Ch. 9: What Makes God Smile?

It’s been a while since the last post. There has been many conversations that triggered me to read this book. But I guess today’s situation really got me thinking.

Today I was asked by a little girl indirectly (she didn’t ask me, she asked someone else) if “I knew God”. The person who answered on my behalf replied and said “Yes”.

But it got me thinking, what if i said no? And sure she’s a child, but knowing about Him doesn’t mean very much does it? Yes I know him, but it doesn’t mean I believe. Or as my witty uncle tells me “I know him, but he doesn’t know me”.

  • “The smile of God is the goal of your life.”
    • But what if being in that surrounding, and trying to make God smile makes you miserable? Is God’s smile more important than your own sanity?
  • “In Noah’s day, the entire world had become morally bankrupt. Everyone lived for their own pleasure, not God’s. God couldn’t find anyone on earth interested in pleasing him, so he was grieved and regretted making man. God became so disgusted with the human race that he considered wiping it out. But there was one man who made God smile.”
    • I stand by my word that God is sometimes like a popular teenage kid, or abuse parent that demands “my way or the highway”. That’s kind of like saying. I gave birth to my kid and my kid is destructive, manipulative, and psychotic so I’m going to kill him. What?
  • “God smiles when we love him supremely”
  • He longs for you to know him and spend time with him. This is why learning to love God and be loved by him should be the greatest objective of your life. Nothing else comes close in importance”
    • I just remembered one of the issues I have with religion as a whole. It’s that, because God should be your one and only goal. No one gives themselves credit for the things they do. Everything is because “they listened to go” and not because I got the power to overcome these issues because I’m a strong person. Just because you are loved by God doesn’t mean you automatically have everything you need to succeed in life. To rely on God’s love only to determine importance in your life causes people to forget about their own power and independence.
  • “God smiles when we trust him completely”
  • The second reason Noah pleased God was that he trusted God, even when it didn’t make sense.”
    • My question here is, when it comes to any average person on the street it’s hard to trust someone when they don’t make sense. Even with our parents, it’s hard to trust someone when they don’t completely makes sense. So what makes God so special that we should trust him completely? So that he can bring us to heaven? I’ve never made a decision without considering for myself if it makes sense. I can’t just blindly follow.
  • Imagine this scene: One day God comes to Noah and says, “I’m disappointed in human beings. In the entire world, no one but you thinks about me. But Noah, when I look at you, I start smiling. I’m pleased with your life, so I’m going to flood the world and start with your family. I want you to build a giant ship that will save you and the animals.”
    • First of all. Why is God so self centered? Second, is this the part in the Lil Dicky – Pillow Talking song that? How God didn’t like the dinosaurs and he killed them all off. Except last time he threw a giant rock, and then this time he floods the earth.
  • “Trusting God completely means having faith that he knows what is best for your life. You expect him to keep his promise, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary.”
    • Are miracles the reason why people choose to blindly? I’ve never believed that miracles existed because everything that happens is a result of my actions. Thus, no room for miracles. Everything that happens is the result of my actions. This goes back to my previous point. By trusting that God knows the best for you, you never give yourself credit for making good decisions, because God told you.
  • “In what areas of your life do you need to trust God completely? Trusting is an act of worship. Just as parents are pleased when children trust their love and wisdom”
    • Unfortunately there is no area of my life that I need to trust God completely, because I believe in myself. Although all my decisions in life haven’t been the greatest, but this has caused me to not regret a single thing. All the decisions that I have made for myself has allowed me to learn many important lessons in my life. I can’t imagine what it would be life if I left this process up to God. I would probably be very disappointed if things didn’t work out.
  • “God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly”
  • “Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience. God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything he asks you to do. Understanding can wait, but obedience can’t.”
    • Again. Why does God sound like an abusive parent. Why is it that your child can’t learn to understand before acting. That’s like your parent tell you to kill their neighbour, and you obey because……..?!
  • “God smiles when we praise and thank him continually”
  • “Instead we are told to offer God “the sacrifice of praise” and “the sacrifice of thanksgiving”. We praise God for who he is, and we thank God for what he has done”
    • This reminds me of the stories where a man was trapped in an elevator with 2 other people. The man was fine, but the other two was sent to the hospital. The wife of this man say “Oh thank god my husband is fine”. She got some backlash because Thank god that your husband is fine but you’re not concerned about the other two? There was also another story where there was a flood and the neighbour’s house was destroyed, but the other family thanked God they were okay. Again. I understand that this might not be the teachings of religion, but where does the line cut off? Thanking God for your own protection but neglecting others?
  • “God smiles when we use our abilities”
  • “God intentionally gifted us differently for his enjoyment. He has made some to be athletic and some to be analytical. You may be gifted at mechanics or mathematics or music or a thousand other skills.”
    • I guess my skill is to be very critical and analytic. I enjoy breaking down all these aspects for the teaching of religion, and then using them to reinforce why I don’t believe.

Points to Ponder: God smiles when I trust him”

For me. I can’t think of a reason to trust God. Because I trust myself.


