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#121 of 838 Old 12-09-2006, 11:27 AM
 
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sehbub, what is a Jesse Tree?
Here's a LONG explanation:
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The Jesse Tree is named from Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots." It is a vehicle to tell the Story of God in the Old Testament, and to connect the Advent Season with the faithfulness of God across 4,000 years of history. The Branch is a biblical sign of newness out of discouragement, which became a way to talk about the expected messiah (e.g., Jer 23:5). It is therefore an appropriate symbol of Jesus the Christ, who is the revelation of the grace and faithfulness of God.

The Israelites through the descendants of Abraham were chosen by God to be a light to the nations. When they were imprisoned by the Egyptians, they cried out to God for deliverance from their oppression. And God responded: "I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry . . . I have come to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them to a good land" (Exod 3:7-8). And so He entered history in a marvelous way to deliver them and bring them into a place where they could worship God and serve Him in peace and joy instead of serving Pharaoh in hard service. God promised to be with them and to be their God, and they would be His people.

But as they settled into the land that God had given them, "they forgot God, their Deliverer, who had done great things in Egypt" (Psa 106:21). As they grew secure in the land, they began to believe that "my power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me these things" (Deut 8:17). Even though God had raised up godly leaders like David, later kings and religious leaders served their own interests, and the people began to worship the false gods of the land. They even gave offerings to the idol ba’al, supposedly the god of rain and fertility of the land, thanking him for the prosperity they enjoyed.

But God grieved because "she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished upon her silver and gold that they used for ba’al" (Hos 2:8). God had "planted [them] as a choice vine from the purest stock" (Jer 2:21) and had expected them to grow and flourish and carry out His purposes in the world. But they had degenerated into a wild bush with worthless fruit.

Because they had forgotten God, they also forgot the call of God to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" (Mic 6:8). God sent prophets to warn them of the consequences of failing to be His people. Amos warned them to "seek me and live" (5:4). Through Jeremiah, God promised them that if they would turn from their wicked ways He would bless them and be with them in the land (7:5-7). But he also said: "Take heed, O Jerusalem, or I shall turn from you in disgust, and make you a desolation" (6:8).

Some of the people longed for new leaders, a new "anointed" (Heb: meshiach; Eng: messiah) shepherd king like David who would help them to become what God had called them to be. But most of the people would not listen. They continued to worship the idols of ba'al. They continued to cheat the poor, steal from each other, neglect the needy, and do all manner of evil.

So God let them go their own way and suffer the consequences of their choices. The Babylonian armies came and destroyed the temple, the city of Jerusalem, the land, and took the people into slavery. The choice planting of God that had such promise, that God had tended so carefully and encouraged to grow, was cut down and became a mere stump (Isa 5:1-10).

But God did not give up on this people! Even though they had disobeyed, even though they had forsaken God for other gods, even though they had miserably failed to be His people and to let Him be their God, the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob still loved them. He had made a commitment to these people that He would not allow to be undone even by their rejection of Him.

He had already told them this through the prophets, but they had not understood then. Jeremiah had promised a day when God would again plant and build (31:28). And Isaiah had spoken of a time when God would cause a new shoot, a new king, to spring from the cut-off stump of the lineage of Jesse, David’s father (11:1). During the Exile, suffering under the consequences of sin, they had little reason to suppose that God would do anything new. Still, the old promises echoed across the years, even if they could not believe them or even understand them.

In spite of their failures, in spite of their inability to envision a future beyond exile, there came a time when the prophets again announced a new thing, proclaiming "good tidings" to the people: "Here is your God!" (Isa 40:1-11). The Exile was ended! God would bring back to life a nation that was already dead (Eze 37). Long ago they had been slaves in Egypt, with nothing they could do to change their condition, and yet God had chosen to deliver.

So now, in the midst of their failure and hopelessness, God had again entered history as Deliverer. They would have another chance to be His people, not because they had earned it, no more than they had deserved it the first time; but simply because God in His grace had chosen to forgive.

They returned to the land. But across the years, they again struggled to obey and live up to their calling. They would never again slide into the worship of false gods. They had learned that lesson. But the great kingdom that they dreamed of restoring remained only a dream. They had hoped for a new king like David to lead them into a glorious future in which they would rule the world. They hoped to throw off the control of the Greeks and later the Romans and become a great nation. But it didn’t happen. And they became disillusioned and discouraged.

So, they again hoped for God to raise up a new king, a new messiah, to deliver them from the oppression of the world. They longed for peace and deliverance from the tyranny of a sinful world. The prophets again brought the word of God to them, and promised a newness. Even though they struggled to understand and believe, they held onto the hope that the same God who brought slaves out of Egypt, and who brought exiles out of Babylon, could bring Messiah into the world!

