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    Default Lost my belief,anyone else???

    I have woked for a major dept. for 28 yrs. And on 9/11/2001 I lost any belief of a god. And as time goes on I see even less reson to believe. Has anyone else gone through this experience?

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    One can't lose something one never had...but if you're serious, check out freethoughtfirefighters.org. I'm sure others would try to steer you the other direction, and that's fine. But it's ok to question things that don't make sense to you. Draw your own conclusions with rational thinking.

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    Default I do believe

    It's kind of like the Never Ending Story or Peter Pan, once you stop believing all is lost.

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    I have woked for a major dept. for 28 yrs. And on 9/11/2001 I lost any belief of a god. And as time goes on I see even less reson to believe. Has anyone else gone through this experience?

    Yes...after my mom got divorced and my best friend killed himself I find it harder and harder to believe anymore...
    NEVER FORGET!
    9/11/01

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    God gave us all, even people that dont deserve it, free will. B/c of that bad things will happen. Where in the bible, or any religon does it say God only exists to make the world good?

    Its like when people know their going to die they pray to God, but theyve never prayed before. Well why give yourself the false hope. Dont believe in God, that way theres no false hope of anything. Or believe in God but realize he does not control our day to day actions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by capthazard
    I have woked for a major dept. for 28 yrs. And on 9/11/2001 I lost any belief of a god. And as time goes on I see even less reson to believe. Has anyone else gone through this experience?
    Yeah I've been there. It's been 12 years now so I've had some time to heal. When my uncle died, my first emotion was disbelief. How could such a great man die? Then I slipped into anger. How could God take him from us in the prime of his life? I had a lot of trouble believing in God at that point. What possible good could come of his death? While I miss him each day, his death was not in vain.

    The morning of his funeral one of my aunt's told us that butterflies signify a rebirth of the spirit. I had never heard that before. Well later that day at the burial, we stood around the grave while the Father poured the holy water on the casket. As he was doing this, out of nowhere came a bright orange Monarch butterfly. It landed on the casket, flapped it's wings, and took off at the end of the blessing. Our whole family saw it and remembered our discussion that morning. It was that day that I decided to celebrate his life and try my best to live up to his expectations.

    Was it God that day or just a strange coincidence? I'll never know. But I do know that when I see a Monarch butterfly it always brings a smile to my face. Hang in there brother. You'll get through it
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    Very nice Smokey.

    I'm not a particulary religious man, but I have to admit, every now and again something happens that makes you go hmmmmmm?

    And LaLaMan,

    Its like when people know their going to die they pray to God, but theyve never prayed before.
    I call that "Covering the Bases".
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    I have something of a unique perspective on religion - my father, grandfather, and all three of my uncles on my mother's side are all ordained Lutheran Pastors. What amazes me to this day is I have never been pressured into believing what they believe. Sure, as a child I was taken to Chuch and Sunday School, and it was expected I would attend - and I did, both out of respect for my family, and a genuine faith and belief. I still attend Church, and try to make it to Bible Study as frequently as I can.

    I am of the conviction that this is a job that will either drive you to God, or away from Him, and the major factor is yourself, and how you react to the situations, or how you perceive them. Today's culture looks at events such as 9/11 and says, "How can God let these things happen?" It goes something like this:

    If God is all powerful
    and God is good
    Then how can evil exist?

    What people forget is what LaLaMan mentioned - free will. God did not create us as robots - he gave Adam and Eve a free will to determine their own path - and they did. We also have our own free will - do I REALLY want to answer the general page at 4:30 in the morning, the night after a 48 hour shift ended? Not necessarily. Could that have consequences? Sure could. Maybe they don't get the people they need for 2 in\2 out, the IC doesn't believe there's anyone in the building, so there's no S&R. The IC didn't know there was a squatter in the second floor of the building, and we find him 10 hours later when we're overhauling. Did God cause that man to die, or did he allow MY actions to cause that death?

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    Faith is an unusual thing. I struggle many times with what I believe and what I disbelieve. At this juncture in my life I believe there is a God. I still struggle with the message and what I am supposed to take from that message. But I have seen too much in my life to disbelieve entirely and I also have seen too much in my life to believe the entire spiel that is passed around.

    My personal experience that makes me believe happened about a year after my Dad died. Some friends of mine knowing how tough it was on me gave me an apple tree to plant so that I had a place to go and be with my Dad. Well the following spring a big Maple tree on our property snapped and crushed the apple tree. Snapping it off at the ground. I was heart broken and cut up the Maple figuring I would have to get a new apple tree. I couldn't even go out there for a few weeks. When I did there were 2 new shoots off from the broken off trunk about a foot tall. I turned to run to the house to tell my wife when my Dad's voice, clear as a bell, said to me "I'M okay." I turned and said "What?" in disbelief, but there is it was again. "I'm okay." I couldn't believe it and to this day it sends shivers down my spine. I have told many people this story and they all believe me, relating stories of their own or from others. Did I imagine it? I don't think so. So if not...where did the voice come from?

