Christian / in the beginning / The Mapps Quest

>It was the Spirit

>No, I am not going to turn into one of those people you don’t want to talk to because all they talk about is church…I just can’t get over it..so I am going to write it down, so I will always remember how it happend.  I hope, if you are reading this, you are ready for some mush, a side of silly, and a large heap of humility followed by a warm and fuzzy.  If not, close your browser now.

March 13th, Saturday 2010:

I had been feeling depressed.  I decided to tell Seth that I just wasn’t happy, and I needed his help.  Seth is always very understanding, and the best way for him to help me (in his mind) is by quoting scripture.  Usually, my brain would have turned off while my head nodded in understanding to what he was saying, but that night, I was listening…and very intently…something I have been having trouble with lately. 

He began telling me an old testament parabol about a wealthy man who was throwing a birthday party for himself, and sent out invitations to all the other wealthy people.  In that time they sent out invitations months in advance so the invitees would have time to respond.  When the big day finally came, not one of the people invited showed up.  The wealthy man told his servant, “Go to the outer limits of the city and invite anyone you see, I refuse to be alone in my hour of celebration”.
The servant returned with no one, telling the man that no one wanted to join him.  So the man said, “Go to the pastures and far reaches of this providence, and invite the beggars, lepars, and anyone you come accross.  I refuse to be alone in my hour of celebration”.
Again the servant returned, but this time he had one or two guests with him.  (of course I am paraphrasing while I am writing this..Seth is much better at story telling)  So the group feasted, and was merry..you know..the usuall. 

I think you are getting where this is going.  So after he told me this..I said, “You know..usually I would have let you just ramble on and act like I was paying attention, but tonight I actually was listening.”  Of course, Seth was glad to know that..he likes attention.  Then he was telling me that over the past couple weeks he had had the urge to listen to Christian radio, and one day on the way home he started crying…he just felt it.

Then I started crying.  Not sobbing uncontrollably, just teary, and my throat was all knotted up..like when you watch a love story and you are so happy that you can’t help but cry.  Seth looked at me and said, “that’s the spirit”.  I admitted that all this time I had been fooling myself.  I thought that I had accepted Jesus into my heart, but really, I was just doing what everyone told me to, and going thru the motions.  I asked Seth, “How do you know when you have really accepted him?  I have said it over and over, and I just don’t know.”

We stayed up way past our bed times, and continued our discussion..it felt good to talk.  We decided that we would go to church on the upcoming Sunday.  I prayed that God would help me to understand what I was feeling.

The next day at work the girls (there are only 5 of us that work there, me, 2 prego girls, a guy, and the Boss Man) were discussing wether or not to get their infants baptized.  One of them said to the other, “I was baptized twice as a child, so I am doubly going to heaven!”  I was pretty shocked to hear that.  Right at that moment, I knew.

Now, for a little background on why me going to church is so intriging:

When I was in 4th grade, my parents got divorced..yes I was destrought, but I have been thru therapy now, and I am OK!  My father got re-married and they decided that my sis and I needed some God in our lives.  Unfortunatly for us, we had never even heard the term God.  So, we just went along with it.  My dad blamed my mom for us not going and visa-versa..I don’t blame either one..life happens the way it is supposed to, so you can ultimatly reach the best possible outcome (as we all have).  Anyway, we were made to go to church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday nights.  We were also told we had to have bible study every night while at my dad’s house every summer.  Of course, coming into my teenage years, I was rebelous, and quite frankly didn’t give a damn.  But, to appease those around me, so as not to get in trouble, I did what they said…I went to communion, got baptized, and sang in the choir.  I never really felt “saved”, but I did “pray” to God and ask for forgiveness out loud.

Ok, that’s enough of that..if you are really interested in all that then I will expound in a seperate post.

March 21st, Sunday 2010:

The big day had arrived.  We told Ethan we were going, as we have been praying with him before bed the past few months..and I asked him if he wanted to go to kids church.  He said, “Will we learn about that Jesus man?”  So I told him yes, and we were on our way.

We dropped Ethan off with the other kids, and went and sat in the sanctuary.  They sang exactly 2 songs, and then had a special guest.  His name was Rodrigo Rodrigues, and he was from South America, and played the guitar with a spanish flair..it was really awesome.  But that wasn’t what made me remember him..when he was done he said, “17 years ago I decided to go to the Calvary church in my town.  That day God spoke to me and gave me this gift.”  By the way, he was REALLY good.

Anyway, then the pastor, Ron Hindt, came out and totally got me hooked.  He read from Revelations and really broke down what the words were saying.  He didn’t say it in his own words..he refered back to other scripture where things were explained (you are just supposed to remember those things till you get there).  I really enjoyed how he wasn’t trying to make us all laugh or just have a good time..he was trying to help us understand what the text really says.  The Bible in lamens terms..go figure.

It was exactly what I was looking for.  The reason I haven’t gone to church of my own accord EVER is because I didn’t want to feel “forced” to be a Christian.  Pastor Ron said, “We don’t belive in religion, and if you do, this is not the right church for you..you should leave.  We believe in a relationship with God.  If that is what you are looking for, you can stay.”  So blunt..so me.  When the sermon was over, I had been listening so intently to what he said, that when they played that last song, I started crying again.  This time was the same..my throat was in a knot, and I was happy.  I suddenly realized why all those people hold their hands up during the songs..I wanted to, too!  But I held back..maybe next time.  Like Seth said, it was the Spirit.

I have finally found a place that feels like I fit..and I don’t have to sing if I don’t want to!

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5 thoughts on “>It was the Spirit

  1. >"We are not part of a religion, we are a part of a relationship with God." I love that. And this one too: Philippians 2:12-14 "12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."This second one got me through a lot when I went to ORU. There were so many people there with so many opinions on every little thing in the Bible. But this verse taught me that as long as I listen to, honor, and obey God, His Spirit will guide me through the parts of myself that need to grow. And that I don't have to get worked up about every person who has some opinion on the "right" way to do things.I've really enjoyed my journey, and I'm happy to hear that yours is also going well!

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  2. >There are many moments that will always stand out from my experience on this Earth…but none that I have experience prior to this point in my life, or that will come after, will fill me with such love, respect, admiration, and reverence for God, as did His wooing of Kristy to Himself. Even as I write this my eyes cloud with tears of gratitude for the wonderful love of God, and His answers to our prayers.

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