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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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14 Sep 2022, 11:08 am

klanka wrote:
Yeah I've spent time volunteering and time working, working was much better due to the money :) I would've thought that if volunteering was pleasing to God that something good would've come out of volunteering but it didn't... Except meeting a few nice people... But I don't see them outside of the volunteering so.....

I’m not even sure I can say I’ve met nice people.

It seems the few times I’ve volunteered, I’ve ended up being treated as weird.



AngelRho
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14 Sep 2022, 11:40 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
The point to doing good deeds….is that it benefits the recipient; and, therefore, it benefits you.

EXACTLY!! !!

kraftiekortie wrote:
Why deny yourself the opportunity to do good deeds just because it “selfishly benefits you?”

You don't. But that was never the point

kraftiekortie wrote:
I don’t see the point in NOT doing good deeds.

It's when the only thing you hear or are taught is the importance of doing good deeds for others, the importance of self-sacrifice, and committing to living a life of poverty, poor health, hunger, sacrificing your emotional well-being as well as your mental health, even the well-being of your own family, for the benefit of others. Then you suddenly become homeless. Everyone who ever said, "thank you! If you ever need anything, all you have to do is reach out and ask," suddenly gives you that "you poor thing" look and says, "Oh, I'm sorry you're going through this. I just wish there was something I could do." Then you ask, and they say, "I'm sorry...we don't have any room for anyone at our house," "we don't have any money we can spare," "if we didn't already have plans, you could come over for dinner at our house..."

How long do you have to stay desperate, to lay down your life to help so many needy people, how close to death do you have to be before people who shout "do unto others" begin to actually do for others themselves?

That's what makes it so upsetting. When I see my wife in tears because she doesn't know how she's going to get food for our children. Or they've outgrown or worn out their clothes and she doesn't have any money to buy new clothes. Or the lawnmower breaks (again), it's been rainy, and you've got weeds as tall as the house. Then the septic tank backs up and you literally have $#!+ all over the yard. Or the AC keeps breaking and you can't afford to fix it anymore--can you imagine surviving Mississippi Delta summers without A/C? Thank God the winters aren't so bad...

And then people ask, "hey, you seem down today. Everything ok?" And you tell them what all is going on. "Dang, man, I feel you. Life sucks. Wish I could do something..." And here's the kicker: When a friend ACTUALLY DRIVES BY THE HOUSE and lays eyes on how bad things really are--"hey, man, why didn't you tell me it was this bad???" Yeah...

THEN I get two or three people coming out of the woodwork to help us out. Don't get me wrong: I'm GRATEFUL that someone finally took notice, listened to me, and then actually did something that cost them next to nothing. Don't miss that, because it meant a lot. But people came out to help after I got tired of asking after years of being refused help or being ignored. After I'd already adapted to my situation. After I started making steps to manage a tight budget, find people giving away clothes after their own kids outgrew things. The lawnmower that breaks after a single cutting...I just gave it away to a neighbor. It couldn't be fixed. I told them if they could do something with it, it was theirs. My loss, your gain, right? And bought TWO, cheap, walk-behind mowers. Extremely low maintenance. If one breaks, I still have one that works, just might take a little longer to cut. And then my kids got old enough to do chores. At the end of the season, both mowers go into the shop, no rush on getting them back. Start over the next year. Hot summer? Open windows, crank up the box fans. Winter? Small, low-wattage, single room space heaters. Very inexpensive, double up on blankets. Car turns out to be a lemon? Go to having a single vehicle for the whole family. Work it out for work schedules. Got debt under control. Bought food in bulk. Made tons of stuff at home. Picked ONE day out of a month to eat at a restaurant. Prioritized date nights with the wife, other nights for planning the month in advance. Learned to let go of things we couldn't control.

What does "do unto others" really mean? It means "just deal." YOU don't matter. YOU don't have a voice. YOU don't have a right to enjoy good things in life. YOU don't get to put your family first. Everyone else is important, but YOU are selfish if you want a better life. Asking for things when you are desperate just shows how greedy you are. How dare you ask for help when your rich "friend" HAS to buy a new car? People shout "do unto others," but it never applies to them.

