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Religion and Spirituality

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

I was talking to an online friend today and our new board here was mentioned. It also brought up an interesting topic. I am a Christian. I hesitate these days to acknowledge that. It's embarrassing sometimes.

When the word 'religion' comes up, the assumption by many (including non-believers and believers alike) is that 'Christian' is what is meant. Those two words are not synonymous. Religion comes in so many forms, including ones that don't include a deity.

When religion becomes a weapon (we've all seen it happen) Christians come out of the woodwork with the most un-Christian-like behavior I've ever seen. I want to stand up for those Christians that choose to behave in a Christ-like manner. That lead by example and show love to the unlovely. Christ sought out non-believers, prostitutes, drug addicts, and the greedy thieving tax collector. There is a difference between bad choices/behavior and evil. I don't treat evil the same as poor or different choices.

Since when is a difference in belief or opinion evil? Maybe we can spend some time being curious instead of attacking or belittling. Words can and do hurt. Respect for each other is so important. As a Christian, it is *my* belief that each person is a child of God. That means I have to be respectful. Their sins are not greater than mine, just different. I don't always succeed in behaving well. I'm human. But I will answer for my sins the same way everyone else does.

I think most everyone has a spiritual side. Some have developed it more than others. Some have taken it to the 'religious' level. Some have moved in a different direction. canzer has caused us to examine things at a deeper level, perhaps. canzer has created a strange and curious bond between us.

I find it fascinating that the very canzer we curse has brought friendship, spirituality/religion whatever, a clarity of life, the ability to experience moments of TRUE joy in a real and different way, a deeper meaning to life. I know that may not be true for everyone, but it certainly is for me. So, maybe we can agree to be more accepting; more gentle; more understanding. With others but also of ourselves.

I have a different relationship with God because canzer has created a different pace in my life. I take time to be quiet now. (Well, I pretty much have to because I spend so much time sitting, laying, sleeping, just resting...LOL) But those quiet times. Times when God awakens me to sit quietly with Him and listen. Allow Him to care for me. Those are the real moments of true joy. That's when I know I'm His and the kind of Christian He wants me to be. I still struggle, but I'm getting there.

Kimby

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

Beautiful post Kimby, you expressed yourself beautifully. I try to live my live in a manner of how I like to be treated. The Golden Rule as it's called. So simple, yet so difficult for many to do I've found. I think as long as there are people in the world there will be greed, power, unfairness of how others are treated (probably because of greed and power) and other nasty things that people choose to do. Call it good and evil if you want but it's there. I tend to believe in Karma, but what puzzles me is what did I do to deserve (for lack of another word) cancer. I don't think it was anything in this lifetime. I don't think that a (or the or Thee for that matter) God punishes us like that.

Wow, so many questions. Why are we here? Is there a God? Is there a Devil? There are so many faiths that have different paths to the same questions I think, yet it is a question that no one can answer with certainty that would end the discussion for all. I don't think there should be a definitive answer either. We will all find out one day when we die.

I don't know if you are familiar with Joseph Campbell and his interview with Bill Moyers and his book "The Power Of Myth" but it was such an interesting interview that was put in book form. Joseph Campbell looked at recorded human history and showed comparisons and parallels in many ancient beliefs like Virgin births, dying for sins, One Being with 3 parts, all sorts of great topics that exist in so many cultures. It's almost spooky in a way. It's worth a read or if you can rent the DVD of it it's even better. Only id you wish to of course, I am not trying to convert anyone.

I had nothing to do with getting this forum started but I think it's great. I want to thank you for posting your post here. That's what this forum is for. It was not created as a way to get others off the you-know-what forum but I am afraid that many will not bother to visit or post here because they believe it was created for just that reason.
Too bad.

-peace
-phil

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Phil,

What a wonderful response. Yep, lots of questions. More questions than answers, for sure. I tend to think of canzer in terms of life, not karma. Great things happen to me all the time, and since I'm living on earth (not heaven) bad things happen, too. Free will instead of Eden. I don't believe God 'gives' us canzer but allows it as a natural progression. $h!t happens, as they say. I never wondered why I had healthy children or such a wonderful husband. I never really have done the 'why me' with the good or the bad.

It seems, also, that every time science tries to disprove a biblical story they end up proving it or at least finding evidence of its truth. Of course, that is my perspective. Perspective is different for each of us and biblical stories having a basis in truth doesn't prove that the entire story is true. Those stories were written by men and they had their own perceptions. Most likely spiced up some stories along the way, not to mention all of the translators over the centuries. Once humans are involved things tend to get bent around somewhat.

You really can never prove/disprove any religion, it's true. Either the Coming of Days or our own death will be the proof. My own personal proof is my relationship with God. It is as real as any physical relationship on earth. I wish everyone could experience that, but that is not meant to be.

I'm not familiar with Joseph Campbell, but I will seek that book/DVD out. I enjoy such writings and the comparison of religions. I prefer those without a bias towards any particular religion. They intrigue me. They ground me in my faith. Thanks for the suggestion.

Kimby

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

This discussion topic puzzles me, Religion and Spirituality. Why is it a separate topic? I am by no means a bible carrying Christian but I am a Christian and it just seems to me that any talk of spirituality, religion, yada yada, would flow naturally in many posts on these boards - to people who held all kinds of beliefs and disbeliefs. Why separate it?

I used to belong to a cancer forum who discouraged ADAMANTLY relgious or spiritual chat and I left there because of that. I think that as long as everyone is respectful of others ideas and beliefs then why shouldn't spirituality be just a part of anyone's posting, wherever it may be in category? I see no real problem with this being separate too but something just feels odd about it. Am I reading this wrong?

