I Found It*

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Photo Credit: By Cafe Press

I acknowledge faith is one of those topics to avoid when attending dinner parties, hunting expeditions, or PTA meetings, but I figured if I disguised it in a blog you might not notice. 

I could be wrong. 

I usually am. 

Faith is one of those words that people have grown weary of these days and I don’t blame them. We swim in the same waters as evangelists, extremists, terrorists, and politicians. They give most things a bad vibe. But today, I want to give the word a hall pass, free from all those stale attachments, and overbearing relationships. 

Let’s toss this coin in the air, see where it lands, who knows we could get lucky.

Here are some indisputable facts. I’ve never lived a single day without my sibling, my faith, or my thumb which pacified me until I went to college. I had companionship, a belief system, and knew how to self-soothe (a highly underrated skill). Ask my dentist, he called me a dental disaster and extorted thousands of dollars from Larry to put things straight. But I digress.

These are my truths and it is not possible to understand the significance of these foundational influences on my life. Firstborns might have their faith, and opposable thumbs, but they had the undivided attention of their parents for at least nine months and that is a game-changer. 

My husband is a firstborn along with my daughter Julie, both born in April, both interestingly similar. Strong, resilient, generous, confident ~ natural-born leaders, team players, and loyal. They’re also annoying (some call it persistent), bossy, and stubborn as hell.

Jesus was a firstborn, probably born in the spring, and just as stubborn.

Today is Palm Sunday in the Christian tradition, it’s also Cora and Sienna’s (my twin granddaughters) fifth birthday, but as a twin, you don’t even get time alone in the womb. It would have been sort of interesting if Jesus were a twin.

I have to say Father, Sons, and Holy Spirits sound more like a liquor distributor than a blessing. 


When the twins were born my faith did a cartwheel. Identical twins are as rare as white peacocks and jeweled squid. It took our collective energy just to keep them alive.

Today they are five and miraculously they live across the street. It was a combination of generosity, good timing, and preparation.

I apologize for the labyrinth you had to go through to get to the main point but here it is.

Preparation is key.

Let’s dissect the word preparation as if it were a frog. I want to look at the heart of the word, and see if it has a liver or a good set of lungs. 

Did you know that scripture refers to faith as a form of preparation? That’s the heart of the word. 

Being prepared means staying alert, holding tight to your convictions, and not getting caught in the web of modern society because life can turn on a dime and you need to be ready. 

Ready for what you might ask?

To resist the allure of materialism for one, the ease with which we slip into self-centeredness (my daughter Kelley says I live there), along with a plethora of idols and addictions that only serve to numb our frustrations, heighten our fears, and damage our livers. 

I get it. 

I am it. 

I found it. 

Do you remember those bumper stickers? Back in the day, it meant the bearer of said sticker had been saved by “it” a secret code for Jesus. Why they plastered them on the bumpers of every other car in America is still a mystery to me.

But I think there’s a deeper message embedded in this campaign. We’re born with an innate inward longing, always in search of something that can satisfy our thirsty souls, and quench our desires.

It’s why people pray, meditate, paint, sculpt, sing, or have sex. 

We’re trying to capture “it.”

It’s why I write.

What I want today is completely different from what I wanted when I was five and prayed for a fluffy skirt on my Easter dress. Now I just want more time, time to watch the grandkids grow up, and hang out with the people I love. Fame, fortune, and the corporate ladder hold no appeal (Okay, less appeal).

I want deep and abiding relationships based on shared values, mutual respect, and kindness ~ no fluff. 

We don’t have to have the same perspective on sexuality, religion, finance, or politics but we have to care enough about each other to listen and respect our differences. 

How boring would it be if we were all the same?

I don’t need unnecessary drama, meaningless conflict, or passive-aggressive types in my life who only want to gossip, demean, or behave rudely.  

Love is kind. If it’s not, it’s something else says, Bob Goff. 

Today is the beginning of Holy Week, the most sacred week of the entire liturgical year for those who practice Christianity. It walks us through the last week of Jesus’ life on Earth. From the scriptures, you get the distinct impression that Jesus knew exactly what he was doing as he entered into his final days and he did so willingly sticking stubbornly to his convictions.

