How I Came to be a Christian and Why I am still Here.

Today, I was asked how I came to be a Christian and what has sustained me in that belief. I think this is a good place to answer.

When I was young, I always felt worthless, left out, and unloved. I broke my mother’s heart once by asking her if she and Dad were trying to get rid of me.

Of course she answered, “Certainly not!”

I replied that I would probably always think that. She tried to get me to tell her why I thought that. I couldn’t tell her because I didn’t know. I will never forget her expression. I was about ten.

I had good parents. They loved me and encouraged me to become whatever I wanted to become. I am an only child so I was not bereft of attention. Girls were not substandard beings in our house. I learned many positive life philosophies from my parents.

These feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and unworthiness were something inside of me. When I was twelve, I walked the aisle.

Anyone who has ever had an encounter with a Southern Baptist church, knows what walking the aisle is. At the invitation near the end of the service, people are invited to come forward to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Fortunately for me, I had a good pastor who explained just what that meant. Everyone has sinned. Sin’s penalty is death. Christ paid the penalty and I accept that. That was a good enough explanation for me then. It was an explanation for a child and I was a child in age. but a baby in spirit. Most people would say that was when I became a Christian. However, I say, it was when I began becoming a Christian. It was then however, that I began to feel worthwhile. It has become a cliché but there had been a God-shaped hole inside me that was now filled.

Not much more happened until I was about sixteen when I started reading the Bible for myself. Out of that period came my not wearing makeup, (I still don’t) and my leaving the Southern Baptist Church. I just couldn’t understand why drinking alcohol was wrong if Jesus turned water into wine. To me, Baptists were adding to the Word.

My life progressed as that of many young adults. I went through rebellion, experimentation. Never did drugs. God spared me that temptation. I never forgot God and I knew that He had not forgotten me. In my mid-twenties, I found a church that really agreed with me and started studying and growing. That explanation I had received as a child expanded until it had true meaning for me instead of an overused under-thought aphorism. Through all the pitfalls of marriage, the harrowing experiences of raising children, and the sometimes depressing process of growing older, God has always told me, “It may not seem like it, but I AM in control. Let me have your trials and be at peace.”

Be anxious for nothing, but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.                                               Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

It works.

From the Way Back journal 1

This morning, I found this in an old journal of mine and I think it is apropos of my new blog. I should comment here that I think Carl Sagan was a good scientist and a good teacher of science. I learned a lot from Cosmos. My comment about him in the following piece simply referred to his not sticking to science.


Thanksgiving 1985

I received a book, These Were God’s People, A Bible History, which had a very apt remark concerning science which especially hit home with me because my father is a geophysicist and I grew up with science in the home constantly.

Historically, the initial reactions of the church, or at least part of it, has been either to condemn those who set forth new views and close the mind to further investigation or else to go into panic over the new discovery, feeling that everything will crumble if we are forced to change views that religious men have previously held. Neither of these reactions are to any avail, however, for they do not change the facts, if they are facts. (e.g. sixteenth and seventeenth centuries–the earth being the center of the universe)

It goes on to say we need to avoid a couple of pitfalls, one being

an anti-scientific attitude that treats scientists as enemies of the faith. The scientist is seeking the truth about the world, basing his conclusions on the best information available to him. This should also be the desire of every student of the Bible. If the Bible is a hoax and the universe is not dependent on God, condemning the scientist will not change matters. On the other hand, if God does rule over it as sovereign Lord, we need not be afraid of anything we may learn about it.

Last Wednesday (11-20-85), we video-taped a program on PBS The Creation of the Universe which I thought quite refreshing after the glut of Carl Sagan we have had the past several years… They said that, as unbelievable as it may sound, we can understand the universe’s operation back to one ten billionth of a second after the Big Bang but that the Bang itself is not comprehensible mathematically and that we would probably never solve that mystery; that the entire universe came from a piece smaller than a quark; that matter was created from void and that they are looking for an equation that governs all the forces of the universe (Unified Field Theory). Many believe it exists and want it to because of the simplicity and beauty of it. They even mentioned the ultimate essence as being God.

Several of the scientists interviewed stated that we were not here by mere chance, that everything was too well-ordered for that to be the case. I thought of the verse that says our God is a God of order. And when they said they could understand this order back to but not including the Big Bang, I thought of Revelation 4:11.

Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.

