Monday, September 29, 2008

do not go it alone

I have a few rules I do not break. I don’t go out to movies or eateries by myself. You have to go with someone else not alone. I just feel creepy and weird. I think the same is true with religion. I can’t do it alone. I make mistakes and do not get the joy of talking and learning from others. This is important because I wanted to go out to watch the Steelers play today. But I didn’t have anyone to go with. So like with eating and movies you need to practice religion with friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dodgers game

I did something I have not done in years. I went to a Dodgers game. I learned something. I like true fans. Behind me sat a guy and his lady friend who loved the game. He gave the loudest cheers and boos and she knew everyone’s name and stats. It was amazing. They got so excited for every hit and every base run. It made the game more fun for me.

I do not really know much about baseball. I am not really a fan. I am a pirates fan and they suck. So I do not care. But seeing fans who love their team make me enjoy it more. I like can take part in that joy. So it got me thinking about church. Because everything goes back to faith. I wonder what it is like if Christians were like that. Not pushing their faith on others but really excited. What if they are cheering the Bible, not to force it on others, but to take joy in it. That is the faith I want. I want rave about the Bible like a sporting event. Like it is the greatest thing ever. Maybe that is the attitude to have concerning faith. To cheer it and be excited about it. Maybe that is what attracts people to it.

Also Jon Vales is a cool guy for inviting me to go with him to the Dodgers game.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

my singleness

Why I have resigned myself to being single.
Because I do not think I can be friends with single women. It is not a matter of sexist but in how I view friendship. I view friends as people I get to know. I tell them what is happing in my life. They tell me what they are up to. Sometimes we share intimate information. We hangout together. Now an important thing is that I hate hanging out in groups of people. Even if it is a group of my friends I do not like it. I like meeting people one-on-one. That is the rub. It has been my experience that single women freak out if a guy wants to hang out with them alone. It turns into this big deal about dating and sexual tension. Nuts to that. I will never get to know someone hanging out in a group and no one will get to know me in group. That is not how I socialize. Also single women tend to freak out if you share anything personal with them. That is with the caveat of being within the realm of my experience.

So I do not put much trust in “being friends first.” because we will never really be friends because I don’t play social games with dating. I don’t get a group together for the purpose of hanging out with one specific woman. I don’t intend to either. Also I guess I am a bit intense because I want to get to know a woman and find out what is happening in her life. I could care less about superficial interactions. I want to know what is going on. I guess that is too much for some.

Now I can be friend with women who are dating or married. They know I am not trying anything so they don’t freak out. They don’t assume I have hidden motives. I really don’t have hidden motives. I am incapable of guile or cunning. I let people know what is happening pretty much all the time. And that is why I will probably remain single forever.

I have no problem with this. I am not upset about it. It is just on observation I have made. I won't have to worry about a marriage giving me responsibilities that are not about God so that is cool. Paul had it right when he extolled the benefits of singleness.

When did I become Pastoral?

When did I become pastoral? I mean that in the way of ‘when did I turn into someone people who open up to and then try to offer comforting wisdom?’ It started with a conversation with a friend who needed to hear a testimony. He just needed to hear about God working in the life of others. I was happy to oblige because I had run smack into God recently. Then I was talking to another friend and he was worried over some family. So I listened. I offered some comments and then did not upset him so that was good. Then a youth explained to me some problems she was having with her sister. I was dumbfounded as to how to respond but I listened. I said what I could. Last night I was talking to a friend from high school I haven’t spoken to since high school and she needed to talk. So I did the whole listening thing with offering a few comments.

It sticks me as terribly weird. I never thought I would be in this role really. I know that I am going to be a pastor but this is still weird. I mean I just don’t know why anyone would confide in my at all. I don’t think I have some special skill at listening. I came to the conclusion that people are more happy to know me then they are unhappy to know me. It is very confusing. Because I still remember quite clearly that a number of people dislike me. I don’t know when I got into this position. Apparently I am approachable but not much beyond that. I don’t know.

Monday, September 8, 2008

God suffers with us

I have learned that I need to believe a few things about God or I would be unable to worship Him. One of them is that God must suffer with us. I would not like a God that removed himself from our pain. I would not be able to love a God that could be uncaring. But I do think God suffers with us.

I was talking to a friend and he had some serious things weighing on him. I need to know that God was just as concerned as my friend. I can be empathic towards my friend, but God is feeling everything with my friend. I know that my friend is not alone and has God. I know that I am not alone when I suffer. I do need to remember that God is with me sometimes.

I think we are a little too quick to compare suffering. That if you do not great some arbitrary mark you should not feel bad. But I find suffering to be so subjective. I don’t think we can honestly disregard someone’s suffering because it is not “severe” enough. So God is in our subjective suffering feeling the pain we go through.

Now I also think that when faced with the suffering of others we can recognize that their suffering may be bigger and that humbles us. I do not think it is something we can force onto someone but it is within that we learn to hold the suffering of someone else in higher esteem.

Friday, September 5, 2008

God is pretty cool

I cannot ignore God. Things happen in my life and I realize that there most be a divine hand involved. The funny thing is that I generally dislike it when people blame God for everything. You meet a woman and fall in love, which is not necessarily God in my opinion. I do not think that God picks who you date or marry or decides who you hang out with. But I do think God takes advantage of situations and uses them for His purposes. I was in a class taught by an Anglican and my love for the Bible was reawakened. I started to love the Bible like I did back in high school. I do not think God forced me to take that class but I do think God take advantage of the professor to speak to my heart. So there God is inviting me back to loving him.

Then there is God bringing me back to ministry. I had a rough experience in ministry earlier. It shook my desires a bit. I am home for vacation and my home church wanted me to work while I was home. I would only be there five weeks and they felt it was worth the investment. That actually felt like some high praise to me. That even a couple of weeks would be good for them. God has taken advantage of this situation to tell me that I am still called to ministry despite my rough experience. I know that God still wants me to preach others the good news.

Some could say I am reading into situations. I may be doing just that, but I think it is alright because anything that glorifies God is alright.