Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

The varied peoples of Middle-earth at times found unity in their pursuits, and all too often experienced deep rifts. Engage in lively conversations as we banter about the differences between the Alliances, and recruit for our People as well. Remember, keep it friendly.

Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:41 am

13 pounds??? WOW! She lost weight without even trying! ;) But I wouldn't recommend the plan, eh?

So glad to hear she's doing well, Morwenna! I was wondering how she was doing. :hug: Keep us updated when the next surgery is to start, and pass on the :hug: for us. :D
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:58 am

Popping in to wake everyone up, see how everyone is doing and to post a prayer request

It's for two people under similar cicumstances and they've both been on my heart recently. One of them I don't know entirely why, but I have some suspicions.

My cousin Ben is first. He has bee searching for God his entire life and has taken the long way about it. He was raised by a mean catholic mother and so for many years wanted nothing to do with God. He's circled around and circled around...this time last year he was in to Buddism. Now, he's come a little closer and says he believes in God, but all religions lead to the same place, so he picks and chooses what he likes. So, when you think of it, please give Ben a prayer or two.

The second is a friend I've not seen in about 2 years, JJ. I used to see him once or twice a month when I worked for the paper, but the last time was when I made rounds after I lost my job to tell everyone goodbye. I used to pray for him regularly, but got away from it. About a week ago I had a dream that started a story I've been working on, and unintentionally (I didn't even realize it until I was well in) the one character resembles JJ a little. A couple days later there was a murder suicide in his hometown, and because I know so many people there, I got in contact with one of them (the mayor) and asked her if she knew who it was...and it wasn't anyone I know (or she knew even). But that night, and successive nights, I've been dreaming about him. And the feeling is like God is shouting someone needs to be praying for him!!! and I don't get feelings like that often. I know he suffers from depression and I've wondered, being the holiday season if this year is going to be critical, and God knows I'll do it.

That was a lot longer than I intended, but if you'd say a couple prayers for both of these people, I'd appreciate it. :)
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:16 pm

On it, Iris. I assume those requests are still relavent unless either one has turned into a praise is the meantime.

Just stopping in to say hi and hopefully share a little encouragement. Just be reading and coming to deeper understanding that as much I might try to change my life and attitudes to be more Christlike, I am never going to be successful if I try to will myself into right behavior. The power and ability to be more Christlike comes with shifting my own perspective to be more like God’s perspective. When I see others like God does, I can love them enough to serve them and witness with passion. When I see my sin as God sees it I will be able to find it as loathsome as he does and stop. The only way to achieve this perspective is to learn more about him through studying his word and prayer. Man do I underestimate the power of prayer. It like having the Deathstar in your arsenal and sendomly if ever using it.

God is doing some work in my life right now. I’ve been struggling with business and a bit of selfishness. Just want to do my own thing when I get home from teaching and am tired. When it come times to get in the Word or set a side some prayer time, there are just other things I would rather do. Our church is starting up a men’s fellowship breakfast/Bible study in an effort to create an environment where the guys can support one another and have accountability and what not (so a little scary! It requires openness and setting aside pride). So praise that he is convicting and moving, prayer request that he will make me soft to the leading.

Man, can I go on....

So great to come back and visit. Always love comeing back and finding all you guys still hanging out. :grouphug:

~Quill
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:47 pm

Hey, Quill! Good to hear from you! :hug:

My husband attends a similar breakfast thing on Saturday's. The restaurant they used to go to shut down. They had some people who would schedule their breakfasts at the same time so they could "listen in" on the discussion. :D They now go to a restaurant owned by the wife of a church member (no, she doesn't attend, but she's good to them). They've done some interesting books, including a couple by a man named Timothy Keller. I've seen some changes in Rob that are good. :D :hug: It will go well. If God is in it, it will!

