Is Swearing a Sin?

I was watching a video the other day on “youtube” that is about how Christians swear without swearing. At first I was a bit put off by the title, but it did catch my attention. This is a strange topic for me since I try my darndest to not swear or curse.
It has been over 20 yrs since I have really said swear words, or at-least I was thinking I have stopped. The reason I say this is that there are creative ways to swear without really swearing. After I watched part of the video and thinking about it as I was trying to fall asleep, it pretty much bugged me. How could I be swearing when I have made it a point to not swear or curse? One of my most common words I use almost daily is “oh crap”. When I say that it is out of frustration and disdain. Just because I don’t use the sh- – word, I am still meaning the same thing. It is said in the same context and thus that would mean it is the same, just presented in a different way.

Then there is the word Hell, as in a place of damnation. If you were to tell someone to “go to hell”, we are cursing a person. Another way some get around it is by saying “oh hell”. Hello, that is still the same thing, just delivered in a different format. Since I have had a huge problem with swearing personally, I have gone out of my way to not do it and I still fall into the trap by justifying it by saying a less harsh version of the word.

In my opening sentence for this blog post, I posted that I try my darndest to not swear or curse. So, lets look at what the word “darndest” means. Darn is one of the ways for religious people to say damn. In a sentence format, it would go something like this; This darn car just cut me off. Instead it is meaning that this “damn “car just cut me off. Dangit, I just swore I wouldn’t swear. OK, so now I did it again! I used the word Dang. Dang is another word for darn which is another word for damn. I can see me getting myself in a whole lot of trouble with this post.

  • Matthew 12:35-36: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

Washed Mouth Out With SoapBasically what I get from the above verse is that whatever comes out of my mouth also comes from my heart. Egads, that isn’t a good thing. When I first decided that it was not appropriate to swear was many years ago. I say that because one day when I was in a group of people, I was swearing, but nobody else was. I became very alert to what I was saying and how bad it made it sound. It was a reality check for myself because I knee that my language was inappropriate and not something that would be pleasing to God. To say I was caught off guard is an understatement.

I believe that as a Christian that I should refrain from using what I would consider as unGodly words and words of this world. Colossians 3:8; “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”  We are told to not use language that is foul, disgusting and unclean. I have made it a point to stay clear of words that are words that cause harm and degrade others feelings. If we are using words that hurt others then they are sinful words of the heart. As a Christian, I need to remember that I am a new creation and that I need to stay clear of the forms of communication that is demeaning.

I don’t mean to judge other Christians when it comes to watching what they say. I have chosen in my life to not intentionally use swear words to hurt others since I want to please God and glorifying Him. As a whole, I think we have become desensitized when it comes to swearing. It says in Ephesians 4:29 ; For cussing or swearing is not edifying to the Church, or anyone else, and it does not minister grace unto the hearers. According this verse in the Bible, when we swear we are sinning. Normally when we are cursing or swearing, it is a way of emphasizing a point of or curses at people, they are generally emphasizing a point of hatred, anger, or frustration.

This subject kept me up most of the night. I should never watch videos that are thought provoking since I know I will keep thinking on it. I see Christians and myself that post status’s on Facebook. They will use other terms instead of using the actual word. But it doesn’t change the context that it was said in. Either way it is swearing no matter how the language is changed.

Most Christians concede that cursing is sin, but asks if milder expressions like “heck” or “darn” are sins? The answer is yes, because they are the same words, disguised to be something else so that we can use these words without guilt. But they are still a curse when used in the “same” worldly fashion. For the meaning and intent is the same, only the letters were changed. It’s a matter of the intents of the heart, not the word itself. If we’re going to substitute the word “heck” for “hell,” and use it in a cursing manner, we might just as well use the word hell itself. Because the intent is the same.

zipitupAs I was listening to this video from the perspective of a non-Christian, it hit me hard and when he used the word “hypocritical Christians”, I was taken back. It went on to say that Christians have no problem justifying using words such as “crap, “heck”, “oh fudge”,”freakin”, “holy cow”,  “dang”, “gosh darn it”, “bs”, “wtf” “flippin”, “go to blazes” and a whole lot of other words and phrases that doesn’t make saying the obscenity as sin. There will be those who say it isn’t swearing, but if you are substituting a less abrasive word for the more obscene, it is swearing. I do want to say that it isn’t the words themselves that are obscene or demeaning, it is the intent that is behind the words and the meaning in your heart. I’m sure there are countless theologians who would say that words like “darn” and “heck” are not sinful because they don’t have an obscene or filthy meaning, but they are missing the point entirely.

