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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Thursday, November 21 2002 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster On the road again - 3

Being on a trip to visit to my brother and sister-in-law in the small town of Willows, Calif., for a few days, with heroic measures (okay, inconvenient ones) being required to put pages online and send mailings to the list, I'm in a corner-cutting frame of mind. For today I got two reader contributions to make that easier. The first is the first look at snow in the Blacklick Valley for the winter of 2002-03, taken by Judy Rose in Jackson Township on Tuesday. Being in California where the sun has been shining and warm the past few days (overnight lows in the high 40s), I love the picture. Some probably shudder to see it. If so, keep it for next July.

The second item is another letter inspired by last week's series on "Atheistic Christianity." Having thought that series would not be popular, it's reassuring that it has encouraged more response than anything I've done here in some time. Others are still welcome to get in on the discussion, or to respond to the letters through the forum.

óWebmaster Jon Kennedy

Hi Jon,

I read with great interest your recent Jonals on religion, and though more of an observer than a contributor to the forum, I have usually been content to read the opinions of others and keep mine to myself. However, your recent writings on religion have spurred me to put into written words my feelings on just who goes to heaven. I'm not a total stranger to religion, but readily admit that organized religion, at least the two faiths that I've "sampled," have left me cold, so to speak. According to religion as I know it, if you divorce your physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive husband...you're booted out of the flock and you don't go to heaven....end of story. Don't plead, don't bargain. Who cares if you're a good person who lives by the Golden Rule, obeys the Ten Commandments, lives a decent life...sinners like you aren't going to heaven. So, if going to heaven is the ultimate goal, there's not much sense hanging around there...even though one might be a faithful follower because their "message" was the one you wanted to "get."

And so one goes looking, looking for a belief to embrace, a church to attend, another message to "get." The unhappy details of my second "sampling" will remain with me, but this time I wasn't given the boot...I gave it. If attending a house of worship makes you unhappier than staying home...then you stay home. If you exit a house of worship with a heavier heart than when you entered...then someone isn't doing something right. If you are to believe the sermons, if you don't go to church, you don't go to heaven. If you don't take the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, you don't go to heaven. Hmmmm...So, are we to believe that a man living in the deepest woods of Appalachia who has never been to church, much less heard the words Jesus Christ, never met a missionary, who provides for his family the best way he knows how, doesn't abuse his wife and children, does not lie, cheat, or steal, doesn't lust after his neighbor's wife, would invite you into his home because you were cold and offer you his food simply because he knows you are hungry...are we to believe that this poor "unsaved" soul has no chance of getting into heaven?

Many years ago I had a wall plaque with this inscription: "God don't make no junk...that's why he made me." Might that simple phrase convey the message: we're all worthy in the eyes of God? As someone who wants to believe, but has been spurned and burned....and as I enter my 6th decade on this earth, I long for a loving forgiving God, a God that hates the sin but loves the sinner, a God to enlighten my heart, a God that is with me whether I pray in church or in my home...and is it too preposterous to believe that Christ in his infinite wisdom might say, "You don't need to come to me, I will go to you and fill you with my presence, thereby you will know me and be with me in heaven?" If all the clean living, honest, decent, honorable, kind, generous and generally altruistic people on this earth, whether they be Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, etc., have no chance of enjoying the reward of heaven...then who is it for?

Dawn O'Day

Signs across America





...and right side up?



—Sent by Sallie Covolo

Thought for today

He who has faith has...an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well—even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly.

—B.C. Forbes, Scottish journalist and
founder of Forbes magazine

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