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Posts posted by RevTom

  1. I see so very many poems, sayings, and presentations of praise and gratitude: Only a very few truly touch my soul. This is one of them.
    As we begin each day in our praise to God and as we go about the day in our circle of friends and acquaintances, as we touch the lives of those we come across, let us surround ourselves with people who see our worth. and let us see the worth of all those we influence and touch.



  2. 2 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    When you say bigoted things, you're a bigot.  Stop hiding behind Scripture.

    I do not believe Dan is being a bigot when using Jew in the context given. When used as a slander, then of course name calling someone is bigoted, but when addressing a people in their own words, referring to scripture, it is not being slanderous nor bigoted. Should we strike the words from the Bible?

    • Like 1
  3. On 9/5/2017 at 1:10 AM, Joyful said:

    You have me thinking, a lot, ministry for women is not very accepted, even now.  I officiate but once in while we get a request for my Son, they want a man to officiate.  I minister to friends and minster to neighbors by example and helping when I can.  I would love to do more volunteering but I take care of my husband who can cook for him self and needs help getting up and down, so I'm pretty much at home.  When we have a wedding my Son goes with me and we don't stay so we can get back home.  Its hard I am proud to be a ULC ordained but now that I think about it a minister not in the normal sense LOL.

    One of the most influential ministers I have ever had was a lady minister. She was firmly devout in her faith and brought the little church I was a member of together in ways it had not been in decades. I was having a problem with faith (not good in a minister) and she said words that have always stuck with me: "Tlake the talk, be true in what you do, and you will gain the confidence in your faith again so you can walk the walk. She wouldn't let me give up or give in. It is her abiding faith that brought mine back to life.

    • Like 1
  4. 11 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    My first encounter with this saying, was at my job.  It was about forty years ago when I was a civil service clerk.  People would put little placards up on their walls.  Placards like -- You want it when???


    Searching my memory, I think it was -- If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bull **.  In the context of a civil service job, nobody talked about diamonds.  






    Ah, yes. I researched it. The original quote was "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with ** by W.C. Fields. Somewhere down the line, someone morphed it to "If you can't dazzle them with diamonds...". it was on Twitter (the latter morph) in 2011. All things considered, I guess the original by W.C. Fields is more highbrow without resorting to vulgarism. It is strange that I had never heard the quote by W.C. Fields, as I am a fan of his. My early career is factory jobs: I at the time didn't hold my college education in very high regard. Thanks for your interesting input and for having taught me once again, something new.

  5. 6 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    Quite possibly.  My memory plays tricks.  


    "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance"   ?  




    The one I have always been told is "If you can't dazzle them with diamonds, baffle them with ** Probably a lot more base and crass than our purposes call for here. I like your selection anyway...

  6. On 8/31/2017 at 2:44 PM, mark 45 said:

    rev tom,

    having gone thru a period in my life that can only be described as the"black lagoon",i in no way dismiss depression(capitol d)as something that should be is a very real medical disease and needs to be treated.


    however,what works for some people does not for others.the psychologist and psychiatrist i was seeing both told me that medication was not an answer for me,but i had within me the answers.hence meditation.while i wish the answers to some other medical conditions i have were as easy to solve,they aren' i do my best and don't complain about it.


    i hope you did not think i was being dismissive,and if you did,i apologize. 

    No umbrage taken, and none meant, for sure!!! It was just interesting the different manners to which we all seek solutions. I was prescribed medication but stopped taking it because I worked with high speed machinery and couldn't operate them (large format printing presses) while zonked on prozac and later elavil. I white knuckled it until I came to terms with it, learned to recognize the triggers, and practiced a type of meditation. 

  7. Greetings and Good Tidings, my friends: Thank you all for the good wishes. I have no idea why, but two things have entered my stream of thought during these past couple of weeks during the health issues. It had to do with people early in Johnny Winter's career thinking he had died, thus spurring his song "Still Alive and Well". I once had a similar occasion. I pulled into a service station (yes, back in the day when gas wasn't bought at convenience stores). A friend was manager of the service station, and was someone I had worked a factory job with for over 10 years. He told me that I was dead, and went on to explain that most of my friends thought I had died for some reason. Paraphrasing what turns out to be a misquote from Mark Twain, I told him the news of my death was particularly surprising to me. 

