Wednesday, July 28, 2010

produced church

This is a parody on the contemporary cool church! Cracked me up but it's really supposed to make you think...Personally I think the modern Charismatic/Pentecostal/Evangelical have tried so hard to be so cool & relevant that many churches have just become "cookie cutters" and they are so predictable! We recently ran into a friend we went to SEC with (not on FB so don't nobody think I'm talking about you-although if the shoe fits...) and the guy had the cool clothes, hair cut, glasses and required tattoo, cool speech "Hey dude what's up?" was sad , here was this 45 yr old, TRYING to look & sound like a youth pastor LOL. It took NO effort to imagine what his church was like, everyone in jeans, with their coffee on Sun morning, in for an hour then out....You know it's rather laughable....he wasn't being unique or himself, he was following what he felt was the way to grow a church, being relevant....

I'll be honest, I did go out and buy Jon the required black shirt and ripped jeans and shoes to match....and he felt like an IDIOT!!!!!!! He tried to wear them to something and he just cracked up and said he couldn't do it. I did get him to wear them for our Xmas pic last yr so we'd all match but they've just sat in his closet. He will wear the shirt TUCKED in with a pair of dress pants. but he can't bring himself to wear the jeans, I figure Steve will be in that size soon....He's just not about being the cool pastor! LOL Keep it real! Now he rarely wears a suit and when he does, rarely a tie but it's more than anything just because that is what he feels comfortable with. We aren't formal at our church but we're not informal either, just kinda in the one sports a cool new tattoo, there is a few with some old ones, but honestly they try to cover them up...And I don't have a problem with someone getting a tattoo but don't just do something to be cool. It looks stupid to a watching world, like a kid playing dress up.....

Honestly I don't want to go back to the '60's where all the men wore a 3 piece suit and the ladies wore dresses & hose and all the little rugrats were dressed to kill in their Sunday best....But it's like we've had to swing the pendulum so far that it is ridiculous. I remember when I was a kid no one would even chew gum "in the house of the Lord" Now it's coffee & doughnuts every Sunday morning! There's nothing wrong with Starbucks (love 'em) but just be yourself.

The world isn't gonna beat down your door whether you as the pastor has the latest hip style or their favorite brand of Starbucks coffee...they are looking for reality. Sure the "cool" church may grow for a season in numbers but according to research by George Bara the more contemporary churches have the least amount of commitment. (I read that in a study and can't quote the study but I know it was his group that did it.) I'm sure every church struggles with commitment, our church is more traditional but very grace oriented & we struggle with people being committed. But I believe that the "seeker sensitive " church in the long run will do more to hurt the body of Christ than to help. In 20 yrs or so, when church historians begin looking back, I believe it will have ran it's course as did the Charismatic movement of the 70's, the big ministries/tv ministries of the 80's & 90's...

What do people crave? We all crave God first & foremost! Then authenticity within church. The whole contemporary church movement, "church outside the box" probably started wtih the best of intentions...but like anything else, when a pastor feels he needs to be a carbon copy of someone else, the whole thing looks silly! There are "moves of God" that speak more to my heart like the Brownsville Revival & the Lakeland Outpouring" from the 90's but it was so silly to me when I began to see ministers base their ministry on trying to be like Steve Hill or Rodney Howard Brown. Be yourself! Don't try to copy another minister's way of doing something, it doesn't fit you....

Are there any more pioneers out there????

So far today I've have a phone call from one lady and a visit from another...both conversations were about "Finding a church home"...Can we say we are live in a consumer mentality????

The caller was upset because a church she had been attending had her fill out a questionnaire & attend a class before she could become a member. Instead of encouraging her to attend our church, I encouraged her to understand WHY the church/pastor required that. I explained that the bible teaches "to know those who labor among you" and church membership is far different from just attending a church. Church membership should be taken serious and "not entered into lightly" just like marriage...LOL The class was to ensure SHE knew what kind of church she was joining. It was an Assembly of God church in this area, we know the pastor slightly but I'm sure that he's not some werido and has a reason for what he requires. She didn't like the application process because the application asked about HER gifts and what SHE could do for the church. She innocently asked me "wasn't the church supposed to provide for HER needs???" Poor thing....I explained it's our responsibility AS MEMBERS to get involved in some aspect of ministry within our church whether it was cleaning the church, helping in the nursery or praying....We talked for quite a bit and I encouraged her to meet with her pastor and talk to him about this rather than just run off & leave the church.

