POM Pancakes

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Morning!  Happy Sunday.  :)  Today is my last day in Tennessee.  I’m making the 10-hour drive back to Orlando tomorrow morning, with a pit stop along the way to see my grandpa.


My mom and I made a special breakfast:


My mom froze two pomegranates worth of arials earlier this fall, and we thawed out 1/4 a cup to add to our whole wheat pancakes (she also uses the Hodgson Mills mix).  We also added some pecans.


Plus, a cinnamon-covered banana and a little cup of maple syrup.


My mom wants me to show everyone the little banana and dried fruit lady she made for herself while I cooked the pancakes:


Major LOLs.


Well, I’m off to church with my mom!


One of the scariest moments of my life was in July 2008.  I was at the airport, coming back from a trip with my friends, when I looked up at the television and saw my mom’s church on CNN!  A conservative extremist had entered my mom’s church (it’s a Unitarian church) and shot at the congregation… two people died.   I immediately called my mom, and she had randomly decided to skip church that day. 


I consider myself to be a spiritual person (I believe in a higher power and pray when I feel compelled to), but I don’t belong to a church.  We got married on a golf course by my father-in-law!  I’m glad I can go to my mom’s church with her and pay my respects.   My mom’s church is also very interesting because Unitarians are very open-minded and liberal and tend to use a lot of source material – the Bible, Torah, and Koran – in the sermons.   This Sunday’s lecture is on the meaning of marriage (you can see a preview here).


This is a personal question, but you guys know I love to ask them!  :)  Are you a spiritual or religious person?  Do you go to church?  Did you find faith later in life or were you raised that way?



  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope February 7, 2010, 9:56 am

    No. I am atheist. Religion is bullshit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

    • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope February 7, 2010, 9:58 am

      and while we’re on the topic, I think a lot more atheists are out there, but don’t talk about it because people are incredibly judgmental and overall insane. so on that note…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxRwQoNv4qA

      • caitlin February 7, 2010, 9:59 am

        i think calling religion “bullshit” would probably qualify as judgmental. 🙂

        • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope February 7, 2010, 10:02 am

          i was quoting George Carlin, hence the video post. it’s a funny video

        • caitlin February 7, 2010, 10:13 am

          i know 🙂 i’m just saying.

    • Molly February 7, 2010, 11:58 am

      I grew up in a family where my mom was Catholic and my dad was atheist. Because of mutual respect, there was not once a religious conflict in my house.
      I do believe in some deep organization to life, but I just don’t believe in God. I really would love to have that kind of faith, but my mind just can’t wrap around it.
      Religion is a deeply personal thing, so although to you religion is “bullshit” (for myself, I kind of feel the same way), I also recognize that most people can accept God and religion, and that’s a really incredible faith to be able to have. Like Caitlin said, calling them “insane” is judgmental.

      • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope February 7, 2010, 12:07 pm

        I would never think or want to have “faith.” To me, that is just plain not-thinking and closed-minded. I know people will be pissed about that, but you replied to my answer of the topic, and so i am replying back. I think that people may feel that religion is good because it provides comfort and maybe structure, but in the end, the destruction and hurt it has caused all of man-kind is not worth it. I still cannot fathom that in the year 2010, people still believe in fairy-tales. my two cents and now i am done.

        • Jess February 7, 2010, 2:48 pm

          I have to admit – I respect you for this. I feel like people feel vindicated in speaking openly about their religious beliefs but we’re supposed to be quiet and shut up about our opinions.

          I’m sorry, but when they feel they can come to my house or up to me on the street to preach to me and hurt/kill people of my community on grounds of religion alone, I have a hard time keeping quiet about it “out of respect”. They don’t respect me at all.

          I know there’s a lot of liberal, open-minded religious groups but unfortunately in my mind they’re still all part of the same delusion.

  • Rachel A. February 7, 2010, 9:59 am

    I don’t go to church either. I do believe there is a higher power, but I don’t think god cares what name we call her/him.
    My husband’s family is UU, and we live in Nashville. I remember the day of that shooting, so sad.

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) February 7, 2010, 9:59 am

    Your mom is frickin’ awesome! I could go for a bowl of pom arils right now!

  • Meredith February 7, 2010, 10:02 am

    I was raised in a moderate methodist church but my family is pretty conservative and religious. my new stepfather is even a retired preacher of a SUPER conservative denomination. I went to sunday school dutifully until my 18th birthday and I’ve never gone back. I am a spiritual person and I know there is something out there, but I don’t think its the god I was raised to believe in. interesting question 🙂 thanks for asking.

  • Melissa February 7, 2010, 10:04 am

    I do go to church and love and believe in God. My faith has brought me through some very difficult times.

  • swimsutra February 7, 2010, 10:05 am

    Love today’s question– because it is kinda want my blog is about, trying out different religions and quotes and musing a bit about them. So, your mom’s church sounds really awesome–open to different traditions!
    All that being said, the funniest thing I saw on a facebook profile under religious beliefs was “It’s complicated”. Haha.. and that totally sums it up for me.


  • Matt February 7, 2010, 10:06 am

    I’m not really that religious. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I went to church.

    Good looking pancakes 🙂

  • Rebecca February 7, 2010, 10:06 am

    I was raised Unitarian too! I really, really loved the services growing up but haven’t found time or quite enough impetus to keep up with them. I am not sure how I define myself now… but I definitely feel somewhat spiritual.

  • Katie Davis @ Pop Culture Cuisine February 7, 2010, 10:10 am

    I grew up in a very religious home, my dad is a Lutheran Pastor. I never resented this and in fact was perfectly content with it up until I went to college. Since college I took a step back for awhile to figure out what I actually believed. Since meeting my husband my faith has grown immensely and God has worked in our lives in tremendous ways. I don’t feel it is my place to ever judge anyone else on their beliefs which is why I am open and loving to all I meet, I just might choose to live my life differently. My faith and God are just what makes sense to me!

  • Katie @ Health for the Whole Self February 7, 2010, 10:11 am

    I personally am religious, although in today’s society that often implies that I am judgmental of other religions or of those who are not religious, which is not the case.

    I do believe, however, that having some kind of spirituality – in the sense of a connection to something beyond or greater than ourselves – is an important part of life. My blog takes an approach to healthy living that encompasses our whole selves – body, mind, and spirit.

  • Whitney @ whitinspired.wordpress.com February 7, 2010, 10:12 am

    I would say I’m religious. I don’t like denominations and I have a hard time with church in general. I believe in God and read my bible on a regular basis. And that’s my religion. We’ve found a non-denominational church we like in town and we go semi-regularly.

  • Jan February 7, 2010, 10:13 am

    I’m atheist. I do not however believe that religion is bullshit. I think it is awesome because it gives so many people hope and strength.

    • Kara February 7, 2010, 11:06 am

      Me too- though I wouldn’t call it awesome (sometimes I think it’s dangerous, thought I know most would disagree!). I do, however, understand its purpose and why it comforts so many people.