    The second thought occurring to me is that I have an implanted defibrillator (ICD). It occurred to me that I cannot die a natural death: When the ICD detects my heart not beating properly, it will shock the bejeebers out of me, saving me from death and making me look like one of those cartoon characters who have spirally eyeballs and super spiked hair. I am feeling some rethinking about this needs to be done. I don't know how anyone else feels about it, but I am not sure I will enjoy being shocked as some ICD wearers have been, up to 20 times in a row, each time feeling like a horse kick to the chest. I'm thinking my doctors need to go back to the drawing board on that one!!!

    Anyway, I believe I am coming out of my current health problems and getting back into the swing of life. Thanks again for your support and concerns.

  8. On 6/6/2016 at 7:31 PM, emalpaiz said:

    There is one thing about Hinduism.  I love the mythological stories of Hinduism; they are fun, and yes many rituals depend on those myths.  I enjoy taking those myths apart and retelling them in different ways.   For example, the story of the elephant God (Ganesh) I tell it in a different way, because I do not like having Lord Shiva kill the young elephant.  Even when changed the myths continue to have the same value they have had traditionally.  Why can't we enjoy good story telling?  Why must we convert good stories into religious doctrines?

    Interesting: I wonder how many of these creation tales or various religious doctrines started around the campfires of earliest mankind as they spun tales to pass the evening or related things that happened during their day, the stories passed down from generation to generation for eons until they morphed into tales unrecognizable by their creators into edicts for living by the inheritors, later taken as canon? I am Christian, but I believe in science and evolution. 

  9. On 8/31/2017 at 11:42 AM, VonNoble said:

    Hello RevTom,


    I am not sure that the original posit is 100% in accord with my understanding

    but I get the drift of the thing (at least I hope I do :o )


    Sort of seems like necessity is the mother of invention might apply to some

    discoveries, no?  (maybe a bunch of them anyway) 


    The reason I questioned our wanting to evolve into more is due to reading 

    more than a few postings in this Forum where people are trying to devolve; 

    into less.   Less need.   Less complication.   Less dogma.  Less rules.

      Less ego.......etc. 


    YOU ARE CERTAINLY CORRECT in that as we expand we make discoveries,

    mostof which we find a way to put to use!    Many for our betterment.


    Too, the flip side is ironically also true, maybe, by wanting less, needing less,

    using less and taking less we care much less about the future and enjoy 

    the dickens out of this hour and this day.   We start to master when is 

    enough - enough.   Very often we have it. 


    BTW, kudos on including the quark.   I am rather smitten with quarks. :rolleyes:



    Hello, and Good Tidings; You make some interesting observations: Indeed, I believe it is the role of necessity that has driven many of the inventions and advances we enjoy. Also, I have observed people wanting a simpler life - to move away from the high tech lifestyle, the compulsion to compete and be at the top of the rung so to speak. I am one of those who have gone back to a simpler lifestyle. For me, it is the most fulfilling: Yet, I do enjoy the advances in technology mankind has made over the course of history, although many of the things that I once thought of as necessities are not even desirable any more. Still I admire and support the discoveries that have been and continue to be made in the hopes that these discoveries will be beneficial to all mankind. I believe that our Creator has blessed us with a passion to look around the bend, travel that unknown road, seek that which we do not know. 

  10. 6 hours ago, VonNoble said:


    Mark45, good to see you, friend.

    Good to see you have kept meditation as a critical part of your path.

    Thank you also, for the welcome back






    I commend you for coming to terms with depression.

    It is a most difficult condition to contend with and often misunderstood.


    i also commend you for urging those who recognize they need professional help to seek it. 

    Very good advise.


    Lastly, congratulations of finding a path that supports your well self. 


    edcrain's original posting: 

    If You are depressed You are living in the past.

    If You are anxious You are living in the future.

