How Can I Be Sure I'm Saved?

Posted 21 months ago|226 comments|1,819 views
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How Can I Be Sure I'm Saved?
R.C. Sproul
If we think the Bible teaches universal salvation, we may arrive at a false sense of assurance by reasoning as follows: Everybody is saved. I am a body. Therefore, I am saved.
Or, if we think salvation is gained by our own good works and we are further deluded into believing that we possess good works, we will have a false assurance of salvation.

To have sound assurance, we must understand that our salvation rests on the merit of Christ alone, which is appropriated to us when we embrace Him by genuine faith. If we understand that, the remaining question is, "Do I have the genuine faith necessary for salvation?"
Again, two more things must be understood and analyzed properly. The first is doctrinal. We need a clear understanding of what constitutes genuine saving faith. If we conceive of saving faith as existing in a vacuum, never yielding the fruit of works of obedience, we have confused saving faith with dead faith, which cannot save anyone.
The second requirement involves a sober analysis of our own lives. We must examine ourselves to see whether the fruit of regeneration is apparent in our lives. Do we have a real affection for the biblical Christ? Only the regenerate person possesses real love for the real Jesus. Next we must ask the tough question, "Does my life manifest the fruit of sanctification?" I test my faith by my works.
PS, My story, Born Again

One day while listening to a sermon in church, the Holy Spirit tugged at my heart. I knew it was useless to look for the answer from men. I realized their helplessness and sometimes their lack of understanding. Matthew 19:26 says "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." In response to the altar call, I got up and there I surrendered fully to my Lord and Savior. Confessing my sins and promising repentance, I invited Jesus into my life and my heart.

Romans 10:9: If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

1John 5:1: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God, and everyone who loves the parent also loves the child.

My desire for salvation was so great that I also answered the following five altar calls. I felt that eyes were upon me from within the fellowship of such a large, conservative church. Somehow, that made my response to all these altar calls seem even more meaningful and I knew that God was smiling.

Because this experience was so meaningful, I realized that my water baptism several years earlier had been a ceremonial event and was not done with one hundred percent of my heart, body, and Soul. My relationship with Jesus Christ began with a commitment of mind, soul and every atom of my body speaking in unity to make Him my Lord. He was my Head without question.

Although I was still deeply depressed, I felt a burden lift from my shoulders and in my heart there was an appetite for praising God and enjoying Christian music. During that period I did not listen to any other type of music but constantly played gospel music.

II Corinthians 12:9-10: But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions in difficulties for when I am weak, then I am strong.

It was at this point, when I made the choice to put God first, that I decided to clean house. I dumped all my expensive liquor and liqueurs down the drain. The alcohol was kept for guests, except for the occasional Harvey's Bristol Crème; I was not a drinker. Perusing my desk drawer I found a calendar with pictures of scantily clad women.

These photos were not vulgar so I decided to keep them. The Holy Spirit, however, directed me to dispose of them. Last but not least were my astrology books. Any book that had to do with palm reading or astrology I threw away. I did this because I felt so strongly about my commitment to God. I knew that I had become a new creature when I received the Lord.

Everything that I thought would be offensive to God, I got rid of. I had convinced myself that astrology, at least in reference to character traits, was a real thing and that since God is the creator of the universe, surely the moon and stars influenced one's birth. Farmers believe the plants influence the times crops should be planted. The moon exerts an influence on the tides of the sea.

However, the Bible says that we must not dwell on these things and that we must put God first. So, almost reluctantly I disposed of all of my astrology books. The Holy Spirit had revealed the awesome truth of God and I intended not only to put Him first in my life but also to use all of my creative gifts in serving Him.

My depression lasted for a year and a half but once again I felt strong and invincible. I joined a choir and the Full Gospel Businessmen. I was delighted to give my testimony and felt so much love for my fellow man. Being an inquisitive person, I savored every sermon that I heard, taking the words into my very spirit so I could learn more about my creator.

Every time I think of how the Lord rescued me out of my hopeless state of depression, I praise Him with every fiber of my being. He heard my cry and did more than help as I sought shelter in His holiness. He came to my rescue in His way and in His time so that there would be a permanent change in me and that my soul would be saved. Yes, He was giving me a testimony, taking away Satan's hands that blinded my eyes so that I would have a glimpse of His wonderful kingdom. Now I know the meaning of the Proverb, "The fear (respect, acknowledgement) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

Psalms 40:1-3: I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things He did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in Him.
21 months ago: I am going to toss this one out there for you Ed. If by seeking salvation you damn yourself because of the desire to seek redemption for its reward of salvation. How can you be saved when the very act of seeking it black lists you? It seems very contradictory to fulfill requirements that by the act of fulfilling them isn't true redemption. The standard is a logic trap because once you understand you have failed because of that understanding.
21 months ago: Nethel, When you over analyse too much that's the problem. With us it is very simple.
Again, seeking salvation is because we aren't sure if everything we do is right even though we try. So we ask for forgiveness for anything that we do to harm or cause pain.
We never fail if we strive for goodness.
21 months ago: " says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6) It is in the admission that you are lost, you become found... Humbling yourself before a Holy and Righteous God can only give you proper perspective.
21 months ago: Since no one can agree on the right doctrine to follow because they all want the golden prize of donations coming in, you can't because someone else will say you aren't and that will instill doubt in your mind and the viscous circle will ensue.
21 months ago: Six, there is always someone who tries to exploit and make it bad for others. You take the good with the bad and work through it.
21 months ago: It's all quite simple, that even a child can understand.

(1) You have to love God (Christian) with all of your heart.

(2) Acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. And that you need forgiveness. for your sins. You will feel a spiritual change in you.

If you fake it you are not fooling anyone but your self.
The question is where will my Soul go when we die?
21 months ago: #2 can't be true according to the other Christian beliefs. He is the son of himself. Which brings up the incest question.

And who says the Christian God is so special? Besides the Christians?
21 months ago: As Huey put it some time back when he quoted scripture... "God is Spirit" ...if you read only one chapter (John 1) you would plainly see that the Word of God was made flesh, and dwelt among us. You seem to have an unhealthy fixation on incest, it says nothing about sex, rather that God spoke into existence His personal manifestation, as He did in Genesis with the entire world.
21 months ago: How do you get "unhealthy fixation on incest" from anything I've said? It's not like I talk about it all the time or even mention it very often. A person with an "unhealthy fixation" would be bringing it up in almost all conversations, not once in a blue moon. You need to adjust your threshold.
21 months ago: Besides that, I wasn't the one who opened the door to the "Trinity" debacle.
21 months ago: The act of love is the justification of failure for you do it to prevent a outcome you do not want. The reason you are doing it becomes suspect because to avoid "eternal" damnation you have to follow the tenants. Thus you have voided the validity of the tenants because you are doing it for the wrong reason.

The argument becomes circular because the more that you know of the tenants the more you are following them out of a desire to avoid the consequence of not following. By doing the actions it dictates you have already failed the trial because your reason for doing it is considered wrong by the tenants you follow.

I am tossing the questions out there for you Ed since no one is asking them. I do not believe in God. So you can skip (2) with me, I have committed nothing that I require forgiveness for. I have been at peace with who and what I am for a very long time. I accept myself and all my faults, I also improve on myself where I think I am lacking.

Your last part is what voids the first part. You can not enforce the standard because to do so means those who follow the standard do so out of fear of the consequence and not because it is the right thing to do. But because they do it out of fear of what happens later. The reason for doing it is tainted by that understanding and thus you fail to uphold the tenant in the right manor because it can be argued that you did it to avoid the result.
21 months ago: Nethel,

Interesting enough, there is no particular "motive" requirement given in the gospel. There is just the call for people to repent and be baptized into Jesus Christ. There isn't a proviso that if you do it to escape damnation that it becomes null and void; or if you did it because you wanted to have a relationship with God purely out of love, makes it better. You assume that certain requirements are there... you sir are creating your own circular augment to attack an anomaly that simply isn't there.

Many come to Christ for various reasons... IF an "enemy of Christ" (as the Bible puts it) seeks alliance with Him... wouldn't any attempt be suspect? Yet the Scriptures don't address that, they only say "be reconciled to God". Wouldn't you think that God would have made provision for "poor motives" if He called His enemies to join Him in a banquet? He simply will reward all those who respond to His invitation....

"The Parable of the Great Banquet...

15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."

16Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'

18"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'

19"Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'

20"Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'

21"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'

22"'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'

23"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'" (Luke 14)
21 months ago: actually I was replying to the article posted by ed because it was contradictory.
21 months ago: I wouldn't consider a person who flips out over people excusing themselves from a banquet a man. More of a boy then anything else. I would also ask Jesus for the rest of the story. Because he is clearly leaving things out. I am a more detailed orientated fellow with my moral stories. Because how, why and result are very important to the lesson.

It seems more of a political slight, and to get back at them he instead "invited" the destitute to his home instead. As they would make better guests then his supposed friends. A very petty and small thing to do, helped those in need of a good meal for sure. But done out of resentment and anger and not in help of those who needed it.

There is no substance to the story, no result of the action. Did the poor prove to be better guests then those he had invited? Did he learn anything from interacting with those guests? As it stands the story and the reason Jesus told it have nothing in common with one another beyond a meal was eaten.
21 months ago: Nethel your statement is very immature. It's funny other people gain a wealth of knowledge and information from Jesus. They see it, but you are blind to everything that is said and done here. He has left nothing out. He doesn't need a lot of words to define himself.
You being detailed and big headed at the same time doesn't mean you can measure up to this man. If you can dish it out, so can I.
21 months ago: You seem to have misunderstood what I said again sunny so I will break it down for you.

You are having a dinner party and invited guests. As that time approached you get replies that they can not make the event because things have come up that they need to see too. Do you consider it good behavior to get angry over that and in spite, deny there company?

Out of that anger you say: They will not enjoy this food ever! and you open your doors, a action you do out of anger at them not coming to your party. Then grab people off of the street to eat the food. Is this good behavior? Or something done for the right reason? IE starving people needed to eat so rather then let what was prepared go to waste he gave it to them. Which would be the right reason, but the story clearly says he does it out of anger.

Now, the last part, what does this story have to do with Jesus and his disciples having a meal? When the story is about invited guests not attending? Because life happens and they had to cancel? Would you stop being friends with someone if you invited them to dinner and they had to cancel because something came up? That is very shallow reasoning to me on the part of the stories character.

Obviously something has been left out of the story being told. As the story has no relation to the event the teller is having other then a meal was prepared and eaten.
21 months ago: There could only one God, and He is the only real God, don't wait until it's too late to find the truth, pride is properly the problem.
21 months ago: Seez who?
21 months ago: Wouldn't that be "probably"?

Pride is "properly" a problem of all religious adherents, they all think they have the answer, the only answer and all other answers are wrong.

As for there only being "one" God, how could that be true? If there is one, logic would lead to the belief in the existence of more than one. AND according to your book, YOUR God himself made the commandment not to put any other gods before him, which indicates that there are other gods.

Circles, nothing but circles.
21 months ago: Six, do you mind if I take this one?
Pride has to do with an individuals concept of themselves. Some can be religious and follow the steps blindly, but not understand anything and at the same time get a sense of being superior from it. I would sit in church and be focused and see pompous people around me, and it bugged me. I don't like fake anything.

