Jesus does NOT have a wonderful plan for your life.

by Chloe Jeffreys · 358 comments

in faith

In this past year, a slew of my friends have abandoned their faith in God altogether and come out as atheists.

I’ve seen the pattern over and over again so many times that I’m thinking I could knit a sweater of atheism if only I had enough yarn.

It usually starts with a personal crisis of some sort or another.

The death of a child. The loss of a home. Financial disaster. The disappointment that comes from a marriage gone bad. A prodigal child. It could be anything big or seemingly small.

Whatever the initial spark, the course of events that follows seems fairly consistent from person to person.

First up:  The Arrival of Job’s Friends.

Because the American Church is so enamored with this stupid theology about Jesus having a wonderful plan for our lives, many Christians do not know how to cope when misfortune strikes their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

For Americans, Jesus having a wonderful plan for our lives means health, wealth and prosperity. For us Americans, that is. Us extra-blessed Americans who Jesus loves best, of course.

Whether we personally belong to a church that openly espouses Prosperity Theology or not, this terrible heresy has infected American Christianity like a plague that just will not go away.

Worse, far worse, it is driving people to atheism in droves.

Here is how it works; here is how this theology creates an army of Job’s Friends.

If I’m invested in believing that Jesus has a wonderful plan for my life, and that the level of my stridency in my faith in Him is what is keeping the Boogeyman away, what conclusions can I draw when the Boogeyman visits you?

Obviously there is something wrong with you and your faith.

Because we know that Jesus has a wonderful plan for our lives, if bad things are happening to you, well then, it must be your own damn fault.

This sort of belief in Jesus–that belief in Him is what is both keeping bad things from happening and causing good to rain down on us–is really nothing more or less than idolatry.

WHAT?!?!

Am I saying that  belief in Jesus could be an idol?

Is that even possible?

Yeah. It is.

It is no different than any other sort of magical thinking. This thinking reduces Jesus to nothing more than a rabbit’s foot.

A belief in Jesus is not a talisman against misfortune and disaster. This magical thinking is, in fact, the exact opposite of what Jesus said about following him.

Jesus never said, “I’ve got a wonderful plan for you life.”

He said that, before choosing to follow him, a person should, “Count the cost.”

When disaster befalls our brother or sister in Christ*, this creates anxiety in us. And out of our own anxiety, we become shitheads to our suffering friends.

Because we need to believe that we have the talisman against evil, i.e., our belief in Jesus, we decide that their calamity must indicate some spiritual weakness or sin in them.

We need to believe that the bad that happened to them can’t happen to us because our faith is strong, right? We’ve ferreted out the sin from our lives, unlike them, right?

And even if we don’t openly say these things, or even realize that we think this way, we communicate this loud and clear.

That’s why, without fail, the very next mile-marker on the road to atheism, after the precipitating disaster, is  the arrival of Job’s Friends. And those friends are us.

*Don’t even get me started on how we treat non-believers when disaster strikes them. 

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Gabriella July 16, 2015 at 8:15 am

Romans 5, Let us rejoice also in our sufferings knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity) and character [of this sort produces [the habit of] joyful and confident HOPE of Eternal Salvation. -amplified version
When I birthed and lost my daughter in the same day let me just say nothing compared to this persistent pain. Nothing anyone said or tried to do changed the tragedy of my baby girls life now gone. It felt unreal and absolutely a hoax. The only thing i did have was hope..in her, the memory of her within me and the hope in where she now was, forever. But that did not satisfy the NOW, you know what i mean? that “instant” . The anger, hate, pain, thoughts, regrets became colder and colder what i can look back now and say by the minute increasing in darkness and not caring to get out of it. I was so comfortable with feeling miserable. I even believed i deserved to feel that way until i died. I’m sure dying in my sin and opposition of God and Jesus Christ is just half of what satan desired from me the other half was taking the very life God gave me, through it. Let me tell you i did not care to hear anything about the Lord if you talked about Him i’d tell you piss off and pass me another bump type sh;t. Hurt a lot of people in the pain and did not get a chance to recognize the hurt until after re-dedicating my life to the Lord asking Him to take it all away, well receiving salvation what i believed was the first time but my pops said it was a re dedication but i’m like nah dad i truly believe it was different and so real. I respect the church but it was in my room at home, and i believe it was for a purpose. This room was the place mourning took place where grief set up camp where i did whatever pleasured me for a few moments only to not help me refrain from weeping and cursing at G-d. Yet it is in these very places He can change that brokenness and bring us out of the darkness. Luke writes of Jesus encounter with the people in the synagogue: ” And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
John 3:34
For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.
John 9:39
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” That is what FAITH is, to live by faith and not by sight! it is a beautiful complex heart decision that our own thinking will try to persuade us out of believing..but stand firm, guard your mouth, ask the Lord to heal you of anything that treats others as insignificant or leads you to doubt His authority. Believe me i know it is very hard and to look around you the world we inhabit has so much destruction, chaos, hate, so much evil in it. I don’t believe Jesus is an idol i believe He was Word made flesh and from beginning to the end is in battle with God on the same team…. to defeat satan and his principalities for whom? mankind. he lost his light because of sin and was cursed for all to see and Jesus was brought to ignite that which satan stole from us, Jesus redeemed us, His salvation mediates us with our Father, it’s like having two sons and one hates you because he can’t accept that you are father because he desires to be father, he wants to be in control. i leave you with one of my favorite passages from John 20
“Jesus said to him, because you have seen Me Thomas, do you now believe ( trust, have faith )? BLESSED are THOSE who HAVE NEVER SEEN ME AND YET BELIEVED” BELIEVE- adhere, trust and rely on. This is for ALL of US! and it gives me that much more assurance we ALL are promised LIFE even if tomorrow were to never come….we will wake up with our creator! Just believe. Our mind thinks logically and everyday i struggle allowing my mind to try and pulling me down but i refuse and fight back by clinging to Gods word, few months ago I said the hell with it but i can’t apologize for the faith i’ve gained through this fight. WE all go through pain but just TRUST, take it one day at a time. If i am still breathing then i will testify on what i know that i know it was the Lord and not my endorphins or a chemical imbalance that effects the way i think and that is why, i believe it was Jesus i encountered with my eyes closed in my room not at a revival or amongst congregation “But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.” did not care or want to ever say thank you Lord, for what? but oh how things can change and families can be mended through faith and the persistent prayers of those who desire heaven on earth for ALL. There were people praying that i did not even care for in my suffer, o but our daddy is great! [It is] the Spirit of God that made me [which has stirred me up], and the breath of the Almighty that gives me life [which inspires me] – Job 33:10
2 Corinthians 4:18 “Since we consider {and} look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless {and} everlasting. ” the unseen is eternal the seen is temporary, our minds tell us don’t YOU it is not “logical”, and if it ain’t happening then it ain’t real because my eyes need to see it….. but our spirit our heart battles on Gods behalf whether we believe or not why would it say believe with your heart & speak with your mouth two against one…the mind. The battle will always be in our minds. but Jesus said ‘JUST BELIEVE’….great is our God who sees our heart and knows our being. We belong to Him :-)
I don’t think we should be pointing fingers remember now bros and sis we point a finger and we have three pointing back at us. I don’t think she is wrong or lost i believe she has her reasoning. Just like we all do! Thank you for sharing with us Chloe I like your friends believed strongly this way after losing my daughter.

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grace July 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Gabriella, I am so sorry for your loss. I am taken aback by your story. I would love to speak with you.

Please let me know if you’d be open to a friendship. Are you on Facebook?

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josi July 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Gabriell, I’m eading your story thru water-shed filled eyes…Oh, how cocky and prideful i was and oh my how i had my life all planned out until Jesus happened upon it…Not so fast say’s the Lord Almighty…I, too, crashed right into Jesus, or better, He crashed into me is more like it!…I had been ignoring him my entire life, even shaking my fist at him and cursing him, hating him for how my life turned out…My precious Lord knew what needed to take place in my life for him to reach me, to get my attention, to begin to take him seriously, to place my trust only in Him…Gabriella, our stories are very similar…..I came to Christ in 1975, or did I? Many would have me to believe I did, and that is where it can get eternally dangerous and cost us our very souls, but whose going to be courageous enough to tell you this, not a pastor…I tried that and they won’t do it bc they have too much to lose if word get’s out they are preaching true gospel…False teaching by Men is something you have to be open too bf the Lord will show you it’s corruption…What I learned from God is Christ Jesus is your only way…Man cannot give you salvation but they do give you many formula’s…Salvation is personal and intimate and comes only by and thru God. I may have known of him on that Easter Sunday in 1975 but i was not born-again and this is what Man will not tell you, why? bc it alters the number!…You search it out on your own and not thru a formula way of salvation… but thru God and his Holy Spirit gospel teaching you that Jesus is the only way…an alter call, a ritual, church membership, tithing, works etc. and anything related to Man’s Way is not authentic…It took God stripping me of everything I knew was familiar to get me still enough, long enough, to listen and to trust in Him…and that is another aspect you will not be taught in church…Salvation is of the Lord, not Men…God’s timing is everything and you will come to him in his way and in his time, genuinely, authentically. Sitting in my apartment with no furniture to sit on, no job to go to, no fiance to run to, no money to save me, and dying…yes, you heard me right, i was dying of cancer. The season of life was just perfect for God to rush in and rebuild…I had just discovered that morning, two massive lumps under my armpit…the diagnosis, stage four cancer…the prognosis, uncertain! I am confident when i tell you that God took over my life, literally from that point on…but He cannot do that until we are “bare-boned” and have nothing to cling to but HIM…many would argue it is not possible to be saved outside a church building, many would also suggest that i was saved at 11…but i beg to differ…they will not admit it bc there is so much false teaching in our midst that we are being fed lie upon lie upon lie even to the destruction of our very souls…We have become too blind to see that we are believing in a blind faith. Idolizing our pastors, our ministries, our churches over God’s purpose and plan. There is no more room for God in a man-made church and they know it..I had never heard a minister tell me that “Salvation is of the Lord” the Lord himself showed me this, He confirmed me thru the reading of His word….me reading it not me listening to a man at the pulpit…How sad but true this really is….So if you are wondering about church, numbers, members, statistics, profit, status, position, power, false teaching and yes, even a building can be polluted, then u are correct to assume that something is amiss!…Most ministers do not have your soul in mind, it’s their wallet, prestige, and power and this is why so many are on the broad path that leads to destruction…brain-washed-many i love are under this powerful spirit of disillusionment…they can’t, or they just flat out refuse to believe or acknowledge that their minister could be evil…The church is in Apostate! And they are and they can be false!….The Lord God tore me down to nothing so that he could rebuild in me, who He is…and that my friend is will take to get you saved, just read about the Apostles, they knew their great reward was already fulfilled in Christ, not prosperity preachers preaching tithe and you will be blessed, what Hogwash!! But people are buying into this garbage…many will spit on Chloe’s article but she is spot on with what she is describing here…very sad indeed, we need to wake up and take God at his word, not our pastors!…The Lord God almighty brought me back from the brink of death, not just a physical death but a spiritual one. He provided for me in every way and saved me in every way…When everyone walked out, Jesus, the son of G-d walked in! and my life has never been the same…we must go thru the wilderness experience to find the real messiah…many are believing in a made up false Jesus..i use to be one of them…i am telling my story for two fold reason, one is bc of the depth, height and width of the false teachings that are in our midst… and two bc there is only one Father, one son Jesus Christ who paid it all, one Holy Spirit who does the works of the Father thru Jesus and only one Gospel that say’s “believe upon the name of the Lord and thou shalt be saved”, that’s it! and God will do the rest…In 1975, on Easter Sunday, I met a man called Jesus and followed what the “ministers” told me to say and do, so ritualistic and formulated is their way of salvation it’s almost ludicrous!…after one night of soul winning and not at all taught in the truths of the gospel, but just a number really so that pastors could boast on their message boards that many have come to salvation is, ghastly reality being staged in many churches even today.. i was told what to say and do.. this is not a predictor or confirmation of the new man bc no man can confirm a heart they cannot see or read….i was not given the true gospel, i had confirmed by false teachers, if i had been given the truth, i would not have lived such a heathenish life and that is the evidence of poorly presented, false teaching and what shocks me the most is they don’t even come after you, they let you go!…Under the guise of Men, how is it i could possibly know Jesus? Sadly, my life fell apart and for years subsequent to my being born-again, I lived like a heathen and didn’t give God the time of day!…That is not being born-again, so i tell you again…Salvation is of the Lord, not Men…they don’t bring it, they don’t give it…they tell it but they are not telling it right! The correct gospel teaching will change a person and “Man” allowing God’s spirit to move and operate, is key…what church does that today, none! instead, they put a heavy yoke on believers and have excused Christ as head of the church…my heart grieves for the goings-on in church today… I now understand and realize what being born-again is…not one Man could have told this to me…bc it is a mystery and a powerful work of the Lord God almighty and Men so desperately want credit for it…I pray a blind faith be replace with genuine authentic glorious salvation believing upon Jesus and only Jesus and what he accomplished at the cross…not Man formulated salvation

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Jeramy July 14, 2015 at 10:48 am

John 14:6 KJV

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Romans 12:9-21 KJV

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

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Jeramy July 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

You are really lost! Knowledge congress from fearing God! Thise who speak blasphemy will still be judged by God. 2 Peter 2:20-22 KJV

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

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Leslie July 11, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Awesome! Well said! Bravo!

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christian June 27, 2015 at 9:28 am

hello. im chirstian..means i read bible all already.

Jesus is born to bring understanding about God to us that is in the world.

He is light. but world dont know Him. Dont understand His points.

Bad things also happened to Jesus.. mocked, rejected by His own siblings, called satan by His own people that should welcome Him well in this world, wanted to be killed by king Herodes before He is born. So dont surprised that Jesus born in our hearts is also an struggling. it has meanings to believe in God is impossible for us but possible for God.

He is also experience abandoned by His own disiples. Abandoned by Father God also.
dont we always feel there is no God?

but the different is He believe even though not see the grace. even in pain and distress.
Human believe in what they see. means have no faith.

it is all tests from God.
do you believe in God even in great pain? like there is no fair or shit happened every day?

i tell you.. Jesus suffer more than most of us.
But He just still believe in both life and death.

so this all show how our faith of God

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Emm June 26, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Matt. 5:1-12
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes
He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
NOTE:
If theres v.12b probably it would be… “Then the disciples asked what about those who has good job, nice cars, big houses…
then 12c. Jesus answered verily verily i say those did not make the cut.

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Daniel June 27, 2015 at 6:44 am

Maybe the most important verse in the bible is: “God is no respecter of persons.”

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Seekeroftruth June 23, 2015 at 4:22 pm

This is a reply to a comment by Josie about people misunderstanding what Jesus meant about paying others for the Word (ministers). Josie, after studying this for a long time and feeling as you do,seeing the abuse thAt resulted in false beliefs about paying others for truth, I would like to add another one to your list of scriptures thAt no one ever seems to recognize. This may help explain why it is that when you really need someone just to be there and love on you, you become disappointed and why so many are leaving the churches. At leAst it does for me. Here it is:

Jesus said in John 10: 11-13 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hierling aNd not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth because he is a hireling and careth not for the sheep.

The hireling which in today’s speech is one who is paid to take care of the flock. He cares for the paycheck more than the flock.
This has helped me a lot and thank you Josie for the ones you gave e also.

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Seekeroftruth June 23, 2015 at 5:02 pm

This is a reply to a comment by Josie about people misunderstanding what Jesus meant about paying others for the Word (ministers). Josie, after studying this for a long time and feeling as you do,seeing the abuse thAt resulted in false beliefs about paying others for truth, I would like to add another one to your list of scriptures thAt no one ever seems to recognize. This may help explain why it is that when you really need someone just to be there and love on you, you become disappointed and why so many are leaving the churches. At leAst it does for me. Here it is:

Jesus said in John 10: 11-13 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hierling aNd not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth because he is a hireling and careth not for the sheep.

The hireling which in today’s speech is one who is paid to take care of the flock. He cares for the paycheck more than the flock.
This has helped me a lot and thank you Josie for the ones you gave e also.

Also, in reading the other posts, Paul said the things he wanted to do he didn’t do and the things he didn’t want to do those are the things he did. But read what he says after that.

We always need The Saviour. I know I do. He paid with his life. I hope that I could do that. But, I. Have to be truthful and say that I don’t know me like He does. I don’t think we will ever reach a point where we don’t need The Saviour. That seems to be self righteousness.

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Josi June 23, 2015 at 6:58 pm

seekeroftruth…i like ur name…thank you for your encouragement…i felt so unsettled in my spirit for so long about the conditions around me while in church….it really affected me….i am far from perfect…i know the broken creature that i am..when i finally came to the end of myself, He then used that and opened up my eyes….when u got nothing u got nothing to lose (sorta like the early Christians)it anguishes me that we (the church) has left it’s first love…when we set all tangible things aside, what is left…Jesus is what is left…and that is when we realize our great reward…what Jesus did! He is our great reward and he deserves ALL the glory…to Him be the glory…i pray more become “seekeroftruth” like u and me. what you said about the sheep really framed it for me and yet the sheep leaving who desire to be in the flock, are dangerously being scattered abroad risking being ravaged and ripped to shreds..what i mean is we desire to belong, but not at the expense of death by false prophets and wolves, as you so eloquently proclaimed. So then, we must put on the Full Armor of God to dispell any and all darts of the deceivers and destroyers!….blessings, In Christ! Josi

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seekeroftruth June 23, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Josie, it sounds as though we have been on the same path. Bless you! I can relate to what you are saying.

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Josi June 23, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Bless you too my friend!

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seekeroftruth June 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Sorry for misspelling your name. Predictive text changed that.

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hiltrishwes June 23, 2015 at 5:11 am

Dear Ms. Jeffreys,
It is good that you are thinking about this stuff. I have been a Christian all my life, and I have gone through many difficulties, I have known that the testing of my faith is one of the ways that God makes his children grow in patience (see the book of James) and when I go through other bad times, I remember that Peter said God disciplines those He loves like a father disciplines his children. And of course, we all know Psalm 23 where David reminds us that God is with His children even in the valley of the shadow of death.
When people leave something they didn’t believe in in the first place I don’t think it is all that bad. And honestly, it sounds like the churches they are leaving are not teaching them God’s word. Maybe there is still hope for your friends who say they are atheists, for them to actually know the true God. We all need to read our Bibles and be in fellowship with true Christians who are praying for us. Don’t lose heart sister, keep praying for these people and try to get them back to square one (and maybe urge them into a better church) in the meantime, you keep reading your Bible.

Christianity starts off with the person confessing their sin, it requires worship of God, and a life of obedience to His will, it sounds hard, but Jesus says his commands are not burdensome. I really do believe the secret to a happy walk with God comes from trusting Him and obeying Him. No matter how terrible life can be, when we set aside our glory and focus on God, we’ll have treasure waiting for us in heaven. Jesus tells us not to store up treasure on earth anyway. If our live are doing what we want and calling Him Lord, and he takes away earthly treasures, then we should ask ourselves, why we didn’t obey him in the first place.

Things are always better when we trust and obey.

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Daniel June 18, 2015 at 4:16 am

I’m sorry but you’ve got it all wrong. God does have a plan for our lives, but it does NOT always mean it’s a ‘good’ one overall. God blesses us with joy when we follow him. Yet, being blessed doesn’t always mean wealth, power and fame etc, the “American Dream” doesn’t bless you by God. God is here to guide us to Heaven through whatever happens in life, whether good or bad. Yes bad things like a son dying all of a sudden but that’s God’s test for us!! Because after all, He cares for all those who want to go to Heaven, so he’ll deliberately test our faith by putting in these ‘roadbumps’ of life. Any questions?

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Golden-Rights June 17, 2015 at 9:06 pm

And for all of you, regardless of what you face that seems to look hopeless or maybe a lost cause where you shouldn’t even try?

Remember to be grateful for having a great home, and plenty of food provided. There are millions of people who don’t have that, and to have that because God looks out for you is one of the greatest blessings in this world.

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Golden-Rights June 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Yeah I don’t think so, Jesus does not have a plan for anyone’s life and its triple true he doesn’t have a wonderful plan promised for you.

He did promise just the opposite….that you will be “prepared to face the trials of the day” as a lion faces the jungle…and he has never taken one word back.

I consider I’m even lukewarm on religion, I got plenty of prosperity, but I follow his wise teachings every single day in every way ever possible.

And what am I grateful for after all this?

I’m grateful that I have a roof over my head and food to revitalize me! That’s what I am grateful for always to my Heavenly father and the lord as well. Because every thing else plain doesn’t matter.

I help others too, as after all they say no rich man can enter heaven yet I see myself as the opposite of all other rich men……..since he did say, there is a few exceptions. Prosperous men who repent do enter heaven!

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Etta June 18, 2015 at 6:56 am

I’d like to jump on the back of your comment and with love and rebuke say how sad it is that churches are breeding wimpy Christians…one’s who constantly need milk and their pastors to nurse them. If they would teach the pure word and not sugar coat it then we would all understand what this thread is really all about, “false teaching” and your comment nailed it. There are too many ill-fated Christians just within my own family who are sold out on prosperity false teaching and of the”felt need” crowd. Real suffering produces the character of God. So how is it that we suffer? When God decides to remove everything in your life so that you will fix your gaze on Him, that is how he draws us to him, we cannot be drawn when we are dependent on the things of this world…Whenever I hear a Pastor vocalize “That Jesus has a wonderful plan for your Life” i grow sick bc if we will admit the realities of all this and understand just how the early church was persecuted and suffered to the point of death, how many people would actually be getting saved. Put on the full armor of God and prepare for battle. Can you imagine how the modern day church would be reborn in America if we were all standing side by side and a militant was demanding a life for a life similar to what’s going on with ISIS? How many would be willing to give up their very own life for the cause of defending the faith? You can barely find one that would give up a space in the corner of ones home to help a member of the family overcome the suffering and loss while going thru a life threatening illness….not one family member in my entire household would help me if I were facing homelessness….and they are all Christians! Hmmmm, that’s been my experience and I am better for having suffered for it bc I am no longer that baby needing milk, thru this I’ve turned to the one who is the Great I AM…the only one who provides…the only one who saves!!

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shirlyn June 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm

So true! We say we are “blessed” to have things, health, friends, etc. in the beatitudes Jesus said we’re blessed when we are poor in spirit, mourning, persecuted, etc. Hmmmm.

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Josef Sefton May 18, 2015 at 3:02 am

Jesus is a wonderful person and wonderful people have wonderful plans!

Why did He allow Himself to die on a cross? It was in order to offer you and me the opportunity to believe on His atoning sacrifice.

One of His titles is Wonderful. Truly He is a womderful Counselor. Seek Him, for He is the Teacher of teachers and study His teachings and learn how wonderful a person He is. Say Yes to the most wonderful adventure of all.

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Martin May 12, 2015 at 3:24 am

LOL. It is EASY to love you wife/husband, country, state, town, job, when times are good. It is the bad times that test what you are made of. Chloe, your friends are not made of much.

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Ryan June 14, 2015 at 10:34 pm

I thought the same thing…
Since when did people begin to believe that ‘I send you out as sheep amidst the wolves’ really means – God is Santa Claus here to give you your euphoric / fairy tale existence because you’ve been a ‘good boy/girl’…
smh
Kool-Aid anyone? The Hollyweird wannabe crowd is giving out tankers full! Just ignore those silly warning labels and come get you an aristocratically big cup! (…or off to the gulags for you)
#empiricallyblind

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Martin May 12, 2015 at 3:10 am

God NEVER had a wonderful plan for your life. If ye were of this world, the world will love it’s own. But I have chosen you OUT of the world. So the world hateth you. Jesus was born, lived, rejected, and died. We will be born, live, proclaim faith, be rejected and die. In the Christian frame, many are called, few chosen. And those friends of yours that lost their faith: The never had faith. They likely never knew much about God at all.

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dave April 16, 2015 at 7:19 am

God does have a good plan for your life … simply put if you have a few thoughts in your head … some can be from the devil … very depressing destructive sometimes lustful addictive thoughts you know what I mean … God/Jesus exposes the devil as a liar and explains that the devil comes to kill steal and destroy … so in a way he does have a good plan for your life as apposed to the devil who has an obvious bad plan for your life. Does that mean that good things will always happen to us if we follow Christ obviously not but how we react to them makes a big difference and sometimes it could be thank God for unanswered prayers which really means if your prayers don’t line up with God they won’t be answered no matter how difficult that may seem.

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Leo April 14, 2015 at 5:14 am

What Did Ancient Church Fathers Believe About The Rapture! 😉
http://beginningandend.com/what-did-ancient-church-fathers-believe-about-the-rapture/

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Marc Wildman April 2, 2015 at 11:22 pm

Hello

I am sorry my initial ‘knee-jerk’ reaction was consternation accompanied by heavy pharyngeal laughter. Not giggling at this column as quite possibly it is one of the most straightforward, candid manifestos I have read in years.

Without further brouhaha, as they say down under, I believe this missive to be ‘spot’ on.

Thanks for being so ingenuous and candid!

I do think this conceptualization is also covered under the scripture that says ‘all things work for the good’.

For far too long the church has been embarking and presupposing that God wants us all to live in palaces, enveloped by protective moats, and they couldn’t be more off base when paying tribute to such a hypothesis, or should I say a misnomer?