    If You are at peace You are living in the present

  you likely noted yourself refers to little "d" 

    depression ...the variety shared by all humans 

    routinely (not big D.....Depression the very real and

    very difficult disease you mentioned) 


    I suspect either way (routine common depression or

    major very real medical condition Depression)  - either

    group can move forward by reflecting on the overall

    message of the posting. 


    Again, my salute to you for finding a way to cope

    with Depression.   I applaud you and hope you inspire

    others to find a way to cope with it.    It is quite awful

    to deal with...and I have known a couple of family 

    members to suffer horribly because of it. 







  11. 2 minutes ago, edcrain said:

    Good Point. Lao Tzu lived about 600 BC.

    I do follow Lao Tzu and other great philosophers and spiritual leaders. Thank you for your post: If we learn to live our lives by the wisdom granted us through these spiritual leaders and philosophers, we will accomplish much individually and collectively. I also enjoy seeing the posts of people here that are thinkers and introduce new avenues of thought and wisdom. I believe ULC is blessed with several free thinkers.

  12. 1 minute ago, RevTom said:

    Although in most aspects this is a nice sentiment, the harsh reality is that for most people - the vast majority -  living with depression, they are living with a disease that needs to be treated, the same as diabetes, schizophrenia, arthritis, or any other malady would need to be treated. I urge people living with depression to seek the medical help they need, to avoid those who would deny and have you deny the medical context of your illness, and thus enable yourselves to live productive lives with as much happiness as possible. all things, bring your problems to your higher power, whatever your spiritual or in the case of non believers, whatever you draw strength from. For me, as a Christian, that is Christ our Lord. reflecting on God's word brings me solace. I am one of those who battle depression. For the most part I have comes to terms with it, and found solace and comfort through my Christian faith. Peace to all.

  13. 7 hours ago, edcrain said:

    If You are depressed You are living in the past.

    If You are anxious You are living in the future.

    If You are at peace You are living in the present

    Although in most aspects this is a nice sentiment, the harsh reality is that for most people - the vast majority -  living with depression, they are living with a disease that needs to be treated, the same as diabetes, schizophrenia, arthritis, or any other malady would need to be treated. I urge people living with depression to seek the medical help they need, to avoid those who would deny and have you deny the medical context of your illness, and thus enable yourselves to live productive lives with as much happiness as possible.

  14. 23 minutes ago, Rev. Calli said:

    Greetings to you my brother,


    Actually, I was thinking that you may want to explore doing hospice work.  Have you ever considered doing some Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)?  Many hospitals and Nursing homes offer this program.  That could lead to at least some volunteer opportunities as local hospice facilities.


    In solidarity,

    Rev. Calli

    Greetings and Good Tidings; I don't think I would remain emotionally well very long working in a hospice. People are put there expecting to die. I find it rather morbid. Maybe on a very part time basis of one or two days per week it would work out.

    • Like 1
  15. 9 minutes ago, Diego_008 said:

    Again, your citing of various studies simply indicates that you are appealing to an authority that doesn't necessarily have any. You are of course free to do that but you need to recognize that you are doing exactly that. The church fathers, including Augustine, definitely have a bit more Authority that is more trustworthy for that matter than the ones you have cited. And again it is perfectly okay for you to reject belief in hell. you are free to do this. But in so doing you have to reject the entire hellenization of Christianity. Again you are welcome to do this. There is no objection to this, as long as you understand this is what you are doing.


    You have to completely throw out Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas in order to do what you are trying to do. You are certainly welcome to do so. But in so doing what you have done is created yet another Protestant denomination. Since there are already 38000 of those, I do not know why you would want to create another. But feel free. There is certainly no reason to prevent you from doing this. But you have to recognize that that is what you are doing.

    You know what? come over to Facebook or Twitter if you want to keep being contentious...I'm through with you here.

    • Like 1
  16. 4 minutes ago, mererdog said:

    I kind of disagree. A decade ago, I would have agreed completely. If we were talking about whether the Beatles are better than the Stones, I would also agree. But this is, quite literally, a life or death issue. Getting this right matters, perhaps more than anything else. I want us both to be right about this issue because I don't want either of us to do wrong, you know? 

