The Space Between My Ears

Xavier Breath

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Hello! I am a friend of Pattimax, and she encouraged me to join this forum. This is the first on-line forum I have been a part of since 1978. Back then, I had a PLATO terminal connected via a 1200 BAUD (yes, That's 1200 Bits per Second!) phone line to the network of mainframes which were the first connected computers on what later became the World Wide Web. I had email of sorts, and live chat at the bottom of the screen, and there were "message boards". Al Gore may have invented the internet, but my father laid down the gravel on which the information superhighway was paved.

I have been conducting a free-form Bible Study at a local jail for the past 8 years. I go the first Tuesday of each month and so far, the bulls have always let me go at the end of my hour. I let the inmates pick the lesson each month, which saves me a lot of preparation time but requires a certain amount of scrambling to find verses and a message that finds its way to the central Truth I believe about God: that He loves each one of us, has the ability to be involved in each of our individual lives, wants us to be happy (beer is proof, quoth Ben Franklin), and longs for us to turn from our own wisdom and control, instead asking for His and submitting our will to His.

I believe that as Christians, we are to judge less, love more, give more, and keep God at the center of our lives. No greater love has any man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. God, on the other hand, in the person of Jesus Christ, laid down His life for those who were not His friends, who did not love Him, or even know Him!

Why would God do this?
Here is an email I got for Christmas from a friend:
God and the Geese
 There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to  let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays.
 His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have  faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.
 One snowy Eve, his wife was taking their children to service in the farm  community in which they lived.
 They were to talk about Jesus' birth. She asked him to come, but he  refused.
 "That story is nonsense!" he said.  "Why would God lower Himself to come to  Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!"
 So she and the children left, and he stayed home.
 A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into  a  blizzard.  As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding  snowstorm.
 He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening.  Then he heard a loud  thump.  Something had hit the window.  He looked out, but couldn't see more than  a few feet.  When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what  could have been beating on his window.
 In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese.  Apparently they  had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and  couldn't go on.  They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or  shelter.  They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low  circles, blindly and aimlessly.  A couple of them had flown into his window, it  seemed.
 The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them.  The barn would  be a great place for them to stay, he thought.  It's warm and safe; surely they  could spend the night and wait out the storm.  So he walked over to the barn and  opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the  open barn and go inside.
 But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the  barn or realize what it could mean for them.  The man tried to get their  attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved further away.  He  went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread  crumb trail leading to the barn.  They still didn't catch on.
 Now he was getting frustrated.  He got behind them and tried to shoo them  toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction  except toward the barn.  Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where  they would be warm and safe.
 "Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed.  "Can't they see this is the  only place where they can survive the storm?"
 He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a  human.  "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out  loud.
 Then, he had an idea.  He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and  carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.  He  then released it.  His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn  -- and one-by-one, the other geese followed it to safety.
 He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes  earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!"  Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier.  "Why would God want  to be like us?  That's ridiculous!"
 Suddenly it all made sense.  That is what God had done.  We were like the  geese--blind, lost, perishing.  God had His Son become like us so He could show  us the way and save us.
 As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and  pondered this wonderful thought.  Suddenly he understood why Christ had come.  Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm.  He fell to his  knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:
 "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the  storm!"
I look forward to getting to know all of you!

I have read a few of the threads, and will read more, and get up my courage to post a thought or two.
Hi there and a warm welcome to CR :)

Having recently converted to evangelical atheism you may find that I agree with much of your take on things except that I dismiss the "God" notion as being (a) a superstitious hang up and (b) unnecessary, or even counter, to living a life of social justice.

Your work in jail I find interesting. I know the Church of Scotland is now riddled with former jailbirds that have "seen the light" and now play an active role in that organisation. How a convicted fraudster can become a treasurer and oversee the sale of huge chunks of church owned property still confuses me however. That he has moved from an ugly little flat to a large out of town mansion probably has no relevance at all either. I know Christians like to see the best in people, and that anyone can change, but i do hope that you are careful in your work.


Hi and welcome to CR :)

(don't bother about the courage stuff, just do it!)