It all starts with Palm Sunday, as the fickle crowd cheers Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The following day Jesus cleanses the temple, turning over tables, causing a rukus, which stresses out the authorities who are trying to keep some sort of order over the thousands of Jews coming into town to celebrate Passover. 

Remember in his day there were no cheap motels or Mcdonald’s. It was one big tent city with no sanitation. Oh, like San Francisco is today. Couldn’t resist, but you get the picture. 

Jesus travels around with his disciples stressing the importance of faith but when he predicts his own death his disciples freak out. They would prefer a living savior but Jesus promises to send an advocate when he is gone. The Holy Spirit. Not the same but it’s something. 

Then there is an unexpected plot twist. He hosts a traditional seder meal on Passover announcing that he will be betrayed by one of his own. Isn’t that always the case? After prayers in the garden of Gethsemane where it is rumored he sweat actual blood, Jesus is identified by Judas with a kiss, arrested, convicted, and crucified. He is placed in a tomb and a few days later some women discover his body he is missing. 

According to scriptural redactions, Jesus is resurrected into heaven and reunited with all that is good and holy. Can I get an alleluia? 

This is the pinnacle of the Christian faith. He is risen, and in and through his resurrection, we are granted new life. The fancy dresses, bunnies, and egg hunts are temporal additions.

The deal is we’re free from the burdens of our own sins and our path to eternal life has been firmly established, but of course, it’s conditional 

Everything is.

It’s based on your faith. Your preparedness for the unexpected, the unseen, the unknown.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” 

Let’s use a hammock as an example. It might look sturdy but you will not know if it is strong enough to hold you until you climb in and allow the material to cradle you. Same with God, you have to crawl in with all your burdens and rest in the unwavering knowledge She is strong enough to hold all of you, even the messy parts. 

I’m a secular Catholic. 

My faith has aged, it has wrinkles, and my interest in the organized aspects of the tradition have waned. The biblical stories are still foundational, like siblings, and opposable thumbs, but I’m mindful of the fallacies of men, especially ones who are empowered, and exclusive.

Keep in mind Jesus was a radical, a revolutionary, someone who rebelled against the religious elitist who sanctioned rules that were hypocritical, divisionary, and did not bring people closer to God.

He declares in Mark 7:15, “it’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”

Oh, how I love that.

He and his entourage were being harrassed for failing to wash their hands before meals, healing on the Sabbath, and hanging out with loose women. Oh my! Jesus abolishes the idea of trying to please God through religion especially when religious rules get in the way of mercy, compassion, and justice. 

Jesus is accused in Matthew 11:19 of being a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors, and sinners. 

The same could be said of me. 

When I was young I accepted what I was told about God but l was naive to the repercussions of blind faith. What does it mean to say yes to God but no to exclusionary attitudes about race, gender, and sexuality? What does it mean to be fruitful and yet use birth control? What does it mean to choose faith over form, rote memorization, and fish on Friday? What does mandatory participation mean to an introvert who prefers the sanctuary of home?

As Pope Francis says, “who am I to judge.” 

I agree. 

At some point, I decided instead of challenging the teachings on controversial topics like the virgin birth, miraculous healings, and resurrection, I would take a new approach. Thresh out the grain from the straw if you will. What is free will but the ability to recognize the difference between good and evil? Maybe the crucifixion was humanity’s inability to distinguish between the two and God was simply resurrecting the mess we made? Mary’s yes to God required something humanly impossible and a virgin giving birth to the son of God is certainly revelatory.

I admit the grain of truth is not always easy to find. 

I had to look within myself, figure out what was right for me, and since I didn’t want a dozen kids, I choose to utilize my reproductive rights. I also choose to understand the scriptures from a more parabolic perspective, the ancient writers of Holy Scripture were masters at the use of metaphorical language. Jesus spoke in parables, using the art of storytelling to extol truth and criticize hypocrisy. 

Which was as rampant in his day as it is in ours. So these stories continue to be relevant. 

Jesus was inclusive. He welcomed all who he encountered, he healed the sick, forgave the sinner, and comforted the poor and downtrodden. He called us into relationship with an intimate and loving God and then he had the audacity to claim that by loving each other we are loving God. 