My requests are still relevant. *sigh* I'm afraid I haven't been as faithful in praying as I should have been. Life. Ugh. Ben...scares me. Maybe that's not entirely right, but he's unintentionally creating a problem. I say unintentionally because I don't think he really realizes what he's doing. Not only is he someone who believes that all religions lead to the same place, he's also an ultra-liberal individual. Generally I wouldn't care, but when we have cousin dinners, it can create tension because the rest of us...aren't. (To clarify, my mom is the youngest of eight kids. Three are still living. The children of these siblings have always been called "The Cousins" and I'm the youngest of those. Several of us still live in the same area, so mom tries to get us together for dinners occasionally, especially since their parents are all gone. Her living brothers and their children all live hours away.) Most recently he and my cousin Daniel (who could also use some prayer, btw) got into a huge debate regarding guns and the NRA. :shock: I am the type of person who doesn't like conflict. At all. I just wanted to hide. Furthermore, Ben is very, very negative. Not only is the glass half empty, it probably has a crack in it and the juice is poisoned. :rofl:

Hey, here's something for everyone, if you all are interested. Some of you know my mom and I took a trip of a lifetime last April...we went to Israel! So, I'm going to include a link to my blog. I haven't written anything in a while, but I'm thinking on a post regarding the 70th anniversary of modern Israel. There's lots of pics...including one of my mom on a camel! :D
Iris' Israel Adventure

Another thing I've been doing, two actually...back in February I joined a bible study at my church on Revelation. I'd been waiting for someone to do one on something I was interested in. I'd done a few with our pastor's wife, but I got bored with topicals by the same author. Then my work got in the way when we finally moved onto something else. Now that I'm not working full time...well, Revelation is one of those books where no matter how much you study it, you find something new. Ended up with a really good group (except one guy I'm ready to pound into the floor...erm, that's not very Christ-like, is it?) and now we're planning to do Judges...something else I've always been interested in. We're using books by Warren Wiersbe. The other thing is an attempt to read through the bible in a year. I tried once before and fell short by a couple minor prophets. Rob found a study on You Version we're both doing. I fall behind occasionally, but today got caught up again. We're almost out of Deuteronomy...Numbers and Leviticus are killers...y'know?
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby Otaku-sempai » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:13 pm

As a lapsed Catholic who is no longer particularly religious, I don't want to start any controversies here. I do have an observation related to Tolkien's own Catholicism. Has anyone remarked before this on Professor Tolkien's estimate of the end of the Third Age roughly coinciding with the beginning of the Hebrew Calendar? It's true: Tolkien stated that the Third Age would have ended approximately 6000 years ago.

Does this mean that we can draw a parallel between the end of the Fourth Age and the Great Flood of the Bible? Not to equate the two, but the Fourth Age could have ended in a global catastrophe that would have reshaped the oceans and continents into their modern configuration (as opposed to the real world where such changes took place over a much vaster span of geological time and involved plate tectonics and continental drift).

Thoughts?
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:07 pm

Well, Tolkien himself said that Middle Earth was this Earth “at a different stage of imagination,” though I do wonder if that particular historical coincidence was in fact intentional. I wonder if Tolkien thought of his mythos as a fanciful possible alternate history of this planets beginnings. Obviosuly if we wanted to play along then we might expect to find Valinor still floating around around somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle or something, and mythril might be the old name for tungsten or titanium. I don’t know, I just have a hard time hooking the two together. The Bible descirbes the events leading up to the flood, and the specific reasons why God felt the Flood was neccisary. None of Tolkien’s own writings about Eru, or any of the Valar, for that matter paint a picture of a similar Deity with similar values or motivations. A global flood as viewed from a Catholic standpoint (I am Protestant so I suppose I can’t say with absolute certainty) was not just a random geological event causing the earth to be submerged and incredibly power tectonic events to suddenly take place as the “fountains of the deep were broken up,” but rather as God instigated cataclysm which served very specific purposes. That sort of catastrophe would be jaringly at odds with any of the endings of the ages of the Lord of The Rings.

The Bible says that Men’s imaginations dwelled on “only evil all the time” thus God brings the flood. But Tolkien never really delves into the geospiritual (I may have just invented that one) condition of the races of Middle Earth. All we really get is that the human and Elvish race were for the most part good, and the Orcs and of the course the Easterlings were primarily bad. Tolkien would have to really have fleshed out the spiritual beliefes and conditions of his nations and characters to suggest that perhaps sometime in the further Eru brought about a flood because of the great evil that everyone was involved in and then presto, modern Earth.

