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Archive for May, 2013

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I stared across the room, jaw open in wonder, as my friend took the stage in a form I had never seen before. Suddenly, my kind and gentle friend was storming into a scene with such passion and emotion I felt for sure he was either going to hit the girl standing in front of him or pop a blood vessel reproaching her.

“Do you think I can choose my face?” He bellowed with his eyes flaming in anger that only intensified as he raged seconds away from the trembling girl’s body.

I breathed a sigh of relief as he put the script down and jauntily walked up to me after the director nodded her approval. “Whatcha think?” He asked, his smiling meeting my face of shock.

“I think I don’t know you.”

***************************************************

Have you ever known someone for years, then suddenly realized how much of them you didn’t know?

I told you about this moment I had with a dear friend of mine to open up my point:

I knew this guy. We had been friends, talk, and hung out all before- yet right at that moment, I saw a side of him that I could have never even guess was there. One moment I thought I knew every side of this kid, now I realized just how much I had to learn about him.

This is the way I find most of us view God in. We see one side of him and assume that is all of Him.

Growing up I only saw God as this strict fatherly figure. A father who was always there, yet only interested in teaching me lessons. Have you ever seen those fathers on TV shows or in books? The ones who are always present in their children’s lives, yet only really interacting with them when they are giving them a lesson to learn or trying to teach them something.  In the book, Hard Times, the father of Louisa is only interested in cultivating her and her brother’s studies. Everything else, such as quality time, is out of the picture.

I sort of felt just like Louisa did by the time she grew up; I respected my father, but I didn’t feel connected with him. (This is where the similarities end with me and Louisa)

Yet- I have heard people talk and gush about the love and kindness of God, so what was I missing?

I was missing a whole other side of God. In the midst of only seeing God in this way, I missed out on his actual character. I missed out on the core reason God wants to teach me.

I now hold God in the respect of my Father, but I know him also as my lover.

In today’s society the idea of having God as my ‘love’ or ‘lover’ is probably gross. BUT DON’T MISUNDERSTAND!

God being a lover is first brought up in the Bible under the Hebrew word ‘Ahava’, which is translated into two different parts. The two ending letters, which make up the base of the word, mean ‘give’. This leaves the proceeding letters, which mean ‘love’. So the end connection of these two words would be, ‘Love is giving.’ (Excuse me if this doesn’t make much sense- my Hebrew is elementary. Link for the word study will be posted below)

Our God is a giving God, huh? What kind of giving are we talking about?

Let’s do some research:

“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord.” Jer. 24:7

God gave us a heart to know Him. His first gift made us in His image (look in Genesis). Meaning He gave us the emotions He himself has- He gave us this longing that can only be fulfilled by knowing Him, hence He also has the same longing to know us.

He wants us to want Him. He longs for us to have a personal relationship with Him! Can you believe it? The Creator of EVERYTHING wants to know ME. I get shivers just thinking of that.

So now we know He gave us a heart longing for a personal relationship with Him, but what does this personal relationship include?

Salvation from damnation is the first thing that comes to my mind, however, what comes after that?

If He wants a real relationship with me, He won’t just save me and leave me.

The story of Hosea shows the outline of our relationship with God. In the story Hosea goes out and marries a harlot. He loves her, she leaves him. She gets into danger, he saves her. He shows her love, she grows restless and decides to seek out something better. Ring any bells? He is always there for her, reaching out to her, yet she is constantly striving to find something more, without giving him the chance to show her what he has for her. But now, now I am done looking for other options and am seeking this personal intimate relationship with God. So what does he have to say about it?

“I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her so she cannot find her way.

She will chase after lovers, but not catch them; she will look but not find them….

Therefore, I will allure her; I will lead her to the desert and speak tenderly to her.

I will give her vineyards and the Valley of Trouble a door of hope,

There she will sing praises as in the days of her youth.”

~Hosea 2: 6-7, 14-15

I skipped some verses only because it talks about what would happen if I was not walking with God, but I am, so they hold nothing but warnings for me. Currently, I am only interested in learning what God wants in our relationship.

