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Prayer II
February 16, 2005
4:38 pm
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Persistent Seeking

Job 14: 1-6

Step 2 of 12 Steps:
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

One thing that may make it hard to believe in God is that life often seems unfair to us. We didn’t ask to be born into a dysfunctional family! We didn’t have any say over the abuses and injustices we have suffered! We didn’t choose our predisposition toward addiction. And yet we are held accountable for things we can’t control on our own. This makes it hard to initially turn to God as the Power to restore our sanity. He seems unreasonable in his demands.

Job understood these feelings. In the midst of his suffering he said, “How frail is humanity! How short is life, and how full of trouble! Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither. Like the shadow of a passing cloud, we quickly dissapear. Must you keep an eye on such a frail creature? Who can create purity in one born impure?” (Job 14:1-4)

These are good questions – ones that most of us have asked in one form or another. Job persisted in his questioning because deep inside he believed God to be good and fair, even though life wasn’t. He was honest with his emotions and questions, but he never stopped seeking God.

There is a good answer to the question Job posed, one that will satisfy both our heart and our mind. It will be found, however, only by those who are wiling to work through the pain and unfairness of life and still seek God. Those who seek him will find him. In God’s loving arms, they will also find the answers they seek.

This was taken from "The New Recovery Bible"

February 16, 2005
5:32 pm
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On my way.

The beautiful thing about step 2 of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous formulated by Dr. Bob Silkworth and Bill Wilson, the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, is that the "Power greater than ourselves" can be "a San Francisco cable car" because "it can pass a 'pub' whereas the alchy can't". This is a standing 'joke' in AA that is adapted to local conditions.

However, underlying that 'joke' is an important point. The point is this: the alchy is free to choose the Higher Power "of his understanding" whether it be a "cable car" in the US of "tram" in Oz or just the AA group itself.

Belief in a Higher power isn't really in question in AA. What is often a stumbling block is the Christian concepts of a God being rammed down n alchy's throat by other gungho, alchies. This is why Bill and Dr. Bob were so painstaking to include the words "as we understood him" when gingerly using the word God.

When an alchy has been to hell and back, oftentimes he/she feels nauseas when told that there is a loving God who created all things, including their body's inherited disposition for physical addiction, and then that he infinitely loves his creation. Some alchies feel that this is an insult to their ability to still reason. Such alchies do however, get sober with the help of their Higher Power, albeit a very different one than hypothecated in the Bible.

Viva La Difference!

February 16, 2005
5:53 pm
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You do make a good point, Tez and I see what you mean, as I have gone to Al-anon meetings. Same stuff, the focus, purpose and intent, of course a bit different for the person who attends either AA, Al-anon or Al-a Teens. I just wanted to say, that often I will use that phrase 'your higher power' when speaking to someone. My way of giving that person the respect in whatever that belief or strength they find in for their own personal self. And that can be the Street Car Called Desiree or what ever they choose. Heck, for a time there, Pet Rocks were popular. If anyone having a rock for a pet made any sense. Me; thought it was dumb, but I wasn't the type of kid who ran in clicks, either. Just had to pipe in...Sew

February 16, 2005
5:56 pm
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Hey everybody!

I'm going to step out on a limb here!

That said, here goes 🙂

I wanted to pose another possibility, and a question, and intersect the two.

1. Possibility? What if, God, were within each of us? That is, God isn’t all in 1 place as a ‘Being’, but everywhere, dispersed, the good in all of us? God, a spirit of truth, love, compassion, knowledge, and energy. Might God be inside every particle, providing energy that moves in concert in great and small ways? If God is so great, why isn’t this possible? The Bible puts God short of that. Instead of using our free will to get in touch with that love and pure energy, and letting that guide us, we have decided to get in touch with our free will, only to follow writings which teach us how to be good and right, along with many other things. Which bings me to my question.

2. Question: Who wrote the Bible? Historians are in agreement that it is hand-picked collections of works from many different men. They were written as teachings, lessons, to teach men about love, hate, marriage, and how to love not ourselves, but an all powerful Creator.

If there is another possibility for a God, could this be why religious wars have been so futile, and men cannot love their fellow man, because we are not really worshipping the ‘real’ God at all? What if we did all love and worship the spirit and energy of goodness and love inside each of us – our God?

I do believe in prayer though. Prayer for me, touches those love particles. I feel it. It opens up the universe.

February 16, 2005
6:16 pm
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I agree. Quite often I will use "higher Power" if I am not sure how someone feels about the terminology. If I am comfortable with the person and i know they are comfortable with me, I use God when i am talking about my beliefs and Higher Power or whatever they may believe. It does get confusing. I have a very close friend who is a Native American and has strong traditional beliefs. I have a tendency to use both terms interchangably. But she knows what I am talking about.

As I have said before, I have no feelings one way or another about anothers beliefs, as long as it is not an oppressive or violent one. Then I just usually ignore the discussion or change the subject. But I don't not try to push mine. I do try to say they are mine, not yours.

But if you ask me, I will tell you. In my halting, confused way.

