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FieldsofThyme
Farmgirl Guide & Schoolmarm / Chapter Leader

4928 Posts



USA
4928 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2012 :  11:52:59 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by laurentany

Thoughts for today...
"Agree with God, and be at peace; in this way good will come to you"
~Job 22:21

Isnt it just amazing how these simple verses speak to you when you read them?
Blessings to all!

~Laurie
"Little Hen House on the Island"
Farmgirl Sister#1403

This is a good one for me to meditate on. Thanks for posting it.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..



Farmgirl #800
http://pioneerwomanatheart.blogspot.com/

http://scrapreusedandrecycledartprojects.blogspot.com/

From my hands: http://pioneerpatchworkhomespun.blogspot.com/

From my Camera: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pioneerwomanatheart/
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ceejay48
Farmgirl Legend/Schoolmarm/Sharpshooter

13370 Posts

CeeJay (CJ)
Dolores Colorado
USA
13370 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2012 :  1:35:15 PM  Show Profile  Send ceejay48 a Yahoo! Message
"Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't get discouraged and give up."
Galatians 6:7

..from the barefoot farmgirl in SW Colorado...sister chick #665.
2010 Farmgirl Sister of the Year
Mother Hen: FARMGIRLS SOUTHWEST HENHOUSE

From my Hands - www.cjscreations-ceejay.blogspot.com

the "Purple Thistle" http://www.ceejay48.etsy.com

From my Heart - www.fromacelticheart.blogspot.com

Through my lens - http://ceejayscamera.shutterfly.com/

From my Hubby - www.aspenforge.blogspot.com

Edited by - ceejay48 on Jan 21 2012 12:50:33 PM
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ceejay48
Farmgirl Legend/Schoolmarm/Sharpshooter

13370 Posts

CeeJay (CJ)
Dolores Colorado
USA
13370 Posts

Posted - Jan 22 2012 :  4:00:43 PM  Show Profile  Send ceejay48 a Yahoo! Message
"He remembered us when we were in trouble.
His love continues forever."
Psalm 136:23

Hallulejah!!

..from the barefoot farmgirl in SW Colorado...sister chick #665.
2010 Farmgirl Sister of the Year
Mother Hen: FARMGIRLS SOUTHWEST HENHOUSE

From my Hands - www.cjscreations-ceejay.blogspot.com

the "Purple Thistle" http://www.ceejay48.etsy.com

From my Heart - www.fromacelticheart.blogspot.com

Through my lens - http://ceejayscamera.shutterfly.com/

From my Hubby - www.aspenforge.blogspot.com
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FieldsofThyme
Farmgirl Guide & Schoolmarm / Chapter Leader

4928 Posts



USA
4928 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2012 :  08:42:22 AM  Show Profile
Just a quick update....I am trying to get time on here to participate in the Bible study on the "across the fence" forum, but most of what I am relating to, is pretty personal (and we have 7 people using one computer right now).

I'm reading the rest of my Joel Osteen book, and hope to get back into a study no a regular basis (but I live in the boonies and the van has not been running since mid December -still not fixed or junked).

I had to call my doctor again today. I'm going tomorrow. I am not well and honestly don't feel I ever completely got over this last sickness. I really need to be seen again.

Today I am thankful for:
~the strangely warmer and windy weather (makes drying clothes outside a lot easier)
~the coffee my Mom gifted me with
~hot water
~my son who always helps me with the chickens, dogs and goats daily
~mail pick up from my house

Have a blessed day!

Farmgirl #800
http://pioneerwomanatheart.blogspot.com/

http://scrapreusedandrecycledartprojects.blogspot.com/

From my hands: http://pioneerpatchworkhomespun.blogspot.com/

From my Camera: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pioneerwomanatheart/
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buffypuff
True Blue Farmgirl

1183 Posts

Claudia
Deer Park WA
USA
1183 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2012 :  09:11:44 AM  Show Profile
Oh Kristina,

I most certainly will add you to my prayer list. I had no idea you were going through such trials. Do take care!

Buffypuff/ Claudia ~ Farmgirl Sister #870 @}~~
"God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves." DL Moody


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TeresaJ25
True Blue Farmgirl

975 Posts

Teresa
Medford NY
USA
975 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2012 :  09:37:36 AM  Show Profile
Hello Ladies-
This is soooo hard for me to open up and expose myself like this because this is a part of me that I hide from my nearest and dearest....
I was brought up with very minimal religious education. My mom took us to church on Easter & we made our Confirmations, that's about it. I prayed to God when I wanted/needed something, but I never talked to Him.
A few years ago I felt that something was missing in my life. I was living my dream, yet I was so unfulfilled. I KNEW that I needed Christ in my life, but I was still making excuses as to why He wasn't.
Having never read the bible, I bought a book "100 favorite Bible verses" to perhaps get the ball rolling in my spiritual quest. What I read was honestly uplifting and made me feel as though I am heading in the right direction. But I know that this is not enough to know God.
A conversation I had with Laurie/Laurentany led me here. So here I am. Asking for help from all of you.