I guess this is the place then to post my story of how group prayer and healing actually saved my life in hospital when I wasn't even looking for that to happen. Unfotunately I have a doctor's appt soon so I can't do the story now, have on other boards though, but I will copy it out here too when I get back later today or tomorrow.

Blessings, Blueroses

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

As promised, in my previous post, here I am sharing with you an event that occurred during my bone marrow transplant isolation that changed my life and ways of looking at the whole topic of religion and spirituality. Grad a coffee, this is going to take awhile, lol.

First let me say that I am far from a bible thumper, lol. I don't carry around a bible and preach at or to anyone and rarely get to church - mostly due to my physical problems - but even before that I was not an avid church goer. Having said that though I have always believed in God and have had a very personal relationship with Him. I don't get into examining the bible or all of the saints and personalities in the bible - I just know that there is indeed a God and a Divine plan.

So, since I have this type of christian outlook it was even more remarkable as to what I experienced those 2 Fall days in 1991.

I was in isolation, after my bone marrow transplant was completed, and not doing all that well. I had tubes coming out of everywhere, fed intravenously - all kinds of fun going on in that room. lol. Anywho, one day I was sitting up in bed - unable to even get to the bathroom on my own after all the intensive treatments I had had - and unable to lie down even to sleep because of pneumonias I had that made lieing down a danger with too much fluid in my lungs. But even with all of this going on, all of a sudden something came over me and I realized that I felt better. Not getting up and going out and playing tennis better, lol, just not like I was going to pass on for a change. After a few moments of this great feeling I called my then husband at the time and asked him to get a video for him and I to watch that night in my room because I felt so much better, happy to hear that he agreed and hung up - he was at work. Remember that cause it's important to the story in a minute here.

So I sat back and was feeling happy that I was feeling so much better when all of a sudden I realized that 'yikes, I can't catch a breath'. I started to panic and looked over in the chair in the corner and waved frantically to my husband to go get help, as I couldn't even think straight enough to hit the call button. He was reading the newspaper and threw it down and ran out to get help. The nurses rushed in with crash carts and that's all I remember. I went into a coma from congestive heart failure. After a few days in the coma I woke up and a day or so later was speaking with my husband about the incident and talking about how lucky I was that he was in the room to get me the help I needed when I went into distress. He looked me rather strangely and said 'I wasn't in the room, I was on my way to the hospital after they called me to say you were in trouble?' So why did I see him clearly in the room that day? Who went for help then? What the heck was going on? I put two and two together later on that day. That was my first miracle.

Several days later I was sitting up in bed and feeling not too bad, all considered. Nothing was going on really - the boredom of isolation only really - when all of a sudden I felt something strange. It felt like a line of heat at the top of my head. I immediately thought 'hmm, strange drugs', lol. However, this line of heat I soon realized was moving. It was moving slowly down my head, deliberately and slowly and seemingly with great purpose. I can't say that I was scared per se but it certainly caught my attention. I pushed myself up on my hands, in the sitting position I was in, as to in some way, I suppose, escape the sensation I guess - not sure, but undauntingly this line of heat kept travelling down my body on some sort of mission it seemed.

'What the heck is this?, I asked myself. So I sat there, seemingly helpless against this line of heat as it moved through me. When it reached my lower chest it stopped and lingered there for longer than in the rest of my body and then it hit me (I'm kind of slow, lol), could this be a healing? I had never directly asked for such a thing or even really thought of something like this but of course like most cancer patients in trouble I was praying my face off most days - mostly praying to please be allowed to live for my children - just let me live long enough to raise them til they are self sufficient. Could this be what was happening? Were my prayers fully heard and the results appearing in such a dramatic way? And why me? Nah, that can't be it. Could it?

Anywho, the line of heat then continued down my body and once again stopped on the top part of my legs - the site of the first cancer. It lingered there even longer and before it started to move on I had this sort of message come to me - not a full blown voice kind of thing, just a powerful thought came over me - but it was put in my head, I didn't produce it - that I know for sure. It said 'This is a healing from God and your cancer will never return'. Then the line of heat continued down my legs and out the bottom of my feet and that was that.

Hmmm, that was interesting I thought, lol - a master of understatement for sure, lol. I can tell you though that from that day on I never ever had one moment of worry that my cancer would return - why would I? I had God's word on it.

This event was important to me, obviously, for many reasons but the biggest gift to me was the gift of peace, at KNOWING like I have never KNOWN anything before, that I needn't fear recurrance. Also just the real genuine feeling of 100% KNOWING something to be 100% true, that God gave me, was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Through our lives we KNOW many things but this kind of KNOWING, right from God, was something totally different. It held not only complete peace of mind but embodied understanding in it's purest form, goodwill, oh my - just everything good all wrapped up in one brief episode. It's so hard to explain but I was certainly blessed many times over to have received it.

I share these two incidents with you because of course it changed my life and I hope in some way will change yours as well. I KNEW now with TOTAL CERTAINTY that yes there is a God, whatever the name you put to Him, there is a higher power - He had just shown me that in no uncertain terms. I share this with all of you who need the hope and the knowledge that you are being looked after - sometimes maybe you won't get exactly what you want but I am sure that you will get what you need. It truly is, I believe, part of His divine plan - all for the greater good.

I hope my story inspires you and gives you the courage and strength to get through the life challenges you face - now and in your future. God Bless you and yours, as he did me and mine. Blessings always, Blueroses.

