John 4:23-24 says "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth" we are to worship God in spirit and truth...what does that mean?  In light of the last post I wonder just what God expects of me in church when I am worshiping Him.  I'm having trouble with this because of things that have happened in that I began to study just what it means and have come to the conclusion that:... 
1. Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman at the well.  Samaritan's did not accept some of what was written...including the coming of the Messiah from the line of the Jews...they followed their own traditions and beliefs so their worship was not in truth.  We are to worship the way God wants and not follow the traditions of men...Psalm 33:4 "For the word of the Lord is right and true, He is faithful in all He does" and it is clearly shown by example and command just what is to be included in church...(I'm not saying we can't honor and communicate with God outside of the church gathering or worship...but this is a follow up to church services, thus the focus)...REMEMBER to always look at the context of a scripture...understand it and see if it applies...

 2. Worshiping in spirit is worship that is sincere and from the heart. 
Spirit is something that isn't is inside...SOOOO, if we are to worship the way God wants and we are to worship from the heart and sincerely...what do we do when there are heart problems that have not been resolved?  The simple answer is to fix the problems, but the truth of the matter is that does not always work the way we would like...Does that mean if our hearts are broken or if our mind is on other things that we are failing God?

When I ask this type of question my mind immediately goes to what God said of David AFTER David had Bathsheba's husband killed and took her for his own...have I said this before??  Well, it bears repeating...He called David a man after His own heart.  WHY?  It seems that the HEART has a lot to do with it...David had his heart for God...Acts 13: 22 talks about how God raised up different kings...and of David this was said..."I have found David the son of Jesse a man after My heart who will do all My will"  Psalm 16:2 David says... "You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good"...This was David's heart!  My heart is willing...BUT, my mind is weak...WOW, that is scripture...Romans 7:18

I was sitting in church one day...and my phone rang...(I was SO embarrassed and didn't know how to quickly silence it) I was sitting way up front and the preacher; who often preached in the aisle; came over to me and asked for my purse.  I gave it to him and he got my phone and answered it...RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SERVICE!! Well, it was my husband who had stayed home that day.  He began questioning him...asking him why he wasn't there when I was...the WHOLE church knew it was my husband.  The preacher was not trying to be mean...he was being funny.  I didn't think it was funny though when the entire congregation began to clap and laugh.  On the surface this may not seem like much, but to me (who was having a little difficulty in my relationship at the time) it was horrifying.  The action of the preacher was embarrassing but the mob mentality was devastating!  I told him how upset I was later and he graciously apologized in public the next Sunday...but what has stuck was the way the whole church just followed along without a thought (or seemingly so) to what it did.  To this day those things come to mind from time to time when I look around at the people sitting there...

During a ladies class one day I looked up to see someone had put up a bunch of pictures from events in the congregation in the past.  It would have been great except for the fact that there were a few photo's of me with my kids and my FIRST husband.  I was dating my current husband and going to church there together with him at the time.  Apart from the fact it was shocking, it seemed in bad taste.  I didn't plan on it, but seeing that made me feel like crying, so I got up quietly and left the room.  Some years later I found out that the woman who followed me out to see if I was OK and so kindly said she would quietly take care of it and take them down...actually went back in the room and said "She should just get over it".  This kind of ugliness was made a bit worse when they all agreed. MOB MENTALITY again. I suppose they didn't have the awkward moment as I didn't find out about it for years...sigh...for me it was the awkward moment as a woman came up to me and asked me if I had ever gone to the church I was going to...the lady who was there years that room...on that day.  WOW...beware your sins will find you out! Numbers was talking about one particular sin, and we know that there are many sins in secret...but, still that scripture always comes to mind when I find things out that have been done behind my back...

So, with these events and things popping to mind from time to time I have a hard time worshiping in spirit and in truth when I'm there...but, if I understand correctly God looks at the heart...and my heart surely WANTS to do the right thing!

