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February 25, 2011 Back to Encouragement

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When I Was A Child

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
 

I don't know how often I have thought of those verses, but I know it has been often lately. Maybe it's the new year or maybe the weather, but I catch myself thinking back to what it was like as a child. One of my earliest memories is of being about two or three years old. We lived in a small two bedroom house which today, many would likely view in disdain. It was there that I have some of my earliest recollections of God and Jesus Christ. Although my parents did not take us to church, or talk of those things, they always sent us to a Sunday School to whatever church was handiest that we could walk to, while they stayed in bed. We moved often so we had a veritable ecumenical and many times un-churched experience.

 

It was in those times that we were sent to a Sunday School, which I believe now was fully presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't even know the name of it or the name of the man who taught us, and sang with us. What I do remember is when our dog was run over one winter day, I remember leaning against my dad's leg and asking if Paddy was in heaven with Jesus. My parents looked at each other, smiled to keep from laughing I guess, and said "yes, he is with Jesus." Although my parents did not believe, in my child's heart I believed that there was a God and there was Jesus who I also believed was in heaven with God and they were looking after our dog. The faith of a child is so precious. So simplistic. I believed it and it was what I believed.

Matthew 18:2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

While I did not understand the significance of those child like beliefs, as I have looked back, I have realized that God has had hold of my life from the beginning. Those few memories faded quickly and were replaced for many years by those which revealed the ungodly home we were in. There was such anger and resentment and ungodly behaviors, which in my world, meant it must have been normal in all homes. I could not fathom that there were differences, although I don't recall consciously thinking about it, and believed that love was based in the fear of punishment, and avoiding that punishment as much as possible. Being yelled at, seeing my older siblings ridiculed and mocked, not being allowed to deviate from what was demanded in ways of obedience, who we were as individuals and so on. There was abuse on many levels, and I suspect that it has had much to do with the decisions my siblings have made, for or against Christ. It was through my parents, particularly my mom that I was given a Ouija board, we did sťances, and other occult driven activities and beliefs. It was more than fun in my mind as I believed that connection was taking place somehow with something. Realistically it was, but it was demonic, which I did not understand in those times.

 

When I was 14, my parents separated for several months. During that time, with my dad's admittance to being an alcoholic amongst other behaviors, we didn't really believe we would be together again as a family. It was in fact, because of my blowing the whistle so to speak that our worlds came tumbling down

 

In those days, there wasn't much offered in the way of help in such circumstances--certainly not for us kids. It was during that time of separation that God opened my dad's eyes to Christ. After that, I think my mom felt she was left with no other option but for us to go back to our home. It was expected from that time on that we were to go to church, to Sunday school, to Bible study, to youth group and whatever other function there was related to this new church. Where before we rarely attended any church by that time, we were being propelled into being the model Christian family, from the outside, but definitely not on the inside. The new church we were going to was quite unimpressive, in my mind. Plain windows, no fanciness, just basic pews and a small congregation. I don't recall if there were even forty people who were regulars.

 

Several weeks after returning to our home, we went to a youth retreat at a lake, the long weekend of September. I had never been to anything like that before. At the retreat the one evening the Gospel was presented, and after every one was gone I still sat there. It was the beginning of understanding who that God and Jesus were from my childhood.

 

It wasn't until the following week that I got hold of a Bible--which to this day I have no idea why my parents had it, as my dad was using a new one. It was evening and I had been pondering what had been said about Christ dying for our sins, for MY sins. I opened up the Bible and started reading the red lettered words which denoted Christ speaking. It became overwhelming and I remember getting on my knees, and saying that I wasn't sure about all these things, but if it was true, that I was a sinner, and Christ died for me, then I wanted His forgiveness. I wanted what He offered. That moment my life changed, and I can still only describe it as sunshine filling my soul. In Christ I was clean, a new creature, my sins were forgiven, and I had assurance and unspeakable joy. My small step of reaching out, brought about by God Himself pulling me towards Him, was answered in that instant.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life.
 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It would be nice to think that when that happens there is a happily ever after in all things. But our fallen state, our sinful world all contributed to events which to this day I view with sadness. There is an attitude that when someone comes to Christ that everything is forgiven, which is true, and ultimately everything is also forgotten. Our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west and remembered no more by God. [Psalm103:11-13] Thankfully. As Paul wrote:

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Our memories often fade, as they should, but sometimes the damages of sin take much longer to heal in lives that are committed to Christ. It's about trusting Him, it's about believing Him and it's about studying the Word of God so that we grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. It's when we are immature in the faith, or in times when our faith waivers, or we take our eyes off of our Lord, that the extent of consequences to sin can haunt us. And so it was in our home.