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I've had amazing things happen to me too. They can not be explained. I can not prove them to anyone else (well, except one to my husband because he was involved) but I had the thought that maybe everyone needs to get the proof for themselves. I did have one experience while on chemo.

One day I was feeling pretty bad. I was feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have my Mom alive to comfort me. Later I had this experience: While just waking but not quite awake, I felt a pressure on my forehead like someone was touching it and feelings of comfort flooded my body. I lay still to see what would happen next and it lasted for a minute or so and than stopped at the same time as the pressure on my forehead stopped. I don’t know what caused it but someone must have heard my distress call. I wasn't told who sent these feelings of comfort.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Good story. I have heard of that kind of thing happening before. I totally believe you. You were truly blessed to have that happen as it seems to have given you so much peace and comfort. I'm sure your Mum is watching over you and that was just a little message to say that she is there. Thank you for sharing. Take care. Blessings, Blueroses.

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

It's so amazing how he can just invade our life and reality to provide a comforting :) Blessings !!

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

It happened to me this last Oct. when I was prayed for, the heat moved on me like a furnace for a few minutes. I've prayed for a number of people over the years and have witnessed it happening but a first for me. I also had an intense healing touch for my bone mets after that.:) What's interesting that this manifestation is well documented for centuries down thru church and revival history. Fire is the main rep of the holy spirit since the beginning and is well reped and taught from before the torah/old testament and up till now.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

I know this response is 9 months after your post. Religion and Spirituality are two separate things. You can be one without being the other. As far as putting it in a different section of the site, why is breast cancer in one forum and colon cancer in another? They are both cancer, right? Yes...and no. There are times when R&S (religion and spirituality) make sense to be part of a cancer post and then there are times when they make no sense being part of a cancer post.

I've read many posts where a person is having serious medical problems and they are looking for specific answers to specific questions and all they get back is "gee, I don't know but I will pray for you". Some people may like that, I find it very unhelpful. I need answers, not a prayer group. Other times people would post psalms as topics. That has nothing to do with cancer Q&A and it is offensive to some people.

I will admit that it's not a B&W issue, it is very gray. It is also widely assumed that everyone is a christian on the board. Well that is not true at all. The most vocal people are the christians and some of the nastiest people I've seen are the christians who often have no regard for others beliefs. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people who are christian who are wonderful caring people. They seem to be good people first and christian second.

I do know of people who will not comment because they are not christian and they feel like outsiders because of it. Also, look at the avatars of people. It's white folks or people dogs for the most part. I am very glad they have this forum up and running. It is being utilized more and more which is great but then there are those who will never visit here because they feel they are being censored. They also have shown me by their comments how closed minded they are. It's their God or nothing. They are right and everyone is wrong...

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 626
Joined: Jul 2006

Yes, indeed, such a beautiful post, Kimby. Very eloquent and very open-hearted. It’s so refreshing!

And ah, yes, The Golden Rule, the Ethic of Reciprocity – do unto to others…. With great fascination, I had the opportunity to study The Golden Rule in college in a Comparative Religions class. I loved it. It truly made me appreciate the need for tolerance and actually made me more receptive to God and all the world’s faiths and belief systems. In fact, my sister, an Anthropology professor, now teaches a similar course to the one I had so long ago, although modernized and expanded.

The interesting thing about The Golden Rule – the idea of do unto others - is that it is a universally held belief system among nearly every religion that exists. Nearly every religion promotes an element or elements of reciprocity among people. It transcends time, boarders, cultures, religious belief systems, and laws. You could say it is the origin of human civil rights, and after the acknowledgement of a deity or supreme knowledge or power, it is a nexus of most all the world’s religions, something that I wish would connect us more powerfully than other doctrines divide us. Wouldn’t it be great if it The Golden Rule could truly unite and hold the world together in peace? Actually, I think that’s the point! And I think this is where we could truly see God in action for all people of all faiths, for I believe that God does not exist for one man – God is for every man, woman, child and creature on the Earth.

Phil, you’re right, it’s sad that not enough citizens and rulers of the world appreciate the value of The Ethic of Reciprocity AKA The Golden Rule. I feel certain if they did we would have far more peace, tolerance and prosperity in the world today.

As for Karma, Karma is another form of The Golden Rule – it’s a rule of cause and effect. And Phil, you cannot know at what point on the wheel of Karma your cancer became part of your existence – perhaps your cancer is not an effect of something, but rather is to cause something else? It could be that your cancer will/has cause(d) some other effect in your life that leads you further down the road to Enlightenment. The Buddhists teach us that a goal in life is to further ourselves down the road of Enlightenment, to achieve Bodhi, some would say Nirvana. Maybe this is something for you to meditate on. I would venture to guess that if you were to seek the counsel of a Buddhist teacher, they would be happy to explore this with you.

In any case though, I do not believe that anyone is “given” cancer. It’s worse than a cold, but maybe not as bad as other illnesses – I suppose it’s in the eye of the beholder. Either way, cancer is a group of rogue cells brought on by not even God knows what and it makes us sick and threatens our lives. It’s just one more thing out there to remind us we’re fragile and life is precious.

As for answering the age old questions? Phil’s comments/questions, “Wow, so many questions. Why are we here? Is there a God? Is there a Devil? There are so many faiths that have different paths to the same questions I think, yet it is a question that no one can answer with certainty that would end the discussion for all.” …This is why we call it faith…belief in something for which there is no proof. I believe faith is something that allows us to connect to each other, connect to the Universe, to our own personal God and to life itself. If we had no faith or the ability to be faithful, what would be the point of living?

