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Everything posted by Abigail

  1. "How blessed are the poor in spirit! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4 "How blessed are those who mourn! for they will be comforted. 5 "How blessed are the meek! for they will inherit the Land!k 6 "How blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness! for they will be filled. 7 "How blessed are those who show mercy! for they will be shown mercy. 8 "How blessed are the pure in heart! for they will see God. 9 "How blessed are those who make peace! for they will be called sons of God. But I tell you that anyone who nurses anger against his brother will be subject to judgment; that whoever calls his brother, `You good-for-nothing!' will be brought before the Sanhedrin; that whoever says, `Fool!' incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gei-Hinnom! 23 So if you are offering your gift at the Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift where it is by the altar, and go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift. What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! 47 And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that! 48 Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours. Don't judge, so that you won't be judged. 2 For the way you judge others is how you will be judged -- the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you. 3 Why do you see the splinter in your brother's eye but not notice the log in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the splinter out of your eye,' when you have the log in your own eye?
  2. Dan, thanks for sharing that, it was very relevant and informative. Until two days ago, I was completely unaware that Christians observed a form of these holy days. Words, I started to listen to what you posted but real life called, I will get back to it. After that, I think I will finish my Holy Days away from here. Thanks for all of your participation in this thread, everyone!
  3. One more thought on the group think - - When this thread was started, Tonto didn't name anyone. I know it never even occured to several people (including myself) that the original post in this thread was even directed toward Larry (and maybe it wasn't). It was only later that it seemed to me some of the posts were absolutely directed toward Larry. Now, in my mind, it is one thing for someone to "confront" (and there's a word from TWI that still makes my skin crawl) Larry and tell him he is acting like a jerk. For maybe the two of them to has things out and find a place of mutual respect, even if they never agree. Or to simply decide they should avoid each other because they are oil and water. Heck, I even hashed things out with Larry at one point, and fortunately for me, we were able to find that place of mutual respect. BUT when one person calls someone out for bad behavior, is it really necessary for 4, 5, 6 however many other people to all chime in and say "yeah, you're a jerk!" At that point, it strikes me that the person is then being ganged up on. Some people can take that, especially if they have someone else to help advocate for them. Others cannot - they won't be helped by being ganged up upon, they will only be hurt. Perhaps they could have been helped if it had remained more of a one to one dialogue, but because they feel ganged up upon and the defenses have gone up - they will be unable to actually receive any benefit.
  4. (((Dan)))) thank you! Your words have not gone unnoticed by me!!! And I will soon be moving on to find a face to face church, fellowship, whatever it eventually turns out to be. That is not to say I am never going to come here again, never going to post here again. But in time, as I find the right fit for me, I will probably post less and less. As the Holy Days come to an end, I have a few different options I will be investigating, including the one you recommended. :) I am also going to give the Synagogue near here a second try. There is a new Rabbi there and I figure this time I will go and actually mingle with the people afteward, instead of running out right after the service. I like the notion of a Synagogue very much, if it works out to be a good fit. They provide many opportunitties to give - groups who help feed the homeless type stuff. They also have classes that I could take and I have heard from my cousin they would probably provide a scholarship so the boys could go to Hebrew school. So I do want to give that another, more honest try. Anyway, I didn't want you to think I hadn't read what you said. Thank you (((Dan))) No, you didn't. And I think those who did were very well intentioned, really!!!! I think they wrote out of concern not with an intent to do damage. But I think it has the very real potential to do serious damage, nonetheless. Once again, for emphasis - I don't think anyone INTENDED harm. I don't think anyone's heart was to hurt someone else.
  5. It becomes group think - or at least has the very real potential of becoming group think, when people start PMing people to try to sway them to their POV against another person. It becomes group think - or at least has the very real potential of becoming group think, when people start PMing the mods and asking them to ban someone. To hash differences out in a thread is one thing. I have seen numerous times when a thread started out very ugly, but when it was "left to be" the participants were eventually able to hash things out and come to a place of mutual respect, if not agreement. BUT, to start PMing people in an attempt to sway one person against another is something else entirely. That has happened here - the "warnings" good inentioned though they may be, are ultimately a means of potnetially isolating one person out as a the "bad guy" by swaying others to your POV. (I use "you" generally and do not mean you specifically, Dot.) I have received such "warnings" about Larry, and I have spoken out against such things in several threads over the years now. I have received such "warnings" about others here as well. People who are still here and ahve offered much. I find that type of behavior even more aggravating than anything Larry has done out in the open on the forums! I get that Larry's interactions with some of you have been offensive. I think some of the interactions others have had with Larry could be equally offensive from his POV. I don't think everyone here has to agree with or even like everyone else. There are people here who I care about, in the sense that I see them as a fellow human being, who I don't particularly like as individuals. BUT - those same people who I don't like may very well say things that are very healing to someone else. Larry may be very offensive to some of you, yet say things to someone else that are very healing. See? I think every person here is an important part of this place, whether I like them as an individual or not.
