Come Forth

Born forgetting my identity,
Imago Dei coursing through my veins,
but lies strangled the truth.

The Creator says, “Come Forth!”

Wrapped in lies as grave clothes,
I stumble through, wondering if I will ever be free.

The Creator declares, “Come Forth!”

I glimpse freedom through tightly wound cloths.
Elusive, out of reach.

The Creator shouts, “Come Forth!”

I take a step into truth,
I watch the lies unravel as I embrace Imago Dei.
Resurrection flows in my veins, bringing life.

Megan Burmester
July 31, 2018

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Course Correction

As a Christian, it’s not surprising to me that my beliefs often go against the popular culture. This is hard for me because deep down, I really want everyone to like me but that’s another blog post. The church went against popular culture from its inception. Early Christians would not worship Caesar, thus they were punished for their beliefs. All through history, the church lived (most of the time) according to the teachings of Jesus. Except when the church became influenced by culture, and then it usually went really, really badly. Inquisition, anyone?

The calling of the church is to uphold truth, to be a blessing to the world, and to reflect Jesus well. The church also has a covenant to follow (Some in the church expect non-believers to follow this covenant but that is WRONG. We cannot expect the world to follow the covenant Christians follow. Our job is to follow the covenant ourselves; by the way, can we not be jerks about it?)

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Course Correction

I recently felt tempted to “go with the flow” of culture because frankly, it can be tiring to swim upstream. Curiously, I asked myself, “What is the big deal anyway?” You see, I worry about losing friends or being misunderstood for my beliefs.

I can point out many ways where I think the church is influenced by culture, and not the other way around. Was I blinded to it in my own heart? Apparently so.  To answer the question,  it is a big deal to “go with the flow” because it compromises my beliefs and allows culture to dictate, instead of Jesus.  I needed a course correction. I’m grateful to the Lord that He gently showed me how easily I can veer away from my core beliefs. I am to love the culture, but I am not to let it influence me. This is difficult but not impossible. It takes courage, humility and a huge dose of love. This is my prayer for myself and the body of Christ.

I’m blogging with a group of women all writing on the same topic (What is the Lord teaching me at the moment?) Click here to read Susan’s post.

 

 

This Past Weekend

This past weekend, I celebrated two different events; a graduation and a sweet memorial to a life well lived. A theme emerged from both events that challenged and encouraged me.

Some streams of Christianity sell a line that being a Christian means having an easy, breezy time with material blessings untold. I grew up with a similar theology. Usually, if suffering or pain is a part of a person’s life, it’s their fault. Thankfully, I read the Bible which corrected that messed up theology.

On Saturday, my husband graduated his eleven Bible students (they read/studied the entire Bible chronologically for the last nine months.) As I listened to the students share, I picked up on a theme. The truth is we will have trouble and pain in this life. It’s all throughout the Bible. Funny how we don’t hear this preached from the pulpit very often? Those in the Bible with the closest relationship to the Lord usually had the worst life.  Moses, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, all of the prophets,  Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, all of the apostles. Encouraging, eh? What caused them to be able to endure?

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On Sunday, I attended a memorial for my friend Karisse. She lived a truly remarkable life. Yet, pain and suffering were a part of her life though she lived life to the fullest. Joy, art, beauty, laughter, perseverance, and strength marked Karisse’s life. Neither bitterness nor resentment scarred her,  despite going through great loss, cancer treatments, cancer surgeries, sickness, and pain. What enabled Karisse to endure?

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What is the common denominator I observed? Those who profess faith in God aren’t guaranteed an easy, breezy time. In fact, it’s probably the opposite. However, they are promised Someone who will walk with them in each and every trial. The truth of Emmanuel, God with us strengthens His people to endure great suffering. His manifest presence is the ultimate blessing. This is one of the distinctions of the Christian life. This is the guarantee we are given. I see it in the lives of the Bible heroes I read about as well as in Karisse’s life. The presence of God enables His people to endure. May I hold onto this truth every day.