Reflections and Thoughts on Life with God
Please keep in mind that this is very much a work in progress and I am aware of the many typos and missing words. Updates will be posted as soon as they are written (hopefully one or two a week). Please feel free to send this to a friend or use it however you like. Thank you for your interest. I am currently working on a page more apealing to the eye which will hopefully be of much greater usefulness.
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I have chosen to write this book for one
solitary yet all encompassing reason; I want to share what I have
learned to love and understand about my personal understanding of
God and the way he works with you. The overwhelming joy I feel
cannot and must not be contained. I feel blissful, yet guilty
that others aren't able to understand or commune in my passion.
As much as it may seem like a note on a Hallmark card, I must say
that I began at a total loss of words to describe God. In a great
and very true way His love can never be expressed with words,
though I feel that it is possible to convey the essence of his
being and give others a glimpse of what life with God can mean.
At the very heart of this "love" is morality. Six
months ago, I don't believe I could have conceived what God
waiting for me just around the bend.
It all began when I sat down to put some of my thought down on paper. It had been a long time since I had done any writing and I figured I would be a good exercise for me spiritually and academically. I found myself writing thoughts that were not, or at least had not, been mine at all. I saw that God was using me as a tool and I wanted to serve him as best I could. Even now I feel that my writing is inspired by God's undying and unconditional love. I wish desperately that you enjoy and grow through these readings, and learn what I have learned. Knowing that the majority of what you will read is being written during my freshman year of high school will help you better understand some of my feelings towards life and others, and my great admiration for elders who have experienced the hardships and lessons world war has to offer. All of these thoughts are genuine. I have developed and recorded them myself in order that you be able to read right into my relationship with God and views on life without the distortions or interference which might result from outside or adult influence. Please understand that word choice and punctuation have been twisted to help better accommodate the abstract subject. Do not take offence at some of the more aggressive or heated topics. What may come across as arrogance or disrespect is most-likely the magnification of my feeling for emphasis. I will pray for you and for all who may have a chance to use what this book has to offer; that you may come closer to God, the ultimate source, through it.
The more I understand about the nature of
God and the life he has given us, the more I realize that we can
never understand his true essence and the nature of existence.
What is morality? I have come to believe that it is the nature of
God, holiness, creation, existence, and destiny in a form which
human's may begin to accept, act upon, and comprehend. It is our
soul and our self. It is a part of the Lord instilled in every
man that separates humanity from the rest of creation. It is
morality alone, the part of us created in his image, which makes
us worthy of his grace. It is nothing that we have achieved, but
the one part of us that we gave freely been given.
Our human bodies set us apart from all that is holy. We have brought them upon ourselves by our own free will and been given a chance to redeem ourselves and reenter the kingdom of God through Christ. We are bound to sin by our fleshly needs and grace allows us to repent and exist without the burdens and stumbling blocks of life in human form.
Time is a human invention we have created to comfort our simple minds and turn life as we know it into a routine. Why should we doubt eternal life beyond "death"? The idea of death as an end to life is narrow minded. Time is only a factor in the fleshly world we have created for ourselves and does not bind our morality, our souls. Morality and love are our great reassurances of God's goodness and salvation; for they can never die or be ended. They are simply, in an incomprehensible way, the heart of all that is, and are eternal and unchanging.
We may for an instant find ourselves boasting and disregarding our true selves; not fully accepting God's infinite superiority in self and being. Then we are met by the humbling reality of pain. No matter how great a person, no human can escape the reality of physical pain. The feeling is out of our control and is a way of "keeping us in our place" . No matter how hard we try we can never escape hunger and other such things that keep us from full devotion to God without his grace. Understanding and experiencing these feelings in a manner such as fasting or running can help us to realize what part of us is bound by earthly factors and what is God's morality. It allows us to focus in on our devotion to God's and, for a moment, set aside our human struggles.
People may appear to deny God, but they cannot escape their true feeling and conviction, the concept of "morality" and its effect on everything. Some may choose not to act upon it and run from or hide their powerlessness, though they cannot ignore it. The love of God is pursuing us, and all we need do is turn around and accept him. His love is undying and his arms are always open. We have been given guidelines derived from his morality and nature as a simplified way of doing was is consistent with his plan and ways. We must do our best to follow them and shine his light on the darkness of the earth, while accepting our mortality and Jesus' grace.
