Trip Report
MY SPIRITUAL TRIP THROUGH LIFE
Saturday February 26, 2011 2:24pm
Hello, I am the Proud Dad of Paul Humphrey AKA "Disaster Master" I have been impressed with the Spirituality of many of Paul's Posts and those of his many friends who have been accompanying him on his journey as he battles Melanoma Cancer. I decided to post this trip report as a place where anyone who wants to post their thoughts on the Spiritual aspects of their life can share them so we can all learn from each other. This IS NOT a place to PREACH, ARGUE or CONDEMN anyones beliefs, thoughts or opinions. I hope it will be a place of sharing learning and connecting with the Spiritual as each of us has come to understand and experience "IT". As I share my journey I hope you will share yours.

David Humphrey AKA Pastor Dave, also known to other as Rev. David G. Humphrey but don't let that scare you. I began my Journey without any awareness of Spirituality, became a Drinking Cussing Atheist in the Truck Tire Business and then had a "Spiritual Awakening" or "Conversion" that led me into 40 years of ministry in and outside of church pastorial ministry. Like so many other types of climbing I have fallen suffered injuries and have recovered enough to keep on trying to figure it all out. I have not arrived I am just reaching for that next finger pocket or toe hold as I continue my spiritual journy-climb. I am not a "preacher" just a "learner" seeking further enlightenment and willing to share my and your spiritual journey.


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Pastor Dave
About the Author
Pastor Dave is a social climber from Yucca Valley, CA.

Comments
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bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Feb 26, 2011 - 02:36pm PT
Cool post, Sir.

I'll add more later. And I do pray for and wish the best for Disater Master. God bless!

I am a spiritual person. And I don't mind sharing it. Those who choose to ignore it can, just like any other post.

Rock on and God bless!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Feb 26, 2011 - 02:40pm PT
I am an athiest who knows Paul and Ruth. I am tremendously impressed by Paul's approach to his illness and treatment. He is a most impressive person and an inspiration to many people.
I don't believe in a God/God's but I have, as I believe we all do, a spiritual side to my life. The Natural World is my spiritual foundation and from that bounty I wish for abundant, healing energy to flow to Paul and Ruth.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 26, 2011 - 02:52pm PT
donini, I have more respect for people like you who are an "atheist" than for people who hide behind a phoney profession of a religion they violate with everything they do. Yes we all have a spiritual component in our lives. Unfortunately we too often let labels like "christian, buddist, muslum, and atheist keep us from talking openly and lovingly to each other about the universal spirtual side of our lives.
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  Feb 26, 2011 - 03:03pm PT
Nice words. It would be nice to be able to speak openly about one's journey through life based on experience and honest insight into spiritual matters. I think one of the big problems is how various people use the language involved to describe these things. Certain words automatically have bad connotations in some peoples minds that limit the depth of discourse.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 26, 2011 - 03:06pm PT
Awesome Post Pastor Dave!

I am a definite agnostic (a contradiction if there ever was one...:)
I definitely believe in the spiritual side to life, and like Donini gain my spirtuality from my interaction with nature. I guess if I had to pick a belief system I most closely affiliate with it would be Budhism, for it's dedication to peace and meditation.

Your son is a beautiful human being, I am constantly amazed by his observations and the depth of his writing and soul. I wish both Paul and Ruth all the best in their journey!

Best
-Ezra
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Feb 26, 2011 - 03:18pm PT
Well, I have some strong strong thoughts on this matter of spirituality, Atheistic rightiousness, and Buddhist peace...

But I'll keep them to myself. This is Pastor Dave's thread.

Peace and love, ya'll!
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Feb 26, 2011 - 03:25pm PT
I really like the direction you are going with this Pastor Dave. Sprituality is really a personal journey. I was raised Episcopal, but lean more toward Zen and Taoism now. I think this comes from natural world being my temple. Thanks for posting up.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Feb 26, 2011 - 03:31pm PT
I think this comes from natural world being my temple. Thanks for posting up.

I am sooooo itching to get in on this...especially with a 'methodist' pastor.

I just don't want to pollute his son's thread with crap. You are either religious, somewhat spritual, or atheistic IMO. You can't play all sides of the board and be expected to be taken seriously.

Can You? I think not.

(can of worms, open)
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Feb 26, 2011 - 03:43pm PT
Good topic!

I personally believe that no matter how faithful, or what, we all go through times of doubt and questioning. I vacillate between a somewhat Christian belief and agnosticism, with a bit of Buddhism thrown in for spice. I don't see the need for a church or clergy, that each of us can spiritually reach out and make something of a connection with the universe.

It's just that some individuals need more structure and a "pathway to enlightenment," so to speak, than others.
Bad Acronym

climber
Little Death Hollow
  Feb 26, 2011 - 03:53pm PT
Love Paul's posts and his invincible spirit/ sense of humor.

No, we don't mind sharing our personal beliefs and experiences. But fundamentalist spam becomes a source of great amusement (or ire, depending on your perspective) around here.

Thanks for introducing yourself, Dave.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
  Feb 26, 2011 - 03:56pm PT
first there is a mountain.
then there is no mountain.
then there is.


Saint Donovan.

Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 26, 2011 - 04:21pm PT
To All: Some of the most imprtant lessons I have learned on my spiritual journey are: There are more people who are not in churches because of the people (including preachers/clergy) who ARE in churches than any other reason. There is a great difference between "churchianity" and spirituality. I am not anti-church, just picky about the ones I attend or work in/with/belong to. Before I committed to become the pastor of my last church I shared with them that I have concluded that churches only have two basic problems, the Pastors and the congregation. We came to an "understanding" that I would work real hard at not being a "problem Pastor" and they would work hard at not being a "problem congregation" so we could concentrate on leaening to love each other and those who were not part of our church. It was the most rewarding ministry I ever had.

Same is true of all human organizations, two problems, leaders and followers. I think I am drawn to this site by the fact that it is "leaderless" i feel a great sense of equality and respect. Hope this resonates with others, if so, POST AWAY!
yoginigirl

Social climber
Eureka
  Feb 26, 2011 - 04:25pm PT
Pastor Dave I have heard so much about you over the years from Paul, it would be nice to meet you someday. You have quite an amazing son, very true to himself and ever the inspiration. He was always showing me that I need to keep on keeping on no matter my limitations and I am ever so grateful that he is my friend.
I was raised without a religion or a spirituality and have found at least my spirituality through yoga. Lately I have really been into OSHO, the spiritually incorrect mystic. I love when people are just themselves, regardless of beliefs. I saw last night on a movie called 'Freakonomics' how easy it is to hide corruption behind spiritual beliefs, because of its reflection of purity. Time has shown us how true this is. I think the best we can do is live true to our inner self.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 26, 2011 - 04:44pm PT
Bluering: Not trying to play all sides just interested in all points of view and experiences. Come on in, let the worms out and let's see where they go! I only speak for myself, not the "methodists" I ministered in 4 churches, 2 independent non-denominational and two methodist. John wesly, founder of "methodism" said "the world is my parrish" Thats what I want this thread to be, a place for all the "voices" in the world to be heard. I promise, I (and hopefully others) will comment but I will not argue. No one has to agree with me or anyone else. I guess the key is respect for each other as equally valuable human beings.BTW someone mentioned "fundamentalist" or something like that which gives certain words imbedded meanings. For a time I associated with the IFCA (Independent Fundamental Churches of America) I Came to say the IFCA stands for "I fight Christians Always) still have a few friends from those days but have moved a long way down the road and found a deeper more open spirituality since then.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
  Feb 26, 2011 - 07:02pm PT

"Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything."

— Rainer Maria Rilke
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Feb 26, 2011 - 06:16pm PT
It's a big universe. I don't understand why there is a common disconnect witht the concept of atheists with a spiritual component. Seems natural to me. I'll think a more about how to talk about this.

Pastor Dave, are you a climber as well?

Like somebody might have told me, "label are for sissies" to hide behind, anyway. They do have there uses in 'getting at' concepts.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
  Feb 26, 2011 - 06:29pm PT
Pastor Dave, Thanks for braving the depths of Supertopo, which can be exhausting at times, but mostly, is enrichening.

I am a Christian man, and have been enjoying following Paul's journey. He has been, and remains in my prayers.

Spirituality is truly a wonderful thing, and comes in so many forms. I love the church, but I also love the church of the outdoors, as do many here. Sometimes, out on some peak or climb somewhere, I feel closer to God than I ever have.

My latest spiritual path has been one of repentance, forgiveness and healing of a friendship that went south 10+ years ago. Through the crisis of a health issue with my friend, my heart has been turned to compassion, understanding, and a desire to just be used of God as a servant to my friend's needs. You can read about it here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1408312/Redeeming-the-time-a-quest

I've taken many journeys in my life....this one is special.

Thanks for posting up PD!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Feb 26, 2011 - 06:34pm PT
hey there say, pastor dave, welcome to supertopo...

may the trail here be full many branches for you to enjoy:


Credit: neebee



:)
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Feb 26, 2011 - 06:42pm PT
Like so many other types of climbing I have fallen suffered injuries and have recovered enough to keep on trying to figure it all out. I have not arrived I am just reaching for that next finger pocket or toe hold as I continue my spiritual journy-climb.

so dave--are you a climber? or is that metaphorical?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Feb 26, 2011 - 07:50pm PT
My full Yosemite nickname is "Praise the LORD and Pass the Pitons" Pete. I'm a basic B-flat Believer, I think I might be a Bapticostal.

I believe in Jesus and thank God he sent him to save my sorry ass. I might be the worst example of a Christian ever [if I ever went back to church, I'd need a sign that says "HELLO my name is Pete"] and am so thankful that I can live under grace and not the law. God is cool and has saved me more times than I can count. He loves me in spite of me being me, just the way I am. I know my way around the bible really really well, and consider it a handbook for living, and I believe in living by faith and not religion.

I suffered through the divorce from hell, and I believe God and his Spirit continues to work in me, doing things for me that I couldn't possibly do myself, like give me a heart of compassion I didn't know I had. I had not seen my kids in about ten years, and had pretty much given up on seeing them again [shame on me, o he of little faith!] but God knows stuff. Recently my son and I got back together, and we are the best of friends and have so much fun together. I believe in forgiveness and reconciliation, and I pray for reconciliation with my daughter one day, too.

Hang in there, Paul and Dave - you are richly blessed.

In Him,
PTL and PTPP
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Feb 26, 2011 - 08:22pm PT
Pastor dave, Sir, I have nothing but respect, but i feel an inordinate weakness for peace over war in you, Not bad!

Hold on........my son just came in.....
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 26, 2011 - 08:57pm PT
I am enjoying the comments. Havent mastered all the "tricks" to posting yet but will answer questions as I can. ??? Am I climber? All I have done is some boldering. I am using spiritual climbing in a metaphorical sense. When I talk about falling and being injured it is in the spiritual sense. For me wounds to my spirit are the ones which hurt the most and are the most difficult to heal. On the other hand, I really can't compare any pain I have suffered with the phisical, emotional and spiritual Pain that Paul has gone through and Mastered so magnificently. I stand in awe of my son like so many others who have posted.

I take the statement:
"i feel an inordinate weakness for peace over war in you, Not bad!"

as a compliment. Yes I yearn for peace over war on every level of human existance. However when my life was threatened by a convicted Murderer who was out on Parole and beatting his wife because she did not "submit to him" and I counseled her to escape with their son while she could, I did pack heat for several months and was fully prepared to use it to protect myself, my family and my congregation. I guess that disqualifies me from being a pacifist on the scale of a Ghandi. Fortunately that felon returned to prison for violating his parole and I gave the pistol back to it's owner.

My additions to this trip report may be spotty because I hope to spend some quality time with Paul next week and I have a lot of "things" to clear off my desk and schedule before I hit the road.

Keep the comments comming I will read them all!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
  Feb 26, 2011 - 11:37pm PT
Thank you for this TR.

I have a story too long to share right now. Just want to say jesus is my best friend. We have been through a long journey. The climb has been incredibly challenging at times, there were several crux's that almost took me out. But my best friend climbs well and hard. He's also an awesome belayer and talked me through my toughest leads.

Resting together after some of the most difficult pitches, we've had some great heart to heart talks. I had so many questions.