How simple is that? Well, Putin could use a refresher. 

The lessons I cling to are ones of faith, a faith in the ability of God to hold me, envelope me if you will, even the wayward parts.

I’m the sinner thrown naked at his feet, we all sin (which I define as a failure to love), and no one is exempt.

But Jesus understands entrapment. He kneels down, meets me where I am, wounded and withering in the dirt, surrounded by my enemies. Has nothing changed?

In a bold and unexpected move, Jesus stands up and says, “Let any of you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.”

Then he resumes his bent position to write again on the ground next to my feet. He was probably drawing hearts in the sand. One by one, from oldest to youngest, the people slip away quietly until Jesus and I are alone. 

Jesus asks, “Has no one condemned you?”

I reply, “No one.”

“Then neither do I.” (adapted John 8: 8-11)

When your dark side says you are no good, you deserve to be pushed aside, rejected, abandoned, remember this, it contradicts the core of our existence, that sacred voice who calls us beloved.

I wish you all a holy and hallowed week, regardless of faith, may we move through life naked, unguarded, knowing we are all deeply and profoundly loved. This is what I found.

I’m Living in the Gap, quibbling with my faith, dare to join me in the comments?

I Found It.* A marketing campaign put on by the Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) and other Christian groups in early 2002. The simple slogan I Found It was printed on flyers, silkscreened on bright orange shirts, scribbled on chalkboards, and eventually on bumper stickers. Students wondered what the I Found It slogan meant and what it was trying to sell. After weeks of masking the campus with their slogan and keeping their interest a secret, the Christian organization revealed that what they found was Jesus Christ.

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  1. My wife has identicaltwin daughters, it took me monthts to be able to tell them apart when they were young.
    Bust as for th rest, I have no faith in any supreme being. I have long been a confirmed atheist, Cheryl.
    If it makes you happy, then that’s fine with me.
    Best wishes as always, Pete. x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Pete, I know you are a confirmed atheist and I respect your beliefs, but I also appreciate you taking the time to read my article and respond. Now that is faith! I enjoy my ever evolving relationship with God, I’m sure God is just as pleased, but it is a lovely place to rest when the spin of the world is making me dizzy! May this weekend bring you sunshine and warmth if not new life! Hugs, C xxoo

      Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s wonderful! I really do need to write some more good twin stories. My twin and I started to show differences–mainly because I was the “boy” Dad never got (hence, a major tomboy and dressed as it, lol).

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Then you do you also consider yourself to hold no faith in science as well then, Pete?
      I say that, as I only became comfortable with accepting that the logical conclusion is “Yes there ‘is’ a Creator of the Universe” (with a chemistry set beyond our comprehension) after doing the maths involved.
      The patterned sets of DNA in you own body are proof. Human DNA is considered by Bill Gates, as well as many other brilliant scientists, to be the most complicated thing discovered in the universe to date, and DNA acknowledged as definitely being a “patterned” code. Things can be random in nature, but randomness follows no pattern by definition. But contemporary science holds that patterns are ‘created’, not random.

      Hence I have been referring to the power that devised these patterns here in our known universe as the “creator” of said universe that we, and everything else with patterns are contained within.

      Cheers Pete!
      CT

      Liked by 1 person

        1. So. . . You have thoroughly looked into the science of it then? Well, then. It’s surprising to me Pete, based on how I have come to know you by your writing and commentary, that the logic and science does matter.

          Big gamble mate. Well then, carry on. Only a few years now and you will know the truth. We shall truly miss the opportunity to experience the rest of existence with you in Heaven.

          Cheers,
          CT

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        2. Apologies. I seem to have left out atherather ‘key’ word,”NOT”, right here in my previous post: “that the logic and science does NOT matter”.
          Tiny words on a tiny screen. Again, apologies Pete.