  • christie, honoring health February 7, 2010, 10:14 am

    I am not religious at all but feel much more spiritual. I kind of consider my yoga mat my church. It is a place where I can get in touch with my deepest self and the world around me. It makes me feel connected and shows me that we are all divine. I don’t believe that any one man is greater or closer to “god” than another. I think we are all “sons of god” and that each of us have to find our own way to feel that connection.

    With all that said, I was raised in a very southern baptiste home and think that some people feel connected that way. I say, whatever works as long as you don’t push your religion on me.

    • caitlin February 7, 2010, 10:15 am

      i agree – i always say that the road is my church. i do my best spiritual thinking while running 🙂

      • Paige February 7, 2010, 8:09 pm

        I know what you mean, Caitlin! My sentiments, exactly!

  • Kara February 7, 2010, 10:17 am

    I’m just being nitpicky here, but the Torah is just the first 5 books of the Old Testament, so it’s not actually a text from a different religion. I have a master’s degree in political Islam and will be looking to start a religious studies PhD program in the next few years, so I like to be precise 🙂

    I’m pretty religious, I was raised a Lutheran and I even taught confirmation class (for middle school age kids) for 4 years. I do, however, believe that there are many different paths to the same destination, so I try to refrain from judging others. Unless they are on What Not to Wear. Then I judge them by their poor clothing choices. Or Jersey Shore. I can’t help but judge them. 🙂

    • Marianne February 7, 2010, 11:35 am

      I do, however, believe that there are many different paths to the same destination, so I try to refrain from judging others.

      I love the way you explained this, and that’s the way I feel too.

      I work for a Christian non-profit, and it has deepened my faith in ways I never could have imagined. I joke that I don’t go to church because seeing and feeling God in the work we do is more than enough for me, but in reality, it’s also that I’m having a hard time finding a church that respects my super liberal, somewhat “cafeteria” Christian beliefs.

    • Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) February 7, 2010, 7:35 pm

      “I do, however, believe that there are many different paths to the same destination, so I try to refrain from judging others.”

      I thoroughly agree.

  • Jojo February 7, 2010, 10:18 am

    I was raised Catholic but religion never took a prominent place in my life. Then after entering grad school I stepped away from the church completely because of the hypocrisy I felt being a democrat and a Catholic. I have since returned to my Catholic roots and attend mass every Sunday with the Pilot because we have decided that we wanted a common faith to help carry us through our tough times. And it has!

  • Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com February 7, 2010, 10:23 am

    I’m not religious in the least. I (might be making major sweeping generalisations when I say this, cos I don’t know much about variations on religion etc, so I don’t want to offend) hate the idea that if someone makes a mistake or something, they can blame it on (a) God, or higher power. I’d rather be responsible for myself, if that makes sense? Plus, I’m very much a ‘what we see is real’ – no ghosts etc for me! TBH I just think we’re all wired a bit differently and that’s what makes us individual!
    BUT I think it also has to do with one of my friends being SCARY religious during school, and it kind of pushed me the other way!
    In general though, no Gods for me!
    Plus, religion makes me angry (wars…suicide bombers…gah)
    BUT (again!) for some people, I think they need religion, so I don’t have anything against it, if it’s used positively.

    I must say, you are brave opening up this topic! Could lead to a whole lotta mess 😛

    • Denise February 7, 2010, 11:03 pm

      Wow, you really have a strange perception of religion. I have been a devout Christian all my life. I can say that we do NOT ever BLAME God, there are many references in the Bible where God pushes us to take responsibility for ourselves. ‘Love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind, this is the first and great commandment’…that doesn’t sound like he lets us ‘blame him’ does it? Also, God is not a ‘ghost, etc’. I really wish you would learn a little about something if you feel the obligation to refute it.

      • Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com February 8, 2010, 2:05 am

        ‘ really wish you would learn a little about something if you feel the obligation to refute it’
        There’s no need to be harsh! I was just expressing my view, and I said before that I was making generalisations cos I don’t know much – I wasn’t trying to offend 🙁
        I also wasn’t suggesting God was a ghost – the question was about religion and spirituality, and I was saying I don’t believe in anything that I can’t necessarily SEE – so I don’t believe in God, spirits, ghosts, aliens; they’re all just examples, I didn’t mean they were the same thing.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) February 7, 2010, 10:24 am

    Bahaha love the dried fruit figure lady! Your mom is awesome.

    That’s crazy that she goes to that church and decided to skip. I bet you were so scared.

    • Paige (Running Around Normal) February 7, 2010, 10:26 am

      Woops – and yes, I’m a spiritual person. I’m a Christian and believe in God. However, my husband and I can’t find a church in town that we like (or at least that’s our excuse…) so we haven’t been in more than 3 months now. I keep saying we’ll go back and find one “soon.”

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is February 7, 2010, 10:25 am

    That would be very scary!

    I am a very spiritual person. Granted, I have gone to Catholic school all my life including college. My parents never forced anything on me. My dad always told me that even if I left, I could always go back. I have struggled at times with my faith, but do always go back. We go to church every Sunday.

    The way I look at it – I am so incredibly blessed with EVERYTHING that I can sacrifice 1 hour a week to spend with God.

    • Nicole (dishin') February 8, 2010, 2:06 pm

      Same with me, Jessica. And my grandmother always says we can sacrifice one hour for God. I like that.

  • Susan February 7, 2010, 10:26 am

    I wasn’t really raised with any religion (that sounds bad, but we didn’t go to church or anything as a family…but my parents raised me to be a good person!), but my friends in junior high and high school went to church all the time so I went with them. Church on Sundays (my parents dropped me off), youth group during the week, and church camp (LOVED) during the summer and a winter weekend. Something kind of weird happened with my youth group in the middle of high school and I never really went back to church/youth group. I really like the idea of church…I think it teaches good things and most people who go to church are good, generous people who are awesome to be friends with and such, but I’m not sure how I feel about God.

    My roommate is very religious and I once said something about how I think the world would be a better place if more people went to church since church usually teaches doing good for others and a general positive way of living. I thought that this would be good no matter if you believed in God or not. She disagreed, stating that the reason we sin is because we don’t believe enough…if we believe in God, we want to please him and therefore not sin as much. (Since sin is inevitable.) Interesting viewpoints, no matter what you believe.

  • Anabel February 7, 2010, 10:26 am

    I was raised in a small town that was made up of primarily reformed Jews. I don’t consider myself religious: I don’t believe in God, I think the Torah (the Bible, the Qur’an, and other religions texts) are manmade in efforts to provide answers to some of life’s unsolvable questions, and I don’t live my life doing things that will (hopefully) benefit me after I die. That being said, I do have faith–in people. I believe in karma. I believe that good people who do good things with good hearts will have much goodness in their life. I also believe that these people have the power to create that goodness through their actions.

    I agree with many teachings of religion, I just don’t think that a God (or Gods) was the one who preached them. Yes, everyone should respect each other. No one should steal from their neighbor. Do good. Don’t sin (or, try not to… too much). Etc, etc. I believe and agree with all of these things, but not because God told me to.

