Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Books Books Books

Sometimes, I feel guilty for reading books that don’t have anything to do with God, such as Harry Potter or Twilight. But when I really start to think about it, it seems silly. God created the universe and then created us in His image. So we humans get our creativity from the Lord. Authors like J. K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer are just using that gift in order to create other worlds. People have compared Harry Potter to Christian themes- the way Harry dies for everyone who is fighting with him, his friends, teachers, and even some enemies. I can see why people compare the two; however, I can also see how the two are completely different. Many people have gotten very up in arms about this subject, mainly Christians. They think it’s horrible to say that a story about witchcraft and wizardry could ever be compared to the story of Jesus and that it’s a doorway into that witchcraft. Once again I can see both sides to this argument. On one hand it is absolutely ridiculous to compare the world of Harry Potter to real witchcraft. Those who have practiced Wicca may laugh at the thought of it because if Wicca was so easy as to just wave a wand and say a ‘magic’ word then many more people would be involved. But it’s not. The real world of witchcraft is much more complicated. On the other hand, I understand the doorway opinion because the world of Harry Potter is enchanting (which, by the way, is exactly the way any story should be) and some readers may wish, desperately, that it were real. So, they go in search of witchcraft on the Internet or library and what do they find? The Wicca section. Great. So, yes, I understand both sides. So I suppose those secure in their salvation through Jesus could read the book series and appreciate it for what it is; a story, and not be influenced by any “doorways” that may or may not be there.

Lets go back to the first sentence of the above paragraph. Why do I feel guilty? Well, the first answer that pops into my head is because I probably should be reading something more biblical or at least in some way Christian. But why? I go to school and have to read about non-Christian things all the time in class… why is this so different? I think the real issue of this is how I view my relationship with God. A good example of this could go like this: When classes are in session and I have work, I usually get fairly stressed out about my relationship with God. This is because throughout my day I am holding up one hand to God, as if to say “Wait, wait, let me just finish this and then I’ll spend time with You” and using the rest of my energy to do homework for classes or get a project for work done. But if I invited God into my day to share it with me and to invite Him to teach me anything He may want to teach me, I think the day would go very differently. The same goes for reading books. Instead of saying to God, “Wait, let me just finish this series and then Ill start reading Your Word again,” I could talk to Him about the book- the themes, characters, and overall creativeness of it. This may help me to see more in the story and may also strengthen my relationship with Jesus.

Monday, June 14, 2010


So, I've been having some issues with forgiveness. I know I need to forgive because Jesus said, "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."- Matthew 6:14-15. So there is someone I need to forgive. Every part of my flesh rejects this idea. I don't want to forgive this person... I would much rather kick them in the shins multiple times!!! However, on my more sane days, I realize by not forgiving this person, it is holding me back in my walk with my Lord. I can hold myself back enough, I don't need any more help, thank-you. So, I've tried to start my journey to forgiveness. I'm at the very beginning so I haven't gotten very far yet. But this is the question I've asked myself and God: How do you forgive someone who hasn't asked for your forgiveness and how do you treat them once you have forgiven them, especially if you don't want to be friends with them?
At this moment, when I see this peron, it feels like someone has punched me in the stomach and I can't breathe very well. And on top of that, I get so angry and hurt that they won't just come up to me and say, "I'm sorry". This is so annoying and I would really like for it to stop. How do I make it stop? I need to forgive! GRRRRR....

Anyways, in the book The Shack, the author touches on forgiveness. This is what he says, "Forgiveness is first for you, the forgiver, to release you from something that will eat you alive, that will destroy your joy and your ability to love fully and openly. Do you think this man cares about the pain and torment you have gone through? If anything he feeds on that knowledge. Don't you want to cut that off? And in doing so you'll release him from a burden that he carries whether he knows it or not- acknowledges it or not. When you choose forgive another, you love him well."

Now, the person I'm trying to forgive probably doesn't feed on the knowledge that they caused me pain, but I certainly don't think he cares very much. This is also very painful. But to let this whole mess continue to upset me, I put my happiness and joy in the hand of this person and thats not where it should be. Therefore, I'm trying very hard to put my happiness and joy in the hands of God, who will never disappoint.

In The Shack the main character asks how to forgive the person who took his daughter away. God says to simply speak it; there is power in what God's children declare. So this is what I've got to do. Declare forgiveness for this person. I don't know how long it will take but it'll get there eventually.

Falling Away

It's been a really long time since I posted. I fell away from God for a pretty good chunk of time, not something I'm proud of but there you go. As painful as it was, it taught me alot. I never understood how someone could fall away from God after being so close with Him. Now I understand that its a slow process- for example, I started being so focused on school, I kept forgetting to pray or read. I thought, "Once summer starts, it'll get better." But it didn't. That's what started the slow process of falling away. After that, it was all on me. Because I hadn't been close to God for such a long time, I started to get used to it. At first it hurt to be away from Him. It felt like my spirit was raw. But after a while. it didn't hurt so much anymore. Until it came to trying to go back to God. That was painful. First I was hit with the realization of how far I had gotten, then the guilt. I would ask for forgiveness and hope that this time would be different from the others. It usually wasn't. So I would fall back again.

Then came a situation I put myself in. It was a situation that I swore to myself that I would never EVER be in.. but there I was. Right in the middle of it. I won't get into specifics here, those closest to me know what I'm talking about. It could have been much worse than it actually was, but it was bad for me. Once out of the situation, I hated myself for letting myself get to that point. After that I still tried to go back to God and now it was excruciating. It felt like acid was being poured on my insides. I still never stayed with God for very long. In the books Black, Red and White by Ted Dekker, he portrays our relationship with God in an interesting way:

The book is about the main character falling into a dream world that is somehow connected to this reality, only it’s a completely different world. One in which your walk with God is physical rather than spiritual. In this world, you must bath in this certain body of water in order to remain pure. If you go too long without bathing in this water, your skin turns scabby and it is extremely painful. However once you get pass the first few days of it, the pain recedes and you become comfortable within the scabbiness, not only that but it also starts to be appealing. If you decide to come back to God, you must bath in the water. To do this is beyond painful. It burns as if it isn’t water, but actually acid. But once you are clean again, you realize how dangerous it is to not bath every day.
This is THE best explanation I’ve ever seen about how it feels to be with God, fall away from God, and then come back to God. Anyway...

FINALLY one night it worked. I was in tears talking to God again. And for some reason, this time was different. I still have some off days but nothing like it was before. I can read the bible and find something beautiful every time now. I can't stop drinking it in. It's quite wonderful. Now, I keep getting fascinated with topics like judging and forgiveness that I can't stop reading up on them. By the way, Blue Like Jazz is a very good book to read concerning judging. Actually its a really good book in general. The author's style is a little strange but funny in a way. I think the first few chapters are tough to get through but after that, its amazing.