Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

On Catching Flies

I know it has been a long time between posts--frankly I have been unsure exactly how to post what is on my mind. Having read lots of other blogs that are blatantly honest to the point of bluntness, I have decided to do the same. I will not however, name names. Please feel free to stop reading anytime you find the content offensive and if it is like watching a car wreck and you just can't tear yourself away, repent afterwards and purge your mind of the horrible thoughts. (Just kidding)!

Several things have happened recently that have threatened my christian spirit. There are the regular things like moving abruptly, changes at work and multiple deaths in the congregation, but those things are all a part of regular life on this earth. However the other things have really caused me to ask questions.

For instance---a woman was recently baptized. She has been worshipping with us for quite some time and decided she could not wait to be forgiven. Another lady was baptized after worshipping with us for several years, finally convinced that baptism is necessary, she put on her Lord and Savior. These are the comments made --re: the young woman: "some women will do whatever it takes to catch a man" and re: the older woman: "she probably did it because she is having health problems and is afraid"---seriously folks--I am not making this stuff up! Can you even imagine someone, anyone, having the nerve and the elevated opinion of themselves enough to question a baptism?

Then--a coworker was talking about her pregnant teen age daughter, the girl is fourteen. The girl wanted to go on a Labor Day campout with her boyfriend and his three high school age guy friends. Her mother said she was going to let her because "after all, it's not like she can get pregnant". Are you kidding me?

Then on Saturday, I received an email, from someone who does not know me, disguised as a caring and Christian email, but scathing, judgemental, condemning and manipulative, attempting to guilt me into doing something--judging me not for what I have done in the past, because that obviously accounts for nothing but for what I haven't done recently because I had not the wherewithall to do. The assumption that I would see a need and ignore or neglect it, that I would not help where I could was insulting and demeaning. Throwing in Bible verses to try and prove how horrible I am didn't help and virtually spitting on the gift of prayer was equally offensive.

Lastly, a very good friend and her husband are adopting twins from Romania. The twins are special needs children and are now three years old. My friends are going to Romania next week to pick them up. Her eyes light up as she tells about these newest additions to their family. Most of her family and friends have not been supportive. They cite all kinds of instances when adoptions fail, they talk about the "hidden" medical needs of foreign children and tell my friend that she "has no idea what she is getting herself into" and "that these children will be nothing more than a money pit and once they are grown will return to their country with an American education and amnesia regarding their American parents." How hateful can you be?

I am not sure where in scripture it tells us that it is okay to: 1) judge and condemn anothers motives, 2) label others as less and 3) use God's Word to humiliate and assault each other. Does anyone know where it says this? And are there addendum's to the "Let NO unwholesome word come out of your mouth but only what is profitable for building one another up according to their needs" passage? Am I confused? Does it really mean NO unwholesome word? I am so grateful neither of my two new sisters in Christ heard these remarks for I know those words have injured their infant faith.

The old cliche that one can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar is certainly true. Imagine these babes in Christ, ten years from now, after receiving years of encouragement. How many souls might they bring to the Lord? Imagine this fourteen year old girl with some real parenting and some guidance, learning self-respect and self-restraint and being supported to do the right thing for her baby. Personally, I am more apt to do something, even if it is a struggle, if I am approached with love and a sincere Christian need. And my friend isn't asking for money or clothing or plane tickets only for her friends and family to share her joy.

Why do we have to be so ugly to each other. When we are kind and considerate and supportive, others respond in turn. There is so much I do not know--but this I believe--It is indeed easier to catch a fly with honey than to beat it to death with a baseball bat.



Blessings

Neva

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva,
I am so sorry for all involved in these situations. There are always those around who pretend to be Christians, who go to church and spout love and yet feel free to attack and belittle others. We have all been hurt by callous comments--somehow they hurt more from so called christians. Always a reminder to be more loving and mind the words I say.

Pat

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Joelynn said...

Neva,

You know that I am a person who speaks my mind, but as I have gotten older I have realized what a real gift it is to be able to keep your mouth under control. I will pray for the people you are dealing with. I will especially pray for those who were the targets of the harsh words. Hang in there and keep encouraging people with your blogs. Love, Joelynn

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Jarrod said...

Neva,

I have been there recently too. I agree with Joelynn--it is a sign of growth to control your words (even in email or blog) that is why James tells us about its destructive nature. I will pray for these people as they grow in the Lord that they will begin to realize the sinful nature of their words.

