a matter of faith

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a matter of faith

Postby twitchypoo on September 8th, 2004, 8:45 pm

I am wondering since it seems as though many in this forum have a strong faith...

Has BFS- increased your faith and how or
Has BFS-decreased your faith and why do you think that is?

As for me, it totally increased mine. I am more aware of God being in control and His plans for me are good. No matter what, He has my best in mind. Before, I knew that, now I feel like I understand it and can agree with it to a degree that I couldn't before. I have been in a relationship with Jesus for 8 years, but through this I have gotten to know Him so much better.

How about you?

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Postby garym on September 8th, 2004, 8:51 pm

Lisa,

I've always been a spiritual person, but I've never participated in organized religion. That being said, BFS has strengthened my spirituality. I think it is an expected response when someone is faced with the possibility of a terminal illness to search for a higher meaning to one's existence. Whatever the reason, I have grown more aware of my maker and his expectations of me and my life.

Good question,

Gary
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Postby Ava on September 8th, 2004, 9:13 pm

I have been raised in a strong Christian home, within a strong Orthodox Christian church. My husband shares my religion and we practice it in our daily lives as we raise our family. Having said that, I am amazed at what BFS has done for my faith. I pray many times a day now and I am reading books on God and religion (including the bible) and find that this has shifted my focus entirely. I'm trying to do more for my friends and neighbors in need. God is at the center of my life instead of when I thought about it or sat down for a meal or said bed time prayers with the kids. The truth of the matter is that we are all in God's hands and I never felt that more poignantly than while facing my neuro appointments during this whole ordeal.

When I first got BFS, I was driving by a local Methodist church. They have this big billboard with a weekly message that said something like, "Nothing brings you closer to God like a good scare will." How true :) .

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Postby Arron on September 9th, 2004, 4:22 pm

I don't do the "faith" thing very well, so it doesn't really affect me. Has god cured any of you yet? No.

I am not an athiest either, but as one of my buddies put it (who is a complete athiest) when he was doing some art work for a wealthy lady's bathroom set. The firing cure didn't come-out right, so the lady said god was punishing her for something, and my friend told her it was simply a temperature problem with the kiln and the glazes didn't set-up right and that he would do it all over again and fix it for her. She said she would pray for it to come-out better so she could have her bathroom finished.

A week later, he installed her new custom made sinks and bathtubs and she said it all came-out good because she prayed for it to happen. When I saw him that night, he hit the nail on the head when he said; "so if there is indeed a god and he was up in the heavens looking down, with children getting molested, raped, murdered and all kinds of "good", honest people getting robbed, killed and ridden with diseases and god said, "you know what? I think I'll make this lady's sink and tub come-out really good this time because she prayed to me", (as if none of the innocent children or good people that die every single day never prayed to get better or to have their lives spared).

Personally? I don't know that I would want to spend an "eternity" with such a god that has priorities in such a chaos. What if you get to heaven and he says "ha-ha, just kidding! I don't like you, you and you, so OUT", and he changed his mind, yet let other not so great people stay, just as he does here on earth?? Think about it. Can you trust a god that would allow some REALLY good people's child to get killed in some horrible murder yet let some piece of crap crank *beep* live-on to rob other's and to spread diseases around and be healthy until she was 80 or so? It happens all of the time. That is kind of odd to me and I would have to second question a god that would do or "allow" such things like that.

This is totally off topic and not the forum to be holding a conversation like this, but I just had to say that if "god" or "faith" had cured anyone with BFS, I sure haven't heard about it yet. Besides, BFS is a BENIGN condition. I would be upset at a god that would cure such a thing and let other's die of MUCH worse things. It's a free country though and I would defend your right to religon in high regards, just as much as I would defend my right to not hold religion with very high regards. Live and let live as they say...
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Postby Stephanie on September 9th, 2004, 7:23 pm

I agree that it bothers me a lot when people pray for such selfish things (like bathroom fixtures). I guess these people truly don't realize what's important in life!
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Postby amy_twitch on September 9th, 2004, 8:07 pm

Bingo....I think everyone is hitting it on the head. Whether it's tied to 'worship' or not, BFS has probably made each and every one of us look at our lives and figure out what REALLY matters.

The beautiful thing about faith is that it doesn't have to be tied to a house of God. To me, faith is learning how to 'let go' of worries, thoughts and emotions that once consumed my life and prohibited me from truly living.

In the end, what good is your life if all you did was worry about what might happen to your health OR stress over why your neighbor put an ugly roof on their house OR why your in-laws are always such a pain....the list goes on and on and on and and on.....needless crap that really doesn't matter.

Our qualities of life are in our hands (and God's too if you choose to include Him). Having faith, God or no God, simply means you can let the bad stuff go and rid yourself of excess stress and anxiety that really doesn't matter once we're all six feet under.

It's all about giving as much love as you can to the world and especially to your family and friends! A lot of us feel like crap all the time--but I bet each and every one of us should be thanking our lucky stars for the blessings and fortunes life has given us. If BFS has caused you to change your perspective and realize what's important in life--then BFS has indeed brought added faith to your life. I've never been a totally religious person---but I get it. We do plan on bringing more religion into our home...not to be bible bangers...but certainly to help provide the right values to our children and to (hopefully) equip them with the mechanism of having faith. Whether they choose to worship God or not, I just want my kids to learn how to live fully, and I hope hope hope that they never waste as much time and anxiety over fears as I have this past year during my BFS experience.

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Postby Stephanie on September 9th, 2004, 9:24 pm

Yes, bfs has taught me what's important in life. That is the good thing that came out of this. I've lost some faith in the church over the years (my priest was a pedophile and a jerk, My childhood sunday school teacher tried to date me etc, etc) but I do believe it's important to have faith and to always be a good person. I'm just happy w/the simple things in life now, and happy to be alive. I don't get upset about stupid things anymore.
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Postby puggriffey on September 9th, 2004, 11:55 pm

Just my two cents worth, since this is a refreshingly different and stimulating topic...

I hear your points Aaron and I have pondered them myself from time to time. No matter what you believe, I think it pretty safe to say that there is no God that scripts it down to every little move we make, what we do each day, whether we will win tonight's lotto, or whether our pottery will turn out OK.

What I DO believe, though, is that we are all made in God's likeness, put here for a reason, and part of a bigger plan that includes our own death and ultimate reconciliation with him as a function of our faith and belief in His love for us. While we think it tragic when innocent, beautiful children die while murderers and rapists live until 80, if one truly believes that this is NOT all about what we do in this life, but that a close and beautiful relationship with God awaits those who put their faith in Him in a far more beautiful and lasting place, it lessens the tragedy and hopelessness of that equation. I very much believe this extends far beyond our world of the here and now, and what's fair or unfair feeling to us in this life is going to be meaningless when you factor in the concept of fairness in the next. If you believe that the murderer or rapist will never share in the grace of a holy death, then the 80 years of life (most of which is depraved, lonely and miserable anyway) hardly seems to matter much in the bigger picture.

In that regard, I do believe there is a subtle and beautiful "equity" to all that happens to us. Some of us were meant to live a long time, do good work, and pass God's challenges. For what reasons specifically, we may never know for sure. Others may face sudden illness, unexpected death or tragic circumstances; should they be loved, have loved and born unto faith in God's love, there is no tragedy - only peace...lasting and eternal.

I've stopped trying to figure out whether it's fair or not that we have to endure this stuff...or whether it is fair to wish I didn't have this when it is benign and harmless. What I do focus on is how much I owe to my God for every breath and every day, and how much I love Him and trust in His love for me. If I can truly commit to that faith, then it simply won't matter how this turns out because I have far greater things to focus my attention to - just like the grieving mother, etc.

I pray for all of you - even if the above is all gobbledygook, I can't imagine it goes wasted. Just some thoughts on a topic I feel very close to...

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Angry at God...but not anymore

Postby jasonh_22 on September 10th, 2004, 5:10 am

At first I was "angry" at God. You know...the "why me" syndrome. Now, I guess since I've finally started to accept my condition, I don't really feel that way anymore.

