I am standing in water I have no business standing in...hmmm. I think one thing we must recognize on this site is that there are those of us who consider ourselves to be "religious" and then there are those of us who think of ourselves as "spiritual". There is a difference in the fact that one is organized and the other is not necessarily. I am sure there are other differences I cannot recognize or describe as they should be.
Myself.....I am a spiritual person who belongs to no organized religous community. I do not believe we cease to exist after our bodies die......too much positive energy to loose...I believe we are all interconnected in ways I cannot understand. But that is okay as my search for understanding continues and it is an enlightening journey. I find much joy in my search for understanding......and I find peace in the same search.
I am not challenging anyone's belief system.....I am simply stating where I find strength and enlightenment.
I too will gladly accept anyone's prayers and positive energy.....I will also offer them up for others.
We are a diverse group of women from around the world dealing with different cultures and religous and social beliefs. That empowers us as clearly we all have something valuable to offer up for consideration.
This is my brief contribution to this subject and I am certain you all are glad to hear me say I am being brief!!!
You guys are great.
I feel very much like Diane above.
The reality of our mortality is difficult to face, whether you're agnostic or not. I feel that we are all put here for a reason, and that things happen for a reason. I deal with issues as a spiritual person, wondering what on Earth the purpose is for which I'm being kept alive. There is actually a guilt I feel...why have I been blessed with extra years of borrowed time? Why do some toddlers die of cancer, yet here I am at the age of 55, alive and well and a survivor?
So, the one thing I think both spiritual and agnostic people can agree on is to live life with gusto. Go for it! Make every day matter. Do something new. Make a difference. Volunteer. Call a long-lost friend. Stuff like that. Let people know how much we love them.
I'm a teacher, so I get lots of feedback from students about how I've changed their lives (*mostly in a good way!!!!*). Even helping one person in the world makes it a better place.
So, rather than worry about death, focus on the life that we still have. Every day of it!
Thanks for this thought-provoking post.
Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. In the Bible, many different people expressed this hopelessness. Isaiah complained, "I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing." Job said, "My life drags by------day after hopeless day" and I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense. THE GREATEST TRAGEDY IS NOT DEATH, BUT LIFE WITHOUT PURPOSE. (End quote)
I could go on and on, but I won't. I do know that there is no way I could face the fear of the unknown that most of us have found ourselves living in, without Jesus Christ in my life.
Interesting post...I guess we all have our beliefs. I do not choose to assume that my beliefs are the truth - just because you believe strongly in something doesn't make it truth. I would never tell anyone that without God in their life, their life has no purpose. I suppose that's one person's opinion, but certainly not mine.
I guess you believe what you choose to believe in, and let other's choose their paths as well...who knows how it all ends?
Very thought provoking...I think you'll find though, that religion (much like politics, I suppose) is a topic that has many shades of grey.
To each their own.
DNA Double Helix: Its Existence Alone Defeats any Theory of Evolution
The scientific reality of the DNA double helix can single-handedly defeat any theory that assumes life arose from non-life through materialistic forces. Evolution theory has convinced many people that the design in our world is merely "apparent" -- just the result of random, natural processes. However, with the discovery, mapping and sequencing of the DNA molecule, we now understand that organic life is based on vastly complex information code, and such information cannot be created or interpreted without a Master Designer at the cosmic keyboard.
To me God is the Master Designer. All life as we know it, was created for a purpose. Whether you acknowledge God or not, is your business.
God Exist - Things to Consider
Once you're ready to ask the question, "does God exist?" here are a few observations to consider as you begin your search for an objective answer:
Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.
Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer.
Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?
The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?
Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?
People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more?
Science has accepted God, maybe you should.
I know that when we do a "prayer circle" here I feel a little shy about joining in because not everyone believes in prayer. I happen to believe in prayer and I do belong to a community of believers (a church). I enjoy the beliefs we have in common. But on a board such as this I want to be sensitive to those that have different ideas. I just hope that when I do offer a "prayer" for someone, they can take it as the offer of hope and love that it is. Whether we call it prayer or positive thoughts or warm wishes, it all boils down to the deep care and concern we have for one another. That's very special.
I grew up in a religious household but have become disillusioned by organized religion. I enjoy learning about the different beliefs of people but feel that organized religion has caused so many wars, so much death, and has too many flaws - it is man made and man is not perfect. I want to believe that there is a God and something more beyond this earthly life. I do occasionally find myself praying in bad times and when I least expect it. I do respect other people's choices and figure if they are praying for me that it cannot hurt.
