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Hello everyone,

I realize the concept of integrating religion with the spiritual may be a touchy subject for some, but for the sake of discussion, and a need of mine to get these questions out, I would very much like to explore anything of a religious/spiritual nature, especially with anyone who is well-versed in the Bible.

I have never been one to take the Bible literally (I still am not), but with certain things going on in my life right now, I am really, honestly starting to believe in God/Jesus/Higher Power. I always said I was more spiritual, than religious, and I still think that. But so help me if I really feel like God/Jesus is calling out to me.

There are a lot of questions that I have, and I have tried to read the Bible, but I can't get too far, at least in the Old Testament, before I start feeling discouraged, and I've had Christians tell me, "Oh, don't read the OT, just read the NT." They flat out tell me to ignore reading the OT altogether, pretty much. :| What do I make of this?

Has anyone here been to a Bible study? If so, did it help you to understand it a little bit more? To be honest, I still have some aversion to reading it, because I feel like "man" has integrated it with their own beliefs here and there. I DO believe in certain aspects of the Bible, but I also believe that certain aspects of it are questionable, and not necessarily word from the true God. Which is why I have such a hard time understanding the content... and feeling like going to church will just raise more questions from me, and get me kicked out. :P

...Does anyone have any insight(s)?
My Dear Prism,

I would give you the same advice I would give anyone. Bring your feelings AND mind into the process. Before giving this book so much power, give it the same scrutiny you would any other book of its type. Study its history, its etymology; what was going on in the world at that time; how the content in this collection of stories came into being (much of it borrowed directly from religions preceding it); the hands it has passed through over the millenia and how they changed it, altered it to fit their needs; how so much of its content was excluded by political and church power-possessors colluding at various points in time; the translations into other languages by non-enlightened human beings. It is a miracle that anything of value made it through.

In my opinion, the primary reason the Bible has "survived" all these years has almost nothing to do with its merits in present form. It is that 1) so many people feel their lives and well-being depend on it, and therefore it must survive; and 2) anyone taught it as a child (which includes me) is going to have an irrational attachment to it, and a hard time weaning themself from it just like anything else they were taught before they had any reasoning faculty of their own. That's why ideologies of ANY kind prefer to get kids involved at as young an age as possible. I was taught to sing this ditty when I was a tot sitting in Sunday School classes:

"Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so. "

It is burned into my memory. This is the propaganda, the programming, of creating obedience and dependence upon something outside of ourselves, pure and simple. There is not an ounce of reason or truth in it.

Look at the tracks it left in you. If you had been born in another part of the world, you might have been in Hindu or an Al Qaeda school, and you would be feeling the same irrational, unexplainable pulls to that belief system. It's just early-childhood programming, and nothing else. You had nothing to do with it. Nor did Jesus. This is what conditioning looks (and feels) like.

I think you know how difficult it is, once we have a sense of ourself, to root out these sort of implanted, irrational beliefs. Letting go of it feels like you are losing a part of yourself. But it is noble and necessary work to find one self. Otherwise, you're just living out your programming. Trust your own mind, your own assessment of things, not the dictates of any book. And please be patient - understanding generally comes at the end of a learning process. You will find plenty of help and support to set your mind straight.

"You must unlearn what you have learned." Yoda
"Men go crazy in congregations, we only get better one by one." Sting
Hi Precaud : )
Thank you for your input.

I didn't really grow up in a Christian home, as a matter of fact, my babysitter had more of a belief in church and the Bible than my parents did. :P
But I have heard about Jesus and such as a child, just never really took off from it for some reason. In the back of my head I suppose I believed God/Jesus existed, but was also one of those people that didn't believe in them. I felt like, "Sure, God exists. But He's not doing anything to help us. We're on our own." so I didn't have that faith.

That started to change when things started to happen. I could swear I'm being given signs that point me to God/Jesus.

Now I like to consider myself a pretty rational person. One of the reasons I couldn't read the Bible is because of all the troubling/disturbing elements in it. And I couldn't understand why a loving God would send anyone to hell. If it's not something I, as a human, would do, then how could a loving/omniscient being do it? It just didn't make sense to me.

Which is why I believe in reincarnation. It gives us that opportunity that if we fail in this lifetime, then perhaps we can learn from that and try again in another. And another. Some Christians say that the Bible doesn't teach that reincarnation is real, although that is debatable...

And if God is all-knowing, why would He create beings that He knows is going to fail at life and sin, and be destined to hell in the first place? :| All of it was so questionable to me so I turned my back on it.

Then I got into spirituality and realized, "This is more like it. There's so much more here that makes sense. The Bible is ultimately written by man. Word of God, perhaps, but only to the extent of how man dictated it. What if he got the message wrong? What if he incorporated things that he wanted to happen in it? What if the (MANY) translations got misunderstood? What if, what if, what if?" I couldn't understand why so many people can hold so much stock in a book that was written thousands of years ago, yet can't believe a flesh and blood person standing right infront of them saying, "Yes, I've seen the light of God. He's telling us to love one another."

Certain Christian's rebuttal: "No, sorry, you've been deceived. You see, satan can masquerade as an angel of light. The light you saw is merely him, trying to lead you away from Christ."

So entirely forgetting these verses in the Bible, that they hold so much value to:
---------------------------
1 John 4:16 ESV
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

John 13:35 ESV
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

-----------------------------

So I do believe that there are truths to the Bible, but I also believe that there are A LOT in it that doesn't hold water. And also that some Christians don't read the Bible and are instead relying in everything that they're told in church, or simply not understanding it. Or perhaps, like you suggested, they have that desperation to cling to something so steadfastly that it blinds them to everything else. They call it "faith", but when certain things don't add up, there must be a glimmer of wisdom to discern why - that they will probably label as "doubt". I think if we are to seek God/Jesus, we shouldn't just follow something in blind faith (Bible), because that seems like an easy way to be led astray. But if we are to seek with a pure and honest heart, we may find the truth.

Now as for why I personally believe there's a God/Higher Power/Source (near death experiences aside), doesn't stem from the Bible or even faith, but instead the SIGNS. They are mind-boggling to me. I feel like I am being given signs as to His existence.
If we can believe that we are being given insights through near death experiences, couldn't we also believe we are being given insights here on Earth?


