by Cliff Ravenscraft on February 22, 2007

in Blog

I was just browsing a friend's blog and came upon this entry. I'm going to quote what she wrote below. Highlights are added to some content to explain why I love to podcast!

Love and Comfort Here:
As far as I can recall, I don't believe I've mentioned here that I started going back to church. Not only have I began attending church again, I've renewed my faith. I believe with my heart and soul that God exists and that He is the one and only.
I lost my faith a number of years ago. I grew up to believe in God. I went to church every Saturday. I went to parochial school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. I participated in the youth groups through high school. While in high school, I began to lose my faith. I stopped attending services and fizzled out my attendance in the youth groups. Since high school I can count on two hands how many times I've been to church, this includes weddings. (This excludes the past 6 months).
I couldn't believe that God could be so loving and powerful that he would let such terrible things happen to me. I never could get a grip on that. I also didn't understand so much of the bible and His teachings. I was afraid to ask questions.. I still didn't get it though. I couldn't feel God in my life because I didn't understand how He worked. The church I went to wasn't very open to people with doubts and fears. What kind of answer would they give me if I asked how God could allow terrible things to happen? I thought nothing good could come of asking that, let alone anything else that ran through my brain.
All of this changed for me around the month of April. I know I have mentioned the Lost podcast that I'm a huge fan of. I listened to them for a while. I found out they had two other podcasts, one about the hosts' crazy life and the other about the church. One of these hosts is a minister. Both hosts are a team, a husband and wife team that podcast about Lost. I listened to them and I heard something that intrigued me. I felt something that intrigued me. They had this amazing chemistry and this love for one another. But that wasn't what I sensed. I felt so much more and I couldn't quite describe it.
In listening to them more and more, I began to wonder if maybe it had something to do with their faith and their connection to each other through their relationship with God. Questions roamed in and out of my head. On day I finally stopped and said to myself, “Self. What better way could you ask your questions about their conjoined faith, about your curiousity in faith and about God? The internet is anonymous. Rejection is so much easier to take this way because all you have to do then is click away. Go for it!” So I did. I wrote the host, Cliff, a long email asking about what I saw in them and asking about what they would tell someone with the little bit of history you read in my previous paragraphs here. He and his wife did not respond in email, but responded with a podcast episode. You can listen to the MP3 of it here just like you would listen to any downloaded song.
I was awe-struck while listening. I was silly and listened to it while I was at work one day. When the podcast ended I broke down into tears at my desk. I could feel something I hadn't felt before in my life. I felt something at work within me. It was so overwhelming that to this day I even have a difficult time describing it. I wanted to run through the building screaming that God loves me and I love God. I wanted to tell the whole world. I could FEEL Him within me, physically feel Him!
Many revelations came to me after that. God is all-powerful and with that power, God gave us the ability to have free will. God gave us the ability to make our own choices. That's where faith comes in. That's where sin comes in. That's where good people are. That's where the terrible people in our society are. We get to choose what to do with our lives. We can choose to rape, molest, rob, steal or cheat. We can choose to believe in God, attend church, help others or love unconditionally. We choose.
People chose to be terrible things, they chose to do terrible things. I chose how to deal with it. I now choose to heal and to allow God to be my guide.
After the day I listened to the podcast, I began doing some research into finding a church that would fit what I needed. I wanted a church that didn't have all of these crazy rules that my childhood church did. I wanted freedom to feel, to live, to doubt and to ask questions. I wanted something that would engage me and spike my curiosity. I needed something that would help me learn more about God and what I can be with Him. I asked a friend of mine what church she went to. She told me about this church. She said it was very contemporary. They're extremely open-minded and very accepting of all walks of life. They have a full rock-band that plays at each service and a minister who preaches in a t-shirt and torn jeans. It sounded like something I might definitely enjoy.
She invited me to attend with her a few weeks later. Jacob and I went together. I can't tell you how different this was. Church was fun! I didn't know church could be fun. Did you? I didn't. I thought fun was reserved for kids. Hey, guess what! We are God's children. If we let Him, He will teach us in a way that we will understand. All children have different learning styles. Some learn better from monotony. Some learn better through creativity. Some learn better through demonstration. The traditional church is the right church for many people. It's not right for me. I can't learn and I can't follow what God wants me to hear there. This church that I now attend is where I was meant to be. I learn, I love and I have fun.
Since I have accepted God into my heart.. since I have allowed myself to feel Him working in my life, everything has changed for me. When I pray to Him, I physically feel a difference. The best way I can describe it is how I feel when someone I trust hugs me. I feel that tingly sensation, relaxation, love and comfort. It's truly something that is amazing.
Praying and relinquishing myself to Him is one of my new coping mechanisms.
I have a long way to go in my journey of faith. I have so many questions still, but don't we all?

And this is why I feel that God has CALLED me into the ministry of podcasting! Please note, it was us podcasting about the television show LOST that led to all of this. When we podcast about Lost, we don't do it from a “Christian Perspective.” We just approach Lost as the “somewhat” normal people that we are. We just launched a similar podcast devoted to Grey's Anatomy. Guess who is the co-host with Stephanie? None other than the same person who just wrote the blog entry quoted above. God is amazing!
Please continue to pray for our efforts in podcasting. I feel a strong desire to do this FULL TIME! To do so, I will need to continue to work on ways to earn a living doing so. If you would like to help support what I'm doing, would you consider becoming one of our monthly podcast supporters? If so, click here.

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