On matters of the spiritual he encouraged me to simply love God with all my heart and my neighbor as myself. If you love God with all your heart you'll find him. If you love your neighbor (everyone is your neighbor) the world as we know it today would be a whole new place.

grace, peace, joy and love from lynne
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 27, 2011 - 12:22am PT
Just glad others relate to the metaphore. Thanks for accepting me as a climber.
Loved the picture of Jesus as your friend and fellow climber. Jesus climbed a very high hill for us.
go-B

climber
  Feb 27, 2011 - 12:54am PT
To me there's no one like Jesus, He's the mirror of God, and I just stand in awe of everything He said and did!
And when I don't get it, I can still trust Him completely! Paul is a rock around here, and pray for him!
Macronut

Trad climber
Fresno, Ca
  Feb 27, 2011 - 01:31am PT
Pastor Dave, Sorry to hear about Paul. I work with cancer patients routinely being a physical therapist on an oncology floor for years. I am also an avid follower of Christ and know that God is sovereign. I wonder what He would post on a thread like this? I wonder if He is a fundamentalist? Those who are well versed in the bible (Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth) and understand theology. I believe they know the answer to these questions? But it seems that is not the theme of this thread. May God grant you and Paul the peace beyond all understanding that only He can and let us all not be anxious in anything of this world, but go to Him in prayer for everything. I know for me it is a whole lot easier said then done. Well thats my two sense and Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Belay on! God
enjoimx

Trad climber
SLO
  Feb 27, 2011 - 04:36am PT
OSHO

I have read a lot of OSHO, and while I use to think he was enlightened and worth "following" so to speak, I now have changed my mind about him almost completely. If you read about his personal life, you will find that he too, is somewhat hypocritical in his actions, and has contributed to much hurt and sorrow in people's lives. He is definately controversial. Tom Robbins said he was the most dangerous man since Christ.

Cheers
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Mar 2, 2011 - 11:51am PT
I've lived in many different countries with people from several different religions and I've observed there are good people and bad people everywhere. I've also seen that every religion has good and unique insights and some less inspiring ones. In the western world I have also seen a lot of atheists and agnostics who demonstrated more ethical behavior than the average religious person.

It seems to me that the Hindus have it right when they say that God appears in different places to different people under many names and forms and that each great religion on earth has some portion of the truth but all of them together understand only a part of the eternal and infinite God.

It is our duty to find our own path and be true to it.

hossjulia

Trad climber
Carson City, NV
  Feb 27, 2011 - 12:39pm PT
well said Jan.

My own spiritual journey has been a lifelong one, never really felt separated from the greater power that is. I have had some big turning points in the past few years, and for some reason my 50th birthday was like a switch being thrown. I have let go of a lot of baggage, with the really heavy ones at the bottom being stubborn to go, but I feel a whole lot lighter than I ever have.

Disaster Masters writings are remarkable. The insight and retrospection he puts forth for all of us in such an honest and revealing way takes my breath away. I think of him, Ruth and their journey all the time, and wish them very well. Now I think I know where he gets it.

Nice TR Pastor Dave, tfpu.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Feb 27, 2011 - 01:36pm PT
Hi again, Pastor Dave.

Maybe we got off on the wrong foot. I am strictly raised Catholic who was 'led astray' by bad behavior, drugs, and that sort of thing. I don't really regret it, but I would encourage others to do differently. Maybe...

I think having done those things and reflecting back on them has actually made me a stronger person. A journey. I have a feeling that I have more in common with you than I initially thought.

My whole problem is confusing religion and atheism. It's a contadiction. I have no problems with atheists. Many are good people. And I also 'hate' fundamentalist Christians that are preachy about everything you do.

Jesus was a wise man. He welcomed everybody and criticized few. I am full of criticism and hence, a lesser man.

God bless ya, man!


EDIT: You are a welcome voice here, in my opinion. Stick around. Some people do not like these threads, but I welcome them. It IS ON TOPIC for those whole have a journey to pursue.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Feb 27, 2011 - 01:51pm PT
i looked paul up at josh a few weeks ago. we had a nice chat, driving into town and having dinner with his friends. paul is a bit of a black sheep. i felt right at home about that. i'm about as black as a sheep can become. (go away, locker.)

if you read through paul's melanoma thread, you'll come across a posting i made which felt like a real connection, on several counts. it's a rather different one than the churchgoer's view of the universe, but it works for me and i think it's particularly important to assert it for paul, who has been looking death in the face for quite awhile. while we encourage his struggle, we wouldn't be good friends if we didn't try to broach this subject. i don't think his dad's or his brother's points of view work for him.
MH2

climber
  Feb 27, 2011 - 01:59pm PT
Macronut asks
" I wonder what He would post on a thread like this?"


I like to think He would post exactly what has been posted on this thread, no more, no less. As we would be His creation and express His work.
go-B

climber
  Feb 27, 2011 - 06:08pm PT


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes....'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand

The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car..

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children..

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Please share this with someone you care about. I JUST DID!

LIFE ISN'T ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS...... IT'S LEARNING HOW TO DANCE IN THE RAIN




Kind of cool, but of course God has to be the jar! And coffee could replace the beer!
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:15pm PT
To Tony Bird, Loved your post and Paul's response on his Mellanoma Thread. I may be considered a "heritic" by some as I have Never tried to impose any form of "orthodoxy" on myself or anyone else, Least of all Paul. I am totally O K with Paul because he is O K with himself and what he has figured out so far in his journey through life. I rejoice in the differences and the commonality that we have as humans. I stated this "Trip Report" because I am still learning. I only have two basic beliefs: 1: Nothing that we use in our daily lives came into existence without an Intelligent Designer,so there must be an Intellent Designer of the Universe and what is called "Natural Law." 2: My careful consideration of the eye-witness accounts of Jesus Ressurection are sufficent to convince ME to try my best to follow His teachings and example which he boiled down to: Love God and your neighbor as yourself. In fact, I consider "Doubting Thomas' to be my "Hero" because he wanted to see the proof that others told him of. Honest doubt and questioning beats shallow, hypocritical proffessions of belief as far as I am concerned. I like the AA statement "God as you understand "Him" (not so sure God is a "Him" but language is limited.) All the rest of religion(s) consists of the codiffication of the way various people understand what they have found to "work" for them. I think it is this aspect of my belief "system" that works for Paul. Ultimately something is not "TRUE" because I believe it, nor is it "UNTRUE" because I don't believe it. Whar IS, IS, what come after this life Is what comes after this life. Whether that is the same or different for each individual can only be discovered by each individual after what we call "death". I guess that is why I do not feel threatened by other's beliefs, nor do I feel the need to defend or argue about what I belive which is 99% just my current level of understanding of things beyound my understanding. Don't know if that makes sense anyone else, but it works for me. Must say, I have no agreement with those who THINK they have it all figured out and have closed their fist around their understand/theology so they can "beat up" on others. I work on holding what I understand, the lessons I have learned so far, in an open hand and hope others will do the same on this thread. Thanks for sharring with us and look forward to your sharing as we "climb" together.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
  Feb 27, 2011 - 07:49pm PT
john hansen, your utube link....awesome. Marvin Gaye sums it up well.

I had the incredible priviledge to be a close friend to Sister Carolyn Hall, God Bless and keep her family. She was the First Lady of a church in Compton along with her husband, Pastor Larry.

The shots of the little brick and garage churches in Gaye's music/film could have been one of their's. Gifted beyond measure they gave up a real life to live the life. Real life really. A ministry to all the people that needed help of any race or color.

For several years they rented a huge "casino like bus" to bring their church members, friends and anyone really to Valley Center for Memorial Day in our Park. That way they could be sure no one would get shot, threatened etc. How incredible it was to be together as plain old humans that cared for each other.

We played games, we had pie eating contests, volleyball...oh it was sweeet. At the end of the day Brother Larry would "give us a message" and then we'd all sing together.

If we just loved our neighbor none of the scenes shown on the Marvin Gaye film clip would exist. Love and Peace, lynne
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:13pm PT
Go-B I received the golf balls in the jar analogy some time back. Love IT! the version I received was the two cups of coffee version. Thanks for sharing. Cant reply to all of you out there but appreciate everyone who contributes. I truly believe we can learn from literature, "sacred" writtings and each others personal experiences. I had a theology professor who said he had a very well developed theology but he was still looking for the "errors" in his thinking. The older I get the more comfortable I become with the mystery of it all.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:23pm PT
Bluering: Thanks for your encouragement. I did not have church upbringing, lots of alcohol during my "decade of wisdom" (15 to 25) Personal encounters with God and Christ, Devistating events since then which I may share as we journy on..... depends on what I am feeling at any given moment. Right now what I want more than anything else is some one on one time with Paul. Will either see him in LA or Santa Rosa By Friday this week. Emotions are raw right now....harder to watch my son go through this than to go through it myself..... so much love for Paul..... and Ruth.....

Climbing on.......
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:28pm PT
Dad, trying to knock me off the front page? Just kidding. One of the most (and only) religion threads I've read. Probably, 'cause I'm self-centered...

Really though, Here's a few thoughts:

My unique up-bringing with two unusual parents was an opportunity few have. The observations and lessons learned from my childhood went most of the way towards making me who I am today. I was lucky enough to have two parents who, though they divorced like so many others, did their best not to let their personal entanglements blow up the love for their family.


I took seriously the dictum, Honor your Mother and Father. I did so because I saw they honored me. Though just as, or maybe more-so, dysfunctional as any home, mine was sincere. I am a strong willed being, and could well have caused much chaos and destruction in the home if I let myself carry out all my impulses as a growing person. But I kept myself in check, out of respect, and the idea that those around longer than I may have figured some of life out.

I also saw hypocrisy, lies , greed, and other less savory things in life. Not often from my folks , though. Just those they had to deal with. I also saw contradictions in beliefs professed in church and actions lived on the streets. I spent childhood with my eyes wide open, in the middle of a sea of day to day reality, not of just my own house, but the myriad who rolled through our parsonage living room trying to figure their f*#ked up lives out.

I was sent, on my pleading request, to the Amazon in Brazil when I was 12. People thought my folks, especially Dad, was nuts to do that. I went with my Grandma, to a school on the edge of the jungle. We lived apart, I in the dorms. I got to go up river and see things my friends in Riverside only saw on TV. I hit puberty and fell love with everyone with tits. And there are a lot more of those showing in that part of the world. Carnival!

I got to work with lepers on a colony in the middle of the river. People with no arms and legs smiling and crying...” The children have come. The children have come!” We hugged them, even though some told us not to.

My conclusion? We are all the same.

I returned to high school in Ca. Who were these spoiled kids? I left early. Now on my own I felt free from my bargain with myself about my parents. It was time for me, and that might go waaay off the path they saw for me. But off I went, and at least I have lasted long enough to share some of my discoveries with my Dad, and vice versa.

Climbing has been an important part of finding myself, and feeding my sense of awe. In the end I came up with my purpose and philosophy. But I am too tired to espouse them now. More to come.

Couldn't have made it to me without a Dad who let me Be. Life is to be experienced, not dictated.

-Paul.
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
  Feb 27, 2011 - 10:09pm PT
inspiring to see so many in a self revealing mode here. Greatly appreciated.
Pastor Dave, did you know my good friend Rolf Conrad (RIP) also a Methodist minister here in the Santa Rosa/Petaluma area? He was fully engaged in the community.
MM
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 28, 2011 - 12:15am PT
Lucky Pink, Never had the pleasure but have met a lot of great Methodist and people of all kinds of beliefs. I think Paul summed up why I feel I was a successful dad and person... I let my kids be who they ARE just as I want to let everyone to let me be me. I guess there is something in our genetics that makes love to watch other people travel their own path. Sometimes they ask for my help or counsel (opinion) which I am glad to give but not to impose. I figured out early on that my children were each a unique blend and I love all of them.

BTW Paul if you check this out I know you have a cell phone....I sent it to you and pay the bill...have mercy on your old dad and call me PLEASE
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Feb 28, 2011 - 02:10am PT
The older I get the more comfortable I become with the mystery of it all.

This has become my motto of late as well. It has come to the forefront ironically by participating in all the God vs No God threads here on Supertopo. The more the rationalists attack one belief after the other, the more I feel reason is only one of many human tools. Love, beauty, and mystery, are just as important, and I don't have to know everything or be able to respond to every criticism to have faith in something bigger than both myself and reason.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Feb 28, 2011 - 01:08am PT
AWESOME thread!!!

Pastor Dave; You have one fine son.
I hope to meet and climb with him one of these days soon in JT
or Vegas where I live now.

I grew up in 29 and Yucca and went to the Babtist church on the W side of 247 going up the hill, (Just above the old Sky Drive-In.)

Your Son is always in my prayers.

My Friend Hyram still wants to meet Pauls friend, Gym Birdwell.

God Bless you Pastor Dave.
Cosmic
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Feb 28, 2011 - 09:35am PT
from wiki:

Among Classical Greeks, amazon was given a popular etymology as from a-mazos, "without breast", connected with an etiological tradition that Amazons had their right breast cut off or burnt out, so they would be able to use a bow more freely and throw spears without the physical limitation and obstruction ...

then paul, i guess you would have noticed--amazon women all have two breasts, right? i don't know how these things get started.