    By the way, that apple tree is now over 12 feet tall and produces a heck of a good eating apple.

    Why do I at times still question? Simple really...bad things happening to good people and good things happening to bad people. Seems contradictory to me.

    I believe we are meant to struggle with the question of belief and we all come to our own place of comfort. Either totally imersed and believing unwavering, believing but still questioning, or total non-belief. In the end it is up to each of us to decide our path and then live with it.

    FyredUp

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    Well said FyredUp
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    I dont mean to sound preachy but there are a few things I would like to bring out.

    First off, look at the world around you. Watch the news. Nothing but bad news, most of it. So, if the world is full of bad stuff, do you really think that God would cause all these hurtfull and harmful things to happen if he is a god of love? I would say no.

    And, remember, God could be related to the air you breathe because you can not see the air in front of you and you can not see God either.

    There, I'll get off my preacher's box

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHR1985
    ...First off, look at the world around you. Watch the news. Nothing but bad news, most of it. So, if the world is full of bad stuff, do you really think that God would cause all these hurtfull and harmful things to happen if he is a god of love? I would say no...
    See my post above. Also, media mode engage (I'm the Director and Senior Editor at KEYC-TV as my fulltime job) - we give you what you want. You SAY you want to see the good things, but you don't. You want the sensational, violent, depressing news. People forget that news is a function of profitability, like anything else. Four times a year, Nielsen diaries go out, and my reporters bust their humps to come up with the most ridiculous, sensational stories they can - becasuse they boost ratings. It's what you want to see. Don't take it to be a reflection of our world. Many years ago Marshall McLuhan asked the question: "Do we reflect media, or does the media reflect us?" Think about it.

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    In response to Chopper, I guess Don Henley said it best with his song, "Dirty Laundry". Although I have to submit that no one in the media has ever asked my opinion of what is "newsworthy" - maybe there's a good reason for that?

    On the topic of Belief. Mmmm very tough question, and from reading the earlier posts, I see my thoughts reflected in a round-about fashion in some of them.

    I am not what would be termed a God fearing man, and I could never be considered a church-goer either, by any traditional definition. That does not mean I have no respect for the concept of religion. Like many of us on these boards, I have been in situations that have shown me there is a higher being. As the saying goes, There are No Atheists in a Fox Hole.

    Belief and faith come in the simple forms, much as the stories that FyredUp and Tom related. All I have to do to is look around at the trees, the birds and other of Nature's critters and when open my heart and mind, “There She is”. In my world God is a woman, for who else could be so nurturing in one moment – the budding and flowering of a blossom in one instant, - then the fury and power of a gale the next? Just as Mom was; able to soothe a cut or scrape and then scold for being foolish enough to hang (or fall as the case was) from the tree limb.

    My Dad died of cancer in 1991, at age 46 and I asked the same questions that we all ask. During his eulogy, the orator noted that on weekends, Dad used to wake early in the morning and sit on his deck with coffee in hand and watch the sun rise. I was in the army then, and before that, we were separated by divorce and such, so this was something that I was not really aware of. After thinking on this, it came to me that this is something that we shared (for me, every day that I am either at sea or on a field exercise) without knowing the other was doing so.

    When things are going poorly and depression is high, to restore my belief, all I have to do is watch the sun rise and hear the birds begin their morning song, and I know all is well in the World. There are no constructed churches, no group gatherings, just the songs of birds and the quiet strength of the rising sun.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    If you are looking for other nonbelievers to talk to come join us in the Forums at Atheist Network. http://www.atheistnetwork.com/ There are many of us that don't believe in a "higher power".
    Steve
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    Red face Wow!

    Man what a great response. I really appreciate everyones thoughts and personal experiences. I am overwhelmed. This is a very touchy subject around the hall and it is hard to have an intelligent discussion without being labeled the Antichrist and such, but I will continue look. It is hard to argue with science and data.

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    Hey Cap...I think (mostly LOL) that I can say from most of us - You're very welcome.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Cap
    I don't think there is anything wrong with questioning your beliefs. My mom died of cancer when I was young and I could never figure out why she left. I have been at the point in my life where I had no job, no money and yet somehow I managed. I managed after my mom died taking care of my younger siblings. I think that there is a power in the universe that looks after us and has certainly looked after me. Sometimes, too I think, that same power guides us in a sense. I don't believe in a specific god or religion but somehow, I know there is a power out there that listens. Please don't give up. I don't think it is about believing in a specfic god that keeps you going. It is the belief in yourself that the universe will not give you anything that you can not handle. Trust in yourself and the people in your life and the people who have yet to come into your life. Everytime I started to wonder why, something or someone showed up that answered that question. if that makes any sense.