Definitely agree with the spirituality thing. I've sort of tried to make the best of my BFS and "use" it so to speak. Everytime I feel a twitch, I use it as a reminder to appreciate the good things i DO have in life...it has sort of become a reminder for me not to take ANYTHING for granted...I've definitely become more patient and learned to keep my cool (I used to have a pretty short fuse)....and finally, I've become much more empathic towards other people and sort of developed more of a sense of purpose in life. Before I was selfish...I only cared about making myself happy...but now ive started to feel that there is a "higher" purpose to life.

Ok....I know I'm getting a little too deep so I'll stop. But thats how BFS has changed me.
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Postby Arron on September 10th, 2004, 5:06 pm

Wow, I figured my post would have really P'd people off, so I came back to delete it before anyone saw it and really got mad, and to my surprise, no one really took what I said the wrong way, and that's nice :-)

I have to say to puggriffey, I too don't believe that we are here because of some big bang and that there is indeed "something' out there watching over us and something in the end... after life, BUT I highly doubt who-ever, or what-ever "it" is out there has any control over what we want or want to do.

They say "God works in strange ways", and that is "my" point about the whole thing. I'm not sure if I "want" to be in some place, eternally, with a "god" that works in strange ways. I want "norm", rhyme and reason, not mystery and unknown, and I certainly can't "love" something that I never knew and who doesn't communicate with what it claims is his "sons and daughter's".

IF praying actually worked and God listened and granted his little "wishes" to his "children", then why do countless "good" people who starve and who's children are so sick not get the winning lottery numbers from him? Why do really good hearted people get murdered yet pieces of crap loser's seem to live forever without a care in life? Why do drunk driver's always seem to survive fatal car crashes that wipe-out entire "good" families?

So many questions... If Adam wasn't "born" from a woman, did he have a belly button? Did Eve? It's said in the beginning that God wanted Adam not to be lonely so he created animals first. Did God not know that Adam couldn't communicate or reproduce with animals, unless he's was one of those freaky people who are into beastiality or something :lol: ... I mean, seriously, God (THE creator) couldn't figure-out that Adam needed a female companion by his side insterad of an elephant or some dinosaur? Seems a little odd to me, YET, there are stories out there that seem to ring true with tales of a large, wooden vessle on the top of Mt. Arrorat (spelling?) in Turkey, that many have said they have seen and for some reason, no government wants anyone to know about, so who knows?? Could that be the Ark? Who knows?

Having faith is nice and if that's what helps you get through life, more power to you. I just have a different view and consider the fact that more people have been killed over religion and "in the name of god" than ANY other way of killing since time began. Almost all major wars were "in god's name" somehow, be it Allah, Judah, Buddah, Satan, God or whoever.

You have Catholics and Christians hating each other. You have Irish and English who kill each other in the name of God. You have Baptists hating Mormons, and Jehova's Witnesses who I seriously believe weren't a "witness" to anything! Mormons who think god will punish them if they drink alcohol, (a NATURAL GOD CREATED substance that occurs in ALL old fruits), or drinks with caffeine, which is also a natural substance in many unprocessed fruits and plants. Or that they will be punished for celebrating the day that you were born? That's their god?? No thanks! Not for me.

You have whacked-out wrap heads wanting to kill ALL American's because we do not follow Allah. Got news for ya fellows... there ain't 47 (or how ever many they think there are) virgins waiting for you when you cowards blow yourselves and other innocent people up with your loser suicide bombs! You wanna fight? Come over here and we'll give you a fight alright!

You have priests molesting alter boy's. What the hell is up with that??? You have people who see some tree that happens to have a piece of bark that looks slightly like a woman standing there with her hands together and all of the sudden, ever idiot on the plant is worshiping this tree in belief that it's the virgin Mary! If that's all God's got, I'm not impressed at all.

You have Hindu Indiansd worshipping cows and who feed milk with spoons to some elephant starure that appears top be drinking it, excepy when you look at the base of it and see the milk running down the sides from what science calls "surface tension". And look at them flock to this stuff when it obviously isn't actually even happening. That's faith? In what??? Something that isn't even happening? That is scary!

