an unexpected gift


Crop of original painting "Anbetung der H...

Crop of original painting “Anbetung der Hirten” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(For those of you who follow both my blogs, I’m posting this to both of them today. I don’t usually do this, but I felt it as appropriate to both.)

I’m just getting ready to spend some quiet time with God but I wanted to post before the day gets beyond me.

I don’t know about you but the closer I get to Christmas the more I think of all those projects I wanted to complete but didn’t. All those Pinterest DIY’s that beckon me and awake my creative juices. Making presents for the people in my life is one of the highlights of Christmas for me.

This year it was flannel plaid infinity scarves for the women. It was jute wrapped bottles with the word, “love” spelled out in separate letters on each bottle. It was adorable “HO, HO, HO,” wall :”thingees” I made for friends. Yes, I took pics but honestly doubt I’ll get them posted. I don’t know how everyone is posting Christmas tours of their homes. I have to say mine is beautifully decorated. It’s an old, old house so it lends itself to Christmas anyway. In fact it was during the Holidays that we decided to buy it. But whether you ever see the pics is in question at the moment. But I certainly enjoy those pictures that others have posted. Makes me feel I know them.

I’m winding down now knowing that many of the things I wanted to do aren’t going to get accomplished. But I’m OK with that.

Mary and Joseph were only thinking of one thing, the birth of their Son. That’s what I’m concentrating on today. How the birth of Jesus is meant to impact my life and how I relate to others.

Does Christ make a difference in my life or not?

So today I take time from a very busy day and reflect on a birth I don’t understand. I mean, seriously, a virgin birth? And yet I believe. And what amazes me at this very moment, even as I write, is that if I can believe something as “out-of-box” as a virgin birth, why do I question God in other areas?

Why do I ever question He hears AND answers my prayers? Why do I ever question He can perform miracles. Honestly, until I started writing today, I never made that connection What an unexpected gift of insight I’ve just been given.

Some will scoff at my beliefs. It doesn’t matter. Belief and faith are intensely private and personal. Besides, everyone operates from a belief in something. Everyone.

Advertisements

o.k. I’m mad


images (16)I’m mad today!

I never wanted to post anything political or controversial but here I go. I just got off my Facebook page where someone posted “How sad they were that most Christians don’t get this whole “marriage equality” thing. All I can say is, that is arrogant beyond belief.  Frankly, I’m sick of it. Maybe we Christians are getting what we deserve for our fear of expressing our beliefs. But why? Why did we ever get so afraid in the first place? How in the world did we get to a place in America where only certain supposed main-stream opinions are tolerated?(Probably called main-stream because those that feel otherwise are keeping their mouths shut.) What every happened to respecting other people’s views? Respecting someone for their views does not mean you have to agree with them. And what, pray tell, is wrong with having deep religious convictions anyway?

(I will be honest and say though that I don’t have controversial conversations with people who can’t intelligently express why they believe they way they do. People who simply believe certain things without ever doing their homework are people I don’t take seriously. That’s just me. (Maybe that makes me an intellectual snob.) I reserve the right to disagree only with those who have done their own homework and aren’t just regurgitating what they hear. That goes for those with religious beliefs as well.) 

People should think a lot more than they do.

Frankly, I’m sad that marriage equality is more important that “views equality”.  O.K. so  before you condemn me, maybe you should know my views and if you choose to unsubscribe, so be it.  But first I want you to know that I subscribe to a number of blogs that express views outside my comfort zone. In fact, I don’t think I subscribe to any that aren’t quite different from mine. I do it because I like to have my thinking challenged.  These bloggers feel the way they do based on their deeply held convictions. I’m not afraid of losing my Christianity because I expose myself to different viewpoints. I can learn from those who think differently from me.  Can you learn from me?

Am I a homophobic? Not at all. I had a number of gay friends growing up. My friend’s neighbors are gay and I never fail to engage them in conversation when I see them out and about. They have been great neighbors to my friend and I treat them as I would anyone else. Why wouldn’t I?

Do I agree with marriage equality? No. I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.  My beliefs are based on my own study of Scriptures which is the main knowledge base I work from, as well as other sources. I’ve listened and sincerely thought through what others are saying and my convictions remain what they are. They are deeply held. I don’t apologize for them.

This post is about the chasm between liberals and conservatives and why there doesn’t really have to be one.  Televisions commentators, on both sides of the political spectrum, don’t help any. They all add fuel to the fire. I watch some of these shows because I want to know what the thinking is on both sides.

I guess if I wanted to leave my followers with anything today it’s just this:

Listen, really listen, to other people’s opinions. If those opinions reference religion, don’t go shutting down your mind. I’ve had conversations with many who don’t share my beliefs. It doesn’t make them evil! If someone says, “I don’t agree”, does that mean it’s the end of the conversation? And if so, why? Besides, I have some of the same questions about religion as they do. I’m a stronger Christian today than I was even a year ago because I’m not afraid to question and challenge my own faith.

Certainly, there are times we walk away from conversations that are getting too heated and where we’re merely circling the wagons-of-our-own-beliefs. When the conversation isn’t going anywhere, maybe we should!

I’m not even suggesting we become more tolerant, whatever that means anymore. (Tolerance has come to mean agreement by many. It’s a much over-worn word and concept.) I will never become tolerant of any belief that brings harm to another person. (In the case of gay marriage, I don’t believe anyone is harmed as there is the option of a legal civil union. BTY, if they are in a legal civil union, they should have equal benefits as well.) If our opinions are well-thought out, we don’t have to abdicate them just because someone disagrees with them. Even if a lot of “someones disagrees with them. Just at least be willing to listen to the views that run counter to yours.

O.K. Now do I post this or not?