------


yvon chouinard often credits his parents for his success. they allowed him to pursue his interests, no matter how offbeat or unusual. in the long run, he was able to focus those interests very successfully.

i don't want to wade into another religious discussion here, but i think paul does something well. he maintains a particularly light heart in face of many disasters. i happen to think the ancient egyptians were the real beginning of western religious traditions, and it's interesting that a light heart was probably their highest spiritual ideal.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 1, 2011 - 04:42pm PT
To ALL: WoW! I am so grateful for the respectful tone everyone who has joined this discussion has shown. I do think that it is important to share our lessons, discoverie, viewpoint..whatever, without trying to IMPOSE them on others or JUDGE those who see life differently. Keep your thoughts and love flowing to Paul and everyone else and we will all discover our individual spiritual paths. Will head north tomorrow afternoon, decided to take the Toyota Corolla and Motel it if I need to rest. I have a "bad back" (surgery back in 1978) so need to stop every hour or so just to stay comfortable. I consider all of Paul's friends to be my friends as well.

Pastor Dave
yoginigirl

Social climber
Eureka
  Mar 2, 2011 - 05:31am PT
Thank you Pastor Dave for perspective.

Trust and faith that life is unfolding as it should is a lesson I learn every single moment of every single day. Trust and faith that everything will turn out just as it should without force or manipulation.

Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 2, 2011 - 11:24am PT
Next post will be from Ruth and Paul's place in Santa Rosa, CA. Going to a luncheon meeting with Marilyn in Redlands today then heading north. (takeng seperate cars) The group is called "New Women's Life" an ecclectic group of wonderful women from all walks and religous backgrounds. Marilyn has spoken to them many times over the years. I am the only male who attends regularly. Also one of a few men who belongs to AAUW (American Association of University Women) and United Methodist Women....I seem to prefer the company of women over men ... perhaps I find men tend to be to concerned with being "macho" and "in control"..... may have something todo with the fact that Paul, his brother "Father Nathan" (Episcopal Priest) and I all have STRONG WOMEN as our life partner's.... have a great day everyone... time to shut the laptop down and head out.....
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
  Mar 2, 2011 - 09:16pm PT
peace,,is where you find it ,,much like beauty,,gotta want it,,love and truth,,it will set you free,,
Aunt Helen

Social climber
Klamath Falls, Oregon
  Mar 3, 2011 - 01:09pm PT
Dave and Paul, Have a wonderful visit with each other. I am so impressed with this thread and yours, Paul.
Strong women in the family, there were quite a few, and I think the first in your family was your Mom, and Grandmother, Eunice What a lady and a wonderful person she was.
I'm still learning on my spirtual journey, it's not over until it is over.
My love to you both, Helen Humphrey Traylor.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 3, 2011 - 07:07pm PT
Hi to all. Here I am in Santa Rosa, hanging out with Paul will post more later.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Mar 3, 2011 - 07:15pm PT
We need more people like you, sir, and your son.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Mar 3, 2011 - 07:53pm PT
Have a nice visit, guys!
Truthdweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA (stuck in Jersey)
  Mar 3, 2011 - 10:55pm PT
Pastor Dave,

Just curious, God/Jesus Christ isn't mentioned in your original post. Do you give Him credit for your "Spiritual Awakening" or "Conversion"?
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Mar 4, 2011 - 01:00am PT
What others may find spiritual such as holy texts, preachers, and churches I often find quite the opposite. They seem like so much snake oil, with the majority of their energies devoted to convincing people to believe they must think as them or suffer the consequences. I know they can inspire a lot of good in people, but they also inspire a lot of evil, including massive bigotry.

I find spirituality in places others may find the opposite. General relativity and evolution to me paint the picture of an interconnected spiritual universe, where everyone and everything is related and belongs despite their race, creed, or color.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 4, 2011 - 05:58pm PT
Enjoying visit with Paul....some definate improvement but up and down throuh each day/hour.

Paul Humphrey and his Dad Pastor Dave as Paul begins his Cancer Treatm...
Paul Humphrey and his Dad Pastor Dave as Paul begins his Cancer Treatments
Credit: Pastor Dave


Just curious, God/Jesus Christ isn't mentioned in your original post. Do you give Him credit for your "Spiritual Awakening" or "Conversion"?

Truthdweller:

Absolutely, My encounter came first "in Nature' then from the Biblical Texts first just random readings where certain passages lept off the page and right into my concousness or "heart" Other insights have come from reading, study, meditation, messages from others and contact with people of all walks of life/belief systems. I am deliberately downplaying the distinctivly "Christian" lingo because I am much more interestd in sharing than in trying to "convert" people to my understanding of God and Christ. The problem I see in "lingo" that has become too closely tied to particular religions is that those words tend to accumulate "barnicles" which interfere with rather than promoting truly open discussion.

When a person says "I am a" those hearing that statement tend to think that they now "know" what that person thinks, feels, and/or believes which too often means the conversation and learning is over. I like to look at, listen to and consider other viewpoints which I find can enrich and help me clarify my own experiences/understanding. I look at any statement of "belief" from atheism to agnosticism to whatever as each individuals "statement of faith" because we all have some basis for the conclusions we have come to unless we have just adopted someone elses statement without thinking it through. I guess I would say I have a BIG "God" concept, seeing God as I understand God to be even bigger than the Universe which we keep discovering is bigger than our best technology/understanding. (see my two foundational beliefs above)

This may or may not answere your question




Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 4, 2011 - 06:03pm PT
Dr. F, Interesting idea, No way to know what "If".... some in Muslim countries also "find Christ" Ah the mystery of it all. I have seen some people of many other faiths that are at peace withtheir understanding/"faith" and do not feel qualified to judge anyone but myself.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Mar 4, 2011 - 06:30pm PT
Thanks for the photo- Paul looks great, I can certainly see a familial resemblance. Kudos to you for generating the first collegial religious/spiritual thread ever on ST.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Mar 4, 2011 - 06:29pm PT
nice portrait--great hats!
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 5, 2011 - 01:25pm PT
Paul and Dad (Pastor Dave) Hanging out in Santa Rosa 3/4/2011
Paul and Dad (Pastor Dave) Hanging out in Santa Rosa 3/4/2011
Credit: Pastor Dave

Here we are, hanging out in Santa Rosa Ca This morning Paul said he hopes to make another trip south to JT. When that happens I will come out and meet up with whoever makes it. Keeps all those positive prayers/thoughts/energy flowing to Paul "It/you/them/ are working/ feeling much more optomistic now that I am here. Ruth is in LA coaching her student in the National Yoga Competition and meeting up with some of her kids. Will hang here with Paul until she gets back on Tuesday morn. By then hope Paul is up to going with me to the airport to pickup Ruth and then we can have lunch somewhere before I head out.

Staying indoors has never been healthy for Paul.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Mar 5, 2011 - 02:54pm PT
My positive thoughts and energy are flowing your way.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 6, 2011 - 04:09pm PT
Cosmiccrageman:

quote;I grew up in 29 and Yucca and went to the Babtist church on the W side of 247 going up the hill, (Just above the old Sky Drive-In.)

Sorry I didn't reply earlier...yes I know where the church you mentioned is. We attend the methodist church on Onaga. Pastor John is very informal, focuses primarily on living out the teachings of Christ in our daily lives. A very open to all congregation our music director and her same gender partner have become good friends. They are a loving supportive couple which is more than I can say for many "traditional" man/woman or woman/man relationships where one or the other is physically or verbally abusive or worse. The main "anti-gay" passages are not about same sex love they are about rape and lust which is equally destructive to all relationships. Big difference between Lust and Love is that Lust can never be satisfied while love brings total satisfaction acceptance and peace to a relationship. In reality the sexual part of a relationship could be likened to "the icing on the cake" If the cake is repulsive sooner or later you will grow tired of the icing too.

Didn't plan on adding all of that extra comment just wanted to acknowledge our common experience of Yucca Valley living....just never know what will spill out on this thread. Feel like I want to share the story of my 4th child but it is a long story ... One day a young lady was walking by the Community church in Riverside Ca on her way to jump off the freeway overpass to end her pain when she felt a gentle touch on her shoulder and heard a voice say "go in here (to the church) and you will be alright" (there were no other humans on the street with her) More on this latter. Have a great day.

If you or anyone else wants to hear/read more I'll share "the rest of the story"
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Mar 6, 2011 - 05:24pm PT
Like all trip reports, remember there are many more sitting back quiet listening than there are responding. All this to say ' yes, I'd like to hear more.' And I'm sure there are many more who feel the same.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Mar 6, 2011 - 05:29pm PT
Dave and Paul, God bless the both of you!

And Dave, this is a hard crowd, hang tough. Many of us enjoy your presence here.

God bless ya, man! Paul, keep fighting and keep us up to date on the healing process.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 8, 2011 - 01:07am PT
First, Update on Paul. Yesterday was pretty rough lots of pain and nausea, he is sleping in this morning He did some posting on his forum site yesterday. Thanks for all who have sent words of encouragement to both of us. I am sure Paul is looking forward to Ruth's return tomorrow just as I am looking forward to getting back to Marilyn.

Marilyn and I cellebrated our 17th wedding anniversary with a phone call last Saturday 3/5. Pauls mom and I were married for 23 years, the last 12 were very difficult due to her Bi-polar condition. Then when she stabalized on new meds and was able to hold a job whe felt that taking care of herself was all that she could do so we seperated and eventually divorced. Lots of pain and anger mostly over the "failure" of my efforts to help her get well AND rebuild our relationship. We were in weekly counseling sessions with many fine counselors and psychiatrists for many years but the final outcome was crushing. Then the self-righteous in the community church I had served for 10 years informed me that I was "no longer qualified" to be their spiritual leader.... I told GOD I QUIT!!!!! never expected to be a pastor again. Went back into sales, carpeting, cars, RV,s Mobility scooters (became Souther CA Regional Manager for Electric Mobility) Then sold Cemetary Property and Funeral Plans was offered Pre-need Sales Manager Possition but was still conflicted about my call to serve God and my dissapointment about how God and His Church had treated me.

One of my counselor/friends suggested I go talk to the Pastor of the Methodist Church in Yucaipa, CA who (unbeknownst to me) was looking for an assistant. I attended the church the following Sunday and was very impressed with the openness and warmth of the congregation. When I told Pastor Jim how comortable I had felt that morning he said "GREAT!, your preaching next Sunday!... and that is how I became a Methodist and met Marilyn who was then married to her second
husband.

Marilyn's first husband and father of her children was much older than Marilyn, actually a friend of her family for the few years she was with her mother. OK, let me "back up" a little. Marilyn was born in 1934, her father died in a house fire before she was born because he was too drunk to get out. at age two she was homeless, living with her mother and 4 year old sister under a tree in a vacant lot in Colton CA. The Methodist Women's Society rescuded the girls and sponsored their placement at the David and Margaret Methodist Children's Home in La Verne CA. She and her sister lived there for somewhat more than 5 years as she was seven when her mother remarried and reclaimed her children. Marilyn seldom saw her sister as they were seperated in different dorms due to their different ages and only remmebers seeing her mother 2 or 3 times although she did receive homemade dresses from her mom from time to time.

When Marilyn was seven her mother remarried and reclaimed her chidren. The return to a "normal" home was a huge culture shock and life was very hard as the nation was just coming out of the depression and into WWII. By the time Marilyn was in JR HI her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died on Marilyn's first day of high school.

About a year later, when she was barely 16 years old, Oliver Jones, the family friend, asked her to marry him so he could "take care of her" He was a very GOOD man, saw to it that she finnished high school and then they had three children 2 boys and then a girl. Shortly after their daughter was born they discovered that their second son, Terry was a hemophilliac a genetic disorder in which the body does not produce the protien that causes our blood to clot. It is inherited, carried by the femails but only active in males. There is a 50/50 chance of it being passed from a carrier mother to her children. Marilyn is a carrier but her sister is not. Marilyn's first son Mike was not a hemophiliac but terry was. Marilyn's daughter Sherrie is not a carrier so her two grandaughters are not carriers.

While raising three children, one with severe medical problem, Marilyn worked full time and went to College part time. Received her BA at age 43, her teacher's certificate at 55 and her Master's of Education at 60. (Just after marrying me.) Oliver had a heart attack and crashed into a tellephone with such force that the impact killed him. Several years later she met Luther Fisher, a Divorced Electrical Engineer. After they maried they bought an acer of land in Yucaipa and built a beautiful 3000+ sq ft home that was designed for entertaining with a huge living room and crystal chandeliers. (Marilyn and I once served a sit down dinner to 56 people in that home)About two years after I had joined the staff of the Methodist Church, Marilyn woke one morning and discovered that Luther had died in his sleep. She loves to tell people that I was the Pastor that "buried her second husband" I did his service but I didn't dig the hole!

Paul is up and feeling beter so will continue this story later.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 7, 2011 - 06:20pm PT
Just got back from Lunch at Denny's (only a block away so we walked over and back) by the time we got home Paul was super tiered so he is napping. Paul's "energy meter" is usually Pegged out above "full" now it hovers just above or below "empty" We all yearn to see that "needle" move up dramatically. However, progress no matter how slow or slight is still progress so we have to take whatever we can get day by day. No way to know what tomorrow, next week/month/year will bring....just hoping and praying for total victory and return to full health and energy.

