Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Overwhelming Evidence

Overwhelming Evidence

Some think that prayer, and various outcomes related to prayers, are merely coincidences; and that the real reason why people pray is to only find comfort and hope. If atheists are correct, and if there really is no God, I would still pray if it was my only connection to find hope in a hopeless world. Also, if I die to find that there is no God, and I entirely cease to exist; my consciousness won't be around to be disappointed! So, I score whether there is a God or not! However, that is not why I believe. It's actually pretty scientific for me: my life has overwhelming evidence of the existence of God. Do I keep a list? No. I can't imagine a list of answered prayers that is profound enough to convince any nonbeliever to believe. I don't think that's how most seekers work. The trick is to find it out for yourself. If you peeked at some of someone's list, your mind is amazing at coming to conclusions that can talk yourself out of believing. It's human nature. 

I hang out mostly with non-church people in the gay community and meet a lot of atheists. Most of them became that way as a reaction to abuse from anti-gay churches. Most ex-gay survivors like me tend to have the most abuse, and grow to despise all forms of Christianity, even the LGBT affirming groups. I have learned not to argue, because most of the time only healing and forgiveness can open their hearts. This is where I turn to intercessory prayer. I also am learning to see the value in this kind of life and try to accept others the best I can even if we don't agree about the existence of God.

I do journal a lot and sometimes I write down answered prayers, but I use it for my own resource. All over the Bible, especially the psalms, it is mentioned to remember what God has done. Aside from strengthening your faith, this also prompts a spirit of thanksgiving and praise, which are important aspects of prayer. Sometimes sharing your stories about what God has done for you can help others believe as well as reinforce the faith of other believers.
I thought this cult magazine was funny to glance at: "Good News... Turmoil!"
No wonder why so many people think I'm phony with stuff like this all over...

Update on my life this year

Personal Stuff...

Life has been good lately. I am starting some new journeys in my life, one of them being that I am seeking help to heal from trauma, most of it brought on by anti-gay stuff I did in churches most of my adult life. It's hard to go to a worship service without getting anxious, especially if I know that it is an anti-gay type church. I am still having a more difficult time writing my stories about the "ex-gay" stuff I was in, it's so painful. Turning forty this year has been an opportunity to grow, calling this year my, "year of wellness" and self care. I'm not working as much, but trying to focus on things that are blocking any personal success. I'm also more outspoken about the fact I have a bi side, maybe I'm a 5 on the Kinsey scale - but not enough to hold on to a long term relationship with a lady. Single again, and not really looking, which is a good thing for me. Took the summer off working with churches but back doing church music and maybe some teaching again.

I wonder if it's safe to assume that most of my readers are seeking information about prayer because they want a more spirit-centered life. My life right now, although as a Christian it feels strange to admit, is more of a logic-centered life. Reason being, I have acted way too "spiritual" while making a lot of bad decisions; for instance, going through five years of anti-gay programs that did not work but only made me worse. I still had this mentality that God is speaking to me through everything, and I was having a hard time distinguishing from dreams, what I thought were omens, various preachers, bible passages that seem to stand out and other things that catch my attention.

One of my favorite comedy shows, My Name Is Earl, had a great quote in an episode where a tornado kept blowing this bible into the hands of a character who thought it was a sign from God. Another character responded:

"Natural disasters are stressful times in which people ascribe heightened meaning to random events of physics"

Some of us who are more prone to be impulsive, intuitive and creative need to follow wisdom instead of focusing on trying to be overly spiritual in decision making. I don't want to be one of those saints who always say things like "God told me..." then most of the time have it not be God talking at all.

However, there are most of us people of faith who could really use some spiritual direction. That's where prayer comes in. Quality, informed, intentional, sincere prayer.

Jason singing a piece from "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at an Oregon Bears fundraiser - thanks to Ice Wolf Photography