#RealTalk : Private Spirituality

We’re in the home stretch of Lent.

Easter is less than two weeks away. And if you’re anything like me, then maybe you’ve slipped up a time or two – or twenty – on what you’ve “given up” for Lent.

giphy-2.gif

So these last two weeks are the final push – the home stretch where you give it all you’ve got.

Every year during Lent, I try to watch The Passion of the Christ. And if you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest watching. Yes, it is difficult to watch at times. Yes, it is emotionally exhausting. Yes, it is long, and you will need to wear waterproof mascara, but trust me when I say, it will make you see your personal relationship with Jesus in an entirely new light. And make your faith come alive in such a personal, moving way.

And sidenote: Jim Caviezel did an amazing job portraying Jesus. And if you’ve never heard his personal testimony about his faith and what he went through to execute that role, I would highly suggest listening to his testimony on YouTube.

But one of the things that I take away from the movie, after witnessing the excruciating suffering He endured – the torture, the mockery and humiliation, the physical abuse – was how extreme His love is for me.

a-jesus-in-trial-before-the-roman-empire_0

Jesus took all of that, and atop Calvary, publicly stood up for me.

It was a public declaration of love. Defending my salvation – taking the nails literally, so I could be free and get to Heaven.

It is almost too much to comprehend.

One of the things about this time we’re living in, is how private people are about their faith.

We’ve become a society where people are no longer are “faithful,” but spiritual. God is now “The Universe.” Brunch has replaced church. And as a natural progression, any faith we do have left, has been hidden away into the privacy of our minds and homes, for fear of being seen as “weird,” “antiquated,” “close minded” or worse…”religious.”

I hate to admit it, but sometimes, when celebrities or people throw out the vanilla “My thoughts and prayers are with [insert tragedy victim]…” I know it’s horrible, but I sometimes will literally think with pleasant surprise…”Oh, you pray??” 

We have put any inkling of faith left into a little bubble that no one sees, no one talks about, and no one demonstrates, other than a banal tweet that lost its sincerity years ago.

We are a people of privacy.

Shop this look!

And I’m guilty of this too. I saw a friend at the grocery story the other day, and I told him I had just come from church, and I felt as though I had just admitted to still listening to Nickelback or something.

We’re afraid to share what should be the most important part of our lives.

img_0401

One of the comments I get a lot is how people are so surprised that I can share my faith so openly on my blog.

And honestly, I feel pretty convicted or even – phony – hearing that. Because there’s so much more I could be doing. And frankly, it’s a lot easier for me to write about on the Internet than in real life, but I am really trying to work on that.

img_3123-1

But why do I write about my faith?

It all goes back to The Passion.

Jesus defended me.Now, it is my turn to defend Jesus. 

If Jesus would have practiced our pathetic “2018 Christianity” and kept His faith private for fear of coming off as “religious“…then the crucifixion would have never happened. He would have never ruffled any feathers or caused a stir…Salvation as we know it would not be a thing. Because what He did was a public declaration of FAITH. Of TRUTHOf love.

Jesus was not ashamed or embarrassed to show His love and defend me and my shortcoming and sins through a public display of action that literally landed Him on top of a hill for the entire world to see. The least I can do is to share that with others.

The least I can do is live a life in gratitude for that gift, and try to live a life that points to Him.

Watching The Passion this year with that new perspective, I felt completely convicted. Because it all boils down to one question: Do I believe this? And if that answer is yes, then what am I going to do about it.

I could be doing so much more. There’s such a need for His love out there in the world. And not just the world – but in our own backyards. In our communities, friend groups, families – in our own hearts!

Lent is our time to reflect on His public declaration. And question how we are living in response to that sacrifice.

So in these last two weeks, I’m really going to try to remember as I go through my day, the fact that Jesus stood up for me. He stood up for me all the way to the Cross. The least I can do is stand up for Him.

img_0435-3

Quick sponsor shoutout…Did you see my FabFitFun unboxing video!? I am *loving* the spring box! It was valued at over $354.99! It’s a quarterly box of beauty, fashion, home and fitness products for only 39.99? YES. PLEASE. You can get $10 off when you use my code BLOOM10 at check out too 🙂

***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“***

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY!

_______________________________________________________________
STAY CONNECTED!

@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

A big thank you to my sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to stop by my link, amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones first! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog! (When you stop by my link first, whatever you get on Amazon will give this blog a little kickback :))

My favorite item someone purchased last week was a Three-Toed Sloth Stuffed Animal! So if that was you…THANK YOU! 🙂

patreon

For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! You make this blog possible 🙂

***NEW!! For outfit details, you can check out my LIKE.TO.KNOW.IT page or follow me in the Liketoknow.it App!

IMG_1288

img_2478

Published by

beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

281 thoughts on “#RealTalk : Private Spirituality

  1. Yess, I’m early! Anyway this was a great post, I really enjoyed reading it and you convey an important point about our faith! 🙂

    Keep up the good work 😀

  2. Caralyn, I agree with you completely and understand how it feels to be practically embarrassed to express what is truly in my heart before those who might misunderstand, or may view me as weak or simple. Having just said that, that estimation would be quite accurate, so why do I care? idk I should only be concerned with how I am viewed in His eyes

  3. Hi beaut…The Passion…I saw the movie only once and could not watch the whole presentation…I wonder if you have ever viewed the silent film from the late 1920s, The Passion of Joan of Arc, practically a teenage girl who was a warrior extraordinaire because that was her holy calling; she was an ardent follower of the King of King and Lord of lords, who faced down the oppressive English with heavenly instructions, but first she went to the king of France to gain permission to do the mission and that only went well because of angelic assistance…to compare the two ‘Passion’ movies spiritually would be difficult because that is probably not meant for comparison, but both movies trigger extreme emotional impact…here is an excerpt from a NY Times article written in November 2017:

    The poet H. D. began her review in the British magazine Close Up with the declaration that Dreyer’s “Joan” was “a film that has caused me more unrest, more spiritual forebodings, more intellectual racking, more emotional torment than any I have yet seen.” Writing in the National Board of Review Magazine, the critic Harry Alan Potamkin called “Joan” religious but not sanctimonious, ending his review by stating: “It is a transcendent film.”

    I have studied the life of Jean de Arc and admire her deeply. The movie has a music score but is otherwise silent. The lady who played Joan in the movie actually suffered during the filming, no easy time for her.

    The one comparison I would make is that Jesus suffered extreme persecution and torture in part because of the hatred inflicted upon him by the Pharisees, the prominent Jewish religious sect of the day; on the other hand, Joan faced in her trial which was recorded in detail and is still intact in its written record, the extreme persecution against her of very own church hierarchy – the Roman Catholic church.

    Joan was brave because of her faith in Jesus was unshaken by wordly or religious hatred.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. I have not seen that one. Sounds really powerful. I’ll have to check it out. Hugs and love xox

  4. You’re awesome! What a great post, and your Lenten traditions of watching The Passion and slipping up way too often on the things you give up for Lent sound identical to my own traditions…of watching The Passion and slipping up way too often on the things I give up for Lent. This is the time of year that I start trying to justify my slip ups with claims of celebrating a Saint’s day…a few days ago was St. Patrick’s Day (I had to celebrate that by letting up on the fasting!), today is St. Joseph’s Day (can’t miss that day!), and before we know it, we’re at Easter. You might want to adopt my strategy. 🙂 In all honesty though, I commend your faith!

