The All Ellusive Happiness

One of the things that I always shake my head at is the concept that Jesus wants us to have everything we want and for us to lead happy, quiet Noodle Salad lives until we finally die and go to heaven. We should all have

Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestin...
Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestine meetings of Christians in pagan Kiev. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

mansions, drive expensive sports cars, have large bank accounts, and volunteer to feed the poor once a month. We should go to church each week, and sit proudly with our very well-mannered, overly groomed offspring, and beam proudly, yet humbly, as we listen to yet another sermon about tithing so we can build another youth center for troubled youth. Seriously?

No where in the Bible does He promise this, which is why the Prosperity Gospel makes me want to gag. Jesus promises us that He’ll take care of our needs, and He does occasionally surprise us with a real want, but that isn’t what Christianity is all about. He also promised us we’d be treated like He was, and He was not treated like a God and King. He was always being set up by the Pharisees. He was mocked, derided, spit on, imprisoned, tortured, and crucified. Even his own friends let him down. Talk about alone..He was probably the loneliest guy to ever live on the earth. His apostles were treated pretty much the same way. Where was this prosperity crap back then? I’ll bet the matyrs in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs would be really annoyed that they missed out on this game-changing revelation.

What I have found in my own life is that no matter what kind of hurricane is swarming around me, inside, I can be as peaceful as a sweet breeze through a quiet meadow. Peace and happiness come from inside me, through my knowledge and trust in my God, and tend to not be at all related to the circus show that tends to be my life on a daily basis. Trust me. I haven’t even begun to delve in the problems that show up in my house on a daily basis!!

The Christians that I tend to listen to, respect, and admire, are the ones that the Noodle Salad crowd would automatically reject. Hal Lindsey. He has been married and divorced, as a Christian, mind you..four or five times. The man just can’t get this marriage thing down. But I’ve listened to every thing he has come out with, and it checks out. I check EVERYTHING against the Holy Spirit and the Bible..In my own life, the Christians that have the most scars, scrapes, and horrifying stories are the ones I admire…They’re thrown off their proverbial horses on a daily basis, but they keep getting back up. They are the dangers to satan’s kingdom. I simply don’t care if satan won a battle or three in your life…what you do with that loss is what I’m looking for… All any of us can do is just say we’re sorry AGAIN, and begin yet AGAIN, until one day, you move past that test…on to the next one…

I read a real variety of blogs out there, and it has been stated more than once that Christians don’t seem to lead very happy lives…Well, all I can say for those Christians that the writers have been watching…Good for you! Satan doesn’t bother with the ineffective Christians that offer no threat to his kingdom.

We, Christians, will all rest when our work here is done. In the meantime, we have a job to do, and I hope when outsiders look at my life, they’ll be amazed that I am still in one piece, day after day…

Fortune favors the brave, my friends!! I’ll rest when I’m dead!!

– Bird

The Motorcycle Club

I am re-posting one of my earlier contributions….

As anyone can probably tell from my pictures, my husband belongs to a well-known motorcycle club. I don’t write much about this in my posts because frankly, I don’t think about it much. But, it is probably worth a minute to clarify where this culture and my Christian beliefs come together.

I once had a proclaimed Christian tell me that because I was part of this 1% culture, she could not in good conscience hang out with me anymore. This “Christian” opinion always angers me to no end. And I always refer back to Matthew 9:10-13.

“Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘ Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘ It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice”, for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'”

I was understandably nervous when my husband first began to associate with what the world would consider “undesirables”, but as I got to know each of these people, I had a powerful compassion on them. I also had to put aside preconceived opinions that I’d gathered from television, internet, and books. I had to open my mind up to the possibility that I had ended up here for a reason, and Jesus thought that His work was more important than what the Christian community around here thought.

As with any large group of people, there are going to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, just from the ones I know on a personal basis, I see that God hasn’t written off these men and women. Evidently, God isn’t bound by our social standards, and I have come to feel that He has put my husband and I here for a purpose.

Where in the Bible does Jesus say we are to only associate with those who already know Him? What purpose would that serve? If you insulate your whole existence away from those who are dying, who do you save? And what is your worth in this kingdom? Isn’t that a little like hiding your light under a bush?

My brother is a pastor of a church, and he recently wrote a book that I sincerely love. It isn’t because it is a masterpiece of wordplay. It is because in it, he chronicles the building of his church by fighting Satan in a real world setting. He talks about getting out in the real world and stealing from Satan what belongs to God. His church doesn’t put on a pious, religious front. They instead, are warriors, pillaging from Satan’s camp using every method they can think of. There aren’t great discussions on whether or not viewing Harry Potter is going to make everyone into a witch; there is a restaurant operated for the sole purpose of getting to know the people they hope to lead to the Lord. He talks about websites set up as the first taste of any church. He is fighting fire with fire.

From the time my babies were small, I’ve tried to impart to them the understanding that living a Christian life is choosing to be a soldier. The enemy doesn’t fight fair. It is a bloody, exhausting, but satisfying existence. Jesus has us here for a purpose — and working up enough faith to own mansions, labeling yourself a god (creepy, and blasphemous), and be healed of every hiccup isn’t it. We’re in a battle for souls, and everything in our lives are circulating around that. And if you, as a Christian, are leading a quiet, uneventful, rich life going to church, eating potato salad as you pat your righteous self on the back, attending seminars with other like-minded brothers and sisters, and nothing is ever going wrong for you — well, then you have been neutralized by the enemy. However, if you find yourself in the Valley of the Shadow of Death on a pretty consistent basis, then you are probably a threat, and you should be happy that at least you aren’t wasting away the talents God gave you. I find the most dangerous Christians in the world these days, emotionally exhausted, but spiritually powerful. Sometimes, you can almost see them lying in a crumpled, bloody pile with a big smile on their face. There is nothing like defeating the enemy! And the true warriors always untangle themselves, stand up, brush off the dust, bind up their wounds, and jump right back into the battle.

I am a Christian. My battlefields are no more or less important than anyone else’s. If the proclaimed Christian community has objections to my orders, they can take it up with our commander — Jesus Christ.

Ride it like ya stole it!!!

— Cathie M.