Raggamufin/Rich Mullins

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If you have never watched the movie Raggamuffins, you should. The movie is about the life of Rich Mullins. I always thought I knew more about him, but I only knew his songs, not anything about him.

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Rich Mullins greatest legacy is his music. His first song that was published or best known is “Awesome God“.  I could be wrong about it being his first song. So many of his songs spoke to my heart and still does. I have been thinking about the movie”Ragamuffins lately because I follow a country singer on Facebook and he is one of the only country singers I listen to. I mainly listen to Contemporary Christian music. I have asked him if he would come to my house and sing for my Christmas party. I’m hoping he will.

Eric Dodge did one of Rich Mullins songs. My readers should go to his youtube channel and listen to it. Here is the link to his page.  The song is called “Hold Me Jesus”.

One of the things that Eric mentioned in his video and it is so true and why I’m touched by the songs in the show of Ragamuffins is how we are all broken. It was hard for Rich Mullins and there were times in the movie that seemed as if the message was directed at me.

There are a number of things in the movie that spoke to me. Rich Mullins talked about many things but he also had hardships and his own demons.  I feel as if we all have our own demons and our struggles. Eric Dodge and the show about Rich Mullins (Ragamuffins) has helped remind me that there comes a time when we have to do something.

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Eric Dodge

Eric has motivated me to not sweat the small things and to live life.  I have had many obstacles in my life. I think I worry about things that aren’t important. I need to focus on the important things and look around me more. Eric has been on this quest to minimize and to look around, live life  and do what is important.  I think I need to do that more and not fill my time with stupid things.

One of the clips in the video that spoke to me the most is this, “Listening to Brennan Manning” and I just bawled.  Click here to listen to the clip, and really listen to the words.

The first time the Rich Mullins heard about Brennan Manning was on tape as he drove through the edge of the Flint Hills in Kansas, his eyes filled with tears. He steered the truck to the side of the road. It was at that point that I broke down.

After this movie, I made changes. After a while, I found that I went back to my ways. I think that is why Eric Dodge’s way of doing things has touched my heart. He has had a rough year and I have gone to a couple of his concerts, but, he has spoken about the show and he is doing things and changing his life, which is awesome. I need to be more proactive.

On the front page of my blog, I will link his blog and Facebook page. Click on the tab at the top I think it is where is says Eric Dodge.

Rich Mullins was 41 when he died in a car accident. There were many true facts about Rich Mullins life.

  1. In 1996 he took a break from touring and he went to the Navajo Indian Nation of around a year  and they were very close to his heart. I think they all helped him more than he helped them.
  2. Rich Mullins wasn’t interested in money. He had no idea how much money he made. He only used the money he needed to live on. Most of his money was donated to the Navajo Nation and those in need.
  3. He was also known for doing concerts with no shoes on. He didn’t care what others thought. He wanted to please God and do what he needed to do.
  4. I loved his music, but in his real life, he had struggles like we all have. I didn’t have the kind he had, but we all have our things we go through. He got through everything because of his faith in Christ.

If you want to read about the man who did the tape that Rich Mullins was listening to on  Raggamuffin (Brennan Manning). Here is a short biography of Brennan Manning

If you want to read his personal page which is being updated now… Click Here for Erics Page… 

 

God Has Different Plans :)

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I haven’t been on my blog for a couple of months due to being in the hospital and I’m having some pretty major medical things going on. So, I just wanted to do a small update.

My last blog I shared about my experience with Gillian Barre Syndrome. I have the CIDP form of it. I was in the hospital for about a month because I had an infection in my blood. It is called Sepsis and I had Bacteriaemia. I don’t remember anything that happened for most of my time in ICU and the hospital. I only remember the last few days in the hospital and I think about 3 weeks in the car/rehab center.

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But, what I do know is that I have had some wonderful friends and family members that encased me in prayer and support. My pastor, family and friends came to visit me everyday.

KLoveWhile I don’t remember anything that happened and what led up to my hospital stay, I do know from the nurses and care givers that my family and friends made sure that I had my radio playing at all times. I listen to K Love which that is a Christian radio station. My husband and daughters made sure that they had the radio going at all times.

jesus-doctor-healingFrom what my pastor said he was saying that they almost let me go home to the Lord. I don’t know if that’s the exact words. But, they turned the radio off and my family was where they didn’t think I would make it. While the Dr’s were working on me and people were praying, they noticed that my radio wasn’t on. They turned it on and it must have done something. It was like it was at that moment that something happened. That something isn’t a thing, I have heard from some of the people who when the music was playing, I was alive again.

I want to thank all of those who lifted me up in your prayers. I would like to thank my family and friends who didn’t give up. I don’t know who was all there to pray for me, but from my understanding, there was a lot of people. One of my friends had her bishops come and pray for me. Then a friend from church gave me a bracelet. It simply says “Jesus is Enough, Mark 16:15”. Thank you Rhonda. When I was having a hard day and not knowing what was happening, I could read that and what an awesome reminder.

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Mark 16:15- He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you Pastor Ray for being there for me and all of the prayers. My daughters Jessica and Beckiah came to visit me and they made sure things were getting done. On one of the nights where I was having an emergency and I needed to have intervention because of blood clots, my grand-daughter Jocelyn who is just 2 left her little unicorn in my room. I found so much comfort in that. Then my daughter Beckiah was a life saver. I was so hungry and they needed to do tests. Beckiah made sure to be there while they did swallow tests and she made sure I had food. There is a huge list of people who came to visit and pray.

