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Storm Rider

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About Storm Rider

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    Places Sun, Moon & Stars In The Sky

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    Herndon, Virginia

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  1. Being in it and not of it

    At first I thought it an odd criticism given that the statement comes directly from Jesus' own teachings. Then as I thought about it I took it as a compliment - the Church of Jesus Christ is being accused of emphasizing his teachings. If we are to be condemned, please, condemn us of teaching and following Jesus' gospel.
  2. Perspective is everything and you are pretty consistent in the choice of perspective. First, the fact that some people thank God for little things, or acknowledge his hand in the simplest of blessings has little, if anything, to do with how God treats people. The fact that a lady will say how good God is because she found her keys, or that the window was not locked, or that her neighbor came to her home just when she needed to talk to someone is simply the choice of this individual to acknowledge God for all she receives that is good, kind, or helpful. Is that really a problem for you? Why? It seems you place yourself pretty highly to judge these people as being spiritual dimwits for choosing to acknowledge God in all things. You have made the assumption that such acknowledgements or attributing to God the blessings individuals receive is somehow prideful. I guess that all has to do with one's perspective. It is evident that God's people, or even those he loves, does NOT equate to being blessed with the "good" life at all times. Few of God's servants have had pain free lives; actually it is quite the opposite. God's people are often severely chastised and carry heavy burdens. My friend, you may never be a member of the Twelve, not because of your perception that you are so humble, but that you simply don't like God or think he actually has a hand in the lives of his children.
  3. Propagating a critical mind is not a bad thing, but rather healthy. Some critics are not original and do sound like tiresome, old recordings the worn out arguments. On the other hand, some individuals have reflected critically on Church history and current Church actions. Many fail to reflect on their own perspective - you move a little bit and the once criticism no longer holds sway. Conversely, moving another way and it takes on new value and importance to the individual. For me personally it comes down to what type of person I choose to be. Do I want to follow the Savior or do I follow after him begrudgingly? I have never been impressed with Thomas in the NT whereas I really marvel at the faith of the women who went to the crypt in search of their Lord and Savior. Yes, at heart I am skeptical of most things, but when I choose to follow after I usually do it with both feet walking in one direction. That is not to say that I do not have doubts, but that I allow my doubts to percolate along as I search after holiness and righteousness.
  4. Virgin Mary statue

    I appreciate the Catholic Church's stance on such things - not all are accepted as miracles or from God. However, they are not rejected either. If such things inspire some to seek and search after a stronger relationship with God, then I am grateful. That does not mean it is real or a true miracle, but that it served a good purpose. I personally am rather cautious about accepting such things as miracles, but as the CC does, I withhold judgment.
  5. Virgin Mary statue

    I agree with those that seek to see God's hand in all things - if it builds faith and a desire to follow the Savior then it is from God and his grace affects our lives. Though I am a LDS I see God's hand in the lives of all his children; Christian and non-Christian alike and regardless of church affiliation. I have never understood a concept that limits the activity of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all of God's creation. To the contrary, I see him active everywhere. In the strangest and most difficult circumstances a seedling germinates and grows; such it is with God's children and faith. I have no qualms with those who lose their faith or have never found it - God still lives and loves them. He remains at the door seeking entry and it remains our individual responsibility to acknowledge his knock and respond.
  6. Darren, what does that look like....promoting white culture? I am not sure what white culture or even "white culture" is or how to describe what it might look like. Stating such things - rejecting white culture - often just sounds like rejecting white people though I seldom think that is what is intended when such terms are used. Regardless, I do find it strange to think that there are not a long list of groups that promote specific cultures throughout the world. As I think about this as I am writing I can begin to formulate a way of defining negative groups, regardless of their culture, such as: those that promote their culture in terms of excluding other cultures; those who seek to make their culture superior to all others....just two quick ideas. I obviously live in a bubble - I just have never read any brochure or booklet promoting such a thing. It may be because I tend to value almost all cultures I have come to know. More importantly, it is why I admire American culture - it is ever changing based upon the influence of the many cultures that exert an influence on our culture. It is also why I reject the "salad bowl" concept promoted by some activist groups over the melting pot concept that our nation has long described our American culture. The salad bowl never worked for me because it is the very definition of weakness. Take any bowl full of salad and throw it up in the air and what do you get? A mess - nothing sticks together, but immediately falls apart. Why would anyone want to belong to such a society? On the other hand, if you have a melting pot everything sticks together and does not come apart. The more any person or group does not assimilate the more problems develop - who's problem is it when a person or a group does not assimilate? For me, it then becomes a personal problem of the individual and the group rather than society's. I realize that sounds harsh, but it is common sense to me. When I went to the Middle East I assimilated to their culture by learning their mores and cultural standards of behavior and complied. I was not required to dress in their native apparel or join their religion, but I certainly felt the need to adapt to what their culture demanded for assimilation. Was I wrong to do so? If not, then why don't the same rules apply in the US?
  7. Stemelbow, if we actually work with limited understanding then what gives you the confidence that you are right.....or at least so positive as to state that anyone with a contrary opinion to your has a silly opinion? It appears you are only looking in a mirror and critiquing your own position as much as anyone else's.
  8. oops Women