I am going to make it a point to stop using these substitute words in place of the actual ones. If I need to replace the swear word with a replacement, then it shouldn’t be said to being with. There are going to be those people and I’m not meaning to judge others, but there will be some who have no problem with swearing. To them, it is just a word, nothing more. I’m pretty sure that God fully understands the meaning of words we choose to speak. He also knows what is on our heart and the intentions behind what we are saying.

I just want to close this post by saying, that when someone is cursing or swearing, am I or others doing it out of a love of God? The way I see it this is not out of love. It shows how we are upset, angry or frustrated with someone or something. As a Christian and a new creation in Christ, I would hope that my behavior would set me apart from the ways of the world. In no way am I perfect and I can’t guarantee I won’t slip. My biggest swear word is “crap” and when I say it, it isn’t in a good way and it is when I am frustrated. I realize that I live in this world, but my home isn’t here. If I can’t comfortably say something with Christ in front of me, then I know I shouldn’t be saying it.

  • In Philippians 1:27 it says that; “Only let your conversation be as it become the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”

When I read this I am convinced that our speech, lifestyles, and conversations should clean. For me it was a stumbling block 20 years or so ago. I want to be sure that my speech is a witness to Christ. If I am in doubt I ask myself, “would I be comfortable cussing and swearing when Christ returns?”

The Bible has all kinds of verses that covers cursing and swearing.  If anger stirs up inside of us, it will eventually come out and it can really damage our witness to other people.  My best guess is wanting me to hold my tongue which isn’t the easiest but is the best option.  The tongue of the wise commends knowledge.”

  • (Proverbs 15:2)  “A gentle tongue is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 15:4a)  God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Memories of Mom

I wrote this to be read at her service. I guess my brother and sister arranged for a service at the LDS Church across the street from my parents house. They wouldn’t allow this to be read during the service by anyone and it had to be approved by the Bishop of that ward. I guess they didn’t approve it since they chose not to read it. It was a pretty sad turnout though. I think there was about 15 people overall who went to it. Mom didn’t want a service like that, but my brother and sister decided they would anyhow. I tried to make it a message of healing and a small glimpse into her life.

When I think about all the things I could write about when it comes to my mom Winnie Elder, I would say that she took the bull by the horn and got it done. I’m pretty sure that she had to be strong while we were growing up since we were always in to something.

My Family
My oldest sister Brenda, my dad Dennis Sr, my mom Winnie Elder and myself

My Memories of Mom:

Winner Elder
This is my mom riding her favorite horse Ginger

My mom loved riding horses. We had many of them as we were growing up. There was a day when my sister Joyce and myself decided to go out and ride our pony. I thought I was big enough to tighten the saddle. To my disappointment, I didn’t do that to well since Joyce and myself arrived safe and sound, but the seat was under the pony and I had some explaining to do. The look on moms face was priceless. I think Joyce was terrified, haha.

Mom was in her element when she was riding, it was as if she felt free from all the cares of the world. I think her death is that way too. She is free of the worries, strife and pain of this world. She is free and enjoying the wind in her hair. I wonder if her horse “Ginger” was waiting there for mom? I want to believe that “Ginger” all all the other horses named after Gilligan’s Island will be there to welcome her back.

As a child, there was always yummy stuff that she was baking. She could make something as simple as rice and tomato soup taste like gourmet. We didn’t have much money, but she made the best out of what we had. I don’t remember ever going to bed hungry. Mom use to make this stuff called, ‘mush”. If you have never heard of it, it is cornmeal that is cooked into a cereal. For some reason, I looked forward to it. We had cows, so there was always fresh milk, cream and homemade butter.

