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Why Church?

Updated on June 19, 2013
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Religion - a hot button topic. I remember being asked why I go to church. I do not need to tell people that I am a Christian. I don't hide it in anyway but the proclamation of it was never necessary. People can see it in me. People can hear it in my voice and read it in my words. I do not quote the bible, I do not try to 'save souls', and I do not wear a religious title on my sleeve. I just try to live by love. I smile. I strive to be genuine. I'll try to lead by example.

I was exposed to religion at a very young age. My mother was one thing my father another. It didn't cause any problems because, like many today, they represented 2 different households. As a teenager, I entered an elder's bible study and theology coarse. In everything I learned one thing stood out. It has been so long that I don't even remember where it is to quote it but there was only one church in the bible. That one detail would change everything for me. Being a young, curious teenager I decided to do a little experiment. It made some people unhappy, but I have always followed my own path. That year I visited many different faiths to find similarities and differences. I went to Catholic, Pentacostal, Baptist, Jehova's Witness, Morman, and even got to sit in the back of a Synagogue and a Buddist church (COOL). I remember seeing so many similarities. One thing they all had in common was that they all considered themselves the one true church/religion. I think they are all right in that statement but they meant the only one church.

When asked why I go to church, I like to put things in perspective. I do not believe church goers are more or better believers that people who don't go to church. Of coarse, I can read the Bible at home and learn things online.
Why do you go to a gym? Why do you go to seminars? Why do you go to college? All things can be done at home. The truth is that sometimes we are more motivated in a group of like minded people. It is as simple as that. I go to church to enjoy time with others who love God. I go dancing or to a concert (not in years but) to be with others who love music. I have cd's and dance games. I don't need to go out. I go to martial arts classes because it is more fun to learn in groups. There is connection, competition, and energy. Church is no different.

There are a lot of views and opinions on the topic of church. The first thing that comes to mind are hypocrites. I prefer to call them contradictions. Are there any? Of coarse, I am one and so are you. You get people together in any location and observe them you are going to see contradiction. The personal trainer with the collection of snickers bars in their gym bag. The dietitian that rarely eats veggies. The child psychologist who doesn't have kids. I don't know where the expectation of Christians to be super human came from but the only difference between a believer and a non-believer is their dedication. I am sorry to say that being a believer does not take away problems or vices, sometimes you are challenged more. It doesn't mean that as soon as you choose good things that your normal reactions, bad thoughts, and other habits are just going to fall off of you. All it means is that you are going to try harder. You are going to purposeful. You will always slip and fall. You may not even get it right before you leave the earth. Many people think that they know what that means. Did Whitney Houston go to heaven? She praised, acknowledged, and thanked God all of her life. She lost a battle. I can't say if she did or not, I am not there to let her in or block her path. I really think that struggles and failures do not keep you out. I think that malicious intention, greed, and down right badness keep you out. Again, my two cents. Can't be sure, yet.


A lot of Christians judge. I can apologize for them but it is in our nature. We judge everything from fake or real body parts, to food, to lifestyles, to sexuality, to appearance, to style of clothing. Even with nothing else available to judge, people will judge the paint color in a church. Don't take it personal. We all eat, we all sleep, we all judge. I say things like 'did you see that crazy guy just cut me off!' all the time. I don't judge things like status, sexuality, social standing, etc. The list is long but it still doesn't include everything. I will always be a work in progress. I can tell when I am being judged as well. I usually address it with humor too. Most of my friends came to me because of that. I am one to say, 'I know, I know, I am skinny but if you sit with me I can show you my awesome little muffin top.' It only comes out when I sit :D. I am getting muscles now, so I am not sure how long I will get to keep my muffin top :(

It took a long time for me to find a church. I visited many. I guess I am picky. I am not into the constant 'your friends are going to he**...' kinda place. I don't want to feel guilty for not making them come. I don't like churches that are too busy comparing themselves to others to talk about the important stuff. I don't like the overdressed church or the calf workout church (sit-stand-kneel-stand-kneel). I didn't want the religious chanting type of sermon that stretches out words (ooohhh Go-o-o-o-d, we commme before yo-o-o-ou toodayyyyy). I didn't want anyone running laps or doing flips down the church halls. I didn't want to go to a place with out smiles. I didn't want to go somewhere that didn't help the community. I am into the come as you are type of church and I will test it. During my darkest days, when my husband passed, I came to church in sweats. I was a mess and in a fog but I wasn't angry with God so I wanted to go. I couldn't care less about what I was wearing. I cared enough not to go in jammies but that was all the effort I had in me. I am sure people noticed but the Pastor and church staff didn't react. I know some places that would have made the air thick until I left or others that would ask me to sit in the back because of my attire.


