Posts Tagged ‘Chapel’

Let me take you back in time, before everything at the church changed. Let me take the clock back to the days that I was happy. The days were before the college days, long before the days of being forced to do something I was content doing freely. These were the days of my high school years. I was happy with where I was as a Christian. I was content with serving the Lord and following the rules of the road. I was excited about the advancement of the kingdom, and was willing to do anything to help. It was easier to follow back then, before college. Let me take you to my Senior Year, the year that I wanted to take all my “holy” knowledge and pass it on to others. This was the year that I would stick my head out and change my friends lives. I had the plan in my head, a plan that was rock solid. All I had to do was move, and the plan was most guaranteed to work by its self. The plan was to start a bible study and invite all my friends to it. But knowing that no one would come to it outside of school threw me through some hoops, which led me to a walk with my friend, Seth, a fellow Christian at VHS (Virginia High School.)
I was in church, one night, when my youth pastor began to talk about evangelism. I still hadn’t made a career decision (at this point), but I was open for anything ( as long as it had something to do with ministry, that is). When my youth pastor began to speak about this topic, I grew overly excited about the possibilities of  God using me. By the end of the long sermon, I was almost set that this was the job for me, that is when the planning began. I was planning to set a new found revival to VHS, one that would leave a permanent dent on the hallways, forever. But I didn’t want to do it alone, I needed one more person to go in with me. That is where Seth comes in; he was a Christian, and he wanted the same thing as me, so who would be better than him? I would train him and give him the group, after I was long gone from that school. He would then be in charge and the revival could continue, since he did still have four-years. So, after the sermon, that night, I called Seth and told him that we needed to talk. He told me that he was busy, but we could meet up, the next day, and take a walk. That night I was unable to sleep, I was too busy thinking of all the details, worrying that if I missed one thing it would all be screwed up. I wrote down every detail of this project; from when the meeting will start, where, and why. Every stone had been turned, it was now time to sell the idea to Seth and begin the project.
During the walk, Seth was intrigued about the idea, but we both had a worry “Where would we have the meeting?” As I said before, I had the where, that wasn’t the problem, the real problem was trying to convince the people to allow us to have it there. I thought that the school would be a perfect place to have it. It would be perfect, people would come for the meeting and then go to class. That way we could invite our friends to it, and they would be more likely to come, since they had to come to school anyway. Seth apposed the problem being the School. The school system is strict about Church and School being separate, solely to avoid any discrimination. This was something that I understood and was willing to face, with or without Seth. Sadly, the meeting was without Seth. I went in, that next Monday, and set a meeting with our super attendant. She liked me so this was a piece of cake, or so I thought. She called me in immediately.
     My heart was pounding as she sat across from me holding her hands together, wanting me to do most of the talking. I told her my idea, which sounded crazy when it came out to her, but she bought it. She was very strict on the rules of the group. She had a idea of her own, one that was going to stick if I wanted the group. She ideally gave me a time, she told me that it had to be before school, in a class room. I wasn’t happy with the fact of getting up before school, since I had a rough time sleeping, but this was my chance to expand the kingdom, so I took it. I told her that I was willing to do whatever, little did I know what that meant.
After the meeting, I got a note from the super attendant. She listed a few things that had to be done to get the group started, along with a list of rules that had to followed. I had to write out a 2-page description of the group, what it would cover, and why it would help anyone. That was the easy part. The hard part to follow were the rules. She had everything down to the last “T” being crossed.

1. You can’t invite anyone to the meeting during school hours.
2. You aren’t allowed to work on any lessons during school hours.

