Talking About My Faith And Relationship

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Babs Hunt, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I find myself coming to this section on faith and religion (relationship to me) and feeling hesitant to share because of my experience on the other "friendly place for seniors" Forum. The spiritual side of me is just as real and a part of my life as the physical and emotional side of me and as such it is natural for me to express too. Yet when I expressed that side on the other Forum...that part of me wasn't accepted and was even twisted and mocked. It hurt. So I am hesitant about sharing that part of me here but at the same time just need to know that I am free to express all of me just as I am. So here goes...

    As a baby I was baptized as a Catholic. This worked for me until my "enquiring mind" kicked in and started asking questions. I was perfectly content going to "church" although I couldn't speak or understand Latin so I didn't really know what the Priest was talking about, etc. except when he spoke English. I didn't even wonder about that book he read from for a few minutes during mass. I knew it was called the Bible because we had a big book at home titled "My Catholic Faith" which because I loved to read...I often opened up and read too. I remember reading that as a catholic I was never even to open, turn a page, or read a word from a Bible...if I did it would be a mortal sin. It would also be a mortal sin to ever attend another denomination's church service. There was a lot more in that book, but those two things stick in my mind to this day. When I was in High School I started teaching Cathecism (or basically Sunday School) and since I taught the very young (preschoolers, etc) I was mostly teaching about God's love for us. Then one year I started teaching Junior High level. One night I was studying and preparing for the Cathecism lesson I was going to be teaching that week...and all of a sudden I felt more than heard a "voice" in my heart saying: "You can't teach that. It isn't in my Word." What! Now I know that was the Holy Spirit speaking to me....but back then I knew nothing about the Holy Spirit, or the Word of God. All I knew at that moment in time is that even though I tried going back and studying what I was supposed to teach...I felt such confusion and strong conviction that I could not teach that Lesson and I did not. Instead I just shared God's love. Now I know it was because the Lesson was about the Catholic Church's doctrines which was not biblically based but back then I only knew something or someone say "No!" to me teaching that Lesson. After that I "felt" I should just stick to teaching God's love to the young children and I did.

    My Senior year of High School I worked after school in a small sandwich shop and one afternoon a young couple not much older than me came in. Again I felt and heard a "voice" in my heart telling me to pay for their meal. I still didn't know who that "voice" was but I had felt and heard it long enough to know I was going to do just that. The young couple stayed until we were the only ones in the shop and they asked me if I could sit and talk with them for a few minutes. I could and I did...and they shared the "Good News Gospel" with me. When they spoke my heart heard and felt the "voice" speaking through their words and my heart soaked it up like a thirsty sponge. I invited them to come home with me for supper and to spend the night and they accepted. Later that night they prayed with me as I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart as my Lord and Savior and they gave me my first Bible. The next day they journeyed on and I never saw them again...but their impact on my life would remain with me even to this day.

    Even after I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior and had been given my very own Bible to read I found I could not open and read it for quite awhile because of what I had read in "My Catholic Faith". Yet I found myself needing to know what the Bible said and so one day I opened it and begin reading the Words that would change my life forever and set me on an endless quest to know this God of the Bible and if He was real or not...and whether I found His Word to be Truth. I felt and heard the "voice" in my heart calling me out of the Catholic church and so I left that denomination and began my search to find what I believed in, etc. In the Bible I read about the Holy Spirit and I knew that the "voice" I had been hearing and feeling in my heart was Him.

    In my teen years I tried out astrology and horoscopes, fortune telling, etc. and read about other religions and church denominations. I knew I wanted to attend a Church that taught the Bible because there was so much of it I would read and still not have understanding of. But even in the Churches I attended there were so many man made doctrines and differences of opinions on Scripture meanings that in stead of finding peace and my faith increasing, I found stress and a waning of my new found faith. So I stepped back from man made religions and churches and went for a walk in the desert. Just me and God's Word. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to teach me and bought a good study Bible that gave me the background, etc. of the different books of the Bible. As I started studying background history...and the Scriptures... the Word of God became alive for me. And God and Jesus became alive to me too. I wasn't looking for a religion...I was looking for a relationship and through the years I have found just that with my heavenly Father and Jesus my Redeemer. Coming out of the desert I felt refreshed and strengthened in my faith and belief that God is who He said He is and Jesus Christ is His Son and gave His life to redeem me from my sins so that I now am beloved daughter of God.
    My faith and belief that this is true gives me joy and peace.