And I don't mean to offend any Christians. I know many that are very open-minded and have the same questions. : )
I'm a Christian pastor (mainstream Protestant) and I can only applaud your line of questioning and your logical conclusions.
These same questions have been important to my own spiritual development. They moved me away from the type of faith my parents instilled. Blind acceptance based on the bible or church dogma where the bible is inconsistent, which it is in many places.

These very questions lead me to finding a way to reconcile science and belief, which ultimately landed me in mainstream Protestant Christianity. I'm not saying that is the end all be all of believing, don't get me wrong. Its just where I am and where I am still tolerated for now. Studying theology helped to close the gaps further but still my personal experience leads me to continue the search for what is good.

I would also start reading the bible from the new testament if the old is too much for you. However, reading it as you would any other book, as Precaud suggested, might help remove some of the aversion. After all, if you are reading it with the preconceived idea that you need to be in agreement with everything that happens, (murder, incest, rape, genocide etc) or that it is a literal history and Gods will to the letter, then it may (should?) be too much to stomach.

Starting with the New Testament will let you focus on the person Jesus Christ. The bible in its current form is indeed fallible as Precaud correctly states, but it is pretty much all we have these days to study Jesus of Nazareth and his earthly life. The life and works of Jesus are basically a commentary on the Old testament and the form of Judaism that he grew up in. Its very telling and a shame that many of the issues of his time are still bothering churches (strict adherence to dogma, judgmentalism) and people (poverty, exploitation) of today!

As a Christian I love Jesus and worship God; after all God is love. I read the bible but don't worship it. Its just a book, essential to my faith as it is, it contains many errors and omissions (even by its own admission). I trust that the Holy spirit will help me discern what is good, and in the mean time I keep sifting through the world like a gold miner sifting through mud, in search of precious nuggets of truth. More often than not I encounter precious nuggets of people along the way and that helps me keep my hopes up ;-)
Hi DennisMe : )

Thank you for your advice and your encouraging words. I really appreciate it!


And this is how new I am to "researching" Christianity/the bible/etc. I had to look up what Protestant meant. XP And that led to reading up on the differences between Catholicism and Protestants, and I am still learning and studying the other branches of Christianity - which will more than likely lead me to read up further on other religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. Just from a curious mind's sake. :P) If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been studying theology, and what was your personal experience - if you don't mind sharing? : )

DennisMe wrote: I would also start reading the bible from the new testament if the old is too much for you. However, reading it as you would any other book, as Precaud suggested, might help remove some of the aversion. After all, if you are reading it with the preconceived idea that you need to be in agreement with everything that happens, (murder, incest, rape, genocide etc) or that it is a literal history and Gods will to the letter, then it may (should?) be too much to stomach.


Indeed. :| As a matter of fact, with people saying that satan can masquerade as an angel of light, I have actually entertained the idea that it was him that some of the people in the bible wrote about, rather than the true God... since some of the messages/verses in the bible seemed... hard to grasp. Who's to say that since some people think that near death experiences nowadays are tricks of satan, that certain people that wrote the bible weren't tricked as well...? But perhaps that's blasphemy and I should be ashamed of myself for thinking that... :\ Just have a very hard time understanding some of the content...

But I will definitely start with the NT, because I do have this yearning to learn more about Jesus, and the bible is the best resource for that.
Do you believe that there are books/sections of the bible that were omitted, for one reason or another?

DennisMe wrote: Its very telling and a shame that many of the issues of his time are still bothering churches (strict adherence to dogma, judgmentalism) and people (poverty, exploitation) of today!


As a Christian I love Jesus and worship God; after all God is love.


I agree! There are so many things in this world that doesn't seem to have changed at all! A lot of people seem to be content in their own bubble without a care to what's going on with others, as long as they have their own needs and wants met, and even then, some of them can't be happy. :|

And the uncertainty of the world makes most people be selfish and greedy, because they never know what's going to befall them in the near or distant future. So we become hoarders and try to be self-sustaining. The issue with this is, if we were to ALL share our provisions, then NONE of us would be in need. There is so much food wasted, so many clothes holed up in warehouses, so many huge mansions with no one in them... but I digress. Not so much a religious or even spiritual issue (kind of...) but more of a societal/economic one.

The thing with this is, if we could tap into loving one another the way I think we should be, then this notion would spread and it would be our nature to want to share everything we have instead of holding onto materialistic ideals. And we wouldn't see the racial/religious/ethnic diversities. We would just see each other as loving beings and want to help one another.

Lately, the signs of Jesus/God have been very dominant in my life. I don't know if that's because I opened my heart to Him, and sincerely sought Him out, but it makes me wonder if He shows Himself to all who seek Him with an honest heart. Because sometimes you hear of stories of people that seek Him out, and receive nothing, so they give up. But are they just missing the signs? :\ And wouldn't asking for signs of His existence negate having faith in the first place?

...I realize no one really has the answer, but it is nice discussing these experiences and theories. : )
Good perspective from DennisMe, as always. A more moderate voice than my own.

Skipping the OT is very good advice. It paints a portrait of a "God" that is totally worth ignoring, unless fear-based living and servitude is your thing. It is a very different creature than the "Father in heaven" that Jesus refers to, and whose interest he was committed to serve.

There are actually some very good sources of info about Jesus outside of the Bible. The Koran, for starters. Most Christians do not know that Jesus is considered to be a major prophet in Islam. More recent, and my favorite, were Rudolph Stenier's various books on Jesus. The two on St. John in particular were incredibly good.

Also highly recommended are the various texts in the Nag Hammadi library. Their perspective gives a better sense of the tussle for power and influence that was going on in the fledgling church, for say the first couple hundred years after Jesus' passing. It will become clear why the orthodoxy wanted that material eliminated from the official Bible. It was largely incompatible with the hierarchy-establishment in process. The message of the Gnostics is very compelling on many levels, one in my opinion that the mainstream church has to incorporate to be complete.

Happy reading, prism; we'll see you in a few years! :)
I would like to throw my view in here and I am very open to criticism or anybody disagreeing with my view.

I do not ware a LABEL !

I am not Christian , Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist , Muslim Jehovah's Witness or any where inbetween.

Do I believe in the Bible ?

I believe at some point in time it may have been good words written on paper by someone who had a connection to what they believed was ( the Source ) of all there is or ever was.

If you have ever done that exercise where 10 people sit around in a room and the instructor tells someone a seceret and tells them to pass it to the next guy ( in a whisper ) all around the room, by the time it gets back to the instructor it is not the same message he told to the first guy.

