Post Number: 197
|Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 10:28 am: || |
Seeing teenagers actually worshiping God and hearing 10 and 11-year-olds giving testimonies about loving Jesus and choosing to be baptized to show that they want to live for him is still astonishing to me. Often I look at Richard and say, "How would our lives have been different if we had grown up knowing Jesus in a church like this?!"
Yet God is sovereign, and He redeems our pasts. I praise Him for helping me really to understand Adventism and then literally choosing me and bringing me to himself.
Post Number: 301
|Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 11:57 am: || |
We are sending our kids to a non-denom school next year (Praise the Lord His wonders to perform!) and have attended the church a few times...my daughter met a boy and he has been calling her and she said..."we talked about Jesus for about a half an hour...I have never met anyone like him...you (her mother) are the only other person I know who likes to do that!"
I took that as an extreme compliment. And I am so pleased she can tell the difference in how the SDA kids differ from these kids. I could tell a huge difference at the non-denom school...there didn't seem to be the spirit of defiance and pride I see at SDA schools.
Know what I mean?
Post Number: 201
|Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 2:40 pm: || |
Oh, Pheeki--I know EXACTLY what you mean! I will never forget the day we took our boys (then 11 and 15) on a tour of the school that has become "our" school. They really didn't want to change schools, but after 45 minutes of experiencing an atmosphere of warmth, friendliness, helpfulness, and just a welcoming "feeling" that was unlike anything we'd ever experienced at an SDA academy, our older boy said, "That's my school."
It's all really quite amazing. Inside Adventism, we had no idea anything like this existed. Adventists send people to visit Christian churches/schools, etc., to try to figure out how to "develop programs" to attract the teens and young adults, but they never figure out that the secret isn't programs: it's the Holy Spirit!
Post Number: 303
|Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 8:57 am: || |
You are right Colleen, it is the Holy Spirit.
My kids really want to attend church there too and my husband says..."I can see why, all they do is play."
Well, that is not all they do. They had about a 45-min. song service and bible study and then they played basket ball with them. The church service lasted about 2 1/2 hours for we adults (though I really wasn't aware we had been there that long) and I can only imgaine how hard it would be to keep kids occupied.
Anyway, I asked my son what they taught in the Bible study and he remembered...He said they taught him what the greatest commandment was...I held my breath..."Love God and love your neighbor as yourself."
Glory Halleleujah! It wasn't the 4th with it's halo around it!
Pray we get to go back...they are trying to suck my husband back into playing music every week at different SDA churches.
Post Number: 253
|Posted on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 7:10 am: || |
Praise God Pheeki for the way He moves and works in our lives.
I will pray as I have since meeting you that your family will be grounded in the truth of the only church that matters; Jesus Christ. I do pray that you would together find a place that you could fellowship with others of like mind.
I praise God for your children because it is many times thru our children that God leads, having had that experience myself some 30 years ago. It was only the beginning of my marvelous journey with God.
May the Glory of God that you have seen give light to your husband has it appears it has to your children already. The Glory of God is His Son as presented in Luke 2:
A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES,
And the glory of Your people Israel."
Love, Chris Carol
Post Number: 27
|Posted on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 10:04 am: || |
I have written about this before, but our son was the reason we left the SDA church! We had him in an SDA school, he was about nine, and we drove by a Baptist church that was just a few miles from our home. We passed it all the time, but this was a Sunday morning and people were out in front visiting after services. My son said "I wouldn't ever go to that church. They're not Christians!" My husband and I looked at eachother in disbelief. We could not believe what we had just heard because we knew we had not taught him to think that way. So I calmly asked him what made him think that they weren't Christians. He said without hesitation, "Because they go to church on Sunday". My husband said "Ok, that's where we will be going to church next week, because they most certainly ARE Christians." My son went nuts. "No, I'm NOT going, the devil is in those churches." We continued the discussion, and did attend that church for about a year, regularly. My son was saved, and baptized there! I have never seen him sit and really listen in any other church we have EVER attended. We are still looking for "our church" but I'm so thankful that THAT church was there at THAT time for us.