Norman Rockwell

PEACE! Paix, Paz, Pace, Frieden, Rauha, Béke, Fred, Friður, Barış, Pokój, Heddwch, Ειρήνη, Mier, Mir, Taika, Miers, Rahu, Paċi, Sìth, Rongo, Amani, Paqe, Damai, Nabad, Hòa Bình, Alaafia, Udo

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

This has been, and continues to be a great post. Leave it to Kimby! Kat, it sounds like the class you took on Comparative Religions would have been very interesting. Have you heard of Joseph Campbell? As I mentioned above he did a great series that ran on PBS that looked at the importance of myths in society and some comparisons with religions. If you ever get a chance to see it (or read the book) try it. I think you'd enjoy it and/or find it interesting.

If (a big if) people did indeed practice the Golden Rule, what a different world we would live in. One thing I will never understand about people/religion/faith, was why the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan in Afghanistan. Talk about religious intolerance! If nothing else, they were great works of art and should have been saved on that account alone but there again is the potential problem with groups who are not tolerant. I guess it goes deep down to cultural differences as well as religious ones.

I agree Kat, Karma, the Golden Rule, You Reap what you Sow, What goes around comes around, all of those are themes that run through many schools of thought. I don't think that I did something wrong and I got cancer, or that God gave me or anyone else cancer. Cancer, as much as it STINKS, has been a dual edged sword for me. It has made me a better father I think. Not that I wasn't a good Dad before but I realize how precious life is and how easily things can change and either I could be gone or one of my kids could be gone. I think that I took more for granted before. Maybe that is part of why I've gotten it. Others have told me and continue to tell me what an inspiration I've been for them. Maybe that's part of it too. This may come as a shock, but I have many people praying for me and I am glad they are. I see it only as being positive and that they are helping me through their hearts. One can either give in and say "why me?" or they can fight it however they can, faith, religion, friends.

It does come down to faith as you said Kat. Five little letters that can heal, make lives better, cause harmony or disharmony and start wars. WOW. Love is only four letters.

Great post and comments.
Happy Festivus (for the rest of us)

BlueRose, sometimes people want to talk cancer only and other times people want to go deeper than that and get more into religion or spirituality. I like that there is this separate place for deeper discussion and I hope those who find solace in prayer continue to do so and to say that so-and-so are in their prayers on all forums.
-phil

amcp
Posts: 251
Joined: Jan 2009

I normally stick to the colorectal cancer site but do not post all that often. One day after evidently a big mess about religion and prayer...I read a post that said she had been asked not to post about religion/faith/etc. I jumped to conclusion and wrote that I was going to quit posting and I then removed picture and info. I kept reading and keeping up with people I had come to care about and was concerned about. I finally realized that I was not going to let others keep me from possibly helping someone or encouraging someone. I never got into detail about my faith in God but always mentioned prayers and GOD in capital letters. I am glad to see this site and am thankful for it. I have put back in our info but have not got around to picture yet. My husband's story is one of amazment and we believe GOD/prayers had a major part in it. There are lots of questions that I do not have answers too but I BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF GOD AND PRAYER. I am back posting and trying in some small way to offer up hope and encouragement through my husband's story. I do still mention that I will pray for them but will now post future religious/spiritual here. God created everyone equal..we are all given free will and we all will answer for our own choices in this life. I hope never to harm or hurt anyone and to be an example of the love of GOD. I do not know how you can go through this cancer mess without belief in GOD but that is just my thought. Thank you CSN for providing this forum.
Praying always,
AMCP (Anna)

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

I second that thank you to CSN for not censoring relgious and spiritually discussion on their site. I left another cancer site because they came down very hard on any talk that was anywhere near spiritual in any manner - talk of miracles and that sort of thing - not even out and out religious discussion. I feel very comfortable on this site in all the different discussion forums for this reason - CSN does not discriminate. I would like to have seen this type of discussion not segregated but just allowed to flow from a person no matter what discussion sector there were in on site but as someone else pointed out a bit ago some people actually feel better talking about spirituality and religion in a separate forum so no biggy, as long as the topic can be discussed somewhere on site.

Welcome to the site AMCP, I am sure you will enjoy and benefit from the folks on this site. It's a very special place. Blessings to you and yours, Blueroses.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

You are all obviously deep thinking people. And naturally the questions of life emerge. I have asked them all and have come up with some answers that sustain me for awhile, then a new crisis or situation challenges everything I thought I had settled once and for all.
So, what to do? What works for me is to accept that it is not for me to have all the answers, otherwise where the need for faith? I rely on God for what I can not find in myself...which is everything in the final analysis. My 'answers' come and go with the tide, but His are for everlasting, whether I am privy to them or not.

tonybear
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

when i stand on the edge of lives problems and look down to see the bottom, i can jump without much faith because i can see the bottom. however, to stand with my back to the edge when i can't see where the bottom is or how far down it is, then it requires faith to fall backwards into the hands of God. that was how i felt when i was facing cancer. i didn't know where the bottom was, how far it was to the bottom or what i'd hit on the way down. all i could do was believe that God would be there to catch me before i crashed into the bottom. i know that i have another 4 1/2 years of check ups, but i am learning to not fear the helplessness of the fall. at the end of the day it is all out of my hands anyway. so i might as well put it in his hands and relax and enjoy the day. tony

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Tonybear that was a great post. I am always happy to see someone come to terms with cancer and enjoy each day they have been given. My faith in God has brought me through so many hard times in my life. Last Saturday I was at a graveside service for my sister. She passed on at 48 years of age. She was born with a rare genetic disease that had no cure. Iron in her body would collect in her brain and replace brain cells. She was one of 64 in the country and the longest survivor thus far. My families faith was tested over and over during my sister's long struggle. She was a perfect, beautiful young girl until two years of age. She lived her life in a constant struggle of twisted limbs that could not be controlled and pain she could not tell us about. Our only communication was the huge smile we would get when a family member walked into the room. My whole family could ask why this happened and why she had to suffer for so many years. But the answer has always been clear to us. My family learned that we had to enjoy every day we have been given and give to others whenever possible. My sister kept our family closer to each other and God as well. She was a blessing and a teaching tool sent to our family by our Lord. Slickwilly

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Slickwilly,

I wish that I was blessed with a tenth of my mother's faith. She endured everything that life threw her way only with her unyielding faith in God and His unconditional love. During my more stressed-out moments, she would assure me that everything would be alright, if I just had faith. So far, she has been correct!

