Be still and know that I am God.

So you already know that I have felt the Lord telling me to get back to work. Slowly, I have been getting back to doing a few things that I let slide. For any of you out there that don't believe God still speaks to us today, you need to finish reading this:

Yesterday morning, a young man in our congregation was scheduled to speak. He wasn't up front but two minutes until he told us the title of his lesson was "Putting the Past Behind Us." Boy did my head snap up! I thought, "Did I hear him right?" Oh yes, I heard him right. The lesson he prepared was just that - prepared, and very well prepared. He urged us, through the word of the Lord, to get moving and to shake off the negativity of the past. He urged us, through the word of the Lord, to surround ourselves with Godly people. Though it isn't always easy to make the changes that are necessary, the changes are necessary. The points that this young man made in his lesson to us were all from God's word. And everything this young man said were direct answers to the prayers that I have been praying for myself!!! Talk about goosebumps!! I was in tears by the end of his lesson (which, did I mention, came straight from the words of our Lord? :)) and by the time I finished telling him what his lesson meant to me, so was he :) How humbling to know that God listens to me and my prayers!

And if He listens to me, He listens to you, too!

  • marie
    I was home with 'Sick Zion' Sunday morning. Bob told me what a great lesson this young brother presented. I have requested a recording. You are blessed that you have 'ears to hear' what the Lord is speaking to you and are eager and willing to be still and know that He your God.
    by marie at 03/13/12 10:21PM
  • rissaj
    i love you.
    by rissaj at 08/09/12 7:42AM

Something positive :)

My last few posts have been rather negative. Unfortunately, sometimes we go through negative times. That's just life.

I got some good news last Wednesday. Right on the heels of losing my oldest sister (well, aunt biologically, but since I was raised by my grandmother they are all my brothers and sisters) to lung cancer, my biological father had to go in for tests to see if he, too, had fell victim to the disease. (yes, both are smokers. life long smokers) Though he does have 3 polyps on both lungs that are cancer forming polyps, the cancer has not yet formed. He will go for CT scans every three months for two years, then every six months to watch for development of actual cancer. I pray he follows through with this. Watching my sister suffer was a horrendous experience. And since my relationship with my father is not really even a relationship, I can't imagine trying to get through that with my sanity in tact. Please keep him in your prayers that the cancer will stay at bay. He does have emphasema and has cut down considerably on his smoking habits. No need for oxygen yet, just an inhaler. Let's pray he complies with doctor's orders!!

In keeping with my resolve from my previous post to do what is right in the sight of the Lord, I am taking him (my father) to lunch today. My step-mother is also going. Prayers on my behalf would be more than appreciated :) I also stepped out of my new comfort zone and immediately sent messages to a few people who were 1) absent from Sunday pm services and 2) left early. I usually talk myself into the comfortable feeling that it's simply none of my business. But not yesterday...yesterday I got involved. And it was a positive reception - go figure! ;)

I am working towards earning a trip to Nashville, TN with the Pampered Chef. I really do love that part-time job!! The rewards are great and it truly does relax me! So if anyone is interested in helping out, it would be greatly appreciated! If you live far away, I have a website and you can do a web show (really, catalog show, but I like sound of "web show" haha) If you live in Ohio, I wouldn't mind making a trip to you - it's probably time to get re-aquainted anyway! :)

Ok, off to do a few household chores and work on some Womens Renewal Weekend outlines before it's time to leave for lunch. Praying everyone has a blessed day!
  • alp1926
    Thanks, Melissa. It's not fun!
    by alp1926 at 03/10/12 4:58PM

Is it important?

The above question refers to assembly times and whether or not it is important to assemble every time the saints gather at your "home" location or not? Or is it ok to just pop in when you feel like it?

I've been struggling with this question in my mind for quite some time. Please comment...and would love scriptural support for your answers instead of "I feel..."
  • split_rock
    Good question! Will cogitate on this and respond more fully when I can get my thoughts/research together.
    by split_rock at 03/15/11 12:21PM
  • marie
    Well here's my two cents worth.

    Besides examples throughout the New Testament of the early disciples meeting together, the main text that we have that speaks to the subject of Christians assembling together is Hebrews chapter 10. We often focus only on verse 25 for reasons why we should be at every service but the verses before and after explain the reason for the assembly.

