Sometimes I wonder why you would want to be a Christian. We can be a total turn-off. Many of us are angry, judgmental, condescending, and downright hostile. We are so many things Jesus is not. In fact, many of you have no problem liking Jesus and what he stood for. You just don't like Christians and how we treat you! My heart aches for the mean things people have said and done to you -- for the angry mobs cursing you, the sexually abusive men of the cloth, the arrogant relatives who treat you like dirt. The list goes on.
I hope I've never treated you in a way that made you feel devalued. I love you. And God loves you. I'd like your permission to tell you more. If you're still reading, I guess I've got it. :) I have a simple message.
God loves you. He created you. Your life has meaning. You're here for a purpose. Life is hard, and sometimes people are bad. Jesus is only good. All the time. He paid a price we couldn't pay ourselves for our sin. He saved us from being separated from God forever. Because of Jesus, I have a future and a hope. I have peace. I have joy. All because of Him.
Many of you have commented that you're impressed with my faith and you're sure it's a comfort to me now that I have cancer. It is! But don't be impressed. I'm nothing special. Whatever you admire in me is pure Jesus and there's plenty of Him to go around.
Someone said, "Why would I want to believe in your God? He gave you cancer and you're a good person." God didn't give me cancer. The truth is we live in a crappy, failing world where bad stuff happens all the time. God told us it would be that way. He gives me courage, strength, and every good thing in my life (including your kindness). I honestly don't know which ditch I'd be in without Him.
Many of you know about my wild days. I get tickled when you ask why I'm so "churchy" now. It must seem odd and confusing and maybe even a little annoying. I'm really not churchy at all. I'm not religious a bit. I'm simply enjoying a beautiful relationship with my Savior.
If you have questions, you know I'm a safe place. And 12Stone Church is a safe place. I would love to put you in touch with someone more qualified than me to answer your hard questions. And if you don't have questions and this doesn't interest you at all right now, know that I love you and I'm truly thankful you're in my life. You're stuck with me as long as I'm still kicking.
Wishing I could hug you tight,
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23