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Blessing Jar

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Not much to look at but anytime someone in our family feels they have been blessed...no matter how big or small...they write that blessing on a scrap of paper and put it in the jar. Next Jan 1st we will see all the ways we have been blessed in 2016!
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All I can add that this is a great idea and God gave us free will, which is why what is happening is.....

suemarie

You removed your comment. Why?

suemarie

Actually, my questions weren't a search for validation of my beliefs, but a quest to understand yours--or, if you will, have you validate yours--by explaining why you believe what you do, in the face of so much evidence that contradicts the assertion that there is a God "in control". That's how I started this discussion in the first place, if you scroll back down and reread my first comment. I couldn't, and still can't, see His hand controlling what is happening, and wanted to know why you thought you could.

I accept that you sincerely believe that there is a God who created the world, whose son died to save us from our sins, who loves us, and who has a plan for us that we can't understand, but that will lead us, if we're good, to an eternity in heaven. I hope you accept the fact that I don't believe any of those things, because I see no evidence for any of it, no proof, no reason to believe those things as opposed to any of the other religious beliefs that have been promulgated over the course of centuries. If, as you believe, God gave me my mind and my ability to reason, then He should want me to use them, and not to accept things on the basis of nothing at all, or to have faith in something for no reason. Yes, we "can choose what we want to believe", but wanting to believe that 2+2=5 doesn't make it true, or wanting to believe that the world was created in 6 days and is only 9,000 years old, and that man co-existed with dinosaurs, doesn't make it true. So I choose to believe only what I can see, or prove, or discover through experimentation and science, and not what I would like to be true, what would be comforting to believe, what would be easier to live with than the fact that death really is the end, and that this life is all I have.....

Again, thank you for taking my comments seriously, and for your kind replies.

Peace.

suemarie

"We don't know. We may never know. But we have to use what talents and resources God gave us....... We have to make the most of life here." That's exactly what I am doing, and not using up my life and my time here to pray, or go to church, or follow rules about fasting, or give money to build cathedrals to proclaim the glory of God, instead of schools and hospitals to help my fellow man, all in hopes of another possible life after I die.

I wonder if you ever think about what you would believe in if you'd been born in India to Hindu parents, instead of here, to Christian parents. Just like all those Hindu children, you would believe in Brahma and Shiva and Krishna, not Christ, and you would be just as sure that you were worshipping the true gods! Just as convinced, and just as dismayed that I don't believe as you do, or that I won't just accept what you say without proof! There are a billion Hindus in that country alone, and they think that YOU'RE the one worshipping a false god.

Likewise, if you'd been born thousands of years ago, in Egypt, or Rome, or Greece, you'd be just as sure that YOUR gods were the only true ones....... All these people were or are just as convinced as you are that they believe in the one, the only, true religion--their faith is just as strong as yours.

So why would I ever want to "leap", as you say, into a belief, without proof? Which one would I pick? You're convinced that Jesus was God's son, and they are convinced he wasn't. It's all a matter of faith, and, without evidence, there is no reason for me to select your version of the truth over theirs.

I could mention other things, like your belief that God wanted company, so He created Adam and Eve. But He's supposed to be omniscient, so He knew before He created them that in short order they would sin, and that He would then decide that men should die. He knew that there would be a Satan, a Lucifer, whatever name you give him--after all, God created all things--but He went ahead with His creations anyway... He also knew from the beginning that He would decide one day to have a son, and let His very own son be tortured and murdered to atone for the sins He already knew man would commit, yet He created man anyway, knowing He'd subject His own child to pain and death because of it. He's omnipotent, so couldn't He have come up with a better plan?!!! Something less cruel to His own child, like maybe deciding to have His son preach, as he did, and then if man would sincerely repent his sins, and stop sinning, that would do it? No maiming and crucifying His own flesh and blood required? He's God, so He could have come up with ANY method He wanted to let man earn forgiveness and regain the right to heaven--was having His own son tortured and killed necessary? He could have chosen anything other than what amounts to infanticide on His part.....But I'm supposed to worship Him as a LOVING god BECAUSE He "gave" His only begotten son to suffer this horror? We wouldn't even like, let alone worship, a human being who did this to his own son when he had lots of other ways to accomplish what he wanted--we'd have him arrested for child abuse. But God is praised because He did this. I can't accept that this is a sign of His compassion and love for us....

