Family Close by and Teaching Grandsons

My daughter Beckiah and her family has moved just two blocks from my house which is awesome. It will be nice having them live so close. While it is awesome that they live that close it is even more awesomer that my grandsons and only grand-daughter is just two blocks too.

10462512_10202302645144343_172684566867138643_n

Oldest Grandson Tyson

Where they lived before it was a bit of a drive for me. Not like it is a long ways, but far enough at the same time. I look forward to them being just down the street. I have felt bad for a long time that I don’t get a chance to see my grandsons Tyson, Jace and Ashton as much as I do JJ. The boys and I am sure Beckiah feels that I love JJ more then them. Which is far from the truth.

My grand-sons get home-schooled and I am going to get to help with that. It will give me something to do and it will allow me the time to get to know them better. So for three days a week, I will be helping them. Even though I’m not the brightest lightbulb in the box, I will try my best. I sure could use some prayers that my efforts will benefit them and that this will give me the chance to do something positive with them. Acutally I am pretty excited over it. Thankfully I have helpers with this project.I hope we can do a weekly library time for them.

Math is my huge downfall. I did ask a lady from church that is a retired math teacher if she can help me with this. And she is going to see what she can do. She has a hard time seeing. But she would be such a wonderful helper. Thankfully my daughter Jessica is a 4th grade teacher and she said she will help out as she can too.

My daughter Beckiah

My daughter Beckiah

When my daughter Beckiah lived across town, it made it hard to schedule things like this and to make sure they are doing what they need to do. I have been praying about them for sometime and I know that only because of God can this happen. I love the idea of the boys coming over so I can help them. I think it will give me something positive to do and make a difference. It may help me just as much as them.

I do think I will need to find someone that is decent at science though to help once a week. I flunked that class big time when I was in school and lets say that has been over 30 yrs (yikes)…

It is going to be really awesome to have them close to me. I have been missing my Beckiah times and I feel so much better now because I will be able to really get to know the boys better and my grand daughter Kora. So, keep me in your prayers on this and pray that I am able to help them learn. God is going to put the right people in place and I am glad that Beckiah and Jason is going to let me help the boys and do this.

homeschoolI think I am going to need to get some school supplies for them though so then they can do their homework and have things here. I have to have things organized and scheduled or it will drive me nuts. I may have to raid my daughter Jessica’s school things such as tablets, paper, pencils, crayons, glue, erasers, pencil boxes and so on. When she reads this, I am sure she will know that I plan on doing that.

Jessica did point me to some pretty cool sites for resources that will make it fun for the boys.

Forgiving Joyce

Forgiveness-Relationship-QuotesMy sister Joyce and I were outside talking tonight about forgiveness. The reason we were talking about this is because of things that she has done in her past and she feels she needs to face those demons and wrong doings and ask for forgiveness. She knows that for her to move forward in her walk with Christ that she needs to do this.

When she lived here in St. George a number of years back she left in the middle of the night and never told anyone. There were a lot of hurt feelings over it. My daughters love her and my grand-kids loved her too. I don’t know why she left like she did, but it was painful for my family because of our love for her. Thinking back to each of the times she disappeared into the night, I think she was really running for the hurts of her past. She gets close to people and she is afraid she is going to get close to them and they will abandon her. So she abandons first.

Joyce is at a place in her life right now where she needs to be stable and stop running. Asking for forgiveness is difficult for her, but she feels she has to ask. Even if the other party doesn’t accept her plea for forgiveness, she needs to do that.

I have forgiven her a long time ago. She came to me and I know that I have no choice but to forgive and love her. God has forgiven me so many times and if I expect to be forgiven of my sins, I know I must forgive others. No matter what happened, it is necessary.

forgive-colossians-3-13

The Bible is very clear on the subject of forgiveness. We are all sinners and God promises forgiveness if we honestly ask and repent.

  • Luke 23:43 “…Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Jesus speaking to the thief on the cross)
  • Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
  • Luke 6:36-37 – Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful. Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free.

