Tag Archives: faith

I AM THE NEW GIRL

11 Apr

I forgot what it felt like to be the New Girl. Sure, there’s something a little exciting about being the New Girl. Maybe the New Girl will be wildly accepted and instantly popular. Maybe people will find her mysterious but not threatening. Maybe the New Girl will find a place where she can grow and flourish…Or maybe the New Girl will just be that, another nameless face in the revolving door of the Christian church.

Today it dawned on me that I AM THE NEW GIRL! (insert dramatic pause)  This is a HUGE change. A few years ago I was very comfortable and active in my church. I felt accepted and welcome. I looked forward to Sunday worship and Bible study. I volunteered countless hours in the ministry. I studied at home so that I could be a better servant. I did this without hesitation because I was part of something bigger than me. I was part of a community. Fast forward to today….I am searching for a new community.  

Every Sunday I walk into a church and I don’t know anyone. I’m not a part of the group. I don’t have friends to sit with. I don’t know the pastor’s name, the church mission or the church beliefs. I don’t even know where the bathrooms are. I am the New Girl. Every week Christian community encounter visitors. There are enumerable New Girls I feel like we’re a forgotten group without a spokesman. So today, I’m speaking up. Here’s what I want you to know about the many New Girls that you meet.

1.       I want to belong. I want to be accepted.

2.       It’s not easy walking into a new church. Everyone has well established roles and I have to figure out where I fit in.

3.       I’m self-conscious. I hope that I’m dressed appropriate for your church. If I’m not please don’t point this out to me.

4.       I want someone to smile at me and say hello. It’s super important.

5.       I’ll need some help…I won’t know the words to every song, when to sit, when to stand or where the bathrooms are.

6.       I want to be appreciated but I don’t want to be singled out too much.

7.       I’m not a threat. I’m not here to take your church position. I’m also not the latest Jezebel to infiltrate your church.

8.       I’m nervous.

9.       I want accountability.

10.   I am a Christian. I’m forgiven. I’m secure in my salvation.  

11.   I have been hurt by church. So I might be a little apprehensive.

12.   I’m not into cliques. If you don’t know me that probably means that I don’t know you (just think about that).

13.   I love God.

14.   I want to learn and I want to grow spiritually.

15.   I might not come back. Don’t take it personal. Your church is awesome but it’s just not the place for me.

Unapologetically,

Arizona R. AKA The New Girl 

Birthday Behavior

27 Feb

So, yesterday was my birthday. It was a pretty awesome week. Really the month of February has been amazing.

Usually, I like to spend my day alone. My friends and family always get on me about it but over the years they have just become accustomed to my behavior. I just love the idea that this is the day God decided to bring me into the world and I don’t usually want to share it with anyone else.

I always wonder what was he thinking…why this day…why in cold…why my parents? Even though, I don’t really care about knowing the answers. I still like the idea of wondering about his thoughts for me. As we always say, God is so strategic.

This year, I’ve celebrated in small increments but I’ve had a blast. Every year, people always give me gifts, cards, hugs, phone calls and texts. However, this year it just seemed very different. I really don’t know why. It could be due to me opening up a little more, allowing others to experience and share in my joy. Who knows….

My motto for this year has been: “I’m happy. I’m overjoyed. God has given me so many precious gifts and I will enjoy each of them this year. No worries or stress. Only faith and love.”

Unafraid,

Christine K.

 

 

 

My Deepest Apology

23 Nov

IMG_2943 (1)

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.

 

Where Would I Be.

15 Nov

Where Would I Be

I began to write about the past 3 years of my life but as I reflected on the joys and heartache, the first thing that popped into my mind was this song. Not sure who wrote it but I grew up listening to these lyrics during devotional time at church.

“If It Had, Not, Been For The Lord, On My Side

Where Would I Be?, Where Would I Be? 

If It Had Not Been For The Lord On My Side

Where Would I Be? Where Would I Be?

He Kept My Enemies Away
He Let The Sun Shine Though A Cloudy Day
Oh, He Wrapped Me In The Cradle Of His Arms
When He Knew I’ Been Battered And Torn,

He Never Left Me All Alone
He Gave Me Peace And Joy I’ve Never Known
He Answered When I Knelt To Him In Prayer
And In Victory The Lord Brought Me This Way,

There’s not much I can say after that but THANK YOU JESUS!

Unafraid,

Christine K.

The Red Cup

11 Nov

Dear Christians,

I just want you to know that I’m saddened that you’ve united on such a simple issue. I call the issue simple because you are upset over a cup. Specifically, the design of the cup.  The color of the cup. When did we become so easily offendable that we believe everything is an attack against our religion? Are we so self-absorbed and distractible that we think everything and everyone is out to destroy our religion? News flash…this red cup was not targeted at us. It’s cup. Move on. Address real issues.

