I will not disown the name Christian.

This morning as I was reading my Bible, in my Chronological plan I came to 1 Peter 4.  As I read verses 14-17 I was immediately challenged in my spirit. 

14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are greatly blessed, because the Spirit of glory and power, who is the Spirit of God, rests upon you.

15 Let none of you merit suffering as a murderer, or thief, or criminal, or as one who meddles in the affairs of others. 16 If you suffer for being a Christian, don’t consider it a disgrace but a privilege. Glorify God because you carry the Anointed One’s name17 For the time is ripe for judgment to begin in God’s own household. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who refuse to obey the gospel of God?

This is right where I am. I was just telling my daughter the other day that I have been feeling like I needed to distance myself from other “Christians” who are not acting very Christ-like.  As I look at social media and talk with family and friends, I see people using the name Christian to put others down, to rant and challenge others for things they perceive they are doing and the perceived reasons they are doing those things, like getting the Covid-19 Vaccine. (I know good people on both sides of this controversial issue.) Sadly, often I see people using the name of Christ as a weapon to cut others down, all the while seeming to brag about how righteous they are.  And yet, I don’t see this behaviour as being something that would make Christ proud.

I really believe that the enemy is using, so called “Christians,” to taint the name of Christianity so that we, as Christians, do not want to be associated with those others by being referred to with the same name.  And yet, here in the Bible, it says that if you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed.

How do we deal with this?  At first, I had tried to think of another name I could refer to myself as, like Christ follower, or something along those lines.  However, I am feeling convicted that I need to not look to distance myself, but to allow Christ to shine through me with truth, humility, love, forgiveness, and unity.  I need to ensure that my reputation as a believer is pure, not that I am better than anyone, or pure for that matter, as I am sinful, I have not even come close to perfection, but….I am striving for it.   I am daily seeking to be a true follower of Christ, and I welcome being labelled as a Christian and if that brings with it negativity, so be it – I will not disown the name Christian. 

Lord, I pray that You will guide and direct my heart to be Your true follower, to not allow what the world thinks about that name to change my desire to be labelled as Yours – a Christian.  Amen

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Digging Deeper

Am I focused on Jesus or on the miracles……

As I am reading the book of John, about the interactions Jesus had with the Scribes and Pharisees, I ask myself this question. Am I focused on Jesus or on the miracles?8DC61FAC-80C8-42F5-A4A1-C027813418D2

In light of the global pandemic of Covid 19 and all the changes that has created, I am convicted that I need to be focusing on Jesus. There are so many “theories” out there from all sides, about the pandemic and about the best way forward. My prayer is that for me, I would not just look at the outward signs that I am seeing, but would truly dig deeper and see the “heart” of the matter and what positive things might come of this if I make the right decisions.

I have been in the US now for 52 days, having left PNG (and my sweet husband) a couple weeks early for the upcoming surgery due to the pandemic and borders closing across the globe. I am still waiting for my initial doctor’s appointment to even start the process of getting in line for surgery. (Finally have initial consultation scheduled for Monday 11 May)

IMG_7149Yesterday I joined a Zoom group that my Sister-in-law Andrea Landreth leads. The speaker was Shelley Merritt, a former missionary in the Philippines; there during the time we were, so we connected immediately. Her topic was on how we all are dealing with the isolation and what good things we have discovered and what we will take out of it going forward. I immediately thought of the post I had made on instagram (above). I don’t want to focus on all of the “theories” I want to focus on the deeper matters, of mercy and justice and faithfulness and above all Love!

With my surgery being postponed, many people across the globe have been praying for me – for healing, for relief from discomfort.

I can say, I have felt that miracle, (Thank you all)  as I have been able to play and interact with my very active grand daughter almost every day. Flying kites and Styrofoam airplanes, riding scooters and helping her climb trees in the park.

IMG_5424Today is not one of those days where I am able to do what I wish, but it makes me grateful for all the days that I have been able to. And in the midst of this miracle of many days of healing, even though today is pretty rough, I choose to seek Jesus and not just the miracle.

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