One of the things I still miss to this day is her homemade rolls. We would come into the house and the house smelled like heaven. We knew she was baking because we could smell it all the way from the street. Most times Mom would make extra and we would have fresh hot rolls out of the oven with butter. To this day, I am taken back to those days when I smell fresh baked bread.

Mom and I would talk almost every Christmas about her pies. I’m not talking about the yummy pies, it was the minced meat ones. I can’t stand minched meat. One year, she had to have made enough minched meat pies to choke a horse. I asked her why it is that she made so many of them and none of the apple, pumpkin or cherry ones. She told me that the only stuff she had to make pies out of was minced meat. She didn’t have the money to make her signature ones. I then told her she could have “NOT” worried about the pies at all, since mince meat is nasty. She and I had a laugh over it. I did manage to choke down a few bites, but that was my limit. My mom then made fruit cakes. Not nasty ones, but good ones. So, I was OK with that. To this day, I still dislike them and mom never made me eat another bite of them

While I am talking about Christmas pies, I want to just share how much we had, even though we didn’t have much.

There were only a few times that I really asked for anything for Christmas. Since there were 5 of us kids, we knew not to go over the top. But mom and dad both tried to make the day special. Mom would wrap the gifts perfectly. She made sure all the ribbons and bows matched. Usually we had about 3 or 4 gifts under the tree. I must have been pretty young since there was this one little baby doll that I really wanted. It was one of those little dolls that would pee itself and it would eat. All my other friends had one and I wanted one too. I also wanted one of those dolls that was like 3 feet tall. On this particular Christmas, I received both of those dolls. I’m sure I had tears in my eyes because I knew that I wouldn’t get them since they were expensive for the times. Somehow, Mom and Dad pulled it out and got us kids what we asked for.

The other gift I remembered most was when I was a teenager. I would spend hours rolling my hair. The newest thing to come on the market was a curling iron. At that time, you had to put water in the end to make it steam up. I wanted one so badly. We would get the Sears Christmas Catalogs and I would have all the curling irons circled with my name on it. I made sure to leave hints all over the house. I was pretty much reserved to thinking I wasn’t going to get it. On Christmas Eve, Mom and Dad were handing out gifts. One at a time, they were disappearing. The very last gift for me was “It”. I had my curling iron that had to have cost only $10.00 at the time, but to me it was the best gift ever.

As I got older and thinking about gifts and receiving, I think back on the joy that was on my moms face when she would take the time to wrap the gifts and find that special item. The smile on her face is something I will always remember.

When I became a teenager, I was a bit rebellious. I wasn’t fond of school for the most part. I loved watching soap operas and just spending time at home with mom. I wasn’t wanting to go to school. I went into the house from the bus stop and asked mom if it was OK if I could stay home and watch “Guiding Light” with her. She let me stay home and we laughed over some of the silliest things on the show. We also went into town and drove through the Dairy Queen. It was nice just having my mom to myself.

Besides Christmas, my mom was a giving and loving mom. I left home when I was a teenager and moved to Texas. I ended up with Guillian Barre Syndrome which is also called “French Polio”. I was paralyzed, pregnant and my husband and I had very little money and Christmas was out of the question.

My Mom and Dad along with my brother loaded up the car and came to Fort Hood, Texas to visit. After seeing how bad things were, Mom and Dad took us shopping and got me pregnancy cloths, food, Christmas gifts, a Christmas tree, decorations. By the time they arrived, I was able to balance myself a big but that was it. While they could have been very angry over my actions, they were compassionate and loving. This is how I will choose to remember my mom.

After mom started going to church, she and I had some long talks about what it means to be saved and to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Since I live in Utah, most of my conversations were on the phone. A couple days before she was baptized she and I talked for almost an hour about how important it is to be baptized and to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. I know in my heart that while she didn’t know everything the Bible has to say, she did know that she loved Jesus Christ. She was ready to accept Him personally. I was over the top excited when she and I had that conversation.Only God knows truly what was on her heart, but I am holding out hope that she was sincere.

