Reprint from way back Oct. 8/08. Geesh that was back in the days before I even bothereds with spell checker, hmm. I used it this time.
Many times I have written of how my strong belief system has helped me through so much. I have heard some call religion a crutch that many people lean on to get through the hard times in life. For me my belief system is more of a way of life but yes, I do turn to it or I suppose lean on it a little more in the tough times. If it is a “crutch” it is a really wonderful “crutch” to have, one that I want to carry with me always. Many times I have been asked what exactly are my beliefs? What do I believe about God, the afterlife, about Heaven and how to get to Heaven?
Faith is a very personal, very individual thing. There are something like 6.5 billion people in this world and I would doubt if even two have EXACTLY the same faith or degree of faith or what ever. I believe that all Faiths, all Religions that help and teach us to become better people are good. Is one any better or more right than the next, well that is not for me to say, nor to judge. Each of us must choose which feels right to us as individual, that will help us grow internally to become better people. Is that not what God would want for each of us? To grow and develop into the very best we can be.
I believe in God, in Jesus Christ, in the teachings of the Bible. I consider myself to be a Christian, yet many of my individual personal beliefs do not fall in step with the teachings of the “main stream” Christian Churches. For me that is fine. My belief in and my relationship with God is a very personal and individual one. I don’t believe God sees us just as a mass of people but rather as individuals. I believe God wants to have an individual relationship with me, with everyone alike on an individual basis, one on one, so to speak.
I believe, God is our loving, merciful, forgiving Heavenly Father. He loves each of us individually as his children. He shows no favorites and love each of us individually and unconditionally. He wants the very best for each of his children (us) and is always there for each of us individually. He is indeed the All Mighty, the All Powerful and the All Knowing. His love for us is stronger and more pure than anything we as humans can possibly imagine.
I myself am a father, I have 2 beautiful and wonderful daughters. My love for them is total, it is pure and unconditional. It is both humbling but wonderful at the same time to know that as strong, pure and unconditional is for my daughters. God’s love for me, for you, for everyone of us is magnified far beyond even what I can imagine. He is indeed our Loving Heavenly Father. I think of my love for my daughters and I know that they could do things that may hurt or upset me, but there is nothing they could ever do that could cause me to stop loving them. I am then comforted when I think of God’s love for me, for you, for each of us. I know I can and have done things that could and I am sure have disappointed Him, but that his love for me is unconditional and is just as strong and just as pure as ever. I do not believe in a vengeful or punishing God.
Contained within each one of us is a soul or a spirit, call it what you will. Contained within that soul is the very essence of me, of who I really am. I call it the spirit within. The spirit within each and everyone of us is good, filled with love and kindness. As we experience life in this physical world often that spirit can loose it’s shine, become tarnished by the events of our physical lives. irregardless of anything it is always still there, maybe just covered with layers of the dirt life can throw at us. We need to constantly word to dust it off, shine it up and shine out to the world. God wants us to “shine” and is always there to help us do that.
I believe in Angels, both Heavenly Angels and Earth Angels. Heavenly Angels are Messengers from God, they are constantly with us and among us and should be shown the respect that would be due to a messenger from God. At various times through out our entire lives God will utilize other people to do his work in our lives, Earth Angels. With out ever realizing it each and everyone of us will at numerous times be directed by the Heavenly Father to be in a specific spot at a specific time in which to help or assist another person. Effectively for that short period becoming what I call and Earth Angel.
When we leave this physical world I do believe we will face a sort of “judgement” day. It is here that my personal views start to differ slightly from any of the mainline Churches that I am aware of. I believe we will be judge based solely on what is contained within our hearts and nothing else will matter. Most certainly our earthly possessions or “accomplishments” in life will count for nothing. Which Church we attend, how often if even ever we attend, how much we donate to the Church, will count for nothing if our hearts aren’t in the “right” place. It is all based on what is contained within our hearts.
I consider myself to be a Christian and do believe the teachings of Jesus through the Holy Bible can lead you on the pathway to Heaven. I have often heard it said you must welcome Jesus into your heart. What exactly does that mean? To me it means you must truly open your heart and mind to the teachings of Jesus. To try in the very best way we can within our physical limitations to feel and to show the love of Jesus to all other beings. I suppose in a way to use Jesus as our role model in life. Did not Jesus show love for all? Did He ever shun or turn anyone away, irregardless of circumstances? Was his love for ALL not so great that even while on the Cross and enduring so much, did he not pray asking for forgiveness for those tormenting and killing him? If we truly have the love of Jesus in our hearts should we not be showing it by loving all as best we can within our physical limitations.