The Bible has been translated so many times to by so many people, it is the same concept , as far as I am concerned

What do I believe , You may ask ?

I believe that I have faith (in the thought ), that there is something more than what meets the eye regarding this physical life that we all perceive to be true and call LIFE.

I wake up each day and check my computer to make sure the Forum is running correctly so that you all may come here and toss ideas back and forth and express your thought, concerns , ideas and beliefs in a non Judged environment where you all feel comfortable just sitting around talking about issues such as this.

From these chats that are all going on, you are all bringing yourselves closer to that day when you wake up and recognise,

Whatever it is that you want to believe in !!!!!

and that it is ok to have your own BELIEF, be it a belief that has a Label attached to it , or that its one that you have designed yourself , for your own personal path to understanding what it is that we are all searching for .

This movie helped me to understand in my own way !



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Garry wrote: I wake up each day and check my computer to make sure the Forum is running correctly so that you all may come here and toss ideas back and forth and express your thought, concerns , ideas and beliefs in a non Judged environment where you all feel comfortable just sitting around talking about issues such as this.

And for that, we thank you.
Thank you Garry for your input.
My search is to seek out God/Jesus/truth... and I feel as long as I am living my life to the best of my ability and live for love while searching, then maybe I am doing something right.


Thank you Precaud for those resources.. I will look into it...
Hi prismreverie,

I've not posted for a long time, but read the NDEs almost daily. They boost my faith in ways that have come as a complete surprise to me. So here comes a novel.....

My father was a pastor. 10 years college. Could read Greek, Hebrew, and "dabbled" in Aramaic. He loved the Lord with all his heart and was a fantastic father and amazing example of what I believe a Christian should be. Matter-o-fact when he left the ministry it was due to his unhappiness with the organized church we were associated. He said it had become more of a machine in as a matter of speaking. The "leaders" were most interested in numbers. Tithes and how many members were coming in. They also tried to tell the pastors how to conduct the sermons, what to preach about, the kind of music to sing/play...or NOT to sing/play. Dad was so frustrated he left the pulpit over it :( Instead he chose to minister to people by living his life as an example. He always lent a helping hand where he perceived it was needed, but with care because some folks were "fake" and he was very, good at reading that. But he was also the kind of person who would beat you into the ground if you touched one of us kids! I mean it too.....

From early childhood to adulthood before he passed away I always went to him with questions about life and the Bible. I asked if everything in the Bible was true. His answer was interesting. He believed it was Spiritually inspired, but that much of the translations were lost to time due to changes in society. An example he gave was this. Today if you were about to go give a performance and someone behind the stage said, "go out there and break a leg"....you would know they meant do a GREAT job! Imagine in 2000 years someone was translating that. Can you imagine the confusion they would have? I can.

Then there's the quote of Jesus about the camel and the eye of a needle. He didn't mean a sewing needle. The explanation is in the link. Besides, if a camel had to get through a sewing needle that meant Jesus was saying no rich person could ever enter heaven. That is absolutely not what he was saying, but sadly that is often what is being preached :(

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_a_needle

Many stories are true since the Bible is a history much of which can be verified. But Jonah and the whale? That most likely was symbolic of something else Jonah did for those 3 days in my opinion. As for reading the Old Testament, I love it but was raised with a dad who helped me understand. Some of the stories, like Joseph, are beautiful and worth the read. The New Testament is by far an easier read.

Since my father passed I became more open to other ways of worship and self-awareness. I started to meditate (still have trouble, but moving forward) and am amazed how it has helped in many ways. Then I started reading up on NDEs. To learn what the experiences have taught many brings more questions for me about the religions and faiths/beliefs of this world. They can NOT all be right, nor all wrong. What I do know is when I asked my father as a child if only Protestants go to heaven (I was very, small) he said that he believed so long as a person was TRULY searching they would find God in the end. I think that was about the best spiritual advice he ever gave me.

Also, there are many manuscripts that were intentionally left out of the Bible by the religious leaders at the time. I believe it was because the knowledge in them would give the people more "power" per se and take it away from the religious leaders. Let's take meditation as a good example. When I tell people they should try it (religious folks) you'd think I'd just grown horns, turned red, and picked up TWO pitch forks! They are almost never open to the idea as anything other than "hoo-doo".

One book you may consider is the Gospel of Thomas. It's can be found in The Gnostic Society Library along with many other wonderful texts.

I wish you all the best in your search. I feel like I'm still in the crawling stage at 52, but at least know there is so much more out there to learn and I want to grow. That's the main thing :)

Thanks for reading this very, long post. Brenda/Sevin
Thank you so much sevinufnine for your perspective. : ) I enjoyed reading it!

sevinufnine wrote: He loved the Lord with all his heart and was a fantastic father and amazing example of what I believe a Christian should be. Matter-o-fact when he left the ministry it was due to his unhappiness with the organized church we were associated. He said it had become more of a machine in as a matter of speaking. The "leaders" were most interested in numbers. Tithes and how many members were coming in. They also tried to tell the pastors how to conduct the sermons, what to preach about, the kind of music to sing/play...or NOT to sing/play.


Exactly. It is so sad how it became more about the money than the people. You say it was an organized church... who are the leaders?

And that is amazing that he could read Greek and Hebrew. I would love to pursue those languages, just to be able to read original documents would be incredible, but that is a dream that so far will be long in the making. ;)

I think your father gave you a very good answer. That it was spiritually inspired, but ultimately a lot of the messages may have been lost in translation. Or, sadly, corrupted. A lot of people with faith don't want to believe that this may be a possibility, but one thing I think God/Jesus does want us to do is use our best discernment. And that does mean to question what the "rules" are. I give what DennisMe mentioned in a different thread as an example: In Mark, since we're not supposed to "work" on Sabbath day, Jesus was called out and condemned for healing the sick. But He questioned them, basically saying, "Are you really willing to let another human being suffer? Sabbath day or not?" Even Jesus used his best discernment for good. Same with forgiving our enemies. How are we supposed to forgive some of the atrocities that people commit? It, to be honest, is mind-boggling to me even though I was *told* that's what we're supposed to do. I still struggle with it. But this is coming from Jesus/the bible also.

sevinufnine wrote: Also, there are many manuscripts that were intentionally left out of the Bible by the religious leaders at the time. I believe it was because the knowledge in them would give the people more "power" per se and take it away from the religious leaders. Let's take meditation as a good example. When I tell people they should try it (religious folks) you'd think I'd just grown horns, turned red, and picked up TWO pitch forks! They are almost never open to the idea as anything other than "hoo-doo".