Ch. 8: Planned for God’s Pleasure

At this point in the book, I guess they start to deep dive into the purpose of life? Because we start out this new section with “You were planned for God’s Pleasure”

  • “God did not need to create you, but he chose to create you for his own enjoyment. You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose, and his delight”
    • As someone that is cisgender, heterosexual, privileged, and abled body these comments could make someone feel very happy they are needed and wanted. But how do these things reflect those that were born with physical and mental disabilities, or LGBTQ? Did God create those children for his enjoyment? So that other people can laugh at them? So the church can turn their back and tell them they’re going to hell for liking the opposite gender? What kind of enjoyment does God see in children with disabilities? I fully understand that those who live under these circumstances everyday are very strong and are doing things that none of us are capable. But to reduce this and say that God, create it for him to be delighted at their pain or struggles? That sounds kind of morbid. Religion is suited for those that re privileged, cisgendered, and heterosexual.
  • “Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of your life. When you fully understand this truth, you will never again have a problem with feeling insignificant. It proves your worth.”
    • Having a problem with feeling insignificant doesn’t have anything to do with religion. That’s like saying, feeling insignificant in a romantic relationship is because of your significant other. No girl. You need to learn to love yourself before you can love others. You need to learn to live your own life before you begin putting yourself in other’s lives. You need to learn to think for yourself before you start taking in religion. Your purpose in your life has everything to do with what you fill it with: good things, good people, and good choices. I don’t need God to tell me that I’m only worth something if I trust him. I’ve lived 25years on this Earth and through my relationships with friends and family, I’ve discovered my worth without God. I’m happy to announce that I don’t need assistance or a crutch (religion) to tell me I’m worth something. Because I built it up myself and no one can tell me otherwise (except myself).
  • “He wired you with five senses and emotions so you can experience it. He wants you to enjoy life, not just endure it”.
    • What about kids that were born with Autism? What about those people that lack social skills and cannot read people’s emotions.
  • “Anthropologists have noted that worship is a universal urge, hard-wired by God into the very fibre of our being – an inbuilt need to connect with God”
  • *insert definition of Worship* The author is basically saying some people’s definition of worship is wrong. 
  • “Worship has nothing to do with the style of volume or speed of a song. God loves all kinds of music because he invested it all – fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like it all, but God does!”
  • “Worship is not for your benefit. As a pastor, I receive notes that say, “I loved the worship today. I got a lot out of it” This is another misconception about worship. It isn’t for our benefit! We worship for God’s benefit. When we worship, our goal is to bring pleasure to God, not ourselves”
    • This is another problem I have with religion. That “nothing is yours” and that “you have no purpose unless it’s God’s purpose”. I feel sorry for the person that went up to him to tell him how much the worship meant, only to be quoted by him and tell him that IT’S NOT ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. Why can’t people with their own meanings, and hold on to these things dear to them?
  •  “Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence”
    • Did I not just talk about this in the first few days of this journey in Ch.3? That religion was created to support capitalism? 
    • “This is why religion exists to create drive. Capitalism”
      • Marx and his colleague Friedrich Engelswitnessed and responded to the growth of what he called “surplus value“. Marx’s view of capitalism saw rich capitalists getting richer and their workers getting poorer (the gap, the exploitation, was the “surplus value”). Not only were workers getting exploited, but in the process they were being further detached from the products they helped create. By simply selling their work for wages, “workers simultaneously lose connection with the object of labor and become objects themselves. Workers are devalued to the level of a commodity – a thing…” (Ibid 125) From this objectificationcomes alienation. The common worker is led to believe that he or she is a replaceable tool, and is alienated to the point of extreme discontent. Here, in Marx’s eyes, religion enters. Capitalism utilizes our tendency towards religion as a tool or ideological state apparatus to justify this alienation. Christianity teaches that those who gather up riches and power in this life will almost certainly not be rewarded in the next (“it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle…”) while those who suffer oppression and poverty in this life, while cultivating their spiritual wealth, will be rewarded in the Kingdom of God. Hence Marx’s famous line – “religion is the opium of the people“, as it soothes them and dulls their senses to the pain of oppression. Some scholars have recently noted that this is a contradictory (or dialectical) metaphor, referring to religion as both an expression of suffering and a protest against suffering.[5]

Ch. 7: The Reason for Everything

I’m thinking “God’s Trials” and life of tests again. Here’s why:

Today I decided I was going to go to the art gallery to check out one of the exhibits (it was great by the way). I got the the park and ride and it took about 10 minutes of circling before I found a spot. It was a little far, but that’s okay. I got a spot. I walked to the elevator and took it down to the level I needed to go to and soon realized I forgot my parking change in the car. So. I took the elevator back up, and walked to my car and grabbed the change. Great. Let’s get moving. I took the elevator down again, and once I stepped out. I realized. I also forgot my wallet. Annoyed, I complained to my friends. Jokingly I asked them. “Was this God’s plan!? Is this my trial?!”

While I was joking I realized. It’s so much easier to blame God for his plan than to admit that maybe I messed up. Why is that? This epiphany can be interpreted in two ways of course. (Before I continue, I would like to add that I recognize forgetting my wallet and forgetting my parking change is a very small situation that cannot be compared to the other more important scenarios that may occur). One view would be from the view of religion (I think?!), and it’s to accept God’s plan and not to blame him? But the second is what I seem to be a little more aligned with. Just…take responsibility that you messed up? I could convince myself that God planned for me to head up to my car the first time in hopes that I would remember my parking change and wallet, and then I failed him because I had to head up a second time anyways. Or I could blame myself, take the responsibility, and learn the lesson that maybe I should think carefully about what I need before I leave my car. Maybe people enjoy the comfort of believing that someone is looking over them, that their life is part of a bigger plan, that their path was pre-determined. I’m okay with believing I messed up.

I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t believe that God is out to test me, and puts me through these “trials” so that I can learn. It is ludicrous to believe that the bad things which happen in your life are a result of God and his plan. However, it is important to realize that you are also not the cause of all the bad things that happen in your life. In the specific scenario of my parking change and wallet, clearly it is my fault. I forgot. It’s important to note that if we’re talking about an abusive relationship (and you’re on the receiving end of the abuse), there is nothing you can be responsible for. You don’t deserve it. It wasn’t your fault. There was no “plan”. It was the bad actions of a single person.