Be Prepared to Answer

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;———-1 Peter 3:15

Every person has a belief system of some sort regardless of whether a deity is involved. Every belief system is based on presuppositions. Muslims, Jews and Christians assume that the universe is an open system. There is something that exists outside of the universe and that Something (we call it God) created it. Atheists assume that the universe is a closed system. Nothing exists outside of it and everything that happens in it has a physical naturalistic cause and effect. As an aside, science and naturalism are not synonymous. There are notable scientists that  believe in God; just because a person does not believe in God, does not make him scientific. Science and human reasoning can only take us so far. We as individuals choose the premises on which we base our world view. Ultimately, it is faith, either way.

Christians also believe that what the Bible says about God and humankind is true. It tells us what we cannot learn for ourselves, the nature of God and His relationship with His creation.

The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is a record of man’s relationship with God and God’s willingness to keep communing with His creation. It is all about God and the worship of Him. The Law, given first in Exodus, and again later, in various forms, was given to instruct us that we are morally, imperfect, God is perfect and we are not, big surprise. Sin is rebelliousness against God. Humanity as a whole does not want God, or they want a god that accepts their goodness as a reason for admittance to heaven or some reward. They want to be able to DO something to earn heaven, or salvation, or whatever. We cannot earn it by being good. God wants us to acknowledge that life is all about Him, to realize that He is the Master of the Universe, The sacrifices they were commanded to make in the Old Testament, were also to be reminders that God is holy and perfect and to turn our minds towards Him. Animal sacrifices were not the cause of God’s forgiveness. They looked forward to the ultimate sacrifice that God made when He came to earth as a human, left His deity behind to agonize with and because of, His creation. We can now know that He knows how we feel. When we feel betrayed, He was betrayed, etc.

His ways are not our ways, and His way is perfect. His way was to come to earth as Jesus of Nazareth. Every single soul on the planet is valuable to God.  He demonstrated that by coming and dying. He gives you and me the choice to  accept or reject. He does not force.

Accepting begins a relationship of love. We study, we pray, we love and the goal is to become Christ-like. We don’t reach it in a lifetime but that is the striving. If you want to know what God is like, read the Gospels.

Paul wrote mostly to believers. He wrote to people who had already made that decision. He continually reminded them, because it is easy to fall into old thought patterns, that obeying a particular set of laws or rules is not what life with God is all about. It is about the life, death, and resurrection of God in the form of Jesus. Our value is not based on our faith, our faith is based on the value He places on us. Our faith is accepting God’s assessment of our need for Him.

Science cannot prove spiritual work, nor can science disprove it. The Bible was not designed to be a science or history textbook. It is sixty-six books (more or less, depending on which version you read) to teach us about God. The proof that no one can take away from me is the growth of peace, love, and understanding that I have experienced through the years that I have let God work in me.

Feel free to comment respectfully. I enjoy talking about God.



note: The site is programmed not to post comments that have profanity because that is who I am and profanity does not add anything to the discussion.

Jesus Christ and Seven-of-Nine

Seven-of-Nine was number seven in a group of nine, a character in Star Trek Voyager. She was rescued from the Borg Collective whose individuals were joined by cybernetic implants. These individuals heard and felt everything that the rest of the group heard and felt. There was never silence. No one was ever alone, no matter how far apart they were. She had grown up with the constant communion of that mind. When the ship’s doctor disengaged her from the Collective mind, she felt ripped apart and inexpressibly lonely. When we suffer some traumatic event, we feel it for the rest of our lives.

When Jesus Christ suffered in physical pain and humiliation, he also suffered a mental and emotional rupture. He was wrenched away from His deity, His glory, and the sufficiency that was God from eternity past. He knew loneliness like none of us will ever know. God is outside of time; all times are now to Him. The rest of His life is eternity. Just as Jesus on earth, turned to look at Peter with love and forgiveness, after the rooster crowed, after Peter’s denial of Him, Jesus in heaven looks at his disciples now with love and forgiveness even while remembering the pain.

The Borg just knew that its way would bring perfection and happiness to the universe. It did not give anyone a choice. It assimilated everyone. The Borg represents us, human beings. We know what we know and we want everyone to agree with us, regardless of the subject. Throughout history, we have forced others into converting to our way of thinking, whether it is political, philosophical, or religious. The trouble is that a coerced convert is not a true convert. Unlike the Borg, God perfectly loves. He does not drag us into his presence and is willing to let us go our own way. But, he put himself through that agony of tearing himself into pieces so that we can have the privilege of His companionship.

This weekend, as we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and God, we should remember that love was His motive. We need to show that love to others with respect for their right to choose even though it may break our hearts.