On MOB Exodus 23 isn't something God holds in high favor for sure!!

And on we go...trying, trying, trying still...hoping ever and always to do God's will!!

God Bless!


I've heard the church compared to a hospital.  You know the concept...a hospital is for the sick, and the church is for those who are sick at heart (in need of salvation...or...healing). Jesus said it Himself in Matthew 11:28 - "Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest" Yep, I'm pretty sure Jesus wants us to come to Him.

 In exploring that idea I began to consider what goes wrong that causes so many people in my life (and I bet in yours too) that say they hate organized religion. WHY do they feel that way, and what can the church do to help them feel differently?  Again, I'm sure the reasons for not wanting to be a part of "organized" religion are as many as there are individual hearts out there...but I'm seeing, in my experience a general theme, and it disturbs me a bit.

The theme seems to revolve around having bad experiences within a body of Christians involve people misusing God's Word to benefit their agendas.  Gossip, elitism, shunning, judgmental words or actions, seem to be among the reasons some people choose to abandon "organized" religion all together.

I hear many tell that they don't need organized religion (and by that I am talking about Christians meeting together to worship) because they have religion inside themselves...meaning (I THINK) that they can worship God in their hearts and that is all they need.

I always cringe a little at the thought of "going it on my own" and even considering NOT being a part of the church God calls us to be a part of.  It makes me nervous...and from what I've studied it isn't all we are supposed to do...Hebrews 10:25 comes to mind EVERY TIME...- "not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the day approaching" Ok, that is the part that says we need to be worshiping together...but, take a look at a big reason WHY we need one another in verse 24..."let us consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds"...well, there's one good reason why we are told to NOT FORSAKE.  But, what about being in a group of people with character traits or behaviors as I described a couple paragraphs those situations that is WHY a person leaves a, what else does God say about our worship of Him within a church?  Acts 20:7 - "On the first day of the week we came together to break bread, Paul spoke to the people, and as he intended to leave the next day he spoke until midnight" This teaches us that we are to "break bread" or take communion (a memorial in observance of Jesus that involves fruit of the vine and unleavened bread). On of the things we are to follow are examples set forth, and this example is set forth stating on the first day of the week...IF this were an in depth study of when we are to take communion I would go further...but, for our purposes today suffice it to say we have an example to follow that we are to take communion together on the first day of the week...Other scripture calls for us to be unified, or be of one mind...check out the following: Philippians 2:2; I Cor. 1:10.  These scriptures speak about how we are to be unified as a of one like minded...loving one another...SO, from these scriptures and other study I know that God wants us to be a part of His church, for those reasons and to worship Him John 4:24. The bottom line is God wants this, so who am I to argue the point?

When people ask me why I would be a part of a church that has people in it that are gossipy, judgmental, elitist, and so on I can only respond that what those people are doing is NOT a part of the church that God created and set up for is a system of people taking things with their own agendas and their own ugliness and distorting what God intended.  BUT, it does not relieve me of some of what God asked of me to do, which in this case is to worship Him in church...NOT TO FORSAKE.  I didn't say it, God did...who am I to distort what God asked me to do?  If I did, I would be no better than those inside who distort His word and intent by their ugly actions. many of us often feel like this little kitty...I know I DO!  I HATE confrontation, I hate feeling like I need to defend myself, and I just want to tell them to go away...what a heart breaking issue!!

