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Posts posted by constantine319

  1. You'll need to upload the image somewhere and get a URL for it. Most forums I've been on don't allow you to upload directly to the forum's database, this one might be different because there's an area in my CP that is called My Media. Otherwise I recommend - it's free and works right away.

    Then you can use the image code %22url%20here%22%20 or


  2. dear constantine319, I happen to be strong in my faith and have not had an occation where I felt like crap, I am sorry that you have had to go through that. If I am at fault, then plz forgive me.

    I have a feeling you are missing my point entirely. My original comment was appreciation for the way participants had handled this thread - nothing more, nothing less :) you are not at fault :)

  3. The funny thing about the snake handling is the verse used to verify the action wasn't even a part of the original Gospel of Mark and was added years later.

    All the early manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark end at Mark 16:8 "

    So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid."

    See the earliest extant copy of the New testament Codex Sinaiticus


    So the whole basis for the snake handling is a forgery lol

    wow!! haha that's so crazy. the things you learn...

    thanks for sharing :)

  4. Who said anything about a more neutral less personal/offensive approach? If God's word says one thing, that is what I preach.

    uh... I did? Dude have you ever had a discussion with someone who had a different opinion and made you feel like crap because he was convinced his position was right and you were stupid for being wrong? Sometimes people do this intentionally, sometimes they do it unintentionally. My comment was acknowledging that this thread was a great example of articulating their views without coming off as complete asses :P

    I have seen churches where the pastor is the leader, I have seen others where the membership elects a board of directors who then selects a pastor, I have seen some churches where the pastor is selected by majority vote of the whole membership.

    Some have the pastor handle all operations of the the church, others have the appointed and/or elected members handle the "business" side with the pastor focused on the religious side. Even some really small churches where there is no one "incharge". I want to say that is the same model as the Quaker church.

    Yes, I've seen those, too, and I quite like how they run things. It gives everyone a chance to take on a leadership role rather than being stuck with leaders no one cares for.

  5. A candidate for a Darwin award.

    I did see lots of comments on the original article along the same lines XD

    This unfortunate experience does not negate the quoted bible verses, only their misinterpretation as a side-show antic.

    agreed! a friend pointed out to me that snakes could be a metaphor for non-believers or religious antagonists, which I felt resonates well with the scripture.

    Rev. Rattlesnake has

    "a lot to answer for", doesn't he? :jest:


  6. Mack Wolford was a pastor who preached that handling snakes was a way to prove he's, uh, ... well I'm not sure how to concisely sum this up without ruining it for you. So you should read the article.

    interesting... thoughts?

  7. I am constantly amazed at the number of time on this forum that I run into questions (or statements) that involve the concepts of "proof" or "absolute certainty". It occurs to me that some of us "have to know for certain" about things that others here consider "unknowable".

    So, I pose these questions:

    How comfortable are you with doubt?.

    Does your "belief system" involve "black and white truths", or "shades of gray"?

    Whichever you choose, do you know "why" you are the way you are?

    Do you consider "certainty" a strength? a weakness? something else?

    I have a few things I am firm about - like, that I need to drink plenty of water during the day, or get plenty of sleep (or I turn into a cranky monster)... but what are those limits? When have I had enough water? is it 60 oz? or 80? Is 8 hours of sleep a night enough? What if those are interrupted hours? What if I am so restless that I can't really get much sleep that night?

    (these are really the things that I think about on a daily basis. As you can imagine it gets quite annoying to some around me :derisive: )

    There are too many variables (at least, for me) to be totally convinced or devoted to much. I live in a world where I am constantly weighing the 'black and white' nature of concepts, beliefs, theories, etc. It really bothers some of my friends who seem to ascribe to a more black and white convention.