~Teresa
Farmgirl Sister #1348
Little Henhouse on the Island

Children...
Love them
Nurture them
Teach them well
and Believe in them...
For they are our future
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buffypuff
True Blue Farmgirl

1183 Posts

Claudia
Deer Park WA
USA
1183 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2012 :  10:34:08 AM  Show Profile
Teresa, many of us come from where you are. But God put that hunger in you to know Him. He made you and loved you even before you were born. As you continue to seek Him, He will guide you in the path you should go, and meet the people to help you along the way. You are with Christian sisters who all have problems and seek God for life's answers. I know we all stand ready to help in anyway we can. You made a marvelous first step in speaking out. God bless you and thanks for sharing! Many hugs!!!

Buffypuff/ Claudia ~ Farmgirl Sister #870 @}~~
"God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves." DL Moody


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ceejay48
Farmgirl Legend/Schoolmarm/Sharpshooter

13370 Posts

CeeJay (CJ)
Dolores Colorado
USA
13370 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2012 :  10:45:09 AM  Show Profile  Send ceejay48 a Yahoo! Message
Teresa,
I'm glad you are here . . . and I will just pray for God to lead you and show you as you search. HE WILL!!
And, I'm here as well, just email me any time you feel like I can be there for you.
Praying!
CJ

..from the barefoot farmgirl in SW Colorado...sister chick #665.
2010 Farmgirl Sister of the Year
Mother Hen: FARMGIRLS SOUTHWEST HENHOUSE

From my Hands - www.cjscreations-ceejay.blogspot.com

the "Purple Thistle" http://www.ceejay48.etsy.com

From my Heart - www.fromacelticheart.blogspot.com

Through my lens - http://ceejayscamera.shutterfly.com/

From my Hubby - www.aspenforge.blogspot.com
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FieldsofThyme
Farmgirl Guide & Schoolmarm / Chapter Leader

4928 Posts



USA
4928 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2012 :  11:09:14 AM  Show Profile
Thanks Claudia. That means a lot.

Teresa - Welcome! There are wonderful woman here to talk to and learn from.

Farmgirl #800
http://pioneerwomanatheart.blogspot.com/

http://scrapreusedandrecycledartprojects.blogspot.com/

From my hands: http://pioneerpatchworkhomespun.blogspot.com/

From my Camera: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pioneerwomanatheart/
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laurentany
True Blue Farmgirl

3259 Posts

Laurie
Patchogue NY
USA
3259 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2012 :  12:09:58 PM  Show Profile
My Dear Teresa- SO glad you are hear...I dont know anyone who couldnt use "more" of God in their lives, so hop right in here- we are all all learning and growing here.
I owe a thanks to CJ for leading me here! Thank you CJ!
Kristina- Praying that you begin to feel like yourself again, you certainly have had a very rough few months and I pray that you prevail over whatever is lingering in you!

Thought for today:
"Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear."
~Ephesians 4:29
Blessings to all!

~Laurie
"Little Hen House on the Island"
Farmgirl Sister#1403


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..
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TeresaJ25
True Blue Farmgirl

975 Posts

Teresa
Medford NY
USA
975 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2012 :  12:47:21 PM  Show Profile
Thanks so much for your kind words. After I posted I had this urge to delete what I wrote because I felt so exposed and vulnerable. I am so glad I didn't. I have so much to learn and I am really looking forward to the journey.

I love what you wrote Laurie "...Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up..."
So often people cut others down with their words or actions that I feel that we become accustomed to it. I am not a critical parent, but I am a very sarcastic one. Wouldn't that be the same thing? I don't have any passive-aggressive intentions, but do my kids see it that way?
I hope not. I tell them how much I love them everyday and how proud I am, but does that just become white noise? My *NEW* New Year's Resolution... less sarcasm.

~Teresa
Farmgirl Sister #1348
Little Henhouse on the Island

Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep loving. Keep giving. Keep smiling. Keep listening. Keep forgiving. Keep praying
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7575 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7575 Posts

Posted - Jan 24 2012 :  07:36:35 AM  Show Profile
Hi girls! I've missed you! I had pneumonia - but all is well now! :)

Teresa - I'm SO glad that Laurie told you about us, and that you decided to join us! Never worry about what you say here - I have found nothing but love, acceptance, mercy and friendship beyond imagination! As I always say, I really think it makes God smile to bring His kids together! And He does it in SUCH amazing ways! :) Welcome, sister! WELCOME!!!

