Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Religion Differences.

I've been raised Christian all my life. I've was always taught, I should marry a Christian. F.B. is Catholic. We both believe in the same God. We both believe in Jesus is the son of God. There are major & minor differences in our religions. But faith has always been an important part of our relationship and something that attracted me to F.B. in the first place.

Hi Sarah! How are you? Mass is at 10:30 a.m. I woke up around 9, had some breakfast and went to church with my Mom and sis. That was Sunday, of course. I was at school today and during my free time, I thought I'd do some reading. So I sat around and started reading. I noticed people looking. What was I reading?.....My Bible. I thought I'd catch up on stuff. Haven't read for quite some time. I guess they just aren't used to seeing someone read the Bible around school. Some guy actually came up to me and asked what my religion was. Smile, Sarah. No worries.
I'll see ya when I see ya. Take care, God bless. F.B.

Hey F.B. ,That's so awesome. I used to take my bible to work last year. And I'd read it once in awhile at lunch or a break, or whenever I needed to look up a verse. But I haven't taken it there this year, because it feels like this year has been busier, and there's never enough time to read. So I have to do that at church, or at home (when I remember, I'm bad at that sometimes...) Talk to ya L8R, God bless, Sarah

I hear you about Christmas, Sarah. People just tend to forget that, what will all the gifts and stuff. I mean, I went to mass just before Christmas Eve last year and the choir was singing "Happy Birthday to You", then I heard a woman behind me asking "Who's birthday is it?" I was kinda peeved by that.....Anyway, I grew up with the Santa Claus thing too (Kinda weird since we don't have any chimneys around here. LoL!) Take care, F.B.

Earlier in our relationship, I found out F.B. was reading through the bible on his own, I asked if I could read along with him, and we would read through a few chapters in the bible together everyday. We even memorized a bible verse that really applied to us:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

F.B. and I had never really had any talks about the differences in our religions, until I decided to email him about it.

"Sarah Lynn C." wrote: Hey baby, I wanted to have a talk about religion, and about the differences in our religion. So, I’ll share with you what I believe & my church believes, and then you can send me back an email with everything that you believe & your thoughts. I think it’s important that we do discuss the differences because they are there.

Hmmm…. I guess I’ll talk about what I believe first, in my faith as a Christian. I believe that Jesus died on the cross, and rose again- to forgive me for my sins & to give me everlasting life, when I die in heaven. But I didn’t always have that salvation… it was a gift that I had to accept. Meaning, when I was younger I didn’t really understand everything- so it actually wasn’t until I was in my teens, that Jason & I talked about being saved in his office, because I didn’t actually think I was- because I had been very young, and not understanding fully what that meant. So yeah…we prayed about it that day, and from then on I’ve been 100% sure that I am saved. I was also baptized when I was a baby at my grandparents church. But my church actually believes & the bible teaches, baptism should come after accepting salvation. So I was actually baptized again when I was…. 18? 19? Wow… I forget, I’m old! Also, salvation isn’t earned. Meaning, that even if I live out my whole life doing good things for other people, that still isn’t going to get me into heaven. Even if I follow all the 10 Commandments, that still isn’t enough to get me into heaven. All the praying, attending every service of church, still- won’t get me into heaven. We are supposed to do those things- because they are taught in the bible. And God wants us to go to church, and pray, and follow the commandments, and do good works. But- that’s not necessary or even vital for getting into heaven. There’s only one way into heaven. And that’s by acknowledging Jesus died, and rose again- as a sacrifice for all humankind, to forgive us of our sins, and give us eternal life.

Also which might be of importance. At least as a Christian, when I pray I pray to God, or Jesus (which are really one in the same anyway) Same with when I need to confess any sins… which is every stinking day… lol. Because as humans- we are sinners… and well we are not perfect. But we just get back up again, and try again, and strive for the prize. (Philippians 3:12-14) Still, that doesn’t matter, because I am saved, and I can never ever lose my salvation. It was a gift. Jesus is not an Indian giver. He doesn’t give you a gift, just to take it away again, lol. (Romans 8:38-39)

Pastor Mike said something interesting about that once. He said something about- and these are from notes I took on a Sunday morning a few months ago. If you can lose your salvation when you sin- then as soon as you got saved- you would lose your salvation within minutes. (Because as sinful people, we are always thinking, doing or saying something.) And if you could lose your salvation, then Jesus would have to die on the cross AGAIN. Which would make a mockery of what Christ did in the first place. If you can lose your salvation you have no hope. I’m a preachy little sucker… haha. But I’m not preaching, so please don’t think I am. I’m just sharing with you what I believe, and you will also have the chance to do so. I love you, Sarah

Wow! That's a long e-mail. LoL! Ya know, I never really thought that much about our differences in religion. I mean, I know there are differences but we do believe in the same God. So it never really was something I thought much of. But don't worry baby, I'll share my thoughts on that. Well, like you I believe that Jesus is my savior. Though Catholics do have Saints and pray to Mother Mary through the rosary and other stuff. We have this Filipino Saint....Lorenzo Ruiz. And we actually have the child Jesus as a Saint around here and he's called Nino(it's my name.hehe). My Mom told me they stopped calling me that when I became more naughty(just a little) as a kid. LoL!

