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Posts posted by BrDevon

  1. I would leave it at asking the person who is in the process of passing if there is a message he or she wishes relayed to the child (be prepared for a nasty answer). While we do not have a person in the process of dying (thank God) in my family, it is well known amongst most of my siblings that my mother does not want anything to do with one of her children when it comes to that point. She has caused nothing but heartache and pain to the family and while we have remained civil and will still support her in times of need (she is family), we will not walk near the human land mine she has become unless it is necessary.

  2. Even though I have to read the lips, I can tell you the phrasing is right on for a doo-** style. Assuming they sing as well as they have the timing, I give it a 10. (Not scoring the lyrics - they are obviously using the lyrics of the song).

    Here's one for you...

    And seriously... the dude on the tambourine... is he just (falsetto voice) "Faaabulussss!" or what?

  3. Whether one chooses to accept it or not, women have always had a vital role in Christianity. Let us not forget for a moment that it was not one of the twelve apostles who discovered the tomb was empty at the Ascension, it was a woman. Jesus did not get "zapped" onto the earth, but arrived in human form, borne, obviously, of a woman.

    Throughout history, women have been tormented for being Christian. It is not something I agree with; it is history. Joan of Arc burnt for her belief. I can not imagine being tormented that way. This, however, I do believe - Jesus knows your suffering, and will strengthen you to be a warrior for Him, if you give yourself fully to Him and refuse to be concerned about the ways others value your belief.

    In the end, only you can decide the power of your faith, and the path to which you are called. I will pray that you receive peace and are led to what is truly meant for you.

  4. I have nothing of substance to add, so I will simply support the advice you have already received. I have been Anglican, I am currently worshiping with Lutherans. Neither church expects a public confession of anything. Both are satisfied with a person coming before the Almighty as they know how and confessing from their heart. If they continue to be burdened, then they are welcome to privately confess it to the clergy. And truly, it does take much to shock clergy. It will not be repeated, unless the confession contains an open threat to hurt/kill someone or self. If it does go down that path, the person hearing the confession will have to act as they see proper.

    Speaking for self, I advise those who wish me to hear a confession that what is said is between us and God, and will be forgotten by both as forgiven sin, but an intent to harm self or other can not be kept silent. If someone knowing that I can not maintain silence, tells me of an intent to commit a crime that would hurt him/herself or others, then they made an informed choice and can expect the outcome.

  5. I tell people up front: if it involves harming yourself or others, all bets are off. If they continue to confess, that's on them. If they choose not to, I didn't know a thing, it's between them and the Almighty.

    The clergy/penitent privilege does not mean that you seal everything. If someone tells you they are planning a murder and you fail to act, you are an accessory. It's just easier and more "fair" to tell the penitent up front where the line is drawn.

  6. I have been known to scare heck out of people because it is not unusual for me to start crying when I sing, especially certain hymns. Part of it is that I no longer sing in English, but now sign the songs. I don't know if the emotional "disconnect" is from memories of when I could hear the music, the amount of concentration required for me to keep time to music I no longer hear (when I sing, I am usually singing with others, and have to keep the timing of my signing matched to the phrasing and timing of their vocals). There was a time where I would have been ashamed to "lose it" on stage and cry in front of people. But I have learned two things: trying to hold it back is like trying to use a paper cup to hold the tide, and frankly, I no longer care if someone is put off seeing me cry. Some were put off seeing me sign songs, but I look at it this way: the vast majority of songs I sign are worship songs in a worship setting, so the question lies, who am I trying to impress? If I am worshiping my Almighty, He already knows the depths of my heart, and the tears are in context. If I am trying to impress the people in the congregation, I am worshipping for the wrong reason.

  7. It depends on where the service is leading us, but one of my new favorites is "You are God Alone (Not a god)" by Billy and Cindy Foote © 2004 Billy Foote Music / Integrity's Hosanna! Music CCLI Song # 4243463. The message in the lyrics is great for services focused on Christian teachings that there is only one God, and we are not to follow Man-made deities.

    Another by the same artist is "You are my King (Amazing Love)". © 1996 songs. CCLI Song #2456623. It has a similar message to Amazing Grace, without the funeral association many make.

    I am biased towards both of these pieces because I sing them in Sign Language as part of my church worship team, while the other members of the team do English Vocals (I can't take credit for the idea. Sweet Honey in the Rock has been doing it for 40 years, now.) These songs have a powerful message that renders beautifully in the visual form that Sign gives it. Even non-signers often say they are moved by watching these songs signed.

