Christian Stereotypes I Hate

There are people who have done these very things to me. I am not better than anyone else. I am a sinner but also a child of God. I have accepted Christ as Savior and follow His way but that does not mean I am like other people who just profess to “be christian”. I am a disciple of Jesus. That means something different. I would like to talk with anyone about it and get to know YOUR thoughts. Contact me. Let’s talk.

I hate when people assume certain things about me without getting to know who I am. You probably hate that too! Whenever people figure out I am a pastor at a Christian church, they tend to always assume the following:
 1. Cussing around me is a no-no. Really? I’m honored that you feel the need to change your attitude/language around me, but you don’t need to try and be on “good behavior” when we are together. Typically, I’m not offended by your language and its not like I have never heard it before. I would rather you just be yourself than trying to be someone else for me.
2. I don’t like the gays. I understand why you may have gotten this impression considering some of the ridiculous Christians out there. But, I love them. To be honest, I don’t know why so many of my Christian brothers and sisters elevate this specifically over everything else. When it comes down to it, I love homosexuals just as much as I love you. I wish Christians would fight as passionately against poverty and sex trafficking as they do homosexuality.
3. I don’t drink alcohol. Now you won’t catch me passed out on the floor drunk, but to assume that I don’t drink at all because of my faith is a bit of an overstatement. After all, the first miracle Jesus did was turn water into wine, He knows how to keep the party going.
4. I don’t like to have fun. This probably has a lot to do with rule #3. Because “I don’t drink” then it can be assumed that I don’t like to have fun. Quite the contrary, it just means I have learned to have fun without the need of over intoxicating myself.
5. I’m judging you because you act differently than me. If I have come to realize one thing it is that nobody is perfect. Don’t worry about trying to hide your flaws or your differences because I’m not judging you anyways. Those who judge will be judged and I don’t want any part of that.
6. I am ignorant or uneducated about beliefs other than my own. Actually, it is not “my way or the highway.” Obviously, I, like the rest of Christians, spend most of my time trying to understand my own faith, but to say that I have shut my eyes to everything else in the world is absurd. Don’t assume I have no clue of what exists outside of Christianity.
7. I think I’m better than you. Somehow, because I am Christian, you assume I believe I am better than you. I understand you might get this impression from some of those who wear the Christian name tag, but humility is one of Christianity’s greatest attributes. I don’t think I am better than you regardless of who you are or what you’ve done. We are all on our own journey and everyone’s look a little bit different.
8. I’m Republican. Laugh. Out. Loud. No comment.
9. I ignore science. You might be under the assumption that things like the “Big Bang” and natural selection kill my theory for religion, so I just ignore them altogether. The truth is, I love science and it doesn’t crumble my faith at all. I am just as interested as you are to see how God did it and have yet to come across something that totally shakes my faith to the core on whether or not there was a creator.
10. I’m a hypocrite. Unfortunately, you probably assume this for righteous reasons because you have seen it a lot. But, I want to break the stereotype and say what I mean and do what I say. Of course I fall short just like everyone else, but I am never preaching something that I’m not willing to do in my own life.
Granted, there are probably a lot of Christians out there who meet every single one of these, but don’t assume we are all the same!

Originally posted on www.brettshoemaker.me

Get into the boat.

God granting miracles

A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religous man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

This Joke got me to thinking about how sometimes we take all the good things God blesses our life with.  We pray for many things and we know what we want but yet when the blessings pass us by because only see what we want to.  God can bless us in many ways  with  things that look the same, maybe a  job, a home or someone to love us.  Our idea of what we want is not going to be the same as what God will offer us, it’s up to us to not over look it and jump in the boat when it comes our direction.

Life

Man, it’s been a long times since if posted any thing about me!  Life is still going on! lol  Yeah, it’s not been easy and I’ve been “burning the candle at both ends” a lot the last month.  I have been blessed with a new church, didn’t plan on changing churches, it just happened.  I been working real hard on starting up my I am second small group and maybe that’s why God lead me to St. Mark’s in Marion.  I’ve been “single” (I hate that word) now for about 2 years and I am OK with it.  I think God wants me to be single, that way I can do more for Him. lol. But I know He doesn’t want us to be alone and I keep praying for to Him that he’ll bring someone into my life.  All that I ask for is that she be a Christian and loves music, any thing else I can deal with.

