What I Seek In A Church

I’m seeking a few things in a church that are musts.  Call me picky but I believe these are very important things.

Sinners – People who know that they are sinners, saved by grace, through nothing they did, it’s God’s gift, Christ’s work.  They are not holier than thou, looking down their nose with the “at least I never…” attitudes.  I am not seeking perfection in others, I’m seeking a body of believers that knows they fall short of the mark but know that because our Heavenly Father sees us through the blood of Christ, we are perfect.  Folks that don’t judge you, but grab you and give you a hand up back on the path, help brush you off, and wrap around you in love and support.

Bible – a church that teaches from it.  USES their bibles, applies the lessons right here where the rubber is meeting the road, but that the congregation members actually show up with their bible in hand and use it during services.  And that lessons are not based on a verse taken out of context but passages as a whole and some inductive study (associated passages) pulled together.  One verse sermons don’t cut it, I can prove Adam and Eve were blind if we are going to use a verse out of context (their eyes were opened blah blah blah).  I want to be with a congregation that can sit down, pull out their bibles and find those passages and discuss, apply, encourage and teach from God’s Word.  It’s fine to put it up on a screen for those that forgot, or don’t yet own a bible, but I don’t want to be where that is the only source of God’s Word being used by those listening is the words up on the screen and not in their laps.

Music – it can make or break worship.  I am all about music being joyful (make a joyful noise unto the Lord), rather than feeling I am sitting in a funeral.  Which, for my own way down the road, please make sure the music is upbeat! CELEBRATE my life don’t mourn it.  I love contemporary worship music, but I also love the hymns.  There is a lot of biblical truth in the hymns of old and they should not be forgotten but used each week along with more upbeat worship songs.

I have NO problem with a coffee bar or donut shop in the church building.  I love to see fellowship encouraged!  People actually sitting down talking and interacting with one another.  But I also want to see that the focus of that time together is a collective worship of the Lord, a time to be taught.

I don’t think I am asking too much.

This says it ALL as far as the music is concerned.

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#34 ~ 365 Reasons Being Single Rocks!

Song Slaughter

#34

Driving down the road, your favorite song comes on.

The S/O changes the channel.

Or worse…

They purposely start singing and CHANGING the lyrics.

They butcher them, purposely, into something insane or obscene.

It sticks in your brain, and every time you hear the song you hear the ‘new’ words in your head.

And they think they are funny.

NOT FUNNY!

Don’t screw with a girl’s favorites.

No S/O means NO song slaughter!

#23 ~ 365 Reasons Being Single Rocks!

Rip It Good

#23

Oh yes, we are going THERE.

There as in bodily functions considered RUDE beyond words when performed in front of others.

Functions some folks (read: MEN) think are just hilarious.

Okay SOME men, my son for one.

My father used to lift a cheek, let one fly, then say “Oh, did you hear that trumpet roach?”

Not funny.

Especially trapped in a car on the highway with him.

My ex-husband on the other hand would have been mortified to let slip in front of anyone, as it is rude and obnoxious and in poor taste.

Oh alright there are some women the find them amusing. I’m not one of them. However if you engage me in a fart war, I will win.

Consider yourself warned.

Anyway…being single means not having to worry about the issue at all!

#19 ~ 365 Reasons Being Single Rocks!

Sleeping

#19

Okay this one isn’t quite mine.

I mean I had it on my list as sleeping anywhere you wish in the house.

Not on the couch because you are fighting and you were banished or decided to be a dolt (listen if you opt for the couch rather than the bed you are indeed a dolt).

But you fall asleep wherever and it is YOUR choice to sleep there.

The part not quite mine is what a local DJ on the radio posted on his Facebook this morning, that goes right along with this reason:

“The best part about living by myself is not having to explain why I fell asleep on the kitchen counter…naked…again.”

~ Jeff Thomas Q102  http://www.facebook.com/jeffthomasradio

Picture 'borrowed' from Daily Cognition, click photo to see other funny animal sleeping pics

#12 ~ 365 Reasons Being Single Rocks!

Sing A Song!

#12

Nothing is more known to me than the fact that I cannot sing.

Strap that tune in a backpack, I just cannot sing and in fact scare small children and animals.

I likely frighten away demonic beings too.

But being single means I can belt out a song at the top of my lungs without being told to keep my day job.

🙂

Do Not Judge Me

I didn’t get up and go to church today, but that is because I had something to do that I felt needed to be done.

