Thoughts For A New Year

By: Brian Robertson

Written by Steve Sensenig

I christian mysticsn the spirit of that great theologian, Jeff Foxworthy, I present to you some rambling thoughts in my head, all completed by the phrase “you might be misrepresenting God”…



Most are no brainers but a couple made me look hard at my personal prejudices and were illuminating. (The American ones made me smile as I’m European but I ruefully acknowledge you could write statements that apply equally from our side of the pond!!)

There is a fundamental “truth” in each statement which if applied leads to the peace and justice of Christ!!

God be with you always and have a Holy and God Inspired 2008



[What a wonderful way to start the new year.

I have been subjected to many “what is religiously correct” conversations over the past two years. These conversations I find especially emotionally wearing, as God has not laid it upon my heart to do more than love and accept each individual as a beloved child of God, in the same manner of Christ towards each of us.

I plan on saving this article, to use as a balm should I be unfortunate in the future and have to endure any more of these types of conversations.

I just wanted you to know that your work has been a blessing, and is appreciated.

Thank you.]


[I said “Amen” to most, and “ouch” to several. However, comments like “If you think that religion and Christianity are compatible” are surprisingly cynical and sweeping. Especially considering the opening line.]


[It’s funny, Yaholo, I got snagged on that one myself. I certainly didn’t want to edit it out, so I left it in. I have a feeling it’s one that will turn each of us back on ourselves to think what in the world the comment could mean.

For me, I think often Religion (with a capital R perhaps) has to do with showing a way ABOUT life. Christianity, at least if it’s active and centered on the God-Presence spoken of by Jesus, is a way OF Life. Now, having said that, I am a big failure at making that a starting point in my own faith too much of the time.

Blessings and Happy New Year,



[“If you think that “being real” means talking more about the wind and waves in your life than about the One who calms the storm, you might be misrepresenting God.” This is interesting to me, as I constantly worry about these “storms” (and I know that many others do, as well). I think, however, I’d really rather talk about the “wind and waves”, than to go on about “the One who calms” them, as such would probably come across to others (at best), as being rather saccharine (not to say preachy). At worst, I’d hate to be (mis)perceived as being a proselytizer. Then, too, I can’t say I have any (direct) knowledge of this “One” who is said to be so calming. Still, I hope and even intuit (in some vague, yet persistant way) that such truly exists and is not merely a comforting fantasy….]


[Literalism, fundamentalism, ritualism and dogmatism abound….and every Sunday Morning you can get your fill. Or to truly be heaven bound…the “true” Sabbath is to be observed on Saturday morning….(so saith the 7th Day Adventists). And for some a maleable god is required……one that can be puppeted to fit the Julian Calendar (barring Leap Years). And so it is……

For every stage of faith…a venue may be found to cater to its’ own parameters and subset of believers. Do not be frustrated at those who require literalism, fundamentalism and the like…..for Scripture is multivalent…..and will speak to those whose spirit & temperament require just such a message.

As mystics….it is in humility, transcendence and forgiveness with which we must address our frustrations. For we too passed through these very same perspectives and must now set examples of such passage.

A thought on fellowship for Steve and those who also feel his frustration……

“A Fig tree looking upon a Fig Tree…..beareth fruit.” – Arabian Proverb

and that is what this site is about…….! - John]


[Thanks for the link and the reprint. I’ve been amazed at the response to this post around the blogosphere!

The “religion vs. Christianity” point has gotten me several scoldings in various forums, and I understand the frustration people are feeling with it. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, it wasn’t necessarily the best-worded of the bunch. But I’m not one to edit a post after it’s been published, except to correct obvious typos or to add updated commentary. So I feel compelled to leave it the way it was and let the discussion hammer it out.

In other words, I agree with those who challenge me on that one point! ;) Your statement about “ABOUT life” vs. “way OF life” is well-spoken and pretty much expresses what I was trying to say. Ahh, the beauty of discussion in blogland!

By the way, interesting that we use the same template on our blogs :)

Blessings in the new year, and thanks again for the shout-out.

Mea, I pray that that “One” will become more and more real to you, but I commend you for trusting in his existence despite the vagueness of your sense of him at this point in your journey.]


[Great article, though I do take small issues with the comment about grape juice. I assume this is in reference to the wine vs. grape juice issue with Communion? Really I don’t think it matters if you use wine, grape juice, or really whatever you have at your disposal. I’d imagine God is more concerned with the spirit behind the act rather than the specific implements used.]



That’s more than a fair comment. I suppose what I was referring to was mixed in with some personal experiences from way back. I grew up in the Presbyterian Church, and I remember we had communion four times a year in the form of broken crackers and small round metal trays with grape juice in them. I happen to agree with you that on some level such is true, but I remember, only for me here I should say, the difference when I went to a church where communion/Eucharist was an integral part of each worship service.

I was a mere lad, though, but it never really seemed to have much “oomph” in my early days, and I tie it to broken Saltines and room temperature Welches.

My bad, perhaps.