32B's Blog

…where I write my words

Color Me Bad

It took me a weekend to get back to the normal me so now I feel better.  Saturday I spent hours that night applying to jobs, researching which certifications are in demand, and figuring out how to better position myself for a better opportunity.  I’m not in search of more money but in search of satisfaction.  I keep asking myself what would I do even if I didn’t get paid for it and my answer is always running but I have my days when I don’t feel like running so my real answer would be nothing.  If I could get paid to do nothing that would be great but, if I had to choose, if I could get paid to do something it would involve about 5 things which kinda defeats the point of the question itself.  Sunday I did laundry but I ran out of laundry detergent so I didn’t finish.  I applied for more jobs which I liked which weren’t many.  And I cleaned up.  Well, I gave the kids tasks and I did the things they usually half-ass due to age. 

I have gotten to the point of letting things go or at least I am trying.  My co-worker asked if Mr. D and I go to the same church and I wanted to say “I dnt go to a church at all” but instead I said “no”.  My soror asked if I’d gone to church and I said “no” and then she asked if I was an atheist again and I laughed and said “no” again.  I stopped answering the phone for Prayer Line on saturday mornings often because I don’t go to sleep until past midnight and other times because I don’t think I should continue with it anymore.  I haven’t talked to Mama Allen in months.  I haven’t talked to anyone really.  Someone asked if I was against the establishment of organized religion.  I didn’t know how to answer that.  I have been told that I will find the same problems in any and every other church I go to.  Well, that leaves me perfectly content staying at home.  Someone asked if I cared about my kids and teaching them about Christianity.  I am confident in my own abilities to teach them everything I know including what I never learned in church.  

Some things I do not agree with and it’s present in every church.  Some things I have questioned since I was young that I see in every church.  Some things should be overlooked in favor of Christian fellowship.  Some things should be ignored in favor of having some place to give your time, talents, and treasures.  Some things are bigger and more serious than people care to admit.  I passed a church….honestly, I walked pass millions of churches and saw names in big bold letters on the outside.  When did it become important to know who is pastoring or leading the church?  Why isn’t it more important to announce the denomination instead?  Just thoughts I have had.  I walked into quite a few churches and saw huge pictures of men in leadership inside the church.  Where is the picture of white Jesus?  Or the brown Jesus most black people put up?  Why is this guy on this huge ass picture instead of Jesus?  Who are we following?  Are we Thomasians (Pastor Thomas) instead of Christians (Jesus the Christ)?  Why do we go to church once a week to worship Christ but about 4 times a week to worship the men in leadership for their big days (anniversaries)?  I do not agree.

Nothing more than I do not agree.  I am not saying these things are wrong.  I am not saying these things are against God because I don’t know how He feels about it.  I am not saying anything other than “I do not agree”.  I thought this same thing as a youngster but my father was associate minister eager to climb the ladder and get his own church so I kept quiet.  He also had a good backhand so I didn’t wanna injury this pretty face of mine.  I thought the same during college when friends went to church Sunday morning after partying and laying up with ol’ dude Saturday night.  I did the same things too and had plans on doing it next weekend as well so I didn’t wanna lie to myself or fake the phunk.  I didn’t agree with it.  It is not to say they shouldn’t have, should apologize to me, or should change their ways.  The beauty of disagreements is the freedom to have an opinion but not impose that opinion.  Just to have one is beautiful.  I thought the same here but church people from various places in the USA whom I call friends have told me “that’s what churches do” and I agreed.  That is what churches do but that does not mean I have to follow the crowd and participate. 

Other than that, I am the bad girl who does not attend church anymore, who does not pray on the Prayer Line, who does not believe all in the Bible, whose friends joke is an atheist, who questions everything so I know in what I believe, who does not think even man is qualified to lead no matter how many were “appointed” by God, who is in complete disagreement with more than I am in agreement with.  There is more I would like to type (financial matters in the church) but I promised I would not since it is sensitive information and, frankly, I should not know about it anyways.  I color myself bad so I can stand out in direct opposition until someone can give me an adequate explanation of “why” as opposed to “it’s tradition”.  Let’s see if I will make it to Heaven with no active/current church membership.  I guess if ol’ dude hanging with Jesus (literally) on Calvary can make it to Heaven without the earthly hoops to jump through then I should be good too.

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Christian | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Questions may Save Me

I haven’t written about God in such a long time although I have read about Him often via other blogs & discussions.  I gave it all up.  The more holes I found in arguments, the concrete factual evidence that supported every claim against Christianity, the more that one line kept resonating in my head….you are too logical and rational to believe in such a tale.  I am.  I used to think I was a pretty strange little girl who experienced things no one else did or no one else would ever understand so I kept them to myself until I began to write not worrying in the slightest bit that someone might wander upon one of my pieces or posts and send the authorities to gauge my mental capacity to care for myself let alone my kids.  My rationale and my logic makes me ask questions that others either do not or that others do not see.  What I always thought was a curse of mine (since it pissed my mom off often & now my son does it to me) I find has been a way for me to question myself.

