Faith no more.

2014-Apr-08, Tuesday 11:43 pm
avron: (Default)

Last week didn't seem like a good choice for me to post this entry. The date could have caused some confusion.
I no longer consider myself a Christian.
Over the past year especially I've found my opinion on a number of things changing to be in contrast to that of accepted Christian doctrine. I also happen to be very aware that aspects of my behaviour don't sit right with what they "should" be for a Christian, and while I had internal conflict about some of that previously I've come to the conclusion I prefer to be as I am, and thus claiming Christianity isn't something I should be doing. I am well aware this will be surprising to most people, and I'm also aware there's probably going to be a few questions coming my way about this.

I spent most of my weekend feeling sorry for myself, I came down with a cold and missed out on TableTop day. Having been up at 0500 Friday and going out to a party that night probably made me a bit more susceptible to whatever it was. The fact I once again stayed out until the early hours of the following morning instead of heading back home after a couple of hours like I intended was the bigger thing, I think I ended up awake for nearly 23 hours, barring maybe 10 minutes of nap during my lunch break. If it had been almost any other weekend I'd have only one regret about being out that late, and that would be me not participating in the theme of the party.

Last Wednesday night I learnt how to play Caverna, which to an extent is Agricola 2.0. I don't feel any particular need to go back to it, although I will if others want to. For the most part there seems to be too many options each turn with easily 10 things a turn seeming like equally useful things to do.


2010-Sep-23, Thursday 09:03 pm
avron: (bike)
This week at the small group the topic up for discussion was contentment and how many people have issues because they're not content with what they have. Especially in the western world. Ironically enough I feel many of my "problems" have been due to me being too content with the way my life is. Most people want more and more stuff, partly due to advertising, and find themselves discontent with their lives even though masses of people elsewhere in the world would consider our lives to be luxurious. It seems that I've missed out on that particular motivating factor, to a large extent anyway. The only thing I've been really discontent about for the past six months is my PC and how slow it has become. But after six months I've done nothing to fix it, I continue to complain on occasion, but I haven't spent any money even though I know almost exactly what I want and have done from early on. Especially after the recent economic downturn I've been very disinclined to go looking for a better job, partly because I know I'm fortunate to have a job at all. And yet it's been more than six years now that I've been working where I am and I have said from very early on that I should be doing something else.
I suppose my contentment boils down more to the fact that I detest change. Even though I know that change can be good, some of it very good, I actively avoid seeking it out most of the time, regardless of possible motivations. I still feel surprise when I look back to me joining two new game groups, SAGA in May and the WNGs at the start of 2008. I knew nobody at either when I first went along, they were at places I was unfamiliar with and to some extent I didn't know what I'd be doing there (specifically what games would be played.) I am now glad I went along to each, the WNG sessions especially, as I've been able to play a lot of games I would never have otherwise seen and I have friends that I likely wouldn't ever have met otherwise.

In less introspective thoughts... I've got work tomorrow, for the fourth day this week. I could have worked this morning (or afternoon) as well but when it had been more than six months since I last did more than three days in a week I wasn't wanting to go four in a row. Looking back over the past 18 months I've only had more than three days a week twice until this week. That lack of income can also reflect on my level on contentment, I expect a normal person would be very unhappy with such a limited income but it has provided me with enough to eat and pay rent with some discretionary funds left over.

On the whole I'm becoming less and less content as the months go by. Realising that there are things I want to do but can't. People I want to spend time with but can't, or that I don't feel up to contacting. The ever increasing awareness of how much of my life is wasted time with nothing to show for it.
Second guessing myself about other people continues to be an issue as well, I don't think I'm ever going to feel even remotely confident in reading what others want or think.

Get to Heaven

2010-Jul-18, Sunday 10:40 pm
avron: (door)

For the past decade or so I've owned a CD with a song that gets me thinking almost every time I hear it.
The song in question has, as a repeated lyric, the line "Get to Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you're dead." (Apparently an old Irish blessing.)
Even before making the decision for Christ that I did just over four years ago now that seemed like a bad standpoint to have. Surely it would be better to have the Devil rejoicing at the moment of your death because you would no longer be in a position to lead people to Christ? Being in heaven for 30 minutes before he was to notice would surely be an indication that you weren't having much positive influence. Although it would also mean that you weren't leading people astray which is a little bit good I suppose.

In more journal oriented stuff...

