Denominations- Good or Bad?

This posting was prompted by a conversation I was having with a friend about her church that is part of the Episcopalian Churches. This post isn’t meant to be judgmental and I don’t write this to offend.  Every now and then someone will request a post on a certain topic. My friend Helen gave me permission to write this post, which I was happy to do. The reason I am writing this is because of a congregation in the mid west that went through a lot of changes and felt that they needed to have the support of the Episcopalian Churches. Eventually they found that they didn’t really get real help, since it became a financial burden for them. She asked for prayers for her church.

Denominations_Historical_TreeChart

I have been going to our little church for about 20 yrs now and it has gone through many changes and pastors during that time. Originally our church wasn’t affiliated with one particular denomination. We were simply non-denominational and self supported. That changed a few years after it was started and our church was then taken in by the American Baptist Churches USA. When we first joined our church which was called at the time St. George Community Baptist Church, I had issues with a number of things that went on during the service. During those parts, I just chose not to take part in them. I was glad  we separated from them. Since there was no Nazarene Churches here, this was the closest I could find.

St.George Community Church
My church when it joined American Baptist Churches USA

They eventually decided that they wanted to become an independent church. Otherwise, they felt that they weren’t getting much from the actual denomination, they were paying out rather then benefiting from the union.

When the church I attend, it separated from the American Baptist Churches USA since they were part of the groups of churches that were ordaining gay and lesbian pastors. Changes had to be made since there was a lot of heat over the union and it was getting ugly. That was when we did a separation from the American Baptist Churches USA and joined a newly founded affiliation called Transformation Ministries. I don’t actually know how we benefit when it comes to this union though. They do have some wonderful people there though. We may see someone by fluke, but there isn’t anything really that I can see that they do for our church since we are the only church in our area that has this same affiliation. I think it would have been more beneficial if we weren’t so far from where everything is. I never knew there was a fee that had to be paid for the union and for them to take us under their wing, unless I’m not seeing it. Which could be.

As I was looking through old pictures and postings, I remember when all of this happened. I’m not sure exactly what Transformation Ministries do for us. I wasn’t in the meetings our church had with them when we first joined. But I would think there would be some better ways to support missionaries and outreach then to pay fee’s for things we don’t see. I could be totally wrong on this, but my mind has been wondering as I was talking to my friend in the mid west. Their church had to do things the way those they are affiliated with instead of doing what is best for their church. I can’t help but wonder is churches are being destroyed by groups that are interested in wealth, power and selfishness. I know there are many that have their heart in the right place, but I also wonder what it is that associations and affiliations does for a small church like ours. I can’t help to wonder if it is all about power and wealth. Or maybe I am just over-thinking this since I was talking to my friend. They struggle every month paying the dues and fee’s they have to pay and yet they get no assistance, just rules when it comes to the affiliations they have.

They have right around 250 people in their congregation and they are about to loose their church because of the fee’s they have to pay. I asked her if her church has to be affiliated with a major denomination, she said she thinks so. I did advise her to check it out. I would think a church could be independent since they have enough people to keep it going. I’m not familiar with the Episcopalian Churches, but I’m sure something could be done. I asked her if it was just the money they have to pay and she said that and also they have to follow the rules or whatever it is that they signed. I would think it is the bylaws. If they aren’t comfortable, I don’t know why they couldn’t separate.

10442541_10152486066253104_4632999574964326904_nNow, my thoughts is that I think that denominations are full of rules and regulations. When really the only rules and regulations are in the Bible. I don’t think that God intended everything to be so divisional and denominational. I would be happy if the names of churches were just called “Bible Believing Church” and leave it at that. I would love one day to see that on our sign outside where it has our church info. It will never happen, but it would be nice. There are so many denominations out there, it is hard to know which one is the right one. In my opinion and it might not count for anything, the only church to go to is one that is preaching from the Bible and letting that be the sole source for truth. I don’t think we need all of the rules and legalisms of big denominations. They provide a great way of separating people over petty stuff. I’m not against denominations since I always went to a Nazarene Church, but I can see how they have a way of distracting people from what the Bible really has to say. I’m not into all the legalism of things and I like to use the KISS theory and that means Keep it Simple Stupid. I make things more difficult than they should be and I think mankind is that way. I think God is pretty straight forward.

Americans and I would guess any country has those who follow a particular religion. Religions have a way of getting in the way of Christianity. You can be ‘a good Christian’ without belonging to any specific denomination. You don’t have to be part of a specific denomination in order to be a Christian. In order to be a Christian, you need to believe in Jesus Christ, accept Him as your Lord and Savior and admit you are a sinner. The name on the church building isn’t going to save you.