Some of the conversations we would have was about my Grandma Grace. I told her that since she is a believer in Christ, that she can now look forward to being with Grandma and Grandpa. The conversation I had with Mom was priceless. I would like to thank Bishop Kelly for helping Mom get to a point where she knew that Jesus loves her and that she is forgiven of her sins. I then explained to her that while this life on earth will end, life with Christ is just the beginning for her.

As I was thinking about what it is that I would like to share with you all, I would have to say that this passage is one of the best there is when it comes to healing, which I think we all need in the days ahead.There is an appropriate time for everything, the unpleasant as well as pleasant experiences. This is not merely a description of what happens in life; Because God remains the same, we can rely on Him through the shifting seasons of life

This morning take a moment to look around you. Look at the faces of those sitting around you. You see, this is a different place than when you walked into this morning. And those of you who came into this place this morning are different, because you just stepped into a new season.

Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, verses 1-8:

“For everything there is a season, and
a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up
what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to
build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a
time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to
refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to
throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”

These verses picture human experience as a tapestry woven of times. There is indeed a time for everything and a season for every activity under Heaven.

I would like to comment a bit on where it says that there is “A time to die”. There is the physical death, but it is never a final death, because we know we are eternal beings. But metaphysically “to die” is to die to the lower aspect of oneself, because as we continue the journey and continue to raise our consciousness, we begin to lose contact with that lower, instinctual, animal part of our nature. That is the journey. And it is for all of us the goal. Eckhart Tolle, in his book The Power of Now said, “Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die”– and find that there is no death. Paul said, “Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all die but we shall all be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:51)

On my last visit with Mom, she had a way of expressing what she was feeling. She and I would walk hand in hand as we strolled past her yellow roses. I will cherish the images of her holding my hand and telling me how much she loved me and how much she loved all of her children. She also shared that even though relationships are strained, she still loved each and every one of us. As my husband and I headed back to Utah, I knew in my heart that when I held her hand while she was sharing her memories and concerns that this would be the last time I would ever see her and touch her. As we waved good-bye, I knew this was really good-bye.

A few of my conversations in her last moments was on how she loved my dad. Even though they would argue, she loved him. I would talk to her at 4 in the morning when she was most alert and she would express her concerns, regrets, fears and heartaches. She went on to say that even though she didn’t always show how much she us, she did. The words that will be burned in my heart is when she told me she doesn’t know how to die. I let her know that all she has to do is just Let God and He will do the rest. We will be fine, even though we will miss her and we will never forget her.

… Mom, you have run the race, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the course, you have accomplished everything He sent you to earth to do. Your work, Mom, is done. Mom, you’re free to go home.

Mom, you have loved Grandma and Grandpa, Dad and all of us kids. Your have loved so many and we love you too. Mom, you are free to go home now.

A Man After God’s own Heart- RIP Harry Myers

Today I found out something that made my heart sink when I read it, but made me rejoice at the same time.

Harry Myers- RIPI was looking at the newspaper from the town I lived in when I was in junior high and high school. I check the articles out every now and then. I seen a familiar name in the obituaries and then went to look over all of the obituaries. I was floored when I seen Pastor Harry Myer’s obituary. It was a surreal moment for me. Read Pastor Harry’s Obituary.

When ever I think of Harry I thought of a Godly man through and through. He had a sense of humor and loved to joke around. I would go over to their house and spend probably more time than I should since my friend Diana is his daughter. She and I were in the same grade.

I have blogged a number of times about Harry Myers. Because of how Harry, Dixie and his family were close to God and loving, I have made sure to use them as a role model in my life. To this day, I still remember the days with them. When my parents literally were trying to kill each other and coming from a home that is far from God, I feel that God knew I needed better role models.

I can’t even count on one hand how many times Pastor Harry opened his doors up. I wonder if he knew just how instrumental he has been in my life. I don’t think there was a time that I didn’t see a smile on his face. He had what I would call a Jimmy Carter smile with a contagious laugh. Another word I would use is that he knew how to love. He loved his kids and he made sure to tell them in word and deed. Because of how he loved his daughters and loved God, I am where I am right now. My daughters were raised knowing I loved them. I tell them every-time I see them. I made sure to raise my family and lead my life in a total different way then I was raised.  I think that God sent me to this church in order to learn about what real love is and what it means to fully trust in the Lord.  Pastor Harry and his family made it look easy.