Girls - I just LOVE Josh McDowell! I actually have a cassette tape of his from many years ago which really lays it out as far as "Is the testimony of Christ reliable?" It is extremely compelling. And his work with teens is just wonderful. I haven't heard anything about him in years, either - did any of you find anything?

Well - I've got a LOT of catching up on MJF posts to do... Just wanted to say "hi" and let you know you're all still safely tucked in my heart and prayers!

Have a blessed day!

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

www.papercraftingwithnini.myctmh.com

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FieldsofThyme
Farmgirl Guide & Schoolmarm / Chapter Leader

4928 Posts



USA
4928 Posts

Posted - Jan 24 2012 :  09:50:14 AM  Show Profile
Nini - Welcome back!! Glad you are better!

Update: I'm back from the doctor. I have another bad ear infection and a sinus infection. I'm back on antibiotics.

My trip to the "big" city was short. When I came out of the grocery store, there was something hanging underneath the old Buick.....guess I get to play mechanic today. Then maybe later this week I can finish my errands.

Farmgirl #800
http://pioneerwomanatheart.blogspot.com/

http://scrapreusedandrecycledartprojects.blogspot.com/

From my hands: http://pioneerpatchworkhomespun.blogspot.com/

From my Camera: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pioneerwomanatheart/
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buffypuff
True Blue Farmgirl

1183 Posts

Claudia
Deer Park WA
USA
1183 Posts

Posted - Jan 24 2012 :  10:21:40 AM  Show Profile
So glad you are back Nini. So sorry you have been sick for so long. I googled Josh McDowell...and he still has a ministry. He's getting to be a little older like yours truely but his son Sean has a ministry. It is called Worldview Ministryies and I placed a little video on my facebook page.

Buffypuff/ Claudia ~ Farmgirl Sister #870 @}~~
"God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves." DL Moody


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laurentany
True Blue Farmgirl

3259 Posts

Laurie
Patchogue NY
USA
3259 Posts

Posted - Jan 24 2012 :  1:24:05 PM  Show Profile
Nini-
Glad you are back and feeling better- we've missed you here on the farm!
A thought for today:
"The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever else you get, get insight" ~Proverbs 4:7

...definately something to chew on!
Have a Blessed day ladies!
Smiles,


~Laurie
"Little Hen House on the Island"
Farmgirl Sister#1403


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..
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ceejay48
Farmgirl Legend/Schoolmarm/Sharpshooter

13370 Posts

CeeJay (CJ)
Dolores Colorado
USA
13370 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2012 :  07:05:06 AM  Show Profile  Send ceejay48 a Yahoo! Message
"May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father encourage
you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say".
2 Thessalonians 2:16

..from the barefoot farmgirl in SW Colorado...sister chick #665.
2010 Farmgirl Sister of the Year
Mother Hen: FARMGIRLS SOUTHWEST HENHOUSE

From my Hands - www.cjscreations-ceejay.blogspot.com

the "Purple Thistle" http://www.ceejay48.etsy.com

From my Heart - www.fromacelticheart.blogspot.com

Through my lens - http://ceejayscamera.shutterfly.com/

From my Hubby - www.aspenforge.blogspot.com
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TeresaJ25
True Blue Farmgirl

975 Posts

Teresa
Medford NY
USA
975 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2012 :  07:07:06 AM  Show Profile
Thank you for your kind words Nini & I'm happy that your back!!
Kristina- make sure you get plenty of rest.. ear & sinus infections are NOT FUN!!

I wanted to share with you how my journey is going.. I will try to shorten it a bit!!
God works in mysterious ways.. we've all heard it.. but if you really pay attention, it's not so mysterious.
Yesterday, out of no where my son announces to my MIL, SIL & BIL "I've never been to church". Mortified I quickly said that's not true, and proceeded to name all the times he had been. (Sadly, it's not a lot).
Later on that night, at bedtime he asks, Mommy? Can we say prayers tonight? Of Course I say. There we are on our knees, each one speaking to God with our own questions, and requests to keep the ones we love safe. I asked God to please help me find my way to Him. Just 1 little sign...
Then this morning it hit me. My son. God was showing me the way before I even asked him to. I don't think it was a funny coincidence my son brought up God, not once, but twice in the space of an hour. My son has a relationship with God that I never taught him to have. This sweet little angel of a child needs a religious education as much as I do. I am repeating the pattern that my mother set to my own children. The pattern ends today.
It is this moment of clarity that I cannot put into words, but it is beautiful to be so sure of something.

