I’m not Ashamed

and other lessons learned from the Newsboys.

I had a discussion with my husband today about the direction of our country’s government, specifically when juxtaposed to other large governments. We specifically discussed our country’s unique protection of rights, and how that is slowly disintegrating into a red tape bureaucracy. He mentioned an advertisement he’d seen: a dark scene in which a law enforcement official searches a man’s car and finds a bundle of newspapers to be distributed hidden under a seat cover. The man is hastily arrested without being read his rights and the newspapers are confiscated. The message of the advertisement being, “Don’t take your rights for granted.”

It reminded me of many experiences recounted to me by missionaries who have ventured into China. How very poor the majority of the people living there are, in both material and immaterial goods. Restrictions on what you may say, how you may say it, and whom you may say it around. That the majority of students have only two outfits of clothing, so that they may wash one while wearing the other. That people disappear without warning or word as to where they have gone. They simply vanish and are quickly forgotten in word, though perhaps not in mind. It has become routine.

After sharing this conversation, I drove home listening to the Christian band, the Newsboys. I don’t like many Christian artists or bands. I feel that they’re redundant and mainstream to a point that makes me want to hurl. But I grew up on the Newsboys and I find more depth in their music every time I take a listen than I did in my early faith. And listening to their music, I was reminded of a particular song: I’m not ashamed.

The song is very simple with a clear cut, straightforward message: I will not compromise my proclamation of the gospel for what is pleasant for you, nor for what may earn me more finite wealth. As I listened to another song, Believe, I recognized a statement of objectivism: “There is black. There is white. There is wrong and there is right.” Further, a clear statement held within the chorus: faith is not just a feeling. It is grounded on reason. Even in such light hearted songs such as Tuning In there are such nuggets as the idea that no one controls your own faith but you.

Now I know, I know, these are simple messages. They’re roots that run deep into the most basic ideas of Christian faith. But perhaps it’s good for us all to maintain open senses to listen to God in the most distant areas of our lives, as well as those closest to us.


Responsibility and Blame

I recently wrote a post about my frustration surrounding old friends and bad life decisions. I think this post will be a kind of an addition to that last. You see there is another frustration that tandems the last, and that is a lack of responsibility. Aka: The Blame Game. Continue reading

Never Forget

Not because you were there.
Not because you were moved.
Not because you were scared.
Nor because you were speechless.
But because this country,
The United States of America,
Is a country where we uphold our neighbors,
Coworkers, friends, and enemies
To a higher set of standards
When things such as this happen.

The Dichotomy of Social Networking

I enjoy Facebook. Really, I do. It helps me keep in touch with people who I would never think to ask for an email address, and I even (however rarely) appreciate it’s reminders to reconnect with old friends. I like being able to share my life with the people I choose to,even those who are far away.

But there is one thing about Facebook I really don’t like, and it is, in fact, almost the exact same thing I didn’t like about high school.

You see, Facebook has this stigma to it that I’m not sure the elder generations (that graduated before they had a Facebook account) realize. Recently

for whatever reason people who either ignorantly or purposefully ignored me in high school send me friend requests. Plenty of the ones I do know I don’t like, or they don’t like me. And yet they send me multipul friend requests*.Why do they want to be my friend? We weren’t friends before. We rarely, if ever, talked. Talking once in second period painting class, when you asked to use the blue acrylic, does not make you my friend. Going through any number of school years in the same grade does not make you my friend. In fact, I wonder if these people really understand what friendship is.

Friendships is a connection of two people commonly due to like interests and a similarity of personal goals and spirit. It is a willful sharing of your life with another because you find it to be mutually beneficial. Or at least, that’s what it should be.

But that’s not what really bugs me on Facebook. I can ignore those requests and move on, no matter how many times you send them I can always ignore.

In fact, my problem with Facebook isn’t really a problem with facebook at all, but rather a problem with the people that wish to share their lives with me, and the empathy that I feel for them, whether they deserve it or not. I watch people who I care about squander their opportunities, make all the wrong decisions, and flail in the shattered ruins of their lives clutching their hearts in pain and wailing “woe is me”. I understand that these things would happen regardless of Facebook’s involvement in my life, and in theirs. But it gives me up to the minute updates of the destruction of said lives.
Now, I know what you readers who don’t me are thinking right now: something along the lines of “my my little miss high-brow over there blogging about the destruction of lives. What does she know about these people and why is she so much better than they?” Make no mistake dear reader, I am speaking of people diving into debilitating drug use, relationships that are constantly painful and destructive, and a state of apathy so all-encompassing that the person lost there can be said to be brain dead. These are very real problems and I do not exaggerate for the sake of my writing.

I am comforted in watching some of my closest friends excel in all aspects of the Spirit. This one learning so much of both the knowledge of the greatest minds and of the functions of life. That one planning a marriage to a most worthy spouse. And others still walking so very closely with the Spirit that the wisdom gained from their walk alone astounds me.

For these reasons I have always cut my facebook list short, and I believe dear people that it is time, once again, to prune the tree.

*For those of you who do not have Facebook accounts and somehow managed to find this lovely blog, a “friend request” is when another Facebook user asks you for permission to see your Facebook profile, where you keep all your important information. You have the option to confirm their friendship, or to ignore it and deny them access. I don’t know these people.

Courage to Speak

I’ve sat through many a church service and seriously disagreed with what a pastor was preaching, and done nothing. I sat. I did not question during. I did not question after. I just quietly disagreed knowing I would receive stares if I were to get up and ask a question.

But just once, at least, I want to be the person who is capable of standing, asking the necessary question, waiting (standing) for the answer, and thereby deciding whether or not to sit through the rest of the service.

A message for religious organizations:

Do not be afraid to allow wisdom to rip your establishment to shreds. Instead, follow Truth.

I had a dream last night in which I was at a religious organization. In this case, it was represented by my old high school, which is a Christian private school. In a meeting with certain establishment heads, I was accompanied by a man who was to represent wisdom. Stargate fans will relish in the fact that this characterization was personified in Dr. Daniel Jackson. This meeting took place in a large stone temple, which was held together merely by the positioning of the stones, and not by any form of cement holding them together. We were told at the beginning of the meeting that a large beam was being installed and that we could not make too much noise, else the beam would become unstable and knock down the entire building on top of us. It was clear that this was to mean “don’t put forth any ground shaking ideas that would be in the vein of Truth and yet be contrary to the establishment.” Naturally, Wisdom did not hold back and at his first word, the temple began to shake. Stones began to shift around us and it was not until his voice paused so that he could hang his head that they became stable at any rate. At any word from Wisdom, the temple shook and crumbled.

Apply this as you will.

The Spineless “Church” of Unitarian Universalism

Okay, it was inevitable I suppose: an abortion post.

In American culture there are two main positions that are taken up socially: Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. The Pro-Life position holds the opinion that a mother should not dispose of any unborn child, for a variety of reasons. The Pro-Choice position holds the opinion that the mother of the unborn child, which is not actually a child, should be able to decide to keep or dispose of the unborn…thing. Hell, let’s call it a parasite. That’s what it is, right?

Life-Sucking Parasite. Oh Yeah. I see it.

Blood. Sucking. Parasite.

Continue reading