I propose reexamining what Jesus actually meant when He said "Do unto others..." Simple, unadulterated reciprocity. When you do kindness to others, you are pouring into their lives. You are investing in them. You see SOMETHING in that person that is valuable. A hard worker who loves others, who is productive, who is a strong example to his children and to others, and he's just down on his luck. Hey, the economy is killing everyone right now, including AngelRho's family. Things are just bad. They'll get better. And here's someone who has so much potential and can do so much more if maybe we can get him some relief from worrying about where his family's next meal is coming from. Or maybe God has blessed us so much we just want to gather friends together, people who are important to us, people who have shown us so much kindness, and show them how important they are to us.

Now wait a minute, Rho, treat someone to a nice dinner because they are important? Where's the ROI? Well...DUH...the fact that we got to spend TIME with people we love. Because we WANT to. Basically...paying someone to hang out with us. Getting that time and having those conversations IS the ROI. It doesn't have to be a money thing. Sometimes it's just nice to, like, not be a d!ck.

What gets screwed up in reciprocity is that what Jesus taught was connected to the value we all have as human beings. Whether Jesus said it or Moses said it, the major caveat throughout the whole Bible is you have to be WILLING to, for example, NOT be a d!ck. You can't just go around throwing money at people expecting them to be better people. If you throw money at people you don't care about because you feel obligated to do it, because it makes you look good, I promise you're going to miss that money more than you're going to enjoy making that person's life better. People didn't help me or my family out because 1) they had no obligation to, and 2) we had no value to them. The typical "do unto others" attitude fosters entitlement and bitterness when nobody helps you. What I learned is I don't NEED anyone but myself. I can CHOOSE to help people I love. Throwing money at people blindly enables bad behavior. But when someone is worth it, the reward, whether it is money, companionship, or something else, returns to you many times over (Return On Investment, ROI).

THAT is what Jesus was going for the whole time. As Christians, we are called to spread the gospel. What's ROI? Getting into heaven? No, because if it's just me going to heaven, that's not anything worth seeing. But if all the people I care about are there, and the person who got saved because of something I said or did that led them to Christ, and then all the people they tell about Christ and all the people THEY tell about Christ are there...THAT is true wealth. It's a tiny investment, you don't even really have to DO that much. Your kindness, as long as you willingly your kindness, as long as your kindness is rational, will ALWAYS come back to you, often in ways you never expect. If you WASTE your kindness, your reason, your SELF, you'll regret it. Always expect something back.



aghogday
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14 Sep 2022, 11:48 am

AngelRho wrote:
AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
https://vedika-khatwani.medium.com/vasudhaiva-kutumbakam-fa0afdd29e8

Image

Yes, I’d say most religions have a version of the Golden Rule.

But sometimes this seems too high a standard. For example, in Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” Just too high a standard. Especially trying to feel that way, which we’re probably not going to be able to do even 50% of the time. I’m sorry, but jealousy is a big part of the human condition.

Even in terms of action, this is kind of telling us that we should spend most of our free hours working for the welfare of others — when others are probably not reciprocating back to us.

New Testament reciprocity is distinctly anti-altruistic. It carries the expectation that good things will happen, that when you do good things for others you receive ROI. If there’s no point to doing good things for others, why do it?




From The New Testament, "Turning the Other Cheek" And
"Loving the Enemy" Is Surely Far Away From 'Anti-Altruistic'

And As Mentioned Often in Discussions From Before, Science
Shows That Humans With The Ability to Give, Share, Care, Heal,
Without Expect of Return, Reap Benefits of Greater Joy For Months on End

As Long As They Continue to 'Color Their Christmas Tree' Within, New Colors
of Lights to Give, Share, Care, And Heal ThiS WaY; And Obviously, Dudes Mostly Are

Ones Who Created the So-Called 'Golden Rules' Cross-Culturally That At Core Suggest
"Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You" Yet Sadly Missing Greater

Human Emotional Intelligences

Though AS THIS JUST WON'T Work;
EVEN AN INTROVERT Who LIVES WITH
AN EXTROVERT HEHE; IT Really Fully Doesn't Work;

Same With 'Dating Apps' And Coming into 'Contact'
With Someone Who Enjoys Pain With Their Pleasure More....

