I think the “start” means this is a maze. Apparently to nowhere. It’s a trap!
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I’ve been thinking about a couple years ago, maybe not that long, when I was struggling with the concept of hell. The whole idea of eternal torture was so antithesis to the character of Jesus. I was questioning the concept because I had so many new gay friends due to my podcasting on Greetings from Nowhere. Like with my grandfather who died potentially “outside of Christ,” I was questioning not God’s compassion, but the idea of hell in the face of God’s compassion. For some reason, I’ve never doubted God’s love. Everything in my belief system orbits around the love of God for humankind. For me, that’s what the head-learning of 35 years of Sunday school and church have boiled down to.
So hell doesn’t fit. And my battle with the concept was ultimately a battle with fear. If I chose to forge my own beliefs based on the Bible, would I lose my moral and spiritual anchor? Would I be lost?
I knew the truth was that nothing can snatch me out of the Father’s hand. And taking a leap of faith to believe that and walk in honesty to who God had made me and who he was leading me to become, was one of the scariest moments of my life. I should say “series of moments” because it took several conversations and a lot of thought to decide that hell didn’t exist. That in the end, God wins. All hearts and souls safely with him.
There are people who could quote chapter and verse to me as to why what I believe is wrong. But I worship God, not the Bible. They are his words, not himself, designed to be interpreted by each human heart that seeks him through them.
I just encourage my fellow Christians, and those for whom Christianity rings true, to not be afraid to follow God’s word in your heart. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to lead you that way. Be brave. God will not let you fall.
Y’all? I’m going to London! I have dreamed of going there ever since I was a little kid reading stories from C.S. Lewis all the way to a couple years ago when I read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories. And nothing has changed. So, after seeing my 17 year old niece’s dream come true of visiting New Zealand, I’m heading for London!
I need to save some bucks, but I have the miles to get the airline ticket and a couple of friends willing to come along. Making this decision has been really cool. I thought I might put it off, but it’s been years since I had a full vacation and having planned the trip to Disneyland with my niece and nephew last year helped me realize that pretty much anything is possible with planning and saving.
I remember when I went to Portugal with my Dad and Stepmom in 2008, we landed in Heathrow to transfer flights. As we were beginning to land, I got my first glimpse of Great Britain and I started to cry. I was so happy. I knew that, even though this was just an airport stop, I would be back one day. So next year at this time, I will be! Anyone been there? Got any “must sees?”
Oh, and that’s no dis on Portugal. I’d go back to Portugal in a heartbeat. What a gorgeous place! Just image google Evora and you’ll see what I mean.
Lots of posts from both sides of the gay marriage rights issue today. For my Christian brothers and sisters who feel threatened, I would say the following. You aren’t compromising your convictions when you love and accept your gay friends and family as they are. To love someone means you simply love them as Christ did on the cross–no conditions. How people live their life before God is between them and God. God never gave us the right to be judge of someone else’s life. “Disagreeing” with what we believe to be someone’s “lifestyle” does not give us the right to withhold love in any way, shape or form. Let people LIVE. And let God do His amazing work. We are called to LOVE. That is how we bear witness of Christ in us. When we attempt to force our morality and will upon others, we push them away from Christ. And woe upon us when we push seekers of Christ away from Him.
I had no idea that re-inking a self-inking stamp would be such a puzzler! One of mine at work was getting dry and so I purchased some ink and then tried to figure out how to open the stamp so that I could ink the pad. It looks kind of obvious because there’s a finger grip right where you’re supposed to pull the ink pad out but, try as I might, I couldn’t figure it out. I searched the web for instructions but to no avail and the text-based instructions weren’t working. Finally, my brain said to me, “Nik, youtube has everything. I’ll bet you a whole quarter that someone has posted a video out there showing how to get the ink pad out of the stamper.” I said, “Brain, that’s a great idea. I’ll go check!”
Sure enough. Brian (coincidence that his name is a letter-switch away from Brain?) from Holmes Stamp & Sign in Jacksonville, Florida, had just the video I needed. Turns out you kind of have to snap/flick the pad out of the stamper. I tell you, helpful people are just everywhere!
This is true for all of you and I wanted all of you to know it! I am so thankful to the Lord for bringing me into the podcasting world where I have met beautiful people like Mike Lawson who posts beautiful things like this on his social media for the world to see and be encouraged. What a lovely Christmas gift for us all!
My friend Dave got it in his head to do a song parody of “Dumb Ways to Die” and asked if I’d want to record it. Wonderfully flattered, of course. I quickly added, “but you’d have to write the lyrics!” He gave the classic cringe and then it hit me…the amazing TJ rhymes like no one else. I presented the opportunity to her and she’s almost got it written! I love collaborating with talented people! I don’t want to give the subjet matter away just yet, but I’ll let you know when we’ve got something.
I am really blessed by my job as an admin assistant. It’s been my day job of choice (at several different companies) since I was 19 years old and it has served my life very well. However…come the holidays…it’s a dangerous job.
Okay, so I’m not a crab fisherman or an ice road trucker. But tell me, what shows up on or near the admin’s desk at Christmas time? Come on, you know the answer.
Chocolate. Sweets. Cookies. FUDGE. Gawd, what other time of year do you get fudge? I don’t think I’ve ever even made fudge, but dayam…I’ve had my share. Especially today.
My desk has a counter. On that counter my boss placed a giant tray of homemade candy. Mint bars, Rolo pretzels, shortbread, peanut butter cups, pinoche, fudge and so much more. I sat down at my desk and my nose was drawn sideways to the tray like Bugs Bunny floating after a scent.
Mah belly is quite full, even still tonight! Oh, Lordy…having that tray literally right next to me was one sweet torture! Thank God it only comes around once a year.
But in all honesty…thank God it comes around!