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Family Makes the World Go Round, Church Matters, and Other Good Stuff (#4)

BLOG SERIES: MY JOURNEY

Family is the thing that makes the world go round. And I am truly thankful for my family. We could have all been dealt a different hand.

Have you ever wondered what life would have been like for you, how it would have been different, if you had grown up in a different family? I never did… I never considered the possibility of growing up in a different family. That must mean that my family was actually pretty okay.

I never had a desire to be anywhere else, be anyone else, or be in another family. As I said before, my family wasn’t perfect (we still aren’t), but we had a lot of love, and I was blessed to have the family I have.

My parents (papa-C and mama-D) were actually pretty strict, especially when we became involved in the church. We were raised in a very strict Apostolic/Pentecostal church.

The best way I can describe it now is that our church was very focused on following the letter of the law. The doctrinal meter leaned very heavily toward the “thou shalt not’s” as we were constantly reminded of the things we could not do.

In other words, they were strong on legalism (strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or religious code). For example, women couldn’t wear pants, make-up, jewelry, etc. We had to “look” saved.

But as I am now able to look at it from a more mature, spiritual perspective, we were more focused on the external appearance of holiness, that we put little to no value on the internal aspects of holiness.

God expects us to be holy. This is a fact. Holiness is required of all who claim to, or seek to follow Jesus. God said, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” But I now understand holiness to be an internal conversion that will inevitably show up externally.

In my opinion, holiness starts with a mental, physical, and emotional separation, or detachment, from the world. And once we become mentally, physically, and emotionally separated from the world, we then become mentally, physically, and emotionally attached to God.

There are many people walking around with no make-up, no jewelry, or skirts down to their ankles, who have not become spiritually attached to God. My point is this: our hearts need to become spiritually attached to God in order to please Him.

God knows whether our hearts are pleasing to Him. And He knows those that are truly His.

Let’s seek to please God with a pure heart of righteousness, seeking to be, and live holy. For without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.

Papa-C and mama-D did the best they could. They wanted to make sure we were abiding by the tenets of the church, in the hope that we were pleasing God by separating ourselves from the world, and being different, as He requires us to be.

But as I can see now, sometimes being overly legalistic can cause more harm than good. Some people feel that they are not able to measure up to these “standards,” and it can cause them to become resentful or rebellious.

Some have decided to walk away from the faith because they feel the requirements to be too laborious. And some have chosen to walk away because they find more pleasure in sin than in serving God.

Let me just say, God does have great expectations for His people. And He does have a certain standard that He expects us to abide by. (Holiness is one of God’s standards.) And God’s requirements are not grievous or burdensome…..to those who truly love Him.

So, if you have walked away from God because you feel His requirements are burdensome, or because you’ve been hurt in the church, or because you’ve fallen in love with sin and don’t want to give it up, LET IT GO and come back to God before it’s too late.

Ask God to forgive you, restore you, and to show you what His expectations are for you. And serve God with your whole heart, soul, and mind, leaving the world behind, and looking forward to God’s eternal kingdom, which is not of this world. We are not here to please man, but to please God.

I thank God for papa-C and mama-D’s guidance. They gave me my first introduction to God. And for this, I am eternally grateful. It was this introduction that started me on my journey.

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8 Comments on "Family Makes the World Go Round, Church Matters, and Other Good Stuff (#4)"

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jackie darling
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Good morning friend. The highlight of my morning is spending quiet time listening to the birds sing and sitting still and asking the Father to speak to me through His word. I also enjoy sipping my tea and reading your blog. It is like speaking to a good friend sitting right beside me, which brings me great joy since I work alone at home each day of week. I used to rebel against the solitude, now I welcome it because I sense His peace and His presence with me. I’m not alone. I’m grateful for that. In regards to your… Read more »
Jeanita
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Jackie, I so enjoy reading your comments. I know that you have a passion and a love for God. It’s easy for us to “run away” from God, desiring only to spend time with Him on Sunday mornings, and then we spend the rest of the week pursuing our own interests and desires. But, a true servant of God loves spending time with God, loves hearing from Him, and desires to grow closer to Him as He grows close to us. I sense your genuine love for the Father. The enemy wants me to think that the things that I… Read more »
jackie darling
Guest
I am already blessed by your friendship. You have always listened to me and advised me during some of my dark times as well for which I am grateful. God places us into families as He knows ‘who’ we need as we journey along this road. I, too, often wonder if the ‘art’ that I create is really something the He can use for His purpose and pleasure. At times, I feel that I’m gifted and on the right track and then at other times, I question what I am doing. I have come to the same conclusion that you… Read more »
dawn
Guest

I believe that some people focus too much on individuals’ outer appearance to determine how close to God they are. The outer appearance can deceive people; however, no one can deceive God. Only God truly knows if a person’s heart is for him.

Jeanita
Guest

You’re right, Dawn. A person’s outward appearance can be deceptive. God truly looks at a person’s heart. And I do believe that sometimes what’s in a person’s heart will manifest itself outwardly. “You shall know a tree by the fruit it bears.” I think focusing exclusively on the outer can sometimes cause us to neglect the internal. When God saves us, and changes us — when His Holy Spirit lives inside us — we should see some signs. There should be some clear, unmistakable signs that the Spirit of the Living God dwells in us.

Barbara Jumper
Guest

I am so blessed and impressed in how God is using you, every word you write goes right to the heart, I count it a blessing having met you, knowing you in your growth process, and sharing in what is far from a finished product gives me confidence that it is never to late, the words and thoughts you convey are like medicine for the soul.
God Bless you and thanks for helping me to realize that age s just a number and it is never to late,

Jeanita
Guest
I finally have a voice, or maybe it’s that God has given me the confidence to use it. What this blog, and my writing, is for me is an outlet for the passion of my heart. My heart is passionate about God, and the things of God. He was there for me through some difficult times. He carried me through. And my love for Him has grown deeper, richer, fuller. My love for God is real. No, it’s never too late. You have always blessed us with your beautiful poems and writing. I believe Bishop even told you once to… Read more »
Jeanita
Guest
I’m reminded of what the Bible says about Moses: That at 120 yrs. old, his eyes were not dim, and his strength was not abated (weak). Moses was a youthful 120 yr. old. Moses also spent a lot of time in the presence of the Lord. I believe it’s God’s will for His people to be healthy and well. It helps if we take care of ourselves, eat right, exercise, cut unnecessary stress from our lives… But I also feel that being in God’s will, being submissive and obedient to Him helps. It seems to me that if we expect… Read more »
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