When I pray, I pray to God. I don't remember me praying to Mother Mary, though as a family we did pray the rosary. I wonder, do you do the sign of the cross? Cuz that's something we do when we attend mass on church during Sundays or just pray. Though sometimes I feel there's really no need to do that. I mean, just talk to God. And we do have the Holy Week which is pretty much a holiday around here.....We did the "Visit Iglesia" sometime this year for that. Remember, I told you about that where we visit 7 churches to pray. That leads to Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday. And I know that we feel the same way about Christmas. That I feel that it should be more about Jesus Christ's birth. People seem to forget that. We should definitely teach our kids about the true essence of Christmas.

Anyway, there was a time in my life that I didn't believe in God, sometime around my late teens. I just felt so alone. But I dunno what happened....one day, I just said to myself- I believe in God. And here I am.....and I don't feel alone anymore and I know that when times get hard, God's there to listen to my prayers. And I thank Him for whatever blessings I receive, especially for bringing you into my life.
I like this verse from the Bible......Matthew 7:13-14 (The Narrow Gate) "Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are a few people who find it."

I know that life isn't perfect. It sucks sometimes. LoL! But I know that the trials and the problems that we have are just stuff that God knows we can handle. And they're like a way to lighten the burden that Jesus carries for us. And whenever I do "fail", it's just a way that God says- "This is not for you F". Or whenever I pray for something and it never comes, it's probably not the right time yet or God may have another plan for me.....Am I making sense here? I'm really not that theological. hehe. I hope you feel better soon. Take care. God bless. I love you Sarah. *mwah* F.B.

Hey boy ko, it doesn't matter if you aren't "theological" Or, "philosophical"- as I call myself when I get into a deep/thoughtful or spiritual mood, lol. Ya know, you wrote your thoughts down and it came from the heart, and I appreciate that we do get to talk about things. And I just thought we ought to talk about this because we never really have talked about the differences, and it was something I wanted to talk about. I also appreciate the fact that you are so understanding. That you take the time to listen to what I have to say, and even when you do reply you are still thoughtful and understanding in your replies to me. You're always patient, and understanding, and I am blessed to have you in my life.

I know that was a long email, haha. It's so funny... when I get started I can't stop myself, and bible verses fly out of my memory, not in full- but in bit's and pieces, and I either keyword search on the online bible, or look for the highlighted passages in my bible. No... I don't and we don't do the sign of the cross when we pray. We just bow our heads, etc. And like you said, talk to God, or Jesus.

What is the rosary? Now... I've heard of those beads... called rosary beads. You know... a girl I worked with at the shoe store gave me some purple plastic rosary beads with a plastic cross on them, and to this day I still carry them in my purse- mostly as a reminder of my faith. My boss at the shoe store. He was sucha nice guy! And I loved working there... but I think- well, I'm almost certain my boss was an Atheist. He didn't believe in God, he didn't believe in any religion or faith at all. He had sort of a problem when I would wear my cross necklace to work... one time I had been writing bible verses down, cuz I was bored and Pastor Mike had me memorizing them for counseling, and I accidentally left the paper at work, and he had a talk with us all about how he didn't like that kind of stuff. He also, didn't like that I wouldn't work Sunday's, because I had to be at church. There was the time we all had name badges, and all of girls were just drawing little designs on ours. I remember, I drew a heart a smilie, a flower, and a cross on mine. We drew on the backs, where customers wouldn't even see. When I came into work the next day, my badge was gone, and my boss had a talk with me and said he didn't like religious symbols of any kind. I worked with alot of people younger than me. I don't wanna say they were messed up- let's say they had some "problems" Alot of underage drinking, and drug use. And they always commented how I didn't curse, or go out partying or drink or any of that stuff. And I kinda always felt, like they made fun of me when it came to that. But then one evening Barb, the one girl I worked with said, "Sarah, I have something for you." And I thought she meant trash, cuz we were emptying the trashcans around the time the store was closing. And I was like, "Oh what it is." And then she handed me the plastic purple rosary beads... and I just thought that was so awesome. I did tell her, as a Christian, I didn't use them. But it was so awesome, because I never felt like I made any difference with my faith... so yeah... lol. I carry them in my purse to this day, as a reminder of my faith.

I can understand about not really accepting things until your late teens- because I definitely had a similar experience. I was 15 years old when Chrissy dragged- yes dragged me out to her churches youth group. I was pretty unexcepting about it... I mean I had been raised as a Christian- but I don't think you really begin to understand what it is all about until you are in your teens, and you are able to make the decision on your own, and able to form your own opinions. So yes, dragged me she did, and I wasn't too open about it. I'm like, "Oh... another church thing- this will be boring." And... it wasn't, haha. Youth group was so crazy and so much fun. I loved the time I was involved in my churches youth group- and that really set the foundation for my faith in Jesus Christ, and in God.