People are Alike in Some Ways Yet Much Different in Other Ways Indeed;
Without A Lifelong Art of Developing Cognitive Empathy, It Becomes Increasingly

Difficult to Develop Life Long Relationships That Yes, Actually Last; Yeah, As in the
Case of Most Aphorisms, 'They' Often Materially Reduce, With A Shallow Level of Painting

The Human
Condition Whole;

i Am Fortunate, i Have
A Kind of Human Nature And Nurture
That Doesn't Require Any Affirmation
or Gifts From Others When i Give, Share,
Care, Heal For Free; Naked, Enough, Whole, Complete;

ThiS Way As in my Case at Least, the More i Give, the More i Share,
The More i Care, The More i Heal, the Taller my Christmas Tree Grows

Within With
New Fabulous
Colors oF LiGHT
to Explore Each Day;
Yep, Life-Long Art of Love

Developing the Top of 'The Pyramid
of Universalizing Love For ALL' DarK Thru LiGHT

In Secular Terms of Course, An Autotelic Flow One Generates Practicing
Within Meditating to Be As Happy As They Like As They Continue A Life
of Love Giving, Sharing, Caring, Healing For Free; Yep, A REAL KINGDOM

And Or QUEENDOM

OF HEAVEN WiTHiN THAT SOME
OF US ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH
TO SQUEEZE 'OUR CAMEL' MADE IN
THIS CuLTuRE; Yep, THROUGH AN EYE
OF A NEEDLE OF LOVE AND ESCAPE INTO AN AFTER

LIVING DEATH

TO NiRVaNiC BLISS

THAT'S Yes! REALLY
A LIFE OF LOVE NOW FOR REAL, New;
Yep, This Kingdom And Or Queendom
of Heaven Within; Free Play Just to Give,
Care, Share, And Heal As Wings Become Wind Free Love...

Honestly, What Old Sacred Texts are Missing Most, CROSS-CULTURALLY, Is A More Holy,
Sacred, Divine Feminine Touch in Art; Whether That Comes From Whoever May Gift it

For Real New Now...

Yep, It's Already Been
Gifted in Many Other
Works of Art than What
the 'Old Patriarchy' Offers Shallower 'Poorer' Then...

Too Bad, So-Called Jesus, Never Had A Pen or A Fancy, Dancy, Singy, Typewriter
to Use to Actually Impart More Fully What Wisdom He Might Have Gained in Life;

Yet it's True, Usually it takes Longer than 33 Years of Age And Some Folks Rarely Find it at all...

We Don't Live in A Little Dirt Patch in the Middle East Anymore, We Have A Whole Globe of Souls to
Explore New Now...

So in Other Words,
Per Shoe Selling
Cliche; Yep Now,

i 'Just DO It,'

Without Selling
Any Shoes at All;
True, TOTALLY BAREFOOT TOO...

YET OF COURSE THAT'S AN OLDEST
TRADITIONAL WAY TO DO IT TOO; BARE

OF SHALLOWS 'FORE

WHere Tradition
Indeed Becomes Naked
New Now Truer ALL LiT UP..:)



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AngelRho
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14 Sep 2022, 9:09 pm

aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
https://vedika-khatwani.medium.com/vasudhaiva-kutumbakam-fa0afdd29e8

Image

Yes, I’d say most religions have a version of the Golden Rule.

But sometimes this seems too high a standard. For example, in Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” Just too high a standard. Especially trying to feel that way, which we’re probably not going to be able to do even 50% of the time. I’m sorry, but jealousy is a big part of the human condition.

