Teach your children well

Now there’s a great old song from a great rock band (CSNY) that I had the pleasure of seeing in 2002 with my brother and his wife, in Denver at the Pepsi Center.  Great concert!  But that’s actually not what this post is about. 🙂

I was thinking about what it means to teach our children, or in the Biblical words, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)  Does it mean to tell them what is right and true in no uncertain terms, and that they must believe it?  Hmmm. 

I taught my children how to behave when they were young, as far as that aspect goes.  I taught them to say “Yes ma’am”, and “Yes sir”, “please” and “thank you”.  Things like that, I taught them and expected of them.  I tried to teach them to be respectful to me as their mother, though they certainly challenged me through the years on that one at times. 🙂  But as far as teaching them about Christianity, I took them to church when they were little, sure.  They learned about God and about Christianity there, and from me at home too.  It was somewhat difficult, since I played the piano or organ in churches for many years, and since my first husband, their father, didn’t often attend church, to teach them how to behave in church.  I could tell you some funny stories about that, actually, like once when I finished playing the opening music at a church service and looked out there when I was done at my 3 children sitting in the front.  My eldest was giving me the most pitiful look and putting her hand to her head, indicating that she didn’t feel well.  And that was typical.  She didn’t feel well because she’d rather not have been sitting out there in church, but would rather have been home playing or something.

I used to teach piano lessons, to take the topic off of God for a minute.  I had this one student who was 12 years old, and she was very talented.  She had a natural gift.  But every time she came to her lesson she would break into tears and cry, because her mother was making her take the lessons, and she didn’t want to.  I talked to the mother about it one day and told her that her daughter really was very talented, but perhaps she should try a different approach of ‘encouraging’ her child to take the lessons, rather than forcing her to.  And the mother told me in no uncertain terms, “She’s going to take the lessons whether she likes it or not.”  So, I did my best to teach her and encourage her through it myself.  But she would always come and cry, and continued to hate it.  Was her mother wrong in her approach?  I don’t know.  I think so, personally.

So back to the topic of Christianity…I took the approach with my kids of always letting them know what I believed and why.  If they wanted to come to me with some different approach or idea, I would discuss it with them, again explaining my viewpoint, but never forcing my own on them.  And I did that with other topics too, like abortion or various issues.

There came a point in time when my eldest daughter was professing atheism.  She will tell you now, that she was more of an agnostic than an atheist.  But at the time, which went on for a long time, she blatantly professed disbelief in God and angrily so.  I never told her she was wrong, or that she had to change.  I never turned against her through it.  And 11 years ago, quietly one night, she accepted Christ.  Interestingly, it was very shortly after that when my first husband suddenly died from a brain aneurysm.  She was devastated, as we all were, and it could certainly have been a reason for her to turn away from God again.  But she didn’t, and for the last 11 years has been faithfully practicing her Christian faith, and growing in it…even in the midst of many, many deep trials that she has undergone since.

My son also left the Christian belief he was raised in, and examined various other ways…various other beliefs or lacks thereof.  He was more of a ‘deist’, I think, mostly through that time.  This went on for a long time.  And now at 33, he has only recently returned to the Christian faith, proclaiming that “Christianity is the only religion that makes sense.” 

So in the end…some may say I didn’t train my children in the way they should go very well, or they never would’ve departed from it.  But to me, what is a faith that is there because someone tells you that you MUST believe it?  It is nothing…it is worthless.  Faith in anything is only good if it comes from a place within that has examined it from all sides, and determined it to be a reality on one’s own. 

Love and blessings,



About Anne Sikes

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7) Sharing the journey through daily thoughts and struggles, examination of Scripture, poetry, music and art.
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54 Responses to Teach your children well

  1. arkenaten says:

    Your children’s return to the fold must have been an enormous relief to you; at least you can rest easy that they will not be going to hell come reckoning time.
    Although as an atheist, I never believed they or any one else,will go to hell in any case. No truly all-loving god would damn his own creation any more than a truly all-lovng parent would damn her own offspring just because the kids were a bit naughty, surely?
    Well, you wouldn’t would you?

    • Anne Sikes says:

      The thing is, my daughter used to ask me that same thing. I remember her asking me once, “You love us, right Mom?” I said yes, and she said, “Would you take a match and throw it on us and watch us just burn up?” But the God that I have come to know in my life is not the horrible one that you say that He is. You talk of a God of the Bible that is unjust and cruel. Yet I know Him…personally in my life…to be loving (in the most incredible way imaginable), kind, and merciful. In a way, He has offered us a life raft…He wants to take us to safety. He wants us to get on that raft. If we say to Him, “You’re unjust to make me get on that raft…I don’t believe this ship is going to sink anyway…and I don’t believe there’s anything where you’re taking me. I like it here just fine!”…He doesn’t force us to get on the lifeboat. Yes, if it was my children I would try every way I could to get them to go if I believed that ship was going to sink. I would try to reach out and grab them and pull them to safety. And God does that, actually. If you refuse to get on that life raft…if you don’t believe in the safety that is there, it’s not His actions that are leaving you to drown. If you could assume…just for argument’s sake for a moment…that it’s true that Christ’s sacrifice is what saves us, and that all we have to do is accept Christ and His sacrifice and we will be saved, then if we reject that and spit on Christ and say laugh at him, should God then just let us be saved anyway? He’s loving, so He should just ignore that we weren’t…that we refused the gift He offered and let us go to heaven? What then? And if He is the Creator, then does He not have the right as such to do as He will anyway?