    I know I often need help seeing the truth. I have managed, in the past, to help others in that way. So I am actively trying to change your mind, and I am actively encouraging you to try to change mine. Not out of disrespect for each others beliefs, but out of respect for each other and a desire that we each have the best life possible. 




    If anyone looks closely, they may notice that this is an example of how I prefer to handle enemies. Not that I consider anyone on the forum to be an enemy (other than Murph, of course), but intellectual opposition works as an analogue...

    I feel that I have exhausted the means at my disposal to argue against pacifism at all costs and have had to resort to pulling out the heavy artillery, so to speak. I am firmly convinced that aggressors have a predisposition to br nonsocial and unreasonable, tending toward psychopathic mentalities. As such the use of reason with them is futile, IMO. I have included here a couple of case studies for your perusal and edification:

    • Like 1
  17. Actually, I did cite scripture and the studies around those scriptures, You are rather boorish, myopic, and conceited to think you have the valid interpretation when the scriptures prove otherwise. Do not be patronizing or condescending to me. You are not intellectually nor educationally equipped for it.

    Young’s Analytical concordance to the Bible, by Robert Young, LL.D.; Thomas Nelson Publishers.
    Young’s Literal translation of the Holy Bible, by Robert Young, LL.D.;Baker House.
    Greek English Concordance, by J.B. Smith; Herald Press.
    The Emphasized Bible, by J.B. Rotherham;Kregel Publications.
    Concordant Literal New Testament, by the Concordant Publishing Concern.

    In the 1907 book, Lives of the Fathers: Sketches of Church History in Biography, written by Frederick D. Farrar, who was Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen of England, we read about Augustine:    The advocacy of hell came primarily on the scene with Augustine: In no other respect did Augustine differ more widely from Origen and the Alexandrians [Eastern Church] than in his intolerant spirit. Even Tertullian conceded to all the right of opinion.                                      [Augustine] was the first in the long line of Christian persecutors, and illustrates the character of the theology that swayed him in the wicked spirit that impelled him to advocate the right to persecute Christians who differ from those in power. The dark pages that bear the record of subsequent centuries are a damning witness to the cruel spirit that actuated Christians, and the cruel theology that impelled it. Augustine was the first and ablest asserter of the principle which led to Albigensian crusades, Spanish armadas, Netherland’s butcheries, St. Bartholomew massacres, the accursed infamies of the Inquisition, the vile espionage, the hideous bale fires of Seville and Smithfield, the racks, the gibbets, the thumbscrews, and the subterranean torture-chambers used by churchly torturers.[v]
    Following on the heels of Augustine, the greatest influence on today’s hell theology via most modern Bible translations came from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. Jerome translated this tainted version of the Scriptures from a very inferior Latin text in the late 4th century:

    For over a thousand years (c. AD 400–1530), the Vulgate was the definitive edition of the most influential text in Western European society. Indeed, for most Western Christians, it was the only version of the Bible ever encountered. The Vulgate’s influence throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the Early Modern Period is even greater than that of the King James Version in English; for Christians during these times the phraseology and wording of the Vulgate permeated all areas of the culture.[vii]

    What was the problem with Jerome’s Bible? It was heavily influenced by Latin hell-inventing theologians like Tertullian and Augustine.

    When you realize that the hell doctrine was so late in being adopted by the Church (and hence, Scriptures), the poorly constructed walls of orthodoxy begin to crumble. It was several hundred years after Jesus and the apostles that men began formulating many of these new Church doctrines and creeds, many still a part of Evangelical Christian orthodoxy to this day.  Had our old English Bibles been translated directly out of the Greek instead of Latin, it’s very probable that the doctrine of eternal torment would never have found its way into our modern Bibles and theology at all. Many of these doctrines were strong-armed into the Church through major dissension and even bloodshed, with intolerant, oppressive Church leaders insisting that they were “led by the Spirit” on such matters.

    Shall I go on?