Rape is Rape

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Enough is enough.
Society has failed the victims survivors of rape for way too long.
We have given leniency to those who commit this atrocious crime for so many centuries that it has become a part of our culture.
Just as the knee jerk reaction of our culture is to blame the victim of the rape for “allowing” the crime to be perpetrated against them to begin with.

This HAS to stop!

If an estimated 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men in the United States have been raped according to rainn.org, there is a serious problem. This is not accounting for the numerous men and women around the world who have also been raped. It also doesn’t include the estimated 80% of the 20.9 million men, women, and children trafficked around the world, who are specifically sold for sex (equalitynow.org)

First of all, in my opinion, we need to stop with the legal system’s language. Stop with the “sexual abuse,” “molestation,” degrees of “sexual assault.” It’s an attempt to prettily obscure the nastiness of the crime.

If person A forcefully uses person B in an attempt to find sexual release  (in any form) without person B’s expressed informed consent it is RAPE.

Child molestation needs to be called what it is- rape. I don’t care if there is any physical penetration or not. If you are using a child to find sexual release, it is rape.

If a woman’s or a man’s body is forced to to do any form of a sexual act (including oral, vaginal, or anal) as well as being forced to physically bring about release –it is rape. Even if the person is unconscious or too intoxicated to participate–it is rape.

Rape is a nasty four letter word we as a culture seem scared to use. If a person is willing to forcefully gain their sexual release, they are willing to rape. So let us not be afraid of calling them a rapist because it could irreversibly damage their lives.

They saw no harm in irreversibly damaging their chosen victim’s life, so why should we be squeamish in bringing them to justice?

Out of 1,000 cases of rape, only around 344 will be reported. And out of that 344, only 6 rapists will find themselves behind bars. Only 6 out of a 1,000.

And we wonder why so many rapes go unreported.

And if this Judge Persky who has let a young man rapist (Brock Turner) get off with serving only 6 months behind bars for raping an intoxicated unconscious woman behind a dumpster, does not realize he’s part of the problem, he needs to be held accountable for the next rape Turner perpetrates. Because he will.

Rapists are statistically proven to rape again. If they got away with it once, they are more likely to attempt it again. And now the Judge has given Turner cause to be released. And every single drunk college student has now been given a defense for their actions.

We already blame victims–women– for their rape. Our culture tells them that if they were in a certain part of the city, at a certain time, wearing certain clothes–well, of course they were going to get raped. They can’t be expected to actually be left alone and unmolested as they go about their day, right?

We are so twisted in our reasoning that we actually blame the victim rather than hold the criminal responsible. How has this happened?

The media and the Justice system have helped to heap blame upon the victims, and instead of rebelling against the status quo, we as a society agree with it.

Is it any wonder that so many rapes go unreported? Who would want to have their lives raked over the coals so all of society can blame you for your own rape?

Rape must carry a steeper penalty for the person who committed it. The victim will live with what happened to him/her for the rest of their lives. Why should a rapist have a lesser punishment?

Rapists tend to become more aggressive with every subsequent rape. Murder tends to follow. So, when they are released after serving the minimum, many rapists have been found to commit rape yet again or other crimes.

It should never be the victim’s fault for the crime committed against them. We tell children who have been forced into sexual contact that they are not to be blamed–because it is not their fault. What age does it become their fault? Because it sure seems to me that is what social media is telling rape victims. At least, if you are a woman. Because they should never drink, never dress a certain way, and never be out by themselves.

It doesn’t stop practicing Muslim women from being raped. Why do you think it would stop the all-American white man from raping a woman?

Rape is not about pleasure. It’s about control. It’s about feeling power over someone who is defenseless to stop you. Rapists gain pleasure from the power of the act, not the act itself. Rapists are bullies who use the most intimate act to exert power and control over their victims.

So. I put it in your court Society. When will you stop blaming the victim and call it like it is?

Forcefully using another person sexually through intimidation, torture, drugs, alcohol, or fear for the safety of others, for your pleasure is one thing and one thing only. It is rape.

When will you, Society, step up and defend the victim from the continual mental rape that you have been heaping on them?

When will you, Society, protect the women, children and yes, men, from rapists?

