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Faith

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Why I Left The Church

This piece should really be called, Why I Left The Church (Then Went Back Because I Realized It Was All A Matter Of Perspective), but making you cringe in horror or raise your brows in interest was too good of an opportunity to miss LOL. I’ve heard so many of these stories over the last year – of people being fed up with the institution of Christianity – that I thought I’d tell my own story, and share what I learned from the experience. So here it goes:   I don’t know how you grew up, or what your parents’ preference was for suitable activities or weekend plans, but in my house, Jesus was King. That meant that almost anything and everything we did was centered around Christianity and the Church. By the time I was four, I knew every Don Moen and Ron Kenoly song by heart, and my…

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in Faith

Cool Kid Christianity: Where Grace Means You Get To Do Pretty Much Whatever You Want

Walk into any non or interdenominational church on a Sunday morning (or evening, which is when most of these churches hold their services these days), and you will most likely be met with a pleasing sight: throngs of young people in black fedoras, Justin Bieber haircuts, and ripped denim, all lifting their hands in worship of the Almighty. It’s an amazing sight to see in a generation that has such a desire to go its own way to ‘Carpe Diem’ and ‘Do As Thou Wilt‘ without regard for anyone or anything else. I know this picture well, not only because I attend one such church, but because I am one of them. I am the girl in the cool hat and Adidas originals, holding her Venti Chai Tea Latte (3 Pump, Coconut Milk, Lite Water, No Foam, Extra Hot, of course), and jumping up and down to ‘This is Living‘ at the…

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in Faith

Living in Wonderland

I have always loved stories. I think it’s something I learnt from my sister. Her love for reading was the reason I learnt to at such a young age. By the time I was 5, I was reading books far beyond my years. Soon, she began to write her own stories because it was possible she had already read everything appropriate enough for her age (and then some, I’m sure). She’d spend days pouring over notebooks and writing elaborate tales, and I was always impressed with her ability to bring life to words. When I ended up in boarding school, I took up the mantle and began writing my own stories that served as a channel to the outside world – a way to escape what was going on around me and be in a world where I could create my own narratives and outcomes (this was the topic of the…

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in Faith

Colorblind: When the Church Remains Silent

I don’t consider myself a particularly ‘politically-active’ person. While I have informed opinions on several socio-political issues, I am usually one to hold my peace until my opinion is relevant (which is not that often if I’m being all the way honest). And I will be transparent enough to admit that part of what plays into my ‘non-politicalness’ is my faith. I believe that while I am entitled to my opinion and to my feelings on an issue, God’s Word and heart trump my feelings and opinions every single time. So as a Christian who wears her faith on her sleeve, my first inclination when faced with a difficult issue is not to ignore my feelings or inclinations altogether, but to first and foremost to seek God’s heart and perspective and allow that to shape and guide my own. In the last two days two black men were gunned down and…

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in Faith

The Thief of Joy

Someone asked me a few days ago about Joy. She had just accepted Christ into her life, and was wondering if it was possible that the Joy she felt in the aftermath of that single decision could last for ever. I wished with all my heart that I could tell her it would. There’s nothing worse than having to tell a new believer that this walk is not all rainbows and sunshine. In my mind I am inclined to spin it – to come up with creative ways to bypass the truth that the path we walk is a narrow one. But instead I told her the truth: in this life you will have to choose Joy. You will come to several crossroads where pain and fear and doubt and worry seem like the obvious choices – and you will have to choose Joy. After answering, I began to reflect on all…

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in Faith

God Is Not Your Father

Your earthly father, that is. I’ve learnt that when we conceptualize our Heavenly Father, we often use our earthly fathers as a template: If your father was strict and restrictive, you see God as an authoritarian father, watching and measuring your every move by some unattainable standard. If he was loving and giving, you expect the same of your Heavenly Father: a never-ending vending machine of goodness. If your earthly Father was never around, or never cared, it’s hard to fathom that a Heavenly Father would be much different. At first I thought this father-Father comparison didn’t apply to me. I have an earthly father who is loving, somewhat strict, doesn’t give me everything I want, and always taught me who God is. But God showed me I was, in fact, no exception. Growing up, my father always placed precedence on me learning to be independent. He’d always be there…

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in Faith

Walk of Shame (For Freedom Pt. 2)

And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed or embarrassed. Genesis 2:25 The story of Adam and Eve is pretty well-known: God gives instruction, serpent tricks woman into disobeying instruction, woman eats apple and hands it over to man, God finds them red-handed, man is doomed for all of eternity. Aaaaand SCENE. The story continues that Adam and Eve on realizing their nakedness and hearing God calling for them, they hid in the Garden – as if the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent God didn’t already know what they had done or where exactly they were hiding. But the Bible says something interesting happened before they did:  Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. Adam and Eve went from being naked and…

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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! (Freedom from Lies)

A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. (John 8:34-36)   Don’t you hate that Voice? I’m sure you know the Voice I’m talking about. It’s almost impossible to miss: It’s the Voice that greets you in the morning, reminding you of all the things that went wrong the day before and how the day ahead is only going to be worse. The Voice that pipes up in that conference meeting telling you to pipe down because you are shy and you don’t actually have anything of value to contribute. It’s that Voice that points out all the things that are ‘wrong’ with you when you look in the mirror and tells you you will never be pretty enough or thin enough…

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