Saturday, May 21, 2011

Do we belong?

Just visited a different denomination, and thought I would share my thought processes.
Did I enjoy the service? Yes and no. I loved hearing God's word read out. It never lacks power, no matter who reads it. I enjoyed hearing children participate. I felt a connection with people I already knew, but don't normally worship with. I also felt a separation from these same people, knowing that they would not embrace my faith or understanding, but stick to what they know.

The speaking and preaching did not comfort me. It was an emphasis on the party line of that denomination, also pointing out that the church ought not to be so full only on special occasions. Even the hymns were full of denominational biases, which just made me feel like an outsider.
Was the forgiveness of sins in Jesus proclaimed? Sadly, no.
How did I feel at the end of the service? Like I wanted to get out of there ASAP.

No, I didn't want to join in for morning tea somewhere in the back of this gothic maze. I needed to go as soon as was politely acceptable.
And I am a person of faith. What of someone with no faith???

How do we welcome new people without overwhelming them?
There is a spiritual discernment in being able to meet people at their point of need. It is a gift and leading from God, He will direct us, if that is our heart and prayer. We needn't ambush people, because God himself draws us/others to him in Jesus. Nor should we ignore them. There is a right way. It involves respecting people and not judging them. True love.
May the Holy Spirit release us into loving in a Godly way.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An email for your thoughts

 Dad, a friend sent me an email with a link to a video on youtube about a girl who died and saw hell and heaven and came back to life to testify. She doesn't speak english so it has a weird american voice over which makes it sound fake and i thought at the start of course its fake. But after listening I think it is real and I am very afraid of Hell.
I am afraid that one day I could turn away. I am afraid for my friends and anyone who thinks they know God but dont.
I've always wanted life to end happily. In Movies the main character never dies or if they do they will some how come back to life. I wish it was the same for people who dont know God as their saviour. but once you are in Hell there is nothing you can do about it. And knowing this gives me the feeling that I want to spew.
Michael Jackson is in Hell.
why can't God just Destroy hell so it will not be continued anymore?
I am very scared about hell. I don't know what else to say.

I don't think about hell too much because I know what Jesus has done. I know there is nothing I can do that will make me good enough for heaven and not hell, but I believe Jesus has done something that does save from hell. This is why I love him. This is what being saved means.
I would rather know what Jesus wants me to know about heaven and hell than what a YouTube video says.
If Jesus saved Michael Jackson, then he is not in hell. Neither you or I know whether or not he had faith. What his thoughts and faith were like etc. Even if five minutes before he died he looked to Jesus in faith (like the criminal on the cross) then Jesus would have saved him. You and I cannot save anyone not even ourselves. Only Jesus.
Jesus is the only one who has died and risen from death, conquering death. He didn't dream about it. He did it.
He does love us. That's why he died for us. no matter how terrible hell is, Jesus is stronger. He can and does save us.
I was always worried about my dad not having faith. Then six months before he died I was there the night he cried out to God for forgiveness. This showed me that it is God who calls us and saves us. Yes I prayed for him, but it didn't feel as though I did anything special or lifechanging for him. It just felt like God said "see, I have always loved your dad, and now stop worrying about him". So we should pray for each other and those we love, knowing that only Jesus can save anyone from hell, but trusting that he loves us/them more than we do. He wants them not to go to hell more than what we don't. And his love is powerful.
Yes hell exists. How much do you think I worry when any of my kids act and speak as though they don't have faith? But then I remember that God loves them more than I do, so I learn to trust in his love for them just as I have to learn to trust in his love for me.
Whatever we do, in serving God, our motive should be love for him not fear of hell or him.
God is merciful, he is faithful, he IS love. Grace is the word we use to explain why people like us don't go to hell. Grace is true and powerful and amazing.
I will watch the clip.
See if you can look up a blog I've started called " a fig page". There is something I have written about me and a friend from when I was young and single.
Trust Jesus both for you and those you love. Maybe God will use you in a powerful way to bring many to faith, but maybe he won't, ask him, but do it out of love, not fear. Keep praying for the ones you love. God listens.

I'm sorry you didn't get to see greg again. He sounds like a great guy!
i hope in heaven we get to meet knew people and not just the people we already know.
But thank you for sharing that with me. and sharing all your knowledge with me too.
its hard here because i have no one i can talk to about my faith.
i guess thats why i got scared so easily about that video.
But Thanks dad. your words are comforting and PRAISE THE LORD for His amazing grace and mercy!