Things I learned from Joyce that I already knew and maybe forgot

“Let’s get over our sweet little selves and do something.”

She was talking about giving and doing.   In case you don’t know who I’m talking about, I’m talking about Joyce Meyer.  And in case you just went into a mental balisticon over television preachers that say to give seed offerings or why women should keep silence in the church, that women shouldn’t preach or something about the evils of the filthy rich charletons’ private jets, save it. You obviously haven’t listened to Joyce Meyer, nor have you taken a look at her financials posted on the www to know that a clean 80 cents of every dollar that comes into the ministry goes overseas to dig wells and feed people.  So listen up…

She addressed the attitude of wasting time on doctrine when she spoke of those of us who are still stuck on the constant argument of baby baptism vs. immersion.  I love her answer….

“So do them both! Then get off it and do something for somebody else!”

Here’s another thing —  works vs. faith.  I object to any church telling me what my mission is.  Nursery is not it.  President of Women’s Circle is not it.  Leader of vacation Bible school is not it.  Been there, done that, crashed and burned.  If you’re talking about salvation, it’s faith in Jesus that saves.  Works don’t earn salvation nor do works earn points in heaven when you do good works for points.  (motive, motive, motive).  Joyce points out that we are to follow Jesus’ example.  He rose each day and went about doing good.  We should then do good because doing good is a good thing to do without thinking how good you are.

How simple is that?  She went a step further to state that no longer would she ask God for an angel appearance or hold a 4 week seminar on hearing from God before she donated a ten spot somewhere to know for sure if giving the $10 is God’s will.  Her new deal with God is that He is to stop her from giving, that she’s going to give and do until He says don’t do that, you’ve done quite enough.

“Indifference finds an excuse.  Love finds a way.”

What would happen if we all adopted that attitude?  Take it another step.  Put cash in the plate.  Send cash to a ministry with no return address, no way for the ministry to know you gave, no trace of your donation to report to the IRS for a tax deduction and therefore no credit to you to prove how wonderful you are.  Hmmmm……

Do we know how to forgive and why? Do it.  You don’t need to study it again.

Have we heard enough yet on the basics?

Max Lucado’s story on the candles in the closet who won’t come out to light the room for a multitude of reasons — too shy, still studying, need a sign — is a classic.

Things I learned from Joyce Meyer today — somebody out there needs me now.


The Preacher

Our minister has started a series regarding Biblical truths.  I don’t remember all the titles listed on the poster, so I guess you’ll just have to tune in regularly to get my nutshell interpretations.

To make things perfectly clear up front, the man’s first name is the same as my son’s so to make things easy rather than clarifying each time I refer to either man as “son” or “preacher,” my son will be named and the preacher will hitherto be known as Preacher.  If he minds, (if he evens reads me!), he’ll have to say something.  Yo, Preacher! Good sermon today!

The series is about Biblical Truths.  Today’s message was Biblical Worldview.  The bottom line was that the Bible is a whole teaching, the instruction manual.  You don’t get to pick out what you like and diss the rest of it.  It’s a whole.  It says God created the earth as you see it in seven days.  Deal.

Personally, I don’t want to waste precious time on a God who can’t create.

The Bible is for our instruction and correction.  We need both. Recognize we have pride and pride is a stench in God’s nostrils, so deal that one out.

Either the world view of secularism, humanism, polytheism, and I’m-okay-you’re-okay-ism is acceptable or the Bible is absolute.  Pick one.  There is no mixing.  Deal.

The preceding was the short version.  People told me today Preacher preached almost an hour.  I was saved in a pentecostal congregation that, among other things,  included tongues, speaking in, prophesying in, and interpretation of.  They prayed long and preached hard.  Or was it the other way around?  Either way or both ways, an hour sermon is not a problem.

Rock on, Preacher.  These are the last days.  the politically correct will faint away.  The bride needs a personal trainer, and the Holy Spirit is ready.  I can deal.  Let’s roll.

What do you think about how to dress for church?

Let’s talk. When the professional women on TV shows like the CSIs are bringing rapists to justice and their own tops are so low cut the FCC says they can’t raise their arms, our society continues to receive the mixed message that it’s ok to bare more than our souls but nobody gets to stare or glance.

Dear Abby: Can I wear my swim trunks to church? My answer is “I don’t want to know what you’re wearing under your clothes.”

When Jesus says that people judge the outward but God is looking at the heart, does that mean that as long as women don’t show up in clear heels looking like they need an aluminum pole to dance around, appearance is really a secondary matter?

Our youth leaders work so hard to present the gospel to our children. Then, when puberty attacks, MTV tells them that sex is love and love is sex and they dress the part. Our boys too see the costuming as normal. How do they keep their eyes off the girls’ body parts and on Jesus? Do they even think they should?

I suggest that maybe the older women who should be examples to the young girls don’t know how to dress themselves. I gave the example of the mature woman with mature cellulite having poured herself into stretch pants. She’s covered but with what? Paint? See also the reference to choir robes at the door.

Click continue to get my take on it then let me know your thoughts.

Continue reading

Sunday School is not for sissies

The very term Sunday School sounds like it’s designed and limited to children. So it is. I am a child of God and I am instructed to be childlike in my faith.

Sunday School at Cameron Church was stiffly structured. It worked for us, gave us a solid foundation. These days I don’t think that system would fly with our Entertainment Generation. Our teachers both at school and church didn’t have to compete with Sesame Street or Clifford the Big Red Dog, or MTV, or Power Rangers, or video games. Howdy Doody had his time slot and stayed there. And our parents were upstairs in their own classes so behavior was not an issue. Details are a whole ‘nother blog.

In the 21st century, a 4 year degree with a side dish of psychology is needed to keep the Bible education fires burning. At SHCC, the children’s ministry is blooming. The youth group, needing another total style, is bearing fruit.

Our adult class is downright fun. Our most recent additions, Tom and Laurie, who BTW operate The Wedding Bell Chapel complete with a drive through window, tried every church within a practical distance before they settled on us. In the food court of Mall of the Churches, what they were looking for was not just the alive dessert service but one with a meat and vegetable education department. “Where’s the beef?”

We recently completed an overview of the end times and Jesus’ return, the signs and the events. How exciting! Some people don’t want to discuss it. People, this is not the same as dying. This is the ultimate transition. We won’t be leaving our saved loved ones and they won’t be leaving us. No mourning! We’re together here and suddenly we’re together forever there. This future is beyond humans’ ability to describe it. I won’t have any trouble leaving the present. This future appears to be really, really, really close.

That said, we are starting a two book side by side study–Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now and Joyce Meyer’s Seven Things That Steal Your Joy. It’s good to enjoy the journey however short or long. I’ll share choice nuggets.

“Sunday School” conjures up memories of crinoline, white patent leather shoes with the icky socks, little chairs, the same songs I heard the year before and something newer and harder to memorize. Times changed, I changed. We’re serving beef—sometimes the conversation resembles a really fun food fight. And this is good. Come and dine with us.