I don’t know if I made any sense. It sounded good in my head. Great thought, Otaku-sempai! Any thoughts in reaction to my thoughts? :P

Iris sorry to hear about the cousin. I have a brother in law who can be a little confrontational at times, not too bad for me because we find ourselves on the same page most of the time so most our “heated discussions” end with “Yeah? Well I agree completely with you on nearly everything you said!” My brother (Also a Ben) and I get into long discussions on Bible translations, predestination, and other similar topics. I can tell from the about of eye rolling our wives are doing that those undending and unresolvedable discussion are not alway appreciated. But its nothing like having a fundamentally apposed worldview very vehemently and aggressively flung in your face at every opportunity. That’s rough, I’ll pray for your patience and opportunities for love to be shown. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Perhaps seeing you acting so drastically different than himself (and hopefully the piece that seems to bring you) will impact him positively at some point.

Cool news about the Isreal trip. I couldn’t find the camel picture. I honestly believe that the only (one of the only? I don’t know) reason the United States is still as “prominent” and “powerful” as it is today is because of our freindship with Isreal. It think it speaks back to that “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you” covenant with Abraham.

Revelations is an interesting book, and weird. We have Q&A days in my Bible class at the Christian School I teach at, and most of the time the questions the students ask are about Revelations and the end times in general. I can’t always give completely satisfying answers because we just don’t know enough. Leviticus is rough too, but I do currently have one student who is reading through it a few minutes at a time at the beginning of each day, he usually has tons of questions :P
Right now, as a class we are working our way through I Kings 22 (Judges was sometime around October and November just to give you an idea of how fast (or not!) we go). Right now I’m personaly mining through Philippians 3, Paul’s got some interesting stuff to say when you really break it down.
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby Otaku-sempai » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:40 pm

I'm not trying to make too many connections between Middle-earth and the pre-Flood Biblical Earth. Tolkien originally viewed his legendarium as an invented mythology for England, though I think that aspect lost importance as the stories were further developed. The Great Battle at the end of the First Age was to oppose Morgoth and not a punishment against Mankind. Even so, the consequences had a major impact on the lands of Middle-earth. The Downfall of Númenor was a direct result of Ar-Pharazôn's attempt to defy the Ban of the Valar, and also produced results almost on the level of the Great Flood, caused by the Change of the World (if you accept that aspect of Tolkien's cosmology).

I'm sure that Tolkien could have devised a story to explain how the Fourth Age ended in a manner that brought forth the world as we know it. It probably would not have involved an anthropomorphic representation of Evil such as Morgoth or Sauron, but there might have still been a powerful, misguided individual or group at the core of it.
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:01 pm

Just replying at a bit more length to you here, Iris.

Sounds like an interesting idea for a VBS-ish thingy. Its neat that you have the opportunity to be open with your faith at what sounds like a community fair event, quest... thing. I wouldn’t worry too much about it being “silly.”

We usually have our VBS in the morning all week, and then we meet on Friday evening as well and invite the parents and our pastor gives a short message to sort of wrap things up. This year we decided to nix that element of it. And I think it was a good call. My bride (who is also a HUGE traditionalist) really agonized over the descision, but we kinda realized that really the only reason we were thinking of doing it, despite the fact that we are always wasted by that point in the week, was because we always had.

You have to be careful about doing ministry just because its always been done a certian way. I am commander of AWANA at my church and the Elders here have been discussing taking a break from he program for a few years now as some of them feel that we keep doing it just because we have been for the last 25 years or so. We do not want our service to become something done just because. We need to be consistently seeking God’s will moving forward. So even if your VBS-ish thing this year may seem silly, be looking for that moment, that person that God is going to bring along who needs to hear what you have to say. Even if it is just planting a seed at this point.
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:34 am

I completely agree...my parents attend a church where "we've always done it this way" is a strong theme. It's the church my mom grew up in, left for many years, and returned to. But she and a handful of others have been gently pushing for new-ish things. Tradition is comfortable, though, y'know? I'm sure your wife does! ;)

One thing my mom has gently been pushing for is letting women do more in the church. This is a church that is King James only, women have little to do, etc. So, she encourages more for women and...when I'm there...I read NIV out loud. :rofl: The HORROR!
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:42 am

That is too funny! I was raised in a very traditional baptist church that was KJV only and to this day I still (very jokingly) call the NIV Satan’s Bible (But again, only to get a rise and hopefully a laugh out of people). The translation topic was a very hot button topic for that church. The ESV is my favorite version at the moment.

