There was a question on my message board about what strange things we do/do not beleive in. Because what i think is all so very intersting to the rest of you I thought i’d blog about it.
Cryptozoology-the study of extinct/unclassified creatures. This means things like Bigfoot, yeti, Nessie, chupacabra, and things like the Tasmanian tiger which some people believe are not extinct.
I believe that its a big world out there and as much as we would like to believe that we know everything there is to know on this planet, its just not true.
So while i doubt that there is a Nessie or a Bigfoot, i can’t honestly say that there i no way for them to be true. The Tasmanian tiger is supposed to have gone extinct in the early 1900s but there have been sightings of creatures that look exactly like them a lot more recently. I think they could exist, its probably just wishful thinking. It hurts my heart to think of all the animals that we have killed off forever. Chupacabra (I’m going to get berated for this one) i think its likely to exist. There have been enough sighting and enough physical evidence to very nearly prove its existence. I doubt it flies, LOL. Its probably some subspecies of coyote or something, nothing really magical.
Dragons, i’m pretty sure they existed once, during a time when man was around. They could have been old dinosaur like things, or something completely different but there are just too many stories from too many different cultures (Europeans, Asians, south Americans, native Americans, etc.) for it to all be made up. As for them breathing fire, who knows. Perhaps they were seen on a cold winter day and their hot breath looked like steam. Then again there is a certain beetle that shoots fire out of its butt, so who’s to say that the “dragons” didn’t do something simular.
UFOs–i beleive it when people say that they’ve seen an unidentified flying object. Whether or not those are from earth or not is the question. I believe the government does have technology that we (as your normal everyday person) knows very little/nothing about. And yes, they do need to test our their experiments somewhere. I think that if AREA 51 did exist as one of their testing facilities, it is no longer the case. Its way too high profile for them to successfully keep secrets there. I don’t think the government has one big nefarious plot to keep the masses ignorant and complacent, but i do think they have their secrets.
I don’t believe that people get abducted by/see aliens. Its not that i don’t believe THEY can exist. Like the cryptozoology thing, i think its incredibly arrogant to believe that we know EVERYTHING about the universe. I just don’t think that earth is the magnet of the universe for alien sexual predators. I seriously doubt that the aliens would come here just to peek in our windows and touch our naughty parts.
(And now it gets into the religious stuff, you can plug your ears and run away if you’d like.)
I don’t believe that this entire universe was put here just for us. The bible says that the stars were created to declare the glory of God Psalm 19:1 He crated the stars so that no matter how smart we are and how advanced our technology is, that we are aware of how small we are and how little we really do know.
At the risk of sounding like a religious nut who sees the devil in everything, i believe they are demonic (wait, don’t run away) just hear me out. People who claim to have seen aliens up close almost always turn away from God. Now this is totally a work of fiction but have you ever read Dean Koontz’s The Taking. its a really creepy story but a good illustration. In the end it quotes (some famous person) of saying that if someone goes into a uncivilized society (say an amazonian tribe who has lost contact with the outside world) and showed them our technology they would see it as a miracle-an act of God. It said that if you show an unbelieving world a great miracle of God (an angel, etc.) they will see it as alien. Except, of coarse, he said it much better. So what I’m trying to say is that if somebody who does not believe sees something otherworldly they’re gong to think its an alien.
and look at the facts, these things always happen when people are isolated, alone. It is never a good experience. Never. It causes fear and confusion and just sets people apart from all those around them. These things rarely do anything to affect the physical environment, just what is going on in a person’s head. And usually, once a person is attacked, it is done repeatedly. When people speak of it they get mocked so many people would suffer through it in silence rather than be called crazy. It screams of demonic influence.
Ghosts–I don’t believe in ghosts are the classic term implies. I don’t think its dead people hanging around. I don’t believe that sentient spirits linger. Ever see ghost hunters? A lot of the creepy things CAN be explained by science. Also, i beleive that there can be “afterimages” of an event. These spiritual energies can (sort of) be explained by science.
As for the sentient ghosts, once again i believe them to be demonic. I don’t think that there is any sentient spirit outside of God’s creation. If it is not an angel (and it should be pretty obvious if it is) then it is a demonic spirit.
I believe that demons are drawn to places of high emotion (fear, anger, depression, etc. have you ever been somewhere where the atmosphere just feels ugly) and that’s why they are seen in places where people have died.
I know there are a lot of spirits out there that are not considered malicious, but i believe that is just a subtle way for them to be accepted. If they showed up as “evil” spirits right away, people would cast them out. But if they showed up acting like a “mischievous child” or a “lonely woman” or “my dead grandmother” one would be less likely to cast them out because they think they’re “safe” spirits despite the fact that they are scaring the people in the home.
