My Church

Imogene

Administrator
Hi KG...not sure about cheap hotels in the city...but in NJ right outside of NYC there are many reasonable hotels. Many members have stayed right near me. Not sure if you have a car...but enjoy your stay wherever it is!
 

Gammaw

Super Moderator
Imogene. Thank you for your post. I found it inspired and bold. I love the Lord, believe in God, and thank Christ for caring enough to do the ultimate penance for my sins, ahead of time, without qualification and with the ultimate version of parental love. If I think PICC lines, nebulizers, feeding tubes, ports and endless antibiotics are bad, imagine what it was like to be crucified. If I could do these things for my children and save them from it, I would. Christ could, and did. I find inspiration, comfort and challenge in the Word and prayer.

Really I have been in the same place as virtually all these posters and welcome their outspokenness and anger (as long as we dont personally criticize anyone!) Its natural. The thinking man's way to even the Lord is through examination, questioning and searching. So it is with religion. I believe the Greek word for "faith" suggests that you have turned things over, investigated, examined and thought about something endlessly until you are make your discovery. I too was angry at God for imagined cruelties, and thought the concept of God was a crutch for the weak or unintelligent. I was disdainful of the existence of so many religions - who are we to believe? The Catholics, or the Baptists, the Buddhists or the Muslims? Who? After all there is so much disagreement on religious principles, somebody was obviously wrong and it was probably all of them. My journey was long with bouts of atheism, agnosticism, and apathy. And more than enough anger to go around. It turned into a progression I can now clearly see as I aged, became more aware of the world, and experienced more of the horrors as well as the joys of life.

I am decidedly Christian. Catholic to be exact, though I am unconvinced the denomination really matters. In response to our posters, I could tell you about the days following a child's death that brought me to my knees chastising the Lord and his ways and my demand that if God existed I wanted to know now and I wanted to know why! And I can tell you that I was met after days of this with an incredible washing of my brain, my soul, my heart and found when I opened my eyes I was new with the Holy Spirit. Something - someone - I had never believed in or expected. I can tell you how I went through debate after debate with equally skeptical peers, philosophers, and teachers over the years to almost always emerge seemingly victorious in my skepticism and disbelief, thanks to my (God given!) wit and acumen. I can tell you how I was taken aback when I realized not the differences between religions, but the incredible similarities - how could simple folklore and intellectual crutches find their way across the oceans and distances through all of time to emerge with such incredibly similar foundations. And I could tell you more. But none of that is really likely to convince anyone although it may help propel a few on their own journey.

Instead, I would post one challenge. If you are a disbeliever, or uncertain, or just intellectually or emotionally curious, do just one thing and see what you think. Read the Bible. It amazes me how I was able to criticize the Lord and his Ways, to disbelieve and refute for so many years without even reading the central treatise on the issue. Any professor worth their salt would have flunked me! Now I don't mean just open the Book and read a few lines, or even just a chapter, although it will give your soul a boost and some thought. I don't mean to hear you say that you went to Sunday School when you were a kid and you already read a bunch of it somewhere during classroom time. I mean - Read The Bible. It comes in many forms, including plain English translations, to suit your fancy. I will not enter into a discussion of the merits of this version or that here in this post. But do read it from page one to the end. If reading both the Old and New Testament seems like a daunting task, then I suggest you read the New Testament. But do it from beginning to end. All of it. Come on, you've read enough books, novels, posts, and Internet sites to have read the Bibles pages a hundred times. You can do it. A little at a time. A chapter at a time, a page at a time if you prefer. But read it. A little everyday will be easy. I suggest to you that the Bible is more than the sum of its parts. It has a power of its own that you will feel. And you will understand. See if you can do it and still not have "faith".

CF can be your propellant to discover the mysteries of the Universe ahead of those your same age. I wish CF on no one. But it's impact and influence is incredible.

Blessings.
 

Imogene

Administrator
(NEB)

(VEST)
I am starting to like this thread now that there are a fair number of responses... I am not brave believe me, i mostly go along believing God is everywhere and this community inspires me to reach and stretch in ways i never imagined...I admit I do need a church and community to stay focused on the spirit.

There are and have been so many members who Are Brave and never waiver in faith...one i am thinking of today is Mockingbird...he died in 2008.. But his memory lives on in all the emoticons he designed for us...


from his eulogy:

With the weight of CF he struggled for answers. Through growth he came to understand God and how to serve. He was a faithful and devoted young man. He loved the scriptures and studied for depth and understanding.
Through his search for God's purpose in his life he wrote:


"I battled, believing life in the spoils
I fought, not knowing 'twas only death
now shall I kneel, forever so loyal
I feel your embrace, your eternal breath"


"It is my desire to follow my purpose from God. My time on earth is short, and soon I will leave it behind forever, but for now while I am waiting I can think of nothing better than to spread His light which He once spread to me."


