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About AnOrangeCat

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  1. AnOrangeCat

    Train me up!

    Hello! I realize you wished to postpone the thread, but I'll throw in my two cents anyway. First off, congratulations on accepting Christ! I'm probably a bit of a mismatch for debates and apologetics. I concluded a long time ago that while they can be interesting and serve a purpose, things like physical evidence for God, intelligent design vs big bang, and creation vs evolution really don't have much impact on my faith and relationship with God. I've seen both sides of that take some unsound stances or stoop to insults. It bothers me when I see that coming from the Christian side. What I can do is share some personal testimony and hope it fits in with what you're looking for. For my entire life I've been physically frail, prone to back problems, and shy. I can express myself well in text but when it comes to doing it in person or on the phone I just fall apart. At some point my grandmother, who was really more like my mother, had a serious decline in her health. It worsened to dementia. I was more or less her sole caregiver in that time, and she became abusive and extremely difficult to deal with. Sometimes when she'd go to a hospital she'd get into terrible fights with hospital staff and get very aggressive with them. During this time I ended up applying for disability. I felt it was borderline at the time. "I might need it." as opposed to "I do need it." High stress period and I made it a point to save a little each month whenever we could because we wanted to move to a place where she could get better care and get away from the negative and exploitive elements of the family that she could otherwise never say no to. She eventually died during one of her hospital stays. A few relatives swooped in and plundered the place, she didn't leave behind much other than a deeply mortgaged house, and I wasn't able to get a real job that would have let me keep up with the payments. After that another family member opened their doors to me under the pretense of helping me stabilize. After a while that ended up with me living in the middle of nowhere in a situation that might be considered akin to slavery. I was cut off from everyone I knew. Only rare windows of opportunity to communicate with others, I was living off of ramen and a box of cereal or two and a small dinner each week. If I needed to see a doctor, forget about it. Outside of a dire emergency it'd just get pushed away time and time again. I wasn't receiving most of my mail. Overall it pushed me to the point of considering suicide. A factor in why I didn't was that there was a little cat living on the property who really warmed up to me. It was about a year before I got out of that. When I had I was worse for wear, physically and emotionally. But it also wasn't much longer after that I was awarded disability. Until that point I was heavily reliant on that little bit I'd saved up expecting to use it for a move to sustain me. My mother was appointed money manager for me but blew a lot of it away. Things where I am now isn't ideal. But I can say that as a result of it all I was able to mend my relationship with my mother before she died and things seem to be moving in a favorable direction with one of my sisters. I'm in a position where I can serve as a positive example and support for her while at the same time benefiting from more contact with her. So does any of this absolutely prove the existence of God? No. But I did receive hope, sustenance, and material benefits to keep me going in hard times. Even things like my mother spending my back pay ended up a positive for me because I was able to get a house out of it anyway (something I wanted) and we went from being strangers to friends. I acknowledge completely that people can call it a string of fortunate coincidences, but to me it represents the hand of God acting for my benefit. I was a believer before all of that, but now I feel moreso as a result of my experiences. I feel that when it comes to scientific evidence for or against God it's the same. There are things that suggest the existence of God, but nothing you can point at and say "Hey, this proves it conclusively!". If there were then we'd live in a very different sort of society. As I see it events in life and things in nature are testimonies. People can choose to accept those testimonies by faith, see them as signs of God's love, correction, and judgment as applicable, or they can dismiss them. It's like in the parable of different types of soil in Matthew 13. Some people are receptive and open, others not.
  2. If you're worried about it then odds are you haven't committed the unpardonable sin. It's also worth mentioning that even within the church there's some debate over what it precisely entails. A small portion of Christians I've been around actually suffer from anxiety over this very thing! As someone who suffers from a lot of depression and anxiety issues I can relate. There are a few things to keep in mind. Consider Saul/Paul. He took an active role in bringing many early Christians to their death. He was forgiven and then used greatly by God. Second, while there are a lot of commandments in the Bible, Jesus boiled it down to two: Love God with all that you are and love your fellow people as yourself. Everything else really is contained within those two.
  3. AnOrangeCat

