Misplaced Identity

I do believe that events in our lives have a significant effect on our personalities (a set of traits we display throughout our lives) and subsequently, the choices we make which forms our identity. There are those who spend their lives living for others – pleasers/givers – who never took the time to find out about themselves. There are those who believe the world revolves around them – narcissist/takers – whose sole purpose is about them. There are the rest of us who fall on the spectrum between the both.

For the last few months, I saw a recurring theme in my life and few others. I recognized that no matter how much we think we know ourselves, at times, we misplace our identities when we become desperate and in need of something we want. What I mean by this is I saw a woman who professed to have strong Christian beliefs become disparaging and demeaning of anyone very easily because she is experiencing work  burnout. I heard a conservative single person accept suggestive behaviors from someone who is considered newly married with a young family and professed love for spouse. I see compromise of long held values bent to fit a desire. I see loss of self-respect due to fear of the unknown. I see a willingness to compromise on things that will not be healthy in the long term. I see putting one’s better judgment aside to cater to someone else’s selfishness. I see the wearing down of time which makes people go soft on things that would not have been tolerated.

In life we want the perfect everything. We want a perfect God, perfect families, perfect spouses, perfect children, perfect friends, perfect jobs etc. Please don’t lie to yourself if you say you don’t want perfection. However, we know there is nothing on this earth that is perfect. So, when we are saddled with less than sublime contentment, our views and behaviors deteriorate over time. We go after or accept people and situations that require us to put aside or modify our values and beliefs. This pushes us to make less than ideal choices with a short-sighted view of a moment in the rest of our lives. We misplace our identities.

How many times have we read/watched a news story and someone always says “[he/she] was a good person. [he/she] would never have done….” For Christians, David was a good boy who turned into God’s champion; however, this was the same man who arranged a murder and engaged in infidelity. Judas was one of Jesus’ 12 and he was chosen because he had a consistently good character like the others but allowed himself to be bribed by money. Samson’s strength came from his beliefs which manifested in not cutting his hair; however, he compromised for love and companionship. The Bible and real life are filled with people misplacing their identities in a short-sighted compromising view in order to find a piece/peace that was missing at that moment in time.

We all want to feel whole -emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually. We all want to wake up every morning and truly thank God without asking for anything. However, for the majority of this broken world, we wake up and say a prayer of thanks along with a request or two. Some requests have been years in the asking and others are from recent overwhelming stressors. Whatever the situation, a feeling of desperation, urgency or last resort, can reek havoc on the identities we have carefully crafted to give us strength which are grounded by certain values and beliefs.

Do not be fooled. We all know or have that gut discomfort when we stray from ourselves. We know something is wrong but we are not always ready to face it or fix it until we find our confidence in our identities again. Life is not fair buttercups and sometimes it hands us and we accept a bag of sh*t (that may or may not explode). In reaction, we compromise or stray from what we hold dear because we truly believe this is the best way to feel in control. It’s that accumulated moment of weakness, desperation, frustration, longing, tiredness, impatience, out of ideas, dissatisfaction, disappointment, disillusionment etc that can be powerful. So powerful, we forget who we are, what we belief,  and what we are about. We forget our identities; we forget ourselves.

The bottom line is people make mistakes and err in behaviors. Sometimes we identify it quickly and sometimes we make it drag on for years. However, there is something liberating when you find your identity again and put yourself back on track. There is something freeing – our stomachs aren’t in knots, our minds aren’t constantly preoccupied, we aren’t always uneasy – that happens when we make those changes. This is not always easy because it means we have to undo a situation or take responsibility for uncharacteristic behaviors. When we remove the *cognitive dissonance, then our minds, bodies, beliefs and behaviors are in sync again. Life is a series of ups and downs and we all have our weak moments. We all have lost a bit of our identities in the past, currently and will in the future. However, its only tragic when we allow ourselves to be defeated and stay defeated. To err is human and you know what else is human? To change,  to recognize and acknowledge that we make less than great choices in a state of defeat but we can still find and reinstate our misplaced identities.

