Thursday, December 24, 2009

Welcome to my new blog and What does Christmas mean to me?

Welcome anyone and everyone to my new blog. As you may or may not know, I have two other blogs, my puppy blog about little Deuce and my competition blog, mainly about miller but also about Harley as well and any other issues that deal with competition. I blog because I am a very emotional and passionate person and sometimes my mouth gets me in trouble. It is usually (note to self usually is always) safer for me to get on here, write out my feelings, look at them, ruminate over them and then publish them. With the invention of such media as Facebook and Myspace and Twitter, it has become increasing possible for me to open my mouth and let things out that I shouldn't or maybe should have thought about more clearly before posting. That is the purpose of this blog. I have several blogs in this blog that I have not published and may not ever. Some things are better left unsaid sometimes but if I don't get them out of my head, I might just go crazy and this is a safe way to do that.

So one of those such times I just described happened this morning and I feel like I needed to really talk about what Christmas means to me as I have heard what Christmas means to others. Really hard to convey your exact feelings and I am afraid i have offended many by what I wrote. Let's examine my background a little to see where I come from with my beliefs. I have always been a church going, God loving person but I really did not proclaim that Jesus was my savior until I think I was in high school. I had one of those moments where I was really in despair and I reached out to God and I for the first time really felt like he was in my heart and there with me, guiding me and helping me through a tough time. It was after this moment that I went before my church and declared my faith in front of everyone. I had a very, very special friend that stood with me and has been a guide to me and still is even though we live very different lives now.

Now I was and never have been a perfect person, nor do I think Jesus expects me to be. I may not go to church every Sunday, I may not make the best choices in my life but he is always there for me. I can lift up his name in prayer about anything, and he is always there to guide me and help me. Sometimes the answer is not completely apparent and sometimes I have to go through much hardship to get to the answer or maybe there never is an answer at all but he is always there with me. Someone asked me once, what is religion to me and to me it is forgiveness, comfort, support, and so many other things I can not fully articulate. I have always had some aspect of religion in my life from day one and have never had it any other way. I had never met an atheist till I moved to KS. While I am still learning about their beliefs or lack of, I have learned to be tolerant of others and what they believe. I have yet to really have anyone ridicule me about my religion and I hope that I never do that to any of my friends of varying beliefs either. If I ask you lots of questions about what you believe or don't believe, educate, don't judge and I will try to do the same in return. I do not know everything there is to know about the bible or my religion as I am always a work in progress, but I hope I can have an open mind to learn not just about what I believe but what others believe as well.

You have to understand in my hometown, there were three denominations, Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic (and I didn't really know anyone who was Catholic but they had a very large church in Jackson). As I said earlier, I had not met an atheist, a gay person, or someone who had an abortion till I moved here. I had never heard the concept of evolution till I met here. I was bombarded by alot of issues and I had to process alot of ideals and ideas when I came here. It has not been an easy journey to say the least. Try working in a department for Evolutionary Biologists when you don't even know or fully agree with the concept. I did join a christian science group that discusses evolution among other subjects and I did thoroughly enjoy it. The discussion among with readings I did on my own really helped me understand evolution and helped me understand that I can be a Christian and still believe in this concept. I found that I did not have to shuck my religion in order to believe certain concepts. This was a very tough road for me and I think I have grown immensely and have become alot more open minded.

Okay to the root of the matter, the reason for this blog post. I had heard a comment that we should take religion out of the holiday of Christmas and it really flew all over me. Why do we call it CHRISTmas if it isn't a religious holiday? I guess that is where the whole "Happy Holidays" phrase came from, take Christ's birth out of the whole thing. This does not sit well with me at all. I know that we celebrate by using alot of pagan rituals such as the tree or lights or whatever, but the main reason we celebrate anything is because of his birth. If it is about all of these other things, then maybe we need to have a separate holiday? Maybe we should have a winter solstice holiday? We do celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and I think a couple of other holidays around this time of year and some of those are religious and some are not. Christmas is a time of celebrating the birth of our savior, who was born and died for our sins so that we don't have to be perfect and that we can some day have eternal life. I know alot do not believe in this concept and that many probably think that I am crazy for believing in a heaven and an eternal life but this is my belief. Maybe it is just a way to deal with death and the forever ever, but why is that different in you not believing that anything happens or that you come back as something else in another life? In a nut shell, don't all of those options sound a little weird and wonderful?

I look forward to learning about others beliefs and I look forward to hearing what people have to say about what I think and feel. Christmas is a time of giving and a time of homecoming and a time for family, but the whole year should be this way. Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our savior, but I guess I'd better get use to it being a whole lot of other things for a whole lot of other people. I have learned alot about what people think and feel about the holidays just today through my Facebook post. While my status update did not truly reflect what I was trying to say, it did bring up some great points and did get some good dialog going, even if a few people got pissed off. I need to learn to just sit down and blog and not FB!