      The God I serve is the most incredibly loving, kind God imaginable. And as much as I was taught to believe as a child, it wasn’t until I really accepted the reality of it inside…yes…until I was “born again” through blind faith, that my eyes were then opened and I truly came to know that God. That is very difficult to do when you think it’s all a bunch of nonsense. Even when you have a ‘head belief’ and not a ‘heart belief’, it’s difficult to do.

      I know you don’t see it, and my words may just be a string of stupidity in your mind. I cannot argue with you about your logical approach to it, because I know that in the end, this faith I have defies logic. And yet in the end, it is the only thing in my life that I know, without a single doubt in my mind, to be true.


      • arkenaten says:

        I posed this question to Bryan:
        If your kids(hehas two boys, yes?) turned their back on Christianty do you believe they will go to hell when they die if they do not acknowledge Jesus as god.
        His answer: ‘Yes”

        And because of the nature of your faith you must say ‘yes’ too…otherwise you are not Christian.
        As for your ‘loving god’….ho hum. We are talking about Yahweh, yes?
        Him of the flood that destroyed virtually all of humanity and Him that ordered Joshua to liquidate every breathing thing in Canaan. And this is just two examples.
        Nice chappy, your god. Makes Stan(sic) look like an angel. But then Satan was, wasn’t he? 😉 Good old Lucifer…very much maligned he was, compared to his boss that is.
        Sorry, Anne, it doesn’t wash and Christians have been trying to justify this ‘relationship’ since grandad fell off the bus.

        • Anne Sikes says:

          And your argument can’t, and doesn’t wash with me either. If God is God…He can do as He pleases if his creation does not. But the loving part…all I can tell you there is that you don’t know what you’re missing. You tell me that you don’t buy any of it, and my God is not one you’d want even if He is real. And in the end, He leaves you with that choice. To me, its an unjust God who would force us to do what He wants us to. I will be the first one to tell you that I don’t have all the answers. And as for my kids…I didn’t force them, no. But did that mean I didn’t care? No. I prayed for them and I still told them what I believed at every opportunity. I didn’t preach to them though, because they weren’t any more receptive to that than you are.

          By the way, do you believe in the death penalty? Do you believe in any form of punishment for crimes in our society? If so, why do you imagine it should be any different with God as the judge, and His laws?

          • arkenaten says:

            You have sidestepped the issue. I admire Bryan for having the courage to at least offer a straight answer. I think his answer is anathema but that’s as may be.
            You didn’t answer if this god you love is the same I illustrated from the Old Testament.
            The choice offered is NOT real choice, it is blackmail. Worship Me, or I shall damn you to an eternal hell. No, parole.
            This is not love ; is not even a recognised version of what parents call ‘tough love’. This is heinous. It is the worst form of bullying imaginable. And youy serve such a deity? Boggles the mind.
            “By the way, do you believe in the death penalty? Do you believe in any form of punishment for crimes in our society? If so, why do you imagine it should be any different with God as the judge, and His laws?”
            Yes I believe in punishment for crime. Emotionally, I also agree with the death penalty. Logically however, I have enough intellect to know FOR A FACT that statistics show it has never worked as a deterrent.
            And it certainly didn’t work for your god, did it, and he annihilated the whole of humanity! So if it didn’t work for the ‘Big Dog’ what makes you and every other Christian believe it will EVER work again?

            It wont. Period.
            But then we are merely discussing an entity that humans invented, so let’s not take it too seriously.

            • Anne Sikes says:

              I have to say, that I’ve been thinking about this, and I feel so utterly and entirely inadequate when it comes to responding to you on the terms that you want to be responded to. But that said, I think in the end, it comes down to the fact that you have decided already to disregard any arguments for the reality of God. You have your opinions so set in stone, or so it seems, that it seems like there is nothing either Bryan or I could say, or anyone else, that could pierce the concrete wall around your own beliefs. In the end, the only way for you to see the truth in my argument, Bryan’s, or those of anyone else would be if God Himself softens your heart enough that the message could get in. And I know that no matter how hard your opinions are set into stone, that He can get through to you too. So why do I even try? Because I know too that it is possible that some little thing that someone says will ring even the slightest bit true so that it makes even the slightest hole in that concrete wall for the truth to get in and the light of it to shine through to you. And yes…I truly do care. But more importantly, God does. I know that to be true.

