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Old 09-06-2009, 07:37 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KboP View Post
..... parents brought me up to understand that my relationship with God was one that was separate to the physical church. The church could be my family but as with all families sometimes we would lose our way, and thats when we should look to Christ to help us. Never to put my faith in the church ONLY in God.
Very wise parents! Great words of wisdom KboP
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:52 PM   #77
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I find it very interesting, and perhaps fortuitous, that I found this thread.

I have recently been contemplating trying church again. The contemplation has been long, tedious, and emotional for me. In order for you to understand this, you must have some of my background, so please bear with me.

I grew up with a mother who tried very hard to raise us to believe in God and Jesus. We went to church peiodically. As time went on we went less and less. These decisions to attend or not were led mostly by my mother. In my adult years I came to find out that she had suffered a crisis of faith and felt very much like she was pretending and therefore lived with a lot of guilt.

Eventually we were going on holidays only. My Sunday School experience was limited and spotty. In my teen years I felt a NEED to be involved in a church. I tried many many churches. None seemed to fit. I settled in at a church that one of my friends went to, but I was uncomfortable with what I like to refer to as public displays of religion.

I've always prayed. But it was my relationship with God and Jesus not to be encroached upon by the eyes and ears of others. I found seeing other people publicly let go emotionally while providing testimony to be uncomfortable for me. I certainly couldn't do it myself. It was too personal.

I also found it distasteful to ask people to create legislation on a city, state, or national level that made Christian based morality legal while making what I saw as personal choices illegal.

I couldn't do it anymore. Combine that with the hipocricy that others have mentioned, and the judgmental nature of many that I encountered, and I found myself judging my fellow Christians and I didn't like the angst that it created in me.

Flash forward 15 years (oh my word--has it been that long???). I am in a place of contentment with my life. My husband and I are just around the corner from trying for a child. And this makes me come back to that NEED that I felt as a teenager. This time it's not so much a need to belong to a church, but to have a greater spiritual life. I doubt I'll ever be one to be completely comfortable with those PDRs, but I don't want my child to grow up in a spiritual vaccuum. I want my child to understand belief and faith. And I want to raise him/her in a community of people who find faith and belief to be a positive thing.

The thing is that I'm like a woman who has had bad relationships--I'm gun shy. I don't know how to find a church that I will feel comfortable in, and I don't know how to make the transition myself.

Any suggestions are welcome.
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1st goal--216 (lowest weight since moving to NC): achieved 5/14/10
2nd goal--203 (lowest weight post college):
3rd goal--199 (Onederland!)
4th goal--189 (where I'd like to be before really trying to get pregnant)
5th goal--180 (100 lbs. from my highest weight ever)
6th goal--169 (overweight bmi)
7th goal--140 (normal bmi)

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Old 09-10-2009, 10:28 PM   #78
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Eumie, like people Churches have their faults and their good points, I have come to the conclusion; that I should find a church and if I find it not all cut out to be what I feel it should be, love it anyway, because that is the way Jesus loves us,un-conditional. The real reason we are there anyway is him not the people. We make mistakes after mistakes and he forgives us and loves us anyway, what an awesome love he has for us all.

I learned a lesson today, have faith in Jesus, help those in need, and stop pointing my finger and do my part in changing things to the good . That is what I am aiming on doing , there is a new church here and I am thinking about trying it out, also there is one down the road, they stay to them self but I think they have a web site going to check them out , would be nice to be able to walk to church!

Emuie I don't know if I helped you out but you have helped me out, thank you, and may Jesus show favor upon you, will be praying for you and your husband and little baby to be. My daughter just had her 5th child , baby girl, children are the most precious gift from Jesus.
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Goal 2..........195

Last edited by Bootsie; 09-10-2009 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:31 PM   #79
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Eumie, when I think of finding a church again, I find myself much more attracted to and comfortable with a more liturgical style (I was thinking Episcopal) for all the reasons you said.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:38 PM   #80
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I actually believe in the Unitarian Universalist way more than any other. The churches in my areas however aren't very "family" oriented it seems--more couples and singles. The idealogy of them can be quite confusing to a child which is why we don't go. My kids do go to church camp though and a Methodist church on Easter and Christmas. That's gotta count for something.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:04 AM   #81
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I am not directing my thoughts here to anyone personal, I just feel like saying a few things that may or may not help some of you

Having a relationship with God is not something we have to do. It is not something we need to have. It is not something you can give to anyone else. It is not something you can take away from anyone else.