God will use any means to teach, propagate, and build his saints and more often than not; this means the crucible and or refiner’s fire.

People like mongrels often return to their own vomit and so need frequent incentives to do otherwise.

~MW

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 8:38 am

I do not like your spin on your article. You are forgetting an important element. When you are babes in Christ, it is important to know that God has a good plan for you life. As you mature, and I emphasize mature, you begin to understand that God is no respecter of person….good and bad things happens to all of us, but those of us who have matured in Christ know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. It states clearly His purpose. No matter how deep the pain, there is an underlying them… pain, longsuffering etc. produces character. You begin to understand what is important in life and the one and only important thing that is the most important is you love of Christ. You do not need to bring negativity to Christianity to make your point. Religion does enough of that….it is all about your relationship to Christ.

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Josi March 29, 2015 at 9:56 am

Keitha: “You do not need to bring negativity to Christianity to make your point. Religion does enough of that”
Are you aware of what “Christianity” has done? I believe you should adapt yourself to looking at the big picture and not just the sphere of your own environment and experiences. “We claim the blood of Christ but fall way short of what scripture tells us. Churches everywhere in Apostate. False teachers abound with their prosperity message. The body of Christ being oppressed by it’s leaders. Pastors living high and lavish lifestyles on the backs and check books of their very own. If it is about our relationship with Christ, as you so poignantly say, then, if we are the body, why aren’t our arms reaching? Much Hypocrisy abounds and that is the theme and focus of this article. Do some study on the origins of the church…start with Emperor Constantine and how he despised the Jews and was determined to take the Jewishness out to the Jews in an attempt to divide the body of Christ. Discover how this early century leaders laid the foundation for generations to come, to worship and bow to paganism…The Easter Bunny! There is nothing Passover and Christ crucified about Isthar, which is a fertility goddess and one many Christians practice each year, Jesus superimposed! How offensive! Do you practice these pagan holidays? Consider all the hate history surrounding Christianity…The Holocaust for one. And who is responsible? Christians who are erecting a religion and false teachings and version of their Jesus and not the true Jesus, the one of the bible…Teachings in Churches are so watered down that our moral compass is slowly but surely dissolving away. It is the “Church in Apostate” who is responsible for the decaying of the moral compass. The word “Christian” no longer holds meaning like moral, obedient, set-apart. All one has to do is look to the likes of people like “Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar and it won’t take much to wonder why we are in the bad shape that we are in…Study the history of the early church, it’s origins and you will clearly be able to define and notice how we have come so far away from God and to a “Man’s Made-Doctrine and Traditions”…If you truly want to debate something worth debating, be informed first!

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Josi,
I am very well aware of the history of Christianity. I taught history for many years and I understand the derivation of your disillusionment, but it has nothing to do with the word of God. Everything you are saying focuses on the frailties and infirmities of man. Yes, people have done awful things in the name of Christianity and people continue to do awful things in the name of Christianity. Jesus says: Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23″And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.
So it is clear, that God sent his son so you may have a personal relationship with God. You cannot work your way into heaven. We all have sinned and fallen short. There is not such thing as big and little sin. Sin is sin and trying to make a distinction is a trap that we all sometimes fall into which makes us self-righteous. I know for me, it is enough for me to get myself in order and I believe that everyone will have to be accountable to our Father and He is not going to ask you about what everyone did.

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Don April 16, 2015 at 10:28 am

In your regards to Christianity yes you are correct to say men have done horrible things in the name of Christianity but why not include other religions as well? Men have taken religion for hostage and used it for their personal gain and an excuse to do their horrible acts!
Whether it be killing or raping or molestation! Religion is a good thing! It is men that are the problem!

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Chloe Jeffreys March 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Are you suggesting that “mature Christians” in the name of positivity should obfuscate the truth to protect newer Christians from reality? And what then when these newer Christians discover that the rosy Christian glasses we’ve given them are a false truth? How then have we betrayed their trust?
Chloe Jeffreys recently posted..I Watched 50 Shades of Grey and I Liked it. Sort of.My Profile

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 7:05 pm

By no means. The only point that I am making is that the Christian walk is a journey. I did not say anything in regards to not presenting the truth. It is just a matter of where you are in your spiritual journey. As a Christian, your battle is never against the world. That is why God sent his son to die for us because of our pure wretchedness. You are distinguishing big sin and little sin and there is no such thing. Sin is sin.

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (I Cor. 3:1-3)

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Don April 16, 2015 at 10:29 am

I think you have said it perfect!

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Martin May 12, 2015 at 3:14 am

No. We had a saying at my old church. Cheer up saints. It only gets worse.

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April June 14, 2015 at 9:27 am

Amen! Keitha! That is the truth of God’s Word! The devil is a liar.

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Charles Allen March 27, 2015 at 11:35 pm

Knowing that the truth deeply hurts, especially for those who live a life of falsehood. Although my story will be most disturbing to many Christians today, I sincerely hope that what I have to say will be understood of why I have turned by back on Christianity.
As far back as 1971 I was seriously searching for the truth, and promised myself that when I find the truth to life, I will follow that truth no matter the cost. Between 1971 and 1988 I searched through the many avenues of different beliefs and religions, including witchcraft, necromancy and divination. During this period I lived a comfortable life, having many friends and a good family.
In September 1988 I reached the avenue of Christianity and started attending Church services. I had a good well paid job and all just seemed to be working out just fine with the Church I joined. A few months past and the youth Pastor of the Church approached me and asked me to come and work for him in his Business venture, offering me double the salary I was earning. Being a Pastor I believed that he was a sincere person that I can believe and work for, so I accepted his offer and resigned from the Business I was working for at the time.
Only three days after working for this so called honest Pastor, I discovered that he was selling stolen goods and evading the Tax man.
Having a wife and four children to look after, I refused to get involved with this Pastor’s dishonesty and walked out. Now I have no job, no income and I have to please explain the situation to my wife and children. I decided to approach the head Pastor of the Church and I told him exactly what the youth Pastor was up to. His answer to me was; “The youth Pastor and I will come to your house and we will sought out the problem with you and your wife.”
When the head and youth Pastor arrived at my home, we all sat around the dining room table and I opened up and told the whole story over in front of the youth Pastor. The head Pastor then responded and told me and my, wife that it is the Christian way to forgive, and that is what we should do and get on with our lives. I asked the head Pastor how does he think I must take care of my family and where do I find another job? His direct answer was, that we cannot hold the Church responsible for our loss and that I must go out and look for another job. Before they left, the head Pastor reached into his pocket and took out some money and pushed it into my hand. It was not even enougjh to buy a loaf of bread and we were now destitute.
Being baby Christians, this was a great knock to my wife and I, which damaged our marriage badly. Three months later I lost my wife and my children, our furniture, our home and landed up on the street. What I know is, that the head Pastor and the youth Pastor of this well known South African Church group are still preaching their heads off, pretending to be the ministers of righteousness, while until this day I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my life.
Since this bad experience, I tried my best to hold onto the way of Christianity, but believe me the deeper I got into it, the more broken my life becane. One truth I have discovered about Christianity is, that the majority Christians live a lie, because they have absolutely no idea of what Loving thy neighbour as thyself is all about. In my struggle and many times of hunger, it was not the Christian that came to my help. No! It was unbelievers and even Muslims, that supported me in all the times of my desperate need. The only thing Christians did was to quote scriptures in the Bible and pray for me, which in my desperate times was worthless and a lot of trash covered with falsehood. If this is what Christianity is all about, then it is only blind fools that follow its way.

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Josi March 28, 2015 at 7:07 am

Dear Charles,
I’ll admit, I don’t have all the answers, but much like yourself, I too am bruised by the Church and what troubles me the most is it’s Leaders Approval of bad conduct. It is very likely that if this head Pastor could over look his assistant Pastors bad dealings, then what, if any, are going on with the Pastor in charge? The list of corruptions is endless yet know one from within the body of Christ is permitted to express their discontent such as in your case so what continues to happen in the mind of those belonging to the body is brainwashing and mind control. This is Apostate from within and why do you ask, aren’t more members coming forward to denounce such behavior? Two-Fold, Membership with benefits and oppression by it’s Leaders, simple facts no one is in a position to challenge. If you happen to be bold enough as you were, your are given such lame guidance and worse, shunned. Very likely scenario’s have happened to me but one thing we must realize is “with Men nothing is possible, but with God anything is possible. You placed your trust and energy into “Man” when we should be focusing on “God”. I believe that “church” has become nothing more then a social hook-up for the very things you got yourself involved with which is business propositions but it could be just about anything. When God said to gather, He meant to gather in “HIS NAME” for the building up of one another and to spur each other on in spirit and in love. For new converts and baby Christians, it is vital to be in the word so as to spot “false teachers” and their deception. This apostasy is rampant and everywhere and so many are blinded to it bc they are not discerned properly. Currently, I do not attend a church, not bc I don’t want to but bc I am extremely intolerant of the actions and behaviors of it’s Leaders. Many twist and distort scripture in getting the body to comply. The corruption in the Church is one of ongoing debate and one I am prepared to challenge any loyal member and have in this forum, only to hear more scripture being misused. I am not suggesting you turn off God, for it is not God who has done this to you. You put your trust in “Man” and that was your first mistake. We go to church to worship and exalt a holy and righteous God, not to pass around biz cards. These are the hard truths and if we are honest we will open our eyes and see just how way short we are falling. I would ask God to heal your wounds and to take out your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. The Pastor instructed you to forgive which is correct but the element that is missing is “genuine repentance and mutual reconciliation”. God, many times, reconciled with Israel but only after Israel saw it’s brokenness and repented. Forgiveness is pro-active and re-active. If we forgive someone but they continue to harm us themselves and others, then we have lost the true meaning of forgiveness, they become meaningless empty words, just as your Pastor has demonstrated. Hope this helps!

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 8:55 am

Charles,
I understand what you are saying, but the Bible makes it clear that you are to trust no man. It is always the relationship you have with your Savior that counts. I have to ask you, were you called to work for the minister? Secondly, did you pray about it? Thirdly, were you on good terms with you former boss? Considering that it was only three days, it seems to me that you had time to go back to your job and let the boss know that you made a grave mistake or did you leave boasting that you are going to work for the Lord and how awful this job is? You have to be honest with yourself first and foremost in order for the healing to begin. I don’t care what happens in your life…..ownership of your problems and dealing with them gingerly always leave to healing. When I say gingerly, I mean time. There is no wonder pill for mistakes or misjudgments that may occur. I have a book that will be coming out that details the trauma I felt when my husband and I invested a lot in forming a charter school in the memory of my parents (10 years). We focused on working with the poorest kids and even though we used every bit of the money to meet the needs of the students, they fell short on the standardized testing and the elementary school was closed which led to financial problems for the middle and high which they eventually closed. Initially, I was upset, but what I realized is the process is more important than the product. As I stated earlier in another reply, hurt, pain, longsuffering produces character. I actually put some political cartoons in the book because I can see the humor in it. Everyone has their cross to bear….how do you wear yours?

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Don Dressel April 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Yes is it not the Catholic Church that was in denial about the priests molesting altar boys???!!!

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Martin May 12, 2015 at 3:20 am

Charles, there is evil everywhere you look. Christianity is not to blame. You are. You had no common sense. God is bigger than any church. But I doubt that you would care.

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Ken March 26, 2015 at 4:43 am

I read through this and similar articles with a sorrow that the authors truly don’t get this thing called faith. Oh I think they think they understand faith and perhaps go through the motions of being a Christian but in reality this and most of the other related posts truly have missed the real purpose of this entire journey, this path. And unfortunately so do far too many today in and out of our churches. Don’t get me wrong here, going “to” church is important to be a part of a body of believers, being a “part” of a bible study is important to gain understanding that can come from sharing as part of a group discussion, even being a “part” of ministry and community outreaches areally important because it’s how the lover of Christ is shown especially to the least of these in our communities and cities. Yes all of these are important “parts” of a faith, but if you noticed I put quotes around certain words and that was intentional.

While all those activities are “part” of our experience in faith, none of it truly matters if we don’t build our own relationship FIRST. And that is where far too many people completely miss and spend most of this journey (if not all of it) feeling like they never quite get it. And the answer is unfortunately yes they don’t get it.

Where far too many miss this entire journey, this thing called faith and never get the “relationship” side of this is that they come to Christ on our own roads named “Damascus”, often broken or burdened with all of our emotional stuff like pain, anger, hurt, disappointment, unforgiveness, etc. all stuffed in our rhetorical suitcases in life and never completely let them go. We attempt to build this thing called faith in our life as an add-on or a partial rehab yet leaving the deepest cracks underneath, the most severe issues in our foundations untouched. Our faith is an “also” or an “and” in our lives like yeah and I go to church or yeah I also am a part of this great bible study or this outreach…. but our real identity, that main foundation of who we are remains somewhere else or as someone else. You know what I’m talking about – our true identity is as a wife, husband, mother, father, homemaker, businessman/woman AND I’m a Christian…

instead of what Christ truly asks of each of us in just two simple words “Follow Me”. And this has a far greater meaning in our lives than just and or also. It truly means that Christ asks each of us to become an example of Him ourselves “FIRST” and be all those other titles and roles 2nd.

But then we attempt to build this thing called faith as an add-on or maybe a really cool 2nd story in our lives, and while title looks cool and sounds even cooler to our church friends “hey look at Bob he’s an awesome Christian”, because we have no real foundation, when the storms of life come (and they will come sometimes like a spring shower and sometimes like something out of Job 1 and 2), our true foundation with all those cracks underneath truly starts to show through like a city street after a harsh winter and we then have doubts, worry, anxiety or worse and we falter, at times hard. Course it has nothing to do with the fact that we’ve been “trying”, for 10 years, or that we’ve never truly gotten the ALL part of in all you do glorify God (1 Corinth 10:31) and maintain a self righteousness to our thoughts and voice to criticize others and then turn around and quote “yeah I know I’m wrong but I’m forgiven” completely misunderstanding God’s forgiveness really only applies IF we ourselves surrender that behavior, thought or action first, not to use His forgiveness as an excuse to continue our ways and thoughts. If we truly have become a follower of Christ instead of what Kyle Idleman calls a fan, a lot of this takes on a whole new meaning and makes sense in a whole new way…

Lots more I can share but need to go now. But hopefully you understand my point here. If you do have more questions about faith or becoming a Christ Follower, look me up on Facebook under Ken Etter, La Grange, KY.

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Josi March 26, 2015 at 7:43 am

I’m uncertain as to the point Ken is attempting to drive home here. It would appear he knows the minds and hearts of most believers when in all honesty, Ken is an example of the type Christians that turn me off. Being speculative about a persons relationship experience with Christ toppled with their “baggage” is one of “individual”. Your being cynical and presuming you have all the answers as to why an individual does not appreciate the value of being a believer is truly dampened by your lack of compassion towards the person trying to overcome what you deem “faithless”. This is the Human condition that we are all messed up. How did Jesus interact with the women at the well ? With Love, in all it’s diversity. I suggest you take up a study on the origins of the church and concentrate on a particular area of structure from within the church I personally believe Christ had not intention of it becoming, and that is Man-Centered Doctrines and Traditions. Current Modern-Day Churches are in “Apostate”. Many not even teaching the gospel. As for your perspective’s on bible study, I’ve been in those study groups and it would appear to the keen observer that they are nothing more then a social gathering, much like church is. I never went away with much knowledge and always discovered I was more enlightened in private study. They’re are many erroneous things occurring from within the church then just the producing of unappreciative believers. You say follow God…God say’s, “Love is the greatest of these”. You come off as Legalistic, Bigoted and Arrogant. Imagine yourself with the women at the well, would you politely instruct her to just get over herself ? Love, Compassion, Mercy, Grace etc…Church can be one of the loneliest places and yet so many have blinders on and cannot see or refuse to acknowledge the corruption. For once though, I would love to see a kind of Love spill forth for all to witness and observe and have the collection that is taken up dispersed to the needy in the body of Christ as Paul demonstrated. We place so much emphasis on money. Christ and his followers “your words” lived by the land and beloved children cared for their basic needs like food, shelter while in their travels. They were never supported like we do today with such notables as Joel Osteen or Creflo Dollar in all their splendor and lavishness. So Ken, if you desire to speak of “undeserving unappreciative believers why don’t we redirect the conversation to the real disadvantages and to the real tragedies and goings-on from within the body of Christ?

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 8:58 am

Ken,
Read my two responses earlier. I think you hit the nail on the head.

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mattersoftheheart March 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm

And nor even one scripture reference to back up anything that is said here… spoken like a true hurt bitter person. That stull will eat you up inside if you don’t get rid of it blog person..

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mattersoftheheart March 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Corrected: And not even one scripture reference to back up anything that is said here… spoken like a true hurt, bitter person. That stuff will eat you up inside if you don’t get rid of it mr/mrs blog person..

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 9:00 am

Thanks, I am glad you are understand much more that what is written.
Keitha

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Alex Adieu March 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Wow…you have hit the nail on the head. I admire your honesty as I don’t even consider myself an Ex anything anymore. I was a fundamentalist Christian and I denounced my faith due to what I now understand is Aspergers Syndrome, not because of that but the “solutions” people pushed on me in church that never made me normal. I had so many problems and I felt all my close friends betrayed me when I was in church with their worn out cliches and patronizing “just turn it over to God” advice. What I saw time and time again was people who went on and on about their “problems” such as “I jacked off to some porn, I am such a wretched evil person” and try to say this problem (not defending porn here, filthy industry, human trafficking, darkness, etc) but that problem pales in comparison to not ever being able to show up to work on time possibly making me unemployable. Piles of other problems I have fixed by doing what I was bullied into not doing (meditation, psychiatric help, NLP, etc). It has taken me ten or so years to get over my resentment over their unwanted advice, (ironically being an Aspie despite not knowing it at the time, I got to know the Bible better than my peers). I have a real hard time forgiving people. I did wear the Atheist coat for many years and even openly challenged them, cornered some of them acting like a bully myself. I did some pretty reprehensible things that I regret. Now I am a Deist/Gnostic and have lots of friends who are Christian and Atheist. I no longer debate with anyone anymore and just try to get along with everyone. I expect people to not understand and to lie about things due to their religious beliefs much as I was lied to(meditation will make your life fall apart or humanistic teachings will destroy me), yet here I am with mild autism and people mistake me for a neuro typical all the time. I even forgive them for compulsively lying to me. Not all religious people are bad and if former Christians would simply let go of their resentment they may find some nuggets of wisdom in their former religion and even see that their were many kind and compassionate Christians who are truly wonderful people. Thank you for calling a spade a spade.

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Josi March 26, 2015 at 8:22 am

Matthew 19:26
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I learned quick to take my focus off “Men” and put it on “God”…Men will always disappoint and denouncing your faith dues to mistreatment by Men evidence of weak faith…your faith comes from God not Men !

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 9:12 am

Alex,
I feel your pain and yes, man will always, always disappoint you, but that has nothing to do with your relationship with God. You are focusing on religion and once again, not the relationship. All of us have a cross to bear, and I can say to you that you are in the process of healing because you are beginning to understand what Christianity is on your own terms. You cannot forget, that you are in a human body that is so imperfect, just like the rest of us, and therefore, God sent his only son to die for us. He understands our pains, our hurts, but it has a purpose, to draw us closer to him and only him. All of that noise (people who discourage you) in the background are only distractors to give you every reason to hate what Christianity is about. It is not about the people around you ….but your relationship that you build you Him.

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Josi March 29, 2015 at 11:06 am

“because you are beginning to understand what Christianity is on your own terms. ?????????????”
Nothing is on our terms! I think you are dangerously missing the real point here.
People are turning away from God! Why?
If we are truly the body, we are to be imitators and doer’s of Christ!
To turn a blind eye on the “going’s-on” that we see on display today is unbiblical
We are not holding our Leaders Accountable! Why?
Members of the Body are being hushed/oppressed, Why do you think??
We need to confront and face real issues that are jeopardizing our fundamental beliefs and you are saying to disregard them as “bad things happen” and focus only on our actions, be responsible for our actions! While this is true, much much more is required of us!
We need to take a stand ! yes, even to the point of calling out the evildoers from within the body …. where Satan has crept inside
We are responsible for not only ourselves, but each other!

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Josi,
I love your passion and every word is true, but you have to be careful. You cannot take on the burdens of the world, that is why God sent his son. I had a brother that thought like you and he ended up sick physically and mentally that lead to his death. Josi, because I love you, you need to know that you cannot take on the devil head on (Satan). His sole purpose is to kill, steal and destroy. God says in his word Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;…. It is indeed a warfare and God warns you to watch as well as pray and be slow to speak.

Leonard jeffery March 19, 2015 at 9:44 pm

I have had a lot of bad things happen in my life but through it all God has blessed me so that I would not change one thing I think it depends on you if you complain and get mad or sad more bad things happen or you can get faith in God and know he will bring you though and have joy and be blessed and for freinds that drift away only the love of God shown though you can help ,

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Michael March 15, 2015 at 1:22 pm

LOL! After choosing to follow Jesus, My life became super crazy! Haha They never tell ya that choosing him will be the hardest thing we ever have to go through! BUT there has been many wonderful times I’ve had with him since day one! Problems are problems but we will all live for an eternity so what the hay! I wanna know that I NEVER GAVE UP when I stand in front of him!

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 9:17 am

Michael,
You are so right. You will enjoy my book, The Last One Hundred and Eighty Days that will be coming out in about 3 to 4 months. You are exactly right and you learned that humor is the way to cope because we have to remain positive.

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Leo March 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

Does the Biblical Shemitah Jubilee Signify the Beginning of the End of the KALI YUGA? 😉
http://themillenniumreport.com/2015/03/the-20152016-shemitah-jubilee-and-the-end-of-the-kali-yuga/

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Don Dressel March 10, 2015 at 12:06 am

Thank you for your post it has helped me tremendously as I have been going through a lot with my wife as she has no faith and I have a lot of faith!
John 3:16 is the scripture I live by and believe! My wife is a lost soul as she is on chat rooms with men and I hope she will follow me and stay out of these chat rooms as these guys only want one thing!

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Don Dressel March 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

People have seem to have lost their faith and also their way! Our society is full of crime, drugs, infidelity, and addictions of all kinds!
We need to find our way back to the way of how we use to be! We have improved in accepting people of all different ways of life than we use to but we also have lost our faith in God and one of the biggest things that the devil accomplished was making us believe he did not exist!

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Mary March 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm

I am a closet atheist. Religious people treat you bad because they are afraid of the truth. They want the beautiful lie instead of the ugly truth. They can’t handle it. George Carlin was very smart and logical. Listen to him talk about “god”, its so true, lol. You are an atheist until someone starts telling you lies. Your religion is based on where you are born. I laugh when people say “are you mad at god?” or “did something happen” or “I’ll pray for you” AS IF they are better then you because they believe in an invisible man in the sky whose creations are severly flawed. God is suppose to be perfect but he is not, he created imperfect beings. Look up all the contradictions in the bible old and new testament. Praying is the best way think you’re doing something when you actually aren’t doing anything.

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Don Dressel March 3, 2015 at 10:57 am

It’s to bad you have the view of religious people that you do! I even though I am very religious do agree with you on some of your points.
I use to go to a Catholic Church until I saw how people would treat you out of church. Not only was the people hypocritical but the church itself was even worse! I go to a different church now where everybody accepts you for who you are! As far as your lack of belief my wife literally died and came back saw heaven and saw God and no it was not a figment of her imagination! Her father as you had no faith and now does! I suggest you read heaven is for real it might help you realize we are here for a reason! I am sorry that people of faith treated you so bad but to me they are not true Christians!
Take care

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Leo March 12, 2015 at 10:50 pm

It seems, actually most of us are followers of Matthew 15:8-9 😉

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stranger March 19, 2015 at 1:29 am

I completely disagree with one thing you said. “Relegious people treat you bad because they are afraid of the truth. They want the beautiful lie instead of the truth.” I really think thats other way around. I was an atheist my entire life until God had enough of my crap this year. Im 36 now. I didn’t want to believe that there was an imaginary God in the sky trying to control my life and threatening to send me places if I was good or bad. It seemed rediculous to me than. Now I look back at how small minded I was to believe that I was in control of anything. That nothing greater than me and my world existed, and when I got the truth, it’s not a pretty little fairy tale. It’s a terrifying reality to be honest and when your made aware of it, there’s not a damn thing you can do but pray. they pray cause they are aware that every word they utter and every action they take is seen and heard. And once your faced with that reality, and have to learn to adjust to feeling..so. exposed .. you realize why people are praying for you. It’s not cause they think they are better, it’s cause some people like who I was, don’t know better. The sad truth is, until Most have their own experience they won’t understand or believe anything anyone tells them anyway. However, it is a relief knowing that we do indeed have a purpose, how we got here, why, and that it’s not all for nothing. The one thing that stuck with me for years, could billions and billions of people be wrong? Are they all having some sort of mass delusions? I finally understand what they do.

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 9:24 am

Mary,
What I find interesting is that you are a closet Atheist. The Bible does not contradict itself. Please read the book, I Do Not Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Geisler.

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chuck March 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Hello…first, I am deeply touched by all the responses that I have read and i believe we can all understand these situations because we all start out in this natural life “not knowing” who God is.