    When we assemble we are drawing near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
    When we assemble we are continuing to hold fast to our “confession” of faith without wavering. When we assemble we are considering how to stir one another up to love and do good works. When we assemble we are exhorting one another (to remain faithful).

    When we forsake the assembly we are not holding fast to our confession of faith and we are wavering. When we forsake the assembly we are not being considerate of one another and we are not stirring others up to love and to do good works. When we do not assemble we are not there to exhort others to remain faithful but rather will be a discouragement to others. If we choose to forsake the assembling of God’s people we are sinning willfully and there no longer remains a sacrifice for our sins. But we will have a fearful expectation of judgement. V.22 we can no longer draw near with a full assurance of faith V.29 since we have trampled underfoot the Son of God.

    If we are forsaking the assembly we need to V.32 recall the former days after we were illuminated and endured great sufferings. V.35 we are told not to cast away our confidence which has great reward. We need to have endurance so that after we have done the will of God we will receive the promise. V.38 says that God has no pleasure in those that draw back (the timidity of one stealthily retreating) And if we are forsaking the assembling of ourselves together we are retreating.

    I don’t think this reply really addresses your question of those who are sporadic in their attendance at their home congregation. I suppose having an understanding as to the purpose and importance of the part they play in the work of their ‘home ‘ congregation would be a starting point to more consistent attendance.

    by marie at 03/15/11 9:10PM
  • split_rock
    Good observations, Marie! Here's a first installment to my thoughts. I'm a bit foggy-headed this evening so will hold off on some other observations for another time. I posed your question to a trusted brother, and here is what he replied -- off the top of his head:

    "Is it important?

    John 4:23-24 -- Emphasis on worship and God seeking people to be His worshipers. What does it say about our attitude toward God if He is seeking us to worship Him, but we choose to do other things. God seems to think worship is important, as well as Jesus who was the one making this point.

    Hebrews 10:24-25 -- We are not to forsake the assembly, but rather are to encourage one another all the more as you see the day drawing near. As the time of miraculous revelation and apostolic guidance would end, would the assembly become more or less important? It certainly would not become less important. We need to be there to encourage & be encouraged.

    Ephesians 4:16 -- The church is a self-edifying body. Every part, fitted and held together, contributes to the growth of the body as a whole. Using that analogy, can an arm sever itself from the body anytime it wants to, because it doesn't want to be there or doesn't feel like it's needed? Of course not.

    So is it important? Only if we believe worshiping God, encouraging the brethren, and the proper functioning of the local church body is important. So obviously, the answer should be yes."
    by split_rock at 03/15/11 9:16PM
  • split_rock
    Sporadic attendance can reflect a weak or weakening faith, shows little thought to one's responsibility to encourage and not actively discourage fellow saints, and deprives the person of the chance to join fellow saints in worshiping and praising God and to be edified by others. Scriptures are cited above to support the need for these activities within the context of the assembly.

    Some might ask, "Well, I don't get edified when I'm there, so why make the effort?" Or "no one will miss me if I'm not there." There's obviously a problem, and it's likely that our approach to the assembly is with a "me" mentality instead of a praise, edify and learn mentality. We generally get out of a service what we put into it.

    I doubt that those who are sporadic in their attendance realize how discouraging it is to others when they are not there. Using the analogy from Ephesians above, think how discouraging it is when a part of your body isn't functioning up to capacity. Your whole body is affected to a greater or lesser degree. Other body parts have to do extra duty to make up for the disability of the injured part; the body loses its ability to function to full capacity. It's one thing when we absent ourselves because of illness or occasionally being out of town. But when it gets to the point where folks just generally expect you'll be out of town or home or someplace other than the services, you're effectively a disabled member and unable to contribute effectively to the functioning of the body as a whole.
    by split_rock at 03/15/11 9:29PM
  • lorileigh
    Matthew 6:21

    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    That chapter's preceding verses deal with hypocrisy in righteousness. How can one say I love the Lord and prefer to be with his people showing love if one chooses to be elsewhere for selfish reasons? I've acftually had people tell me that they cannot be at the assembly because 7:00 is bath time. ...and after bath time is bed time. I don't think someone who told Namaan too bath in a filthy river cares if one is bathed instead of worshipping and encouraging the saints.
    by lorileigh at 03/15/11 11:24PM
  • lorileigh
    Sorry for the typos in the above comment!
    by lorileigh at 03/15/11 11:27PM
  • marie
    Another thought on the issue of assembling with saints....

