i've come to the conclusion that waiting to find out what an out come of a certain situation is has got to be far worse than actually knowing the outcome or where one stands. even if the out come or answer is not what one was hoping for, it provides one with closure or a means to take active measures to tackle the situation at hand.
i've been grappling with several of my own challenges and my mind has been battling it out and weighing things out and trying to figure out what steps to take with the answers i will/or will not get. my mind is like a pendulum right now as it swings from one end to the other with possible scenarios and out comes.
it sure would be nice to just turn it all off and "not worry" about things, but this is easily said and not easily done. i suppose that in the mean time i am learning lessons along the way, learning things about myself, what i want, what i need, and how to rely on others and share my experiences to gain further support and get a different perspective.
some of these challenges i know i will get answers too. some of them i know i will have to be patient and things will work themselves out on their own. some of them i fear, i will never get an answer too, and the hard part will be getting my own closure along the way so that i can move forward.
either way, in time, i know things will be better...it's just surviving the journey and making it count that's the hard part.
for now, all i can do is pray about it and talk about it with people that i trust and rejoice in some of the things i have learned along the way.
|I think I will occasionally share some of my personal journals on stuff that I have been looking into/learning...questions/observing/etc. Some of it may be a little unstructured but perhaps you will get something out of it too or have some of the same questions or be able to share an experience. Feel free to comment.
Jan.27 - evening
Felt inclined to look into the scripture John 1:18 a little deeper. I will post a few translations of the greek text.
"No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him ." -NKJV
"No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him." -NLT
"No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day." -MSG
This verse is in reference to Jesus Christ and how he makes God known.
How can I understand this scripture for myself: Think about myself and some of the inner stirrings I have of love, caring, passion, compassion, hope, empathy, sympathy, that I have but are locked away in my heart...I know these are good things that are there, but people may not know they are there...may not know what is at "the heart" of me...
So how you would you know this...you get to know me...
NOW: relate this to God. What is at the "heart of God?" How do we know who God is? How do we get to know Him? (No one has seen/known except the "begotton Son"/Jesus who is IN THE BOSOM of the father.)
IN THE BOSOM - Jesus has seen God
- indicates a personal intimate relationship
- close to the Fathers Heart (eis ton kolpn tou patros...direct greek scriptural translation)
So Jesus has come to actively live out through his life the Heart of God so that we may know who God is.
Jesus...through his life: exegetes God
(exegetes God...aka: explains God, reveals God/ declares God/ makes God known)
(exegesthai translates: make known)
SO if we want to know God/see God: we get to know Jesus/study Jesus/Jesus' life declares him.
Q. HOW DOES THIS SCRIPTURE CHALLENGE ME PERSONALLY?
A. It challenges me to get to "know" the heart of God through Jesus Christ. It challenges me to know more about Jesus. (Exciting!)
Q. HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT JESUS/GET TO KNOW JESUS MORE PERSONALLY AND INTIMATELY?
A. -Through the Bible
-By others examples
Implications: In looking deeper into who Jesus is, I question what it all means. There is a bigger picture. How does this all impact my life. The more I learn the more I see that there is a bigger purpose behind everything and that I want to be a part of it...that God has a purpose for my life as well. I want to become more like this "Jesus character."
So now the question becomes: How can I become more like Jesus?
It's not often that I am influenced in a way that impacts my life in a big way...but every once in a while I am challenged to look a little deeper, dig a little harder, and get excited about discovering the truth. (I like to think of it as God knocking at my door really loudly and getting my attention.) It's nice to be able to share something positively on my blog for a change. Weren't you tired of the hum drum?!?
About a month ago on a whim my dad and I decided to check out a new church. I had expressed to him in the past that I was disenchanted with the churches of today and how I felt that I either did not measure up or fit in to todays church mold. I felt like I wasn't being true to myself because I felt like I had to paint this pretty picture perfect Christian Life in order to honour God and my fellow Christians and not make them look bad.
Well I could not live up to that expectation (albeit some of it was my own and I had let myself down.) I was embarrassed that I did not fit the typical mold. I suffered from depression, I had and still do have many hurts, struggles, and bitterness; I did not feel life was worth living despite the hope I was suppose to have. I felt like a failure because I lacked the passion that people had for their faith; I never had this mind blowing spiritual awaking/experience with God that some people had.
