Forum Gleanings - CompuServe Feed

Poll Results for Peace on Earth

Here are the tentaive results of the Religion Forum poll I set up a while back. I am bit disappointed by the percentage of those who just gve up.

Peace on Earth - Is it possible?
Impossible - I don't bother
9 Votes (16%)
We can only hope.
5 Votes (9%)
I work for it.
1 Votes (2%)
I pray for it.
10 Votes (18%)
I work and pray for it.
2 Votes (4%)
I vote for it.
0 Votes (0%)
I work for it and vote for it.
4 Votes (7%)
I work, pray, and vote for it.
2 Votes (4%)
It starts with me. I live it.
10 Votes (18%)
I work, pray, vote, and live for it.
12 Votes (22%)

You can still discuss the question:

DISCUSS  or you can vote on the Front Page of the forum.

Others will prefer the Christian Fellowship Forum and its friendlier stance toward Christianity. I am the manager of both, but Religion Forum is a neutral ground  and meeting place for people of all faiths of no faith. There are slightly different rules for each, but respect is the order of the day in both.

One of my fine staff members, Brenda posted this poll in Fellowship some weeks ago: How Often Do You Pray?

Some might be interested in our What's Hot messages there:

What's Hot

Shouters, Pouters, Doubters - What's your  personal worship style?
One Liners
Add your favorite Christian one-liners.

Don't forget to check out the blog updates a few entries down.

I sort of enjoyed writing my rules for meetings a while back.

Two Polls

I have been conducting two polls - one in the Religion Forum and one in the Christian Fellowship Forum on giving, tithing, and philanthropy. They are not my most successful polls, but I am really curious about the results and how they may vary between the two forums where they are worded differently to suit the demographics of the membership.

The polls from Christian Fellowship is very simple and straightforward and is built on the concept of "tithing," and followed by an interesting discussion of whether or not it is a New Testament ideal. The poll is Religion is browader based and weighted toward motivations from giving. They are found on their respected home pages, linked above. You are welcome to participate.

Seeing the World Through Georgia's Eyes

Georgia1Why the First Lady of Cyber-Space Has Inspired Thousands

Written in 2001 - A Tribute

She graduated cum laude from Capital University where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has been a music teacher, can play 12 instruments knows at least 7 languages. She has been featured in Discover and People, has conversed online with the Vice President, is remembered in the Smithsonian Institution and has been inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. She single-handedly designed the IBM Special Needs Data Base and holds the highest certification as a Braille music proof-reader for the Library of Congress. For eighteen years she has managed some of the busiest and most volatile forums on CompuServe with a membership of thousands. She is a woman of deep personal faith, Incidenttly, Georgia Griffith has been blind since birth and deaf for over 40 years.

Georgia’s achievements would have been noteworthy for a sighted and hearing person. In fact, most of us who met her in cyberspace would have never suspected that she was “handicapped.” I use the word, “Handicap” because that is Georgia’s word. She detests the term, “disabled.”

 “I am not disabled. I’m handicapped—just like in golf,” Georgia has reminded me time and time again. And I have never heard her complain about those handicaps.

Because, for many years, I have been preparing to write her biography, my personal files are filled with newspaper and magazine clippings, letters of congratulations from people in high places, including former President Ronald Reagan, and personal glimpses into the life and achievements of this remarkable woman that I call, “friend.” I have copies of awards, videos, interviews, and e-mails to inform my writing, but I have much more.

My memories are blessed by daily conversations over the past nine years, and two personal visits. No, I did not go to Lancaster, Ohio where Georgia lives alone in the home where she was raised. Georgia came to California with her long-time friend, Bettye Krolick with whom she served on the Board of Directors of the National Braille Association. Georgia loves to travel and she loves to sight-see. I will never forget taking her to the Science and Technology Museum in San Jose . Her curiosity and sense of wonder were active in the wide smile she displayed at we outlined words describing the exhibits in her hand. She touched displays and asked questions and, during breaks, yanked on her friends beards with a girlish giggle.

