32B's Blog

…where I write my words

Spirits & Faith

The little girl, not yet 2 years old, walked up to her grandmother and said, “grandma, can you open the door for Mommy and the blue angels?”  The little girl’s grandmother stood there frozen looking into the innocent eyes of her grandchild before slowly looking up towards her closed front door.  Her daughter, the little girl’s mother, had died no more than 24 hours ago.  Hours later, the little girl’s dad came by to pick up his daughter.  “Daddy, mommy came to tell me good-bye”….that is what daddy remembers years later while her daughter does not remember ever saying such a thing and struggles with her own acceptance of the Christian faith because some things just do not “add up”.  Daddy is a co-worker of mine.  His wife died in a car accident.  Could his wife have possibly told their young daughter good-bye hours after they had gotten the news? 

I have always believed in spirits – the good and the bad ones.  I cannot remember when I knew this for sure but I think it was the first thing in life I was ever sure about.  I have countless stories of spirits.  The story above was shared from my co-worker during our lunch hour this past Friday.  This co-worker had his own personal story about his grandfather passing away and coming to tell him good-bye before the family got word he had passed.  Another co-worker also had a story about her aunt coming to say good-bye before her family got word she had also passed away.  Why were we even discussing this at work?  It started with a conversation I walked in on about the mark of the beast. 

I made chilli at home and brought it in for lunch.  Heated it in the microwave and carried it into our “lunchroom” where two other Christian co-workers were discussing the mark of the beast as if it was the latest reality TV show.  I listened having no idea what the hell they were talking about.  They discussed how those who were marked would show such a mark on the backs of their hands and foreheads.  Those marked would not be unable to do simply tasks such as buy groceries thus unable to participate in many activities with those living unmarked.  I am no stranger to asking stupid questions so I said, “what are you two talking about?”  Revelations.  The story about those persons being marked and whether or not the separation would happen first or the marking or both simultaneously.  A co-worker asked if I had ever read Revelations because, in all honesty, how can you be a Christian and not know what your faith believes in or know what will eventually happen concerning those of that faith?  My answer:  I read Revelations years ago and only because I was told I would receive a blessing after reading it.  I should probably read it again, huh?

Revelations is confusing to me to say the least.  Most believe that the stories of what shall happen may be more so metaphorical than literal.  Most believe majority of the Bible is written in this way.  Then, we began to discuss which denomination we each belong to.  One is Pentecostal, another Catholic I think, the third Presbyterian, and I am…..I don’t know.  I told of how I grew up Baptist as did one other co-worker in the room but now I just desire to be a label-less Christian although non-denominational carries a label anyways. 

Law School and I talked about religion, faith, prayer, and our different views on things relating to this.  The most uncomfortable conversation ever because I had to admit I have questions, went through a period of doubt, and am now right where I started from knowing more than I knew 3 or 4 years ago but not sure if the more I learn truly leads to more certainty.  He asked if I fear God.  Silence.  Uncomfortable silence.  I asked, “what do you mean?” not really to get him to explain such a simple question but to give myself time to word my answer carefully.  Yes, always a victim of impressing man.  “Do you have fear of God punishing you, fear you have to live a certain way, or fear that He does have the power to do what He says?”  I explained how my fear comes when I think death is near, when I think someone I love is in danger, when I feel I am walking quickly down the wrong path and time might not allow me to get my repentance in in time.  I do have a healthy dose of fear that I reap what I sow, that I know He knows I know right from wrong even when I knowingly chose wrong over right more times than not, and I have this fear that I will die before I fully come clean in a sense. 

