Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

Out of the blue it came, like a lightening bolt.  They had prepared their slings and arrows fashioned from their outrageous fortune and had used them with intentional force.  It was premeditated.  It was a set move.  It was nasty. 

Unless you have been living in the Amazon jungle for the last month, you may have noticed that I have published a book. I’m no marketer and you may have already been the subject of my social networking book promotion more than once. Sorry about that, but this is all new to me. You’ll see a copy of the book if you glance quickly to the right. Have a browse later on and buy one.  All the proceeds go to a micro financing project in Cambodia.

In this book I describe my journey of faith through poetry.  It is my story and it is personal.  I had expected some criticism and some push back from those who just don’t get why I would do this.  Why I would bear my soul in a book, then promote it and sell it for a worthy cause.  I get why people wouldn’t get this.  I also get that they would share there opinions – some more directly than others.  I expected this and I was prepared. 

I have often been persecuted and insulted for my faith.  Mainly the subtle stuff – the blank looks, the whispers, people apologizing for swearing in front of me (what’s with that?) and the scattering of people when I walk in the room.  All this is good.  Really.  It means that people maybe just recognize something in me that looks a bit like Jesus.  This is what I’m aiming for and it helps me to know that I’m on the right track.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
~ Matthew 5:11

What I was totally unprepared for was a trident of three premeditated and planned attacks from people I had a huge amount of respect for.  These people are Christians, followers of Jesus.  We have similar beliefs and values.  We are all writers and express our faith and actions using words.  I admire these people.  These are the people who sent me separate but clearly joint attacks about my book, about my over promotion of it, attacks about me as a person, and that I should just go back to where I have come from and be quiet. All of this of course, they claimed was in love.  Strange way to show love. 

Initially I was stunned.  Then I slowly began to recognize this for what it was.  The messages, not the people, were the evil one’s attempt to derail me, doubt myself and my God, and doubt what I was doing. 

It. Did. Not. Work. 

Sometimes as a Christian I despair, I think we need saving from ourselves. No wonder people don’t see the point of going to church. No wonder they see such hypocrisy.  It’s because it’s there and it’s real. None of us are perfect, I’m sure not.   I really believe that Christianity needs saving from religion.  I have prayed for these people, that they would see through their words and use the eyes of their heart.  This is what Jesus calls us to do.

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you ~ Matthew 5:44

Will they be on my Christmas Card list?  Probably not.  Do I still admire their work and think they are great writers?  Absolutely.  Do I or should you be surrounded by these type of people? No.

What I do know is this.  We are blessed when we are persecuted – it means that we are on the right track.  We are blessed because we serve a very big God.  We are loved by God and that is all that matters.

So what about you my friend?  Have you been persecuted lately?  Here’s a harder question. Are you a follower that people need saving from? If you are, what will you do? Maybe sometime this week, here or somewhere share your story, it may just help someone recognize that they are blessed and that they are on the right road – just maybe with the wrong people.  Perhaps you could pray for those who you know that are on this journey.

Lord, Save us from your Followers

I expected persecution
From those who have no tomorrows
But not from those who shoot their arrows
Lord, save me from your followers

I expected misunderstanding
From those trapped inside their sorrows
But not from those who sling their stones
Lord, save me from your followers

I expected slings and arrows
From those with who never lend nor borrow
But not from those who serve you God
Lord, save me from your followers

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