  6. I want to say one last thing, before I leave to spend the rest of the day with my family. The last month of so has been a great time of transformation and healing in me. Credit first and foremost goes to God, but credit also goes to Dan and Larry. In Dan I often see the person I strive to be. Soft spoken and caring, balanced, thoughtful and thought provoking, intelligent and studied, independant and able to think for himself. Larry. Larry, asked a lot of pointed, thought provoking, and difficult to answer questions. But I took the time to think those questions through and try to answer them when I could, when I couldn't, I said that too. From Larry, I have found a place of peace regarding my time in TWI, I have found a place of balance. I no longer feel like I wasted 10 years of my life, I no longer feel hurt, angry, bitter about my time in TWI. I can look back on that time and see the good I received, I can look back and see the mistakes I made that also played a part in the hurt I received. That is not to relieve people of responsibility for the things they did that hurt me. I am simply adding to that mix the responsibility I own for allowing them too - for giving them so large a place in my life and giving myself so small a place in my life. For taking the bait hook, line, and sinker, instead of trusting myself, trusting my mind, trusting what God was telling me above what other people were telling me. Because of Larry, I have found the courage to speak out in this thread the way I have, despite the fact that it may cause me the friendship and respect of some of the people I care about - but which will in the end, allow me to still respect the person I see in the mirror. Because of that, because of both of them and of course, because of God, I feel like I am FINALLY after 7 years here at the cafe, reaching a place where I am once again comfortable enough to go out in the world and allow more people into my life in real face to face relationship. I am finally reaching a place where I am willing to walk into a religious institution and give it and the people there, more than a cursory glance before finding a reason to dismiss them and leave again. I know many of you would be happy if Larry never returns. But as for me, I am very saddened by that prospect. So, I want to thank Larry and Dan for the role they have played in my life, for the things the have helped me to see, in this past month or so. And with that - I am off to face the real world today. :)
  7. WordWolf, I know all of us here have fond memories of TWI. I was really just trying to use emphasis to make a point. I think I explained it better in the "newbie" thread, but the thrust of it is - those who have been around the cafe for a long time can "get away with" saying something good about TWI, because the regulars all know us well enough to know we see the bad as well. A newbie isn't offered that grace, it is simpy assumed they are a VPW or TWI apologist, a plant, a troll. Likewise, I agree exposure in necessary. Otherwise, why does this place even exist. But it is one thing to say "this is what happened to me" or even "this is what happened to my friend" and it is another thing to expect someone who has never met you (or me, or any other poster here) to simply assume what we are saying is truthful and factual. People need time to get to know each other. New people need time to get to know us. That is really the heart of what I am trying to say in all of this.
  8. Thank you, RGirl, for getting what it is I am trying to say! For me, this isn't just all about Larry. I think by and large Larry can take care of himself. But what has occured here with him, is a great example of what happens to others here as well. The only real difference being that Larry fought back and so many others simply walk away in silence. New people who come here and say anything about fond memories get their behinds kicked. New people who come here and acknowledge getting anything good out of PFAL get their behinds kicked. I don't understand how people can expect someone new to simply buy the stories of rape and abuse without being allowed time to get to know the posters first. I sure didn't buy them right off the bat. How can someone new here simply be expected to toss everything they have believed for years simply because someone they don't know says it is wrong??? New people need time to get to know us and they won't ever take the time if they are attacked right out of the starting gate, simply because they are presently where some of us were a number of years ago. There are people who lurk here and never post, for fear of being attacked for their POV. There are people who post and then never come back because they were attacked. And Roy, he stuck it out, but man did he take a LOT of crap in the begning, and look how wonderful his heart is!!! What a loss it would have been if he had just given up and walked away, hurt, because of how he was treated when he first came here. They are people who left or were thrown out of TWI, who are also trying to understand what they experiened. People who are looking for people who will understand. Where do you go to find people who will understand, if not to a group of people who have also been through it? And what do you do when you finally find the people who have also been through it, and then you receive the same treatment you got in TWI, simply because you still believe what you were taught in TWI? That is why I took this issue up. Not just for Larry, but for all the people who will never say a word here, who will come here and find they are treated no better here than they were in TWI, simpy because they have a different perspective or POV. And, from my POV, Larry didn't fire the first shots, he simply returned the fire he got - and yes, with a vengeance. But at the same time, some of the very people who have spoken out against Larry the loudest have also continued to engage him, to fire at him as well. If they really find him so incredibly offensive why do they continue to engage him? How have they behaved any better? Oldiesman and Mike - they take a lot of crap too and they have a lot of personal insults thrown at them as well. The only real difference is that Oldiesman and Mike don't fight back in the same way. They don't return the same fire they receive (the personal insults). If they did, it is entirely possible they would have long ago been in the same position Larry is now in. (((Cman)))) And you did a good job of not throwing out insults in the face of all of this. Of remaining silent instead of throwing fuel on a fire. :) You know we dont have to agree to maintain mutual friendship and respect. :)