Then a woman came by and stopped in and asked about our church. She was nice but literally gave me a list in what she was looking for in a church....! I just laughed (nicely) and told her we didn't have all that she was looking for but she was welcomed to visit. She then describe a church she had recently attended and told me what she didn't like about it. Evidently the pastor preached a "tithing sermon" a rather long one before taking up the offering. I could agree I really am not into all that. YES I believe in tithing and it IS an important part of church attendance and a responsibility of a church member, BUT that is not something we focus on here at our church. Yes my husband will mention it and even include it in a sermon but it's not a big emphasis. And you now what, God has met all the needs of this church! It's been incredible how the finances have come in for everything we needed. We are set to start a remodeling phases of the sanctuary in September and ALL the money that we need is in and most of the supplies (paint, new carpet, new chairs/sets all new audio equipment, wood floors new sheds bought!!!!) God provides!!!!

But anyhow she didn't like the sermon there, she wanted more than we offer....Makes me wonder does ANYONE think about BEING a blessing to the church rather than being blessed by the church??????

We live in a world of CONSUMERS!!! Bless me, do for me, what about helping others??? I love larger churches where there are all kinds of ministries available. We went for years to a "mega-church" that was great, so I'm not against mega churches, they can be great. But Christians should learn to be able to give out what they've been given!

What we'd give for more committed, NORMAL people to work with us and be people we know that we could depend on!!! Every pastor is appreciative of those ones that he knows are faithful, committed and doing things for God & the church for the right reason! In our situation, we need folks with a pioneer spirit, people you don't have to hold their hand nor do you have to watch your back either!1 (that can be just as bad!) Are their any left? Does everyone have to have every new program in order to serve God or can they use what God has given to them already to give back to the world, starting in their local community & church????

It can be discouraging......

Friday, July 23, 2010

Christian Songs...or "Love " Songs

I love all kinds of music... rap, heavy metal (only a little), rock & roll, soft listening, praise & worship, hymns, country, southern gospel music...I for the most part listen to only Christian music but we have some secular music cd's that I on occasion listen to. If you looked through our Cd collection, you'd laugh cause there are many styles we like.

But there is one "style" that drives me crazy......Christian 'worship" music that sounds like you are singing to your boyfriend/girlfriend....I know the bible says we are the "bride of Christ' and then you've got the Songs of Solomon...but some new music that is out is embarrassing to me!!! I was recently somewhere and the worship group was singing and I was actually really into the music. Then they began a song I didn't the words came forth, I was actually embarrassed! They were words, I'd use only to describe a love relationship between a man & a woman....So I kinda did a quick look around and everyone else was all into the song, singing away...So I thought "is it just me?" I talked to some friends & Jon later and they agreed with me, the song made them uncomfortable...(well my bro in law- as always disagreed with me - he told me I had a vile mind...LOL) But yet people sing these songs that make them uncomfortable...NOT ME!

I guess I feel when I'm singing worship songs to the Creator of the Universe, I want to keep it a little more formal and reverent! I know we have a personal relationship with God, but I really don't want to be that personal.....!!!! If you hear a song and you can't be sure that if you just heard it song on the radio whether it would be a christian song or an easy listening love song...don't ya think something is wrong???? I don't know am I the only one who feels like this?

Sure we have old hymns like "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" but the word go "Jesus lover of my soul. Jesus, I will never let you go, You lifted me, from the mirey clay and set my feet upon a rock and now I know , I love you, I need you,tho my world may fall, I'll never let you go..." ok I can deal with that. the song is quite clear to WHOM it is being song to. Other songs...and I don't' want to put their lyrics out there since I'm disagreeing with them ... are just werid. Jon actually asked our worship leader not to do a particular song because of the wording....some of these songs sound like the writeer is romantically in love with Jesus...I don't' know but that gives me the willies.....YUCK! Does anyone besides me remember the 80's and some minister would use the term "Make Love to Jesus"...? Ok that totally GROSSED me out!!!!!! I understand they meant be one with, be intimate with...but the terminology was WAY too much for me!!! So are we still seeing some of that odd speech but now it's in song version??