My father was agnostic. He was a wonderful, brilliant, and loving man. I was raised to find my own beliefs. Through personal experience and after seeing the power of prayer and many things I consider miracles, I believe we were all put here by our loving creator. I do believe in prayer very strongly. I believe in God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That said, I know many other people with different faiths and beliefs. Do I think they are wrong and I am right? No. They may worship in a different way. What is important to me is that we can find love and peace in this world before moving on to what comes after life here. I am not a member of any church. I have pastor friends and am closely connected to the church I worked for for 20 years. This was a really good question. I think both love and peace can be found through friendships formed on this forum no matter what we do or do not believe. Marie
With the life/death issues we here deal with, I think you answered your own uncertainty about the use of 'prayer'...all that is being offered to us is the "motivation behind people" to keep going. Do all of us believe or not believe the way that others do? Does it matter? What we do believe in at this forum, is the need for positive affirmations, and motivating others to believe in themselves. This disease has happened to us...why isn't really an issue; it just HAS. What matters most is the closeness here that allows us to heal, cry, mourn, vent, and most of all, regain our sense of security in an insecure situation. There is no need for us to "get on board" another boat...we're all in THIS one...together.
I send this with much respect and regard...that's what we 'sisters' do...
Very interesting question.. .. I guess all I can add is that speaking only for me; When I wish someone the best, or that I'm praying for them, or thinking of them. I mean primarily that I am sending good thoughts, wishing them well, hoping for recovery, etc. I guess I never really gave it too much thought. I like to think of it a little like a smorgasbord.. take and use what you like..leave the rest.
I think whatever each of us believes in is "our " truth. It doesn't matter that we may not all "believe" in the same thing. We come together though for the same purpose, to help, to comfort and to be there for one another.
My Dad told me long ago there are 3 things we can always discuss but have no control over. Death, weather and religion. The first two I'll give him, but for me I believe there is a Super Natural being who created us. I believe in the power of prayer. My "God" is a Catholic one, He has a Master Plan. I may not like or understand it, but I accept it. We all deal with this in a different way, and I respect each one. Judie :)
To me this question has allowed us to get to know more about each other. Marie
On a lighter note Judie... Add taxes to the above list (making it 4 things)
This religion and beliefs thing is a great discussion. It does make you really think hard about your own beliefs and I always find this topic extremely interesting. It does let you get to know people better and think everyone knows already how this can be a very touchy subject so I think everyone will be very diplomatic and careful not to push their own beliefs onto anyone else...hopefully.
When I say that I am praying for someone I mean that I am thinking of them, willing them to feel and be better, thinking of their families and honestly taking the time out of the day to send positive vibes their way.
If you are a good person, you are a good person and kindness can be given and taken, whatever you believe.
Love and Peace...Kim
To me religion is very near and dear to my heart. I am a Christian and believe in God and Jesus. When I say I am praying for someone, I mean it literally. I do not do this to make someone uncomfortable, I just do this because I have seen the power of prayer. I know some of you have different beliefs and that is ok. I just want the best for everyone here. You are all wonderful women and I will continue to pray for you. I mean no offense to anyone, but this is just how I am. I send good thoughts to all of you.
I guess it's 'horses for courses' and what suits one person in how they accept religion or not, may not suit another. I don't interfere with what people believe in, as long as they don't try and foist it onto me, as I'm happy with who I am, and for what I believe in. I am a Christian who has always been a believer, but must admit to my faith being shaken somewhat after the sudden and unexpected death of my beautiful 27 y.o. son to an asthma attack, and then my subsequent diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer.... but I still believe.
I just want to wish everyone well.... whatever their beliefs are... none of us deserve this wretched cancer.
Hoping you are all having good days... and nights, and the sun is shining wherever you are....hugs...Helen...
I brought up this issue to search for other non-Christians in the forum. I am not questioning anyone's faith or good intentions when they say they are praying for me. I actually envy people with strong religious convictions in circumstances like ours. Everyone says that state of mind is key to dealing with this and other serious illnesses. I'm searching for hope.
Peace and love to you all.
Well my mother is catholic and I was raised as such. However during my confirmation, my father became a buddhist, after almost 20 years of study.
That being said... I am not a member of any church (my mother is and has a very strong faith).... but I am indeed a believer in the teachings of Christ. I don't subscribe to all of humankind's impression on Christs teaching, but do love the message and try to live my life as christ-like as I can.