          Cheers,
          CT

          Liked by 1 person

  2. C, I always think each post is my new “favorite” and you did it again. I’ve often wondered where I’d be without my faith. I’ve survived twice when I shouldn’t have. Divorces, bankruptcy, health challenges,…we all have our worldly challenges. Growing up in a conservative home and area was a perfect springboard to a RADICAL paradigm shift in my 20’s. By my 30’s I didn’t like religion. Oh, I love people, for the most part. I try my hardest. But it was about discerning my own truth the one book I could count on-my Bible. It was filtering through all the theatrics of the modern day church and the displays of “perfection” that tried to waver my beliefs. I fell hard again in my early 40’s–and guess what? I fell flat on my faith. This time to a gentle Savior-the man named Jesus Christ who loved me just like the woman at the well. When I was in education it was MY GOAL to not be like the “rest of the leaders”. I wanted to be different. You know who the hardest workers were? The custodians, secretaries, the poor teacher aides….those are MY PEOPLE! Yes, the others are great. BUT to be like Jesus I am accepting of everyone and it’s my desire to dig in and get messy. Because we’re all messy. I’m messy. I don’t wear a cross around my neck pushing my nose in the air at others. I’ve often wondered….even IF I didn’t believe in God WHY WOULDN’T I want to be like the person Jesus was? Right? KIND, LOVING, FORGIVING, ACCEPTING (no matter who, where, what, when, and how). What aggravates me the most is when my faith is judged by others by a specific political party. How outrageous! Because I’m a FREE-THINKER and refuse to shackle myself to a political party (I’m like my Dad–I can do my own thinking) I’m NOT A CHRISTIAN? C, I stopped going to organize church because of this. There’s a small gathering now that meets in a little log cabin, no electricity, to just talk truths, no politics, tell some jokes, hear life changing stories, and help each other out….now that’s a gathering in faith! I don’t hold anyone’s belief against them. My whole purpose of my website was to distinguish FAITH FROM RELIGION. Everyone has faith in something. But I feel I hit the jackpot in truth when I learned to have faith in an ever-loving God. No, life isn’t easy, but at least I found true love. We share some other things in common my gifted friend and writer–Bob Goff (have his books–he had this quote on his IG the other day-love it!), George Strait (particularly Troubadour), and the love of Hebrews 11:1 (has been on my website since I first took my first dive into the world of blogging). I begin every day in my study and meditation. I think it grows my faith. I know this–I’m so thankful for meeting people like you, C, that have only solidified and affirmed my faith in PEOPLE WHO ARE GOOD! By the way, I may have told you, but I’m an identical twin! My poor parents didn’t know until two weeks before we were born (I’m still a youngun’ at almost 52, but they didn’t do ultrasounds and our heartbeats were simultaneous up until almost our birth). Your granddaughters are dolls! I wish nothing but peace, blessings and love to you and your entire crew. I love you dearly, C. It means so much to me to know you. 💛❤️💕

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read, for holding the message up to your unique light, for sharing the tenants of your faith journey. This is one of those topics I was leery of exploring in a blog, there is so much more to say, and much of which can be easily misinterpreted. It’s not for everyone and many people have had a horrible relationship with their churches, synagogs, mosques, and traditions. It can bring up a lot of trauma for people. My hope was to open up the topic of faith, allow us to toss this fringe aspect of religion around, and just maybe we would find common ground. I’m astonished at how simular our journeys have been and yet our trials and tribulations have been our own. It seems we both landed in a space where love reigns, where compassion is key, and maybe forgiveness has a place. And you are a twin, one of those rare occurrences, that only happens in a chosen womb! I love you too Karla! Happy Easter my friend, sending love and hugs to you and yours! xxoo, C

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      1. Aww, you’re so welcome, my friend. Your words are precious to me. I understand why you might feel “leery” on the topic. Everything and every topic can be misinterpreted. I didn’t decide to blog to keep things superficial or too surface as that’s all social media seems to be to me. It’s a weapon in the hands of some who don’t use their heads or hearts at times. For me, any topic can be taboo. I’ve had physical, mental, and sexual trauma. I’ve been in broken relationships and abusive ones. I could find “trauma” in almost every topic I read–from the ones of faith, to great marriages, to perfect jobs, to seemingly no outlying “issues”, …trauma is amidst in every angle, every way. YET,…YET…If I choose to stay compassionate, HUMBLE, open-minded, caring, and the traits I know I want to be, than I can overcome those feelings when I read others’ stories. I use ALL OF THEM to make me think better, be better,…and in MY WAY, my faith grows. Love wins! Sending you love and hugs AGAIN!!! Happy Easter, C! I’ll miss seeing my kids and grandkids (it’s so hard having them so far) BUT I will cherish my day with my parents, twin, and sister. xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You humble me, C (insert my tears, here). I’m really a nobody just trying to be a somebody. And I’m so glad to call you friend. Thank you thank you for your support and encouragement! xoxo