The popular slogan "God is dead"
which emerged with America's "second revolution" during
the times of hippies, free love, political unrest, civil rights
moments, and cold war still lingers in the back of the Christian
mind, sparking heated debates and arguments. I believe that God
is perfect and unchanging and his role and intimate interaction
his humanity has changed only because we have.
As a whole, society has become very open-minded and tolerant, to a point at which it has become dangerous. We are unwilling to commit to any one ideal fully, for the popular belief that everything has a place and no one concept or belief should be deemed superior or undoubtedly correct. God is as connected to us only to the extent that we are connected to him. He is constantly pursuing us, and all we need do is turn around and accept the love and life which he offers so freely. As times change, so do people and therefore their relations and interactions with God.
By looking back to biblical times when God appeared to have more intimate and direct relationships with humans, we can discover what forms a solid relationship and how we can act as humans through prayer and daily living to be better connected to God.
Though it may at first seem like an
oxymoron, the name perfectly describes the state of society as it
is today. We have become too "tolerant" for our own
good. Religion has become a personal "choice" (for lack
of a better word). I have seen it very clearly and am sickened by
those (not really the people, but rather their acts) who twist
their "religion" to suit them. I have heard people say
that they believe that there is a Heaven and not a Hell just to
comfort their weary souls, and heard others say (quite truthfully
in fact) that asking someone whether they think they will go to
heaven is a dumb question because everyone is going to say yes.
Even the little things like the fact that I can spell God-
"god" without getting a notice from this spell checker
echo this over-tolerance.
The New Covenant
How Jews understand and see the bible is
very foreign to me. From a Christian viewpoint, to be told of the
man's struggle with mortality and departure from God without
mention of Jesus' grace and salvation from this choice seems
unthinkable. Christ's crucifixion and resurrection complete this
and give an alternative to the consequences of our choices; and
it is the completion that makes Jesus' life on earth so
beautiful. Man is left with a simple choice- to accept or reject
his grace; no questions to be used as excuses, not a stones left
unturned, just a choice. Without this crucial element of the
history of God's love and acts on earth, the Old Testament bear's
no real meaning in contrast with the image of the bigger and
complete picture of life with God through his son.
Others and Myself
After I reach a certain level of
understanding and appreciation for God, my understanding began to
drastically affect my life and my perception of it. My feelings
grow so strong I struggle to believe that many others have
experienced them. I wonder how the knowledge and love I have
found in the lord could remain hidden from me in others. I have
now begun to realize that my first reaction was to separate
myself from my earthly side as earlier mentioned, and living in
another life with god. Others may have not been able to recognize
my new found passions as I have not been able to recognize
theirs. This is what inspired me to write down my feeling; so
that others could read what I was not expressing.
The Book Store
The book store, for me, is not just a place
to relax with a good book and a hot drink. Occasionally I'll take
a break from studying or reading and watch one person as they
find their place in one of the many areas of interest the store
has to offer; I see what books they pick up, what music they
listen to and where they wander as their minds guide their body's
through their own personal journey around the bookstore. Then
when I'm done with my work a while later, I try on that person's
shoes for a while. I read their books, I listen to their music,
and follow their footsteps through their mind's journey around
the bookstore. I make their journey my journey and in doing so,
for a moment, get a glimpse into their mind. This helps me better
understand and appreciate other people and learn more about
Another Like Myself
As I experience new emotions and find
greater meaning in God's promises, I found an ever increasing
desire to find another life myself. There is only one man I know
who must understand what I am experiencing. My grandfather and I
both share a love for life we and especially Christ's salvation
which we find hard to express. Besides, my conversations with
him, I, and I suspect most people in general, feel that I have
never truly met another someone life myself. As terrible as it
may sound, most of the time I speak to people, I feel as if I'd
just as well be talking to a wall. They respond and communicate
with me, but never really seem to be capable of, or
"consenting" of deep thought or conversation on that
level. My wish for several years has been to find someone who
will understand or I can at least share my thoughts with. Much of
the time they become uncomfortable and laugh or do something to
change the subject to something more "entertaining",
like sports, what they did on the weekend, or "girls".