Serving, sharing in everything he did, the life of a humble young man touched us all. -

See more at: http://forum.cysticfibrosis.com/thr...e7?highlight=Mockingbird#sthash.LHVqdJ89.dpuf


You are:

The salt of the earth...the light of the world...

Imogene
 

anien2

New member
All the creepies just crawled out from under the dung heap and ATTACKED Imogene who posted her positive experience about her Sunday. Seems as those who deny/hate/dis-avow a GOD are the first to jump in and kill the messenger. Imogene was sharing what works for her and brings balance to her life. Why am I surprised the atheists/agnostics yelled the loudest and showed their deep seeded hatred of anything that brings comfort to another--especially if for them, it's Godly?
Dont mean to be offensive to anybody, but what would you say if somebody said that had found comfort and help to carry on with CF on Allah, Isis, Thor, Zeus or any other god? does it make them any more real? does it make any sense to you that somebody finds confort on Neptune or Krishna?

For me God is as real as Santa Claus, many people believe in both of them and nobody can prove they are not real, but the only way you can think they exist is using faith, which is the act of believing with no proofs.

If the idea of a god upthere and belonging to a community of believers is helpful for somebody then great for him or her, any help is always welcomed, but just because you need a god doesnt makes it more real.
 

ethan508

New member
@Anien: I am okay with others that find comfort in faith traditions that feel incorrect to me. In my thinking, maybe God is uses man's ideas of Santa or Zeus to help prepare someone for a time when they are ready to find what I would call the True and Living God. Many non-believers still hold onto the ideas of love or kindness or hope and those are great ideals that may prepare them for a future belief in God. Would it be best if we all believed in the One True God or all could obtain a perfect knowledge of truth? Absolutely. But until that, we can all do the best we can with the knowledge we have and be tolerant and kind as others learn and grow and make their way through life, even when it is in a manner different from our paths. I don't believe that all paths lead to heaven, but I do believe than many paths lead to a improved understanding of God.

I think belief in God has as much proof as belief in love or happiness. All of these are solely measured in the people that experience them. The amount of love I have for my children cannot be measured, and no one can tell if it waxes or wanes. But to me it is as real as the air I breathe.

Just because you don't think you need God doesn't make Him any less real.
 

Gammaw

Super Moderator
Anien- as Imogene said in her original post...."However, wherever you pray, let us know." As I said in my post - the major religions are in many ways astoundingly similar. That is a thought worth pondering. How did that happen? I wouldn't be surprised to discover they are all the same God by different names - it's people who color the details with their own palettes. Ethan too finds no problem with whatever you wish to name the entity you rely upon. It's all good. I just encourage all to take the journey wherever it leads you.....
Blessings.
 

Gammaw

Super Moderator
Anien, I did forget to mention something that I think is generally misunderstood. Faith and Belief are absolutely not the same thing. Faith is a product of revelation - and comes from inspiration. An "aha" moment if you will and frankly God inspired. It is not a choice; it is knowledge. In its deepest sense. It is what I venture to say you will find after reading the Bible, although it certainly may come in many other ways. Belief on the other hand is what you mention - a choice you make to take something as true potentially without any proof. You can believe in Santa Claus if you choose, but you have faith in God, not of your own volition, but from the knowledge that He exists.
Those were tough concepts for me, until I had Faith. And frankly, I still use the words interchangeably too!
Whatever gets you through your trials with life and CF, I think is wonderful! But this thread is really about what gets us through, isn't it? Imogene shared. Can others tell us what gets them through?
 

Twistofchaos

New member
Hi Twistofchaos – reading your comments makes me think of a few things:

1. God gave us all an amazing gift - the gift of free will. He created Adam and Eve, put them in paradise to live, and before long they sinned against God and screwed it all up. He gave them very simple instructions, and they chose to not follow them. And mankind’s sinful behavior went downhill from there. I didn’t always believe in the creation account in the Bible (I mean come on - how could someone with a science background possibly believe that?), and I spent many years believing that macroevolution was true on some level (for much of my life as a Christian, I thought theistic evolution likely made the most sense). But, I now believe that God did indeed create Adam and Eve as the Bible says, and I also believe that he did not create them with defective CFTR genes. So who was the first CF patient and how exactly did it happen? I don’t know, but I don’t believe it came from God. We live in a fallen world, and God allows us to experience some tough stuff. Though, allowing us to go through difficult things inherent to a fallen world is very different from Him pointing an omnipotent finger and zapping us with a disease. When it finally clicked that God wants His best for me, and He is using CF to make me a more loving and compassionate person, I was able to get some peace with my disease after struggling mightily when I was first diagnosed.