Yes, I believe Christianity can provide a real pathway to Heaven. BUT, I can not believe it is the only pathway. Thanks to my good friend Mel, I know that Christians make up about 1/3 of the population of the world. Obviously, that means about 2/3′s of the population follow one of the other great Faiths or Religions of the world. Does that mean they are automatically excluded from any chance of reaching Heaven? The love of our Heavenly Father is so great and so strong, I can’t imagine anyone will be just automatically excluded. I will all come back to the love contained within the heart. When I get to Heaven I expect I will see people coming from all cultures and Faiths. Once there all differences will be gone, we will all be one.
I suppose particularly because of my health issues I am greatly comforted by my strong belief there is an afterlife. When my physical body dies, my soul, my spirit, the essence of who I am will carry on to another world. We all will, every single one of us.
I further step away from most Churches in that I do believe in reincarnation. I suppose this relates over to what are my thoughts on the meaning of life. I believe we are spiritual beings sent to this earth by the Father to learn and grow from a physical, human experience. We come to learn the truly important things in life, love, patience, empathy…… It is when we have learned these lessons that we truly return home to be with The Father in Heaven.
So my physical mind can get a true grasp on this idea. I use a physical comparable that I can relate to. This is obviously a very overly simplistic way to look at it or explain it, but this is what works for me. I compare it to being in grade school, grades 1 to 12. Our Spiritual being enters this world in the equivalent of grade 1 in the school of life. Our lessons are not things such as Math and history but rather human qualities such as I mentioned above, love, patience, empathy, sympathy etc.. When I pass from this world I will face a judgement day, but it will be a loving judgement day. It will be a loving review of which human qualities I have or haven’t learned. Just as an example let’s suppose I have “excelled” at patience but may be lacking in empathy or what ever. All of this will be “graded” in a loving manner. It will be decided on what human qualities I need to “brush up” on and I will return to this earth being place in a live situation that will give me plenty of opportunities to learn in that and all areas.
Through Jesus is my spot in Heaven prepared and waiting to me, YES. I must just learn my lessons in life to get there. For me I see the lessons in life and “sins” as two totally different things in totally different areas. I am stating this in a very overly simplistic way. I believe our “sins” can be forgiven because of the sacrifices made by Jesus our Savior. We can get into a big debate over what is a sin, obviously the 10 commandments but more. Jesus gives us a direction or a path to follow. For me it comes back to the what is contained in your heart. I am struggling to find words to express what I am trying to say. Accepting Jesus into your heart can lead you to Heaven, I agree. What does it mean to accept Jesus and the love of Jesus into your heart? For me yes, it should include the appropriate worship. I see it as going beyond that. For me to have the love of Jesus really in my heart, my heart should be just over flowing with love for all, compassion, understanding, empathy etc., all the lessons in life I speak of. How can I truly have Jesus in my heart and then not show love, compassion etc to all those around me? To me it seems to really have Jesus in my heart I must have learned all the lessons life has to offer.
While on this earth we are in human form and suffer all the shortcomings of being human. Eternity is a really, really long time. What is the average life expectancy of a person, I don’t know say about 75 years (I wish). When compared to eternity that short life time wouldn’t even register as a blip on the radar of eternity. When comparing our life time to eternity, it wouldn’t even equate over to a nano second in our physical lives. I know our Heavenly Father loves us greatly. I just can’t imagine with the love He has for us that we are only given one such short period of time to gain entry to Heaven.
For me I always try to find a human physical comparable to help me get my mind around an issue. Now comparing our physical lives to eternity. It would be comparable to compare the smallest fraction of a second to our physical lives. I know God’s love of each of us is stronger than anything I could possibly imagine on this earth. Keeping this in mind, I think of my love for my daughters. To keep this in relative terms, it would be comparable to me going to my daughters asking them an extremely complex question and expecting the exact answer I am looking for in less than a fraction of a second. Given this scenario, I know I would offer many many chances and opportunities to learn and get it right