    While I don’t consider myself religious, I’m not opposed to religion. For a lot of people, religion gives them something to believe in and live by and to depend on. That’s totally cool–I’m just not one of those people. I do consider myself culturally Jewish, however. I love the traditions, the community, the holiday celebrations that I can share with my family (the days off from school, the yummy dishes that we eat year after year, a reason to celebrate). I love celebrating Jewish holidays but I don’t believe in the religious stuff that is behind them. Is that messed up? Maybe to some, but I don’t think I shouldn’t go to Passover seder with my family just because I don’t believe in God. The food is too good, and the time is too well spent!

    Wow, this ended up being a mini-novel. I always have so much to say on this topic 🙂

    • Lindsay February 7, 2010, 10:43 am

      I don’t think that’s messed up. There’s no problem with celebrating your culture just because it’s tied to a belief system too. It’s still your culture 😀

  • Tracy February 7, 2010, 10:27 am

    I was raised in the LDS church and I am still active in it! I love the feeling I get at church, I love the people and friends I have made, and I love teaching the children and teenagers. It is really hard these days for teens to be strong and stay on the right path, so I am so so blessed to get to know these girls and help guide them. I would say religion is a major part of my life, after my family. Then, after those things are working out and running of course!

  • Anna February 7, 2010, 10:28 am

    OH my god that incident at your mom’s church sounds horrifying! I’m so glad she was ok.

    I’m a Unitarian Universalist too! I was raised as one but my parents aren’t particularly religious/spiritual. I love being a UU- it’s just so relevant, for lack of a better word. I the freedom of choice when it comes to establishing your own personal beliefs and how it draws from so many other world faiths. That being said, I don’t go to church very often. Honestly, I think I feel the most spiritual not inside a building, but when I’m outdoors in nature! Trail running, to be specific. There’s an African proverb that says “When you pray, move your feet”- my thoughts exactly!

    • sarah February 7, 2010, 1:56 pm

      Okay…kind of off topic, but did any of the UUs out there take the About Your Sexuality course? With the slide shows? Or was that only us…

      • lindsay February 7, 2010, 9:40 pm

        ha! we had AYS and we totally watched a slide show. we also practiced putting condoms on bananas…nobody believed me that we did that at church!

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? February 7, 2010, 10:29 am

    I always say that I’m Jewish by culture but spiritual by nature. We were married in a traditional Jewish ceremony by a rabbi, which meant a lot to me culturally, but the whole God part was secondary. We don’t go to synagogue very often, but it always means a lot when we do… I don’t think this comment makes any sense outside of my head.

    • caitlin February 7, 2010, 10:29 am

      I dated a jewish man before the Husband and he felt the same way. So i get your point 🙂

  • KatieF February 7, 2010, 10:30 am

    I am Catholic and was raised that way. My family went to Mass nearly every Sunday. In college I only went to church sporadically but after being out of college for a year or two I really missed my faith and going to Mass each Sunday. My husband (also Catholic) was supportive and started going with me. In recent years I have challenged myself to explore my faith and make it my own and I am glad that I have, because it helped me through some rough times in the past few years. I also like being able to talk about my faith with my husband–I think it makes our marriage SO much stronger.

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place February 7, 2010, 10:31 am

    I was raised jewish. My dad was raised jewish, my mom was raised catholic and converted when they got married. My soon to be husband is catholic. We are hoping to find a “church” like the unitarian one your mom goes to, that will emcompass both of our religions. I’m not really religious, but I do have faith that there is a higher power out there.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) February 7, 2010, 10:33 am

    Your mom is just as funny as you 🙂

    I am a spiritual person, and I was raised in a Christian home. I believe in God, but I haven’t gone to church in a few years. When I have kids I plan on taking them to church.

  • Nicci February 7, 2010, 10:36 am

    POM Pancakes look great, have a good day at Church. I’m getting ready to go now. I was raised at an early age in the church and went to christian schools most of my life. I believe in God and in having a personal relationship with him. I know he exists and I see the blessings he has given me. I see a difference in my life when I do not put him first too. I was raised Baptist, but I go to a Non-Denominational church. I like Baptist churches but also Pentecostal too. I’m a Christian.

  • Cate February 7, 2010, 10:37 am

    I stopped going to church (Presbyterian) when I was in high school. I think I’m a little bit spiritual; if anything I’m drawn to Buddhism because I learned a bit about it when I was in Thailand and it just really makes sense to me.

  • Stacey February 7, 2010, 10:38 am

    Yummo to your POM pancakes 😀 I like to put some POM juice (just a little) mixed into my oats for a nice tang. My parents never really drilled church into us when we were younger, so I believe in a higher power but I don’t attend church. There are so many out there, and how can one be sure that THEIR church is the right one? I just stick to my house and pray when I feel the need 🙂 I really do admire people that can get up and out of bed every Sunday though!

  • LindsayRuns February 7, 2010, 10:41 am

    I was raised Catholic. At times I have been extremely active in my faith and church community. Other times I have completely walked away. In the process of going back right now. No matter what point I’m at, I know that my faith and my Catholicism is extremely important to me.

  • Lindsay February 7, 2010, 10:41 am

    I was raised Hindu (my dad is Indian) and although I’m not too spiritual/religious I do want to have a Hindu wedding… partly just because it’s fun 😀

    Also, that story is making me sick. How could anyone hate Unitarians? They’re seriously the nicest people ever. What a crazy man.

  • Marisa (Loser for Life) February 7, 2010, 10:43 am

    I’m what I call a “recovering Catholic”. I was raised Catholic and went to 12 years of Catholic school. It was very “fire and brimstone” when I was growing up. I have a lot of negative feelings about it, however, I chose to raise my children Catholic. My husband is Protestant (which is very strange for an Italian!LOL!), so we are able to teach our kids a little of both. I think the divide in the different “styles” of Christianity doesn’t matter much. For me, what matters is believing in God and the rest is just formalities and process. I’m glad to give my daughters a foundation of belief and then, as they grow and experience in their lives, they can choose what aspect of religion is right for them just as I did.

  • Tonyne @ The Unlikely Success Story February 7, 2010, 10:49 am

    I was raised in a very miserable Southern Baptist church, it kind of put a sour taste in my mouth for organized religion. I do consider myself spiritual, but I’m not sure of my beliefs at this point in my life. It’s all a confusing mis-mash of a lot of different religions I have learned about over the years. However, lately I’ve been feeling as if I should find a church. I don’t know, it’s a confusing part of my life lately.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 7, 2010, 10:49 am

    That is crazy!!! My parents are Unitarian as well…I felt really out of place growing up in Louisiana where everyone is Catholic or Baptist, but now I love the Unitarian church for its welcoming nature and openness. I feel blessed to have been raised Unitarian, and it definitely has affected the way I view the world.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 7, 2010, 10:51 am

    Oh wow that is scary!!! Unitarian sounds very… I don’t want to say interesting but I mean that in a good way, it sounds kind of like what I believe. I was raised Southern Baptist but I don’t necessarily agree with everything that they believe. I do belong to a church but it’s non-denominational, which is why I like it. Very open-minded. My pastor is about 35, has highlighted blonde spiky hair, and tattoos. He’s a pretty cool guy 🙂

    • Nicci February 7, 2010, 7:19 pm

      Jessica, you just described one of my pastors! Spikey hair all the way and tats. lol

  • BethT February 7, 2010, 10:51 am

    I’m definitely spiritual but not religious. I was happy to leave the south (where few people understood this classification!) and make my new home in SF, where most people also follow this path! 🙂

    • Jacquie February 7, 2010, 11:45 am

      I agree with Beth. I wasn’t raised in a religious home (because my parents weren’t raised that way) so I never went to church, but I always believed in a higher power. Especially when I was in recovery, having faith helped me get past the bad days. Tomorrow was a new day and I had to just forgive myself.

