Where is God?

I have to wonder why people don’t believe in God. I can’t imagine not believing in God. How can a person look at this world and think nope, no God? It all just appeared from some big bang. (Not to be confused with the Big Bang Theory TV show that I love. Bazinga)

To me each possibility is sort of the same. Believing that a being that we never see created this place we call home and really cares about what happens with us is just as hard to wrap your head around as some of the scientific theory that  a cosmic accident created us.

The big question is where is God? In this world of war, devastating weather and evil people, where is God? Why is God, if He exists, not stopping some of this bad stuff that is happening all around us? I have one answer, free will.

We all have free will. We have the free will to call on God or not. We have the free will to talk to God or not. Are you praying? Are you asking God to come help intervene? No? Oh that’s right! You don’t’ believe He exists. So, why would you expect Him to come in to this life of yours and fix things for you if you do not believe in Him? He is not going to act in your life until you get on your knees and ask Him to be present.

All I can tell you is, I have seen God act in the lives of believers, me included. The catch is you have to ask. You have to make the move to accept God. That’s how it works. Simple act of faith. If you can believe that this world came from nothing how much more of a reach is it to think a God created it? Maybe He caused the big bang in the first place?  It isn’t that far a stretch. It’s all simple really.

Matt 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Decisions To Make

I have a decision to make that is giving the bibliophile in me a panic. My goal was to build a personal library of one thousand books. Not just any books but books I loved and books that are quality. I am close to reaching my goal. I am up to 882 books. The problem is that I was not a librarian when I made that goal. Now that I have become a librarian and have seen the inside of that world from the other side of the stacks, I am not so sure my goal is a responsible one. There are books everywhere thousands of books. The library offers books to patrons free of charge. The funds available for libraries is always in jeopardy and is something that librarians have to justify to others who may or may not love the library. Crazy I know but not everyone supports libraries. Maybe I should just donate my books and visit them at the library.

The other thing is space. I am out of book space. Well I am out of legitimate book space. I could stack them up all over the house, but then I would be on an episode of hoarders in a flash. I know my family.

I have not bought a book in years by browsing a bookstore. Nor do I order them for myself on Amazon.I just stay out of the stores, mostly. (Christmas gift cards excluded.) I do subscribe to Book Riots Quarterly Box. That is my gift to me for the MLIS I received in December. I won’t keep getting it forever. Actually plan to stop that after the next one. Other than that, I get all my books from the library or from friends.

So, how do I balance my love of books and my desire to be a responsible librarian? That is a difficult question to answer. The bibliophile in me is like a certain little hobbit, my precious books, and doesn’t want to let them go. The grown up librarian side of me says, but you work where books are and you have access to interlibrary loan, get over it.

Now that I have sufficiently whined to you about my problem, what do you think, my fellow book lovers?

(P. S. Please use the comment feature on this blog post to respond if you want to.)

With Me

Holy Spirit, Come in this place and fill every corner every space. Hear my prayer, my cry my soul’s one desire. To be near you…to be filled with you…to experience your glory.

This is my cry in the dark and in the depths of my heart. I am broken and you are the only fix for me. You are beautiful and complete…..oh, how I love you Lord and want to be engulfed in your peace.

I was lost but you found me. You didn’t have to look for me but you did. You found me. By grace, your amazing grace I am found….I am no longer a crying lost soul.

Life is bright and full of love and….joy. Without you I was nothing, now I am everything with you.

I know you are here with me as I walk…as I live….as I work my way through this insignificant life trying to do significant things to share your love, you are with me. I sing and praise you all the day long. I am at your feet…living in the shadow of you.

I live in the reassurance that I know I can not be separated from you. I am yours in a way that I can’t explain.

All I want is you, Lord, with me. Always.

Amen

 

 

 

 

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

This story is a cute romantic comedy that was just the thing to break my recent stint reading memoirs and family dramas. It is a novella, too short to be a novel and too long to be a short story. In this  little-known prequel to Christopher Morley’s beloved Haunted Bookshop, which I hope to read soon, is  the story of the “whole new life” that a  Roger Mifflin, or the Professor as Helen likes to call him, gives to this lonely farm-house dame. Helen McGill, the narrator, decides that the drudgery of a life should stop and she should take an adventure. On a whim she decides to by the Parnassus when the Professor stops by to offer it to Helen’s brother, the author. Roger fancies himself an aspiring writer and wants to settle down from the traveling book selling business. “When you sell a man a book,” says Roger Mifflin,  “you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue—you sell him a whole new life.” Roger sells Helen a whole new life and upsets her brother Andrew’s life as well. You will travel along with Helen, Brock the dog, and Pegasus the horse as Helen changes from a sullen old farm maid to a book enthusiast. Though short in length this story has many plot turns that will keep you laughing and waiting for the next.  It is light happy reading and if you have the time you can finish it in an afternoon sitting.