Then I was asked about faith.  I gave my textbook answer which satisfied the person asking but not myself.  Anything textbook is common knowledge and, just because I can recite what it is does not mean I have it.  Then we discussed prayer and I realized I may be the most selfish person when it comes to prayer.  I explained how I talk mostly rather than ask for anything.  I hardly ever ask for anything because my life, at this point, is good.  I literally want for nothing that I feel I cannot live without.  Do I pray for others?  My family?  My friends?  The world?  Those starving?  Dying in war?  Living without knowing God?  No, I do not.  I give thanks for them but pray asking they remain in continued safety.  Am I out of touch with the world?  I might be.  Here I was the Queen of Q&A being interrogated by someone who made me feel like I was doing a piss poor job as a Christian.  No blame was played but I felt it internally because I knew I could do better, do more, and for others.  I did voluntarily let him in on the psycho overly analytical Devil’s Advocate mess that is sometimes me telling him if I ever die I would be hurt if someone wrote in my obituary that I accepted Christ at an early age.  I did not.  I only knew what I was accepting 3 or 4 years ago and, even then, I went into it as I do now….with an abundance of questions and concerns.  God probably accepted me at birth but I denied Him fervently until I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt while shrouded in doubt that I am willing to die for what I believe in.  If you had asked me that years ago I would have said “yes” because that answer is expected as I fooled man easily.  Ask me now and I say “yes” while man doubts me. 

It is almost 2am on Sunday morning.  I fell asleep at about 10pm but now I am wide awake just thinking.  It’s times like this when I wish I had someone to roll over and talk to about all the random things floating around in my head.  Until I find that person to wake up and piss off at 2am with my nonstop chatter, this blog will just have to do.

November 14, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , | Leave a comment

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

Let’s Talk for a minute…

My 4 yr old has eyes that sparkle like gems when he smiles.  Sometimes I think my own eyes are playing tricks on me but I swear when he’s really excited or giddy, he laughs this angelic sound and this eyes turn into a brilliant spectrum of white lights.  I can see happiness in his eyes and it makes me smile.  His smile is adorable.  His eyes squint really small reminiscent of his dad’s Cherokee blood. He melts my heart instantly.  I always wonder how he could be so cute.  My oldest has out grown his child-like cute phase and has now turned into an inquisitive annoyance that catches me off guard when I don’t answer his question literally or if I answer it in riddle form which only sets up another round of questions and I want to scream.  Not as annoying as I’d like to think but quite impressive because the boy can dissect through any and every thing.  He has big dark eyes which are alluringly sinister only because he hides behind this innocent look and people actually fall for it.  But not I!  I invented that look….who do you think he gets it from??

Then I wonder about the future, what will happen to me, what will happen to them, and what will happen to this world around me and I wish for a moment that I’d never had kids at all.  No one to make me feel the kind of pain that only a parent would feel.  When I added the tag widget to the left side of this blog, I had no idea I write about God so much.  I don’t question God but I do wonder why we are here just to die and suffer great pain at seeing our loved ones go.  It only dulls the pain a tad bit knowing I might see them again but who’s to say that’s true?  Faith only calms me for so long before I want someone from the other side to let me know if what I think awaits me is fact or fiction.  It’s Russian Roulette with my soul.  What if I make the wrong decision?  I remember that story in the Bible where a man died but he didn’t listen to all the prophets or whomever had come to warn him to live right and confess God as his Lord (I’m paraphrasing like I’ve never paraphrased).  When he died, he asked if he could go back and warn his loved ones but his request was denied because they should have their own chance to make their own decision as he had.  To heed the warnings or ignore them.  If I had known what I know now, I would not have reproduced & brought offspring into this world of mass confusion where no one knows anything but everyone swears they know everything. 

