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Hi, I need help to keep my faith...any inspirational thoughts? Revelation.
December 16, 2005
10:19 am
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revelation
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Hi All,

I'm putting this on lib as its about God and religion...so keeping it away from support.

I pray every night, I do my Novena to St. Jude, patron St. of lost causes. Sometimes as I am praying, thoughts go through my head like "Why are you wasting your time with this, it won't work" "You are praying to some non-existent st here, you might as well be praying into thin air" and just negative stuff like that, I brush it aside and try always to remember the intentions god has granted me during my life.

Has anyone got any other inspirational stories to keep my faith going? Sorry to have to do this.

Skittlesmom gave me a grat story about how a friend told her to keep praying even when it looks like it will never happen, she did and a few months later he intention was granted.

I have such love in my heart for god and my belief's, I want to keep my faith....sorry if this sounds shallow and stupid....just need help!

Thanks,
Rev.

December 16, 2005
10:29 am
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revelation
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I just read my thread above and it sounds awful! I don't mean to come across as someone who prays because they want something. Since I have begun to pray again, I feel that I have become stronger and it has given me great comfort...in fact I don't know if I'd even be alive today if it were not for the power of prayer. So I owe God, way more than he owes me. I want to pay him back by trying always to help others, not be selfish, and just live a good life....

December 16, 2005
10:49 am
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Rev,

It isn't selfish. I think that we want to believe that God wants good things for us - and so it's not unusual to ask him for what we want, cuz we think that's what's good for us.

God DOES want good for us. But god wants HIS idea of good for us, and it may not match what we want - what we want may NOT be good for us in his mind.

As far as thinking it's silly to pray to someone we can't see, hear or touch - I understand completely. And I think that in my mind, I have come to believe that "why not???". It can't hurt, right? I have tried everything else, and my life is miserable...so why not try this? It may be kookie - but I have done worse in effort to make my life better. So, I choose to believe.

And at this point, I am faking it until I make it...cuz I still am not so convinced that it's the right thing to do, but in the end, it can't hurt.

Don't beat yourself up for slipping or for not praying "right".

And I also don't think that God wants us to "owe" him. He gave his life for us - that in itself is a debt we can NEVER repay. We just do our best to honor him, ya know?

I hope this helps.

December 16, 2005
12:25 pm
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mj
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I love Hazelden's meditation books for inspiration. You can have them emailed to you or buy the books. Yesterdays reading was about Mother Teresa. Someone asked her how she kept her hope and she said by action a day at a time.

I was feeling discourage yesterday with my spiritual program. God saw to it today that I am back on track!

Life is a Miracle, one day at a time!

December 16, 2005
1:02 pm
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Rev.,

Might seem that you are wasting your time but you are not. You have gone through this awful time, thought of and discarded suicide and a host of other things. None of us can say what would have happened without your prayer.

The thing about prayer is this: God says in His time, He makes all things beautiful. Note the emphasis on His time and not ours. Sometimes, we ask for things that might seem good for us today (cos of our short sightedness) but would cause us a lot of pain later. The point is that we need to be atune with God's timing.

Another thing is the fact that He knos the plans He has for us, Plans for Good and not for Evil. Put the two together and sprinkle a generous amount of Pray without ceasing. Remember faith is the substance of things unseen and yet hoped for and begin to thank Him for that which you know He is able to do.

Keep on praying my friend and believe that though it tarries, it will come to pass.

December 16, 2005
9:51 pm
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((((Rev))))

What you're going thru happens with the most spiritual, believing Christian individuals. So do not be ashamed! In fact it happens the moment you become serious and starts to grow in your faith and prayer life.

I get these suspicions as well when I pray. I feel that nothing is happening and it feels like waste of time so why bother! I keep Reminding myself of what the Bible promises: "We walk by faith not by sight/feelings." I think that is why we give up so quickly and so easily. We are a generation of right now right away...microwave, instant coffee etc. In our spiritual life, we try to apply our worldly standards to God and tell Him what/when we want our prayers to be answered. The truth is that God is honest, trustworthy and Good and He DOES ANSWERS our prayers on His own perfect timing. And even when His answer is not answered, it is because He has something much better for us than we had anticipated from HIM.

