Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Just talked to Steph and Erin has fallen even farther down the rabbit hole than I thought. Steph described an evening out that she had with some of the nuns and apparently Erin was cursing and telling stories of her drinking and sexual explorations with random guys all night long. I knew that she had gotten a little out of hand, but this is getting to the point of ridiculous.

My initial reaction is that I'm so glad I wasn't there to have to endure the evening for myself. Then I think, But I'll have to as soon as I get back. And I decide to weather through it the best I can by constantly changing the subject and zoning her out like usual. But then I think to myself, Gosh, what kind of friend are you? You see what she's doing and how she's screwing up her life. Are you really going to just sit by and let it happen?

So then I imagine myself confronting Erin and calling her out on everything, and see everything going to shit. I see her taking it as a personal attack and clamming up completely on me, refusing to let me be any kind of influence on her life at all. I mean, at least how things are now, she still considers me a very good friend and will listen to me. I really don't want to throw that away, especially since I know for a fact that I'm one of the few who happen to have that status. A lot of people have been turning their backs on her lately and and I don't want to put her in a corner by doing the same.

I think one of the things that's getting me to the most, is that I understand. I mean, isn't Australia serving the exact same purpose for me that college has been serving for Erin? Just because I don't flaunt my doings and have better opportunity to hide them since I'm halfway across the world doesn't mean that I'm any less guilty or in any more of a place to call Erin out for her behavior. I know what it's like to be the little good girl growing up in the shadow of her cooler, more popular sister. I know what it's like to want to shed the image as hard and as far as you can. And all the better if it's with people who never knew your sister or, more importantly, your former you.

So now I find myself in this little moral dilemna. I don't want to be the friend that just sat by and watched her friend throw her life away, but I would be pretty much the biggest hypocrite in the world if I were to call her out on it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I'm a mess. Hard-core, I'm such a mess.

I find myself so easily getting fed up with God. I mean, I'll think we're doing okay (you know, minus how terrible I am at keeping up with this relationship thing with Him), and then something small will happen and I'll turn into a complete 2 year old and tell Him how angry and frustrated I am with Him, then clam up and refuse to talk to Him for days.

And what makes it worse is that I really have no right to get angry with Him. Any lacks in our relationship are completely my fault. Do you have any idea what kind of burden that fault is? I mean, in any other relationship, if there are problems it's almost always issues that both parties have to fix. You know, the whole 2-way street thing. But that's not the case here because God is perfect, which puts all things imperfect on our back. Pressure much? And then I get frustrated about that beccause I thought one of the great things about being buddy-buddy with Jesus is that He takes the weight. Doesn't He say that? "Come to me, all who are weaary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn and learn from me, for I am gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."- Matthew 11:28-30

Part of the problem is that I feel like He doesn't listen to me. I know that prayer is really something that I've struggled with for a long time, but every time I think that I've finally got it sorted out, nothing happens. I talk to Him and talk to Him, and I just get nothing back. He doesn't answer... Okay, maybe He answers, but His answers are always no. I'll ask for something, ask for something, anything... and get nothing back. Then I revert back to my messed-up theology about how God's not answering because there are so many problems in our relationship, and those are all my fault for not trying harder...but I know that's not how God works. I just can't think of another reason why He would be so thoroughly ignoring me.

To be honest, I think part of what's brought this on is that I'm not happy here. I like Melbourne. The city is gorgeous and real and cultured and everything that I usually want in a city. But I have no one. I've only got one roommate at the hostel and she's that most anti-social person ever. The church that I'm going to is great and the people are very nice, but we only meet once a week and it seems like that's the only time any of them hang out. I really need some solid Christian friends who want to hang out outside of the normal Sunday deal. I meant to build some stronger connections yesterday, but didn't... and they don't have serivce next week for Christmas so it'll be two weeks before I can try again. Thankfully there are a couple girls here that I knew from Brisbane who I've been falling back on, but they're backpackers and they want to go out in the evenings and get drunk and hook up with guys... and that's exactly what I need to stay away from.

I say this because that's another reason I've been so angry with God lately. There's something wrong with me. I mean, physically, medically, whatever. My hormones don't work right and... this is so awkward to put into actual words, but I don't get aroused. I've kissed a few more boys than I would like to admit to in the time that I've been here and only once in my life have I actually had the kind of reaction that normal people seem to have. You know, the heat-heading-south and butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of feeling. The one time that I actually felt something, it was a guy who I had known for a couple of hours. I remember his name and that he was German. And he was taller than me. That's literally it. I was very drunk.

I've gone through it all in my head over and over and I can't figure out why he was different. It wasn't because I was drunk. It wasn't because I found him physically attractive (though I did. Another thing I remember. But I've kissed other guys I've been pysically attracted to and no difference). It wasn't his kissing expertise. In fact, I specifically remember him being m=not particularly skilled. Then again, he was also the first guy I had kissed since Kyle, who was kind of a master. Still, didn't feel anything with Kyle, so that theory's out the window, too. It wasn't even because he was German. As you can see, I've been thorough in my research.

