Life Update: A Decision Has Been Made

Hi Everyone,
I’m almost done with spring semester, and this school year in general, and have been going through a whirlwind year of faith discovery.

First, I’ve discovered that I cannot repent enough to be saved, so I’ve figured out by heart that I am saved by grace and cannot lose my salvation by works. I can, however, lose salvation if I completely reject God, though. I’d have to spit in the face of God to do that. So, I’m Arminian by faith.

Second, I’ve been going back and forth on the Trinity for the past month to two months. I’m not exactly sure when I started getting interested in the Trinity, but it’s been growing on me ever since. Last week, after my last flip-flop (and confusing posts on the blog and Instagram), I decided to stick with the Trinity. I’ve now told others that I’m interested in studying it, and they are holding me accountable.

This journey with Christ is interesting, but I know the first two things to do are: Write letters to Christ about his mortal journey, and meditate on the presence and love of God in Christ. God is still God – he just came in the form of Jesus. So, the Son is also God. Trippy, but cool. I still pray to Heavenly Father, but I’ve been acknowledging Jesus as God the Son and mediator to the Father.

Now is the time to build my testimony of the God in Christ.

I’m mourning the loss of a Unitarian faith, but with each passing day, it seems to be getting better. I don’t like conservative Christianity that lacks social justice and fighting for the oppressed, though. If I’m ever going to be a trinitarian Christian, I’m going to be a progressive, open-minded, justice-fighting Christian. We are meant to love our neighbors as Christ loved us, right?

This is a strange and weird territory, but I know I can do this. I do sincerely apologize for all the flip-floppy posts on here. I’ve decided to keep them up to show my sincere faith journey.

Alleluia – Christ is Risen! Now as God became a servant on the cross for us, let us serve our fellow neighbors for God.

Amen.

Jesus: The Mouthpiece of God, a Testimony

Hi everyone,
If you haven’t read in my last blog post, I’ve decided to CANCEL my break from the blog. Amidst needing to post about Easter and still wanting to be Unitarian, I know that I can stay strong in this faith journey and have decided to keep the blog OPEN.

ONE thing that stuck out to me while reading about the Eastern Orthodox faith is that Jesus is the very mouthpiece of God. Not only is he the Son of God, but is very much of essence of the Father. As an unorthodox Unitarian (hahaha, get it), I love that. It reminds me of the LDS faith, in which Jesus is the stand-in God for Heavenly Father in the Old Testament, but without all the baggage of the LDS faith, including tithing, giving up coffee, and giving up the lectionary.

It’s not that I don’t want to sacrifice for my faith – I just don’t find tithing or giving up coffee biblical. And even the Jews followed some sort of lectionary (Torah portions) back in Jesus’ day.

But anyway, I love Heavenly Father (God) being a distinct, spiritual being from Jesus. There is only One True God, and One Lord, Jesus. And the Spirit? I’m not completely sold on the Spirit being completely personified in the Gospel of John, Romans, and Revelation (and possibly elsewhere). But, I can’t imagine the Spirit being anything else but God’s power. Personifying it is weird to me – even if my position is not biblical.

Oh well. You can’t be a biblical-literalist fully – it’s just impossible. I can write about that on another post!

So, I sit here praying to my Heavenly Father, because Jesus tore the curtain between us and God and acts as our high priest and mediator, giving us direct access to God’s throne of mercy and grace in times of need! I talk with Jesus, as Paul and the other Disciples post-resurrection spoke with Jesus. Jesus guided them as the “arm of the LORD” and loved them dearly. I gladly hope Jesus loves me just as much.

I’m still not satisfied fully, spiritually, though. I know one-day I’ll return to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but today is not that day. One day I’m hoping the church will be more welcoming to all, including our queer folks and part-member families, and might allow at black tea to be drank.

I know, I know, I want to be a Pastor and be non-trinitarian, too. Basically, I want my cake and be able to eat it, too! It’s not right, I know this. I need to be willing to make some sacrifices, but I’m not willing to make those right now.

One day, I will.

Also, I’m not sure how this post went out the way it did. It seemed so organized in the beginning…

Alleluia and Amen.

The Aftermath of a Faith Crisis: A Testimony of God

Hi everyone,
Today, with class being done, I’m recuperating and thinking of God, Heavenly Father.

I am a Unitarian Christian. This means I place more emphasis on God than Jesus, but do include Jesus in my faith story and love him with all my heart.

For so long in my short time as a Christian, I struggled with prayer. Who am I praying to exactly? Belief in the Trinitarian God didn’t make any sense – I couldn’t imagine this God as a power in my life. Prayer at church was awkward, even though I believed Jesus to be the incarnate God. I didn’t really read my Bible at the time, and when I did, only read the Epistles, not the Gospels. It was a summer after attending an Independent Baptist Church that I read the Gospels. It was that summer that I just knew that I was a Unitarian. God, the Eternal Spirit (as I would learn about him), was my God. Jesus, God’s second-in-command and my best friend, has been through this with me in all of this. He has been strength, my meditation, my hope. His sacrifice on the cross opened salvation for me. Over time, I also moved away from a works+grace theology into just a grace theology, but kept the idea that we can lose our salvation if we forsake Christ all together.

I’ve matured in my faith, and each faith crisis I have brings me that much closer to God, His Son, and His Spirit.

