One Voice, One Opinion

One Voice, One Opinion

I was reading in an article in the local  paper about religion and churches. No, I am not here to pick on what church you go to, and I am not going to say a word about whether you go to church or not.

At first when I was scanning the article my mind was thinking, sour puss. Yes, I described this person as someone who is going to church other than Sundays to get help. She wasn’t getting the help…

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One Voice, One Opinion

I was reading in an article in the local  paper about religion and churches. No, I am not here to pick on what church you go to, and I am not going to say a word about whether you go to church or not.

At first when I was scanning the article my mind was thinking, sour puss. Yes, I described this person as someone who is going to church other than Sundays to get help. She wasn’t getting the help she was hoping for. She was given various reasons and so now she is venting publicly. In a way I guess, I thought she/he was just rebelling; trying to get back with words.

As I read through the words I was a little concerned because some of this writer’s words hit home with me. I personally don’t go to church at this time, and I have written about it in past posts so I won’t get into details in this post.

But I have recognized some of the words. Elaborate churches, people sticking with people. A church on every corner. Refusal of help. Evidently, there is more to the story than what I am reading, but I have to stop and think about it.

I can remember back to a time when I was in a situation that I was forced to look to a church for just food. I went to a few in my home town on foot, as I had no vehicle; but received basically the same words. If you don’t belong to this church, we can not help you.

That always bothered me. Whether I went to or belonged to this one or that one; this wasn’t the point. The point was, I was hungry and starving.

I have seen churches in reality and on TV programs that were so big my home could be placed inside of them and never be seen. I do always admire the huge stained-glass windows.stained glass window They are exquisite, especially when the light catches Jesus hanging from the cross.

I have been involved with a few churches for several years. It takes a while but I can pick out the group. By this I mean the ones who dress nice, have lots of money. They are on every board and everyone wants to be like them, well some people do.

What is a church? This comes from only my brain, my thoughts. It isn’t meant to degrade or pick at anyone. But to me, a church is a building. A cold steel, brick or wooden four-walled structure.

It can have plain or beautiful windows. It can have golden-oak doors or simple like a school door. But what is a plain or fancy building without the contents that are inside?

A church today is a place where people can come together to praise and worship God. Could we do this at the lake, out in the open, at the city park? Of course we could. What about a home or a business that has closed down. Could we convert that already standing building where many seats could be placed? Could we add a stereo with lots of speakers or maybe a piano? Yes we could.

What is the purpose of going to church on Sunday or for that matter any other day of the week? Is it to show off our clothes or our money? Is it to judge? Not in my opinion. We all know in our hearts, there is only one judge.  I can see this type of behavior any day of the week. I don’t have to go to church on Sunday to get even more views of it.

My dream church would be a building. A plain building not boasting of how much money it has. It would boast of parking lots full of cars. People walking down the side-walks, anxious to get inside before they are left to stand in the back because the seats are all taken.

A god-fearing man who loves God more than life itself would not stand behind the pulpit and preach to or at me. He would walk among us, talk with us, listen to us. We would sing many songs, raise our hands in the air, praising God. We would bow down on our knees and ask God for forgiveness. We would spend a great deal of time together, maybe in circles or groups.

We would listen to each others  problems. We would pray right there for each one who is suffering. When you walk through the front door you would bring food. Maybe canned, or bread, vegetables or dairy.

We would place it in baskets and after our final prayer for each other, the needy could fill their sacks to help feed their family throughout the week. Finally, there would be fellowship. Outdoors if possible; a gathering, a picnic. A time to share our food one with another. A time to get to know the new family or single person that came this morning.

A time to volunteer your time and talent would be made available, but no pushing. It is just a fact that when we feel loved and cared about we want to help. When we feel like we are equals of the heart and mind we want to dig in. We would leave the services with a sadness and yet anxious to be able to go back again.

Do we need big churches with huge investments and clicks of people or fancy clothes? No, we need a family, a foundation, a common ground. We will help each other and those that need help on the outside, just as Jesus did. No questions asked, no red tape, and if we don’t know the answer or don’t have the ability to help, we will help you find the answer.

To me, this is the perfect church. The building, the people, a common denominator of God and love and sharing. I am ashamed that this writer had an experience where these feelings arose. As I end this post, I think back to what I have read in the Bible. Jesus fed strangers. Jesus wore plain clothing. Jesus healed the sick. This is what we were born into this world for. Our purpose is to help others, share the word of God, and love one another as we ourselves want to be loved.

Thank-you for letting me have the freedom of choice to express my thoughts.

Daily Prompt; Community Service, DP, Daily Post

Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us COMMUNITY.

