I figured it would be nice to share my history with you. So here goes…
I was raised a Catholic and, though we went to church every Sunday, we never opened the Bible at home. We were observant of the Christian holy days, of course, but for some reason, God was more a mystery than a Father. We called our priests ‘father’.
I remember going to church and being bored most of the time. I didn’t listen closely to what was being said and I felt much of what was being said wasn’t directed at me anyway. I did enjoy the music and the get-togethers, but church was just not something we did at home.
Then, when I got older I began to question my ‘faith’. What was it all about? Who was God? Who was this guy, Jesus?
I began to attend different churchs and denominations to try and find answers. I found that most denominations agree on the fundamentals like sin and eternity, but their approaches were all different.
The Nazarenes were pretty cool, but they didn’t believe in the contemporary dispensation of the spiritual gifts. They think all of that ended with the apostles. The Catholics and Lutherans spent a lot of time on their knees and were very quiet. Too quiet for me. The Apostolics were fun and full of energy as were the Pentacostals, each having folks who would dance in aisles and raise their hands and shout and scream.
Then, there were the Baptists. They preached fire and damnation. We were never good enough in their eyes. The Unitarians were too hippish for me. And there was one church I went to where they brought in a huge incense burner down the aisle and I could hardly breathe.
My favorites were the Assemblies of God churches, the non-denominationals, and the Apostolics. I felt ‘alive’ with them. So, whenever I would travel, I’d make sure to stop in these whenever they were holding services. I travelled a lot in my young adulthood, crossing this country from end to end no less than 6 times.
It wasn’t until I got saved that I started carrying my Bible around with me and actually reading it. It was a whole new world. I began to have a relationship with God. There were Bible Study groups that I attended and it was all good. Things were happening. I was starting to see things in a different way.
On a couple of my journeys through this country, I attended ‘Spiritual Warfare’ meetings and went that route for a while, going so far as to enter a haunted house just to experience the ‘other side’. I wanted to know what we are up against. After all, this is a real battle between the forces of good and evil. I wanted to see the ‘evil’ in its own environment. And I did. God used me to exorcise a bad spirit. It was cool as first, but then I became scared by the whole experience. I allowed fear to infect my thoughts and I slowly backed off from the boldness of conviction I had had.
It took me years to get back on track and to this day I struggle to regain that level of confidence I had attained. So this blog is my journey. I learn more about Christ by studying the Word and writing it down. It is my wish that through these words I may help someone see something that they maybe hadn’t seen before. It’s looking at the Word through the window that is in front of me.
It may be a bit foggy sometimes, but as we keep at it, the window becomes cleaner and clearer and we see things in the details we hadn’t seen before.
At present, I am a member of a United Methodist church in town. I joined mostly because I like the Bible Study group I attend there, and, because the Pastor is genuine. He embodies the meekness that Christ exemplified. And the brothers and sisters in Christ there are welcoming, joyful, and appear to be truly interested in what the Pastor has to say. Our Bible study leaders are a husband and wife team and they are both wise and inviting and, they are approachable. In short, this is the church I’ve been looking for all my life.
So, that’s it about my history and how I came to be where I am today. I’ve got a lot of growing to do and through these pages you may see me slowly change into the person Christ knows I can be. I only pray that I have enough time left on this earth to achieve it.
Oh! Before I go, I’d like to share with you a favorite quote of mine by the late Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether be a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.”