 

I came to Christ, then my Mom, and eventually all my siblings professed Christ. But, two have turned to other things, other beliefs and other consequences for their lives. Our home which on the outside did show changes, on the inside still contained many of the behaviors and attitudes which can be so destructive.

 

There were times I was sorely tempted to leave my parents home and just go. I never could come to a conclusion on where I would go--but going was definitely an option I entertained. It was when I was sixteen that I happened to be in the kitchen with my mother and she took that moment to tell me that she had always hated me, and there were many times when peeling  potatoes or doing things for a meal that she would have to leave the room because of the urging inside of her to pick up the butcher knife and stab me. She assured me that it was because she had been demon possessed and God delivered her, and she wanted me to know she didn't feel like that anymore.

 

There was so much spiritual baggage that it at times overtook the joy which should have been ours in Christ. I was shocked by her words, to say the least, and while now I can look back and understand some of the things which took place, the yelling, anger and such, it really shook me emotionally and spiritually to think that my whole life, the person who should have been there to love and protect me, actually wanted my demise. I have since heard of similar behaviors and activities happening to others, but it does not change the reality of what it was in my life.

 

When I met the man I was to marry, I sometimes think that it was God's way of keeping me on track to following Him. He was one of the few I felt I could trust and in time learned about love and throughout our marriage I have known he has never failed to love and care for me and I him.

 

When I came to Christ, He gave me a great boldness to share the Gospel, at school, with friends. There were many discussions in and out of class and it was also there that I had my first taste of persecution. I am thankful I was obedient and I have seen some who have come to Christ because of His prompting and leading to share. It's always been about Christ, and the relationship each must have with Him. When my husband and I were married, again things changed in ways I struggled with. I had not been able to resolve all the issues of my childhood, and it showed in my inability at times to deal with problems with the Spirit of Christ. There were times I felt that I was in a desert, and other times on top of the mountain proclaiming Christ to all who would hear. It was almost ten years of marriage before I was able to put my childhood and the consequences of the abuse and other issues away. It followed me in my interaction with our own children and my husband.

 

If Christ had not saved me I think I would not have made it through, as I dealt with a depression that left me in the blackest of holes. I went to church, I prayed and read God's Word, but the anger that had taken hold of my life, was not easily set aside. In those times I would go in our bedroom and pray and weep and read the Scriptures and come away empty. It took about a year to get through the trash and consequences of the sin that this all stemmed from. I remember thinking about the Scriptures which refer to the sins of the fathers, and was determined to not let our family go through the anguish that we had been through.

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

It finally resolved when I fully understood that God loved me and that all those things from my past were gone and that is how I had to view them. It wasn't what my parents or anyone else did, it was fully about obedience to Christ, and trust in Him. When I was able to let go of all the hurts and heartaches that kept rearing their ugly heads, that is when I grasped with a greater understanding what it was to be loved by God. Not that He hadn't shown me right from the time I knelt and prayed, but this time, I was no longer a child in understanding. There are some who think that those who have been abused can never accept God's love. To that I say, Rubbish!. God who is Love itself, can heal all that we in this sin filled world can dish out to one another, and He can heal what we do to ourselves. Those who believe that those who come from abuse are unable to accept God's love, have a very narrow, limited and un-Biblical understanding of who God is. And it shows an unbelief in who Christ died for and who He is.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

One pastor told me through one of my darkest times to go teach Sunday School and that would fix me. How could I teach something that was lost inside of me? I knew the issues were spiritual, and it was terrible to think that a pastor could offer nothing to help me, from a Biblical perspective.

 

We entered a roller coaster of feeling the need to go to another church which we did. For a time.

 

It was during those many years of being involved in church and seeing the diversity of commitment to Christ and the Scriptures that also came front and center, as I struggled to find what it was that was wrong in my life. And what it was that was right.