When I went over there, I was welcomes with open arms. Harry and Dixie told me on my last visit last year how they had no idea what was really going on in my family. They knew there were problems, but they didn’t realize the extent of physical and mental abuse. We weren’t allowed to tell anyone what was going on at home. If we did, then there were some major consequences. And going to church was a no no.  It was sad that I had to be deceptive in order to go to church. I had to threaten my parents that if I couldn’t go, then I would make sure everyone knew what was really going on. They did tell me that in order for me to go to church, all chores had to be done, and that meant those that had to do their own chores. So it was where I had to wake up at 5 am to get everything done so I could go to church. That is one of the reasons I left home.

When I walked into the house to visit Diana, it was pretty awesome to see that families prayed together, joked around with each other and they told their children they are loved. It was normal to see them baking together, playing music and enjoying their life together. There were many times they would invite me to go with on picnics at the Cochise Stronghold and other things.

Pastor Harry didn’t realize how things were, but his mom Mattie Bennett did. Oh my goodness, I adored Mattie and because of her I love to write poetry. To this day I still write poems and I always think about Mattie and how she taught me how to write it. Harry had that same kind of unconditional love. Mattie and I also came up with a plan for her to pick me up for church. I did confide in her. We told my parents as she drove up to the house to get me that she was there to get me. In order to save face, they would let me go with her. But I knew when I got home, I was going to trouble. It was every Sunday that this went on. It was worth it though.

One of the saddest days that I remember with Pastor Harry was when he put in his notice that he was stepping down as a pastor. The reason why I still remember it like it was yesterday is because he was thinking that he wasn’t making much of a difference and that he thought that he needed to step down in order to help the church. I wish I would have been able to tell him that he may not have felt he made a difference. For me, Harry and his family literally saved my life in ways nobody can understand. If Pastor Harry wasn’t the pastor there, I could have had the same kind of future a couple of my siblings have had. Instead he taught me that I needed to trust in the Lord always and make sure He is the one I trust fully. I would say that Pastor Harry is a true man of God.

There is a song that I think of when I think of Pastor Harry, Dixie and their family. That song is called Thank You by Ray Blotz. The song is about how a person gets to heaven and he see’s all those people in their life. Here is the chorus to the song.

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave

Click Here to listen to Thank You…

Because of the generosity of Pastor Harry, my life was changed. My daughters and their families are believers in Christ. because of Harry showing me the true love of Christ, my life has changed. Without the love and true compassion, I don’t know where I would be right now.

318731_3888066596961_1179559135_nA couple of years when I went to visit, I think I spent more time in Willcox than I did at my parents. My friend Lisa and I drove down from my home here in Southern Utah. I was so excited to go to church at what I still consider my church. I got baptized there and that little Nazarene Church was my shelter from the storms of abuse. I tried to get a hold of Harry and Dixie to see if they were going to be in town. I lost their number, so we took a chance on going to church. As I walked in, there was Dixie and Harry on the pew. Cheryl and her family was also there. I was so overwhelmed in a good way to see them there in front of me.

Then Pastor Harry was the pastor for the Sunday since they were waiting on their new pastor to show up. It had to have been the most awesome part of my trip. Pastor Harry was funny though. He made sure to point out who I was and that I built his website and a whole other things. He also said some funny things along the way. It was perfect and just what I needed. I told Harry that if they every wanted to come to St. George, Utah and visit, then they are more than welcome.

The last time I was in Willcox, I visited Harry and Dixie. Dixie wasn’t doing well at the time. I stopped by the house before my friend Lisa and my sister Joyce went to church. That was the last time I seen them both. I will miss them, even if I didn’t see much of them. But I know that because Pastor Harry helped me in my walk with Christ, I know when I get to heaven he will be there.

Rest in peace Pastor Harry. I will be thinking of you always. You and your family are very dear to me. Thank you Lord for putting Pastor Harry in my life. Thank you for all that You have done in my life Lord. Psalms 46:1

RIP Mom – You WIll Be Missed

For those who have been following what has been going on with my mom, I just wanted to give a brief update.