That being said... when my grandmother was dying of cancer, it wasn't Christianity that brought me comfort and understanding of death, it was Buddhism. I dont begin to understand Buddhism beyond the basics and what Ive been exposed to at home with my father.... but I found if you face mortality (of course this was others and not mine) and consider for even a second that this life on earth is in fact, "it"... then perhaps you have the oppertunity to look at it more realisticlly.
The basic teachings of Buddhism are called "The Four Noble Truths"
The Four Noble Truths
1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.
consider reading this page for a better understanding. its not all doom and gloom.... :)
Very interesting post. I am not a believer and have often wondered if anyone ever noticed that I never offer prayers. I stopped believing as a child when I watched my grandfather suffering from lung cancer, I felt if there was a g-d, he would never allow someone to go through so much pain and suffering...and for him, it was not only the lung cancer but, he was from Holland, and his entire family expect for he and a brother, and by entire family, I mean, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters and parents were all annihilated, many of them suffering for years in concentration camps. They prayed and prayed, but, their prayers were unanswered.
Karl Marx wrote (no I am not a Marxist, but, it is very thought provoking) that people created god as a higher power to aspire to.
I have a very high level of respect for those that do believe and if they ever do chose to pray for me, well that is welcome too, to me it equates to knowing that someone cares and is thinking about me.
I remember in college I took a philosphy class and the first day the professor asked about religion and god and I said I do not believe in either, he went off on me not having a purpose in life....dropped that class the next day.
Wishing you all the best.
When I first read your post I wondered what you were asking. Your first sentence sounded to me that you may be questioning your own beliefs. That's just the way I read it and if it is incorrect, then I'm sorry to misinterpret it. My dad told me that my grandpa was an agnostic and it puzzled me. We grew up going to church and assumed my dad did, too. Not too long ago I found a picture of me as a young child on my grandpa's lap and there was a Menorah in the background on a table. I wondered what happened to make him change his beliefs. When he died, at age 102, I really hoped that he had resolved whatever conflict he had with God and was, at least, at peace with choices.
I am a Christian and don't consider that to be a religion. My faith in Jesus is a relationship with Him. My belief that God created everything also gives me peace that there is nothing handed to me that is more than I can handle, good or bad. He handles it for me and I have faith that He will. That doesn't mean that I won't try to take over or worry. My human nature takes over sometimes. Still, people say it must be difficult believing in something that cannot be seen but I see God all around me and have witnessed the power of prayer numerous times in my life.
Anyway, when I say I am thinking of someone or praying for them I am praying to my Lord, Jesus Christ for them. When someone sends me good thoughts or well wishes, I trust that they are doing whatever they believe to do this. We are all free to have a core of some kind of faith. It is so true that this forum is a very diverse group and it is amazingly accepting of all faiths. I am so happy for that.
Take care and thank you for all the answers and for your question! ((hugs))
Good thoughts! I was raised catholic and became a non catholic in high school. I went from being atheist to agnostic to buddhist to Jewish to Wiccan back to atheist and back to agnostic. I then met my husband who showed me what being a true Christian means, it means not judging anyone for their beliefs, and being open minded and loving. Today I am blessed to be a Christian. I do not think that makes me better or worse than anyone else, it's just a part of me just like my grey eyes ( inherited from my mom). I think we all make our own journeys in our own way, as long as we are good to each other, that's all that matters! Peace and Good Kharma to you!!
I must say I'm impressed and proud of the people on this board. Faith is a delicate issue and yet you were all willing to share your thoughts. That takes trust, knowing that you can be yourself and not get slammed for it. Well done.
Bohan54 - it's OK to be yourself and have doubts. Everyone has doubts and worries at times. As for Christian vs. agnostic - we don't have to focus on that. We can share what we do have in common - our frail human condition, our hopes, fears and love for one another. That's something that really counts in our day to day life. So if you ask about mortality and doubts, everyone can relate. Thank you for bringing this up.
I too struggle with the question. I have come to the conclusion that there must be more to this life than what we experience on the earth. We may be here sorting or cleansing- who knows? It is baffling. If we are part of the higher power as most of the books tell us, then, we should already be pure. Why are we here in this world to be tested when it seems we have not the slightest chance at ever becoming pure enough to join the higher power from where we came? It will always be a mystery and will require blind faith. On the other hand, the thought that there is nothing more to life after death is very disappointing and hopeless to say the very least. It would mean that everything we live for is basically meaningless. I prefer to think that we will live on in spirit.
Having said all this, I'd like to take it a step forward and ask for everyone's input. I often hear cancer survivors say they are not afraid of death or are at peace with dying. I envy this but I am definitely not there. I fear death and consider leaving my family unthinkable.