*cognitive dissonance (partial definition): mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas or values.


Is God Silent?

The answer to that question depends on each person’s definition of God’s communication. For some, God is speaking through the occasional ‘miracles’ we experience or read about in the news. For others, God is speaking through the craziness of this world and for another group, things are set in motion and God is on an extended vacation from humanity and no one is minding the crazy house.

My personal answer to that question is yes actually a resounding yes. I do believe that God is silent and everything good, bad or indifferent in our lives is up for interpretation as to whether it’s God’s hands or other. Take for instance, the death of a child can be a blessing or a curse. For the family who loss a child, it’s hardly a blessing but for the family whose child received a vital organ from someone else’s loss, then that’s God’s answers to their prayers. As fallible human beings, we classify certain events as ‘blessings’ to desperately make sense of the chaos-whether these things are blessings or not remain to be seen. If the child rejects the organ and dies sooner than expected, then was that a blessing with a curse or all blessing or all curse? Should each parent be grateful to have had a short period with their child? Was that God’s will  or the devil’s will or both? or should I just leave God out of it all together because shit happens?

Looking at the world’s dysfunctional stage, there is no denying that human beings have progressively loss their compassion and kindness for fellow men. While there is still ‘good,’ it seems our humanity has been allowed to denigrate to something less than animalistic. A systematic repeat of history. Around every corner of world events, the Christians become alarmist to the antichrist or the end of the world. If you believe in your Bible, then accepting that piece of prophecy is inevitable. As a child growing up in one church or another, there have been varying degrees of the signs of the end times and various figures identified as the ushering in of the age of the antichrist. As we denigrate and destroy ourselves through the misinterpretation of what we think God meant by this scripture or that belief, we start to lose the basic teneth of “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” or if we want it broken down clearer, then reread the love chapter 1 Corinthians 13.

As I have said in previous posts, I find this good vs evil dynamics to be a very twisted and sadistic game-a game of pain and destruction in which the believers are instructed that suffering is good and they are expecting some kind of happy perfect paradise ending. The hunger games on steroids. We all want that prize which is specific to our beliefs-heaven, virgins, good karma, higher caste or peace on earth.

There are very few things in this world that I would attribute to divine intervention and they have nothing to do with miracles but human beings making conscious decisions to “do unto others.” While the Bible tells us to not look to man but look up, I disagree wholeheartedly with that simplistic line and concept. We should do both because our lives are not lived in a God in heaven vacuum. If we took the idea of God and heavenly rewards out of the picture, our lives should still look the same which is the desire to do the best we can with what we have – somewhat like this man: CNN Heroes Tribute Narayanan Krishnan. (If you type in his name in YouTube, you will see how his choices makes us put ours into perspective). While one group interpret words on some pages and behead others in the name of their God, someone else sees suffering and renders assistance in the name of choice which gives glory to his God.

God is watchfully silent and we play the game. We interpret his words and make choices based off those beliefs. We have the choice to hold out our hand to someone else or point a gun. We decide to perpetuate hate due to differences (you name a difference and there is prejudice) and at times we delude ourselves into thinking God sanctioned our actions or choices. Life can be both a blessing and a curse; however, for some, more curses than blessings and others more blessings than curses. So which is it God’s intervention or your choices that results in consequences?

Despite my ongoing conflict with the concept and role of God plus the thought of attending church as an unproductive use of my time, I still say a prayer when I wake up and when I go out of the house. I still say grace over my food. Ironically, I still pray for things and ask God for guidance and answers. Maybe it’s a force of habit or I still have a mustard seed worth of faith. I guess I am still not ready to toss the idea of religion and God into the trash.

Is Jesus Enough?

A poster asked the question? Is Jesus enough? If Jesus is enough, then why are Christians so eager to get married? My response is that Jesus is never enough. You may be aware of the saying that all you need is Jesus. However, if we are to be truly honest, then that statement gets thrown out with the bathwater.