I can truly understand why someone would leave or “walk away” from Jesus, not really having a “Revelation” of who Jesus is.
In fact, I believe this is the “only” way that someone can walk away from Jesus and His Words.

Jesus promises and reveals that we MUST have a “personal encounter” with Him, where He “reveals” Himself to us in “reality”.
Only then, can we really be “grounded and settled” in the Truth.

God does not expect us to believe in Him without some sort of proof of His “reality” in our lives, and His very Words confirm this as we will see.
This “revelation” of who Jesus is, is what is “missing” in these testimonies and responses that I have read, which cause people to search elsewhere for answers.
Let’s take a look at some scriptures where it is God’s will to reveal Himself to us in a “tangible” way for our benefit.

In John Chapter 3, Jesus tells a respected religious leader of israel, that “he must be born again” (John 3:3), who by the way, did not “know” who God was either. Sure, he knew “of” God, he knew that Moses knew God and wrote the Torah, (the first 5 books of the Bible), but he did not “know” God in “reality” or in a personal way.

To be “born” in the natural is a “tangible” experience that one can not deny when it happens. A “birth” is a result of a “seed” being planted in “good ground”.
Likewise, Jesus reveals to Nicodemas in verse 11, that His “words” are the seeds that bring forth this “spiritual birth” or His “reality” in our lives..
Jesus also says in Luke 8:11, when He explains the parable of the “Sower Sows the Word”, that “the seed is the Word of God”.
Peter also confirms this and says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed, by the word of God,..” (1st peter 1:23)

It is very important that we go “line upon line” here, because there is much to understand.

The Words of God on the pages of the Bible are in “seed form” to us.
Jesus reveals in the 3rd Chapter of John, that what is true in the natural is true in the “spirit”.
“If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12)

In the Parable of the “Sower Sows the Word”, (Luke 8:4-15), Jesus reveals that there are 4 different types of “ground” that the seed (God’s Word) falls into, and 3 of these “grounds” are “bad” and do not “produce” any fruit.
In other words, there is no “revelation” of God or no experience with Him in these 3 bad grounds.
Now this is very important, because this would account for some “leaving the faith” or walking away from Jesus, because there is no “reality” of Jesus in their life.
And it is absolutely essential that we have the “reality” of Jesus to continue” in the faith.

Only in “good” ground can we experience this “spiritual birth” or “revelation” of Jesus.

“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and GOOD HEART, having heard God’s Word, KEEP IT, and bring forth fruit with PATIENCE.” (Luke 8:15)

The “Good Heart” is first, a result of receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Cross, the shedding of the Blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, which removes the “stony heart” of sin and replaces it with a heart of “flesh”, where the seed of God’s word can now be planted. Also the Holy Spirit, which “waters” the seed, can not move into our “temple” (body) until we receive the blood of Christ Jesus.
The problem I see with alot of people leaving the “faith”, is that they expect “understanding” of the Word FIRST, before the seed grows to full fruition.
“Understanding” or “fruit” comes at Harvest time, NOT seed time.
Jesus says that we must “receive” the seed of His Word first, before understanding manifests.

We can all find ourselves in one of these 4 grounds.
Remember, the first 3 grounds are “bad” and do not produce any fruit or “revelation”, whether it is wayside ground where the devil “steals” the word out of our hearts, or stony ground where we “fall away” from the Word after we experience “persecution” or we are “offended” by other people in the Church.

(I believe that stony ground would account for most people leaving “Christianity” or the Bible, because Jesus Himself says, “they fall away” before any fruit or “revelation” can be produced.)

Now we must understand that this is NOT God’s fault.
Jesus Himself saw the “hypocrisy” of the religious order of His day and preached against it. So it should not be a “surprise” when we see it in operation in the Church. If we are “mature” in Christ, this should not “offend” us, because Jesus went through this too.
I can understand someone leaving a “physical building” where believers gather, but leaving the Church, the Faith, Jesus? This is another story.

Jesus is revealing in this Parable that there are wicked spiritual “forces” opposing us every moment, and we must be aware of this if we are to “overcome”. We “wrestle not against flesh & blood”(Eph. 6:12)
He clearly tells us in this Parable what is coming “against” the seed of His Word so that we cannot experience a “revelation” or the “reality” of Jesus in our life.
Because once we have the “reality” of Jesus, “the Word made Flesh”, it is impossible to walk away from Him.
Remember, there is a “growing season” for every seed before fruit is produced, and “we will reap, IF we FAINT NOT” (Galatians 6:9).

This is why Jesus said, ” If ye CONTINUE in my word, then… ye shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31,32)

Why must we CONTINUE in the Word? Because 75% of the ground the seed falls into, is “bad” ground and does not produce fruit or “revelation” or the “born again” experience, which we all need to enter into the kingdom of God..

One more very important scripture that clearly says that it is God’s will to “reveal” himself to us…
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will MANIFEST or REVEAL myself to him.” (John 14:21)

If Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples in “reality”, AFTER the resurrection, then it is His will to reveal Himself to us in some sort of “supernatural” way.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18)

The revelation of Jesus Christ or His “reality” in our life is what we all need to stand firm, grounded and settled.

I pray that all who have experienced pain and disappointment in the church, will forget about “people” or “organizations” and simply receive this Word from the Lord and simply do what Jesus says to do concerning His Word so that you too can have the “reality” of Jesus in your own life like I have experienced in mine.
May God open the eyes of your understanding to receive His holy Word. God Bless All..A-MEN

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Josi March 2, 2015 at 8:06 am

I wonder if you are truly aware of the apostate of the current church condition? Let’s discuss the “bad soil” there. When a Christian who hungers and seeks after righteousness only to be met with “the going’s on” inside the walls of the church, then realizing you have no real desire to partake in such fallicies, you leave only to be named trader. That verse “they went out from among us” has been used to hurt me severely. When church leaders show no real interest in it’s own flock, become legalistic in it’s structure and policies, rigid to the point of ostracizing, then it’s time to take a hard long look at the state the church is in. Speaking up is forbidden! The undesirables are simply “not desired in the church and the one’s who are accepted are with the “in crowd”. I have gone thru some truly “hard seasons”, and the best I ever got from a church was “I will pray for you”. While that is very good, what’s really needed are people willing to act and desiring to love you, not out of duty, but really love on you. If your a “performer” you are rewarded, if you are a “slacker”, you are rebuked! but what’s not considered is the challenges one faces in the face of an illness, desertion, abandonment and last but not least, judgement. There are very little comparisons from the early church to modern day church. In fact, I don’t believe Jesus expected “church structure” to come in this form. Leaders take money to live in lavish houses, promote their causes by oppressing their own flock. Jesus never took money in exchange for the gospel so why is it done today? I have enjoyed reading your post, but honestly…those leaving are not leaving the faith like so many are taught by their oppressive leaders. They are searching for truth! Where is it? Instead of going into a church and getting comfortable, we ought to be going out and spreading truth. The church simply does not exercise this anymore. I have not seen one soul winning group in decades. Is church now a mere social hook-up? I have been through just about every well known church denomination/assembly in my area. They are all questionable in their practices. So what is a single, chronically ill, divorced, low-income, over 50 spinster to do? This is how the church views individuals like me and mark my words, there is much Judgments and Discrimination going on within the walls of the Modern-Day Church Scene.

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chuck March 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Hello Josi, Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I also enjoyed reading your post this morning. I believe that “fellowship” is essential amongst believers in Christ because we “need” each other. God has “gifted” each of us with something that “someone else” needs, and without us, the Body of Christ cannot be “complete”.

I read the concerns that you have relating to the current condition of the Church, which I believe “every” believer has experienced in their walk with Jesus. I believe that we must first understand that the problems, inconsistencies, divisions & hypocrisy that we all have experienced, actually were present in the days of Jesus, the disciples and in Paul’s day.
Here are a few scriptures that reveal this…..

“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.” (MT 23:1-3)

“But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.” (Acts 6:1)

“For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are CONTENTIONS (quarrelling, dissensions, envying) among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Is Christ DIVIDED? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
(1st Corinthians 1:11-13)

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you ENVYING, and STRIFE, and DIVISIONS, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1st Corinthians 3:3)

So we should not be surprised when we see these things going on in the Church.
No one is perfected yet. We are all being “transformed” into the image of Jesus from “glory to glory”. (2nd Corinthians 3:18)

I am so sorry to hear that the Word of God was used “deceitfully” against you (2nd Cor.4:2), concerning the scripture in 1st John 2:19, “they went out from us”.
You must understand that this verse of scripture is talking about those who left the ‘teachings” of Jesus, influenced by the “anti-christ” spirit, NOT those who left a “building” where believers gather. It is very evident that you love Jesus and want more of Him in your life, like we all do.
Also, you are right about alot of the “Church structure” today is not something Jesus intended.
As far as taking money, i am sure that you understand what Jesus said concerning this……

“…for the labourer is worthy of his hire.” (LK 10:7) and also…

“In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.” (1st Cor. 9:14)

You also asked in your post, Where is the Truth? Well I believe that you already know the answer.
Jesus IS the TRUTH. His WORDS are the Truth. And these Words of Jesus, that Jesus declared are “Spirit and Life” (Jo 6:63), is what we should be reading and meditating on daily.

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:8)

This is why we must take our eyes off of people and their short-comings and weaknesses, and put them where they belong, on JESUS and His Words..
I am sure that you already know that Jesus does not want us to stop gathering with believers, because this is the will of God.

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

But I believe that God has a “specific” place for us to gather with believers, a place where HE can use us the best for His benefit. I believe we must begin asking the Lord “where” that place is, and I know that He will guide us.

But this is the reason my post that I wrote yesterday was on the Parable of the “Sower Sows the Word”.
Our spiritual “growth” depends on the Word of God being planted in our hearts in “good ground”.
The Harvest that we receive in this parable, in good ground, is “Hearing God’s Voice”, and without hearing the voice of God for OURSELVES, we cannot grow in the Lord.

We must CONTINUALLY sow His Word and “press through” every type of bad ground until we enter “Good Ground” and then PATIENTLY wait for His Voice.
Jesus reveals clearly that “spiritual wickedness” is behind keeping the “seed” of His Word from reaching good ground. He told us so that we would know and “recognize” the way the “enemy” operates, when it comes to planting His word, and when it comes to the problems we see in the Church, the root cause is spiritual wickedness”

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Jose, I am asking the Lord Jesus to “Send His Word” to you today to heal and make whole anything that you need, in spirit soul, and body, relationships, finances and any other area of your life.
Remember Jesus loves His Church, which “we are”, and He is “faithfully” working on each one of us,…

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till WE ALL COME INTO THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
(Eph. 4:11-13)

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Josi March 2, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Hi Chuck, U R an exceptional teacher of the word and u have helped me greatly! Would you consider mentoring me further? m.jozie07@gmail.com

Please consider this study I did….

Scriptures used to justify salaries:

1Cr 9:7 Who goes to a war any time at his own charges? who plants a vineyard, and eats not of the fruit thereof? or who feeds a flock, and eats not of the milk of the flock?

1Cr 9:18 What is my reward then? [Verily] that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

***** Paul didn’t say he was demanding a salary…to preach the gospel is to reap the fruit….that is saved souls…that is the payment for his work…

1Ti 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
1Ti 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer [is] worthy of his reward.

****** Honor yes…it does not say double money…or take the tithes as salary…what is the reward for the preacher? money or lost souls? if he is preaching for money, he is selling the gospel. This makes him a merchant, not a preacher.

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

**** unrelated to salaries…..you sow the word of god…you reap souls…..:you sow to the flesh, you reap to the flesh, you sow to the spirit, you reap in the spirit.

The logic argument for salaries:

We agree nobody should be greedy for money, pastors included. However, the scriptures are clear that the good elders are worthy of DOUBLE HONOR. So they can collect a salary. The saints should be more than happy and willing to ensure the good laborers in the gospel in church leadership are taken care of if that person is full time (that’s day and night) in the gospel and not working in any other line of work.

*** again….see above….honor is honor, not money…..people in bible times gave their lives for the gospel….now they want to get paid….see where all the power went? this is why the church has no power anymore….everyone wants to get in on getting paid…..and doing nothing that the early apostles did for it….they want the rewards, without the self sacrifice…..they want to make everything physical, instead of spiritual.

Argument against the salary as the harvest for the pastor:

how is honor translated as money? another meaning for honor is reverence and respect…..were the early apostles paid? most of them worked for a living….paul made tents…the others fished, and said that everyone had to work, and support himself, or they had to leave…

even now, there are many who work as volunteers and no one offers to pay them, yet they still work…..salary is reserved for a select few….who do not necessarily work full time – 24-7, sowing the word on new grounds.

this could also be written:

1Ti 5:18 For the scripture says, Thou shall not silence the ox that treads out the corn. (ie. let the man preach, do not silence him) And, The laborer [is] worthy of his fruit, naturally resulting from toils and endeavors, rewards which God bestows, or will bestow, upon good deeds and endeavors

since what he sows is the word, which is spirit, and not physical seed, what he reaps is to be spirit also…..not materialistic/physical in nature….money is physical….

to be busy 24/7, someone must be sowing the spirit seed of the Word all that time….no one does that..

a farmer does not stand in one spot all day and sow all his seed into a one foot square area….he goes out into the entire field and sows……

most ministers do not do this…they stay in one spot, and sow the same seed..,…over and over, to people who already have the seed…..

once someone is saved, and has read the bible once, studying it, they should no longer need a pastor….they are mature and ready, and equipped to go out and sow their own spiritual seed, to reap their rewards (souls of their own). this is how the early church grew so quickly….

remember the apostles were most likely only in their 20s…they were ready after a few years of training….

nowadays….church members vegetate in the pews for 30 years in one spot…..as one pastor tells them the same thing over and over.

this would more appropriately apply to an evangelist….who is supposed to go out to new fields constantly, and sow the word…..to bring in souls…..his reward is spiritual, not physical….

the reality:

no one follows the spirit of the bible now……everyone wants to get paid for what they do….so since they have their reward on earth, they forfeit a reward in heaven……

***final note….Jesus and the apostles did accept free will offerings. However, there is nothing to indicate they received salaries.

Blessings…Josi

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chuck March 3, 2015 at 10:28 am

Hello Josie,
Sure, I would enjoy having fellowship with you about Jesus and His Word. I sent you an email last night, it might end up in your “junk” folder. Have a great day!

Josi March 26, 2015 at 9:37 am

Quarreling and direct Violations are not the same…I am trying to direct your attention to the hard core truths about the church that no one wants to address or admit to or talk about. If we worship our God in Spirit and Truth then your claim on our imperfect state is a cop out. If we know right from wrong then we ought to know where it comes from. To knowingly commit a violation with no remorse of conscience, is not the same a quarreling and strife and dissensions regarding trivial matters from among the body. I am referring to the violations that stem from those allowed in power positions who knowingly advert the laws of God and abuse their power to suit their own pleasures. I believe if more saints were given the freedom of speech in the body of Christ instead of being “shut-up”, which to me is oppression bondage and slavery of the body of Christ, then Jesus would be allowed to move in and thru his own Church and His bride could think and move freely by way of Holy Spirit’s discerning and directing. Do you really believe that modern day assemblies really invite the Holy Spirit and Jesus inside? No! they are caught up in self. If so, then why so many regulations put upon God’s people if the leaders of the church believed God’s got this. Man thinks God needs their help in putting in “right order” the body of Christ. Church leader abuse their positions and authority while guilting the body into perfect submission. This is not quarreling !

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Chloe Jeffreys March 2, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Josi, I think you’ve nailed a lot of the problems many of us are having today in the Church. Has it become a club? I think so. And it’s not a very nice club at that. I have been both the hard worker and the person going through a terrible time. And guess what? When I was the hard worker then I was welcomed with open arms, but the moment I stopped performing was the beginning of the end.

So many people’s faith is built upon the performance of others within the church. Christianity can only be true for them if everyone around them parrots the same words, performs the same rituals, and sets the same priorities.

Questioning anything–faith, dogma, leadership’s behavior–is sternly discouraged if not outright condemned. Once when my husband, who was a very dedicated deacon, and I, an avid church-worker, spoke up about a certain minister in a paid position who we liked very much, but whose marriage and family problems did not seem in alignment with his ability to perform his job in the church, we were handed the “touch not the Lord’s anointed” warning. We were told we had two choices: Say nothing, or leave. We left. Shortly thereafter a church split occurred over this man. Many people were deeply wounded over it, and many people walked away altogether.

In our last church, the pastor was nothing short of a dictator. Despite being a Southern Baptist congregation, he allowed no deacon boar, he answered to no one, and had no accountability to anyone.

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Josi March 2, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Chloe, thank you for sharing your comment with me and for understanding my pain. Admittedly, I’m still reeling from the experiences but have not left the faith, never, as I am beginning to understand that although there are those with no conscience, there are those that do posses the true nature and spirit of God. I’ve pretty much given up on finding any real suitable church home…but certainly not given up on the body of Christ. For with Man, you can do nothing, but with God anything is possible…I am heart-struck that you got hurt…I pray we band together never fearing to speak up for the Lord even if it means being outcast. Blessings, Josi

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Chloe Jeffreys March 2, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Josi, I have long taken heart in the fact that the truest women and men of God have all felt like outcasts at one time or another. It’s part and parcel of a sincere walk of faith. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and share your story with me. That means a lot to me.

chuck March 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Hello Chloe,
First I want to thank you for making this space available to blog and fellowship with others. It almost feels like I know you “personally” after watching your “Once Upon a Time” video, well done!!
It really touched my heart, and what a beautiful family you have…..

I read your post above to Josi about your experience in the Church.
Unfortunately, we have ALL gone through these experiences.
No Church is exempt from these problems, hypocrisies & divisions, because no one is “perfected” yet. We all have “weaknesses”.
And this transformation, that God is doing in all of our lives, to “become” like Jesus, is a very “slow” process.

“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them TO BECOME like his SON,..” (Romans 8:29)

“But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image FROM GLORY to GLORY, even as by the Lord the Spirit” (2nd corinthians 3:18)

Consider how God has even given us “examples” in nature, of just how “slow” of a process this “transformation” into His image is.
Consider the “transition” from Night to Day. If you were to stay up all night until day-break, the “transition” is so slow, that you really cannot even see the change until “it’s there”!! Because in the process, our eyes must “adjust” to the Light. If the Light comes to fast, our eyes will not be able to handle it, and we will not be able to “see” as we should.
Being a beautiful mother with beautiful children, you know very well that it takes 9 months before a baby is born. It is a very “slow” growing process. That baby is coming out of the “darkness” of the womb into the Light of this world, and needs to be strong enough to endure that “drastic” change.
Consider the plant kingdom, how slow of a process it is for an “apple tree” to produce apples. Think about what would happen to a young, 2-foot tall apple tree, if a full harvest of apples immediately “manifested” on that “baby” tree? The “weight” of those apples would “crush” that tree, because it is not “strong” enough to bear the weight. So God has created what He calls “due season”.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven–” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Chloe, I said all this to “encourage” you today.
I am praying that you will bear with me as I attempt to “edify” you with what I deeply feel, God is speaking “directly” to you today, as He reveals His Love and Heart for you.

I read one of your responses to someone on this page where you said something like, “no one really knows if God exists…”
Chloe, we are ALL born into this natural world “not knowing” who God is. Jesus even reveals this to a woman and says this to her..

“You worship what YOU DO NOT KNOW;… we worship what we know..” (John 4:22)

Paul the Apostle told the Greeks in Athens the same exact thing…

“For as I was walking along I saw your many temples. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD” This God, whom YOU WORSHIP “WITHOUT KNOWING”, is the one I’m telling you about.” (Acts 17:23)

In both of these scriptures, Jesus and Paul reveal that at first, no one “knows” who God is, but in the same verse they both declare that it is possible to “know” God personally.

Again, Jesus was talking to Nicodemas, a very respected “religious” leader of his day, who by the way, did not “know” God personally himself. This is why Jesus said this to him…

“Except a person be “born again” or “from above”, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3)

Now this is very important because this religious leader Nicodemas, is “supposed to be” God’s representative, and he does not really know who God is!!

Chloe, this “born again” or “born from above” experience that Jesus says WE MUST HAVE, in order to enter into the Kingdom of God, is a “personal, face to face” encounter with God himself, where God “reveals” himself to us in some way, in “reality”.

Think about the “born again” experience as being like when Moses had his personal “encounter” with God through the “burning bush”. Moses did not “know” who God was, but at the “appointed time”, God was “faithful” to reveal himself to Moses, even at age 80 !!!

What about Paul the Apostle? He was another pious “religious” leader of his day who knew the scriptures like no one else did, yet because he did not “know” God personally, he persecuted the early Church and brought great harm to them. But what happened to him?
One day, at God’s “appointed time”, Jesus “appeared” to Paul in a “vision” and spoke to him clearly, and “corrected” his “theology”.
This was Paul’s “born again” experience, where Jesus “revealed” himself to Paul in “reality”.

Just like alot of people, I was brought up in the Church as a youngster, and I NEVER had a “personal” encounter with the Lord.
Well now, I know why……(hindsight is 20/20)

#1- There is an “appointed” time for this “personal” experience with God.
I was 30 years old when after numerous “failed” relationships and “broken hearts” finally brought me to my knees before the Lord. Because I could not understand why “everything” was failing in my life, everything I tried to do failed.
At this point, just like many of us, I did not “know” God, but I knew that He existed, so I simply prayed this, …
“God, I am going to start reading your Word now and I am asking you to show me why my life is the way it is, why is everything “failing” in my life.”
Up until this point, I had never read the Scriptures on my own.
Well, after 18 months of reading the New Testament on my own, in my own house, please understand that I was not going to church, I had no affiliation with any religious organization at this time, but on Thanksgiving Day of 1995 after planting the Words of God in my heart for 18 months, Jesus entered my room in the Spirit (not in the flesh), and His “tangible” power came upon my physical body, and a powerful “electricity” feeling immobilized me on my bed, while He “super-naturally” set me free from a “Broken Heart”, “Marijuana & Tobacco Addiction” & “Fear” instantly by the Power of the Holy Spirit. This was my “born again” experience, this was the experience that I had been reading about for 18 months, while I was “seeking” the Lord with all my heart.

You see, AFTER this “experience” Jesus gave me, when I would be reading His Word, He would show me scriptures that “confirmed” the experience” He gave me. for example…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, to preach DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES, and recovering of SIGHT TO THE BLIND, to set at liberty THOSE THAT ARE BRUISED,..” (Luke 4:18)

I had a broken heart, I was a captive to addictions, I was “blind’ to the “reality” of God, and I was bruised on the inside.

“If you look for me with ALL OF YOUR HEART, YOU WILL FIND ME.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

I sought the Lord will all of my heart, sowing His word for 18 months.

“If you CONTINUE in my Word, then…you will “KNOW” the Truth, and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:31,32)

I continued planting the Word of God until the Harvest of His “reality” came forth.

“Those who accept and KEEP my commandments (MY WORDS) and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and I WILL REVEAL MYSELF TO THEM” (John 14:21)

Remember, this experience or “spiritual birth” where God reveals Himself to us, is the “result” of a “seed” being planted, just like in the natural realm. Jesus said that this “spiritual seed” is His Word.

“the seed is the Word of God” (Luke 8:11)

But this “seed” must be planted in Good Ground.
What makes our heart Good Ground, is receiving the Blood of Jesus for the “forgiveness of our sins”. This allows the “seed” of God’s Word to be planted in the “Good Ground” of our hearts, to bring forth this awesome experience with Jesus Himself, in “due season”

Chloe, I am praying that your “appointed time” with God is this year in 2015. God created us for a “loving relationship” NOT “religion”.
I encourage you to “seek” the Lord in His Word, in your own time, with all your heart, because He will “reveal” himself to you as He did to me and everyone else who calls upon the name of Jesus with sincerity.

Chloe, thank you for listening to the heart of God today.
God bless you and your beautiful family and may the “reality” of His Presence & His Love fill you and yours to “overflowing”.

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Chloe Jeffreys March 18, 2015 at 12:55 am

Thank you, Chuck, for sharing your heart with me. I can tell you are a loving man who truly cares about me. That means a lot. I have had a personal experience with God. Several in fact. I take heart that many of the strongest believers in the Bible also struggled with the realities of faith. One of the things about the Bible that I do like is that even though it ain’t pretty it’s real. That’s what I do here. I keep it real.

Thank you again. I do appreciate all you’ve written.

Don Dressel March 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm

I belong to a church that does not judge you and accepts you for who you are! They are a wonderful congregation of people and it has helped me to get through what I am going through.

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Chloe Jeffreys March 2, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Thank you for your well-considered comment.

I for one have grown weary over the advice to forget about the people of God. I mean that’s all fine and well, and I understand what you are saying, but why should I bother getting up early on Sunday, go through the rigmarole of getting dressed, all just so I can visit a club full of people I don’t like? Even worse is being required to hand over 10% of my hard-earned income to the leaders (all men) of this club to spend how they wish?

While at times I’m admittedly shaky, I do still believe in God. But I’m unwilling to go to a club every week that openly despises my political views and treats my entire gender like we’re second-class citizens of heaven.

But I do appreciate your comment very much. I know that there are many people hurting and that’s how they’ve found this post in the first place. I hope your words might bring them some peace.