God uses many things to restore our faith, hope and life.  I have had some people say that it was the Dr’s that saved me. I think they were an important part, but God is the one to be thanked and my life being saved is an act of God. God provided the help that was needed to save my life and for anyone’s life. Because of the prayers by others while having the faith, God is the one in control of all things.

If it wasn’t for God putting everything in order, I wouldn’t be here. My family and friends knows that my faith in God is the most important thing in my life.

I do want to share a major blessing. My sisters Bren and Joyce and my dad came to visit me. I never thought I would see my dad up here since it is a long trip. God made it all possible. For me, that was such a big blessing.

We shouldn’t ever put limits on God. God uses Dr’s, medications, family and friends when we need them the most. I still have a long road ahead of me, but I know that God has bigger and better plans.

Part 2 from GBS Awareness

Going Home- Part 2

This is part two of my Guillian Barre Awareness Blog Post from 2 days ago. The most important part will be part 3  and that is how God can get us through anything if we only have faith and beleive.  This is the paragraph from the last one.

In order to go home, my Dr’s told me that there had to be someone with me at all times since I wasn’t out of the woods. I also had to have my house approved since there were so many things that could happen in a moments notice. Someone also had to be trained to help with going to the bathroom, bathing, helping me roll over in bed. When I came out of the hospital I was a size 0 and I would guess about 85 pounds. So, Chuck had to make sure everything was ready for me to come home.  He had to also make sure that I had the means to get medical treatment since I was a minor.

So, Chuck arranged for me to be dropped off at his friend’s house, which I did know them, but not well. He had to be on base at 4:00 Am every morning, unless he was off. So, we left the house around 3:15 and he had to carry me the whole time. He carried me into the truck every morning. Lana gave him a key to her house in case she was asleep. She arranged for a bed to be in her living room. He brought me in and made sure I was in bed, brought lunch over if I got hungry.

Chuck would check in throughout the day to see how I was. Lana had to have some training in order to help me. She would help me sit up since I was getting sores from laying down all the time. I couldn’t feed myself. So, she would feed me. Oh, and by the way, I was also pregnant with my daughter Jessica. She had to help me go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. When I wasn’t at her house, Chuck did everything for me. When I say everything, I mean everything.

Like I mentioned before, Chuck was in the Army. I had to have medical since I was still needing major medical things. While Chuck was on High Alert , which means he can’t go anywhere that is over 15 miles. When he got the call on his day off, he was stressed. I asked him why and it was because of me and how since I was still in a battle for my life, we needed to find a way to get medical treatment. We were planning on getting married in December. Instead, we pushed it up. Because of him being on High Alert, which I think it was during tole cold war, we decided that we would get married. It was the best way to get me medical coverage. So, that’s what we did.

Chuck and I already had our license and we didn’t have anything to do. So, he lifted me up and put me in the truck and we decided to get married. We made it to Belton Texas with 30 minutes to spare. Chuck had to carry me into the court-house and he even held my hand to help me sign. My parents about two weeks ago signed the permission slip since I was 17. He did find an office chair with wheels to help me. When we went before the judge he asked me if I was positive that I wanted to get married. I wonder if he thought Chuck was trying to force me since he had to help me hold the pencil.

I’m sorry this is going on for so long. But it’s important. Chuck and did get married on the day before Halloween. Chuck always says that we got married then so I could ride my broom. Chuck has also said he married me since he felt sorry for me lol. Which isn’t true, lol. But, my mom did tell me when we got married she would send us 200.00. We called her when we got home. We needed the money because my stuff is very expensive. Little did we know that Scott and White contacted the Shriners about my case and they covered every penny of my care since I was a minor. That was a major relief and Chuck was prepared and has been paying for everything for me even though we weren’t married.

Chuck and I went to the base. We borrowed a wheel chair to get around. We didn’t even have the money for that. We showed them our ID and the marriage certificate. The timing was great since now I had full medical coverage with the military. I was readmitted into Darnell Hospital at Fort Hood. I wasn’t on life support, but I was still paralyzed and I was in the hospital for 3 months. Over the course of a year, I spent 90 percent of the time there.

Chucks CO arranged for Chuck to go on Special Duty so then he would be close to home in case I needed him. When I was in the hospital he made sure to visit before he went home. I honestly don’t think that there would be many people who would have stuck around. We have been married 38 times. He has stuck around for all of the things I have gone through. I have had Guillian Barre Syndrome 3 times which is why they have changed it to CIPD which is the chronic form of Guillian Barre Syndrome. About 12 years ago or longer I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. There has been a number of other medical crisis that many would have walked away from.

I wanted to keep this post short and I will just touch on this since I will cover more of this in a separate blog post. GBS is an auto-immune disease and those who have had it or have compromised immune system. For myself the second and third time I had it was because I was around someone who had either a cold or the flu. While the cold, flu or other virus doesn’t affect some other than being sick for a short time. For those who have a compromised immune system it could land them in the hospital or they can die.

I think the second time I was paralyzed in the late 90’s which would be 98 or 99 it was from someone who came to my house with strep throat. I spent most of that year in the hospital where I live. I missed almost an entire year of being a part of my daughter’s life. When they seen me, it was from them coming home from school and they had to see me in the hospital or the rehab center. During lunch breaks they would walk over to the hospital and have lunch with me. I shared this because something as simple as strep throat almost costed me my life. If you are sick and you know someone with a compromised immune system, please stay away. If you are sick, stay home. If you must go out, wash your hands.