I have to say, if BFS has brought you closer to "god" or has made you appreciate life a little more and to be thankful for the things you do have in life, that's great :-) But consider this, BFS is BENIGN and hasn't really "hurt" anyone (serious anyway), so why should something as minor as this be such a big deal? If it was a close, hard battle with cancer or a serious accident that you almost didn't make it through, then I can certainly see the need for feeling closer to God or being thankful for what you still have, but doing that over a benign condition (to me anyway) is like feeling that way after you brush your teeth in the morning, or after you comb your hair. After all, you "could" accidentally get some kind of deadly bacteria into your blood stream if you punctured a gum or your scalp, but what is the reality of that happening? That's my point. Just like the reality of BFS being anything to worry about or to have faith about... It's nothing, and once you are out of the vicious cycle of doubting hard core FACTS, such as positive EMG's showing you do NOT have ALS, and numerous specialists TELLING you that you are OK, yet you STILL continue to freak yourself out about it, and doubt them, it WILL seem like it's a big deal to you, when in reality, and you look back on it, it is actually nothing at all.
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Wow

Postby twitchypoo on September 10th, 2004, 7:01 pm

Aaron,

Wow, your post is loaded. In more ways than one too! I can't answer why bad things happen to good people. This will probably sound trite to you, but God does not cause bad things to happen. Also, again probably sounding trite to you is the fact that it is GOD. All-knowing, All-everthing, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Perfect, Good, Compassionate, Loving, and thensome. I wonder why babies die or have horrible lives with awful parents, I don't have an answer. I do know though that what is so terrible, God will use for good in the outcome. The complete outcome, not just a week from now. I think sometimes if I do end up with MS, which is my fear, I have to accept it. Because I know that since I love Him, His plans for me are good, not to harm me. See Jer 29:11.
I am in a Bible study now and we are studying the book, "A purpose driven life" Here is a summary of what we have done so far. To some, this may sound far out. I believe with everything in me though that it is total truth.

1) It all starts with God, It is not about me.- Col 1:16 Everything got started in Hima nd finds its prupose in Him.
2) You are not an accident.-Isaiah 44:2 I am your Creator. YOu were in my care even before you were born.
3) What drives your life? Isaiah 26:3 You Lord, give PERFECT PEACE to thouse who keep their purpose firm adn put their trust in You-note this promise is for those who trust the Lord, not those who don't.
4) You were made to last forever. 1John 2:17-This world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the Will of God, you will live forever.
5)Seeing life from God's view-Luke 16:10 Unlless you are faithful in small matters, you wont be faithful in large ones.
6) Life is a Temp. assignment. 2 Corinth 4:8 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
7) The reason for everything-It is all for HIM Romans 11:36 For everything lives by HIs power, and everything is for His Glory
8) YOU WERE PLANNED FOR GOD'S PLEASURE! Psalm 149:4 The Lord takes pleasure in His people.

This is how far we have gotten so far. It is so comforting to me to know God does care about my pottery. In fact, I am the clay and He is the potter. Refining me, Putting me in the kiln, and taking me out!
Yes, I think there are more important things God could be doing, like putting an end to all things terrible, but that is not how He works. He gives us free will. We have the choice to choose Him and live right by Him, or we can choose to be monsters. Or we can just choose not to care at all. I know it grieves Him. It grieves me too. Although, Him to a much higher degree.
I'll stop here.

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Postby Ginlyn on September 11th, 2004, 12:07 am

Okay, latecomer to the post here.

All I can say is that I am a spiritual person and a Christian, not a big fan of "organized" religion, but having BFS and all the fears that go along with it, I have come to realize what REALLY matters in life (as I think it was Stephanie or Amy that said it first)

1) Be a more helpful, kind person to all
2) Try not to hold grudges (I'm really bad in this department)
3) Live each day as though it were your last, as it very well may be!
4) Tell the people you love, that you love them.

Reading about people with fatal diseases has made me more aware of my own mortality and taught me to count my blessings. I also appreciate the ability to be able to ski, hike, ride, and move my body, whereas before I never gave it a second thought. All those nights imagining being in a wheelchair has given me a whole new appreciation for what I can do.

I really really try to make an effort to not whine and complain about the little things in life. (need practice here, for sure :wink:

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Postby Arron on September 11th, 2004, 12:58 am

It's nice that we can all have an intelligent conversation and also have differences in opinions without calling names or condeming someone fo their thoughts and/or beliefs.