The reason I bring up the verses I did is that we are commanded to forgive. If we don’t forgive, we are told we won’t be forgiven. It can be incredibly difficult to acknowledge you have done wrong and to face those things. I have to give her credit for wanting to ask each person that she has wronged for forgiveness.

It does bother me when those who profess to be a Christian can’t or won’t forgive. I am SOOOOOOOO thankful that I have received forgiveness for the things I have done. I’m pretty sure the list is very long and some things I may not even remember. I do pray that some will open their hearts and willing to forgive the past.

My sister is trying to make a new start and do what is right. If she isn’t given a chance to do that and things are held against her, how is she suppose to move forward?

For those unwilling to forgive, I would just like to leave you with this last Bible verse; Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. Col 3:12-13.

I understand how hard it can be to unconditionally forgive someone. Friends have done things that hurt and so has family. For my own personal growth and understanding the importance of forgiveness I knew I needed to forgive them too.

Women-PainJoyce has done a lot of things and yes, things have came back to bite me in the hinney. But no matter what she does, I know in my heart that she didn’t make the choices she made to hurt others. She was hurting herself. Joyce has had a very hard life full of mostly downs and people using her. She never fully understood that it was OK to let people into her life and that she is worth loving. She didn’t really know that God loves her so much that He sent His Son to die for her. Since she didn’t love herself, why would anyone else. Which is far far from the truth. Joyce will always make bad choices in her life. But, we all will do the same. Not one of us is perfect and without sin.

If you read this post, just know that I love you and I forgive you for the things that you have done. I love you unconditionally. God loves you more than anyone ever could and it is OK to be who you are and let your guard down or should I say wall. If people don’t want to forgive, that is their choice and they are loosing out on having you in their lives.

Church Attire- Modesty Standards

10271433_10152182929516309_6218128511829503387_oI was just reading a blog post by Candace Cameron Bure. If you don’t know her, she played DJ on Full House. Her blog was about modesty and what we wear to church. Here is the link to her blog. .. She was sharing about how judgmental and harsh people at church can be to others. Candace talked about how a brand new Christian walked into the church she was visiting and people were whispering and talking about how short her skirt was and that she had cleavage showing.

Meaning of Modest Dress Attire for Women- Women: Dresses should be modest. No tank tops (or dresses with only straps at the shoulders), no short skirts (mini-skirts), and no skin-tight dresses. Dresses should have backs and should not be low-cut in the front. If women wear pants to the services, they should be dress pants (not jeans or leggings). Shorts of any type are inappropriate.

Thinking back to when I was younger, there were a few times that some people at church thought I should have worn a longer dress or something more appropriate. I even had the pastors wife talk to me one time about that. And others told me that I need to change my clothes or not come back since we are in the Lords house. I believe I was around 12 or 13 at the time. Back in the 70′s dresses were pretty short and modesty wasn’t high on the list of things to do. At least it wasn’t for me.

To this day there are times I remember that conversation. Candace’s blog kicked that memory back in front of my brain. Now had those who I went to church with understood how difficult it was for me to go to church and that the dress I had on was the one and only dress I had, they may have understood more. But that wasn’t the case. They seen a young girl in a dress that barely covered my butt and wanting attention. With shoes in my hand as I run out the door to await my ride to church. After church that day, I talked to her about what she said. She was never at my home, so she didn’t understand. But that comment to a vulnerable young girl could have been devastating. And I still remember this moment and it is as if it happened yesterday.To this day I never wear dresses and I think it is because of how I was judged and looked down on because I wore the only dress I had and it wasn’t good enough.