    I also like hearing what others believe and why. That's why I like to ask questions like: "Do you believe in an afterlife?"...or "How do think we and the Universe came into existence?" These are some of the questions I asked on the other seniors Forum and got attacked and mocked for. I still don't understand why. I shared what I believed, but I don't believe I disrespected anyone else's beliefs. And I won't do that here either. I don't want to debate Scripture meaning, etc. I just want to share and find out what others believe and have faith in... and I hope y'all will share these things with me.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  2. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for sharing this part of your life, @Babs Hunt . I truly can't see anyone here doing what you mentioned facing on other forums. I just can't. At least not from the regular gang. I suppose there could be lurkers like that, but I'll bet that they'd be promptly scolded. :)

    I think the key is sticking to our own beliefs and not putting down someone else's. Mine happen to be the same as yours. I know we have "recovering Catholics" here as well as devout current Catholics. We have atheists and all denominations of Protestants. The key seems to be having respect for it all. Sometimes I'll read something and cringe and think "how does anyone with a conscience actually believe that's right?"... but there's the operative term... I *think* it... I won't say it on the forum (well, unless it *really* rubbed me the wrong way and then, all bets are off but I always end up feeling bad about it.) :eek:

    I don't think we should stifle our beliefs and emotions, though... but I hope I can say "I strongly disagree with that, and here's why" without going into the inflammatory "that's the most stupid thing I've ever heard in my life!"
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Think that tolerance for other people's beliefs is definitely a key point , and especially when it is something as personal as our belief about God, and how we perceive our walk with Him, when we are believers.
    As @Lara Moss said, it is one thing to state how you yourself feel, think, or believe; and a very different thing to condemn or belittle other for their beliefs, or lack of belief.

    Being able to share our stories is important, and I like that this forum is a safe place to do that.
    My mom read her Bible all of the time, and one of the earliest things that I can remember was her telling me that some day, Jesus was going to come back, and He would be coming in the clouds and everyone would see Him when He came.
    I used to just lay out in the green grass, watching cloud after cloud roll by, looking for that one that had Jesus and His angels on it.
    Growing up, I went to the Assembly of God church with my grandmother, and even as an adult, I never really questioned anything that I had been taught. If I didn't understand what the Bible meant, I assumed that it was my understanding that was lacking.
    Now that I am older, things seem more important to me, and I have been doing more reading, and working on discovering what my faith and my beliefs really are.
     
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  4. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    angeli_b.jpg 2c03256a900aece395e09d0294a746c1.jpg
     
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  5. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I believe what you have said here is true @Mari North. I enjoy hearing about what others believe whether it is the same as what I believe or something completely different. I hate it when people try to tell you that you have to believe what they believe and they will argue and try to force their beliefs on others. Although I will share my faith if someone opens a door to do so, and I will answer questions if someone asks...I will not ask anyone to believe what I believe and I try my best to always show respect for everyone's beliefs.
     
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  6. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Got to be really honest here.........I do hate discussing religious things with an atheist. I am a Christian, as well as my wife, and I do have a tendency to fight for my religion/faith, if it comes down to that. I'm just not one to sit back and let someone tell me that I'm wrong about my faith.

    I also got criticized for taking about my faith on another Senior forum, but I understand that there is always two side to every coin. I don't "try" to push my faith until I'm pushed to do so.

    My SIL will ask me quite often, "why does this/did this (whatever it is) happen?". I simply tell her "the world is not perfect and never will be. As far as World Peace goes, it will never happen because so many people, and their religious beliefs defer."

    My last Supervisor/Director told me straight up......."there are just some things people can't talk about without having a total disagreement start up: the main ones are, religion, sex and politics." I have to admit, he was right!
     
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  7. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    I've never been one to tackle that either, @Cody Fousnaugh ... because I've learned that they (not only talking about unbelivers here, but some of the "cultish" religious sects as well... no, I won't name them!) always have a counter answer. It's always the same flimsy justification and it's often totally out of context. It's a time waster in my eyes. They won't be swayed by what I say any more than I will be swayed by what they say.

    Now, that said, there *is* one exception, and that's when I hear something that is so absurdly false that it is unfair and totally offensive... or a personal attack on someone else. Someone can say about my beliefs "Oh, I think that's so silly and here's why"... and I'll just brush it off with a "la la, whatever."