     These were just a couple of the rules. I was stressing on how well this group would do if I couldn’t talk about the group, during school hours. How else was I suppose to invite people? With the worse part behind me, I set out to make this idea a reality. I invited a few people, outside of school, and told them to invite some people, also. I set the first day of the meetings, now it was time to make the sermon. With me being a pastor trainee, the sermon was the least of my worries. I was ready to engage the crowd and get the best results. The only problem was no one showed up, other than Seth and I. I waited until 15 minutes ‘til after realizing no one was coming, I simply asked Seth to pray. We spent the first few meetings praying for one person to show up.
     There was never a huge crowd, but there was a couple people that came. This was after weeks of praying. Finally, after weeks of drilling the Lord, he gave us a group of three. That was the best result of the group. This was the best outcome of the group, but it was also the most touching message. I prepared a sermon solely for this day. I was ready for the crowd, I was ready to touch some hearts. If this was going to be the only chance I would get, I wasn’t going to waste it. That day I remember the laughs, the responses, and the heart filled stories that came from the groups mouth. They understood the message. I had a warm feeling in my body as we closed with a prayer. Though we had a great turnout, the group decreased over the weeks. It was too much from people to get out of bed, especially to come to school, and to learn about something they didn’t have interest in. The group, even with the strength of the Lord, came to an end. School was becoming too much, that I finally stopped the group meetings. With all the test, classes, and holidays I ran out of gas.
I think about how I quit, and at first I was upset, but now I know I did the right thing. I was starting to fail my classes (because I was more worried about the outcomes) which was one of the rules “You will be asked to stop the group, if you fail to maintain a ? gpa.” I am sad that it came to an end, but at the same time, I am still glad that I started it. I stepped out in faith and didn’t worry about what others thought. Finally, I did something for me. I wish the group would have grew, but what’s important is that I grew through it! 

image

Impromtdude @ Facebook.com/impromtdude

Advertisements

Am I a christian?
I have been doing a series called, Letters to the Chapel, which is a series that walks you guys through my time with Christ. This raises a question; am I a Christian? This is a very serious question, if you know my past. I spent a good part of my life in a pew. Growing up with a pastor for a dad, you were sort of forced into going, even if you were tired from staying up all night. I remember at 10 years old, I was in a rough time in my life, my mom was no longer in the picture, I recently had gotten out of foster care, putting me into the care of my father. When we moved in with my father, he had one rule, that was that we went back to church. I hated the idea of going to church. I didn’t believe that God would allow something, such as abuse, happen to his creation. I had a grudge with God, and I wasn’t about to go to church to solve it!
Even with much fighting, I lost the battle in not going to church. My dad wanted me to go, and that was the end of that argument. Now with much hate, in my heart, I sat in a pew with glazed-over eyes, as I tried to stay awake through the pastors boring speech about loving one and another. The pastor had no sense of humor and a mono voice. I found it very hard to stay awake through the sermon. But with time,  I began to get over that. I actually started enjoying the church, but then my dad wanted to change pace and go to another church.
The transition was very rough on me. I made some great friends at the last church, but that was all over. It was back to fighting my dad, about going to church. I remember purposely taking forever to get ready, hoping that he would say it was okay, and that we wouldn’t go. But that never worked, he always was up my butt about getting ready, and if he saw that I was taking longer than I should, he would call me out about it! The fight was over, I had lost. I had nothing else to do, than go with it. I was going to sit through the sermons, even if I didn’t want to. But as I went to the Sunday meetings, I realized this church was amazing.
It took me over 3-years to get used to getting up early, on Sundays. Once I got use to getting up early, I started to pay more attention in the church, and then I went to a youth ralley, on night. This was the night that I gave my life to Christ! This was an amazing night for me. I was sitting in the back of the building, and all of a sudden, two pastors came after me, and asked me to get prayed over. As they prayed over me, I felt something change on the inside, that night was the beginning of a wild 6 year-ride.
Fast forward six years later. After I got back from seminar, I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted, or what god wanted. I couldn’t find a job in Missouri, forcing me back home to start over from scratch. With nothing going in my way, I started to search out for an answer. That is when my youth pastor introduced me to a college, in Lincoln. This was a pastoral college that lasted one-year, and would give you a degree in pastoral studies. This would give me a great opportunity to grow, as a person and a Christian. But with no money to pay for it, I decided to go against it, and I started to focus on church, alone. But then my life shifted.
Long-story-short, I met my wife. She was the light of my world, but there was a problem. She was having problems with her mom, and got kicked out of her home. She was forced into going to her aunts. She was scared of this house, she felt that someone was always watching her, and one night she felt her covers being removed from her. I told her that I would stay with her, until it all blew over, to give her a sense of security. But word got back to my church, and they weren’t happy. They told me that I couldn’t live this life, and teach their children. Then the pastor asked me if I would allow them to pray. But instead of praying for a good life, they prayed that my girlfriend and I broke up. When they prayed that, I decided to stop going to that church.
Now, I would like to say that I am a Christian, which I am, but I feel like I am a different type of Christian. The church is very corrupt in this day of age, most only want control, when they should focus on the love of Christ. That is why I decided to stop going to church, and focusing on a private relationship, with Christ. This eliminated a lot of my problems, and has allowed me to be more real with God. I wasn’t able to ask the Church certain questions, but now I can ask God those questions! So yes, I am a Christian, but I don’t believe in the church.

