CHEAP AND YUMMY BROWNIE RECIPE!
6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.

5/30/12

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN RE: EGGING OUR VAN

If you look closely, You can see my geeky, smiling reflection in the window.
To the person who egged our van last night. 
Thank you. 
I honestly felt a flood of home-town pride that good, old-fashioned egging was still taking place in this day and age of thievery. 
I got the giggles so bad the kids thought I was nuts. 
You made my day! :o) 
If you had only TP'd the yard, you would have made my week!

5/22/12

DAXX'S OPINION ON THE MATTER @ 8 YEARS OLD

Driving home from school I heard Daxx from the back of the van, Loudly:

DAXX: "Ahhhh! That is COMPLETELY Inappropriate!"

ME: "What's Inappropriate?"

DAXX: "LOOK! That woman's skirt is way too short and That is her husband!! I can't believe he's letting her wear that skirt so short!"

ME: "You don't think women should show their legs like that?"

DAXX: "She should be embarrassed! I bet her husband is embarrassed!"

She was like, maybe 25 years old and thin. Who knew an 8 year old would notice such things and have such powerful opinions about it? Wonder if his mind will change in 4 years? Hmmm...

I've only really talked about modesty with Jaibrian while picking out swim suits. We get swim shorts and swim shirts. Apparently he's been listening or watching or something. I like it. :o)

5/20/12

TREE SWINGS AND LEMONADE STANDS

Okay, so nobody ever accused Brian or me of being stick figures.  Let's just start with that.

Let it be known that we are well aware that these pictures are side-splittingly-funny.

We laughed as we took them, laughed as we sent them to our computer and I laughed as I edited them.

However, they ARE making it onto this blog because my husband made that tree swing for me. I wanted one for my birthday and I am going to use it...dog-gone-it!


The kids are all a flutter about it.  Jaibrian swung till her little heart was content today.

I swung and swung.  Brian swung with Daxx and everyone had a grand old time just-a-swingin'.  I'm not the little girl in the neighborhood named Charlotte Johnson, but we still had fun swinging on that swing today.

Not only did we swing, but we put out some of my mom and dad's crafts/furniture in the front yard to see if passers-by would take a look and buy.  The kids put out two Lemonade stands.



The kids made a killing! People bought Minute-Maid Lemonade that the kids had poured into pitchers. People bought Faygo pop.  They didn't care!  Tires squealed to a stop as people jumped out to grab a cup.

Honestly, If they set up every day, they could make a pretty good haul this summer....while I'm swingin' on the swing watching them learn about sales.

Next weekend I plan to paint the seat of the swing white, just after the kids go to bed.  Hopefully people walking by our front yard don't get the bright idea to swing a bit.  They'll get white paint on their hiney. 

That's no fun at all....

But then again, wouldn't that actually be splittingly funny too. Isn't that what the swing is for....Fun and Laughter? 

I have to admit; While I say that I hope nobody swings on it while the paint is wet, what I really mean is that I'll be watching until the wee hours of the morning just hoping that somebody does!

Yep, I'm that kind of crazy.

5/19/12

JUST GIVE ME ENOUGH ROPE

My Balloon Said "Happy Cake Day!" Because I don't get to eat it very often.
May 17th is my birthday.  This year it fell on a Thursday so I kept the kids home from school and we vegged out.  My actual birth date was a nice relaxing day and not overly exciting...which is just the way I like it.  I was, however, looking forward to the arrival of my parents who came up on Friday to celebrate my birthday weekend.

Mom and dad like to make odds and ends to sell at craft markets.  My dad is pretty handy with wood products and my mom is a whiz at making Americana Decor and what-not.  They decided to bring up some stuff to sell at our local Flea Market just to have something to do on Saturday, and to test out the market.

Brise, Becca, Me, Kole, Kazz, Daxx, Vinze, Jaibrian and Brian
Saturday night my family gathered around our family dining table so I could have my turn as the Birthday Girl.  Brian went WAY out of his way to find a Gluten Free Bakery to buy my cake.  It was yummy!  Chocolate / Chocolate Cake with 5 red roses and 1 yellow rose.  He ordered it that way specifically to signify our 5 sons and 1 daughter.

My hubby thinks of things like that.  He's kind of the best husband on the earth, but I don't advertise that too often, 'cause he's mine and I want to keep it that way.  He also does laundry, buys me flowers during my period sometimes, just to brighten my day and mops the kitchen floor when the urge strikes him.  Yep, he's a keeper. I kind of love him a lot

Me posing by my Butcher Block Table
But I digress...

Tonight I got to celebrate my birthday with ALL of our children and my mother and father.  I had asked for a few things over the past months but wasn't sure if people were paying attention.  I'm a Pinterest addict, so you can just imagine the things that must have been on my long list of wants.
Mom, Dad and Me

Guess what I got!!