    1. Thanks Rob. What a kind thing to say. I know! Easter will be here before we know it! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  5. I once heard someone say that the world doesn’t neet another secret agent Christian. I appreciate how you’re “putting it out there”. I cover some faith topics on my own blog but not as consistently as you do. Probably time again.

    1. A secret agent Christian. So true. Thanks for stopping by JP! Hope all is well! Hugs and love xox

    1. Yeah it really makes it come alive. Very powerful. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  6. “Jesus defended me. Now, it is my turn to defend Jesus.” Beautiful. And challenging. I would love your permission to use this in a homily (with attribution of course). Thank you for this inspiration.

    1. Thank you Rey. Gosh I would be absolutely honored. And I’d love to watch your homily too and hear tour thoughts!! Hugs and love xox

  7. When we read the Bible we are tempted to look at the foolish acts of God’s people of the past and in doing that we feel superior to them. But we are not! The Bible describes what humans are like walking around in the environment satan has usurped. So while we look at the Romans and Jews of that time with disgust at what they did, in actual fact we need to ask ourselves a question. What would we have been doing at that time? Running with our tails between our legs like all disciples did except John? Shouting out crucify Him? Or like Simon of Cyrene expressing genuine sympathy for the man who was actually God in the flesh and carrying the cross for him. Sobering thought. I think the greatest sacrifice was not the cross, though that was massive. It was God taking on the form of a baby to experience what we have to experience so He could understand us and our experiences when it comes time for the judgment. Imagine that! God stepping down from the perfection and harmony of heaven to grow up in this ugly world. It was done to demonstrate what true love is all about. Satan’s demonstration is chaos and hatred. God is love..

    1. This is such an insightful response. So powerful. You’re right – He is love. And we have to cling to that as we try to navigate this fallen world. Hugs and love xox

  8. I was hit and miss about sharing my faith for years. I finally remembered
    that He had redeemed me because he wanted to have a relationship with me.
    So I talk to people, as the opportunity arises, in agreement with Him—an opportunity to bless them!
    In the case of faith (our relationship with the one who redeeemed us),
    Give what you’ve been given (have fun).
    The seed has likely already been planted by someone before you.
    You may be planting or watering,
    He will bring the harvest (1 Corinthians 3)
    Thanks for your post, it got me thinking.

    1. Hi Ben, thank you for sharing your story. Amen!! Your words really hit home with me. thank you friend. Hugs and love xox

  9. Truth. It’s hiding our faith that has allowed it to even become the taboo thing it is in society’s standards, not discussing it has allowed the non-faithful to steer the conversation.
    I find myself asking that question a lot, “what more can I do for His Church?”.
    I get told by our elders in our gathering that I already do a lot for His Church, but I honestly look at myself in the mirror and know that I can do more. I can start tithing like I should be doing, if not the 10% then at least $20 a week. I can invite people to come out on Sunday with us, we’ve had some people stop coming to our church and it’s up to us to assist in the effort to get more people in the door (we are His emissaries and such). I can do a better job at delivering the message when it’s my turn to speak on Sundays. I can devote more time to His mission as a whole.
    I am tempted at times to not openly discuss the faith, but by not discussing it I am failing the unbelievers that interact with me. I livestream our service on my FB page, I don’t shove it down their throats but it’s there if they want to watch or listen.
    Keep speaking the truth.
    On a side note, I know you posted recently about worrying about attacks on churches. You can do something about that. This Thursday will be our church’s “Safety Team” first training meeting, while the Safety Team will involve security and other concerns, this meeting will be training all the volunteers on how to respond to traumatic injuries and use the supplies in the Church med bag.

    1. Thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts on this topic, Bryce. it sounds to me like you’re doing an awesome job! you’re an inspiration to me!! Safety Team – wow that’s so awesome. That’s a great idea. Hugs and love xox

  10. You’ve reminded me of conversations I’ve had with people who are very active in their churches. One is retired and works at the parish full time. Devout, teaching the youth. This person isn’t comfortable with sharing the faith outside of church.

    Everyone says that a person’s faith is a private thing that shouldn’t be interfered with. They only preach to the choir! I ask about Jesus’ command to go and teach all nations, and I get hostility. HOSTILITY! From fellow Christians!

    Part of it is what you wrote; we’re afraid of being shunned for sharing our faith. I also think that it’s the absence of community in society overall. You and I shared notes on how Halloween has changed since my childhood when it was a neighborhood event…still is in yours. Now we’re locked up in our phones, cut off from others.

    We used to go to friends’ houses to say hello without calling for permission. Now we text someone to ask if we can call them! We have walled ourselves off in so many ways!

    The reticence you mentioned to sharing your faith “live” is indeed partly the stigma of faith, but it’s also the unwritten rudeness of actually talking to people, actually connecting. But this is a gift you have. How many tales have you told us about people reacting openly to you? I think once people get over the shock of actual human contact, they might start to like it. Maybe not all the time, but enough.

    Maybe that’s the “in,” the entry to a conversation, to a life. A personal witness, seen in the eyes instead of a view screen. You may want to do more, but the stories you’ve shared here show how effective you have been when you make the effort!

    1. Thanks for this, Jeff. That is SO true! It’s absence of community! We’ve become non -commital, and more concerned with the community in our smart phones than the community outside our front doors. Amen! Your words resonated so much with me. thank you for sharing that Jeff. hope you and julie are having a great night. Hugs and love xox

      1. We are. Listen; would you remember me in your prayers? My last physical showed a big drop in testosterone and I’m officially anemic, which explains why I tend to sleep away my weekends lately. No one is quite sure why the anemia. Getting harder to work and keep up with writing. Thank you for your continuing messages!! xoxo

      2. oh gosh, Jeff, I’m so sorry to hear that. absolutely. i will pray big time for you. please keep me posted. hang in there, my dear friend. sending massive hugs

  11. I’m not afraid to talk about God. I’ve never been afraid but still this really touched me.
    Somehow I felt like I have messed up as a believer . This year I didn’t do anything really which is really disappointing 😢. But thanks for sharing as usual eye opening ❤️

    1. Thanks Sergine, I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 It always brings me comfort to remember that God sees our hearts 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  12. Let me come out of the comfortable shadows of the “bloggerverse” and offer affirmation and encouragement.

    I rarely, if ever, comment on others’ posts. However, over these past few months, I’ve been following and (usually) reading your posts. This particular blog post discusses an issue that I think is so prevalent in what you politely reference as “2018 Christianity.” The message is one that I think many discuss at one point or another, but unlike many such posts, I was compelled to read your entire post because of the “real” in it. When you write from the “real,” those posts are the most compelling and convicting.

    You have a gift for expressing your thoughts and feelings into written word. In my profession (i.e. academics), it’s a gift that I fear is becoming less realized by those who possess it. Keep writing. May the Lord continue to sanctify your heart, and exhibit Himself in your writing, your words, and your deeds. God bless!

