Dear Hinduism, Your gods are not my God.

Well, the campaign was a success, I am now class president.

But, in more exciting news, I adored my homework tonight. In my world religions:eastern tradition class we were asked to read sections of the Rig Veda, Upanishads, and Gita (Hindu holy books) and to reflect on them. To preface this story, let me just say that when my class went on a field trip to a Hindu temple, the constant theme of their service was discovering points of similarity between Hinduism and other religions in order to prove that we all serve the same God. Not true...but especially not true after i read their texts. I compared the Hindu gods and ideas to the God and ideas of the Bible. So, if you ever doubt that we serve a radically different God than that of the Hindu population, think about this:

[Hindu gods]

Agni- Priest and Minister of Sacrifice
Our God- Hebrews 7:27, "Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered Himself."

Agni offers sacrifices again and again, for they are never sufficient. Our god is an eternal and lasting sacrifice, once was enough.

Vayu- Drinks of Soma (a life giving liquid)
Our God- John 4:13-14, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Vayu depends on a drink to give him life. Our God offers a drink that will eternally quench our thirst.

Asvins- Deities of light, bringing the sun, or physical light.
Our God- John 12:46, "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in Darkness."

The Asvins bring light daily a physical light. Our God brought an eternal light to the world so that we never have to remain in darkness.

Indra- Gains strength from worship, seems to be dependent on lauds
Our God- Psalm 21:13, "Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might."

Indra's strength is dependent on the praises of her followers. Our God's power is manifest and causes us to worship; we do not worship to give Him this power.

[Hindu Ideas]

Upanishads: "In the beginning there was that which is, one only, without a second..."
The Bible: John 1:1-2 "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, and all things were made through Him."

Upanishads: Trinity=Fire/Water/Earth. Impersonal elements of the universe.
The Bible: Matthew 28:19, "Therefore, go and make disciples of the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Personal essence of the universe, manifested in 3 beings.

Upanishads: In the subtle essence, which man does not perceive, exists the Divine Self.
The Bible: Romans 1:19-20, "What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

Gita: "Freedom from the bondage of life comes by the doing of one's duty."
The Bible: Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast."

Don't try to tell me we worship the same God, because we don't:

I worship the High priest that has eternally interceded for me. You worship a high priest that must sacrifice daily, whose sacrifices are not eternally sufficient.

I worship a God who supplies the living water. You worship a god who must drink the living water.

I worship a God who has has cast out spiritual darkness. You worship a god who brings a physical light.

I worship my God because of His strength. You worship your god to supply his strength.

I believe that in the beginning there was an Order, a Logos, A word, who communed with God and out of proper credit, brought a world into existence out of nothing to glorify Him. You believe that there was something in the beginning, that which is, and somehow, that which is has now become that which is (again?).

I believe that there is a triune God who is personal and endears me to Himself. You believe that there is fire, water, and earth which is the entirety of the universe.

I believe that what can be known about God has been made plain to me through what He has made. You believe that in the subtle essence, which cannot be perceived, exists the divine self. (I would query as to how you can know that, if it can't be perceived.)

I believe that I have been saved by grace, as I cannot save myself. You believe that freedom lies in the doing of your duties.

All I mean to say is this, you may believe what you want, but don't pretend that we believe in the same God, for He is the giver of life, His grace abounds, and His divine nature and eternal power have been clearly seen since the beginning of time.



Dear Fam, We haven't talked lately. Just to letyou in on a small detail concerning my life: I'm running for class president. Reed, Vice President. Mark, Treasurer. Darla, Secretary. We loved our life taking these pictures. AnnieReedMarkDarla. ARMD. "Doing anything but blending in." Hah. Love it.

We have fun.


Saturday in Huntington.

I had a great day with two friends. We decided that we get a bit claustrophobic here at taylor and can't work all that well on our homework in this environment. So, we took a little road trip to this sweet coffee shop in Huntington "Coffee D'vine." For history of Philosophy right now we are reading Leibniz, and about his "windowless monads" and well, i hate it. It turns out I only like to read things i agree with and that are stylistically pleasing, unfortuately, Leibniz provides neither. However, our studies were bookended by conversation filled, 40-minute car rides. Just the kind of thing i like. In one of the conversations, i stumbled upon a realization about myself:

I don't like cheap copies

for healing.
for friendship.
for church.
for art.
for sugar.
for ideas.
for words.
for architechture.
for usage of freedom.