  • I didn't end up doing anything radical over the past month unless a trip almost to Geraldine counts. One of the Chch boardgame players organised a gathering for a lot of South Canterbury families and I volunteered to go along and help teach some of them. With the combination of 90 minutes on the road and the mass of people I didn't know in an unusual environment I spent much of the evening feeling unwell. I did however come away from the evening having played Hey! That's My Fish! which I'm now vacillating on as far as purchase is concerned and I was given a copy of one of the games I've enjoyed since first playing it during my first Hanmer Springs gamesfest.
  • I continue to attend SAGA game evenings, and will likely be going twice a week unless the other two want to play on either of those nights. That means that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I will be playing games for at least some of each evening and with small group starting up again I won't be as bored in the evenings for quite a while. The Buckets of Dice event last weekend wasn't quite what I wanted it to be, but considering the high bias towards RPGs it wasn't surprising, and I did get to play a few games while I was there, including one new game that I haven't yet seen at the Wednesday night sessions.
  • After a month of missing Mainly Music because of work, the past two weeks it wasn't on because of the holidays and I didn't have work. From what I saw of the board at work on Friday it seems that there will likely be work this week as well, which realistically shouldn't surprise me. There is one particular job that goes through every week requiring enough staff that if anything else is also being done all the casuals can work.
  • I quit playing Heroes of Might and Magic III and progressed to Heroes of Might and Magic IV before giving up on that quickly and installing Warbreeds and playing about half of one campaign. I also finished watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and after watching the first season of Murphy Brown I've now started watching the original Star Trek, most of which I expect to have seen but not for a very long time.
  • I would like to find myself attracted to women with whom I might have a chance at making a relationship work.

Going AWOL?

2010-Jan-25, Monday 10:38 pm
avron: (initial)

I'm currently thinking about missing all RBC things for much of next month. Church services, Mainly Music from when it starts back up, small group, and anything else that might come up. Basically I'd still work whenever I could (and wanted to) and I'd still go play games on Wednesday nights, but the rest of my "social" life would end or change.

My attitude to being at RBC hasn't really been what it ought to be for a long time now and after not going to any other services anywhere since shortly after I shifted in here three years ago (and even before that I only attended 15 months of evening services at SBC, mostly because I wanted to see a friend more often) I've become very accustomed to one particular way of things. Practically every Sunday morning is the same; I show up a little early, tidy the Children's Church room a little and then sit through the first part of the service until the children leave. Then I spend 40 minutes or so with them and the leaders before maybe heading back to the main service for the last of the singing. Even over the holiday break without a regular program for the children I've still spent all but one week helping in some way. Last year (and at some other point as well) I was thinking that I'd take a term, or at least some of a term, off of helping and stay in the main service for the entire time. I think that happened once as I would consistently end up heading out to help anyway. As such, the only way I'm likely to spend an entire service actually in the service is if I'm at a different church. Back when I was going to the evening services at Spreydon I had trouble paying attention to the entire service and expect that it would be worse now but there's going to be no better way to change that than to try.

At core it comes down to a realisation that my attitude to Church isn't what it ought to be. I've been going to church for three main reasons, 1 - to spend time with people I consider friends, 2 - to get out of my flat, and 3 - to play. While I see none of that as implicitly bad, I'm also sure that none of it is anywhere on the list of why I should be going to church. Apart from possibly the spending time with people, but when the typical church outlook is that we are to "fellowship" together and I don't really interact with anyone on a significant level I don't think what I do counts.
There's also the fact that I've been spending a lot of time with the youth and to at least some extent could be seen as a role model to them. Something that I shouldn't be to anyone considering the way I choose to live. No, that's not an indication I'm going out drinking, doing drugs or the like, just that I'm barely inclined to work a proper job or do anything with the purpose of improving my life or the lives of others. Nearly everything I do is motivated by my own selfish desires and laziness.

Today was a good day.

