Sunday, February 24, 2008

Christianity - I am still swimming

I hope I don’t scare any of my non Christian friends by the title of this post. On the contrary, read on and you may find out interesting things about me. Though I am a very open book, I may have some hidden evils you never knew of. lol

This past weekend Dan and I took a retreat. We got away!
Just him and I went to Minnesota. Opps, we went with another couple so we weren’t completely alone. That was the best part. Being with this other couple and the fellowship, alone with my husband.

We have little time to just hang with friends so this was a refreshing time we had. It was a hilarious time we had! God showed his word through humor this weekend.
First let me tell you that we went to a Gary and Greg Smalley (father and son team) marriage seminar. No, we are fine; this wasn’t a marriage fixer course. We wanted to go to learn new techniques to make our wonderful marriage work even more smoothly. -hehehehe- (you caught me on a good day). So we started this weekend off with our friends meeting us here at our house so we could caravan. Cory just got a GPS and this is a perfect time to use it. Right? - read on

Well the GPS led us directly to our destination.

The hotel. Kudos.

We unpacked our one bag and we could have had a nice relaxing time watching tv with cable (snicker) but that is just not us. We called down to our friends and asked what they wanted to do.

Eat! Ok, eat it is.

Cory grabbed his GPS and put it in Dan’s car. The men sat in front and girls in back and we asked the GPS lady where some fine food was. Right across the street from the hotel was Fudruckers. It listed many more restaurants and we chose TGI Fridays. The GPS lady gave great directions and when we landed at out pin pointed destination we saw an empty lot.

No food there.

Hmmm.... now where.

It had taken us 30 minutes to finally decide the “Where do you want to eat scenario” so we coped out and went back to Fundruckers. Isn’t that where it all started. Could it be that simple? Why didn’t we stay where we started? Our stupid desires of our own stupid human eateries, that is why.

So now we wanted to go shop a little. Where do the mothers decide on? We could have shopped the mall and picked out a “cute little red number” That was a direct quote from Carrie. Sequins even. She said I could mop the floor nicely in that one. (snicker)

But no, we decide on Old Navy so we could see if the sales I hit the week before were still there. We asked GPS lady where Old Navy was and she led us. Again, no Old Navy there.

Empty. Nada. Wrong!?!

How could our new fancy man made directional unit be wrong? Sometime life isn’t very clear. Sometimes we get strayed away. Sometimes we need Gods directional unit but this was Old Navy for Gods sake. Wouldn’t He want us to go? So we tried again, same thing.

We finally gave up on Old Navy when we had to get to our seminar. On the way to the seminar we saw a little kids clothing store that Carrie liked. The sign said open so Dan turned in and made a dash for the store. We drive up to the door and low and behold it was changed within one minute to “closed”.

What does that tell you?

God didn’t want us delayed to his seminar. –hehehe- After the Friday night session we went back to the hotel. Pulled into the parking lot and I said I wanted some cappuccino. (Being a great friend with awesome temptation skills) Carrie also wanted some cappuccino. So back in the car we went. Cory pulled in Star Bucks into the GPS and when we got there it was a real store (no empty lot).

Yeah!

No.... the girl turned off the light. It closed right that minute. So here we are. No kids clothes and no caffeine! We can’t get any lower.

By now it is late night. I think going on 11-11:30pm. We tried the GPS again and went to the next Star Bucks. It was open. Did I forget to tell you that we ALSO called first this time? We had our treat for the night and we were happy. God provided. We had to get by with some detours and humor but we made it.

The next day Carrie was sick from the late night caffeine, but she pulled through. What a trooper!

It was a nice second day at the seminar. Interesting things we learned. Mainly about how we aren’t doing too bad as a husband and wife. We have no affairs going on at this minute, no swearing or fists fights, we have great kids and we agree on how we are raising them, and my husband doesn’t throw the dirty laundry on my head after a dispute. So, see.... we have it good. We learned a lot.

Seriously though, what I personally learned was to follow God and His lead and direction. What I also learned at the seminar was not to hide. No hiding in Christ. Though I do think they could have hid a little more at the seminar. LoL – some things are not needed to be known by thousands of people. hehehe

My husband and I do great. I love him so much and treasure him. I have him to help me as a wife and mother. I need help though. I am NOT a perfect Christian even with the help of my perfect mate. I am by far PERFECT in any way shape or form. Is anyone?

No matter what walk of life, what religion; Are you perfect?

If anyone says yes, you are a liar! I am NOT a hypocrite and also will not hide. I want it well known that I am still swimming and that I need my Lords direction.

I am sure that my best friends that are pagan, mormon, atheist, agnostic or even Christian as myself can say that they all are still swimmers, right? I hope so cause I haven’t found perfect yet. We are all human. That is one common lovely and beautiful bond. We ALL suck!

I sometimes think that being a Christian has some stigmatisms stuck to it. I want that stigmatism off of me. Do we have to show we are perfect to be a REAL Christian? Are the Christians who “act” Christian on their own time schedule better or more perfect? That to me is hypocritical.

If we see a vegetarian eat a hamburger once a month would we say “what kind of a vegetarian are you?” or “what are you showing others about our belief?” For goodness sakes, no! We would just think that the poor person had a temptation for a stinkin’ burger! They weren’t going over the vegetarian’s sin mountain.

