The God of the Chocolate Cake

Image result for chocolate cakeHave you seen the video of a group of 5 and 6 year old’s placed in a setting with a chocolate cake and told not to eat it?  (

What immediately jumps out at me is that the girls show a bit more restraint than the boys (so much for Eve really being the antagonist in THAT story).

However, misogyny is not my point at the moment.

I have been a Christian for quite some time now, decades to be exact. And as of late, I have been becoming a more “progressive” believer. Unraveling my clinched-fist, oh so tightly held beliefs bit by bit, story by story is exhilarating, breath-taking and a bit fearful.

But, onto the chocolate cake.

I have finally given myself permission to question stories that I have been told.

One such story is the Garden of Eden story.

Even before I began letting go of my fundamentalist roots, I did wonder what kind of God would put his very first children in a situation to fail. And fail miserably at that.

Since I had been taught that the God of Christianity is an omnipresent God and that HE knows everything, even before “it” happens, then this story begs the question of “why”? Why did God set the first two humans up for failure? Since logically, God knew it was going to become a complete debacle.

I would hope that something has been lost in translation here or this very first glimpse of  God and humanity looks really dark and psychologically abusive.

In other words, would a loving God set his first two children up for failure?  Today we would call that really bad parenting, bordering on psychological child abuse.

And yet, almost all Christian beliefs put the blame on the children, Eve to be exact.

“Well, Eve had a choice, she could have frolicked naked through all of Eden picking delicious fruit from all of the other trees, but no, she had to go and pick the “forbidden fruit”. Shame on her, and shame on Adam for going along with this debauchery.

Thus, basically, that she-devil Eve, set all of humanity up to fail. And she set all of woman-hood up to take the fall, followed by millenniums of female subordination.


End of story.

Why would a loving God create humanity to keep him company and then put them in a “don’t eat the chocolate cake” situation. If we can step back, take a deep breath and look at that story with fresh eyes……

Does it have the ring of truth to it? Can we peacefully accept that a truly perfect God would do such a thing? Why are we so afraid to ask questions?

Here is a question for parents:

Would you put your own children in a situation of temptation (and certain failure)? Would you then punish them with untold horrors because they did exactly what you  KNEW they were designed to do? Which of course, is to act on their very human nature.

Or is this interpretation of God a man-made construct?

It has been said that God did not create us in his image, we have created God in our image.





A Death Bet Is Morally Repugnant. So Is a ‘Rapture’ Bet.

Source: A Death Bet Is Morally Repugnant. So Is a ‘Rapture’ Bet.

Join My Team today. Decide Today How Tomorrow Will Look!

Free Will

“Aligning any political regime with the divine realm is called “civil religion.” Though common in American politics, biblically speaking, civil religion is bad. Way bad”.-Pete Enns
Read the full blog here:…/
I used to think every time something happened that I couldn’t explain, or struggled with it was God’s will.
Even when everything was going my way I would attribute it to God’s favor on me. I was being blessed. There isn’t anything wrong with that, I love when life is “going” my way, I do try very hard to have a heart of gratitude.
But when I woke up the day after the presidential election I was stunned to find out that Donald Trump had actually been elected. I was not one of the reveler’s. I was sincerely shocked. The shock has not worn off. Gratitude was at a premium right about then.
Voicing my stunned disbelief at this presidential outcome has often been meant with comments like “It was God’s will that Trump is president”
Or “It’s over, time to move on”.
But my recent fav is this, “You’re a snow flake”. (A snow flake? I’m ok with that, I love snow, I miss snow, since the average temp in Tampa Bay hovers around 75* in January, call me a snowflake)
I would love to move on, really, I would!
I just don’t see that happening in the next four years. I would be thrilled to be wrong about DT, to be surprised by the president elect. But I’m not holding my breath. And I will be happy to eat crow, if I am proven wrong!
Political disagreement is one of the greater aspects of living here in the US. We can agree to disagree.
With that said, I don’t for one minute believe that God put Trump into the white house.
We the people did this and our electoral college sealed the deal.
It was not divine intervention on God’s part to keep Hillary Clinton out and put Donald Trump in.
Slinging around bible verses to support the “God’s will theory” is disingenuous at best. And at worst it makes God out to be a bully. (I don’t believe God is a bully. A mystery, yes, a bully, no).
If God put any one into ANY political office it would negate the much touted “we all have a free will” argument of many fundamentalist religions.
The “free will” discussion that I have with many lovely, fundamentalist friends is this:
“God does not send anyone to hell, we send ourselves to heaven or hell”.
This is a very traditional, fundamentalist view of salvation. By saying a certain prayer a certain way, in a certain order we choose to send ourselves to heaven.
And if we don’t say the prayer, we send ourselves to hell. But, even that has evolved somewhat into God will reveal himself to everyone. (Cool, but, that is another discussion).
My point is this” If we have a free will, we have it in all situations, we made a choice. And somehow, some way, the choice was Donald Trump as the president elect. God help us.

