Monday, August 31, 2009

August

What a month from the fun of General Council and seeing so many old friends to the swine flu.....

We had a great time at our church's General Council, it's held every 2 years. This year it was in Orlando and really easy for us to go to. We had a blast. Honestly the best part to me was seeing all our old SEC and ministry chums. We all had stories to tell about the ministry over the last few years.

Then we took Sam to Miami on August 19th for an surgery. It was a stressful time even in planning it as we now have to take into account his low blood sugar. There was controversy while we were driving down as to where he'd be on the surgery schedule. I got really upset as I had asked to have this all straighten out so I wouldn't get stressed out prior to the surgery no such luck. We almost turned around and came home but decide to go through wit it .

For the first time we found a good hotel sorta near the hospital. It was a Hampton Inn and so nice and only a few exits from the hospital worked out great. We've always HATED every place we've stayed down there. If it was close to the hospital it was gross if it was nice, it was too far away...

On the way to the hospital, Sam threw up a little. They decided to go ahead and take him in. so when we got there at 8:30, they were ready for him. Then the nurses were snapping at us, asking us where we'd been...I quite clearly told them that we were told to be there at 8:30 for surgery at 10 am. One snappy nurse looked at the orders and then apologized

The right eye is fine but the left eye has lost all sight. His retina detected and has disergrated. When the retina is gone, there is nothing medical science can do at this point and there is no hope. I was devastated. He started throwing up in recovery so we stayed until about 7pm so he could stay on IVs and then drove home got here about 1 am. He woke up throwing up and we had to take him to the ER and of course he was hospitalized. We tried to bring him home on Friday but he got sick and we had to turn around and take him back. He can't manage his sugar so he has to be on IVs. He finally came home on Sat night

On Monday school started and Shad went off to kindergarten and Steve to 8th grade!! They go to a nice Christian school. Shad loves school but unfortunately got sick with the swine flu last Saturday so he's on bed rest and we're all on Tami flu....

so in anutshell that has been my month! Wonder why I have't blogged? I'll put more details later, just wanted to post something....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Religion sucks

Last night I had a weird experience that I want to share...

On Sunday nights, we have home group in our house. We are studying the book of Romans and have great discussion about the scriptures. Everyone in our church loves the group and it gets rather crowded on some nights. After we finish, we have supper together and spend like an hour or so just hanging out. It's great and it is perfect for our church.

Well last night a couple of families had driven up and I walked outside our fence. Happy got out and ran over to a new truck that had pulled up. The couple was sitting in the truck and I thought they were afraid of Happy so I walked over and began talking with them. I invited them in to our home and explained that we do a small group on Sunday nights. They began responding by being rude! The man said "No one has church anymore on Sunday night" I said we were having church, just not in the sanctuary but that they were welcomed to join us. He said " No we're going to go on down the road.." Then the wife says as they are driving off "And people put the words to songs on the walls" I just rolled my eyes out of my head! We laughed about it and went on and had a great time without the couple.

Later Jon and I were discussing the situation and began talking about how RELIGIOUS people do not like to change. They feel if it was good enough 50 years ago, it's good enough now. Well that just doesn't work in the world we live in. Now the gospel does NOT change but the way we reach out does and we as leaders need to be flexible and change our way of doing things in order to minister to the needs of the congregation and the lost.

The main reason the church's name was changed, was for a new start for this old church and to show to the neighborhood what is the focus of our church ~ Grace, the grace of God. The grace of God is what draws people to Him.

When God first put the home group idea in Jon's heart, I was not really feeling it but I really see how it ministers to the congregations! It's amazing what happens in and through the group! Now we all look forward to Sunday nights with a new expectation that we are going to learn together and share our lives together. I can't get over how folks are touched and just how they enjoy it.

We made some real changes in the past year, in order to minister to the congregation and it's been so good. Again the gospel never changes but in the world we live in, the way we share it has to change with the times. People are so busy and their lives are so tightly scheduled. They have the Internet, Face book, IM, twitter...We have to connect to folks where they are not what's easiest for us! We have to realize we live in 2009 not 1949! Life is much more complicated and busy now. And people crave, real fellowship with each other ~ discussing the Word and learning how to walk this walk of faith.

I grew up around religion and it does suck. That's not what Jesus died on the cross for so we can have a traditional service on a Sunday night and use hymnals...Grow up and move on! There is nothing wrong with a traditional service. I like Sunday night services in church but I'm mature enough to realize, that's not the only way God can move!!! I love hymns and I know them all so I don't need a hymnal or the "words on a screen" but my relationship with God is not based on either! If that is the only kind of service that is "spiritual" what would you tell someone in a Muslim nation who has to worship quietly with a handful of believers in a small room on a Tuesday night...?

Jon always says that my place in the body of Christ is to kill religious cows! And it is true, I can spot legalism and bondage a mile away! God has brought me through so much in my life, that I have such a solid foundation, that people's opinions of me don't bother me. If I sense a "religious" spirit or attitude, I'm going to deal with it and help to protect our church. It's really weird how we get folks like that who pop up occasionally. We don't encourage nor welcome someone with an attitude that is like that. I had someone call me a few months ago who was interested in attending our church and working in it. I could tell this guy was a church hopper and very legalistic ~ he was all about the KJV ONLY. He wanted assurance from us that he'd be allowed to preach here if he attended. After I finished laughing , I told him "No way Jose"! I also told him that he needed to learn to submit to a godly pastor and not expect to minister in a church if he was not faithful and submitted!

So to the couple who left, there's a couple of things I'd like to say...first be open to God doing something NEW! Second Submit to the pastor you are under. I could tell they were from a church background and if I could guess, I'd say they've never learned to submit and they get mad at the preacher and try to control him. They probably have little to no spiritual life on their own. Third "Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you"! We are about knowing God and experiencing Him not a list of rules!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

SEC Reunion~invitation!

Sunday August 9th 11am @ Grace Church 7060 Berry Road Zephryhills Fl 33540 (352) 567 6208. We're 15 min north of the Lakeland Mall. It's for anyone in this area or if you're still here following General Council.

JUSTIN FENNEL our favorite comedian will be speaking! Following the service we will have a FREE cookout here at the church and spend time getting reacquainted!

This is for anyone regardless of your SEC "group"! Come one come all. Feel free to tell non Face book friends about this. SEC teachers and staff are invited too! It'll be fun~ please RSVP!

Thanks to Pam W and Brenda G for this great idea!!!!

Hope to see ya there,
Yvonne Mock Clanton

I really need a count so if you're coming please RSVP so we will have enough food:) 352 567 6208