Hundreds and even thousands of years before Christianity sprang up, people believed in gods that were the product of a virgin birth, and they celebrated their own version of Easter as the rebirth of the earth and the coming back to life of the crops that seemed dead in the fields, and of Christmas as the winter solstice when light--longer days--began to come back into the world with the birth of the sun/son. Even the dates are virtually the same, because they reflect events in nature. You can find parallels and even almost exact copies of Judaic and Christian storylines such as the flood, and the plagues, and a god who dies and comes back to life, and a glorious afterlife in paradise, and so on, in so many religions that PRE-dated Judaism and Christianity. In other words, these stories were being told and believed many, many centuries before the days of Noah and Jesus and the other biblical characters. They are universal, and have been around since man started inventing myths. These are the stories man has always told himself, to comfort himself, and to explain natural phenomena before he developed science to understand and truly explain these things.

As a rational human being, using what you believe are my god-given faculties, I can't just decide to have faith in any religion, yours or anyone else's, without a reason, without evidence, without a bit of proof. I can't worship a God and excuse all the horrors I see, horrors that He supposedly has the power to prevent, by saying to myself, well, it's just a mystery, and He has a plan I can't know or understand, but that's okay, I'll trust Him anyway, and ignore my own mind and my own reasoning ability, and justclose my eyes to reality.

Thank you for your thoughtful replies, but I hope you can see that I'll never go back to being a believer. Yes, I was brought up a Christian, but, just the way that you think that you did, I also saw the light. My light is reality, is what is here and now and can be seen and tested and proven, not what I must have faith is true when I have no proof it's true.

joyfulnoise4

OandA....you always have the words to share! I would have said the exact same thing but probably not as well. You are good with putting the words together.

Suemarie...just cause we trust in Christ does not mean our lives are perfect. We all have trials and sufferings. I'm glad I can hand them over to the God who sent His only son to take my punishment and suffer for my sins. Yes...there are lots of other gods but only one came to this earth, died, and ROSE again! There is only one who left behind an EMPTY TOMB! I am truly thankful!

If you want to ask any questions, feel free and I will try to be a supportive help. If you don't that's fine too. Praying for you!

suemarie

Thank you for your lovely and gracious answer, joyfulnoise4. I appreciate it, because usually when I say what I wrote in my comment, I'm told that I'm going to hell, and that I deserve to. It was really nice to be spoken to as if I deserved a calm and considered reply, and not automatic condemnation.

I have read the bible, both Old and New Testaments, all the way through. It was hard trying to reconcile the motion of a loving God with the God who set a flood on the earth so that all the people, even newborns and toddlers, except for Noah's family, and all the animals, except for two of each kind, were drowned; Who ordered conquered people to be slaughtered and their women kept as slaves and taken as concubines; Who praised the man who gave his daughter to be raped, thus saving his guest from harm in that way, because that was considered more important for a host to do, rather than see to the safety of his own child, and so on......

But mostly I have trouble understanding how people can worship an all-powerful being who lets horrible things happen. And I don't mean just evil acts by people, exercising their free will. I mean things like tsunamis and earthquakes, and malaria and cancer--these are natural disasters--they're even called "acts of god"-- and have nothing to do with men doing evil. If God created everything, then He created these disasters and diseases, too--why? And how is that loving?

I've read many of the comments here, and you all seem very convinced that prayer can help, which means that you think that God can intervene in deadly illnesses or tragic circumstances, that, if He chooses to, He can help--so why does He decide not to stop the babysitter from molesting the 5-year old girl, or the young mother of three from dying of cancer? Why doesn't He help the immigrant families fleeing from war and torture who drown when their over-crowded boat capsizes? If one of us could stop any of these things from happening, without even a bit of effort on our part (as God could), but decided not to bother, we would condemn that person! We would say: "Why didn't you do something when you could have?!!! How could you just turn your back on the suffering and dying when it would have cost you nothing to stop it?!!!" Yet when God lets these things happen, we're told not to criticize, not to say that He failed to help when He could have, but to not only not condemn Him the way we would condemn a person who stood by and did nothing, but to worship Him, to get down on our knees and praise Him......

I have the feeling that you don't believe in Zeus or Krishna or the Sun King, or any other of the hundreds, more likely thousands, of other gods and goddesses mankind has worshipped over the centuries. You see no proof that they exist, and you are sure that the God you do believe in is the one, true, real one. But all those other worshippers were just as sure as you are...... So I, who, like you, don't believe in those other gods and goddesses either, have simply added one more god to the list I don't believe in, and have never seen any proof of.

I'm glad that you find comfort in your beliefs, and I would never deny your right to them!!! I just don't understand them. It would be easier to tell myself that there is a God, and that He will (sometimes) help, and that I will live on after death and see my family again and live happily in heaven for all eternity, but that's what it would be: something I tell myself, a story, to feel better, not something I have any proof for, or faith in......

