Tag Archives: religion

Loved Into the Light… A Must Read!

24 Jun

My incredible mother, LaVonne Earl, spent the last year and a half writing one of the most powerful books I have ever read. It gently and beautifully dissects the false teachings of the Mormon Church, while also leading the reader through prayers specifically intended to release them from religious bondage. Always keeping an eye on the love and grace of Jesus Christ, I know any Christian will find this book to be a necessary addition to their personal library. It is now fully published and available on Amazon. Follow the link below to get your own copy today! Also feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding the book or our family’s personal exodus from the Mormon Church.

http://www.amazon.com/Loved-into-Light-Shining-Mormonism/dp/098553821X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Also, if you or someone you know is on their own journey in leaving religious bondage of any kind, check out the links below to find incredible life-giving resources.

Mormon Recovery Ministry

Your Kingdom Inheritance

Well… Hello There World

27 Jun

It was my heart’s desire to be able to take the time to respond to each and every person who commented on my blog individually, and in time I still plan to do so. For now, however, since I am leaving for Dharmapuri, India this Thursday and still have many preparations to make, I am praying that this post will some how communicate what is in my heart to you, my wonderful readers.

First of all, I want the whole world to know that I had no idea I was going to be on Freshly Pressed. “Becoming famous” via WordPress is a laughable thought to me. I am far more interested in cultivating relationships with people and encouraging them in their journey with the Lord. I am interested in answering tough questions from those who seek answers, though I don’t have all the answers myself. Please feel free to ask me questions and offer your own opinions, but please be respectful of this place and of the people here.

That being said I want to offer some context to those of you who are newer followers of my blog. Since no post or opinion or blog was created in a vacuum, it may help you to understand what I mean if you understand a bit more about me. I am a 21-year-old American girl from California. I’m a follower of Jesus and I’m currently following Him on a mission with an amazing interdenominational organization called Youth With A Mission (or YWAM). I have been in a Discipleship Training School in Kona, Hawaii since April of this year and this Thursday, July 1st, 2010 I am heading with a team of 20 young people to India to: serve the people, live among them, learn from them, and share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ. I will be stationed in Dharmapuri (in Southern India) for three months.

I am not at all interested in changing the culture of India. God loves India with her beautiful colors and bustling cities, and I know I will love her too. An organized system of degradation, however, is not culture. Whether it is upheld through religion or social structure is irrelevant. Basic morality, I believe, transcends culture, religion, and society. It is universal. Human beings are created equal. I believe they are created equal because their Creator loved each and every one of them and made them in His image. God loves His children more than we will ever understand, and He has called us to love each other as He has loved us. Wherever there is hate, wherever there is injustice, wherever there are lies that slander the very image of God, I will stand in opposition.

What right do I have to do that? Long before there were wars, long before the idea of conquering land and drawing political lines of power, long before taxation or presidents or kings or queens, this world belonged to its Creator, the one true King. Though pride and greed and hatred have invaded this planet, God never signed over the deed. This world is still His. India is His. America is His. And His culture is one of love. So when God’s children bring His pure, unadultered love, what they are really doing is restoring this planet to its true culture.

Through prayer, married with action and sacrifice, this world will be restored. Lasting restoration, not through human strength, but through the power of God is a reality. I know God longs to heal the hearts of His children, to lift them out of their darkest pit, to give them a new identity. To those that cry, “Where is God in this world of heartbreak and despair?” I cry with you! Jesus told us to weep with those that weep and my heart literally breaks for the heartbroken. This is a fallen world made broken through the free will of man. And though I’m just a broke missionary, I offer you a priceless gem…

Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee…

All I have is love. I will love you. I will care for you. I will cry with you and work with you. Take heart, love will restore this world.

To those of you that love me, I love you.

To those of you that hate me, I love you.

In Him,

Erika

The Danger of the Single Story

19 May

I absolutely love this message by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie on “The Danger of the Single Story.” She reminds us that single stories, assumptions, and stereotypes rob people of their dignity. They paint inaccurate pictures of people since by their very nature people could never be made up of one single story. Who we are is shaped over the course of our lifetime, a compilation of hundreds, even thousands of stories.

What assumptions do you make about others based on your misinformation? Based on the single story you have heard? What kind of dangerous stereotypes do you believe? Do you believe that all people in South Orange County, California drive expensive cars and live in multi-million dollar estates? Do you believe that all people from the South flaunt the confederate flag in racist ignorance? Do you believe that all French people are rude to foreigners or that all Muslims hate white people?

Do you feel some sense of patronizing pity when you think of Africans? Do you believe that the only things that come out of that radically diverse continent are poverty and despair? Or could you fathom African families enjoying dinner together and sharing a laugh?

Do you smother the “suffering pagan” with your overzealous religiosity, even out of your loving and compassionate heart? Do you feel the need to spread Westernized democracy to every corner of the world, because it is “what everyone really desires”?

I know I am guilty of listening only to the single story. Are you? The problem with this mode of thinking is that it formulates generalizations, forgetting that God is ultimately the author of people’s lives, and despite their circumstances, He can produce the unimaginable. He could produce humility in places of wealth, joy in places of despair, peace in places of violence, prosperity in places of poverty. God is a wild card. The rules don’t apply to Him. Where are you limiting God in your perceptions of others? Where are you eliminating relationships with His children because of your preconceived notions? Where are you crippling yourself from sharing His love because of your narrow world view?

Rid yourself of your single stories of people. Seek knowledge. Be informed. When you take the time to truly know the people of this world, you will be able to make Him known.