Monday, May 18, 2015

A Bunch of Boogers and a Few Good Ones

On the Pringle family from the book, Anne of Avonlea:

...they either accept someone, and that someone is automatically integrated into the town's activities, or do not and that person is completely ignored.

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Yes, they are amongst us,  it is very difficult to focus on the precious saints when the Pringle is wishing us to be gone and showing it clearly.  Green is one of my favorite colors, but not envy.

...We think to ourselves as I do at times...  If only they knew what was going on in the theatre of my life now...  Would they behave differently?   Perhaps not, the coldness is chilling.   It is the very gall they gave to Jesus on the cross.  

You see, I've been concerned about my dad, trying so desperately to give it to the Father and leave it there.   My dad has taken another fall in the rehab center...   The entire situation has driven me to tears.  

I read in my Streams in the Desert devotional this morning...

An excerpt:

We were under great pressure, .... so that we despaired even of life ...  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.   2 Cor. 1: 8-9.

Pressed beyond measure; yes, pressed to great length;
Pressed so intensely, beyond my own strength;
Pressed in my body and pressed in my soul,
Pressed in my mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure rom foes, and pressure from dear friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.

Pressed into knowing no helper but God,
Pressed into loving His staff and His rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed int o faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living my life for the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.

It's a good devotional this morning if you read that particular devotional.  You can receive them by email as well.  The emailed ones seem a bit more contemporary then my hardcopy, so I prefer my hardcopy, but some may enjoy the convenience online.    Streams in the Desert.

I hear such a sweet song this morning...  Listen to the words and enjoy, I heard this yesterday after arriving home...It made me smile.

Yeah... It made me smile yesterday, only God knew how I needed to smile!

It seems sometimes when we do visit a church no matter how great the sermon and how kind the pastor is, there are always those boogers.   My daughters arriving from a burb-church, and I were discussing in the kitchen a most unfortunate, immature person in a church.  A Pringle.  

She's a booger!  I said, a bad one!  She looked at me with such anger as if she just wanted me gone!  She was so angry that she was oblivious or didn't even care that I was smiling at her!    But then there are those sweet ones...those good ones... 

Lea thoughtfully says...Yea, it's kind of like human kind in general...A bunch of boogers and a few good ones. 

Marianna:  It's everywhere we go isn't it?  Even in so many churches... A bunch of boogers and a few good ones.  

Pringles.  Forward snobbery, reverse snobbery.  Insecurities that equal hurt to others.  Pringles.  .... And it sure isn't Christ.

So correct.   So correct.

Yesterday hubs and I went to USO-Town after I dried my tears of concern over my dad coupled with a misunderstanding in the car...Coupled with the boogers, coupled with mixed feelings because after all... There are a few good ones there.   I had stood in church as it closed watching my tears plop down...hoping it wouldn't be noticeable, hoping my mascara would behave.  I felt like someone had taken their finger out of the dike and the water works were not going to stop.  It was a culmination of everything.  Just everything!
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After the service as we drive I sense the change of atmosphere in townships as I silently watch out the car window..

We are upon USO-Town.  They even have a charming buff-colored period old 40's brick USO activity building for the WWII servicemen.  A long lost cousin of my mine has a pharmacy there, a friendly man with striking blue eyes.  He knows all the elderly by name as they come into the pharmacy.

Hubs and I adore this town.

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Now you must know...USO-Town is one of the most polite if not *the* most polite towns I have ever seen.    It's very interesting the various spiritual entities over various towns and areas.   This is a *good* one.

We arrive at the restaurant greatness and see an old friend exiting the restaurant and he tells us..."Did you know?

I have cancer.  ...The people at my church are really nice, y'all need to come visit.  They've already made a list of people to take me to M.D. Anderson for treatments.   They'are really nice..."  

So precious.  Les is form the burbs where we are from, it seems both our families landed out this way to live a simple life... We taught the Sunday school class he and his wife attended back in the burbs...

I've always noticed Les's humility, the son of an elderly Assembly of God pastor.  Les and his wife adopted a precious little boy after they raised kids of their own, I remember just as it was yesterday, the sweet chubby fists of that baby-boy who grabbed my pearl necklace, breaking it as beads bounced over the gym flooor, seeing Les's wife's horrified face...I yell!  Don't worry it's dollar store!  (It was funny)  The good thing about cheap jewelry, even if you really like it and in my case had taken good care of that cheap necklace for years... it looked good by George...Hey.  It's (say it with me)  Dollar Store!  *big smile*

This precious baby has grown into Les's running buddy.