Links to Informational Websites for Guillian Barre Syndrome and CIPD

Guillian Barre Awareness – Part One

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This month is Guillian Barre Awareness Month. Once a year I will share my experience with others. This is a long post, but an important one. I have had many many people that knows me that have asked what it is that I have. That’s not an easy answer. I will do this over a couple of posts.  I have links below of websites that can give you information about Guillian Barre Syndrome. The videos below will tell you what both Guillian Barre Syndrome(GBS) and what CIPD is. They are short and easy to understand.

I have the Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is an acquired immune-mediated inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nervous system. The disorder is sometimes called chronic relapsing polyneuropathy (CRP) or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (because it involves the nerve roots).CIDP is closely related to Guillain–Barré syndrome and it is considered the chronic counterpart of that acute disease.Its symptoms are also similar to progressive inflammatory neuropathy. An asymmetrical variant of CIDP is known as Lewis-Sumner Syndrome (This discription which is a simpular way of describing it is from Wikipedia)

I don’t have pictures or videos of how it was for me when I first heard the words from the Dr that I had Guillian Barre Syndrome. I will provide links at the bottom of this post so you can understand what it is and I will post a youtube video of Crystal Browns experience is very close to my experience.. I was admitted into the hospital and was put on a ventilator.

I was 17 years old when I came down with Guillian Barre Syndrome. The way my Dr told me what it is by saying that the American name for it is French Polio. He also told me that once I’m able to walk again and it was a year for that to happen, but when I regained my ability to walk and to do other things like smile, lift my arms, talk, open and close my eyes, blink, frown and all of those things that I would be immune from it ever happening again. I would like to pay a visit to that Dr which, I’m sure he is dead by now, but I would like to share that it does come back and it did.

When I first noticed that there was something wrong with me, I was living in Texas. My back then boyfriend and my husband now noticed that I was getting overly tired when doing simple things. Things like walking up three stairs, riding a bike, cleaning the house or feeding dogs. About 3 week prior to this, I was given the flu shot. I was given that shot before I went to Texas. I ran away from home for many reasons. Just the day before I jumped out the window, I received the shot.

I got Guillian Barre Syndrom (GBS) and later regiagnosed with CIPD. The difference between the two is that with GBS it is a one time thing. Once you get better or the best you can be, it is done. It all varies case by case  on how much someone will regain thier sstrength. Some have life long residuals and that’s what I thought I had. But, I have the CIPD variant since I have had it three times and I have lifelong residuals.

 

As I was walking into town, which was just a mile and that was nothing for me. I was a cross-country runner and ran a minimum 10 miles a day. I was also a track and field runner and won many awards and ribbons. I was the anchor on our track and field team since I was the fastest runner on the team. I basically share this with you because walking a mile to town was nothing to me.

I got into town OK, but once I left the little store, I noticed my legs were very heavy. I had to sit on the curb to rest. I always went to the store in Nolanville.TX and then I would walk across the street to head back to the house. I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it across without someone hitting me. My legs felt like lead. I did make it back to the house, but I had to craw up the steps. There was no way to call Chuck to have him get me. There was no cell phones or anything. But, God gave me enough strength to get home.

My husband and I were living with his friends Craig and Mary Carlock. When I walked through the door she wanted to help clean the house and do the dishes. I always did the house and most of the cooking. Since I had no job and they let me live there, I did all that stuff. Mary started yelling at me when I told her I had to lay down and that I was very tired. She called me lazy and that I was lying to her about me being tired. I did do the dishes, but dropped one of them and she was furious. I had no choice, but I did have to lay down.

Chuck and I went out a few days later and we went to see Star Wars in Harker Heights. I was tired, but not as much as when I walked home. When the show ended, I couldn’t get up on my own. Chuck asked me what was wrong. I was trying to hide how bad things were. Since Chuck and I only knew each other for 3 months, I didn’t want to be a burden. I knew he was different and in my mind I thought for sure that he wouldn’t want to deal with something serious. He was only 19 and I honestly thought he would bail.  I just told him that I was tired and he helped me up out of the seat and we were the last to leave. I told him that I think something is really wrong.

I told Chuck what happened and he was so upset with them. We decided that it was time to get our own place. At this time we weren’t married. We did find a little trailer that was about 12 feet wide and 32 feet long. Which was a blessing because after I was diagnosed with GBS, the trailer was the perfect way to help me since the walls were closer. That little trailer was the perfect size for me to regain my independance. Which is for sure a “God thing.”

After we moved into this little trailer, I was becoming more and more tired. When my husband, well boyfriend then came home I was laying on the floor in tears. I was there for hours since I couldn’t get up. Chuck and I were engaged and we were planning on getting married on December 14th, 1980. We knew things were serious and things became life and death. Chuck could have left me there since we weren’t married.  God had a plan.

A few days after this happened, I got to the front door in order to get someones attention that I needed help. We did have a landline phone, but back then there were no cell phones. The trailer we rented for $50.00 a month was a long ways from neighbors. I got to the front steps and sat down and yelled for help. Nobody could hear my cries. I didn’t know any of our neighbors since we just moved in. I was stuck there till Chuck came home. He was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.

