2016 was hard. I started the year disillusioned, heartbroken, mourning. I had a pending draft blogged called “24 Joyous Moments of being 24” – a blog in which I celebrated 2015. But 6 days before the end of 2015, my beloved Turbo was hit by a car right in front of me and passed away. Nothing could cheer me up. I received a promotion at work at the same time, but none of it mattered. If anything, the change only broke my heart more.
I tried to write the blog even after the most horrid of emotions passed, but I couldn’t. Maybe one day I’ll just post it as is, unfinished. Either way, the changes in my life continued me on an emotionally draining path. I moved to a new apartment with a new roommate, which felt like another goodbye to my dog and also had its own set of tensions. I did therapy. I did so much self-discovery that it hurts me now as I write. I wonder about life and secrecy. I got back into politics only to have the hope and goodness sucked out of me at the end of it all. Maybe politics does that, but I wish it wouldn’t.
2014 was Learning. 2015 was Joy (Almost). 2016 was… was what? Is “hard” the only word I have?Read More »
Often when theologians or pastors talk about how people view God and the ways we interact with God, they often focus on the idea that people create gods out of how they see themselves. I’m in the middle of listening to “Pete Rollins on God Part 2” on the The Robcast as I write this.
Yet I find this to be a limited understanding of the way a culture views God. Perhaps I just need more self-reflection, but I do not see God as a better image of myself, and it absolutely isn’t the image I struggle the most with. I often have seen God as a white man in the sky because I was listening to those preaching. So perhaps it is more accurate to say that many who pastor and preach, who teach God, will focus on God as themselves.
So the questions I have for myself are how do I see God? And what influence of that is from what I have been taught? Read More »
How did I wind up so interested in theology? I think the spark may have been lit in high school, as I remember being frustrated the way I’d basically memorize my youth pastor’s sermon points, but couldn’t retain anything in my AP Calculus class.
Then perhaps it was further dived into when the boy I had a crush on when I was 18 and 19 years old would talk to me late into the night about C.S. Lewis books and quotes. By 20, I was reading popular modern Christian authors as I tried to argue against this friend’s Rob Bell-type beliefs during that whole Love Wins / Erasing Hell madness in the Christian community (if you don’t know about that: good.) I’d even work out at the gym listening to David Platt sermons. Then my world started to break, and my beliefs in the world were challenged, and I tried to walk away from all the debates and arguments and appeals to emotion or intellect for awhile. I didn’t want to figure out the divide between the spiritual and the flesh anymore. I was tired. I was sore from watching the hate.Read More »
Communion. Eucharist. The Divine Meal. What does it all mean? Why do churches partake in this every Sunday, or twice a year, or in between church services the first Sunday of the month? Why are there so many arguments about what it means from a theological standpoint?
Throughout Christian history, so much has been said on Eucharist and what it means. I grew up Catholic, so Communion was very particular. We had a lot of rules and a lot of regulations. I took lessons for my First Communion when I was in 2nd grade, an event I wore a clean and white dress for. When I look back to that day, I remember feeling excluded by my peers, but I can’t remember why. I think they wouldn’t let me take a photo with them. My teacher was nice enough to take a photo with me. But then when I ate the paper flakes and drank the wine, it felt Holy.
I was an altar server for awhile, so I can’t tell you how many times I watched the Catholic Transfiguration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood. To this day, however, I still don’t quite understand the concept. What I did understand? That there were a LOT of rules. I had to do confession twice a year. I had to keep going to Mass. I couldn’t get married outside the church. I couldn’t get divorced. I couldn’t have sex. All of these things would limit access to the Eucharist.
When I went to Protestant churches later on, the little juice cups got passed around with the little bread pieces attached… or at chapels in college, I’d tear off a piece of bread and dip it in the juice. I no longer believed that I was eating the Body of Jesus Christ, but something kept drawing me back to it. Read More »
I sometimes think I hear this “voice” in my heart that tells me what to do. When it first really started, I knew “for sure” that it was God speaking to me somehow. I called it a “knowing in my heart.” It was a voice clearly outside of my own, because I felt that my own voice was sinful and self-hating. As my faith has been shaping and changing, and as my own personal confidence has grown, I still think that the “knowing in my heart” is somehow Divine, but I’m not sure the details. Perhaps a higher self that God Themselves instilled in me. I’m not sure. I don’t really care. It’s a mystery. I am only sure that the voice feels wise, and I have gained wisdom and love by listening to it.
I tell you all this because the story I want to share with you will sound a little crazy if you aren’t sure what it means. Sometimes it felt like I was speaking to myself, but other times it had knowledge that there’s no way I could have known. Sometimes I “felt things on my heart” that simply instructed me to call someone, or send someone kind words. But sometimes the voice was for me, to comfort me. Read More »