Kazz and Becca got me an Electric Sander from Sears so I can sand my rusty, metal table outside for a project I've been chomping at the bit to do.  (Becca, my precious, loving, beautiful daughter in law is a good listener)

Brian bought me the thick rope and thick, solid wood that will become the old fashioned tree swing that I've been wanting for our front yard.

Dad and Me by the Butcher Block
I specifically asked for one sturdy enough to hold me. (and any random drunk adult who may pass by our home, in the middle of the night, and decide to go for a swing.)  He totally fulfilled my request.

As he walked through Home Depot buying the stuff to make my swing, he kept saying to himself, 'don't buy an axe, don't buy an axe...or tarp.'  In his mind, the purchase looked suspicious enough to warrant a full out FBI detail to make sure he wasn't wrapping a body for a dump! ROFL

My mom bought me the fancy, schmancy aroma therapy stick thingy's that I love so much.  You know those sticks in the aroma bottle that you turn over now and then to make the room smell nice?  That's the stuff.


Me posing, yet again, by the table my dad made
My dad? Well, he pulled a fast one on me.  He has been working on this Butcher Block Carving Table for a month or so.  It's made from 140 year old Barn Beams.  Can you imagine the time and effort it took to sand that stuff down?
 
He even used the actual wooden rods from the barn to hold this table together. He took the time to glue the wood and make the entire thing from those Barn Beams.  It's beautiful, it's super heavy....and it's mine!  I couldn't stop looking at it...and moving it around in the kitchen....and taking pictures by it....and kissing my dad.

I don't have to tell you the treasure I have sitting in my kitchen right now.  This is a family heirloom that will be loved and cherished by our family for many years.

The thought, time and effort put into each and every gift lifted my spirits this weekend.  I have been reminded, once again, how very blessed I am to be surrounded by precious, giving people who I get to call family.  Not everyone is this lucky and I want it to be known that I absolutely know how fortunate I am.  I love my family so very much.  Thank you, guys!

5/16/12

THE REALITY OF A PRETTY FAMILY PICTURE

Note: This blog is made into hard cover volumes for my family to read when I'm no longer here. It's an open diary of our life. This post is for my boys to read when they are parents. Boys, It is my hope that my grandchildren will not have to bear the burdens you bear, but if they do, please try to remember how you felt as a child.  Try to remember the days you were learning to control the seemingly, uncontrollable.  Remember the battles you had to overcome. I write this so you can do better; be better parents than we were. When we know better, we do better. I love you boys. 

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Child: "Can I go to Ben's House? "

Me: "Not today kiddo, we have family things to do."

and that's all it takes.  Just the answer, "no," That's all; nothing more; Just a no... It seems so casual, so easy; like the answer would be one of a million "no's" a parent would have to say in the lifespan of parenting, but "no" is not easy.  It's not easy when your child(ren) have a mental disorder.

"I hate you! I hate you, you fat woman!! I hate your fricken guts! I WILL go!!!  I will and you can't stop me!!! YOU can't tell me that!!! You fricken idiot!"

The saga begins.

In the beginning, when we didn't know any better, we would ground them or talk with them or try to reason with them.

In the beginning we pulled out all of the parenting tools we owned.  We found new ones; Bright shiny new tools that the experts said would help....the experts...in their comfortable, puffy chairs. 

In the beginning: "Honey, we have to say no because...."

The yelling got louder, the head banging, hair pulling, throwing themselves to the floor was a shock.  Now, it's normal.

In the beginning:  "You are grounded."

The yelling got louder, the walls were riddled; holes here and a nicks there, from their kicking, punching and thrown objects. It was a shock.
Now, it's normal.

In the beginning: We didn't realize there was no such thing as "parenting-this-out-of-them."  We thought we could cure it by spanking or grounding or reasoning or patience or ignoring or sticker charts or positive reinforcement...week after week, month after month, year after year, looonnnggg trials of this parenting style and that parenting technique...Longggg, exhausting futile tries to "fix" our children.

Silly parents.

Today, it's old hat.  Today the answer was no.  He pulled his hair. Another child walked in to instigate, yell, become irritated when told to please walk away for a moment.  The dueling wills began. They both had something to be mad about, and the full force would be directed at the only people they can trust; mom and dad.

The older child walked out of the room, kicked the back door forcefully 4 times before slamming it.  It bounced back, hung wide open, unable to shut in the bent door frame.

It's okay.  We're not beginners anymore.

We ignore the tantrums, the yelling, the spit, the kicking, the hurled insults.  We ignore until one tires of screaming...until he tires of his own anger...until he sits, exhausted, sobbing, rocking back and forth. Minutes pass before he is able to speak. I can tell that he's coming back to us.

He mutters softly, "Mommy."  I ignore it for a moment...waiting to see if it's over. It has to be truly over before my help will be accepted.  If I offer help too soon, his disease will over-take him again.  I can't do that to him. I won't.