I actually knew someone who started praying to their “grandmother” who haunted their house whenever it would scare her. Talking about feeding the energy. *shiver*
We don’t do Santa in our house. Its not that i think its wrong to do Santa, i just don’t see the point.
Yes, yes, i can almost hear you now “but its SANTA!” and “The magic!” and i get that, sort of. We grew up with Santa in our home. It was fun. I never had a moment where I discovered the “truth” about Santa and felt horribly betrayed. I know my parents did Santa because it was fun, it made things seem more “magical” and it was fun to pretend (not only that, but it was fun to be IN on the story while you tell it to your kids)
Without bringing in the fact that we are celebrating the miracle of Jesus Christ’s birth, so as not to scare off too many of you *wink* Christmas is perfect the way it is.
There’s all the parades and the lights. There is decorating the house and there are all the visits with family, there is waking up on Christmas morning and opening presents, and all the goodies and snacks that fit into a stocking. All that is wonderful and magical and special all on its own without having to make anything up.
Why tell stories about Santa when there is already so much to marvel at?
Not sure where to put this. I assume if this gets heated it will be moved to IF.
well this last Sunday we were procrastinating all morning and ended up getting to church 30 minutes late.
This has really become a habit. At our church we could arrive an hour late and literally not miss a single word of the sermon. In fact last week, we arrived before announcements/offering and we caught 2 of the worship songs and didn’t miss any of the sermon.
Worship at our church has always been a BIG production. Our church is a very modern built church, it is basically a big auditorium (even has basketball hoops inside) with a big platform (oh you’ll get it if you call it a stage, but that’s pretty much what it is. In fact our guest speaker last week commented on how he didn’t know who designed that church but they didn’t know what they were doing because he couldn’t even see us when he stood on the platform because of the bright spotlights shining on his face)
so the worship portion of the service REALLY bothers us (if you couldn’t tell) Hubby always procrastinates going to church because the music is way too loud (our son covers his ears and begs us to take him outside) and Hubby gets really tired of the christian aerobics (stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down etc.) but theologically this church is our best fit. So we end up coming late pretty much every time we go.
Well during last weeks service we had a guest speaker and he mentioned how he noticed that 75% of the congregation arrived late to the service. He began to speak about how disrespectful it was to the spirit of God to arrive so late.
and while i think its presumptuous to assume that one is ONLY in the presence of the Lord when you’re singing worship with the rest of the church, I do kind of see his point. I’m never late to anything else. Even when i’m not feeling well, i usually arrive early. Not like waiting for the doors to open like my MIL but i always try to be there at least 5 minutes early.
I guess things would be different if the worship portion of the service didn’t make us so uncomfortable. I’m cool with singing a few hymns (opening my heart for the Lord to speak to me) but its a totally different thing when each song is 20 minutes long (2 fast songs, 1 slow song, prayer, and then another song during offering, more if the spirit moves us, or worse, more if the worship leader decides that we are not moved enough)
I don’t know, i’m just thinking out loud right now…
I’m only about 80% certain that your name was Janice. I met you…12 years ago? At a young women’s camp. The first memory I have of you was the very last night of camp, I was cold and tired but everyone was still sitting around the fire and singing hymns and sharing their testimony. I was falling asleep and you put your arm around me and told me that i could sleep on your shoulder. I hadn’t even met you then, but you offered me your shoulder and it was soft and warm and i quickly fell asleep. You gently woke me up and sent me back to my tent. I didn’t see you again but you were on my mind.
The next year when they started to talk about camp, the only reason why i went was because i wanted to see you again. I didn’t even know your name. On the first day of camp (July or August 1998), i looked for you and somehow found you. Miraculously you were looking for me too. We ran to eachother and hugged and told eachother how much we missed eachother, even though we hardly knew each other before. We were as close to insperable as you can get when we weren’t in the same classes.
It was the first time that i ever seriously considered the idea of a soul mate. Not because we talked about it, but because i knew you were mine. You belonged to me, and we were supposed to be together. Not in any kind of romantic way, but because you were a kindred spirit. I loved you so much and i hardly knew you. I still love you.
That year at camp was a warm spot in a very drab childhood. My parents had just divorsed. We were moving, again, out of our shack of an apartment back into the house that my parents bought right before my dad started cheating on my mom. We were moving into the house with a family that i had only met a couple times. Moving into a roomwith girls i had never met before, with questionable backgrounds. They all listened to heavy metal music and they cursed and made crude jokes and honestly, they scared me a little bit. In a few short weeks, i was going to start my freshman year of highschool. That was absolutely terrifying but I had you, even if it was for a very short time. You were two years older than me and infinately wiser and I looked up to you. You mothered me in exactly the way that i needed it at that time.
