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Cinderella

22 May

Steven Curtis Chapman Cinderella Music Video & story: This video not only has the great song Cinderella’s official video, but also the story behind it.

The story is even more poignant in light of recent events.

A Christian’s Perspective on Jesus, Oprah, Eckhart Tolle, and A New Earth

9 May

Fellow blogger, Living Oprah, has a neat project going on where for one year she will live as Oprah advises on her television show, on her Web site, and in the pages of her magazines to find out if Oprah’s advice will lead her to live her “best life” as Miss O claims. Her latest post, “For whom the bell tolls,” led to a discussion on Oprah, her new book club selection A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, and how it relates to other religions.

LO asked me, as a Christian, what I think about Tolle’s interpretation of the New Testament and Jesus’ words. This is my attempt to answer that question, though there are others out there who would do a much better job than I would. I am no theologian. I am an ordinary, average person who has chosen to place her life in the hands of a loving, powerful God. When I thought about how I was going to answer this question, I was completely overwhelmed since the subject is so deep. But here is my attempt. LO, I hope this answers your question. Thank you for challenging me.

First, there are several videos floating around the Web denouncing Oprah and Tolle. These videos (some of which are intentionally creating sensationalism in order to sell a book with questionable authorship and motives) claim that Oprah and Tolle are creating a new church with a New Age theology in order to lead Christians astray and essentially brainwash the mindless masses. Though these videos are purportedly Christian, I do not wholly subscribe to their message and am in no way promoting the aforementioned book, its author, of the creators of the videos. I mention these only because they have created a great deal of buzz as well as polarization.

Second, since I am not at a place in my life where I am seeking spiritual direction (I feel I have already found that), I have not actually read Tolle’s A New Earth. That is not to say that I am opposed to learning about and studying other religions and spiritual beliefs. I know there are people in this world who have different belief systems than I do, and I do not want to discount them simply because we are different. The only thing I know of the book and Tolle’s teachings about Jesus is what I’ve heard Oprah and Tolle discuss on her show and what I’ve read on various blogs, etc. That said, I don’t think I can give a comprehensive answer on what I think about Tolle’s teachings on Jesus and the Bible since I don’t know everything he has said about Jesus and the Bible.

What I can say is that I do believe that Jesus is the son of God, not just a teacher, a wise man, or some sort of cosmic revelation to humanity. And by God, I don’t mean the universe or an unnamed higher power or the “I Am” that we all are a part of. By God, I mean the God of the Bible, the Christian God, the divine creator God, the God of redemption and love and grace, the I Am that is above all else. I do believe in the in the virgin birth of baby Jesus. And I believe that Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross, not to reveal a cosmic mystery or as a display of ultimate human transcendence, but to reconcile imperfect humanity to a perfect God. I view the crucifixion as an act of love rather than simply an act of revelation. More importantly, I believe in the resurrection, that Jesus did die on the cross and was buried but was restored to life again.

And finally, to answer the question of whether I am offended by Tolle’s teachings, my answer is an emphatic no. He is a brilliant man and an excellent teacher. I disagree with him, but that doesn’t mean that I disregard him as a person. There are Christians, or people who claim to be Christians, who are angered and offended by anyone or anything with a different viewpoint than theirs. I hope that this group, though probably the most publicly vocal, are in the minority. There are a lot of us out here who do stand by what we believe but who also won’t discount, , devalue, shut out, or turn away people just because they don’t agree with us. For me, Christianity is not just a set of religious beliefs that I subscribe to or rules that I follow. It is about having a spiritual, powerful, loving relationship with the God who I believe created me and created the entire universe, a God that is the very essence of perfect love and perfect righteousness, a God who helps me navigate this wonderful, terrible, confusing world daily because I know that I don’t have the power within me to do it on my own. And I have no problem admitting that I can’t do it on my own. To be honest, it is wonderful to know that I don’t have to carry my burdens, and worries, and problems alone because I have a relationship with a God who loves me enough to shoulder the load.

To LO, I hope I have answered your question. I hope I have not bored you or confused you or completely turned you off with my rhetoric. It’s hard to sum up one’s faith in one blog post. And sometimes it’s hard to avoid “Christianese,” or weird, foreign Christian terminology and jargon. I hope that I have shown you that we Christians aren’t the close-minded, hate mongers that some people believe we are. And I hope that my words are clear so as not to be misconstrued.

There are people out there who would probably do a much better job of answering these questions that I. Here are some links for further reading if anyone is interested:

Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” Book Review
Oprah’s New Age Gospel
The Church of Oprah Winfrey – A New American Religion?

Tomorrow, I’m Running for Blood:Water Mission

25 Apr

I’m running in the Country Music 1/2 marathon tomorrow. I’m not a runner. Wish me luck. I’ll need it.

Click this link: www.runforbloodwater.com. Check it out. Donate. Pray about it if you need to. It’s for a good cause.

About Run for Blood:Water Mission – We’re a team of Country Music Marathon runners combining our efforts in order to raise awareness and funds for Blood:Water Mission’s 1000 Wells Project.

Blood:Water Mission exists to tangibly reduce the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, to promote clean blood and clean water in Africa, and to build equitable, sustainable and personal community links.

Blood: Water Mission is currently managing the 1000 Wells Project. They are raising funds and awareness to build 1000 Wells in 1000 communities across Africa. So far over 300 projects have been funded, changing over 250,000 lives. The cost for one well averages $3000 and Blood:Water Mission has a goal of completing another 300 wells this year. With your donations, we can help make that happen.

God Bless.