Softly the rocking child sobs. Slowly he comes back to reality. Gently he rocks. He is himself again. Sweet, sweet, precious, loving, gentle boy.

He whispers in tender hisses: "Mommy, Please help me.  Mom, Pleeease, please..." 

"What can I do honey?  Is it time for help?  Are you back with me now?  What can I do?"

Groaning sobs wave over his little body. I fight my own tears so that I can be strong for him.  He needs strength to pull from.  I have to pour strength into him.

His eyes are open, staring at nothing.  He answers in deep, choked, pleading words:  "I can't make my tears go away.  Can you wipe them? I can't make them stop.  Mommm (his sobbing breaks my soul. I fight the tears.) Mommmm, why am I like this? Why can't I stop?"

He needs answers. He needs me to make it stop.  I can't.  I can't make it stop. I'm all he has and I can't fix it.

"I don't know how to stop it, but I am here and I love you so, so much. I love you so, so much." The cold wash cloth gently glides over his face. He takes it tenderly and holds my fingers. He leans into my chest and sobs.

"Mom, Take me back to the doctor.  The pills didn't work today."

The other child returns just as his brother's behavior quiets. He ignores his sobbing brother sitting in my lap on the kitchen floor.

"Mom help me with this now."  My Brain Screams. 'Really?  Homework?  THAT'S what you need help with right now...on a Saturday...during this chaos?'

But, I don't scream. I don't yell.  I Ignore it...it's our way now.


"I'll be right with you.  If you can walk away for a moment, I'll help you when your brother is feeling better."

That was not the answer he wanted. "I can't believe this crap!" Another slam of the door as it swings back to hit the side of the house.  The dog runs in and back out. Objects are thrown around the yard. I make a mental note of the talk I will have with the older child, how many days he will be grounded and how I will hug him when he apologizes.  I WILL hug him.  He needs me too.

'Calm' My brain is out of body...as if God holds my emotions just far enough away to keep me sane...'Calm. YOU are calm. That is all that is needed today. Stay calm.'

I hold the younger child who sobs for help. Brian speaks calmly to the older child who so desperately needs help but refuses to take it.  

We're a team. We pick up the pieces, yet again. It's all we can do.  We talk to them, we console, we explain the correct way to handle "it" next time so they have the tools, yet again, to use.  We pray they remember. We pray they are able to reach these tools during their manic episodes. We pray.

The realization that their future may not be as bright as we hoped hits full force, yet again, and I cry.

I cry again today.  The phone rings, I cannot answer it. I cannot help if someone wants a favor. I cannot pretend life is great for people who need me to be well.  I cannot be the woman I used to be.  I have to be this mom. This mom who waits for the bomb to drop at a moment's notice.  Manic spikes? My plummeting blood pressure?  Which one will come next?

Can I make it to Mom's Night Out?  Probably not.  I'll probably be sick or sad.  Can I babysit for a friend?  No, What if one of the kids' emotions spike? I can't keep it together long enough without Brian's help.  Can Brian take the boys camping? No, he needs to be here for Shelly, just in case she passes out.

I used to plan events, be the leader, try to be the fun in the crowd. I used to be....Shelly.

Now? I honestly don't have the common courtesy to care anymore about what this person thinks or that person requires of me to maintain a friendship.  I have no advice to give.  I don't even want to "grab a coffee" or "hang out" or "chat." I can't think of anything but my sickness or my children or the strain on my marriage while I'm out "relaxing" with friends. 

What I want is to be normal again. Normal, Normal, Normal! I want my children to be healthy. I want our lives to be simple, boring, fun, days full of family events that clog a normal calendar.  I want that pretty picture of normalcy that announces to the world that life is grand for our household....and NORMAL!

What I want....Ohhh, let me count the wants.

But God does not give us what we want.  He gives us what we need.  I THANK GOD for my husband who understands this chaos and can take it.  I thank God for my friends..True, True friends who listen, look at me with a bit of concern, talk about me with concern, pray for me, know that I'm losing it half the time and love me anyway.  I thank God for my friends who repeat the answers to questions I've asked twice before.  I thank God for my friends who know I won't answer the phone and understand why.

They know who they are....they know.

What I have is what God knew I needed.  He gave me life.  The real stuff.  No fluff.  He gave me real friends with real problems who understand my problems and my limitations as a friend...as I understand their limitations.  We have all figured out that life is not about what we want; It's about what we appreciate.  And I appreciate my Husband, Family and Friends.  

There are times when I am tapped out.  1, 2, 3....tap, tap, tap....this woman has no more answers, no more moves to pull out of her bag, no more thoughts on the issues....tap, tap....t.a.p... Who can take my turn in the ring?

But then, God.