So, let me start my ‘blasphemous’ observations. If you are on social media, it can become littered with good intentioned Christians who frequently post ‘all you need is Jesus’ or ‘leave it all up to Jesus’ inspirations. While I enjoy reading them and they serve as a great pick-me-up, they are lacking in the harsh reality of being a Christian. For example, someone posted an inspiration gone wrong stating “Somebody is in the hospital right now begging God for the opportunity you have. Don’t you dare go to bed depressed. Shake it off!” The response was overwhelmingly negative because there were a number of people who are suffering from clinically diagnosed depression who could not just “shake it off” in Jesus’ name. Interestingly, the poster did not clarify or addressed the backlash.

If Jesus or God was enough, then our lives would mirror those of monks, priests and the John the Baptists types. We would be like the ravens that do not worry for food, shelter, companionship or producing off-springs. We would be truly free from all the cares of the world and spending all our time in full and complete devotion to God and spreading his word. However, if you look at our lives we are so far from the “Jesus is enough” concept.

The truth is we like the idea of sprouting that phrase but in true reality we neither desire nor can live to that standard. Christians get married because they want to feel loved and share in companionship. Christians have children because they want to pass on their love, have a human to own and care for, to pass on their legacy and expand their family. Christians maintain close contact with family and friends to build support. Christians touch, hug and make physical contact with others to feel human interactions. Christian couples show intimacy just because it feels good. Christians work for and buy nice things to have a sense of accomplishment and enjoy various comforts from their labour. In other words, we have wants and needs that the love or belief in Jesus is not always able to fill and there is nothing wrong with accepting that fact. There is little that we do in our day to day lives that has anything to do with spreading Christianity and  belief in God.

Believing in God relates to a guideline on how we are to worship the creator and use of the Christian best practice guide in our daily lives. The Bible teachings of God was not meant to be a replacement of living in this world. It is to help us survive emotionally and spiritually in this world. Jesus will never be enough for majority of the people who believe in Christianity. Our human nature requires more than reading daily scriptures, having faith in the unseen, praying to a God we can’t see, feel, hear (his own voice) or touch, or going to church. Besides John the Baptist, none of the Bible characters went through their lives in complete religious isolation. They had families, friends, disciples, lives and a belief in God.

God should be a part of our lives not some improbable idea that he should be exclusive in our lives. If, as a Christian, that exclusivity is your calling, then God bless you. On the other hand, most of those ‘Jesus is all you need’ inspiration quotes are just empty gestures to make you feel good for a moment but not a realistic endeavor. We become so pious that we forget to make Christianity realistic to our every day stressors. Instead of some generic quote, how about a true testimony of one’s struggles and how the belief in God applies. Being a Christian is not a straightforward or smooth journey, some days you feel close to God as if he was there in person and other days you struggle to understand why you believe.

No, for me, Jesus is not enough while living on this earth. In the past, as preachers would emphasize this, I struggled greatly to live to that concept. There was a certain amount of guilt with not being able to fit neatly into this idea. I finally gave it up and accepted the fact that in my reality it does not work. As Christians, we sketch our own journey in life while holding on to a belief that there is a God who cares.

I am a Sinner

I am a Sinner with a capital S. This is not a proud status but it certainly is a very real status. In my current state, I will not be one of the 144,000 mentioned in the Book of Revelation. In my current state, I will not be one of the righteous in the first resurrection. In my current state, I will more likely be in the group with the other people. You know, the group in which most religious people either do not mention or speak of badly.

How do I know that I am a sinner? The Bible of course. When Christians read the Bible, they do not imagine themselves being in the group of others. They imagine themselves sitting at the feet of God with a goofy smile in an all-white and bright paradise. If one listens very carefully, Christians will admit to being sinners but not really. They admit it only in the context in which the Bible says we are sinners and lost because of our human nature which was corrupted in the garden. There are other passages that noted we are born in sin and shaped in inequity or that section which reads not one is righteous except….

I can list all my sins to myself and God. I know when I am trying to justify something that is Biblically contradictory. I really do know but in order to stay out of the other group I lie to myself. Every now and then (actually a lot more than I want to admit), I am totally comfortable with lying to myself. I give it some time before I am slapped in the face with the Biblical truth and that becomes the ‘O shit, my bad” moment. You know, the log in the eye analogy. Yep, I can admit to having the log-in-my-eye infection (I guarantee that it comes without the fishy odour).