It frustrates me because I'm not whole. Somehow, my body doesn't work and if I was to ever genuinely want to get married or something, I would be a hindrance to my husband. I mean, he's male so he would probably have no problems whatsoever. I would just be that slacking wife who doesn't want to give him sex because I genuinely don't enjoy it and would eventually drive him to satisfy his needs with someone else.

I listened to a Mark Driscoll sermon recently and he was talking about spouses who with-hold sex from their partners and how thats how divorces start. I think he was talking about spouses who with-held sex out of spite, but still. So pretty much, I'm doomed to live my life alone because even if I manage to find a guy who I like enough to marry, he's still gonna leave me in a few years because I won't give him sex.

And I know that that's really not an issue yet, so I shouldn't get too worked up about it. I do, however, have this insane craving for a boyfriend. A Christian one, who wouldn't pressure me for sex and who would help me grow in my relationship with Christ. But really, I just want someone who wants to spend a lot of time with me and who will hug me and snuggle and cuddle with me. It's the physical affecction that I really crave more than anything. Not kissing, just touch. Holding hands, brushing arms... that kind of deal.

If fact, this morning I was praying for it. I was talking to God, trying to be honest with Him (something I've been slacking on lately) and told Him flat out that this is what I really need. And I don't want to sound like the typical whiney Christian girl who prays for a husband, but I feel like this is what i really need right now. Someone who genuinely cares, has the same ideals as me, someone who wants to be close physically, and who goes out of their way to hang out with me more than just once a week or so. It doesn't even have to be a boyfriend; I just feel like a boyfriend would most easily fit all of those things.

Okay, I'm getting frustrated with my situation by talking about it, so I'm going to end this journal now.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I've been thinking about Timo lately. Like, a lot. A lot a lot. I want to see him, I want to hang out with him, I want to go dancing with him, I want to just sit and talk with him...... I want to try to kiss him.

I mean, it's a notion that I kind of entertained while we were roomies, but it just would have been so complicated and I wasn't sure if I liked him that way or if I just told myself that I did because we got along so well and he's pretty much everything that I could/do want in a guy...

Even now I can't really tell if this is genuine interest in him or if I just really miss him, cuz, you know, we were buddies. Me and Timo against the world.

And I mean, I know that it would never work because he doesn't love Jesus... but I just miss him so much. And he's one of the only guys that I feel that comfortable around and that I find physically attractive and that's taller tha me and who's a gentleman and for who Auustralia was just as big a dream.

Like I said, I know it would never work. But a part of me is just so scared of not even trying... yeesh. I mean, not that there's anything that I can do about it right now. He's on his way back to Brissie and I'm almost to Melbourne so it's clearly not even a potential problem right now.

Except in my head. Which, when you get right down to it, is still a pretty big problem.


I just ate a beautiful Thanksgiving meal with my new english friend Mike. He's not too bad looking and, if he wasn;t shorter than me, I would feel tempted. He's got this awesome accent... I mean, the English accent had kind of lost its charm for me, but it's super sexy on this guy...


I want to go home. Home to Denver, where I have family aand friends and a car... I want the comfort of people I'm comfortable with and a house to crash in with a bed that is mine alone in a room that no one can come into without my permission. I want a TV where I can mindlessly watch movies and the news and whatever else I friggin feel like. I want to read without the fear of being judged, have a home church, a public library... and a fridge where I can put any food I want without fear of it getting stolen. Or of ants getting to it. And I want an oven to bake in. Real soap to clean my dishes. I want to have responsibilities and things to keep me busy.

Okay, I think I'm done complaining now. But I really do struggle sometimes. You would think that after five months, I would be over this by now. But I'm not.

I mean, clearly.


I leave Brisbane one week from today. I"ve been waiting for this for so long, working towards it for so long... why am I finally upset about it? You know, I think the reason is Jacinta. Just the past month or so, we've really connected and I'm genuinely going to miss that girl. We got talking last night after life-group and both promised to come to each other's weddings... which, considering they'll more than likely be on different continents, is a really big commitment to have made.

Who knows? The past three months in a nutshell...

I'm struggling with God again. Again again again, I know. I have no desire to read my Bible right now, I have no desire to pray. That's not entirely true. I started really praying again these past couple days, It helps, but it's still such a slow process. I wish that my mind would stay focused when I pray, but it just continues to wander. To things that aren't of God, more specifically. Killin' me.


Timo leaves me this week. It's not unexpected and I've gone through these types of goodbyes a hundred times over by now, but for some reason this one is really hitting me right in the gut. It's just, for the longest time, it's been me and Timo against the world in our dorm room. He and I have been the only long-termers for so long now and I've gotten used to depending on him as my constant. So what on earth am supposed to do when he's gone?

I was thinking about it today and I actually started to cry. He doesn't even leave for another four of five days and I'm already getting all mushy about it. Thankfully a Spanish girl named Marina has moved in and it looks like she's going to stay for a while, but it's just not Timo. Yeesh, when did I beccome such a sap?

