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BreathofAngel

I Believe in God...

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ada33r   

Hello Everyone,

Just wondering what happened to this thread? It has been long since anyone else has posted. I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I also am a Bible reader, however, I do not use it to beat people over the head only to share encouraging words with those who are willing to hear and who are Bible readers themselves.

Hope to hear back from you all.

Kind Regards,

Ada

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I agree that the Bible is our source of encouragement in grief. I write a blog based on the hope the Bible gives at www.thegriefexperience.wordpress.com. I have been widowed three times, and have struggled to reconcile the love of God with a life full of sudden turns. I know God has carried me in grief and loss, and He will carry anyone who asks Him in faith.

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God warns of the ultimate punishment. Revelation 21:8 says of "…those who practice magic arts …their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur… the second death" (NIV). Those who practice witchcraft (sorcery) will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:20-21). These practices are anti-God and are in rebellion against Him.

The Bible provides examples showing the folly and failures of those who claimed the ability to predict the future based on their own powers or those of spirits (Daniel 2:27, etc.). God calls the word of diviners “nonsense,” “lies” and “deception” for foolish people (Ezekiel 13:8; Jeremiah 14:14; Isaiah 44:25). God said, "Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!" (Ezekiel 13:3). If an Israelite lived the deceitful practice of being a medium, it was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:27). The presence of a medium or spiritist among God's people of Israel was considered a defilement (Leviticus 19:31). All these practices take people further from their Creator, the true and living God.

Dear Lord, are you for real? Poor lady. Stop judging. You are on your own in the end. Live a good life and lead by good example. Is this not what this life is about? Stop quoting scripture and scaring others. He loves us ALLl! Even the sinners. Everybody has hope. You do not have the right to take that away. Please take care of yourself and try to understand the truth. Listen to what you are reading.

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foundit   

Hello Everyone,

Just wondering what happened to this thread? It has been long since anyone else has posted. I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I also am a Bible reader, however, I do not use it to beat people over the head only to share encouraging words with those who are willing to hear and who are Bible readers themselves.

Hope to hear back from you all.

Kind Regards,

Ada

LOL - when people talk about their experiences with some christians, and christians talk about the negative experiences they get when they try and bring up their faith, I always think of the term 'bible bashing' (not sure if it is just a term in my country or world wide?) - it refers to super fervant christians trying to convert every man, woman, dog (fish, cattle, handbag etc :) within a 50mile radious. The other term I often hear is about how non christians hate " having it rammed down their throat" which always reminds me of this really funny christian guy who I saw on video at a friends - who did a big 'ham it up' thing about ramming bibles down peoples throat (complete with lubricant and big exaggerated actions of truing to force some massively oversize bible down the throat of some poor screaming victim)

Anyway while I dont want to be judgemental, and I could be totally and utterly wrong on what i am about to say here, I cant help but feel that sometimes, the enemy (satan) who is known as the master of deceit and trickery - is also attacking people in a way many christians dont even see.

That he (the devil) who likes to whisper into all our ears (christian or non) and will whisper as though he is our own thought

so he wont say " you should go steal that"

but instead would say (so you think it is your own thought)

"why shouldn't I take it, I have done so much for the person who owns it and they didn't appreciate any of it - so really its not even stealing, they owe me and it will do them good to learn not to take people for granted"

Or whatever the situation may be - so when he decieves he isnt saying 'oh go on, go do that bad thing' instead hes saying 'well if they hadnt done this or that, or spoke to me that way then I wouldnt be doing this, its their fault and I have put up with enough" if you see what i mean (hes that little voice that kicks in when someone insults you or annoys you, and speaking as if he is you, starts riling you up

Anyway - that to me is really deceitful and as a christian I still get caught out by it all the time, thats satans way - not jump out in a red suit with a tacky plastic halloween fork and go hello im the bad guy, the devil, but instead sneak into our thoughts like he is us, or even worse - like he is god