I was looking up a little information on why churches are denominational and if we as Christians should be part of a particular denomination. Simple conversations like what my friend and I had gets my brain going. But what I was reading is that denominations are man-made organizations. There are more than 600 different denominational churches, all with different and conflicting doctrines, beliefs, and teachings. For those who go to church, I’m sure you have noticed all the different names, types of worship (contemporary/traditional), doctrines, bylaws and the list goes on. Many also have different plans of salvation. I’m not sure how that can be if they are Bible believing. Many times I wonder if it is more of a money thing than a reaching people and advancing the Kingdom of God.

matthew16-24When I think on the whole denomination thing and the money aspects of churches I think of Matthew 16:24 – To follow Jesus one must deny himself. True religion does not consist of what pleases us. It is entirely a question of what pleases God. To me this verse is saying that we shouldn’t be church hopping or going to a church that says what we want to hear. We should be going to a church and be part of a church that solely believes in Christ. Denominations separate people, when in reality we should be uniting in the name of Christ. I know many that will go from one church to another for one petty reason or another. Shoot, I know one person who left a church because they were told that the church only goes by what the Bible says. WOW, wasn’t sure on what to say to that, but I’m sure I told them that if they are going to church to not listen to the Word of God, they might want to re-evaluate why they are going.

Lastly, I just want to say that it is up to the individual and if something is not feeling right to you, there may be a reason why. There is no church that is going to save you, only Christ can do that. If you are going where they don’t put the Word of God first and having a personal relationship with Him first, you should look elsewhere. If they say they don’t want to use the Bible, that should be a huge red flag. When I choose where I go, I realize that when I join, I believe what is going on. If I am associating with a group or church, I am saying that this is what I believe. I would hope that people would say I was guilty by association when it comes to me going to a church that believes in Christ and that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. If it isn’t in the Bible, I don’t want anything to do with it.

truth0059Our newest pastor came from a denomination that frowned on him preaching from the Bible. He left that denomination and I love it that he is using his experiences as a way to teach people that we only need the Bible for instructions in our lives and that Christ is the only way. I have no respect for pastors or church leaders that like to sugar coat things and are afraid to say what God puts on their heart out of fear. My pastor isn’t that way. If people have a problem with wanting the truth and want a lot of sugar coating for their life, our church may not be the right place. There are plenty of other churches that are more than happy to do that for ya. Too much sugar for a diabetic could kill them, so watch out for how much sugar coating you get in your life. It could be what costs you your life in the end.

If you want to check out my church in St. George, Utah, you are more than welcome. Check out our website. My church is a smaller church, but you will find the most loving, kind hearted Christians there. They show the real love of Christ. You won’t find it showy and over the top. We have a traditional service that is focused on Christ Alone, nothing else.

 “What is a Bible church?”

Answer: Bible believing churches are those which profess to adhere to the Bible as their standard of faith and practice. If you are searching for a new church home and want to attend a church that is Bible believing, here are some things to look for.

  • Choose a church where it is understood that the Bible is the truth and inspired by God. The Bible is the sole authority (2 Tim 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:21).
  • Choose a church that studies and teaches the Bible. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Choose a church that believes in baptism and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Choose a church where the people love and serve one another.
  • Choose a church where the pastor is genuine and seems to love his people.
  • Seek God’s wisdom (James 1:5) and will in prayer for a church home, and choose the church of God’s leading.

All Have Sinned- Nobody Is Good Cont…

Yesterday I started a blog on the topic of the ten commandments and the Duggers. Today I will finish up that blog topic with the other 5 commandments.

All Have SinnedSixth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill
This seems to me to be one of the most overlooked commandments of all times. As I think about how we are instructed to not kill, planned parenthood comes to mind for me. They are the largest pro-abortion group out there. The kill unborn children each and every day. There was a time that I didn’t think about abortion a crime against humanity. There was a young lady that had an abortion and I should have stepped up and done what I could have done to prevent her from doing that. I felt that it was her body and her choice. When I started paying more attention on what happens when these youngest victims are snuffed out, it is inhumane and they can feel when a they are literally cut out of the womb. I carry guilt over not doing more to prevent this from happening. Besides abortion killing and murder is epidemic in America and all over the world. Innocent people are being murdered at rates that boggle my mind. Not only the killing of people, it is also happening with animals. Perfectly healthy pets are being killed because they can’t find a home.

I am guilty of breaking this commandment because even though I may not physically kill someone, it isn’t as if I never wished a person wasn’t alive. Even thinking of killing and wishing someone dead will make us guilty of committing murder.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

Seventh Commandment- Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

adultery_wideAdultery is rampant in America and glamorized and accepted in movies. I think of a recent reality tv show that is gaining popularity. The show is called “The Community”. It is about a community or normal housing area that showcases families that swing. If you don’t know what that means, it means they swap partners. They practice open marriage and they have no problem with it. There is also a show called “Sister Wives”. I live in Southern Utah and I see a lot of polygamist that live in our area. Many think they are Mormons, but they are actually the FLDS Church. They have one husband and many wives. For those who have been living without watching the news, Warren Jeff’s is the most well known leader of the FLDS Church. His trial brought our area and their lifestyle to everyone’s living-room.