Timo and I went out together the other night with this other german girl. I'm not attracted to Timo that way, but I kept getting jealous of the other girl when Timo would dance close-up with her. I think it's just because I *think* I should be jealous. Like, Timo is the epitome of what I would want in a guy. Really good-looking, tall, athletic but not overly, facial hair (:P), funny, super easy to talk to, incredibly intelligent, potentially rich (one day after he gets his masters and becomes a legit architect), loves to travel... I could go on. But the point is that, minus the fact that he's not Christian, Timo would theoretically be my dream man. But there's no attraction there. The problem is that my mind seems to think that there should be attraction there and tries to force the notion on the rest of my body. I got a little tipsy the night that we went out together and almost seriously entertained the idea of kissing him. You know, just to see if I could get some sort of sparks going. It doesn't help matters that I know that Timo is very influenced by the ideas of others liking him rather than just going by who he likes, and I know that if I kiss him he'll probably be pretty receptive.

That's not what I want and I don't want to complicate our roommate relationship, but part of me wonders, if I just do it the night before he leaves. We'll all go out to send him off and I can just wait til we're both slightly inebriated and then just kiss him and see what happens. No, I wouldn't sleep with him. I don't think I would, at least.

But it probably won't matter cause I don't think I would have the guts to do it anyway.

Speaking of going back to my slutty ways, I was watching a movie with Jacinta the other night (I really do love that girl) and in the movie Reese Witherspoon slept with some guy and woke up next him in bed in the morning. He made her a breakfast smoothie.

It was a one-night stand, there was nothing particularly special about it, but it just gave me this sudden longing to sleep with someone and wake up the next morning just nestled in their arms. Actually, I don't think I would even want the sex necessarily. Just to wake up in someone's arms who cares about me and makes me breakfast in bed and wants to spend the rest of the day with me... Really, it made me long for Kyle, of all people. Because I know that he would do all that. I know that he practically did, the last time we were together. Just, you know, minus the sex. And the reason that I think he's the one to really pop in my mind there is that he's always taken such good care of me. He's always been super attentive to my needs and my wants, and he's protective over me. And the biggest draw here, I think, is that he's flat-out told me that he would like to maybe try for something real when I get back to the States.

I mean, I know that it would never work. We have absolutely nothing in common and it would be the most awkward relationship from the start. But still, it would be everything that I just described having such a longing for as I watched that movie.

To be a hundred percent honest, I'm really tempted by the thought of running straight into Kyles arms as soon as I get back. This means that I need to really dig into my relationship with Christ and figure out how to be comletely satisfied in Him over the course of the next eight months or going back's going to be a disaster.


I met with the Mormons again last night... we had some really good discussion and we really dug into a few of their super messed-up beliefs. Now I want to write it all down before I forget any of it.

Messed-up belief number 1: The Holy Trinity does not exist. They are three separate beings who make up the Godhead (whatever that means). Jesus only describes Himself as divine and as God because He and the Father are "like-minded in intent and purpose". Basically, this means they are polytheists...

Messed-up belief number 2: God did not make the universe out of nothing. There was pre-existing matter that God used to form the world and its inhabitants as we know them today. For now, we'll overlook the fact that this goes against the very basis of religion.

Messed-up belief number 3: God is not omni-anything. He is only able to see and do the things that He does because He is able through the power of the Holy Spirit here on earth, who is merely God's messenger. Continuing on this line of thought, God is also not all-powerful. He is limited.

Messed-up belief number 4: God (the Father, since that clarification is suddenly important being that "God" no longer means the 3 in 1) is rarely present in the Old Testament. All of it is actually Jesus, since we as humans are actually incapable of communicating with God directly, which is why Jesus states that "no one can come to the Father unless through Me."

Messed-up belief number 5: God is comprehensible to us. In fact, we can relate to Him. We can't fully understand Him yet, but we will someday when we get up to Heaven. Not only that, but we are also going to one day be able to "be like Him" and "do as He does".

Messed-up belief number 6: God has a wife somewhere up there. That's how He managed to make all these spirit-children. Jesus was the first-born of the spirit-children, which is why He's the favorite and was given the honor of being our savior down on earth.

Messed-up belief number 7: We are incapable of understanding the Bible on its own, which is why God needed to give Joseph Smith a mass of "special revelations" about things to add to the Bible so that we can understand the true meaning of what the original authors were trying to say.

Messed-up belief number 8: When it says in Genesis that God marked Cain, what that really means is that God turned him black and sent him to Africa or something, which is how we get different skin colors now. Darker skin is God's way of setting someone apart as evil.
And these were just the things that we talked about last night. I was there for not even 2 hours, and we managed to lay out all this crap. This doesn't even go into their belief that they will one day rule their own universe, or their thoughts on the three heavens and the sort-of purgatory area where people get a second chance after death. There are so many areas that we didn't even touch on, and I'm super freakeed out just on what was talked about. No freakin' way am I ever converting to Mormonism. I'm done. DONE. D-U-N... uh, ya know. Done.

