Yesterday was a good day, even so I managed to sleep away much more of it than I had planned. We are blessed and so pleased to have Vi’s daughter and two of her grandchildren Seth and Sadie visiting us for the week Seth just celebrated his first birthday and Sadie will soon be four. Seth is at that really cute stage where he is just learning to walk, and can do so quite well if holding on to your fingers. It amazes me as I see him occasionally take a fall from a full standing position to land flat on his bum and not even be phased by it. It is said he is wearing a diaper so it gives him extra padding to cushion the fall. Now, granted it has been quite a few years since I wore a diaper but I look at those little things and can see there just is not that much padding there. So diaper or no diaper, I know if I took a fall from a full standing position and landed straight down on my bum, I think I would consider myself crippled likely for weeks. I have to admit I am not as tough as a 1 year old.
Sadie is also a delight and is teaching poppa many new things. I usually don’t spend much if any time laying on the floor, but that is the position I am doing my learning. Sadie has taught me how to color using a magic marker and how to do jig saw puzzles. Learning really can be a fun time.
Scott, a friend of Lynelle’s dropped in yesterday, he brought with him a healing bowl. It is quite an interesting thing. It is very interesting, it is made of some sort of heavy metal. With it comes a piece of wood. You run the piece of wood around the edges of the bowl and it begins to hum and vibrate in your hand, which is said to have a healing quality in it. Scott was kind enough to lend it to me and I will be trying it out over the next few days.
A few days ago I received a very interesting email from a dear blogging friend. In it she stated it is obvious from my writings that I am a deeply religious person and ask which church is it that I attend that has given me such strong convictions. I answered the email in my typical tardy manner. As I did I realized this is something I should share on the blog as if I have given that impression to her, I very well may have done the same to others.
I suppose it comes down to your individual definition of religious. Over the years I have attended many different churches, different denominations.
Each I found to be very good very special in their own way. From that do I believe there is one right church or that one is necessarily better than the others, no I do not. Lets face it the essential message of all churches is essentially the same and really only differ in certain select areas. These differences are man made or man decided upon. Within any church you have a congregation, at times within that congregation you will have a difference of opinion. That difference of opinion may be over interpretation of scripture or what ever. The difference of opinion may even be small but the “dissenting” group may break away to form their own church. Preaching and teaching essentially the same message but with a slightly different view of certain scripture readings. Thus, we have hundreds if not thousands of different churches. I believe all are good, all are wonderful places of worship. The “right church” is the one, that makes each of us as individuals feel is right. I believe the worshiping of God is much more important than in which building we chose to do it. Most if not all I am sure will disagree with this next statement or at least not admit it. Many are drawn to a particular church because of the individual Pastor, Minister etc., by how charismatic the individual is, how good a speaker. I also believe that is fine, what ever it takes to make each individual feel drawn to worship.
In this next bit, I hope I offend no one. Your opinions and thoughts are just as valid as mine, just as right for you. What I am stating is my opinion. There are certain things I am uncomfortable about some churches.
The hard line literalists, follow our rules to the letter or you are a sinner and are kicked out of the church. I ask, wouldn’t sinners be the very ones you want to attract to the church to help and save them?
The churches that have almost like or even do have a dress code. I agree totally we should dress in our best to attend church. I ask this, what if due to economic conditions or what ever my best doesn’t measure up. Does that make me any less worthy in God’s eyes?
I believe a certain amount of pomp, pageantry, rituals and rites are very important in any church. It is only my opinion but I believe some that taken this way over board. To the point where I often wonder if I am spending more time in man made rituals than in actual worship.
I am uncomfortable with churches that seem to lead the congregation to the belief that they have been save and develop a Holier than thou attitude. They have been saved and as such their entry into heaven is assured. If your church gives you that attitude and you take comfort in it, good for you, and I mean that good for you. Personally, I believe there is a much Higher Power that we will all have to answer to and it is only He that will make that decision.
When I come out of church, I want to come out feeling good. Feeling good that I have just sent time in worship. My batteries recharged with the comfort the knowledge that God loves me, and that I love God. I want to come out feeling good, even knowing that I have sinned, made mistakes, I can change. I want to come out with the pumped up attitude, God is with me, I can and will change I can improve and better myself. I do not want to come out of church fearful the devil is lurking behind every bush and rock just waiting to pounce on me. I am totally uncomfortable with services that seem to preach more a fear of the devil than a love of God.
I have a huge beef with many that I refer to as hypocrite Christians. I am sure they can be found in every religion, in every faith. These are the ones that are the greatest Christians in the world on Sunday mornings. For that hour or so they represent themselves to everyone in hearing distance as being so totally righteous. Suddenly, something happens and that character suddenly become the exact opposite for the rest of the week. What happened?
I imagine some will take what I have said as church bashing. That is not my intent at all, I do believe all are good. No one opinion is necessarily more right than the next, or at least who am I to say what is the “one right way”. What is right for you, is right for you and I respect that. I am merely stating my opinions on what feels right for me as I encourage all to do.
As for me personally, I do have my very strong beliefs. My beliefs are very very important to me. How did I come by them? A life time of experience, picking up bits and pieces here and there. A great deal of listening, thinking, praying and meditating. Do I attend a particular church? No. Do I attend any church regularly? No. When was the last time I attended at church for anything other than a wedding or baptism? Really can’t remember (but I am memory guy). Do I pray regularly? Yes, often many times a day. Do I believe I will go to Heaven? Yes. I believe all God loves all of his children equally. Any judgement that may come will be based on the content of the heart.