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1 Declare me innocent, O Lord,
      for I have acted with integrity;
      I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
 2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
      Test my motives and my heart.
 3 For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
      and I have lived according to your truth.
 4 I do not spend time with liars
      or go along with hypocrites.
 5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil,
      and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
 6 I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
      I come to your altar, O Lord,
 7 singing a song of thanksgiving
      and telling of all your wonders.
 8 I love your sanctuary, Lord,
      the place where your glorious presence dwells.

 9 Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.
      Don’t condemn me along with murderers.
 10 Their hands are dirty with evil schemes,
      and they constantly take bribes.
 11 But I am not like that; I live with integrity.
      So redeem me and show me mercy.
 12 Now I stand on solid ground,
      and I will publicly praise the Lord. Psalm 26 (NLT)

It was a hot night and I wound up taking some blankets and sleeping on the front gallery of our flat. As the sun rose early in the morning I kept hearing the number 26 in my dreams. When I was fully awake I knew in my spirit God wanted me to read Psalm 26. In the New King James version verse 1 says; "Vindicate me, O Lord." I immediately asked God why I would need to be vindicated. He was silent and yet it was clear He was telling me something through that Psalm. There was a time of testing coming up.

At that time in my life things were going well for my wife and I, or so it seemed. We had just welcomed our son Gabriel Adam into our family. I was elected to the deacon board at our church and was in charge of music outreach and singing in hospitals and prisons, in charge of the homebuilders (a group for married couples) and on the committee for the new school our church had started. On top of that there was choir practice and leading worship once a month as well various singing engagements at other churches and going to school a few nights a week. Life was good and I felt blessed. Busy, but still blessed.

A few things happened that started events changing in my life. The first was my grandmother who had been a steady force in my life passed away at 90 years old. She had a great impact upon in my coming back to the Lord when I was 25. Her prayers kept the enemy at bay and I didn’t realize just how much so until she  was gone. The second was that our senior pastor resigned. He was my mentor and a father figure to me. I had a peace at his going and knew it was from the Lord. But there was a huge storm coming and that peace I felt was the calm before that storm. A committee had to be formed to search for a new pastor and it needed to be headed by a deacon and because I was the only one available, that task fell to me. This thing scared me to death but there was no way out of it. Just after our pastor resigned I had a dream and in that dream I was attacked and accused by people in the church I believed to be my friends. I also saw in that dream some people in the church were very heavily into witchcraft and voodoo. I put it off to being just a dream, but had this ominous feeling that just wouldn’t leave. The last thing to happen was that my wife began to slip into a post natal depression. Because of business and the fact that I had to handle the looking for a new pastor kept me from seeing what she was going through until it was too late.

I will not go into many of the aspects of what went on during that time in which we were in search a new pastor as I have made peace with and forgiven everyone involved. During that time I had never before felt such pressure. I found out who my real friends were at this time. All my good intentions were misconstrued. I became very disillusioned with the whole process. I loved the church and I had such a great desire to see it move ahead and the majority on the boards really believed God had chosen a young man for the job, but it was blocked by the district superintendent. I’ll admit that I made some mistakes as well. I was inexperienced in many areas and was given some bad advice which led to those mistakes. In the end a man that should not have been chosen was brought in. We were told that unless we elected him we would be without a pastor for a very long time. I began to see that money played a very big part in church politics and this man was brought in for that very reason. To raise money because our giving was down. After he was elected with a small majority by the congregation, I was pulled aside by two elders and accused of having my own agenda and wanting to take over the church. It was like a knife went right into my side. It was then that I remembered Psalm 26.  This was only the beginning of the storm. What was coming would turn out to be a hurricane.

 

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Comments on: "A Shelter In the Midst of a Storm. My Testimony of How I Made It Out Alive – Part 1" (4)

  1. I was just searching around the spaces site and came across yours.  I am a Pagan that is Wiccan and I\’m always open to others of different paths.  Your space came up on a searh under Wicca so I just thought I would pop in.  I am not looking for conversion or salvation, but would like to have someone to converse with in a civil manner without judgement.  Of course I believe this could be a two way street so that we can both learn.

  2. I would like to add to my previous comment tht I do still hold the golden rule "do unto others as they would do unto you" as one of my moral guides in life as well as "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". I was brought up with a mix of anglican and baptist religion but always found that there was annother path destined for me.  I do wish that you can possible become a voice to my path without being someone that just wishes to convert me.  Afterall  "lest not we judge, unless we be judged ourselves".  I know that you are a minister and that you are bound to try and save humanity from eternal damnation, but is there really only one way to god?
    Thank you and blessings
    RAVENLONGSWORD

  3. Yes. There is only one way to God. His name is Jesus Christ. He was whipped, tortured, nailed to a cross and died (voluntarily) so that we would have one true way toward salvation. Many religions in the world claim to offer something to people that sounds good, often , but not one of them offers salvation. If you don\’t believe me, just ask them. They know better than to say they offer the type of  salvation which Jesus offered by dying to eradicate our sins.   
          Ask yourself this- is it worth burning in hell for eternity under the pretension that you knew the way or would you really like to know the truth? That is not my judgement, that is God\’s if we ignore his kind offer. Please read Nathaniel Hawthorne\’s , "The Celestial City" I think you may find it rather enlightening!
                                          Offered in love, of course!    The Castle Lady     hugs, kisses

  4. First of all thanks for visiting my space. You are right in that as a minister I am bound to use every opportunity to bring someone to Christ. You see there is no common ground between us. You either believe in Christ or you don’t. He made it very clear that nobody can force salvation or make you believe. These things you have to come to on your own.
    The bible tells us there is only one way to God. Acts 4:8-12 says,
    8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, 9 are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
       ‘The stone that you builders rejected      has now become the cornerstone.’
     12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”   
    Matthew 7:1 is often used by non-believers to justify their sin. But it is taken out of context. In verse 5 He tells to first remove and repent of our own sin before attempting lead someone out of theirs. If not it’s like the blind leading the blind.
    Jesus said in John 3
    16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
     18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
    I don’t condemn you but God’s word does. But understand this, God loves you with a love that is way above your understanding. He loves you so much that He provided a way of escape for you. It is not through a religion or through your own works. It is only found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is only found through realizing you can’t save yourself and as long as you are trying to make your own path you will never see it. The true path or the Way as the early Christians called it, is only found through surrender.
    I encourage you too do just that. Surrender and let Jesus lead you to what is right. He has never failed me yet and He won’t fail you.

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