Actually, I'm not entirely done. In fact, this afternoon I'm attending a deal where the prophet and the 12 disciples of the Mormon faith are giving a shout-out to all the Mormons in the world via satellite and giving some new commands or something. I don't really know, but I'm curious and have nothing else to do, plus I don't think it counts as entering another house of worship because it's not for service or anything, it's a purely educational experience. We'll see howit goes.
I want to talk to Aaron about all of this. He's the one that knows all the theology and can really dig into the scritures with me. And it would be a great excuse to meet for coffee... Admition time. I had a dream last night where Aaron and I actually got together. Like...okay this is kind of embarrassing to write out, but we were hanging out together at some outdoors location at night and were kind of huddled together. I wasn't cold at all.. I was actually a little warm, but Aaron asked if I was cold and was like, Yep, I'm freezing! And then he put his arms around me and startred running his hands up and down my arms to cause friction, but then somehow we were laying down together and he stopped rubbing, but just kept holding me instead. And I rested my head on his shoulder as we were laying there and he kept holding me tighter. Nothing else happened, but it was so wonderful in the dream.

And I woke up feeling so elated. There was such a feeling throughout the whole dream where he really liked me, that he had been subtly trying to notice him for a while now... Dang, I hate waking up.

So i went to the Mormon deal. It was pretty boring. Also not as edcational as I was hoping/expecting. All I really got out of it is that Mormons are sexist, because none of the 12 apostles or the prophet is or ever was female. What, do they think that God can't talk to women too? The other thing that I found drom it is that they seriously love having kids. They took God's command to Adam and Eve to "go forth and multipy" to heart. Seriously, they recited the verse like 10 times. They believe that God has called them to "replenish the earth". The whole time I was just thinking, Uh, have you seen the over-population statistics lately guys? Trust me when I say, Mission accomplished, okay?

The other thing that really stuck out to me was that in the middle of the conference, everyone stood and sang a song of worship to the prophet, literally singing Hail to the prophet, and some stuff about his assension into heaven one day. I could add this to the "messed-up beliefs" checklist.

Not too much more to say on it, which is good because I'm exhausted. Got a second job tonight working as a waitress at Birdees. Worked 5 hours and my feet and whole body really, are kind of killing me. I was going to read the Bible a little before konking out, but I just don't think I have the energy. I also work tomorrow night, which is Sunday. That means I get to miss the evening service, which I'm really only disappointed about because that means I won't get to hang out with Aaron. Oh well. Maybe I'll text him this week and try to get together for coffee or something. More "theology talk" heheh.

Further Thoughts, 10/4/11

Speaking of Jeremiah though- here are some cool verses that stuck out to me:

"In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense," declares the Lord. The Lord said to me, "Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah." (Jeremiah 4:10-11)

This goes back to that whole idea behind lukewarm faith, I think.

How can you say, "We are wise, for we have the law or the Lord," when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? (Jeremiah 8:8)

Imagine if we have false scriptures. The Mormons would never let us live it down...

"Correct me, Lord, but only with justice- not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing." (Jeremiah 10:24)

I probably shouldn't, but I laugh at this visual. Like, "Whoops, didn't mean to decimate you there. Sometimes I just get so caught up in things..."

"Therefore I will teach them- this time I will teach them my power and might. Then they will know that my name is the Lord." (Jeremiah 16:21)

I really want to know more about this whole idea of the Name of the Lord. Scripture clearly marks it as important. I just wish I knew why and how to treat it accordingly. Like, is it okay to use the name Yahweh in casual conversation? Or in a song of worship? There's a song that CitiChurch sings where the whole chorus basically just repeats His Name over and over, and I never sing it because I think it could be disrespectful.

"My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and His holy words." (Jeremiah 23:9)

Gosh, don't you just wish that God's words would have such a powerful impact on you every time you open up the Word?

This time I read through the book of Ecclesiastes. I can't for the life of me figure out what Solomon is trying to say; you would think that with all that wisdom, he would have figured out a way to explain it to us simple folk. It seemed like he kept going back and forth on a few issues. First it's better to be full of sorrow and mournful than to be happy, then he decides that there's absolutely no point to life beyond the persuit of happiness.... One minute the man who toils is a fool and the next he's the only one whose life has any perpose. I mean, I realize that this whole book is basically Solomon venting his frustrations in his old age about how he wasted his life, but yeesh. I just want to yell at him, "Get a grip! What's done is done and stop fussing about it and ruining it for the rest of us!"

Yes, I realize that this probably makes me a fool. I know that Solomon was wiser than anyone before or during his time... but still.


I really need to get back into my Bible. I had this whole rave against God the other night where I felt like He was abandoning me and how I felt like He didn't listen to me and then I ended the whole thing by telling Him that I was mad at Him and tht I didn't want to talk to Him anymore because it wasn't like He answered anyway. I was very childish about the whole thing.

But the funny part is that even though I didn't have this sudden revelation or mind-blowing encounter where it was like He was physically talking to me, which He sometimes does when I go into these raves, He's still managed to change me through it. It's like something that Mark Driscoll said a couple podcst sermons ago-something that really stuck with me: Prayer isn't about changing the situation; prayer is about changing you.

