On proving God

explore-god-billboard

There’s a huge movement that’s sweeping Austin right now called Explore God. If you live in central Texas, you know what I’m talking about. You pull out of your driveway and you see a sign in the yard across the street. You get on the highway and there’s a billboard. You drive past a church to see a big Explore God banner out front, then, on your way home, more signs dot the houses as you drive through your neighborhood. I was blown away by the saturation level that the people behind this movement managed to achieve, and... Read More

He who knows the story

All my life, I’ve been fascinated by stories. Whether it was told in the form of a book, a movie, a play, or through some old relatives sitting on the front porch on a hot day sipping cold bottles of beer, I’ve always been captivated by the almost magical power a story has to make you feel more human, more alive. As a kid, I used to write my own tales incessantly. When I was eleven I finished up a 100-page novel about an awkward loner girl who was ostracized by the popular kids, only to have them falling at her feet and begging for her... Read More

AGAINST (The Our Father, Word by Word)

Our Father Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth As it Is in Heaven. Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread. Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Have Trespassed Against…. .  “But what if someone wants you to kill them and eat them?” my friend asked. I think that that was the moment I realized I was no longer a liberal atheist. My husband and I were at a dinner party shortly after we got married, and someone brought up a recent news story about a man in Europe who had been... Read More

First, you must be willing to lose it all

I’ve received a lot of feedback in response to my post called Finding God in 5 Steps. Of all the interesting and insightful things that people shared, there was one email that hit me right between the eyes, and made me realize something that I’ve hardly gone a day without thinking about. It was from a young man who fell away from faith for many years and had only recently returned to a close relationship with God. He said that he agreed with what I wrote in that post, but thought that I missed one thing: There was one thing that was... Read More

The secret of discernment

St. Francis at San Damiano I’ve been thinking about the topic of discernment again lately (longtime readers know that this is a big area of fascination for me). How do I know what God wants me to do in this or that situation? If I have a bunch of good options in front of me, which one do I choose? This is the sort of thing I ponder when I’m loading the dishwasher. Of all the stacks of books I’ve read on this subject, one vignette keeps coming to mind: the famous story of St. Francis of Assisi receiving the message from God in the... Read More

How I went from lifelong atheism to orthodox Catholicism (Audio)

My story + 7 lessons I learned about conversion Thursday night I was honored to be asked to share my conversion story with the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) group at St. Elizabeth’s parish here in central Texas. I wanted listeners to be able to take something away that they could apply to their own lives, so I wove in seven lessons I learned about the conversion process. Click here to view the handout I gave to attendees (PDF). It includes a list of my seven lessons, as well as a page of recommended reading. You can listen... Read More

Reaching gracepoint

One thing that’s missing from the sidebar here at the newly-designed blog is my Why I Believe in God post. I used to keep it up there to give new readers a high-level explanation of what convinced me of God’s existence, thinking that it might even offer fellow seekers insights that could help them walk their own paths of conversion. But when I re-read it in the process of transferring my files over to the new host, I realized that it doesn’t give the full picture of how I came to believe in God. Back then, I thought of my conversion... Read More

Looking for the tow truck driver

Coming from atheism, the whole concept of there being a personal God who is somehow involved in all that we do was amazing…and intimidating…and confusing. As anyone who has read my 2007 archives knows, for many months I was fascinated with the concept of knowing exactly what God’s plans were for all the little details of my life. I looked everywhere for signs: did my invitation to a friend’s wedding get lost in the mail because I wasn’t supposed to go? Did my computer crash while writing for my blog because God didn’t... Read More

Why I’m Catholic

I am asked with increasing frequency why I converted to Catholicism as opposed to one of the other Christian denominations. Though this blog is sort of one long conversion story, I’ve never put together a post summarizing that part of my journey because that subject matter can be a hot (and divisive) topic. Also, these types of posts are often interpreted to have an implication that people who have had different experiences and have come to different conclusions about religion and God are wrong and therefore not going to be saved. I want... Read More

Thoughts on becoming Catholic

So, as I mentioned in my last post, going to see Joel Osteen and experiencing his Evangelical-style church service live had a big impact on me. First, it was just inspiring to see so many positive, happy people so excited about Christianity. It was so touching to look around and feel like I was surrounded by thousands of people who were honestly trying to make their lives better and become better people. The other big thing was that it completely clarified for my husband and me that we are Catholic. I really enjoyed the service and plan to go back... Read More

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