Thanks for letting me share!

~Teresa
Farmgirl Sister #1348
Little Henhouse on the Island

Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep loving. Keep giving. Keep smiling. Keep listening. Keep forgiving. Keep praying
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ceejay48
Farmgirl Legend/Schoolmarm/Sharpshooter

13370 Posts

CeeJay (CJ)
Dolores Colorado
USA
13370 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2012 :  07:43:43 AM  Show Profile  Send ceejay48 a Yahoo! Message
Thank YOU Teresa! And, I thank the Lord for HIS presence there and for HIS light in your son!
I believe that everything is orchestrated by God, even if we see it as an unpleasant thing.
CJ

..from the barefoot farmgirl in SW Colorado...sister chick #665.
2010 Farmgirl Sister of the Year
Mother Hen: FARMGIRLS SOUTHWEST HENHOUSE

From my Hands - www.cjscreations-ceejay.blogspot.com

the "Purple Thistle" http://www.ceejay48.etsy.com

From my Heart - www.fromacelticheart.blogspot.com

Through my lens - http://ceejayscamera.shutterfly.com/

From my Hubby - www.aspenforge.blogspot.com
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7575 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7575 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2012 :  09:09:08 AM  Show Profile
Oh, Teresa... Out of the mouths of babes! ;) That's wonderful! Beautiful! Oprah calls those "aha" moments, but I call them "Thank you, God!" moments! Isn't it so great when we recognize the Lord is speaking to us!? Miraculous!

Claudia - I'll have to check up on Josh McDowell myself... I bet my son would love reading some of his stuff! :)

Blessings to all today!

Hugs,

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

www.papercraftingwithnini.myctmh.com

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laurentany
True Blue Farmgirl

3259 Posts

Laurie
Patchogue NY
USA
3259 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2012 :  8:23:25 PM  Show Profile
Oh Teresa,
I can just hear Jack saying that now! How precious and amazing all at once!
Blessings to you my farmgirl sister and dear friend.
I have terrible guilt myself about my DD who did not make her First Holy Communion. She is 11 now and I know she wants to!

I have struggled in recent years over the whole Catholic/Episcopal upbringing (even though they are so similar)
I was brought up Episc. and my DH devout Catholic. Married in the Catholic church, children baptised, and my DS made his First Holy Communion. I then began to question what seemed like so many man made rules, and we fell off the church wagon. Dont get me wrong, God is talked about frequently here in our house, but I want my DD to have more of a church foundation, so perhaps this Sunday we will visit the Episcopal church, where she is free to receive communion, and grow in her relationship with God. It seems to me that she feels like a "visitor" and not at home when we go to our Catholic church. Technically she is the only one who is not "allowed" to receive communion, which is one of the things that bothers me. Who made that rule? If a person is old enough to understand the signifigance of communion and what it represents then WHO is to say he/she can not receive? And please- I do not mean to offend anyone who is Catholic, as I said, personally I just have a hard time with so many "rules" that seem man made. I just dont see God standing there saying- HEY YOU- you ate meat on a Friday during Lent, You didnt go to church every Sunday. Etc etc. Just my opinion. I could be wrong and I guess I'll find that out someday.
I am hoping that God will show me the way as well, in respect to religious education for my DD and DS. Growing up I never missed a day of Sunday school or church, and I remember that!
Prayers needed on my continuing journey as well please!
Blessings to all!

~Laurie
"Little Hen House on the Island"
Farmgirl Sister#1403


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..

Edited by - laurentany on Jan 25 2012 8:29:58 PM
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laurentany
True Blue Farmgirl

3259 Posts

Laurie
Patchogue NY
USA
3259 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2012 :  8:34:26 PM  Show Profile
"I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness"
~John 12:46

Prayers that we all continue to "see the light of the Lord"
Blessings,


~Laurie
"Little Hen House on the Island"
Farmgirl Sister#1403


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7575 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7575 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2012 :  11:35:03 PM  Show Profile
Hi Laurie -

