The true meaning of Christianity

I know you think Christianity is a bunch of hypocritical posers who think they’re good and they’re just a load of high-and-mighty douchebags who go around judging people all the time.

Like maybe you think Christians are like this picture right here:

Image

And sure, some Christians are like that.

But I’m here to tell you that they aren’t true Christians. They do not follow the Bible. They do not follow the teaching of God. They do not understand the definition of love or what it means to love.

The purpose of Christianity is just one plain and simple thing.

To love others above yourself, and to love God above all.

We are not here to judge you. We are not here to condemn you.

I’m sorry if it ever seems like that.

And it’s so sad to me that you think that, because we love you.

Yes, we disagree with your opinions. Not because we’re high-and-mighty snobs but because they are sins before God. We don’t hate you because you sin. And sin is sin for a reason. Biblical laws aren’t there just to be a killjoy. They’re there to prevent you from hurting yourself.

The God of Christianity is a God who loves us above all, more than you can imagine, more than is even humanly possible. He is the definition of love itself. He is there to save us. He is there waiting for us to come to Him. He didn’t put the laws there just to make us feel terrible or to depress us. He put them there because He knows us even better than we know ourselves.

He is like a father trying to keep his children from crossing the street. The child doesn’t understand that if he runs into traffic, he’ll get hit and killed. But the father knows this and so he does his best to keep his kid from harm.

In the same way, God gave us His laws to keep us from harm.

So if you ever think we hate you because you’re not Christian, or because you’re engaged in some sort of non-Christian lifestyle, that’s not true.

A real Christian will never hate you. We will only love you.

Yes, we disagree with your lifestyle.

No, it’s not because we hate you.

It’s because we love you.

Yes, we will still be friends with you. Yes, we will always love you. Yes, we will try to tell you about Christianity and we will try to “convert” you, not because we think Christianity is somehow the almighty race that should rule over all. It’s because we love you and we don’t want to see you come to harm and we don’t want you to suffer in hell and we don’t want anything bad to happen to you.

So if you ever think we’re judging you, or if you ever think we hate you, or want you to suffer in hell, or want to convert you for our own selfish reasons, I want to tell you you’re wrong. You’re wrong, but don’t think I’m saying that because I think I’m so right all the time. You’re wrong and that should be beautiful news to you and to everyone. Because now you know that Christians are here for you. We’re here for you, to love you, to stand by you no matter what you think or feel or believe. We will always love you. Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise.

I love you, no matter who you are, always and forever.

~Emilino

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Welcome

Welcome back

Isn’t it good to be awake

After so long in the dark

 

Now you can speak

Now you can hear

Now you can see

 

You’re alive now

 

Now there is color

Now there is light

Now you’re okay

 

Good thing

You didn’t give up

 

I know

You hated your life

I know

You wanted an end

But I told you

Hold on

Take my hand

Life is better

When you’re here with Me

 

Welcome

to

life

 

Welcome

to my love

I love you

 

Now you can feel it

My love in your breath

My love on your skin

My love in your veins

My love is

holding you together

 

Life is worth it

Life is worth it

Life is worth Me

I gave you life

I wouldn’t

give you life

that wasn’t worth

the hardships

 

I love you

I love you

Welcome to life

Welcome to love

I love you

Welcome to Me

Welcome

home.

 

~Emilino

Narrow Road

To turn to my own

Trapped within my mind

The beauty I’d find

To die alone

 

And try to fly

Into the wind

The wind will fail

My feathers fall

 

I have to tell

Can’t turn to myself

I must know Love

Lest I die alone

 

A curvy road

Can’t see what comes

Won’t walk it alone

Will make it home

 

I thirst for love

My thirst is quenched

Seek rain from above

Won’t accept salt instead

 

I spread my wings

And try to fly

His wind is strong

He catches my feathers

 

His road is narrow

Yet the other is bland

With never a hand

Sucks from my bones their marrow

 

His road is curvy

But He can see

I am not alone

He reaches down and takes my hand

 

I give Him my own

He frees my mind

And beauty I find

I won’t die alone.