So what do you think? have you ever sung a song you were uncomfortable with??? Just wondering....

Is the CHURCH bad...?

Recently it seems I've been reading/seeing/hearing alot about how BAD the church is. Everyone has a criticism of the church. I see it on facebook, "non traditional" authors, in magazines, on tv, people tell me all their bad experiences...just this morning on the way to my walk I passed a sign "" from a new "cool " church in our what do I think about it????

True anyone who grows up in church can tell a crazy tale or two...I have about 100 or so. I've been hurt, let down, talked about, and even ridiculed by the CHURCH. So what is my response? The church is only made up of other humans. Have you not been hurt, let down, talked about, ridiculed by humans or has it only happened to you by the CHURCH? Well I've had all the above happen to me at school, at work, in family, in life in general. So why does it make it so much worse when something happens to you in church? If I had a dollar for everytime somebody told me they got hurt in church and "WASN'T EVER GOING BACK" I'd be able to retire:) Wow, if someone hurt your feelings at work and you said that and follow thru, you wouldn't have a job...or what about in your family situation? Most of the time we just suck it up and go on cause we have to.

So what's the difference? So the person quits church & gets flaky and says "I can worship God out in nature" hahah that one really cracks me up cuz come Sunday morning that person is probably still snoring under their blankies....

The bible clearly teaches corporate worship and teaches the church is the body of Christ that should function together. It even gives the exhortation "Forget not the assembling of yourself together, even more so as you see that day approaching" Wow that's in the Bible. But I had one guy tell me as we were discussing this subject that he was assembling together with me at that particular time, that the Bible didn't mean in a church setting, it could be any was would have been laughable if it wasn't so sad.

I'm a pastor's wife, raised in church my whole life and I'll be the first to tell you the church is flawed...WHY??? Cause we are humans, God doesn't make us robots when we come to Christ so therefore we have the opportunity to screw things up...but would you really want someone else to stand in your way to God? Can you be saved & not go to church? Yes. Will you be living a victorious life? NO! I've never met anyone other than a few old saints who were bedridden and couldn't go to church who were living a victorious life and not going to church! and that's the truth! Think about the people you know who aren't faithful in church attendance, are they REALLY the ones you can depend on when you need someone to be there for you in a spiritual capacity? NOOOO! And what kills me is people who can go EVERYWHERE else BUT church cause they are "sick". I just roll my eyes when I see/hear that.

Now, we are not legalistic about church attendance, we don't have a Wednesday night service anymore (really since hardly anyone would come) but there is something to be said about finding a church home and being faithful! It is an important Christina discipline that no one wants to talk about today. You have a responsibility! Have you ever heard "You only get out of it, what you put into it???" Well that's true! If YOU would put something into it, you might be surprised!

So personally I don't like these attacks on the church! Granted there are some churches out there that are not preaching the gospel, that are in false doctrine and unhealthy. There are dead mainline churches and dead charismatic/Pentecostal churches. But really for the most part, those are not really the kind of churches I hear complaints about...usually it's just a regular church, where things DIDN'T GO THAT PERSON 'S WAY!!!!!!!Maybe the pastor called for some respondsibiblty in their lives or maybe someone did say hurtful things to them...but GET OVER IT!

Remember YOU will stand before GOD one day for YOURSELF. Not for Sis MeanGirl or Bro Blabbermouth or for the preacher you didn't like cause he told you to pay tithes.....So get to a good Bible believing church, be faithful (there is a respondsibiblty on YOUR side too!!!) and get grounded!

And honestly not trying to sound like a conspirator...but I truly believe this wave of attacks on the church that we keep seeing is from the devil. When I see all the books out about making your church seeker sensitive and what the sinner wants in a turns my stomach. I love everyone but I will never be a part of a ministry that waters down the gospel to reach people. It's great to move with the times about NON ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION matters like what time the service is, or what people wear to church...but when all you get is a feel good sermon, something is wrong. When I met people going to Charismatic /Pentecostal churches and they are living with their boyfriend/girlfriend and have NO conviction about makes me wonder about what kind preaching they are hearing....? Is it just patting them on their backs and telling them Jesus loves them? Or is it messages of conviction, Jesus loves you and wants to save you from your sins???

