I started this blog two years ago and only have, I think, five posts. “Is that bad” you may ask? Well it ain’t good. I started it because I thought I had something to say and that something was “I have a blog.” Not really the reason to start a blog. However the blogs I have posted were not written just to have something to write about but they meant something to me and that is when I figured it out – a blog should be written about things you really care about. It really should be about getting your voice heard (hopefully). So I have decided to “redo” my blog and the first thing to change is the name. I mean who really wants to read a blog titled jasoncanipe?? So I came up with Stained Saint.
The dictionary defines a stain as mark with colored patches or dirty marks that are not easily removed; damage or bring disgrace to; color by applying a penetrative dye or chemical. There are many things in my life that have stained me, things I am not proud of. They are dirty marks that have not been easily removed. Stains that have brought disgrace.
So why would I call myself a saint if I am stained, I mean isn’t stained saint an oxymoron? There are really several reasons or even interpretations I can use for my title. As I mentioned there are things that I have done in my past I am not proud of that I can never change, it is a stain yet I am not that person anymore, Christ has changed me. Or I see things in the lives of others that I believe need to be changed yet I deliberately look over my flaws thinking I am more “saintly” then him or her and that causes a BIG stain. Or (and I like this the best) I am not perfect, I have those stains from my past and I have those self-righteous stains, yet Christ’s blood has covered me and stained me making me a saint no matter what I have done or will do.
First Corinthians 1:2 says that we who are being sanctified through Christ Jesus are saints by calling. We think of a saint as somebody who is very “holy” yet that is just what Christ makes us when we come to Him. He makes us holy. That is not to say we are perfect but His blood covers over all those other stains making us all a Stained Saint.
This blog will focus on things that I have seen in the lives of Christians that I know must be changed yet I also realize that many of those things have stained my own life and therefore it comes pointing out not your flaws but OUR flaws and what Christ says about it. The stained part is knowing that I have failed an infinite amount of times but the saint part is the part that is a call to holiness.
So I invite you on this journey with me as we learn to think for ourselves and listen to one another in love and respect. After all we are Stained Saints striving for holiness.
Charles Swindoll says, “I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” Those are words that I am trying to live by. As we come into 2013, 99.999% of the population will be making resolutions or say they are “turning over a new leaf” (whatever that really means). But the truth is 98.999% won’t actually follow through. Why not just stop putting all that pressure on our selves?
See if we make all these resolutions but fail to follow through our attitudes will be affected. We will be irritated, stressed, or disappointed. So let’s just resolve to forget our resolutions. Oh yes, make changes, change is good. But realize the reality of them. We will not fulfill them perfectly. My cousin Summer had a great Facebook post:
“I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions…I prefer to not set myself up for failure. So I’m just gonna continue to be happy with my imperfections (ie: thick thighs, lack of a filter and a serious addiction to caffeine…oh yeah, and wine) all the while, trying smile at a stranger daily. #newyear #sameme #happygirl”
She is right. Most of the time we make resolutions we are setting ourselves up for failure. Why? Because we focus on the 10% and not on the crucial 90%. The 10% will cause us to fail. But the 90% will help us to succeed but yet it will also allow us to fail with grace. Our 90% will be what helps us to “smile at a stranger” instead of “throwing up the bird” at them.
In 2013 if you do make a resolution resolve to not let your attitude drag you into the mud, instead allow it to pull others from it.
Okay. So three posts over the past year – Is that bad? It ain’t good. But in my defense I had every intention of writing every day, okay every week, fine every month. Okay total honesty here – I may not of had every intention but I did think about it every once in a while.
Intentions. They can get you in trouble. There is a saying, “The road paved to hell is paved with good intentions.” However that saying works with a lot “The road paved to (insert destination) is paved with good intentions.” I have many good intentions. I intend to get my degree, I intend to get out of debt, I intend to really try and sell my motorcycle (okay I don’t really intend to do that), I intend to visit my brother in Kansas as soon as I know of a week there will be no tornados, I intend to get the perfect, rock hard abs I have always wanted…I could go on but that would take awhile.
My point is this, when we say we intend to do something we might as well as say, “There is a very slim chance that I will ever do that”. Intentions trick us into feeling that we are really going to accomplish something in our lives, when the issue is that intentions can paralyze us instead. When we intend we are only pushing the pot to the back, cold burner and leaving it. Whatever desires, dreams, and motivation that was in the pot becomes hard and crusty. The dictionary defines ‘intend’ as having a course of action for one’s plans, however there is a vast difference in having a course of action and taking that action. Let’s start taking that step and finishing all our intentions so that the “road to fulfillment is paved by fulfilled intentions.
And Josh I do intent to visit you.
“Don’t judge me!!!” Ever hear that comment before from someone? I am sure you have probably more times then you like to remember. This statement is one that drives me nuts. One reason it irritates me is because it is simply whining. But the main reason it irritates me is because people have taken this way out of context. When people say “Don’t judge me” or “Stop judging” or “You are judgmental” what they are really saying is “I don’t like it when you call me out for something I did or said that is wrong. I know that it is not right but really don’t call me out for it just keep that to yourself so that I can feel good about me and do what I want.”