So, honey keep the faith and keep praying steadfastly and never lose hope!!!!

~Much Love, Ras~

December 16, 2005
11:04 pm
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"But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Romans 8:25,26 KJV (i'm an old-fashioned gal. love the language.)

You start with groanings b/c your troubles are so great and your pain so intense, you can't even form the words, but that's okay. God hears the need; He doesn't need the words. You need the words, but He doesn't.

The hardest thing about praying when we are in pain is that we get so wrapped up in our own "groanings," we forget about listening. If you are asking to reach understanding in any thing, pause before rushing into the next thing. He often speaks to us through our prayers, leading us to ask new questions that reveal answers to the first.

After feeling unheard by someone important in your life, it's natural to feel unheard by God as well. After feeling betrayed by someone we depended on day by day, we start looking out for betrayals from others, including the God of our faith, for fear of being vulnerable to such pain again. Your doubts and fears are normal. They do not mean your faith is slipping away.

Wishing you well

turn

December 17, 2005
6:17 pm
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Revelation

On the 16-Dec-05 you said:

"Sometimes as I am praying, thoughts go through my head like "Why are you wasting your time with this, it won't work" "You are praying to some non-existent st here, you might as well be praying into thin air" and just negative stuff like that, I brush it aside and try always to remember the intentions god has granted me during my life."

Perhaps your 'inner voice' should not be taken lightly. Perhaps it has a serious message for you. Perhaps it is 'you' trying to break out of an inner 'prison' - and the door isn't even locked.

In the words of Fr. Richard Rogers, Catholic Priest: "Take the Abrahamic journey into the wilderness and trust the Holy Spirit to lead you where you need to be."

Maybe that inner voice is your Holy Spirit leading you - where, I know not.

Remember the door is always open to the 'road less travelled'. "To thine own self be true" - WS.

December 17, 2005
6:49 pm
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revelation
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Thanks all...I hear ya.

Tonight I will pray, I will go to mass tomorrow. I won't pray for any intention, I will just tell God that I will go where he leads....As ali says "It can't hurt"

December 18, 2005
9:11 pm
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Hi Revelation,

"So I owe God, way more than he owes me. I want to pay him back by trying always to help others, not be selfish, and just live a good life.... "

I have no doubt God will continue to answer your prayers, especially since your heart is bent on doing good. And you have a great deal of faith. It sounds like you are going through a trial of your faith, with the doubting voice you've heard.

As for me, I'm convinced that God urgently wants the best for each and every one of us, and that he uses the Holy Spirit and angels to try to convince every single one of us, every moment of every day, to live right and reach out for him.

Please, let us know how Mass went.

December 19, 2005
12:59 am
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Prayer is like putting infrared goggles on for miracles. You see miracles more plainly and recognize them as such.

December 19, 2005
8:17 am
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revelation
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Hi!

God does move in mysterious way...but sometimes not so mysterious!

I went to mass on sunday....guess what the sermon was about??? About faith and prayer.

Seekerw, the priest basically said what you said...that God sees something special in all of us and wants the best for us. That the lord looks at us in wonder and awe each and every one and wants the very best for us.

Thanks all for your help. It has been a re-affirmation.

As I said before, I am trying to do good and help others. I am also working on being a forgiving person. Yesterday I was angry...I cried tears of rage...I am trying to forgive in my heart, my ex, for turning his back on me when I miscarried for the second time...but I'm finding it difficult....sometimes I just feel angry and hurt about it. I'll keep working on it.

December 19, 2005
8:53 am
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revelation,

I'm glad you enjoyed mass, that it reaffirmed your faith. That's quite a coincidence (or is it coincidence?) that the priest and I would say similar things.

Your faith, and your struggles that you've described, have been an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing them.

If it helps, please keep in mind that your struggles to forgive your ex are really your struggles to throw off the bondage of hate and anger that has you chained down. Those feelings don't want to leave, so they're fighting you, awfully hard. But you and God together are stronger than them. You'll win, and be better for it.

