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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Readers Blog: Southern Perlo

A Bible Thumper Weighs In

My guest writer today is a woman deserving of wider recognition. Sandra E. Graham is a grandmother living in northern Arizona, and today is looking at 8 inches of snow. She is witty, earthly, and survives the daily details of living with a wonderful laugh and a profound eye. An American grandmother who writes about washing machines and frozen turkeys, her observations nurture unconditional love and common sense. I am deeply honored that she give me permission to reprint from her funny and joyful essays. Today, she offers a Sunday answer to cynics, agnostics, atheists, and others who argue the fact or presence of an unseen God in their lives. I hope you enjoy Sandra Graham's work. I know I do.(wr)

 

Actually, I don't think of myself as a Bible Thumper'-I'm not sure what a Bible thumper is. I get a picture of when I was eight or so and the Baptist preacher, where I accompanied my parents to church, pounded on the podium (or it could have been the Bible), spraying spittle, and shouting to High Heaven! Really, though, I'm sure it is purely symbolic-someone who places boundless, energetic, and enthusiastic emphasis on their faith in the Bible. A person who is so profoundly enveloped in their beliefs that they will go to extreme measures to get their point across.

Truth be known, I would like to be just such a person. I would love to be the type of person who feels no qualms about shattering the tabletop to get a group's attention. To be so in tune with my convictions, that I would allow nothing to stop me from wailing from the rooftops. Being a quiet person-old school raised; children are to be seen and not heard-I never learned to speak out. What rolls from my brain, down my arms, and through my fingertips has very little chance of ever coming out of my mouth. Should it ever try, there is usually a foot in the way.

I am not insecure in my faith; my insecurity lies merely in public speaking. I have journeyed with Adam and Eve and Moses through the Old Testament and truly believe that there is one God who created all living things along with the earth and its universe.

And not simply because that that is what I have been told, but because the telling touched my soul with a reality that I can't deny. Sure the Bible is full of terrible events, wars, alcoholism, incest, murder, and adultery-but these are all human frailties. God gave us a brain and I think He basically wanted us to learn to use our brains to the betterment of the human race. I'm sure He had hoped that someday we would (being created in His image) learn from our senseless mistakes and become a people worthy of His grace and love.

Another thing I don't necessarily want to do is force my convictions and religion on another. I don't feel that a person has to attend church faithfully to be a Christian. A church is just a building-the true church is the people. A true Christian who has God and Jesus in his heart carries his church with him. Attending church does, however, keep a person focused on remaining true to that person's beliefs. As humans, we are very susceptible to human weaknesses and therein is where the danger lies. If we aren't faithful in our Bible Study and church attendance, we may too easily be swayed by the material possessions in a world where too many feel possessions are the greatest form of wealth.

I don't believe God has a special Heaven for terrorists who take their own lives while killing indiscriminately. I find it impossible to believe that any true God would condone killing as a way to salvation. My God teaches me to love my enemies. So for anyone who says "I don't believe in God or Jesus", I don't condemn that person, rather pray for his/her salvation.

And for those who tell us, we don't know what's out there, we don't know how we were created or why; all I can say is FAITH. We have to have faith, for without faith, we truly do have nothing. If the whole world based their actions on faith that there is a loving God who gave His only Son to bear the sinful burdens of a world gone wrong and would act according to the teachings of a Bible that says Love thy neighbor, thou shalt not kill, honor thy father and thy mother, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not have Gods before me, remember the sabbath, do not use the Lord's name in vain, and thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's belongings, wouldn't it be a given that the world could live as one?

Who could find fault with reasoning such as this? If this makes me a Bible Thumper, then I am proud to be a Bible Thumper and will continue to pray that more and more people become such. We will all be, in the end, judged by our works; may our works reflect well on us when that time comes.

I will bethere for you.



Sandra E. Graham authored AMOS JAKEY and NICOLINA published by American Book Publishing. Sandra loves to write about people and if you enjoy reading about people, you will love these books. Her first two novels are historical/adventure/fiction of early 1900's America.

Thanks for reading.

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