Showing posts from January, 2015

I was brought up...

Originally posted to Facebook 8th May 2014. This is part one of a two part series. The second part is: Pursuing Faith . I was brought up as an evangelical Christian and had many spiritual experiences, experiences of God, as I was growing up. When I got to university my faith became a social impediment and I determined to become an atheist. And I succeeded. However, I still wanted to be spiritual and to explain the spiritual experiences of my youth. At Cambridge university I was surrounded by many wealthy, and as I saw it at the time, self-interested people. I fell in with a bunch of local hippies, whose lives were in stark contrast to the people around me. (Assuredly I judged those around me too harshly, they were young and ambitious and merely trying to find their own way as you do at that age. But still.) The hippies had no interest in money, and shared their lives and homes with each other. At the same time I was friends with members of the FWBO (Friends of the Western Buddhis

Pursuing Faith

Originally posted to facebook on 28th November 2014. This is part two of a two part series of posts. Part one is: Pursuing Faith . I don't often post spiritual stuff to Facebook. I have many non-Christian friends and I don't want to force my faith down anyone's throat. My faith is a core part of my life. Scratch that. It's *the core* of my life. So if you're really my friend (otherwise how are you reading this?) you'll have to accept a bit of it, or you're incapable of accepting me. I'm still reticent, for a few reasons. The first is that my faith is not just precious to me, but quite literally somethi ng I hold sacred. I know some of you hold faith in scorn (but thankfully most of you have some empathy in your dealings with people of faith). I have no desire to open the most precious, and most beautiful, part of my life to scorn. I suspect I need to toughen up here. Beyond that, I know that many of my friends are confirmed atheists.

Faith versus belief

Faith and belief, in the Christian sense, are not synonyms. You can believe in something but have no faith in it. Faith is closer to the word trust. This is particularly true for faith in God. Sometimes we think that if only we believed in God *enough* we could see the things he promised. We screw ourselves up and try to believe real hard, and still we're weak. God wants to heal people. to bring his life and power in his church, all the things we hope and dream of and plenty more. But to actually have faith, that trust and connection to God that makes these things happen, requires more than belief. It requires being close enough to the heart of God to *be able* to step out in faith. The power of God in us is for *us* to be able to do things, not just for us to have the faith that he'll do them. That means a closeness to him that enable us to have the power and life, and *we* do them. Or at least him through us. We're to be filled with the Holy Spirit and move in his lif

The work of the heart

What's your purpose in life, why are you here? Do you have a destiny, is there even such a thing? You have a unique character and personality (you're a special snowflake, just like everyone else...). These qualities are what you will excel at, your gifts and abilities. Your mission in life, should you choose to accept it (and most don't), is to pursue the work of the heart. The human heart is strong, capable of love. Of changing people's lives, of building something real and lasting. What you can build, what you can do, who you can love. That's the work of the heart for you. It's not a career, it's not a lifestyle. It's a life. And it's the only thing that will satisfy you. Of course the catch here is that loving, building, requires the involvement of other people. So you need to find your people too. People are tricky. You included. Learning to work with them, to be set free in the work of your heart, will refine you and strengthen you. This i

Wishes versus dreams

Your wishes enslave you, your dreams can set you free. Wishes are the root of superstition. They're dreams, things you put your hope and energy into (even without realising it), but aren't prepared to work towards don't have faith they can actually happen. Dreams can become a passion and then a reality. The media and culture feed us with wishes constantly. Wishes of luxury, stardom, sex, happiness... And we'll feed those evil gods our dreams and aspirations and wish real hard we win the lottery.