    Through lots of trial and error I've learned that there is a beneficial side to uncertainty, although I would really struggle to say 'all uncertainty is actually a good thing'... because, technically, in the moment of uncertainty, we are experiencing doubt, which can be quite traumatic for some people, depending on the weight/effect it has on one. I consider uncertainty to be a challenge with a juicy reward at the end, rather than as a 'good' or 'bad' thing... more like a door which we can choose to walk through and gain a new treasure, or ignore and always wonder what's behind it.

    I think I am the way that I am because I have realized there is no 'one size fits all' to life and although the problem-solver part of me really likes knowing where those lines are... I know that having gray areas and having uncertainty has lead me to be a better person. If that makes sense :dirol:

    great topic! looking forward to seeing what others have to share.

  8. Wow, I've really enjoyed this thread. As someone who struggles to convey her opinion in ways that are more neutral and less personal/offensive, I really appreciate people who take the time to explain nicely. so thank you, everyone :)

    I tell you the truth.

    In every church that I have seen, the "Pastor" has invariably, and mistakenly, been the "Leader" or "Head" of the church.

    This is an incorrect leadership model. The churches "Leadership" team (Elders) consists of an Apostle, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers

    The Holy Spirit is the head of the church that speaks through the "Elders", who speaks to the "Pastors", who as a servant, ministers to the body of Christ, the congregation.

    Going the other way, the congregation speaks to the servant Pastors, who in turn speaks to the "Elders", who seeks guidance from the Holy Spirit.

    It is the "Elders", with the Holy Spirits urgings, who make the church decisions, and the Pastor who caries them out.

    The church meets nightly in homes about the city for the purposes of breaking bread and ministry to the body, this is where the Pastors and Teachers shine.

    Breaking of bread can be construed in two different views. It can mean the preparation and consumption of a meal, or it can be construed as sharing communion.

    The body meets whole, as one body, once a week, which has traditionally been on Sunday, for the purposes of unrestrained Praise and Worship.

    yes, this is one of the reasons why I have struggled with so much of organized religion. it's always 'this is the right way' and the 'right way' rarely focuses on teaching you how to determine what is right for yourself, rather than following what someone else says to do.

    on the other hand, how much more difficult is it to teach people to honor their own divine truth when leaders do not know how to do this for themselves? It's kind of an endless cycle... we humans are very good at repeating what we see, even though it might seem wrong, because someone else is doing it for a good reason. Reminds me of a controlled study I read about in high school that was designed to test the effectiveness of a stranger's instruction to inflict pain on others. The way they set this up was to look like the volunteer participant was helping a researcher evaluate the effect of pain on a person's ability to answer questions correctly. The volunteer participant could not see this other person, but as they read the questions and the other participant answered, they were instructed to give the unseen person a shock every time the question was answered incorrectly. A scientist in the room kept track of the record; if the volunteer ever hesitated or questioned what they were doing, the 'scientist' encouraged the volunteer to keep shocking the other participant. Phrases like 'they knew what this would entail when they signed up' or 'please continue to fulfill your obligation' were used.

    What ended up happening was, as long as an instructor in the room kept instructing the volunteer to continue, most participants kept applying shock to the 'victim'. They concluded that the power of an authority figure to convince humans to keep harming humans was quite strong.

    Very interesting, I think...

  9. I hate to admit it, but I immediately came up with the "intuitive" answer of 10 cents for the ball, and even after reading that the analytical answer was 5 cents, I was puzzled as to why.

    Finally I realized that if the Bat cost was 1 dollar, and the ball cost was 10 cents, then the bat would only be 90 CENTS more than the ball. I think that this was a legitimate test of logical reasoning (which I failed!) :doh:

    I got to that part, too, which was equally embarrassing, I just found it kind of questionable that just because someone's initial response to a situation is intuitive doesn't necessarily mean they're not logical. I dunno that I'd base my whole scientific study off of that :)

    I did really enjoy reading this article, Kingfisher, thank you for sharing that (

  10. on a related note - I think some of you may laugh at this - I saw this article linked in the 'similar' area of the above post. please ONLY read if you are prepared to laugh!!!