December 20, 2005
11:52 pm
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hey rev,

About your rage, I can relate sooo well. About a year ago I felt such a rage like I had never experienced that I gave into the temptation to pray for literal curses to rain down on his head, some of them not so delicate. šŸ˜‰ I had a nagging suspicion that I might regret it one day, so I didn't want to feel that way, but due to the helplessness I felt in the whole situation, it was the only way I had to strike back at him ... give him a taste of the pain I was feeling. Let God do my dirty work, so to speak.

It wasn't all that long ago that I had a complete change of heart. I mean, I gave up the desire to hurt him a long time ago, but I experienced a complete reversal of that recently. I stumbled upon it accidentally when I prayed for "goodness" to enter my ex's life. I was thinking of it in context of bringing goodness as in "righteousness" into his life, but instantly realized that I once had been afraid of him having goodness in his life as in "blessings." I didn't want him to be blessed while I was suffering, so I'd had a very hard time praying for him out of fear he would be blessed while perpetuating a relationship with someone else that had caused me so much pain. You know ... getting away with it.

But now I realize that goodness (blessings) can't come into a person's life until goodness (righteousness) does. What my ex has is "feel goodness," which is shallow and ultimately self-destructive.

So, now I pray for goodness to enter his life every chance I get b/c I know that in order for that to happen, all this "feel goodness" will have to be torn down. šŸ™‚ I have to admit, I still like the thought of that.

Just a little perspective from further down the road. Maybe this will help when the rage hits.

turn

December 21, 2005
6:54 am
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revelation
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Turn...thanks!

Y'know, in my case there was no other woman or man involved. And last time I saw him he said "I don't think I'll ever trust another woman again after what you did" He is one of those "Blame it all on everyone else guys"

In his book...I am the bad person and he is the poor heart-broken guy who loved me desperately......yeh, he loved me so much that when I miscarried his baby, he turned his back on me...makes sense doesn't it!! NOT.

Thats the thing, he confuses me y'know?

Anyway I digress, what I wanted to tell was what happened last night. Might seem like something very trivial, but it really has strengthened my faith!

Those non-believers out there, may say "Oh, this was your sub-conscious" but I dunno.....

I got into trouble in work a few weeks ago for being late...and was given a warning. So, I really must be at work on time every day.

My cell phone is what I use as my alarm clock and I have three alarms on it so that I REALLY WON'T SLEEP LATE....So, last night I was very tired going to bed, usually I would leave my cell on my night-stand. So, last night I got into bed, said my prayers, read for about 10 mins and then drifted off to sleep. As I was going to sleep I was thinking about my faith and how I must stay strong..."Blind Faith" is the phrase that was going around in my head. I had a dream that my alarm was on and it was really loud and I couldn't switch it off....this woke me up, I looked at my nightstand and couldn't see my cell. I realised I had forgotton to check if it was set correctly. I began searching for it in my room and couldn't find it. Turns out I had left it downstairs. So, when I found it, I breathed a sigh of relief, set the alarm and still half-asleep got back into bed. Started to drift off again, heard a car somewhere in the distance and the thought "Thats sounds like my phone when its on vibrate" crossed my mind, immediately again I woke up, checked my cell and found that it was on vibrate! Whice means that had the alarm gone off I wouldn't have heard it...so I set it to "LOUD".

This really got me thinking...a few days ago I said a prayer to my patron saint to basically help me out at work so I didn't get in trouble again.

Then this happens....so...could be my subconscious yes...but for me, this was must be my patron saint/guardian angel/God helping me out.

What do you think of that!!!

December 21, 2005
7:02 pm
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Hi,

It was so good to read this thread. I must say that God has always been with me whenever a relationship ends. I always pray to him and only want what he thinks its best for me. Always ask him to show me signs and HE DOES except that I ignore them until sometime later when the man does something terrible and shows me who he really is. Right now I am struggling with the end of one and wondering why God cant bring me that man to have forever. A decent man. One thing I have given up is going to church...Dont really want to see a bunch of hypocrites in my hour of need..need of their support which is not there. In a church of 4,000 I reached out to 2 people and they both let me down.

God wants us to rely on him and he DOES gives us strength in our time of need.

We have to love him above all and pray that his purpose and plan is revealed to us.