    I think we might often be guilty of placing too much emphasis on our 'being present' and forgetting the very reason that we should be assembling and that is to draw nearer to God in order to worship and adore Him and to rememeber the sacrifice of His only Son Jesus. If we are the members of the Body that we should be then we can assist other parts of the Body to attain to the same goal that we are seeking to reach and again that being to draw nearer to Him in order to worship and adore him and praise Him for the sacrifice of His only Son. Our woking together as a unit in the work that He would have us do in His Kingdom is very important and necessary to broaden the borders of His kingdom and to edify one another. But I think that comes in to play more outside of the worship service. We should be doing that seven days a week. The time when our spiritual family comes together to worship is for that worshipping together at the same time. It's not the time to think about who is going to teach next week's Bible class or who's going to visit the sick or isn't it about time someone arranged a pot luck. We need to focus on WORSHIPPIG GOD together. Someone can be present and still be a distaction to me as I'm trying to worship. In our asseblies we need to encourage an atmosphere that is reverent and condusive to the task at hand...WORSHIP.
    by marie at 03/16/11 10:08PM
  • katiebee
    Does John 4:23-24 suggest a single place or meeting time for all believers in one area to meet? Or was Jesus telling the Samaritan women that there was no long a single place to worship God?

    1 Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 2:19–22, 1 Peter 2:5, Romans 12:1, Hebrews 13:15 What do theses verses suggest? What is the church? Is it not the people who are believers?

    Hebrews 10:26-39 sounds a lot like 2 Peter 2:20-22. Isn’t Hebrews 10:26-39 is a warning not to turn back to sinning?

    Some other questions that I have are: do we have to meet all in one place in order to be assembling with Christians to encourage one another love and to do good works? Can there be a church in Sheffield Lake, Lorain, Avon, Avon Lake, Amherst, and all the other cities in this area and they not all meet as one large congregation. Is it required that we meet in a large congregation? Can I meet in my home with a few other Christians and be the church? If not, why not? Does it have to be our goal to grow and buy a building? Did the 3,000 Christians in Acts 2 meet all in one place? Could they meet in a few smaller groups around the city at different times and still be assembling and called the church? Doesn’t Mathew 18:20 say were two or three gather in my name there I am also? So can we meet with other Christians thought the week for a bible study and be considered assembling? Is it required that we go to just one congregation all the time or can we visit several different congregations and not be forsaking the assembling? Let say North Ridgeville had more than one congregation in it, aren’t all the congregations in the city still considered the church in North Ridgeville?

    What does forsake mean? According to what I have found in Strongs the literal Hebrew is translated as deserting or abandoning or completely turning your back on something to never return. What exactly is assembly? Is it the times that we meet in the building? Is it when a few get together and speak of biblical topics? Does it have to be a formal gathering? Assembling means “gathering together.” Could this be gathering in a small group or does it always have to be the whole church?

