Friday, September 24, 2010

I wasn't expecting that...

So I've realized something about myself. I apparently crush on gay people. Now, this is obviously a problem. I'm up to 3/5 crushes (counting back from high school) that turned out to be gay. Now, I'm not counting crushes that led to relationships. And I clearly don't crush on people often. But seriously, what is this?! Are there no funny, eclectic, awesome guys out there who are also STRAIGHT? Grrrr. I know, I'm just doomed to be single forever. That's got to be what it is. Because, really, this is getting ridiculous.

One of my closest friends told me that they were gay recently. I have no clue what to make of that. No clue whatsoever. I'm confused....mainly because I've assumed something about them for years that turned out to be false. I'm also sadly uninformed about the gay community. I don't have many friends who are gay, and I distance myself from those who are. I don't understand their choice (or, as they call it, "sexual preference"). I just don't know how they think, or why they think that way. I don't understand. Most Christians don't understand either. We're afraid to get involved, because that would get our hands dirty. It's a tough thing to love on homosexuals. It's a sexual sin that most of us find repulsive. It's hard to get past the "EWWWW" feeling we get. It's also hard because they insist that their lifestyle isn't a choice, meaning that God created them that way. Which leads to tons of moral dilemmas. If God created them that way, then did God intentionally create them to sin? If so, then how can God be absolute good if he created them that way? Or, to take another route...What if homosexuality isn't a sin? I mean, if God is good, and He made them that way, and they can't help it....

Fortunately, the Bible is clear enough about homosexuality that we know it's a sin. God doesn't like it, or He wouldn't have condemned it in the first place. (Check out Leviticus 18 and 20-there are more references, but I like those two chapters best. And honestly, that's what the internet is for-find it yourself.) Which leads me to think that homosexuality is a choice. There's just no other way to fit all the pieces together. Like other sins, we have a choice to act on our temptations or not. Many times, what I want to do isn't what I should be doing, or what I need to be doing. I've wanted to yell at people for being dumb and irritating. But that would have been a sin. I've been tempted to have premarital sex. But giving in to that temptation would have been a sin. I think homosexuality is like that. A temptation that you've got to resist, because it has disastrous consequences.

Fact: Monogamous, committed relationships are rare in the gay community. So, if you're looking for a committed relationship (which at the core, we all are), then you might want to look elsewhere.

Fact: The HIV/AIDS virus is like a wildfire in the gay community. But don't tell them, because they'll get mad at you if you do. And yes, I know that if you're promiscuous anywhere you can catch it. But I've read research that states that it is still more common in the gay community.

Why is that?

Well, because most sexual encounters in the gay community are one-time trysts, at random places like gay clubs and bars. (Going back to the no-commitment thing.)

Now, where am I getting this information from? Former homosexuals. Quite a few have spoken at Liberty, and I've listened to what they said. They talk of it like those days were the darkest of their lives. It worries me. I worry for my friends who are gay. I worry that they will feel the brutality of it all...and that on top of the pain and sadness they will find from within the gay community itself, half of society will shun them. Worse of all is that the half that will shun them is the Christian half.

We let alcoholics in church, right? We say they need to be there, so that God can turn their lives around. Why should we exile homosexuals? Don't they need God's love just as much as the alcoholics do? Let's face it. We can't get over the "EWW" factor. But if we don't get over that, then how do we expect them to turn to (or back to) God?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hmmph.

I really love how I go out of my way to find an isolated couch in the Library just to have someone come and sit down within five feet of me. *sigh*

Sometimes I just need to be alone, yeah? With earbuds in, I shut out the world and fade away to a world of music and pure emotion. Right now I'm listening to the iTunes free single of the week on repeat. If you're not taking advantage of the weekly free track, then you're really missing out. Seriously. Free, (usually) good music. It's one of my favorite things. Anyway, this week's track is "Live it Up" by Group 1 Crew. Group 1 Crew is a Christian/Alternative band with a very versatile style. They're a combination of rap, pop, and sometimes techno. Eclectic , just like me.

Anyway, the song is amazing. Full of celebration of life and not letting yourself be held back, with a driving beat and techno underscores. Yes, please. This song is a perfect example of something I've been saying for years. We don't have to be boring just because we're Christian. Let me be honest with you. If Christianity is boring, filled with rules, restrictions, traditions, and stiffness....then no wonder people don't want anything to do with it. Jesus came to give us life and to give it more abundantly. That means we're to get out there and LIVE, people! So, if you're out at a concert, then why not have fun and wave your arms and jump around? Why not dance like there's no tomorrow? (Because, you know, there might not be.) We trap ourselves with self-righteous dignity because we're afraid to have fun. What will the unbelievers think of us? I'll tell you what they'll think. They'll think we're real people instead of mindless zombie robot followers. They'll see that we've got a contagious passion for life.

And maybe they'll wonder what it is that lets us live without fear.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why do I do this?

My mantra for the day: Stop comparing yourself to others!

