Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Only Blaming God

Religion Is The Opiate Of The Masses

That's the correct phrase, true? I heard about God and Jesus when I was 12, I didn't hear this phrase until I was 14. It's easy to see why people want no part of religion, Christianity at least, when considering it from a purely practical point of view. Besides, it doesn't do much for one's self-esteem now does it?
1. You can't do anything on your own
2. You're a worthless, degenerate sinner/loser
3. If God chooses not to show you, you'll burn in hell and be tortured for eternity
4. The Bible can only be proven by itself
5. You must deny any scientific evidence that contradicts the Bible

The list continues but that's enough right now.
We may know that the Bible claims God has revealed Himself in His creation to all; " is without excuse." That's true as far as it goes. People DO see it and wonder, search, consider. So why would we blame someone for searching and finding answers in science? It's like telling someone you hid a gift in the house, they search everywhere and finally decide you made it up. You never told them you meant it was in the house next door, not this one. Then you're angry they didn't keep searching, didn't believe you, didn't care enough to continue looking? How do they know it's worth the trouble anyway? They decided you played a trick on them for some reason.
Does anyone think it reasonable to blame a child for not winning the Nobel Prize? Blame is irrelevant, a child and adult reasoning and knowledge really have nothing to do with each other.

I think "blaming", condemning someone for not knowing God is meaningless. Scripture says no one can come to Him unless He draws them. It's like Jesus's disciple asking him "What about him?" and Jesus answered, "What's that to you? YOU follow me." Scripture also tells us to let no one judge us but the body of Christ and it tells us our concern for correcting people's beliefs and behavior is limited to those in the body. Our lives should be powerful and peaceful to the point that others see and come to us about it, not the other way around. I don't know quite what I think about evangelism, we are to tell people. But I don't see that it's intended to "convince" people, it's merely to inform those God is calling so they get a clue what's going on. Aren't we told to keep our mouths shut and only speak when God gives us something to say?

The list at the top contains some things that are only people's ideas anyway and some that are possibly found in the Bible. Eternal torment in hell for someone God chose to make as a "vessel of destruction" most likely isn't quite how it works. I don't believe it's true anyway but most things can be proven both ways in the Bible. The whole hell issue is a huge debate for good reason. Universal reconciliation can be shown as truth in scripture as can God making evil people that won't accept Him and then destroying them. Free will is clear in scripture as is the total lack thereof.

There's no way to blame someone for not accepting God if He doesn't show them truth. Many think they have been shown but they find they've only believed what they've been taught by other people. And it doesn't hold up. Kind of like my understanding of quantum physics, I may understand a little bit but I don't see any relevance in my daily life. Eventually it may all be (for everyone) common knowledge, obvious and simple but it isn't right now. Spiritual things are that way.
Right now it's more like seeing rows of people blindfolded and chained to train tracks and we walk along saying, "Wow, they're dumb. Glad that's not me." Some of us know to say "Thank you God that you set me free from that." Still others are desperate to free those people but take no tools, they just yell at the people, Don't you see a train is coming?! If the people have been there their whole lives, do they even know their situation isn't 'normal'?
All these are poor analogies I know, but it's on my mind a lot, that we have to understand that no one can just CHOOSE to be different and understand what they can't. It's not up to us and it's not up to them. Blaming each other for not saving them is senseless, even if we come up to them with bolt cutters to cut off the chains, they'll fight us and only hurt themselves and us. We have to let God call them, let them know someone is coming, and we have to listen ourselves to know who is waiting for us.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

The Teaching Company has so many courses I want to take! One I'm especially interested in discusses the role neurobiology plays in individuality. I'm afraid to look again, is that the one that costs $519?! I just checked, it's not but at $255 it's still out of my reach. Time to hit the library and bookstores again.
So many fascinating things to study are available that it gets overwhelming, then also, knowing there's so much makes me wonder what good it will do to study all this. Each of us only has a relatively short time on this earth, what benefit is it to anyone to die with an abundance of knowledge?
One reason I want to study is because God amazes me more every time I find out something new that He has done. Not that it's new, or new knowledge, just new to me. Every perception and cherished belief that is destroyed is replaced by knowledge that reveals another entire layer of awesomeness. The very idea of that neurobiology course opens up all sorts of possibilities to me for seeing marvelous works.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's All About The Heart

