“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Religion And Family

Having had a running discussion about my "religion" when I first posted (see this, and the comments,) I thought I would share a little more about me at this juncture. Specifically, I thought I going to go over my religious background.

I am a Christian, but I was not raised in church. We didn't attend church while I was growing up. I do seem to remember attending an some small church--Episcopal, I think(?)--for a year or two as a kid. But, that was about it. I came to meet and know Jesus at the late age of 27. On a side note, I heard somewhere that studies have shown, in America, if you have not become a Christian by the age of 18-20, you probably won't.

My parents are not Christian. They don't attend church, except for some special event my children are in if they are in town. And, they get pretty uncomfortable when I say anything publicly about my faith--doesn't really matter what it is either, except for jokes. I think they have bought into the lie that religion must be a private thing. I do not believe there is any such thing, nor can there be, as a private religion. I think whatever you really believe--the Gospel, Koran, Witchcraft, Darwinism, whatever--will always express itself in your life through your words and actions--simply because it has a direct influence on every decision you make.

Speaking of witchcraft, my oldest daughter is a Wiccan—specifically Celtic Druid. As far as I know, she and her mother are practicing witches. Yes, I do mean spell-casting and so on type witches. I even learned a little from her mother back when we were together. Not much, though. We weren't together very long, because I was a selfish fool in those days. I also spent a lot of time back then studying the practices of Tarot Cards, Astrology and Palm Reading. I became somewhere between poor and miserable at it all. And, like anything else you don't keep in practice on, I have forgotten nearly all that I learned back then. I never hooked up with a mentor, or got started at practicing that stuff. I was right on the verge of doing so, and I don't know why I didn't. But, after experiencing Christ, I am glad I didn't. All that stuff has become nothing more than a pale second best.

I should probably touch on my education at this point. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I have been to ministry school and to college. Ministry school was a one year program of practical ministry. Basically, it was pastors who came in to discuss a particular issue and how they dealt with it. Afterwards, they went back to their churches. It was interesting. I learned a lot about listening to God, and people. College was Business Administration, specializing in Operations Management, which I’m still trying to find time to continue. Up until about a year ago, I was working in warehouse operations, specifically in special projects. I would probably still be doing that except for a back injury at home, and then an elbow injury at work a year and half later. I took a clue, and went looking for other work. So, now I am a stockbroker. My biggest struggle with the new job? Adjusting to being stationary at a desk all day long. I REALLY miss being able to move around and do things during the work day.

But, work is a subject for another time….