It isn't something you can earn. It isn't something you can "get" for your kids. It isn't something you can "give" to loved ones that have passed.

People each and every day are born and die on this earth without having known their Creator. It happens every single day of our lives.

If you want a relationship with God, He is there for you. He tells us in His Word that if you seek Him you will find Him. It isn't difficult.

If you are still looking for a "sign"... He already sent the sign! His Son!

There are many Christian religions out there. There are many wonderful churches out there in many different religions. With many wonderful people.

Yes, there are jerks out there.....there are rotten people in rotten churches.

HE gives us the "truth" and the freedom to seek Him. Our countries are free countries We have the freedom to attend the church of our choice, if the church we are going to is not about the "truth" we can leave and find another.

If you are looking for a church that is going to fill all your needs as you give nothing back then I am sorry to say you may not ever find it.

However....

If you are looking to find "truth"...if you are looking and seeking a relationship with your Savior you will find it.

If you look and seek, you will find a church that preaches and teaches the "TRUTH" of Christ from the pulpit. If you seek a church that preaches from the Bible and no other book, you will find it.

If you are looking for a church that does the above and allows you to join/start a youth group ~ a toddler group ~ a Bible study ~ a weight loss program ~ a cooking club ~ a singles group ~ a senior group ~ a walking club ~ a Monday Night Football group ~ a holiday bazaar group ~ a senior/youth ministry.....then you will find it....if you really want to.

I look at going to church as a wonderful opportunity, a blessing. I look up at the stained glass windows and Jesus on the cross every week and pray that He brings me back the next week. The more I give, the more work I do, the more I attend, the more I participate....the greater the gift I receive here on earth.

I am blessed...but the blessing I have is for anyone that wants it
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:07 AM   #82
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I guess my only problem with your post EZ is "Christ." One way for some--but many paths to the same IMO. IMO and experience, I do not need to go through Christ or Mary or any other to access GOD. He is in me. I know it.

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Old 09-11-2009, 09:24 AM   #83
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I have a relationship with God and Jesus all on my own. It doesn't require a church for that to happen.

Perhaps I sounded as if I was looking for something that fits my needs without giving anything back, but that is far from the truth. And if that was any reflection on my discomfort with public emotional displays of religion--I give that all to Him and feel no guilt in not giving that raw emotion over to others to evaluate.

I do feel, however, that a path towards spirituality, and a path towards God and Jesus ARE things you can "give" your child.

I was actually looking for some helpful advice on how to start my process of seeking out a place of worship where I belong.

Thank you, Bootsie, Julie, and TBG. I appreciate your help.

Bootsie, I agree with you that we must love as Christ loves us. I find it hard to do so when I am in a church or amidst Christians who do not do so in all cases, even (and especially) the difficult ones. But most of all, there is a general sense of me not being good fit for that particular church, rather than the other way around.

EZ--I think you are very blessed to find these answers to be so easy and self-evident. I wish that I felt as home in any of the churches I have worshiped in as you do in yours. It does not come so easily for some of us, and as we know from many different endeavors in life (including weight loss), wanting it badly enough doesn't always equate in finding or achieving it.
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1st goal--216 (lowest weight since moving to NC): achieved 5/14/10
2nd goal--203 (lowest weight post college):
3rd goal--199 (Onederland!)
4th goal--189 (where I'd like to be before really trying to get pregnant)
5th goal--180 (100 lbs. from my highest weight ever)
6th goal--169 (overweight bmi)
7th goal--140 (normal bmi)

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Old 09-11-2009, 09:25 AM   #84
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Thank-you THIGHS BE GONE

You are so right, there are many paths. My journey goes through Christ, and no one else, to God. However, that is my personal journey, as you have noted and I totally respect you and your choice for the journey you take.

