“Good Person” Christianity

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. About a lot of things: life, family, relationships, the state of the world. Frankly, for an overthinker like me, there’s a lot of available options to dwell on, given the current reality of life in 2020.

But especially recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my faith. And the toll 2020 has taken on it.

Let’s be honest — for a “cradle catholic” who has never missed Mass a day in her life – (except one Sunday in Iceland when there was literally no church within a 4-hour radius) – going nearly 4 months now, without physically going to church…it has had a greater impact than I’d care to admit.

Sure, I watch a livestream of Mass on Sundays, but it’s just not the same. It’s missing something.

And as a result, I’m afraid I’ve frolicked my way into the quicksand territory of “Good Person Christianity.”

You know what I’m talking about — the…But I’m a “good person,” so I must be solid in my faith … mindset.

For example, I am what you’d call… a “waver.” I like to wave at people with a smile. Running, passing people on a walk, driving — doesn’t matter the situation, if our gazes pass, I’m gonna wave at ya. I call it the Midwesterner in me — my friends call it absurd. But whatever you call it, it’s a nice feeling to make someone smile.

But that’s the thing: God doesn’t want a church full of “good people” who wave at their neighbors, or give up their parking spot at the grocery store. A wave does not, a Christian, make. He wants a church full of believers. He wants a church full of people who have invited Jesus into their hearts and prioritize that relationship. And then let that change them. And sure that may result in behaviors that read as “nice” from the outside — but it needs to go beyond just that surface level.

And I’m afraid I’ve fallen into that convenient, surface level “safe space” of “good person” Christianity. I’ve developed a cruise control faith life, thanks to quarantine.

This social isolation has forced us to take the initiative when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. It’s made us take responsibility for prioritizing our walk with Christ — and unfortunately I think I’ve fallen asleep at the wheel.

Christianity in 2020 is a different breed. Life circumstances and the cultural climate in 2020 has challenged Christians to take the initiative in their spirituality without the guiding mentorship of a physical church with people and pastors and fellowship and togetherness.

We’re on our own. We’re out to sea, in a single passenger “dingy,” and the waves are roaring and crashing, and it’s up to us and our own personal sailing skills to navigate the rough waters.

So today’s the day I’ve decided it’s time to take control of my ship. It’s time to tighten the sail, grab the wheel, and get back on track. And if perhaps, some of this sounds familiar to you, then I’d like to invite you to do the same.

Starting today, I’m going to prioritize my relationship with Christ. I’m going to listen to worship music around the house. I’m going to make time to spend a minutes in the Word. And I’m going to pray for the Holy Spirit to move in my heart to want to love Jesus more.

Isn’t that a beautiful thing? A friend shared that with me in college – she would always pray for help to want to love Jesus more.

And I think that is exactly the ticket: wanting to love Jesus more. Desiring to fall more in love with Jesus every day.

Being a “good person” is simply not enough.

Lord, transform my heart, and help me to want to love you more.

What are some ways you plan on strengthening your walk with Christ?

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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255 thoughts on ““Good Person” Christianity

    1. That is so true, Kurt. I feel incredibly blessed. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Shonda. I appreciate you stopping by. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you Tonya!! You are such a great friend and encourager!!! Grateful for you!! Love you! Hugs and love xox

  1. Excellent points! Pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie has always said: Heaven is not full of good people; but forgiven people. It is so easy to slide into the thinking: “As long as I didn’t do sins X, Y, Z, I’m good.” However, we are still guilty of other things, such as pride, so that still keeps us away from God and true holiness.

    Like you, I too have grown up in church and never missed a day except for traveling and vacation among heathens (j/k – it’s called a cruise). 😀

    Hope you had a great weekend!

    1. Thank you so much!! Oh my gosh I LOVE THAT! yes! Forgiven people!! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks so much Mojo!! I’m so glad it struck a chord with you!! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much!! I think you’re absolutely right – we are to emulate His perfect example! Hugs and love xox

    1. You are so absolutely right. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read it! Hugs and love xox

  2. Hmm. Cruise Control Faith. I can relate. These days have been particularly hard for us extroverts in the audience. I’m assuming you are one too?
    To answer the question you posed, I plan to deepen my discipleship with Christ during this time by journaling more and reading more scripture on a consistent basis. I also plan to reach out to people more–because I am a people person.

    God’s best to you, Caralyn. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. These times are challenging for all of us and somewhat unprecedented. As you say, hugs and love.

    1. Thanks David, for sharing your heart. Yes – huge extrovert. That’s such a great idea – journaling is such a powerful tool for the heart, mind, spirit and soul. I appreciate your encouragement! Hugs and love xox

  3. I bought a bunch of bible commentaries on the New Testament by Rev. Dr. N. T. Wright, so I can better understand what how to read more effectively. For example, who is speaking, who does a pronoun refer to, how much time has passed, and how do stories in the same vchapter or previous chapters work together to teach a single lesson? As someone taught as a minister, I never went to seminary. With a PhD in Sociology, I would love to go to seminary, even at nearly 69 years old, as you are never too old to learn new things. I have also enjoyed attending my old church in CA on Zoom and hearing preaching that I had missed. I even with a cracker and Powerade took communion yesterday, for all that matters is symbolically seeing them as the broken body and blood of Christ, given for our sins. That really made me feel connected to my brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s funny, but I had the same prayer this morning: Jesus, teach me how to love you more and have a closer relationship with you.

    1. Oh that’s such a wonderful idea!! And I love the physical symbol you used yesterday – I may need to try that! And that’s so great that you had that prayer as well!!! Praying for you, friend. Hugs and love xox

  4. One thing that helped me survive mid-March through mid-May was tuning in, more than I ever have, to liturgies from Rome. Somehow, being with the Pope for Sunday Mass and the Angelus kept me locked into the idea that we are all part of a greater whole, that despite of the local limitations, Francis was still leading the Church and we would be okay in the end. And we will be. Hugs and love from stormy Kentucky– Mike

    1. Yes! I have been watching the popes daily masses as well! You’re so right – it is a comfort. Thanks Mike for sharing that!! Sending hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks so much! Yes! Such a simple request with huge results! Hugs and love xox

  5. So true, Very well written and we all have to look hard at how we live in tune with Jesus not patting ourselves on the back for being such good people

    1. Thank you Jo! I really appreciate that. You’re right, we have to look at how we’re in tune with Him! Hugs and love xox

  6. Thank you for never being afraid to talk about GOD, Jesus, and being a Christian. Its refreshing to read it and feel the spirit it brings. Its is especially hard in California where the Governor is trying to pass a law against worshiping, your words help push back these challenges to our faith. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much! I am so touched by this encouragement, it really means a lot. Oh gosh that is just such a scary thought!! Hugs and love xox

  7. This extended time of isolation is a perfect time to hit the reset button and begin habits and ways of thinking that are more productive. There are Bible apps online that provide reading plans (and daily reminders!) That might be a good place to start. Actually, you’ve already started in a good place!

    1. You’re right about that – a great reset time for sure. And what a great idea! I’ll have to check the ap store! Thank you!! Hugs and love xox

  8. As one of my Christian friends told me once “ god is watching and he knows”. I suspect he is thrilled at the type of Christian you are. It comes through in every post.

