Thursday, June 23, 2016

8 things Christians should stop doing right now!


Yes, I feel so much better now.

I seriously didn't know what to expect from the reality TV world. I feel so much better than I did 2 weeks ago!!! When you sign up for it, you really don't know what it's all about until you've experienced it. You get asked the SAME questions a million times. You're often being asked to connect to your pain in a deeper way.

So much of my past has passed! It is way behind me! However, you have to relive so many moments and go back to them when you're in interviews trying to get your story across.

In this process I have learned SO MANY THINGS!!! Indeed, we have so many amazing and supportive Christians in the world. I have received countless messages of support, and to you all, I give so many thanks. I have also received my share of hate and nonsense. I guess the religious crappy people who were religious and crappy....can still be religious and crappy. I've been asked about my heart and walk with the Lord so many times that you can just lay that question to rest now. Stop asking.

Again I will say, I am not in control of how someone edits my story....I can only hope that as the show goes on, my heart for God... and change in the world, shine through.

Now...the good stuff. I have healed in so many ways these last couple weeks. I can't tell you all the people who have come forward with apologies for not getting to know me and just writing me off. People have told me that they wanted to support me but didn't know how. Also heard from multiple retail store workers. These people had received corporate orders to remove my product from the shelves and they had to do it against their own desires. They were so kind and apologetic.

And......I've had people say they DID continue to play my music and support my albums.

It's easy to get stuck in your own brain. It's also easy to make a blanket statement when you don't have access to more information. Back when I was doing music, so much of the internet world did not exist. THANK GOD! I'm sure it would've showed me more support then I realized, which is a good thing....but I'm also sure that the crappy side of religious Christianity would've been prevalent as well.

Can I be totally honest??? I've heard comments from people saying I made Christians look bad....and let me be real now....You do not need me to do that!

Let me break this down..... Yesterday my husband and I were driving and a man kept honking his horn behind us. He obviously didn't see what we saw, he just wanted us to move and was so angry that we weren't doing what he thought we should. In actuality, we were letting a man cross the street that he didn't see in front of us. However, from his obstructed view, he felt fully entitled to his loud honking and anger.

Sometimes you need to stop and be patient with people. You can't see the full view of what is in front of them. Before you honk your horn, remember that maybe....just maybe....they see something you don't.

As Christians we can be SOOOOO quick to honk our horns. These comments and opinions are just noisy obnoxious horns that only draw attention to the negative side of our beliefs. The fact that people of faith are leaving words for all to read that are an embarrassment to what we stand for, just aggravates me.

I have a heart for change. I have a heart for people. I have a heart for God. Trust me when I say, this will all come out if things go according to plan.

In the meantime, before you honk your horns, I've made a list of things I'd like to see end in our dysfunctional Christian family. Just a few suggestions and statements that could help us start looking a little more sane online. Jesus definitely needs better publicity.

* Do not ask someone where they are at with their walk/The Lord/Jesus/their heart....and so on. Are you their appointed mentor? Pastor? Prayer partner? If not, it ain't your business. Bye. 

* Do not appoint yourself as the gate keeper to heaven. Someone's outside life may look crazy to may indicate in the most obvious of ways (in your gatekeeping expertise) that they are doomed for flames and fiery lakes. However, you may be quite surprised when they pop in on a holy dinner party in the sky. You do not have go-go gadget heart goggles. If you do, then slap it on a business card and charge hourly. 

* If you are inclined to write that God wants us to be holy.. or someone is called to be a better example....or God requires more from us....simply stop your fingers in their tracks and write something simple instead... like...."I'm praying for you" ...this is a wonderful example. Simple and sweet. It can mean I'm praying for you to do great things...or you can have it secretly mean that you're praying they get their act together. Whatever you want. 

* Singing secular music is not a form of "backsliding".....come on folks. Did Amy Grant not fight on the front lines in the army of Pop for no reason? We are to hold that legacy close to our hearts and not allow her suffering to be in vain. 

*"Are you in church?"... What kind of question is that? Clearly not your business and clearly not an indicator of spiritual stability. I do go to church, but I've done some of my craziest stuff while attending 5 days a week. I've also been at my strongest points spiritually when I went to the chapel of bacon.  So... it's just not a question you should ever ask as a gauge to someone else's walk.  

* "You're causing people to stumble".....No no honey......if my exposed q-tip legs are doing damage, you have a much bigger problem on your hands. The internet is an in-home adult xxx super store, the mind shall stumble as it allows. Christian women do not have to cover their womanly curves or skin. Now, I don't mean you should be showing off your kibbles and bits...but a little skin will not hurt the flock. 

* Jesus Loves Gay People. Yup. 

* Using phrases like "come back to your first love"...."are you lukewarm?"...."let daddy God take care of it"...."but are you on fire for God?"....these can all take a non-seatbelt-ed sit in my Grandpa's old Toyota truck with the removable shell. 

Ok....Now  I will stop myself from sounding judgmental or honking my own horn. Some of this is meant to be funny and some of it is really true. 

Let us all learn how to love first. We need to be patient with people and understanding of different circumstances. I'm such an imperfect mess of a human. I'll be the first to tell you this. My life looks ridiculous on paper and I don't need a single person to tell me that. But you see....God told me that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. He told me he knows the plans that he has for my life. He told me my steps are ordered and my mess was taken care of on the cross. If we do not begin to seek after the heart of Christ, we will not only lose ourselves, but we will truly miss the mark to being able to be the difference that the world actually needs right now. This difference will never be made in a judgmental or accusatory tone. You see it is his KINDNESS that leads to repentance. Imagine that the God of the universe is showing us kindness and yet as mere humans, we are showing does this make any sense??

Let your love and kindness be the light to make the difference. Honking makes people cover up their ears and they will never hear a thing you say ...or ever be changed by it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

When 90 seconds isn't enough - My America's Got Talent thoughts

What an amazing life-altering opportunity! Last night was an incredible moment for my whole family!!!!

I was not sure what parts of my interview were going to air and what parts were not. You kind of just take a deep breath and hope for the very best! I'm so impressed with America's Got Talent as a whole. Every producer and employee have been so amazing. They made the process totally enjoyable.

I think when you bring up anything up related to Christianity, you're going to get opinions that range from extremely positive to really negative.

People need to realize that you will not get out a full story in 90 seconds. So I would love to share a couple things that may ease your mind. Based on comments I've read I'd like to clear the air.

* I specifically said the industry took my records off the shelves and radio stations pulled the songs. I did not say it was my labels issue. I've had stores come forward in the last 24 hours and apologize for doing so.

* When you can't sell product or get air play, there is not much a label can do to promote you.

* I obviously don't mean every single Christian is bad or mean to me.

* I hope we're on for many episodes so you can hear the full story turn around and how grace can be found for everyone.

* I was married immediately after I found out I was pregnant to make the situation "right" we know, marriage is not the answer if the person is indeed not right for you.

* I do believe with ministry related setbacks, you need to take a break and gain wisdom/accountability from mentors.

* That being said, the truth is, I wasn't given a full opportunity to have a restoring moment because many called it quits on me.

* Getting pregnant does not make you a whore. Duh.

* My life is super messy so it can be easy to get it mixed up. I've made some bad decisions in my life that took over a decade to get out of. However, God's grace is bigger than anything.

I LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for your support and love in all of this. I'm so excited for the next steps.