Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church is one of the spiritual leaders that I draw spiritual nourishment from during my week. I have a top 5 in that regard, one of those people being my very own Godfather. Today, I bring up Pastor Mike Todd because he has an acronym he uses when he preaches, he says "we are a H.O.T church here at Transformation." It stands for Honest, Open, and Transparent. At the end of every sermon when he extends the invitation for people to give their lives to Christ he says "It's the best decision I ever made, It took me from being a liar, a manipulator a person addicted to pornography to the man I am today. I am not a perfect man but I am a progressive man."
I think what makes him a prolific spiritual leader is because he is so transparent. I had a conversation with a friend of mine a few weeks back about the problems that we face in Christianity winning more souls to Christ. There are people who were "church hurt," People who see their money and talent being abused in church, seeing the hypocrisy among Christians, and because of this church and Christianity gets a bad reputation. People are under the stigma that just because you are "saved" that you are perfect, that you are 'holier than thou" and they have probably gotten "bible thumped" over their mishaps and shortcomings in life. This was not God's intention at all.
I respect Pastor Mike Todd for his transparency, it makes him relatable and someone people actually want to listen to. I started this blog for that very reason. Because I know as a believer that this Christian Walk is not always easy. We are works in progress, trying to learn and grow and mature spiritually while dealing with everyday temporal things. Being a Christian does not mean you are perfect or better than anyone. It just means you have chosen to live your life God's way and not your own or the way the world says you should.
I say all of that to say this; for anyone who may be following or chooses to follow my blog, I want to be a H.O.T person. I don't want to be seen as a hypocrite, or untrustworthy. So in the spirit of honesty and transparency, last week I wrote a post about how I used alcohol and cigarettes as my comfort in times of stress and unrest and how God delivered me from it, as I have become more intentional in going to God first before anything else.
Well last week, I had a series of unfortunate events, that I had to deal with all alone or I chose to deal with it all alone because I was upset. I have been striving to try to get back into school so that I can break into a new career field because I am tired of "jobs" and while I have the skills, no one will give me a shot because I don't have my BA. Well, I got shot down for one of the best English Lit programs in the world, after they selected me as a finalist and interviewed me. Then at the same time, I had to deal with selling off my dog's litter of puppies. Anyone who knows me knows I love animals, which is why I intentionally never intended for her to get pregnant, but she accomplished that on her own. After 2 months of loving them, playing with them, watching them grow, it was time to let them go and it was ripping my heart out because of course, I felt like no one could care for them as I could.
Then I found out my unemployment was denied...yep I lost my job...it was stolen from me rather by someone I trusted but who was working against me the whole time. All of this while my husband is out of the country.
I didn't really want to heap all of this onto anybody, so I imploded, and yes I did read my daily devotional (as I do most every day) and I did pray. I still, however, made the conscious choice to have a daiquiri which I added an extra shot of vodka to and I bought myself a mini cigar because I cannot drink without smoking something but I didn't want cigarettes. So I stand by my earlier claim that God delivered me from my habits, I made the decision to go back to what he brought me from. It was only one drink and one cigar, but the next night I had a glass of wine and a cigar. It never went beyond those 2 drinks but I was so sad and felt so alone and was so distressed and this is no excuse, I'm just being honest with the public, that I made a misstep after all that wonderful advice I gave about going to God first.
See God gives us free choice. People sometimes speak about Christianity like it's a sentence or a punishment. It's not, it's a choice. No one will make you do anything, but when you accept God into your life and submit to his will you have to choose his way. I have found that I prefer God's way because I tried it my way and it was a disaster. So, I have recovered from my pity party, because God is Good and He is Faithful. He led me to a website that matched me with a counselor who helps people find and apply to programs that fit their needs, he brought the right people to answer my ad so my puppies have good homes and He sent me a work-from-home job. Even in my folly, God provided for me and that's why I am revealing this to you. It's a testimony and a confession. I hope someone will be inspired by my stories and make the choice to allow God into their life. It's the best decision you will ever make. I encourage you to check out Transformation Church on Youtube. Services Stream every Sunday starting at 11:00 am CST. Until Next Time.