spirits that speak


Passion and Faith

A couple of years ago I saw The Passion of the Christ. I was moved to tears by what I saw on the screen. Never before have I had such a potent visual of what may have happened to Jesus so many years ago. There were even segments that I felt I couldn't watch. I closed my eyes as they whipped and beat the character of Jesus in the film. That night I decided I would include this film in my commemoration/celebration of Easter each year. It still serves as a powerful reminder that He endured horrible events because He wanted us to be healed. This is not the kind of tradition that I would tell anyone they need to include in their lives, but I felt it would be helpful, along with the other things you hear and see in churches at Easter, for my reflection. I believe the death and resurrection of Jesus is real, and is historically true.

There are those who seem to seek any reason they can find not to believe in such things, however. Or, at least, not to believe in the Biblical accounts of such things (e.g. Jesus didn't really die during the crucifixion, Judas didn't betray Jesus, he was following Jesus' orders). I recently heard about the Judas story at work. I overheard 2 co-workers talking about it because apparently there was a big TV news story the previous night that investigated the issue. I hadn't heard about it until then.

If I'm being completely honest, I'll admit that hearing about that kind of thing made me at least a little upset. Why is it that people are always coming up with reasons why they shouldn't believe? These kinds of things haven't been common knowledge until now. There may have been other "evidence" that people have come up with for not believing, but if they already disbelieve, is there a need to seek out obscure and barely supported theories and come up with support for them? One document (referring to the Judas thing here) tells people that Jesus asked Judas to "betray" Him, and people are fascinated.

...Sorry, I somehow managed to slip into a rant without realizing it. Incoherent rambling belongs on my other blog. I included this post here because this blog is meant to underline personal growth, and the things that I find inspire such growth.
After I got over my reaction to hearing the 2 stories mentioned above (both of which I have just come across in the past week), I realized something that I thought was profound (notice: realized...this isn't something I feel I can take credit for). These stories are insignificant! Let the scholars dig them up, investigate them, debate them. They have a calling...a job to do. Many of them are gifted and do their job well.

What I have come to realize recently, among other things, is that the faithful of God need to focus on things that are more crucial to seeing that the Gospel is understood and applied. These stories are a distraction. I haven't quite figured out all that we should be focusing on, but at least part of it is communicating the love of Christ in many various ways. In the limited amount of success I have experienced in such communication, I have seen that the reaction is often one of astonishment (in varying degrees). If we focus on communicating the love and message of a risen Christ with the world, it will go much farther than winning even one debate or argument about the obscure things. Those things bear no threat other than what we allow them to.

I'll stop myself in the middle of my unintentional sermon to finish with a final thought. Another Easter has come, and is almost gone. I am grateful again to be reminded that there is something bigger to live for than what is immediately apparent.


Friends are Friends Forever

i have recently been wondering what it's about to be a good friend. i have many beliefs, morals, and ethics that i try to stick to (and often fail), but one of the ones that i value most is loyalty. occasionally, a friend will get involved in something that is a very difficult situation and while there are things they could be doing differently to handle it, i want to stand by them no matter what. but what about when that involves some degree of personal risk?

there's a situation at work currently that involves two main people. 1 person is someone who is untrustworthy, a coward, and generally rotten. we'll call this person wiggum. the other person is a friend of mine whose friendship i value. we'll call the second person carl.

for wiggum's part, he has dug up as much dirt on carl as possible and has revealed these things to certain people with the goal that carl's credibility and reputation is completely ruined and will hopefully get fired or severely punished without possibility of any of privileges similar to what wiggum enjoys. wiggum also has far more power than is fitting for him to have.

carl has tried to respond with similar force. he has gone to the same people that wiggum has and discussed certain things about how wiggum carries himself at work. he has pointed out to the powers that be that wiggum is getting far too carried away with the power and privileges afforded him and has abused his position.

this past weekend, things escalated. carl went to a party and got a little too much party in him. being all full of "party" as he was, he made a mistake and called work requesting to speak with wiggum when he told wiggum just what he thought about wiggum's actions. this has resulted in punishment for carl.

while i don't dispute that this should be the case, wiggum is far to happy about what's happening to carl, wiggum has basically committed many of the same things that he has ratted on carl for, but has covered up his tracks significantly. because of wiggum's power, i have decided that i can only get involved in limited capacity. if i get too involved, it will possibly end up causing wiggum to try and dig up dirt on me and see that i get punished. my boss has warned me about this. but to what extent do i honor my friendship with carl? if i get privileged information relevant to his situation due to my own position, do i tell him this information with the risk that if the person who told me finds out it will back fire? i suspect the answer is no, but the problem i'm having is that it could really help carl.

anyway, this is all coming out completely differently than i expected and much less effectively. i'm kind of confused about things right now. i'm not really looking for advice, just kind of writing for the sake of working things out in my mind. if you read this and feel it was a waste of time, please feel free to ignore it and wait for something more worthwhile to read.

it's bound to happen eventually!