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Author: Subject: Since the prayer/praise service with Oteil at Wanee, I feel we have been tested in so many ways

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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 06:05 PM
With all the various prayer requests lately, cancer appearing in so many posts, several of this precious "extended family" losing loved ones and those in need, I had a thought that I shared with John a few weeks ago and want to share with others.

Those who were blessed by being present at the the prayer/praise service held on the Saturday before we left Wanee this year that was held by Lana and Oteil will remember the many requests for prayer, the many praise reports, and the love and concern that was shown by all there in attendance. I especially remember the prayer/praise book being read by Lana and the souls that were prayed for and families that were uplifted with praise reports and good wishes. Oteil inspired us and encouraged us in our faith as well. John and I both were so blessed by being there and sharing with our "family".

It seems to me that after we got back from Wanee, postings starting coming up with many requests for prayers, those who had just lost loved ones, and those who were having tough times. I distinctly remember that some of those in attendance at the prayer/praise service were those who were now needing healing thoughts and prayers. Others that were mentioned in the praise/prayer book - those names too began to crop up in the topic boards as well.

Seem odd or coincidental? I don't feel that is the case. I shared with John a few weeks ago that I felt that we were now being tested in our faith, not that God was testing us as much as Satan was testing us to see how strong we really were. I know from past experiences that when people began to worship, praise, pray and lift up others in need, that we will be under attack by the enemy (Satan).

This week, I am very sad about Mr. Ector. I only met him twice, but what a nice, sweet man he was to me and John. But we have to rejoice in the fact that his faith saw him through to the end and beyond as I now believe that he is truly an angel. No more suffering for him. We are the ones left to grieve and continue on in our lives until it is our turn to leave.

I am so glad that LeeAnn's dad's surgery was successful. We definitely lift up praise for that!

This "family" and this wonderful medium of sharing through postings are so much needed and appreciated and isn't it wonderful when there is good news to share?

Love to you all.

Susan (Susiesoulshine).

I just wanted to share this and see if anyone else felt like this as well.

[Edited on 7/11/2008 by susiesoulshine]

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 06:35 PM
You are so sweet Susie... I need to send you the Prayer Circle DVD and I will. Here's a nice clip I posted not too long ago at the time when we all heard that Bill wouldn't be with us much more. Oteil gave us the blessing to post/share with everyone...

Tears are Healing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOuhoPuA22o

 

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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 06:44 PM
Thank you so much for being there at that moment to record such precious, loving thoughts!
 
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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 06:50 PM
quote:
You are so sweet Susie... I need to send you the Prayer Circle DVD and I will. Here's a nice clip I posted not too long ago at the time when we all heard that Bill wouldn't be with us much more. Oteil gave us the blessing to post/share with everyone...

Tears are Healing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOuhoPuA22o



Thanks for that

 

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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 07:01 PM
You are very welcome... it was my pleasure!! Chicagofan said I had camera Karma that weekend!

 

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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 07:04 PM
Yes, you did! I have seen other videos you made that week, especially the ones with Tinsley Ellis! I have them posted on my MYSPACE page! You're a good one!
 
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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 07:07 PM
quote:
You're a good one!


Well, it takes one to know one and this family is the best anyone could ever ask for...

 

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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 07:53 PM
That is a very touching clip Sue. I think many of us including those of us that don't follow organized religion agree with what Oteil had to say there.

 

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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 09:00 PM
I can only say : " Amen and Amen to that".
 

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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 09:29 PM
My experience has been that as we move closer to God, the enemy attacks us harder, on many fronts, in many ways, to try and turn us away from God. As we go throguh these trials, we learn to rely on God more and ourselves less, which turns out to be a blessing in the long run. Not easy to go through at the time though. Submit to God in prayer and thanksgiving and he will complete the good work he has started in you.

 

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  posted on 7/12/2008 at 09:17 PM
Susie, I was there also and your words are so true.

 

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  posted on 7/12/2008 at 10:44 PM
Nice, Doug
totally agree.
this is a very blessed family the fact that we all have each other
and share our faith openly is an amazing thing.
i consider that moment of sharing at the prayer circle saturday morning
the highlight for my wanee experience this year
peace to you all
Todd.

 

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  posted on 7/12/2008 at 11:51 PM
I wasn't at the circle. Sounds very cool.

Not to be disagreeable, but since you asked, I have no belief whatsoever in "the enemy." I find it amazing that people believe in a being who can get inside your mind and "tempt" you to do things, or can "attack" you for having faith in God.

I think we will have made great strides in understanding God when we put mythical characters like Satan to rest. My experience has been that as we move closer to God, we have less need for someone to blame things on.