Winnie Elder
My Mom Winnie Elder. This was taken in about 2 yrs ago and before cancer.

Last night (August 21st) my mom went home to be with the Lord at 8:38 pm Arizona time. Last week I wrote a bit about my mom in case there was going to be a service. Which, I don’t think there will be one right away. I will share that message of what I wrote on my blog since I have many family members and loved ones that read my blog. I will be posting that this week sometime.

Moms last week has been filled with a number of emotions. For me, they were more about peace and the kind of peace that can only come from knowing Christ.

My sister Joyce called me last night and told me that my mom was in the process of dying. She asked me if there was anything I would like to tell her as she passes. I am grateful Joyce called me at that time. As I was telling mom about how awesome it is going to be when she is with the Lord. I also told her that she won’t have to worry about pain and suffering anymore and to tell my grandma and grandpa hi for me and that I love them. As I told her that it was OK she took her last breath here while she was holding my dads hands and my sister Joyce’s.

When I think of death, I think of it as a beginning to awesome things. I can’t even begin to understand what it is like to be in the presence of Jesus. I will miss my mom, but I know there will be a time when I will see her again.

My dad, sisters and brother is having a hard time. I live in Utah, so I didn’t see all the things happening each day. My sister Joyce and my dad did most of the care-giving when it came to my mom. I’m glad Joyce was able to be there for my mom when she was worried about dying with dignity. I don’t know if there was much dignity in how my mom died. She was at peace, but all the other things going on around her is beyond peaceful. She doesn’t have to worry about that any longer though.

Thanks for all the prayers from everyone.

My Family – Hatfields and McCoys

hatsmccoys_480x3601This week has been full of ups and downs for me. Mostly because of all the things going on at my parents home in Arizona. It is a regular Hatfield and McCoys kind of thing going on, which is frustrating.

My mom is still holding on for some reason. I don’t know how she is, but she is. It’s been 8 days now since she has eaten or drank anything by mouth. She has also been cold to the touch and has been bleeding a great deal more. The Dr’s and hospice nurses keep saying it will be a few hours and how she won’t make it through the night. The Dr’s and nurses doesn’t know my mom very well.

What gets me is that even though my mom is at home dying, there are those who who continue to fight. I honestly don’t get it. I have been praying constantly about how I wish mom would go be with the Lord so she can have some peace. Right now she iWinnie Eldersn’t getting any. I 100% believe that even though she is in a coma, she can hear everything. So, instead of hearing how much she is loved and will be missed, she is listening to arguing over who is going to get what after she dies. I told my dad there is nothing I need or want when mom passes unless it is pictures or something like that. I don’t want property, furniture, money or anything else they worked for.

Today was interesting but sad. I talked to my oldest sister for a few minutes and she was telling me my dad and brother were at it again. It was all because of the property and my dads friend. My dads friend came over to visit him and my brother through the biggest fit over that and started carrying on over it. I guess during the fighting he threatened my dads friend and his friend was not taking that so he went to the sheriffs office and had a pow wow over that. My brother showed us a while later, but by then the sheriff knew really what went on. All of this is going on in the vicinity of my mom.

Then my dad talked to a Realtor about selling the property.There is a big FOR SELL sign in the front now. My brother came unglued over it all. He won’t get much if anything. He said the last few years has been horrible and he doesn’t think he can live there anymore. Everything he see’s or hears has to do with pain and heartache. He is in tears as he was telling me his plans and how he can’t even do what he wants to do in his own home. I explained to him that I understand and that he has to do what is right for him, not everyone else. He needs to sit back, breath and take his time. He does want to go to Indiana to see his family, which I would like to do also. I told dad if we can borrow someones motor home,we can try to do that since mom wants her ashes with her parents.

ScanAs I was talking to some people, I guess my dad is thinking of not having a service. He is afraid there is going to be a fight. Which there may be. For some reason my family has no issue shooting each other. I think on my moms side we are related to the “Dalton Gang”. It all made sense when I found that out lol.