Not only do i not do i not like them, but i'm often painfully aware of them.

This may mean nothing to you, its just something about myself i needed to document for posterity's sake.


This I believe.

So, senior year of highschool I was required to write in the style of NPR's "this I believe" essays. I recently remembered the assigment, and how cool it was to hear what people felt passionate about. I was telling my friend tonight that I wish I could make all of my current friends write one, just so that I could further understand their biggest convictions, as they are so integral to who we are as people. My essay really does say a lot about how I've tried to live my life, and after reading some of my friend's essays from high school, I realized that most of us did, with the exception of a few, write about something that deeply affected/affects our lives. So, without any editing, here it is:

I believe in something—that’s right, something. I know most of you are thinking that this is a cop-out, a lame excuse to forgo identifying my core beliefs. Well, you are wrong. I love to meet people who believe in something. And by “believe”, I do not mean that they claim to have conviction. I am talking about those people whose lives are living proof of their claims. If you tell me you believe in abolishing poverty in third world countries, you gosh darned better be working towards that goal with more fervor than you have while power walking the mall to look for the newest superfluous things you simply, must have. By believe, I mean do. If you believe in relieving the poor of that burden, then do it—not all of it mind you, but as much as you can. I personally don’t believe in it. I want to, but it seems that I don’t. I wish I did, but I couldn’t possibly; that would mean giving of myself, something that I’m not yet prepared to believe in. So, let us all live out our beliefs. I believe that my convictions are objective truth—if you really believe something, then you ought to feel the same way concerning your beliefs—but I would rather meet one-hundred people who are diametrically opposed to my convictions and have legitimate reasons why than meet one person who concurs with what I say but has no idea why. However, in extreme cases, such as Osama Bin Laden and Hitler, I would probably retract this statement on the grounds that I am no longer speaking with a sane person. Please, not only live out your beliefs but know the beliefs for which you live.In my short seventeen years, I have discovered, quite painfully at some points, that even a misguided belief with a good argument behind it often trumps the so called “impenetrable” case of a person who cannot make that case. Let’s all be fair and give each other respect by not wasting another person’s time arguing a position that we know little to nothing about.Knowing what I believe is only the beginning. Often, in searching out the root of my beliefs, I realize that what I say I believe is not necessarily what I do believe. I say I believe in the power of prayer, but do I? If I truly realized the immensity of that truth claim, then I would probably find myself on my knees a lot more often—in a manifestation of my belief. Action follows belief. In my case, I know the right thing to believe, and yet the action is lacking, and it is obvious that the belief has not yet taken hold of me. If I cannot life it, then I do not believe it.Living for your beliefs is being honest; it’s not pretending that you have convictions without understanding their implications. Saying that I believe in the power of prayer also implies that I have witnessed its immense power because of the way I daily see the blessing involved in a life spend saturated in fervent prayer. But I haven’t. I have seen the results in others’ lives. I have smattered my life with prayer yet have never fully realized the potential of this belief if it were to be lived out as it was meant to be. This honest approach has given me a better starting point, a humble one, from which to approach a person unhypocritically in conversations that may end up altering either party’s beliefs. When two people come to the table with their own, well defined positions, it makes for an intellectual battle that is much more efficient and rewarding than the conversation that occurs between two people who really have no serious convictions but merely wish to have this type of conversation because it is the thing to do these days. The former conversation results in an exchange of wisdom, and the latter leaves those involved much more confused than when the conversation began. So if you are planning on entering into one of these conversations any time soon, please believe in something, really believe it. This is something I believe. I believe in something.

to check some more of these out: thisibelieve.org



Dear Mommy,
You called me today, apologizing that my birthday package was not yet here. You said that my sisters thought that I was frustrated about this, and thus was not picking up my phone. I know that we have already discussed this on the phone this evening, but I just want to reiterate, in print, the fact that in no way am I dissappointed or let down by any of this package lackage. In lieu of the fact that I think birthdays are rather silly and childish anyway, I want to let you know on this day of my birth (and yes, its not yet midnight in northern california where I was born) that even if you had no intention of sending me a box full of presents, it'd be ok and perhaps more fitting.