No offense taken at all! You know, I used to feel exactly the same way as you did. My parents left the Catholic Church when I was about 10, and over the years my relationship with the Lord continued to grow. Eventually, even after turning away from Him for a little while, I came back to Him with an even greater fervor than ever. You could probably say I was as Protestant as they come, and SO extremely angry with and insulted by the Catholic Church - and worried to pieces for its followers. And what worried me most was knowing my faith-filled, God-loving, God-honoring and God-fearing grandparents - THE most precious people in my life - were Catholic. When they passed, I was so afraid about where they would truly go. I prayed... A LOT. The Lord gently took my hand and guided me, being extremely patient with my baby steps and, even sometimes with my kicking and screaming. I assure you, it was not an overnight conversion whatsoever, but He provided the salt and light, and my growth was steady. He really opened my eyes so much. I learned about the Didache and did a lot of research about the Catholic Church's teachings (mostly to pridefully prove them wrong, but always finding in the process that it was I who had been wrong) and the Church Fathers. After many years, I came Home, and I couldn't be happier. I would always be happy to answer any questions I can, of course! But I cannot profess to be a Catholic scholar, so you may want to look into other resources as well. There is a wonderful series of books by Scott Hahn that SO well explain so many of the Church's teachings, beliefs and traditions. And right now, I'm reading a book called "The Fathers of the Church" by Mike Aquilina that really open one's eyes to where our beliefs come from - it's breathtaking to me! There are also a series of videos by Rosalind Moss (a convert from Judiasm) and Kris Franklin (a converted Protestant) called "Household of Faith" that really help to begin opening one's eyes as to what non-Catholics need to know and understand about Catholicism. You can watch them online at: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6124 They may really help you, especially, when trying to understand your husband's faith and in "coping" with the "rules" you encounter when you attend his Church, okay?

As far as the Catholic celebration of the Eucharist Ė wow! SUCH a good question, and so misunderstood. A really great explanation as to what Catholics believe about the Eucharist, please read Scott Hahnís explanation here: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/euchc3.htm Itís really important to read the entire thing, but the last few paragraphs really drive it home. I hope this helps!

I know how hard it is at times, I do. But if you pray and look into it a little more, you'll find that there is such profound meaning behind what the Catholic church does and teaches, and that it really does come all the way down from the Apostles. What I have learned over the years is that so much of what I had believed about the Catholic Church was so, so wrong and such twisted, misunderstood teaching, when in fact it is so rich and deep and meaningful. And a LOT of things have been lost along the way throughout the history of God's family as a whole. For example - did you know that Martin Luther had a deep devotion to Mary and the Rosary? Yep! Even after he left the Church! You can learn all about it online! There is even a Lutheran Rosary, which really blew my mind (we had been Lutheran for years!). When I spoke to our pastor about it, he had known all about it, but gave me a very poor explanation as to why Lutherans don't share in that tradition anymore. It wasn't enough. But that one revelation WAS enough for me to really start my research on the historical aspects of our faith... which then led to a spiritual awakening, and then onto the most wonderful, fulfilling experience of coming Home. I have never been happier and more at peace in the Lord, truly. All those "crazy Catholic" things that used to get under my skin and irritate the heck out of me are now a great source of joy in my life. My faith and my spiritual walk is so much more... I just can't explain it. Yes, there were things I really struggled with. But the more searching and praying I did, the more the Lord just opened everything up to me. I am so, so grateful.

One thing that really used to drive me nuts was that many Catholics simply COULDN'T explain their faith to me. One friend and I had been talking about my concerns with the Church and when she felt cornered because she was not a "Bible" Catholic and couldn't "prove" her faith by backing it up with Scripture, she indignantly said, "Well, maybe it's just not for YOU." I replied, "What do you mean? You're telling me that the Catholic Church is THE Church and that anyone who is NOT Catholic is going to hell, and it's for YOU, but not ME? Wow - you must think pretty highly of yourself, girlfriend!" We didn't talk about it again, just for the sake of our friendship, which, after that, I must say, even to this day remains on extremely shakey ground. Thing is, though, I learned much later that a lot of Catholics really have a beautiful, uncomplicated, simple "faith." They simply trust God, the Bible, the teachings of Christ, of the Apostles, of the Church Fathers, and the Magesterium, and that's good enough for them. There is a lot of good reason for that, too, but no one person can ever cover it all in a simple conversation, email or post. And to be honest, that's not how God made me, personally - I had to "know." I just had to. I had to find out for myself. Thankfully my Protestant background really gave me a sound Scriptural foundation... What I began - and continue - to learn about the Catholic Church really did prove to be not only Scriptural but also historical - and spiritually beautiful. And you know what? The Catholic Church surprisingly does NOT teach that you're going to H-E-double hockey sticks if you're not Catholic! Shocker, huh?

