Monday, March 21, 2011

I Have Only Begun to Fight!

Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you quit trying. Sometimes you quit trying to lose. Maybe that is what I was doing. Trying to lose. I certainly wasn’t trying to win. My wife was not supportive of my actions with going to church. She didn’t do church, and she couldn’t understand why I wanted to. Especially at another AOG church, of all things.
We only had one car for quite some time, and she would have it to drive to work. I drove the work truck home (I worked for Allied at the time) when I could, but I couldn’t go parking a moving van in the church parking lot. That would have probably put too many people over the edge.
Several times people would give me a ride home while I was walking, and even offer to come pick me up. But my schedule was hectic, especially on Wednesday’s, and I never knew from one week to the next if I would be home or not.
Eventually the weather turned bad, and I found too many excuses to go. I still listened to the radio show every Saturday night. I counted myself as a good person. I wasn’t out raping, killing or stealing from anyone. Sure, I indulged in the ‘spirits’ occasionally, especially Crown Royal or Bacardi. But I wasn’t a drunk anymore. I could remember what happened before and after I started drinking now. So I couldn’t be a bad person. RIGHT! NOT!
I still wasn’t really saved. I had bought the fire insurance when I was 8 years old. But that was still all it was to me. Fire Insurance.
Then we moved back to the home county where I grew up. Walked in a Baptist church, and this is no lie, a lady recognized me, grabbed her kid, and said, “Don’t go anywhere near that man. He’s trouble.”
I never went back. If that lady ever reads this, be glad that I came to my senses, otherwise you would have a rough day at the throne down the road.
My girls had started listening to the music too, and they wanted to get active in church. We found a church, and they had an awesome drummer. We quickly became friends and started up a Christian Rock Band. (heads up, I still wasn’t living that life that I sang about). For 2 years we had a blast. I eventually became the choir director for the church. Then tragedy struck.
(1)       Stroke
(2)       Multiple Sclerosis
Wheelchair bound. The pastor came to see me a couple of times. But no one else ever did. It wasn’t long before I never heard from him again. See there. Just what I thought. Christians only care about you when you’re in a position to help them. “To serve God.”
Still in a wheelchair, I started playing for another group, and before long, I was choir director at another local church. Methodist Denomination. If you think some chuches are dry, sit in a Methodist service. They have a method alright. To bore you to death. The denomination is quickly dying, and it’s no wonder. The way they worship sounds like they are too. They have no passion for Christ, no true sense of worship.
(okay, before you freak on me, not every Methodist church falls in this category I’m sure. But as a whole, I am right on target. I've seen the numbers, and they are scary.)
But after surviving much gnashing and wailing, this was a change. And I fell in love with the pastor. She helped me to see that Christianity was so much more. I even started to understand some of the words that they had been playing and talking on the radio, and how the bible could apply to my life.
Several different churches later, I wound up serving in another Methodist church. This time I found out about a program called, “Lay Speaking.”
Nope, it doesn’t mean to recline while you’re preaching. It means that ordinary people could be trained to help in different areas of the church and its worship services. I went to the “Basic” class out of curiosity, and I was hooked. I bought every “line” and weighed every “sinker.”
One thing led to another, and I wound up in Seminary, and eventually to my own church. Methodist, in case you were wondering. A small country church. I had learned a lot while serving in the ministry, but being a pastor was quite an eye opener.
(next segment: Is there an optometrist in the house?)

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