 

~Emilino

Take me

This lonely night

I can’t handle the world

To overpower me

Not tonight

 

So take my fears

Take my worry

Take my panic, my stress

Take all of me

 

While the wind whistles

Through the trees

Take me in Your arms

Hold me tight

 

I’ll run to You

And sob to You

And bury my face in Your chest

I need You to love me, Lord

 

So tonight, forever

Protect me

Embrace me, God, take me in

Sing me to sleep

 

I’ll fall asleep

In Your arms

And in my dreams

You’ll be beside me

 

And in the morning

Under a pale sky

Awaken me, Lord

I’ll wake up to You

 

I need Your touch

I need Your love

I need You forever

I’d die without You

 

You’re beautiful, God

You’re gorgeous

You’re all I want

I love You

 

~Emilino

Pictures courtesy lustlifelove.tumblr.com and bankofnaturalcapital.com

Nightmare

Last night I dreamed that I was in English class, and my friend and I were having a discussion about Christianity, and no one was taking us seriously.  Then, at break, my History teacher started dancing and singing Friday, before returning to his classroom.

Later, I met two of my friends and we were hanging out in the bathroom, when something happened.  I’m not sure; either they went silent or they left, and I got this odd, sickening feeling that something was horribly wrong.

So, I went back to my English class, and everyone was dead. All around me.  And I had no idea why.

Then my mom came and told me all the computers in the school had crashed and exploded, and fallen on everyone and killed them.  And I was the only one conscious, if not alive, left.

I’ll never forget that feeling, even if it was only a nightmare.  It was the feeling, deep inside me, of complete and utter aloneness.

Mom and I went home, and she kept breaking down crying, and I was just trying to make sense of it all.  I prayed, “God, I pray for strength, I pray for endurance…” the rest of the prayer escapes my memory.

I went outside, and for some reason, my best friend’s mom was in her van, just driving away from our house.  I reached out my hand, so she would stop.  She saw me, but didn’t stop, just kept going, leaving me behind, while I kept thinking how lucky everyone at my old homeschool co-op was, that nothing like this had happened at their school.

Then I woke up, gasping.

I still remember it too clearly.  That was the worst, worst, worst nightmare I have ever had.  It felt demonic.  While I dreamt, I kept telling myself that it wasn’t a dream, that it was real, real, real, and there was no escaping.  When I woke up, I was literally surprised that I had been sleeping.  It was a realistic dream; and I’ve had plenty of those, mainly nightmares — but this one was particularly disturbing.

I’m going back to school tomorrow, and I am scared to death just because of that nightmare.  The creepiest part of it, perhaps, was the fact that the beginning of the dream was a relatively normal, perhaps more enjoyable than usual, day of school.  And when I least expected it, everything went wrong.  Everyone died.  And only I was left.  And that feeling I had, standing in the ladies’ room, knowing, even then, that I was alone.

It’s strange, the things that come of our thoughts.  I don’t know where that nightmare came from.

I don’t know if that dream had a purpose. A metaphor, perhaps, for real life. I’ll probably be paranoid for the rest of the year. Was God trying to talk to me? Was that Satan, who created the nightmare, to scare me?

Remembering it shakes me to the core. The only way I can be comforted in the memory of that dream (and I am completely, completely serious right now) is by remembering the gracious, loving arms of God. In a way, such an overwhelmingly horrible vision brings me right to God’s side, because He’s the only thing I can think of to run to. He’ll take me in his big loving arms and He’ll never let me go, and He’ll tell me it’s gonna be OK; He’s got me.

He’s so beautiful.

Of course darkness flees at the sound of His name.

He is my Savior.

I’ll run into His arms.

You are good, You are good

When there’s nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost its sting

Oh, I’m running to Your arms,
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In Your presence I’m made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I’m letting go

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing
no other Name
Jesus, Jesus

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

~Hillsong

 

Emilino

Pictures courtesy laperm.wordpress.com and aliveinthefire.blogspot.com

Song: Forever Reign by Hillsong

The creation of the heavens

So, I took this picture with my usual trusty Nikon Coolpix S3000. My not-great-quality, lifesaver BFF of a camera. I was just messing around, taking pictures of the sunset outside, and taking pictures of various objects at various angles in my room.

