Sunday, September 30, 2012

background check

I reckon since the Christian stuff just kinda popped up here - I should give a little background for clarity.  First of all, it has been going on in my life for awhile now and suddenly I felt compelled to share this experience as I do with most of the rest of my life.  All my family have been church goers for generations.  Growing up,  I had the benefit of being exposed to a Christian life.  I attended Sunday school each week for 8 years, then "graduated" to regular church services for 4 more years.  Once I was in college, I stopped going to church.  I was all gung ho to jump into the world.  From age 19 up to 50, I lived without any personal  connection to Christ.
About 2 years before  I moved to the desert,   I was reunited with my Crazy Aunt Jean.  She was not crazy...but that is what we called each other (I was crazy nephew John).  We hadn't seen each other in over 30 years but all that time melted away and we were best friends again instantly.  I stayed with her several times at her home in Circle City, AZ.  She was loaded with faith.  Because of my great respect for her, some of that faith started to rub off on me.   BTW - Aunt Jean used to baby sit me and my brother when we were kids.  She was the one that told us that our mother had gone to Denver to get married to that guy that came around all the time ( I was 5 years old).  We spent the next day getting a "Welcome Dad" party ready.  My new step father became the greatest positive influence in my life.  He died 8 months before I moved here.  Crazy Aunt Jean died 2 years ago. 

So I come out here to build my off grid empire...and  because of my Aunt Jean, I started giving a little prayer of thanks each day at sunset.  (I have a lot of free time with no distractions so I can really think about the crazy path my life has taken)   One day a couple of months ago, my friends Rebecca and Leddie come by for a tour of the greenhouse.  These two are about as genuine as you get.   We did the tour and I told Rebecca I've been meaning to come to Church services but something always comes up.  She said simply, "That's the devil talkin".  That comment kinda just bounced off of me that day...but soon after I began to think...what if shes right? 
About a week later, I started thinking about what is really holding me back from going to Church again.  I really had been meaning to go.  Could that really be true? Does Satan really try to guide me away from Christ?   My first step is to accept Christ in faith and be aware that Satan will try to convince me otherwise.  I thought long and hard about the something else that stuck in my mind...But what if I become "one of them...a saved CHRISTIAN"?   From my own experience and thanks to the media, I have a very vivid notion about the stereotypical Saved Christian.   I thought about that aspect for awhile and decided of the choices I have today - that might not be so bad, and I can certainly become my own version of my perception.   I have jumped in feet first with the notion that there is a Satan that will try to persuade me otherwise and faith that the Bible is a true written history and our only chance for eternal salvation.  It really doesn't take that much effort (just faith) so why not give it a shot.  It is going well and I have great respect for Bonnie Cain as a real friend and for her message each Sunday.  Like everything else out here...this is a work in progress.
Matthew 13 : 9 Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!"10 His disciples came and asked him, "Why do you always tell stories when you talk to the people?" 11 Then he explained to them, "You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. 12 To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I tell these stories, because people see what I do, but they don't really see. They hear what I say, but they don't really hear, and they don't understand. 14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: 'You will hear my words, but you will not understand; you will see what I do, but you will not perceive its meaning. 15 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes -- so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.' 


Anonymous said...

Good post John.

Chris Miller said...

If you were born on the other side of the world, you would have a completely different set of beliefs, you would be reading from a different book and you would be praying to a different god. Don't ever let anyone tell you anything different. You're a free spirit and you have one heck of a mind. Keep the faith, but please never give up on finding answers to life's questions. Science and math have stood the test of time and will guide all of us in our journeys.


Chris Miller - One Family's Journey To Finding True Happiness

gumo said...

I'm with Stew's comment.

djc said...

Satan, IMHO, is real and he does try to lead us astray, specifically by trying to convince us that he isn't real. Keep up the good posts.

Chris Miller said...

PS.... I LOVE Satin. Very comfy stuff.

K1MGY said...

Jon, I have followed you for years and on one of my workstation screens is a lovely picture of Benita, which I don't want - nor have the heart - to change. There's not a day which passes that I don't check in to see what's new. And it's always interesting.

You have, through this wonderful blog and by your time, influenced, encouraged, inspired, humored, and impressed with your many talents... as a poet ("The West is The Best"); as a creative builder; as a communicator.

I respect your thoughts and enthusiasm, but I do not align with any religion.. except my own. So I will bear with you each Sunday, and especially appreciate the other 6 days, too. :)

"Does Satin really try to guide me away from Christ?"

