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Part II: Q & A with Keri Anderson … and a Prologue

May 6, 2010

Prologue: This week I attended my first non-SDA funeral. I wondered what it would be like …  The funeral was for a 29 year old man who was diagnosed with cancer only 3 months ago.  Three months!! … from the time of his diagnosis to his death.  An athletic healthy young man …

One thing has been rolling over and over in my mind about the funeral – it was the emphasis in knowing Jesus – receiving His gift of grace – realizing I am born TOTALLY LOST/dead in sin – until I receive Christ into my life.

I have heard some Christians say, “This … this life we have now … it is just a ‘blip‘ on the screen of eternity.”

So my question is, “Where will you be when the “blip” is over?  Do you know?”

I do.  I have received Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  He possesses my heart.  I fail Him every day … but He doesn’t abandon nor reject me (Rom 8:33-39) for I am His child and sealed for eternity with The Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13).  This proclamation concerning my eternal destiny isn’t prideful – rather it is said in deep humility and gratitude – Nothing of me plays into the gift of salvation … It is Jesus, alone …

So when this “blip” is over … I want Jesus’ grace and glory to be proclaimed at my funeral, too.

Questions Continued:

5.  What major lessons has God been teaching you these last few months?

What hasn’t He been teaching me!??  Probably the biggest lesson is: I can’t depend on anything – other than Him.  I must hold all things losely.  I realize, in seconds life can change drastically.  Whether it be health, relationships, things I own, things I do or can do …

Even now, I am waiting on results of an ultrasound.  The results could be good or they can be not good … How will I respond when life changes?  I wish I could say I’ll respond well … but I know differently … my heart and mind are not always focused on Him – emotions, too often, take over and I go into a “spin”.  Thankfully, He is not put off by “spinning” – He never leaves us.

One other thing I’m learning … is how steeped in pride I was as an Adventist. As an Adventist I knew the “truth”.  I understood the significance of the Sabbath.  I was in the closest denomination to the “truth” you could get.  All other religions and denominations were slightly deceived … but I wasn’t deceived – I knew “truth” … Now I realize how deep that pride went.  Granted, I tried to make sure the pride didn’t show on the outside (I was ‘liberal’ in my acceptance of others from other denominations) …  I even deceived myself into thinking I wasn’t prideful … now I know differently.  God has been showing me the depth of that sin.  He has been scrubbing those layers of pride off … layer, by painful layer.  I am amazed at how deep those layers of pride go …

In the next few posts I’ll answer the more questions … such as “How did your relationship with Christ change as you transitioned out of Adventism?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori Caskey Dunigan permalink
    May 10, 2010 10:42 pm

    Hi, Carolyn,
    I just received the Jan-Mar copy of Proclamation and just finished reading “I have never been in a better spot”. My eyes welled with tears when I read “I felt my foundation for life crumbling and I experienced a deep crisis of faith. What was true, and how wouldI know it?”

    My journey out of Adventism began in 2001. I had already questioned many things about the Adventist beliefs but was too afraid to really address them because I was too afraid to leave. I was attending a non-denominational Bible Study when I was confronted with having to prove my beliefs based on “Scripture Only”!! I found it impossible……

    The more I prayed and studied the more my world fell apart. It was a struggle to say the least……but it was worth it!!! There is something different when you can meet lifes adversity with “It’s not about me…’s about Christ Jesus”.

    I do not even know you but it gives me great joy to know you have found the unadulterated Gospel of Grace that is yours in Jesus Christ. For your middle name…..I think you should consider “Grace”!
    Much love!!
    Lori Dunigan

    • May 12, 2010 5:44 pm

      Thank you Lori for sharing!!! What an amazing thing grace is!!! It is worth the trauma of feeling your foundation (world view) crumpling. Following Jesus to the fullest is worth all the losses isn’t it?

      Love, Keri
      P.S. There is a special bond between born again Christians … one Spirit … and those who choose to leave Adventism – understand each other in powerful ways 🙂

  2. Nikki permalink
    June 3, 2010 4:42 pm

    Hi Keri, =)

    Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your wisdom with us!

    I wanted to comment on this line: “Thankfully, He is not put off by “spinning” – He never leaves us.”

    It’s been my experience as a woman that my “spinning” definately puts people off and lands me in a state of lonliness. More specifically then people I would have to honestly say, men in particular. Your sentence here articulates a very real fear that I have been experiencing as I spin through this ride of transitioning into truth. Thank you for this reassurance that God’s way of dealing with us is so very different from how we deal with each other! This is another of the many beautiful lessons I am learning about Him.

    I have a question for you. We have been told that we will know a Christian by the fruits of their spirit. In relationshp to the issue above, do you see the fruits of our spirit as different from our moods? Our moods are just so…well…moody. As an Adventist I was plagued with the issue of being an on-again, off-again Christian because my moods changed like the New England weather. How is this different in Christianity? Or is it?

    Nikki Stevenson =)

  3. June 3, 2010 6:12 pm

    Great Question Nikki!

    Mind if I post the reference to the fruits of the Spirit here:
    “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:16-24; ESV)

    Nikki, as I understand it the fruits of the Spirit are not something “we” produce by grinning and bearing it – like in Adventism.

    Remember in the gospel of John how Jesus taught that He is the vine and we are the branches – those who abide in Him will bear much fruit. As I understand this passage it has two types of meanings … bearing fruit would be sharing the gospel and watching the Holy Spirit bring another person to know Jesus and receive Him as Lord in their life. Another part of fruit bearing is the fruit of the spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc.

    I think in Adventism we only paid attention to the first and last part of the Gal. passage … fruit and then what that fruit was. We totally missed the middle, “of the Spirit“. The fruit is not something we can produce … it is the effect of abiding in Christ, being a new creation in Him, it is the effect of the Holy Spirit coming to live “in” the believer at conversion.

    Do born-again Christians struggle with patience … yes, … self-control … yes …. But look at this whole chapter … we are to focus on this new birth – the fact that Jesus is Sovereign, in control … Galatians is all about “freedom in Christ” and becoming new creations. When we become born again we are new creations and begin to “grow”. The automatic response that happens is love, joy, peace, …

    So is it moods … not really … as women we can be all over the place … is that license to feel and act out of our moods … no, … we take it to Christ, Who transforms us … It all is an outgrowth of Him.

    Not sure if I am making sense … Sorry …

    • Nikki permalink
      June 10, 2010 3:41 pm

      Thank you, that did make sense. I guess I have wondered if my mood was an indicator of whether or not I have Christ. In Adventisim we are taught that the Spirit comes and goes. He is not always with us. Then I read that you know you have the Spirit by your fruit, and when I see the fruit of my actions now and then I wonder if I need to reinvite the Spirit into my heart since my fleshy mood must have grieved His presence and I am again on my own. Does that make sense?

      I am just getting comfortable with the idea that He sticks around, and because He sticks around it is especially important for me to not grieve Him by making Him endure the sinfullness we fall into when we are not abiding. I used to think grieving the Holy Spirit was the kind of grieving we do when we loose someone. I thought it meant that we were sending it away from us (which I also mistakenly thought was the unpardonable sin). Now I am looking at it a bit different. I think maybe grieving the Spirit is just making the Spirit suffer through our sinful behaviors. Does this sound right?

      Thanks for your answer!!

      < xoxox

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