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Is God an Immersionist?

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In the world of faith, folks often point out the obvious fact that God does not belong to a particular creed, religion, race, or school of philosophy. This sentiment establishes the divine as one which transcends divisive terms of affiliation. […]

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Farewell, Project Conversion: The End of an Adventure

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When I converted to Christianity at the age of 15, I assumed the faith with a passionate resolve. Despite the positive instruction from my pastor and others, I (for reasons I cannot explain) transformed into a fiery evangelist, launching Christianity […]

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Are You Living Out Your Parents’ Religion?

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Religion is an important, if not central, strand in many American families. We see the traditional set-up all over the place and now that I’m something of a spiritual nomad, I have the privilege of an objective witness to the […]

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Calvin and Hobbes: An American Upanishad?

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My wife Heather acts like she knows me. Maybe she’s seen the volumes of Calvin and Hobbes comics in my “book box” in the attic. Perhaps I’ve quoted a few lines or reminisced on fantasies over building disturbing snow monuments […]

Part Two of Heather’s Guest Post: “How Religion Almost Ruined My Marriage.”

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Here is part two of my wife’s post carried over from yesterday. Enjoy and be sure to visit her blog as well for more! —— Let’s get some background info on my husband, Andrew. He is the grandson of a […]

Guest Post by my Wife on How Religion Nearly Ruined Our Marriage.

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The following post was written by my wife, Heather, for her blog www.upsidedownhomeschooling.com. Here you’ll get another perspective of our family life before Project Conversion began. Enjoy… ——- Growing up my family was not very involved in church. I was […]

If Your Destiny Doesn’t Scare The Hell Out of You, Then You Haven’t Found It.

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Yesterday’s post bothers me. Sometimes we don’t need a message that comforts or nourishes us, but one which blows our proverbial socks off. Sometimes we need our facades and illusions destroyed. That post did that for me, even though it […]

God’s Will: How to Discover One’s Place and Avoid Mistaken Identity

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Although I am no mechanic, I love watching machines work. The meshing of cogs, one influencing the other, with a power and synchronicity which shaped our modernity is mesmerizing. It also demonstrates the nature by which we humans (and other […]

Can We Understand the Holy Trinity by Contemplating Our Own Humanity?

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Today is Trinity Sunday, or more properly known as “The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity,” in the Roman Catholic Church. On this day, Catholics celebrate a feast day which honors the mystery and doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the […]

How Far Can Belief Really Take Us?

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When I was a kid, my mother told me that I could do anything I set my mind to as long as I believed in myself. Perhaps you grew up with the same mantra. In the United States, we commonly […]

Project Conversion Q & A Thursday (5/31)

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A few weeks ago, I asked members of the Project Conversion Facebook page to ask questions about, well, anything. There was such a good turnout that I believe we’ll make this a weekly date. Each Monday, I’ll make a call […]

Women in Religion: Second-Class Believers?

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A member of the Project Conversion Facebook page (affectionately called the “Congregation“) recently wrote: “It is a fact that many women are verbally and physically abused yet many religions put the man over the woman and/or make it a sin […]

Faith by Fear: Converting in Fear of the Unknown.

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The past can be a dangerous place. Often magnified by the lens of the present, mole hills indeed become mountains and insignificant creatures become history’s monsters. Like quicksand or a Chinese finger trap, our past sinks its hooks into us […]

Is There a God? Reflections from the Unaffiliated.

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“Is there a God? If so, what’s he/she/it like?” “What do you believe about the divine?” “Is God one essence displaying itself in many forms?“ I get these perennial questions now and then and I assume it’s because of my […]

Attending Baha’i Study Circle: A Trip Down Memory Lane

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My phone rang around 4:30 yesterday afternoon, just as I had finished washing a sink full of dishes. I looked at the caller I.D. and smiled. I tapped the “answer” button and said, “Allah’u’Abha!” It was my Baha’i Mentor from […]

How Project Conversion Email Reaffirms My Purpose in Life

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The email around here since Project Conversion began in January of 2011 is an interesting place. A veritable Cracker-Jack box of emotionally laced messages, I never know what surprise will emerge each day. Sometimes people inform me that I’m heading […]

Mothers: Doing More Than Just the Laundry Since…

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Moms are kind of a big deal, so it’s no surprise that cultures around the world celebrate the blessing of motherhood in various ways.