Patience is not in our genetic/psychological makeup. We are like the story of the daddy buzzard and his buzard son drifting over the desert looking for something dead to eat. Son B keeps saying "Dad I'm hungry" and Dad B keeps saying "just be patient son, we'll find something dead to eat soon". Finally son B says I'm tiered of being patient, I'm going to go kill something! in my verson Dad B says OK let's DO IT!

Just wish it was that simple, I would gladly kill Paul's cancer with my bare hands if I could! However all we can do is wait for the new meds to do the job at their own SLOW pace and hope they will KILL EVERY CANCER CELL IN HIS BODY and then do the same for every other person with this terrible disease.

Paul will never stop fighting he is AMAZING and so are all of YOU!
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Mar 7, 2011 - 11:26pm PT
Sorry to hear that Paul is tired and making progress so slowly. After reading about your life, it definitely seems you are able to understand his ups and downs. Best wishes to you both.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Mar 8, 2011 - 12:01am PT
hey there say, to father and son:

wow, very nice father and son pics...

keep on "riding trail" together, through this hard ride...
:)
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Mar 8, 2011 - 12:38am PT
speechless...rather unusual for me.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 8, 2011 - 11:14am PT
A bit more about Marilyn, Her son Terry (along with 10,000 others nationwide and thousunds of others world wide) died of AIDS from tainted blood products in the 1980's. She was married to Luther at the time but received no emotional support from him. When I joined the staff at the Yucaipa Methodist church I had the title and responsibility of "Director of Health and Carring Ministries". I also became the leader of a support group that we caled "Facing Changes" which Marilyn was already involved with. Then we developed another program called Stephen Ministers which involved 50 hours of training of members of the congregation to minister one on one to people who were critically ill/dying, had family members who were ill/dying or had died/ or had to be in some type of care facillity. I worked closely with that cadre of careing people and assigned Marilyn to be my adopted daughter, Terri's caregiver as she was now totally blind from her diabeties. (Yes, the same young lady who was going to jump off the overpass... as her health had deteriorated from her diabeties and injury induced epilepsy from her earier attemp to "check out" of her horrible life by swerving her bicycle in front of a truck) I had adopted her as an adult to prevent any chance of her biological sperm donar (not deserving of the title of father) monster from finding her and gaining control over her again.

At this point in time Marilyn was married to Luther, I was the "president of the never again club" in so far as marriage was concerned and had found a meaningful life for myself. Paul, Nathan and Anna were all well on the way down their own individual paths and life was good again for me.

Then Luther Died in his sleep. The San Bernardino Sheriffe Dept provides volunteer chaplains who respond whenever the Paramedics are called or their is a missing child or there are victums of crime and accident who are not physically harmed but are traumatised. The first question the chaplain asks is "are you affiliated with a local church or is ther some one you would like me to contact." That's how I got the call and immediately responded to her home. When I arrived Marilyun was being questioned by a deputy sheriffe: "what did he have to eat last night? did you eat the same thing? did you prepare it? This is standard proceedure when there is an unexpected death of a person not under a Doctor's care. The coronor also asked a lot of questions before ruleing that the death was from "natural Causes".

As I left her home that morning she joined my "never again club" saying, I've been widdowed twice now, I never going to get married again! I'll share how the President and vice President of the NEVER AGAIN club became the forever and ever couple later. Right now I need to pack my things including my laptop into my car so I can hit the road as soon as I pickup Ruth at the airport and get her home. Paul may go with me or conserve his energy for when Ruth gets here... his call when it is time to leave for the airport.

I am anxious to get home to Marilyn promised her I would drive safely and rest as much as necessary on the way. Told her just know that I love you and if I get killed in an accident it was THE OTHER DRIVER'S FAULT!

Next post from Yucca Valley CA Home Sweet Home but a part of my heart and soul will be left in Santa Rosa. Someone once asked me if God how God can hear all the prayers from all over the world and all I could say is that it is the same distance to God from everywhere in the Universe...in fact it is no "distance" at all!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 8, 2011 - 11:34am PT
Thanks for the background that informs the moment. I really like the lounge chair shot of both of you. Positive vibes!

I identify with the never again club, 'cept you never know...
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
  Mar 8, 2011 - 11:17pm PT
Well, Dad is off to Yucca Valley, his wife and the desert again. I hope he keeps his speed down driving. He likes fast.

It was good to see him here. It was also awkward, since I often had to say "See you n a few hours, I'm going to bed." Throwing up and groaning is not the fun way to spend time together. I like to be a better host. But I did what I could.

Dad got to see the down, including a couple full "F*#k Fits", as I call them. That versatile word can be used as a noun verb, or any other part of a sentance.

I am larger inside than out, and thus often explode. Great stuff to have your dad see. I'm glad and intrigued by his thread here. I love the man, and he is a Good Man, full of no more ego than necessary to do what he does.

I am a loner and though my Dad and I are on good terms, we don't speek often. I often think my respesct for my Dad has kept my own life too close to the chest when it comes to reporting it to him. I don't want to cause worry because of misunderstanding or differences in the definition of a good or worthwile time.

Dad's ability to temper and bend his spriritual life to help his understanding of day to day reality is what I like best about him. As I see it more and more, I am feeling comfortable enough to express things to / in front of him I would not have before. (Not out of fear of him, but to avoid convoluted mis-interpretations that happen between Parents and their children.)

Blabbering a bit, but there you go.
-Paul
Robb

Social climber
It's Ault or Nunn south of Shy Annie
  Mar 9, 2011 - 12:25am PT
Weschrist
It's because when you're in the gutter there's no place to go but UP.
Truthdweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA (stuck in Jersey)
  Mar 9, 2011 - 12:19pm PT
Hey Pastor Dave, Gary again. Glory to God that He is your salvation and redeemer!

 
Forgive me if you interpret this in any other way than intended for it is not my intent to offend, so I will do my best.

I am still a bit mystified by your answer.  It sounds like you are drawing from a line of "Biblical Texts," and "Other insights," such as "messages from others and contact with people of all walks of life/belief systems."  Well, what are you "sharing"?  If you are not interested in trying to "convert" people to your "understanding of God and Christ" (whatever that means), to what frame of mind, then, are you seeking to bring those with whom you share?  I am all for an honest conversation, but the bottom line is that there is one singular, narrow way of salvation:  His name is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6),
"neither is there salvation in any other:  for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). 
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 9, 2011 - 04:23pm PT
Well here I am back home in yucca Valley. Left Santa Rosa @11:15 am arrived home @9:15 pm. About 2 hours of stretch and walk about / refuel /meal breaks on the way. A warm welcome from Marilyn ...so good to be home.

Some comments: Paul: we have both gone through a lot and I felt it is time for me to return the respect you had for me when you were a child in my home by respecting your right to be you and to vent in any way you need to in your home. When you want my advice all you have to do is call or post and I will share it. Perhaps others are confused by my lack of zeal in "proclaiming the truth" as I believe and understand it but I am more interested in understanding others points of view and the experiences that have led/contributed to the "place" they are because if I am not willing to hear and acknowledge others "right" to sort it out I see no reason why "they" should be interested in my experiences or conclusions. This issues of "respect" is demonstrated by the fact that when you and Ruth visited us in Yucca Valley, you and Ruth participated in our "ritual" of joining hands around the table at meal time while I thanked God for His provision and asked for His blessing upon the food to the use of our bodies. But when I am at your home (or anybody else's) I follow their lead in such matters. I will pray verbally when invited to do so, but otherwise my thanksgiving is silent and personal. In fact I spent MANY HOURS praying for you and your healing while I was in your home but that was "on my own time". I know that you know I am praying for you...I don't have to prove it....you have the right/obligation to find your own path to God and the spiritual dimension of life.

Concerning my comments on the posts by weschrist, Robb and Ttruthdweller Yes, when we are in the gutter there is nowhere to go but up AND yes, we can always go lower AND yes, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God and the only way of salvation. To ME and to you, Truthdweller, this is a settled question. HOWEVER, to me there are still a lot of questions and "answers" that I find inadequate and even troubling. What about people like Robb? are they "OUT" while we are "IN"? Why would God decide to reveal the way of salvation to me (and you) and some others who are in the gutter but not to other gutter dwellers? How do we reconcile the truth that "God so loved the world" that he gave his only son to die on the cross for all the sins of all the people of all ages past present and future the vast majority of whom never heard of Jesus Christ during their lifetime here on earth? How could a "Just" (in the legal moral sense) God exclude those who never heard or who have turned away because of the unjust and hypocritical acts those who profess to believe? This is why my purpose here is NOT to convert people but to encourage all of us to ask the hard questions about the spiritual dimension of life and death... issues for all of us to not only examine our own faith but to let others examine and even question the basis of why we have come to the conclusions we live by or at least try to live by. I have some personal "working theories" about these bigger questions and will probably share them sometime.... for now I just want to know what all the rest of you "out there" think, feel and believe. If we all hold out our thoughts and beliefs in "open hands" we just may all learn from each other and Perhaps spiritual insights and "revelations" will happen in our individual lives.

BTW to "weschrist" I am going to send you an email but I am curious about the ..."christ" in your nickname. Can post here , answer in privet to my email or just ignore this question, as usual, respect and freedom to you and all.
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California
  Mar 9, 2011 - 08:24pm PT
Thank you for this post, Pastor Dave... for your grace, honesty, and obvious respect of others...

Positive energy and vibes from Tucson...
altelis

Mountain climber
DC
  Mar 10, 2011 - 11:49pm PT
Dave, it is so very refreshing to see a Christian embrace what is the core of Christianity- compassion for one's fellow man.

Those who are willing to cast dispersion, feel hate and not love toward any of our brothers, or selectively follow the letter of some of the Bible for their interests but ignore other letters, bring bad faith to the conversation.

Interestingly, compassion is really the unifying thread of most religions, despite the name of the God/gods/being/etc that is exalted. You sir embody that so beautifully.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 14, 2011 - 01:40pm PT
I have been super-busy since returning home. Marilyn abd I are involved with a number of organizations and I am part of a very small minority of men who belong to women's organizations that were started by women to help women accheive social, educational and political equality with men. Fortunately, at least some of thesse organizations have progressed to the place where they are willing to accept males on an equal basis when we are in agreement with the fact that men and women ARE EQUALS with certain necessary differences in order to continue to populate the earth. However, the shift from a world that was dependent primarily on physical strength for the production of food and equipment to a world that is primarily dependent on mental ability has been the great equalizer of the sexes. That is why I am a proud member of AAUW The American Association of University Women.

Saturday we attended an AAUW meeting where we heard from a woman who was assisted (by an AAUW grant) in her return to college after raising her family and is now a research scientist. INSPIRING! This too is part of my spiritual journy/awakening. Will share mor random thoughts later.

Keep your thoghts, comments and experiences coming...we are all fascinating mixtures of experiences and insights.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
  Mar 14, 2011 - 12:32pm PT
Thanks for your comments on my thread Pastor Dave. My prayers continue to go out for Paul.

A few days ago I visited a local east side man whom is in hospital in Reno after trying to take his own life a few weeks ago. Quite the contrast to a man who is fighting to keep his.

I pray for both with equal fervor.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 15, 2011 - 01:00am PT
Crageman (and all)your comment about the young man who tried to take his own life reminds me of my adopted daughter, Terri. Terri was a "brittle" diabetic (her blood sugar was difficult to control and she was insulin dependent). When Terri (not her orrigional name) was 5 years old her mother committed suicide. Her father then told her that it was "her fault" that her mother took her own life so now she would have to take her place. That was the beginning of years of unimmaginable sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. She "escaped" by marying an abuser (not unusual)

Like so many abused children Terri had a special affinity for animals and found her only solace in the occasional pets she had as a child. During the time she was married she volunteered at a ridding stable whenever her "husband" (not worthy of the title but that was his "legal discription") was away from home. He sold her "services" to his "friends" and when she became pregnant he told her that he did not believe the baby was his and that he did not want the baby. Because she refused to have an abortion he beat her periodically. When she was in her ninth month he beat her so severly that the baby was still-born. The "husband" was a coreman working in a military hospital and he managed to get his "buddies" to cover up the signs of abuse. The baby was whisked away and cremated without her even being able to hold him but nothing could keep her from giving him the name "Matthew".

This event led to her first attempt to leave this world and to join her son in the "next life" by swerving her bicycle in front of a truck. She received a severe head injury along with other broken bones and was in a comma for 6 weeks. When she did wake up she had injury induced epilepsy which was never completly controlled by medication. She spent months at a rehabilitation hospital and the 'husband divorced her. (One of the better things that happened to her up to then). When she was released from the rehab hospital a friend from the stable who had moved to a home that happened to be just down the street a few blocks from the Community church near Riverside CA where I was the Pastor took her in. Then another neighbor had a Dobberman that gave birth to a large litter of puppies. The runt of the litter did not have much chance of surviving so Terri took him and bottle fed him. He became her constant companion. She nammed him "Banner" by far the greattest Red Dobberman I have ever met.

