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Everything posted by RevTom

  1. It must have worked BEHOLD!!! The sun is once again shining...
  2. This is ministering in the finest sense of the word. Doing only that which is right. Although a simple sounding phrase, it emcompasses a lot of territory. It is also my philosophy. It gives me joy to be able to help people in need or to simply do that which is right - returning money to someone you saw drop it: I have done that as well. I guess one of my greatest moments is when I was driving a taxi and came upon this elderly lady one Christmas eve stranded in Atlanta because she missed her bus and would not be able to be with her family for Christmas. I drove her to Chattanooga, Tenn. When we got there, It was heartwarming to see the smile upon her face as she ran and hugged her children and grandchildren. They asked what the charge was, and I told them it was very specific: To pass on the deed when they came across someone in need and they could help.
  3. What beautiful prayers for the departed!!! I never had to preside over a funeral during my active ministry, although I wrote a - I don't like to call it a sermon - a service for a fellow minister who was at a loss to write one.
  4. Greetings; I really don't have a particular preference. I have a blog (although I am not very active in it) with my current title, Rev. Tom. That is why when i changed it, I changed to make it easier for people to follow my blog as well as the forums here.
  5. In my perspective, I am a minister 24/7, 365. I may not actively participate in functions all the time, but I am ready if called to do so.
  6. I try pacifism in most situations. I think confrontation is most often a lose - lose situation. It is only when it is obvious that pacifism is not going to resolve a situation that I will respond. Like the old adage, it isn't much help to bring a knife to a gunfight. If someone is bent on physical altercation, we are faced with the fight or flight reflex. What is doing right in the light of pacifism going to help if someone is physically harming you or your family? That is when the nice guy is subdued by Billy Badass, and I resort to whatever means is necessary to prevail. I think of it like this also: If the perp in question gets away with physically assaulting someone and I could have prevented it, I am complicit in his future actions against others.
  7. I need to work on myself a bit - making sure not to provoke anger from people. Being headstrong is not always a good idea. I resolve to helping keep the boat aright.
  8. It is amazing - I have looked at the species you mention, and have found them to be gorgeous also. The blue swallowtail is common in The South, and I agree, beautiful.
  9. The one on the left is a Swallowtail and the one on the right is Caligo eurilochus brasiliensis- an Owl Butterfly.
  10. I do not mean to be cantankerous: I just don't know how to express it any better. I do appreciate and enjoy your thoughts. No umbrage meant.
  11. AAAAAHHHHH. I guess sometimes I am not the sharpest tack on the wall. Everyone does - and should - follow his or her own path or inclinations. Thanks for clearing it up for me.
  12. A bit of quibbling? I did not realize I had called upon God until I had done so. When I had called upon Him, I realized that I had, and that I felt guilty because I had stepped away from my faith for a number of years in a couple of the instances.
  13. I think you are just refusing to accept a metaphor: meditating may be your way of climbing the metaphorical rock?
  14. I do not understand. How do you know you called upon G/god if you were not conscious of it? Were others with you who witnessed your call and related it to you later? Being unconscious does not always mean you have no recollection of events that happen.
  15. By unconsciously I did not mean that I was necessarily unconscious, although in a couple of instances I was. Being unconscious does not mean you do not have recollection of what happened.
  16. Near death experiences doesn't always mean in a state of unconsciousness. One of the instances was in a van when the driver swerved to miss an oncoming car. He ran off the road down a steep embankment abut 35 feet, and the van rolled numerous times. I heard glass breaking - I was flopping around in the van - no seats: I was sitting on two stacked crates of wine when the accident started. I couldn't see all the glass breaking, but heard it, and saw the top peel off the van like it was opened with a can opener. I knew I was knocking on death's door, and in desperation called out to God to save me. We all (4 of us) came out of it with minor scratches. Another time, I was just a boy fishing with my family. Nobody was catching anything so I moved to a different lace on the lake, about 50 yards from my family. As the day progressed from cool morning to warm noon, I looked around and found myself surrounded by cottonmouth moccasins, 16 of them sunning themselves along the bank. As I tried to creep by them to get out of there, the closest ones noticed me moving and started slithering 3 of them flicked their tongues at me and touched me with their tongues checking me out. One of them came partway up my pants. I called upon God for deliverance, and after about 15 minutes the snakes right at me moved away, and I was able to pick a path through them. These are just two incidents: I have had several, yes including serious injury: I smashed my finger in a printing press requiring 4 hours of microsurgery to put my finger back together - sort of. I lost almost two liters of blood from the injury, and was in and out of consciousness for a few hours. I remember a white being around me and calling upon God to save me. The doctor told me he hadn't expected me to live.
  17. Maybe it is meant figuratively speaking. We all have that within us, but we must all discover it in our own way and by our own measure?
  18. I agree.I think we all relate to things happening based n our personal experiences. I like your input and observations. I might not always agree, but they always give pause for thought.
  19. I have felt a call to the ministry in recent months after many years having turned away from my calling in 1965. Honestly, I don't believe I would have entertained it had I not stumbled back upon ULC and read the forums. The points that always stick in my soul are that I have had several near death experiences, and no matter what I was involved with at the time - Wicca, Atheism, agnosticism, every single time when I was on the doorstep of death, I would unconsciously call upon God to save me, which obviously He did. In many of these instances, there is no reasonable possibility for me not to have died.
  20. The mountaintop in my understanding, is truth and understanding; the fulfilment of one's spiritual destiny. I don't view it as a one size fits all perception of God, but the realization of your specific journey to fulfilment; for me that is the Christian God and the fulfilment of spiritual awakening through the scriptures , but I can't say it to be so for others. I can believe it to be so for all, but I cannot condemn what others feel is their correct path.
  21. 2. Explain the differences between Translations and Paraphrases. Translations strive to decode a text word for word while Paraphrasing restates the idea while using different words. Just out of curiosity because I never gave it much thought, but which do you consider more accurate: Translations or paraphrases? Do you consider them equally accurate in giving us the Word as it was meant by the authors?
  22. Maybe I should clarify. I don't like confrontations: I do not seek out challenges or fighting, but I stand my ground if someone is harassing a person not well suited to defend themselves. As for me. Name calling and other verbal abuse toward me doesn't provoke me unless it is unchecked. physically assaulting me will not turn out well.
  23. Most often, it is to my regret and chagrin that I meet brutality in kind. I often feel guilty afterwards, but I don't think I would do anything differently. I told my son, who was small for his age while in school, that if he got suspended for defending himself to consider it a vacation.
  24. I suppose I have a harder stance against those who would do harm against others. I believe that if you can do something about someone harming others - even if it comes to physical action - and you don't take that action, you become an enabler for that person committing the abuse, bullying, etc.