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AnOrangeCat

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  1. The Son of God and a very admirable individual. There's a lot of focus on the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and that's absolutely the most critical part, but I think it's also quite beneficial to look at all of the traits revealed in the Bible since we try to be more Christlike. There's a lot to like and be inspired by. At the moment the time He ran the moneychangers out of the temple is standing out to me. That took a lot of courage, and it was needed. To me it's a good demonstration that a person can be very loving and gentle yet still be angry and decisive when need be. Imagine how different the church and the whole world would be if more people could strongly display that same set of characteristics.
  2. I'm disabled as well. I've learned to feel secure in God's love for me. It's something that came from experiencing how God has looked after me through my life, which could have taken some drastically worse turns over the years. That said, examine yourself and your lifestyle. If you feel like you should be doing more for God, do it. Just start small and slowly build up to more. I struggle with feeling like I'm not doing enough for God, but as others have pointed out salvation is a gift. We didn't earn it and we can never earn it. We don't do things for God because our salvation depends on it, but because it pleases God to see us behaving more like Jesus. I'm gradually working my way to doing more, and even though it's just a little I feel tremendously better because of it. Also keep in mind that simply being disabled isn't a sin. Paul, who once persecuted Christians but later became a prolific missionary and writer, spoke of having some sort of thorn in his flesh that he repeatedly prayed about it in II Corinthians 12. We don't know precisely what it was that ailed him but he had this to say about it. "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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."
  3. Praying and good to hear that it's looking up!
  4. I just wanted to extend a thank you to everyone here. I feel like I've consistently received good advice and been prayed for by compassionate people. Being able to share thoughts, guidance, and scripture with others here has made me feel better about myself as well. Being largely housebound I often find myself feeling like a bump on a log, but here I feel like I'm doing something for the body of Christ, however small, and feel that I'll eventually be able to move on to doing more.
  5. I agree with what the others have said. One thing to add to this is that we're encouraged to test the messages we receive by comparing them to scripture. If there's ever any doubt seek out guidace from other Christians. Another thing is that we become more able to distinguish between things that come from God and things that come from ourselves or dubious spiritual sources as we grow more accustomed to hearing from God. A familiar voice is easier to recognize.
  6. I agree that Lister wasn't especially operating on faith there, but his case and others like him are definitely instances where the trends and biases of the scientific community at the time worked against something that turned out to be right. The miasma theory of disease that was largely accepted before Lister's work was popular for a long time, and it demonstrates the sort of faith that I was referring to with regards to scientists. "The prevailing theories MUST be right." The scientists of the day weren't just skeptical of Lister. They were outright derisive at times. It's unfortunate because a respectful disagreement from peers instead of mockery can be the difference between someone pushing further and giving up. The scientific method is GREAT on paper, but we're all human. The method is only as good as the people who apply it and how much they let their biases and personal interests come into play. The same is true of religion, I'd add, or any other good thing that people do. I like science but at the same time I'm very much aware that throughout its history that some erroneous or even harmful practices have come about because of the human element. Some of them have been very persistent. Anyway I'm glad you saw some sense in what I was writing, and I hope you can find the proof at some point as well. For me I've had enough happen in my life that I do believe there's a benign God out there and that His benevolence extends to humanity as a whole. On a somewhat related note, have you ever looked into theories of consciousness much? I feel like it could be an interesting area of science for you to look into since it comes closer than any other field of science to touching on the question of the soul. Generally speaking science tends to believe that consciousness stems from the brain itself, but there are alternative theories out there. I'm not sure that I personally believe any of them, but they're interesting to consider.
  7. Welcome to the forum! The advice subsection (Do you want to just ask a question?) can be good if you're looking for guidance and want to give more specific information about the issues in play.
  8. Like Who me said, science tends to require a degree of faith as well and is subject to presuppositions and personal biases and the popular trends of the era. Take a look at Joseph Lister, for example. He pushed for doctors and surgeons to practice a little more cleanliness and sterilize their tools, and a lot of the scientists of the day mocked him for it. That was less than two hundred years ago. There are plenty of other instances. One of the trends that has been around in my lifetime is the belief that science and faith are incompatible, which I personally believe to be incorrect. I'll also point out that scientists start out with a hypothesis, test it so much as possible, and revise accordingly. Religious faith acts similarly. Like a mustard seed, in the words of Jesus. We start off with a hypothesis (God exists) and then over time through the circumstances in our life we come to discover evidence that supports and proves the hypothesis to us on a personal level. The difference is that we as humans aren't in charge of the testing. It's done on God's terms and timing, not ours. Sure, it's more subtle than being able to physically demonstrate something, but for those of us who have taken the plunge and chosen to believe it's definitely there. There's always an added degree of complexity when it comes to thinking, feeling, intelligent beings.
  9. Personally I've always felt that debates for and against the existence of God, while interesting and worth doing, don't really hold much sway over the people who care to debate. The people debating for and against have largely made up their minds and in that respect they're the same. They're both arguing from a position of faith that there is or isn't a supreme being. What truly persuades people is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. That can come through various means, debates included. That, I find, is what makes us click with God.
  10. Just adding in my two cents that I've noticed as well. Here's hoping it blows over and things calm down so we can focus more on supporting and edifying each other.
  11. Miss Muffet's got it. Romans 12:2 tells us "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." How do we renew our mind? It's by what we put into our mind. Prayer, fellowship with other Christians, reading the Bible, and keeping God and what He's done for you on your mind. Walk in love for God and the rest of humanity as Jesus said. Be active about it. Eventually it will become second nature and will be a witnessing tool to people who see or experience that love.
  12. Sorry to hear of your loss. I lost mine a little over a year ago, but it's a blessing from God that we were able to mend our relationship prior to that.
  13. I was reflecting on something very similar to this recently. A lot of times when secular people speak of religion these days they refer to it as a path to inner peace, understanding the human condition, or something in a similar vein, which ignores the whole element of the afterlife and the prospect of eternal punishment. It's always a headscratcher for me when I hear people go on about that particular perspective since in growing up and in studying all sorts of religions the need for salvation was a common element in very nearly all of them.
  14. God inevitably does get involved in my baggage. I've learned to pray about my problems early and it helps. Fairly often my prayers tend to be about having the strength to deal appropriately with the people involved.
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