My younger brother died, not of a life-long disease, but at his own hand. He saw "no options" for himself, but, perhaps, it was just that he had lost the capacity to look for them? Perhaps the tunnel vision brought on by acute depression obscured his ability to see the options that God had presented? In the "Serenity Prayer", we pray for the wisdom to know the difference between what we can change and what we can't. God knows this and knows that we are frail beings predisposed to faults and weaknesses, yet He loves us anyway, despite our uncanny ability to disappoint Him. I know He loved my brother, even though my brother lost the capacity to love himself. If I believe in my mother's wisdom, I know that God loves me, demonstrating it in ways that I don't often appreciate.

Many blessings to both you and your sister's memory, Slickwilly.

Rick

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3646
Joined: Apr 2009

I often describe faith as the bridge between knowledge and belief. It's that simple to me.

Kind regards, Susan

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

First of all to Anna- glad to see you back.
Blueroses and Anna- I was involved in those "debates" on God on the colorectal site. I believe someone who shall remain nameless was so upset that he asked CSN to make a separate site for this. Although no one directed anything too much at me personally, I knew that there were a couple who were saying about how they were so tired of hearing about God and how "all this religious stuff is getting pretty thick around here lately" (a quote from one person). It hurt me and made me feel so sad, like I have to guard my words now when I post on the colorectal site. I am glad to see this separate site where we can go deeper if we wish, but I did feel like it was created to "keep the religious folks from "spouting off" too much on the other sites. That's what made me the saddest. I do respect everyone's right to believe in whatever they believe in. For me, however, my Christian faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is central to me each and every day.
Blueroses- your story of what you experienced with the "healing heat" is wonderful and inspriring.
Let me share one of mine, an experience where I believe God spoke to me.
It was after I had just had two chemo treatments of Folfox, about a montha and a half after my intial stage IV rectal cancer diagnosis. I had asked for people to pray for the chemo to have "maximum effects on the tumors, but with minimal side effects" Well, isn't it so human to pray for something, then doubt it when we actually get an answer to our prayers??
Here, I had prayed for minimal side effects. So, when I still felt pretty good and wasn't getting sick at all and my hair wasn't falling out, I began to worry that the chemo must not be working. I was in the shower one morning doing more worrying, and then I said out loud in prayer, "Lord, if the chemo isn't doing anything to my good cells, how can it be doing anything to my bad cancer cells?"
Well I was startled when a very loud voice (inside my head- I don't think I heard it with my ears, but in my mind) said to me, "Don't you think I know the good cells from the bad? I made those good cells." Whoa! I quickly snapped my head up and through tears answered, "Yes, Lord, you did! Thank you, thank you!" Then I proceeded to cry tears of joy and reassurance for the next hour or so- and then I went to the phone and called my husband!
I then proceeded through chemo with really very minimal side effects. Never once did my white blood cell count go too low and I threw up from nausea only once in those six months.
God is good!

Blessings,
Lisa

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3646
Joined: Apr 2009

Your post is crystal clear.

Thank you.

Kind regards, Susan

eric38's picture
eric38
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

In our situation we all have to deal with the possibility of death. We plan to live but have to prepare for the worst. We should all be able to deal with these issues in our own way without fear of people becoming upset. It is ridiculous for people to get so worked up about talk of spirituality or religion. If you don`t like it then move on to another post. Why dampen a persons spirit? What is it about christianity that gets people so worked up? If atheists or agnostics had a post I doubt there would have been such a fuss about it. That`s their opinion. I personally believe that there is a God and prayers make all the difference. I`m a christian but I am certainly not going to tell a stage 4 cancer patient that I am ticked off about a religious post. That`s ridiculous. Get over yourself. Move on and do your own thing. Anyway, I didn`t mean for this to be a complaint but I should hope that we would be able to express ourselves freely without being brazenly offensive. I appreciate all the input,useful info. and comfort I have received from this site. I know I am preaching to the choir on this post but I think we should all care for one another and focus on the positive instead of getting all wound up over differences of opinion. You guys are great. You and others like you on this site are the ones that made me realize that it is possible to beat stage 4 colon cancer or at least live with it for a long time. That is invaluable. So, I am a christian but I do not give a flying rats tail if you are buddhist,agnostic,catholic,or you believe that dancing around in circles and flapping your arms like wings wards off the evil chicken lord.
God bless all of you
Eric

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

Our situation is the certainty of death, not the possibility (unless you made a deal with some guy with horns...) The reason much of this discussion came over to this forum was that it was interfering with "cancer talk". It's hard to just move on to another post when you are involved with trying to help someone who is having a hard time dealing with cancer or cancer related issues and all of a sudden I feel like I'm reading the Bible or joined a Bible study group. Many posts in the particular thread got way off topic. It's just more of an issue of talking about the right thing in the right place. I wouldn't go to the breast cancer forum and make a lot of posts about colon cancer. I do not think that anyone has or had any objections to people offering prayers or mentioning God in a cancer post but things exploded a while back and the CSN folks decide it might be a good idea to have a "safe" place to have more in depth discussions or arguments or whatever that are based on religion, God, or someone's beliefs. That's about it.
-p

grandma2selena's picture
grandma2selena
Posts: 199
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Kimby,

