Normally, I usually try to stay away from Politics and Religion for conversations, but I've been thinking about making a post about religion for a while. Nothing about right and wrong, but more a perspective about my beliefs. The idea of this post has been popping around in my head for about 7 years and I never had a great way to explain it, and even now I don't have a spectacular way to explain it, but I'm giving it a shot.
As a sophomore in high school I started going to a Prayer Group that basically was a student-run organization that had a couple teachers that allowed us to utilize their rooms as a place to meet. One day a week would be more of a devotional day and the second day of the week would be a day just for praying. During that first year, the leader (one of my older brother's friends) asked me to do a devotional for the next time we met and I remember being a little uncomfortable about it because I struggle with talking about Christianity in front of other people, I don't know why, I just do. I don't remember what I talked about, but I do know that I didn't really enjoy it, but after that year I would probably become one of the leaders of the group. Luckily, two of my friends took most of the devotionals when we had enough people coming, but I found that I thrived on the prayer days. Eventually as the group numbers dwindled, we found that it was easiest to meet on Fridays and just do the prayer day. By senior year, we had a smaller group, but we all met up every week to pray for each others needs and I found that I was very comfortable praying and even now I still find that prayer is my strength.
Why is that relevant? According to the Bible, everyone has gifts/blessings/fruits of the Spirit that have been given to them to be used for the glory of God. I have always been a little shy when it comes to talking with people, but for some reason when it comes to prayer, I feel that all my concerns, inhibitions, and worries all seem to go away and I can focus on praying. In the big picture, I see that there are plenty of people that have all these gifts and blessings that seem to fall to the wayside because it isn't always simple to actualize your gift into a tangible action. Everyone has a gift in some capacity, some have the gift to speak to others about their faith and to inspire change, some have the ability to pray and listen, like myself, and I find it easy to provide encouragement via prayer, even still others have the gift of music that allows people to outlet their love for God in a beautiful way. There are an abundance of other gifts and abilities that are out there, all of which can be used to glorify God.
So why did this take so long to figure out? Honestly, I really don't know. It seems very straightforward saying that everyone has different strengths and abilities that they could utilize, but it just felt empty just saying that. During the last few years, I have found myself driven the furthest away from church that I've ever been for a mess of reasons, reasons that made it and still make it difficult to find a church that I felt comfortable at. I've grown up going to church essentially every Sunday and even Wednesday service during Advent and Lent and over the course of a few years, I've started longing for a church with more substance beyond the fire and brimstone sermons and in a location where the politics of the church aren't common knowledge. Despite my separation from physically going to church, I believe that my faith has never been stronger than it is now. Especially during the last year or so, I found myself praying more, especially while commuting. I would turn off the radio and start praying out loud and would remain silent once I finished praying. Most recently during that bit of silence after praying about my worries, concerns, and stresses, I found Matthew 11:30 pop into my mind: "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I admit that I don't really read the Bible that much, but just having that verse pop into my mind was a very calming thing.