Church gives me bi-weekly inspirational seminars twice a week for free, that is why I go. I could pay hundreds for Tony Robbins, but why? I am not walking on fire! I helped make food kits for Kids Against Hunger, that is why I go. Pastor Terry makes me laugh, that is why I go. He let people (anyone, believer or not) come see the super bowl on the church's big screen just because he could and he was a Giants fan. They had a funny women's conference called beautiful. They host plays and concerts. Believer or non-believer can come and go as they please. This church offers a lot for my daughter. I go.

Like I said, I could stay home. I could workout here instead of the gym, but I achieve more and am more committed if I go to a gym (I don't, yet). I could try to learn martial arts from you tube, but I build my skill, improve my form, and compete my fellow students in a class setting. I could read my Bible at home (I never do, yet) but I like to hear the way it is delivered in church. I learn more there. So, I go to church. If you ask me what kind, I will say it doesn't matter. It is my church and if you feel comfy there you can call it yours too. If you ask me what my religion is I will just tell you, I believe and love the Lord and I try to live by his loving example.

Why do I believe? That is a whole other hub but basically all things have a source. I would prefer believe that there is a source for all the good, be inspired, and be wrong than not believe only to find out I was wrong.

Why don't/didn't you go to church?

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    • profile image

      newenglandsun 21 months ago

      http://www.stalbansfl.org/

      Anglican liturgy--more kneeling than anything else so technically not a work-out :)

      Quiet too.

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      newenglandsun 21 months ago

      Ha ha, Legacy--this is my godmother (who I call "Mommy").

      http://en.gravatar.com/jessica1hof

      I have two pictures she has given me of herself personally but she's not wearing much if any make-up in them.

      You two would be good friends by the way.

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      newenglandsun 23 months ago

      how dost my lady?

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      Lissette 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I will sit and learn this one day. Right now I am under the weight of a great many demands. Legacy.

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      newenglandsun 2 years ago

      I sacrifice the queen here and win in 17 moves.

      http://www.chess.com/forum/view/game-showcase/dead...

      Epic, right? I like to pretend that I am the king sometimes and that a woman who is close to me and has been at my side protecting me in the past or in the present is the queen.

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      newenglandsun 2 years ago

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! WHERE ARE YOU?!?

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      Lissette 2 years ago from Central Florida

      That is a big compliment. Thank You.

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      newenglandsun 2 years ago

      my apologies for calling you "Mother" and I hope you don't mind if I continue to call you that. you see, though i've felt romantic feelings towards you, i've always considered you another mother. thanks for being my voice, Mother.

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      newenglandsun 2 years ago

      Let's see...other obstacles: you're experiencing widowhood and as such probably will honour your husband as opposed to remarrying, you're a feminist and I'm not, you have a daughter and would prefer her to have a suitable man in her life, etc.

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      Lissette 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Daniel... Mother Teresa was a Nun and a mother figure to many. I am sure your Godmother can handle both roles and I am sure that you are strong enough to evolve in your role and be a strong, self sufficient son to her.

      As far as love goes, it is always a risk to reveal yourself to her. It's the part of love that makes us vulnerable but it isn't something that should be feared. People fear rejection but they do not realize that the consequence of rejection is being paid whether you reveal yourself or not. For example, today you are alone without her and if she does not feel the same about you, you will be alone without her. You have paid the consequence... what you are trying to figure out is if there is a possibility of a tomorrow with her.

      There is no tale of two women. I am a voice in your head, an idea. Ideas are always perfect because they lack the details in reality that would taint them. The age would not have been the only obstacle. Tho I am flattered.

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      newenglandsun 2 years ago

      How was your Christmas? I've been working on filling out application to grad school. My godmother is becoming a nun which sucks (for me). How is she supposed to be a mother to me?!?

      I am having a problem and a love crisis right now. I am in love with my friend but I don't if she loves me. Then there's this other darling in her mid-30's whom I also have become infatuated with (that'd be you) though the age gap is quite a bit...IDK what to do, honestly. A tale of two women.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      She lives in England far away from me...I suppose I could get her a stuffed animal or a cross. She's a devout Anglo-Catholic so she loves crosses. Or a statue/icon of the Virgin Mary. She's a devout Marian as well.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      That will be here in no time. The holidays make these months rush. Perhaps you can do something festive to honor her return? Does she like the holidays? Decorate her house, maybe?

