Liberation Journey Log: I Don’t Apologize for Being A Christian that Reads

7646ae4322c80bdb7b4ff421440d03d5

“Only read the Bible and books by other Christians because you don’t want to become “led astray” or “confused.” I remember when I was in high school and one of my classmates was a Muslim. It was in various conversations I discovered there were many levels, simplicities, and complexities to exactly what that meant for him. It was one day in gym, a day where we didn’t have to dress out, when we had this conversation about some differences in our faiths. Two young people, discussing differences, without arguing, but to seek an understanding of “why” we see or believe things that way.

No insults were traded. No belittlement. Disbelief? Yes. Shock? Yes. Ah hah moments? Yes. Thought provoking and respectful. He said he would bring the Holy Koran to school since I had never seen one. I told my mom and she cautioned me as she had been cautioned. He brought it to school. I looked at it. I was like “Wow. Cool.” I mean what did you expect from a teenager. It was like an Indiana Jones moment. I came home and said, “Hey, Mom. Still Christian. Just letting you know.” She seemed to be relieved. I thought it was humorous.

The things is, I had been reading all kinds of books from Astrology to History. I am curious about almost everything and I lived directly behind a library.  It was only natural to seek more information and explore ideas about God outside of my faith. Was I confused? Sure about some things. But, many things only confirmed what I had always thought about God anyways. Thank goodness I read other books, spiritually led to them, taking what is true for me and letting things in the books that were not, go. When you read something, that you are led to, you must learn to EAT the FISH and SPIT out the BONES. You do not have to believe everything in a book. If it aligned itself to my core beliefs, if it aligned itself to my spirit, I was good with it. I never thought about leaving Christ. Yet, I have thought about leaving Christianity in a sense of how it is viewed by those in it and those on the outside looking in. I hate to be constrained in any way!

I read. I read outside of my faith and it has created a freedom in me I can’t explain. It allows me to be respectful to others who do not believe what I believe and it has given me a command to not be in company with those who cannot respect my beliefs. This includes other Christians as well. Who are we in respect to the Creator? We do not know it all. We do not have it all. NONE OF US DO. I have no need to put you in a Heaven or Hell. Though, I do believe there are just somethings that must be accounted for…

So, I don’t apologize for the books I read. God put the quest in me to discover what God means and who God is to me on another level than just what is between 66 books. We don’t have all of that either. How can anyone have all of God? You do not own Spirit.

One thing reading has done is allowed me to appeal to the spirit of a person. I have no qualms about what you believe or not unless it is used to harm others. It has taught me that I don’t have to understand you, to respect you. I don’t have to feel sorry for you because you do not believe what I believe. I don’t have to make you believe what I believe. I don’t have to change you. Heck, I don’t have the power to change you. Only you can change you.

Deep calleth unto the deep. If it hasn’t called you, don’t worry about me.

~Nikki

Advertisements

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Waiting and Doing

ab74dd04a967fe2c35b96a0da8ceb046

One morning when my daughter was a baby and I was on my way to work, I recall being extremely upset.  I don’t remember what my daughter’s father said or did to make me so upset that early in the morning, but I do remember driving on the expressway fighting back tears and anger. I do remember wanting to wish ill will on him, but holding myself at bay. I remember feeling immense mixed emotions. And I said “I am so angry, I can’t even pray!” Immediately, I heard a voice saying: “I will pray for you.” I wasn’t sure if it was the Holy Spirit or Jesus or an angel. It really doesn’t matter.

Yesterday and this morning I am dealing with depression and some anxiety. It was late when I got up and I laid there and just prayed some. I said, “I just don’t know what to pray anymore as I feel I may say the wrong things out of frustration.” I did not have an appetite yesterday, but ate dinner. I don’t have one today, but I have eaten lunch as I was urged to do in my spirit. I asked the Holy Spirit to pray for me and then I began to do my part. I wait for strength and change of mood and I “do” as much as I can. Yesterday, I could just do the basics and today, I am typing, sharing this with you. I have eaten.

Here is something, the entire time you are in a dark place of depression or anxiety, God is sending you messages. God is in touch with you. It could be the call from a parent, something that makes you laugh, sun on your face, an angel number with a message, a quote, something that you read, things brought to your remembrance…a number of small brief things. Inches of rope in your hope that “This moment too shall pass.” I want to encourage you, and hopefully others that have love ones that have moments like these, to let them wait and do as much as they can. Even if it is very little to you. Encourage them for the simple things. “That’s great you sat outside for a while. That’s good you got something down to eat. Eating will give you strength.” You don’t have to run over and slap oil on their heads or pray demons away. Sometimes just waiting with them, praying on your end, and encouraging is enough. My soul is waiting.

~Nikki

That Old Eclipse Feeling…

IMG_20170821_130240_487.jpg
Photo by and Property of Nicole Jackson

I still can’t put into words the “magic” or “amazing energy” that was in the atmosphere on the lawn of the Dixon Gallery and Garden yesterday. I was there almost two hours before the event started. I retrieved my lawn chair, a book to keep me company, and my snacks. I made a donation and I got my ticket. I got my eclipse glasses and now…where to sit amongst strangers?