I am the antithesis of a true Christian believer and here are some of the reasons. If you missed most of my blog entries, I have been on church sabbatical for a few years with an occasional appearance. I cannot stand religious rhetoric (oddly I can manage other rhetoric but less tolerant when it comes to Christianity). If being a believer is a matter of life or death, then speak to me plainly in basic and raw human needs and I will understand and show more respect. There is a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to be highfalutin and there is a time to keep it simple stupid (KISS). I really detest majority Christian gatherings because there is a ridiculous and compulsive need to be the perfect Christian. It’s hard to see the real person. This is either a gift or curse but most often than not I am usually able to detect bullshit and can be easily repelled.

I am the antithesis of a true Christian believer because there are aspects of the Bible that does not ‘sit well’ with me. If I could get away with just doing ‘good deeds,’ and having my own private Father-daughter time with God, then I would be the best Christian ever. Do not be mistaken, there are amazing aspects to Christianity – the love from wonderful people, the caring for others, someone on high looking out for your best interest in the afterlife etc. If that was all there was to making it through the Pearly gates, then I would definitely be the first in line.

I am a defiant person who still believes in Christianity. I see the value and the benefit in having a belief in God; however, I am still defiant to certain things which therefore puts me in the group with the others. My sins are my own and I take full responsibility (as I should) for every single one of them. Even if I did get my act fully on God’s track, I would still not be a typical Christian. I know that I do not fit into that box. I am a sinner and not in that stupid religious cliché term. I am the real deal – you know, the ones that Jesus died for on the cross but too stubborn to get it right. I have no intentions of bullshitting anyone with a pretty picture of me. What you see and hear is exactly as is (I am still allowed to have my own personal secrets), take it or leave it because I may not be a proud sinner but I am certainly not hiding or pretending.



Declaring God Under Fire

I have been known to wake up from odd dreams every now and again. This morning was one such situation. Besides it being annoying to have my sleep disturbed, the dreams usually put me in a state of great contemplation about my life existence.

This dream in question had a religious focus. In the dream, I was in a bedroom with my older sister and we are awake in a dark room after hearing a noise. I move to lock two doors and we listen intently for something going on outside the bedroom. There is a sense of life threatening fear and in the dream, I realize that this threat was due to religion – more specifically it was our Christian belief. Apparently, we try to secure ourselves from Billy Graham who is wearing an old nazi era German uniform.

The scene jumps to me walking alone downhill on a long road and I pass an abandon car on the side with a man who looks like Denzel Washington slumped over the dash with a bullet in his head. I pass the vehicle only to see Denzel getting up to talk to me – he was pretending to be dead.  He is telling me that people were being separated and he made his escape. The dream implies Denzel and I share the same Christian belief. We see a group of 3 average women with rifles coming and we hide but not very well. The women ask us about the location of a specific person in which I vaguely answer and one woman informs us that we need to be careful and then I wake up.

My dreams are most often weird but I can usually remember a specific theme. In this dream, there is a religious persecution theme much like Hitler to the Jews. I typically wake up thinking about my spirituality and relationship with God. I could not help but think that if my life was in danger due to my belief would I deny God?

It is so easy to be a devoted Christian during times of peace. However, would that be the same if my life depended on it? Would I be one of those denying Christ just like Peter when I am under duress? We would all like to think we are the exception to the rule; however, I can truly say that I do not know what my answer would be if faced with religious persecution.

The idea of death can be very scary even for a devoted Christian. We value life so much despite having a steadfast belief that there are better things to embrace with God. I can admit to being a religious scaredy cat when it comes to death. I think the fear of death, even with a promise of paradise, comes from our value we place on this world. I think there is an underlying belief that if we are no longer present in the world we will be missing a whole lot of stuff.

