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Archive for Saturday, June 23, 2007

Faith Forum: When have you felt God’s presence most in your life?

June 23, 2007

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Universal symphony conducted by God

Zalman Tiechtel, rabbi, Chabad Jewish Community Center, 1203 W. 19th St.:

Many times one may wonder: It would be nice to think that I could have a personal relationship with God, that I could feel he's pleased with me, or that I matter in some way to him. But I'm a rational person. I can relate to a God who invented physics and the time-space continuum; who brought electromagnetism, gravity and the nuclear forces into being; who set electrons in their orbits and photons in their paths - the whole thing is totally awesome. But how can you talk about a personal relationship with such a God?

Do you ever look at the sun and smile at the sight of a bright day? Did you ever return home and have your child waiting to greet you with a big hug? Are you ever having a tough day and then all your worries melt away? Surely you must have experienced one of the above.

The universe is a symphony; God is its conductor. Every atom, every breath of wind, every grain of sand is tracked and guided by the ultimate supercomputer: God. This is divine providence - the concept that God didn't create the universe and then step back to let it run by itself, but that he remains actively involved, pulling levers, pushing buttons and flipping switches behind the scenes.

The saying goes: "If you're looking for God, go home." God is not to be found on some other planet, or in some spiritual hideout. Rather, he is within us. It's not where we search in life; rather, it's the way we look at life.

God could have said, "Here am I and, bang, here's a world. It works. That's good enough."

But he wanted a world where its creatures could reach up to him and he would reach down to them, until an affinity between creation and creator would develop and he could be found within his masterpiece.

So he made a bridge by providing us the opportunity to find him within our daily lives. By reaching to God in a personal way, involving all our mind and all our heart, reaching to him in our prayer and through our daily experience, we are touching the divine and making it real in our world.

- Send e-mail to Zalman Tiechtel at rabbi@ku.edu.

God is 'with us, for us, among us'

The Rev. Ji Seok Ju, pastor, Centenary United Methodist Church, 245 N. Fourth St.:

I know there have been times when I felt God's presence in my life.

It is obvious that God's presence is felt in my ministry setting, especially in the church where I am serving. I feel God's presence in our worship, when I listen to Scripture reading and hear God's word, when the choir sings, when hymns are sung, when I pray, and when I have fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

However, God's presence is encountered not only in the church but also outside the church where I am in my ordinary daily life.

I recall one time when I most strongly felt the presence of God, which was when I was driving on the highway one day to visit my friend in Chicago. I brought with me some CDs to listen to while driving, and one of them was a Korean contemporary Christian song. I believe it was about 11 p.m., I was still on the highway, and all of a sudden one song from the CD just hit my heart. The song was based on Psalm 62, written by King David: "For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress, I shall never be shaken."

It was such an overwhelming moment that I found myself crying, singing along and asking God to be my rock, my salvation and my fortress so that I will never be shaken. That night in the car - that's where I most strongly felt God's presence and heard God's voice speaking to me in my heart. That experience has been a source of strength for me in times of difficulty.

Throughout history, God has desired to manifest his glorious presence among his people. God's people in the Old and New testaments encountered God's presence in one way or another. The same God continues to dwell with and in his people, and that's where we meet with God. That's where we hear God's voice. God is everywhere with us, for us and among us, because God is Immanuel - "God with us."

- Send e-mail to Ji Seok Ju at jiseokju@hotmail.com.

Comments

idarastar 6 years, 9 months ago

I feel the presence of the spirit within me. I feel it when I'm outside in the garden admiring the flowers, riding my bike through the streets, walking the trails at the wetlands... God is always present in everything I do and everything I don't do. I can't pinpoint a specific time I feel God because the presence is always there. I guess I could say I feel more spiritual when I'm at peace or when speaking with someone with a good spirit in them or surrounded by others whose hearts unite to be a larger mass of the holy spirit.

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Andrew Stahmer 6 years, 9 months ago

When I was shown FROM THE BIBLE how I could know for sure, without even 1% doubt that I'll go to heaven when I die.

Now try and think about this for a millisecond athiests....