Although I got side tracked, as usual the main point I was trying to make in my previous post was....

the church is the people in it.

We are fortunate in our church to be able to try new things...new interests.

I thought, in this economy, there might be a need for a magazine exchange....bring one or two and trade with someone....well I was wrong I ended up bringing tons of magazines home....I was able to give some to a nursing home.

Angie wanted to start a yoga ministry. She took the classes last year, spent many-many hours training and got her "degree"...she prepared to teach it with a Christian perspective with devotions, etc. And went and "sold" it to Pastor and the Board...it was an easy sell

A good friend of ours started a mommy and me group.

I have had great success and fun with pizza/bowling nights....chili cook-offs...whale watching trips...etc that myself and Angie have organized with our Christian Life Board.

I understand not everyone can do everything but I encourage you all to take a second look at "whatever it is" that is in or not in the church that you think you want to attend....and see what you can do to about it.

I have tried many things over the years at my church...some have been big flops (like taking the youth group to the snow for the week-end....and having NO SNOW )...others have been a big success.

I hope all of you find what you are looking for....but please don't wait for it to come to you....

If I had done that, I would be at home Sunday mornings sleeping in and watching CBS Sunday Morning....I would have missed out on a lot of "stuff"

Besides....I can DVR Sunday Morning!!!
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:27 AM   #85
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EUMIE ~ HI!

I have to go for a bit but I will respond to your post later this morning...

have a great day.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:51 PM   #86
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I'm Anglican (Episcopal if you're an American).

The church I go to now is very welcoming and inclusive of all ages, families or singles, gays, all races, etc.) and I feel like part of a family there. I must say that was not the case in some other churches I've been to, so if you aren't happy where you are I do encourage trying another one.

When we do Confirmation classes, the candidates are encouraged to visit other denominations (Catholic, Evangelical, Baptist, etc.) and even mosques and synagogues, so that they are sure that Christianity and the Anglican church in particular are the right path for them.

I'm not sure 14 years of age is the right time for that kind of experimentation because the parents don't always support it, but I do think it's a good thing for college age people or older to do.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:42 PM   #87
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Hi Tiggy Cat! So glad you made it to the faith group, your church sounds like a great one. Come join us in the Christian Encouragers-September in the Faith Group , want to show you my new granddaughter Johnie!
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:26 PM   #88
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EUMIE I wanted to get back to you. I didn't want you to think that my post was directed at you specifically because it wasn't. It was mostly in general, but on conversations I had during the week with some people.

I suggest looking around your area for a church you think you may want to attend, you seem to have, at least, a basic background in your faith.

I would go online to all their websites and look for their beliefs and practices. You can also see what activities they have on going...if they have a current website.

I won't take time to go into it tonight but, although my issue wasn't weight, I had a difficult time going to church as an adult....but that's another story

Take care, Gary
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #89
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Unhappy I have been going to a good Church...