And I cant help but wonder sometimes when I hear a well intention ed christian jump up on a soapbox in a shopping mall or whatever, and address a bunch of complete strangers who likely have no interest in hearing about Jesus and god - why god would want that person to start their speech not with the free gift of life, why they never seem to mention gods sense of humor or his generosity (an elder at my church researched the water into wine incident and converted the amount of wine, plus quality into current day figures and came up with something like 9 million $ worth of wine Jesus made from water at that wedding) - yet so many peoples first or only experience of Christianity is some self righteous pompous person announcing to them a long list of sins that will need to be stopped immediately repented (the word repent has been turned into something different from what god intended it to be - if you ask me - its been turned into this horrible, dreary life and fun-sucking term to describe the immediate halt of anything even remotely enjoyable.

Anyway - who is served if people come away from an encounter with an 'evangelist' thinking god is this grumpy grim, short tempered (and easily inclined to ' smite' ) miserable old fart with no imagination and an overwhelming desire to call an end to anyone anywhere having fun.

However god is love, god is laughter, god is fun look at some of the bizzaire creatures on this world, think about god designing them and then ask yourself how he could possibly have come up with stuff like this, this, this or this

I know some people will read this and think I am implying that god is giving a free pass to all and sundry (ie get saved then do what you like and still go to heaven), i think those people are missing the point, which is that anyone who has been truly saved will experience god the reality and that will change them - much like even the most hardened criminal probably has an honour code and wouldnt trash someone who had been very good to them, out of respect appreciation and love - so anyone who is saved will change not because they have to but because they want to.

However I cant help but wonder how many people may miss the chance altogether because their impression of god is a negative (and incorrect) one of a boring, fun-killing old tyrant who will be impossible to please, and even if you do manage to please him - the only reward will be an eternity being bored senseless sitting on a cloud listening to choral music you hate....

If there is anyone reading this who is pretty sure thats exactly what god, Christians, bibles, church and so on are about please msg me - Id like to share my experience with you (as someone who thought exactly that)

And if you are a christian who feels called to evangelism, I dont want to be judgemental, but I do hope you will remember what it was like for you before you were saved, and remember that when you talk about the bad stuff like hell, you are doing so from a place where you know who and what god is and that he is wonderful, but the people you are talking to may not have that experience, and they see god as something very narrow, and limited. And ask yourself how what you are saying about god will make that person feel, given they dont have the benefit of the holy spirit to guide them.

Also if you are thinking that i am preaching a free ride - ask yourself - is god a helpless little 'thing'? No. So therefore, if a person is saved - isnt it entirely possible and likely that any changes that person may need to make, God will manage and manage perfectly - even if you neglect to mention these sins to the person you are evangelising altogether?

And think about how you felt when you first were saved and that first time you really felt gods presence, that moment of OMG - this isnt just something I am trying to convince myself of - OMG there is actually someone.... out there someone who is NOT me, or my imagination or wishful thinking - but a real, powerful, and totally different personality(from anything I could imagine up). Then ask yourself - whether any person who might accept god, is going to experience that personal 'person' of god for themselves - and willfully deny him or decieve him?

To me if I look at it that way, what a person is or is not into isnt relevant. All thats relevant and important is to ensure they have the chance to understand who they are, and who god REALLY is, then decide if they want to meet him. If they do, then god will take care of the rest.

Oh, and in termsof god taking care of the rest - if you are a non christian thinking what that means is once you get saved - 5 minutes later god is going to be grumping and muttering at you making you do stuff you really dont want to, or maybe even dont see the point of, like a mean school teacher or bully boss, I can say, as someone who is honestly the most self righteous, defensive, and reactive to criticism, person I know, that god has this really unique way of dealing with sin which is NOTHING like anything you have experienced with any person ever in your life.

