Do Fat People Go To Heaven?

Now that I have your attention this post has very little to do with overweight people.  I have many friends whom I love dearly, myself included, who could lose a pound or two.  I initially struggled with the title and decided to go with it because the message, in my opinion, transcends the word selection.

I’ve heard this statement a time or two, “Jess, I LOVE your transparency on the blog, but I could never do it.  I don’t know how you put it all out there for the world.”  

I’ve been admonished to tone it down a bit.

I’m sure I’ve caused blushes among my family and friends.

Honestly, the thought of my family and friends reading some of what I write is much more difficult than the thought of random strangers reading it.

I often wish I wrote anonymously because then I wouldn’t be so scared of backlash.

And, as a good Christian woman do I really need to write about porn, sex, (Let’s Talk Sex…) scantily clad women sucking on chicken tenders,(Fast Food Porn) and homosexuals?

Yes, I’m pretty sure I do. I want to be transparent in my life and that can include some strong opinions on how twisted our theological thinking can get sometimes. This is my mission field.  No one is ever truly changed with lies.  NEVER.  A person may be deceived for a moment, they may look up to a perception of holiness for a time, but when the darkness is brought to light, that whole façade comes tumbling down and at the end of the day, there is always more harm done than good.

I’ve been pressed to pick a side on many issues that I write about, lately, in particular, the homosexual issue in light of certain events surrounding World Vision, a charitable organization that has recently found itself in a sticky situation.  As I seek to understand the dilemma, (which is not a new topic by any means) I believe the heart of the issue boils down to this:

Can homosexuals be Christians in light of what scripture has to say about this lifestyle? This question then leading into the more prevalent issues of, can we have homosexuals in our pews? in church leadership? passing the offering plate?  I’ve written a bit on this before with the post Rob Bell, You Stinker…

Now let’s turn our attention to other lifestyles scripture has a few choice words on including that of gluttony, drunkards, and the use of our tongues.

Can a morbidly obese person go to Heaven? Can an obese person be a pastor?  Can an obese person pass the offering plate? How many times does a gossiper have a “get out of hell free” card?  How many drinks constitute a drunkard? Once a drunkard, never a saint? The Bible is extremely clear on these lifestyle choices, way, way clearer than it is on homosexual behavior.  

So again, there is no answer to that question for me.  

I am not perfect.  I drink too much wine on occasion (the rule is one glass per child, correct?) I have a mouth that can run.  I have a mouth that can cuss when it gets running.  I am way more just than I am merciful.  But above all of that I love the Lord with all my heart.  He is slowly but surely working out his plan and purpose in my life, and I have faith in that plan.  I beseech his wisdom and mercy often in the wake of trials, hardships, tribulations, or simply the child I cannot stand parenting in a particular moment.  

What I don’t understand are the trivial games we each play to appear holy, to appear spiritual to one another, to appear better than the homosexuals.  What’s confusing to me is the man who is adamantly opposed to drinking but doesn’t have a problem gambling.  The teenager who will not lose his virginity before marriage yet engages in every other form of sexual activity. The HR director for a major Christian charity organization who gorges herself on McDonalds every day to the point of being morbidly obese yet won’t hire a homosexual…

Our desire to appear holy should absolutely never trump our need to love others as ourselves. For some unknown reason in Christianity (certainly our sinful nature coming forth in all its glory) we have constructed these tiers of holiness for one another.    Gluttony, in our spiritual superiority, does not seem to be something that keeps a person out of Heaven, neither does gossip, but my goodness, if you struggle with homosexual tendencies you for sure aren’t getting in those pearly, white gates.   

So in regards to what side I’m on, I didn’t realize there was more than one side. My Bible says “all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God” so I guess I’m on that side, the side with the best of the sinners, the gluttons, the drunkards, gossipers, teenagers who go way too far, and even the homosexuals.  But my side has the added bonus of the ultimate “get out of jail free” card, a Redeemer who has held back nothing for me, even sacrificing his own life to pull me out of the muck and then even going so far as to seat me in Heavenly places. My redeemer’s name is Jesus Christ, and thankfully there is no condemnation, no names, no tiers of holiness, no nothing, just straight up grace and mercy for those who put their faith in him.   That’s the side I’m on.

Just keep livin!!

Ham Delight Recipe

We had a huge ham last night for dinner.  I had no idea what we were having for dinner tonight.  I looked in the fridge and saw bags upon bags of ham.  I came up with this recipe which was admittedly delicious and too good to keep to myself.  Every single one of us loved it (and it’s easy!)

 

ham delight

 

16 oz penne pasta

3-4 cups chopped up ham

2 cups peas

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 1/2 cup sour cream (I ran out and substituted mayo for the 1/2 cup)

2 cups (or so) shredded swiss cheese

1-2 tea black pepper

Panko bread crumbs

Spinach Powder if you want to make it super healthy and off set the sour cream and cheese 🙂  I do sprinkle a few teaspoons of this in and you can’t taste it at all, I promise.

 Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and put in two 9 x 13’s.  Sprinkle more swiss cheese and panko bread crumbs on top. Cook at 325 for 30 minutes. 

 Ta da!  That’s it, super easy and super tasty. 

Holly’s Story

This story is hard for me to read because it is partly my story.  I love this woman dearly and she has been through some messiness this side of eternity.  I am still posting messy stories, life stories of all kinds.  I’m trying to post them on Mondays (Messy Mondays) and I’d love to hear yours if you have one to tell.  Send me an email at jessplusthemess@gmail.com.  Here’s Holly’s story. 

 

This is my story, some of it is old and some, new and fresh and some just to private to tell. I grew up in a loving Christian home with a Mom and Dad who are still married along with brothers. We had a lot of fun and my brothers could get pretty crazy on occasion. Because I was a book worm and introspective, I often felt lonely. I felt God calling me at a young age and accepted Jesus at 11. We never missed church or Sunday school and getting ready was always a big deal, shoes lined up and polished, Sunday clothes, hats and gloves for me and for Mom. After I graduated from high school, I went to nursing school, met my future husband, graduated and got married.

We had three wonderful children Jason, Kimberly, and David, each unique and special, gifted and so loved . We had fun times, and I tried to teach our children good Christian values and instill in them a love for Jesus. The joy of raising our children is certainly a highlight in my life. We had the normal ups and downs as a family, joys, friends, financial issues at times and some pretty serious surgeries for me. Faith during difficult times was essential, and without pain or hurt I learned we can never truly love. Without it we are shallow, without any depth, with nothing to give. In this mix came divorce which really broke me, it took a long, painful time to heal and again God was always close and faithful. Thankfully friends, family, and God whispering to me, led me through the pain.

 In the off Broadway play “the Fantasticks” the villain El Gallo charms the young lady and leads her boyfriend astray. As he leaves and she packs to leave with him, he goes and she says, you can never really know love unless you have been hurt. Hurts, pain, and tragedy can bring us to a depth we never imagined, but in that depth God is always faithful; he always keeps his word, and he never leaves. Which leads me to the meat of my story, as you know if you read this blog,  Jason my son, passed away. He and his lovely wife Jessica had a difficult time with both sets of parents divorcing and Luke who is awesome being born with some pretty serious handicaps requiring surgeries and special care.

It is immensely difficult to watch your child become critically ill and struggle with the effects of cancer while trying to be a good father and husband. He was a strong warrior for God, and his faith grew exponentially as he became weaker. I loved my son so much and it was so hard to give him back. I always said the worst thing would be to lose your child, I could not imagine that but I was called to do this very thing.

After his death, through much prayer, I was blessed with a wonderful husband and new grandchildren, sons and daughter-in-laws. I am so blessed because I know where my son is, he is in heaven . How cool is that!!! God told me that Jason finished the job he had for him to do, he was pleased with him, that he ran the race he was meant to run. I had been praying for a new Godly husband for Jessica and the kids. He told me it was Ryan’s turn now, and that I was to be Mom and Grandma to them because God knew my heart and knew that would be best.

Jason loves them from heaven and Ryan loves them on earth.

After I married Gord, I suddenly seemed to have a proclivity for falling down and having surgery, three times in our marriage so far but who’s counting. Last November, while I was visiting my daughter, I noticed a quite large lump in my breast.  When I arrived home we did the usual tests, ultrasounds, biopsies, etc, and come to find out I had invasive,aggressive, metastatic breast cancer. I have just finished  chemo ,will have surgery, more chemo and then radiation. The good new is, I have a loving husband who is by my side who unfortunately lost his first wife to breast cancer. He has certainly been there, done that. But I am good, God is good, I have a peace about my situation no matter what happens because I know where I’m going. The joy of The Lord is my strength. In the end what is really important? Work ,yes….family of course…..money ,not in and of its self, it’s best when you can spread it around and do good. Fame? Power?  Nope, we’ve seen where that leads. Really the only thing that matters is living a life that is pleasing to God ….as the song says “loving God, loving each other, making music with my friends.” That’s it.

The joy of The Lord is my strength, and if God can use this or any part of my life to turn someone to Him, it’s all worth it!!!

holly

Just keep livin!!