    1. thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. I try very hard to not shy away from the “real.” So I am so glad this resonated with you. Thank you again for your kind words and for taking the time to respond! big hugs to you xox

  13. Awesome read, Caralyn!!! You would think that it would be easy to become desensitized to certain portions of the film, but each time I watch it, I find myself being humbled as I am reminded that this was all for me (if I may be a little selfish for a brief moment). And I want everyone to feel what I feel and understand it why it so important to my life. Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. thanks so much Sean. humbling is definitely a great word to describe the viewing experience. what an incredible gift He gave. Hugs and love xox

  14. Well said my friend. I am thrilled you are a fan of the “Passion of The Christ” Even as horrific as it was, the beating of Jesus, I have listened to some sermons on the radio and it sounds like his beating was even worse than the movie – to the point, one could not recognize it was Jesus any more.

    One of my favorite shows on Netflix is “Person of Interest”, you probably know who one of the stars is, Jim Caviezel . I only found out he was Jesus in the movie recently when I wanted to find other roles he had done. In a write up, Mel Gibson warned him that playing Jesus would affect his career and it did.

    I am very glad that you are taking a stand on your relationship with Christ, not being a closet one, like so many of us are, not just in our beliefs, but in our daily lives too. We are a “Christian” on Sunday and Wednesdays, but the rest of the week, it is all politically correct. I am exactly where you are on that path – taking a stand, being willing to step out of the crowd and say, hey, hey, I am a Christian and I am proving it not just with my words, but also with my actions.

    Paul and James have a slight disagreement about faith. Paul says actions cannot save you, but James states, your actions confirm your faith. Therefore, they both are saying the same thing, but the focus is on both ends of the spectrum. I think James, however; is saying faith is not faith until you do something, which require faith.

    I will admit, I do not do Lent. I never heard of it until – well since I was baptized in 2009, yep one of the older ones to do so. I looked for it in the Bible, did not find anything, so I did a search online and found it is a time made up by the Church, which is fine and I like the premise, but have not done it. Would love to have someone to do it with, I think that would be an awesome solidification within a relationship.

    How we make others strong is exactly doing what you are saying, be willing to stand up be a Christian with every word and breathe. Be willing to say Amen and God Bless. I don’t do this for effect, but I have my Bible with me at all times, at least in my computer bag which is in my car, and I often while waiting for anything, pull out my Bible and read it and study it.

    God Bless you for your stand, I am glad to know I have you, a sister in Christ to .stand with back-to-back against not only the forces of evil, but to proclaim our love and faith of Christ and to invite others to join us.

    God Bless you!
    Leland

    1. Hi Leland, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. yeah it was so powerful to actually see the scripture come to life in that movie. Hugs and love xox

      1. God Bless, stay warm and safe, I heard it’s a white day of fluffiness there today.

      2. Thank you so much. Oh yes – major blizzard! Hugs and love xox

  15. I so agree that Christians are less likely today to identify. I originally was just going to put stories on the blog when I was going to be the only author. I thought that maybe I would get no followers if it was a Christian blog. But, then, it didn’t matter, because God laid this on my hart as a way to tell my stories and encourage people to love the Lord, regardless of how many people follow. It became for Douglas and me a way to present our faith and explain why we are convinced of the reality of God th Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ, and believe that God the Holy Spirit lives in us. And we have been successful. What matters is if one person reads our posts and gets saved. Enjoy your posts.

    1. Yes! Encouraging people through faith is such an awesome thing to do. thanks for this awesome response. Hugs and love xox

  16. Beautiful post!! I also wanted to thank you because reading this blog has helped me a lot with self-image and being gentle with myself. 🙂 You also inspired me to start blogging again! Here it is if you ever had time to look at it 😛 (Ah, I always feel so awkward posting my own blog places haha) https://loveresides.wordpress.com/

    1. Hi Abigail, oh my gosh thank you for this awesome feedback. I’m so glad my blog has resonated with you. big hugs to you xox

  17. I truly appreciate your passion…but have you ever heard of the Franciscan interpretation of what the crucifixion was about? It comes from the Franciscan theologian John Duns Scotus just after the time of St Francis. Read Richard Rohr’s reflection at the following link. Not looking for a debate but I find many Christians don’t even know about this (including me at one time). This interpretation freed me…and frees me every day: https://cac.org/incarnation-instead-of-atonement-2016-02-12/
    Peace ~ Bill

    1. Thank you so much for this insight, Bill. I will definitely have to read about it! I am unfamiliar. thanks for passing it along! Hugs and love xox

  18. This again goes back to other posts I have seen lately with a similar theme – Western Culture has become so consumed by “offending” that we no longer are comfortable in our own skin. So many things we could place blame on but why? We don’t hold anyone accountable – we allow pro athletes to kneel for the National Anthem who are paid by ticket holders that are mostly church-going, freedom and military loving Americans. We are worshiping the wrong idols……

    1. thanks Jai. You’re right about that. We’ve made so many things idols. Hugs and love xox

  19. Have you ever watched Matthew by The Visual Bible? It’s longer than the Passion of the Christ but that’s because it’s verse by verse from the Good News According to Matthew. The person who plays Jesus is truly the best picture of Jesus I have ever found. It seems you can watch it on YouTube – https://youtu.be/fc8qOXeTsUQ.

    1. Hi Brad, thanks for this recco! I haven’t but I’ll definitely check it out! Hugs and love xox

  20. I’ve looked at some of the comments here and they are all well and fine but I have a bone about Easter as kid and never have gotten of over it. I was a lousy Easter egg hunter as a kid, never found more then few. Now! I know the important of Easter but it was them damn! eggs that frustrated me so. Too funny I’m 56 yr old and it still brothers me, I think I need counseling Damn!

    1. hahahah yeah, those egg hunts can be brutal. Kids are ruthless! hahaha Hugs and love xox

  21. This was such a great post! I love it when people talk about their faith and are open about it. When you do, you discover that others do the same thing (which is awesome!). You also never know who you are inspiring by talking about your faith 🙂 All it takes is one person. I remember growing up and my mom telling me “You maybe the only Jesus some people see.” Thanks for talking about your faith. Keep up the great work!

    1. aw, thank you so much Ashley! That’s so true! Vulnerability is contagious, and brings people together/strengthen relationships. I love what your mom said! Hugs and love xox

  22. Hi hi, is there cinema around you that’s going to show Paul, the Apostle this coming week too? I am looking forward for that movie this week 😊 Paul said ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, as it is the power of God who gives the salvation to those who believe – Romans 1:16 ☺️

    1. thanks, I’m not sure, I’ll have to check! i really want to see it though!! Hugs and love xox

    1. aw, thank you so much much. what a kind thing to say. so glad it resonated with you 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      1. I believe you are a light of the love of Jesus and I appreciate that you are willing to share how Jesus helped you overcome eating disorder because that gives hope to many people who struggle with ED. I will pray for God to continue to empower you and bless you.

