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About Dianna

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    Valued Friend
  • Birthday June 11

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  • Interests
    Psychology, Comparative religions/philosophies; Writing (blogging, an e-book re: R.H.); Greek history/Philosophy/Mythology; Chess, Zoroastrianism, Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA); Anasazi and Hopi culture
  • Doctrine /Affiliation
    Rational Hedonism

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    Psychologist/ R.H. Celebrant
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  1. I've done gratitude journals off and on over the years, usually during a hard period in my life. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be any good thing on what seems to be an endlessly terrible day, but it does help when done regularly. There can be so many negative things that stress us or cause real problems in life; politics, medical and financial stress, work, retirement, buying things ... and we can sometimes focus so much on that elusive future where we envision everything will be better, then when we finally get there, sometimes it wasn't the great happy thing we'd hoped for. We can get so caught up in the future or stress now, we might not appreciate what we have and who we have in our lives now. I'm also a little bit lazy, so once I get over the bad patches of life, I usually stop the gratitude journal, but it does help retrain your mind's way of thinking and perspective in looking for the good things, those little incidents that happen, or the people who, maybe just by a smile or word of encouragement, brought a moment of reprieve and brightness in what seemed like a bad day. A gratitude journal collects those good moments, and when you can start flipping back through pages and see those good things, it teaches you the optimism to look for those few good things that happen or be thankful for those people right now, during every day. You can't change the past, and though it seems like there is so much we always have to worry about the future - later today, tomorrow, next week, in the next few years - what we do have is now, today, and find the good, today. I like the idea of husband, wife and kids all sharing their gratitude for each other, I'd never heard of that as a process of keeping a gratitude journal. In Rational Hedonism we have a mini-Thanksgiving the 20th of every month where we remind friends and family how important they are. Kids and spouses so often hear only griping about each other, so the idea to share with kids or grand kids what positive things they do might be especially important nowadays to inoculate them against a world of cyber bullying and peer pressure that causes so many teen suicides. Do you still keep one?
  2. Curious question.. you have Master Debater under your name. Is that really how you want to be viewed...argumentative? Master Conversationalist I would think would be more enticing. Said in much love. Night. Renee' -- child of the Master. Smile

  3. Not sure if they are the best methods, but I can suggest what works for me. Nowadays, never underestimate web presence. There are free, simple-to-use website builders like weebly.com to set up at least a page with the name of your ministry, a pic of you with a email and/or business phone, as well as the services you provide. As you get business, make sure you include photos as samples. Now you have a place to point people to. Websites have become the new business card and include as a link when you list yourself with area pages of wedding search sites. Be sure to include the search words in your site you want to be "findable" in search engines, such as "wedding", "hospital visitation" or specifics you want to stand out for, and the city/state you are in, so locals can find you. You don't absolutely need a private domain name at first until you get going, and the longer your site is online, the more you are "findable" by search engines. If you want to do hospital or some other type of ministry or visitation, nothing beats going to area hospitals. convalescent and retirement homes and either talking to their social services or clergy offices, they may be able to connect you to people who would benefit. I've found most places don't mind you visiting with residents. There are wedding officiant listing sites you can be listed for free by area location, and they are good if someone specifically clicks you, but the free account listings don't usually help promote you, although it's good to be listed and include your website link for someone searching. If you are going to do weddings, it helps to research the local area floral shops, sometimes you include their ad on your page, they may mention you on theirs. Facebook is only good if you have things to say, such as hospital visitation, wedding, and other ministerial things to show photos and people leave positive feedback for things you did, and it's best to be tied in with other groups where you post or that are relevant so people can follow your comments back to your fb page, where again, you will have the trusty link to your website. Otherwise, if you aren't a big fb poster, it's not worth it. There are usually four major bridal shows in larger areas a year, each season promotes the upcoming season. Most of the professional people will have booths and attention-getting advertising and promotions displayed, and it can be hard to compete at first with what they offer. It's best to find some specialty niche or appeal to the smaller, intimate one-on-one situations and ... figure out who your target is. If parents are paying, your down-to-earth, common sense and empathy may win over overwhelmed fathers or mothers. Most people at big bridal shows aren't in the market for wedding clergy at that time, but a business card with your ministry website information can easily be tucked in their sacks where they're collecting all the other promotional things, to be looked over once at home. If you want business cards, I've gone through Vistaprint, but their cheapest cards used to have their logo on the back of your card, you pay extra either to have that taken off or for your own printing on the back. I've also use a cheap flip-top Trak phone for a business-only number I use for weddings, funerals, etc. That is the number I post publicly so my real life and family life isn't interrupted by crank calls. Take time to snoop over other people's websites (who are doing similar things) and see what they include and how they lay things out, you may get ideas. Also, take the time to learn the answers to questions people may ask you, in order to be a better help. You'll make yourself the expert they depend on. Not sure if this is the type of information you were looking for, but hope it helps in getting started when it seems like there is so much to know and not sure what to do.
  4. I just wanted to say that I have a lot of respect for you and your ability to hold your own here sometimes when it seems so many jump against you.  I would have thought there'd be more Christians here from what I've read of the older posts, but seems they wander away.  I may not believe the way you do, but you are about the only Christian here who posts and I learn a lot of the Bible beliefs from you.  :)