The old saying "Sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go, cost you more than you ever wanted to pay, and keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay" is so true! I want to give a pure message to others. I KNOW what sin will do in a life! Although I was raised in the church, I decided as an adult to turn my back on God! And turn I did!!!! It was the most miserable time of my life!! So although I had never before experienced the ravages of sin, didn't really have a testimony of God taking me out of themirey clay...I do now! And I know that that is a horrible place to be! So why would I not want to tell someone how to be free?????

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm proud to be a mom of a "retarded ' son!

I get a newsletter called "the MATCHMAKER" MUMS National Parent-to- Parent network Newsletter. I've been getting it since Sam was little and back then no one had ever heard of Peter's so I hoped to connect with another family. This newsletter is for any parent of a child with special needs. It has some liberal leanings and I'd actually called to have myself taken off of the list back during the election of '08 but nevertheless I still receive it. So last night I opened it and read the most horrible essay I have ever read in my life. It is written by a mom of a child who is retarded. It doesn't give any more info about he child...but it gives plenty of info about the mom!!!!!!!!!

It's called "The Dark Side" by Jennifer Hamilton. She begins by quoting her son Andy who says "I hate being retarded" and then she goes on to say "I hate being the mom of a retarded child" She goes on to say that many parents have allowed themselves to be pressured into saying and often even thinking things that they don't really feel. She goes on to say that she knows moms who are so conditioned to being brave that they have practically convinced themselves that their child's disability is a blessing. This author writes that a friend of hers recently stated she couldn't stand to be alone with her child (who I presume is handicapped too) for more than an hour and so it gave the author the great sense of relief that she could make a list of her negative reaction, and not dress them up with apologies or explanations but simply to put them down as a statement of where she stands! she then proceeded to list them...

DEATH She has frequent death wishes concerning her son. Fantasies about accidents. fatal but painless illnesses...

BOREDOM Her son bores her and on occasions, the boredom of his slowness approaches pure hatred!

ANGER She is angry at the doc who prescribed the wrong size diaphragm, herself and her husband for having conceived the child and FURIOUS at god for allowing this to happen (Oh now we get God in the picture only because she's mad at Him for not giving her a perfect son)

GUILT She is guilty over the frustrations and restrictions of his life

SHAME She says perhaps self-consciousness would be a better expression because it is not immediately apparent that he is retared, she wished he had some physical impairment that would promote instant sympathy & forestall misunderstanding by strangers. She says she deliberately talks down to him to make it obvious that he is different and thereby spare herself from public embarrassment.

She then goes on to say that "looking back over this list I sense that it's only a beginning. There are deeper & more complicated feelings that I have yet to recognize....My common sense tells me that others in my situation must have had similar dark thoughts...For my own part I feel that since Andy had the courage to admit the feelings that his disability aroused, I owe it to him to develop with myself the same kind of honesty." WHAT A SICKO!!!!

OH MY GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know as a christian I'm not supposed to hate anyone but WOW I have no nice feelings towards this selfish witch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God help her son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll start by saying I'm HONORED to be the mom of a retared boy! I don't believe all those silly ideas, that God and the angels were looking for the perfect parents and chose us to be Sam's parents....We live in a fallen world, and sometimes things happen while a child is being formed in his mom's belly. But God created Sam and brought us through a difficult pregnancy & birth and He gave Sam life. Sam is who he is and who God created him to be. I'm even passed the stage of wishing he was "normal" In the beginning, I wanted him healed so bad but I love & accept him as he is. I didn't care about whether he was healed for MY sake but for his sake, to make his life easier. But then I realized, Sam is who God created him to be. God knew that Sam had Peter's Plus Anomaly in his chromosome 17...God wasn't shocked by Sam's disability....Sometimes I don't like to even call it a disability because it is Sam, who he is, and I love him!!!!!!! And having the hope of heaven, I realize that any suffering we go through is not even to be compared to the glory we will have in heaven. For all of eternity, Sam will be completely healed, so what is a few years here on this earth????