OK...I've sort of talked around this issue...stating the problem, but not really having a clear answer...and here is the best one I have to date.  WHEN people gossip about you, TAKE that sin to them in private and tell them...Matthew 18:15 (as talked about in a previous post).  WHEN people say or do something that hurts you...well...MATTHEW 18:15...WHEN you are criticized or persecuted for doing what is right (can be seen as a form of bullying or elitism) I Peter is a long bit for this day, but take the time to read will feel better inside yourself...AND REMEMBER our Lord was persecuted and killed because of our sins....The message I'm getting here is to be courageous and stand up for yourself and for what is right Deuteronomy 31:6 - "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you"

Right now in my life I feel a bit disheartened at how the church behaves toward people who are struggling.  I've had some very hurtful events that make me want to stay home and just "have God in my heart".  I try to speak up and be courageous...sometimes that has given a person a chance to save their souls by responding the way God asked them to...and that is WHY it was important for me to bring it to them...and sometimes...sadly, more often than not they either do not respond at all (a trait in abusive relationships...called devaluing), or they respond with more ugliness; which, is their problem, but it hurts just the same.  Never the less...I love God more than I am afraid, and I do my best to put on my sincerest heart and my smile and go to worship Him because that is what He wants of me...and as for those who I have yet to approach...I pray for courage...and I also pray for discernment...God does not expect me to stay in an unbearable situation...sometimes it means to shake the dust off my feet and move on...Matthew 10: 13-14 ; Matthew 7:6 still to worship Him, still to find a place to do that the way He asked me to; BECAUSE HE ASKED ME TO.  But he does NOT expect me to live with people wiping their dirty feet (or dirty intentions) on, we have God give us ways to feel better, and find a better way within His commands and examples we are to follow.

I am NOT finished with this topic...except for the moment!



This is a story about how a christian brother SHOWED me love one day by offering the side of his house...I'll never forget that gift, and neither will anyone else who visits him...:)

I am thinking a lot these days about how we can help or hurt our christian brothers and sisters by how we show love or lie about our love. LOVE of the brethren is all over the scriptures...I learned that when something is repeated in scripture; a concept, a commandment, etc. it is VERY important!  Now, I'm not saying all of God's words to us are not important...I'm just saying...GOD IS LOVE...I John 4:8 - "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love"...He gave us this wonderful thing called love and it is up to us to learn how to love by His example...and to practice it!  This awesome thing can be a tool of healing, generosity, a safe haven for those we are called to love.  What does the bible say...following are just a few scriptures on how we are to love one another...and then I'll get back to my story.

John 13:34 - " one another as I (Christ) have loved you..."

Romans 12:10 - " devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves..."
Ephesians 4:2 - " completely humble and gentle, bearing with one another in love..."

Well, I could go on for awhile...take some time the next time you study to just look up scripture that refers to love of your brother...there is a lot.  What I learned from my study is that love is an action word...not just a word.  These scriptures above imply sacrificial love, devoted love, humility and gentleness in love...patience...those are things we show by how we act...right?...well, I can think of a time when I was low...angry at the world...and yes, even angry with God.  It isn't fair to be angry with The One who made us, who loved us SO much that He sacrificed His Son for us...but it happens...when we do not have our eyes above...and when life gets us down and we cave in to that horrible emotion that serves to destroy us and those around us if we don't put it where it prayers of supplication... Philippians 4:6 - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God"

A time of anger for was hard, I was raising two little ones alone, people were a little hard...I was going to school and working a couple jobs and being there with my little kiddos and I went through an angry time.  I had a professor who noticed the difficulties my heart and physical life were encountering and he wanted to help.  One day after class he called me to his desk and said he'd noticed that I seemed to be in pain in my life and he said he wanted to help.  He told me he knew I was an artist and he had an idea for me to try. Call me intrigued...He said he was painting his house and wanted to know if it would help me get some of my anger out in a visible way by writing my every hurt, every angry thought, every devastation I encountered on his house in the new color and then he would paint over it.  HOW COOL WAS THAT!!

