Thursday, April 27, 2006
Hi, I'm Devon, I wrote this story . What story you ask? The story of how I wanted to be a Christian. Do you want to hear it? Well, then buckle your seat belt and hang on tight .
Since I was three years old (when I first learned about Jesus) I wanted to know if he was actually real. So I studied the Bible and on my birthday (June 8th) I dreamed that I was a Christian. I've been having the same dream and it keeps going on and on. That's when I met my best friends Jacke and her husband and since then I've been going to Church with them and I learn more about Jesus every day and I owe it to them.
Jacke is the reason I am writing this story.
My dream was that I was at least 22 years old and I was at a church called A Church of Jesus and since I was three, when I had this dream, I dreamed that I had helped half the people on earth become Christians. In my dream, I was continuing to help people around the world until someone shot me in the head and then I have been trying to follow this dream, just like Martin Luther King, he is one of my favorite people in the world, I honor him, but not as much as I honor Jesus and so far my life is going well just as I hoped, in my dream, before I was shot.
I know that my dream has a thirty percent chance of coming true and if you are a Christian maybe you have had the same dream, if you are a kid or if not, and if you are reading this story I hope that you will do the same thing that I am trying to do because I know that Jesus will look down upon you with a smiling face. When your time has come you will be congratulated in Heaven so if this happens I want to meet the people that have read my story and if they have followed it I will congratulate them.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Is honesty in dialog important? I don't believe true dialog can exist without it.
In my last post I mentioned that I am willing to give a person, in debate, the benefit of the doubt unless and until they have proven their own intellectual dishonesty. When debating or having a discussion with another person and facts are pointed out, giving clear direction to a conclusion but the opponent refuses to concede the truth, there is no point in continuing a discussion or debate. It is futile. I could ramble on, citing example after example of intellectual dishonesty in political debate but I am certain that we have all experienced it. I once had a person try to pass off an after the fact, manufactured email to prove something had been said before she ever said it, she lied rather than admit the fact that she had not said what she claimed to say. What is it that causes people to feel they need to win every argument, even if it means lying to do so? Is it a part of this elusive "human nature" which Dr. Philip Slater claims cannot be defined? Is winning so important? I engage in debate because I like to learn. Sometimes I learn I am wrong about something...God, grant me the ability to admit my mistakes, to learn from others whom You place in my path and not by accident.
The Bible tells me that I am to have a teachable spirit. That means I must be willing to be open minded and not expect that I know more than every other person to whom I speak or write. Yes, I am aggressive, as someone once described me. I very aggressively seek the truth and become frustrated when others don't share that same insatiable desire for truth. Oh, sure, I know I make myself sound pious, like all I do is seek the truth, I assure you I'm not fooling myself into thinking I'm pious. I can get off track like anyone else, I have an ego like everyone else and if not careful I can let it get the better of me. But the goal...the goal should be to have that teachable spirit, to really listen to what others are saying, to be open minded about whether what they are saying is true or not, to accept the truth even if I find it distasteful and not compliant with what I would like to believe. How can we grow in the spirit if we are closed minded to the truth?
Elizabeth Cady Stanton said: "Reformers who are always compromising have not yet grasped the idea that truth is the only safe ground to stand upon."
So, what is truth and where does one get it if one does not believe the overall message of the Bible? As a Christian the Bible is my instruction book. It has been hard for me to imagine how people form their own foundational truths if they do not use the Bible for some sort of moral guidance. Thank God that He still allows me to learn. Thank God for His simple (sic) commandment, Jesus said that if you live under that commandment of love..., " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.' " ...that everything else will fall into place, or anyway that is what I think he means. I interpret this to mean that if you are sincerely loving God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself that you can't help but keep all His commandments. These two commandments don't make null and void all other commandments, it just means that if you are genuinely and wholeheartedly engaged in the practice of keeping those two commandments that you won't break the others. The only problem is, other than Jesus Christ, Himself, none of us are capable of agape love on our own, we must all rely on God because of that, the first Bible verse quoted is most important, when we take that into consideration, and so I repeat:
"He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him." John 7:18 NIV
And I'm left with my own weakness. Thank God that we can rely on Him to help us! Thank Jesus for his precious blood!
Truth is not relative and only God has it.
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 (and ouch, there's that *intolerant* thang Jerry Falwell recently took such grief over) ;)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
So, I've been thinking about blogging for some time. Sometimes when there is so much going on in the Nation and the world it just overwhelms me, my thoughts go all different directions and I don't know what to blog on first...so I end up not blogging anything at all.
Those of you that read my last actual entry will be aware that I have been questioning my heart. I am still questioning my heart. Here are some personal thoughts, nah, not very spiritual, that's for another day.
I have, in the past, when debating people of a different political persuasion been called aggressive, a political whore, a fascist, a liar and a Nazi. Because of my s/n I have been called Flooz intead of Fleur, Flour, Flower, Floop, a blind sheep, a GOsheeP, a drama queen, living in denial...oh, I'm sure I could go on and on and never find an end to the wondrous names which I have been dubbed with, I'm sure that I have, quite, forgotten a few. I've been accused of being a troll with link provided to the description of an internet troll so that others could be educated about my *kind.* What have I done to deserve this? Told the truth. Expressed what was on my mind. Shared my opinions. That is my great sin.