Gully

February 16, 2005
6:19 pm
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sewunique
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Hmmmmm.....I like it. And 'I' believe we are a part of each other, 'you' are part of 'me' and 'I' of 'you'.

Sew is now stepping off of my own limb, before I fall off.

Nice job, SC.

February 17, 2005
3:18 am
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I think that we are born with a 'God-Hole' or whatever you want to call it. I don't think everyone has God within them.

I do believe that God is found in many different ways. I do believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

It's just like man (or woman!) to try and neatly box things up. It hurts me when I see people who are turned away from God because of someone else’s ‘good’ intentions. The greatest truly is love.

I'm still learning. I'm trying to figure it all out.

Not all of it makes perfect sense, but that doesn't mean I'm going to abandon it.

Wow.

All the thoughts in my head.

~Amanda~

February 17, 2005
12:15 pm
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Cici
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For what it's worth...

I think a being that is omnipotent and omnipresent, a being that has always existed and is eternal - would not have the same concept of morality that humans do. We are finite, and linear. We cannot comprehend what would be in the mind of such a being.

That said, I think our salvation lies in our actions - our actions are the ground on which we stand, as the Ven. Thich Naht Hanh said.

I think the Jesus Christ was an enlightened being, but my feeling is that he taught that we are all children of "god" as it were, with the nature and ability within each of us to strive for the example he set.

I also believe that there were other enlightened indivudals.

I think there are many paths to the same end, as there are numerous individuals - to reach each one, and force them to follow one belief system, is not only unrealistic, it's close-minded and cruel.

Religion is a very personal and individual thing - thus the emotionally charged nature of the discussion. I have had personal experiences with divinity, the details of which I won't go into now - but from my experiences, the message I received was that the actions of every being have an impact that echoes throughout the world, and salvation lies not in giving myself over to a certain being, but to all living creatures, in faith and support of a positive effect, rather than a selfish focus on my own salvation.

February 17, 2005
12:21 pm
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Tez...I am not an "alchy" never have been...I went to 12 Steps at my church for having a dysfunctional family....much healing went on there, including for me. 🙂

"S.C."--
I have never known you to jump in so many times, and express a presonal opinion. You are ususally much more open. Not a criticism, it just seems different! 🙂

February 17, 2005
1:42 pm
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If there is another possibility for a God, could this be why religious wars have been so futile, and men cannot love their fellow man, because we are not really worshipping the ‘real’ God at all?

Plato's Allegory of the Cave, eh?

February 17, 2005
1:51 pm
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sewunique
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Many of the Crusades were basically for attaining power. Greed of power over wealth, the land of conquering. Religions changed according to whomever was ruling that country.

Plato's Allegory of the Cave has been one of my favorites, which can be used to teach many aspects in searching and learning.

February 17, 2005
2:51 pm
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Ok everyone, I am going to make a request: this is a Prayer II Thread, for those of us who feel "inclined". Use the other Prayer thread to debate,k?

February 17, 2005
5:51 pm
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On my way.

Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to make the title of the Thread more explicit.

For example you could have called your thread:

"For reinforcement of fundamental Christian beliefs only - Thread"

That way any content other than that biassed in support of fundamental Christian beliefs could be deemed to be irrelevant to the thread and easily ignored.

February 17, 2005
9:01 pm
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sewunique
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Tez, Tez, Tez

You just have to be a 'thread buster' as I call it here, don't you? I read the entire Zen thread, skipping some parts, but got the general gist of it. Now I really see that everyone respected you and Twinks throught 300 or more posts, right? Okay, so you are playing here, and to have fun is important.

But, to say that one can ignore a thread or choose to post on it, is completely their own 'free will'. Yet I see that you have come here the last two days and still have not responded to my post to you, titled; racing Minds and Soft Purrring Engines. I see, you did get your typing fingers tired the other day with so many postings, but when you rest up a little, perhaps you will grace your presence to that thread?

Sew

February 17, 2005
10:22 pm
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Found this poem and thought I would post it just as "food for thought":

A poem by Russell Kelfer.

You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart,
So that into his likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason.
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

February 17, 2005
11:40 pm
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Bless you mama for this lovely poem!
I am gonna print it out for sure.

I think God exists in every one of us.

Whenever any one does something good to me, I can't but see God in them!

February 18, 2005
8:51 pm
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sewunique
17-Feb-05

"You just have to be a 'thread buster' as I call it here, don't you?"

🙂

"But, to say that one can ignore a thread or choose to post on it, is completely their own 'free will'."

Yep!

"Yet I see that you have come here the last two days and still have not responded to my post to you, titled; racing Minds and Soft Purrring Engines."

What a piece of Jungian synchronicity ... I just responded on that thread a few minutes before reading this post. 🙂

" perhaps you will grace your presence to that thread?"

Hehehe ... you call it grace?

February 19, 2005
1:37 am
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sewunique
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Well, prayer thread or not....

My prayer is that Zinnie is doing better this week; I know you're having a rough one right now. Hope you get your strength back and come back real soon. I miss you, lady......thump, thump on illness, you know what I mean.