Another thing that used to drive me absolutely bonkers was the whole thing about the Catholic Church having "extra" books in their Bible. I thought it was an accursed thing - like John talks about in Revelation. I've read a couple of comments on this strain about it, and kept to myself about it, because my understanding used to be just as confused as everyone else's. I actually have a long post already written about it and saved in my word processor, because I really want people to understand about it. But it's long, and I didn't know if anyone even really cared. I'd really like to share it with all of you, though, if you're interested. Needless to say, the "extra" books are not "extra" at all. They were books Jesus Himself would have studied and known well. They were part of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament; Greek being the "universal" language of the time, much like English is today), which was the most widely accepted translation of its day. It included 46 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi. Jewish leaders determined in 100 AD to remove any writings that were not in Hebrew - kind of a "purification" of the documents they followed - even though the Greek texts were indeed written by Jews and had always been accepted as Old Testament texts. So, again, the key here is that the books they omitted would have been dropped AFTER Jesus' time, and that He would have studied and preached from them. The Apostles also would have been well versed in the Septuagint. None of that changed, again, until AFTER Jesus' walked with us, died for us, rose and ascended into Heaven. THAT being the case, it is only natural that the Christian Church taught from the Old Testament they knew - they would not have dropped these texts that the Jews dropped, they would have followed what their Beloved Savior followed. Therefore, these books remained in the Church's Bible until the Protestant Reformation, when the Reformers rejected them because they were not in the original Hebrew texts. The Catholic Church, however, did not reject them - because Christ Himself did not reject them. That is why today the Protestant Bible has seven less texts than the original Catholic Bible. And, to be honest, I haven't yet studied them all in detail, but I have read them, and they really are valuable on many levels. The most surprising to me was that some of the Catholic traditional religious practices are explained in them. The Protestant Bible doesn't have them, nor do they have the Oral Tradition that has been passed down in the Catholic Church, therefore, it's pretty understandable why Protestants don't understand them.

Which brings me to another subject that really used to bug me: It should be the Bible and the Bible alone, right? Well, I'm honestly not so sure. As a kid and young adult, I had the privilege of attending, studying with and belonging to quite a few different Protestant churches... but so many of them offered so many different interpretations of the same Scriptures. And a lot of times, the minister in our own beloved Lutheran church would give his own personal takes on the Scriptures, often incorporating so much of his own personal philosophy and world view into the mix. One minister that I had followed for years suddenly went off on a tangent one day and started discussing the "cosmic" aspect of the angels and the Godhead... I was floored! I thought I was going to h-e-double hockeysticks just for sitting in on his sermon! I was really confused by all of that. If it really WERE the Bible alone, why is it that man himself cannot agree on its interpretation? Who decides? Who is right? The amazing thing to me was that the Church Fathers passed down the oral teachings of Christ and the Apostles and did everything they could to maintain those truths throughout the centuries. John himself said in John 21:25 that "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." And remember, books and documents were not something available to everyone - the materials and time it took to produce a document were beyond our ken today. And most people didnít read Ė education was for the wealthy. So, the oral tradition was extremely important in conveying Christ Ė and still is today! Without it, we don't have a full picture. I learned that what seems to be "rigid rules" set forth by the Catholic church are very much steeped in the oral traditions, which were also put down in writing by the Church Fathers. Even Protestant ministers study the Church Fathers! And it really surprised me to learn that the Catholic Church really DID address Martin Luther's 95 Theses... They just didn't change everything because they couldn't - it would have been wrong to do so.

Well, I've got typist's cramps, and it's really, really late. I hope maybe this helps you a little bit. I know it's a lot to take in, and you'll want to follow up with your own journey of discovery, but I'm here for you, always.

I'm so glad you all put up with me, and so thankful that all of you are my beloved sisters in Christ!

Hugs and much love,

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

www.papercraftingwithnini.myctmh.com

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laurentany
True Blue Farmgirl