Jarrod

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me too--and does it really chap you when they act all concerned and like they are saying this out of some vain or prejudiced show of doing good? It is no wonder the world doesn't come to us, we don't behave like we have ever received God's mercy and forgiveness. Shame on us and shame on the people in this post.

Dean

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, it is good to see you posting again!

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody who doesn't know you sent you that email? Wow! That takes guts! Someone must have peed in her cheerios or something. I can't even think of anyone I would send a hateful email to--you said she was a christian? I doubt that!
Sorry, girl--keep your head up-
Do you need me to pay her a visit? :)

Love ya
Kel

8:57 PM  
Anonymous georgian peach said...

What a horrible example of humanity--each and every one of them. Dealing with people is so difficult as I am sure our dear Saviour can attest to. Sending prayers your way.

Georgia

9:38 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

So sorry Mrs. Neva, I do love your perspective about how we ought to treat one another. Funny how if we would live up to what we are called to be that evangelism and giving and caring and discipleship would be all the more productive and effective.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know some of these people or at least ones who behave the same way. I've always heard it preached that we are the ones that shoot our own wounded. How sad that we have that reputation.
great post

Rachel
ps--for someone to say such things to you, they obviously don't know you.

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Corinne said...

Neva,
What can one say when their brothers and sisters behave so badly? And thank God most of our Christian family behaves better. And yet, it seems the ones who are so arrogant and proud are the loudest. God says we will be held accountable for every "careless" or intentional word that we say. So in each of these instances, judgement will come. I wonder what their answer will be when God asks them why?
Corinne

3:04 AM  
Blogger Traveling Woman said...

Thank you for writing this post (good to see you again). You are so right. Sometimes when I hear some of these type comments about new Christians, I just look at the person and say, "Oh, you don't know do you?" That leaves them wondering what they have missed and what they might have said. After all I can't elaborate as that would be gossiping! As far as those e-mails, well, we just have to pray for those people don't we? Thanks again, Pat

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is the pain such events cause. It makes forgiveness so difficult, it makes sharing our joys and sorrows almost impossible and it makes loving one another a challenge. How do we just "kiss and make up" while our heart is still hemorrhaging? It is the call of the christian to do so, even more it is a command but it sure is hard sometimes.
Your posts make me want to be a better christian. Thank you for that.

Karin

10:04 AM  
OpenID johndobbs said...

Good Post, Neva ... I mean, it's frustrating, but good to point out these things and expose them for what they are. Our Enemy is at work all around us ... sometimes through us.

I think one of the best gifts I've ever received is that e-mail from you that comes saying "I'm praying for you" ... Dear God how precious that it.

Thank you.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Neva said...

Mary,
I can't get your comment to post--thank you so much for your kind words and for your input. I will keep trying to get it in here.
Thank you,my friend
neva

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugghhh...sin and sinfulness doesn't just go away when someone gets baptized or attends church regularly.

too many of us aren't fighting against the flesh and fighting to be holy and more loving.

brian the blogprophet

12:50 PM  
Anonymous -bill said...

Dear Sweet Neva,

I am so sorry this muck has been dumped on you. I've experienced similar things recently and have struggled with keeping a Christian attitude through it all.

As I was wrestling with this in prayer, specifically asking God to help me have a proper attitude, a friend called to discuss exactly what Jesus was asking His Father when He prayed, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."

In reflection, I believe God was helping me take the first step in healing by reminding me just how human we humans all tend to be.

Beyond this realization is another poignant point of insight. Now I can only speak for myself---and am certainly not suggesting your history is the same as mine---but I am painfully aware that for each ignorant, insensitive word I hear spoken by others, I can easily think of ten occasions in which I have done the same. So, when I feel the sting of their statements directed towards me or others, I let this be a reminder for me to thank God for the abundance of His grace lavished upon me AND ask God to help others become aware of just how much we all need His mercy and grace.

Still, I know your pain is real and will continue to remember you in my prayers.

Blessings in Christ,
-bill

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva,
All I said was that when you pray for me I know God is going to bless me and my life is easier knowing that you are praying. I am all the way with John--what a precious gift.

Mary

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found that many people think that just because they call themselves Christians, they have a right to say hurtful things to others. It's hard to know who to trust.

