Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 251749

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what's in it for me?

Posted by rayww on August 18, 2003, at 1:10:15

Why do you go to church? When you go do you have a religious experience? Do you learn anything new? Do you learn as much from what is not said, as from what is?

What is the main difference between my church and yours? Some believe the heavens are sealed and the only word of God found on the earth is in the Bible. Others believe the heavens are open. I can't compare myself to you, but I velue things I learn from what is not said as much as from what is said, but whether it is or is not said, whatever I learn, is through revelation.

Today I (re)learned that prayers should not be asked amiss, and that any prayer if not amiss, will receive an answer. I have a favorite rocking chair in a dark corner of my house where I go to meditate and pray till I know what it is I should pray for. Once I reach that union with God where I know what it is I should be praying for, those prayers become the most powerful ones I have ever uttered, and they do receive answers, but they must be in accordance with God's will and they must usually be about other people. I keep forgetting about the good habits I once had, so must be reminded over and over. I used to do this daily and it did make a huge difference in my life. Because of church today, I am re-committed to try again. It is something I need desperately right now. That's what was in it for me today.


Re: differences

Posted by Dr. Bob on August 18, 2003, at 11:24:18

In reply to what's in it for me?, posted by rayww on August 18, 2003, at 1:10:15

> What is the main difference between my church and yours?

This is fine to discuss, I'd just like to remind those who respond please to be careful not to put down the beliefs of anyone else. Thanks,



Re: what's in it for me?

Posted by Dena on August 18, 2003, at 12:18:51

In reply to what's in it for me?, posted by rayww on August 18, 2003, at 1:10:15

I know why I go to church - sometimes the reasons vary from week to week.

This week, the Sunday after losing my baby, I went because the people in my church are my family. I belonged with family this week. They surrounded me with love, prayers & hugs & grieved with me, my husband & our children. They felt pain with us, let go of lost dreams with us, & reminded us that life goes on, that we hope in Someone who has overcome the suffering of this world.

I go to church because it's a practical way of getting together with others who share the same faith. We walk the same walk, we speak the same language & we're in this life of faith together. We encourage each other, lift each other up when one of us is down.

Because we believe in the same God, & have Him living inside of us, we get together physically because we are united spiritually: we are One Body. We come together to honor God on the day of Sabbath, to rest from our daily labors & to honor Him.

We come, having examined our own hearts, asking Him to cleanse all that is defiling, asking Him to unite us together as we focus on Him above all else.

We sacrifice our own concerns, desires, problems & distractions, in order to give Him praise & worship with our music, words & actions. We give Him our burdens, knowing that only He can carry them, while giving us His comfort in exchange.

We hear His word, & receive it as personally as if He had written each of us a love letter. We pray for each other, as well as praying for the needs of the hurting world around us.

We affirm our faith with ancient creeds, repeating the same words spoken throughout the ages. We renew our commitment to the One we can't see, although we've all experienced His life-changing presence.

We remember His sacrifice for us, as we receive Him, mysteriously, supernaturally, through the common elements of bread & wine.

We leave our gathering as changed as we've let ourselves be.

I go to church because I want to be with others who love Him as much as I do. I go because He tells me I need it even more than I need air to breathe & food to eat. I go because I trust Him to meet me there, as He promises.

I go even when I don't feel like it, when I'm too tired, too angry, too sad, too empty, too frustrated, too busy...

I go because He tells me "not to forsake the assembly of the bretheren."

I go because He made me to worship Him, to be in an intimate relationship with Him, & because He created me to be in communion with the others who have responded to His calling.

I go because it's the closest thing to my true home (heaven) on this planet.

Shalom, Dena


Wow Dena

Posted by rayww on August 18, 2003, at 16:02:21

In reply to Re: what's in it for me?, posted by Dena on August 18, 2003, at 12:18:51

I really liked the way you expressed why you go to church Dena. I go for similar reasons, but I, by my own nature, am more private and quiet in worship and sociality. If I have something to say in class, I will most often say it, and what I say usually gets heard. My bipolar affects my mood and sociality. some days I don't want to speak to anyone, while other days just the opposite. Fortunately, I can now recognize when I should shut up. But before I knew anything about bipolar, I think I probably said some far out and dumb things.

Your congregation is your family but my family is literally my ward. My 5 married children plus their 14 youngsters all live close by and attend the same ward as I do. (A ward is a congregation of about 300 members) Church for us is a 3 hour block, divided three ways, 1 hour for Worship service (Sacrament meeting), 1 hour for Sunday School study, and 1 hour for women's, men's, boys, girls, and children's classes. Everyone has a calling and we teach and edify one another from outlined curriculum centered on scripture. Same lessons in all our congregations throughout the world on any given Sabbath.

We are family-oriented, and because of the large numbers of small children, our worship services struggle with reverence. I've been to services of other faiths, and am always so impressed with their reverence. Not so in our meetings (unfortunately) but still glad for the large numbers of faithful youth.

