Part II of The Things They Ask:
If you could change anything that is sinful into something that is not sinful, what would it be?
Probably the most challenging question…I cannot really think of anything that I would find the need for undoing the “sinfulness” of. Mostly because I have seen the destructive end of sin in people’s lives – even those that seem ‘good’ for a season. Honestly, I have to say I don’t think I’d change anything.
What’s your “life song” that has or does speak the most to you and your life? And why did you pick it?
I don’t particularly have a “life” song. There are a lot of songs that mean stuff to me or have been associated with seasons in my life. But I guess if I were to really lay one down, I’d probably go with Be Thou My Vision – an old hymn about letting God have complete control. That’s kind of where it’s at. Well, either that or “Firework” by Katy Perry…
In Germany we always say: is the glass halfway filled or halfway empty? Don't know if there is an equivalent in English but i am sure you know what i mean? Only looking at the good or the bad?
Depends on what’s in the glass!!! Because if it’s Cream Soda or Guiness, there’s never enough. Ha ha! All kidding aside, yes, we do have that same saying in the states, and my answer depends on the day or season of life that you ask me. Currently, the world is all sunshine and glitter, like it used to be when I was a kid. I’m kind of hoping that God continues to infuse this eye for beauty into the rest of my days.
Do you believe in the rapture?
Let me say this, I grew up with this as a tenant of theological doctrine that was just part and parcel of the teaching. I’m not saying that it has to be remain something will believe in. But the truth is, I have not done enough reading, research and study to make an informed decision. In recent years, I have heard from a few people I care about and respect that the Rapture (in the fundamentalist sense) is something they do not believe in. These are not just people who are throwing out the idea, they are well-read, and extremely well-informed, studious and Godly individuals. None of these people came to these decisions that they came to lightly. Consequently, I began a journey earlier this year to put a bit of study to the subject. I have not gotten very far, nor pursued it much beyond a few conversations. So I cannot give an answer in the affirmative or negative. But I can say, I’m looking into the veracity of the idea or not.
What do you value most in your friends?
Lots of things, really. Love being the utmost. What I have learned in recent months is that vulnerability and really giving yourself to someone in friendship is the only way of knowing and being known and developing a friendship that offers God an opportunity to be glorified. Which is ultimately what friendships should actually do, glorify God. It’s the idea of giving all, receiving well, loving well, gracing well and breaking well together – that’s what real friends do and are.
If you weren't a Christian, what religion would you be and why?
This is such a great question. I believe God creates and hardwires each individual uniquely to see, experience and walk through life in uniquely individual ways, it is what makes the body of Christ so fascinating. I look around at my circle of friends and find that we are all created so vastly different, but it turns into a good thing because it is how we encourage one another. God created me to be a lover of the idea of magic, and intensely sensitive to supernatural elements of my faith – but because of the fraudulent nature of this played out in so many Christian churches, I am also exceptionally skeptical and discerning about the veracity of a lot of it. It’s this small streak in me (not the defining part of my faith by the way) along with my love of fantasy film and literature that make me think that if Christianity were not an option, I would probably find myself firmly rooted in some form of Neo-Paganism. A great deal of this comes too, from a love of nature and finding beauty everywhere and feeling deeply connected and moved by such beauty. No, I do not hold to Neo-Paganism in any way nor do I invoke those sorts of beliefs into Christianity.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about God this year?
The year’s not over, so I can’t really answer that. But I can say that one thing that has rocked my world in the last 4-5 months has been the concept in Psalm 139: 8-12
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths (Sheol or Hell), you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
The idea that there is literally NOWHERE I can go where He is not with me, either the highest heights or the very puts of hell, He is there. Present. For me. With me. Even when I can’t feel it, or know it. And the latter half of those verses…When I’m surrounded by suffocating darknesses, where I cannot breathe because I’m dying in the dark and feel alone and like death is haunting my breathe, He’s still with me. And, not only that but that darkness – the heaviness – it’s the exact same as the happiest brightness to Him. Whoa. My mind is officially blown. And there is nothing like living in the darkness and gripping to this truth like a lifesaver.
What is your definition of ‘art’?
“Art” by definition is something aesthetic created by skill and creative or imaginative elements. That’s easy. What is infinitely more difficult is defining what one might consider “Good” art. I have seen some “art” that a friend of mine defines as good, while I look at it and see a mess.
Does Romans 2 teach that pagans who keep the law will be saved?
*my brain just exploded*
Truthfully, I’d have to sit and read Romans 2 – which I don’t have time for at this moment. But if this is a question of law and grace…truth is, the law was established to yes, be the standard for us to reach redemption on. The point of the law was to show us that we cannot reach God on effort. It’s why Christ had to die. Check out Galatians if you want to know more about that.
What is your biggest fear?
Snakes. It’s biblical. Genesis 3:15. Look it up.
Other than that, I really can’t think of much that scares me. Some things make me a little nervous but real fear, nothing really.
Why did God command Israel to annihilate an entire civilization (including women, children, and animals)?
Because He’s God and I don’t get Him. Never will. He doesn’t answer to me and I don’t expect Him to. I could get into details, but I don’t need to. I’ll never be able to explain it in a way that satisfies unbelievers and people who do believe – while they may or may have problems with it – will either choose to believe or not. My opinion matters little in the matter on all counts.
If you could only listen to one artist (or only one song) for the rest of your life, what would they be?
This is an extraordinarily question. I really don’t know. I’m such a music schizophrenic that I can’t decide. I imagine I’d probably pick something of superior quality, like Alison Krauss or Yo Yo Ma just because they are sounds I never tire of. But man, the thought of only one artist forever….holy moley. I think I might lose my mind trying to decide. Hahaha.
If you had to choose between being deaf or being blind, which would you choose and why?
I’d choose blindness, because at least for a time I’d have the memory of things I’d seen. And I could find places and people to describe to me the beauty around me…and I have a great imagination that can imagine beautiful things that my eyes have never laid eyes on. Because music is such an important element to my soul’s lifeblood, I think I’d probably die without music to channel my emotions to. Beyond that, to lose the sound of the voices of my loved ones…that would be torture. To never hear rushing water, children laughing, babies cooing, worship, the wind in the trees, the sound of the rain, thunder, my mom’s sweet goodnight, my dad’s repetitive stories, my brother’s wit, my nephew’s laughter, or the sound of God’s word spoken again…it would break me.