And it's absolutely true. The past couple days, without my even realizing it, I've been feeling this growing and growing need to get back into the Word and read it every day. To really dig into it and know what it says for myself, not just what pastors on podcasts say it says.

So last night I really start in on it. And I'm all over the place. I start in Acts and read all about Paul and his experience with Christ on the road to Damascus along with an apostle Phillip who helped an Ethiopian understand the Bible. Then I jumped back to the Old Testament and started going through some Isaiah, then ended up reading like, 8 chapters in Jeremiah. Jeremiah is one of those books that I hear referenced fairly often, but that I don't think I know really anything about. And I think I heard a pastor telling Jeremiah's story a little and it really peaked my interest. So I start reading.... and get more and more depressed with every word. Jeremiah is a harsh book. It's all the Lord's words spoken to Jeremiah to tell to the Israelites, and almost all of it is what a terrible and sinful and adulturous nation Israel is. How God hs given them all these chances and they continually repent with their tongues but then keep their backs turned to Him. So now He's through with warnings and with putting up with them. Now He's going to demolish their entire nation to absolutely nothing and no matter how the people cry out, He will not listen. No more mercy, no more forgiveness, no more second chances. Basically, the opposite of everything you're told growing up in little PG Sunday school... It goes on, cahpter after chapter after chapter of how fed up God is with these people and their idols. He puts it a thousand different ways, explains what He's going to do to them to punish their adultery in a thousand different visuals. It's brutal.

I've been going on and on a lot lately about how scared I am of God, how His power and His awesomeness are terrifying. But this is a whole new level. I mean, God blatantly states that He's done with compassion, done with mercy. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but looking ahead, it looks like most of Jeremiah is filled with the same. And it just gets me thinking, "How on earth is humanity still alive? If God is this wrathful towards His chosen people, how the heck did the rest of the world manage to get by virtually unscathed?

So the next day, I don't want to delve into Jeremiah again. There's only so much of that a person can take in one hit before they commit suicide or something. It's that brutal. So I start looking for something else to read. I remember Kristina talking about the book of Hosea and how it's about this guy that God tells to marry a prostitute, who is inevitably unfaithful to him. So I think, okay, that sounds kind of cool. So I look it up. I start reading and it's true, God tells his man to marry a prostitute anmed Gomar. But the whole thing is just a visual for God to show how Israel has been unfaithful to Him; as Hosea has each of his children, God names them "not loved" and "not my people" to show His feelings toward Israel. He starts His raving and I'm sitting here thinking, Oh no. Here we go again. But I keep reading anayway.

And then I come upon this (note that you need the context of the entire second chapter in Hosea for this to make sense): "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt."

Basically, it's God saying that He will bring her back to Him, make her fall back in love with Him through gentle coaxing and romancing. And yes, I'm probably romantisizing that a little, but I nearly cried when I first read it because it was such a hopeful passage after all I had been reading about how wrathful God was feeling and how He had no more mercy or compassion. I just kept thinking the lyrics of that Brandon Heath song- There is hope for me yet.

Email to Eileen, 25/9/11

You're right, that was pretty unhelpful haha. Especially since I can't find anywhere to get ahold of that book. The Brisbane libraries are shckingly understocked and nobody thinks to put Christian theology books up online for free illegal download haha. I could buy it as an audiobook n itunes for 10 bucks, but I don't have 10 bucks and I've never had patience for audiobooks.
I'm going to tell you something, because you're my sister and I want to tell you about this, but Eileen Michelle Ariel Dekker, don't you DARE get a big head over this.
I think I might be a Calvinist.

I said I didn't want to hear it!!! No gloating, no smug little smiles. That means you can wipe the one sitting on your lips this second right off your face. Trust me when I say that this was completely unintentional. I still don't like it, but it doesn't change things.

You know how I said that God's been constantly humbling me lately? It's like for the past month or so, He's just been drilling it into my head how very awesome He is and how very insignificant I am. I've been realizing more and more the incredible power of God and just how much of a hand He has in everything. Every single breath that I take is a gift and an allowance from Him. I literally can't do anything without Him. With this mindset, I would start thinking about my relationship with God, how I wish that I could just *make* myself fall in love with Him, how I wish that I could make myself be closer to Him.... and I could just hear God in the background going, "Oh, I'm sorry, that's 'you' bringing you closer to Me, making you fall in love with Me? Didn't we just establish that 'you' can't do anything?"