Stop back logging rape kits. Thousands and thousands of rape kits are sitting in storage because funding and man power aren’t available as well as no “viable” leads. Keep us safe. Catch those who cause harm.

Rape is not a lesser crime. Stop treating it like you think it is. Punish them to the full extent of the law and actually protect the public like you have been charged to do.

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For more information on statistics as well as to receive help if you or someone you know has been a victim of rape, please look at the website for Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network – rainn.org  or call 1-800-656-Hope

Love Well (a wedding poem)

Love Well
Written for J &A H. on the event of their wedding.
8/16/2015
With love, Ranelle Gildersleeve

What is love?
Is it always flowers and candlelight dinners?
Is it always easy smiles and shared laughs?
Love is pushing up your sleeves and digging deep.
Love is picking up socks for the fiftieth time that week, and still smile when he walks through the door.
Love is getting in your car and driving an hour out of your way, just to bring her a forgotten bag.
Love is a struggle. Struggle well together.
You may have candlelight dinners, but more often than not, you will have a table full of bills.
You may have flowers, but you will always have dishes to wash.
Love is a dance that is more often a violent tango rather than the gentle waltz.
Dance well together.
Let never one stand by themselves, but always have your arms around the other.
Love isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. If you work for it.
Work for it.
Take time no matter how busy it is, and sit together to share your fears and your joys.
Take time to walk the park as dusk falls, hand in hand with no words.
Struggle well together in your faith. Find God in the midst of your marriage and give him control.
Be better together rather than apart. Pray for each other.
No, love isn’t always flowers and candlelight dinners.
Sometimes it’s ripped shirts and dirty knees.
Sometimes love is the act of planting the flowers, rather than picking them.
Love each other well.
God has given you that person that will lift you up when you feel like you can’t go on.
He has given you the person to patch up your wounds when the world is just a little too rough.
He has given you the water for your soul when it’s parched, by giving you the person who can speak the soothing words needed.
In your struggle of life together, may your hands be gentle when you hold your love.
May your mouth be ever kind when you speak of him.
May your thoughts be ever happy when you think of her.
May your eyes ever seek the face of the one beside you.
May your feet always return to the one beside you.
May you never be alone in the midst of the storm as the world rages.
May you always struggle well together as you face life as one.
God has given you the most holy of duties, for two to become one.
Defy the laws of physics and show it is possible for two bodies to become one person.
Love is a struggle. Struggle well together.
In your hands lies your life. Your life is in the hands of your love. Treat it well.
It is a precious gift, one that must be nurtured, and protected from the forces that would tear it apart.
It is your sacred duty to work on building that flame of love every day for the rest of your lives.
Tend it. Feed it.
Let it become an inferno, so that everyone you come in contact with, can feel the heat of it.
May your love be the story of the ages.
May you struggle well together.
May you love well for eternity.

