SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Looking for free sermon messages?
Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video

Discussion Forum : Welcome & Intro : New guy in MN

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Next Page )
PosterThread
SimpleLiving
Member



Joined: 2008/1/11
Posts: 375
Minnesota, USA

 Re:

I figured since this is a post about me, I'd keep it here so as to not clutter the forums.

I went to church today! First time in eight years! I went to Bethlehem Baptist Church (Pastor John Piper).

Talk about nervous! I was shaking in my boots when I walked in the front door. I was scared. It brought memories of being around Sunday Christians, Monday Gossips, and the abuse and heresy. As I was walking in, what's the first thing I see but scripture on a TV moniter. Joshua 1:9 "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Thank you, Father.

There was a table with name tags for visitors to put their name on. Then you put a red circle sticker on it to denote that you're a visitor. I don't want to stand out! But I did it. I wanted to comply with their wishes and experience their church the way they intended visitors to.

I hung up my coat and a lady at an information desk directed me towards some coffee. Too nervous to drink anything for fear of spilling all over myself (especially coffee), I thanked her and moved into the sanctuary and found a seat. Not in back. Not in front. In the middle. I prepared my offering, and my pounding heart, to go before the Lord. There's a section in the very detailed bulletin for visitors to fill out and drop off. OK, I thought. The full experience. I filled it out and waited.

I looked around. It's not nearly as big as I thought it would be. I found comfort in that. Their balcony is beautiful. On the platform I saw drums and an electric guitar and cringed. Performance music immediately came to mind. It's how the Word of Faith folks do things. I also saw horns. I prepared myself for loudness. I prayed again.

Suddenly, sweet, soft music filled the air as more people were finding their seats. It was the horns! I couldn't believe it! They weren't blaring! They were actually - how can I put this - worshipping God! Their music was honoring God. This hasn't been my experience with Christian music! I felt like I was being bathed in it. Anticipation was growing in me.

A very dear brother gave the welcome and announcements. He had a great look of peace and calm on him. His name, which made me smile, is David Livingstone.

We began to worship God with songs and it was, again, unlike anything I've ever experienced! They weren't songs about how great we were or how blessed we are. We didn't sing about God blessing us and enriching us and making us awesome people. (That is the only "worship" music I've known.) Instead, we sang praises and glory TO HIM! We actually glorified HIM, not ourselves! I couldn't control myself and I wept with my arms stretched out to Him. I didn't want it to end!

We read scripture together. It was so moving! The offering was taken without a word about it. No mini-sermon on give so you can receive. They didn't even announce the offering. Those heavenly horns just started playing again and quietly, reverently, we worshipped GOD with our giving! No vending machine levers to pull to choose our own paybacks. No noting how much we've given to keep a running tally as to how much God "owed" us. It was worship, from the heart!

Then came the sermon. Are you ready for this? It was tailor-made for ME as if God Himself designed and orchestrated it. You know how I've been seeking Him for salvation and my regeneration. This is exactly what the sermon was about! It was about how GOD calls us and how we are not in control of saying a prayer to save ourselves. It's a work of God. He CALLS us. I devoured that sermon like it was a meal at the finest restaurant! Brother John Piper's heart was evident. I've never seen such a humble sincerity in the pulpit.

After the sermon, we worshipped in song and David Livingstone prayed with us and we were excused. I don't know why, but I suddenly felt an urgency to speak to him. I immediately went forward and poured my heart out to him, weeping. Now, it's always been my experience that, when speaking to an elder/pastor after a service, others rudely interrupt and pull them away. Though a few tried to speak with Brother David as we were speaking, he paid them no attention. Not even a "please wait a moment" nod. He showed me respect. He gave me his card and asked if I would give him the visitor card I filled out, instead of dropping it in a box on the way out. I thanked him for his time and went to get my coat.

I was welcomed by several people, who took the time to get to know me with a few questions. It wasn't the usual interrogation-type questions I was used to in other churches. They were sincere, inviting me to their small groups. The small groups at my other churches were the "Us Four and No More Clubs. Please wait until next July and try then, thank you."

