Wednesday, December 29, 2004

"Light a candle for me when I'm gone"

I was looking at pictures of the Tsunami disaster and I found this picture of a Muslim woman durring a candle light vigil for the victims. It really caught my heart.



"The spirit in me greats the spirit in you
I bow to the divine in you.

I honor the place in you
that is of love of truth, and of light.

And when you are in that place in you
and I am in that place in me we are one"

-The meaning of Namaste', an ancient Sanskrit greeting


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I wonder as I wander

I guess I have never really explained my religious background or current position of truth and understanding on this blog. I must have assumed that some how, everyone in the world knew who I was. Hah! I obviously am wrong (and honestly not that self-centered) so I will gladly retell my story.

My Madre (mother, but I always say it in Spanish) was raised in the Catholic Church, but then when she lived on her own, stopped going. When I was 6 years old, I asked my parents if they would start taking me to church! (What kind of crazy kid asks if they can go to church?) So, my mom started to take me to the Catholic Church that my grandparents where attending. When I was 8, I was concerned because I was almost at the age where one in the Catholic faith makes there First Holy Communion, but I had not yet been baptized. So, I asked one of the Deacons, Deacon Bob whom I had really loved but died when I was in high school from Diabetes, if I could get baptized. (This kid just gets weirder and weirder). I was baptized at 8 years old, First Holy Communion I made at 9 years of age and then joined the Church coir when I was about 11. I stayed faithful with my church activities, Coir, CCD, youth group, until it was my second year of Confirmation. I had a choice: be confirmed in the Catholic Church in 6 months, or venture out of my comfort zone and make for absolutely positively sure, that the Church I wanted to belong to, was in fact the Catholic Church.

Not really knowing about other faiths, or what was even out there, I at 16 found myself going nuts! There are so many churches, and how do you know what was what? So I took the Apostles Creed and started asking friends on the school bus (of all places) if they believed in the same thing I believed.

I was chatting with one boy, who I knew to be deeply religious and asked him if he believed in all the things the creed proclaimed. He said he did, except for the part about the Church and the Pope. I thought to myself, well that’s cool, he’s not Catholic, maybe I could get him to come to church with me….We then started dating. A couple months into the relationship, we both agreed that he would come to my church one Sunday, if I went to his Church. I went, I saw, I fell in love….

This brings me to my next chapter of religious experience. My 3 ½ years in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, aka the Mormons. What a mess I had gotten myself into. One day I was sitting on the bus wanting to convert some boy to my religion and he ends up converting me! The Mormons are really into genealogy and family history. I had never met my grandmother on my fathers side so I started to do some research. I found out that my grandmothers side of the family where original pioneers of the LDS Church and held high positions in establishing its existence! I thought for sure that I had found my place and my ancestors where proud of me……

OK, this is a very long story, lets make it shorter….boy was an asshole, girl realized that and broke up with him last year at this exact time. Leaving the LDS church was the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life……But, I have grown immensely from the experience and am very happy for it. I learned valuable lessons, made life long friends, and have even figured out what I want to do with my life. Well sort of. I want to be a minister, I have obviously been strangely drawn to religion all my life and it has been a major part of who I am. I am not sure what kind of ministry I want to do yet and I am not sure what Church I want to belong to but I do know that with my LDS experience and help from friends I know I will eventually find the right church for me.

No matter what, I will always hold to the Catholic Church because it’s what I grew up with. Also, living in New Mexico it’s a large part of the culture and there is no getting away from it even if you tried. I love the familiarity of it, the art work, music, rituals…but girls can’t be priests, I like boys way to much to be a nun and I honestly do not agree with all the doctrine.

So that’s my story, hope it clarifies some questions, ellipses marks means there are other stories within the story but I don’t feel like writing a novel and I am sure whoever is reading this wouldn’t want to read a novel :-) I am now getting my bachelors in Religion and in History and I am currently trying to find a church that I can be a minister in, then it is off to grad school for a MA Div. and then seminary.

Blessings!
Jen


Monday, December 27, 2004

Shoes! and Christmas

[Disclaimer: I, Jen, can not spell dog breeds. If a dog breed is mentioned in this post and is misspelled, please forgive me...the spell checker couldn't fix it!]

I hope everyone's holidays where well and enjoyable. Mine was spent in a 3
bedroom 2 bathroom house with 15 relatives, 2 cats, 1 Burmese mountain dog, one blue healer/rotwieler mix, 1 gray hound, 2 chuawahas, and one African gray parrot (who knows how to sing jingle bells). It was fun though, getting out of the city and up to the mountains.

