Thursday, November 25, 2010
My contribution will consist of a garlic studded pot roast, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with herbed gravy & greens! The honor of making this year's turkey goes to my mother-in-law.
What are you making?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
After a long 9 months, our daughter Linjila Neema Joy was born on September 18th! She weighed in at a hefty 10 pounds and 21 inches long. She is simply gorgeous and sweet. Such a surprise she is after 4 strapping sons. My home birth could not have been more perfect and blessed and I fully boast in the glory of what the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob can do! And now at 7 ½ weeks she is a smiling, blissful, beauty weighing in at 14 pounds!
It is curious to me, as those who profess themselves to be Christians, are my biggest dissenters of home birthing my children. Curious because as believers in today's man-made church system, they profess they love the fellowship/accountability of like-minded members. So together they worship with lifting of hands and praises, being moved to tears they profess the Lord is mighty in His stead and can do ALL things. With uplifted hands they believe faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains...yet upon hearing my home birth testimonies they are the first to offer the "what ifs". They are the first to express doubts of a natural process created by the same Lord they say can do ALL things.
What's up with that??
Its an incredulous contradiction of belief! Even more incredulous they make no association with the double-minded standard. Its completely normal to make such contradicting expressions.
If being a church-attending Christian means having a full assurance of faith one day of the week and being a fear-mongering, worry-wart the rest, I'll keep my "unchurched" status thank you very much!
I have asked the Lord to impart His divine wisdom in understanding my pregnant/laboring body as an unique, individual creation of His and He has obliged and then some.
So I wonder how does one reconcile conflicting proclamations? Do they prioritize Biblical principles by their preferences? Or is True Faith like the Easter Bunny... imaginary, but fun to talk about?
What do YOU think?
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I love preventing unnecessary household costs and I love a bargain. If I can find my favorite product on sale AND have a coupon on it, I am absolutely thrilled. The same is true for clothes. Having four sons have been a blessing, especially when my firstborn son's too-small clothing can be saved and passed on to the next son. I do my very best to obliterate all of the grass, mud, chocolate and the very dreaded blueberry stains. But, for all my efforts, I just cannot prevent the split-at-the-knee holes that seem inevitable with a nice pair of jeans. So I usually end up cutting them up at the hole, for a nice pair of jean shorts for summer. My boys, I must say, have a lot of nice jean summer shorts :). No matter how many knee patches I buy, one thing is clear to me, hand-me-downs can only last for so long, until it's no longer at it's wholesome value.
For me, there is one thing that must be absolutely brand-new. It absolutely must be of the utmost quality. Free from stains, holes, patched-holes, and cut-off-at-the-knees quality that money cannot buy and coupons cannot redeem.
I abhor second-hand information, it translates into a hand-me-down no one should attempt to wear. Second-hand information translates into gossip, confusion, conflict and the destruction of order.
Yet this is exactly how church systems across the world are set up. Parishioners and congregants are require and even told that it is mandatory to their salvation to learn about their Savior (whom they are to have a personal relationship with) by the sermons and lessons of their pastors.
(Sigh) It may seem as if I am bitter, hateful and repetitive about church systems today. I have a passion to declare and expose truth being held in unrighteousness. Christ has declared that the truth shall set you free, yet so many are enslaved to manmade "works" and "laws" imposed in this church-laden society, believing in error that these behaviors bring redemption and righteousness in His sight. I speak out heavily against church systems today because as a child of the living and righteous God. It is my duty, joy and pleasure to carry out His truth, with love, in the hopes that the truth MAY indeed set free the weary parishioner who cannot seem to arrive that the "peace as Christ gives, not as the world gives". Please do not mistake my passion and motivation for truth as bitterness and hate. Just because the TRUTH as God has ordained it is hard to hear and know, does not make it wrong.
I have been blessed with a natural tendency to be distrustful. Undoubtedly, I am a woman who likes her information straight from the horse's mouth. I am inquisitive about the information others attempt to bestow upon me, and thank the good LORD that is my nature. For if I have taken every single thing everyone has ever told me as gold and silver, my life would be tragically and utterly destroyed and ruined!
