Saturday, February 28, 2009

Taking God for Granted

Our discussions at my Wednesday night small group have hovered alot around this idea we take God for granted. We approach God as we would a nurse, wanting him to fix us up, not even considering that he has our lives in our hands. We ask him to take sin out of our lives as if we shouldn't have to work hard to live a Christ like life, even though he sent his son to suffer and live a sinless life. Our God is the one who created everything. He's the one that flooded the earth, the one that destroyed Soddom. He has placed kings in power, and stripped their power from them. Why do we approach a god with so much power as if he was tame. It reminds me of The Chronicals of Narnia where we are constantly reminded that Aslan is not a tame lion. Our God may want a personal relationship with us, but he is not tame.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Feelings... All These Feelings

I've realized lately how much a base my Christianity on my current feelings toward and about God. I'm not sure to what extant I should be worried though. I grew up being taught that we need to have this deep emotionally connected feeling with God, which I do sometimes. I was also taught though that our emotions shouldn't determine our relationship with God because then when we aren't feeling close to God we'll walk away. I've been struggling inwardly in my faith ever since middle school when I determined that I wasn't a worthy Christian. Honestly though I'm not, but that realization rocked my faith to it's foundations, and I've spent most of my life since feeling like a hypocrite, and fretting over my salvation. Over the last 3 years or so I've started to develop more of a comfort I guess in my faith where my emotional highs and lows haven't equaled religious highs and lows. I can't but feel though that I'm missing out as a Christian, that somehow I'm not really a Christian, and only pretending. I see my friends feeling these deep spiritual callings, only to deviate from things they were certain of a few years before, and I wonder who is the better Christian. I haven't felt God's guiding hand telling me I need to do something in years. Am I a deficient Christian? There are so many around me with a passion and a zeal I've never had, and it makes my faith feel worthless.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hosea 2:2-8

"Contend with your mother, contend, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband; and let her put away her harlotry from her face and her adultery from between her breasts, or I will strip her naked and expose her as on the day when she was born I will also make her like a wilderness, make her like desert land and slay her with thirst. Also, I will have no compassion on her children, because they are children of harlotry. For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has acted shamefully for she said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink. "Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. "She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them then she will say, 'I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now!" For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.
When I did my scripture reading the other day this was not the scripture I planned on reading. God has a way though of changing things around on you. I read this, and it really hit home. How many times have I gone through a dry spell in my Christian walk and sought out things other then God to fill me, only to turn back too God when I decide that he's all that can fill me. I've played the harlot spiritually. As I go through a time in my Christianity where God doesn't always feel close I need to be secure in our relationship, and seek my refuge in him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name Is?

Lately I've been thinking about what makes a Christian a Christian. God hasn't given me any particular deep insight on this, it's just whats been disturbing my thoughts. I think of the early followers, I think of the bible, I think of our modern teachings, and yet I can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for in any of them. What is it that makes me the Christian God wants me to be?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Uber Update

So much has happened in these last 2 days, that I need to write my thoughts out all at once, so it's uber post time.

Where I'm At

Over the weekend I thought alot. Just to start small and work up, I discovered I still have some latent feelings for a good friend that I've liked off and on since high school. I have no clue why I get this way every time I see her, but ya, it bothered me this weekend that that still happens. Only reason I bring this up is because it just amped the feeling of loneliness I get when I'm together with my friends who are dating. Not long into the weekend though this feeling almost disappeared. I spent alot of time getting to know some people who I don't spend enough time with. Also, I had some fun watching two of my friends flirt :) Second part is the trip that was supposed to help solidify my faith just threw me into more confusion. The basis of my faith is still strong, the bible makes sense, and I still believe. Yet spiritually many things that have always helped me spiritually just felt like empty ceremony. I found myself looking at the cross, and saying I don't get it. I kneeled there taking communion and all I could pray was make me understand lord. It's not that I don't feel God's presence anymore, but more that everything around me seems empty and hollow. I'm reading this and all I can think is how poorly these words describe this struggle going on inside. I've never felt that my Christianity was so empty, and yet God feels so alive to me. I admitted to my friends this weekend that I've been struggling with feeling God's love, not just feeling it on me, but even feeling a need for it. Also I have struggled in the extreme with showing Christs love to others alot lately. I've also made the decision to try and reconnect with my brother. When he walked out of our lives about 2 years ago he made a point of not contacting me, and I therefore made a point of ignoring him. I guess on some level I was hurt, which only made it easier to reject him. Lately though I've been missing him, and have felt God's calling to put forth the effort to meet him where we are at now, rather then waiting for things to change. After today though I know for certain that God is pressing on me to make that connection. Oh yeah, I'm also sick, and my neck hurts.

Thoughts From The Weekend

Poor Theology

Alot was said this weekend about casting away wealth and experiencing God's restoration. This obsession our church (the church as a whole, not a specific one) has with eliminating wealth scares me. At first I thought it was just because I dislike Christians trying to marginalize other believers as less Godly because they have more then you. Now I know that it's also because I'm afraid of loosing what I have in life. Don't get me wrong, if I had to give everything up I would, I just wouldn't enjoy doing it, and let's face it, God doesn't enjoy it when we follow his will reluctantly as if it's a chore. I'm still not a fan of this anti wealth theology, but I have more of an appreciation for it then I did.

Modern Gnostic's

This weekend Nate talked a bit about gnosticism, and the similarities to the modern church. It's interesting though in terms of history, that Christians (even you kindly postmodernists) seek to undermine other Christians beliefs with this idea that your not a "real" Christian without the correct theology.

Okay, I'm tired and loosing focus, so ya might as well stop there.
I need to get post my testimony on here some time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Choosing Electives

I've heard discussion before on wether or not certain church activities help promote the church, and wether the church can, or should indorse them. For example, does having an official church baseball team further God's kingdom? Or if the church takes a group to go see a rated R movie does that reflect well on the church or Christians in general? Although I find these discussions somewhat pointless I've wondered lately why we dont ask these questions of our everyday lives. When we rail on about saving the earth, and fight with people who don't agree are we furthering God's kingdom? Does the fact that I've taken up brewing allow me more ministry oppurtunities? Is it my activities, or my actions that will allow me to live a life above reproach?