I plopped down in the shade next to a young lady who seem to be there by herself, too. It was not moments after my settling in conversation began to flow, laughs, and the sharing of our lives. I knew I’d made the right choice when she offered to share her almonds…I love almonds! There were so many “Me toos” and so many things we had in common as two women, two different ethnicities, sharing an exciting moment in space and time. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease and she is a PTA in school who recently learned about about autoimmune diseases a few weeks ago. It was refreshing not to have to explain that it was “not arthritis.” Stories of travel, hopes of travel, life, gardening, family, and bugs! Lol! There was much encouragement to each other in our pursuits of happiness and to continue the journey.

 

 

We talked about how it was great to see the eclipse bringing the city together and sharing in the moment, the good vibes in the air, and people of all races, ages, backgrounds, careers, political parties, etc. in one place and not any of that mattered. How I wish that we could see how nature brought us together and that it’s only natural to work in unison as one. Anything else is disruptive not only to us as human beings, but also to nature.

Soon after the eclipse the weather changed. It became cooler and then we felt a rush of cool air. It gave me goosebumps. It began to rain…a cleansing rain I’d like to think. I sat my intentions as the eclipse passed (ancients say whatever you feel will be magnified. So I chose “good energy” and love of course!) and I think the rain was washing away the remnants of negativity that day.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Family Daggers Add Up

12d22fbeceaf25821bc99c204ecbe0d2

These little digs or shots of negativity, insults, slights, slickness, insensitivity, meanness, rudeness that come from family are like daggers. Short, sharp knives that after receiving so many can kill your spirit because they do add up and the silence of not saying anything about it can eat you alive. Either way, it gets old if you are the person being told to “let it slide” or “forgive them” or “respect your elders” or “that’s just the way they are.” At what point do we address the dagger throwers in the family and why is everyone afraid of them? We don’t want to hurt the dagger throwers feelings, but it’s okay for them to hurt other people’s feelings? It’s a logic I can’t seem to understand. We don’t want to cause any problems, but we refuse to put a stop to those causing the problems.

~Nikki

 

Letting Others Choose What Makes Them Happy, Even if it Makes You Less Than Enthused

e0432ac4a6c026fa2ca1457e04e11fbd

 

I do believe in doing what makes you happy and there are times that what makes you happy will not make others happy and well, vice versa. You have to remember this when people choose to do what makes them happy! It may be our children, a relative, a parent, a sibling, or a close friend. Even if we know, the outcome may not be good for them. We don’t have to accept it or we can accept it. Either way, we should respect it.

We cannot control others lives even if their lives are stressing the hell out of us. As a matter of fact, we have to learn not to let their lives stress the hell out of us! It’s not my job to choose a person’s path to learn lessons in this life and it’s not their job to choose my path on how I learn in this life. We may be allowed to provide light and water, fertilize, but we do not choose how they will grow, when or if at all! As I get older, I start to focus more on doing what makes me happy, lining up what makes me happy within my faith’s standards and understanding that God gives us all some lead way based on our own personalities and desires. Making doughnuts may make you happy. Teaching a women’s bible study may bring you great happiness. Having a wine tasting party may make you happy. Witnessing to others, going to a prison ministry, etc. may make you happy. Traveling the world may make you happy. Choosing the one YOU love and adore may make you happy. It is your choice and your consequences. It is not mines. Have no need to make others enjoy your happiness.

You argue it’s a sin! They are wrong! They are headed down the wrong path! Speak your peace when you need to in an effort to guide others, not to control others. Try to reach them yes…control them no. Quote your scripture to guide others, not to control others and then be at peace! I know it’s not that simple…but it can be.

NOTE: We are not talking about evil and maliciousness. We are talking life choices. Although, so do choose a path leading to death, unhappiness, and prison. Even in those people’s lives, I believe someone tried to reach them, guide them, shed light and water their souls. I hope.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Dealing with Adults that Play the Victim

4-quote-about-dont-play-the-victim-to-circumstances-you-cre-image-white-background

It’s a heavy topic, but it’s been on my mind for several weeks. There are a few reasons adults play the victim role such as: it gets them attention, it gets someone to feel sorry for them, it allows them to manipulate the situations and feel in control. Somewhere along the way, perhaps in childhood or with someone in their life, they found this role comfortable and acceptable. They are especially clever at using this role to create a situation, blame someone else, never say they are sorry, and then get people to be “on their side.” It’s a victory for them.

The way I deal with adults like this is the same way I deal with a child. I don’t give in to their tactics and I point out where they are wrong with logic and if necessary, scripture. Sometimes no response is the best response and to carry on with your life. Really, if you have someone in your group, crew, circle, church that is a “master” at playing the victim they need the Master to makeover  them over. They need to master their feelings. People who play the victim want you to be responsible for their feelings. They need to be responsible for their feelings!

Why with love? These people are wounded and they have become accustomed to a false sense of power. Playing the role of the victim for your entire life, or whenever it is necessary is a weak position that renders you no real power. Real power comes from:

  • accepting when you are wrong
  • healing the wounds of the past
  • dealing with your feelings maturely
  • asking for forgiveness for your lies and games
  • not needing attention from negativity or period to feel important, to validate your opinion or your feelings
  • accepting that things do not have to go your way
  • living from a position of honesty and truth is power

~Nikki