Falling Off the Wagon: Taking a Hit of Hate.

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There are folks close to me with substance abuse problems. Painkillers, alcohol, you name it, and their addiction is a cage they both cling to and abhor. I see their lives collapsing around them as the addiction burns relationships, jobs, […]

Have Our Holy Places Become Obsolete?

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Is there a place you go where it feels like the entire cosmos channels through your body? Where the hair on the back of your neck stands just as your feet touch down on its surface? I had not one, […]

Why Christians and Other Members of Faith Should Support Gay Rights

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Oh snap, it’s on. I love my home state of North Carolina, however just because I’m enamored by my swampy homeland, doesn’t mean we always agree. The North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment (“Amendment One”) is up for vote in just […]

The New Evangelism: How Being Instead of Preaching Builds Heaven on Earth

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Every few weeks or so, I get an email that begins something like this: “I’m concerned that your journey through Project Conversion has led you down the path to Hell. Jesus said he was the only way to the Father. […]

How Will Your Faith Benefit Someone Today?

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Seems like an odd question at first, doesn’t it? In fact, it sounds one degree away from proselytization. But that isn’t really what we’re talking about, is it? Faith, belief, and religion are usually quite personal. Most of us are […]

Easter Sunday 2012: The Resurrection of Purpose.

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Last year I “met” a woman online through my adventures with Project Conversion. We’ll call her Jane. She is witty, extremely intelligent, enigmatic,  and has a strange interest in my psychological development through Project Conversion. She’s also in the middle […]

My Return After 40 Days.

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Howdy. When I returned home after 45 days of Marine Corps. Boot Camp, driving a car was fairly awkward. I never rode in a vehicle of any sort while on the “island” because we walked, marched, or ran everywhere. Upon […]

Thinking About Sex, Understanding My Spirituality: The Role of Female

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I can’t speak for everyone, however given my various experiences last year–especially within Wicca and Catholicism–I cannot deny the power of the feminine aspect of the divine (and for our atheist friends, our human psyche). But what does this have […]

Thinking About Sex, Understanding My Spirituality: The Role of Male

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As promised, here is the second installment of this series. All these posts actually lead up toward my Lent post coming up this Wednesday. Today we’ll talk about the masculine nature of the divine. Tomorrow, the feminine. Then we’ll wrap […]

Coaching Soccer (again) and the Conclusion of Purpose, Dharma, and Destiny

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That title is actually inaccurate. There is never a conclusion when it comes to exploring our PDD (Purpose, Dharma, and Destiny), so even though we bid the topic farewell, there is plenty of room to revisit and incorporate what we’ve […]

Whom or What Will You Reflect Today?

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The path given to me requires that I drop myself and become a mirror for those around me. I believe we find a form of this in many if not all faiths/philosophies. Some have taken my statements too far and […]

Drawing a Line in the Sand. Who/What is Andrew Bowen?

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A few days ago I asked why so many have left our group, why so many have stopped reading the posts. Understand that this is not about keeping up the numbers. My existence is now in service of others. What […]

To Shape Your Life, Become a River.

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Rivers are a dominant motif in my personal journey, so it’s no wonder I woke up Wednesday morning with them on my mind. In fact, of all my contemplations, rivers are probably my most frequent. So what’s the big deal? […]

Muhammad’s Calling: A Vision of Terror and Unavoidable Purpose.