  • Daryl February 7, 2010, 10:55 am

    After my run this morning those pancakes look great! I was not raised following any particular religion. I’ve been to church a few times – weddings, Christmas plays, etc. I’m okay with this; it does leave Sunday mornings free for my running group’s long slow distance runs 😛

  • Heather February 7, 2010, 10:55 am

    I’ve struggled with religion for many years as someone who grew up with an extremely evangelical family. I’ve switched between calling myself an atheist and an agnostic, but lately I just prefer to roll with the term non-believer. I have many Christian and Muslim and Jewish friends, and they’re all (mostly) respectful of my beliefs as I am respectful of theirs. While I agree with the first commenter that some BELIEVERS are “bullshit” (like Fred Phelps and his hate-mongering groups), I have many progressive and forward-thinking friends who don’t judge people because of their sexual orientation or lifestyle choices. I’ve always wanted to check out a Unitarian church because to be exposed to people of faith who are so open-minded is always eye-opening for me. Personally, it’s hard for me to believe in something that isn’t concrete, that I can’t see, etc. but I know that faith reaches everyone in different ways. I live my life to the fullest, do great things for others and myself, believe in paying it forward, etc. and don’t think that I personally need to go to church or read a book to be a good person, so that’s what I do.

    I remember that story about the church shooting. So glad your mom didn’t go that day!

    • caitlin February 7, 2010, 3:08 pm

      i think the cool thing about the UU church is they don’t really speak of any singular belief, but an acceptance of multi beliefs, which i can get behind.

      • Jayce February 7, 2010, 5:08 pm

        If a person just accepts multiple beliefs, then what do they believe? That it is good to believe?

        • Caitlin February 7, 2010, 5:38 pm

          no they all believe something specific to them, but they don’t require one singular uniform belief. if that makes sense! it’s more a church that is just open to discussing different views than one view in particular.

  • Amber K February 7, 2010, 11:17 am

    Personally I not only go to church, I work at mine. It is a foursquare church and I’ve been going for a couple of years now. I also volunteer there, which I will be leaving for shortly. I work and volunteer in the early childhood ministry. Ages 0-5.

    My husband is not a believer and we got married at an Elk’s lodge by his father who is also not religious. That was before I started going to church, although I’ve been a believer since I was in middle school or so. Neither of my parents is religious either so it wasn’t until I made some friends who were that I came to explore it.

    The fruit woman your mom made is so cute! lol I wish I could make one like that. =)

    • Stephanie February 8, 2010, 12:58 am

      Im going to be making my own post later, but just wanted to comment that I was raised Foursquare and had a very nice experience at the church I grew up in 😉
      Many people have a bad perception of pentecostals (even other Christians), but I really took a lot of good things away from that church.

  • Alyssa February 7, 2010, 11:21 am

    muaaahhahaha your mom is awesome! So glad she wasn’t at church, her church does sound pretty cool though 🙂

    I’m spiritual, not religious, but I do believe in god or some higher power. I was “raised” Christian in that my mom is Christian and brought us to church and my brother and I were in Sunday school, some of the singing groups, and I was confirmed. But once I started high school I didn’t go to church as much (partly because I was so busy). I had always considered myself Christian but then I asked my self why I considered myself a Christian when I never really believed anything in the Bible. As dumb as it may sound, I just realized I am spiritual and don’t adhere to one denomination or another. I definitely respect all of the various religions and try to keep an open mind – my only problem is when people of various religions try to impose their views on you and insist that their view of the world is right, but that’s a different story 🙂

  • Robyn February 7, 2010, 11:21 am

    Those Pom pancakes look delicious!

    As for religion, I started out as Christian Scientist when I was really young, then my parents started going to a non-denominational church. I was pretty active in youth group and that kind of thing, but didn’t do much in college. End of college, I decided to become muslim. Path I never thought I’d be on, but because my family is such a mixture of religions and beliefs – catholic, christian scientist, atheist, jewish(converted) and christian- it has given me a different perspective, one in which even though I have my beliefs in Islam, I respect others beliefs and feelings. how could I not? And for me, the attraction to Islam was always about the aspect of peace – one of the neatest things for me was when I saw the movie Malcolm X and saw that he went to Mecca and there were people of all different colors and cultures.
    One of the biggest adjustments for me was obviously deciding to cover or not; this was especially difficult since I had been athletic my whole life. I ended up covering, but felt I couldn’t continue to workout. In the last few years, I’ve come to realize that covering myself didn’t have to be a limitation to exercise and so I started running last year and it’s been great. Your blog is been very inspirational to me. Thank you! And now that I’m helping to coach a muslim girls soccer team (I played soccer for years), I’m thrilled to see more girls who don’t feel covering their head is a limitation.

    • caitlin February 7, 2010, 3:10 pm

      yes! i see so many women at my gym who are muslim and wear head scarves but still work out. why not? you can do anything you want to!

  • Julie February 7, 2010, 11:31 am

    I was raised Catholic but don’t practice anymore. The Catholic church is stuck in the past. I believe that gays have a right to be married, I believe in a woman right to choose, and I believe that child molesters should NOT BE PRIESTS. After that whole debacle, which happened in the diocese that my whole entire family and I grew up in, I was disgusted beyond words. How the Cardinal allowed molesters to victimize children repeatedly is BEYOND me. I mean, it is really totally digusting. The Catholic church has really turned me off in more ways than one.
    Ugh, sorry for the rant but it really, really gets me. I’m not judging those who still attened Catholic church, to each their own and more power to you.

    I believe in a higer power and am very spiritual nonetheless. I haven’t been to a regular mass in years (save for memorial masses for family members) and I don’t think I need to go to a church to be close to God/Jesus/a dead loved one. I pray my own way when I feel compelled.

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 7, 2010, 11:37 am

    I grew up Catholic, and I still do consider myself Catholic, although I haven’t been to church in over a year. I know I will make my way back eventually though. I struggle with some of the Catholic church’s teachings, but I have always felt comfortable in the churches I’ve gone too. I think I cling to my Catholicism because when I moved to the South in 8th grade, hardly anyone was Catholic. Everyone at school knew I was Catholic, and I was often teased or told I was going to hell. Boys literally would not/could not date me because their parents did not like my religion. I think this experience pretty much made me more steadfast in keeping my faith.

