The  Storm Cellar
The Storm Cellar

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Tree
February 16th, 2010 03:12 PM
That is so cool Remy. They were supposed to be there with you.

I read a book once about a man who was posing as a homeless man. He got mismatched clothes and just went and hung out with homeless people. He was actually writing a book about the homeless. It was shocking to me how he was treated. The very worst treatment came from churches who gave the homeless free meals.

I followed up on the book and read a couple more along the same lines. All of the homeless people were treated badly at churches, only places like the Salvation Army kitchens treated them kindly. I wish I could remember the names of the books. They were so interesting to me. I mean, some of the people were just drunks and drug addicts. But some were just out of work, and honestly didn't have any where to turn to.
Such hypocrisy. It is ironic though that as long as I have been going to church, the message from the Bible itself has always been the same truth. But the people who hear it make it into what "they" interpret it to mean. Usually these people have their own agenda, and a boat load of money to run the business the way they see fit. Church any more is a business. All about the money. It is so very sad. It wasn't meant to be like that. You go somewhere for so long and they get you thinking like they do. The danger of becoming stagnate. Not reading the Bible yourself, only listening to what they tell you. So many people are so misled. I honestly had sat in a pew twice every Sunday and on Wed. night for years and years growing up and not until my husband bought me a Bible did I really just read what I was not told to read. I could not believe that this God I was learning about for the first time was the same God I had always been taught was so horrible and mean. I couldn't get over how misled I was. I told my family members, my friends. Anyone who would listen about God and the love I felt for Him. They had no clue He didn't hate them. It took me years to convince my dad that God did love him. My entire family had been going to the same church. It had warped them. So many horrible things done in the name of God. Children beaten for not wanting to go to church. Church member beating other people's kids for goofing off during service. Crazy things that should never had been done all in the name of God.
Remy
February 15th, 2010 11:59 PM
Tree the deacon problem sounds like what we went through at a church we attended for fifteen years. There was good and bad about it. But the deacons and some of the long time members of the church frowned upon the down and outters for the most part ruled the place like they owned it. I liked the people but didn't like the way they treated the ones that they viewed as the outsiders. I remember one young couple and his wife joined. They were hippies. The guy came to church in leopard skin pants and had wild frizzy hair. His wife didn't wear a bra most of the time. I could see the eyes rollin the day they walked in....and I just grinned. I thought they are rockin their world. We ended up putting them in one of our musicals and they were awesome. It was an acting, singing musical with the christmas message, one that had been "approved by the baptist lifeway books". Anyhoo their acting was awesome. The church ended up saying that was one of the best Christmas programs they ever had..and if it hadn't been for those two we couldn't have pulled it off.
We no longer go there but your story reminded me of that church. The church we go to now consists basically of your down and outters. At one point in our current church we gave all our money for a habitat for humanity house to be built. After that we had a hard time paying the rent for the building we lease for the church...but the Lord always provides.
coalcracker
February 15th, 2010 07:32 PM
I thought so!
Tree
February 15th, 2010 07:05 PM
That is me Coal. When I first got here. Before I found out what I had gotten myself in to. LOL
(Edited by Tree)
coalcracker
February 15th, 2010 05:26 PM
Hey, Tree...who is that little cutie in your avatar? You made lots of good points about the BS screen and about the way the Lord teaches us. God's grace is indeed for ALL. Let us never forget. Hopefully your preacher is seeing the Lord at work in these things.

Density, cool play! I just read about an actual church shooting in Richmond, Virginia. Maybe it's good that you did the skit before now?!! I can't imagine what that one guy might say. I'm not sure what I would say or do!

Josie, I hear you, Sister. I like to sit up front because I've found the disruptive behaviors are worse toward the back. Walking out after church, I always feel slightly annoyed when I see how many church bulletins are left lying around on the pews. I know it is just a small thing, but it is so carelessly unthoughtful, you know? We need to pray for those people. There is a precious elderly woman who visits an adoration chapel near me every night to pray. She arrives at 3 AM and stays until 7 AM. That is what I call a prayer warrior! One night recently her car was broken into, and someone stole some valentine cards she was going to mail to her relatives. They got a few bucks that she had placed into the cards, plus she had to close her checking account because they got one of her checks. Do you know what she asked me to do after she told me all this? Pray 3 Hail Marys with her for the one who broke into her car!
Josie
February 14th, 2010 11:24 PM
density,
I don't think that would work too well at our church. One of two things would happen. One of our elderly parishioners would have a heart attack and the paramedics would have to be called. Or, and although it's against the law here in Illinois to conceal and carry, I'm afraid that someone would be carrying and things would not end well.