    Besides which it is far easier to get through life a little bit insane anyway. That is what keeps me sane.

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    Smile

    i use one simple quote all the time on pt's that have lost hope.

    God doesn't make a mountain that together you and him cant climb

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    Nice quote Newbomb. This is a nice change of pace, people from different perspectives stating their thoughts without a flame war. I believe in God and God's never let me down, though I've let myself down plenty of times. I think Chef's right, there is nothing wrong with questioning your beliefs, I'm not sure I've ever known anyone that never questioned their beliefs.

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    Great posts all...

    Cap

    I can say in most cases when I go to Church or even during quiet prayer their is no doubt In my mind that i'm in the presence of the Lord.

    I'll pray that God will restore your faith in him.

    RR
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


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    I don't have anything new or especially constructive to add (yet!) but I am strongly compelled to thank and commend everyone for a levelheaded and civil open discussion on the topic. This is remarkable and refreshing. Good job, everyone.
    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoughRider
    Great posts all...

    Cap

    I can say in most cases when I go to Church or even during quiet prayer their is no doubt In my mind that i'm in the presence of the Lord.

    I'll pray that God will restore your faith in him.

    RR
    Nicely said. Sometimes all it takes is walking around outside, after a nice rain as the sun's coming back out. I find it very difficult to believe that everything in our world simply evolved - it does not seem plausible to me. Especially considering the first law of thermodynamics - everything tends to disorder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chopper12
    I find it very difficult to believe that everything in our world simply evolved - it does not seem plausible to me. Especially considering the first law of thermodynamics - everything tends to disorder.
    Speaking of the puzzle of evolution,...... evolutionary theory points to the similarity of species as evidence. For example, all mammals (from humans to whales) have one upper arm bone, two lower arm bones, and bone structures for five digits. Skeletal structures of sea mammals are fascinating to look at, for this reason. At first glance, this screams evolutionary history.

    But....

    I guess I need it explained to me - especially in light of chopper's comment - how a single creature got so radically and highly developed to create all those specialized structures and organs FIRST, prior to the evolutionary process splitting this hypothetical "base" mammal back into all of the other variations we see today.

    This is but one of many examples and reasons to discard the idea of evolution as the only means of development. Evolution is real and it does happen, but it hardly explains everything. So, there's one of many scientific/logical explanations to rationalize God's existence.

    From a spiritual standpoint, we have to remember to not be blinded by events close to our lives and lose sight of what else happens to others. Think of the tiniest decision you made in your life that totally impacted your future, and thus others around you.

    Sometimes bad things happen for the greater good but we simply cannot see it. If you just reacted strongly to that statement in a negative way, you proved my point.

    Several years ago I got a casual, one-sentence email from a friend I hadn't heard from in years about a job opening. I applied for the job, and got it. I moved my family. We made friends at church and at work. We give to the community in many ways. My dollars are spent here. I've made mistakes. I don't know what good or bad I've caused anyone, but moving here drastically impacted the lives of my wife and children and also my extended family, and who knows who else we've impacted by our presence in this community. What good and what bad? And it all happened because of a friend's email. How do we measure the impacts on lives from this original email? I am sure my friend has no idea how many lives were forever bent for good or ill by his ten-second casual email.

    How do we measure the positive and negative impacts of 9/11? Of a bus crash? Of a child dying in an accident? Of a death in the family that seems unjustified and unfair? The ripples go far and wide, and it is kind of narrow-minded if we assume in our downtrodden angry state that all repercussions are automatically negative. Good can (and often does) come from things we can only see as bad in our short-sighted world.

    Free will. Stuff happens. We can't see it all, and never will. And nowhere is it written that all things happen must be good to justify the existence of God.

    Sorry that got so long......
    Last edited by RLFD14; 05-09-2006 at 01:50 PM.
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    I think almost everyone of faith has struggled at one timne or another. I have strayed often in my path through life, but keep coming back because of the comfort I have.

    Remember, that Satan is there too. Good vs. Evil. Free will (as mentioned) allows a person to choose what they will do at every point. Some people choose to be firefighters, Paramedics, or shopkeepers. Then there is the opposite side of the coin - politicians, criminals, and terrorists.

    Just because one has strong faith and beliefs in God does not in any way mean that you are free from ever developing cancer, having a car wreck, or being fired from a job.

    It does not preclude people from having bad things happen. Remember, "There will be wars, and rumors of wars" and the World will fall into turmoil deeper and deeper before the Rapture. It will be darker and worse than any of us could possibly fathom, before the light.

    I think we all will have trouble dealing as this approaches. Regardless of faith, regardless of lack of faith. The end times will not be pleasant, nor will the road to them. Keeping strong will be just as difficult.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    500 years ago Martin Luther said "I don't see how it can get any worse." Good call on that one.

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