You will know them by their love

 Brant Hansen (Air1 Christian Alternative’s DJ) really got me thinking the other day when he was commenting on a church that was picketing a Skillet concert. 
I’ve looked for the quote because I don’t want to misquote him, but sadly I was unable to find it. (So if anyone else heard it, please let me know!)
So from my memory: he was talking about how the leader of the group was yelling at those who were lined up to get into this Skillet concert. Skillet is a well known Christian rock band that has a rather large fan base. The leader was being downright cruel from my understanding. He was supposedly saying something about if you believe in a merciful God you don’t believe in the real God. That he is above the need for grace. 
I’m not even going to comment on how bad his theology is there, because that isn’t what caught my attention, or obviously Mr. Hansen’s since he is the one who was talking about it. 
This leader was raging against the people who were going into the concert and the people who were preforming. Numerous concert goers tried to stop the group by telling them how badly they were representing Christ to those who walked by, which just made the leader get even more belligerent. The lead singer John Cooper came outside and walked up to the group, and started passing out water. As Mr. Hansen reported, the leader asked what are you doing? 
Supposedly, Mr. Cooper said, “Well, I’m supposed to love my enemies and since you want to make yourself my enemy…” 
Mr. Hansen (as well as many of his listeners who called in) was struck by the grace that Mr. Cooper showed at the moment of tension. 
Mr. Hansen then put forth a question that has really struck me and I’ve been forced to mulled over it for the last week. “Why do we assume this ‘church’ is Christian? I saw no representation of Christ shown during their protest. So how do we know they were Christian?”
It was an interesting idea. We too often assume that when we hear ‘church’ that the people consider themselves affiliated with the Christian religion. Yes, they might truly have called themselves Christian, but the issue here is were they acting as representatives of Christ? No. 
There is a hymn written in 1968 called “They’ll Know We Are Christians” where they echo an oft repeated thought through out the Scriptures. They will know we are Christians- followers of a loving sacrificial God- by our love. By our own actions we will be known. 
With the recent death of Westboro Baptist Church’s former leader, Christians seem to be rejoicing over his passing. Another Air1 DJ commented on this by saying, “Here’s the dichotomy; By celebrating his death like, “Woohoo! He’s gone!” we’ve just reduced him to a symbol versus of what God created in His image! And by celebrating it, we’re actually participating in the very same thing that made him infamous!”– Ashton (from Air1’s Facebook page) 
We become no better than those we mock when we rejoice over a sinner’s death. We become no better than those very people who rejoiced over a solider’s death and picketed over it to make a political/religious stand, and who seemed to enjoy the family’s tears and anger. 
I saw it play out on Facebook during the Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein’s captures and deaths. We rejoiced over the death of a sinner, who as far as we know, never became right with God. How can we participate in that misplaced joy?
I need to keep my mind on what Christ said- Luke 6:27-36 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”
Or like Mr. Cooper did, love them enough to give them water when their throats are dry from ridiculing you and your own actions.
How are my actions today representing Christ in his loving sacrificial glory to a world that does not know him? Maybe not as well as they should be. 
Do I act like a Christ follower when I react to people I don’t agree with? 

A thought on actors

I am not a fangirl. I enjoy a great actor when I see them whether in a movie or on a show, but I will refrain from becoming a fangirl. Right now, I might be a little crazy over BBC’s Sherlock, waiting for the next series to come out–because let’s admit it- it’s a great show! The depth of character that these amazing actors portray is awe-inspiring. Plus, I just want the tears to stop when I watch “The Reichenbach Fall” and for Sherlock to come back. The whole crew who works on screen (as well as the writers) pulls off the emotional turmoil needed beautifully.
I appreciate actors who make their characters believable. It takes special skill to place a fictional skin over your own personality so that people only see the character.
I do not have the skill and I’m glad to be able to enjoy a few hours watching someone who does.
But, also, I would never want to be famous. Looking through different sites to see what thoughts there were about how Sherlock survived the “Fall,” I was amazed by the possessiveness of some of the fans. Not only do they defend their favorite characters aggressively, but they just as aggressively try to influence the romantic aspect as well.
Then you have the fanatic fans of the actors themselves. Men and women alike will stake out and stalk actors. Paparazzi will do everything in their power to get one picture to sell, the more possibly compromising the better. They are known to photoshop what is going on in the picture just to make it more racy.
I find it sadly ironic that in America where we believe in the right to privacy that we have no qualms of breaking that right when it is someone famous. I’ve heard some people say that they gave up that right when they became an actor. I’m shocked by that thought!
Just because someone is well known, they lose the right to their privacy? I bet those people would change their mind quickly if they were forced to deal with the paparazzi and crazy fans.
I feel sorry for famous people. The chance to do something that they love in front of the masses makes them lose their anonymity. Few well known actors can just walk along the street without being bombarded by questions and cameras. Quiet moments with a loved one become tabloid fodder and every supposed argument is leading to a break up. Every pound lost or gained is weighed by the public.
Just because they play on our screens, we think that these people are ours to dissect.
Honestly, sometimes it doesn’t surprise me when I hear the sad news of another actor going into rehab, or even worse dying due to an overdose.
We remove these actors’ ability to simply be. We seem to forget that they are NOT their professions, but rather are people who just act for work.
We forget that despite their money and their fame, they are simply human. They are just as broken and lost as we are and they are just trying to find a little bit of happiness.
No, I would rather never be famous. Questioning people’s friendships because you can’t trust why they hanging out with you, having your conversations sold to the highest bidder by your own relatives, and having money stolen from those that you thought you could trust.
To be famous is not the blessing we might think.
The next time we go crazy over an actor, maybe we can step back and allow them a breath.
Just a thought.