And one of the natural byproducts of this (humbling, I mean), as well as a mass of other verses, is the revelation that God is scary. I mentioned this a little in my last email, but one of the other main things that God as been pounding into me is this completely debilitating fear of Him. I mean, you go to passages like the one where God kills that man who touches the Ark of the Covenant in an effort to keep it from falling onto the ground and God smites him on the spot for assuming that his hands are cleaner to touch it that the dirt, or that passage in Daniel 4 when God takes Nebacanezzar's kingdom from him and makes him like a beast for a few years just to show him that He can, or at the end of 1 Kings when God calls on a lying spirit to deceive Ahab into his own death.... I could go on and on with the list, but the gist of it is that God cand and will do whatever He freakin' wants, and "no one can stay His hand or say to Him, 'What have you done?'" (Daniel 4:35)

Then you get into the whole rest of the Bible where God is constantly killing nations that anger Him, wheather He tells the Isrealites to kill them for Him or whether He calls on other nations to conqueor Isreal bcause they pissed Him off again... God is completely just in everything He does, but at the same time (and I've already repented numerous times for this thought, but it hasn't stopped me from thinking it yet), God is really kind of termpermental. I feel like if I do the slightest thing wrong, think a slightly disrespectful thought, then it's going to set Him off. With me freshly re-starting my relationship with Him, I just really don't want to mess things up this time around, you know? It got to the point where I was even too terrified to talk to Him, for fear of saying the wrong thing.

Anyway, looking back on it, I think the reason that I was caught in this absolutely horrible place was because my mind had already subconsciously switched to a Calvinist mindset, but I was still consciously clinging to my Arminianist ideals. On the one side, God is all powerful and mighty and completely in control and able to smite me when He gets sick of me, but on the other side, I was the one who had to choose to love Him and be in relationship with Him and keep up my faith and my prayer and my devotion to the best of my abilities. Putting both of these mindsets together means that not only can I *lose* my salvation if I can't keep up with my end of things, but that it's entirely likely that I never had it in the first place because I kept messing up and surely God was too fed up with me to want to have me around for eternity.

So then a couple nights ago I was talking with this guy Aaron from my church and we got into this really deep discussion about Calvinism. And as I was listening to Him, I just found myself nodding at everything He said, like, yes, yes, that finally makes sense... And it all just clicked that of course I was feeling this mind-racking pressure to get everything right, because in the Arminian perspective, my salvation is completely on me rather than on the One who can actually do it.

This is so hard for me to sort out in writing and there's so much more to all these thought processes than I can actually put down (or than you would want to read), but the whole of it is that- almost overnight- I think I just became a five point Calvinist. And I can't believe how good I feel about it.

But- HA, bet you thought this email was finally over- one thing that I've come to the conclusion of is that Calvinist God is even scarier than half-and-half God. Want to know why? For the exact same reason that I'm so relieved: it's out of my hands. Based on where I stand now, it doesn't matter how much I pray, how much I go to church or worship or try try try to build a relationship with Christ... if my name's not already in the Book of Life, then none of it matters. The thing that's really got me thinking about this is partially my meetings with the mormons, and partially my hesitancy with the pentecostal church. Don't worry, I'm nowhere near being converted to Mormonism, nor am I about to go searching for someone to lay hands on me so that I can be slain in the spirit. It's mostly just that both of these experiences have brought up a lot of questions about other peoples' perspectives when it comes to the Bible and it's teachings. There are so many things that you can interpret differently, and wrongly, to the point where I think one's salvation might be at stake. And my thought is this- what if I suddenly start subscribing to one of these crucially wrong perspectives and, in my search for Christ, end up moving in the opposite direction of Him? What if God has predestined me to fall into one of these weird categories simply for the sake of teaching something to *you*, Eileen? He could do it, no doubt. He obviously does it all the time, based on the number of members in these odd-practicing churches or religious groups. If the sacrifice of my eternal life with Him somehow brings Him more glory, who's to say that He won't do it?

And this is where I'm at right now, in a MUCH better place with God, but even more terrified out of my mind when it comes to Him. Make sense? Thoughts?


My new revelation: God terrifies me.

I was listening to this sermon on suffering or something (I don't remember the actual topic-it wasn't that good. It's funny, cause I was thinking of shutting it off because I thought it was just wasting my time, and then the speaker went off on a side point for maybe five minutes and what he said has changed EVERYTHING. God humbling me again, letting me know that I don't know everything and that what I think is a waste of my time is really more important than I'll ever know) and he starts talking about some of the Psalms. In a lot of Pslams, David asks God to crush his enemies for him, to bring him victory over his enemies, ect.

Now, I remember reading some of those Psalms and thinking, "what a horrible thing to pray". This guy was saying the same, that he actually used to councel people not to pray like that. But then he got talking to another pastor who told him a story about how he befreinded an unbeliever and invited him into his home, worked with him for a couple of years, then found out later that the guy had seduced his wife and now she was leaving him for the unbeliever. And after that, he literally wanted to kill the guy. However, the Bibe makes it clear that revenge is the Lord's. So instead, he prayed that God would kill the man for him.

Now, this prayer initially sends warning sounds in my mind, like this is the type of prayer that you shouldnt pray. But at the same time, the point that the pastor was making with this was that the guy was just praying what he felt. By not saying that prayer, do you think that he successfully hid that emotion from God?

And it really got to me. I started to notice how much I seem to edit my own prayers. I'll be silently praying, or even praying out loud, and a little tiny thought will enter my brain that I know the shape of and know exactly what it means, but that I quickly shove away before I can think it into actual words, like by doing so, I can keep God from hearing it. So now every time I find mself doing that, I have to go back, open up that thought fully, bring it to the Lord, and then usually there's a lot of repentence involved with it too.