As I reviewed the pictures after downloading them, this one struck me. It sort of reminds me of God’s creation of the sun and the moon and the stars – he’s placing the sun up there, among all those stars, to shine down on our world.

I didn’t even notice my little planet and star ceiling decorations in the photograph until a few minutes ago, really. My dad made those for me several years ago, when I was away at camp one summer and he redid my entire room as the solar system. I meant to take them down, several times, thinking they were a little childish. But I could never make myself actually do it. I’ve become a little bit attached to them. My dad’s a wonderful artist. He should be famous. He’s a house painter. In fact, he is so very good at painting houses (he can do pretty much anything anybody asks him to do, ever, and he’s trustworthy) that he’s come home on several occasions with gifts from his customers. Once, he came home with several expensive bottles of wine. Another time, someone gave him a loaf of sweetbread. Those are the two I can think of off the top of my head. Dad said the customer who’d given him the wine had been a gay man who thought my dad was cute. It cracked him up. He laughed about it for weeks.

Anyway, tell me what you think about this quick, experimental, bad-quality photo that happens to look very cool, in my opinion.

I love drawing with and taking pictures of those figures. They amuse me greatly; don’t ask why. Here’s another one I took, just for your amusement (try not to notice or mind my knee in the bottom right corner, and a glimpse of the floor in the bottom left):

 

Emilino

Photos mine.

My depression, my happiness

I told you in my last post that my next post (this one) would be about the time I felt most lost, and the time I felt most happy.

I’d been slowly eaten by depression, up until the night of Tuesday, March 22.  I was wandering much farther than I ever should have dared to wander.  I wandered too far, and I got lost.  My diary entries are filled with the things I wrote at a time that I was convinced I was nothing.  I would lie on my bed and sob and write, because all I could do, then, was spread my tears and ink all over my diary. I spent hours soaking up my gutter.  I hated life.  In a particular entry, I wrote, again and again and again, “I am nothing.  I am nothing.  I am nothing.”  Just that, for a whole page.  I don’t know why I was so angry at myself.  Every time I made a mistake, instead of letting it go and allowing myself to be human every once in a while, I rubbed it in and assured myself that because of this, because I hadn’t finished my homework or forgotten my stuff or not done my chores, I didn’t deserve anything.  I was useless.

My mom’s outbursts didn’t help.  Those two months, for some reason, she seemed particularly bitter.  She seemed completely jaded to all of my insecurity and emptiness and sorrow.  I doubt she really was this way.  But it seemed so to me, at least, since my vision was blurred.  I was watching rain through a stained-glass window.

I normally consider encouragement to help success.  If I’m confident and others are confident in me, and are kind to me and encourage me, I usually do fairly well — or at least, I am content with my completed work.  Because I tried.  And I did it with a good attitude.

But during this phase of my life, I didn’t have a positive outlook on anything.  I told myself that I should do well because I was nothing.  If I didn’t do well, I told myself it was because I was such a useless piece of crap, in the way of everybody else.

This continued until one day, I thought, If I’m so useless, and get in the way of everyone else’s progress, I should just die.

I wanted to die.

I’d told myself I was nothing until I believed myself, and then I thought I should die.

Maybe the only thing that kept me from killing myself was my knowledge of the existence of hell.

I wasn’t sure, not 100%, that I would go to heaven when I died.

Would I go to hell if I committed suicide?

But I kept wanting to die.  I wanted to commit suicide.  But I couldn’t.  Something, something deep deep inside of me — God — said, “No.  No.  No,” every time I said I was nothing.

You aren’t nothing.  You aren’t nothing.  You aren’t nothing.

I didn’t kill myself, obviously.  But all I saw, everywhere I looked, was darkness.

Then came Spring Camp, on March 22.  I went to that camp, what I got from my youth pastor’s first message was this:

When you tell yourself you’re nothing, you are telling Jesus that He died for no reason.

I was sitting on the floor as I listened.  And right there on the floor, right in the middle of his lesson, right in the middle of all those High Schoolers and Junior Highers, right in front of God, I began to cry.

My youth pastor and God had just told me I was COMPLETELY wrong about myself.