            • arkenaten says:

              Actually I am open to any reasonable arguement. It does seem a bit ujnfair for to to have to defend your god fo all the heinous things he has done. So, I tell you what, let’s hear it from the Big Guy himself? Much better and certainly much fairer.
              Okay, ‘god’, whever you are ready all powerful one.
              I’m waiting to feel the love…..er…hello?
              Well, that answers that that then.
              So in the absence of an actual physical response what is left? Oh, yes, the Bible.
              Ah…and we have the Flood, Canaan genocide etcertera.
              The defence rests, M’lud.
              ‘Fraid old Yahweh is guilty as charged.

            • Anne Sikes says:

              Well that’s actually a very good idea. Because, while I know that statement of yours at least ‘seems to be’ tongue in cheek, if you honestly seek the truth, open to it, whatever it is, I believe you will find it. And that goes back to my original post here, and why I didn’t try to ‘force’ my kids to believe it. 🙂 Peace…Anne

            • Anne Sikes says:

              I hate that stupid little ‘reply’ thing in here. Ha ha…well, not really. I responded to you in the little box beside the notification of your comment, but unfortunately neglected to scroll down and see all of your comment. The last thing I had seen was “Okay, ‘god’, whever you are ready all powerful one.” So reading the remainder of your comment leaves my response sounding a little weird, since you weren’t just ‘seeming to be tongue and cheek’, but you were once again making fun. 🙂 It doesn’t bother or offend me in the least, by the way. But what I said still remains what I believe. If you truly seek the truth, you’re gonna find it. If you are convinced that intellectually you already know the truth and there’s nothing further to seek, I don’t know what to say. But what does that make all of us who believe as I do? Are we all crazy or deluded? Are we brainwashed? Are we just evil…like the god you say is the one we worship?

            • arkenaten says:

              The easiest way to comment is to write what you want in Word, copy and paste into the ‘Reply’ box then post.
              Truth? Truth is relative. Factually and intellectually Christianity (as with all religion but especially Monotheism) is a fear based, fraudulent concept. Its morality is highly suspect (read some church history, Eusebius Constantine etc).
              Are you all crazy deluded and evil? No. Misguided, undoubtedly. Brainwashed? Not in the traditional sense, because humans have just accepted it, usually without question.
              And to question is to doubt. Once you are on this track there is only one honest conclusion that one can come to. And that is, you have been conned. Ask Nate. He’ll explain it better than me because he was where you are. And for a believer the trauma of facing this must have been hell (sic).

            • Anne Sikes says:

              I disagree with you on a couple of points in there that are notable. One is that to question leaves you only to conclude that you’ve been duped. I have questioned…more than once. And I always concluded that God was real, and that He is a loving and just God. I don’t question anymore. I ask him how long this is gonna take, sometimes. I tell him I’m tired and even that I’m angry sometimes. But I trust Him and I can’t disbelieve what He has proven to me in my life. And He has. Which then speaks to your statement that I should ask Nate, because he’s been where I am. I assure you, he has never been where I am, or he, like me, could never conclude that it was false. Could I have concluded that before? I mean, with the ‘head knowledge’ of God and religion that I had before actually accepting Christ personally? Yeah…I could have. But that’s also part of the reason I have to conclude that it is Christianity that is right…not Christians in the world today…or even back in the early days. No doubt about that. We’re mixed nuts, right along with everyone else…stubborn, willful, and sometimes with the head knowledge but not the heart knowledge, and believe it or not…there lies the main difference.

            • arkenaten says:

              My point about asking Nate was nothing to with individual personal issues; rather his total commitment to god and then after investigating turn his back on it.
              To approach it from any other angle is to suggest that belief depends on the severity of one’s own situation. And this in itself highlights a commonly encountered perspective with folk who turn to god. Especially reborn Christians. My mother went through it when my kid brother died in a car crash. Others suffer abuse, drugs, family problems, etc etc. Believe it or not, atheists also go these same life experiences, but unlike their reborn counterparts, come through the trouble without calling on a deity. Of course some don’t and resort to medical help like their Christian brethren.
              And that’s life.
              If we recover from cancer or a child is saved…well thank god, right? And if we die from cancer, or lose the child, well, that’s god’s will. Clever! Gets you coming and going.
              Faith is personal. It may be a personal truth but it is not truth in the sense of it being factual.
              And when all said and done, humans only know of Yahweh because of a book. And a badly edited book at that foisted on humans by a small, select band whose main objective was power, greed and avarice.
              And you should probably offer a nod of gratitude to Constantine every time you pray, for without his intervention Christianity would have likely died off much like Mithraism and most other cults of this nature. No wonder the Catholics revere Constantine so much. He was a shrewd Roman.