 

During those times, we had our children and we also buried two babies. The first loss was literally the first personal experience I had with death. I almost died in that time also, but God gave me the assurance that He was with me. When our last baby died, I was able to respond with a fully different spiritual outlook.. I understood and did not need to ask why, as I did the first time, as I had grown in Christ and was able to say, God's perfect will be done.  I rejoiced in Him, and I knew His comfort, and I also knew that He was teaching me things about Himself, about myself, and about the church as a whole. We observed those claiming Christ who had the most un-Scriptural attitudes about things. Not just weak moments but deeply ingrained attitudes and beliefs Things which clearly were against Christ. It was difficult to observe, but even more difficult to attempt to resolve with full Scriptural understanding.

 

Sometimes I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong, but I would see contradictions which were contrary to Scripture and things which were presented as Truth, which were not. It took time to see what was being promoted, but it seemed as if God was opening my understanding in ways that I did not fully comprehend. Things happened within a short time in three different churches.

 

First, it needs to be understood that my view of pastors and men in authority was skewed because of my childhood. What it did was allow me to view pastors as ultimate authorities, presenting them on some sort of pedestal. When they fell off, it was fully destructive to me. The first pastor, which, when I think of it objectively, I believe advocated that view from those in the church. When it came down to some issues, he lied, and in amidst of turmoil and dealing with those lies, my husband and I stood and attempted to hold him and the board accountable. As happens in church hierarchy, some came with attitudes of how dare you question anything, while one godly gentleman came wanting to deal Scripturally with all issues. We left that meeting with a clear view that it was not Truth that was most important to some, but reputations and egos.

 

Were we at fault on some things? Yes. Absolutely. The anger that again took hold of me, was not of God. When we left that meeting I stated something that has become a way of seeing what is taking place in many churches. Instead of sweeping things under the carpet, these elders either needed to start dealing with things according to the Scriptures, or the rug they had been sweeping things under was going to be so huge that they were going to trip on it and fall on their faces. That church has had several pastors since and much turmoil.

 

When we left that church we both were angered and disillusioned with church and Christians. We had a young family, and we felt at that time the need to have fellowship. The anger that we both had, reflected in my husband as his believing all Christians were like what we saw that night.  He had started to lose his faith. We tried to attend another church which could only be described as being filled with culture Christians, or liberal and a few who clearly loved God. We didn't stay long, and I believe it was the next year that church went through turmoil and a split. There were more liberal minded than Biblically motivated individuals involved. We felt like we were running out of options.

 

Where does one go to find a Biblically sound church, when the ones you thought were Biblical, just are not sound? I have had so many believers ask me that same question. I have learned to say, go to Christ, and He will supply all your needs and if there is somewhere for you He will direct your steps.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you...10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

During this time we had foster children for a year. We had wanted children under the age of our own and foolishly, we were talked into taking troubled teens. The impact on our own children was enough to let that go. The last teen was a pregnant fourteen year old.

 

During that time, again, we decided to try going back to the church which had the spiritual rug problem. They had a new pastor, and so we went to try again to find the fellowship we thought important. Actually I convinced my husband we should try it. It likely was a mistake on my part, and yet, circumstances were in motion that were necessary to get me to the place God wanted me. It was not an easy road to walk.

 

I don't recall how long we went to that church again, but the turning point came as our children were feeling quite on the outside looking in. It was a family established church and the pillars were related in one way or another. Church hierarchy's are the blight of churches as far as we are concerned. The climax came one Sunday morning when the pastor presented a sermon on churches and those who are troubled or who leave must take the responsibility to join again. He demonstrated this theology by taking a doll and cutting off the arm and leg with scissors. I was horrified. Not only of the demonstration with all the children in attendance but at the errant doctrine being presented. I made a comment on the way out that morning, to the assistant pastor, and asked him if he had a diamond and it fell in the crack of a floor, would he not go to great lengths to recover it. He could not answer for whatever reason.