That is when I know He is real.  Though I walk through the valley, I see His Hand and know that the mountain top is just one step up...just one step. I can do this.  I can. I try. I try again. That is when He holds me, His fingers wipe my tears, I hear His voice gently consoling me...

"Give Me their future, Shelly. I've got it. Give Me your fears. I've got them. Give Me your hand, Shelly. I've got you. I took your turn in the ring. I love you so, so much."

5/7/12

MAY: 1ST WEEKEND UPDATE

The "Good" Picture Before Church
This past weekend was supposed to be our first camping adventure of 2012.  We have a seasonal camp site "up north" in Michigan.  Our camper stays in "our" spot all year round so our family can spend many weekends there each summer.  The forecast for this past weekend, however, was not optimal for fun in the sun, so we decided to stay home...and I'm glad we did.

Reality
I had a cold that kicked my hiney.  My nose was full of snot, my head was achy, my body wanted to sleep and thankfully, I did. I slept a lot. 

The kids were entertained by friends who we were blessed to have over for the weekend.  Paul and Liza are buddies who fit into this family like they were born into it.  Their parents went to a weekend camp to take some training for Boy Scouts/American Heritage Girls.  Jeff and Jen were all about blacksmithing, camp-fire cooking, old-timey baking, colonial days such and such.  They had a good time....not my idea of fun, but they were REALLY into it! They are now certified to teach our troops all this jazz and THAT is very cool.

Jen and Liza

Anyway, thanks to the kids all getting along like family, all I had to do was have food out at all times, movies to choose from and basketballs outside....and the occasional video game time-table set for them to play; and all was well with the world. 

Brise and Brian: Same Height
They didn't care that I was zonked out half of the time...and they're all old enough that I didn't have to have my eyes on them at all times.  (Boy I'm so glad to be out of that baby stage)


We figured out that Brisan, age 15, is now as tall as Brian.  That's a whoot!  Brise finishes his second college course this week.  He aced his Keyboarding class and has aced this IT course.  He'll be on the Dean's List for this semester.  I am so proud of him I just can't stand it.

Well, That brings us up to speed for this weekend.  As I type this...on Monday at 8pm, Brian is snotting and feeling like trash.  He got my cold.  Sorry Honey...I did warn you not to drink after me but you said, ....and I quote..."I don't get sick." 

Yawn...Good Morning

Well, now we know that's not quite the case, now don't we. tee hee...  (Brian is chuckling next to me as I read this out loud.)

Here's to a fun summer! 

5/1/12

CATHOLICS ARE EVIL

Reminder:  This blog is printed into hard cover books for my children.  I talk about personal beliefs, religion, parenting and memories so my kids will have these words to read after I'm dead and gone.  This blog is a family legacy made for my children. It is what it is.

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Kids, you may remember that I warned you about some people who think Catholics are damned to hell; people who will tell you this outright. In general you will come in contact with fellow Christians who may have questions about our faith, and ask about the Catholic religion with earnest regard for what we are thinking.  These fellow Christians are respectful and truly interested in knowing why in the world we believe the way we do. It is fine and fun and wonderful to have such loving Christian Brothers and Sisters in Christ whom we can chat with amicably.

There are, however, some people who full out hate us.

Please remember that these "type" of people think they are waging a war against Satan. We can give them some leniency because they are often not well learned and unable (or unwilling) to research history for themselves.  These are people who often parrot what others have told them rather than researching whether what they are parroting is true. Because of these limitations, we can (and should) breathe through the jolt of shock and do our best to state the truths to rebut. 

Below you will view an example of the type of...shall I say passion?....that can spew from ones mouth when they are adamantly waging war against a perceived evil...(ie: us)   I am going to do my best to answer the questions that were posed to me in the comments from this post.  I hope this will help you in the future. 

The question (statement) from the commenter will be written first and then my answer. 
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1. I attended a catholic funereal where the priest explained to everyone that the person who died was going to heaven because she did a lot of good works and that is how we all get there. They do believe that and teach that.

ANSWER:  I wasn’t there to hear how this particular priest worded his comment, however it is entirely possible that your understanding of his words may have been clouded by your particular views.  However, to answer the question of “Works/Faith”are as follows.

How can we hear; “Well done, though good and faithful servant” if we do not DO things on earth to please God? (Matthew 25:21 (KJV)

Catholicsdo believe that faith and God's grace will get them into Heaven, accompanied by the work we do for Christ on earth. There are many verses in the Bible stating that entrance into Heaven is not as simple as saying "I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior." Let us see what the Bible has to say about salvation:
(Phil 2:12) -…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
(Rom 2:5-6) - …the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
(James 2:14) - What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?
(Mt 16:27) - For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
(2 Cor. 5:10) - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

2.  Baptist are not protestant. They were the first church, and were around way before catholic's. They were first called Anna Baptist and then just Baptist. We go by the Bible and what it teaches, nothing else. Not confusing at all.

