I Used to Call Myself a Christian….

Hi … I know its been a while, frankly I am not certain how much longer I will maintain this blog. The truth is  I am not really certain of much of anything anymore.

I have not been in a good place lately and I am really not happy about that, of course I am also at a loss as to how to get back to a good place or even what a good place looks like.

My faith…. or rather the realization that my faith is not faith but just a verbal assent to what I want to believe. The idea that somehow I am in control of conjuring up faith, the fact that true faith is a set of actions based on an internal surrender, and that righteousness can somehow purchase favor with God. In other words, you really can’t fake it till you make it.

Therefore I have decided not to call myself a “Christian” any longer… because I feel like every time I do makes me a liar.

If  I want to be a Christian, I need to be willing to lay down me, myself and I, I would like to say that I would gladly follow Jesus anywhere and do anything in my identification with Him. As spiritual as that sounds I have never walked that way… Underneath it all my desires and my perceived needs have controlled my motivations.

My hope still rests in Jesus, I believe the bible is true and maybe Jesus isn’t done with me yet…. maybe he hasn’t even started.

JT

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What do they call this again?

Hi… my name is John, but I used to be known around here as JT.  Why is it that people say; “Life can sure be funny sometimes”, or “How are you today?” or Have a nice day! ?

It sure is confusing when many people don’t say what they mean. Obviously etiquette, manners and common decency are things we apply in our efforts to not be offensive or rude… still, can’t we be more direct when choosing what to say while maintaining a good nature? If you don’t particularly care whether someone has a good day or not and yet feel the need to say it, it often comes across as fake and/or disingenuous. Better to say nothing or at least closer to what you mean- such as “See you later” or “perhaps we will meet again”… or some such thing.

I would like to say I am back but it doesn’t seem likely… at least not with any consistency. I realize that isn’t exactly the kind of thing to say if you’re hoping to keep readers around, but I also don’t want to mislead anyone to hang around, which of course now sounds ego inflated ….(implying that people would be hanging around ).

So I will bid you all goodnight and apologize in advance for rambling and apparently having no clear topic in which to garner anyone’s attention.

JT

 

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Death to the Aliens, We Want our Planet Back!

Sometimes living with a creative person can have some unusual side effects…living in a house full of creative people guarantees it.

Night time for my Bride and me seem to be some of the most comedic moments we share, between the vivid and imaginative dreams… she has constantly, and my occasional conversations that she hi-jacks while I’m asleep, makes for some interesting stories in the morning.

Me: (obviously asleep) “I pity the fool!”

Her:(also obviously, not asleep) “What!”

Me: (apparently streaming Mr. T) “I pity the fool”

Her: “Who you calling a fool?”

I am sure I have the recollection wrong because after all… I Am Asleeeeeep!

Last night my wife wakes herself up chanting, “Death to the Aliens, We want our planet back! Death to the Aliens we want our planet back!

Me: “Who you calling an alien?”

JT

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A Childhood Moment…

I woke to the sound of birds outside the window. A warm gentle breeze blew through the screen and carried the scents of fresh-cut grass and tulips into my room.  I rushed to get dressed and head outside. I had nearly made it out the door when my mother’s voice suddenly stopped me mid-stride, “John, you need breakfast before you go anywhere.”

I dutifully turned around as my mind raced with ideas of what the quickest breakfast would be. As I made my way to the kitchen I remembered their was one “Pop-Tart” left in the back of the cabinet that I didn’t like. Bye Mom, I have a “Pop-Tart” I yelled as I headed out the door.

I hopped on my bike and began riding down the street. It was late May and the air was just right not too hot and not too cool, the air was alive with the sounds of birds and the promise of beautiful day heightened my senses. As I pedaled through the back streets of the neighborhood the maple trees created a kaleidoscope of light and shadow in front of me as I rode. The maple leaves were a vibrant green and the sun dappled hues created the effect of leaves waving as I passed by.  I pedaled along steadily thinking about the fact that school would be out soon and the summer stretched out before me with endless possibilities.

JT

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Passing On…

Hello folks, it has been a while.