Peace......

joyfulnoise4

Suemarie....God IS in control but He has also given us a free will. He wants us to choose Him over the temptation of sin in our lives. I agree with you that our world has gotten so out of control. It is especially hard to teach my kids that God wants people to turn their hearts to Him. I am so thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ or the state of our world would zap all the joy from my life. With Jesus I can see they beauty that still exists and point others to Him. Times like these are exactly the reason why Jesus said "Go and share the gospel!" I will pray for peace in your heart. I would also suggest you start reading the Bible....the book of John is always a good place to start.

suemarie

I don't understand how you can believe that a God who is supposed to be all-powerful is "in control", as you all keep saying. 5 police officers dead in Dallas, over 40 civilians dead in Turkey's airport, 49 dead in Orlando, over 250 dead in Baghdad........the death and destruction just goes on and on.... If he's controlling things, as you believe, how can you also believe that he's all-loving as well?

PuzzleG

Hello Sisters, I had my last shoulder therapy today. I hurt my shoulder some at the races on Sat., & didn't do as well with the "range of motion" of my left arm & shoulder as I did when I started this therapy. The therapist agreed with me though, that my muscle strength is good, it's just the pain from the new injury & the damage to the socket of the joint from repeated injuries that is the problem. This gives me hope that the MRI will verify that a replacement would be successful. I'm feelin kinda blue, but am trusting the Lord to help me & use me to bless others no matter what happens. If someday all I can do is lay in bed, then I'll just lay there & pray, & praise the Lord that I can still do that.
O&A, I can relate to the exercycle numbing your buns after awhile. Maybe you should get a recumbant, mine doesn't hurt my hips or knees, & my bum doesn't get numb either. Youngest Daughter gave me a tiny mp3 player, & she put a bunch of reasonably paced Christian songs on it for me to exercise to & it helps pass the time. I sometimes watch TV which works great too. I'm so sorry about your son losing his job. Praying the Lord will give him & your daughter both terrific jobs that suit their talents & needs. Those are very wise words, that the Lord does sometimes give us more than we can handle so we'll give it over to Him. I've learned that one too, though it's easier to understand than it is to do sometimes. The pot idea has crossed my mind too, but my Dr said that the pro's outweigh the cons for that. We've seen the results of long term pot use, & I don't want to just be a mindless, uncaring zombie, which is how you end up with pot use. I'll just keep plugging along & taking each day & each trial as it comes, & trying to lean on the Lord & not on my own understanding or strength, because without Him I really have neither. I feel the hugs, the encouragement, & the prayers, & the love behind them from each of you, my dear sweet Soul Sisters, & I hope you can feel mine too, as you are always on my mind & in my heart. I am so thankful that we have each other, & the Lord to bless us & keep us together. Yes, our weather has been going up & down a lot lately, & I've been feeling that too, especially if I have to get out in it. I try to stay home when it's too hot or too cold, but Oregon doesn't seem to have as much of a "middle ground" temperature wise as I'd like. We plan to drive up to Crater Lake on Tuesday, July 5th to visit a dear couple we've "known" (online) for many years. I've been in her online crochet group, we were a close-knit, caring group, & shared our ups & downs as well as our patterns & experience, etc. We've become like sisters, even though we've only met her & her hubby once before. We are going to visit them & Crater Lake, & stay the night in a motel, then come home on Wednesday. This trip was my request for a birthday gift from my Hubby, & Oldest Daughter is giving me some $$ instead of a gift, so I can buy something up there. I don't get too excited about things like this til I know they will happen, but now I'm really happy & excited about going.
Sparkles, I hope you are feeling much better, or will be very soon. Praying for you, sweet Sister! xxxx
Iris, that is so cool (literally) about how the Lord helped you to finish your yard work! He is AWESOME!
Dearest Joy, great for you with exercising at the gym with a friend! Exercising with others is so much better than alone, for companionship & accountability, & just plain fun! YAY for Joy's Joy getting her braces off soon! I've heard they are pretty uncomfortable, & sometimes painful, not to mention expensive. But if you need them, there's not much choice. I'm sure she'll be glad to have them off!
I can't believe I'm up this late! It's nearly 12:30 am here, & I'm toddling off to bed right now, as I have to get up around 6:30 am to get ready & go to pool therapy. I hope you're all having restful sleep & sweet dreams! XOXOXOXO

Vivre

Hello Joy ~ I met you on the beach •◡• and got curious to know what you meant...
... and this is really a wonderful tradition ~♥~

How was your 1st january this year? ... it must have been great, I hope. ~ greets Vivre

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