Dare to Discipline

Discipline.
It always sounds like such a negative word.
For some of us, it only brings back bad memories as well as painful emotions.
Others might have a hard time distinguishing true discipline during their childhood.
Listening to talk shows and reading articles about discipline, we might come to the conclusion that discipline is actually abuse.
Children have the right to sue for independence because their parent spanked them.
It is now politically incorrect to condone spanking because it is considered inhumane and abusive.
Now, just to be clear, I am talking about open palm on the bottom. I DO NOT condone abuse and I believe that if at any time someone suspects that a child is being harmed, that child needs to be removed from a dangerous situation immediately.
There is a distinct difference between discipline and abuse. I know that there are way too many ‘guardians’ out there who enjoy their power over innocent children and wield it harshly. Abuse tends to reap abuse. It is a vicious cycle. It has to be stopped.
But, to tie parent’s hands when they are attempting to raise their children up to be decent people? I question this.
We are so busy being friends with our children that we are refusing to do the necessary teaching to make sure they become adults that we would like to know.
We are letting children run the show in the home and in public.
I am not yet blessed to be a parent. But, I have taken care of numerous children and I have eyes that take in the unapologetic horror that children have become in public.
I cannot help but think, “I would never have been allowed to do that!”
I am a woman who was shaped by the love of my parents.
I am a woman who understands respect and honor for those who are older than me.
I have learned how to wait patiently for my time to talk.
I have learned how to be helpful and dependable to those I work with.
I have learned the value of my word as well as keeping my promises.
Discipline DOES NOT need to by physical. But it does need to be a part of child rearing.
Instead of rewarding a child for misbehaving, there needs to be repercussions for not listening.
If a child runs out in to oncoming traffic after you distinctly say “no” what do you do?
I was spanked. I was hugged then I was promptly spanked. What do I remember crying over? My mom’s fear.  She was terrified and wanted me to know it. I was spanked twice after being hugged, then I was hugged again and sent into the house. I don’t remember the pain, because let’s admit it. Two open palmed spanks are more startling that hurtful. If I remember correctly I was still in my cushy underpants, so there isn’t much chance of it hurting that much.
I had my mouth rinsed out with soap, because I spoke disrespectfully to my parents and used language that needed to be corrected. It was only once and once was more than enough.
I did not grow up to be a bully because I was disciplined. I grew up to be someone who stood up for those who were bullied. And I think it was because my parents loved me enough to be my parents, not my friends. I now count them my closest friends, but it is because I respect them for who they are and the fact that they never swerved in how they took care of my brother and I.
Admittedly, I had my moments of teenage anger, because like most teens I thought I understood the world and didn’t much care for the way my parents were leading me.
But, now? I can go back and thank them for their care and support.
I knew that I could not play my parents against each other. They spoke to each other and agreed the best course of action. They were a united front when they dealt out discipline.
They did not talk negatively about each other to us children, which I think is key to my respect for them.
Discipline is needed.
It shouldn’t be a hit and miss type of discipline, but a rule that children can rely on. I honestly do believe that children crave discipline. I have met numerous people who speak about their ‘free’ childhood, where they got allowances for doing nothing, all of the newest  toys were theirs for a simple beg, and they went on expensive vacations, and they rarely now talk to their parents. Why? If they got everything they wanted, why wouldn’t they love their parents?
Most of their complaints seem to be that the parents were trying to buy their affections or their good behavior. Most admit that they were spoiled brats who got away with what ever they wanted to do.
Friends that were raised closer to my own childhood almost all respect their parents and are raising their own children in a similar manner.
Would you rather see more children running free in the store? Yelling and throwing items? Or would you rather know that each child is being a watched by a parent who will keep them close?
When you are sitting in the restaurant, would you like to see children sitting quietly with attentive parents? Or have your ears blown out with screams and having to scrap off food that was tossed?
If I ever had acted like that, I would have been quickly taken out of the restaurant or store and put in the car. One parent would have stayed with me while the other finished paying and then we would have gone home where I would have had to go to my room. There was no tv in my room, no video games. All I was allowed to do was sit quietly until I was released. Then I was given special chores to complete.
Dare to be different in this world of being ‘easy’ parents, dare to discipline.
Dare to be the parents that God calls you to be. God does not discipline us because he hates us, but because he loves us. True love shows discipline.
How do I know that I am a child of God? He corrects my behavior by disciplining me.
It is not always comfortable, but is always needed.
How can we do any less if we wish to raise children of worth?
It’s hard. It’s messy. I know this. Emotionally it can be horrible because you don’t want to be the mean one. But would you rather raise your children right and know that you have given them as much help as possible in facing the world? Or would you rather give them no help in realizing that the world will not give them anything simply because they demand it?
Discipline is much different than abuse. Abuse is horrible and must be stopped. Discipline does not need to be physical to be effective.  Discipline is needed so that we can raise up the next generation of honorable and respectful people. If we call our children our future, shouldn’t we want to see them ready to take it on?

Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child the way he should go; even if he is old he will not depart from it. 
Hebrews 12:11- For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Irked in a bookstore

I love bookstores, I love walking among the stacks of fresh minted books, and thinking of the possibilities. I love the library too, because of the stacks of well used and loved books that have passed knowledge from one person to another. But, this weekend, the bookstore annoyed me.
I love seeking knowledge. I love seeking God focused knowledge even more, why else would I be in a Seminary? But, anyways, I digress.
I went to my local Christian Bookstore to mosey through the new books. I like spending time there because every once in awhile I find a great book, like Special Needs Special Ministry (which sadly seems to be now out of print) that really helps me either spiritually or educationally. I would have totally missed it if I hadn’t spent time there. It was the only type of book on Disability Ministry (which proves to me we need more authors out there working on this topic..hint hint 🙂 It is now a part of my class curriculum and I love it.
This weekend though, when I was walking through the books, I was confronted with all of the “self-help” literature. Odd titles that rubbed me wrong and made it seemed that we can do certain things through our own power. “How to Diet like Adam and Eve,” “Be the Perfect Godly Wife,” “Turn your loveless marriage into a Godly one,” “Change your Child’s attitude in 48 hours” (Or something like that)
We are so focused with doing things through our own power. Even when finding ways to have a better prayer life, it is about what you need to do -finding a quiet place, doing a ritualistic action- rather than asking God to teach you how to pray.
Hello!! The Bible covered this!
The disciples asked Jesus about how to pray! “Lord, teach us how to pray.” (Luke 11:1-13)
Christ answered, he gave us a format if we need it. When we are first learning to pray, or to learn how to pray deeper we follow it. “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Christ reminds us that we need to remember that
1) God has the power, not us.
2) He will give us what we need for the day.
3) He has forgiven us, and we MUST forgive others.
4) God won’t lead us to be tempted. (We can do that all on our own)
Why do we need self-help books on how to pray more, when we have the greatest teacher giving it to us…for free?
I’m sure these people who are writing these books are great, they are Christians who want to help others. In someways, they are teachers who are reaching out to numerous hurting disciples.
My complaint, hesitancy, whatever you want to term it, is that we are so busy saying that can change through my own power, that we forget that we can ask God, to change our hearts.
We can ask for more faith- Romans 12:3 “God has allotted each a measure of faith.”
We can ask that our faith will be sustained- Luke 22:31-32 “”Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that you faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers”
Why do we ask for other people to guide our faith when we can ask God to help us?
We can get disciplers who encourage us on our walk and who teach us to get deeper into our faith (I talk about the Paul, Barnabas, Timothy relationship here) and we should have them. They are helpful, and we are all called to do the same.
I am just hesitant to have someone I do not know, have no clue about their own spiritual walk telling me how to find God and be his child. I have the Bible for that.
Self help books have helped people. I know this. But, it’s not Scripture and it is not inspired by God. On the ladder of helpfulness, for me the self-help book isn’t even represented for me.
What are your thoughts on Self-Help books?
Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”

 

