Negativity Grows Like a Weed

Drawn_wallpapers_Village_Church_018776_Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. - Philippians 4:8

In a women’s group I once led, I learned a lesson about negativity, how it can take seed and grow wild. First, one person plants the seed. It is watered by people commiserating with the situation by sharing their own negative experiences, and soon the topic changes from one of encouragement and growth to a bash-it-all which has no positive effect at all. It’s a weed, thorny and deep, in its root system, and difficult to unwind. People talk against Christians on a public forum, and like my women’s group, it can take seed and turn into something else, like a website I found which bothered me a little.

A website called, Sundays Are The Worst, leave me with mixed feelings. Do we really need one more website putting down Christians?  I do understand why this pastor and his church began the website.

Personally, I am tired of Christianity being put down on the outside and from the inside. I love my fellow believers, and I think we need to return accountability within the church. A shepherd needs to keep his congregation accountable to our Christian values through the individual relationships formed within a church body. A blog is a great way to teach, but the more appropriate response would have been to hold the offending person accountable to his or her actions. Make no mistake; I do emphathise with the servers.

After working in customer service most of my life, I did not discern between believer and unbeliever. Rude behavior is a human trait and comes from both sides. Some are unaware of it, like I have heard about the older generations. Some seniors are quite frugal with every dollar and may not realize their lack of generosity. I tip 20%, and no matter how bad the service, treat each server like a human. If the service is exceptionally bad, I do not tip at all, and do not return to that restaurant. This has only happened once.

In that instance, the restaurant was empty of all but I and maybe another table. The waiters and waitresses were hanging around the coffee pot, laughing and talking, not busy at all. Our coffee cups were never refilled. We tried to get their attention, but to no avail. This was a rare circumstance of bad service. If service is slow, I don’t complain. I go out to enjoy time with the people I love. If a spot is on my silverware, I say nothing. Bad behavior does exist in Christianity, because we all struggle with sin. Sin goes unchecked because churches and the church body are afraid to offend. It’s easier to broadly sweep accusations over an entire body than to confront a particular offender head on. Political correctness isn’t just in culture, but in our body of believers, too. Negativity is easy.

Learning the lessons of bad behavior is hard. It takes humility to approach a server or someone you offended to say, I’m sorry.  It takes strength to self-examine and repentance to turn a corner, reversing the bad habits we learned as humans. How about holding each other accountable?

I believe the creators of Sundays Are The Worst have good intentions. Good lessons can be learned, but remember, there are always two sides to every story. Negativity can grow like a weed. I am reminded about what Brandon Cox said:

It is not possible to concoct a story about the church that is better than what people actually experience in the real world, but it is possible to tell the right stories and to tell them well. Part of flooding the online space with God’s glory and with the gospel of Jesus is making sure the gospel is given a great deal of attention next to all the other stories being told. This has been our mission since the beginning, and we now have more tools than ever for getting it done. - Brandon Cox, How Social Media Can Save The Church’s Brand

What do you think of this site? Share your thoughts.


Answered Because it Pleased God #222Prayers

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

Lord, may our lives be pleasing to you, and may we love well.



Easter is Coming


Do we even realize the pain Jesus went through in order that we may live?

No more have I realized my short-sightedness and recognized my apathy to the supernatural than when I read a blog on someone witnessing a death of a possibly unsaved person. In comparison with someone who dies knowing the truth to someone dying seeing the unseen hell of a lasting void without God, it’s disturbing. It’s not the first time that I have heard this. The blog also jerks me awake.

I am ashamed at my sense of apathy. I take away the power of Jesus by thinking my own strength can change things when Jesus can do things without us. I even take away the power of the Word by my actions. Why do I do that?

The Gospel is quite powerful on its own without any garnishment. No more was this shown than in Billy Graham’s, My Hope America. No wonder atheists fight to bring down crosses and abolish the Book. Little do they know of the power behind them from another source–a darker source–one with a fate already doomed who wants to bring down as many souls as possible. Our silence causes us to choose sides. So even if we claim agnostic, we are still an unbeliever. By our silence, we choose. Thankfully, God goes after His children, and even more so, I thank God for His mercy and grace. He knows I try, and He knows how much I fall short.

Only through Jesus, my mind whispers achingly. Only through Jesus…I can do all things through Him. But, Oh Lord, forgive me my apathy. Forgive me when I do not hold enough faith in Your power.

Easter is coming. The world feels like a great blanket is being pulled over it, dousing the light, as the world teaches us good is evil, and evil is good. The enlightened thinking of scholars who don’t know Christ continue to influence those who can’t look beyond the degrees or their own unhealed wounds. The minority groups yell the loudest, push the hardest, and where are the Christians?

Lord, forgive us for putting down each other when we can’t live up to each other’s expectations. Forgive us for infighting when a bigger fight exists outside the walls of our church. Forgive us for putting down Your church. My heart hurts for those hurting and for those without a voice. We need to get our hands dirty this Easter, vow to be better, close our mouths, withhold the hurtful words, do the work ourselves and stop expecting someone else to take on our burdens, and strive to speak truth with love to each other, even if it hurts a little. Forgive us for our apathy, Lord, when we take away the power of your Word and Your presence. Help us to understand. In Jesus Name, Amen

Meanwhile, I urge you to read this blog, it’s important…

So he comes to us, this man we’ll call Dave, and the drugs aren’t working anymore. Dave’s heart continues growing weaker and weaker and the doctor, he tells him straight, “Time. Only time. Maybe minutes. Maybe hours. Maybe days. What do you want to do?” Read More…

Starbucks, Girl Scouts, and Me


Remember when I wrote this article, Boycott: The War Cry?

Boycotts are effective, like in One Million Moms that fight bad programming or commercials on television most parents would object to, even the American Family Association has had some success in recent years. Your voice matters, but Perry Noble, senior pastor at Newspring Church, disagrees with the method:

“My question then would be, “what did you win?”  You succeeded in making a point, but you still have not made a difference.” Noble insists it is a matter of the heart. “…only JESUS has the power to change a heart, only through the proclamation of the GOSPEL will people hear about Jesus, and when Jesus takes over someone’s life HE will change more in five minutes that a boycott could change in 500 years.” So should we boycott?

I stopped buying Starbucks, not because of their long-held support of gay marriage, but due to the possible financial aspect of how they politically supported a same-sex bill that passed in the state of Washington. If I would vote against a same-sex marriage bill in my state, why would I give financially to support it in another state? If a boycott worked, it would harm a companies ability to continue supporting something I disagree with. That is why people boycott. However, Noble also makes a good point when he explains how many companies we’d have to boycott in order to stop financial support of an organization that help things Christians don’t agree with.

According to this site, the founder of Facebook gave $992 million to an organization that also supports Planned Parenthood. Nike announced political support towards the Oregon gay marriage initiative. The Girl Scouts tweeted some kind of pro-abortion statement.  So what do we do as Christians?

Perhaps Noble does have a point? Boycotts may still help and should be done in some cases, but bottom line: it is indeed a spiritual issue. Politically, we SHOULD fight through bills introduced in congress to protect Christians and unborn babies, and to protect marriage, but individually we should frequent places like Starbucks and work on changing their hearts one person and barista at a time through genuine friendship and love.

So, as of today, I am choosing my boycotts carefully. Starbucks may see me in their place of business on occasion (though I will do so moderately as I support locally run coffee houses). I am on the fence about the Girl Scouts. And I don’t plan on stopping my use of Facebook. Some companies grow too big, making them fearless in who they loudly support. But we can use Facebook and the products that other companies create to continue to spread the Gospel and conservative values.

What do you think about boycotts?