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I had NO intention of blogging this topic. Quite honestly I had an adult “issue” I was going to write about. Its Saturday! night and well, well..nevermind thats another HOT topic for another time. For some reason I find I can’t “not” write this line of thought out..To bounce it off y’all and hopefully get feedback. Either way I’m feeling a need to write-it-out. Might not be able to sugar coat it; but then again thats not my writing style. Ready or not here I go…>>

DISCLAIMER: Sort of;  for I make NO apologies @ I am a Believer in God the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit. I don’t , however, claim to know all Bible Scriptures by heart..Not sure I ever will. But what I do strive to do daily! is live as I think a  Christian is supposed to live and B. Yet, I’m still learning how to even fully do that. So with that as the backdrop here are a few thoughts, ponderings(a Berna’ism) , recent relevant experiences I’d like to share..>>

First things first. A few questions I’ll attempt to answer in this write..Does being a Believer in God; give someone the “right” to claim those who don’t are condemned to hell ? Does being a Believer aka(also known as..) a Christian; require LIVING as a Christian or just professing it? Do folks who go to church get more “credit” or God brownie points; than folks who don’t? Does going to church make someone a Believer? Can a believer in God be someone who doesn’t yet “realize” they are a Believer? Yea,  I really have these type of thoughts from timetotime..my mind has a mind of its OWN I have no control over where my thoughts will wander..So I stopped even trying>>

I’ve been on both sides of the fence..Was once a wanna-B-Believer. Attended church yet! I didn’t have faith nor did I truly believe in something I couldn’t see..I wanted to believe SO badly; but truth be told I didn’t even know how to pray back then. When I listened to how my exhusband prayed so easily & out loud with me; I was in AWE. I kept wondering how that “feeeeeling” was felt..To pray to someone that one could NOT see, feel or touch. I rode on my Mom’s strong, unwavering FAITH for years..I hoped! God gave me credit , brownie points, because I wanted to Believe. Did that count? Wanting to believe; badly? I can say this with utmost honesty..I didn’t know HOW to pray back then but when I did pray? I prayed that I would wake UP a Believer in God! And then one day, finally, while I was wide awake one morning and actually reading a very, big Bible…searching and searching for something to help me! through what I was going “through” at the time..I had a spiritual awakening SO strong & so vivid..that it knocked my socks off! And I wasn’t wearing any I was barefoot…>>

Since then? I’ve been on an UPhill momentum to walk like, I think, a Believer is supposed to walk. Sometimes its a very, very shaky-balance-beam walk & other times its smooth and easy. In my heart of hearts I think that is how it IS for everyone..If not I don’t think we’d be human. But those are just my thoughts …I don’t profess to know anyone else’s experience; but my own. Even prior to my first spiritual awakening(I’ve had 2 more since then..) I was already at heart a kind, compassionate person. I’ve always tried to “see” the best in people; before I assume the worst . And believe it or not; the ratio of that working out to long-lasting friendships/relationships has been great! My  natural instinct about people, the vibes I feel from them, is pretty good. Plus I’ve found often times? If you expect the BEST from people; they’ll rise to the challenge. Now that I think about it God has placed ALOT of really good people in my life; always. Even before I realized that was the case…>>

In my walk..I’ve heard people judge other peoples’ religious practices..I’ve heard people judge MY religious beliefs. I am a fully practicing Catholic. Exclamation point. Period. I’ve heard people, PROfessed Christians/Believers condemn others to Hell who don’t profess to be Believers..I’ve heard people chastise others(behind their backs..) about not attending church often..I’ve seen Christians who look & act miserable..My beliefs? I don’t believe ANY of us has the right to condemn anyone to Hell. How do WE know that the nonverbally professed Believer isn’t truly a Believer; and just doesn’t realize it yet? So to condemn that person to Hell is that God like? Is that what Jesus would DO? I may not, matter of fact I don’t have all the answers..but I just don’t feel that is cool nor the right thing to do. Shouldn’t it just be moreso about living as a Believer and not trying to micromanage other folks souls? Isn’t the best way to teach by …example? IF I saw a bunch of miserable frowned UP faced folks on the advertisement of a so-called comedy..And I love a good comedy cause I love, love laughing..well that is one comedy I’d NOT go see! But then again I’m still learning..and the more I learn..the more I yearn to learn..>>