The title of this chapter is “The Reason for Everything”. Please don’t tell me it’s “God’s Plan”

  • “The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God”
    • I believe Buddha doesn’t need us to do that….Buddha seems more chilled. Good things don’t need to be boasted? lol
  • “God made it all for his glory”
    • So wait, he’s a show off?
  • “Everything created by God reflects his glory in some way. We see it everywhere, from the smallest microscopic form of life to the vast Milky Way, from sunsets and stars to storms and seasons. Creation reveals our Creator’s glory. In nature we learn that God is powerful, that he enjoys variety, loves beauty, is organized, and is wise and creative”
    • So God likes nature and he created it. Did he create the animals so that they would become endangered? Or was it because the humans have sinned with pollution. Because, surely that’s part of his plan right!? God’s plan. One day he said no more White Rhinos and that’s it.  What about all the nuclear accidents, and all the mutated fish and plants. Did God’s glory reflect that? What about Global warming. If he created the Earth in his glory, and Global warming is happening……does that mean God planned for all of us to die in about 50 years?! Is this the…..RAPTURE?! If God created the Earth with Global warming, I’m not too sure about his design… Sounds like we’re headed the say direction as the dinosaurs.
  • “We cannot add anything to this glory, just as it would be impossible for us to make the sun shine brighter. But we are commanded to recognize his glory, honor his glory, declare his glory, praise his glory, reflect his glory, and live for his glory. Why? Because God deserves it!”
    • I don’t know about you. But I feel like we should spend some more time recognizing, honoring, declaring, praising, reflecting, and living for your friends and family more (especially your mom). I guess it’s because I’ve never seen what God has done for me, but my mom deserves more recognition for raising, feeding and putting up with me, over someone who is just sitting up there and declaring they created everything and that they planned everything for me. Well then what proof or evidence can you show me that he deserves this? Of course, most people would say God doesn’t need to show you what he has done for you. But here is what I know. I know that my mom carried me for 10 months, birthed me, bathed me, fed me, educated me, this is her proof. If he planned for me to go through trials and suffer, then what proof is there that he raised me to who I am today? For all I know. God put me on this planet knowing that I would be agnostic, I was never in his light and I’ve been fine. My mom did a great job of raising me, she taught me all I needed to know. She deserves glory. And I don’t do enough.
  • “In the entire universe, only two of God’s creations fail to bring glory to him: fallen angels (demons) and us (people). All sin, at its root, is failing to give God glory. It is loving anything else more than God”
    • I only love my bed and my mom, I’m sorry. #Drake. HAHAHA. But seriously, this is one of my issues with religion. I don’t like to believe that I was born on to this earth already wrong. I’ve done nothing wrong in my life from birth, and if doing that doesn’t being God “glory” then shit. I’m sorry. If I make a mistake I will pay for it myself but I was not born sinned. Seriously though, I love my friends and family more because I don’t want to wait until it’s too late. God will always be there, my friends and family won’t. Ain’t nobody got time for this.
  • “None of us have given God the full glory he deserves from our lives. This is the worst sin and the biggest mistake we can make.”
    • Neither have we given it to our moms. Let’s replace the word God with Mom. “None of us have given Mom the full glory she deserves from our lives”. Spend more time with Mom instead.
  • “Birds bring glory to God by flying, chirping, nesting, and doing other bird-like activities that God intended. Even the lowly ant brings glory to God when it fulfills the purpose it was created for. God made ants to be ants, and he made you to be you. St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive!”
    • So I’m put on this earth to do human things. So why can’t we have sex? It’s a human thing to do no? What about those that are part of the LGBTQ community? Loving is another human is a human thing to do, no? So clearly there are exceptions. God wouldn’t put these qualities in humans if it wasn’t intended to be used? Otherwise why would be put them in us? After all, doing human things and fulfilling the purpose I was created will bring God glory. Clearly, there are exceptions and not EVERYTHING that are innate in us will bring God glory. Stop this bullshit.
  • “We bring God glory by worshipping him […] God wants our worship to be motivated by love, thanksgiving, and delight, not duty. […] Worship is far more than praising, singing, and praying to God. Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving him, and giving ourselves to be used for his purpose.”
    • I understand this. If you love something spend more time with it sure. But the question here is that, although it’s not supposed to be duty. How do you suggest those kids that were “born” into religion? Those kids that didn’t want to go, but their parents dragged them along because they have to? Wouldn’t that be against the child’s choice? Isn’t that a duty? But I guess this was God’s plan? How do you explain to these kids that it’s a lifestyle? Also wait. How come the word “Worship” can also be replaced with the words sex? “Sex is far more than praising, singing, and praying” “Sex is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving him, and giving ourselves to be use for his purpose”
  • We bring God glory by loving other believers. […] Following Christ is not just a matter of believing; it also includes belonging and learning to love the family of God […] It is your responsibility to learn how to love as God does, because God is love, and it honors him”
    • Only other believers? Well shit. I guess I don’t deserve any love. Bye. Or maybe I’m the middle child of this family. But wait. If we’re supposed to love other believers, are we also supposed to love the people of the Westboro Baptist Church? Wait. God’s love honors himself? So, are you saying that we shouldn’t love LGBTQ people?! Well that’s rude. So if God is love, why does God get to pick who he loves? Isn’t love blind? Is God blind? I guess not, since he’s choosing.
  • “We bring God glory by becoming like Christ. […] Spiritual maturity is becoming like Jesus in the way we think, feel and act. […] Now, for the rest of your life on earth, God wants to continue the process of changing your character”
    • Is becoming like Jesus meaning that I need to sacrifice my life for things I love? Because if that’s the case I’m pretty sure I already sacrificed about 30% of my life to my fucking degree. Pretty sure I sacrificed enough, am I like Jesus yet? Okay if God knew what he was doing and created me and put me on this earth, then why am I still changing my character? Am I a flaw in his design? Am I error?! Am I waiting for the next patch or the next update? I’m not
  • “We bring God glory by serving others with our gifts. Each of us was uniquely designed by God with talents, gifts, skills and abilities. The way you’re “wired” is not an accident. God didn’t give you your abilities for selfish purposes. They were given to benefit others, just as others were given abilities for your benefit.”
    • My talent, gifts, skills, and abilities were developed from years of hard work. While it is true that I do these things to bring happiness to my friends, I don’t do it for the glory of God. I do it to make my friends happy because it’s the human and the right thing to do. In the end it’s still not a selfish reason, it’s just not for God. Why did God create me if I wasn’t going to be perfect? What’s the point?
  • “We bring God glory by telling others about him. […] God doesn’t want his love and purposes kept a secret. Once we know the truth, he expects us to share it with others”
    • While I respect people sharing the word of God. That is not the case for many of the different branches out there. It usually gets shoved down our throats or knocks on the door. There also come the issue where sharing the word of God becomes shaming people. I’ve recently experienced the shame of not believing. That I need to be part of the lie to protect someone else’s feelings. Why must I be hidden instead of proudly declaring that I am not religious and for people to open their arms to me?
  • “Jesus stood at a fork in the road. Would he fulfill his purpose and bring glory to God, or would he shrink back and live a comfortable, self-centred life? You face the same choice. Will you live for your own goals, comfort, and pleasure or will you live the rest of your life of God’s glory, knowing that he has promised eternal reward?”
    • First, why are our decisions motivated by the reward at the end of the road? Second, isn’t this similar to the scenario of choosing a major at University? Will you go to UBC and please your Chinese parents, or will you go to SFU and study what you actually want? Will you choose one that satisfies your parents and bring them glory, or will you go to one that allows you to study what you want and live a happy life? I argue that at the end of the day, you are the one that needs to live with your decision. You need to do what you need to do in order to get through the day. And if that means making a choice that is a little selfish, then you do that.
  • “Right now, God is inviting you to live for his glory by fulfilling the purpose he made you for. It’s really the only way to live. Everything else is just existing. Real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus Christ. If you are not sure you have done this, all you need to do is receive and believe.”
    • I’m still confused at the reason why God wants me to love him so much if he “wired” be into being an Agnostic Atheist? And then there’s also the other side where I’m supposed to accept this life with God, but then at the same time it’s the only way to live, so is it really an invitation or is it a demand? How does someone receive and believe something without some level of critical argument? Can I pursued anyone to just believe in unicorns or the Flying Spaghetti Monster and tell them to receive and believe?
  • “First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purpose. Believe you’re not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever.
    • I believe that I’m not an accident, and that I was made to last forever, but i don’t believe that this happens because of God. I believe it’s because I make good choices without the assistance of God (as I make choices on my own free will, although God “knows” everything) Why can’t you just believe that you have agency and that you can live a happy life without God? Why can’t you believe!?
  • “Second, receive. Receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Receive his forgiveness for your sins.”
    • I have done nothing wrong, and I don’t need forgiveness. Also I can forgive myself for the things that I have done wrong. I will only received Jesus as something to consider on the side, because after all, I live my own life and I will choose my own path.
  • “First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purpose. Believe you’re not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever.
    • No 🙂
  • If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the Family of God!”
    • Lol woops.

