Thursday, December 27, 2012

Who I Am

 

Many people have wondered how I've gotten through the past few months as well as how I got to this point in my life to begin with......so here goes.......


I've always enjoyed blogging...I started back a few years ago.  I wrote just to write.  If I saw that I had 100 hits in a month, I thought I was a hot writer LOL.  Back then, I could write whatever was on my mind.  I never worried about people reading my thoughts, I wrote more for my own pleasure than for whoever might be reading.  Now I try to be more politically correct at times.  Now I'm afraid I'll get sued LOL~   Lately I have all kinds of things rolling around in my mind to blog about but I'm usually too tired or too overwhelmed with a brain of mush.  And a little worried about what readers might think too:)

I've never fit into any box, in anyway whatsoever.  I'm a real southern girl who has lived in NYC.  I've been privileged to travel quite a bit and I've seen things I had never dreamed of. Although I tend only  to go to former or current communistic countries :)  Spiritually I'm pretty unique also.  I often am told "you are a different sort of pastor's wife"  Sometimes it is said as a compliment and sometimes not.  I have studied theology and criminal justice....what a combo.  I worked for years in the criminal justice field and I've been married to a minister for over 23 years.  I've seen alot of human nature....some good and some very very bad.  I'm a very cynical person and generally expect the worst but I've also seen the best in others also.  I love being a mom and yet don't really like to be around others kids.   I've always said I'm not a "kid" person but I have 5 of my own:)   I had a messed up life growing up, a very odd life, which makes me guard my children like a crazy person in every way you can think of.   I'm pretty much a conservative Republican, but sometimes my views are different politically. 

So where am I going with all of this?  Heck if I know:)  My views on a lot of things have evolved over the years.  I grew up in a very Democrat family that hated Ronald Reagan with a passion and thought that FDR was close to Jesus.  I esteem Reagan and feel the FDR was the worst thing to happen to America's internal politics ever!  Although Obama is a close second.  LOL.  I was raised in a Old time Pentecostal church and while I appreciate some of the things I learned, some of the things make me cringe! 

So if Obama can "evolve" on his ideas I guess we all can. 

I grew up going to church services that were unpredictable to say the least.  Now I can't help but laugh at some of the things I saw.  It was interesting to say the least.  As a child, I was taught that everything that happened in church was "God"   In the church I grew up in, the pastors were not very educated except for one or two that came through.  Those rare pastors were not well liked by the congregation.  And the congregation....all I can say is, it could have easily been a christian sitcom.  Everyone was rather poor or just country folks, although, some who liked to pretend they were something more than they were.  My family was one of the poorer ones.  I was raised by my great aunt, she lived on social security but we had a little farm and she did some sewing.  Her sister and brother also lived with us.  The two sisters, my great aunts, were classics...it would almost be impossible to describe them if you don't have the reference points I have from being raised in the south!  They had been born at the turn of the century.  They got involved with the Pentecostal church when they were in their 40's or 50's and wore their hair up in a bun and only wore dresses, double knit dresses that they made by hand.  They both had sharp tongues and like Agatha Christy's Miss Marple they absolutely thought the very worst of almost everyone. They both had some bitterness issues.   I only wish they had lived till I was older, I bet we'd had some great conversations!  My grandmother, their sister was the one with the sharpest tongue and she thought the very worst of everyone.  I always thought of my Aunt Boots, who I called Mama as the nicest, my aunt Ruby, who I called Ruby as the middle one and Ethel my granny as the meanest but funniest.  My great uncle moved in with us when I was about 4 years old.  He was a quiet sweet man who I adored.  He didn't got to church at all and smoked cigarettes and pipes (I still love the smell of pipes)  he wore Old Spice and my aunts would say he'd go to a woman's house to drink.  Uncle Mack bought me a robot and I cried because it was a "boy's toy"  He let me ride in the back of his brown Chevrolet truck.  He got cancer and died in just a few months when I was 12 years old.  That was the saddest thing I had ever gone through.  The first time I ever remember us missing church was the weekend before he died.  I was frighten to miss church but secretly glad I could watch the "Wonderful World of Disney"   The weekend before he died lots of family was there and me and a "cousin" or something smoked one of his cigarettes,out under our big grapevine.   I thought I was going to puke!  That cured me completely of wanting to smoke! 