            • Anne Sikes says:

              Sorry about your brother’s death. That’s rough. And I do know that atheists, like all of us walking through this journey, have our trials and troubles. I am thankful to have God through it. Honestly I don’t think I’d still be here if I didn’t.
              And I do understand the reasons for your argument. I was taught as a child to believe, with fear instilled on me if I didn’t. But it was a belief that was truly a head belief only. That’s not to say that it didn’t teach about Christ crucified. It did. But I never throughout all those years had any real knowledge of God…He was something I believed in because I was told to. And I understand that to you, my faith can’t be a reality because the facts behind it have not been proven in a way to you that you need them to be. All I can do is tell you, honestly…and I’m nothing if I’m not honest…God is not just a belief to me. The God I know is truly, very real. So much so…and so wonderfully so, that I cannot help but want everyone to know Him like I do. How could I not? If He is truly as wonderful as I say, I most definitely want to share that with everyone.
              I also don’t agree that Christianity would ever have died away…because it is based on reality and truth. I don’t agree that it’s all based only on a book. I believe that everyone has an opportunity to come to the knowledge of God and His offer to salvation, and not everyone has always had that book available. Now there would be a cruel God. And it speaks to there being more to this God than we can fully understand too. And it speaks to why I won’t judge anyone…have heard people talk about someone who died and say they’re burning in hell because they never accepted Christ. Well how do you really know that? Who knows what happened in the very last moment of that person’s life? If God is just and loving, He’s not going to send people to hell without at least a chance.

  2. Anne Sikes says:

    The God of the New Testament, in answer to your question, is the exact same one as the one in the Old Testament, so yes, that is the same God that I serve…the one that did all the things you proclaim to be cruel and unjust. But I know that when I read the Bible throughout…the constant theme throughout shows God to be one who is loving and merciful and gives his people chance after chance. That theme is constant. To pick out the great flood, or the other things that you do, is to ignore the entire picture. As for Bryan being different than me in his approach to the argument, we’re all different. I will tell you too, that for me, I tend to speak more of the loving God, and of the reality of Him in my life in arguments for His existence. I was honestly not meaning to sidestep anything at all. I don’t find myself as interested in the historical aspects. And I don’t mean by that to say that they are of no importance to me. It’s just not what I gravitate toward. My husband was one who loved reading all the historical accounts in the Old Testament. I find it grueling and difficult. That’s one thing that I think is good too…He did NOT create us all the same, and if He had, it would be a boring world.

    But He is not an entity that humans created, and I truly in my heart do hope that you will come to see that. Because yes…I believe that if you don’t, then you will go to hell. But more than that, because knowing the reality of Him in this life is really and truly amazing.

    Thanks for the conversation, in any case. 🙂 –Anne

    • arkenaten says:

      Oh, my dear Anne, I can see I am giving you quite a lot of anguish over this.
      And I really don’t mind that you think I’ll go to hell. I’m old enough to take the knocks.
      And if it so happens that I end up with Old Nick I’ll keep a place just for you, just in case, and I’ll put in a good word so you can get a good place in the cafeteria queue.
      I am smiling, I hope you know?
      In actual fact, the theme in the OT is mostly mayhem and carnage from god’s perpsective, with quite a lot of debauchery and other naughty things that should have a PG rating. And there’s slavery, too of course. Quite a few wars, plenty of murder, a few notable rude sexual things, a talking snake (cool, hey?) and a lot of boring rules for building an Ark (not me) and what you can and cannot eat…like the Osprey, for instance.
      If you don’t know the history of your religion then don’t feel bad, neither do millions of other believers. Your religion has always preferred its followers docile and compliant.
      The big picture of the Old Testament? Difficult to say.
      However,the moral of the story? Maybe: Being Jeiwsh Sucks Most of The Time, or, Travel Widely, Meet Interesting People and in Most Cases, Kill Them All.
      How cool is That!
      And the New Tesatament well….God Turns Up In Person For The Sequal and Humans Get Their Own Back..

      Humans didn’t make up the Jewish/Christian god? Are you sure?
      They made up thousands of other gods, what makes the christian one any different?
      The Bible…The Ark takes a breather to compose himself.

      Ask Nate..he taught religion; was brought up in a very religious family.
      Oh, and if you do manage to read the Old Test again, I hope you don’t lose any sleep. But in truth…if you have a conscience you should.
      Best of luck..peace and love and all that other stuff.

      • Anne Sikes says:

        🙂 I’m smiling too, and you’re not causing me any anguish, for the record. And I have read the Old Testament, so I do know the history, but not well enough to discuss all that in depth with you, since I have difficulty retaining some of it in order to do so well. I can be quite honest about my limitations. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t read it or don’t know the stories you speak of. I do. But are you speaking from having read it and studied it yourself, or from just things that have been pointed out to you along the way about those horrible acts of that horrible God that I’m making up in my head? Oh wait…they made it up. Oh wait? Who? Anyway…if I had ALL the answers, I would BE God, I suppose. I don’t. But I’ve read it enough and looked beyond the stories you speak of and to the heart of God throughout. He is a loving, merciful and just God…throughout the ENTIRE Bible…OT and NT. In the NT of course, was where the promise of the Savior has happened, which was prophesied of throughout the OT by the way. And in the NT, Christ’s death and resurrection made the laws (like the ones you spoke of about not eating certain things) not necessary anymore. It’s only by grace, through faith in Christ that saves. Doesn’t mean there aren’t still ways Abba (Daddy above) wants us to behave. There are. But those are not necessary anymore to earn your way into righteousness. Are there things the Bible says that I don’t like? Yeah! I don’t like that it tells me to shut up in church. Can you tell? I’m not one who likes to shut up much. 🙂 I don’t like the stories of a man’s daughters being offered to horrible people for sex so that they wouldn’t have sex with angels. I don’t like that the Bible calls it woman’s fault that Adam ate the apple. Yeah, Eve was tempted first, but she handed it to Adam and what was he? Dumb or something? Did she force him to eat it? So now I have to suffer horrible pains of childbirth because of that? Not fair!! But I look at those things and what they look like, and then I look at the God that I KNOW. And that makes it okay…I don’t have all the answers. I don’t ‘get’ it all. But I know God and He is love. And I know He can be trusted with my life, and I do. So there!! 😛 (ha ha)

        • arkenaten says:

          “But are you speaking from having read it and studied it yourself, or from just things that have been pointed out to you along the way about those horrible acts of that horrible God that I’m making up in my head?”
          I am not a religious cherry picker…like reborns. I have read it, Cover to cover, and have studied too.
          So because you don;t have the answers this is your reason for ‘forgiving your god?
          “Oh, well, it’s god’s will.” Hmm The Ark reaches for his barf bag.
          “He is a loving, merciful and just God…throughout the ENTIRE Bible…OT and NT”.
          No, he isn’t. He should rather ask US for forgiveness considering the crimes he perpetrated. (And can you offer any rational justification for the liquidation he committed in Canaan? )
          And why should an omnipotent entity require worshipping? Do you require your kids to worship you? Of course not. This would be ridiculous.
          Oh, and if you are in tune with Yahweh, why haven’t you asked him to explain his heinous behaviour?
          If you think he has no case to answer for then offer me a reason why christianity would benefit my life?

          • Anne Sikes says:

            If you have read the Bible cover to cover, then you know the reasons given in there. I don’t know how to respond to you in any way to convince you. That’s because if a person adamently doesn’t want to be convinced, they can’t be. Not by me, anyway. I’m not that good at debates. 🙂 The only thing I can tell you is that there have been things happen in my life, since I accepted Christ, that there are no explanation for other than God…and a good and loving God. I could go through all of those things, and there are a number of them, but all you’ll see, coming from the place you’re coming from, is words from someone you’ll determine to be really loony or something, I suppose. All I can tell you to try to convince you that the God I know is more than what you see from the Biblical stories, is that I know Him. I truly know Him. Why don’t I ask him to explain all that? Why should He? Should a parent have to explain all of their actions to their children when they ask why? I don’t think so. When I get to heaven, I’ll see those things more clearly perhaps…or perhaps they just won’t matter. Because to me, they really don’t, being that I know the love of God in such a personal way that there is nobody who could ever convince me I’ve been deceived about it. How do I explain that to you in a way you can understand and accept? All I can say, is read Ephesians 3:14-21. That passage is very close to my heart…my favorite Bible passage of all. Why? Because the love of God that it speaks of in there and the way it speaks of it? I understand it now. I get it. I have felt it, and it’s incredible. If you want to understand that, you can get it too. It’s not about intellectual understanding. It’s far beyond that. I wish I could convince you. But I accept that I can’t. I could tell you about some of the things that have happened, and it might make you go “wow”, but it’d probably be in the sense that you just thought I was crazy. And while that might be debatable to some, I’m not crazy. I’m weird and goofy, and messed up at times, but not crazy. LOL

  3. I am a reborn cherry picker and grew up atheist, met God right on time to raise my 3 children with an educated choice, which like you , Anne know, the church doesn’t do a good job teaching. I praise God we have a very awesome family, with born again, awesome in-law children AND they all followed God’s example of marriage and contributing to an ailing society with family strength. The most wonderful thing about following God is not that He requires us to be always right and perfect, but that he shows us HIs grace is awesome and He answers our prayers. Our children and grandchildren are just totally in our and God’s reach, when we pray for them. God’s arm is NOT short and at the end is when it counts , we who know God personally will be victorious. So many Christians THINK they are saved and doing a great job walking with God, just one day to find out they have NO oil in their lamp. Praying for you son, dear Anne. Love you!