Point to Ponder: It’s all for him.

No thanks. I would actually like to live my life for my friends and family, and spend my time honouring them and giving them glory. They were they ones that raised me, supported me and came to my life in times of trouble. If I can live the last 25 years without the guidance of God I think I can do so for the next 50 years, thank you very much. My life is for my Family, Friends, and Cats.

I’ll be your child if you insist
I mean if it was you that made my body
You probably shouldn’t have made me atheist

Ch 6: Life Is a Temporary Assignment

It’s been a minute. I’ve been telling myself to read for the last week but never got a time when I could just sit and think. But here are some pre-reading thoughts for this week:

The topic of the Church discouraging people from reading Harry Potter came up again. It saddens me that many people can’t enjoy the well written stories of this book. But it saddens me even more that the morals of this book can’t read a certain demographic of children due to, well, religion. It’s easy to google search: “Things that Harry Potter taught me” and find many posts of lessons people have taken away from the stories. I guess i’m more connected to it because Harry Potter was a definition of my childhood. But consider this: maybe one of the lessons we learned in Harry Potter was to “Questions Authority” , and maybe that’s something the church doesn’t want children to consider.

“Throughout the series, powerful institutions are sabotaged to benefit those doing evil. Because the leader of the Ministry of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, won’t admit he’s lost control, many characters end up suffering. A powerful lesson for everyone, learning to question authority is a crucial lesson for muggle and wizard alike.” 

Could it be that the church is afraid to lose control? To admit that less people are going to church? That Harry Potter books are nothing but stories with a good moral and don’t actually use real “spells”? Are they afraid that the children who read the book will think critically and abandon their religion? If everything was in God’s plan. Did he plan for J.K. Rowling to write her books and plan for the success of the franchise? Or did he plan for the Church to tell people to stop reading the book? What is it really?

Perhaps the people in church should consider this

“Which only goes to show that the best of us must sometimes eat our words,’ Dumbledore went on, smiling.”