  • Lisa February 7, 2010, 11:40 am

    I am a Christian and my faith has always been very important to me. I was raised Baptist and now attend a Presbyterian church. I think the most important thing about my faith is the hope and peace that it gives me every day.

    • Alison February 7, 2010, 7:31 pm

      I attend a Presbyterian church too (PCA) but Reformed Christian is probably the best term for me. My beliefs are firmly rooted in the Bible. I grew up Catholic, but in college I went through an incredible transformation. “Was blind but now I see…” no better way to describe it. God truly changed my life in the most amazing and wonderful way.

  • Island Girl Eats February 7, 2010, 11:42 am

    I am not religious, but I do believe in being a good person. I do believe in kharma though!

    I loved your Mom’s banana lady – so cute!

  • Jennifer February 7, 2010, 11:48 am

    I’m a scientologist.

    …just kidding. I love the JC! I’d say my FAITH is christian, it’s not a religion for me in the traditional sense. I’m surprised many people here strictly associate the frequency of church attendance with their depth of faith/religion. You can “go/not go to church” and believe/not believe in God.

    My ex and I inevitably broke up over our differences in faith. He (raised orthodox christian in europe) was raised to believe you are intrinsically whatever religion your parents are, from birth. He believed that’s all it takes to be some certain religion, in his case orthodox christian. He couldn’t even tell me if he believed in God or not, yet he was adamant that he is “orthodox christian”. I found that incredibly hard to understand and can see how differences in faith/religion/beliefs can easily break up relationships.

    • Ari February 7, 2010, 12:19 pm

      I always find it interesting that people of other religions think scientology is so “crazy” and “weird.” I’m an atheist, but what’s the difference between believing in aliens (Xenu) and any other higher power, like God? I’m not trying to be argumentative, really, I just don’t get it.

      • Molly @vegandorm February 7, 2010, 1:26 pm

        Other religions look at the spiritual world, while scientologists believe that the “Supreme Being” is part of this world, just from another planet. Also, it was written by a science fiction author. THey also have other practices that are bizarre to our culture, like silent childbirth.
        Not trying to hate on Scientologists – that’s just why I think they’re looked at in a different way.

        • caitlin February 7, 2010, 3:11 pm

          i think the thing about Scientology that makes me uncomfortable is that so many of the religious practices are tied to financial contributions to the church.

  • Vicki February 7, 2010, 11:51 am

    I was raised Catholic and the husband’s parents were blue domers if they were anything.

    We don’t practice any religion. We both believe in God, and I pray daily, but we don’t feel like any religion is totally right or has the answers.

    We have been considering taking the kids to Unitarian services, though, because it seems so open-minded.

  • Jennie {in Wonderland} February 7, 2010, 11:52 am

    My religion is Green Monsters & jogging.

    But seriously… no, I’m not religious. I feel that I am judgmental about religion, and I don’t want to be. I just think it can be dangerous, the source of a lot of pain and it sometimes feels a bit… convenient? As if ‘God’ as we know ‘Him’, is only ever responsible for the good, and never for the bad? I remember when my Grandmother died. She had a brain tumour and she was in extreme distress, agony… it was terrible. We were in the room with her, and the Nurse said, “Now, just pray. Let’s ask God for peace.” My Granny looked angrily at her and said, “Where IS God?” That struck me, and I will always remember it.

    I wish I believed. I think it could be a real source of hope for me. Of peace. I think it must be wonderful to have faith.

    But instead, I choose my family as my religion. Clean eating. Exercise. Yoga. Books. Poetry. I want to find peace and joy in what is actually around me. So I’m glad that others can go to church and *feel* but I can’t. I choose other things. That may change later on in life, but I doubt it 😉

  • Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle February 7, 2010, 11:54 am

    I read through the comments and it’s so nice that everyone is being polite and not critical! I will have to join other commenters in the “I was raised Catholic but now I question some of the teachings” group. I loved church growing up- I sang in choirs, helped teach first communion classes, and was a youth group leader, which were both great learning experiences. I still find church to be very calming and reflective but I don’t go regularly.

    PS- I love the quote above and completely agree: ” I do, however, believe that there are many different paths to the same destination”

    • caitlin February 7, 2010, 3:12 pm

      i agree that its nice that people can give opinions and not be critical when their opinions differ.

  • Tamara February 7, 2010, 11:56 am

    I’m atheist, though I don’t like to advertise that because it invites a lot of assumptions, especially ’round these parts. Though I don’t subscribe to higher powers and am in no way spiritual, I was unofficially voted “most Christian” by my dorm a few years ago because I /behave/ more religious than a lot of church-goers my age (i.e. I don’t drink, party, back-stab or bad-mouth people; since I don’t have a system of belief I don’t have a problem with anyone else’s).

    I like the motto of one of the local groups: “You can be good without God” (to which another conservative group replies, “But you can’t be saved without Jesus,” which is a large part of why I’m not religious). I am a firm adherent of social responsibility. Each person has a duty to the planet and society because if we didn’t, we would have died out a long time ago. We are social creatures who could /not/ survive without the help of others, and if we refuse to help others in return, we can do a lot of damage.

    • Michelle@eatingjourney February 7, 2010, 7:26 pm

      With or without God…being good is a part of anyone’s life. I think it’s interesting..me being a new Christian, about the whole notion of being ‘good’ which is tacked onto a lot of those who are religious.

      Personally, no matter what you believe living a life of respect and admiration for you, your family, those around you and the world is most important. And has NOTHING to do with religion.

      Religion and faith and add other elements of that. But it’s dangerous when people believe that being religious means being good.

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) February 7, 2010, 11:59 am

    I go to church and love it, but hate the bad rap that SOME evangelical/conservative Christians give our religion. Christianity is, at its core, about love and acceptance. My church (www.foundryumc.org) is a wonderful, open place that prides itself on being open to all people, no matter who they are or what they believe.

    Our mission statement is Jesus saying that the most important rule is to love God, and the second is to love others as you love yourself. There is no commandment as important as that.

    Hate should not be a part of religion. Unfortunately, it’s often the hate-mongers that get the attention and make people see Christianity (or Judaism, or Islam) in a negative light.


    • Stephanie February 8, 2010, 1:06 am

      I have to say I totally agree with your sentiments. I was going to make another post, but because we seem to feel the same way, I’ll share a little here.
      I was raised in a Pentecostal church. I loved it and was very involved until I was 14. Then we went to another church that was extremely legalistic. I met my husband there and we both left together because of their mixing of politics, taking verses out of context and hiding things that leaders were doing (one pastor had porn on his computer so they just moved him out of state, another had a “list” of underage girls he was waiting to marry, many rapes covered up, financial mishandlings, etc). My husband has a hard time with church and Christians, though he does believe in God. My faith in God is very strong. We don’t go to church often, but we try very much to adhere to those same principles you mentioned.
      It just sucks, and I am waiting for the day when I won’t have to say.. “I am Christian.. but I am not judgmental.” People think badly of many Christians where I am from, and with good reason. It infuriates me to see the hate that “christians” are capable of (of course there are others, but i am being specific to my own religion).