I was embarrassed at first and said no thank you, but I hadn't gotten but a few steps before I turned around and took him up on his offer.  Here was a brother in Christ that was reaching out to me in brotherly love; trying to help...and in a way that my artist heart could relate to...JUST THE THING I NEEDED...We ALL need the fellowship of our brethren...but only if it is presented as God wanted it...otherwise things can backfire big time...But, this man (an his wife was equally as wonderful) was trying to help...and in a very touchable way...they weren't just words...well, at least not yet...:)

So, I went...and, yes, I wrote every hurt, every angry word, every devastation I had endured or felt...ALL OVER THE SIDE OF HIS HOUSE!! I was honest with me...I took those moments and just wrote and wrote and wrote with my finger dipped in that paint can...with him on a ladder above painting his way down and erasing all that hurt and fear that had been building up for...well...EVER!  I have to tell you it was touched the artist in me who was and still is so got out the poison of hurt and feelings of rejection of the world and others of my own faith...and I felt so FREE of those things.  Nothing had changed but my writing on a wall...WAIT...yes they HAD felt good to get it out...but the thing that helped to replace such hurt in my heart was the reaching out in love of my christian brother!!  WHAT POWER this thing called LOVE that God IS and CREATED in this world!!  WOW...

I beg of you to NEVER underestimate how much value there is in reaching out to someone in love with intent to be there for your brothers and sisters who are hurting...It is the GLUE that holds us together through this very tough world!

Oh, yes...there is more to this story...After he had painted over and I had profusely thanked he and his wife (who graciously allowed this very creative expelling of my soul) and went my way...a little lighter...and smiling at the cool thing that I'd just done...and so happy that all those things I said were out...and covered over in love...(think about it)...WOW...and day a few weeks later my professor called me to his desk again after class...grinning from ear to ear...

He told me that he was out in his side yard one day and talking to a college official that lived next door (this was a christian college mind you)...and they were talking about how nice the new color looked on the house...and having tea...and then...they looked closer...and lo and could STILL SEE what I'd written on the house!!!  HORROR!!!  EMBARRASSED!!!...My finger had caused a little texture and it had dried a little before he painted it over...I was so SORRY...and then in the midst of apologizing HUGELY I noticed he had tears in his eyes from laughing and he said..."Saundra, do not be embarrassed...and do not be sorry...for this is merely a reminder of the wonderful person I knew you were under neath all that hurt and anger"...and until the day he painted again he never covered it over...Now, THAT is brotherly love!

One more quick story of how love is supposed to be...Last year something happened with a brother in Christ that hurt me badly...both in my heart and trouble in my life.  I was SO hurt and angry at first...but the bible tells us to be angry and sin not ...Ephesians 4:26.  So, I waited and prayed about my anger and then I did as the bible tells us to do...I wrote him about my hurt and told him I was working hard at forgiveness...Matthew 18:15 - "If your brother sins against you go and show him his fault, just between the two of you, if he listens to you, you have won your brother over." and then I gave it to God.  He, not long after, SHOWED what Godly brotherly love is supposed to be by writing me back with a sincere heartfelt apology and an offer to do what ever it took to make it right...I responded with a sincere thank you and told him that by his Godly response he had healed my heart! HOW AWESOME is Godly love when we practice it the way God gave us instruction to do!

Oh yes..I bet you thought I forgot....I John 3:18 - "Dear children let us not love with words or speech but with actions and with truth."

You do not know who is watching you...who is needing you...take a moment and look could save a soul today.

May God Bless You Today!



We all have choices about our behavior in any given situation.  It is a free country, and God gave us free will. God loved us so much and He created us; wanting us to come to Him and worship Him and bring as many to Him as we can. Obviously we would want to be in God's favor, but how does that apply in how we treat others?  Do we choose to ignore the pain of others?  Do we bury our heads in the sand in order to avoid dealing with difficult situations that come up with our brothers and sisters...our families...our friends?