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fran March 11, 2015 at 6:56 am

Thank you for your comment..I was looking up why so many things that are taking place in my life and I My family if I’m trying my best to walk with God..seems like evil had taking over my self and children.
In November my son came up missing along with his two best friend and are presumed dead and dumped some where..detectives are still trying to find out who killed them with no clues.
My second done is in jail looking at a life sentence over a crime due to drugs And alcohol…my third son is on heroin and had hiv …I took all three children to church all have been babtized…they have all falling from God…why hasn’t God protected my children from such evil…my heart is crushed and I feel like God has abandon me..I’ve been born again since1979 …do you have any answers..God’s words day that he will save you and your house…what’s really going I cause I am wondering WHY GOD WHY…DOES HE LOVE ME….

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Ali March 22, 2015 at 11:26 am

That is the most profound comment I have ever read regarding the ‘palpable reality’ of God in a Christian’s life. I have felt God – in reality – palpably manifested – and ‘revealed’ in my life. I have heard God’s voice as clearly as another person’s – I have had several experiences over many years where God has acted in response to a deeply motivated and sincere prayer – once by bathing me in the brightest light I’ve ever experienced. I have often wondered ‘why me’? But so it has been – God’s words heard and acts ‘shown’ to me – as real as anything we know in the earthly world. I am not saying someone who hasn’t experienced God in this way is not saved, only that your comment speaks to God actually revealing himself because of the heartfelt reaching out to God after hearing the Word, accepting it and acting on it in belief with great sincerity and in complete faith that He is. Thank you for the scriptural contexts.

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Ali March 22, 2015 at 11:31 am

To avoid confusion, my response was directed to Chuck and his comment beginning with “Hello”…

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carolyn March 1, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Human beings really do have free will and they do what THEY want. In the creation story, GOD put enmity between Satan’s seed and mans. So many will claim the “devil made them do it” but humans have greater self will than they admit to. They say I sold my ‘soul to the devil” and that is another lie. The soul belongs to God, it’s creator/owner. They don’t own their own soul to sell it. So good or bad the soul returns to it’s maker. Man’s obedience to GOD is also a choice. The only reason for this is that God did not want a bunch of robots. Man’s life path is his own doing, his own choice all the way. With choice comes consequence, karma, cause and effect. God involves himself in man’s affairs only for the purpose of his plans and he knows the end from the beginning. He judges fairly because he sees the whole picture of man not just a few special people, the bible thumpers. Yet, the bible says; What is man that thou art mindful of him? He is but a vapor, a spirit that appears briefly and is gone! What right does the pot have to say to the potter: Why hast thou made me thus? GOD is GOD and man is man, a piece of clay.

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Elmore February 25, 2015 at 8:32 pm

There is no such thing as an invisible man living in the sky with magical powers and if you honestly think there is, then you are an absolute and total moron. You religious people need to get professional help so that you can be deprogrammed from all that stupid religious nonsense that your parents put in your heads when you were children.

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Daniel February 26, 2015 at 5:48 am

If thats what you believe, then what attracted you to reading the article, Elmore?

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serdlc64 February 28, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Elmore…it is sad that you are so possitive that Yahweh doesnt exist now, because when you die you will be so positive that HE does, along with others with the same flippant attitude. If you are interested in knowing the truth, pray……He will open your eyes if you are sincere about it. Once you die you are sealed in your fate, which by the way YOU choose for yourself. He gave us free will so it is up to each and every one of us. I didnt always belong to Him and we arent born belonging to Him. Either we are for or against Him. Either He is our Father or satan is our father, the father of lies. Everything he says is a lie.It is our choice. For your sake and for the sake of your family and friends, accept what He did on the cross for YOU and you can pray for them to make the right choice so they can come to Him also and not suffer the same fate as the ones that will send themselves to hell. More are going to hell than Heaven. Start by 119 Ministries on Youtube and Jim Staley. Your heart has to be willing. He won’t force you.

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Leo February 13, 2015 at 9:57 pm

No More Mysteries…The Saviour Is Not Coming!
http://veritopian.blogspot.in/2014/08/the-saviour-is-not-coming.html

…must read!

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Daniel February 12, 2015 at 7:26 am

Interesting article.. I was raised in the church. I came from a fairly conservative Christian background, but not as conservative as others. Throughout my adult life I’ve watched people abandon their faith, whether it be in a deliberate sort of way, or by just slowly drifiting away.. However, the one thing that many, if not most of them have in common is the fact that God didn’t turn out to be the way they imagined Him to be, or the way their local church taught that He would be like.. People who were raised Christian and later turned to atheism tend to be the angriest of the bunch. They really hate that god they claim not to believe in.. Most other atheists who came from either a vague religious upbringing or no religious leanings also tend to base much of their belief in the notion that if there was/is a God that He couldn’t possibly be as cruel or aloof as they now believe Him to be..

I have suffered greatly in my life, and in many ways am still in a state of suffering. Of course the bible talks much of suffering – as though it was anticipating the gravity of the issue. Job was actually the first book written in the bible. I think that is in no way a coincidence.. To me the greatest verse in that book (perhaps in all of scripture) is: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” That has become the banner of my life.

I have no interest in Christianity or any other world view in terms of a religion, per se.. Human beings have a propensity for turning everything in to a religion. We need to feel important and in control in some way.. The coming of Christ was meant to put an end to all of that nonsense. A real Christian believes the eye witness accounts given in the gospels, and believes that because of our natural enmity with God that we need a savior, and that savior is Jesus. When someone puts their faith in the person of Jesus and trusts Him and Him alone to reconcile themselves to God, they become what is known as a Christian in the biblical sense.

Almost all of Christs life was suffering in some way. How can we expect ours to be any different? I spent a short while in the Calvinist side of Christianity, which I no longer am a part of, as many of them seem to be as miserable as atheists, and in many ways similar to them with their fatalistic thinking. However, some of what they teach is quite accurate and helpful in getting over the whole “God has a wonderful plan for your life” concept.. They would say : “Yes. God does have a wonderful plan for your life. The plan is: Repent and believe.” Thats it.

I still have faith. Do I have much? No. Am I happy? No. Do I trust God? Not nearly as much as I should. Do I like God? Not really. Do I love God? Yes.. I am sure of almost nothing in this life except for the phrase: “Though He Slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

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True May 23, 2015 at 4:22 am

I love what you said…..I’m not where you are, but your honesty was brutal, your humility painful to hear. Yet in there is a nugget of firm faith.

I’m not crazy about the country club churches either….but I also believe in Christ and love Him. I hope you stay firm in what you believe, and that He continues to reveal Himself to you in a profound way.

Thanks for your honest sharing…

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UP February 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Preach it sistah!

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his site. My dad who became a preacher after he was a sniper, always said, “If God wanted all men to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, he’d have to apologize to the Apostle Paul.”

Jesus wants you to love him and obey him. He promised eternal life, not prosperity.

The name it and claim it crowd annoys me no end!

UP
UP recently posted..“Bironovschina”My Profile

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Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Well, you can see from some of my commenters that this idea that God has a wonderful bank account for us is not that unusual. But of course it’s ridiculous!

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Brian P. February 3, 2015 at 11:45 pm

For me it was a bit different. I never went to friends in a period of doubt, I figured it wasn’t acceptable. Instead, I approached friends after losing belief. More than ever, I needed good friends. More than ever, I tried to be a good friend. It didn’t really work so well. I’ve been estranged. What people can’t control or cope with, they need to distance themselves from. It’s not about “counting the cost;” it’s really not about living a cruciform way of being. It seems more about feeling safe and protected from scary things. Respectfully, I hope you can understand why I have little regard for nearly all the forms of Christianity I’ve encountered now that I’m the other.

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Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Most long-time Christians know well enough not to take their doubts to their Christians friends. We already know the empty answers and judgment we’ll receive so we know there’s no point. Christians love to use words like, “I KNOW there is a God.” No, you don’t. Nobody KNOWS. We might believe, we might have faith, but we don’t know. Nobody needs faith in the face of knowledge. Faith is what we have when knowledge fails us.

I’m still a Christian because I choose to be one. And I don’t judge you for where you’ve landed. I understand. I don’t think you’re a bad person, and I don’t think you never believed or you wouldn’t be an atheist now. You are still on your journey. Who knows where it will lead? Take heart. If there is a God I’m sure she loves and cares about you and your struggles and that you still care enough to find articles like mine on the internet and take the time to comment. That means a lot to me.

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serdlc64 February 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Gosh Chloe, my bad. I didnt read about you enough before I went to the comments. Not taking doubts to believing friends..really??? We get strength from one another. Comfort one another with these words, etc. God (Yaweh) if SHE does exist!!?? Are you serious..She???? I honestly now am concerned with your eternal resting place along with Elmore. I am also concerned about you teaching others false doctrine. See the fate of that. Not good Chloe. You need to grab a copy of the Complete Jewish Bible , sit and watch 119 Ministries and Jim Staley ( good starters) and read along and get to the truth of the Bible. Scary for you and your instruction.

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Josi March 3, 2015 at 5:58 am

@Serdl64-I love the way Jesus communed with the women at the well. It’s one of my favorite renditions of how Jesus loved the people of his day. While everyone was hating her, he was loving her. Maybe you should read that! I noticed in your comment you never mentioned prayer…prayer is powerful! Notice, Jesus wasn’t attacking this Samaritan women like you have demonstrated in your message…He was interacting with her and treating her like a human being.

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chuck March 2, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Hello Chloe,
I found your site yesterday, thank you for making it available.
Im sorry that your experience in the “Church” has been so rough.
You commented above and said, “No one knows if there is a God”.
I do not know how long you attended Church or what your Church taught, or if you ever have read the New Testament before, but it is obvious that you have not had the “born again” experience.
This is an “experience” that Jesus said EVERYONE MUST HAVE to enter into the Kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
This is the “experience” that Jesus gives us when He makes Himself ‘Real” to us in “reality”.
This “experience” is a result of the Words of Jesus being planted in our hearts, in Good ground.

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Larisa February 9, 2015 at 6:34 pm

Go to Jesus for everything, because people are only people. They fall, get up, again fall, and get up. And that’s our daily life goes. We are imperfect, so we go to “The Perfect”, “God”! Why don’t we just go straight to “Him”, he is waiting for us to come to Him for everything. We need to learn how to trust Him. He is “Love”! Don’t give up, don’t look at people. “God” is your father, He is who you need to go too, not people. Get to know “Him” in a different light! He is faithful, he will help you through life, but you have to fall in love with Him, and trust Him fully. He cares for you! Believe in Him! In good times and in bad times!

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noah February 3, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Funny thing you mention people leaving christianity because of tragedy or misfortune.
But what of those who were indoctrinated as children to believe in it and yet due to the lack of evidence and the many contradictions, left on grounds of rationality and critical thinking?

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Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Noah, that’s a whole ‘nuther can o’ worms! According to Barna, the Christian research people, 90% of kids raised in the church walk away when they hit young adulthood and never return. And yet the Church continues doing the same ole shit at youth groups that they’ve been doing for 40 years even though we all know that it doesn’t keep kids in church once they are grown. It’s so frustrating. No. It’s insanity. Isn’t doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results one of the definitions of insanity?

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Mike February 2, 2015 at 9:35 pm

One thing we can agree on is that “Following Jesus isn’t about wealth or Health or any kind of prosperity” Jesus never promised any of that. But that is about it.
I’m glad that you are taking your time to write this and you care about those people who turn to Atheism but the amount of fowl language you used in this article defeats the purpose.
Yes, of course if we think that God has a plan for us to be wealthy that is false and will bring anyone to fail. But it is that very thinking that would cause anyone to say “I don’t believe in God”.
For example, lets say I have a heart problem and I go to a dentist to fix a “heart” problem. This dentist tells me “sorry this is not my area of expertise”, I will leave that dentist’s office and will say “there is no way I’m going to doctor’s office again”. This is a little rough around the edges example but I hope it gets the point across.
People who as you said come to Jesus as “talisman” are not Christian or believers in the first place. So they were never believers to begin with. Because if you say you believe but you believe “not the truth” then you are really not a believer.
If I look at a white piece of paper and say i believe its black, I’m not a believer of that white paper. Same with Jesus, if I say “I believe that Jesus is here to make me wealthy, healthy, and so on” I’m not a believer of the truth because bible doesn’t say anything about that.

You are wrong about God not having a plan and it is a wonderful plan. 1st and most honorable for us is to glorify His name.
God does have a Plan for each one of us! it says so clearly in the Bible.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you…..”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”

And many more.

The very purpose of Jesus dying for our sins was the plan of God.

Again I point out it is not he plan to be wealthy and all the other stuff you pointed out. But it is God’s plan for us.

getting wealthy and having good health, etc that are our own plans that we want God to give His “ok” for.

Next..

“Am I saying that belief in Jesus could be an idol?” You say this, but be careful of what you say. belief in Jesus in no way can be an idol. nowhere in the Bible does it say so, therefore you should not imply that. Even though I see what you are trying to imply.

Also Believing that Jesus is keeping away, as you say this “Boogeyman” there is nothing wrong with that. Through out the whole Bible you see example of God protecting his followers. So to pray and hope and believe that Jesus will protect you in hard time is actually what you should be doing.

As a father I want my kids to come to me for everything. Be it protection, be it advise be it even childish selfish requests, I want to hear them all.
God is the same with His children, He wants us to come to Him with anything and everything on our minds and hearts.

It almost sounds like this article was written because something happened, or you went through something.

I see your point and what you are trying to say but you got to check your facts with what Bible says as well, we can’t just go off of our emotions when we feel like it and we need to show control in our words and actions because after all that is what Bible teaches.

I pray for you and that your fire keeps burning for God and you that you find piece and whatever it might be. :) God bless you

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Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for commenting. I do appreciate what you’ve contributed here.

As far as my language, You’re not the first person to complain. But I’m unlikely to change my style of writing. When the Church starts taking seriously the log in their eye I’ll consider whether or not to bother with my little motes of profanity.

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Josi February 28, 2015 at 4:51 pm

@Mike…Many of those prosperity pushers, Word of Faith, false teachers preaching “God has a plan for your life” are actually planning for a beefy collection plate at the end of the service! Such are the likes of “Joel Osteen” and many many more. I think this is what Chloe was referring too…I stand in agreement on everything you have said Mike…and all other comments that prosperity gospel is, indeed heretical. I have an entire family believing in this garbage! They see me as a pitiful soul God has obviously given up on as I am poor and have lost everything! Except my Faith in God. I stand on His promises and not those of this world or those false preachers preaching promise..Praise God, I say suffering produces perseverance and changes your character into the likeness of God…and when I got cancer, I ran to Jesus and when I tell people of my testimony, they look at me with eyes wide open…I know what they’re thinking…Sinner! That is just a mere sliver of an example of what is being wrongly taught by the church…clearly deceptive and self esteem shattering when a bro/sis in Christ suggest your sinning has brought about your illness. I sink when I see what is going on over at the “700 Club”…Wow! and these people actually believe this stuff???…Chloe, as for your potty mouth…we are all sinners, this is true but we also have a helper!! Blessings, Josi

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 9:42 am

Chloe,
You have the wrong logic here. What you decide to do should be independent of what you label as the Church. Keep in mind, what you see as the church is not the true Church. The Bible clearly focuses on your relationship with Jesus as tantamount.

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eddiedrums February 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm

I understand fully the author’s point about Prosperity Theology. It is a gateway to hell. Many people listen to what Joel Osteen has to say. He runs the biggest mega-church in America–and he preaches false doctrine—the Prosperity Gospel. Charismatics believe in some of the same things–like self-healing and wealth/health based upon your faith. You cannot work your way into salvation–you received it as a gift from God–ref. Ephesians 2:8-9. Freely you have received–freely you are to give.

Faith is not based upon emotions. Its based on the Bible. All of us will be judged by the Gospel, make no mistake. Jesus said this. The best translation is the trusted authentic KJV. Oh sure, there are times when God does something special that makes a believer well up with a grateful heart–I am not talking about that emotion–I am talking about trying to manipulate the Lord, reduce him to a wizard or magician by thinking God will give you an easy life, if you turn to Christ. That he will rain Benjamin’s down from the sky, like manna–and you will never visit a hospital–if you have big enough faith. If you believe in this theology–you are on your way to hell because it is unbiblical. It distorts the true message of Christ, about the cost of discipleship. Of course God wants to bless all of us–but many will never hear due to hardness. Its not with worldly goods, mammon, or possessions the Lord wants to give you–he wants to give you something far greater; Eternal Life!

To walk with Jesus is to suffer with Him. Bible states that God wants to conform our image to the image of Jesus. If we are to be the image of Christ, to be like Him you will suffer hardships. It is not a choice. If you are of faith and are living a Godly life–you will sooner or later face trials, tribulations & persecutions times. The greatest saints–the apostles all were martyred–all-except John, because he was imprisoned and God had a purpose–John wrote his visions he received from God on an island, Pathmos for the closing chapter in His word.

Those who live a Godly life will will suffer in some form–and to expect persecution and suffering in the world. It further states that if you are not suffering for your faith –in some form–you are not living a Godly life. It even further states that if you love the world system – that you don’t have the love of God within you. Because God is at enmity with the world system.

When you become a child of God, born again by grace in spirit & truth, if you do not think Satan is enraged and wants to kill you? That you switched to the other side? I promise you that Satan will come after you with the hordes of hell. he will attack you through your mind–your unsaved friends–your family, your co-workers–you will be put in positions to hear the atheist lies. Some of us may even die for our faith. If you do not learn to put on the breastplate of faith, the helmet of salvation and take up your s(word of God), you get your ass beat by satan, each time.

Jesus Himself said plainly that those who wish to come after Me, must deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow Him. Those who try and save what they have in this earthly life–will lose it–those who lose their lives for Jesus’ sake–and that of the Gospel shall save their lives at the end of our lives–and will be rewarded abundantly in heaven. How hard it is for people to give up things for Jesus.
Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life. Why call me good? There is only one good; God. You know the commandments….These I have observed from my youth. Still you lack one thing. Go and sell all of your possessions, give it to the poor and come follow me– you will have treasure.

The guy was sad because he had a lot of earthly possessions. He rejected the call of Jesus. He chose to serve mammon than the riches of being reborn in spirit and truth. He could not accept the truth. He wanted to keep his wealth and follow Jesus–like having his cake and eat it. But Jesus told this man to make a choice. Jesus asks all of us to make a choice–Him or the world system

What happens in the prosperity theology (as well as the Charismatic movement) is, people believe that they will have health, wealth and will be loved and accepted by every body. But as soon as these face sore trials, tribulations and persecutions– they become offended and fall away. Like the devil snatching the (seed) Word away from at once in the parable of the sower. They were promised something else but never bothered to read what Jesus Himself had to say about becoming His follower.

In closing: People before they jump into the latest fad or modernism and new age theology–put it up against the Standard, Gods Holy Word. Examine and test the spirits. Do not be fooled by Osteen. He is a heretic and works for the devil.

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Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Your mention of Joel Osteen caused my head to spin a full 360 degrees around my neck and pea soup to come out of my nose. Blech!

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Martin February 2, 2015 at 5:55 am

Yep. That is the fall of prosperity doctrine. I come from a Catholic upbringing, but went Protestant in my early 20’s. Though not Lutheran, largely Lutheran-ish. A good place, where we studied the pitfalls of various denominations, and tried to steer a course around many of the more obvious errors. I hated the Catholics upon learning of the many evils past and present of the Church. In my middle age, 50’s, I have come to the Zen conclusion that all dogs (denominations) have fleas. The book of Revealation Declares it. At least the Catholics teach Patience, Obedience, and Forbearance, bearing your individual cross. A REALLY funny observation about Catholicism is, it is best for the casual church goer. A mass, with the prayers and the creed is fairly good stuff. (Yes, the Nicean Creed has error. But to tell you the truth, the big error part is so incomprehensible, I never paid attention to it, and therefore never suffered by it. And the more understandable parts are generally good.) Catholicism gets worse as one digs deeper, ironically.

These are the times that try mens’ souls. For me, since 2002. I have been like Rocky Balboa getting the crap knocked out of me. That is going on 13 years for those of you counting. WTF?

Blessings are GOOD things from God. Then why does God say, Blessed are the poor in spirit, Like me. I am really tired of suffering. Oh ye of little faith. Hmph. Jesus said that once. Well listen here Jesus: YOU were sitting at the right hand of the Father when the worlds were formed. I have not seen that. I have not seen God, nor his throne, nor the worlds formed, not even an F ing card trick. So don’t compare YOUR faith in the Father and belittle my little faith. How about a little justice against those who have wronged me. Or, ignoring them, throw some good things MY way.

Atheism: Pfft. Not an option. God is the only game in town. But God Damn it, I sure am tired of getting the shitty kind of blessings. How bout you change it up a little God, and send some NICE blessings for a change.

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sue January 28, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Dear Chloe, great article. Thanks for posting. People’s blogs are the most interesting reading on the net. Take care and God bless.

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Miguel January 27, 2015 at 8:48 am

matt chapter 10 21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22″You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. 23″But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes. Yup ! J. C. Didn’t promise us an easy way of it in this world. We should always encourage in hard time. Micah 7:8
Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.

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a January 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm

It’s hard to find knowledgeable people about this topic,
however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
Thanks
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Tims January 18, 2015 at 7:48 am

I think the problem is with the interpretation of “wonderful” and “plan.” God decided to adopt those who accept they screwed up and turn to him for forgiveness. Being called a child of God sounds like a “wonderful plan” if one insists. But it’s not about health and wealth here and now, it’s about a state of being for eternity.

Concerning the question of evil in the world from a rather abstract standpoint, if God created the world we live in, then the rules that govern its workings are also his creation; basically, by creating the world as it is, he also defined what’s “good” in this world. Then, by giving the possibility to make decisions, he also gave the possibility for disagreement with those rules, thus choosing what isn’t good.

Many argue it’s tyrannical for a creator to decide on moral laws, yet nobody argues against physical laws. I leave it up for debate why this standpoint is or isn’t justifiable.

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robeir January 11, 2015 at 11:27 pm

I wish I would have never had kids…I love them but can’t afford them and am constantly faced to pay child support or go to jail where gays get money wired to them daily and they don’t work…if I never had children I could sit around like everyone else who is on welfare or disability

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UP February 7, 2015 at 5:33 pm

?
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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 9:55 am

It is normal sometimes to believe that you could be better off if you didn’t have kids, but there is something called responsibility. You brought them into this world, and you need to look at what is the right thing to do.
Have you considered getting a second part-time job? You have to look for opportunities for yourself.
I hate to see it when kids have made it in life and the missing in action Dad tries to slip back into the child’s life. It is something to think about.

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robeir January 11, 2015 at 11:18 pm

In jail their getting high watch oz…if that can’t be helped what can…and the child who is taught a wedding ring is better than a neo natal machine…I believed in god I just don’t believe he cares

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MO January 10, 2015 at 9:06 pm

I totally get what you are saying. The truth! I am so angry at all of the teachers/preachers that taught lies to me. And so I was so unprepared for when reality came. The more good deeds I do the worse treatment I get from the world. Wasn’t ready for that. The saying “God is in Control” is nuts! What about all of the children and animals that are starving and abused? That’s lack of control there for sure! So, yes it turned me into a person that does not want to be the friend of a creator that would create a being and force it to say you love him or burn in fire forever? Makes no sense. Not the kind of thing I would worship.

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Keitha March 29, 2015 at 10:03 am

God never promised you that bad things will never happen to you. God is not a respecter of persons. He promised you there will be trials and tribulations. I get exactly what you are saying when you say that the more good deeds you do, the worst treatment you can get. This is a lesson that there is nothing you can do to” please ” God. He has already given his son and you do not need to try to get brownie points., they are already given to his people. Keep in mind that that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose and not your purpose.

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Irena Hristova January 9, 2015 at 5:58 pm

What waste of time to read this! Weird how internet sometimes takes us to see articles we weren’t looking for. I am wondering what make you write one based on your personal opinions? Don’t people usually back up stuff like that with literature? To be posted online?

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tcstix January 9, 2015 at 10:33 am

Great post (well worded) and wow, lots of comments.

Prosperity Theology makes me sick. It drove me away from church for sure. Yes, that can definitely be an idol. People who preach things that align with this will be judged, so that’s not up to us.

We live in a fallen world. Once anyone understands that, everything else makes sense. I know that “stuff” is going to happen (reminds me of a Forrest Gump quote). Does God have control of all that? I don’t know.

I don’t believe that “everything happens for a reason” that is NOT in the Bible and I wish everyone would stop thinking it is. Sometimes stuff just happens. We’re not living in the world we were supposed to (the “wonderful plan”) – that comes later. We have Jesus to help us with whatever comes along and that helps for sure.

-Tony
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Martin February 2, 2015 at 6:11 am

The “everything happens for a reason” is a poor transliteration of “God enters into all things to work HIS good.” When someone does good for you, it is good. WHen someone does bad to you it is bad, though God may enter in and bring about some good at a later time. But, perhaps not in this lifetime.

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Janet January 5, 2015 at 11:07 am

ahhh… friend.
I wonder if you have the gift of prophecy?
Black is black and white is white.
Even our gifts can become skewered by bitterness and sin.
Praying for you.
Much love.
Always in Jesus’ Name.
Amen.