Breaking the Christian Bubble

For the last 6 years I have been living in what is termed a Christian Bubble. Everyone on campus is Christian and believes in the same key ideals as me. I work and go to school in the same area, and before this year, I lived there as well. Not only that, when I went home to my parents, I was surrounded by more Christians because I was with my parents and then went to church. If it wasn’t for my grandparents and extended family, I would be totally surrounded by like-minded believers.
While this isn’t bad, it’s not good either.
When you always surround yourself by like-minded people you forget how to communicate with those who don’t believe as you do.  We get so used to hearing the Christian language and vocab being used that we forget that not everyone speaks it.  When this happens we start to become judgmental of those we are suppose to be sharing God‘s love with.
I was reminded about this wonderfully in the ongoing story of my injured foot. I am always willing to speak to anyone who wants to, but I haven’t had to have an extended conversation about faith with anyone beyond my own family who are non-believers.
I’ve been having to go to physical therapy twice a week to work on my foot (tomorrow I’m going to have an MRI to see if there is more damage than first thought 😦 ) because it’s not healing that well. But, the guy who is working on my leg is….interesting.
There really is no other word for this guy. He is simply interesting. He says he’s from a Catholic background but isn’t practicing. He’s a divorced 33 year old and according to him a co-dependent personality and he was in a new relationship within weeks of his divorce because of that. He’s an ADHD extrovert without a lot of verbal boundaries.
To say the least, I’m not bored in physical therapy!
The second day with him, he asked how long had I been dating my boyfriend? To which I did my usual- Don’t have a boyfriend, never have.
This seemed to horrify him.
He asked “Does that mean you’re a….”
Me- “Virgin? Yes, it does.”
To which he said, “I am so sorry.”
As if it’s horrible to be 27 and a virgin!
As if I should be ashamed by that title!
I’m not. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
He wondered if I felt like I had missed out on something huge, because he said he would have. I said no. Then he wondered if it was a religious thing, to which I said it’s part of it but it’s not the full reason.
What has followed after that appointment are more bizarre conversations about politics, religion, family, school, my boring life (his words) and other odd topics. Almost all of them end with him shaking his head either in pity or possible disbelief. He doesn’t understand it. I’m a novelty to him because I’m not ashamed of who I am or what I stand for, I’m not trying to make excuses for what I believe. I simply believe.
I also don’t judge him. A lot of friends and family members are a bit horrified by my stories, a few have suggested I report him,(to say the least my dad wasn’t too happy about the whole virgin conversation….) But, this is life. This is what outside the Christian Bubble looks like. It’s messy, crude, and bizarre.
He has asked me questions about the Bible that if I had come out and judged him in that first meeting, I would never had heard.
I am of the firm belief that judging someone has never caused them to turn to God, rather it makes them angry and bitter towards Christians. There is a reason why Christians have such a bad name. We are known as a hypocritical group that is judgmental and lies about our own sins. We condemn the world while not cleaning up our own mess.
My Grandma had a saying, “Don’t go cleaning up someone else’s porch until you clean under yours.” You can probably figure out that its based off of Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I am not perfect. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I’m selfish, I’m given to bouts of depression and anger, I like my food a little too much, I have a sarcastic snarky self that makes appearances on occasion and so many more things…No, I’m not perfect.
I also believe that I don’t have the right to judge a non-believer by the same standards as I hold myself to. They don’t understand that what they do is spiritually wrong because they don’t believe the same ideals as I do.
All I can do is be myself and pray over them.
Many of the people who are uncomfortable with my ideals are those who know what they are doing is wrong but aren’t ready to change. So be it. If it bothers them too much they will leave, it won’t be because I verbally abuse them by judging them. I will love them, because ultimately they are my brother and sister in the world, and hopefully, some day they will become my brother and sister in Christ.
That all to say, I am still meeting with my physical therapist who keeps me on my toes, both figuratively and literally, and while I am in major pain when he is working on my leg, I slowly introduce him to the God who is waiting for him.
I am breaking this Christian Bubble around me because it doesn’t do me any good. Yes, I can minister with love and compassion to other Christians, but it doesn’t bring anyone new to the church. We become numb to our own salvation when we don’t get to witness and be part of the salvation story of a new believer.
They are the flaming branch to a smoldering fire. They are the flowing water to a parched desert. New believers revitalize us and gives the church a new revival.
Break the Bubble! Bring them in! Go out and talk to the Goth, the Buddhist, the Muslim, the Atheist.  Stretch your thoughts and work your prayer muscle. Our faith isn’t suppose to have easy answers. We are suppose to be wrestle with the hard questions that the everyday person is living with.
Have you broken the Bubble yet?
Romans 1:14-17
 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”