The Greatest Gift

In the Gospels, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus as he arose from the water as John the Baptist baptized him.[1]  The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove according to all four gospels.  The fact that this occurred during his baptism by John the Baptist in water emphasizes the point of the importance of baptism by water because it is through the water we receive the fire of the Holy Spirit. The acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior allows us to accept the Holy Spirit into our soul.  The act of baptism unites us with Christ. Depending on your denomination, there might be a right of confirmation, which is when you publically announce your acceptance of Jesus Christ and this is when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are inflamed.  While the disciples believed, Jesus to be the Messiah it was not until after the resurrection of Jesus that Pentecost occurred.

Pentecost is a church season and is set aside for the celebration of the transference of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples when Jesus breathed on them.  To receive the Holy Spirit, one must be baptized for the remission of their sins and they shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.[2] As a Christian, we desire this gift because the gift provides us with the possibility of nine separate gifts to assist us in being used in the divine plan of the Lord. These gifts are the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, the gift of prophecy, the gift of faith, the gift of healings, the working of miracles, the discerning of spirits, the ability to speak in tongues and the interpretation of those tongues.[3] While no one person has all nine gifts, the gifts are given to us, as the Lord needs them for us to ensure his plan is fulfilled.

These gifts are used to reaffirm Christian believers and to bring new believers to Christ.  As a Christian, we are a willing open vessel from which the Lord to work through to ensure God’s will is done. As Christians, we must be dead in order to live in Christ.[4] Therefore, this means we give up our flesh and earthly desires to become empty vessels that the Lord can use to fulfill his divine plans. The Holy Spirit is not only seen in the New Testament but also in the Old Testament.  When God spoke, it happened.[5] The manner in which things were completed was through the Holy Spirit.  In the Trinity when we discuss the Holy Spirit, it is an important part of the trinity because it is the action-oriented part of Trinity.  Where God and Jesus exist so does, the Holy Spirit performing the actions ensuring the divine will of the three in unison is accomplished.

McGrath describes the Holy Spirit as the wind, breath, and charism.[6]  He uses the wind to describe the Holy Spirit for its strength, uncontrollable nature, and ability to move. The breath is in reference to Adam when he breathed life into him.[7] Therefore, the Spirit lives in us from the time of our creation. However, it is not until Baptism and Confirmation do we receive the full power of the Holy Spirit.  In the beginning, the breath leads us in the direction towards cross and God but we must be quite and listen for its prompting. The charism is the ability to perform tasks that would be impossible which we see as part of the nine gifts that can be given to a believer if they are willing to receive them. McGrath discusses Hippo’s logic about the Holy Spirit in regards to the consensus on the Trinity.[8] The focus of the discussion of the logic is based on the need and importance of love within the Christian life.  Hippo laid out that the greatest gift can give someone is love and the Holy Spirit.  Because of these two great gifts from God, then it could be concluded that the Holy Spirit is love.[9]  The weakness of this argument by Hippo according to McGrath is that the Holy Spirit is like that of a substance that unifies the Father and Son with believers together.[10]  The weakness in placing a description and understanding of what the Holy Spirit is that we describe it with what we know.

Therefore, any description made by man will be inadequate to express the being of the Holy Spirit.  It becomes more complex when unifying what it is with the Trinity. Any attempt to describe how the trinity works together being one of the same beings leads towards modalism, which is the belief that God is one person who has three separate modes in which he engages with individuals.[11] While this mode of thinking helps explain God in a logical manner that can be grasped and understood, it fails to identify God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit as separate unique beings that are three but one. Understanding the greatness and unexplainable nature of the Trinity is key to understanding that our personal relationships with the three Godheads are important as Christians.  The Holy Spirit is the fire that lit up Jeremiah when he would not mention God’s name or speak any more in his name.[12]  God’s word was in his heart and a burning fire shot up his bones and he was weary but he could not hold back God’s words.[13]  We know all are blessed with that fire in our hearts to speak and “just be” for God. The sacraments of baptism and confirmation ensure that the fire is ignited. We receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s will here on earth.  We are made in the image and likeness of God.[14] That image had life breathed into us.[15] This life that has been breathed into us is ignited by the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Like a parent, God gave us life by breathing the Holy Spirit into us to lead us to worship him.

