O say, what is truth?

My post this week is slightly delayed. I sincerely apologize. Again, if you are reading this for the first time, see the Purpose tab.

The topic today has to do with truth. The question that will be discussed is “Is there absolute truth?”. I think this is an interesting topic, and one that is highly debated/discussed among those that are seekers of truth, and those who wonder about religion and faith in general.

When I lived in Boise, ID last summer, I met someone who was extremely intrigued by churches claims that they had the “truth”. He asked me “If one church says they have the truth, and the other says THEY have the truth, what is the truth? I want to know the TRUTH”. I think that is an extremely poignant observation. What is to be concluded by differing claims of truth? Is there absolute truth in the first place, or is truth relative? Can some things be true for me and not true for you? If there is absolute truth, how can we find it? Who has the authority to say what truth is and what it is not?

For sake of brevity, I won’t attempt to answer all of the questions above, or explain every detail of what I believe regarding truth, but I will say this: I believe in absolute truth. Truth, to me, is fundamental. As an example, think of gravity. It affects everyone the same (watch different objects fall in a vacuum), and ALWAYS produces the same results. No one is exempt from its universal power. It is a fundamental building block of everyone’s life, and all are subject to it. Nothing anyone can say is able to deny the existence of this universal force.

Now, the man in Boise wasn’t discussing scientific truths, he was concerned about spiritual truth. But to him, and to those reading this blog, I respond that there is absolute spiritual truth that affects us all, and is relevant to us all, just like gravity. I believe that God exists. I don’t believe He exists for me, or for some groups of people, but for ALL. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of everyone who has ever lived or will live on this planet. One name for Christ is the “truth”. I think that is interesting, because He declared while on this earth that He is the only way by which to return to God. I believe that. Due to the nature of truth, that means that there are absolutes, which are hard for some people to accept. If someone says “I don’t believe in Jesus Christ, but you do, who is right?” I would respond with “Let’s not discuss right or wrong, let’s discuss truth. If it is true that he lived, and was the Son of God, then His teachings are universal to all  humankind. All must come to find out whether or not that is true”.

I believe the source of all truth is God, our Eternal Father. If it were not so, then there would be no way to know what is true and what is not. There must be a standard, else truth is relative and not truth at all. I believe that we can pray to God and ask Him what the truth is, and He will ALWAYS reveal it to us. I have done this, and I have come to learn of things that are true. I invite all those who are seeking truth to ask God in faith, and he will reveal unto you the truth of all things. He can’t reveal different truth to different people. He can’t say “Jesus is the Christ” to one and “Jesus is not the Christ” to another. He must be the same source of perfect truth to all, or we have no way to determine spiritual truth.

What do you believe? Do you believe in absolute truth? If so, how do you find it? What effect does spiritual truth have on your life? Does it effect the way you live? Please comment below.

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire.

If you have not yet read the “Purpose” tab, please do so. The aim of this blog is to involve open discussion about belief. Positive discussion, not debate or argument.

Last week’s post was about belief in God. I testified of what I believe Him to be, and a few of you commented on your relationship to God as well. We all have had different experiences with God. Each of us are unique, and naturally we all have our own personal relationship with Him. I wish to speak today about how we communicate to God. This is a basic concept, but practiced extremely differently amongst people throughout this world.

I had an opportunity to live in an extremely diverse city in the United States. Jacksonville, Florida, is unique for this reason: it is the home to refugees and immigrants from all over the world. Just south of downtown is an apartment complex called “Sable Palms”. It is off Emerson Street, just East of Hendricks, right by a delicious barbeque joint. I have met everyone in that complex, because I used to go there all of the time. Every door was a new experience, because everyone that lived there was from out of the country. I ate ostrich legs there with a Burmese family. I spoke with a Persian woman named Shannaz who got into a wreck at Taco Bell in the drive through. I met some Vietnamese youth who played the guitar, a Liberian pastor,  a drunk from Bosnia, the list goes on and on! I mention this experience because no matter who they were or where they were from, they all had a concept of prayer. I offered to pray with all of them, and no one denied. They were always receptive to my offering to pray with them and for them. I feel the same way when people ask to pray for me. They may be of a different faith, but to know that someone is communicating with Deity on my behalf is empowering.

Prayer is such an amazing form of communication. I believe that prayer is essential to getting to know the God that we worship. In Sable Palms, some of the people I met would often tell me that they don’t pray out loud, but that God knows their thoughts. While it is true that God knows their thoughts, why not talk to Him? It is such a humbling experience to accept the fact that you need help, that you don’t know, that you lack the faith, the courage, or the ability, and to plead with God for help. In a sense, prayer is work. It requires effort to stop what you are doing, focus your mind and heart on God, and talk. But I believe that certain blessings require work on our part, and prayer is the start of that.

As I mentioned before, I believe God is my Father. I find comfort that I can communicate to my Father through sincere prayer, and I know that He is listening. He will answer me according to His time and will, but He does listen with love. It has been said that prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. I believe that that is true. I pray to know God’s will, and I try to align myself with it.

To those of you who are reading,what do you believe about prayer? How do you pray? What meaningful experiences have you had with prayer?  Please share in your comments below.

The title of this post comes from a song written by James Montgomery. If you would like to listen to the song, click here.

Higher Power.

If you are reading this, please click the  “Purpose” tab and read it to understand exactly what this blog is about. If you share this blog with others, have them also read the “Purpose” page. This is important to maintain the integrity of this website and to accomplish the goals of the same.

Our nation, every single day, requires that students in schools recite the pledge of allegiance. Well, I don’t actually know what happens anymore. Some schools require it, some allow students to remain seated if they believe differently, yada yada yada. As far as I know, it still mostly happens. This mundane, repetitive and often inconsequential start to each school day has been the subject of some fierce discussion. Why? Because in one obvious way, it is a statement of belief. We say “One nation, under God“. Interesting, isn’t it? Children beginning at age 5 are daily required to affirm their belief in a higher power. The pledge of allegiance shouldn’t cause any problems. It doesn’t define the God, state his (or her) name, or demand a particular form of worship. The end of the pledge itself defends its neutrality towards God.. with “liberty and justice for all”. Even if you don’t believe in God, you can believe in something, let’s say “science or reason”, call that God, and the pledge of allegiance is the same. “One nation, under <insert your understanding of God>, indivisible…”

When you recite the pledge of allegiance, though, no matter what God you believe in, you are affirming that there is a higher power. It’s “under God”, remember? Something is in control. Something, somewhere, governs us, even if you believe it is simply science.  I believe that there is a higher power. I believe it is a person, and even more so, I believe that that person is my Father. You may feel differently, but I think that the most endearing form of higher power imaginable is one that loves me perfectly, desires my happiness, and is constantly seeking to help me progress. I believe that He loves me, and that He knows me. I won’t even mention Him without using capital letters, just out of respect! I pray to Him, and I know He will answer. (Prayer will likely be next week’s topic, in case you were wondering).

What do you believe? What “higher power” do you serve? What is he/she/it like? How did you come to believe in that higher power? Can you think of an experience when you felt   that higher power’s presence in your life? Please share your comments below. Remember, every one who reads is encouraged to engage by stating what they believe below. No one will be ridiculed, argued with, or hated. (If your comments are of that nature, say goodbye to this blog:).  We are all here to learn, and to listen to what you have to say.