Georgia loves to eat too. Her mouth was watering in San Jose for a cup of strong, sweet, Vietnamese coffee with a plate of noodles. The stronger and hotter the better. At a banquet, people lined up to shake her hand and tell her how much she had meant to them through the years and how inspired they were by her life. She barely got through her dinner, but had a genuine smile and word of encouragement for each. When honored, she tries to deflect some of that to her friends and assistants. As an example of her humility, I have often received e-mails to this effect:

“Hurry! Write me an acceptance speech—you know, the usual, ‘I’m a nobody, but thanks for this great honor.’”

When Georgia goes out in public, she is in a wheelchair because of balance problems. However, in her home, she shuns that help and pulls herself up on a railing or crawls. Her work schedule is grueling for a young person, much less a newly initiated septuagenarian. She is constantly reading, writing, and thinking using her specially equipped Braille “monitor” on her computer. Instead of tired eyes, Georgia occasionally complains of sore hands—but she keeps going and going and going. In the evenings she reads the Bible and a novel. Retirement is never mentioned.

Every day, Georgia answers hundreds of e-mails and manages online forums with thousands of posted messages, library files, and management duties. She deals with contentious people with grace, humor, and firmness. Everyone is welcome in her forums, but they must comply with the rules and respect other people and their views.

When Georgia reads what is on her computer, she does not scan—a screen or quickly view graphics. She must convert graphical interfaces to text and read one line at a time. Having taught herself several computer languages in 1980, Georgia had to learn to navigate the world of the Worldwide web with all it’s “purty pictures” in the nineties. She did so with determination, grace, and prayer as she has tackled every other task in her life. It takes her longer to read all the material—because of the limitations of Braille technology, but once she has read it, she knows it. Her capacity for learning, digesting, storing, and retrieving information puts most people to shame. A word of advice to the novice: Never challenge Georgia to a battle of wits. You will lose

Georgia has often said, ”to live is to give” and she has lived by that philosophy. Her generosity is celebrated by many, as I can testify. Each of us, sworn to silence, is prevented from widely discussing her kindnesses to us. Therefore, we talk about her keen humor, lively faith, honesty, work ethic, compassion, fairness, and drive. . Mostly, we are grateful for her friendship.

 When I first met Georgia in the early nineties, she had recently lost her beloved mother, Toots. We prayed and talked a lot about Heaven and God’s grace. But through the years, I have learned far more about grace from her than I could have ever imparted. I am privileged to call this pioneering woman, my dear friend and sister in Christ.



Postscript: Georgia died in September of 2005 after a brief illness. It took three people to fill her jobs on CompuServe including the author. No one has been able to take her place.

(copyright, 2001, Thomas B. Sims, all rights reserved)

The Book of Daniel

My friend, Richard Waterfield, posted the following about the cancelation of NBC's, "The Book of Daniel" in a Christian Fellowship discussion today. (Click to read the entire discussion or participate.)


"Without so much as a peep from me, the TV show 'Book of Daniel' has parted company with it's Friday night NBC time. Maybe it will run at 3 AM, or on some special interest cable program, or maybe not at all. Devotees are calling for an early DVD release and blaming the fanatical right wingers for the show's demise. The real cause might have been ratings. I donno.

Richard W."

I responded:


">>The real cause might have been ratings. I donno.<<"

"Ya think ? <G>"

"I've never known the networks to be motivated by anything else <g>."

"I was curious and didn't feel right about speaking out against something on the word of others, so I watched most of the first episode and clicked in on some of the others. They were straining very hard to include as many schocking scenarios as they could in an hour."

"It's like the guy who had the bumper sticker that said, "Nuke a gay whale for Jesus."  - designed to offend everyone, but not worth the buck to buy it or the trouble to put it on the bumper. I enjoy being offended as much as the next guy, but the show just didn't have any edge to it, just a lot of dull axes to grind."

