Tag: Faith

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Choosing Faith

 

Years after trying to start a family, I found myself at a crossroad. I had spent half a decade riding an emotional roller coaster with the occasional up, but mostly the gut-wrenching downs that only a woman struggling with infertility can truly understand. We had tried almost every medical procedure possible, countless prayers and tears were expended by us and others on our behalf, blessings and fasts were offered, I spent hours upon hours scouring the internet to research adoption agencies and certify us as foster parents not once, but twice, in two different states. We took the classes, completed the home visits, and jumped through all the hoops but never saw a child because my husband’s job took us elsewhere before that could happen. We now were in a new state and hope was on the horizon as we finished our foster certification – for a third time. I was just hired as a full-time teacher, and we were settled into our new home. But as usual, our plans came to a halt.

My husband got word that his unit would soon deploy for 12 months. Upon becoming licensed foster parents, our hope was to take in a newborn. And as much as I longed for a baby and welcomed the challenge, I didn’t know the first thing about them; that was my husband’s expertise and I was depending on him for guidance.

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In a special holiday edition of 10 Blocks, Timothy Goeglein joins City Journal assistant editor Charles McElwee to discuss how people of faith can help renew American society—themes explored in his new book, American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation. Coauthored with Craig Osten, American Restoration calls for a revival of spiritual values in America […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Can I Tell You a (Holiday) Story?

 

I just got a text from my childhood best friend. She texted three pictures from our other childhood best friend. This time of year, people reconnect, share stories, and think of their lives in context — as in the past, present, and future. Let me tell you a story:

I recognized the older sister, the lovely Mary Beth. She was beautiful, blonde, and so talented. Growing up, I was constantly at my friend Kitty’s house. They lived on the next street over, easily accessible through the alley. I asked Mary Beth to make me a dress. I coveted Mary Beth’s navy and black velvet dresses with lace collars. She could sew anything. I found a pink paisley material and she whipped up a gorgeous mini-dress with bell sleeves. I strutted into grade school and got sent home because it was too short. My best friend Kitty lent me her Maxi-coat; so cool that I’d throw off my plain nothing, kick off my ugly snow boots, and put on that beautiful wool coat that dragged the ground. I slipped and struggled over the ice and snow to school because the coat had to have pretty shoes under it. So vain … Wait – did I tell you Mary Beth was deaf? She taught me sign language. Kitty and her baby sister could hear.

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Isn’t that what the Bible teaches? What does it say about ‘willful evil’? Because that’s what I think has happened to Chick-fil-A. The mob that harassed the company are being guided by ‘willful evil’. They are lied to, and the company is lied about, by those who WANT to destroy anyone, or anything, who stands […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Spiritual But Not Religious

 

I’m tired of people describing their spiritual lives as “spiritual but not religious.” I have little respect for people who wear the spiritual label to show how enlightened they are, and how they have freed themselves from the archaic practices of religion.

I know there are many people who have had painful experiences with religion and thus have chosen this narrow journey of spirituality. Many people have had difficult, emotionally wounding experiences with organized religion. They have been betrayed by a spiritual leader or were taught as a child a fearful or hateful version of religions. They were expected to follow rituals they didn’t understand or resented. All in all, early experiences left them empty, without filling their hearts and souls. Even my own mother felt rejected; she had wanted to join a synagogue, but we had limited funds. She left hurt and embarrassed after visiting the synagogue, when they told her they couldn’t adjust the fees for her poor financial situation.

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Imtiaz Shams is British ex-Muslim. Genetically Modified Sceptic is an American ex-Christian. Veedu Vidz is a British ex-Muslim comedian. Together they host a forum on what it is like to walk away from the religious faith that one grew up with, one that was taught by ones parents and believed by ones friends and extended […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Faith

 

“Economics is not the central problem of this century. It is a relative problem which can be solved in relative ways. Faith is the central problem of this age. The Western world does not know it, but it already possesses the answer to this problem – but only provided its faith in God and the freedom He enjoins is as great as Communism’s faith in Man.” — Whittaker Chambers, Witness

These words remain applicable today, and yet so many of our current political debates focus on economics. As a parent of children attending public schools, I see faith in God being deliberately replaced with faith in man. Schools eagerly preach the religion of environmentalism under the guise of science, or English, or whatever other subject they can tangentially relate to its themes.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Utopia Under a Tent or a Waterfall?

 

I had my six-month dental cleaning and check-up. I didn’t expect to see the same hygienist. At my last visit, she was planning a move, possibly to Portland but I told her she may want to re-think that. She got back yesterday and said parts of Oregon were beautiful, breathtaking, the waterfalls, cool breezes, deep emerald green forests and didn’t want to leave. They hiked every day. She grew up here in Florida and is ready for a change. What she wasn’t ready for was Portland. She said she’d never seen anything like it, and was shocked by the enormous homeless population. Tents everywhere. “They don’t bother you, she said, or panhandle”. But “you couldn’t help but feel ill at ease,” walking from the donut shop with a bag of fresh-baked donuts. She walked by a young man at 7:15 AM, shooting up in broad daylight. Drugs that come in from Mexico and China. She said another’s face was beaten to a pulp. The smell was awful. But Oregon she said, was truly breathtaking…

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Book Review: I Want To Live

 

“The absolute raw truth of the matter is this: I have no idea what I am doing now, much less what I will be doing a year from now. Years of living my life for another person has left me without a clue as to how to live for myself.” from the book,

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Dollar Almighty and a Crisis of Faith

 

This week an Inside Edition video interviewing Kenneth Copeland went viral as part of a disturbing investigation of televangelists living upscale lifestyles. Copeland, and others, are part of a movement from decades ago, preaching a prosperity “gospel,” offering false teachings, and thus, false promises, which have caused many followers heartache mentally, financially, and in their faith. 

