Thursday, June 18, 2009

May I apologize?

Good morning sweet bloggy friends.

My heart is in an uproar this morning and I feel as though I may not be able to make it through this post without many tears. Which I must....because I know the Lord is asking just be me....this morning.

Because if it even effects one's worth it.

This all began in my heart this past Sunday in church. During our Sunday school lesson we looked closely at betraying Christ. Our teacher who just happened to be Amy's husband, lead us through Mark chapter 14, particularly the denial from Judas and Peter.

Two of the Lord's closest friends, his team members, his brother's, his "I'm counting on you" buds......they betrayed Him....deeply.

We looked at the Lord's reaction to his right hand men and how he handled it and I must say that I did learn a lot about how to react when someone you trust seems to betray you. But that's a whole different blog! ;)

Since Sunday, my heart has been unsettled. For many reasons. But mainly one point in the lesson we got into a little side-bar about people who are not Christians and how they may pose the question to Christians that in essence....we have a lot of nerve claiming to be who we say we are, when our lives over history don't line up with it.

Ex: Peter and Judas......denying Christ. The Crusades.....killing in the name of Christ. The "Baptist" denomination, that was actually founded out of a racial plunge........The you can't be apart of our church for this and that......The lies told from the pulpit........The crucifying of other's because they were not perfect.....

The Shame all brought on in the name of........Jesus.

Doesn't seem so pretty, does it?

Although I have never stood on a battle line and shot someone in the name of Jesus or flat out to Jesus's face denied him like Judas and Peter did......but I must say, the overwhelming conviction from this lesson has been a little unbearable.

Because, let me tell you what I have done......

I have gone out into the world at times and gone about my business like I didn't care about a soul in this world. (Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few)

I have said, "I will pray" and never did. (Exodus 20:16 "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.)

I have judged. (Matthew 7:1 Do not judge.....)

I have thought of people wrongly.(Matthew 7:3-5 says, "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?...)

I have not known my bible inside and out and not been prepared to give someone an answer for why I believe what I believe.(Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter)

I have listened to what turned out to be un-godly council because I didn't turn to the Lord first.(A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26)

I have questioned God. (Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2)

And I can find scriptures to oppose all of these other's up but time doesn't allow this morning,.........I have also had a yucky attitude at times, a sinful heart, a heart that was full of anger,jealousy, pride and even hurt and my list could go on......and on.

All of this, in "His Name".

I realize there may be someone reading this right now that is going, "What kind of girl is this?"

Yes, I would agree. What kind of girl am I? Who am I pretending to be? Who am I fooling...the answer is no one.

I am no one and am fooling no one.

Some would say that this blog is no place to be writing these types of things out, because it does nothing to bring shame to my Lord's name. They are right. But I feel there is a bigger shame in pretending, denying we "Christians" act this way, professing to be holy, righteous, set-apart people....when we are acting no different than anyone!

This is heavy.....I know.

And this morning, I feel as though I just need to apologize on behalf of whom I represent.

I, personally, follow a man who caused no harm to anyone...who loved all.....who put himself in the lowest of low positions....who stopped to help even just one person.....who came to love, to teach and to show the world the way. Who died a self-less death in order to make a way for you and I to experience His blessing here.....and later in eternity. And perhaps I, have more times than I would like to think....have too, betrayed my Lord.

I am sorry. To my Lord first. How merciful He is to forgive and forget....over and over. How loving He is to shower me with His love when I deserve none of it. How perfect of an example He left for me to follow and yet I do not. How incredible is His grace and how much he freely gives it and yet I do not always accept it.

I am sorry for who I am at times. I am sorry for every person that I have ever caused to think, "No thank you, Christianity is not for me." I am sorry for every soul that I knew I was to sow a seed of the Lord into and did not.

I am sorry.

I do not write this to have a clean heart, a pure mind or a "whew.." got that off my chest. I write this to sincerely say, I am sorry to every non-believer out there.

And I cannot apologize to you for people who need to apologize directly, I cannot change others.....but I can do something, even little ol me.....I can let it begin with me.

Don't wear the T-shirt unless you've really done it.

So to conclude this entry that I've been fighting for days to write.......I want to say.....that I am deeply sorry for all the people in this world who have been hurt in the name of the Lord, who have been treated wrong by those professing to be Christians, who have not been even given a glimpse of the love He can give heart aches.

But as a challenge to myself and every other Christian out there, I need to get off this blog......get out in the world.......and start loving like He loves because if they don't see it in me......they may never see it.

"Trust in Him at all times O people, pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge." -Psalm 62: 8


Mulchy Mama said...