IMG_6983We weren’t raised where it was OK to go to church. God was never mentioned in our house unless a swear word was coming out after His name. There was a handful of people that knew that, but not everyone. And I pretty much kept it that way till I was older.They didn’t realize that I had to get up way early to get the chores done so I could go to church. They didn’t realize that I had to hide those shoes out because I needed them for church. So many times I ended up having to run to Mattie Bennett car. She waited with me in the car before we went into church and helped me at least look presentable. To this day I still think of Mattie Bennett (pictured) as my friend and like a grandma.  It’s because of Mattie that I write. They didn’t know the violence in our home and how much God wasn’t a part of my families lives. They didn’t know that I would get yelled at and hit (depending on moods) if I didn’t get home in time to have lunch. Lunch was at 11:00 am, and church didn’t get out till noon. Every Sunday I was late from church and I never knew what I was going to walk into and what punishment I was in store for. They would never ask how church was, I just got the look, hit or grounded.

Our cloths growing up was always hand me downs. My parents didn’t have money. Thankfully God provided for our needs by putting it on the hearts of friends, neighbors and schools to help us kids look decent. I am to this day blessed that someone had to the heart to look at me, not what I was wearing. People can be pretty harsh and mean when they see someone that doesn’t have all the nice things. Growing up we also got cloths from the Salvation Army and special angels that I didn’t know. Because of how I was raised, I can understand and relate to those who have nothing and was abused.

I don’t say these things to make anyone feel bad because of how hard I had it. The reason I say this things is that there were people who looked down on our family and how we looked and didn’t really care what was really going on. Now, there are some exceptions and they were awesome. I get upset when I hear of others bagging on those who come to church and they don’t look all clean and polished. I can understand the hurt that this type of judging can have on a person. When I think of God’s people, I think of love. That isn’t always the case.

What I think about now is those women or men who don’t fit the mold of a perfectly dressed Christian women or man. Not everyone has a closet filled with top notched labels and fancy shoes. For some people, what they have on is the best they can do. Should we shun them or talk about them behind their backs? I would hope not!!! We don’t know their stories or what they have gone through.

I would say that if someone desires to dress up nicely for church and it is your desire to please God in that way, that is awesome. But we need to be careful not to pass judgement on the women across or in front of us who wears jeans, tattooed and wearing a torn/tattered t-shirt. We should be spending more time preparing our heart for the message we are about to hear, instead of worrying about what others are wearing or not wearing. I would think that above all other things that we need to bring a pure heart, ready to worship in God’s house. We should be welcoming all in, regardless of what they are wearing or how they smell.

physical-punishment

This is an illustration of how much trouble I got into when going to church or coming home late. This is not actually me…

In my family, showers were hard to come by. My parents who fly off the handle if we showered at night and they could hear water running through the pipes. I would have to make sure to shower or clean off before my dad was in for the night. So this pretty much put taking a shower before church to a halt. But I desperately needed to go to church. In my eyes, church was the only place where I knew that people and most of all God loved me. We didn’t grow up knowing the word “love”. My parents never said that to us. I do know without a shadow of a doubt that God loved me so much that He sent His Son to die for me. Without that knowledge and the people God put in my life, I don’t know where I would be or where my path would end.

come-as-u-are-2013-618x320

Now days, I basically wear jeans, shirt, flip flops and put my hair back in a pony tail. Thankfully I wear deteriorate and a bra to church. But I don’t always wear a bra because of my IV port. The straps hurt the area, but for modesty sake and such I will deal with that while at church. If I had some of the heartless comments that Candace Cameron Bure had on her Facebook, I wonder how my walk with Christ would be now. When I hear of the phrase “come as you are”. I take that to heart. God wants us to love Him and be with others that Love Him and want to worship Him. So I say that if you don’t have nice cloths or even a bra on, that is OK. Because clothing isn’t going to save you. God is going to save you.

0NESC9NN61URLURK-rszw640What would those ladies and gentlemen think of a person walking in without a bra wearing a halter top, shorts, shoes, ratty hair, broken teeth and smelling bad? I would hope that everyone would be happy to see the person in church, not focus on what someone else wears. But logically many would think the woman was a prostitute, bug infested, drug addict or alcoholic,  and for sure not someone they would want to sit with.  While I know it isn’t proper to go bra-less to church or to wear cloths that are inappropriate. I also know that there is always a reason why they can’t get dressed up and wear their Sunday best. Maybe that is all they have.

