A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Don't Blindly Believe Everything You Hear....Even From Your Own Pastor!

Growing up, I believed everything I heard in Church.  If the Pastor said it, it had to be true, because the Pastor was like, you know, God!  I was taught to believe and obey those in Authority over me. I figured that the Pastor is a person of Authority and we should believe him!  I am a very sensitive soul, also known as a "highly sensitive person".  I took everything to heart.  For over half of my life I was afraid of hell.  I was sure that was where I was going.  That is a horrible way to live!  Today I am 1 week from turning 42 years old and I'm older and wiser.  I can think for myself.

Our current Pastor encourages us to bring our Bibles to Church and to examine the Scriptures to make sure what He is teaching is the Truth. He backs everything he says with Scriptures References. He wants us to look to God for the Truth, not to just blindly take him at his word, simply because he is "The Pastor".  He realizes he is human.  He encourages us to think for ourselves and not just believe everything we hear, just because we are in Church.

Jonathan and I were attending another Church on Christmas Eve.  During the Sermon we heard these words:  "God Loves you and hates you at the same time".  No one else around us flinched, but we both looked at each other and I whispered to him "Can you understand why I was afraid of going to hell my whole childhood"?  He nodded, yes.  Let me tell you folks, nothing says "Merry Christmas" like hearing "God Loves you and hates you at the same time!".  (Yes, I'm being sarcastic).  Before, I just blindly accepted words like this as the truth, because they came from the Pastor himself.  He didn't really explain himself and there were no Bible verses to back up this Statement.  I don't think he really meant it like he said it, but what if someone was attending Church for the very first time?  Let me tell you folks, that Statement did not point to a Loving God.  And if I weren't already a Christian, those words would have not made me want to become a Christian!

The God I've come to know the past 8.5 years, loves us all SO Very Much.  He Loves me because He Loves me because He Loves me, because He IS Love!  He died for me!  He most certainly does NOT hate me.  I am thankful that I no longer believe everything as Gospel Truth just because it comes from the pulpit.  I think for myself AND I examine the Scriptures.

This Morning I searched the Scriptures and did not find that God hates me.  I did find this: "But God showed His Great Love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."  Romans 5:8

My encouragement to you all, no matter what Church you attend or visit is to always search the Scriptures to find out if what you are hearing is TRUTH.  Pastors are human and make mistakes just like we all do.  They are not God, and should not be put on a pedestal.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

God is Good! Really?

     Can I just be honest for a few minutes?  When I hear the phrase "God is Good", it makes me mad, seriously mad!  Before you start judging me and preaching to me, let me explain please.  Whenever I hear "God is Good", or see it written on Facebook, it's usually in response to Good News, actually, it's always in response to good news!  Someone gets results that tumors have shrunk, or that the cancer is gone and there are a bazillion comments about how Good God is!   There are tons of "likes".  However, when someone posts about a cancer diagnosis or that the cancer has spread or that treatments aren't working, then people are quiet.  At least this is what I have observed over the years.  So, having the analytical mind that I do, I often thought, so God is only Good when people are cured or their prayers are answered in the way that THEY want them to be answered? 

   Well, what happens when the news is bad?  When prayers aren't answered in the way we WANT them to be answered?  Guess what Friends?  God is STILL GOOD in those times!  His Character doesn't change based on our circumstances.  However, I think people would be offended if they posted bad news and people commented "God is Good!"  But it's true my Friends!  He is ALWAYS ALWAYS Good!  But He isn't a puppet on a stick that we can control by praying!  He is All Knowing, All Loving, Always Present, and Always wants what is best for us.  It's taken me a very long time to realize that my Family and I are not the Victims.  Life is hard and we have had some hard things happen to our Family.  I'm glad I've learned the truth!  God is not out to get my Family.  God is using my Family for something far greater!  I'm praying he is using our Family to lead others to Christ, to help others, to serve others, with a Love that knows the pain of loss and cancer diagnoses and all of the ugliness that goes with these things.  Cancer isn't good, but God can use it for our Good and for His perfect plans.

    February of 2000 my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, just 2 months after my Dad (her Husband) passed away.  She was 47 years young at the time.  She has battled cancer more often than not over the past 16 years.  She has had more chemo and radiation over the past 16 years and worked full time up until a year ago, even though her cancer treatments are a full time job in themselves. She had 2 primary cancers. Breast cancer and bone cancer.  Last August her breast cancer from 15 years prior metastasized to her brain.  The cancer is no longer in her brain.  She is such a Fighter and seriously hands down the strongest woman I know.

     February of 2013 my FIL passed of lung cancer that metastasized to the brain. 

    April 15, 2015 my BIL Scott was diagnosed with a very rare form of Sarcoma called DSRCT, for which there is no cure.  He was 37 at the time.  He is Married to my Baby Sister and their kids are now 13, 11, 9, and 6.  When he has chemo, he has it for 40 hours a week.  It's a Full Time job!  Raising a Family with small children is challenging.  But, raising a family while dealing with cancer, I cannot even imagine.  God is Good!  Really?  Cuz the last time I checked, a cancer with no cure isn't good!!! 

     Last Evening I found out that Mom's breast cancer from 15 years ago has now metastasized to her lung.  If you heard this about your Mom, would your first instinct be to say God is Good?  No, it wouldn't be.  Cuz it wasn't for me.  But after having time to process, I can say that God is Good, even when the circumstances aren't. 

     I believe God will use all of the challenges my Family is currently facing, for our Good and for His Glory. 

     I can't say God is Good when someone is cured  Because it goes against my grain, knowing that the healing doesn't always come, and that God is still just as Good.  I will rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

     Would you please join me in praying for Scott, Debbie and the kids, and Mom and Don, along with all of us who love them?

God is the Reason for the Hope that I Have and I want everyone to know it! 

He is Good!  ALL the Time! :-)

Merry Christmas All! :-)