This is my point...if we as people, can appreciate, value and pride ourselves with material things of quality; our homes, cars, clothes and phones, we can certainly examine all information given to us by others (pastors etc.) with the same diligence and frame of mind. Is not the information we take in and digest into our mind, thoughts and ultimately our hearts much more valuable than those things we wear and use? Is not the Word of God which promises eternal life with Him more than this temporal life where our "quality" material possessions, are rubble in comparison to His spiritual possessions? How much more, with extreme diligence and careful consideration, should one be to examine gospels given to us by those who claim to hear Him?
There are two issues that should raise a red flag for the truth-loving, truth-seeking, God-fearing Believer when it comes to church as it is perpetrated today.
- We live undoubtedly in apostate times. I could show you LOTS of scripture to support this, because of the times we live in, many have become desensitized to scripture. The holy Word has been abused, and taken out of context so much that I'm seeing and sensing a shift in this apostate climate for the worse. I can see that a lot of Christians have become immune to the truth. So, I'm going to instead apply some common knowledge. It is common knowledge that there are many and varied divisions of Christianity claiming truth. All cannot be true, because all are proclaiming different "truths". Since we believe in ONE God, there must be ONE truth. (Eph. 4) Therefore, because of the evidence of differing doctrines, we DO live in the apostate generation.
- Mainstream pastors/leaders hardly or do not recognize THIS apostate generation. Because so many stress the need to be led or taught by an "ordained" (by the standards of this apostate society I MUST mention) minister, it is SO important to note that mainstream pastors hardly warn their flock of "false prophets", as a matter of fact. Some half-way decent televangelists like Dr. Charles Stanley, as an example, encourages those seeking, to find a "good bible-based church", immediately after leading them in a prayer of acceptance of Christ, the Savior. There is no acknowledgement or warnings, in such statements that your "local, bible-based church" may be a gross deviation from the truth Christ sacrificed for. These statements come across like the legal disclaimers you find in small print on products not approved by the FDA. If your pastors and ministers do not acknowledge this very common knowledge in this church society, what else are they not mentioning?
You may never allow your children to wear anything short of designer clothing. I will, however, accept the hand-me-down, split-at-the-knee jeans and reject the mud-stained, full of holes, second-hand knowledge for the pure quality of first hand knowledge, His indwelling spirit in my soul and the souls of my children! How precious His direct instruction is to my soul, indeed it is life from the dead! It is the preservation of peace and safety from the pitfalls of second-hand knowledge! It is quality of the utmost, free to all who believe it so and a warranty of eternal life!
So what I say to you...you who are weary and seek an everlasting peace. Go to the Father, by pass the pastor, by pass the books, the advice, opinions and gossip. Reestablish the order that second-hand knowledge destroys. The order established by His sacrifice, we should have that comfort of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge it gives us. John 16:8
I have no earthly motivation to exhort the seeking Believer. I do not belong to any type of church group, religion or denomination. You can rest assured that I'm not trying to meet a "quota"! As a matter of fact, don't believe me! Have FAITH! Believe the Word. Read it for yourself. I do have a warning. Read the Word out of the King James Version. Other translations have not held up to the consistency in this translation. Also note, that people sacrificed their lives to see the translation of scripture in the King James Version come to fruition. Compare this understanding that to the fact of modern translations being sold and created for profit. Some translations may be passed off as a translated Bible (from Hebrew and Greek) but are really paraphrased Bibles. In other words, Bibles that are rephrased in accordance to the author's explanation of scripture. In short, it's hand-me-down knowledge! The NLT (New Living Translation) is one. Read my testimony of how I discovered I was studying digested information, Translation vs. Paraphrase.
Maybe you think the King James Version is "out of touch" and "hard to understand". Well, honey, it's time for a renewing of your mind! Is anything too hard for the Lord? It amazes me when Christians can proclaim the glories of the Lord, yet are extremely insecure in His ability to enable them to understand spiritual principles. My mother had very little education, was deaf, yet profoundly spiritual. She understood the Lord, and knew Him well. My mother, God rest her blessed soul, was the very manifestation of FAITH.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways
My challenge to you is this: step out on FAITH, skip church one Sunday, stay home instead, read one whole, yes, an entire book from the New Testament. It could be James, Hebrews, Galatians, Ephesians, what ever you are led to ingest. Read it without a commentary (it can be misleading, and no, I don't care if it was authored by a Bible scholar), but do read it with a Hebrew/Greek lexicon concordance and absolutely read it in FAITH!