When he got home, he seen me there and rushed over to where I was at. I told him what happened. He lifted me up and brought me into the house. He took me to Scott and White Hospital in Texas. I was only 17 at the time and I was a runaway. My parents knew where I was. The Dr’s told me that they needed my parents permission to treat me. I didn’t have any insurance either. When they contacted my parents, they told them that they wouldn’t pay for anything.

The Dr’s still seen me and they did the whole asking about do you drugs and they thought that I was on drugs and that was why I was so weak. The nurse told me that they also thought it was me faking the weakness and they sent me away. Chuck and I came home and I was in tears. Chuck was so worried that he got a hold of his CO and they changed his schedule. I went to the ER at a number of local hospitals and all said the same thing. Things changed at a clinic that I went to in Harker Heights.

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The Dr admitted me into the hospital because he knew that there was something serious and many have died of it. By the time I seen this Dr I was pretty much paralyzed up to my chest. I had no reflexes, my breathing was labored. I couldn’t lift my arms, lift my legs or mostly everything else. If it wasn’t for Chuck, I would have died. He literally had to lift me up and help me go to the bathroom, shower, dress and so on.

The next morning at the hospital, I had ambulance people and nurses rushing into my room. They called Chuck and told him that they are transporting me to Scott and White Hospital since they weren’t equipped for something like this. I needed special care and someone experienced. I told them that Scott and White turned me down 2 other times and told me they couldn’t help me since it had to be because of me using drugs. I didn’t smoke cigarettes, weed or drink. I have always carried a bit of anger towards that Dr because I could have died because he thought I was a druggie.

Chuck asked them if he could take me up there. He didn’t say how worried he was, but I knew he was. They said there was no time to waste and that they didn’t even know if I would make it. Within 5 minutes, I was loaded up into the ambulance and taken to Scott and White Hospital. I was terrified to say the least. I had this sinking feeling that Chuck would think that he didn’t sign up for this.

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Plasmapheresis

That evening after I was admitted Chuck went to the hospital  to see me and get answers from the Dr. Since we weren’t married and I was a minor, they wouldn’t release information to him.  Instead they reached my parents who were very bitter and tried to have my husband arrested because of me being a minor. The treatment for Guillian Barre Syndrome is Plasmapheresis and IVIG.  They Dr’s needed permission to use the treatments. My parents told them no because it is very expensive. They also told the Dr’s that they didn’t need to contact them about how I’m doing and that it was OK for them to talk to Chuck.

After I was admitted, this got worse. The Guillian Barre Syndrome was causing a lot of breathing problems. That’s when the ventilator came about. I wasn’t willing to open or close my eyes. So, they had to do eye drops and tape my eyelids closed. Because of what all they had to do in order for me to survive, that is why I now have a very detailed medical directive that includes no life support machines.

My fears of Chuck leaving me was unfounded. Even though Scott and White Hospital was almost a 100 mile round trip, he showed up almost everyday. I was 100 percent paralyzed and the hospital wasn’t going to release me because of how I was still in crisis mode. My breathing was better which was great and I was no longer on a vent. But, I still couldn’t communicate with anyone. After a month or so, I was able to talk, even though nobody could hear me. I was so excited when I could open and close my eyes. I had to do a number of things in order for me to go home.

In order to go home, my Dr’s told me that there had to be someone with me at all times since I wasn’t out of the woods. I also had to have my house approved since there were so many things that could happen in a moments notice. Someone also had to be trained to help with going to the bathroom, bathing, helping me roll over in bed. When I came out of the hospital I was a size 0 and I would guess about 85 pounds. So, Chuck had to make sure everything was ready for me to come home.  He had to also make sure that I had the means to get medical treatment since I was a minor.

Links to Informational Websites for Guillian Barre Syndrome and CIPD

 

Part 2 “Going Home” Tomorrow. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millennial Generation- Guest Writer Pastor Ray Schroeder

When I published my blog yesterday about why people leave churches or never come back once they have visited a new church.  I mentioned in there that I would ask my Pastor if he could share his thoughts concerning if someone needs to go to church in order to be saved. I didn’t make it to church last week and his sermon was pretty much based on it. He gave me permission to share his sermon notes.

Thanks Pastor Ray. Pastor Ray is the Senior Pastor at St. George Community Church in St. George, Utah.

FROM A SERMON DELIVERED April 29th, 2018:

If you want to listen to Pastor Rays sermons Click Here...

Spirituality_ReligionHere’s a phrase you hear a lot from the young people or the Millennial Generation—“I’m spiritual but not religious.” What do you think they mean by that—‘spiritual but not religious?’ Well, let me say it in another way. “I love Jesus but not the church.” Maybe you’ve heard that from some. Or they say, “I can worship God wherever I’m at and I love Jesus but I don’t need to come to a church where there’s a bunch of hypocrites who think they’re ‘holier than thou.’” And I always say, ‘Well, there’s always room for one more.”

But the thing is, people say they don’t need the church. Let me tell you something. Here’s what that really means: “I don’t love Jesus.” If you don’t love the church you don’t love Jesus. Now why would I say that? What’s one of the metaphors the Bible uses for the church? –the body of whom?  Christ! We are all members of the body of Christ and members one of another in Christ. And you can’t cut off part of the body, a finger or foot, without hurting the whole body. We are all members, together, of Christ and of one another.