It seems life is hitting me with the one, two punch continuously as of late. We are currently going through the last hours of saying goodbye to my mother-in-law. March 12th she decided she no longer wanted to continue dialysis treatments. This caught us all by surprise and we later learned of some less than honorable intentions on the part of a past acquaintance of the family that had been discreetly meeting with and encouraging mom that this would be the best way for her to escape the horrors of treatment. We also believe but have not confirmed that this individual may have a life insurance policy out on her and was motivated by the death benefit to counsel her in this decision.

Amidst the emotional last few weeks there is an underlying anger at the injustices believed to have been perpetrated. However, at this time it is secondary to the desire to see mom out in love and with dignity despite the emotional tumult residing under the surface.

I need to focus right now on the task at hand but I am sure I will have much to say later.

JT

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Happy Birthday Dad

My father would have turned 75 today. I have mentioned in this blog how he had passed away on my birthday in 2005. As much as I understand it is merely coincidental, I can’t help feeling somewhat awkward on my birthday each year. I will say, as the years go by it is somewhat less awkward but, the feeling will probably never really stop altogether.

Being a father myself now has given me some new perspectives on my own father. I remember at ten years old having my parents sit my brother and I down at the dining room table and as gently as they could tell us of their impending separation… Dad was moving out. As I reflect on this now some 40 years have passed. I wonder sometimes how my life may have been different had they stayed together, not really in a better or worse comparison, but more on how it would be different.

I remember how as I grew through the teen years, even in the midst of all my insecurities how I had a deep sense I would be a better father,  I would never put my children through that… well I am married now almost 28 years but as far as being a better father goes well… I have six children, four are grown and started their lives and two remain for a while longer.  I can not really say I am a better father, frankly being a better father would mean that you would be measuring your success as a parent against some kind of standard, and frankly that standard is one I would have developed from my own expectations for my children. So does this mean if my children don’t meet my expectations I am a bad father?

Now we can say, well it was my responsibility to raise them so if they didn’t meet my standard there is no one to blame but me. I could say, the kids received the training but refused to adhere to it so it must be their fault for not meeting my standards.

I think the reality is a bit different, I don’t think I am a great father, I also don’t think I am a horrible father, rather, I am a man who tried and at times failed and at other times succeeded to do the job of raising my children. Likewise, my children share the same likelihood in their own future experiences.

Dad, I am sorry you’re not here to talk about these kinds of things, and for judging you. I never walked a mile in your shoes and I know in the end you shared with me your sense of living with many regrets. Happy Birthday Dad, I am glad you and Mom met and had children.

Love, your son,

JT

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How did we get here?

Once upon a time…they lived happily ever after.  This world we live in/on is incredible and complex, in fact the amount of things that have to go just right to support life boggles the cranial muscles.

I find it ironic that our origins are a great source of debate. The two camps I guess are primarily evolution or creation. From what I have heard and read these two opposing sides have many nuances and have even melded together in some schools of thought.

One thing that appears to me consistent, although people will argue to the contrary, is that faith isn’t just for the creation camp.  I would say that both sides have knowingly or unknowingly exercised faith, (Faith being belief without proof).

Now the evolutionists are convinced that the reasoning for evolution is based on science and creation is based on emotion. The creationists are convinced by historical record and experience and feel the evolutionists are bent on keeping God out of it because they have never seen God and the historical record cannot be validated.

I believe this battle will not change. In fact the bible predicted this in various ways and so far all the prophetic (predicted) outcomes have come to pass… that is to say they have been 100% accurate.  I know people do/will want to argue this, and as stated earlier this will not change. The Bible states that no one comes to the Father unless the spirit draws them. That as time goes on people’s hearts will grow cold and that they will trade truth for a lie. It happens all the time and has been happening since history began.

Now, just because we might disagree on origins doesn’t mean we have to cross to the other side of the street when we see each other. We can agree to disagree after all death eventually will come and one side will find that their beliefs were valid after all. In the meantime I would rather spend my days loving you, lifting you up when your down, sharing in the joys and sorrows common to everyone and not wasting precious time and energy trying to prove something.

I promise after I die you will not hear me say I told you so.

JT

 

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