Tree,
I see the same thing a lot in our church, too. For the most part, the people in our parish are very generous. But there are many who are petty enough to want the recognition when they do good. To me, there is no greater thrill than to help someone covertly. But I do find myself getting petty too and I have to stop and rethink things. For example, there is this one woman who constantly comes into mass late. It's very disruptive because someone will be having to move to make room for her. I can't for the life of me figure out how someone can so consistantly walk in late, especially since she lives less than a block away! She and her husband always managed to make performances at a little theater here on time...with their drink in hand no less. But I have to stop myself and remind myself that at least she was making it to church!
Tree
February 14th, 2010 10:58 PM
Wow, that would be such a wake up call. God must have given you the idea to test the hearts of the people. If you can find any books by Corrie Ten Boom, do so. She was active in aproaching peoples minds too. Spreading the gospel to any who would listen. I love her bravery. She speaks to me.
densitydude
February 14th, 2010 09:17 PM
We have some like that here too.

Here is something I did with the youth on an Easter Sunday about 7-8 years ago.

At the time I had heard a story about some bad guys storming a church and asking if people believed in Jesus and if they said yes the people were shot. Our preacher had told the story to us in one of his sermons. I don't know if it was true or not but it gave me an idea. So, I got with the preacher, gathered the guys in the youth, wrote a script, got it approved by the preacher. He incorporated it in his sermon. Then on a preplanned Que, myself and 5-6 of my boys (dressed in camo,even our faces were painted) stormed the church. We slammed open the doors, came rushing in and started our play. Now this was EASTER SUNDAY, the house was PACKED. AS we entered in a loud SCARY manner there were several Lord help mes, Oh my Lord, and my favorite was from one of the Holier than thou guys down front. He said " OH ****,what in the HELL? " We went through our little play and the preacher finished his sermon while we quietly exited and waited to see how much trouble we made. Everyone came out talking about it and talking about if they would deny Jesus or not, if confronted. I think the idea that God gave me got the message across. We also got some of the only come to church on Easter folks to come more often because it seems to be more exciting at our church than what they were used too
It was really fun. I wished it would have been filmed, but we didn't get a our camera at church till after, as far as I know. I will email the preacher and see. If it was recorded I'll post it.
Tree
February 14th, 2010 03:59 PM
I think that is great DD.

On another note,
I have to tell you all a story, true story.....

Our church gives away food and clothes to the needy. But they are human and some of them think it means they are better than the unfortunate ones who are having hard times. That makes me so angry, but I think it is like that from time to time at every church. I could go on and on about the mistakes some members of my church make. But they do help a lot of people. Even if some of the higher up's think they deserve a bozo button or something for being so "good" to the sinners.

Ok I am going to harp on this one guy who ususally is so nice to everyone. A "sinner" from a clothing give away asked for a special prayer for his mother and friend who was to have heart surgery. He did one fatal thing, he actually stood up and interuppted the announcements asking for prayer. You would have thought he stripped down to his underwear and ran up and down the church aisle. But he just interuppted a man who is apparently Holy. (not)

Anyway the Holy man, a deacon in the church, began to say a prayer for the ones in the congregation who were in need. He named them all, and then said a prayer for the lost sinners who were in need of a lifestyle adjustment, that they could find their way to leave their sinning and return to God and then they would not suffer so much. Never did he pray for the man who asked for prayer, it was apparent the he was calling him a sinner who came for help and needed to change his sinful life before he could be graced with a special prayer from him, the Holy deacon.

Sorry for the sarcasm. But I was livid with anger at the Deacon. Then I thought at closing prayer a different man was praying, and he would pray for this man. Who was at our church for the first time. But no he didn't either. So I prayed for him, his mom and friend on my own. He had no car he had two children and a wife, they walked out the door like they were shunned after service. They walked with a stroller down the road. I wanted to talk to them but I got held up by people wanting to talk to me. But I saw them wonder off like they were ashamed. I was thoroughly ashamed of my church.

They did come back for a couple Sunday services. But then I didn't see them any more.

They had nothing, you could see that. They obviously came to our give away because of that.

