“Too much of our time is spent trying to chart God on a grid, and too little time is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe” – Donald Miller
With a little nudge from Chris from Spiritual Insight, I’m back! I never realized how difficult it is to not just blog, but also think up content for the blog.
I’ve been reading Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith by Wayne Grudem recently, suggested by Matt Carter from the Austin Stone. You can find it on Google books (amazing, huh?). It also helps that my boyfriend owns a copy! It’s been a great read so far, helping to answer a lot of questions I’ve had along the way. It’s also bringing up a lot of interesting things I didn’t realize I believe.
For example, chapter four asks and answers the question, “How do we know that God exists?” It claims that humanity has an inner sense of God; we all have a deep, inner sense that God exists and that we are his creatures. I believe this one pretty wholeheartedly. I think human beings feel and know of an existence of a supreme being who is watching over everything and has control over things which we don’t. I like the idea because it’s comforting to think that what you have no control of is in the hands of someone who is all powerful and very good.
Most people know God exists because of a feeling they have. It can be an innate awareness, an unexplainable feeling or event(s), or a miracle. My friend recently commented that she has been going through an eye-opening spiritual experience after her faith was shaken recently.
So, how do you know God exists?
I can no more understand the totality of God than the pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me. -Donald Miller
Who knew that religious inspiration could come from reading a funny book on a stair master every other day? I just recently finished reading Donald Miller’s book, “Blue Like Jazz.” There were so many times in his book that I felt like I could relate to the feelings or thoughts of different characters, including Don himself.
There was one part that really gave me the heebie-jeebies. Don told a story (and illustrated too) of Don Astronaut who wears a special suit that he can survive in without water, food, or oxygen. He gets stuck in space after an accident, and no one comes to save him. As a result, he orbits the earth for 53 years before he dies, alone and crazy. His helmet is black because his hair has grown so thick that it completely fills the helmet, blinding and suffocating him in the end. Don Astronaut’s experience is apparently what Hell is like….
Yay. Read the full (short) story of Don Astronuat here.
Mental illness or demon possession?
I went to Gandalf’s (a prayer cafe) with my missional community to serve food to the local East Austin community. Overall, it was a really great experience, and Gandalf’s is doing a great thing for the community. There was a lady that was roaming the area who had a very apparent mental illness. She was talking constantly to no one and everyone and yelling occasionally at us and others. She came to get some food from us, rambling and yelling along the way and throughout the night. She was also pretty rude about how much food she got. One of the girls with us suggested that this lady was demon possessed, that Satan was possessing her to scare us and others away from something good.
Do you think demon possession exists? I’m not so sure…
P.S. I just google image searched “demon possessed” and really scared myself.
My missional community is sponsoring a walk for water to raise $10,000 for charity: water. This money will go to build two wells in developing nations, each well serving a community of 250 people. I’m really excited because this is such an amazing concept, and charity: water has done an amazing job in raising almost 10 million dollars for a great cause.
You can help us raise our $10,000 by:
- Sponsoring our walk: http://mycharitywater.org/walk4waterrr
- Donating $25 and walking with us on May 7!
So, why should you give to charity: water?
- $20 can give one person clean, safe drinking water
- 100% of your money goes directly to help in the field
- Your donation is 100% tax-deductible as a charitable contribution!
Special thanks to everyone who has helped support us so far!
Matt went through a Heaven and Hell series recently at The Austin Stone. He ended his sermon with the most powerful thing I’ve ever heard a pastor say.
“For those of you who have never trusted in Christ as your Lord and Savior, repent. Turn from your sin. Trust in him. Tell the Lord today, Lord I’m a sinner. I’ve offended your infinite holiness and infinite authority, and I deserve infinite punishment, so I need someone to come and take my sin away from me, which is what Jesus said he did on the cross. So trust in him as your lord and savior and you will be saved. Do that, and do that right now because if you don’t…
Enjoy the pleasures of this life. Enjoy the warmth of the sunshine. Enjoy the cool of the wind on your face. Leave this place today, and enjoy good friends, food, community, fellowship, and love. Because if you don’t trust in Jesus, this earth is as close to Heaven as you’re ever going to get.
But for those of you who are in Christ today, Jesus Christ has overcome sin and when he overcame sin, he overcame death. And when he overcame death, he overcame Hell. And because Jesus overcame sin and death and Hell, you who are in Christ Jesus have overcome.
Christian, endure this world. Endure its suffering. Endure its pain. Endure its loneliness. Endure its sickness. Endure its troughs because for those of you who are in Christ Jesus, this world is as close to Hell as you’ll ever get.
It all comes down to a certain amount of faith.
For the past year, I’ve gotten into some conversations–both surface level and deep–with various friends and colleagues about Christianity. I always ask, “Why do you believe in God?” I ask because I’m genuinely curious about the reason behind it all. What compels you to believe in something that you have not seen with your own eyes?
The overwhelming answer I’ve received is that it comes down to a certain amount of trust and confidence that God exists and that the bible tells the truth. That answer, though it may not satisfy you or directly address the question, is a brilliant one because that is the definition of faith.
So, I’m curious. Do you believe in God? Why or why not?
Welcome to my blog about my spiritual journey as a non-believer. When I turned 23 (young, I know), I found myself seeking answers to many of life’s questions through the development of my own faith and learning about the faith of others. According to Sharon Daloz Parks, author of The Critical Years: Young Adults and the Search for Meaning, Faith, and Commitment (1986), faith is the activity of seeking and discovering meaning in the most comprehensive dimensions of our experience. I’m eager to discover such meaning in the most comprehensive dimensions; the question then becomes: Through what lens?
I’ve chosen to pursue my spiritual journey through Christianity.
Although my parents are Buddhist, I was raised nonreligious. I was not required to practice a specific religion, not to say I wasn’t involved in Buddhist rituals. I prayed (rarely) with incense at temple and at home. I left out fruit at my grandparents house for our ancestors. I even attended what I called “Buddha Camp” for two back-to-back summers. I learned a few things about Buddhism during that experience, some of which are more than likely misrepresentations of the religion: that it’s wrong to kill living things (even bugs), you don’t eat meat, you don’t speak while you eat, you do a lot of chores, and mornings consist of mandatory yoga at 6 a.m. and 30 minutes of meditation afterward. Needless to say (or maybe not), those practices haven’t stuck with me.
My initial motivation to develop my faith was deeply rooted in my desire to be a better person. You might have noticed that religion is a very positive thing, and believing and aligning yourselves with religious beliefs usually makes you a better person. I say usually because some people take it to an extreme–sometimes an incredibly hurtful one. The Christian faith is, in my opinion, a remarkable thing. People, driven by their religious ideologies, are capable of doing both miraculous and horrifying things. Yet, despite all of the bad that people do and say as a result of taking matters into their own hands (e.g. Shirley Phelps Roper), one cannot argue that the values, beliefs, and charges of Christianity are very good.