    What a dandy little study to support a specific definition. Political agendas never fail to find a way to justify their ongoing battle cry. A new study could be created with an alternative subset of definitions and the results would be reversed. Is anything proved? Nope, but it is a great soundbite for the whatever cause is sought to sustain, support, strengthen.
  9. Lesbian Couple Divorce to Join the Church

    The choice for every human is to either follow after the Son of God or not. It is not about following the Savior and still choosing to follow after sin. The choice is one of where our heart will be - either following after the Savior, failing and repenting, but never ceasing in our desire to overcome our passions, temptations, etc. Questions, as prurient as they are, is not about whether they are gay or not - the question is are they choosing to follow Christ no matter the personal sacrifice. Disciples of Christ are seeking a way to always follow him while never forgetting our own sinful nature. I admire anyone who chooses to follow the Savior. Self-sacrifice is one of the steps to discipleship. Some of us are better at it than others - these two individuals set an example for all of us to emulate.
  10. If one actually studies history or even just human history it is quickly revealed that there is never just a single issue. We tend to be more complex individuals with a range of issues. It would be better to say that the cause of slavery was one of the leading motivations for the south choosing to leave the nation. Where the South is painted as having only a single issue - slavery, and all other issues are painted as just a smoke screen for the real issue, the North is seldom credited for having a single issue - defeating slavery. Where most know that no other war has caused more deaths of US soldiers the blood spilt and sacrificed is seldom recognized as any form of payment for the fact that slavery existed.
  11. When you find that perfect nation with a perfect history please let me know. I am not aware of one, but it would be great to find one. When you study world history you will find that slavery was a pretty universal social instrument, program, or whatever you want to call it. I would be interested if there has ever been a people that does not have a heritage of being enslaved at one time or another in their history. It seems to have existed on each of the populated continents. Worse, it goes on today in several continents. Our nation does a good job of focusing on the enslavement of Africans in the United States while pretty much ignoring slavery continuing. As a society we seem to choose those issues that become paramount and absorb our focus and forget about everything else. We turn a blind eye to everything else but our sacred social cows. I am not sure that is a peculiar trait, rather it may just be part of the human condition. I don't really know the answer.
  12. It was my understanding that hating anyone for anything is against the teachings of Jesus Christ. I see no reason to elevate one form of hate over another as if to make hating one type of child of God is different from hating another child of God. It may make individuals feel morally superior to worship at the golden calf of the day, but in the end hate, for whatever the reason, is wrong.
  13. Jeanne, I appreciate your hopefulness and I admire it. I think it is a way of being that we are taught to achieve. For me I think I can be hopeful about some things and then at other times the reality of mortal existence overwhelms hopefulness. Such are the the small challenges of this life. Cheers
  14. Duncan, for the live of me I really don't understand how these individuals got to the point that they thought the Neo-Nazi philosophy was the answer. How does it happen and what made them conclude this type of message was the answer? It is apparent these groups can be violent - Timothy McVey comes to mind immediately. One of my concerns about these types of groups is that I am fearful that the persecution in the media they are getting is only making them more resolved in their path. I would bet they see the world against them and that scares me because very small groups can do outrageously bad things. Sharing ideas in the public square is the opportunity to discuss - not persecute - but to hear from these groups and respond to them in a logical manner. Given the kinds of responses I have had on this board simply because I am committed to 1st Amendment does not engender any degree of confidence our society is capable of rational discussion. There is no middle ground; no willingness to discuss anything. Everyone is at the polar opposites. Just think about it how incapable it is to defend the 1st Amendment when the protesters are a few hundred people with a repugnant message. Never once did I defend their message and consistently defended their right to share their message and I have been excoriated by fellow LDS or those who call themselves LDS. When our own members are incapable of rational discussion.....it may just be there is no hope until some radical changes are made. It is not hard to believe that there may be a time when the constitution actually does hang by mere threads. I don't think it will be the Church that saves the nation if this thread is any example.