Click here for pictures.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

21 Jan

I found what Greg Boyd has to say about today enlightening. Those of us who weren’t alive during the civil rights movement have no real grasp of what Martin Luther King, Jr. Day means. Most of us grew up in a world where little black kids and little white kids did hold hands and play together. It wasn’t always so. I could make a comparison of today’s Civil Rights leaders and Rev. King, but I’m not going to. You can do that for yourself and see where you end up.

Doing Martin Luther King Jr. Justice

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day, so I’d like to share a reflection on this great man and the movement he birthed.

For the first time in history, we have an African American who is a viable candidate for the Presidency of the United States. Barack Obama wouldn’t be doing what he’s doing today if it wasn’t for what Martin Luther King Jr. did 40 years ago — at great cost to himself. This man did more to free America from its historical racism than any other single individual (though, of course, we still have a long way to go). continue reading

Dear Mr. Brown

3 Dec

Dear Mr. Brown,

I know you want to steal my money, but did you really have to bring Jesus into it? Hasn’t he been through enough already?

Thank you.
LS

Dear Friend In Christ,

I believe you will treat this mail with the fear of God. It is with tears that Iam writing you this mail; I dont need your pity, but love to my son. My mail may seem very painful and sorrowful, but there is more you can do in my request than to pity me, which is to show LOVE to my son. I was an orphan and do not wish myson to experience what i have been through on Earth after an automobile crash that nearly claimed my life.

My name is Edward Brow Jr, married to the late Janet J. Brown Jr, who died with our two daughters in Indonesia on 26th of December 2004 during the Tsunami Disaster, after this Painful and sorrowful incident, my condition worsened and I was diagnosed of cancer, which got worst and I have been suffering from heart failure and hepatitis since. My friends ignored me due to my relationship with God on sickbed.

My wife, our children and I have been in United Kingdom for a long time. We all were suppose to travel to Indonesia in December 2004, but my bad health, did not permit me to travel with them, which made me and my son stay behind while my wife and our two daughters traveled. If not, all of us would have perished in the disaster.

My reason of writing you this mail is due to the sad news that came to me recently from the doctors. After my last diagnosed result, it was proved by the doctors that i may not leave for more than one month ahead, due to the damage the cancer have caused in my system unless I undergo an urgent surgical operation which my chance of survival is less than 10% according to the medical experts. As it stands, I have given to fate and have found God on sick bed. But i have a more concern problem, which is why I have contacted you.

Please, this is about my son. Since it is now obvious that i will die, my son’sfuture has been the greatest problem i have. I want you to take care of my son please. He is only 13 years and we have no person here to take care of him if I die today. My friends for knowing God deserted me.

I left some money in a deposit house at United Kingdom, which i intended to use for investment in Indonesia. I want you to take this money and my son. Use the money into a big investment, that you will manage until my son grows up to take over the investment. I will like you to take my son as your own son, give him the love we the parents would have given him. Do not let him feel the pains of being an orphan, give him good education, bring him up into a responsible man. Make him have the fear of God. Please do not refuse this task. I have no one else to help me out on this issue, I am an orphan who grew up without knowing God rather focused on wealth and otherwise, living a life of fantasy and doesn’t care or know who God is. Do not pity me, rather take good care of and bring him up to be God fearing.

As soon as I receive your reply including your personal details, all i will do is to authorize my bank to transfer the money to your account directly and i will also draw up my will in your favor. I will give the bank all the documentsthat is covering the deposit with the bank, i will transfer every power and right of ownership to you stating at my Will to enable you claim the deposit from the bank. It will be also included in the Will that you are the only person my son should be released to, if i die. All i need is your acceptance and assurance that you will not treat my son badly.

I am writing you this mail with great tears and i pray you will be kind & honest with fear of God concerning this mail to you today. Please reply this mail immediately if you have the love and care of God. at:

Thank you.
Mr. Edward Brown Jr.

Could I Ever Have Said Enough?

18 Oct

There is something that has been weighing on my mind a lot recently, brought to the forefront by the re-emergence of a guy (I’ll call him B) I used to know. Thank you MySpace. This guy is someone whom I never knew very well, but was always nice to me. I also knew his brother (J), again not very well, but he was always nice to me. I haven’t seen either of them in years. B is serving his second tour in Iraq, God bless him. And J, well J is no longer with us.

This is the part that I can’t get off of my mind. The last time I saw J was probably about five years ago, and about two weeks before he decided to take his own life. Some would say it was a random coincidence that I bumped into him that day when I did, I would disagree with that sentiment.

I had gone out to lunch with a friend when she noticed a guy, who was at this particular restaurant alone, constantly looking in our direction. He looked familiar, but not instantly recognizable. I asked him if we knew each other, and he told me who he was. I remember being somewhat taken aback because I hadn’t seen him in several years, and even then it was just in passing. What happened next is something I will probably never forget.

He began to open up to me, about his life, how bad it had been going, and how he had just moved back home to make a fresh start. He said he knew I had been through a lot in my life and wanted to know how I was able to not let it get me down. We talked a little about joy, and about peace, and about the source of that joy and peace. But I only said a little, and he had to leave, and I thought I would bump into him again. But I didn’t. And I never will. I’ll never get the chance to say all the things I wish I had said, and I may never know if the few things I did say ever made a difference.

Now, there is his brother, who has opened up to me a little in an e-mail. Not much, but just enough to make me believe that this too is not a coincidence. I want so badly to tell him about the last time I saw J and to tell him all the things I never said to his brother. I just don’t know if I can. I don’t know if I have the right words. And I worry, a lot. I worry about IED’s and roadside bombs. I worry that I might miss this second chance.