Sew

February 20, 2005
12:23 am
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Absolutely MamaC...I can look back on my life, the whole picture...and especially the last 4 years of my life, and I know wihtout a doubt that it will be used for God's glory...from glory to glory...all things work toether for good for those who love the Lord...and I know without a doubt that God is crazy about you, about me, about everyone....even you Tez!! :0)

February 24, 2005
7:53 pm
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On 20-Feb-05 you said:

"God is crazy about you, about me, about everyone....even you Tez!!"

Is that why I was born an alcoholic into a very, very f..ked up family and brainwashed into an equally f...ked up religion? ... because of your god's love for me?

I would want no part of that god - were he to exist.

February 24, 2005
11:28 pm
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Tez, let me share with you my life a bit, ok?

I was born into a very dysfunctional family. My dad was an alchholic, is now a recovering alchoholic. He used to scare the crap out me, as I always seem to be in the car with him while he was driving drunk. He and my mother used to fight all of the time, and one time he cahsed my mother around the kitchen with a knife. He was in and out of rehab, in his older years, but as a young man, he was a functioning alchoholic. My mother hated him, I watched her hate him, so I hated him too, that is what I learned. I am the youngest of only an older sister, who is so f-ing codependent she drives me nuts. But anyway, I grew up very unhappy, grew up thinking I had to be strong, and perfect, and keep my family together. I never learned anything aabout commitment, as I have no memory of my parents ever hugging or touching, just my mother screaming & crying from the bedroom while having sex with my father.
Then when I was 17 years old I became a Christian, and for a few years, life was grand. Then, I met my verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, emotionally unavailable husband to be, pot addict, whom just by cahnce I KNEW I could SAVE!! I lived with him for seven years, go pregnant with my first son, yada yada, 2 more boys which he screamed at me to abort over and over and over. yada yada yada. The whole time I am a Christian....not perfect, just saved.

But the list goes on and on, and I will not bore you with details, but at 8 years old I was seeing a psychiatrist, and now at 51, I see a psychiatrist and find out I am bipolar/depressed. And he had the balls to tell me that if I had known this before, I probably would have had a different life!! I inherited it from my father...
I was born with a chemical imbalance.

But, I am still a Christian, still love God, God has changed my life, over and over...has not been easy, but definitely worth it in the spiritual, supernatural realm, has changed my son's lives, and so many more people that I know...who have had worse things happen to them than you and I.

See, there is a difference between religion, and a personal relationship with God. For ex...when I was 11 yrs. old, my Sunday school teacher told me that if I didn't ask Jesus into my life that I was going to go to hell. I thought what the? So that scared me, so then I went up to the front of the church and the pastor takes my hand and says to me, "We have been so worried about you, and we have been waiting for you".....and I thought, "WHAT THE???" So, Iwas baptized, and all of these little kids werer running around saying "I feel so different!!"" And I thought, "Gee I don't feel differetn, am I supposed to feel different??" I didn't understand anything, and my parents were in never never land, so I just did my thing.

I continued to go to that church until I was 16 yrs. old......ugh.
Then we moved to another state, and I hated it. But got involved in a non-denominational Christian organization that works with high school kids, they came to my high school, their lives spoke to me, I asked them about their lives and they told me it was that they had a relaitonship with Jesus Christ. And I remember thinking, boy I grew up in church my entire life, but I had not heard that religion was a relationship instead.

So when 17 I committed my life to Jesus Christ, and there are changes, and I have had an incredible life with Jesus Christ....not an easy one, and I have made ppor choices...I make better ones when I pray about it first...but still a Christina with a personal relationship. And, I have battled codependency like anyone else, but I always move forward, never backward.

And Tez...you do sound angry. And that is not meant as a slam at all.
What demon religion did you belong too anyway?

February 25, 2005
12:29 am
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And I guess I would also add, I love my dad, he has become very dear to me, a very intelligent man with a heart the size of Texas, my mom and dad are god friends, though still divorced, my ex-husband and I are friends, and my boys are awesome young men after a very l-o-n-g, few years. And for me, I couldn' have made it without God making somemajor changes for me, my sons, my parents, my friends. But this is just me, and what I believe in Tez...it works for me....but God is the ONLY thing I ever guarantee results for, everything else is not even close.
love ya, omw

February 25, 2005
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The Rosebud

A new minister was walking with an older, more seasoned minister in the
garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he
was asking the older preacher for some advice.

The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a
rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals.

The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying
to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to
know the will of God for his life and ministry. But because of his great
respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose,
while keeping every petal intact...

It wasn't long before he realized how impossible this was to do. Noticing
the younger preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it,
the older preacher began to recite the following poem...

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so easily,
But in my hands they die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to God for guidance
In each step along the way.

The path that lies before me,
Only my Lord knows.
I'll trust God to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

February 25, 2005
11:46 am
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"He who know that enough is enough, will always have enough."
-Lao-Tzu

The wisdom is in the knowing......

February 25, 2005
2:02 pm
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Sew, Just read this poem again...it has meaning for me in reagard to that dream I had...and I just noticed it.

What do you mean by waht you said above?

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