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      She's in a recovering stage...she's supposed to get back New Year's.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      How is she? I hope the storm has passed.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      She fell into a coma but she woke up from it and has made a marvelous recovery. I am so relieved but I miss her checking in on me. It was a big help to have her daily checking in on me. Not sure what I'd do without that.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      On a bright note--the priest at this Anglican Catholic parish wants to baptise me so I can partake in the eucharist, the real body and blood o f Jesus without which there is no life!

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      A spiritual bond cant be broken by something as common as death, as for you... your mind will attack, that is how fear works. I am so sorry that you and she are going thru this.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      She is my godmother--I call her both "Auntie" and "Mother". A spiritual bond is much stronger than a mere physical bond.

      She is getting operation this week. I'm scared i will lose her. She's scared she will lose me. Fear.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      The pain is as temporary as the shell that you are punishing. I can't say that I understand the battle you wage against your skin. I don't know about cutting. I am sorry to hear about your Aunt. Life is this great, delicate thing. Distress doesn't change the outcome. Your presence is more valuable to her than any time spent doing to yourself whatever distress would make you do. I hear people ask for prayers and I find myself often at a crossroads. The common prayer is to save the cancer ridden patient or the dying child, etc but release of this life and release of this shell promises no more pain or angst in this world so long as its time. So usually, I just pray that the best be done for the person who needs prayer.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      I'm still a cutter. There seems to be a new cut each week. The pain is never-ending. Auntie's in the hospital right now which is distressing me.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      How nice to see you D! I suppose it doesn't matter where it is as long as it suits your needs. I have made my life about the small things. Shrinking is great. I am happy that it is working for you.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      I now attend a church at a cemetery. Shrinking my world does work quite well. Having you as a friend has been quite a blessing.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      all we have to do is just think about it and it exists (ontological argument).

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Perhaps you would benefit from shrinking your world. Its hard to collapse a small, more meaningful world chosen by you.

      If it exists, I wish it for you. Soon.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      i'd rather try an exorcism first. i'm tired of so many mood swings. one moment, life is happy and great and then...the world collapses randomly.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I don't care for meds either but I don't reject all of them. I find other ways to handle the issues before I try meds most of the time but I will try them before I reject them. Horror stories are there for almost everything but some things are worth the risk if in fact they improve your life. You can always toss it if it doesn't.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

      my dad just told me that my mom is trying to set up appointment to get me on meds. i dont like meds. ive heard too many horror stories for my tastes.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      st. jude is the patron saint of impossible causes.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      a scholar in ancient history, ancient philosophy or theology, literature, or classics is what i can picture you in.

      from what it looks like, if i don't go into theology immediately after graduating with my b.a.'s, i'll have to do another master's program any way in theology then the doctorate.

      but that's assuming i'm around that long.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      i dont know of anyone who needs it.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      A scholar :)... one can hope. Your Father doesn't have to be won over just as you do not have to be won over to his views. I would like to see you place the value of your life in something a little more stable than current emotion or circumstance.

      Love is the ultimate healer. If you are strong enough, maybe you could consider giving it to someone who needs it while you wait for the love that you are looking for.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      I'm having father problems again. My Dad defends his position so blindly that he won't even entertain the information being presented to him.

      No peace right now. Want to end my life. I just want to be held and loved by a hand that touches me.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      Sorry that yesterday wasn't a great day for you. You'll be a scholar some day. Your book came in yesterday. Started The Brothers Karamazov this week so I don't know when I'll be able to get around to reading it.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      It makes us what we are... hypocrisy is a human trait. Not one of us is exempt from it. I think our quest not to be one while still seeing it in others gives it a negative spin when there should not be one. It should be treated as more of a fact. The rain is wet and people change. I wouldn't be so hard on anyone, especially yourself. You made a goal while you were in the thick of feeling something. That you realize that it doesn't work well for you is not a flaw, it does not attest to your faithfulness. You are using logic to justify change... one could accuse you of using wisdom.

      I have yet to check my email but I have followed the link. I am flattered to have stirred those words up within you. How I am seen changes with the beholder. I enjoyed looking into your vision without your words, I would have never known. Rest at ease... you seek to save me from something that is no longer a threat to me. Don't let the pain that I have risen above become your cross to bare. It has no power over me and should not affect anyone who has crossed my path.

