If you have watched the news lately, you’ll see that they have shown a video of Osama bin Laden that predicts more pain and evil will come upon the U.S. and that this is in response to the prayers of Palestinian mothers. That video sickens me as does the commentary which is mostly pro-Israel and not much in favor of the Palestinians. Ariel Sharon commented that he wishes that he had killed Yassir Arafat twenty years ago, which was probably not the best thing to say. My friend Brian has commented frequently on the hopelessness of the situation and I’m starting to see his point very clearly.
The painful part spiritually is that we are all worshipping the same deity and it breaks my heart into pieces every time I hear someone invoke God’s name in these fights. This is a God who wants us to come to Him and who wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I cannot fathom a God who does not consider it justice to treat one’s neighbors with dignity even if they are not Christian, Muslim, or Jewish like everyone else. Granted, we are called to spread the Gospel to all nations but we are to do this lovingly and not by the sword. We are called to deal justly with people and if you’ve looked at the history of the land battle in Israel, you do have to agree that the Palestinians have been dealt with less than justly. In 1948, they stood to have about 58% of the land in “Israel” and that has shrunk dramatically. It’s like owning a room of a house but not being able to go out into the hall because your enemy owns the hall.
A lot of my criticism of bin Laden is the fact that Islam preaches that there is no compulsion in religion. (I’m not sure of the surah where that is found in the Qur’an.) Bin Laden wants us out of Saudi Arabia (which is not an unreasonable demand) but his reasoning is that we are polluting the Holy Land because we are a non-Muslim presence on Muslim soil. It’s kind of interesting to me that Jews and Christians lived in that land for 1200 years without engaging in conflict with the Muslim populations there. I feel that bin Laden wants all of us to become Muslim because it’s all about spreading the message of Islam. His tactics however violate the concept of non-compulsion. Most (and I mean all non-Wahhabi) Muslims consider us equal to them in the eyes of God and believe that if we are faithful to our religion, we will be in Paradise with them. It saddens me that a small percentage are so violent just as it saddens me that such a small percentage of evangelical Christians like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Fred Phelps spoil the view of Christianity for the rest of us.
The other thing I am just struggling with is the events of September 11th. I really never fully dealt with them and the day just seemed so surreal because I was in so much shock. I never believed that people could be so evil as to fly a plane with innocent people on it into a building where thousands of people worked!!! It saddens me that evil could be so present in one person like bin Laden who rejoiced at seeing all of this take place. Granted, we are a rich and spoiled country and we really need to evaluate the way we use resources and promote materialism but… does that really warrant killing thousands of innocent people as a protest??? Now, bin Laden is saying that this level of terror will continue to punish the USA. At first it seemed like the attacks were a personification of 1 Corinthians 1:27 where it says that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. I’m not saying that the events of 9/11 were God’s punitive attacks on the U.S.A. but one has to admit that the plans were not that technologically advanced. They took away our national security (which would have been better placed had it been in the LORD than in our fancy weaponry) and it is awful to live in fear of such attacks happening again.
Sometimes my life just don’t make sense at all/ When the mountains look so big /And my faith just seems so small/ So hold me Jesus ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf/ You have been King of my glory/ Won’t you be my Prince of peace/ And I wake up in the night and feel the dark/ It’s so hot inside my soul I swear/ There must be blisters on my heart/ So hold me Jesus ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf/ You have been King of my glory/ Won’t you be my Prince of peace/ Surrender don’t come natural to me/ I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want/ Then to take what You give that I need/ And I’ve beat my head against so many walls/ I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees/ And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn/ And your grace rings out so deep/ It makes my resistance seem so thin/ So hold me Jesus ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf/ You have been King of my glory/ Won’t you be my Prince of peace?