    But make it something that is blasphemy or an attack on someone that's on a personal level, and my fingernails come out. :) Injustice is simply one thing I can't stand by and watch.
     
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  8. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Finding what I believed in and having confidence in my beliefs was a journey I began in High School and that I'm still on in the respect that I'm still growing and learning in my beliefs. I don't pretend to have all the answers...I don't even know some of the questions yet. Even though I believe in the God of the Bible and in His Son Jesus Christ there still is so much for me to learn where they are concerned. I read the Bible but I don't pretend to be a Bible scholar who can quote chapter and verse by heart, etc. Because my enquiring mind just has "to know" whatever it is I'm wondering about...I search and study until I find the answers that I'm looking for and my heart feels confident that those answers speak Truth to me. When I first started reading the Bible alot of it was confusing to me...and there is still places in it I don't have full understanding of and probably never will. Because I like simplicity...I like things to be put in simple language too. Three simplistic books that really helped me on my Spiritual journel are written by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz. They are Guide to God, Guide to the Bible, and Guide to the End of the World. It's almost like the Cliff Notes we used in High School, etc. but I can tell you this without a doubt in my mind...if you ever read any of these books, you will find you will know for sure whether God is or is not God, whether the Bible is or is not God's Word and Truth, and whether there is and end of the world and afterlife. Don't take my word for this...these authors cover all the bases and discuss why and why not, proof, and everything else in between. They make these subjects fun to study and yet they will teach you so much in such simple language that you might be surprised to find out it wasn't so hard to understand after all. If you are interested in checking out these books, you can find them on Amazon at really inexpensive prices.

    People who know me often call me "Snoop Dog" because of my enquiring mind and many of them will call me up or message me when they want to know an answer to something on any topic but they don't like to look for the answers like I do. They know I will search until I find their answers too. One time a friend who was adopted wanted to know if she had any sisters or brothers and she came to me and asked me to help her find out...I did...and it ended up she had 8 siblings from her real Mom. I found some contact numbers for some of them and now she has a lot more Family in her life. I love happy endings!
     
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  9. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Well from what I'm seeing on this Forum so far it is possible to talk about Politics, and Spiritual things....I wouldn't know about sex...must have missed the threads on that subject. I definitely would not try to talk about these topics at work. ;) Also I find it very interesting that there are some athesists who in their zeal to prove there is no God...actually ended up proving there was!
     
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  10. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Well, even though I'm a Believer/Christian, I do have to understand that not everyone who attends church or "believes" does follow the way of the Bible/Christianity all the time. There are those at a church service who are living together/having sex out of marriage, and some that will leave the church after the Service and definitely not act like a Christian. My step-father was just exactly that way when it come to swearing/foul language and boy did it upset my step-mother.

    When Christians don't follow Christian ways, of which sometimes we don't as well, it gives fuel to the non-believers and then it's hard to fight what they say. They say, "you call yourself a Christian, but do you really act/talk like one when away from church?" Well, it's sort of hard to fight that when a person knows themselves that they don't always act/speak like a Christian.
     
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  11. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Christians aren't perfect...they are forgiven. Christ was the only one who lived a perfect and sinless life, and He lives within believers and is helping them become more like Him every day...but this is an on going process that won't be complete until Christ comes back and their glorified bodies are obtained. When others say someone doesn't act or talk like a Christian...it's because they don't really understand what a Christian is. A Christian is a human being who has chosen Christ as their Redeemer and Lord and while they now have forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life as a beloved child of God, on earth they are still human beings who still fall into sin (but repent of that sin), make mistakes, and are as imperfect as those who don't call themselves Christians at times.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  12. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Well, some Christians are much more perfect than others. My half-brother and his wife can definitely be like that. Seems like they can "do no wrong". Don't drink, goes to church every Sunday (that I know of) and helps out church members as well as the Minister. Only thing is, they have different banking accounts because, as his told me "she wants to tithe a lot more than I do".

    My SIL can be the same way, but not so within her marriage. No cheating or anything like that, just not compatible. This year her and husband will be married 50 years. A few years ago, she took off her wedding set and didn't think anyone would notice.........but I did! Her husband was pretty sick, but didn't want her help and she accepted that and would go and spend time with daughters and grandkids. When husband moved to his own apartment within an Assisted Living place, she stopped wearing her wedding set. Acted like there was absolutely no problem in taking it off. Hard for me to understand a self pro-claimed Christian doing that.