Adultery doesn’t have to be a physical thing. Pornography is also adultery. When you look at someone else lustfully and want to be with that person, you are committing adultery. Marriages are falling apart everyday and families are destroyed because of adultery. Some people will justify buying a playboy or other materials as innocent, but they are far from that. I would recommend watching the movie “Fireproof” with Kirk Cameron. It is a slow fade to how pornography and adultery can tear a family apart. There is nothing innocent wrong with this. There was a time in my life when I didn’t see anything wrong with it. How can a show or a magazine ruin lives. My husband and I had a friend who thought it would be interesting and fun to swap partners, that never happened. Those friends were never welcomed into my home. I have watched movies and shows that focus on adultery and I didn’t care.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

Eighth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Steal

Theft can come in many forms. Some of those forms would be gambling, insurance scams, robberies and so on. Many states and the state I live in is a non-gambling state. Gambling has caused and incredible amount of destruction and loss. Theft is also taking something that is not your own. That can be as if borrowing $1.00 or a million. If it isn’t paid back that is theft. I am guilty of this since I have borrowed money and haven’t paid it back on a timely manner. This is one of those areas I have really looked inside my heart and decided that if I can’t get something on my own accord and I can’t afford it, I don’t need it. Slowly I am repaying debts that I have had and having to get them done little by little. Due to all my medical bills and stuff, it has been hard at times to make ends meet and pay bills. When someone says, you can borrow the money and pay it back later, I now say no. I don’t like money getting into the way of friendships. When people ask to borrow money from me, I don’t ask for it back unless I know for sure they will be able to do that. I know there are times that it is difficult to do that, so I count it as a gift. I have two people that I have been struggling to pay back. They are both people who I need to pay what I can so I can get it done and get things in order. In my mind, it is theft since I haven’t paid it off when I said I would.

Theft can also come in forms of services and deception. One of those would be to say a person has cancer or an illness. We are seeing more and more people doing fundraising to help them with medical bills. There is something going on right now in a group I belong to on Facebook. This guy is seeking funds to help with everything. While checking him out, he doesn’t have Guillian Barre Syndrome at all. He is just wanting people to feel sorry for him in order to get money.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

Ninth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

False witness means lying. Lying can be easy to justify for many. We lie to get what we want. We lie to protect peoples feelings. We lie to get away with whatever it is that we want to. Our government is built on liars. There are scammers and users all over the place. Lying is widely accepted since for some reason people see it as not hurting others. When in reality it hurts the most. I can handle a lot of things, but when someone lies, it breaks the trust I have in them. Even thinking about lying to someone or thinking I am lying for the greater good, is still a lie. A little white lie is a lie. If a bill collector calls up or a solicitor asks if I am home, I will say this isn’t her phone. That is still a lie. I can easily justify lying to someone when it comes to me telling them the truth would hurt their feelings. When it comes to voting for government officials, people say to vote who will do the least amount of damage. For me, they all lie and I trust none. It doesn’t matter what party they belong to.

I have had some people tell me that I am to direct in my blog topics and I am OK with that. If people want me to lie to them, they need to let me know in advance so I can make it a good one.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

Tenth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Covet Anything That is Thy Neighbor’s

I have had my grandsons ask me about this commandment and what it means. Coveting isn’t a common word for many. I know it isn/t for me. Our world is a materialistic world. At least in the United States we are. We want the most expensive car, houses, cloths and luxury items. TV’s are getting bigger and better and we are a country built on electronics. I was able to explain to my grandsons that if a friend of theirs has a super cool gaming system and all the awesome games, what is it that they want? They said they want to have the same game system and even cooler games. One of the boys said he will go steal the games. OK! Well that is breaking a couple commandments.

Keeping up with the Jones’ is a huge thing. If our neighbor has a huge house, we need a huger one. I don’t think I am a very materialist person. But what I find is that I like my yard to look the best. I don’t like my yard to look like yard. I have one neighbor that has a very pretty yard. So I get this feeling that I need to head to Home Depot to get more flowers and more of this and that. I don’t always do it, but I do want his yard. That is coveting.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

As I go through the ten commandments, I know without a doubt that I am “GUILTY” as charged. God is a loving and merciful God. When I went to God in prayer and beg for forgiveness in Jesus Christ, He offered it to me and all I had to do is ask. As a Christian, I’m not without sin. I am guilty of being a person who has broken all of the commandments that God said not to break. Also as I look at what the Duggers are going through, I know that it isn’t my responsibility to judge him. He has gone to God and has repented of his sins. He was 14 at the time and his sins were dealt with. I think about my sins and to think that everyday someone would be there to shove them into my face when I know I have been forgiveness is the work of the devil.

Because of the things I have done in my past and those things yet that have not been done yet, I am deserving of going to hell. I deserve eternal punishment. But because of the gift of the blood of Jesus Christ, I am forgiven. I’m not a perfect Christian. There is no perfect Christian.

Matthew 12:34-37, You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Jesus said that we will either be justified or condemned by the words that we speak. I would say that it is important that we a careful about what it is that we say and what comes out of our mouths. God wants His words of life and truth to come out of our spirit. For this to happen, however, we must read, study and receive the Word of God in our hearts.

