Friday, July 24, 2009

An About Page?

This post has nothing to do with WoW, Paladins, or Tanking.

Continue reading at your own risk.

During my interview on the Twisted Nether, we talked a little about my lack of an about page.

Then during the whole Feraro mess, I made mention that I didn't think people were all that interested in reading about the balding, middle aged guy behind the dwarf. Some of the comments encouraged me that people might be interested in reading about that, so I'm going to open up a little bit today, and tell you about the guy at the keyboard.

I grew up and still live in a part of the country affectionately known as the Bible Belt. Raised in a traditional denomination, we were in church every time the doors opened. It was little surprise that I was baptized before my 8th birthday.

As I got towards the end of high school, my view towards church had started to change. It was more chore and tradition than anything real or meaningful in my life. There was no more acceptance, or feeling of belonging at church than there was at school. It was basically just another extracurricular activity.

Around this time, a friend gave me a book called Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This is not a small novel, but I burned through it over the summer. Many of the ideas resonated with me. Ayn Rand was a staunch conservative in most things (free market, taxes bad) but way left on others (marijuana should be legal, abortions legal), and without a doubt, she hated God.

I became intrigued by her writing and eventually read everything Ayn Rand had written. She was an avowed Atheist. I liked her ideas and I wanted to integrate them into my World View, but I was struggling with the whole Atheist thing. I began to research. I discovered many solid intellectual arguments against God and the Christian faith.

When it came time to finally go to college, I had abandoned the faith, church or even calling myself a Christian. I claimed Deism, then Agnosticism, and then full on Atheism.

I found the social life in college that I had missed in High School and partied my way right out after two years. Around this time I started exploring New Age, and Eastern Mysticism. Fascinating stuff, really, Ying Yang, the great Brahma.

I wound up in a Tech School back home and eventually dropped out of that too. I rented a run down little apartment, got a minimum wage job at a Video Rental store, and basically started just living life.

I had already known the person who would become my wife, we actually met while I was at college and we were both seeing other people at the time. But I was immediately attracted to her and would flirt with her constantly. It was so bad we had to be separated into different work areas at one point.

We had kept in contact over the years, and when she discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her, I let her know I would be there for her when she was ready to date again.

She was a Christian and in order to spend time with her, I started going to her Church. I knew all the intellectual arguments, being in the building wasn't going to hurt me or affect me any, or so I thought.

As we grew closer, I was amazed at how God worked in her life. I started to look around me. The
people I knew who I liked and respected were all active Christians. I said to myself, I still don't know if its true or not, but regardless, it makes 'good people'.

God kept working on me. It came to the point that I wanted in my life what these people seem to have in theirs. But I was pretty sure that once you renounced the faith, that was it, you were done. I talked to people I trusted who assured me that I hadn't done anything that God couldn't forgive. Apparently, he was ready and willingly to forgive me, even for my Atheism, denying he even existed.

I hadn't had all my intellectual arguments satisfied. When I was honest with myself, it was never really about those anyway. It was about control of my life, being able to do what I felt like doing guilt free. Ultimately, it was more about people who I respected and who took an interest in me as a person that convinced me there was something to this Christianity thing.

I made the decision to return to Christ, if he would have me. If not, at least I would try to keep people from making my same mistakes.

I eventually found some great Christian Apologetics authors. Christian Apologetics is the intellectual defense of the Christian faith. My favorite was probably C.S. Lewis. In time, all my intellectual a arguments were satisfied. Each one that I found the answer for only solidified a faith that was already in me.

I've wondered sometimes if my conversions at 8 years old was real, but ultimately that doesn't matter. Today, I claim to be a follower of Christ, and I pray that my life both online and offline reflects that. I'm continuing to grow and learn. I'm far from perfect, and I mess up more times than I can count. But I know that God loves me and he sent His Son to die for me, and that if I ask, he is faithful and true to forgive my mistakes. He sees me as he sees his own Son, perfectly acceptable to him.

That same opportunity is there for you. God loves you. The Bible says that he doesn't want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to him. No amount of good deeds, or being a 'good person' will do it. He offers the free gift of His Son to you. I know it isn't popular to say, but really it all comes down to your decision. Get on the journey.

If you'd like to talk to someone, my email is on this page or you can 1-888-Need-Him.
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