It was never about questioning or interrogating others about the truth of the Gospels, the factual evidence that exists outside the Bible of people in the Bible and/or main events that the Bible claims to have taken place (Noah and the flood).  I did not seek to discredit Christianity because, to do so, would leave me without anything to anchor my soul to if it needed anything at all.  I am beginning to understand that maybe my questions and answers I have gotten are there to challenge my own thinking and not someone else’s.  A blogger posed a legitimate question here asking about the apostles,

For them to have such uniformity of action, commitment to an executed man, and put themselves to the kind of risk they did, all to establish the early Christian church, makes no sense otherwise. It defies human nature, self-interest, and self-presevation for all 13 of those people, one of whom had a position of authority before converting to Jesus’ path, to do that. And to stick with it even through persecution and unto their very deaths as martyrs.”  

The irony in my thinking is that it’s not so much about Jesus because His disciples seem to attest to His presence.  Why would these men do such a thing?  Despite the facts that surface today, despite the arguments, the less authentic view or opinion of the Bible, or even misconceptions and ways in which Christianity has festered into modern society (these are my own views).  Why does the one thing that even I can’t answer or explain the one thing that tugs me awake at night begging for an explanation…but I have none.  I have nothing.  Absolutely nothing and here is why: I too am an apostle who, just as we sometimes refuse to believe they would make such claims about a man who died and rose 3 days later even giving their lives for the cause….I would do the same.  Not that anyone would question my connection with Jesus or even think I walked with Him at all in my life but because I have seen, heard, and felt things my logic is incapable of understanding to explain.  I never find a suitable explanation because there is not one that will explain away what I know with certainty has happened or occurred so I’d be, once again, lying to myself to make myself find an acceptable reason for all these things but months will go by and I will never speak of God, write a post about Him, or even pray to Him but “it” comes back….”it” always does.  Those things my mind which has explained away everything simply can’t explain away this while I laugh at people who recite scriptures, point out what Paul said, where it’s found in the OT & NT, and how the Bible has been taught to ages to explain. 

These people are of little minds imo and these people have refused to touch or try to understand what I have so I know that at a moment’s notice they’d call a psychiatric ward on their dear friend who went mad one day talking about things of a Spiritual nature but Spirits are the one of the things that no one (or at least I haven’t found one) can denounce.  Spirits are the one thing that even most Christians fail to acknowledge or even agree on.  I have been saying and asking my fellow Christian friends to look outside the Bible and it’s page but they cannot because every debate or argument leads to this same book.  Maybe my questions are ways in which only I can understand and make sense of this because I know how my mind works and fictional tales that sound really pretty with the only thing attesting to their truth are themselves have never been my cup of tea.  Seriously, would an ocean not claim to be wet?  Or, would it claim to only wet those who touch it?  No one has the balls to jump in and find out so they pull out these big pretty books written about the sea claiming to be the only law of the sea which will give them a definition of the sea and I must never question it.  Left in the hands of fellow Christians who regurgitate their Bibles & what good ole pastor said all these years, my soul would have died.  So, I ask myself, if placed on a stand to account for all I cannot explain that has happened to me, all that I have physically felt since my childhood, all that I have seen since my childhood, and all the times I was fully cognitive and conscious….would I still say those experiences are enough to lay down my life for a God I have never seen, a Christ I think I have spoken to, and a Bible that creates a mess more than it cleans it up?  Yes, I would…it is the most logical and rational thing to do. (Please do not reply to this post with scripture, if that is your arsenal then you can’t even dry the Sahara.)

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Christian, God, Spiritual | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Confused

Today I am a big ball of confusion.  I have been in these bouts for the past few months off and on about every part of my life.  My kids are at that point where I need a vacation from them.  I might have to explain for the non-parents or for the parents who have the perfect child(ren).  Well, my boys tend to work my nerves sometimes and I usually need a break from them (and vice versa) at some point before I lose it.  What is “it”?  My sanity, my temper, my understanding that kids have a limitless amount of energy & boys fight often, or my grip with reality that no parent is perfect and there will be days when I need to ask someone close to me to watch them for a weekend just so I can catch my breathe.  One talks back and I’ve smacked him right in the mouth on several occasions while I calmly look him in the eye as he cries and say, “now, next time you will do what I asked you and save your lil comments for someone who cares because if I wanted your opinion on how I should raise you I would have asked for it.  It’s ok to have a viewpoint, to be an individual, or to even voice your concerns but I am the one who makes all final decisions and not a nan one of those will be subjected to your poor excuse for negotiating your way into my parenting.  Got it?”  Might be a little too much for an 8yo to grasp but he is beginning to understand that talking back is never a good thing and he is still a child until further notice.  My 4yo seems to have an accident (pee) at the most inopportune times.  If this child doesn’t go to the bathroom at the moment his body alerts him then it’s too late.   You know how many times a week I do laundry?  In addition to that, they are both outgrowing everything!  What is the point of winter shopping if the clothes barely last throughout this one season?!  I need a break from my kids.