My favorite Proverbs is
TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR UNDERSTANDING, BUT IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AND HE WILL DIRECT YOUR PATH.

Take care and God Bless you,

December 22, 2005
2:25 am
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Revelation.

On the 21-Dec-05 you said:

" Then this happens....so...could be my subconscious yes...but for me, this was must be my patron saint/guardian angel/God helping me out.

What do you think of that!!!"

Yes it could very well be your unconscious mind that never sleeps that had alerted you.

However, as far as you are concerned , I guess that it gets back to what you believe - not what I or anyone else believes.

The big danger for me is that in having blind faith is some 'heavenly being' who is making everything OK for me, can lead to and has led to a devastating mental state when that same faith is shattered by life's disasters.

I've had a minister preach at me during one such times of personal loss that God's reasons for such occurrences are 'a mystery' to us and that we must trust in this God of his, despite all evidence to the contrary that there exists such a loving God at all. He looked very threatened when I replied: "Suffering may be a mystery to you but not to me, mate! Speak for yourself!"

I personally have something more rational now, in which to have faith; something that explains the reason for the occurrences of tsunamis, hurricanes,tornadoes, cancer, terrorism, rape, murder, torture, massacres, wars, earthquakes and the certainty of suffering up to an ultimate seemingly wasteful death. But I doubt that I can just give it away to anyone else. I have had to earn it the hard way myself.

Despite what I have just said, I hope your faith helps you just the same. I hope it grows in strength and never lets you down - ever.

December 22, 2005
5:22 am
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Hi Tez,

There have been times, a lot of times, through my life, when I have said "There is no God". two of my sisters work in a large maternity hospital here in the inner-city of Dublin, where there is a huge drug problem. They tell me devestating stories of babies born addictied to heroin, crack-cocaine and methadone. After a few hours their tiny little innocent bodies become wracked with excruciating pain, they shake uncontrollably and scream a heart-rending high-pitched cry until the little mites are injected with methadone, they actually have to be weened off the drug at birth. How HORRIFIC, its especially hard for me to justify this in my mind, when I, a perfectly healthy woman have miscarried twice. I think to myself "Why did god allow these babies to be carried full-term, by addicted mothers, when I was not given that privilege" Yes..., I struggle with it...it's hard to swallow, hard to let go of the anger that wells up when I think about it, sometimes the mothers have been injecting and snorting their addictions right up until they go into labour, when their babies are born dead...they grieve cry and lament asking "Why, why did this happen" my sisters have to comfort them, when they feel like slapping them across the face and saying "You killed your baby with your drugs you stupid b*tch". My sisters see them come for their pre-natal visits absolutely stoned out of their minds. Its hard for them to accept too, knowing what I and our fourth sister have gone through....my younger sister doesn't have faith in God and she says to me "How can you believe there is a god when this type of thing happend"

Well..my answer is the old adage...he works in mysterious ways, it will become clear why I was not allowed to see my babies born both those times, it will become clear why those little "addict babies" were born. We each have a purpose, a reason for being here....to make up the fabric of the world.

I read books by Adeline Yen Mah and David Pelzer, about their horrific, desperate child-hoods, I am sure when they were children they thought daily "Why is God letting this happen to me" Then they grew up, became successful despite the obstacles in their way...and wrote books about their experiences, books that helped other, books that enlightened the readers....Perhaps....maybe...that is what God intended.

December 22, 2005
5:27 pm
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Revelation

On the 22-Dec-05 you said:

"Perhaps....maybe...that is what God intended."

Perhaps intelligent alien life forms exist in outer space too but I have no way of knowing this.

To which God do you refer? Yehweh, Jehovah, Allah, Durga, Shiva, Vishnu, Bramha, Ganesh, Om, Zeus, Orisis, Ra, Thor? I've left out many, many more.

If you say that there is only one God and your Jewish God is it then I can only point out that all monotheistic religions say the same thing about their God. They can't all be right.

Why do you think that in your case you are? Are you somehow wiser and more spiritually informed than all the rest? If so, how so and why so?

To say that some how you are 'in the know' and the rest aren't would be an arrogance to which I would not like to lay claim myself.

I make no such claim about the absolute veracity of my own beliefs. I hold them tentatively, always being consciously aware of their inherent impermanence.