Yes... you understand my Christmas dilemma, lol. And how I've always felt it's too commercialized, and how it's all about the gifts, and "Santa" etc. And I'd always felt it should be more about Jesus. It's the time we celebrate his birth... and not too many think about that too much. My mom always makes a birthday cake in honor of Christ's birth. We've done that, since I was little. But I still always felt in my own home, it was still too much about getting the gifts, and "Santa" And those things are okay... but that's not what Christmas is about. And when I do have kids- if we have kids, I do want to really put the focus back on Christ during Christmas. ("Christ"-mas).

Yeah, we have Palm Sunday, Good Friday, (Or is that the other way around? No matter, lol.) And then Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday, as Pastor Mikes like to refer to it at my church. What about communion? Our church has communion once a month. Just to take time to reflect on Jesus' death and resurrection. A time to come together as a church, and also to pray, repent sins, etc. I like my church... nice and simple when it comes to communion, because they pass out the little cups... of grape juice, representing the blood Jesus spilled, when he was crucified, and the little cracker type things, representing his body that was broken, for our sins. Also I think I said, once that Pastor Mike said, The reason Christian crosses, don't depict Jesus on the cross, is because He isn't on the cross anymore.

Life is most definitely hard. Life is never going to be easy... life does sucks sometimes. Life also has it's wonderful moments and memories. But going through bad times, makes us just that more grateful of the good times & our blessings. And also makes us stronger, because through the bad times our faith is tested and strengthened. And yeah... I'm never alone. Because I know He'll never leave me. And I also like that verse you mentioned. I also agree with you, when you talked about praying for something, and maybe it wasn't God's will, or the right timing in your life. Or if something happens, maybe that's not what God has planned for your life. I do that alot. If I miss something- maybe it was for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. Look, I was flipping through my bible, and came across more notes from a Sunday morning, where Pastor Mike had said: "When God gives us a task to do, He doesn't say it will be easy. Be faithful & do it, and then you will see the blessings."

Anyway, this is getting long again. I'm glad that we talk about things, and discuss things, and communicate. And our faith in God is what brought us together, but I also just wanted to discuss and talk about the differences that are there in our religions. I also thank you for always being so understanding and patient, and supportive of me. And I love you so very much, Sarah Lynn

Hi baby. Aw, thank you for all the nice things you say about me. hehe.....You make me feel so special. *mwah*.....It's so true though that our faith brought us together somehow, and I do admire your faith and your theological ness (new word. LoL!).
I'm glad we're doing this Bible thing. I always kinda wanted to read through it but never really had the patience. I remember starting reading it for a while and then I stopped again. And then just before I met you, I started reading it again, though I really had no schedule. I'd just read whenever I felt like it. But now that you're there reading along with me, I just feel much more motivated to get read my chapters. I'm quite amazed that we've reached the New Testament already. It seemed so far away a few months ago. Anyway, it's nice that we get to do this kinda things together.

Well, rosaries are those bead thingies with a cross.....they kinda look like necklaces. First has one dangling from his mirror thingie. You use 'em to pray the rosary, which is basically a 15-minute prayer. Those beads represent The "Hail Mary" prayer, which you repeat over, and over going through the beads all around the rosary. It's kinda tough to explain in e-mail. But I can show you how it's done sometime. LoL!

As for communion, we have that every Sunday in our mass at church. But mostly it's just the cracker thingies(as you call 'em. LoL!) that we use. Sometimes they are dipped into wine. And you'd have to fall in line for communion.....I haven't had communion in a while though, come to think of it. Anyway, in the mass we have 2 readings, the homily(sermon), offertory, communion, and blessing. Take care. God bless. I love you. I love you. I love you. *mwah* -F.B.

I was thinking this morning after I read my chapters... what are we gonna raise our kids someday? I want our family to go to church... I want our family to have faith in God. I just don't know if I wanna raise them Christian, or Catholic. Religion was created by man, not by God. God just want's our obedience, and faith, our heart, our relationship, and to know that Jesus loved us, and died for us- to save us eternally. Perhaps- we should let them decide on their own? I dunno, whatcha think baby? -Sarah

I wanna tell you about the novena thing since you said that kinda bothered you...Yep, it's a catholic thing. But it's not done regularly by Catholics. I guess some just choose to do so like my mom. It's one of those 1-week things. And I just kinda get tagged along to do it with her. I dunno, my mind just tends to wander when doing that. Anyway, it's pretty much just praying the rosary and reciting some prayers. It takes about 20 minutes or so.

About the religion thingie. I agree that people should choose their own religion. But it's also important to kinda just teach the kids to have faith in God, go to church and stuff like that. So, I agree with you baby. Sometimes I feel religion just kinda complicates things though. I know me being catholic may be an issue with you being Christian. But the way I feel is it doesn't really matter what religion as long as we believe in the same God. I love you, -F.B.
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