Last year for my birthday, I got myself a guitar and hope to take lessons.  I wish I would have never gave it up back in JR high!  I’m just not sure that I can learn to play again!  I watch youtube videos and try but my fingers are so big, it’s not easy to finger the frets.  A week after a got my guitar, I was blessed with the opportunity to start working with one of the best country band around this area.  I am so happy to be helping Black Diamond and have the chance to learn from some of the best musicians around.  I also want to try to learn to play keyboards too but what’s been in my heart all of my life is singing!  I never thought I was good enough and until I started to sing with the choir at my old church that  I started to learn that I was wrong.  I have always dreamed of singing on stage (who hasn’t right?) but why?  It’s not about me, it’s my way of expressing what life has taught me and giving hope to others who need it.

Well, stay tuned. I’ll try to post more “Broken Road Reflection” about God, life, love.

Kent

Giving Up?

Have you ever felt like giving up? Elijah did. The Lord had just used him to show the nation of Israel that the Lord is God (1 Kings 18). Yet, the threats of Queen Jezebel so alarmed him that he ran to Beersheba, 100 miles south (19:3). Then he walked another 150 miles south to Horeb, the mountain of God.

I alone am left; and they seek to take my life. —1 Kings 19:10

Twice God asked Elijah what he was doing there (vv.9,13). Both times he answered with identical words—“I alone am left; and they seek to take my life” (vv.10,14). He had become so preoccupied with his own fears that he had forgotten what God had done through him at Mount Carmel. Despite his great victory, Elijah plunged into the depths of discouragement. How easy it is for us to do the same.

God did not accept Elijah’s notice that he was quitting. Instead, He commissioned his tired servant to handle three major tasks (vv.15-17). And by the way, Elijah was wrong when he said he was the only faithful one left. God had 7,000 others who had not bowed to Baal (v.18).

Perhaps, like Elijah, you are despairing at the circumstances in your life. Let God speak to you (v.12). Instead of allowing you to quit, He will show you what you can do through His strength.

Life goes on 3.23.10

Almost a year ago, my life was turned upside down by someone.  On March 25, 2009 I was forced to leave the place I was renting, not because I didn’t pay my rent but because of someone accusing me of trying to harm them.  I had about 20 minutes to load up any thing I could into the back of my van.  I took what I could including Toby my dog and left every thing else behind not knowing at the time that the person accusing me would take every thing I left behind and never gave it back.  I had no place to go, so I just stayed in my  van with my dog.  I lived out of the van for a week and then rented a hotel room for a week, but let’s just say the hotel was not a 5 star hotel!

Not having a lot of cash saved up made it hard to find a new place to live.  I was looking at Craig’s list and found a place in West Amana, it’s not much but it will do.  I moved in on April 1st and have been living there ever since.  If you know any thing about me, you know I’ve made a few mistakes and have been trying to get my life back together.  Ever since I was arrested, I knew I had to find a church but just didn’t have the courage too.  The week before I was forced to live where I was living, I was dating a wonderful woman who loves the Lord and she encouraged me go to church.  I was afraid to go to the church where my mother was a member of, thinking they “knew who I was” or better yet, what I did!  Some how, I got up the courage to walk through the doors.  The night I was forced to leave was a Wednesday night and the church was having a Lenten Super at the church.  Since I now was homeless and no place to go, I though I would stop by the church and see if I could hang out with them.  It felt really odd, not knowing too many people there and just walking in on them but they really made me feel welcomed.  They even had a bible study that night and I stuck around to study with them.

That was a year ago and I have been going to church all most every week, only missing 2 or 3 weeks.  They have accepted me, or should I say; they just love me as I am.  I have done so much in the past year, Bible studies, Community work, Walk to Emmaus , Lay Speaker training, and even joining the church choir.  All of my life I wanted to sing but thought I wasn’t good enough to do it, but since I’ve been practicing and singing with the choir I’ve found that I can do it and really love singing!  My biggest step will be next week as I get to lead second service at church, our Youth leader who leads second service will be gone and I will be filling in for him.  If you would have told me a year ago that I would be leading and singing at  at church, I would have said; no way!

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

I am so blessed to have new family, my church family who loves me.  I give all the credit to the Lord, he alone saved me.  The old me could have NEVER done this, some times I think it’s a dream.  I still can’t believe it’s me, I know the Holy Spirit t is in me!  The old me has died and I was given a new birth, a life in Christ.  I no-longer live for me, but live to glorify the Lord.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) by Chris Tomlin

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns, Unending love, amazing grace.