3259 Posts

Laurie
Patchogue NY
USA
3259 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2012 :  05:04:57 AM  Show Profile
Hi Nini-
Thank You!
My head is spinning a bit right about now, and of course I need to read and re-read your post over and over to digest it all, but I wanted to say thank you so very much for responding in such detail and with such "vigor". I can feel the Love of Christ coming right through your typed words. You are truly an angel sent here to help others such as myself- I have no doubt about it!
My mother in law talks of Martin Luther all the time- she is a Eucharistic Minister and has been for many many years in the Catholic church. A wonderful giving woman who has an extremely strong faith!
As I said earlier, I was born and raised Episcopal, and never missed a beat growing up with church and religion in general.My parents definately gave me a strong base on which to grow.
My husband is Catholic. We were married in the Catholic Church and when we were, the Priest said- the two are so similar I practically am Catholic LOL...(with the exception of following a Pope etc). There was a time when my children were younger that I used to attend a Mothers group at the Baptist Church locally. It was a great way for stay at home moms to get together and do a "bible study" of sorts, while the children were cared for by elders of the church and also got some religion mixed in with their playtime. It was great! My mother in law always says- as long as you go where they believe in the Holy Trinity- its ok! :)
Again, dont get me wrong at all- I have never doubted my beliefs or my faith. Its just as I said, I guess I have had a few "bad" tastes left in my mouth in regard to perhaps the particular church we attend? Sometimes it seems that one of those man made factors I am talking about is that the focus can be very "money centered".
Example:
I have a very hard time with being "elaborate" when there are so many struggling. Our church was a beautiful church that was in need of some renovation for sure. It needed siding, a roof etc. Well, they decided it needed to be bigger and more elaborate etc, and raised millions of dollars to do so. It seemed at times that was all that they spoke about. In my view the "renovation" did not need to be so extreme (of course this is just my humble opinion). It would seem that simply replacing the roof and siding etc would have done the trick. I dont know if you see where I am going with this, but basically I just dont understand how you can stand there and talk about helping those in need etc, yet in the same token be so "greedy" with wanting bigger and better?
Another example... As I said my husband and his family have attended this church since my husband was born (47 years now). In fact before the "renovation" our family name was on the front and back doors because my mother in law donated them in memory of my husbands father who died when my husband was only 10 years old. SO.....
another issue with the "money" subject... When my son is born and I go to schedule his baptism they tell me that I am not a "registered" member of the church and have to take all my information etc. I ask how could this possibly be? (At this time we were attending church every Sunday etc and were quite active- in fact for years my husband and his friend were ushers etc.) They turn to me and say- "Oh, well, do you use the "envelopes"?, to which I reply- "no we simply place our cash in the collection basket as it comes around". She (the secretary) then turns to me and says "Oh well, you see, thats how we track our parishoners". To me it seemed as though it came down to the almighty dollar and if they couldnt see that you were giving at least your 10% then you were not "a member". It just put me off. I felt like saying, "Gee thats funny, because my name is on the front door!" LOL! Ironically 21 months later when my daughter was born I had to go through the whole thing all over again!!! Ugghh
Anyhoo....I guess it isnt necessarily about the teachings or beliefs of Catholicism, but perhaps some of the people that I have encountered "in charge" of the church along the way.
Although I may be unsure of how far I am along my journey with Christ, I certainly have no doubt in my faith. I do sometimes have a hard time overlooking the "man made" stuff. Like recently when they changed all of the wording during Mass. I know they say that it goes back to the "original" interpretations etc, but then who changed it and why was it changed in the first place? This is where I have a hard time with things. Its kind of like the rest of the world saying "Dont eat butter, only eat margarine- its better for you" and then 5 years later they decide Butter is actually the way to go. (A poor comparison for sure, but do you get where my train of thought comes from?)
Ok- I've babbled enough for now. Thanks for listening, and for your guidance. I am truly enjoying this thread!
Blessings to all!

~Laurie
"Little Hen House on the Island"
Farmgirl Sister#1403


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..

Edited by - laurentany on Jan 26 2012 05:36:59 AM
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7575 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7575 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2012 :  07:33:29 AM  Show Profile
LOL! Oh, Laurie - I totally get that! I don't have a lot of time to respond right now, but I will later, I promise.

Real quick:

My hubby used to call the Lutheran Church "Catholic light." Used to drive me nuts - I didn't get it. My aunt is a former nun (long story), and she attended the Episcopal church for years after leaving.

Yep - I get the money thing.. Used to make me cringe when they'd bring communion to my grandparents who were homebound and my Grandma would scramble to have the envelope ready. BUT later, when I grew up and understood that it was her way of tithing, it made a lot more sense to me - it was a movement of her heart, not of their demand. And also, my priest told me that the Church doesn't demand tithing at all - giving should be something of the heart, something one wants to do and can afford to do - in the same way Paul discusses - and that our giving to God can take limitless forms. The only thing he said is that we should support our Church in our giving, but our giving is never set to a dollar amount, and it is not limited to giving to the Church, etc. Sometimes I honestly think people get confused between being a "cheerful giver" vs. tying ones self to the yoke of a tithe. Further, I have a dear friend whose Dad had a very successful business. He has his family name on SO many things he and his family have donated to the Church. Those names were not something placed on there because the Church made him donate this - they were placed there at his request because his gifts were given out of honor and in memory for his loved ones. That was his choice. God knows where his heart was in all of this. His gifts were because he loved his family and because he loved God. He was never compelled to do so. At first, I thought that maybe putting one's name on there wasn't such a good thing - I mean, you do that, and it seems a little Pharasaical, in that you're publishing to the world what you're doing and somehow losing the meaning of the heart (like the Pharasees who worshiped in public and clinged to their actions as a mode of salvation, vs. the person who had heart-to-heart prayer and worshipped in love and in secret). But that wasn't the case at all. For instance, when his own father died, he felt it would mean so much to his dad to give a beautiful little prayer bench outside the church in a little garden where people could reflect on God. He didn't do it to flash money and his "holiness" - he did it out of love for God and for the memory and honor of his father. Personally, I don't think you need a name to convey the same sentiment, but he did it for his dad, not for himself. Now, if any other church received a nice gift like that, they would accept it, wouldn't they? Would they stop the giver from including the name in memorial? I don't think so. What it boils down to is that it's all about the heart of the giver - not about the gift itself. And the church doesn't demand that its parishoners give anything - it's a matter of the heart, just like elsewhere... Although, in my experience, the tithe is seen a lot differently in many other churches - and their use of it really can become a yoke of bondage. I think a lot of people in ALL churches - including the Catholic Church - have this unhealthy view that if they give, that's either how God will find an avenue to bless them (which is wrong - He blesses anyway...), OR that they can buy their way into Heaven that way, you know what I mean? But 9 times out of 10 that's a personal belief, and counter to what the churches teach. Human error really can get us in a heap of trouble, can't it?