image

Impromtdude @ Facebook.com/impromtdude

image

Letters to the Chapel: My first sermon.
It was a Wednesday night. The time was about six P.M. I was getting ready for the best night of the week. I was going to a bible study down at a good ole friends of mine, but instead of being a part of the bible study, that night I was a “guest”. I was the one that was giving the message at the end of the study. It was a first for me. I had never spoke about Christ in front of people, well not in sermon form that is. I was nervous but excited, all at the same time. I had been working on this sermon for almost a month, and was ready to get it over with.

I had a list of twenty scriptures to talk about, but only had thirty-minutes to present my case. I had spoken this sermon into the mirror in my bathroom, a thousand times, and each time I felt that the sermon got better. I was happy with it, and chose to lay it down in front of God. He told me that it was good, well I think, so I asked the group if I could share. Well they said yes, so here I am, one hour away from giving the message.

I got to the house, walked in, grabbed something to eat and sat down at the table. This night was a little slim on the members since there was a dance. This was perfect for me, since I use to get nervous in front of people. I counted it as a win, and moved on with my night. The food was amazing, it was cornbread and beans. I loved eating at this group, they always had the best homemade food. This was one of the only reasons I came in the past.

Now I spent most of my time at this group, there is so much information I wanted to know out of the bible, this group helped me understand the importance of “useless scriptures.” Soon I came to know that there isnt a useless scripture, but everything is in the bible for a purpose, its up to you to find out why. The group was about to start. The way this group worked was, one person read a little bit of a proverb then we would read a few Psalms. This was perfect, since there are enough proverbs for each day of the month, so whatever the date was, that was the proverb we read. Then after reading, we would all discuss the importance of each line, then at the end we would spend 45-minutes praying. This night was different, with me being a guest speaker they cancelled the bible lesson. I thought that I would be going last, after the prayer, but instead I went first.

My hands were sweaty and shaking, I felt a frog in my throat. But as I began to speak, the words came out so smoothly. I was teaching on the importance of communion and why we need to take it daily. I talked about the body of Christ, and how the church is failing because they fail to see the true meaning of communion. They fast pace through communion, yet will spend hours on tithing. I want that flipped, and this night; I shared that. The spirit of God fell in that place like never before. I saw that each person was convicted. I knew that this was the message that needed to be shared on this night. I told a few jokes throughout, and at the end, we all prayed. I was ecstatic that I got to share the word, but what made me more happy was that it was the message that needed to be shared. I read the word and God pulled it out for me, I am glad that I listened and spoke the word of God.

After the sermon; the leader of the group called my pastor, which was his also. He told the pastor that I had a message that needed to shared with the whole church. The pastor was excited to hear what I had to say, and had me do the communion the next Sunday. That Sunday was amazing. The communion service turned out great. I saw that the congregation was being moved by God, so I pulled out all the stops; I listened to the spirit of God and began to go deeper into what it means to get communion. I remember that day, the communion lasted almost thirty-minutes, the congregation was being transformed, so the pastor was happy. I finished with giving the communion out. Then I prayed and we took it together.