Usually, at the end of the month I put together an Executive Summary for each outsourcing client.  My sup processes the files and makes note of anything that should be added to the report and I put the report together.  Well, part of that report involves a Featured Analysis which, for this month, involves highlighting the area where the most charges are incurred by bank service grouping.  I had a small meeting with my sup who told me if a certain situation arises to just do “A”.  That situation arose and I did “A” as instructed but not before one client’s bank re-sent a file which had to be re-processed and my report had to be done all over again.  Then, I emailed all 5 (only half of them) to her for approval and she emails me back with corrections or suggestions.  No big deals, I don’t mind constructive criticism but when you criticize what we clearly discussed involving “A” then I have a problem.  Now, I have learned to only send her the final reports when she does not have too much time to critique every single thing including how I typed my name at the bottom of the report.  Every bit of anal.

I don’t know if I mentioned the company I work for getting sold.  It hasn’t yet but since the founders & owners are approaching retirement age, it just might happen this year or next.  So, I have been thinking about my future and where I want to be as well as what I want to be doing career-wise.  Basically, nothing involves Chicago anymore.  I wondered from day 1 why I was brought here I think I am beginning to see that.  Now, it’s time for me to leave.  The same itch I felt when I left Chicago for Lafayette and Lafayette for Indianapolis and the same itch I felt when I left Indianapolis for Chicago is what I am starting to feel now.  I might very well be here another 2 yrs maybe but the itch is there and I no longer feel the need to stay here which brings me to Mr.D.  I have this thing where I must sign up for something, let it settle, even go through the motions and see if it’s for me, and then be able to tell myself “yes” or “no” with complete certainty before I can move on.  When I thought about getting back with my ex-husband I told him so, he was extremely excited, he said it was music to his ears, and I began to see myself walk back down that road to him with his arms open wide ready to hold me in complete happiness.  But, I started to walk backwards, I began to fret, I realized that all my eyes were seeing was a man with horns on either side of his head and fire burning in the background where he stood.  I knew I didn’t want to go back to him or give our marriage another chance but, when my minister asked me if I was sure or if I’d even tried, I didn’t know until I “tested” it out.  Yes, I played with his emotions but now I have clarity….at the expense of his heart I guess.  A test is still a test and I am still looking for rats to run around this maze called Life.

That brings me to Mr.D … not sure about him anymore.  He put a title on it (which is what I wanted), he cares a lot for me, I care about him, but  maybe I just wanted to see if I wanted him as much as my emotions did.  My mind must be convinced or else my heart won’t be allowed to stay but, oddly enough, when my mind speaks my heart forgets about those feelings that used to exist if they ever did at all.  Mr.D’s future?  I have no clue.  The man has been dreaming of opening his own shop since I met him (black folks and their cookie cutter dreams).  It’s 3 yrs later almost and he is no where near that goal esp since he is constantly losing clientele cause he works at his other job too much.  He is an entrepeneur at heart but he slaves away at a job where he is underappreciated, over-worked, and not happy.  I asked about his business plan…he doesn’t have one.  He asked me to research grants for him.  Fine, what are your estimated start-up costs?  He has no idea.  A ballpark figure?  He gave a range of $75,000 (ridiculous).  Do you have a location?  City?  Suburb?  No clue.  Do you even have a name yet?  Nope.  Great.  I thought my dreams still in a stage of infancy were bad….his aren’t even fertilized yet.  I don’t know why I thought adding a title would make it officially special but, nope, still the same person which the same 2 issues that have always irritated me but he is my friend so it makes it worthwhile.  However (there is always a however), we need to get this worked out.

The story of Noah, the ark, & the flood is fabricated.  Factual evidence does not exist to support this tale.  Facts is where my mind thrives.  I’m not confused about my faith or in whom I believe.  I guess my focus is narrow now and more concentrated because, as the Bible is discounted left and right, I feel it’s still not a good enough argument against Christianity.  It’s cute to debate fellow Christians but it’s childs play.  It’s cute to hear sermons complete with yelling, sweat, and scriptures but the power comes from what is real and what is not.  What good is quoting Paul if Paul never existed (just an example)?  Christianity has been under attack for ages so it’s no surprise.  The surprise is why no one speaks of it from within the church.  What other biblical stories are rooted more in fiction than anything?  I need to die with a clear notion of where my faith falls and where it stands strong.  Science has no place in religion.  Religion has no place in government.  Government has no place in politics.  Politics has no place in humanity.  Yet humanity has a place in science, religion, government, and politics.  What the hell is true and what the hell is not?  I’m not asking myself or anyone reading this.  Before I die I need to know what is real and what is false because the facts are just that….facts!  You can’t deny facts and faith isn’t enough to stretch the truth to fit any dogma.  A fellow blogger talks about God needing a Press Secretary.  There comes a time when not knowing is perfectly fine but to not want to know is an abomination so I ask my God whom I grew up believing in to tell me what is the truth.  Not as a dare, or a threat, or an ultimatum…if for God I live and for God I die then I pray He doesn’t leave me to die with questions in my head and accuse me of never believing.

