Does anyone speak the truth?

I really want to know.

Seriously.

God…if you exist…point me in the direction you want me to go.

Most of your humans are liars and I don’t know who to trust.

I’m in a church right now that is fun, entertaining, seems harmless enough, the kids enjoy it.

Only I come to find out it might be based in some bad doctrine. And potentially REALLY bad doctrine.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

I’m tired of the religious rollercoaster ride I’ve been on. I’m an ex-Catholic married to a Baptist and apparently attending a “Purpose Driven” Protestant (for lack of a better word) church (hence the bad doctrine) and have been in the middle of a religious tug-of-war for years.

My mother refused to at first to attend my wedding when she found out I was getting married in a non-denominational religious service with an ex-Catholic priest. She capitulated when I decided to make the wedding on a day she could NOT make it. She quickly changed her stance.

My sister-in-law (a Baptist) confronted me and demanded to know why I wanted to get my kids baptized in the Roman Catholic Church.

My sister and brother in law are pressuring me to get back to the Catholic church and get the kids through catechism.

My mother-in-law is constantly talking about the end of the world and the “signs of the end times”, and was extremely worried for my children’s souls when we were churchless. But she’s certain she’s among the saved. Not according to what they told me at the meeting the other night. For me, by leaving the Roman Catholic church, according to THEIR teachings, no matter even if I go to church somewhere else, if it’s not the Roman Catholic faith, I just voluntarily chose to separate myself from God forever.

My friend is trying to logically point out the flaws of the Roman Catholic church.

Many of the splits–especially the Lutheran protest–came about BECAUSE OF the corruption, rebellion, breaking of rules being committed by the Holy Roman clergy. The Protestant “Reformation” attempted FIRST to resolve “differences”–and criticisms–with “the Pope.” He condemned them to death. How very Christian of him, don’t you think? All I’m saying is that I think it would be a waste for such a great mind and heart as yours to be sucked into a whirlpool of sentimental conjecture simply because you are facing a difficult time.

He forgot to remind me about all the sex scandals in the Catholic church too in recent years.

Damn.

I’m just about ready to become an atheist. Or divorced. (just kidding on the divorce).

God, if you exist, I’m trying to find my way. I really am.

Remember when I was a girl of 10, and I prayed to you one night, saying I would gladly DIE if the REST of the world could live in peace????

Remember when I was a girl of 13, and I prayed to you one night, to take my pain away so I wouldn’t have to commit suicide because the kids in school teased me so bad and I woke up in the morning I felt as if a huge burden was lifted in my heart and soul and I could face going to school?

Remember all those other times I needed my spirits lifted? Who did that if it wasn’t you?

Who placed all those people in my path when I was downtrodden…when I literally had NO place to go…near strangers who took me in, gave me a home, when they could have easily turned me away?

Remember when I lost my two babies, and then gave birth to two more that were born in the SAME months the first two babies were due [babies 1 and 2 were due in January and September, respectively, but I lost them. First born daughter (3rd pregnancy) was born in January, second born daughter (4th pregnancy) was born in September]. I know that COULD be purely coincidental…but I find it hard to believe it is merely coincidence.

My third born daughter (fifth pregnancy) was conceived the day my husband was supposed to get a vasectomy. Another mere coincidence?

I find my life to be full of too many coincidences to be just coincidences and not a little bit of divine intervention.

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16 Responses to Does anyone speak the truth?

  1. Rick says:

    >Only I come to find out it might be based in some bad doctrine. And potentially REALLY bad doctrine.

    >Damn. Damn. Damn.

    Go United Methodist. There is no doctrine. (I’m serious.)

    Growing up in the UMC, I found that it was often a compromise church between Baptist and Catholic here in Texas. Things can vary from very conservative to very liberal, depending on the pastor, so find one that suits you. I end up somewhere in the middle, as always. 🙂

    Now, as to my doctrine comment… this is not a casual statement. I was accepted to divinity school, and came close to doing it… but after a year in their Ministry Inquiry Program, I backed off. Just wasn’t going to work, financially or time-wise (SMU/Perkins did not offer night classes).