I whine about how unfair life is sometimes (tried to not end that sentence with a preposition which I do often).  Not about material things because I don’t really care too much about that stuff.  I complain about folks who find happiness by way of a intimate relationship with someone of the opposite (or same if that’s your preference) sex.  I thought I’d done everything as right as I could.  No, I didn’t wait til I was married to have sex but I did marry the first guy I had sex with.  Does that count for something?  Now, girls have sex tapes, sleep with football teams, and get trifling nicknames and here I am wondering what I’m doing wrong.  The world will lead me to believe I am too much on the straight and narrow so that’s my problem but, then again, I wouldn’t go the opposite way if given the choice because it’s not really me either.  I have no friends here.  I know a lot of people but not a single one I actually like.  Everyone is younger (my sisters), older (translation: boring), usually married (they bring their husbands everywhere), or too immature to enjoy the things I do.  Then I sit and wonder what it’s all for which leads to me thinking way too much so I put on my music to calm my brain down and I’m back to normal again.  Sometimes life can be boring.  I don’t want to work all the time.  I don’t want to sit in church all day.  I don’t want to sit in the house all week.  I don’t want to spend my free time with folks I can’t stand.  I don’t want to run myself to death (or to anorexia).  I don’t want to think about everything there is to think about.  I don’t want to so I wonder what is there left to do.  After all I’ve done throughout the week with the kids, work, running, and a little church sprinkled here and there…..what else is there left for me to do? (I am sure my grammer sucks!)

My point?  I have none.  I’ll grab something to snack on, register for my big race this year, talk to my bff from 2 states away, watch a movie, and then fall asleep just to do this all over again tomorrow.  One day, I need to find my calling because this existing to say I lived is not working for me anymore.  No, my calling is not in a church….that much I know for sure since no one can seem to keep me there long enough to hold down a position.  Usually when I think about God, unlike other topics in the world, the best way to handle it is to not think too much.  The simplest thought is sufficient.  You ever feel the need to pray?  I was about to do something (can’t say because it’s prb TMI) when I felt the need to pray.  I didn’t pray though.  I knew the insistence to pray was present for a reason but I didn’t.  I just sighed loudly and did not do what I was about to do.  You know what else I hate (well, I didn’t actually say I hate anything but ignore that part), I hate women who don’t act like women.  Maybe it’s because all the women I know are married or single Christian women having sex like it’s bread given away at the Last Supper or virgins who don’t know the uphill battle I face sometimes.  I wanna talk about masturbating but I heard that’s taboo because if I speak it then something blah blah blah but if I don’t speak it then I fake the funk like everyone else.  Maybe I can’t find folks like me because I don’t seem embarrassed about anything, ashamed about anything, or self-conscious about anything.  I am a tad bit too uninhibited to be a good little Christian girl but, for some reason, I am one.  How the hell did that shyt happen?!

February 8, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , , | 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

Thrice about Peter

Walking_on_Water (2)This is another moment where I need to document something for myself so I can look back at it later and possibly gain some clarity from it.  For this past weekend, I have been smacked in the face with one name at least 3 times…..Peter.  I don’t know if anyone knows that Faith Evan’s song but I think it’s called Say A Prayer for Me.  The first time I heard that song I was sitting in Bible study on a Wednesday night at my church in Indianapolis.  I think it was before the class started when the praise dancers came out and a singer walked up to the mic to sing that song.  I’d never heard of the song but it peaked my interest when she said something about how this song relates to her right now.  Well, for those who have never heard it, the person singing the song is asking Jesus to pray for them like He did for Peter because the enemy desires to sift them like wheat…..God cover me that my faith won’t fail is right before the chorus.  It says, “Jesus, say a prayer for me.  You know what I need. Go before the Father and intercede for me.  The enemy desires to sift me as wheat.  But, like you did for Peter, say a prayer for me“.  I had no idea what sifting like wheat was or what Peter had done or was about to be involved in that he required a direct personal prayer from Jesus so I looked it up in my study Bible and on Google.  Yes, I Google’d.  That song stayed with me and I often sing it when I get tired from life, tired from drama, tired from any and everything and begin to cry.  It’s like my white flag.

Anywho, I wrote a piece about Easter and I liked it so much because if D.J. ever read it they will be able to understand it so I thought it’ll be cool to write about other Biblical stories in the same way.  Of course it’s been done before but I wanted to do it my own way and the 1st story I thought to write about was Peter, walking on water, and trusting God.  I haven’t even written the 1st sentence because, unlike everything else, I got writer’s block and couldn’t seem to get my thoughts together to form anything literary.  Well, Peter was mentioned 3 times this weekend….I can’t remember the first time and it’s killing me that I can’t because I need to remember so I can try to connect whatever dots.  Sunday I heard about the Peter story.  Right when the person started to tell the story I began to frown and thought, “what a coincidence” but I listened and kept quiet.  Then when I got to work yesterday morning, I sat down to check my email and opened a devotional I get every so often from this website.  This one was called Reckless Faith and I either bypass those devotionals or read them based on the title.  I happened to scan this one and find out it was the same Peter story…..she was saying he had reckless faith to step out there on that water and how we should have reckless faith too.