I’m sorry my homosexual lifestyle triggers your heterosexual privilege

So if you’ve been hanging around my blog or Facebook page for more than a minute, you’ve likely seen one of my homosexual lifestyle posts. Sometimes they show up as a homosexual […]

Source: I’m sorry my homosexual lifestyle triggers your heterosexual privilege

Filtered Shade

So I bought some paint a while back to put a fresh coat up on the interior of my house. “Filtered Shade” is the romantic name I selected. Ok, really, it’s just a shade of gray. Still, I really loved the name. I mean would I have loved it  as much had been just plain old gray? Probably not. I don’t buy nail polish, lip gloss and eye shadow in red, pink or blue. No. I want “Late Fall Apple, Powder Puff Pink and Mid-Summer Sky”. Now those are colors I can plunk some money down on.

Faith, religion and church come in many shades and variances too. Definitely not a one size fits all. But, I do remember, not so long ago, when I was a true believer in the one size fits all way of thinking. I was comfortable with that and felt pity for anyone who did not find their path to God the same way I had.

Fast forward many years and let the unraveling begin. I began a journey into the possibility that God was not a thin, narrow, one-size fits all God. Could the God of the universe actually love, embrace and celebrate all of his creation? Radical and scary stuff at first.

But once I began unraveling my tightly held beliefs it caused a seismic shift in my view of God, love, religion and life. I had to ask myself : Did Jesus come, love, serve and die for a few? Or did he pay the the ultimate price for all of man-kind? Do only a relative few who say a prayer in a certain way get to God? Or when Jesus said “It is finished” did he mean just that? It’s done. Nothing else is required. No four part prayer, no paying dues, no self-flagellation, no belonging to a particular denomination or religion. Jesus did it, he finished it right then and there. Plus nothing.

Our existence is not one shade or color. Life most certainly is not one shade of gray. Sit under a tree on a summer afternoon and watch the beautiful filtered shade come through the branches and leaves. It moves in waves of sun and shade, light and dark. So many beautiful filtered shades of gray. The shades are not the same, but they are equally lovely. I choose to let that balmy, calming breeze blow new life into my walk with God. I feel God moving in and among the  beautiful shades of gray in my life. No longer expecting any of it to look or move exactly like I expected it to. But, loving and embracing it all just the same.





God is a Journey

The idea of God as a punitive, threatening task master is not a new one. Just read the old testament and that would solidify anyone’s conviction that God is out for blood. And I would agree. But how has this image stood the test of time and still today being preached from the pulpit?  Let me start by saying I am no expert, I hold no theology degrees. But, I am an observer of life and church culture. And yes, I call myself a Christian. I got “saved” at age 12. It was a very real and life changing event, even at age 12. I got on board quickly with the Southern Baptist way of doing business. Church twice on Sunday, Wednesday night prayer meetings and Monday night door knocking. Selling God door to door by “cold calling”. In my impressionable 12-year-old mind this was how church was done.

From age 12-18 church was my life. My BFF and I were there every time the doors were open and I have a lot of very good memories stored up in my early church days. And I never questioned what was being preached or discussed at church. I had a church home and it never crossed my mind at that tender age to question anything. These grown ups were just that, grown ups and they knew what they were talking about. My parents were not big church goer’s however, but, even so they too eventually got on board and got “saved” and baptized. But for my dear parent’s church 4 times a week was not something woven into their secular life styles. So, for the most part it was me,my two younger brothers and my BFF jumping on the neighbor hood church bus and heading to out when ever possible.

The church I attended in my youth was an interesting tapestry of good old boys, nuclear families, church ladies and kids of all ages.And I loved it. But there was another side of me that was being tapped into. Fear. The kind of fear that says if you don’t say a prayer a certain way your whole life will be splashed up on a screen for all of the pearly gate’s population to see. What? My horrible, corrupt first 12 years will be made heavens  public knowledge if I don’t say a four-part prayer? Oh, h%@# no. Sign me up, lay it on me. How does this prayer go? Here is how. And don’t leave anything out. 1) Confess that you are a sinner, 2) Ask God to forgive you. 3) Ask Jesus into your heart and 4) Turn away from your sins and sin no mo. Done and done. Whew. I just received my get out of hell card.