Even in terms of action, this is kind of telling us that we should spend most of our free hours working for the welfare of others — when others are probably not reciprocating back to us.

New Testament reciprocity is distinctly anti-altruistic. It carries the expectation that good things will happen, that when you do good things for others you receive ROI. If there’s no point to doing good things for others, why do it?




[align=center]From The New Testament, "Turning the Other Cheek" And
"Loving the Enemy" Is Surely Far Away From 'Anti-Altruistic'

Say whaaaaaat???

There’s nothing altruistic about turning the other cheek. Turning the other cheek is an acknowledgment that responding to violence with violence when doing so will not help the victim is irrational. Check your favorite misquotes for context. Turning the other cheek is all about self preservation. Repeat for everyone in the back: SELF preservation.

Loving your enemy is…somewhat similar. Slightly different context. In the Bible, “love” isn’t often meant as strictly an emotion. You can FEEL anger and hatred towards someone, but it’s your actions that count. The enemies referred to here were understood to be the Jews’ Roman captors. Romans had come to expect hatred and resentment from the Jews. Failure to turn the other cheek and love their enemies ultimately culminated in the destruction of the temple, the disaster at Masada, and the death of a religion.

Christianity, otoh, thrived by forming a symbiosis with the Roman Empire despite intense persecution of the early church. The more Christians were persecuted, the more their numbers increased, the more care they took of other Romans, the more valuable they became. That, of course, resulted in the adoption of Christianity as a state religion.

See? Love your enemies is all about being selfish. At first it was about self preservation. It later became about what could be achieved by everyone working together.

Christianity became corrupted once it became an official state religion. It is not the reasonable nor proper role of government to mandate the faith and beliefs of individuals. First there were forced conversions. Then good teachings were twisted to mean something else—you are all guilty of sin and condemned to hell; but if you just believe and join our church, pay tithes and offerings, say certain prayers and creeds, and fight in our armies, you’ll be spared an eternity of torment. Did you sin today? Give us your cash and all will be forgiven. Are you a slave? Work hard for your master and you’ll be rewarded in heaven when you die. When you DIE. Because there is NOTHING worth living for here on earth, amirite?

Wives, submit to your husbands when they abuse you or you’re going to hell, mmkay?

And don’t try to achieve anything or expect any kind of reward, or you’ll lose all your reward in heaven. Keep your head down, speak only when spoken to, help your neighbor but NEVER ask anyone for help—because that’s SELFISH you entitled little brat.

But if someone actually DOES mean something to you, then it all makes sense: enemies can be converted to friends. Turn the other cheek when fighting back accomplishes nothing good. Go the extra mile when there’s an opportunity for something more there. Now that just makes sense!

There’s nothing WRONG about any of those things. But guilting someone into something because you’re greedy? Tell someone they should feel bad for having nice things just because you don’t want to work for nice things yourself? It doesn’t make sense. But that’s what you tell people when you say turn the other cheek, or love your enemies. It makes no logical sense until you understand that something should be gained when you do those things. Without logic, doing things for others is death.



kraftiekortie
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14 Sep 2022, 10:43 pm

I still don’t see the reason to NOT do good deeds—unless, obviously, a person might mistaken this for weakness.



IsabellaLinton
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14 Sep 2022, 10:51 pm

Good deeds are a way of demonstrating empathy or human connection.
Human connection is needed so people aren't fearful of harm or danger from others.



aghogday
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14 Sep 2022, 11:44 pm

AngelRho wrote:
Without logic, doing things for others is death.




mY FRiEnD 'That' May Be Your Interpretation
of Bible Verses, Yet It's Just One Interpretation
As It's Poetry And May Be Interpreted As Many
Ways As 45,000 Plus Denominations And All Those
Folks Sitting in the Pews Do Relate Differently Hehe;

Yes, Some Folks Believe Turning the Other Cheek
Actually Means Allowing Someone Still to Actually
Smack Ya Some More As Some Folks See it that way;