Let me telll you- being fully and completely and brutally honest with God is hard. Mostly that it makes me realize just how messed up my thoughts and ideas of God are in general. It makes me wonder, how on earth does he put up with it? I mean, I imagine that if I could hear every little negative thought that any one person (muh less the whole world) has have had of me, I would get so fed up with that person and their pettiness so quickly... how does God do it?

Then I listened to an awesome sermon from Chan talking about the first letter written to the church at Ephesis and how they were doing such awesome things, following God's orders to the T... but that they had forgotten to love Him in the process and if they didn't come back to Him, he would wipe them out. And then He did. History shows that about 15 years later, the church at Ephesis was taken out, and to this day there is still yet to be a solid and growing church in that area.

It got me thinking about whether I was following God out of love aymore, or if I was falling right back into the rut of just going through the motions and saying that it's all good. Which I think is where I was at. But how do you even get back a love for God? How do you make yourself fall in love? Especially when it's like it's through one-ended conversations and such? Is it just that I need to spend more time in prayer? More time reading His Word? More effort into appreciating all the little things that He does for me on a regular basis? It's not like there's a set formula for how to fall in love.... so how do I do it?

And speaking of prayer, am I even doing that right? You read passages about Jesus praying and aout how Jesus and Paul says that we should pray... like He's Dad. Hebrews says that we are to call Him "Abba", meaning "Daddy", and that we should always come to Him in our times of distress. Paul says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philipians 4:6) which I think means that we'e supposed to be repetitive with prayer, and I remember pastors and spiritual mentors talking about repetetive prayer as a good thing. Okay, I admit that I only actually remember Deb from the sketch Bible class saying it, but I'm sure that I've heard it from others too. (Note to self: look up Biblical support for repetitive prayer) But then there are all these other passages saying stuff like, "And when you pray, do not keep babbling on like pagans, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words." (Matthew 6:7) and, "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in Heaven, and you are on earth, so let your words be few." (Ecclesiastes 5:2). So then I freak out when I start repeating myself in my prayers, like isn't He getting sick of listening to me over and over? But then I run out of things to say, and I don't think that I shoudl run out of things to say when I'm talking to GOD, you know? And I feel like I should be in constant prayer, like I should desire to be in constant communication with Him, but sometimes I really just have nothing more to say, that by forcing myself to say more, it's out of obligation rather than desire, and is that wrong?

And then there are all the stories of the Old Testament, like how God killed the man who saw the Ark of the Covenant about to fall off it's stand and to the ground, reached out to stop it, and was killed on the spot because of his assumption that his hands were cleaner to touch the ark than the dirt of the ground. Or when He hardened Phoaroh's heart and sent the 10 plagues to Egypt. Or when He sent Ahab to his death in battle, or when He made Nebacudnezzar like a beast for seven years and made him lose all sanity and his kingdom, or when He killed Ananias and Saphira for lying about not giving up all the profit for selling their house. God. Is. Scary.
To be honest (I've already confronted God with the thought and apologized profusely for it, but I'm still working at changing the thought in my heart), God's a little tempermental. Not that He doesn't have the right to be, but He is.

And here's little ol' me, trying to get back into my faith, a real faith with a real relationship with a real God, and I just want so badly not to mess it up. I know that the Bible says that Jesus drank the cup of God's wrath for us, but that doesn't mean that He can't still get angry and decide to hit me with a bus tomorrow. Actually, I'm not so much worried about getting hit by a bus as I am that... you know, I'm really not even sure what I'm so freaked out is going to happen, but like I said, I really don't want to mess this up. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells here, trying not to hurt his ego (of which He has the absolute right for it to be as big as it is-there I go again, digging myself in a hole with my thoughts) or piss Him off with my human nature or my unthinking prayers (e.g. Job 38-41, Habakkuk 1).

And want to know the really scary part? I'm terrified that I'm not good enough to make it into Heaven (Matthew 7:21-23). That all my struggles are for nothing because I'm not capable of being good enough. Now, I know the whole point that the Bible is trying to get across is that *of course* we're not good enough. Hence Jesus! But it just seems like even with Jesus who died for our sins, there are still so many hoops to jump through, so many things that you just can't get wrong. Like constant repentence, or making sure to keep God as your first love (Revelation 2:4-5), or communicating with Him regularly, ect. It's like, yeah, you'll never be good enough to get God's mercy on your own, but you still have to be good enough to get it with a little help, too.
Super duper scary is this- I've started to think in Calvinist terms. Kind of going back to my struggle with how to make myself fall in love with God- you can't MAKE yourself fall in love. So that means that He's got to be the one doing it, right? And then I've also been on this kick about how mighty and powerful God is, about how everything, every breath I take, every working cell in my body is a gift and purely a tribute to His love and mercy. I keep thinking, "It's all Him, it's all Him. I can't function without Him, I can't live or move or breathe or think without Him-because He's the one doing it all. God is SOVEREIGN. But then... if all of that is all Him, then wouldn't that make my faith in Him His too? wi;oeiotj rgjerjgtjkbndf.d.......I don't want to think about that.