Life Is a Temporary Assignment. Though I agree that life is short and fragile. I question the meaning of temporary. The actions you take every day and the words you say all have a lasting effect on this earth. The garbage that you dispose is definitely not temporary. If life temporary, aren’t you only encouraging suicides? After all. “Life is a Temporary Assignment”

  • “You won’t be here long, so don’t get too attached. Ask God to help you see life on earth as he sees it.”
    • …I just. don’t understand how this encourages people to live full and full-filling lives if you tell people to get attached. Then what’s the purpose of being here? If i won’t stay for long….i just don’t understand how this is supposed to be encouraging. If you went to some party, or you’re about to enter a relationship. and someone tells you “You won’t be here long, so don’t get too attached”  then shit imma peace it?! It’s easy to ask God how he sees the world, as someone that “knows everything”. That’s like asking an inventory if his inventions are useless. Of course not. It’s their invention. I mean God already destroyed the planet once. Why can’t he do it again? (Ref: Lil Dicky “Pillow Talking” Hold up/ So god made the earth/ And god was like hold up, this shit is boring/ It need more shit/ God was like Imma put dinosaurs on that bitch/ Dinosaurs on that bitch/ Then he like why I put dinosaurs on that shit?)
  • “Repeatedly the Bible compares life on earth to temporarily living in a foreign country. This is not your permanent home or final destination.”
    • Is this why some people reject the idea of Global warming? Because our stay on earth is temporary? Bitch please. We’re screwed. I dislike the ideas that the Bible is constantly telling me that my life has no purpose (without God) and that i’m just a visitor? How do i make myself feel like I belong? How is all of this supposed to encourage me to stay in this life longer? If i’m just a visitor, i just want to go home
  • “God says his children are to think differently about life from the way unbelievers do. “All they think about is this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.” “
    • I’m sorry that i can’t afford to spend my time thinking about a kingdom, when all i want is to live a humble life right now. All i want to do is spread love, knowledge, and compassion.
  • “God is very blunt about the danger of living for the here and now and adopting the values, priorities, and lifestyles of the world around us. When we flirt with the temptations of this world, God calls it spiritual adultery, The Bible says, “You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way” “
    • *jaw dropped* First, I don’t see a problem with living for the here and now. It reminds me of the kids I tutor. Most of them are so concerned with finding the answer that they don’t stop and take the time to work out each step. I always have to tell them to just do it and write it own, and stop skipping the steps. This is the same. Why are we so concerned with what happens after death, when we aren’t even thinking about what is happening in our faces? Am i supposed to close one eye and open the other and just whisper to myself “it’s okay. life on earth is temporary. life on earth is temporary…….” Am I supposed to look at all the gun violence in America and tell myself “Life on earth is temporary. ” Second. Spiritual Adultery. If “cheating on God” is “Spiritual Adultery” i think this is an abusive relationship. How is this not an abusive relationship!? He’s literally saying to you. If you flirt with other people or listen to other people’s way then you’re my enemy. Going back to the Harry Potter thing above, i mean is this why they don’t want people to read Harry Potter?! This story book contains “temptations of this world” ?!
  • “Imagine if you were asked by your country to be an ambassador to an enemy nation. You would probably have to learn a new language and adapt to some customs and cultural differences in order to be polite and to accomplish your mission. As an ambassador you would not be able to isolate yourself from the enemy. To fulfill your mission, you would have to have contact and relation to them. But supposed you became so comfortable with this foreign country that you fell in love with it, preferring it to your homeland. Your loyalty and commitment would change. Your role as an ambassador would be compromised. Instead of representing your home country, you would start acting like the enemy. You’d be a traitor.”
    • i’m. sorry. what!? Wait. What about the people that are part of the LDS/Mormons and have to go on missions to spread the word? They were an ambassador of the LDS in America. But lets say they go to Japan, and they’re like “日本大好き!”(I like Japan) ARE THEY TRAITORS TO AMERICA?! OR THE LDS OF AMERICA!? or like. what if someone becomes Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist!? ARE THEY TRAITORS?! Is this supposed to be like Avatar or Pocahontas?! Or is it like that chinese movie 無間道 (Internal Affairs).  Is this like the brother/uncle in Black Panther!? BECAUSE WAKANDA FOREVER! If i’m Agnostic. AM I A TRAITOR TO MY PEOPLE!? actually i would think so. i would feel like i’m betraying my sociological background lol
  • “Sadly, many Christians have betrayed their King and his kingdom”
    • Shit. i can’t stop thinking about the Black Panther now. WAKANDA FOREVER.
  • “They have foolishly concluded that because we life on earth, it’s their home. It is not.”
    • Well shit. if it’s not YOUR home, it doesn’t mean it’s not mine. Bruh. I still need to life here. You can’t be so seflish to say. I’m not gonna be “here and now” because your “life is temporary”. We share this earth and so i gotta be here and now so that i don’t die!?
  • “With all the fascinating attractions, mesmerizing media, and enjoyable experiences available today, it’s easy to forget that the pursuit of happiness is not what life is about”
  • “It also explains why some of God’s promises seem unfulfilled, some prayers seem unanswered, and some circumstances seem unfair. This is not the end of the story”
    • This seems to align with the LGBTQ slogan of “It gets better”. (But…..God hates gay people apparently. ) How do you explain this to people that are bullied though? Are they not supposed to live in the here and now (and find a solution to their problems) but instead just wait. Until they die to deal with these issues? If God planned all these “bad things” that happen. What does this say about his actions? “Hey i’ll put you through a trial to test you. But life is temporary, so if you die i’ll take it up to you later” ?!
  • “In order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life – longings that will never be fulfulled on this side of eternity”
    • Why do you do this? Why do you sound like some needy girl/boyfriend? Why can’t you just let me be happy the way i am? Why do you have to make me feel sad so that i NEED you. You’re like some drug. You’re like a weed that doesn’t get me high, so that i need MORE of you. You sound like a toxic addiction.
  • “You will never feel completely satisfied on earth, because you were made for more. You will have happy moments here, but nothing compared with that God has planned for you”
    • So you’re telling me. That God planned for me to life with Anxiety and Depression so that I can be happy later on. Why. Why do you do this. Why can’t i be satisfied with the friends, family, and life that i love? Why must i keep picking on the imperfections and just live here and now!?
  • Side note. This author quotes C.S. Lewis a few times in this book. HOW IS THE WITCH, THE LION AND THE WARDROBE OKAY. BUT NOT HARRY POTTER. Is it because C. S. Lewis is a Christian apologist?! Because have i got a surprise for you?! J. K. ROWLING IS CHRISTIAN. i end my case. (You can read more about the religious debates of Harry Potter here)
  • It is a fatal mistake to assume that God’s goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it.”
    • I don’t know who told you that people who don’t believe are only concerned with the material life. But i can guarantee you that there are some “believers” who are very concerned with the a materialistic lifestyle. So what does that say about them? So do they get to go to heaven or not?
  • “At death you won’t leave home – you’ll go home”
    • This just encourages suicide. If my life here is so bad. Why can’t i just kill myself so that i can “go home”?