We went to mass on Christmas Eve at an Episcopalian church. The service was nice, but it was way to Catholic in all the wrong ways for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I for some reason love my Catholic heritage, but the mass and a few comments from some family members lead to a decision to move on and keep searching. There are a million churches out there, I'm sure I'll find one...

Which reminds me!

A quote, from my dear friend David, who faithfully posts on my blogg (thanks for actually reading my ramblings!). One time he said to me:

"There are good and bad points to shopping around for a denomination; one shouldn't believe that eventually someone will make the perfect church for you, but at the same time, if you need a good pair of shoes to run the good race, are you likely to buy the first pair someone hands you? You don't just need shoes, you need shoes that fit"


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

No offense intended (seriously too).

Jens refute to closed minded, constantinian, damn everyone to hell, "I'm right, your wrong", mean, sterotypical, un-loving, self righteous, ultraconservative, un Christian like Christian people......ummm yeah I'm in a bad mood! [Just take a deep breath and relax].

"Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse; whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt. A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you; the wise when rebuked, will love you. Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still; teach the righteous and they will gain in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." (Prov. 9:7-10)

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. (Prov 10:12)

Lying lips conceal hatread, and whoever utters slander is a fool. (Prov. 10:18)

What the wicked dread will come upon them, but the desire of the righteous will be granted (Prov. 10:24)

The hope of the righteous ends in gladness, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing. (Prov. 10:28)

"Therefore thus says the Lord G-d: Because you compare your mind with the mind of G-d, therefore, I will bring strangers against you, the most terrible of the nations, they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendor. They shall thrust you down to the Pit, and you shall die a violent death in the heart of the seas. Will you say "I am a god", in the presance of those who kill you, though you are but a mortal, and no god, in the hands of those who wound you? You shall die the death of the uncircumsized by the hand of foreigners. (Ezekiel 28:6-10).


Monday, December 20, 2004

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 3

I just found out one of my text books for next semester will be the Tao Te Ching, so in spirit of that, here is the third chapter :p

Never bestow honors
and people won't quarrel.
Never prize rare treasures
and people wont steal.
Never flaunt alluring things
and people won't be confused.

This is how a sage governs.
Fill bellies and empty minds,
strenthen bones and weaken ambition,

always keep the people from knowing and wanting,
then those who know are those who never presume to act.

If you're nothing doing what you do
all things will be governed well.

Holiday Season

Hey everyone. Sorry I haven't been able to update in a while. Between finals, holidays, moving back home and a boyfriend, I haven't had time to do anything; except run around like a chicken with my head cut off.

Last week was very crazy with all my finals. I over studied too. Oh well, at least I know a bunch of weird stuff now! Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet, the Muslim calendar started in 622 CE, Jainists would lay on a bed of thorns and starve themselves, Caligula appointed his horse to the Roman senate, the same time Jerusalem was getting it's ass kicked the Buddha was being enlightened, our legal system dates back to Constantine, Nieche claims G-d is dead, Kierkegaad had some cool ideas, Augustine was cool before he became a Christian, Origin liked Paul, and Paul was a douche.

I would rather not say my grades, I am not to happy with the out come, I didn't fail at least! I will say one grade because it will make David happy...I got an A- in French, all thanks to him.

I'm not going to be able to do much for updating my blog until after the holidays I am going out of town and won't have internet access. I won't even have cell phone service! Heehee :-)

More to come later!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Grant Palmer disfellowshipped

How come the LDS church disfellowships and/or excommunicates people who WANT to stay in the church, but they won't let people leave if they want to???

Grant Palmer, scholar, and Mormon has been disfellowshipped for writing a book entitled An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. The book goes into depth of the idea that Joseph Smith didn't receive the Book of Mormon by divine revelation.

To read the Salt Lake Tribunes article on Palmer's dissfellowship go here : http://10.148.8.60/search/ci_2487004

To learn more about the book An Insider's View of Mormon Origins go here: http://www.signaturebooks.com/Insider's.htm


Tao Te Ching: Chapter 2

"All beneath heaven knows beauty is beauty
only because there's ugliness,
and knows good is good
only because there's evil.

