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  1. #21
    dreamer5 is offline Twelever TwelevePlus
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    I, too, have been having troubles understanding how people can call themselves Christian, but then I thought, "They believe in God, they go to church, they try to live by God's commandments, they're Christians...but they're only human and so am I".
    I know so many people who go to church2, 3, 4 times a week yet they drink heavily, do drugs, abuse their spouse or children, cheat on their spouse, yell vulgarities at children's sporting events...the list goes on and on. These are the pillars of our community and their churches. Many even teach Sunday school to the children in their church. I couldn't figure out how they had the nerve to show their face in church.
    But isn't that where they should be? Isn't that what it's there for? To heard God's message and to ask for God's forgiveness and try to amend their wrongs?
    I keep saying "they" but I am including myself. I don't do any of the things I mentioned earlier but I do have plenty of my own faults.
    My family is going through a huge financial crisis with my husband's company's downsizing. The stress this has caused me over the past few years of losing wages and benefits has caught up with me and I must admit I don't like myself right now. I've been impatient with my kids, snippy with my husband, I've let the kids down in our school system by not volunteering as much anymore, ect., ect. That's just not who I am or who I want to be.
    But let me tell you. God is there.
    In early September, after paying all the school fees, buying clothes and shoes, school supplies, ect., we fell short on grocery money. I went to bed, prayed and cried myself to sleep asking God to help me find a way to feed my kids until payday in 9 days. I woke up in the morning and turned on the kitchen light. I noticed a piece of paper sticking out from under the backside of the fridge. I grumbled under my breath as I picked it up because I had just moved the fridge. 3 days before to clean. It was an envelope. As I waded it up to throw it away I noticed something green. I unwaded it and found 3-100 dollar bills inside! I sank to my knees crying, giving God thanks. Ask and you shall receive!
    The only thing we could figure out was that sometime during the year we had taken money out of the bank and put the envelope on top of the fridge and it fell behind in the coils and slowly worked it's way out every time I moved it to clean under it. God knows all. I am convinced he "saved" that money for us to use in our time of need!
    I feel very close to God. I talk to Him all the time. I had a vey bad father who did not care. If it weren't for Him I would not have had a father at all!! I know He will not forsake me and my family. The door for my husband's job will be closing soon but God will soon be opening another.

    In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
    Psalm 138:3

  2. #22
    SGordog is offline Junior Twelever Bronze SGordog is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Exactly. And Romans 3:23 says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." That means every single one of us, and in God's eyes, no sin is greater than another. That's why we are not to judge. Dreamer, thanks for sharing your story about the money. Things like that happen every day. He does provide, just not always in the way we want.

  3. #23
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    Please let me reiterrate, I am in no way attacking anyone (especially Spiderman's) faith. Spiderman and I have talked on more than one occasion and she knows my feelings and my support of her.
    To the contracry, I think I was saying, she already has what she needs.
    Its obvious because of her actions, words, etc. But if I understand her
    search, she wants to know why she should stand on what she already
    knows and for that I suggested she delve deeper into her own studies as
    I had to do. We must all work this out for ourselves. It is personal and when you invite someone else's comments, you will get their views based on their past, their experiences, etc.
    I applaud superman's appetite for wanting to know more. She was
    more than prepared for the answers.
    An old friend I have explained life in this world to me once. He said when
    we were in our mother's womb, we were happy and comfortable. We didn't want to come here. In fact we cried and screamed our way in.
    But now that we're here, we like it and (once again) do not want to leave. We do not want to leave it because we're in that situation again where we
    are comfortable and happy and moving to the next level of unknown
    makes us question and have fear. We cry and scream again.
    To quote a familiar movie, "If you're looking for happiness, don't look any further than you own backyard." Good luck, Spiderman. You know you
    have my support and if you have any questions about my thoughts,
    just PM me. Peg
    Dreams really do come true!

  4. #24
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    Dreamer, beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.
    Dreams really do come true!

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    For anyone who is interested, there is a book titled, "GOD'S ANSWERS For Your Life". It's published by C&D Inernational. I purchased it a year and a half ago from The Family Christian Store after my neighbor told me about it. I was having trouble dealing with my mother-in-law's sudden death. She was such a great person and I was angry that God took her away from my children so early in their lives. My youngest won't even have any memories of here except what we tell him and from family videos. There's so much that happened after her death and it's torn my husband's family apart. This book has helped me cope with things I thought only happened in Soaps and on Springer!!