    Anywho, I’ve studied, and they honestly do not have doctrine. For example, there is no official, defined understanding of how the Lord’s Supper/Communion works. It just does. Some Methodists see it as symbolic, some as literal, some as magical, some as not. No problem with any of those thoughts. No debates. As long as it holds up to Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience, it works for us. Everything else is between you and God.

    There are other fine denominations — I’m not an iconoclast — but I just thought I’d pitch that one out there. Also, they have female pastors (the Presbyterians did it first; the Methodists were second back in the 1950s).

    In general terms, the UMC is a good, mainstream, contemporary bunch, usually well-educated, with an emphasis on social work. Came from the Anglicans, which came from the Catholics, so some familiar stuff there.

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      Rick –

      Thanks for your story, I forgot about the UMC –

      I have to share a story I’d forgotten about. I lived in Springfield for 18 months during my forensic training starting when I was 25- 3 hours away from family (which was a good thing), friends (not a good thing) and my boyfriend/fiance (a terrible thing).

      I was terribly lonely during most of that time, until about 4 months before my training ended. I found out from a co-worker of mine about the local UMC. I went to a service, and was really amazed at the friendliness without pushing. Totally the opposite of my experience at a very high pressure cult/like group I tried once who kept calling me up at home to get me to join (yeah NOT!).

      But I ended up liking how young the congregation was, how nice everyone seemed, and I started going to their young adult bible studies. It was really nice to have some friends, and most of the young adults were professionals or students.

      On Mother’s day, there was a Mother-daughter tea, but I almost wasn’t going to go (I didn’t have a mother around) but the minister’s wife adopted me for the day so I could go to the tea. It was sweet!

      It was a really enjoyable time for me. As much as it was good to come back “home” to my fiance, it was hard to leave that church behind.

      Anyway, the whole point of this walk down memory lane was that I had a really great experience of it, so if my current church doesn’t work out, I might try to find a UMC church around here.

  2. mom gail says:

    “Long before I heard of Christ or saw a white man….I knew God. I perceived what goodness is. I saw and loved what is really beautiful. Civilization has not taught me anything better”
    Ohiyesa

    My lovely daughter,
    I know the struggle of going to this church or that one. I argued with my mother for many years about going to church on Sunday to worship. I was born & raised in the Roman Catholic church. Baptized, first communion, confirmation, As have been all of my relatives, but there came a time when I realized that in order to pray, I didn’t need a building around me. How could my prayers be heard through brick and mortar? Yes, I believe in God, just as my ancestors did. And I also know, that God knows my heart. As far as being separated from God forever because you have separated from the catholic church is “BULL”
    That is the one thing that I dislike about any organized religion. You are damned to hell if you don’t believe their way. God gave us free will, a mind to make decisions with.Eyes to see what is around us. I believe in Divine Intervention. It was God that sent mom’s voice to me the day that I asked for help, saved my life. He (her) whatever you believe God to be is with us always, even when we turn away from him. I was so angry with him when he took my mother so suddenly, and my faith disappeared. How could he do that to me? I should have said thank you for doing that for my mother. She didn’t have to suffer anymore. Maybe my thinking is too simplistic, but it’s my belief.
    Check out a copy of “The Soul Of An Indian” at the library. It is enlightening, as to what was and can be within you
    I Love You!!

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      I love you too Mom Gail!

      I’ll check out that book if I can find it at the library. Thanks mom.

      You know, I don’t remember if you told me you were born and raised Catholic. Wow, I learn something new about you all the time.

      So, yes, you can relate to my spiritual struggles. It’s difficult, very difficult not to feel at the mercy of the conflicting strong opinions of others you either care about or simply have to deal with a lot.

      I don’t have to deal with my in-laws that much, but I often deal with my sister, who frequently comments about church.

      It’s tough. She’s the sister I like the most, but this religious pressure is really frustrating.

  3. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Rick and Mom Gail –

    Thank you both. I’m off to a marriage program at my current church today (it’s been paid for already), but I just wanted to pop on to see if anyone commented.

    I’ll come back later and respond to you both individually.

    Thanks again.

  4. Papa T says:

    I’d like to take a very specific stab at answering your title/question…

    No.

    Not ONE PERSON speaks The Truth. Each person speaks his or her own truth. And that truth represents a facet of The Truth…the whole.

