Tag Archives: christianity

My Deepest Apology

23 Nov

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Today I went to church. It started as a typical Sunday…Praise & worship, offering, sermon. But this Sunday, my pastor had an altar call. For those who don’t know, an altar call is a prayer dedicated to specific needs. This doesn’t happen often. Whenever there’s an altar call I become very introspective. I start examining my life from my prayer life to social life. I look at my health and the health of my family and friends. Am I connected to anyone that needs prayer? It’s one of the few times that I’m 100% serious.

My pastor says, “If anyone needs healing in their body, please come to the altar for prayer.” I examined myself and realized that I’m not sick physically or mentally. People flooded the altar while I remained in my seat. Everyone is prayed for and returns to their seats.

My pastor moves to his next prayer. He says, “If anyone has a family member or friend that is sick. Please come stand in proxy for them.” I examined myself again.  Nope! I don’t know anyone that is sick. I’ve actually had miraculous healings take place in my family over the last few weeks. Again, everyone is prayed for and go back to their seats.

My pastor gives his final prayer. He says, “If anyone needs financial breakthrough, please come to the altar.” I perform a system check. Nope! I’m good. God has blessed my finances. Again, people are prayed for and return to their seats. And I’m standing waiting.

What was I waiting on? I expected to be in need. But in that moment, I realized that God has truly blessed me. I had overlooked how wonderful my life was. I had forgotten the miracles that God performed. I forgot that He’s continuously working.  I forgot that I am blessed. I forgot that I am healthy. I forgot that everyone around me is healthy. I forgot that I’m financially stable. I forgot about God’s goodness and I’m very sorry. I felt ashamed as I watched people in need of what I had taken for granted. I was ashamed of my ungratefulness. I needed to take a moment to say publically…Thank you God for blessing me above and beyond what I ever expected. I thank you healing my family. I thank you for protecting me and my family.  Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for healing my mind, body and soul. Thank you for giving me hope. Thank you for giving me your peace. Thank you for loving me even when I was ungrateful. Thank you for giving me another chance to say that I’m blessed.

 

Apologetically,

Arizona R.

 

The Pain of Perfection

30 Sep

I’ve spent my entire life being viewed as “perfect”. For some reason I was labeled as the Golden Child in my family and neighborhood. I had perfect posture, hair, smile, grades, behavior. My mother would always get complemented on how “perfect” I was. But I wasn’t perfect (my mom knew it but she wouldn’t blow my cover). I had a perfect image and I wanted to break free from it. Being perfect is painful.

I spent my entire adult life fighting the stigma of “perfection” only to become entrapped again by perfection. When I became a Christian, I suddenly had the desire to be perfect. I wanted my life to be a complete reflection of Christ. I think I took the phrase, “go and sin no more” too far.  I just knew that I would trust God and would do nothing wrong ever again. So I changed my life. I almost eliminated my social life, I stopped cursing, I stopped listening to rap music, my clothes were mostly modest mute colors, my diet was impossibly strict, I sowed financial seeds into ministries, I donated time teaching the gospel, I volunteered in ministry (blah, blah, blah)…All of this and I still couldn’t manage a perfect life. I still had moments of sin. I was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. The problem was that I didn’t trust God. I began working and changing myself instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to change me. My Christian experience was based on my works.

Perfectionism is a work of the flesh. In other words, I depend on myself to get everything accomplished. I was my source. The time that I spent studying would lead to my great knowledge. The time that I spent volunteering would lead to my rewards in heaven. Sowing money into ministries would lead to financial blessings for me. I could go on and on…I believed that my activities would lead to my blessed, sin free life. Wrong Answer!

Romans 3:23 tells us that we all fall short. We do not have the power to live a perfect life.  God in all of his infinite wisdom knew that some of us would struggle with perfection. And that we would be devastated when we failed (because we ALL fail). He lets us know He knows that we love Him and wants our lives to please Him. He forewarned us that all things will work together for our good and will be used for His purpose (Romans 8:28).  His grace kept me from being destroyed (mostly from myself because perfection is self-destructive). He loved me and my lowest points. He never abandoned me. When I thought I was totally lost to sin, He was showing me his grace.

