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Are your beliefs similar to that of your extended family's?

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  1. #1
    TracyinMN
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    Are your beliefs similar to that of your extended family's?

    I was with some of my family today and I was talking about something that co-exists with my faith (frankly, doesn't EVERYTHING co-exist with faith? We are supposed to ask Him for and about everything and I'm realizing more and more that He does have a hand in EVERYTHING in my life! Whether I realize it or not).

    Anyway, I said something and a couple of people in my family and then also some people who are not related to us kind of jumped on what I said. Maybe I didn't explain myself very well, but they were totally off from...

    Maybe I should just tell the story.

    Last winter, dh and I really started to struggle financially. I decided that we needed to get rid of cable because it was like $60/month. We were going to just get the very basic $8/month cable as an antenna for our local channels. When the cable guy came out, he took our boxes and told dh - "it's your lucky day - I am too lazy to go out in the snow and climb the pole to turn off your cable." So, since sometime last winter we have gotten the normal cable channels for free.

    Whenever we told anyone about this, every Christian friend we have would say it was wrong, we were "stealing" the cable and we should call and get it disconnected. Every wordly friend we had thought it was great that it was free. I have been uncomfortable about it pretty much the whole time, but dh really was happy and figured it wasn't a big deal and we just let it slide.

    This whole time we have just STRUGGLED financially. We have some friends who are very wise counsel. We talk with them often (both dh and I) and have commented to them about our finances on more than one occassion. Finally a couple of weeks ago, the woman said to me "Tracy, I don't know if I should even say this, but every time you mention your financial troubles, it comes to me - "is it because of the cable?"

    I thought she had a very good point and called to inquire about getting cable officially again. It was quoted at $49.99/month. Too expensive. I told the same above person that and she said they had just gotten it the week before (and they literally live in the house behind us - same block - our back yards touch) and they were getting digital cable with HBO and video on demand for $29.00/month for a year.

    I called the cable company back and asked them about it and they said that it was a deal they had, but it was sent in the mail and when people call in they weren't supposed to offer it unless it was asked for.

    So, we ordered cable - we get more than we had before for less money and get it for an entire year!

    Back to the first story. So I was telling this story today and everyone jumped all over my friend (who wasn't there) about saying that to me. They thought she was judgemental and that God doesn't work that way. He wouldn't punish us for getting the free cable. I straightened it out and dh backed me by telling them how great this person is and that she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. That she wasn't judging or trying to tell me what to do, she just felt the spirit whisper to her and thought she should tell me. After I finished the whole story - including how little we are now paying - they seemed to understand.

    I get so confused when my family says stuff to me about God and how to live a Christian life. I love them and believe they are Christian and loving etc. But, my counsel as of late has come from people who have a much more fundamentalist background. Much more "bible taken literally" than my family. We were raised Lutheran - it's in our blood. I still worship in a Lutheran church, but really think a lot of my views lean more toward a praise and worship type. Sometimes when I say something about my faith I feel like they think I'm nuts. The older I get, the more I can't just not talk about God in every day conversation. Everything comes back to Him and therefore, all of my conversations can easily come back to Him.

    Do your families have similar views as you? If not, do you find it sometimes hard to talk to them? I mean, obviously if they are not believers it would be hard, but is it hard even if they do believe?

    If your family does have similar views, do you still sometimes have a difficult time discussion certain Christian things with them?
    Last edited by TracyinMN; 10-03-2005 at 08:52 AM.
    Tracy
    DH Mike
    DD Ella 9
    DD Grace 7
    Bonus kids: Christine 26 and Andrew 23
    Granddaughter Madison: 2!


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  3. #2
    Ellie Mae
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    Wow, do I ever know where you are coming from!!!

    My family is not like that. My grandmother is LDS, but after visiting our church is now "rethinking" things and has been very inquizative about our faith and ways of worship. She says she had never felt God's presense like she did at OUR church. Anything I say, she supports, agrees with, and loves to see the way God is working miracles in our lives.

    My mother and father are not Christians, but they don't think we are "out there" for our beliefs.

    My borther and SIL, well, they think we are "Holy Rollers" and that we are a bit strange, but they don't say anything, just act uncomfortable when we talk about God. (Which is A LOT!)

    NOW, to Dh family. His mother is like-minded with us. Now the fun part!

    FIL and his wife (he is remarried) are Christians, but they do not believe in spirit filled/spirit led life. When DH mentions to his Dad that God is leading us to do something, his Dad tells him he is crazy, that God does not lead you to do things. They think DH is LOONEY for quitting his job of 10 years to follow what he feels God has told him to do. His sister is also of the same faith as FIL, and she thinks that we are naive. That what we think is God is really the Devil trying to fool us and bring us to ruin. (Back again to DH quitting his WELL paying job to make a lot less.) Of course, his family believes that making money is what makes one successful. We know better. We know that being happy and following God is what makes one successful. So yes, we encounter thsi often, and have found that our church family is better counsel than real family.

    Now...to your story. I too believe that when you have an area of disobedience to God, that ti keeps you from blessing in certain areas. When there is an area of our life that is unclean, then that prevents blessings from flowing. (And therefore causes us strife). No, God was not "punsihing" you for having your cable connected without paying, he was just not blessing your finances when you had something you needed to take care of.