 

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  posted on 7/13/2008 at 02:49 AM
Susie, I hope you saw the post I made earlier today about the wonderful news concerning my nephew and brother-in-law who were both on the prayer list because of cancer/chemo therapy and both have pulled thru!

 

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  posted on 7/13/2008 at 10:44 AM
quote:
Susie, I hope you saw the post I made earlier today about the wonderful news concerning my nephew and brother-in-law who were both on the prayer list because of cancer/chemo therapy and both have pulled thru!




Yes, I did and that is awesome! Gave me chills when I read it earlier.

 
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  posted on 7/13/2008 at 10:47 AM
quote:
I wasn't at the circle. Sounds very cool.

Not to be disagreeable, but since you asked, I have no belief whatsoever in "the enemy." I find it amazing that people believe in a being who can get inside your mind and "tempt" you to do things, or can "attack" you for having faith in God.

I think we will have made great strides in understanding God when we put mythical characters like Satan to rest. My experience has been that as we move closer to God, we have less need for someone to blame things on.



Actually, Satan's presence is clearly made true in the Bible.

 
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  posted on 7/13/2008 at 10:49 AM
quote:
Susie, I was there also and your words are so true.


Thanks, just felt led to share what was in my heart lately.

 
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  posted on 7/13/2008 at 11:25 AM
quote:
quote:
I wasn't at the circle. Sounds very cool.

Not to be disagreeable, but since you asked, I have no belief whatsoever in "the enemy." I find it amazing that people believe in a being who can get inside your mind and "tempt" you to do things, or can "attack" you for having faith in God.

I think we will have made great strides in understanding God when we put mythical characters like Satan to rest. My experience has been that as we move closer to God, we have less need for someone to blame things on.



Actually, Satan's presence is clearly made true in the Bible.


If you believe there is a Satan because it says so in the Bible, then that is your right. I don't believe it, and I've found my walk with God to be a much closer one since I stopped believing everything I read. I don't want to get into a discussion on whether God wrote the Bible, or whether it is true, because clearly you believe it is. But I do believe that one of my purposes in life is to speak up whan I hear someone invoking "Satan" when something we don't understand happens. We all just naturally assume there is a devil, because we've heard about him since we were children, and we have an old book who says he exists. We could just as easily blame the things we blame on Satan on lots of other things, including human nature.

I don't believe there is any evidence whatsoever to suggest that some being out there is responsible for someone getting sick, and just because some folks had a prayer circle and spent some time with God. I know you aren't trying to start an argument, and I don't intend this to be one. But I just feel a need to mention as often as possible that God only loves us, and will never judge us, and the judgement of God, Satan, and Hell, are all man-made concepts, and only exists in the minds of people who believe in them.

I say lift your hands and mind and heart to seek God, always, and let go of the fear of God that is a part of all Christian denominations.

 

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  posted on 7/14/2008 at 08:20 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I wasn't at the circle. Sounds very cool.

Not to be disagreeable, but since you asked, I have no belief whatsoever in "the enemy." I find it amazing that people believe in a being who can get inside your mind and "tempt" you to do things, or can "attack" you for having faith in God.

I think we will have made great strides in understanding God when we put mythical characters like Satan to rest. My experience has been that as we move closer to God, we have less need for someone to blame things on.



Actually, Satan's presence is clearly made true in the Bible.


If you believe there is a Satan because it says so in the Bible, then that is your right. I don't believe it, and I've found my walk with God to be a much closer one since I stopped believing everything I read. I don't want to get into a discussion on whether God wrote the Bible, or whether it is true, because clearly you believe it is. But I do believe that one of my purposes in life is to speak up whan I hear someone invoking "Satan" when something we don't understand happens. We all just naturally assume there is a devil, because we've heard about him since we were children, and we have an old book who says he exists. We could just as easily blame the things we blame on Satan on lots of other things, including human nature.

I don't believe there is any evidence whatsoever to suggest that some being out there is responsible for someone getting sick, and just because some folks had a prayer circle and spent some time with God. I know you aren't trying to start an argument, and I don't intend this to be one. But I just feel a need to mention as often as possible that God only loves us, and will never judge us, and the judgement of God, Satan, and Hell, are all man-made concepts, and only exists in the minds of people who believe in them.

I say lift your hands and mind and heart to seek God, always, and let go of the fear of God that is a part of all Christian denominations.




We all have our opinions and beliefs............

 
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  posted on 7/14/2008 at 10:08 AM
quote:
I say lift your hands and mind and heart to seek God, always, and let go of the fear of God that is a part of all Christian denominations.
Allen, I take exception to the last part of that sentence. Part of the United Methodist indoctrination is that we are all saved by grace, and it's a free gift. I have yet to hear a sermon in the UMC that promises hellfire and damnation if we don't submit to God.