    Since when did a building become more than a large meeting home for Christians to gather together? Were do we get the idea of being faithful members of the church? Aren’t we faithful to God? Does faith come from the church or regular attendance? Should my faith falter because I don’t meet at a church every time its open? What about Paul when he was in prison was he any less faithful to God because he did not meet with Christians while in prison? Can I have faith without a church? Isn’t the church a gathering of those faithful to Christ? Does church attendance make us righteous? Or more pleasing to God? Does God love those in the church more than those who are outside the church? How about those who attend all services perfectly verses those who don’t? Does God’s love change? Is the strength of my faith in God determined by my church attendance? Do we worship God because we are obligated to? Or because we are moved by His love for us and seek to freely offer up praise to Him? Does God keep an attendance list? Should we? Is our God a policeman that is keeping track of us. Or does he desire a relationship with us that we cultivate through out the week not just at meeting times? Were do we get the idea of placing church membership? Aren’t we added to the church (added to the body) at our baptism? Was anyone every instructed to place membership at a local gathering of believers? Or were they just told to gather?
    by katiebee at 03/21/11 8:31PM
  • mimi71
    Thank you everyone for you thoughts. Katie - you have many questions that are much deeper than what my original thought process was going for...I will pray and study and try to get back to you with somewhat intelligible, biblical answers soon. :) However, one thing that does pop out to me is this: Yes, God is our "policeman"; the entire bible teaches us that God is keeping track of us and our actions/thoughts. There will be a great reward for doing as God has commanded us and there will be great punishment for not doing what God has commanded us. Another thought (or after-thought?) is that I think there is biblical example of people taking serious roles and being expected to serve in a more "local" setting. i.e. Letters to the churches at Galatia, Ephesus, Rome, Phillipi, so on and so forth. The contents of these letters are examples of how we are to act today as a more local body of the whole church.

    Foggy thoughts for just stumbling across this a little bit ago. Please forgive any mis"typings" as I am at work and responding initially without a bible or study time. :) More to follow (I hope!)
    by mimi71 at 03/22/11 12:36PM
  • split_rock
    "Is it important?" Yes, and because I believe this is so important, I also believe that it is important to answer some of the questions that have been posed above. I admit to being slower on my feet than I'd like when it comes to answering such questions. A quick response, with some considerable help from our son Andy, follows. I expect I could try to answer every question posed above, but maybe these answers will suffice for the moment. I reserve the right to post more later if I can. :)

    Melissa’s original question had to do with the importance of meeting with one's home congregation. A lot of questions that have been asked seem only to confuse the issue to seem to argue that, no, it isn't important to meet at one's home congregation.

    The issue is not over the size of a congregation – that is irrelevant. No one is saying that a Christian must be part of a large congregation.

    The issue is also not about the number of congregations in an area. So what if there are multiple congregations in a given city or county? That has nothing to do with the question –- is local church membership and attendance important?

    And yes, Christians can meet together throughout the week. But again, this is not the issue. This is about when we “come together as a church” (1 Corinthians 11:18). This is the regular assembly of the local church. How do we know it was that, and not some gathering of random Christians at someone's home? First, Paul distinguishes the home from the assembly (1 Corinthians 11:22,34), so this is different than a few Christians getting together at someone's house, even for a Bible study. Second, Paul told them “wait for one another” (1 Corinthians 11:33), which implies an expectation of attendance. Christians of this church in Corinth were expected to be at this assembly. Therefore, is it for us to decide to come and go as we please, visit other area congregations whenever we like, or stay home for just any reason? Or are we to be at the assembly?

    If the definition for “forsake” -- deserting, abandoning, completely turning your back on something to never return -– can we stay home and watch basketball because we plan to assemble the next Sunday. Can we stay away as long as we want, just as long as we someday intend to come back? If not, why not?

    The questions about love and faith can also cloud the issue. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. God loves everyone. But what does that have to do with the question? Yes, we are to serve and worship God because we want to, not because we're forced to. Yes, we should live like a Christian seven days a week. But that doesn't answer the question -– “is local church membership and attendance important?”

    Passages like I Corinthians 11:18, Hebrews 10:25, Ephesians 4:16, Acts 9:26, the epistles written to local churches, and the admonitions to the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 2 and 3) teach that local church organization, membership, and attendance are important and are part of God’s plan for His people in the church.
    by split_rock at 03/22/11 5:27PM
  • mimi71
    John 4, I think, is Jesus teaching that we are to be worshipping God in spirit and in truth. The Jews were fighting against the thought of anyone other than a Jew being able to worship God. Jesus was teaching that everyone will be able to worship God as long as they were worshipping in Spirit and in truth. I believe the point of this particular passage is that we are to 1) make sure we worship the one true and living God and 2) worship Him the way Jesus was teaching, not the way the Jews expected it to be done. (I am by far not a Bible scholar, just an ole hillbilly girl trying to do her best to read and understand the Bible :))

    I agree that the building is not the church; the people who have been buried with Christ are the church. However, Romans 12:2-5 goes on to talk about not conforming the patterns of the world (which could be not attending regular services, but attending when the "spirit moves one to do so", holidays, etc) and explaining that we have been given different talents to use and that we no longer belong to ourselves if we are a member of Christ's body, but to Christ and one another and for our talents to be used to help each other. (if I am reading it correctly, again, I am no Bible scholar!)

    Also Hebrews 13 also goes on to say to make sure that we are not a burden to our leaders (elders?) so that the work will not be a burden to them as they will be giving an account not just for themselves, bur for us as well. This will branch into studies about the roles of elders and why Jesus would have told the apostles to set up elders in every city. Why did Jesus do that? If we are not obligated to associate ourselves with any local body (i.e. the church at Corinth, Ephasus, Galatia, etc) then why appoint elders to watch over those Christians there? Part of that job is to look for signs of wavering faith which often starts with sporadic attendance. If God did not intend for us to associate ourselves with a local body that meets together regularly to carry about worship they way He has laid out for us, what is the point in the role of elders? What is the point of Romans 2 reminding us that we all don't have the exact same talents, but that with the talents we have and working together we can build up the body, thus reaching the ultimate goal we all have - an eternal home with our Lord in the place He has gone ahead to prepare for us! If we could gather when we felt like it with 2-3 other Christians, why set up "churches" in different cities?

    As for the question of can there be a congregation of christians in Sheffield Lake, Avon, etc...of course there could be! And how wonderful if there were!! We have the church that meets at North Ridgeville, Norwalk, Ashland, Medina, Lorain Ave, Bedford just to name a small few in northern Ohio. Reading through New Testament there is definately Biblical examples of several congregations in "areas". BUT - what would be the point of having those meeting places if Christians felt there was no need TO MEET TOGETHER as a whole congregation? Christ Himself told the apostles that they were to come together to break bread and drink of the cup on the first day of the week, and to do those things with the right heart. My understanding of that passage is that Christians are to be coming together no less than the first day of the week to partake in this remembrance of Christ and what it was that He did for us! WHERE we come together will most likely depend on geography. Reading about the 3,000 in Acts that were added to the church that day is somewhat incomprehensible to my small brain! And to think that of those 3,000 - 3,000 felt the need to be together DAILY in one another's homes! Doesn't this bring to mind a people who are fully committed to knowing one another and being with one another and doing anything possible to help one another get to heaven?! So not only did those people attend the assembly (Peter's preaching, I assume, would be considered an assembly?), but they took the teaching of the apostles to heart and became a part of one another's lives. So I guess that maybe answers the question as to whether or not Christians can only assemble in a formal gathering. No, that is not the case. However, there are examples of Christians ALSO assembly in formal gatherings. Paul wrote to many churches praising them for the orderliness of their worship and admonishing others for how disorderly their assembly was.

    From the time I was a wee babe, my sweet Grammy taught me that once you do something, it becomse easier and easier to do it again. This would also apply to missing the regularly scheduled assembly times. If I start making excuses as to why I can't come on any certain Wednesday, then it's easier to miss other Wednesdays. Are Wednesdays absolutely mandatory? Probably not. However, why not? Our Wednesday Bible studies are much less formal than the first day of the week assemblies. It is an opportunity to glean information to take out into the world with us and win souls to Christ. It is an opportunity to be encouraged when feeling not so encouraged by the weight of the world. It is an opportunity to let the other Christians who are there to know/see that they are not fighting the battle against Satan all alone or with only 2 or 3 others.

    Speaking of that...if we simply go by the verses that say where 2 or 3 are gathered, so there is Christ also, my family would NEVER need to attend a service in a building where other Christians are gathring for worship. There are 3 of us in this home. Can we keep each other going? Do we keep our little bubble here all to ourselves? How is my son supposed to grow in Christ by only being with me and his father? Yes, we gather daily, pray, study, sing. But how much MORE do ALL of us get when we walk into our home congregation where I KNOW with unwavering faith that my FAMILY there have been praying for our God to help my body heal itself so that I can work for the Lord to my full capacity? There is peace and comfort and joy in knowing that the 3 of us are not alone! We have done as commanded and brought our needs and concerns before the church, the place we have CHOSEN to meet regularly. They are "bearing one another's burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ." If we are not known to have allegiance THERE, where do we take our concerns and have someone bear our burden with us??

    The building itself is not the church (I think we have all come to that agreement). The idea of being a member at a church that meets a certain place can be found in any of the letters to the churches. One part of being faithful to God is also being faithful to His body of chosen people. Wherever you find yourself, God has said we need other parts of the body to keep ourselves going. And I believe that God tells us throughout the New Testament that we are to be bound locally somewhere. Again, I refer to the passages regarding elders overseeing us. If we (my household as the example) decide to not associate ourselves with any particular congregation of Christians, who is overseeing us? If we go each Lord's Day to a different locale to meet with Christians (or to use the example of 2-3 being gathered together, He is there - we meet in our home alone), who knows where we are when? Will the elders at North Ridgeville take it upon themselves to seek us out to check on our spiritual/physical well being? Will the elders at Medina do so? Or Norwalk? Part of being held accountable to God is being accountable to a local body as well. Again, referencing any letter to any of the churches in the New Testament. If a local body to meet with were NOT important, why would Paul and the apostles take the time to travel to help them get their local churches going and preach to the areas where they are? Or why would they travel and preach against the wrong doings in those locales?

    Personally, I do not believe that any one of us today can be compared to Paul while Paul was in prison. Paul was in prison for preaching Christ. While in prison, Paul continued to preach Christ, converting not only other prisoners, but jailers as well. Therefore, Paul was then meeting with other Christians. It would just happen to be the church at Prison ;) We are so overwhelming blessed to have the options that we do and to not have to worry about the oppression that Paul faced! Thanking my God for that!! I cannot with 100% certainty say that I would be as Paul was. In fact, I am fearful that I would be more than tempted to be as Peter and deny my Lord. :(

    As far the comments regarding faith...I am not sure I can begin to comment on those. My faith partially depends on my attendance. Being in the world makes me waver. I find myself getting drug into the bad attitudes of co-workers. And when I have to miss services for whatever the reason, I find myself falling into the traps more easily than when I am at services with regularity. Does that make my place in heaven certain? Absolutely not. But I do believe that I have an obligation to be gathered with other saints whenever I can be - be it services and assemblies that were given times and locations for more convenience to those attending that congregation and for visitors to the area to find them in order to meet with them, be it at bible studies that others are having in their homes that are open to me, be it at a dinner for further fellowship, or any other example that one can come up with. If it is within my ability to be somewhere with other Christians who are gathering, my studies have brought me to the conclusion that God wants me to be there. And God wants me to be a light not only to the world, but to the other saints that I see and gather with to worship Him regularly (no less than weekly for the Lord's supper). Eva sited many of the same passages that got me to that conclusion.

    I will also pose this question...if we have no oblgiation to place importance on meeting mostly at the same locale, with other Christians and my family of 3 Christians can simply gather here in our home, how do we catch when we are in error? Who would be responsible for admonishing us?

    For me, I have always been taught that there is a convenience factor in setting specific times for the whole body of the Lord to gather together. We know in advance and can schedule accordingly. Did the Christians in these first century locations do this? I don't know. I can't find times in the New Testatment writings. But what I can find is that for me, attendance is a must. I have chosen among the congregations of Christians that are within my geographical location ( how lucky are we to get to say that?!) which one to meet with it; therefore, I must meet with them to worship our Lord, to teach our children of other families that have chosen to gather at this location, to edify those that are there, to do better at keeping up with those are not (as much as they will allow me to, anyway), and to do all in the name of the Lord.

    **I have NO idea of this makes sense or will help, hurt this discussion. But I do know that I approached my words with prayer and love for all of my fellow Christians. I pray that it is taken in that spirit.** Thank you to everyone who has given me direction with which to help me come to the answer that I needed for my question. :) May God be with you all, comfort you all, protect you all, and give us all peace between Him and us in the decisions that we do make.

    As an after-thought again :) Why wouldn't we want to meet with the same group regularly? I mean, I love to visit other congregations! I LOVE IT! But...there's no place like home :) I love knowing that people at "home" get me! They have my back, when I have yet to realize I needed someone to have it! :) So for those that don't "want" to meet with the same group regularly, why???

    by mimi71 at 03/22/11 8:58PM
  • rjk
    This has been a good discussion. Are we to judge others faith in God based on their attendance? Were the scripture that tells us that? I recently read a discussion were an individual brought up the point about the way we dress for church and how we dress can be an indication of our devotion to God? Not that any of you are making that argument, but aren’t we going down a similar the road of judging others faith. My point about faith not being linked to the church is that most of our Christian walk occurs outside of the church meeting times. Doesn’t Hebrew 11:6 tell us that without faith it is impossible to please God and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him? Don’t we seek Him all the time not just in the assembly? Can we get edification and encouragement from our brothers and sister outside the church meeting times and be stirred to love and good works? Wasn’t Hebrews 10:25 admonishing them to not totally abandon meeting together as was the habit of some? My questions were not meant to imply that you can choose not to meet with Christians on regular bases. My questions did not cloud the issue they were questions of mine that come to mind when discussing the implications of the assembly/ meeting time/ keeping attendance. Attendance is a poor standard to measure faith (or strength of faith) of another person with because it does not look at their heart. I can go to every meeting time, give every Sunday, and dress nicely for the assembly and look like I have a strong faith, but have dead men’s bones inside and have absolutely no real faith in God. Isn’t that what the Pharisees did? They looked like they were righteous by there acts and felt justified. Didn’t Jesus accuse them of being white washed tombs? If we measure our selves by external things like attendance, dress, giving than we are in danger of becoming self-righteous. Our Christianity is not an equation. We cannot add up all of our attendance, giving, and that we looked like a good Christian and earn heaven. If we do that there is no faith in it if we can add these things up and earn it then there is no need for Jesus’ sacrifice. I am not accusing any one here of this. It is just used to illustrate the point that attendance is not a good standard to call into question someone else’s faith. The church is a benefit of our Christianity, but the church is not the point of our Christianity…. Christ is.
    by rjk at 03/22/11 11:30PM
  • rjk
    Sorry this is actully Katie and not Randy... I just realized he was logged in and I thought I was... Sorry:-) by the way I love these kind of discussions because they make us all think a bit and examine why we believe what we do and change things if we come to different conclusions.
    by rjk at 03/22/11 11:33PM
  • mimi71
    I don't personally feel that attendance is a "judgement" that is being held over someone's head. (If the door's open, be there or else.) I believe it is part of the elders job at a certain locale. It's difficult to just look around and see who's there and who's not sometimes. It's good for them to see that "Melissa" has not been here all week, we need to check on her.

    As far as attendance being a poor measure of faith, I completely disagree. If my faith is strong, then I will want to be working diligently. Not only to win souls from the world over to Christ, but to KEEP souls that have already come to Christ. If I am not "in attendance" in a certain locale, can I do that? If I had spoken my allegiance with a certain location of Christians and then never walk through their doors again, what impression does that give others? Maybe there is a new Christian there who really needs those times for all saints to be together and they notice my absence? How easy for them to follow my lead and not come to services? Will they continue to follow the narrow way? I believe it's in James where we are taught that faith and works go in hand. Part of the "works" is attending assemblies at a locale of our choosing. But only part. Yet still a part.

    All the things you are stating, Katie, are things that Christians are expected to do on their own. But it doesn't stop there. We ALSO have an obligation to use our talents with a GROUP of Christians. I admit, I did get the impression that your statements were implying as long a few of you were together, there was no need to go to the regularly scheduled assembly times where ALL of the saints in that particular locale are congregating.

    You spoke of Jesus' sacrifice not being needed if we (those here) are going to keep track of attendance, giving, and our attire. What reason did Jesus have to sacrifice His life to establish the church if we are to be doing individual faith and works and our attendance in a local congregation did not matter? Couldn't we just pray a prayer and he would know our heart and measure our faith according to that and that be the end of the matter? Why set up the churches if He didn't expect US to continue with that example to have locations with with to meet??