 

We received a call from the pastor after lunch in which he wanted to know if I--for some reason it eluded both my husband and I that he should have been invited also--would come over and discuss what I had asked the assistant pastor. Actually my husband had stopped going for a few weeks because of what we were seeing in the way of doctrine. I thought --maybe this will be good. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

The pastor was at his desk when I arrived. His anger was written over his face. He demanded to know who I thought I was and I had no right to harass the assistant pastor. Shock sort of describes my feelings of that moment, as it never occurred to me that asking such a simple question would be viewed as an attack and harassment. I told him my feelings concerning the sermon and he denied that he said the doctrine which I recounted in detail. I then challenged him with --that doll arm you cut off,  is laying on the ground, it is bleeding and bruised and you have taught that it is up to that arm to pick it self up and reattach itself. What do you think the people of God are called to do? He said they should pick it up and help reattach it. I said, you did not teach that--you laid it on the person in spiritual distress. He denied he taught it the way I recounted, so I challenged him to get the tape--as all sermons were recorded--and we could listen to it so I could understand what was said. He adamantly refused to get it and denied he said what he did. In the end, he not only stated he had no time for our children or my husband or me, but I was neither worth the time but I also was no gem, if I ever had that idea, based on my initial question to the assistant pastor.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

The reason I recount this is to set the spiritual condition for what was clearly His leading. When I left that office I knew we would not return, nor were we welcome to return if we had desired to. I also knew that I was not going to let that ungodly interaction spiritually destroy me or my family. although I left devastated, sobbing, and broken. Yet, God was with me. I can attest to that, as He has always been with me, in spite of myself at times. We heard recently that church has gone through much turmoil and several changes of pastors, with unsatisfactory results.

 

That night there were evening services, and it ran through my mind that I should go to our old church, the one that we had started out in. While my husband was totally turned away from any church because of all these things, I knew we could not deny Christ. There had to be an answer for us. So that night, I went to the evening service of our old church. It happened to be their missions conference. And on the wall, was a verse that brought tears to my eyes, although it evades me today what it was. I know that the verse was totally the opposite of what the ungodly words of that pastor had stung me with.

 

That night I stood up and shared with those people that I felt like I had come home, even though there were some who did not know me. There was a different pastor there than when we had left years before. He had a heart for God. When we spoke later, he asked about coming to visit us. The night he did come, he stated something that has become a reality in our lives. It does not matter what has happened. It does not matter who has done what. What matters is our relationship with Jesus Christ. That is what it has always been about.

 

That pastor died serving Christ, teaching his last class. He spoke his last words to me. He told me I had to speak up, and in my heart it wasn't voice volume he meant. I recall affirming in my mind that, yes, I was going to speak up and I would not stop until God called me home. That man died of a heart attack virtually in my arms as he collapsed and I was closest to him.

 

Over the next year or so the original pastor that had told me so many years ago to go and teach Sunday school during my most difficult time, was voted to come back as pastor. When it was announced in the service I physically startled, and really had to consider if my feelings were in line with Scripture. I had grown so much spiritually by that time that I viewed each event as one more thing to rest in Christ about.

 

That pastor came back and for awhile things seemed to go along. I began noticing the influx of weird music, which actually was charismatic repetition of phrases, and such. I would not sing in those times, it so troubled me. The pastor decided to employ a study with the elders, which I believe now to have been Rick Warren's purpose material. They spent one year studying and fellowshipping together and decided that the mission statement for the church would be changed by one word.

 

The next event was the promotion of Promise Keepers (PK), although we had expressed concern over it. A complete stranger came in one morning service and presented PK to the congregation. It was about that time that I had been doing research regarding school curriculum. As God opened doors I went through and for a year researched and was invited to speak to parents at various locations. As an aside, I think God allowed my being naive as a shield because when I went to speak, it never occurred to me that people would disagree. They obviously just didn't have all the facts. I can chuckle about that now, but at the time, sometimes ignorance is bliss. In fact, I never once requested an audience, people simply started phoning me. I started speaking at a group of about fifty people. It was one step at a time as God led me into what He wanted me to do.

 

It was during one of those speaking engagements that another speaker challenged the crowd by asking if we loved God enough to die for Him. Because that is the real commitment to Jesus Christ that we must make when we believe Him. Returning home I managed to make the evening missions conference which coincided with what I had been speaking at. The speaker asked the same question, and said if we truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to love Him even if it means our death. The conviction of the Holy Spirit on these matter cannot be denied. That weekend challenge was able to be answered in my whole being with yes, I loved the Lord Jesus Christ and will stand as long as He enables me, until death, however it comes. I continue in that resolve and belief today.