Every member gets two organized personal visits a month by assignment. Any emergency needs are then reported back to the Bishop, who looks after them temporally and physically, mentally, etc.

We all help in the work and no one receives pay. We tithe at 10%, plus pay the equivilent of 2 skipped meals / month (fast sunday) to care for the emergency unforseen needs in our locality. We pay into the missionary fund when we have a missionary in the family, and may donate to it afterward too if we want. (My son is in Milwaukee)

All tithing and other donations go directly to building up the kingdom and caring for the needy throughout the world.

The Lord takes care of those who take care of others who take care of others, and so on (in any faith). It is exciting work and very rewarding in many ways.

I see now why Uncle Bob has put a caution on this subject. I have gotten carried away here, and could probably keep going because as I keep writing my battery keeps charging. Call me the energizer bunny, and Dena too. Dena, your turn.

I think in our attempt to identify our differences, we may discover many similarities.


Re: Wow rayww

Posted by Dena on August 18, 2003, at 18:49:56

In reply to Wow Dena, posted by rayww on August 18, 2003, at 16:02:21

Thank you, Raywww for your kind words. And I'm sure that there are many similarities between your faith, & mine. Thanks for the mini-education of your faith.

We do try to maintain an atmosphere of reverence in our services, but we have a time & a place to "cut loose" as well. During the praise & worship music time, most of us break into dancing (though we don't "strip down" as King David did!) - & the children all grab banners, flags & tambourines to join in the festivities. We start with the upbeat music, then usually drift into music with a more Hebraic feeling (still dancing), & then end with slower songs of worship, with most of us ending up on our knees or faces out of reverence. During the times for prayer, teaching, Eucharist, etc., of course we aim for solemnity. However, as the Mom who has the most children in our church, I can almost always count on one of my little ones to shatter the reverence with a dose of childish reality... like a burp, a squeal, an out-of-place "Amen!" or a louder-than-necessary announcement about having to go pee-pee!

Still, we try to remember that Jesus Himself said, "Let the little children come unto Me.", & He certainly knew the nature of children - spontaneous, guileless, honest to a fault... In fact, He told us to approach God like a little child. It's comforting to know that God knows me, inside out, & yet loves & accepts me as I am (while promising to transform me, step by step, into the whole person He designed me to become). I've heard it said He loves me as I am, but loves me too much to leave me this way!

How wonderful that you have five children, & that you've been blessed with 14 grandchildren! I'm so envious that you all live so close together! I live in Virginia, & all my relatives live in Oregon (where I was born). I have in-laws about an hour away, but they're not very involved in our children's lives. So, my church, especially our priest & his wife, are very much like family.

I honestly don't know how I would've survived the past week without their love & support, not to mention my faith in a loving God (who sometimes doesn't make sense to my feeble way of thinking).

Losing my baby doesn't seem worth it, but He is worthy.

Shalom, Dena


Re: Wow Dena

Posted by rayww on August 18, 2003, at 20:45:49

In reply to Re: Wow rayww, posted by Dena on August 18, 2003, at 18:49:56

5 married, a few not married, and I never did quite win the prize at church for having the most, but that's all right. I was never trying to win any race - only survive. Each one was a miracle. I knew it, and knew God knew it, so who was I to stop before He told me to. My disorder got really bad after my last, and at that same time my husband was called to be bishop. It would be another 15 years before I would know I had bipolar disorder.

Life is levelling out right now, this year, but who knows what next year will bring? We are Canada beef producers, and have no market because of the closed US border. Our whole beef industry is crashing as I write. So, family here today, maybe gone tomorrow, the future is very uncertain right now in this industry. But that's another story in the saga.

Does this have anything to do with faith? Well, if you could hear the prayers of the children pleading to help us sell our cattle, if you could see all the acts of pure service given by people around here without pay, you would say, "yes" this is a great test of faith, These prayers will be answered. They are now being answered in every way but one. So, peace and joy abound, even though our world as we have known it for the last hundred years, is shutting down. Well, I'm not quite a hundred. Do I sound old?


Re: Wow rayww

Posted by Dena on August 19, 2003, at 14:03:32

In reply to Re: Wow Dena, posted by rayww on August 18, 2003, at 20:45:49

No, Ray, you don't sound old at all. In fact, I've always pictured you in my mind to be around my own age (41) - but then, some days I do indeed feel old (especially lately, with the doctors telling me that perhaps I'm just "too old" to carry another baby).

As you said, each one is a miracle, & who am I to decide to stop - He alone opens & closes the womb. I'm praying that I'll be blessed with one more miracle - I'd hate for this part of my life to end with a tragedy - But His will be done.

I had no idea that you & your family have been going through such a difficult time. When life seems to be crashing in, that's when faith either proves itself to be real, or else we discover it was just a fair-weather-friend. I've been praying for you for a while now - I'll fine-tune my prayers for this specific need.

May God truly be your Jehovah Jireh - your God of Provision. May you & your family be at peace, regardless of the circumstances. May you be carried through this time of need.

Shalom, Dena

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