      One of my favorite artistic periods is the Baroque period for many of the same reasons sited in your Rose piece. The art pieces often looked like still life. Fruit in a basket, flowers in a jar. For the few who looked closely, the art spoke of life and death, abundance and limitations. Among the ripe fruit, hidden just beneath the surface you would find the over ripped, the rotting, the bugs, and the webs. In the flowers you would find the evidence of death through wilting and the thorns on a rose sometimes with traces of blood from the last person that embraced it. I accept the Rose with much appreciation and gratitude. I see the beauty in the gift that you would give. As far as fading goes... any flower whether it has been plucked or not will fade back into the earth in time. It doesn't change its affect on us or its beauty and only through its demise or disappearance can it nourish the lives that follow it.

      I would enjoy the greats. Perhaps, once I get more of my life in order, I will visit their tales.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      you are right. i'm a hypocrite. i can't even maintain my 30 day break faithfully (hence why i'm coming back now).

      i think this is okay since i start school again the 13 and will have plenty of refreshing breaks in a state of solitary study especially writing papers outside of class.

      i'm not certain if you got the e-mail i sent you recently but i wrote these two blog posts about you.

      http://newenglandsun.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/my-i...

      http://newenglandsun.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/the-...

      one of my professors has a master's in the classics (i can personally see you studying the classics) and is having us read plato, plutarch, xenophon, and arrian (ancient historians and philosophers). this is my professor for ancient greece.

      i've been trying to do some self-finding and i've realized recently that i'm actually happy we've found at least one thing we can disagree on. if we couldn't disagree on anything, i think you would be the most boring person in the world.

      i cried the other night. i don't know why. it was about robert because his presence is no longer in this world. i never met him so i'm trying to figure out why i cried. maybe i'm sensitive about these things?

      i can't wait for my other history classes. i'm studying witchcraft and christianity in the atlantic, europe's reformations, and ancient greece in terms of history. i'm studying biblical hebrew with my first hebrew professor who's just come back from her sabbatical (i've made my sole goal in life at this point to translate her book "le representation du divin dans les recits du pentateuque" from french to english and if that's the only thing i accomplish in life, that would be fine). i'm also taking her class on judaism and the origins of christianity and am taking another course on existentialism.

      i feel happy sometimes and i feel sad sometimes and i don't really know why. mercy is not judging. you have shown me much mercy. i'll comment here every now and again but i'm afraid my studies this semester might end up consuming me which is fine to have the break.

      i love history. it is one of many fields that allow you to escape reality. literature, theology, and philosophy allow the same as well.

      i was telling my counselor about what i wanted to do in the future with my education and i was saying that i want to pursue dual masters' degrees in history and ethnography of religion from florida state university and, now that i just discovered this program, their history and philosophy of science program as well.

      after looking through the various school opportunities i have, fsu seems to be the one most inviting for myself.

      sorry that i failed in my 30 day or so break but i think it's okay since school is starting up again and i'll be able to lock myself away further then. i may just start coming through every now and again.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Mercy is a thing usually or most commonly shown by those that are above others or have power over others like Judges, life takers, Kings, and God. I do not require mercy. I would settle for not being judged. Take as long of a break as you need. I will not judge. Passion is an amazing thing but then so is control.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      I'm sorry. I should have treated you with more mercy. I am going to be taking a 30 day or so break. Only internet activity will be for school and managing my own blog. When I come back, maybe I'll have found myself. I am passionate.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Friendly debates are fun tho they can become heated.

      I do not try to sway your view but do not sway mine.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      You may never understand me Daniel and that is okay. Many do not. It shouldn't make you angry. That I am misunderstood does not mean that I am false or need fixing. I am at peace and content. I will not be swayed by the views of others especially those who have not found their own peace. I find more hypocrisy in your desire to fix me. Still, while this response will be passionate, it is not angry. I think we are, however, entering a heated discussion.

      Soul mates - this is subjective. It is defined by different people in different ways. I do not believe that in a world of billions upon billions of people there exist one person that has the soul that you are to find. I believe that there are small groups of kindred spirits that, once connected, can live out a long period of time in peace, love, and happiness. I believe that these souls were destined to meet and fill in different areas of your life... ie... my daughter, my mother, my closest friends. All different connections meant to be mates to my soul.

      My husband was loved immensely (5 yrs). I am not happy or okay that he died but death is a part of life. I loved a man once before him (8 yrs). One did not take the place of the other and I will love them always. I have loved many others on different levels (friends, family, strangers in need of support). They will all flow in and out of my life and sometimes it will hurt more than others but I will still love. It was what I was designed for. To ask me to live on with out the ones I have loved is hard enough but to ask me to let go of who I am, to condemn me to a life with no joy. Do you really think that someone who loved me would want that for me? I never planned to love any of the people that I have loved. Although I do not look for it, should another man come into my life with the spirit and purity of heart to stir me, then I will have a 3rd long story.