Points to Ponder: This world is not my home.

It may not be yours. But it is mine. And i will spend every day making sure that my time here is useful and efficient. I will spend all the resources and power that i have to make the world a better place. I am a tutor and my role is to educate the kids of tomorrow and that’s what i’ll do as i live in the “here and now”

Ch 5: Seeing Life from God’s View

Before I start this chapter. I just wanted to document some thought I’ve had since the last time i read.

First is that i would like to take this from a neutral point of view, and i’m not trying to make it sound like God is a bad person. But….i just find the things that are being suggested in this book questionable. The things that are suggested about God’s decision don’t sound very fair, and suggest a “my way or the highway” life. It’s God’s decision. It always will be.

Second is just, some thoughts about the “trials”, or hardships that God puts people through. I’ve been told that people will always make it through these trials, and make them realize that they were stronger than before. Then what about the people that come out of these trials with decreased mental health, or decided to suicide? How does that work? So you’re telling me, specifically in the case of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, that God put him through a trial. He was already dealing with his mental health, and on top of that his dear friend died; that was God’s trial, and Chester will make it. But here’s the thing. Chester didn’t make it. Chester took his own life. He committed suicide. So what does this mean about God’s actions? Given that “It was all part of God’s plan”? Are you telling me that:

  1. God wanted Chester to go through the loss of his friend.
  2. and God planned for Chester to die? Or was it that the trial was too much and God was like “Woops. Chester died”. Where does God draw the line? Did God plan Chester’s death?
  3. And so there’s a ripple effect, because his family and fans are all mourning his death. So now we’re going through a trial too?
  4. Does that mean Chester’s death was a sacrifice for us to go through a trial? Was this God’s plan?

I just find it hard to believe that unfortunate deaths were all part of “God’s Plan”. Are you going to tell me that if Chester went to church and turned to Jesus to accept all that he has done Chester would have survived? Hm. Really makes you think doesn’t it.

How do i see my life? I wish to see life around me as a positive place. But of course, bad things happen everyday. And i believe that the bad things that happen, are the selfish acts of a single person/group of people. But positivity can travel for miles. I like to live in a such a way that i’m learning everyday, take in all different perspectives, and challenge those that don’t make sense to me so that i can understand. My major has taught me to think about the information presented to me in a more critical and scientific fashion. I would like to believe that i see this world in an unbias way. I understand that i have privilege, but that i’m also a minority based on my gender and race. This is how i view life.