I have been a Christian for most of my life, I have found myself in situations as you speak of where many jump to conclusions, or feel embarrassed to wear my faith on my sleeve. I have learned over the years though that I need not be ashamed and refuse to hide my faith and love for God. I will not preach to others, but I desire to share what God has done in my life. No I will not go on and on, as that is not what I am here for, I only pray that what my story says will just plant a seed. I have come under attack many times for my stand, but I move on knowing I am doing what God wants me to do.

Boy I just couldn't imagine going through my cancer without my faith. I also know if it wasn't for the work of God I would never have known I had the cancer at such an early stage, nor had the strength to fight the cancer.

I find most people do not have a problem with phrases as God Bless, I will be praying, etc...so long as they do not feel one is preaching to them. Keep sharing your story, I know I will.

Debbie

tonybear
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

i once had a pastor teach, your job is to be their friend, be the example of christ. when you invite them it is then my job to preach to them. i have also been taught they will know us by our love for each other, not our ability to beat them with a 40 lb bible.

i have friends of other faiths, and i keep them as friends by loving them, not condeming them or judging them. i don't have to agree with them, but i can respect them as a person.

acceptance of a person and their beliefs or lack of, can open doors of dialog that years of spiritual attack has closed.
tony

zjrosenthal
Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2008

Wow, I have been posting here mostly on the anal cancer pages since last fall. Somehow I never got to this page. I guess this was the right time for me. I am so glad to be able to speak about my miracles. Last summer I was diagnosed and several months earlier on my way to church praying and kinda whining to God about being the only churchgoer in my family, I heard a voice in my head saying gleefully "I have a plan!" I didnt know at the time it involved my going thru cancer treatment but today I am grateful to have had that experience, as it has helped heal my relationship with my sister, put my husband and I into some needed marital counseling and myself into counsel with a wonderful woman. God sure knows what He is doing and I dont want to waste one bit of this experience. I feel that it has changed me in some profound ways and made me much more aware of the gift of life.
Also there were several times during treatment when it became just at the edge of unbearable then, whoosh....the worst of the pain and burning would ease and I just knew and actually felt that someone was praying for me.
Now I have faced my mortality with all the fears, doubts and confusion over what it is like on the other side.
I choose to believe that God is good and that there are wonders awaiting that I cant even conceive of.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

I have been on this cancer road for 23+ years, and I can promise you that the best is yet to come. As believers, we know that heaven will be worth whatever we are asked to endure here, but as you so cheerfully relate, we don't have to wait for heaven to receive some of the blessings God has in store for us. Like you, I saw some wonderful things come out of my cancer battle. Also some tragic things, which God eventually worked for good, as he always does.
I wish you an abundance of God's blessings as you continue your walk with Him and your battle with cancer and whatever other challenges you encounter along the way.

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

So well put, and I agree wholeheartedly. I don't call myself religious; I am more spiritual. I believe there are many paths to God and some of the most un-Christ-like behavior is exhibited by many who call themselves Christians. Fanatics, of any kind, seem to me to just be destructive. The Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, Do Unto Others, etc. are how I have brought up my daughters. My husband's dx has made me think more and more about spirituality, and of course, turn to God for help and comfort.

I went to mass recently and the priest's sermon was something along the lines of Christ being "in the middle". He said in Christ's time that the church elders/priests were extreme in their adherence to the laws almost as if the laws were God, much like today how people are stuck in their corners/views and their way is the right way - God's way. Fanatics, extremists - religious, political, etc. He went on to say how un-Christ-like that was and is, and how Christ was actually "in the middle" with his arms outstretched to both sides to bring people, ideas, etc. together. I'm sure I'm not doing his sermon justice, but the sentiments of inclusion stayed with me.

Anyway, thanks for the post Kimby.
And I also saw the program Phillieg was talking about. Well worth watching.

Peace,
Donna

SonSon's picture
SonSon
Posts: 186
Joined: Jul 2009

Kimby,

I want to respond to this portion of your message - "When religion becomes a weapon (we've all seen it happen) Christians come out of the woodwork with the most un-Christian-like behavior I've ever seen. I want to stand up for those Christians that choose to behave in a Christ-like manner."

I lived in Iowa for a few years and lived next door to a family that I will forever hold in my memory as THE example of Christian character - they demonstrated the Christ that I learned about. They were always kind, patient, charitable, neighborly... The husband came over and helped to hammer down the corregated fiberglass over our patio, we cooked dinner for them, their daughter came over for flute lessons, I went and listened to the wife and friends practice for church choir.

I am not Christian (it is plain to know if you saw me) and they treated me as part of the community from the very start.

I believe that if every Christian behaved as well as they did that we'd go a long way toward peace. Really, if everyone of any religious persuasion behaved as well as they did we'd have such a wonderful world.

Fatima

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Just a comment on how many people are turned off to the idea of becoming a Christian because of the unchristianlike behavior they see or have heard about by people claiming to be Christians. People talk about the whole thing with the Crusades, how southern Christian plantation owners had no problem owning slaves, some of the TV evangelists falling greatly into public shame, supposed "Christians" who bombed abortion clinics, etc, etc...

