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



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.

Strawberry Moon aka Honey Moon

47271-werewolves-girl-werewolfIt’s Friday the 13th, and depending on how you feel about the day it can be a good day or a dreaded day. And it also a full moon, which has the power to turn people into lunatics and crazy things are bound to happen. You know, like Werewolves coming out and howling at the moon and things like that.

Full moon and Friday the 13th to fall on same day and those that are superstitious are particularly interested. For me, it is just a full moon that happened to have fallen on Friday the 13th.

This moon reaches its fullest point at 12:11 a.m. EDT on Friday, June 13. For those of us s1in Southern Utah that would mean that technically it reaches it’s fullest point on June 12th. The photos that are attached to this were taken at it’s fullest point and just after 12:00 am EST.

This particular full moon is nicknamed the “Strawberry Moon,” goes back to the Algonquin Native American tribe, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. June is typically the beginning of strawberry season, and the full moon would have coincided with the harvest. It’s also known as the “Honey Moon” since it can have a slightly golden tint.

The last time there was a full moon on Friday the 13th was on October 13, 2000. The two events will not happen at the same time for over 30 years until August 13, 2049.


The Image of Jesus Christ

ImageI find it interesting on how many different kinds of pictures there are of Jesus and how they have changed over time. And the pictures of Jesus also depends on which church you go to. I don’t know why this is since Jesus is the same all through time. None of us have seen Jesus first hand, unless we have died. There is a couple children that have said they have seen Jesus. If you read the book or seen the movie “Heaven in Real”, you will know what I’m talking about. I can see Jesus looking like the picture called  “Prince of Peace” painting by Akiane Kramarik. She was like 8 or so at the time she painted this.

When I look at some of these pictures, I can’t help but wonder what kind of a relationship or how others view Jesus Christ. Some of the pictures are kinda scary. So I wonder if they see Jesus as someone without love and compassion. When I think of what Jesus would have looked like, I think of a man that would look like others in Jerusalem. I honestly don’t see Him as being a blond hair blue eyed stud muffin. I see him with darker skin and eyes.

OImagene night my daughter Jessica, grandson JJ, Lisa and myself went to a concert over at the Catholic Church. They had the crucifixion of Jesus Christ hanging in front. It was huge. I didn’t think much of it, because I have been in there and I knew it was there. When I see Christ on the cross, it breaks my heart and reminds me of what He did for me and that He died for my sins. I have to say that I prefer just the cross and not the crucifixion at churches. JJ was very uneasy. JJ is only 6 and the whole time he was there, he was nervous and seemed scared. I asked him why and he said it was because of Christ being on the cross. Where JJ was sitting, the crucifixion was directly in front of him. To him, it scared him and made him sad. He knows that Christ died on the cross, but through his eyes it was like a scary man on the cross.Jesus_and_girl_formetop-lg

When I see a picture of Christ, I don’t see a scary person. I see a warm and loving person. I do think we need to remember that He was a man without sin and that He died for our sins on Calvary. I don’t think that was such a positive feeling for him and in a sense it has caused a fear in him. I can’t imagine Jesus wanting the children to be scared. I tried to explain to him why Christ was up there on the cross. But that was of no help at all. He was still scared and ready to get out of there. I can totally understand why it would be scary to a 6 yr old. It is very heartbreaking and sad to me and I am an adult.

I compiled a gallery of how Jesus looks to different people.




Family and Facebook




Me around 8 or so yrs old...
Me around 8 or so yrs old…

When I was around 10 yrs old, our family left Indiana. Not all of my family, but my immediate family. My parents, sisters and brother moved to AZ. Over the yrs I haven’t really known any of my family members which 90% still live in Indiana. Facebook has made it possible to reunite with many of them.

Each day I find it interesting when a see a new family members name show up under a family member I have recently got to know a bit because of Facebook. Not all things are bad when it comes to Facebook. I guess it depends on how you use it.