On closing I just want to add that God is a loving and merciful God. But, Satan is busy with his deception and counterfeits. There isn’t a day that goes by that we can’t see how our world is changing and the violence is escalating. I honestly believe that Satan is clouding our hearts and minds when it comes to judging others and thinking it is our job to do that. In our world, we are fast to accept all things so we don’t offend anyone that doesn’t share God’s commandments. Churches and pastors are just as guilty of this. They don’t want to offend and want to be all accepting. I don’t see how that can happen if as a Christian we believe that Bible is the inspired Word of God. Our world is becoming more volatile and changes are occurring rapidly. There are huge waves of satanic corruption coming against our culture.

All Have Sinned… Nobody is Good!

Romans 3:23-24… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

I have been listening to all the stuff that people have been saying about Josh Dugger. I don’t really watch their show. But that is only because I don’t watch a lot of reality shows unless it is Big Brother. It seems to me that the media is using what Josh did as a 14 yr old child as a tool to bring down the entire family. Some are saying that the Duggers is part of a dangerous cult among other things.

All-have-sinnedI guess this is a personal thing for me because I knew a young man that was 13 I believe at the time and he committed sodomy against a younger child. Not only did it change the life of a young boy, but also the teenager. The teenager carried the guilt and what he would call demons from that event that forever changed his life. He ended up committing suicide because of those demons among other things. He went to professional counseling and so did the other young man. The family of the child forgave the abuser and it was dealt with in a way that helped both of the victim and the perpetrator.

I am not one that is going to condemn Josh for something that happened when he was so young. I don’t know much about this family but I do know that no matter what they are going through, that God is front and center. From my understanding his family and others seeked help from outside of their family and Josh admitted his wrong doings and asked for forgiveness from those he hurt the most. This whole media thing is like they are punishing the families and the victims all over again. What right do I or anyone else have in judging him? Thankfully we have a whole world that is full of perfect people that never done anything wrong when they were teenagers or adults. While what he did was very serious and I don’t want to take away from the seriousness of this, but I do want to say that I for one can say that I am very far from perfect and according to the standards of the media and all the perfect people I should be hung out to dry and put to death by some people or countries standards.

While I am talking about sin and specifically the sins I have committed I would say I have a long list. I have pretty much broke every commandment there is. If you don’t know how many there are, there are 10 of them. Now if you ask my husband he will refer to a movie with Mel Brooks called ‘History of the World. Where Mel Brooks says there are 15 commandments. He then drops one of the stone tablets and he then says, “We have Ten Commandments.” My husband loves this movie. But seriously in the Bible there are “Ten Commandments”.

  • First Commandment: I shall have no other God’s before me

This is one of those commandments that we broke all the time and probably everyday. Where I break this commandment is when I put more of an importance on”things”. In the way I think of this commandment I would think of power, the almighty buck (money), sex, computers, entertainment or whatever gods that makes us a slave to them instead of Jehovah God. One of the examples I have of me breaking this commandment is when I want to stay home from church and play on Facebook instead of going to church and worshiping God. I try to keep myself in check.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

  • Second Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Worship Any Graven Images

As I was talking to my grandsons about the “Ten Commandments”, I was asking them what they thought this one meant. They didn’t really understand it. When we were discussing this, this commandment is about anything that we bow down to and worship instead of serving God. Here in America there are those who live in massive mansions and everything is on the grandest of scales. Churches are guilty of this also. There are mega churches that are lavish and the salaries of those who are church leaders can be into the millions each year. I don’t want to offend any churches by this comment, but I do think about those churches who have all these statues and they are bigger than life. Some of these statues are made of gold and the best materials they could find. I also don’t have a picture of Jesus in my house since we don’t really know what He looked like. Well, now I do. I got it from my moms house recently. I find it sad that people will pray to those images thinking that they are praying to God. Those images or how the Bible talked about the golden calf’s will be destroyed. As I think about how I break this commandment, I would say that I like nice things. There are things in my life that has gotten in the way of God’s purpose in my life, when I should be glorifying God, not man or things.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

  • Third Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain

This is one of those commandments that I had the hardest time with. The normal language and accepted language is swearing or cursing. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear someone saying the “God “D” word, “F” word and a whole arsenal of other words. Even those those profess to say they are Christians are accepting of this language. I’m not going to judge others because I have no place in doing that. I can say that through my own experiences I use to swear like a sailor. About 20 yrs ago, I didn’t even pay attention to what I was saying or how I was saying it. There came a day that I was the only one in a room that was swearing and God gave me a reality check. I felt so much guilt when I heard what I was saying and realized that I wasn’t representing Christ. The more I would say things and take the name of God in vain, the further from Him I got. It was at that point in my life that I had to ask for forgiveness and knock off what I was saying. I still have to work on my thought process though. There are times in my brain and heart that I am giving someone a what for. Even thinking or feeling is the same as doing.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

  • Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day to Rest and Keep it Holy