I myself am going (and still swimming there too!) organic. When I eat a chocolate bar or a fast food hamburger do I have people out me or say that I am a hypocrite? I sure hope not cause I could show them a plank they need outta their own burger.


My human desire as a wife, mother and friend is just to stay a float. Growing on my swimming journey. Swim and keep on swimming. Also by making it known by NOT hiding my Christianity.

Not wanting to make another stumble but also not hiding.

I have been wondering why people would want to hide that they are a Christian. A friend’s husband told me a few times of how he would never do what Dan and I did with our vehicle.

We have a big daddy Christian fish, big mama Christian fish and eight little baby Christian fish following the daddy and mama. All fish on the bumper of our big 15 passenger bus.

First off, we can’t hide that van if we wanted to.

Second, most people assume right off that we must be Christian and they even guess homeschooling too (ironic) and

Thirdly.... we don’t want to hide!

The friend told us that he wouldn’t do such a thing because it would show others how not perfect he was. When he cut someone off, they would judge him as a Christian so it wouldn’t look good for the cause of Christ. --- ---- --- --- I firmly disagree

I don’t really think Jesus cared at what others “think”. I agree to be careful at how we present ourselves as Christians but good golly please do not think I am gonna hide my love of growing with Christ.

I am a swimmer and I have Gods GPS.

If anyone wants to know the directions from me, they surely can’t get the guaranteed results cause I just keep recalculating myself.

I fall short, I get up, I fall short, I get up....

…. but I will never hide.

That would mean that people should feel shunned at wearing any Christian t shirt. We may walk around the mall and start to yell at our kids while wearing the shirt. Oh my! Rip that shirt off! You are representing Christ!

No sir. I will not go naked. I have redemption and will show off that un-naked grace.

I think I will even be decorating my yard with fish now because I want to be known as a swimmer in this crappy pool of life.

My husband is known at work as a Christian. Not only by the shirts he wears or the things he has at work but by his actions. At times he messes up with a customer. What does he do? He asks for forgiveness. Isn’t that what it is all about?

Showing people that being part of a belief is growing, not by being the 100% perfect example of that belief. I am even lower than a 99.9% rate. Argh

It is a shame when people only want to show their Christianity during times of serving or when people are pre-invited into their homes. What are they hiding in the times they aren’t invited? Ithink I may even want fish on the door of my home so people will know they can come in at any time and find a wanna be perfect Christian. I may not be perfect but I wanna be. No one needs to be pre invited here because they get me in the raw. Gosh, Karen in the raw. Not a fun sight. That may even be worse than simply no make up.

It will also help me walk right. I want to stand firm and walk like I claim that I walk. I want to be a better wife, a better mother, a better friend and just a better person in the community.

Did I show that today?

No! Darn it all. I screwed up.

Today at Wal-Mart a cashier was so mean in the express aisle. She was very rude when I pushed the wrong pin for my debit card. Yes, she was mean, mean, mean. I tried making it better by being gentle but by the end when she just threw my receipt at me and was talking to the man behind me about being so slow + I had it. I took my receipt and I said “thank you very much too and for being so patient” I did not say that in the most friendly way and the smile I was wearing also had look of disgruntled-ness. What I did was made her meanness ok’d now. She was probably justified. When I got home and I told my husband about it he asked if I complained to the manager.

So, I got on the phone and complained. In my complaint, I realized I was wrong at how I handled it and I asked the manger for forgiveness saying that is not how Christ would want me to act. Though she was wrong, I should never have been rude right back. I asked her to relay this to the cashier. Who knows how she will take that or if she will forgive my retaliation but I hope so. I hope I showed her something in my crankiness that we (Christians) realize our transgressions and we can ask to be forgiven. Aint no hiding at Wally’s for me! (<---- forgive me for the aint word. I hate it too but it sounded good there)

So it is now going to be our destination to make it known that the only thing needed to be a Christian is to have the heart of one. That heart grows. Jesus was love. He had heart. He alone was perfect. We are just to try to follow His lead and His direction. What will my bumper sticker under my fishes say you ask? It will say “please forgive me, I am still swimming towards Him”.

I say a big Amen to Gods GPS!

Tertullian wrote (in “De Baptismo”) “But we, being little fishes, as Jesus Christ is our great Fish, begin our life in the water, and only while we abide in the water are we safe and sound.”

2 Corinthians 4:7-11

7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

8We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.




5 comments:

Karen said...

wozers!

Chey said...

Oops, that was me. :)

"Kreative Karma" said...

LOL, Karen, you better watch what you say, I may just show up on your doorstep one day!

Melisa Waldorf said...

I linked over to your blog from Scrapbook Oasis. Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading this post. Thank you so much for sharing. So inspiring for me. I'm swimming too girl.

Leigh Ann said...

I hope you dont mind me reading this but I got the link to your blog off of Chey's blog. But, I was thoroughly enjoying reading your blog, but when I got to your Tertullian quote, I wanted to high five you then and there. Not many people, or Christians for that manner quote Tertullian. You get mad kudos for that one! Not only that, but you quoted the work it was written in, in it's original language ! So yes...I loved your blog. :) Let's keep swimming!