This is an interesting thread (although WAY off topic for this site) yet not a harmful one, such as some of the other's I threatened to delete in the past. Whether you believe or not, this is in no way harming anyone who reads it, and the differences in opinions is interesting.

I am one who needs to see, and not just see with my eyes, because you can go watch a really good magician and swear on your life what you saw was "magic" and in no way could have been a trick, and imagine what the minds of uneducated people way back in the 1st century had thought when they saw some of the things the bible says happened. It would indeed seem "godly" to most.

I can't "love" someone such as Jesus without knowing him first hand. Reading some stories in a book isn't going to make me want to love someone, unless of course it was the Playmate of the month or something :lol: Oh I could love her alright! :lol: Just kidding ladies!!

Seriously, I'm noy saying I don't believe in a higher power or that someone didn't create the universe. I just have to question a god that does what this one does. So what's the big secret anyway? Why can't we know if he's actually there or not? If God created the Garden of Eden, and then Adam and Eve, did they have a pet dinosaur? I mean we do have hard evidence that there were once VERY large beats walking this planet, yet no stories of these beasts in the bibles or in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.

We can PROVE the oceans were once quite deep, and in fact, on a hunting trip one time to Shasta Mountain, here in California, I myself found a very large rock area with literally thousands of fossil sea urchins, large clam shells and what appeared to be large tube worms at about 6,000+ feet up, but we can't prove (yet) where the Ark sits. I wish Turkey would allow a real crew with modern equipment that actually works up on their mountain to see if the Ark is actually sitting there or not. That would help solve one of the mysteries anyway. But when you think about it, and how many animals they would have really needed to carry to survive such a catastrophy, (and the food they would have needed to carry to feed the hundreds of thousands of animals) the Ark would have needed to be about 10,000 times larger than what the bible says it was. It would dwarf the largest super tanker's of today, that still sink in our waters, with even the most sophsiticated equipment on board.

There are many questions and mysteries about religion and god, and we can all come to our own conclusions on this subject. That's the beauty of a free country, and freedom of choice, opinion and speech. As I said before, I may not agree with you, and nor you me, but I would defend your right every bit as much as I would defend my own rights to our own freedoms and opinions.

I am glad this has been a nice conversation.
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Postby Ava on September 11th, 2004, 11:08 pm

Regarding why bad things happen to good people on earth. I was at a funeral lately for a young women who had struggled with a life long congenital illness. Her family was so sad, and she had suffered all her life. Our parish priest tried to answer the question "How could a loving God do this to such a spiritual and loving person who loved God?" His answer was that sin in the world brings about the bad things, not God. His point was that original sin -in general, not specific to this girl and her family- creates the darkness that is everywhere in this world.

Now, this is a super literal, Christian interpretation from a scholarly Christian Greek Orthodox priest. I was sort of mad when he said it because in their grief, I think the family might have took it the wrong way - to think that their sin some how brought this on. In pondering it though it does make some sense.

Regardless, we are all coming from different perspectives on this and finding our own way. I've been raised with Christianity, nurtured in a super supportive family all my life and so has my husband. It makes me cringe to read about people being hit on by youth group leaders and the pedophile problem that is in the Catholic Church and beyond. I know this is the sad reality of the world, and it tugs at my heart to read of people suffering all over this world. It raises questions that probably have no answers. All we can do is the best we can in our own lives, to pray for others and give when we can.

Ava

P.S. Lisa, I'm reading a Purpose Driven Life too. It's thought provoking and I would think it would be great to do as part of a bible study. Alas, it's soccer, volleyball, Lacrosse season for the kids - so no time.
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bfs/faith

Postby twitchypoo on September 13th, 2004, 8:19 am

Ava, Isn't is a great book?

Aaron, I know what you mean about the topic not being for this forum. Although, I think that faith and life intertwine and so, since I have BFS, my faith will have an integral part of how I cope with it. They are not seperate. I am also glad that no one has gotten mean spirited, or demeaning about their view. I see you have a lot of questions. Could I PM you with some thoughts?

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