Category: church/spiritual beliefs


April 25th, 2014 — 9:36am

This has been one of those years where I’ve examined the majority of my theology and come up short. At times this is hard for me, feeling like I don’t have anything solid to stand on. But then it feels so natural. Theology, to me, is fluid. The best way for each of us to experience God is through our experiences and our experiences change the way we see things and open our eyes and wake us up. The way we see and experience things changes the way we believe.

What I’m learning is that when I start to get caught up in what I don’t believe, when my footing feels shaky, the best thing for me to do is to focus on what I do believe. (And maybe that’s where Evangelicals and non-evangelicals can find common ground too, in the beliefs they do share.) So what I decided to do was write my own personal Manifesto. To proclaim to the world, THIS is what’s important to me, THIS is what I believe. I borrowed from and was inspired by: Glennon Melton, Shauna Niequist, Bob Goff, the Liturgists, Brene Brown and Rob Bell.

One thing I can guarantee, this Manifesto, like my theology, will be fluid.

1. We were made to love and be loved.
Love is the most transformative element in the world. It is the only meaningful thing we can offer each other.

2. The POINT is relationships.
We were made to connect and we are all connected. Let me say that again. WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. ALL of us. God’s primary tool for connecting to us and showing us love is through other people. The closer we get to other people, the closer we get to him.

3.God always comes back for us.
Redemption is his language. We are all deeply flawed but I don’t think he minds so much. I think he likes us this way. One thing that I see that most of Christianity misses is his tenderness towards our flaws.

4. Our journeys are holy.
The miracle of life is in the act of LIVING. Every journey looks different and we all get to God in different ways and at different times. That’s what makes it so holy.

5. We get to (have to) be who we are.
My life will never be what it is meant to be if I do not live it completely embracing WHO I AM. I will always show up for life eyes wide open, heart bared to the world. I will always allow and encourage others to be who they are too.

6. All lives are sacred.
We are all connected. My life is for other people and I will always work for those who are marginalized, neglected, forgotten, abused, hurting and powerless.

7. We were made to create.
Beauty is the language of life. Creating is what gives us life. The pursuit of true beauty is the pursuit of God’s heart.

8. In life, there will always be brokenness.
A broken heart won’t kill us but running from it will. The brokenness is what makes the redemption so beautiful. Our capacity for brokenness is our capacity for wholeheartedness.

9. I will not be ruled by fear.
Being brave is feeling afraid but acting anyway. I will not participate in guilt (christian or otherwise).

Comments Off | church/spiritual beliefs, heart

doing it wrong

March 1st, 2013 — 12:18pm

I was standing in Starbucks the other day waiting for my drink and I overheard a conversation happening at the table behind me. Two college students were sitting there having drinks, a boy and a girl, and the boy was very analytically trying to talk the girl into believing in God. In Christianese this is called “witnessing.” I felt a stab of shame in the pit of my stomach, hoping that back in my more zealous, naive-Christian-days I never tried to talk someone into Jesus.

I wanted to turn around and tell him that he was doing it all wrong. That we can’t talk people into believing that God is real with books and statistics and the “Romans Road.” I wanted to say that we don’t talk people into Jesus with threats of the intangible hell or promises of a heaven they can’t see. We can’t talk people into Jesus at all. But what we can do is engage their hearts. We can tell them how he saved us: from hopeless marriages and heartbreak with second chances and plans bigger that we could ever imagine. How he gave hope when there was none and light when things seemed very dark and comfort to endless tears. That when life was really, really bad he whispered promises in my ear – promises that he knew what he was doing with me and that he was holding me safe in his hand. Promises that there would be better days, full of joy. Promises that came true.

I wanted to tell him that people can’t be talked into believing in God and that by trying to do so, we’re having the opposite effect, pushing them farther and father away. Dear college student, people can’t be talked into God, but they can go searching for him, inspired by how he rescued you.

3 comments » | church/spiritual beliefs, heart

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