A few years ago I wrote a post “Confessions of a Former World Wide Church of God Member”. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to “meet” other former WCG members online. Some have gone on to other religions, others are still searching for a place to belong to. Most are still picking up the pieces of what was a life shattered by a church that promoted a false and apostate teaching that misled many away from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Needless to say many who have left, harbor anger, bitterness towards a church that promoted such a destructive doctrine.
I’ve seen marriages and lives ripped apart because the pastor/policy was against racially mixed marriage. Yes, these marriages that were considered mixed had children in some of them. Those children had to watch their other parent marry more fitting spouses while attending the same church as they did. Some of those children were my friends in WCG and harbored serious emotional issues.
Now, as an hearing impaired, African-American, orphan attending church with her sisters, I can tell you I was looked down upon and even excluded in some cases, but what I experienced as a WCG Member does not remotely compare to what those who parents & guardians have staked their lives and the lives of their children upon such a teaching. I came to WCG as a teen, but others were born, raised and bred WCG doctrine. Truly, I have genuine sympathy towards their anger and bitterness.
So what now? Since the doctrinal changes in 1995, how does one go about their lives when the dust settles? Especially those whose lives were catered around that old WCG doctrine. Where do they go? How now do they live?
For my sister, her answer was to return to “WCG” prior to its changes, which is now called United Church of God, pardon me while I will not link to their site. Although she stuck with WCG afterwards for some time afterwards, she missed the fellowship and social events that came with the “holy days”.
We discover who we really are when life events like these happen. We find out if we are really soldiers at heart or creatures of comfort. Implosions like these give a ripple effect of reflections, we finally see who we are, or who we thought we were and for the most part it can be an ugly reflection.
After WCG I realized, I was a creature of comfort, seeking churches for physical socializing to appease my want of “belonging”. It was when I would inwardly cringe and wince, whenever the pastor would teach his own messages and not that of the Lord was when I faced the truth…my will or HIS will? Eventually I decided without realizing I decided. I couldn’t take the mangling of His Word for my own sake. Truly I understand now with vital clarity, that if I were to appease that inward creature of comfort, I would be utterly useless for His Glory. Like salt that has lost it’s “saltness”. Good for nothing, but to be thrown away and trampled upon. Matthew 5:13 Each I church I attended after the “implosion”, was a search for a church of my liking, my belonging. With the lofty goal of finding the right church as I have been so oft been told, Eventually I had come face-to-face with the reality of this life time…apostasy…
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; – 1 Timothy 4:1
Every “new” church I attended brought this reality home. As I saw things that disturbed me.
- Inabilities to dialogue knowledgeably about the Word.
- Un-comfortableness dialoguing about Christ
- Exclusive tight knit social groups
- Overt admiration and catering to the Pastor/leader of church (what I call pastoral worship)
- Sermons catered to the quality of one’s life (marriage, parenting, finances) as opposed to making “teachers” for the Gospel (Hebrews 5:12)
Apostasy is alive and well and a very very real issue that has created a culture, rather than a Gospel out of what we call Christianity today. What started out as a damnable heresy, by WCG, progressed to a wind of doctrine and ended as my acceptance and contentment with the calling of fellowship with Christ as sufficient for my soul and spirit.
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:9
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. – 1 John 1:3
So here I am, no longer do I consider myself a “former member of WCG”, but an unchurched Believer in the Son of the the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Content to walk in the fellowship of Christ Jesus for HIS sake.
I do not want to be misunderstood. Desiring physical fellowship with like-minded Believers is GOOD and RIGHT. But physical fellowship at the cost of TRUTH is wrong. It is easily forgotten that we are called to bear our cross. (Luke 14:27)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
What is an unbeliever? Many say they are Christians. And many Christians attend church, but ultimately our heart defines who we truly are.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. – 1 John 1:5-7
In conclusion, whether we have been led astray by damnable heresies or by a wind of doctrine, we have the blessing of free will. We can use our free will as others do to deceive, to BELIEVE the holiness and righteousness of a God who so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son!
We have that power to turn what was evil for the goodness and glory of HIM! I praise God for my WCG experience, if I had not known, I would be unable to share the jewels and pearls of my experience, with my children. I would be unable to give them a life I desired as a child, a life a truth, love and acceptance. With a renewed mind and lightened heart I was not defeated by a doctrine so destructive.
And I encourage all of you who once called yourselves a member of WCG, do not allow the beauty of the Gospel to be tainted by the evils of humanity! You are no longer former WCGs, a victim, but an over comer.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? – 1 John 5:4-5