How in the world I got onto the whole modesty and bra thing is beyond me, lol. But I guess it is what it is. I happen to know a number of wonderful Christian ladies who can’t wear one because of the pain they endure each time they wear one. One lady had surgery and she is in tears when she has to wear certain articles of clothing. Would God want us to judge these people? The answer for me is NO… Lastly I realize that not everyone has nice things and looks beautiful. If all they have to wear to church is raggedy cloths and no shoes, bra or anything else then so be it.

In closing I just want to say that yes my childhood sucked big time. But also it was a time where I had to really rely on God and those who was put in my life. I am thankful that I survived that time and came back with some lessons. I realized that I would never want my kids to know that I didn’t love them. I realize that God is always with me, even when I don’t see Him or I go through my dark days. I call them my days of Job. I learned that in order for my life to be better I have to not blame my parents and use those experiences to help others who may be going through the same thing. When raising my daughters I used my pastor and his family as my role model. I refuse to raise my kids the way I was.

Things Change

dealing-with-changeGoing to church is something that I like to do for many reasons. I don’t go to church for any other reason but to get closer to God and to help me with my walk with the Lord.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Ecclesiastes 3:1-15. These verses talks about the shortness of seasons in our natural and spiritual life. Just as spring leads to summer and summer into fall and winter, so are the seasons of life. Some changes come over a long period of time and others seem to change by the minute. Nothing remains the same forever, except God. So, make up your mind now, change is inevitable.

Everything changes and churches do too. Changes can be a positive or a negative experience. I find it interesting when I hear people grumble about petty things at church. I am no exception to the grumbling. I have more than done my share of it. But during one of Pastor Deans sermons, I got to thinking about how blessed I am to be at our church where we can worship God freely. I don’t doubt for a second that every church has made changes when pastors, parishioners and so on have had to make changes. Our church is no exception.

We are surrounded by ever increasing changes in technology, music and education. For some reason in our Christian life, and in the church, we fight change. We want things our way and the control freak seems to come out in people. God’s plan not only includes change, it is change.

But we all, with open face looking as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).

When I talk about change in the church I get the idea that many believe it is for everyone else. There is this mindset that we must put on this show that is like going to a concert each week. We gripe and moan when the praise and worship team introduces a new song, or we find someone sitting in our seat when we arrive for church. But, one of the greatest challenges seems to be  changes of church leadership and decisions to take down ugly fake flowers cluttering the front of the sanctuary.

Change for the small church is often difficult, feared and resisted because it involves breaking habits and routines from the past and the uncertainty of the future.

People resist change for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are valid, some are ridiculous, some are reasonable, some are irrational, some are significant, some are trivial.

Just as a small portion of the people will be open to change for any reason, there will be some who resist change regardless of the reason. Some can be extremely vocal and against any change. A couple of phrases they use is, “It will never work or we never did it this way before.” Some will find reasons why it will not continue to work. I understand that every church will likely have these types of people. Thankfully Pastor Ray and Kathi are loving, caring and kind. I would bring a hammer with me to knock sense into people and they use the hammer of truth and love. Good thing I’m not the pastor, lol.

I have loved all of the pastors that we have had at our church for the 19 yrs since we have moved here. Well, except the crazy one. Each and everyone of them has made changes. I may not have understood them, but they have. For those people who think things have to stay the same I would say they are stuck in the mud and need a wake up call.

What kind of an attitude should we take when it comes to changes? I honestly don’t think it is healthy physically or spiritually to always grumble and clinch our teeth. Change is a time that we should be enjoying and looking forward to. If we look at change in a positive way, there is nothing better.