If you are actually right, and THE BIBLE is wrong-what do I need to worry about?!

But since THE BIBLE is right...well it doesn't exactly paint a very rosy picture for you does it?

GOOD NEWS though...you can fix that RIGHT NOW!! ROMANS 10:9-10

JUST A MESSAGE-no one can force it down your throat-only YOU can decide for yourself.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

Max1:

You are correct but that is no excuse for either side of this matter to threaten the First Amendment.

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max1 6 years, 9 months ago

June 23rd 2007 http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/2007/06/24/2007-06-24_obama_rips_evangelical_hijackers-1.html

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama accused evangelical leaders yesterday of "hijacking" religion, prompting quick criticism from the Christian right.

The Illinois senator told the national conference of the United Church of Christ, meeting in Hartford, that right-wing evangelical leaders had exploited and politicized religious beliefs. "Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked," he said. "Part of it's because of the so-called leaders of the Christian right, who've been all too eager to exploit what divides us," Obama said.

"At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design," he said.

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spywell 6 years, 9 months ago

Everyone wants to blame God for all the bad things and bad people of the world. If there is a God than there is also a Devil. So why dosen't people blame the Devil for all bad things as well. The Devil, it appears ,is much more suscessful . Many people fear that I gess. You have heard the term, "give the Devil his due".

Erod0723: you crack me up. I was just thinking the other day about how people in our modern culture have made God a fulent part of their every day speach habits. Forinstance, 'OH MY GOD", females from Chicago, especially. HOTdam, ofcourse, but many people that use these expressions daily are unknowningly, associatating there feelings of good experiences with a God given approval for pleasure and common agreement. I find this interesting and yet very disturbing at the same time. I my self have said the G-word, OH_God, many times.

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spywell 6 years, 9 months ago

I will share this story with you because I have kept it a secret for may years. Back in the early Spring of 1993. I was walking south on the side walk in the 1100 block of Ohio street in Lawrence. I don't remember what day it was, mabe March 24th 1993 , I am not sure, because so much time has past since. I was standing at 1121 Ohio, on the west side or high side of the street, talking to a tenant who lived there which he was sitting on the steps of 1121 Ohio. The sky was a silver grey color and the trees had not yet bloomed out yet and the clouds were high in the upper atmosphere. I was looking at the house across the street, 1126 Ohio, and we were talking about something regarding the house across the street and suddenly, I saw a spect on the Kansas City sky line. This was a speck, and at first I thought it was an air plane headed to KCI, but as I focused on it , it grew into what seemed to be the size of a blimp, but then , to my supprise, it became larger and closer. I then said "Look", to the man and pointed at the object, which was then over us and slightly north of our position. "SOB" was all I could say. It was greyish brown, and a perfect ball. Like a cannon ball. You could see ridges on the surface of this huge cannon ball. Lighting was arching on its surface and there was a short misty tall in its wake. From the time I saw the speck over Kansas City, until it was upon us was about 3 seconds. One , two , Three, and it was upon us. The size of a dinner plate in your hand at arms lenth. It seemed to slow down as it passed, and you could see the surface of this greyish brown ball. The ball went over the hill of the University of Kansas and westward out of sight. Several weeks later, I learned about the astroid ,"brail", this was not the peanut shaped astriod that NASA caught up with some nine years later. This was a perfect round ball greyish brown and very heavy. Heavy, because you could feel its weight and speed as it passed. Like a B52 coming in to land. You could feel it as it went over. A mass of possibly nickle and iron. Why it did not hit the earth? Is a secret of the universe.

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person184 6 years, 9 months ago

Paladin says.... Might maybe have somthin ta do with my daddy a convincin me that I was damned by God an they weren't much hope fer the likes a me.


Hey Pal, those peoples are mortals, ya know. They don't be represented the true God. She dudn't act like them people you talked about. Giver anuther shot, willya?

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

Fudgepop:

The "creator" is The Mice and the Answer To The Great Question Of Life, The Universe And Everything is "Forty Two".

Deal with it.

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paladin 6 years, 9 months ago

Fp- Put the pipe down, man. Maybe call the hotline. You're way outta whack.