I have not made it to church for a month and a half, but don’t assume anything simply because I am not there.

My life has been full of hills and valleys, more than you will ever know and there has been a good deal of pain and suffering that were not of my making. 

Sometimes when the cards are down or things have been difficult, I withdraw for a while, it is how I cope.  Don’t assume the worst.

Just because I’m not sitting in a pew doesn’t mean I am not in the Word, or in prayer on a regular basis.

Yes, sometimes I compare my life to the lyrics of songs NOT by the Christian artists, that is because in trying to  express myself at the moment, P!nk has it more on than Jason Gray.  Using the lyrics to try to bring across where  I am or was or what I am feeling is  NOT promoting the artist, it is about the words of the song and how they spoke to ME.

You know nothing about what is in my heart.

When you have walked a mile in my shoes, then you can feel free to  point out the things in my life that need work.  The Lord is working on many areas, just not the  ones you seem to have issues with, but trust me, He is at work and there is plenty of it to work on.

Do not judge me.

Meet Me On Monday – BONUS/Extended Edition

Welcome to the 34th edition of “Meet Me On Monday!” Blogging  is a funny thing…we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read  and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, “who is  this person!?”  I know them…but yet I don’t know them!  I want  to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great  way for all of us to “meet” each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we  can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

“Its a great way to to meet new friends and for others to get to know me better….one Monday at a time!!!”….as quoted by the Chacogirl!! Java will make this SIMPLE and FUN!!!

***BONUS EDITION!***

In addition to the 5 questions from Never Growing Old, I am doing the rest of  my blog post for today at the end of this  Vlog (Video Blog).

Questions:

1.  Did you watch the Superbowl?
2.  What is the last book that you read?
3.  What is your favorite kind of cake?
4.  Do you snore?
5.  Do you play an instrument?
—————————————————————
My Answers!



Music, Messages and Tossing The Baby Out With The Bath Water

I recently saw a song/video from Youtube on a friend’s Facebook.  The song was one of many that of late have ministered to my heart.  My heart, the one that has come crawling out of the sin swamp and back up onto a road that is uphill, steep, and full of obstacles that often seem insurmountable.  My heart that was drawn back over several months not only by the gently shared faith of a man I dearly love, but also through music being played long before Thanksgiving on a local Christian station, Christmas music.  Many a Scroogy type whined about it but my boss played the station at work and a number of the  songs  like “Breath of Heaven” kept eating at me.  I had wanted to go back to a church a number of times in the past years but never could convince the ex to go.  I should have gone alone.

Music finally was the key that turned the lock of my heart and I returned to my former church and been SO thankful.  And in this time I’ve been listening daily the K-Love radio and a number of  CDs  I had collected (Oh so thankful I didn’t toss those out during the dark valley years), and a CD my friend, Jane, gave me  my first Sunday back in church.  Music and the message in many of the songs have been ministering to my heart and soul a great deal.

The friend had  someone that responded  with an article about the band that sings the song, and their  warped theology.  In fact it takes issue with a large  number of  contemporary Christian music artists of late.  I will be the first to admit that yes, many do NOT walk a very straight path and many  flat out  make me question their salvation.  Until I remember where I just came  from recently myself.  My walk was very real, my heart very much the Lord’s years ago, the fruit, I believe, was there.  However I allowed seeds of sin to take  root in me and little by little those sins were  cultivated into lush wrongs  and the Lord let  go and let me have  my way.  My way was very far from Him.   I am thankful  that  the consequences of  my sin, though quite the prices to have to pay for rebellion,  were not far worse.   Would my faith and that which I share be less a blessing to someone in need because of where I have walked in darkness while professing to be a believer?

Many of the artists in the article were favorites of mine.  One, Amy Grant, sings the song I mentioned, ‘Breath Of Heaven’.  There  are lines of that song that are SO good they make a great prayer  from the heart.  She herself may be a lousy example of walking with Christ, but does that  diminish the message in the song? I think not!  The David Crowder band, despite whatever maybe wrong with them, have some very good songs out there being played that are ministering to believers, in spite of the  sinners singing them!  In fact, EVERY christian is a  sinner, and has areas of  sin in their life, but that doesn’t mean that the message of the gospel they share is wrong because they have areas of sin to deal  with.

