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Life

Some thoughts on going or not going to church We don’t go to church for God’s sake, we go for ours. Some think when we worship we’re doing God a favor. There’s also the impression we’re gaining points with God or using our attendance as a bargaining chip – “I do this for you, God, now you do something good for me!” Worshipping with those attitudes proves one thing – our spiritual life is in the childish category. God doesn’t need favors, doesn’t keep count, and doesn’t enter into quid pro quo deals, i.e. you scratch my divine back and I’ll scratch yours. God just loves us intensely. Worshipping is just one of many ways that we say with our lives, “And I love you, too!” More than clergy encourage developing the spiritual dimension of a person’s life. Psychiatrist Carl

Jung reached the conclusion that besides sexuality and aggression, there was in us a religious function of the utmost importance which we neglect at our peril. In “Modern Man In Search of a Soul,” Jung wrote: “Among all my patients in the second half of life, that is to say over 35, there has not been one whose problem in the past resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. “It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given to their followers, and none of them has really healed who did not regain this religious outlook.” True spiritual health programs psychological health, and vice versa. “True” is italicized because not all organized religions are

healthy. Religion is, ironically, the safest place to hide from God and become spiritually malformed. But in its healthy forms, religion is also one of the best places to find God. So, caveat emptor! Let the buyer (believer) beware. Humans are social beings. Gathering together for a common purpose in a church or temple, listening to the words of scripture, hymns, preaching and prayers gradually forms us. God’s grace is subtly present. If we’re open to it we gain personal insights into the meaning of life itself as well as our own individual lives and relationships. All this engenders understanding, serenity and a courage amidst the storms that often rage outside or inside us. When the spiritual dimension of life is undeveloped, we lack this

CJN-MMA

May 26, 2010

invisible means of support. Lacking faith, the weight of our struggles and sufferings can intensify or overwhelm us. A minister, preaching on the need to grow spiritually, entitled his sermon it: “Faith: you can’t wait ’til you need it.” Some excuses for not attending church are the following. 1. “Look at the news, there’s just a bunch of hypocrites there.” That’s correct. A church or temple is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners. 2. “Organized religion is just a crutch to try and handle life.” Response? “And what makes you think you don’t limp?” 3. “I pray better to God by myself in nature.” That’s wonderful. But we still benefit much from the communal nature of worship. 4. “I don’t get anything out of

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the religious service, so who go?” Granted, some places of worship are not in touch with people’s needs today. They offer ill-prepared servFather Lou ices, mediocre Guntzelman music and inadequate preaching. Perspectives If that’s so, try somewhere else. Your spiritual life is too important to abandon. 5. “I’m too busy to attend church services.” Guess whose priorities are out of whack? Yes, life is too busy. But the question Jesus Christ once asked still holds true: “What does it profit you to gain the whole world and lose yourself in the process?” Father Lou Guntzelman is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Contact him at columns@ communitypress.com or P.O. Box 428541, Cincinnati, OH 45242.

Selling home might reveal true property value actually sold for next to nothing recently and she believes its those sales that have adversely affected her home’s value. “We’re definitely finding that values can be lower than the auditor’s assessed value because that value was done a few years ago,” said Guy Wesselkamper, a certified residential appraiser. Wesselkamper, who was not involved in McGee’s

appraisal, said one local survey done by another appraiser found area home values have lost about 10 year’s worth of appreciation. “The median value in 2000 was $129,000. It went up to $133,000, then $138,400, and it kept going up. Then it started going down, and right now we’re at $129,000 again,” he said. McGee said, “I just feel

like there are other people out there that aren’t aware of what’s going on and they need to find out. They may be planning on selling their house expecting to get one amount, and they’re not going to get it.” Fortunately, those buying McGee’s house really wanted it, even though a second appraisal also put the value at $530,000. As a result, they paid additional money to make

the deal work – but McGee said she still lost money. Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes said he’s not surprised by the drop in the home’s value. He said some prior appraisals had been greatly inflated and now appraisers may actually be deflating values in order to protect the banks. In addition, the county’s last mass appraisal was in 2008 – just before many values dropped. Rhodes

said new county appraisals will be done next Howard Ain year and will take Hey Howard! effect in January, 2012. Howard Ain answers consumer complaints weekdays on WKRC-TV Local 12. Write to him at 12 WKRC-TV, 1906 Highland Ave., Cincinnati 45219.

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You could be paying too much in property taxes if the value of your house has dropped significantly. Unfortunately, you may not realize just how much of a drop there’s been until you go to sell it. That’s what an area woman says she’s learned. Mary McGee said she was fine with the county auditor’s value of her Loveland house, which had gone up in value over the six years she’s owned and made improvements to it. McGee says, “When I went to sell the house my expectation was I would be able to sell it for at least what it was appraised for.” The auditor’s website set the value at $630,000. “There was no problem with the buyer, it’s just that when his appraiser came back, (hired by) his mortgage company, the appraisal was so low it just devastated us, devastated everyone,” said McGee. The house was appraised at $530,000, which is $100,000 lower than the value given by the county auditor in his 2008 appraisal. In fact, at that time, the auditor said her home had actually increased in value. “I didn’t do anything but pay more taxes, and then I really didn’t feel the effect of this until I sold my home. I’m wondering about other people, (I’m speaking up) for other people,” she said. McGee said some of the homes in her neighborhood and surrounding area have

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