So I decided who my audience for my book will be with great reluctance. I so desperately wanted to be able to write both to a Christian and an unchurched audience, but was informed the marketing would be difficult and far too expensive for those interested in publishing my book as it would cost twice as much to market to both audiences. So I decided with apprehension, to market my book towards a Christian audience. But as I’ve thought about it, it makes sense, considering I have been a very disillusioned Christian for quite some time, seeing the great and vast divide between those who are Christians and those who know little at all about what being a Christian is about. I have a heart to see the divide and segregation diminish. Christians, by and large have become ‘out of touch’ with our world and it’s culture. It is time that Christians not only understand the culture in which they live, but to reach out in relevant ways to engage the brokenness in our world with the love of God which heals like nothing else can. Please hear me clearly when I speak of brokenness. I’m talking about those who have been impacted negatively by abuse, abandonment, rejection, addictions-directly or indirectly, broken families, broken hearts, who have had to cope with hardness around them by hardening their own hearts to self protect against hostility and evil.
I so desperately want to share God’s love with a hurting world.

But I fear that the church has done more damage than the good we are called to do in reaching out with love to those who are broken and in need. I feel strongly that the church needs a re-introduction to a God of love, truth, mercy and justice and lay down hearts of judgment towards those who have been damaged by the harshness of life, and rather embrace compassion and a message of grace and truth and love. We are living in the effects of the fall of God’s original design. We live in the era of sin and hardness, and independence and selfishness, which breeds evil towards each other when left without understanding of what the love of God can do to heal the broken, bind up our wounds, and bring joy to sorrow.

I want to expose the errors that exist within the current church system, the religious views that bring judgement and condemnation to those who need grace, forgiveness and love. The church needs to hear the message of the gospel again & again: For God so loved the world, that he sent his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16.

So with great hesitation, I decided it was time for christians to hear the message of the gospel of good news that God intended to bring to all people, regardless or religion or race, or sexual orientation, or other biases most commonly held. The reality is, God loves us all and has good news of the most unconditional love we will ever know. And a grace beyond our wildest imagination. I want to see a revolution in the church to know, to really know, what the love of God looks like and how He draws hearts to himself.

I will blog on wednesday about some of the issues those who are unchurched generally have against the church as it currently exists. It will kind of be a part two to this blog. Not enough time to get it all in one blog!

In the meantime, today I will share a few quotes from my book that will likely NOT be in the finished book, directed towards those who are unchurched, as I very much have a heart to see people know a God who loves them, simply because His love has profoundly changed my life and brings me peace, healing and restoration from my own brokenness. Because we all go through it, churched or unchurched. Christian or not. The rain falls on all of us, no matter what. Christians are no more perfect than anyone else. Anyone who tells you this is not being truthful with themselves. But God comes to bring hope to all of us, and offers a freedom we cannot understand until we experience it first hand. It is hard to know what something feels like when we haven’t experienced it.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that everyone who does not consider themselves to be a Christian, automatically feels like they are broken or empty or missing out on something. Sometimes this is not the case. I know lots of people who consider themselves happy who have not known God. I am directing this message today to those who ARE feeling hopeless about life and feel like everything is falling apart around you. And to let you know that God comes to offer hope and peace and healing.

Here Is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of my book which will not make it to the final cut, as it is more directed to those who are searching for meaning in life and wondering where to find it.

Enjoy:

“So what are we doing here? Why are we here? What is our purpose in life? Is there a purpose, or are we all just floundering around trying to make our own way in this world? What is our destiny? Do we have one? Why do we so often find that we are working hard at achieving something out of life, only to reach a goal and feel less fulfilled than we expected to feel once we achieve it? You might be focused on your career. You’ve done the years in university to pursue a path in life you thought you were passionate about only to find yourself working in a field completely separate from your original intention. How did that happen? Or maybe you ARE working in your field of expertise and you are climbing the corporate ladder hoping to get ahead, or get a bigger raise, to buy a bigger house, or another new luxury car… you may be working toward retirement, putting everything you earn into savings, so you can live easy when you retire. Maybe your hope is in romance. Find the right guy, live happily ever after, right? But what happens when you reach those goals and you become disenchanted? You work hard so you can provide the best conveniences for your family, only to find that you never have time to spend with them. Suddenly your kids are grown and moved away and you wonder how you missed out on all those years. Maybe you’ve saved your fortune for your retirement years, but now you’re there, and find you’re too sick, or too frail to do all the things you promised yourself you would ‘do later’ and later never came, and now it feels like it’s too late. What happens after the honeymoon when the real work of marriage settles in and ‘happily ever after’ is a lot harder to maintain than in the fairy tales? How quickly we get pulled into the dreams and goals our culture tells us we should pursue. “Do this, and you will find happiness.” “Follow this path and you will find success, and finally feel like you are ‘good enough’ or ‘important enough’, or better than someone else.” “Entertainment, and leisure – these are the things you want.” “This is what life is about.” But these messages are subtle. They are never so bold, but they do lure us into living a life that is less than what was originally intended. And they are good slave drivers too. They suck us in so well that we hardly realize we ‘bought into’ the idea of success, or romance as the be all and end all of life as it was meant to be. It is only when we reach the place of disenchantment with these lesser loves, the ‘fillers’ that consume our time and attention, that we begin to ask the questions again: why am I here? What is my purpose in life? Where do I find meaning in my life? What am I meant to do? Where is the love I’ve been searching for my whole life that mysteriously keeps eluding me? It is only then when our soul’s deepest needs and desires resurface pointing us in a direction to search out a better way, to find a more substantial meaning or purpose to our otherwise meaningless life.

“Each one of us hides an awful secret. Buried deep within every human soul throbs a muted pain that never goes away. It is a lifelong yearning for that one love that will never be found, the languishing in our inner selves for an all-consuming intensity of intimacy that we know will never be fulfilled, a heart-need to surrender all that we are to a bond that will never fail. The silent churning at the core of our being is the tormenting need to know and to be known, to understand and to be understood, to possess and to be possessed, to belong unconditionally and forever without the fear of loss, betrayal or rejection. It is the nostalgia for our primal oneness, the silent sorrowing for paradise lost, the age-long pursuit after the encompassing embrace for which we were created…it is the distant echo of the wail in the garden at the loss of innocence, of the grieving after a remembrance of shared freedom…the embrace of absolute oneness.” –Gilbert Bilezekian (excerpt from the book ‘community 101’).

But along with this cry for intimacy and unconditional acceptance, we also feel a need to ‘do’ something with our life, our time, our talents, our energy. We sense somewhere in the deep recesses of our being that we need purpose, direction & meaning, to contribute our strength and initiative to something. Without it, we lack purpose, and where there is no purpose, the people perish. It seems like, in order to feel like our life has been lived ‘fully’, we require meaning, belief in something, to use our reason & imagination, to contribute… we have dreams, and a sense of destiny, ambition, we require hope, and significance, on top of this need to attach and connect and find intimate relationships to enjoy. It’s built in. Without it, we wind up depressed and floundering about life wondering what it’s all about. If we don’t catch this vision, we end up living some kind of sub-existence. We just go about our every day life with a sense of drudgery or dutiful response to whatever we feel is our cruel task master.

This cry within us, this need for meaning, this loss of paradise, where did it originate? Deep inside, we know it is true. Even if we don’t think we remember what paradise was supposed to look like, our heart speaks of it in short whispers in the night… hunger. Ache. Something’s missing. Can I propose a suggestion here, that maybe, just maybe there is more to life than all of this? That there IS a specific design, task, role, purpose, for each of us here on this earth.

But what IS that design? Might I make a suggestion?

“Then God said, “let us make man in our own image, according to our own likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ And God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. And God blessed them and said to them, ‘be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and rule over…everything that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28”

If I were to continue quoting from my book, I would get into some concepts about what the Bible suggests about the purpose that God created mankind for. But I don’t want to give away too much. For now, I will leave you thinking. About meaning. And Purpose. And design. What are you living for? I would love to hear your comments, thoughts and questions on the subject.

I know many of you that don’t know what you believe about God or christianity have questions. Questions like ‘how do I know what religion is true?’ and even more specific questions and skepticism about the specific beliefs of christianity. I want to engage you on that subject. Stay tuned and ask your questions, tell me your opinions, your beliefs, your thoughts. And read Wednesday’s blog to see if you relate to some of the commonly held issues that people have with the religion of christianity. Looking forward to engaging you on the subject, no matter what your religion or beliefs are! Have a great day!!!

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