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Posts posted by RevTom

  1. On 8/14/2017 at 4:04 PM, cuchulain said:

    I think of myself as a full time minister.  The way I define minister agrees with the dictionary under verb(go figure):  attend to the needs of (someone)

    I generally tend to the needs of many people, sometimes people I know and sometimes strangers.  But like John Lennon said, "Better recognize your brother, everyone you meet"

    I think of myself as a passive minister.  Strange sounding, now that I type it.  I am what I am on a regular basis, and if there is nobody around that I can tell is in need, then I am not actively ministering.  If I see someone who needs help, I try.  I guess I am semi active in that I volunteer my services and time on a regular basis.  I help out at food pantries.

    Church doctrine means absolutely nothing to me.  I am a stoic, which really doesn't have ministers of the "faith" that I can determine.  Generally speaking, stoics act in accordance with what they believe to be right.  If I see someone drop a $20 I tell them, if I find money in the parking lot of Walmart(and I did recently, like a month ago) I take it to the service desk(at Walmart, they have a policy of holding on to the funds for a certain amount of time then if nobody claims it they donate the money to Children's Miracle Network).  If I see someone with a flat tire and it looks like they might need help, I stop and help.  I have jump started many a car, and have pushed a few off the road so that someone could try to fix a problem as well.  

    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.

    • Like 1
  2. On 7/2/2017 at 10:21 PM, Rev. Calli said:

    Greetings to you my brother,


    Most Protestant churches, because of our understanding of the nature of Grace, do not have a ritual that corresponds with the Apostolic blessing the Catholic church uses.  We do have rituals for the sick, and for those near death, but nothing we would say that implies the absolution of sins that someone from a Catholic tradition would use.


    The Book of Common Prayer fo the Anglican Church, the Book of Worship from the United Methodist Church, and the Star Book for Ministers (Baptist, non-denominational) have sections for Prayers of the sick.  At the moment of death, many rituals contain this prayer (or one substantially similar).


    "Depart Christian soul, out of this world, in the name of God the Father who created you, in the name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you, in the name of the Holy Spirit who sanctified you. May you rest this day in peace, and dwell forever in the paradise of God."


    At the times I have been called to the bedside of someone who was dying, and whose faith I did not know, I would use this variation:


    "Depart beautiful soul, out of this world.  In the name of God our parent who created you, who loved you, and who stands ready to receive you.  May you rest this day in peace and dwell forever in the paradise of God."


    In solidarity,

    Rev. Calli



    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. 

  3. On 7/1/2017 at 1:43 PM, Amulet said:

    Good day,


    Regarding being addressed as Reverend (or other titles), I am curious to know your preference to use the title with your first name or surname.

    If you belong to a denominational church, what is the protocol with yours?


    My question isn't necessarily about formal address rules and etiquette. Just personal preference.



    If I am addressed as Reverend, then I prefer Rev. Surname.

    If I am addressed as Sister, I don't have a preference with that at all.





    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.

  4. On 8/14/2017 at 5:58 AM, Amulet said:


    The Tee-Up:

    Your ordination is life long and doesn't expire. Acknowledgement of your ordination by the church is 24/7. You are also a participating member of the forum and possibly belong to other ULC groups on FB. 


    I have a few curious questions referencing the above:


    1. Does the acknowledgment of you being an ordained minister 24/7 mean that you are a full time minister because your ordination counts is acknowledged "always"? Or does the term "full time minister" have a different definition if applied to you, your beliefs and your lifestyle? Is there such a thing in your life as being a minister seasonally? Such as for peak wedding season, and then the rest of the year you make no claims about being a minister and perform no other ministerial duties to speak of?


    2. Do you consider yourself to be an active minister? What does being an active minister mean for you? Would it mean you actively do "minister things" for a minimum number of hours out of your day or through the week? Does actively participating on the forum or in the ULC groups on FB mean you are an active minister? How regular would doing "minister things" have to be for you to consider yourself active? Is there something specific you think an active minister should be doing?