lol I know what you mean! I'll read comments about people saying meditation is evil, opening a doorway to spirits, etc. etc., and I really want to know where they get the idea from. Not to ridicule them, but because I honestly want to know. Is this coming from certain sites that they read from? Personal experience? The church? I just really would like to know why they have that idea. I don't disagree that meditating could open you up to other realms, let's say, or a more open awareness, but I think perhaps that's what we should be doing to open ourselves to God/Jesus/Source... I feel as long as we meditate with good intentions (love/peace/etc.) then that is opening ourselves to high vibrations, which are, I believe, what we should be trying to reach. And I have thought that this way of "communicating with the Holy Spirit" has been kept a secret just so that people will still believe that they need to attend church in order to become close to God, instead of being able to do that themselves. That's not to say that everyone who has a position in church feels this way, just that the "religion leaders" have a part in it, if that makes sense. :\

Thank you again sevinufnine for sharing. :) I will read up further on the Gnostic library; have read some at Precaud's suggestion, and am exploring more and will add the Gospel of Thomas to my reading. : )
Hi again,

Organized church, to me, meant one of a certain denomination. Am hesitant to directly name it, but it was originally founded for foreign missionary efforts around the globe and to assist in war-torn or impoverished areas.

By leaders I mean the governing body. Had to Wiki to get the correct titles, so here goes: "Top brass" is the General Council who create policies, evaluate the progress, etc. Then there are Delegates. Then board of directors who provide general oversight. Then there are district superintendents. Local churches elect their officers/elders (this level is where my dad started to clash with the organization). Pastors are called by the elders but must be appointed by the district superintendent (where his problems escalated to in the end).

Dad questioned some of the restrictive rules to become a member. Such as to adhere to a specific set of beliefs set by the church organization. Why couldn't one simply be a member because they wanted to? He questioned why he received complaints for inviting homeless folks to church and to get a lunch, meal with the rest of us afterwards in the basement. Caused an UPROAR. Then the time he allowed the youth group to put on a music show one Sunday. They played a guitar and drums which, apparently, infuriated a few of the nasty old elders who complained and dad was told by the superintendent NEVER to let the kids play "those kinds of instruments" in the church again. Actually every time some old fart complained dad's side was never even considered. Only the elders' opinion mattered to the superintendent and those he answered to. That's not what a church is supposed to be about, right?

Hope that explains what I meant by organized church.
Hello Sevin

Glad to see you back again.

what you're describing is why I will have nothing to do with any churches period.

Doesn't matter the name of the church as I feel they are all the same
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Thank you sevin for explaining that. : )

Your Dad sounds like a wonderful man. I'm very sorry for your loss. : ( It's rare to find someone so kind and considerate, and it's sad that the others in that church were so against helping a fellow man (being homeless, most likely a monetary issue - instead of doing it out of the kindness of their heart... and seems like people who weren't following the religion to a T were ostracized).

That is something I dread coming across, because I have considered going to church, but if it is going to be keeping me on a leash about what I can believe and what I can't, and if it's about building a tight-knit community where no one else is welcome, then that is not for me. I have thought about going to a non-denominational church and seeing if that resonates with me.

And again, as far as meditation goes, perhaps one way of looking at it is being in deep prayer, but instead of constantly having thoughts in our head about praising God/Jesus, or asking for something or other, or praying for someone, etc., we instead quiet our ever busy mind and let the Holy Spirit communicate with us. I think that may be part of certain religious leader's conspiracy to keep us away from this contact. And they use the "meditating is evil because you can come in contact with demons" reason. I don't know if this is true, but if it is, then in my belief, just knowing that Jesus is stronger, more powerful than demons should ease the mind. After all, these religious leaders should know that Jesus/God trumps demons hands down. So why feed into this fear?

Now I have no experience with this sort of thing, so if someone does, then please feel free to share it. I am open to different possibilities and am willing to admit that one should take necessary precautions before meditating.

I have also been trying to integrate the meditation technique that Marguy posted in the "bad energy" thread:
A Way to Heal the Inner Child
I need to dedicate some time to do this before bed, as I am usually up right until the moment I decide to go to sleep, and then I'm out. :P But during the weekend is easier, so it is a work in progress for me. ;)
Hi Garry and thank you! Actually I've been around. Read the NDEs all the time. Just hadn't logged in and posted although I think about doing so (and should).
prismreverie,

Yes, dad was special to many people. When he left that church 1/2 of the members also left which was really quite sad. I've no idea where they wound up attending if they did at all.

I don't attend church any longer myself. Can't deal with all the tradition stuff, but if you manage to find a good one it would be nice. A saying I heard once and like is "you're living in your church." I think that's good to remember. Plus the Bible tells us to work out our own salvation. Not to let someone else tell you how it's supposed to be done.

Here's a link I was directed to by someone on this board a while back that has a great 3 minute meditation. So far I like what I've been reading on the site and have decided to take a few of the courses it offers.

http://www.peterrussell.com/Meditation/Meditations.php

Hoping it helps with the road block I've come up against in my own spiritual growth. Probably my issue is frustration at times when I'm not progressing faster as I want, but it will likely work itself out in the end.

Have a great day!
Wow! That's amazing that your dad had such an influence on the members, a positive one it seems to be able to step outside of all the unnecessary dogma that the church was trying to implement. It is sad though that it was like their second home, and they felt compelled to leave it. : (

I think it is important that we work on our salvation, but most importantly, actually want to work on it. A lot of people seem to just want to live in the moment, which isn't so bad in itself, but when they don't think about their actions and the consequences it may cause, will be harmful to them and others as well.

One really touching account that I came across is this man's testimony:

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It kind of explains why everything we do does matter. And it's especially the little things that make the most difference. It doesn't matter the job you have, the perfect score you got in calculus, or how many cars you have, but how we treat each other.

But certain churches want people to believe that you have to perform this ritual, and say these prayers, and go to church every Sunday... I honestly don't think it's about any of that. If the churches are in it for the people and want to help the community, then that's great! But some (most?) are in it for the money, or a different kind of agenda that is hard to swallow, but may be there nonetheless..

