Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Sign of the Cross (Offensive?)

Last week at work we were driving to a job and as we passed a Catholic Church I crossed myself.

The guy I was with (who I am very good friends with...and is uncertain about religion) asked me this question:

"If someone asked you to not sign the cross because it offends them, would you?"

My initial response..."No!". He kind of laughed/snickered making me wonder what was going through his head...but anyways.

Now of course, me being me, I contemplated upon it all day.

It made me think a few things:

First, is it wrong of me to ask someone to refrain from certain things (i.e. blasphemy, etc.) in the same sense of my not wanting someone asking me to refrain from signing the cross? Of course, I can think of reasons why there are certain actions people would do that are offensive. No one blasphemes because it is part of their religion or is it something they do because it makes them who they are. No...most people blaspheme because the name of God and Jesus have become so commonplace they are no longer sacred, rather they are clichè! (Which is very unfortunate...Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!)!

Second, I wondered, maybe I would not sign the cross if they had a legitimate reason why it would offend them. Then, I could not think of a legitimate reason how or why it would offend anyone.

When it comes down to it (and I pray for this fortitude everyday) I would rather be killed than to have to deny my faith by refraining from doing a pious act (even something as simple as signing the cross...though the "Sign of the Cross" has so many theological underpinnings that it is amazing!) or being asked to deny my faith. I know it is easier to say I would die for my faith than to actually do it, but that is why I pray that I would have the courage to do so...if it be God's will!

Ultimately...I COULD NOT refrain from signing myself because it would be denying my very being and that is of being a disciple and slave of Jesus.

This was very thought provoking though. It is not that I would be trying to be rude in refusing to do so...I just do not see how it could be offensive to anyone.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thy Will Be Done

We have all heard the phrase: "Thy Will Be Done"
This is from the epic prayer the Our Father (aka the Lord's Prayer) which any Christian should be able to recite from memory as if it were their name.

In my profile under "Interests" it used to say "Finding the Will of God in my life."

Yesterday on the Catholic Answers Forum we were having our usual debates on the Non-Catholic forum and a user who goes by the handle 'Reformed' saw this blog of mine and sent me this in reply:

I found this on your personal site: Interest: Finding the Will of God in my life.
Here is the will of God in your life...
The will of God in your life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (1 Cor 10:31).

I proceeded to change my Interests to say "Finding AND fulfilling the will of God in my life".

I know this is getting into a game of semantics but, I did it anyways!

Thanks to Reformed, that quote from the Bible is part of my personal profile. It can be read on the right...and if you are too lazy to move your eyes...just below:

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NAB)

This basically got me thinking about what "the will of God" actually means. I guess with most things in Christianity it is a dynamic term. In essence God's will for us is to know Him, love Him, serve Him and be with Him in the life to come. All Christians share this common goal. In the generic sense this is what we are all called to do. Now...here is where semantics come into play...oh what fun!

God's will for all of us is to do everything for His Glory. (The discussion as to why is another post all together.) Though, we are all called uniquely to fulfill this purpose in our lives. So when I originally had posted "finding the will of God in my life" what I meant was that I am perpetually searching to find what God calls me to do specifically in my life. No matter what I do...I definitely have to do it for God's glory, but I also have to prayerfully discern what God's will is for me in fulfilling His will.

So the will of God is for our will to be His will. God's will for my life is not to get pregnant...for example. Just as all doctors are all "called" to help sick and dieing people...they are all uniquely called to different diseases and different people, etc. In general they all have the same purpose, but they each do it in uniquely different ways for different people.

Now...this may sound scrupulous...but this is important because everything we do is important and providential. Every breath we take, every step we take, every bite we eat matters. Maybe God did not call for us to eat that extra hamburger. Maybe we should have slowed down and stopped at that traffic light. It may seem minor, but our presence somewhere other than where God preferred for us to be changes everything. (We have all heard of the butterfly effect.) It could be as something as minor as our presence causing the air to move a different direction in a room. (I told you...sounds scrupulous!)

In summation, we are all called to glorify God, but we are all called to do it in a different way.

I appreciate this little encounter though, because it caused me to contemplate this. I am now no longer just trying to find God's will in my life, I am trying to fulfill His will in my life while I try to find His will in my life! (Well I have been trying to do that all along, now I have just worded it more appropriately on my blog!) Amen!

Monday, September 22, 2008

¿¡¿ Happy Birthday ?!?

Added: October 8, 2008 (12:24am)
I am adding a link to this blog:
The Leila Texts
It sheds light in explaining what you are about to read...but it still does not explain the bizarre timing in which this all occurred.
(Thanks to Joseph [the first person to leave a comment to this post] for this tidbit!)

¿Coincidence?

Something weird just happened about an hour ago.

I received a text message reading:(verbatim)
"Sorry to be late on saying happy birthday. Hope it was blessed and u be blessed"

Not recognizing the number...
I replied:(verbatim)
"May i ask who this might be?"

No reply...then maybe 15 minutes later I received a call from this number. My curiosity has peaked and I have become very intrigued. I was thinking that this person mistook when my birthday actually was and thought they had missed it (because my birthday is 5 days away.) Still...I did not recognize the number.

A woman from Birmingham, Alabama was on the other line asking if this was the number she sent the text message to. I confirmed and we were now just extremely flabbergasted.

She simply chose her daughter from her Contact List, which she was under the name "Jetter".
(Which makes this weird, because that is one of my nicknames!)

Her Alabama phone number was no where similar to my Pennsylvania phone number. It was not simply that the area code was different...the entire number was different! (No...I will not post the numbers...lol!)

What was strange is that her daughter's correct number is stored in her address book, so we have no idea why the text was even sent to me.

Let me sum up this strangeness:
My birthday and her daughter's birthday are around the same time and somehow her birthday wish was sent to me...making me think someone was trying to wish me a happy birthday. Then the fact that her daughter is stored under the name "Jetter" (I am not sure if that is her proper name or a nickname) and that Jetter is one of my nicknames.

This does not explain why I received the message though!?!

Even if the phone company had a glitch and routed the call wrongly, it does not explain how for all the places her message could have been routed to, why a person who has a similar birthday as her daughter and the same name/nickname received the message.

Strange...sometimes I think God is messing with my head! LoL!

I am filing this under a category for "Coincidence?" because, God willing, I am going to post some of the amazing things God has done in my life, situations similar to this and even more inexplicable and unexplainable, and I will let the reader decide what it might mean.

Plant a Seed of Truth

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lord, please bless this seed.
Amen.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!