One place where I think Paul the Apostle really got a hold on this in his own life was when he was called Saul and he was on his way to Damascus and he was going there to imprison these people called Christians and while he was on his way a bright light blinded him and he fell to the ground and he heard a voice saying, “Saul! Saul! Why dost thou persecutist me?” And Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?” And the voice said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutist!” And Paul realized that the church, the people he was persecuting, they were Christ’s body on earth now. It’s the same as persecuting Jesus. So that metaphor of the church as the body of Christ became important to him. If you love Christ you love the church, if you hate the church you hate Jesus Christ.

That’s just true. Now, here’s the problem. Have any of you been hurt by someone in the church? I think all of us have at some point. So go to church anyway. Has anyone ever been wronged by someone at church? Yes, so go to church anyway. Has anyone ever felt they’ve had an enemy at church? Now I say this because I’ve had people tell me that they believe that someone was their enemy at church and ‘had it in for them.’ Well, what did Jesus say about your enemy? “Love your enemy!” So go to church anyway.

Because when you cut yourself off from your brothers in Christ you cut yourself off from Christ. And the author of the Gospel of John, by the Holy Spirit, wrote about this in his letter of First John, chapter 4 verse 20, where he writes:—“If someone says , ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God (or Jesus) whom he has not seen?” “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” This is the Word of God!

Can you imagine someone saying, ‘I love the church and I’m going to lay down my life for the church!’ like Peter said about Jesus?  You don’t hear that so much. What do you hear? “I don’t think this is the church for me, I’m going to try that church down the street.” Or they say, “I’ll try the church across town.” Ever heard that? Yeah. But you never hear, “I’m going to give my life for this body that God has brought me to today.” “I love Jesus Christ and I love His church and that’s the way I’m going to show my love for church through Christ because how can I say I love Jesus Christ whom I’ve never seen but I hate the brethren because they’re so picky, or they’re so mean, or they’re so forgetful.” You can’t do that.

Jesus is calling you and me to love Him by loving His church. And we say, ‘Yeah, but Jesus was without sin, and church is full of a bunch of sinners and even some cruel people.” There’s no one perfect in church. But when God looks at the church He sees Jesus Christ. And He sees people who are cleansed from their sin by the blood of Christ. And so He calls us to live a life that continues to grow in our love for Him and if we stumble and fall He’s there to pick us up and help us to start again on that road of love and we show our love for Christ through loving each other even though they do us wrong, they disappoint us, but we love them.

Any of you have children that have disappointed you in different ways?

You still love them, and this is the way Christ loved Peter and I believe this is the way Peter loved Jesus. Peter’s willing to lay down his life for this man who came from heaven to die on a cross.

Jesus looks at His church and says, “You know, I love you and I gave myself for you. I don’t want to spew you out of my mouth like the church at Laodicea that was neither hot nor cold.” “Will you love me?” “Will you love me?” Peter stumbled and fell yet Jesus still loved him. The church stumbles and falls but we are called to love the church, as imperfect as it is, because it is the body of Christ, and Christ gave Himself for her, the church. Amen.

“What Keeps You From Going to Church?”

I was recently having a discussion with a small group of friends on Facebook about going to church and why some have chosen to stop going and what they like about church. I asked those in the discussion if I could share the conversations and that I wouldn’t mention their real names. So, I will use an alias.

 

why-they-leave-blog-postReason 1: Feeling Unwelcomed

One of the members of the group brought up how he arrived at church about 10 minutes late. His wife was struggling with their little baby in the foyer. His wife took the baby to the nursery and then joined him. This was their first time at that particular church. They stopped going to church years ago, but wanted to start going again because they are parents now. They were church shopping.

Since they came in a little late the usher grabbed his shoulder and stopped from entering the sanctuary since they were preparing for prayer, they were told they had to stand there and not enter the sanctuary until the time was right. He felt as if they weren’t welcome and that the people were cold.  He was saying that it was obvious that they weren’t wanted there and never came back. When they read this, I really hope they give my church a secind chance since my church us a very kind and loving place.

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Reason #2- No Room in the Inn

There was a couple that was in the discussion. I wasn’t going to mention this one, but, I do think it should be included. I wasn’t going to include it because this couple actually visited my church. While they were being a part of the discussion, they were sending me a private message on Facebook. They attend another church locally, but they visited our church one Sunday.

This couple was saying that when they attended church there was a full house. They came in a few minutes late and the service already started. When they came in, they were left standing in the foyer. They were thinking about coming back to church, but have decided not to. The reason why is because nobody was willing to go to the overflow area.

Instead of getting help in finding a seat in the sanctuary, they were directed to the overflow room. In that room, the screen is harder to see. Instead of whoever was ushering that week, they were told to go sit i this other room.

Whoever was the usher should have had someone in the pews slide over so they could sit in the main sanctuary. No new comers should have been directed to a room where they would be sitting alone. They didn’t want me to share thier names. But, I think we dropped the ball on this. I invited them to come back and I let them know that this isn’t normal for our church. They told me not to worry about it since it wasn’t my fault. But, I still felt bad since it happened at my church.

Reason #3: Singled Out

This reason is one that I totally can understand and our church use to do this. It has also been one of those things that has stopped me from going to some churches and it makes me cringe.

One of the ladies in the group said that as she was looking for a new church home, she was put on the spot. When I asked her what she meant, she said that during the announcements they had a part in the service where the lay leader (announcer) would ask if there is anyone that is new to the church.  She was saying that when they ask the new comers to stand and introduce themselves. She wasn’t the only new comer that day.