Thank you for that link! I will check it out. : )

And I know what you mean by wishing you could progress faster. ;) There are so many resources and information and growth to be done, that I get frustrated that there's only 24 hours in a day. XP I also need to work, take care of my son, sleep, live life, have fun, seek truth and Jesus.. that I get a little discombobulated. (ha, that's a fun word to use. :P)
Sevin, your dad sounds like just the sort of pastor I aspire to being!
I can relate to those experiences and remember getting chewed out by some old farts for eating pancakes on sunday with a (VERY well-behaved!!!) youth group. Needless to say eating pancakes was quickly forbidden from then on. It sometimes feels like an uphill battle...


Prismreverie: You absolutely nailed it!!!
"I don't know if this is true, but if it is, then in my belief, just knowing that Jesus is stronger, more powerful than demons should ease the mind. After all, these religious leaders should know that Jesus/God trumps demons hands down. So why feed into this fear?"
There's a little gem in the bible somewhere that says "perfect faith banishes all fear". And its true, we should be like babies on mother's lap. 100% faith. There's one thing a lot of Christians forget when they say Jesus saves, meaning that he saves from sin. Sure, but more especially he saves us from fear. He shows us God is love and love conqurers all. So what is there to fear?
At least, for those who get the message. Sadly a lot of organised religion uses fear to keep their butts seated firmly in the plush...
Dennis,

Thank you for the compliment on my dad. He loved us well and I still missed him 15 years on.

As for the type of pastor you want to be, you'll be exactly the type you're supposed to be if you speak from the heart and don't allow some "rank and order" in the church to dictate/pressure on how you're supposed to do that. (Oh, and eat pancakes EVER Sunday with the youth group if you wish, they'll love you more for it.)

Since I like to tell stories about dad, you'll LOVE his last sermon which is the one he gave the Sunday he resigned. I'm paraphrasing, but you'll get the gist of it. Our family knew he would resign that Sunday....as did the elders. But not the congregation. Here's what he did. Started off standing there looking at everyone in the pews and said, "Today, you are looking at a dying man." Imagine the gasps?! I was confused myself because I knew he was healthy and had no idea what he was up to, but was sure he'd something up his sleeve. So he went on to give a great sermon about how we should conduct our lives as if every day were the last, how our bodies and spirits will be renewed after this earthly existence, so on and so forth. A few elders were even wiping away tears (which to this day I am sure was for show).

At the end of the sermon he says the Bible teaches we should consider ourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God, and believed we must work daily to achieve this. He hoped everyone listening, both young and old, were also dying to sin and becoming more alive in spirit because our bodies will surely die. That's a fact from the day we are born. But our spirits live on for eternity. He repeats about everyone looking at a dying man. Dying to this imperfect world and sin. He said then, "I don't know how long God plans to keep me here on earth, but I will continue to die to sin best of my ability until that day."

You could have heard a pin drop in the basement of that place at this point. Everyone was stunned because from 1st sentence of the sermon up until now, their emotions were running high thinking their pastor was going to die an illness or disease or something!

At this point, he finally submit his resignation "with regret" stating it wasn't the decision he wanted, but it was "necessary due to circumstances outside of his control". This did that NOT go over with the folks that loved him. Some shouted out "NO" or "WHY?" while others truly burst out crying. A few of the old curmudgeon elders stood up and walked out at this point (no hand-shake at the door from them that day!). I'm sure they were not please with his sermon at all either.

I loved it and it's the one I remember best :)

I'm sure you're already a great pastor by the way.....
Awesome story!
Don't be too harsh on those elders though, "for they know not what they do". Lets hope that their eyes will be opened in this life, thereby saving a lot of people a lot of pain.
I'm not in ministry at the moment; I don't really fit in most congregations.
Hi Dennis,

Feel free to minister to us. :P I am enjoying everything you write. : ) And to be honest, I would be worried if you did fit into most congregations... ;P

DennisMe wrote: There's a little gem in the bible somewhere that says "perfect faith banishes all fear". And its true, we should be like babies on mother's lap. 100% faith. There's one thing a lot of Christians forget when they say Jesus saves, meaning that he saves from sin. Sure, but more especially he saves us from fear. He shows us God is love and love conqurers all. So what is there to fear?
At least, for those who get the message. Sadly a lot of organised religion uses fear to keep their butts seated firmly in the plush...


Which really makes you wonder if those preachers really believe what they're saying. If they really believe that Jesus saves and is the only way, then focus on Him, and not all the fear, and hell, and sin, and evil... those are all negative aspects that are going to keep people grounded in the "I'm not good enough. I'll never be good enough." mentality. And it's very discouraging, when we make a mistake and then beat ourselves up over it. I think it is important to ask for forgiveness and also to learn to forgive others. And if they want people to be saved, then they need to remind people about Jesus and the salvation He brings us, and focus on the Love He has for all of us; and if we truly believe with our heart/mind/and soul, then we would accept that Love and not want to disappoint Him in the first place. But alas... without all the fire and brimstone talk and need for ever-lasting confession, it would render most churches obsolete as people would be able to find their own (and more truthful?) way to Jesus/God.

And I imagine it can be a hard thing to do... knowing He loves us all so much when a lot of us can't feel it or when we see all the sadness and suffering that surrounds us... but I think if we learn to quiet our mind and let the Holy Spirit speak to us, we can understand more of what is going on in this world, and find a solution to help us all. And thanks to the many ndes and spiritual experiences, it's helped us open our eyes to the most possible answer: Love. : )
"Don't be too harsh on those elders though, "for they know not what they do". Lets hope that their eyes will be opened in this life..."

Dennis,

I'd say 90% of these folks are gone by now. They were old when I was a kid 40 years ago :(

I'm not angry anymore per se, but was using the terms I did to express how I felt at the time (and too long afterwards), and the simple fact it was true! I realize they didn't know what they were doing in the spiritual sense, but they were probably miserable on the inside anyway which is saddest thing of all really.
DenisMe wrote: There's a little gem in the bible somewhere that says "perfect faith banishes all fear". And its true, we should be like babies on mother's lap. 100% faith.

perfect faith banishes all fear
Does this look like the quote Dennis

perfect faith banishes all fear
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Garry wrote: Does this look like the quote Dennis

perfect faith banishes all fear


Wow, what a powerful verse! It makes you wonder that there are so many books/passages in the bible, saying one thing or another, even conflicting each other, that these incredibly touching and telling verses are perhaps getting bypassed and overlooked - even though they may be the most important message of the whole bible.

