Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Inconvenient Truth

In October of 1997 my life forever changed. (in more ways than one!) I had just moved in with two complete strangers- Martha and Holly. One week after I moved in, a friend of Holly’s needed a place to stay and so she moved in with us for several weeks too. (oh my word you would NOT believe the number of people we had temporarily staying with us while we lived there!!) Roz was a Jewish lady Holly had met while attending the Synagogue. She was a very unique person…but we won’t get into all that now. Sadly, we’ve lost touched with her over the years….but she has had a great impact on my life. First, she obviously introduced me to the Jewish Culture. One of my memories of her, was when she had received an email with a list of Jewish jokes and was reading it to Holly and I. Poor Roz…we were so clueless that she had to explain all the words and concepts of the joke before and after she read them…and THEN we laughed...or at least courtesy laughed if we still didn't get it. (Oy! Wouldn’t she be proud of us now!?!)

But there was another reason she will forever be in the life-changer section of my mind…

One night a group of us were sitting around discussing the Bible and religion. I don’t remember the original subject we were talking about, but knowing us, we were 16 concepts past that anyway. All of a sudden Roz made a statement that FOREVER changed my outlook on my faith, Christianity and the Bible. She challenged my belief about “doctrines” and the tendency we have to make things up in our religion. I thought she was crazy for the different things she was spouting off. And then she had the audacity to say this…

“For instance, you know that the Bible NEVER says that it was Satan that was in the serpent in the garden?”

What? I was shocked at that accusation! What was she talking about? Of COURSE it said that! That is Sunday School 101 flannelgraph basics!

So I pretty much told her she was a raving lunatic and ran to get my Bible to prove her wrong.
I sat down on the floor in front of her and flipped to Genesis 3 and started reading.

And suddenly, I was completely speechless.

All it says is… “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" …and, there’s nothing about Satan in the rest of the chapter either.

Ok, so maybe you already knew that and think I’m crazy for this revelation. But all of us in that room 12 years ago were stunned and just sat and stared at each other. I didn’t know what to say. My mind was spinning in a hundred different directions. Where did that concept come from? Why do we assume it was Satan? What if it wasn’t Satan? Who the heck made that up? On and on it spun.

It was at that moment, that my life shifted.

I realized that I just blindly believed and quoted those little Sunday School 101 answers…but I had never stopped to look, to research, and figure out for myself what was Truth and what wasn’t.

NOW...before I go on...let me say…(cause we ALL know I had to get to the bottom of that…even though it took many years for anyone to lead me to the right answer) that it’s all about the Hebrew...and in different parts the same word is used for Satan and it was used for the serpent…there is definitely a connection to Satan and the serpent)

At that moment, I started questioning everything. And sadly, I realized that so much of what I believed, and so much that we even teach in the church is just blah blah blah that’s been handed down over the last several generations and have absolutely no Biblical Truth to it whatsoever. My faith was shaken many times over the last decade as I searched for Truth. Not in a crushing way…but in a “let everything that can be shaken, be shaken” kind of way. And I WANT the crap shook off. I WANT the only thing that remains to be pure and total Truth. Not man made up doctrine.

Honestly, it’s quite shocking how much we as Christians spout off concepts that are only based on tradition, and not the Bible. Now, I absolutely despise SS 101 answers-because after some minor research, I’ve disproven so many over the years. It takes everything in me not to scream out when I hear them. Well, sometimes I do speak up…when I’m feeling especially in control of my emotions that day. Otherwise I just wait till I’m safely in my car where I can scream and spit out my frustrations to just God.

So really…THIS post…is a challenge. I challenge each and every one of you to start questioning your beliefs and the answers we so quickly fire off. Do you KNOW the Biblical answer behind it? If not…then I suggest not saying it. That may be a hard concept…but who of us wants to get to Heaven and be told that what we were teaching others wasn’t even true?
GOD is a solid rock…GOD is a FIRM foundation. Questions shouldn’t be feared when our stability is found in Him.

Monday, October 19, 2009

vulnerability of a nut job

I’m in a very self-reflecting mood…so be ready for some very reflective posts. I understand if you don’t want to be a part…but this particular issue still makes me giggle every time I think about it…so I thought I’d share.

I’m not an easily offended person. Really. Some people tend to think I am…because I’m expressive…and opinionated. But I don’t take disagreements personally. I can argue and not care. You can be really mean to me, or say something that ticks me off…and although it will most definitely stir up some sort of outburst of emotion from me…offense and grudges against individuals don’t really grow in my world.

Now, did you catch that very key word???


Although everything previously stated is true… it would also be true to state that I can however, become offended with groups of people. Random, faceless, concepts can put me over the edge. I’ve always kind of known this…but this fact about myself doesn’t always stick in my head…and since individuals don’t cause me to hold grudges…I can sometimes just live life oblivious to the fact that offense is trying to take root through another door.

But, God has FULLY revealed this to me…in a way that it will stay in the forefront of my mind…and something that I will forever be guarding myself against. I’m only being vulnerable and sharing this in the blogiverse…well, cause it’s funny.

So several weeks ago was the whole Obama Talking to Schools Debacle of ’09. (I wrote several posts about it....just in case you were oblivious, or blocked it out) Just know, that even though I let my opinions be known in certain areas…I do, actually show great restraint…even when screaming out…because what I REALLY want to say, I hold in…and try my darndest to remain somewhat appropriate.

Well, one of the Sunday’s around that time… we were taking Communion at Church. I was asking God if I needed to “take care of anything” before hand…and quite honestly, I didn’t think there was anything and felt pretty good-to-go.

But then God said- “Ummm, ya. You got issues. You need to take care of an offense.”

I was kinda shocked (and a little worried) and immediately asked what I needed to do as I was frantically searching my mind for someone I was holding a grudge against or something.