She does what I do when I’m looking for a church and that is google the church to see what they do. I was telling her that if the church that I’m planning on going to does the whole stand if you’re new thing and introduce yourself, then I won’t go. Our church use to do that and I was so glad to see that we no longer do it.  She has decided that she doesn’t need to go to a church or building in order to worship God. She can do that from home.

Reason #4—I’ve been hurt by the Church. 

One of the ladies said that the reason she stopped going to church was because she was hurt by the church. This woman has 3 children and was recently divorced.  She was mentioning how the pain that she has been dealing with was too much to bear. She felt as if she couldn’t handle life anymore. She wanted to end her pain once and for all.

She was in a dark place emotionally and spiritually . She went to her pastor to let him know what she was feeling.  As she was talking to her pastor she described her pain to him. As she was talking to him, she realized that she was being judged. He ran down a list of things that she needed to change in order to please God.

That was the last time she went to church. While she still believed in Jesus, she knew that church wasn’t where she needed to be.

We were all talking about how Satan is the one planting these thoughts in her heart and mind that we are all broken.  There isn’t anyone who will be exempt from the pains of this world. There isn’t a perfect person in the world and that includes pastors and church leaders.

Reason #5 Hypocrites and Judgmental 

This older gentleman was saying that churches are full of hypocrites and I had to agree with him because he is right. He was surprised when I agreed with him.  If someone says that churches don’t have hypocrites they are lying because we are all hypocrites.

Definition of hypocrite

1a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

2a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

I know for myself, I have said and done things that I shouldn’t have done. I have said one thing and done another. I have many regrets. I have no doubt that we have all done things or said things that are regretful.

I have missed opportunities to show kindness and love to my family members, friends and strangers. There have been many times when I have shown how selfishness and lack of concern. When this gentleman said he no longer attends church because of all the hypocrites within the walls, he was shocked that we all agreed with him.

John 10:10  (NIV) 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Reason #6- Organized Religion:

A short time after we began the conversation about why someone would stop going to church a woman jumped into the conversation.

I live in Utah where the Mormon Church (LDS Church) is the main church. This woman also lives in Utah. I think she said she said she lived in Ceder City which is about 50 miles from me. But, anyhow, she said she stopped going to any church because she decided that any organized church or religion isn’t something she is interested in. She has tried numerous churches and years ago she said she caved in and decided that she needs to stick with the Mormon Church.

I asked her why she decided on that the Mormon Church/ She said that while she didn’t believe everything they taught, it was just easier and they were there to help her when she needed food or help with other things.

After spending years in the Mormon Church she said that she lost faith in organized religion all together.  I don’t think she lost her faith since she referenced a couple of Bible verses. These are the ones she quoted.

  1. John 4:24  (NIV)  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
  2. John 17:17  (NIV)- Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

One of the guys in the group wanted to have her go into more details since they weren’t familiar with the Mormon Church. I was a bit apprehensive on this conversation since I have so many friends that are Mormon (LDS). So, I tried to step back a bit with this conversation, but I personally feel that we all have the responsibility to be honest when it comes to talking to others about Jesus Christ.

The guy wanted more details and he asked her for specifics on why she left the Mormon church. I’m hoping I get the wording right. I did make sure to save the conversation since I wanted to share the correct words. So, this is what she said and I think it also pertains to other churches and not just the Mormon Church.

  • She left the Mormon church because the Bishop and church leaders are focused on themselves and don’t understand what it means to be a Christian, even though they say they are Christian.
  • Someone came up to her and asked her if she understood what the Bible verse John 3:16 meant to her. She then stated that she doesn’t know what the verse said since she was told that the Book of Mormon was all she read and that she doesn’t read the Bible.
  • John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV)For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
    She was challenged to read the Book of John in the Bible and she didn’t even know where that was in the Bible. But, she did read it and the Book of Romans.

She told those in our group that she is disillusioned with organized religion because she feels like she has been lied to her entire life. She said that he will stick with watching church on the internet or TV.

Reason #7- I don’t need to go to church in order to be saved or to go to Heaven

One of the members of the group responded to this excuse. Which in my opinion isn’t really an excuse. I’m going to ask Pastor Ray if he will write a blog or short devotional on this excuse or comment.

My response to this person and I can’t remember who it was is that I don’t believe that we have to go to church in order to be saved. For myself and I have been having problems going to church for medical reasons. But, I know for myself that when I go, it helps me get through my week. I listen to the sermons online on youtube. But it isn’t the same. Going to church encourages me and fellow-shipping with others feeds my soul. I know for myself when I don’t go to church, there is a void.

church

Pastor Ray has been doing sermons out of the Book of John. If you would like to listen to the sermons you can go to my churches website and listen to the Sermons and Bible Studies. You will be encouraged.

Listen to Sermons on St. George Community Churches Website

Listen to Sermons On Youtube

I do not believe we must “go to church” to be “saved”; I do believe that as fallible human beings we need some source of recharging, or encouragement, of community and of guidance. Holy Scripture, homilies that give us perspective and God’s comfort, the fellowship and strengthening that come from the mystical power of community — all these are food for our soul and can be found in a place of worship.

For more information about what you need to do in order to be saved you can read what is written below. This information came from the website Got Question. They have a great deal of information. I provided a link below after the paragraph.

