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"If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them to respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religion is a sacred duty."
~ Gandhi

Welcome to the Faith Resource Group at Resources for Life. This is where you can find information about various spiritual paths. Learn more about various world religions and beliefs. Choose from a wide variety of informative and encouraging faith resource groups:

Start Here [Top]

To get started, we recommend that you consider the following:

  1. Purpose of Faith. We feel that the purpose of faith is to encourage, inspire, instruct, equip, strengthen, refine, and motivate individuals and groups to achieve more than they could without faith, so people can more effectively improve their lives in tangible ways and help make the world a better place for everyone. Your faith should help to improve all areas of your life (see the Site Map for some examples).Searching? If you are searching for the right religious home for you, we encourage you to find someone who is supportive, but impartial and grounded to act as an anchor while you explore various religious perspectives. This person can support and encourage you as a Faith Coach (see #3 below). Your search could involve an exploration of various expressions of Christianity (for example) to find the Church that seems to best inspire and equip you. Or, perhaps you don't even know what religion you want to grow in. Consider the process like very formal dating. Don't become too committed, involved, or infatuated with any faith too quickly. It is helpful  to have a defined 'engagement' period where you learn more about the faith. Consider taking the 'Belief-O-Matic' faith quiz [see Links below] to learn more about your own beliefs. One approach is to write down on paper what your ideal religion would be, and then try to find out if such a religion exists.Faith Coach. Find someone to meet with on a regular basis to discuss your faith. Your meetings can be weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, depending on your interest. Consider someone who is neutral and unbiased who will allow you some latitude as you explore. Contact us if you need help finding a faith coach. [click here]
  2. Faith Services. Consider making regular use of the resources available on this page. Sign up for e-mail newsletters. Find the faith site that most interests you. We suggest starting with BeliefNet. [click here]

Find out what religion you really are!

Faith Is... [Top]

Faith Is Not... [Top]

Links [Top]

Here are some links to other resources.

Writings [Top]

Take Off Your Shoes by Gregory Johnson (20040303mo)

When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he spoke to him from a burning bush and said, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." (Exodus 3:5b)

Moses was surprised at God's request and apprehensive about his ability to serve God in such a capacity. So, Moses begins to challenge God's judgment on the matter asking God if He had fully thought through every aspect of the plan.

Even into the next chapter (26 verses later) Moses is still challenging God, saying, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." (Exodus 4:10)

Moses was convinced that he did not have the experience and skill to handle the job that God was calling him to.

Is God calling you to a place and/or vocation where you've never gone before? If so, he may want you to take off your shoes.


Your shoes remind you of where you've been. Your shoes remind you of who you are. And, your shoes express what you are skilled to do.

What do shoes tell you about a person? There are bowling shoes, dancing shoes, hiking shoes, biking shoes, construction shoes, golfing shoes, dress shoes, big shoes (for people who are older and have more experience), little shoes (for people who are young and don't have experience), expensive shoes for people of position, and old shoes worn by people who can't afford new shoes. A horse with shoes is fit to walk on a paved road. A horse without shoes is not.

Our shoes can mislead us. They can make us over confident or they can make us feel unnecessarily insecure or insufficient for a task.

This is why God asks that we take off our shoes to go where we've not gone before. The shoes we will wear, God must provide. They are unlike any others we've seen before. They are unique to what God has called us to. Like Abraham, we are sometimes called to follow God into the unknown. Like Abraham (and Sarah), we may even laugh at the absurdity of God's plan (Genesis 17:17, 18:12). We don't know whether we will need hiking shoes or dance shoes. God knows. This is how life with God is. It can be unpredictable. Yet, just as God equipped Moses and gave him the favor he needed to accomplish what he was called to, God can help prepare us for the road ahead.

When we go to sleep at night, we rest in and trust in God. We've done all we can do. At this point, we take off our shoes. There is a time in life when we need to rest in God, and take off the shoes of our labors and vocation - to wait on God, as He fits us with new shoes.

