Friday, December 4, 2009

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.


That Sunday we woke up and we got ready. I was so so nervous. I kept rushing everybody along and trying to get there early. We did end up getting there early. 20 minutes too early. lol. We drove into the parking lot and there was an older man who was sitting in his car, waiting on the time to go in I guess. (we were only going to preaching) So we waited and waited and waited. It felt like forever. But 10:45 did eventually arrive and we got out of the car. Where did we go?? The front door, the side door? We didn't know. I ,of course thought well that's easy go in the front door. Yeah not that easy. See on there website they had two services for there 11 o'clock service, one traditional, one contemporary. Which was one of the reasons I had thought this church was a good option. I didn't mind traditional , that was how I grew up. We didn't have contemporary services. I mean we were BAPTIST! Drums? umm.. no. that would surely send you to hell. A song that wasn't wrote back in 1755? nope.. obviously these young whipper snappers who write these songs today are led by some young radical God that we don't know! The God back then, can't be the same God as now! Okay, so maybe that was a drastic example, but still.
As I said, there was a traditional service and a contemporary service at 11 o'clock. We walked up to a side door and heard music so my husband, the logical non nervous one , led us there. I was having a hard time trusting him, I wanted to blend in! Act like we had been going there forever and it wasn't a big deal. I didn't want to ask for directions! Just go in the front door! Anyways, thankfully I just followed him and shut my big mouth. He went in and there was a young woman singing with a band made of teenagers! It was pretty cool, seeing these young kids being the band.

There was a large wood box thing on the back wall, when we walked in. (where they run the equipment) There was a guy there so honey asked him. And he said the contemporary service was held there and the traditional was held in the sanctuary. So we just say down and stayed in there. We sat in the back , of course, blending in and so we had a quick escape route! The service started with singing. It was pretty great, I knew the songs. I felt confident. I was praising the Lord and it felt great! I was were I needed to be! I was so happy!

The associate pastor got up on the platform and made some announcements. One made me pause. He said "next week we have something special planned for you. The preacher will be preaching live over here and I will be preaching live in the sanctuary. The preacher has asked me to preach a sermon about my vision for the church.." Okay did you catch that? Live, we will be preaching live? I already had a pretty good idea what he meant. But I was still hoping it wasn't true. It was putting A LOT of emphasis on it being LIVE. But I was like okay cool no big deal. I just assumed that the associate pastor would be the one preaching the sermon in this service. It made sense. I mean he seemed like a very easy going, friendly guy. I was still optimistic.

But then.. the associate pastor sat down on a chair in the corner of the platform and the projector was turned on. oh my. And the next thing I see in the preacher.. on the screen... preaching.

This next part may seem overly critical. It may seem like I am judging him. I'm not. What went on is between him and God.. and his congregation. I am only an observer honestly seeking a God-fearing, people loving church.

He started with a loud, orators voice. You know what I'm talking about. There voice goes up and down and up and down. It was like a roller coaster. But no big deal. as I said I'm baptist. Baptists probably invented that move! Next he introduces the topic for the sermon. Tithing. Now before you draw conclusions. I know that we are to tithe. Its a basic biblical principle. I also believe it should be taught in love.. and compassion and understanding. It wasn't, at all.
One of the first things he says, " I hate television evangelists..."

Umm.. Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer?? umm.. Charles Stanley? Are you serious? umm.. serious doubts are coming up now. Very serious doubts. Later on in the message he says, " you give money to TV evangelists?? Then next time you get sick call THEM and ask them to visit you when your sick!" ummm.. okay.. shifting in my seat.. very uncomfortable. You mean that's why we tithe?? To pay the preacher to come see us when we are sick.. hmm.. well, I didn't know that. I thought we did it in obedience to God and you visited out of love.. yeah crazy concept.

Then he talks about if you pay your tithes that God will bless you. God will provide all your needs and then he kept repeating, "Blessings don't mean bucks, blessings don't mean bucks." umm.. I understand that to a point, but if we are serving the same God. Then God def does give money as blessings, IF you can handle it. If its in his will. He just kept repeating it. Then he says "God will provide your needs not your wants." WHOA! What?? are you talking about GOD? Because in my experience God has provided a million of my wants, some of them even before I want it! God is constantly proving that HE is a giver of needs and WANTS. I could right now, at this very moment give you a list of the wants he has provided in the past month!

In the bible it says, "speak the truth in love." "without love you are as a clanging cymbal!"

I am by nature (human nature) a critical person. I know that. I pray about it and I'm honestly trying to work on it. That's why when we got out of church (running) and into the car (with the windows rolled up) and out of the parking lot (in case they could read lips) We discussed it.
My husband agreed with me. He seen the same thing I did. It seemed like the preacher was the controlling element of the church, nothing happened that he didn't want. Like maybe letting the associate pastor preach to the contemporary service. I can only imagine the battle that went into trying to get the contemporary service! And the drums to play in the service! I honestly can't imagine.

We prayed about it, seriously discussed it, and we decided later than evening, that we would not be going back to that church. I was extremely discouraged. I just didn't understand why God didn't bless our search and let us find the right church the first time! Then my husband said something that put it all in to prospective. "We did what we were supposed to do. we obeyed God." And that's when I realized that, that was the real reason for going.

Joyce Meyer has a sermon she teaches about mountains. Mountains being problems. When we have a mountain there is a lesson to learn every time. You learn the lesson, the mountain moves, you don't learn the lesson, the mountain stays and you just keep going around it. In this case my mountain was just obeying God. Do the right thing. Why do I know that? Because the next week.. that mountain was GONE!

...stay tuned for Part three, the final conclusion to our family church search!

1 comment:

aidensmom said...

Wow, what a journey. I hope you do find the church you are looking for. Good job with the patience to sit there until it was over. I am not sure if I could have. I get what you are saying with the "needs and wants". So how do you feel when pp tell you to put it in GODS hands and let him help you? I get that all the time from my Husband. If I start to worry or get over whelmed he'll tell me that. Now some times I think it's okay, but others I am not so sure. KWIM? I do know that no matter what GOD will be there. Answering your questions and helping you, even when you don't think you need it. SO I do lean on him. Depend on him. What I hate the most is when he is trying to help or tell me something and I am to dense to get it the first time. lol