    A year ago, I woudl have said "Cool, you got free cable", but NOW, I am like minded to say..."No, even though you didn't ask for the cable to be hooked up for free, you need to either pay or have it disconnected."

    I am trying to rid my life of anything that I would be ashamed for Jesus to ask me about. (or see or hear, etc.)

    You did the right thing, and I think your friend is very loving and kind.

    I am sorry your family is like they are. It is frustrating. We must pray for our families.

    Hugs,
    Heather


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  4. #3
    TracyinMN
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    Thanks for responding Heather! Good to know I'm not the only one who struggles with the family stuff.

    Thanks also for confirming my whole take on the cable thing. I am glad that we have made steps to walk according to God's way.
    Tracy
    DH Mike
    DD Ella 9
    DD Grace 7
    Bonus kids: Christine 26 and Andrew 23
    Granddaughter Madison: 2!


  5. #4
    Dawn
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    wow..ok, first of all, it is our job, our duty and our responsibility as Christians to hold each other accountable. Yes, that means being judgemental from time to time. We are required, however, to do it in a loving and supportive manner - which it sounds like your friend did.

    People who claim God doesn't judge crack me up. They should ask Lot and Job about that.

    I'd be interested to hear if your financial picture has improved since you fixed your cable problem. I'd bet it has..
    Dawn
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    I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
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  6. #5
    TracyinMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn
    wow..ok, first of all, it is our job, our duty and our responsibility as Christians to hold each other accountable. Yes, that means being judgemental from time to time. We are required, however, to do it in a loving and supportive manner - which it sounds like your friend did.

    People who claim God doesn't judge crack me up. They should ask Lot and Job about that.

    I'd be interested to hear if your financial picture has improved since you fixed your cable problem. I'd bet it has..
    Good points Dawn! I had forgotten that aspect as well. It IS our job to hold others accountable.

    As far as our financial situation improving. Nothing that is noticeable yet, however I did hear about a job that I may apply for that would be much more stable income than the one I have and would have the potential for being MUCH better than this one now! I'll keep you posted!

    We have been tithing and have certainly been able to pay bills as neccessary. Not neccessarily on time but they've all gotten paid.
    Tracy
    DH Mike
    DD Ella 9
    DD Grace 7
    Bonus kids: Christine 26 and Andrew 23
    Granddaughter Madison: 2!


  7. #6
    trustgod
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    Wow, I thought it was just me!!

    Dh and I are Assembly of God and so are my parents. Even though my parents are of the same denomination, we still have different views of what HOLINESS means. I am very particular as to what I watch on TV and listen to on the radio where my parents are not and often tell me I am too hard on myself. It really bothers me. I am one that believes if we are going to be like Jesus, we shouldn't watch or listen to anything that he wouldn't. I believe holiness is a lifestyle.
    My extended family is mostly United Pentecostal and they think I am a sinner. I don't even want to go there. I was raised in the UP church but do no longer agree with their doctrine.

    I'm not sure what dh's parents believe. They don't attend church very often, but they do claim to be Christians. They have never said anything about our beliefs, just that they are happy to see us serving the Lord.
    I am still praying for his brother and sister and their families to come to the Lord.

    As for your situation, I wouldn't have felt comfortable watching my T.V. if I thought I was stealing it. I do believe God would not honor it and probably would have thought the same thing your friend did. I am glad to hear that you straightened it out with your family.

    Know that you are not alone. I sometimes don't feel I even fit in my family for this very reason.

    Shanda


  8. #7
    Tracik
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    DH and I are Episcopal, the religion I was raised in... I "shopped" around in college but was lead back to the Episcopal church, it is the right fit for us. My Parents are Episcopal but also have many "new age" beliefs that fit them well. They very much respect our religion and views and love to talk about God and his impact in our lives. My SIL is a Four Square.... my brother doesn't really go but my niece does. They live in another state so we don't get to talk much and religion hasn't really come up except when SIL and I were taking similar bible studies, she stopped her's because the class wasn't open to questioning the teachers interpretation of the bible.

    DH's parents and brother are C and E Christians.... their Grandmother was Unity (same as one side of my grandparents, the other side are Episcopals). That is really where most of their religious "learning's" come from. The In-laws think we are a bit "overzealous" at times and that we spend WAY to much time at church, but they never say anything overly negative and never in front of the kids. BIL comes to church with us on occasion, we are very close to him, and while he thinks I am a "little churchy" he supports us and loves hearing the kids say grace and Alondra telling him the story of Christmas. DH's Sister and her husband just converted to Judaism about 6 mos ago, after a year long conversion process. I was very impressed by her commitment to converting, not an easy task, and am so happy she found a spiritual place for her family and we have had some really interesting discussions since she was drawn to Judaism.

    As for your situation, Your friend was a good friend and in my opinion brought it up at the time God wanted you to listen, so you would call the cable company and actually end up with a better situation then before financially. God does work in mysterious ways... I never question him when I am being lead somewhere but follow with a tentative step but full heart.
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