  • “If i asked you how you picture life, what image would come to mind? That image is your life metaphor”
    • I would think that my life is either a blank piece of paper, or a “choose your ending” game/book. The blank of paper means that the type of colours you choose to fill your paper depends on your mood and how you decide to fill the world. If it’s more positive, then the palette would brighter colours. But if you’re having a hard time, then the colours maybe a darker shade. And you slowly fill in this piece of paper as you go on in life. The “choose your ending” game/book because you’re always given a good choice and bad choice (or better vs worst choice) and you have to pick one that you believe will help you get to the end the story, and hopefully you’ll get a happy ending. you won’t know if the choices were correct till the end. But that’s all part of the game. decision making. and using your feelings to figure out what makes sense to you. There are no instruction manuals or tutorials. just you.
    • Side note “If you see life as a battle or a game, winning will be very important to you” I would just like to add that my “choose your ending” game/book isn’t about ending. It’s about figuring our the stories, and the character development and learning the moral of the story.
  • “You may be basing your life on a faulty life metaphor. To fulfill the purposes God made you for, you will have to challenge conventional wisdom and replace it with the biblical metaphors of life. The Bible says, ‘Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God.'”
    • How do you determine what is considered “faulty”? Anything that isn’t in line with the words of God? I would also argue, that these “biblical metaphors” can also be replicated without the influence of religion and still have the same effect. I just find it hard to believe that my ideas of life, where i should treat everyone nicely and do good is considered “conventional”. Why do i need to subscribe to a religion in order to make my beliefs even better. 
  • “The Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God’s view on Life”
  • #1 “Life on earth is a Test” “God continually test’s people’s character, faith obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty”
    • This directly relates to what i wrote up top about Chester Bennington. What about those people that don’t pass the test. Because there are people that don’t make it. Are you telling me that God tests married couple’s commitment by giving them marital issues to deal with? What about the kids that come out of divorce families. Why. Are. You. Out. To. Test. Me. I’m not your guinea pig. I’m not a piece in your game. Why can’t you just let me make my own decisions and have the consequences come back and bite me. I can’t accept the fact that there’s a God out there, who purposely puts people through pain to make them learn. How is this any different from an abusive parent that kicks their kids out of their house? “IT’S A TRIAL. I’M TESTING YOUR CHARACTER.” Is this supposed to be a version of tough love? God loves you so he wants you to grow by making you go through tough situations? But again. How does it work with people that don’t make it? Were they weak? Or was that part of God’s plan. If God’s plan showed all along that the person won’t make it through the trial. Then why did God do it in the first place?
  • Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. You are always being tested. God constantly watches your response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment, and even weather!”
    • i would like to believe that my character developed just fine without the light of God. and i would like to continue to think that my character would continue to grow in a positive direction. i would also like to argue that there are still people that develop their character through the light of God and are still shitty people. These tests do nothing. The results are inconclusive. Don’t mix causation with correlation. This is the basic of science.
  • “You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies”
    • Senseless tragedies: So you’re saying mass shootings (in elementary schools, in high schools, and clubs), suicides, and diseases are part of God’s plan and are challenges that he puts out for us. Where does God draw the line. Is global warming one of those tragedies? Because the whole world is going to die. What about the Richmond Dad that had his wife just pass away due to complications during child birth? Is that a trial? I’m not trying to say that bad things don’t happen in the world. Because they do. The world isn’t just rainbows, sunshine, and lollipops. But why is it, that God is the one creating all of this. Why does he create all this pain? Did we all vote on this or something?
  • “A very important test is how you act when you can’t feel God’s presence in your life. Sometimes God intentionally draws back, and we don’t sense his closeness”
    • Well God has drawn back from my life for the past 25 years and i’ve been doing fine. I live my life with a critical eye, I don’t (or at least try not to) judge people from their skin colour, sexual preferences. I’m caring and funny. I developed all of this, without the light of God. I think i’ll be fine. As a matter of fact. His “re-entry” (if this is what you would to call it) has only further confirmed that i don’t need him in my life. and i’m fine without him.
  • “When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life”
    • I pity the fool that lives life insignificantly. No one does that. Maybe if they’re depressed, but at that point these people need some assistance. But are you saying that people that don’t take on God’s trial, live an insignificant life?!
  • “The good news is that God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows the test you face to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them”
    • This doesn’t explain suicides. Are suicides God’s miscalculations? But i thought God had it all figured out. Then why do people suicide? Or did God know they were gonna suicide and then decided to proceed anyways?
  • “Every time you pass a test, God notices and makes plans to reward you in eternity”
    • So i guess Chester isn’t making it to heaven? Well shit. But Chester is a good person. But wait. If God wants you to pass. but people fail. what happens to them?
  • #2 “Life on earth is a Trust” “Our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships and resource are all gifts from God that he has entrusted to our care and management.”
    • he entrusted these traits to a Agnostic Atheist. and i’ve been doing just fine.
  • “We never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans the earth to us while we’re here. It was God’s property before you arrived, and God will loan it to someone else after you die. You just get to enjoy it for a while”
    • Why does God sound more and more like an abusive parent. If you’re not good I’ll take it away. You need to return everything back to me because you’re only borrowing from me. Enjoy it while you can, because i’m gonna give you a trial by kicking you out. Good luck?! If nothing that i carry with me is mine, then what’s even the point?! It’s like renting a car or a house and never buying something to call your own and you’ve worked hard for!? Also if the earth belongs to God, then WHY GLOBAL WARMING!? Is his next plan to kill off all the Polar Bears?! Does God hate Polar Bears?!
  •  “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?”
    • I’m. Sorry!? Everything that I’ve done up to this point in my life. I’ve earned and deserved it. I finished my schooling. I fought for my cats. I take care of my friends. I accomplished everything that i own. And i will be proud of everything that i’ve done and accomplished on my own. even if it’s wrong. because i put my blood sweat and tears into it. Don’t take credit away from all the work, blood, sweat, and tears i’ve put into everything i own today. I. Did. It. All. On. My. Own. (Thank. You. Very. Much)
  • (Author continues to talk about how a couple in Hawaii let him and his wife use their vacation home. The author used all the amenities in the house and took special care of it because it’s not theirs”
    • Well duh. isn’t that just called common courtesy!? I believe you can learn this outside of the bible and believe that God just lends you stuff. i would really question the people that don’t live like that……
  • “Our culture says, ‘if you don’t own it, you won’t take care of it’ But Christians live by a higher standard: ‘Because God owns it, I must take the best care of it that i can'”
    • Okay first. Wait what? I don’t take care of something……because it’s not mine? Um i think thats just bad parenting. Also. some Christians don’t take care of their shit either. So don’t make this a “religious issue”. Please go ask Donald Trump why he’s not taking care of the earth (Trump is a professed Presbyterian). I take care of all my stuff. My physical health, my mental health, my friends, my family. All of it. But here’s my favourite part ladies and gentleman, “But Christians live by a higher standard.” There we go. People that aren’t Christian. Is clearly. not good enough. I can’t belong on that high standard. I’m sorry. I’ll just stay down here. thanks. I don’t want to be up there anyways.
  • “That means everything you do even simple daily chores, has eternal implications. If you treat everything as a trust, God promises three rewards in eternity. First, you will be given God’s affirmation: He will say, ‘Good job! Well done!’ Next, you will receive a promotion and be given greater responsibility in eternity: ‘I will put you in charge of many things.’ Then you will be honoured with a celebration: ‘Come and share your Master’s happiness.’ “
    • if chores have eternal implications, then i’m clearly going to hell. Why does the three rewards sound like i’m working in an office. you’re telling me that i will spend the ages of 22 ish to 60 ish grinding away for the same approval at work ONLY TO DO IT AGAIN?! Hm,
  • “Most people fail to realize that money is both a test and a trust from God” “God watches how we use monty to test how trustworthy we are”
    • so….are student loan debts a test and clear sign that i can’t take care of money well!? cuz shit. i needed an education, so that i can be even more unemployed than before. woops. That second line though. Honestly sounds like one of those Televanglist lines. “PLANT YOUR SEED WITH ME FOR $1000 AND YOUR MONEY WILL GROW!”
  • How i manage my money (“worldly wealth”) determines how much God can trust me with spiritual blessings (“true riches”). Let me ask you: Is the way you manage your money preventing God from doing more in your life? Can you be trusted with spiritual riches?”
    • well then. I guess i’m not deserving of spiritual blessings because i was shit with money.