Imagine if we knew that we were loved, completely and 100%. Would that make us want to go out and continue living in sin, knowing that it would hurt our Father? Even if we were to be forgiven over and over again (as long as we truly repent...)?

It reminds me of the story my stepdad told me of when he was younger:
As a teen he would hang out with the "tough crowd" and be in a gang, doing initiations and things of a violent nature and the like. His mother, learning of this, told him, "I know I cannot change your decision on what you want to do in life. But I want you to know that I love you, and what you're doing is breaking my heart." She simply told him that she loved him, and he was hurting her.

That got through to him, and he left that lifestyle, and never went back. He knew that his mother loved him dearly, even knowing what he was doing and becoming, but yet because he knew of her love for him, he did not want to continue to disappoint her, so he gave up that "life", and started living to not hurt her, since he returned that love.

It's a wonderful story that I definitely agree upon. And why I think it's our main mission to grow to love with one another. That way we would not want to hurt each other or God/Jesus. That's what He's been trying to teach us.
And if we truly believe He loves us, we would do the same and live for Him, not out of fear, but out of love that He has for us, and us for Him.

And if I continue to sin, which I'm not going to lie, I'm human, and not as righteous as Jesus, although I'm trying the best that I can, I communicate with God and tell Him that I'm truly sorry and that I'm not meaning to sin, and I am trying my best, and I tell Him to look into my heart to know that I'm telling the truth. (He knows anyway... :P) I have nothing to hide, and I am not afraid of Him, because I love Him and know He loves me. And if I make a mistake, I will own up to that and try even harder the next time.

I do liken it to a parent with a child. I love my son with my whole heart, no matter what he does. And while if he makes a mistake and does something wrong, I do one of two things: I explain the situation to him and help him overcome the issue. Or, I punish him. (Not in a brutal way! But I sure do take his video games away. :P "The mom giveth, the mom taketh away." - something similar to that. ;) ) That doesn't mean I love my son any less. And he knows I love him. So I think there are certain times in our life that we can expect a form of punishment, but we also need to realize that He does it for our own good, to help us on our journey. And likewise, we need to accept that He's there, offering love and guidance.
Gary, yes that is certainly the quote I meant.
(Always remember to check the context of any quote of course. All these texts were written with a specific situation and target audience in mind. )

If you see the bible as a product of humans reacting to what they understood to be God working in their lives its not hard to see what is going on. They plainly don't always agree with each other! In fact the biblical authors are "Just like real people". There's a quote by Jesus where he's chastising his disciples for just not understanding. Yet these same obviously fallible people were responsible for passing on his message, and what we have is even further removed from the original experience. Still, I love the gems of divine wisdom that are in the bible and I'm very thankful they weren't all edited out by the early church councils!
Prism,
the stepdad story is EXACLTY what I mean. Awesome!

Dennis
This is of a personal nature, but I feel as if I need to let it out, and since it goes along with trusting the Lord and such, I thought I'd post it here...


I have faith in the Lord. I do. But I would be lying if I said it was "perfect faith".
He changed the direction of my life for a reason. I don't quite know the why's, I just know that He did.

With that being said, although I know the reason why we're here (to love one another, be compassionate, forgive), I still have/had a passion to search for knowledge and truth about this subject. My heart lifts up when I read about others learning of the truth and realizing that "love is the answer".

It's just lately, I have to say, my passion for understanding this whole 'love' business is dwindling due to different circumstances that have been going on.
My heart feels heavy and hurts. And I want to put my trust completely in the Lord, and far be it for me to understand some of the things that "have to happen" in the world... but honestly... why do they have to happen?

A few examples that have just recently happened:

(I know that talk of suicide is prohibited, except in certain contexts, so I hope it's okay under this circumstance) -
I learned of a young lady who committed suicide not too long ago. An acquaintance of someone close to me. This poor lady had some form of mental issues, to put it plainly. She was on medication, but couldn't stop the voices in her head. And she was very paranoid, thinking that everyone was out to get her. I don't know what the voices in her head was telling her.
This wasn't her first attempt. She's tried before. But this time succeeded.

What breaks my heart, is that not only was she not in control of these voices, thus probably ending her life to escape wherever these voices came from, but also the hurt and pain her parents are going through from this. Why did this have to happen? What are these voices? (Schizophrenia? Something darker and more sinister people don't want to think about?) And in this case, if she was loved deeply from her parents (and others?), then the pain and torment she must have been through outweighed the love she received? And honestly, we can't really feel love, can we?

(I know I can feel hate from others, through actions or even through vibes sometimes... but what about love? If I ask myself honestly, have I ever felt loved? I'm pretty sure I love, deeply, but it's kind of hard to tell if I receive it. Through some people's actions, sure, but for some reason, at least in this world (or maybe it's just me XP) I can feel hate from others more intensely. Not many, but when they do, it's pretty undeniable.)

So that whole event with the lady and her family tears me up inside.



Add on top of that, my son gives me this bit of news:
He said, "Sometimes I wish I didn't exist."
My heart literally drops. I ask him why, of course, and he says that sometimes his life is horrible; because he doesn't want to go to school, or if he gets in trouble, things like that. ...What do I say? Now my heart is shattered into a million pieces because I honestly feel like I'm doing everything I can for him. I love him with my whole heart and it's still not enough. I play with him, I take him to places, he's got a nice home, lots of people who love him... am I just looking too much into this? Or am I justified in feeling as if this is heart-wrenching to hear about, especially from a 7 year old? I don't remember having any thoughts like this when I was younger, but of course it could've been there, just in fleeting moments.



And, at least for a couple of people (although this certainly pales in comparison to the above examples) I try to reach out and show them love and kindness, but immediately get rebuffed, as if they want absolutely nothing to do with me. I don't mean "rejection" as far as relationships go. I just mean when I try and show someone that I care about them, they return that feeling with cruelty and animosity, deliberately, so literally pushing me away. I am not going to keep trying to show love and compassion to someone who clearly does not want it. I will still be polite and courteous, but so help me if I'm not going to distance myself because of their actions. And in a way, if they want nothing to do with me, then I suppose I am showing my love to them by giving them what they want, and staying as far away from them as possible. :P


...So yeah... "love is the answer"... It certainly doesn't feel like it at times. Or maybe I'm not doing it right.
And I know I should put my trust completely in the Lord, after all, he IS Love, and people still reject him.
...It's a hard thing to do. But I have to keep faith that things will turn out alright... I just feel broken that sometimes it doesn't seem to reach people or matter to them.