Wow, this commandment has been part of a long debate. The reason I say that is because if you look at the calender the actual 7th day is a Saturday, which would be the true Sabbath. The majority of those who go to church will go on a Sunday. There are some places also that is trying to make Sunday just like any other day of the work week. Some states have what is called a blue law. The area I live in for the most part besides restaurants will have businesses closed. That is changing though. Sunday is like any other day and stores are open and money is needing to be made. This is one of those commandments that I need to work on more. My husband is a truck driver and usually we only have a couple days or one day a week to do our things. In my heart though, I know that on the Sabbath, that day should be for showing reverence to God and worshiping Him. I also know that at-least for myself that everyday needs to be about God, not just one day a week.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

Fifth Commandment: Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

This is one of those commandments that says a lot about our society. I have done past blog posts about honoring parents. There is a difference in how we honor our parents depending on our age and circumstances. The way that I was raised, there wasn’t much honoring or respecting of my parents due to choices and lifestyles that they led. I was raised in a home where God wasn’t a part of it. I did go to church and it was a daily struggle. When they would do sermons on honoring our parents, this was the hardest of all commandments for me. The ways of the world now days is far from honoring the family unit. Parents are shoved aside and placed in care centers, neglected, shamed and ridiculed. As a child we are taught that we should honor and obey. There isn’t much of that going on and when the news is turned on, we hear about children killing parents, parents killing children, perversion, violence, pornography, abuse and a whole host of other things. Satan and evil is destroying people and families all over the world.

As a child and as an adult, I had/have little respect for my parents. Not because I didn’t love them because I do. When it came to honoring and obeying, I chose not to do that since by doing so, it was against what the Bible taught. For me, by obeying them, it would mean living a life that is filled with immorality and selfishness.

Verdict: Guilty as Charged- Sentence is suspended due to Christ paying my debt

I will continue this post and will be covering the other 5 commandments, which are;

  • Thou Shalt Not Kill
  • Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery
  • Thou Shalt Not Steal
  • Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness
  • Thou Shalt Not Covet Anything That is Thy Neighbor’s

Sheep Stealing is Wrong…

There has been something I have been thinking abut for some time now and that something would be called ‘sheep stealing.” I’m not talking about the the sheep with four legs I am talking about church leaders, parishioners or those are are already going to church and is convinced that they should move to another church because they are moving.

image7When I talk about “sheep stealing” I am talking about what pastors and or congregation/parishioners do to convince those already attending a church and they entice the church members to attend another congregation. I think ever since I can remember I have seen this done in churches and I sure at some point I am guilty of doing this. Once I learned more about how this is not what we should be doing to get people to come to church, I had to revise my way of thinking when it comes to inviting people to my church. I have also found that trying to manipulate people into not attending whatever church they are going to has a potential to be hateful and dishonest way of wanting to grow their own congregation. It isn’t really about someone deciding that the church they are attending isn’t where they feel God wants them to be or where they aren’t being fed spiritually. It is about how thief’s dressed as church members think it is OK to take members from where God called them to begin with. The whole idea of stealing members from one church/congregation in order to increase the membership in another congregation is hurtful and can be destructive.

Over time and throughout the ages people have left churches for whatever reasons. Sometimes the reasons are very petty and distracting when it comes to why we are at church to being with. When people leave churches many times they are angry,confused and bitter about what happened at the church they just left. Who knows why, but with that kind of anger it doesn’t take long for it to overflow into the congregation. People start talking and then there is a division. This is one of the reasons we have so many denominations. Pretty ridiculous to me actually. If someone chooses to attend another church on their own, that is fine. Sometimes you have to find the right fit. My friend Lisa felt she needed to attend a different church that fit her needs and where she can grow stronger in her walk with Christ. For me, she is a good example of how checking out churches to find the right place is for them. She never asked me to switch over and she has never tried to divide and conquer. In the 20 years we have gone to our church, I have seen a large number of people who are what I would call, “sheep stealers”.

In my opinion when pastors and people use this tactic, it is a form of pure laziness and I would think that God would not take these actions lightly. One day when we stand before the Lord, there will be things that we are accountable for. Churches and individuals should be advancing the Kingdom of God, not dividing it. It says in James 3:1 that “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

Some of the conversations that goes on during the whole “sheep stealing” situation is where they will make comments like, ” since our church doesn’t care what you do or what our sexual preference is, you should come and check out my church. There are real reasons for switching churches. But to be coaxed into going just to increase the bank roll and a huge amount of growth numerically, then you are switching for the wrong reason. I’m not naming anyone one person in particular since things like this happens in all churches and it has our mine off an on through years. I have also heard over the years that the pastor ‘or others take the Bible literally. “Not everything in the Bible works with how society is these days.” That’s a bunch of bull. God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and for eternity.

why-study-the-bibleThere are many people in our area that is unchurched or looking for a new church home. If a church is wanting to advance the Kingdom of God, then we should be reaching out to those who need to hear the “Word of God”. I hate to put it this way, but there are parts in the Bible that can be very direct and things I don’t want to hear. The reason for that is that I am guilty of I would say all of the commandments in one way or another. I haven’t literally killed anyone, but there was times I wish certain people wasn’t alive. Church is not a social hour. Church leaders are there to share the Gospel of Christ and the Good News. If you get your feelings hurt, you may want to take time to pray about it. Too many people get feelings hurt and they then leave church. I may not always agree or understand what our pastor is talking about, but the nice thing is that he can back up all of his sermons in the Bible. Pastors are merely messengers of the Good News, like it or not. If you don’t like it, that doesn’t mean it is going to change. If you don’t believe what is in the Bible and that it is the Word of God, then you may want to read it more. So dust off the cover and crack open, clear out the cobwebs and dive in.

