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Fellow Residents of Cyberspace,

Among Christian circles there exists the temptation to define the appearance and nature of the “ideal believer” – the temptation to force our personal ideas and perceptions upon others, under the guise of Biblical truth.

I have certainly never fit the mold. I’m a passionate, free-thinking questioner who possesses a staggering range and depth of feeling – a far cry from the uber-conservative, ultra-submissive types that tend to fall under this heading.

While the Bible is crystal clear when it comes to absolute truths – right is right and wrong is wrong – as a whole I view the world, not in black and white, but through varying shades of gray. And yet I do not believe that makes me any less of a Christian. Christians today seem to get so hung up on the specifics of non-essentials, but what it truly comes down to is the state of the heart.

I believe that we have been gifted with the freedom to be the individuals that God created us to be. God did not fashion mindless robots or carbon copies when he carefully crafted humanity. He created a myriad of individuals meant to reflect the many facets of his beauty and love in their own unique way.

Though we are all created in the image of God, we can not expect that the innumerable intricacies of a complex God could possibly be contained in a single human being. The combined attributes of all of humanity scarcely begin to capture the essence of God’s character. However He places certain aspects of His nature into each of us, exactly as He sees fit.

My mind drifts to the potter’s wheel as I ponder this fact. There is a definite purpose to the potter’s hands as he works over a specific lump of clay. He has a vision and a hope for the piece before him, whether it be a cup, or a bowl, or a vase. He fashions the clay with a specific aim, working and reworking it until it will serve his intent. He pours his heart into each piece so that not one surpasses another.

There are different God-given gifts, but the same Spirit disperses them. There are different types of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but it is the same God at work.

There is no set mold for the “ideal believer.” It simply does not exist. Stay true to your personal gifts and convictions but don’t be quick to pass judgement over another’s. We are all different parts of the same body.

Next week I’ll discuss a non-profit that serves the least of these that is very near and dear to my heart.

Until Next Week,

May You Live Each Moment As If It’s Your Last,

Mandy

Weekly Reflections: (Disclaimer: The great depths of my sorrow can only be justly compared to the impressive heights of my joy. If you stay tuned in long enough you’ll begin to see the silver ray of hope in even the darkest of my reflections.)

Reborn

With cookie-cutters of perfection as the goal,

This shallow world does fail to view the truth in whole.

This point of view infects the soul like a disease,

And swiftly crushes troubled hearts with careless ease.

This little life of mine would prove too great a bore,

If only versions of myself came through my door.

If all this world does crave is housing mindless clones,

We are no greater than a swarming hive of drones.

The endless facets deep within complex design,

Do keep the world engaged within this perfect rhyme.

When weakness finds true solace in another’s strength,

There’s beauty found, when you consider it at length.

Here is a word of sound advice: embrace your quirks,

Because no matter what they are, for you it works.

Before the dawn of time, with care you were designed,

With loving hand and wisened eye, you were refined.

With all my heart, I promise you it’s not too late,

To learn to love the little things you’ve grown to hate.

Forget the troubles of today and choose to shine,

Within the framework of the Lord’s unique design.

No need for fear, it’s quite alright to stand apart,

The world’s your stage, so stand up tall and bear your heart.

Resist the pattern of this world and don’t conform,

But choose a brave new path, to live above the norm.

The spark of life, an ever shining ray of light,

Will even brighten this, the deepest darkest night.

The very steps you take throughout your life confirm,

The strength and power of the faith that holds you firm.

As surely as the morning sun does shine above,

Those things you see as flaws are truly gifts of love.

Verse Of The Week:

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

What I’m Reading:

Inheritance – Book Four In the Inheritance Cycle – By Christopher Paolini

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