Whoever made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading. : )
I made it to the end, Prism, and thank you for sharing these thoughts. I understand the confusions these situations involve and I praise your courage and braveness in asking questions.

Touching on the subject of suicide is not prohibited, by the way, as you can see in the Crisis versus Progress clarifications in our Joining Rules. The point we make is that none of us is qualified to treat mental health issues, and if you were to hear and be haunted by voices, then we would expect you to resort to a qualified professional.

I am ever so sorry to hear about this young woman: had she received proper medication and treatment, things could have worked differently.

Children are adorable when they do ask questions and speak their mind. As a Mom I would be really proud to have a child who trusts me enough to let me know when he feels unhappy or confused. It would mean that he has great confidence in me, which I feel is an essential factor in the relationship between children and their parents. My guess is that, by personally walking along this path of doubts, as you are doing now, you are paving the way for him and preparing yourself to offer your son the answers when he asks you the same questions.

In my humble opinion, the real problem would arise if he didn’t trust you and didn't speak his mind.
Hello from Italy - How I found out about NDERF - A Strange Experience
Thank you so much Giulia for reading and commenting.

My heart feels torn for this young lady, and others who are going through similar torments. Who knows what pains are inside their heart? It makes me sad that people sometimes feel as if they have no hope, and my heart breaks for them. I know I should be happy and grateful for what I have, and I am, extensively, but I still feel deeply for others and wish we didn't have to feel like we're suffering in this world alone.

Thank you for providing that perspective. : ) I am glad he felt open and honest enough with me to confide in me that (although for some reason he still lies about brushing his teeth :P) and I hope it is just an innocent bypassing thought that kids (adults too) have, and isn't a serious issue brewing in the back of his mind. I am hoping he was just divulging how upset he gets when he has to go to school, or when he gets in trouble, or when he can't play his games, etc... It's just that the whole "Sometimes I wish I didn't exist." seems pretty deep for a 7 year old. :\ He is a very sweet, caring boy... and also quite impulsive. Sometimes I fear that he takes actions first without thinking them through. So it is something that I will need to have a nice conversation about with him, and just continue to love him with all my heart.

Thank you again for responding. : ) I appreciate it very much.
Hi prismreverie,

I don't know if this is of help since I know each child has their own unique temperament and upbringing but being a mother of a 7 year old also, I feel I can share your concerns and fears and know how important it is for us adults not to interpret expressions and feed into the situation our own fears. I strongly believe that age 7 is a crucial milestone in the development of a human being in that it is a key moment within the long drawn-out separation we experience from source to womb to birth, siting, crawling, standing, walking, running and it continues... Beyond the physical expression of this separation is the emotional and spiritual (and I personally remember this in my own early years). Unconditional love from any carer but particularly from mother is the magical umbilical cord which connects life.. If you know this and your son feels this I believe it holds the most powerful link that works deep into our DNA and is passed on for many generations. Life is precious and perfect is its expressions whatever form they take.x
Now that you say this, mbee, I was reminded of something. I remember I was perfectly happy until I was around six years old. Then one morning I woke up and that perfect constant happiness was gone. It happened overnight for me. It was not a gradual process. That having been said, I absolutely agree with what you said.
Hello from Italy - How I found out about NDERF - A Strange Experience
It was sudden and disturbing in my memory too Giulia. Perhaps for many people who remember the transition from “childhood bliss” to “Me …....” whoever it is you start to believe yourself to be from this age, its the moment when our ego make its “grand” entrance. In our modern culture, initiation into adulthood, into becoming a “man” or “woman” lacks spiritual support and understanding. You don’t have to look far to see the “drunken” state many find themselves locked in. But it can be overcome if we choose it to be so.
prismreverie wrote: Thank you so much Giulia for reading and commenting.

My heart feels torn for this young lady, and others who are going through similar torments. Who knows what pains are inside their heart? It makes me sad that people sometimes feel as if they have no hope, and my heart breaks for them. I know I should be happy and grateful for what I have, and I am, extensively, but I still feel deeply for others and wish we didn't have to feel like we're suffering in this world alone.

Thank you for providing that perspective. : ) I am glad he felt open and honest enough with me to confide in me that (although for some reason he still lies about brushing his teeth :P) and I hope it is just an innocent bypassing thought that kids (adults too) have, and isn't a serious issue brewing in the back of his mind. I am hoping he was just divulging how upset he gets when he has to go to school, or when he gets in trouble, or when he can't play his games, etc... It's just that the whole "Sometimes I wish I didn't exist." seems pretty deep for a 7 year old. :\ He is a very sweet, caring boy... and also quite impulsive. Sometimes I fear that he takes actions first without thinking them through. So it is something that I will need to have a nice conversation about with him, and just continue to love him with all my heart.

Thank you again for responding. : ) I appreciate it very much.


I also have a 7-year-old! There are a lot of us here! :)
(although for some reason he still lies about brushing his teeth

Mine does that too, haha!

As far as the original post question-- I can only say, I grew up in a mainstream Christian household, although I really got into religious study in high school. It was a major part of my lifelong spiritual journey although I can't say it provided all of the answers. I had an interesting youth leader who was surprisingly into-- how do I say it-- more spiritual (as opposed to religious) matters. She was on her own journey and I realize that a lot of what I learned from her was probably wrong, probably very influenced by our backwoods southern culture, and probably a bit whack as well. However, she taught me one thing that I hold dear to this day: God is TRUTH. You should never be afraid to ask questions and search for the TRUTH, because the TRUTH is God. However you find that truth is really up to you.

I've been a member of (fairly mainstream, Protestant) churches all my life and I feel it is a great place to fellowship, enjoy the company of others, who are also searching for the truth, and share in life's events. For me that's what it's really about, more so than Bible study. It can be a drag to go to church but for me it pays off in the end, as I have wonderful, loving people around me who care about me and my family. And I think it is good for kids to get that background in Sunday School-- I feel like it gives them a very basic familiarity with the God Loves You concept (as long as it is not done in Waco Brainwashing style).

Jesus-- well I do believe in Jesus, because reasons, but I am too tired right now to get into that. Anyway it's probably important to have your own reasons, rather than go by what someone else says. Personally I think that Jesus = God = Love = Truth = all the same thing. I dunno, maybe I am confused?