What of the many hymns that, my understanding, were once bar tunes that the words were changed too.  Does that make the hymn useless that is packed with truth because the tune originated as a beer bash melody??? Of course not!  And oh what  of the hidden sins, and maybe not so hidden,  of those that wrote the words  to the hymns we now cherish?  If it is discovered that  Thomas Chisholm was a terrible sinner would we rip “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” from  our hymnals? Let us hope not, the song is written from scripture and very powerful.  Certainly we would not condone the sinner but we wouldn’t remove the music/message over it  I  hope.

If we tossed all the music/songs because the writer is a sinner, the book of Psalms would  be pretty small.  David was guilty of coveting his neighbor’s  wife, adultery, and murder all while being a man after God’s own heart. Even Paul admitted to be a sinner at times!

Romans 7:15-21 (New American Standard Bible)

15For what I am doing, (A)I do not understand; for I am not practicing (B)what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

16But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with (C)the Law, confessing that the Law is good.

17So now, (D)no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my (E)flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

19For (F)the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

20But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, (G)I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

21I find then (H)the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

Just because the artist may have a wrong walk, the music and the message in the music can still be worth sharing as you just never know who it will touch and how it will  minister.  Don’t  toss  the baby out with the bath water!

Choosing My Last Meal

“You can choose your last meal. What would the menu consist of?”

This is the writing prompt for the Lady Bloggers Society Wednesday link up.  I’ve been pondering it for the past few days, what would I choose for my last meal?  It is difficult to do because I love to eat, and have so many ‘favorite’ dishes.  The more I considered it the more I realized it wasn’t just the food that I’d want to choose but who I shared it with and how!  So I’m taking a bit of creative liberty with the subject, since it wasn’t specified, and assume I get to choose all aspects of my last meal.

If I were blessed to know such a thing as when my last meal would be, I’d plan it this way.  I’d want it at home, as I very much love my house.  It is my dream home without a doubt, all spacious and warm inside.  I’d put out an open invitation to all my relatives, friends and even just acquaintances, to come and attend this event.  I’d ask them to bring along a memory to share about a time we had together, one that stands out above the others, something for our hearts to dine upon.  I’d then ask that if food had been a part of the memory, they bring that dish along to share.  If food had not been associated with that memory, then to bring along one of their favorite dishes, desserts or appetizers to share.

There would be no sitting down to a formal table setting, as this is just not my style.  I’d want everyone to be able to be lounging in comfort as we grazed the food and shared.  I picture in my mind folks on couches and chairs, or the floor or counter tops even, wherever they felt comfy to plant themselves. And tables all over the house with lots of good foods.

Music would also be important!  I’d want everyone to bring along a favorite song or two that could be played in the background.  I’d want them to share why those selections were made so I might learn one last, special thing about them before leaving this world.

Of my Christian friends/family members, I’d want a favorite verse or passage, and why that was selected as well.

For me it would be a LONG meal, stretching over a full day with a menu of sharing  food, music, scripture and memories, all from the hearts of those that in some way are connected to my life.  A happy time of sharing and remembering. To me that would be the perfect last meal.

 

 

All About Me In 30 Days – Day 1

Day 1 – My Favorite Song

Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


I really would have a hard time narrowing down just ONE song that is my favorite. There are songs that touch me at different times for any number of reasons and then when I hear them, they will bring a flood of memories back, either good or bad.

A few good examples would be Supertramp‘s “Take The Long Way Home” which was popular when I was 16 and in a maternity home, pregnant and unmarried.  My boyfriend and baby’s daddy would come up to see me every weekend and that song is a big reminder of that time.  The hymn, “How Great Thou Art” is a favorite and it was played at my grandfather’s funeral and that always brings back memories of him and tears.  Jason Derulo‘s “Ridin Solo” was getting a lot of air time about the time my divorce was final and fit me well so it has a special spot with me.

But one song in particular that has been on my favorite list since 2006 is Rascal Flatts “Stand”.  I love this song, it is timeless and it was a huge help getting through the pain the past 9 months.  For a while it was my out going and incoming ring tone on my phone.

Stand ~ Rascal Flatts

You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless
Like you’ve lost your fight
But you’ll be alright, you’ll be alright

[Chorus:]
Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you’re made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you’ve had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand, Then you stand

Life’s like a novel
With the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon
With only one way down
Take what you’re given before its gone
Start holding on, keep holding on

[Repeat Chorus]

Everytime you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place
Oh

[Repeat Chorus]