I don’t believe the Holy Spirit to be a person – that belief takes away from Heavenly Father BEING ONE GOD, and three gods in one makes my head spin. God isn’t a clear picture for me, then.

I firmly believe God isn’t a complicated, mystical being – but a Spirit that loves us with all he can.

So, I’m just basking in the never-ending presence of My God, the Almighty Father of all of us (both believers and members of creation). I’m getting more confident in my faith each day, and I hope to see my relatives in Heaven one day and see God the Father and Jesus Christ face-to-face!

Amen and Amen.

Love, Leigh Todd

LORD? You’re there, right?

Hi Beloveds,
Today is the first Sunday in Lent. We lost an hour due to daylight savings time, which made me late to church (37 minutes late to work, to be exact!), but I still got to sing to my Jesus and pray to my Father in Heaven, being enveloped in the arms of His Holy Spirit.

Today’s readings have a common theme: Calling upon the name of the Lord. In Deuteronomy 26:1-11, the Israelites are commanded to give the first fruits of their labors to Heavenly Father, in remembrance of what God did for them when they called out to him in Egypt. He rescued them, as they were in a desperate situation. In the Psalms, David (as tradition says he is the author) cries out to God the Father in hope. He declares that the Lord is his “refuge and fortress” and that he “rests in the shadow of the Almighty.” He declares, further, that we can call upon the name of the Lord, where he will not only be ever-present with us in our troubles, but will “deliver us and honor us.”

In the New Testament, Jesus becomes the Arm of the LORD (Isaiah 53:1). He is a refuge, our hope, our fortress. He becomes the way in which the Father interacts with the world, through God’s Holy Power. In Luke 4:1-13, this Jesus walks through the desert for forty days, fighting temptations from the devil. He says to only serve Heavenly Father and to not test God Almighty.

Then, finally, in Romans 10:8b-13, Paul reminds us that EVERYONE, not just Jews like in the past Exodus, can be saved by calling upon the name of the LORD. As Disciples, we are saved by calling upon the name of the Lord via baptism (Acts 22:16).

Calling upon the LORD in past times was reserved for trouble and praise. Surely, David and all the other Psalmists cried out to God in both praise and in anguish. David sinned A LOT, yet the LORD was always near to his heart. Jesus reminds us that even in the desert, we should look to God through worship, praise, and anguish. I can only imagine that he relied upon the LORD when he was tempted, hurt, hungry, and anxious for his ministry, death, and resurrection ahead. In Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Paul explains that calling upon the Lord Jesus and Heavenly Father is not just for little pains or crying glories, but for salvation itself! As David explains in Psalm 91, “I will show them my salvation,” God shows us his salvation amidst all our troubles via our sins and others sins. That, as David sinned and repented, we can erase our sins through repentance, calling upon the name of the LORD, and baptism. We can be free of our sins. We can be free.

God, are you there? Surely, he is. Jesus and Heavenly Father are there, wrapping their arms around you through God’s Holy Spirit. Call upon them, my dears.

Be loved, and share that love, Beloveds.

Amen.

Tiny Testimony: Praying to an Unseen God

Hi y’all.

Sorry I haven’t been very active this past month.  It’s been crazy with working at Walmart (as the only female cart-pusher) and being a distance student at United.  For a tiny update on my life, I bought adult health insurance today.  HEALTH INSURANCE!  And on top of that, dental insurance too!  Now I’m just waiting for my insurance cards to come in the mail.  We’ll be using our insurance cards right away with seeing doctors and dentists and all that.

Although I don’t have much to write about for you guys, I do have something small: A tiny testimony about praying to our Heavenly Father.  Here it goes.

THERE are times when I don’t know if Heavenly Father is there.  There aren’t as many biblical Unitarian Christians out there as there are those who believe in the Trinity, and oftentimes I have to support my faith with snippets of others’ faith stories.  I feed off mostly Mormon faith testimonies (although I am hoping to join the LDS Church after I retire as a pastor.  Long story, I’ll explain later…).

I feel that there is this God Almighty out there, but I cannot see him.  I try to keep the faith in a God that is an Eternal Spirit.  It’s not easy.  I bet most people think that with my spiritual posts on Instagram, that I must be SO SURE of a God out there, but I’m not.  There MUST be a God out there – that is all I know for sure.

Praying to an invisible God is hard.  Most of the time, I feel foolish and wonder if he’s even there listening.  Like, does God even exist? – THAT question scares me.  Gone are my days of firm belief, where I was so sure that a God existed.  Building a faith of your own, let alone a faith hardly anybody else believes in is incredibly difficult.  Sustaining a lonely faith feels impossibly stupid.

But a couple of weeks ago, I went to church and we read the United Church of Christ faith affirmation (in our Disciples hymnal), and is said very plainly: We believe in you, O God the Eternal Spirit.  My heart was quickened when I read that.  I realized that others, even in Trinitarian form, believed in a spirit God.  With other’s faith testimonies of a God existing to back me up in church that day, I knew that God, the Eternal Spirit of our world that feeds us the words of Christ and delivers us from all our fears, was with us.  The Almighty Mystery and Intimate Father was and is by our side.  With Christ as his arm reaching out to us, we are never alone.  Our prayers are heard, even as I doubt that this very minute.

Someday I’ll gain enough of a testimony.  For now, I know that the Almighty is there, whether he’s the Lutheran God, the Mormon God, or just the Unitarian God.  He’s there.

Alleluia and Amen.

Love, Leigh