Please understand that I don't at all intend to sound arrogant in
the slightest, I love and respect all of Gods children with all
of my heart, but just have trouble finding people who are able
and willing to truly communicate with me on that deeper level.
This disappointment with relationships and communication is a problem that plagues me constantly, sometimes driving me off the edge; and at the heart of it lies one thing- "girls". The very mention of the word brings disgust to my mind and vomit to my throat. To me it represents one of the greatest problems with our society and our relationships with God. "Girls" means bad language, flatulent behavior, irreverence, and the degrading of the lives of half of the world to a status below that of a football game or a beer. This tears at the natural bonds and relationships between men and women and makes such relationships incredibly difficult. Even at a young age, I have seen nice women become "girls". Their minds (and the minds of their male counterparts) turned to what they look like at church, in the classroom, or anywhere else and away from the sermon, the lesson, or other issue at hand.
The Great Generation
War brings out the best and the worst in
humanity. At it's heart, war is the clashing of opposites.
Evil tyrants rise to power while leaders emerge of fight the good fight and do what must be done for the sake of humanity. Economies collapse while neighbors and countrymen become brothers. Entire nations bond together as is necessary for their survival if they are to "win" a war. Though there is no winner when war is at hand and the times loom with the stench of hate oppression and the blood of innocent young men, some acts cannot be allowed to go unopposed. As INSERT said at the Nourenburg trials of, INSERT, "Humanity can not afford to let these acts go unpunished because it cannot afford for them to be repeated." This bonding together of all people is what has made the of people who are now in their grandparents and elders so great. They were there together when new of the attack on Pearl Harbor struck, they were together during times of depression, times of war, and times of rejoicing. They were there to comfort each other when times grew harsh and sacrifices has to be made for the greater good, when the world entered the nuclear age, and when America began a cultural revolution that would reexamine and question all that we hold sacred. These people of the great generation have a bond and a friendship unlike that of any since. They respect each other and are respected by others because every one of them has born the hardships of war and watched as the world erupted in fire then calmed with new hope before them. They give risked and sacrificed their lived that we may be free from the evils which they fought.
A Word on Destiny
All of you who have seen the recently
released movie Simon Burch (and those of you who haven't must)
know what I mean when I say, "I want to hear you say God has
a plan for me; that I am his instrument." We can all share
the desire to serve God and do something great. Imagine being
able to change the lives of thousands of people as a spiritual or
political leader. As great as it would be to have such an impact
on the spirits of so many people, Christianity is based upon the
attitude of the humble servant and the child. Often the little
things have the greatest impact on others and our relationships
I try to keep this thought with me as much as possible, and live my life knowing that Jesus has paid for it with his blood. Knowing that my life is possible only because another perfect one was sacrificed gives me a new and ever-fresh perspective on daily life.
Though God's plan for many us may not appear glamorous in the eyes of our earthly beholders, the humble life of the servant is the life of Christ.
Truth and "The Hierarchy Virtues"
Just recently I sat in on an "adult
class" focusing on "when it's okay to lie". The
class was presented with questions and scenarios in which one
would be expected to lie in order to help a person's self-esteem
or comfort them. "
"What do you do if a person asks you, 'I need to talk to someone about something I've done but you have to promise not to tell anyone.' What do you tell them? What do you do if afterward someone asks you if you have heard of the event explained by the friend? What do you do if you feel morally obliged to break your oath to secrecy?" Several of similar questions were asked, but I never found any reason to lye. While the class decided that the right thing to do in each scenario involved untruths, I sat shocked and appalled. If a person of friend knows you well enough to ask for help with private and sensitive issues, he should also know you well enough to understand that he can trust you with the information and that you ill use it in a Christian manner, so as not to harm the person without reason, nor to conceal the truth and be an accomplice in the act. I have found that there is always a way to tell the truth any that it is the right thing to do.
As reasons for lying unfolded the inescapable issue of which values are more important than honesty arose. It was decided that truth may be sacrificed in order to preserve other, "more important" values. I do not believe that this would be God's answer. Instead, I feel that the "right" or righteous answer is much more simple. While values are important, they are really only man's laws of morality, extracted from God's will and word. I base my "moral decisions" not on values, but on what God would will me to do in that situation, which are the true roots of our values. Acting upon values may be helpful in some instances, but can easily misdirect one's moral compass.
Doing Things for the Right Reason