 

My second to last speaking engagement was before five hundred, with people turned away. God led me and kept me through it all as I stepped one step at a time, seeking His will moment to moment. I was so afraid of not going where He wanted me. I recall that second last engagement because I was terrified when I saw the crowds. I went into the washroom, shaking like a leaf and wondering what they would do if I just didn't come out. Would they just go away or would some come and drag me out, kicking and screaming. It was fully by the hand of God that I walked in front of that crowd, shaking like a leaf for the first few minutes and then my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave me the peace and the courage to stand and share the things that needed to be said. The last speaking engagement was where God introduced me to the ecumenical movement in action and it is where I learned the difference between being Biblically obedient to Christ and being religious.

 

It was during that time, when individuals wanted to support these endeavors that I learned a lesson about money. I learned that there are those who claim to be of Jesus Christ, but when they give support, there may be a condition attached. It happened when I felt I should research PK. You have not understood what is taking place in many churches spiritually until you ask questions or challenge someone's sacred cow. I was offered $1000 if I would agree to not research or write about Promise Keepers. I refused the money, and researched Promise Keepers and in that time frame I learned that Truth is not necessarily welcomed by many, despite claims of serving Jesus Christ. I didn't know the names of many ministries or organizations at that time, but have researched and learned much since then.

 

It was after that time that I felt a sense that God wanted me to speak out to the church, using the Word of God. I recall talking it over with my husband. I didn't really understand it, but I spent day after day praying and reading the Scriptures and searching them to understand what it was that God wanted me to do. I had no visions of grandeur, and was afraid to step forward in case I was going the wrong way. I remember reading Isaiah 41, and feeling so strongly that God was speaking to me as I read these assuring words, that God had not thrown me aside as dirt, that I mattered to Him and that He had and has plans for me, just as He has plans for every single person who comes to Christ.

Isaiah 41:9...Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

We are called to serve Him and to do His good will and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all He brings in our paths. I needed those words in order to overcome all the issues of the past. I was no Jacob, but I could understand the sense of being overwhelmed with what we might be called to. There is a fear that can take place, because it is about fully trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and depending on Him, and not on ourselves. There was a verse which became a part of how I thought, and it was "Resting in the Shadow of His Wings."

Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid...

I also was compelled to read Ezekiel and it was again brought to my mind that while I could not and would never claim to be anything but a servant of Christ, it was there that I felt the Holy Spirit impressed particular verses on my heart. Do not misunderstand. I am no prophet, but I needed to understand what God wanted of me, and it was through the Scriptures that I was able to start understanding what that was. God wanted me to trust Him fully.

Ezekiel 1:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house....5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; 6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. ...21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul."

It took much time to understand what God wanted me to do. I knew research was a part of it. As I continued to search the Scriptures and seek God's will, many verses, which I have since used many times were brought to my attention concerning false prophets, wolves in sheep's clothing, men crept in unawares, heresy, doctrines of demons, trying the spirits and many more. In Jude, after I had started writing and posting to the internet, it was impressed on me that part of what was involved was that whole chapter but specifically,

Jude 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.

What became clear was that the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit, and that it was to be the very basis of what I did, what I wrote and what I believed.

 

One thing led to another at our church and we asked to speak to the board members of the church concerning the things researched on PK, which my husband had also read. We were refused access to the board which, since we had been on various committees, was like being slapped in the face. We were allowed to meet with the pastors and elders. So we went in with all the research and we thought we were going to discuss the issues. I guess in some ways I have always wanted to believe the best about people. The anger from the pastor as we walked into the meeting was more than a little example of what was going to take place.

 

After being bawled out for asking to discuss the issues, we were told to show them what was wrong in 'my opinion'. Throughout the meeting, the one elder put his head on the table and bounced his chin on his hand. The assistant pastor commented and laughed that it was a good thing they weren't the white washed walls of Scripture. One elder declined meeting with us. The other elder was offended when I presented quotes by various icons and then factually and scripturally presented the concerns. We at that point were not rejecting it. We wanted to discuss the issues as concerns.