God used my shortcomings to teach me about Him. I will fall but God’s grace is loving and forgiving. He loves me no matter what. Even when I don’t serve in ministry that He will still bless me. When I don’t sow financial seeds that he still blesses me finances. It has nothing to do with my works.  He loves because He promised that He would. And since He is perfection, I know that He is true to His word.

Unapologetically,

Arizona R.

Rejection.

12 Jan

“Rejection is just God redirecting you into the right path.” We hear it all the time but is it really? I will have to admit, I don’t believe that wholeheartedly. I do believe it can be redirected properly when the individual being rejected actually knows how to identify it. Most people that face rejection don’t know how to deal with it, especially when someone is living in a continuous state of rejection.

Honestly, I would prefer to experience rejection than to be the rejecter. When faced with rejection you feel low, confused, unworthy, like a complete failure. However, that is not the case, most of the time; the rejected person has not done anything wrong.

God tell us that we are accepted when we first accept Christ as our personal savior. Christians take longer than we should to believe that scripture. Oftentimes we do things to try to “fit in” within the community of believers. The whole – I serve in church, I attend every bible study, every conference in hopes to feel accepted by that particular body. Some people even rub noses with the “elites” or give bigger offerings in hopes of being accepted or deemed worthy of positions. Sadly, their hearts are so far from God.

As Christians we are born in the image of God. We are 1st connected to him and he gives us the longing to be connected to others. But this has to be a healthy connection. We cannot lose our identity (or never find it) in hopes of be accepted by man. We should only desire to change ungodly behavior for God and yourself. Not others.

God is a loving and gracious God. He accepts us all. So why do we reject one another? I believe low self-esteem, fear, and pride on the rejecters heart.

And to the one experiencing rejection look to God. Ask yourself are you putting your self-worth, esteem and worthiness in someone else’s hands. Let me answer that question for you, YES!

Do everything unto God, let him order you steps. His love and approval is readily available to you as a gift. When sin entered in this world he loved us enough to send his son to die for you. No one else will ever do that for you. Aim to please God with your faith, back it up with actions and watch your life transform right in front of your eyes.

Be confident in who you are. Be brave enough to face adversity. Be strong enough to walk the narrow path God placed in front of you.

Just Be…

~Christine K.

Restoration.

10 Jan

2015: The Year of Restoration

1 Peter 5:10 (NLT)
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

I have high expectations for 2015.

Pause….

Actually, I’m declaring a year of restoration. If I had a soap box, I would be standing on it right now. But since I don’t, I’ll stand on my electronic soap box aka my lap top. God has not forgotten you. Were you disappointed by the delays of 2014? I sure was. And it’s OK to be disappointed. It’s OK to want more. It OK to expect more. There is a divine purpose for your life. Your divine purpose keeps you from being 100% satisfied in your current situation. It has kept you from tolerating stagnation. The Holy Spirit is nudging you toward your purpose. I know that you feel it. I know that you want more. I know that you are questioning everything right now. I know that you are ready move forward. In order to move forward, your faith must be ignited.

While you are waiting, God is…
…Preparing your future
…Developing your character
…Exposing your enemies
…Creating new opportunities for you
…Protecting your reputation
…Placing new friendships ahead of you
…Restoring your health
…Bringing new love your way
…Rekindling old love
…Busy

I hope that my words settle someplace deep within your spirit. You’re a winner. God hasn’t forgotten you. He saw every betrayal. He heard every negative word spoken against your life. He knows about those tears that you have cried. He sees you. He loves you. Now he wants you to know that you are being restored. When God restores you, He improves you. You’ll be better than you were before. Keep believing.

Unapologetically,
Arizona R.

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