      Your reactions are extreme. You go from very positive towards me to extremely negative. Save your hatred for the evil. That you take my words so deeply is a type of honor. Your reactions reveal you. Turmoil? Maybe angry? My comments were not accusations. They were about me. What you saw in them is not because of me.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      Lissette says: "I could have locked everyone away to protect myself from hurt, pain, and loss but some things are worth the price and those 3 tormentors find there way to you either way,"

      I HAVE NOT LOCKED MYSELF AWAY! DAMN YOU AND YOUR LYING MISREPRESENTATION! I HATE YOUR FALSE ACCUSATIONS!

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      I worry about your will to just let go and move on from your husband's death. Love is sacrifice. Love is unity. You say "soul mate" but then you just let go? It doesn't make sense.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2013/04/d...

      http://afkimel.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/unless-lov...

      I can say what love is but if I was married and my wife died, I wouldn't just simply be happy and okay with that. If I love truly, then when that someone I loved truly died, I would not be satisfied until I was dead with them.

      And such, God did not just watch his humans suffer, God went and suffered with them.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WosgwLekgn8

      I'm not sure I get you. I waver between absolutely hating you and calling you out and challenging you as a hypocrite and between desiring and enabling you to build you up to what you can be. One case would mean you have standards which you fail to live up to and I wish I could help. The other instance would make you a liar and a faker.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      Crime and Punishment by Fyodr Dostoevsky highlights things I hate about the world. So does his Grand Inquisitor character in The Brother's Karamazov. It is how the author deals with the problem that I want to see.

      Congratulations for you, the book will allow me to peer into another area of your head. How you reflect on human nature and its darker parts specifically. I can't wait to read it.

      He's more of a sci-fi/fantasy writer but I think he would love your book if he wanted to read it as well.

      http://brianniemeier.com/nethereal/

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Faith is a funny thing Daniel. You do not need much of it, there is no ideal amount, and there is no wrong or right way of expressing it. It is natural to lose it and falter. Love is selfless. If there is any faith in me at all that there is a better place or that there is a such thing as spiritual freedom, than it would be selfish of me to keep them here. It would be self centered to not let the pain of losing them go. I try to love as closely to the true intention of the word - unconditionally and unselfishly. He wasn't mine to posses but he was mine to enjoy, while I had him. I would not wish that they were still here. There are worse things down here than death. I believe that there is a price to be paid for the things that we force so I tend to go with the flow. I can see many reasons they are to be envied. Maybe for the mark that they left in the world. In your case, maybe it could be because they escaped the world that you see yourself stuck in.

      I am happy that I have the memory and the story to tell. When I say that, what I really mean is that the memory is worth more to me. I could have locked everyone away to protect myself from hurt, pain, and loss but some things are worth the price and those 3 tormentors find there way to you either way, so why not take the memories and good things along the way?

      My poetry here gives you a much better view of my mind than anything you will read in that book. I pulled from the dark parts of human nature to write it. There are touches of me here and there but it is not true to life for me.

      I am grateful to the Catholic writer for his kind words. Although, I am sure, it is not the book for him. I am not sure if it will be for you either since it highlights things you hate about this world. I am flattered that you wanted to find it tho.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      I wish they (your husband and Aidan Kimel's son) were still alive. But at the same time, I envy them. I never met them so I don't know why.

      If my hypothetical wife were to die, I don't think I'd be able to say that I'm just happy I have the memories.

      It's interesting to see how you and Fr. Kimel both turned your losses into really productive opportunities.

      I ordered your book by the way. I was telling a Catholic writer about your book as well. He congratulates you on your publication.

      I can't wait to dissect your mind even further by reading it. Literature always allows to see how people's minds function.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      The abrupt nature of death sometimes... I appreciate the reminder. Yes, I am grateful that I was loving to him throughout and do not have to deal with the guilt and regret of having treated him coldly or not giving him my best before he died. I never hated God for what life brought me thru. I did grow cold at times. I did disconnect but I never placed the blame on him so much so that I would live my life hating him. I am often indifferent which I am not sure is a good thing. With free will, I believe that we are placed here to create our own paths. Where they lead, what happens, and how we react to it I don't believe are pre-ordained. I visited the links... I will read more afkimel soon.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I have to agree. Love is very misunderstood and overcomplicated by people. It seems that here it is more about receiving it then giving it unconditionally to others. The ability to change is part of human nature. We change our minds, we change our paths. It makes us seem like hypocrites many times.