-“Hold Me Jesus” — Rich Mullins
There’s more that rises in the morning than the sun/ And more that shines in the night than just the moon/ It’s more than just this fire here that keeps me warm/ In a shelter that is larger than this room/ And there’s a loyalty that’s deeper than mere sentiments/ And a music higher than the songs that I can sing/ The stuff of Earth competes for the allegiance/I owe only to the Giver of all good things/ So if I stand let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through/ And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace_ that first brought me to You/ And if I sing let me sing for the joy that has born in me these songs/ And if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home/ There’s more than dances on the prairies than the wind/ More that pulses in the ocean than the tide/ There’s a love that is fiercer than the love between friends/ More gently than a mother’s when her baby’s at her side/ And there’s a loyalty that’s deeper than mere sentiments/ And a music higher than the songs that I can sing/ The stuff of Earth competes for the allegiance/I owe only to the Giver of all good things/ So if I stand let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through/ And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace_ that first brought me to You/ And if I sing let me sing for the joy that has born in me these songs/ And if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home. –Rich Mullins, “If I Stand”
I really see the Gospel in this song. It’s like someone saying, there is more behind all of these things than their mere existence. There is a force of life behind the wind that sweeps across the prairies and more to the force of the tide in the ocean. There is so much more power in the love between friends and the love of a mother for her child. I cannot abide by the people who say love is just a biological function — there is such a divine element to love — God is love — He created it and He gives us the ability to love others.
The chorus, So if I stand let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through/ And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace_ that first brought me to You/ And if I sing let me sing for the joy that has born in me these songs/ And if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home, brings me to tears because it really shows my walk with God. The promise that He will bring me through everything is what I live for much of the time, and I cherish the promise that I can fall on God’s grace_ when I cannot stand on my own. I love to sing religious music because it reflects the connection I have with my Heavenly Father. Sad songs show my ability to come to Him for solace and the more joyful ones allow me to praise Him for the works He has done in my life. I also am thankful every day that I can come to Him when I am weeping because the things of earth have saddened me (an occurrence that happens more and more these days). C/S
it’s raining cats and dogs outside so i’m inside doing this page. i *was* going to go for a walk but the weather isn’t too condusive to doing it. oh well…
high street is holding a games night for the college group tonight and i’m hoping we have a good crowd and a rousing game of speed scrabble or balderdash. there will also be kathy’s brownies which are super sinful, making them the most chocolatey things on the planet.
well, i skipped my review session for lit 80a since i didn’t want to deal with my ta. i know the stories well so it shouldn’t be a bad midterm. i just can’t believe how angry i am with the ta that i’m getting reprimanded and the jerk who was baiting me is being upheld. the people at high street gave me some ideas on dealing with the situation. erazm suggested talking to the professor about setting norms for discussion so that respect issues can be discussed. other suggested that i try to switch sections.
i get my braces off in 6 days. woooohoooooo!!!!
my senior sem paper is up!
the midterm went ok. the lit 80a situation, however, isn’t. i emailed my ta with my viewpoint excluding the fact that i despise having to sit in a class where my religion is being ripped apart. i phrased my response in lit terms since i thought that would be the most productive thing. however, that backfired. i will admit that i should not have called my classmate’s question “ridiculous” but this was after having to listen to my classmates use our section time to bash God and to bash me. my classmate’s question had NOTHING to do with the text was worded and asked in a very imflammatory fashion. my ta responded back, telling me that he would not tolerate any disrespect from me toward my classmate. excuse me? what about my classmate’s asnine question which was clearly disrespect? i’m sorry that i have to pretend to be pc when that rule apparently isn’t needed for the rest of my class. my section should be an honest and objective look at the text and thanks to some stupid freshmen boys in my class, it isn’t. even my high school classes were more mature than these people. maybe i should have explained that it was so comforting to me that my non-christian classmates’ civil rights take precedence over mine…
yesterday was long and stressful and i didn’t get adequate sleep last night. i was barely functional today and something ended up happening in my lit 80a class that i seem to be getting flak for from both christians and non-christians. i’m also facing a nasty econ midterm tomorrow. please pray for me.
my urbana cd arrived today. i am a VERY happy lepicat!!! it brings back really wonderful and powerful memories such as singing “o come emmanuel” and being reduced to tears because of the power of the song and how much i wanted it to come true. there was also the rockin’ house party for JC at the mother ship that yielded some of the coolest praise music. lastly, there was the ENTIRE mother ship providing the banquet of voices for “hallelujah, salvation and glory”.
my jewish lit paper is in. it’s not great but probably passing. i didn’t stay in class since i was nauseous and had a headache (migraines are lovely things, aren’t they?) so i missed out on discussing some short stories. oh well.
i get to help jill garden tomorrow. i’m still job searching but some physical labor should be really good to take my mind off of everything.
bonnie, you’ll get through this semester. your grades may not be great, but it will all be over in a few weeks.