Nicki, this is a wonderful heart-felt post and it might as well have been me writing it. I have done all the things you listed too.....and more. Thanks for being so real and so honest.
I need to chew on this today.
Love you, dear friend. Can't wait to get together again!!

the alleys said...

girl, i am right there with you. thank you for writing what i think most of us who heard the lesson have been thinking and struggling with all week. amen.

love you!

Ginger said...

Nicki, thank you for sharing so openly and honestly from your heart. I need to be more like Jesus everyday in my walk.

So often I talk the talk, but don't really walk the walk! You really hit the nail on the head! Blessings to you.

On Purpose said...

Girl you are awesome!

Rebecca Jo said...

I think we always need to remember this - we represent a God that we can NEVER compare ourselves to - or judge in His place... I think more Christians need to apologize for the hatefulness in this world in "Christ's name"...

once again, you've spoke to my heart

My Army Brats and Me said...

Wow my sweet friend...I dont need to cry today but that was very deep. You shine everywhere you go and I thank you for that.

Love you

Valarie said...

Nicki, I love that you are so open and sincere! I can tell you that we "all have sinned and fallen short", but God (my favorite 2 words) in His great love for us give us chance, after chance, after chance to get it right. I can also tell you that when I see you, I see Him!

I love you girl! Press on!!

Lynn said...

Visiting from Rebecca Jo's blog, and I must say you have truly blessed my heart today. Looking deep within oneself can cause so many emotions that we are unaccustomed to, and facing those is often hard to do... but you have done so beautifully, and in such a way as to bless others. Thank You!!!!

Christy said...

Love it - "Don't wear the T-shirt unless you've really done it." Thank you for your candidness. it's tough bearing ones' self like this and I commend you greatly for it! Know that you are blessing others through your blog and honesty within it. CJ

Kay Martin said...

Can an old woman give you her heartfelt words? This post is beautiful because you dared to be true and real. Oh, our Father God, must be smiling as He looks on you.

BE His daughter and surrender to His processing is His call on us. Yesterday I found myself crying out to God for a way to communicate "rest" in Him to some young Christians who are so hard on themselves in their maturing and processing.

God's mercy extends beyond anything I can begin to imagine. My frustration with those who are Christian teachers, speakers, etc. are the ones who are the opposite of who you bring to the world today. The "plastic" perfect ones scare me to shivers.

Jesus is the ONe who without spot; without shame or sin. Oh, to know He loves us and desires us to love HIm back. With warts, imperfections and human stuff we humbly come. In time through trial, tribulation, time with HIm He makes us new, shapes us into what He always destined us to be.

Be in love with HIm...Be willing for Him to work through you....Be His workmanship. Do...comes up out your BEING in Christ!!!

You are Beautiful in Christ!

Oh... what a wonderful day; May Christ reign forever more.

I'm so very proud of you!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am another visitor from Rebecca's blog. She has good taste in blogging buddies, by the way.

I have to say that I love your honesty and sincerity. That is what God calls us to.

He knows we can never be perfect, but being honest, acknowledging our sin before Him, and repenting is the name of the game.

Sharing our shortcomings with the world opens up the chance to show how God is working in us.

Sure, we slip...we're human. We choose to act in ways that go contrary to our beliefs. But God's grace...His sacrifice on the cross...cleanses us.

What a powerful testimony!

I look forward to visiting your blog often. You're my kind of gal!

Grace and peace to you, my sister in Christ.

Rebecca Jo said...

Hope you dont mind... put a link to your blog on mine today for Friday Fragments... felt like others would be blessed by your words! :)

Sharon Brumfield said...

It is a wonderful thing to have a tender heart before our Lord.
I am glad that you are hearing the voice of the Father and loving those He loves.
Love ya girl

Pinkshoelady said...

Hey friend,
I stopped by today (Saturday) and what a blessing. So powerful and needed. I needed to hear these words. God has been doing some major cleaning in my life and I know I need to share my heart just as openly as you shared yours. You touched mine today.
Thank you.
Please pray for me as I seek the right time to share my story.
Don't you live in Charlotte? I live in Rock Hill. Do you ever go to Pineville? Would love to meet you sometime.

The Patterson 5 said...

You always share straight from the heart and tell it like it is! I mentioned you in a post tonight (late)

Great-Granny Grandma said...

Really great post, and very convicting.

I'm thinking that whoever said you shouldn't blog about such things is totally wrong.

Your openness and honesty and humility, in my opinion, would touch many a hardened against Christianity heart string. You sound like an incredibly effective ambassador for Christ.