    My truth is no less–and no more–valid than the next person’s truth. ALL churches that claim to present THE way are disingenuous, manipulative, and dangerous to children and other living things. ANY person who pretends to have the answers for my problems is a liar and a fool. Just as I would be a liar and a fool to pretend to have answers for THEIR problems.

    That having been said…in “my truth,” I see nothing inherently evil if I should choose to associate with a group of people “at church” (regardless of its name or label) for the purpose of kinship, comradeship, fellowship. That is as long as I don’t use whatever their brand of myth might be as a crutch to avoid growth. [Myth is merely man’s attempt to explain matters that are beyond his present ability to grasp.]

    Oh, well…happy Sunday. I might check back in later and tell you how I really feel about this.

    Peace!

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      ALL churches that claim to present THE way are disingenuous, manipulative, and dangerous to children and other living things. ANY person who pretends to have the answers for my problems is a liar and a fool. Just as I would be a liar and a fool to pretend to have answers for THEIR problems.

      Well, upon having time to think on this, I know that I felt manipulated in the Catholic church. I felt upset many times that if I didn’t do things they way they wanted, I was eternally damned. In my young mind, I had so much anger in my heart towards my family for what they’d done by the time I was a 10-11 year old, sometimes I felt that I was already damned to hell, mostly because I could NOT honor my mother and (step) father. I think in some ways, I was MORE prone to sin (and I did do some pretty egregious stuff over the years) since I’d already assumed I was a lost soul. Sinning actually became a little easier once I realized I was never going to stop dishonoring my parents because they hurt me so much.

      That having been said…in “my truth,” I see nothing inherently evil if I should choose to associate with a group of people “at church” (regardless of its name or label) for the purpose of kinship, comradeship, fellowship. That is as long as I don’t use whatever their brand of myth might be as a crutch to avoid growth.

      What I lack is kinship, comradeship, and fellowship. I’ve spent too much time shut up in my home (I usually hibernate in wintertime) and my head (I get very introverted when I am lonely).

      Given the fact that I’m nearing 40 and still haven’t fully blindly embraced any brand of myth as a crutch to avoid growth, I am not sure I will now.

      I want my kids to have some comradeship and fellowship. I want them to have something to believe in, even if it’s a little bit of myth. I don’t really know how to calm their fears without invoking the all-powerful, loving presence of a God/Jesus. With my 6 year old’s huge imagination and anxieties, I’d rather give her a hope in Jesus rather than have to medicate her anxieties away (fortunately, they aren’t as intense as they used to be).

      When they grow older, they can make up their own minds, but for now, I’d like them to have something to believe in to help them with the confusing and messed up world they have to grow up in.

  5. I needed to reference this…one of my latest favorite astronomers is Neil deGrasse Tyson. I always wondered how the great scientists (minds much more complex and more intelligent than mine) handle the mysteries of God while they contemplate the universe. I guess I could read up on this:

    http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/read/essays/nathist/perimeterofignorance

    From his 2005 Natural History article

    The Perimeter of Ignorance
    A boundary where scientists face a choice: invoke a deity or continue the quest for knowledge

    Writing in centuries past, many scientists felt compelled to wax poetic about cosmic mysteries and God’s handiwork. Perhaps one should not be surprised at this: most scientists back then, as well as many scientists today, identify themselves as spiritually devout.

    But a careful reading of older texts, particularly those concerned with the universe itself, shows that the authors invoke divinity only when they reach the boundaries of their understanding. They appeal to a higher power only when staring into the ocean of their own ignorance. They call on God only from the lonely and precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets hardly a mention.

    I find it interesting, and worth further exploration. I’m not about to give up on the POSSIBILITY that there is a God, I just think, for me, I have enough doubts that my fence-sitting position needs a little more research.

    For me, being a former scientist AND a mother, it’s easy to be swayed into one camp or the other. My rational mind agrees with de Grasse Tyson, and my emotional side, well… like Fox Mulder once said, “I WANT TO BELIEVE”.

    I just find it so very complicated. I have an archeological study bible, THAT’s how much I really want to find evidence to prove the stories. But is that going to be unbiased enough? I don’t know.

  6. Stephanie says:

    You might be interested in the Speaking of Faith podcast from American Public Media. I have found it incredibly helpful on my spiritual journey.

    http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/

    You can also subscibe to their podcasts through iTunes.