2008-Apr-19, Saturday 11:56 pm
avron: (Play)
I slept for most of the first 10 hours after actually going to bed just after midnight, the earliest I've bothered with bed on a Friday night for quite some time. My flatmate was washing dishes from not long after which meant the kitchen bench was almost clean when I finally left my room, a nice change from the pile of dishes that accumulates.
Early in the afternoon I went to the mall to meet up with my sister, brother-in-law, and a few others that I haven't really seen much of over the past year or more. After largely listening to them all talk about various things we watched Futurama - Bender's Big Score and shortly after that I left for my evening plans.
My church held a Passover meal tonight, with about half the time dedicated to the traditional meal and the symbolism of it all and then about the same amount of time was spent with people eating a normal meal and talking etc. I got to sit at the big kids table, mainly youth group age children, to make up numbers. The Youth Pastor had arranged to have 13 sitting there as that was how many were at the Last Supper. I was at what would be considered the head of the table in our society but the 'head' in those days was off to my right.
Since coming back to my flat I caught up on a few things online again, spent a while adding/updating series information at LibraryThing and generally spent the time messing about as I do.

Since the last entry nearly two weeks ago I have ...
  • Been bowling again, with slightly poorer scores than is usual (and no left hand bowling as I forgot until half way through the second game).
  • Had a shorter than normal gaming session on Wednesday night, during which I won a game of Settlers of Catan by gaining 4 points in my last turn. It was also the quickest I remember any game being with the physical set.
  • Spent a little under an hour at the A&E and then another hour or so with a friend after waking up late on Thursday to find a text message telling me that she was hit by a car as she was riding her scooter to 'course'. She is fine apart from being sore which is good for all concerned.
  • Taken a couple of days off (the Wednesday and Thursday just mentioned) partially in an attempt to avoid working on a particular magazine, only to find it waiting when I arrived in the next day.
  • Had Sunday lunch at the home of a couple from church that I've known almost since I started attending but don't really have anything to do with. Each year (maybe twice a year) the church has a "Who's Coming to Dinner" event where people go to the houses of other members and generally socialise. As is typical I didn't really talk or eat much but I was happy to have gone.
  • Left work early thinking I would go to the Community Lunch my church has each Tuesday and then help a couple of friends clean up the "Little Nuggets" (3-4 year olds) room at church. I ate a sandwich for lunch and then went to help, where I actually spent most of the time just sitting there as I didn't really have any idea what they would want to get rid of.
  • Instead of attending the game session this week I attended a Combined Small Group meeting with Ross Bartlett, whom I know spoke last year but I don't remember. I spent most of the time by myself at the back of the church moving around so I could keep my leg in motion, since Monday morning it had been sore.
  • Finally seen "Superman Returns" after never getting around to watching it in the cinema when it was released.
  • Received an indication that I might be considered a better worker than at least one of the permanent staff. The job I was doing on Thursday involved a section in the magazine that wouldn't go through the hoppers as intended, and even after half an hour of trying to get it to work right the operator left me there with that hopper instead of swapping myself and the permanent staff member.
  • Purchased another half dozen Star Trek books on TradeMe. (Now I'm going to have to go through the shelves and resort the books, again. I had managed to get everything looking almost perfect.)

At Hillsong

2007-Jul-05, Thursday 04:58 pm
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I'm sitting at the internet cafe situated at the the Hillsong Conference, being held in the Acer Arena (formally the Sydney Superdrome). It seems my cellphone was only half setup for roaming, so I can recieve phone calls and text messages but am unable to send either. Mildly annoying, and the main reason I haven't yet updated by voice. Something I may be rectifying tonight or tomorrow, maybe.

The first couple of days over here were fairly relaxed, although walking to the hotel from the train station on Saturday morning wasn't wise, I had agreed based on the mistaken impression of the relative closeness. Since Monday afternoon I've spent almost no time awake away from where I am now or the second hotel (apart from travelling between them) and am about ready to head home, or at least somewhere other than here.
I don't really know why, but I seem to be intending to come back next year (I've had most of the registration form filled out since some point on Tuesday). As of this moment I haven't had any revelations, there hasn't been any teaching leap out at me as worth the trip in and of itself, and I haven't discovered a love of travel. I have enjoyed my time over here though and am glad I came this time.
There hasn't been any real issues with the mass of people though which has been very good. I had expected the first day here at the conference to leave me feeling completely surrounded and overwhelmed, especially during the night rallies which have seen the arena almost completely packed twice a night. I did miss the first of them last night (and am missing the first of today's right now) however so I should continue to be fine.

Trips to game stores were largely a waste of time though, very limited selection (only marginally more than I had seen available in NZ) and almost nothing I was the least bit interested in that I didn't already own. The woman at the first store hadn't even heard of BoardGameGeek which I found quite surprising.