      Sigh... That is a good question. How do I still believe? I believe in a source for good. I have had good in my life throughout. I have seen a lot of darkness and such but it doesn't change that good exists. I didn't get much time with my husband but they were good times. It's almost certain that more time would have introduced complications and dark days along with more good times since that is the nature of life. Death is a natural part of life... I do not blame... I would gladly take a few of the worst moments in life in order to have had the good moments that I have had.

      Hahaha, it is me. I don't wear make up daily and when I do it is usually light. This time I tried darker shades. I don't like dark colors in make up. It shows too much no matter how little I use.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      I'm sure he would also appreciate your condolences on his about page.

      http://afkimel.wordpress.com/about/

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      Oh, yes. I saw the date of this post here.

      http://lissetteriena.blogspot.com/2011/09/freebie-...

      I nearly cried. 3 days before his death and you were getting him something special out of your heart.

      I don't believe you when you say "It is my honest opinion that God is great". Just be honest with yourself.

      Even this Eastern Orthodox friar whose blog I follow is more honest than you. And he's a friar if I haven't pointed that out yet.

      http://afkimel.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/a-childs-c...

      His son died. Read the homily he wrote for his son's funeral if you can.

      http://afkimel.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/a-paschal-...

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      http://photos1.meetupstatic.com/photos/member/a/1/...

      Wanted to comment on this picture. If this is you (and I'm fairly certain it is), you have way too much eye make-up on.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      How do you believe in God still after your husband died?

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      Love is unfortunately also the most poorly defined truths in our world. Love is also something that we humans are better at speaking but not at doing. Like faith, it is a verb, not a noun. Love is what we do and faith is what we do.

      "Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further."

      "Don't forget to love yourself."

      "Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays."

      "Without risk, faith is an impossibility."

      All from Soren Kierkegaard.

      Note: We're all hypocrites when we say something.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Lovely to meet you mrslagibb. We agree. Love is the only truth!

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I did comment on your wordpress Daniel and the best conversations happen between two people who can respect their differences of opinion. As far as your grade goes, your professor challenges you. It sounds like he is brushing up some of your valuable virtues. I am sure you will be fine.

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      Mrs L A Gibb 3 years ago

      i feel the same way as you do. I never push religion on to others unless they want to talk about it and even then i do not push i just listen to their beliefs. I have different opinions of churches even thought I was brought up as RC. To me you carry your church with you in your heart to me that is true religion is to love one another is that not what it is all about.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      Why does my professor make his tests so HARD! I STUDY ALL DAY for the test and I get a LOUSY C! ALL DAY AND GET A C?!?

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      I thought you were commenting on my wordpress which I actually wrote partially in response to your hub.

      I'm glad we can both have the freedom to disagree on epistemologies. We are both seekers in my opinion.

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      Lissette 3 years ago from Central Florida

      No one can hide their bias for too long. It is in our nature to debate and hang on to the biases that make up who we are. I never disagreed with that. I find it funny. What I don't like is oppression. The part of humanity that insist that they have a right to fight or attack and shun those that do not agree with a belief or way of life. I never understood how that is justified in someone's mind. He sounds like a funny professor.

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

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      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      My goofy philosophy of religion professor was showing his biasedness today. I haven't gotten too many professors who aren't biased in some way. He's a Jew so he throws some Jewish apologetics into his lectures. This lecture he was commenting on how Christians and Muslims are bad with tolerance and just want to kill each other over minuscule things (obviously hasn't explored either crusades or inquisitions in depth which are often simplified by non-historians as *just* that). Then acting like Jews have done nothing wrong (not what the Muslims say in Palestine, but...err...okay!).

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Well, the only reason why no one has had that power is because they all realize they are both evil and stupid even though both hate each other.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Rule is a strong word. One person has not had that power in many years here. The office is just an icon to me.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      The one thing the Republocrats both agree on - "An idiot must rule!"

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Hahaha... The picture only brings this to mind...

      http://thetippingpoint-blog.blogspot.com/2012_11_0...

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Yes you are. I should know that by now. However, you are incorrect to say that religion is man-made. Jesus is God and he made the Catholic (a word which means "Universal" so use that if you must) faith.