    1. Oh wow that’s a powerful thought. Thanks for that encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  9. What a beautiful post💖 Your not the only one to have slipped (as they say) I also have slipped and need to give myself a wake up call and perhaps reading your blog is just the kick up the preverbial butt I need. Thanks Caralyn 😀💖

    1. Thank you so much Kenneth!! I’m glad this struck a chord with you. His grace and mercy are amazing! Hugs and love xox

      1. Sounds as if we both have just drifted a little with the Salvation Army being a nondenominational church you’ll probably know we only have services on a Sunday

      2. I have a very dear spot in my heart for the Salvation Army!

    1. Thank you so much – I really appreciate that 🙂 that’s the goal!!! 🙂 hehe Hugs and love xox

  10. Guess we are on the same wave because today I spent extra time focusing on God. I stayed off social media except for reading a few blogs. I didn’t listen to any podcasts or music. Lots of prayer. I pray that more people are feeling the same desire to turn towards God!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing that. Sounds like an awesome day! I’ll be praying for you! Hugs and love xox

  11. Thank you, Caralyn for putting into words what so many of us are feeling. And giving an “action” response. I pray many will take your ideas and fall in love with Jesus more. I feel very blessed that I have been able to lead my ladies group right through all this pandemic. It is definitely hard to remain as steadfast when you cannot fellowship together with other believers. My group has the GroupMe app on our phones and we talk, share scripture, devotions, life happenings, etc, throughout the day every day. We encourage each other, remind each other, pray for each other, and just love each other through our words and written prayers. It helps so much to keep us close to God and to each other. I also have several Bible apps that give me a devotional scripture in my email every morning. This helps keep me accountable. And of course, we all have your wonderful words to tune into – you are such a blessing! Much love to you <3

    1. Thank you so much Mindy for sharing your heart! I’m so glad this resonated with you! What a terrific idea with the group chat!! And the app! Love that! I’ll be praying for you! Hugs and love xox

  12. Great observation. Formalization establishes a pattern that easily disturbs our social media with our faith. I remember years ago, on the move, and not taking much time to catch up with my relationship with Jesus. I invited Him to join me for a cup of coffee. It was delightful. You have told your story to help so many. I do not feel that you are out of synch at all. Enjoy your days. The best is yet to come.

    1. Thank you so much Dennis! Oh I love that so much – coffee date with Jesus! Wonderful! Hugs and love xox

  13. Love this . And it definitely got me thinking . I also need to readjust my priorities. This hit me right in the heart. God should be first in our day not last or at all. I’m encouraged by your insight thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much Jen!! I’m so glad it resonated with you!! Yes. Amen to that! Hugs and love xox

    1. You’re so right about that! Thank you so much Sylvester! Hugs and love xox

  14. Single passenger dingy indeed! Thanks for tonight’s thoughts! I, too, am struggling with church. CTK is open for Sunday attendance, but every other pew is blocked off and communion is a continuous line. No chance to reflect on taking communion when the line has to keep moving.

    Then there are the masks. It all seems so wrong somehow. While I understand the reasons for them, they seem to isolate us even when we’re in person. When service is over, everyone bolts as if we’re in grade school and no one wants to get “cooties.” Not much fellowship in attending. Honestly, I’ve read documentation that both the CDC and WHO don’t think they’re as effective as hand-washing. Sooo…anyway…I continue to just “attend” online.

    Before COVID19 I would go to church during the week just to sit alone in the sanctuary to pray without distraction. Not possible now. Do you have any thoughts on anything I’ve written here? If you have time, I’d enjoy hearing what you think.

    Plus, I trust you had a fun weekend away from the city!

    1. Hi Jeff! Thanks for sharing your heart – yeah, I hear you. Church is different in so many ways. Physical attendance was finally allowed this past sunday in nyc, and i am still afraid to go. I am terrified every time I have to go through a checkout line at the grocery and face the attendant, the thought of being in pews is just too much. so i’m with you in the online attendance. I absolutely have thoughts! the masks – you’re right – they’re incredibly isolating. We’ve become a culture that’s afraid of each other. It’s awful because it’s making us see eachother as less than human. Which — conspiracy hat here for a moment – is just another step down the slippery slope of dehumanization of people. Chipping away at what’s left of the sanctity of human life. it’s all just so sad. my question is where do we go from here? FL today halted their open restaurants, and other states i’m sure will follow suit. Travel bans. The entire entertainment industry – and economy – completely redlined. The country is in need of a savior. And how convenient that it’s right before an election. just rambling now. anywho – i so enjoyed reading your words, Jeff. Hang in there. i’ll be praying for you 🙂 the weekend was fabulous by the way! hope your fourth was too! Hugs and love xox

      1. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I’m sorry to read that you are so frightened when you have to be around people! But I understand given your health. You remain in my prayers. Masks! I completely agree. It’s another step in dividing people, in reducing people somehow. Honestly, Julie, Hillary and I have gone out to eat several times since restaurants reopened. Partly to support those home-grown businesses that are struggling. Plus – and this might be fatalistic – if the government says that they expect multiple peaks in infection rates, that’s pretty much admitting everyone is going to be exposed at some point. We decided not to live in fear.

        I did research on fatality rates with the flu and coronavirus. Since the start I’ve figured COVIDS morality rate is roughly 5-5.5%, depending on the infections vs. deaths reported. Then, on the same day headlines recently trumpeted an increase in mortality, the numbers actually showed a decrease at 4.7%! Couple that with the fact that the majority of fatalities are 60+, mortality for younger folks is well below 5% Probably closer to 3% or less.

        A dear friend in Florida was talking to his doctor about this, and he said that the problem with COVID is inflammation…just like with any such infection. He gives people steroid shots to reduce inflammation and has had success with his patients. I’m sure you’ll consult with your family who are doctors, but that’s something for you to bear in mind. I hope you find this useful.

        I still worry about you in NYC with all of the headlines I continue to read; huge reductions in police budget, fireworks as weapons, and a spike in shootings. I continue to pray for you. May God calm your heart in your fears! I wish I could give you another hug to reassure!

        I’m glad your weekend went well. Stay well. Be careful without fear, trusting in God’s guiding hand. Thank you for your prayers. I know they are effective!!

      2. Thanks Jeff – yeah you’re right – the numbers are encouraging for sure. Yeah you and my dad both – the recent budget cut for the nypd has definitely been felt in a spike in crime. It’s really sad and scary. Thank you for your prayers Jeff!! Know that you and your girls are in mine too!! Amen – we can trust Him!! Hugs and love xox

  15. It’s better to be a “Good Person Christian” than the kind of Christian a lot of people have turned into. You don’t need to be a Christian to be a good person, and you can still be Christian and be a piece of you-know-what. There are plenty of that variety out there.

    1. that’s definitely a powerful perspective, Joshua, thank you for sharing that!! you’re right! Hugs and love xox

  16. I love what you’re saying, and how you’re saying it here. During this time of increased isolation and not physically being able to be with any one except my husband for months and months, all my normal “chattiness” was becoming a real darkness. I started re-reading Henri Nouwen and his writings about the Desert Fathers and Mothers. His book “The Way of The Heart”, about the value of silence in our walk with the Lord, has been of immense help to me, I can see that the enforced silence and solitude has helped me grow so much—despite myself!! Blessings to you.

