Posts Tagged ‘Church’

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Many churches of all persuasions are hiring research agencies to poll neighborhoods, asking what kind of church they prefer. Then the local churches design themselves to fit the desires of the people. True faith in God that demands selflessness is being replaced by trendy religion that serves the selfish.

Billy Graham

So I read this quote from Billy Graham today and it hit me over the head like a hammer. In the back of my mind I may have known churches were doing this but I never fully understood the reason why. Guys simply put, if we tailor our religion to only what we want to hear, or rather only a “feel good” message, God cant help us because we are to busy enjoying ourselves to hear Him.

This idea behind what Billy Graham is saying was never Gods intent for our Christian walk. But I do think it is Satan’s. Think about it; If Satan can bend our churches into only telling us what we want to hear, then we are truly lost. Why? Because Satan can make you think there is no pain for your entire life…that is, right up until you are on the edge of the cliff, and then when you look over, you see a place that you do not want to spend eternity in…

Please listen to me here. God never intended that the life of a Christian was just perfect and great all of the time. I know I have spoken about this before in previous blogs. There will be pain and suffering while we are here on this earth. So you can either run from that or stand there like a man, be strong, and fight the fight you were meant to. Only YOU can make that decision.

Honestly guy’s that is what this blog’s purpose has been since the start. It is based upon the powerful verse in Proverbs 27:17:

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

So what I am saying is simply this and to Billy Graham’s quote above; If your church situation isn’t challenging your heart to repent each week and to live your life as Christ lived…then I would find one that does. Every single time you are there your Pastor should be causing you to think about your relationship with God. He should be challenging you to come out of your comfort zone in order to love others. There is truly no greater service than helping those around us…

Let me finish by saying this because I truly believe it. When you and I reach heaven someday, I believe that God will look for those of us who have scars on our bodies and hearts because of the fights we fought while here on earth. In eternity, God wants to be surrounded by Christians who were active for Him and not ones who atrophied while they were here.

I challenge you today to live your life fully accountable to God and not to simply feeling good…

This life as a Christian may hurt now and then, but the payoff will be amazing…

Until next time guys…

993638_698774176803550_1674023202_n (1)Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured left) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service….only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food….NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit n the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation……..”We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek”….The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation…..

The homeless man sitting in the back stood up…..and started walking down the aisle…..the clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him….he walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment….then he recited…

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?


The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning…many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame…. he then said….

Today I see a gathering of people……not a church of Jesus Christ.

The world has enough people, but not enough disciples…when will YOU decide to become disciples? He then dismissed service until next week…….

Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others.

Until next time guys…

Every now and then I run across a poem/ story that really speaks to me. Some of them are kind of old-fashioned, like this one, but others are just good stories told well.  This one is an instant classic to me because it reeks of the cliché:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”

All of us, at one time or another, have met someone and came to a conclusion simply based upon the way someone looked. Don’t deny it…because we ALL do this. The question is, when we find out we were wrong in our judgement, what do we do then?  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…

 

my-old-shoes

I showered and shaved and I adjusted my tie.

I got there and sat in a pew just in time.

Bowing my head in prayer as I closed my eyes.

I saw the shoe of the man next to me touching my own and I sighed.

With plenty of room on either side I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine. But it sure didn’t bother him much.

A prayer began: ‘Our Father’ I thought, this man with the shoes, has no pride.

They’re dusty, worn, and scratched. Even worse, there are holes on the side!

‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on. The shoe man said a quiet ‘Amen.’

I tried to focus on the prayer but my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren’t we supposed to look our best when walking through that door?

‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise began.

The shoe man was certainly loud-sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters his hands were raised high.

The Lord could surely hear the shoe man’s voice from the sky.

It was time for the offering and what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the shoe man reached into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out what the shoe man put in.

Then I heard a soft ‘clink’. As when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me to tears, and that’s no lie.

It was the same for the shoe man for tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service as is the custom here.

We must greet new visitors and show them all good cheer.

But I felt moved somehow and wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark and his hair was truly a mess.

But I thanked him for coming and for being our guest.

He said, ‘my names Charlie I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’

There were tears in his eyes but he had a large wide grin.

‘Let me explain,’ he said, still wiping those tears from his eyes.

‘I’ve been coming here for months and you’re the first to say ‘Hi.”

‘I know that my appearance is not like all the rest. ‘But I really do try to always look my best.’ ‘I always polish and clean my shoes before my very long walk’.

‘But by the time I get here, they’re dirty and dusty and just like chalk.’The_old_Man_and_the_Sea

My heart filled with pain and I swallowed my tears as he continued to apologize for daring to sit so near. He said, ‘When I get here I know I must look a sight.’ ‘But I thought if I could touch you then maybe our souls might unite.’

I was silent for a moment knowing whatever was said, would pale in comparison. So I spoke from my heart and not my head.

‘Oh, you’ve touched me,’ I said ‘and taught me in part; ‘that the best of any man is what is found in his heart.’ The rest, I thought, this shoe man will never know.

Like just how thankful I really am that his dirty old shoe touched my soul

 

Until next time guys…