The other side effect to the religious dreams is a quick overview of my daily value in life. While we still have to live in this world, the Bible does tell us to focus on things above. Such dreams usually call into question the frivolousness of my ‘important stuff’ that does not seem to have much value in comparison to what God is offering. The dreams are usually an intermittent reminder that there is a greater force in charge and I need to get my relationship with God in order.

For every one of my random religious dreams, there are many people in different parts of the world who are forced to choose due to their Christian allegiance. I do not know the true meaning of religious persecution; however, many others at this moment can attest to it or have lost their lives for it. I feel blessed to have religious liberty; however, it does behoove us to really ask ourselves the question of what would we do if our lives depend on acknowledging or deny our relationship with the Christian God.

God’s Plans Are His Not Mine

The Bible says very clearly that God has HIS plans for us. He is the author of HIS creation and therefore knows how it will all end. We are here to fall in line.

It amuses me when people testify that God answered their prayers or believers share an enthusiastic belief that God has great things planned for their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that in HIS great plan there are some people who are destined to play certain roles in this game of good vs. evil. God already knows the beginning from the end; He sees what’s in the heart; so it stands to humanly reason that our prayers (God knows what we want even before we ask) are mere ritualistic tribute.

Prayer is comforting. I still do it and it typically sounds more like a one sided conversation. I do not go into details about what I do/don’t want anymore because He already knows. He also knows whether he will give or not give it to me. He knows if he will give me something completely different from what I have been asking. He can even give me something I never thought about. The prayer is merely for my peace of mind and trying to keep some connection. I usually end my prayer with something like “well it’s all up to you” or “if it’s your will.” This is not a flippant ending but an acknowledgement that I do believe God is in charge of everything – whether I wake up in the morning, my next job, my family circumstances etc.

Since childhood, I have been given various images of God. The one image that still lasts even until today is very closely related to a depiction of Zeus with his lightening bolt. As I got older, God was simultaneous presented like a loving father as well. As much as I have tried, I never saw God as a father or at least not in the sense that the clergy wants us to see HIM. I have no face, no voice, no concrete personal experiences to which I can attribute a father role. All I was given are Bible stories. To me, God is the Creator who requires a level of obedience in order to be on his heaven list. I respect HIS intricate handiwork which can be magnificent – take a moment to look at a perfectly crafted baby or a sunset. I respect HIS desire for his human creations to show love to each other at all times. However, feeling a sense of emotional love, which is required, is difficult. It’s the equivalent of falling madly in love with some guy whom I have never seen or heard but only received letters about his life as inspired by others. Love in the face of pure absence is HIS plan not mine.

I do believe that we are either playing God’s game, the devil’s game or a mixture of both. If I had my say, then I would prefer just God’s game – the one where he wants all to experience no more tears or death. Unfortunately, there is a sourpuss running around mucking things up (Peter did say that the devil is like a roaring lion seeking those he can devour). There is no such thing as our game or true free will. We play a part that is already controlled by one party or the other (yikes, it’s starting to sound like the Matrix).

The world is chaotic which is nothing new and the Christians are still preaching the signs of the times. Actually, they have been preaching it since ages past. Everyone seem to think they have deciphered the mind of God. Each religion and each branch of every religion seem to believe they cornered God’s absolute truth. They are so sure they speak the will of God whether in showing kindness or atrocities. If you step back far enough, one can see that the same ‘play’ has been used over and over since the dawn of time. Its HIS plan not ours.

It is still HIS plan whether we like it or not. It is his plan whether we pray or not, whether we believe or not, and whether we are on the good or the bad side. Despite my tenuous relationship with God, I don’t ever forget that he exists (that is my faith) and I will certainly never forget that HE is in full control no matter what happens or what we think we want.

NOTE: I did not add any scriptures because I do believe most Christians have scoured their Bibles and have read the references. However, if anyone do need chapter and verse, then I will be happy to supply.

The Pedestal Christian

I recently traveled to visit a friend and her husband. The couple is in their 60’s, very active, and is a devoted Christian. They reside in a primarily Christian community with a Christian college in the vicinity. During this trip, I learnt a few things in relation to practicing Christianity.