A Christian can see the Holy Spirit today as the ultimate gift from God being shared with us.  This love is like no other love we have ever known in our life.   We are able to display aspects of this love through the gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. As a Christian, we are all broken.[16] While broken we are made whole by being united in communion with God and therefore are asked to be a living sacrifice which is transformed so we may be a good, acceptable and perfect for the will of God.[17]  Our brokenness has made us whole and with the flame of the Holy Spirit, we are able to be fishers of men and bring others who are broken, into the body of the Christ, which is one of the greatest gifts one can give to another.[18]

[1] Luke 3:22, Matt. 3:16, John 1:32, Mark 1:10 KJV

[2] Acts 2:38 KJV

[3] 1 Corin. 12:7-11 KJV

[4] Ephe. 4:22-24, Luke 9:23-24 KJV

[5] Gene. 1:3 KJV

[6] McGrath, Alister E., Christian Theology: An Introduction (Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 228.

[7] Gene. 2:7 KJV

[8] McGrath, Alister E., Christian Theology: An Introduction (Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 251.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid. 244-245

[12] Jere. 20:9 KJV

[13] Ibid.

[14] Gene. 1:27 KJV

[15] Gene. 2:7 KJV

[16] Psal. 51 KJV

[17] Roma. 12 KJV

[18] Matt. 4:19 KJV

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Theology of Holy Scripture from a Millennial Perspective

Theology of Holy Scripture is the study of Holy Scripture.  In particular, this paper is studying the Christian Holy Scripture referred to as the Bible or the Living Word of God.  Individuals and groups in various congregations have developed their own methods in providing the authenticity and proof that the Bible is the actual Word of God.  One major movement that developed was the Historical-Critical method.  This method is a scientific lineal method that requires evidence of original sources to prove the authentic nature of the gospels.  The historical part of the historical critical method is the development of proof of the historical accuracy of the Bible.  The critical part of the Historical Critical method is finding the proof, purpose, and origins of the writings.

While this method provides logical foundation for the historical accuracy of a man named Jesus it does not provide factual evidence for the validity of the Holy Trinity.  To be a Christian one must have an understanding and faith about Jesus and God.  The faith that God, Holy Spirit, and Jesus are part of the divine trinity.  Failure to have a submission or belief in the actions of the Bible leaves the Historical Critical method void of the spirit and life of the story that the Bible gives us as a way and method to our salvation and eternal life with Jesus.

Timothy Ward provides an aspect to Bible authenticity that is based on the evangelical structure of validating the authenticity of the Bible. These attributes are necessity, sufficiency, clarity and authority by which scholars can define and defend their thoughts and insights into scripture.[1] This authentication and insight brings in the faith and belief elements that the historical critical method. The method in which Ward presents the relevance of the act of God speaking provided some insight into the importance of the personal nature of God and our personal relationship we must as Christians have with him.  Personal salvation is a commitment and covenant with the Lord.  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.[2]  The aspect of the personal nature of the Word of God and its ability to be s living word that despite who reads it or when one reads it, it will always be a relevant to those who are believers.  This manner of looking at the Bible provides a human aspect and personal development which historical critical method neglects to incinerate.  This view of studying the word of God provides a custom personal aspect to the Word while the historical critical method provides generic and cold references that can be applied to the mass population.

Sola Scriptura is an important foundation stone Timothy Ward uses to summarize the attributes of scripture.  Sola Scriptura is the belief that the Bible is the supreme authority of Christian thought and living due to it being it the written word of God and the content of it message.[3]  The attributes as described by Ward are broad theological terms that are broad in nature that allows scholars to develop insights and thoughts that can be built in a standard format that allows for academic discussion and debate. [4]

In Ward’s discussion on the authority vs. the holiness of scripture, it is important to understand that authority of scripture is based on the authority of man and God’s interaction with the writing of the Bible.[5] This is leads to a greater debate over the inerrancy and infallibility of the Word of God.  These debates focus on whether the fallibility of man can actually write the infallible word of God.  Those that see the Word of God as infallibility see the Holy Spirit as divinely inspiring those that wrote the scriptures and while errors might exist in the Bible, they do little in taking away the divine nature of the word.[6] Inerrancy sees the Bible as the perfect divine Word of God that is historically accurate and without fallibility. To be a Christian, one has to see this as the Word of God and thus inerrant because of its divine nature. While the bible might not provide all the answers to all questions, it provides us the means by which we can be saved.  It also does not contradict its self.  Therefore showing the infallible nature of the Word of God.