      Although I'm leaning toward the Catholic University of America now which is in Hell, United States. Some know this city better when referred to this picture.

      http://blog.appszoom.com/wp-content/uploads/white-...

      My plans right now look like this.

      http://newenglandsun.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/choo...

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I wouldn't call you crazy or deluded, hahaha. It is healthy to have curiosities and interest so long as they do not hold the power to destroy you should you be disappointed. Religion is man made and anything man made has to be flawed since we are. I find it beautiful. It is odd to me that you can picture me as anything having never known me. I am little more than an idea...

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      I try to be evangelical. I would definitely like to explore more rites than just the Byzantine Rite. I think the Catholic Church is perfect in this sense in that adherents to the Catholic faith can explore various different expressions of the faith. It's nice, quiet, and beyond the Bible (sola scriptura is heresy even). I can highly imagine you as a Catholic. Not a Greek Catholic like myself though. I've pictured you more-so as Roman Catholic to be perfectly honest, and, when you noted your familiarity with St. Jude, Maronite.

      Also, if I do end up going to FSU (my dad was being goofy asking me the other day how I was going to get there when I told him that was my plan - he's always a pain in the neck/a$$ - so I told him I would have to move to Florida first), I would like someone to take me to an Eastern Catholic Church in the Summer especially if there are none in Tallahassee. Call me crazy now. Or extraordinarily deluded. Or just maligned in the head.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      It is odd to me, I'll admit that. But I've always pictured you as one who would lean toward Catholic if anything.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Talking is always good. Thinking is as well. Making a decision... while you should be committed, these decisions do not have to be permanent. Why would you have me align myself with any religion? Is it really that odd to you that I chose to remain undesignated?

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      I talked with a priest last night. He comes from an Assemblies of God background. Used to be very anti-Catholic.

      He told me to wait three months before making a decision.

      Encouraged me to come to classes.

      So I guess I will be becoming a Greek Catholic.

      Oh, this was actually a different Church than the other one so the bishop wasn't at this one.

      I would highly recommend reverting back to Catholicism for you. There's no rule that you have to be a good one.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Okay, correction, it's actually *divine liturgy*. Mass is actually a western term and is improper to use of an Eastern Christian service.

      It went well. There were babies crying which made it difficult to keep up with the non-stop chanting. I met the bishop and the priest though.

      http://newenglandsun.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/my-f...

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Silly, the 27 is *this* Sunday.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, how did it go? Did you enjoy it?

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Oh, I'm attending my first Mass on the 27. A Byzantine Mass. I heard Eastern Catholics are quite serious about these so I thought I'd dress up for it too.

      The Greek Hail Mary is easier to remember.

      "Theotokos Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, for you have borne the Saviour of our souls."

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      I learned something about clerical celibacy today. Apparently, when it talks about celibacy in some Eastern Rite traditions (Eastern Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox), it is referring to celibacy being seen as a consequence of obligation to continence.

      Interesting. I had always thought celibacy meant refraining from marriage. This explains why Peter and at least 11 of the apostles (not John though) were married and yet somehow priestly celibacy was still the norm.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      This might help.

      http://www.oodegr.com/english/ag_grafi/pd/genesis/...

      If God was imperfect, then his sacrifice would not have been perfect.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I remember reading that we were made in his image, so I really don't see why people would believe God to be unchangeable and unable to make mistakes of any kind especially when humans are so fantastically flawed and almost require lessons in hindsight. God's anger, his wrath, his love... it sounds a lot like ours and is probably influenced by the current situation much like it is with us. He, being the creator, may just not be as hard headed as we are. Just a thought, not a belief that invites the burden of any proof.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      My relatives who are more fundamentalist in their approach to Christianity, I honestly consider in a far worse position than my older sister who is an atheist. She might be searching in the wrong places but at least she's searching which will eventually lead her back to his love. My fundamentalist family such as my grandparents, my cousin, my uncle, they just have given up searching altogether, haven't resorted to mysticism of any such, and think they have already discovered "truth".

      Theotokos God-bearing Maid, rejoice, grace-filled Mary, the Lord with thee. Praised thou among women, and praised the fruit of thy womb, because it was the Saviour of our souls that thou barest.

      Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      It's almost as if the Catholics and the Orthodox worship a different God than the Protestants.

      My cousin is very fundamentalist and recently defended the position of God's anger and wrath - much to my horror obviously.

      http://www.kirstenkline.com/2013/10/04/when-god-ge...