First off he states he will ‘block my path so I cannot find my way’- the way I see this is that God knows that the only way we can be saved is through Him. Therefore, He steps in to save me, again. Because, even as a follower of God, I still sometimes want to go out on a mission to save myself. Self-reliance and feminism is taught to many girls and I certainly have a hankering to proceed in that lifestyle. However, that is not true feminism, nor what God wants. He wants me to lean on Him. He knows that in me trying to do everything myself, I will end up hurt, so he takes his gentle but firm hand and builds me boundaries. He cares enough to say, ‘no, see this beautiful rose hedge? Don’t go past it. The thorns will hurt you if you try and the lifestyle beyond it will hurt you even more than that.’

Next He says, ‘She will chase after lovers, but not catch them; she will look but not find them….’

Oh how well He knows a girl’s heart! I long and crave for the affection of a guy- what girl doesn’t?

We all want to be swept into a whirl wind of romance. I’ve always pictured something like the Notebook:

Allie: Why didn’t you write me? Why?

Noah: It wasn’t over for me.

Allie: I waited for you for seven years. And now it’s too late.

Noah: I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you every day for a year.

Allie: You wrote me?

Noah: Yes.

Allie: You…

Noah: It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over.

That scene is flooded with burning passion, feelings of lost hope, anger at what she thinks is lost, and his aching desire at showing her it isn’t lost.

How many of us would love to be the Allie at that moment? (I raise my hand)

Now image God is Noah (meaning we should probably switch out Ryan Gosling for the voice of Morgan Freeman and a picture of God, you know the one where he has that huge white beard and is teeming with power?) The passion Allie has during this confrontation stays the same though. We feel heartbroken and angered that we haven’t heard from God in so long.

We ask why over and over again, trying to spit out in anger hoping for him to be roused as well or at least be silent long enough to prove He isn’t real.

But He is and this is what He has been saying to us all along.  We ran, He waited for us to stop. We looked, He called out for us. We listened, He spoke. We felt too broken to be rebuilt, He picked up the pieces and built us up stronger in His arms than ever before.

He has been calling out to us, not just as a teacher, but as a lover. Someone who will be with us through thick and thin, constantly giving and never straying. We just have to discover this relationship with Him.

“The King is enthralled with your beauty; honor Him for He is your Lord.” Psalm 45:11

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WHY AM I A CHRISTIAN?

I wrote this title a while back, but since then I have come upon some new insights.

What I wrote on this last year is still very applicable, however, I want to appeal to a new side.

I wrote my last blog on faking Christianity, but now I want to let everyone know why I chose Christianity.

My parent’s both got saved a year before I was born. They both jumped head first into their new faith and brought me along on the ride. I have grown up hearing about Jesus and living in a very close Christian home. So everyone assumes, ‘she is a Christian because she was raised that way.’

Wrong.

Did you know that 70% of teenagers leave the church once they reach 18? a

Almost 80% of those teens who leave have already checked out of their faith while in still attending church.

So to say a person is a Christian because her family is, is unstable.

I do not think that a person should ever be something just because her parents have said so. I think that a person needs to find thing out for herself or himself. Listening to wise counsel of people you trust is always good, but at the end of the day it needs to be you.

Last summer I began looking around at other religions besides Christianity. I was searching for answers that did not come from the background I had been raised in. How was I to be certain I wasn’t being lied to? What if there is another religion out there that has truer answers? Was Christ the final answer?

I am a very spiritually in tuned person, which means the idea of there never being a God is impossible for me to imagine. I can feel my life at war, somewhere there is an invisible struggle being fought over me. Over what I should do, want to do, need to do, am supposed to do. This means there is a right and a wrong; if there was not a right and wrong, why would I struggle so choices?

It has been argued that there is no absolute right, nor an absolute wrong, because there is no such thing as an absolute truth… However, for that to be considered true, wouldn’t that be an absolute truth?

So if there is a right and a wrong, a high standard which every human almost instinctively knows, where does it come from?