So let me counter her writings with my own thoughts on each of these subjects she brought up

DEATH I worry that Sam will die on almost a daily basis, at least a few times a week. Although I know when he goes to heaven he'll be whole but I don't want him to leave me. I love holding him & taking care of him, feeling the warmth of his little body in my lap. I worry that he'll out live Jon & me and his care be overwhelming to his brothers. (although Steve & him have such an incredible bond!)

BOREDOMShe has to be kidding! I'm never bored with Sam! I have so much fun with him and enjoy him so much. He is the silver lining in the cloud of disability! He has enriched my life so much! I've gone so many places and met so many people that I would have never known if it wasn't for Sam!!!!

ANGER If you've read my blogs, I went through a time of being angry after we lost our twins and I NEVER want to be there again! God is sovereign and we are in His hands, come what may! I'm thankful that God gave us Sam. Thankful that all the fertility treatment worked, thankful that he survived prematurity! Thankful that he is my boy!!!!!!

GUILT I did in the beginning wonder if somehow Sam's disabilities were my fault. But then after all the doctor's assessments..DNA testing...etc...I realized it was just something that randomly happens...Before I knew I was pregnant we'd gone to Branson MO and on the way stopped to watch a crop dusting plane for Steve in Arkansas. For a while I wondered if I got some chemicals on me that could have caused Sam to have problems. One doctor was reassuring after explaining all the chromosomal stuff he added "If every woman who had a crop duster fly over her had a child like Sam, the whole Midwest would be full of kids with Peter's " that really helped and made sense!!!!

SHAME Or Self consciousness...Sure I feel self conscious when people look at Sam but not because HE embarrass me ! But rather those people PISS ME OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I hope i don't offend you by my strong language) I don't feel a need to "talk down to my son" Actually sometimes I will say to him "some idiot is watching us...." And I say it as I'm glaring at the offending party!!!!!!!!!!!

So those are my thought on this article! I feel very strongly because I do count it as a privilege to be the mother of all 3 of my boys. I am so blessed by them. Just because Sam is different doesn't diminish him or my feelings for him. What if he'd been born perfectly healthy but got cancer , or was injured and became disabled by any number of things? Would that diminish my love for him? NO!!!

Honestly reading that idiot's article makes me fear for her son'! If not for his actually physical safety, at least for his emotional well being! Surely she can not treat him with love & respect if she if fantasizing about his death!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Poor little boy! Although Sam can not disguish that he is disabled he doesn't really speak or have the understanding to know he is different IF he did understand he would KNOW that we love & accept him AS HE IS!!!!

The author has the mindset of this world. It dominates her thoughts and she has given into them. We live in a world that wants perfection, that doesn't value life, unborn, the elderly, handicapped is dangerous. One day that lady may find herself disabled, a casualty of old age, maybe some crippling disease, or dementia ...I wonder if she'd like someone fantasising over her death then???? No one is promised a perfect life, lots can happen along the way. If you don't show compassion, then will compassion be shown to you???

I try to live my life compassionately towards others. That is one thing that Sam brings out of me. A compassion for the weak, sickly, handicapped...not to say I dint' have any before, but NOW my feet are in their shoes, so compassion wells out of me!

I remember thinking years ago before we had kids, that I would never want to have a retarded child. It was just almost more than I could think of to have to deal with. However with time, age and caring a child inside your body, it didn't matter to me if my kid had 3 heads! It was MY child and I'd love it with every ounce of strength I had!!! After I lost my twins, one who was at the least extremely physically handicapped I just cried and cried and told God that I wanted that child NO MATTER what was wrong with it. And I meant it. It was flesh of my flesh, no matter what was wrong with it. Before I had children, I didn't have that crazy maternal feeling.....had NO idea...but after having hit and has never let me go. It's almost supernatural, that maternal feeling that washes over a mom! I had it some after I was pregnant with Steve, but the moment I delivered him and the doctor handed him to me, honest to God it was like "an anointing' I don't know how to describe it but it happened so fast & strong! I wan't a real maternal person before him but in that second, it was like "pixie dust" was sprinkled over me. I can't really use the term "pixie dust" cause it was so strong! More like a barrel of it was oured on my head!!!! Me who'd never really successfully changed a diaper in 30 years of my life suddenly became MAMA! I would have killed over that little baby if I'd had to with no qualms!