  9. I was going to put this in the "PFAL" thread, but I can't find it at the moment. It occurs to me that if everything in PFAL was bad, if everything about TWI was bad - few of us would have stayed for more than one day. I am not saying everying in PFAL was good, or that everything about TWI was good, but there must have been SOME good there. Now, I don't really associate much of what I believe with PFAL anymore . I've worked things on my own and "made them my own" so that I couldn't cite to just one source. Though I would have to say the bulk of what I know comes from my own reading, the Chabad website and TWI. At the very least I can credit TWI for my overall familiarity with the NT, to the extent that even after 7 years of rarely ever reading it, I can still remember verses and find them when I want to. I can now look back on my early days with TWI and think fondly of the wonderful group of people I had the opportunity to spend time with and get to know. If I could hold that moment in time still, I would go back and visit it often. I defeinitely experienced my share of pain as a result of TWI too. No question about that! But I am coming to a palce in my life where I think it is more balanced for me to remember both the good and the bad, than to just focus on the bad. Focusing solely on the bad makes it seem like such an incredible waste of tiem. But really, I don't think all of it was - - there were some very good years mixed in there - very healing ones at that and THAT certainly wasn't a waste of my time. I'm not trying to promote TWI. If someone asked my opinion, I would give it honestly and would certainly recommend anyone thinking of getting involved proceed with a GREAT DEAL of caution. But from the standpoint of healing - of recoverying from the hurts I received during my later years with TWI, I am finding a more balanced view of both the positives and the negatives is very helpful. Besides, if I had never heard of TWI, I never would have known of Greasespot cafe, and then I never would have met and married my wonderful Sushi! :D
  10. T-bone, I would offer you the same challenge. I have spent roughly two hours reading through Larry's posts. Only I didn't start with the last 10 pages, I started with the FIRST 10 pages. What I saw is that Larry came here and was honest and respectful in his posts. He offered his opinions, as pretty much everyone here does. He even responded to the initial insults thrown his way with humor and at times apologies. What I see is a guy who left TWI because he could no longer align himself with the direction it was going in. Who, despite having left, is still thankful for the experience he had and the benefits he received in his life. I see a guy who may never have experienced the deep hurts from TWI that some of us did - and thus may not be fully aware of them, or may even be somewhat skeptical of them because he doesn't yet know many of us well enough to simply "take our word for it". Yet despite that, he also didn't accuse anyone of lying either. I see a guy who has re-evaluated at least some of what he was taught in PFAL. Tossed some, kept some. Might yet toss more, might not, who knows. He asked pointed questions. He offered opinions and when they were doctrinal in nature he often offered scriptural references. I read as he was insulted over and over again whenever his doctrinal beliefs were aligned with something VPW taught, despite the fact the he was respectful of other people's beliefs. In short, what I have seen is group think. People ganging up on him because he did not agree with the group. I see religious intolerance - intolerance of someone simply because he valued some of what he learned from PFAL and VPW. Intolerance of the sort that many of you would never have tolerated had he been espousing Judaism, Paganism, Buddahism, etc. etc. In other words, what I see happening here is not so different from what happened in TWI. If you offer an opinion that differs from the larger group - you are lambasted and insulted. I am embarassed by the way he was treated by some, back in his earlier days of posting. There were, of course, those who did not gang up on him as well - and with those people he was never rude or disrespectful. So, perhaps he is using me. But perhaps, just perhaps, he has just offered me the same respect I offered him. Now, I am not ignorant of his posts over these past few weeks. I am not ignorant of the way he behaved in this thread. But I cannot say his behavior is worse than that of some of the other participants here. I might even go so far as to say his behavior wasn't even as bad as the behavior of some of the participants in this thread. And you know, T-bone, I like you and the Mrs. I don't want to fight with the two of you, heck I don't really want to fight with anyone. I like Dot, I like Dooj, I can't think of a single person who has posted in this thread that I dislike. But, I can't sell myself out for popularity either. I can't just sit back and say nothing simply because that would be the easier thing to do. I think what has happened here is wrong. I think Larry was treated very badly, almost from the beginning, and not because he was rude or had an attitude, but because he simply doesn't have the same anomosity toward TWI and VPW that so many of us here do.
  11. Bramble, I think if someone is truly a bully, a stalker, or a troll, then a harsh answer only serves to "feed" the cycle and silence is the best answer.