    1. Pastor Dave

      Pastor Dave

      Dianna, I agree. Dan is probably the most active Christian here. I have commended him before for his willingness to stick in there and give a Christian view when he is usually outnumbered. I used to enjoy the debating when I first joined but it seems that the same arguments are simply rehashed with different people year after year. While Dan and I may not agree on every jot and tittle of doctrine, I believe we agree on the fundamentals. One of the things I find so refreshing about Dan's style is that even if I don't agree with him on a specific stance he has taken, he is able to give scripture showing how he came to that point of view.

      Props to Dan.

      Keep fighting the good fight.

    2. Dan56


      Thank you both.. There does seem to be relentless opposition to what I believe and think, but most of the conflicting views come from the majority (nonbelievers) who seem to despise the bible. So I don't take anything personal, the arguments are usually against scripture, and a few get extremely frustrated with my acceptance of what they consider a ruthless OT God. Others who believe nothing, just enjoy challenging the authenticity of the bible.. I don't mind, its keeps me sharp, and I think down deep, everyone is just looking for answers. We were all born with an unction to seek and find our purpose, to find the Truth, Perhaps the biggest obstacle is ourselves.  

  5. Nice Monkee's song! Fits perfect there lol.... Thanks!

    1. Gruffydd y Dryw

      Gruffydd y Dryw

      You're welcome! I've been a huge Monkees fan since watching reruns of their TV show as a child :)

    2. Dianna


      Me too! And I don't care how much that "dates" me anymore lol... we had so much good music!


  6. The Difficult Questions

    Questions, I always have. Answers? Not always so much.
  7. The Difficult Questions

    How did the world begin? What happens after we die? What is true freedom? Do we have free will? Are our decisions made by free will? Is there such thing as absolute truth? What is true happiness? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or one? --sorry Star Trek meander) What is my purpose in life?
  8. According to that chart, I fall into the Agnostic Atheist. I believe we are all, as Carl Sagan said, “star stuff”. We are composed of the materials of this planet, so in that sense, we are a part of nature and can become more in tune with its natural rhythms. While I do believe the earth is “living”, I don't believe that it can be “appeased” as some cultures have tried through religion. I believe the early gods were attempts to explain natural phenomena. I also do not believe specifically in the god of the Hebrew/Christian Bible or any of the “known” gods, and I do not have a need to attribute the good and beautiful or bad things that exist or happen from a god. I am Epicurean in the sense of believing even if there are higher beings that would seem to be as gods to us, they would either be so different than us, or be so evolved and involved in their own thing, they chose not to be involved or interact with us at this time. I think as humans, we ultimately share the same experience upon death. We certainly don't have to worry about them sending us to eternal torture upon death. So yes, Atheist in that I don't believe the “gods” of religions but “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamed of in your philosophy”- Hamlet (1.5.167-8) What I do know, is that we do not know, see, hear, the whole enormous picture, we don't have the senses even “lesser” animals and insects use (for example, can color-blind animals see a rainbow? How many spectrums do we miss?) If they exist, are they gods? Or just different or advanced and godlike to us? So the Agnostic is also there because I know that I don't know, and if there is are gods/spirits there, they may be totally different then our legends have created them.
  9. When My Faith In Christianity Erodes

    This was actually the main quote I was looking for, instead of the above. Still Justin Martyr, since I wasn't able to add this excerpt above in time: Again, to me, this seems to explain to me the beginnings of the Christian church - in order to get away from Jewish connections - were originally taken from pagan Roman beliefs, before eventually growing and developing into its own religion.
  10. When My Faith In Christianity Erodes

    With all due respect to the religion Christianity, in my opinion a possible reason it has managed to twist a perfectly-fine-religion-on-its-own and created a different one where salvation must only come through belief of Jesus as the son of God whose blood "sacrifice" was for the sins of the world. My opinion is partly based on the writings of Justin Martyr, a respected Christian (who was later martyred) who is telling the Roman (pagans) that what the Christians believe is no different than what they believed. As the Jewish believers were squeezed out and the "church" became increasingly Roman/non-Jewish, it seems pretty obvious (to me) that to better relate to the people of the Roman empire, they started drawing in these popular ideas that differed from any former Jewish concepts. Again, just my opinion.
  11. Yom Kippur

    !צום קל May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!
  12. Hymn (Song) And Artist

    The funerals I usually conduct are for non-religious, unaffiliated families who don't want to bring in some pastor from an unknown church. That doesn't necessarily mean they don't want some sort of spiritual service, so here are a few I've used over the years : We’ll Meet Again - Vera Lynn If We Ever Meet Again This Side Of Heaven - Johnny Cash O Love That Will Not Let Me Go - Indelible Grace Music One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men When I Get Where I’m Going – Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton And one of my personal favorites: Circle of Life – Elton John They are all "You-Tube-able" with lyrics. P.S. Btw, Al, I've added your violin solo to my already extensive list - that haunting tune has stuck in my head for days!
  13. Have You Read It?