    And I quote;

    In the first of five tests, people who solved a math problem analytically rather than arriving at the intuitive answer were more likely to report religious disbelief. For example: A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? The intuitive answer is $0.10; the analytic answer is $0.05.

    I had to stop reading after that. I'm all for educating and facts and all that good stuff, but really? I think the wording of the question leaves it too open to interpretation. IMO to test someone's logic, you have to give someone a perfectly logical question. Otherwise you're testing their language skills and that's a WHOLE different can of worms.

  11. I think in terms of the teachings of A Course in Miracles it would be more akin to the Law of Projection then the Law of Attraction. We are projecting our realities like a holograph machine.

    Law of projection... I've never heard about that one before. Although I think I am familiar with the concept, that we project our issues onto others. Based on what I've read so far that sounds exactly right.

  12. I wanted to share with you guys a passage I read from chapter 1, about the meaning of miracles.

    "The real purpose of this world is to use it to correct your unbelief. You can ever control the effects of fear yourself, because you made fear, and you believe in what you made. In attitude, then, though not in content, you resemble your Creator, Who has perfect faith in his creations because He created them. Belief produces the acceptance of existance. That is why you can believe what no onee else thinks is true. It is true for you because it was made by you."

    This is on page 32 of my copy.

    I think this is really interesting because in the Mormon church, I was once told that our purpose here on earth is to learn. I was also taught somewhere along the lines that because we are (theoretically) made in the image of our Creator, we have the abilities of the Creator to create... so I find the bit about how we create our own life to fit our beliefs to be really interesting. It reminds me of the Law of Attraction.

  13. When you're not compiling a thoughtful post or typing a riveting response to a discussion...when you're not aimlessly browsing the forums... what are you doing?

    What are your hobbies? What's your day-job like? What do you like to do?

    I'll start off by saying my day-job is more or less to be a professional email spammer. I work at an advertising company that specializes in automotive sales and I send emails and put up micro-sites that encourage people to come to a dealership and trade or buy a new car. It can be mentally draining but I do love the people I work with. We have a great environment and a wonderful team.

    When I'm not working there, I'm studying or reading a new book, blogging, tweeting, playing on Facebook... or idly planning my wedding (for October of next year). I live with my fiance and we like to cook together and watch movies. We're looking for a house to buy so we can start gardening. He's going to school to be an athletic trainer and we really want to be able to do yoga together but we don't have room for that where we are now.

    Ok, your turn!

  14. I have discussed the "A Course in Miracles" with some who have read it and it comes highly recommended. I have been thinking of picking up a copy (paper) and beginning. I procrastinate a lot so it may be a while.

    haha, I know the feeling. I hope I may encourage you to do otherwise ;)

    You mentioned this course in another thread and it piqued my interest. I appreciate your providing the link. I gave the course lessons a quick scan and like what I read. It appears that the only promised miracle is in the change of one's perspective to recognize our intimate relationship with the Creator (whether other miracles are possible depends upon our recognition of God's power within ourselves). It basically echos what I have always believed. I started the course today. Thanks again!

    My pleasure! I'm exactly 37 pages into the text itself and I've found there's a lot of things I already believed, too, like that we have God's power within ourselves. Wonderful!! I hope you'll share some interesting things in this thread as you come across them :)

    I have read and really enjoyed a Course in Miracles and have witnessed some amazing miracles while studying it.

    I thought I had conquered fear totally until one night a young drug dealer was shot and killed six feet in back of me after I got off of a bus one night 18 years ago. I gave my first copy to a friend and have purchased another since then and still pick it up from time to time to read passages from it. Its main creed is

    Nothing real can be attacked

    Nothing unreal exists

    Herein lies the peace in God.

    Oh wow, what an experience that must have been :/ I hope you'll feel comfortable chiming in as I post things I find interesting. I would love to hear more of your input :)

  15. Hello all! I have heard for years that I should check out the book A Course in Miracles. It's published by a group called the Foundation for Inner Peace and their website is The line on their website says; "This self-study metaphysical thought system is unique in teaching forgiveness as the road to inner peace and the remembrance of the unconditional love of God."

