A few weeks ago, my best friend Sara and I were sharing a healthy meal of pizza and breadsticks after an invigorating hot yoga class (yes, we understand the irony), and the topic of God came up. Sara and I constantly talk about how God finds us on the yoga mat often, mostly when we clear our minds of every day worries and welcome stillness and peace to replace them– and this time was no different. I’m not sure how the conversation evolved (which is not uncommon whenever I think about the conversations I share with Sara), but it led to a very interesting thought: if we all profess to love our friends (with the understanding that God is love), why is it that we rarely bring both parties together?
We didn’t have a good answer for that. Or any answer, for that matter.
I’ve always professed to be a Christian, but I’ll also be the first to admit that I am so far from perfect it’s ridiculous. While I love my church and I attend every week, I find it refreshing to hear the perspective of others and forum freely with them without the fear of judgment or crossing a line drawn by cultural and social norms (my church is predominantly Filipino and, as such, there’s a long list of do’s and don’ts you have to tip-toe around). The sad part about it is, when we first started talking about it, I didn’t always have that opportunity. Neither did Sara.
So we decided to create the opportunity. We figured, “If we all profess to love our friends (with the understanding that God is love), why don’t we make the effort to bring the two together?”
We sent an email to a few friends we thought would be interested in getting together and got great feedback from all on the mailing list. We decided to meet tonight at La Madeleine in Rice Village, starting with fellowship and physical nourishment that later led to our main course (and my absolute favorite book of the Bible of all time) – the book of James. We were so eager to get started that we decided to dive into the Word before we had finished our meals, which ended up being a great idea because we had so much to discuss– we barely got through half of the book, ending with Chapter 2.
I have read the book of James more times than I can count over the duration of my personal walk, but this discussion opened my mind to so many different ways to interpret the text. I don’t profess to be a subject matter expert on the Bible at all; my own personal intention was to have a deep, Christ-centered conversation with like-minded individuals. I didn’t know how it would go tonight, nor did Sara and I know what to expect. But as always, “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) and I walked away from our study two hours later feeling rejuvenated, excited, and most importantly, blessed.
I plan to write a blog post more specific to our study, but I wanted to share how excited I am about continuing this study. I know that the majority of my blog posts are sarcastic, comedic and slightly irreverent (I am exceedingly aware of the irony that accompanies the fact that the blog post directly below this is entitled, “Why I Hate Humans”), but the title of my blog is called “Real Talk” – and this is me, being real. Part of our study (our discussion on James 2) focused on the deeds and actions that accompany the faith we profess to have– and I am personally convicted to continue this.
I welcome anyone– and I mean ANYONE– who is looking to hang out with a group of young(ish) believers of any denomination in the loop twice a month for a non-judgmental, completely open forum. I know many of us are active within our own churches, small groups, and/or personal walks, but this would be another venue through which we could grow closer to Him (and each other as well). Our next sesh will be on Thursday, March 21st, 2013 at The Class Room (2534 Amherst Street, Houston TX 77005 – in Rice Village right across the street from La Madeleine). Fellowship starts at 7:15 p.m.* and study starts afterwards. For more details, email me at jillianfortin[at]gmail[dot]com, or Facebook, Tweet, Skype, carrier pigeon, etc. If you are not able to join us this time, aren’t comfortable attending and just maybe want a penpal of sorts to exchange messages with, that’s totally cool too. Drop me a line either way and allow me to keep you in my thoughts and personal prayers, as I hope you will be praying for our little group as well. God bless 🙂 (Love, Serious Jillian)
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”