ANSWER:  I believe you mean Anabaptist.  The name Anabaptist is derived from the Latin term anabaptista, or "one who baptizes over again." This name was given them in reference to the practice of re-baptizing converts who already had been baptized as infants.  This movement began in the 1500’s to “re-baptize” Catholics.  Obviously they did not predate Catholics, as Catholic means Universal and was the name for all Christians before the reformation.

3.  The catholic church also did not conform the Bible. The King James Bible, the first Bible.

ANSWER:   Let me just say that no matter how you slice it, The King James Bible was not the first Bible.  You don't have to take this Catholic's viewpoint on this one.  History from Secular to Christian to Atheist viewpoints will attest to this.  The fact that King James was born over 1500 years after Jesus' death is a good indicator that the KJB was NOT the first Bible.   

Here's the short version: Pope Damasus I assembled the first list of books of the Bible at the Council of Rome in AD 382. He commissioned Saint Jerome to produce a reliable and consistent text by translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin. This translation became known as the Latin Vulgate Bible and in 1546 at the Council of Trent was declared by the Roman Catholic Church to be the only authentic and official Bible.   In 1604….1222 years after the Bible was formed…The newly crowned King James convened the Hampton Court Conference. That gathering proposed a new English version in response to the perceived problems of earlier translations as detected by the Puritan faction of the Church of England.

If you believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the first Bible and the only source to get one into Heaven, then those who were Christians for the 1604 years before he had the Bible translated were damned to hell…IF what you’re saying is true.  Surely you jest.

4.   The Pope NEVER spoke of being "born-again." The Pope NEVER made any public profession of faith ALONE in Jesus Christ.

ANSWER:  That is true.  The Pope would never state that Faith Alone would get a person to Heaven because Faith Alone is NOT Biblical. We must pick up or cross daily and DO the work God has planned for our lives.  Again, our works will not “Save” us but Faith and Following Christ’s path for our lives, work together for His purpose. 
(Phil 2:12) -…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
(Rom 2:5-6) - …the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
(James 2:14) - What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?
(Mt 16:27) - For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
(2 Cor. 5:10) - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
5.  There is NOTHING in the Word of God about the Immaculate Conception of Mary. (was added to catholic doctrine in 1950)

ANSWER:   Mary’s Immaculate Conception IS in the Bible. 

Adam and Eve were sent to earth sinless.  When they sinned, they "ruined" everything.   We see in Genesis 3:15 the first mention of Mary.  We can see Mary, the “woman”; the Mother of the Messiah.  At that point GOD put "a condition of enmity" between her and Satan.  God himself placed that condition between her and Satan...because He can do that.  Mary’s victory over Satan would not have been perfect if she had ever been under Satan’s dominion. Consequently she entered this world without the stain of original sin, like Adam and Eve, due to God's command and promise to Satan in Genesis. BUT only because GOD allowed it to be so for Jesus sake.
 
For Example: Just think of the Ark of the Covenant.  People could not even touch it or they would die! 

2 Samuel 6:6-7 King James Version (KJV) 6And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.  7And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

 Mary CARRIED Jesus in her womb!

Mary was not "perfect" in herself, because there was no perfect human on earth...no not one!  She was human BUT God put enmity between her and Satan ALLOWING her to be sinless FOR Jesus sake and Jesus WAS her savior! (Luke 1:46) She was NOT a "perfect human" on her own or by herself. That's impossible.  She also needed Jesus as her savior.  The Catholic Teachings go something like this:  The early Fathers of the church...before the Bible was "made" and before printing presses were invented....passed on Jesus' teachings by mouth.  They said orally that “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, The Virgin Mary loosened by her faith” (Lumen Gentium 56).  That teaching was highlighted in Mary being the New Eve sent by God; prophesied by God Himself in Genesis.

6.  There is NOTHING in the Bible about the Rosary or praying to God through Mary.

ANSWER:  Asking one of the cloud of witnesses to pray for us is no different than asking our friends on earth to pray for us.  Catholics recognize the huge difference between honor and worship. They worship Christ. They honor Mary. (Hebrews 11 thru 12:1)

Catholics want to adore Mary and give her a place of honor in their lives because they are afraid they will offend Jesus if they don't acknowledge His Mother. (Luke 1:42 & Luke 1:48)

They know that we are to honor our mother and father in Christ so, if Jesus was fully God and He was fully man on this earth also...making him our God AND our brother "in Christ"...we should Honor Our Mother in Christ. She IS Jesus' Mother chosen by God. She accepted the huge sacrifice to be Christ’s mother. She is a wonderful woman of complete faith who we can look up to as an example of COMPLETE obedience to God’s will.  She conceived Jesus from the Holy Spirit, she was THERE when Jesus was born, she raised Him and she watched Him die. She was at the foot of the cross agonizing. A Catholic can't comprehend NOT honoring her.

