So as I questioned this I began writing at my kitchen table over the past few days and so most of this is taken directly from those special moments...
I do not claim a denomination--I claim to be a Christian. I do not want to be identified by nothing more than believing in Jesus. Perhaps I should create my Statement of Faith. I am not sure where that came from but it came. What do I believe and why! What is my foundation? Why do I believe as I do?
STATEMENT OF FAITH
I have never claimed a specific "religion". I have always leaned towards I guess "non-denominational". But I am a Christian (a Bible believing). That should be enough in its own to describe my belief. I believe that Jesus was the Son of God and died for my sins. Perhaps I do not understand WHY my Lord had to die...but He gave His life so that I could be given Eternal Life.
My foundation is built on LOVE--not just the Love that "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). But also LOVE for others--I strive to live 1 Corinthians 13 and though I know I am not perfect, God is working through the Holy Spirit within me that I can share God's love with you!
1 Corinthians 13 (Living Bible)
"IF I HAD the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn't love others, it would be of no value whatever.
Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever. Someday prophecy, and speaking in unknown languages, and special knowledge--these gifts will disappear. Now we know so little, even with our special gifts, and the preaching of those most gifted is still so poor. But when we have been made perfect and complete, then the need for these inadequate special gifts will come to an end, and they will disappear.
It's like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childing things. In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see Him in His completeness, face to face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.
There are three things that remain--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love."
[How I LOVE that scripture...I know that I have so far to go...but what a chapter to try and live by.]
But I didn't stop with this "Statement of Faith"...a phrase that I have to admit I have never really heard speak of it was just words that were given to me...words to ponder (but I encourage you to stop and take your own look at your own statement). And like I said before I seem to get different words from so many different places...my devotional spoke of a "Continuous Conversion". I have a conversation with a friend and we talk of how one's faith can not just come at one moment and stop...one must continue growing. Then a few days later I write the following:
I am still going back to my faith--How did I get to this place?--We take in things from those before us--those around us--but until we take in those things within us, it is not real faith.--We are not saved by the faith of our fathers but saved by our faith in our Heavenly Father.
The Lord is working with me as I struggle--struggle through this place--this stepping stone of growth that is leading me higher and closer to God.
Others can not walk the same road as I--we each must follow our own path--walking towards the Light and hopefully reflecting It's glow to others we meet...who might for a brief or sometimes a long time--are walking along the same path.
There are those that follow the "highways and freeways" in which many share the same similar journey. But I think I have been put on the "back country road"--it may take me a long time to get there but it has been a beautiful ride.
Lord, I thank you for the words--words that the Holy Spirit gives me to comfort my soul--to show me the blessings I have in my life. I thank you for this day and I thank you for this journey.
I am not well versed in Theology and have not read the entire Bible--But I am a student. I am learning and growing--and as the devotion said working towards a "Continuous Conversion".And so I think of the devotional where Oswald Chambers says "Do not look at someone else and say--well if he can have those views and prosper why cannot I? You have to walk in the light of the vision that has been given to you and not compare yourself with others or judge them, that is between them and God."
Yes, this was a very emotional blog from my kitchen table...but I was prodded to share (a hard thing to do I might add). And so I thought I would use it to start off my New Year...plus it is a Saturday...probably my favorite blogging day. And so as many times I have a song given to me while I am writing and today it was Born Again being sung by Third Day and Lacey Moseley. This one seems to just touch my emotion of giving thanks of this place that I am. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i6ItvVQfOs
I started a new devotional today given to me by a friend and it starts of the new year as I ponder this daily walk I am taking. This comes from A.J. Russell in "God Calling":
So from my kitchen table I say God be with you this new year and that we each find that personal vision that God has given us and continue to grow!"Our Lord and our God. We joy in Thee. Without thy Help we could not face unafraid the year before us."
There is a Way by Newworldsson