I hardly remember any specific moments with you, just our reunion and a few moments we stole away with eachother. I think that you were allergic to bees. You had allergies and had to get your inhaler from your mom, i left class to walk with you to get it. I remember that you had a crush on a boy with the initials AC. Everything else just kind of faded. I remember meeting you at lunchtime, meeting you at the campfire. Sitting close to you, wrapping my arms around your waiste as you wrapped yours around my shoulder. Mostly i just remembered loving you, and feeling loved in return.
I cried when i left already missing you but looking forward to seeing you next year.
I didn’t go to camp the next year. I never saw you again.
I wish i could. I wish i could tell you how much you meant to me. How much i still love you, and how i wish i could be as kindhearted and warm as you seemed to me. I’ve only met one other person who was so beautiful, my mother in law reminds me of you. I hope you’re doing well. You’re a woman now, I wonder who you became. I wonder if you’re still in the area. i wonder if i would recognize you if we came across each other at walmart one day. I wonder if you remember me at all.
But i remember when we met each other again the second year, and how you seemed to remember me as much as i did you and you were so happy to see me, how you ran to meet me down the hill when you saw me and how you hugged me close. Surely, i meant something to you too. Do you pray for me, like I do you?
You come to my mind every once in a while. Every time you do i stop what I’m doing and pray for you. I pray that you are well. I pray that life is kind to you. I pray that you know God. I need that. I need you to know God. I need to know that there is a chance we will meet again in a place beyond time. That one day I will be able to talk to you and tell you how much you meant to me. How much you still mean to me.
Your Sister in Christ,
Eph 6:10-17 (NIV) …Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Last night I went to a Wednesday night church service for the first time in…forever. He talked about spiritual warfare, and how a lot of us blame circumstances and people for the bad things that happen in our life. He says that nobody wants to admit that it could be the devil who could be interfering in our lives. We don’t want to sound crazy. “The devil broke my car again!”
To be perfectly honest, its hard for me to hear a story about supernatural powers working against somebody without thinking that they’re being a bit paranoid. I think it comes from spending too much time with a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks that his satanist father is out to get him and is sending agents after him.
But that doesn’t mean that nothing is supernatural. It doesn’t mean that the devil doesn’t work in people’s lives. Honestly just saying the words “the devil” out loud make me feel like a superstitious old woman, but I’ve got to get over it. Things happen, the devil is out there and doing his works whether i want to acknowledge it or not. Especially in my own life.
As Pastor Forsythe was talking about this i started to go on my own journey of self discovery. That is my self-mocking term for when i let my mind wander when i should be doing someone else. Usually my little journeys take me stupid places, instead of listening to the sermon I’ll start thinking about getting new glasses, or what I’m going to serve for diner the next day, or worse yet, some jokes that i heard earlier in the week. Its absolutely ridiculous to have to stop myself from laughing when the pastor is speaking on such serious things as demon possession, but being ADD girl, i can’t help it sometimes.
Well yesterday i started thinking about how earlier this week i planned to wake up and read my bible in the mornings after Caleb gets to school. The first day i didn’t get around to it, i had things to do, the second day i did well. I sat down and had christian music on when i woke up in the morning, which made Hubby really happy (he doesn’t much like my folk music or my country music) When i got home the music was off and the house was quiet and i got out my bible and read a few chapters in Mark (it took longer than i had hoped, mainly because of my little journeys of self discovery, i very much prefer the gospel of Luke, it keeps my attention better) and had a GREAT day.
Yesterday, not so much. When i woke up I had this song stuck in my head, and although i planned on having christian music on in the morning, i just had to listen to this song. And once i had listened to that song, i wanted to hear more country music because i was in the mood to swing. I ended up singing country music all the way to Caleb’s school and on the way back i ended up singing some bawdy songs to myself on the way home. When i got back home my bible was sitting on the table, and it sat there for the rest of the day while i goofed off and cleaned up the house and went about my usual business, and then when my sister in law came over, we went to church together later and the pastor began preaching about spiritual warfare.
Which brings me back to my point (i do have one, somewhere in there) Why in the world did i wake up with that stupid country song in my head. I mean there was nothing really wrong with the song in itself, but it upset the routine that i had set for myself, put me in the mood to NOT do as i wanted to do, to NOT listen to worship music and NOT to read my bible. something so small, and it changed my plans for the day.
Pastor Forsythe went on to talk about how we need to put on the full armor of God. I thought he was being a little redundant repeating it over and over. I went on another journey of self discovery, my eyes wandered a little to the left in my bible from where we were reading in Ephesians and my eyes picked up on this passage:
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
These little journeys of self discovery were starting to make me uncomfortable, they kept reminding me of what had happened this morning. Now i’m not saying that I think because i listen to country music that I’m going to hell. I’m saying that i’m swerving a little too much to the left here.