I feel that way about my kids so strongly still and especially Sam because of all he has gone through! Believe me, ask some nurses, doctors, teachers, therapists...anyone who did anything that I felt was not in his best interest. they get it from me. I don't even care anymore about what they think of me, actually I never cared what they thought of me but I din try to tone myself down for my poor husband's sake! I guess I should say I'll pray for this lady but I'd really like to "lay hands on her" fast & furiously!!!!!!! God be with that poor little boy!!!!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 4th thoughts

So tomorrow is July 4th and it falls on a Sunday. That makes it convenient for a cookout following the

My husband was debating what to preach tomorrow. He is in the middle of a series on the cross but thought maybe he should do a sermon that was more connected to America. He never asks me my opinion on what to preach cause he always can preach- he really is "instant in season & out"! And he was really just kinda thinking out loud so you know I had to throw my 2 cents worth in.....I encouraged him to focus on Jesus-the cross...that's what is eternal! That's how he was feeling too but since we're having a 4th of July day, he felt some conflict. But you know being an American is NOT gonna save you on judgement day! The only thing gonna save you is the blood of Jesus. And I believe on that day, no one will be caring or thinking about what country they are from or where anyone else was from as we all bow before the King of Kings & the Lord of Lords!!!

Now before I write anymore, I want you to know I'm very political, completely right wing, LOVE the USA...BUT the USA is not an eternal country! This world one day will pass away. I'm thankful to be a citizen in the USA but my real citizenship is in heaven! I feel uncomfortable when people began "worshipping" the USA! God has blessed our nation but America is not the promised land! Some people equate America with God...God is so much above America, there is no comparison!

We do not have flags in our church. The ones we had were very dirty and we took them out and it's not high on our agenda to replace them. We do have one in the church lawn that pays respect to our country but to me the things in a sanctuary are symbolic (or practical- mics, ceiling fans, etc...) It's not that I don't love the USA but this world is not my home, I'm only passing through. I thank God for this country & for all the blessing He has given but it is not my final home. So inside the church, I personally feel it is inapporiate to have the American flag honored daily as if it is as important as the Christian flag. (not that I think the Christan flag has to be there either, I've always thought that was a bit be honest...) Out in our church yard we have the American flag flying. We used to have a christian flag there also but it got old and was taken down. One thing that made me very uncomfortable was legally if the American flag is flying then any other flag is to fly beneath it if on the same flag pole. That bothers me for the symbolism of the christian flag is far above the American flag! I don't want any other country flying above the American flag but the symbolism of the christian flag flying below it REALLY bothered me. I know many churches deal with this by flying the flags on separate flag poles but that was not what we had....

I worry about the "separation of church & state" but I don't worry about Christianity influencing this country, it's laws, morals, values...I worry about the state influencing the church's morals, values etc.... I think Christan's should be all up in politics and that we should influence the government justly but I do NOT want the government to influence us. Whether the present government in "a friend " to Christians or not. We should take stand on moral issues and stay up for godly principles, things that are clearly in God's word!

So before I'm beheaded...take a moment & think about what I've written. What is more important to you? Do you confuse the USA with God? Do you think because you live in a "Christan" nation it makes us more right than other countries? We are IF we are following God's principles in dealing with situations but when does that happen? America is not equal with God only a servant that God has used to reach this earth for HIM.

I'm not a USA basher! That makes me madder than fire when I hear some people I know doing that! I want to bash in their heads for them. The people I know that are so ready to bash the USA are usually LOSERS with a capital L and if you reading and you wonder if I mean you? Don't wonder I do!!!!! I love the USA but I do not equate it with God! There is a difference. I would give my life for my country BUT only if my country was right! Why? Because I serve a higher authority! The values of America are ever changing, God's values do not change with time. He is the same yesterday, today & forever. Singing "God Bless America" is not going to meet your need in your darkest hour but singing "Amazing Grace" will give you the strength to go on! Why because God's songs, words, and power is eternal while the United States is only temporary!

So when it comes my time to stand before God, all "the things of this world will have grown strangly dim in the light of HIS glory & grace. So be thankful God has blessed this country of ours', be appreciative for the men who have fought & died so we could keep our freedom but know true freedom comes from the ONE who gave His life so we could live for ever in eternity in God's kingdom!!