2. I’d like to address your comments on both God doing nothing and world hunger at the same time. First, I don’t believe that God created world hunger - we did. But, God has certainly given us everything we need to solve it. A quick google search shows that the UN estimates it would cost $30 billion/year to solve world hunger. There are almost 320 million people in the US alone, and about 67% of them are adults. If every adult in the US gave just over $120/year, we would end world hunger. So why don’t we just do it? God has certainly given us the financial means as well as the technology to fix it, hasn’t he? It seems to me we should stop blaming God for things like this, and instead take responsibility for not fixing them ourselves when he has empowered us to do so.

3. There is a Heaven, and this sure as heck isn’t it. God never promised that this life would be easy, and as we all know, at times it’s not. But, He did promise that we wouldn’t have to go it alone. If we put our faith in Christ, I truly believe that when our time here comes to an end (and CF or not, it will come to an end for everyone), the next life will be unimaginably better than this one.
The post you replied to was ancient. I should say the tone in earlier posts of mine here is a bit harsh. The type of topics I should avoid ofcourse as they become personal, easily offensive (a lot of argumentation used here to me is deeply disturbing) and easy to lose track we are communicating with fellow CF'ers that we have to look out for a bit more compared to random internet people.

I will say it astounds me whenever a person tries to defend the undefendable.
Here in the Netherlands where there is much less of a predominant Christian culture these days Christian folks that tend to speak in media on their behalf (I mean famous priest, theologists etc.) generally acknowledge such biblical and God fallacies and come to a more small, modest and personal God one can not literally describe or attribute properties to.

Something I as atheïst am completely open to by the way because such a person reaches the same conclusions I have namely that one can not know absolute truths or claim absolute nature of reality and existence. One can wonder about endless posibilities but not outright claim "This is how it is.". Because a system can not claim much about itself without stepping outside itself which it can't.
Once one comes to such a realisation one can also realise no religious or other metaphysical claim can be true per definition as it's always perceived by you in your subjective reality/experience. The cool thing about that is that it does not exclude a God (but does make for a much smaller God than the biblical one) or exclude any other metaphysical idea. As long as one replaces "This is how it is" with a personal "Maybe there's.." or a "Wouldn't it be great if.." and leave it at that. Besides that it would also end religious debate, wars, leave open every posibility to wonder, live a spiritual life etc. cool stuff.
 

Aboveallislove

Super Moderator
You do realize that when you profess "that one can not know absolute truths or claim absolute nature of reality and existence" YOU are claiming to KNOW an absolute truth? Just the contrary one. Ditto when you claim that something IS indefensible.
 

Twistofchaos

New member
You do realize that when you profess "that one can not know absolute truths or claim absolute nature of reality and existence" YOU are claiming to KNOW an absolute truth? Just the contrary one. Ditto when you claim that something IS indefensible.
That's not how that one works.
 

Aboveallislove

Super Moderator
Are you absolutely sure it doesnt work that way? When you say it doesn't work that way you are again claiming knowledge of and insisting that there is such a thing as an absolute truth.

in other words:
Yes it does work that way....no it doesn't work that way. Yes it does...no it doesn't. yes it does. no it doesn't. It can't be both. That's the law of non contradiction. One is absolutely true. Yours or mine. You are claiming knowledge of an absolute truth when you say you cannot know an absolute truth; you are claiming knowledge of an absolute truth when you claim something is indefensible.
 

anien2

New member
Anien, I did forget to mention something that I think is generally misunderstood. Faith and Belief are absolutely not the same thing. Faith is a product of revelation - and comes from inspiration. An "aha" moment if you will and frankly God inspired. It is not a choice; it is knowledge. In its deepest sense. It is what I venture to say you will find after reading the Bible, although it certainly may come in many other ways. Belief on the other hand is what you mention - a choice you make to take something as true potentially without any proof. You can believe in Santa Claus if you choose, but you have faith in God, not of your own volition, but from the knowledge that He exists.
Those were tough concepts for me, until I had Faith. And frankly, I still use the words interchangeably too!
Whatever gets you through your trials with life and CF, I think is wonderful! But this thread is really about what gets us through, isn't it? Imogene shared. Can others tell us what gets them through?
No way, faith can only exist in the absence of knowledge. If somebody knew the truth and could prove it there would be one single religion.

If tomorrow Jesus appeared in Central Park and started making miracles and healing people everyone would become a Christian that same day because there would be no doubt. What if instead of Jesus appeared in Central Park Isis, Shiva, Thor o Teutates?? everyone would quit being Christian or muslim because there was knowledge of the existance of a real god.