I am not mocking anything here, really. I am just analyzing my church experience. No feelings should be hurt in the making of this blog.

Fast forward more than a couple of decades. All things come full circle. Is God really out to send what he created, invented and labored over to a deep, dark, fiery pit to burn forever and ever? Why?. Why did he create us only to destroy us? I started asking the questions that I was so afraid to ask for so many years.  And my questions only begat more questions. Why would I want to worship a God who says he loves us and then puts two humans of his own design in a garden, with some forbidden fruit and then expects them to spend all of eternity eyeballing that luscious fruit without any temptation. Really? Would you set your kids up for a certain fall?  After all we were made in his image and (except for a few exceptions) we almost universally want our kids to stay out of harms way and we would certainly not tempt them with something we know is above their pay grade. I know my parents (as wonderfully imperfect as they were) didn’t leave piles of candy on the kitchen table or porn magazines lying around and then telling us:” OK kids, we are going out to dinner now, have fun. After all you have the TV and record player and healthy snacks in the refrigerator. BUT, don’t even think about touching that “forbidden fruit” on the kitchen table. You kids have a swell night now”. Any good and loving parent would not set their children, their very creations up for a sure fall. We don’t expect or condone that in human parents, but we openly except it from an all mighty God who is supposedly for us and not against. That simply doesn’t add up.

I never felt safe breaking ranks at church and asking hard questions. It was just more comfortable to smile, pretend to be perfect and I certainly didn’t want to rock the boat.But I do remember on many occasions struggling with the concept of hell. I remember losing grandparents, neighbors and others to death and feeling so horrible that I never got around to saying that 4 part, formulaic prayer with them and now they are burning in hell, all because I was too lazy, fearful or uncaring to knock on their door and go over their fire insurance with them. That is pretty weighty stuff for a child or even an adult to carry around for life.

Like I said, I am an observer of life and church culture. I now find myself after much soul-searching and more than a few real life church “experiences” coming to a slowly churning conclusion: God is not out to get us. If you believe in God, then you too, like me may come to the conclusion that he is good, he doesn’t sit on high with a very large club in his hand, just waiting to mess us up. In fact he did send his son to walk among us. To teach us, love us and remind us of the very goodness of himself.

I suppose my next question is this. How did this peaceful, likable, down to earth rabbi become the Jesus I see being touted today? Why to hear a lot of people tell the story, 21st century Jesus is a right-wing, American flag cloaked, conservative, family values dude. How in the world did it come to this?

Here is my opinion, since mine is the only one I can give. I have heard it said by people (much more knowledgeable about the bible than me) that a punitive, scary God has come to be by several avenues. One, the bible is only a partial representation of “the bible”. That during the Nicene Counsel (among other church big wig church get together’s back in the day) that it was up to these dudes to say what stayed in the book called the bible and what was left out.It was entirely left up to their discretion! Interpretations of the bible beginning with the King James version have been subject to the culture, convictions and a world view of society at the time they were written in.  And “that time” was called the Middle Ages, the dark ages. It makes sense to me that one can only interpret something, including the bible from the stand point of where they sit on the time line of history. So naturally, if you are living in the dark ages, your slant, yea, interpretation of scripture is going to largely hinge on what you see going on around you (Game of Thrones anyone)? Dark and dangerous to say the least. But, let me go back even farther. When Paul “called things out” back in what is referred to as ancient history, he too had the lens of a man who’s only reference point was ancient history. There were not words or customs or views that would even remotely resonate with 21st century people.

Back in ancient times and the  middle ages,women and children were property, slave-owning was the norm and mythical creatures abounded in the minds of the community. God was to be feared and you basically had to buy your way to heaven in the dark ages,by something called indulgences. OK, like I said I do not hold a degree in theology or history, all of this is just reading, listening, and observing here.

Coming full circle is something I am embracing. I love moving forward with a progressive, fresh view of God, Jesus and the bible. This has been a mountain top experience for me. God is not stagnant and unchanging for me any longer. He is fresh, new and inviting me to experience his love and peace on a new level. God is love, and yes, he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Indeed he is. But his creation is not the same. And the God I love and worship knew this all along and loves me just the same, even through all of the changes. And my beloved community that I have the privileged to call church, is a new, fresh, exciting and completely lovely way to do life. In fact, my community looks and feels a lot like Jesus.