The issue for Protestants is that we don't ever, ever talk to anyone but Jesus. We see any chatter between ourselves and someone in Heaven as worship. Catholics, however, talk with their brothers and sisters in Christ in Heaven all the time. They read Hebrews 11 thru 12:1 and believe that when we die, we can be part of the cloud of witnesses.  Though our bodies died on earth, our spirit is alive and still able to worship Christ and pray for our fellow brothers and sisters.  

THE ROSARY:   The Rosary is a meditation on the Life of Jesus.  The Rosary is all about thinking about the fact that God Himself came to earth for us and suffered life as a human so that we can be saved. I understand how some people could think that it is worship to Mary because we are asking her to pray for us a LOT during our meditation on Christ's life, however, the Rosary is not a worship to Mary. 

7. There's NOTHING in the Bible about digesting Jesus' flesh and blood. Roman Catholics literally believe that they're eating Jesus.

ANSWER:   

John 6:53-58

King James Version (KJV)
 53Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
 56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Luke 22: 17And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:  18For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

8. There is nothing in the Bible about priests being celibate.

ANSWER: Scripture fairly consistently awards celibacy a higher spiritual calling than marriage. ...it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am...it is well for you to remain as you are...do not seek a wife...he who refrains from marriage will do better...(I Cor., chapters 7-8 and 32-38)

Paul says that celibacy provides "unhindered devotion to the Lord. " (1 cor 7:35) Jesus tells us "it is better not to marry...let anyone accept this who can." (Mat 19:10-12)

Some biblical arguments for a married priesthood have been set out citing 1 Tim. 3: 2, 12 and Titus 1: 6 that a bishop or a deacon should be "the husband of one wife." A careful read of these passages points to Paul's concern about remarried priests. Catholics feel the section is aimed at removing those who are on their second marriages, rather than pushing for a married clergy. This is reflected by the Eastern Orthodox who do not allow remarriage of widowed priests. Although Paul did not expressly lay out a married priesthood he consistently held celibacy as preferable.

In Jewish law the priesthood was passed on by blood relation. Marriage was therefore necessary, but even so, Jewish priests of the Old Testament were required to abstain from sex during the periods when they were serving in the Temple for spiritual reasons. Catholic priests serve in the Temple every day. (source)

9. There is NOTHING in the Bible about purgatory.

ANSWER:  Yes, there is. There are a LOT of verses that refer to the place between here and Heaven where souls reside. 

Read a LOT more HERE

I understand your thought process, though.  Purgatory is a completely foreign concept to Protestants. I can safely say that most protestants have never read the writings of the Early Church leaders...(the leaders of the Churches right after Christ's resurrection)…before The King James Version of the Bible was even compiled.  That's true for me anyway. I didn’t even know there were records about how churches were run before the Bible was compiled and what-not.  The idea that it was "common knowledge" that there could be a "walk of fire" has never been presented to most Protestants.  This is why we cannot understand how we would "Need" a "Walk of Fire" if Jesus has saved us and forgiven us from our sins.

Here’s The "Rub": there is often talk among Protestants about what happens if we are about to have a car wreck or if our heart suddenly stops beating and we don't have time to pray for forgiveness....knowing that we all sin every day.   We all "assume" that we are forgiven because of Jesus' Precious Grace....however....we do have this nagging knowledge that "NO" sin will enter into Heaven. (ack!)  This is the place that ties that little psychological dance into a nice bow for me.  I understand the "need" for “a walk of fire” in "that" circumstance....though I still believe Jesus blood covers every sin...but we still pray for forgiveness every day...so...you can see the circle of never-ending thought there.

Side Note:  I "think" that the big issue with Purgatory is that many Protestants "think" Catholics are trying to "pray people out of Hell."  We don't think of Purgatory at all so to us, it's hell...not a walk of fire.  We also "think" that Catholics assume they will automatically get to go to either Heaven or Purgatory just because they are Catholic.  We "think" that Catholics believe they are safe from hell right after their infant baptism.   Which, my protestant friends, is NOT the case...And...If a person is going to hell, purgatory is NOT a stop on that trip. So, you know...we can stop thinking that now. ;o)

10.  Matthew 23:9 outright forbids calling any priest "Father." So why do Catholics do it?

ANSWER:  Matthew 23:9 is quoted quite often to tell Catholics that calling their priest Father is putting him in the place of Jesus and/or goes against scriptural teachings.  The truth is that the Bible actually references people as "Father" 1206 times and Five hundred fifty eight times the word "fathers" is used. (Biblical quotes cited below)

Oddly enough, when the entire passage of Matthew 23:9 is read in the Bible, it can be seen that...well...Here you read it.