In general there have been a number of changes in the past year. Some are small while others are much bigger. The old timers and those who have been at our church for some time are not always impressed with changes and kids. They want things they way they were when they started to go and that is NOT going to happen. Life is all about changes and so is church.

churchfront2churchfront

Over the past year we have gotten a new pastor, sold a organ, redoing our downstairs prepping for youth ministries, getting a baptismal, decorations and tossing out the clutter. I love the fact that we have a wooden cross for the sanctuary. These are just a few of the changes. Our church has had VBS for the first time since I have been there, prayer stations put in place to reach out to college students and so much more.

For some they can’t get over the fact that the curtains were taken down that cover the beautiful stain glass windows we have in the sanctuary. The banners that were on the wall in the sanctuary are now down. While I love the banners, I do have to say that since they came down, many look forward and listen to the sermon more. If people are worried about curtains, banners and other things, they are going for the wrong reason.

I often think of our pastor and his wife Kathi. I can’t imagine what it must be like for them to come to a new state and church. They left behind their friends and congregation. They took a leap of faith by coming to St. George, Utah. And we have been blessed to have them.

I get upset at people when they forget that pastors do have wives and that we need to take them into consideration. I know it had to be hard for them to start over and leave behind those they loved and a denomination they have been with for 20 some odd years. For some reason people like to put the pastor and his wife on a pedestal and expect them to be displayed in a way that is unrealistic.

I can’t help but get frustrated when I hear this comment, “We always did it this way, why change?” Well!!!! When I think of how change can be positive I think about how we are to rejoice in the Lord. We are to praise God each and every day. When we praise, we are erasing doubt and fear. As Christians I think we should be looking ahead at what God is and can do in our lives. I don’t want to focus on the past and not move forward.

For myself, there has been a great deal of bad things in the past. I do take those lessons I have learned from the past with me to the future. But I don’t let them dictate and control my future. And, in the church as a whole, we can look back, but we don’t let our past control what we do in the future. If those who are more worried about curtains, hangings and the notion that we never do that here, then they are going for the wrong reason.

Many times the changes that come into our lives happen for a reason. Changes undo what has been done and for some it may be hard to swallow or accept. Changes has a way of taking us to a new level. Church is like the limbs on a tree. They need to be cut back and pruned in order for them to produce healthier fruit. We shouldn’t live today like we did in the past. Today is a new day and season. With changes there is a renewed strength and growth within us and the church.

Kind of a Crazy Week

IMG_4892I haven’t been posting for a week or so. I’m thinking I should update a bit.

My sister and her husband along with her little wiener dog has moved into my town and home temporarily. They will be finding their own place as soon as they can find one that is reasonable. Needless to say, my house has been crazy for the most part. But not crazy in a bad way.

My sister Joyce is one of my sisters that lived by my parents in Elfrida, AZ. How anyone can live in that place is beyond me. There is nothing there and the only way I can best describe it there is pitiful. There isn’t anyone who could pay me to live down there.

Last October my friend Lisa and I went to visit my parents and my sister. I honestly didn’t think they understood how sad it was to see how they were living. There is so much tension and hate that you can feel it as soon as you walk through the door. I can truly understand how blessed I am. My friend and I thought we had problems, until we went there.

My sister has been pretty proactive when it comes to finding a job and a place. Her husband has this false idea that everything should happen in a week, but that is so very far from the truth. It takes time to find a job and get a place.

IMG_4792Joyce and Ira had help from the LDS Church (Mormon) to get here. They paid for the truck, car hauler, gas for the entire trip and so on. There was no out of pocket for them. The Bishop there in Elfrida is the nicest guy. Elfrida is a whole different place than it is here. It was very nice of Bishop Young to help them in many ways.

While they were living there, they received assistance with rent, food, and other things. The LDS Church is great at helping people when they need it. But enabling is something they won’t do.

Joyce and Ira has met up with the Bishop of the church here and they got help with food and they are hoping help with rent once they find a place. But I like the mindset where my sister is at right now. She is tired of having to have them pay all of their bills. She doesn’t want to ask them to pay to get them into a place. Which I can’t blame her.

She has explained that to her husband and he gets a bit uptight over the not having their own place. My thought is that it will happen in Gods time, not theirs.

I’m not LDS and I attend a Christian church. There are a number of things that I don’t agree with when it comes to the LDS church, but I have total respect for them and I think they have a heart for people that all Christians should have. We are missing the mark when it comes to witnessing to others. Which breaks my heart in so many ways.

This past week has been all about transitions and listening to God. I pray that my sister and her husband find a place soon and a job. My sister is very motivated to get a place and a job. I know they are really working hard at trying to find a job and become self reliant and not have to depend on the church or others to pay rent and help with food.  My sister doesn’t want to ask and doesn’t want to use the church. In my opinion, asking the church to help should be a last resort when all other options have fallen through.

Other than my sister moving here to St. George, Utah, I have been just trying to control the chaos. We have a two bedroom 1 bath home. My niece lives here with my husband and I along with my dogs, bearded dragon Fred and a bird. My sister brought her little wiener dog up also. It has been a busy household, but hasn’t been too bad considering all.

When I took my sister and her husband to the St. George LDS Temple’s Visitor Center, they  said that family is center  of everything and so is the temple.  I feel our body is a temple and that God is more important than family.

marriage1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

There are a few things that get my mind thinking when it comes to families and marriage. “Will there be marriage in heaven?”

In the Bible we are told, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). This was Jesus’ answer in response to a question concerning a woman who had been married multiple times in her life —whom would she be married to in heaven (Matthew 22:23-28)?

When I read this verse it is telling me that there is no marriage in Heaven. I do think that we will know our family and our spouses. But I don’t think it would be the same as it is here on earth. But that is just my opinion…

From my understanding and I could be wrong. Lord knows I am wrong a lot, lol.  When God established marriage, He did so to fill a specific need. First, He saw that Adam was in need of a companion. “God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18). Eve was the solution to the problem of Adam’s loneliness, as well as his need for a “helper,” someone to come alongside him as his companion and go through life by his side. In heaven, however, there will be no loneliness, nor will there be any need for helpers. We will be surrounded by multitudes of believers and angels (Revelation 7:9), and all our needs will be met, including the need for companionship.

I do think that in Heaven we will have our families but will be one big family, in which all family members are friends and all friends are family members. We’ll have family relationships with people who were our blood family on Earth. But we’ll also have family relationships with our friends, both old and new.

After God, my family is the most important. Even though there might be days that it may not seem that way.  I don’t think there is any family that hasn’t gotten through some rough patches in their lives and if families are like mine, they may even be a bit out there in someone else’s left field.  endured a lifetime heartaches.  I do think that when there is a new heaven and a new Earth and the old passes away, things will be peaceful and loving. God created the Earth to be as a paradise. And that is something I am looking forward to.

OK! I’m going to go back to my sister and her moving to St. George… I got a bit sidelines, lol.

IMG_2319While we were at the Visitors Center, I was confused a bit. The reason I was is because they use to have the Mormon Missionaries go door to door. Now they have it where members make the referrals and then the missionaries will talk to those people that was referred. Where I am confused is that if a person is new to the area and they don’t know anyone that is LDS, how are they going to be referred or talked to. They wouldn’t know since they don’t know the person. I know for myself if I wanted to learn more of the LDS church and the faith, I wouldn’t be getting a visit. On our street I know one person of probably 50 homes that made an effort to visit. And that would be our friend from across the street. In the three years, she is the only one I have gotten to know since we aren’t LDS and not listed in their directory. I don’t know why or when it changed from them visiting door to door. But it has. It doesn’t really bother me, but it does my sister.

Last Sunday my sister and her husband went to their first Sacrament meeting at the ward they go to. There are three wards that meet in the one building. I guess they were told that some of the missionaries would help them unload their moving truck and nobody showed up. Where they moved from they would have helpers come out of the woodwork, but not here. Nobody showed up to help them and I couldn’t because of my medical problems and being on home health and IV’s. She took it personal since in AZ they would have been there.

