KHYERON - I was a young girl when my parents became born-again Christians. I might not have known the word transformation, but I saw the results. My parents were different, changed -- transformed, and I was intrigued. They may have introduced me to God, but I was curious enough to want to know more about Him. No one forced God on me, no one made me have a relationship with Christ, no one in my family harassed me, or intimidated me into worship. I sought God and He revealed Himself to me. No one had to condemn me or point out that I was a sinner, those were just things I instinctively knew. When I was ready, I freely acknowledged and accepted what Jesus did for me. My path to Him was never impeded or manipulated. I was encouraged to pray and ask questions, but I was never dragged along or threatened to be compliant.
Like most folks, my journey in life has produced pain and regret. I have done naughty things with naughty people, and I have memories I want to forget. My relationship with God has been sidetracked, set back, and saddled with human issues. But, I have never ever experienced Him withhold His love or His presence because of something I did or said, or because of something I didn't do or say.
I have not been inclined to follow the 600+ Hebrew laws. And I don't know that I ever will. From what I have gathered through prayer and reading that is not He wants from me either. I do think it's important for me to follow the Ten Commandments though. What He has been teaching me over the years can be summed up in one word: love. Not a love for this world [kosmikos], not a love that men have to do what they want on their terms, not a love that is contradictory to Who He is. But, a genuine love for the welfare of others, and a love for them to want to encourage them to have an intimate relationship with Him.
There are certainly some wonderful traditions that I have personalized for my spiritual needs. I have been blessed through the teachings and sharing from others. And I benefit from fellowship with other believers. But, I really meant it when I said I follow no man or no man-made religion blindly, loyally. I do not follow in the way of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims or Ba'al. I am not a Jew, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Mormon or Jehovah Witness.
I want you to understand that I do not mind you sharing your views on religion - the good, bad or ugly aspects of it. What I took offense at is you stating that I could not know
God. My relationship with Him is real and personal the same way that my relationship with my husband is real and personal. It is not up to you to tell me otherwise.
Now, as for the "girl" reference, though I do not presume to speak on behalf of all women, a good rule of thumb is to not call a married woman you are not friends with a "girl." It will more likely than not be considered an insult. Same as addressing a female you are not friends with "woman." Yes, women can call each girl as it's usually done so on friendly terms. [It's a "girl" thing *LOL*] Unless you are of Southern persuasion [which I happen to know (there's that word again!) you are not] which would be considered customary or unless you are my husband I find it inappropriate to be called "darlin'" or "darling" by a man I do not know (darn it, can't get away from that word!). If you wish to convey a friendly, dare I say even an affectionate tone, may I suggest addressing me as "Moon?"