Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Finally seeing prayers answered.

I've only been praying for a month now.. and most of the time I feel awkward and weird doing it. Today has been wonderful as several of my prayers have been answered. I can't believe praying works! This is crazy!!! I know that God can't answer all prayers, but I'm absolutely shocked that He listened to mine at all. I'm blown away! Granted these were little things... mainly prayers I've said for/about other people, but still... who would have thought He'd listen to little old me??!? I'm flabbergasted.

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's been a hard couple days at work.

I feel exhausted. I work 2 jobs... a total of 63 hours a week, but I'm a manager at one job, and my hours carry over into other "managerial" activities on my off time. BUH! So really most weeks, I'm away from home for 110 + hours.

I just can't wait to get in my jammies, wash my face, and climb into my nice warm bed tonight. I only sleep at home 3 nights a week (being that one of my jobs is an overnight job). I always appreciate being back in my own bed. What I look forward to most is snuggling up and digging into my bible. My reading is going slower than I would like... with the 2 jobs I barely have time for myself; however, when I do, I look forward to my good heart to heart chats and reads... see when I'm reading the bible, I feel my heart open up, and it's so much easier to talk to God and to think about Him. I find myself reading a few pages and then stopping to think about what I've just read, and if there are parts I stumble on I ask God for some help understanding them. Sometimes I just talk to him about what I just read. It sounds crazy, but it feels good. I love falling asleep with me, the bible and God chit chatting and reading away.

I always wake up feeling happy and refreshed in the morning. When I wake up (on days off, which is currently only Wed)... I get a cup of hot cocoa... and my morning Eggos with PB and J... and then, I finish up some more bible time. It's such a great way to start the day. It sets everything off on the right foot and it makes me more aware of my great responsibility and knowledge knowing Christ is truth and life. It makes me have a whole new outlook on the day.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

the color test.

ColorQuiz.comI took the free personality test!

"Her need to feel more causative and to have a wide..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

Working on Patience.

I've been working on my level of patience this week. In the beginning of last week, I lost my temper, and I said a lot of things that were very un-Christ like. I started thinking F* all of this. I hate this way of thinking!! I said many mean things, and I had quite the tantrum (this was alone in my car... but nonetheless, I was cursing at God).

I felt kind of bad for saying everything... and in the midst of my tantrum, I felt God pulling me closer to Him... instead of being upset with me for yelling and screaming He was trying to comfort me...and He was soothing me, and tugging at me to come back to Him.

It was the first time I ever felt that in my entire life. I tried ignoring it, but as my tantrum continued my heart started to quiet down a bit... and I felt sorry for my tantrum. I guess I can only compare it to a little toddler getting mad at his parents and screaming at them and kicking them for no reason. The parents may feel frustrated, but all they care about is the toddler's safety and getting him calmed down and happy again... because they love him. I am just a toddler in God's eyes. He loves me unconditionally, and He's trying desperately to help me learn and grow. I think now that I recognize Him, He will continue to gently pull me back on course when I start running a little crazy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Frustrated with Judgment.

I'm a little frustrated today. My penpal, a Christian, who is very dear to me attacked me in a recent letter. See, I referred to Jesus as my own superhero. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE BATMAN. So in this letter to him, I said, F*ck Batman! Jesus Rocks. He thought I was belittling Jesus by referencing Batman... but I felt it was my way of saying, "I hold no other Idols before Christ now".

Then, I referred to God as the Big G. I really can't think of a bigger G. My penpal attacked that too, and accused me of having a Buddy Christ mentality. He said he was against manga and all cartoony depictions of Christ, but I feel as if he shouldn't judge how others may find or get close to the Lord. I mean if some desperate teenager out there reads a comic book with depictions of Christ.. and in turn he investigates this Jesus guy further and falls in love with His teachings as I did, If he gets saved because he first got the idea about Jesus from a comic book, who's to judge that young teenager but God Himself!??!

I refuse to lose my personality or good sense of humor because I recognize Christ. These Christians can be as stuck up about "their" Jesus as they want. I think humor is a great tactic to get others to listen about the Lord. Maybe it's not for everybody... but it is definitely for some.. and I say Let God tell me He didn't appreciate being called the Big G on judgment day. I mean, really is there a bigger G out there? If there is a bigger G than the Lord all mighty, please step forward. Oh I didn't think so.