I get distracted at church or just about anything. I forget things from one minute to the next and even seconds later. Most of the time when I get distracted it is because Pastor Ray will cover something in the Bible and I have to jot down notes so I can look it up later or ask him about something. For the longest time I wonder how many people that proclaim they are Christians and they aren’t. I don’t always agree with what is being preached or said. If I don’t agree or understand, I have no problem asking. My pastor is great about that. Even when I disagree, I do my very best show respect to him and to God.

When I was talking to Pastor Ray a light bulb came on in my head and I am sure he mentioned it to and that is even though people think it is better somewhere else doesn’t mean that God won’t direct those who really want to learn about what God has to say on things. I get a bad taste in my mouth and always have when people try to recruit those who are happy where they are in order to grow another church. There are many places that on the surface looks as if they are Christians and advancing the Kingdom of God, when in reality they are feeding you generic food. Why go to a church that is generic when you can have the real thing and that is Christ and teachings from the Bible.

I’m not going to bash any one church because I to feel that each and every one of us has a purpose as the Body of Christ. I will on occasion go check out other churches if I am needing or want to go to a special event or gathering with fellow Christians. The name on the building doesn’t matter to me as long as they are worshiping God and no other Gods. I enjoy fellowshipping with those at my church and I have no plans on leaving.

In closing I just want to say that if you are happy where you are going to church and the church is a Bible believing church, then don’t let someone sway you to go somewhere else. If you are feeling led to check out new churches, then it’s OK to day that. Just be sure who and what the motivation for someone wanting you to get to their church. Do they want you to leave to increase the number of people there and how much they are getting in the offering plate, or are they there because God directed them. Don’t let petty stuff get in the way of worshiping God. Always make sure what is from God instead of someone else.

Wade Hammonds Concert- A Vent

                Kathi and Wade Hammond

I went to a concert at my church tonight. Wade Hammond was the singer and I have to say that I was rather disappointed in the concert. Not because he wasn’t worth coming out to hear. He was more than worth my time and better than most concerts I have paid a lot of money to go to.

Wade Hammond and his wife came to our little church and put together a wonderful offering of music and words of encouragement. I am not one that likes country music and I’m not really into the Southern Gospel. Wade sang songs that spoke to my heart and was from his heart. For those who missed it, you really missed out. This concert was free and Wade and his wife took time out to visit our town and yet there was only around 25 people there including them. Why !!!

It has been publicized for weeks on our website, Facebook, power points and so on. There is no excuse to say that they didn’t know. Announcements have been made from the pulpit and Pastor Ray made sure to get the word out. I can understand outside of the church since not all subscribe to the paper. But for those who go to our church should have been there to support Christian artists. It isn’t like our city gets a lot of concerts like this that is free.

I can also understand if someone is sick or doesn’t drive at night. But there are plenty that can give a ride to someone if they need a ride. I guess you can say I am rather ticked off that there isn’t more support and more of a showing from those who go to our church. I know that Wade wouldn’t complain and neither did Pastor Ray. But, I have no problem saying what is on my mind.  As Christians, we should be willing to support and attend concerts like this. There was a time were we were off the map when it comes to Christian artists. And here we are, getting one to come to our church and it costs nothing but 2 hours of your time and you don’t go. What the heck is up with that???? 2 hours isn’t a lot of time to worship Christ. Shoot, in a village of one of missionaries, people will walk a day just to get the chance to listen to the Word and music. And yet, people will throw away what many fight to be able to do. Many are killed everyday and ticks me off that God wasn’t worth the time to spend it singing praises to the Lord.

I’m sorry that I am going on about this. Well, not totally sorry. I am very disappointed  that a very small group showed up. We have more people show up where food is for ladies luncheons and yet many that could have gone out decided it wasn’t worth going. I was talking to one lady about why she wasn’t there and she said it was raining. That is so not true and it was still light when the concert was over.

To those who showed up, it was nice to at-least have someone there. I felt bad for Ray, he was there and I am sure he was stressing over people not coming. People started coming about 5 minutes prior.

There has been some big name concerts that have come to St. George over the past few years. The concerts are it the 30.00-40.00 range and yet it sells out. I overhear people say how nice it is to get Christian artists and that as Christians we need to be sure to go to those concerts, even if it isn’t our favorite genre. If we show up for concerts like this, there may be a day when there is nothing coming to town.  I would like to know where those who say this were tonight. I best get off this topic or it is going to make me even more upset. I shouldn’t be getting upset about this, but I did and I am.

In Closing- You all missed out on something special!!!