I have waited for the perfect time and it seems like it is finally here to write my sincere feelings about a topic very dear to my heart.

To The Community I Reside In

I have lived in this community for my entire life, minus a few years of making some decisions to live else where. I know so many of you here. Not only in my own neighborhood, but in Public Relations, and including the Political side.

Churches I have attended, two in my life.  Most,everyone would recognize me when I walked in the front doors. Don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about using your head to think back to whether you remember me or not. I will not be attending your services again.

You see from the time I was a little girl I learned Jesus loves me. I was taught that love was the foundation along with our wonderful God. Once inside the sacred doors you could put to rest all of your fears. You knew you were in the depth of people who cared.

As I grew up and ran into problems in my life and I began to care for Al, my brother; I was given a rude awakening. Churches aren’t like this at all. I can’t attack all churches, I can only speak of the ones I have attended.

I realized by experience that if I didn’t have the right last name, or enough money was going into the plate that was passed I didn’t count. If I didn’t get involved with enough programs I became quietly pushed aside.

When I asked, and eventually lowered my pride and begged for help in trying to reach out for volunteers or paid companions I was let down. My parents told me there were two groups of people you could count on in life. Number one was your parents and number two was your church.

Wrong, so wrong in my case. When Al fell at church not one of you offered to help me pick him up. In fact a few of you complained to me that his walker was in their way. This hurt and along with whispers and slowly emitting myself from the choir I have walked through the last doors of church.

For me it has been a blessing. I have been forced to go to God on my own, in my home. My brother and I listen daily to Dr. Charles Stanley on the computer radio. We talk together about what we got out of each sermon. Afterwards I play different church songs that Al and I recognize.

The time that we spend each morning brings Al and I  closer than ever to God. He is a constant topic in our home.

I also wish to let it be known that I agree that schools and functions are very important to a child. It helps shape them for adulthood, introducing them to team efforts, the art of winning and losing gracefully.

My point is other than politics and school sports have you realized the hundreds of people left here in our own community to fend for themselves? Where does a person go to when they are in need?

I have lived in a time here where I ended up on the streets with no shelter and no food. No matter where I went, the offices were open for only a short time, or there was no food  pantry. Here food pantries are found inside the churches and if you don’t attend the church, then good luck. The couple of places I did fine, there were more rules and documents to be filled out. The humiliation that I went through because I was hungry or homeless made me feel like I should just stay under my big rock and hide.

For the most part when people are searching for a bite of bread or a roof over their head; they are sincere. They gulp hard  and lower their pride and after having tried every other means they seek the streets for help.

The programs are set up so that even if you have nothing but one can of soup left in your cupboards, your income is too high. Not everyone is out wasting valuable dollars. There are reasons such as medications that are so costly. After emptying your pockets to fill them and getting any help you can, you don’t have enough for food. Electric and gas bills are out of this world in price to  heat or cool your home.

I would like to see people in this community come together and give. Yes give, give a sack full of groceries. Take a bag to your elderly neighbor. Offer one hour of your busy schedule to help someone who has less.

Why is it so hard to do this? I have to state once again I am not speaking about everyone. There are wonderful people who help every day. There are those who abuse the systems who choose  not to work. I am speaking of the sincere ones who desperately need the help.

Here in our community we are the Orthopedic Capital of the world. When downsizing occurs and our work is sent over seas so the company can stick more change in their pockets who pays the price?

The head of the household of course. The one who worked even when they didn’t feel well so they could give to their families, have a retirement and pension. Release the fear of growing old and poor.

Letting these long-term employees go is devastating. How can they start over when they are shy only a few years of retiring? Who is going to hire them now? These people need help and where are we and what are we doing about it?

What you see in activity at Christmas is what we should see all year-long. The spirit of Christmas comes in season only. This needs to be changed and changed now. When we give to the Adopt-A-Families, or help the Salvation Army, or bake extra goodies for our shut-ins, lets continue to make at least a small effort the rest of the year.

Thankfully for me I have my daughter who loves me very much. If it weren’t for her and her big heart Lord only knows where I would be today. It wouldn’t be inside my nice, warm home with a roof over Al and my head. The cupboards would not be filled with food. I may have done drastic things in order to survive. I will always be grateful to  her for her help in my life.

So in closing, let’s put maybe, lets say, a fourth of the effort we do in sports and politics and place that into helping others. Remember, it is not what you have that is making you stand out. I swear you can’t take your three cars and your fancy home, your name brand clothes and your  money to heaven. God won’t let material things in. But giving of yourself, your heart will make God happy and you a better person. Come on community, let’s hold tight and make our city proud.helping-hands2