    What I love about is that it explores all different faith traditions (as well as non-belief) from the personal perspective of the person in the program. There is no dogma, no trying to say any one person has the answer. Just an honest sharing about how their religion/spirituality has impacted them. They have had many shows talking with scientists (believers and non-believers) which I have found absolutely fascinating.

    I also will say that al-anon has had by far the biggest impact in my spiritual growth. It did not tell me what to believe, but gave me a framework and a practice in which to explore this aspect which made all the difference.

    My beliefs do not lend themselves to any kind of organized religion as I do not believe that there is “one truth”. My relationship with my higher power (as I define it) is much more personal and I had to look *inside* myself to find it rather than relying on anyone else to hand it to me. I have much more trust and peace (and belief) now than I ever had when I went to church (was raised episcopal and also attended a UU church for awhile)

  7. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Stephanie-

    Thanks for sharing that link. I’ll have to look into that.

    Tonight, my daughter tells me that, in church today at my MILs church (which they’d gone to because grandma had them from Friday til this afternoon), they had the kindergartners pray for Jesus to forgive their sins (which I have no problem with) so they could go to heaven instead of hell.

    My daughter wasn’t upset by this, but I was. I had told MIL I don’t want her taking them to church anymore, but I know my husband isn’t too pleased with me confronting his mother about it. I need to figure this out before I start getting upset with everybody.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I just found this (NOT coincidentally…I have never heard of this blog, but the Lord led me here as this struggle you have is very familiar to me!). Please may I offer some thoughts?

    Your problem is not that God and Jesus are not there, but that you are looking in the wrong place! No, I do not mean to suggest yet another church :). I mean you already knew Him, He already provided for you many times (no, there are no coincidences…only beautiful flows and connections that He provides for us, so that we may see His hand in our lives).

    Where were you when you saw Him the most? In your quiet, pained time, at night, when you were lonely and wounded. When you were sorrowed by the loss of your babies. When you were downtrodden and needed help. You did not have to say special words or go to a place to earn His love. He met you where YOU are because the whole earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. He is not going to withhold His love for you because you are not in the right building. Jesus said that they will come make their home with YOU. THEY will come to YOU and make their home with YOU.

    Stop looking around you and start looking at Him 🙂

    It is kind of like this: it is like He is right there with you, right behind you, He keeps calling to you saying “I am right here! Turn and look at Me!”, but you have been taught that you have to GO somewhere and do special things to find Him. So you keep looking under couch cushions and in buildings and in imperfect people when He is right there with you saying “LOOK! Here I am! I have always been here! Turn to me and let Me take care of you!” :). God is in your heart, all around you, in your spirit and life, always and forever, stop looking for Him in other people 🙂 He did not move away from you…you just stopped looking for Him where He always was (with you) and started looking at this building or that man or woman. It was not intentional, it just happened, but we can fix that now 🙂

    Go to HIM..not to a new building or book. Do it right now. 🙂 He is not in a building, and the Bible states that clearly. He is with YOU right now. He is providing for YOU right now. He has been with you since you were a child and He loves you! Your spirit LOUDLY proclaims that in your post, even through your doubts!

    My mom told me this saying once “If a hypocrite is standing between you and God, he is closer”. Ok, not exactly Biblical doctrine :), but understand that you are looking to PEOPLE (various churches, various rules, various doctrines) to provide your proof. Look ONLY to the Lord…the one who provided you peace in your soul when you were young. Yes, He is still there :).

    I will let you in on a secret (which is not really a secret) but denominations are NOT of the Lord. We are one body in Christ, and denominations (“I follow Peter, I follow Apollos”…or in this day “I follow Wesley, I follow Benedict, I follow Calvin”) are wrong according to 1 Cor 3:1-23 & 1 Cor 1:10-31. Colossians, Galatians, all say “one in Christ”. Christians are supposed to be ONE in Christ. When we start dividing and separating ourselves, making extra rules, extra formalities, extra stuff, then we will focus on the those, not on God Himself. We will try to make our righteousness through attendance and rules and ordinations, not on just saying “I am not righteous…but Jesus is and He provided all for me.”. Those have become a stumbling block for you. But the Lord is showing you the true way…only through Jesus, whose yoke is EASY and whose burden is LIGHT.