Wade Hammonds Website

Wade Hammonds Facebook Page

Wade Hammonds Bio
2014 ICM Nominee:
“Music Evangelist Of The Year”
“Male Vocalist Of The Year”
2013 ICM Nominee:
“Music Evangelist Of The Year”
“Male Vocalist Of The Year”
“Song Of The Year”
2012 ICM Nominee:
“Male Vocalist of the Year”
“New Artist of the Year”

My experience with Guillian Barre Syndrome

GUILIAN-BARRE-SX

I have a page on my personal website that talks about my experience with Guillian Barre Syndrome. This is more about my experience.

What is Guillian Barre Syndrome (GBS) ?

(Wikipedia) Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) (French pronunciation: ​[ɡiˈlɛ̃ baˈʁe], English pronunciation: /ɡˈjænbɑrˈ/), sometimes Guillain–Barré–Strohl syndrome or Landry’s paralysis, is a rapid-onset weakness of the limbs as a result of an acute polyneuropathy, a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. The disease is usually triggered by an infection, which provokes immune-mediated nerve dysfunction. Many experience changes in sensation or develop pain, followed by muscle weakness beginning in the feet and hands that develops rapidly (between half a day and two weeks). Guillain-Barre syndrome damages the myelin sheaths covering the nerves in the peripheral nervous system, which disrupts the nerve impulses, similar to multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases. During the acute phase, the disorder can be life-threatening with about a quarter requiring admission to intensive care unit for mechanical ventilation. Some are affected by fluctuations in the function of the autonomic nervous system, which can lead to dangerous abnormalities in heart rate and blood pressure.

The diagnosis is usually made on clinical grounds, through the exclusion of alternative causes, and supported by tests such as nerve conduction studies and examination of the cerebrospinal fluid. Various classifications exist, depending on the areas of weakness, results of nerve conduction studies, and presence of antiganglioside antibodies. In those with severe weakness, prompt treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins or plasmapheresis, together with supportive care, will lead to good recovery in the majority, although some may experience ongoing difficulty with walking, painful symptoms, and sometimes require breathing support. Guillain–Barré syndrome is rare, at one to two cases per 100,000 people annually. The syndrome is named after the French physicians Georges Guillain and Jean Alexandre Barré, who described it with André Strohl in 1916.

I was a healthy 17 year old that was into all kinds of sports and was very active. I enjoyed track and field. I ran the anchor for my High School. I was on the girls basketball team, cross country and volleyball team. Anything athletic was what I enjoyed participating in. It was nothing to run 10-12 miles a day. I loved the adrenaline rush.

I quit school and move to Texas where my future and present husband Chuck was stationed. Well just a month or so after I moved to Texas I started to feel weird. I have never been sick with anything major besides the normal cold and flu stuff. Boy was in in for something new.

I was getting really tired all of the sudden. I had no idea what was happening. I would take a walk into town, which was just little less than a mile. That was easy, no sweat at all. Well as I got into town, my legs felt very heavy and tired. I could barely get enough energy to cross the street. I managed to get home, which to this day I have clue how I made it that far. I made it to the step and had to rest a few to make it up but eventually I did. I was under 18 so it was hard to get to see a Dr. I wasn’t about to tell my parents I wasn’t feeling good, especially since I ran away from home.

Well as a day or so passed by , I noticed that my feet was becoming numb and that they tingled really bad. I couldn’t even lift them anymore and it was slowly going up my body. Things just didn’t look too good. Well Chuck and I decided to go to the ER and we tried to lie about my age. That didn’t work. I guess I’m not that good at that, lol.

We were sent home and still not knowing what was happening. I knew that somehow I had to get some help. It got to the point when there was no choice. We went to a different hospital. By this time I couldn’t walk at all. I was having a lot of problems breathing. I couldn’t move my eyes or any muscles on my face. I couldn’t move period. After we got to the hospital the Drs in the ER automatically assumed that I was on drugs. I guess it was that 70’s thing. Every teen was suppose to be strung out on drugs. I knew I wasn’t but they ran tests anyhow. They came back negative.

They admitted me into the hospital and put me in ICU. My breathing by this time has been worse than when I went in . They ended up doing a spinal tap and found out that I had Guillian Barre Syndrome. I was totally clueless on what this was and what it meant for me. I was rushed to a hospital that had a top notch Neuro Unit and was placed on a vent and was basically felt like a vegetable until they took me off that contraption.

You may wonder what it was that I caught this from. I was around a little girl that had strep throat. I also recently had the flu vaccine. Normally this wouldn’t bother anyone beyond getting the strep virus that was passed on. But thousands of people carry an antibody that isn’t normal. When there are viruses or other things going around for some odd reason it does something with this antibody and then its like your body is fighting itself and your body thinks that there are foreign cells so it destroys your body and muscles. I would also like to add that my Dr’s at the time I first got this said that once you get better you don’t have to worry about getting it or worry about problems. It can happen in a few cases but not many. I would also like I Have Commanded to thank the Shiners  for their assistance. I was under 18 and had no insurance and they paid every single medical bill I had. True angels on earth I must say. I am going to give you some information on GBS so you can better understand it from a medical perspective. The information below is from the Guillian Barre Foundation and the link to the website and other important information is found below. God Bless and thank you for taking the time to better

Post GBS:

I still have many residual effects from GBS and have been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis on top of that. How they figured that out, I have no clue. My Dr’s told me that it is common for people that have auto-immune diseases to have more than one since the the body is fighting itself. I was pretty shocked to hear how common it is to have Guillian Barre Syndrome and Myashtenia Gravis.

