Philippians 1:6 – Continued Some More

We began to embrace Wicca and Paganism sometime around early 2000-2001. She had been very bitter at the real and perceived injustices done to women by the church. She always felt the sole purpose of Christianity was to allow men to lord over women and children; to tell them what to do and to keep them down. So called, “Traditional” or “Earth-Centered” religions celebrate the sacred feminine. So that was the direction we went. We had a shrine/alter in our home and we studied all kinds of books on Wicca and Paganism.

When our son was born, I was NOT prepared…. and I failed… miserably…. I neglected him, didn’t spend much time with him, I wasn’t working for a while…. mostly I layed on the couch and watched TV. She was very upset with me, and rightly so…. On the verge of losing our house to foreclosure, we finally sold it and moved to Las Vegas to be near to Her parents. It seemed to me the right decision at the time and our little family began to put itself back together. I worked as a temp and then was hired on to a full-time job. She decided She wanted to pursue Her Master’s Degree at UNLV and so she did. During this time, I broached the subject of divorce… we weren’t getting along well, we had no money…. I “moved out” by sleeping on the couch and never being home. After about 6-8 weeks, I decided I was being selfish and asked Her for another chance. She agreed and life continued…. Kinda… I was briefly hospitalized due to a suicide “attempt” and eventually diagnosed bi-polar Type II. Medications followed… lots of them…

Philippians 1:6 – Continued

At Scottsdale Christian, each day was begun with prayer and Bible class. I had good Christian friends and we all did what we could to encourage one another. But, we were all just kids. I don’t remember what church I attended while I was in High School. That is to say, my family went to PV Evangelical Free (now Shiloh Community Church) but, I don’t really remember anything about it. It didn’t make much of an impression, you might say. My life was filled with school and girls and girls and girls (those of you who know me/knew me will be either nodding and laughing, or shaking your head and judging me all over again)

After High School, I attended Westmont College, a non-denominational, Christian, Liberal Arts college in So. California. Westmont was great, but not so great for my faith or walk with Christ. Up on “the hill” we were insulated from everything going on and, as underclassmen are not allowed to have cars, on the hill we stayed. One Baptist church sent a bus up to campus every Sunday and I attended there for a brief stint… even singing in the choir. But, I was exposed to many more “liberal” ideas and people at Westmont. Let me say this right now and be perfectly clear, Liberal does not equal evil or non-Christian or even wrong; it’s merely a way of describing a person’s worldview.

While at Westmont, my faith lagged… faltered… fell… It was the “faith of my fathers” and not my own and so, I didn’t own it. I met Her while on England Semester and we fell in love. By the time the semester was over, we had pretty much decided we were going to get married. She had one more year @ Westmont.

We were married in April of 1998 in Phoenix. From the beginning, it wasn’t what I expected out of marriage. This isn’t a post about my failed marriage, so I won’t go into detail. Suffice to say, She wanted nothing to do with GOD or Church and, not being strong enough, I willingly went marching, hand-in-hand, 180 degrees from God, straight into the waiting arms of DEATH. And, I don’t blame Her. I blame life… no… I blame myself… sometimes…..

Philippians 1:6

(So… here it is… I will most likely be writing this in sections… a little bit at a time, because I never have very much time at one time…)

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it” – Phil 1:6

This verse has become so important to me. Because, GOD began a good work in me when I was a very small child and, regardless of my desires and my plans and my banal stupidity, GOD is nothing if not faithful to HIS word.

I was born into and raised in a wonderful, loving, Christian home. My parents did everything they could to model CHRIST and CHRISTlike behavior. We attended church regularly (too regularly?) and I was always active in Sunday School, Youth Group, VBS and those types of things. I prayed. I memorized Scriptures. In 2nd grade, I began attending Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis, IN. Each and everyday brought prayer and biblical teaching. I attended conferences. I both attended and led bible studies. After a brief foray into public school in 8th, 9th and 10th grades, I graduated from Scottsdale Christian Academy in 1993.

Serve my Enemies?

The Bible Blogger wrote a piece today about an image that is making it’s way around the internet. The image depicts Jesus kneeling before several people and washing their feet, including Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, and others.

The bible blogger questions the validity of this depiction, asking, “Would Jesus Wash Hilary Clinton’s Feet?” (The woman seated in the foreground is said to be Hillary Clinton… I think it looks more like Madeline Albright…) He quotes Romans 12:20 and then makes this profound assertion:

As a Christian, we have no choice but to believe our Savior would do that exact thing because He commands us to do it. The problem is that way too many Christians equate showing compassion on your “enemy” with giving into someone else’s beliefs or not standing up for Christ because you’re afraid of offending them.

As a counterpoint, this guy views the same poster/image and makes the following statement:

I guess the point is to show just how forgiving and loving Jesus is. He’s so loving the he’ll even wash Osama bin Laden’s feet!

Sorry, I aint that kind of Christian. My Jesus would use nunchucks on Osama bin Laden. Or maybe rip his still beating heart out, Temple of Doom style.

Quite a difference! The same Jesus? Which blogger is right? Which blogger is wrong?

My feelings run along with “The Bible Blogger” to the extent that forgiveness is our “prime directive” as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“What Would Jesus Do?” if face to face with bin Laden? I have no idea…. what do you think?

A Christian Nation?

I came across Xanik’s blog today and read this post. He is commenting on an article from The New York Times on the place of religion in modern American politics as well as in our history.

I’d like to go on record as agreeing whole-heartedly with Xanik’s summary assessment quoted here:

…let’s stop splitting up this country as we’re currently on the path to. I don’t agree with everyone in this country, but I acknowledge they have a right to live here. (Just as I do.) Compromises can be made, just as they have always been made, to accommodate as many peoples as we can. As time marches on, and changes the culture of America, we must all adapt, lest we be left in time’s dust, and only left as a forgotten memory. It isn’t always easy to accept new ideas/cultures, but American has always been better for it in the past. Why must that now change?

Kudos to you, Xanik, and to the author of the NYTimes article, as well… We need to be citizens of the Kingdom of God and members of the family and body of CHRIST, before we ally ourselves with ANY entity on earth.

SDG,
Matty the Stranger

What a weekend

Happy Monday Morning!  (yeah right!)

I had a really strange weekend.  Relationships changing… Hanging out with my son, but he decided he wanted to go back to his mom’s house early, which was hard… My heart was lifted when, upon arriving back at his apartment, he hugged the dog before he hugged his mom!  I can’t fault a boy for wanting to see his dog over his dad

A significant relationship in my life changed this weekend.   A wonderful girl who I thought was going to be my girlfriend and maybe someday wife, is not.  We have decided we will be very good friends…

and that’s ok… I’m really sad… but I’m really ok with it at the same time…

Another significant relationship is changing as well… the most important relationship I could ever have… My relationship with my God…  with the Saviour of my Soul… I am learning how to trust Him and lean on Him and be at comfort and peace in His arms… and it’s amazing…

I really need to get to work on my “Testimony” post… it’s going to be a long one, and very therapeutic, I think… check back and check it out… Hopefully I’ll have it posted in the next 24 hours or so…

SDG,

Matty the Stranger

Friends

Life is amazing… Technology is amazing… Last spring, April, I think, I broke down and made a myspace page.  I’m pretty sure I was the last one under 35 in the entire nation to not have one… In a matter of weeks, I had reconnected to so many friends… and made quite a few new ones, as well…

In fact, I believe God used myspace to call me back to Himself…  my story and testimony on another post, k?

Now, I’ve discovered Facebook… omg!  In the last week I’ve exchanged emails with 3 friends from elementary school and a dear, dear friend from middle and high school… It’s quite a fantastic experience… I have been so lonely and desperate for friends lately… so isolated… and now, God has brought me so many new acquaintances who were old friends and acquaintances… It is an amazing answer to prayer…