As far as God saying Chapter 14: "Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods before Me", Teachings of ... We must put the Lord and His cause first and refrain from worshiping false gods.

I always interpreted that as meaning fake Gods. You have people that worhip criminals and turn them into demigods for no other reason except they had the boldness to do something outside of the law. They look up to them as if they are Kings because these people are bold. It's people worship that is wrong. People worship others because they may have the power and money that is unreachable to them. These are the Gods he was speaking of. People might worship an inanimate object or animals. These are false Gods.
False Gods give nothing free. The real God gives everything free that is worth anything.
I get amazed every single day when things come our way. I don't ask for it, but I expect it because it happens.
That's just the way I see things. I would like to know what you think about that.
21 months ago: First you should have asked Ed if you could answer for him, not me but since you did and asked for my response I must answer you.

I don't read hidden meanings into the Bible. "Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me." is pretty straight forward. It wasn't demi-gods, false gods, material gods, TV star gods or sports gods, it was plain and simple "other Gods", which indicates that there are gods other than the one that supposedly wrote the Bible. How many other gods? Who knows, or even if there are gods since the book was written by men to exploit man's need to be controlled.

99.9999% of the problem with Christian religious beliefs is that everyone interprets the Bible to how they want it to read. Same problem with the Koran and the Talmud and any other religious writing used to exert control over men.

Free is a word often misunderstood by even the most learned of people.
21 months ago: Edward doesn't mind if I speak freely about anything.
He is my friend, Six.
Six, I don't see any hidden meanings to analyse.
I believe Jesus was very straight forward also as you said. You are straight forward so why not him?
People have a tendency to make fame a godliness and in that manner create false Gods. He was human. Is there any mention of any particular God that you feel he was referring to? I never heard of any.
People who are selfish and many have power and control ordain themselves God. They aren't good people as yourself and Ed and all the others here. We ask questions and there is nothing wrong with that.
As true Christians we pretty much look at the Bible in the same Universal way.
There are cults in every religion that might sway from the straight and narrow and do and say outrageous things opposed to the true faith. I steer clear from it because I've seen this type of person who does more harm than good, and it is all about themselves. They can be very selfish.
My religion doesn't control me at all, but it guides me to care about the world I live in and that I am not number one and that every single person counts. Is that bad? I only listen to the words he speaks to us that has pretty much kept the entire world who believes in Him in line and on the right track. I only think the Bible, the Koran, and the Talmus are a tool to guide mankind not lead them in the wrong direction. If we were without guidance, this would be an insane place to live. Sunny
21 months ago: Jesus who died for for you, to give you eternal life. Because He loves you.
21 months ago: Is that the incestuous son or the father or the spirit or the carpenter? And I haven't talked to him since he has been dead nearly 2000 years and neither have you.
21 months ago: "God is Spirit" ...if you read only one chapter (John 1) you would plainly see that the Word of God was made flesh, and dwelt among us. You seem to have an unhealthy fixation on incest, it says nothing about sex, rather that God spoke into existence His personal manifestation, as He did in Genesis with the entire world.
21 months ago: Believe me he does talk to us.
21 months ago: Why don't you try speaking to Him, Six.
21 months ago: Yes I have, He is alive, not like other gods. You have a way for eternal life and you would not except a free gift?
21 months ago: And how do you know other gods are not alive?

"Except" does not mean what you think it does.

There are no free gifts being offered for me to accept. Nothing is free. NOTHING!
21 months ago: Six, Saying Nothing is free depends on what you value.
The good things in life are free as they say.
Kindness, friendship, love. I really believe that we have to give more of ourselves in order to get back what comes naturally and is free.
So, we work for material things. Who wants it any other way.
True gifts come from who we are and what is in our hearts.
Take for instance the help people are getting from the First Responders in my State. They are selfless. They are like you and I but are willing to give what they have to offer free. They give their time, effort, care and skills to rebuild lives. That's all free stuff. Maybe you haven't given others a chance.
21 months ago: Sunny, you do not have the same perspective as I. Take your first responders. Take away their paychecks and see how many show up for work. They don't work for free. Many things you are labeling as "free" are really not free. Something is given, something is taken, a price is paid even though no price was asked.

Someone pays the price even if it isn't the one what receives the "gift".
21 months ago: Six, My family is in training in one of the cities hard hit at this moment. They are not getting paid. They are donating their time and efforts to help others.
They are learning everything from dealing with acts of terroism, psychology to handle the victims that are traumatized, saving those effected. They will be First Responders after their training. No money just a lot of heart. I know this first hand Six. They all show up. In my Town there is a volunteer Rescue and Fire Department. They are the best I have seen yet.
21 months ago: Reward or return on investment is not always measured in tangible assets.

Your "volunteers" will get their "reward", sometimes in money, sometimes in other ways. It is not that they ask for it or even expect it, it is intrinsic to the "job".

Nothing is free.
21 months ago: Six, didn't anyone ever do anything for you that was just out of kindness?
I'm sorry you feel that way about people who actually care and give of themselves without ever wanting anything in return.
21 months ago: Sure they have. Small things.

Kindness is its own reward.

Still not free.
21 months ago: Six, this is leading us no-ware. It is like traveling around a mountain, around, around, & around.
21 months ago: Wasn't buying anything so no-"ware" has nothing to do with it.

Now since it is leading us no "where" because of the circular logic of Christianity, you are quite correct.

I get the impression you aren't reading what Nethel is saying as he is pointing out your circular logic in quite distinct terms.

I quit commenting on your stuff long ago because you called me a homosexual and other insulting things so guess it is time to quit again because you just don't have anything of value for me.
21 months ago: I never called you anything, you are just trying to get at me.

Nethel, you said, I have committed nothing that I require forgiveness for. That is a lie. I am not doing what I am doing to proof that I am Heaven, and if you do not believe, that's OK.
21 months ago: You are correct. You never used the term "homosexual". You implied it in the way you accused me of chasing after you.

I will spend a few hours going back over all your previous submissions until I find all the incidences of proof by date and time.
21 months ago: Give me a break Six, you told me you had a hard life, why would you turn down Heaven? Every time you make jokes about God, you are digging your self deeper. If you don't want to be friendly, well OK, but I would not advice you to play with FIRE.
21 months ago: What would I gain to improve my "hard life"? Nothing. I don't need the solace of religion to make it through life. I don't need a promise of "everlasting" life. I don't need "streets of gold", angels singing or any of the other things your religion promises for subservience to your God (whichever one is in dominance for the day since there might be one or three) but only after death. I also don't need you telling me that I'm digger myself deeper or playing with fire. Why? Because I don't believe in what your are selling, so saying such things just causes me to come at you again telling you that it doesn't exist. Try another tactic. The one you are using is failing miserably. In case you haven't noticed, comments to your Rants and Raves are not pouring in by the dozens so you should be proud I take the time to tell you you're full of baloney.

Well I dug back through your Rants and Raves looking for where you accused me of being in love with you because I was supposedly following you and other homosexual pursuits and I didn't find it so must look deeper as it must be under someone else's original posting that "we" were commenting on. Would be easier if I had all my old emails but they are on another computer under a different email program. May take a while longer but my memory is not that bad, I just can't place it yet.

Friendly? I've been quite friendly. Do not mistake a persons failure to succumb to your religious offerings as unfriendliness. Rejection of what you are offering has nothing to do with being cordial. The way YOU react to that rejection is more important than anything I do and so far you aren't making any points.

You may "advise" me not to play with fire but you can only offer "advice" not to.
21 months ago: I believe each one of us has to be our own person. That is what makes our world interesting.
What we all have in common is a need for peace. We have to find that. If we find that peace, everyone around us has it.
21 months ago: Edward is right.
21 months ago: Some people are more in tune than others.
It doesn't mean that those who don't believe are not living a good life, or aren't good people, but they certainly are missing out on everything else that is far greater.
21 months ago: I do not consider that to be a true statement Sunny. I do not think a Christian has any better quality of life then a non believer. Both of them have to shape the life they lead about them to find happiness. For a person to find happiness they first have to find happiness in themselves in order to share it with others. If you are not happy with your self and your environment you will fall into depression, anger and other dark emotions.

Then take those emotional states out on those around you. It doesn't matter what denomination you are or are not. The social aspect is the same regardless. You will not enjoy life any more or any less. Life is what you make of it and the joys of it are not something given to you. You create them for yourself as only you can create meaning in your own life.

You can not miss out on something in your own life, it doesn't happen without you being there in the first place.
21 months ago: Nethel, that is very true what you said, and I agree. I never said I didn't.
What I am saying.
What I am saying though is that how do you know if you haven't experienced something religious and others have.
If you are dead set against anything more, then you are shutting out the possibility of there being anything else.
If a person goes very far in their life, there has to be much further to go. It can't be a dead end. For one there is no end to knowledge; therefore, why is there an end to more than we know.
21 months ago: You are logic trapping yourself sunny with the idea that knowledge is infinite. Knowledge isn't infinite, it has limits. Those limits are: your ability to understand, the technology of the times and creation of new information. Do not forget to divide new and deeper understanding of existing technology into their own categories. We have very few "new" ideas in our technology. Most of our efforts are spent on deeper understanding of existing technology, ideas and using existing tech in new ways.

You stated that non believers miss out for being non believers. I get epiphanies all the time sunny as information and knowledge that I have comes together and opens a deeper layer of understanding on a topic or theory. Also, remember my family is religious. I did the Sunday school and church thing a long time ago.

Attributing a "experience" to religion is just a set of terms you use to explain what happened from a lack of knowledge and verbal communication to do so. Saying I had a religious experience is the same as saying saying I was under a spell, or other comparison with something you can not yet explain to others. The link just tells the other person it was like this and gives them a point of relation to it. So they can understand what it is you are talking about.

Why is it necessary for there to be more after death? It is a natural cycle in our life span to die. Look how knowledge is passed in our society structure. The older generation teaches the younger what they have learned and the younger accumulates more information at a faster rate then the previous. We are the foundation on which the next generation builds and pass on what we have learned to them. Our "job" is "done" in the grand scheme of things.

Are you that afraid of death?
21 months ago: That's okay, Nethel.
Knowledge is unlimited. Technology and earthly things have nothing to do with a greater knowledge.
I'm surprised you don't get that.
I never said nonbelievers miss out. You are assuming.
I'm saying they can believe what they want, and I believe what I want.

Wow, a spell? Disrespectful.
You don't know the difference, so you shouldn't make statements like that.
It is a natural cycle to die, but we were born for a reason and not just to die.
By the way, older generations can be very stupid and pass that on. Not everyone is a good mentor, look around you.
Knowledge that leads to opening doors of understanding is what counts.
We are suppose to move on from here.
Can you explain why we were born?
21 months ago: Define greater knowledge... is it universal understandings in the works of the universe? cause that is a branch of science that explores that. Is it the human mind and condition? that is a psychology branch.

Can you provide a explanation of: But they certainly are missing out on everything that is far greater, that I have misunderstood? Because we seem to be using English but your sentence structure seems to be different from mine.