    1. thank you so much!! I’m so glad this resonated with you. You’re right – there is such value in quiet. very inspiring – i’ll have to read up on that! thank you! Hugs and love xox

  17. To me the essence of Christianity is not going to church though the strength one gets in fellowship is important. The essence is in imitating Jesus and certainly He did wave at people as He went by and show an interest in their spiritual and physical needs. Living our life according to His philosophy is being out in the community every day not just one day in a week demonstrating a life of happiness and genuine empathy in all that we do. We are to be “in the world, but not of the world.” That means demonstrating each moment of the day the superiority of living God’s principles and allowing people to contrast that with the mess our world is in because of not following heaven’s better way. Hopefully our life lived before others will tempt them to discard the selfishness of this world and practice a life of joy and fulfillment instead. 🙂

    1. Hi Ian! Thank you so much for sharing your thoguhts on this! you’re so right about that – living like Christ is exactly that. In but not of! thanks for the encouragment! Hugs and love xox

  18. As much as I love Oregon and believe God put that love in me for it, the Midwest friendliness is just not there. Moved from Missouri. But no regrets, I have learned much. Great post!

    1. Thank you so much H! Oh yes – the midwest is one of a kind! big hugs xox

  19. Yes, indeed. Very easy to fall into this territory. But, when we feel the tug of the Holy Spirit and heed it, that is the beginning of His working on our hearts. Sending you much love and many prayers as you seek to know and love Him more. ❤

    1. Hi friend! thank you for the encouragement and prayers! you’re so right – the HS is our Advocate and Guide! praying for you as well! Hugs and love xox

  20. Yes, we have to be our own motivator to follow Christ these days, especially if social isolation is still a reality in NYC and other cities around the world. In Miami, Catholic Churches are opened but following state guidelines. There are still rules, but the mass is on with full force. So good for you Caralyn…doing your own daily devotional and you’ll continue to grow in your Christian walk with or without attending mass. 😇

    1. You’re so right about that! we’ve got to be self-motivated! thanks so much for your encouraging words, it really means a lot! Hugs and love xox

      1. Hi there! When you’re not too busy please check out my last blog post. I respect and trust your critique but you don’t have to do it here publicly-I’d rather need your input about being approachable and not sounding like an English teacher. I’m trying to be casual since as an LA teacher I write as if I’m creating an essay. I want to seem approachble and not too structured. I hope I didn’t go overboard and made too many grammar mistakes.😂 P. S.. Grammarly has become my buddy!

  21. Love your honesty! And yes I know it has been a trying time for many others as well, to not only stay in love with Jesus but also think deeply about what it means to be the church “scattered”. In some ways I imagine it’s more like what early believers faced- how do I do this when it’s just me? (Like the Ethiopian in the chariot when he went home ). Blessings my sister!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! you’re right – scattered is the exact word! what a powerful thought. glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  22. Your q.,
    Steps of faith in relationships, life and business.
    And maintaining integrity of thought during the day. Such as with gratitude, confidence, artwork, good decision-making and use of time

  23. This quote from Julian of Norwich might help,
    ““This vision was shown me to teach me – as I understand it – that it is necessary for everyone to feel in this way: sometimes to be comforted, and sometimes to feel failure and be left to oneself. God wants us to know that he keeps us equally safe in joy and in sorrow, and loves us as much in sorrow as in joy. And for the benefit of his soul a man is sometimes left to himself, although sin is not always the cause; for at this time I committed no sin for which I ought to be left to myself. Nor did I deserve to have the feeling of bliss. But our Lord gives freely when he wills, and sometimes allows us to be in sorrow and both come from one love. For it is God’s will that we keep ourselves, in good spirits with all our might, for bliss lasts forever, and pain passes and will come to nothing, therefore it is not God’s will that we should be influenced by feelings of pain to sorrow and grieve over them, but quickly pass beyond them and hold on to the endless joy that is God almighty, who loves and safeguards us.”
    ALSO: Throughout the Gospels, you can find Jesus teaching on the characteristics of His Kingdom people as they reflect the character of God in the world. The Church was never about brick and mortar. It was always greater than that. It was about a way of being in the world. God’s “Church” is within the people.

    1. Hi Eric! oh WOW – that quote is so powerful! You’re so right – it’s like the whole, “going to bed hungry” sometimes. — you’ve got to experience a need to appreciate a blessing you’ve taken for granted. Wow – i’m very moved, thank you for sharing that. And that’s exactly right! church is not a building but the people! amen!! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  24. When I walked outside the building years ago and did not return the next week it was extremely strange.. I’d been going since I was carried in by my parents.. since baby hood..

    I have learnt so much because out of the walls there’s no props.. it’s you and God and that’s it.. I could write a book I think..

    I do miss the people.. having likewise people around me.. But now I know that I’m in the true church because it’s not the walls holding me together it’s HIM..and it’s so personal now..

    Structure falls away.. what is left.. I do understand.. you are incredible though because you are one believer in God who has stuck by me sharing my faith and journey.. you really do find out the truest hearts.. the most faithful believers.. it’s a Spirit thing.. HE never leaves us and where are only two gathered.. HE is in the midst.. right here now with us.. it’s the most beautiful connection.. I believe it’s the true church.. and it pleases HIM.. I love to write him in capitals I know online it’s seen as shouting.. but I want to highlight HIM.. glorify HIM.. Bless you.. may your faith be strengthened.. eyes of your heart enlightened to the hope of your calling.. and the glorious inheritance of all the saints.. amen 🥰

    1. thank you so much for this powerful perspective! you’re right – HE never leaves us, and what a beautiful connection indeed. and yes! we are to glorify HIM! I’m very touched by this – thank you! know you are in my prayers as well! Hugs and love xox

  25. Love what you say here. I’ve found myself going on Christian “autopilot”; where my beliefs do not change but I put little effort into strengthening my relationship with God and actively seeking Him out. I’ve lately been trying to be more intentional, and not falling back on being “good”, but being a disciple for God and showing him to others through me.

    1. thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. yes – i know the autopilot feeling well! your words are inspiring! yes! let’s actively seek Him! Hugs and love xox

  26. This is me right now… except the “Good person” bit… I know myself too well to claim that, I think. But taking those baby steps toward not taking my faith for granted — goodness, I thought developing good eating/exercising habits was hard.

    1. Hi Matt, thank you so much for sharing your heart on that! haha – i feel ya – it is so so difficult. what a blessing that we have a Helper in the Holy Spirit! Hugs and love xox

  27. Great post! You know how a lot of people say, “God uses everything for the good to those who love Him?” Well, perhaps through this time, God wanted you to see how stable your faith is without any props holding your faith up. (Hey that’s pretty good. I might borrow this thought for my own blog post tomorrow! Thanks!)