I love analogies. Let me use one now. Say you’re aiming a bow at a target 100 feet away. You’re dead center on the bulls eye targeting, but then something catches your eye to the left and your bow turns about half an inch or so to the left. Are you still going to hit the bulls eye? No. Are you going to hit the target half an inch to the left of where you aimed? No. Geometry doesn’t work that way. The further away the target is, the more your aim will be off, because a small change in angle at the beginning of the arrow’s journey, will turn into a big change at the end of it’s journey. Depending on how far reaching you want your arrow to be, the more a small change will affect its destination. You might not hit the target at all.
The literal translation for the Hebrew word for sin is “missing the mark”
I missed. My aim was to listen to christian music and to read my bible that morning, and I missed.
The bible says to put on the breastplate of righteousness. I think i tend to leave that one out. Usually its because i heard a REALLY good joke, and have to share, or i have a song stuck in my head that I’ve just got to sing (I’ve had a bawdy song about dragons stuck in my head all week, it seems) And that breastplate of righteousness seems like a burden to me instead of armor. “Do i have to be righteous today? This joke is so funny.” that breastplate seems to weight me down from the things that i really want to do.
But, you know, the breastplate is a pretty important piece of armor. I wouldn’t want to go into battle without it. But most days i assume I’m not going to be in any kind of battle. Surely the Lord doesn’t expect me to bathe in my armor?
Which returns me to my original point. In my attempts not to be a crazy person and see the devil in everything, I’ve almost completely forgotten that the devil CAN affect my life in tangible ways, if i let him. If i don’t guard myself. If i leave my righteousness rusting in the basement of my mind.
Thanks for following my circular train of thought with me. I don’t think I’m quite done with this one yet, i have a feeling that there is something else I’m missing in there, but i wanted to put this out there to share so perhaps we can ponder on this together.
Life has been hectic and I haven’t been able to study this as much as I had hoped to. But just because life is hectic doesn’t mean that i shouldn’t be doing this, it means that i need to dig deeper into the word more than ever.
People tend to look at the fruits of the spirit as things we do, rather than what grows in us as the spirit has his way with us.
You can teach a child to sit down and shut up but that doesn’t mean that you have taught that child to be patient.
Say you have this tree without fruit, so you go up and you tie on a bunch of fruit so that the tree looks fruitful, but it is not real fruit. Real fruit grows from the branches because of the process set into place for that tree to produce fruit.
“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control are fruit of the spirit. That means they come from a life connected to the source. They can’t be put on like articles of clothing to create an image of having the spirit in abundance. That makes them more like the aprons of leaves that Adam and Eve wore” Crystal Lutton
also, It is the fruit of the spirit, not the fruits. They are all one type. Apples from apple trees, oranges from orange trees, grapes from grape vines.
I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life
I don’t do this very often, but this has been speaking to me. If you’re not religious I’m not going to make you read it, but it might be interesting to you to see where I’m coming from. I just started a bible study/personal growth….thing. and i wanted to write it all out here to get my feelings down on paper and to keep myself accountable.
Anyway, this woman on my message board started talking about wanting to do a study about the fruits of the spirit and how they relate to who she is as a parent. I loved this idea and I wanted to do it along with her, so here we go.
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The Fruits of the Spirit are:
9. Self Control
They’re a concept I’ve heard before, but never really gone in depth with. I was raised in church, but i never really heard of them until i was an adult. The plan is to go in order and take each word week-by-week and find out what they really mean, study, pray about it, and practice it. Then we move down the list. Notice how gentleness and self-control are at the bottom of the list. A lot of things may have to be in place before these things are achieved. I would love to see how much easier gentleness comes to me once I have learned more about love, how to be joyful, peaceful, etc.
I want to journal my journey to confirm what I have learned, to record the successes I have the and road blocks I have come across and how much closer I feel to becoming the person and the Mommy I want to be. I’m going to be focusing on how these values relate to my family but I hope that in doing so I will also be drawing myself into a closer understanding with God.
I wanted to say a few words on the fruits of the Spirit before focusing on Love this week. The first being that they are not called the fruits of the Spirit for nothing. If we could do this by our own strength it would be called “being good” or something. When we realize that we can only do this by leaning on God we open ourselves up to his work in our lives and his transforming power.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
We do not produce fruit, we discover it. It is not of us, it is beyond us. it is our Super Power given to us by God. It is not something that you can try harder and obtain, it is a transformation that will only happen when we surrender to the promptings of the spirit. We open ourselves to God and the fruit will follow. That is Grace.
So lets not try to be discouraged when trying harder isn’t working for us.
So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg will give him a scorpion? If you then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Did you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God
He will not grow tired or weary
and his understanding no one can fathom
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak
Even youths grow tired and weary
and young men stumble and fall
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength
they will soar on wings like eagles
they will run and not grow weary
they will walk and not be faint
And DO NOT BE AFRAID TO FAIL
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers. Neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord