there for us to use, but for him to use us.
Why, when a person says they are a Christian, do other people start to think
you said you're perfect? Nowhere in the definition of the word Christian does it
say this. I have many flaws and many faults. Some I know, and some I don't. No
one is perfect, or we wouldn't need forgiveness, nor would there be wars. Or even
a need for a God.
I find it heartbreaking how very many times I have to explain to people I'm
not perfect. Yes, I'm a Christian and try to be good and do good. But I'm not
able to be 100%. No matter how hard I try, I would and could never be 100%.
Should I, too, be nailed to the cross for mistakes? Treated poorly because, wow, in
my past, I did something I forgot about? I have noticed temperaments online tend
to be a lot shorter than in real life. No one would so rudely to my face go off
about anything. But online, where sitting behind a screen hiding from the world,
it's easy to say what one wouldn't have the guts to any place else.
Being a Christian, at least by today's terms means, following the teachings of
Christ. It doesn't say "Perfect" or "Trying to be perfect." or "God-like." So yes,
I will do things wrong. Yes, I sin and continue to sin. This is why I pray and
ask God not only for forgiveness and strength and guidance to not keep on
Throwing in my face, my testimony only shows ignorance of the person doing so.
Clearly, they know nothing about Christ's teachings. If they even read it, to
begin with. More education about this issue is called for. And one way
to start that is not remaining silent and being branded.
Growing up going to a Protestant church, I never really cared about God. But
I tried very hard to be a good kid. As well as please my parents and go to
church every Sunday. My mother was big in the church. She was a Sunday school
teacher as well as a VBS (Vacation Bible School) organizer. She made VBS fun.
However, she made church hell. No matter how well-behaved we were in the church,
it seemed it was never good enough. We (us four kids) would return home to
punishment. This taught us church equals punishment. It wasn't long after we moved
houses that we stopped going to church. At the same time, my family was growing
up and was leaving the house.
Protestants are prim and proper and never have any kind of fun in church.
(Please do not take offense to this, this is what I experienced.) They sit
there, sing and listen, then leave. They also believe full-body baptism gets you
into Heaven, which my brother Scott and I had done together. Not really knowing
what it meant, plus I didn't feel anything even after it was done. But I
believed at the time that should I have died, I would go to Heaven.
It was my brother Scott who changed all our lives. He started going to a
church my mother made fun of, calling it a "holy rollers church" where they
shout and roll around all over the floors. She made it scary. It was only after
her death that I would attend my brother's church for the first time. I had asked
to go before, but he pushed me away, saying how I wouldn't like it. Though I felt
he worried I would embarrass him in front of his girlfriend's family.
April 4, 1993. My brother's car tires got sliced for the third and final
time. I was up and dressed, hair and makeup done as I watched his car being
fixed. My brother Scott being late for church, seeing I was up and ready, turned
to me before walking out the door. "Want to go with us?" I was thrilled finally
to have the chance to see what's going on in my brother's life. I jumped at the
chance and went.
Walking into the church, it didn't feel cold like our old church. The church
felt warm and happy. They were already singing as the service had already
started. It was nice. Everyone was standing up and singing, unlike my old church
where they stood, and a few sang. These songs were joyous and beautiful and not
the typical "He" or "Rock of Ages." These were rock songs! In fact, I came to
learn that church is meant to be like a rock concert, a massive celebration of the
love of God.
We quietly walked in and took our seats, and the minister began preaching. I
had met the minister before my mother's death, and he was a babe! So I was
more than happy to watch and listen. However, he was NOTHING like I experienced
before. He didn't stand behind the pulpit all the time. He didn't just talk. He
banged the pulpit, and he made me jump, he shouted. He walked up and down the isles.
He grabbed hold of you and kept you awake and listening. He was passionate,
entertaining, fun, and even funny.
It was nearing the end of the service, and I was relieved. I felt exhausted
just listening to the guy. But something started to happen. Something I never
knew about or could understand in any way, shape, or form. Something I never even
heard of. The minister asked if anyone wanted to come forward for prayer. I
thought to myself, how embarrassing. Going in front of the whole church, and
believe me, it was packed! Going forward was the last thing I would ever want to
do. I checked marked in my mind of something I didn't like about this church and
thought, it's over, we can go home now. Thanks for sharing this with me.
But as I looked at the pastor, my body began to shake. I started to get chills
all over my body from head to toe. I quickly glanced at my brother Scott and his
soon-to-be wife. He didn't notice. I thought, "I'm safe. No one is noticing." I
tried hard to ignore what was going on. It wasn't working. I began uncontrolled
crying. I couldn't believe it! What was happening to me? I tried hard to choke
back the tears. I didn't want to go forward. I wanted to go home now more than
ever! Scott looked at me, and touched my arm, and asked. "Do you want to go
forward?" I couldn't speak!!! I just looked at him shaking and crying. He led me
forward, no idea who all else followed. They had a railing around the stage, in
which I was motioned to kneel to and bow with my head down. I did.
crying, the pastor came over to me and people laid their hands over me, and
prayed. I even heard others speaking in tongues over me as they prayed. The
pastor asked me if I believed Jesus was sitting at the right hand of God. Of
course, I believed this, as it's written in the Bible. I said yes. He took my
hands, and we prayed together. It seemed like ages, and people had left the church. I
had finally stopped crying and cleaned my face. My brother and the pastor helped
me up, and as I walked down the aisle to the exit of the church, it felt as though
I was floating. I looked down to check to make sure I was walking on the ground.
I could swear I wasn't. I told the pastor this, and he informed me that the
weight of my sins was lifted from me. The backpack of all my troubles was
finally laid in God's hands to deal with, thus the weightlessness. I had
finally been saved. It was days after for the weightlessness effect to wear off.
After this, I did and much research to make sure it was real because I wanted
to know what occurred. I discovered I received gifts when I got
saved. Not only had I got the Holy Spirit, but I got spiritual gifts as well! I
had always had the ability of visions that foretold the future, which come in
dream form. But now I also received the gifts of discernment, prophecy, 'word of
knowledge' and MAYBE 'word of wisdom.' Discernment most everyone gets when they
get saved. This helps you to know what's right and wrong. But because I'm a very
open person physically, spiritually, and mentally, I was more open to the effects
of this gift. When I hear something, which I KNOW, is wrong, I feel very sick.
When I read something that I KNOW is wrong, I feel very ill. This came in handy
with all my religious research. These gifts I mentioned aren't the only ones I
received either. Even now, I am still discovering all that I was given. Just like
how I said that I might have the gift of 'word of wisdom.' Only time will tell
if I have that. It usually goes hand and hand with the other gifts I got. But I
may not have gotten it. Either way, I am more than happy with what all God has
done for me. And maybe now, you will see things a bit differently too.
Many people experience things differently as we are all different. Just as
many people believe differently, some believe once saved always saved. Some
don't. That is totally up to the individual; don't let anyone push their beliefs
on you. You have free will; use it to decide for yourself. I decided to share
this because I hope others can experience a difference in their life as well.
Many think that just because they accept Christ as Savior, their life will
be perfect, it's not like that. Let me share an example with you.
A young man gets on a plane. The steward says, "Here's a parachute. Keep this
on and with you at all times." Well, it's a long flight, and it's digging in on
his back and hurting. He's uncomfortable and getting annoyed with it. So he
takes it off and puts it under his seat. Midway through the flight, the plane
goes down. He dies. Now, let's try again with how it really is. A young man gets
on a plane, and the steward hands him a parachute and says, "Here, keep this with
you and on you at all times. This plane is going to go down, and this will save
your life. It's going to be a bit of a pain, but it will save you." The man keeps
it on even though 7 hours into the flight, nothing has happened yet. He's
uncomfortable and annoyed but keeps it on, as he knows it's going to save his
life. Sure enough, the plane goes down, and the guy lives. This is a prime
example of what happens. People get saved and think life's going to be perfect.
It's not. It will be challenging, but you will be saved in the end. A fault is many
people who strive to get others saved don't let them know this simple truth. So
when you hear a person say they tried religion, that's fine and dandy, but they
clearly haven't tried God. I love you God, without you today, I am nothing.
Click here to read God's
love letter to you.
Please know this is my experience, and I have been to many churches like my
mothers in the past, so in my experience and my testimony, I can say it as I see
it. Why lie? Please keep in mind this was the 80's when I went to the Protestant
Church. Things may have changed by now. As I stated, I got saved in 1993. I
currently attend another church. As the years pass, so do I grow in the Lord. If a church
can't keep up with me, then I am to move on. There is nothing wrong with looking
for a new church that meets your needs. We are to be filled with the spirit, not
I know many people in the past who have read my testimony and been upset one
way or another. Saying how not all churches are the same. I know this, but once
again, this was my experience. Not yours. The churches I attended during the
time period of this being written are as I explained. I am sorry if your church
NOW is different than what I experienced THEN.
This is my walk, I can't please everyone, but I can please God.