The first family members I got to know are my cousins Raelene and Allen Young. From my childhood memories, they are the ones I remember the most about in a good way. One night I got a call because I posted a search on to find Allen and Raelene. I was beyond elated when the voice on the phone was Allen’s. He seen that add 12 yrs after I posted it. It was awesome to be reconnected with those who I remembered. And if my memory serves me right, we could get in trouble without much effort. In July or August I am hoping to make it out there to Indiana to meet them after a 40 yrs.

Then I seen this young girls post named Page Elder. My maiden name is Elder. She wasn’t familiar to me, but her grandpa was because he is my Uncle that I never got to know. Uncle George passed away not so long ago. Now, his son George Jr (Pages dad) I have talked to once in a while on MySpace, but I never use that. Because of Pages post, I have been reconnected with so many other cousins.


I do wish I would have gotten to know Uncle George. Through the posts and pictures of Page and all the other cousins, I could tell how loved he was and is and how much of a family man he was. He seems like a person I would like to have known in this lifetime.

I have enjoyed getting to know Fern and Lori via Facebook. There is one other cousin that I remember from when I was younger and that is Monica. I think it is funny how it is that I remember her. It is only because we rode the same school bus to school and she is a leap year baby. How in the world I remember that, I have no clue at all. But I do. I somewhat remember one of my uncles, but I don’t really have few memories of him for whatever reason. My dad is close to Uncle Chet, but usually when he would visit dad, I usually wasn’t home much when he was visiting.

I have been very reluctant toprivate message some of my cousins to begin with because of things that some in my family has done. I was told by one sister to never talk to anyone from Knox because our family is hated because of things apparently done in the past. Of course I was 10 at the time, so I was clueless on those things.  Small memories and puzzle pieces mainly. What my sister told me has been so far from the truth.

I do know that there has been a lot of things said and done in the past. But not one of the cousins I have talked to blamed me for those things my parents and family members has done. They have been awesome when it comes to helping me get to know who they are. I have a feeling the reason I wasn’t to talk to them was because we would get together and talk and things would start flying out of the closets. Which is OK, but that isn’t why I want to know those who are family. I only want to know them, because they are family.

These are some of the things I have come to know and love about my family I have not met yet.

  1. They are a lot like me and love to have fun
  2. They love the Lord or most do from what I can see.
  3. They are normal or as normal as I am (Is that possible, lol)
  4. There carry many of the same traits I carry… (that can be scary,lol)
  5. They didn’t judge me because of who my parents are or my siblings.
  6. I always remembered these funny mushrooms called Morels. I never knew what they were but we would go find them and eat them. My cousins still do this.
  7. I always wondered why I eat the foods I eat. None of my family meaning hubby and kids like the things I do. They all eat what I call normal foods.
  8. They are a very supportive family and love each other.
  9. Not at all whacked out like my sister told me… OK, maybe a bit, but in the good way I am, lol… Nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying life 🙂
  10. And more I am sure…
Raelene (She looks like my sister Joyce)
Raelene (She looks like my sister Joyce)

I feel like i have been very blessed. It all started with a call from Allen and Raelene. The internet can have some bad things, but it can also have some wonderful things.

My sister Denise is the one that told me to never look up or talk to anyone in Indiana. And I am so glad I did. There are some that she has told me to not talk to and I haven’t gotten up the nerve to do that. And that is a lady named Linda and the family there. I think that is Tennessee though. But I think that is because she has burned Linda and those there and some other family members. So taking this in baby steps.

But all in all it has been a wonderful experience and I am grateful for social networks like Facebook. I am pretty excited to meet family face to face and get to know them on a more personal level it’s nice putting a face to the name, even though most names I don’t know or remember.

Another great thing about social networks is that I love that I can share my faith. It is a perfect platform to do that. And if people don’t like that, they can scroll on by. It’s pretty cool being able to bring God and family together in one place that we call the great social network Facebook.