on vulnerabilities

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Often there are vulnerabilities in our lives that, looking back, we have had hints of along the way but they did not seem life-threatening. These vulnerabilities are exploited in different ways in different souls.

For some, vulnerabilities are exposed through rejection. For others, through the offer of longed-for-acceptance.
For some, stress and pressure. For others, time on their hands.
For some, disappointment and anger. Yet others are most vulnerable following great successes.  


How our vulnerabilities are exposed can give insight into how our vulnerabilities were formed.

When startled by our own vulnerability, it is a wise use of prayer space to ask Father God if we have struggled (knowingly or unknowingly) with a lack of mental discipline in the use of our imaginations.  

What I find personally and as a mentor is that we are all very vulnerable to using our imaginations to "relax," to picture a different, better, more exciting, more peaceful...reality when the one we perceive ourselves to be experiencing. We tend to think of these imaginations as harmless and perhaps even a form of stress-relief. But untruth creates deadly fault lines in our souls.

If our minds are used to going places that are not within God's current realities for us (which is a different matter than simply being visionary or planning for the future...), then when approached with a suggestion, our mental boundaries are porous--more like a colander than a fortress--and our past lack of mental discipline suddenly becomes a catalyst exponentially taking us down roads we never thought we would ever choose.

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on multi-tasking and silence

I'm emerging from a full season of launching a dream. Click here to read an update from my personal blog. And thank you all so much for your patience with my silence.

an interview--part two

continuation of q&a magazine interview...

Q5. Coming to church is to come face to face with Jesus, yet church attendance universally is steadily declining. How do you think we, as Christians play a part in part?

Alicia: The following progression in our minds and hearts can reroute us slowly away from faithful-church-participation and solidly into occasional-church-attendance:

family --> voluntary association

community--> audience

sanctuary --> building

Q6. Your new book is called 'Intimate Conversations with God'. Can you tell what inspired you to write it?

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an interview--part one

Recently a magazine sent me excellent questions for an interview. Below are some of their inquiries and my responses.

Q1. There's so much to talk about, but first let's start with how you encountered Christ. You say that He 'interrupted your existence'. Can you tell us a bit about what your life was like then and how He stopped you in your tracks?

Alicia: Truth for me was dead. God had never lived. Life was filled with pain. Death was the end of life. These four beliefs formed my worldview. I sincerely believed that there was no God.

The day of the encounter, I was neither seeking God nor on a noble truth pilgrimage. I was neither high nor drunk nor in the pit of despair. 

Q2. Were you an atheist by choice or simply because no one had ever told you the gospel?

Alicia: Atheism was a distinct decision. My parents tease me that the first word out of my mouth wasn’t “Ma” or “Da” but “WHY?” Evidently I’ve been asking questions since I could speak. Unanswerable questions led me to the belief that there was no God. Over the years I encountered several streams of Christianity and also Spiritualism, Hinduism, and Buddhist thought. Faith seemed a construct of mankind to stuff in the gaps and calm fears or explain the unexplainable. As a young Atheist, I considered myself a realist who preferred unanswered questions over fairy tales.

Q3. Why do you think so many Christians are afraid of speaking with those who say they don't believe?

Alicia: Reasons abound, but perhaps almost all of the reasons are rooted in either fear or deception. Some fear rejection or embarrassment. Some fear not knowing what to say. And perhaps some privately fear that their faith isn’t sound enough to withstand critique.

Fear married to deception keeps the Church caged. In our day, “one way—Jesus” is cultural blasphemy. The world’s deceptive message is deafening: “Move beyond the narrow elitism of one-way and enter into the enlightened inclusion of all ways. Affirm equally everyone’s respective truth or keep your mouth shut.”

Q4. Do you think modern Christian culture has in some ways made it more difficult for atheists to come to the church?

Alicia: Perhaps it’s our lack of sharing life shoulder-to-shoulder outside of church that makes it difficult for people (Atheist or otherwise) to want to come inside a church. We give our gifts (money, talent) gladly but our lives (time, touch) little. Our lives are so full. Yet it would be life-giving, if we said “no” to one time-eater in order to say “yes” to some consistent activity (city league ball, PTA…) that would place us in proximity with others who wrote mental resignation letters to the church long ago.

(to be continued)

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mouth math

A link to my personal blog for a family lesson on mouth math.

Peace,

alicia

Louie's gift

Click here to share in a warm moment between my youngest and me, his "sicky mommy". ..that I posted on my personal blog.

why I respect Atheists

Radio interviews are almost always enjoyable, especially when the host permits call-ins. I love the raw nature of a live q&a; it's energizing.

But one call-in this year caught me off-guard. Frankly, I was stunned and couldn't fill the space fast enough for air time, so the comment went unanswered except by the host who thanked the caller for taking the time...

The interview was on my book, Finding an Unseen God: Reflections of a Former Atheist. Many have commented on how I treat Atheists and their belief system with respect throughout the book. I thought the reasons were obvious--but that is my error.

In response to the interview, the sincere, non-belligerent, concerned caller said, "You should not honor the Atheist, because the Bible says that, "the fool says in his heart that there is no God.'" Then he went on to make another point...which I honestly don't remember because I was a bit dazed.

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thanks for your patience

The speaking run is done for the Fall. Thanks so much for your patience with my silence in-between.

I'll be posting this week on the subject of doubt. For a warm thought, visit my personal blog for a post on lightning strikes and pink horses. 

an "in between" update

The silence will continue a few more weeks...I become very focussed (okay, even more than usual...) during a speaking run. But this Fall has seemed more intense than usual--spiritually and physically.

So for this season, I am either soaking up time with the fam, preparing a message, on a plane, or sharing with folks. Not much creative space for writing or blogging currently...

For more of a "where, oh, where is alicia?" update, please visit my personal blog.

Peace--alicia

a dangerous crossing

I mentioned in the last blog that I'll probably be posting less this Fall because of the season's speaking commitments. True. So I thought I'd sign in and share a bit of what's simmering in my soul as I'm preparing this weekend's message.

On Friday, I'll be flying to Memphis, Tennessee to partner with Dr. Frank Thomas of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. The Boulevard is launching a new location in their city. Pastor Thomas graciously invited me to speak for their Consecration weekend. The opportunity feels pregnant with God's Spirit and weighty with responsibility...

The theme is consecration from Joshua 3.5:

Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." 

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About
alicia britt chole is a thought-provoking speaker, seasoned mentor, and reflective author of several books including Anonymous and Finding an Unseen God.


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