Matthew 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like to white washed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

As the meeting deteriorated, it was clear it really didn't have a chance from the onset. My husband finally had enough of the disrespect towards me mostly, but also towards us as members of the church, and more importantly, as brothers and sisters in Christ. He stopped the meeting and left. As I gathered things up to follow him, I told the pastor that they were going the wrong way and we could not go with them. I pleaded with them to not go the way they were going. I knew as sure as I type this today that it was a warning that was not heeded. We never went back.  These men claimed to be Promise Keepers. The one elder was accused of financial improprieties in the one ministry he had and moved away. One elder left the church, divorced his wife, and is now remarried and has gathered a collection of tattoos on his person. The pastor left eventually and there have been fill-ins but they have not been able to get and keep a pastor in that church. The assistant pastor lied and well...enough said. The congregation also went through a split. What had been a Biblically focused congregation opened the door to what has become mainstream doctrine that does not have its roots in Christ or Scripture, despite the label of evangelical and biblical.

 

The sad part of all of this is that these things are happening all over.

 

It was during the final month or so at that old church that I went to a ladies Bible study, which when I had first attended, no one brought a Bible. That changed as I never attended without one, and others also started bringing theirs also. It was there that I tried to share and explain that I finally understood what Paul had meant when he said, for to me to live is Christ. The woman in charge said, 'yes, well none of us have arrived yet.' And the spiritual and physical door was shut. I never went back.

Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Promise Keepers led to many other things being researched and as God led my hesitant steps, launched me onto the internet and one of the largest mission fields available. It is only through God's grace that we maintained our desire to serve Christ throughout all of this. When I developed the first page for this website, it had taken over two months to figure out how to make the page and then get it uploaded. Honestly, it was by the grace of God that the monitor was not smashed due to total frustration at attempting to do something which I had no knowledge of how to do. Thankfully God provided, as there were days when something which I worked on all day, disappeared into the void called cyberspace. I shudder thinking about those weeks. It seems that everything that God has called me to do, has involved taking me through things that invariably I must learn on my own, and requires full focus and dependence on God to provide all that is needed to fulfill His purposes. He has promised to provide everything we need in order to serve Him. It's not about us or the abilities we think we have or don't have. It's fully and completely about what is provided by the Holy Spirit, to do His good will.

 

As I learned what I needed about the computer, I started receiving feedback from those who read my articles and research. That is when God showed me that just because some claim to be of Christ and there are things under the banner of Christian, that does not mean that they are of Christ. That it does not mean that what is presented as truth, is Truth. That is also when I learned that pastors can curse as easily as a lay person. Leadership can be as devoid of Biblical soundness as those who follow after them. I have been called many things by those who claim to serve our risen Savior. Liar, from the pit of hell, slanderer, and so on. Rarely in those empty accusations has there been any information provided to back up their statements of inaccuracy. It is rare to actually have someone write and provide information which I would generally add to the article being referenced, if it is proven that new information is valid.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

It has been during these years that I have learned that many who claim to serve Jesus Christ are offended by the Word of God. I have been told that I am beating people over the head with the Scriptures used in the articles. And yet, people read this website by choice as it has never been required reading. It is through the Scriptures that individuals can learn about Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

It is the Word of God, not opinion that presents Truth. It is the Word of God that is used to reach hearts and lives for Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation...17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

It's been more than ten years since I started to research. I have been so blessed by many readers, who have shared and cared. I have so many letters of encouragement, all of which has been provided by my Lord when it was needed.  Through these times I have learned much, but it seems there is so much more to learn. God has given me understanding which I can only praise Him for. I am not a theologian. I am not a journalist. I am not a computer technician. I am merely someone who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and desires to serve Him above anything else. It is to Him I depend on to lead me, and show me what it is He would have me do today.

Psalm 25:1 A Psalm of David. Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. 3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. 4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

While the last few years have brought many personal changes, there are some things which will never change. That is the precious promises we have when we believe God, when we belong to Jesus Christ and when He takes us and teaches us. I recall the verses and thoughts about when I was a child, and see that same sweetness of belief growing in our grandchildren, and I praise God that the sins of the fathers were broken because of God's love for us. And for His Love for even me.

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In Christ,

Vicky

© 2011 Victoria Dillen
 

 

Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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