I have found here lately, that I have really been drawn back to living my life by faith. My faith. What I believe to be true, and what works for me. But here is the thing, it isn't like the faith I had in the past. You know that kind of faith, where you move willlessly, and thoughtlessly ahead beacause you believe that making decisions based on what you have learned is what God wants you to do? Yeah, I have lost that type of faith and replaced it with a new one. I have struggled with my beliefs for a number of years, and find that I am finally back on the uphill climb to renewing my spiritual side. I have decided through all the trials and tribulations that life can bring, that I do believe in God. I believe in Jesus and the example He set for us. I believe we are here to be a part of a family. Not just a family of people who believe like we do, worship like we do, and live like we do, but a family of human beings who share the same needs, wants, and desires. Who have the need to love and to be loved. I don't want to be that shallow person who says my way is the right way, the only way, and if you do not conform to it you will be lost to hell forever. Part of my faith is that God is bigger than all the religion we create, than all of the holy writings we validate, and of all the rules and regulations we claim God imposes. I have found that so many differnt faiths share the basic outline of beliefs. And I think we all have part of it right, and part of it wrong. I believe that different forms of worship are necessary, because we are not all the same, and do not all respond to the same stimuli. I do not have the exact same relationship with each of my children. Susie and I talk about differnt things than Emily or Jacob or Mariah and I do. Matt and Mark and Ike all have different things they like to do when we spend time together. We resond to each other differently based on our personalities and who we are. I show love to my children differntly. I have different expectations for my children, based on abiilities, age, maturity, and where they are in life. I believe God is no different. I am someone different to each one of them. I believe not two of my children would descibe me exactly the same, and I believe each one of them knows things about me and has a view of who I am that the other's do not fully have. How can someone as big as God, not be this way as well? I do not want to take someone else's opinion of who God is and make it my own. I want to be like my kids. I want to have such a relationship with Him, that I know Him for myself. That I know what we have and who we are together and the popular opinion of the church, my friends, or my community does not make me waver in what I know my God is to me. I have had several opportunities in the recent past to discuss religion with several different types of faiths. Both Jehovah's Witness and Mormon. We even attended a Morman church. (And for all my old hard line fundamental friends out there, demons did not attack us and we were not led off the straight and narrow! LOL) In my ridgid days of faith I would not have dared to educate myself on these matters. It would be putting my soul in danger to listen to these "false doctorines". What a sad thing that I used to believe. I found that those who believe differently than I have just as solid of a belief in their system. They love God, and want to please Him and commune with Him in a way that is comfortable and familiar to them. Now experiencing their form of worship did not lure me their side, in fact it had the opposite affect on me. It made my realize how I am comfortable with corporate worship, and what my personal beliefs are concerning God, His desires for my life, His plans for my future, and His plans for my afterlife. I am content and at peace with what I believe. Just as my friends of different faith are at peace in their relationships with the same God I serve. I have come to the conclusion that God does not demand faith from us for Him, but for us. God wants us to have faith because He knows that is what we hold onto when the waters get rough. Faith is how we live outside our flesh and connect to a Creator that we do not have the ability to see with human eyes. Faith that He is above all is what gives us the ability to forgive and love those around us. That is the kind of faith we all need. I want to put my faith in a loving, living God who is bigger than a title. I want to follow after a God who does not segregate us by the names of Christian, Jew, Morman, Athiest, Wiccan, Humanist, Heterosexual, Homosexual, Bi-Sexual, rich or poor. I want to have faith in and follow this God who chooses to love ALL of his children. My personal belief is that He speaks to each one us in the way He knows we will respond to. Even more than we know the hearts of our children, God knows the hearts of His. My ever expanding faith is allowing me to see that He is so much bigger and better than we give Him credit for. I am so enjoying re-establishing my relationship with Him. And I am enjoying the freedom to discuss my beliefs and opinions with others without the need to be right, or trying to convince them to come to my way of doing things. I believe God draws men and we are to only love and guide those who are seeking.