No rhythm or reason to any of this.  After 3 times of hearing about Peter in a good 3 days I asked if there was something He needed me to trust Him on.  I hadn’t asked Him for anything.  I wasn’t going through anything.  Nothing.  This weekend was fine.  Nothing out of the ordinary…just the same ole crap I’ve grown accustomed to so when I took a moment to talk to Him I seriously felt like I was sitting across from Him when my hands on my hips saying, “wassup with all the Peter references?  Tryna tell me something?  I haven’t asked you to show me anything, to help me with anything, to do anything at all that I can remember.  I’m confused.  No offense to Peter but I’m pretty tired of hearing his name but I’m sure there’s a reason behind it.  Are you preparing me for something?  That’s all I can think of right now….that you are forewarning me to trust you in light of something that’s coming because there’s nothing here now and all that was here is over and dealt with”.  I don’t know.  Maybe me noticing little variations, small minute details will cause me more unnecessary worry than anything but, as often as I tell myself it’s nothing, it has never once in my 29 yrs of living been nothing.  I know me.  I know what I see.  I know what I feel.  I know what’s strange and abnormal or complete out of character.  So, I think I will take a break from things for a while.

*I usually try to come up with catchy attention grabbing titles related to the subject I’ve written about so that’s how I got thrice….but didn’t Peter deny Jesus 3 times too?  I can’t remember.

September 15, 2009 Posted by | Spiritual | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bronzed Joke?

30080There are times when tears fall from my eyes and I am ashamed to admit the reason why.  There are times when I yell and scream only because I can’t fathom why.  There are even times when I sit in silence completely dumbfounded as to why.  Why?  That is the million billion trillion dollar question but it’s worth even more than that.  I look into your eyes and I wonder if you are looking back at me.  I touch your bronzed body on the cross and wonder if you can even feel my hand.  I stare into space and think of what your presence should feel like.  Then I raise my eyes back up and spit from my mouth onto your feet nailed to the cross.  I spit again this time more.  My tears begin to fall harder than they were before and I yell at you with your head slightly leaning from above.  I believe.  I do.  I believe in you.  But maybe it’s that I once believed.  I did.  I believed in you.  They tell me that the righteous shall suffer.  That you foretold of it a long time ago.  They tell me that even Job suffered and you never left him.  Yes, Job did suffer and I know the story in and out but there is one distinct difference between this fella Job and me standing before you.  Job loved you as I do.  Job obeyed you as I attempt to do.  Job followed you as I do.  Job had great faith as I do.  But Job had many things and was wealthy in his own right.  He had more than any man did at that time.  He was favored by his God and it showed.  I have nothing and am poor in my own right.  Am I not favored?  Job’s love for you was rewarded in how you provided for him.  Your love for me is shown in how….how what?  How you allow me to suffer? 