Another reason I was able to see the difference I described in the previous post about the feasts is that I talked to my grandbabies' mother about their behavior. She was bemoaning the fact that they don't listen to her. When she gave me a couple of examples, I laughingly asked, "Haven't you ever heard of a wooden spoon?" She immediately responded that she will NEVER do that, it's abuse, I will never lay a hand on my kids.
If a parent refuses to spank a child, the kid misses out on the blessing of loving discipline but for a mother who has been abused (I think she may have been) and can not spank a child without thinking she's abusing them, her NOT spanking them is the blessing, because it's done out of love. Biblical discipline is the better way but her way is still loving her children and it's not wrong. She COULDN'T spank her children righteously. If she was always "beaten" no matter how it was done or how severely, she doesn't understand the love behind a true physical discipline that keeps a child off of a path that will do him or her harm. Motivation matters! Spanking your child because you see how their character is forming a little crooked and you know the likely future results of it and are determined to keep them from that harm, is SO different from hitting your child because he/she is getting on your nerves. At that point, it doesn't matter whether correction for their behavior is called for or not, it's not being done for the child.

I remember my parents "spanked" me once when I was way too old for a spanking. For a short time, I was furious and hated them for humiliating me like that. Like I said, a short time; it didn't take long before I was humiliated because I realized that, as old as I was, I had driven my parents to the point where they had no idea what to do. I knew it wasn't frustration they were "taking out on me", it was terror that I was not safe because of things I was doing. They loved me and were concerned to the point of fear! THAT'S what I did to these people who devoted so much of their time, attention, resources, and emotions to MY well-being?! I don't recall changing much of my behavior in my life but what I did do was make sure to show them how much I appreciated them and their care and concern for me. I tried to make sure I let them know I noticed and understood the things they did right as parents. God took an awkward situation that could have been disastrous to my relationship with my parents and brought good out of it. It's all about the heart.

The Feasts YHWH Called "My Feasts" (Lev 23)

On Heart of Wisdom, Celebrating The Biblical Holidays, Robin wrote:
If we celebrate the holidays to earn righteousness there is no reason to observe them. By celebrating the biblical holidays I am no better than my friend who chooses not to observe these days.

The first part concerning doing something to earn righteousness is what people usually argue if I talk about keeping the feasts of God. It's as if no one will acknowledge that one may keep the feasts BECAUSE God has shown them what is right. I'm always told that no matter my reasons, doing anything lawful is trying to earn my way to heaven. Makes no sense, is the only way to please God to disobey everything He's said?

That part doesn't cause me a problem, I know I'm not going to stand before the Father and say, "I get to come in because I did all these things you said to do." However this part of what Robin said in her post: I am no better than my friend who chooses not to observe these days did make a difference to me. Not that I think I'm better than someone who doesn't do these things, but that I'm behaving better, pleasing Him. Something about that didn't feel right. When I read that part of Robin's post, I finally understood what bothered me about it all.

I realize it's more like two sons, one lives as he's been taught, one flouts all authority. Yes, one son is more "pleasing" in a way but the pleasing is that you know that son is safe. The obedient son is receiving the blessings that come from doing things the right and beneficial way. We teach our children to do the things we think will best benefit them in their lives, even criminals do that, don't they? They think their children will need to know how to manipulate and steal so they can get what they need to survive in life. Our Heavenly Father actually does know what is best, the true best for us. If I obey what He has said, I'm not more loved or more pleasing, I'm in a position to get the blessings that come from doing things well. I'm safe and He doesn't have to worry so much.

Is this too fine a distinction? I don't think so. I don't even know exactly how we are to be keeping the feasts now. What I do know is that doing so reveals further truth and understanding to me. They show me that there is a real plan that's unfolding, we're not simply a group of creatures flowing along until a great cosmic spirit being gets too sick of us and destroys us all.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Church or just something to do?

This new church is something I can deal with as long as I don't consider the evening service as a "service" exactly. It's more of a time to hang out and enjoy yourselves kind of time. There was music, there was a sermon and it was where I needed to be but there was nothing that felt like a unified group of loving believers worshipping in the presence of the Lord. People were busy having conversations, popping up and down for refreshments (I'm totally serious, they served drinks and snacks); it was fine if I can see it for what was intended. I probably will go back and maybe get to know a few people but for church, for a service, I'll need to go in the morning. If I talk to someone after church, I want it to be about something that was spoken, something in the Bible, something about Yeshua or the Father and the kingdom, not about mundane things.