    A number of people will go to church on Sunday and act like true Christians at church, but like I've already stated, change after the Service is over and during the whole following week. When a non-Believer says to a Christian, "you just don't the same thing I've done, so you're not as much a Christian as you say your are". And, if a Christian looks at a non-Believer and says, "Christians aren't perfect", a non-Believer can reply, "no kidding, so stop criticizing me for being who I am." It can be a hard situation to handle and a heated debate can happen.
     
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  13. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I don't understand the taking off your wedding ring, Cody. I barely ever wore mine because it bothered me, it was the kind where the diamond fit into the band and together it made a flower or something, not even sure anymore but that didn't mean I didn't love my husband. He never wore his either because his finger got fatter.

    If she took it off because she wanted men to think she was single....that's a different story.
     
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  14. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Why do people do the things they do? If we could see inside their minds maybe we could understand those whys a lot easier. Taking off a wedding ring can mean so many things. I was married before for almost 23 years to a Christian man who verbally, emotionally, and physically abused me. There came a day when I took my wedding band off because every time I saw it on my finger and knew how my husband was treating me...I would end up in the bathroom throwing up. I had no marriage or husband as far as I was concerned so I could no longer wear a band that represented love and commitment. I still stayed for the sake of my children as he was a loving dad to them and mostly abused me behind closed doors and when they were out of the house. One day I told him if he didn't get help and change his ways I would walk out the door when our children were grown and never look back...he didn't, and I did! I can't say why someone would take their wedding rings off...but I know why I took mine off.
     
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  15. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Well, will tell you this, her plan on marrying a Minister did turn out, but after he lost his church years ago, some things just went downhill. He never liked her to travel, saying "it costs to much", but she'd do it anyway. The couple has had some problems going on ever since I met her sister in 2000. Even the two daughters know their mom/dad's relationship has been rocky for years.

    Why she took off her wedding set, I have no idea, but what really got me, is that nobody noticed the set gone, but me! And, no, she didn't take it off to appear single. I think it was more that she simply didn't want to think about being married.

    Some couples don't wear wedding rings, just like some couples don't sleep in the same bed/bedroom, going on separate vacations, separate banking accounts and so on, but that's for another Thread. Anyway, my step-dad didn't wear a wedding band because he worked in a lumber yard and wearing one would be a safety hazard for him. The only time I've ever, and I do mean "ever", have taken off my wedding band was when I made meatloaf. Didn't want the band to slip off into the meatloaf and I was mixing the ingredients together. Heck, I missed wearing a wedding band so much that after my divorce in 1978, I kept touching the finger where it use to be, with my thumb. Wife and I are just very "traditional" when it comes to some things about marriage, and one of them is wearing our wedding rings. But, that's us.

     
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  16. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I never thought of that as traditional I guess, Cody. To me the ring is just a custom, how we treated each other was the important thing.

    Many men wear wedding rings and cheat every chance they get. Getting off topic here and will stop. :)
     
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  17. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    To us (wife/I) most reasons for taking off a wedding set while still married, is/can be bad, especially if the husband or wife disagrees with it and they are still living under the same roof. Now, if a couple is separated, it's the choice of either of them to take their ring/rings off, but, then again, if one of them sees the ring/rings gone and they are trying to get back together.........trouble again. If a full-on divorce is going on, with no reconciliation at all going to happen, the ring/rings can definitely come off. That's what I did.

    What I'm puzzled about Babs, is why you would say "Christian man" about your husband??? Those things you said he was doing to you, sure don't go with the name "Christian man", or am I missing something? Oh well, back to the Thread.

     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  18. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Yep, and so will women. I had to say that, you do know that, right?:) But, it is true. Ok, I'll stop also.

    Anyway, like many things in life, including marriage, a lot of us have our difference in opinion on how things are done and the meaning of them. BTW, the only time my wife takes her wedding set off is when I ask her to for cleaning. She was so, so excited when she put on the Engagement Ring in 2000. Just couldn't wait to show everyone she knew. I loved it!

