Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Strange Conversation


My Pastor called me while at work yesterday and we had this strange conversation. It wasn't strange on his part, but on mine and after we hung up I thought to myself, "poor Pastor Danny got an earful today with not one word of encouragement. He probably hung up and thought, Yikes! I'll think twice before I call her again!"

I guess I've been in a blue introspective mood lately. You see, a few days ago was my 23rd Birthday...spiritually speaking that is. 23 years ago I made the decision to give my life to the Lord. Up to that point I had made such a mess out of my life that I thought, "if He created me then He must be the expert on how to run my life." I simply failed when it came to reading the owners manual.

He led me down paths I never would have chosen for myself and asked me to do some things that left me quaking in my shoes, but with each "ask" I learned that He was always beside me gently encouraging me to continue following. The first several years were some of the most difficult of my life, but I wouldn't trade those experiences or tears for all the riches this world has to offer.

So why am I so blue? It's something that I've felt in my heart for quite some time now, but have been unable to put down in words. When I first became a Christian everything was new and exciting as if I was truly seeing the world for the first time. I spent hours reading my Bible, going to every study that I could find, asking questions and searching out the answers in scripture, but above all else I wanted to be pleasing in His sight. I wanted for Him to look down from His throne and say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." And, it wasn't just me. It was everyone that I went to church with or a person that I would meet in a store or on the beach and I just knew that there was something different about them, and so I would ask..."do you know the Lord, are you a believer?" My question was always met with a joyful "YES!" And a new friendship would be formed.

23 years into my relationship with Him and I still desire to please Him. Don't get me wrong. I'm no goody two shoes and I've spent plenty of time thumping people on their heads with my Bible (I think it was more like pounding and beating) who I know didn't appreciate it. Sure, I could have used more compassion, but I felt this fervent desire for everyone to know what I now know.
I had passion! AND CONVICTION! Something I feel is missing in the church today. No one feels convicted about their sin. We used to hear of God's Holiness taught from the pulpit and sexual purity and what is required of us as believers and followers of Jesus. it breaks my heart seeing new believers who are comfortable continuing in old habits and living as if there are no consequences.
What has happened to the church? I'll tell you what I think? I think we are so afraid of offending people that we've watered down the Word of God. We've hidden our lights under a basket and we've lost our ability to be salt in the world. I just wonder what is it going to take to wake us up!

Oh! I haven't seen my Pastor since that conversation so it will be interesting to see what happens when I do. I think I should probably apologize.

6 comments:

Pat said...

Hi Cori -- This was a very introspective and revealing post! Thanks for sharing your conversion and happy 23 year of walking with the Lord!

Do you really think the Word of God is being watered down? I often think about how Jesus was so accepting of all, both sinners and those new to the path. The Prodigal son was always a parable that troubled me when I was young, as I always felt that a there was too much attention and celebration given to the sinner while the good son was ignored and taken for granted . Then I realized that was the point --- the good don't need the strokes, but those struggling to become good, do. They need encouragement and they sometimes need to be eased into the way. Perhaps that is what your Pastor has been trying to accomplish?

I'm still trying to catch up since being home -- no surprises, but I have a very dificult task to do on Friday and I'd love if you say a little prayer for me! Thanks!

Hugs, Pat

Pat said...

Hi Cori -- This was a very introspective and revealing post! Thanks for sharing your conversion and happy 23 year of walking with the Lord!

Do you really think the Word of God is being watered down? I often think about how Jesus was so accepting of all, both sinners and those new to the path. The Prodigal son was always a parable that troubled me when I was young, as I always felt that a there was too much attention and celebration given to the sinner while the good son was ignored and taken for granted . Then I realized that was the point --- the good don't need the strokes, but those struggling to become good, do. They need encouragement and they sometimes need to be eased into the way. Perhaps that is what your Pastor has been trying to accomplish?

I'm still trying to catch up since being home -- no surprises, but I have a very dificult task to do on Friday and I'd love if you say a little prayer for me! Thanks!

Hugs, Pat

grey like snuffie said...

Some of what you shared seems to be common experiences in my part of the world with people who have been walking with Him for YEARS. I do believe God is waking us up to realize that it's not what it used to be in the passionate relationship with Him. THAT'S EXCITING TO BE THINKING THIS---that means God is doing something. A stirring for something more always leads to refreshment with Him. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" James 4:8 We probably all need to refresh ourselves on the verses around that one.

ellen b. said...

There are bodies of Christ out there that are hitting the nail on the head with this whole sexual purity deal, etc. (the church my kids just joined in Seattle area for one) God is still sovereign and in control and we can rest in that. God loves you and all the emotions you are going through and He will direct your paths. Speaking of paths when are we going to tea? :0) Is there a day during the week that you are free?

Marye said...

Cori...I agree. It has become about the programs in many churches..how to fill the chairs....how to increase the tithes..how to be more user friendly..
The Lord was accepting of the unsaved..but once people professed to know God and yet did not walk in it He was not so nice to...ie the pharisees.
Not only that but he says in Rvelations that He likes cold better than lukewarm...
Christianity is about compassion ..yes...but it is about PASSION and believing in something so much that you would rather die than dishonor it...too many christians can't even give up soap operas let alone thier lives.
so...move over..and share your soapbox with me, hmm?
marye
kettleandcup.com

Margie said...

The Bible says that it will get worse, people will not want to hear the truth, they will not want to hear instruction from the Word. And they don't. They want to hear a nice little speech and go home thinking they did their duty for the week by going to church on Sunday. Alot of those churches are full and have big congregations.

Those pastors are going to be held accountable to God for how they are leading their flock. They are responsible for them. They don't want to offend anyone so they don't teach the truth. But this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I'm fortunate enough to have a pastor who KNOWS he's going to be held responsible, and he preaches the truth. Our congregation is very small, but God is blessing it. You have to look long and hard to find a church that doesn't water down the Word today, but there are some out there, for sure.

I'm not sure I understand if you are unsatisfied with your church, or you are just making a general observation, but if you are not being fed where you're going, don't stay out of loyalty, find a place that preaches the Word, you won't be happy until you do.

Margie :)