Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quotes - Religion is a Love Affair with Information

Mick Mooney is a kindred spirit and often takes the words right out of my mouth:

"Religion is a love affair with information, yet Christ came to offer a different kind of love affair. It's not one that revolves around information. This love revolves around life, around living and loving, and around letting go of the religious desire to be 'right' and accuse others of being 'wrong.' This love invites us to get busy living a new way of life, where judging between right and wrong is taken out of our hands, and those judgments are tossed away, to become scattered in the dust behind us. Instead of judgment, we take hold of grace, mercy, and love fully, both for ourselves and for others, with reckless abandonment."

Read more where that came from at Mick Mooney's Huffington Post article titled:
According to Jesus the Real Issue Isn't the Lack of Morals--
It's the Abundance of Hypocrisy

Related posts:

I am not a Christian
Daily Truth - Let Us Make God in Our Image
Brief Quotes - Who We Believe God to Be
Walking Away from Organized Religion Leads Me to Freedom
The Way of God's Love

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Brief Quotes - Where Contentment and Peace are Found

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thoughts - In Spite of the Obstacles

The other afternoon there was a stunning sunset taking place. I reached for my camera and did my best to capture the God moment before it disappeared.  I became frustrated trying to snap pictures of the beauty in between all the houses around me.  I felt uncertain that I captured anything I would be pleased with or would do justice to the real thing. I wished I had noticed the sunset happening earlier so I could have driven to a better location with an unimpeded view. I was so doubtful, I simply put my camera away and didn’t even care to look at the pictures at that moment.  Subsequently, I forgot I had even taken them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thoughts - Can You Wake Up Any More?

Once you wake up, can you wake up any more?

I have come to realize that we can continue to wake up to life.  There is so much to awaken to and become aware of beyond what we already know—not only within ourselves but also outside of ourselves. 

Awakening more challenges the status quo and what has become comfortable to us in our current state of awareness.  It propels us to learn new things and adjust to new surroundings.  It is not for those who prefer to remain comfortable and undisturbed.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On a Journey with God as My Internal Compass

As I travel on my life journey, I must ultimately look to God, not man.  I must also repeatedly entrust myself and every other human being to Him and remember we are all dependent upon Him.

There is One God and Father of all who is upon all and through all and in all…
The God Who makes the world and all that is in it…
[He is] inherent of heaven and earth…
He Himself gives to all life and breath and all...
for in Him we are living and moving and are...
we are His workmanship…
(Ephesians 4:6, Acts 17:24,25,28, Ephesians 2:10)

While I pursue further discovery and understanding of God, I turn toward Him and ask Him to show me the truth of who He is and the truth of His ways and realities.  I don’t want to be convinced, confused, cajoled, indoctrinated, or brain-washed by what others say about God.  I will walk my own journey.  If God is God, then He is more than capable of revealing His true nature to me and to others.  Obviously, at this time He chooses not to have us all on seeing eye to eye in how we comprehend Him or not.  I don’t completely understand why it must be this way, but I can’t do anything to change it.  I can only take responsibility for my actions and how I personally deal with that in my own life.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Way of God's Love

I just finished reading Mick Mooney’s novel, Snap.  I highlighted large amounts of text from the novel because I resonated so much with the perspective on the subject matter.  The novel is a great read for anyone who is starting to question and/or longing for release from mainstream organized religion/church/Christianity/indoctrination, and even hell. 

This month, Mick will be releasing his sequel novel to Snap titled An Outsider’s Guide to the GospelLast night, as I drew near the end of the novel, I had to write down these important words from it:

“If we waited for people to deserve our love, we’d never love a soul.  Better to follow God’s way of love, better to love even when people don’t deserve it, because it is love that heals the hearts around us. It’s love that brings people back to God.”

Real and true unfailing love is not merely loving others when it’s convenient and they are being loveable, but also loving them when they are being unlovable.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Brief Quotes - the Bible is not God

I believe that while the Bible gives us some revelations about God and God's dealings with some of mankind, it does not fully define God or all His doings or plans. We must remain mindful of the fact that the Bible is not God.

God is God.

The Bible is a vessel and a tool, but it does not define God in His wholeness.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Walking Away from Organized Religion Leads Me to Freedom

In Mick Mooney’s article titled “A Greater Peace within all You Don’t Know”, he says:

"The further away you travel from religion and the know-it-all mindset you inherit with it, the more freedom you find in asking questions about your faith. You no longer feel obligated to pledge undivided allegiance to your doctrines. You become pleased to put them on trial, to examine then, and to discard them if they are found to be without substance."
A resounding YES for those thoughts!!  At the present time, I am experiencing another level of this phenomenon. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Brief Quotes - The Irony of Losing Someone You Love

The Death of My Beloved Doggie Daughter, Honey

Me and my Honey girl on April 20th, 2014, celebrating her 17th birthday

"Pain demands to be felt.”
(quote from Fault in Our Stars by John Green)

I am heartbroken and overcome by immense grief. My precious doggie daughter, Honey, died Monday, July 14th, at 1:00 a.m. Her little heart began to fail her on Friday and she was terribly sick the entire weekend until she died peacefully in my arms while I kissed and loved on her.

Honey wasn’t just dog or a pet in our family; she truly was my doggie daughter. Her favorite things were being with me and eating her food. She loved me so much and her devotion to me was truly special. She was my little girl with many special needs at her 17 years of age, and her death has left a gigantic hole in my life. A part of me has been torn away and it hurts intensely.

The irony of losing someone you love is that in the storm of grief they are the only ones you want for comfort.

I so desperately long to hold and kiss her again and to feel her loving me back!

"The sorry truth is you can walk your feet to blisters, 
walk till kingdom-come, 
and you never will outpace your grief." 
(quote from The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Freedom is a Circular Thing

I've really got freedom on my mind.  Perhaps, it is because as I continue my journey of discovering God each day, I'm finding greater and greater freedom.  

Freedom from religion.
Freedom from indoctrination.
Freedom from religious traditions.
Freedom from an us vs. them mentality.
Freedom from being judge and jury over others.
Freedom from pat answers.
Freedom from law.
Freedom from guilt and shame.
Freedom from conformity.

How to Get to Hell Info Graph by David Hayward

I saw this info graph today and loved it.  It truly made me laugh out loud!  All credit for this info graph belongs to David Hayward, aka the "naked pastor".  Check out his site at www.nakedpastor.com.

I am also anxious to purchase his latest book called The Liberation of Sophia.

This is the reality of "going to hell".  

Related posts:

Check out my series dispelling the myth of hell
Part 1: A Brief Backdrop of My Journey

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

God is Like the Vast Ocean...

God is like the vast ocean:  powerful, refreshing, amazing. 

God’s depths are beyond the scope of complete human comprehension. 

The treasures contained within God are absolutely beautiful and also beyond our greatest imagination. 

As we timidly approach and wade by the ocean’s edge and splash around enjoying its coolness, in the same manner we can draw near to God and get to know a little bit about God. 

Daily Truth – Let Us Make God in Our Image

In the John Green book, The Fault in Our Stars, there is a line that says: “It's almost as if the way you imagine my dead self says more about you than it says about either the person I was or the whatever I am now.” 

I have found this sentiment to be true.  We tend to base our understanding of others on how we think, feel, or act.  I have had the experience of other people placing their feelings and thoughts upon me and, regrettably, I have been guilty of doing it to others.  It is bizarre to have someone else tell me what I mean to say with my words and what my intentions are with my actions when the realities within me are actually quite different from their opinion. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

What is Truth

In the past few months, I have been doing a considerable amount of thinking about truth.  What is truth?  Is it as simple as a truth is the opposite of a lie?  I don’t think so.  I am not writing on the topic of truth to expound on how telling a truth versus telling a lie.  I think that would simply cause us only to go round and round with defining truth.  My goal is to delve deeper and address the differences between subjective and objective truth.  I have reached the conclusion that more often than not any person’s truth tends to be more subjective rather than objective, especially regarding the topics of God, humanity, the origins of the entire creation, and religion.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Thoughts on the Bowe Bergdahl Situation

Who determines the value of a human being’s life? 

Is it you? 
Is it me? 
Is it your neighbor?
Is it some politician in government office? 

I believe GOD is The ONE who gives life and therefore also gives it its value and meaning.  It is His breath, His life spark, which is keeping every one of us alive at this moment. 

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”  (Job 33:4)

“Behold, I belong to God like you; I too have been formed out of the clay.”  (Job 33:6)

“If He should determine to do so, if He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.”  (Job 34:14-15)

Human nature is fickle and easily swayed according to temporary feelings.  God is not that way!  God is not a human that he should feel, think, and act like a human.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Brief Quotes - Leaving a legacy of love and grace

Friday, May 30, 2014

Brief Quotes - God will still be there

Brief Quotes - How much more I have yet to learn

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Unveiling the Myth of Hell and Eternal Torment, Part 6

Part 6 – The Greek Word Tartaroo

Prior parts to this series about hell are as follows:

As I previously stated in Part 3 of this Myth of Hell series, mankind’s present is enormously influenced by the past and by other cultures.  Christianity’s modern ideas of hell have mostly come from Greek and Roman mythology, the poetic (and fictional) writing of Dante Alighieri’s (1265-1321) Inferno, and from ancient church leaders of Roman Catholicism and so called “church fathers” who had the wrong perception of God’s character, held an unhealthy fear of God, and/or wanted to have power and control over people.

In this Part 6, I will explain about the Greek word tartaroo.  Tartaroo is the verb stemming from the noun Tartarus.  Tartaroo means "to cast down to Tartarus".  The verb is used only ONCE in the entire Bible in 2 Peter 2:4.  That one verse says:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Trail Lessons - There is Life Under the Ice

These are some of the Scriptures which inspired the thoughts I recorded at the reservoir: 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trail Lessons – Christ Saves Us from Sin and Death

As I hiked the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on Good Friday, I passed by a rushing stream and paused by it to record some thoughts:


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Unveiling the Myth of Hell and Eternal Torment, Part 5

Part 5– Gehenna: Its Purpose in the Past and Future

Prior parts to this series about hell are as follows:

In this part of the series, I will cover the following points:

--In the past, Gehenna was a place of death and burial
--What did the apostle Paul say about Gehenna?
--Was Gehenna ever a garbage dump?
--In the future, Gehenna will be a place of death and burial
--What does Gehenna look like today?

What did God’s chosen people, the Israelites, understand about Gehenna that seems totally neglected in Christian teachings today?  Let’s look at the Israeli prophets for answers and their revelation to us that Gehenna has been a place of swift judgment in the past and will also be again the future.

In the past, Gehenna (hell?) was a place of death and burial

Jeremiah, a prophet of Israel, was the son of the priest Hilkiah, the same priest who found the scrolls of the law and gave them to King Josiah.  (Hilkiah and King Josiah were mentioned in Part 4 of this “Myth of Hell” series.)  Through the prophet Jeremiah, God warned of the impending destruction to come upon Jerusalem and of the impending death and/or captivity and dispersion of the people for all the evils they had committed and for their unfaithfulness.   

Friday, April 4, 2014

Unveiling the Myth of Hell and Eternal Torment, Part 4

Part 4 – Gehenna: The Place Jesus Mentioned

Prior parts to this series about hell are as follows:

If you’ve read the prior three parts on the myth of hell, you may be asking:  “Didn’t Jesus teach about hell?  Didn’t he make himself clear when he spoke of hell and its torment?”

Jesus warned the Israelites about a place of burning, but it wasn’t hell by today’s modern definition.  Jesus referred to a literal geographical location in Jerusalem called Valley of Hinnom (Gai Hinnom in Hebrew language).  Its name was transliterated with Greek letters into the word Geenna.    

The name Gehenna (as written in English) is derived from the Hebrew words “gai”(valley, deep gorge, or ravine) and “Hinnom”.   The Hebrew name Hinnom literally means “lamentation”.  The Valley of Hinnom can also be referred to as the Valley of Lamentation.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lessons from Hinds Feet - Walking in the Mist

Hannah Hurnard’s book Hinds’ Feet on High Places is one of my all-time favorite books.  Hannah Hurnard wrote a spiritual allegory about a woman named Much Afraid who accepts an invitation from The Shepherd to take a difficult journey to the High Places.  The Shepherd represents Jesus Christ.  The High Places represents a destination of spiritual growth and maturity, not heaven.  Much Afraid’s constant and faithful companions throughout her journey are Sorrow and Suffering.  Much Afraid has “fearing relatives” who miserably taunt her all throughout her journey and tempt her to give up and return to them.  Since 2004, I have read and re-read the story of Much Afraid on her journey to the High Places, and it has inspired and encouraged me every time.  I feel a kindred spirit with Hannah Hurnard because she also believed in God’s ultimate salvation of all mankind. 