I told my dad that if he didn’t want to have a service that is OK. We can do something later when things calm down. Financially and health-wise I wouldn’t be able to go to it anyhow. My health is getting worse and worse each day, so it is out of the question. My mom hated funerals and she didn’t like being the center of attention. I did write something so someone can read it if there is one. I think since a family friend died in Phoenix and part of Cheryl’s body came out of the casket as they were lowering her, that image has ran though my parents mind and all of those who were there.

If mom passes away tonight, I will have peace in knowing that I did what I could do. There was a couple nights this week that my sister Joyce put the phone up to moms ears and I would play Charlie Prides “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” and Lynn Andersons song, “Rose Garden“. Last night I played the songs over the phone called “Amazing Grace“, and Vince Gills “Go Rest High on This Mountain“, Mom could hear the songs since she had tears running down her face the first night and then last night she squeezed my sister Joyce’s hand while playing the songs.

Please keep Joyce in your prayers. She is doing 90%of the work there and isn’t getting paid. She baths my moms, cleans her, holds her had and whatever else she does. While I am playing the songs to my mom, Joyce is very upset and crying. She is an emotional wreck to say the least. My brother lives down there and tries to convince others that he does everything, but he does nothing. He sits in the trailer and watches my sister do the work.

Thanks for letting me vent a bit over this.

Witnessing to Others

Lions DenThere are all kinds of ways to share the gospel with others. There are times I feel like I need to go into the lions den like Daniel did. I don’t think there is one way that is the best way to share our faith, since there are all kinds of peoples and each has their own views and experiences.

My oldest daughter isn’t think kind of person that steps outside of her comfort zone much. She is the kind of person that lives more by example since she is an introvert. God does have a wonderful way of using her though. She has a love for children and music. Jessica is also awesome about keeping up on things that are going on around us and in the news. She keeps her eyes focused on world conditions and how they point to the return of Christ.

Both of those things are not talents or gifts that I have acquired. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids and music, but I don’t necessarily enjoy being around 30 of them at one time anymore. I love music, but it is not one of my gifts either. I don’t play an instrument and I don’t sing very well.My comfort zone is in the lions den. Click here to read about the Daniel and the Lions Den.

With all the stuff going on in the world I fully believe that we need to be reaching others and witnessing to them about Jesus Christ. First and foremost we must be a witness for Christ. Living by example is the best way to teach and demonstrate the love of Christ. There will be those who will desire what you have and would want that same kind of relationship in their lives with Christ.

If you show yourself to be a good friend, a good listener, attentive to the needs of those around you and morally upright, then people will be likely to listen to you when you tell them about Christ because they will see that there is something genuinely different about you.

Here are a few Bible verses about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ;

  • Isaiah 44:8 – “Fear ye not, neither be afraid; have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God: I know not any”.
  • Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”.

I mentioned the “lions den” earlier since that is what I do. I will go into places that may not be places where Christians hang out. I honestly think that Jesus would also go to places like bars, jails and on the street and would get to know the people. I don’t go to bars since that isn’t where I want to be. Well, unless I wasn’t to get a drink I guess, then I would.  But I do go to places online and around town to get to know people and  talk to them about Christ. Sometimes you have to go through the yucky stuff and fire in order to help people see that they are loved and that Jesus died for their sins. I have no issue talking to people who might take offense. I would think offending is better then eternal damnation or a place without God.

witnessing to othersWhat does it mean to be a witness for Christ?

A witness for Christ is someone who has experienced the love of Christ. Anyone who knows Christ personally can be a witness for Him. Here is a scenario for you all.

You happen to come across a crime scene such as a robbery of a store. At first you are confused and scared since your life is in danger, but you may be the only person to tell the police and the courts what happened that day. You are sworn in and you must tell the truth. Yeah, you may be scared and someone that you are testifying against may try to harm you, but you have to tell the truth and bare witness to what happen. When we witness to others about Christ, we are testifying about what has happened in our lives and giving a personal accounting of times and events throughout our lives.

You don’t have to know everything there is about the Bible, but you are a living testimony to the power of Jesus Christ. Since you are witnessing these things and have personal experience, you may be the one person that can help others learn more about Jesus Christ.

