Gold

This time of year, I become very nostalgic. Between my birthday and the end of the year, I enjoy the time to evaluate life, what I’m done throughout the year, what I need to do better and the things I’m thankful for.

When I heard about “The Great Friendship Blog”, I knew this would be the perfect chance to brag on my oldest friend who embodies true friendship to me.

Sonja and I were forced to meet in first grade. Our moms met the summer before and I was told to make sure to befriend Sonja on the first day of school since we were in the same class. Little did I know then, how much my life would change. Throughout elementary school, we had a blast…ruling the playground, getting in trouble for talking to much, competing to finish our math problems before the other to get computer time…quickly the teachers realized we could not be in the same class so from third grade our homerooms were different. We were in the same girl scout troop. She was there throughout my parent’s divorce and other junk from my childhood. We endured the middle school and high school years..even having our frenemy times. Dealt with first loves and first heartaches. Both of us got into the accelerated college program in high school, which led to lots of late night study (gossip) sessions around boxes of pizza. Eventually ended up graduating from the same college.

In those same experiences we also had our separate paths, but always found our common ground. We ran in different circles of people, but still had our circle that we came back to. Those years just scratch the surface of the memories that we share. She has seen every stage of my life, good and bad, and has enough dirt on me to keep me from a political career. 🙂

As adults, we aren’t a daily part of each others lives (outside of social media, texts, phone calls) but I am so thankful that she is still a person that calls me out on my junk, keeps me accountable and is just there to laugh, cry, and vent with. I’m so thankful that when we do get the rare opportunity to spend time together in person, its like nothing has really changed. Even with careers, families, responsibilities…the foundation of our friendship has stayed in tact. I am so grateful to have had the same friend for the past 30 years who is such a beautiful example of what friendship means.

 

Simple.



Simple.

Is that the word that comes to your mind when you think about “the gospel”?

It should be.

I’ve been neck deep in a huge editing project of a book that is designed for teenagers who are brand new Christians. Part of this book has a section for evangelism training. In reading and editing parts of this section, I have come to the conclusion that many people think we need to explain how to have a relationship with Jesus in these huge, complicated terms. We throw vocabulary around that very few people understand. I grew up in the church. I get the words and the terminology…but I’ve also realized that explaining Christ and what He did for us has to be SIMPLE.

Jesus said that we must come to Him like little children. Matthew 18:2-5 in the Message says it well, “…I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.” Kids don’t care about what side of the theological fence someone is on. Kids just think its cool that Jesus loved them enough to die on the cross for their sins. Why isn’t that enough for us?

We have missed the point people! Jesus isn’t impressed with our head knowledge of Him. Don’t get me wrong, I did somewhat enjoy taking theology class and I have had to stop myself from getting caught up in debating issues of Christianity that really don’t matter when the rubber hits the road. I grew up in the church and began a relationship with Christ before I could do subtraction and I know how easy it is to default to talking about Jesus in big, lofty, educated terms. I can also forget that someone who didn’t grow up in the church would have no clue what our “Christianese” words mean.

We HAVE to all go back to having a child -like faith. We need to be able to share what we believe about God in terms that anyone would understand. We need to take a step outside of ourselves and think about our audience and the language that speaks to them.

We need to go back to simple.