My companions on the trip have all commented on my reading, so far I've read three of the "Belgariad" books completely in the six days over here (including the plane flight) and finished the first at the beginning of that flight. The fact I've been wearing my socks with days on them has also led to a few comments, basically along the lines of "You should wear the Friday socks on Thursday".

Time's running out. An hour on-line passes quickly when it's been almost a week. Until I return to NZ and have the opportunity to post a fuller description of things, good bye.
avron: (Default)
I'm going to be away for the weekend, visiting my parents, as my sister and brother-in-law are going to be down during their visit to New Zealand. I may be back in the city for a couple of Church services on Friday and Sunday mornings but apart from that will likely be away until I need to be back for work. Which may soon be more permanent, I may be applying for a position at the place I work instead of being there through a temp agency.

Once again my lack of forethought has hurt someone that was close to me and another relationship is over. I'm beginning to think I was better off when I didn't spend time with people, no one was hurt by me (as far as I knew anyway) and I didn't feel bad because things weren't going wrong with friends. I'm likely to be quite depressed for the next week if not more due to this one.

It seems more and more likely that I'll be in Australia during the first week of July. Hillsong Conference is coming up and there's a number of people making it easier for me to attend. All things considered it seems likely that I'll get far more out of this year than I would have had a chance of doing so previous years when I was invited to go.

Big entry it seems.

2007-Mar-22, Thursday 03:04 pm
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I am, once again, without internet access in my room at this flat (for about a week I think). As such I'm currently using my flatmate's PC while he is at work and don't expect to be updating again for a while. If I understand the situation correctly the wireless hub isn't seeing the router properly anymore although the other way is working, basically I can connect to our network, but not the internet.

My Baptism itself went well on Sunday and most of those I invited showed up, one of those from Spreydon didn't and I'm yet to find out why although she could easily have had work or something else. Neither did my ex or her flatmate which was somewhat disappointing although understandable. I had a bad day health wise however, throwing up shortly before the service, luckily my breakfast had consisted of a single pancake because I wasn't feeling hungry at the restaurant I'd been taken out to by friends from church. Once I actually got up to speak things were okay though, I still felt uneasy but didn't lose my voice at all and nor did I feel as though my tongue was swelling up. What was even better was the somewhat unintentional laughs I got from a few people, mainly my friends.

This weekend I will be at the annual R18 Hanmer Springs trip, until Saturday evening, when I'm returning to the city so I can walk the City-to-Surf with a couple of friends from Spreydon Baptist. Before I return I am hoping to play at least one game of Blokus, which was my birthday present from my parents and a few games of Carcassonne. I may even go outside and play mini-golf or visit a river or something. Maybe.

I did work three days last week like I expected, and so far it seems that I'll manage five this week, something I'm not all that keen to do regularly. Although, if I do get taken on as a PMP casual instead of a Drake casual I may end up working more often because things should be sorted better as far as scheduling is concerned. I've been told by a few of the permanent staff that I should see about being taken on as one of the casual employees of the place I work at instead of the temp agency I currently get work through. If I do that there will be a pay rise (although some of that is the upcoming increase to minimum wage), and theoretically less cases of miscommunication but not much else will change apparently. I will still be able to take days off when I want and I'll still be one of the first to lose shifts if there isn't enough work, but more money would be good as would the somewhat increased certainty of work. I expect there would be something in the contract about staying for a certain length of time though as they'll apparently have to 'buy' me from the temp agency.

Once I'm done here I'll be heading back to my room to watch the last episodes of the fourth season of DS9. Or, I may cook first and then watch DVDs. For the past week or so I've been cooking sometime between 3 and 4 in the afternoon and not buying lunch at work. If it's causing any trouble I haven't noticed yet (the possible weight loss can easily be attributed to feeling ill most of Sunday and Monday).
avron: (dooky)
That's mostly due to not having internet access in my room up until last Thursday, on which day I had about 6 hours access before the router in my flat died. Since then I've been on-line for a while yesterday and today, slowly getting things updated after almost 3 months of reduced or non-existent access. Having decided to reformat my hard-drive about two weeks ago has also contributed to the amount that I'm updating, for some reason I was unable to watch DVD's at my PC after shifting in here and nothing else I tried had any effect. It wasn't actually just as simple as reformatting that fixed the problem either, I think XP SP2 was the big help.