  12. Jonny, I have also heard that breast-feeding can REDUCE the risk of breast cancer. However REDUCING does not equate with ELIMINATING. In other words, there is still a present risk. Genetics plays a role, so does diet, so do hormone levels, etc. etc. Even if your wife thinks she is very low risk, it doesn't hurt (okay, it does but the pain is temporary) to get it done. I don't know, personally I really didn't find it to be that painful an experience. I've had dental appointments that were worse.
  13. I have no need or desire to argue with you. So we disagree, big deal. I have yet to meet someone I always agree with. Peace
  14. They adopt it because of what they believe. I have heard a number of Christians from various denominations and organizations use terminology that I thought was odd. However, to them, it was perfectly normal.
  15. Sloppy use of words? Probably, but I think we are all guilty of that at times. An attempt to overcome the will of another? In some cases I would say yes. I think many of us had experiences with other people in TWI who wanted to overcome our own wills for ourselves with their own will for us. But, I don't think that would apply to everyone in TWI. So, I guess it depends on who the person is making the statement, what the context is, if there is pressure being applied or if they simpy mean it in the sense of "hope to see you there" but using different terminology.
  16. Think of it as a challenge. Not me against you or you against Larry, but you against yourself. It is easy to point fingers at Larry and say it's all his fault. It makes things very clean and simple and requires no real effort or thought. Looking within though - now that causes thought and effort. It can also promote growth. And again, I am not naming names. People have to decide for themselves if they think the shoe may fit. People have to decide for themselves if they want to try out the challenge. But if you do think there's a possibility the shoe fits, if you are up for trying the challenge . . . Ask yourself how you could have responded differently to prompt a more positive outcome here. Just a thought for whatever it may be worth to whomever it may be worth. Or Not.
  17. T - I intentionally did not offer names. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it. :) I have read many, many of Larry's posts. I have also interacted with him in very positive ways, as I have with pretty much everyone who has posted in this thread. I am suggesting that what occured in this thread could have been averted,by several participants, had any one of them decided to do so. In fact, I would say Mr. Hammeroni did an excellant job!!
  18. I agree Sky, sometimes blowing up feels good. Sometimes there is nothing like a good temper tantrum to relieve some pressure. :) I am not focusing on a soft answer because I feel bad. I am focusing on a soft answer because I believe it is more productive. I'll use the cafe as an example. I read some of the arguments that take place in the threads and some of them can get quite nasty. I can't help but think if just one person from one side would offer a soft answer, it could diffuse the anger and open the door for a real dialogue, a real exchange of information, where both sides are hearing each other and considering each other's pov - regardless of whether or not they ever actually agree. It could turn a thread from one that is riddled with anger to one that is filled with love and healing. People often use the analogy of Jesus overthrowing the tables in the temple as a verse to support their angry responses. But I think on that story and I suspect that when Jesus overthrew the tables he wasn't trying to reach the pharisees. I don't think he thought that his actions in that situation would cause the Pharisees to change their minds. I think Jesus overthrew the tables in anger because it would cause healing in the other people who were present that day, not the pharasees. My guess is, if you know someone will never consider your pov, will never give you an honest hearing, that the most productive response is silence - UNLESS you are trying to reach someone else with your message. Likewise, if you respond with anger, the hearer's defenses go up and the hearer cannot hear. On the other hand, if you respond with kindness, with compassion, empathy, understanding - the hearer may still never agree with you, but he will be far more likely to hear you, to consider your pov, to respond with kindness in return. :) I'll check out your jokes a bit later. :)
  19. That is a mighty mighty goal, Eyes! Good for you!! Getting angry at God from time to time can be healthy and really, it is honest. Who has NEVER been angry with God? And so, why allow "religion" to cause us to deny how we feel? We aren't fooling God, only ourselves.
  20. Ask your wife, Jonny. If she has never had one she should get one!!! And yes, there is a physical exam as well that is usually done at the physician's office. Personally, I'd rather undergo the vice than have a strange man give me a breast exam.
  21. Hopefully this will be helpful in getting this started: I will add, as I have said in other threads, I really want to focus on giving a soft answer over this upcoming year. I was discussing this with a friend in chat and we talked about the need to speak up. The need to be able to stand up for yourself, the need sometimes to even yell "I'M NOT PUTTING UP WITH THAT FROM YOU!!" I believe that is a very real need. I think it may even be an especially important skill to develop among some of the women who have been in TWI (and particularly in during the 90s) because we were so often told we shouldn't have a voice, couldn't have a voice, etc. etc. However, as I said to my friend last night - I have spent roughly 7 years here at the cafe learning to speak up, learning to stand up for myself, and even learning to yell at people when I felt it necessary. I now know I CAN do those things. So now, by choice, I also want to become skilled at offering the soft answer. Not because I am a women and feel that is always the best option, not because I can't stand up for myself or shouldn't stand up for myself, but because that is what is working in my heart right now. So, that is my personal focus. It doesn't have to be, nor should it necessarily be anyone else's focus. :)
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