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His is one of the most intense accounts of an encounter with the divine ever recorded. For years, Muhammad ibn Abdallah took his family on a spiritual retreat during the holy month of Ramadan to Mount Hira outside the city […]

Domestic Dharma: How Unchecked Personal Goals Threaten What Really Matters

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We’ve talked a lot lately about purpose, dharma, and destiny. This is what makes us who we are, what we’re designed for, and the sort of life we are meant to lead. In one post, Moses taught us how fear […]

Showdown with the Temple: How Enlightenment and Purpose Never Arrive as Expected..

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I knew this day would come. My showdown with the River Temple has been on my mind since I abandoned it in September, because no matter how hard we try to avoid it, our destiny/fate/karma/purpose will always haunt us. The […]

It Is Finished: Reflections on a Year of Religious Immersion

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I hope everyone enjoyed their New Year’s festivities and that those of you who indulged (perhaps a little heavily) recover quickly. Here we are on the first day of a new year and I have no new religion to immerse […]

My Last Day with Catholicism. Our Last Day with Project Conversion.

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The first time I stepped into a Catholic church was November 30th of this year. It was the feast day of St. Andrew, and I was told that he was the first called of the disciples of Jesus. During the […]

Heather’s Voice: How Project Conversion has Forever Changed Our Family…

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Today’s post is written by Heather Bowen: How in the world could a year where some of the days seemed so incredibly long pass by so quickly?  Here we are with only 11 days left in 2011, and Project Conversion […]

The Sanctity of Doubt: A Thank You to Christopher Hitchens

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I was in the middle of writing a post about God and art when I discovered that Christopher Hitchens had died. The typing stopped and the reading began. Once upon a time, ol’ Hitch was my hero, along with the […]

First Day as a Catholic, Last Month of the Year

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Good morning and welcome to my first day as a Catholic. This is also Project Conversion’s last month of the year. That statement seems impossible. Did we really make it this far? Are there really people who have followed me […]

My Last Day as a Jain

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Jainism. Wow, what a trip huh? This has not been the most popular month, however it is one of the most controversial. Simply put, it’s hard living as an ascetic, but twice as hard doing it while part of a […]

Nature as Mentor. Can Nature Teach Us Spiritual Concepts?

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Yes, she can. Project Conversion relies on the kindness of strangers, people who volunteer their time and energy in teaching me the ways of their faith. These are called Mentors, however the community of believers otherwise known as the Congregation […]

Help Save the Jain Center of Greater Phoenix

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Every month, I look for an opportunity to give back and show my appreciation to my host faith for those 30-31 days. Today, I found a way for not only me, but for all of us to reach out and […]

How Killing an Ant Changed My Perspective.

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The Jain concept of ahimsa (non-injury) prevents one from doing any harm to our fellow sentient beings. While the monastic order (Sadhus and Sadhvis) go to great lengths and austerities to prevent harm upon others, householders are encouraged to observe […]

Married…to a monk?

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Today’s post is by my wife, Heather, as a recap of the week. Enjoy.   Today marks the end of my first week of being married to a monk. Married to a monk…that doesn’t even make sense. Monks don’t get […]

My Wife Snaps and Project Conversion Reaches the Edge…Or does it?

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Yesterday, after 10 months and 3 days, my wife snapped. Since many monastic Jains do not typically bathe and I have opted to observe the monastic vows this month, this means I would not bathe either. The idea stems from […]

My Daily Devotions and Meditations to Honor the God and Goddess

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Merry meet and good morning! Today I’d like to share my process for daily devotions and meditations to honor the God and Goddess widely recognized in many Wiccan paths. Disclaimer: It’s become evident this month that a few folks don’t like […]

I Commune with Faeries. Well, if I can Find One…

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Nearly every faith I’ve explored so far this year has them: Creatures that often straddle the spiritual and physical realms of reality. In some cases, they remain exclusively in the spiritual world, never to be seen by humans. In others, […]

My Wiccan Altar

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Of all things I looked forward to this month, I probably geeked out over the altar the most. While Wiccan’s of a particular tradition might have similar features in their altars, this sacred space is much like a Wiccan’s spiritual fingerprint: No two are ever exactly […]