Here are some Wesleyan beliefs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Methodist_Church

quote:
The key emphasis of (John) Wesley's theology relates to how Divine grace operates within the individual. Wesley defined the Way of Salvation as the operation of grace in three parts: Prevenient Grace, Justifying Grace, and Sanctifying Grace.

Prevenient grace, given to all people, is that power which enables us to love and that which motivates us to seek a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This grace effects a partial restoring of our sin-corrupted human will so that we might sense both our sinfulness before God and Godís offer of salvation. Prevenient grace allows those tainted by sin to nevertheless make a truly free choice to accept or reject God's salvation in Christ.

Justifying Grace or Accepting Grace is that grace, offered by God to all people, that we receive by faith and trust in Christ, through which God pardons the believer of sin. It is justifying grace that enables God to receive us, in spite of our sin, and to forgive us through the life, and especially the death on the cross, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The justifying grace cancels our guilt and empowers us to resist the power of sin and to fully love God and neighbor. Today, justifying grace is also known as conversion, "accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior," or being "born again." John Wesley originally called this experience the New Birth. This experience can occur in different ways; it can be one transforming moment, such as an altar call experience, or it may involve a series of decisions across a period of time.

Sanctifying Grace is that grace which sustains the believers in the journey toward "perfection of love": a genuine love of God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and a genuine love of our neighbors as ourselves. Sanctifying grace enables us, once justified, to respond to God by leading a Spirit-filled and Christ-like life aimed toward love. Wesleyan theology maintains that salvation is the act of God's grace entirely, from invitation, to pardon, to growth in holiness.


God wants us to choose Him and be in fellowship with Him. It's not, "Believe in me, OR ELSE!"

As to the forces of evil, I believe in that, as well. Back in 2000, I had been to a men's spiritual retreat. It was, without a doubt, the most significant religious experience I have had up to that point. Without going into great detail, the night I returned home, something happened that shook me and my faith to the core. I came home high on God, and Satan, or the forces of evil, if you prefer, body slammed me. The forces of evil don't like it at all when God and His people get closer to each other through worship and fellowship. He will do anything he can to put separation between you and God.

Those are my beliefs. Your mileage may vary.

[Edited on 7/14/2008 by BigDaveOnBass]

 

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  posted on 7/14/2008 at 12:08 PM
quote:
I just wanted to share this and see if anyone else felt like this as well.
Susie - I wasn't able to attend Wanee but the knowledge that those in the family who did attend took some time together to send out these positive healing thoughts and prayers humbles me... what a family! I know I had a few names I added to that list of both people I've met here and people in my 'other' life and I'm looking forward to viewing the copy of the video of this event (video player currently in a box as I'm painting). Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

Gotta add a big Thank You to the wonderful susea who took the time to shoot such a moving and meaningful event and to the gracious Helen who so kindly gifted me a copy.

That being said...

Bless us all.

 

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  posted on 7/14/2008 at 12:26 PM
quote:
quote:
I say lift your hands and mind and heart to seek God, always, and let go of the fear of God that is a part of all Christian denominations.
Allen, I take exception to the last part of that sentence. Part of the United Methodist indoctrination is that we are all saved by grace, and it's a free gift. I have yet to hear a sermon in the UMC that promises hellfire and damnation if we don't submit to God.

Here are some Wesleyan beliefs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Methodist_Church

quote:
The key emphasis of (John) Wesley's theology relates to how Divine grace operates within the individual. Wesley defined the Way of Salvation as the operation of grace in three parts: Prevenient Grace, Justifying Grace, and Sanctifying Grace.

Prevenient grace, given to all people, is that power which enables us to love and that which motivates us to seek a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This grace effects a partial restoring of our sin-corrupted human will so that we might sense both our sinfulness before God and Godís offer of salvation. Prevenient grace allows those tainted by sin to nevertheless make a truly free choice to accept or reject God's salvation in Christ.

Justifying Grace or Accepting Grace is that grace, offered by God to all people, that we receive by faith and trust in Christ, through which God pardons the believer of sin. It is justifying grace that enables God to receive us, in spite of our sin, and to forgive us through the life, and especially the death on the cross, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The justifying grace cancels our guilt and empowers us to resist the power of sin and to fully love God and neighbor. Today, justifying grace is also known as conversion, "accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior," or being "born again." John Wesley originally called this experience the New Birth. This experience can occur in different ways; it can be one transforming moment, such as an altar call experience, or it may involve a series of decisions across a period of time.