  • Sandy February 7, 2010, 12:05 pm

    I’m a Christian..I believe in God,and pray through out my day..I was raised in a bible based Church,but in High School my parent’s tried a religous science center~and I had lot’s of mixed messages concerning the whole thing..confusing..

    I feel everyone has a right to their own path in life..it’s not up to me to save the world or convert everyone to my belief’s..from everyone’s so called “belief’s”,there are always a few crazy’s out there..who do horrible thing’s according to what they believe..frankly their just NUT’S!

    I’m so glad your Mom wasn’t at Church that day..how scary and life changing!!!

    I work in a nursing home, and pray that in the end of everyone’s life,they are at peace in whatever they choose to believe in their life..
    Glad you’re having fun at your Mom’s!!

  • kirsten February 7, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Wow thank God your mom wasn’t at church that day, that is so scary!!! I’m not religious at all but I am kind of spiritual.

  • Caitlin February 7, 2010, 12:13 pm

    oh my goodness-that is scary!

    I am a Christian and have attended church every Sunday since I was a baby. I feel very blessed that I have grown up going to church, because it has now become such a great part of my life.

    On a side note..whenever I am stressed out or having a difficult time, I choose to pray. I always wonder what people do that do not believe in a a higher power. I don’t know if I could handle that.

  • Mary (Food Fit & Fun) February 7, 2010, 12:14 pm

    hahaha your mom is hilarious with that fruit person! I love pancakes & pomegranates. I never tried pomegranates in pancakes though!

    I am not religious…I never go to church. However, I do have faith.

  • Juli D. February 7, 2010, 12:34 pm

    I am a very spiritual agnostic – I don’t believe the existence of God(s) is something that can be proven or disproven, but I believe in souls, spirits, energy, positive thinking, etc. Currently I do not practice a particular religion, but I have in the past and may in the future depending on my needs and experiences. My main spiritual/religious phrase to follow for life is simply the Golden Rule: “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You.”

  • Megan February 7, 2010, 12:36 pm

    aww, her fruit lady is sooo adorable! lol only a mom could make something that cute.

    I was raised in a faith-based environment and I consider myself a devout Christian, but I think growing up and seeing all of the hypocrisy in my church (and churches in general) has led me to be far less judgmental of other religions/faiths/lifestyles. I’m really thankful that I can maintain my faith and still be accepting and tolerant of people who are totally different from me.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) February 7, 2010, 12:37 pm

    I was raised in the church. I found my own denomination of Christian faith that I enjoyed in college and I’m now a pastor. It was a calling to me and not just a job. It is part of my faith to be a leader in teaching others.

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats February 7, 2010, 12:42 pm

    that banana lady is a hoot!!! 🙂 I grew up going to church every Sunday, went on retreats, and did Vacation Bible School every summer. Then in high school I learned the priest who baptized me molested a little boy 🙁 That really hurt my view of the church… i just believe that everyone needs to be the best they can be and everything will somehow work itself out in the end. 🙂 Hopefully one day I can get back into the religious swing of things. Great post!

  • Maria Ann February 7, 2010, 12:50 pm

    I was raised Catholic and I am still a practicing Catholic. I even walked in the snow to get to church this morning!

    My faith is very important to me. 🙂

  • Leah @ L4L February 7, 2010, 1:00 pm

    I was raised Lutheran but am not at all religious. I don’t agree with organized religion but can see why people like it. I think being spiritual is different than being religious. And I think that’s what I am. 😀

  • Tay February 7, 2010, 1:06 pm

    LOL to your mom’s little lady!! Too cute.

    I was raised going to church every week, but as we got older, we eventually started going only on major holidays (Christmas & Easter). Once I got to school, I went through phases where I would go on my own, but I hate to say that training and long runs began to take over my Sunday mornings :-/ I am a spiritual person, and I definitely am religious in ways. However, I don’t like the idea of feeling pressured and “forced” to go to church if I really don’t want to. I don’t want to go and dread it the whole time.

  • Cat February 7, 2010, 1:24 pm

    I grew up Mormon! My parents weren’t very zealous when I was younger but it has increased over the years. I stopped believing when I was about 14 due to the limitations a very patriarchal world can have on a girl! I knew that my role in life wasn’t to simply get married and knock out a bunch of babies. Religion was the cause of a lot of breakdowns in my family (none of my 4 siblings believe either), and as such it’s hard to not tie the two together and have some resentments whether they are fair or not.

    So yeah, I’m very spiritual and feel that my religion is in the trees and oceans — preferably on the California coast 😉 But my interest in organized religion in my own life is gone, mostly because I don’t need life choices presented to me as non-negotiable. I’d like to make those choices myself thank you very much! Living in San Francisco, most of my friends are also not religious, but plenty of my friends back home are and I have zero problems with that. Whatever floats your boat and makes YOU happy is the most important.

  • kay February 7, 2010, 1:31 pm

    oh pancakes – they make the BEST breakfast!!

    that is so scary to hear about the incident at the church!! glad that your mom skipped going that day.

  • FoodCents February 7, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Ziggy Marley’s “Love is my Religion” … great song:)

    Mother Earth in where I find my spiritual side, mixed with the morals and idea of “treat others as you wish to be treated” which my parents instilled in their children.

    The history of different religions is fanscinating, to me, but the way in which religion is often played out in modern society makes little sense to me.

    I love the diveristy that your mother has in her life!!!

  • Lisa February 7, 2010, 1:41 pm

    Good Question to ask:
    Yes, I’m a Christian….I actually am a Paid full time Pastor at a PAOC Church.
    I was brought up in the church but it wasn’t forced. I left the church through my teen years and when i was 18 I realized the love of God in my life and my calling.
    I’m now 26 and have ben on staff at this church for 5 years!
    I have a Degree in theology and could never be convinced of anything but a God in heaven who hears our cries and answers our prayers 😉


  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] February 7, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Pom pancakes – nom nom. I gotta switch up my tradition banana ‘cakes once in a while.

  • Tina February 7, 2010, 1:49 pm

    I am definitely a spiritual person. It is a huge part of my life and I could not even begin to fathom what my life would be like without my faith. I battled with depression, and being brought to an understanding of faith and counsel of that basis is the sole reason I overcame what I did.

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner February 7, 2010, 2:01 pm

    That is an amazing story, I’m not religious in any way so I’m just happy your mom was safe!

  • Wendy February 7, 2010, 2:03 pm

    I was born, raised, and still am a Christian who attends church regularly (though I don’t think a person’s faith can be judged by their church attendance or lack thereof). Faith in the Triune God (Father, Son/Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit) is something that comes easily to me, and always has.

    I wish I had the words to more fully describe my faith, because it seems like there are so many people who are confused & conflicted about who God is and what it means to be a Christian. The God I know is loving, kind, compassionate, and forgiving, and my faith brings me great comfort in this world filled with sorrow and pain.