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George_Braziller 6 years, 9 months ago

Zalman and Ji Seok - What ever rocks your boat. Not my cup of tea. You are alive and then you are dead. There ain't nothin' after that.

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Fudgepop 6 years, 9 months ago

dearest Marion

As a matter of fact I am FRANKENSTEIN and I loved Mary Shelley. I loved the LAST MAN as well you should try reading it. It is a book about what Mary Shelley thought of somebody if he was the last man on earth she would not have anything to do with him. I sure like what old Hollywood and new Hollywood did to books.

If there were a god then I would not have been assaulted in the park and I would not have had other things done to me. Who is my creator? Your ombudsman? The cicadia rythmn band? The mural painter or all of the village? A psychology professor at KU? or just a bunch of liberal women hiding in a church about to vamp on a hapless kid that cannot control his parents or his peers?

Maybe in the movie version it is all the village for Hilary Clinton says "It takes a village to raise a child" and Lawrence bumper stickers say "it takes a village to raze a historic building".

I am not sure what happened maybe you could have told me 15- 20 years ago when it happened.

I am making a joke there is a god. Oh no there is not a god.

Well there is a pop musician by the name of Tori Amos who sang "God sometimes you dont come through .... when you need a woman to look out for you... God sometimes you just dont come through."

I am not sure. Why dont you meet me sometime and answer me why my penalty for living is worse that JOB's?

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DaveR 6 years, 9 months ago

Rabbi Tiechtel comments were wonderful & uplifting.

Regrettably, The Rev. Ji Seok Ju's comments were not. His God comes wrapped in a Bible.

Back in the early 1990's there was a novel entitled - if memory serves - Marianne in Ecstasy. Marianne lived her dreary life in a convent. Praying, hoping, wishing with all her heart that God might favor her, might pay her a visit, grant her a vision.

One day her hopes were answered. God himself appeared. She fell prostrate. She waited for the command to arise, she waited eagerly to hear God's wish. But she heard nothing.

After a long, long time, she dared to arise. God was still there. He was beckoning her to approach. With great timidity, she did.

She could hear him saying something, but so very softly that she could not make out the words. Gradually she got closer and closer.

When she finally dared to press her ear directly to his lips, she finally heard God say,

"Surprise me."

I don't know what the rest of the book was like, but if there was ever a Heavenly Visitation, that was surely it.

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Kodiac 6 years, 9 months ago

Well I am sure am glad someone asked me this question because that dang dog of mine sure makes his presence known all over the place in my life. I mean its really bad early in the morning when I'm in that wonderful dreaming stage and got such a pretty picture in my mind and that dang dog has to go in just mess it all up when he starts breathing his stinky foul-smelling air in my face and starts licking me with fat fetid tongue of his 'cause he's gots to go to the dang bathroom and wants to eat and all. Holy cow, you wouldn't believe how much I feel his presence in my life then and to.......(clatter, scuffle slap..whisper... hey dyslexic guy it says god not dog)

Oh.

Never mind.

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white_mountain 6 years, 9 months ago

There's a God??

Who's ever show convincing proof of THAT claim?

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paladin 6 years, 9 months ago

God an me ain't been real close over the years. Fact is we're purtinear strangers an have gone on about our seperate ways. Might maybe have somthin ta do with my daddy a convincin me that I was damned by God an they weren't much hope fer the likes a me. Oh well, I been gettin along OK, nevermind God an all a the religion that seems ta go along with her. The story goes that my great granpappy was right close ta God an they rode tagether. Pardnered up an went out west ta clear out the indians sos decent Christian folks could gone on out there an take over the newly vacant land ta build it on up with towns and churches an all a that. Guess they was a fiercum couple a varmints that struck so much fear inta them indians that they mostly jest give up with out no fight atall. Must be a true story cause they's a passel a churches n dang near ever thin else ya kin think of all out in there now. Americans sure are blessed cause American grew inta this huge thing that musta been thunk up by God cause its so big an grand. I dunno. As fer me, I'm a thinkin ifin God brought alla that there about, she ain't got much time fer me anaway, sos I'll jest try not ta bother her too much an mind my own bidness.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

Fudgepop, are you the Frankenstein Monster?