What I mean is that you can only have faith if you dont know for sure, thats why there cant be faith without doubts
 

ethan508

New member
Anien2 and Gammaw aren't too far apart. There are evidences of a person's belief in God, but there is also something intangible about it. Believing in God is having a knowledge but the knowledge isn't perfect. There are some great scriptures that back up this line of thought:

From Hebrews 1:11 (New Testatment) - "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen."

Or 2 Corinthian 13:12 (N.T.) - "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am know."

Or Alma 32:21 (Book of Mormon) - "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen which are true."
 

anien2

New member
Anien2 and Gammaw aren't too far apart. There are evidences of a person's belief in God, but there is also something intangible about it. Believing in God is having a knowledge but the knowledge isn't perfect. There are some great scriptures that back up this line of thought:

From Hebrews 1:11 (New Testatment) - "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen."

Or 2 Corinthian 13:12 (N.T.) - "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am know."

Or Alma 32:21 (Book of Mormon) - "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen which are true."
Now change "god" by "santa claus" and you´ll see that it makes perfect sense.

Except that nobody 12 or older believes that santa claus is a real person living in the north pole.
 

Gammaw

Super Moderator
Anien, Of course Santa Claus is based in part upon a real person but he didn't claim to be God. Jesus did. Jesus is (was) also a real person as all acknowledge. And I believe St. Nicholas existed, although I really can't prove it, can I. There are historical recountings of him, written texts (ah . . . kinda like the New Testament is an historical recounting of Jesus?) but I can't "prove" his existence, except by belief? or is it having faith? In what? In our historical documents? Just where does any of our knowledge come from? But then I can rely upon Wikipedia, or scientific journals, but not the Bible? Nah. I won't even go there. So where do we get any of our "knowledge"?

I love and enjoy our conversation. I have shared your struggle. I found that the more intense I became in denying God and in affirming my agnosticism/atheism, the more God was really spiritually chasing me. Knocking on my head to pay attention, think it through, search, argue, and potentially find Him. It's a scary place. It's much easier to dismiss Him than it is to acknowledge Him. At least it was to me. And the closer He came, the more vehement I argued against Him, because I found the prospect of believing in Him, having faith, downright embarrassing and annoying and troublesome. But . . . . He waited.

Believe it or not, I am not generally a proselytizer! But I have always enjoyed discussion, no matter what the topic. And I am a Believer.

You're absolutely right. "Nobody 12 or older believes that santa claus is a real person living in the north pole." But billions of people believe in God, and Jesus. How did that happen?

Again, with God chasing you so hard, put an end to the chase one way or the other - read the treatise on Him, the journal, the primary source of the claim that He exists, the Encyclopedia Britannica on God and Jesus, the first source that has remained the most popular book in history for thousands of years (wow, talk about the New York Times List. . . ) just to check out the "evidence" for yourself. Read the Bible. No one will knock on your door and drag you off to Church on Sunday for having opened the Book. No news flashes will go out and point at you as a "Believer." It's a research project. You will either gain more ammo for your disbelief, or . . . . Just read it to see what you think.

And in the meantime, I ask what I wondered when this thread started! What sustains you through the trials of life and CF?

Blessings.
 

Angelo

New member
Awesome post. Love to see believers being bold in their faith. Our congregation does a lifestream of all services including praise and worship time. It is somewhat of an alternative to the traditional church. We are a Messianic Congregation. That means that we are Jews and Gentiles worshipping the God of the Bible, the God of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and we use the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. We continue to teach from the Torah, (the books of Moses--first five books), and we teach and practice the New Covenant through our faith/trust in Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah, who was foretold by the Old Testament prophets and who is God who came to earth in the flesh to dwell among his people, to show them the way to the Father in Heaven. We are saved by grace, through faith in the completed work of Yeshua, who hung on the cross, died to atone for our sins, was buried to conquer death, and rose to give new life to those who are born again and accept this completed work by faith.

Our service is on the Sabbath. Friday evening service starts at 7:30 pm eastern time, and Saturday, 11:00 am eastern time. Our services are a bit long, as we have communion every Friday eve before worship, then the message. On Saturday, we have worship for about an hour, then a few minutes of meet and greet, then a Torah procession service with a reading from the weekly Torah portion, then the message. Awesome Spirit led message. Our Rabbi/Pastor does not even use notes or prepare for his messages. He listens to the Holy Spirit and shares directly from God. Powerful, life-changing messages.

When I am too weak to make it in person, I get to watch online. What a blessing. Our service is not for everyone, but for those believers who want more from God, and want to go deeper in the word and their relationship with the Lord, this is the service for you. I you watch online, and you see a tall guy with the oxygen tank strapped over his shoulder, that is me.
www.MishkanDavid.org
 
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