  • Kt F @ ThroughTheFinish February 7, 2010, 2:12 pm

    I was raised Catholic, even went to Catholic school — grade, high, and 3 years of college! — for most of my life. However, I’d consider myself an agnostic deist… I don’t understand G/god, but think there is some higher power out there.
    Oddly, it’s science courses I take that convince me of this. For example, just studying the human body right now in Anatomy makes spontaneous or unplanned creation seem crazy to me. I don’t see how something as highly evolved as our bodies could exist without some help! So many ways they could (and do…) go wrong! But that’s definitely just me.
    I also agree that extremism is always bad, and the negative power of religion affects our world greatly. But… at the same time, faith helps millions live their day to day lives with a purpose. Can’t judge others for having a reason to live.

  • laura February 7, 2010, 2:24 pm

    I consider myself a spiritual person, but not a church goer anymore – i was married to a minister for 15 years and figure I got a lifetime of church already 🙂

  • Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. February 7, 2010, 2:45 pm

    I find expressions of faith really uncomfortable. I had a hard time at my grandparent’s funerals because people would say things like, “he’s in a better place now,” or “God’s holding him”. I have learned not to say anything when people make these comments. They say them to comfort themselves as much as me. Who am I to deny other people’s comfort.

  • Run Sarah February 7, 2010, 2:48 pm

    I am Christian and very spiritual but dont belong to a church at this time. Your moms banana lady made me smile 🙂

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 7, 2010, 2:48 pm

    Thank goodness your Mom skipped church that day!!

  • laura dishes February 7, 2010, 2:58 pm

    I love your mom’s fruit lady! It’s so cute.

    I was raised Catholic and we went to church every Sunday. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve kind of taken a step back from it and don’t go every week. Sometimes, church confuses me (like when the sermon is about abortion, going to church more, or other beliefs that Catholics are supposed to have & follow) and other times, I feel a sense of togetherness.

  • Jess February 7, 2010, 3:10 pm

    I was raised athiest I guess, if that’s possible. I explored some religions in my teens, mostly Tibetan Buddhism, but I soon realized that religion was not something I could be a part of. The more I learned about how religion was at the root of so much of humanity’s problems, the more it enraged me how antiquated we still are.

    I understand why people are religious but I see it as a bit of a cop out. Of course we’d all like to think that things are designed by a higher power and that when we die we go to Heaven, et al. but the truth is far more profound. It’s terrible and scary and I live with it every day but it’s better than telling myself some story just so I can appease my fears.

    I was still raised in a very loving family with good values and I’ve always been a very empathetic, giving, kind person. My strong moral compass comes entirely from my own views on humanity and ethics. Nothing bothers me more than when people think God is needed to guide human behaviour to right and wrong. If we want to have faith in something I think we should really put more of that faith in ourselves.

  • John February 7, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I was put through the Roman Catholic school board however if it wasn’t for school I didn’t attend church as my parents didn’t take us. So no I’m not religous. Though if I’m wrong and there is a god he’ll judge me and I don’t think there’s too many things I have to worry about 🙂

  • Brynn February 7, 2010, 3:12 pm

    I just got a Garmin and am technologically challenged. How do I see the mile splits? Do I need to set something up before my run? Sorry, random question among the religion talk.

  • Joy February 7, 2010, 4:19 pm

    I believe that there is a God that knows me intimately and loves me(and you)unconditionally. He loves me so much, in fact that he chose to shed his perfect blood so that I might have the joy of knowing him as my Father and the promise of eternal life. On another note, loved the fruit lady – I’m inspired to create some characters of my own to entertain my kids!

    • Jayce February 7, 2010, 5:27 pm

      Yes! 🙂

  • Jen February 7, 2010, 4:28 pm

    I’m actually a Unitarian as well. I was raised Presbyterian but needed something more liberal and open minded once I got to college. I love being UU. As for specific beliefs, it varies day by day.

  • Jayce February 7, 2010, 5:23 pm

    I have a relationship with Jesus Christ! My Christian faith is the most important part of my life. I had a terrible childhood and have been through a lot of grief, but I have found love and grace and peace in Jesus. I believe it is only through Jesus that we find eternal life.

    It makes me so sad to know that so many of you have been hurt by Christians. In the Bible, Jesus instructs us to love Him and others and to share the Good News, but nowhere does it say to throw it in people’s faces and try to force them into acceptance. I am very open about my faith, because that is what I have been called to and I honestly just can’t help but tell and show people the Truth I know. In living and growing into a more Christ-like person, I try to love people as they are and share my faith once I have actually established a relationship. Jesus was a humble servant of people, and that is how I strive to be.

    That being said, I pray that any person who has been turned off by Christianity because they felt hated and not loved by a Christian will continue to search out the Truth or will be found by another who can share the Good News with love.

    • Jayce February 7, 2010, 5:35 pm

      To add to that:
      The Church is not a place, but actually comprised of the body of Christ – all Christians on earth who are living and working for the Lord. In the book of Acts, however, we are called to be a part of the body of believers for its many benefits (learning, accountability, fellowship, etc.), so my husband and I are members of a church. It is called The Crossing Church and can be found online at crossingonline.org – you can even watch sermons online. 🙂

    • gwen February 7, 2010, 7:57 pm

      Amen Jayce! Thanks for taking the time to lovingly spread the good news.

    • Jessica February 8, 2010, 9:49 pm

      Well put, Jayce.

      I pray for all of those thirsty for spiritual Truth that they will one day know the peace and redemption that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

      This website gives a great overview of the choice we all must make:

  • Cindy February 7, 2010, 5:37 pm

    What a great post. I wasn’t raised anything. My mom was raised Catholic and my dad Protestant. They decided we’d be raised Protestant. That meant nothing happened at all. I didn’t even know what Easter was until 6th grade. My bff is Jewish and I spent a lot of time growing up w/ her to the point I actually explored converting. Then in college I was sort of not into it, and didn’t really think much of it, even though I’ve always known there was some void in my life.

    Then I met a guy and he pretty much “forced” me to become Christian. I was open to it, but also was scared not to do what he wanted [he was/is a Nazi] b/c he was so upset that I wanted to be Jewish and had been with Jews before. I ended up really getting into Catholicism and went through RCIA and became Catholic in 2001.

    It was still a point of contention and a lot of things happened and we are not together anymore, thank goodness. I still consider myself Catholic, but I haven’t done a very good job of it lately. I had worked at a Catholic school for 2 years and when they fired me and refused to let me say goodbye to the kids, my anger carried over to how I practiced my religion [which was not practicing].

    I’ve thought about looking into other Christian denominations to see if any of them fit me where I am right now, but I don’t really know where to start.