Unlike many of you, I live in a world that is a melting pot of religions, back grounds, race and gender. I don’t surround myself with like thinkers. I enjoy listening to other people’s perspectives.  I learn from them. I don’t judge, I don’t attack. It gives me an opportunity to see the world differently. It gives me a chance to touch more people and live a life more like Jesus.

Speaking of Jesus…Do you think that he would have protested the red cup? Nope. Would Jesus think that this cup was a representation of the world’s disdain of Christianity? Nope. Would he have defamed an entire organization (that employs fellow believers)? Nope. Would Jesus have held a Bible study at Starbucks while sipping a brew from a red cup? Yep. Shoot, Jesus probably would have turned water to coffee in today’s world LOL.  

Back to the real world. Have you ever asked someone about Christianity? Have you had a genuine conversation about Christianity with a non-believer or former believer? Have you taken a real look in the mirror? Have you looked that the problems that have silently infiltrated the church and too taboo to discuss over the pulpit? My guess is that you haven’t because if you had you wouldn’t be focused on a red cup.

Have you spoken with people that used to be Christians and completely reject the faith? Nope! Do you talk about the manipulation, sexism, idolatry, homophobia, racism and hate that have crept into our churches? Do you talk about the pedophiles that use their religious positions to molest and exploit children? Do we talk about other sexual deviants that’s target the men and women in the church? Do we talk about the hustlers that have elevated their game and now sell blessings? Do we talk about how the church leadership now resembles gang activity (If you have 10 armor bearers and 20 church members…You’re in a gang)? Do we talk about the church leaders that continue to use narcotics and street drugs? Do we talk about the leaders at the strip clubs or pornography stores? Do we talk about extramarital affairs? Do we talk about rejection? Do we talk about the fact that so many of our lives do not reflect Christ? Do we talk about the fact that we use prayer as a form of apathy? (I’ll scream at the next prayer vigil outside of crime scene…They’re gone! Focus on the living and problem prevention). Nope… We’re talking about a Red Cup.

So please fellow Christians, save your mindless religious rhetoric for your closed social circles of narrow thinking. We could actually learn something from the Starbucks cup. Learn how to serve the masses without losing your identity. Everyone that is drinking from the cup still knows that they are drinking Starbucks. My question is this, does everyone that meets you realize they are meeting a Christian?

Unapologetically,

Arizona

 P.S. I’m typing this while sitting in Starbucks…sipping a peppermint mocha from my Red Cup

How Can We Both Be Victims?

14 Oct

As I am sitting here thinking about my life situations something HITS me… How can we both be victims?

I would like to share a small story with you if that’s okay.  I have a first cousin that I hadn’t spoken to in over 7 years.  We talked everyday. We didn’t go days without talking, but somehow we ended up going years without talking.  I can’t even tell you why we stop talking. All I can tell you is that I thought she was mad at me, and she thought I was mad at her.  Which wasn’t even the case. Wow the things that will happen when PRIDE steps in! And that’s when it dawned on me today how much I have allowed the devil to rob me of…

There was so many years of joy, peace, and love lost.  All because we was prideful and we both wanted to play the victim. Neither party wanted to humbled themselves to even see what the real issue was or even if there was an issue. How can we both be victims?  It wasn’t because we did anything to each other, but it was because the devil played his game.But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 GNT
Unashamed,
Toi

Live. Love. Forgive.

4 Oct

I was recently challenged to answer the questions below and figured I would share. It took me almost three months to answer these very simple questions. I’m finally at a place of peace to answer wholeheartedly. Enjoy!

Question 1:
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your life?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned in my life thus far is to live, love and forgive. All of my life experiences have cycled into these three areas. My ultimate quest in life is to live the abundant life God has granted and promised me. I’ve learned that in ordered to do that I must step out on faith and trust that when you love you are bound to get hurt and that is when forgiveness takes place. I’ve also learned that forgiveness is the ability to forgive others but most importantly to forgive yourself even if the other person does not apologize. That is when Godly love kicks in. Understanding that everyone is human and we are bound to get hurt but if we trust God with our pain and to ultimately trust his process for our life. That is when our abundant life that is promised will kick in. Understanding that my life is ordained before the foundations of the world. He knew me before I knew myself and all of my days are ordered and that includes the daily disappointments.

Ok, I’m ranting…Does that make sense? LOL!

Question #2:
How has that lesson shaped your tomorrow?

It has given me peace. Even when I’m battling to keep my peace, I just remind myself that he is control and to trust the process. God’s love heals all wounds, drives out all fears, and surrounds us with his perfect favor for life.

Unafraid,

Christine K.

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