     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  19. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    All of what has been said ties with my tread although in a round about way. What we personally believe has an affect on how we see others and their behaviors. And their beliefs have that same affect on them. To some nothing is right or wrong, to others there are varying degrees of what is right and what is wrong, etc. If someone acts or behaves in a way that doesn't mesh with our beliefs we might think there is something wrong with them...while they may think something is wrong with us. But it doesn't mean either one of us is right...or wrong for that matter. We are all individuals with choices to make on what we believe and how we behave, yet in our humanness even when we may choose to believe something and behave in a certain way...we will not always be able to live up to those standards we ourselves have set. And we already know we cannot make people believe the same things we do or behave how we think they should. My ex is a Christian, but he wasn't behaving like one during our marriage and that made me sad, mad, and even made me think if that man was going to heaven...then I didn't want to go there too. Because I had already faced enough of hell to last me a lifetime. That is my past and my present is with a wonderful man who thinks he is blessed to have me and he has always cherished me and our marriage. And I am thankful and blessed and healed from the hurt of my past. My faith has sustained me.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  20. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Glad you found your true love, Babs. I got lucky the first time around. Not to say my marriage was perfect and we didn't argue or disagree but we loved each other. We had a very strong bond. He could drive me crazy sometimes but we accepted each other's annoying little habits and we would still be married had he not died. We were married 35 years as it is. Wow, had he lived, it would be 46 yrs in July!
     
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  21. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I had to take a little break from this as talking about the abuse I experienced (even though it is in the past) brought back really painful memories. My wounds have been healed but memories take longer to fade away. In every trial in our lives there is blessing and during the years of abuse, my faith and believe in God actually increased. My relationship with Him became deeper and more intimate too. One day I opened my Bible to these Scriptures: "Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth and the sorrows of your widowhood will be remembered no more. For your Creator will be your husband. The LORD Almighty is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel the God of all the earth. For the LORD has called you back from your grief---as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband. "says your God. Isaiah 54:4-6 I had felt like a widow and abandoned wife for so many years even though to the world it looked like I had a husband. And my shame that my Christian husband abused me overwhelmed me at times. Until the Holy Spirit led me straight to these Scriptures I had no idea they were in the Bible, but that day these Scriptures were given to me I knew without a doubt that God was speaking directly to me and assuring me that I had nothing to worry about from that day on. He would be my husband from now on...and He would take away my shame and grief. And God was faithful in keeping those promises to me.

    My faith journey has taken me many places and seen me safely through many trials and sorrows. Everything I have experienced has only made God more real to me...even when I yelled and screamed at Him for allowing me to hurt so bad. My faith journey took many detours along the way, but I always ended up where I started from...with my faith and belief that the God of the Bible is who He says He, will keep His promises to His children, and will accomplish all that the Bible speaks of in His perfect timing. I wish I could say that I just accepted God at His Word but I'm not one to do that. I tested Him and asked Him to prove to me time after time that He was who He claimed to be...and He was faithful in doing so even though He didn't have to prove anything to me or to anyone else. When people ask me how do I know God is real and that He is who He says He is, etc. My answer is always the same...because He proved this to me time and time again. And I have no doubt that He will prove the same to anyone who really wants to know Him.

    Thank you all for letting me share my faith and beliefs here on this Forum.
     
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  22. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    That's one trait I found in Catholics, their tolerance of other religions. At least that's true in my country, I know the religious practice also depends on the culture of the place. What I mean is Catholics in the Philippines are more tolerant than Catholics in other countries.

    I sometimes wonder why religion should be a big issue. If you believe in being a Catholic then so be it. And if you are a born-again Christian or a Jehovah's Witness, then why bully the Catholic faith? I have noticed that the Catholic is the favorite whipping boy of other denominations particularly for the Catholic's belief in the icons and idols that other religion say is idolatry. Post something spiritual or religious and you get scathing remarks from them but none from Catholics.
     
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  23. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Those questions are always welcome here.
     
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  24. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    I feel comfortable on this forum, because I'm accepted for who I am. I not a Christain. I have no religion. But I am not an atheist, I'm what's called an agnostic in today's world. American Indians don't have a written bible, they are more spiritual in seeking and communing with the Creator.

    Now days Christianity is a greater part in the Indain beliefs, and so they can be similar in many ideas and actions today. But when I'm honest with most people they automatically start trying to convert and save me. Then I try to explain that as far as beliefs go, I have never been lost, so I don't need saving.

    My grandmother told me, "Walk the walk, and travel the road." It is simple, but it works for me
     
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