That is sorta what happened to him, what with the villagers and all!

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max1 6 years, 9 months ago

http://www.sullivansfarms.net/s1dneycom/lazlo/ From: Lazlo Toth ...... October 5, 1988, To: The Roman Curia, Sacred Department of Saints, The Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City, Vatican Your Eminences: I would like to report a miracle to Fr. Junipero Serra. Do I have to fill out a form now or what? Best regards to his holiness and his staff To: Lazlo Toth ...... October 25, 1988, From: Archbishop Traian Crisan, Secretary, Congregazione per le Cause Dei Santi Dear Mr. Toth, Your letter of October 5th has arrived at this Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in which you speak of a "miracle" granted through the intercession of Blessed JUNIPER SERRA. As only one canonically approved miracle is required for his canonization, this "miracle" of which you speak must have occurred on or after the date of beatification, that is, September 25, 1988. If this be the case, I would advise you to send a report of the "event" to the Bishop of the diocese where it took place so that he may consider initiating a canonical investigation or not. With every best wish, I am Sincerely in Christ From: Lazlo Toth ...... October 24, 1990, To: Archbishop Traian Crisan, Secretary, Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Vatican City, Vatican Your Eminence, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you regarding the Father Junipero Serra miracle that happened on Route 280 when I was on my way to Gilroy on September 24, 1988, but I am somewhat in a dilemma, and before pursuing this cause further I was wondering how locked in you are to the September 25 date or if there might be some kind of a waiver in a case like this, what with only a twenty four hour time difference. Also, do you have some kind of a Report of Miracle form, or some kind of instructions to follow? I don't know how detailed you want me to get at this time. I look forward to working with the canonical investigation team and am willing to meet them at the airport if desired. Regards and best wishes to everyone you know. From: Lazlo Toth ...... March 23, 1991, To: Archbishop Traian Crisan, Secretary, Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Vatican City, Vatican I know the church moves slow, but it's five months since I wrote to you regarding the Fr. Junipero Serra miracle -- and not a word from Rome! I'm trying to arrange my schedule for the next few months and if the canonical investigation team is coming I'd like at least a few weeks notice.I just don't understand why things are moving so slowly. It will be three years in September since Father Serra appeared to me and gave me the idea for the gum. Over five years ago, he cured a nun of lupus, you know that! That was a miracle, and now this! Let's get going! I'm not blaming your staff. I like my naps and spaghetti, too, but there is a time and a place for everything, and now is the time for Father Junipero Serra sainthood! This cause may not seem urgent to them, but we want him named Saint now before those Indian beater charges spread.

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Fudgepop 6 years, 9 months ago

When a whole town chased me down to hold me responsible for what the other kids in my high school were doing yet they knew about it and did it themselves but they held me responsible for it. I sure am happy that it landed me in jail and in dire straits because they presented it as though I was the one doing it.

I sure am glad all those women told me I would never date them and never stood a chance.

I sure am glad that I could not overcome it all.

I felt Gods presence most when I was so down and everyone around me just kept kicking me around.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

75x55 wrote:

"There is the love of God, as it comes from so many of the dedicated professionals and volunteers that give their time and heartache and devotion to these sufferers. Believers or not - God uses flawed vessels to achieve His ends."

Marion writes:

The implication is clear; God so loved these little children that he tortured them to death so that we could see the love of the dedicated professionals which in its own way is merely another aspect of the "Love of God".

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paladin 6 years, 9 months ago

Its so dangblasted sad that God invented folks what cast judgment on other folks cause they don't b'lieve in they own brand a pure foolishness. God might maybe try ta haul water with'n a cracked up jug, but She's a gonna lose allot ofin it in the process. Ifin She's a God an all a that, She outta being a tad smarter'n that there.

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75x55 6 years, 9 months ago

I suppose we will have to disagree - I disagree with your lie, "That IS what you said."