Satan, Jon.

I said you were a great communicator. Not a great speller :)

Affectionately from the dreaded northeast,


John Wells said...

thanks for the spell check...fixing that now.

John Wells said...

BTW...was just dissing him by mispelling his name.

remmij said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon H said...

John, I have followed for a few years and have appreciated daily how you have shared your life. Your faith journey is part of that and you have decided that it is important enough to share. It has been interesting to watch the comment threads for the past few weeks and this definitely provides a little more context / clarity. I'll be here reading just the same. It looks like there are a lot of folks with all kinds of different stripes here, I'm putting my money on the fact that I think you're kind and gentle enough to share your journey with your friends of TFL that will keep us gathered around the hope of what we see you doing...

I've always thought Polyester was the Devil ;)

shane said...

It's hard to continue to ignore a divine designers hand in all we see in nature around us, especially when solo in a quiet place, like John is.

It requires too much faith to ever think, instead, it could all have come about randomly, evolving itself from nothing into the great intrinsic order science & math reveal it to be. Even more compelling so when viewed via a telescope or microscope.

Unknown said...

John, I appreciate your thoughts tonight.

I got saved after reading Hal Lindsey,s "Late Great Planet Earth." Best decision I ever made. It is nice to know that my sins are forgiven. This happened in 1971.

Al said...

Dang shane, well said!

Dani said...

Thank you...

Don said...

Amen and Amen, thanks for sharing John

Your friend in Big Spring, Don

billkeith said...

Having grown up in the church in a similar way as yourself and found my self drifting away from the church through my college years. A year in VietNam then really tested my faith. Now having my 65th birthday this year and having lost my wife, mother and father recently I find my faith being tested again. Thank you for your Sunday comments, you never know who they help.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your openness and honesty.

pamit said...

I'm an atheist and enjoy John's "daily word" very much. Religion is a big interest of mine, perhaps because it's beyond my capability to embrace.

One responder writes that John's readers who are not believers are, by definition, the devil (when they write of their different views). See, this is the aspect of religion that is harmful and hateful and frankly, too much in evidence in the world. I hope John doesn't take this person's advice to heart and close down our "Satanic" thoughts!

Pam in CO

D. B. Day IV said...


The desert has always been a place for people to find Christ. By being there alone basically in a hermitage and renewing your relationship your are following in the classic desert mystic tradition--a tradition that has produced some of the most important stories in the bible and some of our most important Saints.

"In the fourth century a.d. the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, Arabia and Persia were peopled by a race of men.... They sought a way to God that was uncharted and freely chosen, not inherited from others who had mapped it out beforehand. They sought a God whom they alone could find, not one who was 'given' in a set stereotyped form by somebody else." --Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert

I too have recently found the power of grace and prayer in my life and I cherish it. Also, you spreading the word here on the sabbath to your large audience may reach someone. And if you help just one soul in a dark place find the light of grace, then it would seem that is more important than any of others that may by turned off by seeing your sentiments on Sunday.

God bless you brother,
Dewey B. Day IV

czardastx said...

Pam in CO

Appreciate your articulation of my thoughts in your second paragraph.

John, you're my friend, always have been, always will be. Keep doing what you're doing. Your words might turn some to religion, they might turn some away from religion and they might cause some to leave your blog. Well, that's free will, we all have it and we all use it as we see best.

Me, I'm going to keep reading, I'm going to believe in my own way, and I'm going to keep the faith.

Unknown said...

Even tho we haven't met yet, I knew there was aconnection of some sort; glad to have found out it's our God!

Of all your posts, I think this is one of the best at letting us know just "who" you really are.

And as a side note for those who believe religion and Christianity are one and the same, it is not. Religion was created by man to, IMHO, control man. Christianity is having a relationship with Jesus. He doesn't control us; we have free will. God could take that away from us if He should choose but He wants us to WANT to be with Him. Without free will, it wouldn't be our choice, it would be His.
Relationship and communication with God: this is what makes a Christian a Christian. Religion has nothing to do with it.

Unknown said...

To cindylouwho too,

Well said!

Cindy Talbot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy Talbot said...

First of all, the sunset spoke to me of G_d's glory almost as much as your story.
Yes the devil does steer us away from things that are good for us and others. Great Post. Enjoy the "wordier" posts, but always love the pictures.
Coffee Table book material if you ask me.

Now, for the comment by Chris Miller... have you lived on the other side of the world? If not, then.... Yes, you would be reading from a different book, but from my experience, the G_d is the same, just with a different name, and the beliefs are extremely similar. The love and caring and lack of backstabbing gossip/rudeness is amazing here.
Where is that you may ask? The United Arab Emirates where I work daily with muslims from here, Egypt, Jordan etc.
Living a life as one of G_d's children does not mean you are religious or of any denomination, as it can be non-denominational.
It is not possible for me to attend any "christian" services here, as I am on a tiny island with less than 20 native English speakers. There are still ways to be a child of G_d here, and they includes loving and caring for those who don't believe the same as me, but do agree there is a higher power

remmij said...

I have no desire to dilute or distract from the substance of your post John, so I'll just say thanks for the sunset shot, it is spectacular.
Free will is a beautiful thing and everybody gets to exercise it every day until they are out of days.
Haters gonna hate.
question & embrace your beliefs

Greg said...

It takes courage to make yourself vulnerable through the sharing of your life, thoughts and faith.

Thank you John for sharing your faith and your life.

WrethaOffGrid said...

Well put John, I for one am glad to read this. I am "one of those" born again Christians, yes Satan is very real, sadly too many people are so caught up in the so called "real world", the physical reality that they don't realize there is an equally real spiritual world, in fact there is a very real spiritual battle going on for your very soul. I'm glad to see that you recognize this very important fact and are willing to do something about it. :)

I have been blogging for as long as you about living off grid, I have also just started adding in a bit more about my faith, though I have sprinkled it in some here and there, I've tried to keep my writing off grid related, until recently, perhaps with things going the way they are in this world, we are beginning to recognize this is most likely end times we are living in.


mzzterry said...

Amen, Brother!!!

kevan said...

Amen, Brother!!!

gumo said...

Just imagine how Aunt Jean is smiling right now over tonights blog. You have made her very proud tonight and she loves you even more. Thanks for your inspirational message!

De La Mancha said...

You brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye by your eloquent testimony!

Keep the faith! Keep being you!
Keep asking questions!
Keep your GREAT blog chugging along!

Thanks again for a GREAT post!!!

Zach said...

I have no supernatural beliefs. Couldn't care less about the Sunday posts. Happy to read your blog. Hope you keep sharing.

Just want you to get back to work finishing the inside of the greenhouse! I'm not paying you to slack off!

Take care John.

Anonymous said...

33 pop ups postings till 9.30 am next day when i read yur christ-again-evolving-Cain Blog of today dude... is America anti Church or what s going on man ?
I thought those were going to be on Sundays only plus yur pay phone remebrance of NY-Pay Phones .
Solitude is afecting yu there ? (I m Budhist so do respect yur state of mind)

KMS Woodworks said...

Science is the only true christians really think the earth is only 6000 years old?

Seriously Noah's Ark is an impossible fairy tale. Genetic diversity and evolution trends are proven scientific facts.

Home work for all of the believers...Pick up a copy of Bill Mahers Religulous

or watch it here

second get a copy of Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion

Then let your own intelligent mind figure out the rest.

We have free will and understanding for a reason. Religion was invented by man because early man did not understand things...thunder, germs, etc.

As mankind's understanding of reality improved (through scientific observation and physics) we now know the truth.

You can believe in whatever fantasy world you like, but when your life is up and you are not magically transported to heaven for your promised afterlife...don't blame me. I am here in the NOW living my life to its fullest...because I know I only have one shot at it.

Simon Carter said...

John, I am an atheist and I have been reading and enjoying your blog for many years and I intend to continue. Keep up the great work!

Sena said...

been with you from the beginning, didn't think your blog could get any better. Boy, was I wrong. Seems I remember a Bible verse about demons being cast out and retreating to the dry, desolate places. Of course there was a famous John as well who came crying out from the wilderness...

KMS Woodworks, sounds like you've heard the boogyman. There is one and his name is Jah!

Michael said...

John, some kinfolk of ours in Idaho (you probably know who) sent me a link to this post, otherwise I might have missed it. Mom (Crazy Aunt Jean) continues to work and move through my life and I see she's still taking time to sit with you as well, there on the edge of Texas.

This is such a sweet, touching post and I'm so very grateful for having seen it. My regret is that I will live with knowing that I didn't appreciate the richness of what I had so close to me all those years even as I marvel at the simple but wonderful ways mom worked in peoples lives.

Jennifer Boomer said...

Just catching-up on the past 4 years of your blogging. What a wonderful post, John.