The latest email from Jess:
I am going to attempt to see where I want to proceed in this conversation...I think that's why I'm hesitating in my response. I'm not sure where to go NEXT. I don't want to use the word overwhelm...I don't feel that emotionally...I guess the best way to describe what I'm feeling is UNDERTIMED. LOL I've found it hard to find time to reflect. I'm anxious to get to a bookstore and look these books up. I am not certain I will have many valid questions without starting some "research".
My first goal was to try and hear real stories about HOW you feel, how you CAME to feel, what it means to believe that Jesus' death saves us....I guess I would like to read through Midnight Cafe's post and see what questions I get from there. After that, I will re-read your most recent post and see what questions I have from there. Here goes:
With regard to the Bible - I guess the cynic in me says this: If the Bible is truly God's word (inspired or direct), then the mistakes that are bound to occur from translation don't affect me, and seem insignificant. BUT...if the Bible is just a combination of stories that old men made up and passed off as a "higher being's" philosophy for life to scare the commonfolk, then it bothers me. I do think that the stories in the Bible provide a good basis for solid, healthy living. I also feel that some people who base their life on religion twist the stories in the Bible to say doing THIS or doing THAT is "evil". I don't want that to sound judgmental, but even re-reading it I fear it will come across that way.
I want to say that the last paragraph that Midnight Cafe wrote about acting in a human way vs. Christian way really hit home and made SENSE to me. Thank you for that.
Heather - these recommendations are wonderful. The blogs AND the books and the studyguides. I am going to look for some this weekend, and take time to go read these blogs this week. I bought my Bible years ago, and have not been able to find a way to crack it open. I knew there were studies available and the "read it in a year" help guides, but I was afraid if I started it alone, I wouldn't have anyone to bounce my questions off to. So thank YOU for this forum, again. I know I've been saying it a lot, but it's easier for me to do while typing rather than in person. I think I'd get too nervous in person! Choke up, forget my words, babble about nothing. Much like right now. I will be back with more questions, but in the meantime....thank you to EVERYONE who has responded and will hopefully continue to do so. In the near future, I might put this information and link on my blog to point others in this direction. I'm just not ready to "face" the bloggy
world with my religious ignorance. LOL
A HUGE thank you to Jess, once again. I appreciate the candid way you express yourself. That's how I do it too, so of course I like it :)
(The bold emphasis in Jess' email is mine. Not because I found it judgmental, but important. I will respond to Jess in post form very soon.)