Lately? In the most unlikely places folks, strangers, walk UP to me & say things like “YOU must be a Believer!” (that honestly happened at my Gyn’s office lobby) or “You are a Believer aren’t you? Can I talk to you? And forgive me for asking first; but some people get offended IF they’re not a Believer”(that happened at the Library) I find myself having UNprompted-by-me-conversations about God, Jesus, believing..etc etc at all sorts of places lately. And its WOWing me..Its like WOW so this is what being a Believer IS like..Other Believers really CAN pick up on it..Reminds me of a song we sing in my choir@ They’ll know we are Christians…>>

What I’ve learned..Its the people who I felt , at first, annoyed me the MOST..that I learn from! And part of the lesson is ME learning; to get over my annoyance & to use tolerance..and next! thing I know they’re my friend. Thankfully this hasn’t happened often..Normally? I easily friend pretty much anyone I come into contact with. You’re not a stranger long in my world..I’ve got an in-your-face-this -is-me personality..Some say its larger than life(actually a friend of mine recently told me without heels on I was MUCH shorter than my personality..) Either like or love me; or not. Whichever way you choose or are drawn IN..I’ll talk you too pieces. Lol, lollll. Aren’t but a few people I’ve met(maybe 3 in my lifetime) that I’ve got NOT 1 word I wish to say. Nada..but thats rare for me. And I’m trying hard to work on that too. I say all of this to say this = IF we say we are Believers; should not we strive to live as such? Outwardly? Better yet…WE shouldn’t have to say we’re Believers IF we’re living as such. Right? Or least this is the way I see it..Would love to hear thoughts on this topic..Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)

FootNote: Yep, I accidentally left out a part last night..Sleep was calling my name & I heeded..But anyways question I glossed over my questions  involving  attending church.@  Does going to church grant folks a get-into-Heaven-pass? AND Does going to church make one a Believer? ONE of the main things I struggled with the most in my pre-Believer part of life was attending church on a regular basis. It was my belief that there is NOT a place to go , just one! place, to find/seek GOD. IF that was the case I wasn’t sure if I wanted to find Him…IF that was the case what IF I physically couldn’t make it to church that week? What IF inclement weather stopped me from getting to church? And who the heck KNEW what amount of times of going to church was going to grant this God seeking mission? Was going to church ONCE a week enough? Oh! I had alot of arguements against churching it on a regular basis..Alot. Yet, I felt better overall when I “did” attend Mass on a regular basis even back then..Even though, I didn’t feel fulfilled..something was missing. I was going THRU the motions but I wasn’t feeling a belief in the memorized scripture or rituals. I was going to church because I figured I was supposed to go ; with my sons in tow. Now? I feel attending church(Mass) is an opportunity to commune with my fellow brothers & sisters. An opportunity to PRAY as a group, to WORSHIP as a group ..together..as I feel is intended. I also believe in the power of prayer & that its multiplied when done in numbers. And when I sing in the choir? Oh my goodness , I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I sing praises to God? Its in a sense a prayer inofitself that I’m offering up to my Maker. My Creator. My Protector of my soul and my very BEing..Its such an intense feeling for me. Sacred. I’m in tune with Him and often times forget I’m in a room, a space, with many. And it is “those” times when I feel the Holy Spirit come down over me in such a way its just, well, overwhelming, and I just lose control of my emotions. And THAT is the best, euphoric, feeling I’ve experienced on this Earth. I sincerely wish I could bottle that feeling UP & spray it on myself the rare times these days when I’m in a FUNK. You know those times when you just can’t manage to shake OFF those yucky, funky, F’ed UP  vibes? Yep, I know I’ve digressed & badly..bottom line is I don’t feel going to church makes one a Believer. Nor does it grant a get-into-Heaven pass..I also believe there are people who Believe that just haven’t put a name on it/haven’t realized they Believe/but walk & live as Believers. I also believe there are self-professed Believers who do NOT act very Christian like; alot. Personally? I fail every day in some way to B a perfect Christian or Believer. I’ve come to the belief I don’t think there IS such a thing as a perfect one. Nada. Zilch. And IF I ever run across one ; I’m going to take a picture of them & post in right here on my blog. They don’t exist..