 

(Got Question) How can I be saved? What do I need to do?

Read More
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it. Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6).

Read More… 

 

 

 

 

 

CARE WITHOUT CARRYING – Boundaries

This is long, but please read it all. If you have ever had a toxic relationship that is causing you pain and suffering, this blog post may help you. It’s OK to say NO to people. Boundaries are a good thing. The only ones who will say boundaries are bad will be those who want you to do everything for them.

sayno

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11, from The Message) Jesus

I have been having a conversation with a close friend of mine about enabling someone. I guess she figured I would know about this subject since I have had the hardest time saying no to someone. This is going to be a series of blog posts because it will turn into a book otherwise. But mainly because I want to focus on different things without boring everyone.

I’m the kind of person who would do just about anything for someone, even if it meant that I will be doing without. There is a huge misconception when it comes to helping those who are in need. I am a Christian and I strive to be more like Christ. When it comes to helping those in need, I always thought that I should help them. It took me a long time to get to the point where I realized I got it all wrong.

While I was talking about the word “no” to my friend, she felt that she had to say yes to anyone who asks for something. She feels like she is a bad person and a complete failure because she can’t do it all.

About 10 or 5 years ago when my mom was still alive, she would constantly tell me that I have to let my brother or oldest sister because they need the help. With my brother, she used my faith as a manipulating tool. I don’t like even talking about these kinds of things since she is no longer with us and she can’t defend herself.

My mom called me up and told me that I’m a terrible and not a real Christian since I told her that I won’t let my brother live with me. He was hiding out because he got served papers from his ex-wife or the state of California for child support. I didn’t realize at the time why he even needed to find a place to live. My mom didn’t say why. It was my brother who told me after he was here a couple of months. Since she used my faith as a tool to get me to comply and do what she wanted me to do, I began thinking I wasn’t being the person God wanted me to be.

Everyday I was being told that I’m not a good person or a Christian. Even after allowing him to come live with me and my husband. I caved in and the words she embedded into my heart and mind began eating at my world. When you are told every day that you are a terrible Christian and that I had a holier than thou attitude when it came to my brother and other family members, you start believing it.

I think Pastor Ellis Keck was the pastor at my church at the time. At least I think he was. It was such a long time ago. Anyhow. I went over to his house because I was way upset. I had the key to our church and I found myself going there at night and sitting in the darkened sanctuary. I was having a tremendous amount of guilt.

One of the nights, Ellis met me there. I just really needed to talk about this. My brother was living with us for a very short time at this point. Pastor Ellis was about to retire and I was upset over that. Ellis just had something special about him.

Ellis told me that I have the wrong idea when it comes to being Christlike. It isn’t our responsibility to do everything for those in need. He knew that my brother was bad news and so did anyone who met him. Pastor Keck shared a bit about his own relationship with his older sister, whom he had to cut out of his life due to the toxicity of her choices.

I had a different perspective on how I can’t keep trying to help someone who isn’t willing to change. In their opinion they don’t feel as if they need to change. I had a great deal of anger towards my mom because of her willingness to put the needs of my brother over my needs. For some reason she has always felt as if she needed to hide him out, lie to others about what he did and where he was. After Talking to Pastor Keck, I realized that my anger is misdirected. Even though she kept pushing me to talk him in, I allowed her to manipulate me. I could have said no, but I chose to let him stay with us.

Things started catching up with my brother. I didn’t realize what he was doing. I convinced myself that I was saving him. I was being the good Christian because I turned the other cheek more than the 70×7’s.  I was in a state of denial since I thought I was the one who was saving him and protecting him like a big sister should be doing. I was so very wrong on so many levels.

I knew that something was going on when my mom called me out of the blue asking me if I could give my brother some money to get back to Elfrida, AZ. This was the first time I heard about his plans to move back down to where my mom and dad lived. To say I was confused was an understatement. My mom and brother convinced me that he was needed down there to help my dad because my dad had a stroke(that was a lie). I told my mom that I didn’t have any money to get him a bus ticket. So, she paid for the ticket and had him pick it up at the bus station.

I’m not sure if anyone reading post has someone like my brother in their life. My friend that I was talking to was discussing how she has people in her life that uses drugs and will steal them in order to make extra money and to feed her friends habit. She had a habit of keeping these toxic people in her life, even though it is destroying her marriage and her relationship with her family and her children. She has a brother like mine. When I told her how my brother caused an abundance of drama because of his lying and a process called “divide and conquer”.

If you don’t know what that means, it is basically where my brother would keep people separated. He didn’t want them talking to each other or all of the lies would come to a head. I told my friend some of the things my brother did and how my mom covered up things for him. She even kept my dad in the dark. My dad has a great deal of anger towards my mom even though she died because of the things she did for him. I had to really think twice on if I was going to share this or not. I will make sure that certain family members on my Facebook page won’t see this out of respect for my dad. Before my mom died, she and I had some long talks and she apologized. I told her that I love her very much and that is true. She was a new person before she died. She carried so much guilt, but we didn’t focus on that since she was on hospice for cancer.

When my friend asked me how I was able to cope after my brother left and did all the things he did, I told her it wasn’t easy because I still loved him. But, I did have to stop taking phone calls from him. I also have it where he can’t access my Facebook page because I don’t want him hurting anyone else. One of the many reasons why he left town so fast is because his girlfriend was pregnant and in the hospital. He told her that he had a vasectomy and he lied to her and put her life at risk since she was told that if she got pregnant, she could die. He isn’t allowed to view anything on my page because his ex girl friend and her son, my nephew is on my page.

