Good morning Constance…rather than excerpt, I am reposting this article in its entirety…some of the ads that were on the site where it was had potential to be offensive to some? So, Ima just make it easy to read here. If you want the original link, I will provide it to you.
I will add one thing: I have a more robust view of grace than most. One of the greek word for Grace’s meanings is Power (the word is Charis…the root of my chosen name! 🙂 ). Allow me to relate a small vision?
In the vision, Jesus held out a silver coin to me and bade me receive it, which I did. His image was graven into the top or heads of it…like a founding father of spiritual money! giggle!! But on the bottom, was graven the cross and the dove…signifying His powerful act of sacrificial deliverance, and the release of Lady Grace into creation as a result.
Jesus then told me that I could buy whatever I wanted with this coin…I could spend it in banks, one of two! If I decided, I could spend it in the bank of overcoming…temptation, despair, fear, anxiety, gluttony, (fill in the blank)…simply picture the lil bank (mine are in the shape of a loaf of bread with a slot in the center) and slide the coin in! Talk to Him while you do it, and then walk away. Period. And if 5 minutes later, fear is back knocking, or that ice cream calls your name, spend another coin!
You can have as many as you will receive!! Literally!
However…let’s say you decide to not spend that coin, you hold onto it, and end up failing in your desire to overcome. What does one do then? ‘Cus now, I am not only failed, but also ashamed of that failure! Jesus told me just take the coin to that other bank…the bank of forgiveness, and drop it in…and then walk away, ready to receive another coin to spend as I chose, as my faith measured…
Each side of the coin represents power: power over sin, and power to forgive. Each one needs to be spent, regularly!
But the best part is that it is all right there, within your simple and direct choice to either over come or be forgiven.
Grace: The gift of power to do that which God requires, a gift given free and on the merit that you have asked. Period.
And that is why I call myself Charissa Grace: double grace…grace to be forgiven, and grace to over come.
May I be a kajillionaire in each one, and not a miser!
Love, Charissa Grace
TG and The Church
I have a news flash for you. The Christian church is made up of flawed humans. Big surprise right? I know. I am stating the obvious. But when it comes to understanding the issues that separate the Christian church and the transgender community, this is something that is forgotten on each side of the divide.
The church is often quick to close ranks and the doors to many in the trans community. Many within the church refuse to even sit down and listen to a new point of view and they fall back on human interpretations of age old scriptures.
The hurt that the church, as a whole, has caused the trans community is not something I need to rehash. I’m sure that many of us have wounds that run deep and many may not have yet healed. But how are we to react to the prejudice and close minded attitudes that we perceive within the church? That is the greater question.
We flawed humans like to point fingers, assess blame and often place unkind labels on others. When we do, we live counter to the lives God has called us to live. God does not access blame or hold a grudge. God gave us grace by dying on the cross and loving each and everyone of us — not for who we are, but in spite of who we are. He has given us something not one person on this earth ever deserved.
Grace is all to often a forgotten aspect of living life true to what God has intended for us. Grace is a conscious act. It is an unmerited act of kindness, giving someone a gift that is undeserved.
Grace certainly doesn’t come naturally. We humans like to hold on to the hurt, the wrongs against us and dwell on the negative. By doing so, the constant rehashing of the pain only gets in the way of showing grace to those that we may not agree with or those that have hurt us. Grace goes beyond just forgiving.
Grace is not just what God has given us, but through the Holy Spirit we can show a form of grace to all those around us. Grace is an act of kindness or clemency we show not only to our friends that occasionally wronged us, but also to all those that speak out against us.
I understand completely what it feels like and what it does to your soul when a group of people turns against you when they are supposed to embody the love of Christ. I understand the emotions that run through you when people turn their backs on you.
Forgiving prejudice and all the acts that go along with it is difficult. Forgiveness alone can be difficult enough, but when someone speaks or acts against your very being, sometimes forgiveness is just too unthinkable, too difficult for us humans to comprehend.
But by living a life of grace; forgiveness and showing love to those that hurt you becomes easier. By living a life true to God’s plan, not society’s or the church’s, we can live as an example of Christ to those around us.
For far too long now the church has become known for only what it is against. It’s time to stop the hurt. It is time to bridge the gap. It is time to stand up and be the light in a darkness. Instead of creating outcasts, the church should be a place of open doors.
We can complain and point fingers all we want and accuse the church of prejudice, discrimination and outright transmisogyny. But complaining about a problem is not a solution. It only adds to the divide. We are the answer.
If the Church will not show grace to us, then we are called to be the examples of grace to the church. We are to live our lives visibly and openly, true to the voice of the Holy Spirit in us.