Perhaps it is Les who should have taught the Sunday school class?   Yes Les, we just may take you up on your invite dear one.

We see our precious chinese friend, she and her sweet husband own the restaurant.  They are a darling young couple.   We've befriended them and enjoy their friendship of sorts although brief in conversations.   We've taken a liking to each other.  I had noticed she was not herself yesterday...    She tells me through tears of her own, "My mother called from China, she has a tumor in her pancreas, I'll be gone for a month to visit her..."

I tell her Jesus is already there with her.  We will pray, I touch her arm, I think touch is important.  This woman is so precious, she nods through tears.  I'm thinking..

We all have problems dont' we?  Some are much, much more severe then others.  Oh God help us to support one another!   And the support comes in strange places at times doesn't it?   The Church is everywhere.

...And I have to remind myself of what I told Jessie, the precious young chinese woman...  Jesus is already with me too!

That is what Elisabeth Elliot wrote me once when I was expecting our youngest, Rebecca and on bedrest with some complications.   I still have that little postcard she wrote, I have several from her.

I wonder if Elisabeth Elliot's daughter feels as I do sometimes now that her mother is growing older and ill?

This is a photo of of several of our daughters; Rebecca, Lea and Marianna with Elisabeth Elliot and her precious, precious husband, Lars this photo is from a couple of years ago.  I think Michelle must have taken this particular pic.

I will close now, just wanted to share some thoughts and food for more thoughts here this morning.

I do hope you are having a sweet morning Loves,  we must be the *Good Ones*.  We might have to stand alone (kneel alone) in order to do so.  I hope this blog will be a place to come and be encouraged and share.   You are not alone.   Our reward may be in Heaven.  God sees all and knows all. That goes as a double reminder for me.   ~amelia, the last child in the woods...


Unknown said...

Oh sweet friend,
I am praying for you and this post resonates so much with my heart! Our pastor has been teaching, very thoroughly, through the book of James. Yesterday we concluded the second chapter and we have been in this book since September! He showed how serious the sin of partiality God takes it very seriously when we snub others, or choose to be kind only to those we are attracted to. Very convicting and encouraging. We were snubbed and not allowed into the inner circles in a different church we attended. We weren't "Bob Jones" graduates, and we weren't of the mindset of the denomination of this tiny little church so as we came offering our gifts of service that God has equipped us with, they were denied. Is it any wonder the church isn't growing? How very sad. The church we are in now, is the one I grew up in, but that's not why we are accepted. Everyone is loved on and cared for there. There is unity and not everyone home schools. Not everyone dresses the same. There is a huge outreach to the homeless, the community as a whole, and true bonds of love for one another. It is so refreshing. I'm sure there are Pringles in the midst, but they aren't allowed to rule.
Praying for your Dad. I'm so sorry to hear how rough it has been. I would love to have you over and pamper you. I'll have to just encourage you from afar and let you know I care and I am praying. Thanks for sharing from your heart! ((((hugs)))) and love to you, dear Amelia!

Amelia said...

Jana, Your most thoughtful and right-on comment brought a contented, happy sigh...ending with tears of appreciation to you sweet friend. Oh how I would so love to come to your home and enjoy some coffee or tea with you, you want to move over to our neck of the woods? *big smile*

What you have described in that first scenario of not fitting the exact bill, is yes, almost exactly what we have experienced. I've seen rejection for looking too-Duggarish, I've seen rejection for being too dolled-up. One 'conservative' church devastated us when they announced that no senior can participate in their graduation service if they are not official members. I've seen some of the most un-merciful and most un-welcoming people in my life there. It's a bit of the "Me my four and no more" syndrome... I've seen rejection for not worshiping academia, and I've seen rejection for actually thinking about things such as justice and mercy issues. It flabbergasts me the smallest and hardness in people. Blows my mind. What is so very bad is that people who do not know our precious Christ think this is Church. They equate it with Christ, and that is such a tragedy. It is not Church, it is (little 'c') church. ...And the doctrine issues. Oh dear me, oh dear me. It is craziness and it is ugly.