‘Religion’ is the most obviously answer. We have passed down multiple religions throughout the generations. Some last, some die, but what we do know is we are never without it. So the truth must lay away in one of these many beliefs, otherwise religion would have died out long ago.

Dr. Norman Geisler suggested to pool the worldviews into seven simple possibilities: theism, atheism, pantheism, pantheism, deism, polytheism, and finite godism. Theism is the belief in a supernatural ‘First Cause’ who is incaused, one, personal, moral, and infinite in all His attributes including power and intelligence. He manifests himself in the universe, yet is also beyond it. Atheism says that there is no God. This universe just randomly showed up out of nowhere and the only authority that is real is the power of man. Pantheism holds that creation and the Creator are one and the same. God is nature and nature is God. Deism, which is closely related to Theism, suggests that God is beyond our world and not in it miracously, the trials and evil we face here are started by free choice and ignorance and can be won by both God alone and/or man alone. Polytheism, like the Roman and Greeks, states there are multiply gods, two for certain, however, there could be more. The evil and harshness of this world are merely the gods fighting amongst themselves. Finite godism is the idea that there is one God whom is both in our world and beyond it, the trials and evil that tortures us here is God’s internal struggle with himself and it can be defeated by God or man. Within each of these categories there are hundreds of different religions, but by breaking them down to the nitty gritty definitions, you can easily see which ones appear to hold truth and which ones seem more of a made up feel good fairytale to escape something deeper.

I cut out atheism fairly quickly with simple reasoning. Everything around us is so complex and unique that the possibility of it happening by chance is a bit too extreme. Humans alone are an organism we ourselves, actually being human, have yet to even master. So how could nothing making something so intricate? A big bang? We make big bangs all the time when blowing up stuff, yet for some random reason, that explosion never magically makes us a another living organism or house after the debris has settled. It just leaves a pile of dust.

Pantheism is a bit more real to me. It makes since in some form. Didn’t the Indian’s believe this? However, if God is nature… Is he good or bad? Nature is both. It can be good and healthy, but it can also be cruel and dire. I have a hard time grasping the reality that a God who cared to make us so special and with so much emotion would harm us so much.

Polytheism is fun to research, nonetheless it died out long ago as a major religious thought. If the truth can die then it was never true to begin with.

Deism… hmmmm…. This idea is as close to Theism as you can get, without actually giving ‘God’ any major power. If man can win any trial brought on him by both him and God or just him, or just God alone- why does man fail so often? If man can overcome evil without a god, then why are there so many broken and hurting people? Why do they cry out in the mist of tears ‘I can’t do this anymore!’? Evidently, they cannot do it alone. Deism doesn’t work.

Lastly is Theism.  This covers the most influential modern religions: Christianity, and Islam.

Islam has never been able to grab my attention as an actual steady religion, due to the fact that it is in consistent in the teaching (from the Quran) and their history does not match up with the rest of the time line of world history. Example?

”And they (the people of Noah’s day) said to each other, ‘Abandon not your gods: abandon neither Wa’dd nor Suwa, neither Yaquth nor Yauq, nor Nasr..’” S. 71:23

The problem primarily arises with the names given to the idols of Noah’s time. These are the names of the idols worshiped at the time of Muhammad in Mecca, nearly three thousand years later! How is it possible for Noah’s people to worship Arabic deities with Arabic titles several thousand years before these idols ever came into existence? The Muslims’ attempts to reconcile this obvious anachronism have failed so far. b

Christianity seems pretty fairytale like (miracles, turning water into wine, food sent from Heaven), except the whole Jesus thing. This guy does not only show up in the pages of religious books, but also in other historical documents that have nothing to do with religion. To disprove Christianity, you would need to be able to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. Seem simple right? Wrong. Many people have spent their whole lives researching the resurrection of Jesus as a hoax, yet it never adds up.

The whole New Testament is based on the life and preaching of one man, Jesus. This is where the whole story begins, so why not start disproving this man’s whole life? Because here is the deal:

If Jesus did rise from the grave, then everything he said must be true.

If He did not rise from the grave, then everything he said is a lie.