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  3. Beautiful! Thank you so much for writing this. I was raised Presbyterian and faith was a big part of our family life. Then speaking in tongues spread like wildfire in our formerly conservative church and we were out. It was not until my husband and I were married and wanted children that faith re-entered my life. I discovered the Catholic church, which filled me with so much feeling and hope. I converted in my early 30s. Thanks again for sharing this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you E for not only reading my ramblings on faith but sharing your own journey. It sounds like your faith has evolved as you have matured and you found a place of comfort and joy in the Catholic Church. My interest in God definitely increased with every kid until I was forced to my knees just to survive! I think God uses our offspring to entice us back in her sturdy arms. Just where I want to be! Hugs, C

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  4. Two thoughts and a footnote to share.
    First thought: and I promise to do my best to keep this as brief in text as it is in my heart: This life is easy and hard, beautiful, and ugly. But it is also simple. it is a journey to first understand your purpose here (Hint – go to the Holy Bible, Matthew chapter 22, verses 37-40/41). Next, seek out what it means to “Love” God. Then, love God by proving your character through living your life in a way that proves you understand what it means to love God. The simplist path is to study what it means to be “selfless” then nurture that knowledge in your heart every waking moment through selfless thought, speech, action and deed in worship and gratitude of this life given to you by our Creator. . .Simple as that.

    Second thought. re: “Today they are five and miraculously they live across the street. It was a combination of generosity, good timing, and preparation.”

    Generousity? Not really. I’m guessing It was simply a timely opportunity for God to act – A karmic idea that originated from God of how his Love should continue in that precious spot, unabated, then was bumped downstairs to humble servants to drive a campaign of understanding that would allow the fulfillment of God’s wish. Never was Selflessness so easy.

    *footnote: CRU’s “I found it” campaign was begun in 1976 in the U.S. I know, because I was recruited but sadly not opened to a deeper relationship with Jesus right then. . . When it comes to understanding ‘Real Truth’? Apparently I’m a slow learner.

    Pax Christi,

    CT

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    1. I love your take Chris on the simplicity of living a life of love. Love of God, love of neighbor, love of self. It is simple but ever so complicated especially when temptation slithers around enticing us with a necter that tranishes the heart, that promotes exclusivity, that puts the neds of others aside. It is hard. It is ever so tempting to be selfish. I fall into the trap regularly! I also believe in respecting the beliefs of others because Christian lexicon is the same as secular beliefs in justice, kindness, and selfgiving. We just situate it differently. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beliefs, much appreciated. Hugs, C

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      1. Personal disclosure: Most of my responses are done on a bloody tiny virtual smartphone interface. . . but this one, “Ahhh”. . . It is done on the back patio while enjoying a beautiful Phoenix morning. . . done from the luxury of a full-size keyboard. . . Lovely!

        Our existence is at once complicated, and simple neighbor, all at the same time. And, above all, it is not “easy” to reach the consciousness necessary to accept what is real here.
        First, a soul needs to respect and cherish the gift of time, and the strength to choose how best to use it. The message is pretty clear though for those that care to see, or have ears that care to hear:
        Our purpose here is to prepare ourselves to pass through the “narrow gate” to go further on to the next level in our spiritual journey.

        As I have shared before, this is a place to prove our Character to God. An environment designed to tempt us every day. A struggle within each of us to choose between selfishness and selflessness. But once a person really and truly permits themselves, then commits themselves to noodle on that deeply? Then suddenly something like scales metaphorically fall from our spiritual eyes and the concept of why the world “is” as it is, goes almost without a thought moving forward. To quote the title of C.S. Lewis’s first book, from that moment our existence is simply “Mere Christianity”.