Sanctifying Grace is that grace which sustains the believers in the journey toward "perfection of love": a genuine love of God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and a genuine love of our neighbors as ourselves. Sanctifying grace enables us, once justified, to respond to God by leading a Spirit-filled and Christ-like life aimed toward love. Wesleyan theology maintains that salvation is the act of God's grace entirely, from invitation, to pardon, to growth in holiness.


God wants us to choose Him and be in fellowship with Him. It's not, "Believe in me, OR ELSE!"

As to the forces of evil, I believe in that, as well. Back in 2000, I had been to a men's spiritual retreat. It was, without a doubt, the most significant religious experience I have had up to that point. Without going into great detail, the night I returned home, something happened that shook me and my faith to the core. I came home high on God, and Satan, or the forces of evil, if you prefer, body slammed me. The forces of evil don't like it at all when God and His people get closer to each other through worship and fellowship. He will do anything he can to put separation between you and God.

Those are my beliefs. Your mileage may vary.

[Edited on 7/14/2008 by BigDaveOnBass]


Dave, the entire premise of Christianity is that someday God will judge us, and that those found wanting will live forever in a lake of fire. The "good news" may be that Christ can keep this from happening, but without the judgement, you don't need Christ. So the very foundation of the faith is that we have something to fear from God, but fortunately, we have something to keep what we fear from happening.

I don't doubt that you had an experience, because you told me you did, but I would be interested in knowing how you determined that Satan was behind it. I do believe that there are "evil forces" on this physical plane, but I also believe they are created by man, through our own actions. That does not mean that there is an invisible enemy that wars with God over our souls. I don't believe any of it. It is easy to blame things that happen to us on Satan, because the Christian faith has no provision for the possibility that maybe God caused it to happen.

BTW, how do you know that wasn't God Himself shaking you to your very core, testing the faith you say was so shaken?

And don't you think if there really was an enemy, he would be happier to see Christians in church praising God (an exercise I still don't understand why God might have a need for), instead of out doing the work that Jesus advocated?

I don't want to have any animosity with you, and I think you know that. It is easy to become offended when talking about these things. The OP asked a question, so I really thought she wanted someone to answer her, but I think she just wanted some people to agree with her.

As I've said before, my faith in God skyrocketed when I let go of the Bible and the fear of God it is full of. I believe God wants us to seek Him where He is, all around us, rather than through a book written by men thousands of years ago.

 

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  posted on 7/14/2008 at 12:28 PM
I want to thank Susea for the video. I was brought to tears from the amount of love and respect. I had to pause the video several times to catch my breath. Thank you

 

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  posted on 7/14/2008 at 12:56 PM
Allen,

I'm going to give you piece of advice, believe what you belief, but try not to "run down" other people's beliefs, especially Christians. I understand you were a Christian at some point in your life, but pulled away from the faith because of issues with the church. And no doubt, this must have a very traumatic thing to occur in your life as you seems to be still harboring some "hard feelings", because you seem to never miss the opportunity over here on HTN to tell Christians how "misguided they are in their beliefs". Did it every occur to you Allen, that you may be the one that is "misguided"? In any case, your comments about Christians do come accoss as condescending, arrogant, judgemental and on a certain level, offensive. Perhaps the next time when Christains on this site are discussing issues of their faith, you might try to restrain yourself from doing your theological "dump" on the discussion. That would be the respectful thing to do.

[Edited on 7/14/2008 by sibwlkr]

 

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  posted on 7/14/2008 at 01:14 PM
quote:
Allen,

I'm going to give you piece of advice, believe what you belief, but try not to "run down" other people's beliefs, especially Christians. I understand you were a Christian at some point in your life, but pulled away from the faith because of issues with the church. And no doubt, this must have a very traumatic thing to occur in your life as you seems to be still harboring some "hard feelings", because you seem to never miss the opportunity over here on HTN to tell Christians how "misguided they are in their beliefs". Did it every occur to you Allen, that you may be the one that is "misguided"? In any case, your comments about Christians do come accoss as condescending, arrogant, judgemental and on a certain level, offensive. Perhaps the next time when Christains on this site are discussing issues of their faith, you might try to restrain yourself from doing your theological "dump" on the discussion. That would be the respectful thing to do.

[Edited on 7/14/2008 by sibwlkr]


Fred, since you have proven to be one of the most "condescending, arrogant, judgemental and on a certain level, offensive" posters on this site, I'll thank you to keep your advice to yourself. You have no credibilty to offer anyone any advice on "the respectful thing to do."

You are possibly the worst example of a "Christian" I've ever encountered, and I think it is hilarious that you are here defending your "faith," besides being completely wrong about my history or my motivation.

I also find it very condescending that you think because I'm not a Christian, that I have no place in discussions of faith. Why am I not surprised?

 

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