We know the rest of that story. God was faithful to that promise, and a new King was born in Bethlehem. So we can exclaim with the old man Simeon: "My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared before all people, a light of revelation to the nations, and for glory to your people Israel!" (Luke 2:30-32).

But we also know that the world is still with us. Even though we can have Peace and Joy through the presence of Jesus Christ, we still long for deliverance from the oppression of sin in the world. We long for the full reign of the King, and the Kingdom of Peace that He will bring. So, while we celebrate the birth of the Branch, the new shoot from the stump of Jesse, we still anticipate with hope the Second Advent, and await the completion of the promise.

The Jesse Tree helps us retell this story, and express this hope.

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#122 of 838 Old 12-09-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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Eilonwy. I was thinking about this as I was going to sleep last night and could not possibly bring myself to get up and respond after I turned off the computer (which robs so much of my precious time if I let it: ). Me thinks its actually just giving thanks, a prayer of thanks. I was also thinking that the term 'returning thanks' may be (the word Im thinking is on the tip of my tongue...) a cultural thing. Im struggling to think straight (think new homeschool mom with a stoopid cold that wont go away: ) Ie... Im thinking it might be used mostly in the bible belt? I dont think it has any more spiritual meaning than giving thanks. Something to do with those who associate with those from Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim Lahaye Land (since you mentioned Left Behind. Crazy books, good fiction).

Well, FIL was born and raised in southeastern PA. There are loads of very conservative Christians around, but it's not exactly the bible belt. I had just never heard anyone refer to saying grace or praying before they eat as "returning thanks" before, until I read it in one of the Left Behind books. That's the way they say it-- "Let's return thanks," rather than "Let's give thanks" or "say grace" or whatever.

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#123 of 838 Old 12-09-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rootzdawta View Post
RastafarI have adopted a whole different way of speaking since I&I believe in the power of the sounds words make. It's called "word, sound, power".
That's so cool...

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#124 of 838 Old 12-09-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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On "returning thanks", I have no idea the origin/reason for it, but my grandfather used to say it and I've heard it few times here and there, all in the south. . I guess I had never really thought about it before.

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#125 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 04:08 AM
 
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returning thanks - I had never heard this until i moved out of the bible belt and up north. I know what people are talking about when they say it but I have know idea where it came from or what the reasoning behind it is. (people say lots of silly things around here though so I never gwave returning thanks much thought.)

but I got nothing. i have just always passed it off as a local butchering of proper grammer.

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#126 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 05:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
Payos are very different from dreads; nobody who had seen them could mistake the two. They are washed and combed, and they're totally unrelated to RastafarI locks.
Some people let their payos dread. There is one big Rabbi (Shteiman) who is famous for having a dreaded beard. But I think those are people that just don't groom their hair at all.

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#127 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 05:52 AM
 
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Some people let their payos dread. There is one big Rabbi (Shteiman) who is famous for having a dreaded beard. But I think those are people that just don't groom their hair at all.
Payos ... those are the curls that Orthodox Jews wear in front of their ears/side of the face, right?

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#128 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 06:29 AM
 
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Payos ... those are the curls that Orthodox Jews wear in front of their ears/side of the face, right?



My DH and sons often put them behind their ears.

Okay, I'm being wise-acre, sorry.


I think you mean that they are the sections of hair that many Orthodox Jews leave uncut. And so they grow long. And they're at the temples (pun unintended) so that's over the ears in the front.
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#129 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 07:14 AM
 
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Can I ask one more question about locks? Do all religions that do this do this the same way RastafarI do? And I mean not comb or style them or I assume wash them. I guess I'm asking is there a specific definition for lock? What about Orthodox Jews and their curly locks? And Sikhs don't cut their hair, right? Sorry apparently I'm now getting interested in hair and religion.
nak-ing

I just wanted to say, Rastas do wash their dreads, infact many will travel a fair bit to get to a spring to wash their hair with fresh living water, instead of just using tap water if they have the option.
I know going to the spring with my sistern was always something to look forward to.
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#130 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 08:41 AM
 
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Hence why I said assume, thanks.

The payos I've seen have always looked well groomed so I didn't think they weren't groomed. I just wonder if they serve the same purpose, to connect one to God. That and I've always wondered how you get the perfect little ringlets. :
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#131 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 10:55 AM
 
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Hence why I said assume, thanks.

The payos I've seen have always looked well groomed so I didn't think they weren't groomed. I just wonder if they serve the same purpose, to connect one to God. That and I've always wondered how you get the perfect little ringlets. :


They connect your head to your heart. Which is also why many khasidim don't wear a necktie ... because it is a visible separation between your head and your heart.


The ringlets are just by twirling them and twirling them and twirling them.