Matthew 23: 7 - 12 King James Version

7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
10 Neither be ye called masters (meaning teacher): for one is your Master (teacher), even Christ.
11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Jesus is asking us not to put any person above us on this earth, but to see each other as brethren on this earth.  If He is telling us not to call someone Father we also have to follow verse 10 and not call anyone teacher.   The following passages from scripture should put our mind at ease that we can indeed call a Spiritual Leader, Father.  The Bible references Spiritual Leaders as Fathers and calls other men Father.  

Elders of the Church are called "father" repeatedly in the Bible:  Acts 7:2   And Stephen said: "Brethren and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopota'mia, before he lived in Haran,  Acts 22:1  "Brethren and fathers, hear the defense which I now make before you."   1 John 2:13  I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.

Paul calls Timothy's service to him as a son serves a "father." Philippians 2:22   But Timothy's worth you know, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.

Paul compares the Church elders' ministry to the people like a father with his children: 
1 Thessalonians 2:11  for you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you

Paul calls Timothy his true "child" in the faith and his son:  2 Timothy 1:3  I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers.

Paul calls Titus his true "child" in a common faith. Priests are our spiritual fathers in the family of God:  Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Paul says he has become the "father" of Onesimus:  Philemon 1:10  I appeal to you for my child, Ones'imus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment.

Peter refers to himself as father by calling Mark his "son":  1 Peter 5:13  She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark.

Yet again, we see John calls the elders of the Church "fathers":

1 John 2:1  My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 1 John 2:13  I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 1 John 2:14  I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Jesus himself refers to Abraham as our "father":

Matthew 3:9  and do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Luke 3:8  Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.  

There are hundreds more...but you get the drift.


11. The Catholic church is based upon TRADITIONS and not upon the Bible.  For example: Exodus 20:4,5 commands us to never create any type of image to bow down to. Catholics bow to statues (images) of many different saints to worship God. This is idolatry. You simply CANNOT justify this type of wickedness with the Bible. God's Word clearly forbids us from bowing down to ANY graven image.

ANSWER:   The Israelites worshiped the nonexistent god the calf represented. They committed the sin of idolatry by worshiping another God. There never has been a sin of statue-making.

As a matter of fact, there are instances in the Bible when it is commanded to MAKE images!  The sin is in worshiping another God, not in making images that remind us of Heaven. For example: In Exodus, chapter 25, read the account of the ornamenting of the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord commanded that the Ark, which held the tablets of the law, be topped by statues of two cherubim. The statues were to be made of gold, and the wings of the cherubim were to be held over the Ark, as though protecting it. So here we have the Lord, in chapter 20, saying, ‘Don’t make statues’, according to Fundamentalists, and in chapter 25 the Lord says, ‘Make statues.

If we ever hold a picture of a dead loved one and kiss it, we are not worshiping them.  We are remembering them and loving them as we hold their picture.  The same thing is being done when we remember Jesus as we pray before his statue or in front of a picture of him in our home.  We may kiss a picture of him in our Bible and pray and weep.  We may pray at the foot of a statue of Mary and ask her…as part of the cloud of witnesses…to pray to Jesus for us.  We are remembering her…NOT Worshiping that statue. 

12.  Worse yet, every faithful Catholic prays to the "Mother Mary," bowing in worship. Though they claim that they are not worshipping Mary, they are violating the Bible by even bowing to her (and they certainly are worshipping her). To reverence and adore the "Mother Mary" is to commit idolatry. There is NOT one single verse in the entire Bible where Jesus told anyone to recognize Mary in any special way.

ANSWER:  (See answer to number 11)  We do not worship Mary.  She is not or savior and cannot forgive our sins.  Loving Mary is not committing idolatry, nor is asking her to pray for us.

(Luke 1:48) “All generations to come shall call me blessed”
(Luke 1:42): “and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
(Luke 1:43):”And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
 
13.  What about Jesus' half brothers and sisters? It is dangerous to add things to the Bible that it does NOT teach. Any doctrine which cannot be supported with Biblical references is a manmade doctrine.

ANSWER: When Jesus was dying on the cross, I have to wonder why Jesus would ask someone.... who is NOT His earthly brother.... to take care of Mary....IF...she had other children.  Why appoint someone else to care for her other than one of her natural born sons; a natural brother of Christ?  That would be a huge offense to Jesus' natural family IF he had other siblings.

As a protestant, I was taught that Mary had other children and I believed it because I didn't know that "brother and sister" could mean Aunt, Uncle, Cousin etc...in those days. 

For Example: Lot called Abraham’s "brother" (Gen. 14:14), even though, being the son of Haran, Abraham’s brother (Gen. 11:26–28), he was actually Abraham’s nephew. Similarly, Jacob is called the "brother" of his uncle Laban (Gen. 29:15). Kish and Eleazar were the sons of Mahli. Kish had sons of his own, but Eleazar had no sons, only daughters, who married their "brethren," the sons of Kish. These "brethren" were really their cousins (1 Chr. 23:21–22). 