Who can be a witness for Christ?

Anyone who is a Christian and anyone who knows Christ. We are suppose to go out and make disciples of everyone. Jesus told his disciples to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” Anyone who knows Christ and a Christian is a witness. There are a lot of resources when it comes to witnessing to others. I really enjoy “The Way of the Master“, with Kirk Cameron. My most important advice when it comes to witnessing is to be yourself, and God will give you the words and strength is you ask Him to.

“I Am the Way” – Guest Writer Lee O’Hare

Lee O'HareOur Guest Writer Lee O’Hare posted this just the other day on his Facebook Groups page called “Posse of Online Spiritual Misfits”. I found his post interesting since it touched on what our sermon was this last Sunday. Click here to listen to the sermon that Pastor Ray Schroeder.

I had a very serious discussion last night with a very dear friend regarding what some would call the “exclusivity of the gospel” which claims that Jesus is alone the way to God.

I woke this morning around 4:30 with a very vivid image (vision?) of a ring of many different types of keys very similar to this. I then heard a very distinct voice saying to me, “If there was a door into a very important building in which you desired to enter would it be arrogant for you to know that of all the keys on this key ring only one of them was made specifically for this door? Would that correctly fitting key be guilty of boasting of its exclusivity or would it simply be a matter of fact and the obvious nature of the case? Not all keys were specifically cut to fit that door. The fact that one does actually fit is not evidence of arrogance; it is just a fact.”

Jesus is the one who said, “I Am the way, the truth and the life (zoe). No one can come to the Father (Abba) except through me.” (John 14:6)

Does that make Jesus “arrogant” or “exclusive” for loving us enough to tell us we don’t have to go searching through an endless ring of keys to find the one that actually works to open the door?


Clarence the Tattle Tale Cat

My cat Clarence is a tattle tale. He has been telling on my dog Parker when Parker decides he needs to go potty on the floor when I forget to open up the doggie door for him to get outside.

Parker, the guilt ridden dog

I started noticing this a few weeks ago and at first I thought it was Clarence that was going potty on the carpet. But it wasn’t him, it was Parker.

So, Parker will sneak into the living room and do his thing. He does this when it rains or when I forget to open the doggie door like I said earlier. I know Parker is up to no good when he comes back into the bedroom and he is sulking with his tail hanging low. Not only does his tail hang low, so does his head. After Parker comes back into the room, here comes Clarence at a high pitch meow. It is as if he is the little brother who wants to get his older one in trouble and in the cat world, he is cackling, lol.

Clarence comes walking into the bedroom and is louder than normal. He sits at my feet and starts carrying on like a crazed cat. I have to say I am a bit afraid at this behavior since I never seen him do it. Just imagine a 25 pound Maine Coon cat that is screaming at you, with his ears held back and his eyes are dilated to three times the normal size. Not a good moment from my perspective. Eventually I give in since he wouldn’t stop. So I decide to stop what I am doing and follow him.

ClarenceClarence is fast paced and I am in pursuit of him. Parker is still in the bedroom. His misdeed is almost up. I finally get to the living room and there on the floor is Parker’s misdeed. He pooped and Clarence gave me this look and meow as if he wanted me to know that it wasn’t him and it was Parker’s fault. In the best cat fashion Clarence tries to cover it up while he is glaring at Parker. I picked it up of course and then returned to my room and told Parker he was in trouble. He was grounded.

This has happened a few times and I have a feeling Clarence is getting a bit annoyed with Parker. Clarence will go after Parker and corner him in the kitchen. Thankfully he never uses claws, but he will bat at Parker. Parker is NOT impressed at all. Parker has repeated this misdeed a few times, usually when it is wet outside,and Clarence makes a mad dash to tell me. He literally comes to me and takes me to the place and scowls big time and he screams at Parker. I can only imagine what he is saying, ” DUDE, You pooped on the floor, don’t blame me for what you did!”

Since Clarence has done this a few times, I just stop off in the bathroom to get toilet paper since I know what has happened. Now,what would be bad is if Clarence is the bad boy and he is trying to place the blame on his dog brother. Hmmmm… You never know, lol