Adon Olam - Master of the World [Top]

Many religions recognize Gd as the creator of the world. Adon Olam (Master of the World) is a very old poem that is recited by Jews every day at the beginning of Shacharis, the morning prayers. While we are not certain who the author of this poem is, most authorities attribute it to Rabbi Shlomo ibn Gabirol, the great poet of 11th century Spain. The poem is recited before Shacharis to recall the memory of Avraham our Father, who was the first to call HaShem "Adoni" - "My Master" and who instituted the Shacharis prayers.

Master of the World who was king, before any form was created.
At the time when He made all through His will, then His name was called 'King'.
And after all is gone, He, the Awesome One, will reign alone.
And He was, and He is, and He will be in splendor.
And He is One, and there is no second, to compare to Him or be His equal.
Without beginning, without end, to Him is the power and rulership.
And He is my G‑d and my living Redeemer, and the Rock of my fate in times of distress.
He is my banner and He is a refuge for me, my portion on the day I cry out,
In His hand I entrust my spirit, when I sleep and when I wake.
And my soul shall remain with my body, HaShem is with me and I am not afraid.

Fulfilling Your Mission [Top]

"To be a wholesome and healthy person, your body and soul must work in harmony. We need not choose one over the other, indulgence or abstinence; we can and must merge body and soul. And this means uniting the body and soul to fulfill the mission for which we were all put on earth: to lead a meaningful, productive, and virtuous life by making this physical world a comfortable home for spirituality and Gdliness. Every one of us fulfills this mission using his or her unique abilities and talents, whether a person is a teacher or a parent, a businessperson or a scientist."

"If you were to suspend your senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, what would you be left with? Initially, this may be a terrifying thought - that you would be left with nothing. But you are not left with nothing, you are left with yourself. We only need our senses to interact with the world outside ourselves. You don't need eyes to see yourself or ears to hear yourself. You know you are there, without using any sensory tools; it is simply an awareness, a totally separate sense. So we are fully alive without our senses. Without the soul, though, there is no life. . . . The soul also teaches humility. Whereas the body is selfish (desires to feed, protect, and find pleasure for itself). It (the soul) provides us with the capacity to rise above ourselves, to see others' needs and to respond with sensitivity. Without a soul, the body's selfish desires can enslave and ultimately destroy us. The soul is our transcendent side, always reaching upward like the candle flame, always trying to reconnect us with G-d. The body may try to keep us earthbound, but the soul has the power to lift us above and beyond. . . . The body and soul are in perpetual battle; all human conflict stems from the dichotomy of body and soul, the tension between our corporeal selves and the need for transcendence. . . . To the soul, the body is initially a hulking presence in constant need of indulgence. While the soul want to reach for spiritual ecstasy, the body needs to eat an sleep. To the body, the soul is initially a nuisance, a conscience, that is always limiting the body's behavior. . . . Why would G-d create the potential for such a conflict? Because the soul needs to be challenged and the body refined, and the tension between them ultimately brings out the best in both. Ultimately, the body and the soul must realize that they are each stronger with each other than without. . . . The only way to unite body and soul is to recognize that G-d is far higher than our limited selves, far greater than both body and soul. This requires a degree of humility, for a person tends to be self-serving by nature. The soul, because of its transcendent nature, can rise above selfishness more easily than the body, and can discipline the body, through study and deed, to recognize its true mission (to heal the earth). Only then can the body rise to its true prominence - when it serves as a vehicle for the soul instead of acting under its own power, energized (controlled and governed) by its own needs."

The above is a compilation of excerpts (with some added comments) from the book Toward a Meaningful Life, The Wisdom of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, adapted by Simon Jacobson. (Pages 5-10)A thought: If the root cause of evil in the world is selfishness which leads to greed, war, control, fear, etc., then perhaps the root cure is a body that serves the soul yielded to God. (20030102th)


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