The basic canon of the Bible was formed in the Council of Carthage in Synod 397.[7] The development of the cannon was not created in an overnight decision but over several decades through prayer and divine intervention.  While not all faiths follow the same cannon, a majority of the 66 book of the bible are acknowledged and seen as the Word of God. The books have stood the test of time through multiple generations and lineages of families, which provides a deeper belief in the divine inerrancy of the document as the actual word of God. Ward focuses not on the argument of whether this is the actual word of God but clarifies it instead to be a discussion on the fallibility of man being able to write the word of God as the Almighty intended.[8]

This leads us the divine nature of the Bible and the sacredness of its Word to individuals when they read, believe, and are willing to die for its teachings. The sacred realm Fr. Martin discuss in the recording is the mystery and insight into the readings of the bible to assist us in interpreting and understanding the Word of God for our personal reflection.  It is the mystical element that the Historical Critical method does not have.  It makes the Bible personal to us every time we read it.  While the stories are the same each time it is the enlightenment we experience in finding answers to our concerns and provides us guidance in how to serve the Lord better.  In this, sacred realm, the individual does not care about who wrote what nor do they care about what text was referenced to obtain the information.  The individual is concerned with how this reading applies to them. As theologians, preachers, ministers, and sharers of the Holy Word, we must seek prophetic wisdom from the Lord to share with others.  The Word is a living applicable application to everyone by dwelling in the sacred realm we can develop a closer relationship to the Lord and bring followers to Christ.

Fr. Martin’s writing in Fr. Scott Carl’s book is an opposing view to which the Catholic Church has resolved the gap that the Historical Critical method provided the Catholic Church in Verbum Domini. [9] Fr. Martin discusses in Fr. Carl’s about the Fire of Sinai being the light of knowledge that provides readers with divine knowledge and understanding to the Word of God.[10] Fr. Martin provides a biblical reference and understanding to the element that occurs when one accepts, believes, and sees truth in which God provides them while reading the word. Describing and identifying it as the Fire of Sinai allows the message to be both personal to the receiver but also enlightening to the group of individuals who hear the word.  This expands on Wards thoughts by being both individual but for multiple people as well.  Fr. Martin focuses on the divine action that occurs when reading the word but does not allow for growth and depth of seeking further knowledge that the historical critical method provides.  Ward discusses Calvin’s point of view that being made in the image and likeness of God that we have this knowledge and understanding of the Lord, but due to our fallibility, we do not see clearly, the Bible like glasses allows us to focus and see the Lord. [11]

The theology of the Holy Scripture is a cycle that continues to repeat itself depending on the nature of the individuals study and period in life.  As s child, I saw the word like Fr. Martin, a straight insight and understanding of the Lord, as I grew older and reached my twenties I found myself like most Millennials going through a spiritual crisis leaning on the historical critical method to tell me what I needed to be a good person. As I found my way back to the church, I have begun to see the word like Ward being a personal covenant with the Lord and being of the inerrant mindset of the word of God.  When our faith is tested by Satan we often will go, back to repeat the cycle to ensure we reaffirm the foundation, which we build our beliefs, and understands of the Lord.  Our soul is the Holy of Holies. It is our responsibility as Christians to repair and fix the temple of faith in which our soul resides. We do this to be ready and willing vessel when the Lord calls us for his purpose.[12]

 

 

Bibliography

[1] Ward, Timothy. Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009, pp.96.

[2] John 14:6 (KJV)

[3] Ward, Timothy. Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009, pp. 102.

[4] Ibid., pp, 96-97.

