Navigate: Born Again: The Complete Works
I was recently accused by some very fine military personnel of being a "dork", by which they meant I use words and phrases that are ... well, dorky. Frankly, I prefer "poetic", but be that as it may ...
Sharon also struggled somewhat with my, er ... poetry.
When you write, it takes me a while to fully understand what you are saying because your emails to me are very profound. In fact, all of your writings in your blogs are very profound that it takes a few readings for me to “truly” understand them. I guess you’re just a “profound guy” :). Or that, I’m slow to understand things! :) I’m surprised that you didn’t change your career choice to become a minister. You have a calling for it. Although I know that you do not have to have such title to minister to others, but you do have the calling for it!See? It's profundity! Which is waaaaay better than dorkiness. You go girl.
I absolutely love reading your responses to my emails. You have a special way of using God’s words to relay them to current situations. Please know that I am learning a lot from you and I do take it to heart all that you share with me in your letters. I also am continuously reading my Bible whenever I can, whether that is at work during my breaks or at home (hiding in the closet, most of the time). You mentioned about being “born again” and I have to tell you, that’s a word that I am still struggling with for several reasons. First, I don’t really know what it means. Second, I have met quite a few “born again Christians” in my lifetime and, frankly, some of them have scared me. I don’t know what “born again” is like. When I met you, I knew that you were “one of those people”, because you told me. Why that didn’t scare me away from you then, I don’t know. But all memories aside, “born again” has always had a negative connotation, for me. But if that is what I’m going to go thru or will be going thru, I guess it’s really not so bad. I’m still not sure what I’m going thru, to be honest. I’m scared to think that it is only a phase ...This is not the first time I have heard of this complaint about the effect of the so-called "born-agains". I've never heard any Christian describe themselves using "born-again" as a noun, and Sharon wasn't using it this way here. But I have heard it so used in other places, generally as a perjorative. Like this for example:
The problem with this, of course, is that being born again actually is a crucial, biblical event, and it was critical that Sharon grasp its true meaning. I would need to walk her through that, but we'll save that for the next installment.
My husband just told me that he thinks I’m "weird". I have been contemplating sharing with him all the e-mails we have exchanged so that maybe it can explain what I am “going through” but I do not know if he will respond to it the way that I’d like him to respond to it. I’ve tried to explain to him why I have suddenly felt the need to explore my faith, but whenever I talk to him, I just get so emotional that nothing seems to come out right.All emerging Christians struggle with the question of how to relate to their friends and families, and especially spouses! Those early days may be filled with reckless enthusiasm, sheer terror, or some weird mixture of both. How to feed the enthusiasm, overcome the terror, and mold the recklessness into purposeful boldness ... well honestly I still struggle with that! Another huge issue to deal with in my response. But Sharon had more to say:
But like I said in my last email, I think I became more curious about my Christian faith while I spent some mornings just meditating in my daughter’s school coffee shop. There are lots of Christian books there to read and again, the music is soothing. (I have to say though that Starbucks latte is better, but I’m not really there for the coffee, am I?).Editor's note: She's already more spiritual than I am ... I'm always there for the coffee. Just sayin'. She continued:
There was a small book of quotes in there on a man named John Wesley. All I know of John Wesley is that he is the founder of the denomination that my family practices, Methodism. Unfortunately, I do not know anything else about him. I just picked up the book and started reading and one of his quotes struck a chord:Sharon was still searching for peace, but she now understood that true peace is more than an inner, emotional cease-fire. Sharon sought the only kind of peace that matters: eternal, saving, redeeming peace offered to all who believe by the Lord God Almighty. Despite her hangup with the phrase, she was experiencing her spiritual rebirth ... and was willing to risk a little "weirdness" for it.
“In my return to England, Jan. 1738, being in imminent danger of death and very uneasy on that account, I was strongly convinced that the cause of that uneasiness was unbelief and that gaining a true, living faith was the one thing needful of me.”There was something about that sentence that started to make me think about my own “uneasiness” about death. And then, this is one of the things you said to me in one of your emails:
“I have come to understand over the years that what we all seek is assurance of our salvation and our relationship to God.”One more quote: The last chapter of “Jesus Without Religion” says:
“Having read through the Gospel, you should have seen a clear message and mission emerging from the ministry of Jesus: redemption”I don’t think I need to say more. They’re all pointing to the same thing. I need to do THIS. I want to do this. Otherwise, I will never be at peace.
Next: Born Again 13: God's in the Heart-Changing Business