Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why I love living in the Bible Belt

Yesterday while waiting in a lobby I visited briefly with the security guard.
When I asked him conversationally how he was his immediate answer was "Blessed and highly favored".
We chatted for a few minutes and he made another quotable statement. He said he was:
"Too blessed to be stressed.
Too annointed to be disappointed".
It is very common to see license plates around here that say things like BLESSED, LVDBYGD, PRAISIN, or variations of the like.
It is very common for someone to discuss openly that they have been praying about something.
I am regularly told to "Have a Blessed Day".
I have been in line at Walmart on at least 2 occasions and had conversations with the person next to me about Jesus Christ.
I think these things stand out to me, not only because I have a very strong faith and love seeing the light of Christ in others, but also because I have lived before in areas where although religion and faith were common interests and seen generally as a high priority by the majority of the population, it was rarely if ever discussed outside of church meetings and activities, and almost never brought up with strangers.
I am still working on building my courage to discuss my faith openly, but I am making progress, and I am learning from those around me who might not even share my ideas on specific doctorine.
Here's a thought: We've all heard the phrase "If you've got it, flaunt it".
Does that have to only mean physical attributes? Shouldn't it apply even more to spiritual attributes?
I'm going to try to keep working on enhancing my spiritual attributes and my confidence to flaunt them. I'll also work harder to see those qualities in others.
That's my rant for the day. I hope it was helpful to you too.


Christi said...

Oh in Tennessee for 10 years, BIBLE BELT USA! It truly amazed me the critical and almost abusive nature toward my religion. Let's define a Christian.
" Someone who follows the teachings or manifests the qualities of Jesus Christ."
Hmmm.....descibes me. I found after many glares and tsks when I said I was a " Mormon " that I became stronger each time I felt like I had to defend my religion. I have never critized others religions, or judged their beliefs.I simply live my life in a Christ Like manner ( As best I can, imperfection sucks!!) In time, I believe there was respect for me, for my family, and for my beliefs. I'm not saying I had people lined up for baptism, but I made really good friends who asked questions that previously they had misconceptions about, and I did not hold back. I asked questions of my Jewish friend, my Southern Baptist friend, my athiest friend. I found similarities, and lots of differences, but I learned none the less. Some people are taught from a very young age ( IN their own Sunday school classes) that Mormons are a cult.
So, if you've got it, flaunt it.... I like that used in a spiritual context.It does take courage, and your heart will be in your throat the first time you share. What is amazing though is when you share your testimony, others realize what we all have in common. That God loves us ALL, that Jesus is our personal Savior.
Happy Valentines Della!!!

Tom and Lillie Wilkinson said...

I loved that about living in Missouri, I think though that we have to be careful with "flaunting" our religion/faith. we want to let our light shine, but to me flaunting is pushing or trying to "overshine" someone else. So remember to "Let your light shine" like we sang about in primary. People will notice that your light is bright and will ask questions. be ready to answer them. I found that if I prayed for a missionary moment like our stake pres. told us to, then someone would ask a question. When someone says to you, I thought mormons were scary, your not scary, why? are you ready to answer?

Della Hill said...

Wow, guys.
Thanks for the comments!
I was challenged by our missionaries a few months ago to pray for missionary experiences, but before I could do that I had to pray for the courage to have missionary experiences.
I practiced with the missionaries how to answer some common questions and we talked about different ways I could have missionary experiences.
Since then I have been more courageous, and have even passed out several pass along cards. Some directly to people, and some by leaving them in waiting rooms. One lady that I talked to in a shoe store even gave me a hug when I gave her a card, and promised me she would call for the free video.
I'm getting better at it.
My whole point of the post was that I appreciate living around other people who love Christ too.
I really appreciate your comments.