Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is this weird?

This post has been spurred by a friend of a friend who posted a photo of her pregnant belly on Facebook. I can't hold it back anymore.

Lately I've noticed so many people are having babies. For example: I saw two pregnant women in less than five minutes while I was having lunch at the PX today. I see pregnant women everywhere I go. On post, off post...even online -- a couple of folks I know have been posting ultrasound photos of their babies and/or pictures of their stomaches on Facebook.

A couple of my friends who married a few months ago were going to have a baby, but she lost it recently. I feel sad for them, of course, but it also feels like a forced effort to be happy for anyone having kids. It's not that I don't want my friends to be happy; of course I do. It's not jealousy, either. I don't like kids very much, and have never wanted them.

My kneejerk reaction to said belly-post was "Ugh. Not another one." Is it strange for me to be somewhat revolted by the plethora of offspring in the making?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I'm currently listening to a lecture by Dawud Adib called "What Was The Religion of Christ Jesus?" on YouTube. Enjoying it very much. : ) Have any of you listened to any of his lectures?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Beautiful adhan

Just wanted to share a beautiful adhan I found on YouTube. : )

If anybody has any as good (or better) than this, please post a link so I can check it out. : )


Here's a YouTube link to a song called "Thankful". It's from Josh Groban's Christmas album "Noel", but I don't think it has to be Christmas for us to listen to Christmas music. This song is about being thankful for all the good things we have, and, if you're religious, that God has given us. I hope those of you who listen to music enjoy it. : )

All Together Now; Or, As Many As Possible

LK made a lovely and thought-provoking post about God and people insisting theirs is the "right" religion, i.e. "God loves us all, can't we just get along?" I'm paraphrasing, of course, and my brain is a little fuzzy from lack of sleep, so if I forget things or don't make much sense, please don't hold it against me. ^_^

God loves all of us. It's the one factor that we can all depend on, at any time and in any situation. Even when it seems everything else in our lives has gone to absolute poo, and we think nobody could love us and that nothing will ever go right again, God is there with a shoulder for us to cry on and to reassure us.

God is loving and faithful. Just writing that is so comforting to me. : ) So, in the great "my religion is the true one" debate, to me it would make sense that God would offer us many paths to Him, because He wants as many of us with Him as possible! These paths all have the same basic rules (the Ten Commandments, for lack of a more concise label), with the primary one being, of course, to worship and love the Lord our God.

Take no other God before Me. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with your mind, and with all your strength. That is the true path. Simple.

However all the other doctrines and miscellaneous details and quarrels between Judaism, Christianity and Islam may fall, that is the core our respective religions. It's our common thread. So we're all following that greatest commandment. We're all on the "Straight Path".

Senseless quarreling over who is "right" only causes anger and hurt feelings. Can you really claim to be loving your neighbor as yourself in circumstances like that? It's one thing to have discussions, to make your viewpoints known so that others can enrich their understanding of you/your motivations/your religion. This breeds understanding and support -- which all of you ladies are excellent in providing. It's another thing to stand on your soap box and tell someone they're wrong and going to Hell and here's all the reasons why -- which basically boils down to "You aren't Catholic/Protestant/Muslim/Jewish/etc like me."

Unfortunately, that level of intolerance is how Christians are often viewed, even in (or perhaps I should say, especially in) the U.S. So many sermons are the fire-and-brimstone type. Who wants to be part of a religion that seemingly talks about little else? Where are all the sermons on love, forgiveness, peace?

Let's just keep it simple: Love God. Love your neighbor.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jesus: The Great Divide

Okay. I've been having some random religious-based thoughts here lately, and it kinda goes right along with what Jesus said about not bringing peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34). This is generally understood to be a figurative sword (namely, his teachings) that would divide families. Mothers from their children, men from their wives, siblings from one another, etcetera, so on and so forth.

That division has carried on down to Islam. Christ is, to my way of thinking, the sword that divides Christianity and Islam. Not that he isn't present in both - there's no denying that - but that his role in each is so different. For me, it all hinges on Jesus. How does he really fit into God's big picture? I know what each religion says about him. Christianity: Son of God, Savior. Islam: Great Prophet and Teacher.

My problem is figuring out which of these is the honest-to-goodness truth.

It's more than a little difficult not to be biased in one direction as a result of a lifetime of religious teachings, and therein lies my trouble. Just contemplating conversion (or reversion) is extremely difficult because I'm one of those people who holds fast to what my parents taught me. It's familiar. It's safe. And I have a major tendency to guilt trip over anything that goes against that.

*sigh* Living in my head is such a minefield sometimes...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Link, and quizzy thing from Caraboska and LK.

I have a hard copy of this pamphlet. I wanted to know what you ladies thought of it, as you are all so bright and knowledgable. I learn something new almost every time we get into a religious discussion. Anyway... Read it here:

Now, on to Caraboska and LK's survey-quizzy-thingy. : )

Books I've read recently...