If we can just prove this area, we can conquer it all in one shot.

Since the NT is an old historical document, then let’s check its reliability first.

In the 19th century archaeologist took to disproving the accountability of the Bible, mainly the New Testament, by their accuracy and finding gaps in the writing that would misplace the whole timeline set up by the New Testament. However, during their search, instead of finding evidence against it, they found over 15,000 manuscripts to support it. Most of these papyri’s bridged the gap between Christ and the already existing manuscripts. Depleting the ‘missing gaps’ case. Sir William Ramsay spent 15 years of his life trying to undermine Luke. His wish was to undermine Luke credentials as a historian and in doing that refute the reliability of the New Testament. However, at the end of 15 years, he concluded, “Luke is a historian of first rank…. This author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”

So Luke is reliable huh?

Time and time again history has done more to prove the Bible’s reliability than it has to diminish it. In fact, secular history have never been able to weaken the Bible, only verify it. I will post some links down below for anyone interested in researching this subject (both Christian historians and secular)

If we are to count the reliability of an ancient document (which the Bible is) then it out shines every other accent manuscript we count as reliable times ten.

Work

 When Written

 Earliest Copy

 Time Span

 No. of copies

New Testament 

  A.D. 40-100

   A.D. 125

  25 yrs

   24,000

Homer (Iliad)

  900 B.C.

   400 B.C

  500 yrs

   643

Sophocles

  496-406 B.C

   A.D. 1000

  1,400 yrs  

   193

Aristotle

  384-322 B.C.

   A.D. 1100

  1,400 yrs

   49

Caesar (Gallic Wars)

 58-50 B.C.

   A.D. 900

  1000 yrs

   10

Do we question Homer? or Aristotle? no…

So the Bible has been proven reliable and Jesus did in fact rise from the grave. Not just in religious manuscripts, but in secular records as well.

This evidence was enough for me to dig deeper into Christianity. Its claims have been proven, so now it was a matter of what did God want with me?

~A.

 

a- LifeWay Research

b-http://www.faithdefenders.com/articles/worldreligions/Contardictions_and_Inconsistencies_Quran.html

c- studies from Josh Mcdowell, Mere Christianity, Jimmy Willaims, The Bible

http://www.bibleevidences.com/transmission.htm

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I am back!…. and terribly sorry for not writing anything for months, but I am back and ready to go full throttle again!

Wondering where I went? My new series will spread some light on that (: be sure to read it!

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CONFESSION OF A CHRISTIAN GIRL: Intro

A lot of people write out their stories about their walk with God. Starting from where they were broken, to seeking, to finding, to being healed, and ending with how wonderful God has made their lives. After reading hundreds of these stories something inside of you starts to say, this lifestyle is worth it.

Yet, another part of you says, what if my story doesn’t end that way? What if I’m that one story that fails?

Even though I firmly believe that God has a perfect plan for me; I still am faced with uncertainties that come with being so young. Is God really there when people are bullying me? Why does He let them do that? Will I ever have close friends whom I can trust? Or will I always be the loner? Is there actually a guy out there that will want me for me? Not for what he can get out of me, but because he actually loves me? Where is God when death is looming over the lives of the people I love, snatching them up before they should be taken? The questions never end. They just keep coming and I am in the middle of the chaos.

So I am going to ask you to take a journey with me. I do not want to wait and write a book after this is all over, when I am feeling freedom and resting in peace. Because, right now, a lot of girls my age are going through similar storms and wondering, is anyone else holding on? Or can I just sink and drowned already?

Therefore, I am going to write to you in the bedlam of the storm. To let you know that you are not alone. I am here. I am holding on to God. And if I can get through this, so can you.

~Confession of a Christian Girl

Preview:
To tackle every confession I have as a sinful human would take millions, if not billions, of words. Words which, even after being brought together, you would not want to read. So I am going to start from last year. With the exact week I stopped posting blogs on here, just so you can get caught up and read what God has been teaching me.

July 27th? Eesh, we are going far back! At least, with everything that has happened to me it feels far.

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