Impromtdude @ Facebook.com/impromtdude

    There I sat in front of the computer, an hour before I needed to depart from my house. I had my church clothes on, I had the mindset for the night, my heart was soft for the message, I was ready. I was listening to battle music, I was ready to do this. I studied the bible an hour before; I was completely unstoppable. I heard the lyrics that I needed to hear, I looked up in the sky and shouted for the heavens to fall. I felt electricity shoot through my heart, I fell to the ground. The tears of joy wouldn’t stop flowing down my cheeks onto my shirt. I was in the heavenly place, a place most never get to see. I read that to be in this place, you had to be a man after Gods heart. I was happy to say that I reached that title. Pride never took over, though. I knew how small I was to the man upstairs, but even in my most vulnerable state, I still had a bit arrogance to settle.
    I thought I was ready for the real battle after my heart began to burn. I jumped up to my feet, and walked over to the mirror. This is where I felt I needed to go, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t see a man who has been crying, but I saw a man that needed more work done. I still felt like there was something attached to me, something evil. As a Christian; I thought I was able to cast it out if there was anything to cast out, that is. This is when I told the devil to attack me. I shouted the words over and over, and nothing happened. I figured that my heart was so strong, with God, that the devil couldn’t touch me. If only I knew what the devil could do in the future I would have kept humble that day. With my head high, in victory, I went to church that night. I told no one what I did; I knew they wouldn’t be impressed. I kept it to myself.
     The next week is when the attack began. The devil was about to use every weakness to his advantage; taking his shots in a sequence that would weaken me, eventually bringing me down to my knees, in fear. The week began like any other week, I  went to church on Sunday. But everything else was cancelled. This means that I wouldn’t have Monday prayer or Wednesday church. This was the best time for the devil to make his attack, something he took advantage of. It all started fine, I was positive, I was walking in Christ for about a day. But as the week went on, the trials began to become too much. He was using temptation of women to get me to fall, he was using negativity to get me mad, he even used bad situations to weaken my faith.
    At first, I thought I was having a rough week because lack of church, so I kept praying. The trials were too much for prayer though. I happened to fall to temptation, and did something I said I wasn’t going to do with a girl. I didn’t have sex, but we talked “nasty” together. I felt dirty afterwards, a dirtiness that kept me from praying that night. I tried to take a shower, but the dirt wasn’t being removed, I needed a cleanse. Before I could get the cleanse, though, the devil attacked me again. This time he used negative comments at school to get under my skin. The comments weren’t anything, though. I had no reason to get mad, but for some reason I did get mad. I remember it was Wednesday, I looked up at the sky and told God to fix this. I didn’t hear anything, I didn’t feel anything in my heart; I was cold. As a new Christian; I figured that I screwed up to severely to be forgiving. This is the step that took me over the edge.
    With knowing that God didn’t love me anymore, I chose to do what I wanted to do. This included more dirty talking, each time I felt worse and worse, but eventually I stopped caring. My heart began to get hard again. I began to become the same guy that I was before. At first I was scared of who that would make me, but then each time I thought of it, I remember that God had left my side, or I thought. Without Gods love, I wasn’t anyone, anyways. I remember praying on Thursday of that week, telling God that I was no longer trying to get his attention. That night, I didn’t wait for a response as I did before, but instead I went to bed. I woke up the next morning and went to school. The school day drug along, of course. Every Friday seemed to drag, the teachers didn’t want to be there, nor did the kids. Everyone had enough of that place, I was one of them.

    After school that day, I went home and began to write a new song. In the middle of the song, I got a text. The text was from the girl that I was talking to that whole week. She wanted to “talk” so I stopped what I was doing and began to text her. She wanted more than to talk, she wanted something more. She asked for a picture, I said no. We went a long with the conversation, and eventually we were going into deep detail. I found myself doing something that is seen as “unclean” in the Bible.
    I stopped the conversation, and went to take a shower. I remember crying in the shower. I screamed “Who have I become!!!!” This wasn’t who I was, this isnt why god gives new grace, everyday. It wasn’t so I could do whatever I wanted, then ask for forgiveness then do it again. I had to stop, but I didn’t know how. I simply began to pour out my heart. This is when a song came into my head. I turned off the shower, got dressed and ran to my room. I picked up my guitar and began to play a simple chord progression. The words fit perfectly as I began to sing. The song hit me right in the heart. The lyrics “If I walk away, somehow you will find me. I am in pain, love will you save me” Seem to fit into the week that I had.
     I stopped playing the song, but something kept my mouth singing the lyrics. I saw that God was there, and he wanted me to hear something. That is when I was reminded of the challenge I made. That day in the mirror, I told Satan to have his way with me. That day I invited him in to attack me. God shared a scripture with me, talking about inviting Satan into our lives. It all clicked, this whole week, my weakness was due to giving all power to Satan. That is why I was weak all week. I rebuked the power that was giving to him, and throughout my whole walk with Christ, I would never offer that power to him, again. I was crazy for doing so in the first place. 

image

Impromtdude @ Facebook.com/impromtdude