[5] Ibid., pp.128.

[6] Ibid., pp.130-140.

[7] “Third Council of Carthage (A.D. 397).” The Third Council of Carthage on the Canon of Scripture. Accessed April 08, 2016. http://www.bible-researcher.com/carthage.html.

[8] Ward, Timothy. Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009, pp. 133.

[9] Carl, Scott. Verbum Domini and the Complementarity of Exegesis and Theology. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2015.

[10] Ibid., pp. 13.

[11] Ward, Timothy. Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009, pp. 98.

[12] 1 Cori 6:19-20, 2 Tim 2:21 (KJV).

Let My Mouth Be Filled With Thy Praise Part II

This week’s Gospel readings from the Book of Common Prayer 1928 edition are from St. Luke and his telling of the crucifixion of Jesus. The reading from today is St. Luke 23rd chapter verses 39 through 49.  One of the Roman soldiers challenged and mocked Jesus asking the question that if was truly the son of God then why did he not save himself?  Although a Roman soldier a man rebuked his fellow soldier saying that Jesus’s killing was wrong for he had done nothing wrong. Feeling ashamed and believing he asked Jesus to remember him when he went to heaven.  Even at the end Jesus was converting individuals into believers.  Jesus stood till his final breath fulfilling his mission and beliefs.

Would we do that today?  As Americans we watch in horror the outside world has become.  We watch the endless videos of ISIS beheading Christians.  Yet once we see the video we will turn the channel or go get something to eat.  If Christians make up 2.18 billion of the 6.9 billion individuals in the world, why is it that we cannot mobilize ourselves to protect our beliefs and fellow brothers that share our faith?  Why are we allowed in our country to watch hate crimes based on the religious intolerance of others? As one of the leading countries of the world, why as a Christian nation do we fail to do what is right in the eyes of our Lord Jesus Christ?  I on average are at Church four to five days a week.  I spend three of those days in some type of religious service.  We pray for the state of our nation and for the state of the Church yet what are we actually doing about it?

As the outside world drastically changes we become scared and fearful of what our friends, who are not strong about their religious beliefs, will say to us if we share with them about our faith.  We hear words as being a Bible Beater, Religious Nutcase, and Crazy. Therefore we ignore the opportunity to share our faith denying the opportunity for someone to possibly find a closer meaning to God. Isaiah 41 verse 10 states Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

We all have the power to change individuals’ lives and possibly bring them back to the Lord.  We are all disciples.  As disciples we are expected by the term alone to help to spread the teachings of another according to Webster’s dictionary. As disciples the most important tools we have are prayer and the Holy Spirit.  To ignore either is a failure on our part to be prepared to be open willing vessels for the Holy Spirit. This is not an introvert or extrovert issue.  As an introvert I have spent most of my time tucked away from others because of the serenity it provides me. Not until recently decide that I could be a disciple with my own gifts. I share my word through blogging, Facebooking, twittering, and having small one on one conversations with those in need.  I do not go door to door asking if they have accepted God into their heart.  Some people can do that I cannot.  I can however go into a hospital waiting room and talk to people who are upset and alone.  I can talk to them gently about God.

In a world where we spend so much time either wanting to be noticed or to be overlooked as Christian Disciples we have no option.  There is only one truth and responsibility.  We are expected to plant the seeds of truth in everyone we touch.  We spread those seeds through our actions, thoughts, words, and deeds.  Have you spread those seeds today?  Pray often for not only does it provide comfort and focus for you but also provides you the opportunity to allow God to speak to you which you can then share with others you talk to on a daily basis.  Christianity is not a check box designated for service only but should be a daily, moment by moment, activity that courses through our veins to share about daily. Remember to share your joy with others because it brings joy to the Lord. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers. 3 John 3-5.

Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church; That we all may be one. Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you; That your Name may be glorified by all people. We pray for all bishops, priests, and deacons; That they may be faithful ministers of your Word and Sacraments. We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world; That there may be justice and peace on the earth. Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake; That our works may find favor in your sight. Have compassion on those who suffer from any grief or trouble; That they may be delivered from their distress. Give to the departed eternal rest .Let light perpetual shine upon them. We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy; May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom. Let us pray for our own needs and those of others. Amen

Let My Mouth Be Filled With Thy Praise

Psalm 71

2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

9% of Christians have a biblical world view as of 2009 (Barna Group, 2009). 9% 2,184,060,000 Christians in the world is 197,000,000 .  That is roughly equivalent of the Christian populations of the Brazil and half of Ethiopia. In the United States in 2010 we had 246,780,000 comprising of 11% of the world’s Christian population.    What is the biblical world view?

The biblical world view is the foundation of a world view that starts and ends with God. That as Christians we believe that in the timeline we are somewhere between the beginning and the ending of the world.  The difficulty with believing this is that there has to be some faith that Gods word is a record of what happened.  Scientific theory can often conflict Biblical world views but are often found to be not credible the deeper scientist study our origins.   Thomas Bacon who developed the scientific method had a biblical world view.  The simplicity of the scientific method was created by Bacon to simplify discovery in a rapidly changing world.  If one accepts the biblical world view then the scientific method brings about order and a deeper understanding of the mystery and wonder of God.

The Lord is the reason why we are here. Acknowledgement that He is our Creator that He will always deliver us from those that consider us monsters of this world.  Trust, hope and praise must be shared to bring Christ’s lost back into union with us.  Not compromising but igniting the fire and passion through the power of the Holy Spirit to stand apart in the Christian faith. The 9% must stand up and like the Jews that brought down the walls of Jericho must in a loud voice call among their brothers and sisters in Christ to stand for the Word of God.  The truth sets us free.  Seek and ye shall find the truth one so desires and a peace like no other in the House of the Lord.  We are called in Psalm 71 to praise the Lord and glorify him daily in all our words and actions.  I encourage you to speak in the name of the Lord his truth and magnificence.

The development of oneself as a Christian and speaking to the delight of the Lord is a personal ritual that must be developed and explored due to the individual nature of the ritual it becomes one’s own personal praise and worship session with the Lord. We will falter but we will get up and continue on because with the support of our brothers and sisters we share each other’s burdens and triumphs.  Because they are for the glory of God. Praise be His name Our Creator and Redeemer.  May you grow in your trust and faith in the Lord and sing out your praise to Him today.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests; Fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

Resources

Group, B. (2009, March 6). Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years. Retrieved August 17, 2015, from https://www.barna.org/barna-update/21-transformation/252-barna-survey-examines -changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years#.VdHt2vlVjp4

How Old Is Your Heart?

Life is hard.  It is harder being a Christian now than it ever has been.  The looks and stares we get from individuals in crowded restaurants as we sit and pray.  How before my recertification exam I stood in the women’s bathroom and recited out loud the Lord’s prayer accepting the fact that I was not prepared to take it much less pass it.  Women coming out of their stalls to star at me as I looked in the mirror and continued to pray.  Not one person joined me.  So as I am sitting in the testing room I get to question two of the exam and I look up and told the Lord that I was at his mercy and his will be done.  I do not remember anything after that.  For an hour I apparently finished my exam.  I was recorded and video tapped.  When I finally came to I was on question two of the survey questions asking me if I was male or female.  I finished the survey questions and the results came up.  I was nervous.  I do not remember anything about the exam or any of the questions.  I was told I took it but I do not remember it.  The minim score I needed to pass was 750.  I scored exactly 750 when the results came up saying I passed I got down on my knees and prayed.  By passing I was able to keep my job which is the only source of income for our household.   It was truly the Holy Spirit who took and passed that exam.  I was the vessel He was working through.

So I been talking about my experience with friends and family.  Some under the sacred canopy and others not so much.  Those that do not attend church I have found to they just sum it up to me being smart and putting actual thought aside.  That I just allowed my brain to process the information from long term memory and was doing active recall.  Granted scientifically I would normally use that to explain the reasoning why individuals can often pass exams during high stress times however I argue in this case it is not.  I had no idea about the information being presented to me since the exam I took last time and past was four years older.  Between the walking pneumonia and outside family stress I was a mess to even get myself into the testing center.  My church family has been relatively supportive of my explanation of the experience.