Carry your cross like Jesus did.  The servant is not greater than the master.  If they did it to me they will do it to you.  But it is not them.  I sometimes wonder if it’s you.  You up there now bronzed hanging on the cross.  What did I do to you?  Can I not become Job and have all he had?  He had it all, you took it away to prove a point, but then gave it back to him as a reward of his faith.  I have never had it all.  I have barely had some but you have taken from me constantly or have allowed things and people to be taken from me.  I spit on you as they did.  I spit again and again.  My heart feels pain.  It feels rage.  It feels hurt.  It feels betrayal.  It feels frustration.  It feels like you have left me or you have never existed.  I apologize but sometimes there comes a time when I wonder if you are even real.  Are you really all they claim you to be?  Is there really a God up above.  Is this the game plan for my life?  To suffer, sacrifice, live a meager life in hopes of glory in the end?  Glory?  Is that even real?  Or is this all a joke?  Are you and this entire faith based on Jesus a big fat hoax that has fooled millions of people into thinking that someone can possibly die, rise in 3 days, and just enter right into some mystical place called Heaven where there is the supreme of all beings named God who is the creator of our very existence and loves those who love his son and who give their lives metaphorically to him.  Of course metaphorically because to take our own life earns us a seat in Hell.  Well, I love him.  I follow him.  I do all the things I am told to do.  I walk the straight and narrow.  When I fall I run to you asking for forgiveness.  My very life hung in the balance when you took the Mary of my existence.  I have seen more hurt and pain experienced firsthand than anyone has in their lifetimes. 

And for what?  Why?  To prove a point?  To make me stronger?  To increase my faith?  Suffering is now a badge of honor? Must I rejoice in this?  Endure it was a smile?  Your word says we ought to rejoice when we fall into diver’s temptation knowing this, that the trying of our faith worketh our patience and that patience must have it’s time to work so that we may be complete and entire wanting nothing.  Patience.  Patience?  This is becoming a big waiting game.  Wait and see.  Wait for what is to come.  Wait and stand on faith that Jesus will return and our eternal lives promised to us will be fulfilled.  Stand on faith.  Faith.  In case you haven’t noticed, I am sinking very fast and I need you, bronzed man, to get your azz off the cross and save me lest I die.  You saved me once, right?  Surely you can do it again, huh?  You ask me to come out onto the water, to trust you, the wind blew harder with each passing minute, my body shook, my mind wandered, my faith teetered, I began to sink, you must grab me…you must.  You did for him in the Bible then you scorned him for not having faith.  Scorn me all you want but I just need to feel you are still here.  Still watching me.  Have not forgotten about me. 

I think about doing what the others do.  What the ones who say they follow you but do anything but that.  They have all the material possessions while I struggle to simply feed myself.  I have devoted my time to you while others spend it in the streets partying and doing anything but sitting in church and here I am totally dependent on the government to help me pay my bills.  What reward is there for the faithful?  What was I supposed to learn from Job?  The Bible?  You?  Life gets hard.  Life gets difficult.  Life becomes irrelevant when I realize I am sacrificing all I have to the point where I have nothing else to give.  All I ask is for something to make life worth living.  My faith isn’t the size of even a mustard seed anymore.  I questioned you as I have never done before and it is constantly weighing on me each moment.  Is it worth loving you?  Is it worth following you?  Is it worth all this pain?  Is there even a glory to be reached or had?  Bronzed man hanging on the intricately designed cross allegedly dying for our sins so that we may live….is this the life you intended for me?  For us?  For those you claim to love?  For those whom you promised to provide all of our needs?  Well I have reason to believe and doubt you are who you say you are.  I hear a voice in my ear calling me a fool and telling me to denounce you and curse your very name.  I hear it.  It burns my ears.  It resonates in my mind.  I ignore it because I just can’t.  Something tells me not to.  Although I spit on you…I can’t.  Although I miss my Mary….I still can’t.  Although I my basic needs which you promised to meet are not met….I can’t.  Although my faith is wavering….I can’t.  Am I a fool?  A fool for believing in you?  In your name I pray and in your name I have faith.   Now, in your name, I pray that you save my faith because I feel it slipping away.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | God, Spiritual | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Said No

god_said_no_by_suzi9mm…but what did He say “no” to?  The Bible is not clear on a lot of things so we are left to infer which has lead to a lot of different classifications of Christianity and much controversy outside of our own faith.  The one thing that has everyone up in arms is abortions.  Abortions.  I had one.  I know many friends who have had one.  Mine, as well as theirs, occurred during college.  I only know of one that occurred after college but it happened nevertheless.  What I wish people will do is try to put themselves in someone’s shoes before they pass judgement and tell you what you ought to do so….let me tell my story.  If you could care less then fast forward to the end or simply exit my blog altogether. 