I would also like to point out that Orthodox Jews NEVER say the G word..and when they write about him on Paper.. he is just a BIG G. Saying Big G does not mean I do not recognize His power and glory. Anyone who steps forth to judge me or scold me should really be concentrating on his/her own sins before trying to pick a part my language. And if you don't like the way I talk, please don't talk to me.

G bless all of you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Coming out of the Dark Closet

I feel like for the last few weeks.. ever since I cracked open the New Testament in hopes of finding debate material and finding Christ instead... well, I've been embarrassed and shy and I feel like a huge hypocrite coming out with my new found belief system to friends and family. My mom is Catholic, and I'm finding her views on Christ and the bible... are vastly different than most Christians... and My pop is Agnostic himself... Discussing Christ with them, well they both look at me like I'm a little "nutso".

Slowly, I've outted myself to long distance friends online... my ex boyfriend *we were together for nearly 5 years* is one of my dearest friends now. I told him first... and he said he was relieved that I'm not an "atheist" but kind of a worried about how zealous I feel over Christ. He said... "It's really good to believe in God.. and have 'spirituality'... but don't get too crazy with the Jesus stuff". *sigh*

So then, I outted myself to a couple other people who just told me the same opinions *be careful where you go with that... don't get Evangical on us*. *sigh*

Then, finally last night, I came all the way out and I told my closest and dearest friend- Who's a a huge Dawkins fan and self proclaiming Atheist Science Extraordinaire. I was most scared to tell her, but in almost our first minute of talking She said "Don't worry, I will still love you even if you are a Christian". This sounds like a silly statement, but it meant the world to me. See, my world, my friends, family, acquaintances are almost all Agnostics... they all think Christians are "creepy".

So, my bestest friend and I had the bestest chat ever about God, Creationism, the Bible and Christ. It felt sooooo good to be really honest with someone about all my viewpoints and have them just listen to me and not call me crazy.

In other news, I'm finishing up on Exodus right now. Go Moses. I'm also joining a bible forum... where I hope I can ask questions and receive positive feedback.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A decorative coat, fear and Christ

Today, I picked up on my Genesis Reading again. I admit, I've been bored with the long lineage, absurd names, and bizarre sexual antics in Genesis. They haven't given me the lift that the Gospels did, that's for sure. Today though, I was enamoured reading about Joseph, and how God kept blessing him, in prison, in Egypt, etc. He was so lucky, or rather blessed. I think it was a great embodiment of the bigger plan... When Joseph's brothers tied him up and sold him to vagrants basically, one would have believed the Lord was not with him... But in the end, He was with Him the whole time.

The whole story reminds me of this book I am reading by Lee Stroble "The Case For Faith". Many people do not believe in a God because a loving God would not allow all the pain and misery that happens in the world, and a loving God would not allow there to be a "hell". The book analyses both of these complaints by Agnostics and Atheists. The summary of all that I read, basically stated that sometimes God has a bigger plan for those who suffer. Suffering now can mean abundance later... and really without the greatest pain how does one get to know the greatest pleasure?

The story took my mind off my Christ conundrum of yesterday that really had me baffled. I haven't received anymore clarity on the matter, but I know eventually I will.

Yesterday, I had a wicked vibe in my heart. My long distance lover suggested I start looking into churches, and I was instantly angered at the suggestion. Christians and churches have been my enemy for quite sometime. I feel I am light years away from embracing a Sunday ritual of that nature. I was raised in a church setting, and I received so much abuse from its members, that I turned to atheism. I am just now trying to separate God from that abuse. I have to be honest it makes my skin crawl thinking about being shoulder to shoulder with those same types of people again. They terrify me.