Disrespectful? not at all, a force not of your own taking control or influencing your actions. Example: I seen her walking by and she put a spell on me. My eyes could not leave her. The word provides context and understanding in the other party with its meaning in the sentence. Or were you just trying to make a insult of what I said instead of reading what I said in the context it was used? I expect the former rather then the later.

Obviously systems have flaws sunny and it isn't perfect. One of the reasons history is explained as a circle with repeating events. Like wars for example, you would think we would get it after the first one, not so much.
21 months ago: Can you explain your purpose? sure.

My biological parents were in sin with having a relationship prior to marriage. My mother was forced to quit school by her christian parents. Then forced to marry her then boyfriend and move in together. They were expected to have children and my mother through family tradition was to stay at home and raise kids. My parents were forced by their christian parents to have me.

So my purpose according to my now deceased grand parents was to create a happy loving christian home for my parents whom did really like each other. I was a very large disappointment for all parties involved stemming from my rejection of Christianity. Though my mother and father are proud of the person I have become, even if they disagree with my godlessness.

Now what I think: I was born to show those around me that life is what you make of it. My life has been a up hill walk from the bottom to where I am now. No god involved, just me getting up and moving forward. Everything I have is from my own work as it will continue to be so. If a person asks me for advise or a portion of my knowledge I give it to them. I have tasked myself with improving the world about me and maybe improving the lives of those I meet with and influence.

What is my purpose in life sunny? what ever I decide has meaning to myself to do.

21 months ago: make that didn't like each other
21 months ago: In order, Nethel, for you to say that knowledge has limits means that you know everything there is to know in the entire universe.
I'm not trying to force my opinion on you. This is what I have learned through life. It is not circular where there is no answer, we have to find the answers. The no answer bit comes from giving up the search.
If you use the word "spell," then you are not an atheist. You believe in something, but not religion. Rituals in any faith can be seen as a spell.
Can't I as a Catholic believe in my faith, or do I have to be forced into nonbelieving because it suits someone else's style.
21 months ago: I wrote a lot. I hope you read it.
Nethel, People have too much to say when judging others. Your mom's parents had no right to design her life, unless of course she was underage, or very young at the time, and couldn't make a decision. She probably was under terrible pressure and afraid. Most children would rebel against parent's interference today. An unhealthy, too strict controlling home life, can make children run. If a home life is based only on religion, children don't get it all the time, and do reject religion that smothers them. I've seen that happen.
Is that the reason she was living with her boyfriend if you don't mind me asking. Usually being young effects their decision about having children. They don't know any better. Nowadays nobody cares or thinks anything about that. Even in those times, there was far worse going on. Old fashion ideas came into play then because of rigid beliefs and culture.
Children like yourself when it is time to be born, they will be. Look around you at the population. Do you think every parent was ready?
When you say your parents were forced to have you, did your parents want to terminate the pregnancy, or give you up? Laws were different then and people did judge, unfortunately, and the church did apply pressure. Anyone having a child out of wedlock, there was a stigma to it. That was then.
I would have thought of my kids first and my religion wouldn't have clouded my judgment. Your grandparents wanted you to live, and were looking forward to the birth of a little baby. Most grandparents that I know would be on the attack to keep that child and would move heaven and earth if they had to. I've seen that happen. If their religious beliefs guided them to save you, you had a chance to live your life. That was the right decision. Look how good you turned out. You have something to offer.

Again, Christian parents can be as crazy as the next. Some of these groups are cults and go to extreme. I don't agree with their methods because I've seen poor judgment and total chaos happen in their lives. I've seen some pretty mean people who use the church to do their wrong.
I only believe that parents should not take total control of their children's lives, but help them get through their problems. Parents who are controlling make a lot of mistakes with their children. Don't you think so?
I have very successful children because I support them. If they choose another faith, or not, that's their business. They have doubted at times, but it is their right. I love them completely and unconditionally. They don't doubt now because any struggles they went through or my husband and I did, they didn't view it as negative. Struggles can be a necessary factor in life because you learn from it to survive. You learn from mistakes and get over and around that wall of obstructions in your way.
I see my kids growing more capable each day, like you something great happens when they learn and move forward. The difference between them and yourself is that they see a higher power responsible for gifts and their talent and thank God each and every day that they can do it.
If life brings you to a place it is because you worked hard for it. Without effort, you get no where. God helps those who help themselves. He see to it that you get the job done.
Also, whatever my family or myself feels is meaningful to us, we do. We stay on the right path same as you. (It is called making the right decisions) Choosing and making a good decision brings good results and a good life style. Poor decisions don't.
You can go through the motions of living, but without substance what is there?
Family and children are very important to add to ones life.
I don't expect gifts and glory from God all the time because I have to earn it. I don't even think about that, but I'm surprised when it comes and see the expecta
21 months ago: Continued: Family and children are very important to add to ones life.
I don't expect gifts and glory from God all the time because I have to earn it. I don't even think about that. People are born and have missions and are driven to complete their journey. A genius discovers a cure for a disease, an author who has learned and passes that on to the reader, a heart surgeon, a great explorer, I can go on and on.. These people work hard and do the studying and the research that safeguards the rest. Not everyone is cut out for that. These are the people who stand out and the world benefits from them. They are making a difference. That individual is driven to do more all the time. I live by that word. Because when you look for more, you find it.
I don't care if we are alive for 10 years or 100 years, we have to fulfill our purpose, and we do it without even knowing most of the time. Look at the children who don't get a chance to live out their lives because of illness claiming them early, but something comes out of it, either more research is done, new findings, etc.

I'm not criticizing you at all. I'm a parent like the rest, but I have good kids and love them so much that I take joy in whatever they do.
Sometimes parents don't see that they are doing the wrong thing for their children, but they have to realize that these children are separate from them. Anyone would be proud of a son like you, Nethel. I certainly have made wrong decisions in my life, but I learn from mistakes. Never happens twice with me, and I make up for it. I'm a person who has their own mind if you haven't noticed and I'm sure you have. It works. I'm very contemporary and open to change all the time. Right now the world needs help. The more people who use their talents to make a difference, the better off we will be.

21 months ago: No, they were having a sexual relationship with no real strings in it. More lust then anything lasting to form a real relationship with one another. He had quit school early and was working odd jobs. Mom was in grade 11 at the time, her school system went to grade 13 and she was forced to drop before completing grade 11.

I was planned FOR my parents, they left the province there families were in before I was born to get away from them. My fathers decision, not my mothers. One of my aunts and two brothers moved with them to the new province for support. However it didn't keep their relationship intact after my sister was born 6 years after myself, my sister was 1 when they split up and two when the divorce was finalized.

The divorce black listed my mother with her parents and they told her to live her sinful life so she stayed where she was and between her and my aunt, they made it work. Until my mother meet my step father some years later. The hilarity of it is we knew him from one of the communities we stayed in. I first meet him when I was skipping school and hiding behind the garbage dumpster. My mother introduced him to my aunt for them to go out.

Nope, I was planned for them by the grand parents. Christened after I got out of the hospital a year later. I was born 2 months premature with a collapsed ribcage and undeveloped lungs. Died 6 times, 2 after birth, twice in transit to a hospital equipped to keep me going and the last two while under the care of the new hospital. The 7th time stuck, also why I have no baby pictures for year one. My mother didn't want photos of me connected to all the machines to keep me going.

Most would sunny, but I wasn't that person. I was violent, angry and didn't accept the christian religion. My grandfather died with nothing but hate for me. After he was gone my grand mother softened up enough to include my mother back in her life. Before it too ended a decade or so later.
21 months ago: That would be one of the fundamental differences between us. I do not attribute what I do to god, nor any rewards for that work I receive. I earn what I have through hard work. I have been handed nothing in life and was instructed early on that if I wanted it I had to work for it. I on a average week spend most of my time between work and study.

I just lucked out that I can do two things at the same time. I can be working a architectural problem in my head while doing something else. I am also one of those individuals who loves what they do and also do it as recreational activities. Why I am as good as I am at what I do, I put the time in to be that good at it. Other then myself and the boss there isn't a person in our office who purchases any architectural books to learn. For them and a large number of people I have meet in the industry, the time at school was it. There is nothing left to learn and they pay for that thinking every day they work.
21 months ago: Nethel, You may have a point when you say... "I do not think a Christian has any better quality of life then a non believer" ...though my life has drastically changed for the good (along with millions), there are many in dire circumstances merely because of their faith in Christ, including persecution and even death. However, as I stated earlier that "motive" may not be the best qualifier for turning to Christ, understanding might be.

Using the analogy of a parachute, if people are told that wearing one while flying on a plane will be of some comfort... it would become obvious, even after a half an hour "comfort" would not be a convincing motive, and many would simply remove the parachute. However, IF the passengers on a plane were told that the plane was to inevitably crash, any thinking person would soon put one on, and keep it on regardless of any "discomfort!"

One can go on believing that we don't have an appointment with death, and that we won't be held accountable for our actions here... or one can deal with that inevitability and make provision for it. God realizes you didn't ask to be born in sin, so he has made a way for you to escape it's final consequence... but to prove our willingness to be here, and enjoy the pleasures of sin, we refuse His provision in Christ (parachute), and shake our angry fist at God for not putting on a carnival show to prove His existence... would't then our condemnation be just?
21 months ago: Nethel, they were young. People make mistakes. Don't hold it against them. Your Mom was raised by these people and look what happened. That isn't saying too much for the advice from grandparents. They lived in another generation. They didn't know anything.
Regardless of everything, you turned out fine.
We all carry painful baggage, but I learned you have to shed it and live your life to the fullest. It will hold you back from going forward.
You say 18 - 20 years you have. I would take those years and live them and be happy because you have time and in that time whatever that is affecting you can be cured. Be who you are, not what someone tried to make you because of their ignorance.
Man they had controlling ways.
Sinful life...Hum Bug.
I'm not criticizing your relatives in particular but ignorance is just that. I ditch anybody who bothers me and is stupid around me or tries to control me. I can't stand it. I feel trapped, I get claustrophobic.
Sorry you were in the middle of it all. Shake it all off of your shoulders at this time. You will feel much better and less stressed. Try it, Nethel.
People stink and do damage. Sorry I get very mad.
Your grandfather died with hate for you? That's nuts. These old guys can really bug me.
As a Mom if I saw that happening, I would disown the family. My child would come first at all times, and I would take photos and send them a copy of what they were missing.
My Mother would be told off and put in her place. Your grandmother acted like your mother had the problem. She was living in the dark ages.
Yeah sure. Sorry but I am very outspoken when it comes to relatives trying to interfere with any kid. Forget them. Every child has to be protected from this.
If someone told me to go live my sinful life, I would laugh in their face and go live my life happily. Who were they to judge anyone?

