This page is constantly changing. Writing it has been an interesting experience. It has helped me to clarify what is important to me. When I wrote the first version, I included all sorts of things that I have always believed in and thought important, but upon further reflection weren't.
My purpose in writing this page is to share with you some of the things that have made a difference in my life. Some pertain to my beliefs as a Christian, others are simply "life lessons." My hope is that my journey and the lessons that journey has taught me might speak to your heart. This page will continue to grow and change as I grow and change. The order is fairly random but new beliefs or life lessons tend to appear at the top.
- We can use science to grow in Christ by understanding how our brain works and using that knowledge to grow in grace in an informed manner. I believe that God wants us to use EVERY tool that we can to become more of the children of God we were meant to be.
- Teachings from other faiths or philosophies -- even science -- can help us grow as Christians and give us new insights. Meditation, exercise, and yoga has helped me to understand myself in ways that Christianity was unable to help. I am more of a woman of God because of it.
- The book Hardwiring Happiness has had a transformative effect on my life. This book explains the neuroscience behind our instincts and how they work. It actually explains the science behind many of New Testament teachings and reinforces the "perfect" bullet. The book is about the mechanisms in our brain that manage our reactions and how we can re-wire them to be happier, healthier, and more at peace. Examples:
- Christ says: Where your treasure(or focus) is, there will your heart be also. Science says: the more we dwell on something, the stronger the neural pathways to that mindset.
- The Bible says: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. (Phillippians 4:8). Science says: The brain has a natural tendency to the negative; it doesn't naturally store positive experiences, only negative ones. You have to make an effort to store positive ones by dwelling on those things. When you make this effort, you become more positive, happier, less reactive, more at peace, and more open.
- I believe that everything is perfect; we just have to discover HOW it is perfect. God works everything to the good. (Romans 8:28) I believe that we will find whatever we look for: if we look for the good in situations and people, we'll find it. It is sort of a twist on Matthew 6:21: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. If we are certain all is black, we'll find evidence to support that as well. We CHOOSE what we want to find and then proceed to find just that.
- I believe that we become what we focus upon. Kindness opens the heart; judgmentalness closes it. Compassion breeds understanding, judgment breeds resentment. Light heals and nourishes, darkness wounds and starves. I believe that each person has the potential to be breath-takingly inspiring and selfless or hideously cruel and selfish. See The Wolves Within for a Native American take on this belief. I believe we can't move forward without truly accepting where we are at any given moment. Ignoring our potential for darkness is unwise. Ignoring our potential for light causes depression and despair.
- I believe in living in the present with a thankful heart, looking for the good in each moment, being true to the light I've been given, seeking God and His Will in all things, and trusting God to work all things to the good. Act sincerely from the heart and surrender the results to God. There is a lesson in everything that happens to me, but only if I'm open to it.
- I believe that the purpose of life is to grow into our full potential as children of God. We do this through getting to know ourselves, interacting with others, and developing our relationship with God. As we begin to know ourselves and God more fully, we gain clarity. This clarity helps us to live our lives to the fullest, in harmony with ourselves and the world around us. Life is like school: if we fail a course, we will have to repeat it until we learn the intended lesson.
- I believe that being judgmental of another person's path is destructive and detrimental to seeking the light. We are called to DISCERN what is helpful or harmful for ourselves but not to judge another's path or actions. Each person has unique challenges because of what they have experienced in their lives and who they are. Each path to God, while it may or may not follow the path of one religious tradition or another, is unique to that person. Humans create boxes and categories. God heals people and how that looks will differ for each person.
- Each of us have both abilities and disabilities. Growth is found in using our abilities and working to heal our disabilities with the help of God and those around us.
- I believe that prayer changes situations and people. God is our constant companion in life, always willing to help us, if we but ask and open our hearts to the answer. God always answers our prayers, but the answer is not always what we want it to be.
- I believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I believe that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that Christ died for all so that we can come into the presence of a holy God and loving Father.
- I believe that there is a spiritual warfare going on over the hearts and souls of all and that everything we do helps the side of light and God or the side of darkness and Satan. I believe that Satan would prefer that people not believe in him or in his power in this world. Avoiding the pull of darkness takes mindfulness and the help of God.
- I've given up on applying our limited human logic to the realm of the soul. Excessive logic can rob me of important lessons. I believe that all religions contain jewels of truth that are worth the effort to find and finding them makes my faith richer, not poorer. I think that things that look illogical to us will all be made clear when we see God face to face in the afterlife. It is sort of the story about the six blind men and the elephant: each proclaimed the elephant to be something different because they each experienced a different aspect of the elephant. I think that many seemingly contradictory things I've come to believe are like that. If I could only see the whole picture, I'd truly understand, but since I can't see all, I don't understand. My responsibility is to live by the light I see. This has turned life into an incredibly freeing adventure. I can now look for truth and light wherever it might exist, be that in the Bible or in teachings from other religious traditions.
- I believe in the Bible reveals God more fully than any other book. It is truly the "Word of God" but light and wisdom can be found in many places other than the Bible. I believe with all my heart in Mahatma Gandhi's saying "be the change you wish to see."
- I believe that living a Christ-like life and loving God will all my heart is far more important than crossing t's and dotting i's on theology.
- I believe that our intentions are very powerful, capable of healing or harming ourselves and others, regardless what our actions may be. Good deeds are amplified or muted by intentions, as are unskillful acts. The stronger our intention, the stronger the impact.
I'm happy to discuss any of these beliefs with anyone, as long as you are willing to trust me to discern my path as much as I trust you to discern yours. I love to hear different views, but only I can decide if your food feeds me, just as only you can determine what will nourish your soul.