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Reed January 3, 2015 at 8:14 am

Look, even though my God is Jesus Christ, who is the one true God, I don’t rain on other peoples parades, okay? My opinion on religion is this, if you already have a religion that you were raised up in or are very strong about it, and you have a friend that, say, is Muslim. Just leave him/her to their religion in peace! It’s not that hard. And also, I do believe that God has a wonderful plan for everyone, and that’s coming from a 14 year old who is not even half way through his lifespan. God does have a wonderful plan for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be hardships in the way of that wonderful plan. My mom died due to breast cancer a few days before my birthday when I was 13 years old. I thought to myself “God, why are you doing this? Is there something that I have done that was deserving of this?” And the answer was no. Sin is in the world thanks to Satan, the fallen angel. And with sin, there are diseases and cancers and death(to name a few). I wanted to take my own life because of my moms passing. But God said to me, “No.” It has been a year since my mom died now, and I can now truly see that God has an amazing plan for me. In life, there is a happiness that you have as a kid, because you don’t see all the wrong things in the world, and then you have the light at the end of the tunnel happiness, and this is when you have gone through some hardships and you have come out of it strong and satisfied with life. Yes, it may not seem obvious that there is a plan that God has for you at first, But I can tell you that once you have just a taste of what’s in store, you will truly see that He watches out for you. Phew, that was a long rant. Now I’m done.

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Reed January 3, 2015 at 8:18 am

Also, I do agree that there is corruptness in the religion of Christianity. I believe that that is Satan trying to break the religion apart.

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Don April 16, 2015 at 10:38 am

YOU ARE WISE BEYOND YOUR YEARS!

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Christian Father of 4 January 2, 2015 at 3:02 pm

I’m very sorry that you think this is the truth. Jesus has a grand plan for all of us and all you have to do is sit back and let life happen and follow God’s plan. Isn’t it obvious when you look at a sunset, or gaze at the stars? All of this was planned.

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Exausted January 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Any of your children disabled? Mine are. Do you live in pain constantly? I do. You are born, you grow up, you get old, sick and die. If you are lucky you don’t get lit on fire for eternity. Maybe predestination is true. Maybe some of us have to get messed over so others can live the good life. I have seen sunrises and sunsets. Gazed at stars we cannot reach. So what? When you live in misery you don’t CARE! Some of you get the grand ride and some of us are run over by life. But then again, no two things on this planet have the same chance. The AS# that said all men are created equal was an idiot.

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Al January 31, 2015 at 5:39 am

So, Sandy Hook was part of God’s plan? Was it a manifestation of his wondrous love? Funny, ol’ Jehovah never lifts a finger when evil is being perpetrated. Either he can’t, or he won’t, or he’s part of it.

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Really December 20, 2014 at 8:33 am

Especially when many of us single men Don’t have a wife and family.

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Greta December 13, 2014 at 5:20 am

The bible says if you accept Jesus with your whole heart we are forgiven of our sins. This doesn’t mean that we will never sin again. After all God made us to be free thinking and we have the freedom of choice. We will still sin… of course we shouldn’t set out to sin. We are also told we are to “grow” our relationship with God by worshiping and reading the bible and prayer. Through these things we should also know and be confident that God will provide for our needs. The key word here is needs…. not wants. God never said he would fulfill our wildest dreams and wants , he said he would provide. He never said we would never have trails in this life. He said he would hold us close and comfort us through our roughest times. We need only come to him through his son Christ. He wants us to come to him freely.

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Robbie December 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

If God created everything and said it was “good” as stated in Genesis, then who created evil, and who created Satan, as both are not good? If we are created in his image then why do we sin? Why were we born into sin? Why is it in our nature?

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Ryan December 27, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Evil wasn’t created, it’s simply the absence of good. Just like darkness wasn’t created, it’s just the absence of light. God created Satan because He created everything. Satan was at one point an angel in heaven. God gave angels free will, the same as He gave to man. Satan chose pride over submission to God and that’s why he fell. We are born into sin because we are all decendents of Adam and Eve, the first two to sin. Before sin entered the world, Adam and Eve had no children. After sin entered the world, through them, it only makes sense that two sinful people would birth a sinful child. It’s in our nature to sin because of the freedom of choice. We were made in God’s image and His likeness, and God also has a free will and can choose as He pleases. Jesus was tempted in every way we were, yet He chose not to sin.

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Martin February 2, 2015 at 6:30 am

God created Satan. But he wasn’t Satan at first. He was the Morning Star, the Song Leader of Heaven, and Gods’ CROWNING achievement. Greater than Jesus. Until he got lifted up in pride and proclaimed himself as God. He became enamored with himself. A trait I have found a lot with atheists. Also, it is funny, that the smartest among humans do the same, and the poorer and of less understanding recognize God AS God.

I got a theory on why we were made weaker than all of the angels in Heaven. 1/3 of heaven, all the betters of man, followed the Morning Star as God, eschewing the true creator of all things. So, as a poke in the eye to Satan, and that 1/3 of heaven, he made us lesser and said to all, I will have a close and loving relationship with this LOW creation. That, I think, is one reason that there is enmity between Satan and us. How dare you God, reject me and have a relationship with these low vile creatures.

As for why we were made low, one only needs to take into account where we were NATURALLY meant to live: We were meant to live in Gods’ presence. So when we were in Gods’ [presence, we were enlightened by his life force. WHILE we are in Gods’ presence, we would be unlikely to be sinful. Gods’ presence lifts us up. BUT, even if we did sin, we had a protection: Ignorance. Not innocence, as many believe, but ignorance. Since we did not know Gods’ law, we were not held responsible for breaking a rule. But once we ate the apple, gained knowledge, we then could no longer live in Gods’ presence. Sinners may not be in his presence. Then sin grew, because as we no longer had close proximity to God, we were no longer bathed in his power, that lifted us up. And we were not made with the power within ourselves to live without sin. It is like we have a 9volt battery in us. We are alive, but do not have the power to NOT sin. We need 240 volts and 100 amps to be able to live without sin on our own. We simply don’t have the power.

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PETER December 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm

My comment is why don’t we all try to ask why some of us are doing what we want and some of us aren’t? Why someone has a life threatening disease at twelve, but someone who eats bad food lives to 80? Why someone finds somebody to live and others don’t? What God looks like and who’s God favorites is a waste of time, and I wish the believers and none believers work on why some people get everything and some people don’t.

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joe December 7, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Jesus, said you might die for name sake, that don’t sound like blessing’s to me. I am 52 year’s old and destroyed my life, but yet my life is still better than most, do I SAY GOD you did this, no , because I never feel for the name it and claim it gospel .

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Truth November 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Well if he really did, i would’ve had a wife and family instead of being all Alone now. And the holidays sure sucks for me.

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Kev November 20, 2014 at 8:02 am

We all are flawed in this world. I am a Christian and I am just as full of crap as another person walking this earth. Thank God for forgiveness, right? It’s easy to go around the world and dislike the way certain religious people act. It’s our fault. We take God’s word and turn it into something that benefits us in some way. We try to use it against non believers or anyone or thing to make ourselves look righteous. We are full of sin. Jesus didn’t preach or practice this behavior. He preached love, peace, kindness to all. Especially those who hated him. We don’t do such a great job with this part. Jesus said, “whoever finds his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will save it.” I believe this quote goes back to the suffering aspect of being a Christian. We need to give our life away in order to have life. This means living for others and being a vessel for God, and who wouldn’t get along with God, right??? Anyway, I understand what you are saying, and it’s out fault. We sometimes don’t do a good job letting people know who Jesus is. Please forgive us for that. Jesus promises peace and hope on this earth, the wonderful part comes after this life

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cheri February 7, 2015 at 1:22 am

What a waste of life…just waiting to die so you can get to the “wonderful” part!

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Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Kinda, huh? I’m also afraid that this idea that what happens here is of no consequence causes some of us to stick our heads in the sand and miss it all.

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Susan November 19, 2014 at 10:27 am

Wow. I actually understand exactly what you are saying. I thought I had a unique relationship with Him, yet I was living in constant anxiety that things might go wrong and in my mind holding Him accountable without realizing. I could not stop thinking about the fact that the christians are the sickest and poorest bunch I know, so surely it means we are getting it wrong somehow, right?! My best friend is a Hindu and she earns double my salary, have a beautiful family, so there’s nothing that makes Christianity attractive to outsiders which is very confusing in itself. You nailed it, I am worshiping my own Lord with conditions and as an idol. I’m going to rethink my position and stop being so selfish. Thank you for the perspective. Tonight i’m having a real conversation with Yeshua. Appreciated!

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Otis October 30, 2014 at 10:06 am

I have not seen evidence of people turning atheist in droves. In my environment it is quite the opposite. Jesus’ ministry was unto salvation as the ultimate blood sacrifice. He always taught salvation and education of what is truth. Jesus taught that God had a plan for our lives. This plan become clear through the wisdom of the Lord. http://somejesusthings.com/wealth-wisdom/

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Ron October 28, 2014 at 10:22 pm

True story. Well my cousin was very blessed by God to have a love life when many years ago he went to a Church dance with a friend and saw this girl that he wanted to meet so bad, and then he said to his friend that i am going to marry that girl. Well he did, and now they’re starting their 43rd year together with two grown children. And his older son is married with a daughter of his own. The truth is God does bless many men and women to have a love life together, but what i Don’t understand is that why would God forget about us?

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Gordon Harriott October 23, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Can I just say I feel this argument is faulty at two levels.
Firstly, can I say you are correct in that Jesus never used the phrase “God has a wonderful plan for your live.” Also true is the statement about “counting the cost”, or even “Take up your cross” (a torturous mechanism of execution). WE are called to die to self, and we are told in this world we will have opposition.
However – there are balancing statements such as “Come unto me you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” and most importantly “I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance”.
How can BOTH these be true? Lets us examine what I believe is the root problem – what do we mean by “wonderful life”? If you mean – as asserted above – health, wealth and prosperity than I will agree with you wholeheartedly. These is CLEARLY no such promises.
However, for me the wonderful part is about things that are much deeper. I am given the Holy Spirit as a comforter and guide (Note – You don’t need a comforter if you never have any problems or issues ). I have my sins forgiven – and more than that have the righteousness of Christ applied to myself. My Saviour has promised He will never leave me or forsake me. I have been promised a new life welling up within me. I could go on for ages.
I think the promises of Jesus and the life I have with and through Him ARE wonderful – at least they fill ME with wonder.
Let me close that ANYONE who today after reading the bible, suggests to another in times of great trial that the cause is their sin or lack of faith is either being deliberately obtuse or has never understood what is written there. Jobs friend were at least smart enough to sit and grieve with him with their mouth shut for an extended period of time – perhaps we should do the same. When one part of the body hurts – it all suffers.

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Kev November 20, 2014 at 7:30 am

Well said, this life is full of suffering. Life as a Christian is not easy and wonderful. It’s hard, and tough, that’s why they call it a narrow road. We are all in this together, though. In Christ we have strength to get through anything life throws at us. After all, God created this life so why would he put anything here we couldn’t handle. That is the “wonderful” part. Knowing that we are not alone in our suffering. Jesus suffered greater than any man and he did nothing wrong. Suffering is part of being Christians.

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Ryan December 27, 2014 at 11:07 pm

I agree with all of your statements here, but I think what the author was more so getting at is the attitude we portray to our friends in their time of need. I consider myself a pretty devout Christian who reads the bible and has a knowledge and understanding of scripture, yet there are times when I can know subconsciously I am judging someone in the same light as Job’s friends. I would never come out and say something obtuse, but in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “I bet if they were going to church more often” or, “I bet if they joined a bible study or prayed more often, this wouldn’t be happening”. Not that any of those things aren’t good or even needed, I just think some of us can hit our friends with these almost judgmental overtones without necessarily realizing it. I think one of the worst offenders is the, “I’ll pray for you”. I know there are people who say that with a genuine heart, but there are also people who say it with a sense of pity. I think a lot of Christians just don’t recognize how they carry themselves even if that wasn’t their true intention.

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dame coquine October 21, 2014 at 3:51 am

Un monumental гemerciement à l’administrateur de ce ѕіte internet
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M. King October 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm

The churches have not taught us two things:
1. How much God loves us (both saints and sinners)
2. How much the devil hates us (both saints and sinners)
When one learns how to believe in this amazing Love only found in and through Jesus Christ, and stop calling Good (God) evil, and evil (the devil) good, the confusion and fear will go. Understanding, faith, and love will stay.
3. When you know that God loves you, you will also know that He loves the other fellow with the same Love–Himself.

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T October 3, 2014 at 8:43 pm

ok, how I got to your blog is how I get to most places which half hold my interest. I get into these “Why?”‘s moments and usually if I enter into discussion with anyone about my Why’s and God, I walk away with the last word. Having just read the above article about “Jesus not having a plan”, picked my curiosity enough to read some about you and lets just say I like your style.Having said that, you might be the one who finally shuts me up. I am no scholar, or religious expert or nothing, I’m just your 48 year old perimenopausal woman lost in a world of her own confussion and not looking anywhere as good as you look in your picture above.WAY TO DO OVER 40! Now to the unanswerable question for most idiots anyway (including me). I’ve heard it say many, many times that “We are created at the image and likedness of God”, IF! that statement is true, please help me unravel the following:
I, a regular Joe schmoe, created at the image and likeness of the power that runs the universe.ok. Have not proof that God exists or that God does not exist.NONE!. I haven’t had either conscious contact with him, or personal experience, can’t understand his ways if he does exist, BUT! I was created at his image and likeness, so I’m told, but I am also told that with my human brain I can’t possibly start to understand the grandiose works of this supreme being. So he created me at his likeness except he left out the capacity for me to understand his ways.ok. Now onto purpose, the mystics and the religious and the spirituals seek and search and awaken and enlighten themselves after a whole lot of fucking suffering and a TON! of prayers…whose idea was this? A loving father created me, so that I can spend the rest of my human life trying to find him, usually through pain(that’s when most people’s knees hit the floor, lets keep it real). So, that’s the plan? really? lets come from him and spend the whole time here looking for him?, which by the way I’m told I don’t find him because “he is already INSIDE!” “and the reason I can’t make contact is because…are you ready? FREE WILL! The answer to everything when some people run out of reasons why. So, was God bored, perhaps and said : ah! fuck it, I need some entertainment here, so let me create a bunch of losers, put them all together in a tiny globe and let me watch them go at each other, and because of FREE WILL, I will not! interfere, unless they blindly and stupidly believe in me WITHOUT QUESTIONING MY POWER! That sounds to me like a big fucking Egotistical, macho thing to say. So the question is what is the point of the whole thing? to come from him, created by him and die looking for him…to what end? for his entertainment purposes?
Somebody help me here, I seem to not have gotten God’s IQ genes when he created me in his image and likeness.
PS: and you are right Chloe, blogging if not better , it sure is cheaper than therapy.
Whatever you throw my way, I appreciate and thank you in advance
T.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm

T, your comment has been on my mind for days. I have no answers to your questions. They are questions I have, too. Why is it my fault, and the rest of humanity’s, that we’re screwed up? Isn’t that really God’s fault? And why am I created in His Image except for I don’t have any of the useful parts that would help me make sense of the world? What sort of image is that anyway?

Great questions. I have no answers. But I must believe that God is Love. And from that place I must believe that somehow it’ll all work out in the end. That’s no answer, but all I can do is try to do my best and be a good person. I know that matters.

hugs, c

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Ashley October 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Hi Chloe,

How are you? I hope you’re well.

I read the two previous comments (one from T and the other from you) and I thank God for bringing me to your page.

After reading T’s comment, I was a bit apprehensive to scroll down and read your reply because I assumed it would have all these answers drawing from the bible and theological frameworks and doctrines. But it didn’t. Right now, with where I am, your response reflected faith to me more than the former. What I heard in your response was this woman who has questions and confusions about this God who she is desiring to love and worship. Yet in the midst of that storm you still declare your faith. That’s what I heard. And for me your real life wrestle with those questions is a testimony of your worship of God and that lifted a weight off my heart because I’m that woman with questions…some of the same ones. Therefore to see faith even where this doubt…well that comforted me and reminded me that I’m still a Christian (because often I’ll feel I’m not measuring up, or I’m. Ot Christian enough. Excuse my faith is not where I wish it was).

With gratitude and just so much thanks!
Ashley

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Ashley October 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm

To clarify my last sentence (because often I’ll feel I’m not measuring up, or I’m not Christian enough, or because my faith is not where I want it to be God cannot possibly love me and take care of me).

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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Ashley, what a beautiful comment. I think those pat answers begin to fail some of us. I’ve heard them all too. And once the chinks in this wall appear, those pat answers, rather than rebuild our faith, turn on us and cut whatever faith we have left to bits. I’ve seen it happen to others.

Everyone with a thinking brain should have doubts. How could you not? But I think faith is a decision we make despite our doubts. At least it’s s decision I make on a continual basis. I choose to believe that there is a God and, despite good evidence to the contrary, that this God loves us. And the way I can love God back is to be a good person and care about and for other people. That’s all I got.

Thank you for reading and taking the time to write. It meant a lot to me.
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T October 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm

High C
Thank you for not going all Christian on my ass and thank you for not going all selfrighteous on my ass either. Your answer confirms that my take on you was correct and you gave me your truth…what else can I ask for? To know that my great questions have been on your mind with as big and as busy of a life as you have is an honor for me. I do have great questions, what I don’t have is great or even mediocre answers…but I guess I’m a work in progress and I can only hope some day to live in the place of acceptance where you reside.
Big hug,
T

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bob November 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

The problem of suffering and the goodness of God by Ravi Zacharias at Johns Hopkins. This is well worth the watch…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7-gP1gC8gM

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Robbie December 13, 2014 at 5:48 am

I have thought about it more since reading it. I think most people think that as a Christian everything is supposed to be great with no problems in their lives. If there are problems in their lives it must mean that they are not living the way that they should. If we look at the apostles in the Bible who lived a lot better Christian lives than most Christians today and see what they suffered then we will see we have little to complain about. We feel that God has abandoned us yet we are not in a prison cell being beaten for our beliefs as Peter was, we are not banished to an island as John was, not beheaded as John the Baptist was. Being a Christian does not mean everything is going to be easy, when bad things happen it does not mean we are not living right, does not mean we are being punished for anything. It just means we are living life.

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Nancy January 29, 2015 at 10:04 am

When reading the majority of responses, I see confusion. This is so sad to me, we live in a confusing world if God is not the author of confusion it is coming from someone else.
Please bare with me as I explain my believe….We are not and never was intended that when we are born, on vacation! To use military terms(bible uses terms the people could understand). The bible tells us to occupy until he comes this means to take over the local government and establish yours(Gods Kingdom, thy kingdom come thy will be done). Some going to war are wounded,some even killed but they don’t give up until mission accomplished.
There are three reasons listed in the Word why we suffer 1. Because we sin .2. Circumstances such as natural disasters 3. Because we are Christians( greatest honor of all).
We are to die to our fleshly way and live under Gods grace. The sad part is most want everything their way. They don’t even know true meaning of living under grace. Gods grace is this “Gods Devine influence on your heart and its reflection in your life”! We are so busy trying to influence God that we miss his perfect will. Our reward is our salvation through Christ. Salvation is more than just missing Hell and going to Heaven, it’s five fold, saved,healed,deliver,protected and provided for! All listed in the New Covenant.
God tells us that if we lack wisdom(understanding) ask him. We must spend time reading and meditating on his Word. It’s a lie of the Devil that you can’t understand, he even sent his Holy Spirit to teach us and lead us in all truth.
This has given me compassion for the lost, I hate sin( we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God) but I love the sinner!
May God bless !

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Vinz October 1, 2014 at 6:58 am

Interesting and very controversial article! Thanks for sharing

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The Truth September 28, 2014 at 7:50 am

That is for Sure, especially for many of us men right now looking for a Love Life

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Donnie September 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Wow. You are right on! you said “The death of a child. The loss of a home. Financial disaster. The disappointment that comes from a marriage gone bad. A prodigal child. It could be anything big or seemingly small. ” I experienced all of the above. How coincidental is that? And I heard from Christians,” God is really going to use you now buddy.” as if that was always the goal.

I was a Christian for 40 years, in ministry for half of that time, and my faith failed me when I experienced all of the above. But, a close examination (I think) revealed to me that I had faith in the church’s form of god – so yes, it was an idol. I just believed what I was told to believe and bought into the culture big time because that is where I found a sense of relevance and belonging. Here are some of the things I was led to believe:
1. God doesn’t really want or allow questioning. Faith doesn’t ask questions. (sounds like a con to me)
2. God loves you very much, but will torture you for eternity if you don’t love him back.
3. The almighty god created mankind and then threw the dice on who would be saved – but if you die as a child you automatically go to heaven. (better to die as a child then to take the chance that your sins will send you to hell)
4. God answers prayer – well some of them – like 1 out of 1000, maybe, if you are lucky and have a lot of faith. ( I used to pray for 1 hour a day for an entire year. I prayed for protection for my children and for the “blessing of the Lord” but nothing happened – my child died, the other turned to drugs. I got depressed and lost my businesses and then my house because I got into financial problems. Then my wife walked out. Thank you Jesus – feeling really good down here – glad I made you the Lord of my life. How much more of this do I have to take?
5. God wants to have a personal relationship with you. Oh yeah, then where the hell are you big guy. I am sitting her talking to you but don’t hear anything back. Some relationship!

As a result, I am learning to just live with the loss and disappointment – I am not blaming a god who isn’t there anymore – but searching for a god who might be there that I don’t recognize yet.

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Don September 9, 2014 at 6:50 pm

NO GOD DOES NOT COME THROUGH FOR YOU! I AM A FAITHFUL HUSBAND AND HAVE BEEN MARRIED THREE TIME! MY FIRST WIFE LEFT ME FOR ANOTHER MAN AND PUT ME THROUGH HELL CONSTANTLY CHEATING ON ME UNTIL I GOT TIRED OF IT AND MY SECOND WIFE TREATED ME LIKE SHIT AND RIGHT WHEN I WAS GOING TO LEAVE HER SHE GOT CANCER AND I STAYED BY HER SIDE AND TOOK CARE OF HER UNTIL SHE DIED. I HAVE NOW FOUND OUT MY THIRD WIFE HAS BEEN E-MAILING A GUY FOR TWO MONTHS THAT IS TWENTY YEARS YOUNGER AND PROMISED HER THE WORLD UNTIL HE TURNED OUT TO BE A SCAMMER AND TOOK HER FOR 64 THOUSAND DOLLARS AND SHE WAS MAD AT ME FOR TRYING TO STOP IT. I GET YELLED AT FOR TRYING TO HELP HER AND SHE SAID HE IS A NICE GUY! EVEN THE COP COULD NOT UNDERSTAND THAT! I JUST GOT A LETTER FOR HER BECAUSE SHE IS OUT VISITING FRIENDS HAVING FUN AND I AM HOME TAKING CARE OF OUR FOUR DOGS TELLING HER SHE IS GETTING A ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLAR MEDICAL SETTLEMENT. GOD SURE CAME THROUGH FOR HER! YES GOD DOES NOT HAVE A WONDERFUL PLAN FOR ME! EXCUSE ME I NOW HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF MY DYING FATHER NOT TO MENTION WHILE MY WIFE WAS DOING ALL THIS I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL WITH MY BACK SCREWED UP!

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Don September 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I am sorry for the big negative rambling on that I wrote but It is funny when you are angry how if you do not channel that anger right you end up letting it out in a negative way! We all make our ways in life by how we take things and do things and we should all never let another human being affect us in a negative way!

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carolyn rose March 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Some people are not intended for marriage. I was married 4 times and have now been single for over 20 years. I cringe at the thought of marriage. I am in a long term relationship but maintain my personal independence and he does to . He had the same rocky experience I did so he values his own singleness as well. We are both good people but there are many, many men and women out there that just want to use others, specially those who are kind and giving.
Living and growing just as yourself is okay.

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Don April 16, 2015 at 10:42 am

Thank you! You have said it well. After 24 years and many good memories I am amazed at my wife’s indifference to me.
I have been nothing but good to her and yet she points the finger at me for everything wrong! As my friends have said to me
” SHE WILL BE SORRY AND SHE WILL BE BACK ”
I will not be there!

katrina September 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm

well I have read yr comment and GOd does have a plan for u he is real than what created the earth it was not evolution ok I love god he is awesome its not gods fallet it is yrs ok he goes everything to help u its yr sin so u should as for forgiveness and ask him in yr heart

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Jamie November 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Katrina: you literally just re-made the author’s point. Don: I’m sorry you’ve had such hard luck. I struggled with the same feelings that come from seeing seeming inequity in the world. If you want to research this argument from the other side, I would highly recommend CS Lewis’ ‘The Problem of Pain’. It seriously changed my life for the better.
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Amanda September 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18

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Simone Runyan August 31, 2014 at 1:51 am

Interesting point. Jesus did say He came to bring us abundant life, and according to the Psalms, our days were planned out for us before we were born. You’re absolutely right though that people go overboard with these ideas and interpret them to mean that their lives are supposed to always be fulfilling and carefree. I think, for many people, God really does have a wonderful plan though! My father, born dirt poor, failed in the restaurant business but went on to e a successful lawyer without ever even going to college ! You may say that wa all because of his ingenuity and hard work…and I couldn’t prove otherwise if push came to shove, I suppose. But his legal mind and his° desire to help people  came from somewhere, right? Just a thought.

