Did you ever feel guilty when you were little for thinking church was boring? For glancing one too many times at the clock on the back wall or for filling out the outline just so you could judge how close it was until the end? I did.

Maybe you were one of those kids that had coloring books, pokemon cards, and goldfish. I didn’t. (But that is a different story.)

Anyways, I never hopped out of bed on Sunday morning the same way I did on Christmas morning. I mean, church was just boring. Plain and simple. Then I saw on TV those holy-roller churches with people falling in the floor, dancing in the aisles, and crowd surfing. That seemed pretty cool. Then I was told that was sinful. Oh.

So, what secretly got taught, unintentionally, was that church is supposed to be boring. Or, if it is boring, then that is your fault. What is wrong with you? Sinner.

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Open Doors

My view of the world that I grew up in was a world that cares so little for the poor. Late night infomercials depicting the sick and dying have caused us to grow numb. My heart was hardened. I grew up ignoring the poor, sick, and rejected. I was focused on college, careers, salaries, retirement, and success. I was told to seek safety, security, and comfort. Then someone opened the Bible and simply said, this stuff is not a suggestion.  That was when I realized that Christ calls us to abandon everything to follow him. More easily said than done. Trust me.

My friends and I have had a long journey, filled with new realizations and clearer understandings. The Bible is not so complicated anymore. We no longer try to explain away passages because they do not fit into our personal American Dreams of what we want to do with our lives. I have messed up. I have said the wrong things, in the wrong ways, in the wrong settings, with the wrong intentions, to the wrong people. I have not had love at times. I have not been clear. I have not been patient. I have not been gentle. I have failed to show respect where it was due and I have assumed things I did not truly know or understand. I guess that is proof that I am a sinner. This is why I believe repentance is a lifestyle, not just a walk down an aisle (though often times that is completely necessary). Many times I have done too many things for the praise of men. Ambition and pride is something I constantly am aware of and wish would not affect my actions. Doing all things so that every bit of the praise is directed to God is something I personally struggle with, deeply. The supremacy, love, and awesomeness of Christ should always trump every single thing I do or say.

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