John 17:20-23 - "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me."
Disclaimer: I have no actual understanding of what any of the John 17 passage is saying right now. Best summary is that Jesus is saying that just as the Father is in Him and He is in the Father, that He desires that those who believe in Him will have the same kind of belonging to the Father as He does. I welcome any comments on this though.
Dear God, You ask that I come to You and accept Your love and friendship with me. Why would You be a friend to me when I am apparently so undeserving and so undesirable? Tom said he was my friend and then when grace was most needed, he believed some lies, spread them, and shattered everything and crushed my spirit. He cannot be a Christian. He has not shown the marks of a true Christian. He has made no effort to seek peace or restoration with me. God, in light of that, how can I trust that You really are a friend? Belonging? Oh how I wish! But God, as much as I want to belong, when churches abuse and bully those who have autism or any other kind of special needs, they make the world unsafe for us. The onus is on them in the end because if they are a church that does such heinous acts, then they are not following You to start with since You and Jesus have such compassion for the least of these and Jesus refers to anyone who does not treat them well as goats. Hmmm.... That would mean that Tom is a goat herder, not a shepherd. Even if he was a shepherd, the fact that he threw a sheep off the cliff just because it was crippled was wrong in itself. Heaven will rejoice all the more when he does finally come to his senses and seek peace and restoration with me. Belonging? The tea party doesn't think anyone who is not rich or healthy belongs in America now. They claim to be "patriots," but they are willing to cut veteran's healthcare and throw their fellow Americans off a cliff by starving them and denying them access to healthcare they might need and resources they need to stay afloat. They claim they are only doing what You would have them to do. Well, that is a problem now then, isn't it. Because You would make sure that we have access to medical care if we need it, food, shelter, water, clothing, and most of all, You would still treat us with dignity and respect. So if they are cutting off the least of these and cutting off the social safety nets that help them, then they are clearly not acting in Your name at all. The thing is, an article came out yesterday that the South Carolina governor (republican (most likely tea party extremist)) wants to get rid of public schools because public schools are not in the Bible. Well, neither are private schools. But by that logic, they cannot have guns either because guns were not in the Bible. I learned that whenever anyone tries to impose rules based on something that is not specifically mentioned in the Bible that they are being legalistic which is as sinful as being libertarian. The problem I have with the tea party is that are libertarian. Which means they don't really want to play by the rules of the game. They are trying to create their own rules and pretend like they can just blow off all the rules that have come along since the original constitution. They are fighting a war citing Christianity but they are hellbent on protecting the constitution. So much so that they have become white supremists again. They want their guns and they want America to be all about Christians but no one else. The thing is, if you look at how they define socialism, Jesus is the spitting image of socialism in action. Sarah Palin is an airhead more interested in being able to own a gun to shoot moose than to make sure that the least of these are taken care. She claimed to be in support of veterans having healthcare but the Paul Ryan budget of hate that the GOP passed in congress that will be dead on arrival in the senate due the unnecessity of it and also due to the fact that it again attempts to destroy the ACA which is helping millions of people everywhere now threatens to cut veteran healthcare. Talk about double standard hypocrisy or being uninformed. So yes, God, while I may have belonging when You finally decide to send Jesus back or when You finally decide to bring me home to You, I do not have belonging here on this side of heaven. Because I am apparently not wanted or desired by most churches or by most people. It grieves me when I see a parent of a child with special needs who would not be able to remain insured for long due to all the medical needs vote against her best interest by voting against anyone who supports the ACA. If it were not for the ACA, her child could be dropped or hit a lifetime cap and then what? Her family could lose everything they own. Unless her desired job is one that will secure millions of dollars a year. It also grieves me seeing the parents of children with autism pitting themselves against the adults who have autism. And for that matter, as much as I do not agree with everything that Autism Speaks is about nor TACA (there is no cure for autism, there never will be, there does not need to be, and I do not care what the cause is because I know what the cause is and it is genetic just like ADHD), I support any organization that is raising awareness of autism and providing any resources and information about it. Autism Speaks is more about legislative advocacy than anything else. And if people honestly think that they are suppressing the people with autism from speaking, they really need to think again from the insight of a person with autism. The way I see it is that as long as you are writing on their page, you have a voice. And they may or may not respond to it, but you are speaking. Hence, autism does speak. But the problem is that all these people are so focused on the children (we must help the children who have autism, they need therapy, they need this, they need that) that they forget there are adults with autism who are now floundering and that their children will also become adults who have autism and will end up floundering as well unless something begins now to address the issues that adults with autism face. No job, no churches to minister to and with us, no schools, no community resources like recreation or home living resources or therapy, nothing. And if the adults with autism lack these things now, what kind of future is there for a child with autism who one day become an adult with autism? Not a good one so far. There needs to be a shift in the focus to addressing the problem adults with autism face. At any rate God, this all just goes back to the desire to belong. Bottomline is that I am a young and relatively new believer, a Christian, and I have no place to go to worship with other Christians because a church used the autism as an excuse to exclude me and to abuse me and to bully me and then the one friend I thought I could trust turned on me and has not evidenced that he is even a Christian over something he later claimed was a petty trigger to a meltdown (which he called a tantrum which means that perhaps he lied when he said he understood the autism after all, and a pastor who lies is not a pastor at all). If it was so petty a trigger though, then why would he refuse to seek peace and restoration and work toward biblical conflict resolution? Because of what he did, he brought down not only himself and his own reputation but the reputation of the entire church, not like they hadn't already done a good job of that themselves, especially the new "mercy" pastor. But still. And because of what he did, he brought down ALL churches and not just his own. God, I know that even if things do not get resolved this side of heaven although I pray along with many others that I will at least get answers this side of heaven if nothing else, answers from him, so that I can move forward, I know that You will deal harshly with him when judgment day comes and there is actually a chance that he will not be in heaven because of what he did. I mean those words from Jesus are pretty powerful: "Whatsoever you did to the least of these, you did to me.....Whatsoeevr you didn't do to the least of these, you didn't do to me." Sheep or goat. Which will it be? Thank You though. You are stirring in my heart in a major way. Thank You for wanting to be my friend even if I am not ready for that yet. In Jesus' Name, Amen!