However, even Banner was not enough to overcome the dispare she felt. She had frequent siziers and felt that she was a burden to her friend. Then one beautiful spring sunday morning in 1983 she decided to walk down the street to the nearest overpass and jump off in front of a truck to be SURE she escaped from her horrible life this time. However, the route to the overpass led past the Community Church. All I remeber from that morning was seeing a very "jumppy" "disturbed' young lady slip into the church and take a seat near the back of the church. When the service was over she remained seated while I spoke with the congregation as they left the service. When I went back into the church I went down the far Isle from her and then walked slowly up the center Isle stopping several feet from her, wondering if she was going to jump up and bolt for the door at any moment. I introduced myself and thanked her for comming then asked her name. She had a severe stuttering problem from her injury but she managed to say her name and then stammered out a question; d d do y y yu be l l lev ve G G Go o od C c a a n n l lo v ve a an n ny on ne? Listening carefully I understood her question: "do you believe God can Love anyone?" I replied: "All I can tell you is that if God can love me, He can love anyone." She then started to get up stammering "I have to go now." I asked her if she would like to come back and talk to me later and she said "yes, but I have to sit by an open door" I seggested that I could leave both doors oben in the church foyer and she could sit right in the opening as far away from me as necessary for her to feel comfortable. We agreed on 10:00 the next Wed. Morning. I opened the doors, set up the chairs and wondered if she would come (being of very little faith, I didn't really expect to ever see her again). However she did come and a very long series of talks began (made even longer by the stammering).

Must leave this tale here for now except to say that I slowly gained her confidence and eventually asked her how it was that she had come to church that first Sunday. Then I learned that her origonal destination was the overpass and certain death; but as she was passing the church she felt a gentle touch on her shoulder and heard a kind voice say "go in here and you will be alright" when she looked around there was "no one there" but the door of the church was standing open.

More later
Pastor Dave

MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
  Mar 15, 2011 - 12:30am PT
Pastor Dave? You are allright!

Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 15, 2011 - 01:03am PT
You slipped that one in while I was writting the first part about Terri.

Thanks, which one are you in the picture?
yllw2lip

Social climber
Orange, CA
  Mar 21, 2011 - 02:14am PT
As I read my Dad's comments I realize that we are a lot alike in our approach to life. Our Spiritual lens is very similar. Which fascinates me, since the view I have now is not the one that I was raised with. And where that came from must have had to do a lot with my Mom's views and where my Dad was spiritually back then. I also find it interesting that as I have matured in my spiritual views and come to certain conclusions my Dad has come to similar conclusions.... on separate paths! Same with my brother, Father Nathan. And even Paul. We are all going to different church denominations (or not going to church) and we have walked different paths in life, but we have all seemed to come to the same conclusions.

The conclusions that I am speaking of have to do with respect for all types of people of all walks of life and faith. My approach to any person is not to judge them or to try to "convert" them, but to listen and to love them. I feel this keeps the conversation open and if by what I say or share inspires them to want to know more about my faith in God and what it means to be a Christian, then great! If not, well then that's okay too. But I feel there is no way to not influence others if I love and respect them and never make them feel that I sit in judgment of their life, lifestyle or belief system. Also, I make very interesting friends this way and learn a lot myself.

The other conclusion that we (my family) have all seemed to reach is that gays and Christianity can mix. I don't have a problem with gays getting married, falling in love and being together and adopting or having kids. I don't have a problem with a homosexual becoming a Christian and not "repenting of their lifestyle" as many other right wing Christian Bible beaters would expect. In fact I discovered at my church there is a man that is gay and is in the closet, but once he learned that I wasn't against the idea of a gay man being a Christian and also being in love and staying in that relationship he opened up to me and introduced me to his life partner. Even his Mom is in denial, she attends the church he and I go to, and won't discuss it with him. And he is in his 40's!! Something isn't right there. I know the majority of people out there in the world that label them self "Christian" would have a problem with what I am saying. But my Dad and my brothers all get it. And believe me, we are very different from each other. We went down our own spiritual paths and our own separate experiences have all brought us to the same conclusion. I may not have expressed myself very well or explained myself well here... but I hope you get the gist.

Dad: I didn't know a lot of the things you have said about Terri... but then again, I was what??? Eight years old or something when she arrived in our lives. I don't think I would have been capable of processing all that in my head. Things were complicated in our family by her arrival, but she did need someone like you to help her. So I can't fault you for stepping in and doing what you did in her life. I didn't understand it very well, but I didn't think it was my place to say anything either. You were the adult and I the child. I was just watching on the side lines.

Very interesting forum, I am interested in what becomes of it as things continue in conversation.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 22, 2011 - 12:42pm PT
Anna, I think you have expressed yourself very well indeed! Thanks for sharing! I think we all did a lot of "observing from the side lines" in our family as we struggled to find individual stabillity in the midst of emotional chaos. Perhaps the positive side of living in a family where the dad was struggeling to find his own value by helping others deal with their severe problems in life (i.e your mother's bi-polar disorder PRIOR to Litheum and other effective pharmacuiticals, and the myrid of other hurting people including Terri who in Paul's words "streamed through our Parsonage living room"); the mom who had her problems but was doing her best to maintain a "normal" home for her children, and three siblings who were so unique in their interests and reactions/coping skills as they tried to find their individual paths and make sense of it all! (Which is still a "work in progress" for all of us.)

I suppose it would be fair to say that our family life was anything BUT "normal" yet we have all arrived in our present individual lives with similar attitudes of compassion, love and acceptance of each other and all those we come in contact with. Perhaps the greatest "benefit" of our experiences as a family is that we are strong, independent persons who have LEARNED to take personal responsibility for the choices and decisions that we must make everyday of our lives. We are all on very "diferent" paths, yet we are all coming to very similar and harmonious outlooks on life.

I could say that I am a very "proud" father but that does not seem to be the right word because I can not take enough "credit" for the way you all "turned out" to be proud of my parenting skills. Therefor, I am very GRATEFUL to all of you and to the "God of all GRACE!

Looking forward to seeing you and your family next week!
Love to all,
Dad

PS to non-family members: Your observations and comments are welcome and appreciated. This whole experience of sharing on line has brought me to another one of those "aha" moments. My "AHA" here is that one of the values of "correspondence" like this which was so common in the past by the exchange of letters which tooks days or even months to travel back and forth (as compared with the instant messaging and twitters of this modern age) is that it allows us to share without being "interrupted" by the immediate reactions of the other person(s) and then time to process each other's recations and comments before responding.

Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
  Mar 25, 2011 - 05:29pm PT
What's the matter, Super-topo-ians? Too non-attack for ya? Someone must have something to say...

JLB

Trad climber
Smiths, AL
  Mar 26, 2011 - 09:31am PT
Wow, I signed up for Supertopo back in the fall when I was planning my first climbing trip to Yosemite. I happened to come across what I thought was a simple thread about right-wingers and anti-science and politics and religion. I made what I thought was a simple opinion in much of a way that I believe you are asking folks to comment here. The next thing I know, I'm in the middle of a heated, controversial, beligerent "discussion." Yes, I can be very naive.

So, with that said, Pastor Dave, thank you. Your leadership here is much appreciated, and truly admired. I pray fervently for you and your son and family as you face this adversity. Pray also that Christ will use this time in your lives to touch everyone involved in a way that you will never get over it.

Peace.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Mar 28, 2011 - 12:47pm PT
Glad to hear from you Disaster Master. It's been a few days. How about a progress update?

As for what your father has been saying, I think he represents the majority of Christians these days but unfortunately those good folks have been outshouted by the intolerant variety. Unfortunately a lot of the science types on ST have come to believe that the intolerant ones represent the whole group. And now we have intolerant militant atheists - a good example of karma come back around to bite if I ever saw one.

Meanwhile, the tolerant people of all faiths need to keep on keeping on with a positive message. The world needs compassion, not dogma, but you and your family already know that.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Mar 26, 2011 - 10:22am PT
"the world will not be at peace until there is one language and one religion." -- jim bridwell

are we getting closer?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 26, 2011 - 10:46am PT
Yow! this is Pastor-Disaster clan Is pretty cool, introspective bunch! Thanks for sharing all of this with us.


um, interesting choice of classic movie still moment to select there on the 14th, Erik.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
  Mar 26, 2011 - 10:59am PT
This thread restores my faith in humanity.


"Carve your name on hearts...not on marble."

Charles Spurgeon
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 26, 2011 - 11:46am PT
Paul, Just posted a rether emotional (for me) comment on yor forumn. Thanks for encouraging others to jump in to this "conversation" The lack of activity has me wondering if others are boared or perhaps too timid to share their thoughts. Do "you" want to hear more? Do you want me to "just go away?

Anyone out there have a question or comment?????
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 26, 2011 - 12:15pm PT
More, more, this is the stuff of life!

One thing, you guys seem to balance diverse, though often converging, world views with aplomb.

This seems to extend beyond the immediate family. For instance, some earnest followers of faith (for lack of a better term) might be dismissive when someone like Donini starts out a post by pointing out upfront that he is a self labeled "atheist". Not the case here, you commented directly on the content of what he said and has to offer.

So, since it seems central to your approach and relevant to this thread, do you haveany thoughts about or how to advice about listening to people with adverse or even oposing views, and listening to what they have to say, attempting to find common ground, if any, and stil appreciating their view, if not?
jfs

Trad climber
Upper Leftish
  Mar 26, 2011 - 12:20pm PT
For my part...thank you for this thread. Whether it slows down, disappears or not, it's awesome to have a thread like this on ST that manages to be so civil, caring and honest. Thank you.
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
  Mar 27, 2011 - 12:57pm PT
The lack of activity has me wondering if others are boared or perhaps too timid to share their thoughts. Do "you" want to hear more? Do you want me to "just go away?


It comes in waves, Dad. That is what I have found on this site. You just never know...

Looks to me like you still have a conversation going. This is the ONLY "religious" thread I have re-visited. And not entirely because you're my Dad. So, just see what happens. That's half the fun. It's also easier to say "Screw You" like on other threads than actually think and answer, like on this one. ;) Mabe people are busy yelling at each other elsewhere.

C-Ya,
Paul.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 28, 2011 - 12:07pm PT
To all: Your encouragement and civility, respect for each other, on this thread is extremely gratifying. Tony Bird: I hope the answer is "yes"! Perhaps the unifying principle that is being so well displayed here is RESPECT. Respect for each person's right and responsibility to find their own path through life and to whatever exists beyond this life. The fact that I believe there is a future life does not "prove" there is one. I have been both an atheist and a believer in God and Christ. Both are equally matters of faith because there is no "universally accepted scientific proof" for either or for any belief or belief system.

I am satisfied for myself that there is sufficient "evidence" based on the eye witness accounts of his followers, most of whom were persecuted and killed for refusing to deny what they saw, that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. However, (I know I use this qualifier a lot) my faith in Jesus does NOT mean that there are no other harmonious teaching or "revelations" through others down through human history. i.e. Buddha, Mohamed, Gandhi, etc. etc. Then there is the "god" of "nature" which has spoken so powerfully to so many of you.

Any "faith" or "belief" that helps us find strength for the "bad stuff like cancer" and guides us in developing love for one another is worth while. On the other hand the promotion of greed, win at any cost, dominate the other guy, etc is only worthy of rejection in my opinion.

Peace and Love to all!

JLB

Trad climber
Smiths, AL
  Mar 28, 2011 - 02:32pm PT
I wish I could take credit for this saying - "when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." This thread really shows me a vast arsenal of other "tools" - maturity, grace, compassion, gentleness, selflessness, empathy. There are so many other tools at our everyday disposal that, if chosen, could really improve the lives of those around us, not to mention our very own lives (I am preaching to myself here, numero uno needs to hear that as much as anyone). Never, in my memory, have I ever had a bad day when I made a conscious effort to act selflessly.

Paul - I really believe this whole thread is a result of your openness. I see that as a tremendous display of selflessness, humility and grace, not to mention great courage that few I have ever met can claim. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. My heart longs for your healing.

Jason
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 1, 2011 - 10:11am PT
JLB: What a great quote: "Never, in my memory, have I ever had a bad day when I made a conscious effort to act selflessly."

Thanks for the thought, I could not agree more! Glad to see Paul writing and "dealing with it" again.

Paul's Dad

Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 2, 2011 - 12:07am PT
Jaybro, you asked: "do you have any thoughts about or how to advice about listening to people with adverse or even oposing views, and listening to what they have to say, attempting to find common ground, if any, and stil appreciating their view, if not?"

