I was raised, bathed, immersed, in a Christian home. Not just a Christian Home – but a Church Goin Churchianity Home.
In the 1980’s we wore sweatshirts with the words NOT ASHAMED – the only trouble was that we lived in the Bible Belt of America – where the only shame seemed to be of those who weren’t participating in church lock-ins and Spring Break Mission Trips. I had no problem with shame – what others thought – of my church activities. In fact, I had alot of pride. Still battle with pride over all of the opportunities that we had in those days in Oklahoma City attending the huge churches – all of the connections to celebrity and opportunity. It was easy to wear the sweatshirt.
Romans 1;16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God's power for the salvation of everyone who believes, of the Jew first and of the Greek as well.
But as I grew older – I was immersed in a different home. It was the World, Work, School. It told me that Christian Sweatshirts were OK for youth rallies, but not the work place. That our Joy of Christ needed to be replaced by our Spirit of the Mascot of our school. That our fellowship with the youth group was training to blend and carry to the fellowship at the local pub with employees networking in the evenings. I never lost my thrill of the “glory days” of churchianity, yet, taken out of that bible belt experience, I wasn’t sure how to blend the World and the Church. When the Church just wasn’t important in the Northwest – the activities weren’t there – neither was my passion. I kept my sweatshirt on – telling people of the gospel, not ashamed – yet living to produce an income, a skill, a name, product.
In 1995 I was in a very high position in a dream job – Oh for the Pride and Opportunity that came my way. People, Places, We created so much for so many – and then it fell away. It was gone, without warning, all it took was a meeting of less than 5 minutes, and my husband and I were both unemployed.
Stripped of everything I thought we had been building – We started over – using the connections and skills – to start up the ladder again. It wasn’t as hard – people love to
connect networking bar hop. On the drive to work one morning a verse came to me – 1 John 2:28. I was listening to KLight Radio in the morning – and heard a man I knew from my youth – he shared this verse - And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.KJV
I think I almost drove off the road at the Realization
– I had MISSED IT!
My whole youthful life had missed HOW TO LIVE.
I had been living so as to not be ashamed BEFORE MAN.
I had not learned to have the desire to not be ashamed
That evening, I was in a local pub, looking up at the ceiling, which was painted black, with silver flecks,
wondering – KNOWING that I would have hung my head in shame – remorse – and fear – if the Lord were to return to find me in this place. Seeking worldly connections for employment – seeking people for validation – seeking networking for the trust of security.
I left that place – driving home – and read a banner – of a contemporary service – new to the area at the time – at the First Baptist Church in Coos Bay. I met the ladies – they brought me in – which is a whole other blog post. – but it was the start.
First Baptist Church and KLight Radio – Instruments God Used in my life – so that I can live -
Are you living a life – that when he returns, you can see him Face to Face – Eye to Eye – in Confidence and Courage when He Returns?
As we enter into this time of reflecting on the Resurrection of Christ – and the Hope of His Return – I ask you – Are you Ready? With the Gospel and your Life?
This morning I was reading the book of 1st John and came to 2:28 – the memories came flooding in – it has been over 15 years – and each day, moment by moment in my day I still ask -
Is this what I want to be doing when the Lord returns?
What will He find you Doing? Believing in? Trusting in ?
More Versions – Just in Case ya didn’t hear it!
And now, dear children, continue to live in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.NLT
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.NIV
Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. NASB
And the Amplified - And now, little children, abide (live, remain permanently) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence (boldness, assurance) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming.