Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Time of Reflection/Pondering

I'm sitting here drinking my morning coffee and pondering an article I just read and decided to share my thoughts on it. The article is More teens becoming 'fake' Christians as found on the CNN website. I find this article very disturbing but also very true. It saddens me to think that teens today are so obsessed with their egos that they are using religion, specifically Christianity, as a booster! I mean, it would be completely hypocritical of me to be judgmental about it because I speak from experience when I say I did the same thing. I am very ashamed to say that I thought I had "received" Jesus back in high school and lived my life the way he wanted; however, looking back on those years, I now realize I couldn't have been further from God. On April 1, 2002, I was baptized. I had an interview with Pastor Paul of First Baptist Church of York the week prior to the baptism. He asked me if I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Of course I responded yes; however, I didn't really understand at the time what that meant. I didn't know I had to pray and ask Him to come into my heart. I also didn't realize what it meant to "live my life for God". I knew I had to read the bible and try to follow what it said, but didn't really take that to heart. There was a constant barrage of sex, immorality, and depravity everywhere I turned: TV, sex, movies, music, and even many of my friends! I had the values and standards of society, not of God. Looking back now, it's very disturbing to me that I called myself Christian, yet hardly lived my life that way. I went to church every Sunday and was involved in everything I could get my hands on including youth group, hand bell choir, choir, puppet ministry, drama ministry, etc. I tried time and time again to live my life the way God wanted, but I had excuse after excuse why I just couldn't live up to His standards. Who was I kidding? I was so busy with boys, school, after school activities, and work that I didn't have time to read the bible and figure out what I was supposed to be doing. Instead of turning to someone for help, I just let each indiscretion and sin slide by without another thought. I usually only prayed and cracked open my bible on Sundays (unless I really wanted something during the week). The only other time I can remember opening my bible on a non-Sunday was when I was in emotional turmoil or during the time when I was attending a Youth Disciple class. I got my bible as a baptism present and absolutely loved it! It was the NIV Study Bible for Students. It had a topical index in the back and was laid out in a way that was easier to understand than the KJV. I really enjoyed reading it but didn't take the meaning to heart. Looking back, I really wish I had opened it more and really took in the meaning of what those beautiful words had to say! But that's hindsight...

It wasn't until a few years ago that I understood the term "lukewarm Christian" (those who go to church every Sunday but don't live their lives for God during the week). I was deeply humbled and ashamed at this realization. I decided last month to get re-baptized because I had recommitted my life to Christ a couple of years ago and try each day to live my life the way I'm supposed to. I recently spent time with my boyfriend's sister and her family. They have a "quiet time" everyday where they take a section of scripture, read a verse and then pray about what comes to mind. Since I was there, they asked me join them. At first, I felt really uncomfortable because I always feel that way about praying out loud and my lack of bible knowledge. I was very humbled as we went through Psalm 37: 1-9. These passages talk about anxiousness and I found myself very comforted as we were all praying together. There was nothing to be ashamed of because these people are my family, if not by eventual law, but in Christ! They aren't going to judge me because of what I say. How incredibly self-centered was I to think about how they were going to react to what I say? Anyway... What I took away from that experience is that I need to spend everyday in God's word to understand what it is I'm supposed to be doing, not only as a woman but also mother and wife to my future husband. I was so incredibly moved by the experience and really want to implement a "quiet time" in my life everyday. Well, that pondering was a little long... LoL! Until next time...

Many blessings,

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