Little Bitty

There’s an Alan Jackson song that features these lyrics:

“Well, it’s alright to be little bitty
A little hometown or big old city
Might as well share, might as well smile 🎼
Life goes on for a little bitty while”

When I was a kid, I enjoyed the tune but found the lyrics to be atrocious.

I wasn’t going to be small. I was going to break out of Arkansas and become a best selling author who lived somewhere grand, maybe NYC.

God had other plans. Thankfully.

I’m understanding the value of small. Of how little moments measure up to be so much more than a big house, fast car, a little nip here, a little tuck there. Those things aren’t inherently evil. But when we make them idols, they take on a whole new life, or better yet, an entity that’s absolutely devoid of it.

Christ knew the value of small. He worked with only twelve disciples who all had their faults, not a million subscribers patting him on the back. He valued getting close to people, truly knowing them, and allowing them to reveal their hearts.

He worked against the idea of Babel, the insidiousness that infiltrates when people put more stock in themselves than in the absolute sovereignty of God.

Christ knew the value of a mustard seed. Of how the greatest things come from the tiniest of truths.

#sundaywisdom #sundayfunday #fourthofjuly #jesussaves #Godfirst #microblog #potd #gingham #writerslife #writingcommunity #amwriting #writersofinstagram #bloggersofinstagram

 

No Laughing Matter

“Lord Jesus, I offer myself to Your people. In any way. Any place. Any time.” – Corrie Ten Boom

I read (okay, skimmed) an article in The Atlantic recently about how witchcraft is on the rise.

People are scared. They’re looking for guidance.

I know a lot of people might roll their eyes and think that’s crazy, but is it?

When you don’t have Jesus you scramble for the closest shoe that fits. And for some, this might just be the shoe.

When I was an atheist, I was deeply into yoga. I could head stand my way from the living room to the kitchen like a champ.

Sort of.

God used my reliance on the wrong thing as an opportunity to right my heart.

You see, yoga opened a door into a very dark world. And for three months, I had demonic visions.

No, scratch that. I was in the presence of demons.

It was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, and I know it will trump anything I ever experience in the future.

(Until the very end, of course.)

It was pure evil, and I was trapped. My body was paralyzed. My spirit spun out of my body. I felt…possessed.

If you don’t know me, let me make something very clear: I’ve always relied on my intelligence and ability to reason to survive. I may not be the prettiest, the most coordinated, the most likely to understand how time works (clocks are stupid), but I’ve always put a pretty penny on being a smidge book smarter than the average bear.

So when this happened to me EVERY night for THREE WHOLE MONTHS, I decided I was losing my mind.

There could be no other option. Because there was no God.

But my soul couldn’t take it anymore. It started to feel like it was breaking apart. I knew I couldn’t save myself, so I asked Jesus to do it.

Not Buddha.
Not Shiva.
Not the guy who lived across the street and could never figure out what a mower was for.

Jesus.

That night? And all the other nights after it? Pure. Blissful. Sleep.

I’m the last person on earth who ever thought she would become a Christian. I thought that type of life was for hypocrites and brainless do-gooders.

And yes, there are some of those walking around who need Jesus just as much as your average agnostic.

But then there is the core group of true believers who have seen things. And know things. And would in an instant give their lives up for the one and only King.

These are the people sacrificing for others. Humbling themselves. Watching the world wide-eyed, acknowledging what Satan is up to but knowing Jesus has already finished the ending.

Friends, if you’re just “dabbling” in witchcraft, even the white arts, pray for wisdom. Seek real truth and not the truth Satan wants you to feel, wants you to see.

Because evil is no laughing matter. TRUST ME. There is something very real going on, and we can only see a shadow of it.

Put your hope in Christ. Fear God. Because in the end, we all meet our maker, a just Lord who will bring every single one of our trespasses to light. And without trust in Christ who paid the fine for us, we’re left to our own devices.

And to me? That’s the scariest truth of all.

