There is an obvious and real fight between good and bad in this world. You know that. Everyone knows it. You studied religion so you have even a greater grasp of how other religions have put that into play with “God” and “the Devil” than I do.
Let me begin talking about my own faith.
One statement sums it up.
MY LIFE IS BETTER WITH GOD THAN WITHOUT GOD.
I chose not to force religion upon you and your siblings.
I think that was a mistake now.
Not that forcing would be good.
But I could have “trained you up” to believe in God, unconditionally and for some reason I cannot explain, I did not.
I am thinking perhaps that is because if I had, God would have become just another rule to break or parental notion to challenge.
God will “get” each of you his own way.
Back in 1995, I was “told” by God to write a book for my children explaining Him and what I know and what He will tell me.
I did not do it. I have never felt worthy of such a message.
But in recent years, watching Richard struggle, and seeing the pain you have been through, I regretted that decision.
I, too, have suffered, as you are well aware.
The ONLY thing and I mean the ONLY thing that kept me alive and kicking was God.
Wanting to be here for my kids is a strong second…but I will tell you that when things are really really bad and there is no hope in sight, God is the answer.
We are made in God’s image.
That sentiment sums it all to me.
I think the key to God and faith and the universe lies in that statement.
Look at (our small child), for instance.
You and I both know he’s going to make mistakes over the next 10 years.
I can tell you what those mistakes are going to be.
I could tell (our small child) what they are going to be.
But if he listened to me (which he won’t) and avoided those mistakes, he would not learn what he is supposed to know to survive.
So I sit back, as one who loves him more than my own life, and let him make his mistakes and learn his lessons. I know more than he does. I have the answers. If he came to me and asked me a specific question, I would answer. If he came to me and asked me to help him, I would. Otherwise, it is my job to let him live and learn.
God does the same for us.
It really is like sitting on the edge of a puzzle, the little red piece in the far right hand lower corner…and we can only see the adjoining pieces… God can see the entire puzzle: the blues, the greens, the purples.
We bump along, making our decisions based on the red that we see. We are unable to move past that piece of the puzzle unless we believe there is more beyond the red.
It’s only when we have faith in God that we can begin to see what is in store for us.
God has answered questions that I’ve never asked.
God provided answers from pieces of the puzzle I did not know existed.
His power is greater than anything we can imagine.
We have it at our fingertips just by believing.
I know this to be fact and true.
Because I’ve seen it work in my own life.
My world INSTANTLY improves when I get with God.
No, it’s not just me being in a better mood.
There is a peace and calmness in knowing God.
When I saw my dad at hospice, he was dead.
I walked into the room, not knowing what to expect. Three people were sitting on a sofa, one of them was my oldest brother.
My sisters were near Dad’s body. Susan was sitting next to him, holding his hand with her head bowed, resting on his stomach. Laura was standing at the head of the bed.
I looked at them first, then I looked down at Dad.
A sense of relief came over me and I laughed.
“Dad’s not here” I told them all.
And I laughed again.
“He is gone…OMG…he’s not here.”
It was an empty shell! Everything that was my Dad’s essence had departed. His soul had moved on. His body was left behind, like a worm drying on the sidewalk in the sun.
I felt relief.
I felt peace.
I felt as if things were as they were supposed to be.
Dad was released from this worrisome body he was using on Earth and he moved on to the next life…whatever that might be, I am still not sure.
My dad had become part of the universe and the body that was here, that was the vessel that helped to bring me life…it was used up and gone.
I was in my bedroom a couple of weeks after Dad died and all of the sudden this peace came over me. I had been crying and grieving and missing Dad…but this peace came over me. My heart was calm and my faith was knowing. My brain wanted to argue, but the peace was stronger. I knew that I was blocking my Dad’s continued presence in my life by sobbing and crying and being negative. Dad was there…his spirit, his love…it was all right there and it always will be. It has become part of heaven, the universe…
He was waiting for me to shut up and stop bitching.
The second I felt him, I stopped crying and complaining and I knew he would always be here with me. I just knew it. Like I know my eyes are blue…it is simply a fact.