    • Anne Sikes says:

      That’s wonderful! 🙂 And yes its true that the church doesn’t always do a good job, but that’s because the church is made up of all of us people who mess it up so often and don’t get it right…and don’t really follow Christ as our example like is the way its supposed to be. You are blessed! Thanks for sharing that, and for your prayers. I haven’t talked to my son one on one about his recent revelations. Have seen things he’s recently said online about it though, and my daughter and I are both rejoicing with tears and smiles. But I do believe that he had to come to that conclusion and acceptance on his own, and not forcibly. That’s where the church goes wrong a lot of the time I think. They try to tell people that they have to believe it or else, which, while its true in the sense that the alternative is hell…believing out of fear of not believing, I don’t believe is true belief that is lasting. Sometimes also, they tell people that life will be all wonderful and rosy once they accept Christ…SO not true. The closer you try to get to God, the more the enemy (Stan, as Ark calls him) will attack. And all kidding aside…there is no joking about that enemy. He’s vicious and as real as the God I serve. I know that as well as I know the reality of God. But I also know that in Christ, there is victory, if we hold fast. Thanks again for your comment! Blessings…Anne

      • arkenaten says:

        The preceeding comment is ment is not for you, Anne, obviously. Pressed the wrong button.Sorry

        • Anne Sikes says:

          It’s okay. I understood. I appreciate both of your comments. And Ark, I appreciate that you as an atheist have had your own struggles and have dealt with them without God. I don’t know how…and that’s the truth. Like I said before, I don’t think I could’ve survived a lot of what I have, had it not been for God. It was those ‘desert times’ as I call them, when His presence was even more notable, and comforting. It doesn’t take away the tears or heartache, but it’s like an amazingly loving arm around my shoulder in the midst, letting me know I’m loved and it will be okay. How can I explain that? I can’t. Even today…right now in my life there are tons of things falling apart. It seems like for every one thing that looks up, 3 things fall down around me in a million pieces. So my daughter comes home crying earlier and all I could do was just hold her and let her cry. Big situation. No sense at all of how it would possibly work out. But we both just said we knew it would be okay. And guess what? Through circumstances that were beyond our control, it worked out and even better than we were expecting. And yeah, I know you can just explain that away. GOD how I wish I could sit in a room with you and tell you all the ways He has shown himself to me. I really do. Maybe somehow in my eyes you’d see in a way that is lacking on here. I know how you believe…I understand why it is…truly. It doesn’t disgust me or make me think you’re an idiot…I know you’re not an idiot, and I appreciate you talking with me about it…even the ‘messing with me’ parts of it. 🙂 And I just hope you won’t mind (even if you laugh) if I tell you that I’ll be praying for you. It’s not coming from a place of any kind of ‘superiority’ feeling in the least, to your ‘inferiority’ or something. I am SO not superior to you or anybody, and I know that. But it’s coming from an honest place. Peace –Anne

          • arkenaten says:

            Whatever gets you through the night is what I say.
            I reiterate, however, my gripe with Christianity is the horrendous foundation it is built upon, the blood of millions it has shed to ensure its current place in humanity’s history, the hypocrisy of so many of its adherents and that if one is a true Christians one has to adhere to the tenets of the Nicene creed. A creed established by a bunch of dithering old men at the insistence of a Roman Emperor.
            The falseness of the gospels, the way it was redacted and put together, especially Mark, which was butchered to ensure it featured the Resurrection was added to comply with the need to have a ‘real god’
            And now you have over 35,000 different Christian cults, each one claiming they are the right one to get to heaven.
            All the spiritual benefits, the calmness serenity peace etc etc you can also get from a religion like Buddhism, for example(not that I follow this either, but I know a little about its doctrine) And you won’t ever go to hell. WHAT A BONUS!

            • Anne Sikes says:

              So in the end, it’s this life that’s all that’s important? What if, as the Bible suggests, there is something wonderful on the other side that will somehow give meaning to any and all of the suffering we endure while we’re here? As for Buddhism, I knew someone once who professed Buddhism, and won’t get into the reality of the kind of man he turned out to be, while professing this peaceful, gentle existence. So it’s not only Christianity that has it’s faulty followers. We’re human…all of us. But your objections about God…they’re faulty. Now if I was God, would I send everyone to hell if they didn’t comply? Probably not. Which is a good reason that I’m not God. Heaven wouldn’t be such a wonderful place to look forward to if it was made up of everyone who does whatever they want and is as evil as they desire, etc. It would be maybe kind of like a father giving his child a huge party that he says will be wonderful to the extreme, and then saying that he was inviting the whole world to come along…even if they were murderers, rapists, child molesters or whatever. Maybe that’s not the best example, but it’s all I can think of right now. 🙂

            • arkenaten says:

              But there is no proof of this land of milk and honey and more than the Islamic claims of a right rollicking party(for want of a better phrase).
              What is the source of these claims?
              Ah, yes, the inspire Word of God’
              A book put together by the Church Fathers. And you think you can trust the likes of Eusebius? LOL. Go read his Church History…

              Well there are good Buddists as there are with all religion. But you don’t go to hell with Buddism.
              My objection about god is not from my imagination…it’s in the darn handbook for goodness’ sake! I’m not making it up.
              You can be a brilliant person without any religion whatsoever. And all tghat rubbish that we were all brought up can, go to hell (excuse my french…LOL)

    • arkenaten says:

      Amazingly I have all of the above only where you use the word christian I substitute atheist.
      And guess what? I don’t believe you will go to hell if you fall off the reborn wagon. And Furthermore, I wouldn’t think anything less of you either.
      Shame you wouldn’t though, isn’t it?