Now before you get heated and think of all the arguments you have to prove me wrong let me just say I am not talking about legalistic or hypocritical judging. I have attended schools and I have known people who judge everybody for what they listen to, how they dress, if they go to the movies, or for saying those four letter words like “crap”, “piss”, or “butt”. Now for those us who listen to anything other then hymns, classical, or anything that “moves our feet instead of our heart” or for those of us who don’t want to wear anything that covers up anywhere that “the sun doesn’t shine” means all that is exposed is your head and hands, or for those of us who support the soft porn hollywood industry by taking our kids to see “Cars” in the theater, or for those of who need our mouth washed out a couple times a day for saying those forbidden four letter words – well maybe those who judge us for that are right but I am willing to risk it at the expense of not being legalistic. Nor am I talking about those who use every name in the Bootcamp Drill Sergeant’s Book of Cussing to judge you for saying “freakin”.
When someone is rightly judged they immediately become spiritual and say “Hey doesn’t the Bible say not to judge” or if they are really spiritual they will say “Judge not lest ye be judged”. But see they miss the point completely. Yes in Matthew 7 verse 1 Jesus says “Do not judge so that you will not be judged” but see people stop there but when taken in context Jesus is actually saying not to judge hypocritically or legalistically. When he says to first take the log out of your eye what he means is that we are to be spiritually clean in our own lives, in our own heart before we can tell someone else to get right with God. People like to ignore verse 5 but let me tell you what it says “You hypocrite, first take the log our of your own eye, AND THEN YOU WILL SEE CLEARLY TO TAKE THE SPECK OUT OF YOUR BROTHER’S EYE.”
Now let me add that I believe this is speaking of a believer judging another individual who claims to know Christ. We as believers are not to go around with our artillery of Bible verses blasting those who do not believe. But see we are commanded to hold other believers accountable. John 7:24 Jesus commands to “judge with righteous judgment”. Now you can point out many passages in which Paul says not to judge but again you must look at context. 1 Corinthians 5 Paul judges a young man who is having a sexual relationship with his step-mother which was an immorality that was not even among the Gentiles (or pagans). He actually goes on to say in verses 9-11 that believers should not associate with other believers who practice immorality, who are covetous, who have other gods in their life. He even says not to associate with a believer who is a drunk.
So what is the point of my rambling? It is this, we as believers are to hold other believers accountable for how they live if they are going to profess Jesus as Lord. If we can look into our lives and see we are clean before God then we have been commanded to judge or call out those who are not living right. Now we must do so with love and discernment but we must take a stand when other brothers and sisters in Christ are bring shame to His name.
So the next time you are about to say “Don’t judge me” think about it. Is the person who is judging you doing so with a right spirit, are they abstaining from what they are calling you on, and are they doing it in love? If they are then you may want to listen to their “judgment” it just might bring you back to a right relationship with God or keep you from so awful mistakes.
That is what I believe on judgment. So don’t judge me okay.
Today is my birthday. I am 32 years old. Within the last four days I have attended two funerals. You may have heard it said but when you look at a headstone there are only two dates, the person’s date of birth (DOB) and the person’s date of death (DOD) but what about that little mark in between those two important dates? You know the one the ,”-” dash. It is such a small symbol of life. But is that not what people go to funerals to remember, the life of a person? And yet all we see is a dash. What that dash should make us ask is what kind of life did that person live. What an important question, what kind of life do we live. Some try to live a life filled with success and accomplishments, others live for meaning and significance, some live for the day – “carpe diem”, others live for future, while many live in the past, some live by the “golden rule” and others live by the “law of the jungle” – but what kind of life was lived?
As I grow older, as I watch my son grow older, and as I look toward my second child to come into this world I ask myself “What kind of life am I living that my kids see?”. The way in which we live our lives as parents will be a measuring rod by which our children live their lives. We all want the dash to mean something, we all want to live a life that was worth living and a life lived well. But how is that done? Jesus said in the gospel of John chapter 10 verse 10 that HE came that WE may have life but even more then just life that our life may be abundant. Abundant means plentiful but here are some other descriptions: rich, lavish, abounding, liberal, generous, overflowing. The Psalmist said that “my cup overflows” (Ps. 23:5) – That is life that only Christ can bring!!!
What will the dash say about you?
My name is Jason Canipe and I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband, and a father to two (the second one will join us in July but here all the same now).
Some of the blogs will be on the spiritual side, some will be just to vent, some will be to praise my awesome God. Some you may agree with, some you may disagree with, some you may be indifferent to. Some may encourage you, some may infuriate you, some may make you smile, some may make you laugh, some may make you want to throw your computer out, and some may make you say “What?” But I hope they all will cause you and me to think for ourselves. My brother Josh gave me a book one time by Soren Kierkegaard (not an easy guy to read) and on the inside he wrote “lazy readers make lazy thinkers”. That has stuck with me. My prayer is that I am not a lazy writer, you a lazy reader, and none of us lazy thinkers.
So enjoy what I write or don’t, give me your comments and your thoughts but please before you make any decision on what I write make sure you have thought about it.