"She's a Pagan!"
By: Susan Deborah Schiller
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.…Psalm 121:1
Well, it seems someone close to me decided to call up some people and proclaim loudly that I am a pagan. Whatever I am, I'm enjoying life. Life is beautiful. In case you're wondering what I believe… this is the beginning of a list that will take me all of eternity to finish, but it's my own little start of evaluating my own personal faith… which is only my domain, no one else's to judge. Right? One should never let another person define your identity or write any of your own life story adventures. YOU alone are authorized to define your personhood….
I believe I am God's beloved child, and that He's been close by my side every day of my life. He's promised He will never leave me, and He's proved Himself True. I cannot help but trust Him, by giving my all.
“I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age” — Matthew 28:20
I am from a Christian background, but I have left traditional Christianity. Well, let's say they pushed me out, and God met me in the wilderness where I began to painfully unlearn most of what I was taught.
Don't worry, I'm not a lone ranger. I still go to church and worship and pray with people who love Jesus. I'm just careful, because so many churches have become little cults. I've been told I'm a "dangerous" person, so if that sounds scary, you may want to run.
Free people are "dangerous" because they think for themselves. They don't blindly follow their leaders. They love God too much for that nonsense. Free people are persecuted, intensely… exiled, shunned, and sometimes murdered.
Freedom often means more problems, greater trials, and fewer friends.
Free people aren't rebels; in fact, they become even more obedient, even willing to take up their own cross. Free people lay down their lives for others. The distinguishing mark of a free person is that they don't bow down to fear. They still experience fear, but they don't base their life decisions on fear.
They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. — John 16
I believe in Love. Love is a Person.
I believe Love overcomes ALL evil. I believe my Creator has held me since the Day he created earth's foundations. I am in Him and He is in me. (John 14). We can never be separated. It's not based on my faithfulness, but His.
I live a magical life. All of life is sacred. That doesn't mean I worship creation or that I've become a New Ager or anything else. I'm just comfortable in being myself. I'm so happy I don't need to play the game anymore, the game of having it all together. The Truth has been setting me free.
I believe in Truth. Truth is a Person.
He's revealing all the lies I've ever believed. My constant prayer, since a child, has been, "I want to see as You see, hear as You hear, speak as You speak, walk with You, go where You go…"
He has honored my prayer. He used my enemies to cut me, break me, and expose the lies. I just kept looking to the hills. I kept searching for the Light.
I am blessed with His intimate presence.
I am covered by His banner of Love.
He is beauty and truth.
If you want to know what I believe. Look at what I do.
We are to examine ourselves, too, to see if we truly are in the faith. Money can be a great tool for measuring faith. If you want to know what anyone believes, look at their checkbook. Who do they support? I'm not talking about tithes and offerings. I'm talking about what they do when no one else is looking, and what they spend their money on.
There are lots of good preachers out there speaking messages of love – good sermons – but when they get home they beat their wives with demeaning looks, degrading words, and ungodly threats.
More than half our pastors are addicted to porn. Where do those tithes and offerings go? Into their wallets to be spent on addictions?
Do they practice hospitality to strangers and the people most Christians are afraid to touch? Or do they treat the least ones as if they were a disease? Do they send a support check to a global relief organization or do they get down in the dirt with their suffering neighbor next door?
I am learning to trust.
I believe in Love so much that I'm no longer afraid of the New Agers, the Indians, and all the people my leaders tried to scare me away from. In fact, I have learned so much from them, even if I can't agree on every point. I choose Love. I trust God to keep me safe from lies and ungodly beliefs, so I'm not afraid to associate or even to worship and pray with others who live in a spirit of Love.
Separating myself from the world, to me, looks like avoiding division, not creating factions or elite groups.
I'm beginning to see the Light, and it's just before Dawn.
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. "For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.… — Isaiah 60
I could recite the Nicene Creed for you and tell you that's what I believe, but seriously? Big deal! Demons can do that too!
I'm just glad my little story is included in His grand ballet. I want to be a friend of God, like Abraham whose faith was commended by his Father, God. I want to be a lover of God, like David, who was a man after God's own heart. I want to be a child of God, like Jesus, who walked and talked, calling the Creator "Daddy" and was obedient. He even learned obedience through what he suffered.
I trust God to expose darkness in me and to make me like Him. I believe in Love and I believe in Truth. I desire mercy and grace, and justice and righteousness, too. That's just me. I could add all my dozens of favorite Scripture verses, but I'll save that for another day. I love God's Word, but I take it for what it is … mainly poetry, wisdom literature, and stories.
I now see the written word as the gateway to the Living Word.
Most of all I like to read God's heart, by exploring His nature… in people, animals, and the whole wide world. My identity is discovered in Him. My inheritance is secured in Him. In Him I live and move and have my being. I believe Love and Truth are shaking the world right now, and that all that can be shaken (lies, ungodly beliefs, all that is based on fear) is being shaken.
We don't need to be afraid. Nothing of love and truth can be destroyed. God's hearing and answering our prayers… Let your kingdom come, let your will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven…
With all my love,
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