    1. Hi Mark! Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. you’re so right – God will use this for good, in His perfect timing! awesome, can’t wait to read it! Hugs and love xox

    1. As thank you Greg, what a kind thing to say! Hope you’re having a great night. Hugs and love xox

  28. I see things this way, I am to do how God intended us to which is love one another. Yes, we love Him and we gather our strength, resilience, hope and deep faith but faith without workd is dead. Despite the distances we must keep from one another, I make it a point to check up on folks, leave an uplifting comment….something that helps better our world through the act of sharing love. We all need love, there is never too much of it. I have viewed our world as my church for quite sometime now. Good on you for reprioritizing your faith. It’s taking that love we have for Jesus and showing it through our interactions with everything. It’s never perfection but progress and an on purpose, “I’m going to choose to do this today”. I always appreciate your thoughtful posts reminding us to do what was intended, love❤🙏

    1. I love this response so much. Thank you for this!! Amen – love one another!! It sounds like you are a great friend. I’m inspired!!! Stay well! Hugs and love xox

      1. Happy to shine light and be an inspiration. That’s why I personally write and it’s part of my mission. To share with others the hope and faith I have to overcome any obstacle. To love no matter what. Your comment made me 😊 hugs back xo

  29. We’ve been watching our church online every week, but you’re correct that it’s not the same. Especially since we have a toddler who likes to be very noisy and distracting during the sermon. I miss the ability to focus on worshipping God at the same time as others in our church family. Having the church service just be part of the background is frustrating to me. But maybe having to listen to the message twice in one week so I can catch everything isn’t such a bad thing. I have definitely felt more drawn to God in this season of unrest and uncertainty. I pray more Christians will use this as an opportunity to shine bright instead of hiding in a bubble.

    1. Hi Ellen! Thanks for sharing your heart! You’re so right – I miss that community church aspect too! I’m glad this season has drawn you to Him! Know you’re in my prayers! Hugs and love xox

  30. Enjoyed reading this! But I got to say… your smile is amazing! Definitely saving the link to purchase a tube of this toothpaste in the future. God bless you miss.

    1. Hi Oronde! I’m so glad it resonated with you! Oh my gosh you’re too kind! Yes! I love that toothpaste – I’m hooked! Hugs and love xox

  31. I know exactly what you mean about the Mass livestreams not being enough. This past Easter was really weird for me and my family. Our church didn’t have any Holy Week services. So, we had to watch the simulcast from the church in Ohio. It was beautiful and a relief to have something sacred that week, but it made me realize how much I missed actually being physically present during the services. Our church recently reopened its doors and let me tell you! That first Sunday back was absolutely soul blessing (which is something beyond heart warming).

    1. Thanks friend – I’m glad this resonated with you. Hahah doesn’t Easter feel like forever ago?!! Oh I’m so glad you’re allowed back!! Hooray! Hugs and love xox

      1. Easter both feels like forever ago and like it didn’t actually happen. Like we went from Lent to Oops! Not Lent Anymore. And yes it is so good to be back. 🤩. Hugs and love back to ya!

    1. Thanks so much Greg – glad this resonated with you. Hang in there! Praying for you! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks so much! Glad it hit home with you! Yep! Since Day One! Haha Hugs and love xox

  32. Caralyn, there is nothing so delightful as a full service with the pageantry the music and the message- . Please look into Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation- I believe you will find it helpful if not transformative

    1. Thanks so much Jeff – you’re right about that – it’s a total emmersive experience! Thanks for the recco! Hugs and love xox

  33. Jesus has already chosen you. You just need to accept his choice. “Love him more.” What an absolutely great way to turn back to him! Peace.

    1. Thanks for this beautiful encouragement Tim! That really means a lot! Yes!! Hugs and love xox

  34. Good discussion. I have likened the corona life to life on the farm where personal interactions are rare and highly valued.

    As a good Catholic, I am surprised that you are not praying the hours. I found the hours helpful for a long time, but gave it up to practice continuous prayer.

    Another helpful practice is journeying. While blogging can sometimes feeling like journeying, I often feel blogging is more like an emotional strip-tease. Your book is a focused journal. You might try writing the daily examine–reviewing all the times during the day when you have felt God at work in your life.

    The problem of physical presence in mass is a hard one to overcome. When I worked with Alzheimer’s patients, I made it a practice of taking several patients to daily mass. The routine and physical presence was highly meaningful, even though as a Protestant, I was not given communion.

    The corona life will no doubt leave a permanent mark on the church. I know that for my parents who are homebound by age and incapacity, telephone church has become a meaningful addition to their routine because they cannot attend physical church anymore.

    1. Hi Stephen! Thanks for this thoughtful response. Life on the farm – interesting!! You’re right – it’s going to leave a mark for sure. Those are great suggestions! I’ll have to look into the hours. My fam never grew up doing those but i know many who do. Stay well! Hugs and love xox

  35. There is nothing quite like a full on church service – the atmosphere, the music, the ministry, the message.
    But one thing that you need to know Caralyn. It is one thing that we all should remember. Many a preacher have said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian no more than standing a garage makes you a Cadillac”

    But Yes.. one does miss the church services. You could have a chance to witness an event like this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHRWo-TrjXQ

    But let us take our minds to reality. Do you think that God did not know Covid was coming? He did.
    Quite often we get rooted into weekly rituals that even Church becomes just another thing that we do. That should not be the case. It should never be the case. I guess the one thing that this whole situation did teach us is, “Why do we do what we do?”. Why are we really going to church? Is it because we’re expected to?.. Or is it because our hearts yearn to worship our God?

    Take it this way. A relationship with God is supposed to be the same as what you have with your father. Being away from your parents at the moment, what are your feelings when you get to talk to your dad?
    Do you come to talk to God in prayer with the same enthusiasm or feelings?

    That is the real mark of a believer. Yes. we can easily fall into the trap of self-righteousness in the sense, “I’m a good person. I obey the laws. I should be a good Christian.” No.. that’s not enough in the eyes of God, for God looks at the heart. Remember the story of the rich man?..

    1. Thanks so much for this powerful response. You’re so right – God knew this all along! And wow – I love that parallel with missing my earthly father. That really put it in perspective for me!! Amen. He sees the heart! Hugs and love xox

  36. A lot of good points as always. Each person has a right to their own opinion, but Jesus never say look at me, praise me, he said live as I live. His message could be boiled down into one word. Love.

    With your blog, you are spreading love and joy to thousands of readers; you are spreading the message of faith. That is the foundation of what Christianity is.

    Don’t be down on yourself a moment longer; you are doing more than enough in the current circumstances. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much. You’re so right – one word: LOVE!! I love that so much. And gosh what a kind thing to say! I am humbled by your generous words. Thank you my friend. Hugs and love xox

      1. My words are meaningless unless you resonate with the truth that is within them. You are a beautiful soul that shines a bright light all over the world, on every continent. Jesus works through you to help others, never for a minute forget that fact. 🙂

  37. Wait. I’m confused. You’re like, super good all the time. Didn’t you have a good holiday? Hm. Just saying. Don’t beat yourself up. Be happy. Do the things. Make mistakes. It’s life. Most of your readers seem like good people also.

    1. Thank you. Yes the holiday was super fun! I’m very grateful to have had that time! Hugs and love xox

      1. I think, with the way the world is falling apart good people try to absorb the world’s failures. Then, they need help. I used to buy my kid’s friends school clothes. Because, I knew what it was like. So. About this time of year, a dozen ten year olds and I would hit the mall. Haha. I don’t think that made me good but, it felt good.

      2. Like, I could feel guilty for opening my heart to kids that weren’t even mine. That had dads that should have been there like me. I could feel guilty for not being enough for them also. Or, I could be happy that when there was plenty I made sure they had some also.

      3. Nah. It’s life. Do what you can, don’t feel bad for having it good. Don’t feel guilty when things aren’t so good and they’re still good for you. None of your readers should. Your parents probably worked hard to make life better. Whether that was God’s will well, that’s a hard question. I know. When things were good I made it better for others. I still do even though times aren’t that great.

