Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Place of God in our Daily Lives

Off all the people and things to inspire a blog, I would never have thought it would be a conservative religious spam forward from my Mother. Yet, here we are. I've copied the original post at the bottom of this blog so you can read it for yourselves and draw your own thoughts from it.

God is not inappropriate at work; God is not inappropriate anywhere. Your belief or my belief in God is NOT inappropriate anywhere. What IS inappropriate is anyone's attempt to make a religion (any religion) part of of someone else's life. I pray at work, I pray before most meals (I admit to imperfections like anyone else), and I have no problems with ANYONE else's desire to do (or NOT do) the same.

But how can we profess to be a country of religious freedom if we require religion (any religion)? Whether I can grasp how someone would choose to deny God's existence does NOT change the fact that someone HAS that right just as much as I have the right to accept that same existence. God, Allah, Jesus, Buddha, JHWH, Jahovah, Jah, Shangdi, Zhu, Brahman, Ishvara, Akal Purakh, and many many others deserve as much reverence as we can muster. But we as a people cannot be open to all religions while requiring even lip service to one.

So when an e-mail like the one below comes around to me, I AM hesitant about to whom I send it. Not because I am ashamed of Christ or my Catholicism, but because I believe in the promise my country was founded upon and want to make sure I don't accidentally offend someone. The same is true for "dirty" e-mails, or jokes, or whatever; the wise and compassionate person recognizes that everyone and everything has an audience and tries to steer items accordingly.

When did my respect for someone else's spirituality transform into heresy? When did my desire to allow people to believe as they choose become the turning of my back on the Teaching's of Christ?

When did my desire to believe and venerate God necessitate the insertion of Judeo-Christian dogma into aspects of daily life that often touch those of other faiths? Yet we do it all the time. If the $20.00 bill were to be inscribed with "Allahu Akbar", there would be NO END to the protests by Americans everywhere, even though between 1.1 million and 6.0 million American Citizens follow the tenants of Islam. Why would THAT religious belief be bad, but "In God We Trust" be not only acceptable but appropriate?

If students want to pray in school, let's encourage them to pray in their seats like most working people do. However, let's also recognize some realities present in our world today: crime is up and "morality" is down (more on that shortly) across the board. Is that because people don't pray in school? Is that because the prepositional phrase "under God" was removed from public school? NO.

Obviously, the difference between right and wrong and how to act must be taught to children beginning at a young age. This can be done in religious school (such as those I went to); to suggest that my home life and my upbringing did not impact my life, however, would be to ignore reality and do a disservice to my Mom, and both my Father and Step-Father (my they rest in peace). Don't make teachers, nuns, nannies, bus drivers, tvs, radios, or computers bare the burden of teaching children HOW to act and more importantly WHY that is the way to act! Reinforce those lessons by living that way yourselves (to the best of your ability), show where you have strayed, and how to atone for your errors. EACH of us MUST take responsibility for acting the way we want those in our lives to act, particularly our children. We all must show stewardship for the young generations so they can learn by example.

Don't worry about saying you love/believe/follow God (or whoever it is you do follow). Worry instead about SHOWING your love, your belief. How God wants you to treat your fellow man differs so little from religion to religion; it's ALL about respect and love. If you do that, if you follow that one simple little rule, I'm confident that you are well on your way to achieving your ultimate reward no matter what to what religion you belong.

God; when I received this e-mail, I thought... I don't have time for this... And, this is really inappropriate during work.

Then, I realized that this kind of thinking is.... Exactly what has caused a lot of the problems in our world today.

We try to keep God in church on Sunday morning... maybe, Sunday night... and, the unlikely event of a midweek service. We do like to have Him around during sickness... and, of course, at funerals. However, we don't have time, or room, for Him during work or play... because.. that's the part of our lives we think... We can, and should, handle on our own.

May God forgive me for ever thinking... that... there is a time or place where.. HE is not to be First in my life. We should always have time to remember all HE has done for us. If, you aren't ashamed to do this... Please follow the directions: Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father. ' Not ashamed? Pass this on ONLY IF YOU MEAN IT!! Yes, I do Love God. HE is my source of existence and Savior.

He keeps me functioning each and everyday. Without Him, I would be nothing. But, with Christ, HE strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)

This is the simplest test.

If You Love God... And are not ashamed of all the marvelous things HE has done for you... Send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you! Now do you have the time to pass it on?

Make sure that you scroll through! To the end.

Easy vs. Hard

Why is it so hard to tell the truth and yet so easy to tell a lie? Why are we so sleepy in church but right when the sermon is over we suddenly wake up? Why is it so easy to delete a Godly e-mail, and yet we forward all of the nasty ones? Of all the free gifts we may receive, Prayer is the very best one....

There are no costs, but wonderful rewards... GOD BLESS!

Notes: Isn't it funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Isn't it funny how someone can say 'I believe in God', but still follow Satan! (who, by the way, also 'believes' in God). Isn't it funny how you can send a thousand jokes through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing? Isn't it funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them. Isn't it funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.

No, it isn’t funny at all, what it can be is eternally fatal!

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