I must admit. I am struggling with my faith. I have run the gamut on trying out different religions, trying to find one that fits. None have. In fact, I am not into religion at all, but I do believe in God and spirituality.
My Dad had the greatest love for God and Christ that I have ever seen. I often envied his personal relationship with the Trinity. He never wavered on that. Nor did he ever thump people over the head with his Bible. It was his relationship, his love. He merely enjoyed it, cultivated it, and quietly lived it. While I could never subscribe to his particular religious beliefs, John L. Whittington was the best man I've ever known. Every person that ever met him, liked him. Most loved him. I have never met anyone else that can say that. I hope this blog does not have him turning over in his grave.
Why am I blogging about this, you might ask? Well, I have kept a gratitude journal since 2003. After my blog interactions yesterday, it came to my attention this morning that I have been sorely neglecting this inspirational tool. In fact, I discovered that I only wrote a gratitude list for 10% of 2011. That means 90% of the time I was not consistent! No wonder I'm having a hard time!
When I'm "on", I have a morning routine that includes the following:
My best years have been when I do this routine "most" mornings, not 10% of the time! Can you tell this little bit of reality check has slapped me between the eyes?
So, back to why I'm blogging about faith. The books I call "Readers" as listed above, are a collection of daily devotions, reflections, quotes, etc. One of them I read every day, the others I rotate on a daily basis as I use them. I never know what they are going to say, but they are always spot-on.
The one that came up in rotation today had the following: "While having seemingly good intentions, I can go off on tangents in pursuit of my 'causes'. My ego takes over and I lose sight of my primary purpose. I may even take credit for God's handiwork in my life... I cannot boast of my accomplishments, and [I realize] that 'God is doing for [me] what [I] could not do for [myself]'." -- Daily Reflections, A Book of Reflections
The one I read every day had this: "Jesus' blood cries out forgiveness for our sins, healing for our bodies, and peace and soundness for our minds. It cries out protection for our coming and going, prosperity for the works of our hands, the righteousness of Christ as our acceptance before God and much more!...
For example, if you are afraid of losing your job, speak the blood of Jesus over your job. His blood cries out, "Favor with his boss!" ... When fear rises in your heart as the doctor give you his prognosis, plead the blood of Jesus over your body. His blood cries out, "Healing and wholeness!"...
See that you keep hearing the voice of GRACE, which speaks salvation, righteousness, protection, deliverance, prosperity and healing over your life!"
I used to be agnostic, and I still cannot believe that billions of people are condemned and that we Americans (as the majority of Christian believers in the world) are the only ones that have it right. And, I have no idea yet where I stand on life after death, but I am enjoying learning about the GRACE of Jesus Christ. I especially like the teachings of Joseph Prince. He preaches against condemnation. I can't stand religions that preach fire and brimstone and are seemingly based on the belief that people are hideous heathens full of toxic waste. Joseph Prince is against sin but his lessons focus on GRACE and freedom from condemnation. He has a series, "Condemnation Kills but the Spirit Gives Life," and it talks about how we no longer live under the law of condemnation. Jesus paid that price.
While I struggle with complete buy-in on the entire concept of Jesus, this knowledge is new to me and it is another part of the mix that will be a part of my new life. Just like my crafts and other belongings, it will be interesting to see what my faith looks like by the time I hit the road.
Transformation can be fun. I'm learning to enjoy the journey.