God in America
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My longing for truth was a single prayer. -E. Stein

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator God is my Knight in Shining Armor. My Immortal Hero. Society has created mythic superheroes out of a misplaced desire for God. We idolize rock stars, celebrities and other "false deities" who are unworthy of our love and adoration. Christ, our Redeemer is the only one worthy of following. My first encounter with God occurred when I was sick in the hospital, suffering from a fatal illness. My diagnosis was AML and the prognosis was poor. I began seeking God with all my heart and soul. Christ heard my cry for help and rescued me from the pit, restoring my health and giving me a new purpose in life. I see God as the living embodiment of love, grace and compassion - the source of miracles and all good things. I don't know what he looks like but I imagine him to be stunning - a beautiful, kind and loving spirit of awesome power who radiates a healing light. He created the sun. How much greater is his glory? The amazing thing is - He loves us with an everlasting love.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in the saving power of Christ. He is my Redeemer, the Rock on which I stand.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator when God healed me of acute myeloid leukemia.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator as a teenager. I didn't know who God was and I had difficulty believing that he actually cared about me. My life seemed insignificant in the vast scheme of the universe, analogous to a dust mote floating in space. I now realize His eye is on the sparrow.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I have a purpose in the world - to serve God.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that Christians are 'haters.' The truth is...Christianity is based on LOVE. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Christ.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Death has no power. God's love is far greater than any evil that roams the earth.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in God but didn't really know who he was until I began seeking him later in life.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator rocky. In college, I grew accustomed to relying on my own power and self-sufficiency to get me through life. I didn't feel like I needed God. The answers to life's mysteries seemed attainable through the human intellect alone. I placed my faith in science and intellectualism as the most reliable routes to wisdom and enlightenment. It wasn't until I was in my late thirties that I began seeking God. At the age of 36, I was diagnosed with AML. My prognosis was very poor and the high priests of science - physicians - didn't have any answers or power. I realized that I had misplaced my faith. I began praying to God in earnest for the first time in years. I knew that if He existed He alone could heal me and restore my life. Luke 11:9: Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a believer but became an agnostic as a teenager. My mother was a practicing Catholic and my father was a Protestant. They fought frequently over the small doctrinal differences in their faiths. I still believe that there are more similarities than differences between Catholics & Protestants. It's the Enemy of Man who wants us to see only the differences. He wants to divide us.
Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I am more tolerant of the small doctrinal variations and interpretations between the Catholic & Protestant faiths.
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My children did not have an impact on my return to God. Facing a terminal illness drove me to seek a relationship with God.

How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I pray every day. Prayer to me is an ongoing dialog between myself and God. He wants to hear from us. He wants a relationship with us. However, He doesn't force Himself upon us. He is a gentleman who waits patiently for us to come to Him.
Does your family practice more than one religion or faith? If so, how do you blend the traditions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My husband is an agnostic. I respect his beliefs and we agree to disagree.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator For me, being a Christian is a difficult creed to live by. My faith is definitely countercultural. The world today is largely antagonistic toward the Christian faith and the stories in the Bible are ridiculed by the dominant, secular culture.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Me. I am Christ's ambassador. It is my mission in life to share Christ's light and love to others. 1 person liked this
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The Bible - which is the inspired word of God.

Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Religion does not belong in the world of politics. Period. It is a private matter.
Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator No.
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Not in primary school. Possibly High School.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator We need to love one another. The Enemy seeks to divide us. Love is more powerful than hate.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes.
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator God's commandment is to love one another. We should help those who are less fortunate. However, our salvation is not based on good works but is a gift of grace from God.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Render to Caesar what is Caesars. Religion and politics don't mix.
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Any religion that is fueled by hate is not of God. It's that simple. Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

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Major funding for God in America provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John E. Fetzer Institute, Inc.  Additional funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. God in America is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.
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Exclusive corporate funding for American Experience provided by Liberty Mutual.  Major funding provided by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  Major funding for FRONTLINE provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  Additional funding provided by the Park Foundation.  God in America, FRONTLINE and American Experience are made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Television viewers.
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Published October 11, 2010

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