March 1, 2010 Posted by | Christian, Life | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here Now Gone Tomorrow

There is always something I’m working on so right now that is getting my house in order in case I die sooner rather than later.  My goal lately has been to pay off my debts, raise my FICO score, establish good credit history, & buy a house one day.  Yeah, that has taken a slight shift because I had great goals outlined but I missed something vitally important…my spiritual house needs a good dusting & what if I die while I’m paying things off? I am in search for an estate planning attorney hoping the attorney who did my divorce is specialized in that area but I highly doubt it.  My first goal before I pay another creditor is to establish a trust so I can secure my assets (hardly any) & secure my finances for my kids’ sake.  This will take some time but I will hit the ground running tomorrow certain my time could come at any moment.  My main concern is making sure my kids get a hefty check I’m to inherit in the year 2036 (I’ll be 56 if I see that day).  My current beneficiaries were set in 2006 which includes my ex-husband who is set to receive 1/3 of the money which is waaaaay too much for him to even look at so I think I will change my beneficiaries to only include my kids until my trust is set up and then I will make the necessary changes.  Gotta pick the best of the worst case scenarios here but I am 100% sure I cannot rely on anyone’s financial know-how in my family. 

After that is taken care of I must then select someone to care for my kids in my absence.  Obviously, care will go to their dad but I would not want him to have control over any money I leave them because a) Best Buy will be a direct benefactor b) his brain cannot comprehend longterm planning so everything will be a “live in the moment” splurge & c) he holds the record for the largest amount of money blown on crap in the shortest amount of time which will live my kids with nothing and leave him asking for hand outs!!  It’s sad to think I will have to appoint someone in control of the money but it is what it is.  If my ex and I die before the kids are 18?  Well, no one in my family is stable enough to care for them and that is pretty sad.  I’d want them to remain within my family but I’m just not sure how that’ll work so I’m praying I live a long life….for their sake at least.  After these decisions are finalized and all legal documents (3 in total) are complete, then I can start on my debt & doing what I need to do to get my house in order.  My spiritual house?  I have not finished Exodus.  Why?  Because I got upset at God or at least for what was written about how God purposefully hardened Pharoah’s heart so he would not listen.  Why?  To boast and show yourself mighty & strong?  To purposefully harm people and blame it on Pharoah’s ignorance & arrogance?  If it would have been easy to let Pharoah release God’s people then why doesn’t He?  Why does it mention at least twice that God hardened his heart so he would not listen?  Read literally, this makes no sense and my brain refused to comprehend it.  Along with this, I have found I think way too much.  I was talking to a friend of mine who is a Church of Christ believer.  She says any non-Church of Christ folks must be “converted” and she was when she realized all the lies even saying how the Bible makes it plain.  I told her I don’t believe wholeheartedly in everything written in the Bible.  She gasped on the phone and asked if it is because of the many translations over the centuries.  Of course that has something to do with it.  She suggested I read a Greek version with the help of a Greek dictionary.  She then talked about how she would argue with folks over religion before she uncovered the “lies”.

I listened to all this and grew tired realizing that some things do not require additional knowledge.  There was a time, and that time still exists, when I felt things that I couldn’t explain.  Some call it intuition.  I don’t care what label it carries but I was more at ease with my beliefs than I am now.  Knowledge is power in some areas but in this one knowledge is crippling.  Each stone I overturn leads to another one and then another one until I’ve turned over every single rock and there are no more answers for my questions which will lead me to disbelief and uncertainty in what I’m dying for and what I proclaim to have faith in.  I’m not saying it’s wrong to question because anything that stifles your inquisitive instincts is reason to be alarmed.  What I am saying is that I know when it’s becoming too much and I know when there’s no combination of answers that will quiet my curiosity.  Of course I’d like to know more and that will never change but the only thing that can’t quantify an explanation is that statement heard on a petal of air that no one else hears, that tugging that jars me that no else feels, or that rebuke that leaves me somber when no one else knows I did wrong.  That’s something a book can’t explain and that is something I need to hold onto.

Other minor updates: Malcolm said I kissed him back so he shouldn’t be at fault for all the blame.  I told him it wasn’t the kiss but his hands roaming.  Then he said I should have stopped him.  I replied that I did when his hand grazed my crotch.  He said “ok”.  I assume that means case closed.  A penis seems to always give you room for error while a vagina gives reason to be lynched with blame.  Work is going well.  I am weighing another career opportunity but, like all things I’ve ever weighed, it may be a faint memory by next week.  Haven’t done my genealogy in weeks.  Haven’t ran in weeks.  Been reading investments books like I’m dehydrated for knowledge.  Have been kinda floating along with most things giving some little thought and playing others by ear.  Right now, and for the longest time so far, I have ran when I felt restricted & screamed when I felt threatened…..figuratively speaking.  So, I don’t do anything I used to do.  I find it hard to explain why other than “I don’t want to” although I’m pretty sure the people asking would prefer a more concrete answer.  In the meantime, I shall continue getting my house together & preserving what I have accomplished thus far so if I shall die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take (and my revocable living trust to carry out my wishes in my absence). Amen.