I was in what I thought was a committed monogamous relationship at the time.  No, I wasn’t married so you can add “fornicator” to my list, too.  My ex cheated on me…it broke my heart.  I have always heard of men cheating but it had never happened to me.  It was then that I understood that pain women (and men) go through.  Not only had he cheated but, to add icing to the cake, she was 2 months pregnant.  I forgave him and moved on but not before I realized, a few weeks later, that I too was pregnant.  Ahhh, such a great situation to find yourself in.  A college student cheated on for the first time knowing that the love of your life was going to have a baby with some other woman and you, having giving him your virginity, was going to have his baby too.  The emotions were already there along with the hormones.  You didn’t have to tell me how messed up this little triangle was….I got it.  I had watched enough Jerry Springer & Maury shows to know what was going to happen so, even though she wanted to keep her baby, I wanted no connection to him at all.  I loved him and he shattered my heart so that was all I could focus on.  A baby?  What baby?  I didn’t think about it at all.  I had to be free.  Free from him.  Free from this situation.  Free from it all so I could resume my college career and make something of myself instead of being someone’s babymama.  Right my wrong by making a wrong and asking God to make me right….again.

Selfish?  Yes – I was.  I thought about me.  I admit that.  I don’t know what I would have had.  I didn’t care.  I still don’t.  I sat down with a counselor who warned me of the complications that may occur, the chance of getting pregnant again, the risk for infection (it was a Planned Parenthood so I was confident it was clean), the emotional and psychological effects later on, and the possibility that I may regret my decision with no way to turn back the hands of time.  I knew it all.  I was warned.  The only thing that I feared was the chance of not having a baby later in life for some reason.  The actual procedure?  My ex was there with me.  I was given a REQUIRED period of time to think about it before they would allow me back.  I came back, they did an ultrasound to make sure I wasn’t too far along (I think I was maybe 10 wks max), they called my name, I laid back on the bed thingy, placed my feet in the stir-ups while a nurse held my hand, the doc explained what I would feel and what he was about to do, and I tried to stay calm.  Never once did I think of turning back.  I watched from where I laid/sat.  I heard the machine turn on, it sounded like a vacuum, I felt him insert a tube, I closed my eyes expecting pain, I felt some small pinches and suction, I opened my eyes to see blood on the inside of the machine when it was orignally clear, and I felt like I finally realized what I had done. 

Seeing blood makes it all real for some reason.  All this time it was some annoying thing growing in my womb until I saw the blood and realized it bleed and was growing like I was.  It was human.  Was it a baby?  A person?  An embryo?  A batch of cells multiplying at a fast rate?  Whatever you wanna title it it does not matter to the person in the situation.  They call it one thing and what they call it is what holds dominance over their psyche.  It has never bothered me even to this day probably because I eventually had two beautiful little boys.  I think about my child (yes – I refer to it as my child) but I don’t regret my decision because it would have made my life harder with no help from anyone much less a college boy thrust into fatherhood with two kids on his hands.  Make him grow up and deal with it?  I, and my unborn child, were not going to roll the dice on that table of chance.  I had heard that my God was a forgiving God no matter what I had done.  Surely He knew I loved him.  Surely He knew he was my first.  Surely He saw my naivety.  Surely He knew I was scared.  Surely He knew I was sorry.  Surely He would forgive me.  That was the only sure thing I knew.  An 18 year old taking care of his responsibilities?  Not a sure bet and it was evident in how he took care of her son when he was born.  Now, I am pro-choice.  God does not take away our free will so man should not either.  You counsel that woman (or girl) and give her her options (as was done for me) but, in the end, she has to answer to her God (whom ever she believes Him to be) and make that decision on her own.

God said no to murder…I know that and I know where it’s found in the Bible.  If you are without a speck then pick up that stone and cast it my way…I promise I won’t move to dodge it.  Why did I write this?  Tell someone and you may help someone.