I did tell my sister that if the missionaries come to visit them and do a lesson to make sure it is when my husband is gone. He has a way of chasing people off and especially if they are Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now, me, I have no problem. I like to learn about other faiths and why they believe what they do. I’m strong in my faith and as long as they don’t have a problem listening to what I believe in, then I am OK. I only use the Bible and believe that it is the only inspired Word of God.

This is my last comment on this week and the LDS church. As recorded in the Book of Mormon, a Jewish prophet and his family left Jerusalem approximately 600 B.C. These people traveled to the ancient Americas where they began to develop as a civilization. Central to their civilization was the belief that the Savior would come to rescue the world from sin.

The reason I brought this up is that we are told of the second coming of Christ. If Christ died on the cross and we are waiting for His return, wouldn’t we be waiting for a third coming, not second? If he already come why are we waiting still? Wouldn’t He have already been here and is now gone?

As Jesus Christ ministered in mortality among the Jews, he spoke of another body of believers—his other sheep. (See John 10:16.) He promised to go to them and minister among them. This he did—in America.

sheep-following1John 10:16 – I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Now the way I understand this is that the “other sheep” from John 10:16 are, we must begin with the context of the verse and examine the whole passage. We know from many Bible passages that sheep are a symbol of true believers who follow Christ, their true Shepherd. His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. If He says that there are “other” sheep, then we must identify the original sheep that the “others” are different from.

My thoughts is that it means that gentiles could be saved also because of Jesus’ sacrifice. The Jews were his chosen people. But Jesus died so all could be saved. So they would no longer need to be separated. They would all belong to God.’not of this fold’ refers to Gentiles who will respond to His voice and become part of the church. Jesus’ death was not only for Jews, but also for non-Jews whom He will make into one new body, the church.

Offending Parishoners

While I was working on my churches power-point for Sunday’s sermon, I came across this cartoon that I wanted to use, but didn’t want people coming down on Pastor Ray because they would get the wrong idea or think he put it on there. Since I do the power-points, it is pretty much images and pictures I find or have taken myself.

ImageThe cartoon strip says; ‘If I refer to God as ‘He’, I offend women. If I refer to God as ‘She’ I offend men. In my profession, I find it’s best not to talk about God at all.”

I don’t think this really pertains to my church, but people in general. I do have to say we have some pretty awesome people at my church that loves God and we use only the Bible. But not all people are that way. They want their egos stroked and they don’t want to be offended. Personally speaking, I would prefer to be offended by a pastor than to offend God. Major consequences when you don’t do as God has instructed us to do.

ImageI have to say that it gets my undies in an uproar when I go to a church or where other Christians are at and they bash different churches or pastors. So, in saying that, I hope I’m not leaning towards the bashing of churches or pastors and just point out some truths as I see them. I love what one of our previous pastors said,” Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just delivering the mail”. And it seems to be that way and probably throughout time. If the pastor preaches on a touchy topic, they are ready to come at them like a lynch mob.

Thankfully our church isn’t like that or I would wonder if I was going to a church where God is first and where His Word is the only one we listen to. There have been a few churches that I have visited or attended where the pastor was afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings because they would leave and take the money they would donate with them. So they only preach on those topics that give you a warm fuzzy feeling when you leave.

I like the sermons that make me think. If I don’t understand what the sermon was about or I felt a bit uneasy, there is a reason why I feel that way. So I have to go home and study a bit more and really ask myself why that sermon may have ticked me off and what I need to do to change what I am doing or thinking. We are all guilty of some kind of sin and I have no problem admitting I have a bunch of them past, present and in the future.

ImageIt bugs me to no end when I hear a pastor speak about how everything is allowed as long as you believe in God and acknowledge that Jesus is His Son. Well! Satan believes in God and I can guarantee you that there is no place for him when his reign is gone and he is cast out. All I can see when pastors or clergy say that everything is OK and that God loves them and forgives them is when they stand before the Lord and they are accountable. Where is that pastor then? I have no respect for a sugar coated pastor who is willing to stroke someone’s ego.