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Step Away From Your Bible

The best part of church growing up were the sermons.  I love a good story which is why I loved hearing about the different people in the Bible.  That should have foreshadowed my future because I could have cared less about the choir, prayer, or anything else.  I wanted to hear the stories like I was sitting on granny’s lap listening to a fairy tale where I can lose myself in this other world.  But this is not supposed to be a fairy tale but the truth.  It grew from loving the stories to wondering how true and real they were.  My questions began when I began to question most things in life.  Not when I’d lost a loved one.  Not when I was down and out.  It just seemed to happen when I wondered who had taught the person teaching me, who had taught them, and so forth and so on.  I wanted to know what qualified them to teach and not I although I have no desire to teach I do want to make sure the information I teach my kids about our faith is indeed correct and not how most black folks teach their kids….from what/how they were taught.

I have completed Genesis and just wanted to read some of these famous and not-so famous stories for myself but I can’t help feeling like I’m creating more work for myself.  Reading I get to a point where something catches my attention, followed by something else, leading me to A, which peaks my curiosity in B, and later I’m nowhere near where I started!  Where is my curiosity wanting to take me now?  Jesus outside the Bible.  I read the book The Case for Christ and what I never thought about was if Christians (myself included) really believe in the Biblical stories and accounts then where do they exist outside the Bible?  Let’s start with Jesus.  If he is indeed who we claim him to be then where else is it documented outside of the Bible?  I do not want to base 100% of my faith on the Bible nor will “just have faith” do.  Some historical non-Biblical documents refer to Jesus as a sorceror…what was he doing that made them think that?  Some who documented his sorcery never said he didn’t do things that defied scientific laws…they just said he was not doing it by divine intervention. 

The picture in this blog does not mean to burn the Bible….just step away from it for now or let’s pretend that a world of Bibles no longer exists.  Let’s look outside the Bible because, in the world of science, it must hold true within it’s own realm and outside it.  If the laws of gravity are true then they must hold up everywhere unless you add an asterisk which outlines certain conditions apply.  Does my faith have an asterisk?  There must be evidence elsewhere to prove the validity of the Bible.  If the Bible’s authenticity is questioned then provide a historical document that has been accepted as fact that shows references to Jesus and other folks of the Bible.  Christians like to say “we don’t have to provide anything else. They should take what we offer them.”  Who does that benefit?!  In the secular world, a reluctance to provide further evidence simply means a) you have nothing else to provide b) you are afraid of what this nothing else would mean and/or c) you know what the other documents say and they are not in your favor.  However, if I ask for more data to support your claim it only means a) I’m just not completely sold which is a good thing because it shows I won’t believe just anything, b) I am still curious in what you have to say, and c) your religion should be able to stand outside your world to prove to others and yourself that your faith is rooted in the right soil.  I am still reading the Bible, looking for more book/documents that support the claims of the Bible second, and asking myself the hard questions preparing for my oldest son third.  He is his mother’s child!  Question after question and not any silly answer will do that I normally give to people to blow them off.  I have to be ready to answer each question he may have or else I have failed the greatest evangelism test of all….my own child.  If he does not know what to believe he is vulnerable to believe anything but I am comforted by the fact that he does question everything so he will question me as well but I challenge him to do better than I in my search for more answers when what is given me from the church is just not enough….anymore.

January 25, 2010 Posted by | Christian | , , , , | 2 Comments

Old Testament Game

Have you ever had a moment when you look around and realize that things you once cared about no longer matter?  Not that they are not important or insignificant but that your priorities have shifted and you can’t tell yourself when much less why because you have no clue!  I would say that the worst decision I have ever made in life was to bring life into this world.  Why?  Because the power of these two creatures to tear me down, make me worry, and scare me to death for their safety in a world where no one is safe is paradoxically insane and futile.  When I think about my kids I wonder what else is out there.  Is this it?  I know I think too much but I think I’m going somewhere with this….just not sure where.  You know how we sometimes yell at the television and tell that crazy lady not to go into the room after she says, “I wonder what that noise is”?  You scream and tell her not to go and you wonder why it always seems to be the white people who always gotta go check things out instead of erring on the side of caution and getting the hell outta dodge.  I feel like I want to walk and see what the hell that is.  Call me white!  Having kids changes your life.  Among all the obvious things it changes in your life, you begin to see the world differently.  Recently, I began to see some things differently not because I just had a baby but because I am wondering as my kids get older what I will tell them about God.  Who is He?  What is He about?  How are we to live?  How do I get them to understand what was never explained to me as a child?  How do I get them to relate to instead of being forced fed something that’s incomprehensible and unimaginable to them?  How do I explain what, at times, I don’t really understand?  It’s probably not as complicated as I’m making it seem but let’s just assume I have a child like myself who refuses to believe those “called” and instead wishes to find the truth out for themselves.