    Christian advice

    Just going to echo what others have said about the need to pray. It's difficult for outsiders who don't know the personalities and situations to the full extent to advise beyond that. But I will say that so far as worrying about making them mad goes, sometimes that's necessary. When Jesus criticized people at the temple about turning it into a den of thieves that was definitely something that got people riled up. In that case it was also the right thing to do. So do pray that God will give you the wisdom to determine the right course of action and the courage to act on it.
  4. I feel like the Gospels are a good start, particularly John. He really gets the love element down. It's prominent in his epistles as well.
  5. AnOrangeCat

    a confused cookie

    I think you're moving in a good direction, cutting ties and ditching things that remind you of the negativity. Another thing you might want to consider is immersion. People have said things like "It's easy to be a Christian in church." or "It's easy to be a Christian around other Christians." and it's true. But as someone getting in to Christianity and wanting to believe you NEED it easy. If you can find a church that works for you and get Christian friends online or locally or both it will be good for you. As someone who's had a lousy life I know it can be difficult to believe. These bad situations we've been through are terrible but at the same time they're opportunities for us to show our dedication to God. From what you've said in your post I truly believe you have a good heart. You tried to protect your sister to your own detriment. That's Christlike behavior there, which should be one of the main priorities of any Christian. Hang on to that and know you did a good thing in a tough situation that no one your age should be put through. Certainly there are going to be times when it's hard to feel God. In those times you just have to hold on tight to what you know is right and seek out guidance from other Christians until it passes, however long it takes.
  6. AnOrangeCat

    Help needed

    Hi everyone, and thanks for the prayers and thoughts. To answer this question, I consider it a gamble because at least in many parts of the US protective services have a reputation. Slow to act or outright useless when they're needed, overzealous when you don't. The moment protective services show up it's like a shot was fired and I'd expect some sort of retaliation for it from the troublesome elements of the family. If protective services can't act quickly and decisively in a way that protects me and my assets then it's just risky business to my mind. I largely agree with you. All of that is stuff I'd like to do eventually. When I first got on SSI I saw myself reaching toward that eventually. It just got sidetracked by a lot of things like what my mother did, the family drama, and her death. I still want to aim for those things and live somewhere that isn't deep in the middle of nowhere. I just need some time to breathe and recover. Anyway things seem to have moved in a better direction regarding the house. Very tentatively. Too early to bank on it but we'll see where it goes. Thanks again everyone! Keep praying!
  7. AnOrangeCat

    Help needed

    Thank you. It's a bit complicated. My grandmother owns the land it's on. The mobile home's ownership is really up in the air, legally speaking. The story is that my mother got it from one of my sisters, and then my mother said it was mine. Problem is there was no will and NO ONE seems to have any paperwork on it so I don't think anyone can prove ownership one way or the other. Despite that my sister still wants to claim it. I still get the occasional threat or demand. Some of my other sisters drop by and feel like they can just use it as a flophouse and bring their boyfriends and do whatever drugs they want here. I don't like that but I'm reluctant to rock the boat. I talk to my grandmother about it and she doesn't like it either but she also never really seems to act on it so it keeps happening. I guess she's just trying to keep everyone happy. She's not going to evict me. I guess it boils down to this. I'm housebound, I don't drive, and outside of my grandmother I don't have anyone I feel like I can rely on in this area even in the slightest. Everyone else I have any in person contact with here is a bad element and sometimes I'm afraid of what they might do. There are people I could stay with in other states. They're reliable and in areas that would be better for me. Problem is that I'm on SSI and this house was reported as mine by my mother. So according to the terms of my SSI I'm required to live here. Otherwise the house is counted as an asset against my monthly income. I'd like to get out of here. If I have them look into it then it's probably going to be a big mess, especially if there's not a record of the ownership passing to anyone. In the meantime I'm pretty vulnerable if anyone decides to smash a window or something else in retaliation.
  8. AnOrangeCat