For me I think my faith in Christ is the biggest thing that helped me deal with all the medical things like GBS and MG. I don’t know how people can get through things like this without Christ.

The Holy Bible is Still Relevent Today

books-of-the-bible2I have always wondered about why most churches always teach or do sermons on the books of the New Testament for the most part. For Christians the New Testament is important because the first four books are biographies of Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are called the Gospels.The rest of the books are letters or accounts about the teachings of Christ and why the are important to the churches. You will also find prophesies in the Book of Revelations, which is the last book in the Bible.

There are 66 books in the Bible and I am willing to bet that 3/4 of those who profess to say they are a Christian doesn’t know them all and hasn’t really done an in-depth study of those little known books of the Bible. There is a poll that is out that says that more than half of Americans think the Bible doesn’t have much of an influence in the world and they see in moral decline, yet only one in five Americans read the Bible on a regular basis, according to a new survey It is strange to hear people brag about their spirituality when they lack the true knowledge of the word of God. It is the amount of knowledge of God in a man that decides his true spirituality. (Psalm 119:11)

Reading my Bible more consistently is something I for sure need to work on. I have been lacking in that area. In another survey it says that only 25 percent of Americans said that they read their Bible on a regular basis. And the younger generations will only be reading their Bibles around 3 times per year, if they read it at all.

why-study-the-bibleWhen I think of reading the Bible, I have a hard time knowing where to start. I’m not good at the reading your Bible in a year. I don’t know why that is since the desire is there. I have many friends and some family who has done this, I’m not one of those people. I think I have the idea that I need to start from the beginning and go from front to back. I get to the geology part of the Bible and I fizzle out. People say it is important to know the begats, but they seem to cause me to put on the breaks and I come to a screeching halt.

I understand that by not reading the Bible, I am missing out on the most and best things in Life. Things of this world will not satisfy the hearts of mankind. For me the Bible is the most important possession I have. I have the tendency to take it for granted. When reading the Bible, it has a way off guiding me through my life and fulfilling my heart.

John 6:63

John 6:63 says. “The Words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. Our lives become worthwhile and we are satisfied as we go through our life. When I read the Word of God, I find that it is the key to my own happiness and it can be the key to anyone’s as well. Life is full of terrible things and we will stumble and fall. The Word of God shines through the darkest of moments and the light shines like a beacon of light. The Bible gives us the truth about God and what our future looks like. Behold, I stand at the door and knockThe Bible also covers the problems of sin and the path to salvation.

In 2 Tim. 3:15 The Lord Jesus Christ made the way of salvation very simple when He said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in” (Rev. 3:20). All we have to do is open the door and invite Him into our hearts and have faith that He is Who He says He is.

I would love to see our church when it is done with the Book of Luke to do the Book of Titus. I wouldn’t mind doing the books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. When I ask Christians about the Books in the Bible, Titus is one of them that they forget that is there. The Apostle Paul wrote this book which is actually a letter. The Book of Titus can be found in the New Testament after 2 Timothy and before Philemon.  This letter is about Titus who was a Greek Christian and he put his trust in Paul to oversee the churches in Crete. One of the things I think that is important about this book is that is is still relevant today when it comes to immorality and worldly behaviors.

When I was reading up about the Book of Titus, it demonstrates and discussions how if a person believes in Christ, their actions will reflect them. As we have been studying the Book of Luke, we can also see that good works will NOT save us, but they will reflect who we believe in. TitusThere are also instructions about church leaders and how to treat others. I don’t think we have a problem of a pastor who doesn’t demonstrate the love and truthfulness of Christ. However, there are many churches and church leaders that are just going through life and not really applying the Word of God in their lives.

Here are a few verses in the Book of Titus that I want to leave you all with;

  • Titus 1:7-9 (NIV)
    Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless-not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
  • Titus 2:11-14 (NIV)
    For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
  • Titus 3:9-11 (NIV)
    But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

In Closing, I just want to say that churches and individuals seem to focus on how it is that they are worshiping God- lighting, music styles (traditional and contemporary) instead of what it is that they believe and Who they have faith in. For myself, I love my church, I don’t really care for the traditional hymns most of the time. I enjoy the praise and worship music (Casting Crowns, Big Daddy Weave, Jeremy Camp and on and on). I’m not into the whole Southern Gospel thing either. I’m not at church for the music, I am there because God is the main focus and our church is sound in doctrine and Worshiping God is the most important thing we do. If a church isn’t focused on Christ Alone and the Bible, then I would suggest spending time in prayer and really making sure why it is that you are going to church or not going at all.