  8. Everyone has a recipe, it seems. Around this area 45 minutes to an hour, (an occasional hour and 15 for special occasions and high holidays is acceptable) is standard.

    The church I attend usually has the following format:


    Call to worship (a quick reading of scripture to set the tone of the day's message - usually only a few verses and can be read in under 3 minutes at the longest).

    Three worship songs or hymns

    Scripture reading and a short prayer by the reader

    one more song / hymn

    Collection of offerings with a short musical piece

    The pastor's message (some call it a sermon - unless there is a major set of points to cover, it would be extreme for him to break 30 minutes and usually it is about 15 to 20).

    Closing song / hymn



    Start to finish, usually 45 minutes to just under an hour.

    That seems to work best for us. The church I grew up in had a similar format other than it added two more scripture readings (one old testament, one new testament) and a reading from one of the gospels, and the time allotment for the sermon was twice as long. They also had a communion at each service where the church where I now attend only offers communion on the first Sunday of the month and holidays where it is appropriate (Holy week, etc.). Difference: add another half hour to 45 minutes, depending on how "wound up" the rector was.

    Some has to do with denomination, some with tradition, and a lot has to do with how much the congregation will put up with before falling asleep or walking out.

    We are very fortunate to have a pastor who can teach a great message and explain the Bible well, so his half hour seems like mere minutes, and the following week people walk into church discussing the prior week's message. That is a rare gift, and should be treasured when it is found. Where I grew up, it tended to be the opposite. We were not engaged in the teachings, but "talked at," and most of the prayers said in that sanctuary were for the strength to stay awake and escape the seemingly endless sermon.

    I have found the length of the service matters less than the quality of the service. I have attended two hour services that left me feeling uplifted and enlightened, and I have attended 15 minute mini services that felt like they took up the entire day. It is a matter of what was presented and how effectively it was presented.

  9. One day people will get it... the ULC does not, has not, and will not ordain by internet. What is done by internet (amongst other means) is to accept a request for a proxy ordination. Just like every other major denomination, the ULC will ordain an eligible candidate without having that person present. Instead, an authorized member of the clergy stands in for the ordinand and the church, barring a reason to the contrary enters the ordinand into the records of the church as a member of its clergy.

    Yes it is legal.

    Almost every known "recognized" faith does it.

    We just get picked on because we make it easier than many denominations.

  10. I wish I could find the article or a link to it, but there was a piece in Reader's Digest years ago titled "I wish you enough". The gist of the piece is that it is something that the writer's parents used to say to her that she learned the value of those words and her final words to her father were those.

    Essentially it is saying may you never be in need, but may you never have such excess that others may be in need. Better still, may you have so much that you can share with those who need.

  11. There was a song I used to love that was sung a lot at the Catholic chapel at my old school, but it has secular lyrics:

    Peace within us

    Peace over us

    Peace under our feet

    Peace behind us

    Peace before us

    Let all around us be Peace.

    I wish I had the music or a way to share the tune. It was really neat when sung as a round. We used to have enough people who knew it and sang well that we would sing it as a six part round. With the echoes and acoustics in the room (marble front and back walls, high smooth ceiling), if you knew which way to face and could project your voice well, one singer could easily sound like three or four. Get a group who knew the trick and suddenly a small choir sounded like a production company. Ahh... the memories. As deaf as I have become, I can still hear them in my memory).

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  12. On a serious note, I have a right to judge. Your religious beliefs do not limit my rights.

    Funny how that spiritual path thing works. I believe it's sinful to judge others. Simple solution: I try not to judge others. If I mess up, I ask for forgiveness. But all that is my own path and baggage. Others mileage may vary and it would be rather presumptive of me to expect anyone to follow my path.

  13. I agree. It costs methinks approximately $35,000 a year to house them in corrections facilities might as well educate them and quite possibly make them useful to society. Did you see the article where Denmark is closing prisons because of a lack of criminals?

    That's it: the US can just ship American prisoners to Denmark and let Denmark house and educate them. After all, the prisons are already built and all. Why waste?


  14. ...the candles at the memorial are snuffed out one by one as one after another names what they will miss most about the person. At the end, the room is dark except for one candle, symbolizing the emptiness the person left behind. But there’s that one candle, representing as long as they are remembered, they aren’t gone. One by one now, someone tells of a special memory of something the deceased said or did. One by one the candles are relit. As long as we remember, he isn’t gone.