"Now - cancelling West Wing is another matter. I was looking forward to either way the wind blew - a  Jimmy Smit presidency or an Alan Alda presidency. I enjoy being offended by a good, thoughtful script <s>."

"And don't get  me started on Seventh Heaven <S> (which has pretty much run out of scripts to be written). Nevertheless, I've been loyal to the family and to Eric Camden, Super Pastor."

"I guess I'll just watch Law and Order or better still, read a book."

"Thus endeth Tom's Media Commentary for the week <g>."

"- Tom"

Networks will forgive almost anything except bad ratings. Viewers will forgive anything except bad stories and scripts. It may be that the boycotters are patting themselves on the back, but if anything, they got a lot of us to check it out. Come to think of it, as an indirect result, they may have precipitated its demise.

Let me quickly add, that I never recomended the show and never would have. I am just very skeptical about and resistant to boycotts. If someone tells me what not to read or watch it sends a little prickly thing crawling up my back.

Any family can be dysfunctional - even ministers' families, but this was a bit much - to be so dysfunctional and yet, functional at the same time!

One thing I never really figured out was what Daniel stood for. He wasn't a bad guy; it's just that, given his lack of any conviction whatsoever, why bother?  I guess we'll never know.

And then, there was the protrayal of Jesus. Some called it blasphemous. I don't know about that - but it certainly didn't look like the Jesus I converse with regularly.

And while we are at it, didn't anyone complain that he was rather ...... WHITE?

And bland ... ?

And exactly what was his message?

Read more at Religion Today.

Fodder from Fora

My on-line mentor, Georgia Griffith, died in September. For so many years, our e-mail conversations were a daily part of my life and her way with words influenced my thinking. Even this week, I have used some of her unique language to describe forum events. Georgia insisted that the plural form of forum was "fora."

Some of the most interesting discussions I read on a daily basis come from the Religion and Christian Fellowship Fora on CompuServe/Netscape and I want to do my best to highlight some of them here in my Blog.

CflogoChristian Fellowship Forum is an affirming and cozy place for believers where everyone is welcome. Since it is diverse, there is occasional controversy and heat, but we try to keep it friendly. There is a special folder for prayer requests and a real sense of community.

RflogoThe Religion Forum is an interfaith community and many of our members have no faith. The key word is respect and. I am especially sensitive to my fellow believers showing respect for people who do not see eye to eye with them about their faith. There is much controversy and heat, but some pretty definite rules.

You will need to get a free screen name from AOL, Netscape, or CompuServe before being allowed to post, but anyone can read the fora.

An interesting discussion in the Religion Forum is called, "Are You Practicing the Right Religion?" It has a link to a test on Belief that produces some interesting, though limited results.

Have you ever wondered what happened to Larry Norman from the Jesus Movement, famous for "I Wish We'd All Been Ready?" One of our members did a little research on the subject and reported back to us. It seems that Larry has had some health issues and needs our prayers and support.

Christian apologist, Elgin Hushbeck, Jr. was our Author of the Month in the Religion Forum a while back. He generated a number of interesting discussions including: Hebrew Text and LXX  and  What Is Evidence.  His books are worth a read. Energion Publications publishes Elgin's book, Consider Christianity, Volume 1: Evidence for the Bible and is in the process of publishing his second book, Consider Christianity, Volume 2: Evidence for the Christian Faith (still on pre-publication).  There have been a couple of questions here about ordering.  To get more information on orders, see Henry's message in the "Our Sponsors" folder, Apologetics Resources.

Our family saw "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" on Christmas Day. I loved it! Having read the whole Narnia series (some of it read to me by Andrea), I found it faithful and compelling.  We are discussing it in the Fellowship Forum as Narnia. I invite your comments here or there.

Maybe I'll add more tomorrow or the next day.


- Tom