April 7, 2009 Posted by | God, Me, Spiritual | , , , , | 1 Comment

Misguided Faith

aussietownThis has been bothering me for the last couple of days so I thought I’d write something from my perspective on it.  As Christians, or any religion for that matter, we have faith that our God is the supreme being and what He has said will indeed happen or has already.  Faith is mentioned in the Bible quite a few times and it’s importance is emphasised from everything related to wisdom and prayer to having complete power and authority in Jesus’ name.  Faith to move mountains….I always heard that line but wondered what that could possibly mean.  If you have faith you can tell this mountain to move and it will.  Faith that what you ask for in Jesus’ name you shall have.  I do not disagree but I think it can be misleading or, in my opinion, some people have greater expectations than they should.  I think some people cross the line of asking God to demanding of God simply because they are Christians but when God does not come through as they expected they curse His very name….ok, maybe that not extreme but I am tryna make a point here. 

A friend of mine lost his mom about five years ago.  I do not know all the details but I recall his mentioning the word cancer.  He also mentioned, in conversation and his lyrics, that his faith was almost crushed because he left in faith knowing that his mom would be ok but she was not.  When she passed he said he either was or dabbled with being an atheist for some time because he didn’t know if God was real anymore.  This past week someone I know from my church, her mom was diagnosised with cancer that has now spread.  Not sure of the complete diagnosis but I can understand that it is pretty serious and something surgery can delay but probably not prevent.  During church Sunday morning, I was told that she spoke to the congregation to say that people have been visiting as if it’s the end but she knows that God still has a great work for her mom to do and that He will pull her through.

I heard this, I diverted my eyes, I bowed my head, and I exhaled as I wondered why we immediately think and assume that the negatives of our life are somehow not apart of God’s plan.  I wonder why we think first that death comes to everyone else but not to our own family.  I wonder why we refuse to see God as a supplier of our needs but still not the final say in what those needs are.  I am not saying do not have faith.  What I am saying is we have misguided faith.  Misguided to the point where you yell for this mountain to move out of your way because God said you can and it’s right here in Book blah blah blah chapter so-and-so verse whatchamacallit but we always fail to see that maybe God’s hand at the peak of said mountain is preventing the mountain from moving….just maybe.

God is a great God.  A just God.  We like to blame Him for things out of our control when most things are naturally out of our control.  I have never lost a mother so I don’t know the emotional burden one undergoes during this time and forgive me if I seem to not understand or empathize.  All I have lost is a sister (I am downplaying this for those who have lost a parent) whom I grew up with and that is as close to spitting in God’s face I have ever come.  I never lost my faith.  I did get closer to Him which is odd.  Odd because I went to church only because I like sitting on my butt instead of easing into a chair and sitting on my hip so He was forced on me but I didn’t know Him until afterwards.  I wondered why my sister but I didn’t expect Him to make special provisions for me.  Realistically, I waddle in realism all day every day and I can’t seem to help it.  Cancer caught in late stages is near fatal.  Cancer in a last stage that has spread is near fatal.  Degenerative symptoms and side effects and inoperable are all signs that the end may be near.  

Maybe it’s because I don’t like bullshit and don’t want anyone to sugar-coat the truth for me….I need all the facts to bring to God to make my plea.  I plea just like the rest….yes.  Do I hold God to some expectation as if He owes me?  No.  I plead, I ask, I beg, I cry, I even make negotiations just in case…but there is always that “if He does not” that keeps me in check.  Gives me my perspective.  Retains my focus on who still has control.  He took my sister and I was pissed the fuck off but He took her for a reason.  I still haven’t figured out the entire reason but I know I got closer to Him because of that and I know not to hate or leave Him for taking her.  Would it have better for someone else’s sister to die in place of mine?  Honestly, whether asked then or now, I’d say no because I’d never want someone else to experience that for the sake of my own selfish needs.  You never get used to death and everyone handles it differently when you hear or think it is knocking at the door…God does work miracles but you (or we) can’t expect Him to pull one from his arsenal when we tell Him to.  My fav story related to this is below, always have a “if He does not” mindset because he is God not because of who you are, what you think, or how your life is….He is simply because He is and your belief in Him should not be conditional because His love for you isn’t.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3:16-18)

I just feel bad when we expect something that just may not be behind door number two.  Expect it but know that, if he does not, things will still be ok.