In other news, an interesting discovery today: When searching for bloggers I might dig reading, I found that only 1600 bloggers list "Christ" as an interest while 71,000+ list the Bible as one of their favorite books. What's with that? I would have thought the opposite for sure. Is Christ not the bible.. the very core of it? His words are in the bible, but doesn't he transcend to so much more? Isn't He in everything?!? In everyone?!? I thought that's what the gospels spoke to me, but I'm dissillusioned at how most people I'm stumbling across view Christianity... as if Christ is only a part of it. CHRIST IS IT. Christ is everything. Without Christ there is no bible, no Christianity, no hope, no love, no faith, no eternity, no morality. He is the whole shebang. He is the Truth. He is my Truth at least.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Needing Faith

So...I did my research. I now think that there not only *could be* but there must be a God. I also think Jesus was his Son, A Diety on earth.

I still have a lack of true faith though. I'm still not seeing how all the pieces fit together. Granted, I have not even finished Genesis yet, but I started feeling pretty lackluster with my new found belief system yesterday. There's a lot of stuff in the Old Testament that is hard to swallow. There is a lot of stuff, I just plain don't understand.

Yesterday, after a dentist appointment, I was driving back to my township- a city of only 50,000 or so. For most of my life, I've scoffed at the only Christian bookstore in town "The Manger". Now, I felt a need to go check it out... maybe I would discover this piece I'm having a problem with in my heart.

The store was like a maze, and I was quickly disturbed by the commercialism of Christ. There were a lot more people in it than I imagined as well, which should have made me happy? But instead it made me feel weird. Among shoppers there was a a woman with 3 small kids- Christian Rock was playing over the loudspeaker. One of the children said "listen mommy, it's your favorite song, you should buy that CD again". Buh. Then there was the store owner busy bodying his way around, "Oh Daphne, it's a joy to see you God Bless!" One minute later "Elma! What a delight! Praise Jesus, yes, that waterproof KJV would be perfectly suitable for your trip with Doug to the Camans. Only 79.99! Oh *laughs* for you a discount!" I found myself swirling among a rack of "hip" faith shirts... many were paradies of popular products like A&W Rootbeer ,Crush Soda, and Yoohoo. (ie, Yoo hoo He died for). I just felt kind of yucky seeing that... like... would Jesus have wanted His image to be so closely associated with something so cheap and disposable as a can of rootbeer? Who's profiting on these shirts? Are these people making money off of Jesus' image and life? I guess these items are called "Christian swag". Ugh. I just don't know about that...

In another section of the store I found a spinning "jewlery" case-- full of more Jesus propaganda. Not just simple cross pendants mind you, but big gawdy expensive jewels with the word "Christ Lives" or "True Love Waits" or other popular Christian catch phrases. The prices were ridiculous- $80 lime green watches with too many crosses to count embedded in their bands, $120 diamond headed Jesus crucifixes, Gold medalions with biblical quotes on them, the list goes on and on. Is this what being a "christian" is all about?

One woman ran in the store "I need an NAB with real life applications, red marginal notes and matching devotional journals preferably with pink covers for my teenagers... they are soooooo hard to handle.. Britney is downright unruly... blah blah blah". Ugh. In one aisle, I could have been killed between 2 soccer moms grabbing for the last "chewable" baby bible. "How soon til you get this back ?" one screamed over my head. Store clerk replied "about 4-6 weeks, but I can put a rush on it if you need". The 2 bickering moms looked at each other in dispair as one just dropped her quest and announced she would buy a "better one" in the next town over. I'm sure their babies will be bound for damnation without that chewable bible to gnaw on before afternoon snack. BUH. I wonder if it's flavored too. Double buh. Graham cracker scented maybe? BUH BUH BUH.

In my whirlwind around this store clearly set up by the antichrist- not MY JESUS.... I did find 2 books on Atheist-Agnostic questions- many of which I still have. I had spent so long in horror in the store, my old Catholic guilt kicked in and I felt I had to buy something. A catch 22 isn't it? I felt I was there for a reason though and that there *must* be something here for me. I found - 2 books-- One was "Answering questons of Atheists, Agnostics and Skeptics" by Ron Rhodes.. and the other was The case for Faith by Lee Strobel. A couple weeks ago, I bought A Case For Christ DVD by Strobel, and I was impressed at it's intelligent viewpoint and less than stuffy approach to bringing to light the history rather than the "legends" of Christ...