 

Pentecost and the Holy Spirit

I know the passage below is more that I usually post at one time of the Bible. I usually stick to a verse or two,  but it seemed that if I did not give the whole passage to you as a reference my next words would seem out of context.

Acts 2:1-13 (CEV)

2 On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. 2 Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. 3 Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. 4 The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.

5 Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. 6 And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. 7 They were excited and amazed, and said:

Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee? 8 Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? 9 Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, 11 Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.

This is the exact moment when the first Christians were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Notice that there is no account of any of them speaking some gibberish confusing language.Notice that someone there can understand them. There is no talk of a spiritual language, they are all speaking some sort of language that men have spoken before.  Notice also in the passage above no one fell out slain on the floor. There is no flopping around.

I avoid churches today that say that their members have the gift of speaking in tongues. I know that the gift still exists. I am not doubting that the Holy spirit who descended in Acts could still descend today. I am certain that same Holy spirit does not cause confusion and that someone will always know what the person speaking in the foreign language  is saying. Be Careful friends what you allow your heart to be exposed too. Make sure that you use the good sense that God gave you and examine what you see. If the Holy Spirit is in you and you trust Him, you will know if what you are seeing is real or not. The Holy Spirit will reveal Himself to you and He will also reveal frauds.

I truly believe that when the Holy speaks to you or me we know it as fact. We hear Him, we senses His presence in a very real way. There is no confusion as to if it is our emotional response or if He is really there. God’s presence through the Holy Spirit is enough to send us to our knees. It will cause tears to flow because our sin and unworthiness will also be revealed. Bottom line, we will know the truth. The Holy Spirit reveals truth.

 

The Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith

I loved this book. It is a story about why we should never make assumptions but always speak our mind. If we speak our feelings we won’t have to endure the sadness of assuming incorrectly. If the sweet girl, Clover in this book had just spoken her feelings, we would not have had this story. Smith’s charming, light,  prose is oversimplified and somehow ordinary. After the depressing subjects I have been reading recently, I was thrilled at the casual pace of this book. I found myself talking to the characters out loud asking them if they were crazy, to realize I was the crazy one. I was completely absorbed in this love story from the beginning to the very last page.  It was frustrating that I could see that they were making the silliest assumptions about each other. The Forever Girl is the type of story we read chick lit for, but is not as cheesy as some romance stories. It isn’t really a tragic love story either,but borderlines one for a few chapters. It is a gentle read and a perfect summer beach book.

I Fired God: My Life Inside—and Escape from—the Secret World of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult by Jocelyn Zichterman

As I read this book I am struck by the horror of that these children endured, but also my head keeps circling around the idea that there is a fine line between cult and religion. Zitchterman reveals the strict life style of some sects of the Independent Fundamental Baptist church (IFB). There is a far reach in this book that lumps all IFB church members in the same class as her abusive pastor father. There is no doubt that the life this family endure was tragic, but to assume that all members of the IFB have the same sort of lifestyle is unrealistic. If you read this book with the understanding that the perspective is from one abused girl and that her experience may or may not reflect that of many other girls, then reading this book is not a waste of your time.

Though overly depressing, the story is an interesting view into a society that we know exists, but really see the dark side. The female IFB children endure being beaten into submission by the males in the church all in the name of God. A different set of rules seem to apply to the men. This is typical in a lot of churches. There is vindication at the end when they finally escape but it is really just a new type of sadness.

The flatness of Zichterman’s writing style adds to the dull and depressing feel of this story. SHe explains a lot about the church as a whole. As it dribbles on you get the sense that it is more her opinion than fact, though she presents it as fact.

If you enjoy horror movies for the sake of horror and feeling sympathy for other humans then you will enjoy this book. I am sad to say, I did not enjoy it. I had high hopes for it when I read the cover and flap, but it didn’t hold up to what I thought it would be.