The preacher had preached that day of how God really doesn't bless you if you are a sinner and you have to change to be in His good graces. It was a total BS sermon directed at those who had fallen on hard times. Again it made me so mad.

Our church has a lot of money. Lots of business people give lots of money to us, they are very influential families with long ties to the church. People who are in local government. Pilliars of the community if you will. I see many helped with the food and money and clothing. But none come to our church. But the ones they shun away for not being "blessed".

Our church has so much money that they decided they were hi tech and would leave our traditional service in the dust. Other churches in our denomonation locally were getting laptops and big screens to do power point and songs directly on the huge screen. Hey no need to buy pew song books. Saves money in the long run they say. I couldn't believe it.

They had a special food give away like usual at Thanksgiving this past year. They gave us paper shopping bags and gave us each a list of things to put in the bags to be given away at Thanksgiving. The church would buy the hams to give away for Thanksgiving.

Well at the same time a deacon, a different one than before decided we needed the laptop and big screen. It would cost over five thousand dollars. So Thanksgiving came and went and we can back the Sunday afterward and the shopping bags were still there but the laptop and big screen were too. We were confused. The Thanksgiving give away was postponed. Apparently the money for the ham was given to buy the laptop and bigscreen. I have dubbed the bigscreen the big BS, because we didn't need it and it totally covers the baptismal.

It is cheesy and it tells the congregation when it is time to pray, take the Lord's Supper etc. It is huge and bulky and hangs over the preachers head like an eyesore. With a big lap top computer screwed to the podium. It is so unlike anything we have ever had. Our church does not believe in anything that is not in the Bible, not even a christmas tree is allowed in the building. No musical instruments not even for weddings. But now we have the big BS. Permanently screwed to the ceiling. The preacher, who is a good man, began praising the BS. Thanking all involved in the good fortune of the church to afford the BS so quickly. It was talked about one Sunday, up and running the next. With the Thanksgiving money for the hams put on hold, to be given away as a Christmas dinner now.

So I watched as people began to deteriorate away from God and toward the new found BS. We are awesome, we help everyone and we are blessed enough to afford a new sound system and laptop and bigscreen. Look at us. (sarcasm on ) All the while I am like "Who is sailing this ship and where are we headed?" Our humble church has turned into a "look at us help the sinners" kind of church. Humans can screw up anything.

So all of the sudden our preacher is struck with sickness. Just out of the blue, in ICU fighting for his life. I see that he feels he is losing the blessing. (If that were possible) and he has kidney failure, collapsed lung, pnemonia and infection. He is knocked out of preaching for over a month. But while he is knocked out of commission, a handicapped man who cannot really speak has the opportunity to ask a person who is filling in to read his sermon to us that he has written but has no way of speaking it to us. He could never preach. So it is down to him, a poor handicapped man who faithfully comes to church Sunday after Sunday.

But, it is just what we needed to hear. Everything our congregation needed to hear with all the BS that has been going on. There is a reason for everything. Even in our churches. When some get a big ego, God sends a handicapped man who cannot speak to set us straight.

We are still stuck with the big screen but our preacher has been humbled with his close call and brush with death. Isn't if funny how all of this started with going off the path by helping people in need? Our lessons come to us by way of unfortunate circumstances. Why we should always help others and not be proud about it. All churches should help and if it is not possible, the everyday ordinary people should help. Christian or not, we should have compassion for everyone. But as Christians we should know more than others that God's grace is for all. We are all sinners. I never liked the idea of separating people into categories. We are all His children. We all learn so much from each other. Our hearts are our biggest teachers, they keep us in check. To love everyone no matter what the circumstance. Like me, I "know" I will one day feed hungry people that I do not know and I don't see me doing it by way of my church. I "know" I will do it on my own with my family. When that opportunity presents itself to me I will feel I have fulfilled my destiny that I am preparing for now. I know harder times are coming and I know I need to help. I have felt this so strongly for a very long time. We all need to prepare to help the ones He sends to us for help. There are no accidents and all things are for His good joy.

(Edited by Tree)
densitydude
February 14th, 2010 12:06 PM
We have a family that came to our church that is homeless and we are working on getting them a place of their own. We are helping however we can till we find them a place.

The battle has never changed from the beginning. It is "the seed of the serpent against the seed of the woman.” The battle is over truth, but not political truth, it is over eternal truth. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of this even though their Bible tells them that they “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12