    Denominations are made by men. Religion is made by man. Faith is from God through Jesus. You have been taught to look to religion…but God wants you to look to FAITH in Him. Do not look to the face of people, look only to His face. He has the answers you seek…you are not missing “the right church”.

    Oh I know your hurt! I too was bullied TERRIBLY as a child. I know that feeling of burden in spirit, of questioning, of wondering, wanting to give my babies faith and peace but having my own questions and doubt. But the thing is that the Lord is bigger, even than your intellect and mine :). He knows you have questions. He knows you have doubts. He ALSO knows that you remember His kindness to you (which not only blessed you then, but also is there to remind you in this time of trial that He is and loves you!). He is waiting for you to come seek His face…not seek Him in men and women, but to seek HIM.

    This is not to slam other people! Remember, Christians are forgiven….NOT perfect. 🙂 There is a big difference. 🙂 Do not let Christians turn you from God…we are all still learning, all still seeking, all still fail. We are made perfect through the blood of Christ (shed for YOU), but are still being made holy (meaning, we still mess up. We are perfected through Christ to go to heaven–our sins are paid for–even your childhood sins of anger and your adult sins of doubt–but we still sin, are still being taught how to be holy Heb 10:14).

    There was no myth helping you when you were tormented…that was His pure love. No myth provided you peace for the loss of your first babies…that was Him. He set you in place as a happy mother of children. He provided people for you when you were downtrodden. Do not allow the enemy to convince you that He is myth when He worked so plainly in your life! Hold on to that faith you had, the obviousness of His working in your life. He gave that to you on purpose to bless you then AND to remind and save and bless you now! 🙂

    Your mind is battling your soul. Your mind doubts. Your soul knows. And your emotions are somewhere in between. The same battle has happened to me (though different circumstances). Sometimes even our great intellect (for I am extremely gifted too :)) stands in the way, fails to understand. But as a gifted woman, you are smart enough to know that your mind is not 100% perfect :). Listen to your spirit, remember His deeds to you, and come straight back to Him. Let Him soothe you and calm you. Your faith will then be based on FAITH from Him, not doctrine from men. If the Word says it, then it is His Word. If the Word does NOT say it, then it is not what He intended.

    Now, I am NOT saying that there is not a time for Christians to gather together! Far from it! We are to gather together, to come together. However, you do not have to go to a church to find God. Also, as you have seen, we have to be diligent and wise about where we gather. But that is not something to dwell on right now. Right now you just come back to the One who loves you and He will make your path straight. Trust Him 🙂 He is faithful, He *WILL* do it 🙂

    Go back to Him! 🙂 You will see! 🙂 He will continue to love you and forgive you! Hurry! 🙂 He is waiting for YOU, SPECIFICALLY, RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND! 🙂 These recent trials are just blips on the screen, just bumps on the road that is leading you BACK to more peace, more love, more purpose, more joy than you know. Just stay with Him and the New Testament (as that is the covenant that we are under as Christians). Take down your walls and defenses and strivings and just sit at peace in His feet, curled up like a little child whom He loves DEARLY (Col 3:12, Eph 5:1).

    God bless you. Please write me if I can be of help. I know that place of condemnation and struggle you are at, and that is not Him, not His will for you. He has so much peace (yes peace!), JOY (joy!), love, compassion, forgiveness, healing for you. These are not just words, you have seen them in your life…you know this to be true 🙂 God bless you!

  9. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Wow! I have no time to address this Stephanie, but I am so appreciative of your words and the time and effort you took to write this.

    I am more than a bit wiped out from going to the city with 2 of my daughters to talk to an endocrinologist (turns out the thyroid nodule is not what they thought it looked like, but what you say makes me feel so good right now. I’m going to take some time to absorb all of what you just said.

    Thank you so much for your beautiful words.

  10. Rick says:

    >they had the kindergartners pray for Jesus to forgive their sins (which I have no problem with) so they could go to heaven instead of hell.

    Wow.

    Even within the most orthodox traditions, children are innocent until Bar/Bat-mitvah, Confirmation, etc, because they don’t have the knowledge or ability to make moral decisions yet.