Instead of buying a new monitor like I'd intended to I ended up purchasing six seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine recently and have been using the monitor that was left in the flat by the flatmate that left two weeks after I shifted in. I've spent a lot of the past several days watching the new DVD's, although if the internet connection had been working all of today and yesterday I'd have watched less of them and spent more time on-line resorting my life.

I now have less than five days until I will be getting baptised, one of those I wanted to be there is going to be elsewhere and one other hasn't replied at all so probably won't be coming but most are so I'm happy about the projected turnout. What I'm not so happy with is my inability to figure out what I want to say.
I also had the somewhat unexpected experience of finding myself almost unable to pray aloud at an intercessors meeting (that I hadn't realised I was attending). I've been aware for a very long time that I was uncomfortable speaking up with people around, I hadn't realised there was actually some sort of block in place.

This week will be the first that I don't do four days of work since coming back as there was nothing yesterday and only afternoon shift available today (which I didn't want to do), I should be getting three days though so I'll be fine. I have yet to receive any notification about the library job I applied for a month or so ago so I'm not at all hopeful about getting it. And on the topic of working, I need to go to bed, getting up at 5 am isn't something I want to do on less than five hours sleep and I don't know how long I'll be lying in bed before a sleep state is attained.

Change, change, change

2007-Feb-22, Thursday 04:49 pm
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I've now finished my third week of work since shifting back close enough to walk there. Four days a week which is what I was wanting to be doing before I went away during January so that's okay. More money from more hours would be nice, but would require more hours, not pleasant. It all seems as boring as it used to though and I'm confident the ability to do crosswords while I work is helping with my mental state.

My PC monitor died on Tuesday so I haven't been able to use my PC for 48 hours now and the change in how I'm spending my time will take a while to get used to. Even before it went though I've been reading more books again, and I completed a 1000 piece jigsaw (after a week or so I think) half an hour or so before the monitor stopped working. I haven't been out to play games again though which is disappointing, although I could be trying to arrange such an event here considering the place has been noticeably tidied since I shifted in.

I'm also more aware of specific upcoming expenses than I would normally be, having to buy a new monitor (and wanting an LCD), thinking about heading to Hillsong (and probably detouring to see Mr and Mrs. [ profile] bstratton while over in Oz), reconsidering my decision to not attend a wedding in Oz at the end of the year and my decision to buy a few specific books has my financial situation a little less positive than it looked a fortnight ago before I started thinking about these things.

Finally, on the quite divergent topic of faith, I'm thinking about being baptised on my birthday, which is now just under a month away. As of yet there hasn't been any discussions with either of the pastors at my church (besides my asking if it would be possible) but I'm hopeful things can work out in time. I've also started reading a little of my New Testament each day at work during the lunch break and am listening to a lot of Radio Rhema which has me feeling better about my walk. Having read Mere Christianity last weekend is also a part of that I think as will be realising that I made mistakes in my now defunct relationship that would possibly have been avoided if I hadn't stopped doing certain things that I've started again.
avron: (Default)
This week wasn't as full of work as it had seemed likely to, my Tuesday and Thursday shifts were cancelled. No prizes for anyone guessing where I spent significant portions of those days instead. I played Rapidough there on Wednesday night, Tamara and I beat the other pairing.

While at a wedding reception Saturday afternoon/evening my throat, which had been annoying me for a couple of days, actually got me to the point of feeling tired and blah. I'm feeling better at the moment but it still hurts a little. Apart from that aspect it was very good to see both halves of the happy couple after they'd been in Auckland for about six months. I got to hold two babies after the actual wedding service as well, a good afternoon there. Apart from the reception being outside and therefore cold by late afternoon that was mostly good as well. I was 'harassed' by someone new and may be dealing with such at subsequent church services as well.
Upon mentioning that I hadn't had a cake for the past 12 or so birthday's I was informed that at my next birthday I would have a cake, even if it needed to be sent somewhere.

A friendship that once seemed gone may be back. We've talked again, for a while, and while I doubt we'll be as close as we were it seems likely that we can get on well from now on.

I've been blessed by more things and (more importantly) people than I currently have time to list here. When I'm not as ill and not waiting to see my girlfriend that may change, I've heard it's good to count one's blessings.

thefridayfive - 22 September 2006
  1. Given a choice, and imagining that money and time were no object, would you rather cook dinner, eat out or order in? Cook, if I was doing so with someone that could cook properly.
  2. What is the most elaborate meal you've ever prepared yourself or purchased at a restaurant? I don't do elaborate.
  3. What food do you find yourself making and/or eating way too much? Chocolate.
  4. What was your most disastrous cooking/eating out experience? A pseudo double-date that I was unable to eat at due to feeling ill. I ended up spending at least half of that meal outside walking around while my "date" and the others ate their meals.
  5. Would you rather cook for someone else or have them cook for you? Have them cook for me. I expect the meal would be more interesting.
avron: (1981)
I went to the Greg Laurie Harvest tonight.