Busymom, your children will be so thankful that you have left that lifesyle behind when they realize what it's all about. There are times when I think about the needless battles over issues that don't have a thing to do with salvation, that we would be having in our household had we stayed in the sDA church. It's the best diversion from real truth that Satan can use. If he keeps us concerned about whether or not we are eating some hidden form of pork, or swimming or playing ball at a campground on Sabbath, or frying okra instead of baking it on Sabbath, or worrying about the house being dirty or what we're going to do as soon as sundown comes on Saturday night, we don't have time to think too much about the message of the gospel do we? And if we miss that we miss what it's all about anyway! It's so much less about us and what we are doing, than it is about Jesus and what he is doing. SDA's typically, are too distracted to realize that consiously.
Believe me, you will be convicted on character issues before what you will be eating or drinking in your new found freedom in Christ! Give yourself a couple of years at least, and hang in there. Pray for continued protection of your thoughts. You will be so excited as God shows you your path. Yes, there will be much uncertainty and the degree of that will depend on how heavily indoctrinated you have been. Just thank God that your children will not have to unpack and shed that same baggage!
Sorry for rambling!
Post Number: 581
|Posted on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 11:38 am: || |
Wow, kme, what a story. Recently I asked my six year old granddaughter to tell me about school that day. She thought for a moment and then said, "I learned about Ellen White". And, she continued to tell me stories about EGW. I was appalled! This child was in kindergarten. I am so thankful for the forsite you and your husband had in getting your little son out of that environment.
Post Number: 15
|Posted on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 8:36 pm: || |
I have upset this week trying to process the message I heard on Sunday. Our Pastor just returned from 10 days in Haiti on a mission trip so we had a guest speaker as he was tired from the trip. The guest speaker shared the story of how when his daughter was three she was diagnosed with leukemia. The doctor told his wife that she would probably die, his wife said to the doctor I refuse to accept that report, I have God's report and it is different. She was enrolled in an experimental treatment protocol and of the 13 kids in it she is the only one still alive at the age of 24. He attributes this to their faith. This statement he made that his daughter was alive because of their faith was upsetting to me. I did not carry a full pregnancy because the baby's heart stopped beating. This experience immediately came to mind, and I thought to myself, did I not have enough faith at that time. I sincerely hope there was no one sitting in the congregation who lost a child to leukemia. To me it seemed like the guest pastor was putting faith in front of God. I spent several years working in an emergency room and still work in healthcare. I am very uncomfortable saying that people's children die because of their lack of faith.
I emailed our regular pastor my concerns and he agrees that if someone is not healed they should not be condemned because of lack of faith. Only God knows the heart and the reasons why things happen.
The guest pastor also said that getting old doesn't have to involve aches and pains, God doesn't want us to be sick. This made me think of all of the nursing home residents that I care for. I am not comfortable saying that because they are experiencing physical pain they are faithless people. I know some of them are devout christians.
Anyways, how often do you all hear things from the pulpit in your churches that you strongly disagree with? I realize this was a guest, but isn't the regular pastor still responsible for what is preached in his church? Should I take this as a cue to find another church, even though my kids thoroughly enjoy this church?
Post Number: 130
|Posted on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 8:53 pm: || |
God is sovereign. I can have faith that He will keep my electricity on and then if He doesn't, I can praise Him if I sit in the dark.
We have to be like Paul and be happy with much or little, and not let our faith waiver with our circumstances. Faith means that we trust God no matter what happens.
If that woman had a Word from God that her child would live, then she had every right to speak that in faith, but, by the same token, if the child had died, she would still have to believe that God knows what He is doing and she obviously didn't hear from Him.
Satan wants to put little doubts in our heads about the circumstances of this world. We do not know or even begin to comprehend God's plan, but like Peter said, "where else will we go, You have the Words of eternal life.:
Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
Pray for your pastor, he is human, pray for God to confirm to you that He wants you in this church or show you where He could better use you.
I agree, God doesn't want us sick, I don't believe that is His perfect will, but if the result of sin causes us to be sick, He will be there to encourage us and love us and we are only here for a little while.
Don't let the "what if's" and "why's" discourage your faith. As long as you remember that He orders your steps and wont let you fall, your faith will be in the right place.