    3. Does the church doctrine specifically come up for you as a reference when you have to weigh decisions now and then? For example, if you saw someone drop a $20 bill and they didn't notice and kept going. Or if you are counting calories/fat and had a choice between eating fries or steamed broccoli? I am not talking about conscience or obligation. I mean, do the actual words of the church doctrine "do that which is right" run through your mind in certain cases for making decisions? No? Yes? Sometimes? - Does it come up for you to use the church doctrine as a piece of advice when it applies to a situation? Like, you literally tell or remind someone "do that which is right?" (or even "do the right thing." but you thought of the doctrine.)


    ...No right or wrong answers. I am curious how members define some aspects for themselves as ordained ministers.

    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.

    • Like 1
  5. On 8/12/2017 at 11:55 PM, Amulet said:


    I am also a pacifist. But I want to clarify that my pacifism is an ethical stance that extends to all living beings and creatures, not just human beings, which also means that my food choices are also aligned to be as detached from violence as best as possible. (Ahimsa.)
    At this point, I am unsure what defines an enemy. I have not given the definition for my own self about 'enemy' in its true definition much thought really.


    I hopefully distinguish well enough between perceived threat, direct threat and indirect threat before making any kinds of decisions. The one that gives me the most trouble is indirect threat. Because of prior experiences, it causes me to be act more preemptively than defensively and has been on my mind a lot recently, as to what is the best way to handle something that comes sideways.


    As for it being right way to do handle enemies (threats?), hmm.. it's right for me until I'm wrong? If I'm wrong I'll be pushing daisies! 


    On 8/12/2017 at 11:55 PM, Amulet said:

    On the one hand, my pacifism prevents me from being anyone's enemy, because there is no one I really wish to harm. On the other hand, my pacifism limits my problem-solving options when dealing with those who would act as my enemy. It isn't that I love my enemy, just that I want to keep my commitment to do only right, even if everyone else seems to be doing wrong. 


    So that's where I am on the subject. I have no scripture that I fall back on and no authority I look to for guidance. I'm just trying to use my conscience as a guide. But we all do things differently, which brings me to some questions for everyone....


    How do you handle enemies? Why do you do that? Do you think it is the right way to do it? Have you given it much thought?

    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.

  6. On 8/4/2017 at 6:39 PM, Key said:

    Let's hope it never tips over. ;)

    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.

  7. On 8/11/2017 at 1:08 PM, Brother Kaman said:

    Shared connotations of words and phrases are necessary to communicate data and ideas. It is becoming obvious that we do not share those connotations and semantics. I am not quibbling. I am trying to understand what you have written. Ultimately it makes no difference so I will bow out of this.

    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.

    • Like 1
  8. 4 minutes ago, Brother Kaman said:

    The way you used the word "unconscious" was that you were unaware of calling upon G/god. You were fully conscious but unconscious of your action.

    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.

  9. 18 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    Perhaps.  But if there is something to be heard, I think I will hear it better if I'm meditating.  Not climbing a rock.  


    Psalm 46:10 King James Version (KJV)

    Be still, and know that I am God: 


    I can also cherry pick.     :D   




    I think you are just refusing to accept a metaphor: meditating may be your way of climbing the metaphorical rock? :rolleyes:

  10. 7 hours ago, Key said:

    Maybe he attributes a kind of pull towards doing something for his faith as a call from his God. Many people feel lacking or pulled toward something spiritual. Not all, and not everyone does anything.

    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. 

  11. 9 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

    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?

    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.

  12. 8 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

    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?

    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.

  13. 52 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    Just so.  I understand the symbolism.  Still, if the Kingdom of Heaven is within, there is no place to go, nothing to attain and nothing to climb.  


    There is an old Zen monk 's lament.  "I know I'm already an enlightened master.  Why am I still miserable?"  

    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?

  14. 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.

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  15. 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.