I think I answered your question to some extent when I spoke of respect. as far as "appreciating their view" when I TOTALLY disagree with it, the "trick" is to appreciate and affirm the "truth" as I see it, that "they" have just as much "right" to their view or opinion as I have to mine. When I am secure in my own views and yet willing to learn from (and respect) other's views I can concentrate on looking for a "sliver" of agreement instead of focusing on defending myself. my views or on "winning" the argument. My personal "mantra" is that I will discuss anything but will NOT argue about anything. I will defend your right to your view just as fervently as I will defend my right to my view. We can therefore "agree" even to "disagree" without becoming "disagreeable". That is what I see on this thread and that is why I keep the conversation going.

Hope that helps!
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 8, 2011 - 12:39am PT
Just in case anyone reads this before checking on Paul's site I just posted some info there. Will be traveling the next three weeks so may be limited in time and ability to continue this conversation but hope you will come back and share from time to time. I will read and respond when I can.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Apr 8, 2011 - 12:37am PT
Tony Bird: I hope the answer is "yes"!

i once worked on a large project, in the late 1980s, involving the translation of the los angeles yellow pages into spanish. we laid the whole thing out, one language next to the other, and my job was keeping track, making sure everything got into place correctly.

so i paid lots of attention to the various categories and sub-categories of the yellow pages, and, by far, the single category which contained the most subcategories was ... churches. more churches than you can shake a stick at, each one with a different take on truth, a different twist, a different set of this-and-that. you know this.

my conclusion? religion seems to splinter people. it doesn't draw them together, except in ways whereby a lot of other people get left out. and i question whether it comes close to approaching truth. on a small scale, truth produces consensus, accord, a realization that, sure enough, that's the way things are. it happens in science, time and again. the truth will out. but it won't out in religion.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 8, 2011 - 01:15am PT
Tony Bird: Any "closed system" of belief could be classified as a "religon" and any "closed system" which dares to say "this is THE TRUTH" as though there was no other truth "outside" of that system or religion has put itself and its "followers" or "adherents" in a very limiting "BOX" Therefore, I agree that truth is not found in "religion" in that sense although it may contain various parts or aspects of truth. In other words there is absolutly nothing from religioon to science or philosophy which is, in and of itself the "absolut" or "complet" TRUTH. That is why I view all "systems" of "beliefs" including mine as "working theories" which guide my life but remain open to growth, and correction as I discover and learn more from all available sources including you and every other person I encounter in any way. The large number of diverse and often contentous religous groups can be likened to the old story of the blind men who are trying to describe what an elephant is like: to the one grasping the tail it is like a string, to the one holding the trunk it is like a snake, to the one hugging a leg it is like a tree etc. Unfortunately too many people think their small window of understanding is the "whole" or "only" picture. The problem is not lack of "truth" it is the misstaken idea that they have "all of the truth" within their grasp. In my opinion there is also a lot of contention amoung "scientist" and like "theologians" or "religonist" the "truth" works its way out of the discussion and sharing or testing of conflicting theories. Religion like science is not "static" or limited to one person or book or "revelation". Which is why I love to keep our discussion going and growing.

The problem with rejecting the various parts of the truth is you can end up with no truth at all. "Do no Harm" and "Do all the good that you can" along with "accept personal responsibility for your decisions and actions" are a few priciples that I think of as "universal truths" that emerge from all the religius, philisopical, social, and scientific systems or groups worth considering.

and you say????
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Apr 8, 2011 - 03:18am PT
Well I agree that no one book or religion has "The Truth" and in fact, all of them together probably contain only a small amount of it (if one thinks of the source of our universe as eternal and infinite) but that any one of the great scriptures of the world contain enough truth applicable to humans to guide them through life.

Even that has to be qualified however, as we well know from other discussions on ST, where some people have maintained only one book is "The Truth" come down directly from God. Others have challenged them with the harsher sayings of the first half of their book and they have responded with the nicer selections from the second half of their book, all the while maintaining that the whole document was superior to any other scriptures of the world, although of course they haven't read any of the others.

The only hope I see from a religious point of view is for the western monotheistic religions that are so exclusive in their truth claims, to moderate and accept the eastern view that there are many paths to the summit of the mountain and any one of the great religions will get you there.

Rather than making truth claims, they should be honest with themselves and admit that they follow a particular path because their family does, their ethnic group does, or in a more sophisticated fashion, their path is the one that suits their personality, experiences in life, and level of understanding at a particular time in that life.

Otherwise, the growing response to the exclusivist truth claims, is indifference if not anger toward all religion, which easily becomes a callousness toward ethics, self sacrifice, and looking deeper into oneself, which is the true message of any religion below the surface dogma and ritual. The enemy of religion is not science, but the cacophony of competing truth claims made with so much noise and so little love.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Apr 8, 2011 - 08:44am PT
when it comes to matters of truth, i go back to parmenides, an old greek who didn't write much, but i think he gave us a good compass.

truth is the way things are. it can be fairly obvious or quite subtle. is there an "ultimate" truth? i don't think anyone's gotten a handle on that one, jesus included, and that's where we'll part company, dave.

parmenides said that truth has an existence of its own, apart from the way people think it to be. two terrific greek words for that: alitheia and doxa, truth and opinion. recently i got into studying a little modern greek, after taking some classical greek in college. there seems to have been a shift in the meaning over the past couple of thousand years. doxa pretty much means "glory" in modern greek. i find that a very dark development.

yes, dave, we all get eclectic about these things. i find the navajo religion and culture a place to be at home, philosophically. they stop short of declaring a personal god. their greatest, ultimate experience is beauty, something they cultivate in their lives and a place where they put their hearts when they face death. i've mixed my little philosophy with a few other things. i think john keats's line from "ode to a grecian urn" rings loudly: "beauty is truth and truth beauty--that's all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know". and, as i have communicated to paul privately, i've come to believe that extinction of our consciousness does not await us at death, but modern christian religion, and the flipside of that coin, cynically agnostic science, stand squarely in the way of exploring that truth.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 8, 2011 - 05:19pm PT
Tony Bird, We may be in greater agreement than you think. I have long maintained, to the consternation of some of my "Christian" friends that my beliefe does not make something "true". Indeed, "THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH no matter what you or I or anyone else "believes" is true.

I enjoy and profit from these discussions because while I am willing to explore the question "What is Truth?" Which was posed at the trial of Jesus by ruler who sentenced him to death. Or, as another Paul said a few years latter: "Now (in this life)we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then (in the "next life" or continuation of life/cociousnes)we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

I hope we can agree that neither of us nor any other philosopher/scientist, religious leader or prophet has been able to know or communnicat the TRUTH in all it's fullness.

(To my Christian friends, you can disagree or consider me a "heritic" but although I believe Jesus was a unique human being and accept all that the New Testament teaches about him, I still believe that he was limited or chose to be limited as a fully human being. Remember, he also questioned: "my God my God WHY have you forsaken me? while he was on the cross. He also grew weary, was hungry, grew up just like every other human and ate and drank like all of us. What set him apart was his miricles and ressurrection and ascencion into heaven. These are the things we either accept or reject based upon our acceptance or rejection of the eyewittness accounts that have been handed down to us.

In any court of law, the jury must decide which witnesses to believe or reject as speaking the "truth". However, the verdict of the individual jurror or the entire jurry may or may not be "the truth". Guilty people go free and innocent people go to jail and some innocent people are even executed. The bottom line is that each of us has a responsibility to exame all relative, available "evidence" or "testimony" and make our own personal decisions. If, as I believe(not sufficient to "prove what I believe is true") we will all meet "THE TRUTH IN THE TRUE GOD" then we will be judged, if we are judged, by our motives and whether we made the best decision based on what we know not on what we did not know for to be judged by what we do not know would be unjust and unfair. However, if we reject what we be believe is true because it is not convienient or would require too much of a sacrifice in some way then we will suffer the pain of recognizing our selfish, self serving decisions and the unjustness we have inflicted on others.

My "working theory" which can not be PROVEN true or false in this life is that our encounter with THE TRUTH in all it's fullness will be a cleansing catharsus that will prepare and allow us to exisit in perfect harmony forever. What about "Hell?" some will ask, my theopy is that this revelation of THE TRUTH may "hurt like Hell" as the self-centered, self-righteous parts of our being are burned away. My hope is that this process will not be too long or painful because I am doing my best to love and respect everyone else and that I have lived out my beliefe system in the most responsible way that I can.

How you view Jesus and all other beliefs is your responsibility and if indeed you encounter THE TRUTH and THE TRUTH is GOD I think you will be just fine even if there is some painful recognition of THE TRUTH AS THE TRUTH in the "absolute sense" because I believe you are a seeker of truth and love.

How close are we now?
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 10, 2011 - 12:32am PT
Jan: You said: "Otherwise, the growing response to the exclusivist truth claims, is indifference if not anger toward all religion, which easily becomes a callousness toward ethics, self sacrifice, and looking deeper into oneself, which is the true message of any religion below the surface dogma and ritual. The enemy of religion is not science, but the cacophony of competing truth claims made with so much noise and so little love."

I think you "said it" better than I did. Thanks for your beautiful post, obviously the writtings of a beautiful soul. Hope we meet 'in person" some day.

Heading North is the morning, Paul's lattest post on his forum brings a measure of peace to me and I hope to him.

Will "talk" with you all from Santa Rosa.

Until then, Love and peace to all.

Paul's Dad
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Apr 10, 2011 - 11:56am PT
just a short coda to my eclectic mix, and that's the spiritualist church, which still exists here and there, begun in the 19th century when the western world got quite a spin from the paranormal, which both the orthodox and the atheist try to stamp out, witness so much of our discussions on here.

there's a town close to santa barbara called summerland, which was originally settled by spiritualists. their belief is that a "summerland" awaits us when we die. it'd summer there, none of the spiritual winters we experience in this life. and the interesting thing is that they believe we get a job. it's a good job, a career job, not slave labor. and we take it from there. an interesting point of view, and one i've tried to suggest to paul. i got onto this stuff inadvertantly, but it makes a certain sense to me.

my problem with jesus, pastor dave, is those words: "no one comes to the father except through me". it makes a mess of christianity. if you haven't studied the gnostic gospels and so-called apocrypha, you will find a kinder, gentler, more hippielike christianity which was severely stomped out by emperor constantine and the orthodoxy which followed, including the prevailing gospel of st. thomas, which got squelched by the gospel of st. john, specifically written to that polemic. if you don't know that none of the gospels were written by the "saints" they were named for, you need to go back to a seminary which gets heavy into literary analysis. sorry to be blunt, but i've had so many alleged ministers of faith who have no compunction about being blunt either.

jesus gives us a theology from his back pocket. it's him and his father and a heaven that he's the king of, and we all have to get in line for it. it isn't public property, as it ought to be, as the gnostic gospels suggest and as so many religions of the east espouse. we also have a strangely out of balance divinity, a father, son and holy spirit. nature gives us a different divinity, in which male and female elements are beautifully, gloriously balanced. jesus didn't know the first thing about women. and, like the virgins and the volcanoes and the victims on mayan pyramids, he thought that sacrifice was the essential element of existence. it isn't.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Apr 10, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
Tony-

Interesting post and your reference to Gnosticism. In the Gnostic Gospels, Mary Magdelene was the "companion" of Jesus (read that today as "wife")and not a "harlot' or "prostitute" as the male-dominated cledrical hierarchy would have us believe. I have read extensively on Gnosticism, and have a decent translation of the Gnostic Gospels.

This study makes Christianity a more comfortable place for me to go rather than the very rigid Pauline pathway.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Apr 10, 2011 - 08:40pm PT
brokedown, i've read pagels and ehrman on the gnostic gospels, although not pagel's original scholarly book which seemed to get it all started. i guess we all work ourselves into beliefs that we're comfortable with, and most people in the west seem to work themselves back to christianity, since it has such a powerful cultural thrust. what i think is that we've been through 1700 years of dark ages. jesus is supposed to be the good shepherd. i think he shoulda been a good cowboy and ridden herd on it all a little better. i expect more of god, sorry. yea, who the hell am i? just a sorry-ass human trying to make sense of something that doesn't.

the mary magdalene angle is what made the da vinci code such a bestseller. you mean jesus had a woman love? he was sexually normal? did they have kids? don't get your hopes up. if you were raised catholic, you grew up close to that lovely goddess, the virgin mary, the perfect woman in every way except the bedroom. to me, it has produced an absolutely sick culture, a schizophrenia about sex. i expect more of god in this department too, some basic integrity in the plan for human life, some insight into human nature, not the sin-versus-saved bipolarity of christian culture.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Apr 10, 2011 - 09:21pm PT
Tony-

Christianity has become distorted by the "Early Church," which seems to have been a "good old boy's club," and women were oppressed horribly. My first wife was an example of the indoctrination given in a Catholic Girl's Academy by Nuns. Even though she wasn't Catholic, she had a very strange attitude towards sexuality afterwards.

What I have is the Gnostic Gospels themselves, translated into somewhat readable English; not the Pagels interpretation and analysis. Also, many of the early practitioners of Gnosticism were female; they didn't believe in a hierarchy or a "formal" set of strictures. I believe that the Council of Nicea set the tone for present day Christianity by sorting through all the then-available sacred writings and passing judgement on what was "correct." Then any writings considered suspect to the accepted orthodoxy were ordered destroyed.