Have you ever been in a situation with someone where their pain at something in their lives inconvenienced you or made you feel uncomfortable?  I'm sure we've all been there at one time or another...that's normal...but in these situations we have a choice to either be there for that person...a willing ear...a encouraging word...a card sent to say you are thinking of them... OR...we can choose to ignore it, move away from them, or just say it isn't your "thing" to be supportive in that way; any number of things that clearly gives the message that you can't be bothered with their pain.  I'm not saying we all have the same gift to give another person, but there are many things we can do to let a person know we are there and we care.
Matthew 25: 41-43 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me"  This speaks of a personality trait...heavy consequences.

let's call them the underdog...because most often that is the ganged up on one...
(I'm noting that the cat is nowhere to be seen...hmmm...)

Ok...we all know the stories of our youth...let's focus on our adult selves...We'd like to think that ganging up on someone is only the folly of the young, but we've all seen that behavior as adults...we see it on the news for sure...but let's get a little closer to home...have we ever ganged up on someone? Peer pressure happens at any age; it's just that as adults we are supposed to be adult enough to stand up and not take part.  It can happen in the form of gossip where the offended party isn't even there, or it can be more overt...right there in front of a person.  Galations 5:15 - "If you keep on devouring each other watch out or you will be destroyed by each other" noted in the verse just above we are told what is good "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself?  We know what is right, but yet we fall to peer pressure or unfair judgment of another. Simple concepts, yet we let our worldly selves and our selfish needs take over.

I am thinking of that preacher and his wife that continued to brow beat me during those two hours in my post of the 11th titled "And History Repeats Itself" not only did they gang up on me with the person I was with, but they continued to squawk lies about me throughout a community I was a part of...I'm thinking of those friends of mine who ganged up on me and wrote me the Hello Dolly dear Saundra letter...I'm thinking of an entire community in school who followed me for years and yelled names behind my back...but let's get closer still...what about a spouse that uses strength or makes more money or whatever it may be that gives them the "power" in a relationship calling names, or bullying...what then?  You applies across the board...God has a spirit of His word and His wisdom's apply in all these things.

Or do you know someone who just seems to be out to get you?  Have you ever had this kind of person in your life that you literally feel is just waiting for a chance to well, devour you?  Scary stuff, but in our world this exists.  I Peter 5:8 "Be self controlled and alert, your enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" Sheesh, this is devil stuff...this is serious bad mojo when someone tries to devour a person.  WHY?  WOW, I think there must be as many reasons as there are people with evil intent, but we are told to be self controlled...alert...that implies that we must know our enemy and be careful.  There is a woman on the outskirts of my life that has been that person I am alert about...she seems to have no boundaries...she feels it is her right to invade my life in ways that have brought about much destruction. She hides under the guise of kindness with those in my life, but I make no mistake, this woman has evil intent...most certainly brought about by a sense of self that smothers anyone in her way. To me these are the most dangerous of humans.  What I have tried could fill a little book...(I need to make sure I don't exaggerate)...I've tried to be nice...nope, she still does damage...I've tried to talk to her...well, in the form of a letter (I mean you MUST know those teeth behind this photo are HUGE) and she just blew it off saying she was confused...I've tried just letting her alone and living my life and letting her live hers...NOPE...she gossips about me and has cost me people in my life...and on it, I just pray harder that this person be somehow removed from my life so I can go on...AND, NO I DO NOT MEAN what that sounded like...:)  I'm thinking moving to another city...or finding an invisible cloak (hey, if it was good enough for Harry Potter)...that sort of thing...we shall see...The ONLY thing that gives me peace here is Matthew 10:28 "Do not be afraid of someone who could harm your body, they cannot touch your soul"...whew, thank goodness!! I'm also thinking of her...Matthew 7:1 says in will be judged by how you judge"...oooohhhh spooky!!

But I have to be honest here...this woman scares me...she can do a lot of damage to my heart and my life...sigh...oops, I'm back to that!

 Yep, this is it...friends!!  True Friends...that is what it is all about if we are to help each other through this world...we NEED each other...this life can get dicey...can be heartbreaking...
Yep...I Peter 2:17 "Honor every person, love your brethren, worship God and Honor kings"
Love each other will ya!!