I always do that! I'm forever comparing myself to everyone around me, and I always, always think I come up short. It's destructive, ridiculous, and just plain unnecessary. I'm not here to compare myself to everyone else in the world. There will always be someone better at ______ than I am. But so what? Why should that matter so much? Why can't I just be happy with my talent level and skills? ARRRGH. I get so frustrated with myself because I know that I'm on a downward spiral, and that it's not healthy. Most days I'm okay. Most days I can catch myself before I get all self-pitying and sad. But the fact that my thoughts drift that way is just one indicator of how much I let sin mess me up.

I doubt I'll ever be able to rid myself of these comparisons. They catch me by surprise, but that's no excuse. I do have faith that by the grace of God I'll be able to shrug off those negative ideas. I hope that one day I'll be able to see myself like He sees me, as His creation-a masterpiece in progress.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Time and Consequence

This time two years ago, I was thinking of applying to work a summer camp in SC. Due to my terrible habit of procrastination, and God's intervention, I didn't get the job. At the time, I raged against the decision. I realized that I am most emotional about the things I fail at. But honestly, for an Avoidant personality type, that's to be expected. Yeah, that's right, I have a personality disorder. At least I think I do. At the very least, I exhibit many tendencies of someone with Avoidant personality disorder, such as avoiding new situations where I might be uncomfortable, and always feeling insecure about my decisions and actions. At least I have a name for it now.

Anyway, that's not what I wanted to talk about. Two years ago I was ridiculously bummed out when I didn't get a job. I wondered if God really did want to use me, and if so, then why wouldn't He let me go to a place where I could do the most for Him? I resigned myself to the water park that summer, and literally hated my job. But I realized something this summer. All that perseverance I learned at the water park helped me out when working camp this past summer. I'm pretty sure that the FUGE staff works harder and longer than any other camp out there. (Though this might be debatable, I know it felt like we worked our tails off.) But I almost never wanted to quit. Why was this? Because I had learned how to suck it up and keep going. In fact, the only time I wanted to just go home was Week 3, when I had a very difficult time keeping my kids in order...just ask some of the other staffers.

Most of the time I can keep my kids focused and on task. Which is miraculous, really, because I couldn't do anything to stop them from misbehaving if they chose to. I never realized how precarious it is for a teacher to keep order. Some just have the natural gift of being intimidating. I don't have that, so for the kids to listen to me at all indicates that I had really good kids most of the time.

Anyway, the point of this scatterbrained rant is that God used what I perceived as a negative experience to prepare me for an awesome one the next summer. God really does know what He's doing, even when to us it looks like our lives are a mess.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What do they teach us in school these days? Act 1-Macbeth!

So, I've decided to compile a list of things that I have been asked to read by LU professors that might be considered "controversial" to those of delicate constitutions. Just, you know, for future reference. And to shamelessly retain my point of view that one can read writings of controversial nature without becoming corrupted. And sort of to justify my love of supernatural novels. But I digress.


Anyway, my list starts off with Shakespeare's notable play, Macbeth. It features three witches that are called "The Weird Sisters" (sound familiar, my fellow Potter nerds?). Here's a notable quote from them:


Round about the cauldron go,

In the poisoned entrails throw.

Toad, that under cold stone

Days and nights has thirty-one

Sweltered venom sleeping got,

Boil thou first i' th' charm├Ęd pot.


Also, my personal favorite:


Double, double toil and trouble,

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.


So, clearly, very obviously, we are dealing with witchcraft of the blacker sort. Yet I am not filled with the sudden desire to fetch a poisonous toad, rip out its entrails, and toss them into a charmed cauldron. Why is this? The jury's out on the answer. I'm leaning towards the idea that since I know that Macbeth is only a story, albeit a remarkable one, I have no desire to imitate it. It's not real. Real magic would probably scare me half to death. I know this, but the idea of the supernatural continues to fascinate me. I think this is because, at our heart, we all want to believe in something stronger than us. I mean, God Himself is supernatural. By trusting in Him, we are placing our trust in a supernatural "Higher power."


In the Bible, there are people raised from the dead. The blind can suddenly see. The scientifically unexplainable happens. Supernatural. Something far greater than we are. The reason, I think, that witchcraft is a sin is because it is, in effect, a mere mortal attempting to gain the powers of the divine. Naturally, these powers are perversions. And the rest of humanity flinches away at the not-rightness of it all. So, on this level, I agree. The idea of real-life witchcraft scares the bejeepers out of me.


But literature exists on a completely different and separate realm of consciousness. People write from their desires, and the supernatural in these stories stems from the human desire to be unique, separate, different from the rest of the sea of unnamed human faces. Have you ever had a flying dream? I have. So when I read about a fictional person who can fly through magical means (such as Tinkerbell), my heart can soar along with them through their fictional landscape.


What I'm saying is that, in the alternate dimension of writing, anything is possible.


And as for me, reading about impossible things inspires and intrigues me. Unicorns, faeries, princes, damsels in distress...even wizards. (Can you say Merlin?!) And I'm not the only one who reads these things. It isn't that I think they're real. It isn't that I have a fascination with the occult. It is just that my mind loathes the reality it lives in, the day-to-day constraints that dictate what is and isn't possible. Fantasy authors break the mold, presenting extraordinary circumstances that happen to seemingly ordinary, human people. I can live vicariously through these characters, can experience what they do, through the pages of a book.


...so tell me, how can the innocent joy of thrilling literary tales be so wrong?