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Almost 4 years ago, I wrote this post about being a Christian with ADHD. It made much more of a splash than I could have imagined, and I still receive comments and emails about it almost weekly. I’m still stunned that something I wrote in an attitude of humorous exasperation over my own personal condition has been so helpful to so many people!

That said, I’ve learned a lot in 4 years. I still stand behind everything that I wrote in that initial post, but I want to make some clarifications that I hope everyone, including those who don’t have ADHD/ADD, will find helpful!

1. My condition is not a mistake, but it’s not “how God intended” me either.
I hear people say this a lot, and I know their intent is good, but it irks me. Yes, this is technically “how God made me.” But I am of the firm belief that this is not how he intended me, at least not in the sense of how he intended humanity to be. It’s like looking at a person paralyzed from birth and saying, “That’s ok, it’s how God made you!” Technically, you’re right, but it’s not very nice to say, and it actually communicates a pretty serious falsehood about who God is and what He wants for us.

You see, without going into a full-blown explanation of Genesis, when God created the world, everything was perfect. When Adam and Eve first sinned, everything was thrown into chaos. From then on, the world we live in has been fundamentally broken. My messed-up brain chemistry is just another example of that. Yes, God is sovereign and knew it was going to happen. But He didn’t intentionally create me this way, and He won’t keep me this way. One day, I’ll have a new body, and I’m pretty sure it won’t include a brain with ADHD. Which will be awesome.

2. My condition makes my spiritual life different, but it’s not an excuse for a lack of spiritual discipline or maturity.
So I have a hard time focusing, my ability to sit still is limited, and I struggle with consistency. These things mean that my spiritual life will always look differently from someone with a normal brain, but I truly believe that they don’t give me license not to try. I won’t go into detail about the things that I’ve found helpful for maintaining spiritual disciplines (stay tuned for “Part 3” for that), but I will say that there are things that I’ve found helpful. I am fully capable of studying the Bible daily, praying consistently, and engage in group settings to grow.

3. My condition is NOT an excuse for sin.
I think this point is pretty self-explanatory, but I will elaborate. As tempted as I am to blame my sin on my ADHD, I know that’s not right. While it’s true that my propensity towards being impatient is caused by my ADHD, it doesn’t give me a free pass to selfishly force others to hurry up, not follow proper procedures, or otherwise make rash decisions. Yes, I hate waiting. I hate it more than I hate almost anything else in life. But the scriptures tell us, again and again, “be patient!” It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit. I don’t get to just excuse my lack of it as a “brain chemistry thing” and waltz on by. It just means that I’m going to have to pray more, repent more, try more.
I don’t get a free pass to sin, I get another opportunity to repent and rely on God to help me do what I know I cannot do on my own. 

4. I am fully capable of being a successful, mature, responsible adult who walks by faith and fulfills God’s purpose for my life.
My life will look different. I will probably never stop losing things. I will almost certainly need daily medication life-long. But I can, and I WILL be the person God made me to be. With the proper medication, a good support system, healthy Scriptural teaching, and a daily dependence on God – I can be all of the the above. I can have a life full of the good things that come from trusting God and working hard. I can learn to live life in the ways that God has prescribed. I can learn to let the truth change me for good. I can, as Jesus commanded us, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Not even the most severe ADHD could stop that. And I’m grateful for that.

5. The prescription for how to live the Christian life with ADD/ADHD is GRACE
For YEARS, I wondered how to live the Christian life as a woman with ADHD. And then one day, when I wasn’t even looking for the answer, it hit me – GRACE. Grace, grace, grace, and more grace. The answer of how to live the Christian life as a person with ADHD/ADD is the same answer of how ANYONE is to live the Christian life. We’re not special, and we’re not different. We’re sinners, and we’re desperately in need of grace.

I might sin differently because of my ADHD, but it doesn’t nullify God’s grace. I am to repent and cast myself into His arms, same as anyone else. And I know that He will accept me, because Jesus died for that. He died for my failure to be patient, for my volatile mood swings, for my lack of self control, for my wandering affections. He died for my sin. And He died that one day, I might see Him as He is – beautiful, loving, ever-patient, slow to anger and full of steadfast love and mercy. For now, I see that only in part. But one day, I will see that in full. And in that day, my brain will be healed, along with my body. I will be perfectly patient, perfectly at peace, perfectly controlled, and all my affections will be set in their rightful place – with Him, in a never-ending day of praise to the King of the Universe.

Looking forward to that day, right alongside you. Until then, Brothers and Sisters, take heart in this –
“…I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12

On Saturday, I watched two of my friends get married. Everything was beautiful, and it was all a blast, but one part in particular struck me – the beginning. Now, I know that might seem like a silly place to start, but trust me, I’m going somewhere with this.

After all the guests had been escorted in, music began to play. Everyone stopped talking, and an excited hush fell over the church. Slowly, the wedding party began to file in. Mothers, the groom, the groomsmen and the bridesmaids. After everyone was in, the doors to the back of the church closed. The music began to rise, and everyone looked backwards, necks craning, waiting for the bride to make her entrance.

Finally, just as the music hit it’s peak, the doors opened, and everyone stood. The bride stood in the doorway, dressed in white. We all watched as she made her way dow the aisle to the altar, where her groom waited.

As I watched her, the obvious question of “I wonder if that will be me someday,” arose. But then, I thought. “No, that will be US!”

As I looked at the friends who surrounded me, all of whom dearly love the Lord, I realized that one day, we would all be doing this. My mind turned to thoughts of Revelation 19 and 21, and the excitement I had for my two friends turned to excitement for all of us.

One day, Jesus will return, and he will call his Bride, the Church, to come. Made pure by the Blood of the Lamb, we will be clothed in white, ready for our wedding day. The entire universe will watch in eager anticipation as we stand, ready and waiting. The gates of Heavenly Jerusalem will open, and we will be ushered in.

As we make our way in, we will see him.  Sitting at the right hand of the Father, the one who has brought us here. Our savior. Our lover. Our groom. Jesus. And in that first moment when our eyes lock and we see him face to face, everything will change.  Every ounce of suffering, every tear, every cry, will seem like nothing compared to the weight of glory we are now experiencing.

Nothing else matters.  All our tears will be dried, and there will be no more pain, no more crying, no more death. Nothing else matters. Because we are here. He is here. And we are finally together, to be united forever.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
(Revelation 21:2-4 ESV)

“Zion” by Jonathan David Hesler

First of all, I want to apologize for the way the site looks at the moment. I’m in the process of rearranging and updating it, and I’m photoshopping a custom header for it, but that takes time. So I’m asking you to bear with me as the site remains “under construction”.

Now, onto the main point. I’ll be straightforward here. I’m an internet geek. I love anything to do with technology. I love Facebook. Stumbleupon.com. Twitter. Blogs. I get the biggest thrill when I update my facebook status or tweet from my cell phone. Don’t ask me why, I just do! It’s one of the reasons I’m so interested in online journalism – I love working with the internet. One of my internet favorites is a blog called Stuff Christians Like. Started about a year ago as a Christian adaptation of Stuff White People Like, it has quickly taken off to become an internet phenomena. The blog has emerged to become a tongue-in-cheek look at American Evangelical Christianity, examining such crucial issues as “the side hug“, “awkward opposite sex friendships” and “Chik-fil-A vs In-n-Out Burger“. And I love it. It’s hysterical. And so incredibly true. (If you happen to visit the site today, note that Wednesdays are known as “Serious Wednesdays”, where Jon usually covers a serious topic…) I really encourage everyone to read the blog and subscribe to Jon’s twitter updates, because they’re hysterical. That being said, today’s blog is inspired by Jon’s style of humor.

Haven’t you ever thought to yourself “Man, I really wish there was a “retweet” button for prayers!” No, really, you haven’t? Well, after I explain this you will. (Don’t know what a “retweet” is? Here.) So here’s the scene – you’re in a public setting – a church small group, at dinner with friends, Bible study, whatever. It comes time to pray out loud, and everyone starts voicing their prayers to God. Eyes closed, you start to listen to whomever. “God, please watch over my family, and my dogs, and for my English test next Wednesday…” etc. All of the sudden, out of nowhere, Mr. Super-Theology Man pops out with an incredible prayer “And God, please, I pray for all of the martyrs in Cambodia who are spreading your wonderful Gospel and being persecuted because of it. Help them to have hope and courage for they are truly making disciples out of all nations!” – WHAT?!?! Genius! “Me too! You think! Me too!” There. That is where a “Prayer retweet” button would come in handy. I think this would really come in handy when someone steals one of the prayers you were going to pray. You know what I mean – You’ve been carefully crafting your prayer in your head the whole time as everyone else is praying (What? Really listening and praying while everyone else is praying? Nonsense!), and then, BAM – out of nowhere, Ms. Polly Prays-a-Lot has stolen your prayer. Now what are you doing to do? You don’t want to just drop it, because you really were intending to pray it. But at the same time, you don’t just want to repeat them. Then it seems like you’re an unoriginal copy-cat and you’re running out of meaningful things to pray for so you’re just stalling. Retweet! It says “I’m cool, I was totally going to say that, but since she already said it I’ll just retweet it for those of you who aren’t cool enough to subscribe to her prayers…..” Cause that’s what prayer is all about right? Making yourself look all cool and spiritual and whatnot. Kind of like describing every obsession of yours as a “holy ambition”. “What? Oh, Yeah I tweet about 50 times a day. It’s my holy ambition to start a following from an unreached people group and bring them all to Christ through my brilliant tweets. Yeah, no big.”

I’m serious. This is a great idea. God should look into this.

What about you? Are there any internet things that you wish could be incorporated into your spiritual life? Maybe a holy “back-button”, or the ability to subscribe to Jesus’s twitter account (seriously, how awesome would it be to click that “follow” button on Jesus’ account and have the little box pop up that reads “You are now following @Jesus_Christ.”). What else?

Tweet!

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Past Musings