Saturday, January 24, 2009

being nice

Am I a Christian? I have been asking some friends that question recently. Or another way of putting it is “if you did not know I was in seminary would you think I was a Christian?” That also begs the question of what it means to be a Christian. Now I decided not to define Christian because there is no real set definition. Some of the militias in Africa claim to be Christian. And to be honest when I get to heaven I may find out that people who used child soldiers are there too. So if I start declaring who is or is not a Christian then I start to limit God.

But I am still curious to know if others who know me well know that I am a Christian. So far the answer is yes. Yes my friends think I am a Christian. It is nice to know this but it does not mean I can just say I am done. I still need to conform my mind to a better way of thinking. I am seeing that there are a lot of opportunities to be a totally jerk but I actually chose to be nice. Now I think that is informed by my faith. Because I know I can get a much more interesting reaction if I am a jerk.

I also suggest being nice does not get one anything. That even then I find my reaction is to be nice to people it does not earn me friends, accolades or an easier time at anything. Being nice tends to end up being null. I haven’t made any enemies but I did not make any friends either.

But I do not think it is just a matter of being nice but I saying that being a Christian has encouraged me to being nice. I think it is part of learning to love people and such. Now love is the most important thing we get from the Bible. First we have to love God and then we are to love our neighbors and ourselves. It does not matter what I learn in seminary if I do not get the love part down. So I think I am on the right road as a Christian, but I do not think being nice is the lynch pin of that.

Monday, January 19, 2009

star gazing is dangerous

I have come to realize a couple of things. I expect Christians to live up to the Bible. Now I understand that people read and interpret the Bible in different ways. I have no problem with this. I expect then that people live what they interpret the Bible to mean. The goal is still to live out what they think the Bible is saying. For me I read love out of the Bible. I read Grace out of the Bible. I expect that Love is to be central to a Christian. Paul writes in Corinthians that he could speak in the tongues of men and angels but without love it is meaningless. So love is incredibly important. Jesus threw love at people before condemnation.

Now I was star gazing over the weekend. I was going from Orion’s belt to Sirius. Then up to Procyon. I could more or less see the major constellations but not much else. It got me thinking. I started to realize that there is too much beauty in the universe not to live without following my ideology. I needed to take risks and do things that could end up hurting me because of love. If God can create some kickass stars and let me enjoy them, then I can seek reconciliation.

the Thursday before this a I was talking to a friend about how I could not understand why I was rejected so easily and with such finality. I had given lip service to considering the other side but really I feel onto my side because that was the side I saw most clearly. Now my friend said something I had thought before but I decide to pay more attention to it because obviously my position was going nowhere. He advised me to ask if I had hurt someone. And I figured heck I cannot be ignored any more then I already am so I may as well ask them if I hurt them.

I want to hear if I hurt someone. I want them to tell me to my face that I hurt them. My honor demands nothing less than addressing when I hurt someone. It too this experience and being in California for me to realize what my honor is. My honor is the good I like about me. that I do not oppress people knowingly. That I do not manipulate people for enjoyment. Certain situations demand certain actions and I have no other option. But a lot of people think Americans have no concept of honor. I read in a book about how other cultures have a monopoly have on honor but not the West. But I see now coming from a fairly blue-collar background that honor is so ingrained in me I would have to throw a lot away to abandon it. My honor leads me to live for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

The point is that I took a risk. I am trying to ask if I hurt someone and I want to hear them tell me how if I did. I trust God to empower me to deal with it as a Christian, with love and grace and seeking forgiveness. I want to live like I read the Bible and follow it. I want to live with Christians who do the same. It will be interesting to see how it works out.
End communication.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year

It has been some crazy times. Being home over winter break was weird. When I got home a lot of people called me and wanted to hang out and such. It was so weird to me. I am not used to people calling me and wanting to hang out. It is the definition of popular for me. Normally people do not call me but instead I normally am the one to call others.

There was also this weird feeling being home. Like I know my parents still love me, but I did not feel the same about their house that I did back in the day. When I got back to school and into my apartment I felt this sense of home. I told this to someone and they mentioned that individuation must have settled in. And I kinda think that must be true. That my place in cali has become home. When I was driving back through the city it had a familiar beauty to it. I never thought I would feel that way about cali.

I am getting my feet back under me right now. Getting back into the swing of school and all the responsibility that brings. I am looking forward to this semester. It should be good and interesting. Weeeee.

I am still dealing with being wrecked last semester. In IL it did not seem so important, but now I am terrified of running into things that remind me of her. Because I do not want to deal with that pain. I feel like I am walking around in an emotional minefield that could go at any moment. That I may run into her and feel all the old crap again. I hate feeling shy and insecure. I hate feeling unworthy and alone. I want to feel apart. That I matter. I have good friends here and I think I would absolutely ruined without them. I guess it is about learning and healing. I wonder if I will ever end up in a healthy relationship. I would like to just be friends with a woman the same way I am friends with everyone. That may sound weird but I do not want to play social games. I do not want to be coy. I want to hang with people who are interesting and teach me. I want to be crack my bad jokes and say my piece. I want my crap to be refuted and I want to be edified by my relationships. I make friends with guys who naturally do this but I find it is incredible rare for a woman to do it. I could be weird or it could be that subcultures I run with. I am just not sure. Well tonight I am going to take it easy

I got a headache. Not sure why, meh.

End communication