21 months ago: Nethel, Truth is making good sense here.
It is very clear to anyone reading it.
21 months ago: No, Nethel, because we both work hard and know that is what is going to get us ahead. I said God is there to guide me. I said God helps those that help themselves. We are both saying the same thing only I do attribute God to my success.
They are really making a poor judgment if they think they can go to school and that's it. What if the archetectural industry had a complete overhaul and things were totally changed.? Where would they be? Left behind that's where they would be. Some people have talent and others are wantabees. You have the talent and that is why you constantly are learning.
You still have to be humble. You can know what is going on, but you can't show it at all because they lack and that causes problems. That's life.
I saw my parents go through those conditions and attitudes in the construction-development businesss. They were owners. Dad had the talent and the means, while the others sat back and mocked because they were not him, but at the same time wanted all the gravy.
He was successful they weren't. That's the best revenge.
21 months ago: Nethel,

You say... "I just lucked out that I can do two things at the same time. I can be working a architectural problem in my head while doing something else"'s called (ArchiCAD, Chief Architect, Punch Software, Autocad Architecture, Vectorworks Architect) architectural software !:]
21 months ago: To "in order for you to say that knowledge has limits means that you know everything there is to know in the entire universe".

You missed what I said again about the limits of knowledge sunny. I gave you three specific reasons why knowledge has limits. There is new and then there is understanding. Understanding just improves what we collectively know about existing knowledge. That is what you are talking about is deeper understanding to what we already know.

No where did I say that I know everything, what I did state was the limits of knowledge and that it isn't infinite. Information is infinite, knowledge is not.

I used the word to link it with a existing understanding of the mechanics described with the two instances and the similarity to each other. The word changes but the experience is the same between the two on the basic level. The result of that influence is up to interpretation.

I am not forcing you to do anything sunny, neither of us are trying to force our opinions. At least I do not recall you ever stating that if I do not believe your opinion I am going to hell and will be eternally tormented for a unknown sin Adam's made. At least I do not recall you ever saying that.

I find the concept of eternal torment interesting. I have no nerve system to perceive hot, cold, hunger, thirst, pain etc... and yet these are the things that will be inflicted on me for thinking the way I do. I have no physical form in which these states that would effect a living being would. Much like the images of heaven being made of precious materials with no want of food etc... You have no physical entity with which these things are required let alone ability to interact with. If you could interact with it, heaven would be proven cause the spirits could tell us via interaction.

Why do you need shelter when you can not perceive the elements or have any physical need for it or means of interaction with it? It makes no logical sense to me. But that is as far as I shall go.
21 months ago: Sunny, my parents and my grandparents thinking had no barring on me. My grandparents opinion was a persons self worth was determined by there relationship to god and following of the bible. I disagree with them, I will not say I didn't feel saddened by it. A person who didn't should seek a professional right away. Because they have a large problem that could explode.

As I said, as a very young youth I was very angry about it all. I learned discipline, self control, that expression is not wrong, but how you express can be. I trained, I practiced the martial and fine arts, and I developed the moral code I live by.

I do not resent them for what they did, nor do I have any ill will towards them for it. Another's choice in life doesn't reflect on me, only my choices reflect and matter to me. I can not hold another to the standards I live by, they are standards for myself.

I live every day well Sunny, because I know they are numbered. The only stress I have right now are project deadlines and wedding planning with my fiancee now. I'll give you one of the codes I use: Is this something to get mad about? Will getting mad about it solve the problem? Is it worth it to get mad about it? if the answer is no, let it go, hate and anger internalized will only poison yourself and your actions. Let it go, it isn't worth it in the end.

That is possible sunny, but it is a long list. Sure I could get a heart transplant if I have heart failure. But my other major organs failure is not on the list yet. Neither are cures for lupis, diabetes and the slew of other family diseases. But who knows, they may get it figured by that time and perhaps my children will benefit from it.
21 months ago: CAD software is only 10pct of the job, knowing how materials are connected, interact, how forces work on them and design are all done in the head. Waste of time to draw if the method isn't going to work. Besides, that is what CAD monky's are for ;) it takes the staff hours to do what I can do in seconds in my head with design problems. That and pencils only give a 401 error and never limits because of the software involved ;)
21 months ago: TB I am glad that worked for you, I know it doesn't work for me. I have my moral code and live in what I consider an honorable way. I balance myself and generally enjoy every single day. I leave stress behind and if I have any left when I leave the office I use any number of methods to relax. Like video games, art, training or even simple activities like cooking and cleaning.

A good analogy of the plane and parachute. My counter argument would be: but are we walking? Traveling by train? The bus? By sea? etc... you ware the parachute because you have been told it is the only way to be safe while traveling. That doesn't make it safe traveling through life, only your beleif that it is so. You have to have faith that the chute will save your life. That and part of the down pilot training I had... never trust a chute you didn't pack yourself ;)

As I have said before, you never get out of life alive. It is that after point that is up for debate. Though you guys have never asked me what I would do if I was wrong. My provision is this TB: heh... guess they were right, oh well, lets get this over with then. I do not seek redemption for anything that I have done.

Because, and I know you all have heard it before, If I was going to be sorry about it later, I wouldn't have done it in the first place. IE no regrets and I accept any punishments coming my way if I deserve them. If I don't, then we have a problem and I am a very good problem solver. I weigh my decision and measure what my actions will cause before I make my choice. I am fully aware of what my choices do, make and reap.
21 months ago: Nethel, it's good you got over it.
I come from a very big family and everyone treated each other well. Not that they were perfect. I;m pretty much at peace with myself. The reason I felt it still bothered you is because you relate the issue with deep emotion.
I'm happy for you that you are anticipating marraige and kids.
Good for you. Children make you relive your childhood. It is like a second chance to have all that fun.
Don't think about your days being numbered. I suppose each one of us never know, but we go on as if we will live forever. If you don't have all those diseases yet, you may never get them. So, why think about it.
21 months ago: It doesn't bother me sunny, it is what it is, I can not change it so I do not worry about it. If I ever can change it then I will worry about it. Hahah, well I wouldn't want to relive my childhood, but they will have a much better one then I had.

Still trying to find a compromise with the future wife on number of kids. She wants to have three. I wanted to adopt to provide a child opportunities and skip that whole infant stage (having helped raise enough kids in the family in that stage). But at the same time she wants to go back to university and get a second degree to her one in psychology. But we shall see what happens.

I work in the fine arts and am always in touch with my emotions. Nothing wrong in the feelings associated with the events or expressing them. Though for manly man scoring I have no emotions beyond hunger and rage ;)
21 months ago: Nethel,

The whole analogy of the plane and parachute fits when walking or traveling by moon-ship... the idea is that we are going to expire from this dimension into the next; and seeing as there are few that have come from there, or have returned from there, it matters only... whom can you trust. It is obvious you don't trust the word of Jesus of Nazareth... seeing as you have stated on another post that believe someone else's report that He never existed. I can see how you would look for opinion to shore that belief up... seeing as written history is contrary to that belief.
21 months ago: Good luck with that TB, I wish you well with the belief.
21 months ago: Nethel, why does every comment that you make replying to me have a negative spin in the first sentence. You very well know what I was saying to you. There was no need to change it into something else more complex than it was meant to be. You missed what I said to you then. There is so much that we don't know that there are no limits in the amount of knowledge to be gained. If we can't clear up the mysteries of life at this point, than we know nothing much to speak of.
Sometimes you have to raise yourself above the ordinary to see the light of day more clearly.
As far as eternal torture, people get what they deserve right here from their ill doings. Seeing it many times is proof enough for me.
Another thing, I don't think or speak like a man. I talk real, and I don't try to impress anyone.

21 months ago: You think the words: "You misunderstood what I said" is negative? or answering your question about my history as negative? hrm, alright then. I'll add that to my list of clarification when I reply to something you wrote.
21 months ago: FYI, nothing life threatening in the test results from the doctor. I am on a 8 month waiting list for the elbow and am to see a physiotherapist in the mean time. Allergy list came back and nothing new, meds have been readjusted and a appointment with a specialist has been set to get a specific medication for symptoms.

Other then that I am in remarkable health and have been given the green light to resume combative sports training. But to go easy on the elbow until after the specialist and rehab leading up to and after the fix. Dude made me worry by contacting my mother first and telling her to come in with me for the news. His idea of a joke.

So conditioning start tomorrow at 5am for two hours, go me!
21 months ago: Sunny, you answered them with Godly wisdom, how can you be happy when you do not know where your Soul will go? Especially now that they have been enlightened. To me, someone who is on their dying bed, that will intense torture.

Nethel said that he never ever sinned, never told a lie?

1Jn_1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1Jn_3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away sins; and in him is no sin.
1Jn_3:9 Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin, because his seed abideth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of God.

21 months ago: First you have to believe there is such a thing as a soul. Until then all that you speak of is meaningless and quoting from that book will do nothing but drive the non believer away faster and faster, especially when you quote things that concern the issue of "Son of" or "Was God".
21 months ago: Six, Because we think one way, doesn't mean you have to. We make a stand for our beliefs.
We each have a path to follow. I feel very fortunate that I do understand.
I wish I could make you see what others do know about the Bible and God, but you can seemingly make your own way without the need for it.
In the end it is up to each one of us. We all make our own choices.
So, there is no argument, right?

21 months ago: Sunny, strange how that has been true all along.

It is when someone makes a stand and it is more of a declaration of the one and only way that arguments ensue, wording and tone are very important. With some it is more of a demand that "we" acquiesce to their "preaching" and submit with no argument, no dissent, no discussion, nothing but shut up and tithe.

Better I shut up before I say too much.
21 months ago: Six, say what you want you are free to.
We all are making a stand for our beliefs.
I don't make demands on people at all and never did.
I respect others.
21 months ago: Edward, I'm only talking here about people who do a lot of wrong in their lives. I've seen people go to their death bed with the same harsh anger and disposition they carried with them in life, whereby they are bitter and refuse God, or don't want to recognize that there could be a debt to pay in the after life. In many ways, these people didn't have too much love to offer to their families or others that crossed their path. Many of these people had not shared much with people close to them and probably caused considerable pain to others around them. They go without learning anything from living and leave behind the scars of their actions. These same type people go out and want to leave behind wrong doings that can escalate in those they left behind after they die. Their meaness goes on. Maybe nothing will ever be healed in them, and many don't even want it. We see so many miracles every day, I don't understand why they don't see it.
I have seen this happen before with people who die,and there is an actual resentment toward people who are different and live happier lives without any regrets to follow them.

21 months ago: Careful there sunny, ed isn't drawing a distinction between good, bad, decent and different. There is only christian or none christian and the none christian's are going to hell unless they accept his religion. The funny thing about it sunny if you remove all the references of hell and punishment from the bible. You are left with repeating the cycle until you accumulate enough wisdom to enter heaven, IE you will get it right eventually and pass through the gates. Which is oddly enough another religion in our world. Can you guess which one?

At some point you guys will study other religions and cultures. Eventually you will realize they all say the same thing: Be a good person and live your life without regrets, well minus the Norse. They were all about collecting material wealth for the after life and to prove they were warriors worthy of entering that after life. But then the time period was like that. You do not need a preacher to tell you to be a good person. If your parents did well with you, you already know what right and wrong is.