I bought my books along with 5 funny postcards to share with the man I love.... I know he will enjoy them.

Once at work, I tried cracking open the OT again, but I just wasn't feeling it. I had enough of incest and sexual temptressing and brothers killing brothers from the night before. I started reading Lee Stroble's book and it was absolutely enthralling! He basically investigated the 8 issues most Atheists and Agnostics have with Faith... with blindly believing....he doesn't just *talk* or preach... on each topic, he interviews highly reknown intellectuals and asks them the hard questions that nobody likes asking. Last night I read all about the issue of pain. How can a loving God, an all powerful God sit back and let so many people in the world suffer? How can something so Good allow for Evil? Isn't it impossible? Contradictory even? It was an intriguing issue, one I felt Stroble investigated and his interviews answered adequately.

It got me obsessing over one really big issue... an issue I'm having a hard time putting together in my head right now. Christ died for our sins? But how? I understand the crucifiction- physically... I'm just beginning to realize that Christ- God felt the pain of all humans in his death.. but how did that "save us" from our sins? In dying a physical death and in feeling all of our pain, our sins, He forgave us and opened the door to heaven? I guess this is a big dum dum moment for me because I'm just not getting it. Is it just because He filled all of His prophecies and nearly all of the OT prophecies? Is it just because He said so?! I'm missing a big piece to this puzzle in my head. All I ever hear is He died for us. I know He at any moment could have survived the cruxifiction... I understand that... But how did Him dying the way He did, how did that save us? I just don't get it.

I will pray for the answer. It's time for work now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last Night

Last night before heading out to my overnight job, I had the urge to get myself the entire Holy Bible. A few weeks ago, a client of mine gave me his new testament. It really did change my life. Now that I'm through the gospels however, I feel the need to read the whole story. I want to know everything! I want to read these prophecies of Christ arriving for myself.

So I bought a New International version (NIV) of the bible. I liked it because 1. It had cool maps in the back. 2. Jesus's actual words were highlighted in red. 3. It was only 5 bucks. I read the entire introduction first... how it was compiled, all the committees and time put into translating it accurately. I received a better understanding of how the bible has been passed on through time. I noticed right away however that the language is a little different than the New American Standard Bible, I am used to reading from. This NIV seemed a little harder to read.

I started with Genesis. I really thought I could finish it (the book of Gen) in one night, but whoosh. That is quite a read. I had to stop many times and think about what I just read. Get the whole picture in my head. I was surprised at how often sex, and incest, and adultry was mentioned. Like after Sodom was destroyed and those 2 daughters getting their father drunk and sleeping with him so they could carry on the family name (after their mother was turned into a pillar of salt!!!). Whoa. Wild and Sick~!

I found a lot of it dragged on with all the "tribes" and lineage and weird names I couldn't even pretend to pronounce in my head. I can't believe Abraham and Sarah were half bro-and sister. Wild! And Sarah beating her Egyptian slave after forcing her to "lay" with Abe. Geesh. I am hoping that later on in this story there are some rules established about incest because so far, I'm getting a tad grossed out.

The best part of Genesis so far, the only part that didn't appaul me in some way was Noah! The whole story was delightful! I especially loved the part where God made rainbows his covenant to Earth as a reminder so as not to destroy it's inhabitants again! That was pretty cool, I will never look at rainbows the same way.

So, I now am just getting up to Isaac time- being born to 100 year old parents and whatnot- his story should be somewhat interesting.

I guess that's all I have to say for now. It's really hard imagining some of this transpiring in my head. I hope when I'm done reading the entire book it will all come together. I've been praying that I will come to understand it, so perhaps I can inspire others to do the same.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

photoshop fun today

This is My Story

This is my story of how I began...

I found Jesus in the most peculiar way. After years of denying his existence, I met Him all alone, lying on my bed reading the one perfect book I was hoping to find full of flaws: The Holy Bible. There I lay, searching and searching for proof I could use against those pesky Christians. In my search, I found myself. Jesus always knew me.. he laid out my very essence in every page of this book. In His story, I existed. I finally realized, now is the time that I get to know Him.

This is my journey. This is everyone's journey. This is the path to the truth. The truth that is Christ.