Being and nonbeing give birth to one another,
difficult and easy complete one another,
long and short measure one another,
high and low fill one another,
music and noise harmonize one another,
before and after follow one another:

that's why a sage abides in the realm of nothing's own doing,
living out that wordless teaching.
The ten thousand things arise without beginnings there,
abide without waiting there,
come to perfection without dwelling there.

Without dwelling there: that's the one way
you'll never lose it."

Monday, December 13, 2004

1600 years and the Old Testament

EEK! I have two finals tomorrow...count them: one, two :-(

It wouldn't be bad but it is just my luck that I have been stuck with my two hardest finals on the same day. My first one at 10am is for History 101 on the first 1600 years of Western Civilization. No, I'm not kidding, I have to know from St. Augustines time until Macavellie's time, plus everything in between. My second final is for Old Testament which is covering the anointing of Saul to the fall of Jerusalem, to the restoration to everything in between; basically the first book of Sammuel to the end of the Old Testament.

WHY ME?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Tao Te Ching

I think I am gonna start something new here...every couple of days I am going to post a chapter from the Tao Te Ching and then leave it open for discussion. You can say what you like, or dislike, you can give your opinion on what it means or you can even say "Jen you suck," I'm not to picky!

Also, if you have no clue what the Tao Te Ching is than go here and find out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao_Te_Ching

So, here we go, I'm using the Tao Te Ching translated by David Hinton (just in case someone else has heard differant).

Chapter one:

A Way become Way isn't the perennial Way.
A name become name isn't the perennial name:

the named is mother to ten thousand things,
but the unnamed is origin to all heaven and earth.

In perennial nonbeing you see mystery,
and in perennial being you see appearance.
Though the two are one and the same,
once they arise, they differ in name.

One and the same they're called dark-enigma,
dark-enigma deep within dark-enigma,

gateway of all mystery.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Some stuff about me

My profile doesn't say much about me, but I found this questionaire and thought I would post my answers so yall can get to know me a bit more. Enjoy!

Three Names You Go By:
1. Jen
2. Jennifer
3. and anything else people decide to call me, I’m not picky

Three Things You Like About Yourself:
1. My painted toe-nails
2. My life dreams
3. My eyes

Three Things You Hate/Dislike About Yourself:
1. My mood swings
2. German hip bones
3. dyslexia when it comes to numbers

Three Parts of Your Heritage:
1. German (1/4th)
2. Spain
3. French

Three Things That Scare You:
1. Spiders
2. closed minded people
3. War

Three of Your Everyday Essentials
1. Smiles
2. hugs
3. coffee

Three Things You Are Wearing Right Now
1. red UNM lobo T-shir
t2. comfy sweats
3. a bandaid on my ankle

Three of Your Favorite Songs at Present:
1. Kelly Clarkson-break away
2. Jesse McCartney- I want you and your beautiful soul (title unsure)
3. O Come O Come Emmanuel

Three Things You Want in a Relationship (love is a given):
1. I want to feel validated and to be able to be myself
2. Passion
3. a best friend

Three Physical Things About the Opposite Sex (or same) That Appeal to You:
1. eyes
2. strong arms
3. cute butts!

Three of Your Favorite Hobbies:
1. Reading
2. crafts
3. hanging out at the duck pond

Three Things You Want to do Really Badly Right Now:
1. Go shopping in Old Town
2. not study for finals
3. Hug somebody

Three Careers You’re Considering:
1. Ministry
2. teach theology
3. professional student

Three Places You Want to Go on Vacation:
1. California
2. Colorado
3. England

Three Things You Want to Do Before You Die:
1. break into the Vatican :p
2. Become a minister
3. spread as much love and happiness that I possibly can


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Why do I always create trouble?!?!?

This is in regard to the picture of Bin Ladden that I found offensive...

Sometimes you have to ignore me! I get really touchy for no apparent reason, sometimes things just click invisible buttons that I have no clue about and I go off ranting and raving.

I didn't mean for the picture to be taken down from the website...That wasn't my intention or even a thought that crossed my mind. Today Chaz and I where trying to figure out why I flipped out. I didn't like the picture because:

a) it assumed Bin ladden was going to hell
b) it assumed that the Islamic theory of dying a martyr and gaining there glory of 10 virgins is incorrect
c) it was making fun of a group that I am terrified of pissing off even further. The doctrine of military jihad is used by the fundamentalists when they think there is a threat or someone is attacking Islam and it's way of being. The more we badmouth them, the more susceptible we are to further attack. BUT, this is just my opinion.