That's Neither Altruistic or Anti-Altruistic, It's Just
Plain Non-Sense, Unless Ya Believe A 'Roman'
Rule That Says Don't Fight Back Be Under 'Our Control;'

And Yes, Typically When Ya Love the Enemy
Ya Don't Usually Expect Nice Things in Return;

Yet Ya May Do It Now too; As Ya Don't Need
Anything in Return From the Enemy As such;

Again, Just Depends on the Interpretations;

They Are Unlimited And the Original Ghost
Authors, Scribes, and Such Who Wrote Them
No Longer Exist to Explain the Original Intent.

Maybe Altruism Doesn't Work For You

Yet Science Says It is Real and Works
For The Best for 'Real Success' for those
Who Are Able to Employ it For Real Now;

Yes, it Surely is A Path And A Journey

That Remains A Kingdom And Queendom

Of Heaven Within For me to Give, Share, Care,
Healing Freely With No Expect of Return of Course

to Able to Do That in Effortless
Ease it Helps to Be Naked, Enough,
Whole, Complete With Plenty to Give,
Share, Care, Heal Never Running Out Now For Real...

(And in No Way, Shape, or Form Am i Talking About
Material Goods or Money As i Don't Even Carry Cash hehe)

No Lie, Financial Independence Helps Yet my Way of
Kindness With No Expect of Return Brought All the
Material Riches i Will Ever Need too; Life Verily Isn't Fair,

For Some the Darkness
May Be All They Ever See
Yes For Now At Least, Returning

to the 'Lion King Movie' For Those
Who Only Find Scraps of Love With Not
Enough to Give Away Free Sharing With Caring

And Healing a Fountain Never Ending Flowing True...

Let me Know When You Get to Heaven and What You Find Here

or Etc... And to Be Clear, if i Wore Your Shoes i Might Have A Similar View As You

Yet i
Do Not;

And That'S How Life
Comes And GoeS And ReturnS AGAiN...

Not Everyone Sees it, Feels it, and Or
Senses it Yet Altruism Is itS Own Intrinsic
Reward For Those Who Are Able to Generate

The Neurochemicals and Neurohormones That Go With It...

No Doubt That Some Folks Without that Ability Are Not too Interested in Altruism Indeed...

It Has Very Little to Do With Material Rewards Yet Of Course When one is Naked, Enough,
Whole, Complete And Doesn't Require Many Material Rewards for Complete Satisfaction in Life

The Money Tends
to Grow Like Mold
in the Bank Until One
Day Ya Find You're Rich Enough
to Never Need to Earn A Penny Again;
And You Let A Wife Have it All As It Was
All Her Inheritance Then From the Very
Beginning When the 'Mold' Started Growing Hehe...

On the Other Hand, There Are Others Who Are Empty
Within Who Never Ever Gain Enough Material Rewards

For Naked
Enough
Whole
Complete;

And True i've Known
Many Folks Like That
And Very Few Who Do Life Like me...

And That's Okay, No one is Required to be like me..:)



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AngelRho
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15 Sep 2022, 5:00 am

aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Without logic, doing things for others is death.

mY FRiEnD 'That' May Be Your Interpretation
of Bible Verses,

Not interpretation. Just reality. There is no logical point to enabling your abusers.



AngelRho
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15 Sep 2022, 5:12 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Good deeds are a way of demonstrating empathy or human connection.
Human connection is needed so people aren't fearful of harm or danger from others.

I agree. But that doesn’t give others blanket permission to abuse people. The struggle I’ve had in life was being frustrated by living the kind of life I was always told by spiritual leaders was the right one.

I’m not currently affiliated with a church right now. But I am determined to find a place that is friendly, welcoming, and where I really feel I have a positive role—and where people will respond positively to me. While I miss being a part of something, I must admit it does feel much better not enduring negative messages all the time.



