Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tolerance and Secularism

I am a very tolerant and respectful person to other people's cultures, belief systems, etc.  I particularly respect many of the other major world religions - mainly because they actually live their faith.  What I am intolerant of, however,  is the westernized, modern day, secular society - which claims to be "Christian".  What a bogus idea that is! Materialism, exploitative business ethics, politicization, selfishness, vanity, sexually-wounded, "accepting" of immorality and immoral living; these are words that describe what our secularist society is, but not what a Christian society should be.  I am intolerant of the great chasm, this epically large divide, between faith and how that faith is transcribed into daily life.  I speak out about this now, because I know first-hand, all too well, how that great divide is causing so much pain, so much hardening of hearts, so much trauma to our souls - and I do not want my son to experience the same thing.

I believe that Hell is the absence of God.... so by definition, we are currently living in hell, because secularism is the removal of God from daily living; as Merriam-Webster puts it, it is the "indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion or religious considerations".  We live in hell, and it shows.  We remove God from our daily lives, and it shows.  We live with teenagers who have been given everything, but kill themselves over teenage angst, they see no purpose to life.  Life without God is meaningless.  There are 7 billion people on this planet.  How does anyone make sense of that? How does anyone manage to live their measly little lives without at some moment thinking what is the point of it all? We live in hell, where life is so meaningless, so easily discarded, that thousands of beating hearts are stopped daily in the most obvious genocide of our history in the wealthiest country in all the world; yet our voices are halted by the voices of those who say "women can do what they want with their vaginas".  Yes, they can, and that's why we were given the gift of reason as human beings. We can act reasonably, but now it's much more fun to get drunk and do whatever the hell we want and then be tolerant of it and accept it because we don't want to face any guilt or take any responsibility for our actions so we take pills or take our measly little selves to an office that doesn't care about us to "take care of the problem" that we can continue on with our little "happy" lives. Besides, it's so politicized that most people won't even look at the issue for what it truly is...

We live in hell, and we have people go off the deep end and kill and kill and kill and shoot and don't care and then are so dead inside they kill themselves too.  Because life has no meaning without God.

We live in hell, and now people want to protect themselves with guns more and more, instead of trusting and relying on their neighbors and focusing on strengthening the community more and more.... But as Jesus advised, "those who live by the sword will die by the sword".  Violence reaps violence.  Love reaps love.  Simple?

My soul is hardened to the Hell all around me, so now I am focusing on the Truth.  The one Truth, the one light, the endless love and mercy, the true peace of Jesus Christ....for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  It's amazing how freeing the Word of God is, how my heart burns during adoration, feeling this immeasurable love pour forth and swallow up all of the devastation that wracks my brain and heart.  It fills me up to the brim, it overflows, this love from Jesus.  This burning dove of the Holy Spirit.  This gentle whisper from Our Creator.

Thank you Lord, for your daily reminders of what this life is all about.... your kingdom, not only trying to get to heaven but to create heaven on earth. "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven".

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What I Believe

In light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school last week, I can't help but become pensive and stuck in wondering why these types of horrific shootings keep occurring in the United States these days.  Not only are the shootings inhumane and incredibly saddening, but the culture of death which is providing the fertile soil on which these tragedies take place is also saddening.  I see the general state of the American culture, which is rich in sin and poor in love, reflected in everything we are faced with on a daily basis in our media and social networks.  We are experiencing a poverty of love in our country, a loss of innocence and purity in all aspects of the word.

I truly believe that it is not my duty to judge others, to judge is not my purpose in life. God does not call us to judge our neighbor, he calls us to love our enemies and pray for them.  Thus, when I speak out against the sinfulness in America, I am not judging those who are committing the sins - I do not know their personal plight, I do not know what it is they are searching for in their lives.  But, I do feel I have a right to speak out against the actions themselves, which CAN be judged as either moral or immoral.  Yet, the voice of morality has been silenced in the face of "tolerance", and "acceptance".  I do not feel that God is calling me to silence on these issues.

Thus, I denounce all forms of homosexual love as impure, I refuse to believe that man and woman were made for anyone else but each other and that is a simple natural law.  I believe man and woman were created as balanced complements to one another and particularly complement each other in the raising of children.  I denounce the killing of any human, for thou shalt not kill is a pretty easy commandment to understand.  I denounce all forms of killing, from abortion to death penalty to random acts of violence to "protecting oneself".  I do not understand why anyone, other than people who hunt, would need to carry guns.  Personally, I would prefer to die than to take another person's life. I denounce theft, in all forms...theft of one's trust in the form of lying, of one's self-respect in the form of degradation and humiliation, of one's money or wife or one's possessions or one's identity... I denounce the secularization of our schools, of our workplaces, of our daily life - because without God, our nation cannot stand. Without God, we are a divided house. We are a lost people.  And we try to convince ourselves otherwise, that we can do this on our own because we value independence and being self-sufficient and individualism....but we were created for each other, to live in communion with each other and with God.  We cannot go it alone.  We cannot survive without each other. We need to value community and solidarity and trust in our neighbor.

I believe that there is more good in the world than we are aware of, because 24 hour news coverage only emphasizes the bad, the violent, the negative, the horrific, the jaw-dropping, the heart wrenching.  I believe that there are people out there who don't succumb to the lies of what makes a person successful in this life.  I believe that there are people who love wholeheartedly, who have strong marriages, who love their children selflessly, that are doing their best for friends, family, community.  But I believe these things are hard to believe in, when we are only told about the people who lie, murder, steal, betray, who ruin lives.

How did we get to the place we are in now?  By not serving God, but by serving ourselves, our selfishness, our sinfulness, our indulgence.  By betraying God and taking Him out of our lives.  We have dishonored Him so greatly.  We must work, as a people, as a community, for our very own humanity and redemption, to honor Him and beg Him mercy and forgiveness.  To work for His kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven.