        Yes, we can have nice things, but don’t let the continued possession or ever-present seeking of more/better possessions weigh you down. All that “stuff” and the selfish demand on our time to manage it all is what makes it very difficult to ‘pass through’ that narrow gate. Effectively, rather like riding a tandem bike, the lighter the load? the more likely a better finish awaits!

        Indulge the messaging here (I’m tapping keys, but I am not the author of the words) to share with you my absolute favorite, life-changing verse in the bible: Matthew 19:23-24.

        Subordinate this passage at your own risk. Obviously, we can have nice things, but the accumulation of them should not distract us from seeking Gods love. Simple as that.

        Make no mistake, the Bible (as Terrie says, B.I.B.L.E.: “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”) is a guidebook to be absorbed and soaked in over time, as a backdrop and sounding board to our experiences here. . . and no one chapter is to be treated as an ‘it’ line, but rather that single verse must be taken in ‘context’ together as a piece of the message that is clearly designed to be delivered as a complete volume, wisdom building on wisdom kinda stuff as we allow the messaging to change us and our purpose.

        And, as with all things in this created universe, every action (Good = God. . . Evil =Devil) has an opposing force. It is up to us to choose where our thoughts, words, actions and hearts will be.

        The opposer temps us with the entire world. . . in contrast, God has blessed us with his written knowledge for us to be used to instead cleve ourselves close to him through his son.
        And at this moment I realize, it’s Easter week! Wow. How beautifully appropriate.

        Nuff for now Neighbor. Need to get to the doctor and climb on the rack for an hour to be pulled apart, head to toe. Traction, they call it. Seems my antics in November ruptured three of my four lower lumbar discs. Who knew you could walk in this condition, or lift heavy objects? Apparently, I could have easily permanently crippled myself by continually stumbling about in this condition. Thank goodness I finally went and got an MRI. . .

        God bless you and your beautiful brood! Love reading your musings.

        Pax Christ.

        CT

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Chris, I think that’s why I love to write, words spill out of their own accord and often the message is just what I need to hear. You have a beautiful and strong faith and your words will resonate with many, not all of course, as there are people of good will, who hold strongly to their own beliefs and ideas about life. I believe it is essential to respect each other and glean that which we hold in common. It is amazing how much we can learn from each other when we listen carefully, respect what others have discovered to be true, and store in our hearts what is right for us. I love that we are all uniquely and wonderfully made. My love to you and Terrie, xxoo, C

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  5. Your British contingent is an irreligious duo 😊 like Pete I don’t have faith in a supreme being. I’m not denying there is one, but I study history and look at the world today and think if one exists it’s pretty ineffectual for a lot of good people. But as Pete says, whatever gives you happiness is fine with me. X

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    1. Hi Fraggle, I totally get where you are coming from, and how you have come to the conclusion that an omnipotent God is letting a lot of shit slip! I do think in terms of evolution that more people are better off today then ever in the history of the world. There is a ton of suffering and injustice but we are moving, or at least pre-pandemic, in a positive direction. I hope it continues regardless of faith. A belief in God might be my adapted way of self-sootheing but it does give me happiness and so do your pictures! So cheers to us! Hugs, C

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  6. Cheryl, I don’t know how you do it, but your writing always touches my soul! First, happy birthday to your granddaughters. They are lovely. Second, I could not agree with you more. LOVE is the key, from God, to US, and through US to OTHERS. The hammock metaphor was so lovely. My husband and I were just discussing this week the point that we don’t all have to agree on everything, but we must respect and love everyone. I am so grateful for the resurrection of Jesus because I need his covering everyday. Wishing you a very Happy Easter! Best Wishes! Leigh

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    1. Hi Leigh, what a generous and kind comment, it is always my desire that something I write “touches ones soul.” Thank you. And yes, LOVE is key, no matter where you stand on the spectrum of faith. It sounds like you and your husband agree on the important things, love and respect are essential. I like the way you say, “I need his covering everyday,” as if a shield because if Jesus is anything he protects the vulnerable and that is me! Happy Easter Leigh, love and hugs to you and yours, xxoo, C