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15 Sep 2022, 7:47 am

AngelRho wrote:
aghogday wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Without logic, doing things for others is death.

mY FRiEnD 'That' May Be Your Interpretation
of Bible Verses,

Not interpretation. Just reality. There is no logical point to enabling your abusers.




Again, only Your Interpretation;
One May Enable Their “Abusers,”
Foes, Enemies; Whatever Ya Wanna
Call Your “Abusers” to Allow Them
An Opportunity to Fall on Their own
Swords And Remove Some Scale
Of “Blindness;” Yes, Ignorance to

Become at Least A
Slightly New Creation
To See Greater Truths Of

Life indeed my FRiEnD Essence
Of The “Altruistic Cross” Yet There
Are Much More Clever Ways Of

Doing it Than Giving Your Life
Away At 33 Or So Years And
Not Helping Nearly As Many

People if You Had Stayed
Here And Got The Job
More Fully Done instead
Of Promising To Return

While Folks Still Wait
For Bone Covered
Flesh 2K or So Years

Later For Their Dead
Hero To Return Now;

Sadly, Never Picking Up
“The Ball” And Dancing
Singing Free Their Own
EPiC Hero Journey of Life;

Yep, Where I LiVE iN Just
Another “Trump Meme Town”
i Hear ‘That Sad Failed Story’ Lots…

Other Than That if You Haven’t
Heard, Rationally And Logically
Measuring Reality only is Like

Picking Bones
And Never
Growing
Flesh And
Blood of Real

Soul With A Sadly
Very Reduced Limited Existence;
Yes, A Literal Materially Reduced

And
Induced
Blindfold
Some Refuse
To Remove At
The “Right Hand”
Of “Scientism” That
i See At Church As Much
As i Saw it At School And
Yuck Federal Employment AS Such.



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15 Sep 2022, 11:34 am

AngelRho wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
Good deeds are a way of demonstrating empathy or human connection.
Human connection is needed so people aren't fearful of harm or danger from others.

I agree. But that doesn’t give others blanket permission to abuse people. The struggle I’ve had in life was being frustrated by living the kind of life I was always told by spiritual leaders was the right one.

I’m not currently affiliated with a church right now. But I am determined to find a place that is friendly, welcoming, and where I really feel I have a positive role—and where people will respond positively to me. While I miss being a part of something, I must admit it does feel much better not enduring negative messages all the time.

Maybe for some people going to church every month, or every 2 weeks, or every 7 weeks is about the right rhythm.

And if someone asks, you can truthfully say you’re a visitor, at least at the beginning, then maybe things get a little sticky. Although we know there are plenty of church members who don’t attend every week! :D



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15 Sep 2022, 12:33 pm

aghogday wrote:
. . . One May Enable Their “Abusers,”
Foes, Enemies; Whatever Ya Wanna
Call Your “Abusers” to Allow Them
An Opportunity to Fall on Their own
Swords . . .

I read this very hopefully as: Yeah, I may make a mistake and enable an abuser.

But they’re still likely to get theirs. Meaning, someone who lives that twisted a life will bring on their own problems.



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15 Sep 2022, 1:29 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
I read this very hopefully as: Yeah, I may make a mistake and enable an abuser.

But they’re still likely to get theirs. Meaning, someone who lives that twisted a life will bring on their own problems.




Yes, Hehe, Trump is an 'Excellent Example.'

He's Been Used by The Republican Party to Appease 'Their Base;'

And In Being Used Has Received A Whole Lot of Yes's That Anyone
Else Would Have Received No's From Who Weren't Supported By The Republican Base.

So, By Enabling Trump To Do All His DasTurDly Deeds That's Allowed Trump To Come

Very Close to
Falling on His Sword
AS Soon As Sooner than Soon Comes Next;
Yep, Negative Aspect of Living in A 'Yes World;'

Somedays The Best Part of What Some Folks May
Perceive as A Foe May Be Their True Saving Grace;

However, it Appears that Trump is As Incorrigible As
A Repeat Offender; Yet in His Case, Long to Make A Final First Fall..:)



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15 Sep 2022, 6:13 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
aghogday wrote:
. . . One May Enable Their “Abusers,”
Foes, Enemies; Whatever Ya Wanna
Call Your “Abusers” to Allow Them
An Opportunity to Fall on Their own
Swords . . .