      2. oh my goodness what a kind thing to say. thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. I am so touched. Hugs and love xox

  23. As always, appreciate your sharing a piece of your heart and struggles. There’s always something in there that resonates or connects. Be encouraged, Caralyn. God’s grace is sufficient and His power is perfected in our weakness. As you continue to seek Him and walk with Him, being filled with His Spirit, authentically sharing your faith more will be a natural by-product of that process. Funny your title is Real Talk: “Private Spirituality”. My post tonight is titled “The Struggle Is Real (And Often Unseen)”. I had just finished my already-titled blog post when I got the notification of your post. Ironic. Take a read when/if you have some time and let me know your thoughts, ya?

    1. thank you Jedi. what a kind thing to say 🙂 Amen – when we are weak, He is strong! haha – great minds 🙂 absolutely! Hugs and love xox

  24. Well said! And there is so much that I want to say, but the words are stuck! (Wow…how’s that for a confession from a pastor!)

    I think that we need to get ‘simple’ in speaking of and living out our Christian faith. It is the person in front of me that I must be concerned about…sometimes the conversation about faith takes off right away and sometimes it takes a while to get there…and I know, given what I do, that people look at me for a long time before they might seek to engage me… and how I treat them, respond to them, talk about others, life, myself…it makes a difference in whether or not I get a chance to share with them Christ’s great love for them

    Kindness…respect…listening…understanding…so important to me Caralyn…I have moments when I cannot, simply cannot, fathom what Christ has done for me, for us…and the journey of faith and life for me this year has been a challenge because what Christ did for me is both to make me, through His death, and praise God, His resurrection, right with Him!

    But it also is a reminder that my character and my habits are need to be changed, transformed…and that is the deeper and harder work of discipleship.

    I’ll stop now before I start going in circles…

    Bless you dearly my friend!

    Jim

    1. Thank you so much Jim, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this. Get Simple — I love that idea. Great thoughts, thanks friend. Hugs and love xox

  25. Right on again Caralyn. Whenever most of us attempt to share our faith in Jesus Christ, a battle starts up in our thinking process. Holy Spirit is inspiring us to share the Love, Sacrifice, Salvation, and Glory of Christ, and the enemy is saying things like:
    Do you think they really care? You don’t know enough theology. They will argue and win. They will embarrass you and tell others what you said. What makes you think yo are right, and they are wrong? Do you want all your co-workers to talk about you?
    And many other, even worse things fly through a person’s mind when the enemy attempts to disuade us from speaking about Jesus Christ.

    We need to remind ourselves, what Jesus Himself took on Himself for us, and that Holy Spirit Himself came to live within each of us who call upon Jesus as Saviour. Holy Spirit will give us words, and empower us, because He has come to direct others to Jesus Christ, and if He will work through us, we are blessed.
    God Bless you, Caralyn. We are blessed by God through you.
    Luv, 😀🌹❤️

    1. That is so true, George! it’s that little doubt that creeps in. Gotta remind ourselves that indeed. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  26. I appreciate you sharing your faith in our Lord. It is a beautiful story. I can not fathom what a sad and terrible place this world would be if Christ never walked the earth. He bridges the miles and miles between God and the world. God’s blessings to you.

    1. Thanks friend. Amen – He is that bridge. What an incredible blessing. Hugs and love xox

  27. I basically needed a maxi pad to collect the tears et al when I saw the Passion. BTW I loved your piece on the award show that featured Oprah and all the hypocrisy that was reported that evening.

    1. Hahah oh gosh you’re funny Brian. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. Hugs and love xox

  28. Caralyn,

    As you pointed out, “Jesus defended me, it is my turn to my turn to defend Jesus.” You do, in fact, defend Him in your daily walk. We are known by our fruits and you are inspiring people in ways that many people who claim to be Christians and even hold positions in the church do not do.
    You said, ” Because there’s so much more I could be doing. And frankly, it’s a lot easier for me to write about on the Internet than in real life, but I am really trying to work on that.” What makes you think that your gift or ministry isn’t exactly that? There are those who serve by teaching or preaching, others who are involved in street ministry, still others who feed the hungry. Your service to our Lord is of paramount importance to the furthering of His Kingdom as long as you are doing it for His glory.

    Love and Blessings,
    Jim

    1. Gosh Jim, I am humbled by your incredibly kind and generous words. Thank you. Your affirmation absolutely warms my heart. Sending such big hugs xx

    1. Thanks friend. Yeah, that’s when I usually watch it too. Such a powerful visual feat. Hugs and love xox

  29. Hey, I have a personal question: not necessarily about the post topic, but about religion. I am a Protestant, but I’ve been following your blog for a while, and I barely notice that we really are from a different denomination. I will admit, my only experience with the Catholic Church is what you read out of a history book when Martin Luther first split from Catholicism. So forgive me if I sound ignorant. My question is why did you decide to be Catholic? What made you decide to be Catholic, not Protestant? I would love to understand.

    1. Thanks for your question. Yes, I am Catholic, and I love being Catholic. I was raised Catholic – I want to raise my future kids Catholic. That being said, I don’t believe that One denomination is the “right” form of Christianity or another is the “wrong” form. There are just slight dogmatic beliefs that differ. At the end of the day, I don’t even like discussing these differences because I personally feel that they just drive people apart or cause unnecessary rifts or divides when in my opinion, we’re all on the same team: Team Jesus. 🙂 That being said, there’s a lot of misconceptions/stereotypes about Catholicism – it is the butt end of a lot of jokes, but I have had nothing but a wonderful, faithful experience that has fostered a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a desire to share His love with whoever i can 🙂 so that was a long answer, but I do think it’s important just to state that we’re all on Team Jesus 🙂

  30. What a perfect post for today! I found myself nodding “yes” over and over. We ARE so blessed and I find myself overflowing with grattitude for His gift-especially this time of year. I applaud you for contintuing to speak of your faith through your blog-even as it grows. I strongly believe He is behind your growth. People are longing to hear this even if some are quietly taking it in. You are a great light!

    1. Thank you so much friend! Gosh I am so touched by your kind words. God is good! Hugs and love xox

      1. It’s easy to lose site of who we are and what we stand for the more “popular” we get. Your blog, book, game has just blown up! I’m so excited for you! Just keep it up and don’t let “the world” alter what you right about too much! I love to follow you. You’re so inspiring!

  31. When we know what Jesus did on the cross and the devil challenges our identity we can declare – I am a daughter or a son of a living King, I am unique in the eyes of my Father. We are made for more than what we are busy with. STEP UP for Jesus,He is worth it. Be blessed

  32. Christ Jesus-Yeshua is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE!! ❤

    May our ONE TRUE GOD THE FATHER who art in Heaven Above Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends who STAND with the Holy Land of Israel-Yisrael and our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America and our Christian Earth!!

    Praise Jesus-Yeshua Christ for Today and Everyday, HE is KING of kings and LORD ( ADONAI ) of lords, HE is the ALPHA and OMEGA, HE is the BEGINNING and the END!! Sing Glory Glory Hallelujah and Maranatha EVERYONE!!

    Our ONE True GOD’S LOVE 💜💕 is ETERNAL THROUGH HIS SON Jesus-Yeshua Christ for Today and Everyday Forevermore Everyone!!