So, there comes a time when it could be wise to do a little introspection. I've been doing a little introspection and what I have concluded is this. I tell the truth. Sometimes I tell the truth a little too bluntly. I generally don't start a fight and generally do not call names but do not back down when someone questions my intelligence or the basis for the formation of my opinions. I find that I am a fairly humble person. I am generally willing to give a person the benefit of the doubt, unless and until it has been proven that the person I am dealing with is intellectually dishonest, at that point I find it easier to joke around, sometimes at another's expense, than to actually try to dialog with a person. This happens more often than not and I have found very few people who will examine facts unemotionally and be willing to come to a conclusion based on those facts. This, sorry, is a liberal trend, I really didn't want to go down that road but I can't seem to help it, it's that honesty thing that I just can't seem to control. Honesty has such a hold on my life I cannot ever remember not feeling its grip. I was that stupid kid who couldn't lie to my parents to save my own hide. I was that stupid kid, who when asked a direct question was simply compelled to tell the truth even if it meant a switching across the back of my calves. That's the kid I was.
In today's world the truth doesn't seem to be as valuable to people. People seem to want to flow in one direction, then slide like silk on porcelain back the other direction. People are no longer firm but fluid, opinions change with the temperature. I am not one of those people. What's funny is that I must have been so young when I was given the message not to lie that I can't remember it. It must have made a huge impression on me because I never remember being any other way. Is it quirky to be an honest person? I get the distinct impression that it is considered a quirk and a weakness in this age. I find that so hard to fathom that I just can't even grasp it, it is like letting go of reality all together and sinking into insanity. So...heh heh...you think I'm honest or insane? What a tangent.
- Illegal immigrants are flooding into the U.S., literally flooding into the U.S. I have written numerous faxes to my Senators and Representatives. Maybe I'll share them sometime. The issue is National Security. How are we to believe that G.W. Bush, the President re-elected, primarily, because we all felt he would keep our Nation secure, will keep us secure when he allows illegal aliens to pour into our country unchecked? Who are these people? We don't really know, do we? The idea that it is a bigoted or racist position to want our laws enforced is simply so ridiculous it doesn't even warrant comment here.
- Cynthia McKinney played the race card. She needs to be charged with assault and be held accountable for her actions. Period.
- Tom DeLay: one of the charges of conspiracy was thrown out. Haw.
- Cindy Sheehan took her entourage down to Crawford for Easter. Whoopee.
- Tom Cruize, I suppose, has already eaten his baby's placenta. Icky poo!
- Scott McClellan resigned.
- Karl Rove will be playing more politics and less policy. :0
- Disgruntled retired Generals are calling for Rumsfeld's resignation. (Get a life)
- President Bush is "the decider." Hoo-raw!
- A Proud Liberal is posting more and more anti-Christian articles, or anti - "Conservative/Evangelical" Christian articles.
- The Progressive Christian movement is slowly finding its voice in Washington, in our politicians, why, Hillary says that we would have deported Jesus if he were alive today!!! (puhleeaase)
Oh geesh, I've got a neck ache and I'm not finished...
To be continued....
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
The little time I've spent online lately I've had most of my focus on the small political debate group of which I am a member and to be honest, that hasn't been very satisfying or rewarding either.
Why does God make us who we are, how do we get to be the way we are and what brings us to turning points? Dissatisfaction? Hard times? Perhaps not enough time spent in prayer? The gifts we have...I haven't chosen to use mine well at times. Have I grown? Am I bitter? Am I hardened from arguing politics? From arguing theology? From arguing about where Christian conviction should lie? From all those things I must admit I've hardened but I don't believe I've hardened from caring about people. When or where is the line between trying to expose to another a flaw in reasoning and becoming petty? I fear I have become petty, no, I know I have been petty at times.
I know, I absolutely know, that all of us are sinners, that all of us fall short of the glory of God, that all of us have within us the capacity to hurt, to anger when we intend to help and to discuss, to enlighten and to share and I know, I absolutely know that the motives of our hearts are what God judges.
I question my heart.
I question the innermost part of my being, the part God wants to know intimately, the part I have neglected to share as I should. God has planted in me the want to know others as intimately as I want to share that part of myself with others, my frustration at not being allowed to see that realness in others sometimes causes me the worst sort of despair, the worst sort of wonder about what it all means, about whether it is all worthwhile, about what I am doing, about why and about what difference it makes, if any at all.
And then. Then I realize, and it's about time. Then, I remember. God. My God. How great Thou art!
Forgive me, God for being such a miserable human being full of petty thoughts, full of diversion away from You. Where are You? You are in the eyes of my Mother, who needs me, who calls to me. You are in the eyes of the children who look to me for guidance and actually value the example you alone enable me to set. You are in the eyes of my husband just before he kisses my mouth. You, dear God, are in the quiet, in the questions. Only You hold the answers.
"11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1 Kings 19:11-13 (New International Version)
I wonder. What have I been doing here?