Heck, I can’t even tell time.

#witchcraft #thursdaywisdom

Self-publishing as a Ministry

I finished the book.

No. Let me try that again.

I. FINISHED. THE. BOOK.

Relief. Happiness. An internal conflict brewing that worries me ceaselessly and provokes me to think that no matter what route I take with this thing, it will be the wrong one.

You know. The usual.

But there’s something way different this time. Jesus has taken the wheel. And I know deep down this book is more than a book and my writing is more than my writing.

It’s my ministry.

This is exactly why self-publishing is on my radar. I don’t just want to publish one book. I want to publish a slew of them that can be categorized as gritty contemporary fiction but still speak to the heart of Christ.

Have you peeked outside lately? Our world is on fire. And the only way to put it out is with the true, unhibited love for others that Jesus gives every one of us.

Not religion. Not systemic evil that’s insidiously wormed it’s way through every facet of human existence (nice try, Satan). But through the raw, real love of Jesus that meets us at every dead end.

I want those kinds of books available in the market. Because right now? All I’m seeing in the Christian publishing world is cheesy “koombabaya” novels and a select few non-fiction books that are absolutely stellar but won’t catch the attention of your average agnostic.

It’s time for change.

I’ve started a new self-publishing series here at erickaclay.com to pen my thoughts throughout this journey. I’m excited to break down the online programs I’ll be using for editing and cover design. The YouTube tutorials that fire me up. The self-publishing aggregator that I KNOW will do my book justice.

I want to show you that impossible is possible when you trust the one and only Creator.

That One Time I Was an Atheist

I recently listened to an interesting interview with Becket Cook on Focus on the Family. He’s a former homosexual who hit it big in the fashion industry and was besties with all sorts of people, including well known actors and actresses.

Two points of his story resonated scarily well with me:

  1. He practiced practical atheism for a majority of his life (so did I from college until roughly five years ago).
  2. He touched on the issue of post-modern relativism and the fact that it never really satisfies (yep, been there, too).

The idea behind post-modern relativism is that there’s really no absolute truth. We’re allowed to create our own boundaries and definitions of what our personal truths are.

After all, I’m me, you’re you and what impacts and applies to my life is none ya business.

But here’s the deal: we’re all interconnected folks, and the decisions I make DO impact others as well.

There are also undeniable truths God created in this world even if we want to pretend they don’t exist. Hmmm, let me see: gravity (and the fact that we don’t go flying off this planet every morning we wake up), the desire for justice (technically if my truth involves smacking you in the face every time I feel like it, why is this frowned upon? I mean, I’m just living my truth, hombre!), the desire to keep living even when your world is on fire (I see there being absolutely no point in self-preservation even if we’re all supposedly evolved animals because really, what are we living for in that case?)

The extreme yearning to be loved.

So why is this important? You most likely have a loved one who’s in college and depending on which college they attend, post-modern relativism WILL be shoved down their throats. Especiallialy if they’re an adorable Liberal Arts major like moi. It’ll be way too easy to pat them on the head, roll your eyes, and make them feel like their thoughts and opinions don’t matter.

DON’T. DO. THAT.

Instead? Love them. Love them hard. Because Christ’s love is the ultimate truth teller.

People talk big during the day, believing all sorts of nonsense about this life. It’s at night when they’re scared, alone and the anxiety of false gods like post-modern relativism (or insert any asinine thought process that’s currently in vogue), sucks the absolute life out of them.

Nobody ever talks about that part.

We, as the Church, have to offer truth despite moral and ethical breakdown in this world. Remember, Christ doesn’t return until it’s like the days of Noah, when nobody believed in anything except themselves.

But we believe in something far greater because we know what Christ has done for each and every one of us.

And there’s no greater truth than the one that lives in your heart.

#atheism #postmodernrelativism

Photo credit: Life Posters (https://fineartamerica.com/featured/god-is-dead-nietzsche-mindy-sommers.html)