Andrew Bowen: Wiccan Edition

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Every month, I die and rise again. Like a Phoenix, my spirituality ignites every 30 days and a new faith rises from the ashes. This month, those ashes reconfigured into the path of Wicca. Merry Meet, Blessed Be, and welcome to […]

My Last Day as a Sikh

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I didn’t sleep well last night. Today is my last day as an honorary Sikh and I feel as if I’m floating between two worlds. We’ve talked about how jarring each transition is, but it’s especially difficult with a faith […]

Transitions: When One Faith Bleeds into the Next

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I’ve already done this nine times…but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier. This post is late because I’ve spent all morning–since those “ambrosial hours” of contemplation prescribed by Guru Nanak–thinking about it. The Transition. There are three more days left […]

Sikhism: The Love-Child of Islam and Hinduism?

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From the outside, it sure looks like this is the case: That Sikhi is a synchronization–an amalgam–between Hinduism and Islam. At first, that’s exactly what I thought, that the whole faith was like a rebellious child born from two warring […]

Seva: Serving God Through Creation

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One concept pervades virtually every faith I’ve encountered thus far during Project Conversion, and that is the idea of service. And not just any kind of service, but the raw, selfless kind. Within Sikhi, it is considered the highest act, and […]

How to Run from the Universe…and Fail.

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You cannot run from the universe and you cannot run from reality because according to Sikhi, God is the universe and reality. So why even try?  Ego. Now, I consult no more with my Ego, For, the Guru has warned that egoism is […]

A Sikh Wearing a Turban Walks Into an Airport…

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…And everyone does this: Man I miss those Godzilla movies. Seriously though, in our post-9/11 world, most of us are sensitive about anything that looks “different” than the understood norm–especially at airports or any mass transit location. Humans are hard-wired […]

Project Conversion: A Greedy Mistress?

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Yesterday was amazing. I woke up at 4:30 and, for the first time since July, I didn’t open my laptop or check my email on my phone for the entire day. In fact, I did nothing related to Project Conversion. And it […]

Sikh Visibility: The Fine Line Between Fearless and Cautious

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Every year during Halloween my parents do something that, until now, I never really understood. As the sun gracefully sets in the west and the sky burns with an orange hue, they bring in their black cat, Oreo. She does […]

Sikh Identity: A Fading Image?

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One of the most pervasive jokes about United States Marines is how neat and particular they are. Nowhere is this concept more pronounced than Basic Training. Everything must be just so: Your rack (bunk or bed) must be made to […]

The Dangers of Ritual

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My oldest daughter has a security blanket named “Pooh.” It’s actually a fitted bed sheet (what’s left of it) with a “Winnie the Pooh” print that went over her crib and she’s carried it around since she could crawl. Sometimes it’s […]

The Rebellion

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In Flann O’Brien’s literary masterpiece, At Swim-Two-Birds, the protagonist is a young writer whose own characters conspire against him in order to determine their own fates. The insurgency falls apart only after the young protagonist, at the end of the novel, completes […]

September 11th: An Interfaith Wake-up Call

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On September 11th, 2001, our world caught on fire. Everything we knew…our innocent concept of reality–was raped, pillaged, and burned. It was our Pearl Harbor, our “day of infamy,” the singular event that shaped my generation. Today I’ve asked you, […]

Splitting Hairs: Drama Over the Beard

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I shaved my head for Buddhism, no one complained. I painted my face with the tripundra for Hinduism and got strange looks at Wal-mart, they only chuckled. I created a fire hazard in the house with all my candles as […]

Saying Goodbye to my LDS Home

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Well, I promised I wouldn’t cry when I left my local Latter-day Saints home on Sunday and–it was tough–but I stayed strong. Months like July are rare for Project Conversion. Not only did I get a local faith community (the […]

For the Love of Missionaries

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If my heart and mind are clean sheets of glass for the year, my experience with each of Project Conversion’s Mentors is a unique fingerprint left upon the glass. No two are alike and each leaves an indelible mark upon my […]

Wanted: U.S. President. Mormons Need Not Apply.