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tom n August 28, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Chloe

Please define Joy
Joy is not happiness, Joy is assurance that God will help you overcome. Happiness on the other hand comes from happenings, you are happy when you win. Therefore, Jesus brings joy, he is not a talisman to ward off bad things, The Devil attacks those who choose to follow Jesus, he wants them to give up on Jesus and follow him in ignorance. Ignorance is death to its holder.

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tom n August 28, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Jesus came to die for our sins and make our spirits alive when we accept him, Suffering is meant to inspire you lean on God for wisdom and grace. Jesus said we would get persecuted for his sake. And if you cant believe Jesus to increase you financially, at least believe he will save you from the hell fires and torments. I beg you to Reconsider the latter. God Bless You.

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Bob August 26, 2014 at 6:31 am

What if the Bible and Christians are right about their beliefs, who will be the loser., Them or the unbeliever?

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Robby August 25, 2014 at 11:32 am

Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting
for your further post thank you once again.
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Christina August 18, 2014 at 5:22 pm

* I meant to grow much more closer to Father in Heaven. I already am close to him. I hope I can grow more in my faith with him.

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Don August 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I have strong faith in God and have always been religious! My wife on the other hand is not very religious and maybe God is telling me to move on! It has to be true considering what is going on with my wife and I! She has become very cold callous and deceitful! We have been together over 23 years and when they say some women are evil they must have meant my wife!

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Christina August 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Now more than ever I find it extremely hard to grow closer to our Father in Heaven as one thing right after another has come and dumped its fecal matter all over us. Us is my husband and I. We both have many health issues and can not make ends meet. It just seems like when something good finally comes along, “BOOM!”, we wind up going backwards again. Perhaps it is a sign that the End of Days are near. I do not know how one can even survive in this ghastly mess of a world. I keep trying to remind myself that is Satan causing this big heap of wrong doings, through evil and manipulated puppets who are those usually in power, who only look out for number one, and only number one. I would be a fool, too if I said to myself that any revelations I had in the past and present were nothing more than poppycock; making me a crazy lady who should be locked up after what I have experienced, such beautiful things that bring peace and promise to the living. Yet like a frightened and helpless child, I find myself weeping and crying out for answers, answers I may never get; for instance: why does God throw us in one direction when nothing good comes of it? I had a notion to go all the way to Los Angeles for a job interview; that led to nothing. Maybe it was to show us that there are other opportunities abroad elsewhere and not in this sad little town we live. Least that was what my heart said; when I looked into it. If someone who is so spiritual as we has these little to major bumps in the road and wonders why, but yet still has the will to live and to live by the word of God; then I truly do wonder what goes on in the mind of non-believers. They must be surely lost and in a very dark place. To have no general idea about it getting better, when we move closer to paradise. They think that this is it, that you die and your body is put into a nice box and you are living with the worms, six feet under. The only thing I say is, really now? I cannot do any better than what I have done for myself, will I ever have anything to show of it? I am nearly 34 for goodness sake! It is the evil that stinks up this world that is solely to blame, and this is so important for us to remember as Catholics, Christians, and Jews: we cannot blame the maker, only the weasel who hides in the shadows and mocks us. The thing is whatever burdens we have now, will be no more in the next life. Jesus suffered plenty, more than we will ever know, (we should always remember this, whenever we play the “woe is me” card) We will not live his fate, however suffer we must in order to be one with him and the Father, and to know that we are not alone in this struggle, not ever. Amen…

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Don August 17, 2014 at 12:51 am

Chloe please help me! Because you are a woman maybe you can give me an idea what is going on with my wife. You can be brutally honest even if you think it is another man involved. The situation is she is going out everyday and sometimes on weekends but only for an hour or two on weekends but 4 hours on week days. She tells me it is a financial thing that she has got caught up in and wished she never did. I checked the cell phone records to see what calls are made but I cannot see the texting. The phone calls are all from her sister or girl friends and other calls have been made to financial institutions. She has made big withdrawls on her credit card and is hiding her credit union account statement from me. When I found out about her credit card with drawls I confronted her and she told me not to worry it is not a scam and even an attorney is involved and everything is documented. When I asked her if there is another man she has reassured me there is no one else and would never commit adultery. She even had a mutual married and trustworthy friend a woman call me to tell me she is not cheating on me. Please if you have any ideas on what might be going on please reply to me. I would not wish this on my worst enemy!

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Chloe Jeffreys August 17, 2014 at 9:33 am

Wow. I have no idea. She could be dealing drugs, gotten in deep with the mob, or preparing to leave you for another man. But since marriage is both a romantic and business arrangement in the United States, and finances are community property and you are equally responsible for her debts, you have every legal and moral right to know what she’s doing with your money.

She could have a burner phone that you don’t know about.

Here’s what I would do. You can buy GPS devices at Best Buy or even Sears. Charge that puppy up, pay the fees, and hide that sucker in her car, and sit in the comfort of you chair and see where the hell she’s going. I’d also order a credit check to see what she’s doing with your money.
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Don August 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Thank you for your reply. We have been fighting like cats and dogs over this issue! I have already seen an attorney about this and have protected myself. She has been pulling out money from Raley’s and Wal-mart. 1270.00 and 1320.00 at a time and sending money through UPS. It matches money she has deposited in her account to the penny including the cost of UPS. She has been doing these withdrawls almost everyday in august. I told her a husband and wife do not keep secrets from each other. Her response is it is a job and it is none of my business! I told her I just got back from my doctors and my blood pressure is going through the roof! Her reply was I DO NOT CARE! This tells me she has already checked out emotionally! What is your opinion? Thank you

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Chloe Jeffreys August 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Don, I think the writing is in the wall. I’m not a betting woman, but if I was my money would be on the high probability that there’s another man. Or maybe a woman. If you want to save this marriage, and after all you’ve told me, God only knows why, you need to know what’s really going on. Hire a private investigator if you don’t want to do it yourself. And get some counseling from someone to help you prepare for your divorce. Take care of you. This bitch does not sound like she’s worth having a stroke over.
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Don August 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Thank you I thought I knew someone after 23 years but I guess not! Sad she cant even be honest with me! I sold my home for her so she could have a home something she has never owned before! I married her so she would have medical insurance what a fool I have been! Thank you you have been a tremendous help!

tom n August 28, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Don, i cant feel your pain but i understand your stress, you should be talking to Jesus. Go to a church and look for a prophet. remember David in the bible, he used to consistently consult prophets for God’s counsel. Stop dealing with life like there is no answer. Crying over spilt milk does your blood pressure no good Don. Go to God, or at least find a prophet of God..DO NOT GO TO FORTUNE TELLERS OR MEDIUMS, they will connect your soul to the devil, IF you receive their services.

Don August 28, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Thanks Chloe for responding to my posts and questions. I think I hang on so hard is because after 23 years you think you know someone. I have been working out a lot lately and looking better then I have in years. I guess I am more confused then anything. She is gone for 3 weeks and I will get the answers from her in to what is going on with all these money dealings and such when she gets back. Just the fact that she wants space from me because of my actions acting insecure is what is bothering me. She has told me there is no one else repeatedly and I asked her why then does she not tell me what is behind all this money dealings? She tells me it is someone’s private business and will tell me when it is over. At this point I do not know if I should pull her cell phone from her when she is asleep or let it go until she gets back from arizona?

Don August 31, 2014 at 2:19 am

I found out my wife has gotten in to DC Fulfillment center a business I am not familiar with. She got a package in the mail from there but I did not open it as she is not here and I respect it is her mail. Yes I am an open honest and loyal man and she seems to take advantage of me because of my personality. She is very angry with me and everything I say to her pisses her off. She took off the other day to house sit for 5 days as she said she needs space because we are around each other 24/7 because we are retired. I was going to go to an appointment and said goodbye to her and then went back in to the house and asked for the costco card to get gas and she yelled at me and said this is what I hate about you! I said forget it and left. Later when I came home and she was gone she left me a note telling me she just needed to get away and thought I should get away also when she gets back. She said she thought it would really be good for both of us. She also told me she was not running from me and just needed a little time for herself. She also said she loves me and has never stopped loving me. She also knows how stressful this whole thing has been on our relationship! ANY IDEAS? THANKS CHLOE

Don September 9, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Yes I did find out my wife was on-line with a man 20 years younger than myself. I told her she needed to be totally honest with me and she was. She has told me she has been in conversation with this guy john james who works on an oil barge and that he loves her and wants her to leave me even going as far as to tell her he would come to my house and tell me she was leaving me. I told her he would NEVER make it out of my house alive I would put my 9mm up his ass and he would be dead! But it turns out it is a scam and she lost 64 thousand dollars and I even doubt this guy exists! She told me she was not going to leave me but needed the attention because she was lonely! I realize if I do not get past this we will get divorced. We never use to fight and now it seems thats all we do! OH WELL LIFE GOES ON!!!!!!!!

Don September 11, 2014 at 4:10 am

CHLOE you hit it on the nail only the guy does not exist! only a scammer that got 64 thousand dollars of hers! I have lost all respect for her! Time for me to move on!

pan September 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

pray and begin to separate your finances and perhaps begin a legal separation not to divorce but for both of you to get individual and couples counselling I am not sure that this is a reason to divorce seems no therapy has happened and too much fighting each other instead of fighting for each other. Also if you do not have a hobby get one you will need something to help you through this stressful time. Blessing to you

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Don September 9, 2014 at 9:49 pm

THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND REPLIES!

katrina September 13, 2014 at 5:42 pm

you are o dome woman ok GOD IS A LIVING GOD U ARE PROBABLY THE DEVIS BEST FRIEND DONT LISTEN TO THIS STUPIED WOMAN SHE IS HIGH ON Drugs

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pan September 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Katrina, could you please stop trying to “help” people and claiming to be a follower of Jesus? You are making us look hateful and we are to be seen as Christians through our LOVE. Try it out, you’ll be happier, become closer to Jesus, and stop hurting his image through your fear.
Blessing to you

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Joao August 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Chloe—-my apologies for posting a comment before reading all that had already been added. Mine was not original. And my sympathies with your thinking and approach grew as I read your gentle and respectful (a la 1 Pet. 3:15) replies to so many. what a gift you have and how nicely you use it!! I’m a bit of a dinosaur re: the computer age—and not much of a blog-follower. but I’ll tune in to yours now & then. I’m sure you’re a helpful addition to some honest seekers’ journeys. Blessings.

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Joao August 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I think the problem isn’t so much in thinking God has a “wonderful plan” as in how we understand that. If it means fairy tale “living happily ever after”” in the here & now, it’s not true. If, however, it means a life of blessing, joy and usefulness in God’s kingdom, I think it’s real. We can have the same problem with everyone’s favorite NT promise, “all things work together for good….”. i.e. we usually take “good” to mean “pleasant” from our oh-so-limited perspective. The context in Rom. 8 make becoming more like Christ the “good”. I think God does have indeed a “wonderful plan”—i.e. to make us more an more able to enjoy a forever with him in a life of perfect love. Busy love. Along the way in this life, there will be “tribulations” and “crosses”. God will still “set joy” before his children.

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Chloe Jeffreys August 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm

I agree with you. The problem is how we define “wonderful” and “good”. Jesus said that following him would cost us. What’s the price? That’s different for every person. I know people who seem to live charmed lives, and I know people who seem to have nothing but struggles and strife. And I haven’t necessarily seen a correlation between these two extremes and the level of faith a person has.

The danger and the damage comes when we make people going through struggles feel badly about their faith. And we do that when we imply that if they simply had more faith the bad things wouldn’t be happening to them, or if they had more faith they wouldn’t be upset about it. Faith has nothing to do with how many struggles we’ll have in this life. The rain falls on everyone, although not equally. There are wonderfully faithful Christians in Iraq fleeing for their lives as I type this response. Is their situation a result of poor faith? No! Their experience is one many, many Christians (and non-Christians!) have experienced throughout history. So when I hear and read Christians in this country saying, “It’s getting so bad, Jesus must be coming soon.” and I look around and don’t see starvation, real persecution, or anything but another strip mall going up, I’m left to wonder if these people ever read the news.

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tom n August 28, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Chloe

Jesus said people will be persecuted for his sake. Check the Bible.

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Don August 29, 2014 at 3:20 am

God is very real! When I lost my 2nd wife to cancer she “went” to heaven and saw a beautiful place and all her pain was gone she felt nothing but love and joy! She was allowed to come back and say goodbye to our young kids and then died the next morning. Her father never had faith before this and that brought him closer to God! Yes even though I have had pain and heartache in life and now what I am going through is yet really painful as I love my wife so very much I feel I am slowly losing her! Maybe the good lord has someone else for me? The lord God is my in my heart and Jesus is my savior! John 3:16!

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charles wallin August 10, 2014 at 8:43 am

I have faith in my Lord Jesus Christ,He is above the mentality given to us and understands you better than you know yourself Chloe.

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Valarie August 10, 2014 at 10:45 am

I agree with you his ways are higher than our ways . I’m also a believer and fallow Jesus Christ .

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angie bold August 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Without suffering and pain, we wont need God, and since onnly God knows the end from the beginning and beginning to the end he already knows our choices and sins. Believe it or not, the Devils system puts many of us in a corner with no good cboices and Many Suffer and instead of hardening their hearts they keep going by the golden rule, and the Devil cant stand that certain afflicted Christians would rather hurt themselves rather than others. It is why many self medicate, We dont go into poty parties and on selfish bingrs. We struggle to keep our sanity because Satanloves to continue to pummel the child of abuse and broken heartedness that Jesus sought out and tjese that took Christ as a child right here in America. And were given a divine appkintment yet never trusted church people with their fake hypocracy. This hard life and satan repeats the rejection. Makes me wonder if i will be a martyr. I am not praising the Lord at the prospect of decapitation. I still cry, i get angry i go full circle to understand, forgive and keep talking to Jesus as much as I can. Tell him all about it, but I dont blame him or God. I know that Jealous Bast__d Satan, he hates those who forgive others and accept Gods forgivness for our sins. Jesus shows me that the condemnation is not from him. It comes from the Devil . And guilt that puts us iin deep depression over smoking cigs or pot. He really kicked in high gear showing whats going on in the world the day i said , ghru tears i dont care what Satann says im gonna keep talking to God and Satan cant stkp me from serving God, because of bad habits, i dont care if i end up in hell he’s mot gonna win. I am not gonna be motivated by fear. I know God loves me cos hes the only one who ever has. Next thing i know i start seeing lots of scary things that i had no problem believing. Knowing how crjel and evil people can be. But i dont let that affsct the GOLDEN RULE. THIS IS WHAT MY ABUSER, WHO ALSO WAS MY SOURCE OFINSPIRATION AND AFFECTION. MY DAD God, imparged wisdom to me thru my Dad who abused me out of femper tantrums and selfishness, het had some sound principals and advice. This whole life is a mystery, just dont SEPARATE YKURSELF FROM GOD. READ THE BIBLE, HOW MANY CHANCES DOES HE GIVE HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL. He still loves them and they know Nesus is Lord but choose the god of this world like all the ENLIGHTENED ONES. Who think fallen angels can be their god, and they dont need a creator that makes them wait for their rewards in heaven. Dont stop talking to God, he will listen to your angriest hurt. He will show you in the spirit who he is and why you are able to love and forgive others, and thats why Jesus talmed about prayer without ceasing. Just do like Jesussaid. God is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Its satans seed that reject God.Not his children, unforgivness keeps someone from truly accepting Christ and never really being saved. Once saved you cant become unsaved unless you renounce him and choose Satan. So quit being angry with God and work it thru to forgiving yourself for blaming him. And that should do the trick

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Chloe Jeffreys August 13, 2014 at 10:23 am

This was a very long comment. You definitely took a great deal of time writing this out, and that deserves some acknowledgement. The ending though? Wowza. You couldn’t have paraphrased one of Job’s friends any better. This is exactly the sort of response I see given to many people who are in a crisis of faith.

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Mbuso August 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I love the post and it makes alot of sense just that its on the extreme side of things. I know that its one extreme addressing another.

The word does say that “All things work out for good for them who love Him and are called according to his purpose”

I think that we should except that fact that if you are a child of God you might not have a great life all the time but Gods will will be achieved in your life.

That’s the great pleasure that we will enjoy, God’s will.

Prosperity Preaching is a bit of a poison but we must also elude to the fact that Jesus does want us to succeed and wants us to have cars, houses and wonderful life but he also wants us to serve him with a serving heart.

Property has a purpose, look at the book of Acts and we will understand why God blesses others more than others

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Sara K August 8, 2014 at 7:42 am

Mbuso, I somewhat agree and disagree with what you’ve written here. Yes, Romans 8:28 does say that God causes “everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes” — but it does not define what “good” means.

Our American/Western definition of “good” is essentially the lack of bad things (such as cancer, job loss, abusive relationships, et al). But what if God used your cancer, for example, to bring other people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ? Then He is using your cancer for good. This could turn into a huge, deep debate, I know — but my point is, God’s view of “good” is not the same as ours.

God’s main desire for us, besides that we love Him with all our heart & soul, is that we would become more and more like Jesus — and let’s be honest here: our character is generally not built stronger during the easy fun times. It’s build during adversity.

You said, “Jesus wants us to succeed” — but I disagree that this means having “cars, houses, and a wonderful life.” It MIGHT (as you indicated, like in the book of Acts) — but it also might NOT. We can still give God glory and have a “wonderful life” without cars or houses. It’s what’s in our heart and how we live out our faith, loving God and loving other people.

I don’t know much about Chloe, but I completely agree with what she wrote in this post!

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Alex August 5, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Chloe,

I just wanted to say that even as an atheist, I appreciate the thoughtfulness put into your post.

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Chloe Jeffreys August 13, 2014 at 10:25 am

Alex, thank you! Your comment made my day. I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment on it.

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Don Dressel July 28, 2014 at 12:52 am

I cannot believe how many non-believers that are out there! I have had my share of heartaches in my life! My first wife left me for another man my second wife was a control freak and made me feel little with her horrible comments about me and I took care of her until she died of cancer. Now my third wife after I have been in the emergency room with my back and dealing with it for the last 10 years and helping take care of my 83 year old dad who is slowly dying of heart disease has told me that she is not happy and does not think she is in love with me anymore. I have always been there for her! Why is this just bad luck on my part? I still believe in God and believe that Jesus is my savior! Our world has become a cesspool with war and gangs and drugs and immoral behavior!

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jonathon August 7, 2014 at 3:58 am

Your trials could be learning experiences that feed into a plan. Hard times don’t mean Jesus isnt there. It means he is by you side helping you through it or watching that you grow while not being overwhelmed. This world honestly doesn’t matter, we just feel consumed by it because it is all we know so far. Even Gods most elect were challenged. From illnesses to losing everything to being asked for them to sacrifice their family. God never promised us the easy road, he promised us he’d be there and a better eternity. Stay strong and walk with God. It will work out.

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Don Dressel August 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Thank you for your great reply! Going through what I am going through I would not wish on my worst enemy! My wife is making my life a hell for me and she knows it. She has told me she is sorry and I told her if she wants to leave I would help her get settled and help her in anyway. Her reply was you would do that for me? I said of course I would because I love her. Maybe I am a fool but I am a humble caring man and I cannot change that. Again thank you I will stay strong and walk with God.

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Derik July 19, 2014 at 5:45 am

God is a delusion of the human brain.

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Chloe Jeffreys July 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Derik, This could be true.

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Don Dressel July 28, 2014 at 12:53 am

yes you will find out when you die and of course you are entitled to your opinion. take care

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Joao August 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

maybe we are too!

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Elle July 16, 2014 at 7:11 am

Yes! Yes! Yes!! Thank you for this post!

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Rebekah Beene July 15, 2014 at 5:55 am

Wow, as I read the headline I just had to read on. I’m so sad that for most people they don’t get into God’s Word for themselves and see what the Lord says about His wonderful plan for our lives. He always causes us to triumph. (2 Cor. 2:14). He has plans for us that give us a future and a hope (Jerem. 29:11). We hear the JOYFUL call to worship (Psalm 89:15). And of course 2 Cor. 2:15. The fact is that GOD HAS A WONDERFUL PLAN for your life. It begins and ends in Christ. Looks like you might have an opportunity to share the Truth about our walk with the Lord to those who are hurting and walking away from God. Christlikeness is the goal and life is the venue where we get to learn how to do just that and it is good!
Rebekah Beene recently posted..See What Great Love We Have from the Lord!My Profile

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Valarie Gailliot June 29, 2014 at 10:32 am

Bad things that happen to believers in Christ , are sometimes from choices we make , see we have free will and when we choose out of the will of God the consequences are painful. This is why the word of God says , my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Now the question is, what knowledge? Answer is , the knowledge of God . He designed a an awesome plan for each one of our life’s and we discover this by receiving Jesus as lord over our lives and developing a relationship with Jesus Christ , kink of king and Lord of lords .

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Doctor Love June 19, 2014 at 8:23 am

Shalom,
I agree with you, and I know the answer to why this is true. The reasoning is spelled out in detail on any of our websites, but to make a long answer short. It is because Jesus is a fictional character invented by the Roman Church to satiate the pagans that they conquered. Jesus was based on the real life of Yahshua, a minister (raboni or teacher of YHVH). In reality Christianity is a pagan religion and is often termed as christopagan. The main goal is to CONTROL the MASSES for personal gain by the church and state.
You could actually say that Jesus is The Anti-Messiah; a.k.a. Anti-christ .
Proof exists on The Sabbatarian Network.

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Valarie August 10, 2014 at 11:11 am

Christianity are people who have made a decision to make Jesus there lord and savior. It is not a pagan religion . The deciples and fallowers of Christ began to do the works of God just as Jesus did , then the Romans took the gospel and turned it to a pagon religion by adding pagon rituals as a form of control. But God is raising up a remnant a people that are sold out , on fire , for Christ that are emerging from the dry , cold formalism of the traditional church. They have a boldness and zeal that is breaking through religious barriers and denominationalism .

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Karin Rapsch June 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Ohhhhh soooo very true! Jesus didn’t promise us a life of all sunshine and lollipops down here, but He did give us the hope of eternal life with Him in heaven! He said “my kingdom is NOT if this world”. We are living on the earth where there is everywhere the evidence of the effects of the curse of sin on the human race. This life ain’t heaven… The next life is. That’s not to negate that Jesus also said “my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives give I unto you”. Aaaah the blessing of having his peace and love on our sometimes rough journey through this life…He also said “be of good cheer…I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” Chloe… You have made a very good point my dear sister!

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liz777 June 17, 2014 at 1:55 am

Hi, your article’s title caught my attention and l had to respond. The perverse prosperity gospel and its messengers, according to Paul in Galatians 1:6-12, are to be ACCURSED!!! The ONLY gospel is in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Period. The church in America is in deplorable condition. Sin is tolerated and swept under the rug. The needy are treated like they’re irresponsible drug or gambling or shopping addicts who “deserve” the misery they are going through. I had one deacon actually tell me that the church sometimes doesnt help people cause they dont want to get in God’s way of dealing with that person. Wow! How far the church has fallen!!!! I’ve had my share of sorrows, health problems, very ill child (we are at Mayo clinic now trying to save her life.) And through all this the lack of compassion of so-called Christians has driven me to hatred. But then God reminds me of truth in His Word and l pray to forgive them. I know God is good and l rest in that knowledge. I believe now more than any other time in history we have so many fake Christians trying to “do” the Christian life without Christ! They cant minister compassion because they dont have the Holy Spirit guiding them. You made some EXCELLENT points. Thank you for starting this much needed discussion.

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Hannah June 3, 2014 at 8:23 am

What destroys my faith is scientific advances with neurology. Have you any advice?

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Chloe Jeffreys June 4, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Hannah, thank you for commenting and asking such a difficult question. I have decided to believe anyway. Is that a cop-out? Or is that faith? I don’t know. But the Chloe who believes in God is happier than the Chloe who doesn’t. I choose happy.

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Rebecca June 21, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Hi, I wanted more from you with this question. It is my exact issue. I always had a deep belief/faith/knowing. As I become more aware of the scientific truth and the hate written in the Bible it is harder and harder to believe in a zombie with magic abilities. I want to my life is less without the faith I feel the empty and fear the outcome. Thanks for your observations.
Lost inside my mind not my soul,
Rebecca

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Brooke August 8, 2014 at 7:43 am

Believing in God because He makes us happy is the same as believing in God because He makes our life wonderful. God isn’t a happy pill or a make your life wonderful pill.

When I study the human body, specifically neurology, I see God. I don’t believe in a God outside of science. I see God in science. I see that God created the human brain and it wasn’t just some convenient evolution. Wow! Now we can think, how great. I’m glad the pond scum that evolved into an ameba has such a grand plan that includes intelligent thought. No way! I see that a brain so complex, so intricate has to be designed by a master craftsman. Science demonstrates a grand design and the study of science doesn’t glorify man, it glorifies God.