Besides, it is only a book at the end of the day written by men. We are hardly infallible.
21 months ago: Nethel, Ed knows I am free thinking. Everything depends on our life experience how we think about others.
I don't draw a line between religious or nonreligous people. I respect what people think as long as their behavior does not deliberately hurt others.
The Bible is a living book. It guides you as it contains all the experiences that one person can go through in a lifetime if you look and listen, and it helps answer questions with wisdom. This is what the Bible offers. If you don't see that, that's up to you.
Entering heaven is easy when you have faith and believe in God. No waiting in line to prove ourselves. We prove ourselves the best we can right here. Yes, that is what it boils down to in most religions keeping us good and decent. Then you have to realize that people do make mistakes and do wrong against others and themselves. The jails are full of these people who had at one time good parents to show them the way. It doesn't always work that way. Also, I had a priest say I was spiritual, but said that we never know if we are good. We do the best we can. For instance suppose we do something that is good for us or someone else, but very wrong and harmful to another. So, we never know all the time.
I'm sorry Nethel but I am not up to tactics, and I don't bother with it or indulge in it and play guessing games with faith.
Nethel, you don't think that any of us have come in contact with other religions and beliefs.
Another thing wisdom has nothing to do with repeating cycles. Wisdom can be a gift. You have little children, and you know this first hand, they can be 4, 5 or 6 years old that have the wisdom of ages when they become sick.
Also, parents sometimes can't keep themselves in check let alone do well with their kids. Some can't fulful their obligations to their children by guiding them properly. Then you have parents dedicated to their children, and the kids are totally out of control. There may be up to 5 or more siblings in a family and each is different because of their thinking and their experiences. Some go bad and some don't. I'm sure you have seen this. It isn't totally up to the parents. We don't always know right from wrong. Kids don't even listen half the time to their parents.
Just because you say the Bible is just a book, to you it is just a book. To others who experience life and its many paths, its the life's blood of Christ. I don't think that many would agree with you that it is just a book.

The Word of God is all that is needed. Heaven is not another religion. It is just carried over. Love has no end and life has no end. Knowledge which I keep trying to impress you on, is without end. So, why are you so doubtful and not willing to see anything more. I think you are young and a very nice person, Nethel. Others have lived longer and have already have knowledge of other religions and cultures and beliefs, but we have to choose one. You choose to be an atheist. That's fine with me. I took another path as Edward did.

21 months ago: Read it again Sunny, you misread the first sentence in my post. I was talking about Ed. Not according to Ed's take on it, faith isn't enough. I think the line was many will call out lord lord and I will not listen. Or something along those lines.

Aye sunny that goes back to the topic on perceptions of truth and right and wrong being relative to what you think they are. As a example, only christians will get into heaven. It doesn't matter what other religions are out there. They are all false and they will go to hell because only God exists. But to those people it is the opposite, you will be going to there version of hell because you do not follow the true god. Perceptions of truth, both are correct as they perceive there truth.

Haven't used any tactics Sunny, It is simply asking a question about the logic trap that is salvation in the christian religion. Oh I think you come in contact with other beliefs all the time. I said study, big difference between the two. Heaven is another religion sunny. History is full of religions, they come and they go. New ones take there place. I am afraid it is just a book sunny, you read it the same as you are reading what I am typing right now. If it was truly of divine creation just being a member of the church would be enough and all the tenants and stories would be in your mind from god. No need of printing presses, revisions, alterations or dissemination of content. But that goes back to faith and belief, it really doesn't matter what I say. These are just words and are meaningless, or a test of your faith, which ever you prefer.
21 months ago: Have I told a lie? yes I have Ed. I held a boy in my arms and I told him he was going to be alright and to not be afraid. That I would be there with him, he died a short while later. I do not regret doing that Ed. We call them white lies, lies we tell to spare others feelings.

If you are asking have a told a lie to get out of trouble? as a adult no I have not. As a child yes, once and then I accepted punishment for doing so from my parents. I never did it again and was honest with them about everything I did. What I said is I have not done anything that I require forgiveness for. If you are going to try quoting me at least use the quote and the meaning I used for it. That meaning is, in case you missed it was: I am not sorry for anything that I have done, if I was going to be sorry about it later, I wouldn't have done it in the first place.
21 months ago: You comforted the child, and you were there for the little boy.
Again, these children are wise beyond years. More wise perhaps than us.
Right here some of us require forgiveness the way we impose on each others beliefs. You never know.
I know people who lie about everything. They can't speak without telling a lie. They can't remember their lies. I can't stand it. It is a habit forming trait.

You can remember truths, Nethel. What you did for the child, was tell him everything would be alright. How do you know that was a lie? There is more truth in that than you know. Even if you don't believe that, the words you said did more good than harm.
Nethel, the point is that you say I'm not sorry for anything that I have done, I don't think you lived long enough to meet those challenges because somewhere along the line you will have to. Everyone does. I know that you have been through a lot, but there is still a long way to go. I know you are a good person and honest. Right there someone believes in you.
21 months ago: To add that little boy knew the answer already. He knew you were there for him.
21 months ago: It was a lie sunny, his life ended before it had even started. He was one of the boys at the camp from the burn ward, 84% damage to his body and limbs. He had no fingers, toes, hair or facial features beyond what was left of his eyes, nose and lips. He also had internal injuries, he died of complication from those injuries.

I'll always remember his attempt to smile at me when I lied to him. I am 32 years old sunny, I have seen more then a lot of people twice my age. I have seen the darkness of humanity and even confronted that darkness in myself. I have also seen peoples capacity for being good. It is a running thing with my step father when he tells me that I surprise him. He thinks I will do one thing or act a certain way and then I do the complete opposite from what he expected of me (in a good way).

I have 18 to 23 years left sunny, pending how my visit to the doctors goes on Friday. Could be less if I have developed one of the family illnesses but I shall know friday. I have known since I could understand that I had finite time. Males in my family line do not live past 55 years, with the oldest being 56, before one of the family illnesses takes them. I am going to see if I can push the family record but as it stands, the two elder males 51 and 53 are not long for this world. The rest are all dead and gone.
21 months ago: Dear Nethel, Terrible what the little child went through. He smiled at you because he knew you were his strength and courage. I never see that as a lie, but you feel that way and I understand.
You know us Nethel, and you can lean on us. We just talk.
I knew a man when I was young who said he wouldn't live past the age of his father who was in his early 60s, well he did live, and then some. Still going strong.
You are a tough strong individual and that is what it takes to live and survive.
You don't bite the dust easy. Ask me, and I'll tell you you are tough.
21 months ago: The comfort is nice sunny, but this is genetic flaws that nothing can be done for. Our systems run fast and burn out faster then normal. The family disease have no cures and I am predisposed to developing them. I have no illusions of it and nothing can be done for them. I made the gf aware of this but she doesn't care and she is going to make me live to 86 if she can.

It is a worthy goal, but when I say 55 sunny it is because I have no living relatives over that age. My mothers family generation is virtually wiped out over the span of the last 5 years. I take after her side of the family and not my fathers. But we shall see what happens, I may beat the odds. I am known for it in the family.
21 months ago: Nethel are you a "nice guy" is a "nice guy" for you...

"Are You a Good Person?"
21 months ago: Good video, Truth.
21 months ago: Nethel, your body may be able to fight it off.
Good girl you have there.
Don't go by others in the family. So, you don't have any of it yet, right?
My mother's family had all kinds of tragedy sickness and accidents. My family and my cousins didn't have any of it. My father's family had very strong genes that I inherited it and my kids. My father was never sick a day in his life. He lived a very long life. I attribute his death in later years to exposure to asbestos when he decided to get involved with a very old project.
You will beat the odds.
21 months ago: No Tb I am not a nice guy. I am just a man who does what he can, when he can. Nothing more and nothing less. That and I know my authority extends only as far as my fist to impose it on others ;)
21 months ago: Not yet Sunny, but in all cases they developed symptoms later in life. I am at the start age for the illnesses to start. Why my new years resolution was to keep a firm eye on my personal health. Apart from allergies I am in decent health. I rarely get sick and if I do I am done with it in a handful of days unless it is serious. Which I can only count three times in my life being that sick.
21 months ago: Yes, I love you too.
21 months ago: Nethel, I was thinking that before why is it that we are talking about death. I don't even think about it. I enjoy life too much. I'm just putting my views down. Is that wrong? I thought that is what we are all doing.
To answer your question, I came close to death many times even as a very young child, no I'm not afraid. Too much faith to ever make me afraid.
21 months ago: Subject of it just came up in a example I used for Ed's sin comment since he has ordained to not answer the question about circular logic of redemption for the sake of redemption being false hope and not true redemption that you can not seek because to seek it invalidates it.

Nope, you are entitled to your views sunny, as I am mine.

The death comment was meant as: are you afraid of life ending that you have to have something after it? life can not simply end, it has to continue in another state. Myself I do not fear the end, everything ends at some point. I find the idea of after life's amusing. They pretty much all contain the same three things. 1. you must meet a certain criteria to enter, 2. They have material things that you do not even have the ability to interact with, ie no physical form for us to even use our perceptions to interact with them and 3. a being who takes you there, a being who judges you, and a being who over sees the after life.

It is very interesting when you look at them. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but in the major religions in our history they follow that progression. Aztec, Norse, Egyptian, Greek/Roman, Asian, Christianity etc... It is one of the common links in religion and is used in pretty much all of them.

Same with violence, if you do not do as you are told the god(s,ess, etc...) will do something horrible too you. Yet here we still are over 7,000 years later with a thriving culture. It is very interesting to think about.
21 months ago: Nethel,

If we think of this life as a dimension, it is reasonable to suggest that there are rules for every dimension. Everything we can observe details law; be it nature, social or the cosmos... to assume that any other dimension is chaotic or "lawless" would be irrational. Even "evil" examples of humanity (Nazis to Planned Parenthood etc.) have rules. The idea of lawlessness... is merely a state of mind, it's called rebellion.
21 months ago: ...sorry,
"lawlessness" is really a state of being out of your sane mind.
21 months ago: except the law can be: There is no laws. But I understand you are trying to attribute god to the equation. By the use of orders of magnitudes and relationships. If we exist so must a creator, if before there was nothing, now there is something. Before something there was no time.

Except time is measure in moments... the moment was the birth of the universe and time measured up to that moment and after that moment. Therefore time existed prior and after the event. We have the time leading up to it and the time after it. Just no record of before it, only theories.

The theory in science also assumes that everything was a single point. But we can not prove that single point. If we have a vat of water and drop a single drop of color into the center we get ripples and diffusion. yet nothing states that vat is empty. If we add other things to it and do it again. The ripples push things outward and diffuses. So what is beyond the event horizon of our diffusing ripple?

It can not be nothing because we expand into it. If it was we would be a soap bubble. Eventually it would expand beyond its limits and pop. But that hasn't happened. We know the form isn't a constant because it expands. But this neither proves no disproves god.
21 months ago: Maybe we should talk more about living life to its fullest.
I need some lunch. See ya.
Huey Newton
Huey Newton
21 months ago: Good work Ed.

Nice job of giving folks the ball.

Huey Newton
Huey Newton
21 months ago: Hey Ed,

The best you can do is put the truth out there. They can do with it what they want.

Realize that anytime you are dealing with anyone that believes truth is relative to their perception of it you are going to have a great deal of difficulty helping them to undertand where you are coming from.