  • Lauren February 7, 2010, 6:53 pm

    I wholeheartedly believe in God, I believe that he is LOVE and loves us more than we could ever, ever possibly understand. I think he is the giver of life, and that he gave us Christ out of this incredible love, so that we can have life, and a true relationship with God. I think our sin separates us from a perfect God, so Jesus is our bridge back to Him. I don’t think there is anything that I can do to win God’s approval or “earn my way to Heaven.” I completely trust that faith in Jesus is what saves me-an amazing gift-but that the good I do comes from a desire to return my love God, and to love people. I know from personal experience that life doesn’t become perfect when someone trusts in Christ, but there is a peace that I have that truly comes from him. Caitlin, thanks for opening up so much dialog. I hope that others could see that those who have faith are not all judgmental, ignorant, etc.

    • Caitlin February 7, 2010, 7:16 pm

      thank you, too! it was fun to read everyone’s comments.

  • Michelle@eatingjourney February 7, 2010, 7:22 pm

    I would be nowhere without my faith. It’s what guides me, gives me peace in my heart, the feeling of satisfaction and grace within my life.

    I have no desire to ‘bible thump’ people. Faith/spirituality/belief is a personal journey and to be honest…I respect and admire those who use it to advance themselves and others in a positive way.

    Yes, religion can be used to promote VERY negative things. Yes, calling myself a Christian can be counter-cultural, come with labeling. I get all that. However, the energy in my heart when I pray is something which I can’t explain.

  • Niki @ Niki's Neverending Adventure February 7, 2010, 8:02 pm

    I am a Christian and gave a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!! I strive to live my life everyday for my Lord and Savior! I believe that God sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins and save us from them, and if we believe and trust our lives to Him then He will prepare a special place in Heaven for us. It’s really an amazing feeling to know that my God is ALWAYS there for me!!

  • Jessica February 7, 2010, 9:22 pm

    Have questions about who Jesus is and the authenticity of the Bible? The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel is a great resource for those interested in learning more about the Christian faith.

    • Jayce February 7, 2010, 10:45 pm

      Yes! Also, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis is a good one.

    • Joy February 9, 2010, 2:54 pm

      Both of these are wonderful recommendations. God made us with a “God-sized void that only He can fill”. Seek Him!

  • Allie February 7, 2010, 9:23 pm

    I was raised Catholic (elementary, high school, and even my university were Catholic based), however, I would classify myself more as a Christian than Catholic. I believe everyone is entitled to their own views – but as was mentioned earlier – there are certain elements of the Catholic faith, I just don’t really support. (ie. I support same-sex marriage, I believe in the right to choose etc).

    Obviously (considering my educational choices), I understand the Catholic faith and have no problems with people who are huge advocates for it – in fact, my best friends is one of them. I just believe that my life is what I choose to make of it – whether or not I’m Catholic (or any other denomination) does not factor into this, in my opinion. That being said, I will probably choose to raise my future children Catholic (mind you, I hope the church is a little more liberal in its views by then), but I will let them decide in the end what they want to believe.

  • lindsay February 7, 2010, 9:36 pm

    Oh Caitlin, how scary! I remember that day – I’m a Unitarian and we were all so worried. I’m so glad that your mom wasn’t there. I love being a Unitarian – it’s such a warm religion. I’ve met all of my lifelong friends through various UU churches and we all agree that growing up in our amazing churches shaped us into the people that we are.

  • JJ February 7, 2010, 9:53 pm

    I have read several of the comments but not all. Many people are turned off by “religion”, which to me is man-made, often emphasizing a lot of “do’s and don’ts”. What Christ came to do is know us. That’s all He wants. He has our best interests at heart, and that is why He does spell out in His Word, the Bible, a better way of living. I encourage/challenge those who think the Bible is not reality, to first read it. I think many people write it off but have never read it. It is still the #1 Best Seller of all time.

    What has helped me is FINALLY taking the time to actually study the Bible. I never made much quality time for it. But as I have studied it more in depth in the past five years, I am learning more about God’s plan for us. I always struggled studying on my own, so I found a non-denominational Bible study called Bible Study Fellowship (or BSF) which is world-wide and free, and teaches the Bible, period. It does not talk about anyone’s church, in fact discourages it. Its purpose is to teach the Bible. Here is a website to learn more: http://www.bsfinternational.org There are classes literally all over the world. Again, I challenge you to read/study the Bible for yourself and then decide. It is the only book in history to make such claims and worth investigating, as it can change your life. It has mine. It is NOT at all about religion…it is all about a relationship.

    One last thought, though the Bible does teach faith in Christ, it is NOT a blind faith. There are plenty of evidences that point to the historical aspects of the Bible and Christ. The above mentioned Case for Christ book is good, as is Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell (who by the way was very much a skeptic and set out to DISPROVE the Bible, and in his research, ended up realizing there was so much truth in it he had to accept it and believe).

    • Whit February 8, 2010, 10:47 am

      Well, I just typed out a huge comment [below] but I could have cut it short by saying ‘what she said’.

  • Juani February 8, 2010, 9:49 am

    If being religious means going to church regularly and reading the Bible,then I guess I’m not really religious.But I do believe in God,although I also sometimes doubt in Him when something bad happens.But on most occasions,after I’ve had time to think about it,something good usually happens because of the bad experiences,and there is often a good reason for the hardship.

  • Whit February 8, 2010, 10:45 am

    I know I am way late in joining in this, but my internet has been down all weekend. 🙁 booo.

    I am a Christian, and yes, I go to church every Sunday. I have all my life, but I go because I want to, and not because I was raised that way and feel I ‘have’ to. I honestly think that I get something wonderful out of every service that I go to every week.

    On the other hand, I do not think that you HAVE to go to church, or that any religion is the ‘right’ one or that you have to follow a bunch of ‘rules’.

    The church I attend is non-denominational, in fact the name of it is ‘family church’ and that is what it is. Just a big family. I love it. I also volunteer with a Christian ministry every week, and it is a mix of young people throughout our city of all different religious backgrounds coming together for the greater good. It’s awesome.

    So in conclusion, I think what I am trying to say is yes, I believe in God, yes, I go to church. No, I don’t think you have to go to church, and no, I don’t think that your religious beliefs in any way ever make you ‘better’ than someone else. At the core, we are all the same and we all deserve to be loved and treated equally.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie February 8, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Holy cow, that sounds sooo scary! What a miracle that she decided to skip that day! Even if she wasn’t hurt I know that would be really traumatic. Some people are just crazy!

    I don’t agree with the Unitarian Denomination but I think it’s awesome that they worship here in the US. Freedom of religion is a beautiful thing and I appreciate it to the fullest. I’m so glad she’s safe.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) February 8, 2010, 6:11 pm

    i was raised that way, but really found it for my own in college. I go to Watermark Community church in Dallas, but one of the reasons we moved up to Colorado was the start Watermark here. by far one of the most rewarding things i’ve ever done 🙂

  • jenny (green food diaries) February 8, 2010, 11:56 pm

    that fruit lady made me laugh!

    i’m definitely not a religious person, but since becoming much more health conscious (anorexia, bulimia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic tension headaches! yay!), i do believe i am a spiritual person. i believe that humans are connected to the world in an unexplainable way.

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