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I began Project Conversion to combat ignorance and fear of the religious unknown we harbor for our neighbors. There is a chance for healing among the homes, streets, and neighborhoods where we live, but is there hope for religiously blind […]

The Testimony of Sister Laura Bradbury

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I would like to introduce Sister Laura Bradbury, an LDS member who volunteered to share her testimony and experience with the Church. Thank you for sharing with us, Sister Bradbury! —————– Hi there! My name is Laura Bradbury. I am […]

Field Guide to Exploring Religion:

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Expect to get dirty… Yesterday’s post received a lot of tense comments–and rightfully so. Social Issues Week here at Project Conversion is always a test, like walking a tightrope, because there are times when it’s hard to present such issues […]

Headin’ to the Temple.

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Temples are sacred places. We all have them in various shapes and forms. For some of us, they are the corporate office. To others, a dark, slithering river in southeastern North Carolina. Temples are the places where the veil between the […]

Playing Chicken with the Missionaries.

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July is the only month so far where my Mentor(s) and members of their faith community actively solicit my conversion. It’s okay, I don’t mind, so please don’t bash my new friends and spiritual family. And although the first few […]

The Testimony of Sister Geddes.

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One unique aspect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that, among most if not all Christian branches, they do not have a paid clergy. Every leadership and priesthood position in the church is volunteer. This means all […]

Who Was Joseph Smith?

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While watching television a few weeks ago I saw a commercial for a television show about General Sherman, a Union general during the Civil War. General Sherman masterminded “Sherman’s March,” a slash and burn campaign which cut through Confederate Georgia. […]

Happy 4th of July!

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I dedicate this post to my country and those who, for the last 239 years, stand the line every day to protect the freedoms we enjoy. I come from a long and rich history of military service, so with every neon burst […]

The Sabbath Day

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“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” -Exodus 20: 8 Wow, that sounds familiar. Anyone remember my experience with Judaism in April? In the great Judeo-Christian tradition, Latter-day Saints keep the Sabbath on the seventh day of every week, namely […]

Faiths on the Fringe

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What are the chances that Fringe Month would actually reflect myself outside of faith? Andrew on the Fringe. I have made numerous discoveries, faced serious challenges, and I think we’ve grown stronger as a community through this month’s experiences. Thanks for hanging […]

What If I Settled Down…?

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I love this Congregation. In fact, I love it so much that I’m considering getting t-shirts made. One of my favorite aspects of Project Conversion is how the community nourishes one another. This initiative has even motivated Congregation members like Lauren Elizabeth and Niki […]

Storytime: “The Siege”

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Once upon a time, I was a storyteller. All of our religious traditions use the power of fiction and metaphor to illustrate truth. Here is a short story I wrote last year called “The Siege”. I hope it gives you […]

Cults: Putting a Stereotype to Rest

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My wife, whom you all now know and love, recently joined a new church here in town. This church is what you would call “contemporary.” All this really means is that everything about the establishment–from the music, the dress code(there […]

Project Conversion Lite

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Man these posts have been heavy lately, huh? I’m always up for some intense theological weight lifting, but every once in a while, it’s good to have a laugh. Today I decided to throw up a few good-humored religious images to […]

God on Trial

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I feel blasphemous just writing the title of this post, but it is June after all and this month we are occupying the fringe of religious thought. God on trial though…asking–no, demanding–the all-powerful, all-mighty creator of the universe to stand for […]

Our Congregation: A City on the Hill?

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…Or just a motley crew? What is a congregation anyway? Webster’s Dictionary states: 1) A: an assembly of persons; especially an assembly of persons met for worship and religious instruction. B: a religious community usually organized in a particular locality. I […]

Afterlife: End of the Ride?