Rational and logical arguments will not work because the darkness has blinded their minds to the point whereby they can even rationalize this universe creating itself. It does not matter that nothing has not and will never create anything no matter how much time it is given.

To these folks, infanticide and running old folks down in the street and for fun are not really being inherently wrong actions, it just depends on your perspective.

What a joke.
21 months ago: I agree, Good Post Edward!

Great link Huey, Thanks...
21 months ago: Lee Strobel on Richard Dawkins and "The God Delusion"
21 months ago: I think I'm tired now. Too early.
21 months ago: Time out for breakfast. I'm forgetting I have things to do today.
I better get to it.
21 months ago: I like all the videos Truth.
It is all so simple.
21 months ago: You know there is a lot of talk on here that goes no where. Nobody is trying to convince any nonbeliever to believe in God.
We do believe, and that is what matters.
We don't have to try hard to know that he exist, we know already.
We don't have to fill up pages of books to prove anything to ourselves or anyone else, we know he exist because he lives in us. We hear his words and feel his spirit with every breath we take and feel Him all around us night and day. He is the living center of our minds, our hearts, and our souls.
I love knowing Him, and it is grand. I don't care what anyone else says about our Lord who doesn't know Him because I know Him.
21 months ago: Nethel, this is not a game we play.
This is our lives. We are humble to the spirit of the living God.
We are humble people who have a greater understanding of the spirit.
I know that many of these people can brag about their lives, but they don't.
Why? Because God comes first, not us.
21 months ago: Nethel, you don't have an understanding of anything that is said because you are concentrating only on yourself. Well, when you have a family hopefully you will see.

21 months ago: Raising other kids is totally different than your own.
You have a long way to go yet.
21 months ago: I am impressed with you Sunny & TB, from all of the comments posted, I would say that Nethel was just playing around, salvation is nothing we have to work for, it's a free Gift, absolutely FREE. However have said that I have a son with a family who is the same.

Well let's look at what the good book has to say about this matter?

2Co_4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Joh_5:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. And they are the ones witnessing of Me.

21 months ago: Edward if you will recall I said several months ago that this is just verbal sparing. It is a debate, but ultimately a meaningless one. As I told sunny in another thread and previously stated those many months ago. Nothing I say will change your faith in God. There is no room for doubt in your religion, you can not have a open debate with such a person because they have no room to admit they could be wrong. Allan Watts said it best: You can not have a conversation with a person who is both the Advocate and the Judge. You will get no where with such a person nor would you ever want to be tried by such a person in a court of law.

Our debates from both sides of the fence are nothing more then sparing matches and intellectual debats. Which ultimately is meaningless, as I told Sunny, this is why I haven't bothered to post in other religious threads. I posted in this one because there was a question of circular logic in the original post. A question still left unanswered. So I asked about it since no one else will ask the question.

Also define Free, cause free means no strings attached to me. Your Free from my stand point is: You will adhere to this book, you will follow it at all times or else. That isn't free, that is do as you are told. Like I said in another post, that is a ultimatum, I do not serve dictators, I serve the public.
21 months ago: IF YOU SEARCH FOR ME WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART, YOU WILL FIND ME. The key Word is Search. (Desperately)
21 months ago: Ahhhhhhh sweet.
21 months ago: Nethel,
I love to talk to you, but you make me kind of wonder. I am not a person that can be fooled. I am not a person that puts up with any foolishness.
You are playing around and maybe you don't mean to. What I am seeing at this time is that you don't like anyone who you feel is a great achiever or may have life experience or knows anything that you may not know. So you cover this up with an LOL or a HA Ha. Usually, again you may not know it, but you turn the tables on people who are kind. Give people a break.
I don't think you could ever recognized Jesus as a powerful figure of the world, you seem to be put off by that. You don't want to think he has any greatness.
You can't keep mocking our Lord. I would be betraying my God if I take this. This makes me annoyed. I haven't seen anyone do that to you. Everyone has been nice to you, but you don't return that. I don't know how you have the audacity to say you do no wrong, when you are trying to minimize people right here by your words and actions. I'm simply telling you how I am seeing this. You either get something from it or you fly off the handle. I don't think anyone really cares.
I see that you have a skill at putting peopld own, especially Jesus.
First you come across innocently and get people to respond to you and change everything you say. You always have to come up on top.
You mock skillfully I'll give you that much. Stop playing around and be more honest. You are not a very giving person.
21 months ago: This is a good site to learn from people and benefit from discussions. We learn from everyone, but you have to be receptive to people.
You say I have to be right, but that is wrong to even say when I try to express myself to you and you don't see it.
What I see is that you talk out of both sides of your mouth.
Be honest. I'm very up front with people, but this is only because I care enough to speak out.
21 months ago: Eh, alright, how exactly am I intimidated by someone who achieves something? Those are not my achievements so why exactly would they bother me? I generally think I would be happy for them to achieve it. If I was competing with someone to achieve the same result I would be disappointed in myself for not having done it first. But not any less happy for their achievement.

Or are you talking specifically about religion and just generalizing? In which case I would say that I am required by my profession to study religions (plural). It is part of my educational requirements to study how religious orders function and the relationships they have with the community. I am required to know these things to better design places of worship and community connections between religious orders and the people they serve.

My personal opinion of religion is negative from my personal experiences with it and its members. It is my personal opinion that god(s,esses etc...) do not exist. Does that mean I discount information from a wiser person then myself because the source is religious? Now that would make me a small minded person wouldn't it. Which is something I do not do.

No Sunny I am not put off by it. That would require me first to buy in to the concept first. Which I do not, I also do not expect you to understand why I do not. If you haven't understood by now, you never will.

To audacity, I am pretty sure I said I do nothing that I will regret doing later. Big difference, I also said if I do something wrong I take my punishment for it. So far the only mocking thing has been: Surveyors working under water, what dedication to there job! I have also said I was a non believer and stated my reasons.
21 months ago: I do not believe in Jesus is putting him down? Or not beleiving he is the son of god is putting him down? or replying to a post with a story and commenting on it is putting him down. When the story doesn't appear to have any relationship to what is going on is putting it down?

How can I dare to presume to question anything about Jesus that was written so? quite simply, the story doesn't make sense in the context it was used in the event the bible was speaking about. I understand it was a religious moment. I understand that the point was: do not skip a meal freely given.

However the story was about anger and spite. Which had nothing to do with what was happening at the time. Thus it makes no sense to me to included it. The event of Jesus talking to his disciples had no correlation between what was happening and the story beyond a meal was held. So I guess then, yes I am putting him down in the context that you are using.

If you consider it so, that is your perception of it. However I am still waiting for your answer Sunny. Do you consider the person in Jesus story shows good behavior and moral character in how he handled the disappointment of his dinner guests being unable to attend dinner? Yes or No, followed by Why you think so.
21 months ago: Yep. According to the way it works around here, if you don't fall on your knees and profess your immediate conversion to Christianity, every fact you present, every thought you express will be taken as a slight, a put-down or mocking of Christianity. At least by several of the pro-Christian posters. There are some who will debate you without taking offense at every chance they get.
21 months ago: No, but comprehending in a way that is sarcastic and mocking is, and at the same time telling a Christian that they misunderstand is rude and disrespectful.
I lived with atheist growing up, I don't care what they think or believe. It seems they are always after us bashing Christianity and the name of Jesus.
You see it as anger and spite, but we see it differently.
21 months ago: Ok sunny I will break down what I said about the story. Then you do the same with the same block of text and we will see if you are right or not. You must really dislike being corrected when you make a mistake and it is pointed out.

I wouldn't consider a person who flips out over people excusing themselves from a banquet a man. More of a boy then anything else. (My personal opinion on the character of the person int the story)

I would also ask Jesus for the rest of the story. Because he is clearly leaving things out. (Story is incomplete, Nothing leading up to the event and nothing during the event, no conclusion)

I am a more detailed orientated fellow with my moral stories. Because how, why and result are very important to the lesson. (My personal preferences on moral literature)

It seems more of a political slight (reason guests didn't show up),

and to get back at them he instead "invited" the destitute to his home instead. (personal opinion)

As they would make better guests then his supposed friends. (my logic on why he did what he did)

A very petty and small thing to do (I disagree with the characters reasons),

helped those in need of a good meal for sure. (good point of the story, actually followed the ideas of the bible)

But done out of resentment and anger and not in help of those who needed it. (In contrast to loving thy brother message and caring for fellow human beings)

There is no substance to the story, no result of the action. Did the poor prove to be better guests then those he had invited? Did he learn anything from interacting with those guests? (bad writing, no conclusion, no development of character, story had no relevance to what was going on. My personal opinion of the story)

As it stands the story and the reason Jesus told it have nothing in common with one another beyond a meal was eaten. (Final analysis and my opinion on the tale told by Jesus).

We call this a analysis of a story, it is very common.
21 months ago: Nethel,

IF you consider that Jesus' stories were told to His disciples, you would see that many of His parables paralleled things that He had already taught, or preformed miracles about. Your narrow perspective of an isolated story takes nothing away from the context of the historical day's events, nor our contemporary understanding of the entire chapter written about it (good thing). Many time Jesus left off part of a story for those who would be interested in the end.

He was a magnificent teacher, this is why His teachings are still the No. 1 bestselling work in history! Your critique doesn't even weigh-in as humorous... even scholars that aren't Christian, bear appreciation for the enduring words of Christ; even other religions hold Christ as an amazing Master; not even taking your unlearned assessment of a parable of Jesus personally... you need to do your homework !:]
21 months ago: Nethel, you couldn't break down anything to me. You can't teach me anything about Jesus.
Anyone who loves Christ is not someone who has to be corrected, but maybe according to the law of Nethel because you don't understand.
I'm glad that Truth explained it to you.
You try to be deameaning to greatness. It will never happen.
You can't recognize that Jesus' name is the most powerful in the world. You can't recognize that people love him.
You talk about yourself a lot but see nothing exceptional in ayone else.
To me, you mock him because you aren't him.
It is almost like a jealousy. Your interpretation is way off base and you twist the story to look as if Jesus was nothing.
Wow. I've never seen this before. You have a total disrespect and it has to flow over in your life. I wouldn't knock any faith or belief.
If I don't care that you don't believe, why is that you keep painting yourself into a corner with your words against Christ and come across in an evil way. You could never change my thinking. I dislike evil. I make no mistakes when I see it. Just those words that you said to me about dislike being corrected when I make a mistake and it is pointed out. That's an excuse to cover ignorance on your part.
Too bad. You want to believe that people who have experienced great things and have a good spiritual life are making mistakes because they don't think like you. Heaven help me. You've got a lot to learn. You certainly are not wise. You better get out more in this world.
Again, you can correct me all you want as long as you got it right.
I don't think so.
21 months ago: Sunny are we talking about your interpretation of what I am saying not what ever this Jesus thing is you are hung up about. Could you please pick something and stick with it rather then going random. Obviously I have nothing to teach you about Christ, I am not a follower of his.