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  7. Cheryl,
    This is wonderfully written and touched me. I’ve waited until my early 60’s to begin my Christian Faith journey and am still figuring out what it all means and what it is I believe.
    I do believe I’ve always had “faith” in something or someone and believe truly, that Love, Forgiveness and Kindness should always be our default. I love this piece, I love how it is written it really hits home with me. Thank You!
    Have a blessed and happy Easter Weekend

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  8. You know Marcy if someone had asked me if I could name one person who was loving, forgiving and kind I would have named you! You have always emulated these values. I love that your exploring your faith, obviously I am too, it’s never stagnant, always evolving. Thank you for the kind words, you make me glad I dared to tackle this topic, I was very unsure. So glad it resonated with you. Happy Easter my friend. Love and hugs coming your way 💕 C

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  9. Oh my gosh, Cheryl, you’ve done it again! Do we have a mind meld going on here? Because you keep writing what I am thinking. Haha. I don’t even know where to begin. We could probably talk about this topic for hours! Thanks for being brave and tackling this controversial/sensitive topic. I was raised in a fundamentalist Pentecostal church and believed everything I was told until life threw me some curveballs at age 22 and suddenly it was not all so black and white anymore. Since then, I have read lots of theology books, listened to many sermons and lectures, followed several blogs, and talked with anyone who will listen – all in an effort to figure out what I believe. I did not want to throw out the baby with the bath water, but I knew I could no longer completely embrace and believe everything I was taught in my church. And yet, I feel there is some truth there and I want to believe. I want to have that faith. My parents were strong believers and they felt so confident and assured that their deaths were only the beginnings of their eternal lives in Heaven with their Lord so they were not afraid to die. I miss them terribly but it gives me great peace and comfort believing I will see them again in Heaven, and it will be glorious! That is one of the main reasons I choose to believe. There’s so much that does not make sense and so much I am still trying to figure out, but when it comes down to it, Jesus said some pretty good things and it seems to me if everyone were to follow his example, the world might just work out better for everyone.

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    1. Hi Delene, I agree, we could talk about this topic for hours, days, years. I have always been fascinated by faith traditions. All faith traditions. I want to know where they got started? How they have evolved? What they believe? Do they have relevance today? I grew up Christian so Jesus has always been my main man of interest but I’m also enamored with the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, the Jewish faith, and the Muslins. We might worship differently but there is a lot of crossover when it comes to what we value, like compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love. I too find comfort in the concept of an afterlife, it’s hard to manage the death of a parent, without the belief that we’ll be reunited in some form or fashion after this life is done. It just might be completely different than we can possibly imagined. This life is so much better than I could have ever dreamed so I have to believe that what ever comes next will be too and as in life I think we can rest assured that God has this and it will be nothing less than extraordinary. Happy Easter my friend, hugs and love to you and yours, xxoo, C

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      1. I have also been interested in other faiths. I have trouble with the Christian concept that only Christians go to Heaven, although that is what Christians say the Bible says. But so many people are born in different countries where they aren’t even allowed to hear the message of Jesus. So how does that make any sense? That is just one of many questions I have. There are definitely common values across the different faiths, and some say we all worship the same God. But Christians say our God has a son named Jesus Christ; whereas, the other faiths do not. Big difference, especially if you believe that Jesus is the one and only way to God, and to Heaven. Oh dear, my head is starting to spin again, as it always does when I go down this path. I think it’s much easier to blindly believe what they tell you than to think and question one’s beliefs and faith. Sometimes I wish God would sky write the answers for me so I could stop spinning. LOL
        BTW, your writing often reminds me of my favorite author, Anne Lamott, whose books I just love! I’ve met her a couple of times; she is so wonderful!

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        1. The idea that God’s infinite grace would be unavailable to anyone does not sit well with me either. It never has. I believe we can not possibly understand the true nature of God nor can we dictate who is in and who is out by the human standards we ourselves created. I think God is more loving, more available, more invested, more united with all of humanity then we will ever understand. So I try to read and listen and learn what I can, let all this information settle in my heart, and then I hope it transforms me in a way that is pleasing to God. That seems to be the best I can do until like you say “God writes the answers in the sky.” Amen sister. And thank you for the kind words, I adore Anne Lamott, and read her book Bird by Bird every single year! You are so lucky to have met her! Wow! Hugs, C

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