I’m Christian.  Or at least in her words, “that I love Jesus.”

Anyway, it’s not hard for me to answer and that’s usually where I get most of the backlash.  It’s easy for me.  I believe that Jesus was the son of God – a perfect person who came here and lived to show me how to live my best life.  For me, it’s the answer to my questions.  He gave me an imperfect path, directly back to him.  I don’t feel like I have any check lists to accomplish.  I don’t feel like I need to go to temple or be baptized or even attend church.  I don’t need a bishop or priest or prophet to tell me what to do because I already have my example.  I’m doing my best, most days.  I learn from my mistakes.  I give back.  I teach what I know and listen to new things.  But, most of all, I love my family & friends with all my heart.

If you’ve been reading me long enough, you know that I fell in love with Jesus through Tammy Faye and the PTL Club.  I was eleven or so and I would listen to the songs and watch the dripping mascara and just ache to believe in something that much.  It was the love, the compassion, the sacrifice, the devotion.  …not the Bible.  It turned out that Tammy had her own demons (don’t we all) but she was amazing enough to reach in to the heart of a little girl and give her enough “want” to keep searching.

I didn’t really learn about the Bible until well into my 20’s.  I read it.  Twice.  I didn’t just want to be able to say that I read it, I wanted it to add something to my faith.  It didn’t.  & maybe I’m jaded but it… didn’t.  I did find relevant lessons and certainly, things to live by.  I was always interested in the words in red because those were when Jesus was speaking.  Sadly, that wasn’t very often.

The Bible is a book written by man and, while there are some great lessons in it, I don’t take any of it as more than story.  Maybe that’s because it’s used against me so much.  But not just me.  It causes war.  Death.  And sure, you could tell me that it’s man who causes these things.  Agreed.  But it’s also men who wrote the book and they wrote it over and over again for centuries and added parts and took away others.  They may have “quoted” Jesus but we all know what happens when something is repeated more than once.  It’s enough reason for me to set it aside and just wait for the real thing.

Anyway, I know it’s not a popular thing to talk about but it seems there’s always someone who needs to hear it.
Someone special thinks I’m special.
Someone (fact or fiction) made enough effort to come here and die for me so I could be imperfect and live again.
Someone left enough of a mark in special people that it continues to give others reason to grow & love & live.

No matter who you are, no matter what mistakes you’ve made – you are loved and getting it right is just a change of direction. Deep breath.  Slow down.  Look up.  Begin again.