But then those thoughts get me thinking- I've been struggling with a few major theological questions recently, one of which is Mormonism (don't worry, I'm far from converted. It's just that they really did have a couple points to bring up about prophets and such that I don't like to think about) and another of which is charismatic/pentacostal churches and things that go with that like speaking in tongues and being slain in the spirit. And I've been praying and praying and listening to sermons and sending out emails to Eileen and Kristina and Mark and even Kevin, trying to figure out if these things are Biblical or not. My intial gut instinct is that no, they're not of God. But then I read the Bible and it makes it very clear that speaking in tongues and being healed through the Spirit and literally falling on your face when in the presence of God are all very Biblical.... but I know that things like that can very very easily be twisted into things that are from the devil as well. The sermons that I've listened to seem to actually be pretty divided on the subject. The initial emails that I've gotten back from Eileen and Kristina both warn me heavily that they don't think those things are Biblical though, and I'm mostly waiting to hear back from Mark on what he thinks because it sounds like he's the one with the most experience in this area. But my prayers come back with nothing.

I ask for guidance, I ask for a mind that's open only to the things of God and closed to all else. But it doesn't seem to matter. I. Get. Nothing. And I'm trying not to be bitter about it. I remember a sermon by Mark Driscoll once saying that God has three answers to every prayer: yes, no, and later. I'm really hoping that this is just one of the "laters", that this is one of those things that He'll reveal to me with perfect clarity in His own time... but what if He doesn't? What if, in my new Calvinist thinking, I'm being purposely led astray for the sake of God's ultimate plan? I'm the pot that was made to be smashed? I'm not one of the predestined and therefore gets to serve as the sacrifice as a means to an end with someone else's salvation? Or not even another person's salvation, but just as a lesson that God's trying to teach someone else?

Immediately, I rear back from that thought thinking, "That's ridiculous. God would never do that." But then I immediately have to chastize myself with, "Oh, because you would know? You, in your endless knowledge of God's infinite personality? YOU know what God would and would not do?" And that verse that says, "All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: 'What have You done?'" (Daniel 4: 35) God can do whateveer He freakin' wants. If that means I get to play sacrifice for the sake of someone else's knowledge, then I sure as hell ain't gonna be able to stop Him.

Anyway, this whole long, headache-inducing novel to say this: God scares me. Big time. And I know that we're supposed to have a healthy fear of God, but this is to the point where I'm scared to even initiate prayer for fear that I'll say the wrong thing. Jesus can say what He wants about "who of you by worrying has added a single day to his life?" but the truth of the matter is that in the case of pissing off God, it very well might add several days to my life. Both physical and eternal.


I'm getting my hopes up for this thing tomorrow. It's just going to be me and Abby. Alone at Pancake Manor. And maybe Aaron will show up. Or maybe Kelsey will pop in. Or possibly Kristen, though that one is unlikely because I don't even know her. I really ont want this to be a big deal in any sense. I mean, I would love it if a mass of people showed up and it was cool, but I dont want it to be where I'm the center of it all. But what I really dont want to be a big deal is if no one comes. I dont want myself to get all weepy and self-pitying about something so small, something so vain and that really shouldnt even matter.

So why was it such a big deal on Wednesday? Is it just that I'm feeling forgotten? I think what it is, is that these people don't think far enough ahead to realize that I literally have no one else to celebrate with. If this falls through, that's it. No family celebrations, no party with the school friends or the work friends or the roommates. This. Is. It. And it kind of pisses me off that they
dont realize that and want to do something about it.

No, that's not it. I mean, that's definitely a large part of it, but the rest is that I'm just not established in their group enough to be a part of it, which means that I dont get the big turn out. Back home this wasnt a big deal because that jus meant that I got to spend all the time with the people who really wanted to be there and who I wanted to be there. Namely Mandy and Kristina and the Brennans and Steph and Erin and Eileen and the boys and maybe even Chris and Kevin. But it doesnt really matter now because theyre not here and suddenly Janelle's got to fend for herself

Oh gosh, is this another way that God is humbling me? That I'm always so proud of my own ability to be independent and that I don't really *need* anyone to make things work? Is this His way of showing me that I'm really quite dependent on people, that I need to get over this idea that I'm good enough by my own?


Lord, I need You and only You. I know that. So why is your method of humbling me involving my need for other people? Shouldn't this be more of a lesson in relying on You only?

Oh gosh, what if it is and I just missed the whole point of the exercize AGAIN? Or maybe this is His way of proving once again that He provides? Maybe I'll show up there tomorrow night and there will be tons of people.

How It Began

I feel like I should be journaling on a regular basis. I think that I'm going to start just doing an electronic journal though, because it takes so much less time than actually writing every letter and word out. I still love the journal that Eileen gave me and I plan to use it as I travel and have things to write down about my journeys, but I'm really just far too lazy for it like that right now.