  38. Its truly great to witness God’s continued healing and development in your life. It seems that time is the currency of relationships. We can’t know or be known well unless we “spend” time. In my experience, spending regular and consistent time with Christ helps to build on my relationship with him. Worship attendance, bible study, small group and time alone with God in prayer all “count” as time in that relationship. The “good” that we may do always follows and flows from the relationship. Good people don’t go to heaven, forgiven people do. Well done and thanks for sharing your journey.

    1. Thank you so much Richard! You’re right about that – time is the currency. Amen! Forgiven people! Hugs and love xox

  39. I think what a lot of us are experiencing right now is a wake up call for “cultural Christians.” This is a term that I had not heard until one of my good friends explained their ministry to both Christians and Muslims. A lot of Christians and Muslims have something in common, their faith is cultural. Where they were born and where they live, that’s just what you do. If you’re born into a Muslim family, you’re Muslim. If you’re born into a Christian family, you’re Christian. While faith is just as much a mixture of out cultural experiences as a personal experiences, the present age we live in has told people that it doesn’t really matter what you do, just do what feels right for you.
    Religious Pluralism has robbed our faith of what makes it strong. We live in a post-christian culture which no longer cares if you go to church every Sunday, or to mass every day the doors are open. As long as you tolerate other people’s beliefs, people no longer care what you do. This sense of passivity has permeated through the church as well. Culturally, if we do good things, attend a church service once a month, you can label yourself as a Christian. No one is going to mind.
    This has also led to the other extreme, where we see modern day Pharisees getting all up in arms because people were not allowed to go to church. They felt like they were being oppressed, and their rights were being trampled on. Seriously? Is that the only thing that makes us Christian? We have to be inside a specific building, so we can sing the same 10 songs from month to month, and check off a box. Both of these are types of “cultural Christians” I have seen. The new “anything goes” variety, and the more traditional “this pew has my name on it” variety.
    All of us need to wake up. It’s not about what our parents do. It’s not about how tolerant we are of others. It’s not about whether we accept all religions as equal. It’s not about whether we miss a Sunday. It’s not about whether we have gone to the same church building our entire lives. And it’s not about just being a “good person.” As you said, it is about prioritizing Christ in our lives. The church today as an opportunity to rethink what it means to be a Christian, and maybe we can get back to the true meaning.
    We need to pursue Christ passionately, pray persistently, and love unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if we are Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Methodist or all the other “brands” out there. It doesn’t matter if we meet virtually or meet in person. It doesn’t matter if you meet in someone’s house, or if you meet in a fast food parking lot. What matters is Christ, without him we’re just a bunch of “Ians.”

    I’m sorry if I’ve ranted a bit, I think I need to make my own post on one of these topics now. As you said, Pray for the Holy Spirit to move our hearts to love Jesus more!

  40. I’m actually letting go more, taking less control, going with the flow of where Goodness draws me…imperfectly of course. But finding much peace in the process.

    1. Hi Bill! Thanks for sharing that. That’s so awesome!! Hugs and love xox

  41. Really enjoyed that, faith and belief is very important for us to grow as humans.Had been busy for the last few weeks, I hope you are keeping well and staying safe across the pond in NY?

    1. Thank you so much – you’re right there in lies the growth! Yes, thank you! Hugs and love xox

  42. Absolutely loved reading this post! It is so true that part where you say “Life circumstances and the cultural climate in 2020 has challenged Christians to take the initiative in their spirituality without the guiding mentorship of a physical church with people and pastors and fellowship and togetherness.” I completely agree and I also think that this is a reminder that the church is not necessarily just the physical place where you go to worship God, but you are the church too and it’s important that we work on our faith by ourselves too. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Jacolene! Thank you so much! I’m so glad this resonated with you! You’re right – we are the church!! Love that. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks so much Jim! I really appreciate your encouraging words. Hahaha love the wave!!! 😄 that just made my day! Hugs and love xox

  43. Dear Caralyn, I have been walking with Jesus for a long time, sometimes with better success, sometimes stumbling along like most of us “pilgrims” before we reach the Heavenly City. As such, I am still learning what I blogged about on August 20, 2016 about Practicing the Presence; to be aware of our Lord always whispering into our ears, always at our elbows to say, “This is the way, Walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:12) https://capost2k.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/practice-the-presence/
    You are on my daily “prayer walk” and the Lord and I stop in NY and talk about you every day.
    yours and His,
    c.a.

    1. Thank you so much CA for sharing your heart. Practicing the Presence – oh wow I absolutely love that. I look forward to reading your post. And thank you so much for including me in your prayer walk! I am so touched!! Know that you are in mine too! Hugs and love xox

  44. I relate to your feelings – missing church – missing the contact with others waving as we pass by – not feeling this is enough. Living alone ust be especially hard in this pandemic world. I pray for you to find companionship that has the same Christ-centered values you do… and can be the person God designed as your companion from the beginning. I would not be coping well at all without my dear husband of 58 years. He is my strong-hold with Christ when times like these try to smother us! Hang tight, Caralyn. This will not last forever. It just feels like it!

    1. Hi Jan! Thank you so much for sharing your heart, and for your prayers. Yes! I pray for that companion every day, and I trust in God’s plan and perfect timing. That is so beautiful, the love you two share. Very inspiring!! Hugs and love xox

  45. Thank you for your honesty! Learning to navigate through this new normal of church online has been challenging for sure but we are certainly blessed to live in a era that it is an option 🤗🤗 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Teresa! Oh thank you so much for your encouragement. You’re so right – we are blessed that we have that option! What an important perspective to keep! Hugs and love xox

  46. One of my friends said that being a “Good person” will get her into heaven. The truth is Jesus is the way into heaven. I wish my friend would see this, but I don’t think she hears me when I tried to tell her the truth.

    1. Thanks for sharing that! You’re so right, He is the Way!! I appreciate you stopping by, Amanda! Hugs and love xox

    2. Hi Amanda Gene…Allow me to put my two cents in here, as while I read some of the comments before going to bed; this one stood out to me, and, then I realized why. I had just written a comment to another blogger a few days ago that responds to my blog essays and she was talking about not being so hard on myself, but, I had to explain to her that I wasn’t being hard enough on myself, and, that most people aren’t quite getting it like your friend, I’ve been there too; so let me share this long comment with you, so you perhaps when talking with your friend again will get her to listen to what this guy had to say, and who knows maybe this time you both can have a bit of revelation, together, I hope. I’m sure Caralyn will cut me some slack here in leaving a long comment like this for you and your friend.