No one has the answers, life is about your individual journey, but church is a great place to bump heads with others. I would recommend finding a liberal church to start with until you find a direction you want to go in. If you start going to a fundamental Southern Baptist church talking about NDEs and OBEs and all that, they will probably send you packing -- just saying. Concerning the Bible, I think everyone should read the Bible, from cover to cover-- if for no other reason than educational purposes. It is the one book that is SO fundamental to our culture. I'd say read it and then take from it what you feel is relevant to you. I've read it several times, and I don't believe all the stories happened exactly the way they are written-- but the underlying message remains and is helpful in many situations.

As a postscript I'll say that I've been looking into Quakerism lately and I think it is the closest thing to what I believe, but unfortunately there are no groups around here.

I could say more but I'm super tired right now. If you wanna chat more about this, Email me!
prismreverie wrote:
Add on top of that, my son gives me this bit of news:
He said, "Sometimes I wish I didn't exist."
My heart literally drops. I ask him why, of course, and he says that sometimes his life is horrible; because he doesn't want to go to school, or if he gets in trouble, things like that. ...What do I say? Now my heart is shattered into a million pieces because I honestly feel like I'm doing everything I can for him. I love him with my whole heart and it's still not enough. I play with him, I take him to places, he's got a nice home, lots of people who love him... am I just looking too much into this? Or am I justified in feeling as if this is heart-wrenching to hear about, especially from a 7 year old? I don't remember having any thoughts like this when I was younger, but of course it could've been there, just in fleeting moments.


I don't remember having any thoughts like this when I was younger, but of course it could've been there, just in fleeting moments


I do remember have these types of thoughts, but I didn't have anyone to talk to about them. Obviously I never acted on them, but just being there for him and getting him to express them and talk about them is the best I feel you can do.
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Garry wrote: I do remember have these types of thoughts, but I didn't have anyone to talk to about them. Obviously I never acted on them, but just being there for him and getting him to express them and talk about them is the best I feel you can do.


Thank you everyone for your replies. : ) It really helps to come to terms about this revelation with my son.
I am just going to be there for him as much as I can and be supportive of him so that he knows he can come to me about anything. I don't want him to ever think that he can't discuss his feelings/emotions with me. So I am glad he can open up to me about these things.

I'm so sorry you went through this as well. There were a lot of times I have had really sad, painful thoughts, and felt like I had no one to talk to about them - I was the oldest sibling and I suppose it was expected of me to be the strong one of the family, so I kept my feelings bottled up inside and it festered in there and turned quite negative. I guess all of that started when I was 12. But I don't remember having any real negative thoughts younger than that. In today's day and age, it seems to be getting rampant in the younger generation. :\ Or maybe that's just my misunderstanding..
I'm very glad you didn't act on these kinds of thoughts. : )

blue102 wrote: Personally I think that Jesus = God = Love = Truth = all the same thing. I dunno, maybe I am confused?

See, I think the same thing! I have been thinking that Jesus is actually synonymous with Love. They're one in the same. So even if an individual does not know who Jesus is per se, as long as they have Love in their life and love others, then that person does know Jesus.
It's fascinating to me that a lot of nde's do cover a brilliant white light, and most people attribute it to Jesus. But those that don't really know who Jesus is still seem to meet Him. Or at least a presence really similar to that of other nde encounters. Perhaps Jesus is Love personified.

And that's funny that the three of us have 7 year olds at the moment. :P
(Pretty soon our children will be 18 and graduating from high school... XP)

Thank you blue for all your words of advice! When I have more questions arise about these matters (not if, because I definitely will ;P) then I will know who to contact. : )

mbee wrote: Beyond the physical expression of this separation is the emotional and spiritual (and I personally remember this in my own early years). Unconditional love from any carer but particularly from mother is the magical umbilical cord which connects life.. If you know this and your son feels this I believe it holds the most powerful link that works deep into our DNA and is passed on for many generations. Life is precious and perfect is its expressions whatever form they take.x


Thank you mbee. : )
I find it so touching that in some nde's, the reason people decide to come back is because of the bonds they share with those still living. They get a choice, and while some are encouraged to return, some choose to so that their loved ones won't feel sad and lost without them. It is so very sweet, and must be a very strong thing to do to be so close to that unconditional love on the other side, and return here in this world. That's not to take away sentiment from those who wanted to stay on the other side, because I can understand the intense feelings they must have had too.
prismreverie wrote: I'm so sorry you went through this as well. There were a lot of times I have had really sad, painful thoughts, and felt like I had no one to talk to about them - I was the oldest sibling and I suppose it was expected of me to be the strong one of the family, so I kept my feelings bottled up inside and it festered in there and turned quite negative. I guess all of that started when I was 12. But I don't remember having any real negative thoughts younger than that. In today's day and age, it seems to be getting rampant in the younger generation. :\ Or maybe that's just my misunderstanding..
I'm very glad you didn't act on these kinds of thoughts. : )


This is some food for thought for you prismreverie.....


I did not know what " emotions " were !!!!

Nobody ever explained it to me that there were many different emotions . I understood certain ones such as :

  • fear
  • loneliness
  • happiness

But some of the ones that I didn't understand as an example:

  • Love
  • Low Self Esteem

Using Low Self Esteem as a prime example as so many times I was told " You must have pretty Low Self Esteem "

Explanation ( from Google ) of Low Self Esteem :

Believing that there is something innately wrong with themselves, these low self esteem sufferers experience self-esteem attacks (often called panic attacks) when they do something they deem to have been stupid, something they think others have noticed, and something that confirms their own feelings of inadequacy, ...


Now I have used that one as an example to get to my point of this ......

as I said I was often told that I have " Low Self Esteem ", but nobody ever told me what it was.....

If they had said " You Don''t Think very Highly of Yourself ", then that would have made sense to me, but when it was said as" Low Self Esteem " then my thought was about a " Steam Engine ", as I had no idea what they were talking about.

We did not have the Internet back then to Google ( such as I did ) for Low Self Esteem and that is one advantage kids of today have .

BUT

If they don't know as an example ( what Self Esteem ) is
Then they can never Google it to find out what it means !!!

Now using this Googled Page ( I googled ) { A list of Emotions }

A Wikipedia List of Emotions


As an example , but there are many more

I bring this to my final conclusion ......

( Click on the Picture )


teach your children.jpg



Another List


List of Emotions.jpg



Teaching Your Child to:
Identify and Express Emotions
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