I thought there was a formula I had to figure out and perform in order for me to be in the right place for God to make a connection with me, and that because I could not figure this out I was not loved or valued by God. The expectations were to high.
So I stopped going to church. I directed my bitterness and anger at God. I did not lose my faith and what I believed but I secluded myself from Christian people. I sank deeper into my depression. I lived each day in despair and desperation with out any hope for tomorrow.
I don't know when things started to change. Perhaps it was one of those long nights when I bitterly called out to God to change things...prove that He was bigger than all of my pain. I was not going to live another day like the day before. He some how gave me the courage to speak up and start asking for help from family members...which led to my dad speaking up about it to other friends of the family...who in turn, invited us out to THE MEETING HOUSE.
I agreed and decided to go one Sunday morning. I went with no expectations. I was very pleasantly surprised and amused when the sermon started with a film clip from Monty Python. Oh and it is held in the Silver City Movie Theater in Ancaster with Satellite broacasting from the Oakville site.
I sat silently in disbelief as almost all of my thoughts and insecurities were addressed as if the teaching Pastor Bruxy Cavey were speaking directly to me. Even some of the terms used by Bruxy were humorous terms that the average joe would not get...such as Bruxy using the word "symbology" instead of symbolism (which if you did not watch Boondock Saints (over and over again like me) you would not have picked up on the inside joke of the word.)
So God met me right where I was...with all my hurts, all my bitterness, and all my cynicism in a way that I can relate...through humor, sarcasm, creativity, intellect, and love.
I wouldn't say my life has been turned upside down. I am still me...I still have many things to deal with, lots of anger and frustration. They just aren't a stumbling block anymore or a barrier for me to connect with God. I can call out to him despite my circumstances. He will meet me right where I am. I don't have to be ashamed or embarrassed.
And if that means I am having a day and don't want to face the world on a Sunday...I can still "have church" at home and be challenged. And so I challenge you as well...don't take my word for it...check out a pod cast yourself online in the comfort of your own home. But be warned, you may laugh out loud. You may be entertained. You may be challenged to think and not take things at face value.
SO...here are a few links to get you started:
(This link WILL OPEN up your iTunes to the podcast download page. You will need to hit the SUBSCRIBE button at the top of the screen to enable you to download the episodes.) Download the file with the M4V extension for the lesson.
These are video Pod Casts so I also suggest NOT USING iTunes as it will suck the life out of your computer and make the video choppy so for the sake of humanity if you do not already have it download, install and use VLC Player. It's free and dreamy! CLICK HERE for immediate download.
Apparently you can also live stream the video casts but I have one of those prehistoric computers...but if you don't check out THIS LINK instead. I suggest visiting it regardless because it also contains valuable notes and opening quotes to each sermon as well in PDF format.
Oh an one other thing...if you download a podcast you may have absolutely no idea where the destination file is being downloaded/saved to. I had to do a search because for me it was saved under my Docs/Music/iTunes/Previous iTunes Liabrary/Pod Casts...whats with that.
I suggest you start off with the GOD DEBATE series...a 5 part series as follows:
#1 - Our Common Ground
(Where Christ Followers And Atheists Agree)
#2 - Adventures In Missing The Point
(How Very Smart People Say Very Silly Things)
#3 - The Whys And Why Nots
(Evidences For And Against God)
#4 - Debating Darwin
(Why Evolution Is A Red Herring)
#5 - God And Suffering
(The Best Reason To Believe - & Not To)
additionally the following 2 sermons were added to the block:
#6 - Cleaning Up The Mess
#7 - What Convinced Me
It is cool to mention that at the end of each sermon if time permits, Bruxy opens up the floor for people in the church to ask questions. Another cool thing he does too is on his commute home he records his thoughts and additional things he wanted to say and uploads them as a mp3 Pod Casts. I always find these amusing and a nice follow up addition to the Sermon.
I think it would be really cool that if anyone reading this checks out a Pod Cast that you get back to me and let me know what you thought. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org