The nature of birthdays really confuses me, honestly. I mean, I didn't do anything. If there is one day I SHOULDN'T be celebrated, it is the day that you, mom, pushed me out of your body. brave woman. :) So today, on my day of birth, I thank the Lord God in Heaven that you are more of a woman than I'll ever be. Thank you, and don't worry about the presents.♥

Your 19 year old daughter.


Donald and Rene. Friends for Life.

It is interesting to me to note the distinct similarities between authors who lived around 400 years apart from each other. As much as we want to believe that thought, and society have progressed in enormous ways in this amount of time, this little example serves as further proof of the fact that people are people are people are people. Our minds aren't evolving. They are still finite. Children these days are in no way capable of something more than those who lived centuries ago. We still ask the same fundamental questions, and go about answering them in relatively similar ways, no matter how much we want to think we have invented something "new" or "special," we haven't. So, sorry kids, we're just playing with the ideas that have been around since, well, the beginning of time. And now, for a little comparative reading. First Descartes (meditations), then Donald Miller (through painted deserts).

"Some years ago I was struck by the large number of falsehoods that I had accepted as true in my childhood, and by the highly doubtful nature of the whole edifice that I had subsequently based on them. I realized that it was necessary, once in the course of my life, to demolish everything completely and start again right from the foundations if I wanted to establish anything at all in the sciences that was stable and likely to last...So today I have expressly rid my mind of all worries and arranged for myself a clear stretch of free time. I am here, quite alone, and at last I will devote myself and without reservation to the general demolition of my opinions."


"I began to wonder what personal ideas I believed that weren't true. I believed I was not athletic enough; too stupid, I believed I had to go to college; I believed the Astros were a more important team than the Mets; I believed jeans that cost fifty dollars were better than jeans that cost thirty; I believed living in a certain part of town made you more important than living in another. I looked up at the cosmos and it had no scientific proof that any of this was true. The cosmos wasn't telling me I was stupid; it wasn't telling me one pair of jeans was better than another. The cosmos was just spinning around up there, as if to create beauty for beauty's sake, paying no attention to the frivolity of mankind. And I liked the cosmos. I liked the cosmos very much. It seemed that it understood something, perhaps, humanity did not understand...I confess I wanted to believe life was bigger, larger than my presuppositions. Out there under the cosmos, out in the desert of Texas, beneath those billion stars and the umbrella of pitch-black eons of nothingness, on top of that hill, I started wondering if life was something different than I thought it was, if there was some kind of raging beauty a person could find, that he could get caught up in the why of life..."

Strikingly similar, strikingly honest, strikingly self-aware.

Suddenly I am overcome by wonder about what presuppositions I hold that are not eternally significant, or full of truth--probably something that is important to wonder at some point during my life.

Too bad I don't have a large stretch of free time in which to ponder these things. Day by day I suppose.


Doubt, Another Paradox.

So check it,
Me and my boy Rene Descartes spent about 12 hours together this weekend and among the many interesting insights I gleaned from him in our long, drawn out hours together, one stuck out. It probably caught my eye because as of late i've been on the lookout for those paradoxes that contribute to our understanding and knowledge of God...so without further adue.

"And when I consider the fact that I have doubts, or that I am a thing that is incomplete and dependent, then there arises in me a clear ad distinct idea of a being who is independent, that is, an idea of God."

Obviously, and much to my extreme joy, this argument was led up to and followed up by numerous pages of reasoning and furter assertions...so if you don't understand how he got to this point, go read it MEDITATIONS by Rene Descartes, you won't be disappointed.

So heres te deal about this excerpt, its SO INTRIGUING to ponder doubt as PROOF of God's existence. I mean, he's aruging that the very fact that we can doubt God is, itself, proof that He exists. Doubt provides assurance. Lovin that paradox.

Chew on that, I am.

And "take that" Post Modernism.