    I have seen this done in other funeral and memorial services, for similar reasons. Even though where I have seen it done, the belief was that the soul of the deceased does survive life as we know it, the other principles remain common: we can remember the good that a person brought to this life, we will miss the person, but truly, as long as we remember someone, we have not truly lost him or her.

    My grandmother did not have a "funeral," but a "going home." I want the same. I do not want to be mourned. If I had any positive effect on someone's life, I want them to celebrate that good. I don't want to be missed. I would love it if I left a mindset of good that someone wished to "pay it forward." I have been blessed to be able to live a life serving others. I would think it a true honoring of my memory for others to serve when they are able to.

  15. Your self assessment of your life without Christianity is a perfect example of the psychological problems I feel indoctrination in Christianity has created in our world. Firstly the guilt for having an innocent sentient being die in your place because you feel your life is worth less then doggy doo has to have some type of effect on the subconscious. Secondly if you view your own life in this manner how must you view and judge the lives of others. I cannot see how levels of low self esteem cannot be increased even if only on a subconscious level.

    The only one on this earth I have a right to judge is my own self. In my own belief, I am actually commanded not to judge, lest I be judged in the same manner I apply to others (God forbid!). I honestly don't feel a sense of guilt over Jesus' crucifixion, though I do believe I am not deserving of it. I realize that many branches of Christianity control the masses (pun not intended) through guilt and mind games. I am past that. I used to believe that way, and then I realized that I can live liberated from that. I don't need guilt and mind games. I can simply accept that Jesus chose to become sin and die so that I would not have to face judgment. All I can say is it works for me. It's not a mindset for everyone, and I don't expect anyone else to go with it.

    Even as deaf as I am becoming, I understand that in a piano, if you play a middle C, all other strings in the piano turned to a C will start to vibrate. The note resonates to the other strings because they are attuned to that note. Truth is the same. We each have a truth that will resonate within us. It makes no sense to try to play a different tune. A tuning fork is only capable of making one sound - the one to which it is tuned. That is it's truth. If I tried to convert you to my belief, it would only serve to make hypocrites of us both if you followed.

  16. I respect your belief in the Trinity and I respect Dan's right to believe as he does but I will not accept that I should not be equally respected and recognized as someone who follows Jesus and has respect for the bible even if we see it in differing ways and I do not agree at all with what fundamentalism says.

    I was riding right there on the same bus with you, and then we hit that speed bump. I hope you never thought that I would think less of anyone that did not follow the same path as I choose. Who is to say I am on the right path? I believe I am, but there's only one way to find out if I got it right, and even then, only according to what I choose to believe.

    But with minimal exception there are few religious beliefs or lack thereof that would cause me to think one would be less worthy of my respect. It would be one thing if someone were of the belief that those who did not follow their path were inferior or deserving of harm. I think neither. If you do not believe as I, it is simply that - your belief is different, and every bit as valid for you as mine is for me.

  17. Fawzo, on 08 Jun 2013 - 2:52 PM, said:snapback.png

    Dan this is the very same twisted perversion of love that both Pete. myself and others object to. The idea that Jesus had to basically commit suicide to save us from his vain, jealous, angry, vengeful, insecure Father who is incapable of forgiving even the smallest of offences.

    And that amazes me... Someone dies so you can live and you interpret it as a twisted perversion? God has always forgiven people for sin, but the wages of sin are death and someone had to pay. God would not and could not be righteous otherwise. To not atone for the significance of sin and its cruel effects would be unjust, and I personally prefer a 'Just' God. Everybody wants the resurrection; nobody wants the crucifixion, but one cannot occur without the other.


    Would it be suicide when the firefighters and rescuers entered the twin towers on 9/11 to save people? Is it suicide when members of the military die to defend our freedom?

    If someone you loved was facing a gruesome death, would you not want to stop it? If you are a parent and you face the reality of having to watch your child die or being able to die in their place, would you not choose your own death?

    To a Christian believer, Jesus the son is God the Father who walked on earth. It is no harder for me to believe He would choose death to save His children than it is for me to believe any parent would (and I am not a parent!). The part that still amazes me to this day is that He thought I was worth it. (Emphasis on the word I - some people might have been worth it, but I don't always think I was worth Jesus dying. I'm just thankful it was His choice and not mine.)

    And yes, I do believe that the church has corrupted a lot of what was the Bible to fit certain agendas. But I do not see the Bible as infallible. I do see it as the best source of information I have. That does not dilute or discount my belief in the Holy Trinity or the crucifixion. If I do not believe Jesus died for me, then my life isn't worth a pile of doggy doo (self assessment. Your opinion may vary.)