I have a problem, though. For one thing, I stayed out of Church for a long time because of personal issues with Churches in general.
I want to go, I want a good experience, but somehow, I feel disappointed. I am a Born Again Christian, and I live in the Bible Belt, lots of "good" Churches, reputable...you know... but good for me and my family? I finally found one that I really liked and wanted to become a part of, when I joined the prayer team, I was appalled at the things these people were agreeing in prayer over. It was terrible...and wrong. Well, eventually, due to the pastor's indiscretions, the Church was turned over to someone else and I didn't go back to Church for a very long time.
In the last month or so, I have been attending a very reputable Church, the Pastor is faithful...and they are really doing great things for a lot of people. They are very focused on their youth, the problem I have is this:
I don't like for my children to be hit in the face by other children...and have him crying (my son is 4) and they not let me know. He told me when we got home. I don't want my child to have to fight at Church. I want him safe and secure in Church. It is supposed to be a safe place. Then my daughter, who is 16, was out in the rain with her group, having a "slop fight".... basically this was a major food fight with buckets of slop. She was wet and standing in the rain barefoot and dirty when we picked her up. I was appalled. I don't think this is appropriate behavior or activity for Church. When we went to Church, she had showered, done her hair and make up, had on a nice skirt and sandals... When I picked her up, I almost cried at the way she looked and smelled, never mind our shopping trip after Church...we didn't make it, and I almost vomitted from the smell from the back seat, to which she stated may be the "pickles".
We don't have our own washer and dryer, we need to go to the laundry mat, so her Church clothes went into a plastic bag, so I can go do her laundry again, and have to spend extra money that we don't really have to wash HER clothes.
I'm disappointed and sad. I want to know my kids are safe at Church and doing nice fun things. I don't want to sit through Church worrying about them the whole time.
I go to Church, maybe not because I really want to, but I know the importance of fellowshipping with the flock. I want to do what God wants me to do. I want to be obedient, but this is kind of the reason I don't like Church.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:23 PM   #90
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RYANNE I am sorry for your children's experiences.

I wasn't going to respond as I, not being close to the situation, might say something to offend you and I don't want that.

Seriously, I have thought about this post for days and thought I would share some experiences I had

When my children were in 2nd and 4th grade, at our church school, I had knee surgery. I was off work for a year. Being able to get along after a few months, but not released back to construction, I was able to help out at school. One day I got a call at home, seems the school had a field trip...all grades...and some of the children had to stay back for various reasons....well the person that was supposed to watch these kids was not available for some reason...don't recall...many years ago...anyway I was called and asked to "babysit"....now I had kids of all ages...K-8th...it seemed like every time I turned my back to look one way some kid was smacking the other...

this was not the last time I helped out in the school, day care or nursery...it happened more than once...and I am sure you know kids will wallop on each other...especially the little ones...

but to be honest, since that happens, in less there was injury or it kept happening....I didn't mention it to the parents....I just figured it was "life"

I have also had the experience of youth group directors not making maybe the smartest decisions...most are young themselves. I don't know but maybe what your daughter went through a poor decision from a young director or maybe a game gone bad?

My son had a kid sitting behind him in class that kept smacking him... the other child had issues...still does today, 19 years later...we always had problems with this child in youth group situations...his parents were aware and came to most activities to help out and keep watch. Anyway, my son had known this boy for several years, was the one that (as the boy said) tried to be a friend...anyway for some reason the kid wouldn't stop hitting my son in the back no matter what my son said. He told his teacher who scolded the boy but nothing changed. I told my son the next time he does it get up and move to another seat....if your teacher asks why then tell her...if there is an issue I will come to school. The boy hit my son...my son moved his seat...teacher asked why...son told her...he stayed there rest of the year. Sometimes things work out....sometimes they don't.

I taught 4th Sunday School for several years. The son of one of my best buddies from church was in one of the classes. He just pushed and pushed...nothing I could do would get him to stop causing trouble, I talked to his parents about it...after more weeks of disrupting my class I finally had enough and took him...and the entire class...up to the adult Bible study...dropped him off with his parents. From then on he was the most well behaved kid in class...he was so embarrassed...and I am sure his mom and dad were too! I had had enough...the kid and his parents are still good friends today...15 years later.

I hope you take the opportunity to get back to a church and find one you enjoy.

There is so much bad stuff out there....

I was fortunate enough to have a great place for my kids to go to school and youth group. My kids came from a divorced home from the time they were 6 and 8 yrs. old. It was not always easy going back and forth even though they saw me almost every single day. I was a very involved parent...very. I also was not afraid to allow them to go to public high school ...both of their wishes. They did very well in school and sports...there and college. I know a lot of their success has been from THEM...and a little from me, their mom and Angie...but I know...

and I know it deep in my heart...their experiences in church and church school were the most important factors in their lives...

not a perfect school...not a perfect church...not perfect parents...

but if you put yourself in a place for good things to happen ...they will...

Prayers you find that place ~ Gary
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