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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Switching from a Purpose Driven church with entertainment to a bible teaching church may have a few effects, one of which initially is boredom.  This may seem unholy and wrong to admit, but it has happened.  We felt it in our house.  A dry feeling.  But like eating healthy food for once as a normal way of life rather than just once in a while, old habits are hard to break.

Exercise and eating healthy will be difficult for someone coming from terrible habits.  We want to drift back to the soda, we want to taste the sugary sweet candy.  We want to have french fries and greasy hamburgers with lots of cheese.  Why?  We’re addicted.  What do bad eating and exercise habits get us?  Diabetes, heart problems, early death.  We become fat and unable to enjoy life.

This is what happened to us at the previous church.  We enjoyed a LOT of cool programs.  Our kids were entertained.  We felt we were growing in the faith.  Yes, we did grow, but looking back, the times we did grow were when we insisted to study the bible verse by verse in small group.  There were some messages by the pastors that carried truth, so we did learn from those.  However, much was social, much was wrong teaching.  We ignored the problems for a while.  It caught up to us.  We began to see the problems.

When we opened our ears and looked around, we heard the pastors preaching things that were not biblical.  Suddenly, the candy coating didn’t feel good anymore.  We realized the illness in our faith.  We were not being fed often enough.  Yes, there was service, we were served in many ways.  But the teaching was in error just as often as it was in truth.  We allowed the error to go on when we were blind to it, but once we saw it we realized we had to escape.

We eventually landed in a church where the bible is preached verse by verse.  We started out with some initial joy, because our worries about the former church were confirmed.  Still, we missed some of the trappings.  We missed the social time, many people were new to us.  We missed the upbeat music a great deal.  Still, the true spiritual food was making us feel better because our spiritual bodies were getting the right nutrition.  Now my children recognize the former church for what it is, and they do not want to go back to the candy.  We don’t either. 

Of course, we listen and are very careful, we do not want to believe the pastor without checking things out.  It’s kind of like reading the labels.  We want to know what’s going on at the church, what they are truly about.  Is the spiritual food healthy and true?  If it is, then we will see growth and not experience the physical illness.  The hard work put in (not works for salvation mind you, but the study of God’s word and prayer, the service to the body, and the support of those who go out and preach to others…or even maybe us going out some day when we’re prepared…these things are the hard things), will result in a healthy Christian perspective.  Staying on guard is important, reading for ourselves.  After all, it’s supposed to be our faith we’re working out right?  And as time goes on, what was previously boring is actually very exciting.  Scriptural study is not some mundane thing, it’s a wonderful joy to hear and read truth.

note:  If I am saying something wrong by winging it, PLEASE let me know here.  I know these are my human thoughts, not God’s words.

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For about a year I met with a Jehovah’s Witness in my apartment.  My firstborn was but a fuzzy headed baby and I was learning to nurse him.  This woman, grey haired and lean, knocked at my door.  I was 26 years old, and had no clue what a Jehovah’s Witness was.  She came at first with a very proper man, who eventually stopped coming with her.  I believe, from time to time, she brought along another, but eventually, it was just Mrs. E, me, and my little baby.  Weekly, I would prepare.  I would call friends, call Hank from CRI.  I read books, and I studied my Bible.  I prayed for Mrs. E.  I learned about her life.  She was the aging mother of seven born children, her husband had died a few years back.  She was homeschooling her last born son in her tiny apartment.  He worked at a grocery store, and took classes with his mother teaching.  Mrs. E ended up with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  She traveled to Mexico for some treatments.  Then, one day, we were tranfered across the country, and I am ashamed to say I lost contact with Mrs. E.  She was a sweet woman, and I wish I had maintained my meetings with her, had written her, and kept contact.  I looked her name up when we moved back three years later but didn’t find her. 

 

What did I learn from her?  That someone can be totally devoted to a lie.  She was such a kind person, the sweetest, really.  She loved me, I believe.  She wanted me to know what she did, and wanted me to do the right thing.  She told me she had enjoyed nurturing and nursing all of her children.  You know, we have that in common.  In many ways, she and I were very much alike.  This woman was not your typical person, spending hours dedicated to witnessing to others, spending time studying her organization’s version of the bible so that she could educate me weekly.  She truly did listen to me, but with my inexperience and lack of knowledge, we both put forth some pretty circular arguments.  She had something many people don’t have.  She was dedicated to her faith.  She was willing to take risks, meet in people’s homes (and that in itself can be scary when you don’t know how safe people are).  She probably was rejected often, and had rude comments leveled her way.  I can believe she had hundreds of doors slammed in her face.  Still, she persisted.  Even in her illness, she continued on.  She had a goal, a required amount of hours to serve, a mission, a vision.  She had a passion, and had studied, she had knowledge.  So much she had.  And she did it all for the Watchtower organization.  And all my talking didn’t move her from what I could see.  Also, I didn’t become a Jehovah’s Witness, so I guess we were even.  I don’t know that anything was accomplished by me.  In fact, I know not much was accomplished.  I wonder about her now, I am guessing she’s no longer living, but I hope I am wrong.  Would love to hear that she had been convinced of the truth at a later time, and really understood that Jesus is the true Son of God and is God.  One thing is for sure, I learned from that woman.  I learned.

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