SIDE NOTE: The word "Until": The most common argument against Mary's perpetual virginity is based on Matthew 1:25:  "[A]nd he did not know her until (Greek: heos, also translated into English as "till") she brought forth her firstborn son."

The inference from "till" is that Joseph and Mary afterward lived together as husband and wife, but the modern meaning of "until," is not the same as when the Bible was written. In the Bible, it means only that some action did not happen up to a certain point; it does not imply that the action did happen later.

In fact, if the modern sense is forced on the Bible, some ridiculous meanings result. Consider this line: "Michal the daughter of Saul had no children till the day of her death" (2 Sam. 6:23). Are we to assume she had children after her death?

There is also the burial of Moses. The book of Deuteronomy says that no one knew the location of his grave "until this present day" (Deut. 34:6, Knox). But we know that no one has known since that day either.

The examples could be multiplied, but you get the idea—nothing can be proved from the use of the word "till" in Matthew 1:25. Recent translations give a better sense of the verse: "He had no relations with her at any time before she bore a son" (New American Bible); "He had not known her when she bore a son" (Knox).

14. Teaching of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is heresy straight from hell. Good luck trying to prove that from the Bible. Why are people so foolish as to trust their soul's destiny to the lying words of some priest?

ANSWER: We see in Genesis 3:15 Mary, the “woman”; the Mother of the Messiah.  At that point GOD put "a condition of enmity" between her and Satan.  God himself placed that condition between her and Satan...because He can do that.  Mary’s victory over Satan would not have been perfect if she had ever been under Satan’s dominion. Consequently she entered this world with THE CONDITION OF ENMITY BETWEEN HER AND SATAN.  Her Immaculate Conception is NOT from Hell!  It is from GOD HIMSELF!

15.  Open your Bible and read it for yourself. Mary is NOT the co-redeemer!

ANSWER: Some sects of the world do put Mary in a position of worship, but this is NOT what the Catholic Church teaches. As with any religion, you will find people who go a bit "off-track" from the actual teaching of their religion. There is even a sect of Catholics who want the church to change their teaching so Mary can also forgive sins.  BUT! that is NOT what the church teaches and has been denied by council after council when anyone has tried to bring this to the table. Mary Worship is NOT something that is in the Catholic doctrine....though she is highly looked up to for her unique relationship with Christ.  There are words that are used for Mary that cause Protestants to bulk...Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.....and there HAVE been some people, and even some leaders of the Catholic Church to call her the Co-Redemptrix...weird name, sounds like some sort of warlock or whatever to me..  In the context that these terms are used, the leaders of the church are meaning that she served as Christ's mother and was there at all of the important times in His life when His work with Salvation was taking place. That is to say that Mary helped HIM do HIS work for our salvation AS HIS MOTHER.  THAT is the "Co" part of their equation.  She is NOT the person who saves sins and her work is not what saves us, but she was THERE...right beside Him... for all of it.  In "that" way they are using those terms. They are using words to honor her role in helping Christ on earth while he completed His task.  They do NOT mean that she can or ever will forgive our sins...but that she helped Jesus fulfill His work so that our sins could be saved by His one sacrifice.

I personally think they should not use the term "co-redemptrix" because it causes great confusion and could be dangerous if some uneducated people come to believe that she is a savior. 


16.  The Vatican keeps adding NEW doctrines (for example: the false doctrine of the "Immaculate Conception of Mary" didn't exist until 1950).

ANSWER:  The Vatican writes down the answer to questions.  They give people answers to questions, just as many churches in this world write down their doctrinal statements.   They write the answers as the questions are posed to them.  For Example: Mary’s Immaculate Conception was defined in Genesis 3:15.  The answer to the question posed to the Catholic Church was written down as official doctrine in 1950. They got around to writing the answer down in 1950 but the truth of the answer was written by God way before that.

17. Anyone who does not believe that Christ has completely saved him, has not completely trusted Christ to save him. That is, he does not believe that Christ's sacrifice has paid for all of his sins, and thinks he must pay for some of them himself. However, we are saved when we stop trusting what we can do, and start trusting Christ to save us.

ANSWER: Most Catholics won't say that they are "saved" because they humbly leave that to be said by Christ Himself on judgment day.  Most Catholics will humbly say that they "have hope in their salvation" in order to be reverent in front of God.  Though they know they are saved..."because hope does not disappoint" Romans 5:5... However, they will not announce their salvation before Jesus does.  If they won't say they are saved, you can imagine how difficult it would be for a practicing Catholic to tell someone that they are going to Hell. You'll be hard pressed to find one because judging people is God’s Job.    

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Kids, in the end, I think the best thing to remember is this....

Matthew 7 (KJV)

 1Judge not, that ye be not judged.
 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
 5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.