We hear stories and jokes all of the time about the crazy cat lady that leaves the entirety of her estate to one of these ministries (see, this clip from the 1997 movie The Rainmaker). However, there is a scary truth to this example, in that the message is solely that prosperity is the only way to God, and if one is suffering, that means Satan is in charge.

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The week of Easter 2019 was difficult, personally and as a Christian. I lost my mother in law, our last remaining parent. Notre Dame caught fire and burned, doing massive damage. The small Christian community of Sri Lanka suffered terrorist attacks, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Another shooting at a Jewish synagogue in California. I […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. It Takes a Village to Make a Village

 

I’m a third of the way through Tim Carney’s Alienated America and I also thoroughly enjoyed the episode of The Remnant podcast about the book. It’s no surprise to me that I like this book, as the lack of social organizations at a grassroots level is near and dear to my heart, especially when it comes to firearms ownership in America.

Gun owners are being shoved to the side in American culture, and that’s putting the right to self-defense for all Americans in jeopardy. While my focus is on gun rights, the fact is, the decline of social communities outside of politicas is something that is hurting all Americans. So I ask you, my fellow Ricocheti, what can we as individuals to help re-create and renew the social organizations that once held our country together?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Secularism gets Tolkien Wrong

 

I have had to check out of Ricochet for a while because I was assigned to write a book, which is cool but to get anything done on that project I needed to take a break. I came back to the site and started reading posts and sure enough that made it impossible for me not to write up a post myself. A post by @LoisLane really inspired me to write I post I have been thinking about for a very long time you can find her excellent post and fascinating comment thread here

The Lord of the Rings movies differed from the books in many ways, which is to be expected since a movie and a book are very different mediums. For instance at the “Breaking of the Fellowship” I think it was vital to the movie to show Boromir fighting for Merry and Pippin and Aragorn “avenging” Boromir. I saw the Fellowship of the Ring three times in the theater and each time the audience was on the edge of their seats as Boromir redeemed himself and they erupted in applause when Aragorn dispatched the Uruk-hai that killed Boromir.

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Today I thought about the year 2018, who started as Baby New Year, and will soon be dying out to make room for a brand new page in history, a clean slate, a chance to start fresh. The year 2018 already seems a blur, and as I try to slow the stories and pictures that […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I Grieve with The Jewish Community of Squirrel Hill

 

Saturday morning, an unspeakable tragedy unfolded at a Jewish Temple in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh. I stared at the TV in stunned silence, as my gut tightened into a painful knot. As I watched law enforcement running among flashing lights and chaos, the details emerged of mass casualties and injured. I turned to Fox News and saw the beautiful neighborhood where I once lived, with Fall trees aglow in bright orange, red and yellow, shadowed by mass casualty trucks and men in fatigues carrying assault weapons. A spokesman for the city said ‘an attack on this community and faith is an attack on all of our communities and faiths’. I knew these were not mere words of comfort, but a deep truth that all who are from Pittsburgh understand. Later in life, Squirrel Hill’s predominantly Jewish population would embrace me on a personal level.

As a child growing up in Brookline, a suburb of Pittsburgh, my classrooms and friends were composed of Italians, Jews, Greeks, Lebanese, Syrians, Irish, Poles, and Ukrainians. I was as familiar with delicious ethnic foods, holidays and traditions as though they were my own, and some were. In my early twenties, I shared several apartments near the Tree of Life Synagogue. I could walk to work on Murray Avenue, back in my retail days. As I shopped at the local markets, I noticed numbers tattooed on people’s arms. At first, I didn’t understand, but I soon realized these were first-generation survivors of the Holocaust, to me the worst period in recent human history. I was invited to a Jewish wedding reception in Squirrel Hill, where praise and thanks, tears and clapping abundantly poured out because this extended family “had survived.” This was not normal, something that I was not familiar with — sheer survival in the midst of extreme evil.

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I keep seeing this commercial for “Bring Your Bible to School Day”. It draws my attention with a catchy little tune that I haven’t sung since I was little, called “This Little Light of Mine”. However, what intrigued me was that, in today’s politically correct and emotionally charged atmosphere, especially at schools and universities, this […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I’m Not Catholic – So Why Should It Matter to Me?

 

My personal spiritual journey had more hiccups than a newborn. While my family, with traditional ties to Catholicism, was influential in planting a Christian seed, growing up in the crazy ’60s, ’70s, ’80s made anything traditional not my bag. By the third grade, my dad bought me a little turntable that resembled a red suitcase and several Beatles albums (along with Alvin and the Chipmunks) – my first intro to rock and roll – and then as I got older, cough … all the rest…

I considered myself a “modern” Christian, i.e., more spiritual than religious, and fell down every spiritual rabbit hole there was. I read about Eastern religions, New Age, visited multiple denominational churches, but was never that committed. As I grew older, I realized I didn’t really have a spiritual foundation. In my case, it took a health crisis to realize I had nothing. The “Universe” wasn’t going to save me, nor the Buddha, or any other spiritual “wisdom” I gleaned from all those cool New Age bookstores, with the ear candles, patchouli and rose incense, and sections on whatever spiritual flavor of the day caught your attention.

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@bethanymandel did a post on her friend’s new book called, ”Leaving Cloud 9”, By Erica Anderson. https://ricochet.com/532746/when-you-leave-cloud-9/ More

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