got it

We've been having somewhat of a revival in the Johnson household here lately. It all started a little over a year ago, when we started going to a mega Baptist church down in West Palm Beach. It's a no-kiddin' Baptist church, with a big fancy sanctuary, a big fancy congregation, and even bigger and fancier music. It was like going to "Church: the Musical" every week. At first, I was a little taken aback by all of this. I mean, I kind of thought religion was a quiet, personal thing, and that you didn't exactly wave your hands around and shout unless you were just putting on a show. But then I started really listening to the preaching. Because it was some GOOD preaching. Even a judgmental judy like me couldn't deny that Pastor Jimmy could PREACH. And what I heard made me start thinking.

Let me interject here that I've pretty much considered myself a Christian for as long as I can remember. I memorized the books of the Bible and got my rainbow Bible bookmark at an early age, I knew Christmas was about Jesus, and I even had some super-moving experiences at church retreats and such when I was a teenager. Aside from a major Ayn Rand phase in college, it's been smooth sailing. But, as a Christian, my understanding sort of went like this: God's in charge, Jesus is His son, you have to believe in both of them, and you have to do what the Bible says. Okay. That's all well and good until someone asks you how you know you're going to heaven.

The great thing about Pastor Jimmy's sermons was they pretty much laid it out there for you: Jesus gives us the awesome opportunity to spend eternity with God. All we have to do is accept that gift, and we're in. And that's it. Simple. So obviously, I'd heard that before. But somehow, I'd never heard it before. I had only ever gotten that it was important to believe that Jesus was God's son. And I always thought being a Christian meant a lot of things like following certain rules in the Bible and trying to act like Jesus did. And if you hadn't actually read the Bible or studied too much about Jesus, that meant trying to act in a way that you didn't think the other people at church would look down on you for (at least to me).

So, anyhow, I got the message. It really is ALL about what Jesus did for us, and we have to acknowledge that and be grateful for it all the time (and be sorry when we screw up). And actually, if you sit down and read the Bible, that's what it says in there, too. (So, the Bible really is relevant, correct, and applicable to life today - another good lesson from the mega-Baptist church.) It's rather uplifting to figure that out, so I've been floating along pretty happily for the past year or so, and I've even bid adieu to my worrying ways!

My point? Well, I guess I just really want to share the love. Figuring this out is the best thing that's EVER happened to me, and that's saying something - I've got some good things going :-) There are some people that I care deeply about (you know who you are!) who might want to hear this... or who might finally be at the point in life where they can hear it :-)

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