    My own response was in regard to VonNoble's : The more I've learned and studied other religions over the years, the more I've seen these overlapping teachings. Maybe those who strongly adhere to one religion don't see it (the forest for the trees), but when you are secure enough to step back and compare your religion to others, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the "bigger picture". It's not meant to make less of what you believe, but instead make it . . . more . . . That what you believe and thought was the picture is actually an intricate part of the bigger picture. And I could just totally be explaining this awkwardly. Thanks for the link, Dan! I read the refutations as I have on other Christian apologetics sites before. It was kind of what I expected from a Christian site for Christians but it was interesting reading. I can understand the difficulties potential refuters run into trying to disprove the similarities of Horus and Jesus since most of the primary resources are from pre-Christian era scrolls and texts. The types destroyed in that horrible fire at the famous Library at Alexandria. A wealth of known (at the time) ancient knowledge and information was destroyed then and over the centuries during the Dark Ages by religious zealots who wanted to destroy "pagan" teachings, as well as deliberate censorship from Biblical scholars who didn't want to deal with legitimate questions when Christianity was trying to distance itself and define itself separately (they do it this way, so we'll do it this way) from some of its pagan influences. The only reason some of this "alternative" knowledge survived was it had been copied by scribes and taken to study in the Indian and Arab countries. I won't hijack a thread for Horus and Jesus as that is not the topic. but I'd enjoy a friendly discussion about it in PM with you Dan. I have solid, historic documentations/reasons for my beliefs, not just bytes copied and pasted from Wikipedia or some conspiracy or quack website. And yes, I totally agree. Other historical records and myths indicate a great flood and the Biblical account is but one of them. There are flood stories on every continent. There's a lot of real information out there - it's not all contained in any one holy book. To me, the bigger picture is so much more awesome.
  14. Have You Read It?

    I’m a Rational Hedonist and a Skeptic, but I’ve studied Christian scriptures in a state university by a great Baptist man, and had a year of Bible College. I’ve studied Hebrew Scriptures for ten years in Hebrew in Israel. I’ve read the Koran, Bhagavad Gita, Book of Mormon, and read and own the Satanic Bible. Even Anton LaVey got a lot of his ideas he put forth in the Satanic Bible from the lineage of Rational Hedonists. I’ve known Christians who love to let in Seventh Day Adventists and Mormons when they come knocking at the door, because it’s a kind of “sport” to get them to use the “Christian” Bible in order to “prove” their arguments. They didn't go to church, and the only time they apparently came to (religious) life was when those folks knocked on the door. But these same Christians will argue into the ground with Messianic Jews about cutting off their Jewish roots of the Bible regarding Holidays and lifestyle. Chassidic Jews stay cloistered, won't read anything non-religious and won’t listen to anyone beside their own Rav. The Muslims, who came waaaaay after Judaism and Christianity, apparently have forgotten and not read about Muhammad’s original affinity with Judaism and respect for “People of the Book” (Christians and Jews). They seem to be following charismatic men with personal political agendas and not reading for themselves what the Koran says. I’ve found over the years that I know more than a lot of people about their self-proclaimed religion and that may simply be because I’m curious about them all and not prone to pick and choose. I do think Jewish and Christian leadership tend not to want their flock to explore Zoroastrianism, Babylonian, Sumerian or Egyptian writings, as if their religion will lose something. I know some of you will know where I'm going here, but I can't resist: If I were to say, “I’m thinking about someone who …. 1. Was born of a virgin. 2. Had a foster father. 3. Was of royal descent. 4. Birth accompanied by star gazers who followed by bearing gifts. 5. Birth announced by angels. 6. Someone tried to murder him as an infant. 7. Baptized at age 30 at a river. 8. Resists temptation by “the evil one”. 9. Had 12 followers. 10. Performed miracles like healing the sick and walking on water. 11. Raised someone from the grave. 12. Killed by crucifixion. 13. Accompanied by two thieves at the crucifixion. 14. Buried in a tomb. 15. Resurrected after 3 days. 16. Resurrection was announced by three women. 17. Was given the title, “anointed one”. Most Christians would answer, “Jesus”. But . . . the original answer is . . . the Egyptian god, Horus. If you're a Christian, would knowing that "take away" from the wonders and "truth" of Jesus? What’s wrong with being able to admit that the Hebrews probably picked up the flood story from the Babylonians (Epic of Gilgamesh) while in Babylonian exile? I don’t know, for me, I’d think it would give me more awe and respect to understand the roots and ancient origins of that religion. Reading and learning new things sometimes takes people out of their religions’ comfort zones - but we were given curiosity. Isn't it better to grow ... beyond, then to settle for the mud pie on our side of the fence? There's so much out there. I don't think questioning is bad.