What I was doing was explaining to you my comments that you felt were: "comprehending in a way that is sarcastic and mocking is, and at the same time telling a Christian that they misunderstand is rude and disrespectful." When I made comments about a story TB Posted.
21 months ago: TB wth does that have to do with the story you presented and its lack of relevance to the event in question? Seriously, the relevance of the whole work has nothing to do with the fragment you posted to prove your point. Which it doesn'tt because the fragment has no reference to each other. Then a shared meal between the event Jesus was holding and the event in his story.

Nothing narrow viewed about it, you present a specific piece of work to support your point. The scripture in question doesn't because the event Jesus was hosting had nothing relevant between itself and the story he told other then the meal itself. Read it yourself again and this time remove the biblical filter and understand what is being said. Does that story even sound relevant to what is going on?

Compare the two:

Bible: Jesus and his disciples are sharing a meal, foolish is the man who doesn't accept a gift freely given. Be that food or salvation (its up to interpretation and how metaphorical you want to be).

Story Told: I invite guests to enjoy the bounty of my table, they send notice that they can not make it because of other events in their lives. In anger I deny them the food and instead give it to anyone who will come and take it. So they can not have any of it!

What do these two events have in common with each other? From the piece you post... nothing. Now you want to tell me that Jesus invited other religious leaders to share a meal at his table and hear his wisdom. To which they agreed, but later said no.

Then Jesus had his followers go out and collect any who would like to listen to his sermons and break bread with him. THEN it becomes relevant to the events in question. As it stands from YOUR presented piece, the story and the event have nothing in common other then a meal was eaten. If your post is how it is written all the experts in the world could agree how great the whole work is. Doesn't make the story any more relevant to the events happening.
21 months ago: Nethel, "You say I seem to have misunderstood somewhere here" Again, 1st sentence negative. You are obviously doing this deliberately. You must have considerable practice.
In this world woman are important, recognized and have big jobs. I don't get that woman are important in your world. God isn't important and you don't give him a chance, why would you be respectful to anyone or their beliefs.
Everything you say about Jesus you have misunderstood. You can't accept that other people have an open heart to love Him and accept Him.
I won't accept your view of Him. You have no idea. You will not recognize that others know something you don't. Therefore, you say I seem to have misunderstood. It will never happen, and I will never accept a nonbeliver trying to darken my beliefs.
You have a big imagination and try to change the entire concept of the Bible. You are playing mind games.
It's blasphamy the way you talk about our Lord. Nothing more to say to you.

21 months ago: Noted that you think so, I will no longer correct you when you misread what I have said and will instead let you continue as is. Not sure where the woman thing comes from, have I treated anyone else differently? nope I have not. Pretty sure I treated everyone equally on the subject.

Sunny I honestly do not care if you accept Jeues or not. The topic was redemption, I asked Ed a question that he never answers about the circular logic in his post about true saving faith. I then further commented about heaven as a place and hell as a place, both given physical description and physical events that apply to a none physical entity the soul.

TB posted a story and I pointed out that it didn't make sense with the event in question and the story Jeses was telling. You then commented and I asked you a question about it. It seems to have upset you and for that I am sorry. It wasn't intended to upset you, it was to ask your opinion on the story and the points I had made. If you do not want to talk about it that is fine.

As I said in the other thread, case closed.
21 months ago: My Dear Nethel did you ever think that possibly you are interpreting things the way you only see them and not what others see.
I'm talking the words of Jesus that are practiced down the ages.
Yes, it is better I don't talk about this. I don't want any shadows cast.
21 months ago: No, do you consider me making a comment about something ed said to you as it applied to you are correct interpretation of what I had written? Or would that be a wrong interpretation of what I had posted? cause I am pretty sure I am right.

21 months ago: Case isn't closed if you constantly mock.
I don't care what the topic was.
With the woman thing, you are very negative when I have my opinion, and you express it just like this that I misread. If I see it coming across a certain way, I'll answer in any way I please. Maybe you should explain yourself more clearly. I never see or hear a professional anywhere talk in riddles.
Well, there is a heaven and we do have souls. You just don't know yet.
21 months ago: Believe what ever you want Sunny, it is clear even after I explain what I am saying to you that you do not understand. (No that isn't negative, that is called an observation, however feel free to take it as a negative). Your definition of negative I have no idea where you got it from. From my understanding anything said to you that points out an error you have made or corrects your interpretation of what was actually posted is negative.

No riddles Sunny, plain english is being used. Short hand as I flip from screen to screen as I work, but still english. Which only you seem to have a problem with, from the replies I get, everyone else seems to understand what I am saying just fine. If you have never heard a person speak professionally sit in on a legal debate where the words being used mean something entirely different from there dictionary definitions.

To your last comment Sunny, neither do you. You are taking it on faith that what you believe is true. Right back where we started, but I am done dancing as I said in the other post.
21 months ago: I love it! Sunny is defending her faith in a religion that centers around a man whose entire life's teachings is written in riddles and then claims to never see or hear a professional talk in riddles all while listening to "professionals" quote from the Bible!

You're talking to a stump Nethel, a very irritable one.
21 months ago: He is my God and I love Him, Six.
What makes the difference is that I'm just a person, not a professional. I'm a person that witnesses God's love.
I'm sorry I'm so irritating to you and Nethel, and I hope that you find him some day.
21 months ago: Ed you wrote a good piece.
I said what I had to. I am tired of people casting a dark shadow on our faith because they don't know enough and haven't experienced God's love and will. That's their problem. They don't have what we share. Sunny
21 months ago: Sunny, this subject is nagging them, they are asking themselves, could they be right? When a non believer writes on the subject, what do we do? God will be pleased with us for the manner we have responded.

He wants all to be Saved, but it is a free choice, I do hope that a seed has been planted.
21 months ago: Huey, I thank you for the U-tube link, very good, I will use it in the future.
21 months ago: TB, thanks also for the videos.
21 months ago: The good that comes out of this is, all Christians blogging are in agreement when we have not even seen each other, like the Gospels that were written, the same story, but from different retrospectives.
21 months ago: Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
J oy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
X alting God most high
Y es, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Z ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

"I AM Too blessed to be stressed!" The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.
The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything. Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.
21 months ago: Nice Edward Although things are not perfect........
Huey Newton
Huey Newton
21 months ago: Edward.

You wrote a great piece here that I bet we could all learn some more things from, if we would take the time to read it again. Drop our glasses and read it again for real.

How can folks KNOW they are saved when they are hesitant to or even afraid to consider the very real possibility that we are all created beings? Created on purpose and for a purpose higher than ourselves; that we are accountable and that we do not belong to ourselves. Hmmm?

On top of that, throw in the possibility that we may actually live forever and that the outcome of that may be specifically and directly based on an objective truth that we choose to deny, fear, and dismiss?

A denial, not based on evidence, but based on personal bias, pain, prejudice, traditions and whims. How is that for objectivity, tolerance and understanding coming from the skeptical side of thangs? Figment. Ever lead a horse to water that won't drink? Not even a sip? Hee-Haaw!! Loved that show.

I'll tell you this: one can't know or be sure of a **** thing in this life in a confused state like that. Nope. Not in a million years. Or is that a billion?
21 months ago: That is is good advice Huey, we should all read it again for real.
21 months ago: I'll read it again. We have been distracted going back and forth.
How can anyone think that there is no more for us except this little planet. This little planet is very important as a beginning for us to move on.
The new space discovery is massive. Has everyone seen this?
Who can doubt the possibility of anything existing with this new proof of exploration.
21 months ago: Have all of you seen this? The largest structure in the Universe found.
How can anyone say there isn't a higher power.
21 months ago: Proverbs:9:7

"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. 8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

21 months ago: Edward I read your post again it is so open and beautifully written.
I agree with everything you say in it.
You went through a lot. It is so GRAND when you can recognize and reveal your heart and make that change for the better. I have reached a point where I had enough of and change came. One has to make an attempt at it.
I find it exciting and interesting to live and see marvels happening in my life and others close to me each day.
People have to learn to try to be more giving of themselves. If they aren't giving, they never recognize when they are receiving grace for free and a better life opens up for them.
Believing for some at times comes slowly, but even if there is an openness to life seeing there is more to be aware of and being more accepting, you grow. Opportunities come with growth, it is mostly a way of thinking and visualizing your life ahead of you, and life becomes fuller. Being stagnant in thought, you gain nothing. I believe and life isn't always perfect or goes my way, but everything comes in time because you learn from it. I don't remember any one time in my life that I was unhappy or looked at a situation that I felt I was being punished because I was out of work or didn't have enough money or wasn't well or there were some pretty bad hardships. We get knocked down, the only place to go is up and try harder because of faith. The faith makes you stronger to survive it all. That's life.
21 months ago: Quote You:
My depression lasted for a year and a half but once again I felt strong and invincible. I joined a choir and the Full Gospel Businessmen. I was delighted to give my testimony and felt so much love for my fellow man. Being an inquisitive person, I savored every sermon that I heard, taking the words into my very spirit so I could learn more about my creator.

You had depression because you were unhappy. You took that first step and everything followed that was positive.
Ahhhhhh music can heal.
21 months ago: Nethel in answer to your remarks.
I don't want to comprehend my religion the way you do or read anything that is mocking. Nor do I want to read or even try to understand what you wrote. I won't read it.
You don't have any concept at all of life. Your the kind who does not see the forest for the trees. You can insult me all you want and say over and over again I don't comprehend. My life is so fulfilling and so rich that who cares what you say or think.
21 months ago: You didn't answer any of them actually. Your concerns have nothing to do with my comprehension of your religion. It is that I am somehow desgising negative remarks towards you in my replies. Which I kindly broke down for you and asked you to find the negative comments that I am directing at you.

But it is still ok for you to tell me that I have to read your entire posts from beginning to end? A double standard but alright, I will accept the standards you are setting.

(Start Sarcasm now) That is very true Sunny, I have no concerns for life at all. That is why I am in the environmental design field and a student of the science of environments. I do not care about ecosystems, human habitation, my fellow humans and raising the living standards of others. I have no Humanitarian work to my name, well except those few times with habitat for humanity. But they do not count! Then there is the free work I do, but I was weak willed and couldn't tell them no. (end sarcasm, this has been a test of the Nethel Sarcasm filter)

Who cares indeed Sunny, except you do as you keep posting about it. Now I have been very patient with you on this matter. But that now official ends, since you are only running away and avoiding every time I pull the mentioned post and break it down for you. I shall let you flee the conversation YOU started and refused to comment on. I have been more then civil in entertaining your grievance.

"My life is so fulfilling and so rich that who cares what you say or think" I do not think you are being very honest with yourself sunny. Because their is no need for you to justify your life style to me. If any of that statement was true we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. To ask a question when something doesn't make sense is to mock it. To make observations and point out a error is negative criticism. To question is to sin. I'll add that to my data on the christian condition, I think it will make later conversations easier for all parties involved.
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21 months ago: Not long ago a man came to me with Bible in hand and this passage highlighted. He said to me, "I don't get or agree with this verse. What right does man have to test and approve God's will?" I said, "Well, to a certain degree, that's what you're doing right now. You're testing what His Word says, so let's look a little deeper."

One of the key principles in Biblical study is to make sure that what we're looking at is in the proper context. What previously has Paul been discussing? The transformation and renewal of our minds. So how does this occur? And further, how do we find God's will? The answer to both questions is through God's Word. Scripture begins the metamorphosis -- from the inside out -- it is how we meet Jesus personally, receive His Holy Spirit internally, and thereby gain insight into God's infinite wisdom.