I felt welcomed and wanted. People prayed with me and called me by name. I was with a body of believers who loved and worshipped the Lord for Who He is and not what He could do for them! I walked home very happy. (It's only about a mile and a half from where I live.)

So, that was my very first Sunday back in church in eight years. It felt like coming home to a home I didn't know I had.


_________________
Keith

 2008/1/13 20:18Profile
BrokenOne
Member



Joined: 2007/6/7
Posts: 429
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 Re:

Dear Brother,

What a precious, precious testimony. There is such joy in my heart as I read of your experience today. After eight years.....

Praise God brother Keith. What more can I say?

Praise God!!

Danielle


_________________
Danielle

 2008/1/13 20:35Profile
SimpleLiving
Member



Joined: 2008/1/11
Posts: 375
Minnesota, USA

 Re:

Thank you, Danielle.

This has been the most emotional week of my life.

- Heard a sermon in which I realized I'm not saved after 24 years of believing I was.

- Grief stricken and panicked I seek Him.

- Experience hope when I find more teachings on The Truth, including this site.

- Exhaustion from trying to be a Christian by myself.

- Weeping and mourning over my sin and all those wasted years.

- Joy mixed in with the mourning, at the same time.

- Listening and watching eye-opening sermons online. Shock, hope and excitement.

- Finding a new church (anxiety), facing old fears (horror), and experiencing the true church and fellowship (elation).

If it's possible to be exhausted and energized at the same time, I'm there.

The church even gave me one of John Piper's books (The Dangerous Duty of Delight), one of his CD teachings (Proclaiming Truth in an Age of Terror), a DesiringGod calendar and a whole bunch of pamphlets to learn more about the church.

This is one exciting journey.



_________________
Keith

 2008/1/13 20:56Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Living simply

Dear brother ...

This is so tremendous. I had a similar out-coming if you will from like constructs and it was this very site that had me shouting Eureka! at the goldmine I had come upon. That was some 4 years ago now and the changes and challenges since, daily .. I could never tell it all.

Oh you are in such great company brother, all that is now going on with you is like a contagion, my heart rejoices with you .. was almost exhausted just reading of yours! ;-)

It must truly be something, my prayers brother.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2008/1/13 22:53Profile
SimpleLiving
Member



Joined: 2008/1/11
Posts: 375
Minnesota, USA

 Re: Living simply

Thank you crsschk,

Words seem inadequate when I try to tell what's going on inside me. (Heaven knows I've been using enough of them here to try! Sorry about the wordy posts.)

The passion that's growing inside me is taking on a life of its own. You know, I live up to my screen name. I enjoy living very simply. I live well below my means and I haven't watched television in almost four years. (That's not entertainment, it's legalized voyeurism and I refused to pay $60/month for the two or three OK channels to watch.)

I only started listening to music within the last six months and it's from Christian music radio. Music was just never very important in my life. To be honest, I'm even questioning much of what's played on Christian radio after listening to Brother Keith Daniel.

I have a TV, but I use it for DVD's only. But still, now I question whether I even WANT the TV in the house. The TV isn't wrong or evil, I know that. But, especially lately, I find I haven't turned it on in a long time. I haven't even had the desire. Some would say, "Ok, fine. That's how you feel right NOW. But you'll want to watch something later on." I have my iMac computer if I really want to watch something. If it plays DVDs and that's all I watch, why have both? I have a one year old Sony Bravia 40" LCD TV and I don't want it anymore! I LOVE THAT! It's just a possible future distraction. I'm hungry for the Word and for His presence NOW and I don't want to become dull to that! I'm excited about getting rid of my TV and most of my DVD's, even though they may be fine. I'll keep a few of them, of course, but I don't want a collection of them.

Am I being extreme? Perhaps. But what Jesus did for me was extreme and I want to honor that. My desires are changing quickly and sincerely.

Can all this happen without being truly regenerated yet?


_________________
Keith

 2008/1/14 11:15Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Simple

Quote:
Can all this happen without being truly regenerated yet?

...

