Seeing “Religious” Freedom in India

A few weeks ago, I went on a mission trip to India where I enjoyed the delicious food, the lively quarter tone music, and the erratic yet exciting traffic. However, more importantly, I witnessed a variety of cultures and religions. In terms of religion, India is very different than the United States as Hinduism is the main religion, followed by Islam as the second main religion. The difference in culture was truly evident in the numerous Hindu temples and the occasional Muslim call to prayer that blasted throughout the city.

Now, when I say the word religious I actually don’t mean religious at all in the sense of including all religions, however am specifically talking about Christianity. First off, being a Christian—a follower of Jesus Christ, is not actually a religion but a relationship. It’s important to understand that through a relationship with Jesus is where the freedom comes. The freedom I saw in India was not the freedom to worship openly on the streets or the ability to declare the name of Jesus to anyone in our sphere of influence as we still are able to do so in the United States; however, what I witnessed was the freedom that comes from knowing and experiencing God.

So, with that in mind, the freedom I witnessed in India was a Jesus filled freedom, the freedom Jesus said that people who believe in him would have.

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In a country where it is illegal to share the gospel openly on the street because of “conversion” laws, I saw the beauty of Christians thriving in tough environments and in a society and culture that is against them. I saw thousands of people hungry for the real and astounding power and love of Jesus Christ. I saw lives being renewed and Love entering into the lives of many. Although Christians are the minority in India, I witnessed freedom. I saw a boldness for preaching the Gospel regardless of the cost. Many were free from religious routine, complacency and safety, and instead pursued an intimate relationship with God whole heartedly, while following Him wherever He led, saying whatever the Holy Spirit told them to say.

What I learned in India, is that true freedom is found by having a relationship with Jesus and living boldly for him no matter the cost. The church I helped and ministered at has had numerous threats from many who wished to do the pastors and congregation harm; however as Jesus has promised, He has and will continue to build His church.

In a world that is increasingly getting darker with wars and rumors of wars, moral decline and selfishness and hate seeming to be on the rise, there still is a beautiful and brilliant light that is rapidly growing. We the followers of Jesus Christ are the light of the world, the salt of the earth and through abiding in Jesus are we empowered to share and spread His love to the ends of the Earth.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.cross2

Valentine’s Day

By Jessica Daniel

mantle

Valentine’s Day is a special day that is celebrated all over the world where couples come together and show their love for one another by giving each other chocolates, flowers, going out to dinner, and just spending time with one another.

For people who are single, Valentine’s Day can be depressing when you see people you know who are either dating or married, and you haven’t met that special someone yet.

Although being single on Valentine’s Day by the world’s standards often times labels you as a “loner,” it is through a deep, personal relationship with God that allows you to realize just how much He really loves you and is using this season in your life as a way for you to draw near to Him.

God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus to die for us, to pay the ultimate price so that we could have a relationship with Him (John 3:16). Jesus is our ultimate Valentine!

For those of us who are single, God is preparing our hearts, as we grow deeper in Him, for that special man or woman that He has chosen just for us. It is through Jesus’ never ending love that gives me the joy and fulfillment that no other person could ever give me.

This Valentine’s Day, if you are single, enjoy this time in your life getting to know the One who died for you and chose you as His very own.

GodsValentine

cheating boyfriend

Simply Sonsie – Answers YOUR Questions!

cheaters

Q: Dear Simply Sonsie,

 

I’ve been dating a new guy, 28 (I’m 32) for the past 6 months. He is a stripper. He was NOT in this industry when I met him. He repeatedly assures me of how professional he is in the workplace and promises he is always faithful to me. Recently I surprised him at work and caught him making out with a customer. Although he had had a few drinks and it didn’t mean anything to him (supposedly), I just can’t get past it. Is it right for me to ask him to quit his job for the sake of our new relationship? Or do I just let him go being that it’s so new? I really do like him and see a future with him, other than his current career choice. He swears nothing like this will ever happen again. But being in that industry– I’m no dummy.  What should I do??

Thank you,

In lust and confused

 

A: Dear In Lust and Confused-

 

If you’ve been dating this guy for 6 months and he’s already changed careers at least once, I immediately wonder how stable he is. Stability is something we women usually seek in men and if he can’t provide that, I wonder what type of a boyfriend he makes. Also, if he wasn’t in this career when you first started dating, what prompted him to go into this type of work? Did he discuss it with you initially or how did it come up? I don’t think the job itself is the major issue in this scenario. There are a couple issues in play. The fact that he needs to repeatedly reassure you of his behavior and you showing up at his work as a surprise indicates to me that there are existing trust issues in the relationship or within one, or both of you, individually. If you feel that the issue/s within your relationship is more oriented toward trust, I would suggest you both seek counseling individually. One, or both of you, might need to focus on healing yourselves before you can be in a relationship. This doesn’t mean something is ‘wrong’ with either one of you, this means that there could be existing issues that are standing in the way of your happiness. No matter how you feel about this person, your happiness supersedes. You deserve to be happy! Make a list of important qualities (top 5) you seek in a partner and see if this person qualifies. Remember that you have not been with this person for an extended time and your heart will heal if you choose to walk away. Also, there are people out there that will qualify in all of the areas you desire to have in a partner. Don’t be afraid of the new and unknown. Sometimes it is worth the struggle to really find what we want in life and be happy! Take a chance on yourself.

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with ALL YOUR CRAZY questions!

at simplysonsie@gmail.com

 

 

Got Questions! We’ve Got Answers with Simply Sonsie

 

cheating husband

 

Q: Dear Simply Sonsie-

 

My husband and I have been married for 9 years and, for the most part, have gotten along pretty well. However, about two years ago, we had some financial difficulties because he was laid off. He lied and told me the mortgage had been paid when it hadn’t; there were other problems, so we separated for about 8 months. During that time he quickly found another woman. We’re back together now, but I can’t get his affair off my mind. I feel betrayed. How do I let go of this? Jealous Jenny

 

A: Dear Jealous Jenny-

 

Betrayal is difficult to get past no matter what. Although it’s really hard, try for a moment to put yourself in his shoes. He may have felt rejected when you left and seeking someone else that ‘desired’ him might have been his way of putting a band aid on those feelings. While your way of coping may have been completely different, this was his way to cope with the feelings of separation. Try to remember that his actions were most likely not intentionally to hurt you or get back at you. There was probably little thought put forth in his actions, it was just his reaction to cope with his feelings he was dealing with. He likely feels a lot of guilt about not being able to pay the bills as well as the affair. None of which is supposed to ‘excuse’ him or to victimize him in this scenario. Let’s focus on the many positive aspects of your relationship, rather than the couple negative things; Financial issues and affairs often times break up a relationship entirely, the fact that you both are reunited and still together is a really good indicator of your connection. Also the fact that you know about the affair and he’s come forth about it is a good sign that he is ready to move forward from it all and focus on the future with you. This all being said, sometimes one just cannot get past an affair. If you empathize with this sentiment and feel that you will not get over this, it might be time to think about what happens next in this case. Are you both seeking therapy together? Understanding what he was/is thinking might help guide your thoughts one way or the other and find some resolution regardless of your decision and the outcome.

 

 

IMG_0779Contact Simply Sonsie

with  ALL YOUR CRAZY  questions!

simplysonsie@gmail.com