Paul writes of this to Titus in Titus 3:5: "...he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." It works like this: When we permit the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, we then are able to discover and test the will of God. As we yield to His will we realize it is first good, then acceptable, and finally perfect. The ultimate result is harmony between God's will and our own Ð ours is thus brought into alignment with His.
21 months ago: Call me a coward Nethel, but I could not live without God for one minute. Having the HOPE of Heaven is the best gift any human could hope for.

Having to depend on the Lord to supply our needs and knowing that He is as near as the mention of his name is comforting, I pray that all would accept His Gift of Salvation and avoid damnation. Life is for a fleeting duration it will pass as quickly as a moment.

My Son and his family, I have four sons; eyes are also blinded. I pray for his Salvation every day, and will pray for yours. Jesus loves all of us, even if some of us do not love Him.

21 months ago: I do not think that is cowardice Ed. Cowardice to me, is running away because you are afraid of something. Letting fear rule your mind and to give in to fears. Not entirely sure where you got the idea from. Or are you saying that because you are religus I would think less of you for it because I live my life without its guidance? I would tell you that I do not hold you to the standards I hold myself and I do not measure your worth based on them. I measure it based on what you do. If you need religion, you need it I can not make that decision for you.
21 months ago: Yup, Nethel and you have it and don't even know it. You are guided by a God, not yourself as no one can do it alone.
You don't recognize it yet.
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21 months ago: Nethel, I have to do this again. Too early for me. What time is it anyway?
Nethel, I know that your life is rewarding as it is.
I'm not trying to prove anything to you. I'm relating to you how happy I am with mine and how easy it is to have perspective. That alone is enough to give purpose to living. I find truth in God, my family, my love for life. I've neer been unhappy. You had it rough, and I understand that. I had it rough at times, but it never bogged me down.
You come across as your work being the most important thing in your life. Jobs are used as leverage to do what we want in life in order to achieve our goals and fulfill our dreams. It is what we do outside of work that counts.
Who we are as people is more important.
I'm looking to find the person in you. At this point, I see you as a young person with a journey ahead of him. That's all good. That's part of being young, and you owe it to yourself to ask questions and to wonder.
I read your post, I just don't want to see the name of Jesus slammed.
I stop reading when it gets mocking and against my experiences with God. Why would I read something that is not well-versed based upon no experience or reverance. It is not always in historical facts where you become knowledgeable. It is looking for your life and seeing that there is more out there to challenge and to find worthy.
Very important to have vision, Nethel.
I admire great people out there who I have met personally,and there are plenty, but you learn from them. They are special individuals.
When I mention something to you, it is because I know you have the ability.
The reason I mention ecosystems is because that is the newest thing out there and many big named architects are doing it, and you are an architect. For me, it is giving people a boost up in life. Brings people into the world.. My interest in humanity is my own but that is why only a few people go out there and make a difference. Leaders will do that. People who do this work are driven with passion. It has nothing to do with your goals that are different than mine. We are involved in UN projects and have been fortunate.
Some of the people in building or explorers that I know have achieved great things and have extraordinary lives. I admire them and want to follow in their footsteps. They are my heroes.
It really doesn't have anything to do with you. I mention this because you are an architect. We are working we a very well-known architect with great accomplishments. He is known world-wide. I thought you were looking to do more because people who want to do more have no limitations on what they can achieve. In your field, I thought the sky was the limit for you the way you speak. I apologize if I came across wrong.
As far as my faith, I don't like the name of Jesus smeared or mocked whether you feel it is only a debate or a discussion, it isn't coming across that way.
I think you can understand that.
21 months ago: My work is one of the important things in my life sunny. But I do not practice architecture for a pay cheque. I just happen to get paid for doing something that I love to do. Architecture is a multi disciplinary life science. There is almost nothing in our culture that architecture hasn't effect or is a part of. You learn early on that everything is connected and as you study it your studies move into the other facets of knowledge related to it.

Fine arts, sociology, archeology, geology, history, psychology, materials, physics, chemistry, botany, biology etc.. etc... All of these things effect and are in turn effected by architecture. You can spend a life time studying it and it wouldn't be a life wasted.

My work just happens to have such a wide scope that it is relevant to the discussion at times. Do I have a home life? yes, Do I have hobbies? Art (Pen and ink, painting, sculpting and drafting), architecture, Music (used to play Rythmic guitar and am learning tenor and alto sacaphone), Boxing, Video games, reading, model rts (Warhammer 40k in specifics). My friends and I have a biweekly get together and spend 5 hours hanging out on Sundays. May not sound like it from me at times but I do have a life outside of work. My job just has crunch points where we have high volume and need to get things out of the office asap.

My vision sunny is of a world where everyone has the basics of life. I will do more sunny, as I have said in another post I started. I am working several projects right now for that goal. Should I get the mechanical/power system figured out things will get very interesting I believe. It will just take time to get it to work. I am also working two proposals, one for altruist and another for a design theory in sustainable architecture competition that is held yearly. The last two didn't work, first didn't meet what they were looking for and the second had already been done by another applicant (explaining that one sucked and I withdrew).
21 months ago: Good answer.
Except one thing Nethel which is very obvious, you never recognize anyone else for their accomplished. Why is that? We have done so much, and it has been covered by the media and noticed by the Government. I don't think anything of it but want to do more because the need is endless. That's more important to me.
People are born with talent. No education in the world will get anyone anywhere without the qualities of talent, perservance, and passion.
Quotation: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Nethel, religion is one subject that has the widest scope, architecture can't compare to it. No other subject can match it.
I worked with a project manager who built skyscrapers in NYC, and he told me that they were the simpliest structures because each floor was the same. Religion is more complex than any old building. Each person you may think of for a moment as part of a skyscraper but with totally different facets and made of multiple building blocks of all sizes and shapes. How much more complex can it get.
I'm just saying what I know. My Dad had no problem building and never had to talk as if it were the ultimate. Growing up, I didn't think this was a big deal.
Highrise buildings were no problem to him. Never even liked to talk about work.
21 months ago: Nethel if your vision is truly set for everyone to have the basics in life, than it is never to soon to start. I wish you well.
Best to lose the ego at the door. That's the best advice anyone can give you if you want to work for humanity.
I think you have a lot to offer.
21 months ago: Uh Sunny, I do recognize other people for their accomplishments. But that isn't what you are asking me. What you really want to know is why do I not acknowledge your spiritual relationship with god as a accomplishment. This and your post are two separate subjects. To answer your spiritual question would take longer then I have at the moment to explain. We will leave it at I do not believe in the divine. But my personal views are just that my personal views that in no way effect yours.

Sunny, if you think it is so then it is so. I only ask you to consider this, what came first in our history of the world? Was it religion or was it shelter? Which subject do you think has the longest history with our species? Even your religion practices architecture to define its spaces when giving sermons. Be it a building, a community square or a street corner. You define a space first before you even start to give out the message.

21 months ago: Personal character and the work I do are not related to each other. Consider an actor, do you go to see them play a role on the screen (the work they do) or do you go watch the movie because of their personal aspects that have nothing to do with the role they are playing and not even considered because they are acting as a character and not themselves?
21 months ago: Six,
Yes, the volunteers that help in the search and rescue are just that.
No money is exchanged but their spirits are enriched.
I love these people for all they do. They put their own lives at risk to help others.
21 months ago: Edward, these people are lucky that we even talk to them about our faith. The other billions of Christians wouldn't bother.
21 months ago: Nethel, I'm curious an interested on your particular views on sacred religious architecture. I've been a person who early on was fascinated by the various styles and types of religious architecture -Greek, Italian, and Gothic styles. Probably this is because my family had roots in Europe as builders.

One of the projects of my Great Grandfather was that he built stone Gates in France. My Great Grandfather at that time owned a stone quarry, and he was very well-known for his work and a leader during those times. My family and I traveled to France to search for the Gate a few years ago. I know that these gates hold great symbolic meaning, and I was wondering if you would know.

This article has information on Marseille if you scroll to the middle:

How do you feel about religious architecture? Since you aren't religious, do you discriminate against religious architecture of places of worship, such as churches, mosques, and temples. I can remember studying the signs and symbols of religious art which I was taught that it was seen as compelling ideas. Then you have the ancient cathedrals in Spain and in France. I wrote on RR about the abbey Mont St. Michel in France a while ago that I had visited. You didn't comment on it, and since you are an architect, I thought you would be interested. This is why I am curious about your views.
What about the Parthenon dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens saw as their patron and probably seen as the most famous building in the world.

These structures that are created by humanity are the most precious and valued by the world. I'm awestruck by the thought of the architecture styles and religious cultures it portrays. I was always held spellbound in the designs of the cathedrals in Rome, St. Peter's Basilica for one. Do you find a greatest in the ancient architecture of these buildings? I know that you love your work but would you work on a religious project and put everything you have into it, or do you have another philosophy concerning this type of architecture?

I collect small scale buildings that I put out to display and create little towns and cities. I've been collecting these for years. I admire the work that you do because I know that you are passionate about it. I am interested in your views on it.

21 months ago: I wanted to add that the original creators of the ancient styles of architect had to be very, very religous people.
21 months ago: Some where Sunny but not all. Ancient architecture is very iconic inspired, structures were not just buildings but also historical events immortalized in the structure that were important to the culture. It was for lack of a better term, a book that told a important story of the community. So people would remember the stories by reading it on the building.

Our cultural first language was pictographic and it was a tradition that continued up until the 1940's. Then we hit a "less is more", "minimalistic" trend in design. Which is the skyscrapers, where everything became more about how high we could build. The architectural community is on the half way fence if this was a good idea or not.
21 months ago: No I do not discriminate against projects Sunny. I have done two churches from ground up and one church renovation for my own community. Religious assemblies require a deep understanding of what the clergy do and how they relate to the community in which they are a part of. You can not go into such a structure with preconceived notions of spacial design. They do not apply to this structure and you have to work with the clergy to design there space for the unique work they do. Not all churches are built the same in any religion. They are tailored to the unique apsec's of the community and the clergy who run them.

It is more important to focus on the social aspects of the clergy and congregation then it is to the sermons hall. Anyone can draw a sermons hall with pews and a podium for the clergy to speak from. The main hall just has a few design questions to it. Can everyone see? can everyone hear? Exiting for fire, and a acoustic treatment for sound.

What is more important is the before and after the sermons. You need to design public space for the congregation to be with each other. Allow the clergy to mingle with them and provide secluded sections where a private conversation between a member of the congregation and clergy can be had without having to go behind locked doors. While at the same time proving private space for the same.

Added to the programing is the varied nature of the events that are held at the structure. A religious structure is more then just a place for prayer and sermons. It is also a community hall, recreation center, shelter, school, administration and archive building. Its grounds also are more then just a place to park and are not any less important then the inside.

Ultimately the overall design system follows the architectural creed's of: Design like you give a damn, Design a building for that site and not one that can be plunked any where, & consider what is around it to make it fit in the community and not stick out like a sore thumb