Well, of course, most of us on this board know that there's a difference if someone merely says they're a Christian and if they truly ARE and act like it. I find myself just cringing when I hear of someone who is a Christian (or has at least claimed to be) falling in a big way. The same thing when I once visited a church as a teenager and they invited me to go with them after church to "witness to others about Christ in the mall". My thoughts were, "Oh, no! That's NOT the way to win people to the cause of Christ- they'll just think you're a bunch of weirdos and will want nothing to do with you, or with becoming a Christian at all for that matter, after they see you in action at the mall!" I also remember when I was in college that there was a guy who'd get up on a table in the middle of campus and start preaching. Some people would listen, but most would laugh and think what a nut he was. I was already a Christian myself, then, and wished now that I had it in me to talk with him back then. Perhaps there were actually a few people who became converted by listening to him- I don't know. But, I bet most people just remember "the kooky guy who used to preach on the table" & it certainly did nothing to help them become Christians- just perhaps it embarrassed them, as it did me.

I just wish that anytime someone sees an "offensive Christian", that they would remember people are people- no one is perfect (and they are sinning themselves if they put on the "holier than thou" attitude. People need to remember that even Christians are just ordinary people with their ordinary faults. People who are arrogant before becoming a Christian may still be arrogant in their Christian faith. Christ condemns that, but it still may be something they struggle with. People who are obnoxious in whatever their beliefs and ideas are before becoming Christians, still may be that same way later.

Killing others in the name of God is always, always wrong- whether it's a supposed "Christian" who shoots a doctor who performs abortions or a Muslim extremist killing "infidels" in the name of Allah. That's really scary- so many in our country are trying to paint the religion of Islam as one of peace. It's only peaceful coming from those who aren't devoted in their faith and who don't believe their Quran literally. I've read excerpts of the Quran, and it really does talk about "killing infidels" and about how they will be rewarded in heaven for doing so. To them, it is the highest honor to kill others "opposed" to their ways and beliefs.
Sorry if I offend anyone for saying this, but I really believe that the Muslim extremists and the Quran is straight from the evil one. Other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. are not religions I know a huge amount about, but I do believe that they are peaceful religions. Islam is NOT a peaceful religion- if anyone thinks otherwise, then get your hands on a Quran and read what it says- it very much advocates violence towards non-Muslims. I believe trying to negotiate with terrorist leaders (like the pres. of Iran, for example) will never, never work because of his devotion to this "kill the infidels" and "wipe the Jews off the map" belief (that problem goes way, way back and I don't believe the Arab/Jewish hatred for each other will even end until the end of time). I believe the Evil one in this universe is responsible for the sweeping Muslim/Islam religion explosion and that this is really a good vs. evil fight on a spiritual level. The "evil one" also can influence people to do evil things all the while they're claiming to be Christians.

God is love- love does not produce hate or violence. If it does, then it's not truly from God.

My two cents worth, (or two hundred!)

Lisa

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

there are people who believe there is a God and who assume that makes them a Christian. There are people who have had a salvation experience, and therefore are Christians, but who are not letting the Holy Spirit reign in their lives or allowing Jesus to be the Lord of their lives. And then there are Christians who are really focused on living as Christ would have them to do, but who fall short and succumb to temptation. I have been all these people.
I no longer try to 'decide' who is and who isn't a Christian. I try to discern what is right and good for me to do and keep trying to raise the bar. I compete only against my past record and have only the example of Christ as my goal. That pretty much keeps me busy.
God bless.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

The Koran does not have a monopoly of murderous passages in it, the Bible has them too.

~ from Deuteronomy 17
"If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die."

The idea of unchristian behavior does not sway me one way or another toward any religion. I feel the problems lie with religion as a whole. I don't care for any of them, they (mostly) all give the OK to kill non-believers and they also preach that their religion is the only way to salvation. It all falls under if you believe in the whole religion concept. I truly believe that religion was a man-made creation in order to control people and to prey on them and not pray for them. God was created in man's image and aside from keeping the masses under control, it was an easy way to explain the unexplainable. That is until science came along and disproved many of the churches teachings or how they saw the world.

Religion seems like it is here to stay though and until all involved fully understand each other and agree to disagree, there will be problems. I also think that things on both side (Koran and the Bible) are taken out of context at times not to mention the slaughter that has occurred on both sides for centuries. Argh, it all makes me sick that in the name of God or Allah, Peace can not be achieved. I really feel it is of such little importance what religion, if any, that someone subscribes to. It's what you DO with your life or what you do IN your life that matters, not what club you belong to.

There will never be peace on earth as long as people let their beliefs get in the way. It's too bad, but that's the way it seems to go. Lisa, I respect you and I hope your frustration toward fanatical groups goes both ways. There is plenty of hatred in the 2 main religions. For me, it all boils down to religion....the worst idea man has ever had.

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

You are right Phil, in that I definitely believe fanatacism goes both ways and in several ways. Yes, much violence and hate has been preached in the name of God. I believe that is wrong and I also believe, like you said, that peace will never be achieved. We can keep trying and perhaps there will be a facade of peace for a while, but it will never last- beliefs and hatreds are far too ingrained to ever be gone. Don't want to be a pessimist on the "Think World Peace" idea- but I just don't believe it will ever be achieved.

So, what are WE all going to do to achieve peace in our own lives and in the lives of those we love who are around us? I guess that's the important question we should each address in our own lives.

"Peace" to you- :)
Lisa

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

I think what WE all can and should do is to be tolerant of others, even if we disagree (I do not always do that) and I still believe in that Golden Rule. Just treat others like you want to be treated. I also try to do random acts of kindness with people. I will sometimes pay for someone's bus fare in NYC when I'm in for chemo, I try to bring in food weekly for the food pantry we support through work, or pick up garbage I see on the street or where I work. I think if everyone gave a little extra we'd be on the right path.