The DaVinci Code certainly triggered a lot of soul-searching; some, such as myself, read a lot of books searching for more information to answer the inward need for spirituality. Whatever I am, it's certainly "non-traditionalist."

As Arthur C. Clarke wrote: "Faith is the ability to believe the unbelievable." Whatever. I certainly don't belittle or scorn the beliefs of others, and share some common elements of spirituality with them.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
  Apr 10, 2011 - 09:37pm PT
The image of the Gnostics as hippie like free lovers was a fabrication of proto-orthodox hereticists in the first and second centuries. The discovery of the Nag Hamadi library and other Gnostic fragments reveals them as extreme ascetics. They were more into celibacy and self denial than the proto-orthodox.

Same for the whole celibacy angle that's found exclusively in the apocryphal books, particularly the various acts of the apostles, (John and Paul and Thecia, etc.) Only one short mention I can think of in the NT and the inference was it wasn't necessarily a good idea.

The apocryphal acts also stylistically are Greek romances and are in some respects the antithesis of those books that thematically revolved around sex.

One theory on why the whole celibacy angle took off is that Roman culture was so patrician and sexually charged that adopting a celibate version of Christianity gave women a way to opt out of the system. A strange version of woman's liberation.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Apr 10, 2011 - 10:41pm PT
One theory on why the whole celibacy angle took off is that Roman culture was so patrician and sexually charged that adopting a celibate version of Christianity gave women a way to opt out of the system. A strange version of woman's liberation.

Buddhism provided the same for women and I can tell you that being a celibate nun in either a monastery or a hermitage is an improvement over a forced marriage between a woman and the man who would financially benefit her family the most.

Monastic life at least gives women choices that they otherwise didn't have in the religions preceding Christianity and Buddhism. I know because I've lived in both Hindu and Buddhist villages in Nepal and the contrast for women couldn't be greater.

Buddhist women are in control of their own lives while part of the wedding ceremony for orthdox Hindus is for the woman to wash the man's feet and then have to sip some of the foot water.I'm betting that celibacy for women in Christianity served a similar role in both Jewish and Roman societies.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Apr 10, 2011 - 11:55pm PT
In one of the Gnostic Gospels, Peter was scandalized by the fact that Jesus would frequently kiss Mary Magdelene "on the lips." I don't have the book immediately available; it may have been in the Gospel of Mary. The Gnostic Gospels tend to portray the 12 Apostles as a group of prudish idiots.

I found the following reference to be valuable: The Templar Revelation; Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ.

Authors: Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. A slow-paced and somewhat difficult to read analysis and investigative volume. Deals with the Knights Templar, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, etc. Also points out that DaVinci was a practical joker and scam artist, as well as artist/engineer/inventor.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
  Apr 11, 2011 - 12:33am PT
The whole Gnostic Ephir thing is a bit to Greek (pagan). The notion of multiple good and evil sub gods isn't in many respects much different from prevailing pagan belief systems at the time.

There was a "Gnostified" version of Plato's Republic found at Nag Hamadi.

Now that would be an interesting read!
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Apr 11, 2011 - 10:13am PT
the gnostic book that i find charming is the infant gospel of jesus. jesus is like a little kid on the playground. something happens and he gets mad at his playmates and kills them all in one fell swoop of his divine will. then he thinks better of it and brings them back to life.

what i find so liberating about departing from christianity is that i no longer need to look back to 2,000-year-old garble for basic truths. basic truths are learned from life, in the present. when you realize that, you begin to make better sense of the past.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 11, 2011 - 10:23am PT
Wow, love the discusssion! Just checked in from hotel in Fresno on our way to see Paul today. It will be an emotional three days for me, his sister Anna and my wife of 17 yrs, Marilyn who had a Hemophiliac son (Bleeding disorder) who died of AIDS from tainted blood products and another son who became an alcoholic and was hit by a car a couple of years ago. Just hoping for some quality time with Paul. Will respond to some of the above comments later. I have known and witness many spiritual events in my life and at the bedside of others who were leaving this earth which can not be "explained" or "squared with" the "scriptures" that were chosen for us by the early "church fathers". As one of my proffessors said "read the Bible the way you eat fish, when you get stuck with a bone just set it aside and go on enjoying the rest."

If we are honest we approach everything we read in a similar way. We "pick and choose" what makes sense to us as individuals (unless we are too "lazy" to think for our selves.) Please keep listening, thinking and sharing it gives me hope for a better world and a better future "after".

Love and Peace, keep your good thaudhts/prayers/energy flowing to/for Paul.

Meloncoly Dad
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 13, 2011 - 11:32am PT
Hi everyone, We have had a very good visit with Paul. He has been studying the cdrom images from his last scan. So typical of Paul, no denial just analyize the facts and deal with them. Still a lot of treatment options to consider in pain management. I checked out the local Hospice organizations and have recomended one for when he is ready to sign for their assistance. Beside connecting with the people I talked to at Heartland Hospice when they mentioned that their chaplain is a mountain climber I knew they were the ones who could connect best with Paul. I also checked out the other "final arraingement" options so we know who to call when/if needed. I have conducted hundreds of Memorial Services and even worked at a Funeral home helping families make arraingements when death came to a loved one. This time it was strangely familiar yet different at the same time. Hard to put the spiritual dimensions into words.

There are many things that you have posted on this thread that I want to get back to later. Right now we have to pack the car and get another visit with Paul before returning to home then off to Clovis NM to share our grief and comfort with good friends and say our final goodby to another young cancer victum. Of course there is really nothing "final' about the death of someone you know and love, they live on in our hearts and minds forever. Then there is the hope/confidence of meeting again in that "other realm" call it heaven or whatever we choose I feel confident that we will be surprised and filled with wonder. When people ask me what I think it will be like when we transition to "the next life" I just say: God, Surprise Me!"

Until later,

Pauls, Dad
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Apr 13, 2011 - 11:39am PT
Pastor Dave, Paul is fortunate to have a father like you and you have been blessed having a son like Paul. I will always remember the tremendous effort Paul made climbing Super Crack last year and the wonderful smile when he had finished.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Apr 14, 2011 - 06:18am PT
Keep he faith, Paastr Dave!
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Apr 14, 2011 - 11:38am PT
Roman culture was so patrician and sexually charged

haha, so you think. the romans criticized the free-and-easy etruscans for being sexually immoral. there were many stringent sanctions against libertinism throughout roman culture. we hear about the scandals at the top--look at the scandals at the top of christianity over the centuries.

here's what rome was about: power. "all the glory that was greece and all the power that was rome". they got power by killing people. killing people was quite the fashion among the ancients, but rome did it best and organized it best. if you fell out of favor with the state, your crucified body was posted on the road out of town to remind everyone else to toe the line. i've come to think that the pacificism of the philosophy of jesus was a kind of reaction to this brutality. but jesus made it into a sort of never-never land, a dream of a better place we can never get to, other than to die and go to heaven. that's my big problem with christianity. it dodges the responsibilities of citizenship in this life.

"render unto caesar"? tell caesar he's full of sh#t.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Apr 14, 2011 - 11:43am PT
hey there say, just dropping in to mention, as they others have, you are not fotgotten.... sending prayers, and hopes, too, for all you are going through....

god bless...
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 18, 2011 - 01:30pm PT
jesus made it into a sort of never-never land, a dream of a better place we can never get to, other than to die and go to heaven. that's my big problem with christianity. it dodges the responsibilities of citizenship in this life.


Tony Bird: Nice speaking to you this morning by phone looking forward to a cup of coffee with you in Jtree.

While it is true that many who call themselves "Christians" are "so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good" I do see his most basic teaching "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and "Love your neighbor as yourself" qualify as "the most basic responsibilities of citizenship in this life."

Perhaps you could elaborate on the responsibilities you have seen as "missing"...we may very well agree.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Apr 18, 2011 - 09:47pm PT
jesus didn't invent the golden rule, pastor dave. you'll find basically the same philosophy throughout many ancient cultures.

my gripe with christianity is quite specific. christian cultures in europe never followed jesus's apparently pacifist philosophy. they always found excuses to make war with the country next door, no matter how commonly christian they pretended to be. jesus himself never tried to be above that. i think the god of war is far more powerful than the christian god. it reigns supreme. the christian god is totally subservient to it.

americans seem to think they're a "nation under god" and live some kind of charmed life. they have no compunction about trouncing people in the third world with our far superior military technology so's we can sleep better at night in face of imagined "terrorism". those who strive to put a christian veneer on all that, in my opinion, are supreme hypocrites.

what it's all about, from my point of view, is global power. europeans are happy to have the united states take the baton and carry forward as the global policeman and empire builder. they tried it for centuries, and they know how futile it is. they're enjoying the good life, taking month-long vacations and quibbling about cushy state benefits while americans go bankrupt, watch their social security get scuttled and their national parks threaten to close because of a federal budget "crisis" inspired by 500 military bases around the world to promulgate an empire most americans would rather pretend does not exist.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 22, 2011 - 01:20am PT
Tony Bird: I don't really believe there ever has been a "Christian Culture" except with some of the smaller groups such as the Amish who have tried harder than most to live out their faith in their culture. I see following Jesus and his teachings, along with all the other great thinkers and teachers that we know of as being personal and seperate from whatever culture we happen to live in. Agree that their is no such thing as a "Christian War" and that all of the efforts to "spread christianity" "islam' or any oter "religion" or philosophy by force ultimately fail and do more harm than good. I think we are in agreement about the culture and war part...just because people have done bad things in the name of Jesus does not make Him "Bad".

In fact, it seems that you have some admiration for the "pascifest Jesus" who so few really follow in any meaningful way.

Will try to call your cel phone Sunday evening to see if we can find time for that cup of coffee.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Apr 22, 2011 - 04:08am PT
This topic is as old as the origins of Christianity - and Buddhism. Groups like the Amish are free to practice their way of life thanks to the protections provided by others who are less pacifistic. They also enjoy the health benefits of an educated medical profession while limiting their own members to 8 years of government mandated schooling. Not an issue with easy answers.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Apr 22, 2011 - 10:39am PT
aw, c'mon. no christian culture? have you studied the history of europe? god rest ye merry gentlemen?

i don't admire jesus's "pacifist" philosophy. as i mentioned, i think it's basically escapist. i think the human race has to learn to embrace that part of its nature which leads to war and to prevent it from becoming as destructive as it has become over the past century. because of technology, we can no longer afford to engage in the tribal warfare, which led to the national warfare, of the past. the human race needs to solve this problem. jesus is not helping.
Anastasia

climber
Home
  Apr 22, 2011 - 10:58am PT
All I have ever learned is that rushing gets you in trouble. Life must be paced properly in order to be done right. Beyond that, everyone is flawed, insane and carrying around a big chunk of wisdom that can save your soul/life. Never devalue anyone or be surprised by imperfection.

In fact, the best people tend to carry their flaws on their sleeve. The ones that appear perfect are the ones I'm wary of. My logic is that it must be really bad if they are going to such lengths to hide it so well.

Plus, life is way more fun when you think of others before yourself. We are better people when the little "I" disappears into the bigger "We."

AFS

By the way... Doxa means truth in Biblical Greek. Modern Greek it means one's statement. Please know there are many versions; Ancient Greek, Homeric Greek, Biblical Greek and Modern Greek. I am sure there are other versions... These four were the one's I was forced to study. (Hated it.) If anyone talks to me in anything beyond Modern Greek, I honestly will not understand them. They are that different.



go-B

climber
  Apr 22, 2011 - 10:51am PT
"the world will not be at peace until there is one language and one religion." -- jim bridwell

are we getting closer?





Scripture Reference:
Genesis 11:1-9

The Tower of Babel - Story Summary:
Up until this point in the Bible, the whole world had one language - one common speech for all people. The people of the earth became skilled in construction and decided to build a city with a tower that would reach to heaven. By building the tower they wanted to make a name for themselves and also prevent their city from being scattered.

God came to see their city and the tower they were building. He perceived their intentions, and in His infinite wisdom, He knew this "stairway to heaven" would only lead the people away from God. He noted the powerful force within their unity of purpose. As a result, God confused their language, causing them to speak different languages so they would not understand each other. By doing this, God thwarted their plans. He also scattered the people of the city all over the face of the earth.
Points of Interest from the Story:
• When God speaks in this story, He uses the phrase, "let us go," referencing the trinity.

• Some scholars believe that this marks the point in history where God divided the earth into separate continents.

• God says in Genesis 11:6, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (NIV) God realizes that when people are unified in purpose they can accomplish impossible feats, both noble and ignoble. This is why unity in the body of Christ is so important.
• To build, the people used brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar. They used "man-made" materials, instead of more durable "God-made" materials. The people were building a monument to themselves, to call attention to their own abilities and achievements, instead of giving glory to God.
Question for Reflection:
Are there any "towers" you are building in your life?
http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/towerofbabel.htm





Anastasia

climber
Home
  Apr 22, 2011 - 11:07am PT
Nope... We can't even agree on the meaning of words in English. Plus most arguments I've participated in and witnessed have been based on misunderstandings. We might have discussed and argued in English but heck... We sure didn't understand the same meaning.