The envelopes - well, yes, I know what she means. When she says "keep track," I think that what she means that's how they track one's giving, not how or who a person is. A church is considered a charity - and at the end of the year, they want to send out "receipts" just like every other charity. If you're putting the money in the basket, they can't provide a receipt for you, because they don't know who the money came from. A lot of churches do that. But God knows you give, even if the Church doesn't have record of it, so that's not really what's important. In the Catholic Church, it's customary for parishioners to request new envelopes each year, and that is how, in a sense, a person becomes "registered" with the church. BUT having said that, if you contact your husband's parish, you will be amazed to learn that they have detailed records of when a person was born, made First Confession, made First Communion, was Confirmed, Married, etc. They know when, where, when you came to belong to this particular Church, etc. If you want to do a family search, and you're Catholic, the Catholic Church is an amazing place to begin! When I returned to the Catholic Church, I needed some information from back home. When I called, the priests pulled out huge books and gave me dates, places, and so much more, about all the births, Sacraments, deaths, etc. of my entire family! I cried. It was beautiful! So, if you're talking donations, yes, an envelope will keep you registered in the giving sense, but if you're talking are you important to your church, believe me, EVERYONE is! And whenever you volunteer or participate in Church activities (as everywhere), that's how people and your Priest get to know you... You know what I mean? That lady really didn't realize what her comment meant to your receptive ears, believe me. Maybe she just took for granted you knew. I'm so sorry! That would've burned my boots, too, had I not realized! And yes, pretty much at every church I've attended there is always someone who is haughty and ridiculous about their role and position in which they serve. Again - it's the human aspect of our Christian family that takes over and wounds others, not the Holy aspect, Amen?!

Oh! And real quick - the American Church decided years ago to change the wording as we have had it for so many years - not the Catholic Church as a whole. The worldwide Catholic Church has used the same wording throughout the centuries, it was America that tried to make it easier to understand for its parishoners. Pope John Paul II had put things into place when he was alive to reclaim uniformity for all Catholics so that when we attend masses at any Church in the World, the wording would be the same. I was a little upset by this at first, but our Priest really took the time to explain it well and from the heart. When I looked it up, it all made sense. But I really do understand where you're coming from. I, personally, am happy to know that now we're in line with the rest of the Church. It's a long, involved explanation, but, although brief, I hope this helps give you a better picture of what happened. You can call the Priest at your husband's parish and I'm sure he would explain it to you, too, and with great gladness of heart. I used to have this really scarey picture in my head about what Priests were like, and I was afraid to approach them. Not anymore, though - Priests rock! Really! So don't be afraid to ask!

I really REALLY have to get back to homeschool right now... Please forgive me if any of what I'm saying isn't very clear or doesn't make sense, I'm typing furiously with three numb fingers to boot! LOL!

Hugs and love (not from an angel, but rather from your sister in Christ - I'm just a girl... A farmgirl at heart!) -

Nini :)

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

www.papercraftingwithnini.myctmh.com


Edited by - Ninibini on Jan 26 2012 07:37:34 AM
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laurentany
True Blue Farmgirl

3259 Posts

Laurie
Patchogue NY
USA
3259 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2012 :  08:24:45 AM  Show Profile
You ROCK Nini-as do so many of my other Farmgirl Sisters!!!!!
Thank you so very much! I really appreciate your insight and taking the time to type it all out for me to read and digest.
Have an awesome day!
Hugs,


~Laurie
"Little Hen House on the Island"
Farmgirl Sister#1403


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..
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