It's all just my opinion, I'm sure I say plenty of things that upset other people. A wise friend of mine told me once that "no matter what you do, you are going to make 50% of the people happy, and at the same time you are going to piss off 50% of people. You can never make everyone happy, so just focus on your happiness."

The intent was never to have the picture taken off, it was just to rant my frustrations on the subject and get out some sort of awareness, that yes while the cartoon is fairly funny (even to me) we should be carefully of the water we are treading.

Shalom,
Jen


(On a slightly more hillarious note, the movie Team America succeeded in makeing fun of probably just about everyone! and it was great! )

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Attack on Islamic beliefs

I was surfing blogs on that blogexplosion thingy and I came across something completely and utterly appalling! It makes me sick to my stomach. Why can't we as Americans be more religious tolerant? Why do we have to attack other cultures that are different from our own? Why do we have to democracize every country in the world and conform them to Abercrombi and Fitch wearing, English speaking, Mc Donalds super-sizing, democratic, conservative Christians? It's not right, and nothing makes me more upset.

This picturehttp://dustmybroom.com/2004/12/what-this-site-needs.html#comments is supposed to be funny, I get that; but it's not. I know it would defiantly offend my Islamic friends.


Editor note on "getting to the top"

My last post was really bad! Sorry :-( finals are next week and I am a) extreamly worn out, b) way to lazy! So, I am not going to re-type it and make it perfect because I don't have time and really don't feel like doing it.

I promise to make future posts more cohearant, will use spell checker, will revise grammer, and won't talk about boxes and CEO's!

A bientot,
Jen

Getting to the top

I was sitting in Old Testament class last night, not really paying attention. I love the class, I love my professor, I just wasn't in the right mind frame to sit for 3 hours studying.......ummmm I think we where talking about Amos, and something about Ezra and Chronicles....don't ask, because I have absolutely no clue! Anyways, that's not what's important, towards the end of class my teacher proposed a question, that I am assuming had something to do with what was going on in the lecture "Does anyone ever really get to the top?"

My friend I was sitting next to drew a box and a stick figure standing on top of the box, and I said, yes, he is on top of the box, but he isn't on top of everything. You might physically be on top of the box but there is still something on top of you. To which my friend drew a stick figure on top of the earth! My response?

People are always trying to get to the "top." But the top of what? Even if they do reach the desired goal of getting to the top of the mountain, or becoming the CEO of a company, people are never satisfied. Man is never satisfied, was are always striving for something more, something better; but in reality you can never achieve the very top because the very top of everything is G-d. It's like the mathematical pie theory, no matter how hard you try, there is never going to be an end to the problem.

Ok, so I guess this is a little pessimistic to think that we are never going to get to the top of anything, and I guess I read Ecclesiastes a bit to much, but there is a point. We need not get discouraged about the fact that we can't really reach the top of everything we do...The trick is to be content with where you are at. If you are a CEO of a certain company, you have two choices, stay the CEO, or move on to something different. If you are on top of the box, you have the same choices, either stay on top of the box, or move on. However, in the case of moving on, like with the box, you have to get down before you can go somewhere else.

that's when one needs to ask themselves "would it be worth to get down, and stay down for a while, or should I just stay on top?" In examining my life to this point I can honestly say that I have gotten down many more times than stayed where I was. Every time I got down, I experienced something new, Sometimes something better, sometimes something worse, but each time I have learned valuable lessons and each one has brought a new sense of awareness of myself, and where I stand spiritually.


Looking down from heaven, we are all just tiny little dots, the difference is how much more we shine. Some people might have lots of riches and political power and might be at the "top" but they are dull and blend in with the earths grains. While little Joe in Madagascar who sacks groceries shines brightly and is seen by all the eyes in heaven.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Einstein...

This story was emailed to me by my cousin, and I thought it kinda went with what David was saying on his other post about homosexuality being neither perfect or imperfect, "it just is." Now compairing that with this story is kind of stretching it but I think it works. If anything it's a good read and gives one lots to think about.

A university professor challenged his students with this question. "Did God create everything that exists?" A student bravely replied, "Yes, he did!" "God created everything?" The professor asked. "Yes sir", the student replied. The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil". The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?" "Of course", replied the professor. The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?" "What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The students snickered at the young man's question. The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heatEvery body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.Absolute zero (- 460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?" The professor responded, "Of course it does." The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wave lengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course as I have already said We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man.It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil." To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light." The professor sat down.

The young man's name --- Albert Einstein


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