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Coffee With Clare

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Hi Friends:  

Welcome back to Coffee With Clare every Thursday!  

Dear Clare:

I was raised in a Catholic household, and my mother is a devout Catholic.  When in my teens, I did not like the teachings of that religion and chose not to become a confirmed Catholic.

With the exception of weddings and funerals, I have not been in a church to worship for over 25 years.  I am now in my 40’s and have school age children who do not have any religious affiliation. I feel I am missing something and am envious of my friends who talk so passionately about God. I also feel I am doing a disservice to my children for not letting them experience faith.  But, I don’t want to ram it down their throats as I felt was done to me.

My question is, how do you find what religion is right for you?  As a Catholic, you basically had to be born into it. I know little to nothing about other religions and am not sure where to start.  Any advice?

Signed,

Looking for Faith

 

costa1

 

Answer:

Dear Looking for Faith:

I am a Christian woman who loves the Lord, and who believes the Bible is the infallible Word of God and that the Son of God, Jesus, died for our sins. The feelings that you describe are well documented among those who are searching for a relationship with the Lord.

God has carried me through the good times… and not so good times…. I have had close family losses, difficulties raising kids and teenagers, a cancer diagnosis, actually 2 cancer diagnoses because then my husband had cancer, losing my parents 7 months apart who were my world, almost losing our home, financial crises, job losses and of course … lots and lots of unmentionable occurrences.

 

clouds

 

I would like to share a few passages from the Bible, that I find helpful:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16; NIV)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9; NIV)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth until righteousness; and with the mouth confessions is made until salvation.”  (Romans 10:9-10; KJB)

Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make.

I believe that that if you pray to the Lord and accept Him as your personal savior and believe in your heart that He is Lord, you can be saved and walk with Him the rest of your days… and have the comfort of knowing that Jesus is right there with you by your side, day in and day out.  But, God has given us free will, and so this step in faith is your free choice and yours alone.  If you choose to move forward with a personal relationship with the Lord, and I certainly hope you do, here is a sample prayer for salvation:

“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”

Next, I would suggest you seek out a good Bible-based church.  And, I am certainly not proposing or directing you to any type of specific “denomination”.  For assistance with this, please check out “Focus on the Family” website and this article: 

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/becoming-a-christian/how-can-i-be-saved/finding-the-right-church

And also http://www.churchfinder.com/ may be able to assist with you seeking a church in your area.

Because you also mentioned your children, you will want to get into a church that has a wonderful children’s program or youth group, depending on the age of your kids.  Believe me, you will know whether or not your kids like the church and the program!

As a woman who was raised Catholic and went through eight years of parochial school, I believe I do understand where you are coming from. The important thing now is not letting the past keep you, and your children, from a relationship with the Lord.

Even with all my wrong decisions and mistakes (which still occur daily), God is the Lord of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Please let us know what you decide to do, and God Bless You!

 

End of the Rainbow Pot Of Gold

 

Friends, I want to hear from you!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at: lifeainteasystreet@gmail.com

~Clare 

 

Disclosure:  I do not profess to be any kind of a Bible scholar; I am not a preacher or ordained Pastor, or any kind of religious expert.  I am a Christian woman who loves to write and help people.  I think women need encouragement and help in lots of areas of their lives these days.  That is why I write my blog!    

 

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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17 Comments

  • Lori says:

    “How do you find… right for you”
    _________________________________
    I feel the question behind the question might be, – perhaps – “There’s an empty spot in my life, in my kids’ lives… How do I fill that spot and meet that nagging need?”

    I’m not sure a “religion” is going to be the answer the writer is seeking.

    A religion is the organizational bucket (in the ideal sense, anyway) as proclaimer of the amazing, awe-inspiring, surpassing great, immeasurable, unlimited and all-encompassing One God, His Son, our Saviour, Jesus and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

    It’s so true, Clare, that each of us need to be introduced to this One God, and His Son Jesus.

    For some it’s like meeting a stranger, and that first meeting is just a get-to-know-you introduction. But then, from the introduction to this Awesome God, can flow a stream of peace, and love which is unfathomable, and humanly unexplainable. Each of us need to build an understanding of who and what God and Jesus are, and what it means to trust that interaction.

