Two FRESH new ways to be an annoying Christian

Christianity

I’m good at annoying people. Sometimes I repel people from Jesus, the very thing, the very Person, I’d like to compel them to without even trying. How about you?

I was thinking that some of you may not have the gift of annoyance like I do. #blessed 

This blog is for you, dear brothers and sisters.

Here are a couple of ways that I’ve found are good at repelling people from Jesus.

Do these faithfully and you’re sure to succeed at being annoying for the cause of Christ:

  1. Use Christian-ese or churchy lingo so that ordinary people have absolutely no idea what you’re saying.

For example:

IMG_1370

I’ll use a conversation for a church announcement to illustrate this point.

“Ladies, if you want to be a woman of the Word, come Friday to fellowship with us. You’ll be blessed as we share time together.

Get prayed up and show up, and bring your lost friends because you are the only Bible that someone might read.”

I think this one is self explanatory.

What the heck does this mean, you may ask?

If you don’t know, then you need to get yo-self to CHURCH and start taking notes on our lingo right away so you can speak it fluently.

 

2. Love the sinner, hate the sin. I’ve actually said this. (gasp)

One of the problems with this is that I don’t see it anywhere in Scripture.

Yeah, I’m REAL good at annoying people. I’ve turned off my fair share of people from Christianity and from Jesus when I get all Pharisee-ical. See, I did it again!

That’s Church lingo for: legalist, person who looks down on others for not following the letter of the law perfectly and shuts people out for the very cause they are zealous for in doing so.

Don’t tell me you’ve done it, too? Told someone that you think they are great, but you don’t agree with their lifestyle. If this is you, maybe we can start a support group for Annoyers Anonymous.

How about if we do what Jesus did, and just love people?

Care about them and what concerns them? Period.

Right now, just as they are. Not in spite of a lifestyle, or choices. Because that’s one of the things I love most about Jesus.

He doesn’t require me to clean myself up from my sin before I approach Him, although He is Holy and could require that from me.

He wants me to turn to Him and away from my sin, but He still seeks me and you and each lowest-of-the-low person before we’ve even thought about turning to Him.

He simply loves me, and you, and the person that’s [fill in the blank] just as we each are. Right now.

He doesn’t like sin, but He also doesn’t say stuff like “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

By the way, that’s all of us. Not one of us is without wrongdoing.

When we aren’t able, or don’t FEEL love for people of a certain category, then maybe the problem is us, not them.

This is a red flag to ask ourselves, “What’s going on in my heart that I’m making Christ’s love for them conditional based on _______? (fill in the blank with behavior, lifestyle, or looks)

I don’t have the power to love people without God or without Christ in me. His love overflows from me, out to others.

Don’t be an annoying Christian. Unless you want to repel people from Jesus. If you do, these are two very successful methods I’ve used through the years.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Christine

coffeewithchristine.com

 

 

 

Fashion and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

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It’s paradoxical to say that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed through a superficial means like fashion.

A couple of days ago we received news that it is too risky for our planned mission to West Africa to happen this spring. The tension, unrest, and terrorism that’s going on is too intense to allow visitors until things settle down. My daughter, Danielle, and I were extremely disappointed and frustrated that we cannot go right now. A string of events and conversations, along with Scripture, convinced us that we must plan this trip to work with young widows and their children, orphans, and a missionary women’s retreat.

On the heels of this huge let-down, I have received several interesting phone calls this week. Three different ladies have called about giving fashion talks. I know what you’re thinking: Come on, Christine. How can you possibly connect the Gospel and fashion? It’s been a joy for me to discover that since women love to feel pretty, we are interested in fashion; ergo, we will go to events that give us fashion tips and ideas. This sets the stage for fashion and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, two completely different things that I love talking about.

Even though we aren’t going to Africa as planned, in the next few months, I will get to bring a topic of interest to women, have fun laughing with them, and tell them the truth that we are all sinners in need of a Savior, and Jesus is that Savior who conquered death and sin for us. He wants us to lay down our lives and agendas to follow Him. We’ll get to invite these women to repent of their sin and enter into a saving relationship with an amazing and holy God. I know that sin and repentance aren’t fun subjects, but I love that God allows such a shallow vehicle as fashion to be used to proclaim His great name.

Here’s the fluffy part of this talk that women may want to check out!

10 items every woman should have in her closet:

1. White button-down shirt

Goes with jeans for everyday classic, trousers for professional look

2. Great fitting pair of jeans.

Emphasis on great-fitting. If you must cut out the size tag, then do it. Just make sure you can grab these as a foundation for an outfit.

3. Suit jacket

Does double-duty, classic worn as a suit, or as a layering piece over t-shirt and jeans

4. Suit pants/trousers

You can hang these separately in your closet, to wear trousers alone with a cardigan & blouse with flats

5. Cardigan

Layering for cuteness and practicality. Who hasn’t sweat to death outside in summer, only to come inside and feel like you’re in a meat locker?

