Back to Church Sunday 2013

Terve!

Today I am going to be posting about something that is near and dear to my heart.  As most of you already know, I am a Christian and I do go to church every Sunday and on Wednesday when I can.  In a couple of weeks, September 15, it is National Back to Church Sunday.  As such, this post is going to be religious in nature.  If you find that offensive then please feel free to skip over it.  If not, please enjoy it.  Either way, I do hope that you read this and that it inspires you even just a little bit.

If you were to ask me what denomination I am I would tell you that I am an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist.  No, I am not a part of the Westboro Baptist Church group!  Not all Independent Fundamentalist Baptists are.  That would be like saying all Muslims are Jihadist which is completely and total FALSE!  I have many friends that are of the Islamic faith and they are some of the nicest people that I know.  However, a great number of my friends from college describe me as more of a “Messianic Jew”.  Why is this?  Well, I do come from Jewish ancestry and I do acknowledge Jewish holidays.  I have been known to share in Jewish festivities and I find this important.  Why?  I feel that as a Christian it is important to understand Jewish traditions to better understand the Bible and the roots of the Christian religion.  Many people forget that Jesus was a Jew.  I have also been called a Calvinist.  Why is that?  That is also an easy question to answer.  My father’s family is full of Mennonites.  Either way, I am a Baptist through and through and am perfectly happy as such.

Since I go to church as often as I do, you are probably wondering about when I was saved and baptized.  I was saved when I was 9 during Sunday School at Central Baptist Church in Ponca City, Oklahoma.  I was baptized on Easter Sunday when I was 10.  I do not have a story where I hit rock bottom, discovered that I needed Jesus in my life, went to church, and then got saved.  I have been going to church since I was a little girl.  That was the way that I was raised.  It always made sense to me.  However, the older lady that was helping with my Sunday School class, Ms.  Georgina was the one that really deserves the credit on leading me to get saved.  She answered all my questions, and as a curious child I had a ton of them, and was very patient with me.  She was an amazing lady I dearly miss her.  I was baptized the next year by our churches wonderful Pastor, John Waterloo.  That is my story.  I know it isn’t very amazing or exciting, but there you have it.

When I went off to college is another story though.  I first went to college at Cottey College, a private all women’s college, in Nevada, Missouri.  I went to the Baptist churches in that area and could not find one that suited me.  None of them were quite the same as my home church.  So, for the first year I just did not go.  I sat in my room and read my Bible on Sunday and listened to the recordings from Central Baptist.  However, my second year at Cottey I joined choir and our choir director invited me to her church where she led their choir.  So, I gave it a try.  This particular church was the First Presbyterian Church of Nevada, Missouri.  It was a nice church.  The minister was good and I knew some of the people that attended there.  I was pretty happy with it.  However, going to a Baptist church my whole life and then switching to a Presbyterian Church was a bit strange.  The beliefs are similar, but not the same and some of those really bothered me.  It was a relief to get back home to Central Baptist.  While I attended university at the University of Central Oklahoma I started attending Forest Hill Christian Church.  Once again, this was not a Baptist church and the beliefs were slightly odd to me.  I have friends that attend that church and I did enjoy the time that I went there.  The thing that was always a bit odd to me was that it was a bit too contemporary for my taste.  There were no pews in the sanctuary and they sang a good number of more Christian pop songs, but overall it was a nice church.  However, it was not my home church.  After graduating from UCO I got back to Central Baptist and love every moment I get in that church.

I feel like it is important to have a home church.  Why?  That is a simple question to answer.   To me the people at church are like an extension of my family.  I love each of them.  We help each other out and take care of each other like a family does.  I owe a lot to my church family.  They have helped me through some pretty hard times.  While I really came out of my shell and started being less shy at UCO, I will post more about that later, some of the people I at my church helped out with that recently.  My friends from UCO helped me learn that it is okay to be a geek and that there is a group of people that will love you and accept you for that.  The people at my church in a way helped me learn that it is okay to be myself around everyone.  In fact, I would not be quite as active at Central Baptist had it not been for me, being as shy as I am,  gathering up as much courage as I could and going up to our Minister of Music and asking him if I could join the choir.  So, José, if you are reading this, thank you.  Joining the choir at Central Baptist really helped me find my place at the church.  I have made some amazing friends at Central Baptist and I cannot imagine my life without those people.  Those people helped me become less shy around everyone, not just my friends.  Go out and find a home church!  It is the best thing I can think of to have in the world outside of a loving family.

On September 15 you should go to church.  Go to your home church if you have not gone in a while.  Try a church if you do not have a home church.  If you go to your home church faithfully, invite someone to go with you!  Ask your neighbour, ask your family, ask a co-worker, ask your classmates, ask a friend.  Just go out and ask someone!  The worst they can say is no.  Do not be pushy about it.  That does not give them a good impression about the religion.  Just ask.  Remember, not even the Apostle Paul could reach everyone.  He did his best.  You should too.  Need some more inspiration?  Have you ever heard of Penn Jillette?  You know from Penn and Teller.  Yeah, he is an Atheist.  Just watch this little video that I found on YouTube.

Well?  A little bit more inspired?  So go out and tell people about your faith!  Invite someone to church with you!  They may not go with you, but you at least invited them.

Share your faith!  Go tell people about what you believe in.  So what if they get offended by it.  It is there loss.  It does not matter what you believe in, if you truly believe in it why would you not want to let people know?  I believe in God and that he sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to die for the sins of all mankind.  I am grateful that he did so.  I would love it if everyone else believed the same as me.  I invite people to go to church with me whenever I can.  Just because you go to church does not mean you are obligated to join.  In fact, every church that I have been to have been very kind and welcoming even if I just visited them one time.  Even if you are from a different faith, visit a Christian church on September 15.  If nothing else, it might help you understand your Christian friends a bit better.  You are not committing yourself to that church or to the Christian faith by simply visiting. Until next time my lovelies!  Stay lovely and blessed!

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