Points to Ponder: Life is a test and a trust

Why, do i need to be tested all the time. I find this test. invalid. I’ve already raised my points about people failing the test because suicide. If anything. This realization about God and faith is a test. and i would say that i’m passing right now. because it’s only strengthening my beliefs. so. Thanks i guess? All part of God’s plan right? mmmmhmmm….really makes you think.

ch. 4

This chapter is called “made to last forever”. i’m also gonna switch things around, because putting the quotes before my response seems like a better way to read this lol

  • “Earth is the staging area, the preschool, the tryout for your life in eternity”
    • Sorry, no. I believe in reincarnation. Though I do agree with the line “This life is preparation for the next” it’s just that the next for me isn’t eternity. It’s my next life.
  • “The reason we feel we should life forever is that God wired our brains with that desire!”
    • nope. not me. living forever sounds sad to me to be honest. I feel like if i lived a full life and completed most of the things on my bucket list. i would be ready to die any time. (i’m not saying i want to die. i’m just saying that i don’t think living forever sounds fun)
  • “While Life on earth offers many choices, eternity offers only two: heaven or hell. Your relationship to God on earth will determine your relationship to him in eternity. If you learn to love and trust God’s Son, Jesus, you will be incited to spend the rest of eternity with him. On the other hand, if you reject his love, forgiveness and salvation, you will spend eternity apart from God forever.”
    • LOL, can someone tell me why this sounds like a popularity contest or like a party that everyone wants to get in on lol. like. you either love him and you get to come to our party. or….you go to hell. kthxbye. like. hm. so it’s all or nothing? it sounds like some preppy popular school boy that’s in love with some girl that’s rejecting him. “you don’t like me susan?! well fuck you too!”
  • “Tragically, many people will have to endure eternity without god because they chose to live without him on earth”
    • So first you tell me that my life will be meaningless, and will have no purpose. and now you tell me that my life will be tragic. some “God of Love” you are….
  • “When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realize that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to life differently”
    • So again. reincarnation. but i honestly don’t see the problem with living in the here and now. like. am i supposed to tell my friends, hey. sorry. i’m preparing for eternity. so. i’m gonna make sure you go to heaven and i go heaven and i’ll just meet you there? i would much rather say everything that i need to say and treat everyone that i love with the utmost respect before i die and never see them again. i live in there here and now because 活在當下 (Carpe diem) and 珍惜眼前人 (Cherish the people in front of you)
  • “If you time on earth were all there is to your life, I would suggest you start living it up immediately. You could forget about being good and ethical, and you wouldn’t have to worry about any consequences of your action”
    • okay hold up. just because i don’t believe in God and i don’t live my life preparing for “eternity” doesn’t mean that i live a life where i forget to be good or ethical. This is a horrible horrible misconception of people that aren’t faith. and might i add. very unfair. I life a good life, i am ethical. (so ethical that i choose to purchase fair trade products and that don’t support animal testing #Lush). Everyday i live thinking about the consequences of my actions and my words. so PUH-LEEZ. just because i don’t plan for going to heaven or hell doesn’t mean i live carelessly. (also reincarnation)
  • “The most damaging aspect of contemporary living is short-term thinking. To make the most of your life, you must keep the vision of eternity continually in your mind and the value of it in your heart.”
    • Well if trying to plan out 10 years down the road is “short-term” i don’t know what you would consider “long-term”. like literally FOREVER?! i don’t know about that. why even try to plan out life for that long when things can change any moment. just as an example. TRIGGER WARNING I mean one minute you were sitting at your school, and the next minute you’re getting shot up. are you telling me that was part of God’s plan for those children. and in that moment are they supposed to plan for the long-term and worry about going to church? I would say that their “short-term” plan of battling gun rights is absolutely perfect. If those children aren’t living for the “here and now then what else should they be living for?
  • “What is it going to be like in eternity with God? Frankly, the capacity of our brains cannot handle the wonders and greatness of heaven. It would be like trying to describe the Internet to an ant. It’s futile”
    • okay wait. this sounds like a sketchy party. Some guy is telling you “hey bro lets go to this party it’s so awesome” “okay what’s gonna happen there” “i unno it’s so awesome that i can’t even comprehend!” “well what’s that supposed to mean?! like a chocolate fountain? ice sculpture? all you can eat!? open bar!?” “IT’S JUST SO GREAT.”………..i don’t know man. doesn’t sound very convincing to me. if anything. stranger danger LOL
  • “In heaven we will be reunited with loved ones who are believers, released from all pain and suffering, rewarded for our faithfulness on earth, and reassigned to do work that we will enjoy doing.”
    • i don’t know… being reincarnated and then reunited with my family in my next life sounds like a better story than just meeting up at heaven. Can you imagine getting there and thinking “oh hey it’s mom and dad! and aunty and billy, and wait where’s unc……oh……hm i see” or. “OH HEY IT’S MY BFF! and yes! i don’t see Joanne! I KNEW SHE WAS A BITCH”
  • “God has a purpose for your life on earth, but it doesn’t end here. His plan involves far more than the few decades you will spend on this planet”
    • Sounds like God is a better writer than J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series, and even the LOTR and Hobbit series.
  • “Just as the nine months you spent in your mother’s womb were not an end in themselves but preparation for life, so this life is preparation for the next”
    • holy shit this sounds like a matrix plot line. you accidentally take the red pill and then you wake up from the matrix LOL
  • “The deeds of this life are the destiny of the next”
    • this i agree with. but i didn’t need a bible to tell me that.

Points to Ponder: There is more to life than just here and now.

I agree. But i also think there is more than planning for an afterlife we can’t even “comprehend” If anything “here and now” should take up the larger portion of life because you want to make sure you treat people that are dear and important to you well when they’re still here, instead of worrying about if they’ll go to heaven and whether you’ll meet the there