  6. #26
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    Spiderman, forgive me for not reading your last post. I just realized you sent something.

    My heart aches when God's people do not do the right thing. If I am perplexed, how burdened our God must feel. We're not perfect children, sisters, brothers, mothers, employees, spouses and most of all Christians. But, if we give it our own personal best and leave it to the one who can read our heart.

    Bible Belt? I live in a city that (if I am quoting correctly) has more churches per capita than any city in the US. I next door to a Catholic and a Baptist church and am within throwing distance from an Episcopalian and a Pentecostal. I don't like demoninations. They only serve to divide us. But, there is only one God to me and that is where I guess I split hairs with other religions.

    I have no answers, just my own conviction to always try to do my best and I do what I do as if I'm doing it to God. Not for God, but TO Him.
    Do I fail? Daily. Do I need to try again? Every time my eyes open, I think, "Oh good! I have a new chance today to try to make a difference, today."
    Dreams really do come true!

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    Thank you all so much for your heartfelt posts. I think I'll leave it here for a while and just read. I really do not want to come across as being defensive, or as being on the offensive, whatsoever.

    What I'm hearing from you all is that God has provided you what you needed, and so faith is individually wrapped, so to speak. And yet there is one master book, a competition of sorts to determine which denomination or sect is right, etc.

    Maybe that's what causes me so much reflection, that there's no single way to experience Christ. It's really okay that some people do more for others because they're coming at it from a different personal history? If that's the case, does that mean that God expects different things from each of us? Not in how we serve, because we each are gifted differently, but in whether we serve at all? I don't know whether I believe that some people are exempt from showing kindness to others. It seems contradictory to me. I'll stew on that for a while.

    Thanks to all of you for being so respectful, even those of you who have read this thread and chosen not to make a joke of it. I really appreciate it.

    Carol

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    And I'll just say that I, too, struggle with that question - why do people who characterize themselves as Christian fail to serve their fellow man? I think that we are all called to do that in whatever ways He has gifted us to serve. I get very frustrated with the fact that I can't help others as much as I would like, while I see others with more than abundant resources and gifts failing to help others in need.

  9. #29
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    OK, one more thing, and then I'll stew. (chuckles to herself...)

    We debate this quite a lot in our SS class, and I usually stand alone in my thoughts. I have worked extremely hard (underscore, bold, italics!) to separate God from everything physical. I firmly believe that God is a force of sorts rather than a divine human, and therefore, I can't wrap my head around a fatherly image. I cannot, and will not, anthropomorphize the supreme deity. It's too easy, and cheapens it for me. To make God simply a father figure is to negate the greater part of religion to me.

    I don't mean to take a shot at you, Peg, because I understand where you're coming from. You're trying to demonstrate his love in a way in which we can all respond. I get that, never fear. But I wonder, have any of you have fought the physical vs. spiritual battle?

    In my private conversations with some of you, I've heard everything from 'I met Christ once' to ' they tell me I saw her in a window' to 'I lived with monks once.' So of course I'm left with a lot of information that doesn't necessarily fit a pattern. For some, religion is a tremendous source of peace, and for others, it represents the worst nightmare you can imagine. It leaves me with a question mark, I guess.

    Aaaahhhh. OK, I'm finished.

    For now.

    heh heh

  10. #30
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    Ok, I will say this and let it go too. Its been good, spiderman so, thanks.
    In giving, God said not to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. By that, we are not to "toot our own horn" and what we do should be done in secret, not in the open. If we do it openly, we have our reward. But God is the true rewarder and will know when do it for Him. Perhaps we who are watching and "think" others are doing nothing don't really know that secret acts are being done. This is why we cannot be the heart's judge. That is reserved for God.

    I bet if you could interview just 10 Christians, and they could tell you things they have done during their spiritual life to help others in private, you would be equally surprised. Things are just never as they appear on the outside. It boils down to one thing, you are responsible for just yourself and no one else. Thank God!

    Putting this to rest. Thanks for letting me say my part.
    Dreams really do come true!

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