It's wonderful that your children love the church, that is so important and moving them from a church they love is so hard on them, don't do anything drastic without a lot of prayer, God will let you know.
Praying for you,
Post Number: 395
|Posted on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 9:40 pm: || |
I agree with your assessment of the guest pastor possibly putting faith ahead of God, Busymom. We ultimately have to trust God with everything, even our health and lives and those of our children and families. I don't believe it's ever wrong to ask God for His intervention, but we can't think that we can "manipulate" God into doing what we want by having enough faith. Besides, what is our faith in?
I remember a great line our pastor said one Sunday about faith, He said, Our faith must be in God, not in faith itself. Faith is not a magic bullet. It is, rather, the gift from God that allows us to trust Him enough to give up to Him our desires and dreams and to be willing to accept Him and His gifts, whatever He chooses them to be.
I do agree 100% with Sabra; pray for your pastor(s). I believe that, unless you really get a nudging from God that you should move on or the teaching is less-than-biblical, sometimes it's important to stay and give your kids (and yourself) some continuity and also to commit to being part of the body of Christ there.
With prayers for you,
Post Number: 688
|Posted on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 11:28 pm: || |
The minister told this story about faith. It is a true story. He was 10 years old. Christmas was just coming up. He prayed and prayed that he would get a new bicycle for Christmas. He even told all his friends he was gettng a new bicycle for Christmas. He KNEW he would get the bicycle because he had prayed for it and he had faith that he would get it. Then he got up Christmas morning, went from his bedroom to the Chistmas tree to claim his new bike and THERE WAS NO BIKE! His parents fully knew he had prayed for the bike. They knew of his childish faith. They also knew God had greater things ahead for their son and God led his parents in teaching him a lesson in misplaced faith. When I heard him tell that story, well, for some reason it really hit home into my heart. When telling this story the pastor spoke of the wisdom of his parents in raising their children.
Post Number: 385
|Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 11:20 am: || |
busymom, I have a retarded child and I have had the same struggles...children are a gift from God, so what must I think if that is my gift? While I do believe God heals some, I also have to believe his will is not to heal others. Why? Who knows. I can only think that God is using the experience to create a more Christlike woman in me in a way he could not have done otherwise. People give lots of platitudes about how strong I must be blah, blah, blah, but that just sounds like my reward for strength is more suffering. I've had to find a contentment that most people can't comprehend and I can't explain. I ultimately had to put my daughter in a special needs program that requires her to live away from home. She is 14 now, but she acts like a 3 year old. She has another condition that causes her to lose her hair, so she not only acts weird, but she looks weird too. She is my child and I have learned more about how God can look at my broken, messed up life and still love me (unconditional love) than I could have probably imagined otherwise, but I still pray for her to be healed. For whatever reason, God has remained silent.
Not long ago, a family of 6 was coming home from somewhere and their van was swept off the road by a wall of water that jumped the highway. All of the family members drowned except the father. When he was interviewed by the media, he quoted the steven curtis chapman song saying "God is God and I am not." I can't imagine losing 4 children and a spouse in one freak accident of nature, but that is his reality. For several days he was in the news as his church rallied around him and the church got some good press for a change. Why did he survive? I'm not sure I would have wanted to in the same situation.
Only God knows the answer to why. But I understand your questions, frustration, and grief. Sometimes I feel led to "educate" people, other times I don't. Some of the platitudes are true, others may be true for others, just not me. What I know is that no human will be able to answer your questions completely no matter how hard they try or how well intentioned they may be. I chalk it up to contentment in all circumstances.
No real wisdom here, just wanted you to know you're not alone with loss and a child, though they're different, they're the same too.
Post Number: 16
|Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 7:08 pm: || |
Thank you Sabra for the encouraging words. Colleen I really like the line your pastor used re: faith. Thankyou Susan for sharing your story of faith. Melissa, I believe what you said is true. Only God knows the anwser as to why some things happen. I do not understand why I have had some of the losses that I have had in my life, but it does give you empathy for other people that have losses. I will pray for the pastor and the situation. Thank you.