This lesson is based on Chapter 12, titled "In the Mist"
(All quotations are from that chapter.)  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Daily Truth - Feelings Lead Us to Choices

We may not have a choice in how something makes us feel, but we always have a choice in how we react to that feeling. There is a difference between feelings and actions.  They are not one and the same.  

How we feel is something which remains within us and only affects us until we choose to act on those feelings.  We hold the stone of our feelings within our personal grasp.  Once we act on our feelings, all the people who come into contact with us are also affected by our actions, as also will be our present and future life.  We throw the stone into the water and there is a rippling effect of great proportion. The ripples go beyond our sight and cannot be undone and gathered back.

Regardless of whatever feelings the circumstances cause us to feel, we do not have to choose to act in sin—against others or against God.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Quote - God Holds and Enfolds

“In all humanity’s religions, man reaches after God.
But in all His relationships, God reaches for man.

Reaches for you who have fallen and scraped your heart raw,

for you who feel the shame of words that have snaked off your tongue and poisoned corners of your life,

for you who keep trying to cover up pain with perfectionism…

...God refuses to give up on you.
...God looks for you when you’re feeling lost,
...God seeks you out when you’re down,
...God calls for you when you feel cast aside.

He doesn’t run down the rebel.
He doesn’t strike down the sinner.
He doesn’t flog the failure…

no matter what the day holds, how the season unfolds,

God holds and enfolds…”

(Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift pg. 23)

A song of crying out to the Lord for help

When I am facing really hard times and I feel helpless and distraught, this is one of the songs I often sing as a prayer.  It always brings me comfort.

"I love the Lord, He heard my cry, and pitied every groan...
As long as I live and troubles rise, I will hasten to His throne"

When there is nowhere else to go, I know I can go to Him to find the comfort I need. So I will always hasten to His throne...

A song about God's sovereignty

Back in January, I heard this song for the first time and fell in love with it.  On that particular day, it randomly played first on my Spotify as I chose to listen to random worship music.  As far as I could recall, I had never heard it before.  After hearing it the first time, I replayed it many more times because on that day, it was the perfect song at the perfectly needed moment.

I totally believe in God's *complete* sovereignty over all. By no means is it always easy to accept, not at all.  Yet, I do believe He is truly sovereign.

Daily Truth – We Will Experience More Than We Can Handle

Life can bring the greatest joys and the most painful sufferings.
Recently, I've seen two different Facebook friends share two different articles speaking of how God does give us more than we can handle. It is true.

The phrase "God will not give you more than you can handle" is a man made cliche. It is a man made lie.  The Scriptures say no such thing. In fact, they say quite the opposite.

If you want quick proof, read 2 Corinthians 1:8-10:

"For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us..."

If you'd like to do some further reading about this subject, I’ve listed below some related links. One of them is from a woman who just went through the death of her father, and the other one is my own thoughts about the truth that in life we are afflicted beyond what we feel we can bear.

Related posts:

Friday, February 14, 2014

I am not a Christian

{Added personal thoughts in January 2018:  It's been years since I wrote this post and our family went through this judgmental experience.  In the years that have come and gone, many things have changed, my beliefs and faith have traveled a great journey, and I still no longer call myself a Christian.  Though I do believe in a Divine Spirit of All which gives life to all.  The other day I thought of this post, and of what I believed at the time based on what I had been taught, in comparison to my perspective today.  I know this:  We are immensely and powerfully much more than just a human, physical body living an earthly life.  Our very life essence is soulful, energetic, and spiritual.  That IS who we really are.  We live in a temporary shell of a body but, in our truest nature, we are neither male nor female.  May we all be granted the sight to see and appreciate the truth and value of ourselves and each other beyond all earthly labels assigned to us in this short life.}

“…he who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone…”

“The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?”  They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.  But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.  Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”  (John 8:3-11, NAS)

I will proclaim that I am not a Christian. For the past five years, I have not placed myself under that man-made label.  Please, don’t call me a Christian