Hello, Pain.

My good friend, Pain, has returned to me once again.  In full force, without warning, he has come back to squeeze my chest and press into my heart and make me feel as though I can't breathe, he has come back to encircle me with his other friends Loneliness and Despair.  They cause me to fear the future, to relive and regret the feel the weight of the world's depravity on my shoulders.  To feel it all come crashing on top of me like a ten foot ocean wave, pulling me down into my mind where I remain trapped for days.  Where I teeter on the verge of tears, because while my smile responds appropriately to the people around me, it is completely disconnected from the thoughts raging inside my head and worse, inside my heart.

My heart, which knows the capacity of love and joy to the point where it swells so large that I feel, in a similar way, that I can't breathe - due to it feeling so large it might burst like fireworks out of the confines of my chest. In contrast to now, my heart feeling so small, shriveled like a dying plant, withered and lifeless.  It beats pathetically, just doing the bare minimum to keep me alive.

The thing is, I never describe any of these emotions I feel as sadness.... because in fact, they are much deeper than sadness.  There is outrage, at the sin and society which embraces it, the malicious half-truths and misinformation that's so readily gobbled up by supposedly intelligent human beings, that I myself was such a stupid sucker in my search for the Truth, floundering about in the realms of happiness and freedom and personal rights; all of which have been warped into some sick illogical argument against morality and into this acceptance of sin as our right to our personal happiness...this idea of "do what makes you happy" regardless of it's frivolous disregard of all of the other people around you who you have an effect on. There is the loneliness which breeds hopelessness, which makes me feel that I have no idea what a soul mate even means and how will I ever find one.  There is the despair of how my voice, one tiny drop in this endless ocean, can ever make a difference in the crushing tide of secular society.  There is the vulnerability, of how the burning desire to stand up and speak out against the evils we face today will very likely bring resentment to my doorstep, in the faces and words of those who defend evil in order to justify their own actions.  I can't justify the actions of my past which is why I so vehemently speak out against them.... because I don't want other people getting these frequent visits from Pain.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Prayer of the Week

"May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart. 

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom and peace among all people. 

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

 May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Time is Love

I love this new song by Josh Turner, "Time is Love".  I love the idea that no, time is not money and we need to stop thinking of it in that sense.  Time is LOVE.  Think of how just spending a little extra time with someone is such an act of love, especially in today's fast-paced culture where everybody seems to be in a hurry.  for example in nursing spending just a little extra time with a patient thoroughly explaining something or just sitting to listen to the patient can be so meaningful to them.  When you truly focus on people as if they are the only thing on your mind at the moment, as if they are the most important priority at hand, people really notice that! I know that there were several mentors throughout high school and college, people who stick out in my mind when I look back, who made me feel that way.  I'd like to strive to be that kind of person to someone else!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Holy Week

This is an inspiring little quip from my Lent booklet:

"They (the early church - first 50 years after Jesus' death and resurrection) repeated the story of Christ's passion over and over because they knew the ending: The glory of risen life.  The ending made the passion a story of hope.  If God can take something this awful, this ugly, this humiliating, this senseless and transform it into something life-giving, meaningful, beautiful - then God can take the worst things we've done, or the worst things that have been done to us, and transform them.  In God's hands, nothing is unforgivable.  Everything is transformable."

Friday, March 30, 2012

October Baby Thoughts

28 Weeks, last trimester begins!
It's wild to look back on what I thought was a "baby bump" and realize it was hardly anything at all!  Now I truly have a pregnant belly, and Abe moves around and makes my belly move with punches and kicks.  I always wonder what he's doing in there when he is moving around, trying to get comfy! 

I went with my friend Jenny tonight to see the movie October Baby, and I thought it was a fantastic film.  It is about a 19year old abortion survivor - that is, her mother had a failed abortion attempt, and the baby was adopted by a family despite being born premature and having lifelong complications from prematurity.  She goes to find her mother, who at this point is a successful lawyer who has a daughter and husband.  The way they portray the pain that comes from abortion, and the healing and forgiveness which can come from God, is done so well.  They are not convicting, they are not condemning, and the movie just is powerful without being controversial.  I cried a lot during the movie, because I felt so much empathy for the millions of women who listen to society's lies every year.  The lies that LIFE isn't as important as having a career, or being wed, or having enough money saved up to have a baby, or being the right age, or being in the right circumstances. Sometimes, we just have to trust God with those things, that sometimes life is messy and complicated and not perfect, and that we have to embrace it and live each day with the faith that God will see us through. I feel for the women who listen to society's lies, and choose to ignore God's whisper in their hearts. 

I feel empathy for the women who live with decisions they have made and live with lies that they tell themselves to help ease the pain, to help psychologically justify the actions and yet are still searching for forgiveness - to forgive themselves and to find forgiveness from God.  It's out there, the forgiveness is there. I feel anger at our society for allowing this to continue, I feel anger that our society breeds misunderstanding on the topic and has politicized it to the point of no return.  Our culture finds so many ways of undermining the value of life, of disintegrating it's value to nothing - ignoring how it is a God given gift, that each day is a miracle, that we are created by divine design, that we are all unique and individual yet we are truly brothers and sisters - we all have the same basic needs and desires - but our culture becomes more inhumane each day.  We've gone from being a culture of individualism and personal freedom, to a culture of selfishness and self-centeredness; people can't work together for anything because everyone feels entitled to their way, to doing it how they want it.  We need to be turning to God more than ever these days, to seek our guidance and advice. We need to find answers in the Truth.  We need to re-establish the gift of life, and be true believers that EVERY life is beautiful.