Funny how that works...

AFS

Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 26, 2011 - 11:57am PT
To all: I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts with you but that will have to waite until after our Humphrey Family reunion with Paul this week. We will gather at his place tomorrow through Saturday morning. Check out my post on his thread. Lots of good stuff here keep the conversation going I will chime in as I can.
David
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 29, 2011 - 12:37am PT
In Santa Rosa, enjoying some quality time with my three "kids" Good memories, think we crack Ruth up with the subtle strains of "the Humphrey humor". Sorry some interpreted our gathering as heralding "the end" far from it, it was just a matter of meshing our three hectic lives. Paul has a lot of fight and therefore a lot of life left in him. Don't ever mourn for Paul, just celebrate a life lived on his own unique terms. Posts are better than phone calls because he can deal with the posts when he is "up" to it. Phone calls don't always have good timing.

Paul's Dad
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  May 13, 2011 - 11:48am PT
I am taking a break from this discussion as the academic has been overtaken by the reality of Paul's suffering and pain. Just want to say how much I enjoyed meeting Tony Bird in J T. Waiting for the "inevitable" phone call from Ruth makes it difficult to concentrate on much else.

Paul's sister Anna and her husband Jason & family hope to make another trip north to see Paul and Ruth now that Jason is home from his latest flying assignment. He fly's corporate jets in the Middle East for sheiks and tycoons - gone a month, home a month. Sounds romantic but he would like to be home more and we all know the political situation is in chaos over there.

I have been through a lot of spiritually challenging periods in my life and this is one of the most challenging so far. Under the turmoil I do find a solid bed-rock of Peace and Faith that this and all the other "trials" and "travails" will help me become a more loving and compassionate human beings. Some liken these times to the "refiner's fire" that purifies the gold. However, I do wonder when will we be considered "finished"? At the same time I am very aware of the fact that Paul's pain and suffering is much greater than mine and that there are unknown legions of others who have and are suffering much more than we can even imagine.

I may not get back to this discussion for a while but your thoughts are appreciated and I do plan to check in from time to time. I hope you do the same so post away!

Love and Peace to all,

Pastor Dave
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 8, 2011 - 02:49am PT
Wow how time flies! If you saw the Posts about Paul and Ruth on Pauls thread and would like the whole story send me an email: revdghump@aol.com

Paul's Dad
MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
  Jul 8, 2011 - 09:23am PT
Just spent some time reading this, and I post a bit reluctantly.

It is interesting to me how some "intellectualize" their spirituality.

To me, the living a loving life - following one's heart IS the spiritual journey. To me, the mind/intellect does nothing but interfere with the process.

Is that positive, loving energy I work hard to manifest "religion"? I don't know, and frankly don't care. I used to call it Taoism, but I don't put labels on it anymore.

I do know that the easy lessons in life are not the important ones, the more difficult the lesson, the more important it is. My heart knows this, and my brain tries to get in the way.

I guess the main reason I am putting this down is so when I say "Thank you Pastor Dave", there is some basis of understanding.

Thank you Pastor Dave, you are a wonderful spirit with an amazing story and an equally spirited son.

Best to both of you, and looking forward to your thoughts.

Erik Wolfe
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
  Jul 8, 2011 - 12:11pm PT

MisterE
Social climber
CA

Is that positive, loving energy I work hard to manifest "religion"? I don't know, and frankly don't care. I used to call it Taoism, but I don't put labels on it anymore.

I do know that the easy lessons in life are not the important ones, the more difficult the lesson, the more important it is. My heart knows this, and my brain tries to get in the way.

Bam! Hit the nail on the head. Excellent.
-Paul H.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 9, 2011 - 12:04pm PT
Mister E: "I post a bit reluctantly." I am so glad you overcame your reluctance! You added to the discussion and connected with both Paul and myself. Too many labels, too many absolutes without love in the world of "religion". The best description of "God" is the simpelist: "God is Love". Therefore, Loving each other is the most "god-like" thing we can do.

Hope others will overcome any reluctance they feel in joining the discussion. NOTE: NOT "the argument". Discussion leades to love and acceptance, arguing leads to hate and rejection.

To all: That's my view, what is your's? Come on in, love lives here.

Pastor Dave
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Jul 10, 2011 - 07:38pm PT
Well put Erik. When pinned down I'm a default Taoist, cause he seems the closest..... But more and more I think labels are limiting.
MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
  Jul 10, 2011 - 09:10pm PT
Thanks, Paul and Dave - finding a connection with both of you is a wonderful feeling - your comments are much appreciated.

Jaybro: "When pinned down..." hehe - yup, with you on that! The default just doesn't work anymore, however.

Pastor Dave, question: Does it work the other way as well? "Love is God?"

Just curious...

Thanks again, you both diminished my future reluctance. :)

Erik
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 11, 2011 - 05:29pm PT
thaDood: Thanks for the exposition on the different words for "love". The answer to the question: from MisterE: "if God is Love, is Love God"? is a very legitimate question but the "answer", from my perspective is not as simple as saying "yes or no".

MisterE, Please note that I used the lower case "g" when I said: "Loving each other is the most "god-like" thing we can do. In fact, I considered the possibility that perhaps I should address the logical question "is Love God?" but decided to stay out of those deep theological waters at that time. However, since you asked the question I will do my best to discuss it in an intelligent manner and hope others will jump in with their comments.

The statement "God is Love" does not address EVERYTHING GOD IS! "God", is also presented by the Judeo-Christian, and at least some other religions, as Creator and Ultimate Judge of all that God has created, including us humans who are said to be "created in the image of God". While humans also "create" or "invent" things and often judge themselves or others, we are not capable of doing so with the same depth of knowledge and wisdom that is ascribed to GOD.

Therefore, I conclude that we also do other god-like tasks but those tasks, like love, while "god-like" ARE NOT GOD. While I must conclude that Love is not God, this in no way diminishes my assertion: "Loving each other is the most "god-like" thing we can do." We can and should do other "god-like" actions, or live our lives in the most "god-like" way that we can. Even atheists and agnostics can and do live lives that are "god-like" in many ways. Whatever a person's philosophy, ethics or religion including atheism, agnosticism, materialism, etc, when we/they live a life of loving one another we all make this a better world.

I have some thoughts, about "atheism" etc also being "statements of faith" which I will share for a later discussion topic. All I will say here is that I use the word "faith" for any belief's that can not be proven. I can not "prove" there is a God and I do not believe anyone can "prove" there is not a God. There is good, valid evidence to support both conclusions and I have moved from one side of the debate to the other (from no God, to yes, there is a God). That does not mean that all of my questions as to the origin of the vast universe have been answered or that I think I should in any way force or reject those who come to a different or alternative conclusion. That would be most UN-LOVING!

And hopefully, the discussion will continue.

Pastor Dave
MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
  Jul 11, 2011 - 06:13pm PT
That is a very good answer, Pastor Dave - thank you for expressing it so well. That actually rings very true to me - an attachment or affection (such as love) cannot be an entity, but an entity can manifest attachment or affection.
I think the reason I asked the question initially is that some of those who do not believe in God consider God to be a manifestation of the mind or heart, thus not an "entity" per se (to them).

Thanks as well, ThaDood - I had forgotten that lesson from College Greek Mythology.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 12, 2011 - 12:48pm PT
MisterE: Love your concise summary! The word "entity" did not occur to me but it is so on target. This is how we learn from and enrich each other through civil, can we say loving?, discussion and sharing.

Pastor Dave
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 26, 2011 - 11:26pm PT
Sunday, July 24, Greetings from Santa Rosa, CA. "Hanging out" with Paul on the patio. Marilyn and I will hang out here as much as needed while taking in some of the local sights and then visiting other friends and relatives before heading for home. Other than that we don't have any "must do's" on our agenda.

Paul has already confounded all the Doctors & Nurses including his Hospice Team. In fact, the Pharmacist did not want to fill the Hospice Rx's because "no one" can take that much pain medication and still be alive or even conscious. Of course I am not that surprised because I have known what a strong willed person Paul has been from birth. Paul and I are enjoying some very deep discussions about life, suffering and death but the only real conclusion we can come to is that it is all a "mystery" and the "trick" is to accept the unknowable and just focus on the here and now with Love and Peace.

It may seem strange, but we are "enjoying" our time together. Will keep in touch as the journey continues until the location changes from this earthly life to the wonders of the next phase of life/existence. "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has prepared...." My personal expectation for what comes next is simple: "God, surprise me!"

That's all for now,
Paul's Dad, AKA Pastor Dave
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Jul 26, 2011 - 11:44pm PT
"Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has prepared...." My personal expectation for what comes next is simple: "God, surprise me!"

More comforting or inspiring words were never spoken.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 28, 2011 - 01:27am PT
Deep, fantastic talks with Paul agree with his concept on his thread"

"FEEL BETTER, NOT WORSE, AT THE EXPENSE OF NO-ONE."
Paul Humphrey

A terrific goal for every day of our lives!

Love and Peace abounds in Santa Rosa CA

Pastor Dave
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
  Jul 28, 2011 - 02:24am PT
I had to bump your March photo back into view.
Your smiles show a lot of love. To me, that's what lifes about!
Credit: karabin museum
Walk in the faith and all will be healed.
Do you have any more photos to share?

Marty
One Dollar Ministry
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 29, 2011 - 12:16am PT
Marty, Will try to get a new picture of Paul and myself posted soon.

To all, This has been a quiet day, Paul has slept most of the time. Perhaps too much stimulation the past few days, perhaps his body is starting the process of shutting down. Paul remains unpredicable as always. Will update as I can. Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers we not only read them we FEEL THEM SURROUNDING AND UP-HOLDING ALL OF US!

Peace and love to all.

Paul's Dad/Pastor Dave
yllw2lip

Social climber
Orange, CA
  Aug 5, 2011 - 01:38am PT
I see my Dad hasn't replied on this post for a few days... that's because the day after his last post his son, my brother, Paul passed away. July 29th at 8:20pm he went from this life to the next. Now he knows more than any of us what mysteries lie ahead of us on the other side. I believe myself that he is in Heaven and is with God and is no longer in any pain or suffering and this brings me great peace in my heart as I deal with the sadness and as I just simply miss him. He was an amazing person.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Aug 5, 2011 - 08:46am PT
hey there say, yllw2lip.... i just dropped by here, too, as well as the other thread/post, to wish you and your family condolences...

your father was very kind to share his thoughts on paul through all this, in case someone else was going through these same hard times...


god bless to you all, at this time of missing your loved one...
prayers for a strong future, as you move onward without paul there in your midst to enjoy...

god blesss to you pastor dave and yllw2lip, and ruth, and all...
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
  Aug 5, 2011 - 10:06am PT
Pastor Dave and family, May the knowledge that Paul is with the King of Kings, and that we will all see him again, bring you much comfort in this difficult time.

"Those who have gone on before us, are cheering us on from the grandstands of eternity!"
yllw2lip

Social climber
Orange, CA
  Aug 5, 2011 - 02:45pm PT
Thank you neebee and Cragman. God bless you too!
cleo

Social climber
wherever you go, there you are
  Aug 5, 2011 - 04:20pm PT
Much love to Paul and Paul's family. I didn't comment much on his or Pastor Dave's threads, but they were certainly thought-provoking, interesting, full of love and spirit, and Paul will be missed here.
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 5, 2011 - 05:49pm PT
To all: Marilyn and I have decided to take a few weeks to visit our friends and relatives scattered from Northern CA to Idaho. Plan to come back down the Pacific coast and stop in Eureka around the 18th to 20 th of August. There are some of Paul's things in the Basement of the Yoga College there that I need to sort and clean out. Will lso see Ruth again on our way home.

I do hope to continue to share my spiritual journy and hope others will share here too.

Pastor Dave
Pastor Dave

Social climber
Yucca Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 22, 2011 - 05:16pm PT
To ALL: The Dolphin* Landed safely at Tranquility Base** at 8:45 PM on Saturday, 8/20/2011.

Thanks again for all your expressions of Love and Support.
David and Marilyn Humphrey


*Our old RV, 199,500 miles so far

**Our home in Yucca Valley

Will take up this discussion again if any of you want to share your thoughts or ask a question.

So many good thoughts and condolances on Pual's "Melenoma Survivors" site. BTW Paul DID survive the Cancer and is still climbing, just in a different dimension. Such sweet conversations during those last days of his earthly journey. Do hope more will want to take Paul climbing with them. Check out "Paul's Balls" Forumn. Ruth will have the production line up and running soon.

Pastor Dave,
PRIVILEGED AND HUMBLED TO BE PAUL'S DAD
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