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Posts posted by Dianna

  1. 1. Why are we actually here and what is it exactly apart from the biochemical and other components that we are?

    We are all here because we were meant to be, our ancestors survived famine, plague, wars, even childbirth. If your biological parents had not met, or if they decided to get "frisky" any day other than that particular one, you wouldn't be you.

    2. What is the point and purpose of existence? --this is for all believers, and non-believers inclusive?

    What a shame it'd be to have the most beautiful and geographically diverse planet within millions of miles and no one to experience and appreciate it! Life is about having joy in the pleasures of the world, discovering and doing what you love and finding others who enjoy the same, developing a good work ethic and being responsible. Learning the things that interest you and from your mistakes, growing in wisdom, realizing your actions have consequences, and striving to continue growing to be the best “you”.

    3. If we presume --as some, that there is no afterlife, then why are we (most) clinging to life? If we go with that theory is it not easier and better to end it sooner or later?

    Absolutely not! Life has the value and meaning you place on it. Every day is another day to embrace, talk and laugh with family and friends, another day with children or grandchildren. There is always something to learn, to experience, to taste for the first time. You try to eat right, keep in shape, monitor your health and do the best you can to extend your life, buy another day of seeing a beautiful sunrise/sunset, listen to the thunder and rain or birdsong. As long as you live you have second chances.

    4. Why have children--simply to perpetuate the cycle of suffering??

    No, we have children because we have perpetual hope.

    We have children … because of all the physical and emotional pleasure in the act of “getting” children.

    Not too far back, the more children you had increased your chances of survival when living off the land. (Nowadays some people hope today’s children will pay for their Social Security). Some people want children so they will have someone who loves and depends on them. Others genuinely want to create the wonder of a new life from a combination of two people and share that life, excited to see what talents and surprises this new being will bring.

    5. Why are we killing each other, the planet and all of creation deliberately?

    People have always killed each other for expansion and greed and the belief of entitlement. People destroy the earth because they believe they have been given the earth and all therein to subjugate and use, such as the wood in the rainforest, not caring what they leave for their descendants, or if their grandchildren will ever be able to enjoy seeing exotic animals or butterflies as they did.

    (And on a strictly personal note, I also kinda blame men for the massive wars and planetary destruction. I think women would have talked more, been more willing to not send their grown children into battle to kill someone else’s children. I also don’t believe women would have said, dump that toxic stuff into the drinking water).

  2. I have problems with Paul on many levels.

    When he didn't do well preaching to the Jews, he was asked by Barnabas to go to Antioch and began concentrating on the god-fearers (Gentiles on the fringes of Judaism but didnt formally accept the Law or circumcision). It was here I think he started changing things to reach out to these people. Most Jews accepted there was a place for righteous Gentiles in Gods kingdom (Is. 2:2) but Paul began developing a theology that, instead of a study of Jesus's life and teachings (which Jews may have related to and not others); through a focus of faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, the barrier between Gentile and Jew would be broken down, the Law was superseded and rituals like circumcision and the dietary restrictions would no longer be important.

    Until then, this new movement had still been Jewishly rooted (Jesus and the Apostles had never stopped being practicing Jews), but since he hadnt had success trying to reach the Greek-speaking Jews in Jerusalem, he discovered this untapped new audience and gradually defined a role for himself as exclusively committed to the conversion of the non-Jews. In fact, in Romans 11:11-14 it seems he started the beginning of the rift between separating this new religion from its Jewish roots by suggesting that non-Jews (Gentiles) were now God's preferred people.

    As ReverendV mentioned, Paul never knew Jesus and he seemed to distance himself from learning about him from the Apostles who had. Instead, he distanced himself from the men who'd learned from Jesus. Gal. 1:11 says the Good News he preached wasnt a human message from [mere] men, but instead a revelation from Jesus Himself. In fact, he made a point of stressing that faith in Jesus didnt involve any kind of identification with Jesus life on earth, but the main thing was his death and resurrection. That bypassed the debates of Jewish practices for non-Jewish believers and brought both groups to a point they could agree about as a Jew himself yet preaching this new belief, Paul seems to switch back and forth on his views of the Law. Despite what the Apostles may have been preaching, Paul seems to have been trying to separate his teachings from theirs Gal. 1:8

    I also believe he encouraged (if not introduced himself) that Jewish Law had been replaced by the coming of Jesus, and that sexuality was evil, a turn-around of the surrounding culture and religions. In that world of Greek intellectual thought, he encouraged blind faith over rational argument which, as time went on, we see the later Church (now composed of non-Jews) stifling the Greek intellectual tradition. I also dont believe that all of the letters attributed to him, were written by him.

    These are of course, just my opinions.

    Other than that, Im sure he was a good man and never realized how much his teachings would affect the future direction of the Church. I think he really believed the Kingdom of God was at hand, and he sincerely was trying to find a way to merge Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds into a common belief.

  3. Thanks, I appreciate any help right now!

    I agree that LegalZoom is probably good for basics, the complaints I was seeing concerned trademarks, I'm still going to check them out for things like copyrights. And yes, non-profit is fine, we just aren't going to pursue tax-exemption.

    I'm going call the lawyer today to see if I can get some specific advice and feel him out to see if I want to trust him with money.

  4. Imagine the comic routine where the Sargent yells out that he wants a volunteer to step forward and everyone takes a huge step back except for one. That's kinda how I got to be the one who “volunteered” for this project .