While I still find it difficult expressing my religious beliefs, I do still have a strong Christian faith that does have a major impact on my life.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I had a little bit of open time today and I found myself looking back at where this blog began. Around 4 years ago I started this blog as something to do, somewhere to put my thoughts, feelings, and finding from across the internet. I did it because I thought people were tiring of me putting all the links that I found amusing on Facebook. For a few years I posted here consistently on weekdays and over time it has somewhat depreciated down to a passing thought here and there. While it seems that the blog itself is somewhat fading and falling to the wayside, I can't help but feel that it isn't. My intent when I started was to provide a location to find elements of humor and entertainment. Over time it developed into a personal challenge and obligation to get content out every weekday just so I had something to ponder and plan for. I successfully posted for an entire year and then my availability started to diminish to the point where I really had to block off time to devote to blogging. From my perspective, I wish I had more time to devote to writing posts like I used to, but stepping into the expectations of adulthood have made it a little more tricky to consistently post. While it seems that my weekends could be a great time to pre-write some posts and schedule them for a couple days a week, I am really more focused on planning my wedding with my fiancee which is takes a lot of time up. I know all this sounds like I'm going to completely stop writing posts for P(x) Randomness, but I don't think I could convince myself to shut this site down because it really shows my growth over the last 4-5 years as a writer and even with my opinions. While there are times that I miss writing the daily posts, I really feel that these one-off posts are going to be more commonplace for the near future. I can easily say that I am proud of this blog and the fact that I have reached nearly 200,000 people on something that I started on a whim one day. While there isn't so much of a community feel that you would get from a YouTube channel, I still have probably impacted someone's life at some point whether it be a laugh or two or just providing a profound thought here and there. Ultimately, just that thought is pretty satisfying. I don't know who I impacted, but I can feel that at some point in my life I have positively impacted a moment (at minimum) of someone I have never met. That impact is one of the reasons that I keep blogging. While it is sporadic for new content, it really is a cool thought that these words have a global reach to people that speak multiple languages, have varied social and cultural upbringings, and all because people stumbled across this site while looking for something on the internet. As I said, I don't plan on stopping this blog anytime soon and I don't think I can after thinking of the global impact it has (be it large or small).
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
We're almost 2 weeks into 2015 and it really doesn't seem all that different from 2014. Nevertheless, I am still doing pretty well. I finally am pretty much over a nasty cold (if it can even be called a cold) after around 3 weeks. Assuming that it's this nasty flu that the CDC is saying is going around, it really is no fun. With it being gone though, I really have a greater appreciation for my health. You never realize how much you appreciate something until its gone, and your health really falls well under that category. Normally people choose to make resolutions for the start of the new year, but I don't care for them because it really just becomes an overhanging chore of a task. Therefore, as usual, I have not made any resolutions. Awkwardly enough, I now want to talk about what I want to try and do more this year without it sounding like a resolution...and hopefully in saying this it doesn't come off that way, but we shall see. I'm putting more of an effort into making food from scratch rather than buying simple pre-packaged foods like frozen pizzas and mac n cheese, and trying to go beyond the simple boil water and go recipes like pasta and hot dogs. Why? I enjoy cooking. I also have been watching many videos from a YouTube channel called Sorted Food and they cook a bunch of delicious looking and sounding foods that don't seem all that much of a bother to make. As a result, I want to make an effort to trying to make more of my own meals rather than being lazy and cooking a bunch of prepacked quick meals. Last night, I tried a slow cooker recipe that was simply hash browns, eggs, cheese, and breakfast sausage and it cooked on low for a couple hours and it was great and it was a cheap option as well because each of the ingredients were under $3, other than the breakfast sausage. It was simple, and the only bother was having to wait for it to cook and smelling the deliciousness the entire time. Who knows what other sorts of foods I'll end up making, but hopefully I can get more creative and make some of my own recipes as I improve at cooking.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Yoko really does ruin everything.. This song is by far my least favorite Christmas song of all time and it gets so overplayed. It's lovely that war is over, but the last thing I want to think about at Christmas is war. Plus the kids in the background singing the word "Now" just sounds like yelling "Ahhahhhahhhhahhh". It just reminds me of the big guy from Spongebob Squarepants during the fry cook games.
If I didn't have to hear this song again I wouldn't miss it.
With a week to go until Christmas Day, perhaps I'll try and rouse some positive Christmas spirit with some of my favorites, but we shall see as it always gets busy this time of year.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Last Christmas - Wham!
Oh boy! Nothing says Merry Christmas than a whiny faux-love song. This song makes me think of children in kindergarten giving a toy to someone else, but that person didn't give it back, no, they gave it to someone else so all you can do is cry about how that was your toy. This song is essentially that kindergartener calling the other person a "poopie head" and being grumpy. Also, why does this song feel like it goes on forever. Ok, musically, I understand it's not out of the norm to repeat the refrain, but after 9-10 times it gets a little obnoxious.