Growing up as a teenager, listening to hellfire and brimstone sermons kept me on the straight and narrow.  I was too afraid to do much of anything wrong because I was certain I would die or the Rapture would happen and I would  go to hell.  That was probably a good thing!  God knows I was lonely and silly enough to get messed up good and proper if I hadn't had the fear of hell or the  rapture to keep me straight!  Back when I was growing up in the 70's and early 80's the Pentecostals were all sure they knew who the Anti-Christ was ( it was Henry Kissinger LOLOL-although he is still alive and must be about 150 years old!!!)  Somehow his name equaled to 666...  We also had these awful movies....about the tribulation.  I can't remember the names of the movies but they were beyond horrible and scared the devil out of me:) 

Like I said, I saw some crazy things growing up in church and heard some crazy far out theology.  I just wish that I had had a video camera back then!!!  Our church was known for being a "problem church"  One reason was that most folks were kin to each other in some way so if you ticked off Brother A then Sister D would be mad because he was her 2nd cousin twice removed.  In the 17 and a half years I lived at home, our church had more than 22 pastors and a complete church spilt, one stayed only 4 months and had a cute son!  I was sad to see them go!  What wimps they were!!  The church needed a pastor that had a backbone and stood up to them!  They did have one good one like that and he stayed a couple of years but finally was tired of the foolishness.   My family went with the church split and then that church almost spilt.  Now the both churches are a shell...and the second one has a split off of it today.  How sad!  But I do have good memories of going to church.  That church could cause problems but boy could that choir sing!  They could put the Gaither Homecoming videos to shame....  Although even with the choir, there was often fights in who was the choir leader...  It went between three or four folks...  but they could sing:) 

Somehow in spite of my crazy mixed up life, I had a trust in God that went beyond all the foolishness, false doctrine and fights that I saw.  Somehow I knew God was more than what I was seeing.  I knew God was more than who was playing the piano or leading the choir or who was the pastor....  And BTW, my three old ladies were just awful when it came to the preachers....or the choir directors....  Oh Lord!  They would tear them up after church every week!  Except for the one pastor who tried to work with the problems, they actually loved Bro B and were very supportive, probably the only pastor they ever really supported!   So when we have problems folks in my church it is sorta funny to me.  I find myself comparing them to some of the folks I knew growing up.  It's like a game to me to figure out what they are up too.  So don't think you can act up in a church that my husband pastors LOLOL!  I've seen it all and I am a suspicious person!  Between  my years growing up in the church  and my criminal background I will see right through you....hahahahaha!   I do say when we have gone through some rough times, I'm just reaping what my family sowed:) 

So through it all, I found a real faith despite all the craziness......I certainly questioned things both in my heart and out loud too!  Since I was a little girl I "played church"  LOL  I'd sit my dolls up on the side of the bed, turn on the cassette player and put in the pastor's sermon or a record playing some of the southern gospel music.  I admired the pastor wives and wanted to be one but I also loved theology too.  I had to think deeply about what  I believed.  Our church taught "Sanctification" as a 2nd work of grace, almost like a salvation experience and that with that one time experience a person received grace to live without sin.  Well I had enough life experience to know that most of the folks in church didn't live without sin although they would get up in a "testimony" service and say "I was saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost"  It was "interesting " to me.  So in VBS, I got into a major discussion with the pastor about the fallacy of the doctrine of sanctification as that church taught it.  I was 12 years old at the time.  Jon laughs about that now all the time:) 

Our church also believed in "feet washing" as a sacrament.  Which means that they practiced it!  So I grew up trying to make sure I got out of all the foot washing services!  The men would do it in the church and the women would do it in the Fellowship Hall.  I think I managed to duck it every time somehow!  They taught it as, it was as important as communion or baptism.  Even as a young person, that just went against what I believed the Bible taught.  Plus I just was NOT going to wash anyone's feet!  YUCK!!!!!!


So throughout my teen years, I was working out my beliefs, trying to understand the Bible.  I knew I wanted to go to a Bible College.  I knew I didn't want to go to our church's school but I wanted something close to what I believed, another Pentecostal college from a denomination that was "more refined" and closer to what I personally understood to be correct.  I got a pamphlet from Southeastern College in Lakeland Fl and honestly as i was turning from the mailbox, I knew that was the college I was supposed to go to!  And boy did I have to hang on to that knowledge!  Everyone around me totally freaked out that I wanted to go to SEC!  You would have thought I was headed off to Berkley or somewhere crazy!  I had absolutely no help whatsoever.  I worked the summer before I left for school picking peaches with the migrant workers!  I was thankful for that job!  No one in our church thought the other denomination was "saved"  They were considered it to be "backsliden"  The pastor at the time in my old church, preached a sermon in our little church on "Come Home"  It was so obvious that the preacher was preaching at me, so my half deaf grandmother turned to me and said "he's talking about you!"  as loud as she could.   I just had to laugh and say "I know!"   Leaving for SEC took more backbone than I knew I had.  My surviving aunt wouldn't even speak to me as I left that morning....  but I learned I had a backbone and would do what I thought was right.  What a wonderful time of growth that was for me!  I had to totally take care of myself, work and go to college.  Oh I was scared to death but I did it....  The funny thing when I graduated from college, alot of folks wanted to take credit for it and describe me as "my relative who just graduated from college"  That really ticked me off to say the least.   I'm afraid our kids won't learn to have the backbone that I learned to have because  we are too kind to them and make it too easy on them!  But the mama part of me don't want to see them suffer, although I know it is good for them:)