  4. arkenaten : Looks like you have all things figured, and I know you mean well. As educated as you are, you adherer to some major falseness. I do not debate religion or philosophy with anyone, because God has given us choice to believe what we like. The only think I would like to point out to you is this: Truth is NOT relative as you claim. So I would like for you to reconsider your advise, because it is very harmful.
    I wrote a blog on truth were I address the harmfulness of a relative truth versus a healthy absolute truth.
    If you are interested: http://adifferenceforyourlovedones.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/what-is-universal-truth-and-how-to-find-it/
    Blessings to you: You seem to be a very helpful person.

    • arkenaten says:

      Amazingly I have all of the above only where you use the word christian I substitute atheist.
      And guess what? I don’t believe you will go to hell if you fall off the reborn wagon. And Furthermore, I wouldn’t think anything less of you either.
      Shame you wouldn’t though, isn’t it?

    • arkenaten says:

      Well it isn’t as I CLAIM IT; relativism has been around for quite a while as it happens so I Well it isn’t as I CLAIM IT; relativism has been around for quite a while as it happens, so I can’t take credit for it. Sorry and all that.
      Adhere to major falseness? Hmm and this is from a person who believes in a deity from a book.
      However, if you would prefer to adhere to the dictionary definition of truth then so be it. No problem. Here goes.
      truth n. , pl. , truths . Conformity to fact or actuality. A statement proven to be or accepted as true.

      Nothing about Christianity conforms to the above dictionary definition of the word truth.
      So, lets’ stick to the facts shall we?
      Excellent. Anything else?

      • No debate here. I do that on face book all day long.
        My reply is: It depends what dictionary you choose( again God’s ordained choice). In Webster dictionary the definition of Truth is quote:”God is Truth and is love.”
        God is also not quote:”a deity from a book”: He is the creator, originator of life. I hope you get to know Him some day. But since you are not seeking TRUTH, I presume you will not find Him.
        I am sorry you are hurting so. Will pray for you.
        Sorry to you, Anne. I didn’t indent to use your wonderful article fir such a controversial platform.

        • arkenaten says:

          Oh dear, aren’t we being just a tad hypocritical and patronising to Anne?
          Won’t debate and makes contentious somewhat snide statements to the poor delusional atheist?
          Tsk Tsk, I am sure Anne is a big girl and doesn’t need your platitudes. Besides, there is a delete button.
          Yes god is a deity from a book His name is Yahweh and in case you missed it he was the deity that had a tete a tete with Moses on Mount Sinus.
          If you can demonstrate this form of absolute truth then be my guest. You must be very, very clever and I love chatting with clever people.
          Er…the hurting comment? This was for Anne, I presume, yes? I am having a blast. Life is great, and as an atheist I do get to pass Go and collect my 200 bucks. How cool is that!

          • Anne Sikes says:

            We cross commented here. I am also having trouble with my internet connection. I have to take a little break from this, because my granddaughter is home now. 🙂 Will be back in a little while and see what I’ve missed.

            • arkenaten says:

              Well, it’s past midnight here in South Africa and contrary to popular Christian belief, atheists also need their ‘beauty sleep, although I don’t need that much , being fairly beautiful as it is.
              I shall now go and have a cup of tea then find a nice perch to hang upside down from.
              Maybe I will play a few records backwards just to see what Stan has to say?
              Sleep tight.

            • Anne Sikes says:

              You too, though if you’re listening to ‘Stan’, I don’t hold much hope for a good night’s rest for ya’. As for me, I may have to turn in early. Horrid headache.

          • arkenaten:No the hurting comment was for you. The Mountain was named Sinai. Has nothing to do with any sinuses. We all make mistakes so I graciously forgive you, since I am a very benevolent person and specialize in loving people. I wrote a whole blog on truth and leave it up to you for debate on my blog. I just don’t think it is cool to use Anne’s very nice blog to debate. I believe in treating others as I would want to be treated. So if you have any issues with MY “opinion”, please comment on my turf, dear. Blessings to you. Here is the link:http://adifferenceforyourlovedones.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/what-is-universal-truth-and-how-to-find-it/

            • Anne Sikes says:

              It’s okay with me that it was here, so don’t worry about that where I’m concerned, adifferenceforyou. I actually was appreciating the interaction. I haven’t read yours yet. I will though, when my concentration level improves. Have had this nagging headache today and have trouble focusing, so have read very few blogs, mostly just short ones. Other than this discussion, haven’t posted as many as usual myself either today. Thank you again for your comments, and I hope you have a restful night and a wonderful weekend! Blessings –Anne

        • Anne Sikes says:

          Ha ha…I don’t mind a bit, A difference for you. And I’m pretty sure Ark doesn’t, thought I would never presume to speak for him. 🙂 I think discussion is good.