ImageWhile I am on a roll, and I get on them quite often. I find it quite disheartening when I hear of pastors that use their church as platforms. You may be wondering what I am talking about. And I may have lost you on this topic since I think I got lost on it myself. But there are times I am watching evangelists or visiting churches when I wonder if they are actually running for office in a government kind of way. I wonder who they are trying to impress or if they want to just hear themselves talk. Because quite honestly, they go on and on and I hear nothing about God. I only hear how great they think they are.

As they go on about how great they are and all the things they are are doing. All I hear is yack yack yack. In my honest opinion I think too many churches are legalistic and trying to make God fit their agenda. I’m not saying the actual building, but the people that make up a certain church or place of worship. What is it with all the rules, laws and politics that make it important in churches? I say God is in charge and we need to get rid of all the legalistic jargon and mindset. Since I probably offended someone, and I’m really not too worried about that. My objective is to please God and not be on a pedestal or doing the look at me and I am better than you kind of thing.

One thing that I would like to say about pastors and church leaders is that they are people too. They aren’t gods and they do have hobbies and families just like we do. They have moments like we do. Meaning they have good and bad days. And I know this sounds kinda cold. They also may have problems with certain people in the churches they lead and who knows, they may have someone just as imperfect as I am. Egads, that could be kinda scary that there are no perfect people at church. And it may be even worse for some pastors that have people like me that are vocal, bossy and have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Thankfully we have an awesome pastor that knows how to handle those like me, lol.

Facebook Quizes – Not All Bad

Image

 

Tonight on Facebook there has been a quiz going around. The question is what Bible verse best describes me.

ImageI got Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”.

I have read this verse many times and have heard a number of songs that is based on this verse. So I had to think about it and see what it said and why this verse described me. I’m not really sure it describes me in any real sense. But it is one of these verses for those who have come out of the darkness. When you come out of that dark place it is faith that carries me through all those moments.

I have very little patience and I have to remember that when I call upon the Lord I need to be patient and wait for His answer. He will nImageever fail us and will give us the strength we need. We don’t need to be weary while we are waiting on an answer. This is a problem area for me for sure. I know without any doubt in this world that I can count on Him to give me the strength to do whatever it is He has for me for to do.

A friend of mine I use to work with at Lin’s got Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV), “Be strong and courageous,” for the Lord your God is with you. (NIV), “Be strong and courageous,” for the Lord your God is with you.

Just as God was with Moses, just as God was with Joshua, just as God was with Jesus, so God is with you today. That is a pretty awesome verse and promise.

We may encounter new things in our walk with the Lord and come up against some pretty horrible obstacles that Satan put in our path. But we should never fear, take heart, for God is saying to each of us, “Be strong and courageous,” for the Lord your God will be with each of us wherever we may go.

These are some pretty awesome verse. And it reminds me of my favorite verse Psalms 46:1, God is our refuge and strength, ever present in times of trouble.

ImagePsalms 46:1 is my favorite because I know that no matter what I am going through God is there. And I guarantee that I get myself in a ton of trouble and I am very thankful that God is always there for me, even in my stupid moments. There is no way that anyone is going to be able to escape being living in this world avoid finding trouble. It’s very important that we are prepared when trouble comes.

When troubles comes we rarely have any warning. But because of God’s promises to be with us during our times of trouble and when we feel our weakest, we can become stronger. And that promise is something that gets me through each and every day. I have many that ask me how I can get through the things I go through each day. And my answer is quite simple and that is because of God. My personal relationship with Christ gets me through everything and He gives me hope when I don’t think there is any hope left. We always have hope when we have God!

There may be bad things on Facebook, but I love it when there are things like this question that makes me think. I hope I have given others something to think about and hope that God is always with you. And if you feel like you have no hope, then I feel bad for anyone who has no hope.