 
My BFF Angela and me right before i left for college

 
                                                         this picture cracks me up!          
 
So off I went to learn theology and find a man:)  After growing up around a bunch of rednecks, I was  thrilled to be around a bunch of guys who dressed up and wanted to talk theology!  In some of my classes I was the only female!  LOL  It was great!  I described SEC as "being  a candy store"  to my BFF when I would call home on the old payphone in the stairwell!   Real spiritual huh?  In the one class Jon and I were in together, I was the only female and only remember Jon because I didn't know him, he didn't live on campus.  He remembered me because I was the only girl and I had just come back from a summer in NYC working in an inner city ministry.  That impressed him! LOL  You never know what will impress a man:)
 
During my time at SEC I got introduced to working on the streets....LOL  NOT like you are thinking but I was invited to go out one weekend night to Orlando to work on OBT at a coffee house for the homeless and with the prostitutes of the area.  At first I was more than hesitant!  But I went and found my niche.  I found that I much preferred to do my "student ministry" with the street people  than with the church folks! 
 
I found my new denomination fit my theology more closer than my old one did but I still had some questions....healing was always a concern with me.  I just did not see it as it was taught as part of the atonement.... I will get into that some other time.  But I pretty much felt I was where I mostly felt comfortable.  I was concerned about the "health and wealth doctrine"  or the prosperity doctrine that was NOT taught in our college but unfortunately was in alot of the churches in the 80's and still remains to this day.   That doctrine is something that the Pentecostal/Charismatics have allowed to creep into their churches.  It was really strong in the 80's and I have found out that it is still strong unfortunately.  What I have really found as I have gone through suffering, is that most folks, pastors or laypeople, do not have a good grasp on theology at all!  It's rather sad when someone comes to "comfort" or "exhort" me and they have no biblical basis for what they are sharing.  Mostly it is a hodge podge of various tv preachers or popular authors, a little Oprah, and a few scriptures thrown in together.....  to say I'm appalled is an understatement! 
 
I've heard time and time again that "theology" will ruin a person.  If you mean ruin, by making sure they share what the bible says rather than what Oprah and Joel Osteen say, then yes let it ruin me!!!  
 
The bible talks so much about suffering....we in my theological background talk so little of it.....  the bible talks so much about reaching out to the hurting, to ease the hurt....my background teaches reach out in order to "get someone saved"   The bible talks about going to the "least of them"
 

Matthew 25:31-46

New International Version (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Something to chew on huh?   It's a rather scary set of scriptures.  And it is pretty clear scriptures....Jesus was telling about practical ministry done without the attempt to necessarily "save" someones soul"  Although when you reach out in love, wanting to give without trying to get another "notch on your belt" people see the real love of God and they respond to it.  I'm not saying that no one is doing that, I know folks who are and we certainly have always been a part of tthat type of ministry.  But overall, it is not preached!  And if it is it is preached as if it is a "calling" to certain folks not the whole body of Christ. 

I'm afraid the Pentecostal/charismatic churches don't do a lot of reaching out to the" least of these".... one way I can tell is the uncomfortableness people in certain circles have around my handicapped children....  It makes me mad but it also cracks me up at the same time.   When was the last time you have heard James 1:27 preached?????

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


I have people tell me all the time that they admire our "calling" to adopt orphans...really a calling?  I don't think so....it's a calling that the whole body of Christ has.  Maybe not to adopt but to look after orphans and widows.  I've read statistics that say if only 10% of the world's professing Christians would adopt a child, the world would have no more orphans....WOW!  So that leaves 90% of Christians off the hook if the other 10% would just do their job!

I don't see that preached much in our churches in my circle.  I see it preached and taught in other "not as spiritual" denominations or movements but yet we who have been endowed with "so many spiritual gifts" tend to like to use them to shout loud and jump high and then feel we have all done God a favor and aren't we spiritual?   Do I sound bitter?  I'm not but I am annoyed!  (and please know I am being sarcastic when i wrote "not as spiritual" denominations....I do not believe like that but I know others who do and I'm making a point here)  Kinda makes me think of the scripture of some other scriptures...