    Telling kindergartners that they could go to hell borders on child abuse — in addition to being flat-out wrong theology.

    But… this is nothing new, sadly. People who haven’t studied their own faith (in a formal sense) end up teaching it, somehow. Stuff like that gives the entire faith a bad rap.

  11. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Rick,

    I agree and it really had upset me.

    Needless to say I took issue with this with my MIL, though I realize it not her fault. I haven’t decided, yet, what to do about it aside from giving MIL my upset piece of mind.

    What I SHOULD do is pay that church a visit and find out exactly what was said last Sunday and more importantly WHY it was said. Yes, I agree it may not be common doctrine of THAT particular church, but perhaps a misinterpretation by that particular Sunday school teacher.

    I also agree about what you said about children not being able to make moral decisions until a particular age – I thought was fairly standard, even if there is disagreement on the particular age in the term “age of accountability”, I certainly didn’t think it was kindergarten and 5/6 year olds.

  12. Per Gunnar Hansø says:

    No, nobody speaks the Truth. Except perhaps by happenstance every now and then, the way a broken watch shows exactly the right time twice a day. In my experience however, most people speak what they think is the Truth most of the time.

    The way I see it, we humans can only by experience and deliberate observation seek to draw our mental map as closely resembling observable reality as we manage, and that we call truth. But as Gödel taught us with his proof, this will still be a simplified model, inconsistent and incomplete, as it is not the reality itself.

    In other words, our brain, our senses and our lifetime is too limited to make a consistent model out of all we experience. This means no matter how intelligent, diligent, honest, humble, attentive, or objective we are, we still have to accept our mental model is and will always be incomplete. As such, none of us will have the Truth to tell.

    This does not mean our mental maps are worthless, and this begs the question, what are they good for? In my opinion, they are good as a prop for guiding us on our way through life.

    They are at the very least usable as a support for desirable behaviour. As such, they only need to be as close to Truth as to give the behaviour we desire in the situations we happen to experience in our lifetime.

    It has been a joy to read your blog, and I will be back to read more.

    Best regards,
    Per Gunnar Hansø

    • raisingsmartgirls says:

      My humble apologies to you, Per. I haven’t been attending to this blog very well. The year has been quite a rocky one. Two deaths in my family, one near divorce, a new diagnosis for my middle child.

      I needed a hiatus from blogging here for a while, so that I could concentrate on these things.

      “In other words, our brain, our senses and our lifetime is too limited to make a consistent model out of all we experience. This means no matter how intelligent, diligent, honest, humble, attentive, or objective we are, we still have to accept our mental model is and will always be incomplete. As such, none of us will have the Truth to tell.”

      Which is why, perhaps, I am sometimes in conflict with others. And was within myself. At least until I made one small change: I’ve become more acclimated to uncertainty through my explorations of a different spiritual path than most of my contemporaries. I have begun to learn about the myriad ways people seem to be kept blind and divided from each other. I have found that what unifies is love and compassion and acceptance of a certain amount of ambiguity, and what divides is labeling, judgment and a rigid need to control the behavior of others and the outcomes of events.

      I’ve felt much more at peace with uncertainty these days. One of the quotes I have come to appreciate more and more is this one:

      “Life on earth is a whole, yet it expresses itself in unique time-bound bodies, microscopic or visible, plant or animal, extinct or living. So there can be no one place to be. There can be no one way to be, no one way to practice, no one way to learn, no one way to love, no one way to grow or to heal, no one way to live, no one way to feel, no one thing to know or be known.”

      Jon Kabat-Zinn

      So my way of navigating my world is not the same as my husband’s, or my family’s or my friends. But my way works for me. I’m happier and more free to explore and choose my path and embrace the consequences of my choices, whatever the outcome, but feeling mostly okay with that.

      For me, Life is a series of trial and error (sometimes quite a bit of error and forgiving myself for my mistakes), making adjustments, and moving on. I don’t have anyone else’s answers and other people do not have mine. It’s freed up energy so that I can explore the options presented to me, rather than accept things on blind faith because someone else said I should.

      I’m glad you found my blog enjoyable. I hope you may return to comment again some time. I love the interaction with thoughtful people.

      Warm Regards,

      Casey

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