Its totally different, it doesnt even feel like a telling off or restriction, you NEVER ever feel like god is ordering you to do something - you always feel totally 100% free to choose what you want to do, and you know that even if you choose something wrong, you are still saved - its a gift not something you can earn, or something you can lose once you have been given it.

And when god does teach you something - the closest thing i can use to describe it (and its not really close at all - i just cant find any better words in the english language) is that god never ever tells me off, but sometimes he opens my eyes - like imagine you are sitting staring out your window at the street below - then out of the blue unexpectedly, the view out that window suddenly has another 2 or 3 dimensions to it. Suddenly you can see peoples throughts and feelings like they are physical objects, suddenly you can percieve the real hurt and pain caused by some simple action, or the real joy and change to someone elses life. Suddenly this view out your window which was kinda 2-3 dimensional - like an old VCR tape that is getting worn, turns into this vibrant full colored rich landacape (your old vcr with jumps and stalls just became the hobbit in full 48fps with 3d - but even better)). Well that description is my very poor comparison (poor as in doesn't even come close to describing the reality and richness of the experience) of disclipline/learning/correction as you will have known it in the world (even if you have been 'disciplined or criticized by someone who is a master in human emotion and psychiatry and thus does it brilliantly and painlessly) in comparison to how it is when god decides to correct you.

He doesnt 'corect' you. He doesnt tell you what to do at all (in my experience), he just opens your eyes and reveals the truth of things to you in a very rich and indescribably full way. And a situation that may have confused, angered, or frustrated you, or one where you just couldnt figure out the right way to deal with it - suddenly its like your eyes are opened, and you see 100% of what it is, and realise before you didnt even see 10%. And you understand it, and you understand it not just in your mind (though if you think about it you may find that insight just keeps flowing) but also in your sub consciousness, and I guess, your gut.

And once you can see exactly what is happening in a situation - what is happening to and for all parties and why - then the right solutin is glaringly obvious - and you straight away know what you need to do. And you feel nothing but thanks to god - because he never told you off or told you what to do, he just opened your eyes and let you see EVERYTHING - and so those changes christians make often feel like a gift. I cant think how else to describe it and I am sure that not a word of what i have written is even close to describing how it realy is to experience.

But the thing is - well for me anyway - I never experienced this before deciding to become a christian. Nothing even remotely like it. I felt and truly believed even at the moment I decided to take a chance on god - that it would honestly - be something I would have to convince myself mentally was real, or something I would convince myself was real using logic - ie researching historical events and then logically coming to the most reasonable conclusion. The actual reality of it i never in a million years expected to happen

I think I saw it like a diet or new fashion trend (I like to change my diet, clothing look etc all the time, so tend to embrace stuff like that if it seems like it will fit what i want at the time) - anyway all of those things Id approach the same way ie I need to lose weight - google weight loss - check out new terms and diets id not heard of, when one appealed, reseach it as much as possible. When coming across negative reviews of it, unless that was all i found, Id convince3 myself they were biased or a small percentage it didnt work for or a small percentage whos body type didnt react, or whatever. Id also lap up all the forum posts and any other info that was positive, getting excited as i imagined my results being as good as the people who had lost 10 kgs in 5 days or whatever

until by the time i brought the diet plan or found a bootleg copy of it somewhere - I was well convinced it was the right thing and I felt i had scientific, reasonable evidence it would work.

And often times it would work, or at least partially met expectations.

I expected christianity to be like that - even though i never admitted that to myself even (after all that would be admitting no faith then of course nothing would happen - due to having no faith) in the back of my head even when I committed to jesus, there was a voice that i considered the voice of the actual, real reality, saying that it was just a crutch for people to avoid the reality of death, and that it was a nice idea but wasnt real.

So I was really honestly surprised when things happened that i knew were not my trying to talk myself into it, because of the way they happened and the logic - i i had invented them or simply been trying to draw conclusions about random events to suit my own need to believe in a god - the conclusions and in particular, the reasoning and logic behind gods actions would never have been what it was - the way things happened was simply not at all ever like how id have fanaticism up my idea of god.