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Joao August 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I’d like more on this too—i’ve heard similar remarks from friends. Wonderful, intelligent and sensitive friends. But i’m puzzled—-i guess the “god” they no longer accept is the ‘god of the gaps’ we need to fill in the blanks of things we limited mortals can’t grasp. And every new leap of knowledge shrinks the gaps. But for my money, recent (wonderful!) discoveries in the outer universe or the marvelous inner universe (neurology) just magnify my sense of wonder. To me it takes ever increasing faith to believe it’s all just random. But i hope you’ll add more—and I’m sorry I added so much. The host of this thread is so wonderfully succinct. ; )

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Chloe Jeffreys August 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Never apologize for leaving such thoughtful comments, Joao. I appreciate them more than you know. Thank you for taking the time to “hear” me out.

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Christine June 2, 2014 at 4:34 am

The is one of the most realistic points of views I’ve read in forever. I am a believer in Christ but I don’t believe that you start receiving a bunch of riches and such once you start following Christ. I long to get married, and in my mid 30’s not a prospect on sight. My Christian friends are always telling me not to worry that God has someone for me because I’ve been obedient. Says who? Maybe that’s not in Gods plan for me. And I am obedient for other reasons not because I would like a husband. And that way of thinking is not good. I believe that that the main reason is to save our souls, to bridge the gap that was once there between us and God so that we may have eternal life with Him after.

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Nellie April 2, 2014 at 7:39 am

In a nutshell Jesus does have a good plan for your life. But what is a plan? A plan is nothing more than what to do in any given circumstances.

At my age here is what I want to tell young people:

I cant predict what will happen to you. It may be smooth sailing or many rough things. You will not know why until you finally die and go to heaven. But this I do know: You should not dare attempt or waste one damn second to find out why something happened you did not cause or go through life without believing God and leaning on him and getting off your ass to fix all you can and help yourself and then help others. Leaning on him does not necessarily mean you feel great or get what is going on. But something better will occur. You have to realize you only have two choices on earth. Most people believe you have many. You only have two. Believe God or satan. There is no such thing as maybe, unfortunately. You are a spiritual being and have to accept it. I have lived through wars, remember reading the headlines about the most heinous murders and had a sister die at age 42 in my arms. STUFF HAPPENS BUT I WILL NOT MAKE BITTERNESS MY GOD. God is always moving, shit happens and at some point you get comfort or you die and get to be with him. That is just the way it is. With satan shit happens, you might get comfort just enough to make you believe God is a jerk and then you die and live in misery forever.

Its a choice. God is not Santa Claus. But he does promise a perfect end. The other guy, satan promises nothing in the end. And he will do whatever it takes to get your off track.

I hate growing old, and the thought of dying. I have to be old for 30, 40 years. Ick. But I know it is temporary. The day is coming when I get to be young again FOREVER and get the answers I want.

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Larry March 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Great insights! God does have a wonderful plan for us but not always the way we might imagine using only human wisdom. The plan is for us to be changed and to live eternally with Him and enjoy His presence as we wait.
The “prosperity” gospel is based solely on the lusts of the flesh – what we think would be “wonderful.” Thankfully God doesn’t answer every misguided whim that we “claim.”

What we think we “need” changes as we grow in God!

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Mary September February 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Those heels – on that bridge – girlfriend, you’re looking to break your leg! (and get a slew more of Job’s friends visiting you in the hospital!)

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Neal January 16, 2014 at 6:51 am

Neal January 16, 2014 at 6:50 am

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Chloe I hope to meet you one day in Heaven and give you a hug. I so love this post. It’s is the bacon on my samich.

I get so tired of someone taking a historical narrative and applying it to a life principle. IF we would just be honest and tell new converts that life WILL likely get worse, but our reward is in heaven. Thank you for giving me hope in other “brothers” that understand this.

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Clay January 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. God does have a plan to bless us in this life. However, shortly after this passage, the Israelites (in exile and eventually enslaved) fall into all sorts of trouble–sword, pestilence, genocide, you name it.

I think we need to be careful how we communicate what constitutes “wonderful,” because as you pointed out, we Americans have a very specific, probably erroneous idea of what that is. I think we imagine “wonderful” as getting every desire of our heart fulfilled, but as Jeremiah again reminds us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (17:9). God, in the Old AND New Testament, promises freedom, joy and life. Yes, there is a cost, and there will be trials. But, let’s not make too little of God’s promises just because we or others have made much more of them than God himself in the past.

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Neal January 16, 2014 at 6:50 am

Chloe I hope to meet you one day in Heaven and give you a hug. I so love this post. It’s is the bacon on my samich.

I get so tired of someone taking a historical narrative and applying it to a life principle. IF we would just be honest and tell new converts that life WILL likely get worse, but our reward is in heaven. Thank you for giving me hope in other “brothers” that understand this.

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Racheal January 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Thank you for you Chloe for being real!! JESUS said the peace He gives isn’t of the world… He said that we will have trial and tribulations… He said to deny ourselves and carry the cross!! He is our peace and joy! He is our refuge and strength!! He is our all in all! Those who love the things of the world don’t have the love of the father!! Just because folks seem to have it all together financially or whatever doesn’t mean it’s the blessings of GOD pouring over them.. As if they have a perfect life.. Better to eat herbs then a table full of meat and a household filled with strife… Psalm 37 and Psalm 73 are speaking truth just as the rest of the WORD of GOD Almighty!!! We must die to self.. Trust in the LORD NO MATTER WHAT!! Those who overcome shall be saved… He IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE!! Only through JESUS, (believing in His death, burial, and resurrection…) can we get to the Father! The precious Blood of the only Begotten Son of GOD washes away our sins!! That should be what truly brings freedom from expecting “happiness” in this corrupt world! We deserved hell! Yet CHRIST, being sinless DIED FOR US!!!! Paul preached CHRIST crucified! Not some mumbo jumbo psychological emotionalism!! It’s FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS!! What He did!! Who He is on our behalf!!!! GLORY TO GOD!!! Let’s not be deceived for the last days they preach what itching ears want to hear and many will walk away from the faith!! Do not be deceived from another gospel! The simplicity in CHRIST and having childlike faith in Him and His Finished Work alone!!! CHRIST said it is FINISHED!!! He wasn’t lying!!! God Bless all the children of GOD WHO DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER!!!

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charlotte November 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm

You fundamentiltiy don’t understand christian doctrine, and you are looking for a way to turn your back on it anyways rather than look at the true doctrine of Christ. So if you want to turn your back that’s fine those anwsers are always easy to find. P.S. Job is part of the old testament before Christ, so while Job is a good allegorical story it is not the christian faith because it precedes Christ. But, christians who know what they believe actually draw closer to Christ during times of suffering. So are you looking for your faith or just more fuel to move away from it?

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William November 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

I’m a Christian and I believe you have something-we as Christians are used to hearing about this wonderful plan that Jesus has and as a caregiver for my wife who has Alzheimer’s I have seriously wondered about this wonderful plan UNTIL I read and read and re-read a book titled “In the Shadow of the Cross” by Glenn Penner. It talks about original intent of the Scriptures, they were written for guidance and for encouragement, and hope for the persecution that the new Church would be enduring-in reading this I too have come to the conclusion that the life of the Christian is one of selfless sacrifice-we have been purchased with a price-JESUS’ death-if HIS life was an example and we think that we are supposed to be happy and wealthy and healthy and all the rest then we haven’t come to realize who JESUS is or was. But the good life IS sacrificing our wants and desires for HIS-that is what we signed up for when we asked JESUS to take over our lives!! Momentary light affliction of this world will absolutely pale in comparison to what we have waiting for us in Heaven. I could go on and on. I think you have offered a very valid complaint about the Western version of Christianity.

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Chloe Jeffreys November 8, 2013 at 9:56 am

Thank you, William. I am sorry about your wife. I cannot imagine how heart-breaking it is to watch your beloved wife suffer, but your suffering has to be so much harder. One of the most fun things my husband and I do is reminisce about our lives together. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have that taken away from me. It would be like having our memories erased in front of my eyes.

As I said in the article, I still believe in God, but I resent having God and the suffering of so many reduced to a few cliches that sound good, but encourage and reassure no one. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

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William November 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm

The thing that got me started to doubt the business about GOD and HIS plan for my life started when I heard a sermon from a Pastor who was debunking the same type of thinking concerning one’s career-GOD does not really care what you do as long as you are doing for HIM and are in partnership with HIM in the Great Commission of spreading the Gospel. The more I have thought about that the more I have come to believe that it is true. We simply need to be GOD’s representative wherever we are. And thank you for the kind words.

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Don September 13, 2014 at 7:26 pm

William I am so sorry about your wife. I took care of my 2nd wife until she died of cancer in 89. It was a tough road and now going through another hard time! I will say a prayer for you and your wife! Take care Don

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David S October 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

i love the cartoon. i think you may be missing part of the story. i can only speak for myself, but to all outward appearances it would look like i follow your pattern: tragedy, the occasional job friend (though thats a bit of a stretch), then atheism

but in reality, atheism had been creeping in unseen for nearly a decade. i didnt want to admit it, and i played a game with myself of “how little can i believe and still honestly call myself a christian?” and i kept up appearances of looking as christian as anyone else.

the tragedy merely gave me permission to question openly. to doubt loudly and in front of others. and finally to just say the words out loud: i dont believe in a god, and i probably havent for quite some time. because honestly, when a child dies, who cares what your friends and family think anymore?

i wonder how many of your friends were keeping this inner doubt from you and themselves longer than you knew?

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Chloe Jeffreys November 8, 2013 at 10:06 am

David, thank you for your thoughtful and honest comment. I suspect that many were already struggling with the simplicity of a modern Christian theology that denies the reality of suffering, or when it does acknowledge it, blames the victim.

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Lynn July 20, 2013 at 6:58 am

Hahaha Christians…
Always reinventing their religion and changing the rules…

Gotta love it!
xx

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kathryn May 29, 2013 at 7:46 am

i agree jesus didnt say he had a wonderful plan
church people did
great article !!!

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Chloe Jeffreys June 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Thanks! I appreciate it. I think it is possible to say that Jesus’ plan is wonderful as long as you include things like martyrdom and rejection in the list. But if people want to define wonderful by financial success or ease then they don’t know the Bible very well.

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natan October 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Healing, prosperity, and deliverance are not found in any other books but in the Bible. Failing to believe these promises would be denying the Bible. The Bible is full of scriptures that promise health, prosperity, and deliverance. Don’t go by experience, go by faith. Just because every one does not get healed does not mean that healing is not ours. If you go by experience, then you have to doubt your salvation too, because it says that he who believes in Him does not sin. If you can believe this portion of scripture, even though you have not experience it fully, then why are you doubting the word that says, they shall Kay hands on the sick, and they shall be made well?

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Chloe Jeffreys November 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

Dear Natan,

I’m going to guess that English is not your first language. Otherwise your comment doesn’t make much sense. The Bible does not promise health or prosperity to Christians. Such promises were made to certain Jews IF, and ONLY IF they are obedient. But by the time of Jesus, God apparently had finally realized that human beings are incapable of obedience. God had to come up with another way, and had to finally acknowledge that all of the righteousness and obedience in the world do not a healthy and wealthy life make.

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CJ January 8, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I have to disagree with this. Perhaps Jesus did not say, word for word, “I have a wonderful plan for your life”. But, even in Scripture, Jesus makes it clear that he has a true plan for our lives. Take Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold of a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs on your head are counted. So do not be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.” I especially like that last line: basically Jesus saying “Fear not, I care for you.” And also, most everyone has heard of the parable of the lost sheep. What’s do we get out of that? Its the fact that God cares for each one of us and has a plan. No one is left behind. While we may not see what is going on in our lives as “wonderful”, its important to remember that “wonderful” is a worldly tag we put on things, the true goodness and meaning of what happens to us is in the musterion, the mystery of our faith. It takes faith and trust in God, but if we are willing to put it forth and believe that where he leads us is right, and “wonderful” in his eyes, then we will receive our due reward in heaven.
To establish our destiny, our final destination, which is most certainly heaven, is the very reason Christ humbled himself – he is God – in the form of a man on earth. If that’s not evidence that he cares for each one of us in full, then I don’t know what is. I understand others may not agree, but in my 14 short years of live is has been made clear to me that no matter what happens, good or bad, according to God’s plan it will benefit the greater good and further his will on earth and in heaven.

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Janet May 26, 2013 at 12:57 am

When I asked Jesus into my life I went to a quiet place to sleep, and I heard Him say “I love you and have a plan for your life”.
Thats enough for me whatever the plan x

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Chloe Jeffreys June 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Hey Janet, I’m glad you are happy. That makes me happy.

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Brant April 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

Interesting Title, it caught my attention. I can agree that we often present the American Dream and just sprinkle a little “Jesus” on it, as if He will secure our own plans. You especially hit on something that concerns me too, in that Prosperity teaching often builds an expectation that one can attain to a place of “zero negative occurrences” if enough faith is present. I have a hard time seeing that kind of approach from Jesus or the early Church.
Brant recently posted..Why are you facing difficulty?My Profile

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Deana February 5, 2013 at 11:45 am

Right on! We have had to deal with people who just “know” that if we’d only been more spiritual, if I hadn’t let Andrew associate with public school kids (and even worse..foster kids!), if I had kept him sheltered, and if I hadn’t had my nose pierced, well then God wouldn’t have taken him in the crash.

Bull hockey. Every journal entry my son made ended with some form of, “Here am I God, use me as you will, I’m your servant” If he had the chance to make the choice, if God had said to him, “Son, in one hour you will have a choice to make. You can get in the back of this truck and go home to be with me soon after. 24 + people will come to know me through your death. You can get in the front of the truck and go home to be with your parents and your life will go on and those same people MIGHT come to know me before they die.” He would have ran and jumped in the back of that truck.

So yeah, I miss him terribly but I’m incredibly proud of who he was and the impact he made.

And I still believe God has a plan for my life. I don’t always believe I’ll like the plan though.

Thank you Chloe.

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Chloe Jeffreys February 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Deana, I am still so very sorry about the loss of your son. Of all the things that have ever happened to anyone I know, his death was, and remains, one of the most tragic. It most certainly cannot be classified as a “wonderful” plan on this side of heaven, and it would be insulting for anyone to suggest that you should be anything but crushed by it. I am so sorry that it happened at all. I wish I understood why the good that came from it couldn’t have happened without his loss.

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Angel January 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm

MY TRUE STORY OF MY ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
I confessed {ROMANS 10:9)” That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Je’sus, and shalt believe in thine heart that GOD hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”. I gave my life to JESUS at the tender age of 14, and about two weeks later this is what happened to me. On one morning in late 1986, I was getting up and I was on my way to use the restroom and saw that everybody was sound asleep. Right across my room was the restroom, and as I begin to walk toward the restroom, I heard the spirit of GOD say to me, “Look in your hand”. I began to say back to the spirit of GOD, “Why would I look in my hand?” Then the spirit of GOD spoke for the second time, “I said look in your hand”. By now I am still talking back to the spirit of GOD and looking up at the ceiling because I didn’t know what was going on. I was only 14 years old when this happened to me, so as you can imagine, I was frightened. So for the third and final time the spirit of GOD’s voice got louder and louder! HE said to me, “I said to look in your hand!!!” This time I looked at my right hand and I saw what looked like a puddle of blood, but here’s the thing: it was not bleeding. (EXODUS 3:2-3) “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.3. And Mo’ses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”Then, right in the center of my right hand I noticed that GOD had put a beautiful cross there!
By now I had gone to my mother’s room and knocked as hard as I could on her door and when she opened the door and saw my hand, the only thing she was saying was Oh my God! Oh my God! We did not know what to do, so we just decided to pick up the phone book and call up some of our local pastor’s to tell them what had happened to me. My mother and I came across a particular pastor in Newnan, Georgia, and we decided to call him. My mother started to tell this pastor about all that had happened to me, and this is what the pastor told my mom: “Tell your daughter to show as many people as she can. The pastor also told my mother that GOD had ‘Marked your daughter’. It was so amazing and so touching that GOD had chosen me to put a cross in my right hand, and yes this is a true story! I just Love spending time every day in GOD’s Word and prayer, drawing closer to GOD with each passing day, (PSALM 141:2) “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” JESUS CHRIST is my passion!! I just Love Him with every little heart beat and with every breath and with every step I take every day, I’m always over joyed when witnessing to others and sharing the Love of CHRIST! JESUS has worked so many miracles in my life, one of the miracle is that I was a still born baby and JESUS raised me back to life again to do His will here on earth, GOD has a plan for us all {JEREMIAH 29:11} “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Another miracle that JESUS did in my life was in 1993 my husband and I lost our first child but I believed with all my heart that by faith JESUS was going to bless my husband and I with more children [HEBREWS 11:1}” Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.} So, in 1994 GOD blessed us to have a baby boy! And then in 1995 GOD blessed us to have a baby girl! This is just to name a few of the many miracles that JESUS has done in my life! {ROMANS 5:8} “But GOD commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, CHRIST died for us.” JESUS gave us His all and I want to give Him my all, HIS sacrifice shows how deep His Love is for us, and when I think about just how deeply HE Loves us tears just fall from my eyes. I am so happy that one day I will see Him and live with Him forever!
God Bless You!

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Carrie December 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

Chloe,

Who doesn’t at one time or another question their faith no matter what that faith is? I know I questioned (and still do) my beliefs all the time but have faith in a core belief. For me that is God and Christ but with the knowledge that there is a difference between religion which is man made and Christianity which is Christ made. In my quest for answers and opinions, I came across a phenomenal book titled ” the Language of God” written by the scientist and head of the Humane Genome Project under President Clinton. He was a devote ( if you can use that word!), atheist who thought he could scientifically disprove the existence of God. Amazingly the more he tried the more he found himself doing the exact opposite. It is an amazing book and one that at times, due to his brilliance, something I have to go back and retread to digest his explanations. There are many wonderful ideas and thoughts out there but I suppose the end result still ends up in the word itself, faith, that gets you through your own journey.

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Jamie@southmainmuse September 8, 2012 at 3:08 am

Chloe, my troubles drive me to God not away from him. I must be a pretty weak person, but whenever I’ve had a crisis — like one recently– where I can’t sleep and feel things are beyond my control, if I didn’t have God to turn things over to, I’d be certifiable. I can’t imagine life on this earth without that support.

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Chloe September 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I think God and I need couples’ counseling, Jamie.

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Andrew Scott Bear December 15, 2013 at 8:32 am

Love this comment. Thank you, Jamie. Many years ago, when I was a pastor, I visited a shut-in named Marie. I remember her especially because at the end of every visit, she would always say, “Pastor, I just don’t know how anyone who doesn’t know Jesus can handle life with all its pain.” She was an aged and aging widow, and I assumed (in my inexperienced youth) that she was referring to the many losses that come during life. It was not until she died, and I was officiating her funeral, when I saw that as Marie lay in the casket, her hands were gnarled and clutching each other. I had never noticed this during my shut-in visits. I asked the funeral director why her hands weren’t arranged more delicately. His reply was that Marie’s hands were so wracked with arthritis, he was not able to uncurl them. He said he could only imagine the severity and intensity of chronic pain she felt every day of her later life. And so I, too, can not fathom how anyone without Jesus can endure this fallen world even for 70 or so years.

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Debi July 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Excellent post. I believe it’s like the Parable of the Sower. Some get choked with the worries, cares and stresses of life and fall away. Thank goodness for fertile soil.

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loveseat sleeper June 7, 2012 at 1:45 am

hey
Jesus does NOT have a wonderful plan for your life.
Something worth reading! I would like to thank you for your discuss. I like your writing so much!
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bedroom first July 14, 2012 at 3:19 am

Hi
Jesus does NOT have a wonderful plan for your life.
I searched a bunch of sites and this was the best. The articles are truly excellent!
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Donal May 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me. ” – Matthew 16:24

Jesus plainly said that being his follower would be difficult. But what blessings a Christian can enjoy! – a clean conscience; everlasting life; and of course, friendship with Jesus and with his father, Jehovah.

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Myers18Kelsey March 16, 2012 at 9:29 am

All people deserve very good life and loans or just short term loan would make it better. Because people’s freedom bases on money.

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Mary Ann Smith January 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Spot on. Maybe your best post yet.

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melyssa January 13, 2012 at 8:05 am

I LOVE telling my husband that “Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life” just because I love seeing him break out in trembling and start shouting about bad theology. It’s right up there with “A God shaped hole in everyone’s heart…” He really loves that one too (not). “Come as you are” is also a great one especially if you mutter under your breath “…and leave the same way.” Lately his favorite to roll his eyes to is the song “Someone worth dying for,” which I will be blogging about soon! Ahhh, bad theology; it’s the stuff of legends.

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Jim January 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

I discovered your blog for an entirely oddball reason: a google search for a picture of the Tick (and your husband is correct. He is the greatest superhero ever). On a whim I just started reading your bio entry and found myself following links. These are some great thoughts on the messy realities of living in the real world. Thanks!

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Chloe Jeffreys January 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Hey Jim, glad you found me. Life is messy. Sometimes it’s really messy. Stay tuned for when I write soon on just how freaking messy it can be.

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jenfromfaraway December 4, 2011 at 8:12 am

I do not know where to begin! (this post, the depression posts, the birthing posts, the SL forums posts….I may only get to this one, tonight.)
I found you through Andrea’s fb (chicken soup post….that’s me:). Am so glad I did. This post speaks particularly to me, as I am….well, like you in my belief. D’oh!
One book that helped me verbalize my thoughts was “Decision Making and the Will of God” by Freisen. Also, in ‘Simply Christian’ and ‘Surprised by Hope’ by N.T. Wright talks about how the modern western church has so skewed what heaven is/will be and how that affects our lives now.
I always feel very out of place in our church (among other places). I know people *mean* well but God did not ‘will’, plan or cause my miscarriages or my husband’s job loss several years ago or (fill in the blank). Those difficulties are part of a broken world, but He did not cause them. They served to strengthened and refine my faith and I hope my responses to those trials honored Him. When I reflect His character in my own trials, He is glorified. He doesn’t *need* to cause the trials to glorify Himself.
Thanks for your words and this blog!!

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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

I’m glad you did, too.

I will look into those books. I’m hoping to get a Kindle for Christmas which should make my book reading a lot easier.

I also don’t think God causes these problems in our lives. I think most of the time people say stuff like this to comfort themselves.

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Bella November 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Thanks, Chloe. Well said.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:58 am

Thank you, Bella. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

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GretchenJoanna November 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

God’s wonderful plan for us is that, having been made in the image of God, we should be changed into His likeness. And to be like Jesus…didn’t He say something about taking up a cross to follow Him? Look at how our Lord’s wonder-full, divine, and only-blessed life was lived, with no place to lay his head. He suffered persecutions, mockings, human loneliness and finally, crucifixion. That is God’s plan for us, too: that we would suffer with Him even while we look forward to glory. And by His grace, we can count it all joy.
Thank you for this good reminder!
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

We all need a reminder that our job is to help carry the yokes of others, not make their burdens worse by piling out own fears and judgments on them as they struggle.

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Dave Eaton November 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I find that many Christians feel God’s providence is connected with success and the satisfaction of desire, rather than following a suffering Christ into a fallen world. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe a re-apprection for God’s sharing our suffering rather than overcoming it, is a more biblical perspective.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:58 am

Dave, I’ve always had tremendous respect for Orthodox Christianity. I don’t live anywhere close to an Orthodox Church or I would definitely check that out. I think for now I’m just unfit for any church though.

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Jack@TheJackB November 22, 2011 at 12:07 am

FWIW, many of my friends and I have this discussion except we bat for the other team. I suspect that this is the kind of issue that strikes people of any faith.
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:56 am

Jack, you’re a Satanist?!?! You had me fooled. Okay, I’m joking.

Dogmatic faith that hurts others is not limited to Christianity. That’s for sure.

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Maegan November 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Chloe – this was an awesome post!
When I feel myself getting all, “Why is God doing this to me?” Or “Where is Jesus when you need Him?” I remind myself:
It’s not what is God doing for me, it’s what am *I* doing for *GOD*.

In no way did he promise life would be EASY. He did not promise no illness, no strife, no trauma, no heartache.
When you’re on the bottom, the only place you have to look, is up.
And? We live in a fallen world where bad things just happen sometimes.

Great post!
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:51 am

I think that suffering is two-fold.

1. How we cope with suffering ourselves. When coping with out own suffering we use the things that comfort us the most. Thinking that God has a plan for our lives is very comforting to some people. Remembering that it isn’t about what God is doing for us is comforting for some people. (Well, most people probably feel better when they get out of themselves and do something for someone else).

2. How we cope with the suffering of others. Remembering that the things I use to comfort myself could feel like a cold slap in the face to someone else would be a good thing to remember. The worst part of any crisis I’ve had is when I’ve felt like other Christians then tried to make the problem ALSO about my faith.

Then I don’t just have the first problem, now I also have a faith problem?

I’ve never found this comforting in the midst of the pain.

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Magnolia November 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Look, sorry about the lack of coherency in my last comment. Too much red wine. Oy.
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Magnolia November 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I’ve never been your normal churchy Christian, so I’ve never had this identity crisis. I asked the same questions before I ever became a Christian and decided that orthodox, denominational Christianity was not for me.

It still isn’t.

I believe things about God, Jesus Christ and the bible that sets the hair on fire of most Christians I know.

Like, I don’t and never embraced the trinity. And I sleep well at night with this non-belief. :) I don’t believe people go to heaven when they die.

Oh, I could go on.

I’m just glad I never embraced church and denominational religion. Because I’ve never had an identity crisis.