Forgetting all the theological brain puzzles for a moment ... Keith, there is an awful lot of similarity's here, perhaps my own testimony might give you something of the idea but if I had to codify it, my own was a rather odd and long .. salvation as far as a particular ... suddenness? Or a grand high moment, it just didn't come about that way.

Listen to your own words and explanations, you are describing the changes as they have happened and are happening, I don't think this is too difficult to ascertain. Nor is that even really all that necessary to say ... what do you know in your heart?

Quote:
Am I being extreme? Perhaps. But what Jesus did for me was extreme and I want to honor that. My desires are changing quickly and sincerely.



You might enjoy this brother;

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=685&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go] Others may but you cannot[/url]


_________________
Mike Balog

 2008/1/14 15:50Profile
LoveHim
Member



Joined: 2007/6/14
Posts: 562
Indiana, US

 Re:

Quote:
Others may but you cannot

thanks for that article link mike, excellent read.

that one will stay in my heart for a while, i can tell.

thanks,
phil

 2008/1/14 16:23Profile
SimpleLiving
Member



Joined: 2008/1/11
Posts: 375
Minnesota, USA

 Re:

Forgive me, Mike. I might be dull of hearing, but I'm not sure I understand your second paragraph.

Quote:
Listen to your own words and explanations, you are describing the changes as they have happened and are happening, I don't think this is too difficult to ascertain. Nor is that even really all that necessary to say ... what do you know in your heart?



Maybe I'm not seeing clearly because I'm in the middle of the situation? What do I know in my heart? That I want to be saved and have every breath, thought, word and deed be pleasing and honorable, giving glory to the Father at whatever cost to me. Right now, that's all I know.

I tried to find your testimony on the forums, but I must be dull of seeing, too! Now that I'm home, I'll look again.

And thank you for posting that link. I printed a copy of it out. All at once it's a warning, a rebuke and a loving proclamation! It's timely for me. I want to be careful with my words so I will heed it.


_________________
Keith

 2008/1/14 19:28Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Living ...

Quote:
Maybe I'm not seeing clearly because I'm in the middle of the situation? What do I know in my heart? That I want to be saved and have every breath, thought, word and deed be pleasing and honorable, giving glory to the Father at whatever cost to me. Right now, that's all I know.



Sorry brother if I made a muddle of this. Maybe I am just puzzled at where or what state you find yourself in.

"[i]what doth hinder me[/i]" ? Acts 8:27

Also apologize for sending you on a goose chase, it can be found under my profile, that was very poor of me ...

Edit: About midway down ...

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=438&forum=44&post_id=&refresh=Go]When Jesus came into my life.[/url]


_________________
Mike Balog

 2008/1/14 21:09Profile
SimpleLiving
Member



Joined: 2008/1/11
Posts: 375
Minnesota, USA

 Re:

Quote:
Sorry brother if I made a muddle of this. Maybe I am just puzzled at where or what state you find yourself in.



I'm sure you didn't make a muddle of the situation, Mike. I'm certain it was me. This new life has been so overwhelming. Its been accompanied by different overflowing emotions that it was difficult to see anything very clearly at first. Joy and mourning at the same time? That's difficult to process!

When I recognized this, I slowed down to breathe, taking more time to be in prayer. I don't want to flighty or careless so I'm taking the time to allow the Holy Spirit to work in me.

As great as much of the teaching I find here is, I don't want to get so involved in it that it becomes an idol in my life, replacing time spent reading the Word [i]for myself[/i] and being in actual fellowship with the Father, instead of just hearing about Him from a teacher.

I think many Americans have a tendancy to hold the teacher up higher than [i]The Teacher.[/i] I never want to grow dull or lose the direction of my focus. I don't want the sermons to become the object of my affection, instead of the Father.

One day at a time, right?

Thank you for the link to your testimony. We didn't have a similar childhood, (I was abused and the naive goody-two-shoes.) But the long process of our being saved does have its similarities. Your testimony shows the abundance of grace God has shown you! I've never done drugs and I can't imagine how difficult that lifestyle is to break free from. I see His hand on you throughout your life. Now, [i]that's[/i] love! Thanks again, Mike.


_________________
Keith

 2008/1/17 14:51Profile





©2002-2019 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy