Encouragement

Holy Spirit Gut Checker

In 2nd grade, there was a little girl named Wenn who could read 5th grade level chapter books. She wore glasses and always won the spelling bees. The problem was, everyone laughed at her. She would hide herself in the teachers closet and cry if anybody (which happened often) made fun. I would scream “she’s a person too!” and cry with her, and to this day I still can’t figure out where the heck our teacher was.

In High School, I remember being invited to the “cool people” party where I could finally hang with that cute skater dude who wore emo jewelry and listened to wheezer. (Does that date me?) When I got there, a group of kids were hanging out in the garage passing a joint, and offered for me to join in.

That cute skater dude was in that group. I walked inside the house and drank O’douls awkwardly on the couch. I didn’t look very cool.

When I was first started learning about street healings, I started following a movement called ‘The Last Reformation’. They had cool YouTube videos and seemed to have success operating supernaturally. I connected with a few fellow followers in the area and went out with them, until something just didn’t “feel right”. Instead of making a fuss, I just quietly stopped. I found out the other day that the movement’s founder calls his followers Noahs ark animals, uses hypnosis and fakes his miracles. He’s also accused of being a child abuser. Annnnnnd no thanks. I had no idea…..I just followed my gut.

I wish I could share more ‘heroic’ moments like the ones I mentioned above, but I’ve made my share of mistakes, too. I’ve laid aside morals to make out with a boy, lived in controlling relationships, and stayed when I shoulda coulda woulda left.

Hi, my name is Rosie and I’m a follower. I hate conflict and like the safety net of groups. But there are times when I need to be a brown egg. Here are questions I’ve learned to ask the hard way, and I’m sharing them here to see if you ask them too. I haven’t stopped making mistakes, these just help me not make BIG ONEs.

1.) Does it feel good in my gut?

Growing up, I was taught that my heart was deceitful and to not trust my gut. I’m not talking about following your heart, I’m talking about that queasy feeling you get in your stomach. I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit lives in the gut, and it’s asking you to ask least look into WHY you’ve got that queasy feeling. Even if ‘that thing’ might be right for other people, it might not be right for you.

2.) Am I getting religious?

I tend to love formulas, especially if they work. Yet Jesus says the only true religion is to visit the Fatherless and the Widows in their affliction, and to keep yourself unspotted from the world. Jesus wants to be involved in everything, and I think that’s why he didn’t give us every answer to every question. The moment I start to follow a formula, and think I know it all …. it’s time to recheck what I’m doing.

3.) Is the Gospel a side dish, or the main meal?

When I first considered joining a ‘school of supernatural life’ based in Franklin Tennessee, I needed to know if they were obsessed with the Gospel. Is the atonement of Christ central to this church, or is it just a side dish? Looking into their teachings and listening to a bunch before starting the school gave me the best confirmation.

4.) Am I getting too obsessed with the leader?

There are so many teachers, health gurus, and authors I listen to and follow. And even if they aren’t trying to garner all the attention, people just love putting other people on a pedastool!! Myself included. Y’all, everyone is just human, and I’ve made this mistake way too many times. Jesus should always be THE ONE, and leaders should just point the way towards him. If your gut starts to notice that a leader is actively seeking attention, it’s time to high-tail outa there.

5.) Is my opinion valued and respected? Or do I feel controlled?

Are you allowed to disagree, and have sweet wrestlings with the rest of the people in the group? Or if you start to question ‘the doctrine’, do people try to shut you down? Are people trying to tell you how to live your life, or give you direction on what you HAVE to do? Time to sneak (or shout) away.

6.) Does it have an Elitist feeling?

This sorta goes with the last question. But, nobody has it all right. I think that nobody even has it close to all right. Any movement that claims to have it mostly together, or have ‘the answer’ to ______________(fill in the blank). Just yuck. Jesus lives and thrives in mystery.

Do you use your Holy Spirit Gut Checker? What questions do you ask yourself? Do you tend to follow like me, or are you more of a pioneer?

Encouragement

Jesus Lives in Mystery

10 years ago, a 22 year old me lived with purpose, community, and a super cute fiancé. See pic below.

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Life was really good.

I was one of those annoying (but sweet!) people you would meet at college who had answers to most of life’s biggest questions, and in my world, everything was black and white. If you didn’t have what I had, I genuinely felt sorry for you.

And yet, one of the hardest and best things I ever did (thus far), was leaving that life. I remember stepping out of my “black and white”, and into grey.

Before I explain that moment, I want to sell you on my black and white world. Living there is easy-It’s predictable. It’s safe. You can operate with (a false sense of) control and fully own your space. Most questions have an answer, and every answer, a chapter and verse. Visually speaking, imagine a tiny version of yourself in a cute little box. You see the ceiling, the floor, the walls and 90 degree corners. You know how big your box is, what’s outside of the box, and where you stand inside. Now give the box some wrapping paper and a bow. It’s pretty cute, right?

I don’t know, it sounds so sterile now. But I had some really good friends, a fun routine, and so much purpose. I helped people.

Except what I didn’t have, was Jesus.

Let me tell you right now, if you don’t remember anything else about this little article, I’m here to tell you, Jesus is never inside any box. He never has been, and never will be. People and things might try and tell you he’s in there, but he’s not.

And so, you could say I accidentally met Jesus when I momentarily stepped outside.

I wasn’t looking for him, I was just getting unsatisfied with my answers, because they weren’t working. I wanted forward movement, but I couldn’t. I was stuck.

And so, in the mystery, Jesus found me. And in him, I found a friend. One that knew me, who wouldn’t leave me, and who would continually speak his tender whispers of love, faith, comfort, and healing inside my heart.

People have always tried to kill Jesus, but he’s good at side stepping their efforts. He’s searching for the one. The one that decides they aren’t enough, and that they need more.

Jesus is the way, THE TRUTH, and the life.

Have you met him yet?

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.