  16. On 8/4/2017 at 5:54 PM, SRNovy said:

    1. Create a list of arguments why the Bible reflects the true word of God the Almighty.

         There are two different arguments as to why the Bible reflects the true word of God, The first being its continuity/unity and unerring continuance despite that so many authors where involved and so many years between each author also had passed. The second being,  the numerous detailed prophecies written in the Bible, that have come perfectly true. Over three thousand prophecies are written within the Bible.


    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.

    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?

  17. 10 minutes ago, Key said:

    I tend to avoid confrontations. I don't like conflict, so I avoid having enemies. But if I should come across one, I don't try to escalate things unless provoked. And if that happens, watch out, I have a terrible temper!

    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.

    • Like 2
  18. 19 minutes ago, the Hearthwitch said:

    Good on you! I feel the same way! But....Not having a huge amount of upper body strength someone limits one's ability to take a very hard stance, I'm afraid. LOL This is why I tend to just get in the way of threats- I'm no warrior. I know I can't take 'em down (probably), but I can interfere until help arrives.

    I'm a meddlesome woman, rather than an Amazon. :P It's a little different for us gals who don't "carry", I guess.

    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.

    • Like 2
  19. 5 hours ago, Key said:

    Much like warding off a bear sometimes. LOL  Sorry, just imagined you that way as soon as I read that.


    16 hours ago, the Hearthwitch said:

    As a woman, and a mother, the only beings that I see as enemies are threats to my children, myself, my husband, our pets, or to others. And to qualify as an enemy, there has to be an immediate threat of violence or harm.

    I never, never wish for harm to others without serious provocation. I don't even bother, with minor stuff- gossips and that sort of thing, it's better to just ignore 'em- they almost always hang themselves with their own rope, given time. I have asked for help from other Beings, from time to time, in speeding up that process, but I do not generally use spellwork for direct harm- it's cleaner and simpler to aid them in their own defeat. Even when there have been direct magickal attacks on my household, my husband and I both have simply done a Return To Sender. No sense in making a bad situation worse, or owing debts we aren't willing to pay. ;)


    Like you, I don't have a guidebook that I follow. I'm not Wiccan, so even the Wiccan Rede doesn't apply. I am my own moral authority.


    How I respond to threats is dependent on the situation. If someone who is human is physically threatening any of the aforementioned beings (family, friends, furbabies, or even strangers), I have a really odd reaction for a shy person: I get right in their face, as loudly and as attention-drawing-ly as possible. If it is a male human, attacking or threatening a child or woman, I'm twice as loud, and will often try to draw their violence to me, because 1. I know that I can take a hit, and 2. I can really, really draw a crowd if I have to! The sight of a man hitting a screaming blonde gal has a tendency to get things stopped in a hurry, for some reason. :rolleyes: And most of the time, it actually stops that person in their tracks, rather than resulting in being hit. It's a huge surprise- they don't expect it. I don't look like any kind of a warrior-woman.


    Why do I do it? Because it's effective. Hurting people, especially people who are at an obvious disadvantage, is wrong.


    I've only had to do it twice. I have only been hit once, while doing this. The woman was able to get away, and the police got the guy who was beating on her- her husband. He only got one hit in, and was subdued by others. I have a surprisingly hard skull. The lump went down within a day. I barely even felt it. ^_^


    The time that this occurred and I was not hit, was a situation where my child was threatened. I have a feeling that the man involved in that situation read what was in my eyes, and realized that he might not survive the encounter. The police took it from there. 


    If I can't draw witnesses, and they don't stand down, I will fight. And I will be as dirty and vicious as I can be, especially if it is for my children. At heart, I think all mothers are animals, when it comes to our young. I know for certain that I am. (Probably a were-wolverine, or a badger or something along those lines, LOL! :lol:) This same applies to attack by real animals- dogs, etc. I will use physical force, if needed, and I believe that I would kill to protect my own.


    I appreciate your having asked the question- never thought it through like this, before. I hope others will reply- it's an interesting subject! :)

    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. 

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