    We ARE to be "judging" one another on our immodest apparel. We are not be respectors of persons. But we are to admonish one another. If I am seeking after worldly fashion rather than what would be pleasing to God, isn't that a sign of my faith? If I say, well, I don't really care that my blouse is a little too low cut it looks good on me. If a man looks that his problem not mine. That is surely a sign that my faith isn't exactly where it should be. If my faith were more on target with what the Lord wanted, I would do everything in power to not make my brother (or sister for that matter!!!) stumble.

    If we are not feeding off of one another at the assembly and giving off good examples there, how do we help each other's faith grow? Aren't we told to listen to those who are preaching and to make sure we taking with us the words they are giving us from God's book and to make sure they are not teaching in error or skewing God's message? We are to sing to edify one another. If we aren't there, how am I keeping with these things? We are to be teachers (of children, older women of younger, older men of younger) if I choose to not assemble, how am I keeping with that commandment? (and yes, I know. This is ALSO to be done daily with whomever we run into) We are to gather together and surround the Lord's table to remember His sacrifice together, if I am not there and doing this at home, how am I keeping this commandment? And didn't Jesus Himself gather people together to teach them what was expected of them when they LEFT His presence?? That to me, says, gather yourselves together to build up your faith so you can take it with you when you are not together with other saints. We can stay strong and be the examples we need to be while we are not together. Then we come together again, get a fill up on faith, go out and do it again. Then we come back together, get another fill up, go out and do it again...etc...
    by mimi71 at 03/23/11 8:42AM
  • mimi71
    wow - that entry didn't look quite that long when I was typing in just this little box ;)
    by mimi71 at 03/23/11 8:43AM


Is it possible my son is ready to take his driver's temporary permit exam? I guess it is. Please pray for him that he does well - both on the exam and on the road!!!
  • split_rock
    Life will never be the same.
    by split_rock at 04/14/10 10:26AM
  • friedaj
    ^^^Ain't that the truth!
    by friedaj at 04/14/10 12:25PM
  • alp1926
    Oh, boy! Hang on!!! He'll only have to pass the written (computer) exam for his temps. He'll do fine. So will you!! :)
    by alp1926 at 04/14/10 5:11PM

Rejoice with us!

Our son, Michael, decided that tonight was the night! Michael was baptized into Christ after services this evening!

Please keep us all in our prayers that we can do whatever we can to help him along this path!

Praise be to God!
  • alp1926
    I knew it. Mark and I went over to the Northridge Health Center to visit a member from Lorain Ave. When we came back by the building, which was right away because she was sleeping, we saw some still there, and I saw John at the door. I told him then that I wondered if that was what was going on. Congrats to him and you and Dad.
    by alp1926 at 03/15/09 8:58PM
  • lilah
    So HAPPY for Michael, our prayers will be with him and you both as parents, to be the example and encouragement for him to grow in God's word
    by lilah at 03/15/09 9:00PM
  • caraboo
    what a blessing!!!! that's great news :) Praying and rejoicing with you!!
    by caraboo at 03/15/09 9:14PM
  • hoose
    YAY! Raylon called me and told me this early tonight. That is AWESOME news. Give him a hug for me! :-)
    by hoose at 03/15/09 9:45PM
  • friedaj
    YIPPPPEEEEEEE! Give my love to Michael! That is the best news!
    by friedaj at 03/15/09 11:00PM
  • deusvitae
    Glad to hear it. :D
    by deusvitae at 03/15/09 11:40PM
  • fredtheorca
    I am so proud of him.
    by fredtheorca at 03/16/09 7:16AM
  • lorileigh
    Wow! That's great news! Please tell my new brother how proud I am of him.
    by lorileigh at 03/16/09 7:57AM
  • rockymtnslover
    Rejoicing with you!
    by rockymtnslover at 03/16/09 9:05AM
  • bballliz
    that's awesome news! (:
    by bballliz at 03/16/09 9:11AM
  • mattdevore
    by mattdevore at 03/16/09 9:47AM
  • chickadee
    great news!
    by chickadee at 03/16/09 11:27AM
  • curlie
    Great news!
    by curlie at 03/16/09 12:09PM
  • anitaj
    I came from Shelia's blog. I am so happy for your son! I wish him many years in the Lord's service.
    by anitaj at 03/17/09 4:36PM