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      I like the way that Pope Benedict XVI (and all the recent Popes for that matter - Francis I, John Paul II) paint a beautiful picture of God's love.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      There was plenty of factual answers on the test. Not being in the class, you can't really make a statement about how the students were basing a lot of their stuff on their own biases rather than on what we learned in lectures.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      There are ways to ask both open ended and multiple choice questions that make it clear that factual information is the only correct answer but I know that there is a lot of gray area there. Not having taken the test, I could only go by the trend set in the results.

      October birthday, very nice.... I love Amazon too.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      I have a birthday coming up in two weeks! Yay! Which means I get birthday money and hopefully an Amazon gift card. I so want to get this book by Joseph Ratzinger.

      http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Christianity-Ed...

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Nah. I can see why some people would put their biases into the test. He's told me that a lot of my posts are really great. Such as my political connection of atheism. I also pointed out Tolstoy's Russian Orthodoxy to another student who was asking if Tolstoy's faith story was reflective of Evangelical Christianity. Our professor has constantly warned us about not putting our own biases onto the material. We are allowed to disagree with the views of the philosophers, we need to accurately understand their views though. I don't think too many have gotten that yet.

      Nun clothes are hardly swimsuits @_@

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Hahaha, your teacher is funny. If the questions allowed for biases then his test was too subjective and didn't represent factual information. His reason still points to a flaw in the test itself.

      The nun clothes thing.... obviously written before the swimsuit conversation started hahaha.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Nah, I don't think the clothes of a nun would bother you at all.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      He told us that a lot of our answers reflected our biases more-so than what he taught us.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sounds like he gave the extra points because of the amount of people who understood the same thing. The numbers show that the group as a whole did not get the teaching needed to excel in the test, so technically you would have aced it had it been a fitting test. Congrats!

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Apparently, my score got bumped up to a C+ (157.5 out of 200 as opposed to 143.5 out of 200 both with 17 possible extra credit points). Then, I found that the average score was 136 out of 200. So I was above average any way. Then...professor gave us 25 extra points which means the new median score is 161, not 136 and that would bump the grade I got to about a 182.5. So I didn't do as atrocious as I thought. Our professor was saying he was surprised at how many people thought the AIDS question was related to free will theodicy (AIDS is God's punishment on us). Either way though, I want to study hard though for the next exam. I have a Biblical Hebrew exam this week (we all bombed our first quiz, but I got the highest grade with a 50%).

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Maybe. I think professor gives lots of extra credit opportunities on our assignments.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I am sure I would get kicked out of the nunery... I don't like clothes in mass quantities...

      Sounds like the test format caught you off guard. I am sure you can make it up. You seem to have a passion about religion. Nice venting tho. First step to a clear mind.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

      I got a C- on my philosophy of religion test today....I was preparing for it and was preparing to write short answer questions when it was really all multiple choice and some answers had multiple correct answers with some being more correct than others. Concepts such as monolatrism and henotheism.

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Nay. I can still picture you as a nun.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Yes, I am still in Central Florida, just over an hour away from where I once was.

      I am the type that could abandon society and live in nature, visit the monks of other countries, or live in simplicity among traditional people in a valley by a stream somewhere. Still I do not fit the monastic lifestyle because while I do like my spirituality and follow my own path, I like people in small quantities of different varieties. I am a bit of a loner but I was not made to be completely alone or surrounded by others who all believe the same things and am no where near as dedicated to one thought as needed to become a nun... lol. I am more of a nomadic gypsy tho I prefer to remain uncategorized.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      Ah, that explains that. You still in central Florida though, right? Unless you haven't updated that?

      I always picture you as more leaning toward Catholic or Orthodox living a monastic life. More of a mystic.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Attended. This is where the human aspect comes in. It felt more like a non-denominational. He didn't subject himself or his church to the stereotypes of the religious title he chose. He was extremely active in helping the community around him and his work had meaning beyond the scope of religion. The actions he took in real life, beyond the bible, is what called to me. This was in my old area. I have not been anywhere since I moved away. This month makes a year.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      The link for Pastor Terry in this writing of yours sends us to Living Water Fellowship Assemblies of God. I don't find it odd that you don't want to be in a Pentecostal Church. I find it odd that you attend one in the first place.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Hahaha... yes there are many things said about them. I certainly don't fit in well. Do you find it odd that I don't want to be in any?

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      The holiness movement. Pentecostals are always very...hyper. Not formal. I could never be a Pentecostal.

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      My Dad is a Pentecostal pastor. I visited St Jude Church before. My husband used to have an attachment to anything related to St. Jude.