Saturday, April 18, 2009

death and taxes

both easter and april 15th have passed, representing the joke about only 2 constants in life - death and taxes.

easter is about death, the death of our Lord and Savior. how gracious and obedient he was to die on the cross for me. but easter is about more than Jesus' death, it is about how he rose from the grave and lives again. he was once dead, but is now risen. he took my sin upon himself so that i may be seen by God as pure and holy. i rejoice and find comfort in that.

easter is about death, the death of my father. it has been a little over one year since we got the news of his death sentence and i celebrate that he is still alive and feeling well. i am thankful for this opportuity to introduce my dad to a loving and faithful God. i pray for him to welcome Jesus into his heart and life. God is so merciful to give him this extra time.

easter is about death, the death of bad habits. during lent, i gave up something i find joy and pleasure in - eating out. it was hard to acknowledge why eating out meant so much to me (i used it as a sign of prosperity). it was hard to ignore the convenience of fast food (and having to plan my meals). it was hard to kill a habit, but i made it, finding strength and insight during my fasting.

death brings so much clarity. death awakens us. it makes us think about ourselves differently. learning that Jesus died for me makes me feel more fervent and hopeful and precious. it makes me resolved to live my life to glorify his sacrifice.

death makes us all recognize the waste and antipathy that is going on around us. i thought it was very appropriate for the 'tax day tea parties' to occur right after easter. because knowing that after death comes new life, i can hope for a good change out of this protest.

if you don't know personally how our Lord died for you and rose again, you need to talk with the nearest pastor. he died for your sins to wipe them away as if they never happened! he loves you more than you can imagaine. he wants you to live beyond your physical death too.

and if you haven't researched the thought behind these tea parties, check out the above pictures. it was not about being anti-obama (although that's what the media tried to make it out to be). it was democrats, republicans, libertarians, independents; black, white, hispanic, asian; rich, poor, middle-class; young, old, middle-aged; men, women and children saying 'we have had enough'. enough of wasteful government spending and larger government involvement. enough of the growing sense of entitlement in this country. enough with lying politicians. enough antipathy.

Friday, April 10, 2009


i love connecting on facebook. :) it's highly addictive and quite time-consuming, but i love it. i hate phone calls, and post offices, so being able to say 'hi' from the comfort of my couch, in my pajamas, at midnight... well, i love it. so when i found an old friend from college on there, i was thrilled. i sent a friend request and waited impatiently for him to accept me. but he never did.

instead he sent me a letter asking if i was really his friend. because you see, he is gay. and i am a christian. and in his mind, never the 'twain shall meet. so i wrote him back. here is my letter:

"i am not, nor have i ever been, against people, gay or otherwise. i do believe acting on your homosexual desire is a sin, however it is no worse a sin than lying or stealing or cheating. all of which i think is horrible. but gosh, if that stopped me from being friends with a person, i'd be pretty lonely! ALL of my friends are sinners. i am a huge sinner.

but i can (and do) still love you ever if i don't agree with your choices. i hope you can love me even if you don't agree with mine. if you don't want to continue a friendship me because of my religious beliefs, it will make me sad; i knew you were gay when i sent the friend request to you. i have several gay friends (including you... i thought).

i acknowledge that you need to do what feels like it is right for you and if that means you can't accept my friendship because i disagree with this aspect of your life, i guess we always have the good times from college and i will continue to think of you fondly. friend, i pray for blessings and only good things to befall you and your partner."

he hit 'ignore'. it broke my heart a little bit, i think.

there is a huge difference between the person who is sinning and the sin itself. i still consider him my friend, even though he obviously doesn't feel that way about me. somehow, he has the idea that a friendship can only happen if i approve of his behavior, and that my disapproval meant i wasn't a true friend. how tragic. for both of us.

is it me? was my response too truthful for him to be my friend? because the truth is that i love him, sinner and all. i thought he would have remembered that about me; i don't shy away from the hard kind of love, the Godly love. i don't use God as a condemnation, because i fall way too short - my own sin is glaring and out there. luckily, God proved He loved me more than He cared about my sin (which doesn't excuse it, but puts our sin in perspective).

i thought my loving him would be enough for a friendship, even without my approval about a certain aspect of his life. it seems to be enough with other people i disagree with, such as my liberal and atheist, jewish and muslim friends. it is true that love isn't always enough, but i never expected it to happen with me.

or have other 'christians' seen his sin as something that somehow makes their own sin seem less, that being gay is a 'worse' sin than being a liar or being prideful? or because he is gay, it excuses them from loving him?

iowa has allowed gay marriage. it's going to be interesting to see how people react. will practicing Godly love matter? or will the disapproval be the only thing heard? will the perceived judgement (on both sides) break everyone's heart like this broke mine?
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