I’d say that there are some days that it feels like I still live there.
I’d tell them that it absolutely sucks to let this “thing” have a hold on you. That everyday you wake up, turning to this outlet, looking for comfort, peace, and joy, but instead of mercy you find a ruthless vice that may give for a little while, but quickly runs dry, and instead drains the do-er.
Whether it’s money, sex, accomplishment, happiness, or just a sense of self, I’d tell you that I’ve walked the road that all of us travel, and I’ve found none of those things on this journey. I’d tell them to put down what brings them temporary joy. Put down the sex, walk away from the drugs, leave behind you the life that revolves around you. I’d point to a different path that is free of all that. A path with only one Master, but it is a master that gives eternal life and redemption from the sorrows of this world.
And then, since they might say to me that I’m judging them, that I’m just trying to get them to act according to my beliefs, I’d tell them that if that was true than I would be just as damned, if not more so, than them.
I’d point to the man Jesus, hanging on the cross, and I’d say, “there is your judgement. There is your hate.” I’d tell them how Christ took all the pain, suffering, blame, and traded them with us so that we could walk on a different path, one that never trips us up with sin and folly, but walks us through this broken world, hand in hand, with Jesus.
And then I’d tell this person that they aren’t alone. I’m on this road. So is my church, and all my brothers and sisters in Christ. So are the apostles, the disciples, the saints and theologians of the past. This is a road of people who know we are messed up, but that Jesus loved us anyway. And if we follow Him, if we do what He says, if we have faith that God raised Him from the dead and that He promises everlasting life, then we too shall be raised from the dead and be given a new, even better life.
I’d look at this person and pull them in close, whether they have had abortions, committed crimes, lived a homosexual lifestyle, stolen, lied, gossiped, or just been mean, I’d tell them that there is so much better for them.
I’d tell them that if they don’t believe me, they should look closer. Chief sinner is my title. But there is new identity in the name of Jesus. I want that for them. He wants that for You.
Hey Guys, so for those who wish to join in..
It was fast & testimony today in my ward. I would like to share mine, you’re all more than welcome to do the same in the reblogs(or post it separately in the Mormon tag). I’m going to talk about how the Lord has us in our trials.
• In the book of Matthew in the Bible there is the account of the Saviour walking on water and beckoning for Peter to come to Him. When we are baptised we covenant to come unto Christ and to follow Him, and the Saviour asks this of us daily. Just like in the account with Peter Christ is to be our focus in our lives. Peter walked out to the Saviour and instead of keeping his eyes on Jesus he looked at the choppy waves and winds around him. I think we do this in our lives occasionally too much. When trials come upon us and life around us seems to be crashing down upon us, when the adversary sends his storms we lose focus on the Saviour and fear installs our beings, just like Peter we begin to drown. We drown in our trials, sorrows and life’s difficulties and forget the mark which is the Saviour. Peter called upon the Lord to save him when he realised he was about to go under and drown. We must do this also when we feel like we are drowning because of life. Just like the Saviour did with Peter, He will save us IF we call out to Him and ask Him.
Brothers and Sisters you will and probably are experiencing hardships in your lives and things may be hard at the moment, but I promise you that if you keep focused on the Saviour and call upon Him when you need to then you can have joy amongst your trials, faith instead of fear and you can be saved each time. The Saviour has you, and whether you want Him to or not He will always want to save you. He loves and cares for each one of you and He cares about how you’re currently feeling and what you’re going through, He’s been there before for you personally in the garden of gethsemane and He was chosen to be your Saviour. He wants to help and I know He can.
When upon life’s billows when you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost.. please please please seek out your Saviour.
I love each and every one of you.
Have a wonderful Sabbath Day however you’re spending it, with your family, partner, pets, in Gods creation, at work.. whatever. Just know your Saviour wants to know you, hold you, help you… and that He has a love for you deeper than any ocean and stronger than anyone you have met or will meet upon this earth.
If you no longer have a relationship with Him, OR it is lacking.. ORRR you have never had one, yet.. I want you to know He misses you and I’m sure he’d love to hear from you. However you worship, however you want to conduct your lives.. the Saviour loves you and will never give up on you.
(Tw for Henry Laurens manipulating the Bible and being a homophobic jerk!!! Wanna read the first three chapters? Here you go!)
CHAPTER FOUR: Between the sinners and the saints
“Remember Bible School?”
John was seated at the kitchen table, the informal one he and his sister typically ate at, most nights without their father. His younger sister, Martha, was seated across from him, on the side of the table that had a bench instead of chairs. John remembered how they used to lie down on it during rounds of hide-and-seek with their parents when they were younger. They thought it was the best hiding spot ever.
Martha looked like she wished she could hide there right now.
Henry Laurens was seated at the head of the table, hands folded and placed atop the woven placemat in front of him. There was a serene look on his face. If John didn’t know his father’s stance on weed (“it’s the devil’s plant!”) he would’ve sworn his father was high.
“Of course,” John said after a tense few seconds of silence passed between the three of them.
“What are some Bible stories you two remember from those days?”
John knew something was up. His father never asked them questions just to get to know them. Or at least he didn’t anymore. John knew there was an alterative motive–– he just wasn’t sure of what it was yet.
“‘Jonah and the Whale!’” Martha offered.
John smiled. That had been Martha’s favorite story as a child. I want to go in a whale’s belly, she’d told John. John had been too wooed by her cuteness to tell her what the story was really about.
“Moses and the Israelites fleeing Egypt,” John said with much less enthusiasm.
“Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors,” Martha added.
“The Prodigal Son,” John said with a smirk.
Their father looked as if he wanted to say something to John about that last one, but Martha thankfully saved him with another title.
“Noah’s Ark!” She exclaimed.
Another favorite of hers. She’d even had a Noah’s ark playset, carved from the wood of trees that were (supposedly) from the Holy Land. John wondered where his parents had ever found such a thing, and who had ever decided to make it in the first place.
“Good, good,” their father said, holding up his hands as if to silence them.
John hated that it worked.
“There is one that they probably didn’t tell you,” Henry said, expression still serene, but considerably more solemn. “Have you ever heard the story of Sodom and Gomorrah?”
John froze. Martha, only ten, still so pure and innocent, shook her head no and looked at their father expectantly.
John hated him right now. He hated that he was going to tell Martha such awful things. He hated that he was going to have to hear them. He hated that their father was using the fact that he rarely interacted with his children to draw them, or at least Martha, further and further in. She obviously craved his attention, and Henry, of course, knew that.
“Well, let me tell it to you,” he said with an eerie smile. He looked at John. “Do you know this story?”
John could feel the malice, the challenge, behind his father’s words. “Yes,” John said, not caring to keep the bitterness from his voice any longer.
“Then perhaps you would like to tell it?”
John narrowed his eyes at his father. If he wanted to play it like this, then, by god, they would play it like this.
“Sure,” John said. He cleared his throat and looked at Martha, making sure to smile and use a lighter, more lilting tone for her sake. “Sodom and Gomorrah is a story from the Old Testament, from Genesis.”
“That’s the one with Adam and Eve!” Martha said, excited to know something about this story already.
“Yeah, it sure is,” John said, the smile on his face hurting something deep inside him, like maybe his soul.
If you even have one of those still, a voice in his head snickered.
“So in the story, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are doing bad things. Naughty things,” John continues, pulling out his best storyteller voice. “And God is very angry with them.”
“What were they doing?” Martha asks, brown eyes wide.
“They were being inhospitable to their guests,” John said. He saw his father tense out of the corner of his eye, so he continued on before he could stop him. “They were being very rude to the people who were visiting them from other places, and God didn’t like that.”
“So what’d he do?” Martha asked, her voice a curious whisper.
“He struck them and all but one other city surrounding them and burned them to the ground.”
“But all those people!” Martha exclaimed.
“They were sinners, Martha,” Henry interjected. “And your brother left out a vital part of that story; a part that explains just why God was so harsh and swift in his judgement of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.”
“What was it?” Martha asked, looking back and forth between John and their father.
“Finish the story, John,” Henry demanded.
John thought about resisting. He thought about playing dense, claiming not to know it. But his father would know that was a lie. His father would see right through it, and the consequences would be much worse.
Still, these words pained him. How many dreams he had had about their house burning around them, fiery wooden beams falling, crushing Martha, trapping him.
“So of the people in the city were engaging in… sinful behavior.” The word hurt him. It hurt him so badly.
“What was it?” Henry prompted his son.
“Men were loving men,” John said. “In a way that is unnatural. In a way that is an insult to God.”
“That’s right,” Henry said with a stark nod.
Martha’s eyes were wider than John had ever seen them.
“So we have a new lesson to add to our repertoire today, kids,” Henry said as if they’d just finished some fun activity. “Love is between a man and a woman. Anything else––” He looked John in the eye. “Anything else is a sin.”
RISE UP AND RESPOND: WEEK FOUR
This week’s activity to counter-act the awful things the Trump Administration is doing is perfect for all you writers out there. Here’s all you’ve got to do!
1) Get a post card. 2) Write a note to Trump about a policy of his you disagree it. Make it personal, make it political, make it a combo of both–– just let him know how this is hurting you and those you care about. 3) Mail that post card to President Donald Trump / 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW / Washington, DC 20500 4) Have a lot of issues with Trump? Write and mail as many cards as your heart desires! ;)
Get writing, kiddos, and feel free to submit pics of the cards you write to me so we can share it with the fam! <333 Stay strong and keep fighting! We’re gonna defeat him as long as we do it together <333
Eating and drinking don’t make friendships – such friendship even robbers and murderers have. But if we are friends, if we truly care for one another, let us help one another spritually… Let us hinder those things that lead our friends away to hell.
Till the age of fourteen, I practiced virtue without feeling its sweetness. I wished for suffering but had no thought of finding my joy therein; that is a grace which has been granted me later. My soul was like a beautiful tree whose blossoms no sooner opened than they fell.
Offer to the good God the sacrifice of never gathering the fruits of your labors. If He so will that during your whole life you feel a repugnance to suffer and to be humiliated, if He permit that all the flowers of your desires and of your good-will fall to the earth without fruit, be not troubled. At the moment of your death He will know well how to bring to perfection, in the twinkling of an eye, beautiful fruits on the tree of your soul.
We read in the Book of Ecclesiasticus: ‘There is an inactive man that wanteth help, is very weak in ability, and full of poverty: yet the eye of God hath looked upon him for good, and hath lifted him up from his low estate, and hath exalted his head: and many have wondered at him and have glorified God.
‘Trust in God, and stay in thy place. For it is easy in the eyes of God, on a sudden to make the poor man rich. The blessing of God maketh haste to reward the just, and in a swift hour His blessing beareth fruit!’
St. Therese of Lisieux’s response to a novice that felt discouraged that she made no progress