I’m sorry to hear that women are still somewhat constrained in your mom’s church. I attend a “Bible” church at this point, and we have several women ministry heads, though no women in preaching or eldership roles.

I feel the Bible does make it clear that there are some areas of the church where men are to take the leadership roles specificaly, mirroring the family structure as God described it. There are some interesting verses in there that I myself have a tough time understanding in the context of the “modern church.” All I can do is know the Bible is true and that God put everything in there for our benefit, and that he made it clear he thought no less of either gender.
I think sometimes the problem is that our culture has taken some of the traditional roles and devalued them. It used to be that many of the traditional roles that women served in in the church and the family were thought of as being extremely neccisary and important and honorable, but society and culture these days have redefined them as demeaning, limiting, and sexist. The Bible goes on at great length about how much Glory there is for a woman (Proverbs 31) in all manner of, what seem now to be mundane, pursuits. I guess we have to ask ourselves who do we trust to define our value and worth? A faithful and never changing God? Or an ever shifting and downward spiraling culture.

Boy did I go off on that one. Sorry about that I get caught up sometimes! Its the last day of our VBS tomorrow (Friday) and we have been talking about Peter. I feel bad though because I keep going off script and abandoning my leader book and cute flash-cards :P Its just so much fun making God seem more real to a generation that is bombarded from every direction with humanist dogma and skepticism. I teach Bible at the Christian school I work at (among other classes) and the questions these kids ask show they are thinking and reasoning beyond what adults, a lot of times, give them credit for. They want to know what is real, and so often God is made to sound more like a collection of fairytales and the man behind the curtain, than a real life being who loves and craves a relationship with his creations.

All that to say.... ummm..... I may have forgotten my point... nuts! There I go again :roll:

But yeah, tradition is comfortable, but a personal relationship with God is so much more important. They may bothe result in the exact same actions, but the first is just “because” and therefore is empty, the latter is motivated by love which is what He wants most from us.

Anyway, sorry for rambling so long. This is the kind of stuff that I get passionate about. :shock:

Just out of curiosity (not trying to start a holy war) what sort of church does your mom attend? lutheran, baptist, catholic, etc...
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:55 pm

Don't worry, I do that too!

My mom's church is an independent church. So...good leadership is hit and miss. For many years now it's been run by one family, mostly (our cousins) and a Freeman has been in leadership there for as long as anyone can remember (my mom's maiden name is Freeman). Currently the pastor has two other churches...both tiny Methodist churches. He's also an English teacher at one of the local high schools. Anyhow, he's the best pastor they've had in a long time and slowly the church is growing again, but it's mostly still older people with a handful around my age and a couple of teens.

The church I grew up in is Christian and Missionary Alliance. They still adhere to men only as pastors/elders too, but women have a greater role. There's been some debate (not overwhelming, mostly just discussion) about women becoming pastors, but we haven't been facing some of the issues other denominations have with men not responding to being called. I think one of the difficult things has been balancing between some of the pressures being brought on churches regarding "tolerance" and staying true to the bible. Our headquarters is in Colorado and I don't envy them one bit in some of decisions they've had to make. We took in quite a few Presbyterians a few years ago, along with the baptist churches, and I expect we'll be taking in an influx of Methodists here shortly.
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Re: Followers of Eru, the first decade! :D

Postby Maranwe-Ar-Feiniel » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:53 am

It's been years since I've even looked at TORC, but for some reason my old haunts have been on my mind- and the screen names of old acquaintances and friends. I was massively surprised when I remembered my old password!It's good to see this guild at least still lives!

Praises- I have so many! God has blessed my little family a lot- especially with my baby, after 4 years infertility!

Prayer requests- various, including for an effective radiation treatment of my mother's cancer.
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