1. The Holy Koran (ISBN: 978-0-976187-00-4)- currently reading

2. Pride and Prejudice - currently reading

3. The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith - currently reading

4. Seeking the Treasures of the Qur'an

5. Jesus, Interrupted by Bart Ehrman - currently reading

Songs or albums I listen to all the time...

1. All of Josh Groban's work.

2. Darren Hayes "This Delicate Thing We've Made"

3. Scissor Sisters "Night Work"

4. Tinted Windows "Tinted Windows"

5. Hanson "Underneath"

6. Lady GaGa "The Fame Monster"

I love...

1. God

2. Family

3. Friends

4. My kittens

5. Books

6. Good food

Things I've learned this year...

1. That good friends are priceless and hard to find.

2. Life is so full of surprises.

3. That religion is hard and confusing, but God is easy.

4. To appreciate my family, especially my mother.

5. Not to take quiet time at home with my kittens for granted.

New recipes I want to try and make...

1. None. I don't cook! The drive-thru at Taco Bell is my best friend. ; P

Favorite online hangouts...

1. Blogs

2. E-mail

3. Facebook

4. Amazon

Projects I need to work on...

1. Reading the books I've brought with me and culling out the ones I won't read again. Everything else will have to wait until I get out (again), get an apartment, and get my stuff out of storage. : )

Tasked out to: whoever wants to do it!

Monday, September 6, 2010

9/11 Koran burning

Granted, this hasn't happened yet. I hope it won't. Such ignorance reflects poorly upon us all, especially when it feeds right into the mass belief in the Middle East that all Americans hate Islam and Muslims. How can a "Christian" (and I say that loosely, since that type of person isn't someone I really want to be associated with) leader advocate such mindless hate and intolerance? Hmmm... Sounds like the same bigotry that those "leaders" accuse Muslims of harboring for Christians and Jews. How lame. I mean, really, really lame.

What is even harder to believe is how the guy said on tv that it would be "tragic if someone were to die" as a result of his actions. Yeah. Okay. Let's see how tragic you'd think it is if you were the one facing injury or death overseas because of the actions of a stateside pastor you'd never heard of, much less met.

*sigh* People can be such morons. Sorry, I'm not too articulate tonight. Really peeved off about this whole situation. It's so senseless. I mean, some 60 Muslims died in the WTC attacks 9 years ago. Innocent people who worked in the towers, or were EMTs, or firefighters... Americans aren't all lily-white Christians. We're all different religions, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, we speak different languages.... and we're free to be and do so. That's what makes America so beautiful.

Also propagates the "ignorant redneck" issue that Florida (really, the South as a whole) can't seem to overcome. Thanks. Really appreciate that, guy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Renewing the search

Hi, all! I'm doing well. How are all of you? I just got a lil' Toshiba netbook computer, so I can get online more often now! : D I'm very excited about it.

But now I have a problem. A big, unsatisfying, frustrating problem. One I thought was resolved. Namely: I'm back in the intellectual and emotional debate between Islam and Christianity. I started reading the Bible - from the beginning - and have also been reading the S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali translation of the Koran. Found a couple of interesting books about the Bible, too - "Jesus, Interrupted" and "Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years".

Now, I am not one of those folks who believes the Bible is perfect and has never been changed by so much as a word. People have been involved with the Bible from the get-go, and we all know that people tend to screw things up (intentionally or not). After all, we aren't perfect. We make mistakes. So... I'm cool with people talking about the Bible having been changed. The two books mentioned previously are all about the influence of humans on Christianity and it's source and teachings.

But it's leading me to another spiritual crisis. I'm reading both the Koran and the Bible, and I'm realizing... as much as the uninformed person claims that Islam is a religion of violence, Christianity also has a violent history, full of mysogyny and war and all those other horrid things. The Spanish Inquisition, anyone? The way I look at it, in terms of violence, the actions of extremists in the Middle East are on par with those of the Catholic Church centuries ago and, later - to an extent, with prejudice, etc - the Protestant church. Hmmm, I didn't say that quite right, so please don't take offense. I'm trying to organize my thoughts on this topic, but I'm a bit out of practice on religious intellectual discussion.

To my way of thinking, the issues right now are what the Christian world was going through 2 or 3 or 4 centuries back. So are we really that different, after all? All I see is a difference in time, and maybe not even so much that, considering the 600 years between the foundation of Christianity and that of Islam - Christianity was suffering many of the same problems at the age that Islam is now.

I'm so confused... But I'll keep reading and praying and, with God's help, may finally rest 100% certain in the validity and rightness of my faith. Whatever that might end up being.

I wonder how my deployment will affect my questioning soul.

Biggest fear: Picking a religion, but then finding out after I die that it was the wrong one and that I'll go to hell for it.