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Constance - Make tea, not war
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Constance - Make tea, not war: dear diary

The more I think about this passage the more it resonates within me. And I'm making a kind of exception here, since I don't normally talk religion in my journal.

12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.[*]

Every Monday, there's a Bible studies group at the university, and this was the passage we studied last time. It is such a thoughtful and powerful summary of what it means to be a Christian. It isn't easy, but that's the ideal we should strive for.

Love with the compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience can be shown through acts of service. I like to think that I'm patient and all those things; but now that I think about it too often I'm impatient with others and lack compassion for users opening support requests. And I thought it was a kind of protection - not to care too much; that it would protect from a burn-out... But maybe it would actually help to approach things with another mind-set, with love. I remember how I enjoyed helping users before, no matter how clueless: I found it so cool that I could clue them in. How after some time, I no longer felt as motivated about helping the users, but was still passionate about helping the new volunteers through reviews, through writing tutorials that they could use in their responses, and through writing internal training tutorials. I still like those things, but the joy diminished. I must re-discover it; I think I am re-discovering it.

Peace... When I'm angry at something, sometimes I found peace in washing the floors and singing songs. Playing with my cat also calms me down, and of course lately I've been playing the piano.

Thankful... At the Bible studies they were joking that they are thankful that the semester ends in three weeks. How about a brief list of things I'm thankful for?

* These warm days lately: oh, absolutely! It was like summer come early. I'm thankful for them, even if that is all we get for now (it's getting colder now).
* Scholarships! By now I'm almost sure that I won't be able to get through this thing completely debt-free, but any little amount to offset it helps.
* All support volunteers, former and current, who have contributed to this great thing we have here. I have learned to value good customer support, and this is one of the best I've seen. Yes, lately we have been rather backlogged, and requests take a long time to get answered on occasion, but I do believe that everyone is contributing their best.

Aside: This is a day for exceptions, I guess. Anyone on my friends who isn't already volunteering can I tempt you to try? You may think you know little about the working of LJ, but you have been around, and surely can help users who for instance can't figure out how to update their journals. And there are perks! You can get "free" paid time on your journal. You can polish your writing skills, which would definitely come in useful, as can be seen from this testimonial by a former volunteer. You can put the support on your resume. One of the best things I find about volunteering is being "in the know": what's going on, what issues LJ is having, what are the work-arounds, what developers are working on. Ah, and most importantly the knowledge that you helped someone is great, inspiring, it gives you confidence. The occasional "thank you"'s from the users don't hurt either ;) I would guess everyone takes something different away from the support experience. If you decide to join, let me know and I'll gladly walk you through anything, but you can start by reading the sections on mechanics and training in the Support Guide, and then take a look at the Support board, and don't worry about messing up!

Umm, that was a long aside, and if I wanted to say something else, I lost it ;) But here's a poll in conclusion. As I've said before, I normally avoid talking religion in my journal. But I don't actually know if anyone finds such stuff offensive or something ;) Maybe you would be interested in reading more of my thoughts and beliefs, if I happen to wish to share them.

Poll #960028 Religion

Are you interested in entries like this one

Yes
30(96.8%)
No
1(3.2%)
I'm taking you off my friends list
0(0.0%)

Would you prefer such entries be in a custom filter, that you don't see?

And the traditional: Ticky?

TICKY! MY TICKY!!
2(8.3%)
TICKEH
2(8.3%)
Bananas
8(33.3%)
What?
2(8.3%)

[*] Colossians 3:12-17 (New International Version)


Comments
Зверики

Does faith, in your opinion, come into equation?
In other words, do you have to believe in Christ in order to be a Christian?


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Yes, of course: it's even in the name, Christian. But I'm not saying that there can't be great people not of the faith: if someone is looking for the truth and incorporates these feelings and attitudes in his or her life, then I believe that they are also 'God's chosen people'.

Maybe I'd hold Christians to a higher ideal, because of what we believe: it should be reflected in our actions, there should be a noticeable difference... And sometimes there isn't. (On the other hand, I really cannot judge anyone, I'm not a beacon of virtue either ;))

I think the hypocrites, those who proclaim themselves Christians, but do not act accordingly (rather treat others with disrespect/hate, and have a "holier than thou" attitude), are the worst. It's the saddest thing, and it turns many away. The school newspaper once printed a satirical piece which made me sad — basically the editor said that to surprise of many who knew him he decided to convert to Christianity (or even more specifically Catholicism, I'm no longer sure), and then he went on to justify it with all the wrong reasons (something like, "anyone who disagrees with me would burn in hell"). I laughed about half-way into the article, but then stopped, because it does seem like something of a kind is really going on.

HTML fixed.


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The name is hardly a proof; one can easily be a Buddhist without even believing Buddha ever existed (or a Moslem who doesn't believe in peace).

I wasn't asking about great people (of the faith or not).
Do you think it is absolutely impossible - by definition - for someone to be a Christian without believing in Christ (in fact, without even having ever heard of Christ)?

PS A disclaimer, just in case: I don't really know the answer to my question, so I am not implying anything. Rather, wondering...


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OK: yes, it is impossible to be a Christian without believing in Christ, because by definition Christian is someone who believes in Christ.


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Fair enough. :)


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If you get melted chocolate all over your hands,
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