I remember one of my first thoughts when i realized god really was real was not 'god is real' but " OMG there is someone - a person who is not me - OUT there doing stuff"

anyway to cut a long story err...long (this is never going to be a post anyone would call short!) I am trying to say that god is god, hes his own person and he has his own plan, and he will make that plan happen, regardless of what we do. Those people who are focusing on the sin that needs to be repented - ask yourself - isnt god big enough to sort this stuff out regardless of what you do? isnt god going to be in that persons life in a very personal way the moment they commit to him - and isnt he going to sort things out then? Do you need to focus on the sin? What if you just show people the really cool, stuff about god, that you have experienced, and that you know they can have too?

And secondly - at the end of the day, Jesus paid the price on the cross for all of us because we cant ever ' earn' salvation. Please be aware and careful that you dont inadvertently give a non christian the idea that salvation is earned, or is only available to people who meet a certain criteria. That reasoning is of the world and of satan, not of god who overcame that on the cross.

And ask yourself whether a true believer could or ever would willingly deny god and actively continue with sin without any desire to leave that sin behind? I dont feel any saved christian could. They might still sin for a long or short time, but they will not be feeling happy about it and will probably be praying for gods guidance and help with it

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dsmurph   

I just have to say one thing about the bible--- Joseph could read dreams and Samuel prophesied. There are other books called Apocrypha, like The Book of Enoch and The book of Jasher, which were left out of the Bible when it was canonized by man. They had to decide between The Book of enoch and Revelation, and chose Revelation. In the book of Enoch, he speaks of being shown the Heavens and things to come. I think there is a lot more to the meaning of the Bible than what we choose to allow ourselves to see because of the world we know and being comfortable in what we know, not wanting to step out of our comfort zone. I'm not judging anyone. I'm just speaking of things that have been shown to me, especially since my daughter has passed. We can only learn and love as much as we open ourselves up to do so. I believe HE will show us all the truth if we desire to step out of our comfort zone.

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To Foundit:

You said the following:

"Anyway while I dont want to be judgemental, and I could be totally and utterly wrong on what i am about to say here, I cant help but feel that sometimes, the enemy (satan) who is known as the master of deceit and trickery - is also attacking people in a way many christians dont even see.

"That he (the devil) who likes to whisper into all our ears (christian or non) and will whisper as though he is our own thought"

The entity you call "satan" or "the devil" does not exist. However, God does exist and is an entity who loves everyone unconditionally and has given everyone free will as means for them to grow spiritually or not. When people do evil things they need to take full responsibility for their actions. They don't do those evil things because "fang" whispered in their ears. That's complete nonsense.

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widower2   

I'm all for people being held accountable (to others and themselves), but "Satan does not exist?" ?? The Bible disagrees with you quite strongly there FYI, so to those who believe/follow the Bible (esp in its infallibility), it's hardly "nonsense;" in fact, they could say the same for your opinion about it.

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Since the door has been opened for discussion on whether Satan exists, it appears quite fair to let me point several things out. The following is, of course, only one of many Scriptures that make reference to the unequivocal existence of Satan.

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." -- LUKE 4:8 (KJV)

As I said, this is only one of many Scriptures that speak about Satan in the Bible and the validity of his existence. The devil (Satan) is mentioned in 16 books of the Bible. This however, means that he is not only mentioned sixteen times but a great many more times than that throughout the 16 books. And who could know better than Jesus who was tempted by Satan in the mountain but whom He unequivocally repelled in the above Scripture.

Satan's biggest lie is to have others believe that he does not exist! Only he does exist! But if he can make people believe he does not then he has done his job and souls will be lost. So great caution should be exercised before falling prey to his lies and deceit that translate into the fallen state of mankind. If anyone wishes to know the exact Books in the Bible where Satan is mentioned, please feel free to inquire about them and I will be glad to post back that information. Thank you.

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