Rough Faith

I recall a song that I was taught as a child, “Jesus loves me, this I know.  For the Bible tells me so.  Little ones to him belong.  They are weak, but he is strong.”

Our Pastor,  Janice West,  delivered a moving message today on the book of Psalm chapter 13.  “For the director of music.  A psalm of David.  How long,  LORD?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?”  Psalm 13:1  NIV

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During my over forty-six year walk of faith I have discovered that there are segments of christianity that focus on sin and God’s judgment of it…

And there are segments that focus on God’s unparalleled amazing grace.

When you are a member of a church that is based on judgment…usually you are subject to human, fallible, hypocritical judgment.  This type of faith is a no win proposition.  No matter how much you attempt to please a leader or group of elders you ultimately will fail and become disheartened in your quest for God.

True faith in Christ and his teachings rely on him for his beautiful undeserved grace and a determination to follow his directions when he, as Psalm 13 illustrates,  does not appear to be anywhere around you or even listening to your pleas.

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Faith is a life long journey…and not a euphoric high…or a deep in the valley low.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray of those who persecute you,…”  Matt. 5:44 NIV

I have noticed through the years that when a person is telling you what a great christian they are…beware.  In this political season it has become expedient for candidates to expound on their deep christian faith and Bible knowledge.

If a leader says let’s build walls,  ban religions that are different from ours, and brand people according to their ethnicity…where is the stopping point?

Perhaps some of the reason for the recent vote by the United Kingdom to exit the European Union was regarding immigration and the desire to close borders?  Some of the rationale is hard to argue with…if you ascribe to the easy blessed life of the select christian faith and all others be dammed…because it is just to hard.

MP Jo Cox did not think that it was to hard…she was a strong advocate for helping the Syrian people in every way possible.

“You know the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.  All these I have kept since I was a boy, he said.  When Jesus heard this, he said to him,  You still lack one thing.  Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven.  Then come, follow me.  When he heard this, he became very sad, for he was very wealthy.”  Luke 18: 20-23  NIV

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IMG_0346Our burden and blessing is to live the christian life that the Bible outlines…with all of its’ struggle…hardship…and joy.

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Note: The paintings shown are my photographs from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

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