I told my friend that you can’t change a person and do everything for someone unless they want to change. My friend is a basket case because she can’t do it all. I told her I will be doing a blog series on this and hopefully it helps.  She has called me daily or sends me messages about how she just can’t do it anymore. She is frustrated over not being able to do it all. I told her that if she isn’t careful the frustrations she has can easily lead to feelings of guilt because she can’t figure out how to help them in the way she wants.

I asked her if those who are demanding so much of her time have family members who can help them. When she told me that they do have a big circle of family and friends. When I asked her about contacting her friends children, spouse, church family or others that knows her, she said that she was told that her family doesn’t care. They have washed their hands of her friend. My friends friend told her that it would be best to not contact or ask her family for help. That brought up some major red flags. I can’t go into all of the excuses my friend was told as to why she can’t call any of her friends family.

I did go into a lot of detail with my friend over my brother and how it is dangerous to not check things out. I had to really pray and think about what I’m about to share, but I do think it is important to share the dangers and destruction of lies. So, these are some of the things my brother did and my mom hid from me and my family.

  1. His ex-wife is trying to steal all of his money to pay for a child that isn’t his. The truth is that the little boy was abandoned by my brother while he was on machines and my brother left them.
  2. He is cashing in his 401K and will be able to repay everything that my husband and I paid and what he borrowed from us. He was suppose to get close to $100,000 and even produced a forged check to make it look legit.
  3. He told a gentleman about the 401K money and was able to convince him to sell him a truck and even convinced him to give him the title free and clear.
  4. With his girl friend, he said he had a vasectomy, instead she almost died due to blood clots in her lungs and she was basically confined to bed for the entire time. She is also diabetic. Thankfully her son turned out awesome. He knows that I am his aunt.
  5. He also told his ex-girlfriend that he is buying a house in a nice area. He went as far as contact a realtor and had a contract signed. My brother showed her the contract and gave her the date to have her children pulled from school and to enroll them into the new school. She pulled them out of school when the supposedly closing date came closer. He left before that date.  After he left, I actually found the contract that he signed for this house.
  6. She trusted him so much that she let him move in with her since he told her that I was about to loose our house because I didn’t pay all of the bills and our power was being turned off and he can’t afford to keep giving me money. He was worried that my husband would divorce me because I spent all of the bill money on drinking and partying lol.
  7. He also told her that the house we lived in was really his and he allowed us to live there. She didn’t really talk to me about anything since he told her that I didn’t like her and that I was mentally off upstairs. So, we had no one on one talking time.
  8. He also supposedly bought all of the furniture in our house. It wasn’t until he left town that I found out most of this.
  9. Since he was so trustworthy, his ex-girlfriend was fine with him paying the bills for her. She gave him the money she earned at her work. He said he would make sure the rent was paid and the car payment was paid. She ended up getting her car repo’d and was almost evicted from her home.
  10. He told me that she was in the hospital for a mental breakdown and while she was in the hospital, he as living in her apartment. What actually happened is that yes she was in the hospital and she has depression. But, all of the things he did to her and the lies caused her a great deal of anxiety. She even had it where he wasn’t allowed to visit her. I didn’t visit her and I don’t think she wanted me to since she thought I hated her and she didn’t know.
  11. He arranged to buy a brand new Lincoln Navigator and gave them a check that was stolen from my dad. The check was written on a closed account. My mom knew about this and I don’t know if my dad did.
  12. After he left, I went through the room he was staying at and I was so upset when I seen all of the schemes and what he told others about me, my husband, my kids, his ex girlfriend and her kids. A good pastor friend came over to my house and used the term, ‘Satan Encarnant”. That pretty much summed it up. It was heartbreaking though. I still love him, I just can’t have him in my life.
  13. Before he left town, he arranged for the shop where he was working at to have all of the tools and equipment to be taken over to my daughters. Since he couldn’t take it on the bus, he needed to store it somewhere. My mom told me that she will arrange for someone to get it or to see if my son in laws dad would come and get it. My son in law knew something wasn’t right. So, he contacted the guy who owned the shop and found out that all of the stuff that was at my daughters house was stolen. None of it belonged to my brother. My mom was so mad at me because they wanted the equipment. Just one of the items was worth over $10,000.
  14. He also told everyone that my son in law beat my daughter Jessica. That did not go over well at all. My son in law never laid a hand on her. My daughter was shocked and in tears that he would say that and put them in the position like that.

After my brother left town I met with his ex girlfriend and that’s when we started putting things together. She is an awesome person who loves the Lord and loves her children. I have forgiven my brother, but I will never trust him and he will never be welcomed into my home. I did tell him that if he ever did genuinely change, we can talk about the relationship of brother and sister.

I let my friend know that there is a huge difference between helping someone and caring for them and being the person to do everything for them and carrying the burden for them.  It’s important to learn how to care for someone and not let them put you in a position of causing pain.  I told my friend to never let someone or Satan convince you that if you don’t do all these things for a person or family member that you aren’t loved by God. I learned this lesson by going through things with my brother and other people in my life. I told her if she is having feelings of guilt and being pushed, then pay attention to what’s happening. That isn’t from God.