I broke my sabbatical and did attend church partly as a courtesy to my hosts. I had always liked the church, which was located on the school campus, so it did not take much prodding to go. I am going to list a few thing that stood out to me during my visit.

1. Practicing faith without being obnoxious. The couple was more than ‘one day’ Christians. They were always generous, ready to help, giving, and accommodating whenever possible. This is impressive because many religious people do not see the need to be Christians apart from the day they worship or during church sanctioned engagements. I like the fact that their ‘works’ were integrated in their personal lives and they did not feel the need to be at church 24-7. There are Christians so addicted to the building that they forget their Christianity exists outside of those walls and they are meant to share their knowledge with others.

2. Christian hypocrisy is so blaring we sometimes do not recognize it. According to one of the students, the Christian school was so insistent on their students not ‘touching’ alcohol to the point that they have pushed things to the extreme. The new students were taught that if the college authorities find out that they were in the presence of alcohol (not drinking) or if they were found to have used alcohol, then they can be suspended. The funny thing is the school is surrounded by many wineries. You can not ‘spit too far’ without hitting a vineyard. While I understand the school rules regarding no alcohol on campus, they should have taken this opportunity to educate these young adults on abstinence from alcohol AND drinking responsibly (off campus) while using an accountability buddy. The Christian school is setting up a false sense of security that does not exist in the real world unless you belong to the Duggar family.

3.  Hypocrisy continues. I was in the company of a group of people and the topic briefly referred to homosexuals. There was a late 20’s young male who was very quick to make disparaging statements and what he would do to them. Interestingly, this young person was recently baptised but the kicker is he is a recently recovering substance addict, whose family is still addicted, and he has a child with a woman out-of-wedlock. He really missed the plank in his eye and the lesson about love. Teaching Christians the ways of God in practical sense is very important. I think he truly believed that his statements were religiously justified and sadly most believers would support his views without recognizing the hypocrisy.

4. Religion teachings need to reflect the changing times.  The sermon was about showing kindness and the pastor told two stories in which Christians had failed miserably. The first was a young unwed woman who became pregnant and the pastor of her church refused to bless the baby due to the mother’s status and to add insult another ‘good Christian’ referred to her child as a ‘bastard’ in the presence of the baby and a family member. The second story was of another pastor who refused to bless a baby because his/her parents were of the same-sex.

I was so moved and impressed by the pastor when he said that the Christians in those instances had failed in exemplifying God’s teachings of kindness. As a pastor, he would rather have everyone in his church in which he can continue to preach God’s love. He pointed out that if each of our lives were opened to the public, then many ‘good Christians’ would be shamed. We (I include myself) are so quick to throw the good book at people who make mistakes or those who do not fit in a religiously perfect category but instead we need to use God as an example when he called all the sinners to Him and ignored the self-proclaimed religiously pious.

5. Ssshhhh Sex . It seems I am not able to run away from this topic🙂 . During the same conversation about the Christian school’s stance on alcohol, I asked what did they say on sex. The new student said they barely even mention anything on sex. Of course, I find this funny and not surprising. I noted that during my enrollment at the school, there were two girls who were obviously pregnant and there were occasional condoms found in parking lots. I would like to clarify that the pregnancies were not virginal insemination and human males were identified as the fathers. I would also like to note that none of these girls were married. Ignorance is Christian bliss.

6. Sex is nasty even to married Christians. I was having a conversation with the married friend which was in reference to visitors to her home being respectful according to her religious beliefs. She was telling a story that she did not allow her daughter, who was engaged at the time, to be under the same roof with her fiance in order to deflect temptation to do “nasty stuff.” I chuckled to myself by her choice of word to describe sex. Even though I found it funny, it did sadden me because she perpetuated the same ‘sex is dirty’ idea that most Christians believe.

I do think that Christianity teachings need to be more applicable to the current stressors that we face. While the abstinence (from evil) message is good, that does not help those who are struggling with being faithful.  I in no way am stating that we need to change the Bible to suit our needs; however, it’s a pastor/teacher’s duty to quit hiding in the dark ages and preach applicable messages.

