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Sermon notes

One of my intentions had been to start a category on this blog whereby I make notes of the sermons of my church. We have a new Pastor at my church and I’ve heard several weeks of sermons now. I’ve made notes, asked questions, but hesitated to make any posts.

The reason is that I’ve found that the man who has been called to pastor our church is not qualified to preach the Scriptures. An example of this claim is as follows: upon asking him his position on women being pastors and teaching over men in the church, he stated that the scriptures that deal with that issue were about a cultural issue that the apostle Paul was addressing. He admitted that the qualifications for an elder do not permit a woman to lead as pastor but that the forbidding of teaching and speaking in church was a cultural problem and not a command for today.

There’s a problem with his interpretation of Scripture, however, as Paul mentions Adam and Eve following his admonition that A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. ” 1 Timothy 2:11-12 NIV

In mentioning Adam and Eve, we see that Paul is setting a precedent of God’s appointed order of how things should run, rather than addressing some local, cultural issue. The full passage is as follows:

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.  [1 Timothy 2:11-14 NIV]

I am saddened that this is far from the only example I have of how the man has failed to properly teach the Scriptures.

So as not to cause disruption and agitation at my church, and to keep from the temptation to be a source of division in that church, I have prayerfully decided to start looking elsewhere for Sunday worship. I’ve found some churches in my area noted on the 9Marks website (church search section is here: 9Marks Church Search ) and, Lord willing, will be visiting those places in the coming Sundays.

Prayerfully,

patricia grace

 

Discipling

My church has no formal setup for discipleship. I am so lonely and in so much need of help, wisdom, and instruction. The especially frustrating part is that many in my church are older, seasoned Christians, no longer raising children and no longer holding formal jobs.

As my 2nd job has me working many Sundays, I attended our prayer service last night, since there’s always a chance I may not make it to Sunday service. Once again, I met kind, warm Christians who inquire after my welfare and tell me that they are praying for me. I need the prayers! But, I have concrete needs as well.

I am in danger of falsely judging my Christian brothers and sisters. I don’t know what is going on in their own lives, but our Pastor, taking a break from normal expository preaching, has been teaching through our church covenant–which includes much about the “one anothers” of Scripture and about discipling–and I know there is much agreement about these commands, but I don’t see it in action. Lots of “amens” heard during the service, but I don’t see how it’s lived out.

I asked a lady at church with whom I’ve gotten closer about whether or not she had a disciple or was discipled, or had an accountability partner. She said she had partnered with another lady who attends our Wednesday evening service, as her own church doesn’t hold a prayer service, and they encourage one another, memorize Scripture together, pray together…She confirmed that there is no formal process at our church, just an expectation that we should be doing things like this with one another. *sigh*

I’ve put it out there several times, to several people, that I am starved for fellowship. I’ve opened my home to others, offered help to others, and made it clear that I am in need. (True, I’ve shunned opportunities for fellowship in the past, and I regret doing so. Lord forgive me. I see the need now, and now that I am lonely, I see how I should have taken opportunities to foster community long ago, before I ended up in such trying circumstances).

One thing that has got me confused is that I’ve learned that several people in my church own multiple properties and are landlords, but no one seems to have a place for me. It’s widely known that after my house sells, I do not have a place to live, other than moving back to my mom’s house. I have made clear that we don’t have enough equity in the home to be able to profit so much that I could secure another home.  I have, however, made clear that I am willing to work, that I am working, and that I am seeking more work.

I can’t say that we should all be giving away our property–I won’t go that far, and I don’t expect free housing from my brothers and sisters in Christ. However, it is troubling that none of these has even made a temporary offer. PLEASE note, I am not asking for free housing, just someone to say “We can help you until the Lord makes clear the path you should take; pay what you can, take care of the place, until you can afford to pay us market rent prices or can move elsewhere”. Perhaps their properties are already under leasing contracts.  Again, I know I shouldn’t judge, as that may very well be the case.

Mostly, I’m just discouraged and hurting and tired of holding it all inside where it’s festering.

It IS still confusing, however, when the majority opinion is that we should not be seeking government assistance, but should be working and earning our own bread. But, when the work doesn’t earn enough to pay bills….then what? Shouldn’t we be filling in the gap for our brothers and sisters?

One lady, the one I mentioned above, has opened her home to me. I may have mentioned before, that I stayed with her for a weekend. Delightful home and delightful lady. But, there isn’t really much room for me. The bed I slept in “has issues” she told me, and asked that I keep to one side of the bed.  The bedroom door doesn’t shut all the way. There are no blinds or drapes that completely give privacy in the room; in fact, other than the bathroom, the windows are not covered throughout the house and all is visible from the outside after dark. There was no empty closet to use and the bedroom has all available spaces filled with her own personal items and toys for when her grandchild visits.

This dear lady, who became a widow not long ago, has opened up a modest space to me, while the wealthier among us have remained silent.

I am being selfish? Am I missing something here? What would you do if you were in my situation?

How wonderful to be in a place where you can give to others. I look forward to the day when the Lord may put me again in a position to be a giver and not the one with so much need. I love to give and I know that is a gift and power from the Lord. I know another thing for certain–my circumstances have caused me to be more sensitive to others who may be in need. Instead of so much judging of others and allowing envy to overtake me, I suppose I should ask the Lord for opportunities to be serving others even in my needy state. That certainly seems more Christian. Now, if He will just give the power and strength to do it. Believe me when I say (er, write) that I know how ungrateful this reads. Will you pray that God help my tired, ungrateful, confused heart?

 

So Tired,

patricia grace

 

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in church, Finances, Giving, Trials

 

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