    Help needed

    Hi. I'm having a real rough patch here. To keep it concise... I'm disabled and on SSI. Because there's a mental element to it my mother was appointed my money manager. I HAD a pretty large chunk of back pay but she blew through it in ways that had nothing to do with me, like gambling. I never learned of this until much later after the fact. When she told me about this she came up with a mobile home and told me it was mine to make up for what she did. It was parked on her mother's property. We mended our relationship pretty well during that time and both stayed there. Around the middle of last year my mother died unexpectedly. For a while it seemed to bring an otherwise troubled and dysfunctional family closer together but it didn't really last. One of my sisters is saying the place is hers (I don't think any paperwork exists on the place for her or for me) and has been trying to throw her weight around, another stole one of my cats right in front of me and I was helpless to do anything about it. My grandmother is fine but the rest of the family is just a negative element that I need to get away from. There's just too much drugs, drama, and manipulation amongst them. I don't feel respected at all by them and as of yesterday I have a hole in the roof of the house now because of their antics. I feel pretty lost in all of this. I'm not assertive, I often lose it when it comes to communication outside of text. I'm not sure what kind of rights I have or how I can protect the assets I have. I've thought about going to Social Security or protective services but I feel like going to them is a gamble. If anyone has any advice I'd appreciate it.
  9. AnOrangeCat

    Lost and alone

    Hello. I can relate. I took care of my grandmother and she had dementia. It was 24/7 work and led to pretty atrocious sleeping hours so I didn't really go to church during that time. I didn't really stay in touch with people from church either. I don't feel like I strayed from God but did I stray from fellow Christians (and people as a whole)? Absolutely. I came to regret that very much. When I eventually did turn back to the church the people I knew had all moved on. All those years I could have had support from the church and when I needed it most direly being disconnected from the people there made it that much more difficult. I was basically a stranger to them. It's pretty important to get connected with your fellow believers in some fashion and stay connected.
  10. AnOrangeCat

    Between a rock and a hard place

    "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death" ( Proverbs 14:12) This is something to keep in mind. With Steve what he did seems good for a time. It cleared up a doubt he had that no woman would want him because he was that undesirable. But what else did it do? Doubtless it removed a lot of trepidation about having casual sex. It's something he can do again and more easily than before with reservations fading the more it's indulged in. That path will eventually lead to dangers like STDs, getting involved in the wrong people, and taking on a more casual approach to sex and relationships that will be detrimental to finding and maintaining something real and lasting. The Bible reminds us that sin can seem good for a time, but the end result of it is harmful.
  11. Hello. First off I completely get what you mean about trying to forgive but getting continually burned. Sometimes distance is needed to do it. Have you spoken with your husband about this? I'm curious about what his perspective is.
  12. I echo the sentiments expressed here. There's times when we lose heart for a while, stumble, or go through phases where God seems distant but we never really fully detach either (thank God for that).
  13. AnOrangeCat

    Need Advice

    If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna. (Matthew 5:29) I don't believe Jesus was at all advocating tearing out our eyes, but you can certainly apply it to other things. Is his internet causing him to stumble? It seems yes. Is it necessary to have it? I can't say, not knowing your situation in full but it's worth considering. Aside from counseling you could consider using a router to block certain websites and make sure you're the only one with the ability to change those settings. If he's sincere in his apologies and wants to be a good father then he can do that much. It isn't foolproof since people can always just find other websites or use phones, but it is a layer of protection for both your husband and your kids. The easier it is for an addict to get their fix the more likely it is that they'll fall back into it.
  14. AnOrangeCat

    Im Lost and Made a Mistake

    The door isn't closed for you. Jesus and the apostles delivered people from demon possession, and the fact that you're worried and guilty is good. Please do consult with a pastor just the same. It's easy to commit to Jesus when you're immersed in a Christian environment like the camp, but easier to fall away outside of it. Stay as immersed in God as you can.
  15. AnOrangeCat

    Brain lesions

    Hi everyone. I found out that one of my sisters had some brain lesions show up on a scan. I don't have much contact with the sister in question so I won't be able to give updates on this often, if at all, but please do keep her in your prayers.