Tuesday, September 23, 2014

No Giggling Allowed!

Today is Totally Terrific Testimonial Tell All Tuesday. My tell all would be this:

I have an issue with the basket being passed at church. I do. I might not have ever found it as weird of an event today as I do had I not belonged to a church that did not pass the basket each Sunday or any Sunday for that matter. As a matter of fact I cannot find one reference to Jesus passing a basket when he taught the multitudes. I do believe in sharing the wealth as led by the Holy Spirit. I just have a problem with the pomp and circumstance of the basket ceremony during worship.

This past Sunday, I tried out another church here in Reno. I won't mention the name because I don't feel it is my place to badmouth a church by name, but I will say this; I will not be going back to this one nor will I personally recommend them. As Mike suggested after we left, I dusted off my sandals and that is that. I will however share my experience as that is what I do.

We arrived 30 minutes early and as we were sitting on a bench outside where others were mingling, we noticed a sign on one of the doors that said, "Sunday School" and there were children already in the room. We sent our children in and discovered that this particular room was for third graders only. The teacher's assistant was kind enough to point us in the right direction for our youngest and she personally offered to escort Delilah to her class.

When I knocked on the door of the preschoolers, I received a somewhat chilling welcome being slightly scolded for being so late. I explained to the woman that we did not realize that Sunday School took place prior to Sunday Service as a whole and she allowed Jeffrey to attend the last 20 minutes of class. He went in happily so I decided to ignore my own feelings at the moment.

When the students were let out, our doors were opened and the family as a whole was permitted to enter the church. It started out great. A prayer, a word of encouragement and a couple of songs. The first one was "Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord" and the children were up and grooving to the tune quite joyfully as was I. The next song was one I had not heard before. One of its lines said, "Holy Spirit please come." and me being me, I know that the Holy Spirit walked in with me because the Holy Spirit is in me so I changed the words to reflect that. I was enjoying myself and did not notice that the very lady that had informed me how late I was in delivering Jeffrey to her classroom was now glaring at me. I only discovered this when Mike shared it with me on our way back home.

After the songs, they gave a little word and called the ushers forward. Bear in mind, my children have never been present at the passing of the basket so this was new to them. When the usher arrived at our row, he promptly handed the basket to Michael whose face lit up at the sight of all the money. I could just see the wheels turning in his head and I quickly said one word out loud, "NO!" To which he looked at me and I motioned for him to give the plate like metal basket back to the usher. Sitting right behind Michael was a row that was void of any adults. Only six year old Delilah and her nine year old sister Marissa were occupying that row and yet the usher handed Delightful Delilah the plate full of money. In comparison to Michael's face, Delilah's lit up like the fourth of July. I quickly told her to give the plate back to the man to which Delilah began giggling nervously. As I was shaking my head at her mouthing for her to please stop, I was tapped on the shoulder by someone. When I turned to see who wanted me, I realized it was Jeffrey's teacher. She whispered, "Is this your first time in church?" to which I answered, "This is our first time here but not our first time to church."

She then looked at me and said, "Well, here we expect the children to sit still and be quiet."

Before I even knew I was going to do it, I stood up and said, "Everyone, it is time to go." She seemed genuinely surprised by my reaction and said in a rush, "Oh my God! You don't have to leave!" to which I replied, "Oh yes, yes I do!" and then I stated a little louder to my group, "Get up. We are leaving now!"

There is little question to when I am serious and when I mean move it and move it out of there my family did. I watched this busy body rush to another member in the church and begin gossiping. I felt sorry for her. How happy I am that I don't just 'show up' on Sunday. This lady showed no love in any interaction I had with her and this is the chilling thought; she is teaching the youngest children about God!

One day I pray that I can have my own church like the one that helped me grow spiritually by leaps and bounds without shoving a basket in my face week after week reminding me that it is my duty to donate to them for such teachings. I want my members to recognize the tug at their heart to give as they are directed to by the Holy Spirit. I don't ever want anyone to give out of guilt for that is not how we are meant to do things. I think many people are turned off by the basket and the guilt teachings that go along with the ceremony. Perhaps I am alone in this thinking but I somehow think I might not be. I am still searching for a home church and I will continue to search until I start my own!

This week I am beginning another college course. For the next five weeks I am taking a deep dive into understanding the Psalms and I am truly excited about it! This weeks discussion was on
Psalm 1: 1-3:

PSALM 1:1-3 (NASB)

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

We were asked to share our thoughts regarding what we thought the psalmist was trying to say, as well as to how we thought the psalm applied to today's time. We were urged to think about something that might need clarified as well as asked if there was anything that stood out to us. This was my response to the reading:

To me the psalmist is sharing how blessed one is when they meditate on the Law of the Lord day and night, constantly feeding their mind with God's truth and wisdom. God's word is a VITAL part of our armor. I believe when a person constantly renews their minds with God's Word, they are able to see through the 'unwise counsel of the wicked'. This is why he who delights in the Lord and his law is strengthened and able to stand firmly like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit. 
The world is full of worldly things as well as worldly people. It is easy to get caught up in the glamour of it all and be pulled into the wake of sinners or to be lulled in by the scoffers of the world. This is why we are advised to put on the full armor of the Lord. Never once are we told it is going to be easy but we are reminded of the treasure we will gain in being devoted to giving God the best part of us each morning and going to Him throughout the day as well as never forgetting to close each day out with a final conversation. In doing so we will prosper because we will always know day by day and minute by minute who we are in Christ and our eyes will always be open to the schemes of the devil.
How does this apply to today? Today is no different than any day since the beginning. Satan is in this world. He wants to keep you out of a relationship with the Lord and he certainly does not want you to discover who you are in Christ. I walked with the Lord as a child but I knew nothing about reading His word. You could easily say I was without a vital part of my armor and I was easily swayed. We all need to study the Word of God; those of us in days gone by, those of us in the world today and those of us yet to come. 
Does something need clarified or refined? Maybe if the Psalmist had switched up the order of His Psalm beginning with He who delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on His Word morning and night, will find himself strengthened and He will be able to stand firmly yielding the fruit of the Spirit despite being surrounded by the doubters and lost of the world. Through it all, he will prosper no matter what the world throws in his direction. 
The phrase that stands out to me is "But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night." This is due to a couple of reasons:
(1) We read in God's Word that the Lord delights in us so it only makes sense that we should delight in Him.
(2) Without beginning and ending your day with God's Word (The Law) one is left open to the fiery arrows that the evil one constantly launches.
Wendy

Today I am thankful that I know who I am in Christ. I am thankful I know that the Holy Spirit is in me and I am thankful that my children think it is okay to giggle in God's house. Had they been laughing during prayer or when someone was talking, I could have understood this woman's reaction. However, they were giggling at each other and the fact that they had thought that they were being given money when that was not the case. I am thankful that I am confident in God's love and don't have to rely on 'playing church'. 

Father today I pray that you continue to teach me your truth. I pray I am successful enough in my studies to one day be an ordained minister. I pray that I always teach the truth and share the Love of God in all I do. In Jesus name I pray! Amen!

Wendy, walks with God, Mom of Many.

© Wendy Glidden 2014

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