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Spiritual | , , , | Leave a comment

Positive Thinking

I was on the train today just thinking when this new “craze” popped into my mind for no reason at all.  I call it a craze because it seems as if it is something new but, to me, did it not already exist?  I got home and turned on my TV more so for background noise while I worked to see Oprah talking about this exact topic.  From what I have read and heard, positive thinking is a connection to your spiritual being in which you focus on positive thoughts and outcomes which are supposed to result in a happier or optimistic outlook on life. 

Be still.  Connect to your spiritual core.  Take trials as learning experiences.  Do not give in to negative thoughts.  If you believe you shall fail then you will.  If you think you are doomed then you are.  Think what you want and it will come true.  It all sounds like something I have read and heard before.  Be still and know that I am that I am.  Stay connected to the vine and abide in me.  Trails come to make you strong.  As a man thinketh so he is.  Life and death lies in the power of the tongue.  Ask in faith and believe that you shall have it.   One is independent in a way and the latter is dependent  in a way.  You still choose to be rooted but the latter seems to draw on a known well … where is the well for the first thought pattern?

The thing that has me thoroughly confused is when someone from the show, as well as others familiar with this positive thinking plan, say that at first they were religious simply because it was the thing to do but then they found spirituality and realized there is a difference.  There is?  Is there a difference?  Religion is what?  They have defined spirituality but what is religion?  To me, from my extensive library of one book, religion is an organized and collective belief in something or someone such as Judaism or Buddhism.  But, how do you possibly separate one from the other?  Separate faith from beliefs? Without faith religion would be something you do but do not really believe in.  Without religion faith would be an uprooted plant trying to survive the elements.

Spiritual thinking is a way of life to keep us, humans, connected as we undergo this human experience – as explained by the show.  I do not disagree with the notion of spiritual thinking but I do disagree with the idea that is can exist alone.  In what spirit are you rooted or connected?  What does that spirit tell you?  How does it direct you?  There are many spirits and not all are aimed for good!  This whole spiritual thinking is what I have called and known as faith.  Faith in a higher being.  Faith that my life has a purpose.   Faith & positive thinking – one in the same?

Religion in itself will never explain everything so it could never begin to become a “be all do all” so to speak.  Where there are arguable holes in a theory or theology – insert faith.  How does going to church every Sunday have an bearing on your life?  It does not and will not without connecting to the Spirit which guides you.  The differences between positive thinking and faith present themselves when I think about hardships we all may face in life.  How does positive thinking sustain me when I am holding my dying child in my arms?  I think positive thoughts to reinforce what?  Think positive thoughts that who is in control?  Think positive thoughts that my child is where?  Think positive thoughts from where? 

How does positive thinking sustain me when I am hunted because my skin has  more pigmentation than others or my beliefs are not that of the majority?  Does thinking positive get me out of these situations?  No – because thinking is rooted in the mind and my mind is the reason I fight with myself day after day.  My mind must be ruled by someone or something other than myself so to fathom the idea that this device can produce positive anything independently is stand up and sit down comedy.

One guest did say she lost her son and that this kind of thinking helped her persevere.  She allowed herself to grieve, not get down about life, not give in and give up, stayed connected to her spirit and made the decision to live the rest of her life.  Yes – that is it!  Exactly that!  Take something directly connected in a higher being, strip it of its association with that higher being and make claims that you yourself can suffice without that higher being by simply staying connected to the spirit.  How effective is a vine without it’s root?  How prosperous is a garden without it’s gardener?  How beautiful is anything that grows without pruning?  Let’s just call it what it is…

January 14, 2009 Posted by | Spiritual | , , , , | Leave a comment