What a wonderful church your family is in now, that is so beautiful. That is one reason why I like the oldtime Methodist in downtown many a Sunday. There are street people attending as well as people with means, there are two chinese couples we see, one whose father was in prison for his faith as the man had grown up as a child. I'm sure if I got into the church more-so I might see some things, but at least they are friendly in general. The pastor is genuinely kind, from a farming family actually, was very kind to our girls at a Christmas concert letting them in a side door, so loving and accepting... He says "Hello Girls!" (Can you believe this is abnormal?) He usually goes outside in winter and sleeps with the homeless every year. They minister to the poor and the precious children from very poor port families. Mar has been able to volunteer and help with the Christmas party and make crafts with those angels. And the neat thing too, many of the people who volunteer are older people, they care about the little children. I know it's not perfect, I'm sure but at least there is love there and yes, we are told to open our Bibles. (Also the persecuted Church has been mentioned there as well). Not perfect I'm sure, but I so hear your heart Jana. And I so agree with you, so much, just so much!

I'm not sure if this comment matches what a blessing yours is Jana... I don't feel I can adequately write how my heart was touched by your comment. I could blog the whole thing. : ) I just read your comment to my husband and it blessed us both.

Love and appreciation to you Jana! xo and bigger ((((hugs)))) coming your way. Your comment was a Gift to me today. <3 amelia

Abbi said...

Amelia, So sorry to hear about your dad's hard times and yours as well. Praying that things will get easier and you will always remember that God is there.

I begin to realize just how blessed I have been with loving and supportive church families in the various places I have lived.

Unknown said...

Yes....we could talk for hours as you are speaking the same language we speak on this issue. The lack of love, legalisms, and so on, are painful to think about. "Little c" church....that's exactly right! It's mans' rules and ways instead of the way God designed and intended it to be. Your comments blessed my heart too, as did this post. It's so good to know there are others who see this problem and are grieved by it. We love the people in the little church I mentioned. They really are, for the most part, great people. There is just this mentality that needs to go.....the man made rules of "hymns only," No Christian Contemporary Music or as they say "CCM." News Flash....all the hymns? Yeah, at one point in time, they were considered CCM. Why thwart the current work of the Holy Spirit who is still gifting people to write music for His glory today? And as you mentioned...the whole membership thing. I had to be a member before I could sing with a choir there, but graduates of the above named school moving in from another state, were allowed into ministry immediately. I can't find anywhere biblically, that this is God's way of doing things. And how very sad for that young man that he wasn't allowed to walk in grad ceremonies under the same condition. They have no idea how serious it is to treat people like that. It's really breaks my heart. I love reading about that pastor who sleeps with the homeless and the other beautiful aspects you wrote about that church. So awesome!Maybe one of these days, we will get to have coffee or tea together. If we ever make it out/down your way, it would be so special to meet you in person! If you are ever out our way....come on over! We have a spare bedroom with a queen size bed and couches for people to crash on. We would love to have you. Blessings to you, and your family! (((hugs))))

Amelia said...

Thank you so much Abbi, I so appreciate your prayers. I do hope to attend a supportive Church one day..We have had homechurch for a while but sometimes we feel as if it's time to venture out and meet new Christian friends but in these times we are in it seems the fellowship is just not there. (as of yet) : ) We would think the local churches would be the perfect place to meet sweet Christian people right?

I hope your family has found a nice Church in your area that you have moved?

Amelia said...

Jana, Oh my...Thank you for sharing. I agree with you, I don't think it's good to throw the hymns out but I don't think praise and worship should be outlawed. It's so true, at one time some of the hymns may have been the new stuff right? : )

They wouldn't let you sing in the choir but would let the grads of the religious institution sing immediately? They aren't looking at the heart are they?

I would love to have that coffee with you and meet that great family of yours, if you are ever in our neck of the woods you are going to have to let me know! : )

So appreciate you, and so glad your sweet family has found a wonderful, loving sold-out to Jesus Church, I know you must appreciate going there soooo much! What a great message series your pastor is doing! I'm going to have to go through James now! *big smile*

If we ever do find a sweet Church such as yours, I guarantee you we will surely appreciate it. That is why the Lord allows these things I suppose, so we will appreciate the real deal.

Thanks so much dear for your encouragemenet and sharing, it will probably help others too to realize that the churches that behave in this way are not what Christ intended.