I am not perfect. I make mistakes daily. Like all humans I allow sin to creep into my life and it takes control until God burns it all away to help me grow into the Christian, woman, and leader that He created me to be. He creates beauty from the ashes in my life.
My prayer is that we are able to recognize when we are serving the kingdom in all the right ways, but for all the wrong reasons. My prayer is that once we realize we are doing this, we take a step back and return our focus to whom every good thing comes from: Jesus Christ.
I'm not sure what I expected when I decided to go to seminary. I don't know if I expected everything to feel like one intense Sunday school lesson or if I thought it would feel like a three-year-long church camp. Trust me when I say that seminary is anything but an intense Sunday school lesson, and certainly nothing like what I expected.
I want to say that people committing racial crimes in the name of Jesus are wrong and have allowed the enemy to pollute their thoughts. My Jesus loves each and every one of us no matters our skin color and died to save all of the humanity. I want to say that my God is a God of justice, truth, and love--not of hate, racism, and bigotry.
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14
Remembering to be joyful in all situations is not something that comes easily to me, or to anyone for that matter. But when I have seen someone joyful in the midst of tragedy or trials, the results are so earth-shatteringly beautiful.
This morning as I was putting on make-up to go to a coffee house by myself, though, I was thinking a lot about how useless it was. I'm not saying to ditch your make-up, I know I'm not going to stop loving sparkly eyeshadows or the perfect lipstick shade. I am saying that most of us are much more concerned with our outward appearances than with the condition of our hearts, minds, and souls. It doesn't matter how much make-up we use to hide our flaws. If our hearts are full of sin, hate, anger, and bitterness, we are as filthy as pigs.
I hope you enjoy all the fun things we associate with the 4th of July, but don't forget how fortunate we are in America. Don't forget those who served, fought, and died for the freedoms we have, and don't forget about those across the world that don't have the freedom and security to serve Jesus that we do.