;-)
Peace Lisa
-phil

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

I wish it were possible but man's very nature seems to make it impossible. Unless his very nature is transformed man seems to have no limit to the evil and trouble he can inflict on himself, others and the planet. But we also know the earth groaneth...............:)

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

It seems our nature is to destroy everything. Either we try to destroy each other or we try to destroy our planet. No other species has the wisdom we have and look at how we use it. Not unlike the mediums of TV and the Internet. We hold such great tools that are capable of teaching/educating so many people. What do we do? We get emails on how to enlarge our "members" and then TV ads on how to keep them enlarged.

Ernie Kovacs once said something like this "Television is a medium. It's not rare and it's seldom well-done".

Maybe all of this is a test of what mankind does with the ability to think and reason, however we came upon those "gifts".
-p

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

It is so discouraging that humankind can in this age still practice war, genocide..ect. My son did a tour in Iraq, was almost killed three times. It really had an impact on my participation in goverment. I'm a vet and have had many in my family but I became an ardent anti war protester. For the troops but against what our goverment started. I just don't get how destructive man can be....:)

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

I have nothing but the highest regard and admiration for you son and his sacrifice for our country. While I am not vet my Dad was in WWII. The Vietnam War vets got such a raw deal. I think people today can separate the men how are there fighting and those who start the wars and, like in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, none of those who "dealt it" ever served in the military. The exception was Colin Powell who was booted out of the last admin because he disagreed with the war in Iraq.

I don't get it either. I think the planet is big enough for us all to live peacefully but there are those who want it all for themselves.

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

Talk about the evolution of a person it would be me when he went to Iraq. I began to loathe the Bush tactic of using fear, axis of evil ect. to force us to adopt his policies. I prefer to be an "intelligent" patriot :) If the average person could be as involved with the soldiers as we were they would be livid to see how they have been treated.
I really admire Colin Powell, more after Bush hung him out to dry at the United Nations

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

Sometimes it's hard to justify war, other times it's not as hard. Look at WWII and Hitler. Pretty cut and dry in my opinion. The Iraq war though was almost like we were attacked on 9/11 and then we went and invaded Canada. I could understand Afghanistan but Iraq had nothing to do with it and they (GW) knew it. They had plans to invade Iraq pre 9/11. The sent so many young men and women to die so they could "liberate" the oil and they didn't even get that right.

I hope your son is back home, safe and sound.
-p

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

For the US to invade Canada...

An aircraft carrier pulls into Vancouver and a submarine into Halifax. "OKAY CANADA, throw down you gun! We have you surrounded!" LOL :) :)

I think the last time the US invaded Canada was 1812 (actually we weren't even Canada then, just another colony). We've pretty well been best buddies ever since. I've got dual citizenship so can relate to how close we are.

We have many young men and women in Afganistan too. The IED's are doing a real number on them! Almost 9 years now.

Robert, I join Phil in hoping your son is home soon, safe, and sound.

Peace and blessings... Rob in Vancouver

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

He is home safe, he served with the 349th quartermaster battalion. They were attacked nightly with rockets and mortars. He won The Meritorious Service Medal for "Valor in combat theatre". He saved his roomates life one night while they were under attack.

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

Thank You!!

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

Cancer is so transforming on so many levels it is hard to grasp really. I like you are a christian and see it in a spiritual way but not just limited to that. Modern medicine has done a lot to give us hope, treatment and options we didn't have just 15 years ago. For that I am thankful and blessed. I spend a lot of time praying for the sick and have seen some very dramatic results, myself included.

zjrosenthal
Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2008

Wow has a lot happened...I found out in Aug that my husband of 34 yrs was seeing prostitutes at the time I posted. I knew as I had written that God had a plan but was blindsided by this. I believe Gods will was for me to stay in the marriage and I have come to realize that part of God's plan was to get both myself and hubby into recovery in a 12 step program at my church and to save him from the destruction he was headed for. I am so grateful that God is healing our marriage, has saved hubby and is having me look at issues I didnt even realize I had. My Lord is good all the time even when I dont much like what He is doing. Please pray for us to stay the course He has laid out for us.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

I guess he does work in mysterious ways as they always say...

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

That's all..

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

You're a better woman than I, not sure I could cope as well as you appear to be doing. Will lift you and yours in prayer.

RE

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5789
Joined: Apr 2009

Zjrosenthal, you are one very remarkable person your example is what true Christianity is all about, may God bless you according to your faith.

zjrosenthal
Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2008

Thank you all for the wonderful encouraging words. In the beginning after I found out what he was doing in my bed,of all places, when I wasnt there....I was feeling both homicidal and suicidal. I knew even then that God was in this whole journey including cancer but I hated what He had to do to save my husband. Hep C, Lyme Disease, Salmanella poisoning and then cancer and infidelity have grown me in so many ways. I dont much like the growing pains but they have taught me that God is in charge not me and that He can be trusted no matter the circumstances. Today I am so grateful to be alive and am learning to forgive as He does but only with His help, support from others and much prayer and soul searching. I have realized that I am far from perfect myself (Step 4 of the 12 steps)and that is helping me in the process of forgiving. God is the remarkable one who is healing, teaching and guiding me. He died to save me so how can I deny Him what he asks of me? Teaching me how to love is the most important thing and today my marriage is better than it has ever been. I am looking forward to more healing both physically and spiritually. (1 Corinthians 13)

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