Well, I would normally be giving the Thanksgiving holiday photos and events, but I didn't load my photos, and sadly I only took photos at my house. We had lots of illness last week and a little school, and tons of good food, and some holiday decorating. That is all I have to say about it until later.
But I had a lovely talk ,with a couple I greatly admire at church, last night, as I was sharing a book called Heaven is for Real with them. And I suppose that is what is sparking this post. I attend the specific congregation I attend because as far as I can tell, they organize and conduct worship biblically according to what was occurring in the first century churches (and for that reason I wouldn't attend a different congregation). However that does not mean i hold to all the varying beliefs about our spirituality and traditions (churches of Christ). They are about as varied as the sand of the sea. Nor does that mean I believe everyone at my congregation is going to make it to heaven , or conversely that people in other congregations or even denominations won't make it to heaven---I know that may shock some people. But believe it or not, the churches of Christ don't have all the answers, and most likely neither do other religious groups, though I suspect many, if not all, who call themselves Christian are doing something right, and I am pretty sure we are all doing some things wrong whether we realize it or not. One thing that greatly disturbs me is the notion that our personal/individual brand of religious legalism is the only way. I think when we come to Christ it has to be according to what is required of us in scripture (not necessarily an "Americanized" version of religion), but I also strongly believe that those who are seeking diligently to obey and become more like Christ are heard by Him, too, and blessed by Him. I also believe (hold onto your hats for this one) that God cares about the specifics of our daily lives and works in them in ways we don't understand, due to prayers we or others offer to Him, and that angels are working in this world and helping people, and that some who are on the verge of death have seen Jesus and God and maybe even Heaven, and lived to tell about it. There is a whole realm of the spiritual world that has not been revealed to us and that is beyond our explanation or understanding. That is why we are required to have faith and to pray and trust in God. And I do strongly believe that God changes the course of human history based on prayers made to Him. You may not believe all this like I do, but that is ok. I am not your judge. I am here to walk in His ways as best I can and grow daily, just like you. And I firmly believe there is no other way to God's kingdom that through being washed in the saving blood of Jesus. Remember what Jesus said...the greatest commandments are totally loving God and loving others as yourself. Love flowing from a desire to be like Christ is the essence of life. It is what we are here for and made for. And there are many ways to show it. It isn't just looking nice, being nice, and attending church. I don't know that that will really get you anywhere. I think a tribal person in the jungle in his loincloth who is seeking to be more Christlike after a missionary comes and brings the news of Jesus to him in terms of his own culture is probably just as saved as those in my congregation. Granted, he isn't wearing Amercianized clothes or meeting in a chruch or sponsoring missionaries, but in his own way if he is seeking and serving and living for Jesus with all his heart in order to please God, well, you see where this is going.
Some would call me super liberal (though i see myself as conservative) and some would just plain call me wrong, but I am truly, daily seeking God's will for my life and for the children He has blessed me with, and I do it all according to His word and with his love as my motivator. I am sure I am getting things wrong daily. In fact, I know I am, but His grace covers me on my walk. And praises to God for His grace because I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, and it is because of Him. And I will be constantly changing every day of my life, trying to be more like Him and failing daily, until i can rest in Heaven with Him.
So I just had to say that.
I totally believe in Jesus and God and their saving power, and I believe prayer is our strongest power this side of heaven, and I plan to tap into it daily. I also pray that daily I can be an encouragement and an example of godliness, with love, toward those I come in contact with.
I apologize for my times when I am judgmental of others and their ways. That is not my place unless they are a brother or sister in Christ (not just in the churches of Christ), and are scripturally, specifically sinning, and putting their soul in jeopardy. Otherwise I will diligently try to show LOVE. May God bless all who diligently seek HIM.