And it was the most beautiful news I’d ever heard in my whole entire life.

I WAS NOT NOTHING!

The message ended, and my best friend and I went back to our room and I cried some more.  Then I talked to my youth pastor, and he got our other pastor, and I kept crying.

I wasn’t crying because I was sad.  For the first time in years, I cried because I was so, so, so, so so so so so so so SOOO relieved.

It was like I could finally breathe, finally see, finally hear.  Finally LIVE.

I came home from that camp, and two days later, walked into my friend’s house.  And she looked at me and she knew I was different.  I was better.  I was finally, finally healed.  She told me that she and another friend of mine had gotten really worried about me.  They were concerned about me.  She said they’d been planning on literally sitting down with me and asking what on earth had happened to me.  What on earth was wrong with me.

She said, “I saw you, just now, though, and I knew you were finally okay.”

I was happy.  I was so, so happy.  My friends, and my youth pastor, shared my happiness.  They knew how much I’d changed.

My mom said she’d noticed I was sad, but she hadn’t known I was that sad before.  “I wanted to talk to you,” she said, “but you were so busy pushing me away, I didn’t want to make it worse.”

I was so depressed I had scared my own family away from me.

I had been a plague.

I know that was no mere depression.  “Depression” is an understatement, BIG time.  That was a spiritual attack.  That was Satanic.  That was living death.

But once it ended, I was so happy, I was glowing.  I watched a video my friend took of me after Spring Camp, and I was so different.  I didn’t even LOOK like me.  I looked happy.  And from my experience until then, happy wasn’t something I’d have called myself.  But now, I was certainly happy.

Actually, something I thought described how I felt really well was Psalm chapter 40.  I found it on accident at Spring Camp, and I took it to heart.  It’s become my signature chapter, I think, a chapter that means a LOT to me.

This is part of a passage from my diary, written on Monday, June 6.  Around this time, I was writing A LOT.  In my free time, I wrote in my diary.

“It’s like I can see.  Not just happier.   It’s honestly like I can SEE clearly.  Like the very colors are brighter. […]  All I can say is this–

“I have been saved.”

“It’s just like Psalm 40.  God brought me up out of the darkness and the pit; He heard my cry, and He took my hand and pulled me close and breathed life into me.

“And I can SEE.”

Around that time, a quote popped into my head.  I remembered something we’d read about, in a History book.  It was some book by Albert Marrin (he’s my favorite History writer) and in the prologue, I believe, he’d said he’d found a postcard jammed in the cracks of a war memorial.  On it was written a quote by Aeschylus.  I loved that quote.  I memorized it.  I thought about it when I was saved by God from my depression.  It was this:

“In our sleep, painful memories fall drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom, through the awful grace of God.”

I was relieved.  Completely relieved.  My arched back was straightened, the weight of depression removed from my weak, human shoulders.

One night, I wrote this poem.

 

That used to be me

That dead corpse laid in waste

Long given up on living free

 

I should perhaps have listened

The words on a page just blended

I pulled away when I could have been lifted

 

But then I was struck, and I broke

It’s stupid, but that took me by surprise

I stepped out of that musty cloak

 

You saw me, and You took my shame

Now it weighs me down no more

Now I see, all I did was

Just a game

 

So You took my pieces, and put them together

And now I finally see

It’s best to stay with You forever

 

My life might still be just a moment

But with You, it’s so much more

And You will always love it

 

I might just be a stupid kid

But as long as You’re with me

You’ll wipe away even the

stupidest tears I’ve cried

 

So I’ll reach out to touch You

For my entire life

And even though the devil will allure

 

Through all the pain and all the strife,

You’re here, at my side

And no, You’ll never leave me

 

And even those same hands

That traced the lakes upon the lands

With their time-old fingers

 

Will wrap themselves around my own

And there His presence lingers

So I’ll take off my own crown

 

And lay it at Your feet

Because, my Lord, all that I am

Cannot compare to You.

 

Emilino

 

Pictures courtesy:

emminhakbeca.blogspot.com

buzzle.com

hrushikeshzadgaonkar.wordpress.com

amnottheonlyone.blogspot.com

my.opera.com