God then said…

“Jenn, you need to forgive the Republicans”

OK, truly….I laughed out loud. (good thing I was in the back at the sound booth!)
For goodness sakes! I realized it was totally true…but the concept was just TOO funny.

I had to forgive the Republicans before I took Communion.

So I took care of the problem, and even though I was really serious about it…and happy for this new revelation of something I needed to guard against…I totally giggled the whole way through it.

Who in the world has had to forgive an overall major political party before taking Communion?

I’m pretty sure I tend to bring GREAT joy to God’s heart.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

musings of an amused muse

First off….ya’ll are some funny funny people. Silent for years…and suddenly everyone’s a part like you never left. I’ll try to cut back on the comment whoring…but last week insecurity was trying to set itself inside my thoughts…and somehow THAT was the path it chose to take. Bizarro, I know. I’m over it.
For now.

I’m kinda in the mood to just spout off what’s in the top of my head…partly, because I’m quite concerned that Belinda is bored at work and needs SOMETHING to be reading right now…and partly because there’s much much deeper stuff I’m currently contemplating…but not ready to discuss yet…

***At this moment, I’m watching The Hills. At this moment, I’m wondering why the heck I am doing such a thing. I think I’m pretty much done with the show. I’m well aware I shouldn’t have ever started watching it to begin with…but it was by accident. And little Lauren looked all cutie in her headbands…and so I decided I would, as well, look cutie in headbands and immediately ran out to buy some. (fyi- I was right) I also liked to watch how their apartments were decorated and such. I really don’t remotely know why. I think I was just fascinated that these are their actual, ridiculous, no concept of money, lives. I was uberly enthralled. But LC got smart enough to leave…and now that Kristin girl is here, who I’m supposed to care about, but I never watched Laguna Beach…and so therefore I don’t. And people may think that LC was boring…but for goodness sakes…who wants to watch Kristen be a ‘B’ to everyone, just for funsies? (*SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched Oct 15th!!*) PLUS…it’s somehow suddenly appropriate to give sex toys as a b-day present to your ex-boyfriend whose current girlfriend despises you…AND it was opened in front of his MOM…who was standing there pretending to be part of the twenty-somethings in her ridiculous bikini??? Ugh. I’m so out.
Omg-I just searched for an HOUR to find a pic of LC in that black headband she wore in every episode during that first season...ummmm...ya. nada. Whattheheck?

***SpeakingofTVissues… I’m actually weeding out a lot of shows. About 3-4 mos ago or so, God started asking me to do it. Some things were REALLY easy cause I wasn’t attached…I just like to have noise in the background when I’m home alone. I’m a people girl…and sometimes being around fake people has to suffice. I think it all started with Big Brother. Whenever it was about to start, God said- “Hey, let’s not have that on in your house.” Honestly, I wasn’t really fazed by that request. I DID ask why, though, (cause I always ask why!) and He said it was because of the dishonesty, back-stabbing, manipulation and such that went on, and that I didn’t need that as my background noise. Made sense. But then…cause I’m smart like this…I realized that the same principle would probably start applying across the board. And sure enough…several weeks later God nixed Survivor when it was about to start. I was slightly sadder…but again, I survived. (ha! I’m so punny!) But NOW He seems to be getting up in my business a little more! (always does, doesn’t He?) And He’s telling me things like, not to watch How I Met Your Mother. (yes Shonda, I PROMISE He said it) I actually DID like that show…a lot…and so that has been a little bit of a struggle. But let’s face it…it’s a tacky tacky show. The easy part is deleting it off the dvr timer. The HARD part was this last Monday night I was home, and had NOTHING going on for the evening…and REALLY struggled and TRIED to justify that it was ok to watch it…but of course conviction and guilt won over within 3 minutes…and I’m officially done with HIMYM. (Oh, and in the midst of all this I was GOING to watch Glee…which is ALMOST pure greatness…but also way too much and God put the smackdown on that too) *sigh*

***So there’s this apartment down by where we have to park our cars. I was always creeped out because the people that lived there would leave the sliding glass door open all night while they slept…and you could see into their bedroom. (Plus, hello, safety??) These are also the people that were out on that patio one day clipping their toe nails as I pulled up. And they’re higher than the parking lot…so really I got a view down his shorts as his leg was in the air and he was clipping away. So gross.
BUT…the point of this particular randomness…is that they moved out. And another couple moved in. And they ALSO leave the sliding glass door open and you can see in their apartment too! Weirdies! BUT…it’s not their bedroom! It’s their living room! ? ! And the couch is lined up perpendicular to the edge of the door. What? First- bizarre place for your couch. And SECOND…which people were crazier- the ones that apparently turned a living room into a bedroom…or the ones that have turned a bedroom into a living room?? WHY??? AAAAAnnnnddd….why is it that anyone who moves into this particular apartment apparently wants to pretend they’re on their own reality show and they think the rest of us want to watch their every move?? Close the blinds people!!
That picture was taken in Korea...what the heck is going on over there?

***And I heart you all…but for goodness sakes stop going private on your blogs! (haha-as I just talk about the creepy people putting themselves out for the world to view!!) Ya, that’s right, I’m a quandary of dichotomy. Personally, I just don’t like the effort of having to sign in…so I only do it occasionally…and then try to read all the privy’s at once. Stop messing with my world! But again…of course I do heart you and will continue being a part. Well, sometimes.

WeeeEEEeeellll…that’s all for now. Kinda sad you held out for all this nonsense, aren’t you? The truth is….is that there is a lot of things I’m trying to work through enough so I can actually get the thoughts OUT of the swirling mess of my head. And so soon…I’ll be posting again. I PROMISE. MUAH.