I’m a christian now…
As of three days ago. Well, really two days ago. This is the third day and its 6am.
What made me become a christian? Months of reading, talking, asking questions, looking for answers. I was raised catholic. Spent a few years in some baptist churches here and there. Got baptized twice. Never seriously followed a christian life.
The decision was actually made in a rather….boring way. There was no crying at the altar, I wasn’t even in church. I was at work. Not even on a break. Sitting at my desk between calls (that call center life, tho!). I just realized I believed that not only was Jesus a real historical figure (how can that even be a doubtful thing?) but that he was God made flesh, that he died on the Cross for me, and that I was being an idiot for not accepting what he did.
The natural consequence of accepting that reality led me to the realization that I had to act on it. Things had to change. Sin is no longer an acceptable thing.
But thats easy to say, hard to do.
Several years back I fell in love with an old book I picked up from the 18th century, “Wide, Wide World” by Susan Warner. It is a sweet, sappy, overly sentimental book that at the time I knew was preachy. I still loved it. I picked up every other book by that author I could, reading them with gleeful pleasure. I LOVED those books, and I always felt if I was going to be a christian, I wanted to be a christian like THAT! A christian that lived what they said they believed, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable or outrageous or socially unacceptable it was.
That kind of christian is hard to be though!
Day one — so as soon as I made that decision, I knew things had to change. I had this one thing I did — won’t specify what it was but no question it was a sin. Had to stop. So I grimly told myself that. And then promptly did it. THAT SAME DAY!
It was a huge wake-up call to me. I mean, I didn’t even put up a big fight against it. More like a whimpering, “No, I can’t do….oh alright….”
Day two and three — success in resistance:) But I realized I have to take steps to avoid the temptations. The more obstacles I can put between me and a sin, the better chance I have of avoiding it. I may get past one or two obstacles, but by then I have slowed things down enough I can stop. I think prayer will help too. That is something I need to focus on — prayer and bible reading. More on that later.
Day two — I realized I need to educate myself on my newfound faith. Well, perhaps education is the wrong word. I mean…I DO need to educate myself on it. But I need to…bathe in it. Roll in it. Become one with it.
Once again, easier said than done. TV — not a problem for me. I don’t even have cable tv. I have netflix and youtube. Well…I have youtube. My roomate has netflix. I only watch netflix with her when we eat, and it’s The Office now. Not great. Not terrible. Music…I like a wide variety of music. I am perfectly content focusing on classical music, older music that isn’t as anti-christian (even here I see the need to be careful), hymns — both instrumental and voice, and some praise and worship songs I enjoy. I checked out contemporary christian music…I liked very little of it. Sorry, it all just sounds like crap.
Books are my weakness. I have over 700 books on my kindle. A lot of very good ones. A lot of very bad ones too. I don’t think you can delete books on a kindle once you bought them. So what I did was I took all my good ones and put them into one area of my kindle — and that is where I spend my time. Pretending the bad ones don’t exist.
I see your fingers pointing at me, accusing me of legalism. I know the protests that rock music is not sinful, christianity is a life of freedom not restraint, etc etc.
I don’t agree with you. I think most modern music IS sinful. Listen to the words much? It’s sex, sex, sex. Don’t even get me started on tv. Even the Office gets on my nerves now — the only “christian” there is a hypocritical jerk.
As a christian, I feel the need to surround myself with things that draw me closer to God. As it is, I feel that my faith is extremely weak. I am terrified I will walk away from God. I am terrified of what will happen to me if I do.
Two things I am sorely lacking right now that has been brought to my attention by my reading — prayer and bible reading. I will do a more extensive blog post on both later, but right now…I have been praying what I call…little prayers. Throughout the day. But not a “prayer hour” so to speak. That needs to change. Starting today. Today I will begin setting aside time JUST for prayer and bible reading. Likely it will just be 10–15 minutes today, I have an early day of work and I woke up after four hours of sleep WIDE AWAKE and decided it was a good time to eat leftover cucumbers and hamburger patties and make a blog. Cause why not. But this weekend I am going to organize it so its at least an hour a day, preferably two.
I figure an hour a day is the MINIMUM time. I vaguely remember a tithe being 10%. I just googled it to make sure. Yep, 10%. I need to start tithing too…need to figure that out soon. But I need to tithe my time. Because I am now a willing slave to Jesus. It’s not MY time…it’s his time. But at the same time, I got things to do. Gotta work, etc. So I figure a day is 24 hours. But I sleep at least eight of those hours. God made me need that sleep, so I am kind of tossing those eight hours out. That leaves me with 16.
16 hours in a day. 10% of that is a little over 1 and a half hours. Now even if I was SUPER nice to myself and tossed out some time for other natural bodily needs like sleeping, hygiene, etc…one hour is only 10% of 10 hours. That leaves me 6 hours of the day where God isn’t getting his rightful part of it. If I were to tithe 10% of my waking time to God, that is 1.6 hours.
And I don’t want to do the minimum. I want to do MORE. And I feel I NEED to do more, cause right now I am a really crappy christian. I need tutoring. :) So I am going to aim for two hours. That seems like an awful lot of time at first. Then I realize I can easily spend that playing computer games or playing on facebook without batting an eye. So two hours is the aim. Less than one hour is unacceptable.
I have been reading some good stuff these last couple days. A book by John Calvin called “A Little Book of the Christian Life.” It’s really good! I am hoping that later I will be able to do a blog post on it.
I also bought Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon. Already read the morning one for today (even though it was still my night — but TECHNICALLY it was morning!) and REALLY liked it. “To be sanctified, spirit soul, and body, should be thine aim and prayer” Good stuff. :) Might do some blog posts on some of that stuff too.
That is kinda what this blog post is going to be. Discussing questions I have on the way. Discussing what I am reading, viewing, etc. Discussing what I am struggling with, what I am doing in my Christian life. I have a lot more to talk about, but this post is already long enough, and I need to get to bed. Got work tomorrow.