What a pain! Last night I finally went back to the church my friend told me about. The sermon was all about how our relationship with God is intertwined completely with our relationships with other people. Am I hearing this everywhere because God wants me to pay attention or is this the newest trend in preaching? It IS totally biblical. Or maybe it's just that I keep noticing it because it's what's in my mind. But why is it in my mind?
Perhaps I shouldn't have quit my job, perhaps I should have handled it differently with the guy who kept watching me. You know how you can feel someone's intentions when they're about to attack you even if you can't see anyone? There were intentions coming from this man but not quite the same - more like biding his time. Perhaps I should have taken the girl I was talking with at the time and just walked up to this guy and said right out, "I notice you keep showing up and watching me, did you need to talk to me about something?"
Just as I decide to try again to arrange things again so that I never leave my house, I hear a sermon that tells me too bad, you have to. Some people have a "calling" to missions, do I have to accept that my "calling" is to be with psychos and insane evil people? I don't know where He's trying to put me but I'm fairly certain I'm going to go kicking and screaming every step of the way.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kingdom - no new info, just musings

The Kingdom Of Heaven, The Kingdom Of God, it's here now, it's coming later, it is now and will be, it will be perfect - no sorrow or sin, it will still have people that refuse to "come to my holy feasts" - Revelation. I just read about the kingdom in a way that makes sense but I don't remember where! Seeking Things Above? Shield of David's Live Journal? Mending Shift?

He described how it is that the kingdom is, was, and will be. I have BEEN in the kingdom but of course, not the way I've always thought of it. Like in a distant and far-away from here heaven. I think the kingdom is being in the presence of the Holy One, fully in the presence. There is nothing the same then. But it's not the whole kingdom reality while we're in these bodies, on this earth. I keep remembering the book I read long ago by Ted Dekker called Blessed Child; in it he described experiencing the kingdom and I know what he means. It sounded like an experience people doing drugs report but not because I think the presence of the spirit of God Himself is what our reality is meant to be. Our brains are probably wired to work that way.

Once again I wonder what Jesus meant when he said he AND the Father would come be with us (believers) forever and never leave. Cosmic spiritual entity. Absorbed into one.
Two posts I erased described the weird, frightening situations at my work and the fact that I quit. This was right after I wondered if I was being shown how to love people and see them for what they are MEANT to be and not how we all are right now. I'm confused. Did I screw up by quitting? Should I have trusted God for safety and stayed in an environment that felt more like a prison or mental institution? How wonderful it will be if I ever manage to find a group of people (work) who believe in putting God and His ways first instead of thinking they're okay to follow until they get in the way! Every day I fight with the worry about loving a God who would make something like people and consider it a good thing. When I remind myself that His plan involves much more than what I see here now, I'm afraid that I'm justifying my beliefs to myself, that I'm really following an insane Deity. But I remember He showed me and He is everything, way beyond any thoughts I ever have. Once again I have to say, "Whatever. Do whatever, say whatever, put me wherever is right because I don't have a CLUE what you're doing here!" The dichotomy that is life usually leaves me feeling perplexed and hopeless. Is there really a point to all this nonsense and, if so, is it worth it?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Part Two

God puts His spirit in us, we act from that spirit, that's why we are now good, no longer the sinful depraved creatures we started as. We are now holy but does the spirit run everything we say, do, and think? Should, but no. Scripture tells us not to even speak without the spirit giving us the words, how many of us do THAT? We get a message we are to share and then expand it with our common sense and emotions. Perhaps we aren't supposed to do that. Isn't that why Jesus was often silent even though people were asking him things he "could" answer? He had already given the message God wanted the people to hear, they wanted to continue babbling about it all because they wanted to argue about it; God's answer was that they had heard, nothing more needed to be said, it was up to them to hear - HEAR which meant truly accepting and obeying what they heard.