Doesn’t mean I don’t still cry. I absolutely do. I am so stupid…I grieve for my loss and I grieve for the future, when you kids will have to deal with this like I am being forced to deal with it.
God is a scientist. He’s a scholar. He’s a doctor. He’s a father. I do think it is possible He knows so much and is so powerful because He has been around for so long. Just like we know what (our small child) will go through, God knows what we will go through. He has been watching for longer than I can know and I believe we are challenged, each of us,over the years, decades, centuries, with the same kinds of struggles. God is waiting to see what each individual will do…what is the level of their learning…where are they on the evolutionary scale of faith? Take two men: they both lose their jobs, they begin fighting with their spouses, money is tight… One turns to faith and prayer and allows God to work in His life…the other gets so depressed and has so little hope, that he shoots himself after he kills his family. It is obvious which one is right and which one is wrong…but look at it as a science experiment…a lab test. The blindfolded rat that can’t make it through the maze begins again or goes for more training…while the one that trusts his faith and continues to believe he will make it out is rewarded just by the fact that he made it out and life will continue to offer more challenges… the challenge is the reward. Life is the challenge. God is life.
Did Jesus live? Was He real? Did He die for our sins? I dunno.
But I think I would have liked to have had Him as MY friend.
Regardless of what parts of the story of Jesus are real and what is not…
Clarity about Jesus came to me one day.
Think about this for a minute.
I never could understand how someone else dying would wash away my sins.
Made no sense to me.
Then a few years ago I realized.
Whether Jesus was real or not is a moot point.
The fact that we are still talking about him is not.
All of these years later, Jesus is just as strong in Christianity as He ever was.
That is how Jesus affects us and our “salvation”.
Just by being.
People fight over religion.
It is a subject avoided by many people.
We all feel pretty strongly about our personal beliefs.
So if I went on Facebook right now, on my wall and posted, “I don’t believe Jesus was real.” … can you imagine the arguing that would ensue? Why are people so focused on what they believe? Why are they unable or unwilling to hear another point of view when it comes to God and Jesus and faith?
God doesn’t want us fighting about Him.
The story of Jesus and how He lived and died is how he died for my sins.
Most people will argue that point.
I am “saved” because of the story of Jesus.
Because it continues to be told.
Because it continues to be the center of Christianity.
People take it like God sacrificed his son so we can be saved…like the act of the sacrifice saved us.
It’s the tale of the the event that saves us.
There is a strong positive force flowing through all of us.
The bible is full of a lot of good stuff.
it’s also full of a lot of words I can’t get through.
Our physical world sucks.
Our spiritual world is full of possibilities.
To blend the two is to make the most of what life offers.
God wants us to have hope.
God wants us to have love.
If every single person in the world could STOP right now…with negative thoughts; selfishness; unforgiveness; hate; etc… the world would change instantly.
Break it down…look at Syria.
Look at Egypt.
Selfish, self-serving men.
Look at the death.
Look at the hatred being fostered and spread in this war they are fighting.
In any war.
It’s like the pink goo in Ghostbusters II. The goo was affected by the mood of the people in New York City. Do you remember that?
When everyone was angry, it became destructive.
When everyone sang and cooperated and was nice and loving, it was too.
I truly believe, from my heart, that God NEEDS us as much as we need him.
He needs us to be happy and positive and caring and loving and joyful.
It makes Him stronger…His world is stronger and evil fails.
Simple train of thought, but overlooked.
Faith, on its own merit, causes change.
Having faith and believing in God causes positive things to happen.
Prayer has strength.
Pray specifically for what you want. Name names. Ask for the world…
Ask for foregiveness… anything you have ever done..even those things you can’t forgive yourself for…
God can and will.
All you have to do is ask.
And by asking, learn you are worthy.
To be forgiven.
The negative thoughts that are harbored in memories of the pain we’ve caused
multiplies the hurt by ten thousand.
Let it all go.
Put yourself and your life in God’s hands.
Believe when it feels right.
Believe when you can’t find a reason to believe.
Believe when things don’t go your way.
Just Believe and have Faith that God knows what is going on even when we do not.
Welcome to Christianity.