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

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“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

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That Old Eclipse Feeling…

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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

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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

 

Your Master Passion

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Okay, so, I am just going to tell you what happened to me the other day. I know what the Creator told me to do this year, so what do I do, I do that, BUT I decide I’m going to do something else in the process to get the money flowing (I’m unable to work a regular job right now). Well, I bought all of this stuff and after I created the product, I was like…that was soooooooooo boring and such a waste of my time..and the little money I’d save! I started to feel bad about wasting money. Then I heard the Spirit/God say “Don’t worry about the money you wasted. I have more. It’s okay. It’s never a waste when you are trying to invest in yourself and create rivers of income.” I felt better. It was a “bought lesson.”

I saw this quote yesterday in the book, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I was not being loyal to my soul’s desire(s). I abandoned working on the things that stir my soul, my soul’s passions, to do a “right quick” thing. It’s not part of the plan. The plan is to prepare for the opportunities that are coming my way. This is all that God instructed me to do. My plan didn’t come with a side hustle or hustles. Even though, everyone is saying get you a side hustle. If the side hustle comes it must be presented as an opportunity and not something I do “right quick.” Especially, if it bores me to tears. I mean I had enough of that working at the jobs I had for 14 years. If there is a side hustle in the midst of preparing…it must be interesting and fun, hard work is fine, but I must enjoy the fruit of my labor. After all, it’s called fruit, not rocks of my labor (ha ha ha!).

~Nikki

The Language & Attitude of Believers:Oh Ye Tares!

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The language and attitude of a believer in the body of Christ should be a language and an attitude that reflects Christ. It should be evident that you are absorbing the teaching and preaching going forth in that church. You represent Christ. You represent your church. You should want to represent the best version of yourself.

If your language and attitude is baptized in negativity it is because you have heartened your heart and the Word of God can not penetrate your rocky, stony heart! Every time the church or others want to do something you open your mouth to speak: “That will not happen. They don’t want to advance. They will never be able to do that! This church is not going anywhere!”

Dear, tares of the Church, don’t you want to be a wheat? We are going to grow up around you and God will remove your negative, bad energy spirit. How God will do it? I am not sure. But it will be done.

I wonder why these people sit in a church with such a terrible attitude and such language of gloom and doom. And as I mentioned it is because their hearts are hardened, they do not allow the Word of God to penetrate their heart, they are tares! Either you are going to continue to speak this way and produce this in your own life and in your church making it difficult for the church to advance or you are going to do the WORK of changing your stony heart and funky disposition. Don’t be a HINDERANCE to the body of Christ, be a HELP!

~Nikki

Rich and Wealthy Now

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My heart is just filled with gratefulness and love this morning. Like up to the top. I even feel a little misty eyed. Thinking about how rich and wealthy we already are if we would take the time to stop and smell the roses. Totally immerse ourselves in the moment of a conversation with a friend without looking at our phones or immerse ourselves totally in the pleasure of a cup of tea or glass of wine. If we would look into the eyes of our family when we see them and hug them each time with all of our might. If we would reminisce about the fun times of childhood we would laugh and feel good about all of those good memories…rich irreplaceable moments with friends and cousins. Wealthy in our small homes and apartments surrounded by objects we adore and that are priceless and meaningful to us even if we got them from a dollar store or if it were passed down to us or given to us by a friend. Wealthy in the events of accomplishments big and small, public and private. Wealthy in nature. Yes, money cometh. Yes, wealth and riches is in your house. But just know, we are rich and wealthy in the now. -Nicole Jackson

RA Blog: All Eyes on Me (Thee)

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It seems as if everyone else is whizzing right past you as you “mosey” along or perhaps you are not moving at all. Maybe, you are stuck. Well, I have goals because I set goals. I have dreams and new dreams, new visions, things I want to see happen in the face of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and all of that other noise that seems to slow me down and sometimes get the best of me.

In the effort to lose weight, to achieve my other goals as well, it seems as if the well abled bodied people are just flying right past me. Soaring to their goals, and I, I am left behind in their dust. Me? I’m struggling to stay motivated. I can’t walk that fast, like I use to. I can’t use my hands very well today, I can’t stand as long as I use to, the fatigue…it’s what some call excuses, but it’s a reality for many of us. We are not who we use to be and oh if we would have known this was coming, we may have did the 5K or went back to school sooner.

Q: Dear God, Universe, Creator, Self, Spirit, how do I deal with all the feels of being left behind?

A: Take your eyes off others and put your eyes on me. Keep your eyes on “your” prize. Stop the comparison. It’s unfair and foolish to compare yourself with well abled bodied people and it’s unfair to compare yourself to the old self. You can’t be in the past and present at the same time. This is why you are not progressing as fast or at all.

So, with that revelation, I invite you to meditation and prayer. Center yourself during the times when you are “feeling” so much despair and disappointment. If I keep watching others I will fall. If I keep comparing myself to others, I will fail. If I keep living in the past, I can’t work in the present to prepare for my future. All eyes on the Creator. All eyes on the scriptures, affirmations, practices, that center your heart and mind.

~Nikki