When I was little I questioned everything.  I didn’t out loud because I knew a belt was always somewhere close by but I questioned authority from the time I could remember.  If it didn’t make sense then “because I said so” wasn’t going to cut it.  I was raised to believe in what my parents and their parents believed.  I wasn’t encouraged to think for myself but I was dealt a life where every adult around me messed up and messed up big time to the point where they lost credibility and showed me certain people don’t have to be accountable for their actions.  So, in all this, where does God fit in?  Faith was too fluid a concept and much like grains of sand in my hand for my to understand it then and even now in how it’s often presented.  Faith, I was told, is the substance of things hoped for and the essence of things not seen.  Hope?  Is that an action word?  If so, from who or what are we waiting to receive action from or what or who are we sending this action to?  If I can’t see it does it exist?  In my head….nope.  I was told that God created me so the way I think must allow for some if not all of it to some in a nice package with my name on it so I can comprehend it and explain it as only I have grown to understand it.

I know what I believe and it’s only what I believe because of what I have seen and physically felt.  I asked God because my mind can’t wrap itself around certain concepts and digest it….so I ask.  If I was to write a book about spirituality it would likely be called Christianity for Intellects (not dummies) or The Devil’s Little Advocate only because I find it insatiably orgasmic (bad wrong to use but that’s all I could think of) to go into anything Christian related ready to tear it down to its core, ready to argument anything standing on 0.5 legs, and looking to fill each and every gaping hole because that’s what people with minds do.  They nick pick and scrutinize and analyse leaving no rock uncovered and laughing when the other person scrambles for an explanation and slaps a “just have faith” onto it.  The best defense is to have a good offense.  If I can tear down my own religion, uncover the holes, possibly even pointing out other equally huge holes in other religions, and make it a convincing myth to myself then I have the power and know-how to make it convincingly true to others because I have uncovered my weaknesses and built them up (factually) with evidence that “just have faith” will marvel at.

I was told that the world is dying, that people need to be saved, and that Jesus is coming back soon.  I watched the movie 2012 and wondered how the Mayans could possibly end their calendars on 12/21/10 and just say that the world will reset or start all over again.  I thought it ironic that, in the movie, the “do over” occurs in Africa.  But I wondered several things: if religion has no part in it and life is as we live it in which we die and become one with the earth then we shall eventually die out, run out of natural resources, exhaust all possible lab engineered replacements, and die off like most other species because nothing continues to exist indefinitely and nothing has proven to survive without depleting resources as it expands.  Then what is life for?  Why not check out now?  Religion justifies our existence so we don’t give up and committed suicide at the notion that this is all for nothing.  If it’s apart of a plan….whose plan is it?  I have an idea.  Maybe I will write a book.  Problem is I don’t think anyone will read it and I doubt I can collect my thoughts long enough to prove a point although I have quite a few.  If my sons asked me right now “mommy, who is Jesus?” what will I say?  The best answer is for them to experience it for themselves.  If ever there was a wish I’ve utter more times than I probably admit it’s that God would play Old Testament again.  If ever there was a time for people to see instead of being told from old stories translated beyond authenticity and tattered with age then it is now.  If there was ever a time for a staff, a Red Sea, and a Moses it is now.  If there was ever a time for a road called Damascus and a bush to burn in the presence of every scientific mind there is just to prove its nothing but a miracle….that time is now.  I don’t ask God for anything more than a visible miracle because word of mouth can only save so many.  He got disciples to give their lives for something they actually saw or heard about within their own lifetime….it’s time to play Old Testament again.  I am jealous they had Jesus back then because I am not content with just having the Bible.  It’s not enough anymore.  People are dying and they need more than a Bible full of questions….they need someone sent to save them who will show them visible proof.  I know what you’re thinking, “they didn’t believe them then so why would they now?!”  It’s better than what we currently have and that’s close to nothing and too many false prophets.  Only God can save us….and I mean that literally.  I’ll wait and see what He decides to do.

December 16, 2009 Posted by | Christian, Spiritual | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Devout?

Is_it_only_devotion__by_aldreiOne day, a friend I work with asked how my dating life was coming along and if I was seeing anyone new.  We often update each other on our personal lives when we have a chance which isn’t often since most of his time is spent outside the office traveling or working from home.  Well, I told him I was dating this one guy and he asked me those basic questions like what does he do for a living, does he have kids, how old is he, is he a Christian, etc.  My friend is also a Christian but we have had our share of disagreements because he, in my opinion, can be quite republican in his religious views.  I say that to mean, he can be close-minded, judgemental, excessively critical, by-the-book, and suffer from a superiority complex from time to time (now who’s judging who?!).  The funny thing is that we disagree more on doctrine than our shared faith….another topic altogether.  Anywho, so I gave him the scoop but, in my response to the last question, I replied that the guy I’m seeing is a devout Christian.  My friend smiled eagerly and said, “really? is he abstaining from sex too?”  My friend has been celibate since he “gave his life to Christ” but when I frowned and answered “no” to his question, he shook his head and asked, “then how can you say he’s devout?!”  Hmmm.  I mutter “I don’t know” because we clearly had different views of the word devout and I needed time to simmer on it before I answered. 