I was reading an article that that explained the millennial nones and developing a religious sociological discussion for the groups.  For Atheist they developed the image of sacred rain boots.  The significance of this is that it is a description for the boots is that they are developed by the interactions they have with those that are religious.  The authors describe the world to be muddy in the eyes of atheists and how they interact with the religious helps them traverse the muddy world made by those that are religious.  To me the sacred rain boots are a barrier from the larger population in general.  From my experience though in general individuals are always partly atheist. Not everything we do say or see is from God.  Is this right?  NO.  But in a majority of the population science has overwhelmed the religious community and taken the fun and mystery out of life.  Believing in religion is like going back to the joy of being four years old and discovering the world for the first time.  As good Christians we should always have the heart of a four year old.  The problem is that we look down on that mystery and awesomeness as a negative experience.  In a world where internet is like the world’s biggest library nothing is ever a mystery anymore.  Our children grow up way to soon and as parents we encourage them to explore and find answers way before they should.

I believe that is why I have some much fun being at church.  There is no quick and easy solutions.  There is mystery and awesomeness all around it.  I have begun to surround myself with friends who think and feel the way I do.  We are returning to our roots and enjoying the mysteries of this life.  I have spent years in academia in both the sciences and arts.  I can say as an academic I love playing in the mud.  As Christians we should encourage others to come out and play with us and share in the innocent joy of fun once again. As Psalm 96 tells us O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. I pray your week may be blessed and fruitful.  Remember to pray continuously for both your joy and sorrows for our voice is a joy unto the Lord.

For Joy in God’s Creation

O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty:
Open our eyes to behold 
thy gracious hand in all thy works;
that, rejoicing in 
thy whole creation, we may learn to serve
thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all
things were made, 
thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Religious Strife

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

It is hard to write this week. I kept away from blogging because actualization is hard to accept sometimes. I spent the past weekend trying to see if God talks to everyone or just to a select few. It says God and the Holy Spirit speak to those that are quite and accept Him in. In the Old Testament individuals knew when God spoke to them. Through a fiery bush and through angels. There was no doubt because God was able to be acknowledged through one of man’s five senses. I speak with people at my Church who hear God through thoughts and songs. I left the Church in high school because I heard nothing. I sat and wanted to hear but there is nothing. I spent years studying various religious texts and ritual to hear nothing. I came back to the Church hoping maybe this time God or the Holy Spirit would talk to me. That they would make their presence known. I came back to church in February. I gone head first and try to stay actively engaged yet like before in my high school years I can answer the questions and do the motions but in the end there still no one there providing me with some insight on where I should go, what I should do, or why I should be even be here. Before I left the church I spent four hours sitting in an empty building in the dark trying to get some knowledge that others around me seem to have. I am now back and again it is hard. I go through the motions I do the ritual and try to understand the readings and how they apply to me but nothing in my head or heart speaks to me.

I guess that is why I always have somehow thought I been God’s little comedy play. But my church has taught me that is Satan just getting his words in edge wise. I talked with my husband about it over dinner on Saturday and he said it was different for everyone but he knows God talks to him. I have derived its either I do not get it or academics have killed the manner in which I analyze and process information that is meant to save me.

If my religious strife was not enough I have come to find out that I am not really excited that freemasons have decided to accept homosexual couples into lodges. This makes those organizations that depend on freemasons for their existence to have to accept homosexual couples. This leads to the questions about how the organizations will adapt their rules such as in the Order of Eastern Star only women can be star points and men can only be worthy patrons. So do we go based on born orientation or role in their relationship? If we do that then were does the Bruce Geners of the world go? So I am in the process of demitting from my organizations except the Order of Eastern Star but will be taking a leave of absence from meetings until the Grand Lodge of Texas decides to do what God has instructed.

So I employ my readers to contact me. How does God talk to you? How do you know him? God has never spoken to me. The pattern and ritual of the church has always enthralled me but having the experiences of Job, Mosses, and others I have not yet had. I have to trust that maybe someday I will be given the ability to hear Him.

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Acts 2:33