What is this blog about, anyway?

I've been trying to untangle some of the 'big picture' things in life.

I also wanted to find out by experience whether the Bible is sufficient to generate faith.

One of the ways I started on my recent journey of re-discovery of Christianity was by reading the Bible, starting at Genesis, and trying to have no pre-conceived notions of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and other big questions. Would I discover anything new? Would I be able to get more insight into Big Questions? I did make some discoveries that were new to me, and wanted to record these somewhere. Hence this blog.

For the record, I found that the Bible is sufficient to generate faith - but only if you read it with no pre-conceived notions.

I welcome comments and insights from others.

-Vera


Sunday, August 14, 2016

God is not a crazy stalker: He will not inflict himself upon us. He lets us choose.

I was recently reading the fiction novel "The Book of You" by Claire Kendal. Disclaimer: this book has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity, whether for or against. Its plot is about a woman who is being stalked by a man she has no interest in, and what she does when she realizes that the stalking is escalating.

This story made me think about the nature of love. The male villain in the story professed to be in love with the female protagonist. However, his treatment of her (stalking, and worse) was far from what anyone would call love.

In reality, love is a two-way street, requiring the permission of both (not just one). You don't tell someone "Surprise! We're getting married today!" You ask, nicely. And you would understand that no means no.

Likewise, Jesus wants us to come to him freely, out of choice. God will not inflict himself upon us like a crazy stalker who doesn't want us to have a choice. He gives us the greatest gift of all; the power of choice.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Why we should still pray no matter how busy things are

Sometimes it feels like there just isn't time to pray! I used to think things like "I'll pray when I get time, when it gets less busy." I know now that this sort of thinking is a sign that my priorities are not right.

I need to be praying in the midst of everything. I don't mean we should all drop everything for days and do nothing but pray. What I'm saying is that we should still talk with God at some point(s) every day, no matter how busy we are. Why? For several reasons, but the foremost one is that God wants a relationship with us. We don't tell our spouse "Hey, I'm busy right now, but I'll talk with you again about a month from now when it gets less hectic." How ridiculous would that be?! We shouldn't be doing  that to God either. Furthermore, God doesn't do that us. He doesn't remove himself for months at a time because he's busy attending to other things. Yes life can feel like that to us at times, but he isn't removing himself from us. If at times we feel like God is more distant, then as the saying goes, guess who moved: it's not God.

God created us because he wants a relationship with us; he loves us. As strange as it may seem - and we are strange creatures - he loves us like a father loves a son or daughter. And he is a better father than even the best earthly father can ever be. So, we should pray, not just out of a sense of 'duty' but just as we would enjoy talking with the loved ones around us, even during the busiest times of our lives.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

You are always with me, and everything I have is yours

When reading the parable of the lost son, I am always grateful that the younger son returned to his father (Luke 15: 11-32).

But sometimes can't help but feel sympathetic to the older son's point of view. The older son had not strayed, and yet no-one celebrated his faithfulness. When he pointed this out to his father when they were celebrating the return of his brother, the father said:

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Luke 15: 31-32

The first words of the father resonated with me: "You are always with me, and everything I have is yours." Wow! That's God speaking to us! This made me feel so much less jealous of others. I realized that God values us equally, whether we stray or not. Sure, the younger brother had a big celebration made for the occasion of his return, but honestly, this is good reason to celebrate. 

And for the one who didn't stray, the Father reminds him "you are always with me, and everything I have is yours." God did not value the older son any less. God was willing to share everything he had with him, already.

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