    I Love 💕💜 you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED 💜💕 EVERYONE FIRST Forevermore!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ) Everyone, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

  33. As I have moved to Norway, I find myself being pushed to be private. I am surrounded by atheists. I haven’t really observed lent. . . . I knew moving here I would be distant from the Catholic church and things would be harder. Many parts of me are completely foreign to them and Catholicism is one. I am a joke, an annoyance or even something stupid to them. Yet, I try and defend myself ever so politely. I am making an impression of the Church. I fight being private and the fight is real. <3

    1. Thank you Stiina for sharing your story. that’s got to be so hard. I will definitely keep you in my prayers. I hope you can find a faith community there!! Hugs and love xox

  34. Very well said, Caralyn! Be bold and wear your faith in love — the one commandment that Jesus gave us before being nailed to the cross for all of us. Your wisdom is beyond your age, this dad says. Your parents must be very proud of you! Have a wonderful day!

    1. Thank you friend. Amen to that. And gosh what a kind thing to say!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  35. Good for you!! And I agree about The Passion of the Christ. A powerful film that everyone should see. Had a great impact on me at a critical time in my life. Thank you Mel Gibson (and God for inspiring him)!

  36. Hey there! I’m glad you wrote this one (well I’m glad you write, period). Because the public vs private thing is a long term area of debate and frankly, spiritual malpractice on both sides of the coin. There are definitely things we are instructed – by Jesus – to do in private, and they bring reward (see Matthew 6). And we are to be witnesses to God’s grace as well (Acts 1:8) – where the word for “witness” is the martyr (though a martyr in this sense doesn’t necessarily die for his/her faith).

    We mess it up, as you pointed out. We make private with is supposed to be public. But frankly, we make public what should be private too. Too often, a witness is forced or robotic (hand raised here). Too often it’s a political or tribal account we give and not one aimed at sharing all that we have in Christ as a free gift.

    So, how do we do it? Please don’t dismiss him because he’s Protestant, but the recent passing of Billy Graham has brought a lot of vignettes and recorded accounts from his life to light. Below is an interview by Woody Allen. They (the audience and Woody Allen) try to make him seem judgmental, too restrictive, etc., but he stays right on. THAT is being a witness. He never stops loving, never stops doing reconciliation. May we all learn.

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 that’s so true – it’s a balance of public and private. And i love Billy Graham! I can’t wait to check out that clip. Thanks for passing it along. What a warrior for Christ. Hugs and love xox

  37. So well said. I am embarrassed that, at my age, this is still difficult. You are right. It’s so hard to talk about our faith! I was recently talking to a friend about this. When people ask me what I write, it’s sometimes hard to say, “Christian romance.” It’s even harder to say the truth: “I write Catholic romantic fiction.” And why? I’m not ashamed by it. But am I? By saying it out loud, I feel so judged. I wish I had your confidence when it comes to publicly talking about my faith and how deeply it affects what I do.

    1. Thank you so much Amy. Yeah it is so hard – I feel ya there! Keeping you in my prayers! And own that job title! — it’s freaking awesome!!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  38. Great piece Caralyn. The privatization of faith is the first step towards persecution. It is important to remember that our faith is essential to who we are. Privatization of our beliefs removes the essentiality and corners what we belief and Who we worship to the darkened coroners of isolation. That is what the Enemy wants of us. Reading Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis) reminds me of how effective the demonic tool of privatization is – it depletes us of the essential quality of what makes us believers. I love your tie in to the Passion – also one of my annual Lenten traditions. It is a great movie that reminds us of the sacrifice that was endured by Jesus.

    1. Thank you so much Greg. It really is such a powerful visual reminder of His gift. Hugs and love xox

  39. I’m with you on feeling more at ease writing about Christ and my faith, than in a one-on-one conversation about it, but I am getting better. The first time you talk to someone about Christ, it can feel a little awkward, but the more and more you do it, the easier it gets. Yesterday I was sitting with a young woman at a baseball game here at Spring Training and somehow me telling her about Christ just came pouring out of my mouth. It was so refreshing that I could find myself doing this. One of our pastors at our church in Chattanooga, always asks someone to pray after the service, usually a male in the crowd. Two years ago around Christmas he asked me. Oh my goodness, pray in front of a couple of hundred people?! I kind of fumbled through it , but did okay. After that, I always expect to be chosen again…and yes, this past Christmas it happened again. The prayer came much easier to me this time. So, that pastor did me a favor. God used him to help break me out of my timidity to speak to others. We have a weekly Bible Study here at Spring Training and this year’s subject was on being disciples. I think this was an excellent subject because we travel so much and have lots of opportunities to share our faith with others. The first step is to ask someone how they are and try to learn more about them. We can usually tell if someone is going through something rough and just maybe they will spill their guts about it. Then ask if you can pray with them. If they say okay, the Holy Spirit will help you. iI they say no and think you’re odd, then move along. Maybe they will think about it and later on they will come to you, but don’t pressure them. We also need to live like we have Christ in our hearts and maybe a person will become curious about it and ask us. If you think about the Woman at the Well whom Jesus spoke to, think about how she changed, ran into town to tell others, and they actually followed her back to see Jesus. Why in the world would they follow such a despised woman? Because they saw a change in her, the change that Christ made in her. That’s how Christians need to live, changed. People notice and will ask. God opens a door for us to bring someone to Him, we need to recognize it and step through. It’s just that first step that can be so hard. Thanks again for a lovely post!

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. Wow – what a powerful experience! Thank you for sharing that. And what a powerful gift you have to share with those at Spring Training. You are a gift!! Hugs and love xox

  40. <3<3<3 I love this. Thank you. And you hit the nail on the head. What is surprising about our private faith, is that practically nothing else in this world people leave private. Between social media and the clothes people wear, I know more than I ever wised to and definitely not what I want to.

    I have yet to watch that movie. I am kind of ashamed to admit I was scared to. I don't really know why. I have heard great things about it. I am going to watch it this week I think.

  41. Thank you for this powerful, compelling post. When The Passion came out in theaters, our church and youth leaders wanted to take a group of us to see it. I specifically remember the permission slips that all parents had to read and sign. I was 15 at the time, and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to see it in theaters. It was life-changing. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much in a movie. I physically felt my life view shift during the movie, and again immediately afterward. I could barely speak for the rest of the day. It was that powerful, that mind-blowing. Another movie my mom typically watches around Easter is The Ten Commandments – Another powerful movie. I think of Caviezel’s epic portrayal every year, and I’m grateful our church gave us that chance to see it together.

    1. Thank you so much Laura Beth! Yeah, what a life changing film indeed. thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  42. Great post and I love the movie the Passion of the Christ. Jim was an amazing actor and that movie gives me chills and tears each time. It’s like you can see Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross.

    1. Thanks T! He really is an incredible actor. Definitely check out his testimony on YouTube. Powerful stuff. Hugs and love xox

  43. I know I almost always say I’ve ranted, but this one’s a doozy 😂

    You know, I think it all comes back on identity again; Jesus didn’t live his faith secretly because he was too much Love and Truth to; time and again he’s tired and hungry but there is a crowd and he knows and loves them. If we really knew and embraced our identities and understood the full implication of ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’, we would be no more able to live secretly. But that’s a journey for everyone–it certainly is for me!

    I’ve shared before that I believe the shift away from religion and even church culture we’re seeing in so many instances, is a good thing–and also inevitable as the older generation in some instances refuses to relinquish to the up-and-comings–because faith isn’t a formula. It isn’t something you go to church to do. Faith flows out of relationship and here’s something to ponder: Jesus was often in wonder at how little faith his disciples had while he was walking right among them day in day out – so what might that say about our faith now when observance and service is favoured over simply knowing Jesus and the reality of God incarnate? ‘You search the scriptures because you think it makes you ________________, but you completely miss that they are speaking of Me….’

    And so many people have been taught God wrong; western religion has not done us any favors there – it’s no wonder faith is at a low when the God so many of us have been taught is not the real God. It’s no wonder America is so torn up by religious backlash from holier-than-thou types when their God is so untouchably distant, and angry at everyone who doesn’t do things just so–so angry that he had to take out his ‘holy anger’ on his own son and kill him so that he wouldn’t actualize his anger on us. That is not God.

    Buuuuuutttt now I’ve wound myself into a rant – so sorry 😶

    I think you can take comfort that the true God and Father of us all refuses to go unknown – the incarnation was for this reason in the first place, not for something as trivial to Father as sin, but so that all of humanity could be wrapped up in Jesus Christ ( you really gotta get Baxter Kruger’s book The Great Dance – don’t worry, it’s short and oh so sweet (: )

    He refuses to go unknown and grace and truth are coming back to the church. The false God erected by western religion is being debunked and with so many people fed up with religion and starving for the real thing, it only takes a pebble to start a landslide! So yes! Now more than ever we need people firmly rooted in their identity in Jesus and well aware of his identity in them to not live it out secretly, to live the reality so many people know they are missing but can’t place the origin of. Relationship with the One whose love brought him to live and die here in our skin baptized into humanity, so that we could live in his skin, baptized in his love ❤

    1. Hey Carson! I love how passionate you are on The Passion! hah see what I did there 🙂 but seriously thank you for sharing your heart of this. Amen to everything you’ve so eloquently said here! Hugs and love xox

      1. Heh, good one 🙄 My mom the other day said she wonders how it would have changed things to have grown up with a proper view of God, the incarnation, the Passion… I’m so excited to see what Father will do in the next generations with western Christianity on the decline and children growing up outside of the limitations and unrealities it fed us about who God is 😀 I know I can’t wait to tell my kids all about it!

  44. Amen!!!
    Two quotes from scripture come to mind…
    “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—…” Revelation 3:16-17
    And…
    “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3
    I think we’ve been warned… We just need to heed…

    1. Hey Jonathan! Thank you so much for sharing these powerful verses. Hugs and love xox

  45. I sometimes feel embarrased about sharing my faith because I used to one of those who hate religious people but now I am one of them. I commend your bravery in sharing. But what really got to me is how no matter what ive done Jesus forgives me, loves me and will never give up on me. Thank you for the post, friend and I will try to be more open about my faith as I continue this journey.

    1. Thanks for sharing your heart on this. Amen to that! Jesus forgives!! Hugs and love xox

  46. Hi Caralyn,

    That was a very well written and honest post. Thank you for that.

    Before I say anything else I want to be very clear that I’m not disagreeing with any of what you said or trying to be controversial. I’m a Christian and have always been very open about that. But these days there are so many people who claim to be Christian but live their lives in complete opposition to the meaning of that word. Christian means ‘Christ-like’ so being a Christian is to be as much like Christ as possible in our daily lives. Jesus taught forgiveness, lack of judgement, and loving people. He taught to give, to serve, and to put others ahead of ourselves.

    People seem to think that as long as you go to church when you’re supposed to and say you’re a Christian, the way you live your life doesn’t matter.

    I am a VERY long way from where I want to be as a Christian, but I try my best to be an example of the teachings and life of Jesus. I’m sad to say that when I say I’m a Christian these days,I follow it up with, ‘but not like those self righteous, judgemental ones.

    I thought about whether or not to say this. I don’t want to offend anyone and I don’t want to stir up controversy commenting on what was a beautiful and honest post. But in the end that’s what made me decide to write it. Your obviously heartfelt honesty inspired me to be honest as well.

    Thanks for an awesome post!
    Lynnette

    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective on this Lynnette. Lots of powerful things to mull over here. I appreciate your honesty! Hugs and love xox

  47. Hugs You!! I remember when that film came out and I was ecstatic about how it became such a national phenom at the time (with all the lines and more lines, for weeks at theaters). It became the talk of national news and talk shows everywhere. It needed to be. Now of course as well as the lovers, you had the haters who were trying to accuse Mel Gibson of this/that. The best statement, to me was St. Pope John Paul II’s statement about it (in the closing of his life then). He said plainly “It was what it was”. In other words, countering all the shouts that Gibson had made it too graphic and to much trying to make The Jews look bad. That film to me was “The Jesus Movie of this era”. There needed to be one. My childhood era had one, that was a tv based work, the 1977 Franco Zefferelli produced epic miniseries “Jesus of Narareth” that aired for a number of Easter times on NBC. Until Passion, THAT was the most “realistic” Jesus work of the time. Now grant you, I like the “classics” (that USED to be shown on Indy channels every Easter Sunday, but aren’t anymore), such as The Greatest Story Ever Told, and King of Kings (both from the 50s/60s) but when you look at those, they play right along with everybody’s “perceptions” of The Crucifixion which of course comes from where, stained glass windows and famous paintings. Everything in them was too “squeaky clean” but that goes with how films were then. When I taught at a Catholic School in SC for 6 years, we had a priest who taught our 7th Grade Religion Class, and he basically told the kids that The Crucifixion was much more awful than how we had come to know it (this was the 90s before Passion), that the true means of death was suffocation, that there was no “foot plank” that they typically have on crucifixes of all kinds, and unlike most crucifixes, movies etc.. they had NO clothing on. No loin cloth. Jesus being nailed was really an exception to worsen His suffering. Most were tied (like the criminals on His sides) and it was the constant “pushing themselves up” with their feet flat to the cross and not on a foot beam, and suffocating in gasping for breath, that killed them. The one part of Gibson’s film that I though was MINT, as well as his death, is how simple and to the point The Resurrection was. After all that happened, that ending leaves you speechless. Jesus of Nazareth had a good Easter section too. What makes it MINT is how they have the character Zerah (a very negative scribe who I was told later represented “man’s skepticism of Jesus) react when he sees Jesus’ body gone from the tomb’. He says in a very storm struck voice “Now it begins. It all begins”. Then they segue to Jesus with The 11, in the upper room. It was one of those scenes that after the hours of watching (in this case the 12 hours of the miniseries) that in one stroke, sums up thw whole thing). Now if you want an all out pulling out all the stops “Easter scene”, catch The Greatest Story Ever Told. It goes from Peter weeping alone in some isolated room, in the middle of a hard rain (supposedly on “Saturday”) then it segues to a dramatic classic movie sunrise (on Sunday morning) and a big trumpet fanfair then what do you hear?? The Hallelujah Chorus!! And then it all starts; Mary Magdalene and co. at the tomb with the 2 angels (one digging with a shovel) and the other one played by Pat Boone telling them that Jesus’ body isn’t there, then she runs and tell The Apostles, then you have Apostles running back and forth from the tomb and the upper room (all of course with The Hallelujah Chorus building and building in its musical glory the way it does “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS…..) and then Jesus appears to them and it goes from there. The only problem with the Easter scenes of most Jesus flicks is that they lump together all the things he said at various times into one time. The addressing of Thomas etc..WAS on Easter but then you have the “Go Like Lambs Among Wolves” that those things, that He actually said at some of His other appearances before His Ascension. Oh well they have to make it good. Passion is and always will be a great film!! I agree with your friend above that we have to put Christ into our actions. We have to have compassion, forgiveness, and giving as part of our lives, as well as the church celebration of Him. A Blessed rest of Lent and Holy Week next week!! x0x0x0x0 Love

    1. “It was what it was” — what powerful words. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response, Migueltio. Compassion, forgiveness and giving. AMEN to that! that is how we should try to live our lives everyday! Same to you my dear friend. Have a wonderful week! Hugs and love xox

      1. Had you seen any of the older films I talked about? I mean there were other “minor” Jesus based films over the years, like the one “Jesus” that came out in the late 70s and was based on Luke’s Gospel, but those I mentioned , were the biggest of the eras, and I think Passion is/has been the biggest of this most recent era. I know Roma Downey and friends made a big presence a few years back with that epic The Bible that was was a miniseries on I don’t know what cable network. We own the DVD set of it, but my problem with that one is that while most of The Old Testament seems to done as we mostly know it, things regarding Jesus seemed to have been tweeked a little from how we have come to understand the way things went. xoxoxo

      2. I actually haven’t. I really need to expand my repertoire. I really want to see The Bible miniseries!!

      3. I actually don’t know what Cable channel it aired on (which I don’t have very much cable at all) but I remember friends on FB going nuts over it the year it came out, the way people did when Passion came out. I mean they tell basically the story of Jesus as we pretty much know it, but some of the details are a little different, quirky things mainly. Now when I was a child up through just out of college, (70s through early 1990s) Easter weekend used to be lined up with the old classics, year in and year out. If it wasn’t “Greatest Story Ever Told” or “King of Kings’ then it was others like the famous Ben Hur with Charlton Heston, Quo Vadis (all about the rise of Christianity), Barrabas (all about the man Pilate freed and how it effected him after that), or The Robe (a novel turned movie all about how Jesus’ Robe, taken at his crucifixion, ended up in the hands of a roman soldier, who changed his ways as a result of possessing it. Another one that used to be thrown in was Spartacus, about the slave of Rome who turned hero in leading a whole band of them against roman forces in a quest for freedom. Now I heard that that “Risen” of a couple years back was good, but I never got to see it when it was out.

      4. how encouraging to think of all the great content out there that’s available!

  48. This year I decided to do a 40 day devotional on my phone for lent. I didn’t give anything up but I am more in tune this year to Easter and what these days leading up to Easter truly mean. I appreciate the reminder that especially this time of year we should be focused not on what we will wear or where we will eat but on Jesus’s sacrifice for us. That can get lost not only in society but in our hearts.

  49. I honestly don’t understand how you watch The Passion every year. I balled my eyes out in the theaters 15 or so years ago and haven’t been able to watch it since. Such an amazingly powerful depiction of the events, though, perhaps I will try again this year. Thanks for honest talk!! ☺️

    1. Yeah it is definitely difficult to watch. But then it really deepens my understands for just *how much* He sacrificed. Thanks for stopping by! Gg

    1. thank you so much Layla, what a kind thing to say. same to you! Hugs and love xox

  50. Can’t say I’ve ever compared sharing our faith with sharing that you’ve been listening to Nickelback. That was funny! At the same time pretty sad. I just got done listening to this sermon, I hope it blesses you.
    https://youtu.be/E9OJztfn5Rk

    1. Thank you Kyle, haha glad you enjoyed the post. I look forward to watching! Hugs and love xox

  51. I agree that we all need to be our authentic selves, be that Christians, Buddhists or whatever we believe. And embodying those beliefs, for me, is more important than talking about them. People don’t always respond to what you are saying, but certainly notice your actions. So if watching the Passion inspires you to be who you truly are, to be kind and compassionate towards others and honor them for who they are, then you have found your muse. We all have so much for which to be grateful, especially for the love which surrounds us all. Keep on keeping on and love unconditionally. You have a great blog!

    1. thank you friend, what a kind reflection. You’re right – we need to embody what we believe! so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

      1. If I might add one more thing. Words are just semantics. They are our limited way of often trying to describe the indescribable. How can you describe the power of the unseen world, of God, with our human words? We cannot, though we try. Whether I say God or Universe, whether you say religious or spiritual, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what comes from our hearts. How often have you been so overwhelmed with emotion that words failed you? I don’t pay attention so much to words, for they often fall flat. If we all come from our hearts, rather than from our heads, that’s what will join us all together. Blessings to you!

  52. Beautifully written, thank you! I appreciate your boldness. To stand apart is difficult as it always has been, and to do with grace is equally so. Maintain the faith! Look forward to reading more.

  53. Why is admitting any love so hard? I take your point here. Sorry I’ve been neglecting you I have a bit to catch up on. I hope you’re well 🙂

    1. Thank you Simon! Oh gosh no worries at all! Hope you’re doing well! Hugs and love xox

  54. One thing in your well-done post that stayed with me was your comment that the love of Christ was so needed in today’s world. That same realization drew me into blogging (mine isn’t near as nicely-done as yours :)) . We have to be the “voice crying out in the wilderness.” I’m grateful for your efforts, and wish you well.

    1. thank you so much, i really appreciate your kind words. amen! let’s be that voice! Hugs and love xox

  55. Great job… as usual. I will be praying for you. Always remember… everything we do is by His grace. He is always with you and will lead you to be what He is convicting you to be. Thanks for your continued willingness to just be His. M. A.

  56. I have to admit talking to a stranger is easier than explaining my Faith to my own flesh-and-blood family. It just is that way. Possibly, I am more afraid of rejection. And to my Christian “mates” I can be the same way. . . .don’t want to burst their bubble, seem judgmental, God will make the changes He wants (so why should I risk my neck).

    Learning how to relate and not cause another to want to retaliate. ?

    Also, many times we come to God in order to get something. God is willing to give us stuff — even giving us more that what we are conscience of. But the other side is that God is unfolding His plan on this planet; unfolding His “Story” and we are to become part of it.

    At the moment I would ask, “Is doing His “Story” more important than receiving back from God?
    Jeff

    1. Thanks Jeff for this thoughtful response. Lots of powerful thoughts here. We definitely have received so many blessings from God! Hugs and love xox

  57. Love the authenticity here. I appreciate how you acknowledge how much easier it is for you to talk openly about your faith on your blog than you do in person and in public. Weather it’s a blog or other social media platform, I think the same (to varying degrees) is true for most of us who claim to be followers of Jesus. In the past 5 months, however, I have witnessed the extreme difference in lasting fruit and relationship that comes from sharing our faith walk with others in person. Now I’m addicted, and my social media presence has decreased simply because God has asked me to pour into those in my community. Keep up the powerful work on your blog, and God Bless!

    1. Thank you Brent for sharing your experience. Yeah, there is something so freeing about sharing that faith. So glad you stopped by and keep up the great work! Hugs and love xox

  58. Yes! Yes! We should never be ashamed or afraid to stand up for Jesus for remember if we are, He would also deny us (Matthew 10:33).

  59. I always think of fishing (literally) when thinking about fishing (spiritually). A big shiny lure can scare away some fish. So imo there is a place for subtlety too. Each has their own role, their own gifts. So I think we should focus on where or how we’re most effective and act accordingly. ☺💒

    1. Thank you Michael for this thoughtful response. Such a powerful perspective!!! Hugs and love xox

  60. Wow, Caralyn! You’ve written yet another post that had me nodding my head. It can be so hard to share our faith, but why? Why do we push away Christianity and the afterlife? Although I write strongly about the Gospel and believe God is using my writing, I also need the confidence to back it up with my words and actions. Blessings to you girl! Xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Emily, I really appreciate your kind words! So true. I can definitely relate. Hugs and love xox

  61. Jesus speaking of the parable of the unjust judge said, “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8)

    This question is of great importance coming from Jesus, because without faith we can not make heaven our home nor if we are ashamed of Him. “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

  62. “The least I can do is live a life in gratitude for that gift, and try to live a life that points to Him.”
    So true…and sometimes I feel like you, too…
    “there’s so much more I could be doing. And frankly, it’s a lot easier for me to write about on the Internet than in real life, but I am really trying to work on that.”
    I think recognizing that there is more we could do will help us to actually DO things, not just write about it. Remember, though, that writing about our faith and reaching so many people (like you do) is a ministry in and of itself. Keep writing and posting. Thanks for your perspective.

    1. Hi Emily, thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your heart on this. That’s a really great point. Hugs and love xox

  63. You’re so right about that! I’m never private about my faith! God has given me the boldness through the power of his Holy Spirit to go forth and tell others about him and that I’m a follower of Christ. Some laughed at me, others listened, my own cousin even laughed at me and said some not so nice stuff, but say what we must endured those things just as he did when he came on earth to die for us! We must never be ashamed of Christ. If we deny him now, he will also deny us before his Father. Be on FIRE for Jesus Church! God bless you! Xxoo 💕

  64. I hope you have been able to start doing this and are seeing the beautiful graces that come from sharing your faith rather than hiding it. I realized a while ago that I was living the verse that said to “pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” The problem was that my own children were not learning how to live a life of faith because mine was so private. My friends had no idea that I was someone who would pray for them any time they needed it.

    I didn’t need to be the preacher on the corner, I just needed to share my gratitude for God’s work in my life. I just needed to share my blessings, and offer prayers when necessary. I just needed to share my life, not just the life I thought people wanted to see.

    Then, I got more and more, “I need to tell you this, because you’ll understand….” God stories. Lots of them. I was blessed 100-fold.

    Go for it! You’ll be so glad you did.

    1. Thank you so much Karen for your kind words and support. I appreciate you sharing your story. You’re an awesome friend. Amen. Hugs and love xox

  65. Im the same when certain celebrities say their thoughts and prayers for something, sharing your faith here is only different that it isnt f2f, we are all at different stages in our faith, sharing stuff outside of church things is only just starting to creep into my life, I know I will get there, its not like from day 1, we are going to be able to command the dead to rise, apologise in advance, i’ll probably be commenting on all the posts I missed out on

    lots of love
    Benjamin xx

    1. Thanks Benny. Yeah f2f is definitely the hardest for sure. And you’re right – it’s a journey 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  66. “The least I can do is live a life in gratitude for that gift, and try to live a life that points to Him.” Perfectly stated. Thanks for sharing!

  67. Love this post. We are advocates for Christ and need to speak of our faith. Especially to the youth and hope they grow deeper in their spiritual journey. Someone has to bring faith back into our homes and daily lives! Thank you and happy and blessed Easter!

    1. Thank you so much! Amen to that – our daily lives. Same to you! Hugs and love xox

  68. “We’ve become a society where people are no longer are “faithful,” but spiritual. God is now “The Universe.” Brunch has replaced church. And as a natural progression, any faith we do have left, has been hidden away into the privacy of our minds and homes, for fear of being seen as “weird,” “antiquated,” “close minded” or worse…”religious.” ” Thank you for saying this. This is a statement that I have brought up in my own family so many times over the years. I have urged them to mend their relationship with God and to fully understand that there is more for them if they would simply allow him to be their guide. They always tell me that established religions are too much of a commitment and only profit the preacher, but if they would just stop making excuses like the sadly growing population of what I call “Cultural Christians”, they would become so much more happy. Christianity is not a culture, it is a living religion that requires action to maintain faith.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. So many powerful points here. You’re so right – it require action!!! love that so much. hugs xo

  69. Wow thank you so much for being honest! I’m a Catholic young woman blogger and you are definitely an inspiration! Sometimes I’m not sure that my audience exists (yet) or that they will care about my perspective…but seeing your success and HONESTY is a breath of fresh air!! I’ll add you to my prayers 🙂 Thanks so much for being brave and showing your faith for the world to see! The world is a better place with steps like yours right here!

  70. We have moved from Northeast to Southeast US, an area with more practicing Christians. Here we not only go to church, but to Sunday School afterwards. Thank you for your beautiful blog.

  71. I just want to let you know how amazing your testimony is, and your love for Christ and people is very evident in all that you write. God bless you as you continue being that light through your blog and in your every day life. 🙂 <3

    1. Oh my gosh, Angie, this means so much. Thank you friend. I am so incredibly touched by your kind words. big hugs to you xox

  72. Truth!!! I plan to write on this too and I’m glad you talked about this especially around Easter. It’s something we really have to think about.

    I suggest for others who may not be able to fully watch the Passion, to check out Son of God, it’s just as good (in my personal opinion). It’s not rated R so it’s not as in depth with violence or death of Judas. But it definitely helps tell the story of Jesus, sharing some of the teachings He gave and then leading up to His death on the cross, including flogging.

    1. You seriously rock with all your reading friend!! Oh really! I haven’t seen Son of God but I will this week! Thanks for the recco. Hugs and love xox

      1. Oh, I think you will love it! It may still be on netflix 🙂 <3 It's by the creators of the Bible series. The wife actually plays Mary, and she did an interview about really trying to feel what Mary would have felt watching her Son.

  73. Thanks for liking my post about my salvation story! I was so nervous about sharing it because it feels like someone else’s story! Since finding Jesus my new life is so different to my old life! Anyway, I love your point about Jesus publicly making a stand for us! I’ve never thought of it that way before, and I feel convicted about the way that I try to turn the volume down on my faith in public! Lord help me to be more bold!

    God bless yah hun!

  74. Great article! I like what you said about if Jesus had kept His faith private, then His salvation would not have been a thing, and that the least we can do is stand up for Him.
    I’ll have to check out that video you mentioned.
    Btw, thanks for visiting my blog, too! 🙂

Join the Conversation!