When I wonder why it is that I'm not walking around living fully in the spirit, it's not that I withdraw from it necessarily, like I usually think I must be doing, I just don't know HOW. It's nothing I can do on my own, if God isn't giving me specific words to speak, interactions to have, actions to perform, what am I to do? Live my normal life always aware of any time His spirit gives me something to say or do. There are times when that happens, it's so different than when I just use my reason and common sense in a conversation - those times are when someone's eyes open wide and they look as if they've had a revelation or been struck by lightning. Because if God is speaking through me, it IS a revelation or message from heaven for them. This is why I wonder about some of the people in the Bible, because God gives ME things to say and do, but I know I'm not a walking oracle and that everyone should hear all my words as directly from the throne of heaven.
When we pray for guidance with a decision in our lives, is it that we should be realizing that it doesn't matter? Where we go and what we do in this life doesn't matter at all compared to who we're going and doing with. There have been times - very few, very very few, when I knew that torture, death, tragedy, don't matter at all. It was irrelevant to true reality, I saw it all from a whole different perspective but what do I do with that? I certainly don't WANT to be tortured or see tragedy for my loved ones. Asking to see things from HIS perspective and being granted it is confusing. It left me not wanting to waste time being here. It makes me feel apathetic about this life. I'm realizing right now, I started realizing last night (again?) that He's teaching me to love people somehow with all this. Normally people aggravate me and make me question God - if we are His glory, a crowning achievement, it doesn't say much for God. But I think I'm supposed to see people as He intends them to be and maybe He will give me a way to see it for themselves.

The Nature Of Interactions With God

It's hard to think of God as an entity, every word seems too small and limiting, too insignificant. God is the force of existence, the power, the very being-ness of everything. But He also interacts with us and that's just so bizarre. I don't see that God is like some huge person (man, woman, perfect "blend") because if He's as immense as He is, then we're like a speck in a microscope; how could He interact with us when our whole world is too small to withstand a breath? It seems we'd be more like sea monkeys in an aquarium in a child's room, the child may love the little creatures but would only be caring in a general way. Could a child distinguish between this sea monkey that helps the others and that one that attacks the others and steals food? Maybe so. God is more than a child but if He reaches in to help or change something, wouldn't it be like a child reaching in to a sea monkey and trying to do something specific? The very act of the child reaching into the water would disturb things and touching one would probably kill it due to the size difference.

I think this is how people in the Bible were in interaction with God, his Spirit filled them, at least for a time, and their actions showed there was another presence. I don't believe everything they said and did from then on was directly from God. Just like now, God may put His spirit in us but we don't seem to "hold onto it" very well. Are we to be a conduit? And if so, will it look the same in every person? How do our human personalities and understandings affect the message that comes forth?

This is why Jesus is seen as God by many I believe. He was full of the spirit and never acted on his own because God kept him in His presence always - when God does that, nothing of your own self seems to matter, there is no real desire to go anywhere else. We saw God in a human form and Jesus said we should be just like that as well. I definitely don't believe that all the immensity and everythingness that is God squished itself into a human man. Neither do I believe that God, the existence of everything, died.

Hear O Israel, YHWH our Elohim, YHWH is One, Blessed be the name of YHWH.
OR: Hear O Israel, YHWH is our Elohim, YHWH alone, blessed be the name of YHWH.

Jesus was the exact representation of the Father, when they looked at Jesus, they saw God. I know that scripture says there's no way to write all that Jesus said and did in a book but I sure wish they had written more! We have a few parables and teachings, a short scant record of his life, not enough! That probably was the point, we should be so full of the spirit of the Holy One ourselves that we're "writing" our own book with our own lives.

Friday, September 12, 2008

These Pictures Really Drive It Home!

This "cartoon" is really, REALLY good!
The Cross and The Pain. I need to think more about crosses that I carry, do I carry one? What exactly does it mean? I know it's typical church jargon, it's right in scripture, but I need some practical examples of what carrying your cross means.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Perspective On Trials In Life

WOW! I just read this older post from June 18 on The Internet Cafe, so incredible! It's called The Fourth Man.

Here's one part I especially like:
It is my desire to walk through the furnaces that God allows in my life in such a way that those passing by will be able to see the “Fourth Man” walking with me!

What a prayer and a hope to carry with you through trials - once again it's all about glorifying the Lord in all things.

Entrecard Won't Let Me In!

Entrecard Won't Let Me In!!! For a couple of days now, I can't sign in to I & R here to drop cards and I'm quite annoyed. For help, I have to send a call for help from my dashboard - HELLO PEOPLE! I can't get there!
Maybe I'll just pretend I need a new password and that will fix things somehow. Or something.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Reason To Live Fully

I don't see that life is a gift; it's just what is and what we deal with. I started praying and asking God to show me why one should care about living or dying instead of just dealing with whichever comes. I prayed that and then found this:

Psalm 71:18 (David's prayer) Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O Elohim, forsake me not; until I have shown your strength unto this generation, and your power to every one that is to come.