    My group has given me a reasonable chunk of money to get some legal work done, but the more online research I did, the more confusing it got. What I’ve decided after days of web surfing is:

    • File for a trademark for our religious organization’s name (because I don’t know if just using the name as a religious organization is enough).
    • File for a separate trademark for the name under which any business transactions (or online store) of the organization take place.
    • Apply through the ULC as a religious organization.
    • Personally go to the office of the Secretary of State in my district/state and apply/file as a religious organization. (I’m going through my state because they (Tennessee) don’t recognize the ULC as a religious organization for officiating weddings etc. For weddings I may have to become a notary and that's a whole 'nuther story).

    I won’t be applying for tax-exempt status, as we don’t agree with it. In fact, that’s when it all started getting complicated by considering just filing as a small business such as an LLC instead of a non-profit religious group. Imagine my surprise when I found out that you can totally lose your LLC
    status in Tennessee by not paying an ANNUAL $300 - $3000 fee! I wasn’t going to risk that. After that, it was back to the religious filing.

    Since we don’t live around a big city and there’s no or few/far away trademark/business lawyers, I was originally going to go with LegalZoom. I wanted to trust and believe them, I really did, and I read people’s experiences here on the ULC forum and no one seemed to have a problem. But the
    more I researched LegalZoom complaints online, about them not being able to give legal advice, sneaking in extra fees, not letting customers know of legalproblems with what they wish to trademark (just file the paperwork for you and,“oh well” if it is denied). I think I’m going to go with a trademark lawyer, MorrisTurek at YourTrademarkAttorney.com for the religious name trademark.

    Yes, he’s more expensive, but I’m acting on behalf of others and using their money, and I don’t want to screw this up. I like that you can call him and ask him questions for free. I have lots of questions lol. And, he’ll tell you how to change the wording so you won’t be denied (something I don’t think LegalZoom does). Since he’s so much more expensive, on our limited budget, for the second business trademark I’m thinking of going with The Trademark Company. I checked them out under “complaints” and didn’t find any. I’m not promoting either of these; I just discovered them because I
    began doubting LegalZoom as to what I need.

    I’m open to hearing anyone’s stories of how LegalZoom worked well for them, or anything negative
    about these other two. At this point I'm tired of researching and spinning my wheels :wall: and just want to get things started and enter the next stage of the process; payment, paperwork and waiting; but I’m willing to listen to the advice of anyone who’s been here, done it and how it worked out for you.


  5. I lived in Israel for over ten years and have dual citizenship. I was a single mother and took my two daughters and made aliya. What made me go there was an extremely strong desire to live in a country where the holidays and things important to you were part of daily life. It can be very difficult to be culturally and religously different in the U.S., and I wanted my to give my children an inheritence of culture and religous roots I don't have, and it worked, my two daughters still live there and are very happy.

    Israel is a beautiful place, and is very diverse ... there can be snow on Mt. Hermon, green and lush in the Galeel (Galilee area), and blazing hot and sandy in Beersheva. The people are from many countries, some from other middle eastern places, many from Europe, a huge influx from Russian territories, and the latest are Ethiopians. You hear a lot of languages, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, English, French, Spanish and Yiddish.

    There are so many places tourists don't go and only allowed to see the country from the bus or assigned stops.

    Most tourists go to Beit Lechem (Bethleham) to see the cave of Yeshua's (Jesus) birth, but don't usually see Kever Rochel (Rachel's Tomb) who was buried along the road, or go to Machpelah in Hebron which has a recorded bill of sales documenting that land and cave belonged to Abraham and where he, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah and Leah are buried. The shuks are open markets that sell fresh bread and pita still warm from the oven, bags of nuts and spices, abounding tables of fruits and vegetables, still-flopping fish, and so much more. The air is filled with the shouts of competing vendors trying to attract your attention from other stalls.

    When the buses go beyond the "green line" to the towns where many Israeli commuters live, usually some woman or girl will hand out booklets, each one is a different chapter of Psalms, most people will take one or two of them, and for about 15-20 minutes, everyone is reading, the entire bus is covered with a blanket of blessings and protection. I think if you tried that in the U.S. on a public bus, some would be offended or complain their rights were being violated.

    I had friends visit Israel on church or Messianic tours, but they weren't allowed to let me take them places on their free days because the company's insurance didn't cover Israeli buses. :(

    During Chanuka every family has oil lights and candles in their windows, most people live in apartments so the effect in the city is very beautiful. During Sukkot every balcony and empty spots between buildings are crowded with the decorated booths topped with palm fronds, everyone eats outside and hangs out in them (think camping out), even sidewalk cafes and roadside stops provide them. On Remembrance Day when the sirens go off, no matter what anyone is doing anywhere, everyone, everyone, stops and stands, cars on the highway pull over and a busy highway is still as people get out and show their respects. On Friday mornings, most produce stores will put out their just-outdated fruits and vegetables for free, for anyone in need to have food for the Sabbath. Even the poorest can make soup for Shabbat.

    The people are diverse, strong-willed, and at first glance may seem dour, stony-faced, but in the next moment their face can break into a smile and invite you in for something to eat and drink. We lived there as Israeli's, which basically meant there wasn't enough money to see the tourist attractions, but I could go to the Kotel any time I wanted, and my bus to work drove by the Old City in Jerusalem every night - and we did vacations in Tzvat and Eilat - two very very beautiful places.

    I had to return to the U.S, after ten years, my father had lung cancer and I couldn't keep affording to fly back and forth. Since he is gone, I've felt I need to stay here for my elderly mother. I plan on going back for my younger daughter's wedding, and hope to move back there some day in the future. My children are there, my two grandchildren, and my heart. I am not a religously observent person, but Israel gets under your skin and deep into your heart