Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Song Of The Day #34

Here is a great song that has been getting play on CBC Radio 2.

"Simple Song" by The Shins
YouTube link

Lent 2012: The First Seven Days

Lent 2012 didn't start as it should have.  I basically cheated on it on the first day.  The night before I bought some candy and was going to eat that night.  But I ended up falling asleep.  So I ate it the next day on the first day of Lent.  That's not all either.  I ate a piece of chocolate and drank some pop.  I totally was going to get an iced tea, but I wasn't thinking.  Today I was going to get an iced tea in the vending machine at work, but I didn't realize the iced tea was out and ended up drinking a Coke. That was after I tried to get my money back.  The other days in between was a breeze.  Nothing eventful happened.

The thing about it is, the candy, was that it was tempting me per se.  I wanted it gone so I ate it.  I didn't want to throw it away and waste money.  It wasn't a temptation.  I wasn't thinking.  It's not like I forgot that it was Lent.  It's hard to explain it.  I just did it.

I know I can go Lent without cheating because I have done so in the past.  But it is easy to cheat.  That doesn't make you a bad person.  A lot of people have slipped up during Lent.  Nobody is perfect and everybody is prone to slipping up during Lent.  So they shouldn't look down upon you for slipping up.

Here is to another week free of slip ups in the second week of Lent.  Hope you have a cheat free second week as well.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lent 2012

Yesterday was Wednesday, February 22, 2012. It is the first day of Lent. I've come to do the same thing each year for Lent. I've given up junk food, pop, and the like. I find with Lent that it's easy to be conscious about eating and drinking such things because I actually think about it. But other times, I just eat or drink it without thinking twice about it. Sure it's easy to not partake in any of things when you make a conscious effort not to. But it's also easy to partake in these things when you disengage your mind. Maybe I'm putting to much into that part of it, but not enough into the actual journey of the fasting from these items.

Are you a person that actually values the journey? Or are you a person that just gives up something because you think that's what you should do? As for me, I value the journey, but not like I should. I feel as sense of satisfaction when I finish Lent. But is that really enough? I understand God will love us for our sacrifice. Is that truly enough? There is more I can do, but getting motivated to start and continue can be tough. Having a permanent Lent takes a lot will power. If you think otherwise than you are a liar.  Or you are this perfect being that doesn't have anything they need to fast or abstain from anything?

I notice people do give up things because it's Lent.  We all need to be conscious of the journey because we'd get more out of it.   But as I said, I need to be more conscious of it too.  This is a process that I might never get truly right.  That is part of the journey.  I hope I can discover more about myself during this time of Lent.  I never have in the past when I've done Lent.  Whatever you choose to fast from, I hope it turns out to successful.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Song of the Day #33

This song comes from a band that is relatively new as they've been around for four years.  This particular song has been played on CBC Radio 2 a lot. I dig it.  The guy has a higher voice and it's been likened to Prince.  Take that for what you will.

"Free" by Graffiti6
YouTube link

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Loving Thy Enemy

I mentioned in my last post that I struggle with the idea of loving thy enemy.  This post will go more in depth about my thoughts about this very issue.  I will use some scripture in a way that will hopefully make sense to you.

Looking scripture on "loving thy enemy," I came across an interesting passage.  It is Matthew 5:43 and it says "You have heard it was said, 'Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.'" (NIV)  With this passage, it seems to contradict what most Christians are taught in the "hate your enemy" part of the verse.  A lot of Christians if not 99 percent of them are taught to love your enemy.  But unfortunately, I am in the one percent that either doesn't love the enemy or struggles with that notion.  Is it natural to hate someone you consider an enemy?  I have always hated an "enemy" of mine.  I find it easier to just hate them rather protrude a loving reaction to them.  Even if someone preaches the opposite of this passage, deep down, most people have someone they hate or have hated.  If they say they never did than who am I to call them out on bullshit?  Nevertheless, this passage seems to define how I think with my struggles.  Just go all out and hate this person.

Matthew 5:44 contradicts the previous verse.  It says "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."  (NIV)  I struggle with praying for someone I hate.  Maybe it is beneficial to pray for change in thy enemy.  But I just can't bring myself to do it.   So I don't pray for an enemy.  I feel like "screw them" and just leave them to their own devices.  That's what happened with this one guy my best friend and I were friends with.  We helped him a lot and we were given nothing in return.  So herself and I left him to his own devices.  He never changed after going to rehab (he is an alcoholic).  He kept doing the same thing he has always done.  So I hate him and could never be a friend to him ever again.  It may not be right in the eyes of some people, but it's been said that you just have to walk away from it all.  I did that and have never looked back.  I don't feel bad for doing it either.  Don't even think about laying a guilt trip on because that is totally childish and lame to even attempt to do so!

Luke 6:27-28 also talks about praying for your enemy among other things.  "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."  (NIV)  All these things it says to do in this passage, I find myself not being able to do.  I know there is a point to doing it all, but I can't for the life of me bring myself to do it.  I feel it goes against everything I think about this and that's the struggle.  The struggle to do the good I should be doing versus what I do.  I know it's easy for some people to love thy enemy and do all the things as stated, but it's not so easy for me.  It's a struggle and if you've struggled with this, than you will know exactly where I'm coming from.

I am not necessarily holding grudges per se because I try not to do that.  It's just a flat out hate for my enemy.  This is something I face everyday and it gets no easier.  I can't just one day wake and say I will love thy enemy.  It's not that easy for me.  It will never be that easy.  So don't even try to put a spin on it that it is.  It's not all smoke and mirrors.  It's not all black and white.  There is a big grey area for me.  There will for a long time be a grey area.  Until that day comes when I can love thy enemy, it will be a struggle no matter what I'm told.

Westboro Baptists

I've probably done a post on this group of from Topeka, Kansas; but I'm doing another one. Every time I hear about, read about, or watch footage on the Westboro Baptists, I get so enraged. The stuff they do is beyond stupid. The doctrine they believe is quite primitive. It is so primitive that even like minded individuals that in terms of doctrine reject them. Even the Klu Klux Klan think what they do is wrong.

In the Bible, it says "love thy enemy." This is something I struggle with. Westboro Baptists are the enemy. They are blind to what they believe that they think what other people believe and is wrong. They go on the basis of freedom of speech and freedom to protest. That's all fine and well, but when does freedom of speech and freedom to protest become more than that? They use the law to their advantage to spew their rhetoric. Here is the irony, when someone protests or does something against them than it's a no-no and not acceptable. The hypocrisy of it all.  It's all good in their world until you throw it back in their face.

 Even if one of their own throws it back in their face, they will shun you and kick you out of the church.  If you ask me, that would be more of a blessing than anything else.  You are seriously screwed up in the head if you are involved in such a group.  There are better ways to spend your time instead of promoting hate.  I don't know about you, but as a Christian, I've always told to love one another (even though it's hard to do so towards everyone).  But they can't even attempt to show love towards their fellow man.  They would rather look for the negative and dwell on it.  They are wasting their time spreading hate rather do good.

I don't even consider the Westboro Baptists Christians.  They use the Bible in sick and twisted ways.  They manipulate the scriptures to show hate whether it says it or not.  They actually get joy out of saying that this natural disaster is God's wrath or some crap like that.

Even though I don't like the Westboro Baptists or even "hate" them per se, it's been said that we should pray for them.  But praying for the enemy is something I struggle with.  Hopefully one major event can help them see the errors of their ways that they change.  Then again maybe not.  But one can be hopeful!