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When I was a kid I spent more time at my paternal grandparent’s home than I did my own. I would sprint across my front yard with my mother looking on, and made my way toward my grandmother, who greeted […]

Alone on the Edge. Wanna Come?

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I just spent the last hour on the phone telling one of my best friends and Buddhist Mentor that I’m losing my mind. Best Friend: “What’s going on, man?” Andrew: “I’m having independent thought, and I’m going nuts.” Best Friend: “Well […]

The Agony of Identity

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Who am I? I suppose an alternative name for June is “Identity.” All of us ask this question, to ourselves and others, at least once in our lives. This seemingly innocuous, simplistic question is fundamental, and yet produces some of […]

Project Conversion: Redux

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Good morning, Congregation. The last few weeks have been interesting, haven’t they? In fact, I think the project is getting better. We have become wiser, more candid, and shared more than ever before. That means something phenomenal is happening… Trust. Whenever I […]

My Cheating Mind

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I cannot sleep. Thoughts have settled upon my vulnerable, drowsy mind like a steady snow for hours. It’s now 4 a.m. I’m thinking about cheating. An email from one of our Congregation members sowed the seed of temptation when he said that, while […]

Project Conversion: Testimony of a Wife

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The question I get asked the most regarding Project Conversion: What do you think of it? I’m going to be completely honest here…personally, I hate it. I love the concept and the purpose of PC. I love anything that will […]

Fringe Month: What is that?

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I’ve seen comments on forums where people actually Googled “Fringe” as a religion. Okay, in all fairness I do have the other religions listed by name. I’ll give you that. But I thought it was funny. Fringe month will cover […]

A House Divided…

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In my community, like much of the South, one’s allegiance is judged based on two categories: where you go to church, and which sports team you support. Given my “promiscuity” with Project Conversion and the fact that I’m not a […]

He Wants Meditation, She Wants Sex

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Sounds like a title from the “Self Help” section, doesn’t it? Hmm, maybe it should be… Many times here on Project Conversion, the social issues that affect the faith hit close to home. Remember when I did this: I decided […]

Judaism: End of Month Video

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It’s tradition around here to leave a video of what I’ve been up to all month. Typically I post this vid on the last day of the month, however due to the fact that the last day of April falls […]

Baha’i Week Two: Arts and Culture/Architecture

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The second week of every month with Project Conversion will cover various aspects of the arts and culture associated with that month’s particular faith. What makes the Baha’i Faith so interesting is that while the Faith was born in Persia […]

Flying the Monthly “Red Eye”

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Allah-u-Abha and good morning! While catching up over the phone last night, my old friend asked me concerning Project Conversion, “Dude, how’s it going–I mean–how are you holding up?” I thought for a moment, trying to clear my head of […]

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Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Project Conversion. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Religion 101 Happy Reading! ...

posted 2:34:58pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Is God an Immersionist?
In the world of faith, folks often point out the obvious fact that God does not belong to a particular creed, religion, race, or school of philosophy. This sentiment establishes the divine as one which transcends divisive terms of ...

posted 7:00:59am Jul. 12, 2012 | read full post »

Immersion in Relationships: Five Ways to Bring your Relationships to Life
I did something last night with my wife that we haven't done in a very long time... Okay, not from that far back, but it ...

posted 10:58:33am Jul. 10, 2012 | read full post »

The Path of Immersion: An Introduction and How Entering the Path Leads to a Deeper Sense of Self
Today marks my official declaration of fidelity and discipleship to the Path of Immersion. Along with that declaration, I also invite you to join me in whatever capacity feels the most suitable. The Path of Immersion is not one which demands ...

posted 6:00:19am Jul. 09, 2012 | read full post »

Farewell, Project Conversion: The End of an Adventure
When I converted to Christianity at the age of 15, I assumed the faith with a passionate resolve. Despite the positive instruction from my pastor and others, I (for reasons I cannot explain) transformed into a fiery evangelist, launching ...

posted 12:49:25pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

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