December 22, 2005
5:52 pm
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Dear Rev,

Read my story, please. I'm a single mother with 4 kids and worked for a successful law firm. On Dec. 2, the firm "down-sized" and my position was cut. I was in total disbelief - Christmas was right around the corner and I hadn't bought anything yet. I intended on using my Dec. check to buy presents for the kids. In the meantime, I got a temp job that is getting my by very nicely, but it's temporary and I've missed some work while I was looking for this job. I don't have any money for presents for the kids.

I was in church on Sunday and I asked someone to pray with me. I wanted to have a content heart with what I have. Unlike so many victims of recent natural disastors, I have a lovely home, healthy children, my car runs fine, and we are safe and dry. I asked God to fill me and my children with peace and contentment instead of focusing on gifts and things.

Last night, a man named David called my house. He said, "You don't know me, but I was looking to help someone out this Christmas so I called the church and they gave me your name." He and his wife are taking me shopping on Saturday. He was so kind and sensitive about the whole thing. He called me today and asked if my kids have an Xbox (they don't and they'll absolutely FLIP!) - he also wanted to let me know that he has a job interview set up for me on Saturday morning before we go shopping. It's exactly what I used to do and the pay is terrific!

I can't even describe how humbled and thankful I am for our dear Lord. He loves me more than I deserve. Sometimes, He tells me no when I ask for things, sometimes, He gives me what I want when I don't even ask. His wisdom is beyond me and I don't even pretend to comprehend. Please know that He truly knows what is best for each and every one of us - and if we seek for a pure and humble heart - He will be pleased and reward us. Maybe not in the way that we think...Rev, you may not have a baby right now, but God knows what is best and it is your duty to trust Him and focus on what you can do to serve Him today. He will take precious care of you. Believe that. You're His daughter.

I want to shout if from the rooftop just how Wonderful He is!!! Have faith, Rev - He loves you more than you will ever know.

December 24, 2005
6:57 pm
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miss_tater...thats such a great story...it gives me great hope, both in god and mankind. Thanks for sharing.

Tez, I'm not Jewish, I'm catholic, I live in Ireland, most people here are catholic. I do however have an interest in all religions, most particularly Judaism, as the area of Dublin City that I am from is one of the very few areas in Ireland where there is a large population of Jews, we have a synagogue near us (my parents house that is, I live a few miles south now) there used to be a Jewish club near us (unfortunately they tore it down and built a health club on it) My parents had their 25th wedding anniversary there. A lot of my parents friends are Jews, in fact, one of my mothers bridesmaids was Jewish. One of my closest friends is Hindu, he moved to London and I miss him a lot. Another is Methodist, she's getting married to a Catholic guy in February.
I'm not an arrogant person at all Tez...don't know where you got that idea from. I don't assume that I know more than anyone else or that I am right and everyone else is wrong...I don't shove my beliefs down anyones throats, I never learned how to do that. When I was born I was baptised as were the vast majority of my peers here in Ireland, into the catholic religion, I went to mass every sunday, made my holy communion at 7 with my class mates and my confirmation at 12 with my classmates. The majority of the schools here are run by catholic religious orders, but you don't have to be catholic to attend, catholicism was and still is all around us here, so much so, that its taken for granted, its a way of life. My sister, she's 25 and says she doesn't believe in God....yet she says christmas is not christmas unless you go to mass. I am simply embracing my religion, as alicat says above "It can't hurt".

I know in every religion there are different beliefs, different gods, different traditions....who is to say which is right and which is wrong...perhaps we all are, I certainly NEVER claimed that my God is the "real" god...nope, can't see in my threads above where I said that! I'm not saying catholicism is "perfect" either...I disagree with a lot of its more conservative teachings, but thats not going to stop me from worshiping God, believing God exists and trying to be a good catholic.

Happy Holidays Tez, hope to hear from you soon.

Rev.

December 25, 2005
7:43 pm
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"I'm not an arrogant person at all Tez"

I didn't say you were an arrogant person.

I was talking about about (your belief - if you blindly hold it?) Christian belief about being in possession of absolute truth. One can be arrogant in one aspect without being described as an 'arrogant person'. I doubt that you are that.

However, such a belief about which I speak, is the prosletyzing of the the existence of the Judeo-Christian God as though his existence is an indesputable fact. It is not - it is belief and it is arrogant to proclaim otherwise. Yet you and others publicly talk as though everyone should automaticly 'know' that your God exists.

To get down to further specifics, the Catholic Churches belief in the infallibility of the Pope when speaking on doctrinal matters is definitely arrogant. In days gone bye they even tortured people for suggesting otherwise! This is only one exemplar of the arrogance of which I speak.

When I was in Ireland in 1983, Irish women still couldn't openly buy contraceptives. The Catholic Church dominated the laws then. I sincerely hope that it has changed now. Did the church support the poor Irish mother with many kids? Like hell they did. Read 'Angela's Ashes' for a good example of the churches response.

I went hunting for my relatives in Co. Clare. The PP in the parish concerned said: "How wonderful that you have kept the faith down through the two generations". I didn't have the heart to tell the aged priest that there was nothing to keep.

I saw what Catholicism did to my red hot, 'keep the faith', Irish Catholic family (Murphy, Hennessy, Ryan, Mulvihill, Cronin, Carmody) from Kilkenny, Clare, Limerick respectively.

I once confronted a non-Catholic Christian with his 'arrogance' in believing that only Christians would both be 'saved' and had the 'truth'. He said "the truth is arrogant". I disagreed. I said, "humility is truth, truth humility" not arrogance.

When WD started his spoof thread on the Pastafarian FSMism, Christians didn't like it much. But I can assure you that this thread is a good cariacture of what the exclusively Christian's Only Threads look like to a non-Christian.

Some Christians are even so arrogant as to assume that anyone who is not a Christian must be an athiest. Hmmmm!

December 26, 2005
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You implied that I was arrogant...and again above you did it again....or that my beliefs are arrogant.

By the way, Tez, you can mention as many Irish surnames as you wish...doesn't mean you are Irish, it means you are of Irish descent. And yes, of course I saw Angela's ashes, my father couldn't watch it...it reminded him of his own childhood too much. My mother almost left the church in the early 90's when the x-case on abortion was going on....I almost left with her although I was only about 13, the same age as the girl in the x-case. My mother was furious that the catholic church refused to back down on abortion, her view was not unlike what you said above "Will the priests help these poor girls who either have too many babies or are much to young to look afer them" NO, they won't was her reply, as was mine.

As I said above

"I disagree with a lot of its more conservative teachings, but thats not going to stop me from worshiping God, believing God exists and trying to be a good catholic."

So there is no use preaching to me Tez about the awful injustices and mistakes the catholic church has dealt in Ireland...I live here after all, I've seen it, I know it, I've experienced it....after all I live here! Try living here too before you pass down judgement on us Irish catholics.

December 28, 2005
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Tez, I do not understand why you or anyone feels the urge to proselytize on any of these threads, but especially on the ones which don't invite it. From what I can see, you've done here the exact same thing you accuse Christians of doing -- arrogantly putting down belief systems that disagree with their own. There are threads which invite debate, but this one didn't, so what compelled you to start one? I'm genuinely perplexed by this.

(And, I freely acknowledge you are not the only one. I've seen people of every spiritual influence spark debates both here and in the support boards when no debate was actually called for. Those threads usually descend into a maelstrom of judgment which completely overtakes the thread's original purpose. I always hate seeing that happen.)

December 28, 2005
1:43 am
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mamacinnamon
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September 27, 2010
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Rev....

Have been reading above. This was passed to me years ago when I felt I was useless to God. I wanted to share this w/ you.

Are you experiencing a time of sorrow? "This is my doing". I am "a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering". (Isa 53:3). I have allowed your earthly comforters to fail you, so that by turning to Me you may receive "eternal encouragement and good hope" (2 Thess. 2:16).

Have you longed to do some great work for Me but instead have been set aside on a bed of sickness and pain? "This is my doing." You were so busy I could not get your attention, and I wanted to teach you some of My deepest truths. In fact, some of My greatest workers are those physically unable to serve, but who have learned to wield the powerful weapon of prayer.

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