Saturday, October 24, 2009

an apologetic of sorts

i have been thinking for a while about writing here about what i write about here.  (poorly written sentence, but hopefully you track with me).  i know i have friends from all different seasons and parts of my life and not everyone shares the same faith in Jesus that is so central to my life.  i realize that many may not connect with the fact that so much of my writing has to do with things i feel God is teaching me about life and so much has to do with scriptures from the Bible.  so, since i know that everyone who comes to my blog may not share the same starting place in approaching what i write, i thought i would explain a bit.  think of this as my version of an apologetic in very non-academic language.

faith has an element of mystery to it.  as much as i may try to explain where i am coming from and the perspective from which i see life unfold, there is no denying that i have to surrender to an element of mystery to believe in God and in the saving power of Jesus.  so i know that i am not convincing anyone of anything that they do not choose to believe for themselves.  i am not here to argue or debate, just to give a little background for why i choose to believe and why i write so much about my faith in Jesus.

i was raised in a christian home, with my family largely either being from the fields of education or vocational ministry (ie. teachers and preachers).  i guess you could say i got a little bit of both of those fires in my bones.  even though i was very influenced by my parents and those influential in my life teaching me the truths of the Bible and the reality that relationship with the Creator God was possible and accessible for me, i had to still come to the place of decision for myself.  i chose to begin an active relationship with Jesus, who i believe to be the only Way to know and experience God, when i was very very young.  however, this decision was one i had to confirm over and over again when life circumstances would come and cause me to reassess what it was i would really believe and actively pursue for my life. 

this knowledge of God that i started pursuing was not only a knowing about God, but an experiential knowledge as well.  i have had circumstances, both as a child and an adult, of facing extreme battles with fear and having an angel from God show up in my room to melt all fear of calamity away.  i have heard the whispers of God on my heart both fully awake and while i sleep.  i have had a very active dream life where God has spoken to me about things in both symbolic and very literal ways, including showing me my niece havyn in a dream before she was born (and while i was still convinced she was a boy because we hadn't found out her gender yet).  i have seen visions of many things and had the Lord speak to me clearly regarding direction for my own life and specific things going on in the lives of others around me so that i could encourage them and pray for them.  i have both seen angels and smelled the malodorous demons with my natural senses.

all of these "spiritual" experiences have led me to an indescribable hunger and desire to know Jesus, the Creator and God of all things.  I have been awed at His wonders and amazed at His nearness in the very real humanity He has cloaked Himself in forever.  i believe He is the most proper noun that exists - the very God forever come to us in a form we would allow to draw close to us and teach us about the Uncreated Father and All-Consuming Fire.  i have fed myself in all extremes of circumstances, for the past 25 years of being literate, on the Word of God - the bible.  i quote it so much in my writings because it has become an anchor for me and such a source of wisdom and revelation.  my prayer life has become the first place i run when i face both the highs and lows of life.

more than anything else, the experience of real true forgiveness through Jesus for all of my sin, all of my shortcomings and failures and selfishness, from the only One who is perfect and without sin has completely changed my life.  i have so much hope.  i know that my salvation in a world so full of calamity and rumors of calamity isn't up to me.  i believe that God is always good, full of grace and mercy... slow to anger and abounding in love... yet absolutely righteous and just.  it is amazing that this good God who is perfect and holy, unlike anything else, would love me and want to know me personally and want to reveal Himself to me.  i am amazed that He sent His very Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to live inside of me because i chose to give my life to following Him.  i am never never alone.

i cannot help but want to share what i have been given because i really believe, not it an weird salesman way, that if someone experiences His love and kindness even in the worst moments they will feel the same way i do.  this is why i write so much about this relationship with God.  i am so forever changed and continually amazed that His love is not put off by even the worst version of me.   who could have ever imagined that in all of mankind's searching and stories of a hero that there really is One. 

so, i hope that even if you do not know Jesus in the way that i know Him, you will feel welcome to read this blog and take from my life experience.  if anyone ever has any more personal questions about my faith than you would like to post here as a comment, please contact me and i would love to talk.  this is so largely intertwined into who i am that it is what i think about, and what i end up writing about.  most of all, i want to be a vessel of His love that others, whether they have personally experienced Him or not, may know that there really is Hope and there really is a love that never fails.

thank you all so much for the ways you have blessed and enriched my life and journey, whether you realized it or not. 




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