1 Corinthians 13

New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.,

I know so many folks who can go off in tongues, and have so much so called faith...but they don't have love.  They are busy building up ministries and monuments, to worry about the prisoner, they are too busy "believing God for a miracle" in order to have some great name as a healer,  to really love the person who needs a miracle.  Our priorities need to be straight. 

I think it really comes down to the "health & wealth" "prosperity gospel" that has swept across our churches and has lodged in everywhere.  To me it is like a cancer that has little pockets throughout a body and it shows up on a PET scan as little light up dots....  It so distorts the church's view of who we are and who God is....  God no longer is the sovereign ruler, He becomes our "pal" and someone we command to do what we want, like a nice genie in a bottle, that is bound by what we say.  No longer do we feel compassion for the downtrodden people, we judge them for not being spiritual enough to have God's blessings.  If you are not healed, it's because you have sin in your life, there is no place for suffering...everyone walks in complete victory over their health, their finances and their lives.....  The "health and wealth doctrine" has no place for the handicapped, or the orphans or the widows....  
It has no place for the reverence of God.  The things I have heard come out of pulpits over the  years.....OH MY GOSH,  God is long suffering and slow to anger....or else He would have been striking some preachers dead!  No reverence, God is just their buddy, their daddy, their best friend...how about realizing God is the God of this Universe and we will all stand in front of him one day and fall to our faces in reverence....  I'm not saying that God isn't close to us, the bible teaches that He is close to the brokenhearted but He is still God and I am still a mortal....but some of the terminology we use...again it goes back to bad theology....  I've heard preachers and laity refer to God in a much more causal way than I would to a judge, a boss, a doctor....it amazes me!  People talk to the God of this Universe as if He were their errant boy!

So how does this all tie in together?  How has this helped me in any way whatsoever as I've walked through the past 4 and 1/2 months?

I've known who God is and who I am.....  I've learned to take the full Bible in the context that it was written and by comparing scripture to scripture I have found a balance....yes there are scriptures that talk about the "abundant life" but in the same bible, Jesus promises "in this world you will have trouble"

Yes I still believe God does miracles.....but I believe He is sovereign.  I believe that suffering is in this world and will be here till the end of time. And contrary to most tv preachers I do NOT believe that Christians have a "get out of jail free" card!  I don't believe that God causes tragedies or even that the devil does it....things just happen.  The bible tells us we will go through suffering and are perfected by suffering (not by an emotional prayer service at church)   When have you heard that suffering perfects you?  "I lnow, I know`NEVER" unless you listen to my husband's sermons!   I know that God is with me but i say that with all humbleness, it's by His grace, not because I'm some type of saint.  If you think I'm a saint, you are so wrong!  I'm an exposed nerve (as my mother in law would say about one of her sons)  I'm grouchy and some days very unspiritual....I'm not saying I live in sin but I do not live a sinless life!   Things get on my nerves very quickly and I'm really not a nice person and the older I get the less nice I get and that is true....I may look nice but please don't be mistaken, there is a sarcastic streak a mile wide and it is hard to keep it in check most days.  I just feel like I don't have time for a bunch of foolishness, there is so much waiting to be done in this world, get off your pity party and do something!!  If anyone wants to see if they can beat me with the "pity Party" please go back and read the beginning of my blog.  for some reason I have been allowed to go through alot of heartache in life.  but I chose, I make a conscientious decision, to trust God..  Job 1:21

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised


I try to look at life in the light of eternity....will it really matter in heaven if I wear the hippest clothes or drive the nicest car?  NOPE!  I think our crowns will be given for things so much more important than that....

So I hope you are still my friend and I hope I don't get any angry comments ( but I moderate them anyhow hahaha!) or emails but this is who I am inside.  And please no sermons on how I've backslidden...this is how I believe and have for a long time.    I want to know what I believe and I want to really walk it out.....whether it is comfortable or not!


 
 
 

 
 

14 comments:

  1. A really interesting read. It made me compare my church to your beliefs and I see lots of similarities! I certainly hear preaching about Christians facing a difficult life, sufferings and tribulations, perfecting the Christian.

    I have no idea what you mean by a 'health and wealth' doctrine.. Would be interested to read more!

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    1. the "health and wealth" doctrine is what many call the Word of Faith movement and some of the leaders are Kenneth Hagain, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyers, Paul crouch/TBN leader. they have influencend many in the charsmatic movememnt with their false doctrine

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  2. You rock :) No anger here!