I read this very hopefully as: Yeah, I may make a mistake and enable an abuser.

But they’re still likely to get theirs. Meaning, someone who lives that twisted a life will bring on their own problems.

They often do, yes. But we all know that heinous people will often do a lot of damage on the way down. Worship ministry is very important to me, so when a former boss FINALLY got what was coming to him, it was at another church.

It’s best to not ever let things make it to that level. People who do bad things get off super easy if you think about it. Job loss. Fines or jail/prison. Loss of credentials. Ruined reputation. But what they do NOT have is the responsibility to pick up the pieces. That always falls to their victims. Incarceration even gives you three hots and a cot. So what is there to worry about? For those of us with ruined careers and lives, it’s not so easy.

When you see that person, be it a narcissist, or a violent person, or whatever, it’s best to keep your distance from the outset.



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15 Sep 2022, 7:52 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
Good deeds are a way of demonstrating empathy or human connection.
Human connection is needed so people aren't fearful of harm or danger from others.

I agree. But that doesn’t give others blanket permission to abuse people. The struggle I’ve had in life was being frustrated by living the kind of life I was always told by spiritual leaders was the right one.

I’m not currently affiliated with a church right now. But I am determined to find a place that is friendly, welcoming, and where I really feel I have a positive role—and where people will respond positively to me. While I miss being a part of something, I must admit it does feel much better not enduring negative messages all the time.

Maybe for some people going to church every month, or every 2 weeks, or every 7 weeks is about the right rhythm.

And if someone asks, you can truthfully say you’re a visitor, at least at the beginning, then maybe things get a little sticky. Although we know there are plenty of church members who don’t attend every week! :D

There are all kinds of choices there. When it’s that important to you, you never stop going to church. But in this particular season of life, it’s just not working. And I’ve NEVER had this experience of not knowing where to go. My first college was closer to home, so I’d just go to church when I went to see mom most weekends. In upstate New York, I found a nice Southern Baptist church that I loved. First year of teaching, I was between two churches, but usually attended close to where I worked. Ended up being VERY active in a large church, and it was my first gig as paid church staff. Then I took another job replacing a talented pianist lost to COVID.

And now I’m…a free agent, I guess. If I’m not at the piano bench, I don’t know where to sit. I’m used to being in charge, too. I don’t know how to just go to a church and visit.

But I’m getting good at it, more now than ever. I used to give a lot of advice to a certain, nameless, banned WP’er to just go out and meet people, just like that. Just every opportunity, introduce yourself, strike up a conversation, learn all you can about everyone, find out what all is going on, and make yourself a part of that scene. Church music made it easy, but now it’s more about the greater community. Just today someone I’ve never met before came up and introduced herself because she’d heard I visited her church when she’d been out that Sunday.

It’s weird because I’ve never considered myself someone who could be a community leader, someone who could be popular beyond the piano keyboard. But now I’ve got strangers who think they have a connection to me. Maybe it’s best that I DON’T have a church right now because I’d
never make these connections otherwise.

People just want to be loved and feel important. I get a lot of joy out of it, just BEING THERE and nothing more, and watching how people respond makes it worth the effort.

I’m visiting my childhood church this Sunday, and then I’ll visit Harmony Baptist (small church near here) next time. And maybe in 2 or 3 weeks I’ll start exploring churches in the western part of the county.



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16 Sep 2022, 10:08 pm

AngelRho wrote:
. . . Just today someone I’ve never met before came up and introduced herself because she’d heard I visited her church when she’d been out that Sunday.

It’s weird because I’ve never considered myself someone who could be a community leader, . . .

In many ways, I think leadership skills are more straightforward than are fellowship skills.