Unless you're talking about the Yemenite Jews, whose peyos are, well, naturally curly.

And a lot of folks don't bother with the curling.
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#132 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 11:00 AM
 
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Once, while doing an acting job, I was told that Roman Catholics cross themselves going head, heart, across the body to the opposite shoulder, and then the shoulder that the hand doing the cross is attached to.

AND that Eastern Orthodox Catholics do it the other way - head, heart, shoulder on the same side as the hand, then the opposite shoulder.

Is that true?

And does it matter if the left or right hand is doing the crossing?

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#133 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 11:02 AM
 
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So, completely but a cute story about assumptions...

When I was born in Tulsa, OK, the Native Americans would come to the hospital from the reservation and bless the newborn babies. Well, when I was born I was VERY dark, with jet black hair and big brown eyes, and was assumed to be one of their own...I got an extra blessing.

When my parents were taking me home from the hospital, it apparently caused quite a stir with the NA people, because there was a little NA baby, being carried by an incredibly tiny, very white woman, whose wheelchair was being pushed by a man who appeared to be an Orthodox Jew (my dad had REALLY curly hair, and it often was slightly longer at the temples because it grew really fast there).

Sorry, just thought it was sweet.

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#134 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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Once, while doing an acting job, I was told that Roman Catholics cross themselves going head, heart, across the body to the opposite shoulder, and then the shoulder that the hand doing the cross is attached to.

AND that Eastern Orthodox Catholics do it the other way - head, heart, shoulder on the same side as the hand, then the opposite shoulder.

Is that true?

And does it matter if the left or right hand is doing the crossing?
Someone smarter than me can probably answer the why and I know exactly nothing about Orthodox sign of the cross, but the Roman custom is right hand to the head "in the name of the Father", then to the sternum "and of the Son", then to the left should "and of the Holy", and to the right shoulder "Spirit" then Amen with hands relaxed or meeting in the "praying hands" kind of position. Often ends with a small, almost imperceptible bow.

My dd1, who has problems crossing the midline, is so proud she just learned it.
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#135 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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Well, I only know a little bit about Catholic vs. Eastern Orthodox, but I know that in Russia there is a group of Old Believers that cross with two fingers instead of three, and believe that three is heretical.
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#136 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ann-Marita View Post
Once, while doing an acting job, I was told that Roman Catholics cross themselves going head, heart, across the body to the opposite shoulder, and then the shoulder that the hand doing the cross is attached to.

AND that Eastern Orthodox Catholics do it the other way - head, heart, shoulder on the same side as the hand, then the opposite shoulder.

Is that true?

And does it matter if the left or right hand is doing the crossing?

Modern Catholics go left to right and Eastern Orthodox (who are not at all catholic ) go right to left. Well I believe the preist go left to right so that when facing the congragation everyone is moving in the same directions (does that make sense) The Catholic church used to go right to left but changed it at some point. I have never heard a good explination of when or why but some older Catholic congregations (such as the Runssian Catholics) still go right to left.

and no it doesn't matter if you are right or left handed. In Orthodox it is always right left so that you hand lands on your heart. Don't know about the Catholic church but I am guess it is always left to right there.

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#137 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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This is so cool! Love the thread.

I've noticed quite a few of you Pagan mamas very clearly state that you are NOT Wiccan. What is the difference between the two? I assume there are different demoninations of Pagan and Wiccan. Can anyone explain those to me?

DF and I are IDSO our faiths. :
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#138 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 04:47 PM
 
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This is so cool! Love the thread.

I've noticed quite a few of you Pagan mamas very clearly state that you are NOT Wiccan. What is the difference between the two? I assume there are different demoninations of Pagan and Wiccan. Can anyone explain those to me?

I am Wiccan (and Buddhist) so I can surely try. Paganism is the broad category and Wicca is the specific term for a religion within Paganism. It's helpful to think of Paganism as a big box which holds smaller boxes...the smaller boxes would be specific paths such as Wicca, Asatru, etc. This means that Wiccans are Pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccan. (Because there are other Pagan paths out there.) Also, some people just prefer to call their path simply "Pagan".

Wicca has become synonymous with Pagan, but it's not accurate. To clear up the assumption that any Pagan is Wiccan many people just state it right off that it's not the case. I hope this helps.

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#139 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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Well, I only know a little bit about Catholic vs. Eastern Orthodox, but I know that in Russia there is a group of Old Believers that cross with two fingers instead of three, and believe that three is heretical.
I thought that the three fingers was for Father, Son and Holy Ghost - the Trinity. Why would E. Orthodox think that that is heretical?

