Church was spot on today. I actually read this morning. A luxery I do not often afford myself but seeing as how I woke up to dog poo. Again. I indulged. I am reading The Call by Rick Joyner and the chapter I read touched on a prison scene where people grouped themselves with their own kind. They despised differences and searched for the group of people most like them. It was about some other stuff too but the thought stuck with me how unwilling we, as a people, are to embrace differences.
Church was about The Last Lecture; What Matters Most. Some guy wrote a book or something because he is dying. Pastor posed the question 'what do we want to be known for?'. I thought about how individualism often leads only to judgement which drives us to find our own kind and water down who we are. Sad reality all around because we have so much to learn from others who are different and we need to be who we are or who we really are will die.
I love my tattoos (most of them anyway) and I spent way too much time trying to convince myself since becoming a Christian I should not love them. Two people that I love, respect and want approval from just can not stand that I have them and occassionally let me know. While I do not think someone who likes me needs to like tattoos, it pisses me off that someone would hold them against me. I have a friend that hates tats and loves long hair on women. He told me once that if when he met his wife, she had had a tattoo, he never would have dated then married her. And he ment it. Yet, he has never once made me feel like a bad person because my hair is shorter than his or judged me about my tats.
At church during the 20 second T.O. (5 minute break between worship and message) some parents asked if they could talk to me because I had taught their son in Children's Church the week before. The boy asked his parents why I had tattoos. The mom told her boy she would have to ask me and she did. I appreciated that. Truely.
I told her I just like them, like my favorite color or favorite food. I just like them but I do not feel getting one is a decission to be made lightly. 1 Samual 16:7 says people judge by outward apperance, but the Lord looks at a person's thoughts and intentions. I think you need to pray and have a peace from God about getting one but you also have to factor in judgement. If they can not be hidden, will it keep you from some jobs? Will your in-laws be appalled? Will you want to work in the church nursery and have parents feel comfortable leaving their children with you? I am just saying. We live in a world where people judge by outward apperance. I thank my God He looks at my heart and intentions.
So what would I want my last lecture to be about? I do believe it is impossible to predict how I would react if I really knew when my death would be but I know what I want my loved ones to know about me today. I have walked without the Lord as my Savior most of my life and I am convinced that without Him life sucks. It is dark and foul and vile and not worth it. I do not recommend doing life without God because it is hard enough with Him. If I die, I want to leave my love ones this advice, Matthew 22:37-39 says love the Lord with all your heart, with all your mind and all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Love God, love your neighbors and love yourself. To know what it means to love, see 1 Corinthians 13. Pray about everything and do it afraid. I want my girls to embrace who God created them to be and say screw anyone who does not approve. John the Baptist wore weird clothes and ate gross stuff and lived in the not so popular neighborhood and did what he was created to do despite what others thought about him. Now, he did need to be checked by Jesus when he let pride get the best of him (Matt 11:6) but he stayed true to who he was until the day his head was served on a platter to the king. I pray I can do the same and that my girls will follow that example.