Beliefnet
J Walking

And now there is our friend Peter Ahlstrom:

I’ve read your blog daily for about a year, and occasionally commented. Tempting Faith got me started. You caught my interest with your stand on helping the poor, and on fasting from politics to rediscover what’s really important.
My background? I grew up outside church, and was an atheist for a while. Then a friend nagged me till I visited his church. There I saw so much that was “real,” loving, and joyful, that I turned around 180 degrees.
But, though I now believed in God, it took years to begin learning to love him. And, in theory, I believed in “loving my neighbors,” but firmly drew the line at helping the poor. To me, that was doing them no favors.
That strongly conservative thinking continued through a 20-year career as college, public, and finally technical librarian, through four years of work in the Space Shuttle program (half in the Launch Control Center at Kennedy Space Center), and then through most of a second career as an aerospace/defense “master planner.”
But God kept “clubbing me over the head” (through a lot of experiences) until he got me curious enough to “dig” to see what the Bible itself meant by “love your neighbors.” That search changed my thinking radically, helped by experiences like living in a tent trailer for six years with my wife and children after most of us defense workers were laid off during government budget cuts. (The plant where I worked went from 17,000 workers to below 4,000.)
Should I write a book on all that? Actually, I have – a study on “loving our neighbors” that tells many of the experiences we went through and cites over 3,000 Bible verses. Any of you who’d like to see it are welcome to, at our family’s web site, www.sparkleofnature.com.
Best wishes to all of you, with all your varied views. David, my family’s very curious to see what direction God takes you in after your Uganda experience (knowing that it may take time). All four of us pray for you daily.

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