      …. and I appreciate that, really! But, I’ve assessed things too much for too long to not be sure of what I see. Yes, I see the grandiose and magnificence of life and the miracles that are happening every moment of every day. Call it a fatalist outlook if you will, but, I know that it won’t ever get to any fluffy hunky-dory situation in this world and will only get much worse, because all the signs are evident! I go by Biblical Scripture verbatim, then the Holy Spirit speaking to me and we are not going to see things suddenly do a 180 and all will be peace and happiness and nirvana! This deal here is screwed and people don’t like to hear people like me talk harsh reality, but, want to concoct their own version of a designer religion or philosophy of life, thinking that I’ll just kinda go along to get along and do my thing as long as I’m not hurting anyone I should be good to get through some pearly gate; ah-ah not so easy; but sorry folks it is what it is! I got poked a few times too many by sinister bad ugly evil people to now not see what I see wrong here! It’s tragically flawed and I know saying this can piss people off, because they don’t want to face that truth or can’t! I can, and will. I can learn all the lessons I want to cram into a day, every day, but it won’t buy me another minute of time on this God forsaken hell ride! I learned even from the innocent Dove’s suffering that I tried to rehabilitate giving it a second chance but failed and it died suffering, and, me looking at the aftermath knowing that we are that Dove too! Jesus Christ told us straight out if you love your life in this world then you aren’t going to heaven. You need to say I don’t like my life being in this place, messed up place, it’s not heaven or the Holy Place where God is, and not even close; because I know there is a much better place to be that is more real than this and more than I could ever imagine; so, it’s like cutting the cord, and relinquishing all that is lost and a forgone conclusion, and, to then not live for this world, but, to live for what is beyond this existence! In other words I could be a billionaire and live for this world in spades doing and seeing it all and giving it my all, but, that won’t mean diddly-squat when this shell I’m in bites the dust and it will in one unbelievable moment! So, then all that fantastic stuff I did here and invested all my energies and psyche into was the wrong things to invest in, garbage in and garbage out! This is a losing proposition and thinking that I can keep picking up pieces and move on to some great ACHIEVEMENT is a fool’s errand! People are totally helpless and powerless to alter the course of things in any significant way, and, it’s only possible with Jesus Christ, who told us all of this already! As I say, some have high confidence and belief in that; and many or even most today give lip service and talk poppycock, there is no middle ground or lukewarm territory that will cut the mustard when we are dead, nothing else will do, except Jesus Christ, who is God Almighty, PERIOD! We’re in a constant state of conflict here, and not going to ever come close to bliss! And, I want BLISS, Eternally! If not then this life wasn’t worth JACK! It isn’t here and not even close; no cigar for this guy here! Jesus showed us all of this and some see and believe, and others do not. Simple game plan, this is a short hop living here, it’s over before we know it! I’m focused on the Good the VERY good and it’s not here dear! I hope you get my meaning, and, know I say my mind always! This world here and now is never going to deceive this character. When I was younger I heard old timers say “all that glitters is not gold,” but, then I said yea I hear ya and just went off letting the world titillate and mesmerize me into my own self-imposed delusion, while ignoring the stark realities of what I should be doing over what I was doing, Basically, wasted a lot of time, and, sure I got the job done and then some, or accomplished certain duties and survived, but, at the end of the day where will that ultimately place me or get me to? I’m too much of a realist for most people to handle, so don’t feel bad if you want to hit me upside the head, its par for the course with me! Hasta La Vista Baby! I used to do a good Arnold and a Sly Stallone, but they could break me like a pretzel, I was a more silly side kick or Dana Carvey Clown. Maybe I missed the boat and should have joined the Circus! Hahahahaha!
      So, Amanda, seriously I hope you catch my drift here and it does a smidgen of good for either you or your friend not that you need it but maybe something I say here will give you more options in explaining things to your dear friend. If not, nothing ventured nothing gained, and, you could get at least a laugh out of it! God bless you and your friend!

      1. I am a follower of Jesus. It’s sad that this person I spoke to doesn’t want to accept the gift that Jesus has given.

      2. Hi Amanda Gene! Oh of course you are; I recognized that in your comment and your attempt to enlighten your acquaintance was a very Christian thing of you to do. I know you heard this countless times, but, it sticks in my head as a good rule of thumb having heard it first from my Dad when I was growing up who was always right about anything he talked to me about regarding life and purpose. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” A person does need to be ready or receptive to see the light and we are only other mere mortals, so, I know I can’t wave a wand or say some special word and heal another person’s conflicts, a bit complicated in most cases to be sure. Also, I hate to say this, but, in today’s very bizarre high-tech conflicted world simplicity is almost never to be found, too many layers or onion peels to get through to just find a little truth at times. And, here is the really bad part which I’m sure you’re aware of too, but, evil is real and diabolical forces are running rampant throughout causing real mayhem; just look at our government and geopolitical turmoil with such bad players really trying hard to make this a hell on earth! My point is that the Holy Scripture that speaks to this in my way of seeing it is this, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matthew 7:6
        “The stiff-necked and stubborn enemies of the gospel are unworthy to have it preached unto them.” biblehub
        To me Amanda Gene this is the same as someone with a hardened heart. Just can’t penetrate with kindness or anything.
        “A pearl is known among the Greeks for its oriental brightness: and a pearl was in ancient times greatly valued by the Latins: for a pearl that Cleopatra had was valued at two hundred and fifty thousand crowns: and the word is now borrowed from that, to signify the most precious heavenly doctrine.” biblehub
        Some people really are that far out on a limb to oblivion while some are just a bit confused and maybe need to learn the hard way unfortunately or get burned and finally get the message about the real deal out in the big world.
        But, no matter what the case may be each of us owes it to ourselves to be watching out for our own good and I know this one from learning the hard way because more than once I went out of my way for another who took advantage so there are always nefarious factors to be weary of especially these days.
        After all this, basically all I’m saying to you is I agree 100% that it’s sad, very sad! It is a dream to want to see all people understand and accept these truths and so much more. I really admire that you gave it a good try and care enough having a love for Jesus the way you do to help like that, but, the big brother always comes out in me having grown up with my little sisters I just naturally learned to watch out for and protect them as I loved them as much as any brother can, not wanting anything bad to happen. In my trying hard something bad happened to me once, when I found out a certain fella had hurt my sisters feelings and with a group of friends around he had said some bad things to her, so I went to talk to him and found him with a few guys, and as I tried to only talk to him to ask him would he please not bother my sister like that again; one of his tough buddies sucker punched me right in my gut and I got an enlarged spleen from it. This is why I get so worried for others to say don’t stick your own neck out or go out of your way to correct others or even help. Maybe it’s better to let them come looking for the good help and words they need to hear when they are ready, then like the horse finally being thirsty enough looks for the water to take a good drink.
        I’m sure you know all of these things, but, I like to talk about them to a nice person like you when an opportunity comes along so maybe in this venue especially, it will make that little bit of difference or the tiny push in the right direction that someone out there reading this needs and make the world of difference in saving them from misery or worse! I liked your question/comment, I’m so glad it stood out to me and I hope you got a tiny something from my long responses! All the best to you and God’s blessings always.
        Brother in Christ,
        Lawrence

  47. Totally agree- online church is NOT the same! There is something about being together with brothers and sisters in Christ that makes a huge difference. Churches have reopened in our area and I cannot express how grateful I am. While I am grateful that we have the technology available that makes online church a thing – we do have to be careful, because like you stated so well, it’s easy to fall into going through the motions and not really connecting with Jesus. Corporate worship is a gift not to be taken for granted! Praying you get to partake again very soon!

    1. Hi Lori! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. You’re so right – it is definitely something to be grateful for!! Thank you for your prayers, know that you’re in mine too! Hugs and love xox

  48. Thanks for sharing how you are handling these times of uncertainty. 2020 is the year for all of us to go deep into our souls and find the “real” me. We have found acceptance and trust in God makes everyday / every moment a joy. You are a beautiful soul and you make us smile always. God bless you and please stay safe. Jesus loves you and you are never alone.