    I randomly came across a physical copy on sale at my local bookstore (which is unusual for me because I prefer to have electronic files, living in a small space and not having much room to store books) about two weeks ago. Some of the reviews on hinted that the Kindle version wasn't satisfactory so I'm glad I got the physical copy, although I have to admit, the text can be very difficult to read. I have been reading a little bit each day and it was only today that I discovered why the book is so hard for me to read - it's written in iambic pantameter!

    Anyway I was wondering if any of you here on ULC have read or thought about reading ACIM? I would really love to talk with people who have read it or are currently reading or re-reading it. Some reviews are absolutely amazing and I feel like this teaching resonates with me and yet I know it will take me time to really study and percolate over what these teachings mean and how they affect my life.

  16. I don't know if I am 'just' a Medium but I do have mediumship skills. I started with tarot readings and then I realized maybe this intuitive thing wasn't so difficult, and after starting to acknowledge and work with spirit guides, lots of other spirits came through to me. Sometimes I go through periods where I don't really believe what I've done is real - getting caught up in the every day and overly shielding - so that when stuff DOES come through I'm genuinely surprised. A few weeks ago I offered to do readings for a non-profit organization and one of the members knew I do this kind of work so I was nominated to handle some requested mediumship readings and, well, the four of us were completely blown away by the work I did.

    For me personally... I've always been sensitive to energies. It took me a long time and a lot of practice to learn how to evaluate what the energies mean. Something that helped me a lot was learning Reiki and having the opportunity to practice with a very spiritually-minded Christian Reiki teacher. Also, knowing my guides, having people tell me what I was experiencing was okay (and reminding me to protect myself), and trusting that I must be able to do these things for a reason... all those things helped me a lot.

    Oh! When I get into a situation where I am being asked to function as a Medium, I always say a prayer that I will have only positive/necessary messages for my client, and I always strive to be a clear channel to fulfill the needs of my client. That helps me a LOT with dealing with energetic nasties or ego issues.

  17. oh my goodness you guys, I wish I could 'like' all of these comments. thank you so much. I feel like everyone knows where I am coming from and that alone is really helpful.

    bro. hex - wonderful, thank you :) I'm really glad I'm here!

    Vegtam - it's interesting when you say to remind myself there are good Christians out there. I happen to know lots! ironically.. none of those are the ones who are saying these things to me. so I will do as you say, to accept them without letting their difference in opinion change my attitude. thank you :)

    Murphzlaw1 - thanks! I love that quote. looks like I have some reading to do - thanks again, haha :)

  18. I became ordained as a minister about a month ago.

    (I was raised Mormon but when I was 16 (so... 6-ish years ago) had a series of events that happened that made me not interested in following the normal conventions. Since then I've followed my heart to different paths and I'm currently an energy therapist/life coach with an emphasis in spiritual counseling, running my business to help clients in one-on-one situations and writing a book. I have struggled with the concept of religion and after delving into many, I've decided I don't like any that I've seen because I would benefit from something that has a few significant guidelines and almost no strict/specific rules.)

    I was guided to the ULC site and upon reading the quote on the front - "Do only that which is right" - and I literally felt like this was the best place for me to be right now and went through the ordination process immediately.

    I kind of forgot about it until I was adding the event to my Facebook timeline the other day and I've been told that it's a bit inappopriate for me to call myself a minister if I am not a Christian. Now, I know I'm treading the line of sounding like I am letting them convince me that doing what I feel is right is actually wrong, but they bring up a good point. Since I haven't been a minister for long, I don't feel like I can appropriately identify what it means to me to be a minister - all it means to me right now is being able to say I'm registered to perform spiritual rites including marriage with an actual church behind me.

    What does it mean to be a minister? What does it mean to YOU to be a minister? How have you dealt with people who express distaste because they don't think it's appropriate or fair that you have gone on this path?