6. Little black dress

Takes you to a ladies’ tea with your cardigan, pearls and heels goes to a wedding, funeral, or church. Wear with some snappy colored heels and a fun necklace and go out for the evening

7. Good fitting cami

I can’t say enough about this one. It hides the one accessory we don’t want showing-cleavage, and smooths out trouble areas, if you know what I mean!

8. A black t-shirt, and a white one

So versatile, change up your look with pops of color using accessories

9. Classic black skirt

Target has great ones this spring. Super easy to change up your look; wear with ballet flats and t-shirt running errands, or with heels and blouse for dressy look

10. A pretty blouse

This works with jeans, skirt, or trousers. Wear with your suit, too.

 

Here’s a fun fashion blog that gives you 30 days of outfits using 15 pieces of clothing.

http://cabicanary.com/?m=2012&w=6

The power to change a life

Christianity, Jesus, new creation, righteousness, sin, truth

Wow. I had a moment recently. Have you ever been talking with someone, and as you are saying something you think is factual, the real truth will wash over you? I was talking with my college-aged son about a heinous crime that was on trial. My son is very compassionate and insightful, and he had a much kinder perspective than me. He sympathized with the victim, but also the accused. He emphasized that the accused is a human being, a person with value and feelings….I interrupted, not surprisingly, to argue my point. Yes, the accused is a person made in God’s image. BUT, they must stand before a judge to face the consequences of any wrong-doing. I emotionally presented my case; I was so certain I was right that my fingers may have been in my ears as I talked, wanting to block out anything else he was saying.

It was then that the real truth came over me, making my face feel flushed as it went downward to my chest. I realized that I was judging someone by one of their worst acts. What if you judged me by my worst acts, my worst habits, or thoughts, or attitudes? I would certainly be convicted of being a horrible human being. You would cease to remember anything good that I have ever done, because the horror of the bad things would overshadow any good. I think I suddenly stopped talking mid-sentence, but I’m not sure. Then I told my son, “Hold on, I am having a God-moment.”

If you were to judge me by the worst things I have done and said, I would be GUILTY

I saw myself clearly for a moment. If Jesus’ blood and righteousness had not ever covered my sin, I would be toast, to put it very lightly. The power of Jesus Christ to change a life is almost indescribable. If you knew me just 15 years ago, you would certainly see that God has made me into a new creation. Not a perfect person, but definitely a NEW person. A person who thinks and acts and believes differently than the old me. And now, because of the power of Jesus to change a life, when God looks at me He doesn’t condemn me to the burning pit that I deserve. Instead,  He gives me a new heart and mind, and looks at me as righteous because of His Son’s shed blood.   Does this sound a little churchy or weird? Don’t take my word for it. Check out what Scripture says in Romans 4, concerning the righteousness of God:

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (emphasis mine)

Sin

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At first I thought it was a pimple. A couple of days later when the swelling began, I speculated, maybe a poisonous spider bite? All of this was going on inside my nose, so it was hard to get a good look. I finally went to the doctor and learned that I had an ingrown hair that had abscessed. It was infected, swollen, and very painful. Gross!

Sin can be similar. Often we treat symptoms, trying to stop a compulsive behavior or simply band-aiding the issue, hoping that no one else will see it. Even worse, we ignore it and hope it will go away. Sin will infect us, people we know, and have devastating consequences when it’s not treated properly. Oh, we like to compare ourselves to others and say that we don’t struggle with any of the big sins. Haven’t murdered anyone today? Check. No adultery, check. We seem to be comfortable rating our sins, considering some worse than others. God however, is holy and sinless. Which means that any sin, no matter what degree we measure it, is contrary to the nature of our holy God. So what is sin? Wayne Grudem, professor and theologian, defines it this way in his book Bible Doctrine: Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.

Sometimes it makes us feel better about ourselves to measure our sins.

We measure sin in degrees of small, almost undetectable blips on the radar screen, all the way to murder and other heinous crimes. Maybe we barely notice or don’t bother confessing the ones we consider necessary, like a criticism or a small lie because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Scripture clearly tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That means not one of us is found pure and free from guilt in God’s eyes. It’s true that some sins affect us and those around us in varying degrees. There are sins that have catastrophic, outwardly seen consequences, while others go completely unseen, and no one but us may ever know about them.

I want the healthy habit of frequently doing as the Psalmist, who said that when you are on your beds, search your heart and be silent.  1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and purify us from all unrighteousness.  This is a great thing because the wages, or what I’ve earned from my sin, is death, which is eternal separation from God.  One issue with unconfessed and unrecognized sin is that it fools us into thinking that we’re really okay, we’re pretty good people, and that can lead to independence from God. When we get into the mindset that we don’t desperately need a Savior, we’re in big trouble!

Wayne Grudem does a great job of explaining the doctrine of sin in his book Bible Doctrine.  (link below)

http://books.google.com/books?id=Bi0jrhaviVgC&pg=PA210&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false