Proper 12: Food, Water, and God’s Miracles

IMG_20180729_145040741

My view at Miller Park

Hi everyone,

I overslept, so I didn’t go to church, which has kind of ruined the whole Sunday for me, but I’m also hopeful.  I’m doing church at home, where I can read the weekly Gospel reading (John 6:1-21) and think of faith on my own terms.

Today’s home church consisted of going to Runza to get a blended cappuccino drink, walk to Miller Park to write to God, and then come home to study the lectionary.  It’s been a simple day, especially since I can’t do anything on Sundays – all the shops are clsoed!  Even the library!

In Gospel reading, it is not a calm day.  Jesus finds himself in the need to feed his 5,000 (at least) followers as they have traveled very far in a very long day.  Relying on God, Jesus gave thanks for the fish and loafs of bread and miraculously, all were fed with leftovers!  Then at night Jesus was no where to be found, so his disciples traveled across the waters toward Capernaum.   Suddenly, the disciples saw that Jesus was walking on the water in the midst of a storm!  The disciples were frightened, but Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, I am here!”

As God’s servant, agent, King, prophet, and Son and Savior, we can rely on Jesus.  As Jesus said, “don’t be afraid, I am here.”  Thanks to God, we have a Savior that can perform miracles and be by our side even when we are frightened by the storms of life.  Not only is Jesus a Savior from our sins, but he is also our Savior in our daily life.  God gave Jesus all authority in Heaven and Earth to be our Lord, and that he is.

Jesus relied on God, so we should we rely on God in all things.  Then, Jesus gave the most comforting saying, “don’t be afraid, I am here.”

So when life gets tough, rely on the miracles of God.  Rely on God and our Savior Jesus Christ when the storms around us are raging, because they will always provide and they are always here to help us.

Alleluia and Amen.

Love,
Leigh Todd

 

Thursday Testimony: God & Jesus’ Influences

IMG_20180408_102131549Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to share something small.

That something small is my testimony.

I testify that God reigns in Heaven with Jesus, and that God’s Holy Spirit roams the Earth as God’s hugging arms and life-giving breath.

I testify that God is awesome, and that he is constantly surrounding us.  His presence isn’t just in Heaven with Jesus, but all around us, engulfing us with His Love.

I testify also that Jesus is our greatest Teacher.  He revealed all of God’s teachings to us 2,000 years ago, and still lives on as God’s Servant and mouthpiece.  Years after his resurrection, he visited Paul on the road to Damascus, and then visited John to give Revelation.  Jesus still visits us as our ultimate Teacher, giving us God’s advice and both of their love.

It’s awesome to be a Christian, knowing you’ve got the whole host of Heaven on your side.

Alleluia and Amen.

Love,
Leigh Todd

Nebraskan Life: Church

Hi everyone,

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I’ll just start by updating how the Nebraskan life is going, although it can be summed up in one word: boring.  Unlike Minneapolis, where you can just walk down the street and find something exciting to do, you’ve got to make times fun.  Whether that’ll be a barbecue or going to a coffee shop, you’ve got to make things exciting (that’s why I wonder if everyone just drinks around here).

I still don’t regret moving back to my home state.  In fact, I feel more comfortable.  I’m reminded, being back here, of what I fight for: rights for everyone, whether they be LGBTQ+, women, people of lower education/lower economic status, etc.   Being back home and being a progressive Christian in Nebraska is tough, though.  Even my sister reminded me that being a liberal Christian, who for one doesn’t believe in the Trinity, will be tougher before it gets better.  I’m not looking forward to the rough journey ahead.  I’m not really in the mood to create my own church, as that is painstakingly difficult and I don’t feel trained yet to build my own church.  But, with none of the churches around York welcoming of non-trinitarians in speech or sermons, I’m not sure what else to do.  I’ve been thinking of quitting church for a while until I can travel to Lincoln and attend First Christian Church (a welcoming of all church) there.  As I said, I don’t quite feel equipped to stand up and give sermons and lead hymns.

I know going to church is good for you, but when you’re sitting in the back of the pews wrestling with the trinitarian sermon when you KNOW you don’t believe it, it’s hard.  It just doesn’t fit.  Church, as of late, feels less and less welcoming each time I attend it.

I feel like I don’t fit into any church, though.  Even though I can check out other Arminian churches, such as Catholic, Methodist, and Churches of Christ, none of them give me the freedom to not believe in the Trinity.  None offer me the grace to teach my future children my faith.  So, I’m thinking of giving up church for a while until I can attend First Christian in Lincoln.  Who knows.  I’m still waiting to hear back from their pastor on if I’m welcomed or not, though!

I ask for your prayers on this matter.

Alleluia and Amen.

Proper 10: Peer Pressure and Me

IMG_20180715_102805283Every time I attend church, I find myself thinking three things:

  1. Do I miss my old church(es)?
  2. Should I force myself to believe in the Trinity/how do I reconcile my Unitarian beliefs with the Trinity?
  3. How would I modernize this church/sermon/message?  How would I make it my own?

I thought of these three things while attending church this morning, at First Christian Church of York.  I’m still missing the structure and holy communion at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, but I can’t reconcile my Unitarian/Works+grace beliefs with the Lutheran faith.  I’ve thought about attending the Saturday services at FELC here in York, so we’ll see how that goes.  I miss celebrating Holy Communion as the literal body and blood of Christ – I don’t know why this is so important, but it is.  And in a small way, I miss infant baptisms.

As for trying to convince myself to believe in the Trinity, its not working so well.  I know what I believe, and while God coming to earth in the body of a baby to reconcile us to himself sounds very convincing, I know the Unitarian truth.  I do believe in God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to convince myself to believe in God the Son again after reading the Gospels.  Having read that Jesus prayed to our Father in Heaven makes me dream of going back to the Mormon church, so that I can at least believe in both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Then, at least I could believe in both works and grace.  Ughhh.

Lastly, I wonder how I could modernize my current church/my future church/or at least the message of Christ.  First Christian is very conservative, which is something I’m very worried about if I decide to make this place my Home Church.  I’ve heard good things about First Evangelical Lutheran Church, such as them reading progressive books by progressive female preachers.  Ugh.  Did I make the right decision in not believing in the Trinity and just grace, and leaving my old stomping grounds?  I feel a whole lot of regret right now.

How could i modernize this church?  How could I modernize its message for people of my generation?  Take peer pressure, for example.  This was our message from the Lectionary today, and I have been feeling a whole lot of peer pressure to conform in this church.  There was even a snippet in the bulletin about not conforming to this world.  Oy vey!  Doesn’t that sound fundamentalist?  I want something more progressive!  I want to talk about water conservation, taking care of our planet as stewards by God.  I want to talk about not giving into peer pressure of older generations to stay back and do nothing against oppressive societies.  DO NOT GIVE INTO THE PEER PRESSURE.  Be bold.  Care for the earth.  Care for our queer siblings of creation and of Christ.  Care for the immigrants.  Care for the vulnerable, the least of these, whether they are of the earth, of another nation, or just down the street from us.  Care, my friends.  Do not cave into the fundamentalist, white Christianity where one only focuses on personal piety.  Yes, be holy.  But don’t forget to fight the oppressive systems. (I’m more of a person to focus much more on social holiness as I don’t buy into the American ideal of personal holiness).  Let’s be socially holy people.  Christ said that if we only care about the outside of the bowl, but don’t wash the inside of the bowl, then we are nothing.  Focusing on one thing negates from social holiness.  How we treat people matters, even the point of judgement and Eternal Life (Matthew 25).

Alleluia and Amen.

-Leigh