When the alter call came up (the second time) I got out of my seat and walked to the front.

I'm a Christian now.
avron: (cartoon)
The most dramatic things I've ever had to deal with has been the deaths of my Grandmothers and, when I was almost finished with High School, one of my cousins. Nothing else had come close until Sunday as far as what I now remember feeling although it's quite possible that other things happened that felt fairly serious at the time but no longer worry me at all. What happened on Sunday was (as best I can recall) the first thing to come close to being that dramatic. I won't be giving any specifics about it at all, here or in person because it's not my place to do so. I did however end up perturbed by it and should really have been giving it a lot of thought I expect. The main reason I'm bringing it up, besides wanting a reminder (for me personally) is the fact that it seems my lack of faith is going to be less and less of an issue over the coming year. Whatever it is holding me back from the decision so many of my friends want me to make is becoming weaker, this time next year I could be quite a different person.

Work is good again it seems, I'll have had work four days this week after doing three last week. I don't have any problem with missing this Monday considering the weather then and what I expect it would have been like at 5:30 that morning. One of the fire alarms went off early on Tuesday morning and that was cold enough for us while we waited in the car park. I do seem to be getting myself a little more rest than I used to which is good, the big issue's going to be whether I keep it up. For the most part I'm feeling well physically about it all as well, I don't have sore wrists the way I used to and my shoulders have only hurt intermittently so far.

After watching the TV3 documentary Secrets of the Sexes I decided to try myself on the test they mentioned. I was expecting to receive results indicating I'm fairly middle ground as far as "brain gender" is concerned, instead I was middle ground for the men. Part 3 and part 5 didn't really work though as I couldn't see the images that were supposed to come up, that could make a noticeable difference in the result if I was able to do them properly.
I think I may have been cutting back on TV even more just recently, apart from Friday nights and N.C.I.S. on Sunday I don't think I've actually been watching normal TV for a while now. I have been watching DVDs of Buffy and Angel though so there has been TV of a sort.

I'm thankful )

Since I got sick.

2005-Sep-15, Thursday 10:59 pm
avron: (cartoon)
I haven't had work all this week like I indicated last time would possibly be happening: I have instead worked Monday, had Tuesday off, worked Wednesday, had today off and will (unless I get a very late phone call) have tomorrow there again. This is three days of work compared to only two days over the past three months or so. I am therefore happy about the money, not spending so much time doing nothing and the fact I don't feel as worthless as not working leaves me. And as an attempt to try something a little different, does anyone know of any jobs that require no interpersonal skills and that basically entail sitting in front of a PC all day besides programming and the like?

I have now been ill for a week, but surprisingly only Friday and Saturday were really bad (and even that wasn't terrible, I was just even more apathetic and slothful than normal those days). I still cough reasonably often, my nose is blocked and my head has mostly come right although there is a dull ache (partly caused by me sitting in darkness right now).
By the time Sunday came around I was feeling good enough to go to church which was just as well as I'd probably have gone anyway so as to not miss the Sunday Funday experience. I ended up spending a small part of the speakers session as the centre of attention and was smiling about it because I was okay with the attention. I may even be able to get some of the Spreydon group to come along to the next one whenever it is, on Sunday night I was talking with one of that group (more getting asked questions and answering them the best I could) and she seemed to thing that it would have been fun.