          • Anne, I am not sure if you are familiar “discussions” of this sort. They are mostly morbid and dumb. I hardly have atheists left on my fb— ticked them all off, since they can’t stand the concept of choice and just call me names. Another thing I don’t mind. But I have a lot of Muslims, who like to debate. Like I said, I hate debates since I firmly believe people are entitled to their opinion. No sense in arguing. We all will find out eventually , who was right. hahaha

            • Anne Sikes says:

              I don’t mind the discussions actually. I have some friends who are atheists or agnostics myself, and they all know where I stand, and know me well enough to not be offended by much that I say. Anyone who wants to talk about this topic with me, I welcome the discussion. But I know that some people don’t like to do that. I’m not offended by the insults. Have heard them before from people. God bless! –Anne

            • Good for you. I was hoping this blogging for me to be just good reference for face book, since I can refer to my blogs, instead of telling every single new seeking friend, what truth is, what a trinity is, how we all got here, deity of Jesus ect . I am in debate groups on face book and take a stand, but to me this is just a relaxing forum, where we can learn from one another. Why always discuss, debate and force opinions? Yes, the gospel is controversial and very few people will be saved. While we are here on earth, why argue: live and let live. Religious people oppose each other all the time. That is why I dislike religion: God is not glorified in religion, but in truth and love. You see, we go from one thing to the next! Anyway. Your blog is nice.

            • Anne Sikes says:

              Thank you again! 🙂 Take care and sleep well. 🙂

        • Anne Sikes says:

          Thank you again for your comments adifferenceforyou, I didn’t mean to ignore you at all. Actually I got a little confused toward the end there about the comments and what they were responding to. But part of that was due to my internet going in and out. Hope you have a great weekend! Blessings –Anne

          • Wishing you a nice weekend also. Keep up the good writing! I just read on a different blog, how people like to pick things apart, make their opinions know very forcefully to push their agenda, or sell their wares.
            Let’s not get confused with all their “STUFF” and continue to enjoy our writing. Some will like it and some won’t. Blessings to you!

  5. Bird says:

    This subject must be in the air. I raised my children in the way they should go. But when you read the scripture, it says that when they are old, they will not depart from it. I knew there was going to be some problems for them in the middle…what kind of Christian will you be if you merely accept the lessons of other people and learn none from your own experiences? I don’t think for one second you didn’t raise them correctly or in a Godly way. My own kids asked all those same questions. I asked those same questions when I was a barely out of my teens. In the end, the proof is in the pudding. Your children are Christians. My children are Christians. ‘Nuff said.

    Rest easy!!

    • Anne Sikes says:

      🙂 Thanks Bird! There was a point at which I came to the realization that my kids were God’s children before they were mine…and more than they were mine. And as much as I love them, He loves them more. Unfathomable, but true. There was one time when there was a situation with my son that was going on…had been for some time. I hung the phone up with him and burst into tears. The conversation had been just awful…me trying to convince him of something, and him absolutely, unyielding that there was no way. When we hung up, I burst into tears and sobbed, and just told God, “God, he’s your son and you love him even more than I do, so I’m laying him in your hands and trusting you to take care of him.” And I let it go. It wasn’t 5 minutes later when my son called me back…total change in attitude…complete turnaround. But that said…that is hard to do, and I don’t always do it, I admit. 🙂 I like to try to hold onto my kiddoes myself and try to fix things…even now that they’re all grown. I’m getting better though. 🙂 Blessings, and many thanks!! –Anne

  6. arkenaten says:

    I’ve just checked my bible…it WAS Mount Sinai and not Mount Sinus after all! Damn those Chinese translators. Would you believe it, adifferecneforyourlovedones was right (btw you couldn’t have picked a more complicated avatar if you tried.- I had to put my teeth in backwards just to say it).
    Maybe religion shouldn’t be sneezed at?

  7. I have been reading the comments. Wow! You communicate well.

    • Anne Sikes says:

      Thank you Rubie. 🙂 I don’t do so well in ‘real’ conversations…I’m much better able to communicate what I want to with the written word, I’m afraid. Which may be why I do so much of my communicating on here. 🙂 Blessings! –Anne

      • Your wisdom shows when you reply to those who require a wise statement. I will be praying for you. Your replies were excellent. I too am a writer for the same reason. I love to write and teach. I don’t teach but on the internet. I am praying regarding more education in the area of art. I didn’t take art because my sister was sooooo talented. She encouraged me to draw, but after she died of cancer, I really took up the brush. I want to teach art to those who don’t think they have talent! I want to offer it to those who need healing in their minds from concussions, drugs, etc.

        • Anne Sikes says:

          That’s wonderful!! Art of any kind is so therapeutic. Whether it’s graphic art like I do with the photoshop, or artistic expression through music, drawing, painting, sculpting…I can’t draw very well. I also don’t have the patience to do things like painting. But I love working with the photoshop, crocheting which is also an artistic sort of thing, creating things with my hands. I think your goal is a wonderful one, and a wonderful way to both express yourself and help others at the same time!

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