This is what I concluded after my simmer: devout, by definition, means to adhere strongly and completely to something (normally a religious belief) and to sustain that devotion indefinitely.  That’s a paraphrased definition I got from dictionary.com which did not mention how this devotion is measured or quantified….it simply defined it.  In my opinion, the Bible clearly tells me how my devotion is measured as it relates to Christainity….by my faith.  That is the determining factor and that is all that pleases God.  People around me can only guess at best how strong and devout I am in my Christian faith by how I stand on my faith which is most tested during difficult times.  When I mentioned how devout the guy I’m dating is, I was speaking of his faith in Christ because I know all he has been through, I know the moments he’s almost turned his back on God, and I know the moments that have strengthened him.  I wasn’t using his actions or behavior as a ruler to judge how devout he was.  It was instinctive of me to say he’s devout because he has believed when others have honestly given up, he has believed when others have cursed God, and he has searched the Bible and prayed fervently during those hard times when he forgot what to believe.  Yes, I know what things he did that made God frown (some of those things we did together if you wanna keep it real) however I know where he stands and I know on what we all need to stand on and that’s faith.  Actions have never been a determining factor or cause to exclude someone or discredit their beliefs….I hear it all the time when preachers say God can use anyone even the crackhead standing on the corner or the whore down the street.  I read or hear about the many in the Bible who were used by God but had some questionable behaviors that were in direct contradiction to their purpose.   But maybe, just maybe, their purpose and less than squeaky clean lifestyle go hand in hand.  I think I’m getting off subject….

As I stated earlier, I often disagree with my friend and we fall out over it but I still hold my ground.  Not everyone believes your doctrine and follows it.  Not everyone believes that actions, good behaviors, and following the 10 commandments til death will get you into Heaven.  I am one of those because if this faith was based on good actions and behaviors alone I wouldn’t have a chance in hell!  Well, actually I would if you put it that way.  The way he frowned up at my “devout” statement was as if I used the Lord’s name in vain or something.  I am not excusing any sinful behaviors….let’s make that clear here.  Nor am I saying it’s ok to do A, B, C, and D as long as you can move that mountain over there just by commanding it by faith.  All I’m saying is that I have yet to read any where that says a person can please God with actions alone, good works alone, or doing anything that is clearly obvious from the outside.  And (in my opinion) faith is the cornerstone, foundation, soil, fertilizer, carbs, protein, basis, predecessor, catalyst for a necessary internal reaction to even begin to generate an external change (again, in my opinion only).  I still believe the guy I was dating is devout. It just wasn’t until this moment that I realized that “devout” may have different definitions, meanings, gauges, and rules of what does and does not apply but it has also further reiterated how man continues to choke the Christ out of humanity with all these stipulations.  Sometimes blood, sweat, and salty tears to remain strong in your belief best defines your faith more than a list of check marks for every rule and commandment you successfully followed.  And, wavering faith is said to be a bad thing but I’d prefer wavering faith as opposed to no faith at all…if it’s wavering then it at least exists with the potential to become rooted.  You can’t strengthen something that’s not there.  Again, in my opinion only.

September 20, 2009 Posted by | Christian, God | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A House Divided

050728_Bo_FeldmanDividedByGSurely everyone heard about the Obama speech and protests that took place at Notre Dame this weekend.  These protests were due to the fact that Obama is not against abortions but the Notre Dame community, which is rooted in Catholicism, is very much against it.  Pro Life versus Pro Choice.  Another blue-in-the-face discussion that I don’t care to tackle but I am so sick and tired of us being against ourselves.  A house divided against itself cannot stand….we are a divided house of Christians and it’s embarrassing and pretty pathetic.  I read on another blog how Christians will give their right & left arm along with their right & left leg plus their vital internal organs followed but their own life to denouce and support certain sins.  However, there are a list of “practiced” sins that certain groups of Christians will barely discuss with themselves let alone anyone else.  Selective Judgement….that is what I call it.

It isn’t just Catholics although majority of “them” make me sick to my stomach with their “Hail Mary”, confession boxes, fancy robes, and other crap that does not even begin to equal the carnal sins underneath.  We all have them.  Some just love pointing out yours and turning their nose up at you as if they themselves are God’s chosen Christians.  When I see, hear, read about the division it saddens me and makes me want to throw off this Christian label just so I am not associated with the mess.  Probably the easiest thing to be at times is an atheist because, no matter how delusional we say they are, they hold onto the flawed evidence that we as Christians must admit does not support our Jesus claim either.  They based things on facts and act according accepting those who think like them and not necessarily dividing themselves into pseudo-atheist or full-fledge atheist.  It’s easy and simple to say I just don’t see enough evidence to support blah blah blah and the claims on which those other groups hold dear are full of holes however big or small they are holes nevertheless. 