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erod0723 6 years, 9 months ago

75x55, as for me, I love my sinful ways, and wouldn't have it any other way. I gotta go now, need to make a b double e double r u n beer run.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

75x55:

Although we agree on many things, on this one we willhave to agree to disagree!

Yeah, "God" tortures little children to death so that we can see the love exuding from the medical staff.

That IS what you said.

I was just listening for a few moments to a Seventh Day Adaventist televangelist telling his Moonie-eyed flock about the great city in space built by God which is 375 mile wide, 375 miles long and 375 miles high.

He then told his flock that those were also the dimensions of the Great Pyramid.

WOO HOO!

And people decry L.Ron Hubbard!

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erod0723 6 years, 9 months ago

Oh I forgot to add when KU won the championship in 88. That was the greatest night of my life.

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erod0723 6 years, 9 months ago

I have felt the closest to God whilst in the throws of passion. "Oh God! Oh God!"
Many ancient religions believed that sexual union was a way to reach into Heaven. The mind clears completely and pure happiness is felt. So, I thank God everytime during sex.

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75x55 6 years, 9 months ago

How sad - all these people have only heard about "God's Love".... and don't grasp the sin of man and of this world, where we will have pain and tribulation. I do not blame you for your viewpoint - it is only natural if your view of God and the world is no deeper than that.

Marion - did you love those children, and do what you could for them? There is the love of God, as it comes from so many of the dedicated professionals and volunteers that give their time and heartache and devotion to these sufferers. Believers or not - God uses flawed vessels to achieve His ends.

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

When the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.

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jonas 6 years, 9 months ago

Usually, Thursdays at seven. That's when I have my weekly appointment.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

When I visited a children's cancer ward I felt soooooooooooooo surrounded and embraced by the "Love Of God" as I observed the kids with no hair from chemo, losing weight as I watched, crying in miserable pain and one kid even died while I was there, to go straight to the Loving Arms of the God who had allowed the child's life to end in unholy pain and agony.

Yep, the "Love Of God" just FILLED that room!

yeah, right

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paladin 6 years, 9 months ago

When She screams at me ta put the dang turlet seat down.

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Speakout 6 years, 9 months ago

"The song was based on Psalm 62, written by King David: "For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress, I shall never be shaken."" Last week I asked Christians why it is that we have forsaken God to pray to Jesus, a man. I received absolutely no reply to that nor did I expect one. But in the phrase above, written by a Christian, I see he is seeking salvation from God and God alone. God's creation is what we have not one designed or made by Jesus. Although I love Jesus as a great prophet of God, I still pray to God and worhip only Him as He has asked. "I am the Lord, Thy God, take no other gods before me!" "Say, He is one God, the eternal, the absolute. He begetteth not, nor was He begotten. There is none like unto Him." Qur'an, Chapter 112.

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John Kyle 6 years, 9 months ago

God's presence? Maybe the 200,000 killed by a sunami Katrina destruction Chopping a 13 year old girls feet off at an amusement park What a wonderful guy.

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OZ 6 years, 9 months ago

. . . .

Every time the Radical X-Tian TERORISTS claim that they know what's best and what THEIR "god" wants done.

. ."I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." --Susan B. Anthony

"You can safely assume that you've created god in YOUR own image when it turns out that god hates all the same people you do." --Anne Lamott

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal 1623-1662

"Man will not be free until the last king (politician) is strangled on the entrails of the last priest." --Deidrot

"When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." --Sinclair Lewis . . .

3,546 American Soldiers are DEAD due to the LIES of the IDIOT DUBYA, but NO "STEM CELLS" were hurt.

750,000 American CHILDREN under the age of FIVE (5) are without one or BOTH parents due to military deployment as a result of the IDIOT DUBYA'S LIES.

These are the GOP RADICAL X-TIAN TERRORIST'S "family values" at work, DESTROYING MORE American Families.

. . . . . .

"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam [Hussein], which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." --Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen quoting Bush when they met in Aqaba

. .

Wars of aggression are the most barbarous of all human endeavors and are, more often than not, the instruments of insane tyrants who hear voices.
--Rodrigue Tremblay

. .

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