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderfully encouraging words! They really mean a lot. Amen – we are all so deeply loved by Jesus!! Hugs and love xox

  49. Thank you for sharing this delightful post. It brought a couple of points to mind and one of which you make clear in your text. It is the point that “good people” do not go to heaven, forgiven people do, and to receive forgiveness, one must invest in a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which you so well point out. The second thought that came to mind is this: By the fact that you are conscious of and examining your walk with God, it testifies that you are not idle in a “safe zone” of “good person Christianity.” Instead, I believe it shows that you are active and growing in your spiritual walk with the Lord day-by-day, as are we all.

    Blessings,
    Darryl Orrell
    afaithfulsower.org

    1. Hi Derry! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. You’re so right! Forgiven people do!! I am so touched by your encouragement, thank you. Hugs and love xox

  50. Great piece. This type of Christianity is very dangerous to us all. We must fight daily to keep ourselves reminded of the sacrifice and the one who was sacrificed. May God continue to inspire you and give you the strength to keep building yourself and others through the power of His Word and the power of your testimony! And yep, these bones shall live!

    1. Hi jdo! Thank you so much for sharing this powerful perspective. You’re right – we need to live in the shadow of the sacrifice, always remembering it!! Hugs and love xox

  51. As you seek you will find the truth within yourself. All that you seek may not be, as that which is seen. Great post with your Heart’s revealing.

    1. Thank you so much for that nugget of encouragement. Very true! Hang in there! Hugs and love xox

  52. Great post, Caralyn! I love how you pointed out that we need to ask the Holy Spirit to create in our hearts the love for Jesus that we don’t have. We certainly don’t come by that love naturally so it must come from a work of the Spirit in our hearts. So glad you emphasized that! God bless you each day and keep you safe!

    1. Thank you so much Patty! Thanks for your kind words – you’re so right – and how blessed are we to have that Helper in the Holy Spirit!! God bless you too my dear friend! Hugs and love xox

  53. This post was exactly what I needed to bump me back to hopeful. These days have been so heavy. Thank you for your candid words.

    1. Hi Teresa! oh gosh thank you so much, i’m glad it resonated with you!! you’re right – they have been so heavy. We’ve got to cling to His hope! Hugs and love xox

  54. I don’t think God is that concerned with religious rituals. The writer of 1 John tells his readers if they don’t love those they see, they are not loving God who they cannot see. When we show love to others, we are simultaneously loving God.

    1. Thanks Peter for sharing your thoughts on this! Yes! God is love! Hugs and love xox

  55. Hi, Caralyn-
    Consider yourself as the “minister”. Which is certainly different than always receiving the ministry. But as the “minister,” it is important for you to feed your Faith. (You do not want to burn out or become discouraged.) Just what you need to be strong in the Lord is something for you to define. I am beyond any doubt studying and praying will be an integral part — with a bit of humbly following the Spirit. -Jeff

    1. Thanks so much Jeff for this thoughtful response. I am humbled by your generous words! Amen – following the Spirit! Sending hugs and love xox

  56. Great post. Candid write.
    Wise decision. May the Lord guide you each step of the way to discover the length, breadth, height and depth of His love for you and woo you into your first love. We love Him because He first loved us.
    I need to do the same. Let’ dive deep into the ocean of His endless great love.

    1. Thank you so much Fenny! I really appreciate your kind words and prayers. Amen – His love is deeper than the ocean! Hugs and love xox

  57. This is a great post! While I agree that being a “good person” is not enough, I also think you should give yourself credit for being one. There are so many Christians who aren’t the best representations of the faith; I think we should lead by example to bring people to Christ.

    – Katie

    1. Thank you Katie!! You’re right! Leading by example is a great tool for evangelization! Hugs and love xox

  58. Thank you for your honesty! Your post is spot on. We all need to take responsibility for our faith these times. Personally, I connect more when I am careful about the things I consume, I’m talking social media, songs, movies etc. Only things that make my heart yearn for Jesus. Of course, the Word of God is a delight always! I pray God helps you stay through to your resolution. May He strengthen you and uphold you all the way.

    1. Thank you so much Temiloluwa! i really appreciate your thoughtful response – you’re right – it’s in our hands! i so appreciate your prayers. know that you’re in mine too! Hugs and love xox

  59. Thank you for this good word! I am preaching a summer sermon series on “DIY Religion,” based on some ideas from an article I read, and one of the “myths” of DIY Religion is that good enough is good enough–I’ll be referencing your article this Sunday (with reference of course!) in my sermon, so thank you for the insights! When the sermon comes out on video, I’ll try to remember to send the link you way.

    1. thank you so much Joe! I’m so glad this hit home with you. oh wow i love that series idea!! i’d love to hear it!! Hugs and love xox

  60. As a Marine, I know that (to use your ‘sailor’ analogy) a good sailor knows when to tighten the sail, when to add slack, when to roll it up, and when to hold on for dear life.
    I know what you mean by the “waver”. I am not one of those. I know people like that. I go about my day secure in my relationship with God. I know He knows my heart. I don’t have to smile at a person to be a good man. I don’t have to go out of my way to be a good man. I just have to make the right choice when the choice is placed in front of me.
    God knows our hearts, and the hearts of others. If they chose to judge us, well then: Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
    So, just be a good person. Make good choices. Let the Lord guide you and he will place you in those moments to help others of his flock.
    Don’t beat yourself up (the world is ready to do that for you—don’t join their side). You’re doing better than you think.
    Be well. God bless.

    1. Thank you so much William! And thank you for your service to our country! Amen – let Him guide us! Thanks for sharing that! Hugs and love xox

  61. So I think you are spot on in the fact that it is a time to get back to what matters and that is relationship with God. It’s funny because I think a lot of us have actually replaced relationship unknowingly with routine. Got to church on Sunday = relationship. Listen to the right music = relationship. Attend a bible study = relationship. And none of those things are bad except for when they are actually replacing our desire to KNOW God. Routines feel safe because they don’t require faith. But step in a virus like CORONA that messes with our routine and God reveals that we weren’t pursuing Him, we were pursuing the routine. (Not true for everyone just generalizing what I think God is doing for all of us). So now we are in a place where we actually have to TAKE TIME and pursue that relationship and that means something. Because it is us learning that knowing God is truly what is important and not the routine we made important. And yes people / gathering together are all important parts too but I just think God is revealing to us where our hearts truly are. Now we can decide what to do with that. Thanks for your courage to write and the way you hear God.

    1. thank you so much Dan! Amen to that – I think this whole thing has been an exercise in heart reflection. And amen to that – it’s all about the relationship!!! Big hugs to you xox

  62. Thanks so much for your comments and honesty. Never forget that the same God is working in your home, just like He works in the church building. He will never leave you and He will never forsake you. He is using you, and He has Big plans for your life to impact people for Him. Remember He also wants to be your best friend, and He is a friend that will never fail you. Blessings to you.

    1. Thanks so much for the beautiful encouragement. You’re so right – our Best Best Friend! What a comforting thought. Hugs and love xox

  63. So many comments, what can I add. I will say this, you nailed it! This is what walking an everyday life is like with God the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit. Maturity happens in these up and down periods of our life. Continue to lean in on your “Good Christian” but start adding more “Shine like Christ” attitude into your days. It feels like walking through Relationship 101 with God, Which is a learning process that pushes trust to the ultimate. He is always there for us, will we always be there for Him?