I just hope one day we can stop ridiculing and passing judgement on someone who dyes their hair red instead of leaving it a natural brown hue similar to yours.  I hope one day we won’t frown at the person driving a foreign car instead of the American made vehicle you own.  I hope one day we don’t point at and snicker when someone walks by wearing Adidas instead of the Nikes you adorn your feet with day in and day out.  I hope one day we don’t call each other names simply because someone renovated their kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops instead of the antique appliances and the tiled counter tops you adore and have in your home.  I hope one day we can accept that we aren’t to think alike, feel the same, or see things as others do.  That we hold our own beliefs, thoughts, and viewpoints from the most trivial such as which brand of cereal is best to the most significant such as which side you stand come judgement day.  That the Bible is the epitome of vagueness and we are fighting ourselves day in and day out trying to decipher a meaning from something we will never know is true until we ourselves die.  You don’t know for sure and neither do I.  We aren’t going to follow the same interpretation and expecting someone to think exactly like you and behave similarly simply because you two share the same Christian blanket will only lead to an intense tug-of-war with the blanket as we do what we have been warned not to….judge each other. 

Leaving one of your own cold without warmth….what kinda religion does that?  What kinda God do they claim supports this?  What kinda following are you trying to have?  What sort of message are you looking to convey?  Is this Christian blanket even worth it??  That atheist one is looking really nice right now with only a few bodies underneath and it’s made of that nice down feathery stuff…

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Christian | , , , , | 1 Comment

Kick Ass Women of God

wanted-jolie-poster1One of my female friends, Tasha, was discussing women of the Bible with a guy she is dating whom she claims is “spiritual” because he knows all this stuff about the Bible, writes notes about different topics on Facebook, knows what various scriptures in the Bible mean, as well as different characters of the Bible.   Tasha has no interest in the Bible at all because she finds it difficult to understand amongst other things.   Well, one topic that Tasha was discussing with her guy friend was a woman’s place according to the Bible … I already knew his response because I know him. 

He feels that the woman should be a helpmate to the man but his interpretation of the word “helpmate” is slave … servant … called to be of duty to the man … speak when spoken to … you get where I’m going with this?  Obviously this caused a debate between the two of them resulting in her coming to me to vent.  Her problem is the way women in the Bible are portrayed.  None of them are “kick ass” women … those were her exact words too.  They were all powerful as long as there was a man there or they were mentioned for their humble spirit, servant ways, waiting on a man, or following a man’s orders … no woman seemed to take control of her life and situation by her own will without needing the express content of whatever man “owned” her at the time.  No woman was mentioned that stood up for herself.  Even the ones who did get honorable mention did so because they had won the favor of some man … i.e. Ruth and Rachel.   Or because they gave birth to a child … Mary.   Or obediently spoke out against something they disliked … Esther.

Why does getting a man define most Biblical women?  Most modern women cannot relate because they simply cannot see how being of service to someone and finally getting a man makes your entire life meaningful all of a sudden.  I didn’t say anything but I did try to name some women who I thought were admirable only for her to shoot them down because she was comparing them to our idea of “kick ass”.  Modern day “kick ass” for women is not having to depend on a man.  If you have one, great! If not, then the show must go on.  If you have one you still control and determine your own course of action but it is in no way dependent on what he will or will not allow you to do as his wife.   A partnership.

Looking through my study Bible about the many strong women noted, majority of them are called out for their obedience, humility, and wise thinking where they are rewarded by being taken as someone’s wife as a result of their courageous acts.  If already married, they react after asking permission from their husbands.  Kick ass women don’t ask for permission … they take it.  Kick ass women don’t wait for you to react … they do things themselves.  Kick ass women aren’t strong because of their men … they are strong in the absence or presence of their men. 

Humility, obedience, wit, judgement, integrity are all very great traits to have which may determine if you yourself is a “kick ass” woman but I guess the way you go about it makes all the difference.  Do we need to tote around a gun?  A sword?  Fight?  Belittle and weaken someone?  Does that make you a “kick ass” woman or does that make you a weak ass woman?  Strength is best shown under control which reminds me of meekness.  It does not mean you cannot but it does mean you will not. 

Yes, I would have loved to see some women used in place of Moses, David, or Noah … even Paul or some of the disciples.  I do not like that women seemed to have taken a backseat and played the well-behaved little wives they were supposed to be.  But, in today’s world, kick ass should be redefined to include those women behind the scene, those who support, those women who encourage, those women who pray, those women who display kick assness (new word) in a modern way not obvious to those around them.  Those around us are not who we should please … it should be God.  And it requires more strength to exhibit humility and obedience than it does to display defiance and arrogance. 

How attractive is it to calm the flame instead of igniting it.  How mature is it to compromise than to win by any means neccesary.  How honorable is it to display Christ-like traits than worldly traits.  We all know the easy road is the one frequently traveled …

Exodus 23:2a “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong”

Redefine you and discover who God says a “kick ass” woman is.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Spiritual | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment