Well that makes two of us.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Hello Dear Readers!
Today I'm going to talk a little bit about obsession-what it is, how it works with Geeks (and non-geeks too), what some of the results of obsession are, and finally how we determine if an obsession is a worthy consumer of our thoughts, emotions, and time. This is a harder subject for me to write on because I am going to be using some personal and rather mortifying examples from my own life to illustrate some of my points.
Obsession: What is it and How does it work?
First let's talk about what obsession is: merriam-webster.com defines it as follows:
1: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly
: compelling motivation, for example: an obsession with profits
This is a pretty accurate definition, except it's a little clinical, and I think in our current culture the adjectives disturbing and unreasonable have pretty much dropped out of our minds. We are a society that likes to obsess at various junctures of our lives, and geeks are not the only ones to obsess, obsession has become a fairly common lifestyle choice. Just look at the level of fandom and devotion for various sports teams, television shows, political commentators/leaders, authors, and dare I say it, blogs, and it's fairly obvious obsession today is more of a trendy indulgence than a sign of psychological abnormality.
What I do like about this definition is its mention of preoccupation and compulsion-because I think that is where obsession really starts to be demonstrated. If I am preoccupied with something for a period longer than a week, and I find myself compelled to talk about it, buy items related to it, and even convert others to the appreciation of it, it's reasonable to say I am obsessed with "it" whatever it may be. And obsession can form through three simple things-as my handy formula below illustrates:
Investments of Time +Internal Thoughts+ Experiencing Emotions=Obsession
I don't care how stoic you are in your disposition, if you invest large portions of your time, your internal thoughts, and continually experience emotions you enjoy in association with something, it is likely that that thing will become the object of your obsession: be it a television show, a band, an artist, a book series, action figure/comics book collection, film trilogy etc.
Obsession and the Geek
Many non-Geeks have expressed confusion at the level of obsession that they seek Geeks reaching-it can be both highly humorous and alarming to them (If you are confused as to what I mean about a Geek see my working definitions in my first blog section). The simple answer I give them is that nobody can obsess like a Geek can because it is how they prefer to have fun. But this needs further explanation that includes a description of the nature of Geeks. Geeks by and large have a very rich internal life-in our minds and in our hearts. There is a lot going on under the surface of a geek that has to do with the joy she/he gets out of intellectual exploration and games and the emotional satisfaction that comes with things linked to this internal life. That's why we like books-it takes place all in our heads, and music-because we can experience it and internalize it. And a dazzling competency in this internal world often leads to the inverse of our being socially awkward and ill-at ease in the real world. Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable or like they don't belong. In the societies created within a Geek's imagination, she or he may be the hero, the irreplaceable team member, or beloved companion (if you want further proof of this look at all the fan fiction on the internet where the author has written him or herself into an existing story as a character). Therefore, is it any wonder they would choose to withdraw to a reality of their own making, from one filled with opportunities for them to fall short and for human interactions to hurt them? I'm not saying that it's healthy, but it is logical, so far as avoiding pain is logical. And for this reason Geeks are more vulnerable to giving way to obsession in a way that is not entirely mentally or spiritually healthy for them.
When a Geek obsesses (though anyone Geek and Non-Geek alike are capable of this) they dwell on every single aspect of the object of their obsession-they immerse themselves in it and everything related to it, because it is enjoyable to them. And because of this internal focus and devotion, the obsessed person achieves a certain level of intimacy with the object of their obsession in their hearts and minds.
And if they are geeks, they may add the mystical component to their obsession, where on some level they now want all things in the world to somehow relate to the object of their obsession. So that the object now goes beyond moving them deeply once or twice to preoccupying them for a length of time, days, weeks, months, and years depending on the level of the obsession. They will read again, or watch again, or listen again, or discuss again and again that object with which they are obsessed. They have explored that object in all its glorious possibilities, symbolism, implications etc. and while doing so have interconnected it to their own lives, their own strands of thought, and themselves.
Ownership of the object of their obsession has taken place (which is why Geeks feel they have the right to critique any further media related to the object of their obsession-some examples: it a movie version of a book or comic, to a new episode of a television show they have already watched for some time, or a new album by a band they have followed). But it can go even beyond ownership. The deeply obsessed person may identify the object of their obsession (that song, that image, or that sequence of dialogue) internalizing it to a level that goes beyond ownership to reflection: they see themselves in it. That movie line on the t-shirt I am wearing doesn't just remind you of the movie, it reflects and expresses me. And this intimacy level with the obsessive object can give the person in question a distorted view of the intimacy level they have with the creators of that object as well-aka- Obsessive Fandom. Which leads us to:
Some Real-Life Examples of Obsession
Okay, I need to be more honest, most of the time we Geeks have a distorted view of our intimacy level once we've become obsessed.
I read an article once written about a Lord of the Rings convention from a journalist who I would classify as a non-Geek. At this event several of the actors who played the hobbits in Lord of the Rings movies were there. In their commentary of the films, these actors had told a charming story about playing "tig" which as far as I could gather was either a British version of "tag" that they had made up on –set. Now what this journalist could not wrap his/her head around was the strange gifts that these fans of the movies had brought to present to the actors at the autograph table. One of the gifts mentioned was a long, hand-calligraphed in ye-olden lettering scroll that listed all official "Rules of Tig," that were mentioned in the commentary. To the geeks who created it, and put much time into it, this was a thoughtful and sincere gift that clearly communicated they got it, they knew all the rules of tig too! They were part of the inner circle. Which of course obviously they weren't. All geeks think we are on the inner circle because in our minds, the area of our lives in which we feel the most free, we are-we have achieved that level of intimacy. It makes sense to geeks, but to someone on the outside of the obession they look at that gift and conclude "this is the most bizarre behavior I have ever seen."
Yeah, we get that a lot.
And if you think it's weird out here, be thankful you've never been inside our heads.
I will say that as I have gotten older my perspective on geek fandom specifically pertaining to gifts has changed. I understand the reasons why the geek to give an ornately detailed and intimate gift to a person who is somehow responsible for the object of their obsession, but I don't think this is always the best thing. I am sure that the actors who played the hobbits in the LOTR films accepted the scroll of tig rules with a generous cordiality, but we have to also recognize that one of them didn't go home and hang it up on their wall.
But some of you Geeks in the throes of your obsession are saying: "What if I want to make something?! Who are you to tell me not to make anything? I'm not good with words and words aren't enough for me to express my level of fandom." To which I will say, okay, then here's my second round of advice. Make something that expresses your fandom, and not an assumed level of intimacy.
Here's my own, still hard to admit, painfully embarrassing example.
I have been obsessed with many things in my lifetime, one being The Lord of the Rings, and another was this little band I came across while flipping through channels one day. One of the singers in this band was what I considered a dead ringer (pun intended) for Legolas. When I got my hands on their first CD, and they had a track entitled, "In the House of Tom Bombadil," (remember geeks love interconnectivity) it seemed a further confirmation that this band was, astoundingly awesome.
They were called: Nickel Creek.
The band consisted of a violinist, Sara Watkins, guitarist and sibling Sean Watkins, and best friend mandolin playing Legolas-impersonating Chris Thile. My sister and I listened to their music non-stop, we learned their lyrics and melodies by heart, and we drove miles upon miles through the great state of California to attend their concerts. A merry obsession in full bloom.
It will be therefore no surprise to you when I say I was interacting with their music on a very intimate level. Around the same time I was getting into scrapbooking and decoupage, though not in the straight corners, pretty patterns, flush edges, precise captions, and bubbly stickers style that is so popular now. What I did was just use whatever I thought was fun (magazine pictures, advertisements, napkins, discarded library books etc) and instead of documenting life I created art-projects. I got pretty good at it after a while- collaged the inside of cigar boxes in pretty ways and gave them to my friends.
And so, since I loved Nickel Creek, what was there for me to do but make them a cigar box collage like any other of my friends? I worked very hard and made a beautiful box. It took me about a month to get all the images and text I thought they would find inspiring, and I also added a few marbles and a small metal knight in shining armor to give it that childhood feel. This is mortifying enough to me now, but did I stop there? Oh no. I felt an intimacy with their songs remember? And being a writer and a poet, I then put a series of songs, some of them replies to songs they had written in the box too. Then I wrapped it and presented it to them quietly at a concert. Oh, and I also put my name and contact information in the box on the side, you know, just in case. At the time I was full of hope, innocence, a longing for art and friendship, and gratitude. And part of me looks at this gift and the desire behind it and is very merciful to my sweet stupid naïve geeky self.
But in the same moment the larger part of me is saying: "What the heck was I thinking?"
You see these band members were not my personal friends, I was a fan. Clear distinction. And while I have the advantage of knowing me and that my motives for giving the box were pure, to them this was likely one of the creepiest gifts they received of all time.
And when I think about that box now, ever, even just for a few minutes, I cringe.
But this story does have a happy ending.
Years later my sister and I drove down to L.A. to see "The Watkins Family Hour" at Largo, at the Cornet after the band had mutually split up into two factions. We went to see Sean and Sarah play, and let me tell you it is amazing-and totally worth the trip if you live in CA. Wandering through the aisles at Michaels craftstore, I saw some foam fingers like the kind people use at sporting events. Inspired, I made us some Watkins family hour foam fingers, that read-Sean is #1 and Sarah is #1-very simple and silly. We asked permission to produce them at the opportune moment at the concert to express our appreciation for the music.
And they were a smashing success! Sean and Sara talked to us afterwards, and we gave them to them as a sort of trophy for their musicianship. Why did they respond to the fingers in such a positive way? Because they expressed our actual relationship-artist and fan-with no bloated level of intimacy assumed. So don't get me wrong, express your geeky fandom, but maybe run it by a few of your not-obsessed-with-that-thing friends first, to make sure it is reality based and expressing an accurate or appropriate level of intimacy.
Hopefully these two real-life examples have shown you one of the greatest dangers of obsession-the obsessed person involved can suffer a disconnect from reality that they regret later on in their lives (box-cringe!). And if the obsession is deep this can take time to realize-it took me several years of maturing to realize that I was living in la la land when I made that box. And likewise, my obsession changed and matured-it turned into fandom instead. I still listen to their music with that deep level of intimacy, but I know I'm not on the inner circle and that's okay.
Another danger to obsession is how it can dominate your life and displace things that are far more important. I'm going to talk about obsession disrupting my relationship with God, which is by far the most important thing in my life, but this can also be applied to an obsession displacing relationships with friends and family or other necessary human pursuits. When I first started watching Doctor Who (the new series starting 2005) I had been provided with all the episodes of several seasons from a friend, and I became obsessed in a very brief amount of time. I was watching 2-3 episodes a day, just tearing through seasons. Then one Sunday morning I am in church, singing a familiar worship song, and in the middle of singing I catch myself wondering what would be happening in the next episode. Although this happened entirely in my head, I was both embarrassed before God and myself. So I repented and backed off of my obsession by not watching any Doctor Who for a week and trust me that was hard. Then I adjusted my viewing to one episode a day, no more, and an equal amount of time in bible study and other things.
Now that's what I had to do for me, if you are obsessed you may not have to go to such extremes, or you may need to take way more drastic measures to get a handle on your obsession. And you may not be experiencing any "ah-ha!" moment regarding what you are currently obsessed with. But here's a few steps you can take to make sure your obsession hasn't reached an unhealthy level.
- See what the people who know you, and you trust think about your obsession.
- Ask yourself, "How much time am I devoting to this object vs other things in my life?"
- Count how many times in one day you are thinking about the object of your obsession.
- Ask yourself, "If I was forced to forgo experiencing/interacting with this object for a while, could I do it?"
- Ask yourself, "Has this object become more important that anyone (i.e. God/Family) or anything in my life that should have priority over it?"
I'd like to clarify-I don't mean see if the people you trust like the object of your obsession as well or even understand your obsession; I mean notice their reactions to it. Pay attention if your friends/family are making comments about you caring too much about your obsession-people are put in our life to help normalize us. If they don't comment, ask them directly, remember, in a multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14). As for the other steps, they are only going to benefit you if you are honest with yourself in your answers, and if your answer to step 4 is on some teeny level uncertain, test it-because that is an indication you could do with a break. After all, the kind of obsession you want to have should be one that inspires you to live your life more fully, to create art your own art, to speak truth, and to reach out and connect to the people you care about. Which leads us to:
A Worthy Obsession
Finally, I would argue that the greatest danger of obsession is how easily it can happen with something that is not really worthy to be an object of your obsession. If you are going to allow yourself to be preoccupied with or even compelled to action by an object, it had better be worthy because it is going to produce results in your life. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" (Mathew 11:24); in other words, what you internalize is going to become externalized by you. Remember obsession involves a level of intimacy, so it is a more than reasonable stance to ask what exactly it is you are allowing yourself to become intimate with.
So here's a filter I have used in my own life more and more as I examine the things I delight in, the things in my life it is fair to say I am somewhat if not fully obsessed with (from Philippians 4:8):
"Whatever things are true,
Whatever things are noble,
Whatever things are just,
Whatever things are pure,
Whatever things are lovely,
Whatever things are of good report,
If there is any virtue,
If there is anything praiseworthy,
Meditate on these things."
To meditate is to consider thoughtfully, to be preoccupied with, to obsess on. If I find myself caught up with a tv show, band, song, book, comic, web series, movie, or the like I ask myself-does it tell the truth? Are the actions of the characters/thoughts that are advocated noble? Is there justice? Is it pure and uncorrupted? Is it lovely? Are any virtues such as self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, or faith demonstrated, illustrated, and reiterated by this thing? What about it is praiseworthy? The non-Christian who is ethical I think could also look at this list and recognize the wisdom of it if they desire good in their lives. And this is more than a check list, it is interconnected as well, for what can truly be called lovely if it is a lie? How can something be of good report if it glorifies injustice?
In conclusion, a worthy obsession is something that will encourage the obsessed person to act rightly, and to do good- to grow as a person. How unfortunate it would be if I obsessively escaped into a series such as Doctor Who, where characters travel to the edges of the universe to help others, and I myself didn't start looking for who I can rescue, befriend, and take on adventures in my own life. What a failure it would be if my obsession with The Lord of the Rings only went so far as admiring the self-sacrificial actions of characters and then shutting the book with the thought that it is decently written. In contrast, if I meditate on Samwise Gamgee's attitude of humility and daily self-sacrifice then maybe I will begin seeking ways to become a less self-centered person and more devoted friend.
So my friends, are you obsessed? And if so is it a worthy obsession?
I challenge you to reflect and see!
Until next time, I am yours obsessively,
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Hello there, Geek Girl here,
So some of you may be asking what is up with the blog title?
I imagine your inner monologue going something like this:
"I mean it's an obvious allusion to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but is she saying she's a better writer than Douglas Adams? Because if so I will have to either: A) Stop reading her blog out of deference to that author, B)Actually read one of the Hitchhiker's guide books my Uncle keeps bugging me to read C) Rent the movie and hope the blanks are satisfactorily filled in. Also, is it tea time yet?"
If this wasn't exactly what you were thinking, then hopefully at least you were entertained, as I am whenever I read the Hitchhiker's guide series. I like Douglas Adams as a writer and his continually ill-fated protagonist Arthur Dent is perhaps one of my favorite characters in the annuls of literature. And no, I am not comparing myself to him as a writer for several reasons; one being that he has a vastly superior vocabulary to mine, and two being that I don't think I could capture the humorous moroseness of his view of the Universe if I tried.
I am however utilizing the significance of the number 42 in his novels to my own ends.
THE MEANING OF 42
In the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy, a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings decide they want to know the meaning of "Life, the Universe, and Everything" so they build a massive super computer called Deep Thought to calculate an answer for them. Millions of years later the answer, the ultimate answer that Deep Thought provides them with is 42. This unfortunately doesn't mean anything to our pan-dimensional philosophers, but as Deep Thought points out to them, they didn't really provide her with a definitive question. When they demand that Deep Thought work out what the question is, in her John the Baptist moment, Deep Thought says she cannot calculate it but that they must created another supercomputer greater than herself with biological life in its matrices, whose intricate program of life will produce the question. The same group of group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings, and subsequently created in the same manner that we earthlings might order a custom sofa for an oddly shaped room. However, a mere 5 minutes before the earth's 10 million year program can actually be completed; the earth is destroyed by the Vogons (a highly bureaucratic alien race) to make way for a new hyper-spatial expressway.
This happens of course because as a self-professed "radical atheist" Adam's continual theme throughout the series, is just when we think we can find meaning, or happiness, or any small variations of both, either we or some other equally self-absorbed life-form with come and screw it all up. We can have the answer 42, but never the question, and without it the answer is useless. This is because Adam's ultimate view of life is that since there is no answer to be had all we can do is resolve not to panic, to appreciate the beauty of the universe (such as fjords), and occasionally enjoy a good cup of tea as you quietly and humorously resign yourself to the hopelessness of it all.
This attitude towards life is one that many geeks adopt, embracing 42 as their answer.
And quite frankly, and with all due respect to Adams and his cohorts, I think there is a better, more satisfactory answer than 42, and it is Jesus.
Because as much as I laugh as I read and wish that I could give Arthur Dent a good hug and a nice cup of tea, I can't live my life the way that he does-towel in hand trying not to panic.
I must have more hope than 42 for the Universe and for myself. And I think geeks deserve a better answer as well, and with this blog I shall attempt to point them to it.
FUN WITH NUMBERS
I couldn't resist, although it has little relevance to the blog title itself, exploring 42 a little further. Numbers have spiritual significance that is indicated by how they are used in the bible. You can find this in books by many different bible scholars, but for convenience here's a link to one bible webpage I found, theoldtimegospel.org that shows them.
The number 4 is associated with Creation which is interesting to me because Adams himself was very invested in creation, he has a lovely book called Last Chance to See, where he visits animals all over the world and marvels at their beauty and unique features. Interestingly enough, he also has earth created intentionally in his series, not the result of an evolutionary accident or anomaly. The number 2 is associated with union, division, and witnessing, and so go to town interpreting that if you like.
4 plus 2 equals 6, which is the number of man, or more accurately imperfect or sinful man (That's why the number of the antichrist in Revelation is 666-it is man trying to achieve divinity as 3 is symbolic of the Trinity and divine perfection).
6 times 7 equals 42, and 7 is associated with spiritual completion or perfection, so you literally have imperfect man reaching for spiritual perfection and you get 42.
Pretty wild, huh?
COINCIDENCE YOU SAY?
As some of you more observant folks may have noted my email is GeekGirl452, but this is actually coincidence and has nothing to do with the aforementioned 42. You see I created the email account when I was still trying to come up with the name of the blog, and since Geek Girl wasn't available with yahoo I had to assign a number with it. 452 is a special number to me not because it is spiritually significant of anything. I just happen to like 452 because in the computer animated television series Reboot, the city of mainframe's brave defender (and my favorite character) was Bob, guardian 452. So while 5 is associated spiritually with grace, I was not trying to break up 42 with grace or anything so complicated as that.
I just love me some Reboot!
~Until next time, dear reader, this is Geek Girl signing off
NEXT TIME: " A Worthy Obsession" or "I'm in the inner circle-in my own mind."
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Hello there, Geek Girl here-
Coming to you from a tiny town in the massive state of California. I go by Geek Girl rather than my real name for two reasons. One is marketing- intensive studies (given to up to 5 people) have shown you are far more likely to like me as Geek Girl due to its catchy alliteration and easy pronunciation than by my actual name. Second, I am a high school teacher, which means that the last thing I need is students who got the grade they earned (significant glance in your direction, Bartleby Jones) to find me online and harass me unduly. That having been said, I do live in CA (which means I am sunburnt), I have a degree in English (which means I'm an experienced reader), I teach (which means I passed a background check with the FBI) and I have attended Comic-Con and Wondercon twice each under varying pseudonyms, one of which was written entirely in Angelo Saxon runes (which means you may have seen me already in your lifetime). In short:
I am a JESUS GEEK.
This means that I love Jesus and many, many geeky things such as Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, TV shows, movies, action figures, and comics. This blog is sort of a platform to discuss both geeky things and spiritual truths with some cross-over because who doesn't love a good cross-over (Ex: Superman and the Amazing Spiderman in a Duel of Titans)? In this blog I will also discuss experiences and issues common to your average female geek (yes we do exist).
Because there are no definitive definitions of terms such as Geek, Nerd, and Dork, I have provided you with the following-my very own:
1. a person with specialized (obsessive) knowledge in a specific category that is not necessarily academic.
2. a person with technical knowledge of computers or other electronic devices (I.E. the I.T.)
1. a person who is socially removed or isolated from others.
2. a person with academic knowledge in a specific content area : e.g. Literature, Science, Mathematics, etc.
1. a person with few social inhibitions
2. a person who is obviously and intentionally farcical in their behavior
3. a person who lacks physical coordination
I identify myself as a Geek the most because it most accurately represents me, but I also have nerdy and dorky tendencies. I believe that these terms should be celebrated and used on a regular basis by self-professed Nerds, Geeks, and Dorks in order to destroy the derogatory connotations these terms have carried in the past. I also identify myself as a Christian, and Jesus is my Lord, my salvation, and my best friend. I believe that anyone who is seeking truth will find Him. The following are my spiritual beliefs:
The Bible says that in order to be saved by Jesus Christ both from your sins and from an eternity separated from God (Hell) you need to do the following:
You need to turn away from your sin. You do this by confessing your sins to God and asking His forgiveness.
Sin is choosing your own way over God's way for your life. This is why Adam and Eve's choosing to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was sin-God told them not to because that knowledge and death were not something He intended for His creation. When most people think of sins they think of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) where sins like lying, murder, and adultery are mentioned. When Jesus came He further explained that sin doesn't just come in actions, it takes place in a man's heart and we can also sin through our thoughts (Mathew 5:21-22).
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
This means to look at Jesus' death on the cross and his rising from the dead three days later as a real event and something done personally for your salvation. God is holy and can have no part with sin, which is why when we sin we have separated ourselves from God (see above). And since we have sinned there is nothing we can do to earn our own salvation, we can't reconcile ourselves to God through being good people or doing good things (Romans 3:9-20, Ephesians 2:8).
When we recognize what Jesus has done for us then we understand that God took on the limited form of a human being and faced every temptation we also face but did not sin. He then allowed Himself to be crucified-taking our sins on Himself and even suffering the pain of being separated from God (Mathew 27:46) so that God could forgive us. In order for God to be just there must be a price paid for our sin, and that price is death, but Jesus loves us so much that He paid the price so we could be reconciled to Him both during our lives and after death.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 3:23
"For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21 (added by me for clarification)
ACCEPT HIS LORDSHIP
In addition to repenting and recognizing, you need to accept Jesus' gift of salvation for yourself and ask Him to become Lord of your life. Because you can desire to stop sinning and you can even recognize God's gift as a reality and still chose your own way and not be saved. Just like you can intellectually understand how a political group thinks but not live your life by their standards, so you can believe in Christianity and not belong to Jesus. So the last step is to decide to give up your own will for your life and to ask Him to come live in you and choose for you because you trust Him to choose better for you than you would chose for yourself. Jesus
Himself did this, surrendering His own will in obedience to the will of God the Father (Luke 22: 41-42, Philippians 2:8).
"Jesus said to him (Thomas), 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through Me.'" John 14: 6
"I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (Paul, a disciple of Jesus, wrote this describing himself and how his life is transformed by his choice to follow Jesus.)
Praying can be made into this huge intimidating thing, when in reality it is simply having a conversation with God. You can pray out loud or in your heart and mind, but you need to talk to God-tell Him in your own words that you are a sinner and you want to repent, that you recognize His death on the cross was for you and that you accept His salvation for your life and for your eternity.
Ask Him to come into your life and to dwell in you to equip you with the power of His Holy Spirit (John 15:15-18, John 15:26-27) who Jesus talked about as being our Helper. When you pray God is not looking for eloquent poetry He just wants honesty. Say it to Him how you would say it to your best friend -just talk!
READ THE BIBLE, PRAY, GET CONNECTED TO A CHURCH!
Once you have prayed you are saved-you have now entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This may seem like a pretty abstract and overwhelming concept at first, but try to think of it more simply like any relationship you've just started. What would you do with any new relationship? Well, you'd probably talk to that person, spend time with him in order to get to know him better and share more of yourself with him, and you'd tell your other friends about him.
You can both spend time with Jesus and get to know him better by reading the Bible. The book of John shares the life of Jesus with us from the perspective of one of His best friends. The book of Romans lays out how God's salvation works for us step by step-these are two really good books to start with. But don't feel limited them-there is nothing in God's word He is afraid of having you bring up with Him. Praying is also how you can get to know God and to share more of yourself with Him. Remember-keep it personal and real-prayer is a conversation not a grand speech or a guilt trip, or a list of demands. Talk to God about what you need and ask for help. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to do too and listen for Him to answer you in your heart, in His word, and in your experiences throughout the week.
Tell the people in your life about the decision you made to follow Jesus. Don't worry about what you need to learn- just share what He has done for you. And finally, join a church so you can talk to other people who also believe in Him. Make sure the church shares the beliefs you have-that all men are sinners, that Jesus really died and rose again in 3 days, that there is nothing we can do to add to that salvation, and that He should be Lord of our lives. And don't let yourself be discouraged, churches are very different and sometimes it takes a long time to find one where you really feel at home. Just pray and ask God to lead you where He wants you.
In the spirit of full disclosure I hope this gave you an accurate picture of me, dear reader, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.
~This is Geek Girl, signing off.
NEXT TIME: "Better than 42? " Or "What's in a blog name?"