    1. Thank you S for sharing your thoughts on this! You’re so right – shine like Christ! Love that! Hugs and love xox

  64. Love your message and your plans to sail a sacred ship! So glad to see your still on course in all the chaos! May we all soar more, and flap less! Blessings from a brother in Indiana. keep your eyes to the horizon and always look big picture.

    1. Thank you so much! Sail a sacred ship – I like that 🙂 amen to that! Thanks friend! Hugs and love xox

  65. Once again, great post. I am lucky, because I have developed a personal relationship with at least two of the three pastors who are in my life. (We just had a change in one of my churches.) I have my call friends, those whom I call from church, just to check on them, elderly and shut in. I have also discovered a group called Complicit Clergy where you can see homilies from the more outspoken priests. Been following Pastor James Altman. He doesn’t mince words. (Don’t share this on your site or you will probably cause CC and Fr. Altman grief.) I just know from your Abortion stance, that you will like what he says. As a non-Catholic, I find his words sobering, even to the point of questioning whether I should become a Catholic. I even gave to his parish. We must all now hear the truth and share it wherever we find it. We must bathe ourselves in Jesus words and teachings. I pray Psalm 91 and 23 every day. Also get the Verse of the day from Bible Gateway. You can use whatever edition of the Bible you feel comfortable with. Sundays I attend three services online, because I like my old pastor the best. I also try to catch Fr. Altman’s homilies. In my prayers for others, I will always invoke Jesus’ healing hands and comforting words (the Bible.) Give Fr. Altman a listen. I’d be curious to know what you think. God Bless you always.

    1. Thank you so much Sandman! It sounds like you’ve been blessed with a wonderful community of friends! I will definitely check out Fr Altman. Thanks for the recco!! Could be fodder for an upcoming post! Haha stay well and God bless! Hugs and love xox

  66. “Cruise control faith life.” Great phrase: I can relate to it. When the covid crisis began and my company started telecommuting, and then the state ordered people to lock down and stay at home, I think I expected it to last a few weeks and treated it like a semi-vacation. Had I known I would still be working from home four months later, maybe I would have looked at it as more of an opportunity to focus on those areas of my life and faith that get overlooked when life is too busy.
    Thanks for challenging all of us to take hold of the ship, tighten the sails, etc. It’s time for me to make each day count for the Lord!

    1. Thanks so much Michael! I feel you there – there was a novelty to it in the beginning. Little did we know. Yes! Hugs and love xox

    1. You’re so right about that – our relationship with Him. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  67. Thank you for the post! It is absolutely true, and it has literally been my lifeline ever since I had my little one; I realized I cannot do life without immersing myself in the Bible, studying it, and praying to love Jesus more every day. I of course am not super great at it still, but this reminder is definitely going to propel me.

    1. thank you so much ! 🙂 I’m so glad this resonated with you you’re right – the Word is a lifeline! Hugs and love xox

  68. Well put 😊 a good habit to get into is a daily reading of The Word and this is something that over the years I have struggled with (even as an Officer, minister, pastor) but for the past 5 ywa

    1. Years or so have read the bible chronologically in different translations which has broadened my understanding 😁 so much more I could say – but for now take 🤗

    2. Yes you’re right about that that! There is power in the Word! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  69. Miss Caralyn I am right with you. I have such a challenging time watching the Mass and not fully participating. I forget that Making a Spiritual Communion is a gift to us. Keeping up with a consistent prayer life has been challenging. Prayer lately is in the form of “help”, “I need you”, “thank you!”, “I’m not sure where this is going I’m doing my best to trust you”, “Lord open my heart and ears please”.
    I’m working on accepting that in this moment, this is where I am in prayer, yet again. There is an experience of being scattered. Yes that’s it! Scattered, flung afield, here there and everywhere. It’s time to run, like a little one, into the arms of our loving Father for that embrace that says, “All is forgiven, I love you. I created you.”
    Oh Caralyn, may you ever grow in the Divine Mystery of God’s LOVE.

    1. Hi Teri! Oh gosh thank you so much. You’re right – that’s an important perspective to remember: spiritual communion is a gift!! And how blessed are we that during all of this we’ve had the ability to go virtually. Huge blessing. What a comforting thought!! Thank you my dear friend. Have a beautiful weekend. Hugs and love xox

  70. This is a powerful post, Baby Girl. Thank you for sharing something that has needed to be said for a long time. Thank you also for your unashamed honesty. YOU are a breath of fresh air! Blessings!

    1. Thank you Mac, I appreciate your kind words! Honesty can be scary but totally freeing! Hugs and love xox

  71. So nice to be back. Love reading your posts! It is true. We like to keep it at surface level. Who we are in Christ should move us to understand how we can declare that relationship within culture and community

  72. You just wrote exactly what I’ve been finding in my own faith in the last few days. Thanks for writing this.

    1. Hi Chrissie! oh i’m so glad this resonated with you!! 🙂 sending you so much love and hugs xox

  73. Great post! It’s easy to take our faith & relationship with God for granted. Truly, Lord help me to want to love you more!

  74. It certainly takes work on our part to steward the relationship with Jesus but key is also being open and led by Him, led by the Holy Spirit- how He wants to grow us and transform us into spirit filled followers of Christ ❤️ Jesus is the head of the church – he is our church and will minister to us individually if we are open and receptive to it! ❤️🥰 ❤️🙏 He knows us inside and out and knows our needs and will guide us through a storm – He’ll even rebuke the storm! ❤️ He’s so good! 🙌 xx

    1. thank you so much! you’re so right about that — He will guide us through the storm! what an incredibly comforting truth! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much MT! I’m so glad this resonated with you! Hugs and love xox

  75. Good article! During the pandemic, I discovered that Michael Card albums for Matthew, Mark, Luke and John can be added to my spotify list. I listen to his songs a lot because they are all like sermons and point out things I never noticed int he Gospels before. Then they play in my head instead of my anxieties or aloneness. Even though I “attend” a Bible Study and a prayer group on Zoom, it is not the same as being with other people.

    1. Thank you so much Teresa! Oh really?! I had no idea! what a great innovation! Thanks for sharing that awesome info! you’re right – nothing will be in-person fellowship with our faith brothers and sisters! Hugs and love xox

  76. Great post! I believe our life with Christ has a short shelf life. It’s as fresh as a breath we take. In nature, food spoils if left out and “saved”. There is no rescuing our spirituality from time’s decay for all We have is today.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I pray that we love each day we’re given to the full! Hugs and love xox

  77. I enjoyed the read. We are certainly on the same page about being out of church for so long. My sister and I was just talking about this last night and I too, am writing on that subject.

    The last week or so, I have been feeling a bit off (emotionally) and I believe it is a combination being out of church for so long and the fact that my father’s birthday was recently (he transitioned in 2001)…

    Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    1. Thank you so much Sherry! I’m so glad this resonated with you. I’m sorry this last week was an off week for you. I’ll be praying for you my friend. Sometimes life can hit us when we least expect it. Hang in there. Sending so so much love and hugs xox

      1. Thank you so much!. Happy that our blogs crossed (smile). More importantly, happy to have Christ in common. We must keep in touch and pray for each other and our world. Love and blessings right back at you…

      2. Me too 🙂 amen!! There is power in prayer 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  78. I will never be able to think of 2020 in the same way again. I’ll hear Janice in my head with her annoying laugh! lol

    It’s so amazing you’ve overcome anorexia. You’re a beautiful young lady and your personal triumph has been an inspiration and given hope to others in the same situation.

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