Sometimes I really understand that I'm weird but most of the time I'm not aware of it:) I guess we all tend to think that we're normal even on our most abnormal days... =/ I think I'm weird in that I love to go to church (most of the time - there are times when I want to sleep in and there have been times when I've done exactly that! But not often. Usually if I miss, I'm sick or we are out of town.) And I think one reason I love to go to church is because I've always been. My parents started me in the cradle roll class and I've been going ever since.
I know that some people have bad experiences at church and that turns them off of going. And I've seen some bad things happen in a church when people get turned crosswise. And since I'm in my 50's, over the years I've had one or two people say things to me that I didn't like or that hurt my feelings. But maybe even more to the point, my dad was an usher in our church, always there when the doors were open, and as I've indicated, he was abusive in our home.
Yet, somehow, I have always known that God loves me and the church is His house - not my dad's, not anybody else's. And just like my house, some people may come into it and say or do things that I don't like. And I may deal with it in various ways. But anyone who knows me, knows what my standards are and what is and isn't typical for our house, if that makes sense. I think it's the same with God's house. So I've never been tempted to throw the baby out with the bath water and I'm glad because I can honestly say that at least 98% of my experiences in church have been positive.
Tonight was one of the best experiences we've ever had at church, after a lifetime of listening to great Bible teachers (and our church is really blessed with those!). The guest speaker's testimony affected everyone in our family in a profound way, so much so that we actually went back to church after we had already left to go home and got 100 copies of the speaker's DVD to pass out in our neighborhood as our Christmas project this year. (And you might say a prayer for that!) And then, we stopped and handed out three copies before we even got home. Clearly, the testimony we heard was different.
Now, two and a half hours after the service ended, I'm still thinking about what the speaker said. And wishing that everyone would take a 15 minute break (15 min. 34 seconds to be exact:) to hear his story for themselves. The speaker, Steve Scheibner, was one of the most polished speakers my husband and I have ever heard but also very humble, with a good sense of humor and most importantly, a valuable story to tell. An experienced military and commercial pilot, he was signed up to fly Flight 11 on 9/11/2001 and in the video he explains why that didn't happen and how it impacted his life.
The video was done by one of his sons, Peter, as a project for his degree in media in college and it is extremely well done. Please take the time to listen to this during the Christmas season. We sometimes work soooo hard to capture the true spirit of Christmas and then feel so let down when Christmas is over and the tinsel is all gone and that bubbly feeling is all gone, if we were ever even able to capture it at all. I think this is the true spirit of Christmas and one that can lift you up and motivate you all year long.