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#140 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 06:24 PM
 
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I am Wiccan (and Buddhist) so I can surely try. Paganism is the broad category and Wicca is the specific term for a religion within Paganism. It's helpful to think of Paganism as a big box which holds smaller boxes...the smaller boxes would be specific paths such as Wicca, Asatru, etc. This means that Wiccans are Pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccan. (Because there are other Pagan paths out there.) Also, some people just prefer to call their path simply "Pagan".

Wicca has become synonymous with Pagan, but it's not accurate. To clear up the assumption that any Pagan is Wiccan many people just state it right off that it's not the case. I hope this helps.
So ... much like the case with Christianity. Being Pagan would be analogous to being Christian, but being Wiccan would be like being Catholic Christian or Protestant Christian. (Not that I am equating the two or demeaning either, just making sure I have the concept down.)

BTW UnschoolnMa - love the box analogy ... so simple, yet so effective. I think I'll steal it the next time I need to explain, if you don't mind.

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#141 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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exactly.. Pagan is like an umbrella term, covering many different faiths/practices. just like Christianity and all the different expressions of that (catholic, baptist, etc)

i'm Pagan, with no specific tradition.. i'm an atheist, and i follow the Wheel of the Year celebrations.. solistices, equinoxes, etc.

some pagans worship a god/goddess, or mulitple gods/goddesses, or no dieties, like me. others worship/revere nature/the earth or the god/goddess within. some perform rituals or spells, and others don't. Paganism is very diverse!

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#142 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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So ... much like the case with Christianity. Being Pagan would be analogous to being Christian, but being Wiccan would be like being Catholic Christian or Protestant Christian. (Not that I am equating the two or demeaning either, just making sure I have the concept down.)

BTW UnschoolnMa - love the box analogy ... so simple, yet so effective. I think I'll steal it the next time I need to explain, if you don't mind.
Yep that's the idea. Oh please do use it. I'm happy it makes sense to other people and not just me!

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#143 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 07:27 PM
 
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I thought that the three fingers was for Father, Son and Holy Ghost - the Trinity. Why would E. Orthodox think that that is heretical?
I don't know about Catholic but Orthodox do thumb and two fingers together (represents the Father Son and Holy Spirit) and the last two fingers pressed to the palm represtent Christ being fully God and fully man.

here is a brief artical that covers some of the "weird" things that happen during Divine Liturgy.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#144 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 07:40 PM
 
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I don't know about Catholic but Orthodox do thumb and two fingers together (represents the Father Son and Holy Spirit) and the last two fingers pressed to the palm represtent Christ being fully God and fully man.

here is a brief artical that covers some of the "weird" things that happen during Divine Liturgy.
Interesting. Thanks!

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#145 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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do Unitarians have any specific shared traditions, i.e. prayers or holidays, etc. that they all share? And from me ... what exactly is Unitarianism? Literally, my only exposure to it is a Simpsons episode where Reverend Lovejoy (the Church in the Simpsons, BTW, is Presbalutharen ) is having an ice cream social and somebody, I think it's Marge, asks for a Unitarian sundae and Lovejoy gives her an empty bowl. "There's nothing there," she says. "Exactly," Lovejoy responds. So, I know that Matt Groening is very anti-religion, and that that is 99.9% satire, so I was wondering what exactly Unitarianism is?
Corasmom covered most of it, but I can add a bit.

Unitarianism started back in the Middle Ages as a nontrinitarian form of Christianity. Unitarian = God is One, not three.

In 15something, King Sigisimund of Transylvania declared religious freedom to be the Law of the Land, and Unitarianism became the national religion. I realize that those sound countradictory. What he declared was that preachers were allowed to preach as they understood the truth to be.

The Universalism part of UU, I'm not as up on historical specifics, but it means the belief in universal salvation. Nobody goes to any hell.

Clearly since the 1960s UU has expanded beyond those limits of variations on Christianity.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#146 of 838 Old 12-10-2006, 09:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ~MoonGypsy~ View Post
This is so cool! Love the thread.

I've noticed quite a few of you Pagan mamas very clearly state that you are NOT Wiccan. What is the difference between the two? I assume there are different demoninations of Pagan and Wiccan. Can anyone explain those to me?

DF and I are IDSO our faiths. :

Some people are so far from the Pagan path that they call themselvves something else entirely.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#147 of 838 Old 12-11-2006, 04:51 AM
 
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Interesting thread. I'm an ex-mormon Christian and am open to answering questions. Many good questions have been raised about many faiths so far.

Student Mama of Three
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#148 of 838 Old 12-11-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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UnshoolnMa and Shelley4 ~ That was a pefect explination. Thanks!
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#149 of 838 Old 12-11-2006, 10:33 AM
 
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DF and I are IDSO our faiths.
what is IDSO

????

A

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#150 of 838 Old 12-11-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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In desperate search of.

I know the feeling well.
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