I had the pleasure of enjoying my time with people I consider to be good solid Christians. While they are not perfect, it is nice to have a living practicing example of what good Christian character should resemble.


Know Thyself and Things that Irritates

I had the pleasure of attending a Christian camp meeting a week ago and it reinforced my ambivalence to ending my sabbatical from church. I felt very reluctant at the mention of the church camp but my niece who is quite active in church or maybe she just enjoys hanging out with her friends wanted to attend this shindig. Due to the fact that she was visiting with me and I was her means of transportation, I obliged. Furthermore, I never deny anyone the ability to attend a worship service. I may be on the road to hell but I will not be a barrier for anyone else.

Anyways, after an hour drive, we arrived at the camp grounds to see various large tents erected to accommodate the masses and different services. My total (and petty) annoyance started when I saw the crowd and the fact that the good church people thought it was their right to leisurely walk in front of my car while I was trying to find parking. Walking around the the grounds filled with faithful (or maybe not) church goers, I quickly realize that this was more of a social event with a best (short) dress category. It was a Christians fest of who knows whom and who looks good. I sent my niece off to socialize while I hid in my car (seat reclined) and enjoyed the amazing singing during intermittent naps.

My mother always says that you should go to church and do not pay attention to others because you are there to worship God. She is absolutely right; however, I am not blind and some things are hard to ignore. I quickly recognized two things about my Christian journey. First, I really hate being amongst large groups of professed Christians (or maybe I just really hate large groups of people) which makes attending church uncomfortable. Secondly, I really do enjoy hearing praise and worship for God but not in a traditional setting. I am sure there is a practical solution that I have not considered, but for right now, my sabbatical continues.


I would describe my physical attributes as average; on bad days they are below average. Average height, average looks and nothing especially aesthetically spectacular. I love being as ‘nude’ as possible. This means that I try to show people the most basic side to myself which includes my appearance. For some unknown reason I grew out of wearing makeup, caring about the most attractive hairstyle and making myself fit into a modern beauty mold. Despite all that, I can am very confident. Recently I cut my hair pixie short again, it’s curly, and my grey hairs are showing even more. I love my look and don’t give a crap how anyone else sees me. However, today was the first time that someone made an unintentionally down grading comment in regards to my appearance. “Why don’t you do something with your hair?” I assumed that this family member was referring to my very obvious greys. “I am going natural.” That ended the conversation.

I am not ashamed of my natural hair color. I am not in a constant pursuit to keep up with the haircolouring Joneses nor what people think I should do to my body to fit into a subjective standard of beauty. I have no intention of plastering on makeup to cover problematic breakouts. I am not getting contacts and I refuse to wear high heels that hurt my feet. For the most part, I like and accept me. In honesty, there are a few things I would love to change  if given a magic wand (gorgeous flawless skin from head to toe) but since that’s not available I make do with what I have been given.

At 38 years old, my confidence in myself as a single childless career-searching Christian conflicted woman continues to increase tremendously. Why? Because I know who I am and I am okay with me 70-80% of the time. I am not perfect and will never look like an airbrushed super model and those are the things I am learning to accept. I try to honest with myself and that is one reason why other people’s opinions do not always make an impact.

The Demise of Merry Christmas

The 25th of December had been traditionally celebrated as Christmas. A symbolic reminder of the birth of Jesus and all things that came with that singular event. Growing up, Christmas meant family, food, Christmas music, and decorating the home. Christmas day was very exciting just because it was Christmas.

I was not raised with being afraid to sing songs with words that have Christ or anything related. O little town of Bethlehem, Silent Night and I Wish You a Merry Christmas were staples on the radio. However, today it has all changed for the worst.

Christmas music is only played on Christian stations; Santa Claus is now the main figure instead of Jesus; the malls are crowded trying to buy frivolous gifts that people will forget or return; and it is PC to say Happy Holidays. While I understand that Christmas day is symbolic and not the actual day of Christ’s birth, it is shameful that Christ is being removed from Christmas.

