I’m so glad I got up extra early today, because turning on my computer this very early morning I was thrilled to see so many positive blogs about LOVE. (And make sure you check out Google search today, it’s absolutely adorable!)
I’m always all for love, not just one Valentine’s Day, but every day. And I’m so excited because I worked hard all week so I could have the day off to celebrate with my husband (after getting my taxes done this morning).
This Valentine’s Day is extra special because it’s my first Valentine’s Day as a Lutheran Christian!
I first came to my church on Christmas Day, 2012. I wanted to go to a Christmas service. As a firm believer that God is One, I was originally seeking a Unitarian Church. But I tried the Calvary Lutheran Church on Christmas Day and it was “love at first service.” Pastor Carol is just awesome and after the Martin Luther King Day service, when not only Pastor Carol was part of the service, but also a priest and a rabbi, I was sold and decided to become a member (which will happen the weekend of March 3).
How could you not adore a church that participates in interfaith services? From day one, I felt like Calvary was my home and felt so comfortable there.
Yesterday I was doing promotional marketing for the doctors of Advanced Integrated Health and took a mid-day break to receive ashes for Ash Wednesday.
When Pastor Carol saw me she asked how my public reading skills were.
“Great!” I said. And she gave me the honor of reading two powerful bible passages to the congregation.
I felt ecstatic!
After service I went back to Advanced Integrated Health. At first I was happy because the doctors want to give free lectures to churches and since it was Ash Wednesday, a lot of the pastors were in their churches and I was able to pitch the lectures to those I couldn’t get a hold of before.
Unfortunately two pastors were nasty to me! And on Ash Wednesday too.
But I didn’t get upset, as it made me reflect and realize, wow, I am just so glad that I never settled for a church where I felt talked down to or uncomfortable! Waiting can be a wonderful thing, and it’s one of God’s most powerful lessons!
I am so glad I waited so many years and now I am in the right church!
So, here is what happened with the two pastors after I tried to promote my clients:
One left a message on my telephone that said in a stern, condescending voice, “This is Pastor ___ from the _____ church. Maryanne, we are not interested in having the doctors lecture here. And do not ever call here again.”
Another wrote an email to me that read: “These are not the people I would invite to my church!”
WHOA! Shouldn’t EVERYBODY be invited to a church?
So, dear pastors, what is it about this wonderful HEALTH website (http://www.advancedintegratedhealth.com/) that would provoke you — pastor, a MAN OF GOD, to react this way? These are doctors who are trying to HELP people! They are vehicles of God to get people well! Uh, hello, natural health — God’s way — no drugs, no diet pills — isn’t this a GOOD THING?
See, this is why so many people turn their backs on religion. Because the pastors and some of the congregation act holier than thou and turn people off. That to me, is not God. That is why I turned my back on the church for so many years.
You may get the argument that your focus should be on God, not the church or the people in it.
I think that a person should feel comfortable and welcome where they choose to worship. A church should not make a person feel inadequate, insecure or that he/she is being gossiped about. How can anyone feel humble before the Lord with the stress of worrying about what others are thinking of them?
A church should be loving and welcoming and the perfect tool to bring a person to the next level of knowing God. And if you don’t feel 100 percent about your church, perhaps it’s time to seek a new one.
It took me almost 50 years to find a husband, so why would I be any less choosey in finding a church?
So, now, here I am on Valentine’s Day, 2013, age 49, not only extremely happy and so in love with my amazing husband; extremely happy for a self-made career that I am so proud of that I love all aspects of it; and now FINALLY a church I can go to and worship and love God with the most inspiring pastor!
What more could I want?
Life is just perfect, as God made it!
GOD LOVES YOU!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! HAPPY LENT!