    The Bible is a perfect place to dig into understanding who God and His Son are; a favorite part (chapter) to begin the introduction is the Gospel of John. To the writer of the question, I’d recommend a kids’ Bible… And reading and discussing the Gospel of John with your kids. Begin by asking God to make what you’re reading understandable.

    This getting to know Christ is like falling in love – but better.

    There’s this perfect Bridegroom who wants us as His Bride – to be close to us, and meet our every need… And He will do anything and everything to have a one-hearted connection with us. He won’t ever give up. He will sacrifice. He has even given up his human life, so our emptiness can be filled; that we can be close to His Father. He is offering a future that’s so amazing it’s hard to wrap our brains around.

    And all we need to do is – accept His love. Trust Him. And reciprocate His Love.

    Embracing this Love will fill every empty, aching corner, and renew… Everything!

    Embracing and reciprocating this Love will make finding like-hearted people, become an inner desire and drive. As humans we can’t grow in a vacuum; we need others to grow with, learn from, and develop with.

    Yes. That’s where a church family of people who also love, serve, and live like Jesus – just like in the Gospel – becomes the place where this reader and her kids can rejoice in life. To be renewed. And filled.

    -—-—

    (I know – what I’ve written is just as you’ve written in your answer above, Clare. I’m agreeing. But sometimes our “Christian-speak” or lingo is either foreign or a turn-off to seekers, or those disenfranchised from Christianity. In my opinion (hah! For what it’s worth ) we need to find new ways to describe what it means to find Christ, and how to build a one-on-one, intimate relationship with Him. Christian-speak/lingo/rhetoric can (already has) become an “us/them” divisive flag. In this decaying day-and-age society, what was said before isn’t always enough. ) Just my 2-cents, and might not even be worth that much!

    • Clare says:

      Thank you for sharing this, Lori! This is great! And thank you to you and all readers for your prayers and support for “Looking for Faith”.

  • Nicole L says:

    I didn’t never actually left the faith, but did definitely have to find it on my own before I truly accepted it. I don’t agree with everything that the church has to say, but I agree with most of it and associate most closely with it.

  • I grew up Catholic. After going through a few situations, I realized I needed relationship not religion. I ended up attending a service at a non-denominational church in my town and realize me that church was what I was looking for (personally).

  • andi says:

    it’s all about relationship, not religion – nevertheless, i’ve been a Christian since 1996…

  • Mary Collins says:

    Claire,
    What a glorious response to someone in search of the Lord. You gave her all of the information, guidance, and resources needed. I pray this individual decides to accept Jesus as their savior.
    May the Lord bless you for doing His work.
    Blessings
    Mary

  • Laura Holt says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. Good advice!

  • Karen Dowd-Hansen says:

    Very good advice, Clare! As you know, I was raised in a strict Catholic home. I have learned over the years that there is no one faith. We all believe in the same God. I have read the Bible cover to cover more than once, something that was not recommended by the Catholic Church. I wanted to know more. I wanted to ask ‘why’.
    In the end, we must all be, simply, good people. We must look after our family and our neighbors. We must strive to not hurt anyone, and to be the best that we can be. We must teach our children to be good people.
    Thank you for your wonderful blog – keep posting!

    • Clare says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and story, Karen! It is appreciated by not only me but by all readers, too! I love God’s Word, too! And it is so important to try to do the best we can for all! Thanks for being such a faithful follower of my blog! I truly appreciate it!

  • katie says:

    I am Catholic, and I feel like I am so strong in my faith because my parents let me find God on my own terms, and never forced me into believing what they wanted me to believe.

    ​​xx katie // A Touch of Teal

    • Clare says:

      Thank you so much for sharing that, Katie! I am glad you had the freedom to choose and find God on your own! And Blessings!

  • I love this concept of answering letters like an advice column…Dear Abby but better! I’ll be praying for Looking For Faith, and for you, Clare!

    XOXO,

    Carrie

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