Before the holidays, my supervisor said something very interesting. She had bought holiday cards that said Merry Christmas and handed them out to the staff. She later realized and was slightly concerned that at least one person professed another religion and she was not sure about a few others. She was concerned that she may have offended at least one for not buying cards that were PC for the season. In my non-PC response to her, I said in a normal (but others can hear) tone that I celebrate Christmas and I refuse to replace Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays.

I really missed Christ out of the holidays. I missed the Jesus birth story on tv and Christmas music playing on the radio. It was sad that Christians cannot fully celebrate Christmas anymore. I respect every other person’s religious rights and celebrations; however, I really don’t believe that we have to eliminate ours in order to accommodate others.

Belated Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year 2014

God the Fairytale

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Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen”. I absolutely love this passage whenever I am having some doubts on the whole Christianity, divine plan and all that stuff. The word there is faith. Christianity is based primarily on faith.

I love to read but shamefully in these last few years my reading materials have been coming from the internet – slightly embarrassed to say I even read the celebrity section. One of the things about the internet is that most stories allow for the comment section which can be hilarious and distressing to see how low we have become as human beings towards each other.

The most polarizing comments are usually about politics and religion. It is surprising to see just how many believe that God is a fairytale. When I was growing up, I assumed everyone believed in God and I never saw evidence to the contrary. However, as an adult, it feels like more and more people are abandoning the concept that a creator exists.

I can understand why people see God as a fairytale. Without fail, from this point on, I am planning to offend a lot of devout Christians. So, let’s pick through the bible, shall we, for the fairytale like stories. Ah yes, Adam and Eve. A man was formed from dust (an inorganic substance) and a magical being breathe into him and he was awake. The same unseen magical being took a rib from him while he was in a comatose sleep and formed a fully grown and functioning woman. These two people became the mother and father of a whole world filled with people who are of different races, different heights, and all manner of variation on the human spectrum.  I am seriously having to stretch my imagination to buy that load.

Moses – oh great Moses. That man had seen so many unreal things in his life it could have been traumatic. First, him as a baby floated down a river (child endangerment), he assisted in parting the red sea, a fire-ball from heaven, the plagues, seeing God (not literally) when he climbed up a mountain to get the 10 Commandments, and the worse insult is that he did not even get to see the promise land of milk and honey. That’s like the good guy gone bad then back to good in a riveting Hollywood story-cue the intense orchestral score and a picture of Charlton Heston. Let’s talk Joshua and the wall of Jericho. There was marching, trumpets, yelling, and everything fell except one abode that had a red signal. Umm… really! So here comes defiant Jonah and the big fish/whale or whatever animal, he gets swallowed, he was able to survive in its belly and God killed two birds with one stone and used it as a means of transportation – I don’t think I can say much more about this story in terms of believability.

Last but not least – it is Christmas time and therefore the birth of Jesus is epic. Jesus was a God who sat on a throne in heaven, came to earth to be born of a virgin, hung on a cross, woke up from the dead in tact (not a zombie) and went to heaven – a place no earthly person has seen. Seriously, what part of that story which does not scream fairytale? It’s the Prince to the Pauper to the Prince again.  All those stories are so believable (almost seem like everyday occurrences) that most Christians have a difficulty understanding why others don’t get it. If Stan Lee had come up with those ideas first for his Marvel comics, then we would all dismiss them as fiction. No one in their right mind believe in Thor, X-Men, Gamma radiation that turns you green or Diana the Amazon princess ie. Wonder Woman (DC comic).

Believing in the Bible and all that comes with it takes faith and lots of it. If anyone says otherwise, then they are fooling themselves. Those Bible stories are very fascinating and reads like fiction. The idea of God is a hard pill to swallow since no one except Jesus has seen the Father. Heavens! Most people in Jesus’ day never saw Jesus. God is an idea that makes the believers feel better. We believe in God because we want an invincible being to help us make misery and uncertainty better and that’s what God promises. No more tears, better place, a palace constructed with precious gems, a Shangri-La that we can never truly imagine. Wait! actually we can imagine it to a point and that’s why we believe in Him and all that fairytale.