I spent most of last night with a friend (and a significant portion of it with others as well) and the last hour or so of it was us talking. Greg Laurie was in the city yesterday for another Harvest meeting, the first (that I'm aware of anyway) was last year in October and apart from finding it too loud then I was glad I went. This year it still seemed loud (but not as bad, although being in the balcony this year may have been enough to make a difference), and I'm again glad that I went. Come the end of the event however there was what gets called an "alter call" if it happens in a church and I was getting nudged throughout that because my friend wants me to stop being an unbeliever. Hello friend. :)
I'm still not able to fully explain why I'm not a Christian and that was what most of our discussion involved after everything ended up. I've also been asked (and I ended up promising) to spend at least five minutes trying to come up with things I'm thankful for. Birds and the bees, flowers and the trees, that sort of thing. However I'm thinking (currently anyway) that what I tend to be thankful for are more ??? things. (I don't know what word I should be putting there, I thought it was ephemeral but that isn't right)
  • I have people in my life right now that are wanting me to be a better person, that means something fairly specific for most of them due to what they believe but they still want me to be happy. (Some are even being proactive in their own way ;)
  • As of yet my body hasn't really suffered from the torments I've put it through over the past year and a half thanks to the job I've had and I can't take credit for my general health.
  • I don't really want for anything material, I never have and I don't expect I ever will.
  • There are things I'm okay with now that even a year ago would have left me feeling so uncomfortable I'd have avoided them. Recently, for example, I performed in a video where at least part of the point was to be foolish, knowing full well beforehand that around 100 people would be seeing it. I also enjoyed myself during the filming.
  • I almost never feel bored, maybe it's because my mind shuts off to a limited extent or maybe I actually do start thinking, regardless of what happens though I can spend long periods of time just sitting (or standing) somewhere and be quite at peace with the lack of activity. It's fairly handy in my line of work too, I spent nearly an hour on Wednesday waiting for the machine to start up again and even when they are going it's almost the same thing for seven hours of the shift.

Well now, bed time, and it's not really close to midnight yet. Maybe I'll finally be able to start getting a reasonable amount of sleep each week without resorting to 12 hour sleep sessions on Wednesdays and Saturdays the way I was trying to for the first half of the year.
avron: (dooky)
I was the centre of attention for quite a while on Monday night and dealt with it far better than I would have even a year ago I think. After Hillsong happening a couple of weeks back the R18 leaders are already thinking about next year and the possibility of other people going with them. I was asked if I was likely to go and after saying no was asked why. There was three main reasons for me to not want to go (1. I don't like to travel, 2. I won't have the money and 3. I'm not a Christian) and upon hearing the third a discussion was started about why I'm not a Christian even though I do attend church twice most Sundays, attend the R18 things (R18 is basically a study group for young adults) and have mostly Christian friends.

As [ profile] arkore pointed out during the discussion I'm better able to explain myself in writing than spoken words and so I'm going to try and sort things out here.

From a strictly literal viewpoint what I believe means that I should be a Christian. I consider evolution to be man's best attempt at denying the existence of God, regardless of the flaws inherent in the theory. The Big Bang seems to me to be patent nonsense, nothing cannot create something out of nothing, and "cause and effect" would need to be considered regarding how time and space got started if our universe is all there is. I'm also unwilling to discount the spiritual side of life that many people (Christians and others) claim to have experienced, whether once or many times.
If God is responsible for the creation of the Universe, planet Earth and all of us mortal beings, the start of creation issues that I just mentioned become non-issues. Cause and effect aren't relevant to the start of everything we know as He exists outside of it and "cause and effect" are the result of His creation, not necessary to its existence.

The biggest single factor in why I'm not a Christian is, to me at least, the fact that I've never felt His presence. In the nearly nine years since I first started doing "church" things I have never heard a voice telling me that I should do one particular thing over all the other possibilities. I have never felt that I was being led to do anything specific. I have gradually become a better adjusted person but that can be attributed more to the fact that by doing church things I was also associating with people on a semi-regular basis and therefore needing to adapt or go home. I am for example more willing to talk to people I don't know although I'll still normally just sit at the back or to one side and listen, even with people I do know.

Something I expect most of my current circle of friends won't be aware of is the fact that I spent two years thinking I was a Christian. After I started going to church before I finished high school I "gave my life to God" and carried on my merry way. The only thing in my life that changed noticeably after that "conversion" was the fact I applied to the Navy intending to become an Electronics Technician. Everything else, from my interactions with friends, teachers and my parents, through to my scholastic habits didn't change in the slightest. I realise that becoming a Christian isn't guaranteed to change a person dramatically instantly, but after two years of me being the same person I realised that I hadn't changed and my conversion was a delusion I'd had.

That really doesn't seem to explain anything well. After coming back to it all through the day however I expect it is the best I'm likely to manage without specific questions to answer and I don't remember any from the discussion that eventuated. I'll try and answer questions and explain my viewpoint if anyone cares enough to comment on this post, otherwise it will likely fade away into obscurity.


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