    I stopped "fitting in" when I became disabled. Oh yes, people prayed over me, claiming God didn't want me to suffer. I almost went to a healing service but my gut said no (I think it was God).

    When I have a good day, I thank God. When it's bad, I reach out for Him.

    I do think I'm a better person because of what I've been thru. It's not the path I would have chosen but I have a feeling I have more empathy for others because of it. I am a better servant because I am in pain. I would have been so naive to the world without these eyes.

    (And I'm not saying in any way "my suffering is worse than yours")

    Thank you for taking the time to share so much with us. You are a good minister :)

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    1. thank you and I agree with your statements also. Suffering either makes us "bitter or better"

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  3. Yvonne, I really love it when you write like this. I always feel like you are saying stuff that needs to be said - not just a lot of fluff. Thank you for your story, your honesty (tough talk!), and insight.

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  4. It is nice to read theology that I actually agree with... I got sick, really sick, doctor baffling sick a number of years ago. You won't be surprised at the number of friends who have told me that I am not healed because I refuse to claim that God will heal me. God CAN heal me, but that doesn't mean He WILL. I will pray to be healed, but whether or not God heals me, He is God and I will continue to believe.

    It is likely that one of your theology professors is a good friend of mine. Dr. Michael Dusing has done some very interesting study on the theology of suffering. I can see his hand in some of your comments. I wish that there was more true theology preached in our churches. What is there today can kill commitment to God when God fails to act as He has been directed. It is as if God is a genie in a bottle who will do as we command if we have the right formula... how foolish.

    I also agree with you about ministering to people without the attempt to save. If we don't sit with people and love them how are they ever going to want what we have. The church is doing a poor job of reaching the lost. Keith Green once said that the church is asleep in the light. That is as true today as it was when he said it 30+ years ago.

    I am sure that you are tired having me agree with you, so I'll stop.

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    1. Bro Dusing rocks!!!!!! I ran into him at the Lakeland Regional Hospital just days before Selah's accident. I was picking up some records for my son and we rode in together. We didn't get to talk much and I think he was shocked with my big brood of kids:) He was such a good help to us when we had to make some "end of life" decisoins for one of my great aunts. I wish I would have realized back in college how much wisdom he and some of the other professors at SEC had! College is ruined on the young:) Now I'd love to sit in those classes again!!!! He was one of the best and since I had Systematic Theology as my minor, I had him for many classes!!!!

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  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thanks for sharing! :-)

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  6. Very interesting, Yvonne. I'm so glad that you took the time to write this for us. I agree with much of what you say about theology & religion, and have deep respect for our differences.
    MANY denominations don't do a "good job reaching out to the least of these." I've seen this so often, both as a Christian and as a nurse. We are blessed to be part of a very tiny church, where our son, who has a form of autism, is not only accepted, but truly loved.
    Please keep sharing your thoughts.

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  7. I work with SN children and where I work they are loved and special to all of us there. I make it a point to make a big deal over them each time I see one of them come by my area. I realize that some people just look past them rather than acknowedge them because they are unsure how to react. I admit that I was probably that way at one point before I understood more about SN. The congretation of the Lord's People I attend is unusual I guess because we have 3 young men who are challenged, each in their own way. They are loved and accepted by everyone. I was amazed to read in another blog to see that not all churches are that accepting. And I have read about others who are large enough to have their own SN department. That is wonderful. Where I am a member, we are too small but the children are amazing at including the others just the same as themselves.

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  8. There's so much I want to say and so much I want to ask that I can't even begin to organize my thoughts into coherent sentences! God brought me to your blog.

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  9. There's so much I want to say and so much I want to ask that I can't even begin to organize my thoughts into coherent sentences! God brought me to your blog.

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  10. Dear Yvonne, wow! I was a southern girl too, raised in the holiness movement during that same time frame. Very similar struggles to find true, balanced theology away from the scare tactics. I also had trouble finding the perfectly "sanctified" sinless folk too, myself included ;). Even the ones who gave up wearing a Timex to fight worldly vanity, even those with the longest hair worn in a bun or the longest skirts. Praise be to God that the Person of Christ comes near to us, especially as we suffer, and that our suffering is never wasted...God always uses it for His glory and our good. I love your real attitude and true faith. Your love for your family shines through. Your sharp mind keeps things interesting and orderly. I love sharing your story and praying for your family. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing and allowing me and others to be blog friends.

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  11. I was raised in the holiness movement in the south as you were growing up pentecostal. Very similar confusion gave way to very similar present-day practical, true, Biblical theology.
    I love sharing in the story of your family. Thank you for allowing me to pray for you and be a blog friend.
    Lord bless your family, and happy new year to you all!

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