Sorry you're having to experience too.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Hey, you're back! I miss reading your blog. I know exactly what you are saying, there are so many self-righteous people out there--people who judge others by their own standards rather than God's. I have found that usually one is guilty of something and trying to make themself feel better and more christian than others. Just consider the source on these situations.
Prayers for you and those babes in Christ.
Jean
PS. Thanks for the link, I am not sure she would want anything from me, but I will pass it on to our elders.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva,
I am sad for those who made these remarks. I know how crushed I would have been when Judd and I were baptized. I can't believe someone would say such things. I read through your examples and could not figure out which one was the most disturbing. Really all of them are. It is hard to not be ashamed of brothers and sisters sometimes isn't it?
Thank you so much for all the encouragement you give so many. I look forward to the day when I get to meet you in person. If not here then in the hereafter.
Love you sister
Kara

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

Hey Neva,
Been gone for a week, just got your email, sorry to hear about your grandchildren, I think the website is a pretty good idea but am not sure whether the budget is set already. I will let you know.

Carlos

10:11 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

Oh Neva, I am so sorry. I have experienced similar situations and sometimes I feel they all happened with Christians and my non-christian colleagues and friends are all loving-caring-thoughtful. I know this is not true and maybe my expectations towards Christians are much higher - too high? - but I know exactly how this feels.

When my stepbrother died at the age of 25, a lady from the church stepped towards my griefing stepmom who was desperately trying to hold up that day and told her "well my dear, I am so sorry for you loss and additionally I guess you agree, if he died this way he is certainly NOT in heaven."
Good gracious! How thoughtless can one be!

But recently I have found myself being so unkind very often myself, that I realise I am just a sinner too and who knows what might happen, that I am like this when I grow 30 years older?!?

I am praying that I'll always keep a soft and loving heart overflowing with kind words - or keeping quiet if there are no kind words.

Sending a hug - lets try to change the little bit of the world that we can - and I believe you are already doing that!

10:24 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

Neva,
I sometimes want to comment on certain blogs and just say "R U KIDDING ME"!!! I understand that the internet can be a fantasy world, but when they trash other people in order to make themselves look better than or to make a profit it just makes me ill... We love you and if you ever need me to take a little road trip I am all for it!!!

10:12 AM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

Neva-
I understand because I have experienced those same kind of brethren.
I agree with the old saying about flies and honey... but just know that there are some of us out there who aren't afraid to "swing away" when the vinegar brethren go after the flies.

I know that is not your nature but some of us "have your back" ;)

Some of my favorites:
"I love you brother but...."
Response: I'm brother Don. Brother Butt doesn't worship here any more.

"I was just thinking....." or "I always thought....."
Response: Obviously you didn't think that long or hard about it....

"A lot of brethren I talked to said...."
Response: Name one other and none of them can live in your own head.

:) Don :)

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hurtful words have no place in a christians life. Sorry this is happening around you, just a sign that satan is alive and well.


huggs

Gina

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hurtful words have no place in a christians life. Sorry this is happening around you, just a sign that satan is alive and well.


huggs

Gina

9:34 PM  
OpenID dgossett said...

This is where I ask myself..."what are we doing here?" I think sometimes the issues are unique with the CofC, but I know that is not true. It is all just so very sad.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there done that, repented!

8:58 PM  
Blogger It's Time to Live... said...

A thought I like for these situations is, " We are not on this earth to see through each other, we are here to see each other through."

Everyone is progressing at different rates on this earth, don't let anyone hold you back or pull you down!

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post breaks my heart as a Christian that others think so little of the gospel to link it to ulterior motives or fear alone. God bless the two women that have been baptised into Christ, buried with Him in baptism is what each of us should pray for all we know and meet in this walk of life. God forbid that I am the cause or stumbling block for any of mankind.

As Christian we rejoice when anyone becomes a child of God and we are supposed to be there to encourage them with kindness, love and joy.

Bless you Neva love them into the light!
madalyn

10:34 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

It is amazing what people will say without ever thinking about how it will affect someone else. Since when did it become "our" place to decide the motives of someone taking on baptism. Believe me the angels are rejoicing! Thank goodness for people like you to encourage those new Christians in their walk.

There must be a lot of talk going on because Terry Rush also posted something a couple of days ago on words.

http://terryrush.blogspot.com/2008/09/talk-is-expensive.html

Thank you for your honesty, it needs to be said! By the way, welcome back! Blessings!

8:40 AM  

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