But, I firmly believe in the bible as truth. I just actually read it and think about it. I think that simple fact alone separates me from 99 out of 100 Christians.
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:48 am

You made perfect sense to me, Mags.

If there is a God, then there is a God. Our beliefs about that God don’t have anything to do with His reality.

I stand by my statement in this post that I think for some of us our “belief” itself becomes our God. That’s a dangerous place to be.

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Tim Wheeler November 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Define “wonder”.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:45 am

won·der   [wuhn-der]
verb (used without object)
1. to think or speculate curiously: to wonder about the origin of the solar system.
2. to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel (often followed by at ): He wondered at her composure in such a crisis.
3. to doubt: I wonder if she’ll really get here.

Does that help?

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Aimee November 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Well-written and provocative post, Chloe. 😉 I’ve mentally thrown around this whole idea of Jesus having a specific plan or not for individuals for a long time and frankly, I don’t see much evidence for the former idea in scripture or in my own 25 years of knowing Him. I mean, certain people were used to do specific things on occasion in the Bible but for the most part, people were just encouraged to live honorably and with gratitude. I think that’s the “plan” even though we often fail horribly at that. Oh, how I need God’s grace…
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:42 am

I am also not really seeing how there can be a cohesive plan for us that could include free will. In fact, I don’t understand any of that at all.

If God planned for me to marry some guy, but I never went to the library where I would have met him then does God keep trying to put the guy in my path, or does he make a new plan, or did God know I was never going to go to the library in the first place AND that was part of His plan?

This is the stuff that makes my head hurt.

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Ms. M November 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

Three years ago, I was diagnosed (at one doctor’s appointment) with both scleroderma and FSH Muscular Dystrophy. Look them up, they’re serious and unrelated. How did I respond? I laughed, as Sara laughed. God had given me two gifts unto my salvation. Did I turn from him? No, I embraced my diagnosis, and I drew closer to Him through prayer. Afterall, I have the holy ones, the people ‘not-of-this-world,’ the A-gios, the saints’ lives to draw upon. This is something the Western Christian lacks, the heroic examples of those who suffered deprivation, torture, and death cheerfully for Christ’s sake unto their salvation. Their triumphant journeys make my suffering look small, and insignificant.

Then, I started praying as I never had before. One night, as I prayed, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Peace visited me and I ‘knew’ I would be fine. I am in remission from scleroderma. I am joyously managing my physical deterioration. I fill other’s lives with smiles, I visit the sick, I contribute whenever and whereever I can to charitable works I can no longer physically assist. I am fortunate. I may never ‘work’ again, but I do give to others.

To every life some misfortune comes. Our askesis or exercise of our faith is in how we continue in love, and charity toward others. There is always someone in poorer spirit, physical health, or financial straits than you are. God is amazing, and will provide, as he does for the birds, but in measure to how we respond as faithful Christians. It’s not about the house, the car and the vacation; its about the second coat, the drink of water, sharing our last crumb with another. It’s about the joy we share with others, not the bitterness we allow ourselves to wallow in.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:39 am

Your testimony of how you handled crises upon crises is amazing.

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Anastasia Theodoridis November 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

When I linked to this post on my blog, someone left a comment I thought was right on, and very important. She observed that Jesus IS the wonderful plan God has for our lives. And it’s true, isn’t it? The destiny of the Christian is to be “conformed to the image of the Son.”
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:39 am

Thanks for linking me. I am trying to catch up today on my comments and blog reading. I’ll be heading over to see your post today soon.

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Leanne Ware November 21, 2011 at 5:27 am

On target? NO, it is a bullseye! I plan on passing this along and reading your blog. For now it is time for work.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:38 am

Thank you, Leanne.

I hope that this post will help us all treat each other just a bit better. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I do appreciate it so much.

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uneeka jay (@powermommy) November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

This is a great post. I too am sadden by so many turning their hearts away from the faith. I think it is important to understand that bad things can and will happen, but God’s love lasts forever. It has been in my darkest hours that I have leaned on God the most. I understand that He DOES in fact have a plan for my life and that ALL things work together for my good. That is where faith comes in. Most find faith easy when things are going well. But holding on to it when hell is breaking loose is important.
Additionally, I think Christians need to share their faith more opposed to selling Christ as a Pollyanna response to life. Bad things can and will happen. We have to love people through them.
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

I hope that I can become a Christian that can help carry other people’s burdens rather than pelt rocks at them when they stumble and fall. I know many Christians who do this very well. Sadly, I know just as many or more who really suck at it.

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Bridget November 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Prosperity churches worship a shallow God. Really, he’s more of a attention grabbing celebrity than a God. Pray to me and worship me and I’ll give you money.

They should change the word “prosperity to “prostitution”.

But, this post begs the question: why do you believe in/have a relationship with/pray to Jesus?

Especially if it’s cold comfort during the dark times?

I have a relationship with God and I don’t believe that he’s here to make my life hunky-dory.

But, I do feel, like in the hard times, that it’s helpful to have someone with whom to talk things through, or conversely to yell at.

What’s your reason for your relationship?
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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I’m the type that when I’m in a dark time I’d like God to fix my problems instead of sitting around holding my hand and telling me how much He understands my pain.

Why do I have this relationship with Him anyway? Hmmmm. I think that’s the exact question many of my friends have asked this year.

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@adelas November 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm

This here is why I started following you on twitter. I need to hear this stuff. Thanks.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

Hey, Adelas, Thanks for the follow!

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Megan November 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I lost my faith when after a year of “giving my life to Jesus” my mom was murdered in front of my eyes. *I know you probably know by now cause I’m constantly posting crap about it on the internetz, but here we go again* Before it happened I used to literally carry my bible in my purse to college and read it during my breaks.. I was THAT into it. So after the murder, I was PISSED OFF at God. I would think things like “how could you do this to me when I believed in you? Why did you let this happen to me? .. God must not be real if he lets this sort of thing happen!” I don’t know when, but somewhere along the line I was taught/under the impression that accepting Jesus and giving your life to God means no tragedy can occur. Then, the murderer was treated better than my family & I, and almost got off on “Insanity”.. even furthered my belief that God was not real. It wasn’t until this year that I was able to get past these feelings. I was baptized a few months ago and happy to be a believer again, stronger than ever. I still get confused during sermons when they say “God knows every detail about your life.. every single hair on your head. All your days are already written…” I still get kind of mad because I think “oh really? God planned on my mom being murdered at 37?” Someone once said something helpful to me on the topic. She said “There are so many people starving to death in the world when there is more than enough food for EVERY ONE, and people say “How does God let this happen?”.. it’s not God letting it happen, it’s people letting it happen.” I also agree with you that Christians are the first to “kill off their weak” , it’s terrible. Some of the things I See going on or hear about make me ashamed to call myself a christian. No wonder we have such a bad rep! I want to scream from a roof top “No, really, I know God! He is loving, gentle, understanding..not what all these people make it seem!” Ok, starting to ramble.. Thanks for posting this, as always, a great read and makes you think.
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

Oh my gosh, Megan. I am so sorry for your loss and for the horror of your mother’s murder that you had to witness. That must have been beyond terrible. I can’t even imagine.

I think you earned a season of anger at God. I have had periods where I didn’t want to believe in God because it was just too painful to do so. So I stopped.

Just as you’ve said, much of the tragedy in this world is caused by human selfishness. There is enough food to feed everyone, but the food is distributed unfairly.

We have the means to make the world a much better place for many, but we don’t do it.

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Terry November 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Chole – great post! I’ve often wondered how much of the Word people have actually read if/when they have the impression that our faith in God and a relationship with Christ is a ticket to no heartache, incredible success and no direct impact from the chaos we live in? Only in the West (and specifically in the US) does this conversation even take place. The numbers alone would tell us that the mass majority of Christians live in parts of the world where there is no hope for the incredible opportunities of “success” that are experienced here. That their daily lives are filled with the things that most of us could not endure for the shortest period of time. The prosperity gospel has done more harm to the people of the church in America than any scandal I can think of. It also does a disservice in that it keeps the focus of our faith on us… when in fact it has everything to do with others. As for how we sometimes treat other believers and even non-believers who are experiencing challenges or blowback in their lives; “Christianity would be great if not for the Christians” is a theme that too often rings true. Thanks for bringing it up!

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

This is what stuns me. Most people, most Christians do not live in America and do not have the benefits and comforts we enjoy here. Our mistake has been to think that because we have wealth that must mean that God loves us more or protects us more from the slings and arrows of life.

I think that when one of our own falls down, it brings much anxiety into us because the truth is that none of us can extend our own life by even a moment. We are not in any control.

Tragedies and sorrows that befall others are a deep reminding of our powerlessness, and a reminding that none of us likes very much.

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sophie November 20, 2011 at 9:15 am

I agree with most of what was said, but I have to disagree that Jesus doesn’t have a wonderful plan for your life. Jesus does have a wonderful plan for your life, but the objective is not materialism and physical comfort and warm fuzzies. The path to get to where you are going is not always going to be easy. You get to be tested, tried, molded, sifted… Matthew, Peter, and Paul all wrote about rejoicing in suffering, trials, persecution, etc. Why? Because they knew there was something greater, they knew it was perfecting them. I’m sure if someone asked them if Jesus had a wonderful plan for them, they would think so. It’s all a matter of perspective!

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

So true, Sophie.

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Tabitha November 20, 2011 at 7:25 am

I think the Jesus does have a wonderful plan for my life, but I also think it is wonderful from His perspective. From my perspective it has been totally crappy many, many times for extended periods. But I believe, with Julian of Norwich, then when I get to heaven I will look back with God’s eyes and be able to say that all was well done.

But that is heaven and I am well aware that what comforts me is not what comforts everyone, so in difficult times I tend to think a hug, a meal, a silent prayer and a tissue are more use than anything else. And allowing people to say that life sucks etc etc without being told to pull their socks up and believe harder.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

Thank you, Tabitha. It is important to remember that what comforts me is not what might comfort someone else.

I think a good friend is a friend who can listen to our fears and doubts without making it about them. That’s a good friend, and a rare one.

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Anastasia Theodoridis November 20, 2011 at 4:02 am

Thank you!

I really am wondering whether atheism might not be a step FORWARD from the kind of “faith” you describe.

Well done.
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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 5:35 am

I think that atheism can be part of a walk towards God for some people.

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Jamie November 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I love this post.

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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 5:35 am

Thanks for stopping by and taking your time to read it and comment.

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stephanie anderson November 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Thank you. Thank you for writing this post. As one who found faith in high school, went on to ministry and teaching others, and now feels completely lost and wanting to jump ship after several experiences in my life (including but not limited to hard times financially, jack-ass christians and abuse of power in the church), this was really good to read. and actually restores hope.

Thank you for saying what I needed to hear and what I could not voice!
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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 5:41 am

I think there is still is hope, Stephanie.

Now that I’ve seen so many people go from believer to atheist, I’m trying to put some pieces of the puzzle together looking for common themes. As the Body we ought to be seriously looking within ourselves to see what our role is when so many of our fellow believers are amputating themselves off.

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Shorty November 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Well said. I agree, there is too much of this attitude. We need to fellowship with believers who help us stay focused on truths like these; who help with our walk. Much of the Christian fellowship I see is more like a faith contes’ or blessing brag- I don’t know, but I left the whole “Church is my life” thing behind- church is my CHURCH, where I go for refreshment, not where I live…. anyway….

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Shorty November 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Ack- that was ‘faith contest’…

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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 5:50 am

Maybe we’ve come to expect too much from The Church in the way that we’ve come to expect too much from husbands and wives. People cannot fulfill our needs 100% of the time. They just can’t. They will always let us down.

But for those of us left, maybe it is time to take a hard look at our roll, if we have one, in this mass exodus we’re seeing. Do we have a part to play? And if so, what is it?

If anyone is interested in why young people leave the Church, check out this article from Barna.org: Five Myths About Young Adult Church Dropout

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Amy November 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

One of the thoughts I’ve had lately is…. if my faith requires me to mostly fellowship with like-minded people and read the writings of like-minded people and stay in the Word every day, what kind of faith is that? If being around not-like-minded people leads me to challenge what I’ve held dear, does that make the people or the faith wrong?
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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 5:51 am

I have this thought too. If my faith needs a constant cast to hold it together then it really is likely a very fragile faith.

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Andrea November 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm

I’ve had some pretty crappy things happen to me this past year or two. And I am tired of it. But I do believe that God ultimately has plans for a hope and future for me. But I think it’s an eternal hope and future…not necessarily a comfortable, happy life here right now. I will tell you, I think before I speak now. And often I don’t have the words to say. And at that point I’d rather shut up than say, “It will all be okay.” Because sometimes it’s not okay and won’t be this side of heaven.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

If there is a God (and I believe there is) and there is a heaven then our hope is in heaven. The mistake we fat and happy Americans have made is thinking that God means for our heaven to be here in the things we have and the things we consume.

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Kelly November 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Good post!!

A slight disagreement though. I don’t think it is possible to make Jesus an idol but it is possible make the “wonderful plan” an idol.
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Chloe November 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

That’s a good clarification, Kelly. I didn’t say that people make Jesus into an idol, but rather that people make their own belief in Jesus their idol.

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Lore November 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Excellent post, Chloe.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

Hey Lore! Nice to see you.

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Pamela November 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Great post.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:10 am

Thank you, Pamela. I like seeing you around. It always makes me smile.

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Little Women November 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I was thinking about this last night, based on a friend’s blog post. (She’s been through what seems like the book of Job, and she posted all the things people said to her, during those times.) It seems to me that the “you must have done something, to make these things happen” comes from the same basic question of “if God is good, why do bad things happen?” It’s really hard to let Him be in charge, when things don’t go the way we think they should.

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Chloe November 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Since these sorts of questions are as old as Job, I think they go to our fundamental misunderstanding of God. (Although, frankly I’m not sure that God does that great of a job making Himself understood all the time.)

And we can be sure it is a complete misunderstanding since we’ve got God’s strong, and very negative, response to Job’s friends.

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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 5:54 am

I would love to read her post, if you have a link and she’d be willing to share.

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Cheri Rogers November 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Hey Chloe,

I still believe that Jeremiah 29:11 is true… the He does know that plans that He has for me, plans to prosper me and not harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future.

I don’t think that “prosper” means finances.

I also still believe that *all* things work together for good for those who love God; and have been called according to His purpose.

I think the key is that He knows the plans… not that we get to decide the plan, or that the plan will even will even happen. It’s that He knows the plan…. and the plan is good.

Good does not mean easy. Good does not mean fun. Good – is simply good.

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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 5:53 am

There are things I tell myself when my faith is shaky about God’s goodness and His love that comfort me. But it would appear that these things aren’t a comfort to others in their time of need. I do know this mass exodus has made me sad though and I’m seeking to understand it.

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Brady Granstaff March 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I don’t mean to rude but you are using that verse entirely out of context, read all of Jeremiah 29 and you’ll see what I mean. God was talking to Isrealites out of bondage.

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Graceheart July 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Exactly, Brady; that verse has been entirely misinterpreted and misappropriated to apply to current-day Christians’ personal lives.

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SewWhat? November 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I never thought of things this way, thankx! If I thought Jesus were going to save me from tough times I’d probably be an athiest too. Looking at things from this point of view will help me in discussions in the future.

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Chloe November 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

If this post helps believers treat other believers better then my goal has been achieved! Thanks.

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Susan in the Boonies November 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Depends on how you define “wonderful”, doesn’t it?

(What an odd time to summon up the image of Bill Clinton…)

If I am predominately focused on my own happiness, or comfort, and I believe that Christianity is my means to help me achieve those goals, (and – bonus! – it will also protect me and mine from all harm) then, odds are good that that kind of faith is going to let me down.

But do I believe that as a child of God, that there is a plan for my life? Well, yes, I do, in that I believe there are good works that God has prepared in advance for me/each of us to do. And they may have nothing to do with my own personal happiness or comfort: but they may, nonetheless, cause my life to be a “wonder-filled” thing.
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Chloe November 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Tere are two parts of this “wonderful plan for your life” thing that are dangerous for believers.

First, is how this plays into our own faith, but also how this plays into how we feel about, and then subsequently treat, the struggles of others.

When someone is struggling, or in pain, or has had catastrophe strike them, how heavily invested is our faith in them maintaining the same faith as us for US to feel okay?

We risk being one of Job’s Friends when our own anxiety and insecurities cloud our ability to see the pain of others.

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Leanne Ware November 21, 2011 at 5:40 am

Chloe, I agree. I am a Christian counselor, and so many of the folks that come in need a place away from their Christian support groups to have a real reaction to the circumstances of their life.

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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:10 am

Leanne, thank you for stopping by and confirming what I’ve seen and felt myself.

I somehow feel that we are all so deep-down frightened for our own faith that when someone else’s is shaken, it is us that can’t handle it. We want others to be okay so that our faith will be okay. That’s not right.

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Elizabeth / Liza Lee November 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

Gosh, I love you, Chloe. I think you nailed it.

While there wasn’t a single huge event that caused my ex-husband lose his faith, there were dozens of events both large and small that kept making him question it. He had done pretty much anything you can do to earn God’s favor (teach Sunday school, give away lots of money, act “nice”) but he didn’t feel like he was living out that “wonderful plan” that Jesus is supposed to give His followers. So, my ex emotionally gave up on God while trying to still appear to be a believer. Because he has a reputation as a fine, upstanding Christian Businessman to uphold, ya’ know.

Jesus never promised a happy, easy life. Instead what Jesus REALLY said was: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Ouch.
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

Having seen several devout believers walk completely away from faith altogether, I have to wonder what the connection is there?

What do we do when God lets us so completely down? That’s hard enough, but then what happens to our faith when the other believers start pelting rocks at us?

The social ramifications of admitting that we no longer believe are tremendous, especially in certain communities. It really is too bad because I think a season of unbelief doesn’t mean that a person will never return to a belief in God. But I don’t think anybody is helped by living a dishonest life.

Jesus said that it was truth that would set us free.

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Maddie Kertay November 19, 2011 at 11:16 am

Bravo my dear.. wonderful post and SO very on the mark. When our son died to many in our extended homeschooling community this was because we were not Christian, and HAD we been this would not have happened. Again when one of our older son’s took us on Mr. Toads Wild drug-included ride with him, it was because we did not “know Jesus”.. ( For the record I am a very big fan of the historical Jesus, but not so much for the way his fan club acts most of the time).. But now that things are going to hell-in-a-handbasket for these folks who once denounced us they are falling apart in every direction, including their faith.. it is very hard to watch ( the homeschooling world for as big as it has gotten is still a very small social world at times).. can’t wait for the comments to roll in.

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Chloe November 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm

When a Christian’s faith is dependent on their life turning out perfectly, they are a slippery slope.

This isn’t to say that my friends who have walked away from their faith based their life on this perfection.

Today’s post is entirely about US, the people who still believe and how we treat those who are struggling.

I got to to thinking about this after posting my Twilight threads and reading your husband’s post on resiliency.

I can hear people in my head (who I know…I’m not talking about the “voices”…that’s an entirely different post. heh) not being very happy that I gave Edward the credit for pulling me out of depression instead of God.

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Maddie Kertay November 20, 2011 at 7:20 am

Edward/God, who’s to say.. those words, that book were the right thing for you at the right time. When Gabe died I clung to a very tiny phrase, an idea from a story of Siddhartha ( the man who would come to be known as the Buddha- for those a bit loose on their knowledge of other religions).. In quick form the story deals with a cup of ceremonial tea that is dropped and the cup is shattered, the tea sinks into the earth. .. Yes, the cup (the body) is gone, but the tea (the soul) is not gone, it has just moved on to another location outside the cup. I resonate with this idea and it held me and still holds me steady when the pain of my loss threatens to be more than I can bare. Tea, cup, Edward, Twilight, God, each other, it is all part of the web of existence and I am happy enough with that.

Maddie
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

That’s a beautiful way to look at it, Maddie.

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Miss Elaineous November 19, 2011 at 11:13 am

I love this part of Psalm 23 and have used it often when talking to people going through really hard times. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

God NEVER promised an easy, happy, prosperity everything rainbow life. But he did promise to be there when things got hard. We forget so easily forget that this world is not our home.

Thanks for posting Chloe – well said.
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Chloe November 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Thanks for sharing this great Psalm of comfort. It feels like very cold comfort indeed when I’m in the darkness of the shadow and I know God could change my circumstances if He wanted to, but He doesn’t.

This has caused me to seriously rethink how I praise God when my life is going well. Any good that has happened in my life has been serendipitous and is not a credit to my goodness or my great faith.

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Linda November 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

Well said! I would have turned away a long time ago if I based my faith on everything being hunky dory!
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Chloe November 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

Yeah, that’s just silliness, isn’t it? Life isn’t honky dory. I don’t know why we act so surprised when it isn’t.

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Chloe Jeffreys September 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

You are fucking kidding me, Don? She was being swindled? Well, I can’t say I’m too sad for her. She sounds like she’s made her bed. I hope you choose to let her lie in it. Alone. Go find yourself happiness elsewhere. I think she has none to give. Good luck!

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don September 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm

yes she got scammed by this nigerian scam for 64 thousand dollars but it was all her money and I had gone to an attorney to protect myself. The police are involved investigating it. I was in special ops in the 70’s so I am familiar with how these Nigerians work! Times have changed and it is a different world now so I know these scammers are quite slick! She thought she was texting with a 40 year old buffed guy named John James and using an attorney named Adam Witkover which is a real attorney but they were using his name. I uncovered a lot of information and she had opened a gmail account to deal with all the transactions. I hacked in to the account and found 100’s of messages. She finally admitted to me that they were sexual in nature. So be told in truth she was having a emotional affair with a scammer who was telling her he loved her and promised her the world but took her for 64 thousand dollars! I pulled the picture up of him and how scammers use these pictures to lure women like her for money! Pretty unbelievable huh?!

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Don September 22, 2014 at 7:26 am

Although I am going through a real hard time in my life caused by my immature wife I have not abandoned my faith in God and have found a new church and new friends and possibly a new love but I will not go for until I get divorced if I do! REMEMBER JOHN 3:16!

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April December 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Don it sounds like you seek revenge and justification more than Jesus or anything else. I understand this person hurt you and that sucks, and if u choose to leave her that is your decision. I also know that there are two sides to every story. But as a Christian when we are persecuted or faced against the adversary it is our job to teach unbelievers how to love each other despite the mistakes we make. This woman needs help. Sometimes God puts us in situations to see if our actions match what we speak. If you are a Christian there is NO way you can love God without loving his creations. Yes good and bad. We sometimes forget that the ONLY reason we are here is to work our way back into heaven. When Satan wanted to call the shots, that is what really caused seperation from God. If u don’t believe in Jesus believe your surroundings. There is ORDER everywhere in everything and it all serves a purpose. Whenever we don’t have order in our lives, it is not a good thing. Alot of people claim to love God, but won’t do, say, live, or represent him at all cost. And THAT IS OK! He knew we couldn’t do it, that is why he sent his only son free of sin and evil to die for us. He sent an example of what love is and you have to believe he loves us too if you believe in him… can u believe that?! You should because it is the truth. God is not a man, therefore he means what he says ALL THE TIME. Even if it contradicts itself, that is how God works. Everything works to glorify God good and bad. Everything is going to go according to his plan, and his plan is for his creations to live forever HAPPILY together giving him praise, love, glory, and honor for eternity and not trying to take his place!…only if u want to. Lol That is what i LOVE about God. It can be 10 different things happening at once but the truth and light will ALWAYS shine through if you let it.

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Truth January 5, 2015 at 5:58 am

Well there are many of us Good men out there looking for a Good woman to settle down with, which doesn’t seem to happen for us. And i believe that God is certainly to Blame for this since he gave so many others to be Blessed with a Wife And Family that many of us Don’t have.

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McKenzie May 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm

We all have a very real enemy; that is the devil. As you have heard, the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. When our lives are on the right path toward strengthening our relationship with God and bringing others to know and love Him, it makes the devil very mad. That is when the devil tempts us and does things to try and draw us further from God. When bad things happen in our lives it is a chance to trust God for help. Although, if your heart is truly right with God, you should always trust him in good situations and bad ones. Bad situations are an attempt from the devil to put us down and draw us from God (as seen with your friends), where we get our strength. However, if our hearts are not right with God then how can we expect to get strength from Him? Things sometimes seem better when we get away from God because the devil does not have to try so hard to alter our lives, but things only get worse when we lose our faith. Also, to many people rely on the people in their church fully, rather than putting there trust fully in God. Although our church family is supposed to be our support, we are their for God, not the people. Humans are imperfect, all of us. Even Christians! That is why God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our iniquities. We can only do our best to serve God righteously, ask for forgiveness as soon as we mess up, and continue to try and better ourselves with help from God. He loves you and He is waiting eagerly for you to accept Him. If you need one, I can be a non-judgmental friend who will do my best to help steer you in the right direction or just be a listening ear if you ever need one!

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TheRealTruthIs July 8, 2015 at 7:24 am

Well with so many women today that are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, very spoiled, and greedy, certainly has a lot to do with it as to why there are many of us good single men out there looking for a good woman to settle down with since many women nowadays expect the best and won’t settle for less. And we really Can’t blame Jesus for that since the women of today have certainly Changed over the years.

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